Year: 2016

College Men’s Golf: Recapping the Fall

The fall portion of the men’s college season for 2016-17 is over. What did we learn from this first part of the season?

The college experts at Golfweek offered their insights on what transpired and what we can expect in the spring (including some early national championship picks for the action to be at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.):

• • •

We’ll start off with a big ruling near the end of the fall: What are your thoughts on the decision not to adopt the substitution rule? Barring a change, which is still feasible, will no substitutions have a big impact like it did at last year’s NCAAs?

Brentley Romine: I’m a fan of the substitution rule, but only at the NCAA Championship. You’re talking about 30 teams bringing one extra guy. If a player is subbed out in stroke play, it must be prior to a round, and same goes for match play. As for the impact no subs will have on this year’s NCAA Championship, I don’t think it will. After all, last spring was really the first time since match play was introduced that the situation even came up.

Lance Ringler: It could, but unlikely. I don’t recall this being an issue at a championship since the match play format was adopted. My thoughts are quite simple, allow substitutions throughout the season, including the postseason or not at all.

Kevin Casey: I’m also a fan of the substitution rule. Even if it’s only for NCAAs, that’s fine by me. I think there are more pros than cons here, especially considering how much even forfeiting one point can mean in match play (Beau Hossler and Texas proved that last year). Speaking of Hossler and Texas, obviously that’s the big impact we’re talking about last year. No substitutions could certainly make an impact at Rich Harvest Farms, but as large a one as losing the Haskins-Award-winner-to-be for the finals and forfeiting his deciding point? Highly doubtful.

Onto actual tournament play: Which teams were the biggest surprises of the fall?

Brentley Romine: Baylor was 28th in our preseason rankings and Coach Mike McGraw now has his boys at No. 10. Ole Miss has been a pleasant surprise, too, as Braden Thornberry is a legitimate Haskins contender for the 21st-ranked Rebels. I also thought Alabama would have a better fall, but they have battled the injury bug with Jonathan Hardee and Dru Love each missing the fall with injuries.

Lance Ringler: Illinois certainly turned a few heads after being ranked at the top for a few weeks this fall. Many figured the Illini would have some sort of drop off with a few new faces in the lineup after the departure of Charlie Danielson and Thomas Detry. That has not been the case. What was thought to be rebuilding appears to be reloading. But, the biggest surprise that has not been mentioned much is the turnaround in Oxford, Miss. In head coach Chris Malloy’s third season at Ole Miss, his team has vaulted to No. 21 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. Led by Braden Thornberry’s three wins and No. 14 ranking the Rebels won three times and places second twice compiling a 65-2 overall head-to-head record.

Kevin Casey: Oh for sure, Illinois. Nobody expected a precipitous drop-off from the Illini – you don’t bet against Mike Small like that – but they lose their top two players in Detry and Danielson and then win four of five fall events? Huh? This is the same Detry mind you who won a Challenge Tour event by 12 shots and earned his European Tour card in the months after turning pro. So yeah, this is pretty incredible. Heck, I think Georgia’s doing a pretty good job dealing with the loss of Lee McCoy and Sepp Straka, and they’ve still dropped from No. 3 to No. 14. Illinois, on the other hand, may actually be better than last year’s group. Crazy. One more surprise on the positive side I would say is Kennesaw State. At No. 19, they are 30 spots higher than where the team finished in 2015-16. Bryant Odom is in his second year there, so that settling in probably helps a good deal, but still 30 spots is a big jump in this range, especially with arguably the team’s best player (Fredrik Nilehn) transferring to Texas Tech in the offseason.

What teams should be on our radar to surprise in the spring?

Brentley Romine: North Carolina is 20th right now in the rankings, but I expect the likes of Ben Griffin, Will Register and others to lead the Tar Heels to a strong spring.

Lance Ringler: It has to be Virginia. In four fall events, Bowen Sargent’s squad won three times and sports a 17-2-1 head-to-head record versus the top 25. Led by the trio of Jimmy Stanger, Derek Bard and Thomas Walsh, Virginia is a team that should continue to be noticed. Keep an eye on Texas A&M as well this spring.

Kevin Casey: I’ll throw San Diego State out there. The Aztecs had a sneaky good fall, winning twice and securing a No. 16 ranking. This isn’t the exact same group that made it to NCAAs last year, but much of its core remains and that core was good enough to help lead the Aztecs to T-3 after the first round in Eugene. I just think this group may be a bit of a wildcard that people will easily overlook.

Who are your favorites for the Haskins Award Presented by Stifel heading into the spring?

Brentley Romine: Right now, I have Sam Burns as my favorite. The LSU sophomore is a former top-ranked junior and Rolex Junior Player of the Year, so he has elite game. That game is really starting to show right now as he’s won twice and not finished outside the top 9 this fall. Also, you can’t rule out Maverick McNealy of Stanford.

Lance Ringler: The experience of Stanford senior Maverick McNealy makes it hard to say any other name than his. McNealy once again is in the top spot in the individual rankings heading into the winter break. However, if I had to pick another name, I would point at LSU’s Sam Burns. Burns played in six events this past fall placing in the top 10 in all six and claiming victory or a share of twice.

Kevin Casey: If you look at Golfweek’s Watch List right now, to me, the safest pick is Maverick McNealy, with Matthias Schwab second. Those two would be my favorites at the moment just because of their prior consistency in college. Wyndham Clark and Sam Burns definitely should be in the running as well, though. Clark has overcome a lot and Brentley already mentioned Burns’ junior credentials. But I think the best odds are of Mav repeating his 2015 feat.

Finally, OK, it’s still early, but if you had to pick a national champion for 2017, who do you got at the moment?

Brentley Romine: If we’re talking best team, I’m going with Vanderbilt, which is led by Matthias Schwab, who I think is one of the best amateurs in the world. But in match play anything can happen, so I’m going to go with LSU. The Tigers are ranked fourth in the country, have two seniors who have already won an NCAA title, and will add freshman Philip Barbaree this spring.

Lance Ringler: My preseason No. 1 team was Southern California and while the Trojans were slow starters they did get better as the fall progressed. USC closed the fall winning the stroke-play and match play segments at the Gifford Collegiate. Head coach Chris Zambri has guided his team into match play the last couple of seasons and we should expect to see this experienced group having a go at it this spring at Rich Harvest Farms.

Kevin Casey: I’ll change this pick approximately 478 times before we finally have to lock in on this, but for now I’ll go with Florida. The Gators are currently No. 3 in our rankings, so I’m not going out on much of a limb. But I just feel they have more of a sense of redemption than most top teams due to a really disappointing showing at Eugene, in which the Gators didn’t sniff match play. I like that extra edge they have there to serve them well come postseason time.

http://golfweek.com/2016/11/18/college-mens-roundtable-recapping-the-fall-predicting-spring-2016-17/

@golfweekmag. “College Men’s Roundtable: Recapping the Fall Season and Predicting the Spring – Golfweek.” Golfweek. N.p., 20 Nov. 2016. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

How to Gain Distance with your Driver

All golfers, especially junior golfers, are eager to gain distance with their driver.  In today’s article, with the help of Adam Young, we will go over how to create more carry yardage with your driver.

Young states a couple of years ago he managed to pick up 55 yards of carry distance with his driver, simply by changing how the ball launches and spins in the air.

Trackman longest drives

 

“By launching the ball high with low spin, I was able to create 310 yards of distance with just 107 mph of clubhead speed,” says Young.

We know (from testing) that a ball that launches close to 17 degrees, and with little spin (usually less than what most amateurs create) will give our golf ball big carry distances and still have some roll – as well as a boring trajectory through any wind.

However, we also know that many amateurs launch the golf ball much too low.

A club will typically launch around 60-70% of the dynamic loft of the club (it’s a little more complicated than that, taking into account friction, angle of attack etc.). This means that we regularly see players with 10 degree drivers launching the ball at 6-7 degrees. This is nowhere near enough for huge booming drives.

low-launch

When a ball is hit with a negative angle of ascent (red arrow) and has a loft at impact (green), the ball will launch around 70% between the two. This can make a 10 degree driver launch lower than 7 degrees – not optimal.

But there is a way to get closer to that 17 degree mark – and it doesn’t involve using a 25 degree driver (which would spin the ball way too much anyway).

How do you do it?

STRIKE POINT

We could strike high on the face, in the middle of the face, or low on the face.

Young states, “The vast majority of amateurs I see on my lesson tee are striking the bottom half of the face. The loft of the club varies along the clubface due to something called ‘roll’ (the club is not uniformly flat); the loft above the sweet spot can be 4 or so degrees more than the loft at below the sweetspot (depending on the amount of roll and the severity of the strike).

scholls

If we look at my strikes from a test I conducted (which produced high launching and low spinning drives), we can see that the marks are actually quite high on the face. Most people are quite surprised when I show them.

driver face

 

When we strike slightly above the sweetspot, the club also deflects backwards, further increasing the launch angle of the ball, as well as reducing backspin. This is a terrific combination for distance – helping us achieve the high-launching-low-spinning unicorn.

You will need a higher tee to produce strikes like this – which is why you see the long-drive champions using massive tees during competitions. I myself use a 4inch tee, and I use every last millimeter of it.”

INCREASING DYNAMIC LOFT AND ANGLE OF ATTACK

One way that manufacturers have used to good effect recently is to increase the loft of your driver. Many of the newer clubs have printed lofts on the bottom, but with adjustable hosels which can change/increase the actual loft.

The issue with this is that it increases the difference between the loft at impact and the angle of attack – or spin loft. This helps us to launch the ball higher, but often at the expense of increased spin rates – not good for penetrating drives that roll out.

increased-spin-loft

Manufacturers have increased dynamic loft (green) helping the ball launch higher, but at the expense of a large spin loft (blue area).

Young states, “I have found that by getting a player to hit up on the ball more (increasing angle of attack), it changes both dynamic loft and angle of attack in conjunction with one another – resulting in higher ball launches but maintained or even reduced ball spin.”

Next time you hit the range, take these facts into consideration, and hopefully you will be gaining yardage in no time!

High Launch, Low Spin = Distance

“High Launch, Low Spin = Distance – Adam Young Golf.” Adam Young Golf. N.p., 23 Nov. 2016. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.

Remembering Golf Pioneer Peggy Kirk Bell

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A pioneer of American golf has died at the age of 95.  Peggy Kirk Bell of Southern Pines died at her home Wednesday evening, November 23, surrounded by her family. Her death ends a colorful and distinguished career as one of golf’s best-known and most popular players, teachers and ambassadors. Her many contributions to the game were spread out over more than 70 years.

Mrs. Bell was born in Findlay, Ohio, Oct. 1921 to Grace and Robert Kirk. She took up golf as a teenager and was a protégé of Leonard Schmutte.

As an amateur golfer in the 1940s, she was one of the nation’s top players. She won the Ohio Women’s Amateur championship three times along with the famed North and South Amateur in Pinehurst. Other major titles were the Eastern Amateur and the Augusta Titleholders.

She attended Boston University’s Sargent College of Physical Education from 1939 to 1941, but transferred to Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., where she graduated in 1943 with a degree in Education. She became a legend at Rollins and the school holds an annual tournament named for her.

She holds honorary degrees from the University of Findlay, Methodist College and Sandhills Community College. The former Peggy Kirk married Warren (Bullet) Bell of Findlay in 1953. He was a former college and professional basketball player with the Ft. Wayne Pistons. The dashing, athletic couple came south the year of their marriage and purchased and restored the Pine Needles golf course in Southern Pines. After turning the course into a resort, the Bells began one of the country’s first golf schools, with Mrs. Bell as the featured instructor. The popular schools, known as Golfaris, continue today.

Mrs. Bell was a charter member and avid leader of the Ladies Professional Golf Association. An avid pilot, Peggy traveled the early years of the LPGA Tour flying her plane to play in tournaments and promote the LPGA.

As an amateur in 1947, she teamed with Babe Zaharias to win the International Four Ball Championship. She was a member of the USGA’s Curtis Cup team in 1950 and turned professional the same year. She signed a promotional contract with Spalding Sporting Goods Co. and played on the first professional Weathervane Team in 1952.

Throughout her career as a player, teacher and resort owner, Mrs. Bell was a tireless contributor to the game of golf. For her many outstanding contributions, she was a recipient of numerous prestigious honors and awards, including the USGA’s Bobby Jones award, the Golf Writers Association’s William Richardson Award, the LPGA’s Ellen Griffin Rolex Award. The National Golf Foundation’s Joe Graffis Award, and the National Golf Course Owners Order of Merit.

She was a member of seven Halls of Fame, including the Ohio sports, the North Carolina Sports, North Carolina Business, the LPGA teaching division, and the first woman to be inducted to the PGA Golf Instructors Hall of Fame. Three national golf magazines, Golf Digest, Golf and Golf For Women, named her as one of the nation’s best teachers. She was the LPGA Teacher of the Year in 1961, and the PGA’s First Lady of Golf in 2007. She also served on the National Board of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

In addition to Pine Needles Lodge and Country Club, Mrs. Bell and her family became an owner of the Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club in 1994. Both resorts feature classic Donald Ross designed golf courses that date to the mid-1920s. Mrs. Bell was honorary chairperson of three highly successful US Women’s Open Championships that were played at Pine Needles in 1996, 2001 and 2007.

She counted among her friends such illustrious sports stars as Babe Zaharias, Patty Berg, Annika Sorenstam, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Michael Jordan.

Mrs. Bell was preceded in death by her husband Warren “Bullet” Bell in 1984. She is survived by daughters Bonnie McGowan and her husband Pat, a former touring pro; Peggy Ann and her husband Kelly Miller, the president of Pine Needles and Mid Pines; and son Kirk.

She was the proud grandmother of eight: Michael and Scotti McGowan; Blair, and Kellyann Miller, Melody Miller McClelland; and Walker, Charles & Gracie Bell.

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, November 29th at 2:00pm at Brownson Memorial Presbyterian Church. Visitation will be held at Boles Funeral Home in Southern Pines on Monday, November 28th from 6-8pm. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Fellowship of Christian Athletes or the Peggy Kirk Bell Girls Golf Tour (PKBGT) in Greensboro, NC.

http://www.lpga.com/news/2016-lpga-tour-remembers-golf-pioneer-peggy-kirk-bell

@. “LPGA Tour Remembers Golf Pioneer Peggy Kirk Bell | LPGA | Ladies Professional Golf Association.” LPGA. LPGA Tour, n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2016.

How to Practice Your Golf Swing in the Winter

As November is wrapping up the weather is beginning to take a turn for the cold for those in the Northern Hemisphere.  Practicing your golf swing in the winter requires determination and some creativity — if you live in a cold climate. Freezing temperatures and snow drifts make it hard to get outside to work on your chipping, putting and long shots. Despite that you should resist the urge to put your clubs away until spring. There are lots of drills and techniques you can work on to improve your swing even when it’s cold outside.

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Step 1

Work on strength and flexibility during the winter. Golfers such as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson often use the offseason to improve their physical conditioning. That alone won’t improve your golf swing, but losing some weight and adding muscle can help you avoid injury and play better overall when the weather improves. PGA of America vice president Ted Bishop recommends at least 45 minutes of aerobic exercise four or five days a week. Following a fitness program designed by a personal trainer also helps, Bishop says.

Step 2

Find an indoor driving range to escape the cold. Practicing shots in a heated, domed facility is an option during winters in some cold weather areas. You won’t be able to hit your driver and fairway woods the full distance indoors, but some domed facilities are open late into the evening, allowing you to practice your golf swing at night if you work during the day. Find indoor ranges by asking fellow golfers or check with your club pro.

Step 3

Swing a weighted club in your garage if an indoor driving range isn’t an option. Weighted golf clubs are usually shorter than regular clubs, allowing you to swing them easily in your garage. The PGA of America recommends swinging a weighted club a few minutes every day to improve strength in your wrists and arms, and to increase your clubhead speed.

Step 4

Work on your grip indoors. Grip changes are one of the toughest changes to make.  Winter is a perfect time to correct or tweak your grip.  If necessary have a professional golf instructor show you a proper grip, or buy a club at your local golf store with a training grip attached. Keep the club inside your house during the winter and work on your grip several days a week. While watching TV, grip the club during each commercial and hold it until the commercial is over. Celebrity PGA teaching professional Michael Breed also recommends wrapping paper around the grip of a regular club. Practice holding the club with a grip so light that the paper doesn’t make a crinkling sound. Breed maintains that this teaches you to hold a club without tension in your hands and arms.

Step 5

Practice golf at courses that are open during the winter. Golfer’s flock to Phoenix, San Diego, and parts of Florida during the winter to make sure their game is still at a high level and even play tournaments when they are traveling.  Even taking the time to get to a warm climate for a few days can be huge in order to get the feel of your swing, see the ball flight, and make sure the things you are working on are working out.

Step 6

Get outside into your backyard on a nice winter day if golf courses or driving ranges are not an option. Swing a golf club 100 times without hitting any balls. Practice each swing as if it were the real thing. Working on your strength and flexibility, your grip and taking 100 practice swings as many days as possible during the winter could be enough for significant improvement in your swing.

Step 7

Attend a golf camp.  Golf camps provide great learning opportunities and another chance for you to get to a warmer climate and get outside and see the ball fly.  Here at CGC we have plenty of winter golf camps with various college golf coaches that want to help you improve.  Click here for the list.

The key thing to remember during winter is that the best golfers don’t simply put the clubs away and forget about golf.  For junior golfers who want to play college golf you must continue working on your swing, athleticism, and psychical condition. Reaching your goals doesn’t come without hard work.

http://golftips.golfsmith.com/practice-golf-swing-winter-20218.html

Lee, Robert. “How to Practice Your Golf Swing in Winter.” Golfsmith. Copyright 2016 Golfsmith International, Inc, n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2016.

Image. John, Ian. Five Great Things About Winter Golf For The Amateur Hacker. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web.

9 Reasons to Get Your Kids Into Golf

Golf has been referred to many times as the greatest game ever played.  It’s unique combination of physical and mental challenge makes it unlike any other sport.  Golf has many benefits, both physically and mentally, to every golfer regardless of age.  In this article we will go over 9 reasons why golf is beneficial to kids.

1. It gets them out in the fresh air

It is reckoned that as many as eight in every ten British households has a video games console, such as a PlayStation or an Xbox. Every hour that kids spend on those is an hour less exercise they could be doing.

With recent statistics demonstrating that nearly a third of all British children aged two to 15 are obese, clearly something needs to be done.

Golf, then, is a great option, particularly because you don’t need a high level of base fitness to start. The average 18-hole round requires you cover between four and five miles on foot, burning approximately 1,500 calories in the process.

What’s more, the golf swing is one of the few athletic movements that engages every major muscle group in the body, which brings obvious benefits, too.

Family playing golf

2. It’s a game for all the family

If you’re looking for a sport that you can with your own parents as well as your kids, then golf is the answer.  Young and old alike can compete on equal terms with one another – you can’t say that for many other sports.

3. It instills good values

Being a self-officiating game, golf demands honesty and integrity from those who play it. Additionally, it helps develop problem-solving skills and teaches the importance of good sportsmanship.  These are important lessons that will stand your kids in good stead as they go through life.

golf school

4. It develops inter-personal skills

Several hours on the course in the company of other people – often people you’ve never met before – forces you to be sociable. So, any time spent playing golf will help your little ones to develop more than a sound swing.

5. It’s more affordable than you think

There’s a perception that, relative to other sports, the start-up costs in golf are quite high. Okay, so there’s an element of truth in that – but, if you are prepared to shop around, there are plenty of good deals out there.

That’s particularly true when it comes to access to golf courses. There are some sensational deals to be had for juniors if you’re prepared to shop around.

Golphin1

6. There’s equipment tailored specifically for them

Gone are the days of cut-down 7-irons or plastic clubs. These days, there’s lots of junior-specific equipment out there. USKIDS Golf is a great place to find clubs specifically for kids.

7. Anyone can play

Golfers come in all different shapes and sizes; you don’t necessarily need to be tall, slim, strong, lean or muscular to take part.

So, whether your child has gone through an early growth spurt or is a late developer, they can play golf on largely equal terms to all of their friends.

Casual kids at a golf field holding golf clubs

8. It’s safe and structured

Most golf clubs have junior sections run by a team of dedicated, trained volunteers, so you can rest assured your children will be well looked after and, importantly, given the proper coaching.

The attitude of most clubs to juniors is perhaps best summed up by Alloa, which has a thriving kids’ section. A club spokesperson told sister title Scottish Club Golfer: “We fully understand that introducing golf to kids will introduce them to a life-long sport and also help to ensure the future of the game.

“We would like to continue to expand our junior golf section so we would encourage anyone who has a child that wants to play come along and get involved.”

UK Kids Golf

9. It’s fun!

This is the single most important reason to get your kids playing golf. Yes, it can frustrating when you don’t hit the shot you’d planned to, or when you don’t quite hole a putt – but that’s all part of what makes it such a fun and addictive game. When all is said and done, there are few things that compares to the feeling of flushing a shot. Give your kids that feeling and they’ll be hooked for life. We can pretty much guarantee it.

http://www.bunkered.co.uk/golf-news/9-reasons-to-get-your-kids-into-golf

@BunkeredOnline. “9 Reasons to Get Your Kids into Golf | Golf Magazine News & Forum | Bunkered.” Bunkered.co.uk. N.p., 23 Nov. 2016. Web. 23 Nov. 2016.

Conducting Yourself On The Golf Course

Golf is a game that resembles life in many ways.  It is so important that junior golfers conduct themselves in the correct manner when it comes to being on the golf course;  as this will translate to life situations and vice versa.  When it comes to golf itself, getting better out on the course means more than just putting in hours with your golf training coach. It also means understanding the mental side of the game and how you carry yourself both on the links and off. Golf is a sport steeped in tradition, and it is important for young golfers to learn and respect the traditions of the game, especially when it comes to etiquette, no matter where you are playing. When you are in the process of learning the game, etiquette can be a major part of the lesson plan.

If you have a child that is starting to take up golf, see if your local course will allow them to tag along as a spectator so they can pick up good behavior habits. As they develop their game, they should focus on the following rules of golf etiquette and how they can help them become better golfers in the long run.

Conducting Yourself on the Course

There are many levels to golf etiquette that young golfers need to pick up. In addition to those that relate to game play, golfers must learn how to conduct themselves out on the course. It is a good idea to start early with etiquette lessons so that the information becomes ingrained, and young golfers can focus more on their training. Golfsmith.com encourages parents to bring their kids along to the golf course and “gently remind them of how the game must be played.”

As golfers enter middle school and high school, etiquette should become second nature. When it comes to conducting yourself at any golf course, whether it is private or public, there are basic rules to remember that show respect to yourself, the course, and your fellow golfers. While it is polite to play quickly to allow those in groups behind you to move forward, refrain from running to your ball or moving in front of someone while they are going to take their next shot. Remember, golf etiquette exists to not only show respect, but to also promote awareness and safety.

This also goes for how you dress when you go to the course for golf training or a full round. Boys should wear dress shorts or slacks with a collared shirt, while girls should have on pants, shorts, or a skirt, with a collared shirt. It is important to remember to never wear jeans, sweatpants, and T-shirts, and to check with the dress code of individual courses before you go. As a general rule, however, the attire mentioned previously is a safe bet for every club.

Follow Course Rules and Guidelines

Course safety rules and guidelines exist to ensure that the risk of injury is reduced, and that the course is maintained for the golfers who play each hole after you. As History of Golf notes, “safety of the players and of spectators is vital for any game to become a popular sport.” It should come as no surprise that most injuries in golf occur when people are not paying attention, and are either in the way of a shot or are hit by a flying ball from a golfer who didn’t check to see if the area ahead was clear. In order to ensure that both golfers and spectators avoid injury, you should be aware of your surroundings at all times. Here are a few tips to stay safe on the course:

  • Swing away from Others – Take practice swings with plenty of room around you. In addition, you should face away from other golfers, as debris such as pebbles may fly up when you are practicing.
  • Warn Others of Errant Shots – If you take a shot, and there is a chance it could find its way into another group of golfers, be sure to yell “Fore!” as a warning. This is the universal way to alert others so they can take cover if needed.
  • Obey Cart Signs and Rules – Be sure to check the rules of cart usage with the course you are going to play to see if any restrictions are in place for the day. You should stick to the cart path as much as possible, assuming you meet the age requirements in your state to drive the cart.

Etiquette also plays into a golfer’s ability to enjoy the round that he or she is playing. Pace of play and course maintenance are points of emphasis when learning about golf etiquette. You always want to make sure you take your shots as soon as it is your turn. PGA rules also stipulate that if you play a shot into a hazard or out-of-bounds, you have a five-minute period to find the ball before having to declare it lost and taking a one-stroke penalty. Bring multiple clubs with you when you park your cart so that you do not waste time having to go back to switch. Fix divots and ball marks on the green after your shots, as well, to add life and beauty to each hole.

Why Does This Matter?

Golf etiquette makes the game more enjoyable for you and for all of the others on the course. Whether you are playing a practice round, hitting balls at the driving range with your coach, or in the heat of the final holes of a junior tournament, you will be expected to follow the written and unwritten rules of etiquette. While developing your golf skills and improving your power and accuracy is important, you will also build your reputation based on how you carry yourself and treat other golfers when playing.

Etiquette may vary slightly from place to place, but it is a good idea to learn about various rules and courtesies so that you can maximize your enjoyment on the links. Again, etiquette, following rules etc. all translate from the course to real life situations.  It is best to learn early the correct and moral things to do.

http://www.ijga.com/the-importance-of-golf-etiquette/

@ijga_. “The Importance of Golf Etiquette | Hub.media/ijga.” International Junior Golf Academy (IJGA). N.p., 09 June 2016. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.

Fundamentals of Chipping

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Chipping Tips and Drills

Hitting better chip shots requires a few fundamentals, most of which get overlooked by beginner and better players alike. Let’s look at a few and get your chipping back on track.

Golf Instruction for chipping Basics

Choke Down On The Grip This seems like an obvious mechanic, but choking down on the grip actually does a lot more than simply get your body closer to the ball to make a delicate stroke. Choking down also counterbalances the club, meaning added weight above the hands work to make it easier to make less than full shots without flipping the hands over too soon. As for your body, remember as you choke down: Don’t hunch your upper body. Instead, choke down with your hands, and get your body lower by adding more flex in the knees, as opposed to hunching over.

Stay Open & Narrow Many junior golfers assume the best way to chip is to align their body either at or parallel to the target. We advise against this, since it’s important for the body to rotate (unlike a putt where it doesn’t rotate) just as with a full shot. Also, when it comes to chipping, because the hands have a delayed or lesser release than they do with a full swing, it’s even more important that the body be poised to turn. Think of it this way: If you’re too square, the body will resist rotating, and the hands will take over and get too active. That is, they’ll start to flip! Instead, make a narrow and open stance (don’t just flare out one foot) and let your body turn through the shot.

Weight On Your Forward Side, And Ball Back In Your Stance Why? Simple. Keeping your weight predominantly on your forward side with the ball back in your stance (toward the target) helps to ensure a steeper downward blow into the ball. This prevents fat and thin shots and helps you make consistent contact with the ball. Also, by keeping your weight leaning toward the target, this helps maintain a consistent impact position, which will help you better control your shots and gauge different distances. As for the ball position, play shots just off the inside of the back toe. But you may prefer it slightly farther back or slightly farther forward. It’s okay to be flexible, but try to keep it consistent. And stay away from placing the ball too far forward in your stance. If you move it forward, you’d better be ready to hit a flop or lob shot–which is a different lesson for a different day. For more golf instruction continue to read the College Golf Camps of America blog.

http://www.golftipsmag.com/instruction/wedges/characteristics-of-great-chipping/

@golftipsmag. “Characteristics Of Great Chipping – Golf Tips Magazine.” Golf Tips Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.

Image – How To Chip In GOlf. Digital image. Rotary Swing. Copyright © 2016 RotarySwing.com, n.d. Web.

Women’s Golf Scholarships

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Even with all the hysteria surrounding Tiger Woods for the last decade and a half, the growth of golf has remained relatively stagnant. Women’s golf, however, has bucked the trend. Now girls’ golf is seeing explosive growth with recruiting and scouting becoming part of the game in a way few could have imagined just a few short years ago.

And with this growth in women’s golf, girls’ golf scholarships are now a realistic goal for teenagers. There have also been many cases of female golfers gaining full scholarships without having played golf before. The reality is that hundreds of women’s golf scholarships go unused each year.

It is generally believed that the women’s golf market is under served with a golf subculture that has long been dominated by a male sensibility. But with the ready availability of women’s golf scholarships, that may soon change.

Women have been traditionally drawn to golf for the same reasons as men: getting in some exercise in the great outdoors, hanging on the course with good friends, and the challenge of hitting that perfect golf shot. Since women often dictate where household income is spent, it becomes increasingly important for the game to look for ways to appeal to women. Scouting for talented female players and recruiting them to play college golf on scholarship is one way to grow the game. While it’s true that the rate of growth in women’s golf has doubled and—in some instances—tripled the rate of growth among men, women still make up less than 25 percent of golfers. In fact, of the 6.5 million women golfers in America, only 2.5 million are considered “core” golfers—those who play eight or more times a year.

Despite the growth in the women’s game, the number of golf courses nationwide continues to dwindle, down to about 16,000 combined public and private course across the country. Many women would love to take up the game, but family responsibilities come first, and for others, the game can be cost prohibitive.

The LPGA is doing its part to keep girls golf on an upward trend. The organization sponsors girls’ golf programs for girls ages seven to seventeen at over two hundred sites across the country. Not only do these girl golfers build skills and friendships that can last a lifetime, but they also gain valuable exposure to the golf movers and shakers who are scouting their skills and have the connections to guide them toward a golf scholarship.

As women continue to flock to the sport of golf, there will be subtle but noticeable changes on the golf course. There has already been the introduction of golf clothing that is both fashionable and comfortable. You can now find entire clothing lines catering exclusively to female players.

Another recent change: women golfers are becoming increasingly aware of how the new and ever-evolving golf equipment technology can make their game more competitive. The more efficient a golf club becomes, the more it reduces the natural strength advantage of the male players.

No matter how much things change in golf, there will always be one constant. People play the game for fun. Recruiting and scholarships won’t change that.

But as opportunities in golf continue to grow for women players, so will a woman golfer’s expertise. She may have started the game for a variety of reasons, but now she understands the mechanics of the swing, the proper grip, and even the importance of stance and follow-through.

For outstanding schoolgirl golfers, it’s time to re-calibrate those expectations and realize that a golf scholarship is a real possibility.

http://www.athleticscholarships.net/womens-golf-scholarships.htm

“Women’s Golf Scholarships.” Women’s Golf Scholarships. Athnet Copyright © 2001 – 2016, n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2016.

Central Slips to Third at League Women’s Golf Tourney. Digital image. Central College. N.p., 4 Oct. 2013. Web.

Understanding Scholarships for Athletes

Scholarships for Athletes Information

The topics of scholarship offers and dollar amounts are regular sources of frustration in the recruiting process. Most athletes and families over estimate how common and how big scholarship offers are and they get discouraged if a coach doesn’t make a big offer. Below are some of the most common situations where athletes and coaches have misunderstandings and explain why they happen.

Coach’s Goals Aren’t the Same as Yours

This seems obvious, but it is easy to forget coaches aren’t trying to achieve the same thing as you in the recruiting process. Scholarships are a limited resource and a coach is trying to stretch their dollars. If they can get an athlete to commit and play for less or no money, it helps their recruiting. They aren’t trying to “screw the athlete over,” but simply trying to do the best job they can in putting their team together. It is not a coach’s job to give athletes athletic scholarships, it is their job to win and get the best athletes they can; scholarships are a tool they use to make that happen.

Don’t Confuse Recruiting for Scholarships

Coaches will recruit walk-ons just as hard as scholarship athletes. Getting recruited hard doesn’t mean you are going to get a scholarship. Coaches know if they start a conversation with a recruit by saying “I am not going to give you any scholarship money, but…” they will get the door closed in their face. However, if they can get the athlete excited about the opportunity to play for them, they have a better chance of getting that athlete to commit without scholarship money. This isn’t dishonest, it is just a coach doing their job.

The Rules Aren’t the Same for All Coaches

Some coaches can be very direct about how much scholarship money they have and how much you can expect. Other coaches will be vague, even flat out refusing to answer when you ask how much you could get in scholarship money. This doesn’t mean one coach is being honest and the other isn’t; some coaches are prohibited by their universities from telling an athlete how much scholarship money they will get until the athlete commits to the school. You will never know what type of rules a coach has to follow regarding financial aid and admissions discussions with athletes. It is okay to ask coaches questions about scholarships, but if they don’t answer, they probably have a good reason.

Assistant Coaches Might Not Be Allowed to Make the Final Call

Sometimes the coach recruiting you isn’t the one who will make the final call on offering you a scholarship. This is especially common in bigger DI schools where assistant coaches do a lot of the initial recruiting. These coaches are responsible for finding recruits and gathering the information needed to evaluate them with the other coaches. The assistant coach recruiting you and might “really like you,” but, if the program decides they like another recruit more you won’t be getting an offer. In these scenarios families feel like the coach was lying and wasted their time, but they (the coach recruiting you) are probably just as disappointed to lose you.

*Something to remember in this scenario – Assistant coaches frequently change programs and often times will try to contact the recruits they were recruiting at their old program. Don’t burn bridges if one program doesn’t work out, you never know what opportunities might open up later.

There is more than meets the eye when trying to understand why a coach is doing or acting a certain way. You have to try and not take things personal when coaches stop communicating or aren’t answering specific questions. Coach’s motivations in the recruiting process are very different than yours and as long as you can keep that perspective, you stand your best chance at finding the right university.

Frank, Written By David. “It’s Not a Coach’s Job to Give Scholarships.” It’s Not a Coach’s Job to Give Scholarships. Athnet Copyright © 2001 – 2016, n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2016.

 

Putting Tips w/ Dave Stockton

Try this: sign your name on a piece of paper, see how quick and easy that was? Now try to slowly duplicate that signature. Not so easy. The reason is, you’re thinking about it and not tapping into your subconscious, the way you did when you signed the first time. Putting is no different. The best putters see their target line and then roll the ball on that line, just like you saw the paper and then signed it. The lesson is, keep it natural, and don’t let yourself get bogged down by anything.

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In this article legendary putting instructor Dave Stockton gives 4 tips, to help hole more putts.

1. LEAD WITH YOUR LEFT

If you shot a free throw with your right hand only, you’d realize you need your left hand as a guide. The same is true on the greens: The left hand is the direction hand, and it’s just as important as the right. Practice putting left-hand-only (right), or have someone hold a club in front of your hands on the target line. Bump the grip with the back of your hand, not your fingers, like Dave Jr. is doing.

2. THINK ROLL, NOT HIT

The key to distance control is to roll the ball, not hit it. To do this, take an open stance, your weight slightly favoring your left side and your putter shaft leaning toward the target. The open stance makes it easier to feel the left hand going out and down the target line. The forward lean offsets the 4 degrees of loft I recommend for a putter and helps the ball roll smoothly.

When you make the stroke, keep the putterhead low to the ground past impact, like Ron is demonstrating (inset). The putter will ascend slightly, but don’t try to hit up on the ball — whoever told you to do that was wrong, because it makes the ball hop.

3. USE YOUR FINGERS

Grip the putter any way you like, as long as it doesn’t hinder your left hand’s role in the stroke. But make sure to grip the club in your fingers. The shaft should run up the lifeline of your left hand for clubface control, but your fingers must contact the grip. You can drop the right forefinger down the shaft, but don’t steer with it. Forget about what your palms are doing. Fingers equal feel.

4. SPOT THE SPOT

If you stare at the ball too long at address, it’s easy to get brain-locked and hit a bad putt. To avoid this, I don’t even look at the ball. Try looking at a spot just in front of the ball on your target line and rolling the ball over that spot. Put a tee in the ground in front of the ball when you practice (right). This gets you thinking about the target line instead of the stroke–the opposite of what most golfers do.

Another trick to free your mind is to picture the ball going in on the high side of the hole on a breaking putt. Most golfers miss low. For this left-to-right putt (below), I want the ball to enter the cup well left of center.

http://www.golfdigest.com/story/putting-dave-stockton

Stockton, Dave, Ron Kaspriske, and Walter Iooss Jr. “Why You Can’t Putt: 4 Things You Should Do, But Don’t.” Golf Digest. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.

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