Wednesday, June 22, 2016

What Golfers Can Learn from Dustin Johnson at the U.S. Open #golf

Dustin Johnson and the U.S. Open - two names that will be forever paired on tongues whenever there is a mention of winning golf majors in dramatic fashion, do you agree? D.J. left nothing to chance, topping his finish with an 18th hole birdie, in spite of a questionable USGA ruling.

2016 US Open logoIt is because of this exciting win that Golf for Beginners has written this blog about what the average golfer can learn from Dustin Johnson and his conquest over Oakmont Golf Course.

What positive mental thoughts can you take away from Dustin Johnson's win at the U.S. Open?

1. Persevere in spite of obstacles and surrounding drama.
2. Don't carry the monkey on your back. Put whatever negative thoughts you may have out of your mind until the end of your round -stay focused on each shot.
3. Look forward. Learn how to scramble when you're in trouble because when you hit those inevitable bad shots, you need to know how to advance the ball.
4. Know the Rules of Golf: Stay aware and be cautious where you may commit a penalty - in 2010 for example, DJ grounded his club in a bunker.
5. Putting IS Everything: You can be "Really proud of the way you hit the ball," as DJ stated at the 2015 U.S. Open but if the putts are not dropping into the hole, your score won't reflect it. Make sure that, when you are playing golf with your foursome, you take the time to learn how to get within that three-foot circle of trust with long putts and to drop those two and three-footers instead of taking an easy "gimmee".

Also, Try these 3 golf swing thoughts...

"If I rolled the putter halfway decent today, which I did roll it well, just any putts go in the hole, I win this thing by a few shots, it's not even close. It's just how it goes," said Dustin.Johnson at Chambers Bay. This year, DJ putted beautifully, finishing on 18 with a putt for putting determines everything, as confirmed by the PGA!

What did YOU learn from the Dustin Johnson and players at the U.S. Open? Share your thoughts in the comments section of this golf blog and on Twitter using our handle @Golf4Beginners.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

What Are The Top Three Rules of #Golf You Always Follow?

Do You Always Follow The Rules of Golf or, as in the game of Monopoly, do you sometimes make up your own?

Most golfers lie somewhere in the gray area of the sport and, for beginners in particular, golf is more recreational than competitive. Newbies, for example, are more concerned with getting the golf ball airborne than figuring out the nearest point of relief...and that's fine until you learn the game.

It's your game, play anyway you like, just don't boast about your score...unless, of course, you follow the Rules.

QUESTION: How many golfers reading this blog carry in their bag the Rules of Golf book?

Okay, quickly rummage through your golf bag...snack bar (check), divot repair tool (check), bag of tees (check)....Rules of Golf book? Hmm...

Why you find it too cumbersome to carry and, if need be, to open the book to find the correct ruling at the time of infraction?

Why do we need to follow the rules's just a may ask.

The rules were designed by the USGA (and R&A) for everyone so that you can develop an accurate handicap, allowing golfers to play with other players regardless of skill order to be on an equal footing.

I am sure you have come across those players who bend/break the rules for their benefit (and I'm not talking about beginners - we'll give them a break for the purposes of this article - also, I guess it's okay if everyone in the group decides to play a friendly, non competitive match as there as separate rules for recreational golf.

The question of Sportsmanship and The Rules of Golf has also come up previously on the LPGA Tour and has been answered previously by Golf for Beginners - click the above link for the answer.

Have you seen these rule breakers in any of your rounds?
- Ball kicking to offer a better lie (in more ways than one!).
- Giving up on a hole and taking a double instead of a ... 19?
- Finding the wrong ball in the woods and claiming it for play.
- Not putting the ball into the cup as the first putt sails six feet past and then knocking the ball loosely   with one hand - whether or not it drops in in the hole it is counted (a great score-saver).
- Playing Mulligans all day long - hit a ball, don't like it, hit another and the first one doesn't count      throughout the round.
- Boast about your low score at the 19th hole.

Rules of Golf in Plain EnglishWell, just in case you don't follow the rules because you don't understand them, you are now in luck. The fourth edition of The Rules of Golf in Plain English has just been published so, no more excuses.

According to the book notes on Amazon, "The earliest standards for the game of golf included just three hundred thirty eight words and thirteen rules, which included what to do if your ball had the misfortune of falling into “watery filth” and how to proceed if your ball was stopped by a horse."

Additions to the Rules now has grown the book to over forty-thousand wonder golfers don't read them!

Golf for Beginners believes you should always follow the rules of any sport.
If you don't have the book of rules handy, here are three rules we believe you should always follow:
- Count every stroke and penalty so that you can track your improvement in the game.
- Play the ball as it lies
- Maintain proper etiquette throughout - no matter what you come up against - during your round.

We believe that the rules add to the enjoyment of the game for yourself and your playing partners. Start today if you are a beginner golfer and, if you are an advanced player, know that playing by the rules is as important as getting that golf ball airborne!

What are the most important rules of golf which you always follow? IF you could change one rule, what would it be?

Let us know in the comments section of this golf blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

What Are Your Odds of Making a Hole in One? #golf

To make a hole-in-one is the desire for all golfers. Although professionals with pinpoint accuracy like Rickie Fowler have a better chance of making an ace, when the average player drops a ball into the bottom of the cup on the first stroke, the feeling is euphoric!

Statistics state that the likelihood of the amateur golfer ever getting a hole-in-one is very slim - "a tee shot hit by an amateur golfer on a par-3 goes into the hole one out of every 12,750 times", according to Golf Digest and the National Hole in One Registry. Professional golfers obviously have a better chance of scoring an ace; the odds are 2,500 to 1.

That being said, I am proud to announce that my first hole-in-one was recorded on Friday, June 3, 2016 and have joined the ranks of the elite! Yes, I did save the golf ball for display and yes, there was a celebration at the 19th hole!

Stacy Solomon hole in one golfWhat Should You Do if You Get a Hole-in-One?
- Check to make sure that the ball in the hole is, indeed, your golf ball!
- Fist pumps and high-fives are welcomed at this time.
- Have camera ready to record the historic occasion.
- Make sure that you sign your scorecard and that whoever else witnessed the hole-in-one also attests to the ace.
- Remove the golf ball from play - you may want to display it for posterity's sake.
- Register your hole-in-one with the official United States Golf Register (which I just completed) or with the National Hole-in-One Registry.

Have you gotten an ACE? Share your story below in the comments section of our Golf for Beginners blog, on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and LIKE on my Facebook page (above).

Read: What the Golf Bug Does to Your Game.

photo: Stacy Solomon - Golf for Beginners

Thursday, June 02, 2016

What the #Golf Bug Does to Your Game

Jordan Spieth caught the golf bug as a youngster watching the Byron Nelson tournament live in his hometown. Phil Mickelson's father helped spark a love of the game and watching Tiger Woods on television helped inspire practice with success on the course for Jason Day.

How did you catch the golf bug...from a family member, friend or, perhaps, by tuning into a Shell's Wonderful World of Golf as a kid? For me, it was my husband's doing - after I questioned him a bit about the game, he purchased a set of golf clubs off of the internet and brought both the clubs and me to a qualified instructor saying, "here, you teach her." This was one of the best things he ever did for me...the game has improved my life in so many ways.

If You Are Reading This Blog, You Probably Have The Golf Bug in a Big Way. If you use golf terminology on and off of the golf course and can name every golf club in your bag (including shaft), if your swing thoughts break into the middle of a conversation, if you are passionate and obsessive when talking about your game, you've caught it.

Do you listen attentively when golfers offer advice to each other? When pros give golf tips, do you pull out pen and paper to take note and watch drill videos from golfers like Jordan Spieth and Bubba Watson with the hopes of gripping and ripping it with ease?

golfer at sunsetFor beginners, catching the golf bug is the incommunicable moment which comes from hitting that one shot which takes off; tempo is effortless, swing is easy-breezy and belt buckle points at the target ...all with a flourish. You say to yourself, "I can do this!"

As you progress as an amateur, the golf bug transforms itself - you want to know more - you learn the basics of swing, hit several shots in succession which don't dribble down the fairway and even begin to place shots in the areas which your mind visualizes. When you hit that one shot which you saw a pro hit on television and it goes in the hole for birdie or're hooked for good.

You may or may not want to immediately step out onto a golf course - it took me over a year to make the transition from driving range to evening, nine-hole rounds - this period gave me time to practice and improve upon the basics but you might be in a hurry to test your soundness on the course.

The golf bug is no ordinary virus - it transforms itself over time. You go from learning about hitting shots to shot-shaping, you want to improve so you begin to consider not just aiming and shooting but course management to avoid trouble.

playing golf

For those golfers who have taken this journey and have years of study under their collective belts, the golf bug may take on an entirely new dimension. Where you previously might have been watching You Tube videos on grip, stance, alignment and the forty-yard flop shot, you might now be watching more technical directions.

Professional golfers share their drills and tips with the public to show that even amateurs, with a little practice and if they follow specific directions, can become the next Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson or even Arnold Palmer.

After Jordan Spieth's win at the Colonial, Golf Digest quickly came out with an instructional video from his swing coach, Cameron McCormick. The "Heart Array" teaches amateurs the art of shaping the ball using three different trajectories.You'll notice at the beginning of the video, even Spieth has a little trouble getting out exactly how he wants to teach people his method.

Yes, as the golf bug takes hold, it never lets go. The quest to get better is endless - the bug keeps you adapting to new conditions and ever challenging keeps your mind fresh and your body healthy. Keep feeding the golf bug and sharing its strong grip so that it grows and thrives within other hosts and helps continue to grow the game.

Have you given the golf bug to anyone - have you received the golf bug from someone? Share your story in the comments section of our golf blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Tweet this blog… Your followers will thank you!


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Try These Three #Golf Swing Thoughts

Golfers are going to be out in droves this Memorial Day Weekend; some have only pulled out their sticks a few times this season while others have been playing for months. There will be those golfers out purely for the enjoyment of the weather and there will be competitive players seeking the win. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned golfer, consider taking away these swing thoughts for use during your round.

1. Try not to fill your head with swing thoughts! Pick only one or two during the round and stick with them. My latest swing thought is to keep my elbows connected losing that dreaded "flying elbow" that has recently crept its way into my swing. Adam Scott agrees stating, "Whatever I'm working on, I like to keep one swing thought in my head when I'm on the course. Keeping it simple helped me at the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston last year."

2. Are you trying to regain composure after a blow-up hole? What's next, you think...another bad shot? Thoughts like this will have you spiraling downward, spewing curse words and throwing your golf clubs into a retention pond! Instead, think about the "C" word...Confidence.  Remember that one or two shots will not ruin your round, that you have hit good shots in the past and focus on the next shot instead of dwelling on something that is already past.

Read these Golf Tips to Improve Your Game from Tee to Green.

Look at the Positives of a Golf Hole: In his video, Dave Marsh says that most players look down a par-five and immediately notice the trouble; the patch of grass or the bunker that they have to fly over...don't be that guy! Instead, when you step onto the tee box, look down the fairway and "pick three things you really like about the hole," and where you are going to place that golf ball.

A negative approach will almost always lead to some type of golf course meltdown so take each shot and hole as its own adventure, remain positive and look for a way out of trouble. Follow the words of Bob Rotella'sbook cover which says, "Golf is Not a Game of Perfect."

Which swing thoughts have helped improve your golf game and outlook on the course? Let us know below in our golf blog comments section and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners!

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.