Golf Channel AM Tour

Year in Review - On to 2015

A Look Back on 2014

Twenty Fourteen was a big year for my maturity in golf; the game also had a profound influence on my personal life. This year was filled with many goals that were met, not without some frustration.  I was able to achieve my first-ever win in a stroke play golf tournament, followed by two more throughout the year. The next goal was qualification into the Golf Channel AM Tour national final held in Phoenix Arizona. Placing in the top 100 out of 150 was a big accomplishment, especially since I had played in a less challenging flight (Sarazen) all of 2014.  I was able to stay focused throughout the intense four day tournament with scores of 86, 83, 90, 87.  The greatest achievement was reaching a single digit handicap (8.4) this summer, it has since leveled out to a 12.4, attributed to a swing change from a fade to a draw.

February marks the 3rd year on the The Golf Channel AM Tour, the tour attributed to much of my success in 2014. My days were filled with hours of practice and fitness. In the end it was the competition of the Tour that helped excel my golf game. It's now difficult to play golf another way than competitively. If I am not competing in a golf tournament, I am competing against the course. The new journey begins next month as I start a lengthy tournament run in February

2015 Tournament Calendar HERE

2013 vs. 2014 Golf Stats

Below you will find the data comparison from 2013 to 2014.  Data is very important to measure improvement over time, sometimes improvements are not always noticed while trying to achieve the final goal. Comparing month-to-month or year-to-year helps keep the game in perspective, and stats will allow you to enjoy the process while achieving goals along the way. 



Tournament Results and Standings

2014 Golf Tournament Record

2014 Golf Tournament Record

CA - San Diego Tour
Hogan (8.0 - 11.9) Order of Merit - The Journey 

2014 Table standings 

2014 Table standings 

Consistent Fitness in 2014 keept me healthy for the season

Look Ahead to 2015 - Golf Goals

goals for 2015 - reach a 5 handicap

Above you will find my 2015 goals - if you are looking for a program to keep track of your goals check out - Goalscape will allow you to monitor and track your golf goals throughout the year. If you are like me, you probably write them in a notebook or on a random piece of paper. You can take the Rory Mcilroy approach and write it on a first class plane ticket. Write, log, or tell someone - logging and verbalizing your goals will go a long way in achieving success. 

Pictures taken along the way.

2014 Golf Channel AM Tour National Final Recap - First 4 Day Tournament

The Journey to...

We arrived in Arizona with high expectations for the 2014 Golf Channel AM Tour Nationals Tournament, however mother nature had other ideas.  The worst storm the Phoenix area has seen in 100 years hit hours after we arrived. The storm was so violent it woke the entire family from deep sleep and the constant flash flood warnings pinging our phones made it hard to sleep through the night.

We did not get flooded out of our rental house, however courses across the valley did not have the same fortune, including Talking Stick. My Dad (also my caddy) and I still had high hopes for playing our practice round before the tournament's official start on Tuesday even though Talking Stick had closed their course for the entire day.  We were able to book a practice round at GrayHawk Talon, the most difficult course scheduled for the week. Since it was located on a slightly higher elevation, it was the only course allowing tour participants to play practice rounds before the official start.   The day was wet (lack of roll) with high humidity which made the course difficult and the difficulty was compounded by the minimal course maintenance due to the severe weather. The day was mentally draining because I was not striking the ball well with my 8.5 degree RBZ driver. The practice round helped Team Bareño determine to use the 10.5 Degree D2 Titleist driver in lieu of the TaylorMade; sacrificing extra yardage for more consistency and feel off the tee was a paramount decision.

Welcome to Arizona!

Practice Round - Grayhawk Talon Course 

Four Days - PGA Tour Style 

Four consecutive rounds helped me to established a deeper appreciation for The PGA Tour, LPGA,, European Tour, and all players that compete at any level.  There is a strong debate wether golfers are athletes or just "game" participants - I now have a strong opinion that golfers are indeed athletes.  There was a time when the image of the pro golfer was an over-indulging, beer guzzling, cigarette smoking player (John Daly comes to mind).  Those days seem to be far behind with Tiger Woods leading the way with regimented fitness. Now players like Rory Mcilroy and Lexi Thompson are leading the charge for a strong body and healthy mind which leads to a better end product.  There are still a select few that are not the healthiest participants who don't seem to have a glowing bill of health.  When I see the less health-conscious players on tour I often wonder how they can compete week after week without having some sort of fitness routine in their bag.  Look at the top players who compete at a high level every week, they are players that have a consistent fitness routine for the competitive edge. 

First Day at Talking Stick

The Score Cards

My Dad The Caddy 

Fitness and Health - Four Days

Qualifying for Nationals spring-boarded me to a strict diet with increased fitness in anticipation for the 4-day event.  The true test was completing the final day, with my fitness being the anchor to my strong finish on GrayHawk Talon, the most challenging of the 4 courses. Not only did I finish the first tournament relatively unscathed, I felt that I could have played a 5th day without hesitation.  The real appreciation for the pro's came days later when my body began to ache and joints in my fingers were hurting from the extended strain on my hands. The more I hone my skills as a golfer, the more my upper body, arms, and hands are stressed like never before. Thinking about playing another 4 day tournament the following week was unfathomable, and we used golf carts!

The Takeaway  

This was my first full year on The Golf Channel Amateur Tour and it yielded fantastic results in my golf game and my personal life.  I qualified for nationals, meeting the myriad of requirements set by the tour, yet the best qualification criteria for me was my promotion to the Hogan flight with a new tournament index of 11.9.  Many tour mates (including the voice in my head initially) thought it was unfair that I played the entire year in the Sarazen Flight, qualified for nationals in said flight, however weeks prior to nationals was bumped up to the better flight.  Looking back at my written goals: I set out to qualify for nationals, win a tournament, and move up to the next flight, which all were achieved.  

I attained a tremendous amount of experience being in the Hogan flight, playing alongside quality players and competing at a higher lever.  This first Nationals will forever be ingrained in my mind and I can't wait to improve and compete for a long time to come. 

Thanks for reading! 

Packed and Ready to Roll

Thanks to Harmony Bar for helping me get through the 4 days!  Visit the site by clicking the image above. Order some today:) 

Thanks to Harmony Bar for helping me get through the 4 days!  Visit the site by clicking the image above. Order some today:) 

Fatige, when the physical takes over the mental

Fatigue is something that I don’t come across often in golf since I keep up with physical fitness and training off the course.  At the Temecula Amateur Championship this weekend I hit a wall. 

Our group had a 10th hole start on the Oaks Course which happens to be the most difficult of the two 9’s that we played, the other 9 being The Creek Course. The Oaks Course has more elevation changes and can prove difficult with a few blind shot to navigate.  The real story around the course was the speed and difficulties of the greens.  The greens where running about 10 on the stimpmeter and I witnessed a lot of putts rolling 6 feet past the hole on numerous occasions.  On this day my putting was working and working well (32 Putts) which gave me momentum heading to the easier Creeks Course. I was one off the lead from my fellow competitor Michael Richard who would eventually win the tournament with an 84. I knew from the start of the round he was the one to beat and I knew if I kept pace with him I would have a chance at winning the tournament. 

As we all know there are two halves to every game or at least a clear delineation of a midway point that can really change the momentum of any game that has a beginning and end.  My end happened to be on the 10th hole of The Creeks Course when I hit a tee shot drawing left to the trees on a dogleg right and ended up with a 7 when Michael ended with a par, my next hole on the par three I ended with a double and bookended the 11th with another 7, Michael was only 1 over after three for this stretch and I had a mountain to climb.

And a mountain is what it felt like I was climbing after the 11th hole and I was mentally still in the game but the physical eventually took over my mental and I did everything in my power to keep focused to finish the round in a respectable manner.  I could use the excuse that I walked the course but really it was one of those days when I was just flat out tired.

I recently wrote in a past blog about PGA Professional walking 5 plus miles over 4 days so I imagined having to play another round the next day and I could not wrap my head around having to go swing the club and walk another five miles after being totally exhaustion after my round.  This is a reminder that we all have our good days and bad days and even though my score could have ballooned well past 95 I did the best I could under the exhausted circumstances.

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4th place going into next weeks tournament at Aviara

4th place going into next weeks tournament at Aviara

Steep Elevation Climb

Steep Elevation Climb