Your high school golfer wants to play college golf, so now what?

Junior Golf, Trudeaugolf

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Your junior golfer plays great golf, but is it good enough to play in college?  This is a quick step by step guide to start thinking about the college golf recruiting process.

 

STEP 1- Choose Your Program

Research the different golf programs around the country to find a realistic fit.  See Resources (below) to find out the best resources for various team statistics.

STEP 2- Set Short Term and Long Term Goals

Determine future athletic and academic goals to be considered for your desired program. Make sure they are realistic and attainable.  Many college golf programs look for academically gifted students that would likely receive academic financial aid.

STEP 3- Build a Resume

It is never too early to start your collegiate golf resume and introduction letter.  The earlier you start, the easier it is to adjust.  As you continue to play in tournaments through High School continue updating your scoring average and your tournament scores.

STEP 4- Build a Competition Schedule

Playing local tournaments is a great start.  However, the National tournaments provide more exposure.  Each year there are prominent tournaments known for the college coach participation, make sure your junior registers for those tournaments.

STEP 5- Produce a Swing Video

  • Start with a 90 second introduction saying hello to your potential audience and introducing what the coach will be watching.  This is your first impression.  Dress appropriately, be sure to speak clearly and use a good microphone.
  • Shoot the golfer ‘down the line’ which means to the side of the golfer with the camera looking at the target.  Also shoot the golfer ‘face-on.’ Make sure you get the entire club and the golfer in the video.
  • Use a driver and mid-iron
  • Take a short video of the various short game shots.  (Chipping, pitching, sand play, and putting)
  • Finish the video with a brief conclusion.  Be sure to thank the coach for taking the time to watch your video.
  • Keep the video under 10 minutes
  • Try to film in calm conditions.  Wind makes audio very difficult.

STEP 6- Begin Communication with College Coaches

  • Choose your timing carefully.  (See Rules section for suggestions)
  • Follow up with an email and ask for a phone appointment
  • Send a follow up “Thank You” card
  • Continue the conversation
  • TIP- remember coaches are approached by many potential golfers, try not to be offended if he/she doesn’t respond quickly to your communication.

 

Resources for College Recruiting:

PING American College Golf Guide

  • The PING Guide contains vital information on golf programs at over 1,000 colleges and junior colleges, with answers to many of the questions facing college-bound students. Among the information listed in this online resource are the coaches’ names, addresses, phone numbers and tuition prices. There is a calendar and step-by-step procedure of what you should do from your freshman year through your senior year.  It also contains sample letters and recommendations on writing resumes. The Guide also gives complete scores of more than 92 college conference championships as well as scores of regional and national college golf championships.

NCAA Eligibility Center

  • At the beginning of his/her junior year, you should register with the NCAA Eligibility Center, which is a minimum requirement to participate in Division I and II athletics.
  • Contact his or her high school guidance counselor or
  • Call the NCAA at (319) 337-1492 or (877) 262-1492 or
  • Visit www.ncaa.org and http://www.eligibilitycenter.org for further information.
  • For questions or more information on NCAA Rules and Recruiting Information, please call (317) 917-6222.

Access to GOLFSTAT

  • For junior golfers interested in playing at the collegiate level, GOLFSTAT’s Prep Report is the most valuable resource currently available. This report provides each university’s rating by division; tournaments and rounds played; representation in Regionals and/or Nationals by individual or team; rounds played, scoring average, year in school for the roster and five most utilized players. GOLFSTAT is a great tool to use in determining which school is the best fit for every player.

My Favorite Website for tips through the process:

 

Rules of Recruiting (Borrowed from the AJGA website)

The following tips about the Division I recruiting process can be found on the NCAA’s website, ncaa.org.

When you start ninth-grade classes, you become a “prospective student-athlete.”

You become a “recruited prospective student-athlete” at a particular college if any coach or representative of the college’s athletics interests (booster or representative) contacts you (or any member of your family) about enrolling and participating in athletics at that college. Activities by coaches or boosters that cause you to become a recruited prospective student-athlete are:

Providing you with an official visit;
Placing more than one telephone call to you or any other member of your family; or
Visiting you or any other member of your family anywhere other than the college campus.
No alumni, boosters or representatives of a college’s athletics interests can be involved in your recruiting.

You (or your family) may not receive any benefit, inducement or arrangement such as cash, clothing, cars, improper expenses, transportation, gifts or loans to encourage you to sign a National Letter of Intent or attend an NCAA college.

Letters from coaches, faculty members and students are not allowed until September 1 at the beginning of your junior year of high school.

Telephone Calls

Phone calls from faculty members and coaches are not permitted until July 1 after the completion of your junior year. After this, a college coach or faculty member may call you (or your parents/legal guardians) once a week.

You (or your parents) may call a coach at your expense at any time. Coaches may also accept collect calls from you and may use a toll-free number to receive telephone calls from you on or after July 1 after completion of your junior year.

Contacts

A college coach may contact you in person off the college campus no more than three times on or after July 1 of your junior year. Any face-to-face meeting between a college coach and you or your parents, during which any of you say more than “hello” is a contact. Also, any face-to-face meeting that is prearranged or that occurs at your high school, competition or practice site is a contact, regardless of the conversation.

Evaluations

An evaluation is any off-campus activity used to assess your academic qualifications or athletics ability, including a visit to your high school (during which no contact occurs) or watching you practice or compete at any site. Institutions have seven permissible recruiting opportunities (contacts and evaluations) during the academic year, and not more than three of the seven opportunities may be in-person, off-campus contacts.

Once you sign a National Letter of Intent, you may be evaluated an unlimited number of times by the college with which you have signed.

Official Visits

During your senior year, you can have one expense-paid (official) visit per college. You may receive no more than five such visits. You cannot have an official visit unless you have provided the college your high school academic transcript and a score from a PSAT, an SAT, a PLAN or an ACT taken on a national test date under national testing conditions.

National Letter of Intent

A National Letter of Intent is an agreement signed by the prospective student-athlete, parent or legal guardian and the athletic director. The agreement states that the institution agrees to provide the prospective student-athlete, who is admitted to the institution and is eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules, athletic aid for one academic year in exchange for the prospect’s agreement to attend the institution for one academic year.

Also, other institutions agree not to recruit a prospective student-athlete once he/she signs a NLI. The prospective student-athlete will no longer receive recruiting calls and is ensured an athletic scholarship for one academic year once the NLI is signed.

NCAA Contact Information
For more information on National Letters of Intent, please contact:

Phone: (205) 458-3000
Fax: (205) 458-3031
Questions@national-letter.org

To receive NCAA Eligibility Center registration materials from NCAA, call:
(877) 262-1492.

For other NCAA recruiting questions, call the NCAA:
(317) 917-6222.

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Are you drinking enough water?

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Water helps regulate and maintain your body temperature, it helps transport nutrients and oxygen, removes waste products, and moistens your mouth, eyes, nose, hair, skin, joints and digestive tract.  Each day fluid losses occur continuously from sweating, breathing, urine, and stool.  These fluid losses must be replaced to remain in good health.  When your water intake does not equal your output, you can become dehydrated.  Water depletion is accentuated in warmer climates, higher altitudes and during strenuous exercise.

 

From Web MD here are the six reasons to make sure you’re drinking enough water:

1. Drinking water helps maintain the balance of body fluids

  • Your body is composed of 60% water. When you’re low on fluids, the brain triggers your body’s thirst mechanism.  Alcohol interferes with the brain and kidney communication to cause excess exertion of fluids which can lead to dehydration. 
  • Water is used to maintain blood volume which is imperative for regulating body temperature and delivering oxygen and nutrients to the rest of the body.

2. Water can help control calories

  • Hydration helps with satiety- feeling full. 

3. Water helps energize muscles

  • When muscle cells don’t have adequate fluids, they don’t work as well and performance can suffer. The American College of Sports Medicine recommend that people drink about 17 ounces of fluid about two hours before exercise. 

4. Water helps keep skin looking good

  • Your skin contains plenty of water and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss.  Dehydration makes your skin look dry and wrinkled. 

5. Water helps your kidneys

  • If you chronically drink too little water, you are at higher risk for kidney stones, especially in warmer climates.

6. Water helps maintain normal bowel function

  • Adequate fluid and fiber keep things flowing along your GI tract to prevent constipation. When you don’t get enough fluid, the colon pulls water from stools to maintain hydration- resulting in constipation. 

 

To determine how much water you should be getting each day:

  • Divide your weight by 2. (160 pounds/2 = 80)  80 is the amount in ounces a 160 lb. person should get each day
  • Divide the amount in ounces by 8 (ounces in one cup) (80/10 = 8) 8 cups of water each day

 

Daily water intake calculator:

http://easycalculation.com/health/water.php

 

Water intake during activity in different climates:

http://www.camelbak.com/HydrationCalculator

 

Let’s make June hydration month.  Go!

Westin Punta Cana and Cap Cana Golf Trip

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In February, I brought 4 couples on a 5 day stay at the Westin Puntacana in the Dominican Republic. I worked to arrange the trip with the group department for a golf package. We were originally supposed to stay at Tortuga Bay (Oscar de la Renta’s boutique hotel that is a leading hotel of the world), but there was a mix up in our reservation and we had no choice but to stay at the Westin. Needless to say, I had very low expectations going into the trip with the original confusion in hotel. After my 5 day stay, I can’t wait to go back. 

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I review all properties before I stay and I have to admit, I was a little nervous with some of the bad reviews.

#1- if you are an experienced traveler going to the Caribbean, you know that service is going to be slow. (Bring a book and take a deep breath.)

#2- the staff is excellent. I am always shocked, arriving to Spanish speaking tourist friendly destinations, with the amount of English widely spoken. We have far less English spoken in Miami, Florida.  Many people reviewed the service was bad.  However, I was shocked with how rude some guests were with the staff.  Speaking slow and loudly doesn’t generally get your point across any better.  Again, I was impressed with the English spoken by the help.

#3- I had a room on the 4th floor and my wifi was variable, but mostly worked whenever I needed it. Guests complained about the wi-fi on some of the reviews. 

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Upon arrival to PUJ, they greeted us with the VIP airport service. This is a must! They whiz you through security and customs to be on your way quickly. We were able to play 9 holes after arriving with enough daylight to spare. Check-in, was a little slow, but again you’re in the Caribbean what do you expect. 

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The rooms were amazing. There is a defined entry way where it is convenient to keep golf club travel bags. To the left of the entry is a closet that I would like to re-create in my home. I believe it was built to make travelers feel so comfortable they wouldn’t want to go home. They even thought of the small details- such as a full length mirror in the closet and the safe, actually built into the wooden closet. (This always makes me feel comfortable with leaving my valuables locked up.) On the other side of the entry way is the large bedroom and bathroom. My two favorite parts of a Westin- the heavenly bed and the blackout shades! 

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As for the food, we had a Golf Package that included unlimited food and drink anywhere on property and boy was it worth it. Our group had a wonderful time. We ate and drank until we were blue in the face. The Brassa Grill had a fanstastic dinner arranged for our reservation. They gave us the option of family style, which would give us multiple appetizers and main entrees to try. It turned out to be fantastic. Playa Blanca was a nice dinner option, but opt to walk rather than take the shuttle- it is only 5 minutes, but bring your phone flashlight to watch for the ropes on the beach. Our favorite lunch was at the La Cana clubhouse, sitting next to the pool and overlooking the beach. My favorite was the shrimp egg rolls. The last night of our trip we went to Bamboo, the restaurant at Tortuga Bay. It is a romantic, gourmet option.

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The golf is spectacular in Punta Cana. Corales might be in the best shape of any course I’ve ever played. (Disclosure- I’m a golf professional) And Punta Espada is breath taking. My only issue with golf in Punta Cana- I’m too intrigued to take pictures that I sometimes forget to take time with my golf shots. 

If you’ve never been to the Dominican Republic for golf- I would highly suggest staying at the Westin or Tortuga Bay and playing Corales, La Cana and going to Cap Cana for Punta Espada. What a trip! Can’t wait to return! Thank you exceeding all of our expectations.

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Casa de Campo- Dominican Republic

Trudeaugolf, Uncategorized

Earlier this year, I was invited to the Dominican Republic with 100 other PGA professionals for the PGA Ambassador Conference.  It was a mix of breakout sessions discussing industry standards, golf, networking and viewing the spectacular property that is Casa de Campo. I had previously visited the property in 2008 before it had undergone a $20 million renovation shortly thereafter in 2009.

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Flying from Miami International is a very easy 2 hour direct flight to La Romana.  American Airlines has one flight leaving every day at 12:50p, which turns around in La Romana and arrives back in Miami at 6:15p.  Upon arrival to La Romana, we were the only flight.  This provided a very easy and quick transition from the airplane to the transfer.  There is a $10 per traveler charge to enter into the country at immigration.  Part of me wonders if this is pocketed by the workers. (Pessimist, ignorant American?) The next closest airport is Punta Cana.  It is a very busy international airport with many more flight options than La Romana and is a 45 minute drive to the property.  I wouldn’t recommend flying into the capital airport, Santo Domingo.  It is not a very nice airport and it is much further away by transfer.
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Arriving to Casa de Campo, you are greeted by a very natural, minimalist design. I love the use of teak, bamboo and other natural materials.  The staff throughout the visit couldn’t have been more helpful or proficient in English.  Actually, I was quite surprised how living in Miami, I am forced to speak much more Spanish than I needed to in Casa de Campo.  I like to practice my Spanish in Spanish speaking countries, but it seemed the workers in Casa de Campo would prefer to practice their English.  I had a very nice conversation (in Spanish) with my skeet shooting instructor.  He told me that speaking English has a direct relationship with their position at the company.  Casa de Campo has an English school for its workers, but many of them go to school in La Romana.
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The guest rooms were complete with flat screen TVs, modern furnishings, espresso machines, iPod docks, and a bathroom equipped with a private toilet area, and a large walk-in closet attached to the bathroom and an umbrella available for use during your stay.  Smart thinking.  Each guest room comes with a golf cart for touring the property and for ease of travel during your stay.  We went to the Marina for dinner one night, which would have been 20+ minutes by cart, so we opted for the shuttle that runs until 11p everyday.  It is nice to have transportation options.
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The food at Casa de Campo was particularly good.  My favorite was our group welcome dinner at Beach Club by Le Cirque.  Worldwide food experts rank ‘the’ Le Cirque amongst the top restaurants in the world.  For 38 years, Le Cirque has offered an unparalleled dining experience in New York City and since 2009 the Maccioni family has managed the Beach Club at Casa de Campo.  I also enjoyed the restaurant by the lobby called La Cana.  I had a fabulous dish of spaghetti for lunch on one of our off days.  My only critique about the food would be the breakfast served as a buffet each day.  It is quite a nice variety, but not as healthy as I’d prefer.  I ordered an omelet, which took 15 minutes to wait in line and have the chef prepare, that came out undercooked.  Most of the typical breakfast food was fried: hashbrowns and french toast.  I opted for oatmeal and some fruit.  The most interesting restaurant of all was at Altos de Chavon.  It is the area of Casa de Campo that looks like it has been there for many years.  It is all cobblestone, so it is advised as a woman to wear wedged heels or flats.  There is a small church, some shopping, and a restaurant.  During the month of December, they had Christmas lights strung all over the church and throughout the area.  It was gorgeous.  Another point to make, is this is the area where most weddings take place.  Our dinner was set-up like a wedding reception.  The restaurant was open air, there was a band outside on the veranda, and the entire place was set-up with Chivari chairs.  As a recent bride who got married outside the United States, I was picturing how charming a setting Altos de Chavon would be for a wedding.  It is very difficult to find a location, anywhere, with a cute church near-by a reception venue.
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Much of the 4 days was spent in the conference center.  I liked the layout of the facility.  It was positioned with one wall lined with doors to exit.  As a woman, I always search for an easy exit to a nearby restroom during long morning conference sessions.  Did I mention how happy I was about that?  The first day the air conditioning was too cold, but I was ecstatic to see that it worked.  There is nothing worse than listening to speakers while sweating.  The conference area continues across the main road to a building that includes 5 rooms that our group was able to use for group breakout sessions.  Again, great layout!
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Casa de Campo has an impressive array of activities for those not interested in golf.  During a free afternoon, I went to the skeet shooting area.  I had never shot a gun before, so they arranged for an instructor.  The range is amidst a heavily bushed, private area.  It was quite pleasant.  The clubhouse is very comfortable.  I was very nervous because it was my first time shooting a gun.  As I write this review, I am feeling the nervous butterflies in my stomach thinking about my experience.  The instructor did a nice job of calming me down.  The gun was a 20 gauge and it was heavy.  Two bullets was plenty before I needed a break.  I learned that being right handed and left eye dominant is not a great combination for shooting a gun.  We tried shooting lefty and covering my left eye.  Once I shot right-handed, with both eyes open, I shot two clay pigeons.  At the end of the day, I was happy to have shot for the first time and can appreciate how terrifying a gun really is.  Casa de Campo also offers horseback riding, donkey polo, kayaking, yoga, a beach club, fishing charters, and a state-of-the-art fitness facility.
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The most important part of our trip as PGA Ambassadors was the golf!  Boy, is Teeth of the Dog spectacular.  The stretch of holes 5,6 and 7 terrify a golfer to hit the ball left.  I started on hole 5 during the shotgun, and sure enough I was in the bunker on the right of the Par 3 green.  After winding inland for a few more holes, you pass by Oscar de la Renta’s old home, to discover the next stretch of water holes.  Teeth of the Dog is a good course to train for fear.  Most holes have trouble opposite the water, so you can choose to go for an aggressive line down the middle or you will face a penalty.  I love that type of golf course.  The other course we played was Dye Fore.  Creative name!  The course doesn’t have the same spectacular ocean holes as Teeth of the Dog, but it has views of the cliffs of Chavon River, Altos de Chavon, and some McMansions. The course is positioned on top of a mountain with little to protect golfers from the force of nature.  The first time I ever played Dye Fore, there was a 4 club wind.  It is hard to fathom hitting a 5 wood when you’d otherwise be hitting an iron.  I played well both times I have played the course, perhaps part of my good review.  Joking aside, I like the diversity of the two courses.  Casa de Campo has two other courses- the Links and La Romana Country Club, which is private.  We didn’t play Links on this trip, but as I recall from 2008, it is a hilly course that runs through the private residences of Casa de Campo.  To me, it is very similar to many other courses in the United States.  It is a true plantation course.  There aren’t any views of the ocean.
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Casa de Campo is a great destination for a golf trip.  Rooms are plentiful.  The service and food are great.  The Director of Golf, Gilles Gagnon, is one of the most hospitable guys you’ll meet.  And there is plenty of activities for everyone.  I would recommend playing Dye Fore, Teeth of the Dog and I would drive to Punta Cana (1 or 2 days) for Corales and Punta Espada.
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Professional golfers getting hitched?

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2013 proved to be a year that the stars of both the PGA and LPGA tours prioritized their relationships first.  See below for a list of who’s “going to the chapel…”

Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki, a professional tennis player, haven’t been able to enjoy their relationship without the press scrutinizing their every move.  For the past two years of their courtship, when either of them didn’t perform well, it has always been because of the distraction of a relationship.  Twice in the past year, it was reported they were splitting.  He had a year of turmoil on and off the course.  Rory has said that his recent New Year’s eve engagement in Sydney, Australia to Caroline “has given him stability. I am in a great place and I’m happy. It’s shaping up to be a great year.”

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Dustin Johnson and Paulina Gretzky, the daughter of arguably the worlds greatest hockey player, were engaged this past August and are planning to wed in the fall of 2014.  As a very heterosexual woman, even I look at Paulina, 24, and think “wow.” No wonder Dustin put a rock on her finger, and when I mean rock, I mean it is in the category of a Kardashian, Gabrielle Union rock.

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Paula Creamer gets engaged to her 33 year old boyfriend, Derek Heath.  Paula is 27 years old and is currently ranked 13th in the world.  She and Derek were introduced by their fathers, who flew together in the Navy and still remain friends.  Derek is a pilot in the Air Force.  This is the most adventurous proposals of this year- he did it while skydiving.

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G-Mac is officially a married man.  Graeme McDowell married his longtime girlfriend, Kristin Stape, in the Bahamas in October.  He proposed the year before atop a helideck at the luxurious Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai.

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Brittany Lang and Kevin Spann were engaged and married.  Lang, 27, said the two met in the parking lot of TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas.  She was raised in McKinney and still calls it home. After putting out for par at the North Texas LPGA Shootout, she was met by Spann where he got down on one knee with the Golf Channel cameras rolling.  He asked her if he could watch her play golf the rest of their lives.  The two were married on 1/11/2014.

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Fun Golf Fashion News from Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel

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Fun Golf Fashion News from Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel

Enjoy this blogpost by Rod Hagwood that ran in a recent Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel blog about a new Under Armour Golf Apparel line! This sounds like it could help us in the South Florida sun!

And here’s a spot for the new line: http://youtu.be/fT3BSpmfAu4

Eye Dominance and Your Golf Game

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Are you left or right-eyed?

Make a circle with your thumb and first finger.

With both eyes open look at an object on the wall or in the distance, and center it inside the circle.

Now close one eye, and then the other.

What’s happening?

When you closed your left or right eye you should have found that the object jumps outside the circle.

If the object seemed to move when you closed your left eye – then you have left eye dominance.

If the object moved more when your right eye was closed, then your right eye is the dominant one.

Your brain builds up an image of the world around you using slightly different views from your right or left eye. Most people tend to have a dominant eye so that even when both eyes are open, one is giving priority information.
The object you chose was lined up to be in the circle using information from your dominant eye. When you close this one you can see that the object was not lined up for your other eye.
About 80% of the population are right-eyed, and a very small percentage seem to have no eye-dominance at all.

What it means and how it effects your golf game

Golfers who are right-eye dominant tend to see the hole to the right of its true location. The reason is that they set up with their right eye too far inside the ball and the target line when they putt. Initially, they push their putts to the right. Then they adjust their stroke accordingly (outside to in) and then pull their putts to the left.  The opposite is true for those who are left-eye dominant if the left eye is out of position. Initially, they pull their putts to the left.  Then they adjust their stroke accordingly (inside to out) and push their putts to the right.  You can read your putt’s break and hit a perfect stroke, but still end up missing it because your eyes deceived you. Learn which of your eyes is dominant to account for this optical illusion.

About 70 percent of the population is right-eye dominant, which puts the trailing eye (that’s the one farthest from the hole) in the driver’s seat when putting. If this eye is not positioned properly, your view of the hole becomes distorted, lessening your chances of holing out.

To set up correctly for eye dominance, follow this routine

Read your putt from behind the ball, crouching down so that your eyes are at the same height they’ll be during the actual putt. This way, you don’t confuse your brain and your initial read when you set up over the putt. The taller you stand, the farther away the hole appears.
Walk into the ball, aim the club face and then take your stance, making sure to place your dominant eye directly over the ball and your target line. Your body should be parallel, or square, to the putt’s starting line.
Once your eyes are over the target line, swivel your head to take one last look at the hole (with both eyes) and then stroke away.

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Thank you to golf.com and sciencymadesimple.co.uk for some info in this post!

Are All of the Newest Courses in Mexico?

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There must be something in the water! Last post we told you about a Jack Nicklaus course in Mexico, this post is about a new course designed by Tiger Woods in Cabo San Lucas.

He says it will be similar to the courses in California he grew up on. 

To read more about the course, click here: http://web.tigerwoods.com/design/diamante.html

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The World’s Only Natural Island Golf Green

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If you are a sucker for golf courses on the ocean, like me, here is one to look at: Punta Mita, Mexico. It is a Jack Nicklaus signature course located 25 miles outside Puerto Vallarta, MX.

The course contains the world’s only natural island green. It is open to members, and guests staying at the Four Seasons or St. Regis resorts.  The course has 8 holes that directly face the ocean or play alongside it.  The Pacifico course is ranked #1 in Latin America.

The optimal season is November through May.  The average temperate is 73 degrees with very little rain.

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http://www.puntamita.com/jack-nicklaus-golf/

Millions of Reasons To Encourage Your Kids to Play Golf!

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image from golfstinks, which of course, we don’t believe!

Of course, golf is good for your kids to learn. It teaches discipline, rules, etiquette, and gets them outside and away from the computer.

But there could be another even more important reason.  Maybe they should learn how to play golf so you can retire!

Check out the chart below and what the top earners bring in annually!

Golf Statistics

Impressive, isn’t it?

The holidays are coming soon, and it might be wise to get them their own set of clubs!

And yes, I can help teach them the game!