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Articles: Choosing The Right Golf Club Seniors Golfing Forever Proper Putting Fundamentals


From The Editor


I Never Learned Anything From A Match I Won


Eighteen Holes of Match or Medal


Choosing The Right Golf Club


Preventing Sunburn


Famous Golf “Isms”


Golf Gives You Insight


Seniors Golfing Forever


I’d Play Everyday If I Could


It’s Almost Impossible To Remember How Tragic A Place This World Is...


Breaking 80


Take 5 Strokes Off Any Golf Game


Golf Exercises Have A Direct Impact On Your Swing


Golf is a Game Played On A Five Inch Course


I’ve Spent Most Of My Life Golfing


Proper Putting Fundamentals


Teaching Your Kids To Golf


They Say Golf Is Like Life


Breaking 90


Golf Is The Closest Game To The Game We Call Life


Time To Refinace Or Buy!?


Carolina Girl Gear


Is Golf Really Better Than Sex


It’s A Funny Thing The More I Practice The Luckier I Get

58 Online Magazine | 2009 3

From The Editor Buy Local Promoting local business is as simple as having other company’s business cards or brochures posted on a board in your store. In an effort to promote your area, we are distributing decals that say “Check us out at,” in hopes that local shoppers will visit the site to find local restaurants, clothing, specials, coupons and more. We are doing our part, so please join us, and promote your local merchants, and everyone will benefit!


Top Ten reasons to Think Local Local - Be Local – Help Local Businesses

1. Buy Local -- Support yourself and South Carolina. Many studies have revealed when you buy from an independent, locally owned business in the your own area, rather than a nationally owned businesses, considerably more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses. Local businesses continue to strengthen the economic base of the local community. These include case studies showing that local local owned businesses generate a premium in enhanced economic impact to the community and our tax base.

2.Support Local Area Community Groups:

Non-profit organizations receive an average 250% more support from smaller Lexington area business owners than they do from large companies.

3. Keep Your Area Unique: Where we shop, where we eat and have fun -- all of it makes our community home. Our one-of-a-kind local businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character. Local tourism businesses also benefit. “When people go on vacation they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of being someplace, not just anyplace.” ~ Richard Moe, President, National Historic Preservation Trust.

4. Reduce Environmental Impact: Locally owned businesses in your area can make more local purchases requiring less transportation. This generally means contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.

5. Create Additional Jobs: Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally and in the community, provide the most jobs to local residents. 6. Receive Better Service: Local businesses often hire people with a better understanding of the products and services they offer, and take more time to get to know customers. Cont. next page Online Magazine | 2009 5

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in Your Community: Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, and they are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future.

8. Put




Good Use:

Local businesses require a relatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering your area.

9. Buy What you Want, Not What Big Advertising Budgets Want you to Buy: A South Carolina marketplace comprised of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products and services based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, promises a much broader range of product choices.

10. Promote Local Prosperity: An escalating body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character. Larry Local Editor in Chief Online Magazine | 2009 7

CEO Dennis Stewart Editor In Chief Larry Local Creative Director Daniel Holliday Art Director Amy Coats Web Developers Matthew Coats Administration & Marketing Vivi Morillo Angie Woods

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Copyright Š 2009 Carolina Media Services. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. 3290 Ashley Phosphate Road Charleston, SC 29418 Toll Free: (843)720-9604 Fax: (843)725-4734

I never learned anything from a match that I won.

Eighteen holes of match or medal play will teach you more about your foe than will 18 years of dealing with him across a desk.

Choosing the Right Golf Club Cast Iron Golf Clubs

The cast iron golf club is made from cast iron and the majority of the weight of the golf club is around the perimeter. Because of this the sweet spot is larger and this type of golf club is really great for beginners or those who have trouble making full contact.

Forged Iron Golf Club

The forged iron golf club is generally used by professionals simply because of its design and function. The center of the golf club is the center of gravity and the front of the club is a bit heavier. If you are an experienced player then you might consider a forged iron golf club. Also, you will need to choose a size for your golf club as well from standard to midsize or oversized. The standard club is smaller, so the sweet spot is as well. Generally professionals and advanced players use a standard club. Midsize golf clubs are great because they have a bigger sweet spot and are a bit larger than the standard golf club. Average players frequently use midsize golf clubs because they are easy to control and have a larger sweet spot. Oversized golf clubs are generally used by seniors and individuals who have a hard time hitting the ball straight on. The one problem with these clubs is they can be difficult to control. The bonus, a huge sweet spot so when you make contact your ball goes further!


Just as important to your golf game is the shaft you choose for your clubs. Generally you neighborhood golf store can give you a 10 minute education based on your age, level of play, and budget. “Flex” refers to the ability of a golf shaft to bend as forces are applied to it during your golf

swing, whether you are fast or slow, smooth or jerky. There are five generally used ratings for shaft flex: Extra Stiff, Stiff, Regular, Senior and Ladies, usually denoted by the letters X, S, R, A and L (“A” is used for Senior because this flex was originally called “amateur”). Having a flex that doesn’t match the needs of your swing will result in the clubface being misaligned at impact, causing your shots to go off-target. Shaft flex impacts, either directly or indirectly, the accuracy, trajectory and distance of your shot. If you have the wrong flex for your swing, there is less chance that you’ll make contact with the ball with a square clubface. The degree of flex in your club shafts is something you control. You can choose to buy stiffer shafts, or softer shafts, depending on your needs.

The Foolproof Way to Choose Clubs

A clubfitting with a golf professional is the recommended way to choose the proper clubs. The pro will take a lot of measurements, watch your swing, measure your swing speed, watch your ball flight and be able to recommend which club and flex is right for you. Clubfittings are available at many pro shops and almost all golf schools and from teaching professionals. If a club-fitting isn’t in your future, the next best thing is a demo day. At demo days, you’ll be able to hit many different types of clubs with different types of shafts. The key, short of a club fitting, is hitting lots of different clubs and watching the effects on your shots of changing clubs and shaft flex. If you find a club that feels good and produces a good ball flight, there’s a good chance that’s the right club for you.

Preventing Sunburn

Spring is here and Summer is just around the corner and with the warmer weather comes an increased risk of sunburn. Whether you are a beachgoer, golfer, jogger, or shopper, long outings in the sun, even when it is cloudy, can cause damage to your skin. Aside from making you miserably uncomfortable, sunburn can also lead to premature aging and skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the United States. Sunburn early in life increases one’s risk of developing skin cancers later in life such as melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.

Treatment of Sunburn

Improper tanning bed use is also a source of sunburn. When your skin is exposed to sunlight, it produces a pigment called melanin to help protect itself against ultraviolet light. Sunburn doesn’t just happen in hot weather reflection of light off the snow can also cause sunburn. It is visible radiation damage to the skin. UV rays are a type of radiation energy, which are given out by the sun and sun beds/tanning lamps. If you feel your sunburn is severe enough, call your doctor. Your doctor will probably ask you how severe your condition is and if you have any other significant health problems. The doctor can then make the decision to treat you at home or in the office or refer you to an emergency center. Conditions that should motivate you to go to an emergency center include the following: • Severe pain • Severe blistering • Headache • Confusion

• Nausea or vomiting • Fainting

Here is list of the methods for treating Sunburn: • Over the counter medications like ibuprofen, may help to relieve pain from sunburn. (Aspirin should be avoided in children who are running a fever.) • If blisters are present, dry bandages may help prevent infection. • To alleviate pain and heat (skin is warm to the touch) caused by the sunburn, take a cool (not cold) bath, or gently apply cool, wet compresses to the skin. • In most cases, prehospital care involves providing simple first aid to treat patient symptoms. • If your case is mild and not life threatening, your doctor may simply suggest plenty of fluids, aspirin, or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). Fortunately, skin cancer is largely preventable when sun protection measures are consistently used. These measures include: • Limiting exposure to the sun during the hours of 10 A.M. to 4 P.M., when the sun is the most intense • Using a sun block with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15 year-round • Wearing protective clothing and hats/sun visors • Stay out of the sun!

Famous Golf “Isms” These greens are so fast I have to hold my putter over the ball and hit it with the shadow. - Sam Snead

I never pray on a golf course. Actually, the Lord answers my prayers everywhere except on the course.- Billy Graham

A hungry dog hunts best.- Lee Trevino

If you watch a game, it’s fun. If you play at it, it’s recreation. If you work at it, it’s golf.- Bob Hope

While playing golf today I hit two good balls. I stepped on a rake. - Henny Youngman If you think it’s hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball.- Jack Lemmon I was three over. One over a house, one over a patio, and one over a swimming pool. - George Brett You can make a lot of money in this game. Just ask my ex-wives. Both of them are so rich that neither of their The only sure rule in golf is - he who has the fastest cart husbands work.- Lee Trevino never has to play the bad lie.- Mickey Mantle I’m not saying my golf game went bad, but if I grew I’d like to see Tiger play with my bad swing, my swing tomatoes, they’d come up sliced.- Lee Trevino thoughts, and hung over every Sunday. – Half of American Golfers Sex and golf are the two things you can enjoy even if you’re not good at them. - Kevin Costner I don’t fear death, but I sure don’t like those three-footers for par. - Chi Chi Rodriguez After all these years, it’s still embarrassing for me to play on the American golf tour. Like the time I asked my caddie for a sand wedge and he came back ten minutes later with a ham on rye. ~ Chi Chi Rodriguez Swing hard in case you hit it. - Dan Marino My favorite shots are the practice swing and the conceded putt. The rest can never be mastered. - Lord Robertson Sam Snead: Slammin’ Sammy Snead accumulated 81 PGA Tour victories, the most of any PGA Tour player in history, and had an enviable swipe at the ball. While he didn’t win a ton of majors his 81 victories has assured him a place in golf history. Snead knew something about fundamentals had enviable tempo. Writer Bill Fields said that Sammy’s swing “used to resemble a Faulkner sentence. It was long, laced with the perfect pause and blessed with a powerful finish.” The average touring professional has a nice looking swing but Snead’s was that much smoother. His famous “ism” : If a lot of people gripped a knife and fork the way they do a golf club, they’d starve to death. There is no similarity between golf and putting; they aretwo different games, one played in the air, and the other on the ground.- Ben Hogan Professional golf is the only sport where, if you win 20% of the time, you’re the best. - Jack Nicklaus

Golf gives you an insight into human nature, your own as well as your opponent’s.

Seniors Golfing Forever When you are younger, playing 2 rounds did not seem that difficult. You may have even joked about shooting your age one day. When you join the senior ranks, either would be a major accomplishment. Still, more and more senior golfers are playing with their grandchildren, and playing well into their eighties. It happens to all of us, even though we do not want to admit it. The reality is we are not getting any younger, and with age comes aches, pains, and dealing with restrictions. These restrictions do not have to be anything more than a reminder that golf can be enjoyed for a long time, as long as you prepare both physically and mentally. As we get older we tend to do 2 things: gain weight, and become less flexible. It is a lot more difficult to loose weight, and it takes you a lot longer to “limber up” for any activity: golf, tennis, or riding a bike. Less flexibility predisposes you to experience more difficulty with certain movements: touching your toes, rotating during a golf swing, or even reaching down to pick up a tee off the ground. The reason this occurs is our bodies, as a result of wear and tear, become more “tight” and “wound up” as we get older. Even 25 year olds are tighter in the morning, as they were when they were in their teens. So if you’re in your twenties and you’re reading this article, “enjoy it while it lasts,” because the road gets a little more difficult to travel as you get older. But, if you’re beyond your twenties, I am sure you can relate to the general results of aging in relation to your golf game. Quite simply, extra pounds decrease your stamina (and may affect your swing plane). Less muscle equals less distance off the tee, and decreased flexibility tends to make the turn in the golf swing much harder to perform. An unfortunate situation, but the good news is that we can slow down the aging process and limit the effects of aging on your golf game.

Slowing Down the Aging Process for the Golf Swing

Slowing down the aging process is actually quite simple and only requires a little time out of each day (15-20 minutes) and a little discipline. Sounds pretty easy when you think of all the benefits you stand to gain. Remember you can’t stop the aging process, but you can sure slow it down. The benefits of slowing down the aging process are evident when you see guys in their 50’s winning tour events. It just takes a little time, some knowledge, and discipline. If you are saying, “I don’t have the time,” ask yourself one question: “How would you like to feel 10 years younger right now and hit the ball farther then you did in your twenties?” The answer to both of those questions is usually a resounding yes!

Your weight

The main reason for gaining weight as you get older is that as you age your metabolism slows down. The good news is that there are activities to speed that metabolism back up. The way to do it is by performing some fitness activities. If you are active and participate in some type of structured activity your body will burn more fuel and elevate its metabolism during this time. In addition, if Online Magazine | 2009 19

these activities are resistance-training activities (i.e. weights, light dumbbells, push-ups), then over time you will build some muscle. The great thing about that is the more muscle you have the higher your metabolism will be all the time, and you will burn more fuel all day and night. A secondary benefit of such activities will be greater stamina on the course. So rather than “spraying your shots” around on the back nine because you’re tired, you can have pinpoint accuracy going into the 18th.

Your Muscle Mass

As you grow older your body actually looses its muscle mass. This starts for men in the early thirties, the same time they become couch potatoes. The good news is this loss of muscle mass can be limited or stopped. Before I give you the solution, let’s look at how this affects your golf swing. Essentially, in the golf swing you create club head speed. That club head speed is the result of creating rotational power, which is defined as torque. To create torque, the muscles of the body have to be flexible, strong, and powerful. So if you have less muscle, your club head speed will naturally decrease. This is why they make senior shafts with a lot of flex. This is the golf manufacturers’ attempt to deal with this problem. It helps to a point, but there is a better solution that will put something in your bag that makes you stronger, improves your power, and gets back that lost distance. This can be done if you implement a golf-specific strength-training program. You can get back that lost muscle mass, get back that power, and improve your driving distance. This is what we call the development of “golf strength,” and it can be done with a program that takes a total of 15 minutes a day.

very unpleasant. In order to gain, or keep, your flexibility, is to implement a golf-specific flexibility program. This again requires a daily commitment, but the time frame is very little (say 5 minutes a day). I am sure you will agree that it is worth spending 5 minutes a day on flexibility to have the golf swing you would like.

The Magic Cure

The aging process can be as restrictive to your golf game as you will let it. If you take a little time every day and perform the proper exercises and activities, you can reduce the effects of aging and have a great swing for as long as you like. That’s the only magic cure available.

Your Flexibility

It should be no surprise that your body loses flexibility as you age. Flexibility is a must when it comes to the golf swing. Here is what happens when you do not “work” on your flexibility. A loss of flexibility in the golf swing limits the ability of the body to perform the correct actions to create the proper swing. Essentially, your body won’t allow you to take the club back and through on the correct swing path. This leads to miss hits, slices, hooks, and a other shots that are Online Magazine | 2009 21

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I’d play every day if I could. It’s cheaper than a shrink and there are no telephones on my golf cart.

It is almost impossible to remember how tragic a place this world is when one is playing golf.

Breaking 80

If breaking 90 is all about hitting fairways, then breaking 80 is about hitting more greens. But here’s the s ecret: You don’t hit more greens by aiming for the flag. Instead, try aiming for the green’s fat spot--the widest area of the green. When you stand over your approach shot, and the flag is located anywhere other than the fat spot, ignore it. Just put the ball on the green and then rely on that good distance control you developed with your putter when you were trying to break 80.

The most direct route may not be the best Professionals can dial in distances, armatures generally are not so accurate. The high handicapper’s smartest play might be a safe chip away from the flag or an even safer putt, while the better player might be tempted to throw a high lob all the way back to the flag. A good rule of thumb is to think about trying a shot only if you can execute it more than half the time. Any put is generally better than a sand shot. The lob shot over a sand trap is nice to have in the bag, but unless you are Phil Mickelson, you may want to consider a safer route.

Practice, Practice, Practice You can easily shave strokes off your game by practicing. But, it has to be constructive practice. If you don’t know how to correct your slice or chip the ball near the hole, then you won’t be able to fix it with practice. Watch videos, read magazines and books, or even take a lesson. If your friend always hits the perfect wedge into tight pin placements, ask him what you are doing wrong. If your club pro will play a round with you, take him up on it. Golf is a mental game more than anything. Tony Robbins once showed someone how to break 80 in golf just by utilizing the thing between your ears. Your body listens to your brain and if you focus on visualization and knowing what you want the ball to do before you do it, you’ll have a much better chance of making that happen.

Now Practice Your Short Game. Do you ever notice on weekends that the golfers on top of the leader board tend to have the fewest puts per round, or have the most up and downs. You may never break 80 unless you learn how to putt and chip well. You should spend at least 50% of your time working on your short game, because at least 50% of your score is on and around the green. Always remember Online Magazine | 2009 27

that if certain parts of your short game is better, play to those strengths. If you are terrible in the sand, or playing a course with difficult traps, your approach shot to a guarded green should be away from the trouble.

Your Clubs. If you aren’t comfortable with your clubs and you always feel that your buddy’s irons or woods fit your swing better, consider changing clubs. The mental part of the game may never allow you to hit good shots if you are always wishing you had a different club in your hands every time you have a tough shot. If your buddy always seems to fare better using his hybrids, ask him if you can try them. Remember, the type of club doesn’t matter. It is how they feel in your hands that make the difference.

Score better without the score card. You will make better swings and shoot lower scores when you are tension free. That means thinking in the present tense, not future tense (“I need an eagle to break 80”) and definitely not past tense (“I just trippled the last hole”). So forget about your scorecard. When you break 80 for the first time, you won’t have any trouble filling out the scorecard after the round. You’ll remember every shot you hit.

Have Fun. You will never learn how to break 80 in golf if you get frustrated and treat every shot as if your life depends on sticking it. Even professionals have triple bogies. When you hit what you think is the worst shot of your life, relax, laugh it off, and make the rest of the round as best you can. The worst that can happen is you can pad your handicap.

A tip that can take five strokes off anyone’s golf game: it’s called an eraser.

Golf Exercises Have A Direct Impact On Your Swing

Golf strength and stretching exercises have been known to have such a huge impact on the golf swing that their popularity amongst golfers has spread like wild fire in recent years. Many golf shops sell a variety of exercise tapes and equipment. Yet in some cases the golf stretching routines have not been gotten from a real golf-specific exercise expert. While it is true that any stretching exercise and strength exercise will usually result in dramatic changes in a persons’ golf game, getting the real thing from golf experts will usually have an even more excellent result. What’s more getting a wide range of golf exercise routines from a real expert will mean that you will also have access to several exercises that can be done in the comfort of your office when you have a moment to spare, or even in the home. This is a huge

advantage for many golfers from the corporate world who are usually pressed for time and finding enough time to exercise. Being able to do a number of golf stretching routines at their work stations in the office when they have a moment to spare becomes an extremely useful advantage for such persons. Golf stretching impacts directly on the quality of the golf drive because of various reasons. To start with golf stretches help to condition muscles in such a way that the golfer finds it easy to stretch those particular muscles to the limit when driving. Golf stretching also helps increase strength which is useful in achieving longer distances in the golf drive. Golf stretching is an important part of any serious golfer’s routine. The golf swing is a very complex and physically demanding movement. Until golfers realize this, their pursuit of the perfect swing will never be achieved. Only if the body is flexible and strengthened, can one expect consistent and powerful golf swings. Mo matter what your current physical condition or your handicap, your golf game can benefit by regular exercise targeted with the golf swing in mind. It is important to regularly perform an assessment of your current fitness levels. By identifying weaknesses and strengths, you won’t waste valuable workout time. This will allow you to place the emphasis on those movements which will provide you with the greatest opportunity for improvement. Sometimes it seems hard to concentrate on areas of weakness, as it is much easier to perform the exercises where we already have proficiency. The quality of your overall fitness and the improvement in your golf game hinge on how committed you are to working on your weak areas. Flexibility, stability and power are all improved by exercising for golf. As you begin to develop a regular golf exercise routine, be sure to concentrate on functional exercise for golf. These exercises include a combination of movements designed to both strengthen the muscles as well as improve neuromuscular coordination. Therefore, when you take your golf swing, the body’s already been conditioned to perform in a similar manner. Strength training and stretching exercises will go the distance to improve your game. Online Magazine | 2009 32

Golf is a game that is played on a five-inch course the distance between your ears.

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I’ve spent most of my life golfing... the rest I’ve just wasted.

Proper Putting Fundamentals Most of today’s professional golfers use the same putting fundamentals. Some of these are physical and some mental. Very little of the so-called “magic” actually comes from the latest putter design, but rather from confidence and ability to concentrate.

Think Positive. It is a fact that positive thinking is the key to good putting. Remember a time when you were putting well, and the hole seemed like it was 12 inches wide. It probably felt as though you couldn’t miss and you had a greater belief that the ball would always go in. You were not thinking that you were getting lucky, but rather your reads and putting stroke were perfect. Positive feelings and visualization are the keys. This belief comes from prior success, and success comes from solid fundamentals and lots of practice. Most poor players forget that almost half of their score is around the green, and should practice accordingly.

Grip for Success. Hold your hands close enough together so that they work as one. When your hands separate, there is a much greater likelihood of your wrists breaking down, which will lead to inconsistent putting. A popular grip used by many professional golfers is known as the reverse overlap, which takes the forefinger of the left hand off the putter and rests it

on the little finger of the right hand. A cross-handed grip is also worth trying if you tend to break the wrists during the stroke. Equally important is grip pressure. Light pressure rather than tight pressure is the key, because tightness diminishes feel. Try several putting styles from 5 feet, 10 feet, and 20 feet, and see which is the most consistent.

Ball Position. When putting, your left eye should be directly over the ball at address. This means that the ball is placed forward in the stance—off the inside of the left foot. This will give you a much better perspective of your putt’s intended line of travel. It will also allow you to have a much smoother stroke with the putter follow through towards your target.

Follow Through. Always remember to accelerate your putter toward the hole. Practice some short putts (about one foot from the hole) and try rolling the ball and putter right over the hole. Remember, the follow-through should always exceed the backstroke. Practice this on the practice green by placing another ball behind the ball you’re hitting green. As you make your backstroke, stop when you hit the second ball. Your follow through should be at least 12 inches. Online Magazine | 2009 37

Locate Your Hands Ahead.

Little Body Movement.

Locating your hands forward is another fundamental common to good putting. If your hands are behind the ball, there’s a tendency to break your wrists, and add loft to the putt. By keeping your hands up front and even with the ball or slightly ahead, you will ensure a better roll. Remember your follow through towards the target.

Keep your body movement minimal. Good players putt while keeping their bodies locked in position for the entire stroke. Doing this allows the shoulders, rather than the hips, to dominate the movement. Practice in front of a mirror, or use the sun’s shadow. As you take some practice strokes, pay attention and see if you can detect any movement in your hips. You should also pay attention to see if your head and shoulders are staying in place and not swaying. Breath. Take a deep breath to relax. Most poor putters rush their puts and forget that putting takes some deliberation and thought. Keep it to a routine, even if you have to mentally count to three and start your routine. If you usually take 3 practice strokes when practicing, do the same when you are under pressure to make that final put.

Stance. If you stand too far from the ball, it is difficult for the face of the putter to be square to the target, because you will have too much of an arc from the inside. Conversely, if you stand too close you tend to force the backstroke outside of the target line. When making these mistakes, it forces you to manipulate the putter to square it at impact. A smooth putting stroke should involve no manipulation.

Try these key fundamental with your own style, and you will find that your putts will start to fall more frequently. Practice, practice, practice. Online Magazine | 2009 39

Forget your opponents Always play against par.

They call it golf because all of the other four-letter words were taken.

Teaching Your Kids Golf Golf is a Game.

When introducing kids to golf, you need to keep FUN as the main goal. If you insist on teaching them all of the rules, techniques, and all of the golf talk, then you will make it boring and they will never enjoy it. Just like playing catch with a baseball, they will start to learn as they learn to catch and throw. If you allow a child to enjoy playing golf, then they will grow to love it forever.

Fun Before Fundamentals.

Let them hit the ball hard at first. This will make it fun for them. Every kid dreams about hitting like Tiger or John Daly, and they hit it a mile. Don preach the correct grip when they are just beginning. Just show them how to keep the right hand under the left hand and let them swing away. Also encourage them to keep their feet on the ground during their follow through. Before you know it the small lessons about grip and

arm positioning will be easy to teach. Children will progress when they are ready to. If you will let them learn at their own pace, you can help prevent burnout. Just like learning a musical instrument, don’t force a child to play golf. Playing golf should be fun and full of enjoyment.

Keep practice to Moderate Levels.

No matter what the activity or sport, making a child practice for hours and hours will quickly overwhelm a child. At first, let them practice for small amounts of time, such as 30 minute. This will help them stay motivated to practice. There is a reason why music lessons start off in half-hour increments.

Practice by Playing Games.

Let your child start by playing games chipping and putting. Give them a chance to beat you putting from different distances. Don’t mind them thinking they got a hole in one, just on the practice green. This will allow them to get the feel of the club and the ball. To keep them motivated, you might want to try some fun contests and games. You will want to avoid pressuring them too early. Allowing your child to enjoy the game will make them want to play Online Magazine | 2009 43

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instead getting frustrated and quitting. If they enjoy putting from long distances, let them do that until they get tired of it. Encourage your child and they will enjoy playing with you. If you start demanding them to win or overemphasizing competition, then will lose their interest in golf very fast. Also, don’t criticize your child. Praise the good and bad shots and swings that they make. Encourage them in the correct methods, but don’t dwell on their bad shots. Remind them that professionals do not par every hole.

Lessons & Golf Camps.

If your child really seems to be interested in golf, you may want to consider golf lessons, or a golf camp that is especially for the age of your children. If you are considering a private instructor, it is a good idea to seek references, or watch them teach other children first. You want an instructor that relates well to children, will encourage your child, and that is good at teaching children both fundamentals of golf, and golf etiquette. Even though they only be playing with other children, there will be a point in time when you will take them on a course for the first time, and that is not the time to tech them to be quiet when other golfers are about to hit or put.

Be a Pal.

With a little luck your child will pick up the game and will be your playing companion one day. Even if they do not get a scholarship, it’s not bad knowing that your son or daughter wants to spend 5 hours with you over 18 holes. Especially when their handicap is 8 shots lower than yours. Online Magazine | 2009 45

They say golf is like life, but don’t believe them. Golf is more complicated than that.

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Breaking 90 For the average high handicapper, learning to shoot lower scores isn’t always about fixing swing flaws and changing your full swing. Scoring better really is a matter of thinking better, and managing your game. This means playing to your strengths, or not hitting your weaker shot, every time you have a choice. This basic logic will create better scoring opportunities in every round of golf. Several Majors have been one (or lost) by professionals following (or forgetting) this advice. The basic rule of handicapping is a balancing of tough holes to golfers of varying levels. A 21 handicapper is not expected to birdie long par 3’s, and a single digit golfer is expected to collect birdies on any hole on the course. Use your those handicap strokes to set your strategy. If you want to break 90, it is imperative that you put the ball in play off the tee. Hitting it O.B., in a hazard or in deep rough can cost you more strokes than even a very good short game can recover. On long par 4s and par 5s, maybe you’d be better off hitting something in the fairway and playing from there, rather than hoping to hit a career tee shot with your driver. Most par 5’s are not reachable to average golfers, and high handicappers should not even consider that as an alternative. Know your strengths

and limitations. If your best club in the bag is a wedge fron 90 yards, then set up shots for that range. If your sand shots are the worst part of your game, don’t hit tough shots over greenside bunkers. You can own those longer holes by taking advantage of your handicap. Learn to net-par those longer stroke holes, and your scores and your handicap will go down. A net bogie is better than a net double on any hole. A basic problem with breaking 90 is taking the macho man aspect out of your game. It is not easy to lay up when you are 200 yards out on a par 5, and your playing partner just stuck a 7 wood and is putting eagle. You have a lot better chance getting a net birdie by laying up to your best yardage, hitting on the green, and making a put.

Your Short Game

Working on a reliable short game is a must. Master the high shot first, because it works in any situation. You can’t always chip it low along the ground. If this means chipping with a sand wedge, then try using it for all chip shots. Learning to be a good chipper is hard enough using one club, why complicate your learning process by having to learn different techniques for different clubs. Players like Phil Mickelson have built their short game around one club. So can you. As your lie changes, the golf ball is going to react differently and you will need to adjust your swing.


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So don’t just chip a bucket from one spot; scatter those practice balls all around the green. It is very likely that you will have more difficult chips, than easy ones, in most rounds you play. Since almost 50% of your score is on and around the green, you should spend 50% of your practice time on your short game. You will use your putter more than any other club in the bag, so doesn’t it make sense to practice putting more. Most low handicappers have spent as much time practicing putting, as any other aspect of their game. A good way to measure your putting is to keep track of how many puts you have during each round. You will surprise yourself when your cap goes down, and a large reason is less 3 puts per round.

Course Management

Most high handicappers make bad decisions relating to course management. As a general rule, if you don’t hit a shot at least 50% of the time, don’t try it. Course designers know what they are doing when they place greenside bunkers. If your decision has to do with hazards, consider making a bogie rather than chancing a triple. If you’re trying to break 90, you’re an 18-handicapper or higher. Use those strokes to set strategy. On a 420-yard par 4, remember that you’re lying minus-1 on the tee. Decide how to use that free shot. If your choices are hitting a driver to a tight fairway with trouble and O.B. stakes, or a 7 wood that is your most reliable long club, put your ego aside and hit the 7 wood. Being 220 yards out in the fairway gives you a lot better chance at par or bogie on the hole. Always remember that there are good bogies, but rarely are there good triples. Breaking 90 will become easier by using course management up to the green, and by practicing your chipping and putting. Your goal should be to hit less balls out of bounds, and reduce the number of puts per round. Learn to chip using only one club, and you will have greater success.

Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots - but you have to play the ball where it lies.

rate with the tax advantages of a mortgage, and you have an incredibly cheap way to build wealth, but you better act now.

Time to Refinance Buy !?


Right now, mortgage rates are at their lowest level since 1971. Think about that. Twenty-five years ago, homeowners were paying as much as 18% on a 30-year fixed. Today it’s just a little over 5%.Combine that

Real estate guru Barbara Corcoran has already seen a tremendous surge in refinance applications – more than triple the average – and the number of people getting approved is astronomically higher as well, she says. But that doesn’t mean the low rates are a panacea for the ills of the housing market. It is only once home prices start to go up that we will finally see a light at the end of tunnel, Corcoran says. Until that happens, we are still going to have to crawl out of this mess. “[Low interest rates are] a not a lifesaver,” Corcoran says. “This is just a helping hand.”

David Kittle, chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association, has this advice to homeowners looking to refinance: Do it. Don’t get greedy searching for another quarter-point. Lock in rates now. He is seeing applications soar over 125% just since Thanksgiving due to the low rates. Of course, you should only refinance if it saves you at least 3/8 on the rate and if you plan on staying in your home for at least four years, Kittle says. Along with good credit, proof of income and money by means of a down payment or equity in the home, there are certain things every homeowner needs regardless of interest rate levels. Online Magazine | 2009 52

Get Your Carolina Girl Gear!

Is Golf Really Better Than Sex ? Consider the Following Arguments made by Golfers: You never have to sneak your golf magazines into the house. If your equipment gets old and rusty, you simply replace it. If you’re really good you can turn pro and do it full time. If you are having trouble with your Putter, it is perfectly acceptable to pay a professional to show you how to improve your techniques. A below par performance is considered darn good. Golfers have a scientific way to figure out their handicap. Bad golfers do not have to take Viagra. The Ten Commandments do not say anything about golf. It’s really hard to gamble on sex. Your don’t get embarrassed about the size of your putter. If your partner takes pictures or videotapes of you golfing, you don’t have to worry about them showing up on the Internet. You can make money doing it as a senior. Your golf partner won’t keep asking questions about other partners you’ve golfed with. It’s perfectly respectable to golf with a total strangers, and even your wife will admit that in golf twosomes are boring. When you see a really good golfer, you don’t have to feel guilty about imagining the two of you golfing together. If your regular golf partner isn’t available, she won’t object if you golf with someone else. Nobody will ever tell you that you will go blind if you golf by yourself.

Your partner doesn’t necessarily hire a lawyer if you do it with someone else. When dealing with a golf pro, you never have to wonder if they are really an undercover cop. You can stop half way through and have a cheeseburger and a couple of beers. You don’t have to go to a sleazy shop in a seedy neighborhood to buy golf stuff. You can have a golf calendar on your wall at the office, tell golf jokes and invite co-workers to golf with you without getting sued for harassment. Three times a day is possible. In golf, it is acceptable to watch how the pros do it on TV, just after completing a round. There is no such thing as a golf transmitted disease. If you want to watch golf on television, you don’t have to subscribe to a premium cable channel. Nobody expects you to promise to golf with just one partner for the rest of your life. Nobody expects you to give up golfing if your partner loses interest in the game. You don’t have to be a newlywed to plan a vacation primarily for the enjoyment of golf. Your golf partner will never say, “What? We just golfed last week! Is that all you ever think about?”

It’s a funny thing, the more I practice the luckier I get.

Final Words

Concentration comes out of a combination of confidence and hunger. Arnold Palmer Online Magazine | 2009 58

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