Naomi's Post of the Month - MASSGOLF

Naomi’s POST OF THE MONTH

Naomi is here to help you navigate the crazy golf world with topics ranging from goal setting, expectations, the female golf experience, growth of the game, to so much more. Keep reading to hear what is on the pro’s mind this month and how it can help you or a friend!

 

HOW TO INTRODUCE A FRIEND TO GOLF: OCTOBER 5, 2021

The other day Mass Golf collaborated with Fore the Ladies to bring new golfers into the game of golf. One of the things I noticed during the clinic was that a few of the women came with a friend of theirs that were at least familiar with the game. They were there to learn as well as be there to support their new golfer friend. I find this EXTREMELY important for a brand new golfer! Having a friend or family member there that already golfs, encouraging them, is so important to their enjoyment of the game.

 

There are multiple excuses people provide for not taking up the game of golf. Not having golf clubs, not knowing what to wear, where to go, the list is long. If a friend or family member is there with them taking lessons alongside them or taking them out to practice and/or play provides them with a comfortable setting and introduction to the game.

 

Do you know someone who keeps saying they want to learn golf but never has taken the initiative and/or keeps giving excuses. Ask them to join you the next time you go to the range and say they can use your clubs (have them use the tee) and let them know what to wear and what to bring. My biggest recommendation is to set up a lesson and say ‘I have a lesson on this date and this time (find out their availability beforehand), I would love for you to join me!’ Then once you take the lesson together you can go to the range between lessons and help each other out, like saying ‘Hey remember what Naomi said about your power hips?!,’. You can help each other out and it is in an encouraging way as the information is coming from the golf professional and you are both growing your golf games together!

This is more than just inviting a friend to golf. As Amanda Gorman says “Don’t just pull up a seat at the table, bring another chair for a friend”. You have the real power to help your friend become a golfer!

 

ABOUT NAOMI

Finding a PGA Golf Professional that is female is a lot like hitting an eagle on the course, they are out there but you wish there were more. With over 20 years focused in the golf industry Naomi Nesenoff, PGA has explored and excelled in many areas of the golf industry. Before Mass Golf, Naomi worked her way up throughout the years to become the Director of Golf at multiple facilities. Running massive golf events for facilities, charities and organizations, being mentored by a PGA Master Teaching Professional, winning local and national awards for her merchandising skills, and implementing numerous out of the box programs throughout the world that we don’t have enough space on here to fill, Naomi is dedicated and passionate about the golf industry. With such a diverse background, Naomi brings vast experience, a unique perspective and a passion to share golf with everyone!

 

CUTTING STROKES WITH YOUR MIND: SEPTEMBER 9, 2021

What is important in golf to succeed? Great fundamentals? Of course. Timing? You bet. A powerful swing? Sure. What is the cherry on top? I believe it is a positive mindset.

I was playing mini golf this past weekend and had a blast! I can remember one hole though where I looked over the putt and it just didn’t feel right and I just didn’t trust my swing. I looked at the hole then my ball then the hole without confidence and took my club back and didn’t even know what happened after I hit the ball. Did I make it? Nope! Not even close. I didn’t have confidence over the ball that I would make it in the hole.

This was a big challenge I used to see when I was teaching, that once golfers noticed could shave multiple strokes from their score.

First, keep notes on your scorecard on how many times this or something like it happens to you during a round. Do that a few times and see if a pattern arises. Does it happen when you putt like me or during another part of your game.

Next, when that happens when you are on the golf course:

  1. STOP what you are doing

  2. Take a deep breath

  3. Start your pre-shot routine over

That’s it! It’s as simple as that! You first realize what you are doing. Then you reset your body and mind with a breath to be able to refocus. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes! 😊

 

SHORT & RIGHT: AUGUST 11, 2021

I was out playing The Links at Mass Golf the other day with a friend and I noticed something on the 14th hole. I noticed that on most of my putts I was pushing them to the right and they were all short of the hole. I couldn’t believe that I was just noticing that on the 14th hole. As I wasn’t writing anything down or keeping notes, I just kept going to each hole and forgetting what happened previously. After the 14th hole, I literally wrote on my scorecard ‘short right putt’ so that on the 15th hole when I got to the green that phrase would be present in my mind. So when I got to the 15th green, guess what happened?!? Did I leave it short and right? No I did not! 😊 I know it took 14 holes to realize I was leaving most of my putts short and to the right and it might take that long for some of you as well to realize something within your game. It might take until after the round that you realize something, but once you realize it, try making a note so you can keep it with you during your next round.

Here’s a quote from a colleague about leaving putt shorts – “They think the end of the world ends at the hole” – Drew Chapman. Drew, I know this is something I personally have to keep working on and as the saying goes, never up never in.

 

KISS YOUR GAME HELLO: JULY 7, 2021

 

I think everyone is aware of the phrase KISS, to keep things simple! There are hundreds of thousands of golf books, magazines, tv shows, etc. on golf and how to get better and if you think about more than a few things at once, guess what is going to happen? Yup, it’s not going to go as planned. Ekk! We have all been there.

You may think as a PGA Professional I think in depth about the swing and analyze numbers and angles. When I play golf definitely not! When I teach, sure and my mind actually thinks of the swing changes more like a domino effect. I analyze what I can change in the setup first that can make the most difference. Then the in-swing changes I only make 1-2 changes at a time! That’s it and depending upon the change it could just be one change.

Now why only 1-2 in-swing changes? Why not work on your grip pressure throughout the swing while looking at your hip rotation in the backswing and positioning your elbow at the top of your swing along with your club parallel to the ground up at the top and focusing on your tilt in the downswing and your weight shift in the follow through with your left arm extension and etc, etc, oy! That’s too much for the brain to process in a few seconds. Am I right?!

Here, try this. Anything you need to do with your set up you can do. So 1,2,3 things, go for it! Then you don’t have to think about them after that. They can clear from your brain. There, you just checked those 3 things off your list! Yay!

Then when you swing, just think AT MAX one thing in your backswing and one thing on your down swing. That’s it! It will help you focus on the item you want to focus on. Then when you are able to accomplish it, don’t add on another thought. Take the first one away and put this new thought in so you only every have 1 in-swing thought in your backswing and 1 in-swing thought in your downswing. If you want to go back to the first thought go for it, but remember to KISS and have only 1 thought in your backswing and 1 thought in your downswing maximum at any time!

 

DREAM BIG: JUNE 9, 2021

Each year I give the interns at Mass Golf some type of stationary to keep notes, journal, etc. As our first intern Abbie started her first week and after we had some great conversations, I went in search of stationary that would fit her and found the perfect one! It said DREAM BIG across the front. We had conversations about my journey and how she wanted to have adventures like that.

I did the same internship as Abbie over 10 years ago and I didn’t know what was ahead of me in my career. I didn’t know the possibilities and wasn’t aware of all the avenues I could go with my career. So something I’ve asked Abbie to do at the end of each week is to take some time to journal, to write down thoughts and goals and things she wants to learn this year. I believe it is important to continually grow and learn from those around you. Even now, I learn so much from my colleagues and I’ve already learned a lot from our amazing intern Abbie!

So I would recommend this to everyone. Take 1,2,3,4 or 5 minutes at the end of each week and just write down or type up things you’ve learned, goals, experiences that interest you, etc. Once you start writing you will find out more about yourself.

Keep those notes and at the end of the year review them. You will see how far you have come and you may find that you were able to push yourself into different directions because you opened your mind to more possibilities.

 

FINDING YOUR SUPPORT TEAM: MAY 11, 2021

Something that’s been on my mind this past month has been the supportive individuals I have worked with throughout the years and where they are now. It has been inspiring that in the past year, five of those individuals made huge leaps in their careers and it worked out to be their dream job! 😊 I found mine as well!

Try this exercise: Think about the job you are in right now. Who comes to mind when you think about a supportive individual? Is it someone kind and positive? Is it someone that pushes you to be your best? Is it someone you haven’t worked with, but noticed they were any of these for other individuals? If you have someone that checks any of those boxes, that is amazing! Try building that relationship so you can help each other learn and grow throughout your career. Invite them out to lunch, ask to work on a project together, stop by their office to check in and see how they are doing. Any time you can connect with them will help you build that relationship.

Is there someone you had that relationship with in the past? Try reaching out to them. See where they are now and continue to build that relationship. Text, call, or e-mail. Whatever you feel most comfortable with. It will mean a lot to them and you will see the return in continuing that relationship.

Why is this important? Because if you don’t have a supportive team you are stranded on an island without a boat. As I continue building these relationships, I have multiple individuals I can reach out to, bounce ideas off of, ask for advice from and more. By strengthening  these relationships it helps me to continue to learn from them and be a better professional. The people who help us grow make us who we are today and shape our future. You will be more apt to apply for a job or handle a difficult situation with supportive individuals by your side.

One last key point to remember is to always listen and give more than is expected with that individual. Be a sounding board for them and give your all into helping them. The more you give, the more you benefit. Their successes will make you proud and happy for them and these individuals can become lifelong friends.

NOTES FOR BETTER STROKES: APRIL 7, 2021

It was two or three weeks ago I was thinking about April’s blog and what it would be about. I remember being really excited about the topic I chose and thought out the entire blog in my head from start to finish. Unfortunately I didn’t write it down and guess what?

Yup, I totally forgot the topic and everything I was going to write when I was thinking about it last week. Has this ever happened to you? Well it’s happened on more than one occasion for me and it stinks. You come up with a really good idea, song, recipe, and then it’s gone like the wind.

Well, guess what I did last week? I typed the word ‘FORGOT’ in my phone. Just one word, as a quick reference for when I would work on my blog next. A new blog topic about forgetting swing lessons, techniques, terminology, rules, etc I thought would be a good topic to bring up.

I looked at my phone in the notes section a few days later and saw the word ‘FORGOT’. Just by writing one word it brought up my blog idea and I was able to start typing this blog.

So what I’m getting at with this month’s blog is to provide you with a helpful tip to help you to remember the important items that would help your game. Let’s work on providing little reminders to ourselves telling us how we are progressing. Just write down a note to yourself, it’s as simple as that.

Here are some examples:

  1. If you love to go to the practice range, take a little note pad with you and write down your takeaways from each practice session. What did you figure out today? What worked and what didn’t?

  2. Do you have a goal with putting? Do a putting test for yourself at the end of each practice and keep notes on your progress.

  3. Are you working with a pro? Take notes down right after the lesson with only a few key words that stuck out to you that you can look at later and remember the topic.

  4. Are you working on correcting your alignment? Try out different approaches, like aiming with your feet, then hips, then shoulders and when you find which works better just write down that area. Like for me it’s feet.

  5. Are you working on tempo? Play a bunch of songs when you are practicing and when one clicks and works perfectly with your swing, write the name of the song down. I remember in high school getting the Justin Bieber song ‘Baby’ stuck in my head for weeks, so make sure to choose some songs that won’t make you too crazy listening to on repeat.

  6. Are you working on distances with your mid irons? Keep notes when you are on the course on how long you hit your ball for each of those clubs and you’ll have a good idea of your distance ranges. Like this: 7 iron – 130, 140, 138, 134, 135 = Range 130-140

For those who love check lists like me, this will be motivating and fun. For those that wing it when they swing it, this will be a little harder to do. To make it easier to try, whenever you are going to practice or play, put a small pad of paper or your phone in your back pocket. It’ll be within reach when you have your takeaways after each practice or playing session. It doesn’t have to be a novel, just a few words will do the trick. Try making it more often, like after 15 minutes of practicing or after each hole, making a note. Like ‘driver 3/4 swing’ or ‘follow through to cup’ or ‘loosen arms’, whatever worked!

The next time you go out to practice or play, read your notes back to yourself and remember what you had worked on. It’s a great place to start for that next practice or playing session. Try writing down notes for a month (I know, I know, that’s a long time, but give it a shot!) and then take a look back through each day’s notes to see how you’ve progressed. You might be surprised how much you’ve progressed in a short amount of time just by keeping notes.

 

HOW TO RESPOND TO UNWANTED ADVICE: MARCH 10, 2021

I used to run a clinic series for new golfers and returning golfers I called *No Embarrassment Clinics*. In my first clinic of the series I always explained that when they will be practicing and playing golf in the future that random men WILL come up to them and try to give them advice. These groups were made up of mostly women and I mentioned this WILL happen to them and that it won’t likely happen to the men in the clinic. It’s a crazy and unfortunate phenomenon.

Personally, I have had too many experiences to count where I am practicing at a range and someone that I don’t know or sometimes someone I do know comes up to me and without hesitation starts telling me what I NEED to be doing. I have never met a female golfer this has not happened to. That is crazy right?!

So after explaining this to the group and taking questions, I would provide some options for them to be ready to respond to that person.

  1. The polite approach – Thank you, but I am working with a PGA Professional on my game and am focusing on that.

  2. The confused approach – Do I know you? or I don’t know you, why are you telling me this? or please don’t confuse me, I’m working with a PGA Professional and really need to focus on that.

  3. The direct approach – Saying NO and Please Stop. I am working with a PGA Professional.

Many of the students in these clinics returned with stories of this occurrence and most felt comfortable using the first approach. One of my students Olivia provided an EPIC response that I have shared with my students since and would like to share here…

Olivia always wanted to learn the game of golf. She recently started working at a golf course and wanted to understand golf for herself and her new position. She was nervous and excited to learn, signed up for the No Embarrassment Clinic series and had a blast during the first clinic! After the first clinic Olivia was practicing her golf grip in her backyard and her uncle came outside and started saying to her you know what you need to do with your grip…. Olivia immediately put up her hand and said proudly STOP, I’m working with a PGA Golf Professional Naomi. Olivia told me that her uncle’s attitude did a 180 from telling her what to do to him being very impressed. Olivia was so proud to share her experience with the group the following week. She said that she wouldn’t have known what to do and was so happy to have an answer. The whole group was incredibly happy for Olivia, admired her direct approach and saw that it worked!

If you are introducing a female friend or family member to the game, please let them know that this WILL happen to them and then provide them with Naomi’s 3 Tips to be ready like Olivia!

Can you use these if you aren’t working with a golf pro? Of course! No problem! You can say I am your PGA Pro and that you come to me monthly, which is the truth because my blog is monthly! 😊

IF GOLF WERE A TEST, LET’s ACE IT!: FEBRUARY 2, 2021

This month we are talking about Mental Rehearsal and Preparedness.

When you are getting ready for a test in school you typically study, take practice exams and you mentally prepare for the testing environment right? By doing these steps you feel more ready and confident with this type of mental rehearsal in comparison to not preparing at all.

Let’s get you feeling more ready for the golf course with mental preparedness before your round of golf. In this situation the round of golf is the ‘test’.

  1. Study – Similar to how you would prepare for a test, you would practice on the range before your round as your ‘study’ time. Instead of ‘cramming for the test’, try coming out multiple times before your round to practice. Work on trouble areas of your game to improve and remember to spend time not just at the range but at the short game area as well. We want to be a well rounded student!

  2. Practice Test – To take your practice ‘test’, practice an entire hole at the range and putting green. The key is to play exactly like you would on the course, just like a practice ‘test’. Pick a hole or a spot on the practice range and imagine that is the first hole you will be playing that day. If you know the first hole you are playing that day that’s great! Pick that as the distance. If not, check out the scorecard to give you an idea of the hole’s layout. Then hit your appropriate club (no do overs!) and imagine how far you are from the hole then (*don’t actually walk out there*). Pick another hole or spot on the range that would be that new distance away and hit again. When you are near the green or on it head over to the short game area. Figure out approximately how far you would be away from the hole and hole out. Your practice ‘test’ is now over. Now to analyze. How many strokes did it take you to hole out? If you have time, retake the practice ‘test’ and see if you can beat your last score. If your last ‘practice exam’ didn’t go as well as you hoped, end your practice with a short putt that you sink to give you a good feeling to go to the next step.

  3. Prepare for the environment – Before you head to the tee or ‘test’ take a minute or two to mentally prepare. You can sit or stand, eyes open or closed, and do some deep breathing. Realize if you feel any extra tension in your body and do a few last minute stretches to prepare your body and mind. Imagine the first hole and how you played it on the range. Since you have practiced it moments ago it will feel fresh in your mind and it will help prepare you for implementation. Then head over to the tee area for the start of your round.

  4. Test Time – As you are walking up to the tee try taking a deep breath and relax your body. We ALL get nervous on the first tee and that is ok. If you practice mental preparedness with the steps above, it can help you with those first tee jitters, help you become more confident and comfortable on the first tee and help to implement what your body and mind have been practicing on the course.

Please feel free to reach out and let me know if you tried this and how it went! 🙂 nnesenoff@massgolf.org

 

 

ARE YOU A TRUE GOLFER?: January 13, 2020

Hello golfers,

Yes that means you!!!

If you have read any of my past newsletter posts, I start off the same way, HELLO GOLFERS. Let us talk today about when and what determines you to be a golfer.

I saw a commercial the other day where a couple was driving in a car and the husband said ‘I got invited by my boss to play golf next weekend. The wife responds, ‘Are you sure? I know you have that old set of clubs, but you’ve only played golf once.’ The husband responded ‘I have a set of clubs, so I AM A GOLFER’ with lots of confidence.

I actually laughed out loud! I have seen this type of situation repeatedly through the years where many men feel comfortable saying they are a golfer way before many women feel comfortable. I enjoyed how blatantly they showed this in on tv. Why did the husband feel so confident? Why didn’t the wife?

Let’s go back to when you started golfing. Was it just recently or a long time ago? When did you finally say you were a golfer? After you had played for a few months, a year, two years, more? I know I didn’t call myself a golfer until I took a series of lessons over a few months and then played golfer numerous times by myself until I felt comfortable being on the golf course with others to finally start calling myself a golfer. I thought I could not call myself a golfer until I could go out and hit all my golf shots and understand EVERYTHING. Guess what? I will never be fully confident nor know everything about golf, but continuing to learn and improve is one of the great joys of golf!

Now I believe anyone interested in golf that enjoys it is a golfer. Just like bowling, working out, and baking, if you enjoy it, you associate yourself with it! So why not golf? Are you new to golf or have a friend who is interested? Let us start the trend and build the confidence in our fellow female golfers. If you or your friend just started golfing or have an interest in it, think of yourself as a golfer and call each other a golfer. Say it over and over again and soon you will believe it. Don’t wait until what we think we need to reach to become a true golfer, start calling all of your girlfriends interested in golf a golfer today! This can help grow confidence in oneself, which is also a big aspect of improving one’s golf game. So let’s grow each other’s confidence!

This ‘think it say it’ philosophy is closely related to mental rehearsal, which we will talk about in next month’s blog. Until then, I wish all of you golfers out there a happy and healthy 2021!