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A beginner’s guide to golf equipment

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Are you hoping to take up golf this summer but don’t know a wood from a wedge? Here’s a rundown of the equipment you’ll need before heading to the golf course.

Golf clubs
You can have up to 14 clubs in your golf bag. These are the main ones you’ll use to get the ball down the fairway and into the hole.

• The driver packs the most punch. It’s used to launch balls from the tee box.

• Woods 3, 5 and 7 resemble the driver, but since the club faces have more loft, they can hit balls directly off the ground.
• Irons are the most used clubs. They’re put to work for middle-distance and approach shots. It’s easier to control your ball flight with an iron than with a wood. Golfers tend to have five to seven irons in their bag (not including the wedges).
• Hybrids are a cross between irons and woods. They deliver greater control than woods but more distance than irons.
• Wedges have the most loft and are used for shots around the green.
• The putter is used on the green to tap the ball into the hole.

Other essentials
Here’s everything else you’ll need while out on the links.

• A golf bag to put all those clubs in.
• Proper golf attire including a collared shirt and golf slacks or a skirt. Most golf clubs have a dress code you’ll need to follow.
• A golf glove so you can grip clubs more easily.
• Golf shoes so you can keep your balance when swinging.
• Golf balls, tees, divot tools and ball markers — all of which you can fit in your bag.

Before heading out on the course for the first time (or the first time in a while), it’s worth having a lesson with a professional. Golf is a highly enjoyable sport but it takes some time to get the hang of.

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7 travel apps that will make your next vacation easier

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Are you taking a vacation this winter? If so, download these convenient apps designed for travelers.

1. Hopper. This app uses real time information and historical data to help you find the best price on your flight and hotel. When the cost bottoms out, you’ll get a notification telling you to book.

2. FLIO. Track flights in real time, access detailed airport maps and get vouchers for deals on food.

3. Google Translate. Translate over 100 languages by typing the text into your phone or by pointing your phone’s camera at a snippet of text.

4. XE Travel. Determine the true cost of your purchases with this reliable currency converter. It will also help you to track expenses and stick to your budget.

5. Google Maps. Find your way around any city with directions for traveling by car, bicycle, public transit or on foot. You can also download maps for use offline.

6. Flush. A useful app that allows you to find the nearest public washroom.

7. TunnelBear. Keep your online activity private with this virtual private network.

These apps are so useful, you’ll wonder how you ever traveled without them before. Bon voyage!

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Why you should use a travel agent to book your next trip

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Despite how easy it is to book flights, hotels and car rentals online, travel agents continue to offer a valuable service to travelers. Here’s why you should rely on an agent to book your next vacation.

• You’ll save time. Finding the best flights, accommodations and tours can be time consuming. A travel agent will do all the footwork while you go on keeping up with your busy life.

• You’ll get the best price. Hotels, airlines and travel tours often offer travel professionals special rates and other perks that aren’t available to the public.

• You’ll access insider knowledge. Travel agents tend to be familiar with the ins and outs of many destinations. They can tell you the best places to stay, visit and eat.

• You’ll have support in an emergency. If a natural disaster strikes or an airline suddenly goes bankrupt during your trip, your agent will be there to help you get home safely.

The best part of working with a travel agent is the relationship you build. Eventually, they’ll know your tastes and preferences so well, they’ll be able to suggest and book trips you’ll love with little or no input from you.

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Travel itineraries: take the guesswork out of your summer vacation

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If you intend to take a road trip or visit more than one place during your summer vacation, it can be hard to know which route is best. Luckily, the internet is full of travel itineraries created for explorers just like you.

Local tourism associations create travel itineraries in their region to cater to all types of adventure-seekers. Whether your interests lie in history, architecture or gastronomy, you’ll find a route tailor-made to your particular pastimes.

The biggest advantage of following a travel itinerary is that it saves you time. If you’re like many people, you have a limited number of vacation days every year. Knowing which towns to visit and when allows you to make the most of your time off.

Travel itineraries make planning your vacation simple. Once you’ve found a route that appeals to you, you just have to decide how you’ll get from one destination to another and where you’ll stay for the night. If you don’t want to make these decisions either, visit your local travel agent who can make all the arrangements for you.

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3 ways to keep your travel memories alive

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Vacations don’t last forever and once you return home, the memories slowly start to fade. To remember as much as possible about your trip, use one of these three methods.

1. Take lots of pictures
Tourists with cameras around their necks are a common sight at most travel destinations and with good reason. Taking photographs is one of the best ways to document awe-inspiring vistas, fascinating cities and friendly new faces. To make sure your pictures do the location justice, invest in a good quality point-and-shoot camera instead of using your smartphone.

2. Make a scrapbook

More than a photo album, a vacation scrapbook allows you to showcase your pictures alongside various mementos such as tickets, sketches and postcards. You can also write short stories about the things you choose to include.

3. Start a travel blog
Blogging is a great way to document and share your vacation. And it’s surprisingly easy to set up your own blog. All you need is an internet connection and a few minutes at the end of each day to upload photos and write about the day’s adventures.

You don’t need to go anywhere to collect your summer memories. Even if you’re staying home, take the time to keep a record that you’ll look back on in the years to come.

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Which camping experience is right for you?

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Whether you’d rather battle the elements or preserve your comfort, there’s a camping experience that’s right for you. Here are some of the different ways you can get close to nature this summer.

Backpacking
Are you an experienced camper who wants to venture deep into the wilderness? Then backpacking may be right for you. This type of camping involves carrying all your gear on your back and hiking to one or more remote campsites. Sleep at the base of a mountain, at the edge of a stream, on the shore of a lake or anywhere else your feet may take you.

Tent camping

Tent camping can include all the comforts of home but if you’re looking to rough it, you can forgo the excess gear. How far away from civilization you go is also entirely up to you, with thousands of campgrounds across the country to choose from. The amenities available at each campground differ but many are equipped with showers, laundry facilities, potable water and electric outlets.

RV camping
RV camping is more comfortable than tent camping. It’s especially practical if you want to live in the wilderness for an extended period or if you want to visit a number of different parks. There are RVs for every budget, from small folding camping trailers to luxury motorhomes. If buying isn’t an option, it’s also possible to rent RVs.

Cabin camping
Cabin camping is perfect if you’re looking for a home away from home nestled in the wilderness. There are many types of cabins that can be rented, all the way from modest shacks to luxurious cottages. Undoubtedly, at a certain point a camper becomes a cottager, but you can decide for yourself where that line falls.

No matter what type of camper you are, remember to always let someone know where you’re going and when they can expect you back. Happy camping!

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12 safety tips for your next hiking adventure

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Ready to venture through the wilderness? Here are 12 tips for staying safe during your next hike.

1. Choose a trail that’s appropriate for your skill level
2. Never hike alone
3. Let someone know where you’ll be and when you plan to be back

4. Bring a map of the area and local trails
5. Start early and make sure to finish your hike before nightfall
6. Check the weather and trail conditions before heading out
7. Pack the appropriate gear, even for a short hike
8. Know what animals are native to the area and what to do if you encounter them
9. Wear appropriate footwear and bright, visible clothing
10. Snack frequently and drink water before you get thirsty
11. Protect yourself from the sun and insects
12. Be careful near precipices

Above all else, stay on clearly marked trails and use your common sense. If something looks like it could be dangerous, keep your distance

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‘Tis the Season

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Front Royal
24°
Clear
07:1916:50 EST
Feels like: 24°F
Wind: 1mph WSW
Humidity: 82%
Pressure: 30.48"Hg
UV index: 0
SunMonTue
47/36°F
56/54°F
60/34°F

Quotes

Upcoming Events

Dec
8
Sun
2:00 pm R-MA December Open House @ Randolph-Macon Academy
R-MA December Open House @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Dec 8 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
R-MA December Open House @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Discover The Power of Rise at Randolph-Macon Academy! Join us for an open house on Sunday, December 8th, with tours beginning promptly at 2:00 pm. Families interested in applying for the second semester (January 27,[...]
3:00 pm Christmas Concert @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
Christmas Concert @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
Dec 8 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Christmas Concert @ Front Royal Presbyterian Church
The Valley Chorale of Front Royal (previously Front Royal Oratorio Society) presents its 2019 Christmas concert titled “HOME FOR CHRISTMAS” – a program of uplifting sacred and secular selections sure to brighten everyone’s yuletide season.[...]
Dec
10
Tue
4:30 pm Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 10 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Tuesday, December 3: Kids will explore popular books and book series through science, games, food, and more! After reading a Christmas story, we’ll discuss giving and how it affects us and the people around us.[...]
Dec
11
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 11 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]
Dec
12
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 12 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]
Dec
14
Sat
11:00 am Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 14 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Celebrate George Washington @ Samuels Public Library
December 14 is the 220th anniversary of George Washington’s death. Today we will learn more about this great leader of our country and celebrate his legacy. Refreshments will be served. For ages 7 to 18.[...]
Dec
15
Sun
4:00 pm R-MA Hosts Community Christmas C... @ Randolph-Macon Academy | Boggs Chapel
R-MA Hosts Community Christmas C... @ Randolph-Macon Academy | Boggs Chapel
Dec 15 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
R-MA Hosts Community Christmas Concert @ Randolph-Macon Academy | Boggs Chapel
The local community is invited to join the Randolph-Macon Academy family for an afternoon of holiday spirit with the R-MA Band and Chorus! The annual R-MA Christmas Concert will be held on Sunday, December 15th,[...]
Dec
17
Tue
4:30 pm Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 17 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Science Scouts and More @ Samuels Public Library
Tuesday, December 3: Kids will explore popular books and book series through science, games, food, and more! After reading a Christmas story, we’ll discuss giving and how it affects us and the people around us.[...]
7:30 pm Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA Campus
Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA Campus
Dec 17 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA Campus
Christmas Concert | Presented by the American Legion Community Band Tuesday, December 17, 2019, at 7:30 pm Boggs Chapel on the R-MA campus in Front Royal, VA
Dec
18
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Dec 18 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 4 and Thursday, December 5: Gingerbread and Candy Canes will be the delicious theme of our stories, songs, and craft this week! Siblings welcome.[...]