This podcast is a conversation that Tori Totlis of T-Time with Tori had with me about my experience caddying in the USGA Senior Women's Amateur this year in Scottsdale, AZ.
We get into how our brains can be either our biggest asset or biggest barrier in golf, discussing the importance of effective instruction and how it can be tailored to resonate with different learners.
“The fastest way to get better is to manage your mind first. Don’t wait to become a certain handicap before you decide to work on your brain and how you think out on the course. Work on it now.”
Tori and I dive into my three biggest takeaways on caddying for USGA events: being prepared mentally for the pace of play, understanding group dynamics, and setting up your course conditions.
You can listen to more of Tori's podcasts by going here on Apple
Connect with Kathy at Kathy@KathyHartWood.com
I am like a friend. Thanks for being here and listening. I got a special podcast day because over the last month I have been all over the place, but in a lot of different time zones. We went out to Arizona. Out to Phoenix and I caddied out there for a friend and a USGA event. And I ran into my friend, Tori Totlis who has a podcast called Tee Time with Tori Totlis. And she asked me to come in, live and record a podcast for her. About three things that I learned mentally about cadding and a USGA event. So I ran to her studio. I sat down, I recorded a podcast and now I'm sharing that episode here with you. Hopefully you can get some tips and some insight. And what it's like to play in a USGA event, or I should say caddie in a USGA event. So that further do here is my podcast with Tori. Well, hello, and welcome back to your virtual tea time. My name is Tori. We have quite the impromptu session today because Kathy Hartwood popped up in Arizona the past couple of days. And I was like, we need to get a live podcast done because even though we can do zoom, yes, being in person is so much better. Hi, Kathy. It's so good to see you. I was so glad that I ran into you in the parking lot. I know, which was bizarre too, because I don't know if we would have really seen each other other than that. I know, I had so many people out here with some of my clients, and so I, this has been planned, well, as long as, as soon as she qualified, right? Qualified, yeah. And so, I was going to come out and caddy for her in the qualifier, my friend in the qualifier, and here, and so... I just was, I never thought about it. There were so many people for me to connect with. And then you pulled in right next to me. I was like, Tori, it worked out. So you are the podcast host of above par and it cash. How long has that podcast been going on now? I'm a three years, I think. Yeah. So it's like, yeah, I'm an episode. I'm in the one forties. So that's about three years. Are you still loving it? I do love it. And I was really concerned that I wasn't going to be able to come up with topics because my podcast is they're short. They're like 10 to 12 minutes. I want them consumable for people to have going to the golf course. And I'm just really, I'm giving you something to think about and to maybe shift the way that you think. So talking by yourself, like doing a podcast is way more challenging than when you have a guest. So when I have guests, they go much longer cause it's easy, right? Then you have two people to talk against. So, or with, and so, um, I've had some guests on, but not too often, but yeah, you know, with. Between my clients and just, I have people who are in my membership and the, just the topics that come up, I always get a new idea and knew something to talk about because You know, if we have a brain, there's always, there's always things that can affect the way that we perform and we live. And so there's always things to talk about. Well, and even just one of the main topics you talk about, you can spin it in a different way or have a new story about it regardless and people hear it a different way anyway. So it's, yeah, I think the more, you know, for me particularly, but I think this is the way brains work. The more you hear something. Yeah. Uh, over and over again. It just, your brain keeps expanding to seeing it from different angles. It's like, I had a client describe it to me, which I never thought of. He's like, He said, it's like a Coke can is in the driveway. It took me a while to figure out what the heck he was talking about, but he's like, and I see it from the front, but you show it to me from the side and then I keep doing the work and I see it from the back and then I see it from a different angle and it just, I was like, Oh, that's an interesting analogy that I had never really thought about. But it is a way of, you know, I have that happen all the time with my brain. I just, I just start seeing things differently. And as long as we want to keep growing and becoming better people and becoming better golfers and having better relationships and just having more success and feeling better, then it's always our job to just stay curious. And so I think the more that you listen to either my podcast over and over again, or keep doing the, what I call the work, which just means being really curious about. Why we create the results that we create, why we feel the way that we feel, then there's always things to always things to learn. Exactly. And when you're explaining that to me just now, I'm thinking of just the golf swing. Yes. When you go and get a lesson and finding a instructor that you can really, that you can really hear and digest. And sometimes, I mean, the instruction I've gotten over the years, which is 10 plus years, it's kind of working on the same thing, but something, someone will say something a different way. And it will just all of a sudden click. So it's like looking at that Coke, Coke can differently, just like you said. Exactly. And that's, you know, what I taught for a lot of years and I teach people over and over. And I think that appreciation has helped me with, with a way that people work on their brains too. I understand the way our brains work and I understand how watching someone's, you know, uh, evolve with their golf swing is it's just, everybody's the same. I always say how we do one thing, we do everything right. And everybody's working with the same brain. But as you change a swing, I could have people come out to me. numbers of times, lots and lots of times, and I'd say the same thing. And I As in a good instructor, you try and say different ways so that they might hear it a little bit differently. I say good instructors have a deep Rolodex of different ways to say the same thing because you never know how something's going to click with somebody. And I, so many times they'd come out and they're like, Oh my gosh, why didn't you tell me that from the beginning? I'm like, I have, but your brain just opened up to hearing it. And it's the same with the way that we deal with, uh, the way that we manage our minds on and off the golf course. Same thing. Okay, so today we're going to get into three things we learned about while catting, because I was out there catting for Kim too. But before we get into that, I want to just kind of go back to when we first met, which was about three or four years ago. We have a local Rochester connection. Yes. Remind me the golf course that, um, so my dad, my dad owns lakeshore country club in Rochester. Yeah. And that's my parents literally live less than a mile away from that. So it's just such a small world. And that's kind of, I think the basis of when you originally reached out to me, but we connected right away. And then I very soon after had you. Uh, be a guest on one of my live groups at the time. And I remember spelling your name by accident, Kathy Hardwood. And you go, you go just a little correction. It happens a lot, but yeah. Yeah. My main name's Hart. Yeah. That's the golf family part of me. Yes. That's so funny. So I'm sure that happens, you know, I get. Topless all the time. So those are the, so that's the, kind of the equivalent. That would be a horrible name. You'd have to change. So, um, since then you've been a part of a ton of my events and the ladies and the players love you. So I appreciate the work, the work you're doing and putting out there. Yeah, they're so fun. Thank you for including me. I love the ladies. Your events are amazing. We have such a great time. Oh my gosh, so much fun. That's the energy is fantastic. And. It's, uh, it's so fun to go out there and share a little bit with, uh, what I do with them when we, uh, have these different events. Exactly. And we'll be in Dallas soon. Yes. In two weeks. So, I, but again, I am going through a journey right now of, I have, So I'm working on some swing changes and everything. And I'm thinking, you know, what would the process be like with working one on one with Cathy? So just for the listener, can you explain what kind of things you offer? If you did want one on one coaching, like how that looks, I'm sure your waiting list is super long at this point, but, but at least go through how, what it's like, cause having a golf mindset coach, that seems like way beyond, you know, some of us. to, to take on. So tell us a little bit about how it works. Well, I like to think of it a little bit more like a golf mindset life coach, because you're, you have one brain and it affects your off golf course life and your off golf course life affects your, on your course. And so, um, usually people come to me because they're struggling. Usually. Not only in their results, but they're struggling mentally or emotionally, right? Either golf makes you feel really crappy. And that's a reason to come and talk to me or, you know, you have more talent than you're taking out to the golf course and it's super frustrating and you don't know how to get out of your own way and you know, it's in your brain, you know, it's like, I've had people call it all kinds of things that they're in their head. That they just can't seem to get out of their own way that they're, you know, have so many negative thoughts and emotions that they don't know what to deal with. And then I have people who after the round are just like, I just hate how golf makes me feel when I'm done the disappointment and the shame that they deal with. And that's where I help people. So the process is usually when someone will call me up and we'll have a talk and just see if we're a good fit for, you know, 30 minutes or so. I listened to what they have going on. and offer how I think I can help and sometimes I might not. I might not be a good fit and that's happened too but most the time, most the time it is because I know how to help people with that part. And then usually we have a series of individual calls, 50 minutes. When I work with juniors I shorten them because their attention span is a little bit different. But uh, 50 minutes. I like to do it on a consistent basis because you're breaking mental habits. You're breaking mental patterns. It's... The people who come in and want, just, I just want one call with you. It's I don't do it. I won't do it because it's like taking one golf lesson and then never seeing that person again or never. You're going to go back to your old habits. If you went and took a golf lesson and just changed your grip, you're going to go back to comfortable. You're going to go back and switch because it's uncomfortable to change your grip or any part of your swing. So you're going to have a tendency to go back to your old ways because our brain doesn't like to be uncomfortable. So same thing with changing and noticing, just like we talked about the Coke can. about noticing our patterns and changing our habits. And so I like to do those over a series of weeks and on a consistent basis. So I offer it in packages, but basically how it works when I start talking with somebody is, you know, I ask them really, what's the problem? Like where, what's, what's happening. And they either have. The results that, usually it's results that they're not creating. It can be feelings, um, it can be feeling out of control, lack of confidence. And so I just start really showing them their brain and start shifting things so that they get to think differently. A lot of times people don't know. I didn't. I played golf for a living and did not know. I, I, Definitely did not play to my potential. This is why I'm doing what I'm doing is I struggled. I, and I was always trying to fix myself, figure out what the heck was going on, even when I was playing and I watched so many people while I was teaching, I could give them all the great instruction and their swing could be in super shape. But if they had crappy thoughts and a crappy. Um, and a negative mindset or just were so easily affected on the golf course or at the effect of the game, like people, pressure situations, lies, like there's so weather, there's so many things that's mental. It didn't matter how many balls they hit or how many lessons they took or how pretty their swing was or how pretty their shots were. If they couldn't manage that part, just like it was for me when I was playing for a living, it was a moot point. So I realized I could help people so much. Better in this capacity because I figured things out myself personally through just different training that I did. I was like, oh my gosh This was what I needed when I was playing. So I want to share it with as many people as I can By by doing that and what happens is that I would tell you You know, I can't give a number on it for the vast majority a majority of my clients Are so, uh, impacted by the work that they do on the things on the golf course, because it impacts your, how you manage things off the golf course. So their life gets better off the course. That's why I say it's all connected. It's not just going through a pre shot routine or, you know, thinking a certain thought over a shot while that might be important. There's more to it. Because then you, you want to go out there and feel like you have a little bit more control and you're not at the effect of the game and then it's way more fun. Yeah, it reminds me just from this past weekend watching the Ryder Cup, Max Homa, Max Homa's recent journey. I mean, he states a lot now that believing in himself was what he really struggled with. And once he started believing in himself. Then his whole golf game opened up and, you know, the results started happening more. Yeah, and I think there's been a stigma, too, about working on This part of the game, like, especially, you know, people are like, Oh no, I'm strong. I'm tough. I can do it. I'm okay. It's my golf swing. You know, I just need to hit more balls. And I did that. I thought that that was the case. And there's nothing, there's nothing shameful or wrong about just purposely managing your brain. Cause we can, like, we feel like we're just like defaulted with like, this is the way my brain works. There's nothing I can do about it. It's not the case. You get to create the results you want by deciding how you want to think and feel at any given moment. And there's no shame in working on that part. I think it's the smartest thing people can do, especially. When, and you mentioned a little bit, it doesn't matter if you're playing like a Max Homa or your level or in the USGA senior. I have clients who are 40 handicaps because it's the, the fastest way for you to get better is to manage your mind first. Don't wait to become a certain handicap before you decide I should work on my brain and how I think out there, right? Work on it now. And especially with juniors too. It's just, I think it's a, like I said, I think it's a life skill. It's not necessarily a golf skill. Exactly. Okay, so for those of you who don't know the USGA Senior Women's Amateur Championship is this week at Troon Country Club, and that's where Kathy and I were both caddying for our players at, and if you're not familiar with these USGA championships, the Senior Women's Amateur, as long as you're 50 years old, Old or older, and you have qualified because there's one day qualifier scattered throughout the country, uh, through the spring and summer. If you qualify for this event, you come and it's an amazing USGA championship, like they all are. They treat you. It's amazing. I mean, it's, it's one of a kind. So if you haven't experienced it yet, I encourage you to go out there and qualify. One of the main things I was reminded of this past week is that, you know, it's, you don't think you, you don't have to be this professional or super really good golfer to at least go out there and qualify. Anything can happen on a one day qualifier. And if you do qualify, you're going to experience something that You know, you might never experience again. It's just a one in lifetime kind of championship. Yeah. It's definitely once in a once a year, right? Yeah, exactly. So there's a lot of riding on that, the qualifiers to get there. You know, you've gone through this right. And then that one event. Yeah. Yeah. It's, and then, and the U S G A puts in a lot of energy and they makes it, and they make it really special mm-hmm. For all the participants, no matter what event you're playing in. And, um, Yeah, it's it's a really cool experience to be able to play in USGA events. Yeah, so let's get into it Okay, so I thought this would be a very Interesting topic of three things you learned while caddying because again, you're taking your coach hat Well kind of off maybe not maybe a coach hat still on and really getting out there and being with the player and seeing What's going on out there? And what? You know, let's, let's hear it. So what was your first thing? So, yeah, I, I have all hats cause I was a player teacher and a coach, right? So I, I empathize with what everybody's going through. I totally get the pressure and all those things. I think the biggest, my biggest takeaway as a caddy for me, and I don't know if you experienced this was. The being prepared mentally for the pace of play, because we, our first group, our, our first, um, day, we got timed after the third hole, the girls, the ladies, the women struggled a little bit on number two and got behind because that pin, I don't remember if you remember the first day it was tucked right up on a false front and they just kept, you know, they were, they were struggling to get it up on the top of that ledge. So there's a lot of hockey getting played around the greens. So we got behind. Go to the third hole, it's a timed hole, and the lady says you're on the clock. You're going to be timed. If you get behind on one more checkpoint, right, they're going to get penalized. So this is a problem when you're trying to qualify. So what happened was then everybody got rattled. And that, and now the rest of the day felt like everybody was rushing for those next checkpoint holes and being able to mentally prepare that part. Like that's one of the things that when I help clients were like, we want to get ahead of things. Like, what am I going to do if we get caught on the clock? What are we going to do if we get, you know, um, you know, told we got a warning on slow play. So you want to get ahead of that mentally. But I noticed that really rattled the group. It, it changed the energy. It was hard to feel like you had a nice, smooth rhythm going because we were constantly running, almost turning into hit when ready play in a USGA event. And I think that was the biggest, these events, the USGA is very strict on pace of play more than any other event. Um, and they remind you of it on a consistent basis. And so that was one of the things that kind of, um. Um, you know, it didn't, it's not going to happen clearly for every group, but that was one of the things that I think was going to impact so many people on the. Um, even in the practice rounds, they talked about pace of play and how many balls you could hit. And so there was a lot of just, let's keep moving that if you're not ready for that, and at an event where it's stressful already, it's going to cost you shots. Yeah. So what would you say to the group? If you could have had like huddled everyone up and said, okay, this is, we just got this warning. How should we handle the next couple holes? Like, yeah, well, I would say. You, you want to make sure that you're taking your time over your shot. So you're, the amount of time that you take over your shot is a bubble. Like that's like, that's how much time I'm going to. Uh, use, but let's be as efficient as we can in between shots, like, and, and get our, get our, get ourselves caught up and hopefully that would be at the next checkpoint. You get caught up and then just go back into your groove, right. Versus and letting it go. But it was always, I think on the back of everybody's minds, cause they were always checking where we were on each, you know, on the. Um, or at least a couple of girls in the group were checking the clock. So that was the biggest thing is, is noticing how when you get rushed or when you get clocked or there's slow play, we move faster. When you move faster, your swing goes faster. You don't take the time to prepare. You make stupid mistakes. Um, you hit shots that are kind of wonky. Maybe you don't take as much time on the green. So you want to, you want to isolate that. I'm going to take as much time as I need on the green. I'm not going to rush my reading. I'm not sure. Unless you're excessively slow. Um, I'm not going to rush my reading. You know, I'm going to take this amount of time and then let's, let's, um, hurry up to the next. Uh, hole or the next, yeah, next shot. So it's like in between shots, there's so many ways to catch up on pace of play. And you were mentioning that hole number two was an issue. That's really what set you guys back and keeping the mindset of if one hole set us back, really one hole should catch you up in the same way. So thinking, okay, for, so maybe for one and a half holes, we're kind of picking it up a little bit, but you should be back into place after that. Or as long as you see the part of the group in front of you to part of the challenge can be if there's a person in your group who's oblivious and is still slow. Yeah, which is uncomfortable. Yes. Like so if you have a slow player and you're doing all the effort to catch up. Then the, and the other players in la la land and totally fine. Then you're the one you do. So at your own expense, right? So it's like, okay, I'm especially people pleasers will do this. Like, okay, I'm going to catch up. I'm going to make sure I'm ahead. And the other player in the group is like, has it, is not rushing. This becomes another mental battle. Yeah. Right. Then what they do is they put a timer out there and like, so they check who was going to be slow. You know, who was the slow person? Yeah. So, yeah, it was a lot of, that was a lot of, I know it was a lot of mental, mental gymnastics that. You can out there, it matters. You're trying to make the cut first, so you get into match play and so every shot counts. Yeah. Right. And being and noticing. That's where self awareness really comes in. I'm moving faster because, because you are moving faster. You're trying to catch up in between shots. I've got to slow down over the shot and make sure I don't rush my tempo. I gotta make sure I'm still making good decisions and that self awareness is so important. Otherwise you're going to sit there and, and as a result, we end up slowing down play because we make bad shots. Now we have extra shots. Yeah. You're like, you're Mr. Green. Now I'm in a bunker. I'm like, it would have been much better if I took. 10 extra seconds to hit the green. Exactly. Yeah, exactly. Okay. What was number two? So number two, I think it was people like the, just the dealing with the, with the other, um, this is what I, I witnessed just the dynamics of the different people in the group caddying was. I have some, I have some clients out here playing. They texted me with that. Uh, being like, like, uh, communicating and dealing with like the other caddies and rule. And there's a scorekeeper there. It was, I mean, it was a lot of people. There's a lot of people and there's, and the cart situation, the caddies, right. And I saw your look on your face, right? The cart drama was. I was even, I was confused. I actually got stressed. I went to one of my clients and they, she played in a gazillion USGA events. I'm like, all right, give me the scoop. How's the cart thing work? Because basically what happens is only one, but meaning if I I'm the caddy and my player, only one, but can be in a cart at a time. They're just like, remember one, but, and so. It does. And you have two carts and, but there's a threesome. So somebody is going to have a cart by themselves. And so there's like a little bit, if you have a personality in there that's like adamant on which way they want the cart to go, or it was just a lot. And when we got behind, it was like jumping in carts. So that part I think was mental drama a little bit for everybody in the group. And my other clients that I talked to, it was, it was an issue as well. Other than, so I tried to carry. So I carried my gosh, and I carried the front nine, but I was jogging when we got behind like because there's wow There's a lot of space between you and T. Yeah, and so I'm jogging I was out of breath like my whoop was like broke down and explode your whoops. Like what's going on here? Are we okay? 9 1 1 showed up because we got an alert your whoop is like off the charts. I was like Take a knee a couple of times. I was like, God, give me a second. And so I finally decided I need to jump in the cart and ride from green, you know, from green to T, but it was just, I, that part just became a bigger. conversation piece and then it needed to be for everybody in the group and, uh, and some of the other clients that I talked with. So unless you have a straight up caddy, caddy, just carrying and then there's not an issue, but unless you get pace of play. Right. And there's some long walks. So let me fill in the listener a little bit. So with USGA events, most of them, you have to walk. There's no carts unless you have a medical exemption for one in the seniors. And I'm assuming it's for the women and the men, they can use a cart. All players can use a cart, but the player and the caddy are both a team. And so they have this rule, the one butt rule. So if my player is sitting down and my player being Kim Aiton, she. She has to ride. So there's rarely a time where I'm sitting down in the cart, but let's say she gets up to hit. I could technically go and sit down and rest. Um, but only one, but from the player in the caddy can be sitting down. At any point. Um, it is nerve wracking. Even when I go to sit down and I, you know, Kim is hitting her shots. She's nowhere near a cart. I still get like, okay, I'm just going to sit down for one second. I don't want to make a mistake because it is. I would assume a one stroke penalty of some sort. I don't even know what it is, but it's like, it's like the last thing that you want. Yeah. And it's just on everybody's brain. And it's just, it's just another mental thing to me. I'm like, that's just a mental thing to worry about. I was stressed about it. Just making sure I didn't mess up for my. Well, I'm sure you were too for your player. Um, and then, like I said, just trying to figure out how to negotiate the other people in your group and like making sure that, you know, who gets the single cart that is so relatable. So again, there's the, the groups are threesomes and you get two carts, a group. So one player always gets to ride by herself. Well, most people want that single cart. Most, most people want a cart all to themselves. And so it is. It's kind of funny, the dynamics that you have with a group, like, okay, well, who gets that single? And, you know, uh, yesterday we wanted to play a game to see who gets the single cart between the three of them. So it's, it is interesting. Yeah, it is a little bit of a dynamic, depending on the personalities that come in. To play, you know, I had one of my clients text me that it was, she was just like, not a nice person about it. It's just stuff that you don't need to worry about. Now, ideally, I would have carried her bag the whole time, but it was a hundred degrees. And those long walks. Very hard course to walk. And it was gusting. We play in the afternoon, 20 to 40 miles an hour, 20 mile an hour winds with some 40 mile an hour gusts. And there were a couple of times where I just had to stop and stand still. I'm actually shocked. They, cause the back nine is the really hard walk. The front nine is still hilly, but it's still tough. I'm shocked that you even walked and carried the front line. Good for you. I passed out. Whoop overload and all. Okay, so let's play that out a little bit. So let's say you have a little cart controversy before you even get on the course or you're on the way to the first tee. How do you Calm down a little bit after that, or, or say you have an argument about whatever on the golf course with someone and it, things get a little tense and you know, your blood starts to like boil a little bit and you have a lot of energy behind this confrontation. How, what's the best way to like calm down? Well, well, to calm down, the one thing is you want to make sure that you're not. Um, feeding the story, sort of like we have things that happen and then we have a, then we have a story about it and we can feed the story. We can keep the story going and then we become super aggravated and we're wrapped up inside of it. You know, I, um, where it's just like we're arguing with reality at that point. It happened. The event happened. Now we got to decide what we want to think about it. And the one thing too, to understand, which is why it's one thing that I coach on a lot with people is we, other people, other people affect our golf. Worrying about other people, whether we're people pleasing, we're annoyed by people. It can be in your, just at your home course and you're playing in the, you know, there's that one person nobody wants to get paired with because the reason that we don't want to get paired with that person is because we don't know how to manage our mind about the person, right? The goal is to like be able to manage your mind and say, bring it. I'll bring, bring all the jerks, bring all the loud mouth, bring all the people that annoy you. We'll bring all the things I can manage my mind about it. That's where you're not at the effect of it anymore. In this situation, it's a little more challenging because we're in a competition and you're, and you're restricted so much by the rules that have been set up by the USGA. And so it is about making whatever someone says or does, well first I'd say create boundaries for yourself. Like listen, like, okay, no, that's not okay. Like one of my clients texted me and the things that that person was saying to them about the car, I'm like, that's not okay. Like just stand up for yourself. They wouldn't say anything. Exactly. And then the second thing is to make whatever someone says neutral, okay? Words that come out of people's mouths are neutral until you have a story about them. Oh my God. Okay? I just had an ah ha moment right there. Yeah, I mean, so when we can sit there and go, they just said words, now what do I want to think about? What story do I want to create? And we want to create the story that benefits us. We can, your brain wants to go and write a novel over one sentence, right? And then we like, next thing we know, we're like, well, I think I could publish this story, right? It's so great and graphic. And we think that everybody believes our story. And so we want to tell this other person, don't you think that too? And I've, I'm, Because I coach so many people, I make the words that they say neutral. So I'm very good at just, you know, I'm like, they just said words. Now what do you want to make them mean? And it's, and that's the biggest challenge out there. Most people don't know how to do that because we just, we go in the habit of. Creating these stories that make us feel crappy and then we regurgitate them over and over and over again. We feel crappier and crappier and crappier, but we're doing so at our own expense. And the job is to, the other thing I would tell people is that if you want to argue with what the person said or what the person did, And this, this is the same as if you made a big number on a hole and you want to complain about it, or you got a bad break and complain about it. We're arguing with reality. It happened. You're not helping yourself to argue on the golf course, wait to 18 and complain all you want and tell the story all you want. Just like hold yourself. Like I'm going to complain about this at 18 year, tell your brain. I'm going to deal with this at 18. So if someone's annoying, let them be jerks. Like they get there that they're doing so at their own expense. Right. So what do you want to think about it? And then making sure you hold your boundary. Like you have rights out there. Like, no, like I get to ride in this cart if you like it or not. Like stop and wait on me if that's not what they're going to do. Yeah. Okay. Wow. A lot of that just hit home. Oh yeah. I mean, we could have, I could go off for days about that, but let's move on. Number three. Okay. Number three is course conditions set up. Okay. And I think a lot of times, um, when you play in a USGA event, let's just say from someone who hasn't played in a USGA event, they're trying to make it challenging and tricky and they're going to do things that seem, are you kidding me? They put the pin there. Are you kidding me? They're playing at this long. Um, they set it up this fast. There were some pin placements out there that were. Um, brutal, brutal, like almost mean. Well, and I have to say too, if you're not familiar with the greens out here, especially up in North Scottsdale, when the valley is taking so much energy and draw towards. What looks to be uphill is really severely downhill. So there is some tricky putts when you don't even, when it doesn't even look tricky, you know? Yeah. There's some that you're like, oh, they can't go left. Yeah. And it went left. Right. It's on a side tilt, but that they put some pins in some places that you can, you can get the rug pulled out from underneath you. If you short side yourself, if you, um, well, you'd, like I said, we had something that were on, on the top downwind. Um, and it's right on the top of a false front. Yeah, there's like no way to stop your ball there. And if you get it caught just short of the pin, you know, you chip it up. It comes back down like two or three times that happened. And then you get, you get really, um, uh, frazzled, right? So now you've got to contain yourself and get yourself back into a frame of mind where you can play your best golf moving forward. So it is about really. Anticipating. Some of the setups, the USJ is not trying to be kind. The scores were super high, but the conditions on the first day were insane. If you play in the afternoon, I was even shocked at how high the scores were. Yeah. Um, just like from all levels to like all the players, I was like, wow, those scores are really, at least I would say. Three, four, five strokes higher than average of previous years. Yeah. And the, well, the wind didn't help, right? The wind was a tough, oh my gosh. And then if you're not a long hitter, right? That course, some of those holes were super long. And one of the things that the USGA can have in any course really can have a tendency to do is there's some super long holes. There's even some holes that you isn't an advantage to hit a driver off of, and you don't have a choice, but you got to hit a hybrid and kind of thing. And then there's holes that are. Super short. So they make up the yardage, like I'm super short holes, right? So, but you're going to have some of these longer holes and these tough setups. And in, if you're not. mentally prepared and just anticipate it. Then you can get the rug pulled out from underneath you and have a hard time. And what I mean by that is like, you get a little sideways mentally that you're having a hard time getting yourself back to what I call the calm, certain or confident and getting yourself calm back down. And being patient is the biggest thing is just staying patient. And the U S JVAC. Because like you said, there were so many high scores and you feel like you're playing out. You're like, Oh my gosh, I've never hit number or shot numbers like this before. I should be able to do this. And just remember that the rest of the field is struggling too. They're playing the same golf course. They're playing the same conditions are then the morning people. The first day they got really lucky. Um, and, um, those I think mentally are the hardest challenges out there when you're playing in a USGA event, any event really, but the USGA, just the way that they set it up can seem like. There's a lot of the, that's not fair kind of dialogue and kind of want to come out of your head and you want to be on top of that. And so as far as what you learned from it, you just were reminded of the fact that this is not going to be easy, the course set up and, and be more prepared. Is there a way to, that you helped your player get back in that mindset at all? Yeah. I mean, you know, tapping into some of the tools that, you know, that, um, That we're familiar with and that I've shared with her is, is just like some cues, like get out of your own head, you know, calm yourself back down, um, get present, right? I think that, you know, we send an intention for the day to stay present and patient the whole day as much as we could. Um, and, but there were some things that were, were challenging out there and for the other players, the, the other thing is that, um, which I want people to understand is you can, there's, You don't have to be amazing to go out and play in these events. And I think you mentioned that in the beginning. That's what I meant. There's some people that I was like, Oh my gosh, I can't believe they can shoot those numbers. Like not to be judgmental. I'm just saying good for them. I mean, they're really good. They're steady. They're solid mentally. They're, you know, good around the greens. They don't have to be super long and they're still can score, but they were the ones just, you know, watching them were pretty. Mentally steady, pretty calm out there on the golf course. They're playing in like their 61st and 45th, you know, USGA events. They know what to write. They know what to anticipate. So that's an advantage versus the people who haven't played in very many of these events before. And I know a couple of them. Um, and my client, you know, my, or my, my friend who I caddy for rather is, is one of them. And this was her, you know, uh, first tournament in 25 years. So it's kind of like you could shaken the cobwebs off. And so if anybody wants to go play in it, A USGA event. I encourage you to go do it. Just, you know, re listen to this podcast right before you go out and play. Make sure you're playing some tournaments prepping to go into it so that you can get those cobwebs shaken off of it. And, uh, go try. Like, why wouldn't you try? And it's hard to really explain that without offending the players out there. Like, the last thing I want to do is offend the players out there in any way. But it's, you don't, you have this idea of how, what a player should look like out in the golf course that are playing in these major championships. And I think this is probably the case in any USGA championship. They're really, it's, they are that good, but they're, they're not hitting the ball the way you think they are. Maybe, maybe that's the way to say it's not perfect golf, but it gets done. It's not, there's not, there's like, I saw some amazing misses and some, um, and they made parts, right? It's like people think, yeah, and up and down and they made putts and they got it done and they stayed steady and they came back in the next hole and it's just, it doesn't need to be pretty. It doesn't need to be perfect. You don't have to be amazing. I think people underestimate. That, um, their own abilities and they overestimate who's out there playing in these games like they don't think they belong. And I'm just telling you, if your handicap qualifies you to, you know, uh, qualify for an event, you belong. Yes, exactly, exactly. And actually. For Kim and I what I what I started saying pretty early in the round the first day was let's play a really boring round Let's just try and hit the fairway. And then once we hit the fairway, let's try and hit the green, you know And then that's two putt and get out of there. Like let's be like we don't need to make this exciting or You know, let's just try and just do what's in front of us and if You know, and then the next day she played, I thought she still played great, but she'll say that she didn't play as good as the first day. And I would say to her, it's getting too exciting. Let's go back to the boring pars. Let's go back to the easy pars. Let's make it easy. Let's just get on the fairway. And then get on the middle of the green, aim for the middle of the green, you know, and just, yeah, I think that's such a fight like, yeah, that's such great advice that you, and you brought her back to, because it's, it's something that I coach on with a lot of people, whether they're in college or, you know, just playing in tournaments is we, you feel like you have to make birdies. You feel like you have to play your best golf. You feel like your game has to show up and that's not, it's just pars were good out there at this event. Pars are good usually in USGA events anywhere and just keep it simple. Put the, hit the middle of the green, two puck, get out of there. If you happen to stumble on a birdie, good for you. The par fives weren't birdieable, I mean reachable, right? They weren't like easy birdies, so there was no. Birdie really whole out there and then a couple wedges. So you just like keep plugging away and making your pars and keeping it, um, just not making big numbers and doing anything kind of as quote unquote dumb. And you're going to do great. Yeah. And even if you had a tough round the first day, you could very, maybe we're a tough around the first day where you thought I'm out of it. You really weren't. You really weren't. I mean, just to put in perspective, the cut was 22 over. So you could have shot two 80 ones or no, excuse me. Wait, that's 20 over. No, 22 over is two 80 threes and made the cut. And I would say that's a little high. I'd say usually the cuts around 19, but still at 19, I just, I want to put in perspective what the scoring for making the cut into match play is just so that it kind of just brings down any huge expectations you might have. Now again, these are some of the best amateur golfers, senior amateur golfers in the country. Um, you know, I don't want to dumb down their abilities. They are amazing, but that's just how hard golf is. Yes. I mean, you're going to have some just like college golf or anywhere other than professional golf. You're going to have some that are really stand out and are exceptional golfers. And then there's a lot more people who are in the, you know, the middle of the pack. I mean, there's the ones who finished like Kim. Who are there all the time. All the time. And they're up at the top. I mean, amazing golf that they played out there in those conditions. Yeah. I'm impressed. Yeah. So, but yeah, they're good golfers and it's fun and I think anybody should really give it a go. Yeah. They can. And one final thing that I saw that I would like your advice on, again, a lot of these putts were sneaky, sneaky, fast, and you could. You hit a putt that probably felt good, felt right, and you're 10 15 feet by the hole because they were sneaky fast. How do you fix your mindset so that you're not going into the next hole tentative about putting at that point? Because some of these, again, it's so scary to go by the hole. 10 plus feet by, but this was happening. This was happening even with Kim. Yes. So how do you switch gears so that on the next screen, you're not coming up 10 feet short? Yeah, it's, that is a challenge because you're, you know, you're working with the gray, like we were always like, where's the Valley? Like trying to figure out where's the Valley. And so the knowing that when you stand over a pot or any shot with doubt, which is basically like, I don't know what we have to tendency to do from the feeling of doubt. Or uncertainty is decelerate, we steer the ball around, we, um, you know, our tempo gets a little bit off, right? So it'd be, and then it's, we might squeeze the club a little bit harder, right? So we end up making a bad stroke anyway. So it is having that, that mental discipline to just pick your line and again, saying that, you know, take a couple of practice swings and try and get the speed, but you got to pick your line and just commit and because you're going to make a such a better stroke and your touch is going to be get better or be better than if you're I'm going to be tentative and say, I'm not sure the whole way, because all that's going to happen is on that next one, when you hit a crappy pup, because you were in doubt, then you're going to be in more doubt. You got to, you got to break that cycle at some point and just say, this is where I think it's going to go. This is the speed that I think it is. Let's go. And just as. Like finding the things that you know, the like, what are you certain about? If you're certain where the valley is, if you're certain about that, it's downhill physically, right? If you're certain about your break for the most part, and sometimes we don't, but you can be certain about this is where I think it is. And this is my best guess. And this is what I'm going to go for. You are going to make a better stroke. Yeah. You are going to create a better result and then you learn and then you go, okay. And the next hole. Now, what do I know? Right. Pay attention. What a lot of people don't do is they don't pay attention to a putt that ran 10 feet by and get curious. Why did it run 10 feet by? Oh, is that the valley? Or does it, is it going towards the water? What did I miss there? Yeah. What did I miss? They just walk off the green and go, my touch sucks. Right. That's not necessarily true. It's like when you, there was something for you to learn. And if you take that extra couple of seconds, what did I learn? Then the next hole. You will have less doubt because you might not have the water that the ball wants to go towards, or you missed that the valley was over there, or it was just a, you looked, you turn around, you look at the hole from a different angle and go, Oh, actually it was downhill and I missed it. Yeah, exactly. Oh, Kathy, thank you for, I mean. Seriously, for all the listeners, I was texting Kathy at 9 45 this morning and it is 11 a. m. that we did this podcast. I was like, come on, is there any chance? Cause she, you're leaving tomorrow. Yes. I have to go caddy this afternoon. I was like, can we fit this in somehow? And the studio was available. He said, yes. Thank you so much. I asked Nikki, we were having coffee. I'm like, Oh, we were just gone for a walk. So I was like all like. You know, I was, I was desert sweaty, whatever that looks like. And I was like, do you mind if I go do this podcast with Tori? So she's, she's putzing around outside somewhere waiting on me. Let all the listeners know where they can find you. Okay. So go to Kathy Hart, H A R T wood. com. Um, I have most of my programs that I have going on at the current moment up there. You can check that out, or make sure you check out my podcast called Above Par, it's Think Above Par to Play Below Par. People sometimes are like, why do you have a podcast called Above Par? Basically Think Above Par, and you can find that on Apple or Spotify. And find me there. Okay. Great. And just like Kathy said earlier, it is a perfect bite size episode to listen to as you're going to the course. Yes. So it's great. They're easy. They're consumable. You can binge them. I love it. Yeah. Thanks Kathy for being here. Thank you so much. Thanks for having me. So there you have it. I hope you got some insight and some idea of what it's like to play in a USGA event, caddy in the U S J event. If you haven't done it. It's worth trying. It's a goal you can set for next season for sure. And if I can help you in any way along that journey, make sure you reach out to email@example.com. And if you want to hear more of Tory's podcast, Search for Tee time with Tori Totlis on apple or Spotify. All right. My friends have a beautiful day and I'll talk to you next Wednesday. All right. Bye.