Archive for the ‘Monthly Newsletter’ Category

Golfing in Spain…

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Like all golf trips, it starts with one of your golfing buddies suggesting it’s time you went away for a few days without the family. It then quickly moves to everyone saying which courses they would like to play and in which countries….

Golfing in Spain mapThe next step is that one of you has to stop talking and actually go online and do the research, but where do you start?

Despite the growth of new golfing destinations in the world such as Turkey, Morocco and some of the Central European countries such as Bulgaria, Slovenia and more lately Poland, Spain remains one of the most popular destinations for Brits to head for.

Golfing in Spain – The Stats…

The favourable exchange rate has helped in recent years to make it competitive against the ‘new kids on the block’ but it is the lure of some great golf courses that really keeps the punters coming back year after year.

Whilst cost is obviously a key driver on destination selection, we are looking for more than just a holiday. As one UK operator said: “90% are looking for a deal, 10% are looking for experience” (Courtesy of IAGTO Report 2013)

Since 2012 Spain has remained the no.1 destination for UK golfers and whilst the banks are now running many of the courses (following the crash of 2008), why do so many golfers return year after year?

One reason is the guaranteed weather, however, just as important is the variation of courses you can play.

Be your preference a desert course with testing winds or rock-lined fairways with great views or perhaps a flat bunker-ridden style layout that asks you to consider every shot.

 

Golfing in Spain – Mar Menor Golf Resort…

Mar Menor Golf Resort intercontinental-murcia

Mar Menor Golf Resort intercontinental-murcia

Having decided with my fellow explorer that it was a combination of all three of the above we wanted, we settled on spending four days at Mar Menor Golf Resort – part of the IRM Nike golf (formerly Polaris World).

The quality of golf courses came highly recommended, as did the hotel group hospitality and amenities.

The group hosts six golf courses, all ‘Jack Nicklaus’ designed, although only one was actually designed by the great man himself.

The courses include El Valle (Tournament Course) La Torre (Challenge Course), Saurines (Desert Course), Hacienda Riquelme (Championship Course), Alhama (Signature Course) and Mar Menor (Residential Course).

We decided to position ourselves at the Mar Menor Golf Resort (on the Costa Calida) itself and use this as our base to plot our attack on the Spanish fairways……

N.B.  It is quite common if there are less than four people playing in your group, that you will be partnered with other people. This speeds up play and can be good fun. So if you just want to be alone with your best golfing pals, ensure you only travel in groups of four.

Golfing in Spain – The Courses…

 

Alhama

Cost: Public = 80 Euros / Residents = 52 Euros

Alhama Golf CourseAs stated above, this course is seen as the ‘jewel in the crown’ within the group. It is situated an hours’ drive from Mar Menor but is easy to find, thanks to the great directions given to us by the Pro-shop.

At first, you are slightly disorientated on arrival as the course is within the walls of the residential area, however once this hurdle was navigated, you then arrive at an unassuming car park that leads to The Clubhouse.

Wow! You know you are a course that has not only been designed by Mr.Nicklaus but that it has been sculptured beautifully into the landscape. I can only imagine how many hours the green keepers spend attending to all the tee boxes alone.

The course is long (6500+ metres) but don’t be put off, most of the fairways are wide and forgiving but watch out for the wind. The course is built in a valley are when it blows, it really blows.

The Clubhouse is modern but small and doesn’t match the surrounding but I believe this is a temporary structure and will be replaced by one much grander in style, just like the rest in the group. There is a fantastic open air range to hone your game before heading out.

The first three or four holes are a delight, undulating fairways, bunker-ridden par 3’s but once you get past these, the course starts to stretch out (don’t think I hit a short iron into a  green until the back nine!).

Whilst the fairways are brown and barren (it is Spain), there is a good combination of left and right aligned holes. These contrast the greens are rich dark green and firm (i.e. very difficult to land your ball on).

Of course, most have plenty of breaks and borrows, so don’t expect to leave without at least some 3-Putts on your card.

Realistically this course is built for low handicappers (10 and below), so don’t be disappointed if you struggle to score well. Just enjoy the course, and the views and enjoy it in the manner in which ‘Jack’ would want you to.

TSG verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

 

El Valle

Cost: Public = 80 Euros / Residents = 52 Euros

El Valle Golf CourseAs you walk to the first, you immediately know you will enjoy the day. The vast wide fairway (with strategically placed bunkers) is beautiful with a mountainous backdrop that wouldn’t look out of place in the Arizona desert. The tee boxes again were very good and well tended to and cleared marked for all levels of golfer.

As we made our way around we commented on how well the course was designed and that every hole provides you with a different challenge. Ranging from short-ish Par 4 to tempt you to expansive 450 m+ Par 5’s, this course has something for everyone.

The course twists and turns with slight inclines and drops that won’t leave you out of breath. However, there are plenty of bunkers for you to find (on one hole we counted 10) so you will need to think your way around here.

So to the signature hole: It does take a little effort to walk to the elevated 11th tee, that gives you a panoramic view for miles around. However, once you’ve taken in the view, you’re then faced with teeing off over rocks and on to the fairway 50ft below, where bunker will catch a wayward shot – brilliant!

The greens here were very good. Not too firm that you can’t land on them but quick enough to get you thinking. All were true. Whilst water is not the main feature here, the back nine does require plotting your way around some pretty and challenging water but this all adds to the variety of holes.

Finishing the day back on the patio area, we enjoyed some great service, good food and a refreshing drink, whilst we discussed the ups (there were no downs) of both the course and its layout.  We will definitely be returning to this course again.

TSG verdict: 5 out of 5 stars

Mar Menor

Cost: Public = 80 Euros / Residents = 52 Euros

Mar Menor Golf CourseWe saved this course for the final day giving us plenty of time to enjoy a leisurely breakfast in the clubhouse, situated in the main Inter-Continental Hotel building.

The staff were all very friendly and the service excellent.

After meeting with Chris Ahern (Commercial Director), he quickly gave us a tour of the facilities and gave us some pointers on how to enjoy the course.

The atmosphere here is very different to the other course and it has much more of a ’local club’ feel about it.

The first tee situated less than a few yards from the clubhouse and offers you a simple Par 4 start but note the fairway doesn’t start for 150 yards, but don’t worry, the sandy fairway is plenty good enough to play from.

The course then meanders around three or four loops, each returning to the main Clubhouse.

The course is flat and has a layout that nicely rotates between Par 3’, 4’s and 5’s. This means you could play it again and again without getting bored.

Upon reaching the back nine, water comes into play on holes 11, 12 and 13 circling a very pleasant reed-lined lake.

Tricky if you tend to fade the ball as all holes are left to right but equally challenging to those that draw the ball, as each hole is also flanked by apartments.

Having navigated these holes, you then return to a parkland style finish with the 18th positioning you back at the main clubhouse.

The only negative we could aim at this course is that it looks a little tired in places but that comes from the fact that is the most played course in the group.

However, this course is much shorter than the others and suits all levels of player. The food in the clubhouse is very good and the club-sandwich is to die for! All in all, we liked this course and we would happily return.

TSG verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

 

Golfing in Spain – The Accommodation…

Mar Menor VillaThe Villas here have been designed by the prestigious architect Melvin Villarroel and they are based on his concept of “Architecture of the Vacío“.

This is the principle of where architecture and nature meet in a ’comprehensive design’ converging  great garden areas with ‘exuberant’ vegetation in which the main hotel swimming pool takes pride of place.

It’s excellent communication a few minutes drive from the best beaches of Murcia and close to natural landscapes and tourist routes, make this a special place for rest and leisure.

Staying in a privately hired villa rather than in the main hotel, these properties are available to rent either on short or long lets.

They all come in various shapes and sizes but are all clean, modern and packed with everything you would expect, including air conditioning, dishwasher, patio furniture and some have their own private pool.

The resort boasts three restaurants and an ‘Irish’ pub (full of golfing memorabilia) with a big screen, that normally shows golf. So you have plenty of choices to eat and the main Clubhouse bar also attracts many golfers back in the evenings.

Golfing in Spain – The Costs…

Mar Menor Villa 2

We hired a Villa privately on the main road into the resort with two bedrooms (sleeps up to 6) into the resort for £250 (four days) but this may vary depending on the time or year and availability.

Hotel/Apartment bookings can be made via the main hotel website but 2016/17 guide prices* are as follows:

 

2 bed (sleeps up to four)

LOW season (Nov 1st  – 14th Feb, 1st May – 15th July, Sept)

Mar Menor Villa 3

7 Nights + 5 rounds of golf = Euros 303

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2 bed (sleeps up to four)

SHOULDER season (Oct, 15th Feb – 30th April)

7 Nights + 5 rounds of golf = Euros 348

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*rates shown are purely illustrative and will vary.

Mar Menor Villa 4

Bookings can be made direct from at the following website and many others:

http://www.golf-marmenor.com (Ask for Steve McGraw – very helpful chap)

http://golfregiondemurcia.com/en/index.html

https://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/mar-menor-golf-resort

https://www.ownersdirect.co.uk/rentals/spain/mar-menor-golf-resort

Alternatively, you can book breaks via the main hotel sites:

http://www.intercontinental.com/hotels

http://theresidences.marmenorresort.com

Golfing in Spain – Other costs…

Flights to San Javier (Murcia) or Alicante can be booked at all the usual low-cost airlines from as little as £80 (book early) and Car hire was less than £50 for four days.

Just remember to get your CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) cover before you leave, as they will try to charge you another £50+ at the terminal, despite it only costing £8 online.

For information regarding the golf you can visit:

http://golf.marmenorresort.com/en/golf

Or contact Chris Ahern direct on cahern@irmgolfexperience.com

Golfing in Spain – The final say…

We spent four great days in the region enjoying both the golf and the food, and having previously visited a number of the courses in the area (including La Manga, La Finca and Las Ramblas), we can highly recommend this group of courses if you’re golfing in Spain anytime soon.

They will provide any golfer with plenty of challenges and enjoyment… and you are ‘almost’ guaranteed good weather!

Alhama Golf Club 2

By Ian Mullins

US Masters 2016 – TSG Tips Fowler, Mickleson & Rose…

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016
US Masters 2016 - Green Jacket

US Masters 2016 – Green Jacket

Come Thursday, April 7th 2016 we’ll all be sitting down to watch the now infamous ceremonial tee shots of the US Masters 2016.

As the world’s best golfers begin their way down the first fairway at Augusta (assuming they hit the opening hole fairway that is) all the competing players will be looking to don the famous Green Jacket at the end of the tournament …

In 2015 Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer kick-started one of the most remarkable performances from a young man Augusta National has ever seen.

A man who has since projected himself to the top of the world, reaching peaks that can only be compared to the two most successful players in history; Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus.

The new wonder kid of golf now has seven titles on the PGA Tour, and has finished in the top ten, 34 times in the past 3 years; let’s not forget he has only played in 79!

That young man was Mr.Jordan Spieth.

After winning by 4 shots last year we know that Spieth will be battling whoever decides to turn up for the first Major of the year with his best golf.

However, the last few weeks, we have witnessed some issues with his swing, inconsistency and those putts have not been dropping.

Therefore, Jordan Spieth, may not be passing the US Masters 2016 title and green jacket back to himself this April.

US Masters 2016 – TSG Predictions…

So who is going to win? We asked TSG blogger, Craig Murray on his favorites for the US Masters 2016…

US Masters 2016 - Mickleson

US Masters 2016 – Mickleson

Phil Mickleson?

One of the sport’s most loved players of all time has found his mojo!

After ditching Butch Harmon in the autumn, Phil has hired a new swing coach in Andrew Getson. A fairly unknown character in the world of golf, Getson’s first few months have supplied big Phil with some superb results.

Slumping to his lowest overall world golf ranking (OWR) since 1995 last year, Phil has already knocked up a 2nd, 3rd and 11th spot in just 4 starts this calendar year.

This 3 times masters champion chased Jordan to the end last season, finishing 2nd, and definitely has another major left!

If the putts drop, Phil could easily bag himself a 4th green jacket.

US Masters 2016 - Rickie Fowler

US Masters 2016 – Rickie Fowler

Rickie Fowler?

Once voted, ‘The most overrated golfer on tour’, this young heartthrob has found himself sitting just 3 spots away from the best player in the world.

Not a bad year for Rickie with 4 victories including the Players Championship in 2015.

Known for his eccentric clothing, he is now one of the most feared players on tour with an ‘incredible’ short game, just what Augusta asks for.

T12th in 2015 and T5th in 2014 this guy knows what is needed here and could well find his first Major. Augusta could be Orange come April 10th.

Justin Rose?

US Masters 2016 - Justin Rose

US Masters 2016 – Justin Rose

With one of the best swings on tour, one major in the bag and a solid start to the new season, Justin could be the man to follow around Augusta.

In 10 appearances at The Masters, Justin has only finished outside the top 25 twice, including a tied 2nd place last year behind Jordan Spieth.

A couple of poor putting performances have cost him a title or two this year however he has a few weeks to get this sorted.

If you are looking at following a Brit, here’s your man!

There you go, there’s the three tips for the US Masters 2016, Good luck!

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by Craig Murray

Pro Tips – Fix Your Swing…

Saturday, October 10th, 2015
Fix Your Swing 1

Fix Your Swing fig.1

Has your playing partner ever said after a bad shot, “You need to fix your swing! You’re bending your left arm!”?

Well, the good thing about this swing fault is,  it’s very easy to see! So if you heard it, there is a strong possibility you did it. (Note: This is for right handers. If you’re a lefty, it will be your right arm)

Fix Your Swing – What causes it…

The left arm bending can cause a whole host of shots, but mostly I see either a topped shot or a slice.

Why does this happen? Above Right, I’ve ‘set-up’ to the ball and bent my left arm. As you can see the club has raised and therefore, I am going to hit the top of the ball from the bottom of the club.

Great! We now know why we ‘top’ it, but how can the left arm cause a slice?

Fix Your Swing – The Set-up…

Fix Your Swing 2

Fix Your Swing fig.2

If you bend the left arm in the backswing, after a few missed shots or topped shots, your brain will react and find a way to get the club to the bottom of the ball.

The brain’s fix is to get you to dip the upper body down to the ball. When the body does this in motion, it make the shoulder plane steep and throws the club over plane.

Apologies, some technical jargon there but below you can see from a good set up, I’ve dipped the upper body.

I’ve also lost my height, and you can see the club has moved well out in front of my body. The only place to go from here is to swing across the ball.

Fix Your Swing – How do I send it straight…

Fix Your Swing 3

Fix Your Swing fig.3

The Grip…

  • Firstly ensure the grip is in the fingers of the left hand
  • Have a look at the thumb on your left hand – make sure it is “short” i.e. tucked up close – as shown right.
  • Both of these will help engage the muscles in the forearm effectively, allowing you to hold the weight of the club in the swing easier

The Swing…

  • From waist high in the swing, we need to make sure the wrists hinge (and not the elbow). A thought that works well is to feel yourself push down on the handle of the club.
  • This will push the clubhead up and cause the wrists to hinge. Pushing down on the handle engages triceps which will keep that left arm straight!
  • Fix Your Swing 4

    Fix Your Swing fig.4

    As you swing to the top, keep pushing down on the handle and turn the right shoulder behind you

The swing section today is quite detailed as failing to hinge the wrists and failing to turn will both cause the left arm to bend.

Fix Your Swing – Practice makes perfect…

Work on this, one swing at a time! Practice the wrist hinge, until you’ve got it and it feels less of a conscious thought.

Make a lot of half swings doing this, so the arm stays straight…..

Then get the shoulders turning!

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By Andy Clissold – TSG Head Pro

Winter Golf Membership….

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Winter golf membershipAs the nights grow shorter and we head into Autumn, many golfers look at packing the clubs away for the Winter but with some great deals available out there on Winter Golf Membership, don’t let the weather get in the way, keep playing!

Many TSGers like to keep developing their game in the cold months and Crown Golf are just one of the golf club networks looking to incite you to keep the clubs out of the garage for a little longer than normal this year.

This month sees Crown Golf launch one of the most exciting Winter golf membership packages in the UK for many years….

So what is in their Winter Golf Membership package?

New members will be able to take full advantage of fantastic golfing facilities with complimentary access to over 30 golf courses, including 5 partner clubs.

This Winter golf membership package provides access to some of the best member benefits this country has to offer with full membership access over the FOUR months, at a very competitive rate.

5-day and 7-day membership packages are available varying from £180 to £410 depending on the club and county.

Split into 4 tiers, the pricing structure is very easy to understand…..

Tier 1 from £315…

(Pyrford Golf Club, Woking)

Tier 2 from £235…

(Merrist Wood Golf Club, Guildford; Mill Green Golf Club, Welwyn Garden City;Milford Golf Club, Godalming; Sherfield Oaks Golf Club, Basingstoke; St Mellion International Resort, Saltash; The Hertfordshire Golf Club, Broxbourne; Cams Hall Golf Club, Fareham).

Tier 3 from £210…

(Chesfield Downs Golf Club, Graveley; Oak Park Golf Club, Farnham; Paultons Golf Centre, Romsey; South Essex Golf Club, Brentwood; Stapleford Abbotts Golf Club, Romford; Sunbury Golf Centre, Shepperton).

Tier 4 from £180…

(Addington Court Golf Club, Croydon; Bristol Golf Club, Almondsbury; Eccleston Park Golf Club, Prescot; Wickham Park Golf Club, Fareham).

Winter golf membership – The closing date?

It’s no surprise that an offer like this has a cut-off point.

Sign up to the offer before the end of October and enjoy your golf this winter with just one upfront payment which will not impact your Christmas shopping.

Other advantages of the Crown Golf Winter golf Membership packages…

The Crown Golf estate consists of 23 Golf Clubs, located in 7 counties, stretching from Cornwall to Liverpool. However, the majority of clubs are closely positioned to the M25 and M3, even more reason to join and utilise the member benefits.

Packed with diversity, the Crown Golf Group boast seven pay and play clubs, sixteen membership clubs and one of the finest golf courses in the country, St Mellion International Resort in Cornwall.

Crown Golf also offer fantastic ‘Pay and Play’ green fee offers all year round, boasting some of the best draining courses in their surrounding areas.

Winter Golf Membership

For more information visit: www.crown-golf.co.uk

 

Nearest Pin and Longest Drive Markers…

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015
Nearest  Pin and Longest Drive Markers

Nearest Pin and Longest Drive Markers

As you know, we are always on the look-out for new products and this month we are enthusing at the invention of these new and innovative Nearest Pin and Longest Drive Markers by Golf Marker Systems.

For many years, we’ve all be using the flimsy and cumbersome Titleist markers that are provided by the course. However, this new ‘waterproof’ and attractive design is a real sea change.

However, how many times have you done this and had the markers returned soggy and wet? The crisp paper now nothing more than a mushy unreadable mess? Or you try to write your name but the whiteboard and pen are so wet it’s impossible?

No more  scribbling names in the wet and covering with a plastic bag, just use the waterproof paper and pencil. We ordered this product in time for the TSG Par 3 Championship at Pedham Place Golf Club and loved them!

Nearest Pin and Longest Drive Markers – The idea…

Nearest Pin and Longest Drive Markers

Nearest Pin and Longest Drive Markers

The GMS team began to experiment with different options on how he could create an all weather marker. In the beginning, they explored how they could still add names to the marker without changing the concept.

This led the trial of magnets, which worked well but were not cost effective or viable. They needed to find something that could be written on but withstand the rain whilst still being lightweight and look professional.

After two years of development the company found the solution and have been overwhelmed with the response to the product. They have taken orders from clubs such as The Royal St Georges, Loch Lomond and Ham Manor amongst many others.

Nearest Pin and Longest Drive Markers – Not just for golf clubs…

However, not just an accessory for golf clubs, these Nearest Pin and Longest Drive Markers are being used by golf societies and charities all over the UK and as far away as Australia.

They come in a number of colours and sizes and you can add any image or logo to the front, making them unique. They can also make for handy travel sized marker for your golfing holidays too.

TSG OFFER: We have arranged a 10% discount off all purchases in September and October for TSGers, just use the using the following code when purchasing: SOCIAL

Visit – www.golfmarkersystems.com

The Home of the Ryder Cup…

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Ever wonder how and where the Ryder Cup came to into being. The home of the Ryder Cup is none other than Verulam Golf Club, St.Albans, where Samuel Ryder played…

The Home of the Ryder Cup…

It’s a little-known fact but the official home of the Ryder Cup is not St.Andrews, The Belfry or any other well-known clubs in the UK. But it is at the club where Samuel Ryder was a member along with his coach Abe Micthell.

It was as captain in 1926 that Ryder presented ‘a cup’ to promote matches between the USA and Great Britain. It is of course, a matter of history that the cup was named after this great man.

His first stint as Club captain was actually in 1911. the course was originally designed as a 9 hole course by civil engineer Earnest Phillips. However, six years later James Braid extended the course to 18 holes.

Other members at the course included members of the “Great Triumvirate” including John Henry Taylor and Harry Vardon. While Ryder’s coach Abe Micthell and Henry Cotton also enjoyed the course.

Samuel Ryder & Abe Mitchell

Samuel Ryder & Abe Mitchell

Inside the Home of the Ryder Cup…

It’s refreshing that when you enter the clubhouse, you could be forgiven for not knowing where you are?! The way the club present this history is very understated and I can’t help feeling if this were America, this would be a shrine to the sport we all love.

However, once you look beyond the old style decor, you soon notice little references, like the portrait of Ryder, The named Ryder Cup room, the back and white images on the walls but most inspiringly, a copy of the actually agreement drawn up by Ryder and his associates, outlining how this international competition should be played!

The Home of The Ryder Cup – The Trophy Cabinet…

There are two other key points to note as you walk around, there is an ‘almost’ replica trophy of the world famous cup sitting behind the glass cabinet… is it the Ryder Cup? It looked like The Ryder Cup? No, it’s a similar design, that was given to Abe Micthell as a thank you from Samuel Ryder.

Which brings as to one of the rare facts, that most are unaware of…. who is the figure that sits on the top of The Ryder Cup?

Mr.Samuel Ryder himself? No, it is Abe Mitchell, his coach.

The Home of The Ryder Cup – The course & members…

Unfortunately, on visiting the club, I did not get to play as I was there for a meeting but I was superbly greeted by ex-captain Geoff, who could have been more courteous and welcoming. He was very keen to share the history of the club and was quick to ask me to be his guest for a game, next time I am in the area.

I will take Geoff up on this offer and judging by how well looked after the 1st tee box was, I am looking forward to stretching my legs around this hidden gem.

I’ll leave the final comment to one of the TSGers who played there earlier in 21015…

“I decided to have a crack at Veralum after working out that it’s the closest course to me, located in the chalk belt just north of London… which means it ought to drain better than my local courses. Unfortunately, the first time I played here, it was below freezing and the ground was completely solid, so it wasn’t possible to test the drainage theory. Anything that landed on a green bounced 30 feet into the air and off the back. Quite entertaining but not good golf.

The course was interesting enough though for me to go back a week later and it’s a really attractive course, with no duff holes and a couple of really standout features (such as the chasm on the 15th). There are two ranges, a chipping area and a practice green.

The staff are the friendliest I’ve ever encountered at a golf club. The bacon baguettes are amazing, the bread is still warm from the oven. The Pro and his staff were in the bar chatting to us after the game and the members we met were all very smiley and welcoming. The total opposite to some clubs, where their first reaction to visitors is to check for dress code infractions first and ask questions later. At £20 a round this is great value. Oh, and the Ryder Cup was born here!Steve Rawlinson – Jan 2015

You see, this really is the Home of The Ryder Cup!

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By Ian Mullins

Pro Tips – Cure that Slice…

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

Fed up with wayward drives? Need to cure that slice? How about we get it fixed then…

In this month TSG Pro Tips,  I am going to cover a common lesson I give to all my students. Often when I see a golfer slice the ball, the clubface is wide open at impact (pointing right).

So today, let’s get that clubface pointing more at the target and stop that ball going right and cure that slice.

The good thing about what I’m going to cover here is that the fault comes from the takeaway – the reason I say this is, is that is often easier to fix, than breaking down the swing bit by bit and rebuilding.

Pro Tips - Cure That Slice 1

Pro Tips – Cure That Slice fig.1

Part One – How to cure that slice…

OK, let’s make some ‘takeaways’ checking the arc you make in the mirror behind you at your driving range. Whether you’re driving or playing your irons, swing the club to waist high and see what the club looks like.

Is it “open” where the toe end of the club is pointing behind you? (See right)

I’m going to give a quick explanation of how this causes your slice and then we will get it fixed!

When the clubface gets in this open position it will often stay open to the top. Now from here, you will often find the golfer tries to square the face with the shoulders.

What they in fact do, is make the club swing left and the face stays open. This club swinging left, face open combination is always going to give a horrible slice.

Part Two – How to cure that slice…

If we can get the club face in a better position as you swing back, then you won’t want to make the reaction where the shoulders swing the club down, therefore swinging the club left….

Pro Tips - Cure That Slice 2

Pro Tips – Cure That Slice 2

So how do we fix it?

When you take the club away, I’d like you to swing to waist high and have the leading edge of the club parallel to your spine angle (See right)

A simple feel to get the is to imagine the club face is looking at the ball as you swing the club back.

Do this till you get the feel for it and the face in a better position, then try hitting some half shots (waist high to waist high). If you do it correctly you should see the ball fly straighter.

Once you’ve hit a few half shots, take the ball away and create the same feeling into a full swing. If it feels different or odd – it’s probably correct!!

Now you have a feel for the full swing, hit some full shots, practice as much as you can at the range, and watch that ball fly straight…..and that’s how you cure that slice!

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By Andy Clissold – TSG Head PRO

TheSocialGolfer.com – Golfers Survey 2015…

Monday, June 15th, 2015

In January, we issued the TSG Golfers Survey questionnaire (sponsored by www.www.GolfGear247.co.uk), asking you to give us your views on the website, what we were getting right and what we were getting wrong. Your thoughts on how we can improve and your opinions on the golf industry as a whole.

We are very grateful to all those that took part, there were more than 130 respondents, 71% PRO members and 29% FREE members. 90% were male golfers with 10% of views coming from the ladies.

TSG Golfers Survey - Regions

TSG Golfers Survey – Regions

TheSocialGolfer.com Golfers Survey – The Numbers….

Ok, lets start with the basics and the demographics of TSG:

– 84% of members are over 45

– 55% live in London or the South, 15% in the East, 7% in North West, 5.4% in the Midlands

– 56% of you have been playing for 5 years or more, 19% 1-4 years and 20% can’t remember!

– Over 67% of you play once a week or more!

– 63% of you DON’T belong to a golf club

– 64% DON’T belong to a golf society

TheSocialGolfer.com Golfers Survey – Your Game….

Nearly half claimed that ‘Time’ was the biggest factor to you playing more but the weather also plays a big part in things, with over 20% saying it affected them playing more often.

– 3 out of 10 of you play off a handicap of 10-18

– 4 out 10 of you are playing off a handicap of between 19-24

– Only 9% of you have a Handicap below 10

TSGers Preferred Golf Ball

TSGers Preferred Golf Ball

TheSocialGolfer.com Golfers Survey – The Brands….

The most popular make of clubs within the TSG community was Callaway with 16.8%, closely followed by Ping with 16.4%, once again closely followed by TaylorMade.

– Fourth was Cobra, fifth was Mizuno and the rest was spread across a plethora of brands

When it came to choosing your golf balls, Srixon (25%) and Titleist (24%) were the clear favourites making up nearly half the survey results. However, Callaway put up a fight with 11% of you preferring this ball.

However, most amusing was that over 10% played with whatever was in your bag!!

TheSocialGolfer.com Golfers Survey – Travel….

With more and more golfers looking to take advantage of both cheaper air travel and an influx of golf travel operators entering the market, many of you are now taking more of your golfers currency further afield but just how often are you taking time out to take a golf trip?

– 38% of you are now taking a golf break each year

– 27% of you are taking 2 or more trips a year

TheSocialGolfer.com Golfers Survey – Media….

Whilst we are always working hard to grow the community on your behalf, its interesting to see how loyal members are and whether they visit any other websites?

– 77% of you have been a TSGer for a year or more

– 84% of don’t belong to any other golf community

– 9 out of 10 members use social media

– 37% of you have a facebook account, 19% use LinkedIn,  18% use Twitter, 7% G+, 5% use instagram

Golfers Survey - How are your treated by Golf Clubs

How are your treated by Golf Clubs?

TheSocialGolfer.com Golfers Survey – Golf Clubs….

We asked you a number of questions in our Golfers Survey about your views on golf Clubs and the golf industry as a whole. When asked why you wouldn’t join a golf club?

– 30% of you said you like playing different courses

– 38% of said there was no need as you play ‘society/social’ golf

– Over 16% of you said golf club membership was too expensive

Asked what would MAKE you join a golf club?

– 18% said to play in competitions and another 18% said to play close to home

– 15% said improved flexible membership options

– Only 15% commented to access a CONGU handicap certificate

– Finally, 12% of you said if there was a good social calender!

However, most importantly we asked you how you were treated by Golf Clubs as either non-members or Pay ‘n Players, as you went around the county.

– The good news is that over 40% of TSGers said they were treated ‘quite well’

– However, another 40% could only muster an’OK’

Most worryingly, 3% of you said you were treated ‘badly or very ‘badly’ by clubs – who are these clubs we wonder. In a age of ‘customer reviews’ and ‘testimonials’, why would any club treat visitors poorly!

Golfers Survey - How do you rate the atmosphere with TSG

How do you rate the atmosphere within TSG?

TheSocialGolfer.com Golfers Survey – TSG….

Here’s the bit we were worried about, but we should never have had such reservations. Not only did you give us here at TSG HQ a glowing report, you also were prepared to be quoted.

– More than 60% felt TSG was a place to meet new golfers and organise your golf

– 21% saw us a place to share your passion and improve your golf

– 17% saw us as place to keep scores and read course reviews

– 86% of you felt the cost of being a Pro members was fair or superb value

There was no one area of the site that was used anymore than another with the Handicap Tracker, Course Reviews and the Games Calender the most popular. More stats:

– Over 50% of you ‘claim’ to have posted a game but 34% said there were plenty anyway but surprising over 15% of you ‘didn’t know you could’. However, 6% were honest enough to admit, you were ‘Too shy’.

– Nearly 6 out of 10 have used the Handicap tracker (What are the other 4 doing it?!)

– But again 17% ‘didn’t know you could’

– 8/10 of you rated monthly Newsletter as Interesting, Valuable or that you ‘Loved it!’

– However, more than 50% said they hadn’t read the TSG Newsblog or more worryingly, didn’t know there was one. Lets hope the fact we have now added this to the front page and the Members page this will now change.

TheSocialGolfer.com Golfers Survey – And finally….

We invited you to tell us how YOU would describe TSG to your friends:

– Overwhelmingly 91% of you described the site as ‘Friendly’, ‘Welcoming’ and ‘Good Fun’. Which is very humbling.

70% gave us a scored of 8/10 or better.

We are very grateful to everyone that took the time to give us there views. We are very pleased that you gave us such a high overall approval rating but we also note there is still room to improve the service we provide.

However, we’ll leave the final say to you the members:

“Place to meet different people, play different courses – a must for all golfers!”

“An ideal way to meet new people, play different courses and enjoy more golf”

“A great place to socialise, meet new people in a non-cliquey environment”

“A well organised and friendly way to join or organise golf games especially for non club members”

“A friendly golfing hub”

“As far as I am aware there is nothing else like it!!”

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By Ian Mullins

 

Pro Tips – First Tee Nerves…

Monday, April 20th, 2015
First Tee Nerves

First Tee Nerves

It’s a balmy Saturday in Summer and you are about to play in your first TSG official event. How are you feeling on the first tee? Are you suffering from first tee nerves? Just want to get it away? Make sure you don’t top it?

You are not alone…

If any of these thoughts sound familiar then lets get you feeling more comfortable on the first tee. The first thing to realise is everyone feels it! If you ever get the chance to read an interview with a tour player, they will tell you they too get first tee nerves. The difference is they are trained on how to hold those nerves.

Addressing your first tee nerves…

What we are going to talk about in this blog is a really good visualisation technique to improve your confidence. It is something you can do at home, five minutes a day that will transform the way you think about your golf.

Firstly you need to get yourself relaxed, so have a few deep breaths and close your eyes.

It is important to build the picture first and uses ALL your senses; imagine the first tee, you’re walking up to the first tee, feel your legs moving, the weight of your bag, you can see your mates, hear the crunch of the gravel, smell the freshly cut grass, taste the coffee on your tongue as you take a sip.

And now on the tee…

Now you’re on the tee, as above, hear, see, feel, smell, taste everything, from you putting your bag down, getting a ball out your bag, teeing it up.

From this point, I’d like you to imagine yourself feeling confident, standing tall!

Go through your routine and picture a pure, high drive down the middle. (Be realistic with this, there is no point imagining a shot you can’t hit!).

Feel yourself being confident as you stand to the ball and feel a really good swing, hear and feel the connection with the ball. Imagine seeing your shot flying into the middle of the fairway – your friends saying “shot”….no first tee nerves here!

The more times you do this, you brain will think its real, believe it has actually happened! So when you come to do it for real, your brain believes you can hit a good shot, in fact, it won’t expect anything else.

Give it time and be patient….

First time you try this you may find it is not overly effective, but visualisation is a skill that you need to work at.

As I said, five minutes a day is all it will take and over a week or two the images will become more and more vivid and real. The more real the image, the better for helping improve your first tee nerves and building your confidence.

So FIVE minutes while you’re waiting for the bus, FIVE minutes a day not using Facebook – do some visualisation and start nailing those first tee shots!

By Andy Clissold

TheSocialGolfer.com – My Story…

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

We asked you the members to share your TSG (TheSocialGolfer.com) stories with us. Here it’s the turn of Richard Adinolfi to tell us about his TSG experience. Richard joined TSG in December 2013.

TheSocialGolfer.com – My Story…

TheSocialGolfer.com - My story by Richard Adinolfi

TheSocialGolfer.com – My Story by Richard Adinolfi

TheSocialGolfer.com means more to me than just playing golf. It started as therapy of sort and developed into an addiction.

In December 2013 I lost my father and I needed a release from the moment. I decided to throw myself into playing golf. Four hours of fresh air and a stroll in the countryside would take my mind of events.

The problem was I had nobody to play with.

My friends were spread far and wide over London and I had little interest in joining a club. My experiences of playing private clubs as a visitor were never good enough for me to part with hard earned cash.

I was a member of another golfing community website but could not find anyone to play with, until someone on that very site suggested The Social Golfer.

I took a look and saw frequent games being posted in the Essex area so I signed up.

Truth be told, I was not really expecting much but thought it was worth a shot (excuse the pun).

TheSocialGolfer.com – My Story (What happened next?)…

Hesitantly, I attended my first Epping Bandit game in January 2014 at Toot Hill Golf Club. I was immediately made to be feel welcome, despite having to sit across from Howard Davis at breakfast. Not a pleasant sight for anyone but one of which I have become accustomed.

The first few games I played were about getting to know the people I was playing alongside and enjoying playing golf on a regular basis. However, what was first a decision to get out and get fresh air and a bit of exercise quickly turned into a need to improve my game as much as possible. I signed up for as many games as I could at as many different courses as possible.

I had initially given myself a modest 24 handicap but wanted to bring this down as much as possible. Unfortunately an attitude, not shared by many but that is a discussion for another day!!!

Without The Social Golfer I would probably still be sitting at home watching golf on TV thinking “I wish I played more golf”, whereas now, I sit at home watching golf thinking “If I can just cut my handicap by a few more strokes, I’ll be as good as Tiger”….

The Social Golfer was there when I needed it. It is one of my first ports of call when I turn on the computer in the morning just hoping for those magic emails that say “a new game has been posted in your area”.

I sit here now in front of my computer having played 60 times in just over a year at 40 different courses. My handicap has come down from 24 to 16. I have travelled to France and Spain with the Epping Bandits, learnt some valuable Yiddish and have met many people whom I now consider friends.

I owe all of that to The Social Golfer!