Category: Women’s Golf

Planning for a Great 2013 Golf Year

With the new year just underway, many of us have made one or more resolutions about how we intend to make 2013 a great year!  While I will be using golf as my format, the goal setting approach I will focus on will work for weight loss, better health and fiscal restructuring as well…

We are all good at dreaming about something we would like to happen.  For example, most golfers would like to reduce their handicaps.  Most of us aren’t as good at making the plan of how we will achieve this goal.

When making a plan for improvement, there are three types of goals that I work with for my students:

–  Long Term Outcome Goals (Usually 6 months)  –  These are the things we want tpo accomplish long term.  An example would be, “I want to lower my handicap to 9.0 by September 30th, 2013”.

–  Monthly Performance Goals  –  These are more specific about a part of the game and will get us closer to achieving our Outcome Goals.  An example would be, “I want to increase my fairways hit to 70% by the end of this month”.

–  Weekly Process Goals  –  These are action plans designed to help us achieve our Performance Goals.  An example would be, “I will spend 5 ours this week working on my driving”.

One other key point with goal setting.  You probably already know this.  Your goals need to be “S.M.A.R.T.”, should be written down and put somewhere you can see them every day.  What are SMART goals?

S  –  Specific  (as specific as possible)
M  –  Measurable  (can be counted
–  Attainable  (it will require you to reach but is doable)
R  –  Relevant  (it is important enough to you to create desire)
T  –  Timely  (has an end date when you will complete it by)

 

So, here is a good way to make your plan for 2013.

Step 1  –  Assess where you are with the various parts of your game:

–  Ball Striking
–  Short Game
–  Putting
–  Equipment
–  Mental Game
–  Course Management
–  Memory Management
–  Nutrition
–  Practice Habits

 

Step 2  –  Set your Long Term Outcome Goals

You can see these are outcomes based on your abilities in all parts of the game.

Examples:

–  I will lower my handicap by 5 strokes by September 1, 2013
–  I will win my club championship on August 10th
–  I will qualify for the BC Amateur on June 23rd

 

 

Step 3  – Set your Monthly Performance Goals

These goals are easily set when you have your assessment results from Step 1 and are focused on parts of the game as opposed to the entire game.

Examples:

–  I will increase my putting percentage to 85% from inside 5 feet by January 31st, 2013.
–  I will raise my GIR percentage to 65% by February 28th, 2013.
–  I will gain 10 yards on my drive by February 28th, 2013

 

Step 4  –  Set your Weekly Process Goals

These are your action steps that you will make this week. 

Examples:

–  I will spend 5 hours on my putting this week
–  I will go to the gym 4 times this week and spend 90 minutes each day

 

Step 5  –  Set your Weekly Schedule

I recommend you do this at the same time each week.  Sunday evening is a good time so you can set your upcoming week, including work, school, family time, practice, play, workouts, etc.  You will be amazed how much time you have when you start being a little more efficient with your time management.

 

I hope this helps and as always, let me know if you want any help with your improvement plan!

How to Be A Better Golfer Next Spring

Since you are reading this post, it is probably safe to assume you are either a golfer who would like to improve or a serious insomniac.  I will do my best to educate you on how to make significant improvements to your golf game over the coming cooler months. If you happen to doze off, I will add curing insomnia to my resume!

I think the biggest challenge golfers face when trying to improve is that making lasting improvements takes time and repetition of the desired motion.  When golfers try to make these changes during golf season, they are usually faced with heading out to play golf and having to decide whether to play poor golf while sticking with a new swing thought or reverting back to their “old swing”.  I feel your pain, it is very difficult to soldier on with a new swing move when faced with poor shots, possibly poorer than before.

This is why fall and winter is the ideal time to make swing improvements.  The fact the weather is cool and wet and you are less likely to be playing golf or less concerned with your score, means you are far more likely to stick with your swing changes.

How do we make a swing change?  The steps are quite simple to understand but there is a key element of practice reps.

Step 1 – The golfer is often unaware of what they should change about their technique (unconsciously incompetent)

Step 2 – The golfer is educated on what they need to change (consciously incompetent)

Step 3 – The golfers is educated on the more desirable technique and how to actually do it  (consciously competent)

Step 4 – Practice the desired motion while consciously controlling the motion.  This is the biggest challenge because if you are out playing golf, you will most likely be consciously thinking about where the ball is going. When you think about anything besides the desired swing motion, you instantly lose the ability to make the desired motion because at this point, it is only a “conscious skill” and not a habit yet.

Step 5 – After lots of repetition, the motion becomes a habit (unconsciously competent) and the golfer no longer needs to think about the swing to make it happen correctly. The golfer can then play golf thinking exclusively about the shot they want to hit and not their swings.

So, how do we make a swing change?  Ideally, we spend ample time making the proper motion and not worrying about where the ball is going.  The only time this will make sense is during the fall and winter.

Golf Rules and Etiquette

Rules and Etiquette

Many new golfers are intimidated by the seemingly endless rules governing one’s behavior on the golf course.  Here is a summary of the most important things you should know before you head out on the golf course.  Notice I have listed “Rules of Courtesy”, “Rules of Fun” and “Rules of Golf”.  As far as I am concerned, when you are starting out in golf, play by the rules of courtesy and fun.  When your skill level improves you can start obeying all the rules of golf.

Rules of Courtesy

  • Keep up to the group in front of you.
  • Leave the course as you find it – Replace your divots, repair your ball marks on the greens, rake the sand traps when you are exiting them.
  • Be quiet when someone is preparing to play a shot.
  • Only play a shot when everyone is in a safe position.
  • Be ready to play your shot when it is your turn.
  • To keep play moving, play “Ready Golf”.  This means, if you are ready to play your shot and everyone is in a safe position, you can play, even if you are not furthest from the hole.
  • When you finish a hole, move to the next tee immediately and mark scores there.
  • If you are using a pull or power cart, keep it well away from the edge of the greens.  Most courses will have signs or white lines telling you where to drive.
  • When you walk on to a green, take note of where the next tee is and leave your golf bag on that side of the green.  This way, when you finish putting, your clubs will be right on your way to the next tee.
  • Don’t take more than one practice swing unless it is on the first tee to warm up.
  • If you hit a ball into the trees, bush, deep ravine, black hole, etc., don’t spend too much time looking for it.  If you don’t see it after a few moments, drop another ball and play on.
  • On the green, be aware of the location of other people’s balls and try not to walk between their balls and the hole.
  • If you hit your ball in the general vicinity of another golfer, yell “FORE” loud enough to alert them of the impending danger.  We don’t know why you yell “FORE” either but it probably has something to do with a golfer getting hit because there wasn’t enough time to yell “Hey, look out, my ball is coming towards you!!”

Rules of Fun

  • As long as you and your group are having fun, being respectful of the golf course and keeping up to the group in front of you, there really are no other rules!
  • It’s only a game!!

Rules of Golf

There are actually 34 “Rules of Golf” so we have left a few out but these are the really important ones.

  • Play the course as you find it.
  • Play the ball as it lies.
  • If you can’t do either of the above, do what’s fair.
  • You should begin play on each hole by teeing your
    ball behind your designated tee-markers.
  • You must mark your balls position with a small,
    coin-like object before picking it up on the green.
  • The person who has the lowest score on the previous
    hole has “The Honour” and is supposed to tee-off first.
  • The person whose ball is furthest from the hole is said
    to be “Away” and is next to play.

For complete rules information, visit http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Rule-01/.

 

I hope this helps you have more fun.  Let the new golfers in your life know about the different kinds of rules and let them decide how they want to approach the game.

Getting Started in Golf as a Woman

In this post, I will try to give you all the information to get you started for the golf season. You need to feel comfortable to continue playing golf. There are too many ladies quitting the game because they feel intimidated and uncomfortable. Hopefully this will help.

Buying Golf Equipment

When it is time to buy golf clubs they must be custom fitted to ensure they are suitable for the body type and swing motion of each individual.

Custom fitting includes the three parts of the golf club; head, shaft and grip.

  • Head – look for head style and lie angle.
  • Shaft – look for shaft type; steel or graphite, flex and length.
  • Grip – look for style and thickness.

Custom Fitting determines these specifications.

Why Custom fit?

A properly fitted club will enable a golfer to most consistently hit shots in the center of the clubface aimed directly at a target.

Myth – “ I am not good enough to be club fit. I could use any equipment and it wouldn’t work”.

A golf club that is not fitted properly can affect a golfers swing motion negatively. A golfer will make adjustments in their swing motion, 
regardless of club used, to get a center hit aimed at the target. Most times this doesn’t work out.

Where can I get Custom Fitted and how much will it cost?

Most professional shops at golf courses offer this service. When looking for equipment an appointment can be arranged with a
 trained CPGA professional (me if you live in or near Victoria).

The cost of the fitting is usually included in the price of the equipment. However if this is not the case, a fitting will cost $35.00 to $50.00. A fitting will take 30 – 45 minutes in length.

What clubs do I need to get started?

A new golfer can start out with a modified set of clubs.

  • One wood (5 or 7-wood)
  • Four irons (5, 7, 9, PW, or SW)
  • Putter
  • Bag
  • Balls and tees

A beginning golfer can get nicely equipped with woods, irons, putter, and a bag for as little as $350.00. For this price you can have your equipment perfectly suited to your needs.

Booking a Tee-Time

  • Phone the Pro Shop at the course you would like to play.
  • Ask if they make tee-times and if so, how far in advance can you make a booking.
  • If possible, request a tee-time for your preferred day.
  • Book your tee-time. Your time may sound odd like 11:23.
  • It is very important for you to be there in plenty of time to tee off at that time.
  • Tee times often run on 8 or 9-minute intervals so be ready to play at your time.
  • Ask about present course conditions. For example, is the course really wet, are the greens in good condition, how long will it take to complete your round.
  • Enquire about the dress code.
  • Ask the price of the green fees for 18 or 9 holes

Choosing which tees to play

Tee selection should be made based on your skill level rather than gender.

Select the tee, which will allow you to reach the green on most holes in two shots less than the par if you hit good shots. For example, you should play the forward tees until you can comfortably reach most of the par-4 holes in two shots.

Remember, golf is supposed to be fun. Playing the golf course shorter will make it more enjoyable until your skill level warrants a bigger challenge.

 

This should be enough information to get you started in the right direction, but if you have any more questions please leave a comment as I know you won’t be the only one with that question.

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