Monday, August 29, 2011

The Dan Plan insults golfers everywhere

Dan McLaughlin

If a person that had never touched a golf club before told you that he was going to be on the PGA Tour with just five years of work, you would probably consider him or her egotistical and delusional, but that is hardly the attitude The Golf Channel and other media outlets have toward Dan McLaughlin and his Dan Plan.

The Golf Channel's "Golf in America" feature on Golf Central made an attempt at an inspirational piece Monday about The Dan Plan, a plan where a single 32-year-old quit his job to use what he describes as unlimited time and resources to make it to the PGA Tour in 5 years having never played a single round before.

The piece was painted as inspirational and might have been for some, but many real golfers were down right insulted.

"Who does this hump think he is?" asked Xtopher Woods, a well-respected plus two handicap from Oceanside, CA. "This guy reads a couple books, and now he thinks he can become a top stud with a mere 10,000 hours of dedication ... What a joke. This guy is a complete loser."

The 10,000 hours Woods is referring to is what The Dan Plan centers around. Dan believes that through 10,000 hours of "deep practice" or "deliberate practice" he can be one of the 250 or so golfers regarded as the best in the world. Although The Golf Channel didn't explicitly state how Dan came up with the plan, his fantastic notion likely arose after reading the hit book "The Talent Code."

In The Talent Code, Author Daniel Coyle came up with his own Dan Plan where he sought of talent hotspots and tried to discover what causes them. Not more than a quarter of the way through the book, Coyle coins the 10,000 rule where he specifically refers to deliberate and deep practice. Coyle spends much of the book discussing how talent his grown in the body in the form of of a substance that coats nerves called myelin, which grows fastest through deep practice identifying a particular thing to improve upon.

Although The Talent Code has many merits, the 10,000 rule isn't one of them as it applies to golf. It is highly unlikely that a young, athletic physical specimen from a warm state could successfully accomplish Dan's plan much less an admittedly non-athletic, 5'7", 145lbs 32-year-old from Portland who had never touched a club.

Looking like a hack: Dan McLaughlin putts in the rain at Broadmoor Golf Course in Portland, Oregon. Do these images look like the gear and putter a guy with "unlimited resources" would use?

On July 5th, 2011 Dan was 17 percent of the way through at 1700 hours, and the Blazer stopped by his blog to see how he was doing. Here are a couple highlights:

"Just a couple weeks ago I couldn’t miss from within 12o yards and was making crisp contact with pretty much every shot. But, then the golfing gods frowned and the hosel began leading the charge on too many occasions . . . "I’ve started hitting a bit too much grass in front of the ball, not a good habit to have, especially if you want to put some spin on the ball."

That's not exactly the words of a guy headed to the tour by his fall of 2016 target. In his latest post Dan talks about establishing a handicap playing from the "white tees" using only a 6-iron, 8-iron, PW, 56 degree, 52 degree and putter. Dan's instructor, Christopher Smith, was originally insulted by Dan's idea calling him "just another yahoo" but has since warmed up to it. He started Dan with putting and is slowly moving up the club length latter as the months go on. By the time he's half way to the tour, he may finally get to hit a driver.

Christopher's original feelings of insult seem like a more appropriate response from the avid golfer than the inspiring story The Golf Channel and others are now painting of The Dan Plan.

Follow Dan's quest for the card at

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Captures and Captions - Fumbling Buffoons

A panic stricken maintenance crew at the Atlanta Athletic Club fumble around trying to fix the damage caused by a mower less than 24hrs before the players hit the course for the PGA Championship.

One crew member couldn't help but take a break for a cell phone photo op.