You can still get really good without access to a golf course

If you had to draw up the perfect scenario necessary to create a great golfer, one of the first things you’d probably mention would be access to a range and a golf course. Sung Hyun Park, former World No. 1 and defending champion of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, wasn’t so lucky. In her first few years playing golf, she barely set foot on the golf course.

“I first started playing when I was nine years old, and I only practiced indoors,” Park said through a translator in her pre-tournament press conference at the KPMG. “It was like a three-meter distance, and I used to hit my shots over there. And playing like that for three years, I probably went on the golf course around four or five times only, which probably means like once a year. And so I always looked forward to going out on to the course and to play.”

If you’re someone who loves golf, but don’t have easy access to a course, there’s hope for you. Park is proof that you can get good—sometimes really, really, good—even if you can’t get on-course as much as you’d like.

We talked to Jason Guss, one of Golf Digest’s best teachers in the state of Michigan, about how you can make a range-centric golf existence work.

“If you’re a good visual person you can create holes on the driving range,” says Guss. Doing something as simple as picking two targets and visualizing a fairway between them can help you create a golf hole in your mind.

“You can get into golf course mode, you can visualize and you can get pretty close to the real thing,” said Guss. Creativity is the key. “You have to be really good at using the boundaries of the driving range.”

While there’s a school of thought that says you should spend more time on the golf course than the driving range to become a better player and course manager, there are benefits to logging big hours on the range.

“I had a lot of complaints back then, not being able to play on the course, and I always wanted to play on the course,” said Park. “But looking back, I think that time on the range definitely helped me . . . sort of establish my swing and my shots.”

Guss agrees there’s a hidden upside.

“You’re working more on technique than feel and playing when you’re on on the range,” said Guss. “So if you’re working on it the right way, you’re going to have a technical advantage.”

Moreover, Guss points out that you can be more efficient with your practice when you’re on the range compared to when you’re on the course from a time perspective. You can hit a lot more golf balls spending an hour on the range than you would if you spent that same hour on the course.

There are also golfers out there who have the opposite problem Park did, with access to a golf course but no range.

“If you only get to be on course, which is how I grew up playing,” says Guss, “you have to make time for technique. You have to say, ‘Today I need to work on my technique all throughout the golf course.’ You have to turn the golf course into the driving range. Go out and say, ‘I don’t care what we shoot today, we’re going to work on our swings on the course.'”

Obviously, the ideal scenario would be to have access to both a range and golf course, but if you’re stuck in a lop-sided situation, learn from Park and be willing to make whatever situation, no matter how imperfect, perfect for your development.

“It’s great to have the advantage of being able to play whenever you want and hit balls whenever you want,” says Guss, “but if you’re one who’s stuck on one side of the equation, you have to learn how to create on-course scenarios on the range or make the range atmosphere as close as you can on the golf course.”

SOURCE:  GolfDigest

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Phil Mickelson’s quest to end US Open nightmare is on its last legs

Phil Mickelson will turn 49 Sunday, the day of the final round of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

What are the chances that he’ll be standing on the first tee at Pebble on the final round with a chance to win on that day?

Regardless of his age, because of who he is, how he embraces the big moments, how motivated he remains and what he’s done, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if he is in the mix to win the U.S. Open on Sunday.

If he is in the hunt, this is what Mickelson will face: Completing the career Grand Slam as a winner of all four major championships.

It’s a feat that’s been accomplished by only five players in the history of the game — Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and most recently Tiger Woods.

Since Mickelson won the 2013 British Open at Muirfield, this week will mark his sixth attempt at completing the Slam.

Mickelson has finished runner-up a record six times in the U.S. Open, the most recent his second-place finish in 2013 at Merion.

A U.S. Open is something Mickelson desperately wants to win for a couple of reasons. The Slam, of course. But it always has been his most coveted major championship title, even before he won his first major, the Masters in 2004.

His realistic window of opportunity, of course, is closing before his eyes.

What if it never happens after all of those close calls?

“No matter what, he’s going to be one of the greatest players that’s ever played this game,’’ Tiger Woods said. “How he’s viewed and whether he wins the career Grand Slam or not, I still think he’s one of the best players to ever pick up a golf club.

“There’s only five guys that have done it, so that’s the hard part,’’ Woods went on. “It’s just one of those fickle things. You’ve had some of the greatest champions of all time that have been missing one leg of the Grand Slam [Arnold Palmer, for example, never won a PGA Championship].

“So, for a person [Mickelson] who we all know hasn’t driven the ball as straight as he would probably like, he’s had six seconds in the U.S. Open. That’s incredible to be there that many times. He’s figured out a way to play well in the U.S. Open. It just happens to be one of those things where he hasn’t won, but he’s been there. And wouldn’t surprise me if he’s there again.’’

There is some mojo going for Mickelson, too, at Pebble Beach, where he won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February. He’s won the AT&T four times and the last time the U.S. Open was played at Pebble, he finished tied for fourth in 2010.

Overall, this will be Mickelson’s 27th U.S. Open in a professional career that has included 44 victories and five major championships.

“There’s not much I could do right now that would do anything to redefine my career, but there’s one thing I could do, and that would be to win a U.S. Open,” Mickelson said. “So if I were to do that, it would change the way I view my career because there are only, what, five guys that have ever won all the majors. And you have to look at those guys differently.”

“The difficulty is not the age,’’ he said. “The difficulty is that when you’re in your 20s you feel like you have multiple chances’. And when you’re turning 49, you’re like ‘I’ve got two more chances, this year and maybe [in 2020 at] Winged Foot [where he finished runner-up in 2006] and that’s about it. With that being the only one in the four that I haven’t won, and what it would offer me and how I look at my career, I put more pressure on it. That’s the difficult thing.

“It would be pretty special to be part of the elite players that have won all four. To me that’s the sign of a complete game. It would redefine my career.’’

“I don’t think about [the Grand Slam] a lot,’’ he insisted, but added, “I do think about what I have to do to win a U.S. Open. And it’s getting increasingly difficult.’’

Paul Azinger, the former player who is now an analyst for NBC, wonders whether Mickelson’s burning desire to finally win a U.S. Open will increase the degree of difficulty. But he, too, believes this week is set up well for Mickelson.

“Of course he wants it too much,’’ Azinger said. “[But] he’s going to a place that he knows like the back of his hand. There’s not a better scenario for Phil Mickelson to get a U.S. Open. Expectations will by sky high … off the charts. He’s already trying to deflect — saying his winning there [in February] has no bearing whatsoever [on the U.S. Open]. He’s an artist at redirecting pressure. The redirect is a great gift.

“But I can’t tell Phil how to think; he can’t teach me how to think,’’ Azinger went on. “He knows how to think. Phil is disciplined enough and he knows what he’s doing. Phil has proven he can play in the elements and he knows the greens. You’ve got to know how the ball is going to bounce and react on those poa annua grass. A lot of guys are going to misjudge that first hop. But Phil won’t. He’s been there for most of his life.’’

Mickelson’s grandfather, Al Santos, was one of the first caddies at Pebble Beach. Mickelson said his grandfather carried a 1900 silver dollar in his pocket while he worked, and passed it down to Mickelson, who uses it as a ball marker whenever he plays there.

“What an American dream,’’ CBS golf commentator Jim Nantz said. “Instead of what his grandfather was making, 25 cents a bag, now he’s going to close out the career Grand Slam on the sacred sod of Pebble Beach, what a story that would be. The story is too good and his record is too good there for me to overlook it.”

Said Azinger: “I think six seconds should equal one win. I’d lobby for that.’’

Of course, golf doesn’t work that way.

“I have such great memories here,” Mickelson said. “I would love to add to it.”



A Private Place of calm and pure golf!

We are so proud and excited to announce that Montcalm Golf Club was ranked

#4 BEST PRIVATE COURSES in New Hampshire

by Golfweek for 2019. 

Montcalm was built without a budget and it shows, possessing a sense of peaceful tranquility and rhythm for all who play here.  You will enjoy outstanding views of Vermont’s Green Mountains including Killington and Pico as well as Okemo, Mt. Ascutney and neighboring Whaleback Ski area. Our panoramic mountaintop vistas are unmatched in New England from “The Hill”, as it is fondly referred to by our members.  It continually receives rave reviews from members and guests who enjoy the complete privacy and exquisite beauty that is Montcalm. 

• Father’s Day Weekend •

Friday, June 14th – Sunday, June 16th

Dad will play FREE when you bring 3 other full paying guests.  Not only that but his first drink will be on us!

And as a BONUS…everyone in the foursome will receive a Complimentary Montcalm Hat!

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Brooks Koepka, coming off 15-day break, has no concerns heading into Canadian Open

Brooks Koepka didn’t touch a golf club for 15 days after he successfully defended his title in the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black on Long Island.

Yet he isn’t the least bit worried about the state of his game in his return to the PGA Tour this week at the RBC Canadian Open.

“It was nice to kind of recharge mentally and kind of try to soak it in a little bit,” Koepka said of his break from the game after winning his fourth major championship in his last eight starts. “I’ll be fine. I’ve taken longer breaks before and come out and played well. I’m not too concerned with it.”

Why should he be?

He has won the past two editions of the U.S. Open and the past two playings of the PGA Championship. In his last three starts, he finished in a tie for second in the Masters, was fourth in the AT&T Byron Nelson and held off Dustin Johnson by two shots to win the Wanamaker Trophy again.

And he’s the No. 1 player in the world.

Whatever his blueprint is, it’s working. Thus, he showed up at Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Hamilton, Ontario, on Tuesday and hit balls for the first time since he left Long Island. Wednesday he played nine holes in the pro-am.

Seemed pretty good,” Koepka said of his form.

So, too, has been the formula he has followed to peak for the majors. He played the week before winning each of his four major championships. It’s a week he uses to build on his rhythm and sharpen his putting stroke.

“It’s a good golf course. It’s definitely going to be a good test,” said Koepka, 29, who is seeking his seventh PGA Tour title. “You’ve got to hit the fairways, and these greens are quite slopey. So you’ve really got to control your spin. I think it’s actually a perfect setup for next week.”

Ahh, yes, next week. That would be the playing of the 119th U.S. Open, where Koepka will try to become the second player to three-peat in the tournament.

“Yeah, that name has come up in the last year,” Koepka said when he was asked if he had heard of Willie Anderson, the Scot who won the U.S. Open in 1901 and then became the only player to win three in a row starting in 1903.

“I know what I’m chasing,” Koepka said. “But it’s just another golf tournament. You can put some outside pressure on. It’s a major championship. I’ll be up for it, I know that. I enjoy a tough test of golf, and that’s what you’re going to get at a U.S. Open. You know that going in. I enjoy it. It’s fun. It’s fun to me to get on those big stages and try to win a golf tournament.

“I know that the odds are against me to win it. There’s a lot of people that can win that golf tournament. You just need to go out and take care of business, and if you don’t, hey, I gave it my all.”


YOU’VE NEVER PLAYED GOLF ANY PLACE LIKE THIS…Montcalm is NOW OPEN for the golf season! We are excited to bring you the most outstanding views of mountains, valleys and lakes, as well as rolling hills of velvet green fairways and greens.

We have been busy making some great improvements to the club.  Come on over and see our newly expanded pro shop and newly designed concession area.  We think you will agree that Montcalm is the place to be!

We look forward to a fabulous golf season and seeing you out on the links!