Sunday, December 30, 2012

Magnetic Golf Hat

A few days back I unwrapped a golf hat. This was a Titleist golf hat that had one notable addition that most likely do not include.  A magnetic ball marker came included with it. At the front right of the golf hat there is a magnetic field. With this magnetic field you can stick golf ball markers of various shapes and sizes so long as they are magnetic. You can even stick coins to the hat as well!

With a magnetic golf hat such as this you won't lose your ball markers. With those you can mark your ball on the putting green, and lift it up if required. If your ball has accumulated mud from the course it can then be wiped, and placed back down where you left the ball marker.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The highest Golf Course... anywhere!

Apparently there was a golf course at Tuctu that rised some 14,000 feet above the sea. That's some altitude, and needless to say it was the highest golf course with fairways that flirted with the clouds. However, now that it has been abandoned since the '90s, with the former course overgrown with vegetation and weeds other mountainous courses lay claim to the highest golf course altitude record.

In the USA you can sure find some of the highest courses. Take a trip to Colorado which includes a few that rise over 9, 000ft, such as the The Lodge Resort at Cloudcroft. Whilst they certainly set the records in the USA, a higher altitude golf course can be found in Bolivia.

That golf course is La Paz at the Valle de la Luna. This golf course rises some 10,695 ft which is the record altitude. From the gold tees it is approximately 6,771 yards. Here you can play golf over eroded sandstone mountains which have left a flatter landscape for the course itself.

It is indeed unique terrain, and the course has some interesting holes. When you make it to the 12th you'll find an island hole and cross two bridges en route to the tee box. From here the ball will travel over rocky outcrops before landing on a flatter fairway.

One thing you can sure of at this golf course is that your ball will travel further. That's because your golf balls go that much further when playing at higher altitude courses. At Le Paz you could expect an additional 20% more distance, that's 20 more yards for every 100. Thus mountain courses are in fact somewhat shorter than their yardage charts may suggest.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Xmas Golf Game

I have my own Christmas gift for the thousands that flock to this blog. Check out this link for an Xmas golf game. Leave some of your scores at the bottom of the post.  Merry Christmas! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Browsing the Archives

Today there are hundreds of posts on Amateur Golfer. So, I've selected a few notable blog posts from the blog's archives. Check out some of the following:

Golf Stats for the Golf Course: 

This blog post includes some golf stats for course. Stats such as stroke average, putting average etc.

Ryder Cup of Amateur Golf: 

As a team based golf championship the Walker Cup is similar to the Ryder Cup. The Ryder Cup of Amateur Golf post covers the Walker Cup championship.

Golf at the Olympics:

A brief blog post about Olympic golf championships. Only a few championships have been played at the Olympics, but golf will return.

Cypress Point Golf Slideshow: 

Check out this post for a great course video. The video includes a photo slideshow for the Cypress Point golf course.

T - Rex at St Andrew's Old Course: 

Believe it or not a T - Rex was discovered. This blog post includes a remarkable photo of a T - Rex at the St Andrew's Old Course. Add it to your desktop wallpaper.

Great Mackenzie Golf Courses: 

Mackenzie has some great golf courses from Georgia to California. Among them the Augusta championship course. This blog post covers some of Mackenize's more famous courses in the United States and beyond.

The Ideal Half-set of Golf Clubs: 

Check out this post for some golf club selection suggestions. It includes details for golf half-sets, and which seven or eight clubs should be included in your bag.

Those are just a few from the archives. The links included above will take you to the posts. Browse the blog archive on the right, below the article links, for additional posts on Amateur Golfer.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Video tour of the PGA Golf de Catalunya Stadium course

Today I've dug up a video tour of the classy PGA Golf de Catalunya Stadium golf course. As you may recall this was ranked within the top 10 European golf courses beyond the United Kingdom, and has a variety of lakes which are combined with the course holes. This golf course stretches approximately 6, 588 yards from the white tees. 

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Battles of Pacific War blog

Battles of the Pacific War blog is another of my blogs included on the links to the right. This is the blog for my book Battles of the Pacific War 1941 - 1945. Here you can find all the details on my book, which alas has absolutely nothing to do with golf! The blog includes colour video footage from the Pacific War and some photography from the Pacific, alongside further details for the book. If you have any questions about the book you can put them on that blog, or at the end of this post. So why not check the blog out?

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Europe's top 10 golf courses beyond Great Britain

Today I found interesting course rankings from Golf World Magazine. Golf World Magazine's top 100 courses in Europe ranks those within mainland Europe, leaving out those in Britain & Ireland. The top 10 of the rankings are as follows:

1. Les Bordes Golf Club
2. Golf de Morfontaine
3. Royal Hague Golf & CC
4. Royal Zoute Golf Club
5. Le Golf National
6. Valderrama Golf Club
7. Kennemer Golf & Country Club
8. PGA Golf de Catalunya
9. Noordwijkse Golf Club
10. Bro Hof Slott Golf Club

And so it is Les Bordes Golf Club that is the top course for continental Europe. Not a golf course that I've heard much about, but it's a large one that stretches approximately 7,000 yards. The course is set in the forests of Sologne, in France, alongside the River Loire. As such, this golf course's holes are combined with both water and the birch forest.

A number of other French golf courses are included on the list. Among them the Le Golf National which is a future venue for the Ryder Cup, and the Golf de Morfontaine is another of France's gems which ranks in at second. Both climb above more famous courses such as the great Valderrama Golf Club, a golfing mecca that has formerly hosted the Ryder Cup. Set alongside the Pyrenees, on the eastern Spanish coastline, is the PGA Catalunya Golf Course which is another PGA Tour course in Spain ranked among the top 10.

I'm not sure how many of these courses are public ones, but if membership is not required they are certainly worth noting for a golfing vacation in Spain and France. Check out the Planet Golf site for the full rankings of Europe's finest courses. Additional Golf Digest course rankings for the USA can be found in previous posts on this blog.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Siminole Lake Country Club

The Siminole Lake Country Club, located at Juno Beach, is Golf Digest's top ranked golf course in Florida. It's ranked higher than the famed TPC Sawgrass Players Stadium course. This is a 6,500 yard golf course with an abundance of wildlife. Check out this tour of one of Florida's hottest golf courses.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Great US Golf Courses

There are some great golf courses in America, either private or public venues. Generally, they are regarded as some of the best golf courses you will find. So, here are a few of some of America's finest golf courses.


The Augusta golf course hosts the Masters golf championship each golf season. So undoubtedly, the Augusta course is a very hard championship golf course with some particularly notable holes. Hole twelve is one of the most notable holes on the course, known as Rae's Creek, where the creek passes by in front of the green and includes Ben Hogan's bridge crossing. Augusta is a scenic golf course with slick and fast greens. However, few actually play on this fine course largely reserved for the Masters golf championship.

Pebble Beach Golf Links

Pebble Beach, in California, is a golf course that plays alongside the Pacific Ocean. It is a par 72 golf course, approximately 6,828 yards overall. While Pebble Beach is a championship calibre golf course that has hosted US Opens, it is also open to public play. Many of the course's holes run along the Monetary coast line, with views of the ocean, and are susceptible to prevailing winds. Signature holes on the golf course include the seventh and eight holes. The eighth 416 yard par 4 hole includes an elevated landing area on a cliff above the green. While the 7th hole is the shortest on the course, at a little over 100 yards, the hole has a cliff-side green.

Pine Valley 

The golf course of Pine Valley is regarded as one of America's best courses. Overall, the course is a par 70 at 7,000 yards in length. Set in hundreds of acres of virgin woodland, the course is also one the trickiest. It is a golf course which has a fine collection of par 3 and par 5 golf holes, and a particularly notable 18th hole.

Cypress Point

Cypress Point's golf course is another fine course located at Pebble Beach, California. Like Pebble Beach links, it has some holes along the Pacific coast such as the 231 yard 16th hole which plays over the ocean. The first nine holes of the course run through the Del Monte forest, while the latter holes run out along the rocky Pacific coastline. Overall, it is regarded as one of America's best courses.


Oakmont is one of the more historic golf courses. Overall, it dates back to 1903 and has hosted a number of Major championships, including eight US Opens and three PGA Championships. It's a tricky golf course, with hard and slick greens, narrow fairways and a variety of deep bunkers. Notable holes include the third, which has church pew bunkers on the left and deep bunkers on the right side of the fairway, and the 1st long par 4 hole.

These are four great American golf courses. The Augusta and Pebble Beach courses are two fine courses that have hosted major championships, while Pine Valley and Cypress Point have some of the best finishing holes.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

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.

To chip over a bunker you should be very close to the greenside bunker. The closer you are the closer you'll be to green, and thus the ball will more likely make it over the bunker and land on the green. If you're more than 10 yards behind the bunker then it's best not to chip over.

In addition to this, the greenside bunker itself has to be a small one. A small greenside bunker should leave only a few yards for your chip to clear, preferably between five or ten yards. The bunker should also be a shallow one.

You'll also need to select a suitable club for the chip. The wedges are the most suitable clubs for the the bunker chip, because they have the most loft to provide the carry over the bunker. The sand and loft wedge could be the most suitable if you require minimal roll on the green. If more roll is needed a pitching wedge could be more effective. But the most essential thing is that the ball makes the green.

The advantage of greenside chips are that they can be more accurate. But then of course, if they don't make it over the bunker the sand wedge will be required. Check out the YouTube video for further details.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Golf Courses in Arizona

Arizona is not just deserts, canyons, and mountains. In fact, Arizona is also a great destination in the US to play golf. Some of America's best nationally recognized golf courses can be found in Arizona. These are a few of the more notable nationally recognized golf courses which have been highly ranked by golfing magazines.

Troon North Golf Club

The New Pinnacle course at Troon North Golf Club is one that has now established itself as the best golf course in Arizona. This is desert golf at its finest, with a golf course littered with cactus plants alongside the natural ravines and foothills of the Sonaran desert. New Pinnacle's sister golf course Troon North Monument is also a highly rated golf course in Arizona.

The Stadium Course

The Stadium Course at the TPC Scottsdale is perhaps one of the most famous golf courses in Arizona. The Stadium Course is a championship calibre course, and venue of the PGA Tour, that hosts the FBR Open which is one of the oldest golf championships. This golf championship has some great turn-outs, and many of the games great players have played in it at the Stadium Course. This course also has some famous holes, such as the 16th Coliseum hole, which is a closed in hole surrounded by spectators.   On this hole Woods hit a famous hole-in-one early in his pro golfing career.

Arizona National Golf Club

Arizona National Golf Club has perhaps the best golf course in Tucson, and one of the best in Arizona. This Trent Jones designed desert course is set in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains and has some great scenery along its 6,735 yards. As such, it has been rated as one of the top 100 golf courses in the USA.

Wee-Ko-Pa Golf Club

Wee-Ko-Pa has two great nationally recognized golf courses. These are the Cholla and Suagaro golf courses set in unspoiled Sonaran desert. These are two golf courses which have plenty of yardage, with holes up to and eclipsing 600 yards in distance. Both are considered to be among the best public golf courses in Arizona, and also the USA.

Grayhawks Golf Club

The Grayhawks Golf Club includes the two nationally recognized golf courses of Talon and Raptor. Both golf courses have become established as PGA Tour venues, having hosted championships such as Frys.Com Open, Williams World Challenge, and Accenture Match Play Championship.  They are two championship golf courses that have great views of the McDowell Mountains and the distant Phoenix skyline. As such, the courses are also rated among the best daily-fee courses in Arizona.

These are a few of the nationally recognized golf courses in Arizona. They are top-class venues for golf set among the deserts and mountains of Arizona, and some are also public courses, as well as venues for the PGA Tour.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Golf Forums

There are a variety of golf forums on which you can post. On golf forums you can post to topics on the forum, or even begin your own golf topics. Usually you have to register on the forum before you can begin posting.  Most are included on golf websites, and these are a few golf forums to note.

Golf Monthly
ShotTalk Golf Community
Golf WRX
Golf Magic 

Those are just a few of the forums that you can check out. Input the keyword 'golf forums' for more.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

A Brief Guide to the Wedges

The wedges are a group of iron clubs which have the highest lofts. They are fairly essential golf clubs to have in your bag, so you'll need to bring at least one of them out on to the course with you. Overall, there are four primary wedge clubs which are ideal for short play.

The Sand Wedge 

The sand wedge is the wedge for playing out of bunkers. It's the best club green side bunkers at least, although in fairway bunkers club selection can be more variable. This wedge has plenty of loft, and in that respect is only eclipsed by the lob wedge. For shorter distance pitching and chipping out of longer grass this can also be a very effective club.

The Lob Wedge

This wedge has more loft than any alternative club in your bag. As such, with this club you can get the ball over almost anything on the course with a precise pitch. The club has a short carry distance, suitable for anything within about 50 yards of the flag. Don't select this club if you're further than 50 yards or so.

The Pitching Wedge

The pitching wedge is the wedge with the least loft. As such, this makes it ideal if you're too far off the green for a chip, but too close for a 9-iron. To be more specific 50-100 yards from the flag. It can also be an alternative club for green side bunkers.

The Gap Wedge

The gap wedge is one of the newer wedges which provides an additional wedge for club selection. Not the most essential wedge in the bag perhaps with more loft than the pitching wedge, but less than a sand wedge. Its average distance is also less than the pitch wedge, but more than a standard sand wedge. As such, the gap wedge fills the void between those wedges.

Any of these clubs are suitable for pitching and shorter distance chipping from around the green. Make sure that you have a few in your bag when on the golf course.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Cape Kidnappers Golf Course

Cape Kidnappers is a golf course located in New Zealand's Hawke's Bay on the east coast which extends some  7,119 yards. It's another golf course that has some fantastic coastal landscapes, and  is ranked among the best golf courses beyond the States. Check out this Cape Kidnapper video for a great overview of this course. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

When the Summer Ends

When the summer ends expect golf courses to be wetter than usual. This will ensure an accumulation of casual water on the course, soaking your balls and reducing their roll. Less roll equates to less distance, so consider some of the following suggestions.

Forget about longer distance chipping. Longer distance chips, otherwise bump-and-runs, rely on more extensive ball roll for the ball to reach the flag. In which case, on a water soaked course, your chip may not even make it to the green. Revert to pitching when required.

In much the same way the Texas Wedge putt will not be so effective either. In sunny Texas this could get you close to the hole from some distance, but when the rains left puddles it's usually best to leave the putter in the bag if you're off the green. Chipping is usually the better alternative. However, if you're still very close to the green it could still come off.

Select longer clubs than usual. For example, a chip that may require a sand wedge on a dry course could require something more like a 9-iron for the same distance on wet courses. In addition to this you should select longer irons on the fairway to provide some more roll for the ball.

If your ball lands in a puddle, otherwise casual water, remember that you do not have to leave the ball there. You can drop the ball out of the puddle without having to add a stroke. Just make sure that you drop the ball a little behind the puddle and not ahead of it. Never drop balls ahead of the original position.

On the green a little more pace will be required for your putts. Up the pace a little more than usual with firmer putting. But even on a wet green you can still over hit putts.

Wash your golf clubs when you can. They'll be more muddy than on dry courses, but can be rinsed down in deeper puddles on the courses. At the least you should rub your clubs down with a towel, or if nothing else your jumper to remove some of the mud from the club heads.

Those are just a few suggestions for wet golf courses. Check out this page for further details.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Great Public Golf Courses

You have to be a member to play at a private golf course. Such golf courses can have membership fees running into thousands of dollars, so for the casual golfer are not the best option. However, public golf courses do not require club membership to play on them, although they will likely still include membership packages. So, here are a few recommended public golf courses.

Pebble Beach Links

Pebble Beach Links is regarded as one of the best golf courses, and has hosted a number of top golf tournaments such as the US Open on five occasions. The best bit is that as a golf resort course it is open to the public, although admittedly has a high green fee approaching $300 dollars a round. Still, it is a great golf course that plays alongside the Pacific Ocean. Including some fantastic holes and setting, it can make for a great golfing vacation.

BethPage Statepark Black Course

Also featuring high on Golf Digest's top public golf courses is that of BethPage Black. This golf course played host to the 2009 US Open, and so is undoubtedly a tricky golf course. Although perhaps not ideal for beginner golfers, BethPage Black golf course is much more affordable than the likes of Pebble Beach with green fees ranging from $60 - $120.

The Ocean Course

The Ocean Course is the jewel in the crown of the Kiawah Island Golf resort. It is similar to Pebble Beach, in respect of its coastal setting, but is alongside the Atlantic shoreline. The course includes some great views of the Atlantic shoreline, although prevailing Atlantic winds can always impact a round at the Ocean Course. Notable golf tournaments such as the 1991 Ryder Cup have also been staged at the Ocean Course, as well as the World Cup of Golf.

Old Course at St Andrews

The Old Course of St Andrews is a great links course with a fine history. It is also a public venue for public golf, and so is recommended. The home of golf has played host to a number of UK Open tournaments, and has some great holes such as the road hole which is a long par 4, and the 11th par 3 hole. While the course is closed on Sundays, you can play it most other days providing there is no championships being played on it.

Kape Kidnappers

Kape Kidnapper's golf course in New Zealand is a golfing marvel. This golf course is a sea-side golf course, set alongside Hawke's Bay. Surrounding the golf course are 600ft cliffs that plunge into the sea, with some cliff-side greens for good measure. Course designer Tom Doak has said of Kape Kidnappers:

“Our goal in designing golf courses is to create interesting holes you wouldn't find anywhere else. That wasn't hard to do at Cape Kidnappers, because the site is not like anywhere else in golf.”

So overall, Kape Kidnappers is a spectacular public golf course and resort. The golf course has been ranked as one of the world's top golf courses by publications such as Golf Magazine. Admittedly, green fees are almost as steep as the cliffs at Kape Kidnappers, but it is a recommended public golf course.

So, these are five recommended public golf courses. The golf courses of Pebble Beach Links, Kape Kidnappers, St Andrews Old Course, BethPage Black, and the Ocean Course of Kiawah Island are all excellent public golf courses and resorts that have variable green fees.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Red, White and Yellow Stakes

If you've played a few courses, you'll probably have noticed a few multi-colored stakes on some of their holes. These are usually wooden stakes, located around lakes, near to fences or other parts of a hole some way to the left or the right of the fairway. This is what the stakes are highlighting.

Red Stakes

The red stakes will be located alongside lateral water, such as a meandering stream, which may be running along the side of a hole. If your ball lands in one of these, then you've probably lost it if the stream is full of water. During the summer months streams might not be full of water, and you may still be able to find your ball to play out. However, if not then you'll have to drop you ball within a couple of club lengths behind one of the red stakes nearest to the point where you ball fell in the water.

White Stakes

White stakes are something else, and highlight those points of a golf course which are out of bounds. If you find that your ball has landed beyond a series of white stakes, possibly 25 yards apart, then it's gone out of bounds. In which case you'll have to pick your ball up, if you can find it, and go back to the approximate spot where you made the previous out-of-bound shot to drop ball. As a tip, you might want to leave a tee-marker at the original spot before searching for the ball if it may have gone out-of-bounds. Add an extra number to your scorecard and proceed.

Yellow Stakes 

Thirdly, there are also yellow stakes which will most likely be located around golf course lakes or smaller ponds. They're pretty similar to the red stakes, except that the lake or pond is not lateral. As such, if your ball lands in the water here you'll just have to drop the ball a little behind one of the yellow stakes closest to where you ball landed in the water. And of course, add a penalty stroke as well.

So, when on the course you should drop replacement balls close to these stakes if your ball goes in the water. Drop the balls a little behind them, no nearer to the hole where the ball originally landed. Or alternatively, return to the point where you made the original shot if the ball is out-of-bounds.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

When the Golf Season Ends

November means the main golf season is all but over. However, that does not mean that all golf courses close, and so golfing can continue during the off-season. So, why not?

Certainly, the climate will drop a few degrees as winter sets in. But in certain parts of the US you can certainly expect mild climates to remain in those southern US states such as Florida, Arizona etc. Beyond winter, as spring emerges you can expect milder climates still before the golf season really begins.

However, playing golf in colder weather may still require warmer clothing. A good golf jumper should be okay. In addition to this, vests, gloves, and woolly hats are recommended. In addition to this, a Thermos flask with tea or cocoa will also be worth taking onto the golf course.

You can also expect that golf course conditions will likely be wetter. That is to say, with annual precipitation greater beyond summer and during the winter months. If the weather is colder still, frost can also make golf courses damp. Damp golf courses will mean that the ball will not roll as far, and so in this respect less distance. For putting, putts can be under-hit and missed on damp greens.

The chances of downpours may also be greater off-season. In this respect, if it starts to rain heavily you might have to abandon the course. Take an umbrella out on the golf course, and do not play if overhead clouds are very grey.

Despite this, there are a few advantages to playing golf during the off-season. Some golf courses may reduce rates during the off-peak periods. As such, off-season golf can be more economical.

During the off-season golf courses you can expect the golf courses to be more empty. Emptier golf courses means that you can play round the course more quickly. Alternatively, quite the opposite if no golfers are behind you can take your time. Overall, golf courses will be easier to get on to with no advance book that may be required during the summer.

Still, if you must not play on a golf course during the off-season, then ranges are a better alternative. Whether it's pouring or not, golf ranges will be open. As such, this can be the next best thing to playing on course.

So, playing golf in the off-season has its advantages and disadvantages. For sure, weather conditions can vary, and golf courses will certainly be wetter during the off-season. However, during the early spring you can expect more sunshine, and potential discounts during the off-season

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.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course Tour

Arcadia Bluffs is a course located in Michigan. Undoubtedly, this is a modern golf course which was opened in the late '90s. This golf course is located on bluffs above the shores of Lake Michigan. As such, this is a golf course which has plenty of lake frontage and elevation. The course has been included in Golf Digest's top 50 U.S. public golf courses, and if you can reach it is certainly worth noting. Below is an Arcadia Bluffs video tour.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Golf Courses in Sugarland, Texas

Texas, the US State that is home to cowboys, cattle ranchers and golf courses! Sugarland, Texas, has five golf clubs, with nine golf courses, which should provide enough to satisfy most golfers of various levels. There are a number of courses a few miles further afield, but these are the courses exactly within the Sugarland area.

Let us first look at the public Greatwood Golf Club. It is an 18 hole regulation golf course of approx. 6,836 yards in length. With four tee boxes it can cater for a diverse group of golfers, and has green fees ranging from $28-$55 dollars. Being an open to all course, it is one that really should be sought out by all golfers in the Sugarland area.

The Riverbend Country Club is a private club, with a private course. Still, if that is what you want the course will provide an 18 hole par 72, with a yardage of about 6,600 yards. The eigth hole is especially tricky, with water from the tee to the green. Green fees are up to about $65 dollars.

If it's a nine-hole course you want, then you really should pay a visit to the Sugar Creek Country Club. For the club has three nine-hole courses for you to take on! The Trent Course, Robert Course and the Jones Course all provide 36 par, nine-hole courses between 3,100- 3,400 yards in length. The slope rating of these courses is not yet clearly specified.

Sweetwater Country Club has two 18 hole golf courses, which makes for a 36 hole golf club. The Pecan Course has the highest of slope ratings of the aforementioned courses, with a 74 course rating. It has a championship layout, but with four tees can provide a suitable course for other golfers. An 18 hole, par 72 it boasts a yardage of 7,145, making it the largest in the area.

And the second course at the same club is the Cypress Course. This has 18 holes and a par of 71. With a course rating of 72.6, it is the easier of the two courses. Likewise, it also has a smaller yardage of 6,728. Further more, it is the cheaper of the two courses available at the Sweetwater Country Club.

So, golf in Sugarland is catered for with largely private clubs with courses of variable length. From 3,200 yard nine-hole courses, to 7,145 yard 18 hole championship courses. Most of them have variable tee boxes, however, allowing for the selection of different starting positions to make the distance more or less. As such, the courses in Sugarland offer flexibility and value to golfers. How sweet!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pine Valley Golf Course Tour

Pine Valley is one of the more famous U.S. golf courses. Even though it has not hosted many big golf championships, it has remained among the highest ranked golf courses in the states. The course is approximately 7,000 yards long, and has a great collection of par-5 holes and big bunkers which align the fairways and greens. Below I have included a simulated tour of the Pine Valley course.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Team Golf

Most of the golf championships may be singles, but there is such a thing as team based golf. The Ryder Cup is one such example in which the U.S. and EU teams play for the Ryder Cup trophy. This is a match-play championships, but there are various formats for team golf rounds. With a group of four these team golf scoring formats are worth noting.

For example, there is best ball. This is actually quite simple, each player finishes a hole, and then each team records their best single score for the hole. Best ball becomes Four Ball with the match-play format. Then the team with the lowest score for the hole wins the hole.

Scramble is another alternative. With scramble everybody tees off, but then only one spot where the team's balls have landed is selected for the next. The others pick up their balls, and then play from within one club length of their team's selected ball. Then it's the same again until both teams have holed out.

Those are two of the more widespread team scoring formats for championships, but you can always set up your own customized team formats for your own rounds. For example, why not consider combining everybody's scoring for a single hole? As such, in doubles two scores would be added for each team. That's one way, or you could take it in turns to play through holes instead so that only one from a team plays a hole. This would be a quicker team golf format than some of the others.

So overall, there's a few team golf formats. Best ball is probably the most straightforward, and in that respect is the format of choice for many.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Video Golf Course Tours

Where can you find video tours of famous golf courses? Well, you can at Amateur Golfer. Here are the links to eight of the previous golf course tour posts on this blog:
Stay posted, as their could be more to come!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bethpage Course Tour

Bethpage Black Golf Course, at Long Island, is one of the few public courses which has hosted the U.S. Open. This is a renowned championship golf course which is some 7, 468 yards. Check out the latest addition to AG's golf course tours, the Bethpage Black video. 

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Brief Guide to Golf Clubs

On the golf course, you can use up to 14 clubs. Any variety of clubs is allowed here, giving golfers some scope for selection. There are a few different types of club that golfers can select from.
The Woods
The Woods are clubs that can be used off the fairway and the tee. From the 1 wood to the 7 wood, they can have slightly variable design. As with other clubs, the lower numbered woods are the longest clubs used for the longest shots off the tee with most distance, which can be between 300-400 yards. Higher numbered woods can be used in longer grass, or off the fairway with greater loft. Equally, the lower numbered woods have the least loft. Generally, they have graphite or steel shafts and some have titanium club heads.
The Irons
The irons are the most flexible clubs. They can be used off the fairway the tee or even for shorter play with chip shots. Ranging from the two irons to the nine irons, there are longer and shorter irons for selection. Considering the range, the two, three and four are longer distance; with the five, six or seven irons more 100-175 yards and then the eight or nine irons the shortest irons for distance. The overall loft is also lowest for the two iron and then increases towards the nine iron. For short play, you can also use the irons like the nine, eight and seven for chip shots onto the green.
The Wedges
The wedges, are those clubs with the greatest loft, not usually used off the tee but available for short play. The sand wedge is a club used for bunker play and bunker shots from greenside or fairway bunkers. This is one of the most lofted wedges available. These clubs are also best used for pitch shots, which require greater loft and little roll. They can also be used for shorter chip shots onto the green.
The Putter
The putter is a club that is used for short play and putts on the green. Overall, this covers a good number of shots and is most often used for one or more putts on the green. However, it can also be used to putt onto the green. Putter designs can actually be quite variable, but like all clubs must be accepted for the market.
Overall, these golf clubs make a standard set of 14. Usually, seven or eight golf clubs will do. With multiple irons, woods then a few wedges and a putter to complete the set. While golf club design can vary, they must be approved beforehand.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Top 10 Best Golf Courses in the United States

I know I've included similar top 10 lists before, but those were just lists! Now I've found a classy video of 10 of the best courses in the United States. Check it out below.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Desert Golf Courses

The Sonoran Desert includes a
few Arizona golf courses
There are a variety of desert golf courses. Courses that are not only in the deserts of America, but merge some desert elements into the courses. And they are also sweltering during the summer. These are a few desert courses that are worth noting.

Remember the Monument Course? If not check out a previous blog post on this blog which includes a Monument Course video. This course includes saguaros and paloverdes, set alongside the deserts of Arizona. 

The Mountain Course at La Quinta is another worth noting. This course is carved into desert mountains, and even though it is a desert course also includes plenty of water. Check out the 16th hole which has an island green. 

The Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Club is at Sandia Park. At approximately 7,500 yards, this desert course has plenty of distance. Its holes include ponderosa, pine and juniper plants, and the course is surrounded by mountain ranges.

Or you could visit the Desert Course at Prim Valley Golf Club. This is a Fazio golf course that is approximately 7,100 yards. The course mixes palms, plateaus and cacti alongside its native grasses.

Pay a visit to the Raven Golf Club at Sabino Springs, in Tucson, Arizona. This golf course is a Trent Jones course, and has a yardage of 6,776 yards. The course combines the desert and surrounding mountains, with steep slopes and saguaros scattered around it.

Those are just five desert golf courses in the United States. However, there are plenty of other desert courses. They can be played both in the summer and winter, although some may be closed during the winter period. Check with their golf clubs for further details on when the courses are open. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pacific Dunes Video Tour

Another video tour of a top class golf course! This is the Pacific Dunes course at the Bandon Dunes Resort in Oregon, another ocean side gem. The Pacific Dunes is a par 71, and approximately 6,633 yards. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

New Blog Gadgets

I've added a couple of new gadgets on the right to the blog. Firstly, there is the Google Plus button, with which you can then add this blog to Google Plus when selected. Below this catch up on the latest blog chat on Amateur Golfer. This gadget includes links to the posts where you can then add your  own input.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Guide to Golf in Anna Maria Island, Florida

Anna Maria Island, the small but glorious island off the west coast of Florida, has a marvelous golfing climate. As such, it is a popular destination for golfers the world over.

Being a mere nine miles in length, the island itself doesn't have the size to host a great number of courses. In fact, the Key Royale Club, boasting a challenging nine holes, is the only course located on the island.

But don't be alarmed! For there are more than 50 golf courses, public and private, in and around the Anna Maria Island area. With reasonable prizes, generous fairways and enough to test golfers of all skill levels. Islanders enjoy an easy commute to a number of these golfing gems.

Brandenton hosts a large number of courses. Manatee Country golf course is a public golf which has earned good reviews. As an 18 hole par 72 it has a course rating of 72, making it one of the trickier propositions in the region. The River Club also boasts a lot of tricky holes (with a higher rating of 74), including a par 4 with an island green. Whilst in the area don't overlook the River Run Golf links, where golfers get an exciting view of the Braden River which you cannot afford to miss! It is a public course, and slightly less demanding on the beginner with a rating of 67.9.

Further south, in Sarasota, there are also a number of interesting golf courses. The University Park Country Club offers five courses, from gold to bronze, which offer a world of opportunities! It is a pretty course and was named one of the best in America by GolfWeek magazine. One of newest additions on the Sarasota golf scenes is that of the Stoney Brook Country Club, designed by Arthur Hills. It is challenging and entertaining for both novices and pros alike, and also offers golfing tuition.

In Palmetto, just north of Brandenton, there is the Imperial Lakes Golf Course. This course has rolling and lush fairways, which are a definite draw! Near to Imperial Lakes, Buffalo Creeks offers an 18 hole Scottish links style course. It's a tough championship golf course, with wide open spaces. As such, this course is not so well suited for beginner players. At the Foxfire Golf Club, three exciting and beautiful nine-hole courses (Par 72) wind through the trees and lakes offering abundant glimpses of wildlife. It gets regular accolades as one of Florida's top public courses.

Just a note, whilst in Brandenton area you might also want to check out the world renowned Leadbitter Golf Academy. Leadbitter is regarded as one of the top coaches within the game. So this is an ideal place to enhance your golfing technique!

All things considered, Anna Maria Island is nestled in a sea of greens. With exotic wildlife, and a number of beautiful courses combined with the relaxing style of old Florida, the region is hard to beat when it comes to Golf.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Aircraft Carrier Golf Course

An aircraft carrier may not be the most likely place for a golf course, given the limitations of size etc. Yet despite this, as the desktop wallpaper below highlights, you can now play golf on the deck of an aircraft carrier. Lush green grass, fairways and greens dominate the deck of this carrier. Just watch out for the water! 

Sunday, July 08, 2012

The Golf Courses in the Desert

You may not have considered a desert to be a great location for golf. But then you probably haven't played at the Troon North Golf Club, which is set among the foothills of the Sonoran Desert. Here two expansive golf courses are included, the Monument Course and the Pinnacle Course, which are ranked among the best in Arizona. Both courses eclipse 7,000 yards from the black tees. This Troon North Golf Club video provides further details, and includes some great footage of the courses.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

How to Play Match Play Golf With Nobody to Play Against

If you're not playing in a group, you cannot play match play golf, right? Well in actual fact you can. To play match play golf without anybody to play against you simply have to input some stroke play numbers for each golf hole on the score card before you begin the round.

What those score numbers should be is entirely up to you. As a suggestion, you could simply take one of your own stroke play scores from a previous round, and input the score numbers for each of the holes. If you're playing on a course you've not previously played, then you'll have to input some new figures, but make sure that the overall score is comparable to your own averages.

Then you can play match play golf with nobody to play against. If you beat one of the hole scores on the card you win the hole, if level it is tied and if you go above the score then the hole is lost. At the end of the round tally up how many holes you have won.

As an example, here are two of my own golf scores for the same course: 5, 7, 6, 5, 3, 5, 4, 4, 5 and 4, 6, 6, 6, 4, 6, 3, 5, 6. With a match play scoring format, my first score would win the round 5.5 – 4.5. Perhaps not a big surprise, as that was marginally the better round overall.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Remove the Flag from the Hole

Make sure that you remove the flag when putting on the green. This is because if your ball makes contact with the flag when putting on the green you'll have to add an extra two penalty strokes to the scorecard. This counts if the flag is in the hole or not.

With match-play scoring it's not entirely the same. If your ball makes contact with the flag when putting on the green you will lose the hole. So, this has to be noted for a match-play round.

Of course, that is only if you are on the green. If you are putting from off the green then you can leave the flag in the hole. This includes any putts from the collar which is not considered a part of the green.

If you're playing on your own then it's best to place the flag off the green. Or alternatively, directly behind you. Then you can be sure that your ball will not make contact.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Kiawah Island Ocean Course

The Ocean Course, at Kiawah Island, is great championship and a resort course. It's an ocean course with an Atlantic coastline. It will also be hosting the forthcoming 2012 PGA Championship. Here's another great golf course video which includes a tour of the course. 

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Golf courses in Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona has a number of golf courses for golfers to play on. The region has a mild climate, and some great courses for the golfer to tee-off from. Big name designers have helped make some exciting courses, and the region also has golf vacation spots

Arizona National golf club should receive first mention. Designed by Robert Jones, the course features in quite unique desert surroundings. The course meanders up and down the Catalina Mountains, and has great views of the surrounding dessert. As a par 71, it has 6,776 yards of golf course and is accessible to most golfers.

As mentioned, the region has golf vacation spots. Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort is one of those. It has two 18-hole championship golf courses and one 9-hole course. They are all exciting to play and are not exactly alike. Also located in the Catalina Mountains, on high Sonoran desert, the surrounding desert plays its part in the golf. It is the largest golf resort in the region, and is not something to miss.

The oldest golf course in the region is the Turquoise Valley Golf and RV. Opened in 1908, the course is most notable for its unique par 6 hole. The longest golf hole west of the Mississippi, the hole is 747 yards long! The course itself has 6778 yards and a par of 71.

If you are looking for a good selection of courses, then head for Tucson City golf course. The Randolph golf complex is comprised of two 18-hole championship golf courses. Those being the Randolph North and Dell Urich. They are favored by the locals due to their proximity to the city, in addition to their age and heritage. Both are tree lined, parkland courses with flat fairways and undulated greens. Randolph is also the longest course in the city, with a total yardage of 6863.

The Crooked Tree course is an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Lee Trevino. It has some great holes which have desert and mountain vistas. The course is also host the Arizona Open, and other tournaments.

The golf resort of The Western La Paloma is in the foothills of the Catalina Mountain range and has two 9 -hole courses along with a more unique 10 hole course. The legendary Jack Nicklaus designed all the courses and with other amenities, it is a resort well worth visiting.

Ryder Cup Captain, Tom Lehman, had his hand in the Omni Tuscan National resort. It's been the home for the PGA Tour for three decades and is a rare gem, offering two sought after golf courses at fair value. The Sanoran Course and the Catalina Course are two championship courses, which can make for a great round!

These are just a fairly random selection of some of the courses in Tuscon of Arizona. There are more, but these are all notable courses in the region, with famous golfers and course designers behind them. From Nicklaus to Robert Jones, big names in golf have had their mark on the region.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Where to take a Golf Vacation?

Here on Amateur Golfer I have included a few golf posts covering golf vacation destinations. Check out some of the previous golf vacation destination posts. Here are the links:

These posts provide further details on the vacation resorts. Also, check out the Travel Golf website which is included with this blog's links.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Golf at the Olympics

Golf was once played at the Olympics. Only twice has an Olympic golf championship been played in the early 20th century. These were at the 1900 Paris Olympic games and the St Louis Olympics in 1904.

The first gold was won by the American Charles Sand, and two UK golfers made the top three for silver and bronze. The format for the golf championship was pretty basic, with 36 holes played with a stroke scoring format. A total of 167 was enough to win the singles, and a team based championship was also played which was won by... Canada!

The second Olympic golf championship was something of a farce as it only had U.S. and a few Canadian golfers in it. As such, they scooped gold, bronze and silver!

Hereafter, golf was abandoned at the Olympics. Until now that is, and golf is set to return in future Olympics. A new Olympic course is to be included in Rio which will be the next venue. This golf championship should have lower scores than previous Olympic golf championships, and include a much wider variety of golfers, but whether it will match the Majors is debatable.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

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. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Golf Course Reviews: Arcadian Shores Golf Course

The Arcadia Shores golf course, is part of the resort golf academy of Myrtle Beach in south Carolina. This academy, is one of the foremost golf schools in southeast America.

The course of Arcadia Shores opened in 1974, along with the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort. Designed by Rees Jones, this course offers a good blend. Jones is quoted as saying:

"Arcadian Shores is an old-style true test of golf. I was proud of its design when it opened in 1974. And I am just as proud of it today."

It is a 6485-yard par 72. Hole distances range from 174-yard par three holes, to much longer 557-yard par 5s.

Amongst its natural features are great lakes, deceptive bunkers and tree lined fairways. Such natural and man made hazards, invariably make for an interesting challenge. The Tifton Bermuda greens also have distinctive contouring.

The course has multiple tees, offering different distances. There are actually five tees altogether, from red, gold, white, champions and tiger tees. These are in order, from beginner to advanced play.

Slope/course rating is also different from each tee. They range from 69 to 73 with regard to course rating, while the slope is 113 through to 136 on the tiger tees.

Of the course holes, 13 is the signature hole with the lowest rating. This hole has a large lake guarding the green, which can present quite an obstacle. Also worth noting, is the fairway, which starts level with the tees but drops sharply on approach to the lake. A tricky bunker lies behind the green, which can also be hard to escape.

The course was voted as one of the top 100 in America, 3 years after it opened. This was by magazines such as Golf Magazine and Golf Digest.

Green fees are approximately $89 dollars to $79 off-peak. Likewise, the course includes golf carts to use when available. It also provides golf club hire, a practice range and suitable clubhouse.

Player reviews are mixed. It is praised for its challenge and value. Some have criticized it for a lack of variety and too many sand traps. Amenities and maintenance, are two areas that players feel the Arcadia course could be better.

Overall, it is an old school course with a variety of tees, which makes the course suitable for all players. As part of the Myrtle golf resort, with nearby hotels, it can make for a suitable golf vacation location.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

A Look at the St Andrews Golf Course

St Andrews golf course is one of the great golf courses. To get a closer look at this course I have included a relatively short video below. This video tour covers some of the highlights of the  St Andrews Golf Course. 

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

How Nine-Hole Golf Courses compare to 18-Hole Golf Courses

There are two types of golf courses in the sport of golf. There are those of 18-holes, and there are those golf courses which include only nine-holes. As such, there are a few contrasts between such golf courses.

To begin with, the most obvious disparity between nine and 18-hole golf courses is that of the size. The relative size of a 18-hole golf course will be thousands of yards more than that of a nine hole course. On average, you may find that a nine hole course may be something between 2,000 to 3,000 yards in distance. In comparison, an 18-hole golf course will be more like 6,000 yards in distance.

Of course, this does not necessarily mean that there is a big contrast in the average distance of the holes included. Holes on nine-hole golf courses can be just as long as those on 18-hole golf courses, with par 3, 4 and 5 holes included. It should be noted that nine-hole courses should not be confused with pitch and putt golf, whereby all the holes included are short par 3 holes.

It is also worth noting that you do not have to play nine-holes on nine-hole golf courses. In fact, most actually have an 18-hole option whereby you simply play the same nine-holes twice. They can then have variable tee positions. So, in this respect you can also play more extended rounds on nine-hole golf courses.

Nine-hole golf courses can also be more of a budget alternative to 18-hole golf courses. Because they have more holes, 18-hole golf courses usually have a higher green fee than nine-hole golf courses. As such, nine-hole golf courses are a good alternative if looking for cheaper golf rounds.

For the most part however, in the professional game championship golf is all about 18-hole golf courses. Name some of the most prominent golf courses and courses such as Augusta, St Andrews, and Pebble Beach may feature. All have staged Major golf championship and they are all 18-hole courses. Nine-hole golf courses may be suitable for amateur championships, but on the PGA tour they do not feature.

18-hole golf courses may overshadow their nine-hole counterparts, but there are still some great nine-hole golf courses. These golf courses are cheaper, and can also still have a long average hole distance. As such, nine hole golf courses can be good to start on.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Myrtle Beach Golf Courses

Myrtle Beach, in South Carolina, is home to a number of exciting golf courses. Designed by some famous golfers, and top course designers, the courses offer some great golf. In many respects, it makes for a good golf vacation destination.

To begin with, there is the West Course. Designed by Arnold Palmer, this is one of the most challenging in the Myrtle Beach area. The course is carved through majestic Carolina pine forests, and has numerous natural hazards in addition to fairway bunkers.

Alternatively, you could try the Nicklaus layout at Long Bay Club. This course has some excellent holes, with holes 7,10,13 and 18 featured in the book The 100 Greatest holes along the Grand Strand.' It has formidable features, including a 137-slope rating and countless man-made mounds. The course also has bottomless bunkers scattered about, and some tricky par 3 holes. While the par 3 holes can be pretty they can also be very hard, like the 13th which has a green surrounded by water!

There are two Robert Trent Jones courses in the region. Waterway Hills Golf Club is one, featuring the Oak, Ravine and Lake Courses. These are classic Jones courses, featuring strategic landing areas, great bunkers and crowned greens. They are all 9-hole courses, set amid woodlands and lakes.

If looking for a more Scottish golf course, then you could try the Aberdeen Golf Club. This is one of the newest clubs in Myrtle Beach area. As the name suggests, the club has courses with a more Scottish feel. The nine-hole courses of the Meadows, Highlands and Woodlands keep to Scottish tradition and feature mounding, wide land areas and bent grass.

The North Course at the Myrtle Beach National is one of the most exciting in Myrtle Beach. Arnold Palmer and his design group have transformed the North Course into one of the best in America. Golf Digest ranked it in America's top 10 new upscale courses, and it has been named South Carolina's course of the year.

What makes it so special? It has some dramatic holes like the 6th hole, which has an island fairway. The 12th hole has an island green, while hole 18 has over 40 sand traps guarding both sides of the fairway and a lake stretching out from it. Such holes make it perhaps the best course on the Grand Strand.

Of course, these are just a select handful of some of the more notable golf courses in the Myrtle Beach area. Overall, there are approximately 130 golf courses in the region for golfers to try their hand at. Myrtle Beach has golf courses featuring excellent design creativity and scenery, with water hazards featuring prominently. Certainly there is no lack of choice, and golfers of all levels should find something to cater for them in Myrtle Beach.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Brief Guide to the More Essential Golf Equipment and Accessories

In the game of golf there is some variety of equipment and accessories. The equipment and accessories range in size and necessity. Here are a few of the golf equipment and accessories that should be taken onto a golf course.

Golf clubs

The golf clubs are the most essential equipment for a round of golf, along with the ball itself. You will need at least a few golf clubs for tee-shots, and also the short game. Overall, the golf clubs include woods, irons, wedges, and putter. The golf irons include clubs from 3 iron up to 9 iron, with the lower numbered clubs hitting the ball further. Then, for the short game the wedges and golf putter can be used for chipping, pitching, and putting on the golf green. As such, you can take as many as 14 golf clubs onto a golf course, but no more.

Golf Bag

The golf bag is something that is required to put the golf clubs in. Overall, the golf bags can be either stand bags which include a stand for support, or golf cart-bags which can be pulled. Such golf bags can carry a full-set of clubs, and also have additional pockets for accessories.

Golf head covers also come included with a variety of golf bags. Golf head covers are put over the longest clubs in the bag, such as the woods. They can come in various colors, shapes and sizes with novelty head covers a great addition to any golf bag. You can find plenty at websites such as:

Golf Tees

Golf tees are needed to tee the golf ball for tee shots. Overall, the golf tees can be smaller or larger tees, which tee the ball higher or lower depending on the loft required. In addition to this, the golf tees can be either the more durable plastic tees or wooden golf tees.

Golf Glove

Few golfers play without a golf glove. Golf gloves are for the left hand, and provide extra grip of the golf club. Golf gloves are usually either leather or synthetic, and leather gloves can be more durable than the synthetic alternatives.

Pitch-mark Repair Tool and Ball Marker

Pitch-mark repair tools are used on the green. If the green is not entirely smooth in places, then a pitch-mark repair tool can be used to flatten the green with. By flattening the green, a smooth putt can then be made towards the hole. The other golf accessory for the green are ball markers that can be left on the green to mark the position of a removed ball. As such, with one of these you can then remove your ball from the green to rub mud off it.

This is just some the golf equipment and accessories you can and should take out onto a golf course. Golf clubs, golf bag, golf tees, golf glove, pitch-mark repair tool, and golf shoes are equipment and accessories that can assist you during a round. Such golf equipment and accessories can be found at most golf stores.