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Sun, Sand And Seven Over Par

A golfing holiday really is what you make it. Before you book you have to consider some matters. Is this going to be a “family” holiday which essentially entails your family sitting around waiting for you to finish on the course so that they can go on an increasingly annoying sight-seeing journey? Or could it be the perfect mix of scenery, sight-seeing and a few relaxing rounds of golf? Most people, when thinking of a holiday to take them to glistening sands, aren’t thinking of a hazard just off the 13th green which will take a sand wedge and a lot of patience to escape.

Deciding on the right golf holidays really requires you to think about who is going to be going on the holiday. If it is just you and a few equally golf-mad friends, then all that matters is that you all approve of the course, the clubhouse and the nightlife. If you are bringing your family then they either need to love golf as much as you do or the location needs to be somewhere close to things that they can enjoy. For many people, Dubai is a popular golf holiday location because there are some wonderful golf courses within a very short drive of the enthralling city center.

Hitting the course and leaving your family to decide what they’ll do to pass the next few hours is kind of mean-spirited. If you want to have the perfect golf holiday, you’ll plan with everyone in mind and make sure that while you have the chance to play a wonderful course, you don’t come home to find that you have a hole in one of your best jackets.

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Get Away From It All On A Golfing Break

Golf is one of the most popular participation sports on this earth, and certainly one of the few where you can be watching someone play an event one day, and be playing that same course less than a week later. You may watch the Superbowl one night and go out and throw the pigskin around with your friends the following day, but you won’t be doing it on the same turf as the professionals who played in the previous night’s game. In golf, you can try and recreate that incredible putt you saw the day before too the absolute millimeter – which is pretty cool.

All over the world it is possible to play courses that have been walked by the superstars, and have been the location for some of sport’s most dramatic moments. This means that a golf package holiday can make some of your dreams come true. There are so many possible locations for a golfing holiday that you could even use a golfing compilation DVD as your travel brochure if you are so minded. The enjoyment of playing the great courses in Europe, America and beyond is enhanced by the knowledge that this is something tennis, football and athletics fans rarely get to do.

It is a good idea to get down to your travel agent and request some brochures for golf packages in order to live the dream of playing these courses, and spending some time in a beautiful sunny location into the bargain. What could be better?

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Try It, You Might Like It

The most commonly held prejudice about golf is that it is a sport for the rich, that it goes along with sailing and horse riding as a sport that is ring-fenced off for players that were born with a silver spoon in their mouth. There was a time when this was substantially true, but as time has gone on it has become easier for less well-off players to take the game up and play it for fun – before going on to see if they can get better and if it is worth investing a little more money in better equipment so as to make their game flow better and get more enjoyment from it.

Cheap golf equipment is not as good as more expensive golf equipment – that simply goes without saying. However, not everyone can afford it. Not only this, but it is not always worth spending a bunch of money on the right equipment only to find that golf is not quite for you, or that you cannot afford to keep up your time on the course. If you want to get the best out of your early games of golf, it makes a lot more sense to get more basic equipment and see how good you are early on before adapting as you go along.

It is also not always possible to go to bigger and better courses right at the start, and you may find that you have to play on cheap golf courses, even ones with free entry. Don’t worry too much about that – if you can master those courses, the more exclusive ones will be a walk in the park for you.

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Starting At The Beginning

When you are looking to take up golf, it can be fun to make it something that involves your kids as well. Many of us never got a chance to play at an early age – for one reason or another, there was less opportunity the longer ago we look. Giving your children the chance to play at an early age means that they will get better the older they get, and who knows, you might discover the next big star. Quite apart from anything else, it is an excellent opportunity for a father and son, a mother and daughter, or any such combination to get the best out of a game.

Junior golf is increasingly popular. Once upon a time there was so little opportunity for younger players to play golf that the best they could really manage was to take up mini- or crazy golf. The fact of the matter is that junior golf was pretty badly catered to for a long time. Now, that is not so much the case. Now, there are courses which are playable by adults and juniors. There are also specific junior golf courses, and to play on these is to get a chance to hone your game before you grow taller and stronger.

The attraction of junior golf is obvious. If you can learn the principles of this difficult yet fascinating game when you are still young, you can get better and better with age, and playing for money when you have been practising for longer.

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Get Ready To Spend Your Money

The importance of getting the right equipment for your golf game is undoubtedly more and more when you get better at the game. As things stand, you may not be all that good, but when you get good you’ll find it enjoyable to own the right equipment, the stuff that takes a few shots off your game and makes it easier to get extra distance on your tee shots, more accuracy on your putts and better recovery when you do go into the long rough. The undeniable truth is that golfing equipment can be expensive, but you might find that some golf shops have a good discount range.

Very few shops ever got rich by only selling things at the higher end of the market – everyone knows that the most business comes from people buying more things at lower prices, as opposed to bigger purchases. Therefore when you go to golf shops it is wise to look at the potential in the discount range if you haven’t been playing for long. As your game improves it is natural to want to hone your equipment. It gives you an extra percentage in your game, and the better you are the bigger those percentages get.

The best golf shops will have well-qualified assistants who will be able to direct you to the best equipment for your purposes. It is well worth asking around to get the best for your price range, because this will make it easier to play and enjoy your natural game.

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A Holiday To Remember

The popularity of golfing holidays is one of the more enduring examples of sporting breaks currently in existence. There are so many golfing resorts the world over that it is possible to take a golfing break in diverse destinations from Dubai to Durban and from Spain to Scotland. The perfect combination of a “get away from it all” holiday paradise with the most relaxing game known to man is one of the most potent combinations imaginable, and makes for a perfect opportunity for any keen golfer to take a holiday that allows them ample occasion to hone their game.

One of the best things about a golfing holiday is that it allows you to experience a different course and different conditions. A holiday in Scotland will expose you to the rugged game of links golf – which has been blamed by many a professional for spoiling their chances of winning a major. A golfing holiday in one of the newer destinations such as Dubai gives you a chance to try out innovative courses which have been designed by champion golfers – and see if you can match up to what they have imagined.

There are several companies which specialize in booking golfing holidays, so if you are keen to try one out for yourself it is worth getting hold of a few brochures and seeing which has the best combination of playable courses and ideal sight-seeing. There is  literally a world of choice awaiting you – so why not give it a try?

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Breaking Down Barriers

Whatever else can be said about golf, there is no doubt that over the years it has come to be seen as something of a rich man’s sport. While the same accusation is leveled at tennis periodically, the fact of the matter is that any two children with a few dollars in their pocket can buy a racket each and a few tennis balls, draw a line across some sidewalk and play a game. Golf equipment has traditionally been more expensive to buy, and it is hard to recreate a proper golf course in your back yard, so there has been limited opportunity for kids from lower-income families to make a start in golf.

Increasingly, in order to make the game of golf more equal, there have been adaptations made to increase its accessibility. Among these adaptations have been simpler courses in less well-off areas with more affordable memberships. It is now possible to buy discount golf clubs which serve perfectly well for beginners, and slowly but surely the class gap in golf is narrowing. Where once it was seen as a rich white man’s sport, the presence of stars such as Tiger Woods and Michelle Wie (whatever their class background) has convinced people that you don’t need to be from old money, or male, to play.

Discount golf is obviously not open to as many possibilities as the wider game. The more money you have the better courses you can afford to play. But the chance for young working-class players with natural talent to make an impact in professional golf is there now, where it wasn’t before.

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It’s Not Just For Guys

It may not be strictly accurate to refer to golf as a “macho” sport – because it is not – but there is no doubt that up until very recently it was seen as largely an exclusively male one. It was not that long ago that the Augusta National Golf Club refused admission to women – although it no longer has a gender bar on joining it does have women on the waiting list to join, and when spaces become available it is expected that they will join. This has not helped the reputation of golf as a sport of equal opportunities, but the truth of the matter is that ladies’ golf is becoming increasingly popular.

The popularity of golf among ladies has increased with a number of marketable personalities emerging on the scene of women’s professional golf. Most notably Annika Sorenstam and Michelle Wie have raised the interest in ladies’ golf and have become top sports stars in their own right. Although typically women play shorter holes than men (the tee area is generally moved forward by a set distance for women’s matches), the fact that golf is not entirely a “power game” has meant that women can compete with men in the same tournaments.

While ladies’ golf remains in the shadow of the men’s game commercially and in terms of publicity, there can be no denying that it has made great advances in recent years, and this has led to an increase in its popularity among amateur female players too. This is set to change the makeup of club memberships as time goes on – with other results which remain to be seen.

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It’s A Golf Course, Not A Catwalk

There is a certain standard which is expected from a golfer and their clothing on course. It is defined by most people as “appalling”, and often takes the form of the most disgusting pastel-shade t-shirts along with unacceptable stay-pressed slacks and a sun visor to complete the set. Indeed the professional golfer Ian Poulter has gained a reputation for out-doing himself every time he takes to the course in a marginally more hideous get-up than the last time. The question has to be asked. Must golf clothing make you look like you get dressed in the dark?

The answer to this question is “no”, but golfers have for many years had a reputation for dressing like idiots and it would be unfair to expect them to suddenly become haute couture models. The best you can ask for from golf clothing is that it be comfortable enough to allow you to get the best out of your swing, while being adaptable enough to deal with changing temperatures outdoors and not so bright that it puts off your fellow players. If you can touch all those bases, then it is acceptable to wear pink trousers.

When looking for golf clothing, you essentially want a shirt or jumper that is tight enough to not dangle and get in the way while being loose enough to not restrict your swing. You want trousers that will not make it uncomfortable to adopt a putting stance and shoes which do not mark the green for other putters. If you tick those boxes then there is no real limitation on what you should wear.

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Show Them You Have Balls

Golf is a sport which looks a lot easier than it is. There is plenty of skepticism about the athletic abilities of professional golfers – and that has not been without reason in some cases – but the truth is that if you are going to spend four days of 50 weeks every year walking several miles and contorting your body into an unnatural position over a hundred times each day (when practise is taken into account) then you’d better be pretty limber. You can make the sport a little easier, though, by picking the right equipment. A good set of golf balls will make it a lot easier on you.

Golf balls are reasonably simple things. They are dimpled plastic on the outside, wrapped around a rubber center, and that is pretty much it. But the difference between the balls you use and the ones that are used in championship tournaments would surprise you. There are now, on the market, sets of golf balls for beginners, which do what they can to correct the kind of spin and slice that is common in a novice golfer’s shots. They may be a worthwhile investment.

Getting off a good shot makes you more disposed towards continuing a golf game. There are few amateurs (or professionals, come to that) who have not stormed off course in a huff after the first few shots of the day went into water, sand, long grass and trees. Picking the right golf balls can make this a less frequent occurrence.

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