My favorite round of Golf…

Author: The Golf Sherpa  |  Category: The Mental Golf Game

The other day a dear friend (who reads my guidance religiously) asked me a simple question that sent me on a journey of the mind that I did not expect, yet filled me with joy and awareness.

“Sherpa”, he asked  as we walked off the 3rd tee box, “what was your favorite round of golf ever”?

My mind raced back to several rounds of golf that filled me with crystal clarity of memory and sincere peace.

First was the memory of when I broke 80 for the first time with my best friend Steve.  It was a great day.  The wind was up a little and I hit everything I looked at.  I recall finally learning how to hit my short irons well that day.

Next there was the memory of the first time I took my oldest daughter with me to play and ended up carrying her on my back for the final 7 holes while scoring 78.  I remember learning  how calm my mind gets when I have someone I love with me while I play.

Another time, I recalled the joy that I felt when I caddied my brother around a difficult course in Las Vegas to help him break 100 for the first time. I learned how important talking through shots was in order to totally commit on each swing.

Then there was the time that I scored my first eagle.  Again, my best buddy Steve was with me as I rolled in a 10 footer for 3 on a long par 5.  I then promptly shot an 8 on the subsequent par 3.  I learned how excessive celebration can pump you too full of adrenaline and kill your golf swing.

As the memories like this began to rapid fire at a rate that I could no longer process quickly enough, my mind finally began to sort just the themes as they raced by and POW…just like that, it occurred to me.

I know what my favorite round is…It’s the round I am playing right now.

“Sherpa”, I can hear you saying, “how is this profound?  You are just a golf nut…no big secret here”.

Nay dear reader, I am not taking a mental short cut. 

I humbly submit the reason that every round is my favorite is because I learn something every time I play.

If this were not true, the Sherpa would be a fraud…a faker of the highest order.  Truly, I would further argue that to fully enjoy a lifelong love affair with the sacred game you have to give yourself over to the notion that it is a lifelong journey. 

If you cannot enjoy expanding your knowledge and skill unless you score well every time you play, you are setting an expectation that will rob you of your ability to grow as a player and to fully manifest the wonderful trek that golf represents.

Bottom line:  Like a marriage, golf takes work and patience.  Investing in the notion that every round reveals knowledge is the hallmark of a player that never stops developing.  Scoring will come…just let it happen.

I love this game…warts and all.

Play on…

The Sherpa

How to dress for Golf Part 1…Warm Weather

Author: The Golf Sherpa  |  Category: Equipment Advice

Golf has it’s own challenges without being uncomfortable in warm weather.

How then does the Sherpa want you to prepare for your next round of warm weather golf?

Follow these tips and you will be noticeably more comfortable…

Before you start buying, keep in mind that you are a relatively new golfer so be “Sherpa like” (frugal).  Keep away from the expensive stuff unless it is on 90% discount.  Lot’s of high quality, low cost options exist for the “must have” list I am about to share.  Please keep your wallet in our pants/purse and read on…

From head to toe…starting with:

1: The hat:  In this arena the Sherpa suggests only one ratio to maximize.. brim diameter.  Allow as much brim around your precious skull and facial skin as your fashion sense can muster.  Sunshine, while warm and refreshing is also to be respected.  The the less you get on your head and face, the better.  Price range is minimal ($10 to $30).

2: The glasses: There are two things to consider when looking at sunglasses (not counting comfort and durability).  First make sure they block 100%  of UV light.  This is the stuff that wreaks havoc on your eyes so you want to minimize exposure. Next, make sure that they sit slightly away from your cheeks on the lower end of the lens.  If not, you will get poor ventilation, causing them to  fog up constantly.  A good, durable pair can be had below $50.

3:Sun block:  You didn’t know sun block was part of “dressing”?  Think again!  We all know why.  I will elaborate only on the stuff you put on your face.  For folks with sensitive skin, several formulations are available that are PABA free and combine moisturizer with 30 SPF.  My favorite is “Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer”  it is SPF 30 and never aggravates my skin.  This stuff is actually a little expensive ($15 per bottle) but well worth it.

4:Golf shirt/blouse:   You need to think moisture wicking and SPF.  Yes I said SPF.  Golf shirt technology is now at the point where you can get a shirt that will keep you dry and cool while acting as SPF protection (as high as 30 SPF in some models).  I particularly love  moisture wicking technology because it can be used as an emergency air conditioner.  Next time you are in very hot weather, merely soak your high tech shirt in water and the moisture wicking technology will cause rapid evaporation (cooling  your skin as a byproduct).  The Sherpa has done this many times and it always works well.  Amazingly, this technology is very affordable now.  I spent less than $30 dollars on my last shirt.

5: Shorts/Slacks:  The Sherpa would suggest strongly that you consider shorts, but if you insist on slacks, then use the tips for buying a golf shirt (above) as your guide.  Bottom line.  Moisture wicking and light colors are coolest and especially good if you are considering slacks.  Shorts are relatively cheap (about $30) for moisture wicking.  Slacks are still very expensive.  The reasons escape the Sherpa, but moisture wicking golf slacks are still in the $50 to $100+ range.

6: Underthings: Mrs. Sherpa and the Shepettes read this blog so I will only comment by saying…moisture wicking.  Enough said. UnderArmor is good stuff.  Just buy what you need for your weekly round and you won’t go broke.

7: Socks:  This choice is more important than you might think.  I have a pair of Nike “dri-fit” socks that I wash overnight if I play twice in a row, because they are so absolutely comfortable.  Why?  They keep my feet dry.  No kidding..dry feet on a hot day is irreplaceable comfort once you have experienced it.  I actually get tired more quickly if I don’t have my moisture wicking socks on.  They are kind of expensive but my $10 pair has cradled the Sherpa’s toes on about 30 rounds and they show no sign of wear whatsoever.  Good value.

8: Finally…The Shoes:  Comfort is what you are aiming for here, above all else.  Buy them when you are not rushed.  Take at least 4 pair from the rack and see how they fit your feet.  You will be able to tell which ones fit best by taking your time and carefully comparing.  Really be picky about comfort and you will make a good decision. A good pair is about as expensive as a good running shoe.  Spend $80 to $100 on this shoe and you will not need another pair for at least a couple of years.  To make them last longer, follow my buddy Jimmy’s post round shoe routine.   A: Brush all debris from the spikes and soles.  B: Brush all loose dirt and dust from the uppers.  C: Apply a quick layer of polish and buff.  Jimmy can do his shoes in about 2 minutes and he has a pair he has been using for 4 years now (and they look brand new).

Bottom line:  Don’t go broke getting dressed for golf.  Make wise choices and for a lot less than you think, you can be comfortable on a hot day of golf.

If you have any tips, or know of some great “hot day” golf products that are easy on the wallet..share your comments.

Play on..and keep cool..

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…