College Golfer Blog

January 2021


PUP1-Ways to Stimulate the Vagus Nerve and Boost HRV & Immunity

What is the Vagus Nerve and What Does it Do?


The vagus nerve activates the parasympathetic nervous system and basically functions as the button you can press to reduce stress. It originates on the surface of the brain but wanders throughout the body transmitting information to tissues and organs. The nerve plays a critical role in letting your body know that things are going to be okay. Heart rate variability (HRV) is also controlled by the vagus nerve. The more “complex” or variable your HRV, the more resilient and adaptable you are.


Increasing Vagal Tone


The vagus nerve is analogous to a muscle; you can train it to get stronger. Increasing vagal tone (vagus nerve activity) and heart rate variability is one of the most practical ways to improve your overall wellness quickly. We can stimulate the vagus nerve, and hence influence parasympathetic tone (the deactivating branch of the autonomic nervous system), with breathing exercises, massage, intermittent fasting, taking omega-3 supplements, cold/heat thermogenesis, and exercise, among other things. Behaviors like laughing, sex, chanting, gargling, and singing also stimulate the vagus nerve thus activating the parasympathetic nervous system.


Exercise 1 -Try this once a day for 5 minutes at a time

  • breath in to the count of 5

  • hold to the count of 5

  • breath out to the count of 5

  • wait to the count of 5 before breathing back in

This type of rhythmic breathing stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system and lowers stress levels while also increasing your vagal tone. There are a lot of great resources to tap to better understand various techniques. But overall, don’t worry so much about how you are doing it, just do it.

The simple act of being still and consciously minding your breath and/or parts of your body can help you stay in the present moment, which is where “peace” lives. These small, mini moments of “peace” help to mitigate “negative stress accumulation,” reduce anxiety, and as a result, can improve sleep onset latency and capacity to manage stress/control emotional response, promote autonomic balance, boost immunity and just generally make you more enjoyable to be around.


“Be Balanced, Be Whole”

The Tour Caddy

February 2021

Want to know what goes on inside the ropes?

By College Golfer

The Best Tour Caddies are;


  • Well Prepared
  • They will know where the trouble is on the course
  • They will help you commit to the best lines
  • Will evaluate “Risk vs Reward” Scenarios
  • Take into account “Course Conditions”
  • Know where the Wind is coming from at any given Time
  • Give Clear Advice 
  • Empower Their Players, bringing out your Best Mindset
  • Often give you a club you can commit to!
  • Greens mapped out
  • Practice Rounds Winds & Golden Number Distances
  • Know the Pin positions for each Round
  • Have The Straight Zero Putt Line
  • Understand their Player


  1. Watch the following video clip, list 5 key areas where the caddy helps out his player

Tour Caddy Experience


“What makes Golf so much trickier than many other sports?


The Wind can play havoc, even to the best laid plans.”


Take a look at the following image below, notice the little Compass on the left of the fairway?  That is showing North, East, South & West on that hole

  • Generally there is a Prevailing Wind for the morning or Afternoon

  • This can be affected by Gusts which for a few seconds can change that direction

  • Tour Caddies will often also refer to the Clock Face when saying which direction the wind is coming out of  ie Straight Downwind 6 O’ clock 

Now decide how you prefer to manage the Wind ? Log down a simple 5 step process you can rely on time and again

  1. As amateur players we often do not have our own Tour Caddy so we have to be our own Caddy in Tournaments . Map out the following 3 different hole scenarios  The Link to enlarge is here Enlarge Hole Lay out 

  1. Green complexes are becoming more difficult year on year as a defence for the Golf Course and reading the greens is a key part to becoming a great player

Watch the following Video Green Mapping 18th at St Andrews

Now look at the  Greens below;

 Based on a central pin location work out Relative Breaks on a 15foot birdie from under the hole, Above the Hole, Left of Hole Pin High, Right of Hole Pin High (North, East, South & West), based on Tour Speed greens  Around 12 on Stimpmeter 

9th Green The Belfry

10th Green The Belfry

18th Green The Belfry  Images Courtesy of ProGreen Books


The Next Level Game Forge Performance


 So you have been playing golf a while and have gotten steadily better & Better, maybe you are
single gure handicap…..perhaps you have even got to Scratch?!

At some point we all plateau, ie we seem to stop getting better, noone wants it that way it just kinda
happens, for whatever reason.

So how do we keep improving & continue the upward curve I hear you ask?

Well this is where we
need to look into things a little closer, study the facts and take stock on how we practice play &
Tiger Woods says “ Every Round I play I try to take something away to help make me better”

Click on the link above to watch the video & make some goals to Take your game to the Next Level!


Bunker Magic with Brett Rumford

Bunkers are an integral part of most courses we play and you may have heard this before, “it’s the
only shot in golf where we do not directly strike the ball”.

So how should we go about being better from bunkers?
Well let’s take some tips from one of the best who shares some of his insights of how to escape,
from “the beach”.

1. Assess the lie – if its at for sure it’s going to be easier than downhill or uphill bunker shots as
a rule

2. Find your “neutral spin”, many players cut across the ball too much when playing from a very
open stance, this will often put excessive side spin on the ball, playing to sloping greens this
is a problem, we want the ball running like a chip where possible.

3. Most top players then lower their centre of gravity, this does 2 things, rstly it creates a more
stable base, always a good thing, secondly it lowers the butt end of the club making it easier
to hinge the club going back

Bunker Magic with Brett

1. Find your ‘Neutral spin” address position, for Rumford this is around 5 degrees open stance,
for you this might be slightly dierent depending on your grip & Right arm action, once you
have that hit 10 shots creating an L to L swing, pace o the average carry distance and you
then have a stock sand wedge, Go to number!

2. To be a truly great bunker player you need great stability. Draw a line in the sand, place the
ball around 2 inches ahead of it , go ahead and make 6 swings