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Opinion & Analysis

When golfers create their own reality

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“Great players always deflect it away,” Tom Weiskopf said during the 2015 U.S. Open broadcast.

His quote explains how many professional golfers deal with the difficult realities they face as a part of their job… without going crazy. Everyone wonders what goes on in the mind of the best players as they react to shots and rounds that contain both good and bad results. As a former tour pro, and now a golf instructor, I wanted to share my insights on the topic.

Here are some things great players think and some of the things I coach my students.

It is never their fault

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This is a common reaction of a many tour players (and many poor players, too). You’ll see a golfer miss a putt and immediately fix an old ball mark or tap down a spike mark that was supposedly in their line. Sometimes it is legit. Players see their ball do something they did not expect and blame a hidden imperfection on their green for the outcome. It allows golfers to tell themselves that they made the perfect stroke, and only missed the putt because of something outside their control. They can move on with their round without harming their confidence.

The flip side of the coin is when outside influences, such as the spotty greens at the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, expose the mental insecurities of the player. You saw it with Billy Horschel and his putting. Never known as a really good putter, the green irregularities exposed that mental side of his game that needs everything to be perfect in order for it to succeed both inwardly and outwardly. When it is not perfect, it can lead to some quirky and unprofessional behavior.

Do I recommend this process? No, but I don’t want my golfers thinking about their stroke mechanics in a tournament, either.

Retroactive “wins”

A tour player came to work with me after spending the past two years with different coaches. He was hitting it awful and putting terrible for him. He was exempt on the PGA Tour Latin America circuit, and results from several years ago show he can go super low. We spent a half day together and improved his ball striking, showing him the practice path he needed to dial in his swing in for the long haul, and then tightened up his short game and got the putter hot again.

In his first tournament since we did all that work, his stats were solid with only two missed greens and one missed fairway. So we created our own “reality show” out of the ball striking. Where would he have finished if he had hit the ball that well at a recent PGA Tour LA event?

“I win by eight!” he said immediately.

I agreed, and told him that what we do is we count that as a “retroactive win.” It does not show up in his bio or his bank account as a win, but in his mind he knows that if he hits it like that he wins by a lot. I asked the same question of another tournament he recently played in, and he said if he hit the ball the same way he did in our practice session he would have won that one also. In his mind, he now has two wins. That gives him a jolt of confidence in his game that tells him he can win with what we are working on.

Fixing the bad shots and bad breaks

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This is the one that my dad struggled with the most to understand. It happens most to elite players, and it is called the “if scenario.” In a tournament practice rounds and casual rounds with him, I would finish and do a review of how I played. It would go something like this:

Dad: “Nice round, son. Your 68 was pretty solid today.”

Me: “Thanks, but if I don’t catch that bad lie on No. 4 and make bogey, and then get that one up and down on the par-5… and make those two 10-foot putts coming in then it is 64!”

Dad: “If ifs and buts were candy and nuts we would all have a Merry Christmas. If, if if.”

Yes, if! Dad didn’t understand that a golfer’s analysis is unreal to the point of creating a separate reality — we were just blink of an eye from three, four, or five shots better. We think we will get all of our shots to go our way, and sometimes they do. And if you only look at the dark side of the game, it will drive you crazy.

Try to look at your bad rounds through a different lens, and expect that things will go your way more often than not. At the very least, believe that the bad breaks will be evened out with good breaks… eventually. You’ll find yourself thinking positively more often, and for that reason you’ll shoot lower scores.

Par is not always par

Here is an example from junior golf. I coach two 9-year-old golfers who are fantastic players. In a recent tournament, both struggled to break 50 for nine holes. Why? Because that tournament setup the course WAY TOO LONG! The juniors could not reach any of the holes in regulation. None of them! So when we discussed the event, we created our own effective par, since the scorecard par of 36 was invalid. What we arrived at was that even par for them was 49. With the new par, both players shot either even par or a couple over. That is much more like how they normally play.

As you look at your course and the tee markers you prefer to play, check and see if you are playing a couple of holes that might make more sense at a different par. Then create your own realistic par and play to that score. You might just find yourself playing those holes better when you remove the stress of trying to make a normal par on a hole that’s too long or especially difficult for you.

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If you are an avid Golf Channel viewer you are familiar with Rob Strano the Director of Instruction for the Strano Golf Academy at Kelly Plantation Golf Club in Destin, FL. He has appeared in popular segments on Morning Drive and School of Golf and is known in studio as the “Pop Culture” coach for his fun and entertaining Golf Channel segments using things like movie scenes*, song lyrics* and familiar catch phrases to teach players. His Golf Channel Academy series "Where in the World is Rob?" showed him giving great tips from such historic landmarks as the Eiffel Tower, on a Gondola in Venice, Tuscany Winery, the Roman Colissum and several other European locations. Rob played professionally for 15 years, competing on the PGA, Nike/Buy.com/Nationwide and NGA/Hooters Tours. Shortly after embarking on a teaching career, he became a Lead Instructor with the golf schools at Pine Needles Resort in Pinehurst, NC, opening the Strano Golf Academy in 2003. A native of St. Louis, MO, Rob is a four time honorable mention U.S. Kids Golf Top 50 Youth Golf Instructor and has enjoyed great success with junior golfers, as more than 40 of his students have gone on to compete on the collegiate level at such established programs as Florida State, Florida and Southern Mississippi. During the 2017 season Coach Strano had a player win the DII National Championship and the prestigious Nicklaus Award. He has also taught a Super Bowl and Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, a two-time NCAA men’s basketball national championship coach, and several PGA Tour and LPGA Tour players. His PGA Tour players have led such statistical categories as Driving Accuracy, Total Driving and 3-Putt Avoidance, just to name a few. In 2003 Rob developed a nationwide outreach program for Deaf children teaching them how to play golf in sign language. As the Director of the United States Deaf Golf Camps, Rob travels the country conducting instruction clinics for the Deaf at various PGA and LPGA Tour events. Rob is also a Level 2 certified AimPoint Express Level 2 green reading instructor and a member of the FlightScope Advisory Board, and is the developer of the Fuzion Dyn-A-line putting training aid. * Golf Channel segments have included: Caddyshack Top Gun Final Countdown Gangnam Style The Carlton Playing Quarters Pump You Up

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. mc3jack

    Feb 11, 2016 at 3:00 am

    Golfers are delusional. Humans are delusional. All the time. When we’re ‘picturing’ that 30 foot downhill, sidehill breaker rolling in the hole, we’re being delusional. It’s 25 to 1 shot, or worse. That’s reality.

    Many, many golfers show up at the course delusional. They’re dreaming that ‘today is the day’ they’ll finally play at the level of their delusions…and then reality crushes their delusion and they make themselves mad or sad. It’s dumb. But it’s very human.

    Here’s one of my favorite delusions: I’m the World’s Greatest Bogey Golfer. Yes, people line the fairways to watch my exhibitions of flawless bogey golf. I make it look so easy! Know what? WugBug (WGBG) as my legion of fans call me, makes tour-level number of bogey-birdies, and almost never makes a bogey-bogey. He pours on the Tour Sauce thick and rich, and by the end of the day his scorecard isn’t anywhere near 18 over.

  2. Dennis Clark

    Feb 10, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    i read all your posts on my articles M…

  3. Bob Jones

    Feb 10, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    I’m a good enough golfer to save my score after a bad shot, and a bad enough golfer to hit bad shots I can’t recover from. I hit good shots that have fabulous outcomes by sheer luck. I hit great shots that don’t turn out well because of bad bounces and the like. At the end of the round, I always get the score I deserved for that day. I have no need to fool myself and live in a false reality. That some touring pros that need to lie to themselves on the course makes me wonder how much that carries over into their personal life.

  4. Obee

    Feb 10, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Great article. Thank you. As an aging (I’m 48), competitive amateur, anything I can learn about the mental side of the game is helpful. And you’re certainly right about top players “creating their own realities.” I’ve seen it time and time again over the years with top ams — their mental processes are just a bit different than others’….

  5. Brian

    Feb 10, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Par is never setup for 1 putting. Hence why a par 3 allows for two putts. Par 4s allow for 2 putts. Par 5s allow for 2 putts. What in the world do you mean?

  6. steve

    Feb 10, 2016 at 8:32 am

    I don’t think they create their own reality. Its a impulse to blame something outside their control at the moment, but in “reality” they know they made a bad read or bad putt. This way of thinking is in all parts of life from sports to business, its never their fault. If you never take ownership of it, you never will learn and grow from it

  7. 2Short

    Feb 10, 2016 at 4:42 am

    Your reality is exactly what you think it is.

  8. Dave

    Feb 9, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    I understand what your getting at with this article but this is the same logic that 2 handicaps use to brainwash themselves into thinking they can play on tour.

    There’s a lot of guys spending 20-30 grand per year playing mini tours and q schools with no hope in hell.

  9. Cez

    Feb 9, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    Eldrick most certainly created his own reality by ramming ho’s and then ramming his truck into the hydrant and thinking he can appear sorry for doing it all by making a grandiose speech to boast about it on TV.

  10. Rob Strano

    Feb 9, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    If this comment is directed at the last point of the article I suggest you reread it. The par 5’s were so long these kids could not reach the green with 4 of their best shots back-to-back. So they would hit the green with their 5th or 6th shot and one or two putt. Par was an unattainable number. Kind of like at Torrey Pines last weekend.

    • steve

      Feb 10, 2016 at 8:51 am

      who cares what par is? your in a tournament what place you end up in matters. you created a fake reality for the kids, that was a mistake. if you shoot 10 over and win, are you upset because you shoot 10 over on a tough long course. I would have compared their games to where they placed in the tournament, that is what matters nothing else. did you give them a participation trophy?

      • Scott

        Feb 11, 2016 at 10:49 am

        Golf is a game of you against the course. All else being equal, when the bounces go your way you can win, and when they don’t you lose. When courses are set up unfairly for the players playing, that is a different story. I help my wife set realistic goal on the course also. Most courses have holes that she can not reach in regulation. She is not fixated on score, but it does make her feel better to “par” a par 4 with a 5.

        • steve

          Feb 11, 2016 at 2:17 pm

          I understand what you are saying. But playing in a tournament is different. You compare yourself to the field, not the scorecard. It is hard for me to think of a course being setup unfair if everyone is playing the same course. Will there be bad breaks, like when it is windy and raining in the morning and calm and sunny in the afternoon, yes. But that is not course setup. I rather win ugly then lose pretty. Why would he tell kids to change par and give them a “fake reality”. Why not just look at tournament average score and compare to that?

  11. Dev

    Feb 9, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    This was seriously one of the best articles I have read on the mental game of serious golf in a long time. It goes well with some tips I read last week about choosing what time of day you are going to have.

    I am not a great golfer by any means but things like this can always be helpful to lower scores. I made a decision this year that I want to get good. Most likely not tour good but get down to shooting par or better. Even though deep down I know what I should be thinking its always good to have someone else remind you.

    Thanks for a great read.

    • Rob Strano

      Feb 9, 2016 at 7:56 pm

      Dev, thanks for your note and comments. Appreciate your decision to want to get good at the game and seeking the information to do it! The mental game is important to improving and you read the article and grasped my points. Many others will read it and still not get it and that puts you ahead of the game. Have a great 2016 working on getting better every day.

  12. Dennis Clark

    Feb 9, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    It’s always a fine line between positive thinking and denial. And we all walk it. Good job, Rob.

    • Rob Strano

      Feb 9, 2016 at 7:52 pm

      Thanks Dennis…You are right, it is a fine line, and those of us who have played the game and posted scores in big tournaments understand where that line is and how to deal with it and improve off of it.

    • Rob Strano

      Feb 9, 2016 at 8:08 pm

      Dennis, thanks for the note and the supportive comment. You are right it is a fine line. Those of us that have played and posted scores in big tournaments or coach players that do that easily understand the points of the article and how to walk that line and use it to motivate/improve. Hopefully this will help outsiders get the same insights we know to be true.

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Opinion & Analysis

Could Dollar Driver Club change the way we think about owning equipment?

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There’s something about golfers that draws the attention of, for lack of a better word, snake-oil salesmen. Whether it’s an as-seen-on-TV ad for a driver that promises pure distance and also fixes your power slice, or the subscription boxes that supposedly send hundreds of dollars worth of apparel for a fraction of the price, there always seems to be something out there that looks too good to be true.

Discerning golfers, who I would argue are more cynical than anything, understand that you get what you pay for. To get the newest driver that also works for your game, it may take a $150 club fitting, then a $400 head, and a shaft that can run anywhere from $100 up to $300-$400. After the fitting and buying process, you’ve made close to a thousand dollar investment in one golf club, and unless you’re playing money games with friends who have some deep pockets, it’s tough to say what the return on that investment actually is. When it’s all said and done, you have less than a year before that driver is considered old news by the standard of most manufacturers’ release schedules.

What makes a driver ‘good’ to most amateur golfers who take their game seriously is a cross section of performance, price, and hubris. As for that last metric, I think most people would be lying if they say it doesn’t feel good having the latest and greatest club in the bag. Being the envy of your group is fun, even if it only lasts until you snap hook your first drive out of bounds.

As prices of general release equipment have increased to nearly double what it was retailing at only 10 years ago, the ability to play the newest equipment is starting to become out of the question for many amateur golfers.

Enter Tyler Mycoskie, an avid, single digit handicap golfer (and the brother of Tom’s shoes founder, Blake Mycoskie). Tyler’s experience with purchasing golf equipment and his understanding of uniquely successful business models collided, which led him to start the Dollar Driver Club. With a name and logo that is a tongue in cheek allusion to the company that has shaken up the men’s skincare industry, the company seeks to offer a new way of thinking about purchasing golf equipment without completely reinventing the wheel of the model that has seen success in industries such as car leasing and purchasing razors.

The company does exactly what its name says. They offer the newest, top of the line driver and shaft combinations for lease at a cost of about a dollar per day.

The economics of the model seem too good to be true. When you purchase a driver, you are charged $30 plus $11 for shipping and it’s $30 per month from then on. You can upgrade your driver at no extra cost each year and your driver is eligible for upgrade or swap after 90 days of being a member. After a year, the total cost comes to $371 with shipping, which sounds a lot nicer than the $500 that it would cost to purchase, as an example, a Titleist TS3 with a Project X Evenflow T1100 today.

The major complaint most people would have is that you still don’t own the driver after that year, but as someone with a closet full of old golf clubs that diminish in value every day, which I have no realistic plans to sell, that doesn’t sound like a problem to me or my wife, who asks me almost weekly when I plan on thinning out my collection.

The model sounds like an obvious win for customers to me, and quite frankly, if you’re skeptical, then it’s probably just simply not for you. I contacted the team at the Dollar Driver Club to get some questions answered. Primarily, I want to know, what’s the catch?

I spoke with a Kevin Kirakossian, a Division I golfer who graduated from the University of Texas-Pan American in 2013 and has spent virtually his entire young career working on the business side of golf, most recently with Nike Golf’s marketing team prior to joining Tyler at Dollar Driver Club. Here’s what he had to say about his company.

At risk to the detriment of our conversation, I have to find out first and foremost, what’s the catch?

K: There’s no catch. We’re all golfers and we want to offer a service that benefits all of our members. We got tired of the upfront cost of drivers. We’re trying to grow the game. Prior to us, there was no way to buy new golf clubs without paying full price. We take a lot of pride that players of all skill level, not just tour pros or people with the extra budget to drop that kind of money every year, can have access to the latest equipment.

With that question out of the way, I delved into the specifics of the brand and model, but I maintained a skeptical edge, keeping an ear out for anything that I could find that would seem too good to be true.

How closely do you keep an eye on manufacturers and their pricing? It would seem that your service is more enticing as prices increase in equipment.

K: The manufacturers are free to create their own pricing. We work closely with manufacturers and have a great relationship with them. As prices increase, it helps us, even if they decrease, I still think it’s a no-brainer to use our service, purely for the fact that new equipment comes out every year. You don’t have a high upfront cost. You’re not stuck with the same driver for a year. It gives you flexibility and freedom to play the newest driver. If a manufacturer wants to get into the same business, we have the advantage of offering all brands. We’re a premium subscription brand, so we’re willing to offer services that other retailers aren’t. We’ll do shaft swaps, we’ll send heads only, we have fast shipping and delivery times. We’re really a one-stop shop for all brands.

What measures do you take to offer the most up to date equipment?

K: We will always have the newest products on the actual launch date. We take pride in offering the equipment right away. A lot of times, our members will receive their clubs on release day. We order direct from the manufacturers and keep inventory. There’s no drop shipping. We prefer shipping ourselves and being able to add a personal package.

The service is uniquely personal. Their drivers come with a ball marker stamped with your initials as well as a stylish valuables pouch. They also provide a hand signed welcome letter and some stickers.

Who makes up the team at Dollar Driver Club?

K: We’re a small team. We started accepting members to our service in 2018 and it has grown exponentially. We have four or five guys here and it’s all hands on deck. We handle customer inquiries and sending drivers out. It’s a small business nature that we want to grow a lot bigger.

When discussing the company, you have to concede that the model doesn’t appeal to everyone, especially traditionalists. There are golfers who have absolutely no problem spending whatever retailers are charging for their newest wares. There are also golfers who have no problem playing equipment with grips that haven’t been changed in years, much less worrying about buying new equipment. I wanted to know exactly who they’re targeting.

Who is your target demographic?

K: We want all golfers. We want any golfer with any income, any skill level, to be able to play the newest equipment. We want to reshape the way people think about obtaining golf equipment. We’re starting with drivers, but we’re looking into expanding into putters, wedges, and other woods. We’ve heard manufacturers keep an eye on us. There are going to be people who just want to pay that upfront cost so they can own it, but those people may be looking at it on the surface and they don’t see the other benefits. We’re also a service that offers shaft swaps and easily send in your driver after 3 months if you don’t like it.

At this point, it didn’t seem like my quest to find any drawbacks to the service was going well. However, any good business identifies threats to their model and I was really only able to think of one. They do require a photo ID to start your account, but there’s no credit check required like you may see from other ‘buy now, pay later’ programs. That sounds ripe for schemers that we see all the time on websites like eBay and Craigslist.

When you’re sending out a $500 piece of equipment and only taking $41 up front, you’re assuming some risk. How much do you rely on the integrity of golfers who use your service to keep everything running smoothly?

K: We do rely on the integrity of the golf community. When we send out a driver, we believe it’s going into the hands of a golfer. By collecting the ID, we have measures on our end that we can use in the event that the driver goes missing or an account goes delinquent, but we’re always going to side with our members.

The conversation I had with Kevin really opened my eyes to the fact that Dollar Driver Club is exactly what the company says it is. They want to grow and become a staple means of obtaining golf equipment in the current and future market. Kevin was very transparent that the idea is simple, they’re just the ones actually executing it. He acknowledged the importance of social media and how they will harness the power of applications like Instagram to reach new audiences.

Kevin was also adamant that even if you prefer owning your own driver and don’t mind the upfront cost, the flexibility to customize your driver cheaply with a plethora of high-quality shafts is what really makes it worth trying out their service. If for whatever reason, you don’t like their service, you can cancel the subscription and return the driver after 90 days, which means that you can play the newest driver for three months at a cost of $90.

In my personal opinion, I think there’s a huge growth opportunity for a service like this. The idea of playing the newest equipment and being able to tinker with it pretty much at-will really speaks to me. If you’re willing to spend $15 a month on Netflix to re-watch The Office for the 12th time in a row or $35 a month for a Barkbox subscription for your dog, it may be worth doing something nice for your golf bag.

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Opinion & Analysis

A conversation with a Drive, Chip and Putt national finalist

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I’ve been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend all of the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals at Augusta National since the inception of this amazing initiative. I’ve also been extremely lucky to have attended the Masters each of the past 10 years that I have been a PGA member. Each year, I’m still like a kid on Christmas morning when I walk through the gates at Augusta National, but nothing compares to my first trip in 2010. I was in absolute awe. For anyone that’s been, you can surely agree that Augusta National and the Masters Tournament is pure perfection.

The past few years at DCP finals, I couldn’t help but notice the looks of sheer excitement on the faces of the young competitors as well as their parents. That led me to reaching out to one of this year’s competitors, Briel Royce. A Central Florida native, Briel finished second overall in the 7-8-year-old girls division. She is a young lady that I know, albeit, not all too well, that competes in some of my youth golf organization’s Tour series in Florida. I spoke to Briel’s mom at Augusta and then reached out to the family after their return to the Orlando area to get a better idea of their DCP and Augusta National experience…

So how cool was it driving Down Magnolia Lane?

Briel: “Driving down Magnolia Lane was awesome.  Usually, you do not get to experience the scenic ride unless you are a tour player or a member. Everyone got extremely quiet upon entry. There were tons of security along our slow ride. Seeing the beautiful trees and the Masters Flag at Founder’s Circle in the distance was surreal. Having earned the right and opportunity to drive down this prestigious lane was breathtaking. I would love to do it again someday.”

What was the coolest part of your time at Drive, Chip and Putt at Augusta National?

Briel: “Everything was cool about the DCP. Not too often do you see people taking walks in the morning with green jackets on. We were not treated like kids. We were treated like tour players, like we were members at Augusta. The icing on the cake was when they took us to the practice green and we were putting alongside Zach Johnson and Charl Schwartzel. Everyone was confused when we first got there because we weren’t certain we should be putting on the same green around the pros. Again, we were treated like we were tour players. Where else would I be able to do this? Nowhere other than DCP at Augusta. One of my favorite reflections is having Bubba Watson watch us chip and congratulating each of us for our efforts. He did not need to do that. He took time out of practicing for a very important week in his career to support the DCP players. I think his actions show what the game of golf is about: the sportsmanship, the camaraderie, and support.”

How did you prepare for the finals?

Briel: “I prepared just like I did for every other tournament, practicing distance control, etc. But to be honest, you really can’t practice for this experience. The greens are like no other. The balls roll like they are on conveyor belts. I didn’t practice being in front of so many cameras, Bubba Watson, Condeleeza Rice as well as many other folks wearing green jackets. You need to practice playing under extreme pressure and scrutiny. When it is game time, you need to just do your thing and concentrate; have tunnel vision just like the ride down Magnolia Lane.”

What tour pros did you get to meet and talk to?

Briel: “WOW! I spoke to so many tour pros while I was there. I spoke to Keegan Bradley, Annika Sorenstam, Nancy Lopez, Zach Johnson, Mark O’Meara, Gary Player and Patrick Reed. I also met up with the U.S. Woman’s Amateur Champion, Jennifer Kupcho, and 14-year-old baller Alexa Pano. I’m still in awe!”

 

How fast were those greens?

Briel: “Those greens were lightning quick. The balls rolled like they were on a conveyor belt; you didn’t know when to expect them to stop. Had I practiced these speeds a little more, I would have putted the 30-foot like a 15-foot and the 15-foot like a 6-foot putt.”

I also wanted to ask Briel’s parents a few questions in order to get a better idea from the standpoint of the mom and dad, on what an increasable experience this must have been.

So how cool was it driving up Magnolia Lane for you guys?

Mom and Dad: “Going down Magnolia Lane was a dream come true and we wouldn’t have EVER been able to do it without Briel’s accomplishment. Driving down was so peaceful; the way the trees are shaped like a tunnel and at the end of that tunnel, you see the Masters Flag and Founder’s Circle. Just thinking about all the legends, presidents, influential people driving down that road and we were doing the same thing was extraordinary. We appreciated how slow the driver took to get us down the lane for us to take it all in. A lot of tears. It was heavenly.”

What was the coolest part during your time at Drive, Chip and Putt and Augusta National?

Mom and Dad“The coolest part was seeing 9-year-old Briel compete at Augusta National! Seeing the whole set up and everything that goes into making this event what it is, we have no words. They made these kids feel like they were royalty. We are so truly blessed, thankful, and grateful for everything that was provided to Briel to make this a truly awesome experience. We don’t want to share too much as it needs to be a surprise to anyone else that’s reading this that may make it there.”

How impactful do you feel this initiative is to golf in general?

Mom and Dad: “You can’t possibly make any bigger impact on golf than to let golf’s future attend the best golf course and the coolest event, Drive, Chip and Putt at none other Augusta National during Masters week. The day after the event, we had a handful of people walk up to Briel to tell her that she was an inspiration to their older daughters who now want to play golf. They even requested a picture with Briel; how cool! This initiative is definately, without question, growing the game.”

It goes without saying that you were incredibly proud of your daughter but what may have surprised you most on how she handled this awesome experience?

Mom and Dad: “We are so incredibly proud of Briel! She handled this challenging and overwhelming experience very well for only being 9 years old. She was cool, calm and collected the whole time. The atmosphere at Drive, Chip and Putt can chew you up if you let it, but she didn’t let all of the distractions get to her, she embraced them.  Out of all the competitions she participated in to earn her invitation to Augusta, we truly feel she treated this whole experience like she was not at a competition but a birthday party where she was having a blast. She made many new golf friends and we met amazing golf families we anticipate spending more time with in the future. You don’t get to go to many parties where Bubba Watson is hanging out with you like he’s your best friend.”

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Podcasts

The 19th Hole (Ep 76): Rees Jones on how Tiger won at Augusta and will win at Bethpage!

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The Open Doctor Rees Jones talks with host Michael Williams about the key holes that shaped Tiger’s win in Augusta and his chances for victory at Bethpage Black in the PGA Championship. Also features John Farrell of Sea Pines Resort (host of this week’s RBC Heritage Classic) and Ed Brown of Clear Sports.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

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