Month: October 2018

Bad Shots

Golf is made up of a few magical shots (these are the ones that keep us coming back week after week to re-live), lots of average shots and an enormous amount of bad shots. When we play a round we can talk for hours afterwards about the good shots and tend quickly to forget the bad ones.

Invariably the cause for all poor shots stem from the same place, although with different consequences. It doesn’t matter whether its a hook, slice, thin shot or the shank, problems usually occur because of the right hand.

A player needs to identify their bad shot, rectify any problems on the driving range through tuition or via a website/mobile app such as Gateway Golf, adopt whats learnt and apply it out on the course. This is coupled with mental preparation and focus guarantee’s improvement in the golf game.

The art is to learn from poor shots, let them pass and play the next shot as though it was your only shot. Too many golfers get frustrated and give up too soon. Golf is an extremely difficult game to play and the only way to improve is practice as well as taking tuition. All levels of golfer plays a round of golf with several bad shots, varying on ability level. However, its how you approach the next shot and overcome the frustration. Most tour pro’s lack consistency from tee to green but make it all up within 100 yards of the green. They have the ability to turn bad shots into average ones and turn those into great scoring holes. That is what you must aim for – less bad shots, excellent short game and mental focus. This comes with practice, tuition and hardwork.

www.thegatewaygolfapp.com the leading Golf Tuition App

@gatewaygolfapp

Where can I buy golf clubs?

There are a number of different routes that the would be golf equipment buyer could obtain their next set of clubs.

This includes the numerous American Golf stores stretched across the UK. There are other golf outlets, although they all do struggle to complete with American Golf on product offering and price with the ingenious marking spin of ‘price match’.

Other sources include most, if not all, golf clubs. The Pro shop where you pay for your round of golf and get your score card is usually a great location for selling golf clubs and other necessary equipment such as, balls, tee’s, gloves, etc. Be aware the product range is all but guaranteed to be limited as the resident professionals will likely have a deal or sponsor from a particular brand and that would mean he/she only offers that brand equipment.

There are a number of very good online only providers of golf equipment. This sometimes creates value and the benefit of reduced prices on selected items but lacks the ability to ‘try before you buy’. Like any marketplace, each retailer is driving for your custom so you do have the opportunities to source great deals if you are patient and happy to shop around and play retailers off each other.

There is now a huge secondary marketplace for golf equipment. Second hand golf gear can really provide great value for money and gives the golfer huge selection of quality equipment that otherwise could be out of the golfers allocated budget. Currently, the most popular are obviously ebay and golfbidder. Both have a huge collection of clubs and everything else golf. If you have a brand and particular model in mind, that you’ve tried and tested and happy to proceed with a purchase, golfbidder can be an excellent place to start.

www.thegatewaygolfapp.com the leading Golf Tuition App

@gatewaygolfapp

How to score in Golf

There are several ways to play golf and a number of scoring systems used, however the most common are stableford, stroke play and match play. Occasionally bogey will also be played. These systems can be played individually or on a better ball basis with a playing partner.

Stableford – All golfers in the competition are awarded points depending on how many shots they take on each hole and what their handicap is. So a net par will give the player 2 points, a net birdie 3 points and a net bogey or one over par is 1 point. A net eagle is 4 points. The player with the most points at the end of the round will win. A score of 36 points indicates the player has played to his/her handicap.

Stroke Play – Stroke play or medal play is where every shot taken in a round (including penalty strokes) are counted. At the end your handicap is deducted to give you your net score. Club competitions are decided on the net score as this allows golfers of all levels to compete in the same competition.

Match Play – Match play is where two golfers or partners take on each other on a hole-by-hole basis. It’s not the number of strokes taken over the entire round but on each hole. The player or partners that score the best on that hole win going one up, etc. Again the handicap is deducted to provide the net score which is the one taken. The player or partners who win the most holes win the match.

Bogey – Golfers play for ‘plus, ‘minus’ or zero on each hole. Zero is when the payer has played the hole to par (taking into account his/her handicap), a net bogey is a minus and a net birdie is a plus. A player that plays to his/her handicap will achieve a score of zero.

To keep track of your score time and time again and have them saved to review your improvement, download the Gateway Golf App which has an electronic scorecard with unlimited storage facility.

www.thegatewaygolfapp.com the leading Golf Tuition App

@gatewaygolfapp

What food/drink to have playing golf

Many golfers pay no regard to what they eat or drink before a round of golf. It’s not unusual for a social fourball to meet at the club an hour or so before the tee time, have a massive fry up and if not too early perhaps a beer or two.

Although this will be undoubtedly satisfying and fill the belly, it is not the best preparation for your round of golf. Even the beer will reduce first tee nerves but it will soon turn into a fuzzy head creating lack of concentration resulting in poor golf.

Depending on the time of day you play will determine the meal needed before. It’s only real purpose is to fill you with energy. You are going to walk roughly 7 miles on an average round of golf so energy is key to providing the body and mind with the fuel to play the golf you desire or at least give you one less factor to think about when the day of that competition arrives.

So early morning tee times you should have a decent bowl of muesli or porridge with a cup of tea or that much needed morning coffee. The porridge is a slow releasing carb so will give you the energy required whilst doing your thing on the course. Perhaps a glass of orange juice or water would be a nice side dish. Later in the day a bowl of pasta with a flavour of your choice. These meals should be eaten a good hour before you start your preparation on the driving range.

Most golfers do not realise the amount of energy used when playing golf. It’s seen as a leisurely stroll around a field, occasionally hitting a little white ball. To some that is correct but that stroll is 7 miles long and in that time you are burning huge amounts of your fuel source. It is important to replenish that source during the round. A lunch box full of energy has to become second nature to any golfer much like picking up your golf bag and shoes before you leave home. A large bottle of water, banana and mars bar will be a great start.

Your food and drink intake is vital to your golf game. It is as important as your golf fitness, preparation on the practice areas and your mental preparation before you tee off.

www.thegatewaygolfapp.com the leading Golf Tuition App

@gatewaygolfapp

What to wear to first golf lesson

You’ve got to be smart but most importantly, comfortable. You are undoubtedly going to be a little nervous and apprehensive about your first ever lesson. Making sure you feel comfortable in what you are wearing is one less thing to worry about.

The very first thing to discount is the option of going to your local golf outlet and spending a mini fortune on the latest golf clothes. It’s a waste and totally unnecessary, You’d be better off pocketing that money to spend on a nice meal for your other half or extra golf lessons. You can not put a price on quality golf tuition, whether it be at the driving range, online or via a mobile app, if your aim is to always be improving.

The time of year will determine what attire you should wear to your golf lesson. In the winter, both men and women should wear a tailed pair of trouser s, for men a polo shirt with a round or v-neck jumper over the top and for women (who tend to feel the cold more) as many layers as needed with a suitable zip-up jacket on top. To start rather than a pair of golf shoes a supportive, athletic pair of trainers will be appropriate footwear. In the summer, men should wear either the same tailored trousers or tailored shorts with a polo shirt. Women again the tailored trousers or shorts. Alternatively, a knee length skirt would be suitable. Always remember, smart but casual.

Most new golfers will have all of these clothes mentioned in a wardrobe at home. Perhaps never worn altogether (if you are a women) but there is a first time for everything!

Clothing is the least important thing when embarking on new golf lessons. You don’t even need clubs as these are provided for you if necessary, so always think – Be smart, casual but comfortable.

You may look the coolest golfer on the driving range but it you take the time to watch the golfer with all the gear, he/she generally has no idea and in desperate need of a lesson or two.

www.thegatewaygolfapp.com the leading Golf Tuition App

@gatewaygolfapp

Golf handicap system

When anyone takes up golf there is so much to learn and take in that it can all be a bit daunting. This is definitely the case with the handicap system. It is  vitally important to the game and allows all amateurs regardless of their playing ability to play together competitively but it can confuse the most brightest of minds.

A handicap is determined by the golfers ability and regularly adjusted to reflect their current form or playing level. It is usually calculated over the last 10 rounds of golf.

A golf course consists of 18 holes, generally speaking made up of four par 3’s, four par 5’s and ten par 4’s resulting in the course having a par of 72.

So if the par is 72 a scratch golfer will be expected to take 72 shots to complete the course. This would mean he/she has played to par. A 10 handicap golfer will be in 82 (10 + 72) and a 18 handicap golfer in 90 (18 + 72).

If the par of the hole is three, a scratch golfer should score 3 or ‘par’ and a 18 handicap golfer 4 or ‘bogey’.

In a competition, if the scratch golfer was competing against a 18 handicap player and scored par of 72 and the 18 handicap scored 90 or 18 over, the match would be a draw. Why? The 18 handicap player would get 18 shots deducted from his total score which would result in 72.

The handicap system works excellently to encourage competitiveness in all club competitions. There are many different scoring systems like matchplay, stableford or stroke play where the handicap system works effortlessly to calculate the winner and losers.

www.thegatewaygolfapp.com the leading Golf Tuition App

@gatewaygolfapp

Do I need golf clubs to start playing golf?

The first thing that springs to mind is the dilemma of the chicken and the egg, which one comes first, golf clubs or playing golf?

Clubs are essential to play the beautiful game of golf. That question can not be challenged. However, it is advisable not to spend what can lead into thousands of pounds to see whether it’s the game for you.

The pragmatic view would be to borrow a set of clubs off a friend or share a friends clubs (which strictly speaking is not allowed on most courses but you should be fine at your local council pay and play) in return for the beers afterwards in the club house bar. See how you get on , if you enjoy playing and then make the decision on whether you want to spend the next Saturday mornings for the foreseeable future in American Golf trying out the latest Ping or Taylor made clubs.

So the game is for you and you are going to buy a set of clubs. The other option you have to buying brand new clubs, which is most definitely the most sensible, is to go down the second hand route. There are thousands of golfers on the planet that will buy new clubs, use them as little as two or three times, decide it’s the clubs that are no good rather than their golf game which would benefit from lessons not new clubs and offer the clubs on ebay or golfbidder for a fraction of their original retail price. It is madness what quality second hand gear you can pick up. Even American Golf will sell you a driver for £400 and then offer you under half price the next day if you decide to trade the clubs in.

So do you need golf clubs to start playing golf?

The answer is most definitely yes! The important question is where and how you are going to acquire them.

 

www.thegatewaygolfapp.com the leading Golf Tuition App

@gatewaygolfapp

How many golf lessons do I need?

This is somewhat an impossible question to answer. How long is a piece of string?

It really depends on how dedicated you are to improving your golf game. If you are a once a month at best golfer that enjoys the hack around and skin fall of beers afterwards in the clubhouse bar, then paying out on average £50 per hour for a lesson is really not going to make a huge amount of difference. However, if you are an aspiring low handicap golfer, constantly looking to improve and gain that competitive or a regular Saturday club competition or social golfer then lessons are a necessity.

You can buy all the latest golf equipment that leads into the hundreds of pounds but unless you have the correct technique and basic knowledge acquired through hours of lessons it will not make the slightest bit of difference. It is amazing the amount of money spent on the latest golf equipment from the average regular golfer. That same golfer could probably count on one hand the number of lessons that he/she has had. Even then they were probably a gift from a friend or relative.

how much are golf lessons

Golf is a game that you can continually improve upon. Golfers are always trying something new they have picked up, whether that be from watching the live golf on sky, reading it in golf monthly or what a fellow golfer has shown them on the driving range.

If you watch or read about the playing professionals they have a retained coach who is giving them lessons on a weekly basis. The point is, if a playing professional on the European Tour or similar has a lesson or more a week when he/she earns millions a year in prize money from our beautiful game, you as an amateur should be having one a day to get better. As we all know that is unrealistic so the answer to how many lessons should you have is……. As many as you can, one can afford and two dedicate the time to. Only then will you improve as a golfer at any level.

How many golf lessons do I need?

 

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How long is a golf lesson?

Golf lessons can be anything from 30 seconds just before your weekly round to a 4 hour plus playing lesson. The typical lesson is however between 45 minutes and one hour.
One 30 second lesson is extremely short and of not huge benefit but it could simply be a coach giving instruction to try something new on the forthcoming round of golf. Golf is a game that is continuously being worked at to gain that competitive edge however large or small. A small grip change on the putter in the 30 seconds could make a noticeable difference to the performance of the player. That would be a worthwhile 30 seconds lesson.

golf lessons

However, most PGA (Professional golfers association) professional coaches would say that to really gain measurable improvements in the golf game a lesson should be at least 45 minutes and actually have multiple lessons to achieve maximum results .A playing lesson obviously will be the longest lesson on offer. Typically the PGA coach will shadow you on a round of golf giving advice/guidance as you play. This has huge benefits to the golfer and is growing in popularity. It allows the leaner to get a real insight into how a top golfer reads the game and approaches each shot. If that all sounds too time intensive and not a practical solution for you to improve your golf game there are alternatives. These come in the form of website or mobile apps that provide first class tuition/coaching video’s. The video’s are usually 3-7 minutes long and full of helpful, detailed coaching applicable to any golfer. Some of these video’s are from class coaches delivered their services to the US tour & European Tour’s best players. Lessons are a key, most of the time overlooked, element to the golf game.

golf lessons

It is advisable to resist buying the latest golf clubs and put that money into lessons. It you stick at the lessons you will get much better results and ultimately be a more improved golfer, winning more club competitions.

Gateway golf, your gateway to better golf

 

Where do I get golf lessons?

The most obvious place to get lessons is at a golf course. There are hundreds of golf courses across the UK and thousands around the world. A large percentage of golf courses provide a practice facility. This can be a driving range, putting green or chipping area. There are many clubs that have all three areas and fully equipped to cater for any level of golf.

golf lessons

There are driving ranges with no golf course attached. There only function is for golfers to practice. This makes them ideal for lessons. For any level golfer who wants to research new techniques or other opinions on the golf swing can use the various online platforms, whether that be via a website or the latest mobile app. Some of these can be an excellent starting/reference point for any golfer wishing to improve their game through tuition.

For the amateur golfer, a golf course, driving range or online platform will provide great exposure to excellent lessons. It is for the individual to seek which one suits their style, available time that can be dedicated to lessons and most importantly, which one will give the best results.

 

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