Month: November 2018

Warm up before tee time

Far to often do golfers have a tee time, turn up 10 mins before it, sort the clubs out, get the shoes on, pay the green fee in the pro shop and then walk straight to the first tee. This will only have one result – a poor start, if not poor round of golf. You must warm up not just to get your eye in with your clubs but also to stretch out your body. The golf swing uses most muscles in the body and it is vitally important to warm up.

The first thing to do is have a quick stretch. Ensure you do all body parts. This shouldn’t take to long and will allow you to swing the club effortlessly without risk of injury.

After being all stretched off get to the driving range and begin hitting a few balls with a 7/8 iron at 75%. Slowly work it up to 100% commitment. Once you feel focused and ready to work through your clubs, start with your lowest iron, probably 9 iron and hit several balls working through your irons. Then go onto the fairway woods and finish with the driver.

Now the wedges. Do full shots, half shots and any other shot you feel you may encounter on the course.

Before you go to the first tee from the range spend some time on the putting green. Practice long, medium and short length putts. This is the area which will definitely improve your score or chance of winning the club competition.

The warm should take a minimum of 45 mins, ideally an hour. Only then are you fully ready to take on the challenge of teh course.

Warming up for a round of golf is hugely important. It should be a factor in all golfers preparation to the tee off. You wouldn’t play football, rugby or any other sport without warming up, golf shouldn’t be no different.

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The best destination for a golf holiday

With the low cost flights and cheaper options for accommodation there has never been a better time to take advantage and book that golf holiday you’ve always dreamed of.

From the UK you have so many options it can be a daunting task not only to choose a destination but to even make a shortlist of say 2 or 3.

The most popular destinations are Spain/Portugal closely followed nowadays by the Asia market, in particular, Thailand. These locations provide great value for money and some of the best golf courses.

If budget is not a hindrance to the options and you want to do that once in a lifetime holiday then you have to consider America. The availability of quality packages are endless plus you have the ability to experience other attractions (Disneyland etc) whilst you play excellent courses. Other that there is UAE, China and all European countries where the climate is applicable for golf.

Golf is such a universal sport played all over the world that you can pretty much play it in most countries. However, if you are the society member lumbered with organising the next trip or you are just looking to book a great golfing holiday you can’t go wrong with the huge offering of Spain and Portugal. It’s almost guaranteed good golf, sun, sea and lots of San Miguel!

Please see link below for further information on –

Top 10 Golf Holiday Destinations

 

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How to be a better golfer – Short Game

Like most golfers, you probably want to score better and win one or two of the club competitions. If this is you, a sure fire way to do this is to improve your short game.

So what is your short game? It’s anything within 100 yards of the pin. So this pitching wedge down to putter. When practising, the majority of your time should be spent on this area of your game.

Short game includes approach shots as mentioned to chipping, pitching and putting. Your improving short game will guarantee better scores every time you play. It will be immediate, obvious and a key aspect to improving your handicap.

An important aspect of the short game is accuracy. Practice should be focused on controlling the ball with your wedges and putter. Understanding what capabilities you have with each club will improve your accuracy, which will result in fewer less shots taken on each round. Each wedge in your bag can be used to manufacture several different shots. The more confident you are to execute each shot the more likely you are to achieve the desired results.

For longer wedge approaches the driving range is the place to spend hours practising. Generally a decent range will provide flags at distances applicable to a comparable approach out on the course. Your aim should be to target the flags and leave the ball within a reasonable putts distance. For shorter chips, a practice green (which allows chipping practice!!!) would be where you should spend your time whilst your mates or playing partners are on the range trying to hit the back fence of the range with their driver.

Practice abbreviated swings, softer controlled shots with the ultimate target to land/stop the ball close to the holes within a make-able putts distance. These shots can save so many shots on a scorecard.

With putting it goes without saying that it needs to take most of you r focus when practising. Short, long and anything in-between needs to be worked on. Do as the professionals do…drive for show, put for dough.

Six ways to play better golf

The game of golf requires so many different approaches and disciplines that it is so important to focus on areas that are in our control and allow the golf god’s to give us the luck needed in every round to hit those great scores.

Six ways that will definitely help are regular practice, sticking to a routine, being confident, visualisation of each shot, staying the moment and commitment to your overall plan for the round.

Practice

Each golfer regardless of playing ability needs to continually practice. Practice makes perfect must have been spoken by a golfer. All practice sessions should be purposeful and have attainable targets. Sessions should focus on improving your game with the majority of time spent on your short game. This area is where you will see the best, immediate gains and will reduce your scorecard week in, week out. Off the course use a good golf tuition app like www.thegatewaygolfapp.com

Routine

To perform consistently time and time again you should adopt a routine that is undertaken each and every time you go to take a shot. If you watch the tour pro’s on the European Tour and take note of how they go to hit the ball regardless of what shot it is, it is always, without fail the same routine. It’s guaranteed it will be the same no if, no but’s.

Confidence

If you practice and follow your routine this will build confidence. Confidence is key to executing the desired shot. If you address the ball with doubt this will lead to a poor swing, poor shot and ultimately poor result. Address the ball with confidence, defined plan and knowing you can hit the desired shot time and time again.

Visualisation

It is so important to visualise each shot. See the result before you’ve hit the ball. Believe in what you are doing. Mentally see the shot in your minds eye. This imagery will re-affirm your desired outcomes, making it easier to perform. Your results will improve with visualisation.

Stay in the moment

Staying in the moment is really important. Golf will result in good and bad shots, holes, rounds and so on. The art is to hit each shot as if it was the only shot taken. Regardless of result it is left in the past and you are always on to the next one. Another key point here is not to watch the scorecard. Play a round to the end and then worry about tallying up the score. Play each shot and hole at a time with only one goal – to attempt to hit the best shot there and then.

Commitment

Always commit to all aspects of your golf game. Commit to getting lessons and improving, whether that’s through a website/mobile app (Gateway Golf) or at your local golf club. Commit to every decision made on the golf course and commit to every shot through your routine, confidence, visualisation and being in the moment.

www.thegatewaygolfapp.com the leading Golf Tuition App

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Golf ball position

For the majority of shots, the ball should be positioned just off centre towards the target. So if you are a right-handed golfer the ball should be just of centre towards your left leg and opposite if you are a lefty. This will allow you to hit the ball on your downswing and release the club on the path of the target line. You need to be mindful that the ball is not too far  left as it will open up your shoulders and cause the ball to take flight immediately left.

This is different with the driver as its a long club and you ideally need to be hitting it on your upswing. Therefore, you need to position the ball just inside your left heel (if a right handed golfer). This set up will create further roll when the ball lands and gets the low point in the arc of the club just behind the ball. One important factor to remember when using the driver is to close your shoulders towards the target line. With the ball positioned so left in your stances it has a tendency to open your shoulders. Positioning of the ball just inside the heel of the driver requires the player to delay hitting the ball unlike other clubs. Do not force the hit. Hitting early in the down swing is one of the most common problems in golf.

The position of the ball in relation to your feet is so important. You must always ensure your stances, posture and target alignment are correct. The ball should be positioned so that you strike it on the downswing and release the club through on to the target line.

The Driver – When using the driver, the ball should be just inside the leading heal. This allows you to hit it on the upswing.

Long irons – Long irons require the ball to be positioned just off centre towards the target. You attack the ball at a flatter angle and clip the ball off the fairway, making a good, solid contact.

Short irons – Short irons mean the ball must be positioned dead centre between your feet. This enables you to hit down on the ball through impact creating accuracy and control.

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The first tee shot

This is definitely for most golfers the hardest shot in golf. It carries such importance or so we think when starting our round.

It is usually outside the clubhouse or pro shop where there is a  congregation of spectators all watching the next victim take his/her first shot of the round. It’s the shot you think about when you are driving to the course…’If i just get the first tee shot I’m off to a good round’

We all put such importance on it which comes with unnecessary pressure. Everybody has experienced the nerves, sweaty palms and heart pumping when we try to put that ball on the little wooden peg on the first tee. To be honest standing over the ball on the first tee to most is something of a nightmare.

The one thing you need to know is it effects all of us. even the very best in the world suffer from it. Just ask Patrick Reed at the Ryder Cup several competitions back in Scotland. He barely got the ball past the tee box.

There are processes you can try to implement to reduce the effects of the first tee nerves. The tension you feel causes the right hand to grip the club to hard. Work on reducing this. Take some deep breathes and relax your whole body and mind. All you need to worry about to get yourself off the tee to a good start is tempo (check other blog about tempo). Play the swing as smoothly and slowly as possible. An exercise to do this is count 1 in the back swing and 2 in the down swing and follow through. Make sure your eyes are only focused on the ball, create a big shoulder turn and swing the club freely onto your target line down the middle of the fairway.

If the first tee feels your with unavoidable fear, pick an iron rather than the driver or a shorter club which you feel more confident with and swing easy. Always remember you are not alone and its somebody else’s turn next!

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Tempo in the Golf Swing

The vague term tempo is used to describe the correlation between the speed at which a player swings and the flight of the ball.

A particular speed can feel correct but it may not give the desired results. To master the golf swing a player must swing with control. This ensures the club swings on the correct plain and the club head connects with the ball in the right position at the correct time & speed.

All amateur golfer’s have this naive belief that the faster and harder they swing the club the further the ball will go. It is the complete opposite. If the golfer swings with tempo and control the club does as it is designed to do – provide power! This is something that needs to be learnt and practised over time.

Holding and swinging the club to hard will not give the results needed to improve. The swing needs rhythm – a pure balance between efficiency and energy.

How do i know what my tempo is? Naturally we all have a built in tempo. This is how we walk, talk and even write. Some do these things fast others do things at a slower pace. This is the tempo used to swing the club. Your inner tempo dictates the club speed. It should never be forced, whatever feels natural. On the driving range hit balls at both ends of the spectrum. Some really fast, some really slow and then work towards your natural speed and rhythm. When it feels right that’s your optimum tempo!

Over time you will find the ability to combine control with power a well as keeping the club on the correct plain with the appropriate energy put into the shot.

If you’ve ever watched the tour pro’s on the TV you will notice that even though their swing speeds are individually different, their shots regardless of the club is always the exact same speed (except perhaps the driver of Rory Mcilroy!).

The tempo of the swing demonstrates the control the player has over his/her swing. A golf swing should be relaxed, balanced and rhythmical.

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