Thursday, August 30, 2018

Why You Need to Play in the Myrtle Beach World Golf Amateur Tournament #MBWorldAm

Let the good times roll...on the golf courses in Myrtle Beach!

Myrtle Beach World Amateur Golf Tournament
For the 35th year, more than fifty golf courses (and hotels) in the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (and North Carolina border) welcomed over three thousand golfers to the annual World Amateur Tournament this year. What was on the menu?

Fun, food and golf, of course!

The Myrtle Beach World Amateur Tournament is one of my favorites to cover every year. Although golf is the main attraction, some could argue that the "19th hole" is a separate event, as there are putting and short game contests with big money (up to $25,000!) on the line.

Entertainment at Myrtle Beach World AmateurThe food is an affair in itself, with some of the best restaurants on the Grand Strand putting out their best and most delicious snacks for all to enjoy.

From Greg Norman's Australian Grill and Antonios with their exceptional steak and seafood dishes to Big Mike's Soul Food (delectable ribs) and Sticky Fingers' fried catfish, I didn't know which station to head to first!!

Entertainment kept the Myrtle Beach Convention Center rocking each night, with top-shelf bands keeping the crowds dancing and one of the finest pocket billiard players in the country, Ewa Mataya Laurance, showing her finesse around the table. With 100,000 square feet to cover, the 19th hole is the place to be after a tournament day in the Myrtle Beach sun.

The focus is on the golf, as this is a Tournament, with the most beautiful courses at the beach glistening in the morning sky as players set out for a day of stroke play. From Aberdeen Country Club with its serene "Meadows", "Highlands" and "Woodlands" nines to Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, with its decidedly southern feel, golfers who play in the Myrtle Beach World Am get to play golf on the choicest courses!

Companies peddling their products lined up in booths at the Convention Center as in past years; from magnetized wrist bracelets to help you improve balance to an auction house which had signed footballs, golfers were trying, buying and talking sports, food and the current player rankings.

Myrtle Beach World Amateur Golf Tournament History
One very interesting display which I came across was of the history of the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Tournament, "World Am Through The Ages", which allowed golfers a look back at some of its finest well as the trophy being awarded to the winner.

In my opinion, the spirit of the game is what this tournament is all about - choose to attend to be a part of history and to have a great time, both on, and off, the golf course!

Have you played golf in the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Golf Tournament? Tell us about your experience in the comments section of this golf blog and tag us on Twitter @Golf4beginners!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

How a Caddie Can Help You During a Golf Tournament

"Caddies don't win championships, golfers do." What are your thoughts on this statement?

If you were to review the commentary made by C.T. Pan after the Wyndham Championship, basically that caddies should "show up, keep up and shut up", you would be missing out on an opportunity to learn a great deal about the game of golf. Pan was joking, of course, but, having his wife (an inexperienced caddie) on the bag was probably not the best idea when it came to winning or losing the tournament.
There are mixed thoughts on the roles that caddies should play in the game of golf. Bobby Jones, one of my favorite golfers, was not a proponent of caddies being a major part of his round, saying, "If I needed advice from my caddie, he'd be hitting the shots and I'd be carrying the bag."

Video producer Dan Jenkins was quoted with a similar sentiment about caddies, "If a caddie can help you, you don't know how to play golf."

Lawrence Donegan, a Guardian newspaper golf correspondent, admits that some caddies are good, "and some are bad." Good caddies are like psychologists during a tournament, helping with mood, club selection and reading the greens.

Caddies must have some worth to a golfer (aside from carrying clubs) as some make as much as ten percent of a player's purse!

Caddies are a breed of their own. If you shoot 66, they say, "Man, we shot 66!" But go out and shoot 77, and they say "Hell, he shot 77!"  ...Lee Trevino

From counseling on the mental game to advising which golf club is best to use in different situations, a caddie who knows your game can go a long way during eighteen holes of a tournament.

James Y. Bartlett, author of the book, "Think Like a Caddie, Play Like a Pro", believes that caddies "serve as a valuable team member to help them make better decisions and achieve the lowest possible score."

If you are offered a caddie during your company event or during an amateur tournament, here are three things to ask before accepting his or her looping ability:

- How often do you play this golf course? If you have never played the course, your caddie will know where the doglegs, and trouble lies!

- How well can you read greens? You may not see where the break is, but, if your caddie regularly plays the course, he/she will know!

- If I give you an idea as to how far I hit my 7-iron (for example...and no fibs on distance as the caddie needs to know the true distance), can you help with proper club selection?

You should know your distances better than a caddie who meets you for the first time but if you are unsure, ask for advice.

When I was invited to play Pebble Beach with the Navy Seals at the Legends Invitational Tournament, I was given a caddie who played the course often and gave me invaluable advice. On the 8th hole at PB, my caddie told me to hit my second shot (over a deep water divide) to the left of where the rest of the group was aiming (because they wanted to make the shot onto the green). I landed safely on the fairway and wound up with a bogey on this very difficult hole while my group's golf balls landed in the ravine.

Final thoughts: Caddies don't judge you - they've seen it all, from bad swings to stressful fits of rage, so asking for advice might be just what you need to improve your round during a golf tournament!

Have you ever employed a caddie? How did he/she help your round? Comments welcome below on this golf blog and tag us with your answers on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Could Tiger Woods Have Done Anything Better to Win the Golf PGA Championship?

During the final round of the PGA Championship, golf fans could not help but watch Tiger Woods and conjecture that his old form has returned; his putting was terrific and his confidence was high...he was even smiling!

There were a few mistakes which Woods made, however, which we all could learn from to make Tiger, and the rest of us, better golfers.

Many of my golf blogs emphasize the overall importance of putting in scoring low - well, Tiger Woods had that part of his game under control, rolling one-putts on Sunday from both near and far.

What Tiger could have done better to edge out a win was to keep his ball in the short grass. Woods made his Sunday round much more difficult than it had to be - whether he pitched out from under trees, or navigated to every bunker with his ball, Tiger had the shot needed to get that ball out of trouble and back into play but he missed a few opportunities to get onto the green and close to the pin.

What the amateur golfer needs to remember is that we are NOT Tiger Woods - we cannot get our golf balls out of deep rough and onto the putting surface with the same strength and finesse as the former number one golfer in the world  - we are lucky if we can get our ball out from behind a tree and back into play! What can we do? We can play smarter golf, picking our targets using the right club for the job.

Although I am writing about his Sunday round, Tiger Woods could have putt better earlier in the tournament; he didn't convert his short putts on Saturday, which ultimately cost him the PGA Championship.

ESPN stated, "Woods had six putts of 20 feet or shorter for birdie on the back nine (Saturday) and made none. That includes a 4-foot miss after missing a 20-footer for eagle on No. 17. It was a massively squandered opportunity, one that could easily have seen him grouped with Koepka in the final pairing."

For Tiger Woods (and for the rest of us), the lesson learned is to make every shot count; a four-foot putt on Saturday is as important as an approach shot onto the green on Sunday.

One final thought which comes from the above golf tip comes from Brooks Koepka, winner of the 2018 PGA Championship. "To duel it out with him, I don't think I ever dreamed of that situation today." If Tiger would have made it into the final group with Koepka and played his game, would Koepka have maintained a mentally strong attitude and won? Tiger Woods' mental game seems to be as strong as in the past so these two golfers would make an interesting pairing, don't you agree?

Follow Golf4Beginners on Twitter and feel free to add your thoughts into the comments section of this golf blog.

Monday, August 06, 2018

5 Golf Fundamentals Every Beginner Should Know - Guest Post

golf ball near hole
This week, Golf for Beginners is excited to have Justin Kuehn, Hampton Golf's V.P. of Marketing, write a guest post on golf fundamentals. Enjoy!
Golf is a game of fine motor skills and discipline. If you don't have the basics mastered, you'll never succeed. Here are 5 golf fundamentals which every beginner should become acquainted.

Are you ready to get serious about the game of golf? If so, you are joining one of the most popular clubs in the world. In fact, nearly 1 million new golfers entered the ranks from 2015 and 2016. What a world awaits you on this journey.

There are over 33,000 golf courses in 209 different nations across the globe. Now is the time to master the basics so that you can compete on any golf course in the world.

Read on to learn more about golf fundamentals. Explore 5 golf fundamentals that every beginner should master.

1. Golf Fundamentals Start With Knowing the Rules

Before hitting the green, you need to read up on the rules of the game. There are far too many rules to learn in just one sitting. Also, each different course may have its own specific rules regarding the field of play.

The Rules of Golf are very particular and you are penalized for not following them. There is a rule for everything from the number of clubs in your bag to moving items that are obstructing your swing.

2. Learn How to Score the Game

After reading up on the rules, you have to learn how to score a game. A term called par is assigned to each hole on the course.

This is the number of strokes that it will take a skilled player to complete the hole. Par is determined based on the length of the course and its difficulty level. If you complete the hole in one or two strokes less than par, it is called a birdie or eagle, respectively. If you finish in one or two strokes more than par, it is called a bogey or double bogey.

3. Develop Your Stance

Golf is a game of fine motor skills and rigid discipline. Mastering stance is one of the first things to develop in your golf game.

You want to set your feet about shoulder-width apart. This allows for an even weight distribution on each foot.

The next step is to slightly bend your knees to allow for flexible lower body movements. The final step is adjusting your hips. Set your hips slightly back to generate momentum for your swing.

4. Keep Your Head Down

Now that your stance is set, it is time to swing. Even the professionals continue to work on their swing throughout their career.

A fundamental tip for your golf swing is to keep your head down from start to finish. This will help you hit the ball squarely and avoid shanking the ball off target.

5. Follow Through

Many beginners suddenly stop their swing after contact. This is a mistake and greatly reduces the forward momentum that propels the ball.

Instead, you should follow through after making contact. Continue your swing upwards after contact until you reach the back of your opposite shoulder.

Wrapping It Up

Golf is a popular and competitive game with worldwide appeal. While the game is complex and requires a fundamental understanding of rules and scoring, you can quickly become passionate about all things golf-related! If you’re ready to start learning this rewarding and enjoyable sport, start by reaching out to golf pros in your area and schedule some lessons.

Justin Kuehn is VP of Marketing for Hampton Golf, one of the top Golf Course Management companies in the United States. When he’s not working he can be found on a golf course getting his swings in.

Want more golf beginner tips? Comment below and @Golf4Begnners!