Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tee Box tips

At the tee box your ball position could be essential to the overall score for that hole. Where you put the ball in the tee box, and its relative position for the set up, can be essential. Let us consider how that can enhance your scoring.

Let's suppose you were playing the 18th at Pebble Beach Links. That's an 18th hole with a lake along the left side of the fairway. If you tee up on the left side of the tee box, and the ball then flies further to the left, that could potentially leave you in the Pacific Ocean. Add one stroke and tee off again!

As a suggestion, play a provisional ball if you're not sure if you'll find your ball. Then you won't have to walk back to the tee box if the first balls disappeared. If you do find the first ball you need not include the provisional ball for the scoring.

If the reverse is true, and you're playing a hole where you could lose your ball on the right, either in water or trees, do not tee up on the right. If you pull shots more to the left then at least position your ball center. If more of your balls go to the right then you should station the ball as far left to the tee box as possible.

What if the fairway bends to the left or right? If that is so then tee up further left if the fairway bends right. If it's the opposite, then place your ball more to the right of the tee box.

If you're playing a shorter par-3 hole, less than 150 yards, then note the position of the pin (or flag). If the pin is located in a larger spot to the left of center on the green place the tee more to the right of the tee box. As it stated in my golf book, "This will give you best angle to the flagstick."

With regard to the set up, place the ball further left for longer clubs, and more to the center for the short irons. Make sure you don't tee the ball up too far to the left or the ball could fly leftwards. If too far to the right it might be sky high with reduced distance.

The golf tees can come in variable sizes. Generally the longer the club the larger the tee you'll need. With the longer woods at least an inch of tee should be above the grass. For short irons with more loft select shorter tees, and press them down more. If you tee the ball too high then you could undercut it, sending the ball skywards with little distance.

More effective tee box positions will ensure you land on the fairway or green with greater regularity. Check the hole layouts with score cards beforehand, and then position your ball appropriately.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Great Dye Golf Courses

The architect, Pete Dye, has opened some famous golf courses in the United States and beyond. Some of Dye's courses are regular PGA Tour venues, and are ranked among the top golf courses. These are a few of the more famous Dye golf courses.

The Players Stadium Course (TPC Sawgrass)

As the seasonal venue for the Players Championship you might have heard of this one already. This course is set within 415 acres of Florida Swampland. The Players Stadium Course extends some 7,215 yards from the gold tees, although this can be reduced to almost 5,000 from its green tee positions. Along its fairways there are a variety of waste bunkers, otherwise long strips of sand, and the course includes slick putting greens.

This course includes the great Island Green hole. That's a short par-3 hole that has a green located in the middle of a lake. At 132 yards you can probably reach the green with an 8-iron, and certainly a seven, but if the ball lands a few yards off it then it's in the water.  

The finishing hole at this illustrious course is also among the more exciting. The 462 yard par-4 has a fairway that plays alongside a large lake. It's similar to the 18th at Pebble Beach, with water dominating the left flank of the hole.

Whilstling Straits

Whilstling Straits Course is located in Wisconian. This is a golf course that is located alongside two miles of Lake Michigan, and so there's plenty of water on the holes. Eight of its holes play alongside it. The course is also notable for its rolling greens, grass-topped dunes and elevation variations. Having hosted the PGA Championship its a notable championship course, and among the top ranked in the United States.

It extends some 7,790 yards. As such, its holes have plenty of distance. Among them the par-5 fifth hole which is 603 yards. With a hole layout that zigzags from left to right this is the Snake hole. Here a notable slice of the lake comes into play with water along the left side of the hole's fairway.  

Harbour Town Links

The Harbour Town Links is another of Dye's classic golf courses. This golf course, located in South Carolina, is one that is ranked among the top golf courses in the United States. It is approximately 7,101 yards, and is dominated largely by par-4 holes. Along its holes are narrow fairways, oaks, pines, dark lagoons and palmettos.

The signature hole is most probably that of the 18th. This is a 472 yard par-4 that plays alongside the Calibogue Sound on the left side of its fairway. Behind its Bermuda grass green is that of the red and white striped Harbour Town lighthouse which rises some 90 feet.

The Ocean Course

This Dye golf course is one of five at the Kiawah Island resort in South Carolina. Having hosted the Ryder Cup and PGA Championship the Ocean Course is probably the most famous. As a course located on the coast it has some scenic coastal golf holes which cover some 7,365 yards. Check out this post for further details.  

The Ocean Course, Players Stadium Course, Harbour Town Links and Whilstling Straits are among the most famous Dye golf courses. They include innovative holes combined with scenic landscapes, and are certainly exciting golf courses to play at. The best thing is they are all resort courses which can be played at without club membership.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Golf Vacation Destinations: Bandon Dunes

The Brandon Dunes golf resort at Brandon, Oregon could be a suitable destination for your golfing vacation. This is the resort that tops Golf Digest's top resorts in North America. With four top class golf courses located on the Pacific coastline there's plenty of variety at this resort.

Among its courses is that of the Pacific Dunes golf course. The course extends some 6,633 yards. This is a course that has a variety of holes that play alongside the ocean, such as the par-4 13th. This is a course with shore pines and 60 acre sand dunes. As the architect notes, “The rippling fairways are very much as we found them; so are the natural bunkers at the 2nd, 7th, 11th, 13th, 16th, and 18th holes, which guided our routing.” Golf Magazine ranks it the top public golf course in the United States.

Or you can play the Bandon Dunes Course. This is located on a bluff elevated above the Pacific Ocean. As it unfolds across pristine native dunes a variety of the course's holes have scenic ocean views.  

The Bandon Trails golf course is one that merges with sand dunes and the coastal forest. This is a 6,732 yard par- 71 course. Unlike other courses at the resort it does include any coastal holes.  

The longest course at this resort is that of Old MacDonald which extends 6,944 yards. This is the most recent layout to be added to Brandon Dunes. Old MacDonald begins further inland, plays across dunes on the third hole and then the course expands to the resort's Pacific coastline. Along its holes there are notable variations in elevation, and some huge greens are included. At the 377 yard par-3 there is an uphill climb to the hole which is plopped atop a dune ridge with the ocean below. With a variety of coastal holes it seems the course is comparable to other gems at the resort.

With a collection of great modern golf courses the Brandon Dunes resort is one to note. Check out its website for further details.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Golf Course Reviews: Old Course St Andrews

St Andrews Links, in Scotland, is considered the home of golf. This is because it is one of the oldest golf courses. Golf was being played at St Andrews some time before the first United States golf courses were established in America. As such, it is a great golf course.

To begin with the basic stats. The Old Course is an 6,721 yard 18-hole golf course. Overall, the golf course is a par 72. For the most part the golf course is dominated by par-4 holes, with two par 5s and two par-3s included among its 14 par-4 holes. The female Old Course is shorter than the male course, and includes a number of short par-5 holes.

The Old Course is a links course, and is one that is notable for its bunkers. The golf course has over 100 bunkers scattered among its holes. Some of these bunkers are many feet deep, and can trap any golfer.

In addition to this, the Old Course is also renowned for its giant double greens. These double greens are two greens combined, with a number of the Old Course's holes sharing the same greens. In fact, only a few of the holes at the course have their own greens.

Given its great championship history, St Andrews has a few famous holes. Among the most notable of these is the 17th Road Hole. The Road Hole is a long par-4 which is almost 500 yards long. The replica sheds that stretch out from the Road Hole Hotel require tee-shots over onto the fairway. This hole also includes the Road Hole Bunker, which is one of the deepest bunkers on the Old Course. The longest hole on the Old Course is the par-5 14th, which is 530 yards from the white tees.

As mentioned, the course is a great championship golf course. The golf course has staged the UK Open 28 times. Many of the game's great golfers have played and won at St Andrews Old Course including Nicklaus and Woods. Most recently Louis Oosthuizen won the UK Open at the Old Course. Other notable golf championships that have been staged at the Old Course include the Dunhill Links Championship and the Walker Cup.

Overall, the Old Course is one of the game's more famous courses. The course is a public one, and the St Andrew's resort also has further accompanying golf courses. For further details visit the St Andrew's website.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Golf Course Elevation

A number of golf courses have variable elevations. Golf course architecture can include holes that have tees someway above the green, from an elevated tee box, or alternatively they can be below the green if the hole has some upward slopes. As stated in a previous blog post overall course altitude will impact distance, but so too can variable elevation on the course itself.

Any ball will travel further on a hole that has elevated positions than one that is entirely flat. For example, let us suppose that a par-3 hole has a tee box 50 feet above the green and hole. If you select the same club that you usually would for the equivalent distance the ball might land 20 yards past the green.

In my KISS golf book it states, "Generally speaking, for every ten to 15 feet of elevation change... you need to change your club selection to the next club up." So, if you were 50 yards above the green then you might have to select a club with a number three bigger, i.e. an 8-iron instead of 5-iron, than what you may select if the hole were flat. This would compensate for the extra distance on a short par-3 hole.

But what if the green is elevated above the tee box?  There are quite a few holes that can have elevated greens, with upward slopes, such as the seventh Pampas hole at Augusta National. On that hole there is an upward approach to the green. If there's an upward elevation of 50 feet, with the green about 50 feet higher than yourself, then that will mean that you'll have to select a longer club to enhance your distance.

Your distance may be enhanced or decreased with holes that have variable elevation. If there's any notable elevation changes on the hole you should select an alternative golf club.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

How to Play at the Augusta Golf Course

Unless you can get on the member list of Augusta's club, make the top 50 of the golf rankings, or win a Major you can't play the holes of Augusta. Well actually you can!

Just make a trip to some golf courses that have replicas of Augusta's holes. One golf course that includes a compilation of replica holes, two of which from the Augusta course, is that of the Castle Course at Northern Bay Golf Resort. This golf course actually includes several from renowned championship golf courses: Oakmond Country Club 3rd, Oakland Hills Club 5th, Firestones Country Club 16th, TPC Sawgrass 17th (the green surrounded with a lake) and the Bill Hill 18th. In addition to them are the 16th, the 194 yard hole that plays entirely over water, and 13th holes at the Augusta course.

The 16th hole at the Augusta National Golf Course
But that's not the only course that includes Augusta replicas. The Tour 18 golf course in Texas is another that has a compilation holes from the course. Those are the 11th, 12th and 13th holes at Augusta, among them Rae's Creek hole that has a creek between the tee and green.

Another course that includes a variety of replica golf holes is that of the World Tour Golf Links, which is located in Myrtle Beach. This boasts up to 27 replica holes at its three nine-hole courses. Among its open nine are the 1st and 18th holes of St Andrews, as well as the 16th from Augusta.The Championship Nine course also has the 11th to 13th holes from Augusta. The International has holes from Valderrama, the 8th at SpyGlass and 18th at Invernes Course which has hosted three PGA Championships and four U.S. Opens. Check out the club site for some photos of the legendary holes at their courses.

So, for a taste of championship golf these courses should not be missed. With a compilation of replica holes from renowned courses, they are the closest you can get to playing at courses such as Augusta at least. But you can still play at St Andrews in Scotland.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

How to choose the right tent for your event

If you are planning an outdoor event, party, or get-together, you probably have been considering a tent rental. Tents can provide shade, shelter, and lovely ambiance to any occasion. In fact, today most outdoor occasions usually involve a tent rental, so the options have become quite extensive. There are different types, sizes, shapes, and prices—which make choosing the right tent for your event sometimes quite overwhelming!

Tent Events

Tents are a great fixture at outdoor events, and the options are endless. There are pole tents, plain tents, and clear span tents. All of them differ in difficulty in set-up; however, when managed by a professional, you don’t have to worry about that! You also have the options to decorate and customize tents by choosing your own fabrics, lighting, and liners. You can add your own festive feel to any tent to create a celebration no one will forget.


As one would imagine, the most popular time for a tent rental is for an outdoor wedding reception. Tents for weddings are usually about 2400 square feet in size, or about 40 by 60 feet. This is the size for an average wedding rental, and can cost up to one thousand dollars. Of course, there are even bigger tents available. Some can be as large as 4000 square feet and cost up to two thousand dollars to rent for an evening. For these elaborate occasions, many people opt to dress it up a bit with draped liners or pole draping. These liners often form the walls of the tent, making a private, outside room. A tent is so versatile, that you can have both the ceremony and reception in the same space with just a few simply modifications.

Protection from the Elements

Probably the most practical reasons for renting a tent for you event are to protect your guests from the weather. Tents offer a temporary structure where party-goers can enjoy being outside while staying dry, warm, and comfortable. Other reasons why tent rental is a good idea is that they are great for seating a large number of people when indoor space is limited. They also make great shelter for picnics, concerns, dances, or meetings. The possibilities for tent use are endless.

Anyone who has seen a tent at an event immediately assumes a more festive attitude, and this is another benefit to having a tent at your event. It stands as part of the celebration’s decoration and promotes a fun and cheerful mood.

Promotional Use

A number of pop-up tents are making their way into the professional circuit. You can find these types of tents at fairs, carnivals, sporting events, and just about anywhere there is a congregation of people. These tents are fully customizable and often have a company or organizational name displayed on them. This allows workers at the tent to stay cool and protected from the sun. Plus the organization name is prominently featured in order to draw people over to the booth.

Outdoor Shade Canopy

There are also a number of different canopy tents that are available for your event. The poles and equipment used for these canopies are made of steel, while the covering is usually made of cotton. They are used for a variety of needs, such as outdoor shade, camping, on the beach, and in the backyard. If you are having a small get-together in your yard, a garden canopy tent is an economical way to add shape and ambience.

There are also retractable and patio canopy tents that are made for to add comfort and living space outdoors.

Tent Customization

Along with tent rental, many rental companies offer lighting and seating options as well. It’s smart to get all of your event needs from one company: the tent, tables, chairs, even heaters. You can get everything you want for your occasion by simply working with an event planner that caters to your needs. You may even want special colors and fabric choices for liners and ceilings, making your event even more special.

A reputable rental company will have all of your party needs at one place. They will even set up and install your tent, seating, and lighting, plus remove it after the event. Though you have to pay for this convenience, it is worth saving time and aggravation of trying to do it yourself. Tents are quickly becoming the go-to route for weddings, anniversaries, graduations, and birthdays for good reason. They are convenient, easy, and most often—quite affordable.

Shaw Tent & Event Rental is an equipment rental company located in Atlanta, Georgia.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

How to Check Golf Ball Contact

A golf club impact sticker
The sweet spot of a golf club is the center of the golf club head. On some clubs it may be highlighted. This is the optimum point for ball contact. Thus if you hit the ball at the sweet spot it will travel somewhat further than if you do not.

But how can you check your ball contact? You can do so with golf club impact stickers. These are a great golfing accessory that will highlight ball contact.

Stick a golf club impact sticker to your club header. The club head can be a wood, iron or putter. Then play from the tee as you usually would, or alternatively a range. Check the golf club impact label afterwards, and note the position of the ball mark that has been left on the sticker. A sticker can include up to eight marks before you'll likely need a replacement.

All the ball marks should be at or around the sweet spot, but probably won't be! You might find some golf club impact stickers at your golf club. For further details on these great golfing accessories check out this page.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Guest Blogging on AG

Hello and happy new year! In 2013 Amateur Golfer will be including guest blog posts, so long as suitable posts are submitted. Guest blog posts are those that are not produced by the original blog owner, i.e. myself. At the end of each post links can then be included back to the guest blogger's blog.

Suitable guest blog posts can include golf course reviews, or golf travel destinations, but not anything relating to PGA golf championships. It would also be great to have some golf photography blog posts. Include a title with the blog post. Images can also be added with guest blog post submissions.

To submit a guest blog post to Amateur Golfer post your email address at the end of this post, or any other on the blog. Then I'll get in touch about Amateur Golfer guest blogging.