Setting up Your Own Putting Green

Every golf enthusiast dreams of having their own quiet course. For those who are blessed with acreage of land, that is an achievable goal. While you may not have sand traps and water lakes to contend with, you can design a green that is still challenging, right outside your back door.

First you are going to need to survey the land and outline the boundary for your private course. 1 hole should suffice for practice putts, and if you want bigger just come down to the course. Then draw a map of the land surveyed, noting any natural obstacles that you plan to keep, like trees.

This gives you an idea of where to plot your hole. If you try and do this by walking the turf, you will have a hard time in gauging the right distances. But if you plot a map to scale, you can see the entire thing in front of your eyes.

putt

Now that this space has been marked, and you know where the hole will be, you are most likely going to have to rip up the grass. But before you do this, take a few practice swings to make sure that the space is large enough for you.

Once the grass is removed put down a plastic weed barrier and add edging as a border. This will keep the base material for your putting green in place. Will all of this in place you can begin to compact the area so that you can lay out the turf. Don’t forget to make a spot for the hole.

You can create contours in the land to change the difficulty of the shot. If you have enough space consider 2 holes of differing skill levels. Once the turf has been laid it will also need to be compacted one last time before you and your little course are ready to golf.

One thing to think about is your pets. Dogs love these special areas and will have a field day digging up your hard work if you let them. Surround the spot with a wireless pet containment system and they won’t be able to get inside.

First check reviews to find a K9 fence that is being raved about. Once you make the purchase, installation is easy. Simply dig a 3 inch trench around the putting green and lay the wire inside. Each end is attached to a transmitter in your garage, and the dog is equipped with a special collar. Any time they attempt to cross the invisible barrier, a small shock is felt, letting them know that your green is off limits. Check out k9fencereviews.com for more information.

Don’t be surprised when golf buddies start showing up unexpectedly to take their turn at a swing or two. This is a novelty for most golfers and one that will give you great joy for many years.

 

Is the Green the Only Place to Golf?

If you are as big of a golf fan as most of our club members, there is a good chance you have a practice putter sitting in your office. You may even have one at home. But how about golfing on rough terrain? More golfers are looking for ways off of the green to practice both putting and drives to better their scores. Being off of the controlled environment gives them a different set of skills that can be useful in any type of sticky situation.

Driving Ranges

A controlled environment, a driving range gives you the opportunity to practice your long shots and build strength and control. But you don’t have to stick to a driving range. Although we don’t recommend shooting off of rooftops, you can try going to a local high school football field or a mall parking lot after hours. Just be wary of any windows before you start giving the golf ball all that you got.

Putting

Putting can be down anywhere where you have a few feet of space and a plastic cup to act as your hole. Your yard, and local park can be used for this. Going to the beach is another good place to practice putts, especially if you are in need of practice for getting out of sand traps. Depending on the crowds, you can even use the beach to drive at, so long as you don’t mind losing your balls.

The Great Outdoors

Some golfers I know have even figured out ways to take the family vacation and turn it into a golf trip. Major resort areas such as Las Vegas and Orlando have tons of family activities and sightseeing plus world renowned golf courses for you to try when you get a chance to break away from them.

Night-driving-at-Moore-Park-Golf-Driving-RangeCampsites also offer a great setting for golfing. It won’t be pretty green like the one at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas, but it will teach you essential golf survival skills. While your family is still inside the Coleman family tent cuddled inside sleeping bags, grab your clubs and hit the woods. Unless you’ve got range balls you’re just teeing up, make sure to bring some navigational aids with you to find your way back to your site after you go get your balls. Trying to drive with so many obstacles helps you to learn how to control the ball. You can even putt here, using natural obstacles as your makeshift holes. Do this before the other campers are getting ready to get up from there tents to avoid accidentally hitting anyone.

Your golf clubs are mobile for a reason. Keep them handy at all times, and look for unique opportunities to get some practice shots in. As you know, golfing is much more then just a leisure sport. It is a serious hobby that some of us like to nurture as much as time and family allows.

Why Does a Golf Ball Have Dimples? And Other Facts About Your Golf Balls

While it may look simple to those who don’t play golf, a golf ball is one of the most precision built pieces of equipment in the sports world. While amateurs may use simple golf balls, those who are serious about the game go for the ones that are more complex. So what makes the difference? Here are a few facts that you may have missed about the design of those little white balls:

What’s With the Dimples?

Early golfers found that balls with irregularities on their surface would actually let it fly higher and further. This led to a craze where practically every inch was indented. Today, manufacturers still work with this theory and try to develop different shaped dimples to see if the ball will perform differently. The early golfers were right though, the more dimples a ball has the further it is going to go. Too many and you are not going to have any control, making the standard range between 300 to 500 dimples per little ball.

golf hole

The Inside

If you look inside of a golf ball using an ultrasound machine, you are going to see one, two or three layers. This is a trick that is taught at ultrasound school to help teach how to identify different substances when they are not soft tissue. Ball manufacturers will use ultrasound technology to make sure that each one is constructed perfectly. There is a lot more to being an ultrasound technician then looking at pregnant bellies all day if you were considering a career move.

One piece balls are very cheap and consist of just a solid piece of surlyn with the dimples etched on the core. This type of ball is only good on driving ranges. A two piece ball is what is used by ordinary golfers as it gives good distance and still has the weight you want.

The three piece balls are for skilled golfers as they have liquid filled core that gives the ball extra spin and better control. The ultrasound picture not only picks out that water filled center it will also show the ultra sound technician elastic windings that surround the core before the dimpled outer layer is applied.

Weight

Standard weight for golf balls has changed over the years. What you will find in pro shops now weigh around 45 grams. This weight allows for a good lift when you want it, or a smooth roll when you are getting ready to putt into the hole.

The golf ball you choose is very important to the way you play the game. While your clubs may make in difference in your swing, it is the golf ball that has the last say in where it goes.

There is a lot more to your golf balls than pretty white dimples. These are made with certain specifications to assist you in your game. Don’t take that for granted. When shopping at the pro shop always ask for the right number of layers and dimples. This will ensure that you are below par everytime.

Maintaining Focus When Playing Golf

Are you fond of playing golf but you just can’t stop yourself from making the usual mistakes when you are on a tournament? Golf is a game of precision and discipline. If you really want to achieve more than just an ordinary golf player, you will have to learn how to concentrate on your goals and give it your best swing.

Golf is more of a mental type of sport rather than a physical one. Why? It is because the game is more dependent on the amount of focus that a golf player can give before even swinging the golf club and hitting the ball. This is very important as focusing on what you are aiming for can control your physical abilities and allow you to reach your goals.

How to Focus

focus
Can you focus? Like the archer looking for a bullseye, you are the golfer looking for the pin.

First, you will have to check on your ability to aim and align your golf club to the target. Just like when you are aiming your arrow using the bow to hit the bullseye with your trusty but not totally automated recurve bow. It is important that you concentrate on your visuals and be able to align your clubface to where you want your golf ball to land.

Focus as well entails on the techniques that you can use to be able to make the right swing that will give the right amount of impact needed for the ball to reach its destination. You will have to observe your previous swings as well as the right angles you need to set where your gold ball is supposed to land.

Maintaining Focus

To maintain your focus in any type of sport including golf, your brain must be in its proper condition. Do not allow anything else to distract you with what you are aiming for. The proper way to maintain focused on what you are doing is concentrating on your mental and body movements which are helping you hit that right swing to get the ball flying at the right angle.

Take note that aside from angles and body movements, you will also have to learn repetitive swings that will allow you to hit the ball where it lands on the right spot. Make sure that you practice your strokes and your swings as this will help you when you join a golf tournament.

Playing golf is exciting once you have learned all the techniques needed for you to be another world champion such as Tiger Woods. With the right mindset, training and skills, you can surely be at your best in this type of sport.

Get in shape for golf season!

golfing healthyThere is a widespread misconception as far as golf is concerned. When some overweight professional golfers noted success, people assumed that golf differed from other sports, if it is a sport at all. However, in order to maximize your performance you must be on the best possible shape. Excessive fat will pose a threat to your game and primarily to your health. It will stress your bones and muscles as you play and practice, as well as your heart. A game of golf can become rather strenuous both physically but mainly psychologically. Being overweight and straining your heart might prove to be quite dangerous.

Besides potential health issues, excessive weight can affect your play in many ways. It can cause fatigue which will often result in reduced training time, loss of concentration and performance inconsistency. It may even deter your golf technique. So, as you see there are many reasons to stay fit if you want to excel in golfing – time to rethink your portion sizes when you’re frying a turkey for Thanksgiving.

As far as nutrition is concerned, a healthy, balanced, low fat diet is always the best advice. Your meals should be high on protein and low in fat, such as lean meats, preferably grilled chicken or fish, with fresh salads and vegetables. This has to be topped up with fruit. Junk food should not be part of your diet in any way. You should avoid any kind of fast food, as well as deep fried food – sorry, but to get the most out of your game, you may have to stop looking at Crispy&Golden! Deep fried foods, especially the ones covered in batter, have large amounts of saturated fats which means that their consumption can lead to weight gain and elevated cholesterol levels. A controlled amount of carbohydrates must be consumed as they provide valuable energy. Your body must be hydrated at all times, especially during a game. When playing in warm weather a sports drink might be a good way to replenish your electrolytes.

tasty healthy foodUnfortunately, the clubhouses often fail to provide you with the healthiest food options and the meals they offer are not nutritious per se, a fact which adds to the erroneous notions about golf. This is why on the day of a game, you must prepare. Take a good breakfast, such as egg-whites omelet and fresh vegetables and prepare healthy snacks to get you through the day without making you feel heavy. Bananas, nuts, dried fruit and a healthy sandwich are all great choices. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as they are sure to adversely affect your performance. Make sure you’re not prepping tasty, yet unhealthy snacks in your cheap deep fryers before you leave!

As far as exercise is concerned, cardio should always be part of your training routine. It will boost your overall metabolism and help you be energetic yet calm and content, as it causes the release of endorphins. Weight training is a good way to strengthen your muscles. You should preferably focus on upper body weight training to build up your torso, back and arms. And of course, you need to practice regularly on your golfing technique, your swing. A helpful workout bit that will reinforce your swing is to mimic the golf swing move, while actually pulling fitness tubing; sets of elastic bands that stretch out and exercise by resistance. What is also important to include to the core of your workout is your lower back and hip abductor, so as to perfect the weight shift during your swing.

Boxing for a Better Golf Game

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Boxing and golf are extremely different sports, but boxing is a form of training that can actually translate to the golf course. Among many other health and fitness benefits of boxing, some that can be important for golf include increased core strength/stability, as well as increased muscular strength and endurance, all with little risk of losing flexibility (I’ll break these aspects down in more detail later in this article). Perhaps one of the more underrated aspects of boxing is the cost. Memberships at gyms are usually quite cheap (definitely nowhere near close to a membership at a private course!) and any equipment you need to buy is also affordable. For more information on different types of equipment that might be best for you, check out tomatocanchamp.com.

Core Strength and Stability:

Even though all the training occurring in the boxing gym is aimed at improving your skill and conditioning in the ring, it doubles as a great form of cross-training. This includes anything from skipping, push-ups, bag work, core exercises, sparring, weight-lifting, and more. Core strength and stability is a key aspect in boxing for a few reasons. It helps decrease the effectiveness of opponents’ body shots, increases your conditioning in the ring, and adds power to your punches.

In golf, core strength and stability is also important, as it too can help increase power in your swing and delay fatigue that you may not even notice at first, ultimately allowing you to maintain proper mechanics on the back 9. Furthermore, studies have revealed that many professional golfers have a bi-lateral deficit in oblique endurance. In simple terms, many golfer cannot hold a side bridge stance on one side nearly as long as the other. In any sport, and health in general, asymmetry is usually a bad thing.

Muscular Strength and Endurance:

Boxing is a great workout because it allows to you build muscle while simultaneously burning fat. In other words, boxing gets you ripped, but doesn’t bulk you up too much, which is often a concern for golfers. The general structure of a boxing workout, which usually consists of 3 minute rounds (for whatever exercise you’re doing) with a 1 minute break in between, almost resembles a form of circuit training. This will allow you to work on virtually every muscle group and more of an endurance manner, while being sure not to over-work one particular group. Don’t worry, you’ll definitely notice increased cardiovascular fitness as well.

For golf, this is great. Let’s face it, being a crazy jacked person isn’t going to help that much. However, delaying any type of muscle fatigue, especially to the core, can definitely shave strokes, and this is where the increased muscular strength and endurance from boxing can come in handy. Furthermore, the risk of losing flexibility is low. If you are new to boxing you will likely notice some stiffness, but that’s normal given you’re working new muscles in different way. Stretching is an important part of any workout, so expect to learn some boxing-specific stretches. That being said, just be sure to keep up on this, as stretching is usually the easiest exercise to skip.

In summary, boxing is an effective and fun way to keep in shape on the course. If you’re curious about boxing gyms in your city, most are very willing to answer any questions you have, and often times are willing to provide a tour as well! Definitely check it out!

Easy Tips To Improve Your Game

Tower Inflatable Paddle Board

As a golf pro I often get asked: “what should I be doing to improve my game?” Often times they’re basically looking for an excuse to take home to their wives so they can say “oh John suggested I buy new sticks”.

Sorry fellas (and ladies) I almost never recommend buying new clubs. There are basically only three scenarios where I say go buy clubs.

  1. You’ve outgrown yours. If you’re a 18 year old who is 6’1” and you’re playing with your old junior set it’s time to upgrade. Having clubs that are too short are going to lead you to develop some awful habits
  2. If you’re clubs are old. I don’t mean last years model I mean old, old. Like 10-15 years old. Technology has changed and with that change has led a number of courses to lengthen their holes. This means you have to hit the ball a bit further, so yes that wooden club you’re using should go.
  3. The only other scenario where I say buy equipment is if you don’t currently have golf shoes. Get yourself a pair.

If you don’t fall into the above categories forget it, I’m not giving you an excuse to take home to your wife.

Tips To Improve Your Game

Get Physical

Strengthen your core. Get a cheap pair of resistance bands and you can literally do a 20 minute work outs 3 times a week at home. This is going to let you hit the ball a lot further.

If you want to get really hardcore you can hire a trainer, aka a human accountability manager.

Speaking of easy life style changes – work on your flexibility and mobility. Buy a foam roller, buy a yoga mat, a yoga strap and get stretching. Improving your flexibility will allow you to find the correct slot on the up and the way down. It’ll also improve your distance.

Work On Your Short Game

Have you ever kept track of how many putts you hit a round? Try it, it’ll blow your mind. The fastest way to shave strokes is to become a competent putter. It amuses me, guys go to the range a TON and most of the time they never hit a single sand shot, nor they do they hit a single chip or a putt. Do you know how many shots you’re going to get to make where your feet are level and the lie is perfect? Maybe 30, 35 tops. 18 of which are off the tee.

Now how many putts and chips are you going to hit? Probably at least 36, I don’t know too many goflers whose short game allows them to hit less then 2 putts+chips a hole.

Next time you’re at the range skip the driver and go hit 100 putts. You do this enough and your game will be vastly better.

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How To Golf With Arthritis

Golf-Ball-ClubAs golfers get older, the spectre of arthritis raises its head along with the other age-related joint conditions that can creep up on you. For the most extreme cases, this could sadly end their golfing career but for many, there are some tips that may allow you to carry on playing even with arthritis. So while you may have to buy a walking cane for men, it can mean you don’t have to part-exchange your golf clubs when you do.

Adaption

Experts state that the most important factor to continuing to enjoy golf after diagnosis with arthritis is adaption. Consult with your doctor or physiotherapist to get exact, personalised tips but here are some general ideas.

Clubs – firstly, reduce the weight of your club bag by only taking with you the clubs you know you are going to use. The next thing may be fun; get some new clubs if the ones you have aren’t made from the most lightweight materials. These are usually graphite shafted clubs with perimeter weighted heads that are great shock absorbers.

Bag – if you haven’t already got a bag that has wheels on it, trade it in and get one that can be pulled along on wheels rather than carrying it.

Ball – go for a lower compression ball so there is more give when you hit the ball, for instance a 90 as opposed to a 100. This will mean there is less of a jarring impact when you strike the ball.

Shoes – instead of traditional spiked golf shoes, stick to the best walking shoes or spikeless golf shoes. This reduces the risk of a trip, which will jerk your joints. Adding cushioning to shoes is another tip, which might make them even more comfortable when your feet are prone to pain.

Gloves – there are some ranges of golf gloves that are designed to ease the pain in hands and tiredness from gripping while giving the best grip strength possible and are recommended by the Arthritis Foundation’s Ease of Use commendation. It might also be worth having wrist braces to add stabilisation on the joints when hitting the ball.

Alterations

There are also a few alterations to the way you approach your round that may help keep the enjoyment up and the pain down.

Swing – if you have back problems, keep away from the modern swing or the reverse-C swing and stick with the classic swing that will be more comfortable. End backswing early to reduce the chance of shoulder or elbow injuries, stopping at 3 o’clock rather than one o’clock. When you finish your swing, your spine should be as straight as possible as this ease the load on the lumbar spine.

Consider alternating how much your try to undertake in one session as well. Play from the 150yards marker if you are feeling tired or rent a motorised cart to get you from one hole to another to focus your attention on the game and not the walking between holes.

Arthritis or similar joint conditions don’t have to mean the end of enjoying golf. Talk to medical professionals and golf experts alike to find the exact ratio for what will work best for you and you will be enjoying the greens for years to come.

 

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Grooming Standards for Private Golf Courses

Despite the fact how most brute and rough men regard golf as the game for “sissies”, golf has still earned its lifelong respect and integrity being the gentlemen’s game. Yes, it may be considered to be the only type of men’s sport intended for those who are scared to face a body tackle in a rugby match or a knockout punch in a boxing, there is nothing wrong with a gentleman refusing adrenaline rushed sports.

Indeed, golf tops the list of sports that are regarded as the gentleman’s game. If you notice, you see golfers and they happen to have well-mannered gestures, smart attire, and soft spoken words. These things are what our society needs especially during these days and it is of this reason why golf is still considered to be a famous sport despite its non-contact feature.

Not that golf is particularly for the rich but this has been well regarded to be so because typically, men who have flair and class and charm would normally belong to the elite class. However, this is contrary to the reality. Golf is simply what it is: a game for gentlemen. And with that, being a golfer, you have to be very particular with how you look, how you talk and how you act so that you will earn the title of a real golfer.

Grooming matters in golfing

To reflect the true gentlemen aspect of the sport, you have to look like one. Thus, grooming and hygiene is very much important. While it is true that you have to look all buttoned down, prim and proper, and cleaned up with your attire, the same concept should be considered the same when it comes to facial hair. And by this, you need to be clean shaven, most of the time at least. To this end, we highly recommend www.BeardInstitute.com – a place where classic grooming and styling can be learned and reviews of the best equipment are readily available.

Now, we don’t call it stereotyping although most people mistake it to be so, but a real golfer should look like a real gentlemen and that mean goodbye to ruffled and tousled facial hair. At least get a proper beard and mustache trimmer! We’ll go with our recommendation once again: http://www.beardinstitute.com/beard-trimmer/.

Smooth and sleek is the silent ethics of golf. Even the masters of golf have perfected it. Most of them though have tested the strictly no facial hair policy among golfers and have tried some pretty ways to make it look interesting. Some dared to put on some considerable facial hair but still look surprisingly clean and proper (obviously they’ve got proper grooming methods, including potentially utilizing the best beard and mustache wax). Changes may have shifted in golfing but one thing still remains, clean shaven or not, every golfer has to look like a loan officer with a clean cut of moustache to showcase some form of masculinity with a gentleman undertone.

tiger woods with a beard

For instance, a goatee may still look like a decent man’s facial feature when it comes to golfing. Even Tiger Woods and Davis Love III have tried it several times in some golf competition. It just gives that flare of a “cool” gentleman.

Hence, golf must be able to perfectly embody a true gentleman through its players. And by gentleman, we mean that one must look clean in terms of one’s attire, words, and yes, even facial hair.

Physics, Tragedy & A Magic Putter

Physics on the Golf course
Courtesy Hash Milhan

There is no doubt that you, as a Northerner/Mid-Westerner have been ready for the winter to end for months.  You’re jealous of those folks that live in Florida or California who have golf as an option every day of their lives, but you’re glad spring is finally here. Everyday from now until November you’ll be thinking of the greens while teaching your kid how to longboard, or doing dishes, or staring out your window. You just want to hit the links, beat your best score, and improve your putting. Is that too much to ask? 

Speaking of improving your putting, you may have heard of Dr V’s Magic Putter before. One that looks like a putter a teenager would use at a put-put course when taking his girlfriend on a date. A big, square head with so much space in between that it almost looks like a cup holder. Some pros swore by it, and it even looked like it might take off as a reliable piece of equipment in golf circles, but unfortunately for Dr. V and everyone involved, tragedy struck before that could ever happen.

Caleb Hannan

Caleb Hannan is an up and coming writer in his early 30’s who was doing what every young writer should be: looking for his big break. He thought he had found that when Bill Simmons – the most popular sports writer in America, and the editor-in-chief at Grantland.com, a sister site of ESPN.com – gave him the go ahead for a story on Dr. V’s Magic Putter, which he had stumbled upon on a sleepless night.

Insomnia

One night when Hannan couldn’t sleep, he did what every red blooded golf enthusiast does: searched for videos of tips to improve his game, putting especially. He ran into a video of a couple of golf pro’s discussing Dr. Essay Anne Vanderbilt’s magic putter with zero MOI (moments of inertia). Sounds fancy, but what it basically means is that there will be less movement in the head of the putter to give you more control over the club. He became intrigued about this physicist from MIT who invented a putter that sounded like it would change the game of golf once everyone discovered it, much like clap skates changed speed skating.

Dr. V

After some searching, and an exchange emails with strict stipulations by Dr. V herself that their conversation be about the putter only and not the inventor, Hannan had a phone conversation with the MIT intellectual. He was under strict order that because of the sensitive nature that her work consists of – secret government projects – she can not discuss herself or what she does. She was normal and intelligent in their conversation, and just seemed to be a physicist who thought it was time golf had a correct putter to use. She explained how she came up with the idea and some of what went into the design.

Strange

Hannan thought the stories Dr. V told him on the phone were a little strange. She said competitors tried to break into her warehouse and steal the club. She also said that she was allergic to the sun, and didn’t play golf herself. Pretty odd for someone who invented a gold club he thought. She was also 6’3” tall and had a very deep voice. She explained the deep voice by telling Hannan it was the affects of a collapsed larynx from a car crash. Hannan  wanted to know more about the physicist, so he kept digging.

A Secret That Turned Into A Tragedy

As Hannan dug deeper, more things didn’t add up. MIT had no one by the name of Essay Anne Vanderbilt working for them, and Dr V. refused to meet Hannan in person. She increasingly avoided his calls and emails, and finally – after being confronted with the MIT information – asked for the article to not be published. Hannan spoke to a lawyer who represented a company that Dr. V sued once, and in not so many words the attorney told Hannan that Dr V was actually born a man. Hannan dug deeper and found that fact to be true. Dr. V had ex wives, children, and used to be known as Stephen Krol.

Outing

Hannan tracked down a retiree from Pittsburgh who invested $60,000 into the putter to get more information on Dr. V. He also told the investor – who had no idea or questions about the Dr’s gender– that his business partner was born a man. Hannan tried emailing Dr. V and confirming all that he had learned, but she wanted no part of it, or of the article being written.

After 8 months of research on Dr. V, back and forth emails and calls that turned into desperate please to not write the article, Hannan received a phone call from Dr V’s former brother in law confirming that she had killed herself.

Aftermath

If you read Hannan’s story, it’s plain to see that he is a very good writer, and Dr. V hurt a lot of people in her life with lies that had nothing to do with her gender. What you can also see is that Hannah had no business outing her to a business partner, and he was pretty callous in the way he presented that facts in the story.

Hannan has received death threats since the article was posted in January, and the story is a major black eye for grantland.com what is otherwise very well respected website. Simmons himself wrote an apology for the way he and his staff handled the story.

The story is still up on the site, and Simmons has said it will stay there as a reminder on how to deal with sensitive subjects. Hannan has been quiet since the story published, and is now being sued for something that happened before the Dr v story was published.

Golf is a simple game that gives players a mulligan when they make a mistake. It seems like Caleb Hannan could use one of those right about now.

 

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