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Caleb's Conversations

Welcome to Caleb Christensen Golf's blog. Here you'll hear from Caleb about some of the most important topics in golf!
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New Posts
  • We recently caught up with former Sleepy Eye High School State Champion and current MSU sophomore golfer, Ben Laffen. Coming off a career best finish and a career low round this fall season, safe to say Ben's killling it. We spent our hour talking about Ben's college experience, his recruiting process, and his goals for the future. Catch a snippet of our conversation here, and check out the full interview in the November/December issue of The Golf Project Magazine releasing around Thanksgiving. Here we go! Caleb: So starting off, how would you say the fall season went? Also, what's your role on the team look like? Ben: The season went alright; I had my low career round [67]. I also had one of my higher scores in college [84], so overall it was mediocre. Lots to improve on, but also lots to take away from the good. I was consistently the number 3 golfer on our team. Occasionally I moved up into the number one or two spot, so I'm just starting to take on a little bit of a leadership role. C: This being your second year on the team, were you more comfortable coming into this season compared to last season as a freshman? B: For sure, freshman year is a big adjustment. The added comfort level definitely helped me. When you're a freshman everything is new, and one of the biggest adjustments related to golf is length of course. It's a huge adjustment distance-wise. It's not driver, wedge into every green; now it's driver, 7 iron. C: Another part that was a big adjustment, at least when I was playing, were qualifying rounds. I always thought of qualifying as a mini tournament in itself, where you had to play well if you wanted to travel with the team. What's your approach to qualifying and how similar is that approach to a real tournament? B: Definitely a big adjustment as well. One of the hardest things right away is going from being 'the guy' in high school and now having to compete each week for a lineup spot. That's gotten a little easier and more comfortable this year, but right away that's tough. I take qualifying just as seriously as any tournament because to play well in the tournament you have to play well in qualifying or you're staying home that week. C: What's the mindset in qualifying and in tournament play? Do you try to go as low as possible or play it safer and let other guys make the mistakes while you make pars? B: That's kind of my mindset [to go as low as possible]. I'm playing against the course mainly. I want the other kids in my group to play well too. Obviously I want to beat them, but my main focus is against the course and playing well there. It makes it way more fun when you're entire group is playing well. When I shot 67 at Shangri La [County Club in Oklahoma], my group's scores were -5, -2, -1, +1. It's sick when the highest score in the group is +1. Rapid Fire Questions: Best Course You've Played? Shangri La Country Club in Oklahoma Lowest Tournament Score? 67 this fall Lowest Ever Score? 65 Bucket List Course? Augusta National Dream Foursome? Himself, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka Best Player on Tour? Brooks Koepka ... or Rory McIlroy Stay tuned for the full interview in the next edition of The Golf Project Magazine where we talk with Ben about college recruiting, playing on different course conditions when travelling, MSU's outlook for the spring season, his goals for the future, and his thoughts on Tiger Woods's 2020 season!
  • History loves company, and we love Tiger Woods. Unless you spend the last few days under a rock, then you know that Tiger won his 82nd PGA Tour event last week in Japan. Number 82 ties him for the most wins all time with another legend in Sam Snead. Here are my takeaways from Tiger's historical week: 1) It's not how you start it's how you finish. If you only watch Tiger's first three holes and then turned it off, your prediction of his week definitely did not include him winning the event by three shots. Tiger started his week bogey-bogey-bogey, which for many of us would lead to a solid round of 97. For Tiger, 97 was more like 64, thanks to 9 birdies in the opening round. Next time you get off to a poor start, hone your focus and channel your inner Tiger and don't let that round get away. You get 18 holes to score, not the first three. 2) Practice your putting man! If you caught some highlights of that first round, what did you see? I'll tell you what you didn't see, 9 tap in birdies. Tiger made putts from everywhere during that first round! Being able to make putts (and control the ball on the greens in general) is so crucial to being a good player because it allows you to be more selective when approaching the green. Gone is the need to foolishly attach sucker pins; remaining is the opportunity to make birdie. 3) You don't have to burn yourself out to be successful. Obviously Tiger doesn't play as much as he used to. Equally obvious is that he's still good at golf. Next time you get into a funk with your game, don't press and burn yourself out trying to snap out of that funk. Golf is a game of up and downs, so you're bound to hit a bump in the road now and again. Understanding that it's a minor bump and not a career-ending decline will make your ability to react and come back that much easier.
  • The PlaneMate from Tour Striker Golf and David Woods is the talk of the summer in the world of golf training aids. After months of hype and Instagram vids of everyone including Justin Rose, Mike Weir, and Darren Clarke giving the PlaneMate a try, it was finally released mid-July. I'll admit I was on the hype bandwagon and couldn't wait to get mine in the mail. Man does it live up to the hype. Basically it's resistance training for your golf swing. You've probably heard of resistance training to gain swing speed, but the idea of using resistance to train the motion of your swing is genius. The design is simple and easy to use, just attach the belt around your waist, and attach the band to the belt and a club. Using a simple mindset of "resist, relax, and rotate", you are able to feel different positions in your golf swing like never before. The exaggerated feels are great for knowing where the club and the face are throughout the swing. Through practice and different protocols you can be more aware of takeaway positions, club positions are the top, an intro to shallowing the club, using your body to rotate, how to create and maintain shaft lean at impact, and how to prevent flipping at the bottom. The PlaneMate is revolutionary and the feedback you get is awesome. If you get your hands on one, give it a try (or come give ours a try;)). Don't forget to #getbettertoday - Caleb @ The Golf Project