Thursday, April 23, 2015

Phil Mickelson - The People's Champion

Phil's full profile.
I mentioned in my last post about my golf bucket list that out of all of my favorite players, Phil Mickelson is the one I want to meet.  Phil is such a great player, and even better, he is a great guy.  Currently Phil is ranked 48th in the FedEx Cup and 18th in the Official World Golf Ranking.  He turned pro in 1992 and has had 42 PGA Tour victories.  These wins include 3 Masters, 1 British Open, and 1 PGA Championship.  That means he has won every Major Tournament besides the U.S. Open, and I will really be routing for Phil in June when he looks for his first win at The U.S. Open finishing is Career Grand Slam.  Phil was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2012, and if you have never seen his speech, you need to watch it here.  This video, even though it doesn't show him playing, perfectly displays why I like Phil so much.

Phil truly loves the game of golf.  He explains his passion in his World Golf Hall of Fame speech.  He started 'playing' golf and swinging a club as soon as he could walk.  His dad gave him a sawed off club to play with before he was even 2 years old.  He claims that he slept with his clubs as a child while dreaming about golf.  Lefty is actually a righty.  When he was learning to play he would mirror his father, so he learned to play left handed from a young age and it has worked out pretty well for him.  He started playing in junior tournaments and then received a scholarship to play at Arizona State University.

"The object of golf is not just to win.  It's to play like a gentleman, and win."

Photo Cred:
This quote also perfectly sums up why Phil is my favorite player.  To me golf and golfers should be full of respect, respect for the game, respect for other players, and respect for yourself.  That is what makes this sport so appealing.  Phil shows this respect on and off the course.  In 2006 he and his wife Amy started Birdies for the Brave, which was later adopted by the PGA Tour.  Phil is a big supporter of our military mend and women and is involved with many foundations and charities like Birdies for the Brave and Special Operations Warrior Foundation.  

Phil is really just fun to watch win.  As much as I enjoyed Spieth's amazing win at this years Masters, I was also really pulling for Phil Mickelson to come through.  He ended up tying for 2nd place with a great performance.  I will forever wish that I would have been able to watch him win his first major championship at the 2004 Masters.  I have seen the recaps, and it would have been awesome to watch him sink that put on 18 to win his first major.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

My Golf Bucket List

There are many things I want to do in life, but as a golf addict most of them include golf in some way.  That is why I have decided to ditch the traditional bucket list, and focus on my golf bucket list.  Every golfer has one, they may not be written down and posted on a blog like this one, but every golfer has courses they want to play, tournaments they want to go to, or things they want to accomplish in golf.  So here are a few of mine, in no particular order.
The Old Course

1. Play the Old Course at St Andrews.  This is the oldest course in the world, and where golf started.  I have always wanted to go to Scotland anyways, then I started golfing and I have even more reason to go.  St Andrews is a public course and during the low season you can play the Old Course for 80 Euro (approximately 85 US Dollars).

2.  Hole-In-One.  This should be every golfers dream, and I am no different.  How amazing would it be to be able to write a 1 on your score card, to tee off and finish the hole all in one shot, to walk from tee to green without any worries of needing to make a putt.  I think about this every time I step onto a tee box of a par-3.

Photo Cred: Saved by Southern Charm
3.  Go to The Masters.  I want to be there for it all, the practice rounds, the par 3 tournament, the ceremonial first tee shots, moving day, and the final hole on Sunday.  This has been on my bucket list since I first started getting into golf and Charl Schwartzel won in 2011.  Since that day I have been dying to be at Augusta National during the Sunday round.  Now, that I have grown in the game and became more familiar with The Masters Tournament, I want to be there for all of it, especially the ceremonial tee shots on Thursday.

4.  Meet Phil Mickelson.  I have a lot of favorite players, but Phil is really the one I would like to meet.  He is a great player, and seems to be such a genuine guy.  If I could meet anyone on Tour it would be a difficult choice, but I think I would choose Phil.  If I was even able to just get an autograph from him, I could cross this off my bucket list, and probably replace it with meet McIlroy, Fowler, or Spieth.
Photo Cred: Robert Fagan

5.  Golf in Hawaii.  Hawaii is a beautiful place, and their golf courses are amazing.  I have never been to Hawaii, but I will, and I will bring my clubs.  Bonus to golfing in Hawaii, amazing weather and beautiful views of the ocean!

6.  Golf in Paris.  There is no special link between golf and Paris that makes be want to play there.  Except for my obsession with them both.  I have been in love with Paris since I was in the 7th grade.  I have always wanted to visit, and now I have to put the two things I love together, and golf in Paris.  It would be amazing if I could get on Paris International which was designed by Jack Nicklaus, but it is a Private Club.

Photo Cred: Arizona Golf
7.  The 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale.  This item could get crossed off my list pretty soon, since I only live only about 7 hours away.  The Waste Management Phoenix Open is another one of my favorite tournaments to watch, especially with my friends who like to tell me golf is too quiet.  They have put some limitations such as no caddie races and players cant throw things into the stand, and I wish I could have been on the 16th hole before these limitations started, but this is still one of the funnest holes in golf.

8.  Go to a Ryder Cup.  The Ryder Cup is my favorite event in golf, although I have never seen the US Team win.  I have only seen the last two Ryder Cups, but I have fallen in love with this tournament.  It is so fun to watch some of my favorite players play as a team.  Although it can be hard when some of your favorite players are Europeans.

I have a lot of traveling to do to finish this bucket list of mine.  The only item I can complete while staying in Utah is getting a hole-in-one.  What is on your golf bucket list that I should add to mine?  Let me know in the comments below or on my Twitter @ChippingInGolf.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


A simple 1-hour lesson can drastically improve your game.  I met with an instructor for 5 minutes and he completely changed the way I drive the ball and easily added 50+ yards back that I had lost by slicing the ball on every drive.  If I would have had the time with him to go over different aspects of my game, I would have been a much better player much sooner.  Instruction is a very important part of the game, and can help to lower frustrations on the course, and ultimately make the game more enjoyable.  That is why I am excited to help introduce DrivrGolf, a suite of tools designed for instructors, the first of which is DrivrPro.

DrivrPro is a cloud based booking and client management system that will help instructors more efficiently book, manage, and administer lessons.  DrivrPro was developed and designed based on feedback from a wide variety of golf instructors.  This is a great application that will benefit both instructors and students.

According to DrivrPro’s research, it currently takes instructors on average 30 minutes of office work just to book a lesson with each student.  That is valuable time that should be spent offering lessons.  DrivrPro will help to eliminate a lot of that unnecessary office time.  Students will be able to book, pay for, and re-schedule their lessons all online.  This is not a one-size-fits-all approach to online booking either.  Each account is set up and structured around the needs of the instruction facility or academy.  It is set up so that there is one administrator who can add, remove, or inactivate instructor accounts as needed.  DrivrPro will help to grow the instructor’s online presence with a free Golf Academy website as well.  DrivrPro offers easy to use client management tools such as calendars that can sync up with iCal and Google, as well as run business analytics.  DrivrPro will help instructors save time by limiting office work, making it possible to teach more lessons, and helping them connect with their students who are online.

DrivrPro is designed for instructors but is also incredibly beneficial for students as well.  Obviously, with online booking you can book your lesson at any time of the day.  There is a lot more to it than that though.  It will help you to connect with the best instructor for you.  DrivrPro is creating a centralized area where you can find instructors in your area and read reviews from other players.  After your lesson you will be able to see all of your data and any feedback from your instructor right on your DrivrPro account.  And it is free to use for students.  

What I really love about DrivrGolf is their mission to grow the game.  As I speak with people about golf I often hear that they have been once or twice but they weren’t very good at it so they stopped playing.  As someone with a welcomed golf obsession, this makes me sad, this is why lessons are important to golf.  Se can’t all be natural born players like Bubba Watson who never had a lesson.  Having a lesson can improve your game, lessen your frustration, make playing more enjoyable, and ultimately improve retention.  DrivrGolf has found that in the millennial age group (18-34) participation rates dropped 13% from 2009 to 2013.  Here is the thing about my age group.  We do everything online, 75% conduct online research before buying a product or service.  This is why DrivrGolf is helping instructors go online and use technology to their advantage to grow the game of golf.  They use the internet, where potential students already are, to connect them with instructors who will help them improve their game and want to keep playing.

DrivrGolf is founded by Thomas Eder and Matthew Coco, two avid golfers who want to share their love of the game.

Tom is an entrepreneur with an advertising background specializing in digital marketing, web development and interaction design.  He started golfing 3 years ago with his friends and is now hooked on the game.  The thing he loves about golf is the mental game.  “It’s truly an art form when you really begin to understand the subtleties.”  He dreams to one day play TPC Sawgrass and Augusta National.  

Matt is a digital marketer, web developer, and systems administrator.  He has been golfing since the age of 10 and has been active in the sport since.  He is an Australian with a deep loyalty to Greg Norman, and is said to have the skillset to drive the ball into outer space.  He also loves the mental side of golf along with the challenge to continually improve.  “The physics of a golf swing and hitting straight are easy to understand. It's doing it every time regardless of the situation that's hard.”  Matt plays for the love of the game, he doesn’t really care where he plays he just wants to play with some good friends with a little fresh dew on the greens.  

DrivrPro will launch this summer.  Keep an eye out for them by following them on Twitter @Drivrgolf, as well as following their blog at

Monday, April 20, 2015

Golf Fitness

Photo Cred: American Golf
Believe it or not Golf is an active sport, even when you play with a cart (which is good news for me)!  I often feel very tired after a round of golf, and I always attributed it to the fact that I have been out in the sun most of the day.  Then I started doing some research on the fitness side of golf and found out the real reason why it can be so exhausting.  By spending one hour at the range you can burn up to 200 calories.  One round of golf is equal to a 45 minute fitness class, plus it is more fun and a lot prettier.  Playing 18 holes with a cart burns over 400 calories, 18 holes walking with a caddie burns over 600.  Next time you are at the course and you are asked if you want to walk or ride, remember this, playing 18 holes is equivalent to a 5 mile walk and you can burn over 720 calories!  This last fact might make me ditch the cart and become a walker.

Golf is a very repetitive sport too.  Hours of the same motion can wear on your joints and muscles.  This is a game we all want to play into our years of retirement, I'm only in my 20's and I am already keeping my eye open for a nice place to retire where I can play golf year round!  To avoid injury that will prevent you from playing your best game or even playing at all, you need to strengthen your joints and those muscles that are used over and over again in a golf swing.  You also need to stretch and warm up before each round.  Doing this will help to increase your power and your control of the club.

In fact the number one player in the world, Rory McIlroy, along with Nike have been showing the world some of Rory's training routine that helps him do what he needs to do on the course.  I love what they have been doing to show that golf really can be an athletic sport.

While doing my research I found several simple workouts that will help to strengthen your body specifically for the game of golf.

1. Side Split Squat.  To do this stand with your feet wide apart and sit down into a squat, shift your weight to the right foot then to the left foot.  Slowly shift back and forth for 20 repetitions.

2.  Golf Twist.  To do this start in a golf position like you are addressing the ball.  Hold a 5 pound medicine ball or dumbbell at your chest with your elbows up.  Then twist your body while keeping your feet and head still similar to a back swing.  Do this on both sides.

3.  Spell Your Name.  To do this lie flat on your back with your legs about 6 inches in the air with your feet together and simply write your full name in the air with your feet.
To find these and other workouts check out this article on

GolfDigest also shared a great video that shows three simple stretches to help you warm up with your clubs before your round.  Watch the full video here.

1.  Hold your club out in front of you with both hands in a golf stance.  Simply turn your body into a back swing on both sides, similar to the Golf Twist above.

2.  Hold your club above your head with both hands and your feet about shoulder width apart.  Then lower into a squat as far as you can, don't let the club come forward in front of your body.

3.  Hold your club above your head with both hands and simply lean to the side to stretch out your oblique muscles.  Repeat on both sides.

For more golf fitness tips and ways to improve your game with an off course workout program.  Check out Golf Fitness and Training Tips.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Utah: Golf Elevated

Utah is home to some of the most beautiful scenery. It is also home to 5 National Parks (Zions NP, Arches NP, Bryce NP, Capitol Reef NP, and Canyonlands NP), and 43 state parks. There is never a shortage of things to do and see in Utah. This is one of the reasons your next golf vacation should in Utah. The main reason being Utah has beautiful courses you will want to play. I am only highlighting 10 of my favorite courses, but there are so many to choose from you should check them out yourself here.  These ten courses come from all over the state and are in no particular order.

Sand Hollow State Park is located in Hurricane and home to a Champions Course, Links Course, and a par-3 Wee Course. This course beautifully displays the red rock that Southern Utah is famous for. Sand Hollow was recently featured in Golf Week Magazine's Best Courses edition, and has received Utah's Best Public Course for 2 years. 18-hole rates vary from $25 to $125.

This course is also located in Southern Utah in Washington County. St George is the golf capital of Utah and the red rock creates some of the most beautiful courses I have ever seen. I once spent spring break in St George with some friends who were not golfers, we drove past this course everyday and it was painful for me not to be able to play this course while we were there that week. If you ever find yourself in St George you must spend a day on the golf course. 18-hole rates vary from $40 to $115.

Old Mill is located in Salt Lake City along the Wasatch Front. This mountainous course offers a beautiful view of the Salt Lake Valley from the East. I have only played this course once, but I am a sucker for mountainous courses, and this one was beautifully designed.  It was a fun course that challenged my game but was in no way intimidating.  18-hole rates vary from $24 to $34.

This is a course in Monticello that I am dying to play it. This course looks challenging but fun, with beautiful Utah scenery and plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife. 18-hole rates vary from $21 to $27.

This 27-hole championship course is again located in Southern Utah. It features red rock, red sand, and black lava rock. The course is broken down into three 9-hole sections, The Point Nine, The Woodbridge Nine, and The Black Rock Nine. The Woodbridge Nine is one of the only courses in Utah with a island green. 18-hole rates vary from $26 to $56.

Wasatch Mountain State Park in Midway offers two 18 hole courses. There is the Lake Course (the easier of the two) and the Mountain Course. The Mountain Course offers a beautiful view of Heber Valley. Wasatch Mountain State Park was given 4.5 out of 5 stars by Golf Digest in their 'Best Places to Play.' 18-hole rates vary from $28 to $40.

This is another mountainous course located in Springville. It is a short drive up the canyon to this beautiful course. I first played this course in a high school tournament. It has since been one of my favorites because of its challenging set up and the creek that runs along the course that ads to its beauty. 18-hole rates vary from $24 to $30.

This is my home course, I learned to play golf on this difficult traditional links style course. It is located in Eagle Mountain just 15 minutes off of I-15. This course is so much fun to play, but it is also really challenging with over 150 bunkers. It is also home to one of my favorite holes. The par-4 9th hole has a steep uphill slope, but it is still drive-able, as long as you can keep it out of the large deep bunkers that line both sides of the fairway, and clear the large bunker in front of the tee boxes. 18-hole rates vary from $24 to $45.

This course is located in Lehi and is apart of Thanksgiving Point Institute. The course was designed by Johnny Miller and is scheduled to host the 2015 Tour Utah Championship at the end of July. The course its self is beautiful enough, but you also get a beautiful view of one of Utah's largest and best gardens. The 18-hole golf course completely surrounds the Thanksgiving Point Gardens, giving players a peak into the 55 acres of beauty. 18-hole rates vary from $38 to $87.

The Final Course on my list is located in a small town called Sterling in Sanpete County. The course is part of Palisade State Park and is one of my favorite to play. The par-3 4th hole is one of my favorite to play. The tee-box is located straight across from the green and over a 90 yard cliff, there is a little fairway off to the left for those who want to play it safe. The difficulty of this hole is not making it over the cliff, but keeping it on the green and not flying it over and off the mountain. The past part of this course is being able to walk down to the lake for a BBQ after a beautiful round of golf. 18-hole rates vary from $20 to $25.

Utah is a beautiful place and there are many things to do and see.  If you are from Utah and you have never played some of these courses, put them on your to do lists.  If you have never been to Utah, plan your next vacation here to see some of the beautiful National and State Parks, and make sure you have enough time to spend on a Utah golf course.

Honorable Mentions: Spanish Oaks is Spanish Fork and Green Spring in Washington City.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Jordan Spieth - Masters Champion

"This was arguably the greatest day of my life."

Leading up to Masters Week I had picked four players who I thought would win the 2015 Masters.  I am happy to say that all four of my picks made it into the weekend and three of them in the top 5 (Jordan Spieth 1, Phil Mickelson T2, Rory McIlroy 4, and Rickie Fowler T12).  It was such a fun weekend watching Jordan Spieth light up Augusta National.  His performance was phenomenal.  The 21 year old from Texas is currently ranked 1st in the FedEx Cup and 2nd in the Official World Golf Ranking.  He has 3 career wins two of which come from this season.  He won at the Valspar Championship in March, and as you all know The Masters this past weekend.

Review these and other historic Masters moments here.
Jordan has been dreaming of winning The Masters for most of his life.  At 14 years old he was taking lessons from Cameron McCormick.  When he started he told his swing coach his goal was to win The Masters.  Now I can see why second place at his first Masters appearance last year stung so bad.  He made a fantastic come back this year, not only winning but breaking and tying all kinds of records.  Spieth has only played 8 rounds in tournament at Augusta national, all of which are at par or better, 7 are under par, with an average of 69.1 and 23 strokes to par.  This is a talented young player.  After shooting an opening round of 64 on Thursday he never lead by fewer than 3 strokes.  Spieth became the 2nd youngest Masters Champion of all time, joining Tiger Woods in 1997.  He also is the first to win the year after a 2nd place finish since Ben Crenshaw in 1984.  He is the first to win wire-to-wire since Raymond Floyd in 1976, and tied Tiger for all time tournament low of 18 under par.  Spieth is clearly not satisfied with just winning.  He broke the record for lowest 36 and 54 hole lead, as well as the most birdies in tournament posting 28 birdies.  This record was previously held by Phil Mickelson with 25 birdies.  Finally, Jordan was the first player to ever reach 19 under par at any time during the tournament.  

Jordan is obviously a great player, but he is also a great person off the course.  This young player is everything I think a professional golfer should be.  As Phil Mickelson said, "the object of golf is not just to win.  It's to play like a gentleman, and win."  I couldn't agree more with Phil and Jordan has done just that and has been so humble throughout the whole thing.  The morning after his win he tweeted "Well...I'm glad that wasn't a dream."  It is fun to watch great players win, but I love watching people like Phil and Jordan do well and win.  He is a people's champion.  Golf Digest has compared him to Seve Ballesteros and Arnold Palmer.  

Spieth, like many other players support and give to charities.  He has also created one of his own, the Jordan Spieth Charitable Trust.  He started this organization in 2014 to raise awareness of and donate time and money to special needs youth, military families, and junior golf.  Spieth has a 14 year old sister with special needs and she is his biggest fan and his inspiration.  You will want to watch this video where Jordan explains his charity and his goals.  

Spieth is a great player with great character.  He will win many more tournaments and majors to come, and I see him doing a lot of good for the game of golf.  I could not be more excited to see what the future has for this new Masters Champ.  

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Masters - Into the Weekend

We are just getting into the weekend and history has already been made in the first two days of The Masters.  There is 21 year old Jordan Spieth who is going into the weekend with a five shot lead ahead of Charley Hoffman.  Then there is Dustin Johnson who had quite the impressive eagle streak.  Before I get into the new records that were set I would like to talk about the leaderboard.  

The number to make it into the weekend was 2.  There are 55 players who made the cut and will continue playing at Augusta.  Phil went low in the second round with 5 birdies, 4 of which on the back nine, to make it to sixth place, 8 shots behind leader Jordan Spieth.  When Rory McIlroy was through 14 he was 2 shots over par for the tournament and close to following below the cut line.  He saved his weekend by making birdie on 15, 17, and 18.  He is going into the weekend 2 under for the tournament, 12 shots behind Spieth.  He is going to have to make a big move in the next two days to finish his career grand slam.  Last years champ Bubba Watson, who was one of my picks to win is also going to have to make a big move.  He is currently tied for 19th at 2 under par along side Rory McIlroy.  Another one of my picks, Rickie Fowler, who placed in the top five of every major last season made the cut, but is currently 1 over the par for the tournament.  Check out where your picks fell and the rest of the leaderboard here.

See the full story on Spieth here.
Now to the history that has been made in the past two days.  Jordan Spieth went low fast in the first round on Thursday posting a 64.  He continued his hot streak on Friday going 6 under posting a 66.  That sets him at a total of 130 through 36 holes, that is the lowest 36 hole score in Masters history.  

Photo Cred: Sports Center

Dustin Johnson also set a new record during Friday's round.  He posted 3 eagles on par-5 holes 2, 8, and 15.  That is the most eagles ever made in a single round at The Masters ever.

Check out the other stories going on this week at The Masters here on