Beaver Meadow Golf Course – Concord, NH (Season 2, Episode 4)

What a difference a week makes for golf in New Hampshire!  Last weekend I shivered my way through 18 holes in a winter hat and hand warmers.  This weekend the weather couldn’t have been more perfect as Matt and I put the drone up over Beaver Meadow Golf Course in Concord,  NH.

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Beaver Meadow’s clubhouse and practice green

I always enjoy playing and practicing at this golf course.  They have a fantastic set-up complete with a full driving range,  sand bunker area,  and spacious practice green.  The front nine of the golf course is compact and great for walking while the back nine stretches out through the trees toward the Merrimack River.  Their course is always in great shape and they have some of the best burgers in town.

Matt and I teamed up to play this round against fellow golfers Ross and Dave.  We played a two person scramble format within each team,  with a modified scramble off the tee.  It was a close match all the way through.  Both teams battled back and forth for the lead as we worked our way around the course.

Take a look at some of the highlights in the pictures below… then watch the video to see who won.

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Aerial view of the first green at Beaver Meadow Golf Course  –  Concord,  NH

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The front nine at Beaver Meadow Golf Course

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Ross sinking a putt

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Dave teeing off

 

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Ross,  Matt,  and Dave on the green

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Teresa hitting through the trees 

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Matt on the fairway 

 

 

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The final putt of the day… will she make it and win the match?  

Thank you Beaver Meadow Golf Course for having us out at your facility.  The course was in great condition!   Also,  a special thank you to Ross and Dave for a fun,  well-played match.

We enjoyed golfing with you!

 

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Derryfield Country Club – Manchester, NH (Season 2, Episode 3)

Matt and I spent Memorial Day weekend at Derryfield Country Club playing and filming a round of golf with Paul,  Rick,  and Rob.

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Paul,  Rick,  Matt,  and Rob at Derryfield Country Club  –  Manchester,  NH

It was unusually cold and windy,  but that didn’t stop the guys from pulling off a well-played,  competitive match on the front nine.  For this round,  Matt took on the guys in a game of match play with a modified scramble off the tee.

 

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Derryfield Country Club – Clubhouse and front nine

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Aerial view of holes 10 and 11 with the city of Manchester,  NH in the background

Derryfield Country Club has an interesting course layout with a lot of fairway undulation.  Sprawled out on both sides of Mammoth Road,  the lower part of the course underwent major renovations in 2015.  There are new cart paths,  an upgraded drainage system,  and new and restored greens on both the front and back nine.  The recent renovations help make Derryfield a must play for anyone in the Manchester area.

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New cart paths and greens make Derryfield Country Club a great course to play 

In our group,  Rick,  Rob,  and Paul got off to a great start.  They came on strong,  leaving Matt two down right off the bat.  Matt managed to pull it back together,  quickly tying it up with a nice putt on the 4th hole.   The score remained tied through the 5th as both teams worked their way around the front nine.

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Rob pulling off a nice out from a tricky lie on the 2nd hole

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Matt tying it up with a 10 foot putt on hole 4

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Paul delivering a 30 foot putt on hole 6 to keep the match all square heading into the 7th. 

Paul executed a beautiful 30 foot putt on the 6th hole to keep the match all square before heading across Mammoth Road toward the top side of the course.

Hole 7 is Derryfield’s  #1 handicap from the whites.  It’s a short par 4 that plays much longer and tougher than it looks due to a straight uphill fairway and well protected green.

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Hole 7 is Derryfield’s #1 handicap

The modified scramble left everyone in good shape off the tee,  and Matt was able to hit the green on his approach.  That being said,  he missed his chance to take a late lead over the guys by 3 putting for bogey.

Hole 8 is a short par 3 at the highest point of this hilly course.  Rob hit a solid tee shot,  putting the players on the green for a long,  competitive putt.  Matt lagged the ball up close to the hole,  but Rick kept the guys in the game with great shot off the fringe.

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Rick delivers on the 8th to keep the match all square going into the final hole. 

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Matt taking his shot on the 9th hole

All square on the final hole, it all came down to this tough,  over the bunker shot.  It’s anyone’s game!  Check out the video below to see who won…

Thank you Paul,  Rick,  and Rob for joining us in this week’s video.  And a special thank you to Derryfield Country Club for having us out on your course.  We enjoyed golfing with you! 

 

HoodKroft Country Club – Derry, NH (Season 2, Episode 2)

Matt and I headed down to Derry this week to visit and play one of New Hampshire’s Best 9 Hole Courses  –  Hoodkroft Country Club.  Located in the heart of the city,  this little oasis of wildlife and fairways always leaves me wanting to come back for another round of golf.

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HoodKroft Country Club,  Derry NH

It’s a challenging but steady course that doesn’t tend to eat my golf balls.  It’s also really pretty  –  with a covered wooden bridge and lots of nice water features.

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Covered Wooden Bridge on the 2nd Hole

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Aerial View of HoodKroft Country Club

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Fairway view from the men’s tee box on the first hole

As a beginner golfer,  one of the things I enjoy most about Hoodkroft Country Club are the approaches to the greens.  While there may be sand bunkers and water to watch out for,  many of the approach shots from the fairway are straight forward.  I appreciate the ability to concentrate on executing a nice pitch or chip without feeling intimidated by my surroundings.

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Nice, straight forward approach on the 4th hole

To improve my overall game,  I need to work on my ability to gauge distance in my short game  –  especially on those pitches and chips.  My round at Hoodkroft this week taught me that I just don’t have a feel for that yet.  It also gave me the incentive I need to go practice!  I love when a course has the ability to inspire me to want do better.  It’s what makes golf fun.

My best pitch shots this round were on holes 2 and 6.  I used my pitching iron on the second hole to get the ball up and out of the rough on the right side of the fairway.  I was able to land that shot nicely on the green.

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Teresa using her pitching iron on the 2nd hole

I used my 8 iron on the 6th hole for a simple bump and run.  I prefer keeping my ball low to the ground whenever possible on my approaches.  I feel like I have more control over the shot when I’m not thinking about trying to get loft on the ball.  I went a little long on my bump and run,  but the direction was good and the end result kept me safe and in play.

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Teresa on the 6th hole with her 8 iron

While I prefer a nice,  clear approach leading up to the green,  I also want the opportunity to challenge myself.  The signature 9th Hole at Hoodkroft Country Club does just that.  It’s a Par 5 with a water feature just in front of a two tiered green.  There’s a busy highway down the left side of the fairway and the green is overlooked by the clubhouse deck.  What golfers have to consider when playing this hole is whether they want to try for the green from the fairway or lay it up close to the water and pitch it over from a shorter distance.

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The Signature 9th Hole at HoodKroft County Club in Derry,  NH

This round I was able to go for the green from about 75 yards out on the left side of the fairway using my 9 iron.  I got the ball up over the water,  landing it relatively close to the green on the left side.  I was a little nervous while swinging the club,  but overall,  I was happy with the result.

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Teresa,  Mary,  Phyllis,  and Rick

I had a great time playing and filming this round with Rick,  Mary,  and Phyllis  –  and I’m already looking forward to coming back with our league players in August.  You can check out the course by watching the video below…

Then give HoodKroft Country Club a call and book a round for yourself.

*Thank you Mary,  Phyllis,  and Rick for joining us.  And a special thank you to HoodKroft Country Club for having us out on your course.  We had a blast!*

Granite Fields Golf Club – Kingston, NH (Season 2 – Episode 1)

It was a late start for golfers this year in New England,  so getting back out on a golf course this week felt amazing.  The temps were in the low 80’s with sunny skies and a nice breeze.  We couldn’t have asked for a better day to kick off our season.

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Matt and Teresa getting ready for their first round of 2018

Matt and I packed up our video equipment and golf clubs and headed over to Granite Fields Golf Club in Kingston,  NH to meet up with Haylie  –  our new camerawoman.

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Haylie getting the cameras rolling

We played a round at this course last season  –  and I remember really liking it.

This year was no different.

The atmosphere at Granite Fields is great.  The owners were inviting,  the staff was helpful,  and everyone we met was friendly and kind.  I appreciate the effort the owners,  Jim and Carolyn,  put in to creating a positive golf environment.  That’s something I actively look for when visiting different New Hampshire golf clubs.

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Jim  –  Owner

As a beginner golfer,  anything that helps me feel relaxed and comfortable on the course is a tool I can use to improve my game.  If I’m uncomfortable with my swing while playing a round,  being on a course that feels friendly and encouraging naturally helps me stay focused and get back on track.   Jim and Carolyn do an excellent job making golfers feel welcomed and at home while at their facility.

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Carolyn  –  Owner

Additionally,  I appreciate the layout of Granite Fields  –  especially as I learn course management and game strategy.   The variety on this golf course challenged me and I can see how playing it on a regular basis would help me develop and refine my game.

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Aerial view of Granite Fields Golf Club – Kingston, NH

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The 10th Hole  – Ladies tee box and green

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Granite Fields Golf Club  –  Clubhouse

There were a variety of open fairways where I could simply concentrate on executing a good swing mixed with holes that made course management the primary focus.

As far as signature holes go, you have to give it to the 8th at Granite Fields.

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Matt teeing off on the blues at the 8th hole

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View of the 8th hole from the ladies tee

Hole 8 is a par three over water.  Love it or hate it,  this is the hole that has everyone talking at Granite Fields  –  and it’s easily one of the most mentally challenging experiences I’ve had so far on a New Hampshire golf course.

As we played through our round,  I could definitely see why this golf course would appeal to a variety of players at every skill level.  Plus,  it’s well maintained and the greens are in great shape.

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Teresa attempting a putt on the 1st hole

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View of the fairway from the blue tees on the 6th hole

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Matt and Teresa on the 9th hole

Overall,  we had a fantastic time playing Granite Fields.  Matt and I are looking forward to bringing our league players out in August and filming another round for our YouTube channel in September.

Take a look at our video to see how we did  –  then give Jim and Carolyn a call to book a round for yourself!

**A special Thank you Granite Fields for having us out on your course and to Haylie Zebrowski for helping us capture our round on film.  We had a blast getting back in the swing of things with you!**

 

 

 

 

Getting Ready for the 2018 Golf Season!

It’s been a long Winter here in New England,  but the snow’s finally melted and the golf courses are opening!  Matt and I have been busy putting together our list of  2018 Preferred Golf Courses  and we can’t wait to start filming for our YouTube Channel!

We’ve been doing a lot of work over the off-season to upgrade our videos.  One of the exciting NEW things we’ll be featuring this year on the blog and YouTube Channel is arial  footage of local New Hampshire Golf Courses.

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Beaver Meadow Golf Course,  Concord,  NH   –  First photograph with the drone

Matt and I are having a blast learning how to fly our new drone  –  making our golf adventures even more entertaining.

We’re kicking the season off at Hoodkroft Country Club in Derry,  NH on Wednesday,  May 16th.  The first video of the year will be out shortly after that!

We hope you all have a fantastic start to the 2018 golf season.  Don’t forget to check back in with the blog and YouTube Channel for great golf in New Hampshire.

See you on the course!

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Teresa practicing her pitch shots at Beaver Meadow Golf Course in Concord,  NH

Don’t Let A Bad Shot Ruin Your Whole Game

How do you deal with the disappointment of a bad golf shot?

This is a question every golfer needs to ask themselves.

Both on the course and at the range,  golf can be a frustrating sport.  How a golfer deals with disappointment can have a huge impact on their golf game.

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Teresa in the woods after a bad tee shot

Are you someone who swears and throws your clubs  –  or can you take a bad shot in stride?

I’ve heard from just about every golfer I’ve met that golf is a mental game.

It’s true.

It’s also a game of patience,  stillness,  and awareness.

Every golf shot,  whether you’re at the range or on the course,  begins with awareness  –  of your body,  your set up,  where you plan to hit the ball,  and what your next strategy will be no matter where that ball ends up.

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Christina,  Teresa,  and Liz at Beaver Meadow Golf Course in Concord,  NH

The more stressed out and frustrated you get with yourself,  the harder it becomes to pull off a good shot.

Why?

Because frustration makes your muscles tense up  –  which is exactly the opposite of what you want your body to do when you’re golfing.

A good golf shot requires a calm mind and a relaxed body.

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Eric setting up his putt at The Oaks Golf Links in Somersworth,  NH

So,  how do you remain calm and relaxed when you’re hitting like crap?

There’s no one size fits all to this question.  However,  here are a few key points that may help.

Let the bad day happen…

It’s going to whether you like it or not,  so why not embrace the suckatude?  Make the mental decision to allow yourself to play through everything that’s going wrong.  Use this time to learn how to develop a more refined course management strategy.  Course management,  after all,  isn’t just about knowing what hazards are between your ball and the green.  It’s also about being aware enough of yourself to stay calm and make smart decisions  –  no matter what’s going on with your swing.

Change your mental focus…  

It’s easy to chase tail and dwell on what’s going wrong with your game.  Why not focus on what’s going right?  Learn your strengths and use them to improve your overall game.  Attitude is everything.  The more positive you are,  the better your round and/or practice session will feel.  Learn to focus on the positives so that no matter what,  you’re always enjoying the time you’re investing in your game.

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Matt teeing off at Crotched Mountain Golf Course in Francistown,  NH

Learn how to be quiet…

Golf is a game played mostly in silence,  yet,  silence makes most people uncomfortable.  When no one else is talking,  our own thoughts end up getting very loud.  Honestly,  how often do the thoughts in your head take over just before you hit the ball… causing you to slice,  shank,  or duff what you hoped would be a good shot?   It’s important to learn how to quiet your mind and relax your body.   There are many ways to do this,  and it’s different for each person.  Take some time to figure out what helps you shake things off and get out of your head so you’re hitting with confidence and ease.

Develop a routine…

The best way to get out of your head and relax into your shot is to develop a routine.  How you approach the ball determines how you hit it.  If you’re spending all your time trying to  ‘fix’ the last shot,  you’re not spending any time deciding how to hit the next one.  Golf is a game of muscle memory and forward thinking.  Creating a routine in your set up keeps you focused on good habits and correct form  –  and prevents you from sliding down into the ‘fix it’ zone.

Whatever’s going on with your game,  learning how to stay calm and relaxed while you deal with the disappointment of a bad shot makes all the difference.  Take some time to develop a routine that allows you to get out of your head,  focus on the positives,  play off your strengths,  and enjoy the time you spend on the course.  And never let a bad shot ruin your game again.

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Teresa practicing at Beaver Meadow Golf Course in Concord,  NH

 

 

Tee Time Yoga – Thread the Needle and Wrist Stretch

Written by Teresa Thompson and Peggy Nolan

I never really thought about my wrists before I started playing golf.  However,  once I took up the sport,  I realized just how important they are for a good golf swing.

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Teresa working on her swing at Twin Pines Driving Range in Epping,  NH.

When I first started playing,  I was amazed at how sore my wrists could get after a day on the course or a practice session at the range.  I’ve tried a variety of things to help loosen up my joints and forearms,  but the stretch that helps the most is the one Peggy showed me for our Yoga for Golf series.

When Peggy took her lesson from Matt,  we worked specifically on how to properly grip the golf club.  Peggy noticed right away that she needed proper wrist alignment and flexibility in her grip in order to swing the club correctly.

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Matt and Peggy working on proper wrist alignment while gripping the golf club

My wrists tend to be super tight and I have a difficult time getting them to roll over in time to square my club face with the ball at impact,  especially with my longer clubs.  So I absolutely LOVE this wrist stretch!  Peggy paired it with a posture called Thread the Needle.

Thread the Needle is a nice,  gentle stretch for the shoulders and back.  I’ve found that doing these two stretches together after my range sessions relaxes my muscles and soothes my joints.

Let’s look at how Peggy breaks down each stretch…

For this weeks blog post,  both Thread the needle and the wrist stretch begin with Table Pose.

While the focus is on stretching wrists and shoulders,  table pose is a stabilizing and grounding pose that creates a base for the body to engage in our targeted stretches.

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Table Pose

Teacher’s Corner

1. Begin in table pose
2. Knees directly under hips, wrists directly under shoulders
3. Press fingers firmly into earth
4. Press tops of feet firmly into earth
5. Lengthen from tailbone to crown of head
6. Press belly button towards spine, engage abdomen

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Peggy’s Wrist Stretch

For Wrist Stretch in this posture

1.  Rotate both hands, one at a time, so that fingers tips face knees.
2.  Remain here for 3 breaths OR if you would like more of a wrist stretch, slowly press hips to heels.

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Teresa’s Wrist Stretch

Only go as far as your wrists will allow.  Back off or come out of the stretch if you feel any pain.

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Thread the Needle  –  Right Side

For Thread The Needle

1.  Inhale and raise right arm towards sky, exhale and lower right arm behind left arm, threading right arm through. Gently bring right corner of head to mat. Press hips to heels. Stretch left arm to top of mat. Remain here for 3-5 breaths.
2.  To come out of pose, bring left hand near your face, pressing into left hand, raise right arm towards sky, exhale and return right hand to center, coming into table pose.

Repeat on the left side.

Benefits of Table Pose
1.  Strengthens low back and abdomen
2.  Creates stability in wrists,  elbows,  shoulders,  hips,  knees

Benefits of wrist stretch
1.  Flexibility,  wrist extension,  for some  –  pain relief.

Benefits of Thread the Needle
1. Warm up or cool down the shoulders
2. Create space in shoulder
3. Improve flexibility
4. Reduce tension, stress, and soreness

Watch the video below  –  and join Peggy and Teresa for Thread the Needle and Wrist Stretch

Food for thought this week:

What is yoga without practice?
What is golf without practice?