GOLF & COVID 19

As this pandemic continues to rage on with no clear end in site, one of the few bright spots has been GOLF.

Golf can be safely played with all the protective guidelines for social distancing while being outside in the clean air. However the air here in California is not so clean, we’ve been hit with another round of devastating wild fires burning uncontrollably.

The world we live in has dramatically changed, mainly for the worse. We have serious social, economic and political issues with vast differences of opinion and policy. This is not a political forum, and I will keep my personal views private. But I think we all can agree that we miss our old way of doing things with the freedom to move about without the worry of contracting this deadly disease.

Golf has been the one solace that many of have found during this pandemic, besides all the series on Netflix that I thought I would never have time for (my Favs are Breaking Bad, Billions, Ozark, Longmire and a few others).

With golf we’ve seen record numbers of players coming out to enjoy one of the few sports that should keep you safe, or at least very low risk of contracting this virus. Last Saturday the Olympic Club had its single biggest days for rounds played with over 500+ rounds.

When I go to practice at Tilden Park which is atop the Berkeley Hills, I find the three tiered driving rank packed with golfers of all ability, and people teeing off as late as 6pm to get in a few holes (yes they do pay a fee to play that late).

Golf has kept many of us somewhat sane during this difficult time of uncertainty and caution. We must use this down time to reflect on the lives we’ve had, and the life we now have and how to safely and cautiously move forward knowing that everything is on the table.

If anyone would listen to me about golf preparation I would tell then to use this down times to better oneself in all the ways possible. It’s not easy to change routine, especially when the routine is not the healthiest. But for me I got to the point where I could not lay on the couch anymore eating pie and ice cream depressed about the world.

Golf tournaments are back, and I have made a commitment to be the best I can be. Its not easy when your appetite is used to sugar, fat and bad carbs. So I ordered an expensive Peloton bike (arrives Oct 15th) and I am now on a GOLO diet eating healthy bowls and drinking 3 times the amount of water as before.

I did cheat yesterday after a -1 70 at the Olympic Club Lake from the back tees, I then had 1 glass of Cab at the club, at Vals I had three pieces of bread, the fish and veggies. I followed that up with my first movie in 7 months at Daly City Century 20 in the good recliner seats with my buddy. We ate popcorn, red vines and some chocolate candy.

Today of course I am disgusted with myself, and will start this new diet all over again. The diet though is the best I have ever tried because is combines all the healthy food groups into a bowl like meal, that keep me very full and satisfied. Combined with 3X more water than normal I stay quite full and happy.

I am also a big believer in the 6 hour window of eating, so my meals occur between noon and 6pm and then I shut it down. Lost 6 pounds so far in a week, and will continue to roll on my exercise ball, do my free weights and wait for my bike to show up.

To compete at your highest level in golf you need an edge, you need to mentally have something that you can draw upon that makes you stronger mentally and physically than the competition. You’ve seen Bryson do it with his program, which I think has given him as much a mental boost as a physical one.

Don’t be afraid to do something radical with your behavior patterns, those that can and will, are usually the winners. Take advantage of these tough times to better yourself and give yourself the mental boost to compete at the level you aspire to compete at.

I could give you chipping technique tips, or tell you to keep your weight on the right when trying to hit your driver further, but in the end the changes that will help most are the ones that will give you a mental edge and keep your focus and confidence at a high level.

And if you find you crash late in your rounds of golf, the #1 reason is usually you have become dehydrated and/or low blood sugar has hit you. YOU MUST stay hydrated throughout the round, otherwise you’re toast.

STAY TUNES FOR – More on the upcoming major events and what I’m doing to prepare

4 Comments on “GOLF & COVID 19

  1. Hi Randy,

    I really enjoy your articles. I have been on your email list for a few years now.

    I am a tournament player in Sacramento, I don’t play or practice as much as I would like to as I have a full time demanding career as a civil engineer, a wife and 2 small children.

    I am a good player, about a 4.6 handicap. My weakness is that I consistently shoot higher scores in tournament play than I do in casual rounds. This sounds like a problem a lot of people face, but for me I feel like it’s more pronounced. I am aware of the mental differences and pressure I tend to put on myself and I have been using breathing techniques and other course management tools to improve under pressure. This has helped my short game immensely, but it is not enough it seems.

    I just shot -1, 71 at Darkhorse last weekend during a casual round, but my last tournament round at empire ranch (a much easier course and I am very comfortable there), I shot 81. This is typical for me, unfortunately.

    Any pointers on improving the mentality during tournament play? I feel like I am capable of a lot more than I produce when under pressure.

    I am going to be playing in the NCGA NET AM coming up at Poppy Hills. I really don’t want to waste this chance after qualifying.

    Thanks,
    Dane Coyle

    Sent from my iPhone

    • Dane, thanks for reading my golf blog, greatly appreciated!
      The biggest reason players can play great in casual rounds, and then struggle in tournaments is because when they are playing casual rounds your subconscious knows that the shots, putts and chips are meaningless, creating no stress or elevated heart rate. So the answer is do not play casual golf, I never do. When I play golf its always for something on the line, like with my buddy we play $200 three ways, so there is always pressure on me. If I go out with no pressure and play, it does not help me in my tournament golf. When I play in a tournament it is more pressure than the money games, but still I am way more calm and at ease than if I went from casual rounds into a tournament. Does that make sense?
      Just like my instructors have always said you need to emulate the pressure to get used to how your body reacts with the adrenaline pumping especially.
      Give it a try and let me know how you progress

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