Happy New Year! Golf Digest, The PGA Show, and a New Nicklaus Academy

Happy 2017! What an incredible year this has started off to be! Before I get to 2017, I want to start with how 2016 ended.

I had the wonderful opportunity to shoot a couple of articles with Golf Digest that will be published in the magazine throughout the year. The first article will be the largest and will most likely take up 6 pages in the magazine. What made it extra special was the opportunity to shoot it with my dad. We each got to play the teacher in one swing fault, and the student in the other. It really plays off of what our relationship has been with golf. I initially started as the student while he was my teacher, but the more he taught me, the more I was able to teach him as well. It's a great dynamic because we really understand each others game and can help whenever we need some advice.

The second article was one on my own and this will be a shorter swing tip. The topic is on changing directions in a swing. When do we actually start to transition into the downswing and what is the correct way to do it? This will most likely be out late 2017. I will update everyone on the final release date when I get that information. Hopefully this will lead to a great relationship with Golf Digest and even more articles and swing tips in the future!

You have to be willing to do anything to get the correct angle for the shot! Trying to get the teachers point of view in this shot...

This photo makes me laugh because he can't even watch me do this! "Holding the angle" or trying to create lag is one of the worst pictures that could have happened to golfers. Lag is an effect, NOT a cause. We talk a lot about this in the article how to fix this fault and create lag the correct way.

One of the drills to help feel the correct arc the club swings in and how to make the handle pivot in the right place. This is the "hockey" or "split grip" drill. 

Team Malaska! Changing the world, one swing at a time. Don't just play golf, understand it.

Now onto 2017!

The first big trip of the year was to the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida. This is my 5th time going to the show, but only the second time I've been there as an instructor and geniunely interested in the latest and greatest in golf.

The week begins with Demo Day, where club vendors, training aids, and other golf related accesories are on display. The first thing that caught my eye was this uneven lie training device by ToughLie360. Uneven lies are one of those shots that seem to take players a long time to get really good at. Part of that is because they only hit those shots when their ball comes across one on the golf course. When most people practice on the driving range, they are hitting off of a perfect lie on even ground. This device allows the student to practice those tough lies from the driving range and is on a swivel so you can easily rotate it around to get every type of shot.

The second thing I came across (mostly becasue I was thirsty and they were handing them out for free) is a new drink called GolferAid. At first I was a little skeptical, because I really don't like energy drinks that are full of caffeine and artificial sweetners. I especially don't want any kind of jittery feeling when I'm on the golf course trying to make a testy 5 foot putt. This surprised me that there is no caffeine and no artificial sweetners. It was really refreshing and a better alternative than a soda, monster, coffee and even sugary gatorade. Water will always be my number one, but sometimes I want a little something different so I will definitely be a customer of GolferAid!

It's hard to miss these guys when you are out walking around. If you ever want to feel small, just stand in between these two! The Dobbyn brothers are some of the coolest guys I've ever met! We got to talk about the art of Long Drive and what goes through their heads when they really want to go after one and hit it far, versus what amateurs try to do to add speed. They said they feel as though they are swinging even slower to make sure that everything stays in sync. Most amatuers on my lesson tee increase the speed of their backswing and then get even more out of sync with how their bodies work in relation to their hands, arms, and the club. This will actually slow the club head down, not speed it up. Ever notice how most long drivers fall back after they hit the ball? Hm... I wonder what they are doing? Possibly pushing away from the force of the club? They might be on to something folks! ;-)

The afternoon of Demo Day consisted of a clinic my dad put on for other PGA professionals about the content of his new book, "The Invisible Swing." I'm so excited for the launch of this book because the content is so good! It has taken him years and years of trial and error to figure out what he had when he was 17 and so good. He realized he missed it because you can't see it. Just because you can't see gravitiy, doesn't mean it's not there. Does that have anything to do with a golf swing? You bet it does! Utilizing the forces around us, understanding what they are, and how they work is how we can get that effortless power everyone is searching for.

Get your copy of "The Invisible Swing" March 1st on Amazon and! The other thing we launched during the show is the new Malaska Golf website. It's an online learning, subscription based site that helps the golfer develop skills needed in a sequential order. No more sorting through what relates to your swing and what doesn't, this will help golfers of every level actually understand what's most important. You get the first 30 days free so make sure you check it out!

Day 2 at the show was at the Convention Center and full of presentations for my dad and continuing education for myself through the LPGA. He was on a discussion panel for GRAA, did a presentation on "The Invisible Swing" for The Proponent Group, and finished out the morning with a discussion on how other sports relate to golf for fellow members of the PGA.

Day 3 was full of walking around and meeting with vendors and exploring some of the new training aids that are being launched this year. Every year it amazes me what people come up with to try and help someones game. Don't complicate it! A golf swing is actually a very natural motion, we just have to allow it to happen rather than try to force positions to happen.

As far as some vendors that I enjoyed spending time with... Jofit is of course on the top of the list! Their clothing is seriously AWESOME! I was able to see the lineup for the year and there is some really cute styles and colors. I especially love what will be coming out in the Fall. If you know me then you probably won't be surprised that it's a lot of pinks! :-)

I also had a ton of fun hanging out at the TruGolf booth. Their simulators are top notch and they have done some really fun things with the software. It was a huge testimonial to the durability of their screens when the Dobbyn brothers stopped by to hit some shots and pounded probably 30 balls with swing speeds over 150mph!!! I'm a witness to the fact the screens were still in perfect condition and the technology was spot on with all of their numbers.

Ran into a familiar face as I was walking around, always great to see Blair!

Friday is day 4 and last day of the show, but we skipped out to go down to Jupiter and play The Bears Club. All I can say is... WOW! That place is incredible! The practice facility is huge with a front and back end of the range, short game area and an instruction building. The course was really top notch. I love it when I come across courses that are a challenge, but not overly difficult. You don't want to get bored playing it, but you don't want to feel defeated every time either. This was a perfect combination. The greens are true to Nicklaus fashion with a lot of break and very quick and there was plenty of room off of the tee.

Ernie Els House:

The best part of the entire day was hole 18. I was determined to conquer this beast of a hole and hit a great drive, a perfect 4 wood, and had a 75 yard wedge shot into the green. Beyond the green is the club house and a large patio off of the mens' locker room where about 15 people were sitting enjoying a beverage and watching golfers come in off the course. It made me a little nervous to see I had an audience and didn't want to make a fool of myself so I took a deep breath, relaxed my arms, and trusted the club to do it's job. I knocked the ball to about 3 feet from the pin and got a nice applause from the gallery. As I approached the green, it was shocking to see Luke Donald and Justin Thomas as part of that gallery clapping for me. Luckily I drained my putt for birdie and walked away with a pretty cool story to tell!

Saturday was the Grand Opening of a Nicklaus Academy in Orlando at Hawks Landing Golf Course. We had an instructor training in the morning and a huge public clinic in the afternoon. We had a great turnout, especially since it was a cold day for Florida. We get people all the time that ask us if there are other instructors around the country that teach what we do. If you live in Florida, and can't make the trip out to AZ, then Brian O'Neill is a great one to see at this new academy.

That's it from Born2Golf for now. This golf season is not disappointing and I am busier than ever! I love growing my business and continue to put in the effort behind the scenes to make it a success.