Tag: golf lessons

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

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

 

Golf Fitness – Is it important?

Golf used to be played many years ago by old gentleman folk enjoying a leisurely stroll around the estate, playing a little bit of golf whilst planning to take over the world more than likely. That has all changed now. It’s about strength, power, flexibility, agility and peak physical fitness.

Gone are the days when you see golfer’s smoking and drinking cans of beer as they compete in tournaments all over the world. There is your die hard’s like Jimenez who you still find smoking the odd cigar (if and when he plays) but its not how the younger generation of the game see it. The juniors of the world’s very best tours take their physical fitness extremely seriously. It’s not just an add-on to the regime but a central part of it. They all spend hours in the gym increasing strength, building power for those 300 + yard drives and flexibility to keep them at the top level for as long as possible.

Most amateurs would agree that to play golf its not necessary, which to some extent is true but if you are looking to hit the ball further, become more consistent and shoot lower scores getting fitter or staying in good shape is key. It is estimated that on a normal round of golf of 4 hours the player will burn 400 calories. That’s a significant amount which justifies golf as an excellent game, if played regularly to control weight, although not to get you fit. This needs to be done as a supplement off the course and in the gym.

Si is fitness key to golf? Yes if you wish to improve. No if you just enjoy having a hack around with your mates once so often.

Golf lessons, whats the real value?

Time after time golfers choose not to get lessons. They either can’t find the time or enthusiasm to learn the beautiful game or its bot what they play golf for. It’s easier and more enjoyable naturally to book a four ball with some friends, have a bunch beers in the clubhouse bar afterwards.

There is one thing that every golfer will do once they’ve finished and had time to reflect – wished they had played better or taken another option when faced with a challenging shot. Golf is a game that very few, if any, ever master. Even the very best that have graced the game such as, Tiger Woods, Jack Nicholas and Arnold Palmer all at times badly. One thing that sets them apart from the rest of us – Their desire and determination to succeed and get better.

It’s agreed that golf for some is not about getting the lowest score and more about the sense of freedom one gets when they are walking the fairway, leisurely hitting a ball around sharing laughs and jokes with friends. However, for the rest there is a burning motivation to improve, score better and win the club competition. The worrying thing is that this large percentage still struggle to get the professional tuition needed to really see those dreamed of shots and scorecards.

This is the real value of lessons, whether its from the local pro at your club or through a website/mobile app (some of which provide world class tuition video’s from the worlds very best coaches) which saves time mucking about getting to the club or driving range and the convenience of tuition as and when the golfer requires it.

Golf is a game that needs to be learned and practised over and over again. The only way a player of any level is going to get better is to be taught the correct technique, practice with purpose and take that new found ability to the course and persist with it until it becomes second nature. Tour pro’s still after earning millions and winning multiple tournaments get lessons – they practise continuously.

The real value of lessons is measurable only by the individuals. Is ot a goal to become better, if so, the latest clubs at American Golf won’t get you there. First class lessons will, no if’s or but’s.

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

@gatewaygolfapp

 

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.

www.thegatewaygolfapp.com the leading Golf Tuition App

@gatewaygolfapp

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!

www.thegatewaygolfapp.com the leading Golf Tuition App

@gatewaygolfapp

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

Scroll to top