Thursday, May 19, 2016

Do You Know What's In YOUR #Golf Bag?

Every week, there are lots of websites on what was in the winners golf bag that gave the pro his edge, right down to the snacks that fortified him during his final round of greatness. For example, at The Players Championship, Jason Day carried the following clubs and probably had these refreshments in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M1 460 (10.5 degrees, Mitsubishi Rayon KuroKage S TiNi 70X shaft)
3-Wood: TaylorMade M2 HL (16.5 degrees, Mitsubishi Rayon KuroKage S TiNi 80X shaft)
2-Iron: TaylorMade RSi 2 (True Temper Dynamic Gold X7 shaft)
4-9 Irons: TaylorMade RSi TP (True Temper Dynamic Gold X7 shaft)
Pitching Wedge: TaylorMade RSi TP (True Temper Dynamic Gold X7 shaft)
47-Degree Wedge: TaylorMade Tour Preferred EF Tour Grind (True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shaft)
52-Degree Wedge: TaylorMade Tour Preferred EF ATV Grind (True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shaft)
60-Degree Wedge: TaylorMade Tour Preferred EF ATV Grind (True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shaft)
Putter: TaylorMade Ghost Spider (Limited edition Red)
Ball: TaylorMade Tour Preferred X

"I like Cliff bars because they taste good and they’re convenient, and I drink Biosteel performance drinks for the energy," mentioned Day in a previous article about his snack preference.

Yes, I'll bet Jason Day and his caddie know exactly what is placed in the bag...(nothing lurking in a dark corner?) and this week, we ask readers, Do You Know What's In YOUR Golf Bag?

You have probably counted the fourteen golf clubs which are stated as the correct number authorized by the Rules of Golf (fewer clubs are okay but if you have too many, remove them now...) and have toyed with the correct match of clubs for your game but, has your bag gotten heavier and you don't know why? Time to take account, remove the extra baggage and lighten the load!

As states, "Just because your awesome new bag has fifty pockets doesn't mean you need to use all of them."

Going through my PGA Tour Superstore golf bag recently, in addition to my set of Ping Karsten Irons, Callaway X2 Hot Driver, Titleist 904F Fairway Woods, two Vokey Spin-Milled Wedges and my Odyssey Two Ball Putter...

I came across two bottles of water stuffed into the cooler pouch (need hydration), an empty sleeve (no where to place the trash at the time and it just fell to the bottom of the bag), cover-up for when it rains, three extra golf gloves (for when one won't do), a huge bag full of tees (including the short, broken ones which are needed for the par-3's, several divot repair tools, brush for my club heads and several snack bars (some a bit crusty) for when the hunger takes over and makes me lose focus.

After cleaning out my golf bag (to some degree), I searched this question on the internet and found several stories confirming my theory that golfers stuff way too much into their bags from toilet paper to suntan lotion, not only weighing down the carrier but probably also upsetting the balance of positive feng shui on the course.

Remove the waste! Carry only what is necessary for that day's round and place the balance of extras into your trunk. If it is going to rain, take an extra pair of gloves and socks. Always bring an energy snack and water as a round is four hours in length. Lifting the weight out of the golf bag will help you find what you really need faster and you will get back to concentrating on what really matters...your game!

What have you found in your golf bag that you didn't realize was there? Let us know in the comments section of this golf blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Golf Tips to Improve Your Game from Tee to Green

Some of the most interesting emails we receive at Golf for Beginners are tips which are begging to be shared with our readers! In addition, we are always scouring the internet for interesting and relevant ways to improve your game.

Compiled below are a few game improvement tips - we hope that the journey to lower your score this season is an educational and joyous one.

Golf Tips to Improve Your Game from Tee to Green

par 4 golf1. How Many Ways Can You Play a Par-4 hole?
It's short enough to be a driveable hole but that par-4 may have bunkers or water in areas which are reachable if you don't hit perfect shots. Do you play it aggressively or conservatively? The choice in shot, and score, are up to you. Steve Elkington provides you with two different thoughts in strategy in his video, "How To Play A Short Par-4."

2. The 40-Yard Chip Shot - Awkward Distance
Use More Body, less arms says instructor Stan Utley. "When your clubhead speed is generated by turning your body, instead of by throwing your hands, you make a much more consistent swing and will have better contact." More tips:

Odyssey two ball putter3. Putting - Focus on the Mental Game
"The fastest and easiest way to improve your putting is to adopt a routine that gets your eyes up on your target and allows you to feel the length of stroke needed to get the ball to roll the right distance," says instructor Craig Jones of

Improving distance control will help you eliminate three putts that can drive up your scores quickly.

Read Putting tips that are Elementary for Mr. Watson.

Finally, don't have a golf course meltdown when you find that things are not going your way. Take a step back, a deep breath and refocus on each shot. Remember, a successful journey in golf usually takes you through a winding path.

Do you have golf tips to share with our readers? Place your tips in our golf blog below and follow us on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Are You Guilty of a #Golf Course Meltdown?

Fans and professional players alike have gawked incredulously at golf course meltdowns from the top levels of sports right down - playing partners throwing clubs into the lake, ranting and raving and basically swearing off the sport have most folks shaking their heads! Many golfers can manage their emotions in the face of adversity but, in this blog we look at the those who cannot keep their sensitivity in check.

Have you ever had a meltdown?

This week at Golf for Beginners, we look at some of these issues and wonder what our readers can do to avoid the dreaded meltdown before a more offensive nature appears to your golf buddies.

First, lets take a look at some of the biggest meltdowns in golf history, from the crunching of the putter against the knee (bad idea because what are you going to use to finish your round) to one of the funniest tantrums by Sergio Garcia:

Are You Guilty of Any of the Following on the Golf Course?

1. For every fist-pump birdie high, do you also have a tantrum low in front of your golf buddies with every bogey? J.B. Glossinger, a contributing writer for The Business Journals says, instead of throwing your clubs, "aim for a conservative target with an aggressive approach." You will still be "attacking" the course, but mentally, not in a belligerent manner.

2. Play the Blame Game - Do you blame the golf course or playing partners for your mistakes?
My ball landed in a divot, the course is set up poorly for my eye, he was rattling change in my backswing, etc? offers this advice before you feel blame coming on:
a. You alone are responsible for your score
b. Golf is not a fair game

3. Is Golf the New Bad Boy Sport? Do you feel you have the right to express anger on the golf course, that it is part of the game? states that anger is a choice you make. Below are several tips for handling anger on the spot from PGA Class A member Bill Bondaruk:

a. Create realistic expectations; you really shouldn't be going for the green if it's further than your natural distance or if there is trouble nearby - use a sensible approach!
b. Learn the different types of stress that brings on anger and look to nip it before it begins. Bondaruk states that everything from perfectionism to certain types of competition are anger in disguise.
c. Separate yourself from the outcome - it is just a game and you are playing it!
d. Breathe deeply, look at the larger picture and offer yourself some positive self talk - yes, you DO hit great shots!

These golf tips may not solve your anger problems on the course but may put them into better perspective. Follow the great Arnold Palmer's advice from "Ten Rules for Good Golf Etiquette":

"Throwing clubs, sulking and barking profanity make everyone uneasy. We all have our moments of frustration, but the trick is to vent in an inoffensive way. For example, I often follow a bad hole by hitting the next tee shot a little harder -- for better or worse."

Follow @Golf4Beginners on Twitter and feel free to add your non-spam comments to this golf blog!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Five Tips to Increase Your Lead When Playing With Your #Golf Buddies

Have you ever been in the lead of a golf tournament only to have it slowly slip away before your eyes with you scratching your head and wondering what happened? What about the times where golfers backed up to meet you and give YOU the chance at a win?

The leaders at the Valero Texas Open on Sunday were missing opportunities and backed up to meet Charley Hoffman but, is that just the game of golf (taking good shots with the bad) or are there mental errors stopping the win?

Patrick Reed had this to say after going up against Hoffman, "I put the pressure as much as I could on Charley. It shows he was ready to win a golf tournament, and I had way too many mistakes to close one out." Did concentrating on Charley's game and knowingly increasing pressure cause Reed's failure?

When you are in the lead do you change your game plan and become defensive to maintain your lead or do you keep playing same game that got you into the lead? Which do you think works better?

A frustrated Rory McIlroy had two leads slip away in back-to-back tournaments, at Riviera and at the WGC Cadillac Championship, going into Sunday at the later event with a three-stroke lead.

"I was leading the golf tournament with sixteen holes to play in Riviera. To not get the job done in either two of those instances is very frustrating."

Golf tournaments, at any level, are pressure cooker situations and, when you are in the lead, the pressure always increases. Many golfers may start to play safer and more defensively when they glance up at the leaderboard which, IMO, often gets them into trouble and ultimately loses the match.

Remember the former number one golfer in the world during his prime? Tiger Woods mostly maintained the same game that got him in the lead in the first place - he kept attacking the course. I believe that physical ailments and mental changes in his original plan has stopped him from greatness; the physical problems have caused Woods to swing the club differently and the mental issues, well, we know where that got him...

Golf Tips to Help Keep Your Lead When the Pressure Increases:

golf happy

1. Stay in the present moment. What is being in the moment? Wade Pearse contends, "The only thing you EVER have is RIGHT NOW. There is no such thing as the past or the future."

2. Tune out distractions and don't fall prey to mental tricks or excuses. At the WGC Cadillac Championship, Justin Rose used excuses to describe why he bogeyed the eighteenth hole...the roar of the crowd for Luke Donald, it felt "tricky coming in", etc.

3. Look, Don't Look, at the Leaderboard...? Golf is a game played alone - it's just you against the golf course. Please see number 2!

4. Don't second guess your shots ... Confidence Rules, from stepping up to the tee knowing you are going to hit a good shot to picking the right golf driver to hit that great shot.

Speaking of that next great shot, if you are holding the lead, consider playing the next shot safe instead of sorry if there are possible pitfalls.

5. Engage in positive self talk. Charley Hoffman finally said to himself at the 18th hole, "Let's finish this here. Let's not play anymore."

"Everyone knows that it is not technical ability which separates the winners from the losers in tournament golf.  It is your mind which makes the difference," states avid golfer and specialist in golf hypnosis, Roseanna Leaton.

Are you ready to win?

Join the conversation on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and feel free to comment on our Golf for Beginners blog.

photo credit: Texas Enterprise

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Three #Golf Drivers to Swing for in 2016

Every spring, I head over to the local big box golf superstore to check out the latest drivers, irons and wedges and, although I have a great set of golf clubs, it intrigues me to see if technology has improved since my last visit.

These are three of the golf drivers which I held and took a few swings with to see if I felt any difference between the 2016 models and my Callaway X2 Hot, which I LOVE.

What, in particular, was I searching for? Aerodynamics, brand name, light and comfortable to feel and to swing...a first look but not a purchasing expedition (I was getting my Vokey Spin Milled Wedge regripped and Barry's Ping Eye-2 * 7-iron head snapped off as he was taking a swing so it needed a new shaft, etc).

Golf Drivers First Look 2016

Callaway XR16 Driver1. Callaway XR16 Driver: Boeing had a hand in the design and shape of this golf club, creating a more forgiving shape and reducing air resistance.

Looks are pretty much the same as its predecessor but it has gotten a rehaul from the inside. According to Golf Tribune, Henrik Stenson raves about the Callway XR16 driver. In my opinion, from beginner to mid level amateur should be comfortable swinging this club.

2. Ping G Drivers: When I originally got my Ping Karsten irons I was also considering matching up the set with a Ping Driver. The Callaway X2 Hot fit the bill for me personally but, in the past, I have tried the Ping drivers out at Demo Days and loved them.

Ping G Series Driver

The Ping G Series is extremely lightweight, looks extremely forgiving from the get-go with that humongous head and floats like a dragonfly. Why pick a dragonfly? "PING engineers analyzed the dragonfly’s intricate wing pattern to design ultra-thin crown sections for extreme CG and maximized MOI."

Cobra King F6 Driver3.  Cobra King F6 Driver: I am not a fan of too much technology as I believe in allowing the golfer to swing the club and let the club fall into position and do its job. I must admit, however, that the weight system tuning of this Cobra King has intrigued me.

Golfers can turn the dial to a heavier weight - either for more roll or for higher ball flight with more forgiveness. I believe that, once the dial is set, however, you won't use this feature too often unless you take lessons and improve your swing.

What is the best way to decide on a new golf driver? Visit a professional instructor, let him/her see your swing and make suggestions - do you hit the ball high, do you need more forgiveness, distance?

From that point forward, do your online homework; select a few golf drivers that seem to suit your swing, visit a local store and talk to the fitters. Select three clubs, go into a hitting booth and try each golf driver for feel - before you buy make sure you can return and purchase another club just in case this driver doesn't feel the same out on the course.

Suggestions for a new driver? Let us know on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and below in the comments section of our golf blog.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Odds for Danny Willett to Win The 2016 Masters and Giveaway Winner Selected!

The 2016 Masters did NOT disappoint the fans and Jordan Spieth walked away with his dignity in spite of an unexpected implosion. Spieth is a true champion, gracious in defeat.

And, what about Danny Willett? Willett is a surprise, dark-horse pick that The Masters sports books did not expect to win and wound up shelling out quite a bit of money on fifty-to-one odds!

Congratulations to The 2016 Masters winner, Danny Willett.

Now, on to the announcement of the winner of the golf hat giveaway from Golf for Beginners and MMO Golf...

The recipient of the Official 2016 Masters Golf Hat is...

CATHY from Hope, Joy Golf.

Here is Cathy's entry which won us over:

Thanks to all who entered! Looking forward to our next giveaway!

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