Practice with a purpose

I like gadgets and reading up on cool golf stuff so in June 2017 I bought Arccos 360 which gives me all the stats and info I need and dont need about my golf. First it was just a cool way to keep some statistics of my game but quickly realized its a training aid.

I’ve hovered around in single handicap for 20 years or so but my game would be very sporadic with a few low 70 rounds a year but also plenty of 90’s to mix it up. I wanted to change and found a really cool podcast series and website founded by Cordie Walker called Golf Science Lab which opened my eyes quite a bit about how I was practicing. This led to discovering other resources such as books from team at Vision54  and similar. I dont mind what my swing looks like so not interested in getting bunch of lessons but I have gotten a couple of lessons when I got stuck. The best swing coaching I could get was to just read and listen to the concepts of the Strike Plan from Adam Young and then my favorite website as these are not about how you swing or what you should to but about ideas about striking the ball and embracing that we have have different swings.

I dont go to the range to hit balls , I go and play games. Work on techique for 10 min or so then I play different games that challenge me to hit the shape I want and to the target I want. It’s a huge difference in my confidence on the course to know how to hit the high fade, low draw, punched 9 iron to 90 yds. I try to play rounds with half sets now and then and when I play alone I often play worst ball where I hit 2 balls and hit my next shot from the worst spot. Best score in worst ball is a 37 and has been magic on my short game.

Here is what my approach game looked like in second half of 2017 vs second half of 2018. I’ve put in work on sharpening my irons, taking enough club, understanding where trouble is and just in general apply more strategy into my game. Knowing I can hit different shots and trust them gives me more confidence in making strategic decisions to take out one side of a green or knowing that I can hit this as hard as I want and I wont fly the green but just about guarantees I am putting. Biggest tactically change is to try and always think of back of green yardage in choosing a club.

approach 617 to 1217approach 618 to 1218

Enter SkyTrak — three months ago i bought a Skytrak simulator as I was spending more an more time in Trakman studios and on range. I haven’t had it long but I think its doing something to my game. My last 10 rounds before the HCP lock down here in Pacific Northwest are promising and my winter rounds so far have been pretty nice with multiple rounds just a few shots over par.  Shot 2 over yesterday – 6 FW hits, 12 GIR, 33 puts and 3 lost balls. Iron play was really good. I dont use Arccos in winter so last round on that was in November but here is the approach stats for just the last 10 rounds.

last 10 rounds of 2018 - post skytrak

Finally here are my 2018 Arccos Golf HCP trends. GHIN handicap moved from 6.2 to 7.1 and ended at 5.0. Should perhaps mention that I did change my clubs in beginning of 2018 from Titleist AP2 to MB so took a little time to get used to not having the same forgiveness but puts a smile on my face every time I look down on the club sitting behind the ball.

Arccos - overall 18 stats/Brjann

Unfamiliar territory due to trusted fade

I got myself a new driver and I am seeing myself being in 2nd shot from 60–100 yds range more often. My game has been lot of wayward drives and relying on up and downs for scoring. This new thing is showing great progress but the biggest reason is really that i feel very comfortable relying on a fade. Big miss is manageable and the hits go really far. I really need to get my distances dialed in on 60-100 yds!

My trust in the fade off the tee got me thinking of why not go back to my fade with irons as well. Just spent good part of a year trying to get consistency with a draw. Fee weeks ago i put my Titleist MB 4 iron back in the bag and from tee i can really hit that long draw but off fw i just cant – the fade is so much easier,

I had an hour on the range yesterday hitting only fades with all clubs and played 18 shooting 74, low score of the year breaking all of Hank Haynes rules for no 3 putts, no penalties and no 2 chips.

My confidence in iron shots and drive is really high and I’m excited to get s few more range sessions and rounds fading the ball.

Driver is an Epic SZ 10.5′ that i ordered with project x hzrdus black but came with s hzrdus yellow and Callaway gave me option to testing it for 30 days. So far its good but will try to find a black to test as the fade swing is pretty aggressive and perhaps not suited for the backweighted yellow.

More to come of my quest for the consitent fade and som putting practice.


Strike plan part 2

It’s been a up and down few weeks as expected but making some progress as I really focus on feel at impact. Dont care what swing looks like and turns out i have flattened and shortened it to gain strike consistency.

I’ve always been pretty agressive which has more and more meant i have tendency to really go fly fishing and get both outside in path and a closed club head … lets say left is my main miss.

Putting a towel an inch behind ball and other drill with headcover on outside in path to find a good path and strike is helping – i know how to adjust to get the club square but need way more consistency with practice.

Another drill I like is put an alignment stick in ground 10-15 feet in front just barely left of target and practice that butter cut – makes me really pay attention to clubpath and clubhead. Have to buy some pool noodles to put in alignment stick so i dont get pierced by one when i miss and hit it… hurts like hell when it recoils back and hits you

It was my birthday a few weeks ago and I deciced to get a new driver. Got a fitting setup and found setup with Rogue Sub Zero but just didnt feel ok. Went back a day later played around with weights and just didnt feel it. Tried a Ping G400 Max and fitter a couple of daya later and fitter says I cant sell you a new driver after J took out my own and compared. So still with my XR 16 Pro and XStiff Diamana Ahina shaft which is way too much for me as swingspeed has come down almost 10 mph with weight gain… Good news is the Strike Plan work flattening the swing has made me believe in my driver and i am just over 50% fw hit and getting my length back to averaging a 245-250 carry.

Work continues and i have also switched back to old faithful Nr 7 putter and feel i will get closer to 1.8 putts on GIR.just over 2 today.

Strike Plan 1

I know i can swing the club ok and can hit lot of greens for pretty low scores at times. I can feel when I miss hit toe or heel. I can somewhat adjust to hit either toe or heel on command. – that is all when i am on the range. On the course i am all over the place finding that sweet spot consistently.

I want to shoot in 60’s one time this season and know it will take some effort.

I see my stats for approach shots slowly creep up above 50% GIR but also continue to see misses dominated by fat shots or toes and pulls going left. Green misses from 200 yds and in are close to 30% short and 12 % left.

I really like practicing so why not practice deliberately towards striking the ball better.

Got the Strike Plan from for less than a greenfee. First lesson is basic where do you strike the ball but its filled with great drills. Went trough the concepts video and did a first session on range armed with some foot spray just validating where i hit and i got some good info. Cool drill to ljne up with ball in middle and try to hit toe or heel is good practice in adjusting. Line up with ball on toe and find sweet spot worked really well for me but opposite heel line up was harder. Gate drill where i have tee on each side was hard to find good distance for tees with my small blade club head. Overall good drills and will stick to them for a few more sessions before taking on next lesson and also feel that i will keep going back to these line up and adjust drills now and then.

Tip – make sure you are downwind from others on range when applying foot spray to your clubs.

– Brjann

Social media and tech changing my golf game

Haven’t done much on this blog in the last three years but I’ve found something really fun that takes some of the cool stuff from work with golf. In last 3 years I’ve manged to really take my golf game to the next level with a lot of deliberate and focused practice. Its been a steady improvement but I still have ways to go to a steady very low single digit hcp. I’ve really tried to change my approach and attitude as I can be quite angry at my self on the course. Family and friends know what I’m talking about – sorry you get to see that but I am working on it. I’ve been inspired by the excellent Vision54 approach and books by Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriot as well as really great podcast series from Golf Science Lab hosted by Cordie Walker. Lately I have also discovered Steve Elkingtons website and video series at which focus on all parts of the game and I find it most interesting because they present a lot of different ways to think and swing. There is no swing or approach that works for all

Never been a golfer that takes a bunch of lessons as I think my swing is just that – my swing – but I did find this place with a bunch of technology such as Trackman and videos so I tried that out this winter and did get some great things to work on for consistency. Golf Science Lab podcasts are a really entertaining way for golfers t

I work in a customer success team at Microsoft where we deliver an enterprise identity and security cloud service and this has lead me to the need to learn a whole set of new things about using data, doing things differently and approaching things with an open mind and not be afraid to experiment.

So what’s this all about?

First of all Pia and Lynns vision and approach to optimal performance inspires all of us to aspire for greatness with simple and clear tools. I often find myself approaching tasks and projects at work thinking of little things I write down from their book Every Shot Must Have A Purpose , such as how Think Box – Play Box really makes sense in many ways.

Cordie Walker from Golf Science Lab tweeted about this thing called Arccos Golf that was powered by the Microsoft cloud … i had to read about it and realized that this is something I have to try. Have been using apps on my phone to try and track my golf or take notes about shots and performance but it all just fails as there is too much work. That it runs in the Microsoft cloud is an added fun thing as I use the same engines and service every day to crunch data and make decisions. I would of course love to see that Arccos adopts our Azure AD service for their login services but that’s another post. Arccos Golf is so easy – screw in the sensors, pair with the app and just play as you always have.

Arccos Golf – first impressions

I’ve played five rounds with Arccos and right now I am really satisfied and feel that this will improve my golf game. First off I went into the season with goal to work on my weakest part of my game so spent lot of time putting and chipping. First two rounds showed me something that I hadn’t identified. My putting is just fine but approaches are just not giving me the chances I need.


This insight and data helps in focusing in on how to practice.


During play with Arccos I dont have to do anything special to tell the system which club I’m hitting but occasionally I have to edit number of putts or location of the flag or distance on first putt to ensure that my data is more accurate. This is easy to do in the app on the phone or afterwards using the new dashboard site on In five rounds I have had one shot that wasnt detected but the app really made it really straightforward to adjust.

If there is something I would complain about it is the GPS function during play doesn’t have the full feature set like GolfLogix or GolfShot. Arccos is a simple GPS allowing me to check distances by touching locations on the screen.

There are small improvements here and there that ArccosGolf can do in the app and website but overall I’m really impressed by accuracy and of course by the data that I now see as information that I use to influence how I practice and eventually strategize my game.

Will post again after trying the caddie function.


Only handfull passed on bike

Summer in Seattle brings nice weather and of course Seafair. Today I did the Seafair Olympic triathlon and as Coach Cody said the week before – be ready to step into the hurtlocker. This race wasn’t a full Olympic with only 20 miles bike and slightly longer swim but still a good race and really fun bike course on the I-90 bridge where we hit winds.

Really early start with transition opening at 5.30 and a lot of people in the Olympic and Sprint race so after driving around Seward Park finding parking I managed to get my station setup and ready with a good 30 minutes to go before first wave starts.

Swim was two laps so a bit of slalom between slower swimmers. I started fairly slow and kept out of the fight in the middle as I didn’t want to get the heart rate rush I got when doing the Victoria Half. Swim felt really nice and I managed to push on pretty good with 27:12 finish time on this 1 mile swim. This ended up being slightly faster than I had planned which is kind of nice since I started slow and controlled.

Transition to bike was a straightforward and I was off for 20 miles pushing 100-110%  functional threshold level on my power meter. The ride was nice with a couple of odd transition loops to and from the I-90 bridge where you couldn’t ride fast at all. I kept my power around 100 and made special effort not to push too hard up the hills and I know now that I need to practice riding hard with high power output on slight downhills. I ended up with a PR in races where the average speed was just under 21 mph. The one thing I really was surprised about was that normally I am passed on the bike and run but today only a handful bikers caught me.

I surprised myself and actually ate and drank the right amount on the bike which I didn’t manage to do in Victoria. Felt fresh and strong going out on the run and after a few hundred yards I settled into a 8.30-8.45 tempo which is where I wanted to be. At about 2 miles there is a fairly long hill which was tough and slow. When I ran past the finish line to go out on my second lap I felt really good and the watch showed I had done 1 lap in just under 27 minutes. I decided to push a bit on the second lap and I managed to run my fastest 10K at 52:17

All up a good day with 9th out of 35 in my age group and 73 out of 305 overall with a final time of 2:19

Really happy with the day as I beat my 10k PR, hit my fastest avg race speed both on the bike and the swim.

Year Race Swim  Miles Meters Min/100m
2011 Issaqua Sprint  00:08:39 0.25             400 02:09.8
2011 Cottage Lake Super Sprint 00:06:39 0.25             400 01:39.8
2011 Whidbey Island Sprint 00:14:05 0.50             800 01:45.6
2011 Finish Strong Olympic 00:19:25 0.70         1,120 01:44.0
2011 Lake Sammamish Sprint 00:06:32 0.25             400 01:38.0
2011 Lake Stevens Olympic 00:28:18 1.00         1,600 01:46.1
2011 Black Diamond Half Iron 00:36:23 1.20         1,920 01:53.7
2012 Issaqua Sprint  00:08:15 0.25             400 02:03.8
2012 Victoria Half Iron 00:33:48 1.20         1,920 01:45.6
2013 Victoria Half Iron 00:35:02 1.20         1,920 01:49.5
2013 Sefair Olympic 00:27:12 1.00         1,600 01:42.0
Year Race Bike Miles Meters Mph Kmh
2011 Issaqua Sprint  00:46:29 14.8       23,680 19.10 30.57
2011 Cottage Lake Super Sprint 00:28:21 9.2       14,720 19.47 31.15
2011 Whidbey Island Sprint 01:06:08 19.5       31,200 17.69 28.31
2011 Finish Strong Olympic 01:29:51 28.0       44,800 18.70 29.92
2011 Lake Sammamish Sprint 00:45:18 14.8       23,680 19.60 31.36
2011 Lake Stevens Olympic 01:19:26 25.0       40,000 18.88 30.21
2011 Black Diamond Half Iron 03:03:14 56.0       89,600 18.34 29.34
2012 Issaqua Sprint  00:42:30 14.8       23,680 20.89 33.43
2012 Victoria Half Iron 02:58:52 54.0       86,400 18.11 28.98
2013 Victoria Half Iron 02:49:36 54.0       86,400 19.10 30.57
2013 Sefair Olympic 00:55:23 20.0       32,000 21.67 34.67
Year Race Run Miles Meters Min/Mile Min/Km
2011 Issaqua Sprint  0:28:07 3.2         5,120 08:47.2 05:29.5
2011 Cottage Lake Super Sprint 0:12:51 1.6         2,560 08:01.9 05:01.2
2011 Whidbey Island Sprint 00:30:12 3.8         6,080 07:56.8 04:58.0
2011 Finish Strong Olympic 00:52:25 6.2         9,920 08:27.3 05:17.0
2011 Lake Sammamish Sprint 00:25:41 3.2         5,120 08:01.6 05:01.0
2011 Lake Stevens Olympic 00:52:39 6.2         9,920 08:29.5 05:18.4
2011 Black Diamond Half Iron 02:31:11 13.1       20,960 11:32.4 07:12.8
2012 Issaqua Sprint  00:24:23 3.2         5,120 07:37.2 04:45.7
2012 Victoria Half Iron 01:54:49 12.5       20,000 09:11.1 05:44.5
2013 Victoria Half Iron 02:01:54 12.5       20,000 09:45.1 06:05.7
2013 Sefair Olympic 00:52:17 6.4       10,240 08:10.2 05:06.3
2011 Whidbey Island Sprint 01:54:14 67/219 5/11
2011 Finish Strong Olympic 02:44:33 41/78 5/8
2011 Lake Sammamish Sprint 01:18:29 66/455 4/32
2011 Lake Stevens Olympic 02:43:07 63/160 6/15
2011 Black Diamond Half Iron 06:16:36 105/148 19/24
2012 Issaqua Sprint  01:17:48 109/539 15/65
2012 Victoria Half Iron 05:32:21 112/255 25/35
2013 Victoria Half Iron 05:31:38 114/198 25/36
2013 Seafair Olympic 02:19:16 73/306 9/35


Back to Victoria a year later

Not a very active blogger in the last year. My last triathlon was last years Victoria Half as my knees started bugging me shortly after and then things got in the way of my training for a few months. It was fun things though – I got back into coaching volleyball after 15 years away from the sport. I’ve just signed up to be the head coach for the high school team so will be a bit challenging to keep my own training going come August to October but this year I know about it and will plan.

Back to triathlon.

I’ve had an interesting off season with some nagging injuries and then after a Duathlon race my bike was stolen. I managed to get a new bike some three weeks ago and it is so much fun. I bought a BMC Timemachine TM02 which is a tri bike compared to the stolen road bike. Fast on the flats and a bit challenging on the up hills so far.

This past weekend I was back in Victoria for the Victoria Half Ironman and the goal was to get under 5.30 which would be little over two minutes faster than last year – doable even with the not so perfect season so far.

I felt like a newbie this weekend, transition station wasn’t set up as neatly as before, I kept forgetting little things during the morning of the race and I even put my wetsuit on backwards…

Everything felt great as I entered the water a good 25 minutes before start and did a swim and just got used to the somewhat warm water. Plan was to start fairly quick and get some clean water but I failed on that part and was caught in the middle of a stampede. Had to fight my way out of there to calm waters and lost valuable minutes and raised heart rate substantially. I was a little surprised I was in at about 36 minutes as I felt like I was just standing still in the water.

Transition wasn’t really smooth but nothing to worry about. Got on the bike and in the really nice weather there wasn’t much to do but get going and be prepared for almost 3 hours on the bike.

I did buy a powermeter for the new bike so had my plan to keep at around 80% on the bike. Technical issue right away, watch wasn’t picking up my speed nor distance.. I rode with only power and time for three hours and even managed to hit the lap button so had to reset the timer and as such also lost my total time.

Bike felt good and it was so much fun to ride fast … a bit too fast as by the end of the day I had ridden at over 90% of my threshold level. I came in at just under 2.50 which was about 9 minutes faster than last year so quick calculation in my head said I should be ok to beat 5.30.

Run was hard, really hard and my pace got slower and slower as my legs and back kept telling me how stupid it was to have so much fun on the bike. I will stick to my bike plan next time as this run was painful and ended up costing me little over a minute.

I finished the race in just under 5.32 which is a new PR.

All in all a really nice race weekend and after the long drive home my legs were still telling me that I am stupid. Now two days later I am back to normal and ready to go at it again.

Promise of more writing this summer and coming year as I share my time between Triathlon, Volleyball and Golf.



Victoria Half Ironman

I ended last season with a half iron at 6.16 so my goal for this race was to get in under 6 hours and since this race has a 2 mile shorter bike and .6 shorter run I had 5.45 as my goal. I have trained harder and done much more biking than last year so I felt confident that I would at least get close to my goal. I drove to Victoria on Saturday and met with a few in the Pro Club team for a short swim-bike-run and then later on a dinner together. With a 6.45am start it was important to get to bed early so after getting some breakfast at local grocery store I headed back and managed to get a good nights sleep. The 430 wake up was still cruel. I filled all my bottles with the brown Perpetuem mess and checked out. Getting to the race site and setting up transition was easy and I was ready to start. Fast forward for you if you don’t want to read on .. I crushed my goal and after a 33 min 1.9km swim, 2.58 on the 84 km bike and 1.54 on the 20km run I crossed the finish line at 5.32:21.

What happened to the surfing

Very nice swim course in Elk Lake except that the wind made it a little choppy. The swim out would be against the waves and then I planned on surfing the waves and push it for the finish. Mass start with all approx 200 half ironman athletes at the same time but I didn’t have to fight for space more than a couple of times. I‘m not used to the rough waters so decided early to just breathe every other stroke which worked really well, especially on the way back when I thought I was going to surf the waves but disappointing when the waves came in sideways. Didn’t really push it hard on the swim so really surprising to see the time of 33 minutes.

Windy and friendly ride

Transition to the bike was a mess, I had decided to wear my jacket on the bike so had gear in back pockets. I see Coach Covey slip out of transition just as I start fumbling with getting my gear out of the jacket and into my race suit. Bike was a pretty straight forward 2 loop course with rollers and a few tricky turns. Just like every race I spent the first 30 minutes on the bike being passed by slower swimmers but there was something different this time, I was passing some people too. I was passed by a guy with a big smiley on his calf and a girl on a red Cervelo tri bike and turns out these were to be my race buddies. We rode the 86km overtaking each other throughout the whole time, especially the Cervelo girl and I , she had more speed on the downhills and I passed her on the climbs and flats. In the last 20 miles we laughed and – hey its me again, see you in a few minutes. I was hoping to race her on the run as well but turns out she was just doing the bike leg as part of a relay team .. no wonder she was pushing it. 

The small constant uphill battles and the windy condition drained the legs so about 2/3 in I started to get a little worried about the run which resulted in my second lap being a few minutes slower but still finishing the 84k in 2.58.

Nutrition worked really well with 3 hrs worth of Perpetuem in a 16oz bottle together with some extra Swedish fish and Powerbar Gel blasts and then squeeze bottle with Perpetuem for a sip at each aid station on the run. I had my 24oz water bottle and also picked up about 24oz of extra water on two of the bike aid stations.

Trail run and mostly fun

Messed up in transition again, forgot my race number and had to go back through the whole transition area again. I passed the race clock on the way out and it said 3.35 and I thought… hm maybe I can break 5.30. First 6-7 km felt fine but left knee started to hurt and had to slow down and happy face guy ran past me and then at 8 km my team mate Guy passed me. I hurt the most from 7 to 12 km and I ran slow. The run was tough but I had no cramps what so ever which is fantastic proof of the training I have put in this year. 7- 8km left and if I could just speed up a little I would be able to break 5.30. With 3-4 km left I passed happy face and I think I still had a shot if I could get down to 9 min tempo… but of course the more I tried the my body just told me to go jump in the lake and then it told me to sell my shoes and bike for $50. I finished in 5.32 with a 1.54 over the 20km and I am so happy and proud.

Next half iron planned is the The Return To Black Diamond and as I go through training I will set a goal later on but right now I feel like I want to break 5.30 on that course.

Race Results 


Big race coming up

My training is going really well and my volume is getting quite respectable with 7-10 hours a week with a good mix of swim, bike and run. The most fun right now is that I signed up for Trainingpeaks and my coach adds workouts every week and I realize that he gets an email when I log a workout as complete.

Last weekend was the first tri of the season and I did pretty well shaving off 11 minutes of the result from last year. The swim was just ok but the bike was above 20mph in average and then the run was ok with just under 25 min on a rough uneven trail course. Final time was 1.17 which put me just outside top ten in my age group. 

This coming week is tapering for my big race this season, the Subaru Victoria Island Half Ironman triathlon. Really looking forward to the race and of course trying my very best to beat my time of 6.15 from Black Diamond last season.

Training has been fun so far with good progress on my run speed and a couple of miles per hour faster on the bike. Big this weekend is to see how well my legs hold up after the bike as last year I cramped up early on the bike but then again I had cramp feelings on the longer bricks I did as well which I haven’t felt this season. It is still early in the season so there is time for more improvements but for this next race I am all set and ready to take on a almost 6 hour training session.



Finally – Lake Sammamish loop is open

West Lake Sammamish Parkway closed this winter after a mudslide and finally re-opened this week. After celebrating Sofia on her 11th birthday in the morning Charlotte, Caroline and Sofia took of for Swedish school in Seattle and Johanna went back to bed but I prepped my water bottles, 1 with Perpeteum and 1 with water and instead of riding from home I took the car down to Marymoor Park.  I wasn’t alone getting ready to go for a bike ride, there were at least 20 cars on the parking lot with bike racks and even if it was just 915 there were people coming back from their ride and going back home. You have to take the opportunity to ride when the weather is nice here in the PNW.

I had decided to do a 2.5 to 3 hour ride so 2 loops around the lake should be ok and since the loop is basically flat I tried to pedal as hard as I could on the flats. I feel that my climbs and descents are ok but riding on the flat is something different – it takes endurance and technique. I managed to get more power having my hands lower on the handle bar .. hm wonder if I should try putting some aero clips on and get bike fit done.

The ride was really nice with just a little wind and not really that cold which was good since I forgot my gloves.

I averaged about 18mph which is about what I did during races last season and I didn’t feel like I was complete empty when I got back and this is after the 2.5 hours of hill and trail runs yesterday. My ride on Garmin 

Next weekend is longish run on Sunday and Saturday hill work on Hollywood hill with tri team followed by a little more bike to get to about 2.5 hours and then a 30 minute run.