Tag Archives: Golf

How to reduce your handicap

Tips on how to reduce your handicap and improve your game

Every golfer is always aiming to play better and more consistent golf and as a consequence improve their golfing handicap, but it isn’t always easy, so here are a few tips to try and help you achieve your goal.

Do your clubs fit?

It is important that your golf clubs are correctly fitted for you, if you buy them standard size. But what exactly is standard? Surely if you were six feet tall you would not buy the same set as if you were 5 feet tall. Therefore we recommend speaking to your local golf professional and make sure the clubs are the right length, correct weight, the correct shaft type; steel or graphite. If the clubs are not suited for your size and swing speed, then you are starting on the wrong footing straight away.

How far do you hit the ball?

In order to become a better golfer, it is important to know how far the ball goes with every club in your bag. If you are not sure then it will make choosing the right club for the shot much more difficult. Do you need to hit the ball over a hazard i.e. a bunker or a water feature? Are you hitting the ball with the wind behind you or against you? Are you hitting downhill or uphill? All of these factors have a massive impact on your club selection and ultimately your score. There are various ways to calculate how far you hit the ball, you can have a session with the professional on the launch monitor software, you can check your distances with a GPS measuring device or you can simply hit shots on the course near to the 100 or 150 yard markers and see where you ball finishes, but this is the least scientific.

The percentage shot

Many amateur golfers go wrong by trying to take on a shot where the percentage for accuracy is very low. You need to always play the higher percentage shot, which at times means that you may have to chip out sideways or even backwards away from the direction of the green. It may seem counter productive but getting your ball into a better position with one additional shot will save you many more if you fail to escape the tree line for example.

Lessons

Even professional golfers have lessons on their game regularly, so why don’t you? The golf professionals provide various lesson options like short game practice, driving, bunker play and what seems to be best of all is a playing lesson. During a playing lesson the professional will question what you are trying to do and check to see what you have considered before selecting a particular club and also what you are trying to do with a particular shot i.e. where are you hoping the ball will finish.

For more information on our memberships available at Donnington Valley check out our web site: http://www.donningtonvalley.co.uk/golfMembership.asp

or call us on 01635 568144

Peter Smith

Director of Golf

Winter Golf

Winter Golf At Donnington Valley Golf Club

As the winter approaches and the weather becomes colder we thought we would give you our top tips to help you get the most out of your winters golfing.

Tip one – Stay warm
An obvious one to start off with. To keep it simple wear a hat and gloves. Consider keeping hand warmers in your pockets to keep the chill at bay. Layers – light weight layers will work best to both keep you warm and to ensure that you are comfortable out on the course but not too wrapped up to impede your swing. Newer specialist products on the market will keep heat in but allow moisture to escape for maximum comfort. Consider walking around the course rather than using a buggy– this will help to keep you warm and therefore joints loose during your days golfing.

Tip two – White ball?
On frosty mornings a white ball put simply is harder to find. Consider purchasing some coloured balls for use in the winter months.

Tip three – Stay hydrated
Just as important in the winter as the summer. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and perhaps think about taking a hot chocolate or cup of home-made soup from the Spike Bar out on the course with you. Caffeine in tea and coffee will actually dehydrate you.

Tip four – Have fun
Don’t expect to hit the same round in the winter as you would at the height of summer. Due to wearing more layers, slightly more restricted movement and perhaps depending on weather conditions, poorer footing it is possible that you may need a few more strokes to complete your round. Don’t worry about this though. Everyone will be in the same position and so remember to keep smiling and enjoy your game. Remember the ball doesn’t travel as far when the weather is cold and damp, so club up 1 or more to reach the same distance as in summer.

Group golf offers

This winter as we have some great golfing group offers to tempt you out onto the course. For groups of 8 or more we have day packages from just £19 per person. Plus if your group is 20 or more players we will also donate a midweek 4-ball voucher as a prize for the star golfer.

The course has been playing well all year and over winter we do not use any temporary tees or temporary greens, so you are assured of playing the full course as normal. The course drains very well too, so you can leave your wellies at home!

As it is the winter period, winter rules are in play, which simply means that on the closely mown areas of the course, you can mark, lift and clean your ball and replace it within 6 inches of your marker, before playing your next shot.

So why not speak to your golfing friends and book a Winter Group to play between 1st November 2013 and the 31st March 2014?

Peter Smith
Director of Golf

www.donningtonvalleygolfclub.co.uk

Golfing Terminology

Golfing Terminology

Golf is a difficult sport in many ways, difficult to learn how to play and very difficult to be consistent, then there are all the rules and golfing terminology!

So here is a round up of some of the golfing terminology that you might come across.

PAR
PAR is the indication of how many shots a professional golfer would take in total to play all 18 holes.

Handicap
In basic terms if a courses PAR is 71 and you take 91 shots, then your handicap would be 20 over PAR so your handicap would be 20.

To gain an official handicap you must first play 3 rounds of golf with another player who will score you and sign your score card which you must also sign. These are then handed into the course where you usually play and your handicap is worked out as 96% of your 3 best rounds.

You can then work to improve and reduce your handicap by entering competitions. Essentially the lower the player’s handicap the better they are! When players become really talented they can play off a zero or scratch handicap or some of the elite players can have handicaps of +1 or 2 shots.

Stroke index
All courses have Stroke Indexes, which basically rates the holes 1 – 18 in degrees of difficulty with 1 being the hardest and 18 the easiest.

The stroke index is then used by players in conjunction with their handicaps. Players can then deduct one or two shots from their gross score on that particular hole. For example an 18 handicapper would take 1 shot off his gross score on every hole, whereas a 12 handicapper, could only take 1 shot off his gross score on holes with the stroke index 1 – 12, but nothing off the holes with stroke index 13 – 18.

Competition formats
Stableford, Stroke Play, Texas Scramble, Greensomes, Foursomes competitions, it all sounds like a foreign language!!!

Stableford Competitions are where a player scores a number of points per hole depending on how many shots he or she had and against the S.I. of the hole. After any handicap shot adjustments you would score – 2 points for a par, 3 for 1 shot under par (Birdie), 1 point for 1 over par (Bogey) etc

Stroke Play is where every shot is counted on each hole and added together. At the end the player’s handicap is then deducted to give the final net score.

Texas Scramble – this is a team competition played in 4’s. Each person tees off from the group, then the group choose the best ball from which to play the next shot. Each player then plays the 2nd shot, this format continues until the ball is in the hole. There is normally a minimum number of tee shots which each person in the group must play, generally 4, this way if there is a really good player in the group, that group cannot keep using that persons tee shot.

All clear?
I did say that golf was quite complicated…
…but also great fun.

Stop by at Donnington Valley Golf Club to find out about our latest membership offers.

Peter Smith
Director of Golf

Donnington Valley Golf Course 

Corporate Golf Days

Corporate Golf Days

Following on from last weeks blog on activities to team with meetings we thought we would give you our top tips for organising a successful and memorable corporate golf day.

Surely its just an excuse for a day out of the office?

Just think, when else would you be able to put so much time aside to spend with your clients in one day? You might be able to squeeze in the odd hour meeting here and there but more often than not one or both parties then have another appointment straight after the first adding additional time constraints. On a corporate golf day you have a number of hours in a relaxed environment to build and strengthen relationships with your clients as well as thanking them for their custom and loyalty.

See your corporate golf day as a way to reinforce your brand and take the opportunity to display your branded items on and around the course in the form of branded flags, golf balls and banners displayed around the course. Of course you will probably want to talk “shop” during the course of the day remember the golf course is not the place for the hard sell.

So how can I ensure my corporate golf day is a success?

Start planning your golf day well in advance. We have bookings placed for corporate golf events sometimes over a year in advance. Book early to ensure that your chosen date is available. On selecting the date for your event remember to consider when school holidays, and other key events are due to take place so that they don’t clash. Also consider the amount of daylight hours. Typically corporate golfing events take place in the spring and summer months ensuring longer hours of daylight and if the British weather chooses to oblige milder temperatures.

Ensure that your event is professionally run.

Remember that this event will reflect on your company and brand. Ensuring that an experienced team professionally runs your event means that you can relax and concentrate your efforts on your guests.

Think about the extras

Why not consider hiring a pro golfer for the day? They could offer hints and tips to your guests and even accompany you out on the course enabling everyone to benefit from some professional coaching and advice.

Don’t forget the prize!

Everyone has a competitive streak in them. Providing prizes at the end of the day ensures that day finished on a high note, giving everyone a last chance to get together perhaps at the nineteenth hole.

Corporate Golf Day packages at Donnington Valley start at £56 per person. This includes a fully managed event where everything is taken care of by our experienced golf events team. All you need to do is provide us with the names of players, handicaps and who will play together and then you can simply leave the rest to us.
We will take care of everything including:

  • Scorecard preparation 
  • Start sheet showing tee times, groupings etc.
  • Provide a starter on the tee
  • Checking all scorecards
  • Production of a results sheet
  • Private rooms for registration and meals

Contact us on 01635 568144 
or email golf@donngingtonvalley.co.uk
to discuss your requirements.

Peter Smith
Director of Golf

2013 at Donnington Valley Golf Club

2013 should be another good year here at Donnington Valley Golf Club, as the club celebrates its 25th Anniversary.

There have been many changes over this time, firstly with the extension from a 9-hole course to an 18-hole course. Then between 1998 and 2000 the whole 18-hole course layout was altered and the course lengthened, incorporating the land in front of the beautiful Grade II listed Snelsmore House, which we are lucky enough to now have as our club house.

The parkland course has developed impressively over the years, offering a beautiful backdrop with mature trees providing golfers with a challenge. The closing four holes are quite stimulating. The key to a great finishing round is positioning of your shots, rather than simply looking for distance off the tee. The greens also provide a test for even the good putters, as many greens have subtle slopes which need to be read carefully.

Snelsmore House (the clubhouse) opened in December 1999, having moved from its previous location in the lower ground floor of Donnington Valley Hotel and Spa. The views from the clubhouse are fantastic with the 1st tee and Pro Shop to the left and the 9th and 18th greens directly outside. The patio is a great place to sit, relax with a drink and bite to eat and watch the golf around you.

The club itself is probably the friendliest golf club in Berkshire, welcoming new members and visitors alike with open arms. The membership is integrated, so in many competitions men, ladies, seniors and juniors play together and play for the same prizes.

A couple of the membership benefits include discount at Donnington Valley Hotel and Spa and The Vineyard, for dining as well as reciprocal arrangements at other local courses.

To celebrate the clubs 25th anniversary we are offering a 25% discount for joining in January until the end of June 2013. See our website for more details.

For further information or to join please call 01635 568 144 or email golf@donningtonvalley.co.uk.

Peter Smith
Director of Golf

How to Improve your Golf Swing

This week we are revisiting a blog post from earlier this year as Dieters golf tips will never grow old…

How to Improve your Golf Swing

I find that the majority of golfers seem to try and do things too quickly. It is the old scenario of running before you can walk or crawl in some instances. Small steps are always better.

In golfing terms, don’t try and smash your driver 300 yards down the fairway; inevitably your ball will land in the woods or pond. Try and feel that you are going to take a smooth swing and only make the ball go 150 yards. It will go further as the length and loft of the club will do the work for you.

What we feel and what we do are generally two different outcomes. If you swing the club with ease, your timing and positioning will be better, improving your strike and distance. If you try and swing the club like a caveman, your timing, balance and rhythm will be affected and the shot will go wrong.  The key thing to remember are; we swing a club, we never hit the ball. That little white spherical trouble maker just gets in the way, so be smooth, get your timing correct and enjoy your golf.

I hope some of these tips are helpful and look forward to seeing you on the course soon!

If you have any questions, pop into the Pro Shop or call us on 01635 522 666.

Dieter Strohbach PGA Professional
Donnington Valley Golf Club

Junior Golf Members

We’re really keen to get more junior golf members to join Donnington Valley Golf Club to help strengthen our team here. Donnington Valley Golf Club is an excellent club for juniors with great facilities, and known by many as the friendliest club in the area.

The short game practice area is ideal for golfers of all abilities to perfect their short game skills. We also have a 150 yard range, which is great for lessons and for all abilities to come and practice.

The golf professionals here are also really friendly and will willingly hand out advice and ideas to try and improve your game. If you are interested in a lesson either on the practice areas or on the course itself, give the Pro shop a call on 01635 568 142.

Weekly medal competitions take place every week (on weekdays), and a larger monthly medal competition happens each month. If you know of any juniors that would be interested in coming along for a practice, to see the facilities and meet fellow junior members, we’d love to hear from them, please just ask them to get in touch – a full junior 7 day annual membership is £225.

As a junior member, I have first hand experience of how brilliant it is to be a junior member here at ‘valley’, as we call it, and I would recommend it to any young golfer in the area.

Follow the golf club on twitter @DVGOLF and also follow the Pro Shop @mbgolfshop to keep up to date with any updates and deals the club has to offer.

Will Wright
Junior Captain 2010 – 2012

The Best Golf Equipment You Can Buy

There are lots of great golf companies out there at the moment producing high quality equipment. You could be spending thousands of pounds on clubs, bags and golf balls, but if your golf swing is not all up to standard, the quality of equipment is not going to make much difference.

So, the best option in this case is to make sure that you get custom fitted. This process makes sure that you get the best products to suit you and your game. We check the angles of the club head, length and flex of shaft and grip size. Everyone is different, so there is no standard.

The latest addition to my set has been the Cobra ZL driver, which I’d highly recommend. I’ve never hit so many fairways with it, and it goes straight and long, rather than crooked and long! I’d also suggest the Titleist rescue wood,Wilson FG62 bladesTitleist Vokey wedges and my old faithful the Titleist Scotty Cameron Putter.

Please feel free to give us a call on 01635 522 666 if you’d like to come in for a fitting or to simply find out if your clubs are right for you.

Happy golfing,
Dieter Strohbach
PGA Professional.
Donnington Valley Golf Club

How to Improve your Golf Swing

I find that the majority of golfers seem to try and do things too quickly. It is the old scenario of running before you can walk or crawl in some instances. Small steps are always better.

In golfing terms, don’t try and smash your driver 300 yards down the fairway; inevitably your ball will land in the woods or pond. Try and feel that you are going to take a smooth swing and only make the ball go 150 yards. It will go further as the length and loft of the club will do the work for you.

What we feel and what we do are generally two different outcomes. If you swing the club with ease, your timing and positioning will be better, improving your strike and distince. If you try and swing the club like a caveman, your timing, balance and rhythm will be affected and the shot will go wrong.  The key thing to remember is; we swing a club, we never hit the ball. That little white spherical trouble maker just gets in the way, so be smooth, get your timing correct and enjoy your golf.

I hope some of these tips are helpful and look forward to seeing you on the course soon!

If you have any questions, pop into the Pro Shop or call us on 01635 522 666.

Dieter Strohbach PGA Professional
Donnington Valley Golf Club

Winter Golf Advice

As winter has now finally arrived, we need to remember a few things for winter golf.

1. Make sure you are warm enough, getting cold playing golf will only hinder you from playing your best golf. Wear more thin layers than only a couple of bulky layers. Base layers are great nowadays, they are so thin, but yet so warm. Mittens on between shots will keep your hands warm too.

2. Ensure that your spikes/cleats of your shoes are not worn down to the sole of your shoes. Slipping on frosty ground will cause a nasty fall and put you out of golf for the whole of the winter.

3. Get your grips changed if they are feeling a bit slippery. If grips are worn and cold they can quite easily slide out of your hands and end up in the pond or a tree. Best advice, where lessons are concerned, is that as golfers, we should always practise and have our lessons through the winter. This is great practise time, so that when the spring hits us we are ready to venture onto the green grass and play good golf. There is no point in putting the clubs away in the colder months and only bring them out in the spring again. All the hard work would have been done in vain.

If there are any questions, we, the professional shop team are always here to help. Call in for a chat anytime.

Why not book a private tutor class from only £17!

Regards, Dieter Strohbach. PGA Qualified Professional

Donnington Valley Golf Club 01635 522666