5 Tips to Improve your Mental Focus for a Round of Golf

For most casual viewers, golf will appear much less physical than other popular sports. But if you’re a golf fan, then you know that a game of golf is harder than it seems.

To be fair, playing golf doesn’t spend as much energy as playing basketball or football. However, it depends on maintaining a high amount of concentration for an extended period of time. If you’re just getting started, you’re going to have to sharpen both of your physical and mental skills to stay focused on the golf course. Here are just 5 ways you can do this:

  1. Prepare Your Mind and Body

As with any sport, accomplished golfers think of golf as a way of life. To ensure success on the greens, you have to prepare yourself beyond it. For example, just a few hours of exercise before any kind of major activity can prepare your body and improve your performance.

Meanwhile, practicing your swing at a driving range can be a valuable means to experiment with different shots and boost your confidence. With the right amount of preparation, you’ll find yourself with a better feel for your shots by the time you hit the golf course. Overall, practice and exercise don’t just make you more physically prepared, it also allows your mind to better process and execute shots.

  1. Wear Comfortable Clothes

What you wear on the golf course is more than just a fashion choice. Indeed, your choice of clothing can help or hinder how you take your shot. So choose the most comfortable golf wear to keep your swing in top form.

For example, shirts with just the right amount of fabric will allow for a better range of movement. The same applies with pants and shorts. Remember that clothes that are too tight restrict movement, while those that are too loose will get in the way of your swing.  And if you’re playing under the midday sun, a cap or golf visor can also lessen glare and give you a better look of the field. By having less to worry about, wearing comfortable clothes can even help you concentrate on getting your swing right.

  1. Visualize the Shot

To make your shots more consistent, you can try something that the world’s best athletes do: visualizing. It’s important to process as many variables as you can and imagine where your swing will land the ball. By visualizing how and where your ball will travel, your brain actually tricks your body into stimulating the same muscles to do the real thing.

One way to do this is picture the path your ball will take to the target. Think of how high it will go, how long it will travel, or how it will bounce wherever it lands. Another type of visualization you can do is to imagine your swing, along with the ball’s trajectory. By having a better idea about how your shot will turn out, you get to keep your nerves in check, while relaxing your mind and body.

  1. Commit and Follow Through

Sooner or later, you’re going to have to make the shot happen. But sometimes, last minute jitters can get in the way and ruin an otherwise great shot. To make the ball land where you want it, you need to execute your shot with utmost confidence. LPGA professional Lexi Thompson even recommends closing your eyes during putting to remove the mental clutter.

But what’s important is to stay committed to the club you’ve chosen, the shot you needed to hit, and the swing you wanted to do. And you can only do this if you remain self-assured and maintain your poise. But if you change your mind about your shot, it’ll be best to take a step back and re-evaluate your swing. Any negative thoughts will ruin your concentration and possibly, your self-confidence, too.

  1. Accept the Result, No Matter What

If ever you end up taking a bad shot, you should just move on and not let it ruin the next one. Letting it bother you will just eat into your confidence. By dwelling on a poor shot, you will end up frustrating yourself for no good reason. This will end up distracting you from making your next shot, further ruining your ability to concentrate. Breathe out after a bad shot to release some stress and always keep your cool. By staying positive, you have a better chance of righting the ship and recovering for the round.

In Conclusion

We’ve all found ourselves distracted on the golf course, one time or another. And golf just so happens to be a sport that demands a lot of concentration. Thankfully, things as easy as meditative exercises or a comfy choice of clothes can already do a lot to improve your focus and help you step up your game.

 

Why What You Wear Matters on the Golf Course

You read that right. What you wear matters on the golf course, and not least because of the minefield of draconian rules that many of these places implement as part of their dress codes. Even today, you’d be hard pressed to find a golf club that completely allows guests to wear whatever they want, notwithstanding the fact that in recent years, a lot of them have adopted a laxer approach to dress etiquette.

 

Nevertheless, as we will explain below, your attire on the golf course can also have a significant impact on your comfort and performance. Considered this way, the practice of finding the right clothes and accessories begins to make a lot of sense.

 

On dress codes and golfing equipment rules

 

Golf club dress codes and equipment rules are in a constant state of flux. Attires that were considered violations of established etiquettes in the not-so-distant past are now being allowed in some golf courses. As a case in point, consider denim pants and non-proper shoes. In the past, it was unthinkable for such items to be seen being used even in informal games, let alone in professional tournaments. Today, blue jeans are being allowed in as many as two-thirds of public golf courses in the U.S. according to a survey conducted  by Golf Digest.

 

Also consider the use of equipment like laser rangefinders, which some players use to measure distances on the golf course during their games. These are typically allowed in practice games and many amateur games but are not permitted in most professional tournaments. However, there are now instances when rangefinders are allowed for use in certain professional games. Some tournaments, like those organized by the USGA, permit the use of rangefinders provided that the devices’ slope and wind speed measuring capabilities are disabled.

 

These are just two examples of how, even in the world golf, where long-established traditions are held in high regard, things are slowly evolving.

 

What are usually allowed

 

For the most part, however, dress codes remain strict in many golf courses. The most popular rules are as follows:

 

  • Collared shirts for both men and women
  • Tailored pants or shorts for men
  • Tailored pants, capris, and shorts and skorts for women
  • A pair of golf shoes (or at least sneakers or cross-trainers that look like golf shoes)

 

It might be helpful to contact the club beforehand just to make sure that you’ll be wearing the right outfit for your game. The fact of the matter is that there might just be as many dress codes as there are golf clubs themselves.

 

Better clothing, better performance

 

Aside from dress codes, there’s also the matter of how the clothes you wear can potentially affect your performance on the golf course.

 

As any experienced golf player will tell you, the power of swings come from the synergy of major muscle groups in the body, like those in the legs, hips, chest, and shoulders. Ideally, you’d want to wear clothing that allows optimum freedom of movement so that you can maximize the use of these major muscle groups.

 

Secondly, there’s also thermal performance. In hot weather conditions, players have to contend with heat, so it makes absolute sense for them to wear shirts and bottoms whose fabrics can breathe and dry quickly. In cold weather or rainy conditions, on the other hand, players have to shield themselves with clothing that can offer protection from the elements. If you’re playing in such conditions, make sure to bring along a sweater or a windbreaker, plus a pair of hand gloves to keep your digits warm.

 

Finally, there’s also a psychological element involved. In a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, researchers showed that clothes can have a systematic influence on the wearer’s psychological processes, an effect they called “enclothed cognition.” This means that donning items of clothing associated with certain qualities can help in one’s performance as well.

 

In the study, test subjects who wore lab and doctors’ coats scored better in a test measuring attentiveness. In short, the symbolic significance of wearing certain clothes can be important in eliciting desirable effects, including increased confidence and sense of control in people. In the golf course, feeling like a pro by wearing the right kind of clothing and being able to move at your best might just do wonders for the way you play.

Meet the Women of America’s Golf Team at the 31st Summer Olympics in Rio 

Golf first made its Olympic debut during the Games of the 2nd Olympiad in Paris, France, in 1900. It was a game of many firsts, as not only was it the first time women joined the Olympic Games, it was also the first time an American woman—in the person of Margaret Abott of the Chicago Golf Club—won a gold medal.

 

The sport, however, was not to last in the Games for long, because it made its last appearance in St. Louis, Missouri, during the Games of the 3rd Olympiad. Even then, the women’s individual event was replaced with a team event for men.

 

Thus, golf’s return this summer during Games’ 31st edition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was met with much excitement. Not only is golf making a comeback, the American Golf team—the most decorated in the Olympiad—is also returning after a 112-year absence.

 

This year, these three American women pro golfers are set to compete in the Games:

 

Lexi Thompson

 

A talented player even as teenager, Lexi Thompson set number of records early on. In 2007, at age 12, she qualified to play in the U.S. Women’s Open, thus gaining the distinction of being the youngest ever golfer to qualify for the LPGA’s oldest major championship. During the same year, she also became the second-youngest winner in the American Junior Golf Association, in addition to becoming the youngest winner in the history of Junior PGA Championship. After winning four matches at the 2010 Curtis Cup, she was encouraged to turn professional in June, at a time when she was just 15 years old.

 

In September 2011, Lexi set another record when she became the youngest player ever to win an LPGA tournament after she took home the Navistar LPGA Classic trophy. She would go on to win 6 more LPGA titles, with the most recent one being the Honda LPGA Thailand in February 2016. She is currently ranked 4th in the Women’s World Golf Rankings (Rolex Rankings).

 

Joining the Olympic Games is really a big thing for Lexi. She told Golf Magazine that “winning gold would be bigger than anything I’ve done in my life.” She added that if ever she wins a gold medal, she’d probably cry because she’s really that passionate when it comes to representing the United States.

 

Stacey Lewis

 

Another American who’s going to try to go for gold at the Rio Olympic Games is current Rolex Rankings number 11, Stacy Lewis.

 

As part of the University of Arkansas’ women golf team, Stacy won 12 collegiate events and established herself as a four-time All-American. Between 2006 and 2007, she was named Golfweek and Golf Digest Women’s Amateur Player of the Year. She was also the 2007 NCAA Division I National Champion and the 2008 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year.

Stacy was part of the successful 2008 US Curtis Cup team, emerging to become the first player in the cup’s history to go 5-0. The United States enjoyed a 13-7 win during the competition, which was Stacy’s last event as an amateur.

 

She turned professional in June 2008 and earned medalist honors at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament. It wasn’t until 2011 that she had her first official victory at the 2011 Kraft Nabisco Championship, a major tournament. She defeated then Rolex Rankings number 1 Yani Tseng by three shots, propelling her career earnings to over $1 million. Since turning professional, Stacy has had 11 LPGA Tour wins, including another major, the Women’s British Open, in 2013. She has been world number 1 for several weeks in 2013 and 2014, and is currently ranked number 7 in the Rolex Rankings.

 

Speaking to Us Weekly, Stacy expressed her excitement over being in the Olympics, saying that the chance to represent one’s country and to be surrounded by excellent athletes from all over the world would be a totally unique experience. “On the golf course, it would be a similar feel to the format we deal with playing on Tour, but the chance to earn a medal at the end of the week will make it extra special,” she said.

 

Gerina Piller

 

One unexpected entrant to the Rio Olympics’ US golf team is Gerina Piller, who climbed back into the Rolex Rankings’ Top 15 just in time to assure her a spot on the team.

 

Nevertheless, the Roswell, New Mexico, native told the USA Today that she’s looking forward to playing in the Games. “I come from a small town, and it’s quite an honor to be able to represent your country,” she said.

 

Early in her amateur career, Piller established herself as a decorated collegiate golfer from the University of Texas El Paso, winning four tournaments as a senior in 2007 and being awarded with the university’s Female Athlete of the Year award.  She was also the 2007 Conference USA Individual champion.

 

Gerina turned professional in September 2007 and competed at the Symetra Tour (previously known as the Duramed FUTURES Tour) in 2009, where she recorded seven top-10 finishes. In 2009, she also established a career-best tie for second during the iMPACT Classic and the USI Championship. In 2013 she posted eight top-10 finishes, which included a career-best runner up at the CME Group Titleholders. Then, in 2015, she competed at the Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft, finishing second to Lexi Thompson. She also joined the US Solheim Cup team and posted a 3-0-1 record.

 

For the latest updates from Rio, visit the Swing Control blog.

 

Swing Control Ambassador Laetitia Beck Competes at the 2016 Rio Olympics

The Rio Olympics are here, and we are so excited about golf’s much-awaited return! After being beyond pro golfers’ reach for 112 years, Olympic medals are once again being contested. For us it’s hard not to play favorites.

As her country’s first pro golfer, Swing Control brand ambassador Laetitia Beck comes into Rio with the weight of Israel’s golf scene on her shoulders. But with two years of professional golf under her belt, Laetitia feels more than up to the challenge. Nevertheless, it takes more than a compelling narrative or a stylish and comfy choice of golf wear to make it to the top.

Dedicated to Her Country

Though originally from Belgium, Laetitia Beck’s Jewish upbringing has left her with a closer affinity with Israel. This connection was further strengthened when her entire family resettled in Caesarea, Israel.

The country had only one 18-hole course, which happened to be in Laetitia’s new hometown. After school, her parents would drop her off at the golf club, where she would play nearly every day even before turning 12. This has given her plenty of time to practice her swing, giving her a huge lead among her peers as an amateur.

A Clear Statement

“Everywhere I go, I want people to know where I’m from,” she said in an interview with the LPGA, reminiscing her family’s struggles during the Holocaust. “For me it’s very important for people to know who I am. First, know that I am Jewish and next that I come from Israel,” she mused. Indeed, she might trade her distinctive boot cut pants for a pair of shorts on some days. But one thing remains constant for her: the Israeli flag that’s stitched on her golf bag.

Her identity is more important to her than her status as one of the world’s best golfers. And given golf’s low profile in Israel, she hopes that making an impact at the Rio Olympics would help boost the sport’s status in Israel.

Popularizing Golf in Israel

“When the Olympics come, hopefully I’m not going to be too nervous,” Laetitia said, holding back tears. Now that the Olympics are underway, she is ready to leave a lasting legacy for all Israeli golfers. And her country couldn’t have a more perfect sports ambassador.

For the last decade, golf has been Laetitia’s entire life. Despite her youth, her wealth of experience has helped hone her into a remarkable Olympian. And with her entire sports career spent competing as Israel’s main representative, she can’t help but enjoy being a part of her country’s national team.

We’ll be rooting for you, Laetitia! Best of luck!

 

Golf Returns to the Summer Olympics After 112-Year Absence

In spectacular fashion, British golfer Justin Rose secured the gold medal for the men’s individual event at the 31st Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, defeating Sweden’s Henrik Stenson and capping off the first gold medal match for golf at the Olympiad after an absence of 112 years.

 

The two Ryder Cup teammates headlined the historic event with an exhilarating final round, with Justin making the final-hole birdie to defeat Henrik by two strokes. The closely contested 18-hole event kept spectators at the edge of their seats.

 

The victorious golfer from team Great Britain spoke of his elation over his win in an interview with reporters. “Olympic champion? That has a cool ring to it!” he said. “The medal ceremony was surreal. I’ve watched many on TV. I never thought I’d be involved in one. Honestly, this is just a dream come true. I’ve been thinking about Rio for a long, long time. It is just crazy, just so good,” he added.

 

From Zika to success

 

The sport’s return to the Olympics couldn’t have been held at a better venue than the Gil Hanse-designed course in Reserva de Marapendi at the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood, west of Rio. Under superb weather conditions and magnificent blue skies, the well-attended tournament generated outstanding media coverage and large crowds of spectators, thus eliminating all the apprehension, apathy, and drama that have unfortunately surrounded the competition prior to the start of the Games.

 

Largely because of reports about security issues and the dangers of Zika virus, many high-profile names in golf opted not to show up in the Olympics, a decision which many of those who chose to compete believe those folks now regret.

 

The final day of the men’s tournament was a sell-out, attracting well over 15,000 people. This was mainly due to the organizers’ decision to sell the tickets for low prices. But while observers have noted that many in the audience were not well-versed in the traditional proprieties usually observed in the golf course, most players saw the tournament as an opportunity to bring the sport closer to people, many of whom were witnessing golf games for the very first time.

 

In an interview with BBC Sport, International Golf Federation President Peter Dawson even said that the audience being quite boisterous was a welcome addition. “It added to the atmosphere and there is nothing wrong with that. That’s just what we wanted,” he said.

 

Worth the wait

 

Golf debuted in the Olympic program during the Games of the 2nd Olympiad in Paris in 1900. That year, 22 athletes from 4 nations took to the course, including 9 golfers from France, 8 from the United States, 4 from Great Britain, and 1 from Greece. Americans Charles Sands and Margaret Abott emerged as gold medal winners for the men’s and women’s events, respectively.

 

The sport made its last appearance in the Games of the 3rd Olympiad, which was held in 1904 in St. Louis, Missouri. The women’s event was scrapped altogether and replaced by a men’s team event. The United States dominated the medal standings, all except the gold medal for the individual event, which was won by Canadian golfer George Lyon, who managed to pull off an upset against his 77 American competitors. Only 2 other golfers were from Canada that year.

 

Golf’s return at the Games of the 31st Olympiad saw 42 countries joining the competition. Two events, namely the men’s and women’s individual events were contested by 60 men and 60 women, respectively.

 

Stay tuned to Swing Control’s blog for more updates from Rio.

What LPGA Pro Laetitia Beck Loves About Swing Control

Israeli rising star Laetitia Beck has been winning championships in her home country since the age of 12. And with a golf scholarship from Duke University, she was able to further sharpen her game and show her brilliance on the course.

After turning pro in 2014 at the age of 22, she also became the first Israeli to compete in an LPGA or PGA Tour event. All of this is even more remarkable since her country is far from a golfing powerhouse. As a result, she sees herself as more than just a representative. She sees herself as someone responsible for the sport’s future in her own country. And being one of the best in the world, she deserves only the best gear to help her achieve her goals.

Style Meshed with Comfort

It’s not a surprise that a nation’s first female would find common ground with a brand that’s dedicated to female golfers. Swing Control takes pride in supporting Laetitia Beck through our selection of high-quality golfing apparel.

Among our products, her personal favorite has been the Swing Control Backswing Boot Cut pants. She’s even been seen on the New Jersey leg of the 2016 LPGA Tour wearing them. Each pair fits like a glove, while featuring just the right amount of stretch for great mobility. This allows for the right balance of style and comfort.

As with any of Swing Control’s golf pants, the Backswing Boot Cut pants are designed to be the right mix of aesthetic and athletic. With their superior natural stretch fabric and the freshest colors and designs, they’re a perfect fit for a golfer of Laetitia Beck’s caliber.

A Bright Future for Beck

Now, Laetitia Beck is ready to take her Swing Control gear to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. At 24, she will be the first ever Israeli to compete in golf at the Olympics. And it’s just in time, as the sport has just returned as an official event after more than 100 years of absence from the games. She hopes to take advantage of her incredible talent in the hopes of making an impact on the big stage.

“Being the only Israeli golfer out here, I want people to know where I come from,” Beck said in an interview with ESPN. In addition to her dreams of winning a medal for her country, she also hopes to boost golf’s popularity—ushering a new generation of Israeli golfers.

LPGA Pro Laetitia Beck’s Life on Tour

In only her sophomore year as a pro, Israeli golfer Laetitia Beck has managed to become her country’s first female representative to Olympic golf. The 24-year old has done all this despite the sport’s low profile in her native country. But she won’t let this faze her.

Indeed, Beck has been a trailblazer in her country. She has won multiple medals in the Israel-based Maccabiah Games, winning three medals in only five years. This is in addition to multiple championships as an amateur. Her secret was to start young.

Early Development as an Athlete

With her parents being passionate recreational golfers, Laetitia Beck was unsurprisingly able to practice her swing from an early age. This early exposure would put her on a trajectory toward being a world-class athlete. But after spending her early amateur career in Israel, she decided that she needed to do more to advance her technique.

Hence, Beck decided to hone her skills further by traveling to the United States in 2006. Here, she studied high school at the IMG Academy—a well-regarded boarding school and training destination for young athletes.  By 2010, she was ready for next challenge:  college golf.

Until 2014, she played under a golfing scholarship from Duke University in North Carolina. Beck’s tenure with the Blue Devils would earn her the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year award. Her college coach, Dan Brooks, has remarked, “She has a beautiful, powerful golf swing, and she’s shot a lot of low numbers.”

All in all, these early successes led to Laetitia Beck becoming Israel’s first female professional golfer. And she is more than proud of her heritage. She sees herself as a representative of both Israel and the Jewish people, and even keeps kosher while on tour.

Competing for Recognition

Having won her first championship at the age of 12, expectations were high for the Israeli prodigy. Fortunately, it was also in her youth that she developed her dedication to constant practice.

“I would play golf twice a week, tennis three times a week and soccer at school,” she said in an interview with ESPN. This would continue on into her professional career. But along with her commendable work ethic, Beck also wears a comfortable style on the field. This has allowed her to swing unimpaired during high-pressure situations.

At one point, during the ShopRite LPGA Classic in New Jersey, she was even spotted wearing our Swing Control Backswing Boot Cut pants. Each pair guarantees improved mobility, thanks to a natural stretch and a smooth fit.

What might have also helped Beck stay composed are her previous experiences with traveling the world. Before she turned 20 she has stayed in Israel, the United States, and more. This has allowed her to keep her energy up, wherever the tour takes her.

Unfortunately, this season has been a tough challenge for Laetitia Beck so far. But despite competing against the likes of Lydia Ko, Brook Henderson, and Inbee Park, Beck continues to relish in facing the challenges of a stacked field of fellow athletes. However, she also admits to being excited for one coming event: the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

A Bright Future for Beck

As the Olympic Games near, Laetitia Beck is ready to leave a mark at the world’s biggest sporting event. But even though she’s her country’s first female Olympic golfer, she won’t be letting all the challenges affect her mentally.

Instead, she hopes to channel the building pressure to turn in the performance of a lifetime. Beck is dedicated to her craft, always plays her best game, and continues to learn.

Laetitia Beck knows that she’s doing more than just competing for her country. She knows that she stands as an example for other young golfers in her country.  And along with her considerable talents, she’s well equipped with the best gear to help her make a run for Olympic gold.

What We Love About Our New Swing Control Look Book

Swing Control, your partner in your passion for golf and fashion, will have you look striking as you strike the ball while donning the fabulous pieces from our Look Book!

Our items this season echo the warmth and colors of springtime, allowing you to look your best on the golf course. Designed to deliver maximum comfort and performance, these pieces offer freedom of movement and fantastic fit so  all you will have to think about is how you will play your game.

 

Yellow golf capris

Capri pants first rose to fame in the 50s in the island of Capri in Italy, so that’s probably also where they derive their cool, laidback character. Our yellow Classic Golf Capri pants are gorgeously bright like the Mediterranean sun.

The best thing about capris is that they make just about every woman look slimmer. Swing Control’s, in particular, are fabulously soft, sleek, and stretchy, making them a must-have item of clothing not only for your golf outings but for other outings as well.

Our classic golf capri pants are available in 9 different colors.

Stone-colored boot cut pants

With its lovely earth color and tailored construction, this pair of Backswing Boot Cut pants from Swing Control is definitely safari meets très chic. It is made of Techno Stretch, a fabric blend composed of rayon, nylon, and lycra which gives the garment superior flexibility and strength.

These backswing boot cut pants are a favorite of pro LPGA golfer Laetitia Beck, which comes as no surprise considering how comfortable they are. They have just enough flair at the bottom to make you move with ease and make you look like a million bucks!

Tropical-inspired pieces

Nothing says “spring” better than flowers in full bloom! Swing Control’s Tropic Tee Time Skort and Tropic Classic Capri feature efflorescent prints with colorful flowers and luxuriant vegetation against a white background, perfect for your springtime games.

The skort has built-in shorts inside while the capri pants sport our signature tummy control stretch fabric construction.

These gorgeous paisley pants

If you’re looking for patterned pieces, check out our new Paisley Fairway Crop and Paisley Eagle Ankle pants. These items are crafted to appear really slim, making them look absolutely fabulous on anyone. They also have side pockets for added functionality.

To see our other Spring 2016 favorites, check out our gallery of products and shop now. Also discover our products on sale and enjoy big savings on items you’ve always wanted to have.