However, watching golf on TV tends to do something to me. On those days where golf pros are in the hunt for the holy grail of the tournament win, it makes me uneasy. I’m ready to hit the course and take a full swing. I just get really jazzed.
Take a poll of your golf buddies and you’ll hear a lot about different golf destinations both near and far.
Some of the most popular golf destinations that you’ll hear about include names like Augusta, Scottsdale, Myrtle Beach and Las Vegas.
Golfers want to play where the pros play. It inspires them to play pro-style courses designed to challenge even the best of the best.
Torrey Pines: The Farmers Insurance Open
Annually, as pro golf cranks up and the PGA Tour makes its way to San Diego, the Farmers Insurance Open becomes a national and even worldwide golf spotlight. Torrey Pines in my own backyard takes the stage of the golf world for a moment and gets a nod from many golfers to add the course to their golf destination wish list.
Golfers just want to play where the pros play. Golfers want to hit from tee boxes where Tiger Woods made historic rounds replayed on ESPN and the Golf Channel. Golfers want to play at the place where John Rahm goes for a follow-up tournament victory after his performance at the American Express. They just want to play where the pros get challenged and rewarded for solid and smart golf.
This week’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines should not disappoint most golfers. It has traditionally offered some exciting rounds of golf from some of the biggest names in golf. I don’t anticipate seeing too many letdowns even if folks are still livid about LIV Golf and its tour.
The PGA Tour hitting tour draws golfers from all around the world. It even attracts some hangers-on who want to test their skills against the course in post-tournament rounds. Even the video game PGA Tour 2K23 has added Torrey Pines to its list of courses.
Torrey Pines is in PGA terms is of course Torrey Pines South, not the North course commonly known by many San Diego residents as the “other one.” As residents of San Diego, many local golfers have played at least one or both courses at any given time. At Torrey Pines, resident rates are pennies on the dollar compared to non-resident rates. Once you’ve played it with the beach in view and the coastal breeze blowing against your face, you will definitely say that it was worthwhile.
It takes persistence to keep going after your dreams. It takes a plan to go for your dreams. It takes patience to go after your dreams. But it also takes a perseverance. You’ve got to keep pursuing your dreams, even when it seems so out of range that it’s out of sight.
What Makes San Diego Special
All dream golf destinations are not designed alike. That’s what is so beautiful about such a list of golf vacation destinations.
Aside from Torrey Pines, San Diego offers plenty of golf courses regionally. Many of these courses are the reason that San Diego is a such a golfer’s paradise. For us, the golf season never truly ends around here. We just need to shake of some of this recent rain that left the greens a little slow and soggy, and then we’re back on again.
My personal favorite golf courses in the San Diego region keep me occupied often. Among my big ticket golf destinations I always include neighboring locations like Pala and Temecula as well as other areas like Palm Springs.
I like to plan my play and try my best to work my plan after some careful game analysis and reflection.
Most of all, wherever you end up playing, you’ve got to keep on swinging.
Conservative play has its place in golf. Yet, sometimes you just have to be more aggressive. I’m going to take a few more risks, albeit calculated risks but still risks.
Being More Present in the Moment
Evaluations of my last few rounds show me that I start out strong but lose it somewhere around 8th or 9th hole. I can recall on the 8th hole of my last round, playing a par 5 with some errors and mishaps to nearly save par, and then losing my stuff right off the tee on the par 3 10th hole to end up playing for bogey at best.
By being more present in the moment, I can examine what I have to do and focus on execution. By doing so, I can also manage my play to better fit my goals.
It sounds highly technical but it’s primarily mindset. The game’s definitely mental.
Just Have Fun
I enjoy playing golf. I like it when the sun is shining off the blades of grass and the birds are singing in the trees near the tee box. It seems like you get a piece of heaven on earth.
When we take it all too serious, then we forget to have fun. We forget to enjoy just being out on the course. We lose sight of the reason why we even pick up the clubs. I think the Angry Golfer might get where I’m coming from with this.
So, I am going to swing like crazy and pop a few Advil and do it some more. I’m playing golf in the winter in SoCal. I don’t need to make big golf travel plans right now. That’s for the future.
Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. - Bobby Jones
Watching the PNC Championship. let us see some unique pairings of golf legends along with their pairing with family members. Names like Trevino and Sorenstam graced the field of legendary golfers along with Tiger Woods and John Daly among other notable golfers.
While Vijay and Qass Singh won by two shots to finish at 26-under-par to win the 2022 PNC Championship, the unique pairings and groupings offered some succinct lessons on golf and life.
Don’t Take the Game Too Serious
“Let’s not be too serious,” Annika Sorenstam is quoted via Golfweek.
As the article points out regarding her quote, Sorenstam’s message to her playing partner, her son Will, was simply to put more emphasis on having fun playing golf. With his dad as the caddie, 11-year old Will was the youngest in the field of golfers to play the pro-am tournament. It would seem likely that such a status would cause any golfer at heart to approach the tournament with something to prove.
That’s a lesson for a lot of us. We need to reevaluate our approach to playing golf.
We tend to use a lot of words and analogies that convey an image of waging war on the course. And heaven forbid if there is any type of money on the line.
We can get seriously competitive and focus on the wrong part of the game, missing the best parts along the way.
Dial back on the competitive spirit and focus on the fun. Just enjoy the game and the time together.
Watching young Charlie Woods fighting to keep pressure off his ankle on big swings reminded me as both a coach and an athlete how much we might hear others urge and encourage us to play through the pain. It was obvious that the young man wasn’t at his best, but he kept playing his heart out.
With high school basketball, I played through injuries and lived to regret it. (DISCLAIMER: Don’t look for me dunking on the basketball court anytime soon.) It did long-term damage, but it also reminded me of the high cost of giving it your all and leaving it all out there as you pursue a victory.
It wasn’t just physical. It was more than that.
Playing through an injury is part of showing up for the moment at hand. In team sports, even when paired with a legend like Tiger Woods t the PNC, you’ve got others depending on you. They’re looking for you to not just show up but to show up with your best and at your best. When you don’t meet that expectation, you tend to do one of two things: take on even more of the burden to carry your team or fall back and give in.
A 13-year old Charlie Woods showed us that he’s willing to show up and carry as much of the load that he can handle even when suffering from a rolled ankle.
How we show up reveals character. How we show up gives others an indication of how much our hearts are into it.
In the upcoming holiday golf tournament, don’t downplay your recent injury-plagued weekend work around the house. Keep away from the signature personal disclaimers of not having played in a while or how the new driver hasn’t been broken in yet. Don’t do all of that on your next tee time or tournament. Just own it and show up for your foursome with your best. Who knows? Your putter might be the difference-maker on the scorecard. Show up and give it your best where you can.
With the holidays so near, I’m playing a few times while in between youth sports seasons. I’m mainly looking at a pair of par 3 courses and a few 18-hole par 72 courses nestled in the mountains and filled with natural hazards and obstructions. I’m definitely looking to do better than my last golf outing’s breakdown.
I’ll post some photos and a few words between play and most probably be back right before 2023 with a recap.
It sort of took me by surprise, even caught me off guard a bit. I believe in God Almighty and here was this brand boldly touting themselves as Golf Gods. I was taken aback.
Technically, that’s what good advertising, marketing and promotions should do. It should grab your attention and cause you to pause momentarily, considering what you just witnessed or experienced.
You hear a lot about the “golf gods” while on the course. A missed putt rolls in the cup and lips out like some spiritual force said it ain’t happening today. A favorite go-to club offers nothing but shanks and slices all day long. And who do many golfers blame? The golf gods seem to take the blame.
I shared on another blog about why I no longer by Nike brand gear, shoes, etc. Like I said, I believe in God. Nike is another god. I just can’t see buying the brand.
Golf Gods as a brand is nothing like that. In fact, Golf Gods the brand is just like it says. It is “not your everyday golf brand.” It’s tongue in cheek humor. It’s not saying wear our brand and be like Mike. It’s not that kind of brand.
Personally, I don’t see it as a contradiction. I see Nike as a conceptual brand, as I shared in a livestream for my YouTube channel’s Bible study. Nike’s playing off the characteristic traits of a Greek goddess of victory and using mythological references to its running shoes and trainers in particular. I see Golf Gods making a brand based on golfer idioms and taking that running joke as far as they can run with it.
Not Afraid to Say It with My Shirt
I believe you can say a lot with your t-shirts or hoodies. They’re not just fashion statements.
I wrote on this concept about message merch, discussing merch designs that I offer online through Zazzle and other online shops.
You can use your fashion statement to make a statement.
Your personal style can stand out and make a statement about your personal stance on different things. And I find that cool about fashion and society in this day and age.
I’ve been known to wear some controversial shirts from time to time.
I say to say it and show it with your shirt.
I love that what we wear on the golf course or anywhere for that matter can catch someone’s attention and draw eyeballs, even suspicious stares at times. I take some of what I wear as an ice breaker or a conversation piece. I still sport my favorite Not of This World (NTW) tee that simply says to the world: “I killed Jesus.” It really gets people talking or even asking questions. It definitely shocks some folks and causes others to ask me about my faith in God. And I’m cool with that.
Not Judging Anybody on Anything
Do I wear a lot of Golf Gods gear?
Truthfully, I don’t have much of it and most courses that I play have this collared shirt rule and dress code (imagine that). The gear that I do have from Golf Gods is mainly t-shirt and some accessories.
I don’t have time to judge someone else.
You show up in Nike from head to toe with the TW golf cap and a tiger head cover on your driver and I will still play with you. You show up in cutoff jeans with a wild-colored Grateful Dead-styled polo and I’ll tee it up with you.
Just show up. Tee it up. Have fun and swing it like you mean it.
You can even say it and show it with your shirt.
This post is not endorsed or sponsored by any brand. I receive no compensation from Golf Gods or any other brand for this post.
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.
In Round 1, Lydia Ko made her presence known and set the tone for much of the tournament, finishing atop of the leaderboard ahead by 1 stroke. Going into Round 2 with such a slight lead, Lydia Ko separated herself from the leaderboard pack with a 66 as other top players averaged higher scores. By the time Round 2 ended, Ko had a comfortable 5 shot lead.
But any of us who have played the game of golf know that means nothing when there is plenty more golf to play.
Things heated up when Leona Maguire shot a 63 in Round 3. Shooting a 70 in Round 3 didn’t help Ko’s quest for regaining a Rolex Player of the Year Award, but it was enough to keep her tied at the top of the leaderboard. Both players ended the round 5 strokes ahead of 2 players tied for third place on the leaderboard as well as 6 strokes ahead Brooke Henderson and Anna Nordqvist tied for fifth place.
Stellar play in that third round helped both Maguire and Henderson make their runs for the top of the leaderboard. Maguire shot a stunning 63 for the round to match her 66 and 66 for the first 2 rounds, while Henderson shot a solid 65 to make a strong push towards the top after sitting tied for 26th going into Saturday’s round. Nordqvist has remained in contention for a top 10 finish since Round 1.
What I Like So Far
You’ve most probably read my prior post on the stakes of higher prize money for this event. The possibility and prospect of bagging $2 million to wrap up the season is a great focal point for plenty of the top 60 LPGA golfers in the field. That’s a key factor in this final round for the CME Group Tour Championship. Throw in that Rolex Player of the Year Award and you’ve got you a battle going on for the final event of the season for the best of the best.
Lydia Ko is demonstrating steady play. Her 70 shot in the third round isn’t a sign of her losing it. She still remains poised and positioned to play for the title. Brooke Henderson did something amazing by climbing to the top 5 of the field from being 11 strokes behind Ko’s lead in Round 2. The type of play that we’re seeing from Maguire, Henderson, Ko, and even Nordqvist shows what happens when you put the top 60 players in the same field for the same top prize.
In my opinion, sports fans need truth serum every so often just to bring folks back to reality. Watching the season opener of the Lakers, I was disappointed. The shot selection was horrible. Every single NBA pro isn’t a 3-point shooter. Maybe that memo got missed. I can critique all that I want to and all day long. That doesn’t change the fact that they’re pros and I am nothing but a fan of both the sport and team.
I can Monday quarterback all that I want to in hindsight as I explain why the Raiders are losing the way that they keep losing and break down how it’s not all on Derek Carr until I am out breath and totally drained of ideas. That doesn’t change a single thing. That has me thinking I can do better. Or, better yet, it has fans like me basically saying that what the pros need to do is listen to me.
That’s not going to work.
What the current CME Group Tour Championship is doing sets a tone for pros and fans. We see the top 60 players entering a field that is wide open for a coveted prize. The best performers will rise to the top as their best remains on display before the world.
I’m a fan, not a pro. I am just trying to break 90 consistently. Heck, I’ll settle for the leisure time to be able to truly play consistently. I’ve got nothing of substance to offer Lydia Ko when she shoots a 70 in a round of tournament golf.
And where does that leave us as fans? We’re either watching our TVs or standing on this side of the ropes in admiration of what the players put out there.
Nelly Korda won the LPGA’s Pelican Women’s Championship in 2021 in a storied final round showdown in a playoff against Lexi Thompson, Lydia Ko and Kim Sei-young. With all 4 women knotted at 17 under, the playoff made for an eventful finish. It was essentially a memorable round of golf and a definitive standout as a hallmark of LPGA competitiveness taken totally down to the wire. Also, it gave plenty of fodder for this year’s event as Korda sought to “defend the crown.”
Golf has a way of showing us what’s possible. You can have a round where everything is clicking, and then boom it can all fall apart due to an errant drive off the tee or a missed putt to save par on the green. It doesn’t boil down to a science. It comes down to simply how the course is played on that day under those conditions in that moment.
The game of golf will reveal to you (and the rest of the world it seems) what you have in you and how well you handle any and every adversity thrown at you.
In 2021, it led to Nelly Korda capturing the title for the LPGA’s Pelican Women’s Championship.
Back Again with a Vengeance
This LPGA event in 2022 gave us plenty to consider as we watched on.
Korda returned to the event seeking to defend her title. Lexi Thompson came back with her sights set on redemption for 2021. With Brooke Henderson’s withdrawal from the tournament along with her other recent withdrawals at the Scottish Championship (July) and the Lotte Championship (April), the field at the Pelican Women’s Championship still offered some stiff competition.
Nelly Korda showed us that consistent play wins, especially when the pressure is turned up high. The buzz throughout the golf world and women’s golf focused on the rookie rally of Fassi and Corpuz taking early round leads. Much like Lexi Thompson, Korda just seemed to handle herself with a steady delivery of great rounds of golf each time out on the course.
There’s plenty of coverage of women’s golf these days. LPGA events like this tournament are broadcasted and streamed on TV and the Internet. People like Beth Ann Nichols of Golfweek provide solid reporting on women’s golf and share the stories of the high level of competition amid the ranks of these golf pros.
For someone like me, Nelly Korda shows us how to keep our head in the game. Korda gives us a sense of how to raise the level of play that we need to bring to the course. If I could master that type of consistency, then I imagine that I could see a difference in my scorecard repeatedly.
Congrats, Nelly Korda! And thanks for the motivation to level up my game’s consistency.
Currently ranked number 72, Fassi scored her lowest score of her career at an appropriate time. Only the top 60 players qualify for the CME Group Tour Championship. Fassi is on the hunt for her first LPGA victory. So, playing bogey-free golf is definitely one way to get there.
Something to See
I play a lot of golf with a woman who can keep up with and even outdrive quite a few men off the tee. She’s an avid golfer and plays some of her best golf when facing the chauvinistic assumptions of some golfers when we meet at the first hole to be paired up. She’ll play from the whites or even the black tees if need be. I play with her because playing with her makes my game better and motivates me to give it my best while we’re having fun.
Maria Fassi has a picturesque golf swing off the tee. The slow motion view of her technique is masterful. It is like a master class in motion. Her balance and torque combine along with fully-extended swing to bring about some big results.
Fassi’s drive averages just under 280 yards. Most weekend golfers would kill for that. I’d take a consistent 250 yards without any Advil, please.
Lydia Ko and Brooke Henderson are two of my favorite players to watch tackle a course. They play the course and the conditions, approaching key shots along the way with a form of confidence any golfer could respect and admire.
What Maria Fassi did with her 62 speaks volumes about what is possible for any duffer with determination. Take out the cameras and the gallery following along. Just focus on the gamesmanship, the style of play at hand. Shot selection and self-confidence are all mixed in with a rhythm that just seems to flow.
Have you ever had that round where everything seemed to just click rightly?