Win a Million Dollar Hole-in-One

Win $1 million at the Steve Mitchell Golf Classic this October

The upside of competing in a hole-in-one contest is that you don’t have to be a scratch golfer to win. It’s one shot, winner-take-all. The downside is, if you are a scratch golfer, an average golfer can beat you in a contest like this. Their odds of winning are just as good as yours. Don’t believe for a minute that you don’t have to prepare because you’re shooting par or under at your home club. Lee’s Hill Golf Club in October will present you with some interesting challenges:

  • The temperature could be anywhere from 40 to 70 degrees
  • Greens could be fast or slow depending on how much rain they get
  • Average wind is 7.5 mph, but might gust higher

Are you starting to get a little nervous? I’ve played with golfers whose game goes in the tank when they start stressing about the conditions they might run into. Don’t do it. Golf is a game where stress will beat you before any other player does. The key to being successful at hitting that little white ball is to relax and have confidence in your clubs. Do you really want to win the million-dollar hole-in-one? You can do it. Here are a few tips to help you:

Range your clubs: The shot is 165 yards. I have a nephew who can get that with his nine iron. I need to use my six. My son hits a soft five-wood. Everyone is different, so DO NOT listen to outside voices that tell you to use a different club than the one you’re used to. Go to the range and work your clubs. Don’t rely on the distance flags for accuracy, though. I use a Callaway 300 Pro Golf Laser to check distances. Confirm your yardage and then test 5 through 9 with a quarter swing, half swing, and full swing. Don’t question. Just do it.

Test your form on quarter and half swings: My first golf instructor wouldn’t let me take a full swing until my third lesson. I almost quit the game because of it, but I can see now that it was the right move. Keeping my left arm straight and rotating my body correctly did not come easy for me. I had to work at it. Make sure you have the arm, torso, and foot movements correct by practicing quarter and half swings, then crank it up to a full swing to test distances.

Practice with the equipment you’ll use for the contest: Two years ago, I bought new irons mid-season. I will never do that again. My scores shot up from my normal low eighties to mid-nineties. I didn’t just change brands (from Taylor Made to Callaway); I extended the new clubs by two inches to be more compatible with my 6’5” frame. Experienced golfers know not to make equipment changes when they’re competing. You shouldn’t either.

Choose a ball you like: My preferred ball is a Callaway 2018 Chrome Soft Truvis Shamrock. I’m starting my third season with them and I know how far I can hit them with the clubs I have. I’ll also be playing my second full season with the new clubs this year and it feels like I can place the ball anywhere I want to on any given shot. Consistency is important. You may have noticed that it’s kind of the theme of what I’ve told you so far. To reiterate:

  • Ignore what you cannot control (like weather)
  • Swing the same way every time
  • Know your clubs’ ranges
  • Use the same clubs every time
  • Use the same golf balls every time

Conditions will not be perfect, and you’ll likely need to make some adjustments the day of the event, but if you know what your clubs can do, you’ll be fine. October is still months away, so play as often as possible and don’t be afraid to go out in cold, wind, or rain. Real golfers will compete in any conditions. I’m from Massachusetts. There are golfers here who use orange balls in the winter so they can find them in the snow. That’s dedication.

Use Technology to Scout the Course

The 10th Annual Steve Mitchell Golf Classic is scheduled for Friday, October 16th, at Lee Hill Golf Club in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I plan on attending, but I live 483 miles away. I can fly down for the tournament and I’ll definitely take a shot at the million-dollar hole-in-one, but how will I prepare for that? It’s not like I can fly to Virginia multiple times to play warm-up rounds.

The answer, of course, is to utilize technology. I’ve already given you a taste of that above with the weather statistics I looked up on Google. I also visited the website for Lee Hill GC and the site for the Steve Mitchell Golf Classic. That’s was the extent of what I could do for online scouting. My next step is to go see my current golf instructor who runs an indoor golf simulator facility. He just might be able to give me some additional intelligence on the course.

Some courses offer distances and details on each hole. Lee’s Hill does not, but that doesn’t mean that information is not out there. If you live near a golf simulator facility, book a round and ask if they can load up this course. If they have it, you’ve got your warm-up round. They can even change the weather conditions and speed up the greens for you. You might not be able to duplicate the exact conditions of the hole-in-one hole, but you’ll get a feel for the course.

What’s the best advice I can give you? There are no magic bullets or cheat sheets when it comes to golf. Practice at the range regularly and you will play well when you’re on the course. Be consistent with your form and use the same equipment every time. You’ll do okay. Who knows? You might just win a million dollars in Fredericksburg this year.

Click the magazine link below for additional details, terms, and conditions on this and other prizes we’re awarding this year.

How to Deal with Golf Frustration

My friends and I are playing in a tournament on Saturday, so we figured we’d get a warm-up round in this morning. It did not go well. We lost twelve balls and didn’t even finish eighteen holes.

Have you had days like this? It’s frustrating. Two weeks ago, I was hitting every shot, making birdies, chipping within a few feet of the pin, and crushing my driver. Today, I couldn’t get off the tee.

It’s the nature of the game. Even the pros have bad days. Just look at what happened at Winged Foot. Half of the PGA’s top contenders didn’t make the cut. Do you think they were frustrated?

Overcoming a Bad Day

Everyone who plays this God-given game of golf has been through it. I’ve never snapped a club in half, but I’ve certainly felt like it at times. Here’s what I’ve been taught to do to deal with it.

  • Take a Golf Lesson: Taking a lesson can help you figure out exactly what you’re doing wrong. I did indoor golf last winter with a pro golf instructor and shaved five strokes off my handicap this year.
  • Go to the Range More Often: I almost never do this. With limited time to swing the sticks, I usually just shoot nine instead of hitting a bucket of balls. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad option.
  • Play the Shot, not the Score: This is one of my biggest obstacles. I start falling behind and try to play hero golf. Bad idea. Concentrate on the shot right in front of you.
  • Set Realistic Goals: You’re not a PGA golfer. Stop putting unrealistic expectations on yourself. Only ten percent of Americans break 100 on a consistent basis. Start with that.
  • Eat, Drink, and Be Merry: Golf is a sport where you can eat junk food, drink beer, and even smoke weed if that’s your preference. It’s also an intensely mental game, so relax and have fun.

You are not alone. If you had a bad day today, tomorrow will be better. If work was stressful, leave it at work. That angry spouse? She (or he) is not on the golf course with you. Leave it all behind and just play. The pros have bad days too. Check out this video.