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Golf

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Should Resort Girls Take Up Golf? Fore Sure!

July 13, 2018
FullbodyGolfMountain

Did you know that women are among the most sought after new players in the sport of golf? According to the 2018 Royal and Ancient Golf Club Women’s, Girl’s and Family Participation Study, there are nine million potential new female golfers around the world.

Have you ever thought about taking up the game, but did not know where to start? My hope is that this article will inspire you to consider taking up golf. This introductory article for my “Women in Golf” series is designed to provide insights into women-specific golf instruction, tips and even fashion ideas.

Women can now enjoy the fun on the fairways more than ever. Golf is a great way to meet new friends, participate in a new sport and create family sporting memories – golfing traditions. As the R&A study states,

“…the (golfing) ‘experience’ is starting to become the product.”

My own golfing “experience” began over 20 years ago, when I moved to the beautiful golf resort of Big Canoe, GA. The golf courses wind through the majestic North Georgia Mountains, offering breathtaking views from the fairways—and some challenging lies.

It was a perfect course to learn on, with the weekdays being slower as the tourists came on the weekend. One aspect of golf that beginner golfers need to familiarize themselves with is the pace of play. New golfers tend to be slower than the regulars – leading to frustration for both parties. Maintaining the proper pace of play is one of the challenges faced by new golfers and a popular topic on many golf blogs and shows. You don’t want to cause a golf cart traffic jam on the tees as a new player.

As with learning the proper pace of play, there are many other aspects of the game to get familiar with, from grip to swing to even the right clubs. If you are going to take up the game, know that golf is one sport that requires some professional instruction!

Golf instruction is readily available and can be found in many different forms these days – from the hands of your local pro to the touch of a computer key. The PGA offers a beginner women’s golf program called “Get Ready Golf.” It is offered at golf clubs including Indigo Run, where I held my last club membership. Mr. Lance Buntin, a PGA professional and head golf pro at Indigo, makes this program available to his members and guests to help them get a start in the game of golf.

With this program, you get a beginner set of clubs and a series of introductory golf lessons. It is a great and affordable way to start – try it and see if you like it! This instruction is an alternative to one-on-one private lessons with a golf pro and provides a group setting, which allows you to get comfortable by playing with other golf gals.

In addition, online videos are fast becoming a 24/7 form of instruction, plus there is always YouTube.
I personally also recommend taking a golf etiquette lesson – a Resort Girl wants to play properly. Another tee time tip is to start playing with the 9-hole group of the ladies’ golf members, as I did when I was starting out. Some are new golfers and some are established, but everyone must have a certain handicap, which makes the level of play less intimidating. And, when play ends, you can chill with some ice tea or even a glass of wine while getting to know some new potential gal pals.

But don’t get me wrong, the game is not all fun. Golf is challenging – it takes time and practice to build up skill. But it is a good challenge, as you are challenging your mind and body since part of the game is physical and part is mental. At first your goal is to just get that darn little ball in the air and onto the fairway! Later, you move onto learning how to adjust your swing, chip and hit from all types of lies, land and even the sand found in those irritating bunkers. But, what a thrill it is when you hit those first great shots – among friends, family with some of the most magnificent natural backdrops and many times beautiful wildlife.

Another issue faced by many men and women golfers, is time. I’ve heard many people declare,

“Hey, I do not have five hours in my day to play a round of golf right now with family and work.”

This is really a moot issue because you don’t always need to play 18 holes. Most courses offer 9-hole options and some even have an innovative 6-hole at 6 PM play option, which gives golfers just enough time to get in a few rounds at the end of the day. I recently saw this 6 at 6 offering at a Lake Oconee golf course, where you skip holes to finish in an hour. These options afford the game of golf the creativity needed to meet the modern day demands of working individuals and families.

There are also the new golf concept venues, such as Top Golf, found in many cities that allow you grab lunch or dinner and get in a few chips. With golf, practice may still not make it perfect, but it is an integral part of the game and these flexible options are becoming very popular.

And finally, some of my closest friendships were built on those days of play in the mountains. We still play golf together after almost 20 years. When you spend up to five hours with someone in a cart, you really get to know them! Plus, many times the best of part the experience is the food and fellowship you find back at the resort clubhouse. Some of the special events held there can spark some fun competition amongst your golf gal pals. At Indigo Run, Mr. Buntin runs some very creative events for his women golfers and charitable events benefiting causes such as breast cancer awareness.

The clubhouse also can become an integral part of your family life – which is one of the most important deciding factors for women joining a golf country club. They want the club to offer family time events and “experiences” outside of playing golf.

I hope this initial “Women in Golf” article inspired you to consider being one of those many women who take up the game of golf. Try golf – you might like it – and along the fairways and back at the clubhouse, you will have the opportunity make some lifelong friends and family memories—Golfing Traditions. Relax, Reflect and Recharge Resort Girls.

 

Relax

Resort Guy to Know: Tennis Pro Mike Sutcliffe

June 15, 2015

Every Friday, this Resort Girl attends a beginner one-hour tennis clinic taught by Tennis Director and Pro, Mike Sutcliffe of Palmetto Bluff Resort in Bluffton, S.C. One of my Resort Girlfriends started up this class as a fun, carefree way for our plantation’s RGs to learn, or get back, their tennis game.

Thankfully, Mike agreed to teach the class for us. He played for the College of Charleston, and previously taught at South Beach Racquet Club and Wexford Plantation on Hilton Head Island, S.C., as well as at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. This makes Mike a Resort Guy to Know.

I am glad to know him personally, as he is getting my tennis game back through a series of 10 private lessons in addition to the group class. Trust me, there are many improvements to go in my swing and such, but he has given me the skills, but mostly the confidence, to want to play again.

Mikes court lessons

As with most sports, your mind plays a big role, as much as body skills do. Here are two RG quick sports tips, I picked up and wanted to share from Mike’s clinic this week that hit both my mind and body:

  • Follow Through: In life and in sports, this is very important. Mike kept coaching us all to see our elbows on Friday. (You say what?!) Follow all the way through a swing until your elbow is at eye-level. This technique worked for me! My shots had been coming up short of the net until my elbows came into view and followed through on each one. Try it!
  • Accelerate: Be aggressive – on the courts, that is. As women, I think we sometimes tend to hold back and especially in a class with our fun RG friends. But, in most cases, in order to achieve the best tennis shots, acceleration and aggression is a good thing. Mike keeps telling me to accelerate through my swing and to hit the ball back hard to him. It definitely improved my shots and gained me some points.

Both of these concepts were easy for me to comprehend, as Mike pointed out to me that they are part of a golf swing. And, being a seasoned golfer, it made sense. Many times one sport compliments another, and it’s often easier to pick up a skill in one sport by relating the techniques of another.

So, get your tennis game back on the move, by suggesting and starting up a beginner Resort Girl tennis lesson at your club or community courts. It is a fun way to socialize, build skills and enjoy the outdoors.

And when visiting Palmetto Bluff, take a tennis lesson with Mike Sutcliffe on the 8 beautiful clay courts surrounded by the beauty of the Low Country. You can contact him at 843-706-6635.

Recharge

“Get Golf Ready”, Resort Girls

June 10, 2015
resort-girl-golf

Golfing is one of this Resort Girl’s favorite sports. My handicap is roughly a 20 (not too bad), and my best shot is off the tee; straight down the fairway and a bit longer than the average gal… not Michelle Wie’s 250 yards length but good for me – and I’m consistent.

How did I learn the sport of golf? I learned through lessons upon lessons with practice, practice and more practice. Golf is a sport of many swings, steps, stances, set-ups and such.

The Resort Girl’s best advantage in this game is a good golf pro and a good lesson plan. A good golf pro to know is Lance Buntin, lead golf pro for The Golf Club at Indigo Run on Hilton Head, Island, S.C. (a Club Corp course).

Why is Lance a Resort Guy to know? Lance could be called the “Golf Whisperer,” with his ability to sense one’s personal traits and skills. And, when your pro keenly knows your own strengths and weaknesses, he can build a personalized and peak program for you.

Golf Whisperer

Lance a PGA professional and teaches a program trademarked and developed by the PGA called “Get Golf Ready“* at his club on Hilton Head.

This is an excellent introduction and way for Resort Girls to learn the game of golf while enjoying friendship along the way. It includes a great lesson plan, a series of 5 one hour “Get Ready Group” clinics, and even a set of golf clubs  – all at an affordable price.

Many have enrolled in the PGA’s “Get Golf Ready” program. As one enrollee voiced to the PGA site, “We’re both still learning… some shots are good and some not so good. That’s all part of the game. I think what I love most about playing golf is just being with my friends. No phones, no email, just sunshine and green grass. I’m so glad I did this… I wish I would have taken it up years ago.”

And Lance, the Golf Whisperer, has a program for Resort Girls on Hilton Head Island, so if you are a local Resort Girl ready to get your game on, contact Lance at lance.buntin@clubcorp.com. Lance also holds a popular Breast Cancer fundraiser each year for his club members.

*”Get Golf Ready” is a PGA trademark program. To find more information on a program in your area, visit http://www.pga.com/play-golf-america/get-golf-ready