Feeling Short-Changed Playing a Short Course? Don’t!

There are far more benefits for your game playing these “shorties” than you think

Some time ago, I posed a question over Twitter to gauge how golfers felt about executive-length golf courses. As you can see, from the Tweet below, it was actually nearly a year ago. Up until recently, I left it pinned at the top of my Twitter profile. The question was simple really. Basically, it went something like this. Do you like executive-length golf courses or do you prefer something a little more, “beefy”?

As you can see below, based on a small sample size of respondents 77% thought that executive-length golf courses were kosher. With 22% feeling that maybe a golf course under 6,400 yards might be either bad for your game or for some, maybe there isn’t a real challenge playing a short golf course. If you feel the latter, I respect that but, I beg to differ.

There really isn’t a right or wrong opinion on this topic or any other for that matter. Wouldn’t the world be a dull place if we all agreed on everything? In my opinion, I think executive-length golf courses are great and maybe some of the 22% should reconsider their feelings. Especially, if you’re a golfer in the mid to high handicap range who were in the 22%..

Personally speaking, I like them and I actually developed more of a fondness of them late last-season. For all intents and purposes my 2020 golf season was a total joke and a total train wreck. It was the worst season that I had from a scoring standpoint. The reasons for it were for several all of them stemming from nagging health issues. More often than not, the pain was so bad that I couldn’t stand to be in my own skin. I was unable to make a turn resorting to picking up the golf club in what was a horrible compensatory move, just to play golf. Even my hips were all locked up, so, enter the sway and slide into impact. Ewwww!! Gross! Even my range sessions were lousy and thinking back, I don’t really remember having a good one until very late in the season.

Brock Golf Course. Small greens that make you focus.

Another cause of my poor play was the little issue of lots of practice into a net in the backyard that we had at the time (thanks COVID Lockdown numero uno) where I was reinforcing feels. I’m not a technical or mechanical player, and when I do focus on that sort of stuff my swing lacks fluidity or rhythm (I’m no Els or Couples by any means). But there I was, focusing on the strike and working on really delaying my release. By the time golf courses and ranges were allowed to re-open, I was in a heap of trouble.

In the Niagara Region, there’s no shortage of executive-length golf courses. Without trying too hard, there’s Brock Golf Course, Eagle Valley, Heritage Woods (11 Holes), Garden City Golf Course (literally down the street), Fort Erie Golf Club, Cardinal Lakes – Sparrow Course and Legends on the Niagara – Chippawa Course which is run by the Niagara Parks. For something a shade longer Waterpark Golf Club and Long Beach Country Club sit. Four of these golf courses are where I really played golf for the first time and made me realize that I really liked the game. Basically, the point being that, there’s no shortage of this genre of golf courses where I live.

The pros to playing these types of golf course generally outweigh the cons. No matter what golf course that you’re playing, it’s you versus the golf course architect first and foremost. Secondary to that are the other golfers in your group. So, whether it’s a Par 29, 34, or 36 you have to beat par. In a time and era where every minute counts in our hectic lives rounds on these golf courses don’t take as long a a round of golf on a regulation golf course. There are exceptions to the rule though as I played one golf course in Florida called Southport Springs where the pace of play was, lethargic. From a cost standpoint, these golf courses also may not hurt the wallet as much if you’re a golfer on a strained budget. Not to mention, you can get out for a round if you’re feeling a little, infirm.

Tunnel vision needed down this Par 4 at Southport Springs.

But the benefits from a game-improvement point-of-view are a virtual cornucopia If you were to examine your game as you read along, think to yourself and assess your golf game. If you’re a player shooting in the 90’s or 100’s where are you losing most of your strokes? Could it be that your chipping, pitching, and putting are holding you back? For those that shoot in the 80’s this is likely you too. 70’s gang, maybe it’s course management more than anything. Believe it or not, your issues may not be the driver or full-swing related.. Typically, on a regulation length golf course you might pull a driver out of the bag how many times? 12 or 13? Now, how many strokes striking an iron show up on your scorecard? Now, factor in missed greens in regulation and having to scramble to save par or… “hack-hack” bogey. Executive-length golf courses are a terrific place to “iron” out your game. Putting on the other hand, that’s nothing that you can’t work at home or a practice green.

Other than a driving range, I strongly feel that executive-length golf courses are a terrific place to build your confidence. Sometimes these executive-length or Par 3 golf courses have smaller greens that cause you to focus just a little bit more. When you start hitting those greens, suddenly the larger green complexes at a Par 70-72 golf course look massive. Confidence goes a long way in this game. Oh, the oft-talked about mental side of the game cannot be ignored.

Darts.

My game finally rounded into form in 2020 on the heels of a round of golf at Brock Golf Course. It was October. This particular facility is great for the entire family. It’s family-operated and features a driving range, short-game practice area, a mini-putt golf course, a dedicated Foot Golf course, and a golf course that measures a staggering total of just over 2,900 yards from “the tips”. Three holes are >250 yards in length. But, the greens are small and you have to hit golf shots to score, like anywhere else. Prior to playing on this day, I had a nice range session so I thought to myself, “You should go play here and see how it translates onto the golf course”. So I did. Right then and there I made my tee time from the driving range.

I’ll save you the recap of the entire round, but, my striking was the best that it had been all season, I was hitting accurate shots tight to the pin (I didn’t tee it up on all Par 3’s), and I scored fairly well. I managed to post four birdies onto my card and my scorecard was clean. I felt GREAT going home that night.

The closing hole on the 9-hole executive-length Chippawa Course at Legends on the Niagara in nearby Chippawa.

I ended up riding the momentum from that round throughout the remainder of the late fall golf season. From that point forward, I was scoring anywhere from E to -3 for the duration of the season. I was on my way back. Fast-forwarding the clock to 2021, it seems like the momentum has carried over into 2021 as well. I’m feeling great about the results that I’m seeing with my swing. My striking is on point and I’m hitting my spots. Ultimately, all because of a teeny-tiny golf course.

Are executive golf courses worth the money? In my opinion… without a doubt. Don’t discount the benefits of an executive-length golf course because of their diminutive nature. These golf courses could be the “whetstone” to sharpen your golf game.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

A Neurotic Mess

A look into the hot mess that my head is, and how it relates to my golf game.

Is matching golf equipment or being brand agnostic necessary? The short answer is no, you don’t need to have matching golf equipment. The truth is that we all know how much this game of ours is mental. At any given time, there is so much going through the 6″ between our ears that it’s hard to fathom.

Everything is there flipping around like hamster inside of a hamster wheel. We’re thinking about so many variables like a 1970’s “supercomputer” (although mine happens to be from “The Flintstones” era) where we are computing and translating so much information in such a short period of time, that, it sort of makes you marvel. Many of us have seen the diagram below, but on top of all of these swing thoughts there are other considerations. Golf course conditions, factoring in uphill or downhill slopes, the wind, the temperature, are we playing at sea level (crap, better club up) and the list goes on and on. When about it, it can be an uncomfortable and unpleasant feeling. Overwhelming perhaps?

Recently, I had an epiphany of sorts. It was documented about 20 years ago that I have an “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” (OCD) among many other ailments as I release the scroll. The OCD is something that I’ve really thought that I’ve ignored. As far as I’m concerned, it isn’t the debilitating type that you see with “Sheldon Cooper” on “Big Bang Theory” (knocking three time for Penny) nor is it the variety of OCD where I obsessively wash my hands or flick a switch so many times before leaving a house. Instead, I have an issue where once I start thinking about something I fixate or if I start something I can’t do it halfway and leave it to sit for another time. No, it has to be done and done now. As much as I credit my mom and dad while growing up teaching me “Son, if you start something you either finish it or you don’t start it at all”. It really is me and not them so much, I think. In a way, it’s sort of a blessing as I’ve appeared diligent in my various occupations.

Recently though, from a golf standpoint the OCD rose to the surface. What I once had written off as being a quirk has actually affected me more than I initially thought. It happened the one day recently at the driving range during a practice session. I was at Niagara Golf and Batting Cages and I was very casual. I was wearing a pink t-shirt that I made (Until The Next Tee Lifestyle), a grey fitted Titleist cap with pink writing, grey shorts, and a pink sock that may or may not have had white marijuana plants on it. I’ve been wearing an off-loader to help a diabetic foot ulcer heal and because I can’t wear matching shoes, I like to have a little bit of personality so colourful socks it is.

The day of the “Eureka Moment”. My wife told me the shirt was purple and didn’t match the pink. I was screwed.

My wife then pointed out to me that the pink didn’t match the shirt because it was in fact, purple. I was paralyzed. As I gathered my bucket of balls, coffee, golf clubs, and made my way to the far end of the range to set up, there was a “buzzing” in my ears. I could NOT get my mind off of it. It bugged me the whole session. And that’s when the real “Eureka Moment” happened. OCD.

When it comes to buying and wearing golf apparel I have to wear clothing that matches. No, not just colours but brands. I feel so uncomfortable if my polo doesn’t match my bottoms, to the point where I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin. For example, I can’t wear an Adidas polo with a Nike Golf pair of shorts. If the shoes don’t match brands I’m okay with it. Yet, I don’t feel right when I wear grey, black, blue or any other colour of golf shoes. They don’t look right on my feet or so I think. Instead, they have to be at least 90% white. I think it’s why I continue to wear white belts even though at some point those that are “woke” have determined that white belts are gauche. I’ll put on a black belt and determine that it doesn’t look right. I won’t leave the apartment until there’s a white belt on.

I mentioned earlier about golfers being “brand agnostic”. This is something that I’ve been adamant about explaining to people about the golf equipment that they play. I’ve always been an advocate of “you always play the best equipment for your game”. Don’t worry about having a full 14-club setup unless you’re being sponsored by a certain brand or you sign an agreement. Heck, we’re seeing less of that on the professional tours worldwide. Back when I was playing Min-Tour’s what many of you don’t know is that I was a Titleist staffer. Of course, I had the agreement that I played nothing but Titleist golf balls (Pro V1 of course) and all golf clubs in the bag were Titleist. That was it. So having a totally matching set was a snap and my head never played tricks on me. But things got a little murkier recently for what seems to be a totally unjustified reason.

Judgement Day. Just to match the new golf bag, Tour Edge Exotics or TaylorMade Golf? Making a decision was painful.

Getting ready to resume golf after our second or third lockdown (I’ve actually lost track) I was trying to get my starting WITB set-up in a way that if I were teeing it up in competition again it’s what I’d be rolling with. Before continuing on, my metals do not match my SUB 70 Golf 699 Pro irons. Nor do they match the wedges either (testing Edison Golf Forged Wedges for review). The putter is almost always an outlier and only matched when I played a Scotty Cameron Phantom Futura with Titleist. But the metals have to match. If one is say a Tour Edge Golf Exotics the all have to be. So, as I’m sorting out my bag I have a conundrum. What shouldn’t be an issue, turned into a mess.

I had won a TaylorMade Golf Stand Bag from Steam Whistle Brewing around The Masters. So, I placed my irons, wedges and putter into the bag. Now, my OCD takes over. So, I start to thinking, and that never ends well. Well Alex, you have a TaylorMade Golf Bag and TaylorMade Golf caps. Shouldn’t you be playing your TaylorMade SLDR driver, JetSpeed fairway metals, and SLDR Rescue? Even though, the results are great with the Tour Edge Exotics I felt like I had to switch everything up. Now, I’m at the range with no less than 9 metalwoods determining what the best set-up for me is and I’m trying to make a decision where my brain and OCD in particular are running the show.

For the life of me, I cannot combine the clubs with each other. It has to be one or the other. I suppose that with all of the counsel that I’ve given in the past to so many that this is, somewhat hypocritical. Play what’s best for your game. But what if you can’t get past the brain?

As it stands right now, Tour Edge Exotics are in the top end of my WITB, but lurking in my peripheral as I type this story are the TaylorMade clubs, almost talking to me. Is it a matter of time before they go back in, just because? Speaking of Tour Edge. The new Exotics C721 that I’m setting up to write a review on is a juggernaut!

My name is Alex, and I am, a neurotic mess.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee

Celebrate Women’s Golf Month with Products from Zero Friction

OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL (June 10, 2021) –This being the month of Women’s Golf Day, Zero Friction wants to help women look great while improving their game on the golf course!  The company known for delivering cutting edge products to golf enthusiasts of all skill levels has a wide variety of products available for the lady golfer in your life.

  • Zero Friction™ Ladies Compression Golf Glove:  The original compression fit glove is an All-Weather synthetic glove with a digitized palm and patch, which holds shape longer.  The Ladies Compression Fit Glove is available in six colors in both right- and left-handed gloves.  ($13.99)
  • Ladies Cabretta Elite Golf Gloves:  Zero Friction’s unique Compression-Fit technology is also available in a 100% authentic cabretta leather glove with matching Lycra colors. This glove molds with your hand for a guaranteed fit.  Best of all the leather provides a solid grip in wet or humid weather, and works with smart phone & touch screen devices. Available in five colors. ($17.99)
  • ZF Storm Golf Gloves Ladies:  This superior All-Weather (Rain & Cold) Golf Gloves has all the great features of the original ZF Compression Fit technology golf glove with added warmth and durability for the colder months.  They are knitted from a unique hollow core polyester yarn plus spandex that makes them warm, light weight, breathable and guaranteed to fit. The outer premium microfiber suede of the glove provides a non-slip grip for wet and humid conditions. Available in black. ($24.99)
  • ZF Spectra Golf Balls.  Zero Friction Spectra matte finish golf balls are a two-piece distance golf ball with a soft Surlyn durable cover available in 5 neon colors plus matte finish white.  Large super-fast core provides explosive distance, high launch and longer roll off the tee. ($19.99/dozen)

Women’s Golf Day is celebrated annually on June 1st. Now in its sixth year, WGD is a one-day event uniting women and girls through golf across the globe. Over 1,000 officially registered locations in over 80 countries participated this year.

Zero Friction is currently offering free shipping on orders $75 and above. For more information, see the Zero Friction catalog, visit www.zerofriction.com, or call 630-317-7700.

About Zero Friction

Based in Oakbrook Terrace, Il, Zero Friction is known industry wide for being on the cutting edge when it comes to introducing new products to players and creative packaging for its retail partners. Zero Friction provides high-quality, technologically advanced products for golfers worldwide, including gloves, performance golf tees, balls and accessories. The company established the performance golf tee market, creating the first and only performance tee to ever carry the PGA TOUR logo. Zero Friction’s most recent success story is in the golf glove segment. Zero Friction’s colorful line of compression-fit gloves for men, women and juniors takes the guesswork out of sizing.  Compression-fit technology means a universal fit within the various models, and the glove that will hold its shape longer than any on the market.  To view the entire line of Zero Friction golf products, visit www.ZeroFriction.com

The Hill Academy Joins in Support of The Road to TPC Toronto


Prestigious Caledon-based independent school becomes event series partner of The Road to TPC Toronto presented by COBRA PUMA GOLF 

Caledon, Ont. – TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley announced on Tuesday that The Hill Academy, a premiere independent school for dedicated student-athletes in grades 5 to 12, has added its support for The Road to TPC Toronto presented by COBRA PUMA GOLF as an event series partner.
 
The Hill Academy, which recently added to its list of unique athletic programs with a Golf Program based out of TPC Toronto, will provide support for each qualifying event on The Road to TPC Toronto. The Hill’s unique combination of high-level academics and elite athletic training helps prepare student-athletes for success at the next level in education and sports.
 
“We’re thrilled to have the support of The Hill Academy in launching The Road this summer. This series of tournaments is all about providing junior athletes with opportunities to compete and improve their games, something The Hill Academy has been specializing in with student-athletes since launching in 2006,” said TPC Toronto Tournament and Programming Director Brad Parkins.
 
Each qualifying event will feature an information booth about The Hill Academy’s athletic and academic programs along with on-site representatives to provide more information on their program. “With high-level tournaments taking place all across Ontario this summer, we look forward to introducing some of the province’s best junior golfers to The Hill Academy’s outstanding program and elite training opportunities,” added Parkins.
 
“The growth in popularity of junior golf over the past several years has been remarkable to see, and we’re thrilled to support The Road to TPC Toronto alongside our newly-launched Golf Program,” said Brodie Merrill, Director of Athletics for The Hill Academy. “We look forward to meeting junior golfers across Ontario this summer and providing more information on how The Hill’s unique blend of athletics and academics can help to achieve success at the next level on the course and in the classroom.”
 
The Road to TPC Toronto presented by COBRA PUMA GOLF gets underway later this month with the first of six 36-hole regional qualifying tournaments for girls and boys, each with the chance to earn a spot in the season-ending finale at TPC Toronto in August.
 
Regional qualifying tournament fields will be open to girls and boys, aged 18 and under. The top six boys and three girls from each regional qualifier will advance to the finale at TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley, in Caledon, Ontario, August 16-17, 2021. At The Finale, 60 of the province’s best junior golfers will compete in the 36-hole finale, with prizing for top finishers. 
 
COBRA PUMA GOLF will provide equipment and apparel prizes for outstanding junior golfers at each event, with the boys’ and girls’ champion following the finale at TPC Toronto earning a prize pack, including a custom fitting for a new KING RADSPEED driver.
 
Competitions will be operated with detailed COVID-19 safety protocols in place in accordance with each host facility’s established practices.
 
Online registration for tournaments is now open at theroadtotpctoronto.com.
 

 
For more information contact:
 
Brad Parkins
Tournament and Programming Director
TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley
bparkins@ospreyvalley.com
 
About TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley

TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley is one of Ontario’s premier golf destinations and the only TPC facility in Canada, located 45 minutes outside of Toronto and featuring three Doug Carrick courses – the Heathlands, Hoot and North – all ranked in SCOREGolf’s Top 100 Courses in Canada.
 
About The Hill Academy
 
The Hill Academy was founded in 2006 in order to provide optimal academic and athletic programming for dedicated student-athletes.
 
Located in Caledon ON, just 45 minutes north of the GTA, the Hill campus sits on 134 acres of beautifully forested land. The campus offers students a state of the art athletic training experience, with new gym facilities, running and hiking trails,  turf field, exclusive off-site rink access, and an expansive boarding complex.
 
Hill graduates have been placed in some of the most prestigious academic and athletic institutions in the world, and many have gone on to become premier professional athletes in their sport. The Hill Academy is an institution for students who are committed to striving academically, and who would like an opportunity to take an in-depth exploration into their respective sport.
 
For more information, visit http://www.thehillacademy.comand follow on social media: Instagram (@canadacuplax / @thehillacademy / @thehillacademylacrosse), Twitter (@canadacuplax /@TheHillAcademy / @Hill_Lacrosse), Facebook (@TheHillAcademy1845) and YouTube (@HillAcademy).
 
Photo Credit: The Hill Academy

WOMEN’S GOLF DAY 2021 SETS NEW GLOBAL RECORDS

A WEEK OF FUN, STARTING WITH RINGING THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE OPENING BELL AND CULMINATING WITH THOUSANDS ATTENDING LIVE EVENTS

(WEST PALM BEACH, FL, June 2, 2021) – Now in its 6th year, Women’s Golf Day (WGD) kicked off with an early start yesterday with its first ever event in New Zealand, one of the three new countries to join the WGD Community in 2021. The famous red & white of WGD was everywhere to be seen on social media continuing the tradition that has brought the event to over 1000 officially registered locations in over 80 countries. With #WomensGolfDay reaching 72.4M unique users, generating 87M impressions across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter the June 1st numbers simply speak for themselves!

Women’s Golf Day is unique; a one-day sporting and community celebration event, uniting women and girls through golf across the globe for 24 hours straight transcending race, religion, language, geography or economic status. This capped off an exciting week that started with the ringing of the opening bell at the NYSE and WGD Palooza, an online event everyone could attend.

“From the first event in Papakura, New Zealand to the last in Princeville, Hawaii, women and girls have been sharing really special moments because of golf,” explains Elisa Gaudet Founder of Women’s Golf Day. “WGD has increased in popularity year after year by engaging men and women and brands. This year we have really seen the power of partnership and what we can accomplish collectively. I am truly humbled by the individuals, locations, partners and organizations who continue to be committed to Women’s Golf Day and thank them for everything that they bring to the game and our events.” Japan and Argentina were also new host countries for 2021. Golfers still managed to join in the fun, even in places still restricted by COVID-19, joining people around the world showing their love of the game by posting photos using the hashtag #womensgolfday. 

2021 has seen another milestone smashed as the total number of participating venues reached 941, exceeding previous records. A staggering number of facilities including PGA TOUR Superstores, Topgolf venues, driving ranges, and traditional golf courses have now hosted Official WGD events. The diverse range of opportunities to learn and play golf offered through WGD undoubtedly contributes to its success.

Elisa explains, “Golf is not a one-size-fits-all sport anymore.  Women want options and thanks to our retail and brand partners, as well as the locations who host our official events, we can showcase golf at its very best. Women who have never played golf are beginning to see that in the 21st century it is a sport for everyone.  This is a really exciting time in golf’s evolution, and we are proud of the role we continue to play in making golf more accessible.”

Each year WGD experiences impressive growth in participation figures, and location numbers as well as its social media exposure.  This, combined with increasing industry support, indicates the gathering momentum for WGD, so if you have thought about joining this global movement do not delay!

Sponsorship opportunities are open for Women’s Golf Day VIP Program and the team is already preparing for the 7th year of this amazing event which will take place on June 7, 2022.

ABOUT WOMEN’S GOLF DAY:

Women’s Golf Day (WGD) is a global movement that strives to Engage, Empower, and Support women and girls through golf. The one-day, four-hour event, has now taken place at more than 1,000 locations in over 80 countries since its inception in 2016, and has introduced thousands of new golfers to the sport. WGD is the fastest-growing female golf development initiative around the globe.

In 2020, WGD’s primary hashtag, #WomensGolfDay, received more than 59 million global impressions to nearly 37 million people viewing WGD content. Women’s Golf Day is unique, there is nothing like it in sports, a one-day sporting and community celebration event that unites women through golf across the globe for 24 hours straight transcending race, religion, language, geography, or economic status.

Visit www.womensgolfday.com @womensgolfday, #WomensGolfDay #WGDunites
 
Women’s Golf Day Supporters:

Partners and supporting organizations of WGD are:  Ahead, All Square, Annika Foundation, ASIAN GOLF, Callaway Golf, The California Alliance for Golf, Chronogolf, ClubCorp, EGCOA, European Tour, European Tour Properties, PGA of America, FootJoy, The First Tee, Gallus Golf, The Golf Channel, GolfNow, Golf Town, International Golf Federation, LET, LPGA, LPGA Amateur, Modest Golf Management, NGCOA, NGCOA Canada, PGA of America, PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Superstore, Players 1st, The R&A, Sky Sports, Titleist, Topgolf, TPC Properties, Troon Golf, Troon International, USGA, WE ARE GOLF, Women & Golf, The World Golf Foundation and more.