Posted by: tjmorrey | March 5, 2012

Bitter Sweet: Frustration then Celebration!!

Hello to all once again apologize for the absence of blogs lately. I have been trying to work as hard as I can on my game with the days we have nice weather, and working out at the gym when we don’t, so needless to say I have been pretty busy. I will quickly get you up to speed as of tonight. I have played at Morgan Creek Golf Course in Roseville, CA for the Players Tour. A wonderful, tough, shot makers type golf course. It was in fantastic condition and I played decent enough to take third place. Yes, Ill take it but I was disappointed. My golf coach Chris Gerdin went with me, and he helped out a lot, keeping me focused on the task at hand and helping me on some putts.

Next tourney was a place called Wente Vineyards Golf Course in Livermore, CA, also for the Players Tour. What a cool place, weather was amazing; about 65 degrees and sunny. The course was probably the best condition that I’ve played in all year so far. The greens were super fast and the rough was healthy and thick (reminded me of PGA Tour type conditions, which is wonderful). I started out of the gate playing beautifully, hitting the ball crisp and making a few putts. Then for some reason I made one bad swing and I was fighting everything the rest of the day. I ended up only losing by three strokes which is kind of frustrating knowing that I could have walked away a winner, but a good learning experience for me in the end to move on and keep working hard. With the way I was swinging the club I knew I was so incredibly close to having a breakout round or breakout tournament and I knew in my heart that I could walk away a winner in the next one.

That’s exactly what I did. When I got back home from Wente, I worked diligently with Chris Gerdin to hone in on my routine, and also making sure my swing was still dialed in and I just went out and practiced hard and played some holes like it was a tournament to prepare me mentally.

I felt like I had a great two weeks and I entered myself into my first Pepsi Tour event that was two days starting yesterday, finishing today. It was at Paradise Valley Golf Course in Fairfield, CA. I was very excited and a little bit nervous not knowing what to expect out of my competition, but I felt confident with my game and I just had to remind myself that I can play with the best of them. Huge shout out to my buddy for life and my caddie Nick Fermoile, who helped me relax, focus, laugh, and talk me through certain shots all weekend.

I shot a two over 74 on the first day with a couple bad holes and some bad luck to go with but I hit the ball the best I’ve hit it all year. After the first day I was only one stroke back from the leader and I knew that I could make up that stroke and win the tourney. We went back to the course last night for a little late night practice session to hone in on some drivers and some iron shots. Came to the course this morning feeling fantastic ( in part because Nick and I found a new gem for breakfast at Jamba Juice called the Crunchy Strawberry Topper. Oh my gosh, it’s amazing, filling, gives you energy that lasted me almost all round. It’s a strawberry smoothie with some peanut butter, topped with granola and bananas. I know on paper doesn’t sound so hot but trust me it’s my new favorite). I started out with a birdie on the first hole and ran from there. Again I hit the ball like an absolute super star, putted decent, but in the end it was enough to get the WIN by two strokes. I couldn’t be happier with my game right now and I know that it still needs a little bit of work. However, I’m enjoying this win, big shout out to my coach Chris Gerdin and again Nick Fermoile. Just know I couldn’t have done it without you guys, as well as all my supporters out there. Thank you so much and I want this to be a habit, WINNING!!.

Posted by: tjmorrey | February 10, 2012

At First You Don’t Succeed… I Can’t Wait to Try Again!

After a rocky first tournament at Yocha Dehe Cache Creek, I’m very excited for my next one at Morgan Creek in Roseville. On a side note that Yocha Dehe at Cache Creek Golf Course was awesome. What a beautiful layout, fantastic greens that roll fast and true, white sandy bunkers and wonderful scenery. It’s located about 35 minutes North of Sacramento right behind the Cache Creek Indian Casino. Just want to give a shout out to those involved getting that course in awesome shape at the end of January nonetheless.

I learned a lot from my first tournament, shooting 82 with a terrible hole on the front nine. I learned that expectations are a nightmare. I expected to play very good, not because of the work that I put in to prepare for Yocha Dehe but because I thought I could pick up where I left off from last year which isn’t the thinking that’s going to get me to the next level. Live and learn I guess.

Since my last tourney on the 28th of January I’ve been itching for revenge and this Sunday I get my chance. The one thing that I really can tell everyone that I enjoy about myself is I’m a competitor to the extreme. I hate losing, I hate having bad tournaments, I hate the feeling of playing bad, but I get fired up afterwards. I want more and more chances to show everyone that I can play and play well. I can win tournaments, and I can’t wait to get another chance to show what I can do. Since the 28th I’ve been so motivated and focused to get better and prepare. As of today I’m more prepared and feel 100 percent more confident in my game than I did three weeks ago.

Although this is probably my shortest blog I just wanted to give my wonderful and very blessed supporters out there an update on what’s going on with me lately. I can’t wait for my next post to tell you how well I did in this latest tourney.

P.S: From a golfers standpoint I have to give a huge shout out to the weather. Without the sunny, 65 degree weather I wouldn’t be able to say that I’m getting better everyday so far. To those of you who are skiers and snowboarders from the bottom of my heart I’m sorry but just wait till June we will probably get snow. Stay positive and maybe go swing the sticks enjoy while you can the beautiful outdoors.

Posted by: tjmorrey | January 26, 2012

Watch What Greatness Looks Like!

First and foremost I personally apologize for not blogging these last few days. I’ve recently been working on getting some faster, better internet.

Anyways, since my internet has been slow and sometimes down, I’ve noticed myself spending my nights watching a lot of sports. Anywhere from Tennis to the PGA Tour Golf Tournaments, NFL playoff football, Men’s College Basketball, and some NBA games. Wow, so much is going on in terms of sports these last few weeks. Honestly, there has been some amazing games and amazing matches and I can’t believe it’s only January.

From watching all these sporting events I noticed myself really paying a lot of attention to the “Superstars,” of their sport. You know those really well known players all across the world. The biggest thing that I took from watching the superstar players was how good they are in huge, pressure, win or lose type, big time situations. They thrive when the spotlight is on them, they want the ball, they want the last shot, they want the last putt or the last serve. It’s their time to shine, and from what I’ve been seeing these guys are shining bright.

The other night it was about 1 ociock in the morning and I just couldn’t go to sleep so I turned on the Tennis Australian Open and it was the semi-finals between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The only word I could describe to myself when I was watching that match was: REMARKABLE! It was unbelievable to watch how good these two guys are at their craft. It is unfortunate sometimes that there has to be a winner and a loser because I was stunned and just truly amazed of how much these two were going at it in a tennis match. I couldn’t sleep, I got fired up at 1:30 in the morning watching tennis.

So the next morning I noticed I recorded the Golf Channel’s coverage of a tournament going on in Europe featuring Tiger Woods called the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. The coverage was focused on one main group, which featured the three best golfers in the entire world. Tiger Woods, Luke Donald, and Rory McIlroy. This is like watching Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and and Magic Johnson playing against each other. I watched some fantastic golf and some even better drama between this featured group. I really started noticing something else however other than there golf game, and that was just their confidence as they walked down the fairway, their swagger, their aura about them they knew they were great golfers and they knew everybody else was watching them. I thought to myself, “I want to walk in their shoes, I want people to know me and know that I’m amazing at what I do.”

My point to this blog that I want to share with everyone who is reading this is simply: These players aren’t playing because of dumb luck or they had a good year so now everyone knows them. These players are the best day in and day out and people know they will perform great every single game, match or tournament until they retire. The great ones work harder and longer with more sweat, more reps, more drive than the rest. Simple as that. So if you want to be in the spotlight, if you want to be the best at you do? First take a good look at the best, follow the top 10 players of any sport and study them. Then if you have what it takes, the spotlight will be on you someday. It got me motivated and I’m going to try my absolute best to become one of the greats.

Posted by: tjmorrey | January 19, 2012

Comfortable in Uncomfortable Situations!

When the pressure is so enormous and your coming down the last few holes knowing your in contention to win or already in the lead, you all of a sudden feel a weight on your entire body. You legs become heavy, your breathing becomes faster, your heart rate is increasing, and your sweating like you just got out of the sauna. What’s that called. NERVES!! How do you become comfortable in an uncomfortable situation? How do avoid taking a divot so big it would make a bald person’s eyes light up because he could make it into a beautiful head of hair? You stick to your routine!!!

We all have a basic routine in life. Wake up, shower, eat, work, come home, watch your favorite show because it’s always on tuesday nights at 8. Whatever it may be, but if that basic routine that you do day in and day out becomes skewed or tampered with because something unpredictable happens. How do you handle it? What do you do to cope with it? Do you except it? Fight it? Tell me what you do! The same can be said with golf. On the first tee to your last putt, you should have a routine for every single shot in your round. If you don’t have one…get one immediately. A routine can help you cope with the pressures and the stresses that suddenly spur up throughout a golf round.

I’m constantly changing my routine and making adjustments to it in my practice sessions, to get as comfortable as I possibly can before I hit my next shot. That’s really what it’s all about, staying within your game, within your head, being as relaxed and as comfortable as you can in each shot. I’m not saying you won’t feel the pressures, and you won’t be nervous. Trust me those feelings are absolutely still there. I’m just saying if you stay within your routine you can trick your body and your mind into thinking this is just another golf shot, it’s no different from the last one. It doesn’t mean anything more or anything less.  If you can do that, you will see magic in your game, I promise. Golf is game that is 90% mental and 10%… well mental. If you stick to a routine throughout your entire golf game you won’t break down in pressure situations.

Posted by: tjmorrey | January 18, 2012

Three Things That can help you Understand your Swing?

Say your on the driving range just getting a quick practice in before a class or on lunch break at your job. Things seem to be going great, your striking the ball well, everything seems to be going smoothly, so maybe you decide your going to hit it harder, or your going to start working the ball left to right or right to left. It’s very common to start doing this because your swing feels so good that day. Then all of a sudden without warning things go haywire, you start to hit terrible shots, and make swings you didn’t think you had. You might have even tagged a couple cars in the parking lot from such a bad swing. Here’s three ways to understand your swing to make for better practice and better your game:

1. You need to slow yourself down. It’s not a race to see who gets done hitting balls first. Your hitting these great shots then all of a sudden hitting awful shots because from the get go, you were in a hurry, and you were practicing bad habits. You were not going through your routine you were just thinking about getting done with that large 8 dollar bucket of balls you bought. Good practice is all about quality, not quantity. Sometimes if I find myself hitting atrocious shots on the range (try not to panic) I tend to exaggerate slowing my swing down. Slow everything down for that matter, slow your breathing down, your routine before you line yourself up to swing then make an extremely slow swing and connect with the ball. Don’t worry about where it goes, that’s why it’s the driving range and not a real golf round, your there to practice good habits. Slowing yourself down will not only keep you relaxed but it will help you critique what’s wrong with your swing and maybe you could make some adjustments.

2. Film yourself. I experimented with this method last year, and wow it made a huge difference. I was wondering why no matter what I did my driver would always go right. I was getting so frustrated, and I tried slowing myself down, but to me everything looked fine and everything felt fine. Now I had a swing coach and even he was looking at me with curiosity wondering why I had this problem. Finally he said let’s get you on camera and film your swing. We filmed my swing just on his iPhone, which is probably your best bet. Then we slowed it down almost freezing it using this app called V1Golf . Fantastic app by the way. It lets you break down each part of your swing, from the take away, to the top, all the way through impact. I noticed right off the bat that I was lifting my head. That’s it, that’s all that was wrong. I didn’t do what my dad would always tell me to do when I was 6 years old. I didn’t keep my head down. Sometimes it could be something so small that could turn your game around. Film yourself with all the other aspects of your game too, not just full swings but: chipping, putting, sand shots, half shots, everything.

3. Get a Lesson From your Local Course’s Head Professional. He’s there for a reason, to help you out. Again, for me, I didn’t like the idea, and sometimes I know those people can be quite intimidating to you and your game. However, you don’t have to ask them for a full ten sessions and change your entire game from start to finish. You could if you wanted to, but I know there are some things that you like about your swing even if nobody else does. Explain that to the Pro, tell him what you want out of a lesson or you just want help on one certain thing or maybe some drills or practice tips. It couldn’t hurt. I can tell you that I am a victim of getting lessons from a head professional. If your reading this and want to find the man who set me straight and have him teach the things to you what he taught me: Chris Gerdin is his name. He has a very good way of explaining things where you can understand them. He will work with you and make your game better, he won’t bring out anything you don’t want him too. He’s there for you.

It’s very difficult to go out and practice things if you don’t understand what to practice. You could be developing bad habits on the driving range or putting green. Just remember if you want to truly understand your swing and have a great feeling of what your doing right and be alert on what your doing wrong try and first slow yourself down, then see if you can have someone film you or try and film yourself somehow, and finally if all else fails there’s always a head pro somewhere that can help you.

Posted by: tjmorrey | January 17, 2012

Want 20-25 More Yards? Hit the Gym!

We all have seen those 1-800 Commercials on TV showing us the new latest and greatest product that you just can’t live without. Then they reel you in more by saying… But wait! If you call now we’ll send you something else for free! Reading this you’re probably thinking: Shoot TJ caught me, yes we’ve all done it. Especially when it comes to golf, those new drivers that guarantee you 40 extra yards or your money back. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve actually watched those and say, “I wonder if that
really does work.” I should try it to prove them wrong. I really don’t know anybody who has called in on one of those infomercials and actually raved about it. (If you have, leave me a comment. I’m interested to see if it actually worked for you.) You want my advice on how to gain an extra 20-25 more yards, have more stamina at the end of your rounds, be able to play all day without feeling fatigued? Hit the gym! Work those muscles. Curls for the girls baby!

I started to really take working out seriously about 4 years ago, and I can tell you that it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me physically. I’m stronger, I have more stamina, I rarely get tired towards the end of my round, and I gained about 20 more yards in distance that I didn’t think was possible. I also gained something through working out that I took to the golf course mentally: Discipline. I can admit before I got the opportunity to play golf professionally, I didn’t take it very seriously, I knew that I was pretty good, but I was sort of lazy. I rarely practiced, I just didn’t have the

discipline to do what I’m doing now. There were so many times, I’d be driving to the gym saying to myself, “Damn, I really don’t feel like working out today, I just want to go watch movies and sleep.” Eventually, every single time I’d always end up at the gym and once I’d start getting into my workout, I’d have to finish it, I wouldn’t quit. Then when I was done I’d feel so much better about myself that I just did it. I focused on just getting it done. I take that into account when I go practice my golf game now, I just tell myself just get it done, it needs to be done and you can do it.

Honestly, going to the gym has helped me cope with stress and anger as well. Whenever I’d feel myself become super stressed out or angry after a bad practice session, or a terrible round, or even a bad tournament for that matter, I’d always find myself taking it out at the gym. It’s truly a place where you can go where you want to scream at the top of your lungs and run through a wall because your so mad, and when you leave your calm, cooled off, no more anger. It’s amazing! I recommend every single person out there reading this blog, that the gym can be your sanctuary to deal with issues. You can be as mad and as angry as you want and the weights won’t ever judge you, the treadmill doesn’t talk back to you, and the bench press certainly won’t ever scream back in your face and tell you to calm down. I promise you, any workout is a great workout. It doesn’t even have to be specifically for golf, it can be anything you want to help you stay in shape get a little bit of muscle under your belt and gain an extra 20-25 yards in your golf game.

When I was first given the opportunity to chase this dream of becoming a professional golfer I have to admit a lot of me was scared. I was freaked out when I looked at what kinds of things I needed to do in order for all of this to take place. I needed the money first of all, I needed a game plan, and I needed support. I didn’t really have any of these things before my family and I sat down and evaluated the pros and cons of trying to become a professional golfer. Immediately when I explained to my parents that I wanted to take a break from college to try and go pro in golf, they were right behind me from the get go. I’m very lucky and blessed to have my family tell me “Go do it! We have your back no matter what happens.”

I couldn’t be happier for that, however I felt a sense of pressure that I was putting on myself. I was telling myself okay I got my family’s good graces and I’ve had so many wonderful friends in my life tell me for years that I could make it on tour, and I could make it professionally. Now I need to perform, I can’t let them down. I was afraid to fail! I was afraid that I would eventually not make it and quit. I didn’t want that to happen. But it was so hard at first playing and realizing I’m not playing for me, I’m playing for my family, my friends, everyone who’s told me I can do it, and good luck they are rooting for me. I was representing a community of supporters that I never thought possible. My first couple tournaments I was a mess. I was trying so hard to play well it was hurting me. I struggled for three months, and I contemplated on just hanging it up.

Then I took a couple weeks off. I didn’t even want to think about golf let alone pick up a club. I wanted to enjoy some time off with friends and family. After about the second week of no golf, no tournaments, no practicing, I started to get the itch again. I talked to a lot of people about failing my family, my friends, and everybody who was pulling for me. What I got out of it was if I’m afraid to fail, I’ll never experience winning, I’ll never be successful, with anything that I do. If I was afraid to fail, then I was afraid to succeed.

I realized that I just needed to go play, stop worrying about everything else and who I was playing for. These people will be there for me whether I succeed or fail, but what I also realized was how many people were coming up to me and saying, “I just think it’s amazing that you have the balls to do what your doing. You already succeeded in my book because you have a dream you have a goal and your running with it.” That was already in itself a huge accomplishment. Now all I needed to do was go play the game that I love so much and have so much passion for. It was like a lightbulb went up in my head. I got to get back into it. I got to go play. Taking those weeks off was the best thing that could have happened to me last year, because when I came back I ended up winning two tournaments, and coming in second two times.

So I wanted to take this moment in my blog and thank everyone from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for believing in me and supporting my dream. I will not fail!

Posted by: tjmorrey | January 15, 2012

Preparing for a Tournament

PRACTICE!! It’s that one word that’s always brought up when you want to become better at something. Practice makes perfect. We’ve all heard that once or twice in our lives before too. I’m not going to go on and on about how you need to

practice, practice, and then when your done practice some more.  That’s a given everybody realizes that. Hard work, dedication, passion, all of these things you know already allow you to succeed and reward you with greatness. What I’d like to do is educate you on what else you can do to prepare for a tournament along side practicing.

 Preparing mentally for a tournament, I believe is far more important than going on the driving range for five hours and beating balls until your hands bleed. You want to have a game plan going into your tournament, and you want everything set and ready to go before your tee time on the big day so that all you have to worry about is playing golf.

A good start to getting a game plan is to play a practice round at the course your tournament will be held. There’s a few ways to play a practice round. You can hit a lot of different shots on each hole to see where you want to be and where you don’t, or you can treat it like a real golf round. It’s all about being comfortable. If you are more comfortable making a lot of notes to yourself do that, if you just want to go out and play just to get a feel for the setup then do that. Ultimately your goal in a practice round is to feel prepared and ready for when it counts.

Some things that I have found helpful in preparing for a tournament are to write notes down for myself. Any kinds of little mental or statistical notes are helpful. I’ve written things down like: stay positive, make a good swing, keep your head down (believe it or not that always helps me). I’ve also written down distance notes: stay left on #3 or avoid the front left bunker on #12. These things mean so much because when your under pressure and become stressed out, you can refer back to the little notes you have, it has a calming affect. I don’t know about you but I play my best when I’m very calm and cool headed not worrying about anything.

The day before the tournament I like to get some little housekeeping chores together and prepared for the next day. Things like: food, water, yardage book, all my notes, clean my clubs, make sure I have enough golf balls, tees, gloves. That way all I need to do the next day is get to the course, and worry about playing some great golf. When you have all your essentials prepared and ready to go, I really encourage you to rest. Watch movies, take your mind off the tournament for a while, enjoy time with your friends. Also remember to put things into perspective and be realistic. Your upcoming golf tournament is supposed to be fun, it’s supposed to give you a rush that you become addicted to that you enjoy. If you stay positive and confident I guarantee you that not only will you have fun and want to play in more tournaments, but you will play well and there’s no better feeling in the world if your a golfer.

Posted by: tjmorrey | January 14, 2012

Something Different. Change is FUN!

First I want to apologize for not writing about preparing for a golf tournament, but this day is too huge to not blog about.

I love playoff football! I have been San Francisco 49ers fan for a long time. I’m not super hardcore about it. I don’t wear jerseys, I don’t paint my face, my best friend Gino handles most of those things, but I do set aside my day to watch the games. Today was a monumental day for all 49ers fans everywhere. Playing the New Orleans Saints in the Divisonal playoffs, was a task that seemed unattainable. Frankly, I was already prepared for a loss, which in any sport isn’t the greatest mentality to have I know! Gino and I were just so used to losing.  What I really wanted was to just enjoy my Saturday with a good game. Just keep it close and I’ll be happy, I was thinking, getting the chips, salsa, and pizza ready before the game.

After 4 hours of ups and downs, stress, screaming, cheering,  and in the end celebrating running around the house like I just won the lottery. The 49ers pulled it off. THEY WON! It was probably the greatest game I’ve ever seen. I really just wanted to pop open champagne and spray it all over Gino and I.

It also made my realize that with hard work, determination, faith, even a little bit of luck anything can be accomplished. Any given day no matter what the stakes are, anything can happen. Staying positive, and just knowing in your heart that you can win then YOU WILL WIN. You can defy the odds and have days like today. That’s what the 49ers did today, and I want to congratulate them and the fans all across the world. 

Posted by: tjmorrey | January 13, 2012

Wanna test your game? Get a Handicap and Play Tournaments!

I’ve always been fascinated by the game of golf because it’s a game where you can always improve. You can never master it. Sure you can become professional and make a living doing it, but the game itself can never be beaten. You can beat your competitors, you can beat your friends, you can win a tournament, but you can never beat the game. What I love about golf is, no matter how good or bad you think you are, there’s always something you can fine tune to become a better player. It could be your driver, long irons, short game, or even your mentality playing the game. How can you measure what you need to work on you ask? The answer is: Establish a handicap. Play in some competitive golf tournaments!

First and foremost you need to establish a handicap. Basically a handicap is taking your last 10 scores and averaging them out to show what you would usually score in a round of golf. For example: you have an 8 handicap. That means your average round of golf, if played on a par 72 golf course, should be an 80. Now if you don’t know what par is and all that jazz leave me a comment and I will explain it to you personally, but most of you should know what I’m taking about so far. Now back to the task at hand. After you’ve established a handicap you can enter in as many tournaments as you want all over the world. There are hundreds of thousands of ways to play tournament golf. Locally there is the Northern Nevada Golf Association, which is a local amateur golf tour all around the Reno, Sparks, Carson City area. Another way is to join a golf men’s club at any golf course around town. They have fun, prize filled tournaments all throughout the golf season. This is also a great way to NETWORK yourself, meet new people, and test your game competitively.

I guarantee you, if you want something to measure your golf game, playing in as many tournaments as you possibly can is the absolute best way to do it. I also guarantee, if you love the game, and have a competitive spirit you will grasp this, adrenaline filled, excited, nervous feeling that for some reason becomes addicting like a drug. All of a sudden all you want to do is play tournament style golf all the time and that’s how you get better. It’s 100 times different than playing with some co-workers, and 100 times more rewarding if you play well or even win. You will attain an enormous amount of information after you play in your first tournament. You learn about yourself, and what you maybe need to work on mentally.

You will learn about your game and what things need to be improved in that aspect, and you will figure out the things you were good at under pressure. It is such an awesome feeling to be able to perform in a competitive environment with high stakes on the line.

My next blog will be how I prepare for a tournament and how you can too!

Older Posts »


%d bloggers like this: