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beginnerguide
hammock beach

My good friend Brendon Elliott with Little Linksters Junior Golf invited my wife and I out to play Hammock Beach Resort today. The day was perfect and we learned a few very important things that I though worthy of sharing with you. 

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My old friend Jon Jacques is a longtime high school golf coach in Maine. He shares some thoughts on what he’s seen out of his players over the years, and what it takes to have some fun at the high school level in most areas of the country. 

Falcons-fire

Choose the people that you play golf with carefully. If you like hard core games, putting everything out, or gambling, go for it. If you’d rather never keep score or never have to hit out of a bunker, find some people who want to play that way. 

shingle-creek

Your golf swing begins as a one lever system. It’s basically a straight line down your left arm down the shaft of the club. As you swing the club further back, you allow your wrist hinge bringing into play a second lever. This is the most powerful system.

golf course in the fog

KPI Golf sent out 2 proposals today for 2 different golf courses. One proposal was a response to a 90-page RFP (request for proposal)! Crazy right? 

liksters

A great friend and colleague called me out on social media the other day in a hugely complimentary way. I can tell you that it really hit home and I believe in paying positivity forward. 

darts

Whether you’re precise with your shot making or not, it’s good advice to at least aim precisely. It’s the best chance you’ve got to produce the shot you’re hoping for…and to evaluate your results.

flighscope mevo

First, I got myself a Flightscope MEVO to play around with. MEVO is a tiny golf launch monitor…about the size of a deck of cards. You can bring it with you anywhere and set it behind you when you’re hitting shots. 

Beginner-Golf

Beginners always feel super intimidated at the golf course. Everyone seems to be experts. They all know how to dress, hit great shots, and have so much fun. Starting out can feel overwhelming. 

short-game

Super simple. Start with a short chip or pitch shot on the range. On your next shot, try to land the ball on top of the previous ball. It’ll roll out a little farther, then try to hit the 2nd ball with your 3rd shot, and so on.

USOpen5

It’s human nature to squeeze the club and try to hit the ball harder when you need more distance.

The problem is that the complete opposite will give you much better results.

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Lately, I’ve been really simplifying my practice. In my career, whenever I’ve been struggling, I’ve always found that the solutions were far more simple than I would have ever imagined.

pga show

KPI Golf struck an incredible collaboration deal with MG Orender and Hampton Golf to deliver their new Hampton Connect club management software to the market.

candian-tour

Saw an article about Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler sharing the lead (after the first round) and also sharing a house out in Phoenix this week. Brought back some old memories of traveling around with the boys on the Canadian PGA Tour some years back.

free-golf

I’m pretty sure you’ll agree that the estimates and assumption I’m using are extremely conservative. A 5% conversion rate is very low for public facilities, but for private clubs may be very high (of course average customer values are also much higher).

setup

I get a lot of questions about ball position.

Why is it important? Where do I put the ball for the different clubs in my bag? How do I know if I’m doing it right?

Putting-in-the-work

I believe that casual golfers don’t need to spend money on golf lessons…or at least they shouldn’t have to spend money on lessons. 

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I’ve heard a few times from my audience that they feel that my stuff is too advanced for them or that they aren’t good enough to benefit. 

Golf-Essentials-Episode-69

After 2 months of running this podcast, I’ve figured out the tie that binds all my messaging together: 
Free Golf Lessons for All Beginners and Casual Golfers

pga-show

Spent that last couple days running around the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. I had the chance to test out all the new clubs and equipment on the ma

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If you’re not practicing don’t complain about not getting better. When I was in high school, I used to hit balls in to a net every day, and head to the beach because that was the only place without snow. 

Golf-Essentials-Episode-66

It’s that time of year when lots of people start thinking about building their set for the spring. This episode is about my thoughts on some basics to go with if you’re a relative beginner grabbing some new clubs.

Golf Essentials Episode 65

Flashback to a chat I had with videographer Craig Kotilinek last week about his sports injuries and some remedies that have worked well. 

The shanks can come out of nowhere. They’re super scary and often paralyze golfers and suck the enjoyment out of the game.

The big problem is when they get into your head and you feel things spiraling out of control.

pga-demo-day

Heading to the PGA Show next week. So much to do in preparation for announcing KPI Golf Management to the world. 

We’re going to be super busy next week meeting with vendors and solidifying contractual relationships.

tennis-yips

Sidechannel conversation with my good friend and master videographer Craig Kotilinek. Craig’s day job is running CSK Creative, a videography and design agency here in Orlando.

peeweeswing-contest

Brendon Elliott, PGA Member shares the details on his global junior golf swing contest. The panel of judges is incredible – Jack Nicklaus, Lauren Thompson, Francesco Molinari to name a few.

John Brown discusses the options that struggling and underperforming golf courses have. The first big misconception is that professional advice and exploratory conversations only come with hard sales pitches for club management contracts. This isn’t the case at all. 

gripping the golf club

Without good setup and alignment, your swing is doomed. Don’t get it mixed up. The quickest wins are in your setup and stance – nothing to do with your swing. Most people focus on “in-swing” faults and ignore the “pre-swing”. I do the opposite. 

craig-kotilinek - CSK Creative

I’ve known Craig for 8 or 9 years now here in Orlando. He’s an extremely talented and accomplished videographer and business operator. CSK Creative is a video production agency boasting clients like Golf Digest, Mercedes, The US Coast Guard, Total Wine and Wakeboarding Magazine. 

golf-course-ownership

KPI Golf Management owner and business partner John Brown Jr. shares some stories of over 45 years in the golf course ownership and management business. 

It’s not always sunshine and lollipops in the golf business! 

casey atm

Well, last night was the first car accident ever. Fortunately nobody was hurt, but a close call nevertheless. A REALLY close call…and a lesson for all of you on guy golf trips. 

charlie rymer podcast

Many don’t realize (myself included) how great a player that Charlie was in his early days. He’s still competing occasionally on PGA Tour Champions as well. 

After Q-School one year, he ran into his good friend Gary McCord who told him he should get into television:

golf-employees

Country clubs bringing in outside management do so in one of two major ways:

1. They recognize they need help and expertise to help them move forward optimally.

2. A firm offers to inject some capital over time in exchange for ownership stake in the club (equity vs. non-equity).

golf-chipping-drill

These 3 wintertime exercises helped me big time coming out of the gates in the spring back when I was in high school. I worked on my putting, chipping and full swing while our family was watching TV…and I won the Maine State Amateur that spring.

golf-course-chef

I believe that the most successful businesses (golf or non-golf) take care of the most important things first…and at all costs. It’s super upsetting to me to see operators ruining perfectly good businesses – especially golf courses – because they get it totally backwards.

golf putting drills

These two putting games are incredible in a lot of ways. First of all, they help make putting practice a lot more interesting. That’s a big deal for some of you who find putting super boring. 

The benefits of these two games are many…they help lag putting as well as those testy 4 – 8 footers. You’ll simulate real round conditions including a little bit of pressure if you’re playing with others or matching your personal best. 

caseybourqueusopen

Super Thankful – Time to Reflect

Just a regroup on why I’m bothering to deliver this podcast. It’s two major reasons, both of which based on stuff that I’ve lived, experienced, and executed myself. 

bunker-drill-square

Super simple pitching and bunker play drill for improving your consistency. It’s all about impacting the ball or the ground in the same place every time. 

Here’s how it goes:
Draw a line in the sand about 4-6 feet long

sabal

Visiting my parents in Southwest Florida this week. Their golf community lost their golf course a couple years back and it’s super sad to see. 

golf villas kpi golf

There is no solution that allows for anything other than constant oversight and management. This is because conditions, economies, market positions, competition, and consumer preferences are always changing. The only way to compete is to evolve with the times. Golf courses are quickly finding that they are not different.

hammer - golf money game

Hammer has a wonderful way of revealing just how confident you are with your game. It’s best played with other players of similar skill set, preferably with buddies who you can harass a little bit. Knowing your opponent is key. You should be able to strategically add pressure where they’ll feel it most.

golf short game tip

For short shots, make a short backswing. For longer shots, make a longer backswing. It’s that simple. If you truly focus on this, you’ll be able to swing the club with exactly the same tempo for all length shots. You can relax your hands and arms, and the club will bottom out at the very same spot every time.

ball-in-motion

If you’re planning on playing some real competitive golf, moving forward the rules have changed quite a lot. You should rely on more trustworthy sources than me to get the details about what you’re allowed and not allowed to do.

tee shot 13th hole Shinnecock Hills Golf Club

What is it about pressure that causes our body to react so strangely. You may not even be all that nervous about the outcome, and for some reason, you can’t swing the same way, your putting goes bad, and you can’t even think straight? 

pitch shot distance control

I used to absolutely fear a 50 yard wedge shot in golf tournaments. I’d do all I could to avoid them. Mostly that meant laying up to 100 yards leaving a full wedge into the green. 

fairway woods off the turf

This clip is from a clinic I did back in Phoenix for some relative beginners about hitting fairways woods. A lot of players struggle with this clubs – they’re long, unforgiving, and you’ve got to be dead on to hit great shots. I hope these few tips help you out. 

golf course

When I go to Germany every summer, the days are very long. The sun rises around 4:00 am and sets around 10:30 pm. Golf courses over there have come up with a very creative (and simple) solution for bringing in revenue during those odd hours of the day when nobody is working.

breaking barriers in golf

Many of the so-called barriers that we try to reach in golf are simply arbitrary numbers. I get that it sounds cool to say that you shot 69 instead of 70, but at the end of the day, it’s just 1 shot.

Stymies putting game

Stymies is a vicious competitive putting game that is best played with as many people as you can wrangle up. Find 10 people and you’ll have a blast.  

4th hole - Shinnecock Hills Golf Club

I’m down for a friendly wager playing golf with some friends, but is there a point where it goes too far? The USGA rules on amateur status say there is. 

golf-putting-setup

In this episode, my good friend Robert and I share our feelings and the challenges that we’ve both faced. I give him some tips and exercises to build his confidence back up so that he can hit the spring golf season running. 

cute girl golfer purple shirt

Based on the fact that the economy has been great over the past 9 years, AND we’ve got a huge wave of Baby Boomers playing more golf than ever, golf should be thriving. 

golf course clustering

The advantages for golfers when multiple golf courses team up is obvious. We get more holes to play golf on for our money. What’s really cool is that when one course is closed for business because of a tournament or course maintenance procedure, we’ve got other options. Not only that, golf is just more fun when you have more variety…otherwise it’s just too easy right?

bogey box golf featured image

Super cool conversation with Nik Bando, founder of Bogeybox Golf Club. So, Nik figured out that he (along what turns out to be a ton of other people out there) hates to go shopping – especially for clothing. I’m definitely included in that group. His solution is one that plays on a beautiful blend of technology and white glove personalized customer service.

Private-golf-club-turnaround-post

KPI Golf Management’s John Brown discusses a Hilton Head area private golf course that was struggling with membership attrition in the Hilton Head market.

chipping-pitching-practice

Lately I’ve been struggling a bit with my chipping and pitching. I’ve felt like it’s been a challenge to make clean contact consistently from poor lies and tight lies. Basically, if the ball isn’t sitting up perfectly, my confidence hasn’t been to high lately.

podcast

I Believe the Golf Instruction System is Broken. I’m sorry, but golf lessons are too long, too complicated, too expensive and too far in between. $300/hour isn’t bringing anyone into this game, and I want to give a voice to the teacher who are doing it right.

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Sports Science Solutions and K-Motion are teaming up to develop specific biomechanical roadmaps and processes adapted for those with specific amputations…

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So when I came down to play college golf in Florida, it drove me nuts. In fact, I blame grain for my nearly career ending bout with the yips. This episode is all about helping you putt better on grainy greens based on what I’ve learned over the years.

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Finish this Challenge and I’ll be Super Impressed. I learned this drill when I was back in college playing at Florida Southern. Lee Janzen, former US Open Champion and FSC alum came back to practice with the team a few times. Lee’s always been an incredible putter, and this was a drill he worked on every day. 

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This special swing clinic was part of a private session offered to some elite International Junior Golf Tour players playing at Bella Colina in Orlando. The coolest part about it was that the content was designed for top level players. Nick got into details that I’m sure he normally wouldn’t with the general public. 

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Longtime friend John Brown joins us and we tap into his 40+ years of golf operations experience. John shares a bunch of insights into where the golf industry is heading and how golf clubs are going to need to aggressively compete for market share in the coming years. 

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This clinic was conducted for 1 hour and 20 minutes for elite junior golfers, so Nick is talking about real competitive topics. He made a point to mention earlier in the session that playing tournament golf is an entirely different sport than casual golf…requiring different approaches. I was very lucky to have the chance to participate in the group of only 12 -15 people on hand that day at Bella Colina in Orlando.

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We know that opening the club face will yield a slice, and closing the face will hook the ball…but how much? I feel it’s super important to fall back on a game plan, or at least to have practiced the shots before you deploy them on the golf course.

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Now, I know what you’re thinking – high-tech diodes, bones and muscles, it’s all too technical for me. But, that’s the coolest part. While these guys are using data for elite golfers and hockey players, they’re also doing incredible things to dummy it all down for the average guy.

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I Believe that Traditional Golf Lessons are Best for the Instructor, not the Student. Learning to play golf is a lot like learning a language. Everyone is bad in the beginning, and the the benefits you derive are directly proportionate to the efficiency of the work you put in. That’s fancy talk for “you can’t fake it”. 

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This is a segment of a keynote presentation I did at Golf Academy of America in Orlando. I get into a phase of my college and amateur golf career where I had a debilitating bout with the putting yips.

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Scrambles are a Whole Different Animal – You Can Cheat! So, I’m teeing it up in a scramble golf tournament tomorrow. I wanted to share some thoughts, especially for beginners on how to navigate your day and have a great time.

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After you’ve been playing golf for some time, you’re bound to hear this rule of thumb: If the ball is below your feet, play for a slice. If the ball’s above your feet, play for a hook. Well, that statement is only half true. Literally. 

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Here’s your hour of practice broken down for you. We’re starting off on the range with a great drill to help your arms stay connected with your body as you rotate. We run into a lot of problems when we lift our arms away from the body during the swing. Next, we’re going to experiment with hitting shots of different trajectories.

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One of my strongest presentations to date. Lots of continuing dialogue and positive feedback from the audience on this one…Here’s my keynote speech at The Golf Academy of America’s Orlando Campus. The talk is geared for the students (all ages) at the school getting educated on careers in the golf industry – golf instruction, golf operations, tournament play, and golf management.

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This episode is all about bunker play. In basic terms, we handle bunker shots a lot like pitch shots, but there are a few important variables we’ll need to learn to account for. First, everything is determined by the lie. Learning to assess what you’re capable of from different lies comes with practice and simple trial and error. If the ball is sitting down, we need the club to dig into the sand. If we’ve got a good lie, we’ll want the club to slide into the sand.

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Here’s your 1-hour practice blueprint for the day. The goal is to make best use of the limited time you have at the course. Here’s what we’re doing:
1. Ladder Drill (15 mins) – Short and mid-length putting with variability in distance.

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Killer Q & A Session – Today we hear from Carson in Rochester, New York. He’s a 13-year old who’s been playing golf for a couple years. As he’s moving into junior tournament play, his questions and maturity are off the charts. • Judging and handling tough lies around the green • Self awareness

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Cy Cyr has arguably become one of the world’s top golf photographers…and we’ve know each other since we were 5 living in Maine. I wanted to know how I can be taking better pictures with my phone…and he didn’t disappoint. Cy’s been in the room with everyone in golf – Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, Rory McIlroy…you get the idea. He shoots for Golf Channel, Golf Digest and others…so he knows his stuff.

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This wedge play technique changed my golf life. I was able to turn an absolute fear of 30, 50, 60 yard wedge shots into a strength of my game. These shots require a special approach that brings distance control and consistent impact with the golf ball every time. I’m super passionate about this part of the game, and I think this lesson is one that’s going to help every single player out there.

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Anyone looking to get their kids into golf, this episode is for you. We’re talking with Brendon R. Elliott, PGA founder of Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf in Central Florida.
Brendon is the National PGA Award winner for Junior Golf Development in 2017…out of 28,000 professionals, he’s the man when it comes to kids learning how to play golf.

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I learned this concept from the great Dave Pelz – Better shot selection in terms of where you’re choosing to land the ball will improve your chances of success. Always try to land pitch shots into troughs and avoid hills…here’s why.

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Probably the most common question that I haven’t gotten to yet. Here’s an easy way to think about your golf swing setup and how far from the ball you should be standing. It’s super important to nail this down every time if you’re going to be consistent.

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Here’s your hour of practice time broken down into drills and an approach that I think will be super helpful for your game. We’re mixing it up with the full swing, starting in on calibrating wedge distances, and giving you some putting challenges to keep things interesting.

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Here’s what you need to know about driving the ball like a champ. There are some tendencies that we all fall into that’ll sabotage our chances for success. An easy pre-swing checklist usually does the trick.

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Physics don’t lie. The ball goes where it goes for a reason. In this episode, we’re reverse engineering impact and how the ball behaves. Where does it start? Is is curving? Are your misses mostly right or left? What do your divots look like? It all tells a story…and once you know how to read, you’ll be armed to fix yourself and improve faster.

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There are only 2 factors that determine the direction that the golf ball flies – swing path and club face angle. For most full shots, where the club face is “looking” is by far the most important. So, how do you better control the face, and by rule, the direction that the ball travels? Get ready for an easily deployed deep dive into your hand placement on the club.

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If you’re thinking of about playing golf, or investing some energy into getting better…especially as a 20 or 30-something, I’m gonna try to convince you. There’s a one-time opportunity to tap into golf largest of all time attention “land grab”. 60% of golfers are baby boomers who are wrapping up their careers or running companies…golf is your chance to get into the room with them.

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Golf Essentials is Casey Bourque’s way of meeting you where you are with a “tell it like it is” methodology for feeling better about playing golf – answering all your questions, live Q&A sessions, practice planning, drills, tips, and insights to make the best use of the limited time you have at the course. Casey explains the approach and principles that took him from a small town in Maine to playing in the US Open Championship.

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