How to improve your golfing performance

Your golfing technique and performance doesn’t all come down to the equipment you use, instead you have to put the time and effort in to become the very best you can be.

Sure, you can buy yourself the most expensive clubs, ensure you have spare trolley batteries from Pure Drive Batteries and look like a well armed pro but you still need to work on that swing and get down to the gym regularly (yes, that’s right, it’s cardio time) if you want to master the game.

Let’s say you want to complete an 18-hole course in good time to get back to the clubhouse for drinks later. Stamina will help you zip round the course in no time, as well as improve your drive.

Golf is a sport. All sports require a certain level of fitness for you to excel at them and the easiest way to enhance your golfing performance is by improving your cardio. Fit a cardio workout into your fitness routine, two to three times a week, if you’re serious about improving your game. This could involve heading to the gym to use the cross trainer and sit down bike for 45 minutes or even heading out for a 30 minute jog in the evening while dinner cooks.

That’s the first step. Next you need to ensure your joints are supple and muscles are flexible to improve your swing – and avoid injury. To encourage this, a yoga class might help, if you can touch your toes after three weeks just think how loose your shoulders will feel and how fluid your swing should be as well.

Working your core and side muscles will improve your range of motion, which in turn allows for a longer back swing resulting in increased force and velocity. Here are some golfer specific poses to try out for yourself, if you don’t fancy signing up for a class.

Before starting a game you need to also ensure you are warming up to improve your overall performance. Golfers who enter the green and don’t allow themselves time to warm up and stretch are going to cause themselves an injury and upset the quality of their game. It takes around 15 swings for muscles to feel warmed up enough to go through a full scorecard.

Protecting your back will also improve your golfing performance, back injuries are commonplace in golf because people don’t ensure their flexibility and stability are in check. A great tip is to perform 80-90% of all training exercises standing up, to improve your core and upright stamina.

Finally, stay hydrated while out on the green – those who don’t top up their water intake while exercising will find that they feel sluggish after a few rounds. It’s also a good idea to avoid a big meal before any game – feeling full while doing any exercise is going to reduce the quality of performance.

Now it’s time to head to incorporate some cardio into your routine, dabble in some yoga and work on that core to improve your fitness and your performance out on the course. Don’t expect results immediately, it might take a couple of months to start noticing any drastic changes, keep going and you’ll soon start enjoying the game even more.

Thunderbirds are Go!

With the news last year that Thunderbirds was making a return to our screens without the benefits of Supermarination, we all wondered what it would be like. It would be kind to say that the only good thing about the feature film was the Thunderbird vehicles wouldn’t be unfair either.

Fortunately the new TV show stays honest to the spirit of the original series whilst updating it dramatically. The fact it doesn’t use puppets doesn’t really matter, Gerry Anderson only used puppets generally because he couldn’t get the budget to make live action TV.

There are lots of exciting things surrounding the new TV show, which is now available to buy on DVD. In fact volume 1 of Thunderbirds are Go! is only £10 at Amazon. The Thunderbirds website is live and taking sign ups.

Like any good kids website it has parent authorisation for kids setting up accounts. The boy set himself up with the code name UnderwaterDiagnostics79 and no, I have absolutely no idea whatsoever how he came up with that one. Lord only knows.

UnderwaterDiagnostics79_TB3

There are different missions you can do around the website which involve all the Thunderbirds and also mobile apps that open up other adventures. It’s kept the boy busy, although he still has some badges to win.

Of course the main point of interest is the TV show, in this instance showcased by 13 episodes on volume one of the series on DVD. This is the first half of the series, the second half is to follow. I must admit I was impressed by the voice talent that they managed to get onboard, especially Rosamund Pike as Lady Penelope.

When I asked the boy for his views on the series, he said:

Each vehicle starred in it’s own episode, which meant that you got to see what each of the Thunderbirds could do, which was good. The Tracey’s are really cool and have good uniforms. The only problem is the episodes could be longer and then there could be more story in each episode. My favourite is Alan because he flies the spaceship and spaceships are really cool. My best episode is Space Race because it has Thunderbird 3 in it and that’s my favourite Thunderbird!

Each episode is around 22 minutes long, which isn’t bad for today’s short attention span TV. I have to admit, I was more a Captain Scarlet fan when I was little (that and Stingray!) but from what I’ve seen of the DVD (that’s been on endless repeat in our house), it looks good fun.

How to find her ring size (without her knowing)

Everything has run smoothly so far. After spending months window-shopping and browsing online, in discussion with her best friends, store assistants (and very possibly your bank manager), you’ve taken the plunge and bought the diamond ring of her dreams.

It’s the style and design she’s always wanted, it’s the perfect cut, and it’s priced inside your budget; only just, but even so, you can afford it. Ring bought, you pop the question – the single most important question you’ll ever ask in your life – and she says… she says yes! It’s a beautiful moment, for both of you. You proudly present the ring, she gasps in admiration, slides it onto her finger, and…

… it gets stuck. Lodged on the middle knuckle, it stubbornly sits there, refusing to budge. Or, a different end result – it’s too big, rattles around her finger and falls off, bouncing across the floor, as soon as your brand new fiancée lowers her hand.

All very embarrassing. The moral of the story? Don’t neglect the importance of getting the size of the ring right. But that’s easier said than done, so how do you find her ring size, without her knowing?

It can be achieved. Think of it as some kind of secret stealth mission, and deploy some of the following tips:

If your partner has other rings that she rarely wears, discretely borrow one and take it with you when you go to the jeweller’s. Make sure it’s one that won’t be missed. It might not be the exact measurement of the traditional wedding finger because the chances are she’ll wear this other ring on her right hand, for example, but it won’t be far off.

This article suggests taking a piece of paper or string, and wrapping it around her finger while she sleeps before marking where the two ends overlap. Risky – as the piece admits, this is probably only worth doing if your partner is a heavy sleeper. If she wakes, you’ll be well and truly rumbled.

Again, borrow a current ring but instead of physically taking it anywhere, place it on paper and draw around the inside of it with pencil. Then take the piece of paper with you when you buy the ring. To be properly precise, use the size guide on the 77 Diamonds website. This is a printable guide with ring sizes included on it for easy comparison.

Ask a friend, says amongmen.com. Your partner’s closest friends can be your ally when it comes to insider information on ring buying. If the two of them have never spoken about such things – which would be a surprise – then you can always encourage a girly shopping trip to try on rings and ask for the details to be fed back to you. The problem with this is that your girlfriend’s proposal radar might be twitching though it depends how clever her friend is.

If you’re completely flummoxed, don’t panic. Discuss the situation with the jeweller you’re buying from and they’ll probably advise on getting a ring within the average size range. They should offer a first resize for free.