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New Golf Rule Changes

Golf’s joint governing bodies, the R&A and the USGA have introduced 24 new rules which come into effect on 1st January 2019.

The Key Rule Changes are:

  1. Time to locate lost ball reduced from five minutes to three
  2. When taking a penalty drop, players will now drop the ball from knee height
  3. There will be no penalty for a double hit
  4. Players can remove loose impediments from bunkers and other hazards, without penalty
  5. There will be no penalty if a golfer accidentally brushes the sand on his backswing in a bunker
  6. Ready golf will be encouraged
  7. Golfers may leave the falg in the hole while putting on the green – if the ball hits it there will be no penalty
  8. Repairing spike marks will now be permitted
  9. If a golfer hits a shot out of bounds, he or she will now go to the spot where the ball entered the hazard and drop it under a two shot penalty. So no more ‘three off the tee’

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.

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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

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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

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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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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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How much are golf lessons?

The price of golf lessons varies from golf club and PGA professional to PGA professional. This is mainly due to the competitive nature of the industry. Each coach is always on the look out for new clients and constantly offering special deals to entice the amateur golfer.

As a rough guide an average hour lesson would cost anywhere between £35 – £65. There are pro’s who have an excellent track record, perhaps even coached or coaching the worlds very best players, who charge a lot more than this. Believe it or not but if you have the funds readily available you can obtain the services of the worlds best golf coaches.

how much are golf lessons

There are many different price structures that can be adopted by the PGA professionals. These are tailored to the clients needs. Be aware that the longer you have a lesson, the more likely it is that the price will reduce. Therefore, if an hour lesson is £50, a two lesson should be less than £100. They may offer playing lessons. A lesson is where the pro walks round with you whilst you play and offers advice/guidance. This approach is constantly growing in popularity. These type of lessons are generally more expensive than a ‘normal’ driving range lesson offering. Other offers could be as gifts/presents. These are in the form of gift cards and generally attract a discount.

Check with your preferred pro if they offer discounts for multiple bookings of lessons, most do, so always ask. Examples may be buy 4 one hour lessons get 5th free. There are also other options available which can be significantly cheaper or even free. These lessons come in the form of video’s found on websites or mobile apps. The long and short of it, the price of a golf lesson fluctuates dramatically. It is for you to shop around, play the bartering game and get the best deal for you. Be warned though that the cheaper, more desperate the pro is to get your business, the more your golf game is to suffer in the long run from poor coaching.

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Who provides golf lessons?

Golf lessons are usually provided by registered PGA (professional golfers association) Professionals. These professionals are most likely attached to a golf club or driving range, although sometimes golf coaches are freelance and cover large areas whereby they will have some deal with the golf club to use the facilities.

Most golf coaches will have an accredited golf coaching qualification or similar. More often than not golf coaches would have been playing golf for many years prior to turning to coaching at a higher level.

who provides golf lessons

Golf, by its nature, breeds a golf coach in every player. There are so many styles, approaches and latest techniques to improve the golf game that if can be daunting experience at first. The new be to golf lessons should identify a local golf club who provides lessons and has first-class facilities, meet the clubs PGA professional and ask him loads of questions. Don’t be shy or feel stupid. The pro wants you to take golf seriously and have lessons, so should be more than happy to help you.

Anyway, if he/she is not helpful at least you know he/she is not going to be right for you. Ask him/her if he/she is not going to be right for you. Ask him/her if they adopt any particular style such as, David Leadbetter. You need to feel 100% comfortable with the provider of the lessons as its more than likely he/she will be your coach for sometime. Having said that , if you feel the lessons or your golf game are stagnating change the coach. It’s OK for the professionals on The European Tour so its OK for you.

The gateway golf app

If you are short of time and lack the confidence to go to the driving range at the start there are several very good websites or mobile apps that provide excellent golf  coaching video’s from the world’s very best coaches. Try www.thegatewaygolfapp.com

 

 

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Whats the future of golf analysis?

Golf like many other ports is slowly pulling itself into the new era of technology. Technology offers so many new exciting opportunities which will either be a huge benefit or like some will say cause the sport to lose its traditions and true identity.

Golf analysis comes in simple ways such as recording swings at the driving range and reviewing afterwards to new mobile apps that analyse everything from number of shots per round with certain clubs to how many slices or hooks. The market is endless with golf as it is such a varied sport with multiple factors and disciplines.

Players are now so focused on any potential competitive edge that they look in all directions to find the latest fitness programme or piece of technology that gives vital feedback for improvement.

It’s now not good enough just to have a coach on the driving range providing instruction. All the tour pro’s expect a level of tuition that far exceeds the knowledge and ability of a seasoned coach. Nothing will ever replace the coach thats a definite but it will become increasingly supplemented by technology. This can be a simple recording device to major complicated equipment analysing everything providing streams and streams of data. Some may say its information overload and golf is about ability, mental strength under pressure and practice, however the new breed of pro golfer is relying more so than ever on technology. To them its necessary and creates competitive advantage the more information they hold at their disposal.  It will not be long before this type of analysis becomes mainstream as the cost to deliver decreases and it is marketable.

So the future of golf analysis is bright as the availability of technology increases. More and more golfer’s will be committed to receiving feedback from multiple sources, digesting it and eventually implementing it. Golf like all other sports will need to embrace the change, adapt and instigate a way forward that mixes tradition with new. Its the only way.

Wedge or 7 iron around the green?

Many golfers find the shot around the green the most difficult to master. It can only be a matter of yards but causes great frustration.

Nowadays, you as the golfer have multiple options to undertake the shot. 3 wedges, a putter, midsize iron and even the fairway wood if your Justin Rose. The aim is to execute the shot with the least amount of difficult with one goal to get the ball as close to the hole as possible, if not in.

The amount of golfers that struggle is huge, mainly because of the lack of confidence and bad technique. It’s a definite that everyone has encountered the duff, the thin or the complete air shot trying desperately to control the length, directory, spin and flight of this small, score reducing shot.

The two real options you have as an amateur golfer are the wedge and the 7/8 iron. Both have their pro’s and con’s and need to be used appropriately given the situation faced.

Confidence has a lot to do with the choice. Are you happy to address the shot with a wedge, flight the ball to the hole, use spin to control the roll out close to the hole or would you feel better using a 7/8 iron, address the ball like its a putter and get the ball on the ground as quickly as possible rolling towards the hole?

The choice can be determined by how the land lies between the ball and the hole. If it is fairly flat with no obstructions such as rough, bunkers or large ground undulations use a 7 iron. Get the ball running towards the hole. However, if you need to fly the ball over any of the former inconveniences the wedge is needed. Pick the club appropriate to the shot.

Build confidence, better scores and measurable results around the green by learning the right style and correct shot selection. The only way is to get professional lessons through your local pro or via videos on excellent websites/mobile apps.

 

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