“Beware of Sharks” and Other Highly Hazardous Holes

David Bryce is a freelance writer and long-time golfer who concedes that the most hazardous part of his game are the fat, imported cigars he likes to smoke. When he’s not working on this putt, you can usually find him blogging or yelling at the television.

On occasion, heated debates take place over USGA’s Rule 26: The Water Hazard. The one aspect never contested is the unending belief that water hazards are inherently tricky. And that they’re responsible for millions of dollars lost in sunken white balls across the world (though fishing them out is a pretty hefty underground racket).

At my local course, Thousand Hills, the Ozarks create their own hazards, one of which is avoiding driving you ball into the Branson cabins. Amongst unique worldwide water hazards, two distinctive types stick out: those bearing predators and those featuring impossibly wide gaps.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most interesting of both…

Predators

Bullsharks, Australia

The lake along the 15th fairway of Carbrook Golf Club in Queensland, Australia gets a lot of press. Home to a handful of bull sharks rumored to have washed ashore during a flood several years ago, this is no urban legend. Said to be 8-10 feet long, they’re real, they’re hungry, and they’ve basically become the mascot and flagship for the entire course. Though slightly unnerving, the sharks have yet to attack a player.

Being built in the crater of an extinct volcano isn’t the dangerous feature of the Lost City Golf Course in Sun City, South Africa. The pond along the 13th hole that contains nearly 40 adult Nile crocodiles definitely is, however. Amid some of the most breathtaking scenery on the planet, the snapping snouts rarely come into play, but that’s no reason to drop your guard.

Upon entering Skukuza Golf Course in Kruger National Park, South Africa, a sign warns, “Beware: Dangerous Animals. Enter at Your Own Risk.” Naturally, if you’re here, you’ve already signed the safety waiver and are expecting a little danger. This course introduces a new peril: hungry hippopotami, widely thought to be the most dangerous animal in Africa. While warthogs and lions have been known to wander onto the greens, this entire course circles around Lake Panic, where the 8,000 lb. beasts eyeball every move you make.

Wide Gaps

Floating Golf Hole

 

Set along a beautiful, expansive lake, the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho features a par-3 floating 14th hole. Unique for its mobility, this isn’t an actual island and can be moved according to computerized tracks. Assuming you land on the green, the Putter Boat takes you for a little ride and afterward, whether you sunk the ball or not, you’re issued a Certificate of Achievement for just playing. This is also the only course I’ve played out of all listed here.

At the world-class Cypress Point Club, a private course in Pebble Beach, California, an ocean stands between you and the 16th hole. Literally, the Pacific Ocean. Requiring a 231-yard drive amidst crashing waves, coastal wind and dive-bombing seagulls, even professionals often list this as one of the most intimidating tee-offs in the world.

Boasting the only natural island water hazard in the world, the Pacifico Golf Course in Punta Mita, Mexico is also exquisitely picturesque. Known as the Tail of the Whale, hole 3B is on an offshore atoll where the green was designed by none other than Jack Nicklaus. At low tide, you can walk to the island on a sandbar; the rest of the time, an amphibious golf cart shuttles you to finish the hole.

Golf Lessons Have Advanced Within the Last Decade

Golf Technology

The way people take golf lessons has advanced massively within the last decade giving today’s amateur golfer a much better chance of both understanding and improving their swing.

Previously golfers would be forced to rely solely on instruction given by their local golf professional. The problem with this is although the pro might get their student to swing well whilst in the lesson the student would have to rely heavily to learn and remember solely from feel, usually ending up in the pro manipulating the students arms, body and club.

Learning from feel is still a big part of teaching golf but today’s technology has made this aspect of learning a lot easier. Nowadays most teaching professions will use slow motion video technology within their lessons allowing the student to actually see and understand what is happening throughout the different stages of their swing.

Another benefit of new lesson technology now allows golfers to take their lessons home with them. With the introduction of high speed video recording a lot of pros now record lessons and use that recording to summarize what was worked on within the lesson and what should be worked on after the lesson. Pros can now include certain drills or swing thoughts which their students can refer back to whenever needed. Many amateurs benefit greatly from this as recapping on swing thoughts before a practise session or round can help focus the mind. That being said I do strongly believe that it’s important not to have too many swing thoughts as this can have a negative effect.

Online golf lessons now play a big part in the learning process as amateur golfers can now receive golf lessons without even having to leave their home. Advancing technology in smartphones and apps has made it easy for the average person to capture their swing with great precision. Golfers can now use that swing recording, sending it to pros who analyze the video and give a detailed analysis of swing faults and instruction on how to correct them. These types of lessons are becoming more and more popular as the cost of an online golf lessons is often far less than a traditional golf lesson.

Written by Dan Parker

Dan loves everything about the game of golf and gets out on the course whenever he gets the chance. Dan is also the Director at www.pros4golfers.com

Lag Putting Tip From Paul Azinger

Paul Azinger PuttingIf you were lucky enough to watch and listen to the ABC broadcast of The Open Championship contested at Carnoustie (Scotland), you may or may not have caught the quick lag putting tip that Paul Azinger casually threw out there for us.

I think it was during one of Sergio’s many, many 30-40 foot birdie putts that Paul mentioned that when he’s faced with a long lag putt, he envisions a five gallon bucket over the hole and tries to roll the ball up there with enough speed to gently tap the bucket.

What a great visual that is !

Even I, an admitted poor lag putter, can use that the next time I’m 30-50 feet from the hole and only want to get down in two.

Five Gallon BucketThink about a generously sized, white, plastic five gallon bucket and roll the ball up with just enough speed to make it go ‘thunk’.

I’ll let you know how it works for me and you do the same.

The Best Golf Schools For Women

Bird Golf Schools If you’re a golf enthusiast and you want to spruce up your golf skills and enjoy your vacation at the same time, then maybe a golf school would be perfect for you.

There are several women’s golf schools in the country to choose from. These golf schools provide you with golf instructions, from beginner to seasoned veteran.

You’ll find golf schools that cater to women almost everywhere and you can choose one close to your home. If you’re going away on vacation, you can probably find one near your chosen destination and enjoy a golfing vacation.

Women’s golf schools provide golf instructions to women who wish to learn the game or want to improve their skills. They have trained instructors who can teach you in a group or individually and they usually have several different packages to choose from.

Most golf schools have an individual training package, where you have the full attention of your instructor. Some schools even offer a package where you can join with another person, your sister, friend or daughter. Some schools can organize small group instructions that could possibly turn out to be more affordable.

There are many renowned women’s golf schools in the country. Depending on the location you want and the kind of package you are looking for, several options are there for you to choose from.

One such famous golf school is the Bird Golf Academy. It has schools in many locations and they offer several packages which also include accommodation in fine hotels and resorts in the area.

You can avail yourself to their 3, 4 or 5 day packages, individual or two on one instruction, or even group instruction. The instructors are trained at teaching golf to women and most of them are women golfers who have played professionally. You can enjoy a leisurely game on the golf course even after your training is over for the day.

Elite Women's Golf School

Another golf school you can consider is the Elite Women’s Golf School also located in a number of places. They provide individual instruction where the instructor is able to consider your physical capabilities and concentrate on improving your game. They even have discount packages available for group bookings.

Roland Stafford Golf School

The Roland Stafford Golf School is one of the well known women’s golf schools. It is run by Susan Stafford, the wife of the late Roland Stafford whose simple teaching methods proved very successful with women golfers. He laid stress on rhythm and tempo as important elements in his teaching. Most of the instructors have been or are currently professional golfers. At this school you can expect to experience more than just golf instructions. You can stay at a resort and enjoy all meals plus other facilities, or you can attend the classes and go back home.

When you enroll in a women’s golf school, you can expect some serious golf training and some even more serious pampering, especially if you stay at the lodgings provided.

This article was provided by Al Terry, the Webmaster at SportsTickets411.com, the resource site for sports tickets.

How Many Golf Games Do You Know How To Play ?

Knoxville

 

In this shot, you get a view of one of my favorite cities to play golf.

Being a Kentuckian, I don’t want to come here to play football, but for ribs and golf, it’s okay.

Where am I ? Knoxville, TN. Home of River Islands Golf Club.

 

As for the golf games part, I just found this great guide to golf games, written by Rick Martino and published in the online version of the KnoxNews .

You can print it out and take it with you the next time you get to play. I’m looking forward to playing some of these with some of the suckers, er … guys I play golf with.

Click thru and enjoy.

The Ben Hogan Collection Now Available

Ben Hogan

I just read that The Estate of Valerie and Ben Hogan has approved the release of never-before-seen 8 mm and 16 mm films containing many Ben Hogan golf swings. A three-DVD set, produced and distributed by McTee’s Champions, reveals the newly discovered Hogan footage in The Ben Hogan Collection™.

The Ben Hogan Collection features three DVD’s and was released in November. The first DVD, entitled ” The Ben Hogan Legacy “, is an in-depth documentary, featuring exclusive insights, anecdotes and never-before-heard stories from Hogan’s family and friends – including golf icons like Jack Nicklaus, Ken Venturi and Butch Harmon.

The second and third DVD’s, titled ” The Swing Revealed 1 ” and ” The Swing Revealed 2 “, feature extensive analysis from teaching professional Jim McLean. In ” The Swing Revealed ” series, McLean also revisits Hogan’s famous “ secret ” and his own X and Y Factor.

For more info, follow this link over to www.BenHoganCollection.com.

All online purchases include a free, interactive CD, titled ” The Swing Revealed Interactive “.

This CD features SportsPlayer™ Technology, which allows you to easily view and control the speed of several Hogan swings, on your computer.

Visitors to the website can also register to receive a free Ben Hogan Collection screensaver.

Can Gravity Make You A Better Chipper ?

Terry Koehler, President - Eidolon Golf

Do you have problems controlling the distance of your chips and pitches ? Do you have difficulty making consistent contact ?

These are two of the most common causes of problems in the short game, and they often come from the same thing — a tempo that is too quick and/or a backswing that is too short. Because it’s a shorter swing and only a few yards have to be covered ( and we’ve been told WAY too often that we have to “accelerate through the ball” ), our tendency is to get too short, quick and choppy with our tempo and swing rhythm.

The good news is that the route to a “cure” is a single word — gravity.

That’s right . . . gravity.

The reason we have so much trouble achieving consistency of contact and good distance control is that we let our backswing get too short and then make a quick “jab” at the ball with the clubhead.

Get out a wedge and try this drill to help you achieve a smoother and more reliable swing tempo on the short shots.

Imagine a short pitch of only a few yards. Very slowly, take the club back to the backswing position you think is about right, then deliberately pause. Now, just think of letting gravity take over and drop your arms, hands and the club back to and through the ball.

Try this in your office or den a few times, then take the drill outside.

As you get a feel for allowing gravity to control the pace of your forward swing speed, you’ll find it much easier to make consistent contact and control your distance — for longer shots, just make longer backswings.

Try it, I think you’ll be pleased.

I’ve never seen a golfer who’s tempo is too smooth !

Great Advice From The King Of The Corporate Outing

Dave Stockton - King of the Corporate Outing

Did you happen to read any of the " My Shot " interview with Dave Stockton in the September issue of Golf Digest ?

The King of the Corporate Outing said :

" There is no place for conscious effort in golf ."

Like Dave said, it’s been said a thousand times – Quit all that thinking about a specific result before a golf shot.

How many times does a player need par to win and ends with a double bogey ?

The greats of the game have played each shot for all they could put into it - not the hole – each shot.

Just about a month ago, I needed a par for a 67, my personal best, and it was the most excruciating hole I’ve ever played, because I knew what the result was. Instead, I should have hit each shot independent of the next one.

Lesson learned.

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