Saturday, November 11, 2017

Golf Etiquette

Golf has always been regarded as a gentleman’s game. Golf etiquette is the manner, honesty, and sense of politeness with which you play your game.

Here are some of the most basic examples of good golf etiquette on the green, and most of them reflect courtesy and your personality:

Golf etiquette requires you to be properly attired. Clothes may not make the man, but they certainly make the golfer, and no well-established player would come to the links improperly dressed.

Golf etiquette tells you not to bring a cell phone onto a golf course for the obvious reason that it may be disturbing to other players.

Walking on another golfer’s line (the route which the ball will travel from where it stopped to the hole) is not golf etiquette. Don’t step on it. Step over it. Better, walk around it. And that is golf etiquette.

Golf etiquette is not dragging your feet on the green, especially when wearing metal spikes.

Golf etiquette requires you always to keep a ball marker or coin in your pocket to mark (putting behind your ball) your ball’s spot on the green.

According to golf etiquette, you should pay careful attention to local rules, local notices regulating the movement of golf carts, and you adhere to local dress codes.

You must ensure that no one could be injured by the club, ball or any other object prior to playing a stroke or making a practice swing. Do not play until players in front are out of range. You must always shout “Fore!” when you hit a ball towards other golfers. This is golf etiquette!

You must always play, without delay, by keeping up with the group in front, not just ahead of the group behind. You must allow faster players to play through. If you believe your ball may be lost, to save time, you should play a provisional ball. When searching for a ball, you should signal the players behind to pass as soon as it becomes apparent to you that the ball will not be found easily. This is part of golf etiquette.

You must place your trolley or bag at a point off the green, near to your route to the next tee - before you put. This is another example of golf etiquette.

Golf etiquette requires you not to damage the putting green by putting down objects such as bags, or the flag-stick. You don’t damage the putting green by leaning on your putter. You don’t damage a hole by standing too close to it, when handling the flag-stick or when removing a ball from the hole. These are not examples of golf etiquette.

You must leave the putting green as soon as the play of a hole has been completed. You fill your score when you get to the next tee, not whilst standing on the green. This thoughtful consideration is golf etiquette.

You must properly re-place the flags-tick in the hole before leaving the putting green. This also is golf etiquette.

You don’t talk or move whilst your partners are playing. Stand well back.

You must always rake bunkers after use, repair pitch marks, divots, ball marks and spike damage.

In taking your practice swings, you must avoid causing damage to the course, in particular the tees. This is another example of golf etiquette.

Win or loose, golf etiquette says you must shake hands on the 18th hole, and then head for the 19th hole.

Always be aware of golf etiquette on the course. Golfers are good people, but even good people can have problem behavior at times. If you see flagrant disregard of golf etiquette, the issue become what to say and how to say it. Judgment and tact then become part of golf etiquette too. Remember, golf etiquette is golfing success. Golf etiquette makes the game enjoyable for everyone. 

Stephen Lau

Copyright © by Stephen Lau 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Golf Injuries (5)

Thumb Problems

The thumb of your lead hand is most prone to golf injuries during the golf swing.

If your hand is weak, you tend to grip the golf club harder.

Rest is the best treatment for most thumb injuries. Bandage your thumb to your hand for complete immobility.

Knee Injuries and Problems

Injuries to knees often result from the following:

    locking your knees during the golf swing

     over-active sliding knees during the golf swing

In addition, locking and sliding knees foul up your swings.

Maintain your knee health by keeping an eye on your knees during the golf swing.

In summary, increasing strength in your lower body and keeping your lower body limber establish the firm foundation on which the golf swing is developed, thereby instrumental in initiating the power and speed in the downswing. More importantly, strengthening your lower body and keeping it flexible is the key to preventing golf injuries.

Stephen Lau

Friday, November 3, 2017

Golf Injuries (4)

Handling Back Injuries

Prevent back injuries as much as possible. Once they occur, you may become more prone to their future recurrence. So take care of your back now!

Once you have sustained back pain, you cannot improve it by simply working through the pain. Consider the following:

Bed rest helps the recovery process. Trying to come back too soon to the golf course can aggravate the problem.

Immediately after a back injury, apply ice to reduce swelling and inflammation. Afterwards, apply heat therapy (a hot bath or shower).

See a physician.

Wear a brace for temporary support of your back.

The bottom line: ease yourself back into action with daily walking and other stretch exercises.

Neck Injuries

Neck problems related to golf injuries are often related to the spine. More than 90 percent of neck problems are due to:

     your poor posture

     unnatural bending in the cervical curve of your spine

Neck injuries occur when the following happens:

     head down to focus on the ball (pay extra attention to the setup)

     head up to enable the shoulders to turn during the swing

Neck problems may adversely affect other muscle groups in the upper part of your body.

Stephen Lau

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Golf Injuries (3)

Hand and Elbow Injuries

Golf injuries in the hands and elbows are common, ranging from soreness in the thumb to swelling and pain in the fingers and wrists. Golf injuries in the hands and wrists may even lead to surgery. These golf injuries are commonplace because the hands are the only link between the golfer and the golf club.

Golf injuries in the hands and elbows are due to the repetitive use of muscles in your forearms, your elbows, your wrists, and your arms.

Causes of elbow problems due to golf injuries

The golf elbow syndrome occurs more frequently among senior golfers and occasional golfers due to the following:

weaker forearm muscles and tighter tendons as a result of age or infrequent use

tighter grip with more increased pressure on the golf club

higher frequency of swing mistakes, such as overcocking the wrists and lifting the golf club

Handling of your elbow problems

Let your elbows rest for a couple of days with no lifting and little bending of your elbows.

Apply ice to your elbows several times a day to relieve the inflamed tendons.

Use forearm braces, if necessary.

Preventing golf injuries in your elbows

With proper exercise and technique, you can avoid elbow problems due to golf injuries.

Reduce your grip pressure. A sound grip, which is a relaxed grip, is a healthy grip to avoid golf injuries. Tension in your hands often extends up our arms, to your chest and back, leading to potential golf injuries throughout your body. Lighten up in your grip!

Regularly change the grips on your golf clubs. Do not let your grips get dirty and become worn-out: regularly replace your grips; clean your grips as often as possible; wipe your grips with a damp towel before every round.

Regularly stretch your forearms to maintain the flexibility of the tendons in your elbow and wrists.

Stretch out and extend one arm in front of you chest as far as possible.

Flex your wrist as far back as possible.

Use your other hand to extend the stretch by applying pressure to your fingers.

 Hold for 30 seconds.

 Repeat with the other hand.

 The forearm stretch exercise can be performed anywhere and anytime, even during a round of golf. This exercise repeated regularly will significantly avoid elbow problems due to golf injuries.

Thumb problems

The thumb of your lead hand is most prone to golf injuries during the golf swing.

If your hand is weak, you tend to grip the golf club harder.

Rest is the best treatment for most thumb injuries. Bandage your thumb to your hand for complete immobility.

Stephen Lau

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Golf Injuries (2)

The golf swing is unnatural in that it exacerbates your entire back:

Your spine is unnaturally tilted at address.

You initiate an unnatural compression force in your downswing.

You exert an unnatural rotation force on the axis of your spine as you coil and uncoil your shoulders during the backswing and downswing.

You unnaturally bend your side at the impact and follow-through, creating compression in the lumbar area of your spine.

Pain radiating down through the leg and hip is often due to a back problem, not a hip problem. Pain radiating in the area where the disks connect (facet joints) is often localized, and sporadic (coming and going).

Fortunately, many golf injuries related to the back are both preventable and treatable.

Fortunately, many golf injuries related to the back are both preventable and treatable.

Strengthening your abdominal and midsection for protection against golf injuries in the back

Weak abdominal muscles lead to weak posture at address, which causes poor body alignment, creating more strain on your lower back.

Strong abdominal muscles balance lumbar muscles of the back for better posture.

Regular stretching exercises for back protection against golf injuries in the back

Regular stretching exercises for the back, abdomen, and sides protect your back from golf injuries, and therefore should be done on a regular basis, regardless of how often your play the game.

Tip: Do your back stretches in the shower to benefit from the pulsating hot water.

Where and when you stretch is not as important as consistency on a daily basis. Stretch your back for golfing success.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Golf Injuries (1)

Golf is not a contact sport, like basketball or football. Nevertheless, golf injuries are common, especially among the elderly. You do not want to be slave to your injuries, which can be debilitating or may even become chronic, forcing you to give up the sport totally.

Knowing how to recognize these injuries is the first step to prevention, which is far better than rehabilitation. If you have injuries, you need to take precautionary steps to correct the problem in order to prevent these golf injuries from happening. Be knowledgeable in their prevention.

Research in golf injuries has indicated that 80 percent of lower back problems are due to poor alignment of the spine and pelvic girdle, as well as the repeated strain exerted by the golf swing on different parts of your back.

Poor alignment is caused by:
body inflexibility

weak muscles

poor postural habits.

Strains and pressures are constantly exerted by the golf swing on different parts of the back, including the vertebrae, disks (cushioning plates of cartilage between vertebrae), the facet joints (joints connecting the vertebrae), the ligaments of the facet joints, and the muscles surrounding the spine.

As a result of these consistent strains and pressures on different parts of the back, often aggravated by poor alignment, your back and spine may snap, leading to debilitating golf injuries, or the more common problems of muscle strains, herniated disks, and inflamed joints and ligaments.

The bottom line: make sure you have a healthy posture while standing, sitting, sleeping even when you are not playing golf. If you are a senior, pay special attention to your forward head posture.

More next time . . .

Stephen Lau

Saturday, October 21, 2017

How to Improve Your Putting

Putting is the end game of golf, often called “a game within a game.”

If you master putting, you master the game of golf. However, putting is extremely difficult to master, although in putting, a golfer uses only the shortest backswing and downswing in golf.

To improve putting, you need to get the right putter. Putting is an art, and as such, it requires a proper tool to express that form of art. The putter is quite different from other golf clubs: it comes in many different designs. Generally, putters are the shortest of all golf clubs, and they are designed to roll the golf ball when it is on the green. The most significant difference between the putter and the rest of the golf clubs is the grip: it is flat on the top of the shaft to allow you to place your hands comfortably on the grip without exerting too much pressure on the equipment. To improve putting, select the right putter–one that you are most comfortable with the grip.

Another way to improve putting is to know what method to use when you putt. Lack of practice often leads to lack of confidence and nervousness, resulting in hitting off-line putts that either fall short of or finish past the hole. To illustrate, in a long putt (50 feet or so), try to lag the ball up close to the hole (i.e. try to aim for 2 putts).

During putting, do the following:

1.    Set up slightly closed by placing your right foot back slightly from the target line than your left foot
2.    Position your golf ball opposite your left heel.
3.    Grip your putter naturally with your right hand.
4.    Swing your putter with more strength than usual, but slightly inside the target line. Remember to rotate your shoulders in a counterclockwise direction in order to make you square your putter face up at impact and swing it back to the inside after you have struck the ball.

If you are a beginner, go to The Golf Beginner Guide to get more information on improving putting.

The Putting Secrets Revealed shows you the secrets of putting for golf success.

Stephen Lau
Copyright © by Stephen Lau