How to re-enter the game with a Plan…

Author: The Golf Sherpa  |  Category: Common Golf Pitfalls


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The Sherpa was decided to write about the phenomenon of the golfer who has lost his way, become re-inspired, and now wants to re-engage with the game of golf.  The Sherpa has a few tips on how to make the game “stick” this time and help you maximize your enjoyment as you re-commit to one of the best games of all time.

Special thanks to Mart T’s post for inspiring this post.

Mark T, is a typical sort of golfer who, is athletic, has good eye hand coordination and a good reasoning mind  (all good qualities in golfer).  Like many of us, life has gotten in the way of golf and when compounded with the frustrations that golf can bring..some people just don’t see the point. 

The lens the Sherpa wants you to use is a bit different. 

Scoring for the beginning or returning golfer is too much pressure to put on someone.  When you return, make a deliberate plan to do a few key things to raise your confidence and skill before rushing to measure your stroke count against a population that is playing and practicing often. 

Instead make your goals more reasonable:

1: Arrange for a lesson in swing fundamentals.  Any good pro ($30 to $50) can watch you swing and get you into a setup position with drills you can practice.  Instead of going to the range and working on all of the stuff that frustrated you before, take what would have been about  the cost of a new set of Pro V1s  and get a lesson (for more details see my post: The Argument for lessons – a must read if you intend to get lessons).

2: Practice putting-every night if you can.  No big secret here.  Find a flat place on the floor.  Putt without breaking your wrists. Get very good at lagging puts from 20 feet.

3: Get in shape:  Walk 30 minutes a day at 4 miles per hour.  To keep it simple, figure out a two mile walking trail and do it in half an hour…every day. 

4: Stretch:  Flexibility is key to keep you from injuring yourself and to get into the positions your golf pro will prescribe.

5: Buy a good, cheap golf ball: The two piece ball by Titleist called the NXT is tough, durable and you can get them for about 2 bucks a ball.

6: Don’t rush out to get new clubs: Get in shape, get lessons, practice.  When your swing becomes more consistent, then you can ask your pro about club recommendations.  If you absolutely have to buy clubs, go have a fitting at a major retailer.  Once you have their recommendation, go to Ebay and buy them there.  The Sherpa would be very interested to see if you can get a better deal than on Ebay.

7: Set your own par:  When you go on the course to play, set your own par.  Take each hole and add a stroke to arrive at your “adjusted” par.  You might think this is crazy, but it actually works.  When you get on a par 5 in three and two putt you make birdie.  By the same token when you get on a par 4 in 4 strokes and two putt you make bogie.  Take the pressure off, you don’t need to test your game…you need to have fun, so that you will want to do this again.

8: Read the Sherpa’s posts every day:  They are aimed at you and beginners alike and are chock full of  tips to help you along your journey.

9: Enter the Sherpa’s contest to win a free dozen pro v1 golf balls to send you on your journey while you do a good deed for other golfer’s looking for good golf for under 31 dollars (see “win a dozen new pro v1’s” post for details).

Bottom line:

The Sherpa believes that if you practice with a purpose (drills from a pro), get in sharpe, keep it cheap (don’t spend a lot on gear initially) and keep your “adjusted” par reasonable, you will improve and enjoy the game along the way.  Don’t just fumble around.  If you do,  you lower your chances of success and ultimately limit the joy available to you otherwise.

Play on…

The Sherpa

A good walk Spoiled…?

Author: The Golf Sherpa  |  Category: Golf Fitness

The Sherpa is a bit of a traditionalist…and is a big believer in experiencing golf the way it was intended by the “fore”fathers…walking.

Why opine so heartily on the value of walking 18?  The list is long:

  1. Walking usually gets you a discount  (the Sherpa is on record for his frugal sensibility).
  2. Walking to every shot enables you to think about what you want to do (well before you get to the ball).
  3. Walking is awesome, low intensity exercise that actually makes you a better athlete. and live longer.
  4. When you walk,  the golf course fills your senses (as opposed to whizzing past it on a cart).
  5. Walking connects you to the game in a way that spans centuries (old Tom Morris never rode a cart).
  6. On cold days, walking keeps your muscles warm and ready to hit shots.
  7. Walking enables you to have all of your clubs at your disposal to hit any shot (as opposed to having to slug back to your cart).

Bottom line:  You will play faster, get healthier and “learn” the course more effectively when you walk.

The Sherpa knows that not everyone can walk.  The barriers range from courses that don’t allow it to health problems that may keep you from it.

If you are willing to give walking a try,  the Sherpa encourages you to do a few things first.

  • Seek out a local muni that allows walkers and is relatively flat.
  • Pick a time of day when the weather is not at extreme heat or cold.
  • Rent a pull cart (if the course rents them) or just buy one for $20-$30 at your local sporting goods store.
  • Take a large bottle of water and a snack for the turn.
  • Invite a friend to walk with you to share the experience.
  • Before walking 18, walk a little each day around your neighborhood or on a treadmill  until you can walk 30 minutes without issues.

The money and time you save and the years you’ll add to your lifespan will make it all worth it.

Reconnect with golf’s roots…walk.

The Sherpa is not a doctor (he doesn’t even play one on TV).  If you have any type of condition that requires special care, make sure to consult your doctor before walking 18. 

Play on…

The Sherpa

Already a steadfast walker?  Tell me about it in a comment…

Win a dozen new Pro V1s!

Author: The Golf Sherpa  |  Category: Sherpa Shrine Contest

The Sherpa is a frugal golfer to say the least.  When I play, my bag is full of homemade peanut butter and jelly sandwiches…made by the lovely and talented Mrs. Sherpa.  I buy my clubs on Ebay and if my best friend doesn’t pay me on a two dollar press, I will get “medieval” on him.

It is in this context that you need to understand how valuable I consider a box of ProV1s, the “apex predator” of golf balls.

Why is the Sherpa giving up such a tremendous piece of his soul ?

Simple:  I want all of my readers to have a chance to play good cheap golf.

Here is the deal: For three weeks the Sherpa wants you to comment on the best golf course under $31.   On Wednesday April the 8th,  I will pick the winner and create a “Sherpa Shrine” to your competitive writing greatness.  The most interesting essay/comment wins (as judged by my motley panel of judges, who quite frankly aren’t qualified to pour “you know what” out of a boot).

Why is it so cool to have your own “Sherpa Shrine”? 

  • Your Shrine will show your picture and proclaim your glory as ”Leader of the World as We Know It”
  • Your Shrine will show your winning comment/essay in all of its unedited splendor.
  • Your Shrine will last until until you get kicked to the curb by the next contest winner.
  • I will email a link to your buddies so they can bask in your unadulterated enshrined awesomeness.

In your comment please include:

  • Course name and website address (if they have one)
  • Course location: Address, City, State.
  • Why the course  is not a “goat track” – remember we want good golf courses.
  • Cool memories at the course.
  • You best score on the course.
  • Why you recommend it.
  • Your name and email so I can reward your total domination when you win.

How this helps everyone:

When the contest is over the Sherpa will also post the three runner up comments along with a list of all of the courses that were recommended.  The list, thanks to your efforts,  will serve as a valuable reference for all of my frugal golfing readers and hopefully save them some of their hard earned dough.

What can I say…I’m a giver.

Blog on…

The Sherpa