Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Golf Tournaments and Myrtle Beach Entertainment are Par for the Course

A vacation in Myrtle Beach, for most sun-loving folks, in one way or another includes both beach and golf. This past week, I was fortunate enough to have at my disposal an ocean view to die for, terrific food, great entertainment and some of the best golf courses in the United States.

Being invited to a golf tournament is always exciting but there is something special when it takes place in Myrtle Beach. Although driving time is about eleven hours from New York, Myrtle Beach is definitely worth the effort. Of course, at just under two hours from the big city, you can always fly down to this golfer’s haven but, having a dog in the family mandated us to take the longer route…and so we did.

Mystical Golf’s 3rd Annual Golf Media Tournament also allowed me to bring a guest which, of course, was my husband Barry who always delights in a challenge. 

Myrtle Beach_Stacy-Solomon
Off we went - Barry, Einstein (my loveable german shepherd puppy) and me – golf clubs in the trunk and ready for our adventure. Einstein wound up staying at K9 Cabana, a very caring dog "resort" he frequents when we’re here at the Beach and Barry and I were excited to have the Sea Mist beach front hotel as our "home-away-from-home". 

The accommodations at Sea Mist were very comfortable with in-room kitchenette and the ocean at our doorstep, we were wined and dined and the food was yummy and plentiful…thank you to our hosts!

Myrtle Beach Sea Mist Hotel

Fresh air, great lodgings, delicious food and three of the best golf courses in Myrtle Beach - The Witch, Wizard and Man O'War - what more could any golf aficionado ask for?

How about one of the most delightful shows I have seen in a long time…a patriotic, country-loving extravaganza at the Alabama Theatre - “One”. The talent was extraordinary; comedian Ricky Mokel was hilarious and host Greg Rowles ("Star Search" Male Vocalist of the Year) kept us entertained with music that you don’t get to hear too much of on New York City radio stations. A quick mention that, before the show, I had some of the best ribs I have eaten in a long time at Wild Wing Cafe; if you want wings and ribs, these are finger-lickin' good!!

Myrtle Beach Mystical Golf Courses

The week and the golf tournament went by in a flash: the Witch cast her mighty spell on us, The Wizard was captivating and Man O'War had very sharp teeth and should be renamed, "Man O' Water!". Barry and I captured five skins, won low net and wound up with a few bucks to spend at either of the three well-stocked Clubhouses but, most importantly, bragging rights!

Stacy Solomon Mystical Golf Tournament

With spring-like temperatures in Myrtle Beach probably sticking around through Christmas and prices being very fair, I encourage golfers with families to visit the Grand Strand. You will all come away with memories to last you a lifetime!

A few accolades that Myrtle Beach earned in 2012 from US News & World Report:
  #6 Best Family Beach Vacations
  #4 Best Family Vacations in the U.S.A. 
  #7 Best Affordable U.S. Vacations
  #9 Best Beaches U.S.A.

Tell Golf for Beginners about your Myrtle Beach golf experience in our comments section below, on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and on Facebook .

Thank you to Mystical Golf group and to Claude Pardue for making the Golf Writers Tournament a magical event.
Learn about how to contribute to the Pardue Children in Need Fund.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween a Mystical Time to Play Golf in Myrtle Beach

The Witch, Wizard and Man O'War Golf Courses, labyrinths rambling through dense forest and lakes, are collectively the backbone of Myrtle Beach. If you’re on a quest for exceptional courses in the number-one golf destination in the United States, this trio can take you on a mystical adventure.

Myrtle Beach, known for it's sixty miles of beautiful sandy stretch, comfortable temperatures and over one-hundred championship courses to choose from, hides these three secret gems (collectively known as MysticalGolf.com) on a stretch of road just off of Hwy 501 in the Carolina Forest, waiting to be discovered and tamed by players looking for a substantial challenge.

Playing these three Dan Maples golf courses in the order above is exactly the way in which they should be attacked: The Witch beckons you into her maze of macabre timber with patient alligators lining the path, The Wizard tempts the risk taker and, as for Man O' War – “do not let your guard down.”

The Witch Golf CourseThe Witch is enchanting from the moment you lay eyes on this course. The wetlands are frighteningly dense with old wooden trees hanging like hands waiting to grasp and, while driving your golf cart over creaky bridges, you cannot help but think you have entered the forest where Hansel and Gretel nearly met their fateful end. Thanks to Bruce Vittner, one of our playing partners and writer for Southern New England Golfer, as his knowledge of this course gave us our best chances for survival (and a solid score).

The Witch Golf Club in Conway, S.C. was rated a 4.5-star course by Golf Digest for its excellent condition and seaside configuration.

Escape from The Witch and enter into the lair of The Wizard, the second of the three sisters, and you will find a links-style golf course with elevation changes (oddly enough) and island greens. Not every shot requires a driver but every shot does require thought in ball placement as the second cut of rough was deep. Bent grass greens make this course different from the Bermuda grass on Witch. The Wizard was decorated with four stars by Golf Digest as a "Best Places to Play in America".

The Man O'War, in my opinion, had the biggest bite of the three mystical golf courses - it's a dangerous design that tricks you into believing you can attack when it is much better to play safe. Know your club distances before you enter and practice your putting as there is probably not one flat spot on any of the eighteen greens (which are in superb condition). The back-to-back island greens nearing the end of your journey are both makeable but don't get too confident - play smart and you may just come out with a reasonable score.

Man O War Golf Course
Man O'War Golf Course

Have you played the MysticalGolf.com courses in Myrtle Beach? Voice your opinion on Twitter @Golf4Beginners LIKE Golf for Beginners on Facebook and comment on Golf for Beginners blog.

Thank you to Mystical Golf group and to Claude Pardue for making the Golf Writers Tournament a magical event.
Learn about how to contribute to the Pardue Children in Need Fund.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Getting Fit and Refreshed on a St. Lucia Golf Vacation

Couple one alluring island with serenity and unparalleled golf and what do you have? St. Lucia, one of the most charming sport resorts you will ever visit.

St. Lucia Beach

Nestled in the Eastern Caribbean Sea just south of Martinique, St. Lucia has earned its reputation as an all-inclusive haven for romantics who want to experience the exotic temptation of drive-through volcanoes, magnificent waterfalls and fantastic sandy beaches.

Golf lovers look forward to taking on eighteen holes at the St. Lucia Golf Resort and Country Club which overlooks both the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Writer Tim McDonald stated about the golf course that there are "sloping fairways and greens to make you wish you hadn't had that last rum punch at closing time last night."

You can also play a challenging nine holes at Sandals Regency La Toc Golf Resort and Spa. Both offer interesting layouts and stunning vistas and add to the fun while on vacation.

St Lucia Golf Country Club

After viewing the natural beauty out on the golf course, why not try a refreshing, 'aahhh' moment at a spa so you will be ready to take on the sights of this sparkling island oasis.

A drive along the one main road which encircles St. Lucia "reaches dizzying heights" according to Fodor's Travel Guide but the sights you will encounter along the route will make the trip well worth the effort.

A few attractions which you should not miss are the Public Market in Castries, delightful for people-watching and, navigating along the twisty East Coast Road, the Rain Forest is a "must-see" for nature lovers. The Aerial Tram Adventure will provide a safe birds-eye view of the lush scenery.

Rodney Bay is the trendy hot spot for restaurants and night life and you will get a kick out of the "jump-ups", street parties filled with reggae revelry and the freshest of seafood.

St. Lucia is a great vacation destination in which to rejuvenate the senses, decompress from the everyday and improve your outlook on life.

Have you vacationed in St. Lucia? Voice your opinion on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and in the comments section of our Golf for Beginners blog.

Credit: Cruise-dude.com, International Property Directory

Friday, October 18, 2013

Ten Golf Swing Tips for a Female Golf Beginner - Men You Too Can Benefit!

kid golfer
Golf blog courtesy of Melinda Bailey, 9 & Dine Women’s Golf Apparel.

Golf tips are easy to acquire. All you have to do is shank a few balls at the local driving range, and some overly tanned guy in bermuda shorts is going to come over with his unwanted tips. Hopefully, the following ten swing tips will keep the local heroes tending to their own problems while you're smacking the ball out of sight.

What Are You Looking At?

Hopefully, the ball. Do not let your head and eyes move up to watch the flight of the ball. You will have to wait until the end of your swing. Otherwise, the ball may stay well within your peripheral vision after your swing.

Forty Five Degrees Of Niceness

Many people rear their club straight back as though they are about hoe potatoes. Try bringing your club back at a 45-degree angle. This will help maximize the power you derive from your hips.  Many female golfers attempt to pull their golf clubs back further for more power, which often sacrifices accuracy and form.

Let's Not Do the Twist

Speaking of hips, on your approach, try turning your right toe in by about 20 degrees. This will help stop your hips from turning with your arms and shoulders on your backswing.

Slice, Slice, Baby

It's amazing how many people don't know where the face of the club should...face. You want the face to be pointed in the direction you want the ball to go. Then, grip the club accordingly so the face stays pointed in the intended direction through the entire swing.

What's Your Grip?

All of the power that your hips and shoulders generate during the golf swing will transfer through your hands when the club hits the ball. If your grip is compromised, you will lose a great deal of power in the transference. Your left hand should be especially tight. Have it turned so that at least two knuckles are visible.

The Clap

The number of people who do not know where to position their arms when they approach the ball is as incalculable as the 20% tip. Approach the golf ball with your club. Drop your club and let your arms hang natural in your stance. If you can clap your hands with comfort, that is the position your arms should maintain for your swing.


On your backswing, you want your left shoulder to swing or pivot so that it aligns with your right leg. As a female golfer you can practice this by holding a club across their chest and twisting their upper torso until the head of the club aligns with their right leg.

Try Easier

In golf, it seems the harder you try, the harder it is to play well. Don't try so hard. The harder you try to hit the ball, the worse your shot will be. Let go and let the club do the driving. You just provide the means.

female golfer
Shake, Rattle, and Roll

Don't just stand there! The longer you stand still looking at that ball, the more your mind is going to yip up when you finally swing. Try to develop what is called a waggle. Use some sort of pre-swing body motion before you put the club in motion.

The Practice Swing

How many times have you wished for a Mulligan? The practice swing gives you just that. It helps you adjust your mechanics and swing away your yips before you actually swing upon the ball.  Not only does it prepare your body physically, but mentally as well.  Just a few practice strokes can get your blood moving, meaning better thinking and preparation for the mind to execute the swing.

These tips are not meant for you to try all at once. Adjust and tweak your golf swing accordingly.  Often, a beginning golfer will find just the right tip that their swing needs. There are a million voices in your head before you swing. Choose a couple of these golf swing tips, and it may help to silence some of that madness.  


Melinda Bailey

Melinda Bailey is an avid golfer and editor of the 9 & Dine Women’s Golf Apparel blog.  You can connect with Melinda via Twitter @9Dine.

Voice your opinion on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and LIKE Golf For Beginners on Facebook!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Waterproof Golf Clothing from FootJoy Delivers Style and Performance

Any golfer who has played on rain-soaked public golf courses dappled with muddy puddles (as I often do) knows the name FootJoy to be some of the driest shoes on the market. Now, Footjoy takes a step forward with men's and women's golf clothing that not only performs well but looks great too.

Did you know that FootJoy has been in the golf shoe business since 1857, that the company was once owned by General Mills and that, in 1927, FootJoy was the official shoe of the U.S. Ryder Cup Team captained by Walter Hagan? It is this history which has taken FootJoy to the level of achievement for which it is now famous.

Dedicated to comfort, performance and the highest level of innovation, great FootJoy waterproofs have validated their place in a burgeoning golf marketplace filled with challengers.

When you shop FootJoy clothing at Function 18, a specialist golf apparel website, the catalog of performance golf clothing makes it easy to determine your specific needs on the course, from the latest Hydrolite fabric, the lightest rainwear ever constructed by FJ, to Tour XP rain jackets.

Footjoy Hydrolite Short Sleeve Rain Shirt
The FootJoy Hydrolite Short Sleeve Rain Shirt is a great example of the convergence of both fashion and function. "Constructed from a lightweight 2.5 layer fabric that is stretchable and breathable", this garment is waterproof to 20,000mm so, when your opponents are soaked to the bone and not concentrating on their game, you will remain focused and dry.

FootJoy Golf DryJoys Tour XP Rain Jacket For full range of motion on colder days on the golf course, FootJoy Golf DryJoys Tour XP Rain Jacket has you covered.

A three-layered bonded fabric, four-way stretch shell and breathable waterproof layer accomplishes the necessities of playing golf in dreadful conditions while the fashion-forward design makes you look tres chic!

For a spring shower, look no further than the FootJoy Golf DryJoys Light SS Rain Shirt with its 100% waterproof shell, short sleeves and ease of movement.

Golfers need to feel comfortable and look good while on the course. The importance of performance, style and function cannot be glossed over. With FootJoy waterproof golf clothing, you get a long-standing tradition of quality for the money.

Voice your opinion on Twitter @Golf4Beginners, LIKE Golf for Beginners on Facebook and comment on Golf for Beginners blog.

Disclosure: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Put Your Best Foot Forward: Top Five Picks for Women's Golf Shoes

Enjoy this informative guest golf blog post on selecting the right golf shoes for your walk along the fairway, written by Guest Golf Blog by Melinda Bailey, 9 & Dine Women’s Golf Apparel.

The days of "one-style-fits-all" golf shoes are long behind us. Today's women's golf shoes offer an unparalleled selection of designs to please even the most style-savvy fashionistas, with comfort technology that makes a five mile, 18-hole course feel like a walk in the park. Say goodbye to blisters and hello to bliss with our top five picks for women's golf shoes, all of which offer no sacrifice of style for substance. Your feet--and your stroke--will thank you.

Adidas adizero Tour Shoe

Adidas adizero Tour Shoes
A longtime leader in the woman's golf footwear industry, Adidas's roster offers a competitive field of contenders. At the front of the pack is the Women's adizero Tour. Featuring all the great elements of the men's adizero Tour,  these have a distinctly feminine flair that is at once sporty and stylish. 

Cutting-edge technology like stability-enhancing internal SPRINTWEB and a six-spike configuration enhanced by THINTCH ensure optimal traction and stability. At only 9.2 ounces, the Women's adizero Tour is  Adidas's most lightweight cleated tour shoe yet, and is guaranteed to spare you foot fatigue in the home stretch.  Our favorite? The white/passion-fruit combination: this eye-catching pop of color will put just the right lift in your step. 
Women's Nike Ace Golf Shoes

The aptly named Women's Nike Ace Golf Shoes deliver groundbreaking innovation that supports the needs of players ranging from amateur to elite.  

Balance-enhancing and weight transfer technology are just a few of the ergonomic design elements that support walking comfort and foot health in this sporty shoe.  A little rain never hurt anyone, and it won't hurt the Nike Ace Golf Shoe, either, thanks to water-resistant features which will keep your feet dry in the greens. 

FootJoy LoPro Collection

FootJoy LoPro Golf Shoes

FootJoy lives up to its name and more with the popular LoPro Collection golf shoes. Designed to contour to the natural shape of your foot, these shoes provide maximum comfort, breathability and durability under the most rigorous conditions. Advanced engineering features like PU Fit-Beds, Dri-Lex covers and Softspikes cleats--the industry leader and favorite of tour professionals--round out the reasons why these tough togs are a top pick. 

While "golf" and "cute" aren't typically words that go together, the Golf Cat 2 defies the odds, delivering an irresistibly appealing look with intelligent design features like traction-enhancing SmartQuill Technology rubber clusters. Lacking cleats, these fit like a sneaker, and do the work of one, as well.   For head-turning clubhouse-to-street style, look no further than the PUMA Golf Cat 2.

ECCO Golf Street Sport Shoe
Another choice that can take you from the course to whatever comes next, this European shoe not only promotes walking comfort, but also features environmentally friendly elements. 

The hybrid design ensures that you'll look and feel great--thanks to supersoft calfskin and innovative water-resisting Hydromax treatment--while promoting optimal traction and durability on all surfaces. This good-looking shoe transitions easily from the golf course to a variety of other walks of life. 

The right footwear can mean the difference between average and extraordinary when it comes to your golf game. By choosing a comfortable shoe, you guarantee optimal performance. By choosing a stylish shoe, you guarantee that you'll feel great along the way. Luckily, today's golf shoes for women offer both options--truly the best of both worlds!

Melinda Bailey

Melinda Bailey is an avid golfer and the Executive Editor of 9 & Dine Women’s Golf Apparel blog.  You can connect with Melinda via Twitter @9Dine.

Voice your opinion on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and Like Golf for Beginners on Facebook.