Thursday, July 19, 2018

5 Unique Golf Facts About The Open

The Open Championship logo
The 2018 Open Championship will be hosted at Carnoustie, not far from St. Andrews which is considered by some to be the home of golf.

Most fans of the sport know golf facts but how many of us are aware of these tidbits?

Golf for Beginners presents five interesting, and unique, facts about The Open Championship.

1. Jordan Spieth will defend his win but, did you know that Gary Player is the only golfer to have won The Open in three different decades (1959, '68, and 1974)?

2. Jordan Spieth's win was exciting but now it is bittersweet - tradition dictates that he (as well as all winners of The Open) must return the Claret Jug before The 2018 Open starts - Spieth said,
"The traditions of The Open are very special, even if you’re on the wrong end of that one. It’s the coolest trophy that our sport has to offer, so having to return that was certainly difficult. Kind of hit me a little bit there on the tee box."
3. The Claret Jug given to the winner of The Open is a replica. The original was mistakenly given to Tom Watson in 1982.

4. Harry Vardon is the golfer with the most British Open wins - six in total, while Bobby Jones and Tiger Woods each have three wins under their belts. Vardon is also the inventor of the overlapping grip, used today by many golfers!

5. The winner of the 2018 British Open will receive almost two million dollars in prize money.

Have more British Open facts to add to this list? Feel free to add to the comments section of this golf blog or tag us on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Logo By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use,

Friday, July 13, 2018

Three Golf Tips to Keep Your Attitude in Check

golfer sitting on green
When your golf game is losing steam, how do you adjust your attitude to compensate for the downward spiral?

Golf for Beginners has a few golf tips to keep you in the groove.

The average golfer has both good and bad rounds...and so do professionals on Tour. Where it may be easier for a Tour player to bring their minds back from double bogeys, it isn't as easy for the rest of us.

I have my bad days as well, and I play golf with a youth who shares the same dilemma so I recently asked Dale Ketola, the professional golf instructor from Grande Dunes Golf Performance Center, how to handle the pressure when having a bad round of golf.

His answer? Keep a "poker face" throughout your round.

Need help with this? Watch the tour professionals. No matter how their round goes, their expression rarely changes. Try to maintain a poker face, no matter what the situation - no highs, no lows. I am curious to see how many of our readers can successfully sustain this type of composure!

Another golf tip (not suggested by Dale):

When your golf game is carding doubles, step up to your ball and try to remember the last time you hit a similar good shot - visualization is one of the main keys to hitting solid shots.

Dr. Bob Rotella, in a Golf Digest article, suggested this third golf tip which, if you can do it, will help you whether you play a good or not so good round.

Don't think about the result...instead, think of the process during your round.

Process goals, according to Rotella include:
Executing your pre-shot routine on every shot.
Trusting your swing on every shot.
Staying in the present, which boils down to...not thinking about what your score might be and taking each shot as it comes.

Golf for Beginners is not stating that, if you follow these three golf tips that your rounds will miraculously improve but we believe that you will be able to move forward in your study and appreciation of the game and not focus too much on negativity when your attitude takes over.

Golf tips are welcome in the comments section of this blog. Tag Golf4Beginners on Twitter with your comments.

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi from Pexels

Friday, July 06, 2018

Is Winning or Losing in Golf in the Putting?

golf putting tips
Two golf tournaments ran simultaneously recently, the Quicken Loans National and the U.S. Senior Open - for both winners, it all boiled down to putting skills.

Both Francesco Molinari and David Toms were rolling phenomenal putts; Molinari's 50-footer for eagle at the 10th hole made putting look easy.

The AP article on PGA Tour website said about Toms, "On a course where the greens perplexed the entire field for four straight days, Toms rolled in a 15-footer for a go-ahead birdie on No. 16, then coaxed in a downhill, 20-foot slider to save par after driving into a fairway bunker on the 530-yard, par-4 17th." 

In a previous Golf for Beginners blog, we discussed Golf Shots You Need To Practice to Score Low; golf gurus such as Ben Hogan thought the tee shot was the most important while "PGAProfessional " thought that putting was of top priority. After both tournaments, I think we can concur that, without a solid putting game, most golfers can not score low.

Using Tiger Woods' performance at The National as an example, although a tie for 4th place is worthy of accolades, his inconsistent putting game is what stopped him from gaining just can't miss four-footers! As Tiger concurred after his defeat, "Those are things I can't afford to do and expect to win a golf tournament."

David Toms is 5th in putting average on the Champions Tour with a 1.734 putting average while Molinari's putts per greens-in-regulation are at 1.8...similar statistics gaining similar results although, as GolfWorld states, "putting has kept him from raising a few trophies in America previously", further provides evidence that it is the flat stick which wins tournaments.

So, how can the average player putt to win against his or her mates? Golf for Beginners have a few putting tips:

In the blog, "Easy Golf Tips to Inspire Confidence on the Putting Green", the one golf tip which resonates is that "touch is one thing very good putters have in common. Touch is the core ingredient for long-term success."

And, as a simple reminder from Tom Watson's book "Getting Up and Down", "Aim the putter, then align your body. Just like a golfer sets up at the tee box, the same is true when standing over a putt. Proper set-up is the beginning of a solid putt."

We encourage you to add to golf putting tips in the comments section below and tag us with your tips on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Photo by tyler hendy from Pexels

Thursday, June 28, 2018

10 Tips for Playing Golf in the Summer Heat

tips for playing golf in the summer heatThe dog days of summer have arrived and, if you are as passionate about the sport as I am, you will be out on the golf course no matter how hot it gets!

Whether you are a beginner to the game or a die-hard amateur, you need to remember to bring the essentials with you so that the round doesn't become a harrowing experience.

Golf for Beginners has compiled are a few tips for playing golf in the summer heat. Review this checklist before your next round:

1. Hydrate! Freeze a bottle of water - it will usually last for the round.
2. Stash extra gloves for perspiration.
3. Sunscreen: How many times have you gotten beet red because you forgot to apply SPF?
Consumer Reports advises sun worshippers to apply sunscreen before bug spray, letting it absorb into the skin and then spray on a separate bug killer - try not to use a combination spray as you will need to reapply the sunscreen but not necessarily the bug spray.
4. Bug Spray: There is nothing worse than a swarming bunch of no-see-ums pinching at your skin as you are trying to make your 150-yard approach shot to the green. Look for a sunscreen that provides you with enough protection so that you are not constantly reapplying it.
5. Sunglasses: Blinding sunlight can have an impact on your eyes, causing blurriness - even if you take them off to look at the dimples on your golf ball, put them back on when walking or riding around in the golf cart.
6. Face towel - place a frozen, wet towel in a baggie and wipe down your face often. When the towel gets warm, refresh with ice at the turn.
7. Hat: Always bring along a hat with visor - the hat protects your skin and the visor protects your eyes.
8. Golf Clothing: Wear moisture-wicking materials which breathe and stay away from black and dark colors as they absorb heat (basic science - white and lighter colors reflect light and heat, dark colors absorb heat).
9. Find Shade: When you are waiting for your turn at the tee box, find a spot of shade to stand in - you will be amazed at how cool you are when approaching your shot.
10. Try for an early morning tee time. It's cooler during AM hours, so why not have an early morning cup of joe and enjoy the sunrise!

Have a golf tip you would like to add to our list of summer heat quenchers? List it in the comments section of this golf blog or tag us on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Three Golf Lessons Learned from U.S. Open Mistakes

2018 U.S. Open logo
For those fans who stayed glued to their television sets during the 118th U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, the golf tournament proved exciting with lessons to be learned...if you paid attention!

Professional golfers make errors, albeit fewer than the average player; ball striking is much crisper but nerves can still wreak havoc, with golfers dropping like flies down the home stretch.

Brooks Koepka kept his cool throughout the U.S. Open and, although he physically played golf better than the pack, it was his mental strength which led him to victory, which leads this week's Golf for Beginners blog to the three lessons learned from U.S. Open mistakes.

1. Golf Tip #1: Don't let nerves get the best of you.

There weren't enough deep breaths to be had as Tony Finau, Patrick Reed and even Koepka (on 18) yanked shots and  3-putted down the back nine on Sunday. A steady mind won the U.S. Open for Koepka.

2. Golf Tip #2: Don't let the round get away from you.

Not caring how the hole will turn out when you are spiraling into double or triple bogey territory is probably one of the worst ways to play a round of golf. Take time with your golf shots, make each shot count and stop the bleeding. Move on after a bad hole and make each hole its own adventure.

Case in point - Phil Mickelson striking his ball on the green while it was rolling - bad and good move - he knew that he was going to score high so he stopped the bleeding but, did he really care about his round after his two-stroke penalty? Phil finished his Saturday round with an 81...good for most amateurs but bad for one of the top players in the world.

3. Golf Tip #3: Take responsibility for your round.

It's not the course, it's not the's YOU! Yes, even at Shinnecock Hills...
Once you stop criticizing, stop the negative self-talk and replace it with positive comments, your round will improve. An angry golfer makes mistakes. Your entire group is playing in the same with it.

Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello tweeted after a 76, "It was not a fair test of golf. Greens were unplayable, with unnecessary pin positions. USGA found a way to make us look like fools on the golf course. A pity they managed to destroy a beautiful golf course."

Best advice for a golfer facing problems during his or her round?

Stay focused in the present and stay flexible in case of surprises...that's golf!

What lessons did you learn from the 2018 U.S. Open? Comments welcome below and tag us with your thoughts on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.


Friday, June 15, 2018

Golf Tips for Warming Up and Increasing Power If You Have an Injury

golf tips for warming up to prevent injuryThere are a plethora of golf tips floating around on the internet - some are worthy of a read and others, well, they can be a bit ridiculous... and put you into positions that can really hurt you!

This week, Golf for Beginners has found a few, simple golf tips that shouldn't cause golf injuries during practice and should help better prepare you for course play.

Golfworld has reported that PGA Tour injuries are on the rise, from back and spine problems to sore wrists, hips, and knees; why are these injuries becoming more commonplace?

When you watch Tiger Woods swing a golf club, you will see that his motions are not necessarily natural - these sustained actions over time have forced Woods to have an orthopedist on-hand for multiple surgeries. His recent comment during the pre- U.S. Open press conference says it all, "I had no expectation or thought that I actually could be here again...It was about my standard of life, forget golf...".

Warming up before practice and before a round of golf can greatly reduce injury and allow you to swing more smoothly.  The Mayo Clinic advises that taking just ten minutes to limber up with "a brisk walk or jumping jacks" will help prepare you, as well as stretching hands, spine, shoulders, pelvis, and legs before you try to take any swing...yes, even before chipping and putting.

Another important warm-up to add to your routine, if you do not already do it, is to swing your golf club a few times at a slow, easy speed to loosen up as well as encourage proper motion.

Even if you have been previously injured, there are ways to increase power in your golf swing.

An article in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) maintains that there are ways to enhance performance through proper training programs. Physical therapist, Erik P. Meira, found that "injuries may be associated with lack of warm-up, poor trunk flexibility and strength, faulty swing technique, and overuse."

In order to combat injury, Meira suggests simple fixes to not further damage already tender areas. One common sense idea is, f you carry your bag and have a shoulder injury, take a cart instead.

As for increasing power, "a warm-up of windmills, trunk twists, static stretching, and air swings with a club for 7 weeks increased the golfers’ clubhead speed by 24% when compared with that of the control group."

Older folks benefitted from "flexibility, core stability, balance, and basic resistance exercises."

Play it safe when going out onto the golf course or when practicing your swing. Don't overswing, stretch before a round and get out and exercise on a regular basis to keep your body strong and limber. Remember, golf is a game but it is also a sport!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Golf for Beginners is not saying that you won't get injured during practice; the simple tips above can help your warm-up routine but should not be tried if you have an injury if you are ill or have any physical issues - ALWAYS consult a qualified doctor, professional or golf instructor before taking any risks or playing a sport.

Give us your golf tips for warming up and increasing energy either below, in the comments section of this golf blog or on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.