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How to Hold a Golf Club

If the overall mission in golf is to get the ball into the hole using a club, then the only thing between you and that club are your hands on the grip. So learning more about how to hold a golf club is crucial, even for seasoned golfers.

The Basic Grip

There are a number of ways to grip the club, including the baseball grip and interlocking grip. But mastering the basic golf grip first gives you a ‘baseline’ from where you can learn other grips and determine which one helps your golf swing the most.

How to Do a Basic Club Grip

You can try this at home, but its best to be in a space where you can swing the club to get a better feel for the grip.

  1. Place the Club Head on the Ground in Front of You – The face of the head should be perpendicular to the path of the ball or a line to the target. Rest the club grip on your forward leg.
  2. Grab the Club Shaft with Your Non-Dominant Hand – That’s your left-hand if you are right-handed, and vice versa if your swing is left-handed. Raise up the shaft so that it is at a 45% angle to the ground. With your palm facing up, lay the top of the grip across your dominant hand along the joints between your palm and fingers. The top of the grip should extend a few centimetres past the knuckle on your little finger.
  3. Grip the Club – Curl your fingers around the club while simultaneously bringing your thumb across the top of the grip to the other side of the grip. In its final position, your thumb should not be over your index finger, and it should be pointing slightly behind the club.
  4. Grab the Grip With Your Dominant Hand – Place it just below the upper hand with the grip going across the joints between your palm and fingers. The padding on your palm below your thumb should fit in the space between your forefinger and thumb of your upper hand. Your little finger should lie in the space between the index and middle fingers of the upper hand.

Want to find a local Whitby golf club to try out your new grip? Get in touch with us here Royal Ashburn Golf Club. And if you liked this post, make sure to check out our last article on 5 steps to great bunker raking.

How to Swing a Golf Club: The Stance

One of the great pleasures of golf is that it isn’t easy. That can make it a challenge for beginners and experts alike. But the more you learn about the game, the better you will be able to meet that challenge, regardless of your level of play. The most basic skill of all? How to swing a golf club!

The Importance of Learning How to Swing a Golf Club

The basic challenge in golf is learning how to swing to hit the ball consistently well. Without a good swing, no other part of the game, from club selection to the equipment you choose, will really matter.

The Basic Stance

Every golfer develops their own stances as their experience and knowledge expand. The following cover some of the basic starting points for developing a stance that works for you.

  1. The Placement of Your Feet – Keep your feet a little more than shoulder width apart, with your front foot slightly ahead of the ball. The ball should be at or close to the mid-point between your feet.
  2. The positioning of the Club and Ball – Align the ball with the middle of the club head. For the club to be in the right position, arms should be straight out, but elbows shouldn’t be locked. Your upper body should be bent slightly forward at the waist.
  3. Knees Slightly Bent – For a better understanding of the importance of bending your knees, and how much they should be bent, try a swing with your knees straight. Keep your weight balanced somewhat towards the balls of your feet and evenly distributed between your feet.
  4. Alignment to the Target – Your feet and shoulders should be aligned with the target for your shot, whether that’s a point on the fairway or the hole. For proper alignment, an imaginary line between your shoulders, and the toes of your shoes should point to your target. That way you’ll achieve ultimate precision when swinging the club.

To learn more about how to swing a golf club from a professional instructor at a premier Whitby golf club, get in touch with us here at Royal Ashburn Golf Club. If you liked this post, check out our last blog post on improving your confidence on the golf course.

5 Steps to Great Bunker Raking

There are a number of unwritten rules of golf etiquette. From picking up your tees, to not stepping in the path of an opponent’s ball on the green, golf’s etiquette rules have one thing in common. They are generally intended to ensure that everyone on the course has an enjoyable round of golf. To do so, the rules generally relate to showing common courtesy to your fellow golfer.

One of the unwritten rules is that you should rake the bunker after you play out of it. Playing out of a bunker is a challenge for even the world’s top golfers. So imagine the difficulty for a recreational golfer when his or her bunker shot lies in the middle of a footprint.

How to Properly Rake a Bunker

Even golfers who are keenly aware of the importance of raking bunkers might not know how to get the perfect rake every time.

What most golfers don’t realize is that properly raking sand bunkers starts before the golfer even enters the bunker.

  1. Find the Right Bunker Entry/Exit Point – The first step to good raking is to minimize the raking that’s needed. The best spot to enter and exit the bunker is the lowest spot along the edge of the bunker, closest to your ball. This avoids deeper impressions in the bunker from coming off a high spot, and minimizes footprints in the sand.
  2. Take the Rake With You – Before you step into the bunker, find the rake and carry it with you to where you will make your shot. This also minimizes foot steps and speeds up the raking process.
  3. Play Your Shot – Drop the rake behind you, out of your way, but within reaching distance. Play your shot.
  4. Back Out of Bunker Raking as You Go – Remember to rake the following areas: the path the ball made in the sand after landing; the spot where you put the rake; where your club contacted the sand; and all your footprints. Pull the rake towards you with the goal of levelling the marks to the surrounding surface of the sand.
  5. Step Out of the Bunker and Finish Raking – After you have finished levelling the sand, place the rake outside the bunker, on the side away from the hole, parallel to the line of play. Some courses may have different guidelines for rake replacement. Check your scorecard or rules posted in the Pro Shop.

Now that you are an authority on raking bunkers, why not book a tee time here at Royal Ashburn to put your knowledge into practice?

5 Great Reasons to Golf in the Fall

Do you pack up your golf clubs after Labour Day? Do you hate golfing in anything other than nice, warm weather?

You don’t know what you’re missing.

Not only are you missing out on some great golf, but you’re missing out on some great golf advantages too.

Here’s Why You Should Try Golfing in the Fall

  1. More Chances to Play – If you’re exclusively a summer golfer, you might think that getting a great tee time is always difficult. But, considering that many golfers have called it a season, you’ll find those ideal tee-off times are much easier to get now.
  2. It’s Not as Uncomfortable as You Think – Recent advancements in golf and athletic wear mean you don’t need a parka to stay comfortably warm on the course. Today, with just three layers (a base, wicking layer; a warmth layer and an outer shell) you can golf comfortably even in single digit temperatures. And your swing isn’t cramped by bulky jackets.
  3. It’s Beautiful – If you think looking at all the fall colours in and around Whitby is a treat, wait until you play a round of golf among them.
  4. You Might Play for Less – As demand for tee times decrease, there’s a good chance you’ll find discounted rates for a round of golf.
  5. A Great Time to Invest in Your Game – This might be one of the best advantages of golf in the fall. Many golfers choose the spring, when the season starts, to buy new golf equipment and/or take lessons. But that’s when equipment manufacturers launch new models at higher prices. And with everyone looking for lessons, you might not get the time slots you want.
    But buying new equipment in the fall is less expensive, and you’ll find more openings for lessons. Perhaps best of all, you’ll be making those investments in your game when your swing is in peak form; when the investment can offer the highest pay off.

To find out just how great golfing in the fall can be, book a tee time here at Royal Ashburn.

How To Keep Playing Golf in Cold Weather

We’re always optimistic about playing golf as long as we can each year. But any way you look at it, colder weather is on the way. We’ve had a long, hot summer (though it had its share of rain too) and it can be difficult to be ready for the change in weather when it arrives.

But there’s no reason you can’t keep playing golf comfortably in the cooler weather this fall.

How to Dress to Play Golf in Colder Weather

Of course, the basic idea is to stay warm and not let the cold get to you. You could wear a parka, but, well, that’ll play havoc with your swing dynamics. Layering is the answer and you only need three of them.

  • Base Layer – The layer closest to your body may be the most important. It should do two things well. In addition to helping you stay warm, it should also keep you dry from sweat. Look for compression wear that wicks moisture and dries fast.
  • Second Layer – This one should do most of the warming. A fleece or performance jacket works well. It’s always difficult to predict how cold you will be. A full zipper will let you adjust ventilation as needed.
  • Outer Layer – It’s important to remember that this layer is about keeping the cold wind out, versus adding another layer of warmth. A non-insulated, water-repellent windbreaker or rain jacket will do the trick nicely. A hood will be helpful if it starts to rain or get extra chilly.
  • Headgear – You lose more body heat through your head than any other part of your body. A compact, not tight, beanie-style toque that covers your ears will do a better job than your summer golf hat.
  • Cart Gloves/Mitts – You’ll want to make your shots wearing only your golf gloves, so keep a pair of warm gloves or, even better, mittens with hand warmers inside, in the cart for between shots.
  • Waterproof Golf Shoes – We don’t get any more rain in the fall than we do at other times of year. But cooler temperatures mean damp course conditions linger for longer. Even the most dedicated golfer doesn’t like playing with cold, wet feet.

When you’re ready to try all your cold-weather golf gear, we’ll be ready to book your tee time here at Royal Ashburn.

One Way to Help Improve Confidence on the Golf Course

In a way, after playing for the very first time, it’s amazing that anyone ever plays a second round of golf. Golf can at one moment be the most enjoyable and rewarding sport, and at the next moment, the most frustrating.

Anyone who has played a round of golf knows what we mean.

Golf’s Mental Game

It’s generally understood that golf is a competition against yourself, not the golfers in your foursome. Yes, at the end of the round you compare scores and declare a winner. But, at the moment you step up to play each shot, no one is between you and the ball. Whether it is a great shot, a hook, a slice or a duff, you are entirely responsible for it.

You and your thoughts that is.

More than any sport we know, golf is at least as much a mental game as it is physical. And the onslaught of challenges starts to chip away at your confidence from the moment you step up to the first tee. There you are, you haven’t settled into the round yet. The starter’s watching. Maybe another foursome too. It’s a par 5. No pressure.

Even if you manage to keep the shot on the fairway, away from the bunkers, the pressure’s still on. Now you have to make the most of what appears to be a relatively easy shot. You simply can’t misplay such a great lie.

Try This to Help Improve Your Confidence on the Golf Course

There are lots of ways to improve confidence in your golf game. Like anything else, the more you golf, the better you play. Lessons never hurt anyone’s golf game and simply knowing that you’ve made the investment can help your confidence. But, yes, it is an investment and you might have to play more often than you do.

So try putting away the scorecard.

In addition to all the mental challenges of playing the game, golfers also write down their scores at the end of every hole. Even if you did well on a hole, your three-over-par on that other hole glares at you every single time you look at the scorecard. Try playing a round without keeping score. Play just for the enjoyment. Enjoy the day. Enjoy the course. And enjoy the company of friends!

This doesn’t mean you stop trying to make the best shot every time. In fact, the idea is to try to focus on only the shot, not the score.

Not paying attention to your score may or may not work for you. It’s tough not to keep score in your head. But the idea is, if you find any way to improve your confidence and your ability to play the game, you’ll enjoy golf even more.

How the Dimples on Golf Balls Make Your Shots Go Farther

Among all the different shapes and sizes of balls used in many different sports, golf balls are unique in their use of dimples. And most golfers know why the dimples are there. They give the ball lift which helps the ball travel farther.

But that’s not the full story of how dimples help your shots go as far as they do.

The Story of How Golf Balls Got Their Dimples

In the mid-1800s golf balls were made of a leather cover stuffed with chicken or goose feathers and coated with paint. Known as a ‘featherie’, they were difficult to make consistently round, which made their flight irregular. They also became heavier when wet, which reduced distance. To top it all off, they were very time consuming to make. That made them very expensive, each costing between two and five shillings, or about $10 to $20 dollars today.

In 1848, Dr. Robert Adams Paterson invented the gutta-percha ball, which became known as a ‘guttie’. Made from the sap of a sapodilla tree, gutties were easier to shape consistently, they were not affected by water and they were cheaper to make.

And then golfers made perhaps the greatest discovery in golf. They noticed that their shots travelled further when they used older gutties that were dented and nicked. It didn’t take long for ball makers to catch on and they began producing golf balls with textured surfaces.

While other major breakthroughs happened in golf ball design over the years, including improvement to the core of the ball, those initial textures were refined over time into the dimples we know today.

The Combination of Lift and Aerodynamic Drag in a Golf Ball

The dimple pattern on golf balls today is there because of the two major influences the dimples have on a ball’s flight.

The previously-mentioned lift is the result of backspin on the ball. Backspin makes the air pressure higher underneath the ball and lower over the ball to create upward force on the ball. Dimples help to optimize the effect.

But the greatest contribution dimples make to the distance of your shots comes from their reduction of aerodynamic drag.

If golf balls were smooth, air would flow around them relatively unimpeded during flight. Air flow contacts the front, leading surface of the ball and detaches from the surface as soon as it passes the farthest outside edges of the ball. That leaves a relatively large pocket of air behind the ball. A pocket of air that the ball must drag with it as it travels. That’s aerodynamic drag.

Each dimple on a golf ball creates a tiny pocket of turbulence in the air that travels around it. Instead of slowing the ball down, the turbulence pockets keep the air flow running along the surface of the ball further around the back of the ball. The result is a smaller pocket of air behind the ball and less aerodynamic drag.

How much further will your shot go using a dimpled ball versus a smooth ball? According to Steve Quintavalla, an equipment standards engineer with the USGA, a dimpled ball will travel almost twice as far as a smooth ball. So now that you know your shots are traveling twice as far, why not put them to work by booking a tee time here at Royal Ashburn!

See for Yourself How Beautiful A Golf Course Wedding Can Be

We’re proud to have been the setting for countless wedding ceremonies for over three generations. With two dedicated outdoor chapel-like settings, and beautiful reception rooms to host weddings of any size, we like to think of ourselves as golf club wedding specialists.

But many couples don’t ever think of hosting their wedding at a golf club. If they’re not familiar with golf courses, they may not realize just how beautiful and special a wedding set on the backdrop of a meticulously maintained course and gardens can be.

But Don’t Take Our Word for It. Checkout #royalashburnsweddings on Instagram!

We host so many wedding celebrations, we have our own hashtag on Instagram! You can use #royalashburnweddings to see for yourself just how beautiful, creative and special your wedding ceremony and reception can be here at Royal Ashburn Golf Club.

Who could ever forget starting their lives together in a natural outdoor setting as beautiful as this? Our Cedars Garden lets you celebrate your nuptials in a grove of trees with up to 160 guests

You’re not going to get a setting or memory like this from your local banquet hall!

Your wedding is an opportunity to express yourself like never before. And Royal Ashburn lets you express yourself in ways you never thought possible, like if you want to channel the “Don Draper” vibe!

When you choose Royal Ashburn as the setting for your wedding, you get a dedicated wedding coordinator to help you plan every detail of your celebration.

One last thing. Memories are made of this.

If you’d like to find out how more about we can help you celebrate your union in an unforgettable way, contact Royal Ashburn Golf Club today.

3 Ways Golf Lessons Can Improve Your Game

Whether you’re a beginner or you golf every week, when you have a difficult round, the thought of taking golf lessons can pop into your mind. But that’s usually all it does. Pop into your mind and right back out.

One of the reasons many golfers don’t take lessons, even if they’ve benefited from them before, is the idea that the lessons are all about improving your swing.

Of course, developing a great swing is one of the main benefits of golf lessons. But it is just one of many that golfers of all abilities can enjoy.

How Golf Lessons Can Help Every Golfer

Needless to say, lessons are especially helpful for beginners. That’s because they have more to learn. But every golfer can learn something by taking lessons from a golf pro.

1. Reveals The Nuances of the Game

To think that golf lessons are just about a better swing is really cheating yourself out of learning so much more about the game. And getting the added enjoyment that comes from it. From the different approaches to the long and short games, to learning how to get back on track after a bad swing, hole or round, all will help lower your scores.

2. Immerses You in a Golf Conversation

Yes, you can visit the driving range and practice green to work on your swing on your own. But when you take lessons from a professional instructor, you engage in a conversation about golf. One that’s centered on your game. And one that can reveal parts of your game you might never think about on your own.

3. Reinvigorates Your Love of the Golf

Regardless of if you’ve ever had a lesson or ever will, you love golf. But imagine what happens if, after just one lesson, you learn something new. Something that injects a new level of enthusiasm for your game. And imagine if that happened after every lesson. Just the boost to your activity in and enthusiasm for the sport and how you play it can improve your game immensely.

The Royal Ashburn Golf Club offers private and semi-private lessons from CPGA professionals Dave Castellan and Justin Hawe. Contact us today to find out more about how golf lessons can improve your game.  

3 Tips for Planning a Better Golf Course Wedding

Rule number one when planning a golf course wedding, or any wedding, is to start as soon as possible. We are always so disappointed to get calls from anxious brides and grooms who are trying to plan the wedding of their dreams, but they didn’t start early enough.

But there are many parts of planning a golf course wedding that you may not have to consider for a normal wedding. The good news is that they are not necessarily added responsibilities. The following are just some ways to take advantage of a beautiful golf course setting and the amenities the golf club has to offer.

1. Plan Your Photography

If you’re in the midst of planning a wedding right now, you are probably all consumed by it. And you will be until you say “I do!” But when it’s all over, what will you have left? The memories and the photographs.

Golf courses offer stunning backdrops for all your wedding photography, including the ceremony, after the ceremony and at the reception. It can help your photographer get even better shots by being able to see the venue before your wedding day. Better yet, and one way to strike one thing off your wedding planning ‘to do’ list is to ask the golf course to recommend photographers who have taken wedding pictures at the course before.

2. Think About Your Guests

First, pick a golf course that doesn’t take forever to get to. And you can fine-tune your golf course wedding to your guests in lots of other ways too.

Are there golfers on your invitation list? One way to make your day extra special is including the option to play a round of golf on the course where you hold your wedding.

3. Find a Course that Specializes in Weddings

You can arrange to get married at almost any golf course. But some courses have outdoor chapel-like settings specifically for wedding ceremonies. And if you want to check a whole bunch of items off the to-do list, choose a golf course that offers a dedicated wedding planner. You won’t regret it.

Royal Ashburn has been helping couples  celebrate their marriage for over 30 years, Checkout this stunning photograph on Instagram from a recent ceremony. Then contact us to start planning your beautiful wedding ceremony and reception.

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