Friday, October 18, 2019

Tips to Speed Up a Slow Round of Golf

Tips to Speed Up a Slow Round of GolfIf the ranger has ever told your golf group to "pick up the pace", or if you are playing with one "turtle" in the foursome, this article might just help keep you on track to a four-hour round.

In golf, there is nothing worse than being stuck behind a group with empty holes ahead of them.

Your choices are slim as to what to do - you can "play through" making the group ahead wait for you to finish or you can drive past, politely letting them know that you are skipping the hole. Neither option is ideal as it throws you off of your game, interrupts your pace and may not allow for an accurate score.

If you or your group is guilty, it can throw off your timing and pace and your round will suffer. Amateurs see this problem occurring on a regular basis but it does happen within the ranks of the PGA Tour pros as well.

A poll recently confirmed that there is a pace-of-play problem among top amateur junior golfers. Although measures are starting to be taken within the professional ranks, slow play is harder to control among average players.

Recently, Golf for Beginners offered three tips to speed up slow play on the golf course based on a recent occurrence by a tour pro. Since this hot topic is not going away any time soon, let's start by stating the pace of play rules for our readers and penalties for the infraction.

The R and A states that “The player must play without undue delay...”. The penalty for a breach of Rule 6-7 is loss of hole in match play and two strokes in stroke play, and for a repeated offense, disqualification." Depending on the number of times the infraction occurs is directly relevant to the consequences.

In addition, the R and A has come up with a possible way to monitor the infraction at the club level. "Formulate a simple condition whereby the management establishes a time limit that it considers is more than adequate for players to complete the round and/or a certain number of holes (which will vary depending on numbers in groups and form of play). In the circumstances where a group exceeds the prescribed time limit and is out of position on the course, each player in the group is subject to penalty."

Golf for Beginners offers a few tips for those who are personally guilty of slowing down the pace of play. If you are new to the game, start at a forward tee box, count your number of shots and pick up your ball and move it forward if you find yourself slowing the group.

Be considerate and you will still have fun - you will continue to learn no matter where you are on the course.

For better amateurs, the USGA suggests that golfers become, "more efficient with your valuable time, as well as everyone else’s." Make assessments before you get to your ball so you are ready to hit your shot.

Speeding up pace of play will only happen if golfers recognize the gaff and take positive action while maintaining the decorum of the game.

How do you help speed up slow play? Let us know in the comments section of this golf blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Recovering From Your Best Golf Round Ever

recovering from your best golf round
It's easy to discuss what you would do to recover from a bad round of golf but how do you follow up after your BEST round?

When you shoot a really low score in golf, do you tell anyone? Sure you probably shout "I scored a 36" from the rooftops to whoever will listen...even if they don't play golf. Subsequently, when the score is not so great, it may still go into your GHIN but without any fanfare.

So, when you shoot your best round of golf EVER, is it followed up by an equally amazing performance?

How well do you recover?

It isn't easy but Golf for Beginners has a few tips to help you become more consistent from round to round.

Although I have several 9-hole rounds in the '30s, my average 9-hole/18-hole round is in the '40s and I am regular '80s golfer. That being said, future rounds have fallen quite short of my expectations...even my husband has to give me the "what's wrong with you" stare when we play golf, making me even more self-conscious of my shortcomings.

I am getting rather good at making excuses, and the weather, being hot and extremely muggy, is actually helping my defense, even though I should be able to shake off the heat and concentrate on one shot at a time.

SportsPsychologyGolf says that, in order to shoot a low round, "it takes a hot putter, a short game that is more precise than usual, plus a modicum of luck. But it also takes smart course management, complete focus on the task at hand, and total self-composure."

Whew, sounds like a lot of things have to fall into place in order to shoot a low score...right?

How often are all of the above ingredients put together in one round, artfully blended together on the course into one "professional golfer" package"?

For the vast majority of golfers, whether beginners or strong amateurs, Golf for Beginners suggests the following tips for a quick comeback in golf:

1. Have a short memory: Where it's good to fist pump after draining a long putt, it's just as bad to keep with you that snowman you made on the previous hole.

2. Overcome Obstacles: Pressure affects everyone differently but, according to Dr. Bob Rotella, "Having control of your mind and using it properly can separate you from the competition." Instead of thinking that you will ever get the perfect score, consider that "the essence of golf is reacting well to inevitable mistakes and misfortunes." Once you understand that the challenge and fun are in overcoming obstacles on the course, you will have a much happier time and perform better.

3. GASP: Not hitting the ball well? Sometimes, you just need to go back to the basics - Grip, Alignment, Stance, and Posture. Make sure you start, and finish, in balance!

We hope that your next round of golf is your best one ever and that you follow up with equally great rounds, one shot at a time.

Follow Golf for Beginners on Twitter and feel free to comment in the section below.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

How to Be the Comeback Kid in Golf

In, the comeback kid is "a person who repeatedly demonstrates the propensity to overcome downturns or periods of bad publicity and rebound to victory or popularity." In golf, the comeback kid has been related to Tommy Fleetwood, Patrick Cantlay, and Rory McIlroy for rebounding after trying circumstances during a tournament.

After nearly five years on the European Tour without a win, Paul Casey finally broke through and has now earned the title! Rolling in two clutch birdies on the 16th and 17th holes on Sunday at the Porsche European Open secured Casey's win.

Overcoming adversity on the golf course or coming from a stroke (or more) back may be easier for the tour pros but not so simple for the average golfer.

Although not everyone has the longest drive or can make all of their GIR's (greens in regulation), golfers can learn to master the art of putting. Almost any golfer can learn to putt well to save the hole. (How many times have you breathed a huge sigh of relief after sinking a long bogey putt?)

comeback kid golf putting

Here are a few tips to help you assess your round, stop the slippage and use your putter to be the comeback kid on the golf course.

1. Visit the practice green before every round and roll a few putts to get down the speed and see the line.

2. While practicing, try to get within the "circle of trust" near the hole.

3. "Think Roll, Not Hit" - according to Dave Stockton, this mental golf tip is the key to distance control while putting. The two main thoughts surrounding putting are speed and line - you get the idea behind distance control and you are halfway to being a better putter.

Let's end this golf blog with a few statistics. Short game guru Dave Pelz states that "putting accounts for approximately 43 percent of your total strokes." Both putting and chipping account for "fifty percent of shots are hit within forty yards of the hole," according to

I will leave you with this great putting demonstration by way of Phil Mickelson on Twitter. Enjoy!

Friday, August 23, 2019

3 Tips for Golf Beginners to Speed Up Slow Play

golf beginners speed up slow playSlow play has long been an issue for golfers - although it rarely affects the offender, setting up a shot or taking too much time viewing a putt can really put a damper on your game.

In the news recently, tour players have taken it upon themselves to personally address the situation, being more vocal in their opinions on the matter.

After Bryson DeChambeau recently took two minutes and twenty seconds to find his line and putt, Brooks Koepka had a word (or two) with Bryson which resulted in an agreement and supposed compliance.

The Rules of Golf encourage "ready golf" and state that a player must play a shot "with undue delay".

READ: What rules of golf do you always follow?

Since slow play is rarely addressed by PGA Tour officials, professional golfers have taken to their podiums to drive the message home to their playing partners. While the PGA Tour deliberates,, the European Tour is taking definitive action, introducing a four-point plan to curb slow play on tour.

Golf for Beginners believes that education is the key to helping players speed up golf on the course. Here are three tips to help beginners (and all amateurs) move through a course while continuing to enjoy the experience.

1. PRE-SHOT ROUTINE: Do you have one? If not, now is the time to start - it shouldn't take you very long from the time you step up to the tee box with ball in hand until the time you fire off your shot. Confidence will be the key to your success.

2.  THINK BOX: The VISION54 Team (Lynn Marriott & Pia Nilsson) believe that you start using your instincts more - how much essential data do you really need before stepping up into the "Go" zone?

3. HOW MANY SHOTS DO YOU TAKE? For beginners, if you find you are whiffing almost every shot, why not pick up your ball and drop it closer to the hole - chip and putt instead? For shorter hitters who can move the ball forward...but not far...why not tee up from the next forward tee box? You will probably have more fun getting green-in-regulation too!

Do you have a few golf tips on how to speed up play? Post them in the comments section of this golf blog and on Twitter, tagging @Golf4Beginners.

Friday, August 09, 2019

Golf Beginners Need to Focus on These Statistics

Once beginners translate what they have learned from instructors and the driving range into practical use and actually play a golf course, it is important to track improvement.

One way to do this is through proper statistical analysis - there are a few statistics that should be tracked but this article will focus on one stat in particular.

golf beginners statistics

Although I have been practicing putting and chipping (both win tournaments), lately I have been focusing on how many greens I land on in regulation...GIR. describes the greens-in-regulation statistic as "if any part of your ball is touching the putting surface and the number of strokes taken is at least two fewer than par....your chances of making a par (or better) dramatically increase when your ball is on the putting surface versus being in the rough or a sand trap."

This description makes sense - golfers would have to add another step of chipping or bunker play, and get close to the pin, in order to try and make par as opposed to rolling putts.

Hank Haney believes, "even if you're pretty far off the green, like 20 feet or so, putting is a much better option. If you grab your putter, you're pretty much guaranteed to get it somewhere near the hole. Can you say the same about your wedge?"

For PGA Tour golfers, this statistic may or may not be as important as it is to the amateur golfer as so many tour players hone in on their target better than average players - scoring average ranks as one of their top definers on tour.

It's important to keep track of greens-in-regulation and how many putts it takes you to get the ball into the hole.

In a Golf Digest article, Lucius Riccio, Ph.D. offers a clear cut way for beginners to track both statistics. "An easy way to record GIR is to circle the hole number, or your hole score when you hit a green. At the end of the day, add the circles. For putting, simply count your total putts for the day. After a few rounds, you'll start to see how GIR and putting influence score."

TIP: Riccio says that, when counting the number of putts you make, think about this fact: "the typical 95-shooter on average takes 37 putts per round; the typical pro (shooting about 71) takes 29. To break 90, get your putts down to 34 or so. To break 80, get to 31 or 32."

So, sharpen your pencils and your irons, take notes and create statistics for game improvement and you'll see lower scores!

How many greens-in-regulation and putts do you make in a round of golf? Let us know in the comments section of this golf blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Friday, August 02, 2019

How to Control Temper Tantrums on the Golf Course

temper tantrum golf
Have you ever thrown or even broken a golf club after a few sequentially awful golf shots? Perhaps you've chucked a club into the pond or stormed off a green in disgust after three-putting from under ten feet?

Many golfers can remember a time when their bad golf shots resulted in some sort of temper tantrum ...did it help, or hurt, your round?

Sergio Garcia is, perhaps, the king of temper tantrums on the golf course. I remember years ago after he missed an easy putt, Sergio spat into the cup ...and it was captured right on TV. I wondered how Tom Lehman, the next golfer to putt, felt picking up a wet ball, not to mention if Sergio Garcia even thought about his actions on the golf course.

More recent notable infractions include Sergio's response to a poor tee shot on the 16th hole of the WGC tournament in Memphis - Garcia slammed his club into the tee box. Subsequently, at The 2019 Open, Garcia again portrayed a breach of etiquette by flipping his golf club without even looking, endangering his nearby caddie. Sergio was disqualified after admitting to bad behavior in Saudi Arabia for "serious misconduct".

Sergio Garcia's temper tantrums might cause him some grief off course as some PGA Tour are calling for the golfer to be banned from play. 

Actions always have consequences, so, even if he doesn't receive a suspension, Garcia's anger and tantrums must internally be affecting his game. What can Sergio Garcia, and amateurs who suffer from temper outbursts do to stop the madness?

Related Read: Frustration led DeChambeau to Do This on the Golf Course

Gaining control of your emotions before a round of golf starts with positive self-talk and having confidence in your game. Remember that, although golfers strive for perfection, golf is a game of recovery. Don't beat yourself up for not having a perfect shot - instead, be excited at the prospect of "the game" itself, that is, getting back into play and into the hole in the least number of strokes. You play golf against yourself, which means that you tackle both physical and emotional elements for eighteen holes.

Joan King wrote an article on the expectations we have in golf and how to manage your emotions on the course to score better and have more fun. King states, "How good you are at golf is determined by how you react to the ever-changing situations during the round, not about what you expect will happen. The more flexible you are, the more control you have."

Lastly, think about how you look to the rest of your group as you get teed they even want to invite you out for another round?

Your thoughts are welcomed in the comments section of this golf blog and tag us on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.