Country Club New Bedford

Avoid These Mistakes When Betting in Golf

Many golfers love betting on the biggest golf tournaments of the year, such as the Ryder Cup and the Masters. But, before placing any major bets, it’s a good idea to know the risks and what to avoid. 

Betting on multiple possibilities

There are golf lovers who tend to bet on more than one player in hopes of winning a large sum of money. It might seem like a good idea, but the wins are rare and if even one player does poorly it can ruin your entire bet! You might end up wasting more money on multiple bets than focusing on one or two separate bets. 

Betting only on the big names

Of course many golf lovers are going to want to bet on the biggest stars in the golf world. Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler…the list can go on. However, many other fans think the same way as you do, meaning that more bets are placed on these players. You might not get a lot of value in the bets that are offered for these golf stars compared to the lesser known, yet very talented, golfers. It’s important to remember to go beyond the big names and try your luck with someone who might not be as well-known but could very well surprise you.

Overlooking the course

You might think these professional golfers won’t have a tough time tackling any course they play on, but that’s false thinking. If a course is too short, too long, or too tight, it can mean even the greatest of players will struggle through it. It’s better to think about how the course is set-up, the difficulty it could pose and what pro golfer has played on the course many times.

When to Use a Hybrid

A hybrid is a cross between a fairway wood and an iron, except it’s much easier to hit. They fly higher and land softer than your long irons, which helps you keep control of those long shots. If you struggle with hitting long irons or fairway woods, consider using a hybrid. Here is some tips when using a hybrid. 

HYBRID vs FAIRWAY WOOD

Many golfers don’t know the difference between a hybrid and fairway wood. Common fairway woods include your 3-wood, 5-wood, and 7-wood, depending on the loft. Hybrids were not so long ago known more as “rescue clubs.” Hybrids combine characteristics of both woods and irons, with a smaller clubhead than a wood, a shorter shaft, and more loft.

A hybrid is great for beginners or weekend golfers because it’s a reliable club that will not only advance their second shot but will help keep you score lower. The hybrid, because of its shorter shaft length, is easier to hit than a fairway wood for players who struggle with topping the ball. To get maximum performance from your hybrid clubs, swing them more around your body on the backswing and downswing. Think of the swing like a hula hoop.

WHEN TO USE A HYBRID

Hybrids are very versatile. You can hit them off the fairway, from the rough or even the tee (if you’re not so good at using a driver). The clubhead will cut through the rough better than a fairway wood, and you can even chip the ball if you’re close to the green with a hybrid. A common practice is to start your lowest-numbered hybrid at 10-15 yards less than your highest fairway wood, so there’s no gap in coverage.

From my personal experience, hybrids really do help “rescue” me when I am in a tough lie or just want to get more distance. It’s consistent, accurate and will help you hit those long shots easily.

Three Golf Myths De-Bunked

Some of you may not know all of the myths of golf, but they are there and they need to be de-bunked! You may hear some tips from a fellow golfer, a co-worker, or a video/article online that may tell you things that aren’t necessarily true. Sadly, these myths can impede your golf game. 

Here are three popular golf myths de-bunked:

Myth #1: Keep You’re Head Still / Down

You’ve probably heard someone say, “Keep your head still” or “Keep your head down” when swinging the club. The combination of these two “tips” can hurt your swing. For example, keeping your head still and down on the downswing impedes your upper body rotation through impact, forcing your body to rise up and causing you to mis-hit the ball.

It’s actually okay to let your head slightly move because your neck is an extension of your spine. When you rotate, you should be leaning towards the ball and allowing your head to shift a little will encourage proper weight shift on the backswing. 

Myth #2: Use A Natural Grip

Another popular myth is when someone tells you to have a “natural” or light grip. For some golfers, this can be comfortable and a great fit for them. BUT, for others, it’s not the best choice! Everyone is different with how they prefer to hold the club. If you don’t have a grip that suits your needs, it can cause swing errors. The key to the right grip is having one that matches your swing. Figure out what works best for you by practicing at home or at the range. 

Myth #3: One Ball Position For All Clubs

For some Tour pros, using one ball position might be easy for them. But, most weekend golfers are better off using different positions for different clubs. The key is knowing where each club bottoms out. Clubs of different lengths reach the bottom of the swing arc in different places—longer clubs bottom our far forward in your stance than shorter ones. With longer clubs, you also must adjust to how far you are from the ball.

Hopefully clearing up these three myths will help you and your golf game. If you aren’t sure about something you are told, just ask a golf instructor or a professional who would know best.

 

Do You Really Need to Wear a Golf Glove?

I wear a golf glove every time I’m on the course. It really never occurred to me not to do this. You watch your favorite PGA or LPGA pros wear them, and you see your fellow golfers wear them too. I figured it was a necessary part of the equipment, but it’s not. A golf glove is used to protect your hand from unwanted blisters after repeatedly swinging the club and to add a little more of a steady grip. I wouldn’t suggest not wearing a glove when you’re at the range because you most definitely will end up with blisters (unless you have hands that aren’t as delicate as mine seem to be). 

Here are some tips about purchasing / wearing a golf glove: 

Most golfers who wear a glove only wear one—and it goes on the hand that is the “upper hand” on the golf club shaft. If you are a right handed golfer, then buy a glove for your left hand. If you are a left handed golfer, look for a right hand glove. Sounds pretty obvious, but there are times it can get confusing. Bottom line – you want the glove to go on your NON-DOMINANT HAND.

  1. Does it fit properly?

While wearing a golf glove, you want to be comfortable. It needs to leave enough room for comfort and flexibility, but it shouldn’t be sticking to your hand either. With a little bit of wear, the glove should easily conform to your hand. Also, after a while of use, it will start to wear down and become stiff, especially if it happens to get wet from the rain. 

  1. Try it on before you buy

Even if you know your size, try it on. Different manufacturers have slightly different measurements. With a glove that fits well, your game might improve, but if a glove fits poorly, stretches, pinches, is too loose or too tight, it will almost surely be a distraction and will almost certainly do nothing to help your game.

  1. What material should you choose? 

Gloves are made of a variety of materials: soft leather that is water-resistant – not for those big rain storms, but resistant to the perspiration on your hands, also gloves are made from nylon, knitted materials and  some synthetics. Your choice depends on climate and weather conditions. I have a pair of rather funky looking gloves that are meant to be used for rainy days. There are two to the set and the material is somewhat tacky. I wear two gloves to ensure that my grip doesn’t slip on the club. I also have a pair of winter gloves. Again, they come as a pair and on those crisp winter mornings (I will play in temps down to about 45 degrees F) they are a very welcome addition to my golf attire.

How to be More Patient with your Golf Game

Have you ever been on the golf course where you were playing great for a few holes and then all of the sudden you start hitting bad shots? If so, you probably know that when this happens you end up losing your patience. 

You start thinking, “What happened? A minute ago, I was playing great and now, I can’t hit any shot!”

The “mental game” of golf is critical for playing consistent golf. As a golfer, you are alone with your thoughts. Unfortunately, one bad shot can make some golfers become anxious, irritated, angry, or a combination of all three. Once you start going down the road of negativity, it’s hard to turn back around. It can lead to making poor decisions or rushing your routine. When you rush your routine, the pace of your tempo can change with it.

How can you stay more patient after a bad hole or shot? One bad shot or hole will not hurt your performance for 18 holes unless you allow it to. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Awareness – be aware of the top triggers that test your patience
  • In the past – put the bad shot or hole behind you before you step up to the next shot. Take a long-term approach to the round and focus on the remaining holes instead of looking back. One or two bad shots doesn’t mean the rest of the game is going to be ruined for you. Remember to relax and be in the present moment. 
  • Pace of routine – keep the pace of your routine similar to when you are calm and composed. Avoid the tendency to speed up your routine and make hasty decisions.

Five Rules of Golf You Must Know

Golf has some important rules that not many weekend golfers might know, or at least, they don’t know the full details of each rule. It’s good to review the rules on occasion because simply put — you should know them! Adhere to them whenever you play. They may save you a stroke or two in a sticky situation.

Here are some of the most important rules you should remember:

1. Water Hazards
Golf’s rules define a water hazard as any sea, lake, pond, river, ditch, surface draining ditch, or other open water course (whether or not containing water), and anything of a similar nature. Courses mark water hazards with yellow stakes and lines.

If you hit into water you have four options:

  • Play the ball as near as possible to the spot from which the original ball was played.
  • Drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the ball entered the water’s edge, directly behind the hole and the spot where the ball is dropped. There’s no limit to how far back the ball may be dropped, as long as the point of crossing lies between the drop and the hole.
  • Play the ball as it lies in the water hazard.
  • If a ball goes into a lateral water hazard, drop a ball away from the hazard, but within two club lengths of the point from which the ball last crossed the water. However, the ball can’t come to rest any closer to the hole than the point at which the first ball crossed the hazard.

2. Putting Wait Time
You’re on the green and you’re ready to make your 6 ft putt. You’re feeling confident, the line is setup correctly and the speed is good. You think to yourself, “this is a done deal!” But the ball stops just at the lip of the cup. How long can you wait for the ball to drop into the cup. According to rule 16-2, you can wait the time it takes you to reach the hole plus 10 seconds. By the way, there’s no penalty for allowing a ball stay in the cup and letting the next player’s ball land on it.

3. White Stakes
White stakes on a course indicate out-of-bounds. You have only one option under Rule 27, the dreaded stroke and distance penalty. Add a stroke and drop a ball as close as possible to where you last played. To keep play moving when you might be OB, play a provisional ball under Rule 27-2. 

4. Lost Ball
So you just hit your ball deep into the fairway rough. You look for the ball but can’t find it. You declare a lost ball, but after hitting a second ball you discover your original ball. Under Rule 27, once the ball is declared lost and another ball played you can’t play the original ball. However, what if the first ball went in the hole?

If the ball goes in the hole, the first ball would be counted, even if you hit a second ball. The first rule of golf states: The Game of Golf consists of playing a ball with a club from the teeing ground into the hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with the Rules. The key words here are “into the hole.” Once the first ball when in the hole, the hole was over for the player. Once you’ve done that, your play of that hole is considered finished. You’ve completed play of a hole as soon as your ball finds the cup

These four rules come into play fairly frequently and the  better you know them, the more knowledge you’ll have about the game and avoid any potential mistakes. 

Learning How To Golf Comes Gradually

Golfing isn’t easy and it takes many years and a lot of practice to improve your game. It’s not something you can learn overnight.

Golfers improve best by first mastering the basic techniques of a skill, like pitching or putting, and then learning the skill’s more advanced techniques. With driving, for example, you’d focus first on mastering the swing’s basics before trying to hit draws and slices. Thus, the golfer gradually improves until he or she finally masters the skill. This approach makes sense.

Below are some tips on how this approach could work when applied to chipping:

Eliminate Breaking of the Wrists

When you chip with your iron, do you tend to break the wrists? I have the same problem. When I was on the Rhode Island Women’s Golf Association, my instructor drilled into my head that it’s a bad habit I needed to break. Beginners are especially prone to this. This often leads to poor contact because hand action requires touch. Relaxing your wrists and hands while chipping can improve consistency and accuracy.

Rotate When Swinging

Body rotation is one of the most important things to do when swinging the club. Rotating through improves distance control and helps you to adapt to different chipping situations. Rotating through also enables you to increase swing speed and backspin, which helps the ball check up when it hits the green.

Control Your Shot

It’s also important to control your chip shot by using your right hand to do the work for you. Do this by hinging your wrists as you go back and unhinging them through impact. This enables you to control the shot’s trajectory and spin. 

 

Use the progressive approach described above to learn other shots. Break down the shot into three or four key moves and work on them until you’ve mastered them all. Start with a basic technique and then move on to more advanced techniques. Learning golf gradually will not only make you a better golfer, it will also help you chop strokes off your golf handicap.

How To Choose The Correct Golf Ball

Many weekend golfers may overlook the importance of the golf balls that they play. You might borrow some from your friends or buy the cheapest balls you can find. However, the ball you play can dramatically affect your scores. The right ball can help you chop strokes off your golf handicap. The wrong ball can cost you strokes and boost scores.

So how to do you choose the correct golf balls?

Ideally, you should choose a ball based on how it boosts your scoring chances. This often comes down to a choice between distance and feel. Do you want a ball that you can hit farther? Or one that helps you putt better?

Below are some common questions we fielded from players in our golf lessons on how to choose a ball. The golf tips below will help you choose one that’s right for you.

1. Should You Use The Same Balls As The Pros? 

No, because the pros have different needs than you. They use specific golf balls that provide them short game spin and control so that they can hit low shots around the green. Weekend golfers need balls that launch and spin more.

One choice for golfers with high golf handicaps is a three-piece ball with a urethane cover. Three-piece balls feature superior driver performance. The urethane cover also provides improved feel and control on approach shots. As you lower your golf handicap, you can start using balls offering better control on shots around the green.

2. What’s the Difference Between Urethane and Surlyn covers?

While both are polymers, they offer different performance characteristics.

Urethane:

  • Urethane offers good green side control, feel, durability, and distance. 
  • It’s more expensive than Surlyn.
  • Players with low golf handicaps should consider using Urethane golf covers

Surlyn:

  • It spins less as you get closer to the green but launches higher off the tee.
  • Works well if you need a short-high approach
  • Ideal for golfers looking for distance and low dispersion off the tee.
  • Players with high golf handicaps should use Surlyn covers.

3. Expensive balls or cheaper balls? Does it matter?

It’s not just about the price of the golf ball you should consider – it also has to do with performance. Premium balls tend to provide better performance than non-premium balls. So if you have a low handicap and you’re serious about improving, it’s worth playing a better ball.

However, if you have trouble hitting the fairway due to distance, try a distance type of ball that spins less. If it comes down to a choice between price and performance, choose performance.

4. When do I need to buy new golf balls?

It depends on how much you use the ball and storage conditions. Store your golf balls at room temperature for maximum life and keep them dry. Storing balls in extremely hot or cold places, like the trunk of your car, limits life. Submerging balls in water for long periods also limits life. Retire any you’ve used excessively. You can start to tell when the golf balls start to wear. 

 

Choosing the right ball can take your game to the next level. It can also help chop strokes off your golf handicap. Take your time choosing a ball. Make it the right one.

CVS Health Charity Classic Donates $1 Million to Southern New England Charities

CVS Charity Classic Gives Back

On December 23 at the corporate headquarters of CVS Health, President and CEO Larry Merlo announced that the CVS Health Charity Classic has reached an important milestone – a total of $20 million dollars in philanthropic support to hundreds of nonprofits in southeastern New England since the tournament’s inception in 1999. This year, the CVS Health Charity Classic donated more than $1 million dollars to nearly 100 area charities.

“The Charity Classic is one of the most important ways we give back in our home state,” said Eileen Howard Boone, Tournament Chairperson of the CVS Health Charity Classic “We are proud and honored to be able to support the invaluable work of these non-profits to support the communities we serve in the areas of education, health care, and social services.”

CVS Charity Classic 2017

CVS Health CEO, Larry Merlo, alongside Tournament Chairperson Eileen Howard Boone, as well as PGA TOUR professionals and CVS Health Charity Classic Co-hosts Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade, awarded the 2017 donations in front of a crowd comprised of CVS Health colleagues, working charity partners that volunteer their time during the event series, many of the awarded non-profits, and Charity Classic sponsors.

Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade, natives from Rhode Island who have been with the event since its inception and the reasons why so many great players have participated in this wonderful local event that has done so much to help local charities both spoke. “I’ve played in many charity tournaments like this, but our little state is kicking butt with how much money we have been able to raise over the years,” said a smiling Faxon.

Billy Andrade said, “I can’t believe how fast the time has gone since our first event in 1999. Seeing how much we have been able to do makes us all so proud.”

The 2017 dates were also announced by Merlo. “We will be hosting the event at Rhode Island Country Club, one of our great partners since the inception, on June 18, 19 and 20.”

In all, 77 local non-profit organizations across Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts will benefit this year from the CVS Health Charity Classic.

Are You Trapped in the Sand?

Do’s and Don’ts in the bunker

Many golfers, whether they are serious players or not, usually know they will receive a a two-stroke penalty for grounding their club in a bunker. But, few know any of the other rules covering bunker play. That’s not surprising. The topic isn’t normally covered even when taking golf lessons. So golfers have to learn them on their own.

The penalty strokes incurred for breaking a bunker rule won’t probably impact golf handicap, but they do have consequences. They can cost you a hole in match play or the match itself. If you play regularly, it’s good to know some of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to bunker play.

  1. Grounding the Club

As mentioned above, this is one of the most common DON’TS when it comes to playing from the sand. You can, however, ground your club in a waste area. Waste areas are usually massive bunker-like regions of firm, unkept sand that aren’t hazards. If you’re not sure where to look courses usually mark these areas for golfers. 

  1. Touching the Sand

Digging in your feet in the sand when hitting from a bunker is okay. You can also leave the bunker, get a new club, come back and dig in your feet again. What you can’t do is touch the sand, meaning, you can’t draw a line in the sand like an instructor might do for a lesson and you also can’t slam your club into the ground because you’re angry you messed up the first shot. I mean, you can do this if you so please, but each infraction will cost you two strokes. 

  1. Raking

This is another area of bunker play not many people know the rules for. You can rake after hitting a bunker shot, even if your ball never left the bunker. However, you can’t disturb your new lie, the area of your stance or swing, or the new line of play for your next shot. You also can’t rake your footprint trail behind you as you walk to your lie. You’d be penalized two strokes for testing the sand’s condition. 

  1. Unplayable Lie

If you have an unplayable lie in a bunker, you may replay your previous shot and take a one-stroke penalty. Or, if you don’t want to go back to your previous shot, take a drop in the bunker within two club lengths of the ball. 

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