Monday, August 25, 2014

Trinity Forest Golf Club

Trinity Forest Land
 I had a chance to get out and see the construction of Trinity Forest Golf Club thanks to Jason Enloe, our Men's Head Coach and Jonas Woods, who is in charge of the project.  It was very exciting and things were much further along than I had imagined.  They are clearing and shaping.  Crenshaw and Coore have been onsite quite a bit and they were really happy with the contours in the land.  It is a beautiful piece of land with rolling hills.  The playability and strategy for each hole has been determined and the design looks fantastic.  We will be teeing it up there in the Spring of 2016.  SMU Golf has a great future!
Green tops mean green sites.

There are a lot of big machines working on clearing and shaping. 

They are adding sandy loam to the top of the land to create the growing conditions they want.

Jim Wright shaping a green. You can get an idea of the green shape and see the bunker in the forefront.

More shaping of a fairway. 

The playability can already be seen in the design.

Adding more sandy loam.

My favorite shot.  You can see downtown Dallas in the background.  It's close
The project is a cooperative project with the City of Dallas, the Byron Nelson AT&T Invitational, The First Tee of Dallas and SMU.  We are happy to be invited to the group!

Check out Coore/Crenshaw's facebook page and give it a like! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Are Bogies the Key to Winning?

In Bee Park won the LPGA Championship this weekend.  In four days, she totaled five bogies on a golf course set up to major championship standards.  That was the fewest bogies of anyone in the top ten and probably the field.

Many fans and fellow players point to In Bee's putting prowess as her biggest asset, but perhaps that is in addition to her short game skills.  If you look at the season-long stats of the top ten finishers in this tournament, you will see a lot of similarities.  They hit greens and lots of them!  The lowest is Lincicome at 69% and the highest is Pettersen at 78%.  That means that the top ten players all hit between 12.42 and 14.04 greens per round.  If all fall in between those numbers, most are hitting about 13 greens per round.

They are all very close with their putts on greens in regulation.  The best is Stacy Lewis at 1.75 and the worst (sic) is Brittany at 1.85.  If you turn stats into a story, that means Lewis hits about 14 greens a round and 1 putts about 4 of them.  Brittany hits about 12 greens per round and 1 putts about 2 of them.  This is over-simplistic, especially given the fact that Brittany is the longest off the tee and that stat helped her make an eagle.  Let's keep going with that train of thought.  The shortest hitter in this week's top ten was Julieta Granada, who averages more than 30 yards less than Brittany Lincicome.  However, she averages almost exactly the same in green hits at 70% and in p.g.i.r. at 1.78.  She also made an eagle this week, but coupled it with a double.

The point of that rundown of statistics is, there is very little difference between the stats of the best players on any tour.  The thing that seems to separate winners each week is the number of bogies they make or in other words, winners make fewer mistakes.  When the winner wins, they aren't far off of their normal stats as far as greens hit or putts made.  However, most make no doubles and few bogies.  Here are some stats from this week's professional events.

LPGA (4 rounds)
1.  In Bee Park - 5 bogies, no doubles.
2.  Brittany Lincicome - 10 bogies, no doubles.
3.  Lydia Ko - 11 bogies, no doubles.
4.  Azahara Munoz - 7 bogies, 2 doubles.
5.  Anna Nordqvist - 8 bogies, 1 double.

PGA (4 rounds)
1.  Camilo Villegas - 4 bogies
t2.  Bill Haas - 4 bogies, 1 double.
t2.  Freddie Jacobson - 5 bogies.
4.  Heath Slocum - 10 bogies.
t5. Brant Snedeker - 6 bogies.
t5. Webb Simpson - 4 bogies, 1 double.
t5. Nick Watney - 3 bogies, 1 double.

Symetra Tour (3 rounds)
1.  Marissa Steen - 3 bogies.
2.  Demi Runas - 2 bogies, 1 double.
3.  Madison Pressel - 8 bogies.
4.  Lauren Doughtie -5 bogies.
t5. Stephanie Connelly - 3 bogies.
t5. Olivia Jordan-Higgins - 6 bogies.
t5. Hye-Min Kim - 6 bogies, 1 double.
t5. Kendall Dye - 9 bogies.
t5. Veronica Felibert - 4 bogies, 1 double. Tour (4 rounds)
 1.  Martin Piller - 4 bogies.
2.  Bronson Burgoon - 3 bogies, 1 double.
3.  Darren Stiles - 3 bogies, 1 double.
4.  Ryan Armour - 5 bogies.
5.  Taylor Vaughn - 6 bogies.

The amazing thing is that the fewest bogies won in each tour.  The only anomaly was Stephanie Connelly, but when her stats are presented, she averages almost 4 greens fewer per round (58% vs. 79%) than Marissa Steen. That provides fewer opportunities for birdies.

So the question you need to be asking yourself if you want to win tournaments is a simple one?  What causes my bogies and how do I work to remove these things from my game?  The other obvious question is, which stats are most important and how can I be among the leaders in these stats.  On each tour, the top ten players seem to be near the top in the two stats outlined above; greens in regulation and putts on greens in regulation.  If those two stats aren't among the best, your game encounters more stress from day-to-day and it is tough to be consistently near the top of the leaderboard.

In Bee Park

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Are You Enough? YES!

We all have a fine balance to keep between striving to improve and loving what we have.  It is important for both players and coaches.  We want a learner's mindset that is open to change and new ideas, yet, we have to be grounded in who we are.  Our success will ultimately come from what we do well, yet we tend to obsess over what we lack.  Our culture is one of critics, comparisons and distractions.  Are you enough right now to be great?  Does your ego control your actions or is your game grounded in your strengths?

Over the years, I've witnessed players at both ends of the scale.  Recently, I was reminded just how delicate that balance is.  A player has worked hard at her game and readied herself for a big competition.  She prepared well and took a strong game to her tournament.  Once there, she played well and managed everything well until.....she got caught in the trap of comparisons and her focus went to what she didn't do well and didn't have compared to others.  Comparisons seem natural, but all the best players are unique.  Seve was a scrambler.  Lexi belts it.  In Bee putts the lights out.  Rory hits it long.  Zach Johnson won a major with his wedges.  I could go on and on naming a player and his or her outstanding quality.  My question is, what is yours?  What are you doing with it?  Are you using it as a weapon or taking it for granted?  Are you envious of others' outstanding qualities or happy with your own?  

Take a minute and check out this great video blog about comparisons. Here is my favorite quote:
"When you compare, you take all the value on what other people are doing and stop recognizing your own magic....and you have magic.  You know you do.  You've used it before.  That's the biggest tragedy to me; we don't remember that when we start comparing." Ishita Gupta's Blog

In a nutshell, a prepared player shot within 3 shots of the best round in a tournament.  Her game was good and she used it to score.  Then, in another format, she focused on what wasn't happening and what she wasn't doing or didn't have.  On the first 12 holes, she had shot only +1 in the previous two rounds, yet in today's round she was +8.  Did her game change or did her focus change?

"Focus is controlled by questions."  Anthony Robbins 

What questions did the player ask the first round, the second round and in the third round?  Were they different?  I would have to guess yes.  What questions has she asked since playing?  Has she returned with focus on what she did to play great golf or on what she is lacking?  As I said earlier, we all need to strike a balance between these two strategies. 

As a coach asking questions and attempting to lead focus, here are my questions for my players:
1.  What do you need to do to prepare to play?
2.  If you do those things, will you be enough when you step on the first tee?
3.  What will your focus be on as you play?
4.  When it wanders, what will you do to place it where you want it?
5.  If you focus well, will you be enough on the course?
6.  Are you operating from a base of learning and doing or a base of ego? (What I do or who I am?)

If your confidence is dependent upon your skills, your results or the attention your receive, it will always be streaky or hot and cold.  Instead, base your confidence on being your best self in preparation, on the golf course and following play.  Work hard on your skills to improve them, but remember your outstanding skill will carry you to greatness.  Strive for great results, but understand they don't define you.  Offer kindness, generosity and gratitude to those around you, but be clear that you can't control what others think of you.  Revel in what you have and who you are and remember that they are enough. 

Do you need an extreme example of a person who chooses how to define herself?  Check out Lizzie! This is a person who has a great sense of humor about her life, chooses her own definition and has deep gratitude for many things.

I'll end by giving you some images of the wisest philosopher I know.  This man knew all that Wayne Dyer, Tony Robbins and Eckhart Tolle teach, but he was just the Old Coach.

Friday, August 1, 2014

New Rules for Recruiting!

Here are the new rules for recruiting as written by the NCAA that pertain to women's golf:

2013-26: Initial Date for Recruiting Communication: In sports other than football, track and field/cross country, swimming and diving, men’s ice hockey and men’s basketball, coaches may make phone calls and send any form of private electronic correspondence starting September 1 of the prospect’s junior year in high school. All limits on the frequency of telephone calls for these sports are eliminated. Men’s basketball and men’s ice hockey have earlier start dates for communication and the other three sports retain existing limits.

That means as of now, I can call the 2015 recruits more than once a week.  I am also allowed to text them back when they send me a text.  

As of Sept. 1st, I can write to juniors in any form of electronic communication.  

2013-27: Recruiting Materials and Electronic Correspondence: Printed materials sent to prospects are now limited to general correspondence (with no limit other than size), materials provided by the NCAA, nonathletics materials from the institution, camp and clinic brochures, and questionnaires. Restrictions on attachments to general correspondence are eliminated except that audio and video materials may not be personalized for prospects or include their name, image, or likeness.

This is significant in that we can communicate a bit more freely.  It also takes away a bit of my nervousness about texting.  I get a lot of texts and my first reaction is to answer them, but that has been against the rules in the past.  It was a bit nerve wracking.  Now I can return texts to players who are the appropriate age.  I don't believe I will initiate a lot of texting and I've heard the same from many coaches.  It will be saved for special occasions and when information is needed.  There are many recruits out there and only so much time in the day.  Happy August 1st!



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 ...