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How a Golf Handicap works

The golf handicap! Lets dive into it..

Viktor Hovland played his home course in Norway the other day in preparation for the British Open Championship. He shot the course record (60) or -12 under, replacing previous course record holder, himself.

To a new golfer or even an average golfer, this is unfathomable. To Viktor it was expected. Not expected in a sense that he pulls up to golf courses anywhere in the world and just presumes he’s going to shoot 12 under par but more so he just played to his handicap.

If we break it down; Viktor is around a +8 handicap, even though pros don’t have handicaps! Meaning that on an average golf course he needs to make 8 birdies and shoot 64 to play to his par. Then on top of that he’s used to playing PGA set up golf courses with lengthy holes, 12cm thick rough and lighting fast greens. So when he arrives at his childhood public course they might want a little more out of him and depending on difficulty ask for -10 to shoot his par. On this day he went a little better and shot -12 but when we factor his actual handicap in he only ‘technically’ shot -2.

Why does this matter? We are not going out and shooting scores like that anytime soon or even in this lifetime are we! It matters because Viktor wasn’t the only one to shoot -2 under that day. (64) year old John Citizen also shot 2 under and so did Mary Goldberg (48) on her 5th round ever! Now John and Mary didn’t drive the green on short par 4s, hunt down flag sticks and hole bunker shots for eagles like Viktor probably did, they simply played to there handicaps of 22 and 36.

Like we broke down the way Viktor’s handicap works its also the same for John and Mary. If John plays of a handicap of 22 then he’s allowed to shoot 22 over the course par to shoot his handicap and his level par. Again depending on the difficulty of the course they will most likely be a little more flexible with John and give him around 25 strokes on the day and Mary maybe 44! Why?

This is because golf courses know that the higher the handicapper the less likely they are to play to there par and allow for some room to slowly hit there mark the more rounds they play.

This is why the handicapping system in golf is so clever, it allows people of all abilities and experience levels to play against one another and compete. It also gives golfers something to strive towards when out on the course. You have a number in mind and know what you need to do on each hole in order to hit that number and improve your game!

Let’s have a look at the major benefit’s of having a golf handicap and how having one will help you improve!

  • It’s one thing to believe that you are good at golf, and another is to have a trustable measure, like your golf handicap, that actually confirms how good you are. This isn’t for you to show off its for you to be fair to your playing partners!
  • Golf is a really fun game once you learn to play properly, but having a handicap ramps up the fun ten fold and gives you something official to fight for out there! More importantly it enables players of different levels to compete on an equal terms.
  • The handicapping system is now a one world system, meaning that you can travel overseas and play off the same handicap that you did back home and see how you shape up in different conditions! Ever played in temps near zero with icy wind? Those 250m drives you have been hitting now go 180m and you cant feel you fingers! Don’t worry though the course will factor that in on the day and you should still have a shot at your par (if you have a handicap that is).
  • Its a great gauge, and is fascinating to track how your performance improves and deteriorates at times and gives you the feedback you need to put the work in required to get back to the level you know you can play at!
  • Having an official handicap lets you bet! Every true golfer loves some friendly competition with mates and having a handicap is the perfect way to iron out any uneven terrain! Whilst letting you place some bragging rights into the group chat and maybe even some cash!
  • Do you play golf? What’s your handicap? Everyone gets asked this and now you have an answer! Are you embarrassed of your handicap number? Good then get out there and Improve it!
  • So you can play in the club competition’s and win prizes such as the monthly medal. Having a handicap lets you travel and play at different courses in competition and test your skills against other golfers and even represent your club!
  • Because having a golf handicap is awesome and truly opens the flood gates to your golfing life.
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Make Short Putts Your Friend

Wherever you are in your golf journey there is no doubt putting has delivered its fair share of mixed results.

There is a finality to putting and hence it plays a significant role in our golf experience.

Good putters seen to have an aura about them. Especially those who seem to reliably make all the short. What do they know? What are they doing that you are not?

Well let me share a story.

In a recent lesson I found myself in a conversation with a member who was having trouble with short putts.

Nothing new about that.

Who hasn’t, at some stage, missed more short putts than they would like?

For some it becomes debilitating.

The yips, a devastating nervous twitch when putting that makes holing short putts nigh on impossible, has driven many golfers from the game.

Not that this gentleman’s putting was technically poor. He did not have the yips or anything similar.  Yet when playing in competitions he felt a sense of pressure over these putts. The result was missing straightforward 3-5 footers (1-2m) on the first few holes of most rounds.

This said to me it was more a mental issue rather than a physical one. The thing with golf is you can’t separate the two.

Mental and physical elements intersect constantly and you can’t improve the whole by focusing on just one side of the equation.

It was his mind set that was sabotaging his putting.

When that is your problem it doesn’t matter what your technique is like or if you have the latest and greatest putter.

As most golfers have experienced, when you miss a short putt early in the round your confidence plummets. Many find this hard to recover from.

This is because they don’t have a mental or physical process to rely on. It is likely also you have positive memories ready to access that prove you can do it. Only the evidence that you just missed.

What you need is a clear memory of making more short putts than you miss. Plus an approach to these putts where you put aside negative thoughts and focus on what matters.

With no recent practice where you successfully made short putts you have no mental ammunition to fight off the doubt and uncertainty that builds every time you miss a short putt.

As with all shots, you need a clear plan with putting.

Control what you can and execute your plan decisively.

Doing this every time is what we call a Pre Shot Routine (PSR). If you are interested in improvement and don’t have a Pre Short Routine already then start working on one now.

The good news with putting it is entirely possible to practice at home. With more people working some, or all of the time, at home there is no reason not to incorporate some putting practice into your breaks from sitting at the computer.

Putting on a mat or on carpet can help with developing a consistent stroke, a solid strike on the ball and an understanding of where your putter is aiming.

One game you can play; Aim at a small target. A coin on the ground will do. Then try and hit the ball at a speed that will have the ball stop less than 20cm past your target. Start with 1m putts. Move further back when you are consistently rolling over the coin and stopping the ball in the 20cm distance.

To do this will calibrate your stroke. You will start to control the length of backswing and follow-through that allows you to roll the ball different distances.

Believing you are in control of your speed and aim is a must if you are to improve this area of your game.

If you can get to a course where you can use the putting green then practice the compass drill. Put a ball at the four points of the compass at 1m (approx the length of your putter) from the hole. Follow your routine and putt each ball. Getting a score out of 4 means you are a decent short putter.  Keep going till you make 4 in a row. When you achieve this consistently add 30cm to each putt.

Effective practice is all about laying down successful memories of being proficient at different skills. Short putting is no exception.

Develop and trust a routine that delivers the putter to the ball consistently where you are aiming and at the speed you need is a foundation for better scores. You will start to believe you are ‘competent’ rather than rely on ‘confidence’ that varies with the inevitable fluctuations of your performance.

Luck, the vagaries of greens conditions and the elements are all part of golf. These are things out of your control.

Unlike hitting 300m drives, putting is something physically achievable by any and every golfer.  And, a holed putt counts just the same as that long drive!

What are you waiting for? The only impossible journey is the one you never start.

Get a golf handicap today.

Every golfer needs a handicap to get involved in the game, whether you’re a serious competitor or new to the game. Emajin Golf is an online club allowing more Australians to hit the green and play with an official Golf Australia handicap without being tied to a single location club.

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Australia’s Biggest Golf Competition

Emajin Online Golf Comp. Play Anyone, Anywhere!

Sam Peters (25) from Coolangatta Golf Club is on an absolute heater today and is coming down the stretch looking at 40+ points, this time he doesn’t fumble and closes the round out with solid golf to win his Wednesday club comp. If only Sam’s buddies who have just recently packed up and moved to Sydney where there to see it! They have joined up at Eastlakes GolfClub in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. The golf rivalry between the mates is now a thing of the past due to life’s commitments of work, relationships and kids. You know the deal! 

But there is hope, ‘Emajin’ a club exists where you can still play against your mates who are in different states! Well now thats a reality and we want all to reap the benefits of how cool this really is. 

Fast forward a month and Sam and the boys have all managed to put a round together and are chilling in different club houses in different states refreshing the leaderboard to see who’s on top this week/ month so that they can cash in on there bets and even have a shot at some free gear whilst there at it! Welcome to the future of comp golf in Australia! 

So what the hell is an online golf competition you ask and how does it all work?

Well we are glad you asked! Emajin is very proud to announce whats just the beginning of Australia’s biggest golf competition. It works like this, you register to Emajin’s online comp and join the list of golfers who are already actively participating, from there you go out and play your regular club competition rounds and instead of just going in the running to win your club comp that day, now you can see where you ranked nation wide! To top it all off, if you’ve played well enough you will have the chance to win epic prizes including custom fit drivers, golf bags, free rounds and all sorts of golf goodies. 

Let’s review some details and dive into how this is all possible; First up you need to join, the fee is $120 a year so its cheap as chips to register. Then its as simple as playing your local comps or any comp where your scores are submitted to Golflink. You can use any scorecard. If you are playing in a club competition or open competition, those scores can also count towards an Emajin Comp.  These are sourced directly from Golflink, so there is no need for you to do anything other than play your best golf.

We will pool the top 5 results that come in weekly and monthly and if thats you then you will go into the draw with the other 4 top scorers that month for your chance to win a brand new driver. If you have placed in the weekly leaders, you will win a box of ProV1s to help you continue your journey to the top of ranks!

There are no minimum or maximum rounds you can play in a month so if you’re a true golf addict like us you’ve got even more of a chance to get in the winners circle. You will be able to check the live leaderboard on and send screen shots through to your buddies in a completely different post code to fuel the competitive fire!

At Emajin we are competitive at heart and know that in Golf that its through friendly competition that progress takes place, so we want to spread this belief like wildfire and let the fun begin!

To find out more information and how you can get involved check out and get involved today!

Best of luck out there, we will be watching!

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Golf Sustainability & The Environment

Golf: Sustainability and the Environment:

There is a fair chance that you think about sustainability.

It is hard not to. 

In a world with finite resources and growing population everything is under pressure. Are we doing enough? What will the future be like for our kids?

We know the world is changing so as golfers it is good to know sustainability is being addressed across our game too.

The games governing body, The Royal and Ancient in St Andrews is leading the way with research and resources to help clubs adapt for a changing future.

Want to know more? Check out their sustainability website here:

On the home front Australia has talented course superintendents and consultants helping courses improve their environmental credentials by addressing areas including:

-reducing water use and turf grass optimisation.

-storm water harvesting

-wetland management

-indigenous vegetation and biodiversity

-facilitation of pollinators and establishing bird habitat

Did you know selecting the right turf species for a site can reduce water and chemical inputs by 50%. 

Check out Kate Torgersen’s work at Environmental Golf Solutions:

There is also significant research that shows targeted golf course maintenance practices provide significant environmental benefits. As urban open space is under increasing pressure for development the golf world is building a strong case that courses are a valuable public asset for environmental reasons, not just for the mental and physical benefits of participants.

One interesting area is research on turf maintenance and golf courses’ role as carbon sinks. It turns out carbon sequestration is a positive outcome of the frequency of mowing fairways and short grass areas. One researcher on turf’s carbon capture potential and expert on golf sustainability is Edwin Roald of Eureka Golf. He’s a passionate advocate for how golf courses can work in harmony with society and make a positive contribution to sustainability.

Interested? Check out this fascinating interview on The Thing About Golf Podcast here:


Golf courses are obviously significant when it comes to the game being sustainability yet so too is the gear we use and the clothes we wear. As we all assess our impacts and footprint it is good to know there are brands working towards greener futures.

When it comes to the products we use golf can definitely improve from plastic tees that don’t break down to equipment being shipped in plastic and bubble wrap. 

Those keen for an ethical option should look to companies like Ocean Tee. 

Ocean Tee was started by a golf obsessed former marine biologist. He saw waste, especially plastic making its way to the ocean, as problem golf needed to address. 

The company’s first product were bamboo tees in recycled cardboard packs. They’ve expanded into apparel using sustainable merino wool; and recently have released a line of caps made from ocean salvaged bottles that you can even trace where the plastic was found.  

Apparel is another area where the choice of sustainable options is increasing. A leader in this field is Adidas. 

The global sportswear brand is committed to sustainability with the goal of using only recycled polyester in every poly product by 2024.

When it comes to cotton their focus is on conserving water, reducing waste and energy efficiency by replacing conventional cotton with that which is 100 percent sustainable.

Utilising their PRIME Blue technology Adidas also offers shoes made with recycled materials

Want to know more about Adidas’ collaboration with Parley Ocean Plastics read here:

Emajin Golf has recently partnered with Adidas so members can purchase online with a members discount.

As we seek to reduce our environmental impacts we can feel confident there has been progress across the game as golf looks towards a sustainable future.

The way things are headed golf courses will become seen not just as a sanctuary for those playing the game but also as bio diverse assets that play an integral part of our urban communities. 

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and play your part. Support those committed to making our game better for all.

Reading and links:

Check out Ocean Tee here:

Waste2wear (makers of fabrics from ocean plastics)

Golf Courses and Biodiversity: The Conversation

Golf companies embracing Sustainability.

Beyond Birdies: Biodiversity on Urban golf courses:

The Environmental Benefits of golf courses

Greener Golf: Parker Anderson

The fried egg podcast: Bees and the future of golf

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Decisions. They are yours to make

Welcome to golf

Welcome to the game that will engage your mind like no other. 

A game you will never conquer yet one that will deliver joy like you could never imagine.

A game that will spark a wildly diverse a raft of emotions you will never experience in other sports Why? How? Because in golf you are 100% invested in every shot.

I look back on my sporting life and see a fork in the road. That junction was where I chose to pursue golf over the other the sports I was playing at that time. Specifically team sports. The main ones for me were cricket, basketball and football.

What was the appeal of golf over the others?

Well, it all was up to me. You may have had this revelation yourself.

To succeed or fail was in my hands and, more importantly, in my head.

 I like team sports, don’t get me wrong. There is much to be learnt and enjoyed from the collaboration and cohesion of a well drilled team. Players with different skills coming together to achieve an outcome is exhilarating to be part of and watch. This is evident in the popularity of sports like AFL and 20/20 cricket.

In team sports coaches and managers are charged with the job of blending and honing diverse skills & personalities to achieve peak performance with winning the ultimate goal. 

In team sports I felt something was missing. Training harder guaranteed nothing. There were too many other factors. Factors I couldn’t control. The quality of the opposition and the performance of my team mates being the most obvious.

Golf on the other hand provided a causal link between my best efforts and better play. 

Very few good things happen by accident in golf. Make good decisions and you are on track for improvement and the intense sense of satisfaction that comes with it.

Equally a poor execution, a rash decision or losing control of my emotions resulted in bad outcomes of my own making. Success or failure stemmed from my decisions and no one else.

When you play golf you are the player and the manager. 

To be the player you want to be requires you to:

  1. Decide what is your goal (reach a certain handicap or break a certain score barrier)
  2. Make the decisions that lead to it happening. 

I feel many people have done the first.

In my experience, when it comes to the second part people don’t have any structure to how to achieve their goal or they look in the wrong places for answers.

Have a think about the decisions you make about your game. Are you happy with your play?

 If you are; you need to continue preparing and practicing at least as much as you are now to maintain that level. That involves a series of decisions. Slack off and you will go backwards.

If you are not happy with your play then a decision to do things differently is required. 

I find many golfers unsatisfied by their golf have unhelpful habits. Not getting to the course early enough to warm up and be prepared to play is something I see frequently.

Others include only practice the shots you like or the ones you are good at. Skills like holing short putts are critical for scoring well, yet how many people systematically practice them?

When you start to think more deeply about your game you will realise you are making important decisions all the time.

What to practice, how long to practice, when to get to the course, what to do to warm up before a round. What gear to bring. Not thinking about these things is a decision in itself.

So if you plan on playing better golf you have decisions to make.  When you do there is a real sense of ownership. You are no longer a victim. You become the captain of your ship.

The first step is to stop and have and honest assessment of your game.

A key part of this is being realistic about the time and resources you can invest. Having unrealistically high expectations is setting yourself up to fail.

Ask yourself:

How much practice do I do and how focussed am I when I am doing it?

Am I practicing all the parts of the game or just the bits I like or the shots I am good at?

How am I preparing for a round?

Any plan to improve should start with assessing your game against better players not just your regular playing partners. If a friend is a few handicap shots lower than you they are not the model to copy. You need to look at the habits of really good players. I am not suggesting you are going to play like them (yet) but there is lots to be learnt from the way good golfers prepare. 

Better players are systematic. You can be too.

When you decide to be better, as a coach, I see a number of key avenues.

1. Start with the short game. Developing a rock solid putting and chipping game with a consistent routine for playing these shots. Practicing putting is something you can even do at home.

2. Better preparation. Be ready to play. Have a warm up and be prepared for the conditions of the day. Rushing leads to anxiety and your mind will never be focussed on the task

3. Better practice. Quality is more important than quantity. 

4. Better Technique. Improving your swing and adding skills is like adding tools to your tool kit for solving the problems you face on the course. This is often extremely rewarding yet will require resources (time, effort and patience) and will involve getting good advice. 

5. Optimised equipment. Equipment is a big part of golf and requires many decisions. There has never been a better time to get good advice on equipment and the major manufacturers are offering more customisation than ever with club fitting and options for women and men of all skill levels.

A good starting point is to find a PGA professional. They have the knowledge to help guide your decisions. Whether that is getting lessons to learn new skills or advice on what equipment best suits your game, having experience on your side makes a big difference.

Remember, the only impossible journey is the one you never start.

It is your game; it is your journey. The decisions are yours to make.

Go well.

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What you can control


Take charge of the things you can control: 

The COVID pandemic has put us all in a mode of problem solving and seeking creative ways to address challenges. We have also started new habits almost instantaneously. 

Historically people find habits hard to change. Yet during COVID we adjusted to masks, we started washing our hands more thoroughly and became aware of social distancing almost instantaneously.

It is time to harness this flexible mind set to help your golf game.

So if you were to summon this power to change and make new habits what would they be?

Well here are some to consider. All will have a positive impact on your golf and once you are doing them you scores will start to drop.

7 Habits to improve your golf:

1    Set your alarm half an hour earlier.

Getting ready and arriving at the course earlier allows so many good things to happen. Being prepared, having a warm up, testing the speed of the greens are all things that will improve your score ad make you less flustered when you walk on that first tee.

To do: Develop a routine for getting ready to play. Pack all you need for the day in advance and allow a contingency for getting to the course in time.

Have a plan for what you will do at the course. Some putting, chipping and pitching before you play always helps your feel. 

2. Monitor your hydration and energy levels.

When your energy levels or hydration are low your concentration is affected. Losing focus and making bad decisions can derail your round in a hurry.

To do: Carry water. Have plenty of cold water if the weather is hot. Have a hydrolyte drink, snacks or fruit ready in your golf bag. Have small amounts often is better than one large intake.

3 Settle on one type of golf ball:

Experiment with balls and get some advice on what might be best for you game. The sooner you have a single type of ball the sooner you can calibrate the feel and sound of the short shots (chipping and putting). You will notice and learn to manage the character of your long shots.

Ask a golf pro to help you choose the right type of ball for your game or you can find help online. Some brands have online fitting charts or tools to help. Check out Titleist’s here


Also get a permanent pen and develop a consistent set of marking for your golf ball. A drawing, your initials or just a series of coloured dots will do.

Make it distinctive and do it on all balls you play with. Nothing worse than having your ball picked up by someone because a  stray shot ends up on another fairway and your ball is the same as someone else’s.

4.     Strengthen your legs.

Strong legs are vital for golf. In the golf swing they are hugely important for power and this equates to distance off the tee.

For playing 18 holes strong legs help your endurance so you can still be playing your best on the closing holes of a round.

To do:

Adjust your routine to add incidental leg workouts to daily life.

-Walk some sets of stairs where you might normally take the lift.

-Maybe you could ride a bike to work a couple of days a week?

 -Join a spin class at the gym, do squats, deadlifts or seated rowing. 

– Hill sprints and running up stairs are great for explosive power

All are all good for leg strength.

If you are up to it and you want more power in the swing; If you live near a beach run in sand.

The better your leg strength, the better your golf.

5.     Have a stretching routine.

Having your body feel the same every day is not possible. Yet having a consistent set of things you do the morning of every round of golf can take you much closer to feeling good and ready to play. A stretching regime dent need to be long. 10 or even 5 minutes of dynamic stretching is a great way to prepare for a game. Plenty of good ones you can find on YouTube, Get started today.

6.     Practice your short game at least as much as your long game

If you want to improve your scores the answer doesn’t lie in a perfect swing. While a better full swing technique is desirable and will result in some better shots each round yet it will be your short game that will improve your score the most.

To Do:

You Practice your putting at home on carpet or a specific putting practice mat. Make time for a couple of 10 min sessions a week and you will notice this translates to better putting on the course.

Putting and chipping counts for more than half your shots so it needs at least half your practice time to become better at it.

Dedicating time each week to short game practice is an investment that wills pay handsome dividends.

7.     Post round debrief.

Golf is a game that elicits many emotions. It turn out emotions are also powerful in how we recall events.

One difference between good golfers and poor golfers is which emotions and what shots they focus on and therefore remember.

One habit that is helpful to develop is letting go of poor shots and not storing them as memories. Attach negative memories to bad shots and reliving them in your mind only makes them more likely to pop into your head when faced with a similar situation in the future.

By focussing on, and re-running the memories of the good shots and the positive emotions that go with them you will have these constructive memories to draw upon later.

To do:

Pick the three best shots you played in your last round and run through those shot in your head. Do this over and over till the memories of that round are dominated by these good shots. This can be incredibly powerful and before long you will have a catalogue of memories of your best shots not your worst.

Start some new habits today and watch your game start tracking towards the golf of your dreams. Your Emajin golf membership and handicap is the ideal way to watch your improvement. Tell a friend about membership today.

Get a golf handicap today.

Every golfer needs a handicap to get involved in the game, whether you’re a serious competitor or new to the game. Emajin Golf is an online club allowing more Australians to hit the green and play with an official Golf Australia handicap without being tied to a single location club.

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Cost of golf, and how to keep it down!

With all the shiny new golf equipment coming out each year and the prices slowly going up how do I keep the costs down while buying quality golf gear?? What I notice as a PGA professional is golfers coming in for lessons with these cheap sets straight out of a sporting store. What happens with these clubs is that they are to heavy for the golfer and shaft flex and lengths that don’t match the golfers swing. 1st tip is to speak to your PGA Professional to get a ball park idea of what you should use i.e. Length, shaft flex and shaft weight as a minimum. This is beneficial so you can look for a quality 2nd hand set. Enquire with us at Emajin golf and we can arrange a 15min zoom call to help you out. Another alternate if you want to purchase that one set that will be you’re set for the next 5-10 years I recommend to build it one club at a time until you’re ready. My suggestion is to start with
  • Brand new 7iron fitted to you.
When we have caught the golfing bug and want to add more clubs, next I would get:
  • Driver
  • #5 Fairway wood
  • 5 Hybrid
  • 9 iron
  • Sand wedge (56 degree wedge)
  • Putter
Lastly speak to your coach or Club PGA Professional the remaining options i.e:
  • Additional Fairway wood options
  • Additional Hybrid options
  • Irons to fill the gaps i.e. 4 iron to Pitching Wedge
  • Lob wedge (60 degrees wedge)
The advantages of having fewer clubs is when selecting the shot on the course you have fewer options which actually assists with decision making.
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So many golf ball options. What is the best one for me?

How important is a good golf ball? Short answer, yes. However we don’t want to be hitting our precious golf balls into the water and feel like we are throwing out money away.

Golf balls for beginners handicap 30+

As a beginner we all have been there when we just look at water or out of bounds and our ball gravitates towards it every time and another ball lost. What should we look for? The best feedback of golf balls for this level is the Callaway Supersoft this gives the player great feel off the club with longer distances whilst still being able add spin to the ball on shorter shots around the green. Approx. cost $31-$35 per dozen.

Golf Balls for intermediate15-30 handicaps

If you’re a regular golfer and looking for a cost effective way to play without giving up control the Titleist Tour Soft is my best recommendation. The biggest difference compared to the ones recommended for beginners is gaining a lot more control and spin around the greens whilst still keeping the budget down compared to the premium golf balls. Approx. $50 per dozen

Golf balls for advanced golfers handicap <15

My number 1 recommendation is the Pro V1 it is the most played golf ball on the professional tours. The golf ball offers the best feel off the club face, penetrating trajectory and exceptional control around the greens. Approx. Price $75 per dozen.

Ultimately try out a few different golf balls for yourself and recognise what you like in terms of feel, sound and looks. Additionally you can get golf balls in a wide variety of colours these days and customize them to suit your personality.

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Explore! From Private to Public, Resort to Destination Golf Courses

Integral to the appeal of the game is the endless variety of the playing arenas.

What sets golf aside from all other games is how few boundaries the playing arena has.

Four and a quarter inches, the diameter of the hole, is essentially the only set dimension in golf. This provides course designers huge scope for both spectacular shots and dramatic vistas as each course traverses its unique topography.

From daunting to exhilaration, meditative to breathtaking, golf courses take you on an emotional journey like no other sport.

What a golf course is, and can be, is a direct reflection of the location, topography, soil type and climate. Day to day conditions determined by the season and weather make each course present different challenges each and every time you play.

With over 33 000 courses in 208 countries the variety in courses is hard to comprehend. The lure to experience this variety is strong and common in those hooked on the game.

And in Australia we have some of the best courses on the planet.

We are fortunate to have both great variety and a wide distribution of quality courses. By world standard golf is also very affordable here with golf being accessible to a broader demographic than many parts of the world.

Public Golf:

Australians have an enviable array of public access golf. True public golf is where the course is public land and the local council will control the use either employing and running the facility themselves or having a management company run it on their behalf.

Examples of these are Moore Park in Sydney, Albert Park in Melbourne, North Adelaide, Brisbane’s Victoria Park and Wembley in Perth. They provide central, affordable and easily accessible golf for anyone interested.

Often well suited to beginners and recreational players these courses tend to be less challenging than many private and resort courses. A great place for your regular round. If you are improving and want to keep score this will be an ideal place to use your Emajin membership and play the weekly competitions as public course rarely run have their own competitions.

Affordability and a casual experience are becoming the focus of these style of facilities as public golf tends to evolves to societal trends before more traditional club. Make sure you are organised though as getting a tee time can be difficult with golf’s popularity rising. Public courses are increasingly using online booking systems and also often have facilitates like driving ranges and putting greens.

The good news is golf offers much more than just public golf for those not members of traditional clubs.

Private and Semi Private Clubs:

These are courses owned and run by their members.

Depending on the demographics, demand, history and the desire of the membership; these courses range from rudimentary to immaculately presented championship layouts.

In terms of design Australia has everything from courses that have evolved through input from generations of members to those expertly designed, or redesigned by the world best course architects.

A number of Australian courses are considered truly world class. For example Royal Melbourne is ranked in the top 10 and Sydney’s News South Wales GC is in the top 50 of the world’s 33000 courses.

As the game evolved and championships were held to determine the best players, golf found itself focussing attention on the venues that regularly host the top events. Courses whose design has become known to challenge the full range of skill of the best players. The mystique around such venues drives demand for membership and those who want to visit and play the hallowed fairways. Playing a course where you have watched the best compete is a reality unique to golf.

The hallowed courts and grounds of other sports are off limits to the casual player yet the golf enthusiast can, in many cases, stride the same fairways as the greats. Recreate shots and putts the champions faced. It can be quite the thrill and ask a golfer for their bucket list places to play and often courses that have hosted big events will rank highly.

Understandably as demand for these experiences rises clubs need ways to limit numbers and have assurance visitors will know what they are doing. Outside high green fees often requiring a handicap is necessary for access to such courses. An Emajin membership gives you access to a handicap and hence a chance to play many courses you couldn’t without one. Also Emajin events visit some of the best courses in the country.

Resort and Destination golf courses:

Golf can be a wonderful escape from the grind of work so no surprise that holiday destinations often have golf courses as a feature. Queensland’s Golf Coast set the bar in the late 80s and 90s with prolific growth of the Resort Course.

These are generally big scale championship length courses often incorporating water hazards and dramatic shots. Designed to accommodate visitors these are pay for play venues where all you need is a booking and be prepared for the green fee which can in some occasions require the use of a cart. These developments are often strung out around a resort or large property development and the golf cart can be welcome to save your legs on long distances between greens and tees.

This style of public access pay for play has evolved over time with the trend towards courses aimed at golf purist. Places that offer just golf and accommodation for enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the game. Often these are embracing the traditions of the games roots in Scotland and many are links courses. Beginning on the Oregon Coast at Bandon Dunes, that now boasts that now has six courses, this resort style has proven for golfers that ‘If you build it they will come’.

This inspired a slew of similar resorts around the world. Fortunately for Australians you can experience these at places like Barnbougle Dunes in NE Tasmania and Cape Wickham with more planned including on Kangaroo Island.

Emajin member, Tim Borham recently won the monthly competition playing a round at Barnbougle Dunes.

Country and regional Golf:

Get out of the major cities with your clubs and an open mind and the golf experiences will surprise and delight.

Seemingly every country town has a course and they inevitably reflect the spirit of the region and its people. Depending on the time of year and day of the week you may be welcomed to join a local competition or access might be by slipping a $10 note in an envelope in the Honesty box. While seeing other players may be rare you will almost certainly experience something out of the ordinary. Country course memories are rarely forgotten and remind us of the simple pleasures of the game.

Improving your golf IQ:

Seeking out different courses elicits a sense of adventure. Your game will improve as you adapt and refine your skills to meet the varied challenges of each course. You will also be following in the footsteps of centuries of golfers who have been drawn to explore the nuance of layouts far from home.

The world handicap system translates your skill level to any course and Emajin’s Australia wide competitions means you can mix your love of a road trip with the thrill of a good round and winning prizes. What are you waiting for?

Your Emajin membership and a GA handicap is truly your passport to a world of golfing adventures.

The new age of golf is here!