Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hope vs Guts for the Glory of #Golf - West or East Coast Swing?

Eleven of the top-20 golfers in the world will be swinging their clubs from west to east coast this week, kicking off the PGA Tour "Florida Swing" and advancing the season into high gear. How, if at all, does this cross-country expedition energize players and strengthen the fan base?

The West Coast Swing begins a fun and exciting journey into a new season with fans and media reviewing wins and shots from the previous season, buzzing about how top golfers like Jordan Spieth are going to come out of the gate and with the joviality and hi-jinks that are standard fare at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am.

Starting out the season playing golf in Hawaii, moving through Arizona and then back to California had the pros playing on some of the most breathtaking courses in the world, relaxed and ready after the holiday season.

"Optimistic", "hopeful", "nervous" - three sentiments communicated during an interview of Phil Mickelson at the start of the golf season on the west coast.

PGA National Golf Resort Bear Trap













Onto the East Coast Swing this week and the "Bear Trap", the 15th, 16th and 17th holes of the Jack Nicklaus Champion course considered to be the toughest in golf...now the season is getting serious.

As Jack Nicklaus said of his lair, "That stretch is about precision,. That stretch is about guts."

After the Honda Classic this week, the next stop on the PGA Tour is equally grueling as the players visit Doral for the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship - visiting "The Blue Monster", a golf course in the middle of a swamp with wind and water and, perhaps, a drop-in from presidential hopeful Donald Trump and Tiger Woods? Fans should definitely be watching this tournament as prior year duels at eighteen between Woods and Mickelson at dusk took on a decidedly serious tone.

Onto Innisbrook, then Bay Hill (Arnold Palmer's gem) and finally The Shell Houston Open which all lead up to...The Masters at August National...enough said.

Basically, while the West Coast Swing kicked off the season like sipping on a breakfast blend while relaxing to a beautiful sunrise, the East Coast Swing is a completely different "animal" as mentioned by Geoff Shackelford in Golf Digest, complete with bears, a monster and snakes! It's positively terrifying and, as David Duval confirmed, "There’s no faking it around any of these golf courses running up to the Masters."


West Coast or East Coast Swing - which do you prefer? Voice your opinion at the end of this golf blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

photo: Pinterest



Thursday, February 18, 2016

Here Is Your Chance to Putt On The World's Slickest Surface #golf

Have you ever yearned to travel to a unique golf destination and just love freezing cold weather? Here is your chance to add skis to the bottom of your golf cart! Grab your parka and partake in one of the most unusual three-day events you will ever attend.

Ice Golf in Siberia
Ice Golf in Siberia?!

From March 15 to March 20, 2016 in the heart of mysterious Siberia, the International Ice Golf Festival will be commemorating its twelfth anniversary and you are invited to train "on the surface of the deepest spot of Baikal" on the ice of the world's nethermost lake. The festival takes place along the bay of Maloye Morye and Olkhon Island.

Ever heard the expression "putting on glass"? Watch Rory McIlroy in this ESPN Sports Science Video and see what it's like as one of the world's top golfers glides his ball along a zero-friction surface - you will have your chance at this tournament, as well as an opportunity to feel what -25 degrees actually feels like on your skin - this is what is meant by an extreme golf experience!

putting on ice
This Tournament Gives New Meaning to Putting on Glass

At Lake Baikal, you will gain brand-new experiences as you take part in training sessions and an exciting golf tournament on an ice/snow golf course created by Mother Nature. One of the training sessions will actually take place on the surface of the deepest spot of Lake Baikal (1637 meters/5370 feet).

The grand finale of the festival is the Baikal Ice Golf Tournament with players contending for the Baikal Big Challenge Cup.

Contrary to what you may have heard, you will not only be speechless at the natural beauty of your surroundings but also pleasantly surprised to discover a developed city and tourist infrastructure in the heart of Siberia. One of the distinctive peculiarities of the festival is its rich cultural and ethnic program with shaman ceremonies and music master-classes.

The goal of Baikal Ice Golf 2016 is to provide golfers and travelers from around the world with an opportunity to broaden their golf experience, challenge themselves to play golf on the ice and snow surface of the fascinating Lake Baikal and to draw attention to unique recreational and sports opportunities available at places around the world that you may have never previously considered for holiday.

The doors of the festival are also open for golf beginners and for all those who dream of viewing far-away places like Siberia and legendary lake Baikal.

To learn more about the festival, or perhaps take part in a golf event that is more than just a little different, submit your application or contact the organizers: http:/ice.baikal-golf.ru/english.

What unique places have you traveled to in order to play golf? Let us know in the comments section of Golf for Beginners blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

photo: International Ice Golf Festival (see above for link)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Jordan Spieth BobbleHead Giveaway from AT&T Pro-Am and #Golf for Beginners #ATTPROAM #ATTBlogger

What makes Pebble Beach such a magical course for golf fans? Is it our fascination with the splendor of the golf course, with the history and excitement of the upcoming AT&T Pro-Am, or do recollections of emotional responses from players and celebrities have us enamored with the West Coast gem?

February 8-14, 2016 are the official dates of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (so you don't miss it!) and with it comes all of the revelry fans have come to expect from this engaging "event", from the celebrity hi-jinks of Bill Murray and Larry the Cable Guy to the calm coolness of the current number-one golfer in the world, Jordan Spieth.

Last year, Brandt Snedeker broke the tournament scoring record by three shots (72-hole total of 22-under 265) and this year he is back to defend, and maybe even eclipse, his record but not without a fight from proven winner Phil Mickelson (who has four AT&T Pro-Am wins in his bag) and young guns like Jordan Spieth, Danny Lee and J.B. Holmes. Watch the action this week and take in the scenery - this is one of the best tournaments of the year!

The Jordan Spieth Bobblehead Doll Giveaway!

First, you've got to see this hilarious Jordan Spieth Bobblehead video conceived by AT&T - yes, it's okay to laugh out loud...I did.

After he starred in this video, Jordan Spieth bobblehead paid me a visit and actually helped me polish off this blog so thanks Jordan, although, as you can see by the above video, he kept taking my mind off the post! 

We also got to hang out for a while at my house where Jordan helped me with my guitar chords. Great song choice, don't you agree? 

Our time together ended with a quick round of golf with the foursome below. Yes, it was a day to remember!

Jordan Spieth bobblehead told me he is waiting to make memories happen for the winner and go to his forever home. 

Here's how this exclusive, Spieth bobblehead can be yours:

Jordan Spieth Bobblehead TWITTER Giveaway:

  • Follow @Golf4Beginners and @ATTProAm on Twitter
  • Tweet, in a few words, why Jordan Spieth is one of your favorite golfers with the hashtag #SpiethBobbleHead
  • Giveaway ends on Sunday February 14, 2016.
  • I will choose one response at random from all received on Monday, February 15, 2016.

It's THAT Simple!

The first 8,000 fans at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Golf Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 13 will receive their very own Jordan Spieth bobblehead doll - this is the ONLY way to score a Spieth bobblehead, unless, of course, you enter, and win, our giveaway. According to an article on Golf.com, these Jordan Spieth bobblehead dolls are becoming a hot commodity so be sure to Enter The Jordan Spieth Bobblehead Giveaway.

A few interesting notes about AT&T; this is their 31st year as the title sponsor of the event (AT&T is the second-longest continuous title sponsor on the PGA Tour) and it is the second year in which AT&T is sponsoring Jordan Spieth, from golf bag to caddie towel TO...BOBBLEHEAD!

Learn more about AT&T's affiliation with Jordan Spieth (and other cool sponsorships like Infiniti Red Bull Racing for example), visit ATT.com/Sponsorship. Read about local charities supported and how AT&T is connecting customers and fans to their passions for golf and technology: visit ATTPBGolf.com.

Check out AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Broadcast Schedule:
PGA TOUR LIVE11:00a-6:00p  
GOLF6:30-9:30p  GOLF9:30p-12:30a  GOLF3:00-6:00p  
PGA TOUR RADIO12:00-6:00p
Saturday and Sunday: GOLF -- 1-2:30 p.m., CBS -- 3-6 p.m. ET







This post is in partnership with AT&T. All opinions are my own.



Are You Planning to Watch the #ATTPROAM? Let Us Know Who Your Favorite Golfer is this week on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and @ATTProAm

Friday, February 05, 2016

Is Your Brain Always on Sports? #Golf and the Fan

If you're the one who friends and family consider to be "the sports nut", the guy or gal who lives, eats and breathes golf, football, baseball, tennis or hockey, then your loved ones might benefit from the book "This Is Your Brain On Sports", so they can try to understand what makes you tick.

The Science of Underdogs, the fan mentality and more is evaluated in the book "This Is Your Brain on Sports" by John Wertheim and Sam Sommers.

Sports psychology is the basic understanding of why we do what we do on and off the field, the golf course, how we react as fans, how thoughts translate into real life and how we can use what we learn to understand and improve our lives.

No doubt you have heard the phrase "Golf is ninety percent mental", and, even though we only think about that phrase in relation to playing the game, the psychology and attitudes of fans and pros play heavily into our psyche.

Here are several points which I took away from "This Is Your Brain on Sports - The Science of Underdogs, The Value of Rivalry and What We Can Learn from the T-Shirt Cannon."

Think about these ideas the next time you are in these situations as a player, as a fan or as someone who lives with this type of "fan"-atic.

1. Let's start with the sub-title of the book - T-Shirt Cannon and what we can learn from it.
Why does shooting a T-Shirt out of a cannon (or pitching a golf ball to the crowd for the sake of our blog) keep fans coming back to a stadium, arena or course, even if the team (or golf pro) is losing?

The book claims that it is because the T-Shirts are free "...and free is catnip to humans, an enticement so strong it sometimes causes us to behave ridiculously...". I cannot personally relate to this theory as I do not go to a golf course to catch tossed golf balls from Jordan Spieth although one of my favorite memories is carrying the Sunday standard for Annika Sorenstam and her pitching me her golf ball after making a birdie.

2. Effort Justification is defined by Psychology Dictionary as, "The phenomenon where people evaluate a task more favorably when it involves something difficult or unpleasant."

The book tells us, "When we pay for access to a gym, for example, we often come to value a group more than when the access comes for free."

3. We're All "Comeback Kids" - After a tragedy or a physical ailment which may keep someone from playing a sport, isn't it amazing how we read about how the athlete made an unprecedented return? We, as humans, are quite resilient.

4. Rooting for the Underdog or remaining loyal to consistently losing teams - oh, how many times I have cheered on Phil Mickelson in spite of knowing that he was nowhere near a win but, when he finally DID win, the experience was further overwhemed by joy and exuberance, almost like I had won!

5. Praise is important but it's the right kind of praise that truly makes the athlete. Praise for effort, not necessarily for the win. ParentingScience.com further emphasizes to, "Encourage kids to focus on mastering skills—not on comparing themselves to others." One of the things I enjoy most about watching golf is at the very end of their round, golfers almost always praise their playing partners.

This book is not for everyone - but it is an important work if you want to delve deeper into the psyche of human nature and enjoy reading about a broad sports culture through a fan's point-of-view. The press release best related what "This Is Your Brain on Sports" is trying to convey  - it "celebrates the quirkiness of sport while revealing something deeper about who we are, what we care about and the forces that shape our behavior.

Have You Read -This Is Your Brain On Sports-? Share your opinion on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and in the comments section of this Golf for Beginners blog.


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