Sports You Can Play to Help Develop Golf Skills
The key to be a great golf player is to never stop working on your athleticism and your skills. The more in shape that you are, the better you will be able to perform on the course. In addition to your regular trips to the gym, and participating in golf lessons, did you know that there are several different sports that you can participate in that will not only keep you in shape, but help brush up on your golf skills? Check out some of the most popular sports to play to help become a better golf player:
- Tennis. Playing tennis is great for young children as well as adults and can greatly help to enhance your golf swing! In the game of tennis, the amount of rotational movements that are required will help your forehand with speed, and backhand with opposite rotational movement.
- Baseball. During a baseball game, you are required to be on point to hit a ball that is accelerating directly towards you, as well as use your legs and torso to create power from the ground up. These same skills are required for golfers and are essential for the game.
- Kayaking. To be a successful golfer, you must have a very strong upper body and core, which is required to be able to kayak. Regularly kayaking is an awesome way to get outside and enjoy some beautiful scenery while strengthening your upper body!
- Ice Hockey. While you are playing hockey, you are performing rotational movements with your hockey stick, while balancing on ice skates. Ultimately – this requires a lot of coordination. The skill of coordination is essential for the game of golf, and if you can handle it on skates, you can absolutely handle it on the grounds of the course!
- Soccer. Soccer requires a lot of hand and eye coordination as well as lower body strength, which is exactly what you need for the entire duration of your golf swing.
Questions You Can Ask Yourself to Improve Your Golf Game
Every golfer can relate to the frustration of consistently practicing and working hard to improve your game without seeing results. It can feel like no matter how much time you spend on the course, how much money you spend on equipment, and how much effort you put into lessons – nothing is changing! If you are not seeing improvement, you must first admit that something is not going as you initially planned. Golf is not easy, and developing and perfecting skills is something that takes time. It is important to keep in mind that this is a very common feeling for many golfers, and we are here to help! Ask yourself the following questions to figure out what exactly is going wrong:
- Are you staying completely focused on the course? Think about what is going through your head when you first get on the course and throughout your game. Are you completely focused on your game, or are you finding your thoughts somewhere else? Make sure that you are paying attention so that you can stay completely, 110% confident throughout the game. Staying focused will also help keep you more alert physically and mentally.
- Do you need to work on any of the basics and fundamentals? Everyone has to start somewhere, and sometimes improvement can best be found through going back to the basics. Think about your posture, your alignment, your grip, and your aim. If you are not completely comfortable with any of these fundamentals, think about working with a coach or mentor to see how you can improve upon each of them.
- What are your goals on the course? How are you working to achieve them? Go into each practice and game with a specific purpose to improve yourself, your skills and your game. Once you are internally aligned on your goals, think about how you are going to reach them. You can do this by visualizing specific scenarios while you are practicing so you are prepared when the time comes during the game itself.
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:
- Buy the right glove for the correct hand
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Millennial Pushing the Envelope on the Course
Changing The Game of Golf
We all grow up being told not to stereotype, but it’s human nature to pair certain qualities with certain groups.
Some may be true; some may not be. One thing golf does have is a very strong stereotype among non golfers around the world.
Rich. Snobby. Proper. No fun. Quiet please.
Those are some of the words that some people associate with golfers.
Rich people who enjoy their weekends at their country club, wearing fancy clothes, only clapping and not cheering and being quiet for most of their four-hour round.
But the millennial golfer may be breaking that mold. Myself included, millennial golfers like to push the envelope.
Instead of wearing a proper polo, we like to wear polos with crazy patterns and colors, untucked with a backwards hat on.
We are still going to hit the golf ball the same.
We like to bring our Bluetooth speakers and play our favorite songs while we play with our friends. We like to prank each other and try trick shots. Golf is a game, lets make it fun.
With all that being said we respect the history and tradition of golf, but with the direction it is heading, we need a drastic change to get todays youth excited and involved.
What better than bright fun clothes, loud music, competition and a whole lot of fun. The older generation may see our loud music as disrespect.
Come on dude, you were going to shank that ball into the woods even if my 50 Cent wasn’t blasting on my speaker. Golf needs to lighten up.
Until the older generation gets their ego and pettiness out, this game may never grow.
Millennials are not trying to ruin golf, we are trying to put our own fun spin on it.
Either join us, or get left in the dust. This is the future of golf.