Most people judge a person’s fitness by the way they look, but in golf you can have all the right keys to be a great golfer and nobody will notice until you hit the golf ball. Nowadays all the professional golfers are on some sort of fitness plan because they know that is the only way that they are going to stay competitive. People criticize Tiger Woods for being too big and working out too much, because of his obsession with the U.S Navy Tiger Woods often trains with Navy Seals. Tiger is living proof that there is no such thing as being too big for golf, because he is #1 in the world. Everybody will tell you don’t work out too much you won’t be able to swing, well that is simply not true if you work out the right way. You must focus on the golf specific muscle and you can lift heavy weights as long as you keep up with you flexibility. If you lose your flexibility, then you fall in the category of too big to play golf. Although people think that golf isn’t a sport, because you don’t have to be an athlete to be good, I simply to not believe it at all. You have to be golf fit, just like any other sport requires a different kind of fitness golf is the same.
Some people think that you don’t have to be fit to play great golf, I 100% disagree. I think that you don’t have to appear to be in shape, but all the professional golfers no matter how they look they are golf fit. Take Robert Karlson from the PGA tour for example, looking at him you would not consider him to be “in shape” by any means. I recently watched a documentary on him that showed exactly how much power and lag he can create with the golf club. The power comes from a strong core, and an extremely strong upper back, and the ability to create lag comes from his incredible flexibility.
There is a wide variety of golf shoes out there on the market and it’s hard to know which one is right for you. There are many different brands, styles, colors, and you can even get them spikless. If you have alot of movement in your swing or you play where the grass is often moist I would suggest that you get a pair that have metal spikes because it will prevent you from slipping and hitting a terrible shot. The color is just a preference, what ever you prefer looking down at. The kind I most prefer is the soft spikes, because I believe they give you the best support with comfort. If you love to walk when you play and you dont worry to much about slipping I would highly suggest that you try the spikeless shoes. They are by far the most comfortable, I just invested in some because we have to walk 36 holes the first day of every tournament and if I dont have the right shoes my feet hurt like hell about half way through and it effects my play. Tiger Woods recently designed his own shoe becuase he truly believes that you have to be comfortable walking all day to play to your best potential.
Now that it is winter many of you are probably wondering how you can still improve your game. What I always do is travel down to phoenix for a week and play twice a day, or I go down to farmington and play as often as possible. I realize though that not everybody has the opportunity to travel. There are other ways you can work on sharpening your game, one of the best things you can do is read a book, either on the mental side of the game, or on the technical side of the game. I always swing at my house just to never lose the feeling of the golf swing, but if you dont have enough room to swing, you can stick to just putting around the house, thats always fun and keeps you sharp. The winter is also a great time to work on your strength, and specifically your golf muscles. For more information on how to accomplish look back at my post on October 30th titled, The secret to successful golf.
The hardest part about the game of golf is the mental side. The best quote that I have heard about golf is that “golf is 90% mental and the other 10% is in your head”. If you play golf competatively you will realize that this is so true. I can’t think of a lost shot that I have had from choosing the wrong club or shooting the wrong yardage, all the mistakes that I can think of lately have all had to do with my mental approach to the shot. If I step up to the ball with the mental approach that I am going to hit a perfect shot or a perfect putt then most of the time I do. Almost everytime I step up with the mental approach that im going to screw up I do. Your mind is probably the hardest thing to master in the game of golf, and I don’t think theres a golfer in the world that has fully mastered their mind. I think that the best way to master your mental game is to listen to a mental coach named Bob Rotella. He has many audio disks that I always listen to while driving to a tournment, or warming up on the range. I think that by doing this I have improved my scores because I learned how to avoid the mental mistakes.
To make the perfect putt you have to perfect three main things; the read, the stroke, and most important the speed. There are certain processes or routines that golfers use to perfect these three things, and there is a certain order that you have to think about them in. The first thing that you want to focus on with any putt is the read. The best way to go about this is to first of all look whether you are putting down grain or into the grain, because grain will affect the speed. The next thing that you should look at is the break left to right, the best way to do that is to look at the putt from both sides. Basically after that it’s a good guess on how much it’s going to break, but the more you do it the better you will become. The last thing that you should do with regards to the read is check whether it is up or down hill because that will affect the amount of break. Once you have the putt read, you should take a few practice strokes to get the feeling of a perfect stroke before you hit the putt. This is the only time that you should be thinking about the stroke, for some players the stroke is a straight back straight through, for others it’s an arc stroke. Then get over the putt, and the last thing that should run through your head is the speed. Judging speed is just a matter of practicing and feeling the shot. The main thing that you want to do when putting is imagine a two foot circle around the hole, and then try to hit it within that two foot circle. This step is the most important because the chances of you making every putt are very slim, so you must play like you’re going to be hitting another putt. If you master speed you will limit the amount of three putts that you have during the round. If you follow this routine on the greens, I promise that you will start hitting more perfect putts and lower you’re scores.
Within the game of golf, the average golfer comes across many different rules and regulations. Some of the most common ones include water hazards, out of bounds, and unplayable lies. The first rule that is most common that you need to know how to play is a water hazard. When you hit it in the water hazard you have four options. You can hit it again from the spot you hit it in the water and take a one stroke penalty. You can take two club lengths from the point it entered the hazard no closer to the hole. If the lie is hittable in the hazard you can hit it as it lies but you can’t ground your club. Your last option is to take the point it enter the hazard and keep it between you and the pin, you can go as far back on that line as you want and drop it. The second rule that you run into in an average round is out of bounds, when you hit it out of bounds you have one option. You must drop the ball as close to the point that you hit it from, or if it was from the tee box you can just re tee. The last rule that you will most often run into is an unplayable lie, these occur when your ball is in a place that you are unable to hit it, but it is not out of bounds or in a hazard. You have three options, the first one is take two club lengths from the spot and drop it. Second take the spot between you and the pin and go back as far as you want and drop it. The last option is to go back and hit it from your previous location. There are many other rules in the game of golf but these are the most common.
There are many rules within the game of golf, some are much more common than others but all of them are very important. It would be impossible to know every rule off the top of your head, so I would highly suggest getting a pocket rules book to put in your bag. The best way to handle not knowing a rule when you are in a tournament is to do the two ball rule. This occurs when you are unsure how to play a certain rule, you must play the ball as it lies and then play another ball how you think your suppose to play it.Then when you get to the clubhouse you can consult the head pro and ask him which ball is going to count. This rule saves time because then you dont have to wait for the rules official to determine which is the correct option.
Just like anything else golf can be analyze as a rhetorical situation. All communication situations have four elements. First the message that someone is trying to convey. Second the speaker or the sender, the person trying to convey that message. Third the audience, who your trying to convey the message to. And fourth the medium, which is the way that the message is transmitted. This can be translated into golf, the player is the speaker who is trying to convey the message, which is the ball, to the hole which is the audience, by using a medium which is the clubs. Between the ball and the hole are many constraints just like in a real rhetorical situation. Those contraints are the hazards,trees, rough, bunkers, and wind. This is just a fun way to look at golf, and make use of the things that I have learned in Comp 150 this year. I encourage all you others to try to compare your blog theme to a rhetorical situation.
Alot of people think that hitting the ball straight everytime is ideal. That is not the case, in fact, most golf shots need to be shaped in order to get the ball closer to the pin. Also if you find yourself behind a tree or something you will need to shape it one way or the other in order to get the ball on the green. Once you get the hang of shaping the ball you can use the trouble on the hole to help you decide what shape to play. If there is water down the right side of the hole I would aim at the edge of the water and play a draw, that way if it draws a little perfect, and if I accidently over hook it at least I won’t be in the hazard. Its what my coach calls playing the percentages. When hitting at the green though you should have the opposite thought. If the pin is tucked on the right then I would aim at the left side of the green, and try to hit a cut. If the ball doesnt cut then I am still on the green, and if It does cut then I should be right by the pin.
Now that you know why it’s important to shape the ball you probably have the question how do I shape the ball? Im going to try to explain, its an easy concept but tough to explain. When you want to hit the ball straight you have to take the club back on the same plan that you bring it down on therefore putting backspin on the ball. When you want to hit a cut you have to pull the club back on a plane outside of your hands, and then on the way down feel like your coming across your body (or back to the inside of your hands). This puts left to right spin on the ball causing it to go right. Think of a cut swing as an out to in swing. If you want to play a hook you have to take the club back inside your hands, and come through outside (or feel like your swing the club towards right field). This puts right to left spin on the ball causing it to go left. Think of the draw swing as an in to out swing. I would recommend going to the range and working on these swings rather than taking them straight to the course. I have been playing golf for five years now and still have not mastered shaping the ball.