Posted by & filed under Golf Tips.

In this article, we’ll look at affordable ways to practice golf at home and become a better player without even having to go out. Yes—it can be done!

There are many ways you can practice and improve your golf at home. And, while the more space, the better, it’s not necessarily essential to have a garden or any outdoor space to make inroads on some progress away from the course.


How to practice golf at home


1. Putting

Putting is one of the most obvious areas of your game to make progress in from home, and given that around 45% of your shots will come on the greens, it’ll benefit you hugely when you get back out there.

You don’t have to break the bank to buy a putting mat, either. The carpet or flooring you already have in your house can work just fine, and this is a great way to work on your alignment, stroke and distance control, too.

There are a wide range of training aids to help you with the different aspects of putting—mirrors, holes, gates, pressure putts, path trainers, breaking putts and mats that return the ball to you. There’s even a ball that has to be hit perfectly to roll straight. So, however you struggle on the greens, there’s no excuse not to put some work in!


2. Chipping

how to practice golf at home

Similarly, there are all sorts of training aids to help you with your short game. Whether you like something technical that will help you get your arms and body in the right position, or something more visual so you have a target, there’s plenty of help out there.

Being able to chip better is a quick way to get your scores down, and you need very little space to practice this at home—just some air-flow or indoor balls to get a feel for a good chip. This is also a great way to use your imagination around the garden for different types of shots and trajectories, and the more you practice, the more likely you are to start getting up and down a few more times. 


3. Mirror work

You often hear about golfers using mirrors for practising, but how many of us have actually made the most of what we’ve got at home to work on our swings?

A great way to add a new move to a swing is by doing it in slow motion. Robert Rock is one of the best swingers in the game, and he’s a big fan of slow-motion work.


4. Practice net

how to practice golf at home

We all love the feeling of hitting balls, and if you have the space, a good practice net is a brilliant purchase.

During the various lockdowns, these were among the most popular purchases for golfers, as they’re a great way of maintaining your swing away from the course. Just make sure you have enough room to hit it and that the net is decent quality—the last thing you want is to smash through it and break a window!

If you’re looking to hit a lot of drivers, consider how much headroom you have, too, as well as a strong net.

Hitting balls on a regular basis should really bolster your confidence. In fact, simply having a club in your hands every day will make it start to feel like second nature, and you can work on hitting different shots with different clubs.


5. Video analysis

how to practice golf at home

An adjustable tripod for your phone is an excellent purchase if you’re looking at how to practice golf at home, as you can see exactly what you’re doing each time.

Of course, there’s nothing better than having an in-person lesson with a PGA pro, but this way, you can share your progress outside of lessons by sending videos. Your instructor can then send feedback quickly and easily.


6. Strength and flexibility

The importance of being strong and flexible when it comes to hitting it better and further has never been more evident.

By adding yards, you’ll lower your scores. Fact. YouTube is full of tips to help your balance, bad back, shoulders and neck, core and any other body part used in the golf swing.

Try and spend just 15 minutes a day working on some part of your golfing fitness, and you’ll notice the difference very quickly—whether it’s longer drives, less pain or more stamina at the end of a round. Where you may lack in inspiration when it comes to getting going, you should make up for it in how you’re generally feeling and swinging.


7. The mind game

We can probably all think better on the course, and if there’s one thing that Tiger Woods always did brilliantly throughout his career, it was his breathing and visualisation.

Just look at a video of his chip-in at the 16th at The Masters in 2005, and look how much attention he’s paying to the shot before hitting it.

Golf is a game played between the ears, and by being able to deal with the inner voices and awkward situations we’re guaranteed to face on the course, we’ll all be better off. Read up, seek the relevant information, and start to practice at home, too.


8. Read, watch, listen

Golf has arguably never been in a better place in terms of what’s ‘out there’ in regards to online instructions, playing tips, reading material and podcasts.

Some of the greatest golf teachers and instructors on the planet are giving their tips away for free, and there’s always an answer to the questions we might have.

If you’ve never read a Dr Bob Rotella on the mental game of golf, you truly are missing out. Feed your mind and educate yourself on all areas of the game, and it will add to your overall enjoyment and lust to get better at playing it. 

Posted by & filed under Golf Tips.

The article below was written by Steve Carroll of National Club Golfer.

Chucking a tantrum after a poor shot can cause some proper damage on the course. I’ve seen players take chunks out of greens, swish around like an unruly child in a bunker, and detonate a tee marker into a hundred different pieces.

Tee markers seem a semi-regular outlet for frustration on a course and there’s a curious clarification in the Rules of Golf that addresses when and how they are moved and what that’s going to do to your score card.

Did you know there is not an automatic penalty in the rules for hitting a tee marker in anger and causing it to move?

Check out Rule 6.2b (4)/1 – Tee-Marker Moved Without Improvement. It reveals that if a player causes a tee-marker to move, either by striking it in anger, tripping over it, or – and this is my personal favourite – “lifting it for no apparent reason”, there is no penalty if it does not improve the conditions affecting the stroke.

But there’s a big caveat on hitting golf tee markers in anger

That’s even “if the player does not replace it before playing from the teeing area”.

Don’t just start moving them, though, and put them back if you do so. You’ll get the general penalty if you don’t.

Now, before you all start smashing up markers in a fit of rage and thinking you can get away with it, there is a very large caveat in this clarification.

If you move the golf tee markers because you reckon they should be in a different place, or “deliberately” destroy them, your committee has the power to disqualify you for “serious conduct contrary to the spirit of the game” using Rule 1.2a.

You could also be disciplined under your club’s own Code of Conduct if it includes sanctions for damaging the course and equipment.

Posted by & filed under Playing Tips.

The article below was written by Hannah Holden of National Club Golfer.

With space for just fourteen clubs in the bag, getting the split between different clubs is crucial to your success out on the golf course. There are loads of factors affecting how many wedges you should put in play, so let’s take a look…


What are the different types of wedges?

Firstly, what are the options when it comes to wedges? Typically golfers will have at least a pitching wedge included in their iron sets. This typically has between 45 and 50 degrees of loft. It is worth knowing what loft your pitching wedge is to help with gapping the rest of your bag.

After this, players will carry a gap wedge that generally has 50 to 54 degrees of loft; these are included in some iron sets and are known as utility wedges. Sand wedges come next and can be from 54-58°. Finally, lob wedges are the highest lofted wedges, with loft varying from 58 to 64 degrees!

You can have wedges that match your iron sets, or you can have what I would refer to as a specialist wedge. This would be something like a Vokey or a Ping Glide 4.0.

I would always recommend someone carries at least one specialist wedge. They are designed for more finesse shots around the green, and I also find the thinner structure, and sole makes it much easier to get out of bunkers with. They generally have a tighter grind on the sole, so it is easier to open up the face and hit high chip shots without worrying about thinning it off the front edge of the club.


What wedge shots do you want to play?

Firstly, you need to look at what you want to use your wedges for and how versatile each club may be. Do you want something that is mainly for chip shots? Do you want something really high lofted for bunker and flop shots? Or do you prefer to run the ball low? Will you be using your wedges for full shots, and what do you want the distance gapping to look like?

Personally, my most lofted club is my starting point for sorting out my wedge set-up. I have used a 58° for a long time, so I feel very comfortable with this around the green and know I can hit all my short game shots with this.

If you don’t know what wedge you like to chip with, I would recommend trying a few out and seeing which you are most consistent with. Lob wedges or someone’s most lofted club generally vary between 56 and 60 degrees of loft. Lots of tour pros who play on faster greens opt for a 60-degree wedge; however, Tiger Woods uses just 56 degrees and still manages to hit all the shots.


How does the rest of your bag setup look?

From here, I will then build my wedge set up around this most lofted club and my pitching wedge carry distance.

My most lofted wedge carries 80 yards, and my pitching wedge carries 125 yards. That leaves me with a 45-yard gap to fill. Personally, I only really need two clubs to fill this gap. I also know I prefer hitting three-quarter shots with a smaller wedge than I do with a pitching wedge, so I will probably get a gap wedge that is fairly near in loft to my pitching wedge.

If you are a slower swing player, you may have a smaller gap between your pitching wedge and lob wedge in which case only one other wedge would be required.

If you are a high club head speed player, you may find your pitching wedge goes a lot further, and you need fewer clubs at the top of the bag. This would make space for you to have four specialist wedges as well as a pitching wedge.

It is also important to remember a 46-degree pitching wedge will fly further than a specialist 46° wedge due to the club head being smaller, and it is designed for precision rather than ball speed. So it is always best to try to hit each wedge loft on a launch monitor before purchasing to make sure the carry distances are perfect.


What wedge grind should you use?

When you are picking lofts, it is also worth looking at sole grinds and what might suit your game or golf course. The grind actually refers to the shaping of the sole of the club. Different amounts of material can be removed from the sole, heel and toe of the club to change how the leading edge sits and how it reacts through impact.

A fuller grind is best for wedges you hit full swings with, whereas you might want a more versatile grind on a wedge you chip with and want to use to open or close the face.

RELATED: Which wedge grind is right for you?


How many wedges do pros carry?

As with all equipment on tour, wedge setups vary from player to player. In general, all pros will carry a pitching wedge and three specialist wedges. Some players drop a club at the top of the bag to allow them to carry four specialist wedges. Rory McIlroy uses a 46°, 54° and 60° whereas Jordan Spieth uses a 46°, 52°, 56° and 60°.

Posted by & filed under Interviews.

“I have had the same pre-round routine for nearly 30 years. It’s not complicated, but I think that’s important,” says two-time European Tour winner Markus Brier.

“That goes for what I eat just as much as how I warm up. I arrive at the course an hour and ten minutes before my tee time to start to warm up—but my routine has already started before then—with my nutrition.”

He’s not alone.

The days of a solitary banana being the extent of a ‘golf diet’ are long gone—and this development is not just confined to elite golfers either. The golf diet has certainly evolved, with many more amateurs taking more interest in what they fuel up with before and during a round.

A two-week-old banana that’s turned entirely black at the bottom of a bag might still be the extent of many club golfers’ nutrition, but there is an increasing awareness across the game that what you eat can help your golf game.


The golf diet

So, what should you eat before and during the round to give yourself the best chance of a low score?

“Most rounds start before lunch, so a good breakfast is key to any golf diet,” says Brier.

“I’ll usually go for cereal with yoghurt and fruit—substantial but won’t leave me feeling sluggish. If I have a later tee time, I’ll also have scrambled or poached eggs on toast.”

The Austrian’s start to the day provides plenty of fibre and sustainable energy—key for breakfast as far as golfers are concerned. A slow release of energy through the cereal and toast—especially wholemeal toast—is what you want.

But what should you eat when you’re actually on the golf course?


What do golfers eat during a round?

golf diet

“We’re out there for probably five hours on average, and that’s too long to go without food,” says Brier.

“If I have an early tee time, I’ll probably just have some snacks with me, but I need a sandwich if it’s later. I avoid sugary snacks such as chocolate bars and so on—I avoid the high and low.”

Instead of sugar-filled snacks, the best on-course nibbles to keep you going are things like apples, bananas (of course), or cereal bars, which are often a good source of protein.

Nuts are another good choice; making your own ‘trail mix’ is a great idea. If that sounds too much like a hike in the mountains with Bear Grylls, fear not—it’s simply a case of buying some almonds, unsalted nuts, and fruit like raisins, dried pineapple, banana and apricot pieces and mixing them all together.

Pack a sandwich if you need something more substantial. We’ve all seen Tiger Woods munching a sandwich walking down the fairway, and you can be sure his are peanut butter or lean meat and salad. Golf is certainly no time for an ‘all-day breakfast’ feast between two big slabs of white bread.


The amateur golf diet

golf diet

Amateur golfers will start their round in the afternoon more often than Tour pros do.

“Don’t go for a heavy meal before you tee off. If you need a decent meal, finish it at least 90 minutes before your tee time,” says Brier.

“And avoid burgers, chips, and other heavy foods like these as part of your golf diet—they’ll make you feel full, yes, but they’ll also make you feel tired.”

Your body has to work harder to digest processed foods, which can make you feel lethargic—and no one swings well when they’re lethargic.

Instead, opt for a chicken salad, a small pasta dish with some vegetables or a chicken or ham wrap (we’ll let you have a small packet of crisps too).

Beans on wholemeal toast is probably the easiest and cheapest way to load up on slow-releasing energy. A poached egg on top, too, is a good, easy source of protein.

If you’re eating closer to your tee time, you need to be more careful with carbs like pasta and bread, as they can make you feel sluggish. While chicken and beans might sound like a footballer’s pre-match meal from the 1980s, it’s not a bad option at all if it’s 12:10 and you tee off at 13:22.

Staying hydrated is important, too, naturally, and with many clubs having water fountains dotted about the course, it’s not difficult either. There’s no excuse not to stay hydrated—and the old saying is certainly not a myth—that if you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.

Take on water every few holes, even when it’s not especially warm. A protein shake can also keep you feeling full as well as hydrated, and release some energy, too.

Caffeine is also a useful stimulant in the golf diet, so a nice cup of coffee with your breakfast is not a bad idea either.


Sweet treats for golfers

golf diet

Is there ever an occasion when sweet tooths can justifiably get stuck into some chocolate in a golfing context?

“I wouldn’t really recommend it, but I know some players on the Legends Tour will have a bag of sweets and might have one now and again,” says Brier.

Colin Montgomerie made jelly babies popular when he started popping them at the Senior Open at Gleneagles in 2022, and three or four per round can actually give you a nice boost in energy without the crash.

Jaffa Cakes, too, are another light, acceptable option—but when you start talking about larger chocolate bars, like a Snickers, for example, you’re running the risk of having a sugar crash three holes later.

Posted by & filed under Golf Equipment, Golf Travel.

It makes no sense whatsoever to spend hundreds of pounds on a new driver and some shiny new irons, only to then skimp on a travel bag.

In this article, we’ll look at the best golf travel bags to make your next golfing holiday as straightforward as possible.

We all love to get away for some golf in the sun, but we want to arrive there with our favourite possessions in one piece. All too often, we see photos on social media of an airline making a mess of some clubs with a driver in two pieces.

You should be looking for a strong and reliable golf travel bag. You want plenty of padding, great manoeuvrability and wheels that make things easy to move about the place. A great set of wheels can make all the difference between gliding from A to B or having to lug 14 clubs and half your wardrobe around an airport. 

Here are some of the best golf travel bags currently on the market.


1. Sun Mountain Club Glider Meridian

golf travel bags

RRP: £269.00

This travel bag is a fantastic investment with an integrated leg set that retracts easily, making moving about the place straightforward and easy on the back.

It’s also brilliantly well-made and will keep going for years, so it’s worth shelling out for. It can’t be stressed enough that travel bags are one part of your golf gear that you shouldn’t be skimping on—you’ll only be let down.

This golf bag has plenty of padding at the top, where your woods are housed, and there are two pockets to keep some of your other bits, leaving room in your other travel bags. Internal cinch straps secure everything nicely, too, and there are plenty of colour options.


2. Ping Rolling

golf travel bags

RRP: £269.00

You don’t need to be a Ping advocate to take advantage of this. Even if you want to transport a full-size cart bag around, this will get the job done. One of the benefits of this golf bag is that it folds down to fit into its own bag, so it doesn’t have to take up a large chunk of your hotel room.

There are also interlocking skid rails to roll smoothly over curbs, and its strong base means it can stand up in airport queues. You’ll also see there are six handles, so you’re not wrestling with it at any point. It’s a pricier option, but there’s plenty to it.


3. Titleist Players

golf travel bags

RRP: £180.00

This flight bag has a new U-shaped opening, so you can easily get in and out of it. Everything about Titleist is stylish, and this golf travel bag is no exception.

There’s plenty of room inside for your clubs and other belongings, and there are also two interior shoe pockets and straps to keep everything tightly tucked away. 

It features durable skate wheels, a large carry handle, an external valuables pocket, and two external straps to tighten everything up.


4. Ogio Alpha

golf travel bags

RRP: £179.00

If you were to describe this Ogio golf travel bag in two words, they might be ‘roomy’ and ‘dazzling’.

There is a black option, but otherwise, the colour options are off the charts. Ogio is renowned for being ‘out-there’ with its golf bags, and the travel bags are no different.

The bags are also renowned for their exceptional quality, and, despite all the space that the Alpha offers, it’s also lightweight, so it ticks all the boxes. There are plenty of strap options, and dense foam around your clubheads provides plenty of protection.


5. Sun Mountain Kube

golf travel bags

RRP: £199.00

This bag is very clever as it collapses into a neat cabin bag with a robust hard-case shell (pictured). In terms of looking after your clubs, there’s a reinforced padded area at the business end, where your clubheads are, to make sure that your driver doesn’t arrive in two pieces.

Sun Mountain does golf travel bags extremely well, and the wheels make getting about very straightforward, too. There are also lots of colour options to choose from—we all have our favourite colourway, and you won’t be disappointed. The Kube is particularly light, despite its make-up, and it also has rubberised pull and carry handles.


6. OutdoorMaster Padded Golf

RRP: £75.99

Golf travel bags can be pricey, but sometimes, going for the cheaper option doesn’t have to mean missing out on quality. This bag offers excellent padding and protection, thanks to extra-foam cushioning, and the reinforced in-line skate wheels are reliable and hard-working.

OutdoorMaster has been clever in its design, with extra pockets and handles making it easier to get off an airport carousel. There’s loads of extra storage, too, which almost makes it like a second piece of luggage. Better still—it’s water and wear-resistant, so you won’t need to reinvest after your golf travel bag has begun to let you down.


7. Club Glove Last Bag Large Pro

RRP: £439.00

If anyone knows about travelling with your clubs, it’s the tour pros. And, while the superstars of the game might have their own private jets, they still have to look after their prized possessions.

This premium collapsible bag is relied upon by the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, et al., with plenty of room for a 47-inch driver or broomhandle putter. This bag ticks all the boxes; in-line skate wheels, an over-the-top zipper for easy packing and unpacking and—get this—there are 18 colour options!

Everything about this bag smacks of quality. Of course, it comes at a price, but this will likely be a one-and-done deal.


8. Motocaddy Flightsafe

RRP: £199.00

This might not look too different to the rest of the golf travel bags we’ve already mentioned, but Motocaddy, which has now entered this market having had huge success with electric golf trolleys and cart bags, have certainly delivered here.

There are no fewer than six wheels for easy transportation, and it neatly folds down into a small cube shape for easy storage. This bag is particularly strong on the protection of your clubs but, unlike others, offers a more comfy fit.

There’s room for additional storage, but the neater size of this bag makes it very easy to get about the place. It’s an ideal choice of travel bag as far as functionality goes.

Posted by & filed under Golf Equipment.

Here’s your cut-out-and-keep golf essentials guide to what should always be in your golf bag.


1. Balls

No need to state the obvious here, but how many is too many? Some of us tend to panic and fill out the bag, while others are that annoying species who are always on the borrow by the turn.

You should have an idea of your own skills, and even on a horrific day, nobody should need more than 10 balls.


2. Food

golf essentials

You’re out there a long time, and you need sustenance. The experts say you should get carbohydrates into you at least twice a round, so after maybe the 4th and 14th holes. There also needs to be some protein at the turn. This will help to keep you focused and performing for all 18 holes rather than making a mess of the last few.


3. Water

Drinking water should be part of your routine on every hole. When the putter comes out, have a drink of water. We often come off the golf course dehydrated, but you can avoid it.


4. Plasters

golf essentials

Plasters are an absolute golf essential. A decent pair of shoes should render them futile, but we have to break new shoes in at some point, and golf can be played over some rough terrain.

Invest in some blister plasters to make sure you won’t struggle. Odd things can happen on a golf course, but you’ll be popular in the fourball if you’re carrying a box of plasters. 


5. Painkillers

Similarly, some back-up for when the aches and pains crop up is essential. Again, it wouldn’t be unheard of for you or your fourball to start complaining about some back or other ache, so make sure you’re covered for all eventualities. 


6. Bite repellent

golf essentials

This is another easy win and won’t take up any room in the bag. You might only need this once a year, but when you do, you’ll certainly be glad you’ve packed it.


7. Sunscreen

We should all be aware of why this is so important. Most skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun, and melanoma rates have doubled in the UK in the past 30 years.

Worryingly, though, only 42% of golfers use sunscreen—a sobering thought when as many as 44 people are diagnosed with melanoma every day.


8. Jacket

golf essentials

Waterproofs are so thin these days, and golf bags are so roomy that there’s no excuse for getting caught short in a downpour.

A good tip is to pack your bag neatly so your balls and gloves aren’t spilling over into your other compartments. If you look to pack the kitchen sink for every round, then invest in a cart bag which has room for all of these accessories.


9. Umbrella

Some golfers don’t like using an umbrella as it involves a lot of faff and getting your hands wet but similarly, most of us don’t like getting wet in the rain either.

Invest in something sturdy here as, if the umbrella is going up, you can be assured that the elements are pretty rubbish.

Related: The best golf umbrellas to keep you dry on course


10. Tees

golf essentials

If you want to irritate your playing partners, asking to borrow a tee on every hole is a good way of going about it.

Have plenty to hand and keep them in a pouch to stop them from littering your bag, and get into the habit of putting them in there after each round.

We all have our preferences regarding tee shapes but make sure you’ve got some short ones for the par 3s, and if you use the castle-type ones, check with your pro to make sure they’re the right height for your swing path. 


11. Pouch

Most of us have a few of these sitting around after a visit somewhere. Put them to good use and use them for your gloves, tees, balls and other bits so everything is easy to hand.


12. Gloves

golf essentials

If an old glove doesn’t serve a purpose, chuck it out. Other than in very hot or very wet weather, there’s no need to clutter up your golf bag with ten gloves, so have three neatly tucked away instead.

If you’re really good, keep the original packet your glove came in and always put it back there to keep its shape. Be sure to also have a decent wet-weather glove or two as well, as these will ensure your game doesn’t fall apart when the weather does. 

Related: The 13 best golf gloves on the market


13. Pitchmark repairer

This is another key addition to your bag. Don’t rely on a tee that might break—get a pitchmark repairer and use it as often as possible. Your fellow players and greenskeepers will thank you for it.


14. Lip balm

golf essentials

You only need to look at the lips of some tour pros to realise what the sun can do to your lips. Lip balm rehydrates the lips and makes sure you’re constantly moisturised.


15. Sharpie

Marking your balls is part of the game. You only need a couple of penalty shots to realise its importance. You only need to do it once, as the marks tend to last forever—so they’re great value.


16. Towel

Wet your towel before you go out so you can keep your clubs and balls clean throughout the round. You’ll find it a lot easier to keep your grooves in good order with a wet towel. Likewise, you’ll want a towel when applying sunscreen, too.


17. Wire brush

Like your Sharpie, these cost next to nothing but can help to keep your clubs in much better nick. Again, this should be a habit—hit your shot and clean your clubface.

Look at the tour pros and caddies, for example. They’re always tending to their clubs, even though they get new ones every few months!


18. Ball marker

Another golf essential. Get a few of these as you’re guaranteed to lose a few, either by loaning them to your mates or it slipping to the bottom of the bag.

You can get a free ball marker if you take out a golf insurance policy with Golf Care.


19. Pencil

Like tees, anyone asking for a pencil every hole will get some antagonised looks.

They’re in every pro shop and cost nothing, so fill your boots and ensure you’re well covered. Like ball markers, these have a habit of getting lost, so keep stocking up.


20. Money

Even in these modern times, some loose change can be handy to either mark your ball or pay off a few fun debts from the round.