Learning From The Professionals

April 30, 2016 by  
Filed under Learn to Play Golf

When we are growing up, we latch on to a favorite sport pretty quickly, and this can either blossom into a generalised love of sport or a specific enjoyment of a particular sport. Whichever is the case, we quickly find ourselves dreaming of emulating those stars on the screen in front of us. We’d all like to do what Pelé did, or throw like Dan Marino, or run a hundred meters faster than Usain Bolt. Golf is no different. Unlike the above-mentioned sports, though, golf is one where you can achieve a lot of what the stars do.

PGA golf professionals dream of shooting the lowest round they possibly can, where every shot goes right where they wanted, as far and as accurate as possible. But every golfer is delighted when they manage to land a hole-in-one – for many it is the highlight of their career. That is something which a club player can do themselves – with enough practice you can be hitting the green with your tee shot on any short hole and when you do that you can end up with a hole-in-one very easily.

The best PGA golf professionals are on a plateau that those of us who play for fun can only dream of. But for the time you are out there on the course, you see what the professionals see. You have the calculations to make that they have to make too – and that is one of the things that makes a golf fan closer to their heroes than any other sports fan.

Getting Into The Swing Of Things

April 24, 2016 by  
Filed under Learn to Play Golf

Watching golf on TV, it is often very easy to become complacent about what the sport requires of you. To the untrained eye, it is simply a matter of hitting the ball really hard once, slightly less hard another time or two, and then trying to get an accurate putt to round the hole off. What could be more simple? Actually, a lot of things. It may seem like those professionals just put the ball on the tee and smash it as hard as they can, but even the action replays the networks show cannot prepare you for the sheer physics of the best golf swing. It will take you a while to hone yours, be in no doubt about that.

A successful golf swing is about three specific parts – the back swing, the swing itself and the follow-through. Professional golfers spend forever honing their swing and even at the top of their game can sometimes get it wrong. The back swing is about building up power, the swing itself is to direct and control the shot. The follow-through – although the ball has gone by this time – needs to be clean and full, otherwise you are likely going to shank your tee shot or do yourself an injury.

If you cannot get to the course as often as would be ideal, then you are going to have to practice like young budding guitarists do – in front of a mirror with something that will pass for a prop. You need to practice holding for long enough at the top of your back swing, and powering through to get the best shot. It may seem embarrassing, but it will pay off when you hit the course for real.

Drive For Show, Putt For Dough

April 18, 2016 by  
Filed under Learn to Play Golf

If you are good enough as an amateur golfer, the time will come when you have a go at tournament play. This doesn’t mean that a few years of practice will have you ready to take part in the Masters or PGA golf tournaments, but you may well be good enough to enter a competition at your local club, and this is where things get really interesting. Testing yourself against the best players from a club and invited outsiders can be fascinating – it allows you to see how you fare under pressure – and maybe win some cash into the bargain.

Golf tournaments differ depending on the level you play at. Professionals play in tournaments that last four days, taking them through seventy-two holes of raised pressure and hair’s breadth competition. If they don’t play well enough on the first two days, then they may fall below the “cut” – usually ten strokes behind the leader – and take no further part. If you make the cut, then you play for the final two days no matter what happens. If you finish high enough on the leader board, you’ll win some money.

At amateur level, tournaments rarely last that long – after all, everyone has a job to go back to. They will frequently last a weekend though, and if you are playing in a tournament then pressure is always at its highest in the final holes when you stand a real chance of winning. It makes for fantastic sport, and even gaining tournament experience in readiness for the next time is valuable.

All Mouth And No Trousers?

April 12, 2016 by  
Filed under Learn to Play Golf

There is no shortage of satirical comment around on the dress sense of golfers, and to be honest it is hard to blame the people who make mention of it. Sometimes, golfers wear items of clothing that are simply appalling. The late, great Payne Stewart was famous for his plus-fours which garnered compliments and attention from many, along with hoots of derision from others. Most of us can summon up a stereotypical picture of what we would deem a golf outfit to be – and the likelihood is that the world’s golfers would not come out looking too wonderful.

When it comes down to it, there is a reason golf trousers tend not to look like the height of sartorial elegance, or of relaxed style. If a golfer took to the course wearing a full dress suit, their swing would be badly compromised. If they wore jeans on to the course, they would find it pretty difficult to get the flexibility required to hit the complex range of shots they need to – plus they would be breaking a club’s genteel dress code. Therefore it is important to find a compromise. Slacks are exactly the right compromise, and they are the chosen golf trousers of a great many players.

Plenty of amateur golfers, and for that matter a number of the professionals, like to have a bit of fun with the expected sartorial disasters that are a part of golfing folklore in this day and age. For some people, golf just wouldn’t be golf without a terrible shirt and garish trousers.

The Right Shoes With The Right Outfit?

April 6, 2016 by  
Filed under Golf for Beginners

There is probably a very long and very pointless conversation to be had about the footwear that differentiates the most popular sports. You could not take to the basketball court in football cleats, and if you tried playing baseball in tennis shoes you would find it pretty agitating. So what about golf shoes? Are they in a league of their own? Some people would say that looking at a golf professional’s outfit makes it hard to really care about the shoes, when the trousers are so awful – but the shoes need to be right too, and they are subtly individualized for their sport.

The shoes worn by golfers have small spikes on the soles, which are not dissimilar to the cleats found on the soles of football shoes. These are there for reasons of traction, allowing you to get good grip on the ground when you are preparing to hit a shot. The reason that the spikes are so much smaller than football cleats is because much of the game of golf is spent on the green trying to putt. If you walked on the green in football shoes, the surface would be destroyed in no time at all.

Cheap golf shoes are easy to find on the Internet if you know where to look. The best shoes will last for some considerable time, and will stay comfortable even over the five to six miles you can easily walk during a typical game of golf – longer if you keep driving into the rough.