Golf for BeginnersAuthor: Stacy and Barry Solomon
22 May 2018

Golf for Beginners

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    3 Smart Ways to Lower Your Golf Score

    ways to lower your golf score
    Lowering your golf score doesn't have to be a difficult process - the easiest ideas often work best for most golfers...even the pros.

    There is never a good time to see snowmen (or better) on your scorecard, yet blow-up holes occur, even on tour (remember Sergio Garcia's 13 at the Masters?)

    Recognizing when you may in the throes of trouble and thinking about your next shot is often all you need to do in order to stop a downhill spiral.

    Golf for Beginners' author, Barry Solomon, has a few tips for curbing doubles and triples on your scorecard, no matter what level you are at in your enjoyment of the game.

    3 Ways to Lower Your Golf Score

    1. Curb the blowup holes!
    Hit a wayward shot? Here are a few ways to recover.
    a. Just get the ball back in play - see an opening to the fairway? Take it.
    b. Don't try those miracle saves (unless you are at the practice facility) - you will hit that tree trunk.

    Read: What New Golf Rules Mean for the Average Player

    2. If your approach is too long for your comfort and there is trouble all around:
    Lay-up before the trouble, then you should have an easy pitch to the green. Maybe make the putt for par or 2-putt for bogey. Move on. It's better than dunking your golf ball into the water or hitting it onto the next fairway.

    Read: Is Distance Overrated for Golfers?

    3. Golf ball in a greenside bunker?
    Unless you are confident of your skills, don't try to make that perfect shot and maybe thin it into the next county or into more trouble. Just get your ball safely out of the bunker - that is your #1 priority...then move on.

    You will be surprised how many costly strokes these golf tips will save you; you may be surprised when you total-up a lower score than you have had in a long time!

    Have more smart ways to lower your golf score? Post them in the comments section of this golf blog and tag us with your ideas on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

    Photo by Fancycrave from Pexels
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  • Posted on 19 May 2018

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    What New Golf Rules Mean for the Average Player

    How many times has your golf ball landed in the woods surrounded by debris or pine bark?

    When was the last time there was damage to the green between your ball in the hole?

    New Rules of Golf are finally being adapted for the playing public that will hopefully bring a fresh perspective to the game and an easier time for amateurs.

    You don't have to ask the golf gods for help anymore when certain types of trouble occur during your round; governing bodies have made it easier for golfers to play the game by making the Rules of Golf understandable, and easier, for the average duffer.

    The new rules of golf go into effect on January 1, 2019, so don't have any of the above mishaps until then!

    Some rules to me don't make much sense; here is one that I don't get - the average golfer wanted a better way to drop the ball - the new rule will be to drop from knee height so as to keep the randomness of the drop yet help when it comes to where the ball ultimately falls.

    Two of the most important rules changes for amateurs refers to eliminating the stroke-plus-distance penalty and a revision of a bunker rule.

    1. Instead of having to return to the tee box after a lost drive, golfers will now be able to take a drop from where they believed the ball went astray (you can now drop your ball in the fairway, in a similar area to where you lost it). In the interest of time, and moving players along on a publinks, this is a good change, however, be aware that you will incur a two-stroke penalty!

    I am not sure how many folks actually went back to the tee box in the first place, but kudos for making this rule change!

    2. If you think you will not be able to get out of a certain bunker (too high a lip, you're just not good out of bunkers, etc) you can take a drop just outside of the bunker in line with the hole...for a two-stroke penalty.

    One more rule change which I believe will help speed pace of play is that the time you spend searching for your ball is now cut from five to three minutes.

    Most golf beginners don't hit the fairway with every drive nor do they have great bunker skills, so these rule changes are sure to speed the game along and to give newbies more confidence moving forward. I applaud the governing bodies for enacting changes!

    Photo on VisualHunt
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  • Posted on 11 May 2018

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    Arnold Palmer - One Part Champagne, Three Parts Beer

    Arnold Palmer was an inspirational man to those who surrounded him as he was to the rest of the world - a local hero whose roots were in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, home of 8,000 people and Rolling Rock beer.

    What more can we learn about The King of Golf from a behind-the-scenes biographer?

    Perusing the book, "Arnold Palmer - Homespun Stories of The King", I set out to find out what turned this golfer into the memorable superstar of his time.

    At the very start of this compendium of stories written by Chris Rodell is a foreword from Gary Player which sets the tone for what is to follow; Palmer, "was equally at ease dining with kings and queens as he was having shots and beers with the gang sitting around the bar at the local volunteer fire department social hall".

    Filled with stories of the legend, "Homespun Stories of Arnold Palmer" is truly an exclusive, inside look at The King's life, his successes, and failures, which made him the hero which fans around the world admire to this day.

    Below are a few tidbits which I found interesting about Mr. Palmer.

    What Do Arnold Palmer and Mr. Rogers have in common?
    Two of the most important men in their respective fields, Arnold Palmer and Mr. Rogers, share at least one commonality which is, both were born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Did you also know that the two were classmates?

    Although I am unsure of his golf prowess, Mr. Rogers, in an episode of his highly regarded children's show, taught youngsters about the importance of practice to become a skilled golfer.

    Did you know...Arnold Palmer had a dog named Mulligan?

    Troon was one of Arnie's favorite courses but "he'd play Latrobe...every day, all the time". (Palmer related in chapter 8 how he once shot a 60 on Latrobe Country Clubs - one of his most memorable and exciting life moments).

    Arnold Palmer was a seasoned pilot. He used to "fly low to let Winnie know that he's home and to come pick him up at the airport.

    If you are a true golf fan, chances are, at one time or another, have been asked or have asked this question, "If you could play a round with anyone, who would you choose?" After reading this book, I would have to add Arnold Palmer to my short list as he embodies the spirit of the game for the "everyman" in all of us. Despite dinners with the Queen of England and Presidents of the United States (Eisenhower to Barack Obama), Mr. Palmer always remained humble, a quality sorely lacking in many of today's celebrities.

    If you are a fan of golf, you will definitely find interest in the life and times of The King - take off your golf shoes and set a spell with your can of Arnold Palmer and this enjoyable read.

    What are your thoughts on this book? Let us know what you liked most about Arnold Palmer in the comments section of this golf blog and tag us with your best Palmer stories on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

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  • Posted on 03 May 2018

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    Questions Not Normally Asked by Golf Beginners

    Learning all there is to the game of golf isn't easy - aside from attaining a repeatable swing, selecting the right golf clubs and cultivating proper etiquette, newbies need to understand how to count their shots and learn the basic rules of golf.

    Golf for Beginners understands that some of this knowledge is provided by your instructor or through the internet but there are nuances to .the game that may or may not have come up.

    Here are a few beginners (and not so newbie) questions answered:

    Should I tip at the bag drop?
    Whenever someone offers you a service, and you accept, it is customary to offer a tip. In this case, depending on your generosity, a dollar or two should suffice for basic service and more for those attendants who offer you special service.

    Where do I bring the ticket that is given to me in the Clubhouse?
    This receipt goes to the starter; it offers information such as how many players are in your group and at what tee box you report to as well as acknowledging that you paid, so keep it safe!

    In what order do I play?
    Golfers tee off in order from the back tees to the forward tees.
    When all players are starting from the first tee and on the same tee box, it is customary to throw a tee up in the air to determine the initial order of play. During a round, on the fairways, whoever is farthest back from the green hits first.

    Do I have to repair the mark I make on the fairways and greens?
    Yes, ALWAYS! If you make a divot on the fairway, there is usually a sand/grass mixture located on the golf cart - shake it on the divot. If you see ball marks on the green, take out your ball mark repair tool and fix them for the next group of golfers and to keep the course in great the very least, repair your own mark.

    How long should I take when getting a snack from the Clubhouse between the front and back 9?
    You should limit your time at the snack bar to about 5 minutes - that should give you enough time to order something from the snack bar and visit the bathroom.

    What do I do if I feel uncomfortable with the people with whom I have been paired?
    Be polite. Play your own game. Enjoy the day and your surroundings.

    Do I really need golf etiquette?
    Even if you don't know how to swing a golf club, you will appear much more like a golfer than if you do all of the "no-no's" associated with bad golf manners. For example, don't step in someone's line and don't talk in a golfers' backswing - most golf etiquette rules are just common sense so use yours when out on the course.

    If you don't know, ASK! Golfers are always willing to help bring another lover of the game into the fold.

    Golf beginners questions are always welcomed in the comments section of our golf blog and on Twitter! Tag us @Golf4Beginners.

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  • Posted on 26 Apr 2018

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    Is the TaylorMade M4 Twist Face Driver Right for You?

    The newest TaylorMade M4 Twist Face driver offers golfers:
    1. Curvature of face for shots that work back toward center of club face.
    2. Large sweet spot for off-center hits.
    3. Ability to counteract golfers’ common misses, especially from high toe and low heel impacts.
    4. Geocoustic™ engineering–geometry and acoustical engineering for forgiveness and great sound.

    TaylorMade M4 D Twist Face Driver
    When Dustin Johnson won the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, Hawaii this January, the TaylorMade M4 Twist Face driver was unveiled and golfers were immediately intrigued. After all, DJ hit 73% of fairways that week and almost made a hole-in-one on the on the 12th hole, a 433-yard par-4!

    Just because D.J., a long-hitting PGA Tour pro, used Twist Face with success, does that mean this new golf club can also help lengthen and straighten your drives?

    Golf for Beginners tested the new technology and our results are in!

    Barry, a mid-handicapper, recently tested both the M3 and M4 drivers during a club fitting at Grande Dunes Golf Performance Center.

    Barry decided it was time to replace his well worn TaylorMade R5 driver with a new club, hoping for improved distance and straighter drives. Eleven years is a long time to go without replacing clubs in your bag as cutting-edge technology really can improve an amateur's game.

    For Barry, the M4 was the right choice during both quantitative golf club and swing analysis. Twist Face also felt light and comfortable in his hands as he took his swings; Barry said he gained yardage but the most important thing was accuracy and less "military-style" golf.

    Twist Face

    Here is Barry's assessment of the M4 "D" Twist Face driver:

    "In my opinion, the new TaylorMade M3 and M4 Twist Face golf clubs are the first new technology that really works for the amateur golfer.

    Twist Face technology does what it was designed to do. It cannot change/fix a poor swing but it definitely tempers the poor result by keeping the ball in play more often.  This leads to lower scores which is something we all want. If you do connect with pure contact, the ball travels farther, picking up yardage you probably did not have with your current driver. Most of all, this driver helps you keep the ball in play which can definitely lower your score."

    Barry continued, "The M3 has all kinds of adjustable weights which I don't think I would benefit from so I chose the M4D only after hitting many balls under the guidance of a trained club fitter. I now have the correct shaft and club head. In my opinion, the TaylorMade M4 Twist Face driver is the first new technology in many years that makes sense for the average golfer."

    The "D" in the TaylorMade M4 "D" stands for "draw" and is designed to promote a draw for someone who is prone to slicing the ball. According to the TaylorMade website, "M4 D-Type features a two-tone crown cosmetic that has been altered to make the face angle appear more open, resulting in a more closed face at impact. Additionally, 41 grams of weight have been moved heel-ward to deliver draw bias." There is also a massive sweet spot on the club, a term TaylorMade called the "Hammerhead slot", which is supposed to improve distance and forgiveness.

    When I play golf with Barry, I notice that he is still getting used to the new TaylorMade M4 D; when he hits the club on the sweet spot, the ball does fly farther and straighter than I have seen when he hit his TaylorMade R5 driver. Barry only plays one 18 hole round per week and, now that the warm weather is upon us, we are going out and playing nine holes during the week. I can see the improvement in his drives so I think the swing assessment and club fitting was right on track - TaylorMade M4 D Twist Face is the right club for him.

    There is no better way to purchase a new golf club (or set) than through a club-fitting process. Take the time to be fit for your measurements (Barry's club shaft was shortened by about a half inch) and swing a few different golf clubs before going through the entire process.

    Have you tried the TaylorMade M3 or M4 drivers? Tell us what you think in the comments section of this golf blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.
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  • Posted on 18 Apr 2018


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