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Low impact exercises to help you play better golf

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Golf in itself is a good form of exercise. The average golfer walks approximately 5 miles per round of golf and swing the golf club over 200 times including practice swings. Couple this with carrying your 10 kilo golf bag on your back and this is a great low impact work out.

However if we want to improve our golf game and play 18 holes without fading away towards the end we need to tone up and build stamina. Golftalk have been looking at the best forms of low impact exercise to compliment your golf game and in this article we discuss our top 5.

  1. Swimming is a great form of low impact exercise. We use almost all of our muscles when swimming especially the arms, legs and core to give us a very good low impact all over workout. Swimming will also give you a good cardio work out that will improve your stamina out on the course.
  2. Yoga is another form of low impact exercise that is popular with many athletes because it combines strength training with stretching something that is particularly important to golfers. Also Yoga can be done in the comfort of your own home. There are many smartphone apps and youtube videos describing what you need to to to get started.
  3. Cycling is a fantastic way to get the legs working and the heart pumping. Whether you are outside on the roads or in a gym on a cycling machine, both will give you a good low impact workout that will help build your strength and stamina. An added benefit of cycling is that it can be worked into your daily routine, for example cycling to work.
  4. Pilates, like Yoga is a low impact workout that many athletes use to build strength and stamina. It focuses on strengthening the core which is very beneficial for golfers of all levels. Pilates also helps to quieten the mind and focus on breathing which again is particularly helpful for golfers. Some Pilates exercises use specific equipment so a good idea is to look for local classes in your area.
  5. Walking is, as already said a great form of exercise. So lets try and do more by looking for opportunities to walk instead of take the car or public transport. Walking will also improve your balance an co-ordination as well as strengthening your bones and muscles. It is also said that walking improves your mood so may also have phycological benefits. Why not try a Fitbit (available from the GolfTalk store) or other step counting device to keep you motivated.

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Do you want to sharpen up your short game?

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Do you want to sharpen up your short game?

There are many putting and chipping training aids on the market and most of them are very good. The one that we have been testing here at Golf Talk is the Ultimate GOLF Ball Training Aid THE PILL . We have found The Pill to be very easy to use both indoors and outdoors for both putting and chipping practice.

What we liked the most about The Pill is that it gives instant feedback so you can work on specific detailed areas of your game like trying to keep the putter face square at impact or hitting down on the ball when chipping.

The Pill is used by many PGA tour players and has a number of drills on youtube to keep your practice sessions interesting.

Why not give The Pill a try for yourself and see if it improves your short game?

How to use meditation to play better golf

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Girl golfer sitting in yoga posture on golf course.I’m sure you’ll agree, there are times when you are swinging your club you can feel you are in the ‘zone’ – the golf club is connecting with the ball and your shots are great.  However, on the other hand there are times where nothing is working right and you just want to throw your clubs into a lake.  Golf Talk have been looking into meditation and how this might help improve your game.

Golf is a sport where good concentration and focus can improve your round immensely, helping you to have less wayward shots and missed putts.  Better focus will not only mean you have less tension but also will allow you to play a more relaxing round.  Also, by having positive thoughts, you can have total focus through your pre-shot routine and swing.

So what is meditation?

Golf Talk believes meditation is mental concentration where thoughts and reflection can give clarity of the mind and improve concentration. It can be used to focus your mind and control your breathing both before and during the game. So how do you get into a meditative state.

Firstly, take three to five minutes quiet time – three to four times a week – to sit in a quiet place and clear your mind. Close your eyes and concentrate on your surroundings and yourself within them.  Whilst doing this, breathe in and out through your nose, taking longer breaths each time, which will help you relax and have positive thoughts. Once you can do this without to much trouble and are starting to feel the benefits then we can move on to taking this out on the course.

The technique of deep breathing can be used before you take a shot with the club, in fact, you can control your breathing with the practice swings so you are focused on the shot at hand before you hit the ball. Use this focused breathing and you swing the club and visualise your shot in hand. Now step into the shot in a relaxed state ready to strike the ball.

Another important factor is to have plenty of rest and sleep, this can help in many situations outside of golf too but can improve concentration within the game. The amount of sleep you need will vary from person to person however the National Sleep foundation recommends adults get between seven and nine hours sleep and school aged children get between nine and eleven hours of sleep. So if you have a big game this weekend get plenty of rest and have better focus out on the course.

We hope these tips on meditation, concentration and focus will help to ensure your mind remains clear in order for you to enjoy your next round of golf with less shots and hopefully a better handicap!

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The Golf Talk team

Course Management – Five tips for short hitters

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For many golfers we have to accept that hitting the ball a long way is not going to happen for us and try as we may, keeping up with the long hitters in the group will just make us feel frustrated. However, this does not mean that we cannot score well we just need to play to our strengths. In this article we will give you our top five recommendations of how to score well and not let yGolf 005our distance off the tee be a disadvantage.

First of all we need to accept that distance is not our key priority, accuracy is. For many short hitters are relatively accurate. What we need to concentrate on is consistent ball striking. So our first tip for the short hitter is to practise hitting crisp iron shots. A good drill to practise when on the driving range is to place a ball under you right heel and hit a few half shots with a medium iron. This should give you the crisp feeling of a descending blow and help you achieve the desired strike. Also remember to practise your pre-shot routine, this will help with consistent ball striking. For more details on how to develop a reliable pre-shot routine look in the back catalogue on www.golftalk.club

Our second tips is to look at your golf club selection and assess whether you have the right clubs in your bag for your local course. If you are playing a course that has a number of longish par fours then maybe the addition of a seven wood or a rescue club would be a good addition to your bag.  Longer irons are usually much harder to strike consistently well so try them out and see what difference it makes to your game. If you do decide to stick with your irons then ensure that you give them plenty of time on the driving range to help with your confidence and consistency.

You will find that you will be faced with a number of longer shots into the green so a good short game is a must for you to score well. Practise chipping from off the green and holing the putts to help you get up and down on a consistent basis. Also spend a little time on pitch shots of around twenty to thirty yards as you may find yourself just short of the green and as with chipping getting up and down from here is essential.

Also with regard to putting practise, spend more time holing out from three feet to take some pressure off your chipping. Develop a good, reliable stroke. Remember that even though you may not reach the green in regulation a good putter is a match for anyone. Keep a note of your putting stats with an objective to lowering your averages.

Finally accept that you will not reach some greens in regulation and that you will be forced to play some par four holes as three shots onto the green. This means that good course management is essential. Ask yourself how is it best to play this hole instead of immediately reaching for your driver. For example a par four hole with a yardage of four hundred yards maybe a driver, a five wood and a chip onto the green for you. Or you could play three six irons and achieve the same result. What type of play will give you more consistency?

Try these tips and see how they improve you score and enjoyment out on the course.

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The Golf Talk team

Bored of the driving range? Try these drills to spice up your practice sessions

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If you feel that your practice sessions are becoming boring and you are looking for a way to spice up your routine then these fun practice drills may be the answer …

GolfballTo improve you pitching then why not try ‘Different club same distance’ this is a fun game that can be used as a warm up drill before your monthly medal or with a friend on the practice ground. Pick a marker around 150 yards away and hit 10 balls with your 150 yard club. Next work your way through your bag up to your longest iron or even a 5 wood. You can work your way back through your irons to your 150 yards club again. This is a great drill for sharpening your iron play and hitting greens in regulation.

Another good drill to help you chip the ball near the hole is ‘9 ball pick up’. Here you select a hole on the chipping green and take 9 balls. Chip 3 with a lob wedge, 3 with a pitching wedge, and 3 with an 8 iron. The objective is to get all 9 balls up and down with each club. When you can get all the balls up and down then select another three clubs in your bag. Considering that most mid-handicappers hit an average 3 greens in regulation a good chipping technique is essential for lower scores. This drill can have a dramatic effect on your overall score and maybe your handicap.

When you can’t get to the practice tee then why not utilise your umbrella as a chipping / pitching net. Open up your umbrella and lay it on the ground approximately 20 – 30 feet away and see how many balls you can chip into your umbrella. This is a good drill for in the back yard or on the beach. Try to beat your score on each go. When you count your scores you will take your practice more seriously and your game will improve

Finally use the putting green to keep a score of your putts as if you were playing 18 greens. Work through all the holes on the putting green from 1 to 18. Two putts are a par, one putt a birdie, etc. The objective of the game is to finish all eighteen holes under par. This game works particularly well with your buddies and can get very competitive.

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The Golf Talk team