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7 Health Benefits of Playing Golf

At face value, golf has always been portrayed as a ‘luxury’ or ‘business’ sport, with a typically imagined scene probably that of a CEO, wining and dining business associates on one of the best golf courses in Durham Region on a warm Friday afternoon. Behind this exterior, golf has proven to be beneficial to a player’s health in many ways.

Here are 7 reasons why golf is good for both your body and mind:

1. Weight Loss

According to Fitbit, the recommended number of steps per day to aid weight loss is 10,000. An 18-hole round of golf can easily exceed this recommended number, especially if you walk the golf course during your golf lessons in Durham without making use of a golf cart.

2. Lower Chances of Injury

Golf is considered a low-impact sport. Because the game is played on soft and gently rolling surfaces, it doesn’t involve too many high-impact movements. More mature players find this sport attractive for these reasons as they can still burn calories.

3. Brain Stimulation

The game of golf not only challenges a player’s physical skills but also their ability to stay calm and focused. It’s a great way to boost brain power and to stimulate your brain, sharpening a player’s concentration. 

4. Stress and Anxiety Reduction

General exercise is considered a natural stress reliever. A challenging game of golf can increase mental capability, creativity and the ability to solve problems, with the added benefit of doing so in the fresh outdoors.

5. Heart Health

Any form of exercise promoted the blood pumping into your heart. Combined with a healthy lifestyle, exercise not only reduces the risk of a stroke and diabetes, but it also has positive effects on reducing blood pressure and harmful cholesterol. Golf is no exception. 

6. Improves Sleeping Patterns

With all the exercise involved on a golf course, golfers may fall asleep faster and more deeply, remaining in a deep sleep for longer periods of time due to the amount of energy released from a game of golf. Deeper sleep is a must for your body to regenerate cells and to repair your muscles and tissues. 

7. Improves Vision

Golfers require good vision to concentrate on the ball that may be hundreds of yards away. A player learns to home in on the small target from long distances. Prior to the swing, golfers can evaluate the quality of their vision and improve their hand-eye coordination. 

The Royal Ashburn Golf Club boasts championship-caliber golf club facilities. With the emphasis on continually improving our guests’ experience, our eighteen-hole world-class golf course has been ranked among Canada’s Top 50 public golf courses. Our first-class facility offers a 25,000 sq foot (2,323 sq meters) clubhouse, elegant wedding facilities, a Pro Shop and upscale casual dining at our Butler’s Pub & Grill.

If you are looking to enjoy a relaxing game of golf and improve your health at the same time, contact us today for more information.

5 Pro Tips for Lowering Your Golf Handicap

If you made lowering your golf handicap a New Year’s resolution this year, you are hopefully already well on the way to achieving that goal. However, some people are not always sure where to start. So, here are five key tips you can use to make not only the most of your golf membership, but also lower that handicap.

Hone Your Short Game

Having a good long game is all very well. But, it’s a sharp short game that will keep you strokes ahead of your competition. While the short game does require a lot of technical proficiency, it also depends on you acquiring a good feel for it. Spend more time in the short game practice area and experiment with different shots. In particular (and you probably already know this but it bears repeating) you can never get enough putting practice!

Upgrade Your Equipment – Get Fitted if You Can

Take a look at your clubs, and splash out on fixing and tuning them up a little. Replace those worn grips and damaged shafts, and clean out the grooves. In fact, maybe it’s time for a golf club fitting. Getting the right set of clubs for your swing and body shape will help your game enormously.

Work on Your Stretching and Fitness

Many amateur golfers underestimate the importance of being fit and limber. Golf is a sport after all! So, start a good exercise program, and make sure you do a proper stretch before hitting the course. Focus on your core strength in particular – that’s where the power behind your swing comes from.

Play Alone

Playing the course alone helps you to focus on your own game without distractions. Play when there are few other people on the course and take note of your strengths and weaknesses. Observe your game and try to coach yourself.

Keep Track of the Numbers

Start tracking your game like a rabid sports fan. Take note of the number of fairways you hit, the number of greens you land on, the average number of putts you take on each green, as well as noting where you tend to miss shots on the fairway. Use one of the many apps available. As you keep track of your game, you will see that you start to get a very good grip on your strengths and weaknesses. As you focus on the areas where you need improvement, you will start to shave strokes off your game.

To fast track your improvement even more, sign up for some lessons at the Royal Ashburn Golf Club. Provided you have the will and energy to work on your game, we will get your handicap down in no time. Contact us for more information. 

Why Have a Golf Club Fitting?

Whether you are relatively new to the game of golf or whether you have been teeing off at Durham golf courses for years already, there are many reasons as to why you may want to consider a professional golf club fitting.

What is a Golf Club Fitting

Essentially, a golf club fitting revolves around a professional customizing your golf clubs to suit you. This includes optimizing their length, weight, grip – basically, anything that can be adjusted will be. 

The Benefits of Getting Fitted for Golf Clubs

The vast majority of golfers will tell you that getting fitted for golf clubs is a must, especially if you are looking to see an improvement in your game. This is because golf clubs are literally fitted according to your swing. Another benefit is the fact there is plenty of amazing technology available in terms of golf club fitting that will provide you with the maximum advantage in the game. Never mind the fact that getting fitted for golf clubs at a golf club pro shop will provide you with a hearty confidence boost, and this is likely to improve your game quite drastically all on its own. 

Ultimately, getting a golf club fitting is worth it from a financial perspective as well. If you are already going to be investing in a brand-new set of golf clubs, you might as well make sure that your investment is of maximum value and that you will get the absolute most out of it! A golf club fitting will help to ensure that this is the case! 

Looking for the best place in Durham for a professional golf club fitting? Choose the Royal Ashburn Golf Club! For more information about the cost and the process, please be sure to get in touch with our team. 

Why Golfing is Great for Your Health

Feeling the pull of Durham golf courses and keen to open yourself up to something new? If you are looking for a sport that can be enjoyed at a leisurely pace (by anyone, regardless of age), yet is also still great for your health, then you simply cannot go wrong with golf! Below, we examine a few reasons why this age-old game of skill fits so well into a healthy lifestyle as well as why you should definitely consider taking it up as a new hobby! 

It Gets You Outdoors

One of the main reasons why golf is such a great health booster is the fact that it gets you outdoors, into the sunshine while ensuring plenty of fresh air. Did you know that sunshine and a good dose of Vitamin D are proven to improve your mood? Plus, there is nothing better for a hearty endorphin release than sinking that difficult putt! 

It Is Decent Exercise

Walking 18 holes (or even half that amount) equates to some pretty impressive exercise. Better yet, you will be enjoying playing the game so much, you probably will not even notice that you are starting to break a sweat. The best type of exercise is the exercise that does not feel like exercising at all! 

It Improves Muscle Tone

If it is your goal to get fit, strong and perhaps shed a few extra pounds in the process, golf is the way to go. Golfing is known to improve muscle tone and endurance. When played in conjunction with an otherwise healthy lifestyle (in other words eating in moderation, getting plenty of sleep, and so on), it is also known to boost weight loss over time. 

So, which Durham golf courses should you be visiting if you want to take up the game? The Royal Ashburn Golf Club is the place to be! For more information on learning how to play, custom club fitting, memberships and more, do not hesitate to get in touch with us

5 Guidelines for Good Golf Etiquette

With golf season underway, you’re probably chomping at the bit to get onto the course at your favourite Whitby golf club for a few early-season rounds to get rid of the cobwebs. But sometimes that eagerness can make us forget our manners. That’s why we like to start each season with a reminder to follow the rules of golf etiquette and make the season more enjoyable for everyone.

Good Golf Etiquette Guidelines

We’ve covered a number of basic golf course etiquette rules in a previous post, including keeping the pace of play, golf cart etiquette and the golden rule on the greens, don’t step in anyone’s putting lines.

Here are five more good golf etiquette rules all golfers should observe on the course.

  1. Arrive Early at the First Tee Ready to Play – At very least, this means to not be late for your tee time and be ready to step into the tee box well before your tee time. You’ll get a lot more out of your golf game if you arrive early enough to take a few practice swings with both your drivers and irons, and a few practice putts too.
  2. Stay Out of Sight – Last year, we told you that silence is golden. The same is true for invisibility. As much as possible, stay out of the sight lines of your fellow golfers. On the tee, that means staying well behind the person who is teeing off – and that’s for your own safety as much as anything else.

  3. Practice Flagstick Etiquette – When’s the last time you brushed up on your flagstick etiquette? Here are just a few basics. If you are first onto the green or closest to the hole, it is good etiquette to offer to tend to the flag. Lift the flag from the bottom of the cup and let it rest in the cup so you can pull it out of the way quickly. Once it’s out of the hole, either hold the flag upright or lay it down flat on the ground, off the green.
  4. Mark Your Ball – If you are closest to the hole or at all close to anyone’s putting lines, you should offer to mark your ball.
  5. Stay Cool – Golf can be at once a highly exhilarating and highly vexing sport. However, while expressing some frustration may be expected, but uncontrolled outburst, including damaging the course with your club, throwing clubs, swearing, or being loud is absolutely unacceptable.

If you liked this post, check out our recent article about how to increase your club head speed in a golf swing.

4 Simple Tips for Better Golf from Jason Day

Jason Day has an impressive resume in professional golf. A former World Number 1 with 12 PGA Tour wins, a PGA Championship and a Players Championship under his belt, he also set the record for the lowest score in a major, 20 shots under par, in his first major win at the 2015 PGA Championship. Along with Tiger Woods and Geoff Ogilvy, he is one of only three players who are multiple winners of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

So when a golfer of his calibre offers tips for better golf, we should all listen carefully.

Jason Day’s Tips for Better Golf

With the idea of simplifying the execution of main shots, so you can concentrate on your game, not just your swing, Day offers the following three keys to better golf.

  1. Position Yourself for a Good Drive – We all want to walk up to the tee and crush the ball with all everything we have. To improve your chances of doing exactly that,  Day stresses the importance of three elements of your positioning and swing before you actually hit the ball.

    First, use a good solid stance, including even weight distribution between both legs and your toes and heels. Second, position the ball so it’s not too far back or too far forward. Third, use a slow takeaway which helps you be more aggressive through the ball.

  2. Be Consistent with Your Irons – “No matter what iron I’m swinging, my process stays the same,” says Day. First, his set up is neutral, including his grip on the golf club. Then, to hit down on the ball with the centre of the club, Day uses a shorter three-quarter swing. Finally, you should finish in the classic post-swing wraparound position, which is a sign of a good swing tempo and rhythm.

  3. Go Big with Your Short Game – Again, Day recommends consistency in your shots, saying “no matter what iron I’m swinging, my process stays the same.” Focus on a spot in front of the ball for a clean hit. Minimize wrist action for easier contact and a square clubface. Use your big muscles, or whole body, to power your shot, instead of mostly your arms and hands.

  4. Putt Sensibly – “My process on the greens has helped me become one of the best putters in the game. This is one area where the right type of practice will allow you to focus on line and speed when you play,” advises Day.

    Eye and hand positioning are key when you address the ball. Focus on the projected path of the ball and the face of the club, ensuring it is square to the path. Overestimate the distance to the hole before you swing.

Now that you’re stoked with tips from one of the top professionals in the game, why not book a round at the top golf course in Durham Region!

If you enjoyed this post, check out our recent article on how to increase your club head speed in your swing.

How to Win a Golf Match

You’ve had your golf swing analyzed. You’ve taken lessons. You’ve invested in good golf clubs. You try to get out on the course regularly. But, no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to figure out how to win a golf match.

First, there’s a greater difference between match play competitions and regular stroke play than many golfers realize. But, fortunately or not, like everything else relating to golf, the differences are largely in your mental approach to the game and the strategies you use on each hole.

5 Tips for Winning a Golf Match

The following tips should help you make the adjustment to match play tournaments and improve your chances of actually winning them.

  1. Practice Properly – Match play is more about consistency and winning each hole. On the driving range, work on the accuracy of your drives. On the practice green, take mostly long or short putts, they are the ones that can make you lose, or gain, the most strokes. While conceded putts might be part of match play, always assume you’ll have to hole out on every green.
  2. Don’t Try to Impress on the First Hole – Even if you’re a low-handicap golfer, save the intimidation factor for later. The risk of going for the jugular off the first tee is that, if you at all misplay it, it could affect your game for many holes to come.
  3. Be Ready to Change Your Strategy Quickly – The more aggressively you play, the higher the chance of misplaying a shot. If your opponent is playing well, you’ll have to stay aggressive. But, even if you start a hole in aggressive mode, be ready switch gears if your opponent gets into trouble. Continuing to be aggressive when you don’t have to can backfire.
  4. Treat it Like It’s a Normal Round – While you play the course with your match-play strategies in mind, over-thinking it and getting too involved in the ‘match’ thing can destabilize your game.
  5. Get to Know the Golf Course – If you’ve never played the course on which your match will take place, try to get in a round before the match. And if you’re looking for an excellent Durham Region golf course to set up a match-play tournament, look no further than Royal Ashburn.

If you liked this post, check out our recent article on how to swing a golf club: the stance.

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.

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