Monday, March 15, 2021

Golf Etiquette During COVID-19

A certain level of etiquette is expected when playing a sport like golf. But with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic at play, an added layer of manners is required. Here’s how you can keep yourself safe and respect the safety of others while playing golf during the pandemic. 

Show up early. Generally, golfers will arrive 15 minutes before their tee-time. But with the coronavirus, each course has its own safety requirements. Depending on wh/ere you’re planning to play, you could be subject to a brief COVID-19 questionnaire or need to have your temperature taken before you hit the green. Arrive 20-30 minutes before your tee time to ensure you don’t delay your game or those scheduled to start after you. 

Pay attention to your surroundings. It’s one thing to take your time practicing when the place is empty. But if you notice the course you’re golfing on appears to be crowded, limit yourself to two or three practice balls. As you’re moving throughout the clubhouse and golf course, maintain a distance of six feet from other golfers. Not only are you protecting yourself, but you’re respecting the boundaries of others, allowing everyone to enjoy their day on the links.

Avoid crowding on the course. Under normal circumstances, golf can be a fairly social game. With the threat of the coronavirus, socializing with others in a crowd isn’t a good idea. Maintain a distance of six feet from others outside of your golfing party. Walk around other groups if you need to pass them. And when it comes to using golf carts, limit yourself to one rider per car whenever possible. Most courses are mandating this policy unless you’re golfing with someone from your household.

Respect the course. The rules and safety restrictions at the golf course will vary depending on where you golf. Regardless of whether you’re playing at the golf resort in Pinehurst or somewhere in Monterey, it’s essential to follow the rules imposed by the location. Those rules exist to keep guests and the staff safe. Before you arrive, make sure you’re aware of that club’s COVID-19 guidelines as well as the guidelines in that county if you’re traveling out of state. Ultimately, doing your part and following said rules will help stop the spread of the coronavirus so that life can one day go back to normal. 

Get creative with your golf tradition. Typically, when a round of golf concludes, a ceremonial handshake occurs. In COVID-19 times, golfers have had to get creative with how they wrap up their game. Instead of shaking hands and risk transmitting the coronavirus, tap putters or do an air five. Any way you choose to celebrate the conclusion of your time on the course will work — as long as it doesn’t require physical touch.

Stay home if you’re sick. Most importantly, if you don’t feel well, reschedule your tee time until you’ve confirmed you aren’t ill or cancel it. You should also do the same if you’ve been in contact with someone who has the virus or has been exposed. Golf courses will always be around, and if you have to reschedule to prevent spreading the virus, it’s worth it! 

Golf is one of the few sports people have been able to enjoy during these unprecedented times. To keep that option available, follow these etiquette tips! 

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Amy Olson’s Display At The Women’s Open Really Laid Her Character Bare

 Amy Olson is still chasing her first major accolade since turning pro in 2013, but the grit she put on display amid difficult circumstances, including a heartbreaking loss, really is the stuff of champions and there’s little doubting how bright the future could be.

Amy Olson LPGA

The 28-year-old tied for second place in the recently culminated U.S. Women’s Open, coming in behind A Lim Kim. But it hardly felt like a loss considering the dire circumstances. One might have been fooled into thinking she’d come out on top after she sank a birdie putt on the 18th hole of the final round, given her reaction.

Amy pumped her fists into the air before removing her ball from the cup and looking to the sky. The tears streamed down her face as she found another moment to mourn the loss of her father-in-law at the end of what was a very challenging journey. Two days before, she had been informed that her husband’s father, Lee Olson, had passed away unexpectedly. Many questioned whether she would be able to continue the tournament but, continue she did, although she would have been forgiven for calling it quits and packing up.

The North Dakota native finished 2 under, one stroke back from Kim.

"Coming out this morning, I had no idea what to expect," she told reporters after her round. "I felt very weak and helpless for the last couple of days. ... I really believe the Lord just carried me through. It makes you realize how much bigger life is than golf."

Olson said the words of the song “You Raise Me Up” played through her mind with every swing.

Having shot an even-par 71 two days prior, she went into the final round a single stroke ahead of Hinako Shibuno. The weather in Houston made it difficult for all of the participants, with muddy conditions presenting a struggle to find pars. Olson, though, fought through it. And, despite making two bogeys in her first six holes to drop down the leaderboard, she didn’t waver. The mud balls made it so that every single shot was a painstaking affair yet, by the end of the day, she was still in contention for a first LPGA Tour win.

As muddy as the balls were, as frustrating as the strokes became as a result, Olson found out that they were all minor as she would receive some terrible news in the wake. When she showed up with her caddie the following day, news of the passing of her father-in-law was already rife around the course, with people harboring doubts over whether she would still be able to compete. Heavy rain caused play to be suspended, seeing to the first U.S. Women’s Open finish due to the weather in nine years.

The weather could continue to pose difficulty for the upcoming tournaments, with the PGA Tour’s Tournament of Champions set for next month. Sportsbookreview will have you covered in terms of golf updates should things change on that front.

Questions over Amy's participation continued to swirl and the speculation intensified after her husband was reported to have returned home.

Amy and Grant Olson tied the knot in North Dakota in 2017 after meeting in college at North Dakota State. Both of them remain the most decorated athletes in uni’s history. Grant is now a linebacker coach at his alma mater.

The former football player went to Houston to support his wife but was forced to leave her after the news of his dad’s passing - his mother and brother needed him a lot more. Amy said she had a “special relationship” with Lee, who had a “particular soft spot for the women in his life, particularly his wife and daughter in law.”

Fighting through the indescribable struggle one goes through after losing a loved one, Amy showed up again on Monday to tee off, showing remarkable resilience in her 18 holes. After three bogeys in four holes, Amy hit back-to-back birdies that helped her lead all chasers for hours. A bogey on the 16th hole set her back, however.

When she dropped that putt in the 18th hole, the ordeal was over and it showed. In spite of her loss, she must have been relieved to put the tourney behind her after digging deep and giving everything she had. 

In those final hours, Amy showed the will and the spirit that only a precious few athletes could claim to call on in difficult times. She will probably look back on the competition as the most challenging of her career but it’s also one from which she learned a whole lot about herself.

"I knew I had to stay very mentally disciplined just to get through the day," she said afterward. "I allowed myself to think about what I'm grateful for, and I've got a long list.

A Lim Kim LPGA

It did appear that Amy was poised to win her first golf tournament but, following that last bogey and Kim’s birdies in the final three holes, the latter’s victory was all but sealed and made all the more impressive by the fact that this was her first major championship appearance.

Amy’s strong finish, though, was just as monumental.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons

Friday, December 18, 2020

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