Dancing on the Green

“You’re on the dance floor,” is music to a golfer’s ears. You’re on the green!

Watch an experienced foursome, each moving about the green with quiet dispatch, precision and cooperation. It’s a beautiful thing – to the players and to the golfers behind them. Etiquette ensures fair opportunity for all players and moves play along.

Miss Manners of Golf? Please, not me. But knowledge and courtesy on the course are always prized. I’ll never master golf, but I can practice and become a good partner on the “dance floor”! Here are suggestions.

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When you get to the green

  • Don’t step on anyone’s putting line.
  • Ball farthest away putts first.
  • Mark your ball if you’re not first to putt, or if you wish to line it up.
  • Look for dent or ding left by your ball and fix it. Repair other divots too.

Flagsmanship

  • Take flag out and put it back nice and straight. It’s fragile around the cup.
  • Place flag GENTLY out of all golfers peripheral vision and putting lines.
  • Occasionally a player will request that you tend the flag. Do this correctly and you’ll score extra etiquette points. More on this in a later post!
  • No scooping the ball out of the cup with your putter head. Ouch!

Putting in Progress!

  • Stand out of the peripheral vision of person putting. You can “go to school” on someone’s putt with a similar line to yours but don’t get your education at her expense.
  • Don’t wiggle, waggle or whisper, or crinkle the wrapper of your granola bar. Or anything like that!
  • Keep your shadow to yourself.
  • Be ready, by lining up your putt while others are doing the same.
  • Putt-outs are allowable and courteous when you’re only a few inches from the cup and it won’t interfere with another’s ball. Ask, “Okay if I putt out?

Loiterers will be shot at – by the folks behind!

  • Put clubs at back of green or on side where you’ll exit to next tee. ALWAYS think of how to save steps. Never leave clubs at front of green.
  • Park cart so it is on shortest line to next tee.
  • When you’re finished putting, move to the flagstick, ready to pick it up and replace it in hole after everyone is done.
  • As you leave take a look over your shoulder for forgotten clubs.
  • Record your score when you get to the next tee.

That’s it – some smooth moves around the green.  Do you have more?

 

Mind Management in Golf

Holistic or half-baked, savvy or silly, whatever your opinion, the coaching methods of two women have taken the LPGA by storm.  Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott have the pros singing and “snowboarding” on the Tour.
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Both have serious golf backgrounds.  Nilsson spent 5 years on the LPGA tour, 10 years as head coach of the Swedish Women’s National team, and was Annika Sorenstam’s long time mentor.  Marriott worked for years as the LPGA’s director of teacher training.  Together they teach a “whole person” approach, going beyond stance and swing to focus on a player’s spiritual, social, physical, mental and emotional needs.
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Brittany Lincicome sings and whistles Keith Urban country songs after each shot. Suzann Pettersen counts out loud. Italy’s Giulia Sergas pretends to snowboard.  Others write inspiring words in their visors or recite funny movie lines.  It’s a whole new world of mind management in golf.  Read all about it in 7/15/09  Wall Street Journal article.

Who Needs a Practice Golf Swing?!

It’s a million dollar question. Why wouldn’t everyone take a practice golf swing before they hit a shot if they knew it would help their games? Over the years I’ve heard every excuse in the book as to why golfers don’t take one. If I told you that it would do your swing a lot of good to take a practice – would you take one? There are many reasons why you should.
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You perform an important pre-swing routine before you hit each golf shot. You determine your club, the distance from the hole, the type of shot you want to hit based on the lie and maybe the weather conditions that might affect the ball. You check set up, alignment and aim. Incorporating a practice swing into your routine allows you to “rehearse” what the swing feels like before there is a ball in front of you.

Here’s what I’ve been hearing about practice swings!

I don’t want to waste my good swing.
The practice swing is always better than the ball swing, so if we take one or two good practice swings and then one up-tight-not-as-good ball swing, we’ve just improved! Two good practice swings outweigh the one not-so-hot ball swing, and over time you will see your skill progress.
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In addition, your practice swing can be slower and you can think about the details of the swing better when there isn’t a ball in front of you. This is your time to process how to make the proper swing.

When there are people behind us on the course, I don’t take a practice swing because it slows me down.
Golf etiquette according to the PGA stipulates that from the time you select your club until you actually hit your shot, you should take no more than 45 seconds. At a driving range, practice hitting golf balls with a practice swing and see how long it really takes you. Then, on the course, you won’t be so self-conscious about how long it takes and won’t worry about the group waiting behind you. Everyone plays by the 45-second rule.
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I sometimes take a practice swing but then I get too tired because I hit so many shots.
Just think of the practice strokes you are taking as conditioning for golf! Over time, you may be tired only after the 6th hole, and then after the 8th hole, and then maybe not tired at all. That’s progress.

Remember you are just trying to tell your swing what you want it to do, so always take a practice stroke! That’s the path to improvement!

Women on Golf Course – Suzy Whaley

Suzy Whaley became the first woman in 58 years to qualify for a PGA Tour event (2003). She’s a top female instructor and an active and eloquent promoter of women’s golf.
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In PGA Magazine, Whaley writes that for many women, golf is a 5,000-calorie helping of Hungarian goulash.  Her article is aimed at instructors and others interested in growing women’s golf, but her perceptions ring true for us recreational players too.  Focus on playing moves instead of swinging moves is the main idea, and it’s an interesting approach to finding success on the course.  Read Suzy Whaley’s article.

Test Golf Clubs at the Cluboratory

My driver and I picked up this spring where we’d left off last fall – the slice into the woods, the less-than-lovable loft, a seed of doubt.  After 4 years of togetherness, I dreamed of a new driver in my hands and an improved trajectory for my balls.
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The best way to select a new driver is to test golf clubs – and Miles of Golf Cluboratory is a place to do just that.  Testing is where the customer finds the club she likes.  Fitting is where the specifications of that club – loft, flex of shaft shaft length, etc. – are determined to be correct for her and her unique swing.  Today I’m interested in the testing phase.

The CluBORatory
The Cluboratory (think “laBORatory” with a British accent) is a sheltered, 2-bay area at Miles of Golf where a golfer can try the latest clubs under the guidance of a trained club fitter.  It faces onto the range where the full trajectory of the ball can be seen, a sort of “field of dreams” where everything seems possible.

Getting Started
My visit begins at the Miles of Golf shop counter where I fill out a Player Data Sheet – basic info like current clubs, average score, common ball flight.  I meet my club fitter, Allen Dante, and we head to the Cluboratory.  After a brief chat about my goals, he lines up several drivers for me to try.
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In the Swing of Things
I’ve brought along my current driver and hit a few balls to warm up.  Then on to the demos, the first of which is not for me. Allen watches my swing, hands me another and stands back to observe.  He makes an adjustment to a third club and after a few swings, I’m in love.  Face tape shows a good contact point and confirms what I can feel – this club fits my particular swing. I try out a few more drivers, but none quite replicates that all-is-right-in-the-world feeling of the 3rd demo driver.

At this point, I’ve hit about 50 balls, spent about 35 minutes and have an interesting prospect in front of me – a club I might not have walked in and selected in the shop.  Allen makes a note of it on my Player Data Sheet and we call it a day.  I want to think about my prospective purchase – and indeed I do, with every subsequent swing of my old driver!
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If I return to Miles of Golf to buy the club, the store staff can refer to my data sheet, produce the right club and credit the Cluboratory testing fee toward my purchase price.

About Testing Clubs at the Cluboratory

  • Bring along your current club(s)
  • Bring along a friend too if you’d like
  • Plan to hit about 50 balls over 30 – 45 minutes
  • It’s first-come, first-served – and less busy on weekdays
  • Testing clubs costs $25 and is refundable with the purchase of new clubs

After TESTING new irons and woods, FITTING is a logical next step.  Clubs are precisely fit to the golfer and her swing.  Loft, flex of shaft, shaft length, etc are examined.  There is a  $25  fee to be fit for woods and $75 to be fit for irons, both of which are refundable with purchase of clubs.  Miles of Golf is one of the largest custom club fitting golf shops in the country and has been recognized for its expertise.  Read more about club fitting.

Power of Positive Thinking

womens golf power of positive thinkingEver ask yourself why you have golf holes that you love and golf holes that you hate at the golf course you play most often? Do you wonder why you keep hitting it in that same bunker? Ever wonder why you can’t hit it over the water on the 18th hole at Michigan? What about those pine trees that always swallow your ball on #1 at Georgetown?
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All of these questions can be answered if you look at your mental golf game. I think it is comical when I hear a player say, “I knew I was going to do that”. My comment back would be “then why did it happen?”

The power of your thoughts made it happen. We often tell ourselves what not to do instead of telling ourselves what we want to do with the golf ball. The next time you have to hit a ball over the water, why don’t you keep the same favorite ball you have been playing with instead of swapping it out for the “water ball”? Labeling it the “water ball” usually means one thing for that poor little white ball – it is going to get wet! Why don’t you try this exercise the next time you are faced with this situation – tell yourself where you positively want to hit that ball and say “watch this”!
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Think, see, and feel what you want to do with the golf ball, instead of what you fear you might do or have done in the past. It’s the healthier way to play this game and you will be surprised by the outcomes! Would we ever drive a car if we thought we would get in an accident every time we got behind the wheel? Probably not, but we continue to get in accidents on the course because of the way we approach the shots mentally. We approach with fear. Change your thinking process to something positive and the outcome has to change.
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Next time you are playing your least favorite hole, tell yourself what you want to do with the ball, pick the smallest target possible and say “watch this”! Those are confident words and need to be spoken with conviction either out loud or in your head. Whether the outcome is what you want it to be isn’t the important thing. What you believe you can do, is!

Miles of Golf Women’s Golf Club Formed

Miles of Golf helps golfers play better and enjoy the game more with one of the state’s best practice facilities, golf shops, and teaching academies (the Kendall Academy). The Miles of Golf Women’s Club looks at practice, golf gear, and instruction from a women’s point of view with the goal of making our lady customers better players. Information pertinent to women golfers is sent monthly along with special promotional coupons. Details:
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1. Monthly email – Women’s Club special coupons, articles of interest to women golfers, local golf news, and Miles of Golf news.

2. Miles of Golf Range Debit Cards – Holders of the debit card receive a 20% bonus when purchasing range balls. Sign up for the Women’s Club and receive a $10 initial balance on this card. In addition, ladies rates are discounted 50% from 11-1 each week day. Come into Miles of Golf to receive your $10 balance.

3. Players Club – Members of the Women’s Club receive an additional $25 on their range card when they sign up for the Players Club. This is a private range membership that allows players to practice all parts of their game: full shots, chipping, sand play, and putting. The membership costs $150 and includes a $50 range card plus many perks including 2 for 1 golf at many local courses.

4. Golf Shop – Every month members of the Women’s Club receive two coupons, one for ladies’ gear and one for apparel. These specials are available to members only.

5. Instruction -Members receive  Partners Discount on Kendall Academy instruction (best rate available).

To sign up for the Miles of Golf Women’s Club and hopefully improve your golf game, simply email us at womensclub@milesofgolf.com along with your name. Your Miles of Golf account will be tagged as a Women’s Club member and you will automatically be eligible for the above benefits.
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