Friday, July 31, 2009

Michelle Wie climbs to mediocrity, Tiger Woods says 'keep it down', and world golf attractions

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Michelle Wie is being "considered" as a possible U.S. Solheim Cup golfer but is it in the team's best interest to have her on their side?

After a disappointing bid to gain points at the Evian Masters where she could only muster a tie for 23rd place, Wie appears to be slipping into LPGA mediocrity. It is true that Michelle currently has a decent rookie year under her belt with five top-ten finishes in twelve starts, but she isn't a steady player. Wie is also behind in the total number of points needed for a top contender as this is her first official year on the Tour.

Since Michelle Wie did not play in the U.S. Women's Open, she missed the opportunity to gain double points but since the British Open is at hand, Michelle has another opportunity to catch up to the tenth position held by Natalie Gulbis.

Beth Daniel will have to wait until she sees Wie's performance at the British Open in order to determine whether to make Michelle the Captain's pick although Wie is definitely on Daniel's "radar screen". The problem with Wie is that Daniel wants "someone who's playing really well going into the event."

Even Wie is a bit concerned about her ability to place in the standings this week noting that she has to get her tee shots working and get her groove back." But pray tell, at nineteen, where could her groove have possibly gone?

We cannot even compare her performance in last year's Open as she accepted an invitation to play in the PGA Tour's Reno-Tahoe Open after not even receiving a shrug for a wild-card spot from the Ladies' Golf Union. In 2007, Michelle Wie summed up her British Open experience with an 80 and an M/C.

If I were Beth Daniel, I would consider Pat Hurst for the U.S. Solheim Cup team. Hurst is a professional team player with six wins in her 16-year career under her belt. You definitely need someone who the team respects as a 'mate' and I don't think the ladies really like Michelle all that much.

Of course, even those people with a passing fancy for golf would certainly tune in if Michelle Wie was defending the Cup. What a wonderful sight it would be to see Wie and her teammates, faces painted with the American flag, raising the Solheim Cup in victory!


This week on golf for Beginners, we discuss Michelle Wie's LPGA status. Tiger Woods' golf tip also proves that a four-iron can get you closer to the pin than a flop-shot. We also let you in on a few great golf attractions from the longest course in the world to a short par-three at Turnberry that shouldn't be missed!

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Did Tom Watson do enough to win the British Open and Camilo Villegas' backhand move

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When asked about Tom Watson's chances of raising the Claret Jug at the 2009 British Open, Jack Nicklaus replied, "It is going to take constant concentration and discipline." The Golden Bear asserted, "whether or not Tom plays well tomorrow, whether or not he wins, it doesn't make a difference."

After watching Watson's head held high in spite of the occasional tear being wiped away by the fifty-nine year old legend, one can truly say that Nicklaus could not be further from the truth.

Cink and Watson look admirably at the Claret Jug after the 2009 British Open

With an invitation to play St. Andrews in 2010, Tom will be sixty. This was his swan song. Who knows what will happen tomorrow? Will Watson will be in the same condition and if so, will he even want to play in another Open? Tom mentioned that he isn't anxious to play in another Masters because he doesn't want to be the "memorial" player in the field, applauded by the crowd as the old guy on the tee. Can you blame him?

Although in five events on the Champions Tour, Watson has made every cut with one top-ten to his credit, the golfers playing in those events are also coming off of the PGA Tour at fifty, making it more of a struggle for Tom to stay competitive. The money isn't that great either, compared to the PGA Tour. Even though Watson is currently ranked in 47th place, his total 2009 earnings are a mere $183,000 to date. Ernie Els, who ranks 47th on the PGA Tour after playing in thirteen events has over $1 million. With his $700k second place winnings, Watson has been able to close the gap but perhaps this is a good time to write another book?

Hats off to Stewart Cink who came through with clutch play. As for Tiger Woods, he could still learn a few things about staying even from Tom Watson, whose gentlemanly demeanor totally collided with the thuds heard from Woods' clubhead as Tiger slowly but steadily fell to pieces.

Golf for Beginners also discusses Camilo Villegas' easy backhand move for straight contact.

Did you know that Amsterdam Hotels are just 221 miles away from London? After the British Open, take a whirlwind tour of the surrounding areas!

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ailsa Golf Course at Turnberry Resort, a British Open legend

The 2009 British Open is now in the books and golfers are looking forward to the PGA Championship, which is hurried along in order to make more room in the schedule to accomodate the $10 million Fed Ex Cup.

The season is going by way too fast for this lover of the sport! I cannot watch four days of phenomenal golf without ever dreaming about what it would be like to visit Turnberry Resort, and play golf on the revered Ailsa Course (pronounced "ale-sa") where Tom Watson nearly made history for the sixth time in his career! I'm sure though, that my score would not reflect my true potential!

Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson's 1977 "Duel in the Sun" brought Ailsa to public view as a golfing destination but it has been the stuff of legends way before that! Read Robert Burns' poem, Tam O'Shanter, and you will begin to immerse yourself in the folklore that surrounded Scotland as early as 1790.

The wind blew as 'twad blawn its last;
The rattling showers rose on the blast;
The speedy gleams the darkness swallow'd;
Loud, deep, and lang, the thunder bellow'd:
That night, a child might understand,
The deil had business on his hand.

Turnberry Resort is a blend of history and golf where you can stare at the sea for hours, play golf at either of two of the leading golf courses in the world and check out the surrounding sights, from Bruce's Castle to Ailsa Craig. But, before you think that heading there is like taking a trip through the past, be aware that Scotland is very much a thriving metropolis, boasting high end retail shops, galleries and museums.

If I'm considering ever flying to Scotland, my main focus will be on the golf and to enjoy what Turnberry has to offer. Carry your sticks and take a walk along with me as I shed a few fast facts about Turnberry Golf Club and the Ailsa Course.

The Ailsa Course and Turnberry Resort sit on 800 acres of beautifully manicured greenery with equally unparalleled vistas of the Irish Sea.

The Ailsa Course was ranked as Britain's number one golf course and the first purposely-planed golfing resort in Britain. As recently as July 15, 2009, Ailsa at Turnberry was ranked the number-one golf course on Scotland's Top 100 list!

Ailsa Craig, also known as "Paddy's Milestone", is two miles in circumference and rises to 1,110 feet. The Craig is actually a volcanic island which was once a haven for Roman Catholics during the 15th century Scottish Reformation.

The lighthouse, was commissioned in 1873 and is the oldest man-made structure on the premises.

Turnberry almost met its demise during the first two World Wars as it was used as a landing strip by the Royal Flying Corps. Can you believe that those verdant fairways were utilized to protect and defend? The acreage also became a base for planes to protect shipping convoys and the golf course we see today is barely reminiscent of its former glory, although Philip Mackenzie Ross did a fine job recreating the Ailsa Course from scratch.

This was Tiger Woods' first year playing at Turnberry and, only for the second time in a major championship as a professional golfer, missed the cut. Tiger admitted that the course was "tough", further noting that "It's a lot more difficult than people are letting on."

Another links course, the Kintyre Course, sits along the shoreline as well, and is meant to round-off Colin Montgomerie's Links Golf Academy, also on the premises. The Academy uses the nine-hole Arran course to teach Montgomerie's philosophy, "You want to get around a golf course in as few shots as possible, and that’s what we at the Academy believe we can teach you." Ah, just like Colin; always thinking positive!

I am going to think positively as well, hoping that one of my future vacations include a visit to this enchanting resort, but, I think I'll skip the Haggis!

The Ladies' British Open Amateur as well as the Scottish Ladies' Amateur were played here as early as 1912. I wonder how the winners, Miss G. Ravenscroft and Miss C. Leitch would describe Turnberry today, as they walked Ailsa?

For further reading check out the Travel Guide Turnberry and look for London Hotels here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

LPGA joins the Navy, Bivens walks the plank.

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After LPGA golfers signed a petition rallying for the resignation of Carolyn Bivens with a show of "no confidence", the Tour is now searching for a permanent replacement.

Lorena Ochoa, Paula Creamer, Natalie Gulbis and Morgan Pressel were among fifteen golfers concerned about issues facing the LPGA including a loss of seven events since 2007. The latest bailout of the Kapalua Classic was probably the nail in the coffin for Bivens. Morgan Pressel was the winner of the inaugural event and she happens to be the Tour Pro there as well.

What a blow for Carolyn Bivens, the first female commissioner in the LPGA's 55-year history!

Early in her career with the Tour, Bivens can be credited with establishing guidelines for the protection of players' rights and enhancing the image of the LPGA as young and vital. Remember how viewers USED to see the LPGA?

Retired Navy Rear Admiral Marsha Evans has been appointed as the interim commander of the LPGA. With experience serving as CEO with the Red Cross during Hurricane Katrina to her credit, the Admiral may go down with the sinking ship.

Evans resigned from her position with the disaster-relief group taking with her $780,000 in severence pay. Red Cross spokesman Charles Connor noted, "concerns about her management approach and coordination and communication with the board," as reasons for her ousting.

Annika Sorenstam has been appointed as an advisor to the LPGA Board but it might be a better idea if she was elected as the new Commissioner. Sorenstam is popular with both player and venue, well-versed on how to run a business and promises "to ensure that the LPGA remains the pre-eminent women’s sports association in the world."

The future of the LPGA?

This week on Golf for Beginners, we also discuss Phil Mickelson's "forward press" drill from his new DVD set, "DVD Set "Phil Mickelson Secrets of the Short Game."

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This podcast is supported by, 866-643-6078.

Photo Credit: ©, World Prout Assembly

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Optimize your Golf Website Now!

In addition to producing a weekly golf podcast and writing about golf, I represent National Positions, the leader in Search Engine Optimization or SEO. I would like to tell you about our company, which has just been recognized and endorsed as an Authorized GOOGLE Consultant for Website Optimization.

We assist both small and large companies gain a stronger internet presence and bring your website over to the left side or "free listings" of Google, MSN and Yahoo, dramatically increasing your website's traffic and drastically reducing your pay-per-click budget.

Here is the "secret sauce" to National Positions' success.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization, means building a website so that it will be discovered by search engines. It also means designing each page in such a way that the site's content will be thoroughly mapped and indexed to keywords that potential customers employ when seeking your products or services. Organic SEO engagements with National Positions are based on key objectives using all appropriate techniques available to professional search engine marketers. National Positions' organic search engine optimization methodology is designed to identify those steps necessary to move quickly from planning stages through implementation in order to achieve tangible benefits in as short a time-frame as possible.

Search Engine Optimization Methodology

The 4 Steps to an Effective SEO Campaign

1. Keyword Selection

While a lot of people think they know what keywords get typed in more than others, they don't. I have been wrong myself, and that's why a good SEO will let the search engines produce the numbers when it comes to how many people type in any keyword.

When you have a list of keywords that you want to rank high for, search each one of them on Google to find and record the amount of search results for each keyword.

Once you have these figures you can get an idea of how much work is going to have to be on the first page of all the search engines. Here's how to do it:

Keyword: Insulation Search Volume: 2,740,000 Competing Pages: 30,500,000 Keyword Efficiency:

30,500,000 Pages / 2,740,000 Searches = 11.13

Keyword: Frontline Dogs Search Volume: 201,000 Competing Pages: 405,000

405,000 Pages / 201,000 Searches = 2.01

The 2.01 keyword is easier to obtain rankings for than the 11.13 keyword because of the competition however there are more than 10 times the search traffic going to the 11.13 which is only 5 times harder to achieve.

When you have completed selecting your top choice keywords, we run a baseline rank report, you should do the same whether you pay an SEO or not.

2. Source Code Optimization.

After careful selection of relevant keyword and keyword phrases, National Positions constructs search engine friendly HTML code, including page unique Titles, META Descriptions, ALT Tags, and Navigation and Link Structures which include:

-Examination of internal linking structure including the selection of link names and titles.

-Proper site navigation including linking strategies such as addition or modification of a site map.

-File and page name structuring.

3. Content Generation

One of the most important aspects of Search Engine optimization is to have the appropriate content that the search engines require for a top ranking. National Positions has a team of Search Engine copywriters, experts in writing content that will generate top rankings. Our services include:

Writing additional content if needed for your web pages

Generating articles and press releases as needed to boost your rankings

In addition, National Positions will closely examine web page body content, and will utilize its copywriting team to create "smart" website copy that will appeal both to the your consumer and the search engines.

The Most Important Step In SEO:
Link Popularity and Traffic

4. Link Popularity and Link Networking

Internal Linking

Many times company's internal website networks make up some of the best link acquisition potential. With your help, National Positions will help outline various link opportunities, which could greatly increase the overall rankings of your website.

Partner Linking
Web partners, service providers, yours, and other web properties all have the ability to link to you. National Positions will work with you to determine which sites these are, and will help make contact with these firms through either phone or email.

Post Implementation Reporting Rankings
Once a portion of National Position's suggestions have been implemented on your site we will begin the reporting process. As ranking reports begin they will continue to run on a bi-monthly basis from the day of the month when the process began.

SEO Maintenance

The Ongoing Process of Keeping Ahead of your Competition

5. SEO Maintenance

When Google became the number one website in the world, did they stop there? No.

When anything that has never been done before has been done, doesn't it happen again after that first time? Most of the time. When you reach the top of the search engines for your keywords, you are sure to have competitors picking their brains to figure out how you beat them and get their spot back... Check out how we maintain our clients search engine rankings...

Monitor search engine rankings
There will be many fluctuations in your search engine rankings. This may be due to search engines changing their ranking formulas, or competitors trying to get ahead of you. More sites are added to the web each day so you need to monitor your search engine rankings to be competitive.

Traffic Tracking
It's essential to know where most of your traffic is coming from so you can make adjustments to your marketing strategies. For example if most of your traffic is coming from one particular page, you may want to place your best products on that page to get more sales. We analyze your site statistics to check how much traffic you are receiving, where is it coming from and what keywords are being used to find your site.

Keyword research

Web sites are being added to the web every day, therefore keywords that once got high rankings may no longer work. You may have high search engine positions for your most important keyword phrases but if you are not receiving any traffic from those phrases, you will need to evaluate the keywords that you have used. Attaining a number 1 ranking for keywords that no one will search for, will not increase your traffic.

Researching new keywords is essential to maintain good rankings. We analyze the current keywords used on your site and research and add new ones. Once the keywords have been chosen, the content needs to be updated to reflect these changes. This may include subtle changes to the meta tags, page titles and text headings; or it could involve adding additional sections to the site, rewriting content and reorganizing the web site's structure.

Competitive analysis - an integral part of search engine optimization is determining what keywords your competitors are using. We analyze where your competitors are currently ranked for the same keywords you are using for your web pages. We also check how many competitors you have for each of the major search engines. National Positions also analyzes the link popularity of your competitors to determine how many incoming links they have and the quality of these links.

Adding fresh content
- web sites that continuously update and/or expand their content, usually experience higher rankings than stagnant web sites. New keywords should first be researched before adding new content. This will help boost your traffic and rankings because visitors will have more ways to land on your site based on the keywords they entered in the search engines. One great way to achieve this is to have National Positions add new articles to your site on a regular basis.

Web copy analysis - getting a lot of traffic to your site does not guarantee sales. It primarily depends on the effectiveness of your web copy. To convert visitors into sales, National Positions analyzes how your web copy is structured on the page and we suggest verbiage that sells.

Boost link popularity
- this refers to the amount of other quality web sites that have links pointing back to yours. The more quality links there are, the better you will rank on the major search engines. We extensively research other sites related to yours and add or exchange links with them.

National Positions caters to the needs of a wide range of businesses, whether they are strictly online or "brick and mortar" and can quickly and effectively create your corporate identity.

We are on the cutting edge of technology with the ability to optimize your website for mobile phone technology as well!

Call me for a free analytical look at your website: 1-914-595-4949

Monday, July 13, 2009

Could Tiger Woods' win at ATT foretell problems at the British Open?

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Tiger Woods has made it a habit to win two weeks before a major tournament this season. He won Palmer's, Nicklaus' and his own event in this fashion and, because of this, fans are waiting to see if this streak will cause him to falter during the third major of the year.

Is it possible that Tiger Woods could fall prey to the "middle of the pack" at the British Open?

Prior to the 2009 Masters, Angel Cabrera's best finish this year was a tie for thirteenth at the Northern Trust Open. He was cut from the Arnold Palmer Invitational where Tiger Woods solidly annihilated the competition. Cabrera's stats are also not that impressive: he currently ranks 187th in driving accuracy and only 140th in greens-in-regulation. It is only because of his major win that Cabrera now ranks twentieth in money leaders on the PGA Tour.

Golf afficionados can now say that they have heard of Lucas Glover but, prior to a strong 2009 season and a win at the U.S. Open, Glover had only two top tens in 2008. Taking more of an interest in his game has improved his stats dramatically and only now is the name Glover synonymous with a piece of history.

Anthony Kim learned a valuable lesson as to how to challenge the Tiger at the ATT but can he employ his method at the British Open? "I learned that if you have a birdie putt, you better make it," Kim said. "Tiger obviously is a proven winner for a reason and he makes the putts when you have to do it." Shining your belt buckle in Woods' line of sight may also help, AK.

Still, this is a true "Open" in every sense of the word. "Any certified professional or amateur with a scratch handicap" can qualify for the event which means even the least obvious contestants have an opportunity to shine.

Woods is going to be difficult to beat at the British Open and has already amassed three Claret Jugs during his career. He will be hunting for both his 15th major win in Scotland as well as coming closer to matching Nicklaus' record. Although Tiger has never played Turnberry, he is practicing to have his game "dialed in", feeling confident "with my swing, short putting, everything, then start getting the feel for how to play over there."

This week on the Golf for Beginners podcast, former top LPGA golfer Annika Sorenstam provides her keys to choosing the right golf club. We also offer a few new product reviews and update you to the effectiveness of our previous tests.

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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Tiger loses twice in NY, the LPGA needs Woods versus Wie and handy golf rules to keep in your bag.

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Tiger Woods was defeated at Bethpage Black not once but twice in one month! The first loss came at the 2009 U.S. Open where Woods' putter let him down. Lucas Glover, a relative "apprentice" on the PGA Tour, defeated the top brass there and Tiger probably needed to convince himself that it was the man, not the course, that kicked his butt.

Seeking out a "rematch" of sorts, Woods took on SNL comedian Jimmy Fallon where it seemed certain that Tiger would triumph and gain bragging rights on the 'Black'. But this match did not 'officially' take place on the golf course. Instead, it was through the new Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 that the number-one golfer in the world attempted to 'raise' the coveted trophy.

In a meeting arranged by EA Sports, Woods and Jimmy Fallon teed off in Times Square, Tiger wearing his Sunday red shirt, black pants ensemble and Fallon sporting typical publinks trademark of jeans and polo shirt.

Unfortunately the game was cut short. Woods did something that we, his truest of fans, would sadly never believe possible; he conceded after the third hole mentioning, "I just got killed at my own game."

Tiger is now not the only famous Woods out on the golf course. Cheyenne Woods, the niece, was given an exemption at the Wegman's and although she missed the cut, it was her first foray into the world of professional golf. Michelle Wie might have come in tied for tenth place, but all eyes will surely be following Cheyenne in the future to see if she has the eye of the Tiger.

A mere twelve strokes separated Woods and Wie this past weekend after the first two rounds of competition. Although Cheyenne did not mention Wie by name she did have this to say, "I'm going to use this tournament to see how I handle large galleries and how I stack up against the best women golfers in the world."

'Uncle Tiger' and Cheyenne were both students of Earl Woods, with similarities that propelled Tiger into greatness. Watching and waiting with bated breath, the world wonders if Cheyenne will be the next superstar to shine the spotlight brightly onto the ladies tour.

As far as who is considered the "hotter golfer" in the areas of both athletics and looks, "Throwdown" fans are undecided but I'm sure, as soon as Cheyenne Woods starts making strides in golf, she will certainly be a force to be reckoned with in the LPGA.

Golf for Beginners show also interprets which training aids can be used during a round and how you can make a golfer replay his shot with the use of Rule 10-1.

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Send your golf questions and comments to

Subscribe to our weekly podcast through this RSS feed: or through iTunes. Click Here to receive our archived podcasts and 100's of easy golf tips free!

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This podcast is supported by Arizona Golf Packages, 1-866-444-0992.

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