Friday, August 18, 2017

Why the Line on Your #Golf Ball Could Hurt Your Putting

Do you draw a line on your golf ball and use it to point to where you want your ball to roll on the green? If so, you could be diminishing your chances to hole out.

During a recent lesson with my PGA instructor, Dale Ketola, at the Grande Dunes Golf Performance Center, the focus was on putting and the mental game. Dale made me realize that I don't need the line which I currently place on my ball to point to the target - the line, speed, confidence, and feel are all in my head.

Focus Band

Dale incorporates really high line golf technology into his lessons to show where players need improvement or if they are on the right track. Along with V1 software, BODITRAK and Flightscope, my very able instructor utilizes FocusBand with his students.

FocusBand is a mind-sensing neurofeedback device which shows when a golfer is thinking too much negative thoughts when playing the game. Sounds like it comes from the head of Gene Roddenberry, doesn't it? Several well known PGA Tour, LPGA and Tour players, such as Jason Day and Michelle Wie, use this apparatus...and now it is my turn to try it out!

We used this headband during my putting lesson to help measure my subconscious thoughts while standing over the ball. Am I:
- Overthinking (Excessive Fear or Anxiety)
- Having Fear of Failure
- Frustrated
- In the Zone

Stacy Solomon wearing Focus BandDale dropped a ball on the green (as if it landed in that perfect position) and watched as I performed my pre-shot routine.

The simple interface showed that, while standing over the ball ready to putt, my brain was "in the red zone".

Uh, oh,...I was definitely thinking too much! But, what was I thinking of? That was for my instructor to determine as machines cannot give you that piece of the puzzle...yet.

It is his experience as a teacher and player that made me understand what I am thinking, sensing and how to limit my thoughts to one visual before striking the ball.

I asked Dale what he does during his pre-shot putting routine. He says that, before taking his putt, he analyzes the green, then stares at the dirt in the bottom of the cup and puts that thought of the circle into his mind; he goes up to the marker, places his ball (with a small circle drawn on top) into position, aims and shoots.

At address, I need to, "Occupy my mind with what's going to happen, not how it's going to happen."

You can also relate putting to driving a car and how you don't consciously think of pressing down on gas or brake pedal or placing your hands on the steering wheel or turning your car to the left or right - you just know how to do it already and make it happen.

I learned quite a bit during my putting lesson at the Golf Performance Center - thank you, Dale! Now, I need to practice my new routine so that, when I get onto the course, my brain is in the "green zone" on the green!

A parting thought about the importance of putting...

After his sobering loss at the 99th PGA Championship, David Duval said of Hideki Matsuyama, "On a Sunday, I don't think you have to make a ton of 15-footers, but you have to make the four and five footers to win a golf tournament."

Here is a great putt from Justin Thomas during the 3rd round of the U.S. Open which helps prove that the mind is what gets the golf ball to the hole:

What techniques do you use to "see" the ball to the hole? Let's talk putting! Post comments below on this golf blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Bermuda Sands Apparel for Women - Fit for #Golf!

Golf apparel, once only designed for style, has blossomed into functional wear which works well both on and off the course. Fit, fashion, and comfort are just as important during an eighteen hole stretch as they are at the 19th while having a snack with your foursome. So, what makes certain golf apparel perennial favorites?

Although certain styles are naturally de rigeur, like polos, cardigans, and khakis, brands are reaching out to millennials with more trendy pieces sporting bolder colors, changes in collar design and added functionality such as cell phone and scorecard pockets.

Where a few fashion-forward items are meaningful to every wardrobe, comfort is probably the most important functional spec which determines what I wear for my round of golf. I usually reach for the same pieces over and over again and, when I add a new skort or shirt to my attire, it had better serve a purpose.

I recently added to my closet a golf shirt and skort from Bermuda Sands Women's Fall Collection, "Evelina" Women's polo and the "Vera" skort from the Greer Collection.

Black and white complement any season and the bold lavender definitely stands out against the changing Autumn scenery. The medallion pattern on the skort carries onto all of the available tops which means if it gets chilly, I can add a cover-up to the outfit!

Yes, I will be a fashion statement on the golf course come this fall but that is not why I will be excited to wear my new Bermuda Sands outfit.

The quality of the materials used is excellent. As I held both pieces, I couldn't help but notice the silky feel and weight of the fabric. I thought it would be heavy when I tried on the outfit but was impressed by its lightweight comfort.

The Greer line of golf apparel is 92% Polyester and 8% Spandex stretch jersey, which offers a great range of motion and should also help to keep me comfortable and dry, even when I am sweating out those ten-footers for par.

Bermuda Sands also offers a men's line of short and long sleeve shirts and outerwear.

I can't wait to take this outfit onto the golf course but, since it's new in my closet, it needs to air at the appropriate time and at a top-notch golf course...perhaps Grande Dunes...Pine Lakes? Or maybe TPC Myrtle Beach...

Bermuda Sands, an innovative golf apparel company, has been creating fine clothing for both men and women since 2009 and, since the quality of their clothing is first-rate, in my opinion, this company deserves a look.

Do you love shopping for golf apparel? If so, are you partial to polos...skorts? Feedback requested on our golf blog in the comments section and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

I may receive free services, items or payment from miscellaneous providers of golf-related merchandise. ❀ I promise that I will always deliver my honest opinion!

Friday, August 04, 2017

#Golf Training Aids Spotlight: The Delta Putt

Do you consider yourself to be a strong putter or do you feel you could improve your make percentage on the green? Most amateurs could use help with the flat stick!

Poor lag putting, missing on the low side, 3-putts, the yips...all are solvable.

The art of putting comes down to two concepts, speed and alignment. If either one of them is off, your putt won't go in the's that simple.

How do you sink more putts? Practice, practice, practice.

You can try training aids if your visual skills or feel are off; Golf for Beginners has tried many types of training aids over the years and most of them are effective but you have to use them in order for them to help you gain positive results.

This brings me to a training aid called The Delta Putt by Gsix Products. I received this putting trainer recently to test and will give you my honest opinion with regards to its functionality. First, a product description.."

The Delta Putt comes with two components - a lined mat and a triangular "puck" with "amateur", "pro" and "tour" markings on the flat sides with a bump out near each of the markings.

Place the triangular puck onto the mat with the "amateur" in line with your putter face and make a putt. The puck should slide straight on the mat and land on its intended target - the "hole" - a picture of the puck at the end of the mat.

Any veering or spinning of the puck means you have not hit your putter face on its sweet spot (the toe was closed or open at impact). Don't move onto the next level, "PRO", until you have mastered the amateur side of the puck, which means straight down the intended line without spinning or veering left or right.

As mentioned in the Delta Putt video instruction guide, "If you can make it to the "TOUR" level, "you have developed yourself into one really fine putter."

Although Golf for Beginners does not endorse any one product, I can say that The Delta Putt has the ability to guide you to a better stroke if you use it. After a few putts, I noticed the Delta Putt "puck" began to move straight down the line. Yes, I did try it on the "PRO" and "TOUR" levels, and I quickly backed down to AMATEUR! The only way I can truly tell if this training aid works is to continue to use it and then to test my putting in a real-life scenario.

READ: Easy Golf Tips to Inspire Confidence on the Putting Green

Which training aids do you use to improve putting? Let us know in the comments section of this golf blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Friday, July 28, 2017

If You Only Take Away One Golf Tip from The Open...

There are more golf tips from The Open than you can shake a club at, as Barry Solomon states in his article (below). One major takeaway can lead you to a win as it did for Jordan Spieth.

Read Barry's tips below and apply them to your next round.

Article this week written by Barry Solomon

There is one thing golfers can take away from last week’s (British) Open tournament.

NEVER throw in the towel.

Whether playing alone, with friends or in a competition, you should never give up.

Golf is a game of errant shots; it’s how you handle them that can turn your game around.  Here are a few tips that can help you stay "in the zone":

- Sometimes it’s as simple as putting on a new glove or retying your shoe laces.
- Take a deep breath before addressing the ball.
- Try to forget your last shot.  Concentrate on the shot in front of you.
- Before you take your next shot, remember when you’ve hit a similar shot with a great outcome.
- Never allow yourself to give up on the possibility of a win.  Your playing buddies can run into difficulties and give up strokes while you sink that par or birdie putt.

Jordan Spieth showed us the way this past weekend at The Open.  Although we are not pro golfers, these are things we can all do just as well.

And last but not least: Play happy golf.  It’s a great game.

In case you missed The Open Championship 2017, here is the final leg:

Which tips can you share from watching The Open? Tag us on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and leave your comments in the section of our golf blog below.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Golf Tips to Keep Players on the Short Grass

Getting out of trouble and back into play may be a fundamental of golf but wouldn't it be nice to improve your chances of success? Staying in the fairway involves not only a repeatable golf swing but also playing smarter, not harder.

Golf for Beginners offers a few tips to help golfers of all skill levels keep the ball on the short grass.

1. Club Selection: If you hit a bomb of a drive grumbling, "I shouldn't have taken out my driver!", you chose the wrong club...a common problem among amateur golfers.

Instead of always reaching for the driver, think about the hole which lies ahead - note the distance to water, traps, and trees to determine whether or not you should pull out a different club.

2. Straight Shooter: If you know you are slicing or hooking the ball during the day, it is better to compensate than to change your swing. "Set-up to play the fade," according to Keiser University's College of Golf and Sport Management.

3. Center Your Shots: Don't try to "place" your ball in a certain spot - instead, aim for fat parts of both fairways and greens.

4. Playing it Safe: Golfers have a tendency to "go for it" when playing it safe could keep you in play and, with a nice lie. Although you may have some great shots in your bag, you are not Phil Mickelson or you would be playing in The Open this week. Use wise course management and minimize your penalty strokes.

5. BREATHE!!! - Before every round, my husband always reminds me to take a deep breath while over the ball; it relaxes my body and hands and the overall result is a more comfortable, lazy swing. Think TEMPO. Try it next time you are standing over that little white orb.

What creative ideas can you share to keep your golf ball in the fairway? Let us know on this Golf for Beginners blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

R&A Goes Global for the British Open

The Open 2017
In a press release issued prior to The British Open, it was stated that the prize money was to be awarded in U.S. dollars.

“We are operating in an increasingly global marketplace and have made the decision to award the prize fund in US dollars in recognition of the fact that it is the most widely adopted currency for prize money in golf,” stated Martin Slumbers.

The oldest major has decided to go global and, as read in SB Nation, "the move to dollars may also be a reaction to the hit the purse took, relative to the other majors, after Brexit's impact on currency last summer."

And, what a huge purse it is! The winner will take home $1,845,000 USD with total prize-money totaling a whopping $10,250,000. Not to mention the winner of The Open also takes home the Claret Jug.

The Open prize money is still shy of the 2017 U.S. Open purse which was at $12 million with Brooks Koepka earning just under $2.2 million.

What do you think? Are purses getting out of hand?

Comment in the section below and tag us on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.