Sand Green Golf

Backspin

Sand Green Golf

I grew up in regional Australia and I was visiting my home town over Christmas and I took a drive around all the golf courses I had played as a junior and amateur golfer around my home town. In Australia all little towns seem to have a golf course as part of the sporting facilities of the town. I grew up in a town of around 50,000 people and we had three golf courses in the town itself. There was another golf course in the twin town across the river as well as a number of other courses within 45 minutes’ drive. There are also several little sand green courses in the nearby towns which is what this post is about.

Some of these towns have populations ranging from a few hundred to maybe 1500 and yet they all have a golf course that can be used by the local residents. Now this is where it gets a little interesting! As these towns are very small and there are not many members of the clubs there is not a lot of money to be spent on the courses. There are no course staff to maintain the course and all the work is done by the golfers and volunteers. They are very friendly clubs and when you play golf there you are always guaranteed a fun time with lots of country hospitality.

Another little quirk of these courses is the greens. There is no money or staff to maintain grass greens, so these courses have sand greens which are sometimes called sand scrapes. It is a weird feeling to be aiming to hit the ball in the sand for a change!

Sand greens are traditionally small and hard so hitting greens in regulations is a challenge. You can’t land the ball on the green surface on the full unless you want to end up 50 yards over the green. You need to hit shots that land short and bounce onto the green. Uneven bounces combined with small putting surfaces makes it hard to have too many birdie putts.

Once you manage to get the ball on the green the “scrape” section of sand scrapes come into play. You mark your ball by drawing a line in the sand level with your ball and then use the provided “smoother” to scape a smooth path to the hole from your mark. You need to go past the hole and keep an even pressure during your scrape. You are allowed to scrape twice, in opposite directions, on each putt. You then place the ball in the middle of the scraped path in even with your line and putt away. There is usually not too much break on sand greens, and they are normally slower than grass greens so you will see a lot of one putt greens, especially from seasoned sand green players. I can remember losing a tournament to a sand green player who had something like 22 or 23 putts for the 27 holes of the tournament.

I took these photos that you can see in the post during Summer and these courses obviously don’t have any watering systems. They rely on mother nature to provide rain to green up the fairways, so golf is a Winter sport in these country towns. 

One of courses in the photos has invested in synthetic grass for their greens and this cuts down on maintenance and allows for a couple of pin positions on each green. Most sand green courses have the hole in the middle of the green and that is where it stays. I haven’t played this course since they changed to synthetic, but I am told that they still play a lot like sand greens, so you still need to land the ball short and run it on.

Sand green golf is a lot of fun as you must play different shots and you don’t tend to play too many high wedge shots. You play lots of chip and run shots and you get to be nice and aggressive on your putts as they don’t run too far past generally. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about sand green golf and where is the strangest place you have played golf.

Until next time,
Brent Davis

 

Brent Davis

Brent Davis

PGA Professional

Training & Education Coordinator
PGA Centre For Learning Performance
Melborne, Victoria, Australia

Email: brentdavis@pgamember.org.au

 

Backspin Archives

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Choosing A Golf Specific Trainer

Fitness

Choosing A Golf Specific Trainer

You have seen a lot of posts from me on this website talking about the benefits of physical training for golf. I have described the benefits of golf specific training, given you some simple advice and encouraged you to get involved in golf fitness training. In this post, I would like to talk about how best to go about choosing a golf specific trainer.
It is important that you make a smart choice when you are starting off in this space. You are going to working on your body, your strength, your flexibility and your overall fitness which will have a large influence on your golf swing and golf game. You need to make sure that the people you are choosing to work with are the best people for you.
I am going to outline the four things that I feel are the most important when it comes to choosing a golf specific trainer to work with.
Qualifications
The first thing that you need to check with a potential trainer is their qualifications. There are lots of different fitness qualifications in the market and you need to be careful with the qualifications your potential trainer has. Personally, I prefer fitness trainers with tertiary qualifications. In Australia, we have fitness qualifications of a lower level called Certificate IV and Diploma qualifications. I make sure all the trainers that I use in my programs have University/College degrees before using them.
Golf Specific Knowledge
Golf specific knowledge is also an important part of the skill set that your golf specific trainer needs to have. The golf swing is made up of a lot of complicated moves and some of these moves can place a high level of stress on the body. A good trainer will understand these movements and design a training program to build your strength, flexibility and other body systems to support these movements. Look for golf specific knowledge such as TPI qualifications and other golf industry based training.
Experience Working With Golfers
Qualifications are great to have but experience is also an important trait to look for in a potential trainer. You should be looking for a trainer that has a track record of working with, and improving, golfers. The ability for a trainer to demonstrate and use their skills and knowledge in a practical setting is one of the key things a trainer needs to be able to do. Ask your trainer to show you references and testimonials from golfers that they have worked with and you will be well on your way to working with a great trainer.
Personality
The last thing I look for in a trainer, and it is often overlooked, is personality. You will be working closely with your trainer and you need to click, personality wise, with them. Some people work well with a drill sergeant type trainer while some people need a more encouraging type trainer. Spend some time with your potential trainer and ask them what their training philosophy is. How do they motivate their clients? Do you like the trainer? Can you see yourself working with them?
These are the four main things that I look for in a golf specific trainer. What are the things that you think are important? What does your trainer do that works for you? What have a missed? Let me know in the comments and we can get a good discussion going.
Until next time,
Brent Davis

Brent Davis

Brent Davis

PGA Professional

Training & Education Coordinator
PGA Centre For Learning Performance
Melborne, Victoria, Australia

Email: brentdavis@pgamember.org.au

 

Fitness Archives

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In this post we discuss what a caddie's responsibility is under the rules of golf.  Rule 6, The Player, is one of the Rules that deals with a players responsibilities during a stipulated round of golf.  Rule 6-1...

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The Origins of the Masters Theme Song So where did the Masters theme song come from?  That iconic music you hear every year around Masters time.  So soothing and peaceful. Makes you think of azaleas, beautiful green...

Anchored Stroke

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Subscribe

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Subscribe to our newsletter Chip Shots!

Follow Us

Providing golf instruction, lessons, lesson, group lessons, private junior golf lessons, adult, kids, professional, learn, learning, winter golf coaching, and to Mackinaw City, Pellston, Cheboygan, Indian River, Alanson, Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Charlevoix, Boyne City, Boyne Falls, East Jordan, Traverse City, Gaylord and the surrounding areas in Michigan. Best Golf Teacher in Michigan.

Fun In Fitness Training

Fitness

Fun In Your Fitness Training

If you have been following my blog posts on this website, you are probably getting the message that fitness training for golf is important. Well, I will emphasise here again that it is very important, both to your golf and your general wellbeing.

But it is sooooooooo boring!!!! Is a common excuse I hear from people who are starting out with fitness training. Well, I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be.

There are so many options when it comes to fitness training and you can check out your local gym, talk to your personal trainer or use some of the ideas below to bring some fun into your fitness training.

Classes: Doing an exercise class is a great way to increase your enjoyment during your fitness training. You are in a group situation around like minded people with a fun and energetic instructor leading the way. The atmosphere keeps you motivated and classes usually include some great music to keep you going. Try lots of different classes and I am sure you will find a few that you like.

Set goals: Goal setting has been discussed on this website and in Mike’s podcast and, if you have a competitive streak like me, are a great way to keep your sessions fun. Striving to beat your personal bests and achieve your goals is a lot of fun and will keep you coming back for more fitness sessions.

Make up some games: Training your cardio vascular system doesn’t need to be hour after hour sitting on an exercise bike or walking on a treadmill. Make up games that you can play with a friend or group of friends and your session will be fun and the time will fly by. When I was coaching in Taiwan the players I was coaching has their own little games they would use to make the training session fun. You can see a couple of videos showing the session by clicking here and here. As you can see, they are simple games but can make the session fun and competitive and help make the training enjoyable.

Mix it up: Doing the same thing over and over is a sure-fire way to make your training sessions seem endless. Make sure you mix it up a little and try different types of training. This will ensure you use different muscle groups and continually challenge yourself and your body. When I was coaching in China my wife and I introduced the students to boxing training for golf. It is a great way to challenge your fitness levels, build your strength and improve your coordination. You can see, in this video, my pregnant wife leading the students through some combination punching drills.

These are just a few ways that you can make your training more enjoyable and I would love to hear your ideas in the comments below.
Until next time,

Brent Davis

Brent Davis

Brent Davis

PGA Professional

Training & Education Coordinator
PGA Centre For Learning Performance
Melborne, Victoria, Australia

Email: brentdavis@pgamember.org.au

 

Fitness Archives

Golf Fitness, Is It For You?

Golf Fitness, Is It For You? There has been a lot of coverage lately in the media and on social media about golf fitness and the training that certain tour players complete. Some of the comments made have been negative towards fitness training for golfers and I...

read more

TEAM MFG BLOG

Sand Green Golf

Sand Green GolfI grew up in regional Australia and I was visiting my home town over Christmas and I took a drive around all the golf courses I had played as a junior and amateur golfer around my home town. In Australia...

Golf Match Play-Think A Different Way

Golf Match Play-Think A Different Way   Playing match play golf has been around for centuries.  With a handicap system to equal the field, just about anyone can beat anyone on any given day. That's what makes it...

The Origins of The Masters Theme Song

The Origins of the Masters Theme Song So where did the Masters theme song come from?  That iconic music you hear every year around Masters time.  So soothing and peaceful. Makes you think of azaleas, beautiful green...

Better Distance Control On Wedge Shots

Better Distance Control On Wedge Shots   One of the things I am often asked is:  "How do I get better distance control on wedge shots?" At Boyne Mountain Resort we have installed Northern Michigan's first Wedge...

Play Faster Golf

Play Faster Golf   A movement across America in the last several years has been finding ways to play faster golf.  One of the main reasons why golf has been on the decline lately is because people don't feel they...

Use The Tee Drill For Better Chipping

Better Chipping |  Use The Tee Drill   In this video Mike Fay shows you a great drill to help you with your short game.  This video was featured on Mike Fay Golf Live. Bad short game shots could be the most...

Hitting The Center Of The Golf Club Face

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Where Does The Term Birdie Come From?

Where Does The Term Birdie Come From? We all love making birdies.  Who doesn't right?  But did you know the origin of the term?  Well, in golf history standards the term birdie isn't that old at all. Atlantic City...

How To Repair A Ball Mark

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Coach

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Subscribe

Never miss a new post, article, or video!
Subscribe to our newsletter Chip Shots!

Follow Us

Providing golf instruction, lessons, lesson, group lessons, private junior golf lessons, adult, kids, professional, learn, learning, winter golf coaching, and to Mackinaw City, Pellston, Cheboygan, Indian River, Alanson, Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Charlevoix, Boyne City, Boyne Falls, East Jordan, Traverse City, Gaylord and the surrounding areas in Michigan. Best Golf Teacher in Michigan.

Consistency and Accountability in Your Training

Fitness

Consistency and Accountability in Your Training

To improve in anything that you attempt, whether that be sport, music, fitness or any other activity you are undertaking, you need to be consistent in your effort over a period of time to achieve your goals. You need to be consistently doing the things that you need to do to improve. I will use fitness as an example below.

A lot of golfers want to improve their flexibility to make a better golf swing so they decide that they will do some stretching to help with this goal. They might spend twenty minutes one day doing some stretches and this is great. The problem arises when that same person doesn’t do any more stretching for the next week. They might then do some more stretching once a week for the following few weeks and be frustrated because they have not improved. They might come to the conclusion that stretching isn’t for them and they won’t ever be flexible. The problem that this person is having is not that stretching doesn’t work for them or they will never be flexible, it is the fact that they were not consistent in their attempt to gain more flexibility.

So, this leads us to the question, how do you be more consistent in your efforts? The simple answer to this is to me more accountable in your training and I will outline some simple strategies below to help you with this.

Use A Training Partner

The simplest way to be accountable is to have someone else help you be accountable. If you train with a partner, which might be a personal trainer or just a friend, you are much more likely to train on a consistent basis. If you make a time to train with someone you will make that appointment and be much less likely to miss a training session.

Training Log

Keeping a record of your training sessions is a great way to make you accountable as well as keeping you motivated as you see your results improve. There are several training apps on the market that you can use or you can use a simple spreadsheet like this one to keep track of your training. As you can see in the spreadsheet you can use this for tracking your golf and fitness training.

Reporting to Your Coach

As a golf coach, I like nothing more than receiving an email or text message from a student letting me know that they have just completed a training session. This lets me know that they are putting into practice the things we have been working on. This helps me as a coach know that they are motivated to improve and it helps the student stay accountable for their training. To me, this is a win-win situation.

These are just a few simple ideas and I would love to hear your suggestions in the comments below.

Until next time,

Brent Davis

Brent Davis

Brent Davis

PGA Professional

Training & Education Coordinator
PGA Centre For Learning Performance
Melborne, Victoria, Australia

Email: brentdavis@pgamember.org.au

 

Fitness Archives

Fun In Fitness Training

Fun In Your Fitness Training If you have been following my blog posts on this website, you are probably getting the message that fitness training for golf is important. Well, I will emphasise here again that it is very important, both to your golf and your general...

read more

Golf Fitness, Is It For You?

Golf Fitness, Is It For You? There has been a lot of coverage lately in the media and on social media about golf fitness and the training that certain tour players complete. Some of the comments made have been negative towards fitness training for golfers and I...

read more

TEAM MFG BLOG

Sand Green Golf

Sand Green GolfI grew up in regional Australia and I was visiting my home town over Christmas and I took a drive around all the golf courses I had played as a junior and amateur golfer around my home town. In Australia...

The Search For Your Golf Ball Shortens | Rule 18-2

The Search For Your Golf Ball Shortens |  Rule 18-2 As you all know by now, there has been a major revision to the Rules of Golf.  After an extensive review, the R&A and the USGA have modernized the Rules of Golf...

Golf Match Play-Think A Different Way

Golf Match Play-Think A Different Way   Playing match play golf has been around for centuries.  With a handicap system to equal the field, just about anyone can beat anyone on any given day. That's what makes it...

Dustin Johnson Victorious Despite Rules Controversy

  After several near misses, Dustin Johnson finally closed the deal and won the 2016 US Open at Oakmont Country Club.  Added to the pressure of trying to win the US Open was a possible penalty lingering over his...

Does Your Ball Marker Size Matter?

Does Your Ball Marker Size Matter? A current fad in golf is to mark one’s golf ball with a poker chip or a poker chip sized ball marker. This brought up an interesting question with regards to “size” or “type” of...

What Is A Caddie’s Responsibility Under The Rules of Golf?

In this post we discuss what a caddie's responsibility is under the rules of golf.  Rule 6, The Player, is one of the Rules that deals with a players responsibilities during a stipulated round of golf.  Rule 6-1...

The Origins of The Masters Theme Song

The Origins of the Masters Theme Song So where did the Masters theme song come from?  That iconic music you hear every year around Masters time.  So soothing and peaceful. Makes you think of azaleas, beautiful green...

Anchored Stroke

For those using the anchored putting stroke, it is getting to the end of the line for you to use this type of stroke. As you may remember, when golf's ruling bodies, the USGA and R&A, announced the ban on anchored...

Better Distance Control On Wedge Shots

Better Distance Control On Wedge Shots   One of the things I am often asked is:  "How do I get better distance control on wedge shots?" At Boyne Mountain Resort we have installed Northern Michigan's first Wedge...

Play Faster Golf

Play Faster Golf   A movement across America in the last several years has been finding ways to play faster golf.  One of the main reasons why golf has been on the decline lately is because people don't feel they...

Refusal To Look For Original Ball

While working a stroke play tournament this summer I was called over by a  player to make a ruling.  At a par - 4 hole, Player A hit his second shot into a dense thicket behind the green.  Since the ball may be lost,...

Use The Tee Drill For Better Chipping

Better Chipping |  Use The Tee Drill   In this video Mike Fay shows you a great drill to help you with your short game.  This video was featured on Mike Fay Golf Live. Bad short game shots could be the most...

Hitting The Center Of The Golf Club Face

Hitting The Center Of The Clubface   Until the past several years we really didn't know how important hitting your golf ball on the center of the golf club face really was.  Through the magic of technology, we now...

Club Replacement & Normal Course Of Play

Club Replacement and Normal Course of Play During the second round of play of the 2015 WGC - Cadillac Championship a frustrated Rory McIlroy hurled a golf club into the water in anger, playing the remainder of the...

How To Take Relief From Immovable Obstructions

How To Take Relief From Immovable Obstructions In the Rules of Golf an obstruction is a movable obstruction if it can be moved without unreasonable effort, without unduly delaying play and without causing damage. ...

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Golf Fitness, Is It For You?

Fitness

Golf Fitness, Is It For You?

There has been a lot of coverage lately in the media and on social media about golf fitness and the training that certain tour players complete. Some of the comments made have been negative towards fitness training for golfers and I thought I would outline some of my thoughts on the topic.

I feel that it is important to understand a few things about training for golf and to make sure that you get the best possible advice when you are setting up a training program. Some of the common questions I get asked are answered below.

Is all physical training good for golf?

Different sports have different physical components and, therefore, need different training to ensure the needs of the athlete playing the sport are met. A football player would not train the same as a gymnast as these sports require different physiques and have different characteristics. It stands to reason that a golfer would need to train in a way that maximizes their ability to play golf. This would involve an analysis of their body’s strengths and weaknesses, their goals and the time they have available. From this analysis a program can be designed to assist the golfer in achieving their goals and improving their performance.

Should I train like a tour player?

The simple answer to this question is no! As I mentioned before you need a personalised program designed by a qualified golf fitness trainer who understands you and your goals. You should not be training like Tiger, Rory, Jason or Jordan as they have their own strengths and weaknesses and have a personalised training program.

Will lifting weights as part of my golf fitness routine make me look like Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Again, the short answer is no! It takes a special type of training the genetics of Arnold to build a body like his and if you are training correctly for golf you will not build this kind of muscle.

Will lifting weights make me lose flexibility?

If you have a well designed program and are including a good stretching program as part of your training you should have no issue with flexibility. Obviously, if you neglect your stretching you may lose some flexibility but the same rule applies if you neglect your strength training. To put it simply, use it or lose it!

These questions are the most common ones I get about golf training and below you will find the key pieces of advice I give all my students.

  • Find a qualified trainer who you trust and understands golf
  • Make sure they perform a thorough  screening prior to undertaking any training
  • Make sure your training program is tailored to your needs, goals and physical capabilities
  • Ensure your trainer teaches you to use correct form and technique on all your exercises
  • See your trainer on a regular basis to check your progress and adjust your program as needed
  • Be consistent with your training to see the best possible results

These are some of my thoughts and common questions I receive. If you have any other questions or comments please feel free to use the comments section to ask me.

Until next time,

Brent Davis
Training & Education Coordinator
PGA Centre For Learning Performance
Melborne, Victoria, Australia

http://www.brentdavisgolf.com
http://brentdavisgolf.blogspot.com
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If you would like to see more of Brent’s work, follow Better Golf Fitness here. 

Brent Davis

Brent Davis

PGA Professional

Training & Education Coordinator
PGA Centre For Learning Performance
Melborne, Victoria, Australia

Email: brentdavis@pgamember.org.au

Fitness Archives

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Golf Fitness, Is It For You?

Golf Fitness, Is It For You? There has been a lot of coverage lately in the media and on social media about golf fitness and the training that certain tour players complete. Some of the comments made have been negative towards fitness training for golfers and I...

read more

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Subscribe

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Subscribe to our newsletter Chip Shots!

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Providing golf instruction, lessons, lesson, group lessons, private junior golf lessons, adult, kids, professional, learn, learning, winter golf coaching, and to Mackinaw City, Pellston, Cheboygan, Indian River, Alanson, Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Charlevoix, Boyne City, Boyne Falls, East Jordan, Traverse City, Gaylord and the surrounding areas in Michigan. Best Golf Teacher in Michigan.

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