Category Archives: Golf Tips

South Africa Hosts World Amateur Match Play

world match play gary player ccThe inaugural World Amateur Match Play Championship, which will take place at Sun City, South Africa in May 2019, is the first of its kind and a unique structure that allows every participating amateur to play through to the last putt on the final day, no eliminations.

Entries can be either as an individual who will be assigned to a 4-ball team made up of individual entries combining, players who are friends from difficult clubs or an entire team from one club . Any official club handicap index is valid, but a maximum of 24 for men and 30 for women. Each player competes in 12 x 6-hole Match Play competitions, rotating every six holes in a four-ball. Each six holes are stroked specifically from one to six for this championship so that there is an even spread of easy and difficult holes across each six holes played, making it equal for everyone. There are eight Trophy categories and the combined team score over 12 matches a day will position the team 1-8 in each of the Trophy divisions.

The final positions on the leaderboard after four days of play will determine who finishes in each trophy division with the Royal Crown including the Top 8 teams (1-8) and the Horseshoe Trophy the bottom eight (57-64). However, no one goes home empty-handed. Golfers are drawn to compete against similar handicaps with no more than a two-shot different after their club handicap indexes have been adjusted to the Championship course handicap.

The Gary Player Country Club, internationally renown as the Home of the Nebank Million Challenge hosted by Gary Player and compliant with strict U.S. PGA standards and the Lost City Golf Course, will be set up as enjoyable but challenging, where golfers will rotate over four days playing six matches on each course.

Packages all include golf and then your own choice of accommodation starting at the Sun Cabanas, Soho, Cascades and through to the absolute premier Sun Palace.

“Non-golfer packages include a choice of the maginificent facilities offered at Sun City and surrounding tourist attractions. We encourage all participants to spend a little extra time during their stay to enjoy pre- or post-championship tourism opportunities into the surrounding, magnificent game parks, further to the Kruger National Park and various other world class wildlife experiences,” says Craig Clay-Smith, tournament spokesperson.

This all-inclusive, true African wildlife, world-first golfing experience, provides a “ Pro Golfer Tour “ experience and all the luxuries and amenities of this world-renown resort, including a Luxury car Hole-in-One prize and thousands of dollars in amateur prizes.

Entries are limited for this Match Play format, so visit for more details and enter your team or as an individual.

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Dominate Distance In the Sand

In this video lesson on location at beautiful Pronghorn Resort near Bend, Oregon, Golf Tips Top 25 Instructor Jeff Ritter shows how to alter your approach in the greenside bunker depending on the distance the ball must travel. He calls it “dominate distance.”

Want more lessons from Jeff? Download his MAKE THE TURN GOLF app FREE.

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TGA Gets Kids Playing Golf

TGA Premier Golf (Teach, Grow, Achieve) has become the leading introductory program in the industry over the last 15 years. The only youth sports franchise company dedicated to golf, TGA introduces the game to youth (ages 5-13) on school campuses nationwide through its after-school enrichment model.

The unique and successful model provides an innovative curriculum combining golf skill progression with STEAM academics. The program is being utilized anywhere on school campuses regardless of weather, including gymnasiums, hallways, cafeterias, fields and blacktops.

With over 70 percent of its students having never played the game before, and a majority of those students’ families being in the middle to upper-class and paying for the programs, TGA has created a sustainable model that is building a foundation for the future of the game. Through its TGA Sports Foundation, under-resourced schools and families are also benefiting from the TGA program. TGA is leaving no child behind in learning the game of golf.

Following the after-school enrichment programs students continue through the TGA Player Pathway model which transitions students to local golf courses for camps, parent-child events and leagues. The program has also become one of the largest feeder systems into national programs like PGA Junior League, Drive, Chip and Putt, Youth on Course, as well as LPGA*USGA Girls, who also make up 42 percent of the participants in TGA programs. This was all highlighted in a recent National Golf Foundation story titled “TGA's Introductory Programs Are Helping Create a Pathway for Youth Golf.”

To date, TGA has introduced the game to over 750,000 kids in 3,400 schools nationwide in 68 markets and it continues to grow. More than 40,000 kids registered for the programs this fall, more schools are signing up, and additional franchise territories are coming online every month. TGA expects to reach one million kids through its programs over the next five years.

For more information visit

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Wilson Names Cortex Driver The ‘vs.’ Winner

wilson cortex driverWilson Golf has officially announced the Cortex driver as the winning design of “Driver vs. Driver” Season Two. The Wilson Staff Cortex was designed by show contestant Evan Hoffman of San Diego, California. The driver features a titanium structure, carbon panels, and sliding adjustable weights to offer golfers premium performance, precise weight distribution and adjustability, and ultimate in forgiveness and feel. The Wilson Staff Cortex is now available for purchase on and at thousands of golf retail stores around the world.

“Season Two of the show yielded two amazing finalists; the Cortex and the Rozwell,” said Tim Clarke, President of Wilson Golf. “Ulimately, the Cortex came out on top with its clean, classic shape, overall consistent performance results from a wide range of player testers, and steady sound across the entire face of the club. We are excited to get this driver into the hands of players at all levels of the game.”

The Wilson Staff Cortex driver features Fast Cage Technology, which consists of a weight-tuned titanium internal structure with an impressive 44% of its surface area covered in Carbon Fiber Panels. This Ti –Carbon construction allows for extremely precise distribution of weight and frees up additional weight for maximum adjustability.

The Cortex is highly intuitive when it comes to adjustability.  For spin control, the Cortex features the Longest Slide Track Wilson has ever built with an 8g sliding adjustable weight down the center of the club head allowing golfers to select their ideal  spin rate and  ball flight. For direction control, Golfers can easily  switch the positions of the interchangeable 2g and 8g weights and make effective adjustments to promote a neutral, draw or fade bias off the tee. For trajectory control, Cortex features Wilson Golf’s patented Fast Fit Technology hosel system. This system offers players six adjustable options to fine tune the loft of the driver in half-degree increments. The hosel is also backwards compatible, making Cortex adtapable for use with shafts from previous Wilson drivers. Finally, for launch control, Cortex comes equipped with premium Fujikura ATMOS Tour Spec shafts. Available in three profiles (red for highest launch, blue for middle, and black for lowest), the ATMOS Tour Spec provides fitters a versatile set of options for golfers of all ability levels.

To evolve his original driver concept, Hoffman collaborated with Wilson LABS, the innovation hub at Wilson, engineers to perfect the design over an intense 18-month process. Hoffman’s design was selected over hundreds of submissions to be featured on Driver vs. Driver on Golf Channel. As the winner, Hoffman received a grand prize of $250,000 along with the opportunity to have his design brought to life under the Wilson Staff brand name.

In its second season, Driver vs. Driver has experienced a steady rise in popularity amongst Golf Channel viewers. The series showcases creative designs from outside the the golf space.

The retail price for the Wilson Staff Cortex is $499.99.

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PGA National Champion Course Reopens

The PGA National Champion Course in South Florida has reopened following a major $1 million renovation by Nicklaus Design.

Significant improvements implemented by Nicklaus Design, led by senior design associate Chris Cochran, include the removal of Palmetto palms on the right side of No. 1 and left side of No. 9 to offer more options for PGA Tour players on their tee shots as well as approaches into both greens. The removal will also allow for better crowd flow during the Honda Classic as the annual event has become one of the most popular and well-attended on the PGA Tour schedule.

Additionally, one-third of an acre (14,400 sq. ft.) was recaptured on the putting surfaces, adding an average of 800 square feet per green. Most notably, the putting surfaces will return to the native design Jack Nicklaus and his team implemented 16 years ago.

The green complexes were re-built, shaped and grassed with Tif-Eagle Bermuda. This results in seamless transitions from green surrounds to putting surfaces and tighter relationships with respect to greenside bunkers. The changes allow for consistency in a variety of weather conditions and make one of the true “bucket list” courses in the game even more compelling.

The mighty Champion Course has long been feared and revered as one of the most challenging in the game. One of the premier tests of golf is now even stronger. Resort guests can try and tackle The Champion Course when taking advantage of several exceptional stay-and-play offers including the popular Gold Golf Package with rates starting at $279 (per person, per night, double occupancy)

Nicklaus and his team comprehensively redesigned The Champion in 2002 as well as a 2014 redesign of layout’s stout par-4 14th hole which leads to the famous “Bear Trap” – a series of three demanding holes (Nos. 15,16 and 17) which many considered the toughest stretch in the game.

“We are honored to have worked on a course with such a storied history with both Jack Nicklaus and his design company,” says Cochran. “We took the advice of the best players in the game and made one of the great layouts in the U.S. even stronger.”

Next to its daunting first hole, The Champion Course’s outstanding driving range was significantly upgraded last year and includes a secluded section for PGA TOUR pros to practice their short game as well as greenside and fairway bunker play. The new pristine area garnered rave reviews from the players in the 2018 Honda Classic.

“As the home of a PGA TOUR course as well as being an iconic golf resort and private membership club, we continue to invest significantly in our brand assets,” says Greg “Coach” Saunders, PGA National’s vice-president and managing director. “The time was right to restore the greens and we are excited to announce the completion of this major project on our distinguished Champion Course.”

The renowned destination also features four added first-class championship layouts: The Palmer, The Fazio, The Squire and The Estates. The transformed Palmer Course, originally designed by legendary Arnold Palmer, reopened last November after undergoing a comprehensive renovation to rave reviews.

Additionally, PGA National offers the David Leadbetter Golf Academy and David Pelz Scoring Game School for individual instruction and group clinics; Every Ball Counts – the world’s first science-based, statistics-driven training system for golf improvement offered at its off-site Estates Course; and state-of-the-art club fitting at the PGA National Club Fitting Lab.

For more information, visit

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Hank Haney Endorses Club Champion Club Fitting

hank haney golf mug shotClub Champion, premium club fitter, builder and retailer, has signed endorsement deals with world-renowned golf coaches Hank Haney and Cameron McCormick. They have also re-signed legendary instructor David Leadbetter to continue spreading the word on the benefits of custom club fitting. All three instructors recognize the impact that properly fit clubs can have on any golfer’s game, no matter the skill level. Club Champion club fitting is partnering with these three leading instructors to educate golfers on the importance of getting fit for the right equipment.

According to Club Champion CEO Joe Lee, “We are thrilled to have David, Hank and Cameron all representing Club Champion. Their reputations as the world’s best instructors, and especially their understanding of club fitting, make them uniquely qualified to speak to golfers on the topic of fitting.”

Hank Haney is recognized all over the world as one of the foremost authorities on the game and is a leader in individual performance development. Haney has coached golfers and built golf facilities and player academies across the globe for over 40 years. He has instructed over 200 touring professionals. His most famous student, Tiger Woods, won six Majors and an amazing 33 percent of the events he entered with Haney as his coach. Hank believes, “There isn't anyone who can’t benefit from club fitting. With the advances in custom fitting technologies to optimize your equipment, everybody can achieve more distance. At Club Champion, you get a truly professional fitting. They can actually prove it works. For somebody not to take advantage of Club Champion’s expertise, they're just wasting a tremendous opportunity.”

David Leadbetter

David Leadbetter was named the 2017 PGA Teacher of the year and is a Golf Digest Top 10 instructor having coached players to 25 Major championship titles and over 100 individual worldwide tournament victories. Seven of those players have been ranked No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings. When it comes to understanding the importance of having properly fitted golf clubs, no one is better qualified than Leadbetter to speak on the subject.

For more than 30 years, David has operated the Leadbetter Golf Academies. He and his instructors have seen countless players fall short of their potential because of improperly fitted golf equipment. Leadbetter states, “A club fitting will definitely help any golfer play better. My students all benefited from club fitting. Lessons are critical, but if you’re fighting your equipment, you can only progress so far. Properly fitted clubs will make it much easier to lower your scores. I’m confident Club Champion will find the perfect clubs for you.”

Cameron McCormick has coached three-time Major champion Jordan Spieth for the entirety of Spieth’s career. Among other students, McCormick also coaches LPGA star So Yeon Ryu who is currently ranked number three in the world. As the Founder of Altus Performance and Director of Instruction at Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas, McCormick sees first-hand the benefits custom club fitting has on his students.

Through his experience with Spieth, he knows that, “The best players in the world benefit from custom club fitting. Average and higher handicap players can benefit even more from a Club Champion fitting as there’s much more room for improvement.” Club Champion has also signed Jordan Spieth to an endorsement contract to talk about the benefits of club fitting as a top PGA Tour professional.

Club Champion hires experienced fitters who then receive an additional 150-plus hours of training before starting; a training program unmatched in the golf industry. Club Champion’s unique coupling system combines any head and shaft together, so golfers hit the precise combination to be custom built for them. With more than 35,000 interchangeable head and shaft combinations, they deliver a Tour-quality fitting that produces longer, more accurate shots, with a nearly 100 percent satisfaction rate. Their approach is unbiased; no specific vendor is promoted. The only goal – to find the best combination of components to lower your scores.  Rather than having to change your swing, sometimes dramatically, a professional club fitting takes the swing that you have and optimizes the performance characteristics of the clubs to allow golfers to achieve the best result possible.

For more information or to schedule a fitting, visit

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Join New PGA President Suzy Whaley In Casa de Campo

Casa de Campo Resort & Villas – home to the Caribbean’s premier, luxury golf experiences, including the iconic Teeth of the Dog course – will host its “Women’s Getaway with Suzy Whaley,” Dec. 7-10.

Whaley, recently elected as the first woman President of the PGA of America, is recognized as one of the country’s top instructors. She was an LPGA Tour member in 1990 and 1993. Most notably, she qualified for and took part in the 2003 Greater Hartford Open, becoming the first woman since Babe Zaharias in 1945 to qualify for a PGA TOUR event. She is the PGA Director of Instruction at Suzy Whaley Golf in Cromwell, Conn.

The four-day / three-night stay-and-play is all-inclusive and starts at $1,899 per person (double occupancy). The many highlights include unlimited green fees on all three of the resort’s classic Pete Dye-designed courses and personal instruction by Whaley for the attendees at the resort’s new state-of-the-art, PGA Tour-quality Golf Learning Center highlighted by Trackman and BODITRAK technology.

Also featured are three nights’ Elite Room accommodations (with one cart golf per room); breakfast, lunch and dinner in all resort restaurants (SBG and Minitas Beach Club & Restaurant excluded); unlimited drinks in all hotel bars, restaurants and Oasis bar as well as beverage carts out on the courses; one massage at the Casa de Campo Spa; souvenirs; and complimentary transfers from La Romana, Santo Domingo or Punta Cana airports.

Taxes and service charges are additionally included. For more information, call 809.523.8115 or email

“When I turned 50 two years ago, my husband surprised me with a trip to Casa de Campo and had our two daughters and a number of my friends meet us down there for one of the great vacations of my life,” says Whaley. “The property is incredible, the golf is outstanding, the setting is breathtaking, and the service is impeccable.”

“It’s a true honor for us to partner with Suzy,” says Jason Kycek, Casa de Campo’s senior vice president of sales and marketing. “We invite women to join Suzy and us for this wonderful event and discover first-hand why we’re one of the premier golf resorts in the world.”

Casa de Campo is home to three Pete Dye-designed gems: Teeth of the Dog, Dye Fore and The Links. Since opening in 1974, Teeth of the Dog is widely recognized as the No. 1 course in the Caribbean. Golf course architecture aficionados call Dye Fore “the most underrated course in the Caribbean.” The Links showcases Dye’s genius for creating interesting putting surfaces and green complexes.

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SmartLine Marks A Green Reading Epiphany

smartline putting system with holeGreen reading can be a frightful beast. A lot smartline putting systemof amateur golfers dispense with it altogether, just taking general aim in the neighborhood of the hole and hoping for the best. An ingeniously simple new product at the center of the confidently named SmartLine Putting System has the potential to turn that fright to delight.

With SmartLine, Southern California-based teaching pro Nick Kumpis’ SmartLine designed a U-shaped ballmarker with a built-in alignment system in the form of several easy-to-see lines embossed into the marker’s top side. The red line in the middle is always aimed at the hole itself, while the two white lines on either side — set at 1-degree and 3-degree angles from the red line, with the space between them at 2 degrees — serve as alignment aids when the golfer bends down to line up his ball after discerning slope and general direction. By extending the ball’s built-in alignment mark (or one you’ve drawn on) with the appropriate SmartLine’s aiming stripe, the guessing game diminishes: You pick up the marker, put it in your pocket and stand over every putt with confidence that your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you.

The big questions: Why hasn’t someone come up with this palm-to-forehead-simple solution before, and what led Kumpis to finally do it?

“This got started in 2016, when our club underwent a major redesign of the golf course,” he explained in an e-mail. “The new course features expansive new greens with much more undulation. Many members struggled with reading the new greens, which affected their overall putting. I began to think of better ways to help my students with their putting, researching green reading methods from the best players and teachers in the world, and honed in on the two areas of difficulty: ability to judge amount of break and aim. To [help them] improve in these two areas, I created a green reading and ball marker system.”

Instructional videos are available at, with elaborations on how to account for different speeds, uphill and downhill putts and more. “There is a process to learning the system which takes some practice, but my students have really picked up on the bigger breaking putts, and have shown significant improvement on aiming.”

The SmartLine ball marker has been reviewed by the USGA and can used in regular and tournament play, which is a good thing, because we plan to use it from now on, including on the practice green. Putt for dough? Indeed. And how about for fun, too?

$19.99 for one, $29.99 for two-pack, $34.99 for three-pack. Each marker comes with its own protective carry pouch.

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Build A Winning Golf Warm Up

One of the biggest differences between recreational players and professionals is the latter’s attention to warming up properly. It’s incredibly common for weekend golfers to show up to the golf course with 15 minutes to spare, check in, hit a couple putts, maybe hit a few balls, and then go to the first tee. This is a big reason why most players need a few holes or even the front nine to feel comfortable. If you want to play better,  give the following golf warm up a try and see how much your scores improve.

Giving Yourself Enough Time to Prepare

Even 30 minutes isn’t going to be enough time to ensure that your body is loose and that you have a feel for your touch on and around the green. However, there is also potential trouble if you show up too early and either wear yourself out or spend most of your time at the course lounging around. If you decide to eat before your round at the golf course, give yourself a full 75 minutes after you’ve eaten to warm up; if you eat before you arrive, allow up to 90 minutes just in case there’s a line in the golf shop to get checked in.

It’s All About the Sequence

When it comes to warming up like a professional, the sequence in which you prepare matters as much as what you do. Even the right actions in the wrong order can be detrimental to feeling relaxed and ready to go. The following list is best when done in the order below:

Practice Putt First

golf warm up puttingAnyone who has spent any time on the practice putting green knows that after about 15 minutes, your back and shoulders can start to get sore, which is the last thing you want to feel before you start your round. By taking care of your practice putting first and finishing with full swings, you’ll be better prepared for the round and limit any potential for stiffness.

Here are the keys to a proper putting warmup:

  • Your focus should be on getting the speed of the greens dialed in from short, middle, and long range.
  • Warmups are not the time to work on mechanics. If you have a simple training aid to get a feel for your stroke, that’s great, but try to hit most of your putts like you would during a round.
  • Keep your putting practice short—no more than 10 minutes. Save your good putts for the golf course!


Making any kind of golf swing without stretching can be troublesome. A great article to read on the best stretches is Katherine Roberts’ Golf Tips article, Stroke Saver: Seven Key Stretches.  A simple five-minute stretching routine can make all the difference in the world. Once you’ve stretched, you’re ready to move onto chipping.

Short Game Warmup

golf warm up chippingFor the rest of the warmup, you will swing the club in some manner. Getting a feel for your short game will also help your full swing when you head to the range. Start with some basic bump-and-run shots. Then, depending on the course’s short game facility, try some pitch shots from the fairway and rough, as well as some bunker shots. If you just have a chipping green, the bump-and-run alone will help your warmup immensely. Even the best players miss several greens and getting the ball close to the hole from around the greens will save you a ton of strokes over time. Take up to 20 minutes for your short game, which will leave you about 20 minutes for the full swing.

Don’t Overdo It On The Driving Range

The practice tee is where most recreational golfers go awry when it comes to warming up. A typical warm up may look something like the following:

  • A few wedges
  • A few irons
  • A bunch of drivers

golf warm up ironsA typical round of golf features no more than 14 holes that require a driver, but irons and wedges are needed on every hole. Spend more time hitting wedges and short irons instead of drivers and you’ll quickly notice the difference.

golf warm up driverAnother area where golfers have counterproductive warmup sessions is the number of range balls they hit. Remember, a round of golf will usually have no more than 35-40 full swings, and you want to save as much energy for the golf course as possible. Limit the number of range balls you use to between 40-50. Here is a sample breakdown of how many balls to use with each club:

  • Take your sand wedge and hit about 5 half shots, then hit 5 full shots
  • Grab your favorite short iron and hit 10-15 full shots
  • With a mid-iron, hit 5-10 full shots
  • Take your 3-wood and hit 2 off the ground, then 3 off a tee
  • Hit about 5 drivers, then hit the remaining balls with whatever club you plan to use on the first tee

Don’t Worry About the Little Things

There are two more areas to address regarding the warmup that many amateurs struggle with. First is the tendency to focus on what their warmup shots are doing. While you want to try to hit your range balls as well as possible, your main concern is to get your muscles warmed up and get a feel for your swing. Save the focus on execution for practice sessions. Second is the propensity for players to work on their golf swing during a warm-up. The last thing any golfer should do is have a head full of swing thoughts when they’re about to play. Again, analyzing your swing is something that should be done during practice, not before a round of golf.

Have Fun — Remember You’re Playing Golf

The last five minutes should be spent purging anything from your mind that isn’t about playing golf. Crack jokes with your friends, listen to some soothing music, take in the views of the course, anything to clear your head and be ready for your round. When you stand on the tee, keep the club swinging in your hands and your body moving; once it’s your turn, you will be ready to go.

Follow these steps and you will have warmed up just like the pros!

Paul and Tony Liberatore are the founders of Golfers Authority, where they provide unbiased reviews, guides, tips and advice in order to help other players improve their game. Tony is also the founder and inventor of the Accuhit, one of the most recognized golf training aids in the world. The Accuhit has been recognized by Golfweek, Golf Tips Magazine, Asian Golf Monthly, and many other publications as one of the most cost-effective golf training aids in the market.


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Youth On Course Auction Boasts Top Tracks

Pining for the golf vacation of your dreams while helping kids get involved with the game we love? Once again, some of America’s top athletes, both from within the game and from other sports — ranging from three-time NBA champion Steph Curry to golf legend Tom Watson — are supporting an online Youth On Course auction Nov. 11-15. Proceeds benefit an organization that provides tee times to its member kids ages 6-17 at some of the nation’s top courses for $5 or less per round. To date, 45,000 members have played 10 million holes on 900 courses, in 26 regions of the U.S.

By visiting the Youth on Course website, you can bid on a variety of sports and entertainment experiences. Some of the auction items include rounds at courses from top 100 and 200 courses such as Sand Valley in Wisconsin, Winged Foot in New York, Crystal Downs in Michigan, Baltusrol in New Jersey and Reflection Bay in Nevada. Also on the auction block is The Institute, part of Golf Advisor’s “10 Insanely Private Golf Courses You Will Never Get to Play.”

The details for the Youth On Course auction:

  • Bidding is done 100% online
  • Auction opens Sunday Nov. 11 at noon PST
  • Auction closes Thursday Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. PST
  • All proceeds from the auction go towards providing the more than 40,000 Youth on Course members with $5 golf
  • Follow @yocgolf on social media for the latest news and updates regarding the YOC National Online Auction — including item highlights and updates during the auction. Followers can use the hashtag: #YOCauction18

View a list of the auction items here

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