Archive for September, 2012

How does the tall grass affect your golf experience?

By: Tenna Merchent on September 27th, 2012

If you’re a fan of golf course architecture, you’ll appreciate the fact that the course was designed in the links style. This by nature means very few trees, and fairways surrounded by tall grasses. Links style courses such as St. Andrews in Scotland are where golf began.

The tall grass will encourage you to think more carefully about your tee shot. If you hit your ball into the tall grass, it can slow you down because you may have to look for it, and it can make for a challenging shot.

Last of all, the tall grass is a beauty for you to behold. It becomes golden brown in the fall, and as you stand at the tee, it will take your breath away.

Tall grass surrounding 12 green

The tall grass surrounding 12 green at sunrise.

Why would you care about our tees?

By: Tenna Merchent on September 25th, 2012

For several reasons:

  • A tee made from clay can be extremely difficult to use when teeing your ball up on a hot day
  • The alignment of a rectangular tee, if only slightly off, can cause you to hit your tee ball off line, because you will instinctively (and logically) line your ball up with the tee
  • The slope of the tee affects what type of condition the grass will be in when you play, and also player safety
  • The size of the tee will also have a direct impact on the quality of the tee, because the smaller it is, the more wear and tear per square foot
  • The yardages, and tee selection will be of greater interest for both the low and high handicap player

You will find that our tees were constructed from a mixture of sand, organic matter, and soil. This makes the tee softer when teeing the ball, but hard enough to withstand traffic and to hold nutrients.

You can also trust the alignment of our rectangular tees to point you to the best shot from that tee box.

It will be hard for you to see that the slope of our tees is 1%, but you will be able to see the benefit of that slope because our tees are in such good condition. During construction we used the same laser leveling technology that was first used at Augusta National, home of the Master’s.

You’ll also see that our tee sizes are quite generous, and that also contributes to their lovely condition.

Most importantly, many of you will be pleased with our varied tee selection. We have a minimum of six sets of tees on every hole, so whether you are a scratch golfer, or a high handicapper, there is a tee that will suit your game. It’s worth emphasizing that we rate them by handicap, not age or gender. We intentionally put the red tees in back, the longest tees on the course, to break the gender association with tee selection.

At Purgatory Golf Club we put a great deal of thought, energy, and money into your tee selection. We hope you find them as wonderful to play on as we do!



Congrats Mr. Couples!

By: Tenna Merchent on September 20th, 2012

Congratulations to Fred Couples for being voted into the World Golf Hall of Fame!

He qualified with 51% of the vote,  you can see the criteria here, which discusses voting, and requirements such as 10 years on the tour, 10 wins or 2 majors, and at the player must be at least 40 years of age.

He’s had 15 PGA wins, a major with the 1992 Master’s and been the captain of the President’s Cup twice.

Most of all, he’s been a gentleman, and a great roll model for the aspiring golfer. We are lucky to have him in the great game of golf.

Which image do you like better?

By: Tenna Merchent on September 18th, 2012
Painterly version of the second hole

This is the same image rendered in a painterly fashion.

The second hole

This is the original image with no painterly style applied

The reason we are asking is we are working on an e-book for Purgatory that will include a lot of our photography & artwork. Each image has to be laid out according to specific standards, and it is quite time consuming. Therefore, it is important that we decide now, before we go to a great deal of effort, which style appeals to our golfers the most.

So, what do you think?

54 Professional Golfers from the area at Purgatory Today!

By: Tenna Merchent on September 13th, 2012

Guess what happens the week that 54 professional golfers from the area are coming to Purgatory Golf Club to compete for 2 days?

Everybody pulls weeds!


Including, the Director of Golf, his dog, two sons, wife, and everyone else who is willing to help.

James Brown our hard working Superintendent did his best, and so did all of his crew, and the course is sparkling! So if you like perfectly manicured bunkers, this is the time to come out!

By the way, the event is the Indiana Golf Callaway Team Championship. You can see the leaderboard with update scores.

Get an aerial view tour of Purgatory Golf Club powered by Blue Golf, pretty cool. They pros will be here today and tomorrow, but we still have tee times available this afternoon. So come see us, and please rake your bunkers 😉

Three Easy Golf Grips

By: Tenna Merchent on September 11th, 2012

The grip is how you hold the club. Yes, I realize that is somewhat self explanatory, but, you never know your audience.

Your hands should be fixed on the club; they don’t move. Their only job is to hold on, like clamps. They don’t manipulate it by snapping the wrist or forcing the club. We’ll discuss the hand and arm relationship more in a later article.

There are three conventional grips, in order of our (Purgatory Golf Club’s) preference:

  • The overlap, called the single overlap:
    The pinkie of your right hand overlaps the index finger of your left hand.
  • Interlock:
    The pinkie of your right hand and the index finger of your left hand intertwine (interlock), or wrap around each other.
  • Ten finger, commonly known as the baseball grip:
    All eight, actually ten if you count thumbs as fingers, touch the grip of the club; they don’t overlap or interlock.

Any of these grips are fine as long as you also meet these 6 basic guidelines:

  1. The grip is neutral, so the backs of both hands oppose each other, and the palms are facing each other.
  2. The club is held in your fingers, the middle digits of the fingers, and not the palms.
  3. The butt end of the club is held down by the palm of the left hand.
  4. The thumb of the left hand is extended right down the center of the shaft.
  5. When you close down with your right hand, the “V” formed by your thumb and index finger points towards your right shoulder.
  6. Grip pressure needs to be medium. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being a death grip on the club, and 1 very loose, you want to be between a 4 & a 7. Your wrists, however, need to be relaxed.

A grip that’s too strong is when the hands are turned to the right too much (for a right handed player). If the hands are turned to the left too much, the grip’s too weak. Crossing yourself up is when your right hand is turned to the left too much, and your left hand is turned to the right too much – – that’s death.

And, if you develop blisters, it’s probably not because you’re holding the club too tightly or too loosely, but because you have a problem with the quality of your grip as described above.

The grip is something you should have evaluated right off the bat. Make sure you have a proper grip, and then check it every time you set up to the ball.

Your grip isn’t something you should be playing with and changing all the time. If you mentally need a new start, go buy a new driver, or putter, or something fun.

Keep the fundamentals like your grip pure.

Why such Low scores at the BMW at Crooked Stick Golf Club?

By: Tenna Merchent on September 8th, 2012

The fairways are generous, some might say wide, the greens are subtle, and the rough is well manicured.

It has been raining all week, so the fairways and greens are soft. The pros are willing to take more risks with their tee shots because they know their tees shots will land on the soft wet fairway, and roll maybe 10 feet. If they hit it poorly, this week, they don’t risk the ball hoping another 20 yards into the rough. The ground is soft, wet and spongier.

They can also be more aggressive with their approach shot and aim right for the flag even if it’s at the top of a mound. They know their ball will stick when it lands on the green, and roll just a little way because how wet the ground is this week.

Add to that the lift, clean & place rule, which is like teeing your ball up in the fairway, and now you’ve got a recipe for really low scores.

With low golf scores:

  • The players are happier
  • The rounds go more quickly,
  • TV ratings are higher,
  • Every fan likes to see their favorite golfer make birdies.

Sounds pretty good to me. So now I have to figure out what Purgatory Golf Club can do to achieve such low scores when we have a tour event. That’s right, they could play from our far forward tees! We’re ready for ya guys!

10 Basic Ways to Improve your Golf Game

By: Tenna Merchent on September 6th, 2012
  1. Watch good players and tournaments. People learn by imitation. When a husband and wife come to one of our professionals, they often have very similar swings. They’ve imitated each other unconsciously.
  2. Don’t watch struggling players. You don’t want to imitate their swings.
  3. Practice.
  4. Practice on the driving range, in your living room, or even your backyard. You don’t have to leave your home to get quality practice.
  5. Focus when you practice. It’s much better to spend ten minutes and concentrate on what you’re doing than spend an hour just whacking balls.
  6. If you’re hitting a bucket of balls, take breaks.
  7. Think about what you’re doing, and rest when you’re tired and frustrated.
  8. Don’t wear sun glasses when you play golf. They impair your depth perception. Most professional golfers don’t wear them as a result.
  9. Try walking the course. The tour players always walk. There’s a reason. It gives you much more time to concentrate on your next shot. And it actually improves the speed with which you play.
  10. Have a professional videotape your swing, then watch it, and analyze it.

Please leave a comment and let us know what you think!

Be the change you wish to see


3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Golf Game

By: Tenna Merchent on September 4th, 2012

Want to know 3 simple ways to improve your performance on the golf course?

  1. Eat a healthy breakfast.
  2. Eat a health lunch at the turn.
  3. Drink water & eat fruit while you are out on the course.

The brain & the body are immediately affected by what we eat & drink. Anyone who has ever had a cup of coffee knows the quick effect of caffeine. One beer can have a similar immediate effect.

If you don’t eat breakfast, you are essentially fasting from dinner the night before until lunch or dinner today. The first organ to suffer from temporary malnutrition is the brain.[1] We all know that golf is a mental game, not just physical.

Golf day nutrition

  1. Avoid refined sugar, artificial color & flavors, & preservatives
  2. Select complex carbohydrates, found mostly in grains (whole grain breads, pasta, & rice), potatoes, & carrots.

Complex carbohydrates represent a slow-release source of energy.[2] Most experts agree that a diet rich in complex carbohydrates is the best for performance in sports.[3] A study of cyclists proved that as they increased complex carbs in their diet, it took them longer to become fatigued.[4]

One of my favorite grab & go breakfasts is these simple homemade oatmeal cookies. The recipe originated with the Pritikin Center, a heart healthy diet/lifestyle. We modified it a tiny bit.

4 egg whites, whipped

2 tablespoons xylitol (a natural sweetener derived from corn, it can be purchased at Whole Foods or on-line)

  • ½ cup raisins
  • 4 cups oatmeal
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½  cup applesauce
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
 Mix ingredients until uniformly moist. Drop dough by the tablespoonful on an ungreased cookie sheet. 
Bake for 15 minutes. 
Cool and serve.


[1]  Alexander Schauss, Barbara Friedlander Meyer, and Arnold Meyer, Eating for A’s, (New York: Pocket Books: a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.) pg. 18.

[2] Ibid p. 225

[3] ibid pg. 225

[4] ibid pg. 227