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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.

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.

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