The Natural Way to grip the club - by Jessica Korda.

The Natural Way to grip the club – by Jessica Korda.

The Natural Way to grip the club – by Jessica Korda.

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!

Jessica Korda is one of the most popular players on the LPGA Tour and also one of the longest hitters.  Her strong play has had her represent both the Czech Republic and the United States in International Competition.  In this article, Jessica explains the way she grips the club in the most natural way possible.  I think this will help you grip the club more naturally as well!

Use these tips from LPGA Pro Jessica Korda to rip your driver by using your body’s natural positioning.

1. Stand behind the ball and grip the club with your left hand only. It’s simple: Just grab the handle without looking. This sets your left hand in its natural power position. Wrist angle varies from player to player—I like to keep my wrist slightly bent.

 
The Natural Way to grip the club - by Jessica Korda.

2. Depending on your anatomy, your left wrist will be either flat or flexed (like mine). What’s important is that you maintain your left wrist position as you swing. Changing it disrupts your hitting instinct. Take note of the flex and accept it.

3. Put your right hand on the club and take your address, maintaining the position of your left wrist. Take a last look at the target and start back. Have no fear—you’re one step away from catching the ball smack on the sweet spot!

4. As you swing to the top, hold the left-wrist angle you established when you first gripped the club with your left hand. Don’t manipulate your left wrist or “flatten” it like many experts advise. Trust me: When it comes to big hits, your body knows best!

Source: Jessica Korda

Pictures: Joshua Paul  David Walberg
 
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Women at the Helm #4. Diana Murphy.

Continuing our series of “Women at the Helm” we are happy to announce that  #4 is future President of the USGA Diana Murphy.  She will officially take over the post in February, 2016.  Diana joins Molly Soloman, Condoleezza Rice and Suzy Waley (who incidentally is now Secretary of the USGA and could be a future President in 2019)  as another honoree to our “Women at the Helm” list!  Thanks to Chris Chaney, Wrong Fairway of the Back9Network for this interesting report! Diana Murphy
Murphy has a long and encompassing résumé that includes her current role as a USGA vice president and Executive Committee member. She chairs the Championship and Compensation committees and serves on the Audit and Corporate Partners committees at the USGA. Murphy will be the second female to lead the governing body, joining Judy Bell who served her term as president in 1996-97. Murphy’s husband, Reg, served as USGA president in 1994-95.
To read the official announcement of Diana Murphy’s position, go here! Source : Chris Chaney, Wrong Fairway of the Back9Network Picture : Links Magazine  USGA

Ladies, which set of tees should you be playing from?

I have played with young women and older women for fifty years but have given little thought to their set of tees. Thanks to SPH at golfwrx for this no-brainer idea.
Different ages and different abilities should not determin which tee players should play from.  How far each players hits it should be the determining factor.

Different ages and different abilities should not determine which tees players should play from. How far each player hits the ball should be the determining factor.

Women, regardless of age, generally play golf from the red tees. Men usually play from the blue or white tees, unless they are 60 years of age which entitles them to move up to the forward yellow tees. (that age is variable at many clubs and recently, age has given way to handicap as the indicator of who gets to move forward)   These ‘senior tees’ allow older golfers, who don’t have the clubhead speed of the young guys, to advance to the green quicker, resulting in a more enjoyable game for all.
But what about the mature female golfer?  Have you watched a 25 year old woman tee off, followed by her mother or grandmother?  Makes sense to designate different tees for different golfers regardless of age or gender!
Here are my thoughts on this subject after a long and fruitful discussion with my wife.  Players should choose which tees to play based on how far they hit the ball.  There should be no gender or handicap involved. An 18 handicap man is going to shoot lower than an 18 handicap woman if they play from the same tees. (proponents for tees based on handicap only, would put the women at a distinct disadvantage.)  A 50 year old man is going to hit the ball further than a 50 year old woman from the same tees. (proponents of no gender tees would again put the women at a distinct disadvantage.) I hit my drive 280 yards and my 6 iron 180 yards, so I can play a 460 yard par 4 with a drive and 6 iron.  My wife, hits her drive 190 yards and her 6 iron 120 yards.  So she should play the same hole at 310 yards.  We now both have a chance of competing equally against each other!
For this to work in the real world may be a little difficult.  Instead of gender tees or handicap tees, let’s talk about percentage tees.  Based on the description above, if my wife took 67% of the hole’s yardage that I am playing, and teed off from that distance, we would be pretty equal. So the next time we go out to play, if I decide to play the Blue tees, which at Pawleys Plantation in SC, are 6522, my wife should be playing the course at 4370 yards, which is 67% of 6522. (my yardage). But if she plays from the regular Red Tees at PP which are 4976 yards, she is giving up over 600 yards!  There is no contest, I would beat her 80% of the time based on our current handicaps. Not fair!
I know this all sounds too complicated, but it is fairly simple really.  As long as each person knows how far they hit their driver and 6 iron, you can work out the percentage diference and apply it to the course you are playing.  The more I write about this, the more I like it!   OK, let me have it with the comments.  Keep it nice!
P.S. Sigh up for golfwrx.com, its free and is a great site for golfers!
Pictures : Neville Wootton

Who is the Greatest Teenage Golfer of All Time?

If you answered Lydia Ko, congratulations. But I’m afraid many people would quickly name Tiger Woods or maybe Jack Nicklaus. Because the media gives much more coverage to the men’s golf, a phenomenal, history-making golfer is “falling through the cracks in this conversation” as Shane Bacon says for Fox Sports. Lydia Ko became the youngest winner of a major championship on the same weekend in September where the men were playing the next-to-last FedEx Cup event, the women’s Solheim cup was being played out in Europe, and it was the start of the NFL season. So, yes, there was a lot of activity vying for the golfer’s attention. However, you’d think that Ko’s accomplishment would have been discussed on TV shows the next day and that she would be at the top of Golf Internet news, etc. Besides winning the Evian Championship with a final round of 63(!) to become the youngest Major winner ever, Ko ranked No. 1 woman golfer in the world at 17 years of age. At that point, she had racked up numerous wins as a professional and also as an Amateur, since age 14. Shane Bacon of Fox Sports has an interesting take on the lack of attention to Lydia Ko and lets us know why this is a big mistake.

The story is everything you would think the mainstream media would want — a teenage superstar winning a major in record-setting fashion, the face of women’s golf emerging as not only a threat to win each week but now adding a major to her trophy case. So why don’t people seem to care?

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Not many people noticed when Lydia Ko won her first major last weekend — and that’s a shame.
Jean-Pierre Clatot / Getty Images
We are in the closing stretches of the 2015 PGA Tour season, one for the ages when you think about the majors and the names who broke out, and one we will look back on as the year when things in men’s golf changed. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were far from the headlines, as Jordan Spieth,Jason Day and Rickie Fowler had breakout years and were part of a group of 20-somethings who are taking over golf. But one name who will fall through the cracks in this conversation, as it always seems to happen in sports, is the one who was the most impressive. Lydia Ko, who is still just 18, won her first major championship on Sunday, becoming the youngest to do so in the modern era of golf and finishing it off with a jaw-dropping 63. The story is everything you would think the mainstream media would want — a teenage superstar winning a major in record-setting fashion, the face of women’s golf emerging as not only a threat to win each week but now adding a major to her trophy case. So why don’t people seem to care? Why isn’t it a talking point on sports shows? Why are people ignoring this incredible accomplishment in an era where youth is everything in our world? I asked people on Twitter this question Monday. They mentioned the start of the NFL season (OK, fine), the fact that the event was played overseas (still not totally buying that, but I get the time difference), and even gave predictably disappointing answers like she’s not American or the fact that it’s “women’s golf.” To me, none of these answers is acceptable. Who cares if Ko isn’t American?! Rory McIlroy isn’t American, and when he wins we put him on the cover of our sports magazines and compare his stats to those of Tiger and Jack. When Jason Day won at Whistling Straits, we anointed him one of the new Big Three and discussed whether he might sneak off with Player of the Year honors ahead of Spieth, especially if he closes things out well in the playoffs. To me, not being an American shouldn’t be an issue in 2015. We love athletes who can do amazing things. Usain Bolt catches our attention. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic capture the national media in a U.S. Open final, and Ko is winning major championships at age 18. She’s already the greatest teenage golfer, male or female, in the history of golf, and now she’s winning the biggest of the big with final rounds that match what Johnny Miller did at Oakmont back in 1973. We as golf fans, and sports fans, need to do better on this front. Ko is making history. It’s our responsibility to start paying attention. With that, mailbag time. Here we go. To see the comments in Shane Bacon’s mailbag, go here! Source : Shane Bacon   Fox Sports Pictures : Jean-Pierre Clatot / Getty Images   Singapore Sports Council

Save your Skin! Sun Sleeves for Golf.

I have just had dinner with a good friend who got ‘zapped’ at the dermatologist AGAIN for pre-cancerous lesions on arms, hands and face. My own experiences are similar, especially as a long-time club Pro in South Africa, in the years before sunblock products were deemed necessary. You’ve seen the female Asian Tour Players on TV and some of the male players, wearing lightweight “sun sleeves” on their arms while playing tournament golf. They wear them, not only for health reasons, but to prevent those brown “age” spots, which they consider unsightly. Recently, I came across something new from Eclipse Sun Products, which offers Sun Sleeves for full hand and arm UPF 50+ sun protection. These are made of high-tech performance fabrics, and are said to be more effective than sun lotions in protecting your skin. Check out this affordable new skin saving product at www.eclipsesunsleeves.com Source : Mel Sole Golf School.  

Are You Man Enough to Play at a Women Only Golf Course?

There is only one women only golf course in North America and it is in Canada. It is called “The Ladies Golf Club of Toronto” and it opened in 1926. The founder, Ada MacKenzie, a two-time Canadian Ladies Open Winner, had to pretend she was purchasing the land as the wife of Canadian golf course architect Stanley Thompson, in order to get financing in those days. I played The Ladies Golf Club of Toronto when I lived there in the late 1980’s. It is a wonderful golf course and the club is not at all “fru-fru.” Men are still not welcome as Members but are allowed to play the course, and can even buy a season pass. However, as many female golfers have experienced at other clubs, men can’t get a morning tee time! This whole concept is controversial, given the fight for equality in all aspects of life by women in the last century. Heck, even the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews opened their membership to women in 2014. Thanks to Josh Sens via GOLF.com for this interesting article. Tell me guys, will you play this course if invited?  
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Photo: Illustration by James Bennett

Once just as calcified as male-dominated clubs, the Ladies’ has added cheeky come-ons to attract younger members.

When I first got wind of a golf club just for women, I imagined a dour stronghold of stern-faced feminists. Presiding secretary: Gloria Steinem. No leaving the seat up. A lack of single malt. I initially read about the Ladies’ Golf Club of Toronto — North America’s lone women-only golf club — about a decade back, when golf was having its big gender conversation. Martha Burk was picketing in Georgia, bemoaning Augusta National’s lack of female members. The green jackets were saying that change would come on their terms, not “at the point of a bayonet,” and it has. The Ladies’ made headlines again last summer, as Scotland’s Muirfield, which has no women members, played host to the British Open. Defenders of the old guard liked to point to the Ladies’ Club, among other women-only institutions, as proof that gender bias could work both ways. “They’ve got theirs,” they sniffed. “Why can’t we have ours?” Now another British Open nears, and same-sex clubs have become big news once more, a hot-button pushed by the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, whose members run the British Open and oversee the Rules of Golf outside the United States and Mexico. In September, the club will vote on whether to allow women into its tweedy midst for the first time in its 260-year history. All of which has got me thinking of the Ladies’. Could the tales be true? Is it the female Muirfield? Augusta National on estrogen? The reporter in me hopes so. It’s a sun-dappled morning, and I’m driving through the leafy outskirts of Toronto. The turnoff to the club lies ahead. It’s not Magnolia Lane. No guard sits at the entrance. But the road leads past a nest of pretty paw-print bunkers and toward a hilltop clubhouse done in classic Butler Cabin colors: milky white with pine-green trim. Loryn Crothers, the club’s membership director, is waiting for me outside. “A lot of people tell us, ‘We want to be mad at you,’ ” she says. “But then they see what the club is like, and they say, ‘But we just can’t.’ ” As we step into the clubhouse, my first assumption crumbles. It’s less Martha Stewart Living, more Merion. On one wall, displayed as reverently as Hogan’s 1-iron, is a hickory-shaft putter used by the club’s founder. On another is a painting of the matriarch herself: the late Ada Mackenzie.   Born in Toronto in 1891, Mackenzie was the youngest of four kids. She excelled in hockey, tennis, basketball and cricket. She took up golf at 10 and became a star, she later noted in a history of the club, “when women were supposed to know more about a cook stove than a niblick.” Expectations hadn’t changed in 1923, when Mackenzie won her second Canadian Ladies Open. She ranked among the most accomplished players in the country, but couldn’t land a weekend tee time at the club where she belonged. The same was true everywhere she went, with the lone exception (sort of) being the British Isles, where Mackenzie competed in her prime. At top clubs there, women’s golf was half-embraced. Behind the clubhouse at St. Andrews sat the Ladies’ Putting Club, one of 14 women’s short courses or “hen runs” scattered across the countryside at the time. Never mind that only putting and chipping were permitted, the better to spare women from the unladylike act of lifting their arms above their heads. The mere existence of such courses inspired Mackenzie. She would do the British one better, although she couldn’t let the world in on her plans. “If I had said I was looking for a ladies’ golf course site,” she acknowledged decades later, “I might still be looking.” Instead, she concocted a ruse. Posing as the wife of the noted Canadian golf course architect Stanley Thompson, who played along and eventually would design the golf course, Mackenzie purchased farmland on Toronto’s fringes. She had backers, and although there were hiccups and hang-ups along the way, the club took root and opened for play in 1926. Here’s a crucial point to note about the Ladies’: from the start, men have been welcome — just not as members, or, in the early days, in the clubhouse. They didn’t and still don’t, get prime tee times. But while women enjoyed top billing (the original men’s locker room was a chilly basement chamber below the pro shop), they’ve never tried to make their club a statement. It’s not a protest but a place to play. “I went there for the golf on a beautiful and challenging course,” says longtime Ladies’ member Marlene Streit, winner of the U.S. Women’s Amateur and the British Ladies Amateur, and the first Canadian elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame. “I never thought of myself as a feminist.”
Check out the rest of this interesting story here. Source : GOLF    Josh Sens Pictures : James Bennett   Toronto Ladies Golf Club

Woman at the Helm #3. Suzy Whaley.

#3 in our series of Women at the Helm, Suzy Whaley has been in the limelight for years in the golf world.She played the LPGA Tour from 1993 forward, all the while honing her teaching skills, also. Whaley became the first woman in 58 years to qualify for a PGA Tour event at the 2003 Greater Hartford Open, after winning the 2002 Connecticut PGA Championship. WOW! She has become renown as a Top 50 Female Instructor, and is a Board member & Adviser for numerous golf organizations.In 2014 Whaley became the first female officer at the PGA, as Secretary, and will move up to President of the PGA in 2019. Her focus is to seriously change the perception that golf is an elitist sport, and to bring the game to many more women and to diverse communities. The fact that some women still do not receive the welcome given to men at golf courses, shows that previous PGA officers haven’t done enough to engage the fastest growing segment of golf.So YES, it is time for a dynamic and talented woman PGA member to lead the way forward for all, in golf.Thanks to Susan Fornoff for this terrific story:

Image of Suzy Whaley and Emmy Moore Minister

Suzy Whaley and Emmy Moore Minister

‘Moving the needle’ – that’s new PGA secretary Suzy Whaley

IN FOUR YEARS, Suzy Whaley will not only become the first female president in the then-102-year history of the PGA of America. She’ll become its most dynamic president, judging by her Women in the Golf Industry appearance tonight in Orlando, Florida. Whaley, eschewing the typical blue blazer worn by PGA officers in favor of a blue Tory Burch cardigan with gold buttons, bubbled over with enthusiasm and advice for other women trying to make their way in men’s worlds. Settling into a chair next to interviewer Emmy Moore Minister, she gratefully accepted a glass of white wine and likened the setting to the television program “The View” as she told the story of her ascent in the golf business. “When I was at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, I was convinced I was going to become a lawyer,” she said. “I was adamant about it. I wasn’t going to play on tour, I had no aspirations to play on tour. I played well in college, but I took my LSATs and applied to law school. Then I qualified for an LPGA tournament as an amateur. And for some reason I thought that because I qualified, I was good enough that I could actually go on tour. “So I went home and told my parents, and you can imagine the conversation at dinner when I said I was not going to go to law school, I was going to go to tour school. And my father said, ‘You’re going to do what?’ But my mom…she looked at me and said, ‘You can always be a lawyer. You go for it.’ “And I went to tour school and secured a conditional card and I played in more than 20 events, thinking that would be great and I’d be this incredible superstar. And I made $2,322. And I came off the tour knowing my parents would no longer fund this endeavor, and I took a waitressing job. I went to the most expensive steak house I could find so that I could make the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time and told them that I was a fabulous waitress. I had never waitressed a day in my life. “During that time I had the good fortune to meet my husband. And then I got my tour card back. “I tell you that story because it was devastating when I lost that tour card. For me, it was a huge blow that was incredibly necessary for me to get in gear and figure out that things weren’t going to come easy… And I ended up meeting someone I’ve been married to for 23 years, and then I went back out on tour, which I loved, and I was better prepared to make more than $2,322.” Check out the rest of Susan Fornoff’s story here! Source : GottaGoGolf    SusanFornoff Pictures : EWGA_HQ   SusanFornoff

Ladies, Join the EWGA – 120 Chapters in 41 States.

A couple of years ago I was asked by my good friend and entrepreneur, Joyce White Nelson, to give a talk at a membership drive for the Green Bay, WI Chapter of the Executive Women’s Golf Association.  Not only did I have a great time, but met a bunch of really enthusiastic women golfers who were determined to not only grow their organization, but make sure they were having fun while doing it.  I think they succeeded on both counts.  This is a great way for business women to get started, meet new people, network and have a good time.  There are 120 Chapters in 41 States, so check them out here.  
Groups of Ladies like these join the EWGA to get together, network and play golf, have fun and encourage each other.

Groups of Ladies like these join the EWGA to get together, network, play golf and  have fun and encourage each other.

The EWGA is an organization that is passionate about golf like those here in Golf Industry Professionals. There are more than 120 local groups throughout the U.S. and international locations including Canada, South Africa, Ireland and Italy. As a member you can enjoy local, national and international events. We offer an extensive range of organized activities and social and networking opportunities for golfers where you can meet and engage among golfers of all ages, backgrounds and golf levels. With over 120 chapters in 41 states, we have hundreds of programs and events all over the country. Join your local chapter today:
To read more on how you can jlearn more or oin this great organization, click here Source EWGA Pictures : Golf Pustertal  

4 Great Tips for Playing in a Scramble.

We’ve all played in a scramble tournament, or ‘captain’s choice’ as it’s also called, at one time or another. Most of us give very little thought on what strategies to plan on, in order to get what we want out of the event.

The Scramble is mainly a light-hearted, social event often bringing male and female members of a club or golf group together. Everyone, no matter what their skill level, gets to help out on the team.

Usually, players don’t have serious agendas when playing Scrambles . . . . or do they??

Ronald Montesano, writing for GolfWRX, has produced a very interesting article on how to make sure your tournament is a great success.

Scramble tournaments mean one thing: birdie-fest! How could you not be excited to play golf where others make up for your mistakes and you get four runs at birdie on nearly every hole? Before you lies the opportunity to team up with three of your closest friends or favorite ringers. Unfortunately, golfers or entire groups miss the point of playing in a scramble event. There’s no right answer, but you don’t want to show up at the event without an agenda. If you’re competitive, you might be in it to win it. If you’re charitable, your goal is to raise money for the cause. If you’re generous, your No. 1 concern is to ensure that your friends have a great time and come away with a great story to tell. You may be inclined to assume that if you’ve played one scramble, you’ve played them all. Before you fire that shot across the bow, let’s take a look at your check list for a successful scramble golf tournament.

Know your format

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 12.06.39 PM It’s a bit odd to call an event a traditional scramble, but it seems that tournament organizers are jonesing to separate their tournament from the rest by way of an altered format. The traditional scramble event follows the following protocol: each golfer plays from the tee, then the group selects one drive. From there, each golfer hits a second shot and then the procedure is repeated until the ball is holed. In recent years, the Shamble has gained some traction, perhaps to keep teams from riding one player too hard to victory. The shamble requires each golfer to tee off, then have the team select its best drive. From there, each golfer plays his own ball to the end of the hole and the team records the two best scores. While a traditional scramble score will be in the low 60s with handicap, a shamble tally doubles that figure.
To read more on how to get the most out of your scramble tournament, go here. Source : GolfWrx   Ronald Montesano Pictures : GolfWrx    Dru Bloomfield  

An Inspirational Story of Golf after Breast Cancer!

Every now and again, I come across such an inspirational story, that it brings tears to my eyes.  In doing research for related article, I came across this lovely story by Frankie Colletta from overthetopgolf.blogspot.com about playing golf with a beautiful woman and the inspiration he gained from her.  We all are given crosses to bear throughout our lives, and how we handle them is what defines our character.  Thanks Frankie!  
Life is sweet after beating Breast Cancer!

Life is sweet after beating Breast Cancer!

 Yesterday I had the pleasure of playing 18 holes with a beautiful woman. She was not only pretty but also had a knockout figure. And as our round of golf progressed, I became more and more impressed with her golf game – in particular, her irons. In order to paint a better picture, I’ll say that she didn’t hit it extra-long but had a classic swing and drew the ball consistently. Personality-wise, she was a pleasure to be with, had a great sense of humor and didn’t take herself too seriously.
Naturally, she was impressed as heck with my OVER THE TOP GOLF swing. Thank God I was also hitting good shots. So golfing-wise, the day couldn’t have gone any better.