10 ways to make your golf practice more effective!

I must agree wholeheartedly with Eric Cogorno, for GolfWrks.com, that 95% of people at the driving range are there just to hit balls and not to improve their game.  This is evident as I watch golfers on the range next to my teaching area at Tupelo Bay Golf Center.  And, like Eric, I have no problem with that.  However, if you are a golfer who goes to the range to improve your game, then here are 10 things that will help you get the most out of your golf practice sessions.  Thanks to Eric and GolfWrx.com for sharing!   4739404299_2c0d7f140d_b  
I hate to say it, but many golfers spend a lot of time practicing and don’t get much better. Why? There are a lot of reasons, but by far the most pressing issue is the structure of their practice in the first place. I watch a lot of golfers practice as a golf instructor, and I’d estimate that 90 percent or more of their practice is little more than physical exercise; it doesn’t help golfers improve their skills and score better. If your golf goals are to get a little sun on your face, wind in your hair, or enjoy the company of others (or even a bit of solitude), I certainly don’t want you to get the idea that you’re doing things the wrong way. Please, continue to enjoy the game the way you want to enjoy it. This game should be fun, after all. My experience is, however, that even golfers who play strictly for fun a few times a year would like it more and have more fun if they could play better. So here is the deal: There are ways to practice golf (or anything) that are more effective than other ways. We can all agree on that. Below is a list of my top-10 practice principles I recommend to all golfers. What these principles do in a nutshell is guarantee the time you’re spending is as efficient as possible. You might notice that many of the principles I recommend are used a lot by the good golfers you know, but not as much by the bad ones. That’s no coincidence. Go to a professional golf event, and you’ll see all of these principles in practice.
1. Start each practice by writing down what you’re going to do. List the specifics, the games you’ll play… everything. 2. Do a full routine with tournament-like intensity on every single shot. 3. Play the ball as it lies all the time. Drop it and play it. Don’t fluff. 4. Think about what you’re going to do before you hit every shot, and assess yourself with feedback when necessary. Remember, prepare-perform-review. 5. Always do your putting and short-game practice before full-swing practice. That’s a requirement. Be disciplined with it even when you don’t feel like it.
To see the other 5 things to make your practice effective, go here! Source : Eric Cogorno  GolfWrx.com Pictures : Tobias Wutzow

How a can of foot spray can lead to straighter golf shots!

Do you have the tendency to hit the ball both ways?  Sometimes you hit it to the right and sometimes to the left?  The problem here is you then don’t know where to aim.  Chris Ryan of ChrisRyanGolf at the Belfry Golf Club in Wishaw, Warwickshire England, close to Birmingham, explains the reason is a lack of center hits.  He also explains how using a can of foot spray can lead to straighter shots!  Check it out.
Hitting the centre of the driver face is so crucial to long straight tee shots. Here Chris Ryan explains exactly why this is the case and how you can establish what your strike pattern is.
Source : ChrisRyanGolf

Learn to hit it pure out of the rough with Sir Nick Faldo!

Because we hit our second shots from the rough almost 50% of the time (or more), it would be cool to learn from one of golf’s best,  Sir Nick Faldo, on how to succeed in this situation.  Faldo explains the two critical aspects of this shot – angle of attack and clubface angle at impact!  Thanks to Golfing World for sharing.
Who better to teach you a thing or two about the game of golf than a six-time major champion? Here Sir Nick Faldo focuses on playing the ball from the rough when you stray off line
Source : Golfing World

Thanksgiving for the golfing family? 14 suggestions from Joel Beall!

Do you have the entire family descending upon you this Thanksgiving weekend?  What to do to get out the house and yet make sure everyone enjoys themselves.  No need to wrack your brain when you have the great folks from Golf Digest around.   has 14 suggestions for Thanksgiving for the golfing family, that might make you look like a hero.  Check them out!

Football is the unofficial sport of Thanksgiving, but backyard pigskin works better as an idea than an activity. Half the players aren’t fit enough to play, there’s always one guy delivering cheap-shots and hard tackles, and the quarterbacks are so bad they make Ryan Fitzpatrick look competent. Plus, nothing screams “holiday cheer” like a trip to the E.R. for a broken nose.

Which is why we humbly propose a new Thanksgiving tradition: a round of golf. Yes, putting together any golf outing can be an endeavor, so it’s understandable the holiday hoopla can throw extra wrenches into the process. But fear not. Our insider’s guide to the proper Thanksgiving golf outing will give you all the tools you need to tee it up this Turkey Day.

How do I play golf without my loved ones disowning me?

Thanksgiving is a time for gathering, but at some point, everyone needs their space. Don’t worry about offending your family by heading out to golf; they’re probably getting sick of you anyway. Besides, chances are part of the clan is going shopping. Their journey to the mall is your ticket to the course.

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Getty Images

Do I have to bring the rest of the family?

Depends. Make sure everyone feels included; conversely, this is not the time for your 94-year-old grandma to pick up the game. If a family member isn’t totally foreign to the sport, pass along the invite.

Keep it a family affair, or can my friends come too?

You wouldn’t think twice about sending the invite if it was backyard football, and many friendships are just as important, if not more so, than family relations. Plus, odds are you’re going to need a few bodies to fill out your groups, yielding a sound reason for bringing your buds along.

When should we play?

Morning. There are negatives to this. Chiefly, it’s going to be on the colder side, and — depending on the prior night’s events — it could be a challenge to roll out of bed. However, the later in the day, the more likely you’re going to be foiling family obligations. And there’s a good probability your mom and sisters are doing their shopping before lunch, making the morning window your best opportunity.

Speaking of cold, weather around Thanksgiving can be dicey. What’s the cut-off for acceptable playing weather?

Is it snowing or raining? No? Then layer up and get your butt to the course.

Man operating a blower and blowing leaves off golf course fairway at Androscoggin Valley Country Club in Gorham, New Hampshire.
Getty Images
Source : 
Pictures : Getty Images

The Best 10 Golf Trick shots of the year!

Golf trick Shots are always fun to watch!  These days there seem to be more and more golfers trying to outdo each other in this department.  Here are the Best 10 Golf trick shots of the year presented by Swing by Swing!
Golf trick shots certainly have come a long way since the days of this game-changing Tiger Woods’ Nike commercial. Aided by the help of the internet, Go-Pro cameras, and even props in some cases, people from across the world have joined together on a mission to up the anti one trick shot at a time. As it turns out 2016 was a good year in this new wave of golf entertainment. Here’s our list of the 10 best we’ve seen in no particular order. 1 Driver Flip This nifty club trick by Josh Kelley is all about timing. Hand-eye-coordination is also crucial as he flips the club up and catches it completely blind above his head while in mid-swing. We wonder how long it took him to perfect it? 2. Tweener Trick shot connoisseur Ryan Rustand channels Rodger Federer with this tweener. He ricochets it off of a barrier, only to catch his driver and stripe one down broadway. All while the ball was still in the air. Magic. 3. Who needs tees? Golfer and trick shot specialist Josh Kelley shows that he doesn’t need a tee to rip one down the middle to start a round. What is more, he makes the use of caddies obsolete as he pinpoints his iron into its (proper?) slot in his bag. He proceeds to strap up the sticks and admire his shot with a brisk walk to his next one. 4. Doink This trick shot employs some props to take it to the next level. The initial putt is blasted off the fringe and hits the barrier squarely. Kelley then cuts it out of mid air with only the slim face of his putter to send it home. 5. Flop The always entertaining Bryan Brothers come up with a twist on a classic. It starts off with a Phil-esque flop off a ledge. The ball travels backwards and lands right in the wheelhouse, getting tattooed across the water. Welcome to the Smoke Shack, indeed.
To see the rest of the Top 10 Golf Trick Shots of 2016, go here! Source : Swing by Swing

Happy Thanksgiving! 28 things golfers need to be thankful for.

 Happy Thanksgiving everyone! As we all give thanks for friends, family and this wonderful country we live in, warts and all, let’s ponder what what we are really thankful for in golf.  Thanks to  and the hard working people at Golf Digest, for their suggestions on the 28 things we golfers need to be grateful for!

We’ve become an ungrateful bunch. Instead of cherishing the good, we belabor the bad. We complain about the Wi-Fi stalling out, oblivious to the miracle of the Internet. Talk crap about our jobs without referencing its steady income. Traffic, sports, politics: moan, moan, moan. And God only knows the struggle of sitting on an airport runway.

Which is why Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year. It’s a respite from groaning, where gratitude takes center stage. That attitude applies to golf, for I’ve been guilty of bellyaching just as much as anyone.

In keeping with Thanksgiving tradition, here are the things I’m most thankful for from the world of golf:

  1. Gimme Putts

And we’re guessing Alison Lee does, too.

2. Online tee-time reservation sites

For those too poor to afford a country club (me) and/or procrastinate in making a tee time earlier in the week (me, again), these websites are a gift from the golf gods. It can be a roll of the dice; in many ways, it’s like TJ Maxx: If you’re trying to find a specific, particular item, you may be disappointed, but if casually browsing, you’ll likely find something that fits your fancy. As long as you don’t mind the spontaneity of the process, booking a time online should be right up your alley.

And no, this wasn’t a paid, sponsored content endorsement.

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3. Masters week

Where to begin? It’s the best golf course in the world, and the same sentiment can be applied to its condition. Forget sporting events; it’s the most efficiently run event in this country PERIOD. Every element of Augusta is draped in tradition; the Par 3 Contest has more history than most tournaments. The small field all but guarantees a big-name winner, and the course layout ensures an exciting finish.

In short: If there is a heaven, then the Pearly Gates are located at 2604 Washington Road.

4. Breakfast balls

How to know your friend’s a keeper: He/she motions for a reload after your first shot of the day finds the parking lot. As Euripides said, “Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness.”

5. Weekday outings

The snow days of adulthood. Bonus points if they reside on a Friday.

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6. Night Golf

If you’ve only swung a club in sunlight, you’re missing out.

Amateurs competing in majors

While Jordan Spieth was the main storyline at St. Andrews, the competitive showings of Paul Dunne and Jordan Niebrugge were right up there in narrative excitement. Granted, these guys are professionals-in-training, yet there’s undoubtedly a romanticized feeling when an “(A)” name designation appears on the scoreboard.

It even inspires the ephemeral hope that you, too, watching at home, can compete with the big boys. All you need is a little practice around the greens, more mental focus, a better diet and stretching regimen, and — BOOM — you’d be walking up the 18th fairway as Jim Nantz pontificates a Nantzism on your historic victory (which, in my case, would be along the lines of, “An Un-BEALL-ievable moment!!!).

Then you remember you couldn’t break par at the member-guest and think, “Na.”

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7. 16th hole at Phoenix

The antithesis of golf etiquette, decorum and civility…and, remarkably, it’s universally beloved by everyone in the game.

8. Cart girls

Admittedly, I always resented this profession growing up, due to making minimum wage on maintenance duty while those manning carts would pull in $35 per hour off tips. But this summer, most of my golf was played at a course without coolers, and on the days I forgot to pack my own water bottle — which was often — seeing the silhouette of the snack truck approaching from the distance turned me into Andy Dufresne after his Shawshank escape.

9. eBay

Be it equipment, books, programs, clothes, tickets, even vacations, eBay is the Elysium of golf memorabilia. If you’re ready to go down this rabbit hole, Matt Rudy’s work is a weekly source for these finds.

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10. John Daly

The big guy gave us a scare this summer, collapsing at an event in Mississippi. From his outlandish ensembles to his penchant for belting out “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” the game is always a bit more colorful when Daly’s around. Moreover, there’s something to be said for a person who can energize a gallery with his mere appearance, and in terms of treating fans, Daly has no peer on the PGA Tour.

Here’s hoping for a clean bill of health for JD for 2017.

11. Club Pro Guy Twitter account

Crass, irreverent, offensive, demeaning. Our kind of guy.

12. Televised golf at bizarre hours

The British Open is the annual model for its early-morning showcase on the East Coast, but 2015 gave us a prime-time U.S. Open and a deep-into-the-night Presidents Cup broadcast. Even the British Open got into the act — albeit briefly — with its 1:30 a.m. EST Saturday-morning start.

13. Scrambles

There is nothing better for a golfer’s confidence than a scramble . It’s easy to dismiss awful shots (“Well, clearly I was just being overly aggressive because of the format, you guys”), putting transforms from the bane of your existence to a shared struggle and every decent knock is treated like MacArthur returning to the Philippines.

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Harry How/Getty Images

14. Dash Day

Fact: Golf viewership among females audiences has soared 784 percent, strictly at the prospect of seeing Lil’ Day running across the 18th green. Even Keely Levins, who makes the Grinch look amicable, lights up like a Christmas tree at Dash sightings.

To see the other 14 reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving day, go here!

Source : Golf Digest   

Pictures : Harry How/Getty Images  Golf Digest

The Ultimate Christmas Shopping List for Golfers in the Family!

Shopping for the golfer (or golfers) in the family can sometimes be mind-boggling.  “Do they already have one of these?” “Do you think they will like this?” are just some of the questions considered by every Christmas shopper.  Fret no longer, there is help on the way!  The sharp Ultimate Christmas Shopping List team consisting of , ,  of Golf Digest have this all covered for you.  Read on!

Arccos 360 Performance Tracking System

Arccos golf stat tracking program.

Arccos golf stat tracking program.

           

Antigravi-tee Levitating Golf Ball

I love this. A ball floating in air!

I love this. A ball floating in air!

                 

Apple Watch Series 2

For that really special golfer in the family. For that really special golfer in the family.  

The Art of Shaving Peppermint Shave Cream.

Rich, foamy lather protects skin from irritation while coming in the seasonal scent.
Not all golfers want golfing gifts.

Not all golfers want golfing gifts.

                 

Ben’s Garden Golf Sketch Tray

For the golf analyzer in the family!

For the golf analyzer in the family!

                To see the rest of these interesting gifts for the golfers in the family, go here! Source :          Golf Digest

A Beginners Guide to the most common mistakes in golf!

Golf is played on a very large “playing field” so knowing the rules and etiquette is an essential part of learning the game.  Many beginners  take golf lessons to learn the basic fundamentals of the game but don’t acquire a rule book.  You need to know the basic rules in order to make the game enjoyable for all.  The Golf Digest Editors have put together a Beginners Guide of the most common mistakes in golf to help you out if you are learning this great game!

We don’t love the term “mistakes” here. It sounds kind of pompous and preachy, like we’re going to rap you on the knuckles or start slapping behinds if we get you to admit to any of these little gaffes. That’s not our intent at all (even if you’re into that kind of thing). We’re well aware of our own shortcomings—in fact, they were the catalyst for and provider of much of the content that follows. Think of our advice as coming from a good friend, a caring golf partner or the guy you tortured last Saturday by taking three practice swings before every damn shot.

Our so-called mistakes are not limited to swing or playing faults. In fact, the bulk of them fall into the social and emotional realms, like hitting on the beverage-cart girl or thinking everybody wants to hear the blow-by-blow of the 98 you just fired. Our tips are mostly common sense, which golf sometimes has a funny way of taking away from us. So open your mind, and let’s go.

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1.TALKING TO ANOTHER GUY’S BALL

Screaming “Get up! Get up!” when your playing partner’s ball is flirting with a water hazard doesn’t promote friendship the way the screamer thinks. Most partners are ambivalent about it, but opponents downright hate it. Why? Well-intentioned though your shouts may be, there’s always the suspicion that you aren’t as sincere as you would be if it were your ball.

2. NOT PLAYING READY GOLF

“Is it you or me?” “After you.” “Are you sure?” Meanwhile, paint is drying, civilizations are rising and falling, and the folks playing behind you are trying to quell their rising fury. Forget the honor—hit when ready.

3. WEARING BLACK SOCKS WITH KHAKIS

“The contrast is murder,” says our fashion guru, Marty Hackel. “Black is excellent for funerals and job interviews in law enforcement, but it doesn’t go well with neutral-colored golf clothing. Your socks should be the same color—or lighter—than your pants or shorts.”

4. STUFFING YOUR FACE RIGHT BEFORE YOU TEE OFF

The legendary Paul Runyan, winner of the 1934 and ’38 PGA Championships, said his easiest opponent was one who had just consumed ham for breakfast. Too slow to digest. Likewise, scarfing down the Double Eagle Burger before heading to the first tee will teach you a hard lesson about playing golf in the throes of digestion.

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5. NOT GETTING FIT FOR CLUBS

Back when bloodletting and reading tea leaves were all the rage, golfers performed clubfitting in some strange ways. To test shaft flex, they waggled the club or even leaned on it. For lie angle, they simply peered down at address. Today, the performance advantages—especially distance—of getting fit make it the only way to go.

6. GOING FOR THE FLAG

It’s a free country: You can fire at that pin set three paces from the edge of a pond if you like. But when you’re weary of writing Xs on your scorecard, you’ll learn there’s no shame in aiming for the middle of the green. As Ken Venturi used to say: “Take your par, and walk away quietly.”

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7. HAVING NO CLUE ABOUT YELLOW STAKES

If you hit into a yellow-staked area, you have three options:

(1) Play it as it lies; (2) Drop as far back as you want, keeping the point where your ball went in between you and the hole; (3) Replay from where you last hit the ball. Nos. 2 and 3 will cost you a stroke. iddle of the green. As Ken Venturi used to say: “Take your par, and walk away quietly.”

8. NOT RAKING BUNKERS OR REPLACING DIVOTS

We believe in karma: Your disrespect will come back to bite you in the ass. If you don’t care about other golfers, they might not care about you. Treat your world with love and care, and your world will greet you in kind.

9. LEAVING A CLUB BEHIND

Some say the longest walk in golf is from the 18th green to the clubhouse after blowing a 4-up lead. We say it’s trudging back two holes to retrieve a wedge left on the fringe. To prevent this, place your wedge between the hole and where you exit the green. That way, you or another player will literally walk into it.

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10. NEVER CLEANING OUT YOUR GOLF BAG

Get rid of that yardage book from a buddies trip years ago that has turned into mulch. The old towel that’s sprouting alfalfa shoots. Five rancid gloves, each riddled with holes. And, of course, loads of crappy, battered balls. Time to declutter: Enough with hanging on to useless baggage, including all those self-defeating tasks, behavior patterns, thoughts, people. Lighten your load.

To see the rest of the most common mistakes in golf, go here!

Source : Golf Digest

12 Key Points in Planning a Buddies Trip!

Are you planning a golf/buddies trip for the spring of 2017?  There are at least 12 key points in planning a buddies trip that are important for the success of such a trip.  Golf Digest has put together a great list of must do’s.  I like #3 as long as he is a benevolent dictator!  Make sure you check all 12 off your planning list before you leave for your destination!

What can go wrong on a golf trip with your best buds? Plenty, actually. Our keys to making it a success.

1. Plan well in advance so no one can object

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2. Nothing’s more important than who you invite

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3. Have a dictator

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4. Establish the ground rules early for money

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5. Have an off-course plan

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Source : Golf Digest
Pictures : Golf Digest

Which Rules of Golf would you change (if you could)?

Which rule of golf would you change?  This has been a question asked over the years and it looks like the USGA and the R&A are getting together to simplify a complicated process.  I have always felt the stroke and distance penalty for out of bounds has never made sense.  I feel there should be a one stroke penalty and drop the ball at the point it went out of bounds, just like a lateral hazard.  Here are a few more from Josh Sens of GOLF.com for you to ponder!
You can’t argue with stupid, but you can complain about it. And in this game we love, there’s plenty of senselessness to go around. Witness the Rules of Golf, an encyclopedic catalog of dos and don ts that often fall beyond the bounds of reason. For argument’s sake, here’s our take on eight of the stupidest rules of all.

1. The DJ Rule

Photo: Getty ImagesDustin Johnson speaks to a rules official during the final round of the 2016 U.S. Open.

Dustin Johnson speaks to a rules official during the final round of the 2016 U.S. Open.

In the official ledger, it’s Rule 18-2. But ever since the 2016 U.S. Open, it’s more widely recognized as that *&%$!!!-ing Dustin Johnson Rule. You know, that nonsensical one under which the eventual tournament winner was slapped with a one-shot penalty for supposedly causing his ball to move a nano-millimeter on the 5th green. Never mind that he clearly didn’t intend to set the ball in motion, or that the micro-movement gave him no discernible advantage. The punishment stood. But we shouldn’t have to stand for it in the future. How about this? Next time around, no harm, no foul. Move the ball back, and play on.

2. No Relief from Sand-Filled Divots

Photo: Getty ImagesA ball comes to rest next to a divot.

A ball comes to rest next to a divot.

Let’s see if we understand correctly: if we spray a tee shot off-line and our ball winds up in ground under repair, we’re entitled to relief. But if we smoke one down the middle and it settles in a sand-filled crater left behind by another golfer, we’re doomed to play it as it lies. That ground we landed in was damaged. Someone tried to repair it. Sounds to us like… ground under repair.

3. Penalizing a Player Whose Ball Hits a Flagstick Lying on the Ground

Photo: Getty ImagesSteve Stricker holds a flagstick off the ground during the John Deere Classic.

Steve Stricker holds a flagstick off the ground during the John Deere Classic.

We’re all for taking personal responsibility, but should it really be our problem if a putt we hit rolls past the pin and rattles against a flagstick that our playing partner set down in the through-line? According to Rule 17-3a, it is. Worse still, it’s punishable with a loss of hole in match-play and a two-stroke penalty in medal play.

4. Dropping the Ball

Photo: Getty ImagesAdam Scott takes a drop during the 2014 Masters.

Adam Scott takes a drop during the 2014 Masters.

You’d think that hitting a shot into a hazard would be punishment enough. But you’d be wrong. Under the Rules of Golf, the dogged victim then has to go through the tedious ritual known as the drop, which brings other potential rules infractions into play. If the dropped ball moves closer to the hole (as it so often does) twice, the player gets to place it. So why not just allow placement from the start? It would spare the player undue pain, and save the rest of us a lot of time.
To see the rest of the rules that need changing, go here! Source : Josh Sens  GOLF.com Pictures : Getty Images