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Tips

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.

5 Ideas for Golf Tournament Games

As the new golf season approaches, you might be in charge of planning and managing a golf tournament for your company, organization or even for yourself and your friends. While just about anything related to golf is fun and enjoyable, tournament planning can get as complicated and involved as it is for planning any other event.

While we have given you tips for planning a corporate golf tournament to help you better manage everything involved, there’s one aspect that, while still involving a certain amount of decision making, might be more fun than others.

Golf Tournament Games

While most sports have variations of ways to play, like 3-on-3 for hockey, golf has seems to have more than any other sport. The good news is that means you can come up with lots of ways to add new levels of challenge and fun to a tournament. The bad news is you have a lot of tournament games to consider. Here are just a few:

1. Shotgun Start

If you have a lot of golfers in your tournament, a shotgun start is a great way to avoid having anyone wait around to begin play. In a shotgun start, all groups begin their round simultaneously by teeing off from different holes on the course. Their tee-off hole becomes the first hole in the round for the foursome. If you have a day-long tournament, the shotgun format means you can host the tournament for 120 or more golfers

2. Modified Shotgun

If you have fewer players, even not enough to start a group at every hole, but you still want to minimize waiting times and the overall time it takes to run the tournament, a modified shotgun format is the answer. Just like a shotgun start, all your groups will start and end the tournament at the same time, but there will be additional public and member golfer play surrounding your event. Your golfers must also maintain a certain pace of play so as not to interfere with the surrounding golfers.

3. First Tee Start

Like the name implies, groups in a first tee start tournament tee off in from the first tee one after the other. This is a great format for smaller groups whose golfers may be more familiar with each other as it allows more time for socializing and even a bit of friendly banter at the end of the round when golfers can cheer each other on from behind the 18th

4. Nine Hole Event

One of the main reasons many companies and organizations avoid staging golf tournaments, despite the game’s popularity within the organization, is the amount of time it can take to play a round of golf. Try as they might, perhaps the biggest logistical goal of any tournament is to find a common time when all your invitees can spare the amount of time it takes to play a full round of 18 holes, and take part in any pre- and post-tournament festivities.

If you want to enjoy all the benefits that come from hosting a corporate or community golf tournament, but you want to minimize the time commitment needed to participate, a nine-hole event gives you the best of both worlds.

If you’re looking for more great ideas to make your tournament more enjoyable, get in touch with us here at Royal Ashburn.

How to Start Getting Ready for the Golf Season Right Now

Now that we’re through the holidays and well into 2018, it’s only a matter of time until the start of golf season. That means, even if we’re suffering through record freezing temperatures outside, it’s time to start getting ready for golf season. If you’ve never taken some off-season steps to keep in golf shape before, you’ll be surprised at the difference doing so just a few times a week will make in how quickly you get back to your peak game.

But, short of going to the golf dome or planning a trip down south (though their weather seems a little on the cold side too), how can you keep in shape on a day-to-day basis?

First, just about anything you do will help, so the most important thing is simply to do something. Try to set up a regular schedule which will help you keep on track.

Once you’re doing something, don’t overdo anything. Very often people will get into a routine of activity, fall in love with it and think that more is better. But there is an optimal point of activity that’s different for everyone. Not only will going past it end up in diminishing returns for your extra effort, but you run the risk of doing more damage than good and starting the season on the sideline.

While there are many ways to keep in great golf shape in the off-season, we make the following suggestions because of how easy they are to do, the fact that they involve little or no cost and that, together, they will help keep all or most parts of your game in shape.

1. Putt Everywhere

Whether you use a proper putting cup, which we recommend because they’re not expensive and most closely imitate the action of the ball around the hole, or a coffee cup, use them whenever possible on a carpet to practice your putting.

Mix it up by trying different locations and shot lengths around the house. Give yourself a challenge by setting up a mini-putt course, including obstacles like having to shoot through the legs of a chair.

You can also put towels under area rugs to create changes in elevation. In any case, try to practice your putting a few times a week.

2. Do Some Strength Training

You should always consult a doctor or trainer before getting into any kind of strength-training routine. But look for exercises that strengthen your core, arms, and legs – or just about every part of your body!

3. Take 100 Swings a Day

Like Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours, Hank Haney believes that the best way to build a great base for improvement is to make 100 practice swings with an iron every day. Yes, this might mean heading out in the cold, but you can handle that, can’t you? Especially if it’s in the name of improving your game. You don’t need a ball, and if you have a high enough ceiling, you don’t even have to go outside.

In addition to building muscle memory for your swing, you’ll also get a great golf-based workout that improves your strength and flexibility. It will also keep your hands tough to reduce the chance of blistering in the spring.

4. Try Some Yoga

If/when you get into yoga, you’ll swear it was created just for golf. Interestingly, golf and yoga are very similar, involving movement of the body through three planes of motion, side to side, front to back and rotational. That means that most yoga poses help some part o your game, while also improving your balance, core strength, breathing, and focus.

If nothing else, setting up a regular program of some or all the activities listed above will improve your overall conditioning and leave you in better shape.

A Small Golf-Club Buying Guide for Beginners

Even if you finally got the driver of your dreams for Christmas, hopefully, the wonderful person who gave it to you knew that you had gone through all the proper steps before choosing it.

Beginner golfers and more advanced golfers alike are not always experts on choosing the right clubs for their game. But, a golf swing is such a complex thing and the intricacies of each one can mean significant differences in scores depending on the club used.

Very often, the cost of a club is the main determinant of its suitability for your game. While less expensive clubs, bought from a non-golf retailer can save you money, you might not learn the game properly or gain the confidence you need due to a higher rate of duffed shots. And, no matter how good you are, your swing may not suit the stiffer shafts of some of the more expensive drivers.

Without further ado, here are just a few tips for better golf-club buying, for both beginners and experienced golfers.

1. Buy from a Golf Specialist

It’s easy to think that, because you’re just starting, it’s a waste of money to get clubs that are more expensive. But, on the contrary, it might be a waste of money if you don’t buy clubs that give you the highest chance of successfully picking up the game. Specialized golf stores and pro shops at golf clubs are the best places to buy clubs because they understand what beginners need, they know how to assess your swing (even if it isn’t fully developed), and they understand a range of clubs so they can make the right choice for your particular game.

2. Try Them Yourself

One of the things a specialty pro shop can help you with is giving you the opportunity to try different clubs. The best pro shop will suggest options, but the rest is up to you. You’ll need to take a few swings and determine for yourself which club is the best one.

3. Consider a Half Set of Clubs

Most beginners just need to keep swinging and try to make good contact to get their game into shape. Having every iron available can be a waste. The differences in the shot between consecutive irons is so subtle, it can be difficult for beginners to appreciate. Opting for a half, or at least smaller set of clubs can save you money while giving you more time on each club so you can better appreciate the differences when you begin using other clubs later on.

4. Try Perimeter-Weighted Club Heads

Golf club heads are usually weighted closer to the ‘sweet spot’, or the center of gravity of the club, to maximize driving distance. But beginners can have a more difficult time hitting that sweet spot, which can affect your swing in two ways. First, hitting outside the sweet spot will reduce your driving distance. Second, it will also increase the amount of vertical twist the club might go through due to an off-center hit, which will further reduce driving distance.

Like the name suggests, perimeter-weighted clubs distribute the weight of the club head around the perimeter of the club face, thereby greatly increasing the size of the sweet spot and reducing the incidence of club rotation due to off-center hits.

There are lots more ways of choosing the right clubs for your game, but many of them depend on your swing. The Pro Shop at the Royal Ashburn Golf Club is open throughout the winter, so you can take your time in finding the perfect clubs to optimize your game.

 

4 Unique Gift Ideas for Golfers on Your Christmas List

If you’re a golfer, or there’s one in your life, you know that the game is always ‘front-of-mind’, even in the middle of winter. While that can be a problem if you’re chomping at the bit throughout the cold months, it’s a bonus if there’s someone like this on you gift list. You sure don’t have to think too long about what to get them for Christmas. Here are some Great Gift Ideas for Golfers!

Maybe you just need a stocking stuffer, like a new pair of gloves, or you’re really in love and you want to get that driver that he or she’s been hinting about, but too cheap to buy for themselves. In any case, a golf gift will always be a hole-in-one under the tree.

If you want to make a real impression this year, here are just a few ideas for the golfers on your list that are a little different than the usual club covers or shoes.

1. Their Own Golf Tournament

How cool is it when you get invited to a golf tournament? It’s a chance to play for some real bragging rights, meet new people and, well, yet another great excuse to enjoy a round of golf.

So why not give a golfer his or her own tournament? You can set one up for groups as small as 12. Invite close friends, or golf companions, or work colleagues, or have a family tournament, or any other circle of people you can think of.

Maybe your golfer is reaching a certain milestone in their personal lives or career that’s worth celebrating in a way like no other event can. If there’s a charity or cause that the golfer supports, then you can use that as the theme for the tourney and help to raise money and/or awareness.

2. Golf & Dine

On the other end of the spectrum, maybe you want a more intimate way to celebrate and enjoy the game with just you two, or a group of close friends. A golf and dine package makes for a perfect day of a great round of golf followed by a delicious meal.

If you reserve a golf and dine day here at Royal Ashburn, not only do you get to enjoy our meticulously maintained course and all its amenities, you can savour the cuisine of our Executive Chef, Brent Hockley, whose culinary creations use only the finest, freshest ingredients, locally-sourced whenever possible and perfectly prepared in our kitchens.

3. Golf Lessons

More than just perfecting your swing, great golf instruction involves a more holistic approach to improving your entire game and enjoyment of it. This means incorporating a variety of learning techniques like classroom instruction, golf-specific physical fitness routines and video swing analysis.

You can choose lessons that are specific to the golfer, including whether they are a beginner, novice or experienced; man, woman or junior; and/or just if they want to improve a particular part of their game, like chipping, pitching and bunker play.

4. A Golf Club Membership

Having a membership at a leading golf club raises the level of play and enjoyment of the game to new heights. Available for all skill levels and ages, memberships give the golfer the opportunity to enjoy the game in club events and leagues, in addition to reduced rates on their regular rounds.

Other member privileges include advanced tee-time bookings, reduced rates for family and friends and discounts in the pro shop. And with a wide variety of memberships available, from unlimited playing privileges any time, to reduced rates at certain times, there’s a membership package that’s right for every golfer and budget.

If you would like to get more gift ideas for the golfers in your life – or find one for yourself that you can start hinting about – get in touch with us here at the Royal Ashburn Golf Club, we’ve got lots of them!

6 Reasons Why Fall is a Great Time for Golf

It’s a familiar lament for golfers in the Greater Toronto Area: “Wouldn’t it be great if we could golf all year round like they do in Myrtle Beach?!”

There’s no denying that the golf season in Southern Ontario is shorter than places south. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have times of the year when you can enjoy a round of golf here that would be the envy of golfers around the world.

If you’ve ever suffered through a sweltering round of golf in the middle of July in places like Myrtle Beach, you’ll know what we mean. Which golfer wouldn’t appreciate playing on a course surrounded by the rich colours of a crisp and clear autumn day?

Of course, it would be nice to play right here at home in the middle of January, but the reality is that we can’t. Instead, we encourage all local golfers to embrace and celebrate those times when we can enjoy a round, and fall is as good a time as any.

In case the beautiful settings aren’t enough to get you on the course this fall,

Here are just a few more reasons why fall is a great time for golf.

1. It’s Less Crowded & More Relaxed

While there are fall days that can be nearly as warm and bright as a summer day, you won’t have to contend with as many packed foursomes ahead of and behind you. That means a little more time to enjoy your round at your pace and less chance of an anxious group behind you watching your every shot.

2. You’re Hot

If you’ve golfed regularly throughout the summer, your game is probably the best it’s been all year. By playing in the fall when you’re in top form, you can take your game to heights it hasn’t been to and have less downtime before you get on course again in the spring.

3. Reduced Rates

Many courses will reduce their rates after September 30th to encourage more people to play. You get great golf and keep more cash in your pocket.

4. Challenge Yourself

There’s no doubt that some fall conditions can present unique challenges to your game. In addition to cooler temperatures, winds can be stronger, and course conditions can be more damp, especially in the mornings. Instead of sitting at home watching the Golf Channel, get on the course and take up the challenge. You’ve brought your game to its best for the season by golfing through summer’s more ideal conditions. Imagine how much it will improve if you put it to the test in the fall.

5. Set-Up for Your Winter Golf

If you and your golf partners regularly take a golf vacation to keep your game in shape during the winter, golfing in the fall will bridge the gap. That way, you’ll be the one getting the free dinner and drinks when you win the round down south.

5. Courses are in Great Shape

Summer’s heat can stress even the best irrigation and course maintenance systems. But grass actually enjoys a rich growth spurt in the fall. In addition to the bright colours, now’s the time to enjoy a lush course that’s benefitted from a full season of grooming.

6. Great Time for a Lesson to Tune-Up Your Game

No matter how well you’re golfing, it’s always good to get regular lessons to make sure you keep your swing in shape. But that can be tough in the middle of summer. During the fall, golf pros are more likely to have the time for lessons, and maybe even devote a little more personalized time to help you improve your game.

We don’t like to boast, but the course here at Royal Ashburn is as beautiful as any in the autumn. If you’d like to extend your golf season in our beautiful surroundings this fall, just give us a call.

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