Author Archives: Brian Penn

About Brian Penn

Avid sports fan and golf nut. I am a lifelong resident of the Washington D.C. area and love to follow the local teams. Also worked as a golf professional in the Middle Atlantic PGA for several years and am intrigued by the game to no end. I love to play and practice and am dedicated to continual improvement.

Instruction Without Practice Is Like Reading the Comics

Whether it’s golf, computer programming, or learning to drive a car, anytime you try to acquire a new skill, you’ll need to practice.  Instruction without practice is like reading the comics.  You enjoy it at the time, but don’t retain … Continue reading

Posted in Instruction | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Update After Lesson #2

Today I took the second in a series of four full swing lessons.  In lesson #1 I told my instructor my goal was to average more than 10 GIR per round this season.  I have been stuck between 8 and … Continue reading

Posted in Instruction | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Fantastic Opportunity to Challenge Myself

Yesterday, I played Northwest Golf Course in Silver Spring, Maryland.  We usually get out here four or five times per year and on this beautiful Masters Sunday, we enjoyed crystal clear skies and comfortable 70 degree temperatures.  With perfect scoring … Continue reading

Posted in Opinion | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

What are the Do’s and Don’ts of taking a golf lesson?

As golf season gets ramped up, many of us will be investing in lessons in an effort to improve.  High handicappers right down to touring professionals all benefit from formal instruction.  I took my first lesson of the season last … Continue reading

Posted in Instruction | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

“YESSSS SIR!!!”

We are PUMPED for the 2017 edition of The Masters!  It feels like being first in line at Best Buy on Black Friday morning.  Soon, the greatest venue in golf will fling open the gates, and we will charge in … Continue reading

Posted in Opinion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Putt Looking At The Hole

In the many years I’ve been playing golf, I have never looked at the hole while putting, until today.  The objective was to test whether my distance control would improve and I could specifically eliminate the short miss on medium … Continue reading

Posted in Instruction | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

How To Measure Success in Golf

In Putting Out of Your Mind, Dr. Bob Rotella says that to judge yourself a success on the putting green, you should measure by how often you were mentally prepared when you struck your putts, and not whether the ball … Continue reading

Posted in Instruction, Opinion | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

2017 Golf Season – Reset!

Hold the cherry blossoms in DC and hold the azaleas in Augusta!  One of those god awful nor’easter things is bearing down on the DMV today and will be dropping a foot of the fluffy stuff. After getting out and … Continue reading

Posted in Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Golf Widows And Orphans

I love to travel for golf.  Some of my best vacations are had when going to play at destination sites.  But when you’re on a family vacation, do you golf if other members of your party don’t?  This can be … Continue reading

Posted in Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Avoiding Rookie Mistakes During A Swing Change

Have you ever gone on a crash diet 10 days before your annual physical so you’ll have good “results” to report to your doctor?  Or do you start brushing and flossing fastidiously three days in advance of a dental check-up?  … Continue reading

Posted in Instruction | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

What Motivates You to Pursue Excellence?

What gets you up in the morning to go work on your golf game? As human beings, we are motivated either one of two ways; extrinsically (pursuit of money, titles, things, etc.),  or intrinsically (praise for a job well done, … Continue reading

Posted in Instruction, Opinion | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

My 2017 Golf Improvement Plan

2017 will be about simplification.  What I’m very good at is taking a metrics based approach towards past performance and identifying shortcomings.  My downfall comes when I implement solutions that are overly complex and require unrealistic time and effort.  So … Continue reading

Posted in Instruction, Opinion | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Does Tiger Deserve to keep Playing?

In 2011, Peyton Manning underwent surgery for a pinched nerve in his neck and missed the entire NFL season.  Many questioned his ability to continue his career.  The Denver Broncos took a chance on him and two years later, at … Continue reading

Posted in Opinion | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

What is the greatest round ever played?

What qualifies a round of golf for greatest ever played?  A week ago, Canadian Adam Hadwin shot the ninth sub-60 round in PGA Tour history, and his 59 at La Quinta Country Club was only the fourth round of 13-under … Continue reading

Posted in Opinion | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Changing Equipment? Do It For The Right Reason!

I am fond of Charles Mingus’ old saying that goes, “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”  In 2013 Rory McIlroy changed to Nike equipment and struggled for half a year with the … Continue reading

Posted in Instruction, Opinion | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Confident vs. Cocky

Which camp do you fall in?  When you play your best on the golf course how do you feel, confident or cocky?  Try to align yourself with one of today’s top professionals.  Jason Day is confident.  Henrik Stenson is confident.  … Continue reading

Posted in Instruction, Opinion | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

2016, That’s A Wrap!

We started yesterday’s round just after 12-noon basking in glorious sunshine and 70 degree temperatures.  We finished in near darkness with sleet coming down sideways.  The golf god’s message was clear; it was time to put a wrap on 2016. … Continue reading

Posted in Instruction, Opinion | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Playing Old School

Charles Mingus once said, “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”  Last weekend that was the theory of the case I set out to prove on my 54-hole eastern shore jaunt.  The plan … Continue reading

Posted in Instruction, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Do You Golf Like An Artist or Scientist?

Human beings are predisposed to favor either creativity or analysis in their thought processes.  Take cooking for example.  We prepare a successful meal by either following a recipe or inventing one on the fly.  I am definitely in the latter … Continue reading

Posted in Instruction, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

You Can Play Well Without Practice!

This fall, I’ve barely scraped out enough time for a once-per-week round of golf, and have not been practicing much between rounds but have been scoring pretty well.  Can you play effectively without practicing?  The answer is “yes” but it … Continue reading

Posted in Instruction | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments