Friday, June 26, 2015

Seven Ways Technology Can Improve Your #Golf Game

So, come on...who knew that finish was going to happen at the U.S. Open?
We've seen some real doozies at the majors but this blowup is going into the reels of "The Agony of Defeat".

Not ideal for our Myrtle Beach friend Dustin Johnson (shades of 2010 Pebble Beach?), but it goes to show that even the best of us three putt...and it's not dependent on the amount of pressure. The next time the choke happens to you, don't beat yourself up about it. These things can’t be helped.

Rather than dwell on things we can’t control, we’re looking today at things that we can improve.

We’ve been surveying a couple of golf apps of late, Mobitee and Hole19 to name a few, and have come up with a quick rundown of ways in which today’s technology can help improve your game.

Golf Apps

1. Course and Hole Management: We’ve all done it. Stood on the tee box, driver in hand, knowing that if we hit the ball correctly, it’s going to sail into the bunker that’s been inconveniently put in our way. Do we change we plot a different course of action? No. We take on the driver hoping it sails over the sand...and the inevitable happens. If you are one of those people, you should stop reading this and visit the app store right now.

2. Tracking and Game Improvement: This is a biggie . How many wedges do you take, on average, per round...7-irons, 5-woods? What are your GIR's? What was your score last time you played this course? Are you getting better? Like the advert says, there’s an app for that, complete with statistics and game analysis.

By monitoring your strokes, what club you use and how far it goes (GPS), golf apps are essential course tools for helping serious golfers improve their game.

3. Performance: I mean on the course. Golf apps are just waiting on iTunes and Android ready to help you avoid under or over-clubbing to shave a few shots off your round and make you feel good about golf and life itself.

4. Comfort: Does this count as technology? I think so. There’s some amazing golf gear available today. From lightweight bags and waterproof shoes to hybrid/iron combo sets and moisture-wicking gloves, what we wear, how it fits and breathes is just so much better than it used to be. Worst case, if you’re still carding over 100, at least you look better doing it.

5. Round Length: If, with all the advances in the game, a round still takes approximately four hours, imagine what it would be like without apps!

Quicker buggies, lighter clubs and even robotic trollies have helped, but, maybe golf apps are the final piece of the puzzle to help get the average time of a round down even further.

6. Course Planning: You know those expensive course planners, which guide you hole-by-hole? Well, now they’re pretty much obsolete. You can get a great aerial view of each hole from your phone from golf apps that are free. You can put that five dollars into a beer after the round.

7. Enjoyment: Let’s be honest, anything that can help us avoid tanking the ball into the lake or watching it dribble five feet from the tee is going to help us enjoy the round a bit more. Of course, when your friend does it, it will still remain highly enjoyable.

Do you use a golf app to improve your game? Tell us on this Golf for Beginners blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Unique Facts About U.S. Open #Golf and Chambers Bay

Are you getting your favorite chair plumped and ready for the 115th U.S. Open? Have you been reading through tons of statistics, trying to figure out the winner for your Fantasy Golf entries?

You are not alone. Many fans believe the U.S. Open to be the most exciting major of the year.

Remember when Tiger Woods hobbled down the fairways in 2008 to beat Rocco Mediate in a playoff, or the heartbreak we all felt as we watched Phil Mickelson double bogey the 18th hole at Winged Foot? Well folks, that's U.S. Open golf and there will be, no doubt, many stories to come out of this year's second major of the year.

With these memories in mind, here are several very interesting and unique facts about the U.S. Open and the golf course on which the winner will be decided.

Did you know...

1. The first U.S. Open golf tournament was held in 1895 had only eleven entrants! The winner received $150 and a gold medal. Source: Martin Kaymer, the 2014 U.S. Open winner, received $1.62 million!

2. There were 8,300 entries this year with the requirements that players are professional or have a handicap index of 1.4 or better. Source: Newsday,com

3. The 2015 U.S. Open muni golf course, Chambers Bay, was built on the site of a former sand and gravel quarry.

4. Is it true that Chambers Bay has only one tree on the entire golf course? That is correct. It is a Douglas Fir on the 15th hole which Robert Trent Jones said gave the course "character".

5. The U.S. Open of 1912 was the first and the only Open course which had a par-6 hole - Country Club of Buffalo.

6. The 2014 U.S. Open had on hand 100,000 ¼ lb. Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs and 365,000 12 oz. Beers ready for the fans consumption.

What unique or fun facts can you share about the 2015 U.S. Open golf tournament or about Chambers Bay? Share with us on Golf for Beginners blog or on Twitter @Golf4Beginners!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Is #Golf Becoming Too Tough for Tiger Woods?

Tiger Woods sad
In a recent CNN article, the caption below a photo of Tiger Woods at The Memorial Golf Tournament read, "Tiger Woods Hits New Low". Woods struggled with irons, driver and putter during round three of the Tournament, carded an 85 and called the sport "tough" and "lonely".

If golf was an easy game, Tiger, everyone would score in the 70's!

Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson and Arnold Palmer have all carded several rounds in the 80's and, although they were down, they were not counted out - neither should Tiger Woods be thought of as being at the end of his career.

Then you have the critics who feel the need to play devil's advocate for their readers and viewers, such as Brandel Chamblee, who believes that tweaking his swing and changing swing coaches too many times has turned Tiger Woods from greatness to mediocrity.

"He’s traded his genius for the ideas of others, said Chamblee. "He’s changed his body in the gym for bulk. Everything that we see here is the result of what he’s done over the last four, five, six, seven, eight years."

We all know that golf is not easy nor is it longer considered by many to be a "game". The mental and physical image set long ago by players who smoked cigars and let bellies bulge from loud, un-matching apparel has been swapped by many younger players for hours in the gym and a conversion of golf from game into sport.

For the pros (and for many confident amateurs), this sport comes down to how hard they want to push and how focused their confidence is on the shots they want to make so yes, it could be considered "tough".

When it comes to the "loneliness" factor, if you are playing for personal improvement, golf is a lonely sport.

If you are playing for fun and recreation (cigars, beer hanging out wtih your buddies) then golf most certainly isn't a lonely sport - so it depends on how you want to approach the game!

As for Tiger Woods, his opinion and persona still greatly matter to golf. What he says and how he reacts either motivates or dissuades fans and new players who want and need inspiration.

Do you think golf is tough and a solitary sport? Voice your opinion on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and on this golf blog.


Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Why Businesses Should Sponsor #Golf Tournaments and Events

I recently wrote an article for my LinkedIn connections about how businesses that help sponsor golf tournaments can bring cutting edge benefits and visibility to their business and brand.
This article has proven to be of interest so I decided it would be wise to spread this information to a wider audience, hence to my readers on Golf for Beginners.
I have the honor of assisting the yearly Legends Invitational Golf Tournament with their social, marketing and sponsorship efforts and, in doing so, I  am also part of so much more: the main beneficiary of the Event is The National Navy UDT SEAL Museum.
Charitable concerns are important in our framework of life - selecting the beneficiary which can do so much good for others is extremely important not only to the event but to those who support or are in attendance.
In the case of Legends Invitational, the tournament supports The Navy SEAL Museum through donations which benefit families of fallen heroes and the heroes themselves via Trident House and educates through initiatives at the Museum.
With Legends help (and through the generosity of grants and corporate gifts), the Navy SEAL Museum helps preserve, and shares the legacy of, the world’s premier Special Operations force. The Museum receives no federal funding and relies upon the good will of people and of corporate entities.

Why should your business help sponsor a golf event? Here are a few bullet points:

 - In the case of Legends Invitational, it is an opportunity to make connections with many of the top business builders in our Country. Legends has been known for the past twenty-four years as the Most Exclusive Invitational Golf Tournament in the World.
- Great for entertaining clients. Imagine bringing those associates you want to impress to a five-star setting to play Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Spanish Bay golf courses. Top name Football Hall of Famers are in attendance,and...
Stacy with V. Admiral Kernan
The SEAL's not only make an appearance, but boy, do they ever make an entrance! What a WOW factor. (In my foursome, our Team Leader was Vice Admiral Joe was an honor to play golf for three days with him!)
- Reward your best employees - Provide major incentive to a foursome of your brightest stars for a job well done - it will ignite a fire that will last for years.
- Patriotic event - Navy SEALs, for example, enhance the reputation, image and prestige of the sponsoring company through association.
- Generates media buzz both traditional and internet. Watch KSBW-TV headlining news storyNavy SEALs and NFL Legends Team Up for Good Cause 
Company representatives do not necessarily have to be in attendance to sponsor an event yet can still reap the benefits. Here is an example - Jack Daniels sponsored the opening cocktail hour at Spanish Bay as well as tents at the 7th hole at Pebble Beach (among other initiatives). Another thought? Why not sponsor a hole at the Event. A Harley Davidson dealer placed a motorcycle at the tee box of a par-3 ready to be won in exchange for a hole-in-one.
Jack Daniels Cocktail Sponsorship before Legends Invitational
Jack Daniels Cocktail hour before the Event

Your company can sponsor an entertainment, activity or cocktail hour, marketing their name to those in attendance.
For example, Legends Invitational and The Navy SEAL Museum offer many ways to donate to the cause. If you don't play golf but love the SEALs, your company can support Museum efforts directly or customize an event at your place of business with SEALs parachuting into YOUR event, or perhaps, instruction of tactical demonstrations onsite. Talk about a memorable experience for your workers - this will have them whipping out their smartphones, socially sharing your brand with everyone of their contacts.
A company can also offer goods or services to improve the lives of the Event beneficiary. Donations come in many forms, from becoming a member of The Navy SEAL Museum to helping to furnish Trident House or donating auction items - the ideas are endless.
There are so many ways for businesses to benefit from sponsoring a golf event from reputation association to brand building - consider this new arena as a part of your marketing strategy.
Learn how you can help sponsor The National Navy UDT SEAL Museum either directly or through Legends Invitational - read the Legends Invitational Sponsorship Brochure.
Voice your opinions on this golf blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.