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Are golfers finally improving - and if so why?

Are golfers finally improving – and if so why?

Are golfers finally improving – and if so why?

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!

Back in the mid-’90s, I read an article that said golfers were not getting better, despite the advances in equipment design, instruction, and course condition.  Well, that data has either been wrong all along or has changed dramatically over the last 25 years.  Recent studies answer the age-old questions “Are golfers finally improving?” Thanks to  of Golf Digest for providing this significant insight!

Golfers are better than they were 25 years go.

It’s not just theory, it’s fact. Forgetting for a moment who among you is sandbagging and who’s toting around a vanity handicap, the data on handicaps from the US Golf Association makes one thing clear: Golfers not only are getting better, they may be getting better at their sport than any other group of athletes are getting at theirs.

This bold statement isn’t originally mine. I was having an email exchange with former USGA Senior Technical Director Dick Rugge, when listening to the recent Hot List podcast. When there was a suggestion that golfers really haven’t improved despite all the advances in technology.  Rugge, who often talked about the subject of handicap trends during his tenure at the USGA, told me about some handicap data that suggested just the opposite.

A quick call to the USGA confirmed that very fact. In the last 25 years, the average USGA handicap for a man has improved nearly two full strokes, from 16.3 to 14.4. For women, the improvement is no less impressive, dropping from 29.7 in 1991 to 26.1 in 2016.

Are golfers finally improving and if so, why?

Access to great golf courses has helped bring more golfers into the game.

Pictures: Golf Digest   Chun Xia
 
Thanks for reading Are golfers finally improving – and if so why?

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Golf and Music have always gone together!

Golf and Music have always gone together!

Golf and Music have always gone together!

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!

With the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am currently in full swing and all the celebrities out in full force, it is interesting to see how many musicians are playing.  Proving that golf and music have always gone together!.  Swing by Swing has put an interesting list together.  Check it out!

Golf and music have always had a unique relationship. Both are forms of art and both, if done right, can be beautiful. However, golf is an escape for those who don’t play it professionally, and some musicians take full advantage, especially when they’re out on tour. For them, it’s a reprieve from the grind. As multiple Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, and actor Justin Timberlake stated, “you have a lot of time on these tours. As Alice Cooper said, you can either drink all day or golf.” In honor of the Grammy Awards, we take a look at 10 of the finest musician golfers.

Snoop Dogg

 

Handicap: 18

Snoop Dogg may not be the best golfer in the world, but there’s no doubt he enjoys the game. The 15-time Grammy nominee rapper and actor says he shoots “about 90,” which by all standards, isn’t that bad. Also, he’s a big fan of Tiger Woods. In fact, he went on record saying that golf is “garbage” without the 14-time major winner playing.

Willie Nelson

Handicap: 16

The ageless Willie Nelson loves to get out to the course whenever he’s got free time. In fact, he’s been on record saying “All I do is play music and golf.” The 14-time Grammy winner owns a course in Texas. “Par is whatever Willie shoots,” says the pro.

Bob Seger

Handicap: 16

Grammy winner and Rock and Roll and Songwriters Hall of Famer Bob Seger enjoys his time on the course whenever he’s not performing. Back in 2009, he played the Buick Open pro-am with Tiger Woods which made for a great show.

 

Adam Levine

Handicap: 15

The lead singer of the 3-time Grammy-winning band Maroon 5 plays to a modest 15 handicap but is always looking to improve his game. Back in 2012, he was celebrity student on Golf Channel’s The Haney Project and came out a better golfer. He’s been known to play a pro-am or two as well.

Roger Waters

Handicap: 12

73-year-old Rock-and-Roll Hall of Famer and Grammy winner Roger Waters of the legendary band Pink Floyd loves to golf his ball when he’s not playing music. He belongs to the exclusive  National Golf Links of America located out on Long Island, New York.

To see the rest of this Top 10 group, go here!

Thanks for reading Golf and Music have always gone together!  Hope you enjoyed this article.

Source: Swing by Swing

Pictures: Getty Images  Jeff Kravitz    Stephen Rose   Paul Warner   Michael Buckner   C Flanigan    Steve Jurvetson

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First Tee Jitters - Try this breathing technique!

Do you rotate your body enough through impact?

Do you rotate your body enough through impact?

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!

Sean Webb of Athletic Motion Golf highlights with this awesome GEARS 3D Motion Capture how much difference there is between the amateur golfer (even a good one) and a PGA Tour player.  It is very clear here that if you want to hit the ball further you must learn to turn the torso and the hips very fast through impact in the golf swing!

In this first video in the series, we look at the differences in body rotation between an amateur golfer who we captured in our studio and a PGA tour professional.

Positions are Significantly Different.

What was interesting in this video was the impact positions between the hip and torso rotation between a 5 handicap amateur and a PGA Tour player.  The torso rotation saw an increase of 22 degrees!  From 5 degrees in the amateurs swing to 27 Degrees in the professional.  The hip rotation was even more staggering with a difference of 30 degrees at impact.

It is clear that if an amateur golfer (even a 5 handicap) can improve his distance significantly be increasing body rotation.  How does he do that?  By doing a lot of rotation exercises. To be able to have a body that will allow that amount of rotation through impact!

What do the amateur need to do to increase rotation?

My suggestion for this player would be 2 things.  One, to hire a good teaching professional to help learn to start the downswing in the proper sequence.  And two, hire a personal trainer who would get the body into shape.  He needs the body to work the way it is intended to in the golf swing.

Source: Athletic Motion Golf

Thanks for reading Do you rotate your body enough through impact?  This was very interesting!

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Those trees on the golf course, get over them!

Those trees on the golf course – get over them!

Those trees on the golf course – get over them!

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!

Golf course architects are horrible, aren’t they?  They put trees on the golf course that could potentially get in the way of our shot to the green!  But have no fear.  PGA golf professional Bill Ore will help you navigate that precarious position.  Next time, drive it on the fairway – there are no trees on the fairway!

But, if you do happen to find your ball with large trees in your way, this is how to do it.

1. Widen your stance slightly.

This is going to allow the club to come in on a shallower angle and get the ball up into the air quicker.

2. Move the ball more forward in the stance. 

Closer to the lead heel. This will add more loft at impact, getting the ball up quickly.

3. Keep the head behind the ball at impact. 

If the head moves forward on the downswing, you will deloft the club and the trajectory will be lower, and you might not make it over the trees.

Watch easy golf instruction on how to elevate your golf ball quickly. PGA Professional Billy Ore offers a 3-step process for how to get your ball over that tree or other obstacle in front of you.

Source:  PGA     Bill Ore

Picture: Mario

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Learn the keys to Fairway Bunkers with Luke Donald!

Learn the keys to Fairway Bunkers with Luke Donald!

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!

Former World #1 Luke Donald has been a Mizuno player most of his career and so it is quite fitting that this mizunogolfeurope golf tip is presented by him.  According to Luke, the key to hitting good bunker shots is to pick the ball clean off the sand.  Here are his keys:

1. Dig the feet in the sand for a good footing.

2. Grip down because of digging the feet in.

3. Try and have more of a sweeping motion than a digging motion with the club.

4. Very Stable with the legs.

5 Swing Easy!

No one better than PGA Tour pro Luke Donald to explain the difference in approach with a 115 yard fairway bunker shot. More on the new MP-25 irons used by Luke in this tip on golf.mizunoeurope.com

Source: mizunogolfeurope

Thank you for watching Learn the keys to Fairway Bunkers with Luke Donald!  I hope you learned something.

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The Greatest Moments in Pebble Beach History!

The Greatest Moments in Pebble Beach History!

The Greatest Moments in Pebble Beach History!

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!

This week is the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.  A tournament we all look forward to, as this week all the golfing celebrities come out and mingle with the pros and the crowd.  A fun time is had by all in the midst of a 72 hole stroke play event that has been won by every great golfer that has ever set foot on a golf course.  Here are some great golfing moments presented by Swing by Swing

Pebble Beach Golf Links has seen its fair share of great golf over the years. From unbelievable performances to incredible hole-outs, to of course the celebrity pro-am, there’s been no shortage of excitement on the Monterey Peninsula. Here is a look at 10 of the best moments in Pebble Beach history.

Tiger Woods – 2000 U.S. Open

Tiger Woods at the 2000 U.S. Open put on one of the greatest golfing displays of all time. Shattering multiple records en route to lapping the field by 15 shots, he went on to claim his second major title. In fact, he was the only player under par the entire week.

Jack Nicklaus – 1972 U.S. Open

Jack Nicklaus hit one of the most famous shots of all time on the 71st hole of the 1972 U.S. Open. His one-iron hit the flag stick nearly dropping for an ace on the famed par-3 17th. He had to settle for a tap-in but it gave the Golden Bear the spark he needed to go on and win his third U.S. Open title.

Tom Watson – 1982 U.S. Open

Who can forget Tom Watson’s chip-in on the 17th hole during the 1982 U.S. Open? After leaving himself with an impossible shot in the deep rough, Watson managed to knock it in for the unlikeliest of twos. He went on to win his only U.S. Open title.

Tiger Woods – 2000 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Tiger Woods was seven shots off the lead with seven holes to play during the 2000 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, when lightning struck on the par-4 15th hole. Tiger jarred his approach from 97-yards for eagle fueling a comeback win for the ages.

Johnny Miller – 1994 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Johnny Miller’s win at the 1994 AT&T was remarkable considering he took a break from his broadcasting post on the 18th tower to compete in an event he won 7 years prior. “I play young at Pebble,” the 46-year-old said and did he ever.

To see the rest of the Top 10 Greatest Moments in Pebble Beach History, go here!

Source: Swing by Swing

Pictures: Getty Images    John Mabanglo    Phil Sheldon/Popperfoto    Andy Lyons    Gary Newkirk   Ted Durian Collection, courtesy Pebble Beach Company

Thanks for reading The Greatest Moments in Pebble Beach History!  Hope you enjoyed it as much as me.

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The Keys To Great Fairway Woods!

The Keys To Great Fairway Woods!

The Keys To Great Fairway Woods!

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!

What are the keys to great fairway woods?  

Ged Walters from the Trafford Golf Center in Manchester, England, gives you a few things to work on to make your fairway woods more consistent and longer!

Ball position.

About 2″ inside the lead heel.

Width of stance.

About Shoulder Width.

Smooth swing.

No Rushing!

Ged Walters shows you the secret to hitting your fairway woods awesome. Play your best golf with help from one of Trafford Golf Centres PGA Golf Professionals. Ged shows you how getting the right set up with your fairway woods will help your hit awesome shots off both the fairway and the tee.

Source: GedWaltersGolf

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10 Par 3 Courses worth Playing!

Top Ten Par 3 Courses Worth Playing!

Top Ten Par 3 Courses Worth Playing!

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!

Here are 10 Par 3 courses worth playing!  They are fun and not as time-consuming as a regular course, particularly if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands.  You can get in 18 holes in about 2.5 hours on most Par 3 courses.  I teach at Tupelo Bay Golf Center and their par 3 is another gem in this category.  Come and visit sometime!

Golf courses don’t necessarily need to be long to be difficult. While some par-3 courses pride themselves on toughness, all of them offer a chance for people to have fun. Whether they are scaled-down versions of famous par-3s around the world, or a totally original design, some of these tracks are the real deal. Here are 10 awesome par-3 courses around the U.S.

Par-3 Course – Augusta National Golf Club

10 Par 3 Courses worth Playing!

Par 3 Course #8. Augusta national.

via Pinterest

The “Par-3 Course” at Augusta National doesn’t need a fancy name. Every year the pros gather here for another traditional unlike any other on the Wednesday before the competition. It’s beautiful and pristene just like its much longer counterpart. In fact, Paul Azinger once called it “the best golf course in the world.”   Check it out.

Threetops – TreeTops Sylvan Resort

10 Par 3 Courses worth Playing!

Jones Course.

via treetops.com

Threetops, located in Gaylord, Michigan, is one of the best known par-3 courses in the world because of it’s dramatic elevation changes and beautiful mountain views. In fact, the 7th hole plays three (!) clubs less due to elevation. Back in the day, it was the home to the ESPN Par 3 Shootout.  See it here.

Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course

10 Par 3 Courses worth Playing!

Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course

via Mike May.

The Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course gorgeous little gem located right between the ocean and the Intracostal Waterway on some of the most expensive real estate on the southeast coast of Florida. It was redesigned by Raymond Floyd and is always in great shape. Check it out.

Challenge Course – Monarch Dunes 

10 Par 3 Courses worth Playing!

Challenge Course.

via ncga.org

This “links-style” 12-hole course located at Monarch Dunes in Nipomo, California is designed Damian Pascuzzo and Steve Pate. Multiple tees provide an opportunity to play a different course each time you go out. Some of the unique links features include dunes and fescue that line the holes. See it here.

Cloud Nine Short Course – Angel Park Golf Club 

10 Par 3 Courses worth Playing!

Angel Park Cloud 9 Course.

via golfvegas.com

Located at the Angel Park Golf Club in Las Vegas, the Cloud Nine Short Course is a tidy little 12-hole track inspired by some of the most iconic par-3s in the world, including TPC Sawgrass’ 17th island green. The best part is 9 of the 12 holes are lighted so you can play well into the evening. Don’t worry, whatever you shoot in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Check it out.

To see the rest of the Top 10 Par 3 Courses, go here!

Source: Swing by Swing

Pictures: golfcoursegurus.com    treetops.com   golfontheocean.com    ncga.org    golfvegas.com    scoopnest.com

Thanks for reading Top Ten Par 3 Courses Worth Playing! They look like fun!

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Who has played the top 10 longest courses in the world?

Who has played the top 10 longest courses in the world?

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!

The longest golf course I have personally played was just north of Myrtle Beach, at Eagles Nest Golf Club in Little River, SC.  At 7900 from the back tees, it is a monster even for local hero Dustin Johnson.  A close second is the Grande Dunes Resort Course, in Myrtle Beach, at 7617 from the tips.  But these pale in comparison to the top 10 longest golf courses in the world presented by Swing by Swing.

Comment below if you have had the privilege of playing any of these monsters!

10. The Prairie Club, Dunes Course – Valentine, Nebraska

Who has played the top 10 longest courses in the world?

Looks a lot like a links course to me. It just needs the ocean!

 

Length: 8,058 yards

The par-72 Dunes Course at The Prairie Club designed by Tom Lehman and Chris Brands is laid out along the Sand Hills of Nebraska. With elevated tees, undulating fairways, and rolling landscape of prairies grasses, it makes for a most picturesque setting. It’s also the shortest course of this list. Strap in.

9. The Shoals Golf Club, Fighting Joe Course – Shoals, Alabama

Who has played the top 10 longest courses in the world?

Looks very serene!

Length: 8,092 yards

The first of two Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail courses to the make the list is the Fighting Joe at The Shoals. This par-72 super-long links-style course looks out over the Tennessee River and Lake Jackson and makes for some pretty spectacular scenery. It offers generous fairways and holes that follow natural topography along the river making a pleasurable experience the whole way through

8. Promontory Club, Painted Valley – Park City, Utah

Who has played the top 10 longest courses in the world?

Certainly looks like a painted valley.

Length: 8,098 yards

The Jack Nicklaus-designed par 72 is arguably one of the toughest in the state of Utah. Located smack dab in the middle of 3 major ski resorts, this lengthy course offers spectacular views while demanding your full attention. The front nine plays down and up a valley and starts with an eye-popping 718-yard par five, the longest hole on the course. The back is laid out more along meadows and features plenty more long holes, including the par-5 12th which clock in at 673 yards.

To see the rest of this prestigious list, go here!

Source: Swing by Swing   Mel Sole Golf School.

Pictures: golfcourseranking.com  Golf Pac Travel   Park City Utah Golf

Thanks for reading Who has played the top 10 longest courses in the world? A nice bucket list to have!

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Impress your Friends and Spin the Ball on the Clubface like a pro!

A fun shot to learn – Create backspin on your pitch shots!

A fun shot to learn – Create backspin on your pitch shots!

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!

My good friend Adam Bazelgette of Scratch Golf Academy and former co-worker at the Phil Ritson Golf Studio in Myrtle Beach back in the early 90’s, has certainly come a long way in the teaching world. Being named twice, Florida Teacher of the Year is no small accomplishment!  Here Adam explains in great detail how the conditions need to be in order to create backspin on your pitch shots so you can impress your friends.  

The 4 golf chip shot tips in this video will help teach you to understand more clearly what is required to learn better how to get backspin with your chip shots and will show you the best way to get more backspin with your pitching and chip shot.

Loft.

The more lost you have, the more spin in created.

Contact.

Contact with the bottom of the ball with only a slightly downward blow.

Speed.

The more clubhead speed, the more spin.  If you don’t have far to go, open the clubface to add more loft.

Grooves.

Worn grooves will not spin the ball.  Relace your wedges more than your clubs.

Source: Scratch Golf Academy  Mel Sole Golf School.

Thanks for watching A fun shot to learn – Create backspin on your pitch shots!

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