WHAT ARE THE BEST CLUBS FOR YOU?

One of the most popular questions I get is what clubs should I buy. That is a very good and important question. The two most important factors are what looks and feels good to you, and how properly fitted you are.

I would take a great fitting over look and feel, as fitting has more to do with the proper shaft, then the proper head configuration. In this day and age of high technology, it is relatively easy to find a way to get properly fitted. Both TailorMade and Titleist have rover fitting sessions at most all the local clubs in your area. Always ask and find out when they will be at your location next. Usually these fitting sessions are free, but don’t be foolish and reject a fitting if there is a nominal cost associated.

My own personal experience has been tremendous with both Titleist (for 25 years) and now TaylorMade for the past 10 years. They have provided me with balls, gloves and clubs, saving me 10’s of thousands of dollars on equipment. But honestly I would not use either just for a free golf set, I chose them because they have in my opinion the best options as a player to play my very best golf.

I think they also have the best golf balls in the game, and I switched from a Titleist ball to the new TaylorMade TP5x just last year. And in 2019 I recaptured Northern California Senior Player of the Year, and my world ranking as a Senior went to 8th. The ball does make a difference!

As you’ll see in the Golf Digest hot list for best clubs for 2020, all the top brands are well represented and have good descriptions of their equipment. The difference I believe is the fitting that is made available to the players, and TaylorMade is the leader in my opinion. This Wednesday I have a one hour fitting (free) at the Olympic Club, that will put me on a launch monitor to determine what equipment will be best suited for my club head speed, angle of attack, and smash factor. I am super excited to try the new TaylorMade SIM family of clubs in the Driver, Fairway SIM and Hybrids.

I think Golf Digest did a good job with this evaluation

https://www.golfdigest.com/hot-list#golf-clubs

So PLEASE use the pro’s that know how to properly fit you into clubs that will perform at the highest level for you.

And as always, nobody pays me to tout their equipment, I use what I think makes me compete at the highest level.

Stay tuned for more on Side Saddle (FaceOn putting)

The 12 exercises golfers should be doing right now

It all starts with fitness, which leads to mental strength and stamina. I PROMISE you that if you just do Jennifer’s exercise with the band around your thighs, you will notice a HUGE difference in your mobility and even more important, you will reduce or eliminate your back pain.

If you deem this Blog worthy, please share with others. I accept no advertising, I don’t edit my rants, and I will provide you with I hope some valuable insight into how I train and prepare to play my best golf.

The truth is on Thursday I turn 61 years young. Currently I am the 8th ranked senior golfer in the world, and my goal is to become #1, and to win a National championship in 2020. My sincere belief is that my best golf is ahead of me, not behind me. Perhaps that’s not realistic, but that is my mind set. My favorite saying “The golf ball has no idea how old I am” so why should I let that affect my mindset.

But it all starts with FITNESS, please make a commitment to join me in doing these amazing exercises. I’d love to hear your stories of success in 2020.

Here you go:

https://www.golfdigest.com/story/the-12-exercises-golfers-should-be-doing-right-now

Stay tuned, and PLEASE try some of these, you’ll be glad you did!!

TIME TO TRAIN- PROPERLY

If its time to get out of your golfing rut, and improve every aspect of your golf game, it all begins with proper training. Forget about a New Year’s resolution they don’t work.

What does work is finding something that you can stick to, a routine that will immediately produce measurable results. Get your ass off the couch, and commit to doing something good for your body that will generate clubbed speed, and give you an inner sense of confidence.

This is going to be a very short post, as you have homework to do. Please click on this link and review what the 50 Best Golf trainers think work best for golf fitness. Amongst these is my TPI guru trainer Jennifer Fleischer.

https://www.golfdigest.com/story/the-50-best-golf-fitness-trainers-in-america

You can see where all these fitness trainers are, find one, make an appointment and start doing something at the core of what will help you game most.

After surgery almost 4 weeks ago, I am training at home with a weight bench, weights and a training ball. I’m heading to the course to start swinging this week. I’ll have some video later this week. Until then, get a trainer and start doing something positive for your body and golf swing.

AND HERE ARE THE TOP 50 RANKED INSTRUCTORS

https://www.golfdigest.com/story/the-50-best-teachers-in-america

Let me know what you think, if you know any of these trainers or instructors?

Stay Tuned

Helius Update

For those of you that took my advice to buy shares of this company, I apologize for the wild ride down to these levels. Despite today’s good news, I feel that the company with its excessive burn rate will continue to struggle as the run out of money in 2020.

What we got right is the PoNS device works, what we missed is that the management of this company has made very poor decisions, starting with the original application to the FDA that was denied. I’ll keep this short, and feel free to ask any questions.

Last April when the company got denied its FDA application, the company continued to burn about $2,000,000 a month with excessively high salaries, and other high expense that they deemed necessary. Despite all the pleadings to lower the burn, the company kept paying CEO and CFO annual salaries of $1,200,000 and $800,000. This company’s management and board did very little to protect the $15,000,000 they had on the balance sheet, and actually thought that Canada would yield a significant amount of revenue from the PoNS to offset this tremendous burn. Again they were wrong, as reported last quarter they did only $150,000 in revenue. So Canada is actually costing the company millions to be there. And will continue to be a cash negative in my view.

If they had just decided to focus on the resubmission of the PoNS application to the FDA in 2020 they would not be in this position now. But they have made such poor decision culminating in selling over 4,000,000 shares for $0.35 that yielded only approximately $1,700,000 which is only one months burn. CRAZY decision, but its what I expect from these guys now.

I would love to tell you that everything has been fixed and you should buy shares at this level with this but I cannot. Not until I see evidence that this company has the ability to raise capital without destroying the value of the common share holder, while they continue to receive such absurd salaries when its not necessary. This company should not even be a public company right now, but it was necessary for the $100,000,000+ they have raised to date to get where they are.

So what’s next for Helius? Unless they guys get serious about getting there burn rate down, I cannot endorse them. In 2020 they will need to raise more capital, I am not sure the common shareholder will own any of Helius when they have to sell their soul to the next investor in this company.

Here is today’s news release

Independent Research Published Show Positive Results on Translingual Neurostimulation Plus Physical Therapy With Statistically Significant Improvement in Balance and Gait Scores and the Outcomes Were Sustained for 12 Weeks After Discontinuing Treatment

NEWTOWN, Pa., Dec. 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Helius Medical Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:HSDT) (TSX:HSM) (the “Company”), a neurotech company focused on neurological wellness, announced today that the results from independent research conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on translingual neurostimulation for the treatment of chronic symptoms due to mild-to moderate traumatic brain injury (“mmTBI”) have been published in the December 2019 issue of theArchives of Rehabilitation Research and Clinical Translation. For more information on the trial and its results, see the published journal article

The newly published results from the double-blind randomized clinical trial which paired translingual neurostimulation using the Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator (PoNS™) device with therapeutic activities, showed significantly improved balance and gait scores over the 14-week treatment period and the outcomes were sustained for 12 weeks after discontinuing the treatment. 

“Traumatic brain injuries are rising steadily in North America and whether these injuries are mild or moderate, the effects can last a lifetime,” said Philippe Deschamps, Chief Executive Officer of Helius Medical Technologies. “The results from this independent clinical trial provide clinical support for the PoNS Treatment™ as an effective treatment option for patients suffering from the effects of mmTBI and we are excited to have the validation of the data in a peer reviewed publication.”

The trial evaluated 43 participants who had experienced an mmTBI at least one year prior to receiving the PoNS Treatment and had seen little progress or had plateaued in their recovery with physical therapy. Researchers found that approximately 74 percent of the participants who completed the 14 weeks of PoNS Treatment experienced significant improvements in their balance. Patients also showed meaningful improvements in their gait and walking endurance.

Exploratory endpoints, such as headache burden and sleep quality, were also observed as part of the trial. While further analysis and research is needed, there was an indication of improvement in these exploratory endpoints. The demonstrated improvements in balance and gait, coupled with potential improvements in the exploratory endpoints may allow treated individuals to experience a better quality of life.

PoNS Treatment is exclusively offered by authorized clinics, with multiple locations across Canada. To learn more about PoNS Treatment and to book a 15-minute consultation with an authorized PoNS Treatment clinic, visit ponstreatment.ca.

About Helius Medical Technologies, Inc.

Helius Medical Technologies is a neurotech company focused on neurological wellness.  The Company’s purpose is to develop, license and acquire unique and non-invasive platform technologies that amplify the brain’s ability to heal itself. The Company’s first commercial product is the Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator (PoNS™). For more information, visit www.heliusmedical.com.  

About the PoNS™ Device and PoNS Treatment™ 

The PoNS is an authorized class II, non-implantable, medical device in Canada intended for use as a short term treatment (14 weeks) of chronic balance deficit due to mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury (mmTBI) and is to be used in conjunction with physical therapy. The PoNS is an investigational medical device in the United States, the European Union (“EU”), and Australia (“AUS”), and it is currently under review for clearance by the AUS Therapeutic Goods Administration. PoNS Treatment is currently not commercially available in the United States, the European Union or Australia.

WORTH A READ GGP+

I rarely endorse products, investment or golf information, but I will today.

I’m sure many of you are waiting for an update on Helius Medical, now trading at about $0.48 and I WILL be providing an update once I obtain some additional information.

But for today I want to make sure everyone is aware of the GGP+ that has some really good articles that take us to the more human side of the game. I highly recommend that you check it out, and if you deem it worthy, subscribe to this premium service provided by the Global Golf Post

Go to https://www.globalgolfpost.com/best-of-2019/ for access.

Surgery on Wednesday on the ankle, I will keep you up to date on my new diet and workout regimen coming up next.

Stay Tuned

A HEARTBREAK TO END THE SEASON, BUT ALWAYS A HEARTWARMING EXPERIENCE

How do you prepare for a one day qualifier for the right to play in the USGA Four ball championship knowing that about 60 teams will compete for only 2 spots. On Wednesday my partner (Jason Anthony) and I went to battle the elements and tough conditions at Poppy Hills after a huge rain storm just dumped a couple inches of rain on the course.

We both are nursing serious injuries, mine is only a bad left ankle that requires surgery on Dec 11th and a wrenched back as a result of how I need to swing a golf club without going to my left side. Jason has a severely messed up wrist, two bad knee’s and my god he’s only 36.

Nobody wants to read about two guys with injuries, especially when on Thursday they will receive NCGA Player of the Year, and NCGA Senior Player of the year. So I won’t mention the aches and pains anymore. But what I will attempt to describe is two guys on a mission, trying to fabricate whatever game we could muster up.

In the tougher conditions, you never know what kind of score will punch their ticket into the main event, and with this being the 6th USGA Four Ball Qualifier, and our worst finish being 2nd runner-up, we feel like we belong. After a great start with a birdie on the first hole at Poppy, a 540 yard par five, where Jason made a very nice 10 foot putt for birdie. We then rolled off 6 pars in a row, and badly needing a spark. On the tough downhill 8th hole, I was able to finally time my arm swing and properly hit a 7 iron to 6 feet from the hole. With eyes shut as I took the putter back, I was thrilled when I didn’t feel a jolting flinch at impact, and knew that it had a chance. In it went to move us to -2 thru 8 holes, and probably off the pace we needed.

Poppy Hills 9th hole is a very reachable uphill 520 yard par 5, with the pin in the very back, it was not a certain birdie hole. After we both hit good drives, Jason hit a decent rescue onto the very front of the green leaving himself a 120 foot putt up the hill. I hit my 17 degree fairway medal hooking left and into the greenside bunker with about a 40 yard shot that I needed to carry about 20 yards. My bunker play is not my forte, however on this occasion I hit an acceptable shot to about 20 feet. Jason was unable to hit his uphill putt hard enough and it ended up about 18 feet short, leaving a low probability of making what was left. I again stood over my putt, not knowing if I was going to go EYES OPEN OR EYES CLOSED, and at the last moment as the putter was going back I closed my eyes and made decent contact with the putt. I opened my eyes and saw the ball rolling on a decent line and then disappear into the cup. Now at -3 through 9 holes we were back within striking distance of a score we thought might sneak in.

Back on the old #1 hole at Poppy and now the very tough 10th hole we again both hit good drives and followed it up with decent iron shots. I went first from 30 feet and with eyes open this time gave my putt a serious GACK, whatever that is. I got it to 3 feet however giving Jason a good run at his. We picked a good line and Jason knocked his birdie putt right in the middle to give us three birdies in a row, and not at -4 through 10 holes an even better chance. Onto the 11th hole, par three playing 175 over the left bunker, Jason hit a nice shot to 15 feet right of the pin, and I decided to go flag hunting. That didn’t work out to well as a I had my 7 iron hooded and hooked it way left of the green, leaving Jason all alone to lag his birdie putt down the hill for a par.

The tough 12th hole was playing into the wind, and after 2 great tee shots, again I went left of the green, leaving Jason with a decision to go straight at the pin or head safely left of it. He went straight at it, and uncharacteristically the shot pulled back 5 feet leaving Jason a 15 foot uphill birdie putt. We misread that one, and went to the par 5 13th hole needing a birdie. There we both had long birdie putts, mine was yipped again, leaving Jason with an uphill 20 footer that he buried in the center of the cup, getting us to -5 with 5 holes to play.

The tee was back on #14 making it about 440 into the wind. We both hit our drives down the right side, mine leaving me 225 into the breeze which I then deposited into the right bunker. Jason hit a brilliant shot into the wind about 20 feet left of the hole pin high. Here was one of those putts that you’ll never forget, basically a straight putt, rolling perfect into the hole with just inches left, hit something to make it start to roll funny, and then still going into the left center of the cup hit something again and decided to graze the left center of the cup and not go in. All 5 of us (including our playing partners and my caddie) stood there for a few seconds with our mouths open. I said I’ve seen thousands of putts in my life that I thoughts were going in, BUT NEVER ONE LIKE THIS.

On we went to make 3 more pars, just missing birdie on 17, we were desperate for something big to happen on the 18th hole, a downwind reachable par 5. After two good drives, we both knocked our shots on the green, but again this was a different Poppy Hills with the rain, the balls were hitting and stopping. Jason had a 90 foot eagle putt, and I had an 80 footer. Jason went first and knocked his putt 18 feet past the hole, so now the pressure was on me to convert at least a close putt to ensure a birdie for the team and get us to -6 on the day. I had to keep writing about gacked putts, but this was the worst one of the day, from 80 feet, I left my eagle putt 20 feet short. I was embarrassed and in disbelief that I could hit a putt so poorly. My birdie attempt was better and to further torture me, it grazed the low side of the cup. I was SICK thinking we came all this way, just to miss on the last hole like we have done on three other occasions in this qualifier.

But the true champion that Jason Anthony is, he pored his uphill 18 footer in the hole, gave a fist pump and gave us life to see if -6 would get us again into this amazing event. When we reached the scoreboard we noticed a number of 66’s and one 64, leaving us in second for the time being.

We went up stairs sat down and had some lunch, watched the scores online, and when finished we went down to wait for the last group to come in. We heard a scream of joy coming from the 18th hole and I just figured someone made an eagle to shoot 2 or 3 under par. Boy was I ever wrong. The final group, two lads from Utah that I was not familiar with, finished birdie, birdie, par, eagle to shoot 63 and drop us to first alternate.

Jason and I are so numb to these occurrences having finished 2nd 3 of the past 4 years in the NCGA Four ball at Spyglass where each time we thought we had finally won the event, only to have some team ham and egg a -6 on the back nine at Spyglass. So we are used to this happening, and in golf it happens more and more with how deep the talent pool is. It’s just life, and we’ll wait for many months sitting on the first alternate spot with very little chance of getting into this amazing event. In a few days I will be 61, and at 61 you have limited opportunities in these types of situations. But in the end, going to battle with Jason with not our best bodies, we still are quite proud of how we played, and certainly Jason with a 68 on his own ball is my hero, and my most favorite partner I’ve ever had a privilege to play with. My other past partners are also some of the best amateurs in the world, with names like Chip Lutz, Darryl Donovan, Bob Blomberg, Gary Vanier, Aly Trompais and many others that made playing in better ball events a real treat for me.

Now its off to surgery on Wednesday, I have never been put under, so I am already having major trepidation and some anxiety. Hopefully I will wake to a fixed ankle and a chance to continue doing what I love most, playing the game that has given me so many opportunities to meet the greatest people on the planet. Sorry about the typos and grammatical errors, as I needed to just rip through this:)

I will write after surgery, and meanwhile I wish everyone the most merriest holiday season ever, god bless, and stay tuned.

Jason Anthony NCGA PLAYER OF THE YEAR and Randy Haag NCGA SENIOR PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Acceptance speech, important for everyone to support Youth of Course and the First Tee

LONG JOURNEY OF THREE WEEKS OF GOLF FROM LA to San Luis Obispo ending in Costa Rica

I am writing this post while on a 7 hour flight back from Costa Rica. How was the experience? It was long and grueling, playing 5 completely different courses with different grasses and conditions.

I had written a long draft post about the California State Senior at Wilshire CC, but decided not to post it. I have the utmost respect for the SCGA, and I will never write anything that undermines what they do for the game of amateur golf. The challenge that the SCGA faces is getting top venues to host their events. Wilshire is considered by many to be a very good test of the game. However for me, it was a miserable place to play golf. The greens had been punched two weeks prior and did not come back very well. They were fast, but not true. The course is short, so its defense is undulating fast greens, and multiple fairway bunkers on most every hole. I guess the course did not suit me well.

Nobody likes to hear excuses of why someone didn’t play well, and when someone asks “what did you shoot” the fact is 75% really don’t care and the other 20% wish you’d shot higher, leaving perhaps 5% that do care. You are playing against the best senior amateurs in the State and they all have EGO, and want to stack up well against their peers.

I had absolutely no game at Wilshire, and missed the cut with rounds of 75-80 after being runner-up 3 of the past 5 years. I did nothing well, and was happy to not have to play the course again a third day. I did not hear one player say anything good about their experience at Wilshire. And the truth is they didn’t even treat us very well there. I have to laugh, they wouldn’t let you take a cart to the driving range which was about 400 yards away. With my bad ankle that extra walking was not welcomed. At the player meals you had to give them your name before they would issue you a plate. My god really?

The crazy thing about that was all the wasted food that was brought out when I was the last person eating after the last tee time on Tuesday. They completely restocked the whole Buffett when nobody was left to eat. Maybe I am just a bitter poor sport, that hates to lose, and playing shitty on a short course that should be taken down, is just not acceptable regardless of the conditions, everyone has to play it, and I did not do a very good job mentally of grinding it out like the other top players did. Totally my bad!!

But when the winning score is +2 over par ( a hearty Congrats to Hall of Famer Casey Boyns) then something is wrong, as opposed to an under par total at The Preserve which technically is WAY more difficult than Wilshire. The players I spoke to ALL said they couldn’t understand how the course could be in such poor shape for a major championship. Obviously the club didn’t care as they punched the greens two weeks prior to the event, but in the end, they did give us access to their course when the majority of the top courses in So. Cal do not, so for that, THANK YOU Wilshire CC.

I’m sure that someone perhaps from the SCGA will read this and take offense, but if you read what I have written very carefully, everything is exactly the way it is, nothing is exaggerated at all.

The good news is I got to leave after two excruciating rounds, and head to San Luis Obispo to a course that was in amazing shape with greens running close to 15. Mike Rowley knows how to run a first class event, and he’s been doing it for over 20 years. He attracts players like Fred Couples, John Daly, Loren Roberts, Kenny Perry, Bob Ford and many other tour winners like major winner Larry Mize . Its a two day pro/scratch that has everything you could ever want in an event. I’ve know Mike for over 20 years now, he’s a class act, runs a great company, and really cares about the game of golf.

His global company Straight Down, is now launching a new line of very cool golf shoes. With my $150 gift certificate I got a pair and wore them in Costa Rica. I must say I love em, and would highly recommend you try a pair!

My partner in the event is one of the most liked guys I’ve ever known. Now almost 5 Years as Director of Golf at the Olympic Club, Will Hutter has made a significant contribution to our club. Getting to play and hang with him for the weekend was awesome. We battled hard, but suffered my first career team triple bogey on the tough downhill par three 14th hole. I will spare you the details. I hope to play in this event as long as Mike and Will will have me. At Mike’s house on Saturday night for a small dinner gathering, I was able to corner Loren Roberts and ask him about what makes him putt so great. To be honest I cannot remember exactly what he said, other than match you speed with a line that you feel is best for that putt, that’s all you can control.

Off to Costa Rica on a red eye after driving back home Sunday night to do laundry, repack and head to the airport. What the hell was I thinking with an injured ankle that requires surgery on Dec 18th to now fly to Costa Rica for another 6 rounds of golf. 

I’m thinking when you’re 60, you start thinking about how many more years will I be able to keep doing this, as opposed to being 25 and thinking you’ll live forever and time is on your side. Since the event was a WAGR points event, I wanted to play to see if I could make up for my missed cut on the State Senior that will ultimately hurt my world ranking (currently 7th in the WAGR for 55+) 

The bottom line in Costa Rica was I went from greens running 15 to 5. The grass and green speeds in Costa Rica are the slowest I have ever experienced anywhere in the world. Honestly when you have the YIPS, and you need to put a hit on a putt, you are going to struggle mightily and I did. In round one, I hit so many quality shot, only to three putt and walk off with yet another bogey. The first course we played was Costa Rica CC, its nine holes you play twice from different tees, and one different green. The first hole is a par three up a steep hill plays 140 and 160. In both rounds I hit really good shots within 20 feet and walked off with a bogey and a four putt double bogey 5. 

I shot a cool 80 on a 6,000 yard course. I played better the next day at a longer course to move up a bit. Heading into the final round I knew that I actually would hurt my WAGR ranking if I did not finish 3rd or better. I entered the final round tied for 5th after rounds of 80-74. The last course also located in San Jose Costa Rica was the best of the three courses. It was called Cariari Country Club a 6500 yard course that played more like 7200 yards, very tight and tough. I was too far behind to win the event, but knew that 3rd was possible. I got off to a good start, then bleed out a few bogeys.

Coming to the last hole I knew I was in the hunt for 3rd, and with a made 4 foot slider for par on the 18th hole, I accomplished my goal of 3rd, with the champion at age 15 and second place finisher all of 18. I was low senior, but most importantly I notched a few WAGR points to hopefully maintain my 7th position, as now the top 15 senior amateurs in the world are exempt into the USGA Senior Amateur.

San Jose Costa Rica is not a place you want to visit. It felt dangerous, the traffic was horrific, and its not beautiful like the Costa Rica coastline. If this event in the future would be at a Seaside venue I would return, but I have seen San Jose for the last time other than driving out of it from the airport.

Back home tonight so I can share with you my scathing letter I am sending to the Board at Helius Medical. I have never seen a company make so many mistakes. In my next Post I will give you a longer apology for those of you that took my suggestion and bought shares of this company. But remember the device does work, and they will one day have a major uptick I believe.

STAY TUNED