Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Golf Club benefits and the reasons for becoming a Member

You may well be considering joining a golf club as a member - but are unsure of the benefits?
Belonging to a golf club provides many benefits for the golfer. The main part of being a member is the sense of identity gained by supporting both the Course membership base and the course itself. Your involvement  and golf activity will help the golf club flourish over time and you will improve your golf dramatically and reduce your golf handicap accordingly....

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Best Golf balls and why you should always play the same brand

The idea of playing with a single brand of golf-ball may seem a bit excessive, however there are reasons and you will discover why choosing what ball to play with is an extremely important decision and I will explain why.

The golf ball has many variants but can be divided between professional and amateur. The amateur ball normally consists of 2 layers and a softer core, giving durability, lowering cost but sacrificing feel and responsiveness. The professional ball (80-mps + club head speed) has 3 layers and a more solid core – with a higher club head speed the ball can still reach incredible distances but has the advantage of being more responsive and softer around the green, especially with a lobbed or wedge club and generates more spin and precision.  

Nike 2014 Power Distance Long
I for example play with Titleist the Nike 2014 Power Distance Long golf ball, depending on what my American Golf shop can offer. To be honest I prefer this variation over the other Nike balls currently available. It's soft for me around the greens and I love putting with this ball. I will not mix up my balls; I only stick to one brand. The Nike Golf PD Long Power Distance is an excellent and affordable Golf Ball!

Now we have to be focused in golf and why I suggest you only use one brand of golf ball is as follows:

You will take away the chance of inconsistency in the game. There are already too many variations in the game, so why have balls that create another variation? Take for example 10 different balls and they will have varying degrees of different feel and technological innovations. If you use only one type of ball brand you will have produced the sought after keyword = consistency. Each ball will “FEEL” like the last.

Titleist Pro V1
I have used Pro V1 before and they handled well but were very fragile. These are Professional balls used the most in Major PGA Tours, but the Urethane Elastomer coating is so soft after a round the ball was in a poor condition. Now if you are a professional this is not a major concern for me the cost outweighs the advantages of this ball. I suggest the Titleist Pro V1 Golf Ball for it's superb softness and playability
For the amateur golfer I would recommend staying with one ball that you like the feel of, reduce a variation in your game and learn how the ball reacts over time. The idea of golf is to strive for consistency, so make your ball selection consistent too.

What does GIR Greens in Regulation mean on the Golf Course?

GIR Greens in Regulation Meaning in Golf

GIR or Greens in Regulation is quite simply reaching the putting surface and having two putts left to reach Par.

So for example:
  • On a Par 3 hole, to get GIR, you must land your first shot on the putting surface. You then have 2 putts left to take to get the par on the hole.
  • On a Par 5 hole you would need to get onto the green, in 3 shots, leaving you 2 putts for Par again.

Why is this important to me?

Well of course the professionals use this approach as a vital statistic. However for the non-professional golfer it can provide a great opportunity to apply a working strategy on how to get par and therefore reduce your handicap see Golf Course Management and Club Selection. 

If you are missing many GIR's on the golf course then you can apply some analysis into why this is happening. Does your short game make you miss GIR? Are your drives from the tee forcing you to have to make impossible shots to reach the green? Are you slicing or drawing from the tee going Out-of-Bounds or into hazards?

Analysis makes improvement in Golf

Once you understand what is going wrong in golf you can make efforts to improve a particular aspect of your game. I work from the principle of resolving the highest error area first. For me at the moment my short game 40-80 yard shots is making me miss many GIR's so this is the area I am currently working on fixing. 

So know you know what GIR means. 

Monday, 28 February 2011

Golf Course success with Club Management


Many of you may think that when I start talking about Golf Course management that I am discussing office level work or how clubs are run. This however is not what I mean, when I refer to course management what I am talking about is how to negotiate and manage your round of golf. Strategy if prefer.

Break it down
It is most important to remember that you have a long way ahead of you, maybe 4 hours to play your round, depending of course on how many playing partners are with. You will also have to contend with the distance of each hole and how to break this up into manageable "chunks". When I talk about chunks really I mean of course how many shots you will need to get your GIR (Greens in Regulation).

Sunday, 27 February 2011

The Golf Clubs I carry and why... an insight into my bag selection

Here are the clubs I currently carry and my reasons for doing so:

3 Wood - Wilson Staff Fybrid
4 Iron to Sand-Wedge Jack Nicklaus HiCT
60 degree PING Lob Wedge
White Hot Odyssey Putter
Rescue Club - Taylor Made R7 CGB Max Distance 3

Surely a driver?
What no driver? Well for me I have dropped the driver for the moment as my swing tends to cause punishment if I miss-hit. Nothing is worse than hitting a long ball along way out-of-bounds or into some wooded area, and I have found that the 3 Wood can give me the same distance but with a-lot more accuracy. I am surprised sometimes when people take drivers for holes which don't necessarily need a big hit to get the GIR (greens in regulation leaving 2 putts for par) GIR explained.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Bundsay Downs Golf Course - Rain Play and What NOT to Do

My fellow golfers looked at the forecast without trying to turn to religion to increase our chances of holding the rain at bay. I checked the Met Forecast, the BBC both TV and Web - and local regional weather. The rain was due from late morning till late morning. What should we do?

Well we already had tee-times booked in advance for 10am and 10.12am, and I thought if I could drag my heels a little, it would be possible to avoid the worse of the english weather - well at least the early morning part.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Stableford Scoring System - How it works

The Stableford Scoring System – What is it?

Stableford Scoring, works in combination with your handicap (whether it is a club handicap or an assumed handicap amongst a group of friends) awards golfers points for their score on each hole providing the NETT outcome is one over par or better. If not it is considered a BLOB (i.e. no points can be awarded and normally to speed up play a player will pick their ball up as they can’t score on that particular hole).

Braintree Golf Club - Stonebridge Society competition

Well the first competition got under way for the Stonebridge society at Braintree Golf Club near Stisted in Essex. There were 20 players and although this was a non-scoring events in terms of the Grand Prix, prizes were given for 1st 2nd and closest-to-the-pin which I managed to win!

One problem which was expected was rain. Playing in the rain requires a whole new mindset. And rain it did over the whole round.
I discovered my play is effected massively by wet-weather equipment and once my club grips get wet my confidence plummets. The greens in particular were effected with water not soaking away and leaving the greens in a very poor condition to get those important 2 putts.
The course itself was close to being shut for play, but considering the event had been booked for 3 weeks before had, us hardened 20 souls ventured out.
The point scoring reflected the bad conditions with the winner coming in with 30 Stableford points followed by second on 24. I felt an odd pang of disappointment and only managed to get into double figure (14 points) with more blobs than I dare to think about.

For more information about this fantastic course see the link below

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Short Game PW SW and a Lob Wedge from 35 yards to 150 yards

Well I went to the range and discovered some interesting factors - I try to concentrate on my short game at the moment, because as I see it this part of the game costs me so many shots. Now I can drive very well from the tee, mostly using a 4 or 5 iron to take me 190-220 yards, HOWEVER my problem is taking fat-shots into the green when I have only 100 to 60 yards to go.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

How I like to Putt... my golfing technique and focus

For some putting is the hardest part of the game but for me it is the most gentle part. Of course technique is key here, but so is a good mental view-point. Often I will visualise the putt in my mind, seeking the line in my mind's-eye.

The set-up I use is 2 practice warm-up swings getting the feel for how the ball will travel from the putter. This helps me ascertain distance. Next is a good-read looking at how the slopes will effect the ball direction, left, right or up or down.