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How To Prepare Your Putting Green For Winter



Rain, drought, wind and temperature extremes impact the way ball rolls, bounces and even flies in the air. Despite weather being summer, winter or spring, the superintendent has to maintain resilient surfaces to offer consistent playing conditions. Heavy rain can cause soft conditions. Freeze-thaw cycle, ice formation, or dangerous occurrences such as flash freeze can bring about catastrophic turf damage. These tough winter conditions can be very difficult to manage.

When days are shorter and daylight your golf course receives is inadequate, the solar panels of turf i.e. turfgrass leaf blades cannot produce adequate energy required to fuel growth. You are not going to get an extra hour to sleep. So, wear your work boots. It is important to make the putting greens winter-ready. You have to perform tree work to make sure that the grass receives maximum possible sunlight. We don’t place solar panels in the shade.

So, even when the temperature is mild if the winter is around the corner, you have to take the following steps to prepare your putting green for winter:

Raise Mowing Heights

  • Readjust your Toro golf course mowers to raise mowing height. This increases the surface area exposed to available sunlight. As a result, grass can generate and store the energy required to survive tough winter conditions.
  • Doing so also reduces turf stress. You need to make sure that the turf is not in a weakened state while it enters cold weather. As compared to healthy turf, weakened turf experiences more winter injury.

Evaluate Sunlight Penetration

  • Turf needs sunlight to harden off during fall. This reinforces the turf to harsh conditions of winter.
  • It doesn’t matter whether the turf is growing or not, make sure that adequate surface area is exposed to sunlight. Winter sunlight melts ice and snow. The frequency of thaw cycles and freeze is also reduced. This also prevents winter injury.

Consider Drainage

  • The turf hardens off properly when conditions are dry.
  • Collar dams are a frequent problem you have to address.
  • Surface depression can increase the risk of winter injury. You can take the following steps to reduce this risk:
    • Removing strips of sod create channels. These channels drain excess water from the turf.
    • You can also install heating cables in these drainage channels. These cables keep the water from freezing.
    • If you find subsurface drainage in putting greens, cut holes from the surface to drain lines.
  • You can improve drainage with deep aeration. This supports better drainage and hardens off the turf. This also makes the turf less vulnerable to winter injury.

Plan Fertility

  • Keep an eye on nitrogen application. Putting green covered with tarp should not receive nitrogen application as this can be risky. Turf becomes more prone to winter injuries.
  • Potassium levels should be adequate as this increases the risk of winter injury, especially on Poa annua putting greens. Turf uses only the required amount of potassium. Excessive potassium levels are not going to help. Excessive levels can also increase snow mold. It is a turf disease that can cause serious damage or kill grass when the snow starts melting in late winter.

They say when grass and trees compete, trees always win. So, make sure that the turf is exposed to direct sunlight. You have to prepare the turf before winter arrives. The turf should not be weak when the winter is around the corner. So, prepare your golf course for winter before it is too late. This does not only prevent winter injury but also improve springtime playing conditions. Make sure that your Toro golf course mowers and other pieces of equipment are also winter-ready.

Sara Gloria is the author of the young adult, contemporary romance novel, All the Wrong Reasons. She is currently at work on book two, aptly titled All the Right Reasons.

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The very best golf holidays in Belek



Beyond the outstanding golf courses, Belek offers some of the most luxurious ultra-all inclusive hotels in the world for great golf holidays in Belek. Belek’s golf courses were once a well-kept secret, but this beautiful coastline is now one of Europe’s most popular golfing destinations due to the array of championship courses and luxury 5* all-inclusive resorts.

Turkey offers an abundance of luxurious golf resorts with world-class golf on-site. Take the Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort & Spa, for example, a spectacular 5* resort with a championship 27 hole golf course on-site designed by Sir Nick Faldo. The Cornelia Diamond is a perfect definition of what a 5* hotel should be. The resort is huge boasting 571 beautifully designed rooms with the option of villa’s also available. With a staggering 13 bars on the complex and 9 Al A Carte restaurants, over a 7-night stay you can experience a mixture of international cuisine and commend the efficient service of the Cornelia Diamond chefs and waiters. Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort & Spa is the perfect break whether you are a golfing group or a couple as there is something for everyone. Enjoy the three huge swimming pools on-site, escape to the pier bar for a mid-afternoon cocktail or even visit the spa for a massage! Turkey is the host of the Turkish Airlines Open in the association of The European Tour. Every year the world’s best golfers compete on one of Belek’s most reputable golf courses for the 8 million pound purse. The Montgomerie Course is a regular host as it offers a test for all golfing standards. A round of golf on the Montgomerie will provide you with some of the best greens in the game and immaculate fairways. For any golfer who books a trip to Belek, be sure to make the Montgomerie Course part of your itinerary. A fun fact to finish… the Montgomerie Golf clubhouse is the only clubhouse in Belek to include an all-inclusive basis. In other words – unlimited food and drink throughout the time you spend in the clubhouse.

No matter where you live in the UK, there are direct flights with Easyjet, Jet2 and Turkish Airlines to name a few. Take advantage of the Turkish Airlines FREE golf club carriage for any flight to Antalya! Due to the time difference of 3 hours ahead in Turkey, our team at Golf Holidays Direct recommend a minimum of 7 night’s stay in order to maximise your time in paradise.

To summarise, whether you are a couple or a group of golfers, a trip to Belek offers something for everyone making it a location for the perfect holiday. Contact Golf Holidays Direct today for your very best golf holiday in Belek.

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Putting Tips to Lower Your Scores



When it comes to mastering Golf, you cannot pass through the goal without mastering the putting skill. Putting is the deciding factor with any style of play you may have if you want to dop your score. Bombing the ball to 350 yards has less impact on lowering the score, compared to perfect putting. Being able to hit the ball that far will draw people’s attention for sure, but putting is the thing that lowers your score.

Practicing the putting will help you achieve the goal of the score. Practicing the wrong way won’t find you a way in; a set of professional advice can get you better. Here in this article, you will find that tips and hacks that’ll take your putting skills to another level.

1. Get a perfect Strike

Striking the ball for putting is the foremost crucial part of getting it in the hole. The aim here is to hit the ball right in the middle of the club. If you can hit the ball correctly right in the middle, the chance of getting the ball in the hole is higher. It gives you firm confidence and more control over the ball. The amount of the force you are putting on the club will decide how fast or slow the ball will roll over the green. While perfecting your strike, caveat your aim or alignment and focus on the center strike. It also helps to have good equipment at your disposal, so make sure you have the best golf shaft available.

How to practice the strike?

For a significant penetration on the strike and firm control on the hit, you need to practice a lot. You can follow these steps to perfect your center strike:

  • Take two tees and stand where you want to strike the ball from. Put the two tees with a slightly larger gap of the width of the putter club you are using.
  • Now put the ball in between these tees and attempt to strike the ball without hitting the tees. It will help you get more control over the club and hit the ball steadily.
  • Furthermore, put the ball precisely in the middle with the tees a little behind and hit the ball. It will let you hit the ball accurately in the middle of the club and get a more efficient hit.
  • Stick some tees parallel, making a gateway for the ball to the hole. Hit the ball from the opposite end and try to get it inside the hole without hitting the tees. You will notice the improvement over the time if you can hit it center.

2. Master the Pace

When it comes to monitoring the pace or as it called distance monitoring, it’s the easiest thing to master. When you practice enough to get the perfect strike on the ball, it’s easier to get the idea for the pace. You can eye-measure the distance from your striking point to the hole and decide how much of force you need. After getting the measurements right and striking it with the center of the club, it’s not much of a problem to get the distance.

How can you practice

As I mentioned earlier, getting the pace correct is not much of a problem if you get the strike correctly. You can still sharpen your measurement ability by following these steps:

  • Stick a tee peg past the hole, and the distance could vary with your choice. My choice of ideal distance for beginners is about 5 feet across the hole.
  • After sticking, get back to your striking place, and now you have two targets in front of you. One is the hole itself, and the other is the tee peg with a little more distance.
  • Strike the ball and see how much of the distance you are passing the hole. You can always higher or lower the distance and get it correct until every strike is filling the hole.
  • You will find a pattern of your own, note that down, and practice that a lot. It depends on how long or short your body and hand are.

3. Correct the Start line

The start line in putting the golf ball is the key to find the ball in the hole. If you get the start line correctly, you will be able to get the hole as your finish line for sure. Once you’ve got the reading of the green correctly and start striking, you will realize that your start line sucks. If you cannot get a correct start line, the ball isn’t going to find its way to the hole. A perfect club helps you get a perfect starting line comfortably. The weight and other features of the club will manipulate the line. You can get a pick in this post on the best putter under 200 to get the best understanding of the club.

How can you get the starting line correct?

You can practice your starting line a lot and get better. However, if you use this method, the process will push you to perfection combined with the striking and pace:

  • Stick a putting gate about a foot ahead of your striking point and set your ball on strike.
  • After sticking the gate, strike the ball through the gate, aiming at the hole. It will help you get perfect shots with a great starting line.
  • If the first few attempts get you betterment, now harden the job by putting another gate with a foot distance from the first.
  • You can use tee pegs instead of putting gates, make a pathway for the ball, leading to the hole.

4. Reading the green

The aim of correcting the starting line is not to touch the gate but get the hole with the ball. Reading the green follows the same thing combining with the pace control. You get the starting line correct, and you have a great pace control. If you get a wrong green reading, it will miss guiding the ball and let it run off the pace. To get better at green reading, I recommend using multiple gates and keep track of what angle you are striking at.

Bottom line

When you practice and try to follow the strikes the professionals get, don’t get too obsessed to develop perfect skrikes like them. Don’t pay too much attention to the professionals how they strike off-center, but the ball ends up in the hole anyway. They developed it with years of practice, and you should mind your own strike. Synchronize between all the skills to get your putting skills up to the mark and lower your score.

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Top 10 American Golf Courses



From Augusta National to Pebble Beach, the United States is home to some of the world’s most famous golf courses. For a country with hundreds of top-class venues, earning a place among the elite is prestigious accolade.

Ranking the best from the rest is no easy task, but our golf reviews guide for the top American golf courses assesses just what are the best venues across the US. If money was no object, you should be adding our shortlist of 10 golf courses to your bucket list.

Augusta National

The most famous golf course in the United States, how could Augusta National not make this list? Home to The Masters, it sits alongside St Andrews as the world’s most recognisable courses. Think about Augusta and azaleas, the Amen Corner stretch, the constant presence of Rae’s Creek and the infamous green jacket. The place in Georgia just oozes class and is a pretty decent golf course too. Getting on it in nigh on impossible though.

Cypress Point

Cypress Point is another golf course where landing yourself a tee time is a tough task. That’s because it is a private members club…and the members of this course are pretty lucky people. With the Santa Lucia Mountains on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other, Cypress Point has one of golf’s best settings as it hugs the clifftops along the Monterey Peninsula in Pebble Beach, California. Sensational is the best way to describe it, particularly the tough 15th, 16th and 17th hole stretch.

Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach is a near neighbour of Cypress Point in California, and also enjoys a seriously stunning setting along the Pacific Coast. Host of US Opens and USPGA Championship as well a regular stop on the PGA Tour, the Pebble Beach links have a rich history. Play one of the courses and you will be following in famous footsteps. The standout holes are the stretch from 7-10 along the ocean.

National Golf Links of America

Located in the Hamptons on Long Island in New York, the National Golf Links of America makes the list due to its unique design. When Charles B. Macdonald crafted the course at the start of the 20th century, many of the holes he designed were  replicas of holes at UK links courses. There are versions of holes at Royal St George’s, Prestwick, North Berwick, St Andrews and Sunningdale in the special layout.

Shinnecock Hills

Almost next door to the National Golf Links of America is Shinnecock Hills, another of the most impressive courses in America. Host of the US Open, Shinnecock Hills is the oldest golf club in the United States and continues to have a rich history. The links course in Long Island is a must play if you get the chance.

Pine Valley

Pine Valley is one of the toughest courses to play anywhere, and it has chewed up and spat out many a golfer down the years. More than 100 years old, the private members club in Philadelphia, New Jersey, is difficult to get on – but don’t let that stop you from trying because it is truly worth it. But don’t expect to conquer it!

TPC Sawgrass

Sawgrass is one of the most popular courses, most notably because it appears in so many computer games. The reason being the short par-3 with its iconic island green, which is regarded as one of the best holes in the world and the scene of so much drama down the years. The Stadium Course hosts The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, every year.


Second only to Augusta in terms of hosting the most majors in the United States, Oakmont is famed for lightning quick greens and difficult bunkers, and poses a severe test of even the best golfers. Located near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Allegheny River provides a picturesque back drop to the Oakmont layout.


The most noted thing about Merion is the wicker basket flagsticks used. The story behind their origin largely remains a mystery. What isn’t unclear is just how good a golf course the US Open host venue is. An inland course in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, it has all the hallmarks of a traditional links course by the sea. The combination of holes makes this one of the United States’ toughest courses, but it is worth trying your luck.

Bethpage Black

One of five public golf courses in Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale on Long Island, New York, Bethpage Black is a course that takes no prisoners. In fact, the US Open and PGA Tour host venue has a warning sign on the first tee suggesting only “highly skilled golfers” play the course. That’s how tough it is. Make sure you know what to expect before you tee it up at Bethpage by playing it on one of the Tiger Woods series of computer games.

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