Episode 66

The Par-4 Course of Content Creation

with Jon Sherman

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In this episode, Adam is joined by Jon Sherman, owner of the Practical Golf website, author of The Four Foundations of Golf, and host of The Sweet Spot podcast. Jon talks about building and monetizing an audience, becoming a full-time creator, and the value of writing daily. If you enjoy golf and content creation, this episode is for you.

Highlights from the conversation:

  • Jon’s background and career journey (1:52)
  • Crafting a unique voice (7:56)
  • Building an audience (14:33)
  • Nonconventional book writing (19:15)
  • Keeping your podcast going (25:39)
  • Practical golf knowledge (30:18)

 

Keep up with Jon:

 

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Transcription

Transcription generated by Otter.ai

Adam Vazquez 0:06
On today’s episode, we have Jon Sherman who is the owner of Practical Golf, the author of The Four Foundations of Golf, and the co-host of The Sweet Spot podcast. And this is one of my favorite episodes because we got to talk about golf, of course. But Jon also explained how he transitioned from a career at Google to becoming a full-time creator, what that looked like over a four or five-year period, how he has built an audience and eventually monetize that audience, and how the practice of writing every single day has influenced his creative career. We also got a little bit of some practical golf knowledge right there at the end. So if you enjoy golf, if you enjoy content creation, this episode is for you. Let’s get into it with Jon Sherman.

Intro 0:48
Put that content down. Content. The close is over. What’s your name? Content. That’s my name. You know why, mister? Because you drove a Hyundai to get here tonight. I drove an $80,000 BMW. That’s my name. Content Is for Closers.

Adam Vazquez 1:10
Alright, we have a very special episode I’ve been looking forward to personally for a while for selfish reasons. Mainly, I’m hoping our guest John is going to fix my golf game. But is Jon Sherman here @practicalgolf on Twitter, author of The Four Foundations of Golf. Jon, thanks for joining the show.

Jon Sherman 1:30
Thanks for having me. I’m interested to see where this conversation will go.

Adam Vazquez 1:34
Yeah, so we’re talking offline a little bit and you were telling me that you like I want to get into some golf stuff. I want to get into what you’re doing now, but this is not an overnight thing for you, what you’ve been doing. As far as a creator, give us what did the last eight years look like to get to this point?

Jon Sherman 1:50
Long story short, yeah, my background professionally has always been in sales and marketing, not a writer. It’s funny, I people call me an author. And I still don’t think of myself as one. Yeah. But yeah, I started my career at Google a long time ago, when I graduated college, got a taste of the online world and then left that. And then somewhere around 2014 I believe it was, I just was thinking what can I do online to share my expertise and I felt like I have something to offer on golf. I’ve gotten to a fairly high level. So I just started writing on my blog about different ideas. I believed I had to get better and worked really hard to try and make that a business had to figure out everything that goes into making a website successful SEO, becoming a better writer coming up with ideas, social media, getting advertisers affiliate relationships, eventually ecommerce stuff, writing my first book and the beginning. So I, I made a lot of, I assumed a lot of things that weren’t true, I made a lot of mistakes. And I just kept as my golf advice is usually the same as I paid attack, paid attention to the feedback and kept adjusting. And here I am.

Adam Vazquez 3:06
So you say you’re not a writer, but you’ve been writing a blog for eight years and have two books. What the bar to be called an author?

Jon Sherman 3:14
I don’t know. I spoke to Tom Coyne, who you might know he’s written a lot of great golf books about his travels in Ireland, Scotland, across American golf courses. The guy has an MFA, he’s booked deals. To me, that’s a term that he’s an actual author. I think teaches at a collegiate level. I’m a guy, I think, I think what I have is I have, I think of myself more as a coach. And the communication method I’ve found that’s most appropriate for me is writing just because I think I’m able to take complex topics and make them simple. If I were to go out and write a novel, I don’t think it would be very good stylistically. So I despite writing this massive book, I’m more think of myself as a coach than a writer. But that’s just my own thing, I guess.

Adam Vazquez 4:05
Yeah. Don’t tell us that. Maybe you have the next like Bagger Vance in there. Who knows?

Jon Sherman 4:09
I do have an idea for golf novel, but I think it’s too cliche, to be quite honest. So I’m not going to share it here.

Adam Vazquez 4:16
I say you kind of alluded to the fact that before even your career with Google and definitely before you became a writer, you had this history, this relationship with golf. Tell us, how did you fall in love with the game? How did you come up learning? And all that sort of thing.

Jon Sherman 4:30
I was a kid who played every sport growing up, baseball, basketball, football, hockey, anything I could get my hands on, and one day I found an old really old set of golf clubs in my grandmother’s garage that probably my late grandfather’s I never met him. And I took them across the street into an abandoned schoolyard and just started smacking the ball around and then these were like old golf clubs with wooden shafts that are hard to hit. And I stacked up some dead grass to essentially made a makeshift tee and I made perfect contact and watch the ball sail through the air, and I was hooked. I think everyone who plays golf knows that feeling. And I put that in the book that I’ve kind of been chasing that ever since. I became a decent Junior golfer in high school, a little bit of college, probably not as good as it could have been, I think I got my own way a lot. And in my 20s, I lived in New York City, so I really couldn’t play much I wasn’t enjoying it when I did play. And I guess the third act of My Golf Life, which is more Practical Golf, and the book came from, is I was able, when I became a father moved down to the suburbs, I could play and practice again. And I got my game to a level where I could compete. And I wanted to share what I learned along the way. And I guess my unique proposition was I was a lot of golfers swing instruction. And what I wanted to offer was coaching from a player’s perspective. So that’s, that’s my unique angle as I’m trying to communicate to people from a golfers perspective, which I didn’t think that voice was really out there.

Adam Vazquez 6:04
Yeah, and it’s such a unique way of teaching, I guess, or a way of doing advice, because so much of what you talk about in the book is rooted in like, hey, when you get to the tee, and you’re thinking about the hole before ever you bogeyed in now you’re putting pressures that very real-life situations that people like me who are getting into it, or even people probably who are experienced, I’m sure face every time they hit the course. And I love when you I think you do this occasionally, I love the series, we’re kind of like on Saturdays or Sundays, you’ll say, “Hey, weekend warrior, you’re probably gonna hit some shots sideways. Enjoy it.” I love that ethos that you bring.

Jon Sherman 6:45
Yeah, I think for people who are listening to this, who don’t play golf and aren’t familiar with it, most of the game is about the golf swing in terms of how people want to get better there. They’re listening to swing instructors about the golf swing, which is important. But no one talks about all the other stuff, how you’re conducting yourself on the course, how you’re practicing the targets you’re choosing. So I just wanted to give people as much tangible information as I could. And shortcut there, that’s what coaching is, I’m trying to offer people more efficient path to getting better. And I just feel like those things weren’t being discussed, or at least not enough. So yeah, whenever I try and give out information, I try and spell it out as clearly as possible and solve as many problems as possible and give tangible, actionable information because a lot of stuff in golf. I just don’t think it is I think it all sounds great. But then it kind of confuses people. So I kind of obsess over making sure that everything I’m giving to people can be understood by hopefully a player of any level.

Adam Vazquez 7:48
And was that an intentional choice to be… Because I think a lot of people have ideas like this, or a lot of people have passion points that they have in their life or something that they even have a little bit of expertise around. But crafting a unique voice is really difficult to do, and crafting a unique perspective. Not just regurgitating, to your point, whether it be swing thoughts or whatever. How did you go about that process? Is that just something you learned over trial and error? Or was that an intentional thing?

Jon Sherman 8:18
Probably a little bit of both. I started off with some ideas. When I look back on those, I probably deleted most of those early articles at this point because looking back on them, they were horrible, in my opinion. But there were some inklings of ideas. And it took me a while to do a few things, gain the expertise I needed. Find the topics that I felt were resonating with my audience. Now the Internet is a cold, dark place. If you put something out there, it’s usually pretty quiet. And I was trying to at least get some type of feedback. And there were certain things I would say that we’re connecting with people. So I’m like, Oh, I’ll explore that more. And that just took hundreds of articles. I mean, just constantly throwing stuff out there. And eventually I kind of settled on my greatest hits my best ideas, my best problems that I solved from people listening to their questions. And ultimately, that became the framework for the book. So when I set out to write the Table of Contents, that actually wasn’t hard for me because I had spent years thinking about these things, writing about them sharpening my message, and you say, how I communicated differently. I think that’s important too in writing or coaching whatever you’re doing because someone could say the same type of advice or even like a joke for example, with a comedian. You can get 10 comedians to say the same joke, but why does Chris Rock get the best laughs? It’s the way he delivers it. And I think that rings true in writing. Like someone like James clear. For example, I mentioned him a lot in the book. He doesn’t write anything new. We’re different about habits. It’s all research that’s been out there. It’s been in other books, but the way he organizes that information and the way he describes thing actually gets people to change their habits he. And that’s really hard to do. It looks easy. It’s it looks so simple. But there are a lot of people trying to do that. Why did he stick out of the pack? And I don’t think that’s possible for everyone. And I’ve done it a little bit in my little corner. But yeah, that’s, it’s constantly paying attention to what’s resonating with people. Because the first way I described like strategy, for example, it was like, oh, yeah, that that makes no, yeah, that’s obvious. Why wouldn’t I do that? Whereas now I try and build the case through different statistics and stuff like that. And that that took years to kind of come up with that way of describing it. So that’s the long and short of it, I guess.

Adam Vazquez 10:51
Yeah. And it’s worked. I was telling my business partner before we got on here today because he’s a fan of yours as well. And we’re talking about how, he was like, you could probably boil a lot of it down to things that you’ve heard all these things. But the fact that you wrap it in data, first of all, I’m not a data person, but to me, when you use the data, then it’s like, okay, he knows what he’s talking about, I should listen to him. So it gives me that kind of like piece. And then you bring it into the POV of the golfer, I think that’s the important part that you’ve really crafted well, and that resonates with people, and has allowed you to grow. So you started that, you started writing hundreds of— I’m just curious, what was your publishing cadence early on to be able to get in hundreds of blog posts?

Jon Sherman 11:33
Oh, when I first started the site, I had a lot of energy in writing. This book has probably taken on whatever was left out of me, I’d be constantly thinking about ideas. I would wake up in the middle of the night and write articles. I was just, I was so excited about it. Like when I first started my site, I remember having dinner with my wife, not that I wasn’t unhappy in my career, it just I felt like a light bulb turned on to me that I didn’t know had to be turned on. And I just loved. I love golf, I love solving the problem of how can I make better? How can I make others better golf? So yeah, there were times where I would try and publish two articles a week, I wrote a book after my first year of doing the site, which did okay, on Amazon, that was kind of like a quick reference guide a combination of a lot of early blog posts. But yeah, that the writing cadence was massive. I was writing all the time. And I needed to because again, I was a good writer in high school and college. And could I communicate clearly in a business environment? Yeah, but I hadn’t written like these essays for people before. So it took a lot of work to get better and better. But yeah, there was a lot of writing the first few years. Like a ton.

Adam Vazquez 12:51
And that was while you were still employed full-time?

Jon Sherman 12:54
Yeah, so I this was a true side hustle for me. And I would just when you’re consumed with a topic, I think you find ways to— Maybe my brain works a little differently than some other people. But I have like this kind of filing cabinet up here. And I would just, like, constantly think of ideas and like, refine them, or tweet them out, and then go back to them and then put them on, write a bright amount in a blog post. And just literally trying to find different ways to say the same thing that is like the essence of self-help and anything personal finance, like they’re saying the same five things over and over and over again, save more money than you earn invested in low-cost index funds, like I love personal. I’m like a personal finance nerd. But the voices out there, they find great ways to get you to buy in or see it in a different way. Like, oh, I am gonna stop going out to dinner six times a week and wasting all my money. Like, the way that person explained to that one time finally got to me. And that’s, that is like the essence of a lot of like, how to and get better content is it’s not necessarily the ideas are so revelatory, like, okay, like you said, it’s like, oh, this is kind of hiding in plain sight. But it’s like, why are you going to buy into it as the reader? That’s the hard problem to solve from the author’s perspective, in my opinion?

Adam Vazquez 14:16
Yeah. And furthermore apply it right. There has to be something compelling about it. What about in terms of audience growth? So you’re building up this library, you’re working full time. How did you start to build an audience that allowed you to eventually make this your career?

Jon Sherman 14:32
So I think in terms of the marketing game online and all that I followed, what was kind of the “good advice” from people who are running good online businesses. I started an email list very early. got people to sign up for that. And I just did the habit of releasing a new article every week with an email once a week. I’ve wasted a lot of time on Twitter probably too much, but that helped refine my ideas because Twitter is good— It’s so difficult to get people’s attention on there, and you have to do it with words. So the best material really does win most of the time. So that helped me sharpen up my thoughts. But yeah, I think just the basic habit of getting the content out there, building the newsletter, I did a lot of work trying to build relationships with golf companies that I liked in the industry, and I sold advertising to them in the beginning, that led me to kind of down the affiliate route. And then as I got more and more connections in the industry, I spent a lot of time behind closed doors, working my way through the golf industry and using my sales background, and eventually, that led to selling more products directly to my audience. So yeah, I think it took like three to four years for it to really catch on where I was like, Okay, I’ve got a business here, I could really do this full time. And then the last four years have been refining that business. And I’ve had some ideas that have been horrible and fallen flat that I thought would work. And I let go of those really quickly. And then the ones that I saw were working, I just kept investing more time in those. And that’s how I went from the side hustle to the full-time thing. But yeah, it took a lot of there were a lot of moments where I probably thought I was going to quit after two years, it wasn’t getting the momentum I thought it would. It’s so hard to get people’s attention online. That’s I always tell people that if you want to start an online business, you can have great ideas, whatever it is e-commerce site, blogs aren’t that popular anymore. But whatever you’re trying to do, the hardest problem to solve is getting people in the door. Because there’s just so much competition for people’s attention. And if you can’t get some type of hook and value to bring them there and keep them there. Like you’re never going to make it it’s really hard to do.

Adam Vazquez 16:45
Was there any single moment when something happened, you got a new advertiser, you got a new product, something that you were like, “Okay, this is it. This is gonna be my career?”

Jon Sherman 16:57
I think somewhere between year three and four, like my traffic reached in the six figures and pageviews a month, that was a big thing to cross like getting into a more like a better advertising network. Then all of a sudden, companies were reaching out to me, like, can we work with you? And like some people in the industry were being like, Oh, I really like what you’re doing. So like, I was starting to get some recognition for what I like Not, not certainly not fame, or anything. But there were enough signs pointing to the fact that I was providing value and it was being received well by golfers. And fortunately, because I’m in golf, it’s a great niche. Where there are golfers— I’m so lucky. Like, if I was doing tennis, for example. That’s much harder commercially, like what are people buying tennis shoes in a racket like I’m so fortunate with golf is that like, I have a lot of products I can choose from to align myself with that I believe in and they are commercially viable for me and the companies I work with, and they actually help golfers so it’s a win-win all around. So having this niche was kind of fortuitous for me from the business standpoint. Because, yep, there’s a lot of money around golf. It’s not easy to get that money. People think, Oh, I’m just gonna go into golf and get rich, but I saw people competing for it. But yeah, I think once I realized, like I had enough different revenue streams, I always try and diversify. Some of them have fallen flat over the years, and some of them have grown. I was like, okay, I can work with this, like something good is happening here. And I felt confident about it.

Adam Vazquez 18:27
What about flipping to the to the author side, and obviously, a book creating a book is so much different than even creating a blog or a social media following. We just had on Andrew Warner, who published the book Stop Asking Questions, a couple of weeks before. He was an indie publisher. And I think there can be this stigma around creating a book, kind of what you alluded to at the beginning. Like if you’re not Stephen King, if you’re not some creative genius that locks yourself away in a snowy cabin somewhere, the process might be difficult. Just knowing you and your background, we’ll talk about how you brought those things together for what became The Four Foundations of Golf.

Jon Sherman 19:15
I got to a point, probably after five or six years where the business was doing really well. But I realized a lot of my fate was tied to selling other people’s products. So online, you’ve got two choices. You can sell someone else’s product or your own, or I try and do a mixture of both. And I realized that I had to have more control over my own destiny in my business. And I could only do that with my own product. I could do an online course but I had some success with an earlier book on Amazon golf. If a golf book does well. It could stick around for a long time, like 2013 I think the number one golf books still is Ben Hogan’s book, and it’s decades old. So I knew if I could get my act together and write what I believe If it was my version of a great game improvement book that it would kind of be this annuity for me, hopefully for the rest of my life. But actually sitting down and doing it was really hard. So like, at first, I was just kind of organizing all my blog posts and saying— I knew my four topics, which are the four foundation expectation management, strategy, practice and the mental game. Now, I need to fill up each of those sections with all the chapters. And that was easy for me to do. I’ve ideas forever, because I’ve been writing so long. So I had to repurpose old blog posts, and I started writing it in 2019. And I probably got halfway through. And then the pandemic changed things for me, because my business kind of got hot on the e-commerce side. So I’m like, let me put this book down for a while. And then things eventually cooled down in 2021. I’m like, You got to finish this thing. And it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. It took six months, and honestly, credit to like someone like James clear for making things simple for me. All I did was say, I’m going to commit to waking up every morning, and writing for 30 to 90 minutes. And just checking off a box, I’m on a habit tracker I had on my desk. And that was really hard to do. There were mornings, I didn’t want to do it. But I just kept doing that. And I’m like, oh my god, I’m making progress. And fortunately, my wife edits for me, and she’s a great motivator. But as I was chipping away, I could see the end in sight. I’m like, I think you’re actually going to do this thing. And just by getting so used to waking up and doing that first thing in the morning, eventually, I just ran out of things to say, and it was done. But it was really hard. Like I don’t know if I could meet hope. Maybe I’ll do it again. But I feel like I can’t.

Adam Vazquez 21:49
Yeah, we’d like nerding out on some of the details. So I’m curious, when you say 30 to 90 minutes and you’re writing, what does that actually mean? Are you putting words on a screen? Or is it you’re pulling out bits out of a previous blog post? What are the actions you’re taking it?

Jon Sherman 22:08
I guess it depended on the topic. So some topics, I guess the first half of the book that I wrote was probably easier because I was kind of redoing the org, take a blog post or an idea and freshen it up with stats and stuff. But then towards the end as I got more refined with my ideas, and I should note that doing my podcast, that that podcast started in 2021, that helped me talking about all these ideas, and getting them out, kind of reinvigorated me and gave me a new perspective. So in terms of the actual writing process, I had a topic. So let’s say, you’ll know this from the book, the driver practice one. That’s a 10,000-word chapter, I just actually finished recording it this morning, the audiobook version. It was 50 minutes. My voice is probably running out at this point. But essentially, that chapter was my greatest hits evolve the driver info I’ve been giving out and learning over the past eight years. And within that, I had to break it up into many like sub-heading chapters. So a lot of it some chapters are really hard to write like that because I had so much to say, and I had to organize it. So it probably had to be edited three or four times and other chapters like in the mental part of the book that just flowed out of me, like I sit down, I’m going to talk about grit or something, you know that those are the easy ones. For me, they just kind of come out but that the middle part of the book was very hard because I had to communicate it in a way that would help a golfer like, you’re starting off in your journey or golf or a golfer who’s been playing for 30 years, and how can I make sure that this information is not too complicated for you, but not too rudimentary for the other player. So some of the chapters were really difficult to write and actually didn’t look forward to doing them. But again, I had my habit and I was gonna stick with it. And that’s that’s really how I got through it. Because I genuinely wanted to stop many times.

Adam Vazquez 24:01
I can’t imagine. Just use saying it that way. Like I’ve played with some people who’ve been playing for 10 or 15 years and our understanding of the game is obviously so so different. So having to talk to both of those people. Be tough, I’m sure it was, like if you had to write about grit and you were struggling or wanting to procrastinate, I feel like just a topic would bring you in.

Jon Sherman 24:25
Yeah, and to be quite honest, like I don’t want to make it sound like it was this horrible thing but like when I was done each day, then I would feel great. I’m like, oh, you’ve gotten these ideas out and as I was writing the book, I’m like, feeling great. I’m like, this is really going to help people like I think I’m writing a great book here and then you should see me the day I released it it was quite the opposite. But it’s so hard that the reason I don’t consider myself an author is because I guess like someone like Stephen King like he just bangs out novel after novel after novel like that. That’s his profession, and that’s what he does. I’m interested in so many different things, even on the business side that like, I just don’t know that writing is gonna be like a habit for me that sticks forever. Like, I love doing podcasts now. So I did what I had to do to motivate myself to get it done and got through it. But it was also rewarding at the same time, but it just the energy requires is really tremendous. It’s crazy. I guess. Some people are better at it than others, it was probably harder for me than most.

Adam Vazquez 25:26
Stephen King probably has like a 20 handicap, so I wouldn’t worry about it. You mentioned the podcast a couple times. It’s called The Sweet Spot. How did that come about? Was that just a natural progression of what you are already doing?

Jon Sherman 25:38
So I have been friends with another golf coach, his name’s Adam Young, ever, pretty much ever since I started this site, if I was a swing instructor, I would instruct the way that he does, we both have like very similar philosophies. And it’s, I guess a bit against the grain towards what else is out there in golf. So we joined forces, figuring it would be a good marketing tool for both of our sites kind of cross-pollinate our audiences and then get us exposed to new people. And it worked tremendously well. And what’s great about that was is now we could pick topics and we would just talk about them, I’d have to prepare for the episode. And when you talk about something for we do 90 120-minute episodes, it really hashes out more of the ideas versus writing 1,000-word blog post. So that was really helpful for me to get even more ways to say, the different ways to say the same thing. How can I convince people that they needed to aim at the center of the green and take the back yardage? Well, now I’ve got a lot of data to support it. I’ve heard a million different questions from golfers. I’ve had a back and forth with my co-host over it. So it made me I think, more well-rounded as a content creator. And to be quite honest, I enjoy doing the podcast more now than writing. Oh, cool. It’s easier for me to talk about something for two hours that for me to write for two hours, because that’s more solitary. That it’s not conversational. So I really do enjoy doing it. And to be quite honest, I don’t think my book would have done as well as it has without the podcast, even especially for a marketing channel as well.

Adam Vazquez 27:18
Yeah, that’s awesome. We’re very pro podcast here, obviously. But I think it allows you to continually… Andrew Warner, when he was on the show, he talked about sometimes losing or getting distance between the problem and the solution he was trying to teach. It’s hard to always remind yourself what the problem is. But when you’re having those conversations, you’re interacting with your audience, you can’t forget the problem because they’re bringing it in front of your face at all times. Or your co-host is, in this case.

Jon Sherman 27:47
Absolutely. Yeah. In terms of its when we started the podcast, I got such a stronger response of people like DMing me and emailing me being like, Oh, my God, this shows like really helping me. And I was like, wow, this is— I got some of that from my writing. But it seems like the podcasts kind of five or 10x that. And I’m not someone I mean, I hate to admit this, I don’t listen to a lot of podcasts myself. And that’s probably why I was so resistant to starting one for so long. But yeah, it was really one of the best things I’ve ever done for my business. So the book and everything and refining my ideas. So yeah, I’m, again, if there’s a problem is how do you stand out? Because there’s so much— I started my golf website when blogging was kind of dying. I was one of the last like websites. And then I was like, do I really want to start a golf podcast when there’s 500 other ones? But it really doesn’t matter. There’s always that advice: It’s never too late to start. It’s right. If you do something that provides value to people, and you have ways of promoting it and getting in front of them like yes, there are ways to stand out no matter how saturated anything is.

Adam Vazquez 28:57
Yeah, yeah. For some reason we put that pressure on ourselves when it comes to content, but nobody asks if there are enough grocery stores, or should you open another Subway, or whatever. We just assume.

Jon Sherman 29:09
Yeah, I always view it as it’s not a zero-sum game. A lot of people can win at the same time. And there’s always an opportunity for a different voice a different angle. So yeah, I think it’s, I guess there’s a number of ways you can use it. Some people make content just to kind of be like a nice thing to have for their business. For me, it is my business. So that there are all different reasons why you’re doing it. So yeah, there it’s but yeah when people interact with you, and the podcasting forms a deeper relationship with people too. I think the book has done that when they can really immerse themselves in a topic and you’re the person guiding them through this. It forms a much deeper relationship than I had with people when I was writing 1,000-word blog posts. So yeah, that’s been great.

Adam Vazquez 29:59
Well, Jon, we really appreciate you spending some time with us telling us about the book, The Four Foundations of Golf, The Sweet Spot, your podcast. Before I let you go, I have to ask you, I was talking to my business partner Derek right before I got on. I was like, What should I ask him? Because we’re both golf junkies. He’s been playing golf for a lot longer. And he gave me a great idea. If you’re coming up to just say, I’m just an average par four. Can you just give us a quick? What’s the mental checklist? Or how do you think through how you’re about to play a hole? This has nothing to do with content. If you don’t like content, just leave, but I have to ask because I like golf.

Jon Sherman 30:34
So the first thing, you have to step up to the tee. Like, why wouldn’t I hit driver here? So driver’s always the priority because that will drive the ball as far as possible. Always assuming driver. And then a lot of this planning can be done beforehand with satellite images or apps. And you say, Where’s the big trouble? Is it predominantly on the left side? Is it predominant on the right side, great. If it is one side, I’m going to aim away from it. If there’s out of bounds up the right and the left is pretty benign, I’m going to aim up there. So you’re trying to identify the big trouble, can you aim away from it? If you cannot, then it’s still drive her down the middle. Taking a shorter club just for safety doesn’t necessarily solve the problem? Or you’re trying to find out? Is there trouble? That driver brings me to because of a distance not a width issue. So is there a reason to lay back because of trouble? That maybe certain yards I’d hit with my driver, but not with my hybrid? So you’re trying to make that decision club off the tee, and target get that done with? And then that’s an independent decision. The next shot now, which I think is far more simple is the approach shot decision saying like, Okay, where did I end up? Being? Am I in the fairway? Am I in the rough amount of Bunker do I need to take my medicine out of the trees. So I’m trying to give people this decision rubric. And as you get closer to the green, the decisions become more and more simple. But yeah, the main thing I always try and get people across in golf is that it took me a long time to kind of communicate this is that every shot feels connected, but they’re not. They’re all independent situations that need to be evaluated separately. If you hit a bad drive, you don’t change your decision on this next shot because you hit a bad drive. We get lured into that with our emotions and our risk-taking sometimes, but the right decision is the right decision. So I’m trying to teach people the rules. Each shot is new and you have your framework, you make your decision, you go through your routine, you hit, and you go the next one. Incredibly simple but hard to do because, as when you’re on the course, you have all these little demons in your head and distractions telling you to do otherwise. That’s the basics of what I do. And I guess that the strategy section of the book explains how to make those decisions.

Adam Vazquez 32:52
I think you need to write a children’s book at some point that personifies like, branches hanging over that I for some reason they talk to me, they invite me to. Yeah, it’s crazy how your emotions play into it, even when you’re just out there. No pressure. Technically, it’s just such a difficult game. But you make it so much easier. Your book has made it easier for me. So anyone listening, please check that out. And we really appreciate you coming on. We’ll link everything we’ve talked about in the show notes below. And hopefully catch up again soon.

Jon Sherman 33:23
Thank you, I appreciate it.

Carlton Riffel 33:25
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