Friday, September 25, 2015

Sportsmanship and The Rules of #Golf

Should there be a compromise between playing by The Rules of Golf and having good sportsmanship?

Controversy was recently stirred at The Solheim Cup by Team Europe's Suzann Pettersen after angrily demanding that Alison Lee be penalized after turning her back and not conceding a two to three-foot putt. Lee picked up the putt after assuming it had been given by Pettersen...but it had not and we all know never to assume.

Suzann Pettersen 2015 Solheim Cup

The Rules of Golf in match play (loosely) state that, unless the putt is conceded, the ball is in play. Team USA lost the match and there were bad feelings all around where there should have been cameraderie and pats on the back on both sides regardless of the Team.

“I hope in time the U.S. team will forgive me and know that I have learned a valuable lesson,” Pettersen said.

What was that valuable lesson?

Pettersen said she was "trying my hardest for my team and put the single match and the point that could be earned ahead of sportsmanship and the game of golf itself!"

Dust-ups like this have a familiar ring to them, for example, in Scotland at the 2000 Solheim Cup, Annika Sorenstam, "charged the Americans with bad sportsmanship in an 'ugly' incident" after being told to replay a shot which she chipped in because she played out-of-turn. USGA states, "While there is no penalty for playing out of turn in match play, the opponent can immediately recall any stroke which is played out of turn and require it to be played at the proper time."

Ah, The Rules of Golf within competitive golf reared its ugly head...perhaps Golf is becoming an Impolite Game?

When playing in your weekly foursome, it's usually polite (and good etiquette) to play "ready golf" and there are concessions made without the fanfare of a "you can take that" or a nod in order to keep the course moving along but what about when there are a trophy and/or a paycheck on the line - does courtesy and sportsmanship take a back seat?

Should there be golf rules for "the rest of us?"

The following video is a joking look from Tripp and Tyler at what would happen if the average golfer would concede to a different set of rules...ENJOY and I understand if you laugh out loud.

Perhaps the heat of the moment brings out the worst in people, or, maybe assuming that the competitor is your friend during a match and will automatically make that "gimme putt" is where the problem lies.

As Pettersen aptly stated, "I am so sorry for not thinking about the bigger picture in the heat of the battle and competition."

Do you think there should be a new rule in the etiquette section allowing two-foot gimmes in competitive match-play golf?

Follow Golf4Beginners on Twitter and leave comments below on our Golf for Beginners blog.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

How do the Pros Stay Fit for #Golf?

It was once thought that professional golf was more of a game, not a sport, so there was no obligation in staying physically fit.

Today, both fans and the media agree that golf requires a level of "physical exertion and coordination" and that the athletes who participate are gifted with agility, stamina, and/or strength to attain the highest levels of accomplishment.

That being said, Golf Digest recently featured a gallery of LPGA golfer fitness photos as well as ways in which the ladies stay in shape and ready to perform on the course.

From Bosu and kettle balls to weights, this is not the LPGA of old - these golfers are serious about their workouts!

Fifth-ranking LPGA golfer, Lexi Thompson, believes in using Bosu Balls because these exercises, "help build the strength so you can swing within yourself. A lot of amateurs over-swing because they're not strong enough to stay in control."

Both Cheyenne Woods and Michelle Wie are proponents of flexibility and endurance being two key performance enhancers for men or women. Wie even goes so far as to train for twenty minutes with an elastic band around her legs. Coach David Leadbetter believes that the more resistance between upper and lower body, the longer she'll hit the ball.

Coach David Leadbetter maintains that Wie is trying to build up resistance between her lower and upper body. The more separation — or torque — between lower and upper body, the longer she’ll hit the ball.

Dave Phillips and Dr. Greg Rose of the Titleist Performance Institute both agree that women should build their lower body. "If a woman can get a really strong lower body, she can develop speed just as quick as a man."

Bernhard Langer says that fruits and vegetables keep him in prime condition, that eating the right snacks on course is essential to keeping the blood sugar elevated and that the one thing he does every day is stretch his body.

Gary Player, at seventy-nine years old, is probably one of the earliest proponents of exercise and has ten rules for a fit body. "The secret is commitment. It cannot be a fad. Even if your exercise program is small, you must make it a part of your life.

What exercises do you do just for golf? Let us know on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and on our Golf for Beginners blog.

Read our previous golf blog: 5 Golf Tips for Practicing Without and Instructor


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Five #Golf Tips for Practice Without an Instructor

Golf for Beginners knows that there is no substitute for taking instructions from a professional golf instructor but, what happens when you want to hit a few but you're not taking a lesson?

Practicing on a driving range is good - proper practice is essential! No one wants to ingrain bad habits into the golf swing or into your round; they're so difficult to break! Instead, when you are alone with your golf clubs and no pro in sight, practice your lessons and keep these tips in mind:

golf driving range1. Just because you are practicing on a range doesn't mean you shouldn't first warm up your body - stretching before you begin will help improve the fluidity of your swing and, chances are, you won't pull a ligament or tendon.

2. Get your tempo down before you start swinging - practice tempo either with a training aid or think "1, 2, 3" (like a waltz) to the top of your back swing and then again "1, 2, 3" to the finish. Also, try holding your position at the top for a sec before your downswing -  this will slow you down and improve your rhythm.

3. Practice a comfortable hold on your grip - if you're holding on too tight it can cause a pull hook and callouses on your fingers. If you have problems with your grip pressure, there are grips that you don't play with but can help properly align your hands and fingers.

4. You're not John Daly so don't practice with a "grip it and rip it mentality"- there's no need to take a mighty swing every time. Instead, start your routine with quarter and half swings to improve ball contact. And, since golf is a target sport, pick the smallest specific target you're aiming at before you take your practice swing. Practice your visualization - how you look at a hole and the course.

5. Make sure you spend some time each session on the putting green - practice your putting stroke which is the beginning of your golf swing so you can see and hear the ball fall into the cup.


What practice tips can you share? Share on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and on this golf blog.

photo:, Golf for Beginners

Friday, September 04, 2015

Golf Club Demos, Food and John Daly at Myrtle Beach 19th Hole

Each year thousands of golfers descend upon the golf capital of the world for a chance at being named best in their flight - I am happily amazed at the growth of the Myrtle Beach Amateur Handicap Championship.

The tournament which started in 1982 with 682 participants has increased five-fold and is played on such well-known and beautiful golf courses as Caledonia Golf and Fish Club and the Barefoot Courses. Although there is a serious competitive spirit surrounding the Tournament, the focus is on FUN.

Myrtle Beach has around one-hundred golf courses, soft-sand beaches and, from last count, about 1700 restaurants so it's easy to understand why the Amateur Handicap Tournament is so popular year-after year. 

Is it the golf or the fun that brings the players back to the Beach? If you said both, you're RIGHT!

The World's Largest 19th Hole is a golfer's dream with celebrities, music and even a pro golfer in the midst. Taylor Hicks, American Idol winner, entertained, John Daly was mixing it up with his fans and stirring up the cocktails with his new vodka/tea drink (yes, it's another specialty of his) and there were putting and chipping contests, simulators and a line of PGA Tour Superstore booths filled with the latest golf equipment for hitting and testing by the participants.

My neighbor has been talking about the latest Wilson D200 driver and, lo and behold, there was a left-handed club waiting for me to test! My current driver is a Callaway X2 Hot so I went armed to the hitting booth ready to compare the two - here are my findings.

I could feel the "Reactive Face Technology" with every hit - there was definite forgiveness from the club as my shots seemed pretty straight from the get-go. I found the D200 to be very light but, for me, the head seemed to lag a bit (could have been the shaft). Overall a pretty good golf club to test against others when you go to PGA Tour Superstore to get fitted for your next driver. I also tried (and loved) the Ping G30 hybrid; high, straight, sweet-spot shots from the get-go, 

Barry got a hold of several irons too - he found the Titleist AP1 to have the best ball action off of the club face.

Booths each night were filled with a variety of tasty treats from southern barbecue and crab meat wontons to Shocktop and other refreshments. The lines, although a bit long, were quick moving and very chatty with golfers from Tennessee to Wisconsin talking about their day on the links.

I know that the Myrtle Beach World Am is all about the golf but...Thursday was the last night to attend the festivities and I'm getting hungry just thinking about my experience!

Have you attended the Myrtle Beach World Am Handicap Championship? Which was your favorite golf course...or was it the 19th hole that took center stage? Voice your opinion on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and on our Golf for Beginners blog.

Thanks to Chris King - Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday

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