Thursday, June 18, 2015

How to Improve Your Golf Game

Unfortunately, even the most frequent of golf trips don’t guarantee to produce a master golfer. Instead, a good method to improve one’s handicap is to follow great drives with pinpoint approach shots, which means setting yourself up for the cleanest and simplest putt on each hole.

If you seriously want to master scoring zones in golf, here are four golf tips proven to help you reach that goal:

1.       Take control of your drive distance and swing. Most weekend golfers tend to overdo things and hit with as much force as possible, instead of having accuracy and a consistent drive. Focus on making a smoother swing and deliver short approach shots. In addition, try choking down on the grip and play the ball in the middle to take 5-10 yards off your shot. Don’t worry about making a single perfect shot with an all out swing; instead take it easy and hit the green perfectly.

2.       Contrary to common sights in golf lessons, the best way to actually get the ball up with any iron is to swing down on it. That doesn’t mean the club is striking the ball on your upswing, it means the ball and club meet on the club’s initial descent down.

Longer irons tend to be less lofty so you need to make sure you give it a smooth swing down. Position your chest in such as way that it points toward the ground as long as possible each time you trust longer irons.

3.       Make good use of your hybrids. Hybrids in golf are designed to hit extra-long distances and can actually cover 180 yards to 210 yards. These hybrids are shorter than long irons and are much easier to hit and control, making these a popular choice among individuals on golf vacations. Be warned though that hybrids are to be used sparingly and are in fact, most often used only on spots that are less likely to miss.

4.       Practice putting. Set aside time to practice both short and mid-range putting. We all know that practice makes for a better player. They seem simple but it’s like a foul shot in basketball – make sure you can execute the smaller, simpler things well.

Take these tips to the links and notice your game improve one round after another! And by the time your next golf trip comes around, you'll be a whole new golfer.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Three "Top 100 Courses" in the Pinehurst area.......that are not #1 through #8

When you think of top golf courses in North Carolina, The Pinehurst Resort is always the first to come to mind....but there many other great courses in the area.  

Don't get me wrong, the Pinehurst Resort is one of the best golf resorts anywhere in the world, but with that comes a hefty price tag.  If your group is looking to play 3 fantastic courses on your next golf trip, but need to do it without breaking the bank, you should really consider:  

The Dormie Club (#30 by Golf Digest) Designed by: Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw

Pine Needles (#47 by Golf Digest) Designed by: Donald Ross

Tobacco Road (#87 by Golf Digest)  Designed by: Mike Strantz 

If you are interested in hearing more about the other great courses in the Pinehurst Area give Craig Gordon or Mike Alfano with Golf Zoo a call at 800.929.7300.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Golf Terminology: Understanding Overseeding

In a previous or recent golf trip you might encounter courses that are closed or offer green fees because of the disruption caused by overseeding. This might have you wondering, what exactly is overseeding?

Overseeding refers to the maintenance on golf courses, wherein grass seeds are spread on top of the existing grass to promote new growth or to swap out seasonal turfs, replacing one type of grass with another.

Usually this is commonly done on courses that are made up of Bermuda grass, which goes dormant during winter months. In the fall, Bermuda grass is overseeded with ryegrass seed. In spring, the process is reversed. Ryegrass is overseeded with Bermuda grass, thus switching the course's turf back.

This process is considered one of the manifestations of modern golf course care, and most customers really prefer to have their golf vacation on green courses. This is one of the reasons why overseeding is performed in order to prevent the browning of Bermuda grass, and maintaining the greenness of the course throughout the year. This process is evidently used by courses in the Southwest to cater to the need of golf enthusiasts from the north.

However, there have been issues raised along the way, such as its impact on play, costs, water usage and chemical removal of the ryegrass because of its tendency to hang on too long in the Southwest.

For those who choose not to overseed, they are faced with variety challenges. Without overseeding, turf conditions are not improved during the winter. Courses face compaction due to the player and golf cart traffic.

However, they have their reasons for not overseeding. First, they can conserve water since dormant Bermuda grass uses far less water than overseeded ryegrass. Second, plays in the fall are uninterrupted since they do not have to overseed. Third, it is easier to control weed on dormant bermudagrass. Fourth, they sustain a stronger strand of warm season grasses. Lastly, the cost of maintaining it is lower compared to courses that undergone overseeding.

Nonetheless, golfers complain for the lack of green color of dormant Bermuda grass; worn areas, especially high traffic zones; and slow recovery from divot damage.

So which golf course do you think will give you the best golf trip experience:  Overseeded courses, or those that rely on older methods? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Golf Zoo seeks experienced Golf Travel Salespeople!

Golf Zoo, one of the largest Golf Tour Providers in America is seeking experienced Golf Travel Salespeople in the following destinations:
  • Palm Springs, California
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Mesquite, Nevada
  • Scottsdale, Arizona
These individuals will be responsible for daily sales and service of customized golf vacations, as well as maintaining relationships with vendors in the applicable region. This is NOT an entry level position - Only those with golf, travel, or previous sales experience need apply. We are seeking enthusiastic and hard working individuals with a strong interest in the golf travel industry. Exceptional communication skills are a must.
Benefits include:
  • Competitive compensation plan with bonuses
  • Medical and dental plans
  • 3 weeks paid time off annually
  • Telecommuting
  • Discounted travel and golf
  • and more...
If you are interested in joining the Golf Zoo team, please send cover letter with resume to Chris Parcell at

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Pros of Educating Kids about Golf Vacation

Consider the scenario of telling your kids your next vacation isn't just any other trip, but a golf vacation!... The enthusiasm might not be mutual. But there are also families that share their passion for the sport and even make these outings an annual event. If you are a part of one of those families, you can probably see how these experiences correlate to more than just golf and more than just a vacation. For those of you who are still a little skeptical of the notion, here are the obvious reasons why it's worth it:

Strong bonding
The best thing about sharing this personal interest with children is that it has the strong potential to strengthen parent-child rapport. To some kids, it might be the place mom or dad used to go enjoy time with their friends for a few days. But to a golf-loving child, it could be the one place where you and your child are most comfortable together.

Sportsmanship is a good virtue to impart at the very young age. By the time they reach teenage years, they won’t be too culture-shocked with old school concepts like “honor” and “respect” (the latter proves to become more ironic these days). Kids may not often take losing too kindly but the wisdom to gain that virtue often comes with age.

Educating precision
It may be a little too early for children to comprehend the idea of precision. However, allowing them to get used to the ways of this precision sport is a better idea when done a little too early. Adults may be excellent imitators, but science and common knowledge have proven that they fall a little too short on reflexes and muscle memory. Adults are more into the “why we do it” basis than how it is really being done. This is the very reason why martial arts experts encourage learning new things as early as possible. If the child gets used to swinging the golf club even without fully knowing the principles, he or she might have a shorter learning curve later on.

A family golf trip is guaranteed to be enjoyable for all parties involved!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Golf Tip: Respect your Caddie

If you watched the recent Masters Tournament, or any professional golf for that matter, there’s one thing you should realize:  Behind the success of every golfer lies an exceptional caddie. 

Yes, a golfer’s relationship with his caddie can make or break his chances of winning.  But looking for the perfect caddie is only half of the equation.  The other half is how you build the relationship with them. Here are a few tips and etiquette rules in engaging with your caddie, whether you’re in it for the long haul, or would just love to have a great game on your golfvacation:

You’re not his master

Your relationship with your caddie goes beyond the whole “master-servant” deal.  But while part of a caddie’s job description is carrying the golf bag and cleaning the clubs upon request, it does not entitle the golfer to treat the caddie like his or her personal bellhop or assistant.  Remember that your caddie is working WITH you - not for you.      

Respect begets respect, and giving your caddie the same amount of respect you’d expect from anyone can go a long way.  But with that sad;

Don’t get too chummy with your caddie either

It’s for the benefit of your game and anyone else’s who’s within earshot.  Keep it to golf talk with how you can improve your swing or your game in general, don’t over-engage with your caddie.  The last thing he’d want to hear from you is your problems at work or what's happening at home. 

Tip generously

Remember that your caddie will do anything to make sure that you play the best possible game, from keeping you out of trouble to giving you a tip or two about your swing.  Carrying that bag, too can be difficult, especially if you’re walking on uneven terrain.  A generous tip should be in order. The rule of thumb in giving tips is 50% for a good job done, or 100% on top of the regular fee for an exceptional one. 

Don’t forget to say thank you

It only takes a simple gesture of appreciation to let your caddie know how much he has helped you improve your game big time. Caddies have been pivotal to the success of many golfers.  Just ask Jordan Spieth, who won the recently concluded Masters.  His relationship with his caddie, Michael Greller, has been crucial to his win in the Masters. 

It all comes down to respect.  If you treat your caddie with respect and gratitude for helping you in your game, you get something back, tenfold.  It’s not just the rule of the game.  It’s the rule of karma. 
Don't forget these small things on your next golf trip!  

Friday, April 03, 2015

Golf Vacation Fitness: The Benefits of Yoga

Yoga might seem like the furthest activity to relate to golf but it brings a whole new meaning to the definition of golf fitness. In golf, you need to take control of every permissible factor. By comparison, yoga requires you to relax and let distractions pass your immediate senses. Ultimately, yoga teaches its practitioners to let go of the “illusion of control”.

Oddly enough there is a universe where yoga and golf can coexist. Thus, this extremely popular and generic Hindu exercise may even be the exact treatment you need to remedy your golf trip gameplay. Here are some benefits yoga can provide to the typical golfer:

I have trouble breathing… no more!
While it might not seem like the most endurance-demanding sport, think about how long it takes to play an 18-hole course with no down time. And even more in-tune with the avid golfer is having a specific breathing pattern. This helps your body relax and allows your body to practice muscle memory down to even the smallest of details. Yoga teaches proper breathing techniques (and doing it amidst unbelievable body postures) and can help ease some tension in your swing, while creating a more consistent pattern in how your body moves.

Instant cheat sheet to a mental test
Another advantage that yoga brings to the table for golfers concerns mental sharpness. As mentioned earlier, proper breathing takes you to a faster detour to the “concentration superhighway”. Yoga includes meditation drills in its overall program. People who are used to this activity find it easy to organize their thoughts. You’d be surprised at how easy it was come up with a strategy to pull off that nearly impossible par-3 hole.    

“Let the ball go!”
Another serious matter that gritty golfers go through is indecisiveness. Mental pressure has a way of wrecking one’s nerves. In effect, the player is left with bad impulses to decide on their final (and painfully irreversible) split-second move. Yoga practitioners, on the other hand, are taught to “let go of the illusion of control”. You may not be able to fully control the outcome of your golf vacation duel, but at the very least you can control your nerves and your every movement (and that’s all there is to it).

Don't brush off the yoga class offer next time one of your buddies brings it up. Be open minded to how it can improve your game! Just think how improved your handicap will be post-yoga as compared to your friends who are still "too tough" to attend a few classes. 

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Golf Trip Forecast: Expectations During Spring

You may think that seasons can only have a minor effect on your scheduled golf trip. However, some factors can surely make you think differently. Being prepared for spring season (for better or worst) will surely prevent you from saying, “I've never been so wrong in my life”.

It can get a little wet out there
Early spring time can still have a bit of winter aftertaste. The typical saying about "spring showers..." is something we can all be a little too familiar with. The air is damp and sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between a light sun-shower and the start of a torrential downpour. At times it might be a wiser decision to bring that umbrella with you to stay on the safe side rather than tough it out.

Morning golf... "dew" it?
As if the rain itself wasn't enough, adding in the morning dew isn't the most ideal of situations. For a few weeks, rain or shine, the grass will have a slick covering in the early hours of play. Taking that into consideration before getting to the course can ease your mind once you get to the greens. Most golfers are aware of these conditions and can adjust their play rather seamlessly. 

Better to be safe than sorry
Be smart and check the forecast before heading out. Sure a small amount of rain may not effect some courses to make them unplayable and just require a small delay in start time. But if a thunderstorm is expected to be coming in right at tee-off, can't blame anyone for that and only thing you can do is be aware of how the course handles those situations.

Spring season can be quite an extraordinary experience on a day to day basis due to the weather, nevermind where you are playing. It's not ideal for everyone's golf trip but don't rule it out for your next golf trip.