Junior golf was a big thing for me. It paved my road into the golf industry and made me the player I am today. Growing up in the Hamilton area I had lots of golf tournaments to play in and was very central to many. However, my father encouraged me to play local events and said if I couldn't win in my backyard, then there was no reason to play away from home. I first qualified for the Hamilton/Halton Junior Golf Tour in 1995 at the age of 15. The Junior Tour was very deep when I played and the first year I qualified I shot 81 and made the cut by one shot. I got exempt for the 1997 season by finishing in the top 15 in 1996. I finished 10th in 1997 but did not win an event. In 1998, I finally won. I shot 69 in the first event of the season and eventually finished 2nd in the overall standings....
Any time that I performed my best in golf, there was a great feeling of comfort surrounding me. When I felt most comfortable, I became my most confident. Being comfortable on the golf course for me is simple. When I play a course I like or suits my game, I feel comfortable. When I play with people that I enjoy playing with or have a friendship with, I feel comfortable. When I'm familiar with my surroundings and not rushed through my warm up, I feel comfortable. I could go on and on about what makes me feel at home on the golf course. But when things get going good on the course.....
I did not put a post in yesterday due to my commitment of our Inaugural Indoor Men's Golf League at Tees. One of my first jobs when I got the position of Assistant Professional at Tees Indoor Golf, was to develop and maintain a fun and competitive Men's League. Last night was our 12th and final week. We crowned our first ever league champions, which just so happened to be the home team. Nonetheless, my goal at the start of the winter was to get 42 players. I ended with 50. My expectations were so over filled, that I got extremely excited. For the first few weeks of advertising and talking about it, nobody seemed to take much of an interest...
When I first met Sean Foley, he told me one thing... "One day I will coach Tiger Woods." I believed him and knew he would get there. Taking the job in a position where Tiger was at the lowest and bringing him back to the forefront is a true testament to who Sean is. I'm not going to get into any background stuff about Sean. I never doubted his ambition, goals, and dreams. I truly respect Sean and feel he's now one of the greatest golf coaches Canada has ever produced. It's great that Tiger gave Sean the opportunity and I feel big things are going to happen for the two of them in the very near future... Did I mention the Masters? Look for one of Foley's students to shine at Augusta. It might be Tiger... But we can't count out the others. I will be watching and I have a little bandwagon going for team Foley.
Here are some powerful exerts from one of my favourite authors Ekhart Tolle. A great spiritual leader and words that golfers not only should take to heart on the course but in life to.
"As soon as you honour the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease."
"When you experienced those moments of presence, you likely didn't realize that you were briefly in a state of no-mind."
"Many people are so imprisoned in their minds that beauty of nature does not really exist for them"
Finding good words to act and think upon can help us in many ways.
i know the significance of this day, with Tiger Woods finally winning again and making us forget Luke Donald is the top player in the world. But has anybody been watching the LPGA Tour? Yani Tseng is not only built like a horse, but plays like one every week. With the amount of travel these girls are doing on their Tour, I think she is single handedly putting women's golf back on the map. The LPGA Tour really needs...
After cleaning up a corporate function at Tees Indoor Golf last night, I came across something one of the individuals left behind. Stuck in one of our rental bags was an original Ping Zing 2 putter. I know this putter wasn't ours, but man did it ever bring back a time for me when I putted so well, I feared nothing. In 1999, I changed putters to a brand new Ping Zing 2i. The Isopur insert is probably one of the best inserts that's ever been in a putter face and I was fortunate to have it my bag for a few years. When I got it, I cut it down to my standard 32 inches and layered on the lead tape. Quick note: Lead tape on a putter should always be put...
"Yes Sir!" 1986
Well today was a long day and at the facility we had a nice corporate function that was well needed with this early start to the golf season. However, while I was behind the bar and had a few moments, a gentleman asked me when I first remember playing golf. I told him I first remember going to the course when I was 6. That made me think back to a funny moment revolving around the 1986 Masters. Most of us know what happened on that Sunday in April. I distinctly remember sitting around the tv with my dad and two brothers. Not long before that my dad had just got a brand new VCR. So, after finally learning how to work the thing, he decided to tape the Masters that year. Of course he had no idea Jack Nicklaus would put together one of the greatest Sunday back nine's in the history of the sport. I can remember watching many of the shots that day and thinking how awesome it will be to watch this again. My dad was extremely excited after the Masters finished, as he had one of the finest finishes recorded... or so he thought. A few days after, we sat down and re-watched the broadcast. For the first 17 and a half holes, it was even more amazing then the real event. As Nicklaus got over his famous and magical "Yes Sir!" putt on 17 and does his little re look of the line... The screen goes blank. The look on my dad's face was priceless. What has now become one of the most memorable calls in golf, was lost because my dad didn't set enough time on the recording. I know my dad still has that recording, and I know my brothers and I will come across it again someday. I feel it's early memories as these, that have made me such a better player today.
I've had the pleasure to play with and meet some of the greatest golfers in Canadian golf history. Nick Weslock, Bob Panisik, Bob Beauchemin, Jerry Anderson, and Ken Tarling to name a few. Of course one player and one moment sticks out in my mind. The date was July 9, 1993 and Moe Norman was putting on a clinic at Southbrook the course I grew up on. I was 13 years old and had the duty of shagging his golf balls after the clinic. During the clinic I was amazed at a couple things he did and said...
PGA of Canada
Great news coming out of the PGA of Canada website today, stating that more PGA of Canada Ranking Points will be available this season. You don't know how much this excites me. When the rankings were first published, I was very opinionated about where you could accumulate points. I felt that all the players should have an equal chance to gain points and not open the points to events that were limited fields. I was relieved when the announcement came out today that two more events are included in the list. The Rogers Canada Cup and The PGA of Onatrio Assistant's Championship. The Rogers Canada Cup is a PGA of Canada Member only event that attracts our best players in the association and should've been included from the start. The PGA of Ontario Assistant's Championship is surprising to me but nonetheless I am happy to see the Assistant's Championship's in each province get recognized. This announcement ultimately brings a smile to my face as I already have a great amount of confidence going into the season. I can't say it enough, but as a competitive player this is what I practice for. Nothing is more of a comparison mechanism then rankings. I love seeing where I stand, who's ahead of me, who's behind me, and knowing what I need to do to get to number 1. It's laid out right in front of you. You know exactly how many points are available and you can crunch numbers to see how long it will take to get to a desired spot. I love the additions and can't wait to see how everything plays out over the next few months.
Back of the Range
Jim will be allowing readers into his world as he writes about golf through his heart and experiences as a professional golfer, instructor, father, and a fan.
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