The regular days as a senior

It’s getting closer and closer to the first event of 2015! We are leaving for San Antonio, which is about a three hour drive from Waco, on Saturday. The tournament will be played Monday and Tuesday on Oak Hills in SA.

I’ve taken 15 hours of classes every semester since I got to Baylor as a Freshman. In addition, I’ve taken two semesters of summer-school. All this school has left me just 6 hours left to graduate for my last semester! This means that I am currently enrolled in just two classes, in addition to the University-required Chapel twice a week. I’m actually only on campus on Mondays and Wednesdays for about 4 hours each of those days. However, the two classes I do have are actually pretty challenging. One of the classes is an upper-level economics class that requires a lot of math and calculations. My professor, Mr. Grinols, has actually been nominated for a Nobel price earlier. Further, I have a strategic management class, that kind of ties together all the fundamental business classes I’ve been through, such as Accounting, Finance, Operations Management, and Calculus into making good business decisions.

The timing of this “easy load” semester could not be at a better time. I have a lot of stuff I’m trying to figure out and plan. The first issue is a new visa for when my student visa expires after graduation. Another is planning a tournament schedule and potential sponsorships. As an amateur I am not allowed to make any commitments yet money-wise, not until I actually turn pro in June. Therefore, a lot of great planning is necessary to provide myself a smooth transition!

Anyways, this semester gives me a little time for myself to take care of all my documentation, and also practice really well! I really like practicing and competing with my teammates, but I also appreciate quality practice time by myself. Those are the practice sessions where I experiment/learn the most because I am totally tuned into the intentions and sensations of my own shots. Team practices are every day of the week in the afternoons, so I usually have some time for my own in the morning – it’s a perfect setup!

That’s it for me. I’ll write some more from San Antonio.

Mikkel

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Improving

The most exciting thing that has happened in the last couple of weeks is that I proposed to my beautiful Hannah and she said yes! I can’t wait to start my life with her as we get married in October.

I’ve been working consistently on my game as well. Things are coming around and I feel like I’m in that improvement spot, where everyday feels like a little step towards the golfer I ultimately want to become. One if the best practice sessions I’ve had this year was a short game session with Coach McGraw yesterday morning. Winter is a challenging time of year around the greens here in Texas as the Bermuda grass is very tight and grainy but also soft at times. I’ve been struggling a little with my pitch shots since I got back this year and I asked my coach to take a look at it. The way we played around with ball position, weight distribution, and club face was very interesting and fun – something clicked and I got a deeper understanding if just how the club interacts with the ground on the different shots. I live for these aha-moments.

Our first tournament is in 9 days. My plan up until that point is to play a lot of golf on the course to get in the mental rhythm and flow of playing the game for 18 holes. I also want to experiment a lot more around the greens.

Finally, I wanted to share an article with you guys. Martin Kaymer is one of my favorite golfers to watch just because of the way he carries himself. You can just tell that the guy is intelligent and very reflected. The article is on his thoughts about his recent “choke” in Abu Dabi where he lost a ten stroke lead. Great insight!
http://www.golfchannel.com/news/golf-central-blog/kaymer-abu-dhabi-collapse-was-life-lesson/

Hope everyone’s doing well! Be back soon.
M


New Year New Post

Happy New Year everyone, and greeting from London Heathrow! I am currently on my way back to Texas to finish up my last semester at Baylor University. Lots have happened since I last wrote a post so let’s get right to it.

First of all, for Thanksgiving break, my Coach Simon Page paid me a visit in Texas. He had never seen a college campus before and I think our facilities at Baylor impressed him a lot. We also had a very nice Thanksgiving dinner with my girlfriend’s family – a real treat for an Englishman and a Norwegian! It was great having Simon over. We played a lot of golf together and had a lot of good discussions. I saw Simon over Christmas break too, where we worked further on the things we started in Texas.

After finishing up the final exams for the fall semester, I hopped on a couple of planes to see my family back in Norway. I got to spend 3 weeks at home, which was almost a little too long. Sure it’s nice to catch up with family and friends in addition to skiing a little bit. However, as far as golf goes, it’s very hard for me to have three productive weeks of indoor practice. When I first started pursuing golf I think the indoor practice was quite productive, because technically I was very “rough.” I had to work a lot on my swing to get it on plane, get all the fundamentals in place, etc. A lot of that is repetition training, which is fine to do indoors when you are constantly trying to groove a new move. However, when you get to a certain skill level, the improvement becomes harder to obtain, and therefore less about technique. The swing technique you have grooves over thousands of hours becomes very sound, and you experience diminishing returns to technical practice. To get better at this level, I believe most of the process is very personal. I think you need to work a lot with the ball flight, because you need to connect the sensations during your swing to the result (ball flight) in order to learn to hit different shots consistently. At this point, I can spend half a week hitting into a net 10 feet away doing productive stuff. After that point, I need to see my ball flight in order to improve.

In short, I’m very excited about getting back to Texas. What consumes my mind daily is how to get better and how to learn more about my own game. Therefore, I need to be outdoors to experiment!

Our first tournament will be played in San Antonio, Texas in a month. My preparation will consist of a lot of short-game and play on the course. I look even look forward to the first team qualifier to get some competitive feelings again. I’ll keep you guys posted on how my preparation goes. Talk to you soon,

M.


Paging Mr. Page

Well, I haven’t written anything in about 10 days, but boredom has for sure not been the reason to why I haven’t visited the blog. Even though we’re in off-season at the moment, I still practice every day and am a regular student. Since this upcoming gives us a Thanksgiving break from our studies, the past couple of weeks have been heavily loaded with tests and assignments. The teachers always find the same weeks to put all of our tests…

The last time I posted a piece, I wrote that the practice conditions were good and that the weather was holding up nicely. I should never have done that! I completely jinxed it. The weather turned biting cold and cloudy for about 9 days. Even though it was uncomfortable outside I still got to practice a little bit every day. One of the things I’ve learned through golf is that a little a lot is better than a lot a little. I really try to keep a consistency in everything I do, especially on the golf course. As long as you dress properly, it’s doable to get some quality work done!

However, the most exciting things to write about happened this weekend – right here in Wacko Waco! On Friday, my beautiful friend Alexis got engaged to her love, Sam. My girlfriend, Hannah, and I hung out downtown with other friends and family of the couple and had a great time. Then, on Saturday night, the Baylor Bears faced the Oklahoma State Cowboys at McLane stadium for a face-off in so-called American Football – a sport were only two players from each team, the kicker and the punter, actually use their feet. However, they choose to call this insane game “Football.” Some of Hannah’s family were in town, and we all went to cheer on the Bears. Although it was raining for the most part of the game, we happily stayed till the very end to see the Bears get away with a solid victory of 49 to 28.

When I got over here as a Freshman, I knew just a few American Football rules and wasn’t really all that interested. Now, College Football is one of my favorite things to keep up with. Baylor has a few really solid teams in a row now, and it has been really fun to keep up with the guys on the National stage. It also makes you more invested when you know a few of the guys on the team. Baylor is now 9-1 for the season (9wins and 1 loss), so it will be very exciting to follow the end of the season. Go bears!

As if the weekend wasn’t exciting enough, my coach from Norway, Simon Page is landing in Dallas tomorrow afternoon to hang out for a little more than a week! We will hang out, I’ll show him around campus and our facilities, and we’ll both go home to my girlfriend’s on Thanksgiving to see if we can score some good food. Simon has been my coach since I really started pursuing golf seriously. He has taught me every part of the game from the ground up. More importantly, he has been my most consistent friend during my teenage years and beyond. We always have a good time practicing, playing golf, or just hanging out. It is pretty self-explanatory that I look forward to showing him how my life at college in the U.S. is. I also look forward to introducing me to all my friends over here. We’ll have a great week+!

That’s it for now, I’ll see if I can get some pictures from golfing the next couple of weeks and post them here on the blog. Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!


Jerry in the Mayakoba

Great news guys!
My former teammate, Jerry Ruiz from Mexico, just Monday qualified for this week’s PGA Tour event in his home country, Mexico. He shot a 66 in the one-round qualifying to grab one of three qualifying spots. What a stud!
Jerry was my teammate at Baylor for three years, and he graduated this past May and has since turned professional. He is one of the best ballstrikers I’ve seen – super deadly with his irons. He is also a good putter.
Look for the name this week and in the future!
Jerry Ruiz, Jerry Ruiz, Jerry Ruiz.
Enjoy Jerry!


Big 12 Golfer of the Month

The weather is still holding up in the middle of Texas, allowing outdoors practice in comfortable temperatures. The wind is stating to pick up as we head into winter – good for learning to control your ball-flight!

Last Friday, I was honored to be named the Big 12 Golfer of the Month for October. Very cool to be recognized! Here’s a link to the article Baylorbears.com did on the announcement:

http://www.baylorbears.com/sports/m-golf/spec-rel/111014aaa.html

That’s it for now, I’ve got to go to class, be back soon with some updates on practice.

Mikkel


First collegiate win!

WOW what a week! Took my first individual victory in college golf at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate in Dallas, TX. Shot rounds of 66-70-71 to win by one. Was very exciting to finish with birdies on 17 and 18 to clinch the victory by a shot.

Here’s a video recap of the final day of the tournament:

I was quite nervous before the final day as I held a three shot lead over night. The start of my round was a little tentative and I put myself in some stressful situations. However, I knew that I was never out of it, so I put my foot on the gas pedal on the back nine and gave it my best. Ended up coming home in 3 under par for a final round of even par, 71. It was extra special to birdie the last two. On 17, I hit a very good drive of about 300 yards that left me 88 yards to the pin from the short grass. I hit a solid wedge to about 11 feet below the hole. My playing partner had the same putt from about 13 feet, so I got a good read off his roll.

Came to the par-5 18th quite pumped with adrenalin. I proceeded to absolutely kill a drive down the middle about 340 yards. It left me just an 8iron to the green. Didn’t hit the approach shot great, but was able to two-putt from about 35 feet for the birdie! Very fulfilling to walk off that last green knowing I had pulled it off.

Thanks to everyone who has sent me congratulatory messages. I’m overwhelmed by all the support – it really means a lot to me!

Finally, I feel like my first win in college is a good time for me to extend some thanks to the great people around me that helps me every day. Thanks to my trainer, Meagan Faulk, for helping me sort out all the little “umfs” with my body. A special thanks to my Coaches, Ryan Blagg and Mike McGraw. Blagg walked with me the entire way, I’m so glad I get to learn from these guys. Also thanks to my mentor Simon Page for believing in me. Thanks to my family for being there for my brother and I. And finally my wonderful girlfriend Hannah, and her mom, Martha, for coming out to watch the tournament!

Mikkel

P.S. Here are are a few articles on the tournament followed by some pictures from the final round:

http://www.norskgolf.no/node/6539

http://www.baylorbears.com/sports/m-golf/recaps/102814aaa.html

And here’s a lengthy article Golf Channel did on Coach Mike McGraw – great read!

http://www.golfchannel.com/news/ryan-lavner/mcgraws-new-attitude-leads-sizzling-start-baylor/

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