Jeff Ritter Mental Toughness Seminar Part 1 – Nike Jr Golf Camps

Jeff Ritter discusses the attitudes behind living a high performance life both on and off the course with a group of junior golfers at his Nike Jr Golf Camps in Pebble Beach. http://www.jeffrittergolf.com

Sink or Swim

Check out the latest issue of Golf Infuzion Magazine!

Aaron Olson is Staff Teaching Professional with JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix. In addition, he is Assistant Director of Nike Junior Golf Camps hosted at the Pebble Beach Resorts on the Monterey Peninsula.  Click Here for more information on private and group coaching with Aaron and the entire JRG/TSGA Staff.

Think…PLAY!

If you watch professional golf on TV you’ve probably heard a post round interview with a tour player who talks about “thinking” his way around the golf course.  You’ve also probably heard someone talk about letting go and just “playing.”  To play great golf, there has to be a balance of the two.  Let’s examine thinking and playing and how they work together in a round of golf.

THINK (Compute, Decide, Weigh Options)

Here’s a list of things that I would think about in a round of golf before I hit a shot.

How far am I from the hole?

What kind of lie do I have?

Where’s the wind coming from?  How strong is the wind?

What kind of shot should I hit?

What club should I hit?

Where is my target?  The flag?  20 feet left?  The front edge of the green?

All of these things add up to a final answer that gives you the best chance to succeed with the shot you are about to hit.  Sometimes laying up on a par 5 is the best decision.  Sometimes going for it on a par 5 is the best decision.  Whatever you decide, it’s time to PLAY!

PLAY (Execute, Perform, Go)

Playing a golf shot takes all of the thinking that you have done and puts it on stage.  Once the computations are made, you must accept the possible outcomes and execute the shot.  I sometimes tell players to think like an adult, and play like a kid.  Junior golfers are often fearless, and don’t worry about the possibility of a bad shot.

They just let it go.

This is a great mindset to have, but it doesn’t mean you should shoot at every flag, or make bad decisions.  You can make a “reckless” golf swing at a “safe” target 30 feet left of the flag.  That’s how I define playing golf.

Aaron Olson is Staff Teaching Professional with JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix. In addition, he is Assistant Director of Nike Junior Golf Camps hosted at the Pebble Beach Resorts on the Monterey Peninsula.  Click Here for more information on private and group coaching with Aaron and the entire JRG/TSGA Staff.

Smash 101

In this video is a great tip that Martin Chuck demonstrated during a Tour Striker Golf School at The Raven.  Many people make the mistake of setting up too close to the ball on the driver.   This is due to the optical illusion of the club sitting on the ground versus when it  is up in the air (which is where it will be during the strike).   If the ball were teed up at the height of a tee ball tee,  it would be necessary to set up much further away in order to hit the sweet spot at impact.   This tip will help you get more yardage off the tee and keep your driver in the fairway.

Megan Padua is a PGA Certified Instructor, LPGA Member, TPI Level 2 Junior Golf Certified, a TPI Level 1 Golf Professional, Coutour Certified Putter Fitting Professional,  and a Staff Teaching Professional with JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix

Get Better STAT!

I’m proud to say that, I played golf for Penn State in college.  The best golfer to graduate from the Penn State Women’s golf team is currently on the LPGA Tour, her name is Katie Futcher.   My college coach, Denise St. Pierre,  shared this visual with me, it’s the one that Katie uses. Ever since I have used it to evaluate my game. 

If you did not get a chance, my last two postings were titled “the need for speed” and “hit your mark”.
In this visual, the red box represents the fairway and the circle represents the green.  In conjunction with the accuracy/distance blog,  the red line down the middle of the fairway represents the accuracy line (how accurate are you hitting your tee shot?)  The end of the box bisects the middle of the green. This portion of the box will represent your distance control on the green. Since the diagram is a circle, every green will not look like this,measure your statistics as if the center of the circle is in relation to the hole.  From here, plot each shot you take during the round.

This is an example of 9 holes,  the numbers with astricks  *  represent your approach shots.   At the end of your round you can evaluate which area you tend to miss a shot.  

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Megan Padua is a PGA Certified Instructor, LPGA Member, TPI Level 2 Junior Golf Certified, a TPI Level 1 Golf Professional, Coutour Certified Putter Fitting Professional,  and a Staff Teaching Professional with JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix

Got Wind?

Wind Tips

Check out the January issue of Golf Infuzion Magazine!  Click Here to see my article on handling windy conditions!

Aaron Olson is a Staff Teaching Professional with JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix. In addition, he is Assistant Director of Nike Junior Golf Camps hosted at the Pebble Beach Resorts on the Monterey Peninsula.  Click Here for more information on private and group coaching with Aaron and the entire JRG/TSGA Staff.

Tee Time

The new January Golf Infuzion Magazine is now out.   Click Here to see my article on the importance of showing up prepared and ready to play!   

Megan Padua is TPI Level 2 Junior Golf Certified, a TPI Level 1 Golf Professional, a PGA Certified Instructor, LPGA Member, a Coutour Certified Putter Fitting Professional, and a Staff Teaching Professional with JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix

Play Average… and Get Better

In golf, sometimes a simple change in outlook is all you need to lower your scores.  I want to share with you a great piece of advice that I received from renowned sports psychologist, Dr. Rick Jensen.  Since adapting this mindset, I have experienced enhancement in the quality of my practice which has led to significantly more enjoyment in my game.

A simple change in approach will allow you to step out of your own way and into a new world of improvement.  Expectations in golf for many can be unrealistic and set the student up for failure.  In Dr. Jensen’s book, “Easier Said Than Done,” he utilizes the scenario of a golfer who is convinced that they have a wonderful game on the range but cannot carry it over to the course.   He adventures further to say that the majority of the time; the golfer will play exactly the same in both arenas.  However, the success is measured on a different scale.   The averages of the player’s contact, dispersion and consistency on the driving range will be constant with the averages on the golf course.

This is a lesson on AVERAGES. Here is the piece of advice that changed my game forever.

The lesson is simple.   “Half of the time, you will hit shots that are below average, half of the time you will hit shots that are above average.  But no matter how good you are, you will always hit below-average golf shots 50% of the time.”

Fifty percent is certainly a lofty number of repetitions to hit shots that do not meet our standards.  Rather than exert energy into every ball that doesn’t sound, feel and fly upon perfect execution… we need to step away, shrug our shoulders and say, “That was one of my below average shots… half of my golf shots will ALWAYS fall into that category.”   The same rule will apply to the number one player in the world, however, where his average lands on the scale, is what makes him the best.

This mind set, should get you to focus more on moving your average up instead of worrying about a mishit shot here or there.  I would like to thank Dr. Rick Jensen for teaching me such a simple yet valuable approach to evaluating your performance.  I am excited to read his latest book called, “Drive It To The Top.”   Until then, start playing AVERAGE golf today… and I guarantee you will get better.

Megan Padua is TPI Level 2 Junior Golf Certified, a TPI Level 1 Golf Professional, a PGA Certified Instructor, LPGA Member, a Coutour Certified Putter Fitting Professional, and a Staff Teaching Professional with JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix

Made for TV

Johnny Miller and Nick Faldo

Nick Faldo and Johnny Miller in the booth together for Golf Channel coverage.

As the 2012 PGA Tour season is underway in Hawaii, the Golf Channel has added Johnny Miller as part of their broadcast team.  He joins Nick Faldo in the booth, forming a partnership that consists of 8 major championship wins.  When it comes to winning tournaments, describing the pressures that players may be feeling, and sharing their thoughts on how to PLAY golf at a high level, these guys are the best.  They have experiences and stories that very few golfers in the world could ever have, and I hope to hear many of them as they share the booth in 2012.

Notice how I emphasized the word PLAY.  Both of these guys were world class players.  At times, however, I feel that good players can mislead others by describing their feels, or what worked for them as players.  This can be a slippery slope for the viewing public for two reasons.  First, feels can be misleading, and feels in a golf swing are very personal.  My feels in my golf swing are very different than Martin Chuck’s, Jeff Ritter’s, or Megan Padua’s.  And second, things you feel in your golf swing very rarely match what is actually happening, even for the best players in the world.  I hope that given their platform, which is millions of viewers, Miller and Faldo can educate golfers on handling pressure, course strategy, and decision making, all the while making it fun and interesting.

Aaron Olson is Staff Teaching Professional with JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix. In addition, he is Assistant Director of Nike Junior Golf Camps hosted at the Pebble Beach Resorts on the Monterey Peninsula.  Click Here for more information on private and group coaching with Aaron and the entire JRG/TSGA Staff.

Trim Golf

2012 is almost here! What will be your new year’s resolution?

With the Trim Golf attitude, You can shave strokes off your game in 2012.

Dropping strokes on your game is a lot like losing weight.   It’s not always easy but if you can take off a little here and a little there you will eventually notice a difference over time.

My college golf coach, created a goal for us by coming up with a group called “The One Shot Club”  it was our mission to be a part of it.   The concept is, if each player could drop one stroke, as a team we would drop 5 strokes and that could be the difference between winning and losing.   There are many different areas where you can drop this stroke.   However, if you could drop one stroke in each area,  you would maximize your improvement.   What if you improved your putting by one stroke this year?  What if you improved your mental game by one stroke,  your  fitness ability by one stroke, your short game by one stroke, What if you saved one less drive from flying out of bounds?   Instead of trying to drastically improve one area of your game focus on how you can get just one stroke better.  

This year, I want you to take a look at what you want in your game, set a goal and make it happen!  Take out a piece of paper, write it down, and plan all the areas that you can trim one stroke.  We know that you can do it!

Megan Padua is a Coutour Certified Putter Fitting Professional, a PGA Certified Instructor, LPGA Member, TPI Level 2 Junior Certified and a Staff Teaching Professional with JRG/TSGA programs at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix