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!

Lydia Ko Ends LPGA Season on Top

Say the name Lydia Ko a few weeks back and you might get a few confused looks. That was pretty much the type of response that the young lady’s mere mention seemed to elicit while her fellow LPGA competitors like Nelly Korda and Brooke Henderson seemed to be headed on a track of increasing popularity. Add Lexi Thompson’s steady top 10 finishes and competitive Sunday rounds and you could see where Lydia Ko might not have risen to the top of many people’s radar.

Personally, I remain delighted to see Korda, Henderson and Thompson play their hearts out. I think that they all are deserving of the fury of fandom that has arisen for them. However, I find that Lydia Ko has demonstrated another side of professional golf that many fans seem to forget along the way.

Promising Early Years

Look back on Lydia Ko’s early years in the professional ranks. At one point up until 2017, Ko was the youngest player to win an LPGA event at age 15. She set the record on August 26, 2012, when she won the Canadian Women’s Open at age 15. That’s remarkable but not the only thing.

In 2015, Ko rose through the LPGA ranks to become the youngest golfer on the LPGA Tour ranked No. 1. Considering the level of competition and the amount of hard work and dedication required to maintain throughout a professional golf tour, Ko demonstrated an ability to hang among the top players early on in her career.

The Struggle Got Real for Ko

Professionals are not immune to what happens in the world. In fact, their world seems to either explode or implode based upon what’s happening around them and within them and their inner circle. The emotional drain and the pressure from the press can seem to eat away at the joy of fulfilling a lifelong dream of success at the sport a pro loves to compete in time and time again.

Lydia Ko was not immune to the bad press either, especially as she sought to remain among the top-ranked LPGA players. During her down times, it probably didn’t help her professional motivation when she was struggling professionally and people started pointing fingers in the press. Her former coach David Leadbetter blamed her parents in 2019.

Her struggles on the course showed up in different ways:

The fat-shaming and other psychological stress can take it’s toll on a person, even a professional golfer with promise and potential. In an interview with Henni & Hally, a more personal side of Lydia Ko was shown to reveal how “she’s just like everybody else.”

At the end of the day, Lydia Ko struggled for a matter of time within her career. Let’s not get too judgmental about it, though. Tiger had his struggles. Lefty has had his low points. We could name a slew of pros who haven’t always made it to the top 10 finishes and some who have not always made the cut. Ko’s struggles are not limited to her career alone.

Her Return to Glory

Lydia Ko golf swing in slow motion

One golf journalist called Ko’s swing “picture perfect.” Some have pointed out how the slow motion videos of her golf swing reveal her training to achieve that turn. I think that her golf swing, especially with a driver, stands out as one of her mainstays.

Admittedly, Ko says that her slump period had her not leaving herself in contention to compete for any type of championship finishes. But all of that seems to be in the past. It seems as though she’s shaken off the down times and approached the game with a newfound vigor.

With her recent finish at the CME and taking the Rolex Player of the Year, Lydia Ko finished the 2022 LPGA season back on top among the best of the LPGA. With that $2 million dollar CME purse and her upcoming wedding in focus, it appears that Lydia Ko is on top of the world.

Let’s see what next season brings about.

Holiday Gift Guide for Golfers

“The only thing a golfer needs is more daylight.”

Ben Hogan

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)
  • Swing analysis with a local golf pro
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Rock Bottom Golf

Buy weekend golfers and occasional golfers:

  • Golf lesson with golf pro (1-day)
  • Swing analysis at a local pro shop
  • Golf gear (visors/ hats even polo shirts)
Holiday Gift Shopping Tips

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.

I offer some more holiday shopping tips via my YouTube channel. Like anything else on your shopping list, budget (set a limit on amount for gifts).

Also, check out ETees Golf post on Christmas gifts for golfers as well as any of the specials available via local golf courses at their pro shops.


62 for Fassi in LPGA Event

Lowering my score is the goal. I’m here to show how I am getting there on my journey to breaking 90 on a consistent basis.

It takes practice to get there. It calls for focus. I have to improve my fitness. Also, I’m constantly seeking ways to motivate myself to improve at a higher level.

I had recently posted about Fred Couples hitting a 60, but I’ve got to say that I’m a little bit more impressed with Mexico’s Maria Fassi scoring a 62. I’ve got my reasons, believe me.

Motivation via Maria Fassi

Motivation comes from all over.

Maria Fassi just pulled a 62 as an LPGA player. The 24-year old female golfer from Mexico had her career-best score in the LPGA’s Pelican Women’s Championship. This 8-under scorecard earned Fassi a two-shot lead in the event.

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.

Even so, Fassi has just 4 top 10 finishes and 0 victories. At 24, she’s got a Rolex ranking of 130 and her CME ranking is 72. Two of her 4 top 10 finishes came this year.

Her play in this most recent round was exquisite. It was a something to see.

Something to be Said

We don’t talk about LPGA players enough.

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?

That’s the type of motivation that keeps guys like me coming back for more. I’m not a glutton for punishment and defeat. I’m determined to conquer the challenges offered by the game of golf. This is part of the formula for growing the game.

And what Maria Fassi just showed us is that facing the challenge is part of winning at the game.

Play on!

You can watch more of Fassi and the Pelican Women’s Championship.

Feedback for My Flaws

Since posting how my recent golf outing showed signs of much needed improvement, I’ve reflected on things a bit and shared my thoughts on the whole thing. It was good to get it off my chest and just put it out there.

Here’s what I did to help improve things:

Help me with my flaws. On my quest to break 90, I’ve done it when I’ve made the right adjustments. I just need to get to the point where I can do it on a consistent basis.

I need the feedback to fix my flaws. Help a golfer out if you would be so kind.

My 99 in Hindsight

Scorecards don’t lie.

They’re an indicator of how well or how poorly we played a round of golf on a certain course at a certain time on a certain day.

My recent round of 99 was an indicator of what was right about my game as well as what was so wrong about my game.

Driving Distance and Fairway Play

I will be the first to admit it. My fairways hit usually are limited to 2 maybe 3 per round. I tend to veer to the right and then adjust and start going too far to left. I’m not hitting as many fairways as I would like with my woods, especially the driver- my TaylorMade Burner Superfast Driver.

This round I actually hit 7 fairways. I will take that. I need to get it up to 9, but I haven’t played in ages. Distance was not a problem off the tee.

Great to Just Get Out

I loved playing with my cousin Robert from Texas and PGA Tour Champions caddie and Monday qualifier Mark Teran. Along with Mark’s brother, I was completely surrounded by Austin, Texas, and they let me know it and not forget it.

Mark Teran owns Piped Golf and caddies for some well-known senior PGA players. He’s definitely got his eyes set on swinging on tour making his rounds and taking his shot at Monday qualifiers. Beyond being a superb caddie with great reviews, Mark is a mean with a dream and a pure swing.

Fix and Focus

I need to fix my swing flaws as i mentioned earlier. i need to find my rhythm and get there with my swing. On the par 5 8th hole, I hit trees on one side of the course and chipped it short of the green by about 8 yards or even closer. That’s what needs to fixed and quickly.

I need to focus on my fitness, and then I need to focus on my par 3s and playing from the rough. I’ve come up short too many times leaving myself with par shots at best. If I do this right, I can see more fairways hit, a few greens in regulation, and lower numbers of putts.

My Breaking 90 Goal Broke Down Today

Not Today

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.

Currently, I’m rethinking my retention of the wisdom of Brian Penn’s post on swing thoughts. I am reeling on my heels and tiptoes at what the Grateful Golfer shared in a past post about our work to get things done.

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.

Rooting for Rory

On Twitter their present with handles like @RoryMcllroyFans or @RoryTrackr, even @RoryStats. They’re on there. And they’re big fans of golf’s 3-time FedEx Cup winner Rory McIlroy.

Admittedly, I am a fan of Rory. I root for Rory usually at every turn with the exception of when he goes up against a fan fave like Rickie, Tiger, or Kevin Na. (Tiger, well, he’s in a realm all his own.) Other than that, I can see Rory swinging with power and looking to shave strokes all of the time.

Bubba takes it over the trees with SW

Let’s be real, though. Rory isn’t the type of big personality like John Daly. He’s not going to win you over with Southern charm like Bubba. ( I can’t lie. I will always come back to Bubba shutting up a fan with a pure shot to the green over some trees.) No dangling locks like Pat Perez or Tommy Fleetwood. That’s not Rory.

Seeing Rory do his thing is something to behold. The natural flow of his swing is stunning. The amount and degree of torque he generates drawing the club back is superhuman. The yardage he registers time and time again is feat of pure power unleashed. I really enjoy seeing Rory take on the major courses.

When you root for Rory, you want to swing it like Rory 100% of the time.

Oh, that 1 footer at the BMW?

Oh yeah. That one kind of stung a little bit I bet. It was hard enough to watch. I can only imagine what that must have been like for him after such a stellar FedEx Cup run.

Well, I have to admit we all have been there at some point. I’ve had my head down with my eyes on the ball but my head just wasn’t in it. It happens and we move on. That’s just part of the game.

So maybe it’s not 100% of the time. Let’s say 98% of the time.

Needless to say, that 1 foot flub isn’t stopping anyone from rooting for Rory.

The DeChambeau and Cobra Golf Controversy in My Eyes

DeChambeau Expressed Frustration with Cobra Clubs

Bryson DeChambeau gave an explanation as to why he struggled in the British Open. He put the blame right in his own bag: his Cobra clubs, especially his driver. He said his Cobra clubs were the issue. Naturally, Cobra was not pleased and one of its reps expressed their dissatisfaction with DeChambeau’s remarks.

Of course, DeChambeau’s comments did not just remain out there. He later apologized for his remarks. He and Cobra appear to still be in partnership, DeChambeau seen sporting a black Cobra driving cap during the St. Jude Invitational. That British Open apology from DeChambeau did not seem to linger long.

Satisfied with Cobra Clubs

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Bringing Back Conservative Play

My time on the gold course has been a continual learning experience. I’ve come to enjoy the little lessons that have come my way by way of learning what works and what doesn’t work for my game.

What Doesn’t Work

It’s always obvious what doesn’t work. The problem is that it’s not always the same thing that doesn’t work. During some outings, I can swing my 7 wood, solidly smack a golf ball against the thin club face, and smash it like a laser unto the green from within 150 yards. Other times, I find myself struggling to get off the tee.

Give me another ball! (Tin Cup)

What Works (For Me)

I have learned to put into practice and play what works for me. I cannot speak for anyone else or substitute what works for them and drop that into my repertoire.

I got to go for what I know by applying what works for me.

That’s a struggle on the golf course at times when you have some golf buddies who always have a library catalog of golf tips and knowledge like the next Ty Webb with insights like “Be the ball.” You cannot make every swing adjustment that works for that other dude because he’s all of 5’6 and you’re over 6 feet tall. His swing is troubled by an outside to in swing path with a dip in the shoulders. You just have issues with your alignment at approach and keeping your head down through your swing with your hybrids and long irons. Almost anything he has to say to you is null and void for your game.

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Conservative Play Means

  • Cautionary without getting careless
  • Consistency without getting too complicated
  • Correction without creating a new swing by the turn

My Mantra is Reborn

It all comes down to the way that you play. You’ll never have fun if you keep playing stressed out and on edge. Golf is a leisure sport. It’s not meant to be played like high intensity sports like the grid iron, hoops or baseball. You’re supposed to enjoy golf and reap the benefits of a an easy-paced recreational sport.

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My mantra is:

  • Play it smart: think through your next shot based on the conditions and the course
  • Play it safe: consider the obstacles or hazards in play as well as the course layout like doglegs or low-hanging tree branches near the fairway
  • Play it strategically: limit the recovery shots by playing the best option available and planning the follow-up shot after that

My goal is to improve my scorecard results. I want to land somewhere between 85-88 on a consistent basis, approximately 75% of the time. I want to feel confident when I go out to play that I will enjoy myself as I fish a birdie out of hole on a par 3 every now and then. That’s what I want and where I am headed.

Let’s see what comes up next time.

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