Where have all the golf courses that allow dogs gone? We see the superintendent's dog out running and living the dream but that is usually the only dog. In America it seems with each year that passes we are seeing less and less of our furry friends roaming the course with their owners. I personally find this trend saddening. One of my favorite things in life to do is strap the dog leash to my Jones Bag and get an early morning or late afternoon nine in with my dog Khloe. She loves every moment of these two hour adventures where we walk the fairways together chasing the little white ball. Overseas in Europe, from what I understand, it's not all that uncommon to see dogs out on the links everyday. They have a much more relaxed policy when it comes to man's best friend. So is it the barking or droppings keeping dogs off the course in America? I propose that golf industry use allowing dogs to help grow the game and revenue. Dogs are the heart and soul of American outdoor recreation and I believe if the golf industry starts moving into a dog friendly direction, it will open up the game of golf to a larger audience. Maybe golfers will play more if they can take their dogs out for a quick 9 hole walk instead of a lap around their neighborhood. I understand that there needs to be policies in place to make sure dog owners are keeping dogs on a leash and behaving. Right now, I think it is pretty common knowledge that public golf is suffering and searching for ideas to boost revenue. Allowing dogs on the course may not be the fix all answer but it can definitely be apart of the solution. I love golf and I love dogs, if the industry moved in this direction, I truly believe all it would do is grow the game. Leave a comment and let us know what you think!
Last year I decided to enter the world of coaching serving as an assistant golf coach at the local community college. I was very fortunate going into this experience in two ways. I grew up with a father who is a college basketball coach, and the head golf coach of the team I was helping with really gave me free range to do what I thought was best to improve the team. It was an incredible experience for me in terms of understanding competitive golf on a new level. I have always felt, at least in last 5 years, that my mental game was the strongest part of my personal package as a competitive golfer and after my experience coaching, I realize how important this is to the success of a golfer. I went into the year thinking that I would help my players with more of the physical side of the game like swing techniques and adding to the types of shots they are capable of hitting. In the end though, I felt like 90% of what we worked on and improved was the mental side of the game. I never realized that how you think when you are competing greatly outweighed how good your physical game was. Every night before tournament rounds we would sit up in the hotel room and plot mental game plans for each player. I learned through watching these guys play how important it was to be yourself when you play. If you are happy go lucky, you need to play that way. If you are super methodical, that's how you have to be during your round. As the season progressed our team got better. No one on the team was necessarily hitting it any better, they were just thinking better, being themselves on the course. We almost won our conference championship which would have been our first win of the season which was an incredible experience for me and the players. I was very proud of the improvements that we made as a team. Coaching was an incredible experience and it helped my own personal way of thinking when I play as well. I can't wait to get back at it this season!
Over my golf career I've played in many top tier amateur events and professionally for several years and some of the memories that stand out to me are moments I shared with friends who were caddying for me. You should definitely read this article before you commit to caddying for your friend next time they come looking for a looper, especially if you aren't sure what to expect. I will guide you through what the player expects of you and how to navigate through the week. First there are two types of caddies out there, the caddy who is more competitive than the player and the laid back caddy. I've had both types. First the competitive caddy; you can't be more negative or fired up than your player, it makes them uncomfortable. It makes the bad situations seem 10x worse. Your job is to keep the player calm and composed so they can play their best. Also, the competitive caddy always seems to be the caddy losing stuff like headcovers, towels, rangefinders, and even clubs haha. Your most important job is too keep track of everything, you need to be more engaged in that department, rather than how good or bad the player is playing. Keep calm and keep track of the stuff! Now, the laid back caddy can be even more challenging at times. This caddy always seems to be what I call the WE vs. YOU caddy. When things are good, WE are playing good. When things are bad, they let you know YOU need to start playing better haha! One time when I was on a roll, my buddy said, "Wow WE are tearing it up right now!" I responded back with, "WE need to keep up!" Which brings me to my next point. The laid back caddy has to walk at the pace of the player, there is nothing worse whether you're playing good or bad to be at your ball waiting for a caddy that is 20 yards behind you. When things are going good, you can't hit your shots fast enough and when things are going bad, the player doesn't want to wait around to hit bad shots. So the exchange I had with my caddy, although all in good fun, was also letting him know to keep up, I'm in a groove! The last point I'll make from the players prospective is, sometimes as a caddy there isn't anything you can say to make bad situations better. Golf is a game for realist. Bad situations are bad, don't make them worse by being overly positive and that goes for both types of caddy. Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all. Doesn't caddying sound like fun? But keep in mind I'm talking about caddying in important events. As a player though, you should always remember that this is your friend helping YOU out and YOU need to make it enjoyable for them as well, because after all, they are just doing it for fun and to help you out!
The 29 year old sweet swinging South Korean and two time PGA Tour winner is being forced to report for mandatory military duty starting this fall. The South Korean Military Manpower Association (MMA) has rejected his appeal seeking exemption from his mandatory military service. All men ages 18-35 are required to serve 2 years in the military in South Korea. Bae, who has stated publicly that he has mixed emotions, proud to serve but very concerned on the effects this will have long term on his golf career. Bae has made over 2 million dollars in earnings this year on the PGA Tour alone and this fall he will be making a mere $130 dollars a month to serve the military. Other issues that have arose from the ruling are that Sang-Moon Bae will no longer be able to compete in this years President's Cup, which he was looking set to make the team and will no longer be able to fulfill the dream of competing and representing his country in the pursuit of winning a Gold Medal with golf finally being reintroduced into the Summer Olympics for the first time in a long time. There have been many mixed reviews by the American public since the ruling was handed down. I've read posts where people think it's ridiculous and I've read posts where people believe that Americans should be forced to serve a mandatory 2 years in any branch of the military. As much as I respect the way he is handling this, ready and willing to serve his 2 years, it feels more like a prison sentence than a fulfillment of duty. South Korea gains way more positive publicity from Bae competing on the PGA Tour, in the President's Cup, and the 2016 Summer Olympics than they will with just one more currently untrained soldier. Bae is one the best athletes to ever come out of South Korea. I've read several people's comments comparing it too Ben Hogan serving during the prime of his career when the United States Drafted him during World War 2. That was a World War, it's not even comparable to this situation. I fear that the South Korean government is doing themselves a giant disservice in this situation and need to go back and relook at Bae's appeal. So much more positive comes from him serving his country golfing rather than in the military.