Have you ever driven by a golf course and thought to yourself, “Wow, I really wish I golfed, but I have no idea where I would even start?” or reminisced with your friends and thought, “I wish I knew this before I started!”

Well, we decided to poll our golf courses through social media and find out what the golfers wish they knew before they started or what their best advice for new golfers were and here are some of the responses:

Stick with it! Be patient and have fun!
Practice and enjoy the game and remember that it is only a game.
Accuracy over distance!
Golf is a game that cannot be beat, remember that and have fun!
After your game, go relax and talk over things you could have done differently to improve your strokes.
The ball is not going to go straight every time you hit it. Don’t get frustrated, and focus on your next swing.
Play your ability and not your ego! So if you need a little bit of assistance, take it.
Don’t give up too easily, even the professionals have off days.
Tee the ball to the correct height. Tee high for drivers and low for irons.
Take lessons at your local course.
Ask questions!
And last, but not least, always remember that a bad day of golf is still better than a good day at work.

I guess what we can gather from all the responses is that golf is a game of fun, relaxation and time with friends, family and those we love (even if we want to beat them on that scorecard). Always remember to hold your head up and swing with meaning, because even if you miss the green it’s better than sitting at work.

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We are always looking for friendly, hardworking individuals to join our team! 

The Oaks Golf Course currently has the following positions open:

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Duties include, but are not limited to sandwich/food preparation, bar tending, cleaning and completing transactions on our point of sale system.  Weekday, weekends, daytime and evening hours available. 

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Duties include checking in golfers, point of sale transactions, cart staging, cleaning and general duties as assigned.  Weekday, weekends, morning & evening hours available.  

**Maintenance Team Member

Duties Include maintaining and cutting grass on tee boxes, fairways, roughs, fringes and greens, maintaining bunkers, assisting with sodding and trimming, and using equipment such as walking and riding greens mowers, tee mowers, fairway mowers, rough mowers, rollers, bunker rakes, carts, push mowers and a variety of powered and non-powered hand tools.

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MUST apply in person in the Pro Shop, 851 Dave Stockton Dr, Springfield, IL 62707 between 9am-3pm M-F.  Retired individuals encouraged to apply!

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PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — As far as golf goes, Riviera Country Club has not been friendly to Tiger Woods. At least, not as friendly as other golf courses—he does have a runner-up and seven other top-20 finishes at this kikuyu-covered gem, but he’s played 13 tournaments here and left without the trophy 13 times. It’s the most starts he’s made in a single PGA Tour event without a victory.

Woods’ relationship with Riv, however, extends much deeper than a scorecard. It’s where he made his first tour start, as a rail-thin 16-year-old in 1992. It’s a traffic-dependent hour away from where Tiger honed his game, at the Navy Golf Course in Cypress. And since 2017 it has hosted his event, the Genesis Invitational, which has coincided with major growth for his TGR Foundation.

 

Founded in 1996, the year Woods turned pro, the foundation’s initial mission was to give disadvantaged youth better access to the game of golf. Woods famously transformed the direction of his foundation shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, when during a 17-hour drive from Missouri to Florida (flights were grounded) he had an epiphany and instructed his father to change the focus to providing educational access to underprivileged kids.

Fast forward 20 years, and Woods’ foundation has now reached more than 2 million children through its in-person and digital programs.

“To have so many first-gens go off to college—then they come back and they’re the leaders of their community,” Woods, who is not playing this week at Riviera as he continues to recover from a back procedure, said before last year’s Genesis. “No one expected anyone in their community to go to college. And these kids go to Harvard and Princeton, Yale, Brown. You start meeting these kids who never ever thought they would go to college. It’s pretty unbelievable.”

 

This is the second year that the Genesis has had elevated status on tour, a change more significant than simply having “Invitational” replace “Open” in the tournament title. The field has been reduced from 144 to 120; the winner receives a three-year exemption, rather than the two for a “normal” PGA Tour event; and the purse increased to $9.3 million, highlighted by a $1.674 winner’s check. Symbolically, Woods’ tournament now stands level with Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

That, combined with perhaps the finest course on tour in Riviera, has attracted remarkably strong fields each of the past two years. Eight of the world’s top 10 players are teeing it up this week, and all the extra attention a field like this one demands only serves to bring more eyeballs to the TGR foundation and its mission.

“TGR foundation has experienced tremendous growth since Tiger became host of the Genesis in 2017,” TGR foundation President & CEO Gordon McNeill said. “As the benefiting charity, our programs have expanded to reach more students in the L.A. community and around the world.

“As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we are excited to build on the 2 million students reached through our programs, in person and digitally.”

 

The foundation is particularly excited about Pathways Forward, the initiative it launched in January to enhance its current education programs and expand resources to reach more students on their pathway to college and career success.

Woods has always taken as much pride in his philanthropic endeavors as his athletic ones, and perhaps this week is a preview of what’s to come. Woods knows his days as a world-class golfer will not last forever, and there will be plenty of Genesis Invitationals that he does not play in. This is one of them, but his presence at Riviera is felt through the TGR Foundation, which will continue to impact children long after Woods’ playing days are finished.

Course: Golf Digest

We know, we know. You don’t even want to talk about the shanks for fear bringing the subject up will cause you to catch them. But like it or not, you might find yourself in a situation where you’re going to want to know a solution. Though awful, the plague of the shanks is curable.

First thing you have to do is take a break from the course. You need some alone time to sort this out on the range. Start by checking in on a few basics. Make sure you’re standing tall with your chest up during the swing, don’t hold the club too tightly, and make sure your weight isn’t sneaking up toward your toes. David Leadbetter told us that not tending to all of these little things could be the root of your struggles.

He also gave us a drill that will cure your shanking woes.

Set up like you’re going to hit it, and then put a tee in the ground just outside the toe of the club. While you’re swinging, think about keeping the grip end of the club near your body. “Miss the tee at impact, and you’ll hit the ball in the center of the face,” says Leadbetter.

 

-Keely Levins, Golf Digest (Source)

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A two year membership to your home course of The Oaks Golf Course & sister courses:

  • Meadowview Golf Course in Mattoon
  • Lakeshore Golf Course in Taylorville
  • Timberlake Golf Course in Sullivan

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The Great Golf Ball Search

How To Find The Best Ball For Your Game

With so many brands of golf ball overloading the marketplace, it’s difficult if not confusing to figure out which one best fits your golf game.

Here’s a sensible game plan to help you logically conduct and conquer The Great Golf Ball Search.

First, ask yourself what you are looking for:

A – Distance

B – Accuracy

C – Short Game: touch, feel, and spin

If you answer all three, the search is over, as far as I’m concerned … the Pro V1 family. Look no further. For me, Titleist’s premier line is the best all-around ball, regardless of skill level, to deliver all of the above traits. Market research and testing proves that. Period, end of discussion.

To me, anyway. For you, the discussion may be different. There are a lot of good golf balls out there. Either way, here’s my advice on finding the perfect ball.

If your answer is A – Distance, be careful, because by boxing yourself into the “distance matters most” request (granted, every manufacturer has a ball to fulfill this request), you are severely tying one hand behind your back when it comes to the touchy-feely scoring shots.

B – Many balls today with a bevy of dimple designs and patterns do a wonderful job of helping the average golfer hold their line in windy conditions, and in fact almost self-correct to a degree, minimizing those off-line shots when you make the occasional poor swing.

C – Some manufacturers advertise their “softer feel” ball for the lower-swing-speed player, and also tell you these balls feel better around and on the putting surface. When you see this type of ad on your TV, change the channel or leave the room. It’s nonsense.

Let me tell you a personal story that happened in winter 2018-19 in Naples, Florida, where I live and teach. I have been a Titleist Leadership Advisory Board Member for many years.

I’m prejudiced with reason. As a competitive professional player many moons ago, and before that a fairly successful college player, I had access to any golf ball I wanted to play. It had always been an incredibly easy choice to make through the years: Whatever was the Titleist premium ball of the time period was the ball of choice. In my experience, they always out-performed the other balls hands-down.

Anyway, in October 2018 I turned 60. Ouch — it hurts to type and look at that number. I wondered if it was time for the Old Pro to find a ball (in the Titleist line of course) that would help me find a few extra yards while not hurting me on the scoring shots (my bread and butter), on and around the green. In the past, I had gone on similar journeys and always found yardage, but hated the greenside touch and feel results. About that time, Titleist suddenly launched the AVX, and it was and still is receiving rave reviews.

I grabbed a dozen Pro Vs and a dozen AVXs. For three consecutive evenings, after I finished teaching, I went out and played holes on the golf course, hitting several drives, second shots, pitches, chips, sand shots, and putts with several of each ball. I then played several rounds with the AVX on my home course. I’m sure you know on your home track where you generally drive the ball, as I do, and how your regular ball reacts when you hit any particular club into a green, how it feels off the putter face, and so on.

With the driver, both balls were similar. The AVX was a bit longer in the air (about half a club) with my irons, and compared to any previous distance-type ball it had much better feel on short shots. Still, the Pro V won out across the board. Just more consistent, better feel, better all-around performance.

You may very well find a different result.

What you must do when contemplating a ball change is conduct side-by-side on-course testing, hitting many golf shots with every club in your bag over several days (conditions change, as do you). Then and only then will you be able to make a sound decision.

Take a hard look at the Darrell Survey results the last 100 years. Titleist is played by a landslide percentage of tournament professionals around the globe. A small percentage of world-class players are paid big bucks to play a particular ball, but the vast majority are not. Given the choice, those golfers still choose Titleist.

Whatever brand and model you choose, don’t base it on some ad, or your buddies’ prompting; do it based on your own mini-testing. Play the ball that performs best tee through green for you. It’s the only piece of equipment that is involved in every shot you hit.