Putting key to Phil Mickelson victory at British Open

The importance of putting was driven home again at the 2013 British Open, as Phil Mickelson was on fire and Tiger Woods continued to struggle with his putter. For Mickelson, this victory gave him his first British Open championship and his fifth major. Mickelson may not be the most consistent golfer of his generation, but he’s certainly dominant at times when his game comes together. He birdied four of the last six holes for his come-from-behind victory as Lee Westwood faded as some predicted.

Meanwhile, Woods is naturally being scrutinized from every possible angle. Many writers are focusing on the fact that Woods has never come from behind on Sunday to win a major championship, but that hardly seems like the most important factor. No, his putter has been letting him down, and that’s keeping him from winning the big ones. When Woods was piling up wins, he was one of the best putters in history. And while he’s facing inuries and some of the same struggles golfers face as they get older, his biggest problem seems to be with his putter. He’s still good, but good is a long way from great.

This only highlights the mental aspect of the game, and we all know that Tiger has had more than his share of distractions. One that comes to mind is the drama with his old caddy Steve Williams. The two shook hands after the conclusion of the Open Championship on Sunday at Muirfield after Tiger was paired up with Adam Scott, and it looked like the beginning of the end of a silly feud, but you have to wonder if the unflappable Woods was flapped around a bit having to play with them on Sunday. We’ll never know of course, but we’re well beyond the point where a Woods victory was assumed by the handicappers setting the golf odds for majors.

Tiger has to deal with an adversary in Mickelson who refuses to fade away. Phil still can’t get over the hump at the US Open, but it’s tough to count him out these days, and he’s pushing himself into the conversation regarding golf’s all-time greats. There’s also a slew of younger golfers in the game who aren’t the least bit intimidated by Woods, who hasn’t won a major in five years!

So it’s great for golf that Tiger is in the mix, but the landscape has certainly changed.

Golfing for women

So much golf content is geared towards men, so it’s always cool when we find a golf site to feature that is geared towards women. Check out the Golf Girl’s Diary, and excellent site by Patricia Hannigan that focuses on a wide variety of topics, including golf gear, history, news, pros and more. The writing is excellent and she comes up with stories you won’t find on traditional golf sites.

Improve Your Golf Game

Golf can be both the sweetest and most frustrating sport in the world. There is nothing better than the magic feeling of hitting a perfect golf shot. But there is nothing more maddening than shanking a ball off into the woods or the water. In order to keep your rounds as uplifting as possible, follow these tips to quickly improve your golf game.

Work with a Pro

The best way for golfers to make rapid improvements in their skill levels is to get the services of a professional instructor. It can be very tough to figure out on your own what you are doing wrong. On the other hand, most quality instructors can notice the basic flaws in your swing within a few minutes.

Once an instructor has identified the fundamental flaws in your swing, you can go about correcting them. The instructor will give you drills to work on that will fix the things that are wrong. Practice these drills until you can’t stand them anymore. When you put in the hard work to fix the flaws in your swing, it will shave many strokes off of your handicap.

Develop a Pre-Shot Routine

One of the biggest reasons that people shanks a ball is that they do not swing consistently. They swing perfectly on one shot, but then they make major mistakes on the very next one. The easiest way to fix this erratic behavior is to develop a pre-shot routine. It is a bit like a free-throw shooter’s routine in basketball. A pre-shot routine will remind you exactly what you need to do to swing correctly. It will also psychologically center you, calming you down and getting you into the zone.

Practice Every Day

The easiest way to quickly improve you golf game it to practice every day. It may not be possible to get out to the course every day, especially for those who live in the northern climes. However, it is possible for everyone to practice their putting every day. It is easy to practice your swing every day, too.

A great tool to practice you swing indoors is a weighted practice club. These practice clubs weigh more than a normal club, but they are smaller. This allows you to get a great workout for your swing muscles even when you are indoors.

Gain Some Confidence

Golf is a mental game. The ability to step up to the tee with confidence is crucial for success. One of the easiest ways to gain confidence is to look good on the course. When you look good, you feel confident. This confidence will lend itself to your golf game. If you are stuck in a rut, try buying some flashy new golf clothes at Pricegrabber.

Have Fun

Remember that golf is supposed to be fun. Try to remember this even when you have a bad round. As long as you are following these tips and consistently working on your game, success will come in time.

Shaving Off a Few Strokes From Your Driver

Since the late 19th century Americans having being fascinated by a sport that is essentially about using a stick to hit a tiny ball as far as you possibly can. Golf began to become more commonly popular through the 1920’s. Nowadays you can see everyday individuals, celebrities, and even rock stars out still trying to find that magic of how to hit a tiny ball as far as they can. One of the best ways someone can find that magic is by learning to use their driving club properly.

A driver club is one of your most important tools, and takes more skill to use properly because of all the clubs they have the lowest loft or angling that allows for control when hitting the ball. When you use a driver have the ball teed up and you will want it sitting more forward in your stance. Once the ball is positioned correctly forward, make sure you have more weight on your back leg, and lower your back shoulder to achieve a cleaner more fluid swing.

The speed with which you hit the ball will be important as well because this is what will give it the distance you are looking for. For greater speed make sure your grip is lighter, the club should feel a little heavy in your hand. Having a slightly looser grip will allow your body and the club to move more freely, which will give you the momentum you want to create that killer swing.

A few tips from Golf Info Guide about hitting with your driver are:
• Tee the ball a little higher.
• Make sure your feet are a little wider than your shoulders.
• The ball should be sitting opposite from your left heel.
• When swinging, try to turn until your back faces the ball.
• Make sure to transfer your weight properly through the drive.

Taking individual golf lessons is really important too. There are some basic skills you can learn by reading books, watching video and such. But everyone will have their little nuances that can create bad habits like how they stand, lack of follow through, not keeping their head down, and even more personal behaviors that can only be corrected by a professional who is watching and working with you.

The reality is you will spend hundreds of dollars for new clubs, and maybe as much in green fees and it can all be a waste of money and time if you are just playing with the same bad habits over and over. A private lesson can give you 30 minutes to an hour each time with a pro, and can cost as little as $25. It is worth the money in the long run to get it right in the beginning.

Once you have the mechanics down you can really enjoy a good game of golf. You can also use sites like American Golf to find new and engaging courses to play on. Like Arnold Palmer once said, “What other people may find in poetry or art museums, I find in the flight of a good drive.”

Top Mobile Apps for Golfing


(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Range finders have been used for awhile to help golfers determine distance to the hole, choose which club to pull out of the bag and decide whether to go for the green or play it safe around bunkers or water hazards. But it’s no longer necessary to carry a separate piece of equipment for the job. Now, smartphones can do the same thing – and most golfers already carry a cell phone to the course. One less thing in the golf bag to worry about.

Finding Courses With Apps

Smartphones like Android phones give golfers access to apps that can instantly find the distance to the hole. But there are many other ways golfers can benefit from carrying a smartphone to the course. GPS systems can help golfers find those hidden gems while on vacation and looking for a great place to take a shot. Also, apps are available, such as Golf Logix, that help you find top rated courses, inexpensive courses, courses with driving ranges or putting greens and courses off the beaten path.

Booking Courses With Apps

Many courses around the country are posting discounts for online users, allowing you to receive emails via the smartphone and book tee times for as little as 40 to 50-percent off regular rates. Some courses also offer a virtual tour of the course online, and many also post par scores and details about the yardage and conditions you can expect to face at each hole. With this information on hand, you can always get the best prices for the best courses, and often can get hard-to-find tee times at popular courses.

This takes the guesswork out of choosing where to play and when, especially when you’re on the road for a business trip or vacation. Get the best deals, choose ideal tee times, have reservations booked ahead of time and get to know the course – all from the convenience of the smartphone. Many courses allow golfers to pay for the round online, speeding the process when you arrive and are ready to check in and tee off. Try U.S. Golf Courses app, among others.

Preparing for Golf With Apps

For golfers who are also concerned with the conditioning it requires to stay competitive, apps are available to help keep up with training goals and achievements. Get apps to aid with workout sessions, track progress and help you determine how much the program is helping your golf game – which is the important part. There are also apps to help you determine what equipment best suits your game. Take a look at Golf Genie Practice Drills Pro, among others.

Keeping Up With the Pros

Also from the smartphone, keep up with pro golf events, find local tournaments to watch or participate in and get all the news on your favorite players. Smartphone shopping allows you to get the best deals on the newest golf merchandise, as well. And all this while keeping you in touch with the office and family.

Smartphones also help you keep track of practice lessons and tee times. Just as the phone became the go-to device for managing work and juggling family responsibilities, it is quickly becoming indispensable on the course. A recent informal survey turned up that there are no golf courses in the U.S. that disallow cell phone use on the course. However, it’s good etiquette to keep the phone on vibrate, especially when around tee boxes. While technology marches on, rules of etiquette still remain the same.

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