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How To Prepare Yourself To Train For Playing Golf

Many expert golfers didn’t acquire their skills in one night. In particular, pro golfers buy and use the right gear and practice frequently. That way, these players can be at the top of their game for each casual or official match. Here are the four tips to help you prepare for playing golf:

Buy a Golf Bag

Perhaps you may already have a set of golf clubs and you’re thinking about buying a golf bag to bring all your golf gear with you. 

It’s safe to say that any person who plays golf regularly knows the importance of the ideal golf bag. However, the market sells various shapes, sizes, and designs of golf bags. When shopping for an excellent golf bag, consider essential factors like:

  • The number of pockets to hold necessities, such as golf balls, tees, and towels.
  • A comfortable golf bag strap. 
  • The existence of golf bag legs to act as a stand when you’re not carrying it. 

You can go through the internet to help you choose the right golf bag for your specific needs. Sites like CherryWoodGolfClub.com has lists that can help you choose the best golf bag according to your preferences. 

Find a Golf Mentor

Both beginners and veteran golfers may need help in improving their game. A golf mentor or a coach is an expert that also acts as policy enforcers, role models, cheerleaders, and friends to other golfers. These golf experts also know how to improve your skills. Here are the traits to look for in a mentor or a coach :

  • Has a sincere desire to spend time and effort to enhance your skills in the sport.
  • Good active listening and communicating skills.
  • Has the ability to see issues while seizing opportunities to give solutions.
  • Knows how to respect other people.
  • Empathetic
  • Flexible

Your chosen golf coach can make a significant improvement in how you play golf, especially if you’re planning to join tournaments. Invest in hiring an established coach, and you should see yourself hitting the ball more frequently than usual instead of making it fly out of bounds. 

Stay Fit

Many people make the mistake of seeing golf as a casual, low-impact sport. Although some sports require significant muscle movements, golf doesn’t require participants to run, jump, or sprint. However, proper health and fitness still play vital roles in helping golfers prepare for each game. 

Stay fit by incorporating exercise to your daily routine to help you maintain proper golfing form. Some activities that you need to integrate to your regular workout routine include:

  • Stretching

Stretching helps improve flexibility for golfers. A flexible golfer has a reduced risk of getting injured when doing swings. If a golfer has limited flexibility, chances are their upper body is rid of and it will be difficult to swing the club. 

  • Core Exercises

Maintaining core stability and strength will improve a golfer’s swinging performance. Try to incorporate exercises like planking and bent knee presses to help improve core strength. 

  • Cardiovascular Exercises

Golf requires a lot of walking, especially if you don’t plan on buying or renting a golf cart. Walking across nine or 18-hole courses can take a toll on your body, particularly if you get winded from walking to the first hole. 

Include cardiovascular exercises like jogging, running, or High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to ensure you don’t get out of breath from walking long distances. 

Also, remember to warm up five to ten minutes before each golf game. Warming up will “awaken” the muscles and joints, thereby reducing injuries and improving your cardiovascular endurance as you golf. 

Practice Your Swing

You don’t need to go to a nearby golf course every day to practice your swings. All you need is a relatively ample space in your place to practice your golf swings. 

Start practicing by:

  • Optimizing Golf Techniques

Check your position in front of a mirror and then perform a stable swing five times in a row. If you can achieve swinging five times without an error, you can proceed to the next phase. 

  • Perfecting the Impact

Practice the experience of feeling the impact by draping a towel over your club and hitting some balls. Start in a set-up position, then make the backswing by pressing forward against the cloth. You should find that the more force you generate, the more your body needs to rotate. 

  • Master the Basics

Advanced techniques are nothing if you don’t master the basics. Ensure that your grip, posture, and alignment are good. Follow proper golfing posture, and you reduce the risk of falling into lousy swinging habits.

Remember to buy the right golf bag, hire a professional mentor, stay fit, and practice how you swing your club to prepare to play for golf matches. Let these tips help you become a better golfer, regardless of your current skill level. 

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Focus on legendary golf star Seve Ballesteros

  • In Part 2 of Spain late legendary golf star Seve Ballesteros’ career Andrew Atkinson returns to the 1979 Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes and to where it all began in his hometown of Pedreña, in the northern coastal region of Cantabria.

“Severiano Ballesteros was like a racehorse; he loved to have the bit in his mouth and to take off and run.  Seve was a great frontrunner, because he played without fear, or so it seemed” – Hale Irwin.

Ballesteros, one of four boys, grew up in the hills above Pedreña, sleeping in a bedroom above livestock stables in a house built by his great-grandparents in the 1880s.

Seve played a role in looking after the family’s 14 milking cows, while his mother, Carmen, ran the household and tended gardens. His father Baldomero fished and worked the land. A simple life.

Pedreña was like the St Andrews of Spain during Seve’s youth. In Pedreña everyone played golf – a pastime in bars – and it became a way of life for him.

Pedreña is situated across the bay from Santander, in waters that evokes San Francisco, where the Spanish Royal family went on vacation at the Palacio de La Magdalena.

King Alfonso XIII was a keen golfer, and ordained a golf course to be designed – for his holidays – at a price. In Pedreña almost 300 small farms, including the one owned by Seve’s maternal grandfather, surrendered their land.

Real Golf Club de Pedreña opened in 1928, with the King serving as an Honorary President. Seve’s home was within driving range of the course, so much so, he hit balls from their sloping front yard down the hill and over a rock wall to the second green!

Seve, aged six, along with his brothers, caddied at the club where the head professional was their maternal uncle Ramón Sota, a player who tied sixth at the 1965 Masters.

Seve Ballesteros died, aged 54, in 2011, of a cancerous brain tumor
Seve Ballesteros died, aged 54, in 2011, of a cancerous brain tumor

In his youth Seve was handed down a 3-iron head and scavenged for sticks, jamming them into the head, prior to soaking the makeshift shaft to swell the wood, to fit tighter within the hosel. The shaft often lasted a couple of days – before snapping.

Caddies were allowed to play Real Pedreña once annually, and Seve took the opportunity with purloined balls, creating his own course. Seve even played in moonlight!

He tied handkerchiefs onto branches and planted them into the ground. Seve repeated the format, making holes in a meadow in the hills, and on the beach near the marina in Pedreña. Seve also ventured to nearby Somo beach, surrounded by scrubby dunes – similar to what he encountered at Royal Lytham.

Seve said: “It was a very strange experience to walk around a golf course at night, because all the reference points that help estimate distances vanished.

“I knew where the shot was heading from the way my hands felt the hit and from the sound the ball made when it hit the ground. By practicing at night I learned to feel the grass under my feet, to measure distances intuitively and adjust the power of the strokes I wanted to make.”

Aged 10, Seve finished second in his flight in Real Pedreña’s caddie tournament. Aged 12 he shot 79, to win.

Dubbed a ‘magician and a special talent’ club stewards allowed Seve unlimited playing privileges.

Seve joined his brother Manuel on the Euro tour in 1974, aged 16, sponsored by a wealthy Madrid physician. In 1976 Seve played in the Open Championship.

In 1979 Seve won the Open Championship – with commentary rallied to Pedreña, via phone. Their own village boy had won the biggest tournament in the world.

The headquarters of the Seve Ballesteros Foundation are in Santander, where the airport is named after him.

In situ in a park in Pedreña a faux-Swilcan Bridge and bronze statue captures Seve’s iconic fist-pump that followed his victorious birdie on the 72nd final hole of the 1984 Open Championship, at the Old Course.

Seve Ballesteros died, aged 54, in 2011, of a cancerous brain tumor. At the family home in Pedreña, Seve’s son Miguel, said: “When we are here it allows us to feel closer to my dad.”

At Real Pedreña’s annual Campeonato de Caddies, Seve, in all black, aged 13. COVER PHOTO: COURTESY THE BALLESTEROS FAMILY

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Imanyo Golf Society Raises €1270 for local Charities

  • Imanyo Golf Society Raises €1270 for Their Chosen Charities Village School Daya Nueva, S.A.T.S. Animal Rescue and A.E.C.C. Cancer Care.

Imanyo Golf Society started in October 2014 and has now reached the membership of 100 members.

We have raised money for various charities each year and in 2019 we decided to support the following three charities, they were Daya Nueva Village School, S.A.T.S. Animal Rescue and A.E.C.C. Cancer Care.

The money was raised with various events, raffles, football cards and extremely kind donations and we managed to raise a fantastic €1,270 therefore the village school and S.A.T.S received €400 each and €470.00 went to A.E.C.C. cancer care, the money raised for A.E.C.C. was all done on the golf day that was sponsored by plane parking.

We raised the money with balls in the water, football card and a raffle where all the prizes were donated.

At the announcement of how much had been raised Managing Director of Plane Parking, Nick Baker, said that he would make the money up to €1000 as without the A.E.C.C his wife, Marianne, might not have been so lucky.

 

The picture shows the donations being presented to Daya Nueva’s Village School, young mum Sofi collected this on their behalf, Mandy for S.A.T.S. and Pepe, the president of A.E.C.C. cancer care along with Nick, Marianne and golf society committee members Steve, Mick and Dons, our main fund raiser “AKA Charity Queen”.

 

www.imanyogolfsociety.com

imanyogolfsociety@gmail.com

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JACK NICKLAUS By Tony Matthews

In January 2020, American legend Jack Nicklaus will be 80 years ‘young’.

Perhaps the greatest golfer ever, during his professional career, Jack competed in 164 Majors, more than any other player, winning a record 18 while also claiming 73 US PGA tour wins.
As an amateur, he played in the Walker Cup and was runner-up in the 1960 US Open, two shots behind Arnold Palmer.

But Jack’s golfing career will be defined by his 18 Major triumphs, and they are:

  • Six US Masters: 1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975, 1986.
  • Five US PGA Championships: 1963, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1980.
  • Four US Opens: 1962, 1967, 1972, 1980.
  • Three British Opens: 1966, 1970, 1978.

His first British Open win came at Muirfield in 1966 and last two at St. Andrew’s, where in 1970, he beat Doug Sanders in a play-off and in 1978 became the first player to win all three Majors on three separate occasions.

Jack, the ‘Golden Bear’, ended his ‘pro’ career at St. Andrew’s in 2005, and he received a ten-minute ovation from the crowd after hitting his final tee-shot 200 yards down the fairway towards the 18th green which saw him sink a 15-foot birdie.

Born in Colombus, Ohio on 21 January 1940, Jack played American football, tennis, basketball and baseball at school and was only ten when he got the ‘golfing bug’. Indeed, while still at school, he carded a 51 for the first nine holes at his father’s course, the Scioto Country Club.

Club professional, Jack Groat, was so impressed with ‘young’ Jack that he became his life-long coach.

His 17th game of golf, saw Jack win the 1962 US Open at Oakmount, collecting $17,500 (€15.600/£14,500). The 2019 Open winner won $2.2m (€1.96m/£1.88m).

Jack won practically every honour in the game, including the Ryder Cup, and when he retired, he joined the Senior PGA Tour, going on to win ten competitions, including eight Majors.

Today, Jack heads one of the world’s largest golf course design companies; he’s also a member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects and organizes the PGA Memorial Tournament.

The author of several ‘golf-orientated’ books, his autobiography, ‘Golf My Way’ is one of best instructional golf publications of all time.

Jack also owns the Nicklaus Golf Computer Games franchise and his charity work is legendary. Indeed, he received the USA ‘Congressional Gold medal’ in 2014 in recognition of his service to the nation in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship.

Happy birthday Jack, champion golfer, the best the sport has ever seen.

Image: Jack Nicklaus at Muirfield Village Golf Club. (Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)

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The tightest victories at Valderrama

The venue of the Andalucía Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio García Foundation, to be held from October 18-21 under the sponsorship of the Council of Tourism and Sport of the Junta de Andalucía is one of the most exciting layouts in continental Europe. Tight fairways, small firm greens and relentless wind present a stiff challenge up to the last shot.

There is no sure win at Valderrama, but only six of the 21 Tour events staged at this historic layout – besides the Ryder Cup – have gone to extra holes.

Scottish duel

1992 Volvo Masters Sandy Lyle©GettyImages

Sandy Lyle and Colin Montgomerie starred in the first of these showdowns at the 1992 Volvo Masters. Lyle led by four entering the final round, but Monty worked his way up with a superb 69. The lead was shared for most of the day until Lyle three-putted for bogey on 14. He came back with a birdie on 15 and saved a miraculous par on 17 after a shanked 9-iron hit a tree out of bounds and bounced back into light rough.

They ended tied in 287 (+3). On the first play-off hole, Lyle hit a perfect tee shot. Monty tried to fade his in a left-to-right wind, but hit a tree 60 yards out and ended his challenge. 

This was the 18th and last of Lyle’s European Tour victories. As for Montgomerie, he came back by winning the following edition of the Volvo Masters in 1993, the year he triggered his incredible feat of winning seven European Tour Orders of Merit in a row.

Tiger and Jiménez face-to-face

One of the best remembered play-offs at Valderrama pitched local hero Miguel Ángel Jiménez against a dominant Tiger Woods at the 1999 WGC-American Express Championship.

Woods looked to be cruising towards his eighth win of the season three strokes ahead of Jiménez, but disaster awaited him in the final stretch. After bogeying 16, a triple bogey 8 on 17 put Jiménez one ahead on the last tee, supported by a thrilled home crowd. The Spanish dreams were shattered as Miguel failed to par 18 (278 -6) and the then world number one ensured victory with a perfect birdie on the first extra hole.

A handshake at twilight

At the 2002 Volvo Masters Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie agreed to share the title as night fell in Valderrama. Langer and Montgomerie had tied on 281 (-3) after signing for scores of 67 and 70.

2002 Volvo Masters Langer y Montgomerie©Paul Lakatos

The play-off was delayed because Montgomerie was whisked from the recording unit at the 18th green to the television compound to view a video tape of an incident at the 10th. There had been a possibility that Montgomerie had addressed a moving ball before tapping in, which could have resulted in a two stroke penalty.

Once it was determined that there had been no rules infraction, both players headed for the 18th tee in the gathering gloom. After halving two extra holes in pars, both contenders accepted the offer by Ken Schofield, The European Tour’s Executive Director, to share the spoils and shook hands in pitch darkness.

The decision to share the trophy was not unprecedented, and coincidentally the last occasion a draw was declared also involved Langer. He and Seve Ballesteros had completed four holes of a play-off for the 1986 Trophée Lancôme when darkness brought proceedings to a close in Paris.

The longest duel in Valderrama history

The following year, the 2003 Volvo Masters ended in a tie between Sweden’s Fredrik Jacobson and Spain’s Carlos Rodiles. It was a 28-hole Sunday for the leaders, as they had to complete six holes of the weather suspended third round and needed four extra holes to determine the winner.

2003 Rodiles y Jacobson 2 VMA©Paul Lakatos

The final stretch was as tense as could be. Rodiles bogeyed 16 to trail by one, but 17 proved to be key once again as the Spaniard birdied while Jacobson spun his third into the water for a double bogey. The local favourite held a two stroke lead going into the final hole, which at some courses is a comfortable lead, but not at Valderrama.

Rodiles tugged his tee shot and had to settle for a bogey while Jacobson conjured up a towering 9-iron from 151 yards to two and a half feet for the birdie that forced the play-off.

Rodiles set up winning chances on the first three extra holes, but the putts refused to drop. Memories of the 2002 stalemate were fast resurfacing when the players returned to the 18th for the sixth time of the day – the first being when they completed their delayed third rounds in the morning (276 -12). When Rodiles mishit his tee shot and could only chip sideways from the trees, Jacobson took his chance with an immaculate 8-iron to six feet and the contest was over.

Three in a row

In 2004 Valderrama lived up to its reputation of ‘Valde-drama’ as for the third succesive year the Volvo Masters Andalucía provided the sudden-death excitement of a play-off. Ryder Cup teammates Ian Poulter and Sergio García had carded matching rounds of 70 to finish regulation at 277 (-7).

García had missed a golden chance to seal the title in regular play when he launched an eight iron approach from 175 yards to five feet at the 72nd hole, but failed to convert. Poulter joined the Spaniard in the play-off as he missed a birdie try of his own on the last.

Back to the 18th, both players hit poor drives, but Poulter ended up in much better shape. García could not get out of the rough while his opponent knocked down a 7-iron to the apron and saved par to claim the title.

Once again, the home crowd was disappointed, and Sergio was left to rue missed birdie opportunities on 17 and 18. Seven years later he would put things right by winning the 2011 Andalucía Valderrama Masters in front of an enthusiastic gallery, and again in 2017. This year he will return to one of his favourite courses as defending champion and tournament host.

Rose prevails in the end

The last play-off at Valderrama was a three-way fight for the 2007 Volvo Masters title between Britons Justin Rose and Simon Dyson and Dane Søren Kjeldsen (283 -1).

2007 Volvo Masters Justin Rose hoyo 18©Paul Lakatos

Rose had started the day four shots ahead of the field and maintained his lead until a double bogey on 11 started a worrying run of four dropped shots in five holes. He looked like losing the Order of Merit as well as the tournament, but managed to hang on with a superb two-putt birdie on 17 that earned him a spot in the play-off.

Reaching the play-off ensured him the Order of Merit, but that would have been no consolation had he blown the tournament. He was determined to win, and did just that by birdieing the second extra hole from 15 feet to clinch the season-ending title.

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