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Golf Gifts for Beginner and Advanced Golfers

Give the gift of a better golf swing this holiday season. When it comes to golf gifts for beginner golfers, you only want to utilize the best golf swing training aid on the marGolf Gifts for Beginnerket. Training aids for golf like the Up & Down not only help with a golfer’s swing, but also help them tackle tough shots like bunker shots and putts, while lowering their score. That being said, most golfers are looking for new training equipment they can utilize that will help them to improve their game. As a friend, a fellow golfer, or a family member who wants to help your favorite golfer master their game, finding the right golf swig training aid gift for them isn’t as hard as you might think. Training aids aren’t just for new golfers just hitting the links for the first time, either. Even advanced golfers and old pros can use some help mastering their craft.

Shooting from the sand can be a difficult task for any golfer; even the most highly-trained, well-practiced vet can find themselves using the wrong technique when trying to escape the bunker. When your favorite golfer finds themselves with those not-so-easy shots, it is good to remind them that practicing those shots makes perfect. Just playing a round here, taking a practice sand shot or putt there, isn’t going to cut it. They need to be actively practicing the most difficult shots a golf course can hand them. Do them a favor and find them the gift that allows them to practice until shooting a bunker shot or sinking a 75-foot putt becomes second nature.

Sure, there are other golf gifts for beginner golfers or even advanced golfers, such as a new set of clubs, the latest and greatest driver, lessons from a pro, new balls, tees, a brand new bag, or even a membership to the best local golf club or country club in the area. But, will those things really help them master their game? Giving the gift of a guaranteed five-stroke improvement on their score card sure sounds like a great present to any golfer, whether they’re brand new to the game or an old pro. Give a golfing gift that can keep on giving every single time they step foot on the course.

Beginner Golf Series Part 6: Mastering the Putting Game with a Golf Swing Training Aid

 More time is spent putting during a golf game than people realize. Putting involves minimal power, little body movement, a completely different grip, and the ball is never air bound – at least it shouldn’t be. Even with less dramatic activity in a putting game there is still a high level of skill and control required.

A golf swing training aid will assist you in properly controlling speed and direction of your shots. Learn how to shave strokes off your game in record time using a golf swing training aid while improving your stance, set up, and follow through.

Visualize the Ball
Even though a golf swing training aid will greatly improve your putting game there are other considerations when mastering a putting game. A putting game is more mental than physical where confidence plays a major part in your success. Avoid letting failed putts from the past haunt your concentration in the present. As cliché as it may sound, you truly need to “see” the ball and its successful journey in your mind’s eye. They say seeing is believing and many a golf pro will agree.

Take Note of Your Environment
It is also important to develop good judgment when assessing the conditions and contours of the green; be observant of the details surround your shot and its path. Pay attention to the things you never considered before like to slight increase or decrease in elevation of the green or whether there is a tilt to the plane.

These few thought and visual skill paired with a golf swing training aid will guide you to becoming king or queen of the putting game.

Beginner Golf Series Part 5: Golf Swing Training Aids Reviews for Hitting Bunker Shots

 The most intimidating shot for novice golfers would be the green side bunker shot. Thoughts of skulling it across the green and leaving it in the sand send shivers of dread through inexperienced golfers. A little practice and the proper technique will have you giving lessons on how to hit a bunker shot.
Learning how to hit a bunker shot is not nearly as scary as it seems. Consider using a golf swing training aid so that you can effectively improve problem areas. To find the best golfing aid be sure to read golf swing training aid reviews; a general golf swing training aid may not be enough. You may be in need of a more tailored golf aid that hones in on a specific skill or shot.

The first step is in the selection of your club; a sand or lob wedge with a medium to high bounce is preferable. Then stand a little closer to your ball than when you normally swing. Make sure that the ball is positioned in the center of your stance while aiming to the left of your target if you are a right handed golfer (left handed golfers should aim to the right). Be sure to open your stance.

Lightly shuffle your feet for increased traction, but be careful not to “dig in” too much because it will alter your plane. Make sure that your clubface is open and pointing straight up while shifting your weight towards your forward foot.

A typical swing forms the shape of a “U;” in this shot you are striving for a “V” arc. Begin your backswing with and immediate hinge of the wrists while turning your shoulders and lifting your arms straight up and keeping your lower body still during the swing. The downswing, ideally, will follow a steep path comparable to the backswing. You should aim to splash two to three inches in the sand behind the ball. Your club will glide through the sand as you accelerate, completing your swing with a high follow through. The ball should come out soft and high.
What are your tricks for hitting bunker shots? Leave your expert tips in the comments below!

Beginner Golf Series Part 4: Trying Different Type of Shots with Golf Equipment

 Golf is more than just swinging and making contact with the ball; it is a game of skill involving a series of complex techniques to successfully complete the game. Using the appropriate swing to achieve a shot is a technique to be mastered in order to become a champion in the sport – or at least play a consistent game.

The most common types of golf shots are explained below. Golf practice equipment can assist new golfers to become proficient with each one – when to use it, how to position the body, and how to follow through.

The Tee Shot
The game begins with the tee shot using the club known as a driver (i.e. 1-wood) for long holes and an iron for shallower holes. Golf practice equipment will help you correct your swing to ensure that the correct form is being used from the start.

The Fairway Shot
The fairway shot is performed with a fairway wood and is similar to a drive. Since a tee cannot be used once the ball has been put into play it is more challenging to progress. Irons are usually used on the fairway; however, wedges are commonly used in the rough. To master this shot correctly it is advisable to use golf practice equipment.

The Bunker Shot
Bunker shots are one of the more difficult shot in the game. Bunker shots resemble a Pitch (see below) and are require the use of a wedge. Instructors frequently suggest the use of the Up & Down Sand and Putting Aid to golfers seeking golf practice equipment to enhance your skills for this shot.

The Pitch
The wedge is used for the Pitch, which is a high-flying shot with little roll that stops as soon as it touches ground. Golf practice equipment will help you develop proper body alignment to become skilled at this shot.

The Flop
The Flop occurs when a golfer has to overcome an obstacle on the course. This shot flies higher than the Pitch and rolls slightly when hitting the ground. This shot uses a sand wedge or a lob wedge and can be improved by the use of golf practice equipment.

The Chip
The Chip is a low, shallow shot that rolls out onto the green. It requires the use of a “short” iron. Golf practice equipment can assist you with fine tuning this shot to perfection.

The Sand Shot
The Sand Shot is exactly as it sounds; a shot taken from the bunker when your ball strays from the green. This shot commonly calls for the use of a wedge. Using golf practice equipment like the Up & Down Sand and Putting Aid can turn this challenging shot into an act of second nature.

The Putt
The Putt signifies the final approach to a hole; however, the Putt can be used throughout an entire game. The Putt is not a dramatic shot but a highly skilled one, which can be enhanced with the use of golf practice equipment.

Beginner Golf Series Part 3: Give it a Shot: Types of Shots in the Game of Golf

 For our third installment in our series, we’ll take a look at the various types of shots you’ll need to master to have a great golf game.

Let’s start with the basics; what are the most common types of shots in golf? Tee shots (also called drives), fairway shots, bunker shots, putts, and approach shots are generally the types of shots you will need to master. It is true that there are many more types of golf shots and slang that designate different shots, but for this purpose, we will only be going over the most commonly used shots.

Tee or Drive Shot
The tee shot, most commonly known as a drive, is the first shot a golfer takes when teeing off on each hole. Generally, a driver is used to tee off for long holes, although on shorter holes, an iron is often used.

Fairway Shots
Fairway shots are similar to tee shots, in that they generally require a golfer to shoot for distance. However, since the ball is already in play, a tee can’t be used, which is the major difference between a fairway and a tee is shot. Fairway shots can be more difficult depending on the ball lies.

Bunker Shots
Shooting out of a bunker can be extremely challenging. Sand traps can cause all sorts of problems for golfers. A sand wedge is generally used when shooting from the sand.

Putt Shot
A putt is played on the green. The ball is played on the ground using a putter. Putts are usually the final shot played on each hole.

Approach Shot
When a golfer plays their ball onto the green from outside the green, usually from a short to intermediate distance, this is considered an approach shot. There are three different types of approach shots a golfer can utilize: pitch, flop, and chip.

A high approach shot, a pitch is usually done with a wedge and makes the ball fly high and roll very little. The ball will stop more or less where it hits the ground.

Similar to the pitch, a flop shot is actually an even higher approach shot that will have the ball stop shortly after it hits the ground. Generally, a flop is utilized when there is an obstacle on the green that the golfer needs to play the ball over.

A chip shot is a low approach shot performed with a wedge or high-number iron. They are a low approach shot which has the ball make a shallow flight with the ball rolling out onto the green.

As we said, these are just the basics when it comes to golf shots. Master these and move on to more challenging shots that can take your golf game to the next level.

Beginner Golf Series Part 2: Making Contact with the Ball

 In Part 1 of our blog series, Balance, Posture and Grip, we explained the very basics of feeling comfortable with your positioning as well as handling the club.

Now it is time for Part 2 of our Beginner’s Golf Blog Series; Making Contact with the Ball. In this installment we’ll take a look at one of the most important elements of having a strong golf game, which is learning how and where to strike the ball.
Your grip, posture, balance, swing, and follow-through can all be perfect, but if you fail to make solid contact with the ball, it is all for naught. Poor contact with the ball can turn a perfect shot into a slice or send your ball into the bunker. Every time you strike the ball, you want to hit the shot solidly off the middle of the clubface. If you do that, you’ll see your ball fly far and straight more often than not. No matter if you’ve been playing golf for years or you’re just starting out, your goal when taking a shot is always the same: hit your ball on the sweet spot, right in the center of the clubface.

Many golfers hit the ball off the top of their clubhead, the heel or toe of the club, or off the bottom of the clubhead. Hitting the ball with those areas of the club make it next to impossible to make consistent, solid contact. So, how do we ensure that we are consistently hitting the ball with the sweet spot of the club?

Depending on your challenge area with ball contact, there are a variety of solutions. We’ll stick with how to fix making contact off the top and off the bottom of the club.

The first thing you want to do to improve top of the club shots is to improve your weight transfer. This will help to eliminate pop-ups and scraping the ball off the top of your driver. To improve your weight transfer, make a more level shoulder turn. Adopt your address position and then place a clubshaft across your chest. Turn your body as if you are making a backswing, and shift most of your weight onto your right foot. Make a turn so your club is over your right foot and as close to horizontal as possible. One other small suggestion: check the height of your tee. You could be teeing your ball too high.

Now as for correcting those annoying worm-burners! Focus on keeping your posture consistent throughout your entire swing. Posture change during the swing will always result in hitting the ball low on the clubface. You want to focus on your body turn back and through, while maintaining the bend from your hips. You want to turn your left shoulder under the chin on your backswing (right shoulder for left-handers), and then on your through swing, turn your right shoulder under chin. These movements should help you improve your posture throughout your swing, and help you hit the ball on the sweet spot more consistently.

Making good, solid contact with the ball isn’t going to happen overnight. Practice, be patient, and practice some more. You’ll hit the mark!

Beginner Golf Series Part 1: Finding Your Balance, Posture, & Grip

Attention all golf novices and those of you who would like a brief trip back to the basics:
This summer, Up & Down will be sharing a Beginner Golf Series with our readers. Each installment of the series will break down the game of golf into manageable portions so you can learn at a comfortable pace. Jumping into your first round can be overwhelming – our guide will send you off to the green with confidence.

To kick off our series, we’ll first start with the most important elements of becoming a successful golfer: your stance. In order to score well and play consistently, a good golfer is in touch with his or her balance, posture, and grip.

Good balance helps maintain control of your center of gravity and keeps your spine at the right angle throughout the entire swing. Keep a centered core – you don’t want your hips to sway back and forth with your club. A solid core allows you to produce a more accurate, consistent shot. Imagine your hips are on an axle – they can rotate around, but not move side to side.

There are several simple exercises you can practice to achieve better balance. Try these for starters:

1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and spread your arms horizontally. Slowly bend forward at the hips, keeping your weight centered and head and spine straight. As you bend keep one leg still and lift the other back until your torso and elevated leg are parallel to the floor. Stay in position for 10 seconds. Return to starting position, and repeat lifting the opposite leg.
2. Tuck one leg up to your chest and hop on the other foot – 3 sets of 20 on alternating legs. This will train your body for better balance and also strengthen your core and legs.

Now it’s time to understand body positioning to achieve consistency and power behind shots. Remember, you want your stance to feel natural and unforced. Posture is an integral part of golf. Also, once your posture is right you will have a more accurate understanding of your own tendencies and where to strengthen your overall skills.

1. Make sure your head, shoulders, and hips remain in a straight line square to the ball, with feet shoulder width apart.
2. Keep your muscles free of tension – your knees are flexed only slightly, above the balls of your feet. Your weight is distributed evenly from toe to heel.
3. Maintain a straight spine, with hips bent to form a 90-degree angle with the club shaft.
4. Tilt your spine to the right slightly to keep your head in back of the ball – this puts more power behind your shot.

The proper lead (or top) hand grip yields strength, control, and consistency in your shots. During the swing, your body and the club work in tandem to impact the ball. When gripping the club, pay attention to how it feels – are you clutching the club, or do you have a relaxed grip? Are you grasping the club in your palms or with your fingers?

Ideally, the club is resting in between your fingers for optimal wrist movement, which will extend your tee shot. Feel the difference between holding the club with your palms and then with your fingers. You will feel that your wrists have much better rotation when practicing the latter.

With your top hand, place the club shaft at an angle so that the top of the shaft starts the base of your pinky finger and sits near the tip of your index finger. Once the club is angled, position the left thumb (right thumb for left-handed golfers) on the back of the shaft. Your thumb and index finger should form a small “V” in this position, facing back towards whichever shoulder is pointed away from the hole (right for right-handers, left for left-handers).

These beginning steps require getting used to, but as the old adage goes, practice makes perfect. After only a little while, this positioning will feel completely natural. Make sure to implement these small technicalities every time – they will make all the difference in your overall game and how quickly your skills improve.