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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!

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Where can I play?

So, you’ve gotten a handicap and are keen to get out and play some golf. But what now? Where do you find and book a round?

Good news: you have plenty of options!

There are plenty of golf courses all around Australia, so whether you’re looking for a convenient local course or are keen to see some amazing new sights, there’s certainly a course for the occasion. That said, it’s important to be organised in booking rounds, so that you can be entered into the competition. Since COVID, the popularity of golf has been at a high, so there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to play a round without booking in advance.

If you’re new to booking golf rounds, here are a few tips!

Emajin Tee it Up Booking:

First, Check out Emajin’s Tee it Up tab to find courses near you.  We have collated a list of over 500 golf courses where you can book and play.  Check out:  https://emajin.golf/tee-it-up/

Emajin Events:

At Emajin Golf we run a series of great events at some of the finest golf courses in Australia as well as hidden gems.  These provide an opportunity to participate in some well organised and fun golf days, and these provide different options on the day for golfers of all ability levels.  Check out https://emajin.golf/event/

Public Golf:

Many public courses have moved to online bookings, streamlining the process of finding and booking a game. You can search for and book times when it suits you, rather than having to call in during business hours or wait for replies from emails or phone messages.

Golf booking sites are extremely easy and convenient options to book a game once you get the hang of them. If you’re not tech savvy, here are a couple of booking pages for Australian golf courses to familiarise yourself with!

Sydney’s Moore Park:  https://moorepark.miclub.com.au/welcome/index.mhtml

Perth’s Wembley:  https://www.wembleygolf.com.au/cms/golf/online-bookings/

Albert Park in Melbourne:  https://www.albertparkgolf.com.au/play-melbourne-golf-course/

Quick 18:  https://hamersley.quick18.com/teetimes/searchmatrix

Once you’ve made a booking, remember to check in at least 15min before your game. You need to be ready to tee off at your tee time, not just arriving to the club.

Stableford rounds:

This is the most common form of golf competition, and will most likely be the format you compete in when you start booking rounds at clubs. Scores are based off a point system, where, depending on the handicap, a player will earn points according to the number of shots they have on a hole. At the end of a round, you’ll submit the number of points you scored in the competition, and the player with the highest points will win the day’s comp. Depending on how you played, your handicap might adjust accordingly; going down if you’ve done better and going up if you didn’t have a great round. Since this competition runs almost daily, it’s a casual way of getting into the habit of playing more golf.

Open days and Back Tee challenges:

Many semi-private member courses offer Open events to visitors with a GA handicap. These are usually on a regular basis, for example, weekly or monthly.

Some events are especially designed to test your game to the limit. These are generally known as Back Tee challenge events that see courses set up at their full length and often with pins tucked in tricky spots.

Though a lot of these challenges are not for the faint of heart, they can be extremely fun and highly rewarding. This is also a great chance to get access to some member clubs which may not otherwise have public tee times.

Make sure to check the details of these events, though. They sometimes include pre- and post-game snacks and drinks, which are included in the price of the event! We’ve listed some example open comps below:

Bankstown: Wicked Wednesday Black Tee Challenge on the third Wednesday of every month:  https://www.bankstowngolf.com.au/cms/whats-on/whats-on/wicked-wednesday-web/

Oatlands Open comps:  https://www.oatlandsgolf.com.au/cms/golf/open-days/

Scrambles and Ambrose:

Ambrose (or Scramble) events follow a team format, which can be heaps of fun to play with friends! Teams are formed of 2-4 players. All players will hit their tee shot, and the team will then select the best tee shot. Everyone besides the player with the best tee shot will pick up their balls, and resume play from where the best shot landed. This process of everyone hitting and then selecting the best shot will continue until the ball is holed. Because players get to choose the best shot each time, the scoring for Ambrose can be very low, resulting in a fun yet still competitive game!

The PGA runs an Australia-wide Scramble (previously known as the Holden Scramble), where teams can compete locally to qualify for regional, and then national, finals.

Sounds like fun? Get a team together and check out the website for details!

https://thescramble.com.au/

There’s also a competition specifically for women: https://thescramble.com.au/womens-scramble

Scramble events are also run at many clubs, and are often the chosen format of corporate or charity events.

Stroke and Medal events:

This is the format most seen at professional tournaments. Instead of allocating points based on the amount of shots taken and a player’s handicap (as in a normal Stableford round), Stroke rounds count only how many shots you’ve taken in the round: lowest score wins. In amateur Stroke or Medal events, there are usually Gross (handicap not taken away) and Net (handicap taken away from final score) winners, so there’s plenty of opportunity for new players to participate in Stroke rounds!

For players interested in a more competitive format, this is how most National and State championships are contested: each state will run regional events and championships annually. There are different categories and events for women, men and seniors (generally those over 50 years of age). Other events include Sand Greens competitions, held on regional courses that use sand scrapes for putting surfaces instead of grass greens.

Golf Australia also provide an Event Calendar with a full schedule of events in each state.  Check out: Golf Australia Event Calendar

Exploring golf through playing events at different courses is one of the game’s great joys, and competing using your Emajin membership lets you track your progress wherever you go.

So, what are you waiting for? Book a game today!

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How to be a good Golf Citizen

Good Golf Citizen Blog

Welcome to a guide to get you the most from your golfing experience.

While golf is a solo game in the sense that you play your own ball and hit all the shots; it requires collaboration between players for the game to work.  The game works a lot better for everyone involved when players follow some basic, yet not always immediately obvious ground rules.

So let us run you through some of these key concepts and help you get the most out of your golfing game.  Golf is a great game and let’s unlock some amazing experiences this game has to offer.

Let’s start with a checklist.

1.  Arrive early

You should aim to be at the course 30 minutes before your tee time at a minimum.  Then check in at the Golf Shop as soon as you get there.

Showing up early, will give you time to register, pay fees, learn any local rules at the course, while having ample time to prepare for your round. Not rushing is the best way to avoid unnecessary anxiety. By showing up early you are making things smoother for yourself and everyone involved.

2. Keeping up

Tee times provide the structure of the game, yet they also imply a necessary ‘Pace of Play’.

Playing at a reasonable speed means all groups keep pace with the first group on the course.

Tee times are generally at 7 or 8 minute intervals. This means the group in front of you needs to have played well out of your hitting range in that time. If the hole is a par three, the hole needs to be completed in that 7 or 8 minutes.

To keep pace requires you to be aware of your movements, as well as, those of your playing partners.

And while this sounds like a responsibility, it is quite simple.  All you need to worry about is the group that is directly in front of you, and make sure you keep up with them!

Take a moment read this article from the R&A about: Pace of Play

3. Always Err on the side of safety:

Regardless of how long you have been playing, the golf ball will occasionally depart the clubface at some dramatic angles. Also you may occasionally hit a ball further than you anticipated. These things happen.

This may bring people into the line of fire of your ball. When this happens you must call “Fore”. This is golf’s universal warning call. The term comes from the idea of forewarning people of pending danger.

Never hesitate to call, and do it loudly.  It is much better to have heard a call of “Fore” than to have a ball wizz past your head and having had no idea it was coming.

4. Respect other golfers:

Everyone would probably agree that Golf is a challenging game. To do your best requires focus. So if you enjoy the best chance to play your shots then you owe that to everyone else.

This means being aware of how your actions may affect others. Such as maintaining silence when your playing partner is hitting their ball. The more aware you are the less you will distract others and a better playing partner you will become.

5. Respect the course:

The BIG THREE – Divots, Bunkers & Pitch Marks.

Course Care covers all the ways in which your play should not affect other players.

Divots: The mark you make in the turf when you hit a shot should be dealt with before you move on to minimize the impact on other players. What to do can be a bit confusing as different courses deal with divots differently. A common practice is filling divots with sand which you carry in a bucket. Find out the preferred method at the course you are playing before you tee off.

Raking bunkers: If you enter a bunker your responsibility is to smooth out the marks you made so other players enjoy the same conditions you did.  Rakes are usually supplied yet if it is missing do you best with your foot or club.

Pitch marks on greens: The indentation made by a ball landing on the green needs to be repaired so greens can remain smooth for everyone. Carry a pitch repairer learn the correct way to repair then.

This video from the USGA explains the ideal method: Pitch Marks

6. Visiting a new course:

While the Etiquette and rules of the game cover play around the globe, different courses have customs, dress codes and rules of behaviour that vary dramatically.

The colour and length of socks, length of skirt or shorts, not wearing a hat in the clubhouse, where you can and can’t use your phone and the style of the collar on your shirt are all things that have tripped up golfers before you. Not being aware of the dress code can distract you from your game and may require an unexpected purchase to remedy the situation.

Most clubs that have specific rules regarding dress codes, course care or mobile phone use will make these clear on their website. Being prepared will mean avoiding awkward situations and enjoying each club’s unique experience.  So make sure to review this for the golf club you are playing at, before your visit.

Here is an example from Newcastle GC – Dress Code

This from St Michaels covers both – Course Care and Dress Code

Also, don’t hesitate to tell the staff, or any club members you meet, that you are new to the course and ask if there anything you should know. Show interest in the club and you will be made welcome and assisted with any local customs.

7. Playing the Game:

The rules of golf can seem daunting to say least. Open the rule book and you see strange terms and diagrams. So it is useful to start by reminding ourselves of the central premise of the game.

Start at the teeing ground. Play shots to the green until you have hit your ball in the hole. Then count the shots. Repeat.

That’s it.  It is really that simple!

So the key rules to understand are those that apply to situations when you can’t do the above.

Here are the common scenarios and the rules you need to know.

What to do if I lose my ball. (Lost ball) 18.2, 18,3(provisional ball)

What if I hit it outside the boundary of the course? (Out of Bounds) 18.2

What if I find my ball but can’t play it? (Either an unplayable lie or the ball is in a pond or creek etc. that the rules now call a penalty area) 19.1, 19.2, 19.3(unplayable), 17.1 (penalty area)

What are the rules if I hit in a bunker? This link from Golf Monthly explains the rules for bunker and how they changed in the 2019 rules revision.

Why it’s important to understanding these rules is because they affect your score as penalty shots are associated with certain outcomes.

As you play more rounds and rounds at different courses you will come across situations that you haven’t previously faced. This is when other rules (besides the ones we mentioned above) will apply.

You don’t need to know all the rules or the entire book. Just refer to the rules when an unfamiliar situation arises.

Have a copy of the rule book in your golf bag.  But we recommend that you simply download the free Rules of Golf APP to your phone. The search function will help you find what you are looking for in seconds. Get the free Rules of Golf App

Why is knowing all this so important?

In our experience golfers get grouped into two categories by other players.

Those that you would be happy to share a round with; and those who you wouldn’t.

Importantly this is not about how you play your shots. It is how you treat other players, how you care for the course and whether you give everyone the chance to focus on their game.

Regardless of your standard of play you are in charge of your reputation within the game. How you are seen by others will affect your experience and the connections and friends you make.

Respect is the heart of golf culture. Display this trait and you will receive it in return; You’ll become known as a good GOLF CITIZEN.

We believe that if you embrace golf’s ethos, the dividends will be simply huge.  Welcome to this Great Game of Golf! Learn more about getting a golf handicap in Australia.

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Lowering Your Score

GOLF TIP – Lowering Your Score

???? The key is to practice your chipping and putting instead of the long game!

FIVE key tips to help lower your score:
1. Limit the risk – choose the shot you can execute the highest percentage of the time
2. Pace your putts – as a rule of thumb add one inch to your backswing for every foot of putting distance
3. Short Shots – Choke down, narrow stance and lean weight forward
4. Speed and Sand – two major things to remember for good bunker play
5. Putt, Chip, Pitch – Putt whenever you can. Chip when you can’t putt, Pitch only when you have to

Become an Emajineer today! ????️‍♂️????️‍♀️

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EMAJIN GOLF TIPS FROM PGA PRO BEN DONEY: “THE FRIED EGG”

In golf, the term “fried egg” is a euphemism for a plugged lie or buried lie in a bunker.  Usually one of the toughest shots in golf!  The golf ball is partially buried underneath the top level of sand, meaning only a portion of the golf ball is showing to the golfer.

PGA Pro Ben Doney gives some very sage advice on how to get yourself out of the lie in the bunker and onto the green. This legend makes a tough shot look easy and his tip could have you doing the same. You won’t want to miss this!