This blog is an effort to provide useful information and products for those who love the game of golf and hope to play it for their entire lives.
This page also contains my affiliate links to several helpful sites that are helping me to improve my swing and my life.
There are also a series of articles for beginners to get a basic grasp of the game.
Here is your primer on the game of golf...
Golf is a dignified game of rules and manners, and it's important to know the basics before you play for the first time.
Whether you are playing alone, in a twosome or a foursome, you must wait your turn. You must keep aware of the group on the next hole and wait until they are well ahead of you before hitting your ball.
It's never cool to "push" the group in front of you. If you are playing with others, wait for your turn to hit the ball; never hit at the same time as another player.
While you wait for your turn, go to your ball and determine what club you'll need and how you are going to hit it. This is called "ready golf" and keeps the game moving. Don't rush, just be ready.
If your team is holding up the players behind you, let them play through. You would simply wave them through, or if they are close enough, ask them if they'd like to play through. You will never make an enemy in doing this!
When someone is making a shot, you should be behind them and you should not make a sound! It is so distracting to be ready to tee off and just as you pull back, someone decides to jingle in coins in their pocket or noisily unwrap a piece of candy.
Replace your divots. When, in the fairway, you hit the ball and a clod of dirt and grass goes flying, replace it. On some courses you just put the clod back and step on it to press it on; on most courses, there is a sand/seed mixture on your card to put into the divot. If your ball makes a deep impression when it lands on the green, use your divot tool to repair it.
As soon as you have completed a hole, replace the flag and leave the green so that the next players can play. Count your score and write it on the scorecard when you are back at your cart.
Of course, there are many more rules of golf, but these simple ones will enable you to get through the course without coming to blows with anyone. We must all keep the game dignified, right?
Golf-Beginner Basics I
The popularity of golf has increased tremendously over the past forty five years, giving us champions like Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, and Tiger Woods, and world-renowned courses like Pinehurst, Augusta National and the Blue Monster at Doral.
Why has golf become so popular? Itís the opportunity to be outside, to get a good whole body workout, network with friends or business colleagues at a leisurely pace, and to play a game that you can never perfect.
Your scorecard, over time, shows your improvement, which keeps you playing again and again.
Here is a very basic lesson in golf for the person who has no clue about the game.
Golf is played on an eighteen-hole course; each hole has its "par", which is the number of tee shots (drives), fairway shots, chips (short hits as you approach the green), and putts.
The par number is based on the length and difficulty of the hole. Pars range from 3 to 6. If you get the ball in the hole in five shots on a par five hole, you "made par." If it took you six shots, it ís called a bogie, if you made it in four, it ís a birdie.
There are usually "hazards" of some sort on all the holes. Bodies of water, sand traps, and trees are strategically placed to make the hole more challenging. Beginner golfers should seek to find courses to play that are easier to play, with fewer hazards.
Each player keeps their own score, marking the number of total number of shots for each hole. At the end, each person adds their scores-the lowest number is the winner.
It is important for beginner golfers to not take themselves too seriously. It takes a long time to get good at this game; even though the professionals make it look so easy.
Take a lesson or two at the onset; it will help you develop a proper swing and help you get off to a good start.
Remember that it is just a game. Have fun and look at the big picture-you are outside and you are not at work!
Golf - Beginner Basics II What to Keep In Your Golf Bag.
There are many golf bags available, some designed for fashion, some for utility and some that combine both features. There are big bags, bigger bags and bags so big that they would keep everything I need for a long weekend vacation in one of the side pockets!
Generally speaking, you need a bag just large enough to hold your clubs, extra balls, your glove, tees, car keys, extra pencils, ball markers, a ball retriever, sunscreen, a windbreaker and a large umbrella.
It is also a good idea to have a packet of tissues, a band-aid or two, and if you play courses where insects are a problem, a can of bug repellent comes in very handy.
A small pack of baby wipes come in very handy; in your bag they get warmed by the heat, so when you get sweaty or a sand trap covered you with sand, a nice warm wipe can be very refreshing.
I happen to be allergic to bees, hornets and wasps, so my Epi-pen is an important addition to my bag. I am also hypoglycemic so I carry Lifesavers, which has to be replaced several times throughout the year because they tend to melt.
One item that doesn't need to be in your golf bag is your cell phone. If you must carry it, turn off the ringer as a courtesy to other players. If you must use it, be aware of others who might be taking a swing or putting their ball. Be considerate!
Having these items in your golf bag should provide everything you will need, even in a minor emergency (like a blister) or a major inconvenience, like a sudden rainstorm. Being prepared makes the game a great deal more fun.
Golf - Beginner Basics III The Long Game
The long game refers to your drives (shots off the tee) and fairway shots; everything short of the shots you make to get onto the green.
Each hole has a different difficulty level, different par and distinctive hazards, so instructing you to use your Driver on every tee would be blatantly wrong.
This is something you will learn over time as you learn the various shots you make according to the club, the placement of the ball and your personal swing.
Generally speaking, the lower the club number, the longer and lower your ball will go. A 4-iron shot will travel long and low and will most likely roll, whereas a 9-iron shot will have much more loft and go less distance both in the air and on the ground.
The professionals on television make it look so easy; they consistently hit the ball long and straight and never miss-hit the ball making it dribble ten feet, or completely miss the ball.
Driving is very important to the game, and many hours spent at the driving range will help improve your distance. Experiment with the same club to see what w rks for you if you move the ball forward or backward in your stance. Take a lesson, if possible, and learn the proper swing from the beginning.
Mastering the long game helps you get to the green in fewer strokes, keeping your score and frustration level down. Remember that it takes a long time to learn consistency and remember to have fun!
Golf - Beginner Basics IV The Short Game
We've all the seen the long accurate drives of Tiger Woods. The ball flies through the air and lands in the middle of the fairway, 300 yards away.
The green-eyed monster of envy consumes us as we wonder if we could ever hope to drive like that. Fortunately, long drives are not the be-all-end-all game of golf.
Enter the short game. Without good short game skills, all the long drives are for naught.
The short game is those shots that get us onto the green from about one hundred feet out, be it from the fairway, a bunker, the rough or a drop zone and includes chips, sand shots and pitches.
This is where your higher numbered clubs would be used, as well as your pitching iron, sand wedge or lob wedge.
Most golf courses have practice areas as well as a driving range. Spend some time working on hitting your ball onto the green from different distances. Aim for a ten-foot circle in the center of the green at first. Experiment using your wedges; what works for someone else, might not work for you and your particular swing.
After you get accustomed to doing this drill consistently, it's time to spend some time in a sand trap. Knowing how to get the ball out of a trap will cut your score.
Plant your feet firmly into the sand, with your left foot turned toward the hole. Imagine a 4-inch circle around the ball and try to hit the edge of the circle that is away from the ball.
Take lots of sand with your ball and swing completely. Don't decelerate at all when or after you hit the ball. It should pop up onto the green and stop. This doesn't work unless the sand is very soft and powdery. On hard surfaces, you might need to avoid actually hitting the sand.
As in all aspects of the game, only practice will help you to improve.
Golf - Beginner Basics V Putting
"Drive for show, putt for dough" is the lesson we've all seen and learned from watching professional golfers in every tournament and championship.
The masters of golf can drive a ball from here to eternity, but it all boils down to how many strikes of the ball it takes to put the ball in the hole. The long accurate drives don't amount to anything if
you're unable to putt accurately.
Choosing a putter is important, but using whatever putter you have consistently is more so. I've had the same putter for fifteen years; I know what it feels like in my hand, I know its weight and how that plays into my putts.
Putting takes lots of practice. Typically, we drive the ball eighteen times in a game, but putt at least double that number. Doesn't it stand that we should practice our putting at least twice as much as
driving? If you can't get to the practice green regularly, practice on your carpet at home.
Keep in mind that no ball can make it into the hole if it doesn't have enough power behind the ball to get there. Take the time to get down and look at the path from your ball to the hole; does it slant one way or the other? Is it uphill or downhill?
Stand with your feet spread for balance and line up the putt. Keep you hands, arms and shoulders completely still; imagine that you are a "bobble head" but you move from just below your chest. Keep your head directly over the ball. Pull your club back; keep your hands, wrists, arms and shoulders steady-the movement comes from your chest. Hit the ball, following it with your club.
Learn from each putt and remember the lesson.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Finally, locate a golf professional that you can work with. Preferably find one who is TPI certified and can perform a 12 point screen that will key in on any weak links in your golf swing.
Working with a TPI Certified Golf Fitness Instructor or Medical Professional will further enhance your golf training. Especially if you find one who is a certified instructor using the K-Vest swing analysis system.
As a TPI certified golf fitness instructor and Physical Therapist, my recommendation for one of the best content sites that you can go to is mytpi.com.
In addition, if you are interested in purchasing products for yourself or another golf lover, the pages on this blog are worth your examination as well.
For instance, Mike Pedersen provides awesome fitness advice and equipment reviews here.
If you are looking to challenge yourself to specific golf fitness goals, then look at Craig Ballantyne's work.
Craig is a much-sought-after fitness expert and consultant to Men’s Health magazine, one of the most popular fitness publications in the world, and Oxygen magazine.
The Simple Golf Swing by David Nevogt offers an excellent ebook with a free sample chapter on the golf setup.
Finally, because my wife and I are on the tail end of the boomer generation, we are concerned about our quality of life. As a result of our research, one of our favorite food supplements is Protandim.
It stands alone as an subject of multiple universities peer reviewed studies that can be examined at pubmed.gov. (type in 'Protandim' for a list of studies)
If you find any of this information helpful, please tell others and if not, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what you think what kind of information that you are looking for and finally...
Have a Great Game!
Steve McMurray MPT, CGFI (aka Mr Stiv)