Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Best Golf Courses Video

Which are the best golf courses? This video includes a great compilation of "some of the world's best golf courses." Check it out! 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Great Mackenzie Golf Courses

Mackenzie was a great course architect who inspired some famous golf courses in the early 20th century. Mackenzie's golf courses in the United States stretch from Georgia in the east, to California in the west. These are a few of Mackenzie's great golf courses.  

One of the holes at the Augusta National.
Augusta is one of the most famous golf courses in the game. Located in Georgia, this is one you've probably heard of as the annual Master's golf championship is played here. It's the only course that has its own Major, and extends some 7,445 yards. I've also included course video tours in previous blog posts.

Around its famous holes the course has a compilation of plants among its flower beds, and pine trees which run alongside some of the fairways. In addition to this, the course has water on some of its more exciting holes, such as the 12th Rae's Creek where a creek separates the green from the tee-box. For further details, check out this previous blog post.

Cypress Point, in California, is another great Mackenzie course. Both Golf Magazine and Golf Digest have ranked this among the top five golf courses in the United States. It has a fantastic coastal setting, as it meanders through coastal dunes and also passes through the Del Monte forest over the front nine. The 16th 231 yard par-3 hole is one of the most exciting par-3 holes you'll likely find on a course with a tee-shot required over the Pacific to make the green. This previous blog post includes a Cypress Point video tour.

The Royal Melbourne and the Crystal Downs Country Club are two other notable Mackenzie courses. The Royal Melbourne is located in Australia, and its composite course, which includes holes from both the East and West courses, is one of the top rated courses beyond the United States. Mackenzie primarily inspired the West course when he visited Australia during the 1920s. The Crystal Downs Country Club is a 6,518 yard course that plays alongside Lake Michigan and Crystal Lake, and this too has made the top 10 of Golf Digest's course rankings.  

These courses are ranked among the best in the world. Few course architects have courses which match these classic Mackenzie golf courses.  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Merion Golf Course

Today I've dug up another golf course tour video. This time, it's the Merion East Course in Pennsylvania. This is a 6,846 yard golf course that has hosted four U.S. Open  Championships. The next U.S. Open will also be played at this course as well. Check out the video below.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Golf Club Selection for Longer Grass

A Pebble Beach green surrounded
by longer grass
Around the fairways and greens there is longer grass on the golf course, otherwise the rough. When your ball lands in the longer grass, effective golf club selection will go some way to ensuring that your ball will fly out of it. Here are a few suggestions to note.

When selecting a club for longer grass, clubs that have more loft will be most effective in playing out of it. Certainly, if you are in longer grass very close to the green, the wedges should come into play. With either a sand or pitching wedge you should be able to chip your way out of longer grass and onto the green.

Some may be familiar with the bump-and-run chip, which is essentially a longer distance chip which rolls onto the green. Don't play any longer distance chips from around the green if you are in longer grass, and cannot expect the ball to land on the green first. The longer grass will take most of the roll off the chip, considerably reducing the distance. Instead, select a wedge for a pitch onto the green.

What if your ball is in longer grass closer to the tee-box? A lofted wood can be a good choice of club, as it will also provide some distance as well. Consider a club such as the 7-wood, which can have up to 20 degrees of loft. Short iron clubs such as the 9 and 8-iron are also good for playing out of longer grass along the fairway.

But, if you're in very long grass you should select a wedge, such as a the sand or pitch wedge, wherever you are on the hole. Select a wedge for a pitch out of the grass, to get the ball back onto the fairway. This may reduce distance but it will also reduce the possibility of the ball remaining in the longer grass.

So, any of the wedges, 7 or 9-wood, or the 8 and 9-irons should be suitable clubs to select when in longer grass. Make sure you have a few of them in your bag for a range of suitable clubs for the longer grass.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Brief Guide to Short Play

In the game of golf the short play refers to shorter distance shots such as putting, chipping, and pitching or bunker play. This can be either on the putting green, or alternatively around the green up to 50 yard or possibly 75 yards.

On the putting green, though you might never have guessed it, the putter is used! From here, a longer lag putt may be required to set-up a shorter putt for the hole. For example, if further than 10 or 12 yards from the hole then you will likely need a lag putt. Then a shorter putt of about three feet may only be needed.

The greens can be variable. Some might be flat, while others may include slopes. For these, you need to be careful and take into account that a putt will not go so far up a sloped green. Equally, a ball will roll further on a dry green than a wet green.

It should be noted, that even if you are not on the green, then putters can still be used to putt the ball onto one. If you are close enough, and on reasonably short grass, then a putt onto the green from the fairway can be effective.

Of course, in the event that you are slightly further from the green then a putter may not be suitable. In such cases, balls can be chipped onto the green from variable distances up to 50 yards or possibly even further with enough ball roll. Realistically, it is best to chip from within 50 yards with an iron club such as seven, eight or nine. Alternatively, for short chips then a sand or pitching wedge can also be suitable.

However, the chip shot does have its limitations. Let us say, for example, that you are in the rough grass with a fairly large bunker in front. Here, a chip would not clear the bunker so a pitch shot would be a better alternative. The pitch shot is short lofted shot that can clear bunkers or even water.

The actual distance of pitching can vary. Usually, they can be within 50 yards of the green, or possibly further away for longer pitches. In such cases that only a short shot is needed to land on the green, then pitches are also suitable.

Only the wedge clubs are really suitable for pitches. Clubs such as the sand wedge or pitching wedge have a good amount of loft. Other longer irons will not have the loft required.

Bunker play from green-side bunkers, can also be considered short play. If a ball lands in a bunker, then a bunker shot from out of the sand and onto the green is best. Overall, the sand wedge is the club for bunker play from greenside bunkers.

Overall, putting on the green is the most important part of short play. However, chipping, pitching or bunker play will also likely be required on most holes from around the green.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Parque Da Floresta course video

Today we're heading to the south of sunny Spain with this golf course tour video. To the Parque Da Floresta course in the Western Algarve! This is supposed to be one of the best in Spain, set alongside the rolling hills and golden beaches of the Lagao it is an 18 hole course to note. Check out the course tour video below.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Don't Forget the Yardage Chart

The yardage chart is one of the handiest things to have for a round. Yardage charts are those hole-by-hole sketches of golf courses, which include details of the relative hole yardages at various points on the hole. They can highlight yardages from various points off the green, not merely the tee to green yardage of the hole that's noted on the main scorecard anyway.

A lot of course scorecards include small course yardage charts on the back of them. Note that you can note down additional yardage points onto them with a ruler and calculator if they lack details. Multiply the yardage total by percentages, and then note their relative yardage position on the hole yardage chart. For example, the half yardage of the hole would be 0.5 x total yardage.

However, some golf clubs may also have larger, more detailed, mini-booklets which provide details for the hole yardages, and will also highlight the relative positions of the bunkers, ponds etc more closely. If so, add the mini-booklet to your bag. They can provide much more detail than what might be included on the back of a scorecard.

Either way, you should have some sort of yardage chart for the round. Especially if you are unfamiliar with the course and its layout.

A more detailed hole yardage chart
which highlights a variety of yardages. 

Sunday, September 02, 2012

New Book

My new book, which has absolutely nothing to do with golf, is out now. Battles of the Pacific War 1941 - 1945 can be found at both Amazon and Lulu, in Kindle and paperback format. For further details, check out this blog.