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Who is golf’s player of the decade??

As I try and think of content for the Clubs Away blog, I want to cover a range of subjects that I think is helpful for golfers and golf fans and something that they might find interesting, creating further informative discussion.

As a PGA Professional and huge golf fan, a subject that has come up in my mind at various times over the year has been the achievements of Rory McIlroy. He has achieved so much over the course of the year, winning the FedEx Cup and The Players Championship topped off with the PGA Tour Player of the Year award to name a few. Even so, with all these amazing achievements he didn’t really feature in any of the major championships with his best finish being tied 8th at the PGA Championship.

I recently watched an interview of Tiger Woods and his opinions of who is the player of the decade, and before he answered I paused the interview to try and think what he would say. There is no doubt Rory has to feature in the top 5 contenders but who would you chose of player of the decade given that there are so many who have achieved so much? Dustin Johnson, Jordan Speith, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka – would you also consider Tiger given his stint out of the game during the decade?

Given he spent most of the time recovering from multiple surgeries I wouldn’t consider Tiger for the award, but I would certainly say that he undoubtedly won the achievement of the decade after winning The Masters in 2019. With that in mind I wrote down the players that I thought should be contenders.

Whilst it’s impossible to not consider the likes of Brooks Koepka and Jordan Speith but When you start looking at the stats it is tough to conclude that anyone other than Rory is the player of the decade, although I’m sure there will be a few people that disagree with me. Brooks and Jordan have both had amazing stints at the top of the game, Brooks major record is just outstanding. But when you ask who the most consistent performer of the decade has been, all the stats point to Rory.

I’ll be honest and say that I find it frustrating watching Rory at times, especially given he ranks right up there in the best ball strikers I have ever seen. The stats would back up that statement ranking number 1 in Strokes Gained of the Tee, Strokes Gained Tee to Green and Strokes Gained Total but in the last few years there has been a standout issue in Rory’s short game. Whilst not there yet, Rory has clearly been working on Pitching, Chipping and Putting and has shown marked improvements in his numbers. With a win already in the 2020 season my excitement for watching the player of the decade is like no other and I predict that we will see Rory win a major in this coming 2020 season.

Image courtesy of New York Times

Are you still searching for the secret that’s holding back your golf game??

When it comes to improving your golf game it can be a minefield deciding how and the best way to go about it. Do you go for private lessons or take the challenge of game improvement yourself? If you go for lessons, then you need to ask yourself what type of coach do you choose? These questions don’t even scratch the surface when it comes to the choices you can make in your quest to improve your golf game. As a teaching PGA Professional of over 15 years, I often see my clients make the same single mistake when it comes to starting to improve their golf game. No matter what standard you are, the starting place for improvement in any golfer always evaluation. 

Now, as you are reading this I’m sure you are thinking, but I already know where I am in each area of my golf game! But do you? I recently ran this experiment with a few of my clients during a game of golf. I would secretly mark down their performance in each of the following areas:

Driving Accuracy
Driving Distance
Approach play
GIR (Greens in Regulation)
Distance Control
Pitching
Chipping 
Bunker Play
Recovery
Putting

After the round we had a debrief of how they played, and I asked them to mark their performance in the above areas out of ten. I then showed my marks and the notes of performance and there was a significant difference between our opinions. When we looked and compared, there was a vast difference of opinion around their short game and putting. After a short conversation and talking through my notes of particular holes where shots were wasted we both agreed they could have saved between 20 to 25 shots in each of their rounds if they improved performance in their short game and putting.  

Now for the interesting part… When I asked my clients how much they practiced short game and putting it wasn’t too much of a surprise to learn that their answers mirrored their performance. Typically practice in their short game would only be practice for 10-15  minutes before they went out to play (generally once a week). In stark comparison they would happily visit the range and practice areas multiple times throughout the week and test their swing on full shots for up to 3 hours per week. By assessing these individuals games, I was able to present to them that they took around 40% of their shots on short game and putting but yet only practiced those elements for 5% of their total practice time.

This is the mistake I see players make time and time again. Every player wants to hit the attractive shots into the green or the long drive but it’s not necessarily where you’ll make the biggest impact on your score. To really accelerate your golf game you must attribute your time in practice to improving the weak areas of your game in proportion to the amount of shots you take during a round of golf. Tour players are masters at this art of time management. In a four hour practice session, 2 hours of that time will be spent on short game as that is where they hit most of their shots. 

Try this exercise before your next round of golf – the results might be very different to how you perceive them.

Is the Golf Course the Perfect Office??

It is extremely common for people to regale stories of important business deals being done whilst on the golf course, and it is widely acknowledged that golf days can be hugely beneficial to bonding within a team of co-workers or with current and future clients. There are huge potential benefits to be had when playing golf, not only to your physical and mental health, but you will also notice it within your social circle, and potential business opportunities. Taking a meeting, or hosting an event, out of the office in the peaceful confines of nature, allows for deeper and more beneficial relationships.

A typical round of golf will take approximately 4-5 hours, this gives you plenty of time to really get to know your playing partners in an space that is comfortable, serene and completely free from the constraints that surround a typical office based meeting. The fresh air and beautiful scenery make for a wonderfully relaxing environment, and the exercise and competitive nature of the game can bring out characteristics that would not surface in a restrictive office setting. Most people while in this state of mind, will be more open to discuss personal matters, quickly moving past small talk and any barriers they may have subconsciously or unconsciously raised. This makes it the perfect environment to really get to know your client, understand their wants and needs, and allows you to foster trust and subsequently build a long-lasting more fruitful relationship. 

Team Building and Bonding

As mentioned previously, the hours spent engulfed in nature can really help new and existing relationships to flourish. This can be helpful from a purely sales and business perspective, but it can also be invaluable when it comes to team building and nurturing friendships both new and old. Staff well-being and happiness is incredibly important in today’s world, and it is widely acknowledged that a team with a strong bond produces much better results. A team golf day can be a huge step forward in building the necessary connections needed to establish the values that are essential for a team to be truly successful. People will get to know each other better in a fun, relaxed setting that will encourage them to let their guard down and be comfortable being themselves. They will also awaken their competitive edge, and test themselves in an environment completely different to that of the generic office. This could lead to people playing together of their own accord in the future, better relationships at work and general good feeling amongst staff, all of which are key contributors to building a happy and successful work environment. Of course this all applies to clients as well as colleagues, and it is a well-established fact that ‘people buy from people’. Getting to know someone on a personal level and building deeper connections will ensure you are at the forefront of their mind when the next business opportunity arises. 

A True Test of Character

Anyone who has played golf before will testify to the fact that it provides a stern test of skill, character and self-control. What better way than to really understand someone’s character, whether they be a colleague, business partner or client than to play what is widely regarded as one of the most challenging sports available. 

Golf can be incredibly frustrating as it is you and only you that can take responsibility for how you play. One minute you flush a drive down the fairway and feel like Tiger Woods at his peak, the next you hook the ball out of bounds and feel like giving up entirely. The up and down nature of golf really highlights how people manage their temper, deal with situations not going their way and can also be an accurate representation of their honesty. 

Often you will see people on the golf course cursing, throwing tantrums and sometimes even clubs! How your clients and partners control themselves when they inevitably hit a bad shot can be a real eye opener to their personality and particularly their susceptibility to crack under pressure. These situations can provide more insight than years of working alongside one another or having meetings in a controlled environment where the boundaries are already well established and easier to stay within. Golf is a sport played wholly on trust with ample opportunity to cheat should someone be so inclined. Whether it be moving your ball out of a bad lie, dropping another ball when yours is lost or simply ‘miscounting’ shots it is another useful insight into someone’s character. Through observation you will be able to tell a lot about your playing partners’ integrity and sportsmanship and it may reveal some key things about them that you may want to bear in mind before entering into a business relationship. It is also worth remembering that you will be under scrutiny as well and your conduct on the course is a strong representation of how you handle yourself outside of a work environment.

If you would like to find out more about the golf holidays and events we offer, you can contact us here.

Play Some of the Best Courses in the World?

Following the recent launch our innovative golf simulator, we wanted to give you a deeper insight into this fascinating concept, and let you know how it can be a real game changer when it comes to planning corporate golfing events.

What is the golf simulator?

The Clubs Away golf simulator is the perfect way to obtain a realistic golfing experience, whilst in an indoor environment. It is powered by Trackman, which is an intelligent state-of-the-art tracking software that enables you to gather data on your individual performance.

Recreate the physical motion and challenges of an outdoor game of golf, with stunning real-life, immersive graphics, in an indoor environment.

How our clients have already benefited

Bring your ‘A-game’ to the table with a golf simulator package from Clubs Away. From adding a little competitive atmosphere to corporate parties, to playing a couple of rounds of golf on your exhibition stand, we can create the perfect round to suit your requirements. Here are just a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing.

Corporate parties

Create engaging social events from the comfort of your own club or hired space. Whether your guests are keen, experienced golfers, or just want to give it a go, the golf simulator is perfect for all abilities. With one of our PGA Pros on hand throughout the event, they will certainly give you added value with their expert knowledge and tips.

Exhibitions

Are you bored of having the same old exhibition stand, with the usual branding and promotional materials like pens to hand out to prospective clients? Here is where our golf simulator really makes a difference. As well as providing an interactive opportunity, our simulator will help break the ice with your customers and get them on side nice and quickly.

Product launches and seminars

By using a golf simulator for your launch event, you will create a product launch that will be memorable. Add a little ‘buzz’ to the room and provide an opportunity for your guests to really get to know you and your business.

The world’s best courses at your fingertips

By combining our golf simulator with Trackman, we enable you to play at some of the finest golf courses across the world, all from the comfort of your room or office. This truly is an out-of-this-world experience, which couldn’t be closer to the real thing. Engineered on one of the most powerful gaming platforms there is, the 3D graphics for each course are not only visually stunning, but extremely realistic too.

Here are some of the courses that you can experience for yourself using the golf simulator (many, many more are also available):

  1. Albany GC (Bahamas)

With a 4/5 difficulty, this championship course is set in the stunning Bahamas and ranks as one of the best courses in the Caribbean. It is home to one of the top PGA Tour tournaments and includes some strategically challenging water features for that extra difficulty level.

  1. Olympic Golf Course (Rio)

What more can be said about this Olympic venue?! Located within the Marapendi Natural Reserve, this newly built course was created solely for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Experience one of the most famous courses in the world, without having to travel anywhere.

  1. PGA National (Palm Beach)


Located within the stunning Palm Beach Gardens in Florida, this club is the home of the PGA of America. Play where the best have played, and soak up the beautiful backdrop too. Don’t forget to watch out for the iconic three-hole stretch Bear Trap.

  1. The Grove (Hertfordshire)

Bringing it back to the UK, you can also play on one of the finest championship golf courses, where the 2016 British Masters were hosted. Combining great golfing traditions with the need for modern gaming techniques, this course really will get you thinking.

  1. Shelter Harbor (Rhode Islands)

Another dreamy American golf course to tackle, Shelter Harbor contains some challenging approach shots as well as some wide fairways for the less experienced players. Do look out for the rustic bunkers and the velvet bentgrass on this course – a couple of super visuals.

Used by the very best

One very important feature of the Trackman is that the software is used by many PGA Pros across the world, enabling you to join leading coaches and players and gain valuable insights into your golfing techniques.

Trackman is always on tour, meaning that pro players are continually sending feedback. This ensures the tracking and insights are always accurate and up-to-date, giving you the opportunity to fully understand how you can improve upon your skills.

For further information on our golf simulator packages, or to gain more of an insight into how the Trackman analysis software works, please do not hesitate to contact us. Here at Clubs Away we are always looking at innovative ways that we can make a difference to your business. The golf simulator is just the beginning… watch this space for more exciting things to come!

The Health Benefits of Golf?

To the layman, golf is still often viewed as an ‘elderly person’ sport that is certainly not physical and, to some, would not even be viewed as a legitimate ‘sport’. This is of course a myth, as anyone who plays the game would testify to. Whilst golf may not carry with it the same physical exertion of some higher-impact sports, it is a lot more physical than may first seem apparent, and can actually be a key contributor to weight loss, longer living and improved mental well-being.

The average golfer has a club speed of 93mph. This is incredibly powerful, and many people often don’t realise is how explosive a sport golf really is. In order to generate these kinds of club speeds, the player must use several different muscles to great effect, especially if they want to hit it straight, with impeccable timing. Another factor that people often don’t take into account is the distance covered when playing a round of golf, the average course is 6500 yards which equates to approximately 4 miles of walking, often with a bag of clubs and balls on your back. When you consider these aspects, coupled with being entrenched in nature for 4-5 hours, breathing in fresh air and feeling relaxed it should come as no surprise that golf actually has some pretty significant health benefits. 

Calorie Burn/Weight Loss

As mentioned previously the average golf course is approximately 4 miles, however most people do not walk in a straight line when playing, they may also deviate from the route to look for their own, or help others, look for their ball. There may be a big distance between tees. This means that the average distance covered during a round of golf will probably more likely be around 6 miles. According to Golf Digest magazine, ‘fitness experts estimate you’ll burn roughly 1,500 calories during a four-hour round’ means the average golfer burns around 1,400 calories per round.[1]’ Regularly walking this distance and burning so many calories will help reduce the risk of heart disease whilst significantly aiding weight loss. Paired with a healthy lifestyle some studies say that golfers can expect to add 5 years to their life expectancy.

Low Risk of Injury

Whilst golf is hugely beneficial to an individual’s physical state, it is not a high-impact sport like tennis or football that carry a much higher risk of injury, especially as people may get into their later years and find they are unable to run or twist like they used to. 

Of course, people may suffer the odd sprain, or twist in a muscle, but as the golfer is in charge of the intensity of their swing, it is often easily managed and can be prevented before it becomes a real issue. 

Mental Health

Golf is an extremely social sport, each game typically taking 4-5 hours to complete, giving you plenty of time to talk during the round, unlike most other sports which do not involve discussion during the game. Most people will have a social circle that they play golf with, and will develop friendships with people at their local club. This can have a hugely beneficial impact on mental health, especially for retirees who may otherwise be lonely and subsequently suffer from anxiety or depression, common among the elderly who may have lost touch with their old social circles. 

Golf is easy to learn but incredibly hard to master. It involves full concentration during shots and often careful course planning in between. It is therefore extremely mentally challenging, both in terms of concentration and, due to its difficult nature, a good test of their temperament. Much like meditation, it requires the person playing to be completely present, and rid themselves of any negative thoughts, as they must focus to play well. 

Another key factor to consider is the unquantifiable, but undeniable, health benefit of being surrounded by nature, inhaling fresh air and being surrounded by greenery. With courses all over the world in incredibly picturesque destinations, people can enjoy this sport surrounded by truly breathtaking scenery. According to Harvard Health, ‘research in a growing scientific field called ecotherapy has shown a strong connection between time spent in nature and reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.[2]’ 

It is fairly easy to see how beneficial golf can be to both your physical health and your emotional and psychological wellbeing. Here is a therapy that has no known side-effects and is readily available to all who want to partake in it. If you hadn’t realised the far reaching benefits of golf before now, we hope this article encourages you to grab your clubs and get out onto your nearest course. 

Sources:

  1.  https://www.golfdigest.com/story/do-the-walk-of-life accessed 5/12/2019
  2.  https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/sour-mood-getting-you-down-get-back-to-nature accessed 5/12/2019
Importance of Branding Your Golf Day?

Whether you’re looking to improve business opportunities, open sales opportunities or increase brand exposure, you may well want to consider a fully branded corporate golfing event. Here at Clubs Away we don’t just organise the finest golfing events and holidays for our business clients, we also provide a full branding service to accompany it. No idea is too outrageous – our creative team will work closely with you to make the biggest impact at your event. Whether you want some prizes to give away to your guests or useful golfing equipment they can use as they play, we can provide it.

Why is branding so important

Apart from your website, branding is one of the first things that your potential customers will see. It’s your chance to get across the message behind your company and make the best first impression. Branding helps set you apart from your competitors and it represents your business. It’s also a great way to get that initial connection with your customers, particularly if your strapline is an emotive one.

Branding your golfing event

Let Clubs Away help to increase your brand exposure with an innovatively created event, coupled with fantastic branding to help showcase your business. Our design team are on hand to help create a whole host of branded products, from the initial RSVP through to trophies to present at the final awards. 

Branding is something that should be taken very seriously when planning a golfing event. You should portray a consistent brand message, so that your guests are gently prompted by it at every possible opportunity. It isn’t just about the logo either. Our expert creative team will work closely with you to ensure your brand elements all come together for the final event.

Welcome your customer

From baseball caps to polo shirts with bespoke embroidery, bag tags and zipped sweaters, we can ensure your customers feel welcome and part of the event upon arrival. For something a little different, we’ve also created a Gift Box which contains a sleeve of Callaway balls, a pitchfix and a ball marker. Or a more cost-effective alternative is the three-ball Callaway tin, which comes complete with a ball marker.

Play your game

We don’t just brand standard golf balls at Clubs Away, we offer the very best Titleist & Taylor Made golf balls. Giving you the extra edge on the course! We can also supply branded pencils, tees, scorecard holders, cap clips, resin markers and golf gloves made from the finest quality cabretta leather. If you want something your guests can take away with them after the game, you may want to consider branded micro-velour towels or tour umbrellas to prevent the rain from stopping play.

Dress your venue

Your brand needs to be on show from the second your guests step foot into the venue. They need to associate your golfing event with your business from the get-go; even a bespoke VIP invite with the itinerary listed will make your event feel more exclusive. Pull-up and pop-up banners are a great way to showcase information to your guests and give them an insight into the products and services your business has to offer. Place them where your guests are likely to congregate, and you may even find your banners appear as a backdrop to some photos taken on the day! Gazebos are also a very versatile way to highlight your brand and are the perfect place to serve refreshments to your guests.

Reward your winners

Leaving your guests with a memento of your event is the best way to keep your business in the forefront of their mind. Why not supply the winner with a branded holdall that they can use time and time again? Not only will it remind them of your event, but they can become brand ambassadors for you, showing off your logo wherever they travel.

Or for the winner who has everything, think outside of the box a little with a branded shoe bag. They won’t know what they did without one!

Make the best first impression

We have only included a handful of products that we have branded for our clients in the past, and are always looking for innovative ways to showcase your business. No idea is too challenging for our creative team. Our PGA Pros have years of experience when it comes to event planning, and a thorough insight into branded materials that regularly feature. So whether you’re looking for something a little different, or want to stick to the usual promotional items, we can help make the difference at your event.

To get started on planning your corporate golfing event and complimentary branding today, please contact our expert team who will be able to get you started.

Want to make your event extra special? Then hire a golf simulator!?

So, you’re in the process of planning an event. But rather than the bog-standard, networking event where the focus is on small talk and converting your guests into clients, you want to add something a little ‘extra’. Introducing the golfing simulator. The perfect solution to your needs.

What is a golf simulator?

The golf simulator is an innovative system, allowing for interaction on a virtual golf course, whilst providing a realistic setting. Powered by Trackman, the ultimate golfing analysis system, you are able to fully analyse your game, allowing you to jump ahead of the competition. This leading performance-enhancing software is brought together by leading GPA pros and coaches within the industry, giving you the very best insight into your golfing performance.

The golf simulator is ideal for corporate parties, exhibitions, product launches and seminars. It helps you to interact easily with your guests and provides a memorable occasion. With some of the world’s finest golf courses available at the touch of a button, wow your guests with this immersive experience.

What hiring a simulator can achieve

At Clubs Away, our expert team of golf event coordinators are focused on getting you the most out of your event. Whatever your objective, we will work closely with you to utilise the event to drive your business performance and set you on the right track for success.

We work with you to build a bespoke brief, creating a tailored golfing experience that not only showcases your brand, but delivers optimum return. Our Power of Play ethos is the essential ingredient of success. By adding a golfing simulator to your event, you will quickly break down barriers in customer relationships, opening up more business opportunities.

Providing a more relaxed atmosphere within which you can talk business is just one of the many benefits of a golf simulator. Here are a few more ways they can make your event a success:

If your team is lacking a little inspiration, why not jazz things up by taking them on a golf simulator day? Find out their true competitive streak and really get to know your colleagues within a fun, relaxed atmosphere. With the Trackman software included as standard, you can set a range of targets from ball speed to smash factor, to bring out their competitive side.

Every event planned with our Pro team is tailored to your specific outcomes. If team building is more important than sealing a deal, our experts will guide you through the best way to achieve this with a golf simulator event. With the Power of Play, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to bond with your colleagues over a game of golf.

Golf simulator days are an excellent addition to any charity fundraising event. We always advise that you have key targets and goals in mind before commencing a charity fundraiser, so that your event will have the maximum impact. With a golf simulator as a unique focal point, you will draw in the crowds and set yourself on the right track for raising thousands.

By creating an event that is specifically tailored to help you reach commercial outcomes, and therefore aligning the event to your business goals, the outcome will be much more successful. Whether you’re launching a new product range and require additional branding, or simply want to leave a lasting impact on your guests, Clubs Away can make a difference.

Choosing Clubs Away

So you’ve come the conclusion that including a golf simulator within your corporate event is really going to make the impact you desire. Now you have the decision about which company to go with. Of course, Clubs Away should be your first choice, but here are a few things that set us apart from the competition:

  1. PGA professionals are included within the hire of the simulator. They are professionals in their field for a reason, and are there to give you tips and advice throughout the event, helping to ensure your day runs as smoothly as possible.
  2. Our world-class simulator provides realistic conditions, based on some of the finest golf courses in the world. Using Trackman technology, the best performance-enhancing software in the industry, results are as close to the real deal as possible.
  3. You can play a variety of games all at the touch of a button, from a full round of golf to driving challenges. No need for trekking miles from one to the other across the greens, this simulator provides fast and thrilling games with picturesque settings.
  4. The golf simulator is nice and compact, easily fitting into a 6m x 3m x 6m space, making it ideal for both indoor and outdoor events.
  5. Bespoke company or event branding can be applied to a range of products to really help bring your event together. From golf balls to tour umbrellas, tees and resin markers – you think of it, we can design it!
  6. Fast install by our expert team of pros. The golf simulator only takes 2 hours to install and dismantle, and we can build the system to fit around your busy schedule.

If you have any further questions on the golf simulator, please feel free to contact us today and one of our expert team will be on hand to assist you.

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