No, I’m not the “real” Craigers. My name isn’t even Craig. (It’s Will, hi!)
I’m a similarly situated adult… father, husband, I’ve got commitments that mean I can’t spend as much time as I want practicing and playing golf… I found the podcast in Season 1, and have been following them ever since… Mike and Eli have an open invitation to join me at Hunting Creek in Louisville, KY for a round. I think it would be interesting to play a round with them. I find their quest, their methods and the podcast to be an informative look into the world of amateur golf. I am on a similar quest, just by myself. I’ve used their podcast as almost a baseline for myself. A place to check my methods and see what other people are doing. I have similar struggles as they do, but together we grind forward.
The podcast itself is well produced, their audio quality is actually fairly impressive for two guys with jobs, wives and kids… They clearly invested in their setup and have spent time either sourcing a good producer or doing it themselves. There are far more successful podcasts with far worse audio quality. So kudos to them.
Overall, I don’t think the podcast would work without their shared history and camaraderie. It’s fun to listen to them go off the rails and just make each other laugh. It’s a very easy conversation and doesn’t feel forced. It’s a nice relief to the journey that they are on, and compliments the quest of them getting down to scratch well… The humor and friendship in the face of failure is what makes the whole thing work… Hopefully, if they find success, it will continue to make the podcast work.
What I find most interesting about the podcast is their approach, their struggles, and the people that they meet (and occasionally listen to) along the way. (Irish) Mike Carrol is a great resource for golf fitness. His programs lead to results when they are followed, and what he suggests simply makes sense. Adam Young is also a tremendous resource. Hammering the nail is one of the best drills I’ve ever had. I like the focus on impact vs process, and I think it’s a helpful strategy for every golfer.
Yet, in season 3, Eli had stopped exercising and destroyed his path (he got way inside, and was positive on his angle of attack). Even with the best resources, and people invested in your success, it’s easy to lose focus on the actual goals and chase shiny. I don’t fault him for either of these things… I’m off my diet and need to motivate and restart it! Staying focused on long term goals, finding small gains day after day and building on them is hard, and I think that’s what makes Chasing Scratch so interesting.
We get to see them at the highest of highs: 1 under after 17? And lowest lows: Mike not being able to putt at the last major. What I like about their podcast, is I get to listen to it and see my own struggles… Getting close and having it ripped away. I was playing some of my best golf before getting injured this year. Now I’m just hoping I can get healthy enough to prepare for next season. They are honest about their failures and their disappointments, but keep grinding on the golf course and on the podcast. It’s been an interesting journey, and I’m hoping to see what they do with actual success towards their goals.
I think Season 4 will be interesting, as Mike is working with Adam Young directly. I’m hoping Adam can keep him focused on the long term goals, and help with his approach to golf. I don’t know their games, but it seems like strategy is the next major hurdle they have to face. I think Eli will have a huge advantage in a club membership on a course he’s already put up some good rounds on. As someone who lives close to their club, it’s a huge advantage to be able to take a free hour and spend 45 minutes of it productively on the golf course. I’ve said this on twitter, but my prediction for 2021 is Eli wins the handicap race (Mike takes an early lead, that Eli slowly chips away at on his home course) but Mike wins the final major with a more adaptable game.
I’d love to hear what other people think!