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Get Ready for the Golf New Season

New spikes for your shoesIf you are in a part of the country where golf is seasonal, one of the best ways to get ready for the new golf season involves some simple maintenance.  Take a look at your golf grips and your golf shoes – if the grips are worn or haven’t been changed in the past six months, it’s time to get new grips.  The same is true of your golf shoe spikes – if they haven’t been changed in the past six months, it’s time for new spikes as well.

If your grips are slippery or appear worn, you need new grips.  If your grips are slippery, you will hold the club with more pressure and this interferes with making a good golf swing.   A general rule of thumb is to re-grip your clubs once a year, so the beginning of the season is a great time to re-grip.

Visit your LPGA or PGA Professional for help in getting the proper size grip for your hand. Grip manufacturers now offer new grips designed for a number of variables - some with cushion under the grips and some designed to absorb moisture (perspiration, rain, etc.). They also come in a variety of fun colors - which allows you to add some color as well. Once you have new grips, your clubs will feel new again and you will notice an immediate improvement, which leads to better shots and lower scores.

Now look at your golf shoes – most golfers will walk anywhere from three to five miles during an 18-hole round.  So if you are lucky to play two rounds of golf a week, you would walk more than 500 miles a year.  Due to swinging, twisting, torque, balance and walking on all kinds of turf and pavement, the need to replace your soft spikes increases even more.

Here are some helpful hints for taking care of your golf shoes and more importantly, your feet.

  • Keep a minimum of two shoes in your rotation of “favorite” shoes and never wear the same pair back-to-back for consecutive rounds.  That means alternate between a minimum of two pairs to keep your feet comfortable plus it adds to the overall life of the shoe.
  • Change spikes (if wearing shoes with replaceable spikes) after every 10-15 rounds or when they show signs of wear or cause your feet to slip when swinging or walking.
  • Purchase replacement spikes before you need them.  With many manufacturers and shoe varieties, there are multiple types of replacement spikes available and many golf shops have stopped carrying replacement spikes since there isn’t just one uniform replacement spike.  Plan ahead!
  • If you wear spikeless shoes (sometimes referred to as “nubby” shoes) try to resist the urge to wear them to the course, driving the car, going to the grocery store, etc.  While they are marketed to be more versatile, the more you wear them for non-golf activities, the more wear you are putting on the shoes off the course.  If you wear spikeless shoes for every round, make sure you have two pair of these shoes in your rotation as well.

An advantage of two pair of shoes allows you to have waterproof shoes if you tend to play early morning when the dew is still on the ground or to have a “nicer” pair of shoes that you can wear to guest day events or for tournaments.  Plus, most women golfers I know are experts at having multiple pair of shoes that “match every outfit!”  Technology has come to golf shoes as well - designed to keep your feet comfortable and dry - while still looking good. 

Golf Resolution Goals for the New Year

We are already five days into 2016 and with each New Year usually comes the list of New Year’s Resolutions.  Common resolutions include the typical things like exercising more, eating smarter, losing weight, etc. and can sometimes be golf specific like playing more, practicing a specific part of your game (short game or putting), taking additional lessons or maybe shooting a specific score or achieving a certain handicap.

Golf, unlike most sports, involves a new start and reset at the beginning of every year.  The professional Tours reset with the official money earnings starting over and the golf manufacturers launch new equipment, new golf balls, new apparel, etc. all designed to help golfers improve.  

While many golfers like to wish they will play more golf, a better golf resolution for a new year should focus on game improvement.  Start with a realistic goal of practicing your short game or even practicing once a week.  Many golfers prefer to play vs. practicing – when in fact, the best way to lower your score is to actually practice.  Establish a one-hour time frame to practice your short game – spend half an hour chipping, pitching and practicing shots from the bunker, then practice putting for half an hour.  You will gain confidence in your short game as well as save a few strokes each round.

Other common golf resolutions include working on your game by taking additional golf instruction from your local PGA/LPGA Professional.  You may have specific things you want to work on with your Professional (not hitting a slice, gaining more distance, hitting hybrids better, etc.) so be sure to explain your goals and have them incorporated in your lesson plan from your Professional.  By seeking additional golf instruction, practicing and playing, you will be on your way to lower scores and meeting those 2016 golf resolutions.

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Female Golfers

Give the Gift of GreenThis month I have shared various golf gift ideas for the golfer on your list that included golf balls, distance measuring devices, travel bags, sunglasses, grips, push carts, tickets to USGA, PGA and LPGA Tour events, golf instruction and stay and play packages.  Remember, the gift of an EWGA Membership is a great way to bring a friend into the game. 

EWGA Membership – Give the gift of fun for the entire year!  Introduce a friend to EWGA golf events and programs.  In celebration of our 25th anniversary all new members you recruit can save $25 off the Classic Membership by entering the discount code 2015-EWGA25 when they join online.  Plus you will be entered to win a complimentary registration for the EWGA Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia next April.

Thanks to our friends at GolfForHer.com, here’s a list of gifts any female golfer would love.  Use it as a guide to shop for your friends, or better yet, pass it along as a hint to those people shopping for you!

THE ULTIMATE HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR FEMALE GOLFERS

Have a great holiday season!

Holiday Gift Guide for the Golfer on Your List (part 2)

Last week I shared golf accessory gift ideas for the golfer on your list that included golf balls, distance measuring devices, travel bags, sunglasses, grips and push carts.  The gift ideas continue this week with great stocking stuffer ideas:

Golf Gifts for the HolidaysEWGA Membership – Give the gift of fun for the entire year!  Introduce a friend to EWGA golf events and programs.  In celebration of our 25th anniversary all new members you recruit can save $25 off the Classic Membership by entering the discount code 2015-EWGA25 when they join online.  Plus you will be entered to win a complimentary registration for the EWGA Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia next April.    

Golf Instruction – Grab a friend and register for golf instruction together.  Your local PGA or LPGA Professional may offer Get Golf Ready (designed to welcome new golfers to the game) or other small group instruction.  Some Professionals will let you even set up your own group of golfers – so get some friends together and have fun working on your game.

Tickets to PGA or LPGA TOUR events – Since your EWGA membership card grants you complimentary admission to domestic LPGA Tour events, you may consider purchasing tickets for friends.  Tickets to golf events fit nicely in stockings!  To purchase tickets to PGA TOUR events if they play in or near your hometown, visit PGA TOUR.  For information on tickets to the U.S. Open or U.S. Women’s Open, visit USGA.org.  If the golfer on your list would like to attend the Sr. PGA Championship, KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, 2016 PGA Championship or 2016 Ryder Cup, visit PGA.com.

Stay and Play Packages – This is the time of year many golf resorts nationwide are offering attractive stay and play packages.  You may have a bucket list item of visiting Pebble Beach, Bandon Dunes, Whistling Straits, Pinehurst, the Greenbriar, Reynolds Plantation or destination golf meccas like Scottsdale, Arizona, Palm Springs, California, Orlando, Florida or Maui, Hawaii.  If you live in the part of the country that has seasonal golf, planning a warm weather golf trip is always fun. 

Additional items that make great stocking stuffers include golf belts, golf gloves, golf towels, rain gloves, golf tees, sunscreen, ball markers, hat clips with magnetic ball markers, divot repair tools, head covers and putter covers.

 

 

Holiday Gift Guide for the Golfer on Your List

Holiday Gift Guide for Golfers on your listIt’s that time of year – time to assemble the gift list for the golfer on your holiday shopping list.  The EWGA Forecaddie has made your holiday shopping a bit easier with the following ideas of all golf-related items sure to please the golfer on your list. 

Golf Accessories - We start with golf accessories because they’re way more fun to give and receive than golf equipment and apparel.  Here are some essential items for all golfers:

  • Golf Balls – Golfers love new golf balls – especially when they are a gift.  Find out which brand and model your golfer prefers – some companies even offer complimentary personalization during the holidays.  Visit your favorite golf shop for more details.
  • Distance Measuring Devices – there are all kinds of options when it comes to distance measuring devices – there are GPS units, Golf GPS watches and rangefinders.  Visit the following sites to find that perfect distance to the green (Skygolf,  Bushnellgolf.comGarmin.com,  Golfbuddyglobal.com)
  • Travel Bag – if you are looking for a quality soft golf travel bag, check out the options from Club Glove.  More than 90 percent of PGA TOUR players use the “Last Bag” – named so since it may be the “last bag” you may have to purchase for your golf clubs.  Also check out the “Stiff Arm” – an adjustable telescoping club protector that fits in all travel bags.  Adjust the Stiff Arm to a length just longer than the longest club in the bag to protect clubs when traveling.
  • Sunglasses – while these may be personal preference, it’s important to remind the golfer on your list to protect his/her eyes from the sun.  Many manufacturers offer sunglasses for specific conditions on the golf course – designed for sunny and overcast conditions.  Check out Maui JimOakleyJack NicklausNike andSundog.
  • Grips – while it’s not the top of everyone’s dream list, golf grips now come in a variety of colors and materials and are often overlooked part of equipment when a golfer gets ready for a new season.  Check out the options from Golf PrideLamkinWinn and Super Stroke.
  • Push Carts – if your golfer likes to walk the course instead of riding a cart, consider upgrading to a new push cart.  Important things to look for are ease of use while playing golf as well as how easily it is transported to and from the course and storage when not being used.  Look at the options from Sun Mountain,ClicgearBag Boy and Caddytek.

EWGA Membership – give the gift of fun for the entire year!  Introduce a friend to EWGA golf events and programs.  In celebration of our 25th anniversary all new members you recruit can save $25 off the Classic Membership by entering the discount code 2015-EWGA25 when they join online.  Plus you will be entered to win a complimentary registration for the EWGA Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia next April.    

Check back next week for more suggestions for the golfer on your list as well as some stocking-stuffer ideas!

Inviting Guests and Clients for Business Golf

Last week we discussed five tips when you are invited to the golf course for business golf:

1) Accept the invitation to play
2)  Brush up on your golf game
3)  Know the Basic Rules and Pace of Play
4)  Look Like A Golfer
5)  Relax and enjoy your day

Business GolfTips 2 through 5 also apply if you are inviting guests and clients to the course for business golf.  There are a few other tips to keep in mind when inviting potential clients or guests for business golf:

Tip 1:  Know the best day for your client/guest to be away from the office – Determine the best day of the week or time of day to extend an invitation to your guest.  If the schedule of the day includes lunch and/or dinner, be sure your guest is available on a specific day and for an extended amount of time if you plan to include lunch and/or dinner.

Tip 2:  Determine the Facility/Schedule the Tee Time – Extend the invitation to your guest client to play golf with you.  You may elect to include lunch and/or dinner so make sure your guest is available to join you for a meal 

Tip 3:  Consider the guests playing ability – schedule a full group of four player whenever possible.  If you have three players, ask a colleague or co-worker as long as the chemistry of the group feels like everyone will enjoy each other’s company.

Tip 4:  Invite your guests, determine the format – once the group is determines, inform all players of the date, time and directions to the facility.  A good host also informs all guests of special club policies (tipping, dress code, where to park/valet car), etc.

Next week we’ll talk about the do’s and don’t s of business golf once you have your outing/meeting at the facility.

How to Conduct Business Golf on the Course

If you’ve been invited - or have extended an invitation - to play business golf, there are a few key things to keep in mind.  If you are hosting a customer or client, plan to arrive at the golf course at least an hour prior to your scheduled tee time.  If you plan to pay for your guests' green fees, being early allows you to take care of the fees prior to their arrival.  If you are the guest, plan to arrive 45 minutes prior to your tee time. 

Business Golf with a HandshakeMake sure you brush up on your game, the Rules, etiquette and lingo before the round so you feel comfortable playing business golf.  Be conscious of the Pace of Play for your group – if you keep up with the group ahead of you, you shouldn't have to worry too much about the group behind you.

Remember the goal of business golf is to create an opportunity to do business after golf – not a competitive situation in which you should try to beat your guest.  Focus on building a relationship with your guest by asking appropriate professional and sometimes personal questions.  Keep your discussion light and fun.  Wait until the round is complete to discuss business – only engage in business discussion if your guest initiates the conversation.  

If you have played the course prior to your round with your guest, share information regarding yardage, hole layout, hazards and obstacles.  Anything you can do to help your guests and make them feel welcome will help you when it’s time to discuss business.  If you have not played the course, ask if yardage books are available in the golf shop and purchase them for the group.

Avoid talking about business too much and don’t get into a disagreement with your guest.  Do some research beforehand to learn about your customer or client’s golf ability so you'll avoid playing a course or set of tees that are too challenging for everyone to enjoy.  If the client or customer insists on placing a friendly wager, be sure to pay promptly if you lose and be a gracious winner, if you win.

End your round with a handshake and offer to meet your playing partners in the clubhouse for a beverage or meal.  Now that you've impressed your guest with your professionalism and pleasant personality, it's time to approach the business conversation over lunch or dinner.  Be sure to ask your guest for a formal meeting to discuss your goals for business in greater detail.  Exchange business cards and make sure to keep some in your golf bag so they are easily available.  Enjoy your time together and look forward to doing business together.