Monday, April 29, 2013

How to Get the Most Out of Summer Golf Camps for Kids

The following guest golf blog was submitted by Danie Steyn about how kids can get the most out of summer golf camps. These summer camps, in my opinion, can provide positive reinforcement, improve upon the basics and, perhaps, even offer friendships that last a lifetime to all skill levels from golf beginners to amateur players.

Have you sent your kids to summer camp? Feel free to comment below and thanks to Danie for this informative article!

Summer golf camps for kids


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Written By Danie Steyn

When choosing a summer sports camp, it's always best to know how to prepare yourself for the activities ahead. I’m Danie Steyn, a golf pro at JKCP’s Julian Krinsky Camps; Programs Golf Camp, and I have some golf tips to help you plan for camp.

Golf Camp

We have both beginner level students and those who consider themselves serious and dedicated golfers. For beginners, we'd encourage you to prepare by reading as much as you can about the game of golf and its etiquette. Also watch some golf on TV to visually enhance your approach before you spend your summer playing on the course with pros at a golf camp.

To fully maximize your time at any youth golf camp, especially if you only come for one week, one simple idea every golfer can use is to bring a notebook. 

There will be a ton of learning of drills and practices that you can write down to practice over and over on your own.

If you have a smartphone, being able to record video of correct form, and audio recordings of drills and practices would put you well ahead of your peers. 

Gathering notes, visuals and audio for later use is the best way to learn, especially if you continue to practice what you've learned at camp. 


Keep in mind you'll be learning the basic fundamentals of golf: golf swing instruction (backswing, downswing, follow through), putting, chipping, driving and all the necessary skills to make you proficient on the green. 

More advanced golfers will be refining those techniques. Beyond the skills on the green, you’ll be learning the rules and regulations including golf etiquette of how to play on the green, around the bunkers and more. At many camps like JKCP, golfers are paired with others at their same skill level.

Making the Putt at Golf Camp


We always get questions about the specific golf gear and equipment needed. The golf courses at JKCP require certain attire that includes: collared shirt and knee high shorts with trainers or golf shoes. 

We highly suggest bringing sunscreen, a hat, golf tees, an umbrella, at least one golf glove and definitely bring golf balls. JKCP Golf can provide you some golf clubs, but if you have your own that's a huge plus! You will not need too many clubs as long as you have your Driver, Fairway Wood, Long Iron, Mid Iron, Short Iron or Wedge and Putter, you'll be fine.

Our camp has weekly tournaments on Fridays that help you to gain tournament skills. You'll have fun playing the course and meeting golfers from all around the world that lead to friendships that will last beyond the green. That sums up the fun and excitement of what you can expect by attending JKCP's Golf Camp.

This Summer you can learn the basics of Golf with JKCP's Golf Programs. You'll be able to play on several courses in the Philadelphia, PA area, which is home of the 2013 U.S. Open. You'll leave JKCP with a more well rounded approach to golf.

Bio: Danie Steyn

Danie Steyn has competed in golf tournaments all over the world and also teaches Golf as a Pro with JKCP. Danie Steyn is a South African born, professional golfer. Playing on the Alp and Pepsi tour. Captain of the Southern Free State provincial team. Seven holes-in-one.

Here is Danie Steyn recording a very difficult "backwards" golf shot. Enjoy!





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Picture credits: Danie Steyn

Friday, April 26, 2013

Is Golf The New Bad Boy Sport?

Remember when bad-boy behavior was unacceptable in golf and high moral standards separated golf from the rest of the sports world? Throwing a golf club, obscene language or spitting into the cup (Sergio) just wasn't tolerated.

Support for Tiger Woods seems to be back on the "Pro" side now that he has a few golf tournament wins under his belt but does "Winning (Really) Take Care of Everything"? Does Nike hope that revealing a bit of "naughty" along with his wins in their marketing strategy will get Woods' problems out into the open and actually expel them from his life?

By now you've seen Tiger Woods sassing it up with Rory McIlory, rumbling with Arnold Palmer and you've most likely read about the new found happiness shared with Lindsey Vonn but is the new Tiger Woods image brand-build working...are you liking Tiger Woods again?

In the case of Tiger Woods, and with other athletes who have suffered problematic situations (think Kobe Bryant), advertisers take a few steps back, wait for a rebound, an apology to fans perhaps and watch for the sports celebrity's new lease on life...and all is forgiven in the advertising and branding space.

In a recent TMZ.com poll, almost 75,000 fans were asked if "Winning Cures All" and fifty-five percent said "YES!"

Tiger Woods


Lewis Blackwell "begs to differ", stating that "winning is never enough" and "it needs to be dirtied up a bit."

"You have to win brilliantly, or win dirty, or win tragically, win sexily," claims Blackwell, "or lose with style and a sob story. For heaven's sake, don't win normally and expect acclaim."


Fans now adore Woods cheering him on three-deep at golf events, a new lease on life is on the horizon, the great Arnold Palmer is sharing laughs and co-starring with TW in videos and Jack Nicklaus is defending Tiger's Masters decision and opening up once again about Woods ...not like before, when Tiger was, well...toxic,

"I've said it, and I continue to say it, that I still expect him to break my record." said Jack Nicklaus recently. "I think he's just too talented, too driven, and too focused on that."



Tiger_Woods_Arnold_Palmer
Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer share a laugh

Tiger Woods is just now beginning to rebuild his commercial life but does winning really cure all?


Voice your opinion on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and friend on Facebook.

photo credit: thesun.uk, TMZ.com

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sharpen Your Game with 365 Easy Golf Tips from the Pros

Have you noticed that, after taking a golf lesson with your instructor, your game shows a marked improvement? Shortly after however, and without continued guidance, your game slowly reverts back to its original state. Most golfers don't have an instructor on the range or course during the entire season but now you can have great golf tips at your fingertips 365 days a year.

Illustrations and one-page tips from putting to sand play offered in the golf book "365 Golf Tips and Tricks From The Pros" by Jay Morelli are designed to simplify every area of your game with a suggestion per day ...playing without fear is my favorite.

This golf book rightfully opens with tips on the rules, segues into Golf Etiquette, takes you through course management, drills, the mental game and even offers help on purchasing the right type of equipment for your game.

Below are three golf tips I selected from the book (one tip each for beginner, intermediate and advanced golfer). For a read into the other 362 tips, click on the link at the end of this golf blog.


Tip 40: LOGICAL BALL POSITION,
Dick Capasso, PGA Teaching Pro, Augusta Georgia
Many players get confused about where to play the ball in their stance for shots off the turf.

We have all heard conflicting advice on this subject. Each shot is a new experience and should be treated as such. The best place to place your ball is in the way of your swing. Try taking a few practice swings and pay attention to where the club nips the turf. That spot is where the ball should be played for that particular stroke.


Tip 179: PLAY WITHOUT FEAR, by Jay Morelli, Director of the Original Golf School, Mount Snow, Vermont
Golfers are so often afraid of bad shots that they sometimes play timidly, making timid golf swings. You are much better off going ahead and making a committed and strong swing. Commit to the shot and don't even think about what not to do. A non-swing will never produce a good result.


Tip 269: COIL UP FOR POWER, by Sandra Jaskol, LPGA Teaching Pro, Old Westbury Golf & Country Club, Old Westbury, New York
To get more power and distance, practice with a medium-sized rubber ball between your legs to feel the rotation of your upper body uncoiling above a stable, planted lower body. This springlike effect will keep you more centered over the ball while maximizing your coil with explosive power and speed.



If you expect your golf game to improve, you need a teaching pro. That being said, when your instructor isn't around and you require a brush up (even on the golf course), pull out your "365 Golf Tips and Tricks from the Pros" pocket-sized guide, thumb through it and you'll most likely find the answer to your questions.



About the Author:
Jay Morelli is Director of The Original Golf School at Mount Snow, Vermont and Plantation Golf Resort in Florida. He has been teaching and improving golfers at all skill levels for more than 40 years. He founded the Original Golf School and the Accelerated Teaching Method in June 1978. Golf Digest voted him the top teaching pro in Vermont, and he has been named New England PGA Teacher of the Year. He has produced four major DVDs and written four books on golf.

Bruce Curtis has been at the forefront of photography for more than four decades. As a photographer for Time, Life, and Sports Illustrated, he has been on the frontlines as a photographer of many conflicts around the world. He has won more than 25 awards and provided photography for more than 40 books.



Photo credit courtesy of 365 Golf Tips and Tricks From The Pros

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Friday, April 05, 2013

Tiger Woods To Win The Masters? You Can Bet On It!

There is no doubt that the latest US Masters odds has Tiger Woods as the heavy favorite to win but golf blogger skeptics don't necessarily agree.

Although an oddsmaker takes into consideration as many statistics as possible to create a point spread with an equal number of people poised to bet on either side of the line, there are still variables to take into consideration when it comes to betting on any contestant. 

Mickelson_Woods_MastersIn the case of Tiger Woods, for example, he comes in ready and eager to win The Masters with three victories under his belt so far this year. 

Woods is also very comfortable playing at Augusta, having won four green jackets at the same venue over the course of his career. 

Woods has won several tournaments over-and-over again because he was comfortable on that particular golf course.

Tiger Woods, Winner at The 2013 Masters?

His 2013 statistics are impeccable: Woods is the FedEx Cup points lead, number-one in the World Golf Rankings and the overall event money winner. In my opinion, where Tiger Woods stats should be weighed and measured is in his putting prowess; Woods is number-one in strokes gained putting and, as most people know, solid putting is the key to winning in golf. Drive for show? Woods ranks 145th in driving accuracy but is it more important to drive for show or putt for dough?

On the flip side, Woods has not won a major in nearly five years with his last Masters win in 2005. Younger players are no longer daunted by his prowess on the fairways. He has showed chinks in his armor and is getting older to boot. Tiger's outbursts of anger don't help his game and, in my opinion, he could use an adjustment to his old laser focus.

Woods is not the only golfer to participate in the first major golf event of the year but, judging by the hype throughout the internet, you would think The Masters is a one-man show!


Mickelson_Woods_McIlroy

What are McIlroy and Mickelson's Masters chances?

Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson are tied for second place by most oddsmakers, in the case of Paddy Power, outright odds for both stand at 11/1. 

Although Rory was a betting favorite in the 2013 Shell Houston Open, he cited a lack of events played as his reason for his inconsistency. "I need competitive golf and I need committing to targets." 

That being said, McIlroy has stumbled in his opening round at the Texas Valero Open, the primer to The Masters. If Rory does win this week,  the odds are still against him

Only two players have won the week before the Masters and then gone on to win at Augusta: Sandy Lyle in the Greater Greensboro Open in 1988 and Phil Mickelson in the BellSouth Classic in 2006.

Mickelson Odds are good but he's uncomfortable

Is Phil Mickelson popularity still carrying him? With a single win under his belt and only one top-ten finish, Mickelson's 2013 record doesn't offer promise to any fan willing to take a gamble on Lefty. 

He's still a fan favorite, a three-time winner at Augusta and, with a new golf driver and his new claw grip on his putter, Mickelson is seeing a resurgence in his short game... but Phil is concerned about the week off prior to the Masters. "I'm not used to taking a week off before a major," Mickelson commented. "It's not my preference."


What about the rest of the Masters field?

Bubba_WatsonWith an abundance of exceptional talent entered into this year's Masters Tournament, a bettor would be hard-pressed to easily determine the winner at Augusta. 

While power rankings suggest that the victor might come from the top three picks of Rory, Tiger or Phil, there are a number of "dark horses"  to consider; golfers who have made rumblings during the events they played in to be recognizable and favored. 



Keegan_Bradley
Last year's winner, Bubba Watson, is mostly visible due to his hovercraft golf cart, Keegan Bradley has a hot  belly putter and Justin Rose would certainly be solid choices for those fans who didn't want to go with the status quo. 

Stewart Cink, who currently ranks at 125/1, shared the lead at the Shell Houston Open and previous Masters winners, Vijay Singh (175/1) and Mike Weir (500/1) are also interesting selections for those who are considering picking their winner from long shots who have Masters wins under their belts.



Who is your pick to win The Masters
Voice your opinion on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and on our Facebook page.



photo credits: golfweekrankings.com, sbnation.com, golf for beginners


Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Which Golf Drivers Are Best For Beginners?

Titleist D3 Driver
After trying some of the hottest drivers from the new Nike VR_S Covert to the latest Titleist 913D3 at the Westchester County Golf Show, it is apparent that these golf clubs were not necessarily created for golf beginners but for players who have had a bit of experience connecting with the ball (think Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy).

That being said, Golf for Beginners compiled a short list of drivers and golf clubs that are easier for beginners to feel confident about using on the golf course.

Although golf equipment guides throughout the internet rate the overall best golf drivers for 2013, which golf clubs should make its way into a beginners bag? Here are several choices newbies should consider before making this all-important purchase.

Callaway Golf XHot 3Deep1. Although not a driver, the Callaway X Hot 3Deep Fairway Wood is a great alternative for golf beginners who are not quite ready for a driver but want the distance associated with it. Phil Mickelson wanted a club that was playable off the ground and easy to hit in lieu of a driver, hence the #3Deep was born. Watch for the Callaway X Hot 3Deep at The Masters inside Phil's bag.


2. The Ping G20 Driver is stable, has a low center of gravity and, as Golf Digest mentioned in a Hotlist review, "It exudes compassion...In a word, they’ve designed confidence." Confidence is just what a beginner needs!

The Ping G25 Driver, like it's G20 predecessor, is the new Ping entrant tested by Golf Magazine and is considered very forgiving and hits very straight.I tried it and liked the light weight. Some golfers (me included) noted that the head might be a little too large...and, with it's three-way adjustability feature, the G25 just might confuse beginners.

3. Cobra AMP Cell Drivers were rated easy-to-play on the golf course, super-accurate with impressive yardage. Some guys who tested it for Golf.com even thought that the color "encouraged proper alignment at address". Beginners... always remember to G.A.S.P. before hitting any shot...one of my beginner lessons.

Cobra Amp Cell Drivers


This is, by no means, the definite beginners guide to the best golf drivers currently on the market, just suggestions meant to encourage newbies in a burgeoning market filled with golf clubs of all shapes, sizes and adjustments.


When searching for a driver, beginners should consider "game-improvement" drivers, the loft of the golf club giving thought to head size, grip, shaft length and flex. As a beginner, I would stay away from adjustable heads or any other adjustments (neutral, open face, etc), until you are more comfortable hitting the club and forge a better understanding of your game.

And yes, these clubs DO come in left-handed models!


Which golf drivers do you depend on? Voice your opinion on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and on our Facebook page.

Check out Which Golf Irons Are Best for Beginners?

Photo Credit: Titleist, Callaway, Cobra

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