Posted by: randyhaaggolf | May 22, 2018

Naomi youngest Side Saddle putter in the world?

If anyone out there knows about a side saddle putter under the age of 9, then please let me know.

I had the pleasure of working with Naomi for the second time this past Sunday, she has made great progress.

If anyone out there is having trouble with their putting, and is now willing to try perhaps the best method ever for putting, I am happy to help you.

I have posted a lot of information on this blog about the different side saddle putters that are available, and what I believe is the best technique to use. I have also posted many instructional videos on my YouTube channel.

If you are either looking for a side saddle putter or have questions or comments please leave them in my comment section.

I am certainly willing to help anyone that wants to improve their putting at no charge of course.

All I ask in return is that you share this blog with others if you deem it of value.

Stay tuned

Posted by: randyhaaggolf | May 15, 2018

A LOVE AFFAIR WITH SPYGLASS HILL – NCGA FOUR BALL

 

It doesn’t get any better than playing the “Glass” in Pebble Beach for 3 days with perfect course conditions. The NCGA Four Ball is held every year the second weekend in May, usually we are treated to a course in very good shape. This year was no exception, we had a challenging course under windy conditions that made it a stiff test.

 

This event has become more and more top heavy with great college players, unlike in the past. Who would want to pass up the chance to test their game on this awesome and tough track.

 

Ok enough of the niceties, lets get to what happened to the Haag/Anthony team. Before I talk more about the talented Jason Anthony, let me take a look back in history to my previous partners, Bob Blomberg and Darryl Donovan. I was blessed to have won this event twice with each of these guys, and both are amongst the best amateurs to ever play golf in Northern California. I have been fortunate to have partners that can hold their own and excel even when I am out of many of the holes.

 

All three of these guys are better players than me, and have helped me enjoy winning on a course that I call one of my favorites in the world. Here is a few words about each player:

 

Bob Blomberg- a golfing legend out of Alameda CA. He’s won so many Alameda Commuters and Oakland City events, too many to list. A two time runner up in the Cal State Amateur, and a true gentleman of the game. Under extreme pressure he was as good as anyone I’ve ever seen play the game. We lost Bob to cancer a few years back, and I still think about him often.

 

Darryl Donovan: Darryl spend 7 years flying helicopters in the Military out of college, and then played professionally for a few years. Like most, he played better as a reinstated amateur. Darryl and I played as the only amateur team in the “BIG STAKES” at the time the largest purse in golf history, $2,000,000. We lost in the quarter finals and had a blast beating many great professional teams. Darryl also won a Cal State Am and NCGA Am, and he made the cut in the US OPEN at Pebble Beach. Like Bob Blomberg, Darryl was a gentleman of the game, and well liked by everyone. He could golf his ball like the best I’ve ever seen anywhere in the world. But the difference between being a great amateur and a pro that makes money playing golf, is a very fine line. I miss playing with Darryl, as he does not play competitively any longer.

 

Jason Anthony: My current partner, age 35, and a total stud golfer. Jason has the rare combination of incredible touch, and awesome power to compliment it. Jason also played professionally on the Canadian tour, and now back as an amateur is playing the best golf of his life. Jason was NCGA Player of the Year in 2017, and recently won his first SF City title. But perhaps his best talent is being a great person, an amazing friend, and a passionate competitor. I love playing with Jason, he makes the game look so easy and effortless. His power seems effortless, combined with his magic touch around the greens.

 

I have been truly blessed to have had such amazing partners. I hope that Jason will let me join him one more time as his partner in the 2019 NCGA Four Ball, hopefully to get that elusive W as I hit 60 years old….))

 

This year we truly had a special opportunity to get our first win in this event. Uncharacteristically we made a heap of bogeys on the same hole, 9 of them in 54 holes, which is WAY too many team bogeys to win an event like this. I’ll take the hit on this one, I was not as sharp as I normally am at Spyglass. We had 7 three putts that counted. We both struggled with the YIPS, YES BOTH OF US. I know I probably shouldn’t be writing about the dreaded YIPS, but Jason and I both had ugly moments of missed 1.5 footers, that mattered, and in the end cost us this event.

 

So what do we do about that problem? I have been fighting the YIPS for 5 years now, and have resorted to putting side saddle with my eyes closed. It’s a miserable way to putt, and now I see Jason’s hands shaking while using a claw grip. It doesn’t matter which way you putt, the YIPS can still get you. I am going to dedicate some time and effort not only on my fitness, but also on ways I can report back to you on this condition of the brain that makes golf so difficult for so many of us. UNFORTUNATELY I also have the chipping YIPS, which I’ve battled for over 20 years. I cannot hit a pitch and run shot, I have to flop everything around the greens. I’m decent at it, but at a disadvantage in cases where a running shot is way easier and a much higher percentage shot.

 

Golf despite some success over the past 5 years, is not as much fun as when I could count on my putter to bail me out. Now the pressure is on my ball striking as I am not going to make many putts. I’ll always remember Gary Player telling me at Seminole, once you have the YIPS, you’ll die with the YIPS. That was not very comforting at ALL.

 

I look on very envious at the younger generations with their beautiful smooth and perfect putting and chipping strokes. And I am convinced that to win the “BIG ONE” you need to have your short game perform under extreme pressure, without exception. I will need to find a solution to my condition otherwise I will re-think the number of events I play in.

 

I am currently on an airplane heading to Scottsdale AZ for the Senior Trans Miss Championship at Desert Forest. I thought about withdrawing from this event, then I decided that it gives me a chance to experiment with some things before I get to the events that I have circled on my calendar (BRITISH SENIOR OPEN, USGA SENIOR OPEN, BRITISH SENIOR AMATEUR, USGA SENIOR AMATEUR) these are the events that make your heart skip a beat, these are the ones I dream about playing in. Once you’ve had a taste of playing in these type of events, its like a VERY good drug that you want to have again and again. I leave for St Andrews in July for the Senior Open qualifier. There are 4 qualifier sites to choose from, and I am carefully evaluating each site to see which may best suit my game. Playing in this years Senior Open at St Andrews is very important to me. The works begins now!!

 

I will now seek professional help, I am looking for a Sports Phycologist that perhaps can help me with this weak mental condition. Or perhaps I’ve just had too much pressure and stress already in my life and my nerves are already frayed beyond repair? I don’t know, but I do know I am not done fighting through this, to see if I can make a few more runs at the events that I basically live to play in.

 

I am sharing some very personal stuff here, I hope that somehow you can relate to it, and perhaps you’ll understand how frail we all can be at times. I love the game of golf, but most of all, I love the people I’ve met through this game. All of my best friends I’ve connected with through golf, and I hope to always be involved with this great game for the rest of my life.

 

But for today in my practice round at Desert Forest I will try to decide what clubs to carry in my bag, what putter to use, and what kind of strategy I will incorporate into my game plan. After 5 days straight of playing and traveling all over the place, my back is barking, my neck has a painful kink in it, and I’m sitting in a middle seat on a full Southwest Flight to Phoenix.

 

Stayed tuned for more from Scottsdale

Posted by: randyhaaggolf | May 8, 2018

CLUB HEAD SPEED 101

I’ve spent hundreds of hours over the past 30 years trying to understand ways to most efficiently increase clubbed speed. There is NO easy answer, as each of us are different, many of us will never fly a golf ball 300 yards in the air.

But in my last post, I focused on why technology is important to incorporate into your golf preparation. Having 120 MPH club head speed does not necessarily mean you drive the ball any better. There are things like attack angles, and degrees of loft, and smash factor, and basically just the path of your club face. You need clubbed speed, but also you need your club path numbers to be consistently good as well.

Which leads me to a very easy conclusion, we need technology to tell us how to improve our club path numbers, while we need physical training to create “efficient” club head speed. Many golfers are blessed with god given talent and bodies with super fast hips and body rotation ability, while others just cannot get their club head speed to 90 mph regardless of what they do.

The typical golfer I see go into a gym, does some cardio, maybe lifts a few weights, and basically has no idea what any of that is doing for him/her. While a gym trainer may provide better body specific and proper technique training, I still believe you are NOT being as efficient with you workout time unless you investigate what options are available to you.

Last Friday I decided to get my ass back in gear, and torture myself with three training sessions in a row. The first was with Jennifer Fleischer, these are her credentials:

Jennifer Fleischer, TPI, FRCMS, CHEK
Certified Golf Fitness Instructor
Exercise Specialist
Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach
And she had me do these shoulder exercises that account for 20% of your club head speed. These may look easy, but oh nooooo they are not!!

 

TPI SHOULDER EXERCISES

I spent 11:00 am to 12:00 noon with Jennifer, and then headed to the Olympic Club where I met with the very knowledgable Carmen Solla, who also is TPI certified (Titleist Performance Institute). Carmen showed me some new equipment we now have at the Olympic Club called Queenax (or some refer to as monkey bars). What amazing equipment which provides us with a different way of doing very important exercises that will hugely benefit your golf fitness. Carmen’s main theme is to NOT always do the same routine, but to change up everything you do, while using different parts of your body and different muscles. THIS MADE PERFECT SENSE TO ME!!! My time with Carmen flew by and at 1:30 it was time to see my old friend Rebecca Robertson in the Pilates room.

Now Pilates has always been one of my favorite forms of Golf preparation and training. The reformer is an amazing piece of equipment that allows you to safely push yourself and do things that no other equipment can do. It is not necessarily easy, but will provide you with many benefits for your golf game. PLEASE DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND TRY PILATES, even if its mat pilates, you will love it.

All of this training is meaningless if you go and do it once. This needs to become a way of life, a habit that you can build upon. Your workouts always need to evolve, and keep your interest. You should invest in a highly skilled trainer that is golf specific, that understands your body, and will design a program to deal with your physical limitations.

Get off the coach, and get your ASS into the gym. I am tired of people saying oh you hit the ball so far, you’re lucky. I am not lucky, or even that talented. Many others hit the ball effortlessly past my with very little training, but they are very few in number. Your mental strength in the game is also connected to your physical preparation and toughness.

There are many things I still need to learn, especially about my breathing. If you stop learning, and stop working on your body, the world will pass you by. This can be fun, and will lead to other significant benefits in other areas of your life.

STAY TUNED FOR MORE ON FITNESS AND THE MENTAL GAME

Posted by: randyhaaggolf | April 24, 2018

DO YOU WANT TO HIT THE BALL FURTHER- READ ON

Golf is a game of finesse, feel, touch, hand-eye coordination and power. If you have one, but not the other, you can still play good golf, but perhaps not great golf.

In my era of great players, it was Corey Pavin that was the master of the short game, and almost won a PGA tour event at age 50. Corey is a short hitter, but still hits the ball in the center of the club face, which is MORE important than the actual speed the club is traveling.

Which ball will travel further, the ball at 105MPH club speed with a direct hit in the center of the club, or club head speed of 115MPH with a quarter miss low and on the toe of the club. The answer is obvious I believe, the 105 club head speed with a direct hit on the center of the face will fly further, have less spin, and will be more accurate.

So we must use technology to help us figure out what works, and what does not in our swings to create the proper swing path. I spend time with teaching pro Matt Kilgariff at the Olympic Club to work on exactly this, the proper swing plane that will create the proper path, smash factor and ball speed, spin.

One way to create more club head speed

Good drill to sequence your big swing for longer drives

To be continued

 

Posted by: randyhaaggolf | March 24, 2018

THE RESULTS ARE IN- THE NEW TaylorMade Equipment is the best ever

The goal of this blog is too keep the information real, no hype, no rambling on about stuff nobody cares about.

Golfers do care about equipment, and with so many choices to make, its tough deciding what to make a major investment in. Clearly the demo days are helpful, but with a lot of things in life, what you like today, you may not like tomorrow.

For me personally the biggest improvement in equipment is the current years TM M3 440 Driver, M3 Fwy 3HL-17 and the TM 790 irons. Of these, the M3 Fwy 3HL-17 is CRAZY GOOD. Yes this M3 Fwy club has 17 degrees of loft, which means I can get it in the air easier, and it goes straighter than my M1. Everyone is looking for better performance from their clubs, and tend to think that less loft will allow you to hit it further. Its the exact opposite!! You want to get the proper launch on all your equipment, and for me, I need higher lofted clubs as I tend to trap the ball and reduce loft.

This new M3 Fwy 3HL-17 was a MAJOR weapon and factor in my first WIN using the clubs in the San Francisco City Championship. I was routinely out driving my opponents with this club, while they were hitting their drivers.

The next biggest improvement is i the TM 790 Irons, OMG they are amazing! When I was tested at the Kingdom in Feb, my 770 six iron was going about 182 while the new 790 averaged 192 with a steeper landing angle, meaning it was coming down softer.

During the SF City Championship, I noticed a huge improvement in my iron shot accuracy and my ability to hit these clubs further when I needed a little extra. I would not call these clubs “overly juiced up” but just perfect for what I was looking for.

And last but not least, the new M3 Driver was definitely an improvement over my old trusty M1. I am able to eliminate the big miss right with this club, and it averaged over 7 yards longer, which is significant to me.

If your looking for more length and consistency, then you’ll need to do more than just get a new set of clubs. You’ll need to get into the gym, and work on golf specific exercises that will increase club head speed, and reduce late round fatigue.

In future posts, I will give you the best possible exercises that I believe will help you achieve this.

SO stay tuned for more on golf fitness, and where my 2018  golf schedule will take me this year, its going to be the best golfing year ever for me, and a special thanks goes to all my friends at TaylorMade for getting me off to a great start.

STAY TUNED

Posted by: randyhaaggolf | March 19, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO CITY CROWNS 2018 CHAMPIONS

The San Francisco City Golf Championship is called “The City” as it has perhaps more interesting history of any city or regional golf event in the world. This was the 103rd consecutive running of this event without ever taking a break for world wars, major earthquakes or other natural disasters.

Growing up as a kid reading about the “City” made it something I dreamed of one day playing in. I would read on the front page of the SF Chronicle sports page about all the behemoth mega talented players that found hard to become the “City” Champion. Perhaps the most famous match ever was in the 50’s when Harvie Ward played Ken Venturi in front of over 5,000 spectators.

Unfortunately amateur golf is far less followed now than in the past, SADLY. The pool of talent is deeper than ever, and the game has changed significantly to the younger generation. And again unfortunately the younger generation has not been taught the basics of the game, which is to asses your shot and get up and hit it. Now these kids are spending several minutes assessing every angle of every shot, and making the game a 5+ hour event.

I know in this article I should be telling you about my 3rd win in this important event, and believe me I am thrilled to add another title to an event that is VERY hard to win. BUT, I want to encourage others the importance of getting the game of golf back to the old days when 4 hour or less rounds were the norm, not this new era of long rounds and waiting on every shot.

The “City” needs to make some changes to support the proper pace of play, and if anyone out there has any creative suggestions, please reply back. I know that we can have officials time players and have group timing locations on certain holes. I know that we can use the same rule that junior golf has which is NO parents caddying for their kids. We need to help the game of golf and create awareness for the proper way to play which is using a max of 45 seconds when its your turn to play.

I am very proud and excited for my good friend and best ball partner Jason Anthony for his victory yesterday in the “City”. I am sure like me, he will always remember this special “W” as one of his most coveted.

Please take a minute to review the great articles written about the event below.

AND STAY TUNED FOR MORE ON SIDE SADDLE PUTTING AND GOLF FITNESS COMING SOON!!

AMATEURGOLF.COM SF CITY ARTICLE

ARTICLE ON THE SF CITY CHAMPIONSHIP IN GLOBAL GOLF POST

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