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Is your Child Ready to try his or her skills at Augusta National?

Is your Child Ready to try his or her skills at Augusta National?

Is your Child Ready to try his or her skills at Augusta National?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Who could forget the 2014 Drive, Chip, and Putt Championship at Augusta National?

We watched 11-year-old Leo Cheng drain a putt that Rory McIlroy would be proud of.  And 8-year-old Kelly Xu showed skills equal to Lydia Ko’s! Kelly also holds a historical record.  The first female champion at Augusta National Golf Club.

Is your Child Ready to try his or her skills at Augusta National?

Parents are keen for their children to play at Augusta National.

The Master’s Tournament, United States Golf Association (USGA), and the PGA of America officially opened the 2016 Drive, Chip, and Putt Championship.  By announcing the qualifying schedule.  For young golfers hoping to earn an invitation to next year’s National Finals at Augusta National Golf Club.

Registration for the 2016 Drive, Chip, and Putt Championship will begin on Thursday, January 22nd. Click here to register for a competition.

This youth golf development initiative will again include boys and girls ages 7-15.  They will compete in separate divisions in four age categories. In only its third year, the Drive, Chip, and Putt Championship will provide playing opportunities throughout all 50 states during May, June, July, and August. Top performers at the local level will advance through sub-regional and regional qualifiers in July/August and September. The top 80 performers – 40 boys and 40 girls – will earn an invitation to the National Finals at Augusta National on Sunday, April 3, the eve of the 2016 Masters.

The breakdown and schedule of the 2016 Drive, Chip, and Putt Championship qualifying are as follows:

Stage 1. Local Qualifying. (May-August.)

Qualifying rounds are played at 255 host sites spread throughout all 50 states. Three juniors advance in each age and gender category from every venue.

Stage 2. Sub-Regional Qualifying. (July – August.)

Two juniors advance in each age and gender category from every 50 host sites.  Spread in 45 states across the country.

Stage 3. Regional Qualifying. (September.)

One junior will advance each age and gender category.  And rounds will be played at 10 host sites in 10 defined regions.

Stage 4. Championship Final. (April 3, 2016.)

Is your Child Ready to try his or her skills at Augusta National?

The remaining 80 participants will play at the Finals at the  Augusta National Golf Club.

Click here for a full list of qualifying venues at the local and sub-regional levels.

Source: drivechipandputt.com  progolfnow.com

Pictures: Tim Evanson     Mike Mahaffie

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The young guns are coming - The "Under 25's" have something to say!

The young guns are coming – The “Under 25’s” have something to say!

The young guns are coming – The “Under 25’s” have something to say!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Many golf writers and commentators have said recently that they expect that some of the “elders’ on tour like Ernie Els, (45) Phil Mickelson(44), and Tiger Woods (39) will still contend for wins on the PGA Tour and maybe even win a Major or two.

And then there is the LPGA Tour. Again pundits are predicting good years for Christy Kerr, Inbee Park, and Stacy Lewis.

But not if the “25 and under” group has anything to say about it.

The young guns are coming - The "Under 25's" have something to say!The young guns are coming - The "Under 25's" have something to say!

Here is my list of the most promising 25 and under golfers on both the PGA and LPGA Tours for 2015.

In no particular order :

PGA.                                                                                           LPGA

1. Rory McIlroy (25)                                                             1. Michelle Wie (25)

2. Harris English (25)                                                          2. Lydia Ko (17)

3. Bud Cauley (24)                                                               3. Arioya Jutanugarn (19)

4. Matteo Manassero (21)                                                  4.  Lexi Thompson (19)

5. Danny Lee (24)                                                                5. Mika Miyazato (25)

6. Ryo Ishikawa (23)                                                          6. Cheyenne Woods (24)

7. Patrick Reed (24)                                                           7. Ashleigh Simon (25)

8. Carlos Ortiz (23)                                                            8. Charlie Hull (18)

9. Blayne Barber (25)                                                        9. Amy Yang (25)

10. Justin Thomas (21)                                                     10. Alison Lee (19)

I will revisit this list at the end of the season and see how well I did.

What are your choices for golfers 25 and under that you think will do well this year?  If you have picks that are not on my list, please post them in the comments below, and at the end of the year, we will see how we all did!

Source: Mel Sole Golf School.

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Do you like the new brown or the old green Pinehurst #2?

Do you like the new brown or the old green Pinehurst #2?

Do you like the new brown or the old green Pinehurst #2?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

There was much talk about the “new” Pinehurst #2 when the USGA hosted back-to-back Men’s & Women’s US Opens.  

Do you like the lush green courses we are all used to in the US, or do you think the time has come to recognize that water is a limited resource and we should conserve, thus making the courses more “brown”?

Do you like the new brown or the old green Pinehurst #2?

Pinehurst #2!

Here is Tim Gavrich’s view on the matter for golfvacationinsider.com

This year’s back-to-back U.S. Opens were two of my favorites ever.

Yes, Martin Kaymer sucked most of the drama out of things with his brilliant play–and Michelle Wie added a bit back–but for golf course architecture nerds like me, Pinehurst No. 2 was the star.

Why?

Because I’m down with brown.

If you watched coverage of the men’s and/or women’s U.S. Opens, you probably noticed that Pinehurst No. 2 was a lot less green than in past years.

Contrary to what we’ve grown accustomed to here in the USA, I think that’s a great thing.

Let me explain:

When Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw worked on Pinehurst No. 2 in 2010 and 2011, they were not adding their own marks to the course so much as peeling away the last few decades of architectural neglect that had compromised some of the brilliance of a course that Donald Ross spent the last third of his life refining.

No. 2 had always had its trademark green complexes, where the putting surfaces often drop off on all sides to fairway chipping areas, but thick Bermuda rough and overwatering had slimmed the fairways down to a fraction of their intended size.

Not only did Coore and Crenshaw remove more than 30 acres of rough—replacing it with the sandy scrub you saw—they cut the number of sprinkler heads in the fairways by more than half, despite dramatically increasing fairway acreage.

That’s why you noticed the fairways were brown up the sides and only a pale green up the middle. That’s by design—the USGA’s, Coore and Crenshaw’s, and Donald Ross’.

In other words, Pinehurst No. 2 now plays a lot more like the great links courses of Great Britain and Ireland, where golf was born.

So why did so many golfers think Pinehurst looked “ugly” and “awful”?

Blame Augusta National.

Augusta is known as the most immaculately maintained golf course in the world. And it’s no wonder—they have the biggest maintenance budget of any golf course in the world by such a large margin it’s scary.

And yet, many public course players and private club types demand that their courses emulate Augusta because they think that’s “how a golf course is supposed to look.”

So superintendents have been commanded to overwater courses, producing excessively soft conditions that kill the opportunity for bump-and-run in favor of the much less interesting “flop-and-splat.”

That’s no fun and, what’s worse, it’s expensive.

In a world where water is going to be more and more important to conserve, golf courses that learn to live on less will thrive.

Pinehurst No. 2 will be one of them, having cut their annual water usage from 55 million gallons pre-restoration to just 15 million gallons.

Not only does this have both a positive financial and environmental impact, it allows golfers to play the type and variety of shots that makes the game so endlessly intriguing.

Next month, the golf world will watch as another lovely blonde, Royal Liverpool Golf Club, hosts the Open Championship.

Tiger Woods won the 2006 Open there during a summer drought when the entire course was brown and the fairways were running almost as fast as the greens.

Woods’ display of shotmaking that week was one of the best in history, as he built up a two-shot victory employing all sorts of punch and bump-and-run shots at the course known as Hoylake.

Again, this is what I’d like to see more of here in North America.

But what do you think? Do you enjoy courses that are a little brown on the edges, rather than green and lush throughout?

Source: golfvacationinsider.com   Tim Gavrich

Pictures: Mike Renlund

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What an incredible year for the LPGA - Top 10 Moments!

What an incredible year for the LPGA – Top 10 Moments!

What an incredible year for the LPGA – Top 10 Moments!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

I think 2014 was the very best year for the LPGA.  Excitement with a new star (Not Lydia Ko but Lucy Li), excitement for an old star (Julie Inkster), and a  confirmation of a predicted star! (Michelle Wie)  I really enjoy watching the LPGA tournaments, and these ladies can play!  Here are the top 10 moments of 2014 as described by golf writer Beth Ann Nichols.

What an incredible year for the LPGA - Top 10 Moments!

1. MICHELLE WIE WINS THE BIG ONE:

The fact that Wiesy triumphed at a historic U.S. Women’s Open where men and women shared the same stage for the first time only made her maiden major all the more perfect. Watching Wie bear hug that trophy was special for all those who have shared her journey for the past 15 years.

 

What an incredible year for the LPGA - Top 10 Moments!

2. STACY LEWIS SWEEPS THE POSTSEASON:

The gritty Texan became the first American since Betsy King in 1993 to win the Vare Trophy, Rolex Player of the Year, and money titles. Lewis’s ability to put herself in contention week in and week out has filled an important void at a critical time for the LPGA.

 

What an incredible year for the LPGA - Top 10 Moments!

3. LYDIA KO WINS THREE TIMES AND A MILLION:

At age 17, Ko is on pace to put together an unprecedented career on the LPGA. She won three times as a rookie (giving her five total LPGA titles) and took home $1 million at the end of the inaugural CME Race to the Globe.

(Photo by Darren Carroll/Getty Images)

4. CHRISTINA KIM’S EMOTIONAL VICTORY IN MEXICO:

One of the LPGA’s most beloved characters, Kim’s comeback victory at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, was, for many, the season’s most fulfilling moment. Kim wrote a revealing blog in 2012 about her battle with depression and suicidal thoughts. We won’t soon forget that smile she wore in Mexico, nor the sombrero.

 

5. WE LOVE LUCY:

The early star of Pinehurst No. 2 was Lucy Li, the 11-year-old prodigy who melted our hearts with her patriotic ruffles and grown-up game. She was a media darling, answering questions about her round in between licks of an ice cream bar.

To see the next 5 of the top 10 moments on the 2014 LPGA Tour, click here.

Source: Golf Week Beth Ann Nichols

Pictures: Flickr  Keith Allison

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Business tips for women who play golf.

Business tips for women who play golf.

Business tips for women who play golf.

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

I love teaching women golfers. They tend to listen better than men. 

I also think women who golf can do a lot of business on the course,  but some do not know how to go about it.  Here are some thoughts from Nancy Berkley on this very thought-provoking subject.

Business tips for women who play golf.

Looks like a great drive!

Almost every book written for women golfers ” from beginners to experts ” includes advice about how to use golf to advance your professional career. Here’s my advice, and it may not be what you expect.

First let’s talk about accepting an invitation from a business colleague, client or customer to play golf

Tip Number One:

Be prepared to stand out in the crowd. At most corporate golf events and even on most courses, there will not be many women. You will be noticed. For starters: Wear an outfit that you are comfortable in. Confidence is very important in the game of golf.
Remember: When you bend down to tee your ball up on the tee, three other golfers will see your backside. Be brave and check that view in a mirror. You may decide to wear a longer skirt or perhaps even a shorter one! (If you are a left-handed golfer, you can relax. Most tee boxes are set up for right-handed players.)

Tip Number Two:

Know your comfort zone. That means play in situations where you will not feel intimidated. If you are a super golfer with a handicap of 10 or less ” only 10 percent of women golfers are in that zone, you should accept an invitation to play golf with anyone anywhere. Your male business colleagues or clients will love to play with you, especially when you tee it up from their tees.

At the other extreme, if you have played only a few times and are still whiffing or dubbing balls, my suggestion is to decline the invitation until you improve your shot-making. I would make an exception if you are invited by another beginner golfer and together you can manage your expectations. I would also probably make an exception to the comfort-zone-rule if you are invited to a corporate golf event that is advertised as “fun” and uses a scramble format.

Most women golfers fall in between the extremes. So how good do you have to be for business golf?

Here are my guidelines: Most-of-the-time, you should be able to hit a ball about 100 yards off the tee, hit a middle iron (or hybrid club) at least 75 yards on the fairway, hit out of a bunker successfully two out of three times, know how to reach a green when you are 50 yards from the flagstick, take only one practice swing, three-putt ” or less on most greens, know proper green etiquette, and know when to give up and put the ball in your pocket.

Most important: Take this pace-of-play test on a day when your course is not busy. If you can play nine holes just by yourself and finish the nine holes in 90 minutes or less ” or 18 holes by yourself in less than three hours, you are good enough to accept most business golf invitations. Even if your game is not great that day, you will not slow your foursome or those behind you. Unless you are playing in serious competition, if you are having a very bad hole it is usually okay to pick up your ball and hope for miracles on the next tee.

Tip Number Three:

Know when to talk about business. Believe it or not, men seldom talk shop on the course. So, if you are playing with men do not talk about the office or your new product or the next sale until the round is finished ” maybe over a drink on the 19th hole. Build the relationship on the course, but make the sale the next day.

The business-talk rule is different if you are playing with women. We are very busy. We love to multi-task. If we can play golf and talk business at the same time, it’s usually a win-win.

Let’s move on to situations where YOU do the inviting.

Business tips for women who play golf.

For another 3 more tips from this article, go here.

Source: Cybergolf.com   Nancy Berkley

Pictures: US Army   Rhys A

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