How Does Brain Chemistry Affect Your Golf Game?
Everyone knows that mental health is absolutely vital to living your best life both personally, professionally, as well as on the course. Did you know that your brain chemistry can drastically affect how you play the game of golf? The more that you practice and work on your game, the more training your brain will begin to recognize. Your brain, which controls all of your movements, will utilize its muscle memory before and after each shot that you make on the course, and ultimately, each move that you make throughout each round.
You must be in touch with your senses to be able to play your best game. The more you repeat certain movements on the course, such as putting or swinging, the more your brain will be able to adapt to the movements and analyze how to work successfully in the future. If you think about where exactly you want the ball to go within your surroundings, your brain will learn how to determine what the best approach is to hit the ball where it needs to go.
Building a healthy brain for your overall life as well as the game of golf is extremely important. You can build a healthy brain through eating nutritious, whole foods, making sure you are eating correct portions, and hydrating properly every day! It is also good to make sure you are incorporating some form of exercise into your daily routine to keep your fitness level up and your brain stimulated. Incorporating cardio as well as time to attend yoga classes and increase your flexibility will improve your physical health on the course, and your brain chemistry! To further stimulate your brain, practice golf as much as you can whether indoors or outdoors, learn everything you can about the game and keep your body moving.
Keep Up with Your Game in the Off Season
Just because the weather is getting colder and the days are getting duller does not mean that you golf game has to be affected! Even though you may not be able to regularly go to your golf course of choice, there are many ways that you can work on your golf game in the off-season! With these exercises and tips, you will be in great shape by the time the weather warms up, and you will be ready to play your best game yet! Check out some ways that you can improve your game during the winter months:
- Weight training. Believe it or not, regularly hitting the gym and performing strength-training exercises can greatly improve your game. By strengthening your core, glutes, and other key muscle groups, you will gain more balance and more power throughout your swing.
- Mental game. The off season is a great time to work on your mental game, which is just as important as your physical game on the course. Practice yoga a few times a week, and work on a relaxing pre-shot routine that you can utilize when you get back to the game.
- Practice in the mirror. Find a full length mirror and practice putting and swinging in front of one! By doing this, you will be able to provide constructive criticism for yourself and will be able to make adjustments accordingly.
- Putt within your home. Wherever you have some extra space in your home is a great place to practice putting. You can do this while watching your favorite TV program, or even to break up your work day if you are in the office!
- Shop around for some new gear. Gear and accessories are key to a successful game. Take this time to hit up all of the great holiday sales and find some new, fresh equipment for a loved one or yourself!
Tips to Conquer Tough Par-3 Courses
Don’t be fooled by par-3 courses. They may seem easy, but there are many par 3 courses are just as tough, if not tougher, than 18 hole courses. It’s a good way to test how good your short game is, but if you struggle with par-3 courses, here is a checklist to help you conquer them!
1. Assess the hole
2. Tee it up
3. Think positively
4. Choose your club carefully
5. Find your own solution
Par-3s can deceive you, so assess the hole carefully before hitting. Also make sure to tee up the ball whenever you can. This can help you lift up the ball and allow it to softly land on the green. It’s also just an easier way to hit the ball. Doesn’t matter if you’re using a 9 iron – tee it up whenever you can.
Your mental golf game is so important. Many golfers tend to look at the hole and think about all the hazards ahead of them, whether its a pond or bunkers. Block out those negative thoughts and fully focus on your shot. Don’t worry about anything but your swing.
Choose your club carefully, especially on downhillers. Don’t just choose your club based on distance because there may be other factors at hand. If it’s a windy day, make sure you choose a club that will make up for that.
Lastly, even though you may want to watch other players and follow their routine, don’t rely on this too much. Their strengths may not be yours. Every golfer is different, so find a solution that fits your game.
Save yourself strokes by following this checklist!
5 Golf Tips and Tricks
It takes time to learn how to golf. You have to constantly practice your putting, short game and chipping. Here are 5 golf tips and tricks you should try next time you’re out golfing.
#1 – Use Your Body
Although you use many parts of your body to help you create a great swing, your body has the real power. You need to use your body as the main source of power when you swing, and not your arms, as many golfers do.
#2 – Focus on Your Knees
if you want to keep power and balance with your swing, start focusing on your knees. It happens easily that your knees come closer together while you shift and rotate during the swing. Keeping the distance between your knees consistent while swinging, will generate more power, improve accuracy, and your balance will improve too.
#3 – Loft
Every club has a specific loft, and you should be using it to your advantage. Allow the loft of each club to do the work for you. When you hit a golf ball, you have to hit down on it and through it as well, which will allow the club to lift the ball naturally.
#4 – Sand Trap
Playing out of a sand trap is many a golfer’s worst nightmare. The secret is to aim for the sand in front of the ball, to open the clubface and to go through with the shot. Many golfers stop with the shot as soon as the club makes contact with the sand. Try to pop the ball in the air so that it lands softly on the green.
#5 – Practice Your Short Game
Just like every other golfer, you probably want to improve your score. The best way to do this is to practice your short game. Practice your putting, chipping and pitching the most and you will experience lower scores on a regular basis.
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.
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 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.