5 MENTAL MISTAKES YOU SHOULD NEVER MAKE ON THE GOLF COURSE

Most golfers lose way too many shots to poor mental decisions and not knowing how to systematically approach each shot and control their emotions to maintain confidence. This article will show you the 5 most common mental game mistakes that most golfers make and how to eliminate them.

1) Don’t analyze your swing, or think about it while swinging

2) Don’t think about your score (unless you really have to)

3) Don’t beat yourself up, be your own caddy and remember it’s just a game

4) Don’t just aim at the fairway or green – have a very precise target in mind

5) Don’t forget about your routine

 

This is a guest post by David MacKenzie from Golf State of Mind

SOURCE: practical_golf.com

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Michael Jordan, Steph Curry, Charles Barkley and all the other big names we would want to see tee it up with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have always made it clear this new partnership in made-for-TV matches would not be a one-time thing. On Sunday, they gave us the second installment, adding Tom Brady and Peyton Manning to the mix for The Match: Champions for Charity, which raised $20 million for coronavirus relief.

A few times this week, Mickelson has floated more ideas, most notably to the Los Angeles Times and the Dan Patrick Show. But who might be next? Who would we want to see tee it up with or against Tiger and Phil? We asked around and got some interesting responses, including the ultimate match. (Hint, think Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley).

Ian O’Connor, ESPN.com
Tiger Woods/Charles Barkley vs. Phil Mickelson/Michael Jordan

I might have gone with Brady and Belichick before Peyton Manning stole my Belichick thunder Sunday, but Jordan and Barkley would bring a ton of star power and tension to the table. It might take some convincing of MJ, since he apparently is no longer on speaking terms with his ex-good friend Chuck. But that strange dynamic would only add to the spectacle. Phil would loosen up Jordan, and Barkley would loosen up Tiger. Barkley would need a bunch of strokes to make this work, since he makes Brady seem like Ben Hogan. But coming off his “Last Dance” tour de force, Jordan would be feeling a lot of pressure on that first tee, as it has been a long time since he competed live with millions watching his every move. Can he keep it on the planet with Barkley needling him about his past big-money golf losses and a winning percentage, as an executive, that’s not in Jerry Krause’s ballpark? A lot of people would tune in to find out.

Tom VanHaaren, ESPN.com
Tiger Woods/Michael Jordan vs. Phil Mickelson/Steph Curry
I would’ve stuck with the rivalry theme and put Michael Jordan against Isiah Thomas, but we all know now that Jordan wouldn’t have played if Isiah was invited. I’ll see myself out. In all seriousness, the golf would be fun to watch, the trash talking would be outstanding and having Jordan and Mickelson on opposite teams means we also might get some added excitement from side bets. This match would have the star power needed to draw a big audience, and while it isn’t a rivalry, it would combine the old-school NBA with the new school in a fun competition. To follow up the success of the Brady-Manning match, you would need to go over the top and this matchup would check all the boxes to make for entertaining TV.

Bob Harig, ESPN.com
Tiger Woods/Phil Mickelson vs. Rory McIlroy/Justin Thomas
There are numerous ways this can go, but I like the idea of a pure golf competition with two of the game’s legends against two of the game’s young stars. And this time, let a Tiger-Phil pairing be a positive instead of a negative, as it was all those years ago during the Ryder Cup. To spice it up, make the competition true alternate shot or foursomes, not the modified version employed in the match with Manning and Brady. Having to play your partners’ foul balls makes for a stressful way to play golf and can lead to some interesting scenarios. Based on the way he handled his role as an on-course commentator, you can bet that Thomas will fully embrace the trash-talking spirit. And given McIlroy’s driving prowess, it could make for an interesting, competitive matchup. As for a location, how about Bandon Dunes to make for an impressive backdrop?

Charlotte Gibson, ESPN.com
Tiger Woods/Annika Sorenstam vs. Phil Mickelson/Karrie Webb
Why should the men have all the fun? Seriously, if we’re even entertaining the idea of Match III, this time women better be involved. Of course, it would be phenomenal to watch Woods and Mickelson tee it up with the likes of Jordan and Curry, but wouldn’t it be equally as phenomenal to see them tee it up with two Hall of Famers with a combined 113 LPGA Tour titles? This time, let’s leave it up to the two biggest rivalries in golf both past and present. Sorenstam and Webb have one of the best LPGA rivalries that dates back to the mid-1990s.

Who else has that type of history? Woods and Lefty. The parallels in their careers are uncanny. And yes, I know that Sorenstam officially retired in 2008, and Webb took a break from golf for a few years before returning to the Tour last year. But the world hasn’t witnessed a co-ed pairing like this since 2001 when Woods and Sorenstam started their storied friendship while playing the Battle at Bighorn, a made-for-TV event, that also featured David Duval and Webb. We’re long overdue for men and women to face off on the course in a big, made-for-TV event — and why not do it with some golf legends?

Michael Eaves, ESPN
Tiger Woods/Matt Damon vs. Phil Mickelson/Will Smith
If you’ve ever spent time on their Instagram pages, you would know that Phil and Will would make a natural pairing. Plus, they are two of the biggest stars in their respective fields, who have cashed in on their fame and performances like few others, despite a few flops on the biggest stages.

On the other side, Matt could bring a little something to the match that Tiger has clearly been reluctant to do in front of the cameras: NSFW trash talking! Those who have played privately with Tiger tell tremendous tales of his R-rated commentary, so with Damon as his partner, he can leave the F-bombs to the South Boston native.

And lastly, most importantly, Smith and Damon could make up for the utter disappointment that was “The Legend of Bagger Vance.”

Mark Schlabach, ESPN.com
Tiger Woods/Michael Jordan vs. Scottie Pippen/Phil Mickelson
They could call it the “Last Match,” because either Jordan or Pippen probably wouldn’t make it to the 18th hole in one piece, given what was said during “The Last Dance.” The trash talking would be epic. Like MJ, Pippen is an avid golfer. Jordan gave him his first set of clubs as a Bulls rookie so he could take his money on the course. Pippen and Mickelson are used to playing in the shadows of MJ and Tiger, so the matchup makes sense. With Phil and Jordan in the foursome, there would be some serious cash being thrown around, which would make it mighty interesting. If Pippen won’t play, I’d settle for Isiah Thomas and Phil.

Nick Pietruszkiewicz, ESPN.com
Tiger Woods/Chris Paul/Larry Fitzgerald/Mike Trout/Lexi Thompson vs. Phil Mickelson/Steph Curry/Patrick Mahomes/Justin Verlander/Danielle Kang
Hey, there are no rules here. So why not make it a one-day, Ryder Cup-style event? The Tiger/Phil Cup? Play three six-hole rotations of best-ball, alternate shot and singles. Look at those names … think they won’t have some fun? And all of them can play, too. Also, none of them are all that shy, so the trash talk should be strong.

SOURCE:  espn.com

Better Chips Through Quiet Hands

Occasionally, newer and seasoned golfers alike get nervous over the ball when faced with a tough lie, forced carry or tight pin. But if your knees are knocking over every short shot, this tip is for you and better chips are on the way.

Next time you miss a green, let the thumb and index finger of your trail hand go along for the ride.

We’ve all heard “quiet hands” when it comes to chipping. What that really means is the muscles in your arms should be more active than the muscles in your hands. The easiest way to feel this separation is to take the thumb and index finger of your trail hand off the club when practicing chips. Using the muscles in those fingers are great for writing or throwing, but are very often the culprits to miserable chip shots. By removing these fingers from the grip you’ll take the flip move out of your swing, create a wider – more forgiving – impact area, and get up and down more often.

SOURCE:  golftipsmag.com

The Great Golf Ball Search

How To Find The Best Ball For Your Game

With so many brands of golf ball overloading the marketplace, it’s difficult if not confusing to figure out which one best fits your golf game.

Here’s a sensible game plan to help you logically conduct and conquer The Great Golf Ball Search.

First, ask yourself what you are looking for:

A – Distance

B – Accuracy

C – Short Game: touch, feel, and spin

If you answer all three, the search is over, as far as I’m concerned … the Pro V1 family. Look no further. For me, Titleist’s premier line is the best all-around ball, regardless of skill level, to deliver all of the above traits. Market research and testing proves that. Period, end of discussion.

To me, anyway. For you, the discussion may be different. There are a lot of good golf balls out there. Either way, here’s my advice on finding the perfect ball.

If your answer is A – Distance, be careful, because by boxing yourself into the “distance matters most” request (granted, every manufacturer has a ball to fulfill this request), you are severely tying one hand behind your back when it comes to the touchy-feely scoring shots.

B – Many balls today with a bevy of dimple designs and patterns do a wonderful job of helping the average golfer hold their line in windy conditions, and in fact almost self-correct to a degree, minimizing those off-line shots when you make the occasional poor swing.

C – Some manufacturers advertise their “softer feel” ball for the lower-swing-speed player, and also tell you these balls feel better around and on the putting surface. When you see this type of ad on your TV, change the channel or leave the room. It’s nonsense.

Let me tell you a personal story that happened in winter 2018-19 in Naples, Florida, where I live and teach. I have been a Titleist Leadership Advisory Board Member for many years.

I’m prejudiced with reason. As a competitive professional player many moons ago, and before that a fairly successful college player, I had access to any golf ball I wanted to play. It had always been an incredibly easy choice to make through the years: Whatever was the Titleist premium ball of the time period was the ball of choice. In my experience, they always out-performed the other balls hands-down.

Anyway, in October 2018 I turned 60. Ouch — it hurts to type and look at that number. I wondered if it was time for the Old Pro to find a ball (in the Titleist line of course) that would help me find a few extra yards while not hurting me on the scoring shots (my bread and butter), on and around the green. In the past, I had gone on similar journeys and always found yardage, but hated the greenside touch and feel results. About that time, Titleist suddenly launched the AVX, and it was and still is receiving rave reviews.

I grabbed a dozen Pro Vs and a dozen AVXs. For three consecutive evenings, after I finished teaching, I went out and played holes on the golf course, hitting several drives, second shots, pitches, chips, sand shots, and putts with several of each ball. I then played several rounds with the AVX on my home course. I’m sure you know on your home track where you generally drive the ball, as I do, and how your regular ball reacts when you hit any particular club into a green, how it feels off the putter face, and so on.

With the driver, both balls were similar. The AVX was a bit longer in the air (about half a club) with my irons, and compared to any previous distance-type ball it had much better feel on short shots. Still, the Pro V won out across the board. Just more consistent, better feel, better all-around performance.

You may very well find a different result.

What you must do when contemplating a ball change is conduct side-by-side on-course testing, hitting many golf shots with every club in your bag over several days (conditions change, as do you). Then and only then will you be able to make a sound decision.

Take a hard look at the Darrell Survey results the last 100 years. Titleist is played by a landslide percentage of tournament professionals around the globe. A small percentage of world-class players are paid big bucks to play a particular ball, but the vast majority are not. Given the choice, those golfers still choose Titleist.

Whatever brand and model you choose, don’t base it on some ad, or your buddies’ prompting; do it based on your own mini-testing. Play the ball that performs best tee through green for you. It’s the only piece of equipment that is involved in every shot you hit.

SOURCE: golftipsmag.com

9 ways to pretend like it’s actually still Masters week

This is a sad, sad week for golf fans everywhere. But with the announcement of new Masters dates, we can take comfort in the fact that a 2020 Masters Tournament will likely still happen— sans azaleas. In the meantime, reruns and simulations can only get us so far, so check out this list of other ways to pretend like it’s still Masters week.

1. Pick a day to fully unplug from all your devices and strictly watch a rerun from your favorite Masters year.

2. Begin all of your Zoom calls and Facetimes with the phrase “Hello Friends.”

3. Make your own champions dinner with Tiger’s would-be selections. Since we didn’t get the final verdict on the milkshakes, I’d just go ahead and assume they’re included—we deserve that at leas

4. Go on a drive and when you pull back into your driveway, pretend it’s Magnolia Lane. It might be easier to use your imagination if you’re simultaneously playing the Masters theme song.

5. Make a mini-golf course around your house to mimic the Masters Par-3 Contest. If you have kids, dress them in all white outfits with green hats.

6. Wear whatever Masters stuff you have. Hat, polo, t-shirt, etc.—now is the time to deck yourself out in all of the gear.

7. Make an egg salad sandwich for lunch. I got this from Trader Joe’s, and while it’s not Augusta’s finest, it’s still pretty good. Pair with a chocolate chip cookie for good measure.

8. Own a green blazer? Maybe break that out over your everyday WFH hoodie this week.

9. Lucky enough to have any Masters cups? Drink exclusively from them all week.

SOURCE:  GOLF.COM

Golf and Coronavirus: 11 things you should never do when playing golf

The coronavirus has upended the world in a matter of weeks, devouring golf’s 2020 schedule and shuttering golfers indoors as they work-from-home.

Yet playing golf is still very much on the table. Encouraged, even, but only if you take certain straightforward precautions. We have a big list of all the things you should do right here. As for the things you shouldn’t do? Here’s a quick rundown.

1. Don’t share carts

Limiting the use of golf carts has become an increasingly common precaution many golf courses are taking, but if you want or need to take a cart, make sure to wipe it down throughly first, and take it by yourself so you’re not in close proximity to others.

2. Don’t remove the pin

Many courses recommend only touching the pin if you’re wearing gloves, but many others recommend not touching the pin at all. Better safe than sorry; go with the latter.

3. Don’t borrow clubs

Don’t borrow your fellow golfers’ clubs on the course. Now is not the time.

4. Don’t borrow accessories

Clubs is the most obvious one, but it goes for other golf accessories, too. Towels, tees, ball makers, balls. If they’re not yours, don’t touch them.


5. Don’t toss your partner their ball

Gimmies for short-range putts are recommended, but when your putt is deemed ‘good,’ pick up your own ball. Don’t toss your partner their ball.

6. Don’t toss your partner their ball marker

Ditto the above.

7. Don’t exchange cash

With a caddie, with your playing partner, no one. Try Venmo, instead! It’s far more convenient.

8. Don’t shake hands

This is rule No. 1 nowadays. Try a friendly wave instead!

9. Don’t reach into the golf hole

Most golf courses are inverting their golf holes to eliminate this problem altogether, but if you’re playing one that hasn’t inverted its holes, don’t reach into the golf hole to retrieve your ball. Either leave it there, or pick it up before it drops.

10. Don’t rent clubs

This should be obvious. Use your own or none at all.

11. Don’t hang around the clubhouse

For the time being, you’re at the course for golf and nothing else. It won’t be like that forever, but it is for now. Stay safe, and play well!

SOURCE:  Golf.com

 

Learn how to turn back, not sway.
Let’s talk about hip turn. James Kinney, one of our Golf Digest Best Young Teachers and Director of Instruction at GolfTec Omaha, says that from the data GolfTec has collected, they’ve found lower handicap golfers have a more centered lower body at the top of the swing. Meaning, they don’t sway.
If you’re swaying off the ball, you’re moving yourself off of your starting position. The low point of your swing moves back when you sway back, so you’re going to have to shift forward to get your club to bottom out where the ball is. That takes a lot of timing, and is going to end up producing some ugly shots.
So, instead, Kinney says you should turn.
“When turning your hips, you are able to stay more centered over the golf ball in your backswing and the low point of your swing stays in the proper position, resulting in consistent contact.”
To practice turning, Kinney says to set up in a doorway. Have your back foot against the doorframe. When you make your lower body move back, your hip will hit the door fame if you’re swaying. If you’re turning, your hips are safe from hitting the frame.
Remember that feeling of turning when you’re on the course and your ball striking is going to get a whole lot more consistent.
SOURCE:  GolfDigest

6 Tips For Taking Your Kids Out On The Golf Course

How to keep your kids and the groups around you happy on the golf course

The thought of taking a group of kids out on the golf course is a lot more daunting than taking them to the driving range. But don’t let that fear deter you. There’s a way for kids to get around the course in a completely acceptable amount of time and not bother other groups in the process.

We spoke to Erika Larkin, one of our Golf Digest Best Young Teachers and the Director of Instruction at The Club at Creighton Farms in Aldie, Virginia.

Larkin not only teaches a lot of juniors, her two young children are also golfers. If anyone has some strategies on how to successfully navigate a group of juniors around a course without making the group behind you antsy, it’s her.

Here are Larkin’s 6 tips for taking kids out on the golf course:

Looks for lulls in the action

When you contact a course, be clear and tell them you’re coming with junior players and are looking for a quiet time. “The staff should know the ebbs and flows of traffic and be able to tell you a good time so you won’t be too rushed when playing with your kids,” says Larkin.

Keep it short

There’s no harm in walking off the course before 9 – in fact, it can be the best thing you can do. Larkin says, “Depending on the age of your golfers, 5 or 6 holes may be plenty. Finish when it’s still fun and it leaves your kids wanting more.”

Again, keep it short

But this time, keep the yardage short. Create your own course and tees as needed in the fairway. Larkin suggests, “6 to 8-year olds should play from 50-150 yards out on any given hole. Nine-11 year olds maybe 180-250 yards, and 12-13 year olds play from forward tees.” There’s no need for kids to go out and play full length courses. Making their own course for them within the larger course gives them the thrill of being on a course, while keeping it manageable.

Shawn Thorimbert @shawnthorimbert

Put your own game aside

As the adult, don’t plan on being able to think about your game. “Instead of focusing on your play, focus on setting a good example in attitude and etiquette,” says Larkin. “You’re filling the job more of a caddie than of a player for this round.”

Create time-saving games

“Add in fun twists like a “hand wedge” from the sand if they don’t get it out after two swings,” says Larkin. Or if they’re struggling on the green, instate a “magic putt.” Little things like this will keep it light and limit frustration for your group, and the groups around you.

BETTER WITH AGE

Don’t make it purely individual

Play a scramble or shamble. Introducing kids to the course doesn’t mean they have to play their own ball. “Playing a scramble will keep everyone moving and make the experience more team oriented,” says Larkin.

SOURCE: GolfDigest

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