Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Why Play the 2018 South Beach International Amateur Golf Tournament - Guest Post

A few weeks ago, quite possibly the largest, and most fun, annual golf tournament in the United States was played; the Myrtle Beach World Golf Amateur Tournament #MBWorldAm.

South Beach International Amateur Golf Tournament
There are many amateur golf tournaments for players to show their skills but, after the MB Am was played, a reader wrote in to tell us about the 2018 South Beach International Amateur Golf Tournament. 

Although we cannot bring all of these events to light, Golf for Beginners would like to share this guest post with our readers.

The South Beach International Amateur (SBIA) is held in Miami, Florida and is the world’s 5th-ranked amateur golf tournament

Every December, more than two hundred of the best amateur golfers across the globe come to The Sunshine State to compete. The amateur golf competition takes place at the Miami Beach Golf Club and Normandy Shores Golf Club - is a great experience for amateur golfers and their families, thanks to a warm ocean, the finest beaches, and the world-class nightlife.

Who Can Compete in the SBIA? 

The SBIA is an open tournament. Registration opened July 1, 2018, and closes officially on December 7, 2018. 

The requirements to compete in this amateur golf tournament for non-exempt men age 14 thru 60 is as follows:

·       All Players who have at least a 1 handicap
·       The top 150 ranked worldwide Junior golfers
·       All 2018 US Open amateur Section qualifiers
·       All 2018 British Amateur Championship qualifiers
·       Players recommended by their prospective collegiate coach or their nation’s Association or Federation
·       All NAIA players and Division I, II, and III players

A full playing resume must accompany the application of any player who is not exempt. 

The tournament website is the source for full details (see above SBIA link).

About the South Beach Golf Courses
Golf course architect Arthur Hills increased the challenge and classic nature of both Miami Beach Golf Club and Normandy Shores Golf Club using modern, masterful design tactics. 

For the seven years since the inception of the amateur event, these golf courses have been the home of the SBIA Championships. The courses are recognized as stern tests for the world’s top golf amateurs. 

Miami Beach Golf Club is a par 71, for the tournament and Normandy Shores Golf Club is a par 70 (both at about 6,800 yards).

Prizes Awarded at the South Beach Amateur Golf Tournament

The following prizes will be awarded to the Champion of the SBIA:

·       The winner of the South Beach International Amateur will win the Champions Trophy, a Lifetime Champions Exemption, Merchandise, world amateur ranking points, and invitations/exemptions to most of the major amateur events in the world.

     SBIA Ranking and International Participation

The only amateur golf tournaments that rank higher than this amateur golf competition in Florida in only its seventh year are the NCAA Division I Championship, the Western Amateur, The Amateur, and the United States Amateur. Each of these four tournaments is historic and have an average of 120 years in existence. 

Almost half of the field in the 2017 SBIA was from outside its host country, representing 30 countries, placing it 2nd in international participation.

Opportunities for amateur golfers abound, fortunately, but few can compare to playing on these Florida golf courses on Miami Beach used for the annual South Beach International Amateur Tournament!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

A Golfer’s Ultimate Guide to Strength Training - Guest Post

golfer taking a swing
Just as with any sport, your performance on the golf course can improve by building your strength. 

However, as a golfer, you must be careful to develop the strength of your bones as well as your muscles. For that reason, golfers should follow a full-body approach to strength training.

Playing golf involves control over the entire body. Each movement requires the contraction of some muscles combined with the relaxation of others and the deployment of others to give stability.

A natural full-body approach will give golfers more endurance, so reducing fatigue and lessening the risk of injury while building strength. Concentrating on just certain muscles could cause a muscle imbalance and actually deteriorate your game by interfering with the natural ability of your body to play good golf.

Most weightlifting programs just concentrate on building bulk; however, mass and strength are not directly related.

For a golfer, bulk is not an asset, and, in fact, it could interfere with the style and smoothness of your swing. One of the best exercises for building full-body strength is lifting a heavy weight from the ground, then to above your waist, shoulders and finally above the head. Get down to the gym and learn how to do this correctly under the guidance of a qualified weight trainer.

strength trainingWhen done right, this lifting motion causes muscle contractions throughout the entire body, as well as providing gravitational stimulus to strengthen your bones. You don’t need to repeat the lift many times, but you should increase the weight gradually.

Repeating a movement until you feel fatigue can cause bone, joint, tendon, and ligament problems and increase the risk of injury. Fatigue can also cause bad posture and gait which a golfer definitely does not want.

So, aim to do a maximum of six repetitions with a weight to safely build muscle and bone strength without bulking and fatigue. 

You should use a bar with about 80-percent of your maximum one-time lift weight. Aim to do four sets, but do not over-stress your body. Allow your muscles time to recover- at least three minutes, between each set. Lift quickly, smoothly and correctly, always thinking about your technique and safety, and stop before significant fatigue develops.

While down at the gym, don’t bother with the high-tech machines you see there. These are designed to build muscle mass by concentrating on certain muscles groups at a time and have little use for a golfer unless you need to rehabilitate a particular area following an injury.

The treadmill, however, can be a useful way to get some aerobic exercise. Aim to raise your heart-rate, but not too dramatically. Increasing your aerobic activity will improve your stamina and help you to maintain a healthy weight. The treadmill is a good way to warm up before doing some weights. Then do two to four sets of deadlifts with the barbell and repeat five times. Follow this with the same number of squats. Round-off your workout with another short stint on the treadmill. 

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

A kettlebell workout is a great exercise option for golfers who want to increase their strength and endurance. 

Kettlebells offer a serious full-body workout, especially the all-important shoulders and lower back muscles as well as the legs. It also increases grip strength. Kettlebells offer a convenient way to get some strength training with a safe, simple-to-use, and relatively inexpensive piece of equipment which you can use at home.

To increase the benefits of your strength training, eat a well-balanced diet, take daily walks, and get a good night’s sleep of between 7-8 hours every night. 

Johanna Cider is a New Zealand-based writer who is passionate about anything related to fitness and healthy living. She usually includes running and yoga in her daily workouts. See more of Johanna’s work here.

Image Source: Unsplash

Thursday, September 06, 2018

3 Reasons Tiger Woods is on 2018 Ryder Cup Team USA

2018 Ryder Cup logo
The final PGA Tour golfers are being selected for the 2018 Ryder Cup team;  Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Bryson DeChambeau have already made the cut. Do you agree with Jim Furyk's choices?

On this year's Ryder Cup Team U.S.A. are a few standouts who need no explanation as to why they were selected: Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson (both with three 2018 PGA Tour wins), Brooks Koepka (2 major wins), and young guns like Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth have proven themselves to be ready for the challenge.

LISTEN: Jim Furyk Interview about getting ready for Ryder Cup

So, why have Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods been added to the Ryder Cup roster?

Mickelson has had a pretty good year with a win at the WGC Mexico Championship and several top-10's; I think fans just require more from him in spite of his bouts with RA.

Tiger Woods has also made a comeback that is worthy of a Ryder Cup pick. Again, golf aficionados remember the Woods of old and, should instead not make comparisons but review his current season before issuing negative comments.

1. Although Woods has no wins under his belt in 2018, he has several top-10's including placing second at the PGA Championship; this is still an accomplishment for any PGA Tour golfer but, because it is Tiger Woods we are discussing, our expectations are higher. In spite of many back surgeries, Woods is still in the 2018 tournament mix.

2. According to Jim Furyk, Tiger is a solid vice-captain who helps his teammates, which not only helps as far as strategy and boosts morale for the team.

3. The obvious reason, not stated by Furyk, is that both Woods and Mickelson will bring millions of viewers to the Ryder Cup. Woods has a huge impact on TV ratings. According to thebiglead.com, because Woods was playing:
"Quicken Loans National’s final round ratings was a 92 percent increase over last year and a 28 percent increase over 2016. Not only that, but the third round also saw a huge increase and was up 143 percent."

The 2018 Ryder Cup will surely prove to be an exciting team experience! The TV Schedule for the US is:

2018 Ryder Cup TV Schedule

Do you agree with the 2018 Ryder Cup picks? Voice your opinion on Golf for Beginners blog and tag us on Twitter with your answer @Golf4Beginners.

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 moments...as 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.