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With the new year, begin a new you

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I thank Elsa Bronstein for the wonderful introduction last week and her service with the Beacon for the last several years. She left big shoes to fill and I hope I can bring the same enjoyment she has given to so many people over the years. I wish her the best of luck with her new ventures and may she continue to touch people as she has done.

As a golf professional for 20 years, I have had a great deal of ups and downs in my game. Finding the balance between fine tweaks and fundamental overhauls is a tough challenge. I always gain a great deal of motivation at the start of a new year. It is the perfect time to reflect on the past year, what you want to see change and how you can improve for the new year. It is a great time to check all your golf fundamentals. Jack Nicklaus would start every year practicing the basics, and you should, too. Over the course of a year, fundamentals slip due to survival mechanisms that occur in watching poorly hit shots. Spend some time to relearn your grip, setup, ball position and posture. It’s the little things that take care of the big things. Email me a video of your swing or stop by the academy and I will happily get you reset.

In addition to examining your fundamentals, the new year is a time to set goals and expectations. My role as a golf coach is threefold: teach and communicate proper technique, be as approachable as possible and motivate my students to play better golf and enjoy a higher quality of life.

The first two have been easy for me as my personality exploits approachability and I have always dedicated myself to be around people who exemplify their specific talents, such as Jack Nicklaus or Michael Breed, to name a few. However, the motivational role has been the most exciting part of my job. Not only for golf but also in getting people to think outside the box in relation to every day living.

My favorite interview with Steve Jobs sums up this type of thinking. Jobs says, “The key to life is understanding that everything around you has been created by people no smarter than you.” The idea that we accept life the way it is, is limiting. We need to try to “poke holes” at what we think is accepted and test our boundaries. We should “leave our mark on life” and try not to live within the guidelines that society tells us is normal. With that in mind, I challenge you in the new year to set your expectations and goals accordingly with your golf game as well as your daily routines. Keep in mind that common people don’t go as far. You need to be uncommon and understand that being average is sometimes not enough.

 

Here are a few of my golf goals for 2017. Each has a definable metric:

 

·      Increase my club head speed to 115 MPH

·      Win a PGA Section tournament

·      Qualify for the National Club Professional Championship

·      Beat my all-time low score of 66 (-6)

 

 

A goal that can be visualized can be achieved with greater ease. Not too long ago, I watched a clip of an old episode of “Oprah,” and her guest was Jim Carrey. I am a big fan of Carrey’s but had no idea of his background. Carrey was telling Oprah “if you want to accomplish something, all you have to do is tell the universe what you want.” He said that at a low point in his acting career he wrote himself a check for $10 million and postmarked it for five years in the future. He then began visualizing himself getting big gigs and compliments from the most influential people in the business. It was from that point that things started to click. The ability to visualize big things made the prospect of achieving them easier. Eventually, Carrey cashed that check a few days shy of the postmark, when he signed a deal to a star in “Dumb and Dumber.”  

Let the new year be a time for you to reflect on your game and get back to the basic fundamentals. Visualize where you want to take your game and put the proper teachings and practices in place to make those visions come to life. Come see me at the academy and we can put a strategic game plan in place so you have a topnotch 2017 golf season.

Please feel free to contact me with any ideas, comments, complaints or questions. It is my goal to bring you information pertinent to what is happening in the game of golf, as well as instruction, local happenings and insight into local personalities who make this game so great. 2017 is a new year and an opportunity for us to assess what has been working and what needs to change. I wish you the best in 2017 and I hope you enjoy the Tenminute Golf Column.

 

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Darren deMaille is the owner/director of instruction of Double D Golf Academies. There are two locations: Harbour View Golf Complex in Little River, S.C., and X Gym Sports Mall in Myrtle Beach, S.C. There have been many people who have influenced deMaille’s philosophy; however, his basic principles are based on the way Jack Nicklaus swings the club and plays the game. DeMaille can be reached at (203) 895-1133 or email at tenmindoctor@aol.com