Are Your Nerves Affecting Your Game? Here’s How to Fix it
Imagine yourself on the course during the biggest golf tournament of your life. Or, maybe you are on the course with a potential client, trying to win their business. There are a lot of different reasons why you may experience nerves on the course because ultimately, golf is more than just a game. Unfortunately, dealing with anxiety and nerves can immensely affect your game and what your success looks like on the course. If you find yourself feeling nervous before, during or after your game, we have put together a few tips and tricks on how you can fix it. Here are some ways to fight through your nerves and stay as relaxed as possible:
- Keep your body and grip loose. People experiencing nerves or anxiety often feel a tension throughout their entire body, which can move into your hands and fingers. It is important to keep your grip loose because tightness causes more tension.
- Focus on your mental and emotional game. A true golfer knows that your mental and emotional game is just as, if not more important than your physical game! Do not internally put the pressure on yourself and try to stay as relaxed and calm as possible. Putting the pressure on yourself can result in struggling to play consistent golf.
- Breathe, breathe, breathe! When things get tough and you begin to feel nervous and stressed, take time to stop and take a few deep breaths to relax your heart rate and get your mind focused back on the game.
- Do not dwell on bad shots or games. If something goes wrong, give yourself constructive criticism so you are able to move forward, and then focus on the future! Do not dwell on shots that could have gone better or games that should have gone a different way. Keep moving forward and pushing to be a better game player, and realize that mistakes happen to everyone!
Get Organized for Your 2019 Game
When it comes to new year’s resolutions, many people look at ways in which they can improve their personal life, whether it be their own physical or mental health, or their overall productivity. For all of you golfers, you may be looking at resolutions that can help you become the best player that you can be. To improve upon your game, your first step is to ensure that you are organized and ready to get back onto the course. Here are some ways in which you can get organized so that you are prepared for your best possible golf game in the new year:
Get an indoor putter. An indoor putter will tremendously help you during the winter months, as it will give you the opportunity to practice within your own home and get a handle on your putting. By practicing at home, you can target your weaknesses and look at how you can work to improve them prior to the spring season!
Find a mentor or professional. Once you are aware of your weaknesses and what you must work on, you can look at finding a mentor or professional to give you additional lessons and help you improve. Look into local indoor courses or local professionals that you can work with to get some healthy constructive criticism.
Clean out your golf bag. After a long golf season, you may have been so busy that you were unable to go through your golf bag, clean it out and organize it. Work to organize your clubs and, if there are any that you do not find yourself often using, replace them with ones that you will utilize on the course more often.
Regrip clubs that are slippery. While organizing your clubs, if you find that any are slippery, take the opportunity to regrip them so that they are all set for when you get back on the course in the spring.
Take advantage of holiday sales. During the holiday season there are an immense amount of unbelievable deals that you can hit on golf apparel, equipment and accessories. Take advantage of these sales and look into replacing any equipment or accessories such as clubs, putters or balls that have worn out.
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.
If you show up to the course before your tee time and all you do is hit balls, you are doing it wrong! Skipping a good golf specific warm up is costing you strokes and messing up the first few holes of your round. Warming up before your round doesn’t have to be a time consuming ordeal.
Try these four warm-up stretches on the course before you tee off. (Hold each stretch for two to five deep breaths.
If you have ever played golf after doing chest exercises at the gym, you know how uncomfortable and painful it is to swing the golf club with tight and sore chest muscles. it also reduces our ability to rotate during the swing which can lead to many problems.
Hold onto the golf cart and turn your body in the opposite direction. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds then come back to the starting position. Repeat 5 times per side.
Being able to lift your arms overhead is necessary for a good golf swing, however when your lat muscles are tight, you are going to be struggling at the course.
You’re going to put your feet close to the cart and hold onto it. Stick your butt back and let yourself hang. You will feel it stretching on the muscles on the sides of you body. Hold for 5-10 seconds, then come back to address position. Repeat 10 times.
if you early extend or lose your posture during the golf swing, it’s likely that your calfs are to blame.
Use your golf cart to stretch them out by putting the balls of your feet on the edge and letting your heels drop. Hold for 5-10 seconds, go back to address position and repeat 10 times per side.
Hip Flexor Stretch
We all know the glutes are known as the king of the golf swing. However, when our hip flexors get tight it won’t be able to generate power or stabilize our bodies to their maximum potential
Get into a staggered stand position by putting one of your feet onto of the golf cart. Squeeze your glutes tuck your tailbone in and bring your hips forward. Hold for 5-10 seconds, get back to address position, repeat 10 times per side.
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.
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.
The 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open
The PGA Tour is headed to Arizona for the Waste Management Phoenix OpenJ from January 29-February 4. The tournament takes place at TPC Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Arizona, at the Stadium Course. This PGA stop boasts the largest attendance on tour and it is an audience participation event, especially on the 16th hole. This hole can be considered the most famous hole on the tour. And the audience? Well to get a better idea of the attendance, consider the 207,000 fans attending last year…just on Saturday.
This year’s field is as talented as its ever been, featuring five of the top 10 players in the Official World Golf Ranking, including world No. 5 Hideki Matsuyama, who with a victory can become the first player since Arnold Palmer to win the event three consecutive times. It would also make him the fifth three-time winner in the tournament’s history, joining the likes of Palmer, Phil Mickelson, Mark Calcavecchia and Gene Littler. Others include Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas.
The best part about this event?
A live 360 and VR experience will be available for all four rounds of this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open. Similar to the TOUR’s Live VR events in 2017, this week’s coverage can be viewed globally in “360 video” on Twitter (twitter.com/PGATOUR), as well as through Samsung Gear VR via the “PGA TOUR VR Live” app.
Fans can now watch live in both 360 video and Cardboard VR via the PGA TOUR app on iOS. The “PGA TOUR VR Live” app will also launch on Daydream by Google – available on the Google Play Store – all at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. As the exclusive live virtual reality provider of the PGA TOUR, Intel will produce the live VR experience with Intel True VR technology, providing unprecedented access to areas on the course that can’t be experienced, even by fans on-site.
“The 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale during the Waste Management Phoenix Open is one of the most exciting in golf,” said Rick Anderson, PGA TOUR Chief Media Officer. “We look forward to bringing that excitement to our fans who can’t physically be at the tournament through live virtual reality. They will be able to experience all the thrills from home.”
The Golf Channel will carry live coverage on Thursday and Friday from 3 p.m. ET to 7 p.m. ET. CBS will take over on the weekend beginning at 3 p.m. ET.
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 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
- 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.