Why is there a Fascination with Par?

Rory McIlroy won the US Open a couple weeks ago with a 16 under par score, and there were 20 players who finished the tournament under par. This led to several commentators mention that the course was too easy, and that the USGA (the organization that runs the US Open) failed to “protect par”. What does this mean?

Do You Have Goals for Your Game?

What are the goals for your golf game? Sounds like a simple question, but a huge percentage of golfers have no general goal in mind for their golf game, and no specific goals for each individual round or practice session. So what should your goals be?

Every player should have multiple goals for themselves, and these goals should be of varying scale and achievability. For example, let’s say you’re the “average golfer” who shoots around 100 for 18 holes, and has a handicap of 23. (The average USGA handicap is lower than this, but it doesn’t consider those who do not have official handicaps, and these players unquestionably are beginners / higher handicap players.) For this player, I would like to see several goals—both general and specific and include some “big picture” thinking. For example:

Don't Let Slow Play Ruin Your Round

If you’ve played golf at all, you’ve encountered the scourge of slow play. It can be extremely frustrating to wait before playing every shot, and there’s nothing in the world more discouraging than making a birdie, long putt, great par save, etc., and then getting to the next tee to see two other groups waiting in front of you to play. So how can you effectively handle these situations without ruining your round?

How to Play Like a Kid

Have you ever watched a 6 year old hit golf balls? If not, you really should. There is a lot to learn from the approach taken by the youngest golfers. The first thing you’ll notice is that when they top a ball or whiff, they simply grab another ball and keep swinging. Contrast that to what you did the last time you were on the range and topped a shot. I’d bet that the first thing you did after hitting a horrible short was look around to see if anyone noticed. Then maybe you looked at your club to make sure that there isn’t some obvious flaw in it that caused the bad shot. (To your disappointment, the club is in perfect working order.)

How to Practice Pressure Situations

Have you ever experienced a meltdown on the course, like what happened to Rory McIlroy at this year’s Masters or like a number of other famous examples (Greg Norman @ Augusta in 1996, or Jean Van de Velde at Carnoustie in 1999)? Are your tournament or competitive scores much higher than your casual or practice rounds? If so, chances are that you need to practice how to compete.

Golf Lesson Mishaps

I wanted to come up with a humorous topic for this week’s blog, but was struggling with writer’s block / distraction issues, so I thought I’d talk about a couple of the funniest things I’ve seen while giving a golf lesson / clinic / school, etc. All names have been changed to protect the innocent and no animals were injured during the course of these events.

Do you know what "Game Management" is?

If you truly want to improve your scoring, you have to consider how you play the course, not just how you hit the ball. Do you have a strategy for playing each hole? Do you take into consideration what your strengths and weaknesses are? Do you automatically hit a driver on every par 4 & 5 hole? Do you always aim at the pin, no matter where it is on the green?

Teaching vs. Coaching

Over the years, there have been tremendous amounts written about golf instruction, and also about golf coaching. What’s the difference? Is there a difference? Is one better than the other? Can the two be combined? Over the next few weeks and months, this blog will be exploring a number of coaching topics and how they can be applied and unified with the instruction side of your golf game. We’re calling it Unified Golf Instruction—the integration of the solid fundamentals of the swing (taught via with the fundamentals of playing the game. Anyone who has played golf, especially competitive golf, will agree that there is a major difference between swing the club and playing the game.

The Case for Online Golf Instruction

So far in this blog, I’ve shied away from directly promoting this website, but today’s topic deals directly with what we do here at Online, personalized golf lessons can improve your game, are a better alternative to non-personalized instruction from videos, DVDs, books and magazines, and the professional instruction is better than tips and advice given from friends, family, and colleagues. Over the years I’ve found that there are numerous reasons why people refuse to take lessons, and online instruction can solve many of these concerns.

Goofy Golf—Why is Bad Course Design / Architecture So Prevalent?

Over the years I’ve played a lot of courses, good & bad. And I’ve learned a few things. One is that expensive does not equal good, and cheap does not equal bad. I’ve also notices that a lot of courses have weird, unusual, bad, or unfair design features, and these things are often what defines a course’s “signature hole”. Why is this?
Some of these features include: