AT&T’s “Fan’s Eye View” – A Huge Success

fan's eye view AT&TAT&T’s “Fan’s Eye View” was a huge success this year at the 30th Annual AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am won this year by Brandt Snedeker.

The weather, I might add, was unbelievably spectacular this year with bright, sunny days in the mid 70’s. Musician Huey Lewis said it was the nicest weather he has experienced in playing the Pro-Am for over 25 years!

As I mentioned in a previous post called, Celebrating 30 Years of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am AT&T, gave 4 individuals the experience of a lifetime by allowing them access to the tournament itself as well as many cool, behind-the-scenes activities as well.

The “foursome” included: Marine Veteran, Tim Lang; Tiffany Fitzgerald of Black Girls Golf, “The Dan Plan’s” Dan McLaughlin, and 17-year old golfer Katie Horsford. All were encouraged to share their unique experiences via Social Media, hence, giving us non-attendees a “Fan’s Eye View”.

Some of cool things they experienced were meeting with superstar-in-the-making PGA professional, Jordan Spieth, individual golf lessons at the Pebble Beach Golf Academy utilizing some of the most innovative technology available and watching the 3M Celebrity Challenge from AT&T’s Sky Box.

Additionally, they received a walking tour of Pebble Beach and it’s history and got “behind-the-scenes” with just one of the many charities, The Veterans Transition Center, which the tournament supports.

Tiffany Fitzgerald summed it up best,

“I had no idea a golf tournament could have this type of impact on a community and be able to see how those dollars are impacting people. It’s pretty inspiring.”

All in all, the “Fan’s Eye View” was a tremendous success. Personally, it gave me an increased appreciation of the effort, dedication and support AT&T has for the fans, the tournament itself and all the wonderful charities. Bravo!

This post is brought to you by AT&T, celebrating 30 years of the #ATTPROAM. All opinions are my own.

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Old World Golf at Riviera

Riviera Country Club

The Northern Trust Open is being played this week at one the the premier golf courses on the West coast swing, Riviera Country Club, located in Pacific Palisades, California (within city limits of Los Angeles).

Defending champion Bubba Watson and FedExCup leader Jimmy Walker are also joined by world No.7 Sergio Garcia and No.16 Victor Dubuisson who are making their 2015 U.S. debuts on the PGA Tour. It always a shootout at Riviera so be sure to check the latest golf betting odds.

Two-time NTO winner Fred Couples returns once again on a sponsor invite, extending his own record with his 33rd appearance at Riviera.

Riviera Country Club was designed by George C. Thomas (with help from famed architect Alister MacKenzie and William Bell) and opened for play in 1927 as the Los Angeles Athletic Club. It’s listed as a par 71 with a length of 7,279 yards.

The private club has been a playground for celebrities like Douglas Fairbanks, Bing Crosby, Walt Disney, Charlie Chaplin, W.C Fields, Humphrey Bogart* and Howard Hughes.

Current celebrity members include both star athletes and Hollywood elite like: Adam Sandler, Tom Brady, Larry David, Mark Wahlberg and Billy Crystal.

Ben Hogan, who had 3 wins here in an 18-month span (including the 1948 U.S. Open) once remarked, “Some of my most pleasant memories and thoughts are of this wonderful club and magnificent golf course.” The course is often affectionately known as “Hogan’s Alley”

Former PGA Tour player and current NBC Golf analyst Johnny Miller said,

“Riviera is definitely one of the greatest, no-nonsense golf courses in the world. It requires a player to play every club in his bag and every shot in his game.”

Hole 6 Riviera Golf Club

Riviera has some of the most memorable holes on the tour including the par-3 sixth which is famous for its bunker in the middle of the green (see pic above), and No.10 may be the best drivable par-4 in golf.

The marquee hole is the 18th – a world-famous par four. The tee shot is blind, and the ball must find the sloped fairway to have any chance of reaching the green, which is surrounded by a natural amphitheater with an exceptional view of the Spanish-style clubhouse.

*A tree by the 12th green is still known as “Bogey’s Tree”, since that’s where Humphrey Bogart would relax – flask in hand – and watch the L.A. Open – (aahhhhhhhh – sounds like a lovely afternoon for me!)

The Northern Trust Open is being held this year (2015) at the Riviera Country Club from February 18-22.


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Celebrating 30 Years of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-AM


30 year ATT&T Pro-Am

Who doesn’t love the Pebble Beach Pro-Am—all the great golf, uber-cool celebrities and some of the most beautiful, majestic views of ocean and land that you will ever see.

Who would have thought this now marquee and worldwide event began in 1937 when Bing Crosby invited some friends to play golf, enjoy a little clambake and a raise a bit of money for charity in Rancho Sante Fe, California.

Like many I have never played the course, only enjoyed the HD version on the large screen at home. It’s hard to imagine actually being there live and in person-but 4 folks are actually getting to do that! In celebration of 30 years with Pebble Beach, AT&T has invited four golf fans to the tournament to cover it from the fan’s perspective.

The Foursome is comprised of: Marine Veteran, Tim Lang; Tiffany Fitzgerald of Black Girls Golf, “The Dan Plan’s” Dan McLaughlin, and 17-year old golfer Katie Horsford are getting the opportunity of a lifetime to experience VIP access at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. They have met with Jordan Spieth, had one-on-one swing lessons, watched the 3M Celebrity Challenge from AT&T’s Sky Box, and will be doing so much more over the weekend.

"Foursome" at AT&T Pro-Am

They will be living it up for the fans who couldn’t be there and sharing all the awesome-ness via social media from a “Fan’s Eye View”

For all of the fans who couldn’t make it out this year, this Foursome is sharing a first-hand look of all the cool and unique things that make this tournament one of a kind.

They will utilize the AT&T Network and HTC devices to document their journey and share via their social properties.

To help raise money for charity Golf pros, Hollywood celebrities and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs come together to raise over $120MM in donations for charity. Some familiar faces playing this year are (the ever-present and star huckster) Bill Murray, Don Cheadle, Jake Owen, Josh Duhamel, Andy Garcia, Chris O’Donnell, Kelly Slater and many others.

The 2015 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am takes place February 9th through the 15th in Pebble Beach, California.

To keep up to date with the journey, follow #ATTPROAM and the Foursome via their Twitter handles:

@TimLangGolf

@BlackGirlsGolf

@TheDanPlan

@KTHorsford

Website: http://www.attpbgolf.com/

This post is brought to you by AT&T, celebrating 30 years of the #ATTPROAM

This post is in partnership with AT&T. All opinions are my own.

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Golf Rx: Focus Starts with Your Eyes

golf rx prescription sunglasses

Golf Rx is on a mission to bring golfers specialty prescription eyewear at the same level of quality and craftsmanship they expect from the rest of their gear and equipment. It’s about time.

ABOUT

In the early 1990s Sports Optical pioneered the technology to put prescriptions into curved-format sport lenses. Since then, They’ve been in the trenches daily and hard at work perfecting their craft.

Today, their lenscrafting pedigree is second to none and ship their glasses worldwide to almost every imaginable athlete—including, of course, golfers.

For the past twenty years, via their parent company, Sports Optical, Golf Rx have been highly innovative leaders in the prescription sport optics industry and developed their own, proprietary formulas and methods for crafting their lenses.

Currently, there exists a gap regarding the importance of a golfer’s eyesight, not only in terms of visual acuity and performance but also with regards to general eye health as we golfers spend hours in the sun hitting great shot after great shot (we can pretend, right!) so with Golf Rx you get the best of both worlds.

THE NEED

Let’s do a bit of quick math here to set the proper context. Roughly, there’s a domestic demographic of approximately 30 million golfers, with the core market being somewhere in the 15-20 million range, depending on how you define that core group.

The industry average of US adults who wears glasses is generally agreed upon in the 60% range (with another 10% choosing other forms of corrective lenses either via contacts or Lasik)

We’ll go right in the heart of the core market (between 15-20) and say 17.5. 17.5 x 60% = 10,500,00. Even if slightly skewed (one way or the other) that’s a whole bunch of “Fore-eyes” playing golf!

THE PROCESS

Basically, it’s a quite a complex, highly specialized process to adapt a prescription lens to a curved-format sports frame.

It requires numerous optical adjustments and formulas to make the prescription hold true in the peripheral areas of the lens in order to provide clear, distortion-free optics.

THE GLASSES

Lenses

All of Golf Rxs’ prescription lenses are fully customized and handcrafted in their labs.

Some of the more popular lenses include a polarized lens which can drastically cut the glare and sheen that comes off the grass and water on the course. The polarization means you’ll squint less, which will reduce eye fatigue. These can include Polarized Rose-Copper, Polarized Brown, Polarized Grey—talk to Golf Rx as to which ones may be most beneficial to you (see pic below)

Other lenses can include Photochromic (a sunglass lens that changes from a light sunglass to a dark) which is flexible in terms of adapting to various lighting conditions. Unfiltered and clear lenses are also available.

I won’t go into all the science of “lens-ology” (My new made-up word) but they are true master craftsmen and optical innovators who have been at it over 20 years to become the leader in prescription sports optics.

– Frames

Style does matter, of course. We don’t want the coolest optics in the world sitting in unstylish and ill-fitting frames now do we? A lot of people don’t understand that prescription eyewear and sunglasses can be made in the most stylish of ways.

A lot of this is personal choice. Golf Rx are official retail partners (and dealers) of world-class brands like Oakley, Rudy Project and Smith Optics.

Some of these companies do offer Rx sunglasses but their primary business is non-Rx sunglasses. Golf Rx on the other hand is a specialist in custom, prescription lenses and leave the frames to folks who specialize in designing sports frames.

The bottomline is that you want the frame that fits your level of style and comfort best. Golf Rx is happy to recommend frames that have found to be exceptional and time-tested on the course OR they can also make custom prescription lenses for the frames you already have! Now that’s flexibility.

golf rx prescription polarized sunglasses

COMPETITORS

Indeed, there are competitors like Oakley, Rudy Project, Kaenon, Nike; these are all eyewear companies, or eyewear divisions of other companies, prominent in the golf scene who offer prescription lenses for some of the sunglasses they make.

Agreed, these are some of the top and best-marketed companies in the world AND they make some of the best sunglasses in world, bar none. They are not, however, founded upon their optical abilities or their innovations in the realm of prescription sport lenses, nor do they really try to be.

They’re competitors only in the sense that when someone is shopping for prescription lenses for sport glasses they have the option of going through Oakley or coming to Golf Rx.

The product supplied would be quite different, both in the math and formulas applied to the prescription to ensure optical clarity in curved-format sport lenses, and also in the lenscrafting process.

The phones at Golf Rx are answered by opticians who play sports and sell exclusively prescription lenses and glasses. The phones at Oakley are answered by sales people in a call center.

The other lenses are made in a machine far away from the call center or retail store. Golf Rx lenses literally require physical effort to grind the lenses, which they do right in their lab, on-site.

Says, Kyle Ross, Optician and Director of Marketing at Golf Rx,

It’s the difference between someone getting a suit off the rack at Macy’s and getting one custom tailored. We prefer it when the customer decides to go the custom route, but we’re a fully different choice.

COOL OR PRACTICAL

Even though it’s fun to get cool prescription sunglasses for the hobby we love, the other side of the story is that it’s a legitimate medical device for our eyes and we often forget that.

It’s a unique balance, the coolness and style weighed against the importance and gravity of eye issues. It’s not a trivial matter. At a minimal, please consult with Golf Rx so you are at least getting proper and accurate information.

HOW TO ORDER

Basically the ordering process begins with a phone call or an email. Prescription details are shared and focal style you are looking for — distance vision, lined-bifocal or progressive-bifocal.

Next, comes the frames — any special needs are addressed. For example, things like fogging, light/wind sensitivities, face and head size, etc. and also discuss what you are looking for with regards to style, because style matters.

Finally, the next discussion is where the rubber meets the road — lenses. If a customer knows exactly what they’re looking for in a lens, great. That can be accomplished quite easily.

If not, questions are asked about the light conditions in which you play, and any special conditions they might have.

For example, what do you typically wear, do you feel like it’s ever too dark or too light? Nearly all of the frames have an interchangeable lens system. Are you looking for one lens for all conditions or are you open to a two lens set-up?

The process takes approximately 3 weeks and then shipped out.

PRICING

There are two things to look at here—the frame price and the lens price. Frames range from $109 to $329 and lenses begin at $209, with special treatments like polarizations, transitions, multi-focal prescriptions bringing the lens costs up.

Surprisingly, Golf Rx prices are often lower than the costs charged by Oakley, Rudy Project or other manufacturer’s Rx lens options. Why? because they can that’s why! Also because of their size [those companies] are really not in the business of providing custom information, advice and education like Golf Rx can.

Golf Rx works to keep their prices in a reasonable range so they can be accessible for all. Keep in mind, this is considered a medical device so think in terms of an investment for the health of your eyes.

Note: Many customers submit their purchases for insurance reimbursement or use their Flex-Spending/Health Savings accounts.

CLOSING

Eyewear, both prescription and non, is extremely relevant to the game of golf and Golf Rx is a true, innovative resource for golfing eyewear, both for purchasing eyewear, but also as a place to consult and find information, on a personal level, for the best frame and lens options custom designed for YOU.

Golf Rx is a division of Sports Optical – an independent optical shop in Denver specializing in custom, handmade prescription sports lenses and eyewear.

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The Wonderfully Quirky Golf Course at Yale

9 hole at Yale golf course

The Course at Yale University is one of my favorite courses to play – not just for the history and sheer (often odd) beauty of the holes but the supreme golfing challenge as well.

For a number of years I would travel with my golfing compadres South from Western, MA to New Haven, CT and play the Course at Yale University. Afterwards, we would hit the famous pizza joints in downtown New Haven. Just head downtown to Sally’s or Frank Pepe’s and you’ll be doing fine.

The course concept began long ago, in 1924, when a 700-acre of land was given by Mrs. Ray Tompkins as a gift to Yale in memory of her husband.

It was designed by Charles Blair MacDonald (in collaboration with Seth Raynor and Charles Banks) who was an accomplished golfer, well-known golf course architect and co-founder of the USGA. It was opened for play in 1926.

Today, the Yale Golf Course is recognized as one of the finest examples of early American golf course design. Large deep bunkers and narrow rolling fairways are on magnificent display everywhere at Yale GC.

In 1988, Golf Magazine ranked Yale as 71st among the 100 most difficult courses in the world. Many recognize the layout as one of the best collegiate courses in the nation. Two of the holes- the 432-yard par-4 fourth and the 238-yard par-3 ninth – have been ranked among the 100 most difficult holes.

I’ve played there a number of times and just love this course. In the Fall time, there is probably no prettier course in the Northeast.

swale at 9 green Yale GC

Here are just a few on my favorite holes on this gem.

#4. Hole number 4 is called “Road.” It’s a long 440 yard par 4 that takes 2 excellent shots to reach the green.

Raynor used the pond to re-create the angle of the out of bounds at the famous number 17 “Road Hole” at St. Andrews and created a road bunker twice as deep as the one on the most famous of courses. Stay out of that one to save at least a few strokes!

It has been called one of Ben Crenshaw’s favorite holes due to the creative use of water as a driving hazard. He often called it, “A great par-four-and-a-half.”

#9. Hole number 9 is called “Biarritz” and is the signature hole at Yale (see top 2 pics). It plays up to 235 yards and has minimum carry of 190 to carry the water.

On a crisp Fall day it’s one of the most beautiful holes you’ll ever see. The water, the framing of the trees, the anticipation of a well-struck shot all cascade into feelings of nervousness and excitement. There’s no turning back now!

If you’ve never played the course you’ll find the most bizarre 8 foot deep swale in the middle of the green. If you hit on the opposite green from where the pin is located the ball will actually disappear from view as it goes down (and down and down) the swale and finally back up again towards the flag.

I mean you really have to give the ball a good whollop to traverse this odd anomaly – but at least you’ll have fun doing it!

Yale18bg

#18. Hole number 18 is called “Home.” (see pic above)  Another beautifully strange hole. From the tips its a massive 621 yards. You literally play along a mountain (or over it if you so choose). The shorter way home is up the mountain the longer way down below to the right.

It’s hard to describe it unless you actually experience it. You really have to string some shots together to have a decent score on this ending hole.

My claim to fame the last time I played number 18 from the tips (all 621 yards of it!) – a tap in bogey! Somehow, I’m pretty proud of that :-)

It’s such a beautiful, odd course. So many little unique twists and turns. For example, it has only 2 par 5’s and you don’t see one until hole 16 (the other at 18). The greens can be massive but also have unexpected and surprising contouring and undulation. Almost some magical thing at every hole.

Here’s hoping you can get up to The Course at Yale and have as much memorable fun as I always do. I can almost guarantee it anytime you play this wonderfully quirky but solid course.

PS: Supposedly it’s bad luck to get into the “Principle’s Nose” bunker on 17  (just love that name!) – so don’t go there :-)

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How to Become a Warrior-Sage on the Golf Course

Hogan practicing alone

We all know our thinking creates our reality, but have you ever “thought” about how this can be influencing your golf game? And I mean from a deeper level than just thinking “Hey, let’s make a good swing here” or “I see the ball going in the hole” type of thing.

Warrior-Sages have a Zen-like way of detaching from events. They don’t get overly emotionally involved. They don’t have a constant need to know. They are happy to just settle in the present. They quietly put in the work and slowly built that internal power and fortitude.

What exactly is a Warrior-Sage? A Warrior is a brave or experienced fighter ready at any time to go into battle. Sage means one is of profound wisdom. The Warrior Sage is one that has fought their way beyond illusion and ignorance to embrace perception, deep-knowing and wisdom.

Warrior Sages just settle into reality and accept it AS IS for they know they created it (yep, YOU created your round of golf!) This way you begin to build power internally, the energy is not dissipated externally.

They don’t yearn to know or for things to be different. The yearning to know becomes an affirmation of their weakness. They are quiet and go about their business with little fanfare or notice. They put in the work and practice daily.

When I think of quietly putting in the work in a Warrior-Sage type of way, I often think of Ben Hogan. The top picture perfectly sums up the image I have of him practicing quietly and alone—the beauty of a master craftsman honing his craft.

I often wondered, “What did Hogan think about when practicing in those long, hot, windy, Texas days of yesteryear?” Of course, the physical aspect was very important but what about the mental (or even spiritual) side of things?

At times, of course, he was trying to solve a swing issue, at others times it was a time for him to just practice, to be quiet, to build his mental strength and consolidate his power internally.

A way to visualize this is (external/internal dynamic) to think in terms of space and non-space. For example, in a painting (let’s say representational painting) there’s what’s called positive and negative space.

Van gogh chair painting

If you look at the picture above by Van Gogh you see the chair (positive space) and then you see the space in-between the chair rungs (the negative space).

When I attended art school many moon ago, part of learning about composition was how to create a harmonious balance between both positive and negative space. Often, we would start to create a composition working with negative space only.

By creating the non-material space the material (or positive) space magically appears. It’s quite a mind shift when you begin by painting what’s NOT there.

Think about it, do you ever consider where you’re not? Where is your mind? Where is your energy? Is it here? or dispersed elsewhere?

Ok, so what does all this bloody warrior and art stuff have to do with my golf game?

If all your future thoughts, negative interpretations and constant second-guessing of yourself flow away from you (to the negative—or outside—spaces) your energy dissipates. It’s like a rubber raft that you poke a thin needle into—it begins to slowly deflate. You have wandered away.

By pulling your mind back from all those thoughts that take you into areas where you are not (negative areas), you allow your energy to consolidate. What you are concentrates around you and becomes more solid and powerful.

Tiger Woods, in his heyday most clearly embodied this. It was like he was the center of the universe. He had that power and internal fortitude like no other.

I can here you now, “That’s easy to say when my head is about to pop off after slicing it into the trees all day long . . .” Yeah, that WILL happen but the practice, the mindfulness and the quieting of the mind will build over time.

Keep centered and within your own space. Feel like one of those solid black silhouettes—solid in your own body, mind and thoughts. Everything is consolidated and contained within. Nothing is being dissipated.

Here’s a few things you can do to build your own Warrior-Sage Power for your game:

 

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Quick 9: Interview with Swing Speed Guru, Jaacob Bowden

jaacob bowden golf swing

If you’re interested in increasing your golf swing speed then I’ve got the guy for you. His name is Jaacob Bowden and is the world’s leading expert when it comes to swing speed training.

Jaacob is currently the Official Swing Speed Trainer for the eGolf Tour and he has taught on the subject of swing speed training for the Swiss PGA and at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Read on to find out more.

1. Tell us a little about you and your background, Jaacob.

I’m originally from Barnhart, Missouri, which is about 25 miles south of St. Louis. As as kid I always dreamed of playing professional sports. In those days, I played lots of sports but for me it was mostly about basketball and baseball. After high school, I had the good fortune to play NAIA Division II basketball and also be invited to a Minnesota Twins tryout at the Metrodome.

With basketball, I wasn’t really fast enough or as skilled at ball handling as was necessary to be a 1 or a 2 guard. Mostly I was a 3 because I didn’t have to dribble as much and was a good shooter. I also played a 4 at small forward because I had a 34” vertical leap and was strong enough to guard guys that were 6’4” to 6’9”, despite me being 6’2”.

But in the end, that didn’t work out, in part because I lost some of my aggressiveness due to ligament tears in my knees. Both tears were accidental from freak collisions and not because I had bad knees, but as anyone who has had a knee ligament tear will tell you, it’s not something you want to go through. The risk of getting hurt again wasn’t worth it for me. I like to shoot, but I don’t really play anymore.

With baseball, the Twins were looking to fill out a couple spots in their organization. I got invited to fly to Minneapolis for a 2-day tryout with over 100 other guys. After the 1st day, we were cut down to about 25, which was basically enough to have an inter-squad game on the 2nd day with some extra pitchers.

I would say I was in the top 15 guys, however, there were 1 or 2 guys that were definitely a notch above everyone else. So I didn’t make it. But it was a great experience. My favorite memory was fouling a ball off that big wall in right field at home run distance with a wooden bat. Unfortunately, I struck out after that, but it was still cool.

After college I got a job as a computer engineer. I knew that it would be a temporary thing, so in an attempt to find some direction I wrote down a bucket list of things I wanted to do in life and I just started checking them off the list. One thing was to attend every major sports event at least once…meaning one Super Bowl, one World Series, etc.

As it worked out, in 2001 the PGA Championship was being held in Atlanta while I was in town for my job training some technicians on how to use our proprietary software.

Lucky me, the final day of training got cancelled. With the extra day to play with, I bought a ticket to the tournament and followed Tiger, Vijah, Phil, and numerous others. There was one instant where I was the only person walking across a fairway while the ropes were down after the players passed through. While in the middle of the fairway looking out to the galleries, I was overcome with the feeling of actually being a player.

All of a sudden it was like a light turned on and my entire vision was brighter. I thought, “I could do this. I could be a professional golfer.”

I was only a 14-handicapper at the time, however, golf careers aren’t near as short as an NBA or MLB player…so I figured there was time for me to improve. I enjoyed the outdoors, traveling, sports, etc. It seemed perfect.

I mulled it over for another year or so before deciding I didn’t want to be 40 years old, look back, and wonder if I could have made it. So I sold all my belongings, quit my corporate job, took my $40,000 in savings, and moved to California to pursue a golf career.

I’ve since gone on to win the Pinnacle Distance Challenge with a televised 381-yard drive, finish 5th at the Speed Golf World Championships and shoot the championship record for golf score at Bandon Dunes, and make numerous cuts in professional tournaments around the world with rounds in the 60s and 70s.

I also started a website called SwingManGolf.com which focuses on how I was able to make such a dramatic improvement in both my golf game and in my swing speed.

2. What led you to become interested in increasing a golfer’s swing speed?

In order to better compete in long drive and to hit the ball farther in regular golf, I was researching ways to increase my swing speed. At the time I felt I was already pretty well maxed out from technique and club fitting. As such, the only way I could think of to hit
longer was to get my body to swing faster.

During my search, most of the things I found revolved around the technical aspects of hitting farther. That didn’t really help me much because I felt my technique was already pretty solid.

Golf fitness was also becoming more prevalent, but you can be fit and not fast. I wouldn’t argue against someone wanting to improve their fitness, but the affects of being fit don’t really translate in a substantial way to shooting lower scores. More importantly is speed.

Since swing speed training wasn’t available in the golf fitness industry, I had to look to other industries and use my own intuition to find answers. I ended up putting together a program for myself that added 26 mph to my swing in just 37 days.

Presently, even today the golf fitness industry is still lagging behind in that regard. I’ve seen well meaning trainers get excited about getting a client a few more MPH after months or even an entire season of training. That’s great but it’s actually possible to obtain 12-16 mph in just 30 days with proper training.

3. What benefits are obtained from increasing your swing speed?

All else being equal, more swing speed will translate to more distance. More distance means you can shoot lower scores. In fact, there’s a direct correlation between distance and handicap when you go from a 15 handicapper down to a scratch player and tour professional.

For starters, more distance will allow you to clear more hazards off the tee and cut off doglegs. You can start driving par 4’s and reaching par 5’s in two. You will be able to get out of the rough easier.

You’ll be able to hit your approach shots higher and with more spin, thus making it easier to hit and hold greens. Heck, maybe it even means you’ll be able to reach more greens period. With shorter clubs in your hand, you’ll get your approach shots closer which leads to less bogeys and more pars and birdies.

4. Could you give a few case studies of dramatic transformations some of your clients have produced via increasing their swing speed?

Most of our members pick up 12-16 mph in the first 30 days of basic training. However, there are those who are able to dedicate more time and energy, though. On the extreme end, we’ve had several guys go from the mid 90s to the 140s on their Swing Speed Radars and start competing in long drive.

One guy was even in his 50s. This took a lot of hard work over many months. However, the point is that if you’re motivated and willing to hang in there and bust your butt, it is possible.

5. What 2-3 things can a person do right now to increase their swing speed?

If you want to get more swing speed, the first thing to do is to start practicing swinging faster…and still under control. You won’t get faster if you don’t try to go faster. This is something that all professional long drivers do. They work on their speed. It’s like any other skill in life. To get better at the piano, you need to sit down and start clacking away.

It doesn’t have to be your entire golf practice. Just hitting 15-30 balls a couple times per week where you are working on ripping it faster can have benefit.

It’s also important to get a radar for the immediate feedback. I like the Sports Sensors Swing Speed Radar because it’s portable, it travels well, it’s relatively inexpensive, and it’s accurate. Plus you don’t need to hit balls to check your speed (meaning you can train at home) and you can also check speeds on any training aids you like to use.

Another key thing to do is to make your golf swing muscles stronger through various forms of strength training.

6. How important is golf-specific fitness in reaching top club head speed? Can you recommend one that can help immediately?

As I mentioned, more important than being fit is being strong and fast. The 2-time RE/MAX World Long Drive Champion Jamie Sadloski is only around 165 lbs, however, he can do hex bar deadlifts for reps at 480 lbs. That takes tremendous strength of his hands, lower back, glutes, and hamstrings.

Other world long drive champions like Joe Miller, Ryan Winther, Mike Dobbyn, Jason Zuback, Sean Fister, etc also show similar strength characteristics. Similarly, when I was at my fastest, I was also at my strongest.

Making your training exercises as golf specific as possible is very important in regards to swing speed training. Perhaps my favorite golf specific exercise is a wood chop.

Go to one of the cable machines in the gym a couple times per week, grab the cable up high (in the same position as the top of your back swing), and pull the weight down to impact (in the same position as impact). Low reps (only 1 or 2 at a time with rest between sets), heavy weight (and moving up whenever possible), and explosive movements are critical.

7. What new developments in swing speed training are you most excited about?

There is very little quality information available as far as swing speed training goes, even by reputable institutions and famous trainers who I’m sure mean well. So honestly I’m most excited about what we’re doing at Swing Man Golf.

Of course we have very good information already in the Premiere Member area of the website, however, every other year or two I try to revamp the swing speed training content…and I’m due for another upgrade. So I’m excited to update it with even more new things that I have learned over the last couple of years.

Beyond that, I’ve done lots of small clinics around the world and taught classes at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology as well as for the Swiss PGA. Now that I have a base back in the US again in New York, I’m excited that it will now be easier for me to bring this education to our PGA of America professionals, golf fitness trainers, etc.

In fact, I’ve started hashing out a swing speed training certification program. I’ve got several projects going on right now which are keeping me busy, so I don’t have an estimated date the certification program will be completed, but I’m picking away at it. It will be very cool once completed.

8. Tell us about some of the products you offer that can dramatically increase one’s swing speed.

I train amateurs and pros in person. However, my time is limited for that. Outside of working with me personally, there is the Premiere Membership at SwingManGolf.com. At the moment, that’s probably the best place to get started.

Becoming a member will also keep you in the loop of future updates and projects like the ones I mentioned above to help you hit the ball longer and lower your handicap.

9. Where can we learn more about you Jaacob and Your Swing Speed Program?

People can learn more about me at SwingManGolf or at my personal website: jaacobbowden.com.

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Bushnell Neo XS GPS Watch

Bushnell NEO XS GPS watch

For those of you who hate to read and just want the bottom line; if you’ve been thinking about getting a GPS watch for golf you won’t go wrong with the Bushnell Neo XS.

If they did away with all yardage tools and markers it would be OK with me. However that’s not going to happen. The best players in the world want to know exact yardages so why shouldn’t amateurs benefit from some course knowledge. I don’t think anyone would argue that they don’t. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve over or under clubbed because I didn’t really know yardage.

First there was the handheld GPS, but they were clunky and got in the way of all the other things a golfer had to manage on course. Many also had annual subscription fees and issues with battery life.

I saw many early GPS users transition to a handheld rangefinder which eliminated battery life problems and monthly or annual fees. It still didn’t fix the clunkiness issue. They’re big and you have to store them securely. Then when you need a yardage you’ve got to fish it out and take the time to aim and get a good reading. While you may know the exact yardage to the pin you won’t find out the size of the green and how much room above or below the hole you have to work with.They also aren’t very useful for figuring out how far you hit your last shot – information which is really helpful if you’re getting serious about scoring.

I’ve had the Bushnell Neo XS for about 2 months now and I love it. It’s lightweight and always available because it’s on my wrist. It weighs less than my everyday wristwatch. It takes a long time to run down the battery – I’ve only charged it twice.

My home course is in the mountains and filled with trees, but I have no problem getting a signal anywhere. When I’m at my ball the yardage is there waiting for me on my wrist. The thing is easy to operate because it doesn’t try to do too many things like some golf watches. I can easily find out how far I’ve hit my shot. Distance to front middle and back of green are the default display. There are distances to hazards, but you don’t get as much information as a high-end handheld GPS, but in my opinion this is easily outweighed by the convenience of the Bushnell Neo GPS. There are some good holiday prices out there now. I’ve seen units advertised for not much more than $100.

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Unforgettable Arizona Golf Memories

Troon North Pinnacle Course

Now that’s it’s getting, let’s just say, a bit chilly here in the Northeast, maybe it’s time to head to the land of cacti, desert and immaculate fairways and greens – somewhere like Arizona, perhaps?

For those who have never played desert golf it’s a truly memorable experience. Particularly for those who are not native to the area. I’m from the Northeast (MA) and to visit Arizona sometimes feels like another planet — just because the landscape is so different. It’s such a visual treat for the eyes, the feel of the heat, the beautiful fragrance of the local flowers, the sound of the gentle breezes — everything seems to be such an assault on the senses.

One course I recommend checking out is Troon North – the Pinnacle Course (top picture). Personally I have not played this yet but it’s definitely on my list.

It’s one of the 2 courses (the Monument course being the other) at the World-Class Troon North Golf Club

Here’s little blurb taken from their site:

Troon North Golf Club stands as a hallmark of the Scottsdale desert golf experience with two 18-hole courses stretching through the natural ravines and foothills in the shadows of Pinnacle Peak. Giant granite boulders lie strewn across the rugged landscape of Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, where Troon North Golf Club combines iconic golf with the visual sensation of desert landscape, providing a standard unmatched in the American Southwest.

The Pinnacle, designed by golfing great Tom Weiskopf, opened in 1995, caps out at 7,044 yards from the tips and plays to a par 72. Like its sister course, the Monument, it will challenge you with desert golf replete with arroyos, natural washes, huge saguaros, mesquite, and ironweed ( I don’t even know what some of these are! I better look them up!). Fairways are generous and lush, some of which are hidden behind boulders, high-lipped bunkers and grassy mounds.

One of the best amenities you’ll enjoy at Troon North is their amazing practice facilities. Unlimited use of the practice facility is included with greens fees, including the driving range, chipping green and putting green. Get there early so you can take advantage!

However, the Troon North experience doesn’t end there. The club’s 37,000 square foot clubhouse boasts exceptional service, along with such outstanding amenities as an award-winning golf shop, well-appointed locker rooms and world class dining. So what’s to think about?

“Beautiful Golf Course”
5 of 5 stars (via TripAdvisor)
The clubhouse is immaculate, the course is challenging and beautiful! I can honestly say the two courses at Troon North are some of the prettiest courses I have ever been round and more enjoyable than the TPC in Scottsdale. Will be going back in the near future!

If you love 1st class desert golf with stunning views and immaculate service – well, this is THE place to be!

Quintero Golf Club

Another gem you don’t want to miss is SunRidge Canyon located in Fountain Hills, AZ (about 30 minutes east of Scottsdale)

Typical of a lot of desert courses this course has some dizzying elevation changes which provide stunning views as well as challenging golf!

The fairways are tight, exquisitely painted and surrounded by thick, dense desert vegetation — try not to hit it there :-)

This is a 6823 yard, par 71 Keith Foster designed course that is located in the rugged ridges that abound in the desert mountains that divide Fountain Hills from Scottsdale.

“Worth checking out”
5 of 5 stars (via TripAdvisor)
Golfed there about a week ago. Really enjoyed the course, the amenities, and the staff. Well run establishment, and scenic golf on a well maintained course. the last six holes are definitely tough, they are called the wicked 6, but oddly that was where I shot my best that day.

Golf is a strange game. Nice patio/ bar are for after with nice views. We sat at the small bar and were thoroughly entertained by the bar staff. Just a great day all around.

Formally a private course but now public, Quintero Golf Club, (second image) located in Peoria, AZ is another golf destination not to be missed.

It’s tucked away in the Hieroglyphic Mountains, but still conveniently located less than an hour North of Phoenix. Acres of protected Federal Lands surround the course, further enhancing its secluded and tranquil feel.

A Rees Jones design, it plays 7200 yards from the Championship tees down to 5043 from the forward tees.

There are several tremendously elevated tee areas – with tee boxes often terraced into the hillsides like a beautiful, cascading waterfall.

Elevation changes abound here! From the tips, gold and silver tees, you will encounter numerous carries over desert canyons and arroyos. The copper and jade tees (forward tees) are significantly more playable. The fairways are generous and most often there’s room greenside to recover from those unlikely errant approach shots :-)

Quintero Golf Club has been consistently rated as one of top courses in Arizona. With dramatic elevation changes and undulating fairways, the course is a delight in every way. Glimpses of quick-footed roadrunners, wild burros, gila monsters (venomous lizards – look out!), and burros can often be seen.

“First class golf in Peoria.”
5 of 5 stars (via TripAdvisor)
We had the pleasure of playing this beautiful golf course recently. What a great experience. The elevated par 3’s are spectacular, the fairways like well vacuumed carpet, and the greens fast and challenging. Thanks for a wonderful experience. Don’t miss this one if you are in the Phoenix area.

These are just a few of the courses you definitely don’t want to miss while in the Scottsdale area. Scottsdale Golf Vacations has some terrific deals that you really should check out. Now’s a great time of the year to begin planning for some of the most memorable golf you’re likely to play.

Scottsdale golf vacations is happy to offer our readers a 10% discount off tee times if you book through Scottsdale golf vacations. Just mention “GolfDash” to receive your discount.

Note: regarding fees — the course fees can vary widely depending on the season you play so if you want to save a bit of money, consider going in the summer months when temperatures are — lets just say a little warm :-)

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Giveaway: PGA TOURAcademy Home Edition Deluxe Package

TOURAcademy Home Edition

We get so many cool products here at GolfDash that I have been wanting to do giveaways for some time. Well, now is the time.

Typically, we’ll try to run them for a week or so but we’ll see how it goes and adjust as needed.

This week we are giving away a PGA Tour Academy Home Edition Deluxe package worth $146.97.

It’s a complete instruction and practice program together, designed by the pros at the TOURAcademy.

Includes 10 Instructional DVD’s, Practice Calendar, Essential Training Aids (Contact Bag & Alignment Sticks), Instruction Book and much more!

Enter to win button

PS: Sponsors interested in participating in our GolfDash Giveaways please contact us at: support at golfdashblog.com

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