Made it home safe and sound. It was an easy day of sitting; from Brisbane to Sydney to San Francisco and off to Portland. In all it took 24 hours and 15 minutes from the time I arrived at the Brisbane airport until I got my bags in Portland, but it was a pretty relaxing flight with a lot of reading and movies. I didn’t sleep much being in a middle seat but had a lot of time to think about what comes next and also reflect on the time spent in Australia.
I am definitely glad I went and hope the opportunity comes one day down the road to return. Australia is an amazing country with wonderful people and great golf courses and beaches. Before I write any more, here is the standard photo slideshow YouTube style. It doesn’t have sound so feel free to add your own soundtrack:
And before I forget, this is the Pure Performance video about dynamic loft and what creates it as well as how to lower it in order to optimize distance:
Dynamic loft is my number one goal right now with the long sticks. For ages I have not known why I put so much spin on the ball with the driver and 3-wood. I even didn’t get an answer when I went down to Oceanside for my last fitting, but now I know it is not because of the shaft/club head combo it is more about how I impact the ball. It is absolutely wonderful if I can gain 10-12 yards by changing the angle in which the club strikes the ball. That is what needs to happen and what will happen.
The media was amazing during my trip. In all I appeared on SBS Insight, three radio stations, news.com.au, iseekgolf.com, channel 7, SBS News, aussiegolfer.com.au and a couple other golf sites/blogs. Quite the circuit for being there just two weeks. I was honored to do the interviews and it makes me want to travel more to spread the human-performance word in a similar way. I also filmed 3 episodes of the Australian TV show Golf Getaway that will air in September and will post the exact time and date when they come up. It was awesome meeting the host Andrew and spending a week with him in the Gold Coast. We had a blast, played a bunch of courses, road in V8 Supercars and on a Harley and stomach flu and all I enjoyed every minute of it.
Here is the link to the SBS show for everyone not in the US who couldn’t watch it, it was a great show and an honor to be a part of it:
Also, a video I shot at Bonnie Doon golf course in Sydney:
The Dan Plan reached a huge new audience over the past two weeks and I appreciate all of the responses, email, FB messages, Tweets, etc during the stay. Sorry if I have not had a chance to reply to them all yet, it’s been a whirlwind. Speaking of response, I tried to reach out before the trip to get a corporate sponsor to cover a portion of the trip in exchange for wearing a logo and doing some publicity but to no avail. Perhaps I will be able to find a sponsor for the next trip as I think it’s a cheap way for a company to spread their word through a positive message. I’ll keep moving forward on my own for now and while continuing to pursue options. With a bit of funding I could do a similar trip to a handful of countries in Europe, New Zealand, and all over Asia and South America. I love learning what golf is to people in different parts of the world while also giving talks on human performance and how hard work trumps the old notion of talent.
Australia is serious about its sport and golf; even more so than America. It may have been the circles that I traveled in, but it seemed to me that sport was always a big topic whether in general conversation or on the nightly news. They even have three different types of rugby (one being Australian rules football which is a bit different but still a derivation of the sport) which are on tv regularly. Sport was all over the place and I could tell that a lot of young people were very interested in competing and practicing in order to improve. I understand now how a country of 23 million got 35 medals at the 2012 summer Olympics, placing the country 7th in the world.
Something else I noticed is that everything is twice as expensive over there. From coffee and food to gas and lodging, it seemed like you could basically double what you thought you would spend in the states and that would be the price. You can get some grocery store sushi for $14, a medium coffee for $4, gas for $7 a gallon, a fast food meal for $12 and a cross-town bus fair for about $6. When I was last down unda it made sense as you got 2 Aussie dollars for one US, but this go around it was a bit more expensive. I think it might be hurting the tourism economy and Australia must rely quite a bit on tourism as it only has those 23 million people in the country, or about 4 million more than New York State. BUT….. the golf is way cheaper and, after all, that’s what we are talking about here.
To be a member of a private club in Oz sets you back $1,000-$4,000 a year. In the $3-4k annual range there are some amazing courses which would easily be $600-$700 per month here, so even if everything else is expensive you can always play some cheaper golf. I also noticed at some public courses that tee times were around the $20-$30 range. It seemed very accessible, even at the posh joints.
One thing I keep considering and loved about all of the courses that I played is how they let the rough go more wild. It takes a lot less man hours and way fewer resources to keep up a track in this manner. I think the US should seriously consider how it uses water on golf courses and think about watering less while allowing the areas between holes (or between the fairway and OB) to go uncultivated. This adds in seasonal differences in conditions while also helping to transition the general publics view that golf is a overly consumptive endeavor. Especially in a place like Portland I am surprised that there are not “greener” golf courses that don’t have to be green all year long. I am emailing some of the golf course superintendents that I met on the trip to see what their water usage is so I can compare it to courses state-side. I will be interested to see just how big the differences are. I am very curious about this and hope there is a way to convince at least my home course to start being more water-minded.
There was a lot to process and appreciate from the trip. I’m just getting back to it and made it out for practice and a round today. It’s fun to be back in Portland and hitting in familiar circumstances. But, I have goals and after that two week break I think now is a good time to solidify my upcoming goals while also considering how to practice for the rest of the summer.
I have a call with the Vision 54 ladies scheduled for Monday where we are going to talk about developing a brand new 2 hour block of practice. I’m super excited about this and will spend the weekend hitting balls while contemplating what practice could and should look like moving forward. The trip was fun and I have a ton of memories and new friends from it, but it’s time to get back to work.