Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Advice for the Average Golfer

After receiving a note from David Felker, scientist and inventor of Callaway Rule 35 Golf Balls, I happily agreed when he asked to post a blog on our Golf for Beginners site. 

David is also the founder of the USRGA, an organization which is helping to grow the game of golf by focusing on the many recreational players around the world who are interested in the sport for fun.

It is our hope that golf continues to expand, in spite of course closings and a downturn in rounds per course. If we are to continue bringing golfers into the sport, let's keep it fun, interesting and invite people in who want to try the sport that lasts a lifetime by providing innovative ways to enjoy the game.

Big Golf hole
Too innovative for golf? Maybe...but sure looks like fun!

Here is David Felker's blog, with his advice for the average golfer:

Golf is so much fun I can’t stand it. It is a special game that you can enjoy your entire life and learning to play golf will add a new dimension to your life. Here are ten random pieces of free golf advice that I hope will help any beginner golfer:  

1) Golf is not about the score – it is about the fun you can have with your friends in the beautiful setting of a golf course.  Choose your golf partners wisely - avoid golfers that take the game too seriously and get mad on the course; they will ruin your day. 

2) Know the Etiquette of Golf from Day One. Study it before you set foot on a golf course (lots of golf etiquette advice on  Nothing bothers golfers more than golfers who do not follow the etiquette of golf.    Failure to follow the etiquette of golf is not only bad form, golfers will avoid playing with you if you disregard accepted golf etiquette. 

3) No matter what any golfer, PGA professional or anyone tells you - The USGA rules of golf do not apply to you (they only apply to serious competitive golf tournaments). 

The USGA rules book is more than two-hundred pages long – don’t read it; 75% of golfers have never read the USGA rules of golf and 73% admit to not following the rules of golf. Instead, read the US Recreational Golf Association’s “13 Rules of Golf”.  Their rules reflect how 85% of golfers play golf. The US Recreational Golf Association’s rules are one page long and easy to learn ( )

4) Buy a decent set of used golf clubs to start and make sure the driver is at least twelve degrees of loft so you can get the ball up in the air.  Any used balls will work fine (you are going to lose all of them anyway).   If you have a bad slice, seriously consider buying some Polara anti-slice golf balls or Trust-Tee's new innovative tees and use until you are good enough to keep the ball in the fairway.

5) Don’t take private lessons. Find a course that gives group lessons for beginners.  They often give you other benefits along with the lessons, like reductions on green fees and merchandise.  The average course these days does not do enough business to make a profit, so a lot are bending over backwards to find new players – play golf where your business is most appreciated.

6) Arrive at the course at least thirty minutes early so you are not rushed and can warm up before you play the round. It is better to get twenty to thirty bad shots out of your system on the range than on the golf course.

7) If the course allows walking or use of a pull cart, try it – this is the way golf was traditionally played.  Waking gives you time to clear your mind between shots and the exercise is great for your health. 

8) Golf is a social experience.  After the golf round, go into the clubhouse, wash up and relax.  Have a drink with your friends and talk about the day - your best shots, biggest blowups, what you liked best about the course. Relive the fun and have some laughs.  The 19th hole is part of the tradition of golf.  

9) Not all golf courses are the same. I have found that the amount of money I pay to play rarely has anything to do with how much I enjoyed the day. Every course has a certain feel and character that is defined by the golf course itself, the club house, the staff and the service.   Play different courses - you will find ones you really like, and ones you don’t like.  Life is too short to play at a course with bad staff and bad service.

10) Last piece of advice - There is no such thing as a natural born golfer. All golfers struggle to begin with. They can’t even hit the ball, but with a little time and practice, it will come to you. 

Enjoy the journey of going from beginner to the point where you hit your first great shot on the course.  It will be so exhilarating and inspiring that you will remember it for the rest of your life.  You do not have to be a great golfer to have fun. 

Remember this fact – the average male golfer shoots 106.  Strive for a score of 105, and then you will be better than 50% of the golfers! You do not have to be a scratch golfer to enjoy the game.  If you put enough effort into the game to play at the bogey golf level, you will have given yourself a gift for life. If you go on to teach your child or children to play golf, you will have given them (and yourself) an even greater gift.

About the author:

David Felker says he is just a little bit better than the average golfer, but he does admit he is a brilliant golf scientist.  He was recruited from DuPont Company to help start the Callaway Golf ball Company in 1996. With the help of a world class group of scientists, David invented the Callaway Rule 35 Golf ball which replaced the wound ball technology. Dr. Felker is also the inventor of Polara Golf balls that he claims are the world’s only golf balls that correct hooks and slices. (Golf for Beginners does not yet endorse this product as we have not yet tried it.)

He is also the founder of the US Recreational Golf Association (USRGA), a nonprofit organization serving the needs of recreational golfers, golf courses and the golf companies.  The USRGA’s mission is to provide a voice for recreational golfers and to help grow the game of golf.

Check out our Holiday Gift Guide! Still time to pick out the perfect golf gift.

Voice your opinions on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and on this Golf for Beginners blog!

photo credit:

The above blog is the opinion of the guest blogger. Golf for Beginners does not necessarily agree or disagree with the blog but wanted to post it in order to give golfers a viewpoint to discuss.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday #Golf Gifts and Stocking Stuffers for your Favorite Golfers

Christmas GiftsThe holiday season can really take a bite out of your wallet - golf can be a very expensive game! Prices for clubs, accessories, clothing and more, make golfers a difficult group to shop for, especially if you want to show your love but forego the high price tag.

Golf for Beginners has compiled several fun and interesting golf gifts - gadgets, accessories and thoughtfulness that you may be able to stuff into a stocking...or maybe not, depending on how big that stocking is...

Here is a list of Holiday Golf Gifts and Gadgets that won't bust your budget but will get you a big thank you (and, perhaps, a kiss under the mistletoe):

Mobitee GPS Golf Assistant
1. Mobitee GPS Golf Assistant: Your golfer comes home from a round on the links frustrated that his/her ball found every hazard on the course. He couldn't gauge the distance to the bunkers, he didn't know the right club to select to the green because he wasn't exactly sure of the distance there either as the course he played had no markers, no GPS on his cart.

Place Mobitee in their stockings this Christmas - it's a GPS, Rangefinder, club advisor and will help with handicap, track statistics and even offer up a friendly wager! One of the best all-in-one apps for iPhone, Android and Windows phone that I have ever used:

2. Trust-Tee Innovative Golf Tee - Golfers in your life will LOVE this game improver if they consistency slice or hook their ball with the driver. The camber on the tee adjusts the spin on the ball to reduce those dreaded, airmailed banana balls.

Trust-Tee Innovative Golf Tee

Save your golfer (and his wallet) from losing those expensive Titleist Pro V1 golf balls! Trust-Tee is a much less expensive option than a $400 adjustable driver which basically does the same thing as this box of four tees which sell for only $9.99! Great for making golf fun again...and, isn't that is the object of getting new people into the sport and keeping them there?

Golf Shots 2015 Calendar3. Golf Shots 2015 Calendar - Every year I wait for Evan Schiller's golf calendar to arrive so that I can pin it to my bulletin board and sigh while viewing the most beautiful courses in the world from Evan's perspective!

It is December and I am currently dreaming about playing golf on the 9th hole of the Corales Course at Punta Cana Resort and Club:

4. Mistake Free Golf Book - First Aid for Your Golfing Brain by Robert K. Winters PhD - The Mental Game is probably more important than the Physical Game, although they both work in tandem when you are firing on all cylinders.

Mistake Free Golf teaches you how to believe in yourself, how to commit to every shot and how not to lose composure or get anxious over those three-foot putts (choke):

5. Under Armour Eye Wear for Golfers: If your golfer is a fashionista and requires all of the hottest clothes and accessories that money can (or cannot) buy, the new Fire and Marbella lines of Under Armour Sunglasses will not only help you track your golf ball off the tee, they will be your super-hot "go-to" sunglasses! Engineered for the female athlete who wants performance - these specs are lightweight, adjustable and durable:

Under Armour Marbella Sunglasses
Yes, these are my Under Armour Sunglasses - I love the green accents!

6. If you believe in the gift of giving, why not check out these worthy charities:
National Navy UDT SEAL Museum - dedicated to preserving the history of Navy SEALs (originally known as frog men), while honoring the fallen heroes and assisting the families of warriors who have perished in battle.

Stowers Institute for Medical Research: with a dedicated team of scientists, continues to make "a significant contribution to humanity through medical research by expanding our understanding of the secrets of life, and by improving life’s quality through innovative approaches to the causes, treatment and prevention of diseases." #ACCGolf via The American Century Championship.

Share your coolest Holiday Golf Gifts and Gadgets with us on our Golf for Beginners blog or on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Happy Holidays to all of our readers!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Ready or Not, Here Comes Tiger Woods...Again! #golf

Tiger Woods says he "feels great" and that he is excited to return to competitive golf but are fans expectations too high for the new and improved Eldrick Tont Woods?

With a new swing coach by his side and reports surfacing that he is getting stronger every day, the almost thirty-nine year old Tiger Woods is hitting balls, practicing and readying to take the spotlight once again.

Great for Tiger Woods but will he be able to perform to the level which fans expect at the Hero World Challenge?

Since 2008, the tally of injuries sustained for Woods are broken leg, torn ACL, back problems, not to mention the mental trauma which resulted in heartache and the question remains, "Is Tiger Physically and Mentally Ready?"

From Facebook to Twitter to golf bloggers, fans are eagerly awaiting the return of the former World Number One Golfer and are cheering him on from the comfort of their laptops.

On Tiger's Facebook Page:
Colin Rennick Way to go Tiger!!! Cant wait to see you back and kicking some butt!!  GO TW GO
Suzanne Acosta Congratulations Tiger. Looking forward to seeing you back in action next week.

Twitter folks are more cynical wondering whether the Thanksgiving incident of five years ago still has an impact on Woods' game, from Golf Channel to your basic, every day fan:

Questions still remain for Tiger Woods five years after his Thanksgiving incident:

The biggest turkey I always mention in Thanksgiving is Tiger Woods.
'Ho, ho, ho....'

On Emily Kay's SB Nation post we find the inevitable questions, "Have expectations changed?" and "Will Tiger win at all in 2015?

ESPN states that recovery from his back issues has allowed Woods to ramp up his practice sessions on the range and that he is hopeful ...that his game is poised to reap the benefits.

Communication is the key to the development and resurgence of Tiger Woods, as former swing coach, Sean Foley, stated after being recently replaced, "We came to a point where we weren't communicating as well as we needed to anymore and we didn't want to jeopardize our friendship."

The Hero World Challenge is a non-elimination event of eighteen professional golfers which will take place at Isleworth Golf and CC (Tiger's stomping grounds) December 3-7, 2014. Check your local listings.

No matter what happens during the event to Tiger Woods, whether or not he succeeds or fails in his comeback attempt, Golf for Beginners wishes him all the success that he has worked for his entire life.

What do you think? Will Tiger Woods have a successful return? Voice your opinion on this blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Photo Credit: Flicker

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Giving Thanks for Bentgrass Fairways #golf

This is Thanksgiving Week and Golf for Beginners, along with guest blogger Rachael Stockwell, reflect on the many things to be thankful for, from peaceful walks along somewhat deserted fairways to gathering with family and friends around a turkey with trimmings. With that in mind, we thank our readers for ten years of connection and golf conversation.

Thanks Rachael for your golf blog. Bio is below:

In my eyes November means leaves turning color, a crispness in the air and the wonderful way nature seems to surprise us with its glory. You can still find many golf courses filled with players eagerly enjoying the Indian summer. It’s a great time of year to appreciate your surroundings and indulge in the love of the game; there is no sweaty grip, or cold fingers. It’s the ideal temperature to feel the breeze and enjoy the fresh air. With these feelings brings thankfulness.

Many people nowadays think of this season as stressful. It’s the hustle and bustle before the holidays. Families are preparing to go above and beyond then the year before, whether it is becoming craftier, replicating holiday d├ęcor from a Pottery Barn catalog or inviting more guests this year. The holiday season goes by so quickly even though we enthusiastically await it every year.

This late summer has allowed us to enjoy the course and out of the craziness of the holidays a little longer. One of the places that brings back the love of the game in a spectacular mountain town is The Talisker Club in Park City, Utah.

What makes the Talisker Club so special? The elite club benefits no other community offers, the private recreation and elite hospitality makes the Talisker membership so appealing. They are dedicated to make any experience, whether it’s skiing or world-class golfing exceptional practice.

The landscape of the championship golf is bordered by soft, rolling hills, bentgrass fairways, and impeccably manicured greens with stunning views of the Jordanelle Reservoir, Mount Timpanogos and Deer Valley Resort. The private 18-hole, championship Mark O’Meara-designed golf course at Tuhaye is one of the most stunning places to play your game.

Tuhaye Golf Course
18-hole, Mark O’Meara-designed championship golf course at Tuhaye

Challenging yet manageable for all levels of ability, with play between 5,100 to 7,800 yards and 6,900 feet above sea level at Tuhaye’s location, the ball will travel further in the mountainous thin air - a big difference compared to an average course in the typical southern golf locations.

A recent article by Travel and Leisure Golf magazine showed Talisker Club as ranked #8 in “America’s Top 100 Golf Communities”.

The club also offers competitive golf tournaments such as The Memorial and the O’Meara Cup. 

There are so many golf developments that try to anticipate the next big thing, however Talisker adapts to their customers lifestyle and reacts in unique ways. Each of Talisker’s three distinct neighborhoods —Tuhaye, Empire Pass, and Red Cloud in the Deer Valley® Resort—are united by one very exceptional offering: the award-winning Talisker Club.

Take a moment to enjoy your favorite golf course before the snow hits. The next time you seem to be stressing over Thanksgiving fixings or desserts, take a deep breath. This is a time to enjoy one another, but also to be thankful for what we have in our lives. 

If this means relaxing in a wonderful environment to play our favorite game or bentgrass fairways, then let it be so. Places do exist where family home meets a perfect day of golf.

Rachael Stockwell, Guest blogger: Rachael Stockwell has ten years of experience in online marketing and focuses on PR development for the economic development, energy, luxury, and rental market sectors.

Voice your opinion on Twitter @Golf4Beginners or on this Golf for Beginners blog!

Friday, November 21, 2014

NFL Legends and Navy SEALs Attack Pebble Beach Golf Event

Aside from being one of the most anticipated golf events of the year, the mix of sports and football legends as well as Navy SEAL maneuvers made the 24th Annual Legends Invitational one of the most unique happenings I have ever attended. Here is my take on the festivities and why you should mark your calendar for next year's celebration.

After flying from east to west coast, I arrived in sunny Monterey, California to meet the Navy SEALs and play golf at the Legends Invitational Event. The trip was long but, as I stepped onto the back porch of The Inn at Spanish Bay illuminated by blazing fire pits, I became mesmerized by a scene of calm and storm; peaceful flag-fluttering greens were accentuated by waves crashing from behind. Long first day with the prospect of the adventure to come.

The Inn at Spanish Bay
The Inn at Spanish Bay

Day two, standing on the porch having a cocktail at the Jack Daniels tent, I was awed as I watched a swarm of Navy SEALs parachuting onto the fairway of Spanish Bay Golf Links, gliding softly into three-point landings to the sounds of patriotic songs performed by The American Rogues.

It was a touching moment which made me realize how fortunate I am to be living in the greatest country in the world.

I had never seen demonstrations so realistic nor had I been in the immediate presence of so many Military in full gear – guns (not loaded) by their sides, GO Video cameras atop their helmets and canine SEAL-in-training MIKO ready for center stage – talk about up-close-and-personal, this was in-your-face cool.

SEALs warmly took the spotlight as cameras were flashing; Lauren Seaver, news anchor at KSBW-TV mentioned, "it was one of the coolest demonstrations I had ever seen" and that nothing like this had ever occurred before at Spanish Bay.

With Mrs. Kay Crabb and Navy SEALs Team

Nick Buoniconti, NFL Hall of Fame middle linebacker who played for the Boston Patriots and Miami Dolphins said, "I had chills. You get chills up and down your spine because you know, that, in real life, they're putting their lives on the line."

Watch KSBW-TV headlining news story: Navy SEALs and NFL Legends Team Up for Good Cause

The Navy SEALs, heroes of Sea Air and Land, are special forces who go into situations of grave danger and provide reconnaissance - they are the ultimate warriors. states that SEALs bring "a threatening act of sea piracy to resolution in the blink of an eye."

The National Navy UDT SEAL Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of SEALs (originally known as frog men), while honoring the fallen heroes and assisting the families of warriors who have perished in battle.

The Navy SEAL Museum receives no federal funding and relies solely on the patriotic support of our citizens which is why the Legends Invitational Golf Event has chosen The Navy SEAL Museum and these brave responders as the recipients of their support.

After a night of meet and greet with HOF Football Legends and Navy SEALs complete with delicious buffet prepared by the Spanish Bay Inn chefs, the next morning brought a few hours of respite before the official event start, so what did I choose to do?

Walk Pebble Beach Golf Links!

Being a golfer and knowing you are going to play Pebble Beach the next day, thoughts arise such as, “I wonder if hole number 7 is as treacherous as I read” or “does the 18th hole really look that beautiful in person? The answers are yes to both questions.

Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Spanish Bay, three of the most beautiful courses in the world, each have a natural, rugged beauty that cannot be justified through the lens of a camera.

Pebble Beach View from 11
Pebble Beach Golf Course View from 11

If I could offer one tip that stands for all three of the golf courses mentioned above, whether you have played here before or not, it is to invest in a caddie. I thought my distances, reads on greens were close but I was off on almost every decision I would have made, so the caddie definitely saved my group and I a number of strokes.

My group consisted of Pete and Wayne Kostroski, Vice Admiral Joe Kernan and Kerry McNally.

Yes, I played golf with an ADMIRAL! While teams were captained by football and sports legends, other teams were led by Navy SEALs. In my opinion, our team hit the jackpot-the Admiral is an approachable leader and a true gentleman.

The additional three team members were a memorable group of excellent golfers. McNally is an Emmy Award winning videographer, Wayne Kostroski is the founder of Taste of the NFL whose annual Superbowl Party with a Purpose rallies the country's top chefs and the NFL's greatest players to raise money in support of food banks throughout the United States. Pete is his son and an awesome golfer (with a single-digit handicap).

As we got to the 7th hole at Pebble Beach, we were greeted by Jack Daniels crew and we toasted to good health and good fortune with Legends Invitational owner John Lee (who stood and watched our shots) …and then we proceeded to par the hole!

The rest of my Pebble Beach golf round was equally as spectacular as this 18-handicapper forged ahead to shoot a 94.

What could make this golf event even more memorable for me? Playing Spyglass Hill and Spanish Bay the following two days.

Legends Invitational title Sponsor, IZOD, created memorable gift bags including their outstanding golf apparel for all of the participants. A great deal of thanks for their devotion to the Event and for their support of The Navy SEAL Museum.

This is how to support the The National Navy UDT SEAL Museum.

More information on Legends invitational Golf Event and how you can attend next year's extravaganza.

Voice your thoughts on our Golf for Beginners blog and on Twitter: @Golf4Beginners, @NavySEALMuseum and Legends Invitational @SEALsGolf

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Top Three Reasons to Be Aggressive With Every #Golf Shot

Golf for Beginners enjoys getting contacted by guest bloggers looking for an outlet to share their opinions with fans of the sport. This blog was written by Chris Giolitto, a former golf pro (see bio below) and where GFB does not necessarily share the opinion of the blogger, we appreciate the commentary! Thanks Chris - on to the blog!


Often we are told to be mindful of the tempo of our golf swings.  While I believe this to be very important, golfers tend to misconstrue this advice. 

How many times have you been on the golf course, lost a few balls on your first few holes and decided you weren't going to let that happen again? 

Here’s what you probably do next. You get to the next tee, set up for your shot, take the club back, and on your downswing you attempt to guide the ball to the fairway. Your result? One of ten shots go where you'd hoped. The other nine? A few barely make it off the tee box, a few others still go right and lost, and the rest end up in that pond just past the tee box that you never knew existed.

My point? Trying to control your tempo can often lead to trying to guide the golf ball with an indecisive swing. It's similar to shooting a free throw in basketball. If you are nervous you are going to shoot an air ball and just aim to hit the rim, you often air the ball anyway. 

Your best bet is to be aggressive. Shoot to make the shot. Swing to hit the perfect shot.

An aggressive golf swing promotes three key ingredients to hitting your best golf shot:

1. Swinging at 100% - This is your most natural rhythm to swing. Take a controlled back swing and once you transition to the downswing, give it full power; 80% swings often lead to fat shots that roll fifteen yards, or a less than full release that results in a slice.

2. Focusing on your target - If you know you are going to make an aggressive swing, you know you need precision. Focus on your target and let it rip!

3. Confidence - If you are committed to hitting your shot with 100% power and focused on your target, you will have automatic confidence in your ability to hit that shot. 

Now a quick caveat before going out and firing at every pin and challenging every water hazard. 

I am not saying here to play like Phil Mickelson – you don't have his talent and ability. Play the shot that best suits you. If you need to aim at the center of the green, find your best target and play an aggressive shot to that target. 

Whichever shot you choose to hit, make sure you swing aggressively. With commitment to swinging 100% while focusing your target, you will be confident and find that your shots become much more consistent. Plus, swinging at any less than 100% is no fun! 

Chris Giolitto is a former golf professional and creator of, connecting golfers with local professionals for top tier instruction. Click here for FREE instant access to “Your Top 5 Problems in Golf Cured.”

Do you agree with the author? Voice your opinion on this golf blog or on Twitter @Golf4Beginners!