Thursday, June 28, 2018

10 Tips for Playing Golf in the Summer Heat

tips for playing golf in the summer heatThe dog days of summer have arrived and, if you are as passionate about the sport as I am, you will be out on the golf course no matter how hot it gets!

Whether you are a beginner to the game or a die-hard amateur, you need to remember to bring the essentials with you so that the round doesn't become a harrowing experience.

Golf for Beginners has compiled are a few tips for playing golf in the summer heat. Review this checklist before your next round:

1. Hydrate! Freeze a bottle of water - it will usually last for the round.
2. Stash extra gloves for perspiration.
3. Sunscreen: How many times have you gotten beet red because you forgot to apply SPF?
Consumer Reports advises sun worshippers to apply sunscreen before bug spray, letting it absorb into the skin and then spray on a separate bug killer - try not to use a combination spray as you will need to reapply the sunscreen but not necessarily the bug spray.
4. Bug Spray: There is nothing worse than a swarming bunch of no-see-ums pinching at your skin as you are trying to make your 150-yard approach shot to the green. Look for a sunscreen that provides you with enough protection so that you are not constantly reapplying it.
5. Sunglasses: Blinding sunlight can have an impact on your eyes, causing blurriness - even if you take them off to look at the dimples on your golf ball, put them back on when walking or riding around in the golf cart.
6. Face towel - place a frozen, wet towel in a baggie and wipe down your face often. When the towel gets warm, refresh with ice at the turn.
7. Hat: Always bring along a hat with visor - the hat protects your skin and the visor protects your eyes.
8. Golf Clothing: Wear moisture-wicking materials which breathe and stay away from black and dark colors as they absorb heat (basic science - white and lighter colors reflect light and heat, dark colors absorb heat).
9. Find Shade: When you are waiting for your turn at the tee box, find a spot of shade to stand in - you will be amazed at how cool you are when approaching your shot.
10. Try for an early morning tee time. It's cooler during AM hours, so why not have an early morning cup of joe and enjoy the sunrise!

Have a golf tip you would like to add to our list of summer heat quenchers? List it in the comments section of this golf blog or tag us on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Three Golf Lessons Learned from U.S. Open Mistakes

2018 U.S. Open logo
For those fans who stayed glued to their television sets during the 118th U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, the golf tournament proved exciting with lessons to be learned...if you paid attention!

Professional golfers make errors, albeit fewer than the average player; ball striking is much crisper but nerves can still wreak havoc, with golfers dropping like flies down the home stretch.

Brooks Koepka kept his cool throughout the U.S. Open and, although he physically played golf better than the pack, it was his mental strength which led him to victory, which leads this week's Golf for Beginners blog to the three lessons learned from U.S. Open mistakes.

1. Golf Tip #1: Don't let nerves get the best of you.

There weren't enough deep breaths to be had as Tony Finau, Patrick Reed and even Koepka (on 18) yanked shots and  3-putted down the back nine on Sunday. A steady mind won the U.S. Open for Koepka.

2. Golf Tip #2: Don't let the round get away from you.

Not caring how the hole will turn out when you are spiraling into double or triple bogey territory is probably one of the worst ways to play a round of golf. Take time with your golf shots, make each shot count and stop the bleeding. Move on after a bad hole and make each hole its own adventure.

Case in point - Phil Mickelson striking his ball on the green while it was rolling - bad and good move - he knew that he was going to score high so he stopped the bleeding but, did he really care about his round after his two-stroke penalty? Phil finished his Saturday round with an 81...good for most amateurs but bad for one of the top players in the world.


3. Golf Tip #3: Take responsibility for your round.

It's not the course, it's not the wind...it's YOU! Yes, even at Shinnecock Hills...
Once you stop criticizing, stop the negative self-talk and replace it with positive comments, your round will improve. An angry golfer makes mistakes. Your entire group is playing in the same conditions...deal with it.

Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello tweeted after a 76, "It was not a fair test of golf. Greens were unplayable, with unnecessary pin positions. USGA found a way to make us look like fools on the golf course. A pity they managed to destroy a beautiful golf course."

Best advice for a golfer facing problems during his or her round?

Stay focused in the present and stay flexible in case of surprises...that's golf!

What lessons did you learn from the 2018 U.S. Open? Comments welcome below and tag us with your thoughts on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Video: Youtube.com - GOLF TALK CANADA TV & RADIO

Friday, June 15, 2018

Golf Tips for Warming Up and Increasing Power If You Have an Injury

golf tips for warming up to prevent injuryThere are a plethora of golf tips floating around on the internet - some are worthy of a read and others, well, they can be a bit ridiculous... and put you into positions that can really hurt you!

This week, Golf for Beginners has found a few, simple golf tips that shouldn't cause golf injuries during practice and should help better prepare you for course play.

Golfworld has reported that PGA Tour injuries are on the rise, from back and spine problems to sore wrists, hips, and knees; why are these injuries becoming more commonplace?

When you watch Tiger Woods swing a golf club, you will see that his motions are not necessarily natural - these sustained actions over time have forced Woods to have an orthopedist on-hand for multiple surgeries. His recent comment during the pre- U.S. Open press conference says it all, "I had no expectation or thought that I actually could be here again...It was about my standard of life, forget golf...".

Warming up before practice and before a round of golf can greatly reduce injury and allow you to swing more smoothly.  The Mayo Clinic advises that taking just ten minutes to limber up with "a brisk walk or jumping jacks" will help prepare you, as well as stretching hands, spine, shoulders, pelvis, and legs before you try to take any swing...yes, even before chipping and putting.

Another important warm-up to add to your routine, if you do not already do it, is to swing your golf club a few times at a slow, easy speed to loosen up as well as encourage proper motion.

Even if you have been previously injured, there are ways to increase power in your golf swing.

An article in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) maintains that there are ways to enhance performance through proper training programs. Physical therapist, Erik P. Meira, found that "injuries may be associated with lack of warm-up, poor trunk flexibility and strength, faulty swing technique, and overuse."Skitterphoto.com

In order to combat injury, Meira suggests simple fixes to not further damage already tender areas. One common sense idea is, f you carry your bag and have a shoulder injury, take a cart instead.

As for increasing power, "a warm-up of windmills, trunk twists, static stretching, and air swings with a club for 7 weeks increased the golfers’ clubhead speed by 24% when compared with that of the control group."

Older folks benefitted from "flexibility, core stability, balance, and basic resistance exercises."

Play it safe when going out onto the golf course or when practicing your swing. Don't overswing, stretch before a round and get out and exercise on a regular basis to keep your body strong and limber. Remember, golf is a game but it is also a sport!


IMPORTANT NOTE: Golf for Beginners is not saying that you won't get injured during practice; the simple tips above can help your warm-up routine but should not be tried if you have an injury if you are ill or have any physical issues - ALWAYS consult a qualified doctor, professional or golf instructor before taking any risks or playing a sport.

Give us your golf tips for warming up and increasing energy either below, in the comments section of this golf blog or on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Photo: Pexels.com, Skitterphoto.com

Thursday, June 07, 2018

How to Overcome Irritating Golf Partners and Keep Your Sanity

how to overcome irritating golf partners on the courseHave you ever been paired with golf partners who irritate you?

Is there a member of your regular foursome who consistently disturbs you in your backswing?

If you are a golfer who enjoys connecting with new players you are probably nodding your head right now, picturing the most recent disturbing golf course event.

Golf is a social game so going out as a solo is only an occasional occurrence for many players. In this blog, Golf for Beginners will offer ideas on how to ignore annoyances from members of your group and to identify if you may be part of the problem!

Scenario #1: You are standing tall to the ball, you feel confident that your drive is going to land safely on the fairway and, in your backswing, you hear a ringing sound - it's your playing partner's cell phone playing the macarena...again. You tense up and your golf ball heads for the woods instead of its intended target.

What could have been done to prevent this outcome?

Most likely, you have not learned how to stop your backswing in mid-flight, so learning this technique might help for future outbursts.

This is one occurrence where you just have to bite the bullet but it would be wise to let the golfer know that his or her cell phone should be on mute and, if you have a smartphone of your own, check it before your round so you don't disturb others on the course.

Irritating golfer #2:  The golfer who lacks golf course etiquette.

Whether that annoying partner steps on your putting line or stands directly in front of you as you are trying to take your shot, this lack of golf course etiquette can result in internalized anger, topped shots and an overall drop in score.

What can you do about it?

Focus on your own game! Yes, you should politely let the offending golfer know the proper etiquette, but golf is not a team event (in most cases) and your score is based upon how well you get out of trouble and how you handle pressure. Don't let someone else's ignorance or lack of golf etiquette spoil your round- strengthen your mental resolve and concentrate on making par.

“The real test of good manners is to be able to put up with bad manners pleasantly.”  
― Kahlil Gibran

Read: Should Golfers Have to Pass an Etiquette Test?

Irritating golfer # 3: Talks in your backswing, alerting you to the hazards you should avoid.

When another player is quick to point out that bunker or water hazard in direct view as you are ready to hit your tee shot, quickly focus (and say out loud) the direction you are going to send the ball, for example, "I am placing this ball in the middle of the fairway by the 150 marker." This takes the negative thought and replaces it immediately with the last thing you heard, namely, the positive outcome. Visualize your shot and hit away.

It is also a good idea to make mention that you prefer not to receive tips of any kind during a round but will be happy to discuss it afterward, perhaps on the 19th hole.

Pro golfers have had to learn how to deal with disturbances; for golfers who have played alongside Tiger Woods, it can be "exhausting" being in the same group. Imagine throngs of folks following you and the sights and sounds which accompany hundreds - or thousands - of fans!

Final note: Golf is a friendly sport - I don't believe that players are intentionally and willfully causing you grief...you are just dealing with a lot of personalities! If something bothers you, be firm yet polite and handle the situation early in the round so that it doesn't escalate and ruin your good time on the course.

How do you overcome annoying people on the golf course? Let us know in the comments section of this golf blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners!

Photo by Fancycrave from Pexels

Friday, June 01, 2018

Myrtle Beach Golf Courses Which Favor Accuracy Over Driver

Myrtle Beach Golf Courses LitchfieldThere are seventy-eight Myrtle Beach golf courses which offer a multitude of experiences for the local and traveler alike. Some are grip-it-and-rip-it courses and others favor accuracy and planning over bombing drives.

In a previous golf blog, Golf for Beginners examined several golf shots players need to score low, from the approach shot to the putt, which accounts for about half of your score. Now that you are mastering the shots which will help lower your score, it is time to put it all together on the golf course.

This blog will help you select the best Myrtle Beach golf courses that benefit from the exactness of skill.

Read: 3 Smart Ways to Lower Your Golf Score

Before I begin, let me ask your thoughts on this...is the drive overrated?

The legendary Ben Hogan said no and maintained that the first shot you take will determine what is to follow on each hole but a drive doesn't necessarily commence with a driver. There are par 3's as well as dogleg holes where a driver would be ineffective or a deterrent for most golfers.

Blackmoor, a Gary Player signature golf course in Myrtle Beach, is probably one of the most well-known dogleg courses;  it delights players with six angled doglegs, so a driver is not necessarily your friend. Hole 5, a par-4, is the first dogleg hole you will attack at Blackmoor and, although you may need a driver off of the tee, you have to plan your strategy well so that you are in a position to get onto the green.

Litchfield Golf and Country Club is another course where you will use most clubs in your bag. Eight (some say twelve ?) doglegs span this track and accuracy off of the tee is most important to scoring well. This low country favorite also features tight fairways so sharpen up those irons as you will be playing target golf for most of this round.

Southcreek Golf Course, one of three Myrtle Beach National courses, is a shorter, shotmaker's course.  Waste bunkers are also in play here in addition to the doglegs so you have to navigate through a variety of challenges, considering all clubs in your bag. Short doesn't necessarily mean easy!

So now that we have given you a few golf courses with doglegs which favor accuracy, it is time to dust off those irons and start planning your shots to get on the green in the least number of strokes. That is the way to score better in golf!

Do you prefer doglegs or grip-it-and-rip-it golf courses? Let us know on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and in the comments section of this golf blog.

photo: LitchfieldGolf.com

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