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December 2015

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It’s the time of year that all golfers feel sad, it’s the end of another great season of their favorite sport as winter fast approaches. With that said before you put your clubs away for the season, you may want to read over these tips that can ensure you’re storing your golf clubs properly, which will make them last that much longer. Let’s take a closer look, shall we.

 

Step One – Clean Them Up

 

This is a very important step, but one that many people tend to skip right over. Before even thinking to store your clubs you’ll want to give them a really good cleaning. By doing this you’ll get rid of any caked on mud, grass, and debris. A great way to clean your clubs is to fill a bucket with warm sudsy water. You want to use a mild soap such as dishwashing liquid. Swish the clubs around in the warm water, and then use a soft cloth to wipe away the stubborn dirt. Another great tool for cleaning your clubs is a soft-bristle toothbrush to get in between the grooves.

 

Once you finish cleaning the clubs and they are clear of dirt and debris, give them a rinse, and then wipe them dry with a soft clean cloth. You may also want to wipe down the shaft if it’s dirty too. Just be sure that you don’t put them back in your golf bag until they are completely dry.

 

Step Two – Take Stock of Your Equipment

 

Now is the chance for you to take a good look at your equipment to inspect it for damage, tears, or other issues. If something is broken, or ripped, it’s time to throw it out. There’s no point in storing something that won’t be of use next golf season. This is a great time to also check all the pockets in your golf bag; it can be rather surprising what you find tucked away in there!

 

Step Three – Cover the Bag

 

Instead of just storing your clubs in the open air, you’ll want to cover up the top of the bag. The easiest way to do this is use the rain hood that comes with many golf bags. Be sure to firmly snap it in place. This will prevent dust and dirt from getting on your clubs over the next few months.

 

Step Four – Choose a Storage Location

 

This can be a tricky step as choosing the proper storage location can really help to prolong the lifespan of your clubs. The number one worst spot to store your clubs is in your trunk. The temperatures can get too cold and can break down your clubs. You also don’t want to store your clubs where there is moisture, because again this can ruin your clubs. Your best bet is to store them somewhere dry and that has temperature control. This usually rules out a garage or shed. If you can find somewhere inside the home to tuck them away, they will fare best in this environment.

 

Try to find a place that is also easy to reach them, and where they don’t risk falling down and incurring damage. Yes there are a whole lot of things to consider when finding that storage location, but they really do pay off in the end.

 

A Little Forward Thinking Pays Off

 

With just a little forward thinking, a bit of work, and some effort you’ll be able to store your clubs safely away for winter so that when golf season starts again next year, your clubs will be ready to go!

 

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When it comes to playing sports the quality of your equipment makes a huge difference in how you play the game. Without the right equipment, or equipment that is performing correctly, your game is going to suffer in a big way. Golf is no exception to this rule. In fact, it can be argued that a massive part of your game is based on your clubs and balls, regardless of your experience. So with that said, how do you know when it’s time to buy new clubs? They aren’t cheap so you don’t want to rush into a big purchase if it isn’t necessary, so let’s take a look at some of the top signs it’s time for a new set.

 

The Age of Your Clubs

 

While age alone isn’t the deciding factor, it plays a very large role in the decision-making process. The experts suggest that if your clubs are more than three years old, and you are an avid golfer who gets out there often, then there’s a good chance it’s time for new clubs. Think about technology and how much it changes in just a year, never mind three years. The same goes for the materials that are being used and how the equipment is made and put together. Obviously you can’t always have the latest greatest piece of equipment, but at the same time investing in new technology often helps your game.

 

Some of the things that can change are the size of the club heads, the material that is used in the club, the weight of the club, the grip on the club, and more. All of these factors will greatly impact your game.

 

If Your Clubs are Damaged

 

This one is pretty much a giveaway. If your clubs are damaged, as in bent, nicked, or any other type of damage, then you can bet it is affecting your game in a negative way. Now if you only have one club that is damaged, you may be able to get away with just replacing that one iron as a short-term solution. This gives you a chance to save up for a brand new, complete set.

 

Has Your Game Changed?

 

Golf is one of those sports where you are constantly trying to improve, which means changing up your stance, your swing, and just the way you play in general. What might have worked for you last year, may not work for you this year. As your game changes, the equipment you need will also change. Your current clubs may not be the best option for your new techniques and could be holding you back from realizing your full potential.

 

Along the same lines, if your game has suddenly improved and your handicap has gotten better, then you will probably want to upgrade your equipment so it doesn’t end up becoming a liability to your game.

 

Your Own Age

 

Yes we’ve talked about the age of your clubs being a factor in the decision making process, but your own age is also a factor. If you are now a “senior” player, then you need golf clubs that are ideal for your age group. Your old clubs that you bought when you were younger just aren’t going to cut it in your golden years. The experts suggest that older players tend to require a shaft that has flex in it and gives slightly when swinging it.

 

You Know Best

 

The above mentioned factors are great ones to consider as you think about purchasing new clubs, but ultimately you know better than anyone if it’s time to make an investment.

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You have thought and thought about it, weighed both sides, and you’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to invest in a new set of clubs. While that’s pretty exciting, when you get to the actual pro shop or sporting goods store it can suddenly become overwhelming with all the options out there. So how do you prepare yourself for the shopping experience so that you get the best clubs for your game? Here’s a few things to keep in mind before hitting up the stores.

 

How Often Do You Golf?

 

The first thing to consider and ask yourself is how often you golf? Are you an avid golfer that is out there a few times a week all season long, or do you play on a less regular basis? For those who are out there all the time, you’re going to need a more durable set that can stand up over time. If you’re playing just here and there, you may be able to get away with a cheaper set as the wear and tear will build slowly over time instead.

 

How Experienced Are You?

 

Now this can be a tough question to answer because it requires you to be brutally honest about your skill level. Your skill level will determine what kind of clubs you need, so if you aren’t truthful in your level then your clubs won’t be able to perform to their fullest extent. Did you know that by buying the right clubs for your skill level you can actually end up bettering your game? So as you can see, being honest is definitely the way to go.

 

Get Professional Feedback First

 

Before you even start your shopping experience a great idea is to get some feedback from a pro. An even better idea is to actually take a golf lesson and see what they have to say about your form. This feedback can then be relayed to the salesperson so the two of you can come up with the best options for your game.

 

Along these same lines you may also want to see how you do on a launch monitor. This will uncover a lot of information about your swing, which can then be used to help you pick the best clubs that not only work with you, but also better your game.

 

Get a Clubfitting

 

A clubfitting is a very simple procedure and can be done online, or at your local pro shop. Expect it to take about a half an hour in total. The pro will ask you some questions as well as take measurements. This information will then come in very handy in your shopping process.

 

Set Your Budget

 

Of course we’d all like to shop without a care in the world for budget, but the fact is that most people have a budget they need to stick to. Set this budget before you start your shopping experience, and let the salesperson know what it is from the start. The worst would be to find that “perfect” set of clubs that are way out of your price range because you didn’t tell the salesperson what your budget was.

 

Do Your Research

 

Lastly, you may want to do a little research online as far as consumer reviews of brands and clubs. Obviously each person has their own opinion, but it can still be helpful to read through feedback and hear about the experiences of others. You may even want to jot down questions that pop up as you go and pose them to the salesperson that you end up working with.

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While there is plenty you can do to improve your swing, some of it is pretty involved. What if you’re just looking for a few simple tips, tricks, and advice to try out? Sometimes that’s all it takes. In this blog we’ll take a look at some simple tips you can incorporate into your game that can really improve your swing. These are meant to be the basic steps that every golfer should apply to their swing, but you may not know about them, may be performing them wrong, or you’ve just let the basics fall by the wayside.

 

Focus on Your Balance

 

Yes we know this sounds incredibly basic, but all too often golfers get distracted by other elements and forget all about their balance. If you’re not staying balanced through your swing, then you’re not going to get good results. In fact, the experts state that if you’re out of balance it doesn’t matter what else you do, nothing will help. You can go ahead and apply every other technique perfectly, but the lack of balance will mess it up.

 

Obviously this is much easier said than done. A good exercise is to practice your swing paying attention to your balance and nothing else. Learn how being “balanced” feels, and figure out your way to achieve it. Once you’ve mastered balance, then you can move on to the next tips. A cool exercise to try when practicing your balance is to stand with your feet on a narrow long piece of foam. Don’t expect this to be easy, and that’s the whole point. By figuring out how to balance on the foam, you can soon move to the ground and suddenly reaching that point of balance will be a whole lot easier.

 

Get Your Power from Your Body

 

In order to carry your ball far you need power in your swing. So where does that power come from? All too often golfers over-exert the muscles in their arms thinking that’s where the power comes from. In fact the power should be coming from your body. This means your body is what moves the club, not your hands. This can be a tricky one to master, especially if you’ve been using your hands and arms this whole time.

 

Check Hand Placement

 

The placement of your hands plays a big role in your golf swing. If they aren’t in the right location, your swing will suffer. So where is that right and perfect hand location? Keep this rule in mind – your hands should be low as you come to a finish in your swing.

 

Video Your Swing

 

Sometimes even when we know what it is we have to do, it can be hard to adjust your swing. You may want to have a friend video your swing. There’s no better way to see where you’re going wrong then by viewing yourself in motion. The pros do this all the time, and for good reason. You can really study your stance, your follow through, your grip, everything. This is a wonderful way to pinpoint your weaknesses. As you work on making improvements get your friend to video you again so you can compare the two. By comparing the two videos you’ll see where you have improved and what areas you still need to work on.

 

Practice, Practice, Practice

 

In addition, when it comes down to it the number one tip is to practice, practice, practice. No matter how frustrating it can seem, the more you practice the easier it will become, and the more polished your swing will get.

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There are a number of factors that all play into your golf game, and choosing the right equipment from head to toe can certainly change the outcome of your game. You’ve probably spent a fair amount of time picking that perfect set of clubs, but have you given your golf balls the same consideration? How much of a difference do the golf balls actually make? Let’s take a closer look.

 

Wading Through the Marketing

 

The golf ball market is pretty massive with a huge array of types. So many of these balls have endorsements from the pros, and are advertised non-stop. I mean if Tiger Woods says this particular ball changed his game, won’t it change yours? Just like with most marketing ploys, you really need to learn how to wade through the chatter. Sure there is some helpful and useful information in there, but you can’t believe absolutely everything out there.

 

Golf is an individual sport, and with that said everyone plays differently. So just because one pro says it’s the best ball they have ever used doesn’t mean you’ll have the same experience. You don’t have to completely discount their claims, but you need to take it with a grain of salt.

 

Just Because It Costs More Doesn’t Mean It Is Better

 

Contrary to what companies want you to think, just because a ball costs more doesn’t mean it’s going to be better. Sure that discount brand may not be the best performing ball out there, but spending four times more doesn’t guarantee you’ll find the “perfect” ball either. So when it comes to pricing, you’ll want to keep an open mind as it is not a determining factor.

 

Your Skill Level Factors In

 

What some players may not realize is that your skill level is what helps to determine what that perfect ball is. If you’re a beginner player, you’re less likely to see any difference between the balls. However, if you’re an avid golfer you’re going to be more aware of the slight differences, and begin to see which balls work better for you.

 

Picking the Right Type

 

The amount of golf balls available seems almost endless, so a good thing to keep in mind is that there are actually only two main types. All of the balls fall into one or the other category. This will make it easier for you to narrow down your search. Basically if you’re a pro you’ll be looking for the balls that offer high spin. For everyone else the balls that are meant for distance are the best option. If you’re not a pro but you’d like to give one of the high spin balls a chance, look for the combination balls that are referred to as “total performance”.

 

Give It a Test Run

 

You may be able to give a brand/type a test run in the pro shop and take a couple swings with it. This is a great way to get a general idea of how the ball feels and performs. While it may not be enough to offer a definitive answer, you may be able to rule some out pretty much immediately.

 

Trial and Error

 

At the end of the day there is definitely trial and error involved in finding the right ball, but there is for sure a difference in them, and there is in fact a “right” kind of ball for each player. It’s just a matter of having the patience to go through a number of them before you find the right match.

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Nowadays it seems like there is an app for everything, and golf is no exception. In fact try typing in “golf” in your app store and just look at the amount of apps that pop up. Some of them can help you with your game, others will make it easier to score the game, and some actually lay out the whole course on your screen so you can choose your clubs wisely. Here’s a look at five of the top iTunes golfing apps out there that you’ll want to check out.

 

Golf GPS & Scorecard

 

This app is absolutely loaded with tools and features all meant to make your game that much smoother. It acts as a scorecard and a GPS range finder that details all of the obstacles you’ll find on the course, as well as your distance to the green’s center. This information can prove especially handy if it’s your first time playing the course and you’re unsure of the layout. As far as the scorecard goes, you can keep score for up to four players. It supports a variety of games, which are Stableford, Skins, Stroke Play, Nassau, Match Play, and Syndicates.

 

V1 Golf

 

Have you ever wondered how your swing stacks up to that of the pros? Well there’s no need to wonder because this app makes it possible for you to take your swing and compare it to more than 50 swings from the pros. This is a great way to see where you can make improvements and what you’re currently doing right with your swing. Of course there’s all kind of added tools to make this one all the more fun.

 

Swingbot

 

One of the best ways to improve your game is to improve your swing, and that’s where Swingbot can be of assistance. This app is able to effectively analyze your swing and give you feedback on it. It’s like having your own instructor at your side that can tell you where you’re going wrong. Within just minutes, you are given tips from the instructor that is based on your individual swing. Go ahead and take advantage of golf lessons, view a variety of videos, and even record practice swings.

 

Expert Golf – Golf Rules Quick Reference

 

Have you ever been out on the course with your buddies and suddenly an issue comes up and you can’t quite agree on what the rules are? This is the perfect time to refer to the Expert Golf app. Literally, you’ll be able to settle an argument within seconds so you can get back to playing the game. To help walk you through the official rules there are videos, animated illustrations, and graphics so that there’s no question left. It’s the perfect companion tool for the next time you head out on the links.

 

My Pro to Go

 

Here’s another app that is meant to help you improve your golf swing in dramatic ways. The My Pro to Go app allows golfers to take video of their swing, and then they “submit” the video to the pros of the app. From there the pro will analyze what they see and send a “follow-up reply”. This reply will contain tips, advice, and information on how to improve their swing. Think of it as your own private golf instructor helping you through various lessons.

 

Take Advantage of the Technology

 

It’s amazing how handy and easy these apps are to use, and there’s the fact they truly can help your game in a big way. You may want to download a few of these, as they are all unique in their own way.

 
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Whether you are looking for that perfect gift for the golf enthusiast, or you’re a sucker for the latest technology there is no shortage of golfing gadgets available. If this is your kind of item then you’re going to want to read on and get to know these five golfing gadgets that ooze technology, fun, and of course usefulness. So let’s take a look!

 

SkyKap Advisor Golf Caps & Visors

 

How would you like to have access to the course map giving you all the insight you need to improve your game? That’s made possible with the SkyKap Advisor Golf Caps & Visors. The way this hat works is that it features a microphone that is voice activated. The hat uses GPS in real-time to map out the course, showing all the details you need. The details are given to you in audio form. It’s almost like having your own personal caddy walking around with you, giving you the inside scoop on the course.

 

Oakley Thump Pro

 

These sunglasses are far from your ordinary sunglasses; in fact, they are more like something you’d see in a James Bond flick. Instead of listening to all the sounds on the course, people talking in your group and just the general distractions that occur you can use the Oakley Thump Pro glasses as an escape if you will. While these may appear to be a normal pair of glasses they actually include an MP3 player in them. They come in 256MB, 512MB, or 1GB models and are meant for active sports such as golfing. Simply put them on, protect your eyes from the sun, and enjoy all your favorite music. Features include playback buttons and volume control.

 

Ballfinder Scout

 

How much time have you spent wandering around on the course trying to find your ball, only to give up and take the penalty? Well you don’t ever have to give up again thanks to the Ballfinder Scout. This item is described as a “ball locating device” and is able to find your ball within 35 feet. All you have to do is stand in the general area/direction you hit the ball and the gadget will take care of the rest. Not to worry you don’t have to use special balls with it, just a normal white ball will work. It uses tracking and digital imaging technology and can be clipped right onto your belt.

 

TomTom Golfer

 

Smart watches are all the craze right now in the digital world, and here’s one that is meant for golfers. The TomTom Golfer smartwatch has been created to help you determine where the layups, doglegs, hazards, and greens are on the course. At the same time you’ll be able to use this one as your scorecard. This gadget elevates the fun of the game in a big way. As an added bonus this one keeps track of the calories you managed to burn in your game, how far you walked, and the total length of your game. It manages to shed more light on your golf game.

 

Golf Hook/Slice Talking Swing Meter

 

Now here’s a really cool gadget, this one actually talks to you and gives you input. The Golf Hook/Slice Talking Swing Meter is exactly like how it sounds. You take a swing and it will give you feedback in audio form. All you have to do is clip it to your club and then start swinging. Feedback includes such things as “nice shot” and “slice”. Be prepared for some insight into your golf swing courtesy of this handy gadget.

 
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While not everyone has the luxury of golfing year round in their hometown, it doesn’t mean you can’t escape the cold of winter and head south for warmer temperatures. If you’re searching for a great place to golf during the winter, we’ve rounded up a list of some of the top states that you’ll find courses open year round.

 

Arizona – Home to Over 300 Courses

 

While you’re sitting at home on your couch, shivering and staring out at the snow falling, it’s hard to believe that just a short plane ride away others are enjoying sunshine, heat, and ideal conditions for golfing. The state of Arizona has long since been known as a golfer’s paradise all year round in part due to the fact it gets a whopping 330 days on average of sunshine per year.

 

Some of the largest tournaments are held in the state with pros frequenting the area. There are currently over 300 different golf courses found across the state, but there are some towns/cities that are more well-known. The popular destinations are Sedona, Tucson, Scottsdale, and Phoenix. Another bonus is that most of the public green fees are considered to be very competitive and reasonable, making for a great option if you’re on a budget.

 

Texas – Ready to Challenge You

 

Okay get ready for this one, Texas features more than 750 different golf courses scattered throughout the state. What this means for you is that there is no shortage of golfing opportunities no matter what time of year you visit. If you happen to be a more experienced golfer, you’ll appreciate the fact that so many of these courses are built to really challenge you. If it’s the southern tip of the state you are interested in, then you will be able to look forward to very mild weather and not a lot of rainfall – basically the perfect golfing conditions. The cities of San Antonio and Austin are both very well known for their golf courses, and even offer golf vacation packages.

 

Georgia – A History Rich with Golf

 

Not only does Georgia offer golfing in the winter months, but visitors will be able to take advantage of lower prices during these off-season times. The Savannah Golf Club just so happens to be the second oldest golf club in the entire country. It was built back in 1794, giving golfers a chance to play on a historic course. Meanwhile the Augusta National Golf Club is a must-mention course as this is where the yearly Masters Golf Tournament takes place. This of course is one of, if not the most well-known tournaments in the sport.

 

It should be noted that this area isn’t quite as warm as some of the other southern states, as it usually has winter temperature averages somewhere in the 50s. This is still warm enough to play golf however, and at least you won’t be too hot.

 

 

Florida – Ideal for Those on a Budget

 

For those on a tight budget, one of the best winter golf locations is the state of Florida. The state is easily accessible by flights to all of the major cities, allowing visitors to come for a short golf getaway, or a much longer stay if they so desire. You really can’t go wrong in this state as every corner of it offers all kinds of challenging and fun golfing opportunities. You could literally return on a yearly basis and visit a different area of the state each time, and try out different courses each time. It’s just that expansive.

 
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Your golf clubs are far and beyond the most important piece of equipment in your golf game, so with that said it’s important to take your time and invest in the right set for you. Usually it’s based on your swing, your skill level, how often you play, and of course your budget. Taking all these factors into consideration there are a few main types of golf clubs made from different materials, so we’ll take a look at them and highlight the key points of each.

 

The Makeup of a Golf Club

 

Before discussing the materials that are used, let’s identify the different aspects of your golf club. The grip is where you’ll be hanging on to the club with your hands at the top. Rubber is typically used for the grip so that it doesn’t slip as you swing it. The shaft is the length of the golf club, and this is where you’ll find a difference of materials being used. These materials will change up the flexibility of the shaft and the weight of it. Lastly is the head of the club, the part that hits the ball. Again this part of the club can be made out of different materials that will react differently with the ball as you hit it.

 

While you may not think the material of the golf club makes much of a difference, the fact is that it has a huge impact on how the club performs.

 

Shaft Materials

 

The first decision you’ll be faced with is picking the best shaft material for your style of gameplay. Keep in mind that the shaft material is dependent on individual factors, not what is currently the most popular brand. There are two types of shafts – you can get a steel shaft club or a graphite shaft. It used to be that anyone on a tight budget automatically had to count the graphite models out, but nowadays they have come down a lot in price which means they now fit into the budget of most shoppers.

 

The main difference here is that the graphite shaft is much much lighter. This makes it ideal for seniors, women, those people who have joint problems, and even if you tend to have a swing that is slow in speed. What’s really noticeable is if you pick up a golf bag filled with clubs made of graphite versus steel.

 

Graphite does have its downfalls though. For instance it doesn’t have as much flexibility to it. Also, if you don’t have a swing that is perfected and quite good, it tends to make your issues bigger and more noticeable.

 

Steel shafts can be a great option if you tend to be at a higher level of skill. It’s able to make vibrations travel up the shaft all the way to your hands, so you can actually feel how well you’re hitting the ball. If you find you’ve been swinging too fast, the weight of this club can help to slow down the swing.

 

Club Heads

 

When it comes to the head of your golf club you’ll find that the most common materials are titanium alloys, aluminum alloys, and stainless steel. Besides being made from different materials they also are different sizes, weights, and even styles. In this sense there are more options to choose from with the club heads. All of these factors will influence the speed, the distance that you can hit your ball, and they will ultimately affect your swing.

 

Ask the Pro

 

The best piece of advice for anyone looking to purchase a new set of clubs is to head to their local pro shop and ask for advice. They will be able to analyze your swing and point you in the right direction.

 
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Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just a beginner, learning the rules of golf is tricky business. Even once you think you’ve got them all memorized and understood, some can still sneak up on you. With that said, we’re going to take a look at some of the lesser known rules in the game, some of which are rather quirky to say the least. As you read these you may find yourself surprised at which ones you already knew about, and the ones you were completely unaware of!

 

Don’t Count on the Current to Help

 

Chances are at some point you’ve hit your ball into the water, but did you know that according to rule 14-6 if you hit your ball into water that is moving (a current) you are actually allowed to take a swing at the ball, even if it’s moving? Now here’s the catch, you can’t delay your swing and wait for the current to move the balls’ position so that it works better for you.

 

Dealing with the Bunker

 

Here’s a rule that applies to balls that are hit into the dreaded bunker. At times, the ball becomes buried in the sand, so much so that you may not be able to find it right away. According to rule 12-1b you are allowed to move the sand so that you can find your ball, but you can’t move the ball obviously. At the same time if you end up moving the sand that is burying the ball, you need to put the sand back on it before you hit it.

 

Unable to Identify the Ball

 

Occasionally you may find yourself asking whose ball is whose. In that case, if you can’t guarantee you know which ball belongs to you, then both you and the other player will have to go back to the previous shot you were playing as well as take a penalty. This is according to rule 12-2. In other words, be sure that whomever you’re playing with has clear markings on their ball, as do you.

 

Check the Amount of Clubs

 

Here’s a funny one that many people aren’t aware of. Often people carry extra clubs. Perhaps they use different clubs for different situations, maybe they’re trying out a different brand, whatever the reason the rules clearly state that you are only allowed to have 14 clubs in your bag at one time.

 

Don’t Alter the Surroundings

 

The ball doesn’t always land in the most ideal place, sometimes there are obstacles around it or in its path. Regardless you cannot alter the space around the ball, this means moving branches, patting down the green, whatever it may be. The ball must be played where it lies and with whatever hazards and obstacles may be in the way, no matter how difficult it makes the shot. It’s part of the challenge after all!

 

The Unspoken Rules of Play

 

Golf has always been thought of as a classy and dignified sport, there are certain things that don’t take place on a golf course because it’s just not part of the sport. While they aren’t necessarily things that will appear in the rule book, anyone who is familiar with the game knows about these unspoken rules.

 

These are things such as being a good sport, even though you can get angry about your shot it’s never okay to have a meltdown on the green, yelling, and worst of all throwing a club. Other rules such as being respectful of the course and keeping it clean, not yelling or using a distracting voice, and of course letting those groups that are faster play through.

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