Utilizing the Driving Range to Improve as a Golfer

It has been said that repetitive motion helps to establish proper mechanics in a golf swing. If approached improperly, however, driving through a bucket of balls at the range can also lead to establishing bad habits that will be hard to break. Staying focused and practicing with purpose is key to using the driving range to improve your game.

Clubs to Use

First, making use of time at the range is important. Swinging every iron and wood in the bag isn’t necessary. Spend time with the driver, as the swing mechanics are different than they are with shorter clubs. Also, working on the short iron and wedge play will help on the course during approach shots.

Many golfers purchase hybrid clubs, but they will not practice with them enough to notice a difference. Make sure to spend time with a hybrid, as it was purchased to replace some iron or wood play.

Another consideration for some golfers will be to improve their putting or sand play. Taking time to visit these portions of the practice area can help with reading greens as well as getting a feel of playing your open-faced wedge through the sand.

Your Mindset on the Driving Range

Take the time to pick targets as the balls are hit. Ranges include distance markers and flags or targets for a reason. Improving foot positioning and ball address is important, so taking the time to actually practice with a target in mind will help with this. Becoming more accurate on the range will transfer over the course on the next round with your family and friends.

Approach the session like an actual round of golf. Start with a driver shot, followed up with an iron, wood, or hybrid shot. Finish the practice approach with a short iron or swing of the wedge. Not only will this establish rotation through the bag, but it will also help to slow down the pace of practice. After all, it should be about the quality of the session, not the number of balls hit.

Even if the session is focused on a particular group of clubs, say irons, it still should not be a race to empty the bucket of balls. Applying a bit of focus on the driving range session can result in a noticeable improvement for the serious amateur and semi-pro.

How a Golf Course Maintains their Green Grass

The United States is home to thousands of golf courses. Regardless of the time of year, many of these golf courses have lush, green grass. (This is especially impressive considering how difficult it is to keep even a small yard green all year round.)

Golf courses use a variety of techniques to maintain the health of their grass. Here are a few tips and tricks used by maintenance pros on golf course grass.

The Grass Itself

Golf courses use special types of grass that are designed for different climate zones. One of the most common strains of grass used on modern golf courses is known as Kentucky Blue. This strain is rugged and designed to stay green all year round. However, the specific strain of grass will vary based on the needs of a golf course and it’s geographic location.

Irrigation

Most golf courses also have a complex irrigation system. As a rule of thumb, golf courses will only water grass at night, even if nobody is on a course during the day. When the grass is wet, exposure to direct sunlight can actually cause damage to the delicate skin of the grass. To reduce this from happening, many courses water their grass in the very early hours of the morning or later in the evening when the sun has set.

Fertilizer

In terms of fertilizer, most courses used a standard mixture of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous. This mixture is also known as NPK. Many golf courses will use a slow-release version of an NPK fertilizer on their courses. These provide nutrition for grass over an extended period of time, helping to reduce the shock of too much fertilizer all at once. In some cases, over-application of fertilizer can kill grass.

Weeding

Finally, golf course grass is carefully screened for the presence of any weeds. Weeds can often crowd out desirable types of grasses. In some cases, weeds may also release chemicals that can have a negative impact on the growth rate of desirable grass species.

 

Most importantly, it’s critical to remember that a beautiful span of grass doesn’t happen overnight. For a professional golf course, it can take years to get the golf course grass looking the way it does. Even when doing everything right, time is still a crucial piece of the puzzle.

8 Things You Shouldn’t Do on the Golf Course

A round of golf involves more than chasing around a little white ball and hitting or putting it in the intended direction. There is, after all, golf etiquette to understand and follow.

Most players have been stuck behind a golfer or golfers whose lack of understanding of the game’s rules and etiquette becomes an annoyance. That said, here are some behaviors every golfer should avoid to make the round enjoyable for everyone.

  1. Not being courteous

Being courteous on a golf course entails many things, including remaining quiet when someone is preparing to hit and while hitting their shot.

  1. Not playing at a reasonable pace

No one like to play behind someone – or group – that takes forever to hit their shot or putt. A 9-hole round of golf should take no more than 2 1/2 hours.

  1. Leaving the course in worse condition

No golfer should be excused for not repairing their ball marks on greens, for not repairing divots, or for not raking the bunkers after hitting a shot from the sand.

  1. Showing up late for a tee time

Showing up a couple of minutes before a tee time – or worse, a couple of minutes after it – is nothing to be treated lightly. Good golfers know that arriving well in advance for a tee time is an important part of etiquette.

  1. Stepping over another golfer’s line

Never walk over the imaginary line between a person’s ball and the hole while on the green. Leaving a mark or indentation that affects the putt is a no-no.

  1. Holding up other players

This also involves playing at a reasonable pace, as discussed earlier, but also involves the courtesy of letting a smaller or faster group play through if the hole ahead is open.

  1. Throwing clubs

Everyone hits bad shots from time to time – even the pros. But there’s no excuse for throwing clubs that A) may endanger other players, and B) makes the thrower look like a bad sport, or worse. Remember, you are not Happy Gilmore.

  1. Spend an excessive amount of time searching for a lost ball

Take no more than five minutes to look for a missing ball. I promise it’s not worth your time.

I hope these tips help you feel more confident about proper etiquette next time you step onto the course.

6 Tips for Doing Business on the Golf Course

Originally published on DarrellKindley.org.

Would you rather sit in a 5-hour long business meeting in your office, or chat over a leisurely game of golf instead? For decades, the game of golf has been as much a fun sport as a backdrop for important business meetings.

When trying to close a deal on the golf course, some things about your golf game should change, but others should remain stagnant.

Here are 6 expert tips for getting the most out of your afternoon on the green.

  • Know when to talk (and when to keep quiet)

If someone is lining up their swing, it might not be the best time to start a serious conversation about your numbers from last quarter. Whether you’re playing 9 short holes or a whole 18, you’ll have plenty of time to chat. No need to be a distraction in an attempt to get your point across more quickly.

  • Keep it casual

A meeting on the golf course is expected to be a bit more casual than one in an office. It’s okay if every conversation isn’t revolving around the main topic of conversation. Take time to chat about golf, the weather, how your favorite sports team is doing this season, etc. Although this conversation is off-topic, it does serve a purpose. Building a rapport with the people you’re doing business with is vital to the relationship.

  • Remember your goal

The conversations can be fun and light-hearted, but don’t completely lose sight of why you’re there. Find creative ways to weave the conversation from business to casual, ensuring that you cover every topic on your mental agenda.

  • Don’t give up the win

If you’re a good golfer, don’t feel the need to purposefully lose to make others feel that you’re on equal ground. Intentionally playing a bad game can be insulting to everyone else playing. The best rule is to play fairly and play to your ability. Whether you win or lose, do so with grace.

  • Bring the right people

Each situation will vary, but you should know beforehand if it will be a one-on-one meeting, or a meeting with numerous people. If it will be a group of business people golfing together, it’s essential that you bring the right people. Balancing business and playing takes a certain skill level that some people don’t have.

  • Save your six-pack for the weekend

When you’re golfing with your buddies on the weekend, it’s perfectly acceptable to have a few cold ones throughout the day. When you’re conducting business, that rule goes out the window. You want to keep a clear head and a certain level of professionalism when conducting your business on the golf course.

Before suggesting a business meeting at your local country club or course, be sure that you know your audience. In some circles, doing business and playing golf simultaneously is still a valued means of effective communication. In other circles, the age-old tradition is completely obsolete.

Perfecting Your Golf Swing

Perfecting your golf swing takes a lot of work. It is something that a golfer must practice for dozens of hours in order to improve. However, many individuals who play golf can put all of this time into improving their golf swing and still not find the improvements they want unless they know what to specifically practice. Fortunately, we have some incredible golf tips to help you improve your swing and take your game to the next level when you’re out on the course.

Make Sure to Keep Your Hands Low

Adjusting the height of your follow through with the swing can reduce the height of the shots that you take. Aiming lower will lower the ball flight and give you more accuracy with your swing. Keep your hands low at all times for optimal results when you take your next swing.

The Impact of Your Swing

You will want to get more pressure into the lead heel instead of the trail heel when you strike the golf ball. Make sure you have proper body rotation during your swing and that you can get the shaft of the club to lean forward towards the ball. These adjustments will allow the clubhead to travel at a downward trajectory towards the ball whenever you strike.

Keep an Open Mind and Stay Committed

A golfer who receives professional training can still find his game lacking whenever he is out on the field if he is resistant to new information. Many golfers can be stubborn and believe that they know enough to be the very best. Unfortunately, even professionals have room for improvement. However, a lot of golfers will try a technique they heard of online or in person once and quit after it doesn’t work. These techniques require a lot of time and practice to master and should not be given up on so easily. Keep an open mind and stay persistent to improve your game.

Golf is a meticulous sport that requires dedication and patience to win. It is important for the golfer who wishes to improve his swing to learn as much as he possibly can about the sport and stay committed to his practice. Only then will he be able to improve his swing and begin to see the results that he has always wanted.