Building A Safe Space At Your Golf Club

There’s nothing more we want than for our children to not only feel protected, but to be protected. With so many things going on in the world right now, from gun violence to wars to poverty, we need to realise just how lucky we are to live in the lucky country.

Something many clubs have been getting involved in is building a Safe Space for their members children. The idea sounds simple enough – it’s an area hidden away from the external dangers of the world where children are free to be children, without fear of something bad happening to them. This should be a human right for anyone.

What is in a safe space?

We spoke to Tom from Game Room Mania who gave us a quick rundown of the types of safe spaces he sees.

He is in the business of everything ‘game room worthy’ and he sees many people researching game tables to place in their safe space. This is because this is a place of not only safety, but fun! And the best way to have fun is by sharing the moment with other people.

The best air hockey table appears to get everyone in the mood for fun. Tom said this is the very reason he drafted his guide on air hockey tables – to help people have fun at a time when fun seems to be the last thing on their mind.

How can you create your safe space?

A games table is not a necessity for a safe space, it’s just one way to collaborate with others. Your games room can follow the KISS principles – Keep It Simple Stupid.

You can start with a simple deck of cards and a few dress up outfits. Kids love to dress up and use their imagination, and the cards will help them to think critically.

One thing we also did was build a castle from discarded milk cartons. This was a huge hit. All the kids helped to paint and each day, a different pair of kids became the king and the queen.

So get adventurous and start exploring options for your safe space today!


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Getting Kids To Play Golf

One of the most exciting things for golfers to do is to introduce their own kids to the game. It can be very exciting to see a kid that is enthusiastic to play golf and even more exciting to see their progress. For parents this can be a great bonding experience with their children and a way to get them outdoors and keep them active.

Younger kids can be especially enthusiastic to play golf as they simply enjoy doing something news. They are suddenly intrigued by everything around them, including the grass and the fascinating holes in the group with balls inside them! Kids at this age can be fun, but what is the right age to start introducing kids to the game of golf?

We generally recommend you wait until your child is about 12 years old to seriously start playing on the golf course. Before this time, you may want to introduce them to how to swing at a mini golf course. We recommend waiting this time as the golf course can be a dangerous place for very young kids. If they stand behind a golfer whilst they are taking a swing, this can place them in a dangerous position. They also risk being hit by a ball if they wander off.

Kids that want to play golf at 12 years old generally more fun to play with. They are becoming their own person at this age and to want to play golf is their own person choice. Here are some tips to introduce your child to golf in the right way.


Start slow

The biggest mistake parents make is trying to introduce their kids to golf too quickly. Like everything good in life, it takes time to properly teach a kid to play golf. Remember that everything is new, from the golf clubs to the entire course. Everything about golf is novel to kids and you should start as slow as possible. This is why it is advantageous to introduce them to golf at a mini golf course first. This was they will have a taste of the game without being thrown into it.

Allow them to make mistakes

No one becomes perfect by being perfect. Part of learning is making mistakes and fixing them. In the early days you must be willing to let your child make their own mistakes and fixing them by themselves. This will give them the confidence to fix their own problems in the future. It can be tempting to want to take control because you know what you are doing, but this will be at the jeopardy of your kids chance to learn.

Buy appropriate clubs

We know that buying golf gear can be expensive, but if you are serious at introducing your child to golf, you need the correct gear. Is your child uses a golf club that is taller than them, they are hardly going to be able to play. There are specially made golf clubs for children that are adaptable as they grow. These are ideal because your kid will always have a golf club to fit their specifications as they grow.

Be consistent

One of the failings of parents is that they bring their kid to the golf course once and then don’t return for another 6 months. If you want your child to improve, practice makes perfect. We recommend you take your kid to the golf course at least once a fortnight, but ideally once a week. With consistency, your child will be able to remember how to play and continuously improve.

To sum it up, the main thing you need to be is patient and consistent. With the appropriate gear and practice, your child will grow to love the game just like you.

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Ways That You Can Stay Safe On The Green

We have all heard about the Greg Norman’s chainsaw incident and why it’s important to stay safe on the green. Not only for our kids, but for adults too. Sometimes we can be so immersed in trying to keep our kids safe that we neglect our own safety in the process. We want to change that, so here is a list of things you can do to stay safe on your local golf course!

Use safer equipment

Golf courses need maintenance, and if you’re an owner, you have a responsibility to keep those that visit your golf course safe. You can do this by using electric equipment which is both better for the environment and better equipped with safety features to minimize risk. We recommend you research carefully what you need and make appropriate changes now.

Become a green course

We all know that golf courses have a green, but have you ever considered becoming a green course? By registering as an environmentally friendly course, you are contributing to reduce our carbon footprint and pave a better future for our planet. You can do simple things like ensuring you turn off the lights when no one is in the club and not leaving electric heating or cooling to run unnecessarily.

Restrict maintenance work to night

Perhaps something you haven’t considered is to restrict maintenance work to the night time. This can be an added cost for clubs, but it means that there is less danger for members and less risk of someone filing a lawsuit in case things do go wrong – a win-win scenario!

Use kid friendly accessories

If you’re getting your kids to play golf, make sure the accessories they are using are suitable for them. There is nothing more unsafe than using equipment that isn’t right for them – this can be a potential risk to you, themselves and everyone else in the club.

What are your tips to keep safe?

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Meeting The Members: Meet Drew

Here we speak with Drew, one of the members here at St Andrews.

How long have you been member of St Andrews?

I have been a member now for 6 years. I actually introduced my friend Phil to the club. I was doing some research online about an online community for people who are interested in golf but not necessarily an expert, and I found one. I did not want to be judged for not being especially good or knowledgable, and I’m glad I found a place where we can all be open and respectful towards each others. The guys know I am not as quick as them as I started playing golf late in life, and they are fine with it.

Who is your favorite golfer?

I first heard about Greg Norman when I read about his chainsaw incident. I did not realize just how brilliant of a golfer he is. I have been watching some of his old tapes and using him as my inspiration. He has gives quite a few tips if you happen to read some of his old interviews and I found this invaluable in my early days of playing golf. Plus, he just seems like a top guy. He is the sort of guy you can see yourself going to a bar with and having a drink.


How old were you when you started playing golf?

If i say how old I was you will know how old I am as you know I only started playing golf 6 years ago! Lets just say I am old enough to know right from wrong. I am glad I started playing golf later in life. In my retirement, it has given me a hobby and a reason to stay active and get out of the house. I never imagined myself as being someone who would just stay home, but I also never imagined myself as the sporty type. That is why golf is such a great game. It is not just about the golf itself but about the friendships you make.

How much longer do you see yourself playing golf?

I would like to say for the rest of my life but I must be realistic. I actually just had a hip replacement! I think I will play golf for another 5 years. Then I will be off to Florida with the rest of the gang.

If you are interested in becoming a member, apply to become a member.

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Meeting The Members: Meet Todd

Here we speak with Todd, one of the members here at St Andrews.

How long have you been member of St Andrews?

I have been a member now for 5 years. I first heard of St Andrews from a buddy of mine who only recently started playing golf, so it was a bit ironic that he was the one teaching me about this club! I was teaching him how to play golf. It was good to know someone in the beginning as it made it easier to make friends. I found the guys to be really welcoming and inviting and I feel very lucky to have made some great friends.

Who is your favorite golfer?

I guess I am jumping on the bandwagon but my favorite golfer is and always will be Tiger Woods. I know there has been some controversy surrounding his behavior, but I think we should forget about that and remember his skill. We have all done things we regret in life, but that does not mean all the good things should be ignored.


How old were you when you started playing golf?

I started to play golf when I was quite young. I remember going to the golf course with my father when I was around 4 years old. I was memorized by the game and knew that I wanted to learn how to play it. In college I joined a team of golfers who would meet twice a week. We would all work on improving our skill and helping each other out. This was great and it is the main thing that really helped me. This is why I try and help others as much as I can when they are first starting out.

How much longer do you see yourself playing golf?

I will play until I can play no longer. I do not think I will give up playing golf unless the good lord has another plan for me. I have made some good friends at the club, and even if I could not play golf anymore, I would still come here to have a beer with the guys. I once heard someone say that the friendships you make in golf stick for a lifetime, and I believe this. The guys know I have some pretty strong opinions such as the reasons I hate Phil Mickelson and our debates can get heated, but we all have a laugh about it later.

If you are interested in becoming a member, apply to become a member.

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What Would be Your Dream Foursome?

I’m talking about a group of any 3 golfers from any time in history plus you, at any course of your choice. For all those wonderful, sappy individuals who would choose three family members please leave this blog right now and never come back. This is a hypothetical, you’re supposed to have fun with it. I’m talking about famous golfers here. Any golfer, real or fake, no matter the time period. Who ya got?

I have a flood of names running through my head right now. Legends of the past and legends of the present manifest in my head and then quickly disappear. However, I think I have my foursome. I would go with Happy Gilmore, David Feherty, and last but not least Bubba Watson! Didn’t see that coming, did you? Nope, I’m just kidding, screw you Bubba. My fourth would actually have to be Tiger (circa mid 2000s).

Dream Golf Foursome

I wanted to go with an all fun and quirky foursome but I can’t give up a hypothetical dream round with Tiger right? He’s gotta be in there. I mean he’s Tiger! Can you tell that I kinda like Tiger yet? Anyway, this would be a really fun group to play with for a number of reasons. I’d like to see Tiger and Happy would go back and forth at least for a bit until Happy had too many beers (he wouldn’t last til the third hole). Feherty would be his usual weird and hilarious self, plus having the Irish accent in the group would be a plus. And seeing Tiger be able to play in person would just be a treat in and of itself. Plus, I’d probably learn a ton of tips from him.

Oh and I think we would have to play St. Andrews as our course. This course is definitely on my bucket list and being able to play here with these other three would be freaking awesome. Who’s in your foursome? Leave your comments below and let me know.

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Greg Norman’s Chainsaw Incident Shows The Importance Of Using The Best Chainsaw

There are a few things in my life that I love to do. I love a game of golf, and I love high performance power tools. I think there will be many men that can relate to this, with one of them being Greg Norman. As a child he was someone I idolized, and as an adult I can see myself becoming more and more like him. Greg Norman shares my passion, and if I could speak with him I would have many questions to ask. One question sticks out though.

Although it has been over 2 years since the Greg Norman’s chainsaw incident, it scared me (although if it was Phil Mickelson I probably would feel different). It scared me because I thought that it could happen to me. Whilst doing one of the things he loved, Greg Norman suffered an injury with his chainsaw. This injury was actually quite severe, requiring surgery and damaging his nerves. I wonder how this happened when finding a safe chainsaw is simple.

Greg Norman owns a ranch in Colarado, and so chainsawing is something he does regularly, just as they do at St Andrews. The really shocking thing is that this appears to not have been his first incident with a chainsaw. I am not sure what chainsaw Greg Norman uses, but I can imagine one with appropriate safety features would not have lead to the same amount of damage.

I guess my interest leads me to seek out these types of things and read on them in my spare time. It is also important for me to remember that Greg Norman is now in his 60s and due to this is probably not as internet savvy as I am. However, the incident is a reminder of the importance of safety. Do your research and make sure you take appropriate precautions. Incidents like this should not happen, and with care, they will not happen.

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Essential Items to Improve Your Game: Best Golf Rangefinder

GPS range finders are a relatively new technology in the game of golf that can really drop your scores. If you’re like me, identifying your yardage on the course is more of a best guess approximation than a real science. I typically don’t have time or even want to walk off yardages like professional caddies do, so I usually find the 100, 150, or 200 yard marker and then make an eyeball guess from there. There is discussion of whether they are worth it with arguments for both sides, but I know they are.

The biggest disadvantage to this terrible method is pretty apparent; a lot of the time you end up hitting the wrong club. One of the worst feelings for a golfer is hitting an approach shot flush that you believe will be stuck a mere foot from the pin, only to find out that you hit the wrong iron and you flew it over the green. Or worse you came up short and have your friends question whether you’ve been going to the gym enough.

As an amateur golfer, I need all the help I can get, and hitting the wrong club as often as I do is something I can’t continue to afford to do. That is why I do my research on sites like to keep updated on the best golf rangefinders.

 Essential Items to Improve Your Game: GPS Range Finders

Even though they can be expensive, even the best golf GPS rangefinders are totally worth the investment, and can be found here. Being able to know your distance to a pin or a specific tree or bunker can help you out in tremendous ways because you will be acting on specific yardages rather than just estimates. Instead of thinking you should be hitting a pitching wedge to the green you’ll have more confidence than ever that if you hit it as normal you will be on the dance floor and not in the lake behind the green.

Golf is a finicky sport and I’ve seen the craziest things happen on the links; so why don’t you go ahead, reduce some of the craziness, and add a little certainty to this game? That’s why I say that if you haven’t already, you should definitely go ahead and make the investment into it.

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I Hate Phil Mickelson

I have a confession to make and most of you won’t like it; I hate Phil Mickelson. I know that Lefty is a popular guy on tour and was basically number 2 in golf behind Tiger all those years, but I just can’t like the guy. There’s just so much about him as a person, I wonder why people root for him so hard. Firstly, the guy just seems evil. He has a politician’s smile that makes Hillary Clinton’s seem genuine. You know what I’m talking about. It’s that smile that just says, “I hope no one can tell that I’m not really happy and instead despise everyone here.” He has that smile and he has those dead eyes too. Come to think about it, I think he would make a great candidate for president of the United States at this point.

He’s also just not that good. He is the opposite to one of the reasons I love golf. Here’s another unpopular opinion I typically don’t root for the losers in sports. If it’s my city’s team or athlete I will root for them through thick and thin. But for just a random athlete or team they have to be winners or underdogs. Phil Mickelson should be a winner but isn’t. A lot of you may say, “Well you’re wrong because he’s won 5 majors.” This is true, however, Mickelson should have won several more if he didn’t personally screw himself. His pride in keeping up his strategy of aggressive play cost him true legendary status.

I Hate Phil Mickelson

I’m not saying that Mickelson is a bad golfer in any respect, because that’s just statistically not true. All I’m saying is that Mickelson should have been a lot better. Now, I’m saying all of this from the level of a fan. In no way can I comprehend the pressure felt standing over a shot Sunday at a major. It’s understandable that someone can make a mistake in that situation. But as fans we don’t root for understandable, we root for someone to do something that there is no way we could do ourselves. We root for people to break the glass ceilings of what we as a species thought was impossible. And in that regard, Mickelson came up short. I don’t care if that’s unfair for me to say.

Mickelson is also terrible in the Ryder Cup. Terrible as in he has a losing record. Like if he were an American football team he would get first overall pick in next years draft. I do get that the games played in the Ryder Cup are much different than regular stroke play, and that a lot of your success depends on how your teammate performs as well. But still. For the guy that was basically #2 to Tiger his whole life, he should not be that bad in the Ryder Cup. Golf is golf, play well you do well, and Mickelson certainly has not represented Team USA well.

Anyway, that’s my rant on Phil Mickelson. Golf is too gentlemanly and soft to the point that nobody hates each other (or at least publicly). There aren’t really rivalries or guys getting booed. That’s not how I am. So I will continue my open hate of Phil Mickelson, and hey he’s from San Diego maybe he’ll ask me in person why I hate him.

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What’s Your Favorite Golf Movie?

Movies provide such an amazing experience and ability to enthrall us into any story that is well told and executed. Golf movies, although they are rare, are no different. When thinking of my favorite golf movies I could only come up with a handful. Thinking that I must have forgotten some I did some research and found out that there are simply not many great golf movies. There are about five great golf movies and they are: Happy Gilmore, Caddyshack, The Greatest Game Ever Played, Tin Cup, and The Legend of Bagger Vance. Going through Google I was surprised to see that there weren’t more that I had just not thought of. Nope, classic golf movies are rarer than me making eagle.

I’m going to focus on my three favorite movies here, those being Happy Gilmore, Caddyshack, and The Greatest Game Ever Played.

What’s Your Favorite Golf Movie

This may ruffle some feathers but Happy Gilmore is my favorite golf movie of all time. This is a classic Adam Sandler movie back when he was still funny. Everything from the Subway commercial, to Grizzly Adams references, and his fight with Bob Barker make this movie incredibly funny and memorable regardless of whether you like golf or not. “Gold Jacket, Green Jacket, who gives a hoot?”

Second in line is not far behind with Caddyshack. Caddyshack is that classic 1970s comedy with a powerhouse cast including Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, and Rodney Dangerfield. This movie is filled with lines that go under the radar the first time you watch it. Actually this movie went under the radar for me when I first watched it. However, it ages like a fine wine getting better and better each time you watch it.

Number three on this list is “The Greatest Game Ever Played” with Shia LeBeouf. This is a great golf movie and incredibly underrated. It tells the unlikely story of Francis Ouimet’s journey to winning the U.S Open as an amateur. This happened in my home state of Massachusetts at Brookline Country Club (also known just as “The Country Club”). Even back then, a young and impoverished amateur like Ouimet was incredibly unlikely for him to win the major. Another testament that golfers who don’t come from country club backgrounds can still go out and compete.

And that’s my top 3, if you haven’t seen all three of these movies I suggest you take a day and marathon them all. In fact, I may just do that this weekend.

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