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19th Hole
News and Opinion

Golf Blogs By MattRistine

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Date CreatedMost Popular

MattRistine
Be a Better Playing Partner - And a Better Player
Dec 11, 2014 5:33 PM
 
Golf is a social game, and that aspect of being on the course is something that most of us love. Playing golf alone is fun, but your rounds really become memorable when you are able to make a tee time with some of your good friends. Whether you like to place a small wager on the round to keep things interesting, or just enjoy the company of friends while you try to play your best, golf is made better in the company of others. However, some players run into a problem when playing with friends - do you concentrate on your game, or on chatting with your friends? After all, if you are trying to play your absolute best, you don't want to be too distracted by talking for all 18 holes. Playing good golf requires focus and attention to detail. Talking with your playing partners about your favorite sports team or the weather that day isn't going to help you lower your scores. Fortunately, there is a middle ground that can be achieved. Since there is so much time on the golf course spent driving or walking to your ball, and waiting for other groups in front of you to finish, you can easily spend time talking and also focus on your game. Following are a few tips for playing your best during a social round of golf - Rely on your preshot routine. This is where a preshot routine really becomes important. In order to get your mind off of the conversation and on to the task at hand, you will want to use your preshot routine to kick your mind 'into gear'. As you reach your ball, drop the chatting for a moment and start your preshot routine to help your mind engage on hitting a good shot. Don't hit before you are ready. If you find your mind still drifting toward thoughts of the discussion and not focusing on your shot, take an extra second to find your focus. Bad golf shots are often a product of losing focus, so don't fall victim to your own distraction. Use friends for motivation. A friendly wager or even just some casual 'trash talk' will help to keep you motivated on the course. If you and your friends make a habit of hassling each other on the course, it can serve to push you on to playing your best. There is nothing like having a friend say they are going to beat you to get motivated and post a great score. Golf wouldn't be the great game it is without the company of others. The good news is you don't have to pick between playing a good round of golf, and having fun with your friends. Use the tips above to focus your game even while you are enjoying a relaxing and social round.
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MattRistine
Can Rory and Jordan Be the New Tiger and Phil?
Dec 11, 2014 1:33 AM
Tags: pga tour  
 
If you were following golf this past weekend, you know that Jordan Spieth put on an incredible performance at Isleworth during the Hero World Challenge hosted by Tiger Woods. Spieth dominated the small field only a week after winning the Australian Open. These latest victories, in addition to his impressive 2014 season, would seem to indicate that Spieth is going to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come. Of course, there is already an incredible young player on Tour by the name of Rory McIlroy. Rory is ahead of Spieth in terms of both age and accomplishments, already being a major champion multiple times over. However, the makings of a long-lasting rivalry can already be seen. If each is able to continue to improve on their games in the years ahead, it is not hard to envision a scenario in which they battle for major championship titles year after year. That brings to mind another pair of great professional golfers who battled throughout the years, and continue to do so - Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. For a long time, Tiger and Phil were clearly the two best golfers on the planet. While head to head showdowns were rare, every big tournament seemed to involve either one or the other. It might not be fair to call it a ‘rivalry’ considering how many more major titles Woods has to his credit, but Phil’s resume is certainly legendary in its own right. So - can Rory and Jordan be the new Tiger and Phil? While it is possible given the talent of the two players, it still remains unlikely. Tiger and Phil are two of the greatest players in the history of the game, and the odds of Rory and Jordan both joining that elite company are long. It is possible, to be sure, but there is a long way to go. Regardless of what kind of rivalry might develop between the two, or which other young players may enter the mix as well, watching both Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth for the next decade plus should be exciting for all golf fans.
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MattRistine
Stop the Excuses!
Nov 23, 2014 5:29 AM
Tags: Golf   excuses  
 
Allow me to talk honestly for a second - golfers love to make excuses! No matter what course you visit, or who you play with, you are never going to be far from an excuse when you are on the golf course. Most likely, you have heard them before - someone made a noise in my backswing, the ball hit a bump on the green, I had a bad lie, the wind changed during my swing, and on and on. Quite frankly, I'm tired of it. Don't get me wrong - I have made more than my fair share of excuses over the years. I used to be part of the problem. However, I got to a point where I realized something that was painful, but true. The guys who were beating me in tournaments never had excuses. They didn’t need them either. Why? Because they were playing better than I was. Are there bad breaks in golf that can cost you strokes along the way? Absolutely. But they happen to everybody. There is no sense in complaining about them, because there is nothing that you can do about them. Smart golfers - good golfers - just accept it as part of the game and worry about hitting a better shot next time. I became a better golfer the day I decided to stop with the excuses and just look at myself in the mirror when I wanted to complain. The next time you head to the golf course, make a promise to yourself that you aren’t going to make any excuses for your play throughout the whole round. Take ownership of the shots that you hit, and learn from your mistakes. Not only will this help you play better, but you'll probably have more fun, too.
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MattRistine
Let's Go Golf Shopping
Nov 22, 2014 2:01 AM
Tags: golf spending  
 
If you are anything like me, you have probably spent your share of money on golf equipment over the years. Okay - so I have spent more than my fair share (especially on putters). While every golfer knows deep down that their score is ultimately determined by the quality of the swings that they make, there is always the lure of new equipment as a way to play just a little better. As long as companies are making new clubs, golfers will be there buy them. Speaking of making new clubs, and making money in turn, the infographic above shows just how big the golf business really is. The figures that equipment companies have brought in on an annual basis over the last few years are truly staggering, and show that golf is more than just a hobby for millions of people - it is a serious business. The stakes for equipment companies are extremely high, which is why the top players on tour receive huge contracts to play specific clubs and wear certain clothes. There are three unique categories where most golfers spending the majority of their golf dollars - Greens fees. The cost of playing golf will always remain the biggest expense for golfers. Whether you decide to join a country club and pay dues each month, or you pay as you go at public courses, the cost of getting onto the course can be significant. Equipment and apparel. Between a set of clubs, shoes, clothes, gloves, and more, it is easy to spend more than a thousand dollars in no time at all. Instruction and training. The other area where many golfers invest money is in the pursuit of playing better. You can take private lessons from a professional instructor at your local club, buy golf instruction books or videos, hire a personal trainer to get in shape, etc. Do you have any spending habits in golf that you wish you could break? Maybe you have an area of the game that you plan on investing more in during the next season? We would love to hear about where your golf dollars go, and why!
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MattRistine
Anatomy of a Stylish Golfer
Nov 18, 2014 11:15 PM
Tags: golf apparel   golf clothes   style   fashion  
 
I don’t know about you – but I love looking good on the golf course (well, as good as I can look, anyway). While I don’t particularly pay much attention to how I dress when I’m off course, my apparel for heading to the first tee is carefully thought out and prepared. I want to be comfortable, well dressed, and prepared for an enjoyable round. While I will always be more concerned about my swing and my score than my clothes, it is still important to me to look by best. The infographic included in this blog post highlights some specific items that you may want to consider as you are building your golf wardrobe. With garments from some of the biggest names in golf – such as Adidas, Nike, Pine, and more – it is a list worth reviewing for yourself. Below are a few points for you to consider before your next trip to the golf shop – Have layers available. Since a round of golf usually takes four hours or more, you are likely to encounter changing weather conditions at least once during the day. With that in mind, make sure your golf apparel is made up of lightweight layers that you can combine to get just the right look and feel. Being able to stay warm while still being free enough to make a good swing is key. Bright colors are okay! You don’t have to stick with khaki pants and white shirts – in fact, personal flair and creativity are encouraged. Feel free to wear brightly colored golf clothes to show off some personality and stand out from the bland crowd. Pay attention to your shoes. The golf shoes that you wear should be as much about function as they are about fashion. You want to wear a pair of shoes that are comfortable on your feet, will give you a good grip on the turf, and will keep water out. Investing in a quality pair of golf shoes is something that you will be glad you did. Golf clothes can serve many purposes. Don’t think of golf apparel shopping as being limited to the golf course. In fact, you will probably be able to find many different occasions to wear your great-looking golf clothes during everyday life. With those shopping tips in mind, take a look at the list in our infographic and start to build a great looking golf wardrobe today!
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MattRistine
Make Golf Fun to Keep the Fire Burning
Nov 7, 2014 6:44 PM
Tags: Golf   fun   competition  
 
The following statement might be shocking to you, but I swear it’s true – Golf is supposed to be fun. Wait….what?!? I thought it was supposed to be miserable, frustrating, and pointless? That is the feeling you might have if you play golf with certain people. In many circles, golf has turned into more of a chore than a game. If you aren’t having fun, laughing at yourself, and generally getting away from it all for a few hours – what is the point? Sadly, many golfers turn away from the game because they stop having fun. It isn’t that the golf itself stops being fun, it is that they quit having fun with it. Golf is endlessly enjoyable and challenging, as long as you have the right attitude and keep it in proper perspective. Most likely, you aren’t going to play on a professional tour for millions of dollars. Rather, you are probably a recreational golfer who uses the game as a chance to get outdoors, spend time with friends, challenge yourself, and stay physically active. You will be hard pressed to find an activity with more benefits than golf, but it only works out that way if you understand the right way to approach it. I’m not saying that you can’t take your game seriously and try to improve – not at all. I love working on my game and trying to get better each round, even though my competitive playing days are behind me. The challenge of the game is one of the things that keeps me coming back time and again. However, the drive to improve should never surpass the desire to have fun and enjoy the opportunity to be on the course. When that happens, you might soon find yourself looking for a different hobby. Here are a few ways to make sure golf stays fun for years to come – Play with friends and come up with small competitions to keep each round interesting Meet new people at the course and invite them to play with your group Enter a local tournament to test your skills under pressure Explore new courses around your area, or take a golf trip to play somewhere else Your scorecard shouldn’t be the only thing that determines if you have an enjoyable day on the course. Great weather and good company can make for a memorable and relaxing day – even if your score adds up to a few more than you would have liked. Keep the fun element of golf in the front of your mind and you can keep the passion for the game burning for the long run.
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