Dennis Sales Golf

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7 Nights at the Twitter Academy – “The Experience”

This is one experience that I will never forget for a number of reasons.  I felt much like what an average golfer goes through.  I’ve used TrackMan on a daily basis for almost two years now.  The three topics I talked about have been discussed literary hundreds if not thousands of times before.  But to record this video, I had to go through the process completely different then what I was accustomed too.  This now took my out of my comfort factor and it felt foreign to me.  I didn’t know how to act without having another person to engage with.  I felt like a golfer who feels like they hit it great on the range, but can’t take it to the course.  That’s who I literally felt like during this whole process.   Never mind that the previous 6 videos were awesome and let’s not forget about the additional pressure by having the final episode.  I’m pretty sure you know that feeling I’m referring to.  It’s the one that gets your stomach tied up in knots when you arrive on the first tee.   You get that feeling because of a false sense of security mainly from of how well you think you practiced all week.  The pressure of playing well is now staring you in the face and you’re not prepared to handle it.  Well you can relate that to how I use TrackMan in teaching versus using TrackMan in a video.  Since I was not prepared to perform this action by myself, I became nervous. The more I made mistakes, the worse I got.  Does that sound even more familiar?  Further proof to the situation was when a good friend of mine stopped by.  I was struggling at a specific point in the video, and I explained it perfectly to him.  But when I had to record it, the whole process changed again.  I quickly reverted back to the same mistakes I was making before.

So what does this mean?  I’ll never be able to do it or you will never be able to take it to the course?  Well you and I may never if we both don’t break our comfort factor.  Golfers don’t like to practice in a way that reflects how the game is played.    Hitting golf ball after golf ball with the same club doesn’t recreate the same situation found on the course.  Golfers need to add constant variety to their practice, but doing that makes it so much harder.  Not many people like doing things that they feel are too difficult.  I’m no different in that respect, I don’t like doing videos alone, so we both shy away from doing those things.  We can change this by how we practice. I vow to get better are creating videos by producing more of them by myself. The more I do these the more comfortable I’ll become.  You should vow to add variety to your practice even if you are not doing it well at first. If we commit to the process of learning, in time we will improve at what we both want to do well.

I would first like to thank Jason Helman for inviting me to participate in the 7 Nights at the Twitter Academy.  This is one amazing group of dedicated professionals to be associated with.   Second, without all of you in Twitter land this would never have happened.

Thank you,

Dennis Sales


Assessing Your Game

Mother Nature has done an amazing job in postponing winter fornorthern state folks this year.  But it soon will be that time of year again where the clubs get set aside for a period of time.  I think this time is great to reflect on how your season went.  Sit down and look at the goals you set for yourself.  Do you or did you not hit them?  Start asking yourself questions as to why those goals were not meet?  Once you have those answers written down, you’ll either need to adjust them or find somebody that will help you achieve them. 

Now I need you to look at those goals, questions and answers.  Did any of them have a system in place that you could monitor the progression?  How can you improve your golf game if you are not measuring it?  I personally find it very difficult to improve if you don’t have a specific way of monitoring your progress.

I really like using ShotbyShot with my students.  This provides students with indispensible data to not only track your progress but show you exactly where improvements are needed.  Remember golf is more than just improving the full swing, it requires you to know exactly what area is costing you the most shots. Image

The Importance of the Short Game

Virtually every single time you open up a golf magazine all they talk about is hitting the ball longer off the tee.  But does that really affect your ability to put the ball in the hole in the least amount of shots possible?  No doubt, it does have some positive effects to scoring, but it’s not everything as some magazines would like you to believe.

Let’s look at the current No. 3 player in the world, Luke Donald. Specifically, let’s examine Luke’s driving distance, or better yet, lack thereof.

Had he won at Harbour Town, he would have been the new No. 1 player in the world.  He didn’t get that close to being number one from bombing 300+ yard drives. Believe it or not, Luke only averaged 261.5 yards off the tee and hit 64 percent of fairways atHarbourTown.

So far for the 2011 season, Luke’s listed at No. 166 on tour with a mere 275.5 yards average off the tee for the year and hits 65 percent of fairways.  That puts him 39.5 yards behind the 62nd ranked player in the world, J.B. Holmes, who happens to be No. 1 on the PGA Tour in driving distance.

While his short game is tremendous and arguably second to none, there’s nothing flashy about Luke’s game that the average golfer can’t come close to duplicating. Especially in the percentage of fairways-hit department.

Let’s look at the stats around the green that clearly have affected Luke’s scoring and exactly where amateur golfers should be looking to improve if they want to shoot lower scores.

PGA Tour Averages (as of April 24th, 2011):

Putting Average – 1st @ 1.69 per hole

Putts Per Round – 2nd @ 27.28 per round

Scrambling – 2nd @ 68.6%

These are some very interesting numbers that most amateurs are completely unaware of.  What’s startling to me is that most amateurs don’t know exactly where they stand.  How can a golfer improve if he or she doesn’t know what skill they need to improve?

I don’t personally know Luke, but I’m sure he didn’t get those averages from not practicing it or knowing that certain aspects of his game needed improvement.  The short game has certainly helped him – and it helps everyone else — from throwing away shots on and around the green.

Luke is a prime example of that old adage: You drive for show and you putt for dough.

Putting may not be as sexy as hitting booming drives, but if you’re looking to maximize your potential on the course, spend some serious time with the flat-stick.