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.
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.
You either upgrade the whole bag and treat yourself, or you just buy a new wedge.
So what do you do with the old clubs? Here are four things you can do with your old clubs instead of them collecting dust in your basement.
Trade: This is the most logical option. If you have a somewhat new club, most stores will take them in on trade. This will give you a couple bucks to put toward the new club. The other benefit of trading is on the other end of the spectrum. If you are looking to buy, but not looking to pay full price, clubs that people have traded in before are a logical buying option. Plus, you can still trade your old club for it.
Sell: this takes a close second to trade. Some places, depending on age, wont take your clubs in on trade. So, you will have to do a little extra work and try selling it. There are a lot of options here. Facebook groups, eBay and even yard sales are the easiest. Make a few bucks and give the next guy a great deal.
Hand them down: If you have a son, grandson or nephew that is high school or college age, give them your old set. Not only will you get the dust collectors out of your basement. You may be growing the game. He may go out with a few friends for fun and start to like it. Fun fact, this is how my love for golf started. My uncle gave me a set of clubs one summer and I never looked back. Played with those clubs for a summer and realized I wasn’t going to stop golfing anytime soon and bought my own set. I then took that set and gave them to a friend so he could start golfing. Kind of the pay it forward effect.
Keep it: So the money isn’t really an issue for you. Keeping your old clubs has many added benefits. Maybe you hit a crazy shot a few years back with your 3 wood and you want to keep it to tell the story. Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a hole-in-one under your belt and you want to keep the club you did it with to tell the story. Also keeping it, you could use it as a spare bag for when a friend visits and didn’t bring his own clubs, or a friend that doesn’t golf a lot and is just playing in a charity tournament with you. Lastly, when you get in a pinch and accidentally snap your 5 iron trying to punch out from a bush, you will have a back up club. So keeping your old clubs can actually come in handy.
Upgrading clubs is always a great feeling. So don’t stress about what to do with your old ones. There are plenty of options.
The Pros and Cons of Early Tee Times
The Early bird gets the worm
Everyone knows that one person that loves to get out and golf early in the morning.
But, with that early morning tee time comes its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of an early tee time
You Lead The Way: Nothing better than playing like you’re on your own private course. No on in front of you as soon as you finish a hole you can go right on the next tee. You get to play at your pace as long as no one is really rushing you from behind.
Fresh Greens: You get to play on greens that are virtually untouched. They haven’t been walked on all day and beaten up on. Tour players will attest to this, they prefer to play in earlier groups because the greens aren’t covered in spike marks and just generally worn on.
Get It Done With: This makes it kind of sound like a chore, but this means you can still have an afternoon to be productive. If you tee off before 7 am you will finish up in enough time to do stuff all evening.
Won’t Waste Money On Beer: Unless you are a freak, you wont be drinking too much beer at a 7 am tee time. Maybe one or two in the last couple holes.
Now for the disadvantages…
Frost Delays: Nothing worse than getting to a course, ready to go and there is a 45-minute frost delay. While you have already been at the range for 30 minutes. Throws everything off.
Forget Something: While you were hung over and stumbling out of the house to make you early tee time, you completely forgot to grab that dozen Pro V1’s out of the garage. Now you got to waste money and buy a few sleeves in the pro shop.
Too Early: Early in the morning your body isn’t fully awake. By 11 am you have done enough that your body is awake and naturally stretched out. Early in the morning you can be really stiff and almost still asleep. Stretchingbefore a morning round is pivotal.
Weather: Depending on the time of year, it can be pretty cold for early tee times, hence the frost delay. If it isn’t the summer months, morning tee times can be quite chilly.
Putting: First 4-5 holes will probably have dew on the greens, slowing your ball down. Once the sun comes up and dries the due off the greens, they will be playing a lot faster. Adjusting to this for a few holes may cost you a few strokes if you are unfamiliar with the greens.
Waking up alone is a chore for some people, so you make the call whether to reserve that early tee time or not.