Monday, April 15, 2013

National Golf Day

Tuesday, April 16th is National Golf Day in the USA.  In light of this, I thought it would be fitting to share the  following infographic which does a great job of depicting the economic impact of the golf industry throughout the United States.  

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Golf Club at Chelsea Piers

The sun is finally shining over the sprawling metropolis of Manhattan, the workday is almost over, and so it’s now time for my work colleagues and I to begin our pilgrimage over to Chelsea Piers Driving Range. Armed with our small range bags carrying our weapons of choice, we traverse the Big Apple from the office through the maddening crowds wearing our business suits. But unknowingly to all that pass us, we are ready to strip down to our underlying golf attire like Clark Kent about to save the world once again.
For at the Golf Club at Chelsea Piers, situated at Pier 59 on the West Side Highway, one gets to blast golf balls on a choice of 4 levels with the ultimate aim to hit them over the back net into the Hudson River from 6.30am all the way through to Midnight every day!! No buckets here by the way! The range uses a back-saving automatic ball tee-up system that allows you to ‘Tee it up’ to the nearest millimeter without ever the need of bending over and thus saves all your energy for whacking through your golf ball range card at an alarming rate.
Of course this comes with a not-so-small price to pay in both time and money. Paying and playing during the peak hours can hurt you both in waiting time and the wallet (I think it works out to be a quarter a ball). But as this range is the only place you can hit a ball on the island, then you are more than happy to spend that little more for the convenience at this great golfing venue. I have also found that no matter what time of the year you go, then sneaking out for a lunch-time session during the week, or getting yourself up nice and early before work will get you to bask in experiencing the facility in all of its finest glory at a far cheaper rate and without any delay.
As well as the range, the Golf Club also boasts a putting green and a small chipping area in the parking lot. But be warned that this green is lightning fast! Using this as a quick short-game practice, before heading off to one of the many NYC metropolitan courses will certainly leave your putts found wanting when you get out on the real track…
I personally am a pay-as-I-play kind of guy at this range as I like to vary where I practice, so I just buy the $100 ball card that maximizes the discount to a full 15% and just use it across a number of visits. But for those of you who are interested, then there is a multitude of membership levels that are on offer. These allow you to reserve stalls, enjoy discounted ball rates, and use of the locker room facilities. The membership prices seem reasonable (For NYC at least!). I have to be honest, there has been a many a time I really wished I was a member. Just for the simple fact that walking or taking the bus in golf spikes and carrying the chosen clubs for that day from the office can be somewhat cumbersome…. 
To complete the facility, then the simulator golf and the golf academy really does ensure that this golf center is unrivaled in NYC. Without the Golf Club at Chelsea Piers, then for us city-dwelling golfers we really would struggle to get our golf fix especially in the winter months (No worries, they have heaters!) and I am afraid to say my city life would be empty without it……And the final cherry on the top?!…..The Chelsea Brewing Company Restaurant and Microbrewery is attached to this fine establishment! A perfectly located place for a few pre-and-post golf session cheeky beers that really just makes this place an urban living golfers paradise.
For further information, definitely visit the Golf Club at Chelsea Piers website and why not the Chelsea Brewing Company one while you are at it too!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Golf Channel: Feherty and The Haney Project

As the PGA Tour now rotates this week into it's Florida Swing, starting at the Honda Classic hosted at the fantastic PGA National Golf Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, I am finding myself even more glued to the sofa watching the Golf Channel. As part of my training for the new season through the power of TV, I am very much hoping that the skills of these top players will diffuse into me as I sit and watch them making their way around the famous Bear Trap, holes 15-17, on the PGA National Championship Course! :-)

Of late, the Golf Channel's coverage of these great events has gone from strength to strength, and I am really enjoying their current programming lineup. Last Monday saw the new season of “The Haney Project” with Michael Phelps as his new student. The first episode delightfully set the scene as we saw this great Olympian beginning to realize how much devotion and effort is going to be required to improve his game. It made me smile to see this incredible athlete openly confessing that he was feeling tired and will be sore in the morning, after going through Hanks infamous first stage in his training method. Our passionate leader here at ESG had an unique opportunity to interview them both a few weeks ago which he summarized in the fantastic article The Haney Project - Michael Phelps

Feherty is another great program and this season’s kick-off interview was with arguably the greatest golfer of all time, Jack Nicklaus. David with his distinctive unique sense of humor and candid openness makes him a great interviewer and entertainer. As a viewer, you really feel the close bond he creates with all that he meets, and how he can bring out the honesty and sincerity from even the most reticent golf personalities. After every interview, one really feels closer and gain more of an understanding of the golf celebrity interviewed.

Couple these two great programs, with the PGA, LPGA, Champions, and Tour coverage, the recently revamped Morning Drive, and the plethora of other top programs on the schedule, then you will find and understand why the Golf Channel is TV's fastest-growing network. 

So be sure to reserve your Monday nights, set-up the DVR, kick back and enjoy watching Michael Phelp's progress on the Golf Channel at 9.00PM (ET) followed immediately by Feherty at 10.00PM (ET)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

SwingTIP - Your Mobile Swing Analyzer

Although frustrating, I do find forced into an off-season due to weather during the winter months incredibly beneficial. It allows me, without excuse, the time and focus to return back to basics, and tweak my swing without the pressure of working on it between rounds in the summer months. However, just hitting endless balls week after week at the range, without any real measure to show if the effort is having a positive effect, can be meaningless. But I have found that the SwingTIP device by Mobiplex has proven to be a great solution to help bring objective and focus to range time. This is because SwingTIP provides real time analysis of every swing, allowing you to quickly identify faults and provide feedback if your self-prescribed (But it is highly recommended they should be from an instructor) fixes are working.

SwingTIP is a lightweight Bluetooth device that attaches to any golf club. Pair up the device to the free download application on your Smartphone and within seconds of taking a swing, you are presented with a digital reproduction of your swing that can be viewed at 3 different angles. The application also captures valuable information such as clubhead speed, swing path, club face angle, impact zone and tempo. One can then use this data in real time to begin identifying faults or improvement opportunities that  you can then begin to work on. This really makes your time at the range as effective as possible as you focus on adjusting, correcting and learning how to repeat what it feels like to make that great swing over and over. Once your session has completed, you can then sync the data to your personal account at and admire your improved stats and how you have begun to develop some consistency in your swing.

One of the features I really enjoy about this product is the ability to compare your swing with a PGA Pro, and by a single click how you are directed to instruction tips specific to your swing to help modify your technique.

From a personal perspective, I have really enjoyed using SwingTIP. My main focus for this off season is to develop a repeatable tempo, and generate some additional clubhead speed for those extra valuable yards for the new season. Already after only a few sessions with this device at the range, I have been able to recognize that I am in fact ‘toeing’ my drives with an outside-to-in downswing. With a few minor adjustments to my set-up, a slightly looser grip, and slowing down my backswing fractionally, I have been able to increase clubhead speed and find that sweetspot on my driver more often than not.

A few modifications
thanks to SwingTIP
and increased clubhead speed
and finding the Sweetspot!
To summarize then, I highly recommend this product. It’s great value for money and the analysis and feedback you receive really allows you to hone in on your technique at the range. The device is quick and easy to clip onto any of your clubs, and it is incredibly lightweight so you do not feel it on your club as you swing. I do also recommend purchasing a couple of additional brackets that are on offer to help you move from one club to another quickly. I am also impressed with the upload time of the data after you swing, which really is a matter of seconds.

Finally, I would also like to say that the customer support is second to none. I had to contact them on numerous occasions due to delivery issues at my apartment building, etc. The response and their service really was outstanding, which backs up the superior quality of this product and the company that developed it.

For more information, please visit SwingTIP’s official website at

Monday, January 7, 2013

Swing Trust Oil: The Sweet Smell of Success?

As golfers, we are fully aware that this beautiful game involves many aspects, and none is as important as what is actually going on between our ears while we play! Research has shown a definite connection between one’s mind and performance, and this mind-body connection is ever becoming the focus of many top-golfers. We all know that much of Tiger Wood’s earlier success is credited to his mental game, as well as his physical talents and skills, with Greg Norman being quoted that this was his crucial “15th Club”. But for us amateur golfers what is our solution, if we are not ready or have time to immerse ourselves into numerous Self-Development books, Sport Psychologist sessions, NLP, hypnosis, and/or even a new religion to help calm our first-tee jitters and stay in the moment for those pressure 3-foot putts? Well Swing Trust may just be the answer for us mere mortals to give us that competitive edge through natural focus and confidence.
Now before I continue, I would like the audience, especially our male readers, to keep an open mind, and yes, the pun was definitely intended. For Swing Trust is an aromatherapy solution that claims with its proprietary blend of essential oils will produce confidence, tranquility and focus…But before I lose you, I want to admit that I was as dubious as the next person, that such a claim could be plausible wafting some smelly concoction under my nose. But through personal experience that I will explain shortly, I was positively and shockingly surprised that it actually did work, and although I haven’t been able to use it on the course as yet due to the wintry New York climate, I can’t wait to try it out under tournament conditions.
The Swing Trust Oil comes in a neat little package, which reminds me of a tiny hip flask, that can be attached to a key ring or anything else to keep it conveniently located. By simply unscrewing the lid, you waft the contents under your nose for a few seconds taking in a pleasant smell that hits the back of your nose nicely, and it seems to kick in immediately.
To test the product to its fullest, I decided to evaluate the claims, just before I had to perform a presentation in front of an uncomfortable amount of people for my day job. No matter how much I rehearse my presentations and absorb the content, I always find myself just before the sessions with a stomach containing one butterfly too many, sweaty palms, and a mind that fills with fears that always hinders my delivery and my performance to give my best presentation I can. In effect, the same feeling as I get when just about to tee off for a golf tournament. Now, whether it’s a Placebo effect or just purely by the slow breathing as I inhaled the contents of Swing Trust Oil, I did sense immediately a level of calmness and clarity. In fact, the first time I inhaled, I laughed in disbelief that a relaxing feeling was coming over me…All I can say is that I delivered my best presentation thus far, feeling completely in the moment and focused throughout the speech, as the empowering fusion of essential oils gave me some unfounded confidence.
I have told my friends and colleagues about the Swing Trust product, and my experience with it, and of course, I have enjoyed the banter and judgment that has come of it, but it has been a great conversation starter. Einstein said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”, so if you are looking to improve your mental game, then I would recommend getting rid of some of that stinky thinking by giving the Swing Trust Oil a chance, and start enjoying the sweet smell of success!
For more information on Swing Trust, the Golf Swing Essential Oil Therapy, then visit their official site at