Golf Web Design, Author at Troy Denton, PGA Professional - Golf Instruction

Golfing on a Budget

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It’s well known that golfing can be an expensive hobby. Between the cost of clubs and equipment, greens fees and memberships, you’re bound to pay a pretty penny for your time on the course. But, there are ways to play the game and still be frugal. So, if you’re golfing on a budget, here are some tips to get the most for your money:

Equipment

  • Buy used clubs. Buying used, especially if you’re just starting out, is a no-brainer way to save some coin. If you can look beyond the inevitable nicks and scratches that come with previously owned clubs, you can end up with a set that’s just as good as shiny new ones.  With that said, do make sure there’s no significant grooves, rust or dents and nicks on the shaft – these can negatively impact performance.
  • Absolutely MUST have a new set, but don’t want to pay the price?  All you need is a little patience.  If you wait until the new models come out, the previous year models usually go on sale. You can get clubs that are only a year old for much less than a brand new model.
  • Buy in bulk and when on sale. Think about the things you go through most often. Tees? Balls? Gloves? You can usually save money by buying larger quantities of these items – especially when they’re on sale – as opposed to buying balls and tees before a round or a glove only when yours wears out.

Fees – Green, Membership and More

  • Play later in the day for the best rates. Mornings and weekends are the most expensive time to play golf.  Most courses have twilight rates that usually start (depending on the course) between 2 and 4.  Waiting until the later times, and sometimes even weekday play, can save you money on the fees.
  • Walk, don’t ride. Skip the cost of cart fees by walking the course – and get exercise while you’re at it!
  • Don’t join a private country club. Most private clubs charge a hefty up-front fee as well as monthly dues. However, semi-private and public courses don’t reach so far in your pocket.  Consider this route, especially if you’re not interested in all the other amenities that a private course offers.
  • Really want to be a part of a private club? Most courses will have membership drives during a certain time of the year. Wait until these come around and you could pay a much cheaper price.

Golf can be pricey, but it doesn’t have to be.  Start worrying about your game, not your wallet, by using these tips to cut down on your golf expenses.

Play the Golf Course on the Driving Range

Northern Trust Open - Preview Day 3

Struggling to take your driving range swing to the golf course? It’s a common complaint among golfers. “But I hit it so great on the range. Why can’t I do that on the course?” Sound familiar?

Swings on the range and play on the course are 2 very different things. On the course, you’re not repeating the same club, in the same spot, with a perfect lie. You typically play with people and there’s time between shots. These fundamental differences can mean your time on the range isn’t always well spent.

Next time, refrain from repeatedly hitting the ball and try emulating your course play on the range. With each shot, imagine you are playing the course by using the same clubs you’d use for a hole.

For example, tee off with your driver, then choose a different club for your next swing, based on that lie. If you kept it on the straight and narrow, choose an appropriate iron or wood for your second shot. Did you hook it and land in the rough on your third swing? Then, grab your pitching wedge and pretend you’re trying to lay it up on the green. Or, visualize yourself in the sand trap and take a shot that gets you out.

Try hitting from different spots as well. Break away from what might be your favorite spot on the range and move around. Hit some from one end, a few more on the other, perhaps some middle of the way, then repeat. This also helps with my final suggestion – waiting between shots.

Moving around the range will imitate the time between shots that play on the course brings. It probably won’t be as long, but it will at least break up the rhythm that hitting on the range affords.

Make the most of your range time and stop the monotony of mindlessly hitting golf balls. Challenge yourself, mix it up, and get better!

Don’t Change your Warm-up Routine for an Event

World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational - Round ThreeHow much do you warm-up before a casual round of golf? How much do you warm-up before a tournament? The answer to these two questions should be exactly the same.

Some people make the mistake of showing up early to a tournament or event to get in extra practice. Extra swings are fine, if this is what you normally do, but it can be detrimental to your round if it’s not your normal routine. Here are a few reasons why:

You don’t want to tire yourself out. Hitting 100 balls on the range might seem like a good way to get your swing consistent for the tournament, but the only thing this will do is exhaust you by the time you reach the back 9. Save your energy.

Too much practice before a tournament can mess with your mental game. The more balls you hit, good or bad, the more chance you have to overthink your performance. If a tournament seems more like a casual round, you’re more apt to play like that – relaxed and without pressure.

Finally, golf is all about tempo. When you practice longer than you usually do, it puts your tempo out of whack. Plus, the range before a tournament is neither the time nor place to start making changes to your swing, which is the risk you run when you increase your pre-tournament warm up time.

So, whether it’s a casual round or a high-pressure tournament, when it comes to your pre-play warm up, consider them equal.

Golf as a Workout

World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship - Round OneGolf’s reputation for being a sport lacking in physical fitness is not necessarily true. In fact, golf can be a great workout, if you let it be. When you ditch the cart, beer and typical course vices – like smoking or dipping – golf can be beneficial to your health.

If someone with an average body type walks an average golf course length, carrying clubs on their back, he or she could burn up to 1400 calories. Indeed, the cardiovascular and strength training opportunities are there.

How is it so much? Because during a round of golf on foot, golfers walk about 5-7 miles. When you factor in the hills and rough terrain, and add in strokes and swings, you have yourself a pretty good workout!

And just like any other sport, you want to give your body the fuel it needs to perform its best. Keep your energy up with healthy snacks before, during and after your round and remember to stay hydrated, especially during the hot, summer months. Water and sports drinks are the best options for preventing dehydration.

So, next time you hit the course, take advantage of all the fun the links have to offer, but remember to reap the health benefits, too.

Stay Safe in the Heat

PGA TOUR - 2006 Sony Open in Hawaii - Final RoundPlaying in the heat can effect your golf game and, even worse, your health.  But, as long as you’re prepared, you can still have fun out there, while staying safe from the heat, too. Here are some tips for when your golf game coincides with a heat wave:

  • It is recommended to drink 16 ounces of water every 2-3 holes to stay hydrated.  But don’t wait until the day of your round to drink-up.  Stay on top of hydration by drinking water on the days leading up to your outing.
  • Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen.  Use sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 and apply it at least 30 minutes before heading outside. Skin damage and skin cancer due to sun exposure is an ever growing issue with golfers.
  • Wear sun glasses or a hat to protect your eyes. UV rays can do irreversible retina damage to your eyes.
  • Dress in light colored clothing, and wear golf clothes that are wicking and breathable.  If the course allows, wear shorts..
  • Consider investing in a cooling towel.  These towels are activated when soaked in water and wrung out.  They stay cool for hours and easily wrap around your neck.
  • Book an early tee time.  Get on and off the course before the sun is the strongest.
  • Use an umbrella, especially if you’re walking.  There are push cart accessories for umbrellas, which allow you to push your cart without having to hold your umbrella.

Remember these tips the next time you’re headed to the course on a hot, summer day.  Have fun, but be safe!

Play From the Right Set of Tees

What set of tees should you play from? Most of the time when there is a group of guys they all seem to decide to play from the back tees. Is it really fun to always be hitting long irons, hybrids, or even woods into the green?

You are there to have fun, right? There is no shame to play from a shorter set of tees. Play from the set of tees that make it fun but still a little challenging. For example, if you hit the ball 275+ yards every drive it is okay to play the back tees. If you drive the ball 225 every time you would not have as much fun playing from the back tees as the longer hitter.

The different sets of tees are meant to even the playing field for shorter and longer hitters. They are not meant for a specific age range or gender.

Golfing in the Rain

Most people will try to avoid it but sooner or later every golfer finds themselves in the rain every once in a while. When this circumstance arises it is best to be prepared. When you are prepared, you will not worry about the rain as much and have a clear head.

When golfing in the rain keeping dry is the key. An umbrella and a towel is a must. Other rain gear like rain gloves, rain pants, and a rain jacket are very helpful also.

Change with the course. When the course starts to get wet and the rain is coming down the course plays differently. The ground is softer so this makes golf shots plug or stick close to where they first hit. This also means that the greens will be slower. The wet conditions will also decrease the spin that you can put of golf shots due to the water on the club face and golf ball.

Not so Hazardous Water

According to the USGA, “‘Casual water’ is any temporary accumulation of water on the course that is not in a water hazard and is visible before or after the player takes his stance. Snow and natural ice, other than frost, are either casual water or loose impediments, at the option of the player. Manufactured ice is an obstruction. Dew and frost are not casual water.”

“A ball is in casual water when it lies in or any part of it touches the casual water.”

According to rule 25-1 without penalty the player can lift and drop the ball within one club length of the nearest point of relief. Whenever you can see standing water under your feet or your ball you are allowed free relief at the nearest point where there is no standing water but the relief also has to be no closer to the hole.

Type of Golf Grip Material

There are many different types of golf grip material out there. Each one has its own benefits and drawbacks. What golf grip material is best for you?

Rubber

Pros

  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Certain types are not very tacky

Synthetic

Pros

  • Soft on hands

Cons

  • Not very durable
  • Not very good feel

Cord

Pros

  • Durable
  • Tacky
  • Good wet weather playability

Cons

  • Rough on hands

Leather

Pros

  • Traditional Look
  • Tacky
  • Durable

Cons

  • Expensive

Hit Wedges Into Hula Hoops For Better Control

cdn-hoolahoopThere is never a bad time to work on your short game. One of the best practice session you may ever have with wedges is to use hula hoops.

Sounds like a good time right? Well, after practicing with these you will really get a sense of your distance control and how you can drastically begin to make more birdies and save more pars. It’s really quite easy – bring 3 hula hoops to the practice area and lay them out at 20, 30 & 40 yards. Now hit 10 balls into each.

You’ll quickly notice what adjustments you needed to make to get the ball into each hoop. You can start moving the hoops as far back as you would like, but after just a few short sessions with these practice aids you’ll see huge improvements.

Now when you need to hit a wedge shot that lands 30 yards you can just visualize the hula hoops and remember how it felt to fly the ball 30 yards. If you’re having trouble controlling your distances give me a call, I’d be happy to come out and see what technical adjustments may need to be made to better improve the control.