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Are you harder on yourself than anyone else? Do you consider yourself to be a very inconsistent golfer? Have you thought, “Why do I keep doing this to myself?” Well luckily for you, so is everyone else!

One of the most enjoyable aspects of golf is when you finally connect perfectly on a shot that shows you what you are capable of. On the flip side, it can also be frustrating to know what you can do, but wonder why you can’t do it every time. I’m here to tell you that every.. single.. golfer.. goes through this rollercoaster of emotions that you are on. However, I want to tell you why you need to play golf through a lens of seeing the glass as half full

Did you know that the average score for an 18 hole round in the United States is 102? Yes, that means that if you shoot a 101 you are an above average golfer. See, doesn’t that make you feel better already?!? For a 9 hole round, this would mean that the average score is around 51 for those of you who love to play your rounds here with us at American Classic.

From a mental state though, it’s so important to play golf with confidence. Now we all can agree that this is the most humbling sport on the planet, but it’s extremely important to go into every shot with the confidence that you are going to hit it exactly where you want to. Instead of getting mad though when you miss your line, try to find the positive in the swing and build off of it. 

For instance, when you blade one off the tee and it rolls for 50 yards, be happy that it stayed on the fairway and at least was heading towards your target. More times than not, this means that you were set up correctly but maybe you rushed your swing or got a little antsy and looked up before connecting with the ball. When it’s a minor swing fault like that, there’s zero reason to beat yourself up about it and instead, use it as a learning experience to adjust for the next swing.

If you are unsure of what you did that caused you to miss your line and target, don’t be afraid to take a golf lesson. When someone inquires about lessons, their number one request is to be more consistent. Of course you can watch endless videos and read several articles, but every swing is different and having someone physically present to teach you about your swing can make all the difference. If you feel and know that you have it in you to play golf, there’s so much knowledge and experience to gain by scheduling a lesson to help your ball striking.

Now that we gave you our sales pitch on why you should take a lesson with one of our golf pros, we want to stress the importance again of playing golf as the glass is half full. In the history of golf, no one has ever mastered how to hit the ball perfectly straight every time and if you watch the tour players, they too have their share of chip shots out of the bushes and trees (Thank you Phil). That is why it’s important to learn from every shot, and allow them to help those bad swings be fewer and far between. Plus, golf is much more fun to play when you aren’t afraid to fail and learn. Learn from every shot, play with confidence, and always look for the positives in your round.

-Austin Ebersole, Head Golf Professional at American Classic GC

One of the most unique aspects about golf is that it is a sport that you can play alone or with other players. Sometimes it’s nice to get out and play a round by yourself to work on your game or to find peace in nature, but most times it’s much more enjoyable to play with friends and even people you don’t know. Golf was created with the intent of playing in groups, so I want to dive in with you on why golf is more fun when playing with others.

  • Make New Friends

Whether you consider yourself a seasoned veteran on the course or you’re new to the area and game, golf is a great and easy way for you to meet new people. What’s awesome about this hobby is that you don’t have to be a good golfer to make a friend. There’s no doubt that one hopes to be paired up with someone who has a similar skill set, but in this instance, just being a nice person can lead to making a new friend.

 At the end of the day, golfing is meant to be fun and you truly never know who you will meet at your tee time. Life is about networking, and playing golf during peak times is a perfect opportunity to do so.

  • Never Ending Ways to Play

In basketball, you can play knockout or pig. With tennis, you can play doubles. For golf though, there’s endless ways to play and keep score. Of course there’s the traditional way of playing your own ball, but there’s several other types of formats that you can play to make your round more interesting. 

You can play a scramble where you and your partner always pick the best shot between the two or group, alternate shot where you rotate between strokes, “Skins” is a format where the player with the lowest score on the hole wins the hole (a tie would carry over to the next hole putting two skins on the line and so on) or even by way of a point system where instead of counting strokes, you award points. Example: 3 points for a birdie, 2 points for a par, 1 point for a bogey, and 0 for anything worse. There’s several other ways to play, but when playing with others the options are limitless.

  • It’s Good for the Soul

There’s no doubt that we all have those days where we just want to be left alone, but according to medical professionals, it’s healthier for us to socialize. Dr. Craig Sawchuk, a psychologist, says that “we are social animals by nature, so we tend to function better when we are in a community and being around others.”

Given the current state of our world, we are in the midst of some sad and depressing times. Even though we are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel, it’s very healthy for people to interact and socialize together. Of course we have to at a distance to keep everyone safe, but it’s important to keep our brains sharp and our hearts happy. If you are feeling alone and in need of some company, going to the golf course and playing a round with someone may be exactly what you need.

-Austin Ebersole, Head Golf Professional at American Classic GC

A few years ago, the Montana high school state golf championship was played through a snowstorm.  The athletes worked their way around a snow filled course, while parents and spectators helped them follow and locate their golf balls.  Golfing in the winter definitely presents many challenges, and those of us who are avid golfers can certainly appreciate the dedication of these student athletes from Montana.  For the dedicated winter golfers out there, this blog will highlight some things related to playing in the cold!

One thing to consider in regard to winter golf is that the ball will not travel as far. The cold conditions and wind can make it difficult to hit the ball as far as you usually would in warmer conditions, and 5-20 yards of distance can easily be lost. Because of that, sometimes it can be necessary to hit a longer club than you would normally hit for a particular shot.  Cold golf balls will be even harder to hit with great distance, and that will also limit your distance in the winter.  Last winter, I was playing with an experienced winter golfer and he gave me a great tip on how to keep your golf balls warm during your round. He said he keeps hand warmers in his pockets during his round, and keeps an extra ball in his pocket sitting on top of the hand warmer.  Doing this has great benefits for winter golfers, as it can warm your golf ball up while also keeping your hands warm.  I also like to take a few golf balls out of my bag before I leave for the course, so I can warm them up in my car before playing; this helps with the ball’s compression rating.  Distance will certainly be lost in the winter, but hitting a longer club and avoiding the use of cold golf balls can help improve your chances of success in the winter!

The conditions featured on the golf course in the winter are typically much different than the conditions seen in the summer.  Typically, courses are muddier and wetter than usual, resulting in muddy golf balls and less roll on the fairways. Because of the tough conditions, many courses and golf groups will play by the “winter rules,” which help golfers play through the conditions, and also aim to protect the course from excessive damage. The main rule seen throughout the winter is the lift, clean, and place rule, where players are allowed to clean their golf ball and place it within 6 inches of its original resting place.  This rule can be used to avoid hitting a muddy golf ball and is an accepted rule within most winter golf outings. The softer ground also leads to more embedded golf balls, so the lift, clean, and place rule can also be used to avoid excessively tearing up the course by whacking at an embedded golf ball in an effort to get the ball out of the ground and moving forward.  In addition to that, it is important to be aware of potential delays in early morning tee times due to frost.  Frost delays take place when frost covers the greens and the course.  Playing on greens full of frost can severely damage them, so frost delays are common in the winter on colder mornings. 

MARANA, AZ: A Callaway golf ball is seen on the course as the start of the continuation of round one was delayed due to snow during the World Golf Championships – Accenture Match Play at the Golf Club at Dove Mountain on February 21, 2013 in Marana, Arizona. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Obviously, the cold weather is a huge factor when golfing in the winter.  I prefer to wear multiple warm layers as opposed to one large and bulky coat to keep me warm. It can sometimes be difficult to achieve a full swing while wearing a bulky coat, so wearing long sleeved layers can be beneficial.  Also, consider walking in the winter instead of taking a cart!  Driving in a golf cart can make it feel extra cold, as the wind and cooler air will constantly hit you in between shots. You will likely warm up quicker while walking, so it is a great option for the winter. 

Playing golf in cold winter conditions definitely requires a strong passion for the game, and can be very rewarding for your game.  For those of you who do not like to play during the winter (who can blame you), this can be a great time to regrip your clubs or get fitted for new ones.  Regripping clubs is an essential task and is important in maintaining your clubs, so the winter can be a great time to do that.

-Sam Cresta, Assistant Golf Professional at American Classic Golf Club

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