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New HERO'S Perks+ Card FREE for Police, Firefighters, and Active Military

CHARLOTTE, NC JUNE 29th, 2016: In honor of those serving our country here and abroad, Ratcliffe Golf Services, Inc is offering their PERKS PLUS MEMBERSHIP to all active Military, Police, and Firefighters at no charge beginning July 1, 2016. This annual membership typically costs $79.95 ($49.95 for Mecklenburg County Residents) but will be available through a special HERO’s Card offered free to these public service Heroes.  This will allow our heroes to receive discounted rates at each of our 5 courses (Charles T Myers GC, Dr. Charles L Sifford GC, Paradise Valley GC, Renaissance Park GC, and Sunset Hills GC),  a 110% Price Guarantee, and an amazing Rewards Program with Status Levels that include additional benefits such as free range balls, free food and even free cart fees. The special edition HERO’s Card will grant a free annual membership into the Ratcliffe Golf Services PERKS PLUS Membership regardless of where the active Military, Police and/or Firefighter is stationed.  This way their service can be recognized even if they only visit our area for a day.  Once enrolled, the membership can be renewed annually at no charge by showing a valid service ID proving active duty status.   

Additional information on the PERKS PLUS membership and the courses managed by Ratcliffe Golf Services, Inc. can be found by visiting www.charlottepublicgolf.com.    

Any active service Military, Police or Firefighter can obtain their free HERO’S PERKS PLUS Membership card by visiting any Ratcliffe Golf Services Golf Course and showing your valid service ID to our pro shop staff.  They will be happy to assist you with enrollment in the program.  

The staff and management at Ratcliffe Golf Services wish to extend a sincere thanks for the dedication and sacrifice of these brave men and women. 


Short "Games" to solidify your short game!

By Jason Rockhold, MBA, PGA
PGA Member with Advanced Certification in Player Development
Director of Instruction
Impact Performance Golf Learning Center

I started playing golf when I was two years old, but I started actually going to the golf course at age 5. Some of the greatest things that I did was playing little games with my friends & family having small competitions to feel the sense of victory.

These games really made me want to win but to do so in an honorable and fair way. I learned early that the more I practiced putting, the more putts that I made in the competitions. This philosophy translated to my short game which is the back bone to all good golf games.

I used these 5 games growing up to not only get better at my short game, but to have fun doing it.

1. 7-up

  • Flip a tee to determine starting order.
  • Leadoff player picks a hole and a starting position.
  • From zero to seven, you can score on sinks and closest to the hole::
    • Score +1 for closest to the hole
    • Score +2 for a sink
    • Score -1 for a three putt
    • You have to get to seven points exactly. If you go over, you start over (from zero).
    • Player who was closest to the hole (or was the last one to sink) has the honors for the next hole.

2. Horse

  • Flip a tee to determine starting order.
  • Lead off putter chooses a hole, a starting point, and calls his putt.
  • Leader can call distance &/or direction:
    • Distance from hole
      • Sink
      • Within the leather (putter grip)
      • Within the steel (shaft minus grip)
      • Within the shaft (length of the putter).
    • Direction from hole:
      • Below the hole (relative to the slope)
      • “Hole high” (even with or beyond the hole, relative to the starting position)Note: Other directions could be chosen, but they don’t translate into skills

        you can use on the course.)

  • Leadoff putter’s putter is used for all measurements.
  • If the leader doesn’t make the shot he called, he goes to the end of the line.
  • If he does, everyone else has to make it.
  • You get one letter in the name for every shot you miss (unless you’re the leader).

Strategy Notes

  • To win, pick the hardest shot you can make with a reasonable percentage of success.

3. Modified Stableford

This game allows multiple players to play in a way that is similar to match-play competition.

  • Flip a tee to determine starting order.
  • Play 9 or 18 holes with one or more competitors.
  • Par is 2.
  • Count +1 for a par, +3 for a sink, -1 for a bogey or worse.
  • Most points wins the competition.
  • If betting, pay up to players with a higher score.

4. Skins

  • Chip or pitch from off green.
  • For a quicker game, play closest to the hole for a skin.
  • For one that takes longer (mostly because of the time it takes to change clubs), play total strokes into the hole

5. Short 9

This game is a chipping game that you count all of your shots for nine up and down situations. Par is 2. Chip it onto the green and make the putt!


Effective Practice to Lower Your Scores

Effective Practice to Lower Your Scores
Don’t let your handicap start growing like the grass!

By Jason Rockhold, MBA, PGA
PGA Member with Advanced Certification in Player Development
Director of Instruction
Impact Performance Golf Learning Center

Practice is the most overlooked part of golf. Most people find it a waste of time because they are unable to “take it to the course”. Usually when we go to the driving range, we get a large basket of golf balls (about 70-80) and we grab our driver out of the bag and start smashing away. Shot after shot, we see the ball roll on the ground, popped up right in front of us, slices to the right, and a few shots that go left. We then pull out a couple irons and hit about 10-20 shots with each at a target. One after another, raking the balls over from the pile and hacking away until we start to see a ball flight that we finally like. We finally get into “range rhythm” and start to hit some shots we are happy about. Unfortunately, when you go to the course there are no warm-up shots that don’t get added to your score. Here are a few tips to help connect your practice with your game.

1. Make every practice shot count. Each shot that you take in practice should mimic what you do when you arrive at the ball on the course. There is no time limit on the basket of golf balls that you purchase.(well, except for the closing time of the range) Take your club out of the bag, find the target to aim for, take a couple practice swings, get into your pre-shot routine and hit the shot. Watch the ball all the way to it’s landing and put the club back in your bag.

2. Develop a pre-shot routine. The best golfers in the world make sure that every time they approach a shot they perform the same motions, steps, practice swings, and alignment. This consistency in your pre-shot movements tends to produce a more consistent result. It can be as simple as making two practice swings, picking your target from behind the ball, approaching the ball to with a proper set up, and swing the club. Others can be a little more methodical. I have know some that are as precise as pulling up the sleeve on their shirt every time and performing pre-shot routine takes exactly 12.6 seconds every time.  Either type can work wonders as long as it gets you in a clear frame of mind to swing the club.

3. Switch up the shots on the range. How often do you hit a 7-iron 30 times in a row on the course? Even if you take steps 1 and 2 into consideration, you can still get into “range rhythm” if you keep hitting the same shot to the same target. Now this can be helpful if you are working on a swing issue, but for the abundance of practice, changing targets/clubs will allow you to carry over your practice session to the course. Try hitting a different club for your last 25 balls in the bucket. This will help you get better with all your clubs and not fall victim to the “lucky 7-iron” scenario.

These three things are just the start of the benefits of  “effective practice”. It is a lot of fun to get out and fire 50 drivers as far as the eye can see. However, to get your scores down, focused range time can be the answer to cutting the grass on your handicap. 


Start 2016 Off Strong

By Jason Rockhold, MBA, PG
PGA Member with Advanced Certification in Player Development 
Director of Instruction 
Impact Performance Golf Learning Center 
 

Here are a few things that can help you get more out of your golf game. I have added these into my routine and I have seen great results.

1. STRETCH 
I know after a few months of indoor living, my backswing tends to get a little shorter. I am spending about 30-45 minutes 3 nights a week on YouTube doing YOGA. With it's HUGE library of YOGA experts that are leading classes in front of the camera, you get to see how the poses are supposed to be with out the travel time/cost of going to an actual class.

Click on the photo to check it out.
Stick with it! It's a slow process but you WILL start to lengthening your swing. 


2. GO TO THE RANGE 
For most of us, playing golf everyday is far out of reach. To get/stay sharp with your ball striking it might be easier to head to the driving range for a quick bucket on the way home from work. Which 5 o’clock drive would you rather have anyway? 

or


Hitting a quick bucket as traffic subsides can help your golf game, lower your stress level, and get you home nearly in the same amount of time! We have some great deals for Range cards too.

3. GET TO THE COURSE AN HOUR EARLY


If I had a dollar for every golfer that showed up late or “on-time” for their tee time, I would be a rich man. Jumping out of the car and racing to the first tee, they make some big numbers on the first few holes, and then start to steady the ship. What’s really happening is that they're starting to loosen up at the cost of their score. If YOU show up early, hit a SMALL basket of golf balls to loosen up the swing, chip a few shots from around the green, and make some putts from long and short distances; you will find that you could lower your score by 5 shots. 

4. TAKE A LESSON

The best way to start of the year is to find a golf instructor that you can trust, spend a few sessions with them, and work on a few things to get you moving in the right direction. Just a few lessons can do AMAZING things to your game. Finding the secret to hitting it longer, making crisp contact, or even making every 5 foot putt can give you the tools to be successful in achieving your goals with golf. The Impact Performance Golf Learning Center can help you with this transformation of your game. As always, if you have any questions, comments, or a subject you would like me to write about, please send them to me at jrockhold@pga.com. Have fun out there!