Monday, February 23, 2015

Golf Trip: Suggestions for getting lessons before a trip

Many golfers try to learn the golf game on their own or through a friend, which can be helpful but may not be the best solution for everyone. Another option to consider for improving your game before your golf trip is taking some lessons. Never any harm in asking for help and your friends will be dazzled by your new skill level. 

For those of you who consider getting lessons, there are a few suggestions to consider:

  1. Hire a credible instructor
You can ask the golf instructor for references from past students, or golfers he or she has taught.  The best information about the golf instructor's teaching methods comes from past students or other golfers that have taken lessons from the instructor. And don't be afraid to ask if they themselves had ever attempted a shot at the pro-level, you may be happily surprised by their response. 

  1. Know what skill level the instructor teaches
Make sure that the golf instructor has taught someone of your skill level. If you're a beginner, find a golf instructor who has taught beginners like yourself and not built their resume with many who came in at a high skill level.

  1. Stay within your price range
Decide on what you can afford before taking a lesson. Consider as many instructors as you can, because later on, you can trim down your list by checking how much each instructor charge. You'll know that every golf instructor makes up their own pricing. While one golf instructor may charge you $200 an hour, other instructor with the same experience may only charge you $60 an hour.

  1. Find an instructor you feel comfortable learning golf from
Sure you're not trying to find a best friend but nobody likes to listen to someone they can't stand. Hence, it's important that you look for a golf instructor whose personality matches yours because you need to feel comfortable taking instructions from who you choose. This way, the golf lessons will become more productive and interactive.

For example, if you think you need to be pushed to the limits to get better, then choose a golf instructor who'll do just that to you. Others prefer someone who is calm and laid back as they advise. Having a basic idea of the type of person you are out on the greens, and the kind of individual that works best to teach you, can be valuable.

  1. Know your commitment
Are you willing to devote a set amount of time each week for a lesson and time to practice what you've learned? With no commitment it will be hard to get the ideal results you may have in mind.

Golf lessons are by no means a requirement before your vacation, but most would say the overall improvement on their game is worth it, making the vacation time on and off the course more enjoyable. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Golf Trip Tip: Keep a Score Journal

“On my next golf trip, I'll play better”... That's easier said than done.

Crossing from novice to expert level is not as simple as most would hope. Moving from A to B in golf (or any sport for that matter) proficiently is a slow process involving an effort that is “multifaceted”. The best way to track your progress over time is to keep a score journal, which here are some tips to remember when doing so:

My total score was...
Sure it's nice to see your overall score improve but there's more to it than that. The systematic score tallies only tell two things: how much improvement you've made and how much effort you need to exert to achieve your annual goal. The most important thing to remember is the more numbers you include in the score journal, the more you can understand what pieces of your game need improvement. 

Count fairways, greens and putts
In case you still can't wrap your head around the score tally journal stuff, you can segment your scoring into some basic skill-areas. This method involves identifying three aspects of your technical game handicap. You can count how many times you've managed a quality trajectory in hitting your ball around the fairways. You can also track how many times you've landed on the “putting greens” while avoiding the hazards. Lastly, count how many putt attempts it takes before getting successfully completely each hole.

Let technology help you
In case you're still having a difficulty in simplifying your score journal, let those nice little handheld devices do the math. After all, crunching all those numbers on your own takes away from what you're really there to do... play some golf! Depending on what device you use, there are some handy applications that can do all the math-y stuff for you. It'll also allow you to enjoy the impressive landscape of the golf vacation destination more leisurely!

Eventually you'll see the numbers don't lie. In the competitive (and occasionally frustrating) sport of golf, numbers will tell you your areas of strengths and weaknesses. Be patient with numbers on the next golf trip, and learn how to use them in your favor.

Monday, February 09, 2015

The Importance of Hand-Eye Coordination in Golf

Golf vacations are not only avenues for one to have a good time. Serious players also dedicate this alone time for honing his or her skill in playing the sport. One must be able to perfectly synchronize vision and body movement to achieve higher proficiency in playing golf. Almost every sport known to man employs a great deal of hand-eye coordination. Specifically, golf requires a highly complex scope of visual and motor skills to be in harmony.

To improve overall visual acumen in playing golf, one must take note of these three basic elements:
1. Focal flexibility allows players to be able to determine various targets by easily shifting from varying distances. Whether the target is near or far, a player can concentrate on the probable destination of the ball being struck. Understanding the difference of how to strike a ball according to the distance from where you stand and where the hole is can take lots of experience to perfect. 

2. Contrast sensitivity is the ability to differentiate the smallest of details like the varying shades or hues of color that are being presented to you. Sensitive tincture vision allows players to easily gauge the irregularities of the terrain regardless of the various golf vacation he or she is playing at. Players with high level of contrast sensitivity can ascertain useful geographical features of the golf course location such as sand craters and slopes, or even if the grass appears to be thicker in one area versus another part of the course. 

3. Peripheral vision is a very important element in playing golf because it allows players to have a wider area of visibility. After all, golf courses are vast. It is relatively difficult for golf players to have a narrow peripheral vision because the sequence of the flags do not necessarily follow a linear path. A broader horizontal area of visibility makes it easier for golf players to evaluate their location and the ball's destination.

When it comes to moving the ball at a short distance, a player must have good kinetic precision. It is relatively difficult for most people to apply minimal amounts of force to move objects. Golf players encounter the same level of difficulty one would experience when striking a billiard cue ball against a ciphered ball sitting at the hair's breadth edge of the pocket hole.

But despite its relative level of difficulty, playing golf has appealed to a lot of people with a considerable degree of competitive spirit. Golfvacations can be a creative outdoor pastime that enhances hand-eye coordination for efficient movement, which is not only important in such chosen sport but also in all other aspects of life requiring mobility.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Golf Trip Reflections: How it Started in Scotland

You can name a lot of places within the schedule your golf trip. But all people who at least knew the basic history of the sport would consider Scotland as a pilgrimage site. As far as tradition goes, Scottish people have patented the invention of modern golf as we know it. Have you ever really stopped to consider how it all started? Here is a simple but out-of-the-box breakdown of modern golf's very humble beginnings:

The Dutch contraband
Like all modern sports, it has potential foreign predecessors. Around the early middle ages it was known as kolf, an indoor sport in Netherlands that, for some reason, earned the ire of the authorities. So the Dutch did what all law-abiding citizens would do – bring it overseas. So when it was sold it across the North Sea, it was one of the few contraband goods that hit the market for commoners and aristocrats. There goes the first golf vacation in Scotland. By around early 1400's, Scottish people finally understood why it was banned in Netherlands (or did they?) so they followed their neighbor's example and prohibited it.

Banned by James the Fiery Face
James II was crowned king of Scotland in March of 1437. He earned the nickname Fiery Face because of the vermilion facial birthmark often associated with quick temper. You might expect a king who just executed a courtier and banned golf because the latter held clubs with a wrong hand. But ironically, he was far from what one would expect from a “fiery face”. His reign was regarded for its relative peace and prosperity. If a king stoops to chat amiably with commoners, you'd know for sure he's quite too reasonable for medieval standards. So there must be a very good reason for banning golf, right? According to him, it disrupts archery practice (like all other sports).

When Sweet Mary decided to hit some balls
Golf was banned throughout the reign of the Stuart dynasty since these monarchs are at a perpetual feud with their southern neighbors. But its prohibition has gone crazier when the Scots were under the rule of Queen Mary in 1567. Apparently, her fondness for golf was repeatedly mentioned when her husband was murdered. George Buchanan, a Scottish historian, commented how golf “is a sport clearly unsuitable for women”. Clearly in this day and age, we know that is not true.

Thus, modern golf didn't have so much beginner's luck in Scotland. Here we are centuries later and golf trips have become an activity excepted by many.