Saturday, February 22, 2014

SMU Women's Golf Practice


SMU Women’s Golf
P.S. #5
February 20 – 26, 2014



Thursday, Feb. 20     Please practice for 3 hours today.  Work on what you need based on your stats and goals. 

The most important (valuable) shot in golf is the 5 feet long putt. 

Overall, the stats from the last two tournaments tell me that our ball striking is very good.  We are hitting a lot of fairways and greens.  We need to continue to improve on our wedges and putting.  Short game has been the key to a few of the players who had recent success, so make sure you schedule yourself to work on it daily.

On wedges, continue to work on solid contact, trajectory control and distance control.  When those three things are good, work on controlling your spin and landing point. 

On ball striking, take dead aim for each shot.  When practicing on the course, throw an extra ball down in any problem area you are having.  If it is 200 yard shots, throw a ball down at 200 and give yourself a realistic practice opportunity.  On drives, choose half of the fairway and work the ball into it.  Continue to make your practice more challenging than your tournament play will be.

Friday, Feb. 21     Please make sure you play at least 9 holes on the blue course today.  Spend 1 hour on the putting green and accomplish 2 short putt challenges, 1 medium putt challenge and 1 long putt challenge.  Spend the other hour working on what you need for your game. 

Short Putt Challenges:
1.     Find a hole with slope and play around the world from 4, 5, 6 feet.  Put tees in 5 spots around the hole.  Go around and back.  To move from 4 to 5 feet, you must make 10 in a row. 
2.     Make 25 5 foot putts in a row.  When you get to 23, make sure to stop and tell everyone on the green to watch you finish.  The best feeling in the world is when you tell others, “Hey, watch me!  I got this!”
3.     Put a tee down at 6, 8 and 10 feet from the hole. Putt 10 balls from each tee. You have a box that is 2 feet wide and long around the hole, past the front edge.  You must make 8/10 from 6 feet, 7/10 from 8 feet and 6/10 from 10 feet.  10/10 of your balls must be within the box if they don’t fall. 
4.     Star Drill – Put 3 tees in the ground in 5 points around the hole at 4, 5 and 6 feet.  That is a total of 15 putts.  Make 15 in a row.  Use your routine.  Visualize your speed.
5.     10 Putt Challenge -Make 3 from 4 feet, 3 from 5 feet, 3 from 6 feet and 1 from 10 feet all in a row.
Medium Putt Challenges:
1.     Clock Drill – Put balls down at 5, 10 and 15 feet as shown below to simulate your birdie opportunities.  Work your way around the clock.  No do overs.  How many of the 12 putts did you make?  Set your own standard.
2.      Quarter of a Cup - Find a breaking putt and decide where on the clock the ball will drop.  For example, a right to left putt big breaking putt might fall in at 4:00.  Now put two tees in to divide the hole into a quarter of its size, using the spot on the clock as the middle of the two tees.  Putt 3 balls from 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 feet and make at least one from each distance that goes between the 2 tees.  Make sure you are using both your aim point and your speed control to hit the ball into the ¼ of the cup you are aiming to hit.

Long Putt Challenges:
1.     Box Challenge - Lay 3 clubs in a square around the hole 2 feet from the hole.  Hit 3 balls from 25, 30, 35, and 40 feet.  Get every ball to either go in the hole or come to rest within the box.  Find a breaking putt and work the ball into the box from the high side.  You may angle the high side club away from the hole if you have a big breaker.
2.     200 Feet – Putt from 25-50 feet using 2 balls.  When you make 200 feet of putts, you are finished.  Please use your routine.  When you make one, pace it off and add it up!

I’ve never missed a putt in my mind.”  Jack Nicklaus


Saturday and Sunday – Off

Monday, Feb. 24 -  Team workout at 6:30 AM.  Team meeting at 4:30 PM.  We would also like to do a mid-term individual meeting with everyone this week.  Please make sure you schedule it with us.  It will be a 30 minute meeting and it can take place any day this week.

Tuesday – Feb. 25 – 9 holes of qualifying for Hawaii – You must play the Blue with at least one teammate.  Work on whatever you need for an hour.  We got an individual spot for Hawaii, so there will be six traveling.  JP is exempt based on her top ten finish.  I will take 2 picks, so you are playing for 3 spots. 

Wednesday – Feb. 26 – Spend 3 hours working on your game today.  Please spend 30 minutes each in the following areas:
1.      Putting – Do your favorite drills today for 30 minutes. Don’t hit a putt without 100% focus. 
2.     Chipping and Pitching – Work with 3 balls.  Chip all 3.  Measure the ball that is neither the closest or farthest from the hole.  That ball must be within 5 feet of the hole.  Get 10 within 5 feet of the hole.  Choose some tough shots.  Visualize your shot from beginning to end.  You may change clubs within the 3 balls.  Use your routine.  Work on this for no more than 30 minutes.  Don’t hit a shot without 100% focus.  Chipins count for a point no matter where the middle distance ball lies.
3.     Wedges – Pick 3 distances or 3 clubs and get 10 balls within 5 feet of the pin from each.  Use your routine.  Visualize each shot’s trajectory, landing spot and roll out or spin.  Spend no more than 30 minutes on this.  You may go back to it after practice if you want.
4.     Bunkers – Begin the session with getting 10 balls within 5 feet of each of the 3 holes from good lies.   Vary your target on each shot and use your routine.  After you are successful, get 1 ball within 5 feet from an uphill lie, a downhill lie, ball above your feet, ball below your feet, a fried egg, a semi-buried lie, standing outside the bunker.  That is 7 specialty shots.  Spend no more than 30 minutes on this challenge.
Spend the last hour working on what you need for your game.

Ben Hogan

Thursday, February 13, 2014

2 Day Practice Schedule

Today's practice schedule is for two days of focused practice before we travel and compete again.  We need a team bounce back and the best way to do it is to work on defense.  In golf, defense is played with the putter and the short game. 



SMU Women’s Golf
P.S. #4 Feb. 13 –

Thursday, February 13 –

Choose 3 of the following challenges:

1.       Find a hole with slope and play around the world from 4, 5, 6 feet.  Put tees in 5 spots around the hole.  Go around and back.  To move from 4 to 5 feet, you must make 10 in a row. 

2.      Make 25 5 foot putts in a row.  When you get to 23, make sure to stop and tell everyone on the green to watch you finish.  The best feeling in the world is when you tell others, “Hey, watch me!  I got this!”

3.      Put a tee down at 6, 8 and 10 feet from the hole. Putt 10 balls from each tee. You have a box that is 2 feet wide and long around the hole, past the front edge.  You must make 8/10 from 6 feet, 7/10 from 8 feet and 6/10 from 10 feet.  10/10 of your balls must be within the box if they don’t fall. 

4.      Star Drill – Put 3 tees in the ground in 5 points around the hole at 4, 5 and 6 feet.  That is a total of 15 putts.  Make 15 in a row.  Use your routine.  Visualize your speed.

5.      10 Putt Drill –  Make 3 from 4 feet, 3 from 5 feet, 3 from 6 feet and 1 from 10 feet all in a row.

Choose 3 of the following challenges (make sure bunkers are one of the three):
  • 1.       Rock Pile Challenge - Put 9 balls in a pile at a chosen distance from the hole.  You can choose the club and the distance.  If you miss the green, add 3 balls to the pile.  If you hit it within 5 feet, take 3 balls off the pile.  If you hit it within 10 feet take 1 ball off the pile.  If you hit it outside 21 feet, add 1 balls to the pile.  Easier if you work with a teammate and take turns.  Use your routine.  See the shot, feel the shot, hit the shot.  You can choose as many clubs and distances as you choose.  Do at least 3.
  • 2.      Master of all Lies - Do the 10 shot Bunker drill.  2 from a good lie, 1 from an uphill, 1 from a downhill, 1 with the ball above your feet, 1 with the ball below your feet, 1 with a buried lie, 1 with a fried egg lie and 2 from a good lie to finish.  If any of the shots fail to get out or onto the green, after you finish, hit more from that situation and figure it out.  Ask for help if you need it.  Do the drill more than once if you feel the need.
  • 3.      Chip in with each of your wedges.
  • 4.      Otis Challenge - Using 1 ball, 1 club and your putter, get it up and down 10 times.  Drop the ball.  Putt everything out.  You may play with a teammate.
  • 5.      Dialed In Chipping -Put a club 4 feet behind the hole on your line.  Drop 3 balls 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 feet from the fringe.  Chip until you get at least 2/3 of each set of balls to either go in the hole or past the hole within the space created between the hole and the club. 
Spend time with Dave or me going through your routine for putting, short game, iron shots and long clubs.  We are going to talk about choosing targets with you, visualization, focus and rhythm.

Spend 1 hour on OYO practice.  Talk with Dave or me about what you plan to do and why.

Friday, February 14 HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!
 
Love your teammate by competing as hard as you can to beat her today!  If you do that, you will both be better for it!

Competitions:
  • 1.       Pitch Shots – Carry 3 balls and 2 wedges.  Drop your ball and hit 1 ball at each of the 3 holes cut on one of the greens.  You must have 2 closest to the hole to win a point.  If you are closest on all 3 shots, you win 2 points.  If your pitch doesn’t stay on the green, you lose a point.  Pick TOUGH shots.  Drop your ball.  Go through your routine.  Talk smack!  First to 11 wins.  You have to hit 11 on the number.  If you go over, you slide back to 8.
  • 2.      Long Putts – On the big green in front of the clubhouse.  Play 9 holes.  You need to play 3 holes from 20-25 feet, 3 holes from 30-35 feet and 3 holes from 40-45 feet.  You owe your teammate 5 push ups for any 3 putt.  If you make a putt, your opponent owes you 5 burpees.  If either you or your opponent finish with more than 18 putts, you must play again.  Same rules apply.  All penalty exercises to be done at the finish of the 9 hole match.
  • 3.      Short Putts – Use 3 balls.  Putt from 3 feet, if you make all 3, move back to 4 feet.  Keep going and see how far away from the hole you can go.  The game stays alive if you make 2/3 from any distance.  You can’t move to the next distance if you make 2/3, but you can try again.  
  • 4.      Chipping – Chip with a teammate.  Both of you use 2 balls to the same target.  You are judged by your worst ball.  Closest worst ball gets a point.  Chipping in any ball earns a point.  Play to 10.

Individual Work:
  • 1.       Start with your wedges and work all the way up to your 7 iron.  Hit 3 shots with each club; 1 each to each of the 3 holes on a green in the short game area.  You must get each shot within 10 feet to finish with that club.  No do-overs.  Go through your routine.  Keep working in sets of 3 until you finish.  Make sure you choose a yardage that allows you to get to all 3 holes.  That means you are working on taking a bit off the distance to the shorter holes.  Control trajectory, visualize the shot, control your spin.  Get help if you have problems with any of these directions.
  • 2.      On the driving range, hit balls with complete intention for each ball.  Hit 6 irons and up.  Choose specific targets.  Visualize the shot’s flight and landing.  How will it bounce?  Work with a partner and verbalize what you want.  Use your routine.  Work in groups of 3 balls.  When you are happy with all 3 balls in a group, switch clubs.  Whenever you switch clubs, it’s your partner’s turn.
OYO – Spend the final hour of practice working on what you need.  Please go over your goals with Dave or me sometime during the day.

Saturday, February 15  – Travel
DEFEND AT CDI!



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Kathy Whitworth

Who has the most wins in professional golf?  Is it Tiger with 79?  No, Sam Snead beats that with 82, as does Mickey Wright with the same number.  Who beats both of those tallies?  Kathy Whitworth with 88.  It is an impressive record and we got a small glimpse into what lead Miss Whitworth to her success.  The SMU Women's Golf Team was honored to have Miss Whitworth speak to us about success in general and her golf career. 

Kathy Whitworth, 1977


There were eleven of us listening and I'm certain everyone took away different things, but I thought I would share what struck me as important from what Miss Whitworth had to say.  First of all, the mere presence of her in our little conference room told us a lot.  She drove 45 minutes at our request, just to share her love of golf with us.  She received a lot from the game and she is willing to give back in the smallest of ways.  She also mentioned she gives back to the Boys and Girls Club of Ft. Worth and hosts a national tournament each spring in Ft. Worth bringing together the best junior girls in the nation.

Miss Whitworth turned pro at the age of 19 and told us she learned to play on tour.  She talked of the camaraderie among the players and the willingness of the pros to help each other.  She told us of the story of the first check she earned in professional golf, which amounted to about $35.  Before the final round of a tournament, she read an interview that Betsy Rawls had done.  In it, Rawls remarked that she worked harder when she shot 80, then when she shot a 70.  Miss Whitworth told us that it didn't make sense to her at first, but after some thought, she realized that she had developed some bad habits that lead to her giving up on a round or a tournament after a bad shot or a bad day.  She decided after reading that article that she would never give up again.  From then on, she played the game by looking forward, never back and tried on every shot.  She came back to this idea many times in the 90 minutes she spoke to us.

Kathy Whitworth, 2013


The next thing that Whitworth spoke of was something she learned from her instructor, Harvey Penick.  It was to take DEAD AIM!  Penick was one of the first people to speak of the need for intention over every shot.  He believed that you could only think of one thing at a time and it needed to be the target.  Anytime your thoughts are about mechanics or what happened in the past, you were in the wrong frame of mind to play great golf.  Miss Whitworth told us that she played every hole, every round and every shot the same.  She spoke of picking specific targets and being focused on them through her routine.



Another important idea for Miss Whitworth was that of learning from mistakes.  She told us that when she learned to acknowledge her mistakes, learn from them and decide not to repeat them, she felt freedom.   It allowed her to be in control of what she was doing on the golf course.  She told us that players who make the same mistake multiple times are not being honest with themselves and acknowledging their responsibility in making mistakes.  I really liked the way that her learning loop lead her to feel freedom.  It is a very good example of how champions think.

One of the final things that Miss Whitworth spoke of was nerves.  She told us that everyone out there feels pressure and nerves.  It is important to acknowledge the nerves so you can make a commitment to focus on what you choose.  When Miss Whitworth felt nerves and couldn't draw the club back, she asked her friend and fellow-competitor, Mickey Wright for help.  Mickey told her to quit working on her swing on the golf course and focus on the pin.  She told her that everyone gets nervous and when she was nervous, she often whistled.

Miss Whitworth spoke fondly of her friend and competitor, Mickey Wright.  Here is Mickey on the cover of the Sports Illustrated in 1962.

Overall, the team was fortunate to spend time with Kathy Whitworth.  She was open and honest and allowed them to ask as many questions as they had for her.  What a wonderful person she is and an incredible ambassador for women's golf.  Thanks Kathy!

Effort or Process?

Imagine you live in an old house.  The windows are sticky and heavy.  You go into your room to open the window and get some fresh air.  You ...