Get Motivated!

52.1244606400.rudyLast week I attended the Get Motivated! seminar in Raleigh, NC.  Aside from the cheesy motivational music, fireworks, and Disney World prize dance-offs, the speakers were great.  Some of my favs were Rudy Guiliani, Lou Holtz, Krish Dhanam, Colin Powell, and Steve Forbes.

Some quotes I jotted down:

“Don’t look at what you have lost but what you have left” – Dr. Robert Schuller

“Know where you are going and you will have a better chance of getting there” – Rudy Guiliani

“Be there for others when things go wrong” – Rudy Guiliani

“The Edge: where you think your limit is and where you limit actually is” – Krish Dhanam

“Political correctness will be the death of this nation” – Krish Dhanam

“You cannot have hope without gratitude of your heart” – Krish Dhanam

“Your comfort zone is the enemy of success” – Brian Tracy

“Education begins in the home. It doesn’t matter where you start.  What matters is having perseverance, passion, high standards, and hard work” – Colin Powell

“Everyone needs: Something to love, something to do, something to believe in, and something to hope for” – Lou Holtz

“Everything starts with a dream” – Lou Holtz

Hitting From a Downhill Lie

Can’t seem to make solid contact when faced with a downhill lie?  If you don’t adjust your setup you will likely hit behind the ball.  Make sure you remember these tips when hitting from a downhill lie:

1.  Shots from a downhill lie tend to have a lower tragectory.  Use a club with higher loft to get the ball in the air.

2.  Take your normal stance and then tilt your shoulders so they are parallel to the slope you are hitting off of.  For right-handed players, your left shoulder should be lower than your right for a downhill lie (opposite for uphill lies).  Tilting your shoulders downwards creates a steeper swing which will prevent your clubface from hitting behind the ball.

3.  Swing with the slope.

4.  Depending on the severity of the slope, it may help to widen your stance to help maintain your balance.

Before you even hit a ball…

When heading out to play or practice, many of us take a few practice swings and start hitting balls. This is can turn out to be a big mistake!  Golfers are athletes. Warming up your body is just as important as stretching before a soccer or basketball game. While golf may seem fairly relaxed, the golf swing is very complex and involves the entire body.

Here are a few stretches I like to do before a few practice swings:

-  Hamstring stretch: You can do this by propping your foot up on a bench or the golf cart and reach for your toes, or just simply grab your club and reach down towards your toes (this is just a simple toe touch). Hold these stretches for 10-15 seconds.

-  Stretch the hips: Simply cross your leg on top of the other and push your knee down until you feel a good stretch (make sure to keep your back upright and your ankle on top of your knee).

- Loosen the shoulders: Grab a golf club and hold it a little wider than shoulder width apart. Hold it behind your back and try and lift upward, you will feel this stretch in the front of your shoulders.  After that, set the club on your shoulders behind your head and rotate your shoulders back and forth. This stretch warms up your shoulders as well as your back.

-Don’t forget the forearms: This is the easiest of them all.  Just hold your hand out in front of you and pull your palm toward you, one hand at a time. Hold this stretch for 10-15 seconds.  Next, do the same stretches downward; just push the top of your hand downward.

- Twists: Place your club behind your shoulders, twist at the waist.  Then, get into a golf stance (while keeping the club behind your shoulders) and twist back and forth from this position.

These are some simple, but important, stretches that take very little time.  Next time you go out to the course try these stretches and see what happens!

Go Out and Compete!

Golf is a great game to play just for fun, but sometimes a little competition is in order. No matter your skill level, competitive play tests your game and can lead to some great improvements. Here are a few ideas to get you going, whether it’s competing with friends or flying solo.

  1. Challenge yourself on the golf course even when playing alone. Keep track of how many fairways and greens you hit. Track these numbers each time you go out and play to see how you are improving.
  2. Choose your favorite putting drill.  Set a goal and achieve it before you leave the course that day. For example, try to make 10 4-footers in a row.
  3. Find friends. Gather up some of your pals or check with your local golf course to see if others are seeking golf partners. Make it even more fun by making a friendly wager. See who hits the most greens, hits the longest drives or putts with the fewest strokes. Ever heard of Bingo Bango Bongo? Give it a try.
  4. Local or statewide competitions are great options for intermediate skill levels. Many states have great organizations, such as the FWSGA (Florida Women’s State Golf Association) or the IGF (Indiana Golf Foundation).
  5. National organizations are great for more advanced players. Take a look at the USGA, PGA Jr. Series, and the AJGA that host tournaments all over the country.

What about you? Do you have any fun ways of seeking competition?

Don’t Blow It

Here is another tip courtesy of PGA Master Professional Jerry Tucker. This Tucker tip: how to work with the wind.

Wind_croppedHow much does the wind affect the flight (and roll) of a golf ball? Obviously, how far and how high you hit your shots will help determine that answer, but the pro’s do have a general rule of thumb. To “let the wind be your friend,” simply add or subtract one yard for every mile per hour the wind is helping or hurting you. For example, if you are 150 yards from the flag with a 20 mph headwind, your effective yardage is 170 yards.

Also, notice how the wind affects the ball after it lands on the green. Landing on a fairly firm green, my average 7-iron shot would only roll about five feet against the wind, but 40-50 feet downwind, a difference of 12-15 yards!

The Right Ball

**NotUsedGolfBallHave you heard about the new magazine “Ladies Links Fore Golf”? If there’s one thing we love, it’s finding great resources that help better our golf games and our lives. LL4G seems to do just that. Take a look at their website where you can view a full-version of the magazine, read helpful blogs and more. While you’re there, be sure to check out the blog post “Do You Use the Right Golf Ball?” by Teresa Zamboni, LPGA Class A professional. She says:

Most golfers use whichever ball is in their bag or ones that they find on the course. The golf ball makes a big difference in your game…. The perfect ball would give us good distance off the tee and great feel around the greens. Only you can determine this, so take the time and experiment to see which golf ball suits your game. There is one that is best for you!

This brings up a great question: what ball do you use? Are you a Precept lady? Or maybe Titleist is more your style? What made you choose the ball you did?

Summer Reading List

Summer is near, especially for all you college students out there. Soon enough it will be the perfect time of the year to kick back, lay at the beach and catch up with friends. While enjoying the rays, also be sure to enjoy a good read. Here are a few books we recommend for your summer reading list…some will even help better your golf game even as you soak up the sun:

Pretty girl at beachBooks for Golfers:

Every Shot Must Have a Purpose: How GOLF54 Can Make You a Better Player
by Lynn Marriott and Pia Nilsson with Ron Sirak

The Game Before the Game: The Perfect 30-Minute Practice
by Lynn Marriott and Pia Nilsson with Ron Sirak

Golf is Not a Game of Perfect
by Bob Rotella with Bob Cullen

Think Like a Champion
by Donald J. Trump

Book for parents of golfers:

Parenting Your Superstar:
How to Help Your Child Balance Achievement and Happiness

by Bob Rotella and Linda K. Bunker

Books for fun:

Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Open: An Autobiography
by Andre Agassi

Water for Elephants
by Sara Gruen

To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee

So what’s on your summer reading list?

Golf Tips and Techniques Via YouTube

Whether you are a seasoned pro or new to the game, every golfer can use a few good tips. We have compiled a list of four YouTube videos that can help improve your mental game, swing and putting. Plus, we threw in a blooper video just for fun. Take a look, try the tips and see how your golf game can improve.

wedgegrooveBe sure to share your own tips as well. Have a masterful way to beat the sand trap? How about a proven technique to add distance to your drive? We’d love to hear it!

3 Mental Tips to Improve Your Game
Swinging Within Yourself
Basic Putting Techniques
Golf Bloopers

Putting Against the Grain

PuttingHere is another tip courtesy of PGA Master Professional Jerry Tucker. This Tucker tip: learning to read the grain of the grass to better your putting.

If it’s winter and you’re playing golf well south of the Mason-Dixon line, you desperately need to understand grain. Grain is the way the grass lays, the direction it is pulled due to the sun, water flow, gravity, etc. It is most prevalent in Bermuda grass, but is certainly exists in the North, as well.

The two main ways to determine the grain are to look at the hole, and to check the color and texture of the green. When you look at the hole, especially in the afternoon on a Bermuda grass green, if the brownish jagged edge of the cup is on the west side, then that’s the way the grain is growing. If you then look to the west, the grass would appear whitish and shiny. If you look behind you to the east, the grass will appear rougher and dark green. If you’re putting west, your putt will be 25-50% faster than a putt with no grain, and that much slower going east. While most grain in Florida goes with the slope, the grain will tend to be westward on a fairly level surface.

Jerry Tucker was twice named by Golf Digest as a top 100 teacher, has been a four-time South Florida player of the year, played 13 major championships and set 19 course records, as well as achieving several other accomplishments and accolades.

Golf Stretches You Should Know About!

Before you strike a golf ball, it is important to remember to stretch! Why? Well, consider this:

  • - Before you even begin swinging, many of your muscles are under a lot of stress (think of the position of your body at address).
  • - Also consider you are about to swing a club at  80+ mph, while maintaining this seemingly awkward position.
  • - Plus, stretching decreases your chance of injury and helps promote a more fluid golf swing.

I love this quick video from EliteStretching: Stretches for Women Golfers.  Take a look and give these easy stretches a try the next time you step up to the tee box.

Do you have any other stretches you do before or after a round of golf?  Let our readers know!