Archive for the ‘Etiquette’ Category

Pro Tips – Summer Golf…

Sunday, May 17th, 2015
The Golf Grip

The Golf Grip

With the golf season now underway and the days getting longer, now is the time to start thinking about how you are going to prepare for your Summer Golf…

A great way to get back into the swing of things and get the rust off is to start with the basics. So lets go through them, along with some things you can do at the range to nail those shots….

Summer Golf – The Grip

Firstly, place your left hand (for a right handed golfer) near the top of the club. Let the club run diagonally across the fingers from the middle of your index finger, through to just above the little finger – as demonstrated above.

Summer Golf - The Golf Grip

The Golf Grip

N.B. Be careful not to let the club run into the palm!! Then wrap the hand round the club, and we should see 2 knuckles showing – as pictured right.

With the right hand, place this in the fingers, again at a slight diagonal and wrap the hand around the club. We should see the “V” formed by the right index finger and thumb point to the right ear.

Now – here’s the choice for you. Either interlock the index finger on the left hand, with the little finger on the right hand. Or let the little finger of the right hand rest on the index finger of the left hand…

Summer Golf – The Stance & Ball Position…

Summer Golf - Ball Position

Summer Golf – Ball Position

Stance should be shoulder with. If down the range, face the mirror and check how wide your stance is.This will help to give a good leg action in the swing and maintain balance.

For an iron, place the ball just on the left side of your sternum – as shown below. For a driver, place the ball in line with your left pec.

Again when down the range, have a look in the mirror to make sure your ball position is perfect to stripe it!

Summer Golf – The Posture…

This is one of the most important parts of the set up for me as I see so many poor golf shots come from poor posture. So make sure you nail this one!

Firstly, get the above three points good then, stand bolt upright with both your arms straight and the hands around waist high. The club should be parallel to the ground – as shown below.

Summer Golf - The Posture

Summer Golf – The Posture

From here keep your back straight (very important) and bend from the hips till the club touches the floor. Imagine your belly button is pointing more towards the floor. Now put a touch of knee flex in. Be careful with this bit – the knees should be bent but the thighs should still feel “lively”.

A checkpoint to get the correct amount of knee bend is to have the knees over the middle on your feet – as shown right. N.B. This isn’t an absolute checkpoint as it will depend on your height and leg length but will certainly most of you a good guide.

Summer Golf –  The Alignment…

I see many swing faults again develop from poor alignment and poor alignment often results in offline shots (and not always the direction you are aiming!) So firstly get the face of the club pointing where you want the ball to finish.

Next you want to get your feet, knees, hips, and shoulders parallel left of this (as above). A good routine to get this good is when you do the posture routine (above) when you stand bolt upright, start with your feet together and point your feet at the ball. Now imagine a straight line across your toes and step your feet along this line. Hey presto! Your alignment is perfect!

Summer Golf – Putting this into practice…

Now that is a lot of information to take in all at once but re-read this a few times until it sinks in. And next time you go to the range, just concentrate on a maximum two of these at a time (i.e. grip and stance).

Each time you go to the range. Three practice sessions through the month and the basics should be feeling comfortable and natural and you’ll be enjoying your Summer Golf even more this year and who knows it may even improve your nerves on the first tee!

#Good Luck

By Andy Clissold – My Story…

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

We asked you the members to share your TSG ( stories with us. Here it’s the turn of Richard Adinolfi to tell us about his TSG experience. Richard joined TSG in December 2013. – My Story… - My story by Richard Adinolfi – My Story by Richard Adinolfi 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). – 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!


Mixed Matchplay Rules…

Thursday, March 12th, 2015
Mixed MatchPlay Rules

Mixed MatchPlay – Check the Rules!

Golf is a game that we can all enjoy and despite varying degrees of playing standards, ages and genders it is one of the few sports in which players can compete fairly with anyone, thanks to the handicap system.

So with the start of the TSG Mixed Matchplay tournament nearly upon us again, we thought we should explain our interpretation of the rules.

We have all debated the whys and wherefores of the CONGU Golf Handicapping system at one time or another but…

What is the ‘official’ way to score in a Mixed Matchplay Competition?

The only real difference between this any other golf match, is in this case, the two players concerned play from different tees (Mens & Ladies). These have separate Standard Scratch Scores allocated.

As such CONGU states that each set of players need to play a course from which the Standard Scratch Score (SSS) has been allocated for them…..BUT then a handicap adjustment must be applied, if the Ladies’ and Men’s SSS’s are different (see below).

It would be unfair if this difference is not accounted for and by making an alteration to the handicaps of the player playing the harder course (e.g. that with the higher SSS).

An SSS is, by definition, the score a Scratch player would be expected to return over a particular course. All handicaps are then adjusted relative to players’ performances against that score.

It may seem obvious but the Ladies’ SSS is determined against the performance of a Scratch handicap lady player and the Men’s likewise for a Scratch man.

This is best observed by watching the professional players, the best ladies cannot return scores that compare with the best men. As there is no compensation allowed in professional golf, ladies and men do not compete in mixed events for a single prize, or if they did the winner would only be a man.

Mark Crane - TSG MatchPlay Champion 2014

Mark Crane – 2014 MatchPlay Champion

Which Stroke Index should we use in Mixed MatchPlay?

There is often a debate about which Stroke Index (SI) should be used. For Stroke play it is recommended that each player uses the SI appropriate to them.

However, for Mixed Matchplay, it is recommended that SI appropriate to either the Men’s or Ladies’ course is used for both sets of players.

This should have minimal effect for two reasons:

  1. Players rarely play their best (or worst) golf on the holes where they get a shot
  2. When players don’t get a shot where they should it means they do get a shot where they shouldn’t.

Example Mixed MatchPlay Scoring…

Dave has been drawn against Sue in the third round of a mixed matchplay competition.

– Dave is a 15 handicapper (the SSS on the card is 72)

– Sue plays off 25 (the SSS on the card is 74)

In this instance Sue receives additional 2 strokes to her handicap due to difference in SSS and now receives 12 strokes in total.

N.B. The SSS should be taken from the tees the man is playing from e.g. Yellow


So there you have it, however, in order to uphold the spirit of TSG, please ensure these rules are agreed and UNDERSTOOD before you tee off!

For further explanation of the rules, please visit the or England Golf.

By Ian Mullins


Get a Golf Handicap Certificate with TSG …

Sunday, February 1st, 2015


When you first take up the game of golf, you quickly find that one of the first things ‘other’ golfers asks you is “What’s your Golf Handicap?”

Of course, if you’ve only just taken up the game, the chances are you won’t have one, but that’s where TSG can help …

TSG Golf Handicap Certificate

TSG Golf Handicap Certificate

How does it work …

We have worked hard to establish a tried and tested formula on the site, in order that golfers of any standard can calculate their golf handicap with very little effort….

The TSG Handicap Tracker allows you to enter in your scorecard after every round (hole by hole). After taking into account the course layout, the course SSS (Standard Scratch Score) and your existing Golf Handicap – this starts at 28 for men and 36 for women.

It will then deduce what your new handicap is, after every round.

The TSG Handicap Certificate can be found (and printed) under the My Handicap Menu tab on the main Members page.

Is the TSG Handicap Certificate  accepted at golf clubs?

This certificate is widely accepted by golf clubs and golf courses all over the world and at the time of going to press, we have never heard of anyone having been refused entry with it.

Of course, our certificate is not authenticated by CONGU. This is because The Social Golfer does not own a golf course, but otherwise the certificate is calculated using the same calculation.

Tracking Your Game …

The TSG Handicap Tracker can not only produce you a Golf Handicap Certificate once you have entered in your scores, the TSG system will also allow you to track you scores over time AND allow you to compare your stats with your friends and your fellow TSGers.

Keep a track of your Putts, Bunkers, Lost balls and much more.

All of your stats are recordable and with gentle analysis, this will help to understand which parts of your game need improvement and which area of your game is taking shape.

Many TSGers now use this system to keep their entire golfing history all in one place.

We have continued to update the system with new improvements and sections and will continue to respond to all requests from our members on how to improve it.

However, if you’re looking for an affordable and accurate way of tracking you golf handicap, look no further than TSG.

TSG Golf Handicap Tracker

TSG Golf Handicap Tracker

Is it accurate?

Well, that’s open to debate! We believe adamantly that a TSG Golf Handicap Certificate is actually MORE accurate and reflective of your playing standard than a standard CONGU club handicap.

Why? Well the TSG system lets you enter in a score EVERY time you play.

In addition, whilst many of our members are club members, almost all will tell you that their TSG Handicap is lower than the one provided by their club and therefore more ‘in tune’ with their playing ability.

Of course, the TSG certificate is not accepted in club competitions but it is accepted at ALL TSG events and even some well known amateur tours.

How much does it cost?

The TSG Golf Handicap Certificate and Handicap Tracking is included in the TSG annual PRO membership subscription fee of £24.99.

Start tracking your Golf Handicap today…

By Ian Mullins


Slow Play means ‘Ready golf’…

Friday, June 6th, 2014
Slow Play

Slow Play

Slow Play on the golf course is usually a habit acquired over time, with the accumulation of many bad habits.

Or it’s the result of the golfer never having been taught proper golf etiquette, meaning a slow player can usually be encouraged to play quicker.

Of course, that golfer has to be aware they are being slow; and that’s where your golf partners have a part to play.

We often take a look at other golfers on the course and notice the little things they do on the course but when we take an honest look at ourselves, we would probably discover we’re all guilty of doing some of the same things!

Why is Slow Play an issue?

When ‘Monty’ got me into golf, he started me off with golf etiquette and stressed that other golfers don’t really mind if you don’t play well but they will if you avoid Slow Play.

I enjoy playing at a reasonable pace and like to ‘walk’ a round a golf in 3 & 1/2 hours or less, if possible.

However, before we run down a list of suggestions for keeping up with play, it’s important to note that many of these tips have nothing to do with ‘rushing’, but rather with simply being ‘ready to play’.

With common sense and good etiquette on the course, social golf can be enjoyed by all.

And of course, it is also good manners and courteous to your playing partners that you are ready to go and not holding up the course.

Just think how many extra tee times course would have available IF everyone kept pace and a result would be a reduction in green fees for all.

Tips for addressing Slow Play and for keeping pace on the golf course …

• Leave your mobile phone in the car (or at least put it on silent) unless it’s your Golf GPS device
• Be ready to play when it is your tee time (having executed your practice routine beforehand)
• Don’t discount the value of adequate nutrition on the ability to keep up
• Try playing ‘Ready Golf’ where order of play is based on who is ready and not on ‘the honour’
• Take off the driver head cover before you get to the first tee and leave it off until the final tee shot

• Choose the correct tees to play from – if you’re a high-handicapper, you probably shouldn’t be playing off the Championship tees
• Play the game you can manage, keep control and not try to over hit just because your playing partners are longer than you
• Work on a concise pre-shot routine – limit practice strokes to one or two at the most
• Pay attention to your partners’ drives – if they lose sight of their ball, you can help direct them to it
• If you plan to hit the ball 180 yards and the group in front is 250 yards away, don’t wait for them to clear the fairway/green

• Members of a group should not travel as a pack – each member of the group should walk directly to their own ball
• If you are unsure whether your ball has come to rest, out of bounds or lost, immediately hit a provisional
• If you are searching for a lost ball and are willing to spend a few minutes looking for it, allow the group behind to play through
• Don’t ask playing partners to help finding a lost ball until they have played their own shots first
• Use the time you spend getting to your ball to think/visualise about the next shot – the yardage, the club selection

• Approach the ball from behind – along your line of intended play
• When two players are riding in a buggy, drive to the first ball and drop off the first player with a choice of clubs
• If using a buggy on a path-only day, take more than one club with you when you walk from the buggy to your ball
• Park your buggy/trolley/bag close to where you will be playing your shot
• Never delay making a stroke because you’re having a conversation with a playing partner. Put the conversation on hold

And if that doesn’t do it, there’s even more tips to avoid Slow Play …

• Leave buggy/trolley/bag at the side of the green on the way to the next tee
• Begin reading the green and lining up putts as soon as you reach the green. Make this part of your putting routine
• If you are not in the middle of a matchplay/medal think about not marking lag putts and putt out
• After putting out, don’t stand around the chatting – leave the green quickly so the group behind can play
• Leaving the green, don’t ‘faff’, move to the next tee, put away your club away, then mark your scorecard

• If you’re the type who likes to offer tips to playing partners, save it for the range or the 19th!
• Walk at a good pace between shots – speeding up your gait a little is good for your health
• Carry tees, ball markers, divot repairers and an extra golf ball in your pockets so you never have to return to your golf bag
• When chipping around the green, carry both the club you’ll be chipping with, and your putter
• Consider putting with a glove on (if you wear a glove)

Slow Play is an issue on the Professional tours as well at the local golf course…

Over the last few years, many of the Tour professionals have been penalised for slow play and it’s becoming an even bigger issue as the TV companies start to complain that it is effecting the schedules.

But do the Pro’s care about slow play? If you’re making $100k per tournament (and that’s just the sponsors money) do you care if your making your playing partner wait or indeed the audiences at home?!

All of us have seen a golfer who appears oblivious to what’s going on around them, who wastes time, who ‘faffs about’ on the course and slows down play. And if you haven’t seen that golfer … IT’S PROBABLY YOU!

The bottom line is, slow play is the responsibility of everyone, as soon as it’s your turn to play, you should be READY to make the stroke.

By Steve ‘The Power’ Slater