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Tips

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.

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 only have time to play any 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.

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 benefitted 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 centred 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.  

4 Reasons to Use Golf Club Head Covers

The jury is out on the benefits of golf club head covers. You’ll get as many points of view on if, how and why to use them as the number of golfers you ask. In the end, it’s up to your personal preference.

The Benefits of Golf Club Head Covers

Whether you choose to use them constantly, regularly or just occasionally (like for travel), here are just some of the benefits that golf club head covers offer.

1. Protect Your Clubs

This is the basic reason for using head covers. When woods were actually made of wood, they were easily bruised and scratched. Head covers not only protected them from that damage, but also from the elements.
Still, even today’s metal woods can benefit from head covers. The graphite shafts on many woods are susceptible to damage that can be prevented by covers that feature longer necks for the shaft. Covers will also reduce damage to the face of your clubs; damage that can affect the shots you make.

2. Stop the Clanging

Golf is a game of etiquette and consideration for others on the course. The clanging of clubs, whether you carry your bag, use a pull cart or even a power cart, is silenced when you use head covers. Remember, every single clang you hear from uncovered clubs is potentially another bit of damage to them.

3. Club Identification

Simply put, you can choose head covers that let you quickly spot the club you need for your next shot.

4. Add a Bit of Personality

Considering the variety of materials and designs used for club head covers, many golfers put covers on their golf clubs to reflect a bit of their personality on the course.

You Don’t Need to Use Them Constantly

Like we said, the jury is still out on the benefits of head covers. Even if you are not convinced of their benefits and like to play without them, you can still protect your clubs between rounds and remove them before you head out on the course.

If you’re looking to get a set of golf club head covers to protect the investment you’ve made in your clubs, be sure to visit the Pro Shop here at Royal Ashburn Golf Club.

4 Warm-Up Stretches to Do Before You Tee Off

Whether you do or you don’t, warming up, or improving your warm up, before a round of golf can have a bottom-line benefit on your scorecard.

Even if you visit the driving range before a round to get your swing in gear, warming up can speed up the process and get your swing into mid-round form even on the early holes.

Warming up also helps minimize aggravating any soreness or minor injuries too. You should definitely warm-up if you have any sensitivity in your shoulders, knees or just about anywhere because golf is truly a full-body sport.

To get a better idea of what stretches to do before golfing, think of every part of your body that you use in a golf swing from the ground up. Now stretch each part. ( NOTE: If you feel any pain, twinges or sensations while warming up, stop immediately.)

1. Legs & Lower Body

Squats and lunges are great for your legs, hips and lower back.

A. Squats

A good squat starts with your legs shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight, bend at the hips, pushing your butt backward. Lower your hips to the ground. Do not let your knees move forward past the ends of your toes.

B. Lunges

Keep your upper body vertically straight, hold your shoulders back and your chin up while staring at a point straight in front of you. Step forward with one leg, and lower your body until both knees, are at about a 90-degree angle. Don’t let your lower knee touch the floor. Push back up to a standing position and repeat the lunge with your other leg. Try 10 reps to start.

2. Core

While just about every warmup you do will engage your core, you need to stretch it too. A few side bends will do the trick. With your legs shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips, bend at the waist, first to the left, then to the right. Repeat 10 to 15 times. You can try the side bends while holding a club across your shoulders with both arms.

3. Arms & Shoulders

Standing straight, legs shoulder-width apart, hold your swing arm straight across your body, towards your other arm, parallel to the ground. Using your other arm, pull your extended swing arm close to your body. You can add a turn at the waist to the direction your swing arm is pointing. Do the same for the other arm. Repeat three to five times.

4. Neck

Neck rolls are always a good way to stretch your neck. Facing forward, slowly rotate your head in a circular, clockwise direction. Repeat the full rotation three times, then do the same for a counter-clockwise rotation.

Every little bit helps in golf and warming up can make a big difference. Why not reserve a tee time here at Royal Ashburn Golf Club so you can practice your new warm-up routine!

How the Weather Affects Your Golf Game

We sure have had some wacky weather this winter and spring here in Whitby and the Toronto area. It started with people being able to enjoy rounds of golf into November last year, went to a minus 20 degree celsius deep freeze at the start of the year and now spring time seems to have stalled.

It all got us thinking about how the weather can affect your round of golf. In addition to the overall effect weather trends can have on delaying or extending the golf season, and the ever-present influence of the wind, or the lack of it, weather conditions on any given day can be a factor in the distance you get from the tee and on the fairway.

Temperature

Warm air rises because it is not as dense as cold air. That produces three major effects on your golf game.
First, the thinner air reduces drag on the golf ball, which increases driving distance. Second, there is less lift from less dense air, so the ball won’t get the same loft. Finally, the lower trajectory reduces slices and hooks.

Barometric Pressure

If you never pay attention to the barometer readings on weather reports, you should if you’re heading to the golf course. Lower barometer readings mean lighter air which produces the same effects on your shots as warmer air.

Humidity

When the weather person talks about ‘relative humidity’, start listening. The humidity reading is a reflection of the moisture content of the air. Drier air is denser, which creates more drag on the ball and reduces the distance it travels.

Don’t expect these weather conditions to change your golf game drastically. For example, testing using a swing machine showed an increase of 1.3 yards for every 12 degrees C increase in temperatures. But when you include other variables like the wind, the effects can be amplified.

6 Tips for a First-Time Golfer

The biggest mistake anyone who wants to learn the game of golf can make is to avoid taking up the sport because of concerns about being a ‘first-time golfer’. Everyone on every golf course was a first-time golfer at some point.

Maybe you’re really interested in learning the game, or it would be a good career move, or you want to share yet another activity with your partner, family or friends. But whatever the reason, you owe it to yourself to learn the game properly and start to enjoy all the fun, healthy activity and companionship that golf has to offer.

To help you get into the swing of things (forgive us for that one!), here are a few tips to remember when you’re just starting out in golf.

1.Don’t Buy New Clubs Right Away

From the moment you start to golf, your game will constantly improve as long as you play regularly. Golf clubs can be a big investment. Good quality clubs are designed to help experienced golfers make better and/or more consistent shots. But their benefits will not help a first-time golfer learn to play any faster or better. And you have no way of knowing which are the best clubs for you until you learn more about the game and your style of play.

Instead, borrow a set of clubs or buy a used set to learn with. Then wait until you know more about the game and how you play it before investing in a new set of clubs.

2.Take Lessons

Hitting a golf ball properly means developing a good swing, and a good golf swing comes from developing good mechanics. If you start on your own, you can adopt bad mechanics that will be difficult to correct later on. Making the investment in lessons from professional instructors as soon as you begin to play the game will pay off in boosting your confidence, avoiding mistakes and learning the game faster and better.

3.Learn the Rules of the Game

If you think ‘hitting a birdie’ means you injured one of our fine feathered friends, well, you should brush up on the rules of the game. The more you know about the game and how it’s played, the more you will understand what you need to do and why you need to do it. And the more fun you will have.

4.Watch Golf on TV

There’s no better way to learn about the rules, how to swing and other parts of the game, like club selection, than by watching the best players in the world. They make it all look easy. But after you start to play, you will appreciate their level of skill and get a better idea of the direction you need to go with your own game.

5.Play!

Like anything you do, practice makes perfect. Take every opportunity you get to swing a club, whether it’s on the course or on the driving range. Especially if you invest in golf lessons, practicing helps you put into play everything you learn.

6.Let it Happen

Golf is a game in which you compete against yourself. Everyone learns to play at a different pace. If you feel you haven’t improved after your first few rounds, try not to be frustrated or discouraged. Regardless of what happened the last time you played, focus on having a better round next time.

If you would like to take private or semi-private lessons from the trained and certified golf instructors here at Royal Ashburn, get in touch with us today.

Golf Club Membership is More Than Joining a Club

If you’ve been considering a golf club membership as the next stage of your enjoyment of the game, your thoughts have probably revolved weighing the costs versus what you get from membership.

Of course, membership fees are a very important consideration. Golf club memberships aren’t like joining the local gym. Maintaining a golf course and facilities means an ongoing investment. Needless-to-say, you wouldn’t want to be a member at a course that didn’t make that investment.

But the importance of membership fees as part of your overall consideration of joining a club means you owe it to yourself to also consider everything that you’ll get from your investment. Without thinking about all of the benefits that come from membership, you may be robbing yourself of a level of participation and enjoyment of the game you love so much.

The Benefits of Golf Club Membership

When thinking about joining a club, many golfers consider the savings they get on greens fees and other golf club privileges against the cost of their golf club membership.

As important as they are, savings on greens fees and other club features are just the start of the benefits membership can bring. Here are just some of the other benefits, privileges and advantages of becoming a member here at the Royal Ashburn Golf Club:

Choose Your Membership Option

Different golfers may want different things from their golf club membership. At Royal Ashburn, we have recognized this by offering a broad range of membership options based on how much you want to play, when you want to play, and even membership packages for youth and seniors.

Take Advantage of Pro Shop Discounts

Every membership includes a 20% discount of all regularly-priced soft goods at the Royal Ashburn Pro Shop. The Shop is open year-round (so you can start using your discount right away) and carries a wide variety of top-quality equipment and apparel as well as specializing in tournament and corporate gifting.

Get Into Tournaments and Leagues

All our members are welcome to play in the Monday League and they don’t have to pay the entry fee for the annual Club Championship (excluding Monday and Summer members). Most golfers have enjoyed tournament play at some point in time. But club tournaments and leagues take that enjoyment to a new level of friendly rivalries and competition.

Become a Member of Golf Ontario

Indulging in your favourite pastime means more than just getting on the course. Your membership at Royal Ashburn includes membership in Golf Ontario. With a history dating back over 80 years, Golf Ontario helps build and promote the game of golf across the province and, in partnership with other provincial golf associations, across Canada.

Bring Your Family & Friends

As a member of Royal Ashburn you will make many new connections with people who also love the game. But that doesn’t mean you can’t include your family and friends.
First, every member is welcome to host family and friends at the Club any day of the week after 4:37 p.m. for discounted greens fee of $33 + hst. Second, every member receives three guest passes that allows them to play the course any time for the VIP member rate.

From advanced tee-time bookings that gives members access to tee-times before the public, to other golf-related and social events throughout the year, there are many more advantages to membership at Royal Ashburn. If you are considering joining our Club, you owe it to yourself to learn more about everything that membership brings. Please contact us we will be happy to answer your questions and even show you around.

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