I went to a local salon for a pedicure under the advisement of a friend and I am so grateful. My feet have new life. I totally get why so many people swear by it.
What I don’t get is why we don’t talk about it more.
Proper Foot Care Benefits
For me, it’s not just about golf and fitness for the fairway. I’m a golfer but I also hike, walk, run, cross-train and play basketball and tennis. My feet are big part of that. As an athletic coach and referee for middle school and elementary sports, I am on my feet and on the move alot.
Proper foot care has benefits for my golf game and overall health including:
Limit the effects of long term neglect
For me, I suffered an injury to my foot nearly a year ago that led to an ingrown toenail that caused me ongoing aches and pains. It limited my turning on toes in my golf swing. It impacted how I ran and performed during long walks and hikes. It had an effect on my training sessions. It also impacted the types of shoes I could comfortably wear and what types of shoes worked for me to coach and ref games.
I was in serious need of a pedicure, an exfoliating foot scrub, and a foot massage.
My Personal Foot Care Plans
Getting a pedicure gave me more than just a sense of relief.
I feel like the foot care helped with my feet aching as well as the texture of my feet. You eliminate a lot of issues when you take time to care for your feet. I can attest to that for sure.
In the future, I plan on adding a pedicure to my monthly schedule (and budget). Basic pedicure packages run anywhere from $20 to $25 with more time and more services adding to the costs from there. I plan to add both the exfoliating scrub and reflexology massage myself.
Make an appointment. Even though many salons take walk-in clients, you don’t want to have to wait all day for a 30-minute appointment. Also, plan to bring cash for a tip. Some spots allow you to Cash App or Venmo your nail tech, but cash is still the king of tips.
Typically, I write directly to golfers and golf fans and followers. However, today is a different day. I’m truly writing to those who love golfers. I want to share this with those who have golfers on their holiday gift list but might need helpful hints on what type of gifts might appeal to golfers.
As a caveat, I also recently wrote a short article on holiday bargain shopping that also might prove helpful to you. It might not do anything for you other than keep you from overspending on gifts or just simply serve as a reminder to you to make sure that you comparison shop before making a purchase.
All Golf Gifts are Not the Same
Gifts for golfers come in all shapes and sizes. Shopping for a golfer can be a dizzying affair for anyone unfamiliar with the sport and its nuanced knack for causing golfers to desire the ultimate equipment or the ideal experience.
Depending on what type of golfer you’re shopping for, you might want to reconsider ordering that personalized pack of monogrammed golf balls just yet. If your golfer is anything like the greater percentage of us, then those balls might end up in the creek or the bushes based on the trajectory of the golfer’s slice or hook.
Match the gift with the golfer. That’s the best practice.
Different Types of Golfers
Golfers are not all the same either.
Everyone who plays golf or might I say enjoys golf does not like the same type of golf gifts. Golfers play at different levels. Some golfers live and breathe golf, while others get out there every once and a while based on their schedule. The significance of the depth of a golfer’s attachment to the game should come into play when deciding on a gift.
Weekend Golfer: maintains a set day and tee time for a weekly round of golf with a regular foursome at the same course or a local circuit of courses.
Occasional Golfer: owns a set of golf clubs or two but only plays every so often, especially when there’s a charity golf event that the job has sponsored.
Consummate Golfer: plays frequently including tournaments and club events, practices consistently, travels with clubs in the trunk “just in case,” oftentimes stops at the range to hit a bucket of balls, and definitely can rattle off a series of data points that might leave you wondering what kind of aliens abducted this person.
These are the main types of golfers to keep in mind. In most cases, the golfer who you are shopping for falls somewhere within the range of these three types of golfers.
Golf Gifts for the Golfer in Your Life
Consummate golfers most probably have accumulated some golf equipment that they most probably want to stick with for consistency’s sake. So, unless that type of golfer has been dropping hints about specific brands and types of putters or wedges on sale at the local sporting goods store, I’d leave that part alone.
Buy this type of golfer:
Stay and Play golf packages (usually available at casinos & resorts)
Gift certificates or cards (most gift certificates or cards for courses cover a round + cart)
My only caution about golf gear is about style and fit. If you are unsure about the golfer’s style, then steer clear of the brightly-colored gear, especially the shirts with the pink flamingos or the tumbling dice. Stick with a classic look and a solid, basic color that is not too flashy. Also, consider fit. Some designs are “slim cut” that does not bode well with big guys who carry extra weight around the midsection. Go with a traditional style and fit and you should be okay.
Beginners don’t necessarily need new equipment. Golf can become a big investment if a beginner buys a full set of clubs and adds a putter and specialized clubs like hybrids and wedges, even an advanced driver. Buying used clubs could be a great place to start.
Mark Teran has a story to share that many golfers need to hear, especially those who have thought about joining the professional ranks in their golden years. Learn more about Mark Teran and Piped Golf as well as his work with PGA senior players as a caddie and as a Monday qualifier. His personal story will make you want to root for him in his professional pursuits.
Coffee & Chat with Rev Bruce has been part of Life Path Multimedia Ministries since 2020. Inspiring words, intriguing stories and implementable tips and to-do’s from all kinds of people and for people who want to live changed lives and leave a legacy of impact on the world. You can support the podcast for as low as .99 cents per month. This will help with production quality as well as exclusive supporter and member perks in the coming months.
I’ve got way more that I could say about this round today.
I’m just going to go ahead and just leave this pic here for you to soak it in.
In summation, it was not my greatest outing and despite some good moments it just wasn’t happening for me today.
When the wheels came off, they broke the whole darn thing down to pretty much a crawl.
Not Ready Yet
Like many things in life, we’re not ready to talk about this one yet. I’m going to need a healthy does of time and space. I’d say at least 24 hours. I think I can regroup and break down where I broke down and need to fix some things.
In the meantime, check out the Instagram page of Piped Golf with Mark Teran. I did have the pleasure of playing a round with Mark and his brother as my cousin and I ventured out to Cottonwood Golf Club today. Mark’s got an extraordinary story to tell and I hope to give you more of his story in another format on another day.
I’m regrouping. I’m recharging. I’m hitting reset right here and it’s right up someone else’s alley. I’m going to have to make a fitness turnaround within this equation, though. That can cause more delays in fixing my game, but the benefits will outweigh those delayed opportunities.
For now, just know that I am not ready to talk about today’s round like folks watch Disney movies and agree to not talk about Bruno anymore.
I’m talking about my personal golf season. I’m talking about my ability to get up and go out to play golf throughout the year. That never ends for me.
I live in the San Diego area. The locale’s weather is consistently warm and sunny with a handful of rainy days. There are plenty of golf courses to choose from on a regular basis.
I love living in such an area. I love being able to play golf at so many different types of courses with different layouts and designs. I love having a neverending golf season in such a place as San Diego.
I do not find it difficult to get a tee time at different times, especially with tee times offered online. Plus, life happens for people and plenty of folks fall off and free up slots at local courses. I advise calling the pro shop ahead of arrival and seeing if there’s room for a single or pair to jump in. Otherwise, I say just show up at the course and hit a bucket of balls while you wait for an open tee time.
For me, based upon my schedule and locale, golf season never ends. It just keeps rolling on endlessly.
For me, it’s almost a no-brainer. I enjoy my Cobra F-Max irons. I love the weight of the irons in your hands and the grip. They’re used clubs, but I had a choice between them and a set of some Taylormade irons and hybrids. I don’t have the Cobra driver to go along with the set like DeChambeau, but I also don’t have a personalized fitted set of clubs made just for me.
I can say that my current driver made just for me is sitting outside of my bag more than it sees usage on the course. Why? Because just like the many pros we see them tee off, my tee shots go and drift off this way and that way based on some heavy-handed swinging I am bringing from the shoulders and some alignment issues at address. I brought back my Taylormade Burner and put it into action, but I have found that I can also get more control with my 3 or 5 wood. I can even use a hybrid to launch it off the tee at times.
What the real problem is me and my level of consistency. I need to find that swing groove again off the tee. I am working out differently and it’s also impacting my game. When I was mainly running for exercise, I was slimming down and that should in my level of endurance and energy. Nowadays I do mainly bodyweight exercises with HIIT workouts and floor exercises. I am not losing weight as I put on some muscle mass here and there. This impacts my game as my shoulders and arms are coming down and into the ball, sending that Callaway Chrome into flight. that’s where I see my struggles come from, not the club itself.
Am I ready to go back to my personalized driver yet?
Not quite. Once I settle down and settle into a solid swing rhythm, I think I will be there. For now, I am good with getting my practice rounds in and getting a few more Mulligans in my favor on those wild drives.
Brian Penn of All About Golf suggested I invest in some lessons. I’m not ready to do it yet. I will probably pull the trigger some time this fall and see what comes of it. For now, like I said before, I will take a few wild drives and make some remarkable recovery shots. After all, half of the fun is seeing what trouble you can work your way out of with your clubs. The same ones you got yourself into trouble with.
I must have missed the memo, but I certainly can say that my latest outing in golf didn’t get me any closer to breaking 90 or breaking 100. In fact, it simply proved what I know good and well for my own personal golf game. I need more consistency to get better results.
I will even give myself a break. Over the past 2-3 months, I have been heavily into tennis. Playing doubles with co-workers once or twice per week and trying to organize groups of folks to just come out and try it with us for fun and fellowship with a little bit of fitness. And, might I add, I am decent enough to hang even when the temperature tips to about 90 degrees or so.
But this latest golf outing was nowhere near a comeback.
It was like more of a proving ground that what needed work when I left off after Spring Break still needs some work and what I thought I had down and under control still leaves me with drives veering off too far to the right or the left of the fairway.
Willowbrook Country Club
Venture outside of San Diego proper eastward and you will come across Lakeside, a rural area where the summer weather is unquestionably hot as hell and the scenery is majestic with mountain views and wide open terrain. Nestled in the midst of Lakeside and surrounded by mobile homes, Willowbrook Country Club is a nine hole course designed for you to play twice. While playing with Cousin Robert, we went for the white tees on the first round, and then the blue tees on the second round.
The course is in decent shape and the rates are reasonable even with a cart. The staff was friendly and attentive, especially as we awaited teeing off due to the men’s regular Monday tournament in session when we arrived a little early to check in for our tee time. There are plenty of trees and enough water on the course to keep you trying to angle your shots to avoid them. For me, it was like I was on the EPA’s most wanted list and continually hitting anything with bark and leaves on it.
All in all, the course gives you enough of a challenge to keep you working on your game’s necessary tweaks. In my case, I found the types of holes designed on this flat dessert-like oasis to seem more fitting for an early morning tee time with a cool breeze and some June gloom to keep the sun at a distance. But you can only go dogleg left so many times before you have to hit a par 3 over water or decide between trying to drive a short par 4 with the flag behind the brush and sand trap or just lay up in the hopes of getting on in 2 shots.
My Letdowns Left Me Looking for Relief
I spent way too much time with poor shot selections. You know the kind that I mean: chip shots between 2 trees with dangling limbs, approach shots where the alignment is off and you end up in the other fairway, and 3 putts upon 3 putts. man, I really thought I had those 3 putts down.
Despite all of the poor shots and lost balls, I still had my moments out there. My chip shot on the first hole over the trees that I would eventually deflower and damn near destroy on the second round showed promise and left me just off the fringe. My choice to go with a 3 wood when things looked wild off the tee was right on point and gave me a shot at birdie that fast greens do not allow. And of course I had to figure out my hybrid game which offered me some saving grace in a few instances on the course.
Mulligans were being called out countless times. This wasn’t one of those rounds where you felt like tracking any balls into the woods and bushes with the summer heat and any potential disturbance of local critters like reptiles. Like I always say, that’s why they come in packs of 12. Just toss me another one from my bag, bro.
Overwhelmed at Over One Hundred
No matter how bad my scorecard looked, I didn’t expect it to look that bad. But I got to be honest. It was a poor showing of course management and shot selection to go along with just plain gamesmanship. i was basically just out there without any strategy. That’s where I really got overwhelmed, I believe. My entire approach that day was just swinging and seeing where it went rather than trying to navigate the course with strokes in mind.
My first round looked like it might have some promise, but when I look at the scorecard I know that shows signs of an inevitable uphill battle. Throw in that second round and you see nothing but squares and double squares. And yes that is a ten on the 10th hole. I cannot even go into the depths of despair that I went through on the same hole that I had just done okay on in the first round.
Lack of Consistency Without Any Loss of Confidence
I mean I would be a fool if I just said that I am done playing golf due to a poor round. Look at guys like Lefty or Bryson DeChambeau when they miss the cut. They do not run and hide from the golf paparazzi and emerge the next season with a new coach, new caddie and new clubs. They take it on the chin and come back the next time with that prior round off their mind. They come back with a refreshed perspective and a can-do attitude about what is ahead of them. They make a plan to make things work out better than did previously.
Oh, believe me, I am reeling from some of these numbers. I can handle a few double bogeys and an occasional snowman, too. Just let me chip in for par or birdie off the fringe. Let me get a few pars and birdies along the way with those short par 4 and par 5 holes.
In planning my play, I have mentioned at times on this blog how my work schedule allows for me to have extensive periods of golf play during school breaks. Technically, I preferred the year-round school schedule with its periodic 20-25 days off. But you oftentimes have to make do with what you get when you work for someone else.
President’s Day Weekend is one of those rare four-day weekends that affords me some extra time to mix in some practice rounds. This includes me playing at a championship course like Carlton Oaks. Gone are its days of luster from yesteryear, but this course still packs plenty of challenges for an average golfer. Walking the back 9 for about a third of the regular price for the full course with a cart is great way to make the most of my practice rounds.
I like mixing in weekend workouts and practice rounds of golf whenever I can. These both work to my advantage. These both best fit the time that I have free and available. When it comes to the weekends, I need to make the most of my time.
Weekday Workouts: Training Days
During the weekdays, I set up Tuesdays and Thursdays as my training days. I usually try to get in my high intensity interval training (HIIT) along with some simple cardio and resistance training on these days. The other days are simply walking or light cardio and bodyweight exercises. This has worked for me so far, and I find that what I am able to get done before one makes me feel like I have accomplished so much.
Weekend Workouts: Walking the Course and Practice Rounds
It might seem like a bit of a cheat but it works for me. I used spend endless hours searching for the ideal local 5K to run at least once per month. Usually these happened on the weekends, so my weekend workouts were in the bag per se. Then COVID-19 hit.
I know that my practice reveals my problems, but I also know that it also sheds some light on where I have lost a step or two and where I need to push myself in order to get back into shape. That’s a reality that I have had to face, so I deal with it by mixing in some weekend workouts with practice rounds this weekend. I will face some challenging courses and some familiar holes with different flag pole positions, but I will also be killing two birds with one stone. I get in my walking steps at new heights for probably two days in a row and I will kick off my week with a fitness spark that will keep me motivated throughout the week.
I tend to play golf in the morning a lot. Sometimes, as luck and circumstances would have it, I just get a better deal on that 6:30 AM tee time. That means that I not only find myself getting dressed while it is still dark and downing a hot cup of coffee before hitting the road towards the course but also facing different types of conditions. It’s usually wet with dew still making the fairways and greens play differently. It usually includes some fresh mud and even marsh-like conditions when you find that tee shot has veered to the rough just left of the fairway. And heaven forbid if I find myself in one of those beach-like bunkers with that wet sand like a shoreline.
I have slipped and busted my butt a few times playing early mornings with only the sun peaking through the distant trees, so I know that I need some grip and traction. There’s nothing like having your swing mechanics aligned with all of your swing thoughts, only to result in you swinging and spinning out of control every now and then. That causes you to play too cautious and rob yourself of some yardage on a tee shot. Approach shots, chips, and pitching are not so bad. But I never noticed how much your shoes came into play for putting out on the green until my feet were pulsating and throbbing after tackling the front 9 of a hilly, slightly-sloped course. You don’t have to worry about the yips when you got aching feet halfway through a round. That’s when I vowed to restrict my play to certain predominantly-flat courses until I made some changes with my footwear.
The Choices are Either Spiked or Spikeless
Regardless of how you play or under which conditions you usually play, you got a choice of two options: spiked or spikeless. You can go traditional with spiked golf shoes. Or, you could go with the more trendy option of spikeless golf shoes. My current golf shoes are an early version of spikeless golf shoes and have suffered the inevitable doom of wear and tear. Prior to that, I have had both types of shoes. Since I am walking more, I am leaning toward the comfort and lightweight spikeless versions. Yet, due to playing in the mornings a lot, I recognize the benefits of a good pair of spiked golf shoes.
I will be sure to check back over the next few days to weigh the results. I already have some folks weigh in offline and they are killing me with their rationale. If you believe that you have some sound advice, drop it in the comments and I will be sure to check it out. I usually get some sound advice from the likes of Brian Penn and other golfers who blog on their play and the sport in general, so I am looking forward to getting some ideas on this whole dilemma.
My back is aching. Not my whole back but my lower back seems to carry the brunt of the issue. My morning ritual has been disrupted by a sinus headache and I wonder if I am feeling the effects of the sudden change in weather or just the lack of preventive care for an ongoing problem. Despite all of this, I wake up and work out.
100 +100 +100 Just to Start
I start my morning workout with a mini stretch session that by most standards is not enough to relieve me of my lingering back pain. It is more of a warmup than a stretch at less than 3 minutes, but it gets my blood flowing a little bit and keeps me motivated for the morning workout.
My typical morning workout finds me doing this regimen:
100 modified push-ups
100 bodyweight squats
100 jumping jacks
I try to down a full glass of water along with that regimen to get started. Otherwise, I dive right into my coffee and I can see my water intake getting thrown off track throughout the day. Combining the water intake with the workout makes me feel like I have conquered something, as if I have overcome a challenge or leaped a major hurdle.
Pre-Pandemic, I would go to the gym at least three times per week, shooting hoops 2-3 times per week and doing walk-jog-run intervals on the treadmill every time I hit the gym door. I would walk at least 3 times per week and do a 5K distance run on Sundays weekly. That was my routine. I found the time to make it work for me and add jumping rope and other exercises within my gym sessions and seemed to have my weight under control, making gains on my weight loss goals month by month.
Then came this coronavirus curveball. . .
I had to start working from home remotely. Joining Zoom sessions every other hour and organizing emails along with responses to emails in the midst of coordinating and calibrating with others on my team at work. By the time that I got this figured out, I believe that my routine had been severely thrown off course.
Gym closed. Parks closed. Golf courses closed. Cities and counties went on lockdown with curfews. States declared pandemic regulations and provided updates daily from the governor and leading public health officers. In the meantime, my waistline expanded and my weight loss crept back to prior numbers and beyond as I just tried to figure out what working from home meant and how it worked for me.
I have spent a great deal of time trying to make fitness fit into my schedule. It can be a challenge, but it can be done. What I truly learn in the midst of all of this confusion is that you have to make certain things a priority in order for them to get done throughout your day or week.
My next move is to get a cart for when I walk. I have seen some pretty good deals on them, so I would like to snatch up a good deal before spring comes along. That would keep me from slinging my bag across my back (right where the pain seems to sit) and pushing through round after round. by the time I get to spring break, I would like to walk 18 on a fairly flat course on a regular basis like biweekly. That way I can walk 9 on the alternate week when I am not walking 18. After all, in some places golf means walking-only these days.