Monthly Archives

February 2014

Why I Play Golf

By | goals, life, motivation | One Comment
Julie Inkster

When posing for the picture, Julie picked up the trophy and threw it at me and said, “Here, practice winning!”

Last fall, Julie Inkster spoke at the Schooner Classic in Norman, Oklahoma. While this was an over-the-top, amazing event for a myriad of reasons, hearing a role model of mine speak, then talking with her and getting a quick picture, was icing on the cake.

Julie Inkster is so inspiring to me because of everything she fits into her life. She is a mother, a wife, and a world-class golfer with effortless congeniality and poise. Needless to say, I was pretty excited to hear her speak. However, what she said only made me admire her more; “Golf is what I do; Golf is not who I am. Golf should never define you.”

What a powerful statement that truly is when you take a moment to consider it. “Golf is what I do; Golf is not who I am.” Sometimes it is hard to remember that golf is not a part of and should not be a part of your personal definition of self. I cannot count the number of times I have been introduced to my parents’ friends and co-workers and the first thing they respond with is, “Oh, you’re the one who plays golf?” Or how many times a professor or peer on campus only remembers me as “the golfer.” Now while I spend a copious amount of my time playing golf, it can be easy to start to define myself with it. What an unhappy mistake that can be. Last spring I found myself walking off the course after multiple bad rounds of qualifying, miserable and lost. I felt like my life was sideways and I was so unhappy with everything in my life, because of how I was playing. With the help of my amazing family, boyfriend and swing coach, I was able to realize my mistakes.

One night after crying because I had played badly, my boyfriend, Tyler, looked at me and asked me a tide-changing question, “If golf makes you so upset, then why don’t quit, Alex? I know deep-down you love it, but you aren’t acting like it. Stop letting a few bad days take away something you love.” What a revelation from my non-golf playing boyfriend. I was holding on to the results of my rounds like they defined me and I was using that lens to view the rest of my life through.

All these moments made me own and live an important truth; I am more than just a golfer. I have a wonderful family, a boyfriend who loves me- no matter what score I shoot, the best teammates and great friends. I love to spend time with all of them, I love to give back to my community and I love to learn. I play golf because I love it. Practice is where I find my quiet peace and where I do all my best thinking. Everything makes more sense when I can relax, think and hit some golf balls on the range. I play golf because it is fun and I hope that I never lose sight of that again.

Find Your “GRAB POINT”

By | Grip Pressure, Nick Panebianco, Technique Tip | No Comments

Written by Nick Panebianco, Assistant GM and Assistant Pro at Westchase Golf Club

Grip pressure is one of the most overlooked fundamentals in golf.  Most amateurs just “grip it and rip it” without knowing that improper grip pressure can wreck a golf swing.  What amateurs need to do is find their “grab point.” This means simply identifying where in the swing do you increase your grip pressure.

The area where this is most critical is in the change of direction from back-swing to downswing.  The pros let the arms drop into the downswing with no increase in grip pressure.  Amateurs lock down on the club with their hands and pull the club down triggering their “grab point.”  At this point the increase in grip pressure causes two things to happen.  First, the club jumps off plane and over the top causing a pull or a pull-slice.  Second, the increase in grip pressure inhibits the wrists from an unrestricted release of the club-head through impact.  The result is a shot hit off line with no power.

The next time your on the practice tee try this; take practice swings paying very close attention to your grip pressure.  On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being a death grip and 1 being too loose, hold the club at a 4 or 5 grip pressure.  Make practice swings, without a ball, maintaining that grip pressure.  While doing this try to use your hips for power as you unwind in the downswing instead of “pulling down” with your arms to strike the ball.  You will find that to maintain your grip pressure you will have to get power from the lower body instead of the hands, arms, and shoulders.  Whenever Alex starts loosing that “effortless feeling” I encourage her to identify her grab point and turn her hips through the shot.  If you watch her swing she does this very well.  Good luck and swing easy!    Alex Milan 4