Thursday, May 25, 2017

Should You #Golf With Better Players?

Do you immediately feel anxious when approached by a single golfer or couple who wants to join you for the round?

Chances are, you may have been with your husband, wife or friend on the first tee and have been asked...

"Want to pair up?" only to cut them short with one of the following hackneyed excuses:

"I would prefer not to..."
"I'm not very good..."
"I haven't played in a while..."
"I play slow..."

Yes, both my husband and I have, on occasion, approached a twosome and received those comments. It's kind of disheartening because we were not only trying to keep the pace of players steadily moving but also thought it would be nice to play golf with another couple.

If you are on the receiving end...who feel intimidated that you are not good enough, take heart. There are always going to be golfers who play better than you do, or not as good as you, which is why the handicap system was invented - to level the playing field! Instead of worrying, go out to have a good time - you may just surprise yourself and play your best golf ever!

For this blog, we will examine the positive impact playing with a better golfer can have on your game and how you can benefit from the experience.

Reasons You May Not Want to Play Golf With a "Better" Golfer:
1. You may "beat yourself up" if you start to slide down the rabbit hole.
2. You may think you are slowing down the better golfer.
3. You may feel intimidated by the golfers' swing, shots, demeanor.
4. You may want to hit each shot, no matter how many you have to take, in order to get to the green.

Reasons You Should Play Golf With a Better Golfer:
1. You may pick up a few tips along the way.
2. Great to watch a better golfer's course management skills.
3. You might focus more on each of your shots and your score.
4. Challenges your mental and physical game.
5. You may just meet a new friend.

In my opinion, the positives far outweigh the negatives. I am an advocate for playing happy golf, keeping my own frame of mind and enjoying the company of whoever is with me at the time.

Tell you all of those folks out there who are worried about playing golf with me;
I won't comment on your swing, shots, and lack of experience if you don't snicker behind my back when I flub, okay?

This Memorial Day weekend, when you are faced with this situation, I hope you will go with the flow and make the most of your round. Enjoy!

Do you play with better golfers and why? Comment below on this golf blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Do You Play #Golf to Win?

Scenario: You're behind by two strokes, nearing the end a very important golf tournament, and your ball is not sitting in the best position to go for the green. Your nearest competitor has not bogeyed all day long and appears to be in good shape. What is your next move?

golf ball question markDo you:

a) play it safe
b) play to win

This was the dilemma for Ian Poulter as he debated his next move while 21-year-old Si Woo Kim stood ready on the fairway to increase his lead on a par-5 at the 2017 Players Championship.

Poulter decided to play it safe, protecting 2nd place money and his world ranking. After the tournament and his decision had been made, Poulter received criticism from a Golf Channel commentator, calling the move "the worst shot of the day."

Was it though? 

Chamblee, the commentator in question, clarified his statement to include that it was, indeed, a "fine shot" and, although it "didn't cost himself any money, didn't cost him any world ranking points", Poulter "clearly did not play to win".

According to, the hardest shot to hit under pressure is...the layup. "It won't get any votes for Shot of the Year" but it could make the difference in the shots that follow. A study in favor of opposing side, that is, playing aggressively in a tight squeeze, was published by Edmund M. Balsdon in the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports. He argues that "pros should start playing more aggressive under pressure because tournament purses are heavily skewed in favor of the winner."
Tweet: Play Golf to Win Each Week with Golf For Beginners Blog:
Of course, we don't play at that level but most of us do like to compete and beat our friends.

So, do you play safe and wait for your competitor to make an error (which happens a lot at our level of play) or go for the low percentage shot and, possibly, the win if you make a great shot?

I guess it depends on how well you are hitting the ball that day. Two thoughts to consider before making that decision during play:

- If you've been making most of your shots and your confidence is high, then go for it!

- If you have been scrambling all day, on the other hand, then you should play it safe.

Good luck out there!

Have you played it safe when your mind said, "Go for it?" Let us know your story below in the comments section of this Golf for Beginners blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Easy Solutions for #Golf Course Errors

Another blooper off the tee, one more golf green not made in regulation... you know you are doing something wrong can you fix these problems?

First, identify your issues. Place them on a list like the one I have created below. Most errors are easily avoidable and solvable. Here is our list of a few of the more common amateur golf mistakes:

Duffing off the tee
Slicing or hooking your shots
Not reaching your goals
Golf Ball flying past where intended
Playing the wrong ball
Not knowing the Rules

Solutions for most of the above issues are rather simple and some have nothing to do with on-course management. The tips below should help you start your round off on the right foot (so to speak).

Stretch Before a Round: A few stretches before you get to the first tee will help loosen you up for the next eighteen holes.
Practice: Just a few minutes of chipping and putting on the practice green can help you line up your putts and get a feel for the speed of the green and for the clubs you are about to use.
Boost: Keep Energized During the Round: Make sure you bring along a healthy snack.
Lessen your Load: If you are carrying your bag, be sure to remove extras that could weigh you down.

As for the on-course issues, some can be solved with simple practice. One of my earliest New York instructors once told me to remember the basics of G.A.S.P. (Grip, Alignment, Stance and Posture).

He said to, "remember this simple acronym when you practice and put it into play on the course." It is something I have never forgotten and continue to use to this day. Gripping too tight causes tension in your swing and we know how that single behavior can affect your entire round!

With relation to not reaching your goal or flying past your goal, that is most probably solved on the driving range by getting to know your club distances and including variables, such as the wind, as you make your club decision. Also, if you know your driver is not working well for you today, use a 3-wood instead. Golf is a thinking man's game so use your brain and your body to make the most of your round.

Lastly, for this blog, and with relation to The Rules...knowing the basics or, at the very least, keeping a rules book at the ready, can help you to make up strokes. Know the penalties so you can correctly score.

All of the above mistakes are curable are costly yet avoidable. Which golf course errors do you make on a regular basis? Share with us below on this golf blog and on our Golf4Beginners Twitter page.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Golf Tips to Help You Improve Lag Putt Percentages

Probably one of the most important golf tips we can offer on Golf for Beginners has to do with putting.

Dave Pelz said that the "make percentage" of PGA Tour players averages just over twenty-nine putts per round compared with twenty to thirty handicappers who average a staggering thirty-five and more putts per round! Knowing this one simple stat makes you really want to work on your short game.

Golfers know that it is extremely important NOT to choke on those easy three-footers, but it is crucial to learn the art of lag putting to get the average player into the "circle of trust".

lag putting

Move that little white ball safely into the hole in the least number of strokes and your score will drop.

In his recent Golf Digest article, "4 Shots You Need to Win at Augusta (and Anywhere)", Brooks Koepka notes that a "tricky lag" was needed during The Masters in order to compensate for the speed and swing on the greens although the short putts were equally as treacherous.
"Nowhere else do you see four-footers that break three cups. You have to hit the short ones with authority, but to even get those, your lag putting needs to be dialed in," noted Koepka.
This week, Golf for Beginners has put together a few easy golf tips and drills to avoid posting those nasty three-putts to your scorecard. If, as Pelz states, "PGA Tour pros three-putt an average of 2.4 times—per event," you can imagine how many strokes the average player is throwing away!

- If you are the type of golfer who always seems to lag the ball short of the hole, Dave Pelz suggests putting with a chipping stroke. "Add a little wrist hinge both back and through. Again, this will help you avoid hitting the ball too softly and coming up short."

- Bradenton Country Club’s Head Pro, Brian Lake, says that "feel" is overrated. "You’ll learn distance control faster, applying science."

"If you play just by feel, it takes you three times longer to finally teach your brain what those distances are,”  Lake states. The science behind the tip is, for every one inch you swing your putter behind and forward of the ball, the ball is going to roll approximately one foot. If you swing your putter two inches back then two inches forward, the ball should travel approximately two feet, and so on.

Golf for Beginners certainly doesn't want to overwhelm players so, since these two tips are easy to remember, try them the next time you practice your putting and let us know how these putting drills worked for you in our golf blog comments section below or on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.