Week Three

IT’S STARTING TO COME TOGETHER.

Stability in my swing. Pushing myself in the gym. Scores are starting to improve.

It was a good week this week. Gym sessions have been stepped up and the golf is improving… slowly but improving.

GOLF

How many days did I practice: 3

How many balls did I hit: 250

How many hours spent practising: 4.5

Short game and swing path were the areas of focus this week.

Practising was fitted in between meetings in town and heading to Urban Golf and early evening work at a local club for short game practice.

If anything has become apparent since I started #TheGrind it is the importance of your short game. You can save so many shots by scrambling around the green… not to mention the extra Pin Seekerz bonus points you can earn!

Swing path is becoming much more consistent and taking my learnings from last week I just need to concentrate on:

a)    Focussing on hitting the ball from the inside

b)    Trusting whilst even though I feel like I am aiming right, it will in fact head towards to target.

 

BUT HOW DID I PERFORM ON THE COURSE?

This week saw me take on #GCW editor Ryan. If you’ve seen anything in the past, Ryan and I play a fair few matches against each other and also have a weekly podcast.

Reason it was a good match up is because we have very similar games. Strengths and weaknesses and we pretty much head down the 18th all-square every time.

Check out the video below to see highlights of our match.

 

 Goals for next week:

a) Begin working on 100yard approach shots.

b) Work on lag putting.


GYM

Number of sessions: 3

Time spent working out (mins): 157

Different workout. Different timings but still grinding.

This week, the exercises I am now comfortable with I decided to either up the weight slightly or the number reps to make it a little more challenging.

I also decided to mix in a few new exercises should as using the below above and driving from my legs and push the bar above my head.

I also incorporated using a weighted sandbag and squatting down to pick it up and then extend it over my head and then slam to the floor.

All as explosive movements.

Did I feel a difference in my golf this week? 

Absolutely. It has really made a difference and even Ryan said “You look more solid throughout your swing”.

For Ryan to pay me a compliment is rare so I guess he meant it!

Now I have a more solid base, I need to keep working on it but keep working on my flexibility – especially for my shoulder rotation to try and eradicate my head dip even further.

 

Goals for next week:

a) Mix in a few new exercises to keep my body guessing.

b) Work on flexibility in my shoulders and rotation.

 


NUTRITION

Distance covered km: 53.14

Active minutes: 612

Calories burned: 19,891

Average heart rate during round: 109bpm

 

Happy medium.

This week was about finding something that was achieveable.

If you have read the previous blogs, you will know how much of a struggle this has been and this week was no different.

I was still struggling to perfectly hit all my exact goals both from a macro point of view and also my calorie intake.

I therefore decided that I now have a good understanding of what and how much I need to eat so whilst it may not be perfect it is close to my goals and much more manageable.

As you can see from below, I am around the right area but the most important thing with this and the whole of the #TheGrind is that I can fit this into my life.

With regards to making a difference, it absolutely has.

I have more energy for the training and golf and have even noticed that whilst I am eating a lot more and have maintained my weight, my body fat has dropped which is always a bonus!!

 

Goals for next week:

a) Maintain a manageable eating regime.

b) If I know I will be out for the day, prepare food rather than relying on the shops!

 

We’re over half way! Week Four starts now!

Week Two

A TOUGH BUT GOOD WEEK.

Slightly less golf practice but a solid gym regime made for a good week.

 
 

After week one and the shock I guess to a certain extent of the commitment required for #TheGrind I was a little apprehensive about week two, but I went in to it with a positive attitude.

Here's how I got on.

 

GOLF

How many days did I practice: 2

How many balls did I hit: 200

How many hours spent practising: 2

This week just involved two practice sessions and after working on my wider takeaway last week this week was all about Swing Path!

I was really struggling to have a swing path that came from the inside and just couldn't get comfortable with the feeling of it. I know 'feel and real' are different in the golf swing but it was getting in my head too much.

I therefore remember something Rick Shiels said to me when we were in Dubai for the launch of PS and I decided to check out his channel to see if I could find the video.

 
 

It turns out, he has just done another very similar series and the below video is the one that was the most applicable to me.

It was all about changing your setup to allow for a more 'in to out' golf path on the downswing!

I therefore took this to Urban Golf twice this week in between meetings which was handy and worked solely on this.

At first, it was difficult - more mentally than anything as it just feels like you're going to smack it miles right but it started to work an absolute treat.

 
 

Whilst I had a variety of shot shapes, I felt like when I concentrated fully on my swing path I knew they would draw or go left.... it was only when I went back to my old ways did they go right!

Here are some shot summaries from Urban Golf to illustrate what I mean! Doesn't make for pretty reading but I know I am on the right tracks!

BUT HOW DID I PERFORM ON THE COURSE?

In short... Well.

Check out the video below to see highlights of my round and also my Pin Seekerz stats.

 

 

Goals for next week:

a) Fine tune swing path to be more consistent.

b) Begin thinking about course management.

 


 

GYM

Number of sessions: 4

Time spent working out (mins): 215

 
 

THE MOST ENJOYABLE PART OF THE TRAINING

Whilst week one was tough, I am really starting to enjoy the gym regime and already feel small gains.

My 'pathetic' glutes seem to be getting better but this week the gym work was the best part of it. 

The workout itself is interesting for me to do as it is different types of exercises and just the right amount of time before I start getting bored. It takes me just over an hour.

 
 

Here are the stats from one of my workouts from my FitBit this week.

 Here are the stats from my round of golf this week.

 

Did I feel a difference in my golf this week? 

I would have to say yes. Nothing ground breaking but there were subtle changes.

I do feel more stable over the ball and that I am in more control throughout my swing. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty more than needs to happen but it was one less thing to worry about over the ball.... falling over!

 The other part, for me is the biggest.

On my backswing, I do not feel like I am doing such a big head dip in order to rotate my shoulders on the backswing as I can rotate more freely.

 
 

Again, this is nowhere near perfect but I am on the right track I hope.

 

Goals for next week:

a) Increase number of repetitions and weights on exercises and I am comfortable on.

b) Go to Urban Golf to see if there has been any change in ball speed and carry distance.

 


 

NUTRITION

Distance covered km: 65.56

Active minutes: 874

Calories burned: 20,552

Average heart rate during round: 109bpm

 

STILL A STRUGGLE.

FAIL TO PREPARE. PREPARE TO FAIL.

 I improved a little on last week as I became a bit more savvy to the amount and types of foods I need to eat, however I am still a little off and to be honest this has become the most time consuming element as you are constantly thinking about the food you need and when you need it.

The meals themselves are actually great and I enjoy the plan - especially the fact you are never hungry, I just need to get better at two things which are my goals for next week outlined below.

The biggest learning this week is when I was actually playing golf, I was so under prepared for food even though I thought I was well stocked.

When you see just how many calories you burn playing golf and then apply that to a regime where I am already eating more than I am used to, I was way off my target.

This week I carried two chicken wraps and a Myprotein Oats and Whey protein bar thinking that would be enough.... no way near.

When I had finished golf and eaten all of this along with my breakfast and lunch, I still had over 2,000 calories to eat... Yikes!!

Goals for next week:

a) Prepare more meals to stop the unprepared fridge visit.

b) When playing golf, seriously up and plan my nutrition before, during and after the round.

 

Let's see what week three brings...

 

What is #TheGrind

I am going undertake a regime of gym work, golf practice and nutrition that is specific to me to see if or how much it improves my golf game over the next six weeks.

I will document everything I am doing for you guys to follow and even implement in your games.

The purpose of this is two fold.

Firstly to see if focussing on nutrition and practising has a substantial impact on my game but also to show every golfer out there that is possible to do whilst being time poor.

 
 

Yes being a professional golfer such as Willett allows him to practice most days and be his sole focus but for me, I have an app to run for you guys so everything I do will be around having a full time job.

It will be hard and will require dedication (hence why it's called The Grind) but I am determined to make it work and I hope it becomes useful for you guys to try it yourselves.

Secondly is to make it as accessible as possible for you guys to emulate, by providing you with resources as tools to help your own game and fitness. Of course if you wish to seek professional guidance then absolutely do so as this would be recommended but I know the barrier of the cost of this can be an issue.

I will be posting everything on Pin Seekerz's instagram account using #thegrind so make sure you follow us to keep up to date with everything.

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I will also be using FitBit and MyFitnessPal to track all my nutritional and exercising information, from the food and calories I consume to the exercise I undertake.

For my specific food diary you can visit that here.

I have made it public for you guys to keep track on me and even see if I have any slip ups!

I will regular post more detailed information in my blog.

 
 

I hope above all else that a) my game does improve and b) you guys find it interesting and helpful!

Please comment below or on our instagram posts of stuff you want to see more/less of and I will happily oblige... within reason!

Wish me luck!

 

Week One

PRACTISING IS NOT FUN!

First week into it and I now realise why it's called the Grind.

Having been very excited about undertaking this challenge it didn't take long for the gloss to wear off.

Time constraints, shanks, sore muscles made for a tough start to the week. Oh and keeping an eye out on what I was eating and sticking to my macronutrients was a grind in itself. Which I failed this week!

So how did my week pan out?

 

GOLF

How many days did I practice: 3

How many balls did I hit: 330

How many hours spent practising: 3.5

After Johnny analysed my swing (see previous blog post) and gave me a couple of things to work on I took to the range in either the mornings or evenings to work on what I had been told; wider takeaway and more rounded at the top to create a more inside to out path.

Practising has never been anything I've done or enjoyed and this was no exception.

Shanks, followed by pulls, slaps, thins and the very occasional good shot did not make it that satisfying.

I even developed a severe blister on my left hand which you can't class as an injury... More of a nuisance. 

However like everything within golf, the few good shots I did hit kept me motivated to work harder.

By the end of the week, whilst I was a three day camel ride away from good, I had narrowed it down to either a draw or pull only, eliminating other types of golf shots which may not seem like progress but it's better to know the ball is more likely to go left then maybe left, right or straight!

My strikes were way more consistent which for me is a major plus as that is where I have struggled, which in turn effects my yardages and club selection.

I would say this was the big positive of the week, more consistent strikes. 

I ended the week playing a round at Hampton Court Palace where I shot a gross 82 which is +12 and pretty much what i'd expect but it earned me 75 pin Seekerz pts round due to some great scrambling.

However it's worth noting as you can tell from my sweaty self in the video above that it was extremely hot and demanding conditions. Not used to that in the UK!

Anyone who's done it, playing a round with a new swing and swing thoughts knows it's never easy going but I struck the ball well with of course a few bad shots in there I was relatively pleased with how it played out.

It's only week one. I can't expect to have a reformed swing in one week.

Goals for next week:

a) Concentrating on my swing path coming from the inside when I impact the ball.

b) Ensuring I rotate my arms through impact to prevent the club face being open.


GYM

Number of sessions: 4

Time spent working out (mins): 215

GOLF ISN'T A SPORT - WHAT A LOAD OF S**T!

I thought I was in good shape but clearly not in good golf shape.

I was told recently by a Physio that I had 'pathetic' glutes which at the time seemed a little harsh but I think this proves he was right.

I followed my gym routine (which you can see in a previous blog post) focussing on technique and form rather than the weights I was lifting.

Here are the stats from one of my workouts from my FitBit.

As a comparison as to why you need to be fit for golf, here are the stats from my round of golf!

So what did I learn?

My legs are pathetic and nowhere near where they need to be to have a stable base for my golf swing.

For example, the dumbbell row exercise I am woeful at. I cannot complete three repetitions without wobbling and swinging all over the place.

I therefore ensured I concentrated on doing the reps slowly to build up a solid base before moving on to more reps and heavier weights.

My core is actually pretty good but definitely needs strengthening for rotation and dissociation. 

But the good thing is that I enjoyed the workout. It was new and challenging and by the end of the week I was looking forward to going back to work on my chicken legs!

Even as someone that respects golf as a sport and golfers themselves as athletes, this has taken it to a higher level. 

The exercises I had to do this week were completely new for me and my body and it showed. Whilst they do not seem on paper that taxing I was having to engage muscle groups I am not used to engaging.

To think I went to the gym first thing in the morning or at lunch and then carried on with my day at work whereas the professional golfers do this before they go on the range. Crazy!

 

Did I feel a difference in my golf this week? 

Honestly - no. 

I think though it's going to take more than four sessions before I start to feel/see a change.

This I think is where people give up and revert back to old ways as they don't see rewards quick enough!

I am under no delusions that it is going to take hard work, dedication and time to see any improvement both in the gym and on the course.

If it was quick and easy, everyone would do it!!

 

Goals for next week:

a) Nail my form and keep building my foundation.

b) Increase the number of repetitions on exercises I am comfortable with.

 

 

NUTRITION

Distance covered km: 76.49

Active minutes: 1,025

Calories burned: 21,968 

Average heart rate during round: 92 

 

EAT SIX SMALL MEALS A DAY - GREAT - NOT QUITE.

Who would of thought eating was that hard!

 

This for me took the most time and adjustment. Having to keep track of what I was eating was in itself a task but what I really struggled with is the kinds of food I was eating and the impact they had on my daily allowance.

Using the MyFitnessPal app and FitBit made everything so much easier and is pretty much a necessity if you want to take nutrition seriously (which you should).

Protein - Firstly getting the amount of protein I needed was rough, both from a volume stand point and also on my body. You can Google the affects!

However after a few days I got the hang of it on both sides and now the consumption of protein has become a lot easier. Spreading it out over the day was the key!

Carbs - way harder than I thought. I love my carbs but obviously know I need to consume the right kind of carbs... not the white pasta!!

However, having vegetables, sweet potatoes and food like quinoa, I soon learned that these don't add up to much and therefore a lot of them need to be consumed.

Lucky for me I love them so was happy to smash them throughout the day.

Fats - This was a little harder. I know about the so called 'healthy fats' such as avocados and almonds but when you see how much they consume of my daily allowance I had to become more mindful of what I ate.

That being said, after a few days, I got the hang of it by making decisions such as, if I have an omelette for breakfast, I can't have an avocado at lunch! This is the one I am still working on though.

 

Goals for next week:

a) Spread my meals out more evenly throughout the day.

b) Prepare more for the week ahead.

 

#TheGrind Nutrition

This is where I am going to struggle. I have always eaten relatively healthily but I do love my pasta!

I am also aware that I probably do not consume enough protein to cover the amount of exercise I do on a general basis.

As with my exercise, I want to make this accessible for as many of you as possible so I have calculated the below using tools online.

Step one is to understand based on my goals and workout regime what my Macronutrients should be. In short, how much Carbs, Protein and Fats I should have each day.

To do this I used this calculator and my results are below. That is a lot of protein!!

http://macronutrientcalculator.com/


In order to supplement my training, Myprotein have provided me with the same bundle Willett uses to aid his training and ensure I get the necessary nutrients to keep up with my training.

You can see the supplements Willett and I will be having which can be found here.

To be honest, the types of foods I need to eat is common sense. The right ratio of carbs, proteins and fats coming from natural/clean foods.

The hard part will be ensuring I get the right amount of each but below are examples of the types of foods I will be eating.

You can follow what I am eating and doing on the nutritional side of things on my weekly blog entries each week and also following me on MyFitnessPal and FitBit.

Preparation is going to be key to prevent the quick trip to the fridge to grab anything!

#TheGrind: Gym Regime

I have always been quite a keen gym goer but being honest, I never trained with golf in mind.

That being said, I know I have limitations in my body movement and also in certain muscle groups that restrict my swing mainly from working on a laptop all day i'd imagine!

I also have a dodgy right knee from football so it's important I take it steady and build a base with any leg work.

Testing for limitations in my body

Johnny from Hampton Court Palace carried out some tests on me to see if there were any limitations in my body.

90x90 Test: I really struggled with this as you can see from the image here a I was only able to get half way. 

 

 

 

Pelvic Rotation Test: I had relatively good movement but we can always improve it!

 

 

 

Torso Rotation Test: Again, I performed this pretty well but will be working in the gym to improve this.

 

 

 

Overhead Deep Squat Test: Once again, performed this relatively well but it wasn't without it's strain so it will be beneficial to get better at this.

 

 

Based on the above and what Willett and other golfers do in the gym, below is the workout regime I will be undertaking.

I did toy with the idea of getting a personal trainer involved but the key to all of this is that I want to make it as accessible and easy for you guys to pick up without the cost.

Therefore, I have devised the below workout plan now I know my limitations and have an understanding of what movements I need my body to get better at.

You can follow my progress as to how I get on and also for more details on each exercise such as the weights I am using on #MyGrindJourney Blog.

 

WORKOUT - 4 TIMES A WEEK

WARM UP: SKIPPING & LAT HANG

5 minutes


1) LEG & DUMBELL ROW 

SETS: 3     |     REPS: 5|     WEIGHT: 3kg


2) LEG PRESS

SETS: 3     |     REPS: 8|     WEIGHT: 40kg

 

 


3) SQUATS

SETS: 3     |     REPS: 5|     WEIGHT: 30kg


4) DEADLIFT

SETS: 3     |     REPS: 5  |   WEIGHT: 20kg


5) CLEAN & JERK

SETS: 3     |     REPS: 5  |    WEIGHT: 30kg


6) BOX JUMP

SETS: 3     |     REPS: 10     


7) SWISS BALL ROLL-OUTS

SETS: 3     |     REPS: 10     

 

 


8) BATTLE ROPES

SETS: 3     |   TIME: 30secs 


9) MEDICINE BALL, ON SWISS BALL

SETS: 3     |     REPS: 10     |     WEIGHT: 3kg


10) CORE ROTATION

SETS: 3     |     REPS: 10     |     WEIGHT: 16kg

Perform 3 sets on each arm.


11) HIGH-TO-LOW ROWS

SETS: 3     |     REPS: 10     |     WEIGHT: 20kg

Perform 3 sets for each side.


12) SHOULDER ROTARY

SETS: 3     |     REPS: 8   |     WEIGHT: 5kg

Perform 3 sets on each arm.


13) REVERSE FLYS

SETS: 3     |     REPS: 10     |     WEIGHT: 2kg


14) TRICEP EXTENSION

SETS: 3     |     REPS: 10     |     WEIGHT: 10kg

 


15) TRX ROW

SETS: 3     |     REPS: 10   


#TheGrind: Swing

I confess, I do not posses the perfect the swing and if any of you saw the course vlogs we did in Dubai with Rick Shiels and Peter Finch then it appears most of you agree!

 
 

However, it has served me relatively well and I have come to terms with my fade.

I have always struggled when it comes to the longer irons and woods with my swing but hopefully that will all change with #TheGrind challenge.

I know I have faults in my swing so I decided it was time I found out what they were and get some advice on how to improve.

Below is my current swing before I start #TheGrind Challenge and what Johnny, Head Professional at Hampton Court Palace Golf Club, believes are my faults and what I need to work on.

Just to note, below is how I best describe what Johnny told me to work on. Language may not be correct but it's how I best think it feels to describe it to you guys. I know what I need to do.

Johnny noticed that I take the club away very much on the inside which causes a lot of my head dip which I thought was due to muscle restrictions. Because of this, I then come over the top which can cause the slice of my longer irons and woods but also causes me to push and pull my shorter irons.

Therefore Johnny wants me to work on:

1) The Takeaway: Needs to go out more and not so inside. Drill for this is to have an alignment stick behind me and the club should be outside this stick when the club is parallel.  

2) Top of the backswing: I need to get my shoulders back and almost feel like my I am more behind rather than up as I have the tendency to be steep on my downswing.

I then need my downswing to come on an in to out path when I strike the ball to prevent cutting across the ball and the dreaded slice.

By rotating just at the hips with the club across my chest, this gave me the position I need to feel my body should get in to.

Then in this position, putting the club back in my hands shows the position I need to get in to. It feels very much rounded and behind me but as we know... feel and real are very different.

 

Follow the rest of my journey as I look to improve my swing on #TheGrind blog.

#TheGrind: Where my game is at now

In order to show and see improvement in my game, it was important to get an intial understanding of how my game is today.

Urban Golf have kindly given me access to their simulators to monitor my game and also practice when the weather is not so nice so no excuses for me!

Below is an overview of my current club distances and ball speed which are the two factors I will be measuring through #TheGrind regime.

Here are my current Pin Seekerz stats which I will of course be using to enter my rounds and to track my improvement.

 
 

 

The below averages are based on 5 typical shots with each clubs.

CARRY DISTANCE (YARDS) & BALL SPEED (MPH)

100 Yard Challenge

As I am sure most amateur golfers know, the 100 yard approach shot is not the easiest and especially for me, if I could get more accurate at hitting the green and giving myself a look at birdies, my scores would come down a lot!

So this is one area I am going to work on.

To start, I hit 10 balls from 100 yards and below are the results... as you can see, I hit 0 out of 10 so work is definitely needed.

 
 

I have a tendency to pull my approach shots and distance control is pretty much none existent! 

 

WHAT'S IN MY BAG

Driver: Callaway XR16 Pro, 9 degrees

3-wood: Callaway XR16, 15 degrees

Hybrid: Callaway XR, 19 degrees

Irons (4 - PW): Callaway Apex CF16

Wedges: Callaway MD3 Milled Grind (50, 54, 58 degrees)

Putter: Odyssey Tank Cruiser #1

Ball: Normally Callaway Chrome Soft but depends what's in the bag!

 

 

Hacker vs. Himself

THE HARDEST PERSON TO BEAT AT GOLF IS YOURSELF.

Swing thoughts, frustration and generally just playing golf are all challenges each of us face on the course.

So, each week I am going to publish my Pin Seekerz stats to see if there has been any improvement in my game to keep me focussed.

I need to set realistic goals but rather than doing that now as I have enough to be focussing on I am going to wait until the end of week two before I start focussing on stats improvement.

At present, swing improvement is the focus.

WEEK ONE