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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
- 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.
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.
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.