Well, I better have a Well-Being Plan

The Salvation Army Training College, Melbourne

I’ve practically finished my first week of orientation at the Training College. We’ve had a lot of different orientations – to uniform, to education, to prayer and more. Yesterday, we had a session called “Coping with Change”. We have all had to go through a big change in order to come to the Training College. At a very basic level, the shift from Perth to Melbourne was a big change. We were discussing yesterday the differences in language that we share – from Milk Bars and Delis, to Stobie Poles and Power Poles and even the way we pronounce Lego.

One thing we did was to create a well-being plan that focussed on some goals in four areas – Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual. By setting goals in these four areas, we can help take control of certain areas of our life so that we can deal with the change better, but also be in a better mental state. Part of the exercise was to write down some names that we would share the plan with so that we can be accountable with it. So I’m going to share my goals with you, and post regularly on how I’m going. Continue reading “Well, I better have a Well-Being Plan”

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A dream day

A Proms concert.
Can you see where I would be, enjoying a wonderful Proms concert? (Image via Wikipedia)

This topic suggestion, If you could spend a day doing anything, what would you do?, is from The Daily Post as part of the Post-a-day writing challenge.

There are a whole heap of things that I would love to spend a day on. And I think it very much depends on the situation that you’re in when you’re asked the question.

For example, a couple of years ago, while I was still focussing on music, a dream day for me would have been to spend a day in England during the Proms, and to spend the day going to concerts. I even took this dream to the point of planning a two-week holiday to England during the proms season, even budgeting it for me to go in 2012. Things went a different way, so this plan didn’t happen, but it is still something that I would love to do for an entire day. Maybe one day.

But you ask me right now, and the there are two things that I would absolutely love to be spending an entire day on right now.

Firstly, due to my knee being injured, there’s nothing that makes me salivate more right now than the thought of playing golf all day at a great golf course. Liesl and I were driving back from York on Sunday, and we drove past Burswood Public Golf Course, and I really wanted to get out there. It didn’t help that it was such a beautiful day. Unfortunately, it’s probably another couple of months before I can get out on the course, but I will certainly enjoy it when I do eventually get out there.

Secondly, something I would very much like to do is have a whole day jam session with a whole heap of my mates. Spending a day playing, having fun, making music. It would be awesome.

So that’s some of the things that I would love to spend a day doing. What would you like to spend an entire day doing?

Postaday2011 links

Learn to Overshoot, then bring it back

I played a round of Golf a little while ago with a couple of mates. We’re all not very good, but we’re trying. Sometimes very trying. As we were going, I observed some of my friends shots. The issue I saw was that they were afraid of going too far, or thought that their shots would go longer than they actually do. What happened as a result was that they would constantly have very weak shots that didn’t go very far. Continue reading “Learn to Overshoot, then bring it back”

Cleveland clubs heading my way

Today I went off to Marangaroo Golf Course to treat myself – to get fitted for a new set of golf clubs. Having properly fitted clubs will help my game a great deal. I met with Ross, who guided me through the process.

We started off with a discussion of the process, and how we would go about choosing the right clubs. They use a Mizuno fitting system, which is a special club that measures club head speed, as well as a few other statistics. I hit a few shots, then we went back to the shop. I have a club head speed that’s about average, however, my total swing routine is slow, which can increase torque in the club. That meant that the club at impact would be either a little open or closed, and the ball would not hit straight. The solution to that is to stick with a steel shaft for my irons. Graphite may have less flex, but it also has more torque, so while I would get more distance, I would lose accuracy.

From that, I was asked about my budget. I had a maximum of $1250 to spend, but was hoping to spend between $800-1000. Ross then took a look around the shop, looking for what sort of clubs would fit in my budget range, and be good for my swing. He narrowed it down to four irons and three drivers. There was a set of Wilson Fat Shaft clubs that was a complete set, a set of Cobra graphite irons, a set of Mizuno irons, and the new Cleveland CG16 irons. We had the matching Wilson, Mizuno and Cleveland drivers.

I hit a few shots with each of the irons. The Fat Shaft wasn’t really working for me. We had already thought that a lighter steel shaft was what I needed, but it was included because it was a complete set and at the bottom of my budget. The Mizuno clubs had nothing wrong with them, but for some reason, they weren’t coming off the face quite right. The King Cobra clubs felt really good, and came well off the face, as did the Cleveland CG16’s. I couldn’t really split the difference, so it was basically going to come down to cost on which ones would be best for me.

With the Wilson irons out of the picture, there was no need to try the Wilson driver. So it was just the Mizuno and Cleveland drivers. I took a few hits with both of them, and it started feeling like the Cleveland was the one that felt right in the hands. SO we headed back to the shop to price the two sets, the Cleveland driver and 3 wood, and either the King Cobra’s or the Cleveland clubs.

It turned out that because the King Cobras were already significantly reduced, so the entire set couldn’t be reduced, so the set of CG16 irons ended up being the cheapest options.

Because the CG16 was not sold as a set, but as the individual irons, I could actually get the lie angle and length adjusted especially for me. So we headed back down with a lie board, and saw where my clubs were hitting. We found out that I was actually hitting the ground quite near the heel, which also meant that my club head was rotating at impact sending my ball off in different directions. So with a club set up with the right lie angle, I’ll be hitting the ball with a square face (hopefully).

So with the lie angle all done, all that was left to do was order the clubs and pay for them. Because they’re being custom fitted, it will take a little while for them to arrive, but by the time I get back from Melbourne, I’ll have a full set of Cleveland golf clubs. I’m looking forward to my first round with them. The drivers don’t need to be adjusted, so I’ve got the driver and three wood for my round tomorrow.

So for anyone who’s looking to order a set of custom fitted clubs, I hope this sheds an insight into the process for you.

The Masters Masters

The masters began today. Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus were invited to hit the first drives of this seventy-fifth US Masters.seeing these greats that still have it makes me want to get back out on the course. I’ve got my birthday party tomorrow, we’re going Supa golfing. Then hopefully next week I’ll not only get out on the course, but order my new set of golf clubs. See you at the nineteenth!

A little hint goes a long way

On Saturday, I treated myself to a golf lesson. I’ve been playing for a number of years, but had never had a proper lesson. While I did have some good things in my game (eg, my grip) I also had a number of things to correct in my posture.
My teacher got me to change only a couple of things, but that made big changes to my swing. Through practice to make it regular, it should hopefully bring my game down to a lower score.
What I liked about the lesson is that he didn’t make massive changes, only small ones. Bending my knees less, bending more from the waist, lifting up my chin. When we want to make changes in our lives, we often tend to look for the big changes. Problem with that is that we’ll fall off the bandwagon, and get disappointed. Instead, we should look for little changes that will make a big impact on our lives.
For example, one of the little changes I made to help me lose weight was to stop buying soft drinks when I was thirsty. Instead, I’ll have water, cordial, or fruit juice. These aren’t as bad as soft drinks, and it’s just a small change that will have a big effect on my life.
What small changes can you make on your life?

Don’t try so hard!

I played a round of golf on Monday, as I had a morning off from work. The first couple of holes weren’t great, until I started telling myself not to try so hard.

See, when I tried hard, the extra power would put my technique all off, and my shots would either be really short, or a long way off target. But, when I allowed the club to do the work, shots were straighter. Yes, I lost some distance through the loss of power, but my shots were more consistent, and I was able to shoot some good scores.

How often do we try too hard in areas of our lives, only to have it not go as well as we expected? Don’t try too hard! Allow your body, and the tools you use, to do the work in the way they were intended. Yes, it might not be as big as it could be, but the results will be more consistent.

What in your life have you been trying too hard at?

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The price of a relationship

Three golf clubs of different classes. From le...
Image via Wikipedia

I’m cheating a little bit. I forgot to write my post yesterday, so I’m writing it today, and using the date stamp feature in WordPress to make it appear that I posted it yesterday. But I don’t want to lie to you so I’m telling you the truth now.

Anyway, yesterday I went to the driving range, as I am attempting to get myself better at golf. One of the things I’m going to do is save up and buy myself a set of golf clubs that’s right for my body and swing. Buying a set of golf clubs is quite different to buying anything else. Say I was to buy myself a computer (something else I’m passionate about), I could compare the specs, and figure out what is going to be the best computer for my needs based on value for money. However, with a set of golf clubs, you can’t just choose what set you want, and compare prices across the board.

In the process of getting custom fitted, not only will they figure out what length the shafts need to be, but they will also discover what shape head for the irons you need, what driver will work best for you. They then choose a set based on your budget that will be the best for you.

Now, I’ve got to choose a store to buy my clubs from, as we’ll be telling people to buy me gift vouchers from there to give me some extra money for my clubs, or if it costs less – then that money that I’ve saved can either stay in savings, or go towards some golf lessons. But how do I choose which store to buy from?

There are three stores I’ve been considering – The Golf Box, Drummond Golf, and On Course (which are the pro shops on some courses). I went to Drummond yesterday and asked flat-out why I should buy from them. Drummond Golf seemed to have a really large range, which means that it’s more likely to find the best set of clubs for me. They also have the Drummond Club, which would give me a 5% discount – however it costs $35 to join. So unless I spend $701, I haven’t actually saved anything.

The Golf Box and On Course don’t have as large a range as Drummond, however, they don’t charge you to join their rewards club which also provides discounts (though doesn’t say how much the discounts are).

Club fitting at The Golf Box and Drummond Golf are essentially the same, they’ve got a practice net in the shop, you swing, they analyse your swing and choose the clubs that are best for you. Fitting at ON Course is slightly different. Some stores have the same technology as Golf Box, others use a more traditional method of club fitting. But the big difference is that they take you out on the driving range so that they can not only assess how you swing, but what happens to the ball in flight.  This will help ensure I get a set of clubs that will be great for my game.

Finally, my dad pointed out something that On Course provide that the other stores won’t – a relationship. We’ve already got a relationship with the guys at Marangaroo due to playing there regularly. They know the course that I will be playing on. Also, if I’m going to get lessons – they’re the same guys, the same team that fitted me for my clubs can be the same guys that teach me.

So I think I’ve made my decision. If you want to buy me a present for my birthday in April, a Gift Voucher from On Course Golf would be fantastic.

Postaday2011 links

Golf weeks 4 and 5

Dolder driving range on Adlisberg in Zürich (S...
Image via Wikipedia

I forgot to write last week so I’m including it in this weeks post. I went to Hamersley Golf course and played 9 holes with my dad and uncle david (on my wife’s side – I have to say that because I also have an Uncle David on both my mum and my dad’s side). I shot a bit better than my last round – if you remember while I 2-putted every hole at Marangaroo, I didn’t hit a fairway off the tee. This round, I hit one third of them, a slight improvement, which saw me saving 4 strokes on my previous round, scoring 62. Consistency is still the big issue, sometimes I’ll hit it straight, other times it’s horrible. Hit a great drive on the 8th, however I pushed it and it ended up landing on the edge of the driving range. Had a shocker on the 9th, after hitting it behind the fence on the driving range (drop for recovery, no penalty), I missed the green, but shot a beautiful lob wedge at full swing to land just shy of the hole – an easy 1 putt to finish.

So that was last week. This week, I’m back at Wembley, on the driving range. One of the things I wanted to work on last week was my 3 iron from the fairway. There was a par 5 at Hamersley that while all my shots we straight, they had no distance on them. Ended up taking 3 or 4 3-iron shots before I was in range to use my 5-iron. So today I made sure to hit a good number of strokes from the grass with my 3 and 5 irons, and my 5 wood. They weren’t great, but there were a few good ones in there, so if I can just remember what I did for those when I get out on the course next week, I’ll hopefully be doing a bit better, and be able to save a few more shots.

Next week, I’m playing a round at Embleton golf course, a tight little 9 hole course of par 3’s and 4’s. Because of this, it has a par score of 32, as opposed to the usual 36. So for me to improve my score, I’m going to go up against my par score from Hamersley – plus 26, or a stroke score of 58. Embleton is a very different course than Hamersley or Marangaroo – no bush to speak of, the rough is actually very clear, so there shouldn’t be any lost balls… I hope…

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Golf week 3

Golf_Course

Well I’m writing this again sitting at Wembley Golf course. I’ve done an hour’s practice already, on the putting green and chipping. I’m waiting for the driving range to open at 9am. Silly me for not checking that the opening hours aren’t the same on a Friday as opposed to a Saturday (last time I was here). Guess it just felt like a Saturday to me.

Last week I shot a 66 on the course at Marangaroo. I’ve decided that from that round, I want to set myself a goal of saving 20 shots over the round. That would give me a round of +10 over 9 holes, or an average of just over a bogey each hole. If I can get down to that I’ll be quite happy. In order to achieve that, I need to be more consistent in my hitting. My putting last round was excellent – averaging under 2 putts per hole, and only 3 putting once. However, I didn’t hit one fairway off the tee. If I’m to get to my goal, I need to be hitting the fairways.

So that’s why I’ve decided to stick around, take this break and wait for the driving range to open. I need to work on my swing so that I’m consistent, and can hit the fairways.

I’m also going to play a round every fortnight, at different courses around Perth. While the driving range is great, there’s not the limiting factor of where the fairway is, and the rough around it. Plus, by playing a round regularly, I’ll be testing all parts of my game, and getting some good exercise at the same time. Next weekend I’m playing a round at Hammersley, and I’m also looking forward to playing at Embleton, Burswood and here at Wembley (two courses here for me to play on too).

So another 20 mins until the range opens. I’ll have a bit of a browse on the internet on my phone, and maybe have a browse in the pro shop. I don’t need anything, but it’s always nice to look.

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