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Tournament Golf is Tough

As coaches we get to experience many highlights during a junior golfers career, first par, maybe first birdie and of course first drive that travels over 100 yards. It's amazing to see junior athletes smile when they accomplish their goals.

Our coaching staff had the opportunity to travel to 3 events over the weekend all in close proximity to our training center. These are athletes competing at provincial and local levels. Each player was prepared going into the weekend with their swings firing on all cylinders. What they did not realize is "Tournament Golf is Tough" and under that pressure the swing can totally change. Pressure can bring out different emotions that can take over the natural swing and confidence the player has in their game. Our players had great success with 19 of 21 qualifying for the Durham Tour and both provincial players see great success during the weekend.

We look back on the weekend and understand that providing great support and constant feedback for every player helps them grow during this tournament golf journey. I am excited for every practice as we work hard to provide teachable moments for our players.

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Golf Training in prepartion for the 2016 golf season

In today’s society it takes a lot more to be a high performing athlete then ever before. There has been more research done on sports specific fitness training over the last few years and how it has helped athletes reach that next level.

Through experience, I have noticed a larger difference in my golf game since I started training in the gym specifically for golf. There are many other ways to improve your golf game than being on the course! Even back when I was going through Junior Golf in 2006-2010, this was a very new theory for many. I was lucky enough to be one of the first groups to go through the fitness and mental side of golf as part of team Ontario. This opened my eyes to different methods of training specifically for golf. There are so many dimensions to the golf game as this sport is a lot different from many others. You may not see how mobility and strength can have an impact on your golf game, but that is what we are here to inform you about.

The unique thing about golf, is that it is not a very physical demanding sport, however, it does use many unique muscles in a specific sequence. In golf it is not necessary to attain a certain body figure or even to become more cardiovascular fit, but more specifically, to prepare certain muscles for the golf sequence. It is very important that you not only have very good mobility for these sequences, but stability as well. This is why training in a gym for golf is very important.

Many people ask “How do you train for golf?” This is a very good question. Typically you want to work on explosive movements, rotary movements and focus mainly on the gluteus muscles and core. Any type of stability movements, such as resistant band work is extremely good for golf. With the golf swing demanding quite a bit of flexibility, it is also important to maintain mobility as well as strength through your training.  To increase stability, bilateral training is highly recommended. This means while loading up one side of the body with your own weight, or even added weight, the opposite side of your body is stabilizing to perform the lift. Another way of attaining strength and stability for golf are any eccentric movements because this is key for gaining strength in the larger muscles and proper loading of the muscles. During every exercise it is very important to have proper form. If not, your risk to injury is very highly increased. Having a coach is very highly recommended before using any weight or trying any complicated moves.

We have noticed that posture is even more of an issue in young children then it ever was previously. It is very common that athletes have either a posterior or anterior pelvic tilt. This means that either their pelvis is tilted inward (anterior tilt) or it is tilted outward (posterior tilt). This is also the case with their shoulder girdles. Part of training is to make the athletes more aware of their body and correct postures to ensure we are working the right muscles and providing ourselves with the ability to create the most rotation possible. Posture becomes a very important part of golf as it requires the ability to stay in posture throughout your swing.

Titleist Performance Institute (TPI). This program is a physical screen specifically for golfers. This screen tests many different movements to detect mobility deficiencies and stability and strength weaknesses.

It is very important in the golf swing to understand how the body works and how to get it to work properly. By training in the gym, you have the opportunity to increase distance and accuracy. You need a proper sequence in the golf swing to create the most efficient results, training in the gym is the perfect place for this.

In TPI we learned how the body works and moves and how to directly correlate this information to the golf swing. This will be very beneficial in teaching the golf swing. If a coach and golfer are trying to get into the right positions, it is very important to understand why they aren’t already getting there or why they can’t get there. Diagnosing a mobility or stability problem will help in fixing their swing as well as fixing their movement patterns.

As a college golfer, I have directly seen immediate results from training in the gym. Not only did I gain yardage, but my swing also felt effortless. In college we played 54 hole tournaments. A lot of these tournaments were 2 days leaving us to play 36 holes in a single day. This was not only very physically demanding, but also mentally demanding as well. The stronger I was and the more in shape I was helped improve my stamina in both departments. Because my body was stronger I didn’t have to fight the physical fatigue most people do. This gave me advantage because I never had to worry about swing changes as it got to the end of the day.

Gaining an edge on competitors is what Geared to Golf is all about. With experience in Amateur golf, I know how important the physical component is. It has become an essential part of golf and progressing your game. I love the idea of training for golf because unlike other sports, you don’t need a specific body type like gymnastics or football in order to perform. However, what you do need is strength, flexibility and the ability of knowing how to attain a good sequence in your swing that also works for your body and your swing.

This is a great life lesson for young athletes as not only will it make them a better golfer, but subsequently it will teach them life long lessons on healthy living. Training in the gym is something that we should all learn to love and enjoy. As a young athlete, this habits are very good to have. It will become part of their everyday life and something they will continue to do forever.  Our goal is to have our athletes excited to train in the gym and think that it is fun. It is another critical part to the game of golf, and better yet an awesome way to promote healthy living and correct body movements.

Geared to Golf wants each golfer to love the game even more and become a better person within our community.

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2015 GAO Coach of the Year

2015 Golf Association of Ontario Golf Development Centre
Coach of the Year
Jake Patte

It's with great honour I have the opportunity to wish my coaching partner and friend a huge shout out for his recent Golf Association of Ontario Junior Golf Development Center Coach of the Year!!

Your speech last night was moving and I realize that it takes a team coming together to make this happen, but most importantly it is the passion we see everyday from our dedicated athletes, parents, coaching staff and of course our golf facilities that assist in making us better!!

A special shout out to the Golf Association of Ontario for an amazing Summit and your increased support for coaching in Ontario.

Jake enjoy this award, you were voted by your pears and deserve every success you receive!!

Geared to Golf Team!!

 

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HOW WE CAN BECOME BETTER GOLFERS IN THE WINTER MONTHS

Even though our cold Canadian climate does not allow us to play golf through the winter months, that does not mean our golf clubs should go away and begin to gather dust in the garage or closet. We at Geared to Golf believe that winter months can be an extremely important time for a motivated golfer’s development.

With our athletes, the process begins with establishing a good plan: Together, we outline exactly who each athlete wants to become, and establish new behaviours and goals that will guide them through the process of evolving as a golfer. This requires some reflection on behalf of the athlete, and can be a very powerful tool for change; when it comes to getting rid of some old bad habits, and adopting new beneficial golf specific habits for change.

This is a time of year where athletes can make great strides at making changes to their golf swings and to their bodies. We focus on one or two goals pertaining to your swing, one or two goals pertaining to your flexibility and fitness, and discuss ways in which we can enhance your mental approach or mindset to the game.

With a clearly laid out plan, all that remains for the athlete is a lot of repetition and hard work! Discipline is a word often used with our athletes as the process of making change is not an easy one and requires quite a bit of hard work. However, the net result of a well laid out plan, and execution of that plan, is a golf season full of personal bests and fun on the golf course!

We look forward to continued communication on how you can make the best of these cold winter months, so you can come out playing the best golf of your life in the spring!

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SPRING QUALIFYING

QUALIFYING – A GRIND LIKE NO OTHER….

Ryan and I spent Saturday and Sunday watching our Gear 4 team members play in their Durham Junior Golf Tour qualifier at Black Diamond Golf Club in Pontypool. We couldn’t have been more proud of how our Geared Team members competed in what were some very challenging conditions, and under some intense pressure situations. I am not sure who was more nervous out there though….the players, or their extremely anxious coaches =)

Ever since our first practice on March 29th, we all had our sights set on this qualifier and had been preparing as a team and individuals with one goal in mind – We wanted to be the most prepared players in the field! Indeed, our preparation was going to be our greatest competitive advantage over the field at Black Diamond. With that in mind, we put heavy emphasis on routines, practice habits, targets, diet, sleep, and time management as we got ready for Black Diamond. We also played a practice round as a team the weekend before, developing some strategy and mapping the golf course to plan how we would attack it in the qualifier. It was a very enjoyable process getting ready for this event.

“We wanted to be the most prepared players in the field”

Unless you have experienced it, you can’t quite appreciate how difficult qualifying in golf can be. It is the ultimate test of mental toughness, patience, and discipline. As hard as you try to stay in the present and not think about score, it remains the one constant in the back of your mind. Thoughts like: “did that four footer that I just missed cost me getting in?” Or “What score is going to qualify and how close am I if I just play the last three holes at even par?” It is a constant battle of emotions, and therefore typically the most prepared and mentally tough are the ones who usually survive.

As I said earlier, we could not be more proud of our boys for how they competed and never gave up on the weekend. We have some very tough competitors on our team, and I can hardly wait for our team practice Thursday where we can discuss, praise, and learn from their efforts on the weekend. We have a very bright future ahead of us with our Geared to Golf Performance Team!

Kudos to all who competed on the weekend, in what were some very tough conditions! It was an absolute pleasure being out there observing such incredible golf from some of Durham’s finest young golfers. Thank you also to the Durham Junior Golf Tour for running such a first class qualifier!

It is finally starting to feel like spring, and the 2014 competitive season is underway. It sure is a great time to be a golf coach!

See you on the links,

Ryan and Jake

Geared to Golf Coaching Staff

List of the 2014 Qualifiers

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Pizza Pizza Hockey Festival

Hockey and Golf: Always a Good Combination

This past weekend Ryan and I volunteered at the one hundred and ten team OMHA Pizza Pizza Hockey festival at Iroquois Park. In conjunction with the GAO and the Mr. Knickers - Golf in Schools Program, we had a golf booth set up for kids to try golf utilizing the ultra-kid friendly Snag Golf equipment.

Upon arrival on Friday at 9:30, I have to admit I was very worried we might have a slow weekend at our booth, as we had some major competition to deal with; this being a massive jumping castle and a series of other really cool and fun activities for kids.

Boy was I ever wrong to worry. In 18 hours of work over three days, Ryan and I put 500 plus kids through our golf booth. It was a very rewarding weekend as we exposed the game to so many kids.

I want to share some of my observations and learning experiences from this weekend in this edition of Coach’s Corner:

An introduction to the game: “Show me your best slap shot with a golf club!”

 “Have you ever golfed before”?

This was our first question to each kid after we gave them a massive high five and asked them for their name. To my surprise roughly 50 percent of kids had not played. Being at a hockey tournament the next steps were easy:

 “What way do you shoot in hockey?” followed by “Show me your best slap shot technique.”

With the slap shot as a reference point, we would move their hands closer together and work on a longer and smoother arc, and then simply let them swing away and have fun. Ryan and I were both amazed at the successes for the many beginner golfers that came through our booth.

Lots of Lefties!

There was a time when it was next to impossible to find left handed equipment due to the overwhelming majority of players playing from the right side. That time is over….Left handed golfers outnumbered right handers 2:1 in our booth over the weekend. I don’t think our booth was an anomaly; we attribute this shift to the majority of hockey players having a left handed shot. I foresee some very good lefties from Canada out on the PGA Tour in ten years or so.

Back for some more: “Repeat Visitors!”

As I said earlier, we had to contend with some serious competition in the OMHA fun zone on the weekend. Competing against a jumping slide would be like me playing in a PGA Tour event against the best players in the world…..sadly the jumping slide usually wins. However, in this particular case, we as the underdog held our own. We were amazed at how many kids returned for more golf over, and over, and over again. Our booth was one of the hottest activities in the fun zone. Junior golf was very much alive this weekend at Iroquois Park!

Overall, it was a spectacular weekend and my bruised hand is slowly healing from all the high fives that I gave out. Thank you to the GAO and tournament organisers for this tremendous opportunity!

The weather is finally turning; Masters Week is here. The Inaugural Season for Geared to Golf is underway. Life is good.

Cheer for Canadians Mike Weir and Graham Delaet and enjoy the Masters everybody. We hope see you all on the practice tee or golf course very soon!

Sincerely,

 

Jake and Ryan

 

 

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Why we love Junior Golf

 

Unfortunately over the last few years golf has shown a trend of declining interest. This may be because it is typically a very expensive sport to play, or due to the time constraints as a round of golf can often take over 4 hours to play. Whatever the reason may be, it is not something that we in the Geared to Golf family are willing to accept. We believe one of our greatest gifts is our ability to expose this wonderful game to youth, and in this edition of Coach’s Corner we would like to discuss reasons why we are such major advocates of junior golf.

  • Golf has already brought me so much in my 20 plus years of playing it:
  • Incredible friendships that will last my entire lifetime
  • Meaningful life lessons about etiquette, perseverance, hard work, and self-fulfillment
  • A scholarship to play golf in University, where I not only competed clear across the United States, but received a first class education in the process
  • And finally, an opportunity now with Geared to Golf to share my love of the game with so many kids and golf enthusiasts across the Durham region

There is really no better way to spend a summer if you are a kid than outside on the golf course. Through golf, you learn patience, dedication, interaction, opportunity and humility. This all comes while kids are outside being active, instead of inside watching television or playing video games.

As a coach it is incredibly rewarding to watch kids learn and grow in the game of golf. We can’t wait for that first junior clinic in May where we get to watch kids smash drives, and enjoy the massive high fives that ensue!

Please join us in keeping your fingers crossed as we anxiously await the snow clearing and the 2014 golf season getting underway.

We can’t wait to get started with Geared to Golf!

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Golf is now a Team Sport

The introduction of Bruce’s Junior League

Do you remember the first time you played a team sport?

Were you excited to get to the field, rink or indoor center every chance you got?

I remember my first team sport experience like it was yesterday… 

Getting to the rink extra early to ensure I did not miss a quick pickup ball hockey game or chance to pick that ideal spot in the dressing room where you could see the most friends.

The Bruce’s Junior League is designed to create a team atmosphere for your juniors as they learn to golf in the Durham Region. We have created an environment to help players learn, grow and enjoy golf in the ultimate team environment. Teams are chosen during our spring warm up with goal of producing 4 teams of 9 players each with a minimum of 2 girls on each team. Junior players receive on course team coaching during the month of June as an after school program. 

Teams have names and golf shirts have colours and numbers to simulate the ultimate team environment. Practice is set up “on course” the playing grounds where each team game will be played. Each team game has a home and away team. Home teams are responsible with help from the Geared to Golf Performance Coaching Staff to get lunch orders and distribute team golf balls. 

Team Names

Winchester Wolves

Whispering Ridge Wildcats

Eldorado Edge

Lakeridge Links Lighting

 

Included in Bruce’s Junior League 

  • Team golf shirts with numbers and hats
  • 9-Hours of instruction (Tuesday Evening Practice)
  • 6 League Games
  • Golf Balls
  • 1 Championship Tournament
  • Team Prices and Awards
  • Practices are held Tuesday evenings beginning at 6:00pm at one of our Facilities.

Format for League Games

The format for our league games help build each players confidence. Stronger players are paired with beginners in 2-person scramble formats. Each group consists of 2 players that creates the 4-some. Mentoring is done by both volunteer parent coaches and the Geared to Golf Performance Team.

Golf Course Locations

Eldorado Golf Club
Winchester Golf Club
Whispering Ridge Golf Course
Stonehenge Golf Club

Price per player $350 plus HST.

Contact Jake Patte at: [email protected] for further information on this exciting program.

Click here to register.

Bruce's Junior League Brochure

Bruce's Junior League Schedule

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March Break Edition

Goals for Geared to Golf

When Ryan and I started the process of creating Geared to Golf, the overall goal was to grow junior golf in the Durham Region. We wanted to create a program that had the ability to expose kids to this awesome game. Since those initial meetings in early January, we could not be happier with what we have been able to produce for structuring that caters to every age and ability level in junior golf. We would like to share some of our specific goals for Geared to Golf in this Coach’s Corner edition.

GREAT VALUE – EXTREMELY COMPETTIVE PRICING

We have tried to create the most competitive pricing structure for Junior Golf development programs in Ontario. Simply put, we do not want price to be the reason why your kids don’t take up the game, or pursue their dreams in golf.

ALL ACCESS JUNIOR GOLF PROGRAMS

We wanted programs where kids had zero restriction on when they could use our facilities. Ownership has been more than supportive of this vision, and granted us all access to run our clinics, camps, and high performance programs. The product we can deliver with this kind of freedom will be off the charts!

DEVELOPING AT THE GRASSROOTS LEVEL

 Ryan and I are both very passionate about exposing youth to the game. As some of our clinics and camps begin to fill up, I get more anxious every day for the snow to clear, and for that first Learn to Play program in May where I get to see 5 year olds (that’s right, we already have five year olds enrolled) rip at the ball! My favourite part with young athletes is the massive high five that ensues. If you are looking to get your son or daughter into golf, one of our Geared to Golf clinics or camps would be the perfect fit!

GOLFING PATHWAY

With our ability to grow golf at a grassroots level through facility access, programming, and PGA of Canada coaching, we love the Geared to Golf pathway that we can create. We have five Gears based on age and ability, and can find the right fit for every player. The hope is that kids will then aspire to develop each season so that they graduate to the next gear level the following year. This is very similar to the successful Canada Hockey pathway.

TEAM GOLF

With our high performance programming, we wanted to create a Team Golf atmosphere. Geared to Golf Team members will have an all access membership to our facilities, and a coaching structure with maximum contact time on the practice tee and golf course. We will have weekly practices, and structured rounds together, with emphasis on learning and a tonne of fun. Team members will all get a team clothing package and Team Geared to Golf bag. Ryan and I are so excited to start working with our Geared to Golf Team members!

TRAINING CENTER

With support from ownership to build a 2, 000 square foot training center, we now have the ability to coach year round, run winter golf programs, and be the leader in club fitting in the Durham region. Construction on the building will begin this summer, and we can hardly wait to showcase our new home!

Ryan and I are so proud of Geared to Golf and what it represents. We think with commitment to our vision, we are going to expose countless numbers of kids to golf around the Durham region, and begin to see our pathway take effect as we have kids competing for Provincial and National titles. Who knows maybe several years down the road we will even have the next Graham Delaet come out of Geared to golf. . . . that’s the goal anyway =)

If you’re heading south for March Break, may the weather be warm and your golf games be magnificent!

Sincerely,

The luckiest golf coach in the world,

Jake Patte

 

 

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The Geared to Golf Story

THE LAUNCH

My name is Jacob Patte, and as the head coach and partner, I could not be happier to introduce you to the Geared to Golf Performance Center!

The Geared to Golf Performance Center is the product of countless hours of thought, considerable knowledge from some of the best minds in golf development in Ontario, and a partnership team at Bruce’s Golf Rewards that has taken my dream and begun to make it reality.

I cannot thank my partner Ryan Starr, the many people whose minds we picked during the early stages, and the incredible support team at Bruce’s Golf Rewards for this tremendous opportunity.

 I can remember like it was yesterday receiving my first set of cut down golf clubs when I was 4 years old. I am reminded by my mother that I slept with those clubs for at least a month. Indeed, it was as a four year old hitting golf balls out of snowbanks in my back yard that I fell in love with this wonderful game. Twenty two years later I am incredibly excited to share my passion with aspiring golfers of all ages. The Geared to Golf Performance Center is the product of my dreams; how fortunate that I found partners with the same dream. Through the lines of this blog, I want you as my readers to feel the energy, excitement, and passion I have for this wonderful new development center.

THE VISION

The vision of Geared to Golf is to create a development center that is rivalled by no one in terms of facilities, technology, and PGA of Canada coaches that truly care about seeing you improve. The Center has programs and structuring to meet the needs of golfers of all skill levels, and will have a focus on junior golf development. We love our potential to build Geared to Golf programs at the grassroots level, and expose youth to this incredible game around the Durham region.

THE BUILDING

 We have financial backing from the Partners at Bruce’s Golf Rewards to build a 2, 000 square foot building, which will be the home of the Geared to Golf Performance Teams. The building will be fully operational 12 months of the year, equipped with a TRACKMAN launch monitor for teaching and fitting, have a 750 square foot indoor putting green, and four other hitting bays.

THE NAME

My partner Ryan deserves full credit for the name. After much discussion and debate, he proposed the Geared to Golf name which we all supported full heartedly as it captured everything we were after. The name was catchy, the name allowed us to create a really sharp logo, and most importantly the name allowed us to create a pathway for our junior golfers to follow as they mature in golf.

THE GEARED TO GOLF JUNIOR PATHWAY

With Geared to Golf we are providing a clear golf development pathway with comprehensive coaching support for golfers between the ages of 4 – 18. We love our ability at Geared to start our programming at the grassroots level, exposing youth to this wonderful game. We have the facilities and support to run a series of camps, clinics, and high performance programs meeting the needs of all age groups and ability levels. It is our overall goal to have kids maturing through the Geared to Golf pathway with the hope that one day our programs produce the next Graham Delaet or Mike Weir.

ALL ACCESS PROGRAMS

Our Geared programs provide the ultimate in “all course access” privileges in Canada. This gives junior athletes true access to the first tee, and practice facilities 7 days a week. Gone are the days of junior restrictions with the Geared to Golf Performance Teams.

GEARED PERFORMANCE TEAMS

Geared performance teams is a team focussed environment similar to the very successful hockey Canada initiative. Emphasis will be on guiding aspiring junior golfers through the Geared to Golf pathway, with maximum coach to player contact time.

OUR PASSION

I hope by reading this introductory blog, you can feel the energy behind this wonderful new endeavour. Ryan and I are extremely proud of the structure we have been able to create, and cannot wait to blow you away with the Geared to Golf Experience!

I look forward to sharing with you as we embark on this wonderful journey with Geared to Golf!

Sincerely,

The luckiest golf coach in the world,

Jake Patte.

 

“ The most important shot in golf, is your next one”  - Ben Hogan

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Coaching 101

Beginning the path to coaching is bond between the coach and athlete. A relationship that determines the players needs to succeed. 

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