Rahm Wins at Augusta

Jon Rahm is due all congratulations and celebrations of his recent victory at the Masters.

Jon Rahm won it like a pro.

The golf world has seen it happen before.

Let’s not play like great pros don’t claim monumental moments at major pro tour events.

Rahm’s a pro and deserved the win. He’s been on fire.

What Jon Rahm did was ignite a fire in the golf world as he earned his green jacket. He deserves the congrats from golfers around the world. He deserves the oodles from onlookers who only tune in to watch just one of pro golf’s major events. As the world turned its eyes to Augusta, Jon Rahm turned up the heat and overtook Brooks Koepka in the final round of the tourney for the win.

I had my eyes on Koepka holding strong, but you could see Rahm edging up and eventually edging out Koepka by just 4 strokes. I was even impressed by Lefty getting into the fray despite a struggle in the other rounds. Good golf was still being played despite everything surrounding this 87th Masters Tournament.

Rahm had 2 final rounds that were impressive as he went on to become the fourth pro from Spain to don a green jacket.

Let’s see where the remainder of golf season takes us.

Injuries, Illness and Inspiration

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”

John Lennon

I learned about this John Lennon quote in my younger adult days. It always seemed to make sense logically. However, at the time, my circumstances did not truly reveal how much the quote actually speaks to various situations in life.

Injuries

I’ve been trying to get out onto the golf course for nearly 2 months now. Initially, my schedule of work and coaching interfered with finding free time. Then, the rainfall and winter storms came crashing into town.

But that wasn’t the worst of it all.

Injuries plagued me almost at every turn when the sun did come out and the grass dried up from the rain. First, the ankle was swollen and aching. Next, the shoulder became limited in its rotation. And, of course, aging in general never helps.

Injuries are a definite setback to any plans of playing 18.

Illness

In the midst of struggling with inclimate weather and injuries, I fell ill. The type of illness that the health professionals identify as not being anything close to COVID. That’s the only consolation when you’re told that it could be a severe virus or just allergies.

It’s never been my thing to be out long term with an illness. Even when I had a “serious illness” some years ago, I still did as prescribed and took a short-term period off work like a Thursday and Friday, rested on the weekend, and returned to work on Monday.

This was something different, though.

Inspiration

Downtime doesn’t have to lead to a downturn in all that you have on your plate.

Im involved in the inspiration business. That’s part of what I do. It’s an indication in part of the why behind me doing what I do. I’ve been saying for a while, but maybe some haven’t heard it yet.

Just a little bit of what I’ve managed to do during my downtime:

I’ve come out the illness and I’m back on track. I think I’m ready to hit the course again. My cousin Robert is town again and I might be able to get out there soon. Let’s see what happens.

Keep swinging!


John Lennon

John Lennon was an oftentimes misunderstood musician and the epitome of an enigmatic idealist. He is misquoted many times. His message of peace and love got overshadowed by many of his offhanded and flippant comments as he searched for his own identity and the meaning of life.

Open Box contains flower quotations including one by Lennon. Plenty other bloggers quote Lennon on everything from peace to imagination.

Please, take the quote used in this post for its application to what is described here, not how it might have been used outside of it in other situations.

Tiger, Tee Shots and Tampons

Poor taste doesn’t even begin to explain it.

I wrestled with how to entitle this post, but I just went with an alliterated title based on the topic.

I was tempted to call it Tampongate. Maybe it’ll go down in golf history as just the Tampon Prank.

Hopefully, with the pro golf season fully underway, it’ll just drift off and die away amid other news.

If you haven’t seen video of the incident or read any reports on it, please start with the Wall Street Journal article or the report offered by an Australian news site. Tiger’s recent apology for the incident has been pretty well documented by the media as well.

Beyond Tiger Being Tiger

Tiger Woods isn’t immune to messy media coverage.

Think car crash and cheating scandal. It seems like ages ago, but that sex scandal was in 2009.

This comes out amid a comeback to the pro golf circuit that has included pairings with his young son on the course. As noted by some, Tiger isn’t the squeaky clean and polished PR juggernaut that he once was back in the early days.

This goes beyond much of the prior controversy related to Tiger. In the past, Tiger has been the spotlight of a 2009 sex scandal and a few published books and articles centered on his rigid upbringing and rise to success. One could look over Tiger’s storied past and see where Tiger has been both victim and villain. Public sentiments driven by the media coverage have gone the full gamut of typical sports idol worship and fandom.

The Prank = PR Problems in the Public View

Someone will hit the cancel button on Tiger, calling for his removal from PGA golf events and endorsement deals with sponsors. Others will shake their heads and simply say that it is just “boys will be boys” ameteur and adolescent behavior at play as these pros joke around and let off steam.

There’s a certain level of uneasiness and division within society at such a deep level that people are considered “on edge” these days. It’s like a ticking time bomb waiting to be triggered by the slightest movement in one direction or another.

We’ve seen it in the January 6th Riots of patriots storming the Capitol. We see it in the case where censored and cancelled celebs get their Twitter and other social media accounts reinstated without any apologies or agreement to do things differently of the platforms. It is prevalent in the social arena as LGBTQ advocates argue for or against transgender rights in public forums. It is partly revealed as a Black man is tasered and beaten to death at the hands of the primarily Black police officers in Memphis. It is an era of people on the edge with very few people standing in the middle of the road or on the fence.

People are living on the edge.

It won’t take a lot to take some folks over the edge.

A Closer Look at a Higher Cost

Whether you see it as a prank or not, the situation puts a spotlight on how much can be read into anything that we do. Cell phone cameras make everything accessible immediately. Social media’s ability to allow live feeds to stream across the Internet. Today’s TikTok-style short attention spans do not have to offer the full story behind the snippet that became a snapshot with captions.

I wouldn’t want a slew of media cameras following my foursome on a weekend round of 18 holes. I sure wouldn’t want to be “mic’d up” as I flub a flop shot around the green or miss an easy putt. I can’t imagine what a news reporter’s perspective would be as one of he members of my foursome starts out with:”So, these two nuns are sitting at bar. . .”

Aside from picking sides, we need to pick apart what society is truly craving at this time. People who don’t even play golf, watch golf or give a hoot about golf are flying off the handle on social media in response to this issue. Looking beyond its misogyny and chauvinism, there seems to be something less cavalier about such a prank during a time when female pro golfers are just coming into their own for both recognition and compensation.

The OC Register labeled it as an “unfortunate distraction.” That’s a nice way of putting it. I’d see it more as another part of the blowback of infusing sports coverage for the public to get up close and personal with an inside view. The public craves it and even clamours for it, but when it hits the fan no one really wants to be too close to see what comes of it or even smell its lingering intrusive odor. But everyone wants a bird’s eye view from the tee box and data-driven graphic of the the arc and distance of the drive for that tee shot.

Truth be told, ‘fun and games’ don’t go along with fame and fortune.

Dream Golf Destination in San Diego

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.


If you have a dream destination in mind, don’t give up hope. Stay inspired!

Stay Inspired to Play at Your Dream Golf Course

I recently shared a video on YouTube about how to stay inspired to continue going for your dreams. I also share the same sentiments via my podcast Coffee & Chat with Rev Bruce.

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.

Using Fitness to Gain Focus

According to research from Penn State and the University of Maryland, an average person exercises around two hours each week. That is just half how much is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Washingtonian) [site source: comfyliving.net]

Many of us could use more fitness activity in our lives. That’s pretty much a given.

Less than 25% of the US population gets enough physical activity.

http://www.verywellfit.com

The issue is our willingness to make time to get active. The key is to decide and determine that we will get off the couch and get active.

By increasing our activity, we stand a good chance of reducing health risks and increasing our own productivity.

Fitness Benefits

Using fitness as a means for gaining focus is nothing new.

Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance.

www.mayoclinic.org

The benefits of increasing our physical activity span beyond just losing weight and gaining strength.

A small study found that when mindfulness was combined with exercise, participants showed improvements in stress, depression, and anxiety.

www.verywellfit.com

According to an article by Sophia Aubrey for The Sydney Morning Herald, “After a month of regular exercise, you will be noticing improvements to your strength and fitness.” Additionally, per www.livestrong.com: “After a month or two of working out 30 minutes a day, you may have increased confidence, a boost in mood, better sleep, and enhanced muscle tone.”

The Mayo Clinic outlines 7 benefits of regular physical activity.

Fitness for Focus

I find that working out helps me gain focus. Also, regular workouts help me maintain a routine in an otherwise hectic schedule. But my focus is improved because I have spent time engaged in physical activity and my aha moments seem to pop up more frequently.

I use physical fitness to gain more focus.

It doesn’t matter if I am walking while listening to the Bible or jazz. It doesn’t matter if I’m jogging or running while I’m listening to an audiobook or a podcast. ( I rarely listen to my own podcast during workouts.) When I’m active, I get inspired and gain more focus.

I find focus during those workouts, runs, hikes and walks. I also find motivation and inspiration. I mean who can listen to David Goggins or anything from Rachel Hollis and not get motivated and make a move towards a goal.

To break 90 on my scorecard consistently, I don’t need to just hit the driving range consistently.

I need to use physical fitness to gain focus, so that I can combine that with my driving range regimen and practice rounds.

I force myself to find the time to fit in some fitness somewhere throughout my week.

I’m in need of the focus when the golf rounds go haywire. I need that focus when I come close but fall short of my golf goals.

Focus is a key benefit of fitness for me and my golf game. And becoming more active helps me gain more focus.

Find Your Fitness Fit

What anyone needs to do when it comes to fitness is to find what what fits.

I’ve got friends who would never dare think of playing a round hopping in and out of a golf cart. For them, walking the course is par for the course. Others focus on lightening their golf bag and slinging their equipment across their back from hole to hole for a full round of 18.

You’ve got to find what fits you. Find your own fitness fit.

  • Look at high impact physical activity like kickboxing, jiu jitsu or boxing. These include benefits related to both physical and mental health.
  • Consider adding a long walk or run, even a hike to your weekend activities.
  • Strength training with machines or free weights help with muscle tone and overall physical strength. Be sure to schedule in rest days between strength training workout days.
  • Use deep body stretching or yoga for part of your physical activity regimen.
  • Walk 9 holes or an executive course full of par 3 holes.
  • Change your daily diet. Look at keto or intermittent fasting combined with hitting the gym at least 3x’s per week.

Get into the habit of doing some body movements daily. Do some kind of physical activity daily and help yourself gain some focus among other benefits.

Be good to yourself and keep swinging.

Holiday Golf Plans

During the holidays, I plan to play a few rounds of golf. Let me be super transparent. I plan to play as much golf as I can possibly play during the holidays.

In the past, I’ve played a lot of golf, But I’ve made plenty of mistakes on my journey.

I didn’t approach the opportunity to play golf with the right mindset. Or, my plans didn’t work out with the right execution and the wheels fell off the entire apple cart per se.

As I approach my play during this holiday season, I plan to keep my outlook positive with a positive mindset.

Seize the Open Opportunities

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.

I’ll update you on how it goes.

A Weekend Full of Golf Legends and Life Lessons

 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.

Playing Through the Pain and Problems

Charlie Woods played the PNC with an injury he suffered prior to the pro-am. Despite the injury, the young Woods managed to keep up with his dad and keep his pair in contention for the championship.

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.

Enjoy your holidays and keep swinging!

Creating an Attack Plan

On the golf course, you’re bound to find out that have a few flaws that need fixing. It is always good to ask for feedback for fixing your flaws. I tend to focus on finding more fairways and giving myself at least a shot at birdie as an improvement on most days.

That doesn’t always happen, though.

Short game swing practice

Develop a Plan

A good plan violently executed now is better

than a perfect plan executed next week

General George S. Patton

I’m a planner by nature. I like to sketch out a scheme with plenty of room allowed for any type of contingency necessary.

Creating a plan of action for the golf course seems like a lot, but it surely helps a lot.

  • Go to greenskeeper and get the course scorecard
  • Identify par 5 holes and any short par 4 (distance at 400 yards or under)
  • Set your goal for making par on at least half of those total holes
  • Play bogey or better on the remaining holes
  • Limit yourself to 2 putts per hole

From there, it’s all about putting your plan into action.

Take Action with Your Plan

Review your plan prior to your play.

  • What type of club and shot do you need to prepare for?
  • How aggressive or conservative do you need to play?
  • What’s your best option for maximizing opportunities and minimizing mistakes?

Hit the course with your plan in mind.

Tackle the front 9, and then at the turn you need to evaluate where you are with your plan.

  • Are you on track?
  • Do you need to make an adjustment?
  • Can you shave some more strokes somewhere?

Go into the back 9 with confidence.

Planning and Performance Don’t Always Link Up

“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” – Robert Burns

After you play, analyze how you played. Take into account what worked and what just did not go your way. From there, accept what it is and where you are. Then, plan your next outing and attack plan.

Armed with an attack plan, I believe that you can see marked improvement after 4-6 outings of consistent action and analysis based upon an improvement plan.

Golf Gods and Personal Demons

“Golf Gods is not your every day golf brand, we cover the stuff other golf brands don’t dare to cover.” (as per golfgodsonline.com )

See No Evil + Hear No Evil + Do No Evil = Par

I came across Golf Gods clothing by way of a golf subscription box.

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.

Keep swinging.


This post is not endorsed or sponsored by any brand. I receive no compensation from Golf Gods or any other brand for this post.

Foot Care for the Fairway

Running and hiking are part of my rationale for embracing foot care.

Foot care is simply a form of self care.

It’s nothing new but it is new territory for me.

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.

Footcare offers plenty of health benefits, especially if we’re talking about ongoing foot care. As an older man, I need to remain mindful of how proper foot care impacts my health and wellness. Additionally, a healthy dose of foot care is recommended as part of a health and wellness regimen as well as a key part of self care.

Proper foot care has benefits for my golf game and overall health including:

  • Improved performance
  • Less pain
  • 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.

See you on the fairway and keep swinging!