Mental Game check up

One of the most important components of playing well is controlling your emotions and your mental game.  How much time and energy do you put into this EXTREMELY important element of the game?

How many times have you had a good round going only to make a bunch of bogies near the end the round.  Your good round has once again turned into just another average round.  We have all done this, but why does it happen and what are you going to do to stop it from happening again?

This tends to happen when you start to get out of “The Moment” and start thinking about the end result.  We have all heard about getting into “The Zone” and being super focused.  This is simply focusing all of your thoughts and energy on the shot at hand.  If you are still thinking about how you bogied the first few holes or missed a couple of short putts, you are focusing on the past.  If you are trying to calculate what you could shoot, and you are thinking that this could be your best round ever, you are focusing on the future.  Either way your thoughts are not in the present where they need to be.

It is important to come up with a plan so when your mind starts to get out of the present, you can bring yourself back and get focused on what you are doing.  Having a clear mind before you execute your shot is pivotal if you want to perform your best.  Start with a deep breath and a vision of how you are going to play your next shot.  Take a practice swing with the same feel that you will need for the shot you are about to hit.  Step into the shot and just let it go – totally trust that your body knows what to do .  To keep it simple – Relax, See it, Feel it, Trust it.

I talk about the mental game a lot with the Penn team.  We work on playing one shot at a time and staying in “The Moment”.  You can only hit one shot at a time, so to start thinking about the end of your round when you are standing in the 14th fairway is really a waste of your time and causes you to lose focus.  Get focused on the shot you are facing and execute that shot with 100% confidence.  If you can do that on EVERY shot, you will be on your way to playing your best round very soon!

I will be offering mental game sessions for my students this year.  If you want to take your game to the next level, sign up for a mental game session today!

Have fun and play well!



Start with your follow-through to fix your swing flaws

If you have a swing flaw that you just can’t fix, I have a simple way to improve it.  Create the proper position in your follow-through first, make your backswing, THEN swing your club back to the proper position.  I have an example below of a player that tends to hit hooks to the left and blocks and pushes to the right.  The club is WAY under plane on the downswing and is moving way too much from inside to out.  This will tend to produce thin and fat shots and hooks and blocks (with the occasional good shot mixed in).  The hands exit high on the follow-through as a result of this.

o chang under plane

o chang high finish

We did two things to fix this problem.  First – we put a stick in the ground to force the player to get the club more out in front of her and on plane.  Second – we started the swing with follow-through first and then swung the club back and returned to the correct position.  The simple feel for this player was to swing more to the left.

As you can see in the pictures below, the club is much more on plane and the finish is much more to the left.  This immediately produced a straighter ball flight with more solid contact.

o chang on planeo chang good follow through

If you can start your swing from the position you want to be in on your follow-through, it will be much easier to get there when you make your swing.

Have fun and play well.


Mark Anderson named Philadelphia PGA Teacher of the Year for 2012

I am both humbled and honored to announce that I have been named Teacher of the Year for the Philadelphia PGA.  There are so many great teachers in our Section and I am proud to accept this award on their behalf.  It has been an amazing year for me in regards to teaching.  Purchasing TrackMan and spending hours and hours understanding the science behind it has made me a much better teacher.

The Penn team had a great year as well finishing 2nd at Ivies with 2 players unable to play due to injuries.  We also had a 17 shot victory at Sacred Heart and Olivia Chang won the ECAC Championship as an individual this past Fall.  I am very proud of our team and I look forward to many more trophies in the future.

Many thanks are due to all of the teachers that have helped me during my career.  I have taken many lessons and watched many excellent teachers teach over the past 20 years.  I love to learn as much as I can about teaching this amazing game and I enjoy sharing what I have learned with others.  I am excited to host my first Teaching Seminar for the Philadelphia PGA this February at the Cricket Club.  I will be joined by Penn Men’s Coach Bob Heintz, John Spina – Director of instruction at the Cricket Club and Eric Kennedy – Head Golf Professional at Overbrook Country Club.

A big thank you goes out to all of my students and players that have trusted me to help them with their games.  I promise that I will continue to learn and will work hard to come up with new and exciting ways to help you shoot lower scores on the course.

Here is a link to the announcement of all the award winners –

Congratulations to everyone in the Philadelphia Section that won an award this year.  Well done!

Have Fun and Play Well!


Mark Anderson named Trackman University Master and Director of Golf Instruction at Maple Zone

I am excited to announce that I have been awarded the status of Trackman University Master.  I have learned a great deal over the past year, and I am looking forward to sharing what I have learned with fellow professionals and my students.  I am also excited to announce that in addition to teaching at the Cricket Club and coaching at Penn, I will be the Director of Golf Instruction at the Maple Zone Sports Complex in Boothwyn, PA.  The following announcement was sent out to the members of the Philadelphia Cricket Club this morning:

Mark Anderson awarded Trackman University Master status

Mark Anderson, Teaching Professional at the Philadelphia Cricket Club and Head Women’s Golf Coach at the University of Pennsylvania has been awarded Trackman University Master status.  Mark joins a select group of  22 professionals around the world and only 11 in the United States to achieve the Master level through Trackman University.  Of the 11 in the United States, 4 are top 100  Teachers in America – Jim McLean, Brian Manzella, James Leitz, and Dom DiJulia.

“It has been an amazing year for me in regards to teaching.  I have truly taken my teaching to the next level with Trackman and I am looking forward to helping more students improve their games in 2013”  Anderson said.  Mark is currently helping 4 Philadelphia PGA Professionals with their games and one of his players is going to play mini tour events in Florida this winter.  One of Mark’s TM Master projects shows how this player picked up 20 yards by changing his attack angle with his driver.  Here is a link to see his improvement over 4 lessons: Case Study – Angle of Attack

Mark has also recently been named as Director of Golf Instruction at Maple Zone Sports Complex in Boothwyn, PA.  Maple Zone is multi-sport complex with 2 large indoor fields.   Mark will be teaching there this winter in addition to teaching at the Cricket Club. He will be conducting individual lessons, clinics, and will have an amazing shortgame area where players can hit shots of up to 50 yards indoors.

You can follow Mark at his blog at:
his Facebook Page
or on Twitter

Click on the link below to see the indoor training center at the Cricket Club

Cricket Club – indoor training center

Happy New Year!!! – Goals for 2013

Happy New Year everyone!  As you are thinking about the past year and looking forward to 2013,  think about what you can do to improve your golf game this year?  What did you do last year?  Did it work?  Did you struggle trying to figure it out on your own?

If you don’t have a plan for your game, you will most likely just spin your wheels and end up shooting the same scores as last year.  Set some goals for this upcoming season.  A good goal must be measurable.  I want to play better is not really a good goal.  I want to lower my handicap from 18 to 14 is a good goal.  What are you going to do to reach that goal?

Most people really have no idea what they actually need to do to reduce their scores.  Spending hours at the range without a specific plan can actually be detrimental to your game.  You are just grooving the same swing and hoping for a different result.  What is that definition of insanity that we have all heard before…..?

Here are some other good goals with a plan to achieve them:

I am going to reduce my putts per round from 36 to 33.  To reach this goal I am going to practice my lag putting for 1 hour, 2 times per week.  Do most of you even know how many putts you have per round?

I am going to get up and down 2 more times per round.  I am going to take a series of lessons or a shortgame clinic to help me reach my goal.

I want to increase my greens hit in regulation from 6 to 8 per round.  I need to take a full swing lesson with my irons to find out what my issue is and then practice 2 times a week for 30 minutes.

These goals are measurable and with a good plan they are certainly attainable.  Achieving goals like this will ABSOLUTELY lower your scores.  Hitting balls for hours and hours without a plan will just groove the swing you are struggling with.  Even worse is to try something different every few swings hoping to “find it”.

Most players have a scoring leak in their game.  It could be their full swing with the driver or irons (or both), putting, pitching, bunker play, or even the mental game.  It is so important to accurately identify what your problem is and then work on it diligently until you fix it.  Taking a golf lesson will help to identify the issue and then you can take whatever practice time you have to work on it.

The start of the golf season is only about 2 months away.  What are you going to do to play the best golf of your life in 2013?  The winter is a GREAT time to work on your game so you can come out of the gate ready to play in the spring. Our indoor winter training room is set up at the Militia Hill Club House and is ready to go.  I am looking forward to helping you play your best in 2013!

Have a great 2013!


Penn announces Academic All Ivy selections for the Fall

Congratulations to Penn Women’s Golf Team member Olivia Chang for earning an Academic All Ivy Award.  Olivia had her best season to date in her 3 years on the team.  She won her first collegiate event at the ECAC Championship and followed that up with a 5th place finish at Sacred Heart.  Way to go Olivia!!!  #smartjock