Last year I spent quite a bit of time at Belle Isle Golf Center, providing both consulting and volunteering services to the new operating group.
This included things like:
Providing personalized golf instruction
Pruning trees/bushes for beautification, enhancing golfer experience, providing natural advertising, ease and practicality of grounds maintenance
Making recommendations for signage, golfer education, instructional and fitness programming, course design, merchandising, landscaping, volunteer programming, range design, parking lot fixes, location of resources, etc
A few weeks ago, my wife Jen and I went over to visit Belle Isle and also play their 6-hole short course. While we were there, Mike told me he had to show me this new piece of fitness equipment. I said sure…and we went in to his private studio gym. However, at first glance, nothing in particular was standing out that I hadn't already seen. He then pointed out a small device attached to his power rack and he told me it was a portable cable machine called ANCORE (pronounced like boat anchor).
For those of you that are familiar with Swing Man Golf's swing speed training programs, you'll know that band and cable training are a common piece of the training, in part because the bands and cables allow you to move through so many different planes and to really mimic your golf swing. I'd use bands with people for basic training at home…and add in cables for more advanced training if a person had access to a gym.
When Swing Man Golf was launched in 2007, when someone asked for a band recommendation, I would usually point them to anything that was compact, light weight, didn't take up much space, and was color coded or labeled in some way such that you could stack or combine the bands to increase strength over time.
At some point, I met Blake Kassel of Bodylastics resistance bands. Blake was really nice to me and I also thought he made a great product. So, for a long time I recommended his bands to people I trained, both amateurs and pros. I still actually have and use these bands when I train…and they are the ones that you see in the below video that I made in 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic.
Anyway, Mike showed me his ANCORE…and once I tried it, I was immediately hooked for several reasons.
First of all, was its size. As I said, when I first walked in to the room, I didn't even see it. A fully loaded ANCORE is only about a foot long. That makes it a great option to have in an at-home fitness setup when space is a concern.
Second, is its weight. An ANCORE is about 9 pounds, which doesn't make it as lightweight as the Bodylastics resistance bands. However, that's still light enough to make it easily portable for whatever reason you need it to be portable…and, of course, 9 pounds is significantly lighter than having a full cable machine rack like you'd typically see in a gym.
Third, is the ease of maneuverability. Although they do have fixed wall mounts and a sliding track mount, I particularly like when there is even more flexibility built in to a device to really personalize the position, which you get with the rack or strap mounts.
Fourth, is the quality. That's pretty self explanatory, but for me if I'm going to buy any product, quality is something I really appreciate. I'm pretty simple as far as my needs go and I don't carry around too much extra weight in my life, so to speak. However, for the things I do choose to keep around, I want those things to be nice…and I'm willing to pay more if necessary to have a solid product.
Fifth, is the option to easily change the resistance to different levels. Going up in strength and resistance over time without losing speed is a key component to increasing power. Each ANCORE model can easily be adjusted from 5 pounds to 55 pounds (or 65 pounds if you get the Plus option).
I'm in the minority of strength. So, personally I was a little concerned that I would max out the resistance too quickly in training. However, if you have a Dual ANCORE Pro, you can just put each one right next to one another and work with two ANCORE's at the same time.
Optional Speed Work
Lastly, is the ability to work at speed. To increase power, you either need to add strength without losing too much speed, increase speed without much loss in strength, or ideally increase both strength and speed. The ANCORE's allow you to add resistance, as mentioned, but also to go fast, if desired. Sometimes it's not easy to do this with a normal cable machine. The weight plates end up crashing around and making a bunch of noise. An ANCORE is designed to stop moving forward when you do.
All that being said, I ended up getting in touch with the company because I wanted to recommend their products to my own audience.
In full transparency, I will make a commission off your purchase and you should therefore take my recommendation with a grain of salt. But if you'd like to give them a try, enter in coupon code JAACOBBOWDEN in their shopping cart to get 50 bucks off.
That's a win for all. They'll make a sale, I'll get a kickback, and you'll save $50 on all ANCORE models while achieving more speed and distance…which, of course, lowers your handicap and scoring potential.
I’m not sure how to start a post like this…so, here goes.
The short story is that my Dad Joe passed away in his sleep last night.
As for the slightly longer version…
Many of you know that since 2006’ish he’s had 3 primary battles with multiple myeloma which, for those that don’t know, is a cancer of plasma cells. Fortunately, over time the health care revolving around myeloma has improved during those years and he’s managed to find his way back to a state of remission each time.
However, each round certainly took its toll on him.
During his healthy adult life, he was 6’4” and generally ranged around 200-210, less in summer and more in winter. Lately, he’d been down in the 150’s and I think even the high 140’s. As you can imagine, that’s skin and bones for someone of that height.
In mid-January, he was working in his shop, went to sit down on the shop stool, slightly missed the stool, didn’t have the muscle any longer to catch himself, fell, and broke his hip. The hip surgery went seemingly well until his blood pressure dropped in rehab. After a few weeks of ups and downs in intensive care trying to locate the source of the sepsis (when the body basically attacks itself trying to deal with an infection) and dealing with a laundry list of various problems/complications, he took a turn and the doctor’s recommended transitioning him to the comfort of hospice this past week, where he stayed for about 4 days until finally passing Sunday evening during his sleep at 9:38 pm.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic-related hospital protocols, in the past few weeks my brother Aaron and I were fortunately both able to get some quality phone/visit time with him, along with my mom, plus his two brothers and two sisters.
Today has been a rough day all-around for the family with sorting out logistics amidst low sleep and dealing with our own individual emotions, but my supportive wife Jen has kindly put together the included flyer with details about the visitation and funeral, for those that are interested in going or sending regards.
The photo in the flyer is from 2013. Dad was several months out recovering from his 2nd bout with myeloma. He managed to recover strongly enough to fly out to Bandon Dunes in Oregon and watch me compete in the Speedgolf World Championships. Of course, I wanted to play well for him and tried too hard during the 1st round, but then he helped me relax for the 2nd round and I subsequently managed to tie the championship record for golf score. He was always there for me like that with my sports.
If you’ve got any photos of my Dad that you’d like us to share during the services, please send them to me and I’ll try to make sure they get included.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts and words. I always try to respond to everyone that reaches out to me, but if I’m slow or don’t get to it right away, hopefully you’ll understand.