Golf is Great For Your Health!

It will never be a bad time to start caring for and prioritizing your health. From eating nutrient dense foods, to getting enough sleep and exercise, there is a lot you can do to benefit your overall wellbeing. Caring for your physical and mental health will provide many benefits and increase your overall quality of life, so let’s look at the game of golf and how you can improve your health while having fun!

Credit: Jopwell from Pexels

Golf is a great workout for all ages and abilities. For those who are able to walk the course, you’ll be walking around 4-5 miles total (maybe more if you are like me and end up roaming around the rough looking for your ball way too often) and for those who aren’t able to walk the length of the course, taking a cart is a great option as you’ll still get steps in walking to the tee box, walking to your ball if it’s in a location you can not drive your cart to or walking to the green.

Although being mindful of caloric intake is important when taking charge of your health, it should not be a major priority when focusing on overall health. Things like nutrient dense foods and quality physical activity are much more important than counting calories for most people. As an example eating 100 calories of strawberries are much more beneficial than eating 100 calories of jelly beans. But for those who are paying attention to calories an 18-hole round of golf could burn anywhere from 600-1400 calories. This obviously depends on a few different factors, are you walking? Taking a golf cart? Keeping your cart on the cart path and walking to your ball? Using a push cart or carrying your clubs? Is the golf course flat or hilly? In addition, any activity that gets your body moving, gets your muscles stretching and gets you outside will benefit your physical and mental health.

Another great benefit of golf is that it is time spent in the great outdoors. Breathing fresh, oxygenated outside air has a number of benefits to our lungs and our overall health. When I am on the course, I spend a few minutes during my round practicing belly breathing to help strengthen my diaphragm and lungs, but also to help clear the “crud” (as my herbalist friend calls it) out of the lungs. Every cell in your body needs oxygen to thrive, so proper breathing and fresh air benefits our whole body. Check out this article to learn how to properly do belly breathing and next time you’re on the course take a big deep breath of that fresh country air!

Credit: Jake Givens via Unsplash

Fresh air is not the only benefit to spending time in the outdoors.  The sun is one of our best sources of Vitamin D. Evidence suggests that vitamin D may prevent against certain cancers and improve cognitive health, it also promotes cell growth, helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus to help maintain bone mass, reduces inflammation, improves immune function, increases mood and supports neuromuscular function. Deficiency in vitamin D can lead to many issues, but perhaps right now the most alarming vitamin D deficiency increased risk and susceptibility to respiratory infection, including COVID-19.  It’s estimated that somewhere around 40% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D, which is why it’s so important to take responsibility for your health, spend time in the outdoors, eat right and if you suspect you aren’t getting enough vitamin D, talk to your doctor. They may suggest a nutrient panel so you can see if you have the proper amounts of vital nutrients.  

Credit: Eiliv Sonas

And lastly, what is a round of golf without a delicious snack? At Honeybrook we try to offer a variety of snacks and meal options. Next time you are out enjoying the course, opt for trail mix, a granola bar or some fresh fruits and veggies instead of chips or a chocolate bar. Stay hydrated by drinking water instead of sugary sports drinks and sodas. After your round stop in at the Greenside Grill! We have many options available, including gluten free and vegan options for those on restricted diets. My personal favorite is the Warm Brussels Sprout Salad!

In conclusion, there are a lot of health benefits to golf. Making healthy choices like walking if you are able and enjoying nutritional snacks and staying hydrated with water is a great way to make a fun day of golf even more beneficial for your health.

Women Love Golf- Stephanie

Welcome to our second week of Women Love Golf! At Honeybrook we support and encourage all golfers! We believe golf is not exclusive and is beneficial for everyone. Golf is a great way to get exercise, get fresh air, be social, network with others and to build self-confidence while having fun. But we also understand the intimidation factor of being a new golfer, especially being a new golfer and a woman. Which is why Honeybrook has Ladies Golf Clinics! It’s not too late to sign up and join other awesome women in learning or improving your golf game.

Our second Women Love Golf spotlight is on Stephanie! Learn more about Stephanie, how golf has impacted her life and if you see her around the course, don’t be afraid to say hi!

What first got you interested in golf?

S: When I was a young girl, maybe 10 or 11, I had an adult friend named Ed (he was like a second dad) who was left-handed like me and he taught me how to play. He and his wife would take me on vacation with them to the Poconos and they would take me to a nine hole course pitch and putt course. I remember really enjoying the challenge of the game.

Q: How long have you been playing golf?

S: I borrowed a left handed set of clubs about 20 years ago to play the whole course and that was it, I fell in love with the sport.

Q: Did you feel intimidated or reluctant to start playing? What got you over any anxiety or intimidation that came with being a new player?

S: I absolutely felt intimidated! I had pretty much only played pitch and putt. I thought the full game would be way easier than it was. I am pretty competitive so it was hard to not be good at it in the beginning. I eventually came to the acceptance and realization that everyone has to start somewhere and just build. A few strokes off here, a few strokes off there. A great shot followed by two terrible shots followed by a great putt. I remember when I could hit in the 110-115, then 100-110 and then in the 90’s which is where I am now. It’s was milestones like that kept me coming back.

Q: Has golf helped you in other aspects of your life?

S: Golf is definitely “my thing”, I love the zen of it. It gets me outside, keeps me physical (I enjoy walking the course) and it is a huge stress reliever. I have met many friends through golf including one of my best friends Maryann, we’ve been golfing together for almost 20 years now.. The socialization aspect just adds to the fun of the game. It’s always great to meet new people and chat at the 19th hole!

Q: Is there a moment you can think of that really made you excited about golf?

S: I think the first time I hit below 90 was so incredibly eye opening. I never thought I would be able to do that. I’ve only ever done it a handful of times but knowing that I COULD accomplish it did so much for my mental game.

Q: If you had to give advice to a new golfer or to someone looking to start playing but who feels intimidated, what advice would you give?

S: Golf is a patience game, you have to take small strides with it. Celebrate all of your small victories, golf with your friends who understand you are a beginner and will be encouraging. Try and laugh a lot even though it can be frustrating. Everyone makes terrible shots….. EVERYONE.

Q: Anything else you’d want other women to know about golf?

S: Golf is never perfect, even for the pros, though maybe at the end they might have a perfect score. Don’t ever judge your golf game on what you see on TV. You do you, embrace your own game, be patient and celebrate the small victories. I have had rounds that start well and end up laughingly terrible and vice versa. I used to get really upset but now I just try to laugh it off. Get out there and swing. As Wayne Gretzky said, “you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take”

Women Love Golf- Allison

Here at Honeybrook we support and encourage all golfers! We believe golf has beneficial aspects for everyone, it is a great way to get exercise and fresh air, to be social and network with others and to build self-confidence. But we also understand the intimidation factor of being a new golfer, especially being a new golfer and a woman.

As the 2021 season is kicking off, we will be interviewing women who love golf and we will be talking to them about how they got started, how golf has impacted their life, advice for new golfers, and more! As we look forward into the 2021 season Honeybrook plans on continuing and improving our ladies clinics and events! We hope you will join us, but in the meantime enjoy getting to know some of the wonderful women who golf at Honeybrook. Our first spotlight is on Allison Long!

Q: What first got you interested in golf?

A: I became interested in golf because of my father. My father was a full time school teacher but also was Head Pro at a local,( I grew up in NY state) public golf course in the summer months. He played competitive tournaments and I would go watch or caddy when I was older. I became interested in learning when I was about 13 years old.

Q: Has golf helped you in other aspects of your life?

A: Golf has helped me gain many long lasting friendships. Golf evokes many life lessons, it teaches you patience, forces you to try things that are not comfortable, teaches you to accept a poor decision to move on and forget that decision. Golf teaches you to do one thing at a time which translates into finishing a task before moving on to the next task.

Q: Is there a moment you can think of that really made you excited about golf?

A: The moment I remember about golf is when I first broke 40 for the first time for 9 holes, I remember being very excited and could not wait to tell my parents.

Q: If you had to give advice to a new golfer or to someone looking to start playing but who feels intimidated, what advice would you give?

A: My advice to first time golfers is to remember that everyone at one time was just learning and felt just like you do. My advice to anyone who wants to learn golf is to find a golf professional and take lessons and practice. Like any sport you need to learn the fundamentals and practice to get better. Pay attention to learning the short game, chipping and putting as that is where you will notice your score improving as you get better at chipping and putting.

Golf Etiquette Tips

In our previous post we discussed the importance of golf course etiquette and how beginner and advanced players alike can be respectful and contribute to the enjoyability of the game. Below we discuss a few tips. Do you see anything we forgot or have any other tips? Comment below what etiquette tips you think are most important!  

Noise Levels: Noise levels should be at a minimum on the course as to not distract other players, especially as they hit their ball. Talking while your buddy is getting ready to hit the ball or during their swing may be distracting or mess up their focus. When you sink a long putt or your friend hit a great shot, it’s encouraged to celebrate with a little “woo-hoo” or “great shot”  but be aware of other groups and players around you.

Most golf courses have seen a trend of golfers bringing Bluetooth speakers to play music on the golf cart. Music is a great way to express emotion and can help lighten and liven up the mood, however not everyone comes to the golf course to hear music. Some people enjoy hearing the birds, the trees rustling in the wind and the clomping of the horse and buggies in the distance. If you like to listen to music on the course, keep the volume at a respectful level. 

Other Distractions: Standing in someone’s line of view as they are hitting their ball is distracting to most players. It could also be dangerous if you are in line with their ball. Always position yourself behind the person swinging to avoid getting hit with the golf ball. Standing behind them may also help them stay focused on their swing and not be distracted by movement or people around them. While putting it is also respectful to not walk in someone’s putt line. If you must walk between someone else’s ball and the hole to get to your own ball, it is respectful to step over the invisible line from their ball to the hole as to not create an impression on the green potentially messing up how the ball rolls.

Divots and Ball Marks: At Honeybrook Golf Club, we pride ourselves in being “Pennsylvania’s Friendliest Golf Club,” this isn’t just restricted to the performance and emotions of our staff, but it also includes cleanliness and the well-maintained course. While swinging your club you may take out a chunk of ground, this is called a divot; and when the golf ball hits the green it may create an impression called a ball mark. You are expected to repair these damages as a small way to make sure the course is being maintained and kept in great condition. Check out these videos of our Golf Pro John Falco explaining the proper way to repair a divot and ball mark.

Pace of Play: There is a lot of moving parts that play a role in pace of play and we will be writing a future blog post specific to how you can help the pace of play on the course, however because this is such an important part of the game, let’s briefly touch on pace of play as far as golf course etiquette. There are a few things you can do to keep the game moving and not hold up the groups behind you. The first thing is to arrive at the course well before your tee time. If you have a 9am tee time and you’re only pulling into the parking lot at 9am, you have now held up the rest of the tee time for the day. Make sure you arrive with plenty of time to check in at the pro shop, unload your vehicle and load up your golf cart, grab a snack and drink, use the bathroom and hit a few practice balls. Once on the course, if you lose your ball, take no more than 2-3 minutes to look for it. If someone in your group loses their ball, help them look, but if you’ve been looking for 3 minutes it’s time to move on. Also thinking about what club you want to use for your next shot while walking to driving to your ball will help keep the pace going. It’s a good habit to think about your next shot before you get to your ball.

Golf Cart: Follow the golf course’s cart rules. Each course may have different cart rules, so don’t be afraid to ask a staff member what their cart policies are and be aware that things like rain and course conditions may effect the cart policy. Also be aware of who is around you before you drive off in our cart. Going back to the noise levels, throwing the cart in reverse or quickly pulling forward while in someone’s view while they are swinging the club is a huge distraction.

We hope this quick overview of golf course etiquette was helpful. Check out the video below for a few fun examples of golf course etiquette and keep an eye here on our blog for even more helpful information and tips!

What is Golf Etiquette?

Enjoying the game of golf often depends on your own expectations. Whether you are scoring in the 70’s and 80’s or in the 90’s or 100’s, it’s still possible to have a lot of fun and enjoy your time on the course. But one thing I think most golfers will agree with is that golf course etiquette is important on the course. Often time beginner golfers get a bad reputation for being “rude” when in reality they just did not know proper etiquette. The idea of golf course etiquette may sound overwhelming to new players, but don’t worry we are here to help!

Over the next two weeks we will be talking on this blog about proper golf course etiquette. To seasoned players golf course etiquette may seem like common sense, but remember not everyone has been playing this sport for a long time. Be patient with new players who are just learning and offer to give helpful tips and advice. Golf is a sport that should and can be enjoyed by all, but not everyone is a pro and knows all of the rules and etiquette right away. Help out those who are just learning and be patient.

For all of you beginner golfers out there, the idea of golf course etiquette may feel overwhelming and may even discourage you from the game but please do not stress or feel discouraged. Next weeks blog we will diver deeper into a ton of great tips on what is considered respectful on the course and we will help you feel like a pro!

In addition to reading the Honeybrook Golf Blog, we would love for you to join us at one of our many clinics or sign up for a private lesson with our teaching staff. These clinics and lessons will help you feel comfortable and confident on the course. I would love to specifically promote our Golf 101 clinic. This clinic is made for any adult who has thought about learning golf but doesn’t know where to start. We will discuss golf terminology, golf fundamentals, the different clubs, full swing, chipping & putting. Learn more and register online here: https://honeybrook.golfems2.com/event/golf-101

We look forward to seeing all of you out on the course soon! In the meantime, make sure you are following us on social media to keep up to date with events, clinics and other golf news. Don’t forget to check back on the blog next week for all the juicy details on golf etiquette.

Written by: Samantha Swartz & Matthew Stoltzer

Golf 101: Markings and Hazards

Welcome back to Honeybrook’s Blog! As we continue talking about what to expect on the golf course and the anatomy of a golf hole, let’s not forget the many markings and hazards you may come across on the course. In the first post we discussed the main parts of a hole, the tee box, fairway, rough and green but there are different markings you may see and hazards you may experience as you get to different parts of the course.

First, let’s start with the out of bounds areas. At Honeybrook we mark out of bounds with a white stake, however at other courses you may see a white painted line. This diagram from the USGA official golf rules shows what is counted as in bounds and what is out of bounds. As part of rule 18.2 “A ball is out of bounds only when all of it is outside the boundary edge of the course”

If you believe your golf ball is lost or is outside of the penalty but you are not sure, in order to save time and keep pace of play going you may hit a provisional ball to use if you find your ball is out of bounds. (check out the official rules for out of bounds and provisional balls HERE)

Another marking you may see at Honeybrook is a black & white striped stake in the middle of the fairway to mark the 150 yard mark. When determining what clubs to use, it’s important to know how far away you are from the hole so keep your eye out for this marking to help judge how far away your ball is from the green. You may also see small plaques at various locations in the ground with a number on it, these mark the distance to the green. To start getting comfortable with your golf clubs and to learn which club is best for which distance.

You may also encounter a few obstacles on the course, often called hazards. These include things like ponds, creeks, swamp lands or sand. If you have the unfortunate event of hitting your ball into any of these areas there are a few different options based on a few different things. If the hazard is marked with a white stake, it is automatically out of bounds and you must take a stroke (add a point to your score) and drop a new ball in bounds. However, when your ball lands inside a red stake, I feel as though the golf academy sums it up best:

If you hit your ball in a hazard marked with yellow or red stakes you have the following options:

Option 1: Your first option in any hazard is to simply play the ball out. You don’t have to take a penalty stroke, you simply play your next shot as you would outside of a hazard. Here’s the catch though…

In a hazard, you’re not allowed to move impediments (sticks, leaves, etc.) out of the way as you set up for your shot.  When it comes to playing out of sand traps or around the edges of streams or lakes this rule is most useful.

In these areas, your shot isn’t going to be changed significantly by the hazard which leads most golfers to simply “play it out” as they normally would.

Option 2: Unfortunately, escaping a hazard isn’t always this easy.

If you can’t or choose not to play your ball out of the hazard, your next option is to take a penalty stroke and then drop a ball where your original shot crossed into the hazard.

The nice part of this option is that you can go as far back as you want, as long as you stay in line with the hole and where your ball crossed. This is useful for getting away from down slopes near streams, lakes, and other hazards unfavorable terrain.

Often times in these situations, it can be helpful to sacrifice a little distance in order to hit your next shot off of level turf.

Option 3: Your third option is to take a penalty stroke and then replay your shot from its original location.

While this is usually not a golfer’s first choice, sometimes the angle you had during your last shot was better than the one you would have next to the hazard. Regardless, it is an option for red marked hazards.

Option 4: In addition to the three options above, if your ball crosses into a hazard marked with red stakes you can choose to take a penalty stroke and drop a new ball two club lengths from where the ball entered the hazard (as long as it isn’t any closer to the hole).

This is useful when facing lateral water hazards (which are red staked) as you would need roughly two club lengths of space to stand for your next shot. And, as long as your lie is decent around the drop zone, this is often one of the more popular options a golfer can take as it doesn’t sacrifice the distance you gained in your last shot.

Option 5: Our final option allows us to move to the other side of the water hazard and repeat option 4 (penalty stroke, drop a ball two club lengths from hazard no closer to the hole).

With wide water hazards, this option can be especially useful because it helps lower the chance that you’ll hit your next shot back into the water again (of course none of us would ever do that). If you need to cross a stream or lake to get to the green, this option will allow you to do so without having to hit a shot.

So while there can be frustrating parts of the game, knowing what each marker and stake means will help determine what shot you may want to take next. If you’d like to learn more, Honeybrook offers a variety of learning experiences. Our clinics are being revamped for 2021 and private lessons are always available. Contact our golf shop at 610-273-0207 or visit our website www.honeybrookgolf.com for more information!

Sign up for our Golf 101 Instructional series, Wednesday’s April 21st-May 19th. Register here: https://honeybrook.golfems2.com/event/golf-101

Glossary of Terms:

150 yard mark– a black and white striped stake in the fairway to mark 150 yards to the center of the green

White Stake– Out of bounds area

Red Stake– Water Hazard area

Stroke– the unit of scoring in golf

Written by: Samantha Swartz

Golf 101: The Anatomy of a Golf Course

As a beginner golfer, I know how intimidating golf can be! There is a lot of insider lingo, rules, etiquette to follow, and what’s up with the plaid short? If you’ve been interested in learning about golf but feel overwhelmed, don’t worry. Honeybrook is here to help! In this Golf 101 blog series, We aim to explain golf to those who have interest but don’t know where to get started or feel intimidated.

In this first post, let’s talk about the anatomy of a golf hole. In further posts we will discuss which clubs to hit from which area and talk more about the hazards you may encounter on the course so subscribe to our blog (insert link to subscribe) and follow along with us!

A typical golf course is made up of 18 golf holes. The first nine holes are called the front nine, while the last nine holes are called the back nine. Hole 9 typically ends near the club house, giving the golfer a quick break to use the bathroom and grab a snack or drink at the snack bar before heading to hole 10 and finishing their round. This is called on the turn. You may hear someone say “I am going to grab a drink on the turn.” However it’s important that this time is used quickly as you don’t want to hold up the groups behind you. 

Each hole starts with a tee box. This is a flat, usually square area. Each hole may have a few tee boxes at different distances, each with colored markings. These markings are also called tees because you want to tee up your ball between the tee markings. Each tee is color coded based on your skill level. You may hear someone say “I play from the reds” or “I play from the blues” they are referring to where they start on each hole. The tees in order are red, yellow, blue, white and black. Red’s provide the golfer the shortest distance from the tee box to the hole making it the perfect starting point for new golfers, followed by yellow, white, blue and black will be the furthest distance from the hole. 

In the past the red tees were known as the “ladies tees” the yellow as “seniors” blue and white as “men’s” and blacks as “pros” However, today, most golf courses recognize tees based on your skill level and it’s acceptable for any gender to use any tee during general play, however during tournaments or competitions you may be asked to use a certain tee. You may see other colors on some courses, as an example Honeybrook also has green tees, these are usually used for young kids as they position them closest to the green and provide an opportunity for younger children to play at the same pace as an adult.

The goal of golf is to get your ball into the hole with the least number of shots as possible (we will go over scoring in a future blog) The hole is located on what is called the green and is marked by a flag sticking out of the hole, also called the pin. The green is an area of the shortest grass on the course and is where you putt the ball using a putter. The location of the hole on the green changes often to avoid one area of the green from getting overused which could kill the grass. The area in which the hole is located is called the pin position and is a predetermined spot on the green. Before your round don’t be afraid to ask a staff member what the pin position is, the score card typically contains a layout of each green showing where on the green the pin positions are located.

After you tee off, hopefully your ball landed in the fairway. The fairway is the area between the tee box and the green this area has short grass (but not as short as the green), making it an ideal place to take your next shot. Surrounding the fairway is higher grass called the rough. The rough can be trickier to hit out of, so most people try to keep their ball in the fairway. 

A few obstacles you may encounter are bunkers (sometimes called sand traps) which are also called bunkers, water hazards like ponds and creeks, or swamp lands or out of bounds areas which are areas marked by a white stake meaning if your ball lands there it is not in the bounds of the golf hole, we will discuss these markings in a further post!

The paved path is called the cart path. Every golf course will have different rules about where you can and cannot drive the golf cart so check with someone on staff before you head out to play. Cart path only is exactly as it sounds, the golf cart must always stay on the cart path. This is usually a rule if the course is still wet from rain and is always a rule on shorter golf holes that are a par 3. Some golf courses do not have any designated paved cart path or only have paved paths on parts of the course, while others have a designated paved cart path the entire length of the golf course. If there is no cart path only rule you may drive your cart onto the fairway or rough, but do not drive on the tee box or the green. Some courses also have a 90° rule. This means you may drive out on to the fairway but must drive in a 90° angle from the cart path onto the fairway. If you have any questions about a golf courses cart policies don’t be afraid to ask a staff member. There are a lot of rules and things to keep in mind, but staff, especially here at Honeybrook are always happy to help.

To learn more, sign up for our Golf 101 Instructional series, Wednesday’s April 21st-May 19th Register here OR view our other instructional clinics here.

This post written by: Samantha Swartz

GLOSSARY:

Front nine- the first 9 holes of the golf course (1-9)

Back nine- the last 9 holes of the golf course (10-18)

On the turn- the time between holes 9 & 10 usually used as an “intermission” to use the bathroom or grab a snack

Tee box- the flat square grass area at the start of each hole

Green- the end of the hole, contains the shortest grass and is the location of the pin/hole 

Pin- the stick with a flag on the end that sticks up out of the hole

Putt- a short hit used to get the ball in the hole while on the green

Pin position- the location of the hole on the green

Fairway- the long stretch of short grass between the tee box and the green

Rough- the higher grass surrounding the tee box, fairway and green

Bunkers- the areas containing sand sometimes also called a sand trap

Water hazard- a lake, pond, creek or other water area on the hole, hit in here and you have to take a penalty

Out of bounds- an area marked with a white stake, if you hit inside this area you have to take a penalty as it is out of the bounds of the golf hole

Cart path- The area designated for golf carts, usually paved

Cart path only- a rule meaning carts must stay on the path, usually after heavy rains and always a rule on short par 3 holes 

Par– the number of strokes it should take you to get into the hole

90°  rule- a cart parth rule meaning the golf cart must drive out to the ball at a 90° angle from the cart path and return to the cart path at a 90° angle

About Honeybrook Golf Club

Opened: 2000

Architect: Jim Blaukovitch

The Logo: The white ball on a green field that represents the beautiful bent-grass that runs throughout the club. The center is honey-colored, and sweeps through the logo like the Brandywine Creek runs through the course. The deep blue represents the beautiful Chester County sky.

Land: The course was built in 2000 on 165 acres of an old dairy farm. A par-70 that plays 6341 yards from the tips, the course will not overwhelm you with length, but it will ask you to use most of the clubs in your bag.

Course Flyover:

Scorecard: