Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Does #Golf Need Modernizing? A New Year Viewpoint

Golf for Beginners welcomes commentary and opinion. The guest blog below was sent to us by Gamola Golf (see bio below).


Golf CourseWhile the death of golf may not be immediately imminent, there is an increasing decline in the number of amateur golfers in both the US and the UK, with clubs in England losing twenty percent of its members between 2004 and 2013 and Scotland losing fourteen percent of its membership.

This decline is mainly down to disinterest in golf among young people, particularly those born after the millennium: the number of young people regularly playing golf have almost halved between 2010 and 2013. The reasons cited tend to be the cost of playing, the time it takes to play and the perception that golf is for ‘snobs’ or the elite.




Unlike other sports, golf does not necessarily reflect children of the millennial’s values, such as diversity, instant gratification, affordability and inclusion. The high cost of playing prevents those in low incomes, such as students or lower middle class families, from playing on both a casual and permanent basis and women have historically been excluded from golf clubs, meaning it is now an extremely male oriented sport.

On top of this, the smart attire demanded by golf courses are stereotypically upper class, with few teenagers or individuals on a lower income owning smart wear outside of school. Golf specific clothing can be expensive, as can golf equipment which is required to play the game.

When taking all this into account, isn't it reasonable to suggest that the future of golf depends on the need to modernize its somewhat traditional and upper class values?

Here are a few ways we believe golf can be modernized to create a more friendly experience for all:

By changing golf traditions, such as relaxing the dress code, the sport’s reputation may be less ‘stuffy’ and therefore more enticing to younger generations and individuals from a less privileged background. 

Reducing prices will open up the game as a possibility for more families and individuals while allowing those who already enjoy golf to play more often. 

While some might argue that golf is so great because of its classic heritage and traditions, it is surely more beneficial to adopt modern values and avoid the further decline of the golfing industry.

Another way of increasing the popularity of golf could be to shorten the playing time of a round. 

In comparison to sports such as football, golf is much more time consuming, both in the time it takes to play one game and the time it takes to master the skill. An 18-hole course can take as long as six hours to play, which is a very long time in modern times. Golf requires a lot of attention and does not normally have the adrenalin-causing excitement of other sports except of course, for that very motivating hole-in-one or eagle from the fairway...which is why we keep coming back, isn't it?

Speeding up the game would prevent younger players from getting bored whilst playing a course.

Rory McIlroy recently suggested that the grassroots level of golf needs speeding up in order to keep young golfers interest. One way which this could be done without causing significant changes to the structure of the game is by widening the holes used on golf courses.

Whether you agree with these suggestions or not, one thing is for certain: golf, and all sport for that matter, needs to evolve with the changing values of the younger generation if it is to stay as prestigious and majestic as it has historically been.

What are your thoughts? Speak out on this GFB blog, on Twitter @GamolaGolf , @Golf4Beginners or on our Facebook page.


Bio:  

Gamola Golf is the leading discounted online golf store. It stocks the leading brands, products and golf accessories required for golfers of every ability, all at the best UK prices. 


photo credit: nextgengolf.orgcamflan; via photopin; cc

Monday, December 22, 2014

Does Santa Claus Play #Golf? A Christmas Poem

Golf for Beginners wishes all of our readers a Very, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. In the spirit of the season, Stacy Solomon has written this poem, "Does Santa Claus Play Golf?" for your enjoyment.


A man and his sleigh ride quietly in the night,
Hoping toys are delivered before first light.
Why is it so important to finish his work tonight?
Because Santa Claus is catching an early flight.

An untold story is that Kris Kringle plays an outdoor sport,
Dusts off his clubs, heads for a resort.
Off to warm destination leaving family behind,
For a week of rest, rejuvenation and feet reclined.

He packs his sunglasses, aloha shirts and flip flops,
Off go the red hat, red outfit and props.
Santa is now ready to fly in disguise,
He kisses his wife and says his goodbyes.




Next stop warm weather, three courses to play,
He hopes that his ho-ho-ho won't go away.
The fairways are tight, the greens undulating and small,
So Santa has practiced his best Villegas Spiderman crawl.




First off the tee and with a big swing,
His ball finds the fairway, his drive is amazing!
His GPS, received as gift from his wife,
Gets Santa out of trouble-this is indeed the good life.

Claus plays his first round making par,
He thinks he could be the next Myrtle Beach Big Break Star!
He heads to 19th hole with scorecard signed,
And proudly asks bartender to pour - he finished his grind.

Thinking forward to two more days of play,
Santa is happily sipping away.
Planning his strategy for his next two rounds,
Dreaming of sunshine and background surf sounds.

But what should awaken Santa from his mirth?
His alarm clock is ringing, he's brought back to earth.
Gone is the sun, sand, vacation and play,
It was just a dream, a moment away.

It's back to the drudge and starting work for next year,
Perhaps someone will give Santa a gift of good cheer.
Is it too much to ask for, a vacation, golf travel,
For the merry man who gifts toys for kids to unravel?



photo credit: TheSpiritofSanta.com

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Advice for the Average Golfer

After receiving a note from David Felker, scientist and inventor of Callaway Rule 35 Golf Balls, I happily agreed when he asked to post a blog on our Golf for Beginners site. 

David is also the founder of the USRGA, an organization which is helping to grow the game of golf by focusing on the many recreational players around the world who are interested in the sport for fun.

It is our hope that golf continues to expand, in spite of course closings and a downturn in rounds per course. If we are to continue bringing golfers into the sport, let's keep it fun, interesting and invite people in who want to try the sport that lasts a lifetime by providing innovative ways to enjoy the game.

Big Golf hole
Too innovative for golf? Maybe...but sure looks like fun!

Here is David Felker's blog, with his advice for the average golfer:


Golf is so much fun I can’t stand it. It is a special game that you can enjoy your entire life and learning to play golf will add a new dimension to your life. Here are ten random pieces of free golf advice that I hope will help any beginner golfer:  

1) Golf is not about the score – it is about the fun you can have with your friends in the beautiful setting of a golf course.  Choose your golf partners wisely - avoid golfers that take the game too seriously and get mad on the course; they will ruin your day. 

2) Know the Etiquette of Golf from Day One. Study it before you set foot on a golf course (lots of golf etiquette advice on youtube.com).  Nothing bothers golfers more than golfers who do not follow the etiquette of golf.    Failure to follow the etiquette of golf is not only bad form, golfers will avoid playing with you if you disregard accepted golf etiquette. 

3) No matter what any golfer, PGA professional or anyone tells you - The USGA rules of golf do not apply to you (they only apply to serious competitive golf tournaments). 

The USGA rules book is more than two-hundred pages long – don’t read it; 75% of golfers have never read the USGA rules of golf and 73% admit to not following the rules of golf. Instead, read the US Recreational Golf Association’s “13 Rules of Golf”.  Their rules reflect how 85% of golfers play golf. The US Recreational Golf Association’s rules are one page long and easy to learn (http://usrga.org/golf-etiquette/ )

4) Buy a decent set of used golf clubs to start and make sure the driver is at least twelve degrees of loft so you can get the ball up in the air.  Any used balls will work fine (you are going to lose all of them anyway).   If you have a bad slice, seriously consider buying some Polara anti-slice golf balls or Trust-Tee's new innovative tees and use until you are good enough to keep the ball in the fairway.

5) Don’t take private lessons. Find a course that gives group lessons for beginners.  They often give you other benefits along with the lessons, like reductions on green fees and merchandise.  The average course these days does not do enough business to make a profit, so a lot are bending over backwards to find new players – play golf where your business is most appreciated.

6) Arrive at the course at least thirty minutes early so you are not rushed and can warm up before you play the round. It is better to get twenty to thirty bad shots out of your system on the range than on the golf course.

7) If the course allows walking or use of a pull cart, try it – this is the way golf was traditionally played.  Waking gives you time to clear your mind between shots and the exercise is great for your health. 

8) Golf is a social experience.  After the golf round, go into the clubhouse, wash up and relax.  Have a drink with your friends and talk about the day - your best shots, biggest blowups, what you liked best about the course. Relive the fun and have some laughs.  The 19th hole is part of the tradition of golf.  

9) Not all golf courses are the same. I have found that the amount of money I pay to play rarely has anything to do with how much I enjoyed the day. Every course has a certain feel and character that is defined by the golf course itself, the club house, the staff and the service.   Play different courses - you will find ones you really like, and ones you don’t like.  Life is too short to play at a course with bad staff and bad service.

10) Last piece of advice - There is no such thing as a natural born golfer. All golfers struggle to begin with. They can’t even hit the ball, but with a little time and practice, it will come to you. 

Enjoy the journey of going from beginner to the point where you hit your first great shot on the course.  It will be so exhilarating and inspiring that you will remember it for the rest of your life.  You do not have to be a great golfer to have fun. 

Remember this fact – the average male golfer shoots 106.  Strive for a score of 105, and then you will be better than 50% of the golfers! You do not have to be a scratch golfer to enjoy the game.  If you put enough effort into the game to play at the bogey golf level, you will have given yourself a gift for life. If you go on to teach your child or children to play golf, you will have given them (and yourself) an even greater gift.


About the author:

David Felker says he is just a little bit better than the average golfer, but he does admit he is a brilliant golf scientist.  He was recruited from DuPont Company to help start the Callaway Golf ball Company in 1996. With the help of a world class group of scientists, David invented the Callaway Rule 35 Golf ball which replaced the wound ball technology. Dr. Felker is also the inventor of Polara Golf balls that he claims are the world’s only golf balls that correct hooks and slices. (Golf for Beginners does not yet endorse this product as we have not yet tried it.)

He is also the founder of the US Recreational Golf Association (USRGA), a nonprofit organization serving the needs of recreational golfers, golf courses and the golf companies.  The USRGA’s mission is to provide a voice for recreational golfers and to help grow the game of golf.

Check out our Holiday Gift Guide! Still time to pick out the perfect golf gift.

Voice your opinions on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and on this Golf for Beginners blog!


photo credit: http://1000thingstobegratefulfor.wordpress.com/2011/01/22/9-be-grateful-for-golf/


The above blog is the opinion of the guest blogger. Golf for Beginners does not necessarily agree or disagree with the blog but wanted to post it in order to give golfers a viewpoint to discuss.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday #Golf Gifts and Stocking Stuffers for your Favorite Golfers

Christmas GiftsThe holiday season can really take a bite out of your wallet - golf can be a very expensive game! Prices for clubs, accessories, clothing and more, make golfers a difficult group to shop for, especially if you want to show your love but forego the high price tag.

Golf for Beginners has compiled several fun and interesting golf gifts - gadgets, accessories and thoughtfulness that you may be able to stuff into a stocking...or maybe not, depending on how big that stocking is...

Here is a list of Holiday Golf Gifts and Gadgets that won't bust your budget but will get you a big thank you (and, perhaps, a kiss under the mistletoe):


Mobitee GPS Golf Assistant
1. Mobitee GPS Golf Assistant: Your golfer comes home from a round on the links frustrated that his/her ball found every hazard on the course. He couldn't gauge the distance to the bunkers, he didn't know the right club to select to the green because he wasn't exactly sure of the distance there either as the course he played had no markers, no GPS on his cart.

Place Mobitee in their stockings this Christmas - it's a GPS, Rangefinder, club advisor and will help with handicap, track statistics and even offer up a friendly wager! One of the best all-in-one apps for iPhone, Android and Windows phone that I have ever used: http://www.mobitee.com.

2. Trust-Tee Innovative Golf Tee - Golfers in your life will LOVE this game improver if they consistency slice or hook their ball with the driver. The camber on the tee adjusts the spin on the ball to reduce those dreaded, airmailed banana balls.

Trust-Tee Innovative Golf Tee

Save your golfer (and his wallet) from losing those expensive Titleist Pro V1 golf balls! Trust-Tee is a much less expensive option than a $400 adjustable driver which basically does the same thing as this box of four tees which sell for only $9.99! Great for making golf fun again...and, isn't that is the object of getting new people into the sport and keeping them there? http://bit.ly/1vww6QP.


Golf Shots 2015 Calendar3. Golf Shots 2015 Calendar - Every year I wait for Evan Schiller's golf calendar to arrive so that I can pin it to my bulletin board and sigh while viewing the most beautiful courses in the world from Evan's perspective!

It is December and I am currently dreaming about playing golf on the 9th hole of the Corales Course at Punta Cana Resort and Club: http://www.golfshots.com.



4. Mistake Free Golf Book - First Aid for Your Golfing Brain by Robert K. Winters PhD - The Mental Game is probably more important than the Physical Game, although they both work in tandem when you are firing on all cylinders.

Mistake Free Golf teaches you how to believe in yourself, how to commit to every shot and how not to lose composure or get anxious over those three-foot putts (choke): http://www.amazon.com/Mistake-Free-Golf-First-Golfing-Brain/dp/1250044685


5. Under Armour Eye Wear for Golfers: If your golfer is a fashionista and requires all of the hottest clothes and accessories that money can (or cannot) buy, the new Fire and Marbella lines of Under Armour Sunglasses will not only help you track your golf ball off the tee, they will be your super-hot "go-to" sunglasses! Engineered for the female athlete who wants performance - these specs are lightweight, adjustable and durable: http://www.UnderArmour.com.

Under Armour Marbella Sunglasses
Yes, these are my Under Armour Sunglasses - I love the green accents!


6. If you believe in the gift of giving, why not check out these worthy charities:
National Navy UDT SEAL Museum - dedicated to preserving the history of Navy SEALs (originally known as frog men), while honoring the fallen heroes and assisting the families of warriors who have perished in battle.

Stowers Institute for Medical Research: with a dedicated team of scientists, continues to make "a significant contribution to humanity through medical research by expanding our understanding of the secrets of life, and by improving life’s quality through innovative approaches to the causes, treatment and prevention of diseases." #ACCGolf via The American Century Championship.


Share your coolest Holiday Golf Gifts and Gadgets with us on our Golf for Beginners blog or on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Happy Holidays to all of our readers!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Ready or Not, Here Comes Tiger Woods...Again! #golf

Tiger Woods says he "feels great" and that he is excited to return to competitive golf but are fans expectations too high for the new and improved Eldrick Tont Woods?

With a new swing coach by his side and reports surfacing that he is getting stronger every day, the almost thirty-nine year old Tiger Woods is hitting balls, practicing and readying to take the spotlight once again.


Great for Tiger Woods but will he be able to perform to the level which fans expect at the Hero World Challenge?

Since 2008, the tally of injuries sustained for Woods are broken leg, torn ACL, back problems, not to mention the mental trauma which resulted in heartache and breakup...so the question remains, "Is Tiger Physically and Mentally Ready?"

From Facebook to Twitter to golf bloggers, fans are eagerly awaiting the return of the former World Number One Golfer and are cheering him on from the comfort of their laptops.

On Tiger's Facebook Page:
Colin Rennick Way to go Tiger!!! Cant wait to see you back and kicking some butt!!  GO TW GO
Suzanne Acosta Congratulations Tiger. Looking forward to seeing you back in action next week.

Twitter folks are more cynical wondering whether the Thanksgiving incident of five years ago still has an impact on Woods' game, from Golf Channel to your basic, every day fan:

Questions still remain for Tiger Woods five years after his Thanksgiving incident:



The biggest turkey I always mention in Thanksgiving is Tiger Woods.
'Ho, ho, ho....'


On Emily Kay's SB Nation post we find the inevitable questions, "Have expectations changed?" and "Will Tiger win at all in 2015?

ESPN states that recovery from his back issues has allowed Woods to ramp up his practice sessions on the range and that he is hopeful ...that his game is poised to reap the benefits.

Communication is the key to the development and resurgence of Tiger Woods, as former swing coach, Sean Foley, stated after being recently replaced, "We came to a point where we weren't communicating as well as we needed to anymore and we didn't want to jeopardize our friendship."

The Hero World Challenge is a non-elimination event of eighteen professional golfers which will take place at Isleworth Golf and CC (Tiger's stomping grounds) December 3-7, 2014. Check your local listings.

No matter what happens during the event to Tiger Woods, whether or not he succeeds or fails in his comeback attempt, Golf for Beginners wishes him all the success that he has worked for his entire life.

What do you think? Will Tiger Woods have a successful return? Voice your opinion on this blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Photo Credit: Flicker