pre-shot routine

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

The exercise workout for golfers, keeping your health and game in good shape

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Golf is a dynamic game so you need a certain amount of fitness to play the game well. In this article we want to give you a few suggestions of what exercises you should be working on to keep you fit and help your golf game. Just as a not of caution. Please consult with your doctor or physician before attempting any new exercise program, and start any new exercise slowly.

Let’s start with the obvious. An average golf course is around six or seven miles so having strength in your legs to be able to walk this distance is essential. The easiest way to build strength in your legs is to walk. Try walking three to five miles, three times per week. This will give your legs the necessary strength to walk the course without to many problems. If you are not walking any kind of distance at the moment then remember to start off slowly and build up to these distances.

Your upper body is your swing engine. So maintaining good strength in your torso, arms and shoulders will will give you the opportunity to play at your very best. A great exercise for your upper body is rowing. This will exercise your arms, shoulders and abs. Use the rowing machine in your local gym on a low / medium intensity for two minutes slowly building up in 30 second increments until you can comfortably row for five minutes. You can then dial up the intensity to make the exercise more difficult if you want to.

If you do not have access to a local gym on a regular basis then a Dumbbell Set or Kettlebells are a great alternative to building upper body strength. Concentrate on lower weights and more repetitions. For example use a 1kg dumbbell in both hands and do twenty bicep curls with each arm. This will build up your arm strength with less potential for injury. Another great exercise to use with your weights is the squat to high lift position. Place your chosen weights in front of you and assume a squat position. Next take the weights from the squat all the way up to the high lift and hold for 3 seconds. This is an explosive exercise will build up your arms, shoulders, abs and legs.

There are many exercise regimes available to you that will help with your golf game from wights to gym work and walking. However for us at Golf Talk the most beneficial we have found is Yoga. This is an excellent combination of exercise, strength and flexibility and in our experience has helped numerous golfers maintain their golf swing throughout their lifetime. (please click the Yoga link to find out more).

Finally we know plenty of golfers who would love to embark on a new fitness regime but have issues with any kind of high impact workout. So if this is you, what can you do?. We love swimming. This is a great workout for golfers combining a low impact arms, legs and core workout with stretching of all the key muscle groups. And can be done anytime of the day, anywhere in the world. You just need to find your local pool. Why not give it a try!

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The Golf Talk team

Six tips to keep you fuelled out on the golf course

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We all know that playing golf can be an energetic sport. The golf swing is a dynamic movement coupled with an average walk of around five to six miles. This means that we need to keep fuelling our bodies to give us the energy required to play our best golf.

Here we give you six tips on how you can keep yourself  fuelled for your next round…

  1. Golf ist gesundTry to avoid teeing off immediately after a meal. Leave a couple of hours between your meal and tee off time. This will ensure your food is digested.
  2. Drink plenty of water before and during your round. Dehydration can lead to poor decision making. So keep consuming the fluids. This is also important on those cold days. If you start to feel thirsty then you are already dehydrated.
  3. If you need instant energy then keeping a supply of nutrition bars in your bag can help give you that boost that you may need out on the course.
  4. Eating fruit out on the course can also be a good supply of energy. We recommend eating apples, strawberries and bananas to keep your energy levels topped up.
  5. Try to avoid any additional ‘sugar highs’ during your round. Chocolate bars, although nice are definite no no out on the course.
  6. If your course has a halfway house at the turn, avoid any big meals. This can make you feel lethargic for your back nine.

Good nutrition can have a dramatic effect on your golf game, giving you more energy during your round and may help you play your best golf yet.

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The Golf Talk team

How to reduce first tee nerves

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First tee nerves affects many amateur golfers. They feel that the entire world is watching them on the tee. The heart starts pumping harder and this usually means they play a bad shot. Having a strategy to overcome this feeling can help you get your round off to a good start and set the stage for an enjoyable round of golf.

One thing we notice more often than not is the speed of the swing. Many golfers who are nervous on the tee just want it to be over with as soon as possible. This leads to a quick swing and inevitably a poor strike on the ball. One way you can over come this is to count in your head ‘ one and two’. One being your backswing, two being the transition and three your down swing. This drill coupled with some deep breaths will ensure that you do not rush your swing and have every chance of playing a good shot.Group Of Male Golfers Teeing Off On Golf Course

Also consider your pre-shot routine ( mentioned in an earlier article). This will also prepare you to hit a good shot and help combat any nerves you may have on the tee.

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The Golf Talk team

What is a pre-shot routine?

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All good golfers have a pre-shot routine. A series of movements that help them settle over the ball and get into the correct position before playing their shot. If you watch any of the professionals on TV you will see this sequence in action and how meticulously they set up to the ball on each and every shot.

So if you are going to play your best golf and lower your scores then developing  pre-shot routine is essential. In this article we will give you the principals to help you build a solid pre-shot routine and play better golf.golfer on course

The first principal is to visualise the shot. Stand behind the ball and imagine the exact shot that you want to play, right through to it landing on the fairway or green. This will help you focus on the shot in hand and take away any negative thoughts that could creep into your head.

Next we want you to step to the ball and align the clubface square to the target line. This can be done using an intermediate target like a leaf or divot. You may find it easier to line up this way instead of a target hundreds of yards away.

Align your shoulders, hips, and feet square to the target line remembering that the ball will travel along the line of your swing path and finish where the clubface was aiming at impact. Flex your knees and maintain good posture.

When you are comfortable waggle the club head a few times to ease any tension in your upper body. You are now ready to swing the clubhead back nice and smoothly and hit a great shot!

Practice your pre-shot routine at the driving range and don’t be surprised if it feels odd the first few times, you will soon get the hang of it.

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The Golf Talk team

5 things to do when your golf course is closed

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It is winter right now in the northern hemisphere and at this time of year we will somwinteretimes have to accept that the golf course may be closed due to bad weather. In this post we give you some ideas of what golf activities you can be doing to improve your game and get the most out of your time off the course.

The driving range is a great place to not only practice your golf game but also to challenge your golfing buddies. Try playing 18 holes on the driving range. First start with your drive and all aim for a selected target. The closest shot wins the drive and gets one point. Next is the approach shot. The winner of the drive chooses another target for the approach shot and you will score the same way as the drive. Finally try a chip shot. You can play this through eighteen holes or the first player to reach a score of 50.

When the weather is very bad why not watch golf on TV. We learn lots by watching the professionals on television. However I want you to not only watch the ball and swing, I want you to pay close attention to their pre-shot routine. Having a pre-shot routine helps us be consistent when out on the course. So watch the pro’s and commit to a routine that you can use on your next visit to the course.

If you cannot get out on the course then why not go for a long walk. We golfers walk around 5 or 6 miles on an average golf course so not getting out can make us feel restless. Let’s not forget one of the reasons that we love the game of golf is because we can get out in the fresh air and get some exercise.

When the course is closed. It’s a good time to clean and re-groove your clubs. Having clean clubs can have a positive effect on your golf game. It helps you hit your irons with more backspin giving a truer flight on the ball. Here is the tool that we use at Golf Talk GroovTec Restorer Golf Groove Sharpener  why not give it a try …

Finally for those occasions when the weather is really to bad to even go outside why not relax and read a book. After much debate we have compiled our top 5 books for you to read.

  1.   2.    3.    4.   5.  

Reading a book can give you the sometimes needed inspiration or motivation to get out on the course in the winter.

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The Golf Talk Team