Videos by OutKick
March Madness is here & it’s on St. Patrick’s Day Weekend and we’re about to see America go on a four-day bender
All I could think about last night before falling into a deep sleep was how I need to get brackets onto the man cave door. I need to hang the mini basketball hoop on the door. The kids need to fill out their brackets (it looks like I’ll have to help the young one by channeling which mascot he’d pick) and Mrs. Screencaps needs to get her act together by filling out her bracket.
Oh yeah, I have responsibilities as well. I need to track down those Pizza Hut mini basketballs that are back this year.
- Still haven’t filled out a bracket? The Wall Street Journal has some fun information on teams that win based on jersey colors and mascots.
- This is my first year with YouTubeTV in the man cave and I’m pumped to test the system. Yes, it means I will have like 20 remotes laid out across the bar top, but this is why we put in all the reps during the off-season training for this moment.
- Do people still go to the bars on Thursday/Friday of opening weekend? It feels like it’s been at least a decade since that sounded like fun. I find myself wanting to hear the announcers vs. bros slapping hands because they hit the OVER.
- It’s a shame TNT/TBS/TruTV didn’t bring back Rex Chapman after last year’s performance. We needed more of that trainwreck.
- Bill Raftery turns 80 in a month. Jim Nantz turns 64 in two months.
- I know it’s CNN, but I think this information could be of use to some of you this week:
Is it possible for Mark P. to go from shooting in the 90s to the 80s by watching YouTube videos and not practicing?
• Mark P. in Indiana asked readers about becoming a better golfer by watching social media videos and then translating what he’s seeing into action on the golf course. Remember, Mark P. doesn’t have time to go to the golf range. The guy clearly likes to hit the links, maybe crush a few beers and then head home. In other words, he’s like the rest of us who don’t want to put in the work, but want to get better.
The email inbox instantly lit up ove this topic.
• Arin M. writes:
I know I’m probably the one millionth person to suggest this, but how about instead of playing once a week, you mix in some range time or instruction every other week or something, duh!
• Nathan E. writes:
I’m not the best golfer in the world and struggle to find time to play with three little ones running around, but I’ve been a single-digit handicap since high school and somehow had a round under par last year so I have some experience.
Those who shoot high 90s and triple digits usually are losing a lot of strokes because of decision-making and penalties. Yes, a lesson or two would help, but just cutting out the triple bogeys and snowmen would help his score. So keep the driver in the bag more often, don’t shoot for the pin on every hole, and if there is a question of can I carry the water or not, lay up! Playing safer and avoiding those higher scores will help dramatically.
And of course, it’s a cliche but most strokes are used around the green. If you have 20 minutes to practice go to the chipping and putting green. Don’t try to hit the fancy flops, take a 9 iron and get the ball on the ground quicker and practice those five footers over and over again.
TARGETING! It felt like Nathan E. was writing advice for my golf game.
• Rory M. writes:
As someone of near the same scoring level, plays 1-2 x per month and got in the 80s for the first few times in 2021-2022…course management and short game. For course management, hopefully, you have regular playing partners who are better than you. Talk out loud during rounds about your internal decision-making processes for each shot if they’re cool with it.
Even chipping into a target net in your yard for 15 mins once/week will bring the most improvement in scoring. My short game is better than guys I play with who are much better at golf than me. You’re only working on improving contact, distance control, and loft. It will carry over to your iron play as well.
• Brian B. says keep it simple:
Quickest way to improve his scores is to spend time chipping and putting.
• Duncan N. in Georgia writes:
The easiest way for Mark to drop strokes is to work on his short game. He says he doesn’t have time to practice, but you can chip and putt in your house. Get some foam balls and chip in the living room. Get the Perfect Practice putting mat and work on your stroke. Most 90+ shooters have a handful of 3 putts and some bad chips every round. If he eliminates those, he’ll be under 90 in no time. And if not, enjoy the sunshine and beer!
• Garrett N. writes:
If he has no time to improve aka practice or lessons (theres really no substitute to reps IMO) – buying a half dozen lessons from a pro once a year is a good start to being in the 80s, but again he says he has no time for extras……….. He needs to find the appropriate tee box. I’m a member at TPC Deere Run and it never fails that I see guys playing the tips or the blues when they should be playing the whites or the split sets (split set is my preference, it bounces back between the blues and the whites and gives you a few testers but also keeps the par fours reachable – and minimizes the long par 3s that can be regularly 220yds or whatever, also keeps you from regularly hitting a hybrid into the green on par 4s if you aren’t super long)
So yes, he needs to find the correct tee box. If he tells his buddies he shot 85, he doesn’t have to say it was from 6100 yds vs 6800 from the blues etc. So much more enjoyment from the correct tees. I play all the time with a guy that hits it like 200 max off the tee. He plays the whites every round and it’s not a different vibe or anything, I actually appreciate that he doesn’t make us suffer through watching him from the blues and keeps the round moving.
WOAH…WOAH…WOAH…here we go again with another TARGETING penalty. 200 off the tee deserves another targeting call here. My slow and steady grandpa swing has been TARGETED!
• Brad M. writes:
Golf advice is cheap and plentiful because most of it is of corresponding value: it’s strictly opinion or personal experience ie not backed by scientific evidence.
That said, improving at golf without putting in the work is like improving at guitar: you must pick the damn thing up in regular, dedicated fashion. Nobody wakes up and magically becomes a better musician or golfer. On the bright side, improvement is often of the ‘compound interest’ variety meaning the increments become larger.
The greatest improvement comes from playing the actual game on an actual course with 100 variables involved in every shot (and that’s a good thing in terms of learning). Everything else is an imitation, simulation, microcosm. But if someone doesn’t have time to visit the range he probably doesn’t have time to play 9 or 18 holes.
Golfers and men in general are typically analytical. Videos can help you understand techniques, the hows and whys, the inputs and outputs etc. However, they obviously can’t physically improve your grip, stance, muscle memory, balance etc.
As with guitar, lessons sound like the logical starting point and even a panacea but as with any endeavor there are good teachers and bad teachers. There are also good teachers who may be a mismatch for your mental and/or physical type. For example, some teachers have a very mechanical approach – everything broken down, explained, demonstrated, repeat-this-100-times etc. Others want you to get some basics down but will say something simple like ‘be an athlete’ – which is as much a mental suggestion as a physical one and effective on both fronts.
‘1 or 2 lessons’ is often the kiss of death, especially if you’re working with a technically-oriented teacher. It may leave you in the no-man’s land between your natural swing/movement and the 1-2-3-A-B-C rudiments that are part of any first lessons. How do I know? Because it happened to me. I went from a 20 hdcp to a 15 via a homemade swing and sheer on-course repetition. Took a couple lessons and became a wreck and nearly gave up the game. It took me at least six months to recover from the ‘help’ until I eventually hovered around 10 hdcp, even getting to a 7 at one point. What did it take? A hell of a lot of golf played.
PS – teachers are, understandably, looking for long-term commitments both in the personal and professional sense. They know there are no quick fixes. They also can’t make any money if the students vanish after a session or two.
In the present day, there are golf simulators at retail stores, bars and dedicated facilities where full or partial rounds may be played – quickly, if so desired – for a fee. But they have one thing in common with the real thing or even hitting balls at an outdoor range: got to be there and swing the club to improve.
Kids and phones…what’s it like out there in 2023 for parents
• Zach R. writes:
Kids and cell phones is a subject near and dear to my heart after some struggles on just this topic with one of our kids. As an employee of a company that is a major provider of components to cell phone manufacturers, I’m a bit conflicted and do recognize some positives of kids having phones but more than anything I’m convinced that they’re TERRIBLE for kids. After having two different experiences with our two very different kids, some things I would recommend:
- Delay giving your kid a phone for as long as possible. They will say that they’re the very last kid to get a phone. They’re not. Wait.
- When you’re ready to give them one, make sure that it’s for a good reason (e.g. you need to be able to stay in contact with them due to after-school sports), not just that they really like TikTok
- Decide on some rules ahead of time and make sure your kid clearly understands them. Otherwise, you’ll be scrambling later and trying to implement rules in response to trouble that your kid has gotten into. Trust me. Some good ones I recommend:
- No social media (for as long as possible)
- No phone in their bedroom, especially with the door closed
- At night, the phone goes to YOUR bedroom
- They need to know and agree that the phone is YOURS, not theirs, and you can look at whatever you want on it anytime you want
- Depending on age, good to have some conversations about sexting, porn, etc. on their phone and good to remind them that anything on their phone should be considered “public” in that anyone can screen capture and share something to the whole universe
- We’ve tried a few of the “monitoring” apps but, in our experience, they’re mostly a waste of money (especially on an iPhone). Just using Screentime to set some reasonable limits is probably the best you can do (along with the occasional “snooping” on their phone).
To anyone who hasn’t had a teenager with a phone, or anyone who wants to be their kid’s best friend, all of this may sound extreme. But trust me, there are SO many ways that kids can get in trouble with a phone and SO many things they can do and access that will be really damaging to them.
Good luck to you and others.
• Jake H. in Utah writes:
My wife and I communicated our expectations to our children long before they got their first phone, which we waited until they were in 8th grade and were participating in after-school activities.
These are our basic rules:
- Phones in the parents’ bedroom by 9:30pm every night
- We have a 6-port charging station they plug it into, and it’s easy for us to see which kid may be trying to sneak more time.
- Parents have your passwords and pin and will review your communication regularly.
- I set my kids up with a free bitwarden account (It’s a password manager to keep track of all the accounts they’ll have)
- No unauthorized social media usage
- Only YouTube, Texting, & BeReal (this was a touch choice to add, but we went with it for now)
As a side note, my kids enjoy telling my wife and I about what their favorite YouTube stars are up too, and while we don’t necessarily *care* about those individuals, by listening it helps us understand and know the content they’re consuming and sets up for some great dinnertime conversations. Oh, and we always just e-bay their phones, we’ve never spent more than $100-$200 and they last a few years. If one kid breaks theirs beyond repair/use, the other kid gets a new phone, luckily, they haven’t figured out how to game the system and both break them at the same time.
Keep up the great work! Looking forward to TNML starting back up!
• Brian B. writes:
It helps to have a time-limiting app or device that can cut off social media applications. I have found that trying to police the usage on my own is difficult. We have jobs and that would be adding another task to our plate. There is no arguing with a preset time limit or all-out blocking an app.
• Chris from near Rochester, NY writes:
On kids and cell phones: we always told my boys (now 20 and 21) that their cell phones are our cell phones until they can pay for their own and that we can check them at any time. They got their first cell phones in 6th/7th grade when they started after school activities/sports. We checked their phones early on for the first few years and never really had a reason to as they got older.
On the dad/stripper daughter: Chris Rock said it best: “as a father you have one job. Keep your daughter off the pole!” I would be hard-pressed to continue supporting my son/daughter if I knew they were stripping. There are plenty of other jobs out there to supplement yourself through college along with help from your parents.
To Mark P. in IA: if you’re shooting in the 90s you’re in the top 55% of golfers. That’s not bad! You’re a very similar golfer to me. On a good day I can get into the 80s, on a bad day a can get into the 100s. Golf is hard!!! I’ve found the best way to get better is to use Google/YouTube. Early last season I was struggling with a slice off the tee. I googled “how to fix a slice” and it was gone after a trip to the range. I know you don’t have a lot of time to practice, but that’s really the only way to get better. You have to practice.
Joe, I hope to run into you at the PGA at Oak Hill in May if I’m in town. My son graduates from college the Sunday before and has a job lined up. Not sure if we’ll be moving him somewhere that week so we didn’t buy tickets since they were quite pricey. Good thing is, I have connections, so I should be able to snag some tickets last minute if I need to.
What are the Ts up to this week?
It turns out they’re drinking Koenig Ludwig Hell!
My old buddy JoeBucsFan wanted you guys to see this:
That’s it. We’re ready for March Madness. My oldest filled out his bracket while I was working and he has Kansas winning it all. And like youngsters before him, he has three No. 1s and a No. 2 in the Final Four.
Have a great day. Take Ubers from the bars. Enjoy those man caves.