Friday, November 29, 2013

The most important things to remember when selecting a rugby kit for your team

Selecting the right rugby team clothing for your team is not the easiest of tasks, and you cannot overestimate its importance. The kit your team wears can impact on team morale and performance and can also affect how other teams perceive your side, so you have to get it right. These are some of the factors that you need to consider if you have to select the rugby team kit for your team.


Your team’s colours are possibly the single most important aspect of rugby team kit selection. The colours make your team instantly recognisable and can have a huge psychological effect. Strong colours and patterns, for example, make the wearer feel strong and can be intimidating; a prime example is the All Blacks, whose totally black team kit looks imposing and powerful. Light colours and weak designs, however, have a completely opposite effect and can make opponents almost mock your side. Rugby is a tough game and the colours you choose should reflect that. Modern manufacturing and printing methods make it possible to produce rugby jerseys in almost any colour and pattern, so your options are almost limitless.

The shape of the jersey is less important, especially at grass roots level. The traditional rugby jersey with collar, long sleeves and loose fit are still popular with many sides. It is only at more senior level that shape and fit become major factors, as tight-fitting, collarless jerseys with short sleeves are the norm.


Traditional rugby shirts are made from 100% cotton; this is hardwearing and warm and is reasonably comfortable. The problem with cotton is that it is heavy and, when it gets wet, becomes heavier and uncomfortable. The inability to wick away water also means that players get cold quickly during breaks in play.

Modern fabrics like polyester and blended materials are now commonly used for rugby wear. They are as tough as cotton but are lighter, wick away moisture better and hold colour well, meaning that they look good year after year.


The importance of comfort cannot be stressed enough. If players are uncomfortable they are unlikely to be able to give of their best on the pitch. Crucial to comfort are:
  • Fit – A good fit contributes to ease of movement, which is an essential ingredient of player performance.
  • Weight – Heavy rugby team wear will tire players.
  • Stretch – If you go for tight-fitting shirt, they must be made from stretch materials to allow unrestricted movement.
  • Manufacture – Your kit should be well made so that internal seems do not irritate the skin and cause rashes.

As with all things, quality comes at a price. To purchase team rugby wear, your cheapest option is probably to go for off-the-shelf designs and colours, but custom team kit from somewhere like Clifton Clothing will make your team stand out from the rest. Bulk buying should help you to get a discount and keep the price down, so don’t be afraid to negotiate. Also, good quality rugby team kit is worth the added expense. However, be sure to set yourself a budget and stick to it.

About the author:

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pinehurst Golf Course video

Pinehurst is an historic golf resort that has hosted a various golf championships. The No 2 at Pinehurst is a 7,495 yard golf course where both the Ryder Cup and U.S. Open have been played. This video provides some photographs of the No 2 championship golf course.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Golf.COM's Top 10 Par-3 Golf Courses

For a quicker round of golf the par-3 golf course is ideal. They can also be nine or 18 hole golf courses with interesting layouts. These are Golf.COM's top 10 par-3 golf courses.

1. Treetops Resort (Threetops)
Gaylord, Mich.

2. Links at Terranea
Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

3. The Challenge at Monarch Dunes
Nipomo, Calif.

4. Magnolia Grove (Short course)
Mobile, Ala.

5. Fairmont Southampton Golf Course
Southampton, Bermuda

6. Angel Park (Cloud Nine)
Las Vegas, Nev.

7. Blue Rock Golf Course
 S. Yarmouth, Mass.

8. Palm Beach Par-3
 Palm Beach, Fla.

9. No. 1, Private: Hamilton Farm (Hickory)
Gladstone, N.J.

10. No. 1, International: Mission Hills Shenzhen (Zhang course)

The Treetops Resort is a scenic golf course with some terrific par-3 holes. Among them the second hole which has a couple of tee areas and two alternative greens. The golf course includes elevated tees, sloped greens and surrounding mountains. It is a golf course that expands some  1,435 yards. Check out the Golf.COM site for additional details on some of the other golf courses in the list.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Golf in a Noodle Bowl

How can you possibly play golf in a Noodle Bowl? Make a trip to the upcoming Mission Hills Fantasy Golf Course at Hainan Island resort. This is a golf course that will have many unique visuals with holes such as the Noodle Bowl. The 16th hole includes a green enclosed within a noodle bowl. The video below includes an animation of the hole.

Check out this previous blog post which includes the Great Wall of China hole. This page provides further details on the golf course.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Short History of Womens' Basketball

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) is a professional basketball league for women. Headquartered in New York, the league exists in the United States and consists of 12 teams in two conferences. The Eastern Conference consists of the Atlanta Dream, Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Indiana Fever, New York Liberty and Washington Mystics. The Western Conference is home to the Los Angeles Sparks, Minnesota Lynx, Phoenix Mercury, San Antonio Silver Stars, Seattle Storm and Tulsa Shock.

History of the League

The WNBA was founded on April 24, 1996. The founding eight teams are the Charlotte Sting, Cleveland Rockers, Houston Comets, New York Liberty, Los Angeles Sparks, Phoenix Mercury, Sacramento Monarchs and Utah Starzz. The teams in Charlotte, Cleveland, Houston and Sacramento later folded while the Utah Starzz relocated to San Antonio in 2003.

In total, there have been 18 WNBA franchise teams.

WNBA Season

The WNBA season begins with training camps in May, followed by a series of preseason exhibition games against other teams. Each team is allowed 11 women on the roster.

The regular season, which runs May to September, consists of 34 games, evenly divided between home and away. A team will play three teams from its conferences four times each for a total of 12 games and the two remaining conference teams five times each for 10 games. The remaining 12 games of the season come from playing six outside conference teams twice. Just like the NBA, each WNBA team will host and play away against every other team at least once over the course of the season.

The postseason begins in late September. Four teams in each conference qualify for the Playoffs. The teams in each conference play each other in a tournament format in a best of three series for the first two rounds of the Playoffs. Once the conference champions have been determined, the WNBA Finals begin. The Finals usually take place in October and is a best of five series.


The WNBA has one league-wide sponsor, Boost Mobile, as of 2011.

Four teams currently have individual sponsorships:
Indiana Fever: Finish Line, Inc.
Seattle Storm: Bing
Tusla Shock: Osage Casino
Washington Mystics: Inova Health System

Top Teams

The Minnesota Lynx are in the WNBA Playoffs for the third straight year in September 2013 after two consecutive appearances in the WNBA finals. The Indiana Fever, the champions of the 2012 season, are also in the playoffs.

Look for the Phoenix Mercury as a team to watch in future years with the addition of college standout Brittney Griner. The Mercury are currently playing in the 2013 WNBA Playoffs.

Betting on the WNBA

While there are not as many people betting on the WNBA as other sports, there is still a market for it, as can be seen here at allpro. One big advantage to betting on the WNBA as opposed to the NBA is the size of the league.

With only 12 teams, it is easier for the bettor to watch the games or teams himself and be familiar with the match-ups and players before placing the bet.

About the author: 

Leslie writes on his own blog about business however his main passion is sports.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Key Training Tips for Cyclists

Cycling is an odd sport, training wise. It’s so energy efficient that the activity itself has little aerobic benefit – so in order to train for it, it becomes necessary to add a large cross training element to the mix.

Respect the core 

The core muscles are the abdominals, laterals, lower back muscles and trapezius. Taken together, these muscle groups hold the whole body together (hence the name “core”). If they are not strong enough, the power held in your leg and arm muscles can never be properly delivered. Sit ups, oblique sit ups and core yoga postures are all excellent ways to increase core strength and unlock leg power.

Get your spine in the right line 

The spine is the central line from which all the major muscles in the body radiate. Cyclists often throw the line of their spin off by having too strong a back and not enough grunt in their abdominal muscles. It’s important to keep the stomach strong enough to counteract the fierce pull of the lower back muscles, which can be extremely developed in cyclists. Simple abdominal strengthening exercises include crunches and leg lifts.

Get into the gym 

Cycling effectively at speed requires large muscles in the shoulders, triceps and quads. Actual cycling will only develop the leg muscles – for the shoulders and triceps, it is necessary to add some extra oomph in the shape of the gym. Shoulder presses, axe man raises and overhead rope and pulley pulls all beef up the key muscles for good cycling in the full range of positions. It is recommended that you also add chest and bicep work into your routine, to counteract the development of the back and tricep muscles.

Test your power

It’s extremely common for cyclists to have more power in one side of their body than the other. You can assess where your power sits by doing some simple exercises. Try hip raises to see whether you hip flexors are working properly – in many cyclists these muscles can be compromise, which ultimately leads to imbalances in the way you ride. Full leg raises can counteract a problem with weak hips: or you can diagnose your weakest hip and work only on that side to bring it back in line with the stronger one.

Sprint training 

Sprint training helps the cyclist make the best use of the explosive power in his or her legs and torso. Ride as hard as you can for as long as you can, then slow all the way down to a creep until you have your breath back. Then do it all again until you have nothing left to give. Be aware that sprint training on a UK road can be quite dangerous, particularly in the dusk or just after dark. If you do get into an accident, and you believe that it was not your fault, you can always contact for the information you need to make a claim.

About the author:

The Author is a fitness expert and a keen cyclist. His personal blog page is visited by more than half a million unique hits every day, and his training tips have been published in some of the most respected fitness magazines and home pages in the UK. He lives in London.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Archived Posts

There are plenty of blog posts on Amateur Golfer. Check through the archives on the right to find previous posts on the blog. Here are a few I've picked out from the archives.

Mountain Golf Courses

Have you ever played golf up a mountain? Probably not, and it should be noted that very few golf courses are actually located on mountains. But then there are a wide variety of great golf courses that still have scenic mountain settings. Those are courses that sit right next to, or within the proximity of, mountain ranges so that they are integral part of the course landscape. These are a few of the more famous mountain golf courses to note...

The First Floating Golf Course

Golf courses up mountains and in deserts are one thing, but now the first floating golf course is to be constructed. It is at the Maldives, a low elevation island chain in the Indian Ocean, that plans have been drafted for a new floating golf course that will be surrounded by sea water. Forget about Pebble Beach, as this will be more than a mere coastal course...

Cold Golf Balls 

When playing in the winter do not expect the ball to travel so far as in the summer. Not only will it rain more during the winter, therefore reducing ball roll, but colder weather will also reduce the distance of the ball further. As a former PGA technical director has stated in his book Dear Frank, “at 40 degrees, the ball will travel about 10 to 12 1/2 yards less than at 90 degrees," Thomas wrote...

Trent Jones Golf Trail 

Robert Trent Jones is a famous golf course designer. The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama is one of the largest golf construction projects attempted. The 11 golf clubs stretch from the Lakewood Golf Club in the south, to the Shoals in the north. In total, the trail extends 384 miles...

Chipping Over Bunkers 

If you're behind a greenside bunker pitching isn't always essential. In actual fact chipping over bunkers can be a more effective alternative. I myself have chipped over bunkers, but you can't be too far away from the green...

Cypress Point Golf Course Slideshow

You might have heard of the Cypress Point golf course, as it's usually ranked within Golf Digest's top 10 U.S. golf courses. This is a coastal course set beside the Pacific Ocean which has some great coastal golf holes. Check out this video which includes a slideshow of the course and its best holes. ..

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Valhalla Golf Club Video

Valhalla Golf Club's golf course is one with a unique design. It includes an alternative fairway par-5, and an island green hole. The golf course has hosted the PGA Championship three times, and one Ryder Cup. This video shows some of the golf course's holes. 

Sunday, November 03, 2013

The Longest Golf Hole in Europe

Majorca, in the Balearic islands, is a great destination for golf. There you can play at a variety of championship golf courses. Among them is the Andratx golf course which has some terrific landscapes, and is adorned with olive groves and almond trees. It has been rated the best golf course in Majorca, and 11th best in Europe.

The golf course also has the longest hole in Europe. The par-5 fifth hole expands some 666 yards from the tee-box to green. Although it includes four alternative tees which can reduce the distance to more like 496.5 yards from the red tees.

The golf hole includes a plateau fairway which falls away to water on the left. A bunker lies between the green and the rest of the fairway. The green is also elevated which further increases the distances required on the hole.

On the left is a map of the hole. Check out the Andratx golf course website for further details.