Thursday, May 18, 2017

Do You Play #Golf to Win?

Scenario: You're behind by two strokes, nearing the end a very important golf tournament, and your ball is not sitting in the best position to go for the green. Your nearest competitor has not bogeyed all day long and appears to be in good shape. What is your next move?

golf ball question markDo you:

a) play it safe
b) play to win

This was the dilemma for Ian Poulter as he debated his next move while 21-year-old Si Woo Kim stood ready on the fairway to increase his lead on a par-5 at the 2017 Players Championship.

Poulter decided to play it safe, protecting 2nd place money and his world ranking. After the tournament and his decision had been made, Poulter received criticism from a Golf Channel commentator, calling the move "the worst shot of the day."

Was it though? 

Chamblee, the commentator in question, clarified his statement to include that it was, indeed, a "fine shot" and, although it "didn't cost himself any money, didn't cost him any world ranking points", Poulter "clearly did not play to win".

According to, the hardest shot to hit under pressure is...the layup. "It won't get any votes for Shot of the Year" but it could make the difference in the shots that follow. A study in favor of opposing side, that is, playing aggressively in a tight squeeze, was published by Edmund M. Balsdon in the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports. He argues that "pros should start playing more aggressive under pressure because tournament purses are heavily skewed in favor of the winner."
Tweet: Play Golf to Win Each Week with Golf For Beginners Blog:
Of course, we don't play at that level but most of us do like to compete and beat our friends.

So, do you play safe and wait for your competitor to make an error (which happens a lot at our level of play) or go for the low percentage shot and, possibly, the win if you make a great shot?

I guess it depends on how well you are hitting the ball that day. Two thoughts to consider before making that decision during play:

- If you've been making most of your shots and your confidence is high, then go for it!

- If you have been scrambling all day, on the other hand, then you should play it safe.

Good luck out there!

Have you played it safe when your mind said, "Go for it?" Let us know your story below in the comments section of this Golf for Beginners blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Easy Solutions for #Golf Course Errors

Another blooper off the tee, one more golf green not made in regulation... you know you are doing something wrong can you fix these problems?

First, identify your issues. Place them on a list like the one I have created below. Most errors are easily avoidable and solvable. Here is our list of a few of the more common amateur golf mistakes:

Duffing off the tee
Slicing or hooking your shots
Not reaching your goals
Golf Ball flying past where intended
Playing the wrong ball
Not knowing the Rules

Solutions for most of the above issues are rather simple and some have nothing to do with on-course management. The tips below should help you start your round off on the right foot (so to speak).

Stretch Before a Round: A few stretches before you get to the first tee will help loosen you up for the next eighteen holes.
Practice: Just a few minutes of chipping and putting on the practice green can help you line up your putts and get a feel for the speed of the green and for the clubs you are about to use.
Boost: Keep Energized During the Round: Make sure you bring along a healthy snack.
Lessen your Load: If you are carrying your bag, be sure to remove extras that could weigh you down.

As for the on-course issues, some can be solved with simple practice. One of my earliest New York instructors once told me to remember the basics of G.A.S.P. (Grip, Alignment, Stance and Posture).

He said to, "remember this simple acronym when you practice and put it into play on the course." It is something I have never forgotten and continue to use to this day. Gripping too tight causes tension in your swing and we know how that single behavior can affect your entire round!

With relation to not reaching your goal or flying past your goal, that is most probably solved on the driving range by getting to know your club distances and including variables, such as the wind, as you make your club decision. Also, if you know your driver is not working well for you today, use a 3-wood instead. Golf is a thinking man's game so use your brain and your body to make the most of your round.

Lastly, for this blog, and with relation to The Rules...knowing the basics or, at the very least, keeping a rules book at the ready, can help you to make up strokes. Know the penalties so you can correctly score.

All of the above mistakes are curable are costly yet avoidable. Which golf course errors do you make on a regular basis? Share with us below on this golf blog and on our Golf4Beginners Twitter page.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Golf Tips to Help You Improve Lag Putt Percentages

Probably one of the most important golf tips we can offer on Golf for Beginners has to do with putting.

Dave Pelz said that the "make percentage" of PGA Tour players averages just over twenty-nine putts per round compared with twenty to thirty handicappers who average a staggering thirty-five and more putts per round! Knowing this one simple stat makes you really want to work on your short game.

Golfers know that it is extremely important NOT to choke on those easy three-footers, but it is crucial to learn the art of lag putting to get the average player into the "circle of trust".

lag putting

Move that little white ball safely into the hole in the least number of strokes and your score will drop.

In his recent Golf Digest article, "4 Shots You Need to Win at Augusta (and Anywhere)", Brooks Koepka notes that a "tricky lag" was needed during The Masters in order to compensate for the speed and swing on the greens although the short putts were equally as treacherous.
"Nowhere else do you see four-footers that break three cups. You have to hit the short ones with authority, but to even get those, your lag putting needs to be dialed in," noted Koepka.
This week, Golf for Beginners has put together a few easy golf tips and drills to avoid posting those nasty three-putts to your scorecard. If, as Pelz states, "PGA Tour pros three-putt an average of 2.4 times—per event," you can imagine how many strokes the average player is throwing away!

- If you are the type of golfer who always seems to lag the ball short of the hole, Dave Pelz suggests putting with a chipping stroke. "Add a little wrist hinge both back and through. Again, this will help you avoid hitting the ball too softly and coming up short."

- Bradenton Country Club’s Head Pro, Brian Lake, says that "feel" is overrated. "You’ll learn distance control faster, applying science."

"If you play just by feel, it takes you three times longer to finally teach your brain what those distances are,”  Lake states. The science behind the tip is, for every one inch you swing your putter behind and forward of the ball, the ball is going to roll approximately one foot. If you swing your putter two inches back then two inches forward, the ball should travel approximately two feet, and so on.

Golf for Beginners certainly doesn't want to overwhelm players so, since these two tips are easy to remember, try them the next time you practice your putting and let us know how these putting drills worked for you in our golf blog comments section below or on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Latest #Golf Club Fitting and Thought-Sensing Instruction Technology

As you drift aimlessly through your local golf superstore, how many times have you been tempted by the latest driver or irons? I'll bet it's every time the "eye candy" catches your attention. First thing you do is grab the club and head over to the hitting booth to try it out. 

Most golfers are guilty of the "grab and go", thinking that the golf club which you swung great in the store will serve equally up-to-par on the course. You then find out that it's just not the same converting a golf club from net practice to course use.

What essential piece of the puzzle did you miss out on?  The Golf Club FITTING!

Golf for Beginners has written several articles about the benefits of custom golf club fitting and, this being the start of a new season we would, once again, like to emphasize the importance to all level of golfer, in order to maximize your experience on the course.

There are different ways to get to the same end in a golf club fitting; for the most part, professionals use an indoor booth and software that allows them to see how you hit the ball - the trajectory, distance etc. There is one problem with that are looking at a screen and only imagining the outcome.

I recently met with Dale Ketola, Director of Instruction and Golf Fitting for the newly opened Grande Dunes Golf Performance Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (on behalf of

This golf instruction and club fitting center is unlike any I have seen. Why? I'm glad you asked! Watch my short Facebook Live interview with Dale, (see below).

Dale uses the latest technology, including swing comparison V1 software for instruction and Flightscope® with doppler radar to track the golf ball in flight - offering real life results.

Ah, but Dale has one special trick up his golf shirt sleeve; you can see the ball flight outdoors! I am sure there are other golf-fitting centers cross-country which utilize this tech but here, in Myrtle Beach, it's the first of its kind.

Now onto the science-fiction-fact portion of this exciting new tech breakthrough, on the order of mind-reading, is a thought-sensing headset Dale uses to aid in visualization called FocusBand©. Worn like a headband, FocusBand©, measures your subconcious thoughts before, during and after your shot. Wonder if we can use that to enhance our personal relationships?

Dale's thoughts on FocusBand©, “It's pretty cool and really works. I don't know of anyone else in the Carolinas who has one.”

Want to check out the new golf technology first-hand? Listen to the end of the Facebook video for Dale's cell-phone number and email address and tell him Stacy sent you!

Have you tried Flightscope® or FocusBand©? Let us know in the comments section of this golf blog and tweet us @Golf4Beginners.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Say Ahh to Aching Golf Feet with New Massaging Flip Flops

Today was a great time to receive my new ahhsoles in the mail! I just finished a round of golf at Burning Ridge Golf Club and, although my Footjoys are amazingly comfortable, for me there is nothing quite like slipping off the golf shoes and putting on a pair of flip-flops.

Most golf shoes come out of the box ready for wear but there is usually a breaking-in period; it takes a bit of time to soften them up! Players could use a bit of a "massage" after a round.

If you find yourself rubbing your feet after taking off your shoes or, if you are a die-hard flip-flop fan as I am, a pair of these "peculiar" toe-wiggling, ripple or massaging open-toed, soothing sandals may be just what your tootsies need.

I received two pair of ahhsoles - one had a foot bed made of cushioned "grass" and the other pair had ridges built into the foot bed for a massaging feel. I quickly tried on both pair and chose the Green Coral...all I could say was ahhh, perfectly named! The flip-flops are spongy and tingly - the fake grass sole is soft and cushiony - I happily wore them all afternoon.

Ahhsoles Green Coral Flip flops

The second pair of ahhsoles had a "ripple" effect on the bottom of my feet. I get the idea of the knobs providing my feet with a massage but am still trying to understand the sensation; the pads felt a little hard on my soles. I found myself continually gravitating to the Seagrass Model (above) so I am happy to report that I found a new, after-golf, pair of flip-flops to keep in my car right next to my set of golf clubs.

The ahhsoles tagline on their site says that these flip-flops are "offensively comfortable"; quite frankly, I find nothing "offensive about them. The styling is Gen Y/ Millennial - the colors are bright and refreshing and would also be great to take with you on a beach vacation!

Thanks to Ahhsoles for sending me the flip-flops for review; opinions are my own.

Have you tried ahhsoles? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section of Golf for Beginners blog and send us a tweet @Golf4Beginners.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Sergio Garcia Wins Masters - Golf Hat Giveaway Winner Announced

The 2017 Masters did NOT disappoint the fans as we witnessed a tremendous major win by Sergio Garcia. Justin Rose walked away with his dignity and cheering from the fans in his post-round interview with Dottie Pepper. Both golfers are true champions, in my opinion, as it took a playoff to come to a conclusion worthy of the Masters!

News feeds are abuzz with Sergio's win, from an awesome save on thirteen to a putter which turned hot on the 15th hole ...and let's not forget how this win happened to fall on Seve Ballesteros' birthday.

Congratulations to the 2017 Masters Winner, Sergio Garcia. Could this be the start of his Grand Slam season?

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

The recipient of the Official 2017 Masters Golf Hat is...

RICHARD from @RuchalaGolf.

Here is Richard's entry which won us over - thanks for entering the Giveaway. We thank you for your service to our great Country!

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

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