Category: Course Management

T.E.M.P.O. – Skills Needed for Good Golf



Hi everyone and welcome to the 2013 golf season!  I hope you had a great off-season.  I am very excited about the upcoming year and look forward to helping you with your game.

Spring is a great time to assess your game and set some goals for your year.  To help you assess your game, and all of the parts of your game, I want to introduce you to my T.E.M.P.O. system.  I use this system to break the game into categories to help ensure my students cover all of their bases when trying to improve.

T.E.M.P.O. System

T – Technical Skills
– Golf skills that include ball striking, short game, putting

E – Equipment
– Ensuring your equipment and golf ball is optimized to your game and well  
          maintained for performance.

M – Mental Game and Course Management
– The ability to make good strategy decisions and perform up to your physical
           abilities at all times, regardless of the situation.

P – Physical Fitness and Nutrition
– Being flexible in key areas like hips and mid-back and being stable in other
           areas like your core to enable a repeatable and efficient swing while avoiding

O – Organized Approach
– Assessing performance, setting goals, making a plan, executing the plan and
           then repeating the whole process.

In each category, there are several skills that ca be addressed.  A great starting point to any improvement program would be to assess your abilities in each of these categories.  I have a checklist on my web site you can download for free and a new e-book that will guide your improvement using my T.E.M.P.O. system.

Most golfers don’t see the improvement they deserve because they spend too much time on only one part of their game or the wrong areas of their game.  Taking a look at your entire game and having a sound idea of what your strengths and weaknesses are will allow you to allocate lesson and practice time so your time will be efficiently spent.

Work with your coach to assess your game, prioritize areas of need and then get guidance on how to raise your skill level in those areas.

Good luck with the start of your season and I’ll see you next month as I start to explore some of the key parts of T.E.M.P.O.

Slow Play is Killing Golf

I don’t know if you got a chance to watch the finish of today’s PGA Tour event in San Diego.  Farmer’s Insurance was kind enough to pony up for a tournament and all the big guns showed up.  Even the golfer formerly known as Tiger was there and resembling his former self at times.  Two Canadians, Brad Fritsch and Graham DeLaet finished in the Top-10 as well!!  I liked seeing Tiger at the top of the leaderboard. Not a fan of him of the course but I believe he is the best player of all time so I still enjoy watching his pursuit of history.

Unfortunately, in addition to showcasing great golf, this event shone a bright spotlight on SLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWW PLLLLLLAAAAAAAAYYYY!.  It took over 3 hours for the best players in the world to finish 9 holes.  Part of the problem was a congestion of players restarting their rounds but “Come on Man”!!

Having said that I like Tiger as a player, I think he is contributing to the slow play epidemic that is happening everywhere.  I think the biggest reason for slow play is golfers who aren’t ready to play when it is their turn. They watch the other golfers in their group and then when it’s time for their piece of artistry, they scramble around trying to find their glove, measure yardage, choose a club and fire off the shot.

Tiger may be the worst at this, especially on the greens.  He usually stands off to the side, possibly scouting the gallery, until the player before him has marked his ball or picked it out of the hole.  It is only then that he puts his ball down and proceeds to circle the hole once or twice in slow motion.  I have timed him a couple of times when it takes him over 2 minutes from the time his ball goes down to the time he pulls the trigger.  Really…?  You’re the best player ever and it takes you two minutes?

When juniors and college players see this, naturally they begin to follow suit.

Slow Play Challenges

  • – Tour players on TV are brutally slow and don’t get penalized often enough to change their behavior
  • – Young players and good players emulate the tour pros
  • – Intermediate players think they are better than they are so play the wrong tees and take a long time to hit their shots
  • – Beginners haven’t been shown how to play quickly

Some Solutions

  • – PGA and other tours need to start enforcing pace of play rules with penalty shots instead of small fines.  If tour players play faster, juniors and college kids will follow suit
  • – Golf courses need to take more of an active role in which tees golfers play from and flat out removing slow groups from the course when they don’t make an effort to keep up. This may upset 4 golfers but it will make everyone following them on the course much happier.
  • – Teaching professionals need to include a lot of etiquette and pace of play instruction in their programs for newer golfers
  • – All of us as golfers need to take responsibility for ourselves.  If you can’t already, you need to be able to get to your golf ball and, within 35 seconds, decide on what shot you are going to play, which club to use and have the shot in the air.  If you are waiting for others in your group to tee off or putt, your 35 seconds begins once it’s your turn to play.
  • – Also on us as players, we need to be “the group behind the group in front of us and NOT the group in front of the group behind us…  What te heck does that mean?  It doesn’t matter if you are not being pushed from behind.  It is your responsibility to be close to the group in front of you. If this isn’t realistic, you simply need to be on pace for a 4 hour round.  That means you get about 14 minutes per hole.


 Let’s see if we can get back to 4 hours being a normal time for a round.  I think we can all do our part and we will all reap the benefits.

PGA Tour Q-School – Last Year

If you are a true golf fan, you look forward to this week every year because it’s when the 6-round torture session, often referred to as Q-School, takes place and professionals can earn their way to the PGA Tour.

Well, not any more.  This is the last year entrants could earn their way to the show with one week of good golf. Starting in 2013, Q-School will only gain successful players access to the tour.  Access to the PGA Tour will be earned by finishing in the top 50 on the (up from 25 this year).

I, for one, think this makes sense.  I believe a player who proves his skill over an entire year is much more deserving of a key to the fun house than a player who makes it through the school.  Don’t get me wrong, we are talking about great players in both cases but stats support this new direction.

If I was more on top of things, I would rattle off exact percentages here but I do know that the players off the, Nationwide, Nike tours have been far more successful in keeping their PGA Tour status than their counterparts form the Q-School.  I just spent 27 minutes on Google trying to track down those stats and was unsuccessful.  Sorry about that. 

I did find a good resource for what PGA Tour School is all about – and how the new system will work –  I hope that makes up for a little of my Google fail!

I also really like that the top 5 players on the newly named “PGA Tour of Canada” will now earn exemptions straight onto the Tour and players 6 – 10 will earn exemptions to the Final Q-School where they can earn status.  I think this is a great increase in status for what was the Canadian Tour and all the great players who are presently on that tour.

A couple other things:

  1. Congrats to Brad Fritsch for his good play at Q-School.  He had already secured his PGA Tour Card with his great season on the Tour but his T-7 at Q-School will get him into more events early in the year and will give him a better chance of retaining his card for 2014!
  2. Congrats to Adam Hadwin who played some very solid golf over the final four rounds (68-68-68-68) and missed his PGA Tour card by 2 shots.  He will have a full year on the Tour to earn his card and my money is on him to be successful!!
  3. What was the Golf Channel thinking when they decided not to show the Q-School on TV this year?  I rank Q-School 3rd on my favourite tournaments to watch list, behind only the Masters and Players’ Championship.  Not impressed…

Let me know your thoughts and you’ll be hearing from next week!

Golf Rules and Etiquette

Rules and Etiquette

Many new golfers are intimidated by the seemingly endless rules governing one’s behavior on the golf course.  Here is a summary of the most important things you should know before you head out on the golf course.  Notice I have listed “Rules of Courtesy”, “Rules of Fun” and “Rules of Golf”.  As far as I am concerned, when you are starting out in golf, play by the rules of courtesy and fun.  When your skill level improves you can start obeying all the rules of golf.

Rules of Courtesy

  • Keep up to the group in front of you.
  • Leave the course as you find it – Replace your divots, repair your ball marks on the greens, rake the sand traps when you are exiting them.
  • Be quiet when someone is preparing to play a shot.
  • Only play a shot when everyone is in a safe position.
  • Be ready to play your shot when it is your turn.
  • To keep play moving, play “Ready Golf”.  This means, if you are ready to play your shot and everyone is in a safe position, you can play, even if you are not furthest from the hole.
  • When you finish a hole, move to the next tee immediately and mark scores there.
  • If you are using a pull or power cart, keep it well away from the edge of the greens.  Most courses will have signs or white lines telling you where to drive.
  • When you walk on to a green, take note of where the next tee is and leave your golf bag on that side of the green.  This way, when you finish putting, your clubs will be right on your way to the next tee.
  • Don’t take more than one practice swing unless it is on the first tee to warm up.
  • If you hit a ball into the trees, bush, deep ravine, black hole, etc., don’t spend too much time looking for it.  If you don’t see it after a few moments, drop another ball and play on.
  • On the green, be aware of the location of other people’s balls and try not to walk between their balls and the hole.
  • If you hit your ball in the general vicinity of another golfer, yell “FORE” loud enough to alert them of the impending danger.  We don’t know why you yell “FORE” either but it probably has something to do with a golfer getting hit because there wasn’t enough time to yell “Hey, look out, my ball is coming towards you!!”

Rules of Fun

  • As long as you and your group are having fun, being respectful of the golf course and keeping up to the group in front of you, there really are no other rules!
  • It’s only a game!!

Rules of Golf

There are actually 34 “Rules of Golf” so we have left a few out but these are the really important ones.

  • Play the course as you find it.
  • Play the ball as it lies.
  • If you can’t do either of the above, do what’s fair.
  • You should begin play on each hole by teeing your
    ball behind your designated tee-markers.
  • You must mark your balls position with a small,
    coin-like object before picking it up on the green.
  • The person who has the lowest score on the previous
    hole has “The Honour” and is supposed to tee-off first.
  • The person whose ball is furthest from the hole is said
    to be “Away” and is next to play.

For complete rules information, visit


I hope this helps you have more fun.  Let the new golfers in your life know about the different kinds of rules and let them decide how they want to approach the game.

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