Thursday, January 30, 2014

This Week at SMU Golf

This week, our team set our goals.  Getting 11 people to brainstorm, agree and commit to goals is often a slow process, but if it was easy and came from only one or two on the team, it wouldn't be valid.  We got great input from everyone and here is what we came up with:
The form of the tree was the team's idea and it was a good one.  It signifies our constant and continuous growth, the roots of health and love for one another and the way that our big goals are at the top of our growth.  We, Dave and I, were already teasing them about the level of enthusiasm at our most recent 6:30 AM workout.  That is the best thing about the Goal Tree, it can be used in every part of our daily life.  We talked about the fact that our goals should be reflected in our daily choices and visa versa.

Here is our practice schedule for the week:

Mustang Golf
Practice Schedule #2

1/29/14               Wednesday         Please play 9 holes today and accomplish the following: 

  • ·        Divide the fairway in half and choose which half you want your ball to finish in.  Keep track of your number of successes.
  • ·        Drop an extra ball at 100 yards on par 5s, 150 yards on par 4’s and play from 200 yards on par 3’s.  Divide the green into quadrants with front right being A, back right being B, back left being C and front left being D.  Decide prior to hitting your shot which quadrant you want to hit and hold.  Keep track of your number of successes. 
  • ·        Drop a ball on the long side from the pin and get it up and down.  If the pin is back right, drop a ball front left on the green. 
  • When finished, work on whatever you need.  Please make sure you are aware of others on the golf course and allow them to play through. 

1/30/14               Thursday
·        If you missed practice yesterday, go play 9 and work through the goals if it isn’t too crowded.  Otherwise, accomplish this today.
·        Find a teammate and play these competitions:
1.      Do the Ten Putt Drill to start your day.
2.      Play Around the World putting.
3.      Choose 1 or 2 other putting challenges to finish today.
4.      Up and down game.  Play to 5  points.  You get a point when you get the ball up and down and your teammate fails. 
5.      Same game from the bunker.
6.      On the big green by #1 on the blue course play cha ching.  The more the merrier.  Long putts.  The closest gets 2 points.  2 putting gets a point.  3 Putting loses a point.  Play to 7.  Throw some balls down off the green and putt them. 
This should take you 2-2 ½ hours.  Spend the remaining time working on what you need.  Don’t work on these challenges for more than 2 ½ hours.
The greens at Eagle Creek are big, which is the reason for long putting, long sided chips and choosing green quadrants for approach shots.

Qualifying on Friday and Sunday afternoon on DAC Blue!

Quotes from the Pros:
Q.  How do you go from Saturday where you're obviously fighting your swing, you put the ball in the hazard, shanked one sideways, to the trophy winner?

JESSICA KORDA:  I didn't let it get to me.  You know, I hooked a bunch into the water this week, hooked a bunch just in general.  But it's just another shot.  You kind of have to forget about it and move on.  I might have shanked a shot yesterday, but I birdied the next hole right back.  I definitely wasn't looking back.  I just kept looking forward.

Team Confidence:  We are great players.  If you only feel good after a low round or a good shot, your confidence is reliant upon results instead of what you bring to the course as a player and a competitor.  Korda is mentally tough.

Friday, January 24, 2014

A New Season - Spring!

Spring is a wonderful time of the year. It is a time of growth, blossoming, warmth and beauty.  I might be rushing things a bit since its definitely not warm today, but it is the season when the days are getting longer and the sun's rays grow stronger with each and every day.

We had our first few meetings this week and I'm consistently impressed with the young ladies on our team. They are focused, enthusiastic and ready to work for their goals. With that being said, our first practice schedule was very demanding, yet engaging, so I think they enjoyed the challenges. I'm sharing it to help others guide their practices. The journaling component is important to not only track improvement and focus, but also to get you involved with the direction and needs of your future practice sessions.

Practice Schedule #1

“Winners are a different breed of cat.  They have an inner drive and are willing to give of themselves whatever it takes to win.”  Byron Nelson

Jan. 17-Jan. 20 Match Play Tournament.  In addition to playing your matches, please accomplish 1-5 below.     Please journal your results.  Let us know if you need a new journal for the semester and we will provide one.  Practice 3 of the 4 days.

1.   Putting – Attached are 9 putting drills.  Do the Ten Putt Challenge every day and add one more from each category, giving you a total of (4) 15 minute challenges each day. 
2.  Bunkers – Each day, hit 10 bunker shots from the following positions: 
2 shots from a good lie
1 shot from an uphill lie
1 shot from a downhill lie
1 shot with the ball above your feet
1 shot with the ball below your feet
1 fried egg
1 semi buried
2 from a good lie.  
Vary the distance of the shot you choose each day.  
Your first goal is to get all 10 out.  
If successful, your next goal is to get all 10 on the green.  
If successful, your next goal is to get all within 10 feet.  
If successful, your next goal is to get all within 5 feet.  

If you didn’t do well on a shot, take 10 shots from that position until you get all out and on the green.  This should take you no more than 15 minutes each day.  Use your routine.  Rake the bunker.  Journal your success each day.  

3.  Wedges – Each day drop 10 balls down at a different distance.  Start at 50 yards from the hole and continue in 5’s until you get to 100 yards.  You will need to do 3-4 per day to accomplish the goal.
Your first goal is to get all 10 shots to stop on the green. 
Your next goal is to get all within 10 feet of the pin.
Your next goal is to get ½ of your shots within 5 feet.
Spend up to 30 minutes with your wedges daily.  Fix your ball marks and fill your divots with sand.  Journal your success.  

4.  Chipping – Each day get 5 balls up and down.  Learn to use all your clubs from log wedge to 7 iron.  Drop the ball and use your routine.  Putt all shots out.  

5.  Irons – Using the greens in the short game area, use 10 balls for either your even (wedge, 8 and 6) or odd (9, 7, 5) irons.  Laser the middle pin and factor lie and wind into your distance.  Choose the distance you believe will fit the club.  Hit 10 shots.  Chart where each shot ended in your journal by drawing a picture and putting feet or yards distance from pin.  
Your first goal is to get all 10 shots to stop on the green with each club.
Your next goal is to get all shots within 30 feet with your 5 & 6 irons, 20 feet with your 7 & 8 irons and 15 feet with your 9 and wedge.
Your next goal is to halve the above distances. 
Spend up to 1 hour hitting iron shots.  Use your routine.  Fix your ball marks and fill your divots with sand.  

Jan. 21 - Off

Jan. 22 Team workout at 6:30 AM.  Team meeting at 4:00 PM-6:00 PM.

“Golf is a difficult game, but it’s a little easier if you trust your instincts.  It’s too hard a game to try to play like someone else.” Nancy Lopez

Putting Challenges for P.S. #1
Do challenges for up to 15 minutes & then move on.

Short Putts:
10 Putt Challenge - 3 putts from 4 ft., 3 from 5 ft., 3 from 6 ft., and one from 10 feet.

The Money Putt: Make 20 putts in a row from 5 feet. You must go through your full routine on each putt.

Around the World: Find a hole with slope. Play around the world from 4, 5, and 6 feet. Put 5 tees in around the hole at the designated lengths. Make 5 around the world and then come back. If you make 10 in a row around the world, move to the next length. 

Mid Range Putts:
Mustang Challenge: Put 5 tees down around the hole at 10 feet for each tee. Putt from each tee. When you make a putt, move the tee back one putter length. When you have moved a tee twice, pick it up when you make the 3rd putt.

Triangle Drill:  Find 3 holes that form a triangle of 10-20 feet.  Putt from one hole to the next using 2 balls.  If you make 1, move to the next hole.  When you’ve made a putt at all three spots, turn around and go the opposite direction.  Go through your routine.  See it, feel it, trust it on every putt.  Drop the putt into the hole at the speed you see.

Annika Drill:  Put five balls around the hole from 10-20 feet. Make three of five to successfully complete the drill.

Long Putts:
Speed Challenge: Putt from 25, 30, 35 and 40 feet until you get 3 balls to stop within a grip length of the string on the green. Go through your routine. 

Draw Back: Play draw back with a partner. 9 holes stroke play. If your first putt is within a grip length of the hole, you can putt it. If it is outside that distance, you must draw the ball back a putter length.

Worst Ball Challenge: Find a partner to play against. Pick putts at least 20 feet long and you both putt two balls. Pick up your best putt and putt your worst. Match play for 18 holes. Loser has to do the pony around the green.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Story of the Intern

Today's blog isn't about golf, but more about life and our roles.  When I first arrived at SMU, I had a small office that was in the shape of an L in Moody Coliseum, which meant nothing really fit in it or flowed.  It had bright, red carpet and lots of little creepy, crawly friends.  I embraced it as well as I could, going so far as putting water in a dish for the gecko living with me.  I covered the walls with pictures and put a lot of plants along the window and it felt homey and personal.  The problem with this strategy was my travel schedule.  My plants suffered from these absences.

We had a great Facility Director in Moody named Paul Frushour.  Paul had an intern named Jason Nelson.  Both guys did all they could with what they had on a daily basis, including finding me office furniture and sprucing up my area.  Prior to one of my recruiting trips, I asked Jason if he would be so kind as to water my plants when I was gone.  He told me he would do it happily.  From that day on, whenever I traveled on a long trip, Jason took it upon himself to come to my office and water my plants.  I rarely ever asked him to do it, but I noticed it was still happening.  I praised him often, but certainly not every time.  No matter, Jason took care of me.

Eventually, Jason's internship ended and off he went to North Dakota, which is his home.  A year later, Paul got a great job in Athletics at Boise State and off he went, too.  Within the past year, Moody Coliseum has gotten a complete facelift and we are about to be moved into beautiful, state-of-the-art offices.  It was time for SMU to replace Paul and get a new Facility Director for Moody.  Who do you think I suggested?  Yes, Jason!  And I wasn't the only one.  Coach Seifert, the volleyball coach at SMU felt as strongly as I did about hiring Jason.  Kris Harris, who was in charge of hiring for the position, probably tired of our inquiries and insistence of getting Jason an interview, but he also saw the strength of our conviction.  Jason received an interview and won himself the job!

There are a lot of lessons I learned from this story.  Jason gained favor not by doing big things, but by doing small things happily.  His attitude doing small things was not just a happy one, it was one of care and consistency.  His attention to detail extended well past his duties and moved into looking out for others around him.  It is a great reminder for me to think of others, pay attention to detail, do small tasks happily and take initiative and anticipate the needs of others. 

On Wednesday, we get the keys to our new offices in Moody and I'm excited about every aspect of the move.  Most of all, I look forward to seeing more of my co-workers each and every day, especially Jason!

Enthusiasm or Dread

We had a great camp with 10 junior girls this past weekend.  We focused our time on how to practice, how to prepare for competition, how to ...