Golf Clothing and Shoes at Function Eighteen

People often ask me if serious golfers start thinking about golf after the new year. They always get the same answer, “Serious golfers never STOP thinking about golf!”  Granted, our favorite sport dictates a few of our resolutions – we’ll resolve to golf certain courses, add to our arsenal, overcome bad habits, adopt better habits, etc. Resolutions are all about improving, and golfers are always looking for improvement.

One way to improve our game (or at the very least improve our image) is to improve our golf clothing and shoes. My favorite place to shop for golf clothing is online. No lines. Great deals. Fast. Easy. Did I mention no lines?

If, like me, you’re a fan of Nike and Puma, you’ll want to check out a popular leading suppliers of golf clothes, Function 18.  On Function 18’s great (and huge!) website,  you can choose from top brands including Nike golf and puma. Nike is the world’s #1 sports brand and their golf division, Nike Golf, is the world’s leading manufacturer of golf clothing and footwear. No matter what you’re looking for, it’s just a click away.

However, you can find more than just Nike Golf and Puma on Function 18. They also have a great range of sale Adidas golf clothing, including the great looking Adidas Golf Fall Weight Golf Pants you see pictured in the graphic above.

If you start adding to your golf clothing collection now, you’ll be set by the time warmer weather (finally) gets here.  Click through either of the links above above and take a look at everything in the Nike Golf, Puma, and Adidas collections.

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Top Five Killer Golf Courses in the Algarve for Excellent Golfing

Penina Hotel and Golf Resort

With the new golf season in the Algarve kicking into gear, seasoned veterans and enthusiastic amateurs alike are all on the hunt for some of the most challenging and beautiful golf on the planet. Right now, the hard fought battle of summer improvements, tweaks and changes is coming to an end and every course in the region is set to come out swinging. Which ones are packing the most punch in 2013? Take a look at our top 5:

1. The Sir Henry Thomas Championship Course

The Sir Henry Thomas is the first 18 hole championship course to grace the Algarve, and is recognised as one of the most challenging and satisfying courses in the world. Designed and constructed by its famous namesake, the course is located at the world famous Penina Hotel & Golf Resort and was recently voted Portugal’s Leading Golf Resort by the World Travel Awards. A par 72 that boasts an eclectic array of stunning scenery, subtle slopes and amazing scenery, the course is renowned for being as picturesque as it is unforgiving. Playing frequent host to the Portuguese Open, the Sir Henry Thomas is a delight for professionals and amateurs of all abilities.

2. San Lorenzo Golf Course

Located in the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve, the San Lorenzo Golf Course is perhaps the most beautiful course that can be found in the Algarve… and is built within deep pine woods that open out onto a magnificent ocean vista, saltwater marshes and freshwater lagoons. Don’t let all that vibrant nature fool you though, this course was masterminded by two of the finest golf architects in the world, Joseph Lee and Rocky Roquermore… and has been winning awards for its exceptional greens and challenging golf since 1988. You’ll find yourself driving down fairways alongside the Ria Formosa Estuary, chipping over deceptively long lakes and weaving in and out of some of the finest scenery that can be found anywhere in Portugal.

3. Pinheiros Altos

The course has established itself as one of the most prestigious and successful golfing centres in Europe… and features a 27 hole championship course, offering exciting challenges and varying degrees of difficulty. Each of the nine holes; The Pines, The Corks and The Olives is a par 36, all of which have their starting and finishing points close to the impressive clubhouse. The course is located deep in the heart of the Ria Formosa nature reserve… and is just a stone throw away from extensive, unspoilt beaches and the expansive Atlantic ocean.

4. The North Course at Monte Rei

One of the few Jack Nicklaus ‘Signature’ courses to be located in Europe – and the first to make an appearance in Portugal – the North Course at Monte Rei is fast becoming one of the places to play in the Algarve. Located up in the hills northeast of Tavira, and tantalisingly close to the Spanish border, the course is an abundance of luscious greens, challenging water hazards and unbelievable views. From the downhill view at the 1st… to the wide open stadium feel of the 18th, Monte Rei truly is a top 100 course that you won’t want to play just once.

5. The Oceanico Old Course

Designed by Frank Pennink, the Old Course cut its first divot back in 1969 and has been topping the rankings of European golf courses ever since. Located in the coastal town of Vilamoura, this unusual par 73 is near perfect for all year round golf. Great, but dangerous, for long hitters of the ball, the unforgiving greens and fairways are lined with an abundance of umbrella pines that have claimed many a stray ball with aplomb. And whilst this magnificent old gent of a course may transport you back to the great old days of championship golf, with its old-style clubhouse and slow greens… it sure isn’t in need of a makeover and guarantees round after round of superb entertainment.

Subconscious Golf Book Giveaway

Subconscious GolfGrantBrownGolf.com is giving away a copy of Ed Grant’s Subconscious Golf (valued at $49.95). The book has been endorsed by some top golfers, including Dave Stockton. It also includes an hour of HD golf instruction.

Subconscious Golf gives you the knowledge you need to think and play like a Pro.

CLICK HERE to enter and tell ‘em Travelling Golfer sent you ;-)

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

On Rabbit’s Feet and Water Balls: A Look at Popular Golf Superstitions

Golf ImageBy Scott McCormick, a golfer and blogger with Golf Now Dallas.

Even professionals will admit that a little bit of luck can go a long way in golf. Don’t get me wrong – skill, focus, and intense training are all necessary to be at one’s peak. But at the end of the day, the odds of sinking a tiny ball in a tiny hole hundreds of yards away can leave one thinking that there’s more at play in the air other than wind resistance. Sports are often prone to superstitions, but golf is absolutely rife with them. The game’s most popular golfer, Tiger Woods, admits his iconic red shirt is actually a habit of superstition since his mother apparently warned him that wearing red on Sundays would boost his game – being the Capricorn that he is.

Here are some of the most prevalent myths in the game of golf, along with some analysis about how they might have started.

Hazard Balls Carry Bad Mojo

For a variety of reasons, many golfers have acquired the notion that using a ball that has been involved in a hazard shot might result in further hazards down the road. This holds especially true for balls that have unfortunately landed in a water hazard – many pros refer to these balls begrudgingly as “water balls” and will refrain from using them on any further holes for their round. On the other hand, some refuse to brush the dirt off if they’re in the middle of a lucky streak, since they believe that washing their ball will result in changing their luck.

The reason for the belief that balls can carry bad mojo can hinge on several reasons. For some, blaming the “energy” of a ball rather than other factors in the environment can help them explain the lack of consistency in the results of their swing. Others might consider these failings as due to minute differences between balls, despite the fact that they mostly seem identical. Regardless, most golfers aren’t willing to compromise logic when a gut feeling is saying that a ball has bad luck written all over it.

Don’t “Cheap Out”

When it comes to marking where your ball lies, the traditional decision has always been to use a quarter. But more than a simple tradition, many golfers refuse to use any other coinage (meaning going cheap with a penny or dime could spell disaster for your game.) And many golfers regard other balls found in sand traps or left abandoned out-of-bounds of the course to be similarly jinxed as previously stated, and they typically avoid picking them up. But instead of being based on mojo, many people regard this as unsportsman-like.

Despite clichés about golfers being well-to-do, the real basis of these superstitions doesn’t have anything to do with avoiding being a cheapskate; it’s that these practices further standardize the game and make elements of it feel more “controllable.” In a game in which so much is left to the wind (literally,) sports psychologists have recognized the trend of superstitions such as these arising as a means of assuming control over elements of the game in which they have little influence. Further superstitions along these lines hinge on lucky clubs, which players might bring along even if they remain unused. Others might bring lucky charms to focus on, which could boost their confidence when heading up for the tee-off.

The End Game

Regardless of the reasons that we hold these superstitions, the truth is that most of us are fully aware that they are arbitrary and baseless. The habits of seasoned vets may confound rookies who haven’t been in the game for long, but these routines have an important place in maintaining our emotional health while playing the game. The stresses of competition and performance anxiety can take a huge toll on us, but regaining control through these small quirks can be a great way to alleviate our minds and improve our game.
And as long as these practices aren’t inappropriate or too off-the-wall, who’s to say what’s in bounds?

Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/raysawhill/8306067796/

Things to Look For When Shopping for Golf Shoes

Ecco Biom HydroMax™Golf Shoe 131004 When you’re shopping for Golf Shoes (especially if you’re shopping online), there are certain guidelines you need to consider.  I thought a post dedicated to these guidelines was in order. I also wanted to introduce you to the wide range of golf shoes from Ecco, so this will be a chance to do that as well.

When it comes to shopping for golf shoes, the key things to keep in mind are:

  • Design and Comfort – Obviously you want a pair of golf shoes that offer you the support, impact absorption, and exceptional comfort. When you’re playing a round of golf, the LAST thing you want to think about is your feet.  You need a pair of shoes designed so well that they do all of the thinking for you.
  • Fit – This one’s a no-brainer, but how could I leave it out of the list?! When you shop online for golf shoes, make sure the website features a comprehensive Size Chart. For Example, the great looking shoe you see to the right is from Ecco and is available online at Function 18.com. The website provides a comprehensive size chart. right down to foot length. You can click through the shoe, itself, to see what I mean.
  • Price – When shopping for golf shoes, keep in mind that you get what you pay for. This is true for most things in life, isn’t it? If you play golf regularly, your feet, back, and hips will thank you if you look for quality rather than savings. Experts tell us that a great pair of golf shoes can actually even help your game. We’re all looking for a little edge out there – and the shoes you put on your feet can literally give you a sharp edge.
  • Weatherproof Warranty vs Water Resistant – Again, how often you play in in what types of conditions you’re willing to play in will help you determine which of these you’ll want to watch for.  A shoe with a “water resistant” label means there isn’t a “Waterproof Warranty” (usually a 2 year guarantee). A Weatherproof Warranty (which the shoe I’ve spotlighted on the right has).  If you play a lot of golf in the morning, you know what it’s like to play in dew – you’d be a great candidate for a waterproof warranty.

The shoe showcased above (as well as the ones shown below) are all from Function 18. Shop online at function 18 for a wide variety of great looking golf shoes.

 

Top Five Reasons to Plan a Golf Vacation in Northern France

MeertMeert in Lille, France

Beautiful Northern France has far more to see and enjoy than than just the following “Top 5.” In fact, there are so many incredible restaurants, alone, I may have to do another “Top 5″ post soon.

When you plan your golf vacation to Northern France, the following are just a few attractions and courses you’ll want to check out, but keep in mind the possibilities in Northern France are endless. If you’re travelling from the UK to France, the easiest and cheapest way is via the cross channel ferry and Brittany Ferries offer some great golf holiday deals that include the ferry crossing, bed and breakfast and a few rounds of golf. You’ll experience friendly people, beautiful golf courses, and delicious food. Let’s start planning your vacation to Northern France now!

  1. How do waffles made in a hinged iron griddle with Madagascar vanilla sound? They sound like something that could land you the number one spot in a top 5 list! They’re one of the specialties at Meert (pictured above) in Lille, France. Meert is a luxury (emphasis on luxury) tea room and sweets shop that has served kings, viceroys and generals (including Charles de Gaulle, a life-long fan) since 1761.  As if the waffles (“Gaufres”) aren’t sweet enough,  just next door is Meert’s chocolate shop. Any questions why they own the number 1 spot?   Golf de Bondues (a Trent Jones Course) is in nearby Bondues. Golf de Bondues boasts an American design with plenty of water and challenging holes.
  2. La Source (also in Lillie) is popular with vegetarians, seafood lovers, and health-conscious diners.  La Source serves delicious vegetarian, fowl and fish plats du jour, each accompanied by five hot vegetable side dishes.
  3. As for hotels in Northern France with “outstanding” reviews, the top pick seems to be Moulin de Connelles. If you read online reviews for this beautiful hotel in Connelles, France, you’ll see the following adjectives: magical, enchanting, peaceful,  beautiful, wonderful… Suffice to say, they had me at “enchanting.” You can visit a hotel’s website and let them tell you how wonderful they are, or you can read actual reviews from actual guests and REALLY find out all you need to know. Moulin de Connelles is so amazing that their reviews speak for themselves.
  4. Brittany (in North West France) gets high marks for restaurants, hotels, and golf.  Brittany golf courses offer golf year round, with breathtaking scenery and holes that are challenging and enjoyable for beginners as well as seasoned pros. Visit http://www.golf-brittanytourism.com/ for more information.
  5. Golf de Wimereux, created in 1901, is a gorgeous sand based golf course with excellent playing conditions all year. Guaranteed.

Golf in Northern France – Golf de Wimereux

Hopefully, this post will inspire to plan a trip as soon as possible to Northern France. Those of us who love travel AND golf, couldn’t ask for a more beautiful place to experience the best of both worlds.

 

Golf de St Cast, St Cast

Golf de St Cast, St Cast

Owensboro’s Steve Hayden Gets A Hole In One At Windridge Country Club!

Hole in One

On Monday August 12th, 2013, my buddy and that days playing partner, Steve Hayden of Owensboro (Ky) got his first ever hole-in-one at Windridge Country Club’s 4th hole.

The Par 3 was playing about 122 yards from the Blue tee’s and Steve’s Callaway A-Wedge hit a few feet short and tracked straight into the hole. You can see the ball mark about 6 feet short of the hole, right on line.

I snapped a quick picture and we hurried along to finish the round because it was just about ready to rain so hard you couldn’t see!

Congrats to Steve and thanks for taking me along ;-)

Bent My New Pitching Wedge!

Bent Club

I went out for a quick 9 for the first time since I blew a disc last August. I had replaced my Adams a07OS with newer, better a12OS hybrid set and I loved the 10-20 range balls I hit over a two week period.

My first hole was a 13* 3-wood then a Gap wedge. The next hole was 13* 3-wood and PW and what you see above is what happened.

I didn’t even know it until the 8th hole when I needed the PW again.

I pulled it out of the bag, got into my setuo and go “Whaaaaaat?!”

I’m gonna Tweet the great folks at Adams Golf and see if they can help out a loyal customer like me ;-)

I’ve gotta play my first 18 hole round since last August next week and I need a PW!

Golf Bags Can Give You An Advantage

Sun Mountain Superlight 3.5 Stand Bag - Pine_Black_Gold

Given the importance that the right set of golf clubs can have on your game, it is understandable why so many golfers make this their main focus when they think about which golf equipment to buy next. There is no denying that finding a set of golf clubs that are comfortable and can enhance your game can be very important for golfers but you should always spare some thought for how you store your clubs at home and how you carry these clubs around the course. There is no point in spending a lot of money on golf clubs only to have them ruined by a poor golf bag.

There are many different things that a golfer should consider when looking for a new golf bag and different golfers will have different ideas about the importance of each element. The bag should always be big enough to carry all of the clubs you currently own and you should always leave some room to store additional clubs. Many golfers will add to their club collection over time and if you don’t want to leave any clubs behind, you need to make sure that your golf bag has the space to hold some new additions.

Be comfortable when playing a round of golf

Another big requirement for many golf bags is how comfortable they are to lift and carry around a golf course. 18 holes can be a long trek if the straps on your bag dig into you or the bag is not comfortable to hold. Thankfully there is a wide range of golf bags available to choose from at 118Golf, which means that you should be able to find a bag that is comfortable.

While the functional nature of a golf bag is very important, it is fair to say that many golfers will have a strong interest in the fashionable nature of the bag too. If you are going to be using a golf bag regularly and it is something that your friends, associates and peers will see you with on a regular basis, it is important to ensure that your golf bag matches your image or at least looks presentable.

Golf can be a fun activity but a lot of people do business on the golf course and presenting a positive image at all times can often make the difference. There is also going to be a need to consider the price of the bag and how this fits in with your overall budget.

There are many different things to consider when choosing a golf bag but thankfully there is a very wide range of golf bags to choose from.