Friday, March 22, 2019

A Quick Fix Provided by Golf Clinics

Golf clinics are not only fun but they are also educational and may offer a quick fix (and an a-ha moment) when you need it most!

After attending a local golf clinic last week at Grande Dunes Golf Performance Center, I realized that the problems faced by many golfers also resonate with me - I slice at times, am off balance, sway a little - basic issues amateurs face if not corrected regularly by a qualified teaching professional.

Why should you attend a golf clinic?

golf clinics

A group lesson is a great way to review the basics of the golf swing.

At first, you receive an overview of the fundamentals to a reliable golf swing - grip, alignment, stance, posture (remember to GASP). Next, everyone hits golf balls while the teaching pro goes around to each station and, one-by-one, gives you the single best improvement you should practice for your particular golf swing at the moment he/she sees you.

Sometimes, the fix is a real revelation!

A few golf tips I learned during the clinic given by Dale Ketola, Director of the Grande Dunes Golf Performance Center:

- Learn one step at a time and practice the first step.
- Never try and learn multiple improvements
- Taking your lesson from practice to the golf course: How long does it take to translate the lesson to memory? It takes hundreds of golf balls to ingrain muscle memory and stop thinking about what you are doing!
- Practice with a purpose: don't just go out onto the range and bang balls - think about the lesson and what you have learned and apply it each time you step up to hit a shot.

If you break down the learning process into easier, smaller fixes, and practice regularly, your golf swing will improve and the golf clinic will have proved successful.

Have you found a value to attending golf clinics? Let us know in the comments section of our Golf for Beginners blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Leader in Myrtle Beach Golf Adds New Travel Column

It is with great pleasure to announce that, in addition to authoring this golf blog, I will also be writing a golf and travel column for "the leader in Myrtle Beach golf."., a long established tee time service for the Grand Strand, wanted to add a new perspective for travelers visiting the Myrtle Beach area and locals who would be interested in stretching their familiarity beyond the beach and golf courses. With a wealth of over fifteen years of publishing golf and travel blogs on Golf for Beginners and beyond, writing about Myrtle Beach was a natural match!

Exploring Myrtle Beach has brought us to this point - when my husband and I moved to the Grand Strand, (from New York) we wanted to feel comfortable in our new hometown. Five years after making the migration to Myrtle Beach, it is my pleasure to be able to share my experiences and unique perspective with my audience.

Myrtle Beach Golf

What better way to kick off the new column than with an article about how to balance golf, your dog and a Myrtle Beach vacation! Einstein, our seven-year-old German Shepherd, goes practically everywhere with us (except on the golf course, but he does have his very own golf cart). 

Future articles subjects may include, "Where to Shop While Your Husband Plays Golf", "Places to Play More Golf After Finishing Your Round", and more! I'm hoping that my readers will help with more topics.

For my readers that may be considering a trip to the Myrtle Beach area (or even surrounding areas), feel free to ask me questions and I will be most happy to give you the "skinny" on the best of the beach.

Post your suggestions in the comments section of this golf blog and also on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Friday, March 08, 2019

Is Your Driver To Blame for Lack of Distance or Is It You?

Both driver and golf swing can be to blame for lack of distance off of the tee's why.

During the course of a conversation with my teaching pro, Dale, I mentioned that I need to find ways to increase my driving distance. I am just not getting enough length off of the tee to put me into striking distance for more birdie opportunities. 

We investigated my golf swing and yes, my kinematic sequence is off so I am practicing driving more from my legs but there also seems to be a problem with the length of my driver shaft.

Dale measured me - and my Callaway X2 Hot driver - and found that my driver shaft is too long - Dale is about 6'2" and his driver shaft measures out at approximately 1 1/2 inches shorter than mine!

What impact can a too-long driver have on the average golfer?

According to Dale, and to PGA Tour professional Bubba Watson, the length of your driver can affect your distance off of the tee. Where you might think that the longer the shaft the more distance off of the tee, the opposite is true.
"Trying a longer shaft is a popular suggestion these days, but most players should, if anything, try a shaft half an inch shorter than what's in their driver. (The average, off-the-rack driver shaft today is 45½ inches)", writes Bubba Watson.
 "Tiger Woods at his longest used a relatively short 43½-inch driver, with a steel shaft to boot. You'll find it easier to hit the sweet spot with a shorter shaft, and you can go after tee shots without losing much control."

 What else can you do to a driver in order to get more distance?

Golf instructors believe that a higher lofted driver will increase your launch angle and provide you with more carry and roll.

Where these two factors (shaft length and loft) should help improve distance with your driver, it is also important to have a teaching professional look at your golf swing as the problems may not lie with your driver but with your angle of attack.

According to PGA Pro Mark Crossfield, "the way you deliver the club to the ball also has a massive effect on launch and spin."

Is it your driver or is it you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section of this golf blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Are Changes to the Rules of Golf Hurting Your Game?

For amateurs during a friendly golf game forgetting, or even neglecting, to follow some of the rules changes may not add up to a big difference in score but, in professional tournaments, the results could lead to unfavorable decisions.

Recently, several PGA Tour players have complained about the new rules of golf.

Rickie Fowler at the WGC-Mexico tournament, for example, dropped a ball from shoulder height (instead of at the knee) and incurred a one-stroke penalty. Fowler said, "I think, with the new rules that have been put in place, it's not doing any favors for our sport. I get to drop from my knee and look stupid.' So, no, like I said, it was on me, but I think it's a terrible change."

Related: How Flubs from PGA Tour Golfers Teach the Rest of Us

R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers' take? "As professionals, we all have to know the rules...the rules are an important part of our game."

How are the changes to the rules of golf affecting your game? (For a detailed list, follow the link.)

First, let's briefly go over a few of the positive rules changes:

1. No penalties for accidentally moving your golf ball during search and on the putting green.
2. Relief is given for an embedded golf ball (except in sand).
3. Eased rules on touching impediments in the bunker.

Related ReadSportsmanship and the Rules of Golf

Perhaps these would be considered negative rules changes:
1. Drop golf ball from knee instead of from shoulder height.
2. Leave flag in when putting.

As an amateur, I struggle with the new rules change of leaving in the flag when putting - my playing partners have asked me, "do you want the flag in or out" when, in previous events, there was no choice to be made.

Dave Pelz has mentioned that the flag left in the hole can actually help the odds of your ball finding the bottom of the cup.
"Perhaps most surprising, when the flagstick leans either slightly toward the golfer or away, the odds of it helping to keep the ball in the hole increase: With the flagstick leaning away from the golfer, the hole becomes effectively larger; when the flagstick leans toward the golfer, the ball rebounds downward, again helping shots find the hole."
It is important, however, to check the severity of the flagstick lean as it can also prevent your ball from going in the cup.

Do you find that the adjusted rules of golf have had unfortunate consequences on your round (you have been penalized, for example)? Feel free to write your comments below and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Strengthen These Muscles to Improve Your Golf Swing

Phil Mickelson's calves are trending!

The internet is abuzz about Phil Mickelson's calf muscles, previously visible to friends and family but now seen by all those who search thanks to a new PGA ruling allowing shorts during practice rounds.

Calf muscles (aka gastrocnemius and soleus muscles), combined with other muscles of the leg, "help you to keep a solid base during the swing, and also are responsible for generating some power through impact, adding swing speed," states Paul Myers in his article.

A fitness regimen which includes calf flexibility exercises can improve power in your golf swing.

What other muscles should you work to improve your golf swing?

In addition to leg muscles, the buttocks, chest muscle, obliques, forearms and Latissimus Dorsi, when used in concert and properly functioning, all aid you in your golf swing.

It isn't just about muscular strength, said Mickelson after winning the AT&T at Pebble Beach. Proper stretching and a nutritious diet are helping Phil stay competitive against the PGA Tour's up-and-coming 20-somethings.
“The science is so much better nowadays than it was in his time,” Mickelson said. “The medicines, the fitness knowledge, the nutritional knowledge in all these areas, we're able to take advantage of that and get our bodies to recover, get our bodies to perform to function much more efficiently." ...Phil Mickelson
At almost 49 years old, Phil Mickelson is still a force to be reckoned with on the PGA Tour, attributing his success to increased recovery time, a healthy diet, exercise and creating a more stable base rather than working at building bulk.

For the young guns of the PGA Tour, take a tip from Phil and get started on a fitness regimen today and you might still be competitive when you hit the ripe old age of fifty!

Is Mickelson getting stronger on the PGA Tour? Voice your opinion in the comments section of Golf for Beginners blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

5 Best Golf Drivers for Beginners in 2019 - Part 2

Welcome to part two in the series of five best golf drivers for beginners in 2019, written and researched by father and son team Tony and Paul, creators of Golfer's Authority and the Accuhit golf training aid (bio below).

Where part one of the best golf drivers in 2019 focused on fit, features and what you should consider before purchase, this article discusses the five drivers in detail. Enjoy and let us know your thoughts in the comments section of this golf blog.

Our Favorite Top 5 Drivers for Beginners:

Ping G400 max driver
 1. Ping G400 Max
The Ping G400 Max is, supposedly, the most forgiving driver ever created.

Ping truly made a fantastic club that fits a wide variety of swing speeds and characteristics, and is preferred by tour professionals such as Tony Finau and Cameron Champ,

The Ping G400 Max fits swings speeds from 130 mph all the way to 80 mph with a total MOI of over 9900 which is well beyond even the closest rival. The largest profile available and high launch make G400 a standout offering for both players picking up the game of golf and Tour professionals.

 2. Callaway Epic Flash
Callaway has been making waves in the driver category since it introduced Jailbreak technology in its Epic driver in 2017. The Epic Flash utilizes Jailbreak technology with a deeper CG to provide golfers with more ball speeds and improved forgiveness.

The addition of the sliding weight track in the back of the Epic Flash makes it a great option for players looking to save their slice now but adapt their driver as their swing changes.

Already a multi-event winner on professional tours, the Epic Flash is in the bag of the game’s greatest players. Sergio Garcia and Xander Schauffele have made the switch to Epic Flash and we support Callaway’s claim of greatness. 

3. Ping G410 SFT
Ping’s new offering for 2019, the G410 SFT builds on the success of the G400 with improved forgiveness and faster swing speeds through improved aerodynamics. The “Straight-Flight-Technology” introduced in the G410 driver helps golfers correct their slice and prevents lost balls in the trees.

The G410 SFT is the most draw-bias driver Ping has ever produced and offers a higher MOI than previous SFT models. Beginning golfers can improve clubhead speed, get higher launch, and correct their slice with this brand new driver from a trusted brand.

      4. TaylorMade M6
New for 2019, the M6 driver from TaylorMade is pushing the boundaries of speed. By creating a driver that breaks the legal limits of ball speed then slowing it down by injecting tuning resin,

The TaylorMade M6 is offered in both a standard and draw-bias model for golfers who need help with their slice. Twist Face helps golfers with strikes in the heel and toe to hit more fairways by pushing the start line outward. TaylorMade is promising players more ball speeds and players on Tour are beginning to take notice. TaylorMade has innovated Tour-level driver performance for the masses with their new injectable model and golfers of all abilities can be sure they are getting Tour-like treatment with their new club.

Editor's note: Golf for Beginners' Barry Solomon recently was fitted for the TaylorMade M6 and will provide an unbiased review after testing the driver and matching TaylorMade M6 irons).

5. Titleist TS2
The 917D drivers from Titleist were underwhelming at best. The TS2 driver is a departure from traditional; a product of the “Titleist Speed project,” the TS2 offers improved ball speeds and better spin rates for all players.

The most forgiving driver Titleist has ever produced, the TS2 is an outstanding performer for golfers looking for help off of the tee. Titleist combined a faster shape and weight pulled as far back as the rules allow to give golfers longer and more stable drives. Used on Tour by players such as Adam Scott and Cameron Smith, the TS2 is made for every golfer.

Which Driver Is Right for You?

By getting these different drivers into your hands and testing them, you can determine which model is best for you.

Before purchasing, make sure that the club looks great behind the golf ball and that you feel confident swinging your new club. Meet with a professional club fitter who has your best interest in mind and don’t be afraid to ask questions when they hand you different equipment configurations. Ultimately, you will be the best judge of which driver is right for you and what can help you play your best golf.

Golf club manufacturers are constantly pushing the boundaries of golf club equipment and design, but the rules make sure that the onus is placed on the players to deliver their scores. Most importantly, enjoy the club buying process and treat each fitting as if it were a lesson. Go learn about your swing and learn about the golf club technologies that help make this game so great.

About the Author

This was a guest post written by Tony and Paul who are a father and son team who are not only best friends but love the game of golf. They created the Golfers Authority, to provide unbiased reviews, guides, tips, and advice in order to help other players improve their game.

Tony is also the founder and inventor of the Accuhit, one of the most recognized golf training aids in the world. The Accuhit has been recognized by Golfweek, Golf Tips Magazine, Asian Golf Monthly, and many other publications as one of the most cost-effective golf training aids in the market. 

Ping G 410 SFT Attribution:

This article is the opinion of the guest author. Golf for Beginners welcomes opinions but, as we always say, you should seek out a qualified golf professional for further details before you make a purchase.