Travel to Northland – NZ

RDM –> PDX –> LAX –> AUCK

3 planes went up and came down rather smoothly – the 24ish hours of travel were mitigated by the overall excitement and adrenaline of my inaugural trip to Oceania and completely across the Pacific.  I’ve been to Israel (3 times), Europe (Ireland) and South America (Peru mainly), but a trip to the South Pacific roused my senses to say the least.

Arriving in Auckland was a bit of a shock to the system having left over 6 inches of snow in Redmond and arriving in full fledged Southern Hemisphere summer in less than a day.  It wasn’t exactly the difference in temperature that was a challenge to accustom myself to, but the difference in length of daylight!  Going from 9 hours of daylight to 15 hours of sun overnight is really strange for your brain to process.  Alas, jetlag was not too bad because New Zealand is actually only 2 hours behind the US (but a day ahead, so really 22 hours ahead).  After a full day of adventure on day 1 (I landed at 6:30am), I was bushed and ready for a great night of acclimating sleep.

I’ll tell more of my day 1 adventure in the next post, as my friend Ryan was kind enough to show off his homeland to me with unabashed hospitality.  He picked me up from the airport, put me up in his beach apartment, showed me his local haunts and delicacies, showed me how to drive on the left side of the road, lent me his car, and so much more.  New Zealand hospitality is off to a roaring start!

Cheers,

NK

The “off-season” – a ramble

As many of us are starting to wrap up our golf season across the Northern Hemisphere, we watch on as many PGA Tour newcomers and veterans alike embark upon their 2020 adventures.  It is hard to believe the off-season lasts as long as it does (18 days?), but that is the beauty and the beast of a wraparound season.  I don’t know about you, but I have issues with my body after two days of consecutive golf – it’d be very difficult to go week after week of golf only to have a very small window before the next season.  The “tour” has become a bit of a strategic game (when and where you want to play), instead of actually touring around the country (and now world) week to week.  I know there are MANY reasons why the schedule is the way it is, but I can’t help to think that some of the camaraderie of old on tour is lacking because it has become a pure endeavor of personal gain replacing the brotherhood of the road.  It seems that the emerging player is traveling with their team of coaches (which can be lonely as these coaches often cannot relate to the tribulations of the tour) rather than their contemporaries who are experiencing everything in real time.  I would love to see the TOUR market more of the “Spring Break” crew vibes showing the behind-the-scenes of how these professionals travel and support each other.

The offseason is a time to recharge your body, mind and soul.  Most professional athletes are playing injured (because they have to OR feel like they have to) and so it is imperative to prepare for future years by adding yin to the yang of the season’s energy.  How do we bring energy frequencies that are riding high from the season down to a more sustainable level?  We must breathe.  We must slow down.  We must reflect.  We must journal.  We must converse with friends and family.  We must condition.  We must stretch.  We must eat well.  We must exercise (our mind and body).  We must love.  We must read.  We must study.  What is more important – getting right back to the grind OR setting ourselves up for a great stretch in 2020?  I think that the sustainable answer is the obvious one…. or maybe the obvious one is the sustainable one.  Think about where you are in time, space and mindset and ask yourself if you want to be here again in one year.  If the answer is yes, try to replicate the last 365 days.  If the answer is no, write down how you want to be and MAKE IT HAPPEN.  Find some YIN to the YANG or maybe some YANG to the YIN.

We are going to explore a new concept soon…. 2020 Vision!

Until then,

EMERGE!

Coaching vs. Instructing

We spend hours, days and weeks trying to perfect a dynamic motion, spending hundreds if not thousands on instruction and equipment. I’m stuck in a pickle here, as most of my income is directly tied to instruction, so as to not sound completely hypocritical, I will explain myself.

Instruction allows for a person to do as little as possible on their own in order to achieve a different result (think of all of the directives you have heard in regards to keeping your head down, hitting the inside of the ball, keep your left arm straight and your right elbow into your right side, etc.)  Does that add to your knowledge base or just give you thoughts about the components of a better swing?  Do these thoughts allow for freer play during a round of golf or do they automatically restrict your swing if things start going south?  If a swing produces a good result, it must’ve been because of the cue in the forefront of the mind, right?  If a swing produces an unacceptable result, what caused it?  That is very difficult to answer for a student that craves cues and technical directives.

I’m tired of hearing as a coach – “what did I do on that one?” or “what went wrong there?”  It is an unproductive task to explain everything that is happening in a golf swing that is not “technically sound.”  As a friend of mine recently uttered, “he who hits it the least, wins.”  It’s not about knowing that the backswing produces a variable plane (especially if you can keep the ball in front of you), but it is about how aware you are of your surroundings and how the club is traveling around your body.

My job is coaching – I see myself as someone who can facilitate learning for others to do on their own!  Coaching allows a gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) push towards self-discovery.  This process allows you to understand a cause and effect relationship between the motion of your body and the flight of the ball.  Experimentation leads to knowledge and learning the path of least resistance to your success.  So, put in some time, experiment, and dig it out of the dirt!

Walk? Ride? You decide.

The age old question of how to get around a golf course.

 

I suppose it isn’t such an “age old” question but more of a “age young” question when we consider the origins of the game.  The game, invented nearly 600 years ago, has been without transportation choices for approximately 85% of its lifespan.  The 1930’s introduced a rudimentary pull cart because of a lack of caddies.  Since the 1950’s the golf cart has offered people with health concerns and limited mobility the opportunity to golf.  Fast-forward to today, and now there are numerous ways to “get a round” in.

Many argue that the game should be experienced fully by all senses.  When you walk a golf course, you give yourself the potential to fully immerse yourself in the grounds.  You can feel the turf beneath your feet.  You have more time to purely reflect between shots and take in the environment.  You can “connect the dots” between shots and literally play the course as it has been GIVEN to you.

Pace of play standards in this country have increased the stigma that trotting around a layout in an electric or gas-powered golf cart is a more efficient and speedier option.  Power carts also give the user opportunities to socialize with their riding partner.  If you choose this option, keep in mind that you will often have to travel “more mileage” on the course as the cart is carrying equipment for more than one person if you are playing in a group.  Lastly, carts carry heavier agronomical effects, which demand additional care for the course.  There are always pros and cons to innovations that make things more accessible or easier for humans.

The last decade has introduced several updates to course transportation that has attempted to solve some of the issues surrounding pace and impact to the turf.  Golf boards, bikes and scooters are single passenger options that are lighter and often have larger tires that do not compact/impact the grass plants as much as a traditional power cart.  The single passenger feature allows each player to go to the location of their ball to play their shot.  Perhaps, this solves many problems, BUT what about socializing?

Everyone plays golf for different reasons.  As a golf professional, it is my job to ensure that every golfer gets the most out of their golf experience. What is the trick?  Make sure that your WHY matches your HOW.  If you are constantly leaving the golf course in a less than fulfilled state, start asking yourself why you play the game.  Many golfers are looking to score better and enjoy the people they choose to play with while taking in the fresh air.  Most people do not play golf to exist faster, but actually to SLOW down the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  I urge everyone to try walking (if you are physically able).  Start with three holes in the evening.  Add a few more and play nine.  See if you are able to enjoy your game just a little deeper and connect with a few more souls along the way!

New Beginnings

New beginnings

Bandon Dunes OG DMK Golf Kidd

The Modern Golf Club took shape in early 2017 after an unexpected employment change of the founder, Nate Kitt, in late 2016.

More or less, the saying goes, “every end is the beginning of something else.” After taking a hard look at why he became a golf professional in the first place, Nate decided to pursue the concept of The Modern Golf Club. Ideas were continually entering his head and with a little help from friends and family, TMGC chose a focus in producing unique golf-centric opportunities to people coming and going to/from Central Oregon. What would these opportunities entail? Golf trips, events, tournaments, golf coaching, and more. One thing was known, Nate wanted to encourage accessibility to the golf course for all people. The game has meant so much for him throughout his life that he needed to provide the simple OPPORTUNITY for EVERYONE to enjoy it. 

If anything comes from sudden and unexpected circumstances in life, take a moment to think about what is important to you. The rest will usually take care of itself.