It is our passion to help all Academy players use golf as a vehicle to get into the very best college possible. Getting a better understanding of the college recruiting process along with what it’s like to play college golf ca
n be eye-opening.
Please enjoy my first interview with a current college player. This interview is with Northwestern University freshman, James Imai.
James offers some great insight into what it takes to play for a TOP TIER golf program. It is very important to understand that there are so many levels of college golf. Different levels offer completely different experiences for the player. In this series of interviews I will speak with players at all different levels. I believe this will help each academy player seek out what they want in their college golf experience.
https://www.kohrgolf.com/wp-content/uploads/KOHRGolf_logo_primary__RGB-700x212.png00Bill McInerneyhttps://www.kohrgolf.com/wp-content/uploads/KOHRGolf_logo_primary__RGB-700x212.pngBill McInerney2018-03-10 07:05:432018-03-10 07:11:24James Imai Starts Year Off Right
In my first blog entry, 7 Important Steps To Playing College Golf, I touched on what junior golfers can do to maximize their chances of playing golf at the next level. The countless hours spent practicing and competing are crucial but there’s plenty more that they can do to ensure they get noticed by the right coaches.
Here are some of the BEST resources that college golf prospects can use to familiarize themselves with key dates, terms, and rules that will simplify the search process. Start reading up!
AJGA Check out their College Recruiting overview which is under ‘News and Information’. This gives a detailed description of the terms, definitions, and dates that will be useful in starting your search.
PING College Golf Guide Although there is a membership fee, this is a fantastic tool that has all the information that you could possibly need. Note that if a player has a membership to the AJGA Tour they receive a free membership to the PING College Golf Guide.
Golfstat Golfstat is the official source for college golf scores and statistics so this is a great place to see how a high school golfer stacks up against different levels of collegiate players. It’s also a great place to stay up to date on the latest college golf results and keep tabs on your favorite schools.
NCAA Eligibility Center If a high schooler wants to play college sports the very first thing they need to do is register with the NCAA Clearinghouse, and make sure you check all the eligibility requirements.
It’s no secret that picking the right college is one of the biggest decisions that most people make. By doing the appropriate research and talking with the right people, you can begin to take control.
Now that you’ve done your research, here are some steps that you can take to make sure you get noticed!
Visit as many schools/meet as many coaches as you can!
Talk with players and parents that recently have gone through the recruitment process. They will be able to provide you and your family with valuable insights!
Be persistent! Follow up with coaches in a timely, professional manner. And remember- coaches want to hear from the student-athlete, not the parents!!!
Start to narrow down your list of schools based on your preferences. Academics, golf team/level of competition, location, school size, etc. are all MAJOR factors in your decision.
Enjoy the road to playing college golf!!!
Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.
There is no doubt that one of the most important factors in playing consistently good golf, especially under pressure situations, is having mental toughness. Being mentally tough doesn’t mean pretending you’re not nervous; it means knowing what to focus on and how to maintain that focus. It’s really just as simple – and as difficult – as that.
Like so many other things in golf, the way to develop mental toughness is to practice it every time you swing a club, not just when you think you need it. You can practice improving your mental toughness the same way you practice improving your swing; by staying focused on clear objectives and practicing them consistently.
Everyone gets nervous in their own way in competitive situations. Avoiding these nerves is not your goal. By developing mental toughness and discipline, you’ll perform better under pressure (both in golf and in life); with or without those exact same jitters.
WHAT ARE CONTROLLABLE GOALS? What should you focus on in order to develop mental toughness? The things you can control. And what should you avoid focusing on as part of developing mental toughness? The things you cannot control.
When playing a round of golf, a huge majority of golfers expend their energy on goals, and other factors, that they cannot control. Worrying about your final score, the weather, bad bounces and breaks, and difficult playing partners, are just a few examples of things you can’t control. If you waste your energy worrying about these items, you will not have any energy left to actually play the game and enjoy it.
Instead, you can learn to channel your energy towards only those things you do have control over – your controllable goals. Developing the habit of focusing on only what you can control, will, without question, make the game more enjoyable and help you reach your true performance potential.
So what are some controllable goals worth focusing on?
Decision making– Always make crystal clear decisions about how you want to hit each shot before you hit it.
Pre-shot routine– Develop and execute a consistent pre-shot routine.
Commitment-You need to be 100% committed to every shot.
Emotional Control– Always maintain control of your emotions-don’t let them control you!
Don’t give up– Always fight to the end —NEVER give up!!!
HOW DO YOU WORK ON CONTROLLABLE GOALS?
Perfect your pre-shot routine.
The pre-shot routine is something you have total control over, and that you can practice, both on and off the golf course. Even if you are just hitting a few practice shots on the range, it is a great idea to develop the routine of hitting each shot after going through your full pre-shot routine. A pre-shot routine is just as important as any mechanical fundamental that you will ever practice. Whatever the shot, the pre-shot routine should always be the same. Think of it as your “security blanket” when you’re in pressure situations- without it your performance could suffer. By perfecting it, you will be mentally stronger, and be more comfortable, in any situation.
The pre-shot routine also includes:
Seeing the shot- Visualize the type of shot you want to hit- before you take a practice swing.
Feeling the shot- This is your practice swing.
Committing to the shot- 100% commitment is needed prior to hitting any shot. Only focus on where you want to hit your shot- not where you do not want to hit your shot.
Hitting the shot – Hit every shot without fear or concern about the outcome – just swing freely and with total commitment, belief, and confidence in your golf swing.
Finally, you need to practice controlling your emotions. The best golfers are the ones who don’t put any energy into worrying about the results of their shots, or their final scores, in the heat of battle. They never hit a shot from a place of fear or doubt. Most of us let our emotions beat us. Beating yourself up about a shot that’s already left the clubface, or complaining about a bad bounce, is useless. It will only hamper your next shot, and consequently, your overall score.
Part of being mentally tough is learning to love a challenge instead of fearing it. It is also learning to embrace bouncing back after a bad break or a miss hit shot. Being mentally tough is having the strength to never give up. Knowing that you’ll never give up makes you ready for almost anything, including winning.
I would love to know what has helped you achieve mental toughness! Post your comments below.
https://www.kohrgolf.com/wp-content/uploads/KOHRGolf_logo_primary__RGB-700x212.png00Bill McInerneyhttps://www.kohrgolf.com/wp-content/uploads/KOHRGolf_logo_primary__RGB-700x212.pngBill McInerney2018-02-06 21:32:332018-02-06 21:42:19Mental Toughness: What it is and how to develop it
CRUSHING drives traveling over 400 yards! LASER-LIKE iron shots from 200+ yards away (longer than the length of 2 football fields) to within inches of the flagstick! High soft flop shots over bunkers that roll into the hole like putts! How is this possible. Golfers like Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Gary Woodland look more like NFL linebackers than that of a golfer.
The highlights could go on and on!
So after being a multi-sport athlete myself, and learning much through my certifications at the Titleist Performance Institute, here are 3 critically important skills your child will learn through being a multi-sports athlete:
In just about every sport you are taught to feel and use the ground. Sports like ice hockey with its quick turns on a skate blade, soccer with its stops & starts are priceless. One cannot play these sports without great awareness of the ground forces and how your feet and body have to move to stay on your feet, and not tumble to the ground. Check out this cool video of PGA Tour Winner Rocco Mediate on how he practices his golf swing with NO SHOES! This may be difficult at first but I can assure you that this would be a GREAT drill for all to try out!
SPEED & POWER
Pretty self-explanatory how important speed and power are in all sports. Recently I was lucky enough to sit in on a presentation by Florida Gators head golf coach, J.C. Deacon who said that he doesn’t pay to much attention to high school golfers that have less than 170mph ball speed. He wants players that can POUND the ball! Why you ask? Well, the answer is simple – the further you can hit the ball the less club you will have into the green and the closer you will probably hit the ball to the hole, and make more birdies! Do note that his team currently ranks inside the TOP 5 in college golf so pretty obvious he knows what he is doing when it comes to recruiting top-notch players! Sports like tennis, baseball, squash are tremendous sports that will help your future golfer develop a powerful golf swing.
SEQUENCE & RHYTHM
The next time you watch a basketball game on TV, keep your eye on the shooter instead of the ball. Watch one of these athletes throw up a 3 pointer and witness what perfect sequence & Rhythm look like. These guys make it look absolutely effortless! The shooter is initiating his or her power from the ground and from there it is literally a chain of events through the body that takes place, almost like the effortless power of a wave rolling in the ocean. The scientific term for this is the Kinematic Sequence, which as TPI explains for a golfer in that “Each body segment; pelvis, ribcage, and arm sequentially accelerates and decelerates before impact, starting from the inner large body segments; the pelvis and ribcage, then progressing to the smaller outer segments; the arms, hands and club. Each successive segment peaks faster and later than the previous segment. This action causes the club to accelerate rapidly and reach its highest speed at impact.” This movement is very similar in Stephen Curry throwing up a jump shot (check out his sequence below). This kinematic sequence gives the athlete the effortlessness we see in top athletes, and it is learned perfectly through a sport like basketball!
Well hopefully after reading through my article I was able to convince you that it is really important to get your child into multiple different types of sports when they are young. If other sports isn’t an option look for sports programs or athletic development programs for your kids. At KOHR Academy athletic training is a key part of our year-long curriculum. Our Athletic Performance Coach, Andrew Wester, tests our Academy players progress throughout the year to make sure they are progressing in their athletic development. It’s pretty awesome to see the progress for these young athletes in development!
Feel free to check out the links below. Those are two really helpful websites that I am sure you will find to be great resources!
https://www.kohrgolf.com/wp-content/uploads/KOHRGolf_logo_primary__RGB-700x212.png00Bill McInerneyhttps://www.kohrgolf.com/wp-content/uploads/KOHRGolf_logo_primary__RGB-700x212.pngBill McInerney2018-01-23 19:26:432018-01-23 22:13:563 Reasons to keep your junior golfer a multisport athlete
KOHR Golf’s new Athletic Performance Coach, Andrew Wester will be in our fitness center during open hours from 10 AM to 4 PM. Feel free to stop by and say hi, go through a brief TPI Evaluation, and learn more about what Andrew will be bringing to KOHR Golf in 2018!
Andrew Wester, KOHR’s Athletic Performance Coach, will be starting Pre-Season Golf Strength & Conditioning classes for adults of all ages and abilities. Classes will be held on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday morning at 6:30 am and 7:30 am, as well as Tuesday and Thursday evening at 7:30 pm and 8:30 pm, as well as Sunday afternoon at 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm. Classes will be approximately 50 minutes, and will cover basic stretching and warm-up routines, as well as some basic strength and power exercises to help develop swing speed and prepare golfers for the coming season. Classes will run through until the middle of March, please feel free to sign up online or contact Andrew with any questions!
About 15 years ago, I was a competitive junior golfer with aspirations of playing collegiate golf. I had won some junior tournaments, possessed a strong work ethic, and had no doubt in my own mind that I had what it took to compete at the next level. I was also lucky to have parents who were always supportive but never overbearing. My grades and test scores were solid. I was ready (or so I thought). Why weren’t coaches knocking down my door to recruit me? What more could I possibly need to get recruited?
Boy, was I naïve! Little did I know how different college golf recruitment REALLY was.
After taking a gap year to work tirelessly on my game under the tutelage of Bill McInerney, I committed to play at Johnson & Wales in North Miami, Florida under the legendary coach Dave Adamonis, Sr.
He was an old school kind of coach. He was tough but fair, and he knew how to push buttons at just the right time to get the most out of his players. I spent 4 great years playing college golf, getting my degree, and learning a lot about college golf.
Since my graduation from Johnson & Wales, I have spent time as a professional golfer, Head College Golf Coach, and now I am a Golf Performance Coach at KOHR Golf Academy. I have often thought about where I would have ended up, had I known everything that I know now. Fortunately, I don’t think I could have found a better school, for myself, to learn as a student-athlete.
My experiences as a junior player being recruited, as well as college coach looking to add quality student-athletes to a successful program has taught me about the entire process from both sides of the table. Choosing the right college is very important but it is also a daunting experience. Just like the game of golf, having a game plan is critical to getting started on the right track.
HERE ARE 7 IMPORTANT STEPS TO PLAYING COLLEGE GOLF:
Step 1: STOP STRESSING!
Step 2: Work hard in school. “How are your grades?” Without fail, this will be one of the first questions asked by any college coach. Yes, tournament scoring average is important, but coaches won’t waste their time talking to you if your grades aren’t up to par. In order to compete at the next level, you’ll need to take care of business in the classroom first. Being a student-athlete at the next level is a huge responsibility, and in my opinion, any coach worth playing for will hold this as their top priority.
Step 3: Surround yourself with a positive supporting cast.
Golf instructors/coaches, fitness coaches, mentors are all irreplaceable. Parents, don’t worry, you play an important part as well!
Step 4: Build an organized game plan.
Sit down with your supporting cast to map out efficient practice plans, workout routines, and develop a thoughtful tournament schedule. Play in local events, compete on regional golf tours and mix in a few at the national level. Not every event on your schedule needs to the most expensive or a big-time national event. Compete in as many events as you can and start developing that tournament resume!
Step 5: Play with better players.
One of the best pieces of advice I received before going off to college was to seek out the best players and emulate their approach. Observe how they practice. Ask questions. Annoy them. Play with them.
Step 6: Manage your expectations. Set attainable goals. Make mistakes, but learn from every one of them. You’re not going to win every tournament you play, you’re not even going to play great in every tournament. Ultimately, your ability to respond to setbacks will determine your success.
Step 7: Have fun. Golf is not a job; it’s just a game!!! It is disappointing when you see players and parents treating it like a job. If you are willing to work as hard as you can and have fun with what you’re doing, everything else will take care of itself.
Stay tuned for my next blog. In a few weeks, I will address even more steps to becoming a successful collegiate golfer.
https://www.kohrgolf.com/wp-content/uploads/KOHRGolf_logo_primary__RGB-700x212.png00Bill McInerneyhttps://www.kohrgolf.com/wp-content/uploads/KOHRGolf_logo_primary__RGB-700x212.pngBill McInerney2018-01-16 09:22:182018-01-18 12:57:037 IMPORTANT STEPS TO PLAYING COLLEGE GOLF
I was lucky enough to be mentored by, one of the greatest golf instructor of all time, PGA of America Hall of Famer Bob Toski.
So the story goes like this:
Super hot, but breezy spring day down at the Toski-Battersby Driving Range in Coconut Creek Florida. The year was 1995.
I was a young struggling college golfer. Growing up, I had the opportunity to take lessons from Bob since my father had taken lessons with him when he was a professional golfer. I had not seen Bob in a couple years since I moved back to Boston. I pulled into the dusty lot, parked my car, and remember sitting in my car for a few minutes thinking about how much work I needed to do on my game. At the time, I remember feeling like I was months away from hitting it well. Forget about hitting it straight! I was more interested in keeping the ball on the planet. In those days I had a tendency to exaggerate ha!
Anyhow, I grudgingly pulled my bag out of my broken down 1985 Volvo and proceeded to walk towards the back of the driving range, where Mr. Toski gave the majority of his lessons. I decided to get there about an hour before I was supposed to start my session but I got about halfway back when I heard a golf cart driving up behind me. “Mr. McInerney!” I turn my head and see that it was Bob. He must have seen me hanging my head and decided to get right at it. Bob would NEVER hesitate to give a student WAY more than you could expect from an incredibly busy coach. “Where have you been?” Bob asks me. “I’ve just been grinding away trying to figure this game out Mr. Toski.” Bob then said “Well, let’s go figure it out,” in a very confident and excited tone, “Let’s get it done!”
So, right off the bat, I already started feeling better. As great coaches do, Bob has a knack for saying the right thing at the right time.
As we were heading out to the back of the range, Bob and I went over the specifics of what I had been working on in my golf swing, what my miss was (where the ball was going when I hit it poorly), and what I thought might be going on to create that miss. I was hitting a massive slice at the time and for a player that was trying to take his game into a competitive arena, this was not a super good shot to have in the bag.
We spent a few more minutes sitting in the cart at the back of the range while I was finishing telling Bob my sob story. Bob then got out of the cart, even as I continued to rant about my life, he pulled out a 5-iron, and started ripping low bullet hooks. He then hits a few low stinger slices around one of the old tilted palm trees growing back there. He hits another hook, this time it was a towering one over a different palm tree. Then he hit a huge high slice around the same tree. He continues to mix up his shots, low right to left, high left to right, high right to left and so on. All the shots looked effortlessly struck with perfect divots. He hit all of these shots while asking me random questions about how my family was doing and talking to me about his cats.
After about a dozen shots or so, I finally caught on to what was going on here. Bob was giving me my goal for the day without saying a single word. Before I could finish laughing about how one of his cats was starting to really piss him off, Bob drops his brand spanking new 5-iron (which had the name Ryobi-Toski written on the back, his club brand, how cool is that?), and RUNS to the back of the golf cart.
The range I practiced at with Mr. Toski
He pulls a huge bushel of old beat-up Top Flight range balls from the back of the cart, dumps it out about 30 yards short of one of the palm trees he was firing balls under, over, and around, and starts kicking them all over the place. He then picks up one ball from the pile and guns it right at me. Luckily, I snag it before it knocked out the only real front tooth I had left (I lost the other one from my hockey days). He picks up another one and lobs it way up high in the air; I catch that one as well. He then says, “I’m done here, going to head back in and get some work done in my office.” Of course, I was a little caught off guard considering I had just flown down from Boston to see him for the day. He then hops in his cart and starts driving off before he turns around and says “I want you to aim at that red pin out there, and don’t move a single ball, play them all where they lie.” HE finished by saying, “Oh, and if you hit the tree, make sure you duck!” The tree was literally in the line of flight of every single golf ball I was about to hit.
Ok, so at this point, I’m sure you understand what Mr. Toski’s intention was. Needless to say, I hit the entire bushel of golf balls and I hit every shot towards the red flag I was ordered to take aim at. Nearly every single shot I had hit was either a hook or a slice to avoid the tree. I hit some low and some high. After a few hours, and about 300 shots, I actually left that range hitting the ball better than I ever had in my life. To that point, Mr. Toski didn’t give me a single piece of swing advice. Mr. Toski’s message to me was to be an athlete, be an artist, don’t think, just react. Hit golf shots and don’t think about making golf swings. The club face with an iron is flat and the ball is round. In racket sports like ping pong, tennis, or racket ball, I knew how to work a ball. I knew how to spin a tennis ball, I could hit it high or hit it low- without even thinking!
WOW! I cannot tell you how lucky I was to have a coach like Mr. Toski. Even though I had an intense desire to learn everything I could about the golf swing as a coach, this was a lesson that I never forgot. It changed the way I thought about the game forever. Unknowingly, it helped me develop into a multi-dimensional coach. He helped me understand how to make learning fun and golf even more fun. Mr. Toski also taught me how to think outside the box and problem solve.
To say I am grateful for Mr. Bob Toski in my life would be an understatement. His lessons are those that you never forget and he is a person that you NEVER forget. Every message he offers is delivered in a unique way. Every day that I coach, I remember one of Mr. Toski’s lessons and I try to pass on his wisdom.
The FCG Top 25 Elite Junior Golf Coach Award started in 2015 recognizes coaches who specialize in competitive players ages 13-18. Their players compete at the highest levels of junior golf and regularly develop into college golfers. This is the 3rd year Future Golf recognizes these top coaches for their efforts and is the second consecutive year Coach Bill McInerney has been awarded this honor.
https://www.kohrgolf.com/wp-content/uploads/KOHRGolf_logo_primary__RGB-700x212.png00Bill McInerneyhttps://www.kohrgolf.com/wp-content/uploads/KOHRGolf_logo_primary__RGB-700x212.pngBill McInerney2018-01-03 04:23:352018-01-03 04:28:37Coach Bill Recognized as Top 25 Elite Junior Golf Coach in USA
Super pumped to kick off this part of our blog and share with you our first can’t miss tip. Let’s get right to it!
This week’s hot tip – DELIBERATE PRACTICE
WHAT IS IT & WHY WE NEED IT
Wikipedia defines deliberate practice as repetitive performance of intended cognitive or psychomotor skills. Rigorous skills assessment, specific information feedback, better skills and performance.
To dumb it down a bit I would think of deliberate practice as picking something very specific to improve on – then figuring out what the one or two things that you would need to work on in order to improve that particular skill.
Lets take a look at a real-life example:
Joey has a very good golf swing and a very low green in regulation percentage (GiR). He spends hours upon hours working on the mechanics of his golf swing but his GiR doesn’t budge. Joey’s coach is stumped so he decides to go watch Joey play a round of golf. Coach is happy to see that Joey’s shots are very solid but he is either coming up short or flying shots over the green.
After recognizing Joey’s tendencies his coach builds a deliberate practice session for Joey that looks like this:
Using a launch monitor to measuring the average distance Joey hit 10 shots with each golf club. The goal here is to calibrate the average carry distance of each club. It is also helpful for Joey to know how far the shortest shot and furthest shot with a particular club is for him. At KOHR Golf Center we use a tool called Trackman to measure the distance the ball carries. For those that do not have the luxury of using a trackman KOHR Golf Center has yardage cards for all of our greens which makes calibrating possible.
After calibration we recommend challenging yourself with a game. We call this game-like type practice, Battlefield Practice at KOHR Academy. Battlefield Practice (otherwise known as random practice) is when you are in your game-like mindset and trying to achieve a certain score. Joey pulls out 18 golf balls and sets them aside (we use 18 shots to pretend like you are playing 18 holes). He is then assigned a different target for each of those 18 golf balls – hitting 6 shots with his short-irons, 6 shots with his mid-irons and 6 shots with his long-irons and hybrids. His goal is to see how many greens in regulation he would hit with those 18 golf balls. At KOHR Golf Center a game like this is easy because we actually have real greens to hit to, making practice SUPER FUN!
Check out Phil Mickelson talking about one of his key battlefield games, which he calls the 3 Foot Circle Drill, to where he has to make 100 three foot putts in a row… YIKES!
Below I have listed some awesome books and articles that talk about the importance and research behind deliberate practice. Enjoy and keep us updated on your progress. We would love for you to share some of the ways you structure deliberate practice sessions or some of the challenges you all may have in achieving a deliberate practice session.
Either way, make DELIBERATE PRACTICE your goal for 2018 and you will not be disappointed.
I love this book! Josh Waitzkin writes a book on his personal rise to the top of the chess and Tai Chi world, by explaining the mindset, proper ways to practice and how he built habits to take him to the top of the world in his professions.
https://www.kohrgolf.com/wp-content/uploads/KOHRGolf_logo_primary__RGB-700x212.png00Bill McInerneyhttps://www.kohrgolf.com/wp-content/uploads/KOHRGolf_logo_primary__RGB-700x212.pngBill McInerney2018-01-02 20:08:172018-01-03 04:35:30Practice Smarter Not Longer This New Year!