Posted by & filed under Golf Tips.

The gluteus maximus – glutes, to you and me – are the largest muscles in the body and are extremely important to the golf swing.

Sitting down on them for long periods can cause them to be inactive and underused, which results in them weakening. This is not great news for the golf swing as they are a powerful hip extensor – along with the hamstrings – so are crucial for sports and athletic movement and performance.

Stronger glutes aid in golf performance as they:

Help to stabilise the hips and pelvis

Pelvic and hip stability is important in the golf swing as it helps to reduce lateral or excessive lower body movement, particularly in the backswing.

As the upper body and shoulders rotate into the backswing, the pelvis should stay stable to allow internal rotation into the hip. This allows the golfer to create coil and elasticity in the backswing, which can be used to generate speed to the club in the downswing.

Stability is also key for posting into the lead leg on the downswing as the upper body continues to rotate through impact and beyond.

Maintain posture through the swing

Being able to hinge at the hips and maintain this position as you rotate around it through the swing is linked to glute strength.

Maintaining posture allows the golfer the space needed to be able to use the legs to generate power and be consistent in striking the ball.

Generate power through extension in the downswing

The ground is a major power source for the speed produced in the golf swing and this has to come from the legs initially. Having the ability to transfer this force from the ground relies on a big push into it from the legs.

The force then comes back through the legs and results in a powerful extension of the hips – from the glutes – which is subsequently transferred into the trunk and golf club.

So if you feel you have spent far too much time sat down over the last few months and you want to maximise your golf performance, check out this 10-minute glutes workout that you can do at home.

About Rachael Tibbs

Rachael Tibbs is a TPI L2 certified golf fitness professional based in Leeds, specialising in golf-specific strength and conditioning.

She is currently offering a progressive and structured programme aimed at improving glute and core stability – why not check out her 16-week online programme?

Get started today for less than £5 per week.

If you want to find out more, you can visit the Dynamic Golf website.

This article was originally published by our partner National Club Golfer.

Posted by & filed under Golf Tips.

Forget what Bryson DeChambeau is doing for a moment – hitting 250 drives a day at maximum speed – and remember that a strong short game is the key to shooting lower scores. Most amateur golfers would be better off working on those more delicate shots.

Mastering the basics will go a long way to improving your performance on and around the greens – but what are they and how else can you become more proficient in this crucial area of the game?

PGA Master Professional Keith Williams offers five ways to improve your short game.

1. Nail the fundamentals

For distances of 25-40 yards, remember that a smooth, co-ordinated swing action is key to gaining both the distance and direction control needed to get the ball close.

Generally speaking, the backswing and follow through distances should be approximately equal, and the speed of the swing one of smooth acceleration. In other words, there should be no panic and sudden effort to try and hit the ball.

Set up with the weight slightly favouring the lead foot and retain this position throughout the swing. You should feel that the hands, arms, and upper torso work together and that you turn through impact to face the pin. I like to see players standing ‘tall’ and balanced on the forward foot, with the hands and arms positioned opposite the middle of the body.

2. Use less loft pitching from fluffy rough

Assuming you’re fairly close to the green, shots out of the fluffy rough can be quite intimidating. In this situation, you require elevation and distance control of both the airborne and roll aspects of the shot.

My advice would be to not always choose your most lofted wedge. Instead, use a mid wedge (50-54 degrees). Position the ball off the inside of the back foot, with your weight slightly favouring the lead foot.

Next, open the clubface slightly so that the bounce of the sole of the club is more exposed. You want to execute a smooth, simple pitching swing – approximately waist-high back will be enough.

Avoid trying to help the ball out of the grass. Instead, allow the clubhead to descend smoothly and contact the grass fractionally behind the ball – yes, behind it!

If you make contact with the ball first, you’re likely to thin or top it. The idea is to allow the club to move down under the ball. What you’re looking to do is ‘gather it up’, to send the ball up softly and control its route to the flag.

Watch the pros and you’ll see they have this wonderful smooth swing action, with the hands, arms, and body working in harmony.

3. Work on your bunker basics

If you have a decent lie in a bunker, you should have nothing to fear.

Select your most lofted wedge (usually 56-60 degrees). Your stance must be wider than normal, and the knees should be more flexed to help you feel you’re slightly squatting down into the ground. Get a good footing in the sand itself. Now ‘open’ (left for right-hander) your stance just a little and position the club ever so slightly opposite (to the right).

Get your weight towards the front foot and keep the ball forwards in your stance (inside forward heel). You want to use the bounce of the club correctly so that it travels down, under the ball, and through the sand efficiently to help elevate the ball softly upwards and on its way towards the flag.

You’ll need a longer swing than for a pitch shot, as the impact into the sand will slow down the speed of the club. Think of the hands as swinging from shoulder height back to shoulder height through.

It requires smooth acceleration, and you should keep your weight forwards and turn the body to face the flagstick as you swing through.

4. Groove a centred strike  

It’s crucial to strike your putts from of the centre of the clubface, as this will impact distance and direction. To improve your strike, I recommend trying this drill.

Start three feet away from the hole with three balls. Before hitting the first putt, position two tee pegs, one on each side of the putter head, just wide enough for the club to pass through during the stroke.

Then, position each ball in the centre of the putter face and make your normal stroke. If you hit the ball cleanly, then you’ve struck the ball in the sweet spot of your putter. If you catch a tee peg on either the heel or toe of the putter, your stroke is incorrect. In this instance, you won’t get the best roll and you’ll lose control of the ball.

Carry on moving away from the hole in three-foot increments up to 15 foot, each time marking out the putting gate with your tees. It can come as a surprise to learn how your strike is sometimes off-centre. However, this drill is really effective in helping you to groove a better stroke. Give it a go and you’ll soon start holing more putts.

5. Putt from the apron

It’s almost always a safer and more reliable strategy to use a putter from the apron, assuming it’s a decent grass surface.

In this situation, try to make a longer and smoother putting stroke to allow for the grass on the apron being a few millimetres longer than the green itself. Employing this strategy can have a dramatic effect on your putt speed if you have quite a length of apron to go over.

This is something you need to practise, as getting the knack of judging the two speeds – apron and green – is the secret. However, you should find it to be a more consistent and reliable way to get down in two.

Posted by & filed under Golf Equipment.

As much as we’d all like Rory McIlroy’s practice facility in our own back garden, most of us have to take a trip to the driving range. Wouldn’t it be easier if you could hit balls at home?

Well, you can with a golf practice net, and whilst it’s always nice to see your ball flight when it leaves the clubface, this is the next best thing.

Think of all the times you’ve deliberated over going to the range, only to let the moment pass – which is just no good if you want to get better.

Here, we’ve selected the best golf nets that you can use at home all year round. Whether you’re looking for a low-cost chipping net or full swing driving bay, these nets can help make you a better, more consistent player.

Pure 2 Improve Chipping Net, £14.95

best golf nets

This 50cm chipping net, which features a pop-up construction for easy set-up, is perfect for indoor and outdoor use. It also comes with a carry bag for storing and transporting to and from your practice area. At £14.95, it’s not going to break the bank. Who knows, it might end up being the most important equipment purchase you make this year.

PGA Tour Pop Up Chipping Target Net, £9.95

best golf nets

This is not just any old chipping net, but one featuring the PGA Tour logo that’s sure to give you that added inspiration. With its 20” diameter hoop, it’s not designed to try and catch your attempts at a Tiger Woods stinger; it’s better used to get a feel for short shots prior to teeing off, or for messing around with in the garden. When you’re finished, it’s easy to fold down to a compact size.

Links Choice Practice Net, £59.99

best golf nets

Now we’re talking. This is the driving net all serious golfers should have in their back garden. Measuring 7ft high by 10ft wide, it won’t allow even your wildest shots to escape. It’s manufactured from highly durable materials, so you can hit thousands of balls and be sure that it will last. It’s easy to assemble and once it’s up, you’ll have no excuses for being rusty.

PGA Tour Pro Driving Net, £69.99

best golf nets

Here’s a net for every aspect of your game – driver, iron play, and chipping. The beauty of this product – which measures 214cm (height) x 305cm (width) x 153cm (depth) and features a lightweight fiberglass frame – is its three different target nets, which allows you to play games and challenge your accuracy. The frame and ground sheet are easy to set up, and it even comes with a set of driving and chipping tips to help you get started.

Longridge Quad Chipping Net, £24.99

best golf nets

All the sports performance gurus out there will tell you that you need to practise with a purpose – and this net will help you do just that. It features five target pockets, so you can challenge yourself with any number of short game exercises. Not only does this mean you can create a bit of pressure for yourself, but the targets can also be used to help you understand how to flight various chips and improve your feel for where to land certain shots. It expands to 65cm x 67cm x 70cm and folds down to 30cm x 30cm for convenient storage.

Master Cage Super Size Driving Net, £449.99

best golf nets

If you’re willing to spend more than £400 on a new driver, why not invest in a serious piece of kit to practise hitting it in? This is no ordinary net – it’s a 3m x 3m x 3m steel construction that can be used for a variety of sports with absolutely no worry of any balls escaping. So, as well as crunching drives at a target, the multi-talented athletes out there can use this robust product to practise pretty much any sport that involves hitting a ball.

Longridge Full Swing Practice Net, £119

best golf nets

There can’t be many nets out there that have quite so many targets to go at – 18 in total. With the Longridge Full Swing Practice Net, you won’t ever get bored of setting yourself goals and playing games to improve your accuracy and ball striking. It can be used for chipping, driving and iron play, and measures 305cm wide x 213cm high x 151cm deep.

Slazenger Chip Net, £9

best golf nets

For anyone looking for a pop-up net that won’t break the bank, this should be perfect. You can use it in the garden, in the office, or take it down to the short game area at your club in its lightweight, compact carry bag. The dartboard style targets are simple and, for many golfers, this is all that’s required.

Longridge Golf Pro Chipping Net, £22.95

best golf nets

This lightweight and portable chipping net may have a target, but it offers quite a generous space to chip in to. Therefore, you can play plenty of different games and adjust your difficulty level. The blue colour works well, too, and helps you focus on your target. Plus, because of this net’s size, there’s no reason you can’t use it indoors – although we’d always recommend using air balls, especially if you value your furniture.

Posted by & filed under Golf Equipment.

Playing golf in the driving rain is hard enough, and it’s nigh-on impossible when your grips are drenched, and your glove is wet through. A reliable waterproof golf bag is worth its weight in gold, because if you can keep your clubs dry, you’ll be able to focus on what matters – hitting good golf shots.  

In recent years, manufacturers have worked hard on their waterproof offerings, acknowledging that the UK golfer is faced with interchangeable weather conditions all-year-round.

Quite simply, if you’re going to buy a golf bag – stand or carry – you need it to be waterproof. Therefore, you should be paying attention to the fabric it’s made from and finding out whether it has sealed seams and zippers.

Of course, you also want a bag that ticks the other boxes: comfort, style, and usability.

There are models to suit all tastes and preferences, and you’re sure to find one that you like here.

This is our selection of the best waterproof golf bags of 2021.

Best waterproof golf bags: Stand bags

Callaway Chev Dry Stand Bag, £149.95

This bag provides year-round protection with its fully seam-sealed waterproof design. Organisation is made simple with its four-way divider top system, whilst an integrated lift handle makes the lifting and transportation of this lightweight and stylish bag much easier. It also features five pockets: a velour-lined valuables pocket, ball pocket, cooler pocket, full-length apparel pocket, and an accessory pocket.

Sun Mountain H2NO LiteSpeed Stand Bag, £249.95

Sun Mountain’s extensive range of golf bags is so impressive that choosing one is very difficult. However, because you’re searching for a waterproof option, this is one you must check out. It’s new for 2021 and is so light and comfortable to carry – less than 4.5 pounds – Sun Mountain is confident it will tempt some trolley users back to carrying. It’s packed full of brilliant features, with incredible attention to detail applied in every department.

Mizuno BR-DRI Stand Bag, £255

Mizuno doesn’t just manufacture premium irons – its latest bag range is also hugely impressive. Not only is the BR-DRI bag available in an array of eye-catching colours – the blue, silver, and red models are particularly smart – but it delivers excellent functionality. It’s lightweight and features six protected pockets, comfortable double shoulder straps, an external umbrella loop, and a matching rain hood. You shouldn’t need it, but for extra peace of mind, it also comes with a one-year waterproof guarantee.

Titleist Players 4 Plus StaDry Stand Bag, £230

Titleist bags always look easy on the eye – it’s probably the iconic Titleist font. This bag backs up its good looks with a wide range of impressive features. You have high-grade aluminium legs and advanced hinged bottom for stability and durability, whilst dual-density foam ensures long-lasting comfort. There are some fantastic colours to choose from, too – as well as the brand’s popular red and black combinations, there’s the striking blue/black/grey and charcoal/grey/apple options.

Best waterproof golf bags: Cart bags

Titleist StaDry 14 Cart Bag, £230

This bag features StaDry™ waterproof technology and seam-sealed waterproof zips to keep your golf clubs and accessories dry. It’s also constructed with abrasion-resistant materials for long-lasting durability. The bag has 14-way top cuff with full-length dividers for better club management, whilst seven forward-facing pockets provide plenty of storage space. So, if you need to remove all your wet weather gear, you have ample room in your bag if you go for this one.

Motocaddy Dry-Series Golf Cart Bag, £239.99

Normally you’d associate trolleys and GPS devices with being ‘feature-packed’, but this cart bag is most certainly that. As the name suggests, it’s constructed from waterproof fabric, which is also durable and lightweight. In addition, it features thermo-sealed and heat-welded seams, easy‑open Japanese YKK zips, a waterproof rain hood, an internal umbrella sleeve, and seven spacious pockets.

PING Pioneer Monsoon Cart Bag, £209

This aptly-named bag features eight seam-sealed pockets (12 in total) and two ventilated mesh slip pockets for airing damp items. Meanwhile, the 15-way top offers the ultimate protection for your clubs, whilst integrated handles make transporting easy. It’s available in three colours and, whilst the light grey/black/white is really smart, by going for the scarlet/black or azure, you’ll be doing your bit to brighten up the fairways on those miserable, wet days.

BIG MAX AQUA Tour 3 Cart Bag, €329,90

BIG MAX has been one of Europe’s leading golf trolley manufacturers for more than 20 years, and it boasts an extensive range of innovative golf bags. The AQUA Tour 3 is 100% waterproof and is described by the brand as the ‘ultimate cart bag’. To assist you around the golf course, it has a glove, towel, and umbrella holder, plus a dedicated battery pocket. A single-padded shoulder strap makes it comfortable to carry short distances.

Callaway Golf Hyper Dry 15 Cart Bag, £199

Callaway’s Hyper Dry is said to be 50% more waterproof than any of its previous models and boasts a multitude of features to keep all your gear dry, secure, and easy to access. It features eight pockets, including an insulated cooler pocket, and because it’s fully seam-sealed, it’s guaranteed to keep the elements out. Great attention has also been given to how the clubs are protected in the bag, with the inclusion of a new, non-stadium top that allows wedges to sit flush, eliminating hang. In addition, the 15-way top with individual full-length dividers and separate putter well prevent the shafts from knocking together.

TaylorMade Storm Dry Cart Bag, £199

TaylorMade’s Storm Dry features lightweight, waterproof construction, heat-welded seams, and thermo-sealed zippers to withstand the elements. The synthetic leather cuff and 14-way divider system, which has three full-length dividers and an integrated putter well, is designed to prevent snagging as you place or retrieve your equipment. Meanwhile, its trolley lock base system ensures your clubs stay firmly secured during the course of a round.

Posted by & filed under The Open.

We take a trip through time and look back at the 10 most famous moments in Open Championship history. Where does the time go?

1. Seve’s jig

Seve Ballesteros, St Andrews, 1984

Golf’s archives are littered with iconic Seve moments – but this one might just top the lot.

When the “People’s Champion” – donning that smart navy sweater -holed a 15-footer at the last, he jigged on the spot and punched the air in delight.

It’s a celebration that still gives you goosebumps. Give it a go when you win your weekend roll-up… if you haven’t done so already!

2. Miracle man

Ben Hogan, Carnoustie, 1953

The American travelled to Scotland four years after his near-fatal car crash to compete in his one and only Open Championship – which, of course, he won.

The reigning Masters and US Open champion opened with a 73, and improved with each round, capping off a solid tournament with a birdie on the final hole and a course-record 68.

It was his ninth and final Major, and despite promising to return, he never did.

3. Wet wet wet

Jean van de Velde, Carnoustie, 1999

Who can forget this one? Van de Velde surrendered a three-shot cushion on the final hole and lost in the subsequent play-off.

Paul Lawrie took advantage, but it’s hard not to picture the hapless Frenchman wading around Barry Burn every time the 1999 Open is mentioned.

It was heartbreaking. Even now it’s hard to watch – go on, though, have a look back. Why the 2-iron… why?

4. Par for the course

Nick Faldo, Muirfield, 1987

Ah, yes, that bright yellow sweater. This wasn’t just the year of Faldo’s iconic jumper, however – the 116th Open will forever be remembered as the year Muirfield was ‘Faldoed’.

The Englishman carded 18 pars on his final round for a one-shot victory over Paul Azinger and Rodger Davis.

It was far from boring; when Faldo was asked a question, he did what he had to. Major number one of six was secured in professional style.

Tiger’s tears

Tiger Woods, Royal Liverpool, 2006

Woods has three Open titles to his name, but his last, 13 years ago, was surely the most emotional.

Two months after his father, Earl, had passed away, no one knew for certain what kind of Woods would show up on Merseyside.

The great man put on a masterclass, however, and plotted his way around Hoylake with unerring precision.

A great outpouring of emotion followed on the final green, before Woods held the Claret Jug aloft.

6. Rocca’s heroics in vain

Constantino Rocca, St Andrews, 1995

Surely not, not from down there. Of course he holed it, this is the sort of thing that happens at The Open.

Rocca needed a birdie on the final hole to force his way into a play-off, but when he fluffed his chip shot into the Valley of Sin, the challenge looked done and dusted.

However, he followed up with one of the most extraordinary putts in Open history, finding the bottom of the cup from 65 feet.

It was a putt worthy of winning the Claret Jug. Sadly for the Italian, John Daly had other ideas.

7. The ‘Duel in the Sun’

Tom Watson & Jack Nicklaus, Turnberry, 1977

This was the year Watson edged Nicklaus in the thriller later dubbed the ‘Duel in the Sun’.

The Americans had made the final round a two-horse race and they quickly went about trading blows on a fiercely hot day.

Despite being three shots behind at one stage, Watson regrouped and took the lead for the first time on the 17th. He closed with a 65 to pip his great rival by a single stroke.

Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson played out their own epic battle at Royal Troon in 2016 – but has there ever been a greater duel than this one from 42 years ago?

8. Sanders’ agony

Doug Sanders, St Andrews, 1970

Sadly, Sanders’ missed putt is memorable for all the wrong reasons. The hesitation, the bending down to wisp away a wisp of dirt, and the desperate follow-through after he pushed his short putt for victory agonisingly past the hole.

Every time you watch it back, you somehow hope for a different outcome – unless, of course, you’re Jack Nicklaus. The Golden Bear won the 18-hole play-off the next day.

Record-setting Woods

Tiger Woods, St Andrews, 2000

This was Woods’ first Open Championship victory – and his greatest. Quite simply, the 24-year-old was unstoppable in compiling rounds of 67, 66, 67 and 69 to win by eight shots.

En route to the second leg of the “Tiger Slam”, Woods never found a bunker. There have been plenty of dominant Tiger displays over the years, but this was one of his very best.

History repeats itself… almost

Padraig Harrington, Carnoustie, 2007

What is it about Carnoustie? Well, a treacherous 18th hole adds to the drama, and it’s witnessed plenty of that over the years.

Harrington must have had Jean Van de Velde on his mind as he stuttered down his final hole. He held a one-shot lead, before finding the water twice and racking up a double-bogey six.

However, the Irishman dodged a bullet when Sergio Garcia bogeyed the final hole, and he then came through a four-man play-off to become the first Irish winner of The Open since Fred Daly in 1947.

golf equipment covid

Posted by & filed under Blog, Golf Equipment.

Amidst the drama and excitement of getting back out there, you may have forgotten about your gear – but there are some very important adjustments to make and guidelines you need to follow.

Hannah Holden, Equipment and Instruction Editor at National Club Golfer, has laid out some guidelines to make sure you don’t find yourself in a spot of bother.

Golf equipment vs Covid: Clubs

Do not even touch other players’ clubs. Simple as that.

We’ve all been in that situation where we’re playing a friendly round and borrowed a putter because we left our own in our bag after finding trouble near a green. Just don’t.

Stick to your own and keep them clean. (I know you’ve got a stash of anti bacterial wipes at home already so you might as well make use of them.)

Golf equipment vs Covid: Balls

Same rules. Touch your own and no one else’s.

Don’t leave yourself in a situation where you would need to even think about touching someone else’s golf balls.

Found a Pro V1 in the woods? Great! Well, any other time it would be. Leave it there.

So make sure you have plenty of balls in your bag because the rough is going to be a bit thicker than normal. Why not use this as an opportunity to treat yourself to some new balls? It’s up to you if you’d rather look for a TitleistTaylorMadeCallaway or Srixon in the trees…

Golf equipment vs Covid: Tees

I know it’s tempting, particularly on a par-3, to grab a broken tee left on the tee box and use that. But that needs to stop. You have no idea who has touched them.

In fact, while we are on this point, just don’t leave broken tees on the ground full stop. Take them with you and put them in the bin when you get home.

Don’t worry if your stock is running low, you can buy shed loads of wooden tees for next to nothing.

Or, if you want to be more environmentally friendly, why not give these 100% sustainable bamboo tees from Ocean Tee a try?

Golf equipment vs Covid: Trolleys

It seems that hire trolleys will remain off-limits for the foreseeable future so maybe now is time to upgrade to one of your own?

There are plenty of impressive options from both Motocaddy and PowaKaddy.

If you need to buy one, I really like the Motocaddy M3, which starts from £749.99, and the compact Powakaddy CT6, from £649.99. Both brands have impressive push model options, too.

If they’re a bit out of your price range and want something simple, try the Masters 1 Series, which will give you change from £40.

Golf equipment vs Covid: Rakes

OK, not something you’d normally have in your bag but England Golf have already stated all rakes are to be removed from the course.

If you want to play your part in keeping the course neat, why not add one into your own setup? You can get full rakes for next to nothing in the supermarket and Amazon has one you can attach to the end of your club.

But remember, as with everything else, don’t let anyone else touch your rake.

Golf equipment vs Covid: Anything else?

Other items that won’t be available include ball cleaners so my advice would be to carry a damp towel or flannel on your bag.

Also, remember all bins have to be removed from the course or covered and not used so make sure you take a bag of some sort to stash your rubbish while you play.

And don’t touch the flagsticks!

Enjoy your round. And remember: Play Safe, Stay Safe.