How To Keep Your Head Down and Eyes On The Ball

by: Izaruls

Even after playing the game for years you never know what's going to happen each time you step foot on the golf course. Personally speaking, it is this “unknown” aspect of golf that makes the game the most exciting sport to play, and nerve wracking too! I try to hit a full round at my local course at least three times per week and every game I play is an entirely new experience altogether.

Because of the hundreds of unexpected shots that golf brings you, it is imperative that you take advantage of your practice time. Regular practice is the only way that you can experience some of the irregular situations your golf ball may get into. And speaking of practice, the best advice that I can give is to start utilizing unconventional approaches to your golf game.

What Does Unconventional Practice Mean?

Far too many players spend the majority of their time hitting long distance shots at the golf range, with a small percentage attacking their basic short game shots. Either way, neither one of these approaches practiced 100% of the time will present you with the opportunity to make those strange and undesirable shots that a real golf game will inevitably give you.

Look Away

To give you a perfect example of an unconventional practice shot, here is a lesson that can help you keep your head down and eyes on the ball when initiating your swing when your ball is in a troubled spot.

Step 1: First take your stance to the right side of the ball if you are left handed, and to the left side of the ball if you are a righty. Now face away from the target. Not looking directly at the target may seem awkward at first, but go with it, relax, and loosen up your body.

Step 2: Now hold the club (whichever you like) with it extended downwards from your most dominant hand. The blade should be pointing towards the ground, directly at your feet.

Step 3: Next, place the blade of your club behind the golf ball and turn your head slightly back in order to properly aim your shot.

Step 4: Pull the club upwards while extending it forward. Then swing the club down and along your target line as best possible. Follow through as far as you possible can.

Step 5: Resist the urge to turn around to see the end result. Simply concentrate on following through and getting the ball back in to play towards the green.

We “older” golfers tend to forget basics, and/or ignore them…. Don’t, it’s always a good idea to get back to them regularly.

Ballyliffin Golf Club's History of Success and Failures

Ireland is a bastion of golf course, whether be it parkland or links courses, and they have more than enough for its 4 million population to accommodate many other golfers from all over the world. Blessed with beautiful land and scenic views, vacation golf spots in Ireland are a definite must-play and should provide a wondrous time whether you are just a beginner or a seasoned golfer.

To those who have already gone and played at the Ballyliffin Golf Club, they have been blessed of having a chance to play at two great golf courses adjacent to each other. Both straddles the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and provides a challenging game as the wind constantly blows erratically swaying the flight of the golf ball.

Either the old links or the Glashedy links provide a relentless pursuit to providing a fun yet unpredictable day of golfing with the best of the old and new provided to its members and visitors.

Before the Ballyliffin Golf Club enjoyed its vast popularity today, it has experienced a number of success and failures that have shaped it to be one of the more exciting golf links Ireland has to offer.

The concept of starting a golf club in Ballyliffin started out in the later part of the 1940's after the Second World War. By then, a group of people interested in the idea banded together and leased lands and converted it into a 9-hole golf course. The club itself prepared the greens before playing, doing the menial tasks of mowing the grass and checking the area.

But the development of the club and the course itself was a slow and painful process. With such a small club that doesn’t have really any resources at all, frustrations and doubts on whether the club should be continued at all flourished. Then the impending end of the lease also was hanging over their heads and the future of their club was slowly darkening.

But the sun shone the little golf club from Ballyliffin when the landowners agreed to extend their lease. The club's association with the Irish Christian brotherhood has also helped it recruit more players and improve their revenues. By the time the 1960's were ushering in, the confidence of its members soared and the prospect of owning the land was getting brighter.

Then by the late 60's problems with the land arose again as the owners weren’t keen on renewing the lease once again. This prompted the club to look for a larger area to lease and convert into a links course.

By 1970, the Ballyliffin Golf Club transferred to a much bigger area and construction soon started. Barely three years after 18 holes were ready to be played.

But problems soon arose again. Financial concerns plagued the club and the seawall was being eaten up by the sea as more gravel were being removed for the construction. A masterfully planned charity, bazaars and concerts saved the club from financial disaster and the stopping of construction by the sea saved the property.

Soon, more members joined the club and green fees were rising with its new found fame adding more finances to the club's coffers. A new clubhouse was now opened and more facilities and amenities were being put up.

Five decades after the original group members decided to start the Ballyliffin Golf Club, a new course was now added. By 1993, the construction started on the new course beside it and was finished two years after. Many professional and golf enthusiasts that the new championship links course was stunningly beautiful and was well designed.

With the success Ballyliffin Golf Club has experienced, and the failures that has made it what it is today, you can be sure that a golfing trip to this eventful course would be well worth the long trip from across the globe.

Mixing Tradition and Development at the Ballybunion Golf Club – The Old Course

When it comes to the ideal golf vacation spots in Ireland, the Southwest area is riddled with amazing golf courses filled with great links and stunning views. In these parts you will see Ireland's most sought after golf course all eager to line up for some tee time, the Ballybunion Golf Club, particularly its old course.

Many popular names in the world of golf have experienced the wondrous allure of Ballybunion and have continually used it as a warm up course to unwind and relax before The Open. Names like Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods and Tom Watson has registered in its log book and has provided great reviews and comments to this wondrous and mesmerizing Irish golf vacation spot.

Being the millennium captain of the Ballybunion Golf Club, Tom Watson said that it is one of the best and most beautiful tests of links he has played in, having played there since 1981.

Here in the old golf course, you will find very challenging links where the winds are constant factors and the land is surrounded by the captivating view of the Atlantic.

Opened in August 18, 1893, the Ballybunion Golf Club has had its shares of ups and downs. In its early days, the Ballybunion Golf Club did not enjoy the popularity it does today and has fallen into financial oblivion. Its first 8 years reeled the course to its all time low and was soon revived only by the changing of the officers of the club.

As more developments and land links were laid out, the reputation of the Ballybunion Golf Club grew and grew. By 1926, the course had plans to extend to a full 18 holes, barely a year after, those plans were realized. Its national level of recognition started in 1932 when the Irish Ladies Championship was held there. Five years after, Irish Mens Close Amateur Championship followed suit.

Its first most significant level of competition came at 1957 when the course was chosen as the venue for the Irish Professional Championship. Soon after, waves of other competitions and golf organizations recognized its high quality links and have given it high accolades.

After more than 60 years, the Ballybunion Golf Club finally got the recognition it so rightly deserves and things were never quite the same. Golfers now come in droves from all over the world to experience what the lucky Irish people have had for more than a century now. The Ballybunion Golf Club would always be recognized as Ireland's greatest golf vacationing spot.

But aside from its majestic and amazing rolling dunes, and the mesmerizing backdrop set by the Atlantic Ocean, the tradition and culture that has made Ballybunion Golf Club what it is today is what keeps the people coming in.

Plus, it has world class amenities that can cater to the needs of so many golfers from all over the world. There you would find a newly built clubhouse that has a dining room that can seat 120 persons, two bars and some very relaxing lounge areas. There is also a Pro Golf Shop that carries every golfing needs that you may have. Also, being a championship golf course, you will be able to find some practice facilities such as; Putting Greens, A Sand Bunker Practice facility, Driving Range, and a Chipping Green.

Ballybunion Golf Club is located at Sandhill Road., Ballybunion, Country Kerry, Ireland. For the greatest golf vacation spot in Ireland, this is a century old choice for the pros.

Effortless Distance With Your Golf Swing

by : Jeff O'Brien

Many times when you hear people talking about getting the most distance out of their drives or irons, you probably hear the word timing used as they talk about how to achieve this. Or, when you watch the professionals play (especially in person) the distance they achieve seems to come so effortlessly and smooth. Although a discussion of the entire golf swing isn't within the scope of this article, let's talk about the timing. Timing is a word that is often bantered about when discussing the golf swing and more precisely achieving maximum distance; but timing of what? And how do I achieve it?

In a nutshell, when is comes to getting the most efficient distance out of your golf shot, the timing element is the timing of the release of the stored energy that has amassed during the process of your golf swing.
Again, for the purposes of this article, let's fast forward just a bit to the point where you are at the top of your golf swing. At this point, if all has gone well, your left arm will straight. The relationship between the club and your wrists will be 90 degrees (wrists will be cocked). Your hips will have rotated approximately 45 degrees away from their original address position, while your shoulders have rotated more toward a 90 degree posture. Essentially, you are in somewhat of a 'coiled' position at the top of your back swing.

At this position, you have accumulated your stored energy. Except additional energy that will be stored and released rapidly as your shaft flexes and un-flexes, this is what you have to work with.

Now that you have all this energy stored up, how and when to release it is on of us golfers greatest conundrum. This power that you now possess is but a fleeting thing, and one must apply it at the proper moment in order to achieve the desired results.
Unfortunately, from this position at the top of the back swing is where the vast amount of golfers goes wrong; and that is the first movement they make back toward the ball is with the hands and arms. If you do this, a vast amount of your stored energy has now been released and not available to be applied to the golf ball. When you do this, you lose the angle created between your wrists and your club. You lose the angle that you have created between your shoulder and your hips. In essence, (among other things) you have begun uncoiling way to early.

Among other things, in its simplest form, this type of action is generally called swinging or releasing from the top or casting the club. Aside from grossly leaking energy from your swing this will cause and outside in swing path, and more often than not produce some severity of slice.

But, let's stay strictly within the confines of energy and timing. If, from the top of your swing, you begin the ascent of your golf swing toward the impact zone from the ground up and maintain the aforementioned angles we discussed much longer, you'll be well on your way to applying the energy of your swing at the proper moment (not to mention your swing path will be much more desirable).

>From the top of your swing, the weight beginning to transfer from your back instep toward your front foot is what initiates the downswing. Not your hands, not your shoulders, not a spinning motion with your hips. As your weigh begins to move toward your front side, your hips will follow by beginning to release (uncoil) from the angle they had attained at the top of the swing. As the hips begin to uncoil and continue to follow the weight shift your shoulders and arms will naturally follow. Note that I said naturally. You shouldn't be consciously firing your arms and shoulders to catch up. If you do, once again, you have just spent more of your stored energy.

As the weight shifts, the hips follow with rotation and the shoulders and arms now begin to follow suit, your wrists should still be in a 'cocked' position in relationship to the club. In other words, this angle is still maintained.
As your left hip clears, this imparts a tremendous amount of pressure for your upper body to catch up. And catch up it will in a big way. With you hips cleared and your belly beginning to point down the target line, you shoulders will follow through the hitting zone and finally your arms and hands will be naturally force to release in a dramatic fashion through the impact zone. As all this happens the shaft of your club will have a pretty fair amount of flex imparted on it. This is easily discernable if you look at a slow motion or still photo view of the club coming into the impact zone.

It is at this point, with the shaft flexed that the right hand begins to release (and eventually pronate) that is the culmination of releasing all this stored energy upon the golf ball with the proper timing.

In a sense, the release of the energy which entails the hips following the initiated weight shift, followed by the upper body responding to the hips uncoiling, that then begins to lead the arms and hands down the target line and through the hitting zone until finally the hands can no longer remain 'cocked' and they release the club naturally as a result of rapidly catching up to the rest of what the body has done.

In summary it is the arms and hands that complete the release of your stored energy NOT initiate it from the top of your swing. As you begin to bring this concept together it may actually feel to you as though your arms and hand are 'trailing' the rest of your swing. And in sense they are... they are waiting for the precise timing. And the great thing is, is that the physics of this will all take place quite naturally once you begin to refine the mechanics of your golf swing with your teaching professional. And with some practice you'll soon be able to let the natural forces and physics of a good golf swing apply the proper timing to the golf ball in a smooth and effortless... longer distance manner.

First Hole In One by Becky Brewerton at British Open

Becky Brewerton First Hole In OneThe Women's British Open, currently carrying the official name of Ricoh Women's British Open, has been considered a major championship in women's golf since 2001. The interesting part of this year tournament, Becky Brewerton from Wales had a memorable week on Saturday where she scored her first ever hole-in-one with a 5-iron at the 12th. The five-iron blow was the first ace of her career, and she said: "My first ever hole in one - fantastic! To have it here, at this tournament as well, was brilliant. The shot was great all the way. It looked really good but I couldn’t see it go in. There was quite a big crowd to the left of the green and they all went nuts. I didn’t know what to do with myself." As an amateur, she was a member of the GB&I Curtis Cup Team in 2000 and this week her match play experience will be especially valuable.

Custom Fitting Golf Clubs

Every golfer's physical capability and swing is distinctive. Many of today's best golf clubs can be custom fit for lie angle, shaft type and length, grip type and size. Custom fitting golf clubs involves several easy measurements and a quick self-assessment of your game. This custom golf club has become more than a fad that even not so professional golfers test its waters. Custom fitting is the process for tailoring a golf club to suit your personal swing. Whatever your level, with a custom golf club the aim is to ensure that if you do make a good swing, the club will be square at impact and should produce a straight shot.

Custom Golf Club How To's:

To custom fit your golf clubs, you need to know: your gender (male or female); your height in your stockings or socks; the distance from your wrist (where it bends) to the floor with your shoes off; your age; your handicap or skill level; how fast you swing a golf club; what club you use at the 150 yard marker.

Gender is used to put you into the correct fitting scale for custom golf clubs. The golf industry uses different definitions of "standard length" for men and women.

Your height and the distance in inches from your wrist to the floor are used together to determine the length of a custom golf club that is appropriate for you. The starting point for club length can vary up to 3 ½-inch ranging from ladies to men plus 1 ½-inch. A tall person with long arms can very easily require shorter clubs than an average height person with short arms. About 80 percent of golfers are standard length.

Your age, handicap (if you happen to have one), self-assessed skill level, estimated golf swing speed and club you use at the 150 yard marker are all combined to determined the custom golf club's shaft flex that is appropriate for you.

Custom fitting can fix your slice. If you slice the ball it means that the toe of the club is leading into the ball which opens the face of the club. That may be down to a swing fault, but it could be because the club is too flat. So as part of the custom fitting process you can make the custom golf club more upright to help with this. This will mean that the toe of the club will be slightly off the ground at address to compensate.

There are different methods of fitting according to custom golf club manufacturers but ultimately they are all trying to improve your game. To begin with simple measurements such as wrist-to-floor, height and hand size are taken and will point you to the right size club and at what angle it should be to the ground. Then you will take a club and hit some balls. One method is to place impact tape on the bottom of the custom golf club and an impact board on the floor.

As you hit the ball the board will leave a mark on the tape showing whether the heel or the toe of the custom golf club is striking the floor first. The resulting mark will show whether the club face needs to be flatter or more upright. Then things get a bit more advanced. Analysis equipment can measure everything from your club speed to the side spin of the ball so that you can get maximum distance from your shot. You can also measure the launch angle of the ball, how much backspin you generate and impact efficiency - all which affect distance. The angle in which the custom golf club approaches the ball and the sidespin of it can help fix your game too.

Rather than bringing down your old clubs, it might be better to start from scratch. It's a big misconception that custom fitting is only for good golfers. Anyone can benefit. That said, if you plan to upgrade a new set of clubs with the same manufacturer they may be able to adjust your old set to become custom golf clubs.

Custom fitting won't cure all your bad shots. Coaching will sort that out. But if you do make a good swing, then the custom golf club will arrive correctly at impact and should produce a straight shot at your target. That alone will save shots during a round.

Lastly, custom fitting is often free of charge. But it is usually on the condition that you buy some clubs once you've been fitted. So it really depends on what your budget is. If you're prepared to buy a new set of clubs it's definitely worth getting fitted.

Money Money Money

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Paid reviews

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