Thursday, June 15, 2017

What Can Video Analysis Do for Your Golf Swing?

Scenario: Inconsistency once again rears its ugly head in your golf swing and you chunk, thin it and watch as your shots fly off in all directions. You think this anomaly will solve itself over time but it only gets worse.

What is the first step to a cure? A video analysis of your golf swing!

Yes, I am guilty of not taking regular golf instruction to keep me on track but, after a recent lesson at the Grande Dunes Golf Performance Center in Myrtle Beach, I realize that my swing won't fix itself.

Instructors like Dale Ketola are awesome without using technology to guide them, but their skills are amplified with software such as V1.

The software can show a hitch or improper plane angle with front or side views, allowing the teacher to give you the proper method of solving the issue(s). The student also benefits because he or she gets to watch the swing over and over again, with analysis from the teacher.

In my previous blog, my video golf lesson using my irons showed that not only was my head in front of the ball but I was turning my body to look at the target, thus pulling my shots. Dale offered me an easy fix which I have been working on at the driving range.

Next was an analysis of my driver swing which, I am happy to report, is excellent and right on plane!

Even though I swing my driver well, Dale offered me a tip or two to improve my position even further (watch the video below for golf tips of view Rate My Golf Driver Swing on


Don't forget the importance of having a driver fit correctly for your golf swing - if you visit the Myrtle Beach area, ask Dale for help with this as well!

Do you regularly take golf lessons? Let us know the benefits you received below, on this golf blog, and tag us on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Why You Need an Instructor to Video Your Golf Swing

Stacy Solomon golf swing
Have you been pushing/pulling/chunking your golf shots?

Are you out of sync?

If you are nodding your head in agreement, and, if you are starting a list with your own issues, the next question comes as no surprise...

When was the last time you took a lesson from a qualified professional golf instructor?

Chances are you can't remember but, if you can, you probably came away with a much stronger game. I know I did!

I knew something was amiss with my golf swing; although my ball contact is good, my shots were inconsistent - left, right, left, right...I was playing military golf!

With the latest golf technology at their fingertips, PGA Instructors can identify, show you your flaws and help you to correct them. You will also be able to view the lesson online afterward so, when you hit the driving range, you will remember what you need to practice.

I recently received a lesson from Dale Ketola, PGA, Director of Instruction at the brand, new Grande Dunes Golf Performance Center. Dale has all of the latest technology and my mouth was watering just thinking about using that V1 Software, Flightscope...Focus Band...

Below is a video of my golf swing using an 8-iron. I will place the swing video using my driver in next week's blog but, suffice it to say, Dale had only good things to say about it.

If you cannot view my golf swing video on this blog, click here: IRON SWING 1:

I was able to view my swing and Dale compared me with Paula Creamer (and with a similar outfit!) showed me what I was doing wrong and how to correct it right on the screen.

If you are guilty of relying on your husband (or buddies) at the driving range to help when you have a problem, "Hey, take a look at me and see what I'm doing wrong", stop NOW and take one of these lessons!

I am currently working on correcting these flaws which have quietly crept into my golf swing:

1. Head in front of the ball.
2. Open stance - Turning my body to look at my target.

After my lesson with Dale, Barry and I played nine holes at Myrtlewood Pinehills golf course and, guess what! I scored nine shots lower than the previous week...and without even having a chance to practice what I learned!

Thanks to Dale Ketola and the Grande Dunes Golf Performance Center for the instruction. After I practice eradicating the swing flaws shown to me, I will be back for another lesson. I hope to try the Focus Band which can tell me my emotional state while I am striking the ball - that should turn up all kinds of issues!

Contact Dale Ketola at the Grande Dunes Golf Performance Center: 
PHONE: 843-833-3332

Do your golf lessons include visualization with the V1 Software? What other technology do you use to help eradicate swing flaws? Tell us below on our Golf for Beginners blog and tag on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Female #Golf Athletes - Do You Believe We Have Come a Long Way?

Stacy Solomon Golf for Beginners Puerto RicoIn honor of the NCAA Championships and the upcoming Women's Golf Day, Golf for Beginners posts this Q&A about the state of womenin sports from a student working on his final university assessment.

Do you believe that equality has finally come to females in sports or is sexism still rearing its ugly head?

Here are my answers:

- How big an interest/fan base do you think there is for women’s golf?
I think women's golf is constantly in a state of flux - the more entertainment value, the greater the audience.

- Do women’s sports, golf, in particular, need better mainstream media coverage?
Always, but not just on traditional sources. We need to reach people where they search. I believe Youtube has much to offer as well as sources that don't necessarily cover golf, such as fitness magazines. The keywords used should reach out to a non-traditional audience.

- Generally, do you believe women in sports, and the sports themselves, have come a long way?
Of course - take a look at the early days of women's sports...those skirts are floor length! Yes, Title 9 helped with that process (and so did young upstarts like Michelle Wie) but we still have a long way to go.

- Are we at a stage where female athletes are recognized as role models to the next generation of women and girls? On the same level as male athletes?
To girls that have an interest in sports, I believe more so than male athletes. They can promote physical fitness... strength of mind and body!

- Does the media play a fair role in promoting and informing the public of female sporting events and their athletes?
No. I believe that women's golf events need to be better promoted. I don't know half of the times/dates of pro events. I would have to go and search out those times although the media is doing an adequate job promoting the NCAA Women's semifinals.

- Were events surrounding the vote at Muirfield the start of a change in women’s golf? Or have those events been forgotten about?
I think that those events have been forgotten about for now but will be pulled "out of the hat" when they are needed to make a statement.

- When discussing the media’s role, do you feel that in a newsroom you are equally represented?
Women will be equally represented as they step into the field. There are now more female announcers than ever, and their viewpoints represent a different way of thinking than traditional male questioning.

- Are we past the days of ‘body image’ when it comes to women in sport? Or are we still at the height of sexualizing female athletes?
Unfortunately, we still need to "sexualize" women athletes to some degree in order to get more attention to the sport but the women in question do it in a very tasteful way. Body image will always be important to the world we live in but, hopefully, it can be balanced with an equally sharp mental state.

- Is there pressure for female athletes to look a certain way? In a sport like golf does talent and skill play a bigger role?
Female athletes that are "prettier" still get more attention but I believe that their sticks still do the talking!

What do you have to add to these questions about women in golf? Comment below in our golf blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Should You #Golf With Better Players?

Do you immediately feel anxious when approached by a single golfer or couple who wants to join you for the round?

Chances are, you may have been with your husband, wife or friend on the first tee and have been asked...

"Want to pair up?" only to cut them short with one of the following hackneyed excuses:

"I would prefer not to..."
"I'm not very good..."
"I haven't played in a while..."
"I play slow..."

Yes, both my husband and I have, on occasion, approached a twosome and received those comments. It's kind of disheartening because we were not only trying to keep the pace of players steadily moving but also thought it would be nice to play golf with another couple.

If you are on the receiving end...who feel intimidated that you are not good enough, take heart. There are always going to be golfers who play better than you do, or not as good as you, which is why the handicap system was invented - to level the playing field! Instead of worrying, go out to have a good time - you may just surprise yourself and play your best golf ever!

For this blog, we will examine the positive impact playing with a better golfer can have on your game and how you can benefit from the experience.

Reasons You May Not Want to Play Golf With a "Better" Golfer:
1. You may "beat yourself up" if you start to slide down the rabbit hole.
2. You may think you are slowing down the better golfer.
3. You may feel intimidated by the golfers' swing, shots, demeanor.
4. You may want to hit each shot, no matter how many you have to take, in order to get to the green.

Reasons You Should Play Golf With a Better Golfer:
1. You may pick up a few tips along the way.
2. Great to watch a better golfer's course management skills.
3. You might focus more on each of your shots and your score.
4. Challenges your mental and physical game.
5. You may just meet a new friend.

In my opinion, the positives far outweigh the negatives. I am an advocate for playing happy golf, keeping my own frame of mind and enjoying the company of whoever is with me at the time.

Tell you all of those folks out there who are worried about playing golf with me;
I won't comment on your swing, shots, and lack of experience if you don't snicker behind my back when I flub, okay?

This Memorial Day weekend, when you are faced with this situation, I hope you will go with the flow and make the most of your round. Enjoy!

Do you play with better golfers and why? Comment below on this golf blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

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.