The Masters: 14 Little Known Fun Facts About Augusta National

Masters

 
If you’re like me, the beginning of Masters Week is filled with more anticipation than the coming of Christmas morning. I start thinking about the iconic CBS golf announcer Jim Nantz and his famous “Hello Friends” opening line to begin weekend coverage and it sends chills down my spine.

It’s the same for me every year. The week begins with watching Golf Channel’s Live from the Masters on Monday morning. Next comes the flood of e-mails in my inbox from friends inviting me to join Masters pools. After the beating I take every year in March Madness I probably shouldn’t allocate any more funds, but I do anyway. Then comes the Par 3 contest on Wednesday afternoon where wives and kids get to caddy in oversized white jumpsuits and the roars of tee shots finding the bottom of the cup echo through the Georgia pines. By the time Thursday coverage starts it’s been made clear to my girlfriend that I am not to be bothered with yoga classes or healthy food for the next four days. To cap it off on Sunday, I invite anyone that wants to join over to watch the final round where we eat too many pimento cheese sandwiches, drink sweet tea (mixed with something else) and dress in Master’s green.

the masters
The Masters. Source lincolncitygolf.org

 
For most golfers, the Masters is indeed a tradition unlike any other. Not only is it the symbolic beginning of spring and the first major of the year, but it’s also the only one that returns to the same venue every year. What began as a vision of the great Bobby Jones to be a gathering of friends nearly a century ago has become the most celebrated tournament in the game. Over the years there have been career-defining moments that we all remember but there are also countless stories and anecdotes that are less told but equally important. If you’re curious to know a little more about the hallowed grounds of Augusta National and the Masters, read on.
 

Alister McKenzie Never Saw the Finished Product of the Course He Designed

Alister McKenzie was a renowned golf course architect who designed some of the most revered courses in the world dating from 1905 until 1933 when he completed his final work, Augusta National. When the club’s founder, Bobby Jones, played Cypress Point in California (another McKenzie design) he knew McKenzie was the man he wanted to design Augusta National. With the course ready to open its doors and the inaugural Master’s tournament slated for the early spring of 1934, McKenzie passed away on January 6th just a couple months before the tournament was to be held.
 

the masters
Alister McKenzie. Source myusualgame.com

 

Tournament Officials Kick Announcers Off the Air if They Don’t Follow the Rules

There is no denying that the decorum expected at the Masters is unlike anything else in all of sports. For announcers doing the broadcast, spectators are to be referred to as patrons or gallery. Calling them fans is strictly forbidden. Just asked Gary McCord and Jack Whitaker who violated the rule and were promptly dismissed from their posts.
 

Gary Player is the Only Masters Winner Not to Have His Jacket Kept at Augusta National

When Gary Player won the first of his three green jackets in 1961, he took the jacket with him as winners are allowed to do. Augusta asks that jackets be returned the following year where they will be stored from then on. In the years that followed his victory, Player developed a habit of perpetually forgetting to return his jacket. It is now on display at the World Golf Hall of Fame in Florida.
 

the masters
Gary Player. Source golfdigest.com

 

It Hasn’t Always Been Called the Masters

When the tournament was first played in 1934, it was called the Augusta National Invitational. It wasn’t until 1938 that founding member Clifford Roberts coined the term Masters. Fellow co-founder Bobby Jones never like the term and often referred to the tournament as the “so-called Masters.”
 

Augusta National Couldn’t Afford to Pay the Purse to the First Winner

Horton Smith was the first winner of the Masters. The initial plan was for the club to have 1,800 members from which revenue would be generated and purse could be paid. At the time of the first Masters, however, the club only had 76 members and there wasn’t enough money to pay the winner. Horton eventually collected thanks to a private collection taken up by the membership.
 

the masters
Horton Smith. Source golfhistorytoday.com

 

Augusta National Closed During WWII

Despite several attempts to raise money to keep the doors open, Augusta National was forced to close during WWII. During the war, the club used the land to raise cattle and turkeys in a failed attempt to make money.
 

Green Jackets Were A Bit of an Accident

In 1939 members of Augusta National decided to all wear green jackets so that spectators (patrons) could easily identify them and ask questions. It wasn’t until 1949 that Sam Snead was the first winner to receive a green jacket.
 

Green Jackets
The Masters. Source upi.com

 

Local Caddies?

It wasn’t until 1982 that players were allowed to bring their own caddies. Prior to then, they were assigned local caddies who knew the course inside and out. One of the most notable local caddies of all time is Carl Jackson who began caddying for Ben Crenshaw in 1976. The relationship continued for more than 30 years.

One of the most indelible images is Masters history is the two embracing on the 18th green in 1995 after Crenshaw’s emotional win shortly after the death of his lifelong friend and coach, Harvey Penick the week before the tournament.
 

How Did Rae’s Creek Get its Name?

The iconic creek that meanders through holes 11-13, known as Amen Corner, was named for the property’s original owner, John Rae, who passed away in 1789 long before Americans even knew what golf was.
 

Rae’s Creek
Rae’s Creek. Source theaptc.com

 

The Masters Almost Never Came to Be!

In 1934 founding members Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones petitioned the USGA to host the US Open. When the USGA denied their request, they decided to host their own tournament called the Augusta National Invitational.
 

Arnie’s Army Started at the Masters

In 1958 Augusta National granted military personnel from a nearby army base free admission to the tournament. As a former military man, Arnold Palmer was a huge hit with all the soldiers in attendance. As Palmer passed a scoreboard during the tournament, a military member hung a sign that read “Arnie’s Army” and the moniker is still used to describe the King’s fans today.
 

Arnie’s Army
The Masters. Source golf.com

 

Dwight D. Eisenhower Is More Than A General and President

Eisenhower is the only president to have ever been a member at Augusta National. On hole 17 a large tree overhung the fairway on the left side that Eisenhower purportedly hit more than any other member. The tree affectionately became known as the Eisenhower tree. Unfortunately, the tree was cut down after it suffered serious damage during an ice storm in the winter of 2014.
 

Whose Jeff Knox?

Anytime an odd number of players making the cut at the Masters, a marker plays with the first player out on Saturday and Sunday morning. So who is the marker at Augusta? None other than Jeff Knox. And Knox isn’t just some 4-handicap that’s lucky enough to play alongside the game’s greats. He’s not only an Augusta member but the guy can flat out play. He holds the course record from the member tees at 61. He’s won the Georgia Mid-Amateur three times. He’s also a member of the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame.

When Knox plays as a marker his score is not officially reported but it’s pretty well known that the 50+-year-old has a decent record against some of the game’s best notably beating the likes of Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia. If you ever get the chance to watch the Masters early on Saturday or Sunday morning, keep an eye out for this guy.

 

A Tradition of Amateurs

Augusta’s founding members, Clifford Roberts, and Bobby Jones were both amateurs their entire career. That tradition continues to be reflected at the Masters every year. The winner and runner-up of the U.S. Amateur and winners of the British Amateur, Asia-Pacific Amateur, Latin America Amateur, and the U.S. Mid-Amateur all receive invitations to the Masters the following year. While it’s rare that one of these players finds there a way to the first page of the leaderboard on Sunday afternoon, the amateur with the lowest score at the end of the tournament receives the Low Amateur award and a piece of coveted Augusta crystal for the feat.

If you’re a golfer and the Masters isn’t your favorite tournament of the year, you need to have your head examined. With the trimmings of southern hospitality and a rich golfing history steeped in tradition, there exists no greater stage in the world for the best players usher in the beginning of spring. While we all remember Nicklaus’ iconic win in 1986, Larry Mize’s chip-in on hole 11 to beat Greg Norman in a playoff in 1987 and Tiger’s 12-shot victory in 1997, there is so much more to the Masters worth mentioning that goes overlooked. As you watch the Masters this year, take time to appreciate the minor details and little tidbits that are barely mentioned and you’re viewing experience will only be enhanced. In the meantime, I have to get to the ATM and turn in my pools.
 

Top 5 Best Chipping Tips and Drills to Instantly Lower Your Score

Chipping Tips

 
Every golfer knows the key to shooting lower scores is getting the ball in the hole quicker from 100 yards and in. This is the area where more than 60% of your shots come from and sadly for most players, it’s where they struggle the most. Even the best players in the world miss between four and seven greens in regulation per round meaning they must rely on their short game to get them out of trouble. If you find yourself throwing away precious strokes from around the green, we’ve compiled our Top Five Chipping Tips to help you lower your scores and have more fun – plus a bonus tip at the end.
 
Chipping Tips
 

Understanding Chipping Basics

The phrase “up and down” means one chip and one putt. Getting the ball up and down or chipping it in should be your goal every time you miss a green. In order to do this consistently, it’s important to have a grasp of the fundamentals that ensure proper contact on every time.
 

Setup

To set up for any basic chip shot, start with your feet close together and your stance a little open (aiming to the left of the target for right-handed players). Ball position should be in the middle or slightly back (toward your right foot if you’re right-handed) in your stance. When you set the club the behind the ball your hands should be leaning slightly forward, and the shaft should be pointed toward your target-side pocket (left pocket for right-handers). Lastly your weight distribution should be dispersed with 60% of your weight on your front foot.
 

Chipping Motion

If you watch the best players in the world, you’ll notice that their left arm (right-handed players) and the shaft of the club form a straight line at address. The key to making solid contact is maintaining this relationship throughout the entire swing. The tendency for amateurs is to scoop or try to help the ball in the air. When this happens, the relationship between the shaft and lead arm is lost as the lead wrist bows through impact. This tendency leads to fat and thin shots and trouble controlling distance.
 

Club Selection

Anytime you hit a chip shot, your goal should be to get the ball on the green and rolling like a putt as soon as possible. Most weekend players grab their lob wedge for any chip shot they have. While this might be the right club for a shot the needs to be hit high and stop quickly, it certainly isn’t for a shot where you have plenty of room to run the ball.

As a rule of thumb, the more green you have to work with, the less loft you should use (seven, eight or nine-iron) and the less green between you and the hole more loft you should use (pitching wedge, sand wedge or lob wedge).
 

Tip #1 – Have Fun

Chipping
 
There is no other facet of the game that allows for creativity and experimentation like the short game. While there are some fundamentals that are universal, if you want to take your chipping to the next level, spend some time learning to hit different shots with different clubs. If you do this kind of practice enough, you’ll quickly find that your touch improves, and you’ll have an arsenal of shots for just about any situation. Even though you might look silly at first, your golf game will thank you down the road. So, the next time you want to go hit a large bucket on your lunch break, grab a couple of wedges and a few balls and have some fun chipping around the practice green instead.
 

Tip #2 – Spice Things Up

One of the things that makes chipping fun is that you can changes things up and keep your routine fresh. Unlike blasting seven-irons and drivers at the same target repeatedly on the range, chipping allows you to create different situations like you’ll encounter on the course.

If you go to the practice green at any golf course, you’re bound to see someone out practicing with a shag bag of 100 balls hitting the same chip shot repeatedly. What these players fail to realize is that while they will quickly better at a particular chip, the odds of seeing that same exact shot on the course are low. Make sure when you practice your chipping that you regularly switch targets and clubs to emulate the real thing as much as possible.
 

Tip #3 – Smooth Landing

Chipping
 
If you were to ask any Tour Pro where they are trying to land a chip shot, they will point to a specific spot on the green. Most amateurs on the other hand simply see the green and the pin in front of them and try to hit it close. Landing the ball in a chosen spot not only improves your distance control but allows you to focus on how the ball reacts when it hits the green.

The hula hoop drill is a great way to practice this. All you need to do is find a circular object about three feet in diameter and place it a few feet on to the green. We recommend taking ten balls and seeing how many you can get to land in the circle from various lies. When you can consistently make five or six out of ten, move to more difficult lies and longer shots.
 

Tip #4 – Be On Time

World renown teacher David Leadbetter developed the clockface method for chipping and pitching and to this day it is used by players all over the world. This system takes some practice to perfect but proves genius for controlling your distance.

If you imagine the golf swing as a circular clockface, half-way back and half-way through would be swinging three-o’clock to nine-o’clock. If you want to dial in your yardages with different pitching and chipping clubs, having a playbook of built-in swing lengths and yardages with different clubs is a must.

The first place to start this drill is with your favorite chipping club, probably your sand or lob wedge. To begin, hit a few shots with a half swing. Measure the yardage you hit these shots to establish a baseline. From here, envision the clock face and make some bigger and smaller swings to take note of the yardages the ball travels.

If you put in the time to do this with a few different clubs and practice out of different lies and conditions, you’re sure to start knocking the ball close to hole and saving strokes.
 

Tip #5 – Two’s Company and Three’s a Crowd

Chipping
 
Chances are you enjoy competing with your buddies or regular group on some level. Practicing with a partner or two and making it competitive makes everyone better. Whether you play for pride or a beer at the end, perfecting your short game in a competitive way will lower your scores quickly.
 

1. Seven-Up

This is one of our favorite games to playgri with each other and we have all lowered our scores because of it. If you have a buddy or two and a space to chip and putt seven-up is sure to improve your short game as well.

Format:

Each player begins with two balls. You can flip a tee or coin to see who goes first. Player A hits a shot then player B (and/or C, D, etc.) hits a shot. The cycle repeats again until each player hits both their balls.

The player with the ball closest to the hole gets one point and the player with the ball farthest away loses a point.

If a player chips in he gets two points. If someone misses the green, they lose two points.

The player who wins the closest to the hole point chooses the next location.

If you get to seven points you win and if you reach negative seven points you lose.

Seven-up is a great game that can take a while and allows for creativity and strategy.
 

2. Par 18

As we said earlier, getting up and down is the quickest way to lower your scores. Par 18 is a game you can play with yourself or against your buddies.

Format:

Simply put, you choose nine holes to chip and putt to. “Par” is set at two shots for each hole and the player with lowest score is the winner.
 

3. Extra Credit – High-Rise Living

Chipping Tips
 
Have you ever seen Tiger of Phil take a full swing and launch the ball straight up in the air only to watch it go 30 feet and stop inches from the hole? Yep, we are talking about the flop shot. This is a shot that takes a tremendous amount of practice but can get you out of the stickiest of situations.

The flop shot should only be used when you have minimal green to work with and need to stop the ball quickly.

To set up, open the club face so that it lays almost flat at address and open your stance accordingly (feet, hips and shoulders aim left of target if you’re right-handed).

From here, make an aggressive swing sliding the club under the ball and watch it fly high and land like a butterfly with sore feet.

Format:

Simply put, you choose nine holes to chip and putt to. “Par” is set at two shots for each hole and the player with lowest score is the winner.
 

Conclusion

The fact is you’re going to miss the green with your approach shot on occasion. How you recover from here is what makes or breaks your score. While there is a time and place for hitting balls and working on technical thoughts on the range, refining your short game and trusting your instincts is the easiest way to lower your scores. If you want to save money on a large bucket and are willing to be creative and experiment, learning to turn chipping and pitching clubs into weapons instead of liabilities will find you having more fun and taking money from your buddies in no time.

 

Learn How to Hit a Draw in 3 Easy Steps

How to Hit a Draw

 
There’s a reason golf course homes on the right side of holes are cheaper than the ones on the left. It’s because 90% of golfers are right-handed and hit slices that break windows and land in swimming pools on the right side. If you’re like me, you’ve hit plenty of sliced, weak shots to right that either end up out-of-bounds or short and right your intended target. You know that hitting a draw (right-to-left shot) is preferred because it goes farther and isn’t as affected by the wind. But for the life of you, you can’t seem to make it happen. You’re in luck as we are here to help.

Hitting a Golf Ball
 

Understanding the Difference Between a Hook and Draw and a Slice and Fade

The lexicon of golf is bewildering at best. While you probably have a grasp of the terms that describe a shot that curves right (slice and fade) and one that curves left (hook and draw) the distinctions go a touch further to define what you’re really after.

A slice is a shot that curves hard to the right and ends up in trouble. A fade is a shot that curves slightly to the right but is controlled.

Conversely, a hook is a shot that curves hard left into the junk. Draws are controlled shots that move gently from right-to-left.

 

What Makes a Golf Ball Curve?

There are a few factors that cause a shot to curve either right or left.
 

Swing Path

Chances are you slice the ball more often than you draw it. If pay close attention, your shots probably start left of your intended target before slicing. The reason slices start left is because the club is traveling on an outside to inside path (moving left to right, this being for a right-handed player) through impact.

Outside to Inside
Outside to Inside

 

Face Angle

Face angle is what causes shots to spin one direction or the other. If the clubface is open at impact (pointing to the right for righties) the ball will curve to the right or slice. If the face closed at impact (pointing to the left for right-handers) the ball will curve to the left.

Having a basic understanding of swing path and face angle gives you a base from which you can start to turn that viscous slice into a controlled draw. We polled a number of top PGA Pros and below are our best tips for hitting draw

For players that start the ball slightly right of the target and hit draws, the path is inside to out through impact.

Inside to Outside
Inside to Outside

 

Setup

As with any shot in golf, setup is where everything begins. If you don’t get setup correct every time, you’re setting yourself up for inconsistency and unnecessary compensations during your golf swing. If you’re going to learn to hit solid shots repeatedly you have to make sure your feet, shoulders and hips are all aligned to the target, your ball position is where it needs to be and your posture is correct.

Alignment

When you’re setting up to any full shot, picture a train track starting at your ball and running to the target. The ball and clubface should align with the outside rail pointing directly at the target. Your feet, hips and shoulders are the inside rail and point parallel left to the target for right handed players.

If your clubface and ball are not pointed at the target or your feet, hips and shoulders aren’t parallel, your chances of hitting a solid shot in the intended direction are slim.

Ball Position

As we discussed in our article How to Hit a Driver, the position of the ball is going to vary depending on what club you have in your hands. While drivers, fairway woods and irons should be played forward in your stance, irons and wedges should be in the middle. Getting the postion of the ball correct for the club and type of shot you’re playing is crucial.

Posture

The golf swing is an athletic motion and having proper posture gives you a solid base and while allowing you to swing in balance. Your feet should be slightly wider than shoulder-width, your knees a little flexed and your torso tall and solid. Notice how much more athletic the posture on the left looks than on the right.

How to Hit a Draw
Golf Posture. Source meandmygolf.com

 

3 Easy Steps to Hitting a Draw

Step 1 – Create an Inside to Outside Swing Path

One of the toughest things about the game of golf is that what you feel like you’re doing is most often a lot different than what you’re actually doing. In the case of most amateur players that slice the ball, the feeling of golf swinging the club from the inside is usually a path that is either still slightly outside to in or straight down the target line. This is easy to check by taking just a few short videos of your golf swing from the down the line angle. If you find yourself struggling to deliver the club to impact from the inside, try dropping your right foot back at address. This allows you to create more room to make a full shoulder turn on the way back and for the club to come from the inside on the downswing.
 

Step 2 – Swing Your Arms Around Your Body

When you’re first starting to learn hitting a draw, make it a point to emphasize your arms swinging around body as opposed to up and down. Players that slice the ball have swings that are too vertical, creating a steep chopping motion. Moving your arms around your body creates a flatter move that has the club coming from the inside instead of the outside through impact.
 

Step 3 – Remember to Have Low Hands on the Finish

Next time you’re watching the Pros on television, make it a point to notice the position of their hands on the finish. Players trying to hit fades will finish with their hands level or above the head. Conversely, players trying to hit draws will finish with their hands much lower, at or just above their front shoulder.
 

Two of the Best Practice Drills to Help you Hit a Draw

If you’re serious about learning to hit a draw instead of slice, you need to realize that it isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s going to take a lot of practice and there are sure to moments of frustration when you feel like throwing in the towel. To help you get the most out of your practice, we’ve listed are best drills for creating a repeatable swing that hits the ball right-to-left.
 

Water Bottle Drill

This is my all-time favorite drill because the feedback is instantaneous. All you need is a bucket of range balls and half-filled plastic water bottle. To begin, set the water bottle two or three inches behind the ball and just outside the target line.

From here all you’re trying to do is swing the club from the inside without hitting the bottle. If the club hits the bottle, it’s a sure sign you’re club is moving from the outside to the inside instead of the inside to the outside. This might seem extremely awkward at first and your contact won’t be solid. That’s okay, you’re making a drastic change to the path of your swing so stay patient.


 

Alignment Stick Starting Line

Once you feel confident that your swing the club from the inside to the out, it’s time to put it to the test. Remember, a proper draw is a shot that starts right of the target and curves a little left back to it. For this drill, take an alignment rod and stick in the ground a few yards in front of your ball exactly on the target line.

Once you’re set up, hit a few shots trying to start the ball to the right of the stick and watch it curve back to your target. Once again, this might take a fair bit of practice but once you can do it consistently, it’s something that you should be able to take to the course.

How to Hit a Draw
Alignment Stick Drill. Source youtube.com

 

Video Guide on How to Hit a Draw

 

Draws and Course Management

Hitting a reliable draw is the holy grail for any player that fights a slice and wants to hit solid shots that go farther on a consistent basis. Even if you’ve mastered hitting a draw consistently, it doesn’t mean that you should fire at every flag and hit driver off every tee.

Tee shots on dog-leg right holes might not suit your eye as well as someone that plays a fade. To give yourself the best chance of hitting the fairway, make sure you tee up on the far left side of the tee box. This maximizes the amount of room you have to start your tee shot down the right side and let it work back to the middle. If you feel like your driver might go through the fairway, don’t be afraid to sacrifice a little distance for accuracy and use a fairway wood or hybrid.

When your tee shot finds the fairway, it’s tempting to fire your approach straight at the flag regardless of where it’s located on the green. There are some flags that are tough to get at with a draw however. A great example is a flag that is cut in the front, right part of the green over a bunker. In order to get this shot close, you have to start it out over the bunker, hope it curves back and flies the exact right distance. The chances missing this shot in a bad spot and making a big number are high. The smart play is to start your shot at the pin and let it curve to the middle of the green leaving yourself 20 or 30 feet and virtually guaranteeing an easy par at worst.
 

Conclusion

Learning to hit a draw consistently will do wonders for your golf game. Your shots will travel farther, fight through the wind, your confidence will grow and you’re sure to shoot lower scores. The road to get there however, is one that takes time and a lot of practice. But if you’re willing to fight through occasional frustration and stay the course, you’ll come out on the other side a much more complete and consistent player.

The Ultimate Guide on Golf Shoes

Golf Shoes

 
This is the year you’re going to shatter your goals. New set of irons custom fit to your swing, new wedges to stop the ball on a dime, and of course that $350 putter your spouse doesn’t know about. There won’t be any stopping you. You can already see yourself on the tee for your first round of the year, filled to the brim with anticipation. All of a sudden, you look down at your feet and notice your shoe laces don’t match and the grime on that pair of Footjoy Contours from 2002 really shows. Yep, you’re that guy, fancy new equipment with golf shoes that Bobby Jones remembers.
 

Why Do You Need Golf Shoes?

What good is having all the latest and greatest equipment if you can’t keep your feet on the ground? Golf shoes are what make your entire game possible. No matter your ability, having the proper footwear provides stability and allows you to swing at full capacity without having to worry about slipping and coming out of the shot.
 

Golf Shoes
Golf Shoes. Source boafit.com

 

Finding the Right Shoes for Your Game

Whether you’re looking for the ultimate in performance and stability or the best in comfort and fashion, there is a golf shoe out there for you. With so many options to choose from, doing some research ahead of time is well worth it. The internet is a great place to start, but once you’ve narrowed down your choices, it’s essential you try on a shoe in person before going back online to find the best deal.
 

Budget

Golf is an expensive endeavor. Ranging in price from less than $50 to a few hundred, there is a golf shoe out there to fit every budget. Having an idea of what you’re willing to spend will help you focus your search on a shoe that you can not only afford but that suits your every need.
 

Types of Golf Shoes

There is a golf shoe to fit every foot, swing style, and playing condition. Knowing the type of golf shoe that provides you the most comfort and maximizes performance will make your choice easier.
 

Spiked or Cleated Shoes

Spiked or cleated golf shoes have the most aggressive traction. On the bottom of the shoe, plastic or metal spikes provide players a stable base and prevent slippage during the swing. While some shoes still have metal spikes, they are increasingly rare. Most modern shoes have soft spikes that are made of plastic or rubber. One major benefit of soft spikes is that they can be easily replaced. If your spikes need to be replaced, they are cheap to buy and the process takes little time. If you’re a player with a fast swing speed, spiked or cleated shoes are a great option as they provide maximum stability.
 

Golf Cleats
Golf Shoes. Source golf-monthly.co.uk

 

Spikeless Shoes

Spikeless golf shoes have become increasingly popular and are preferred by players that like to walk or find spiked or cleated shoes uncomfortable. These shoes usually have a casual look but an aggressive tread that affords stability. The advantages of spikeless shoes are that they are low profile, stylish, and are arguably the most comfortable style of shoe. They may not be the best option for players that play in wet conditions, though, as most models are not waterproof.
 
Spikeless Golf Shoes
 

Golf Boots

Designed for the golfer that plays in the most extreme elements, golf boot designs mirror those of hiking boots as they are high-topped and most often come with spikes. The advantages of golf boots are waterproofing, support, and stability. If you find yourself playing in wet conditions or on undulating terrain, golf boots are a great option.
 

Golf Boots
Golf Boots. Source golf-monthly.co.uk

 

Golf Sandals

Golf sandals are at the opposite end of the spectrum from golf boots. Designed to provide the ultimate in comfort, golf sandals can be either cleated or spikeless. Though they lack the support of traditional golf shoes, golf sandals are lightweight and allow your feet to breathe. Some players even choose to go sockless. If you play in warm, dry conditions and you don’t often find yourself slipping during your swing, golf sandals might be the best choice.
 
Golf Sandal
 

Golf Shoe Materials

Golf shoes are made out of a variety of materials. Many modern designs incorporate multiple materials to marry performance, style, and comfort. Knowing the characteristics of each different material will aid you in making an educated decision on what shoe to buy.
 

Leather

 
It’s little wonder that leather is the most commonly used material in golf shoe design. Because of its waterproof and elastic qualities, leather is found on the exterior of golf shoes. When taken care of and treated properly, leather retains its sleek look and can last for years. Though leather shoes usually cost more than shoes made of other materials, they often come with a warranty of one or two years.
 

Waterproof Lining

 
Golf boots and wintertime golf shoes often contain waterproof linings. Though Goretex leads the way in waterproof material, each manufacturer has their own version that is sure to keep your feet warm and dry even on the wettest of days. Waterproof material can be expensive but is definitely worth the investment if you’re often playing in wet or cold conditions.
 

Synthetic

 
Synthetic is a cheaper version of leather that protects the outside of the shoe. The material is nonporous and even though it is thinner and lighter than leather, it may not be as breathable. If you’re looking for value and a material that performs adequately, a synthetic shoe is the way to go.
 

Types of Golf Spikes

Most modern performance golf shoes come with either soft or metal spikes. Depending on the conditions you play in and how much stability you need, choosing between either soft or metal spikes can make a difference.
 

Golf Spikes
Golf Spikes. Source golf-monthly.co.uk

 

Soft or Plastic

 
Soft or plastic spikes are the most popular spikes on the market. Soft spikes distribute a player’s weight across a wide area and are considerably less prone to tearing up green surfaces and fairways. Most players also prefer the comfort of soft spikes because the material flexes as you walk and swing.
 

Metal

 
Though they are becoming less and less common, metal spikes are still preferred by many Tour pros. Because metal spikes are longer and sharper than soft spikes, they allow players with the fastest swing speeds to stay connected to the ground. Metal spikes lack the forgiveness and flexibility of soft spikes and players with tender backs or feet may not prefer them. If you’re going to play in metal spikes, it’s important to make sure they are allowed as many courses have adopted policies prohibiting them.
 

Types of Lacings

As the golf shoe has evolved over the years, so too has it lacings.
 
Shoe Laces
 

Shoe Laces

 
Traditional shoe laces are still preferred in golf shoes. The flexibility and ability to exact the fit of your shoe is hard to beat. Many shoes come with extra sets of laces that are different colors allowing you the option to choose the sharpest look.
 

Mechanical

 
Mechanical lacing systems are gaining popularity with golfers. With designs that mirror that of ski boots, mechanical lacings allow a golfer to adjust tightness with the simple turn of a nob or adjustment of a Velcro strap. The advantages of mechanical lacing systems are consistent stability throughout your round and never having to worry about re-tying your laces.
 

How to Determine the Right Golf Shoe for You Video

 

Frequently Asked Questions

There are countless options when it comes to choosing the right golf shoe. While one pair might look the part, you may find them uncomfortable or prohibitively expensive. Below are some questions to consider when finding the best golf shoe for your game.
 

Q: How do you put golf spikes on your golf shoes?

A: Though likely included with the purchase of new spikes, some players may prefer to install fresh spikes themselves. This simple process requires a spike wrench. Before you go purchase the first spike wrench you find, make sure it fits the spikes you’re trying to replace as different spikes and manufacturers require different wrenches. If you wait too long to replace your spikes, getting them out can become difficult since dirt can cause clogs making spikes nearly impossible to remove.
 

Q: How do you clean golf shoes?

A: If you want your golf shoes to last a long time, it’s important to clean them on a regular basis. Doing so requires only a bucket of hot water, soap, a bristle brush and a clean towel. To begin, wet the towel and thoroughly wipe down the exterior of your shoes. If there is still grime in the creases, dip your brush in water and gently scrub these areas clean. If you want to keep your leather shoes looking pristine, a small investment in the appropriately colored shoe polish goes a long way. To shine your shoes, apply a liberal amount of polish to the surface and gently rub it in with a clean brush. In order to ensure the integrity of the shoe’s shape and fit, putting a shoe a shoe horn on the inside is an excellent idea.
 

Q: How do you waterproof golf shoes?

A: Waterproofing your golf shoes is a necessity if you regularly play in wet conditions. First, make sure your shoes are clean and dry. Next, select a waterproof spray that is leather-friendly and apply a healthy coating to the entire exterior of the shoe. Wipe off any excess liquid and let your shoes sit overnight in a warm space to dry. Once dried, run water over the exterior of the shoe to make sure they are waterproofed to your liking.
 

Conclusion

It’s vitally important to make sure that your golf equipment is up-to-date and fits your game. If you’re going to play your best golf, you can’t afford to leave any stone unturned. While it’s easy to get caught up in clubs, range finders, and other necessities, you must realize that everything is irrelevant if you don’t have a stable base from which to swing. Take the time to do the appropriate research for the right pair of shoes and your golf game will thank you for it.

 

5 Simple Tips On How to Drive a Golf Ball Further Without Increasing Clubhead Speed

How To Drive A Golf Ball

If you are a player that dreams of hitting high flying drives of over 300 yards then you are not alone. If you, like many, do not have the time or energy to spend long hours in the gym or with speed training devices on the range, then this article is for you. Finding ways to improve your driving distance doesn’t start in the gym, it starts with understanding what makes long drivers so efficient. These 5 simple steps will help you hit longer, straighter drives without picking up a single weight or doing a single stretch.

How to Drive a Golf Ball
 
If you feel like you are leaving yards on the course from drives that slice violently or see shots continuously falling short of where you think they ought to be, then these 5 tips can make a difference in your game. While it is true that PGA Tour players like Rickie Fowler, Dustin Jonhson, Tiger Woods, Jordan Speith, and Brooks Kopeka have fast speeds that not everyone can achieve, the efficiency off the tee box can be mimicked and that can lead to you picking up 10, 20, or even 30 yards off the tee box. Understanding how far you should be hitting the golf ball is a crucial part in maximizing your distance.

See the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the R&A set performance standards and limitations on golf equipment companies and the states of golf club equipment. Currently, the maximum efficiency ratio that drivers can create is 1:1.5. In its simplest form, that ratio means that for every one mile per hour of speed you produce, your driver can give you up to 1.5 miles per hour of ball speed. The average male swing speed is currently around 90 miles per hour, mph, and should produce a ball speed of near 130 miles per hour. 130 mph ball speed should yield a total distance of over 250 yards. If 90 mph clubhead speeds sound like you, but your driver is not giving you well over 200 yards of performance, then you are leaving distance on the table without the need to improve your fitness level or swing speed.
 

Step 1 – Setting Up To Hit The Ball A Long Way

A proper setup with your driver can lead to instant performance improvements. In an effort to find the fairway more often, golfers tend to set up with their driver in much the same way they do with their irons or wedges. Because the driver shaft is longer and the golf ball is resting on a tee rather than the ground, player’s setup positions need to change. Players should try playing the golf ball just inside of their front foot and as they grip their club, they should feel their trail shoulder work below their forward shoulder creating a tilt in their spine. This ball position and spinal tilt will set the foundation for the following four steps.

Golf Stance

 

Step 2 – Taking Advantage Of The Drivers Natural Playing Position And Engineering to Hit the Ball

With the golf ball near your front foot and forward of the center of your body, you will be naturally inclined to hit the ball with a club path that is traveling upward and away from the ground at impact. An upwards angle of attack often referred to as a positive angle of attack, helps to launch the golf ball into the air and reduces spin for longer shots that roll further once they come down.

 

Step 3 – Changing Your Ball Flight Curvature

Draws do not automatically go further than golf shots that fade, however, the club characteristics that help players hit a draw most often lead to longer shots and more golf ball roll out. For a right-handed golfer, a draw is achieved when the club is traveling on a path that is more rightward of the golf club’s face during impact. This difference in face and golf swing path angle will tilt the golf ball to the left and cause the golf ball to draw back towards target. For left-handed players, they should see a club face that is slightly right of a leftward moving golf club. Club faces that are “closed” to club paths often result in golf shots hit with less club loft, less spin, and longer carry distances.

Ball Flight

 

Step 4 – Strike is King when Learning How to Drive a Golf Ball Further

Where you strike the golf ball on the club face will have a large impact on where the ball flies, how much spin it has, and which direction it curves. Even under identical swing conditions, differences in strikes can make the ball draw, fade, launch higher or lower, and spin more and less. The longest drives are actually struck slightly higher on the driver’s face. This higher impact location increases the club’s effective loft and produces a higher launching golf shot with less spin. Spin is reduced by what is referred to as the gearing effect often associated with golf shots not hit in the geometric middle of the club’s face.

Golf Driver

 

Step 5 – Getting A Driver Built For Your Golf Swing

Swing changes can be difficult. Luckily, golf equipment manufactures, and club fitters have unique tools that can help alter standard drivers to fit your individual golf swing characteristics. Loft, lies, centers of gravity, and face angles can all be altered to give you a club that helps you hit it longer, higher, and straighter. Going to test different model drivers or making changes to your current gamer can create lasting impacts on your confidence and driver performance.
 

Video – Simple Drill to Help You Hit the Ball Further

 

Conclusion

Although not everyone can swing the club at 120 miles per hour, everyone can get the most from their golf swing speed. Players that find themselves swinging at speeds higher than their current driving distances reflect can greatly improve their performance off the tee by doing the 5 steps above. Without a doubt, advances in club fitting techniques and driver technology can go a long way in helping you hit more fairway and giving your shorter irons into greens. In today’s modern game, driving the golf ball a long way is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity. Making small changes to your setup, swing, and current driver can cause a dramatic shift in your current driving statistics. Thanks for reading and check back later for more golf tips and tricks.
 

How to Fix A Golf Slice in 3 Easy Steps

How-to-fix-a-golf-slice

 
Let’s be honest we all slice the ball, and when we do it can be ever so be frustrating. The unfortunate reality is that slicing the ball is very common and a majority of golfer’s struggle with it each year. However, the truth is that a slice can really hurt your golf game. This is because a slice can cause you to lose accuracy, distance, and most importantly your mental game. But don’t worry we created this guide to help you get rid of your that pesky slice, and with a few simple changes you too can begin hitting the ball straight and far down the fairway every time.
 

What Exactly is a Golf Slice?

For right handed golfers a slice is really any shot that curves very hard to the right when in the air. For left handed golfers it is flipped, and it occurs when a shot curves very hard to the left when in the air.

How to fix a golf slice

 

What Causes a Slice?

The slice occurs when a golfer has poor grip on the club, an improper setup, and an outside-in swing path. What is an outside-in swing path? This is when the golfer reaches too far out on their down swing, which then causes their club to come down on the outside of the target line of the ball. When this occurs it forces the golfer to pull the club head in closer into them in order to hit the ball. Which in turn causes the club face to point to the right of the target at impact.
 

How to Fix a Golf Slice?

Get the Right Driver

Many golfers who are slicing the ball are using the wrong driver. Instead of using a driver with a greater loft of the club face, they are using a driver with very little loft. Many amateur golfers are not aware that there is a very clear relationship between the length and loft of a club to its accuracy. The longer and less lofted a club is the greater the chance that you will not hit the ball straight. A perfect example of this relationship can be found with the driver.
 
How to fix a golf slice

A driver’s shaft length is usually between 43-46 inches long. This greater shaft length will produce a significant amount of “lag” during the downswing. This “lag” is caused by the club head trailing behind the handle of the club due to the flexing of the shaft. So, the longer the club shaft, the longer it will take for the shaft to unflex and the longer it will take for the club face to not trail behind the handle. If this “lag” remains at the time of impact, the clubface will be open and cause a slice. As for loft, a degree or two can make a huge difference. The more loft on a clubface, the more time until the hitting area reaches the ball. This gives the golfer precious time to square up the club before impact. Most divers have just 9-12″ of loft, so there is very little room for error.

Many golfers who are slicing the ball are using the wrong driver. Instead of using a driver with a greater loft of the club face, they are using a driver with very little loft. Many amateur golfers are not aware that there is a very clear relationship between the length and loft of a club to its accuracy. The longer and less lofted a club is the greater the chance that you will not hit the ball straight. A perfect example of this relationship can be found with the driver. If you are not sure if you are holding the golf club properly, here is an exercise that can help.
 

Fix Your Grip on the Club

Golf slices also occur because many amateur golfers do not grip a golf club correctly. They either grip the golf club too strong or too weak. A proper golf grip is one of the best ways you get more control over your shots. Note: For players that are right handed, grip the club in your left hand first. This will be opposite if you are a left-handed golfer.
 
How to fix a golf slice

  • Position the grip of the club mainly on the fingers of your left hand.

  • With the golf club on the ground, you should be able to see at least two of the knuckles on your left hand as you look down the shaft of the club. Now to help remedy your slice you should try to see at least three of your knuckles on your left hand instead of two.

  • The “V” formed by your left index finger and thumb should be pointing towards your right shoulder.

  • Now place your right-hand grip on top of the left so that they complement one another.

There you have it, the proper way to hold a golf club. This type of golf grip will help you keep the face of the club in the correct position all the way through impact with the golf ball, and will contribute significantly to eliminating your slice.
 

An Easy Practice Drill that will Help Fix Your Golf Slice

Step 1: Make a Backward Loop

  • Make sure you are gripping the golf club correctly.

  • Get in your normal golf stance and set the ball just inside your front heal.

  • Place the club head in front of the ball, not behind as you would normally.

  • Make a slow circle with your hands, swinging the club toward the ball and then over the ball.

  • Only focus on making a nice circular loop.

Step 2: Lift and Turn Your Body

  • Once you have Step 1 down, you can now incorporate the shoulder turn.

  • To begin, start with the clubhead behind the ball not in front of the ball like we did in Step 1.

  • Lift the club over your head until your hands are now in front of your face.

  • Turn your shoulders back, and while keeping it on the plane you have established swing it over the ball.

Step 3: Turn Your Body and Release

  • Once you have Step 1 and Step 2 down, it’s now time to go from practice drill to a real golf swing.

  • Lift the club into a 2/3 position backswing with your left arm in front of your chest.

  • Then make a full backswing turn and go from swinging over the ball to actually hitting the ball.

  • As you practice you will feel the backward loop from Step 1, and you should start to see a right-to-left ball flight.

How to Fix Your Golf Slice Video

 

Final Words

Golf is a great and slicing the ball is quite common for all golfers, and can really take a tole on your mental game, especially when on the tee box. However, by using the above techniques you too can begin to have better control over your shots, and hit the ball straight each and every time.
 

How to Fix A Golf Slice

How to Fix a Golf SLice
 

A Practical Guide to Leading Your Next Golf Buddies Golf Trip

golf buddies

 
Aside from waking up to watch the final round of the Masters or every round of the British Open, I relish my annual golf trip with my buddies more than anything else. The trip gives us a chance to get away from our better halves and enjoy some much-needed camaraderie amongst ourselves for a few days.

I’ve been doing these golf-centric rendezvous for several years and have learned my share of do’s and don’ts. As I grow older, I have come to realize that these trips aren’t about cramming in 36 holes a day for a week straight. Been there, done that and it doesn’t work. What I have come to realize is that we aren’t as young as we once were, and people have obligations of family, work, coaching and financial limitations that make dream trips to Pinehurst or the British Isles nothing more than a dream.

The good news is that you can still book your annual buddies’ trip, not break the bank and have a great time. Below are my best tips to make sure that everyone has a good time on the trip you think about all year.
 
Golf Buddies
 

You Don’t Need to Drink Champagne on a Beer Budget when with your Golf Buddies

I’m fortunate to live in the great state of Oregon and Bandon Dunes is the site of my annual golf trip. It’s affordable for Oregonians in the winter. I’m lucky.

A successful golf trip with your buddies doesn’t have to be hallmarked by exclusive courses that cost an arm and a leg. I remember a spur-of-the-moment boys trip to Boise, Idaho in September where we never paid more than $60 for a green fee, cart included.

With a little research, it’s easy to find places that everyone can get to and there are hundreds of quality courses that fit everyone’s budget. If you do this work upfront, you’ll attract more players and you’re sure to have trip to remember.
 

Start Planning Early

Whether your group is four or 44, planning is key to a successful buddie’s trip. The last thing you want is any loose ends not to be tied up.

Planning can start as far out as six months in advance. A good place to begin is an email thread that invites everyone on the trip and let’s them know that spots are limited. Doing this and asking for commitments in advance plants a seed. You’ll likely get a barrage of responses that say, “I’m think I’m in” or “Sounds great and I’ll get back to you.” While this is annoying, at least you can establish a baseline of what your budget and reservations look like.

From here you can start making tee times and reservations for places to stay. If you do these things in advance, it’s likely you’ll receive favorable treatment of discounted rates on both rooms and golf.
 

Fast Pay Makes Fast Friends

After you send out that initial e-mail it’s important to start collecting deposits. Even if it’s just $50 per guy for rooms, collecting this money upfront alleviates your liability and gives your golf buddies an incentive to see their commitment through. Trust me on this one, I’ve made the mistake of paying before collecting and I won’t ever do it again.
 

Be Fair and Be Square, Remember these are your Golf Buddies

 
You’re at the point that you have some commitments and deposits. Now the real fun begins. You need to communicate the format to everyone involved. Unless you’re spending your last penny to go on this trip in the first place, chances are you and your buddies want to enjoy some friendly competition with a few dollars involved. On my annual trip, each player pays $40 a day that goes toward daily skins and payout as well as the overall pot. If you have one good day, you’re sure to break even at worse.

The biggest key is to make the format fun and competitive. After you get everyone’s updated handicap, your options are virtually limitless. Below is my favorite format for groups for four or more. Feel free to get as creative as you want.
 

Ryder Cup

While it’s not likely you’re going to attract passionate fans from both sides of the Atlantic and be broadcasted on national television, there’s nothing better than a friendly competition that divides your group in two. Using the match play format, you can come up with creative pairings that award each match a point toward the team total. The team that ends up with the most points at the end of your trip leaves with a few bucks, bragging rights and a “trophy.”
 

Speaking of Trophies

Golf Buddies
 
Belts with huge buckles were cool for a short while but they aren’t anymore. When you’re on a buddies’ golf trip, you’re not vying for the world heavyweight boxing title. You should choose an award that is special to the group. For me, the winning team wins not only a few bucks but a coveted chalice that I purchased for $12.50 at a thrift shop when I was in college. That’s a story for another time but it’s sacred in our group. Your prize should be too.
 

Too Much Golf

Whether your trip is for a weekend of a week, there is a lot more involved than the golf. At the end of the day it’s about spending quality time with friends you don’t get to see every day.

I remember the first time I flew in three friends to my hometown in Oregon and arranged world-class golf for six straight days. By day four, we were all burnt out and no one wanted to play the last two days. If you’re going to be at a destination more than two or three days, taking a day off in the middle of the trip is a wonderful idea. Let your friends explore the local sites on their own and meet in the evening for a great meal where everyone has a chance to catch up and recant the day’s non-golf adventures.
 

The Best Things Come in Moderation, Including Moderation

This trip is your one chance to cut loose and have a good time with your friends. You should enjoy yourself. There’s going to be a night or two when everyone wants to tell the same stories from a decade ago just like they did last year. This is usually accompanied by some food and some adult beverages. Have fun. You’re only with this group once a year… But remember you still must play golf the next day.
 

Early Bird Get’s the Worm, Said No One Ever on a Golf Trip

Golf Buddies
 
Don’t get me wrong, I love being the first group out on a Saturday morning when my surroundings are quiet, and the smell of freshly mown grass permeates the air. As romantic as these rounds are most days of the year, getting proper sleep on your buddies’ trip is imperative for everyone. Chances are there are going to be some late evenings and the libations will flow so there’s no sense in making early tee times. Teeing off between 10:00am and 11:00am gives everyone the chance to sleep in and have a leisurely morning.
 

Sandbaggers Beware

Chances are your group represents a wide spectrum in terms of ability, so you need to play a net format where appropriate handicaps are given and make agreed upon adjustments after each round.

I remember being on a trip one year and the first day my opponent was a 16 handicap and shot 74. Safe to say I didn’t stand a chance and was not a happy camper after the round. Much to this player’s dismay, his handicap was adjusted for the rest of the trip and he was never invited back. You don’t want to have anyone like this guy in your group.

While people do play above their expected levels from time to time, adjusting at the end of play each day keeps everyone competitive and in the game.
 
Golf Buddies
 

Conclusion

Trips with your golf buddies can be a lot of fun. They give you a chance to bond once a year for a few days and don’t have to cost a fortune. If you start planning early and make sure everyone is on the same page with each facet of the trip, you’re sure to make memories that last a lifetime and create a tradition you can look forward to for years to come.
 

The Ultimate Guide on Golf Irons

Golf Irons

 
For golfers of all skill levels, having the right set of irons is essential to playing your best. What’s best for Dustin Johnson likely isn’t what’s best for you. Irons make up the majority of clubs we use during a round and having a set that is properly fitted instills confidence and maximizes performance. With so many different brands, shafts, and heads to choose from, deciding what irons are best for you can be overwhelming. In order to simplify the process and help you better understand what to look for, we’ve created the ultimate guide to buying irons below.
 b

When Do You Use an Iron?

golf iron
 
Irons are numbered clubs with varying lofts designed to hit the golf balls a specific yardage. Irons are most often used off the tee on par threes and out of the fairway or rough on par fours and fives. In some cases, they can make great chipping clubs as well.
 

Finding the Best Irons for Your Golf Game

Finding a set of irons that maximizes distance, accuracy, and control is an intricate and complex process. While some preliminary research on your part can expedite the process, consulting a Certified Club Fitter or PGA Professional will ensure that your irons are properly fitted to your swing.
 

Budget

More than any other piece of equipment in your bag, irons are worth making an investment in. Prices for full sets of irons can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands. Researching what irons are best for you across several different brands will help you find a set that is within your budget.
 

Top Iron Features

The technology in modern irons is highly advanced. From irons that are cast or forged, game improvement or precision focus, cavity back, muscle back or blade, graphite shafts or steel shafts, the combinations are endless and having even an elementary understanding of what is best for you will help you narrow your focus.
 

Forged Irons

The term forged refers to an iron that is hand made from a single piece of metal. Carbon steel is heated and molded into a rough shape and then hammered out, grinded, milled and polished by hand into the finished product. Forged irons usually have a smaller club head and sweet spot that is preferred by highly skilled players who value control and feel over forgiveness and distance.
 
forged vs. cast irons

Cast Irons

Cast irons are produced en masse by pouring liquid metal into a mold. This process allows manufacturers to produce highly complex head designs that incorporate features like perimeter weighting and multi-material composites. Cast clubs tend to be better for higher handicap players as they are more forgiving, promote a higher ball flight, and increase distance.
 

Designs of Irons

Blade Irons

Like drivers and fairway woods, many hybrids come with loft adjustability. Lofts can be adjusted up to five degrees; allowing you to dial in your exact preferred distance. Some hybrids also allow you to adjust face angle either open or closed. This is a great option for players who struggle either hitting slices or hooks. Adjustable sole weights may be available as well. By adjusting sole weight, you’re able to change the center of gravity to raise or lower ball flight.
 
cavity back vs. forged

Cavity Back Irons

Cavity back irons can be either forged or cast and their main feature is a large “cavity” in the back of the clubhead that concentrates weight in the perimeter of the club. Perimeter weighting increases MOI across the entire face, affording maximum forgiveness on off-center shots. Combined with a thin face, cavity back irons are great for mid- to high-handicap players as they produce shots that fly longer, higher and straighter than blade irons.
 

Sets of Irons

The term “set” refers to a number of up to nine irons with different lofts that are the same model. Although rare in the modern game, long irons are those numbered two, three, and four. Mid irons are five, six, and seven. Short irons are eight, nine, and pitching wedge. When buying a set of irons, it’s important to buy a complete set of the same brand and model to ensure consistency in length, lie angle, and loft.
 

Hybrid Sets of Irons

Hybrid iron sets have exploded in popularity in recent years. Aimed at players that struggle hitting traditional irons or getting the ball in the air, hybrid iron sets start with forgiving cavity back heads in the short irons and progress all the way to hybrid head designs in the middle and long irons. The design of these clubs affords maximum forgiveness and helps get the ball in the air with greater consistency.
 

Golf Iron Shafts

golf shaft
Types of Golf Shafts. Source callawaygolf

 

Steel Shafts

Steel shafts are the most popular iron shafts on the market. Because they are considerably heavier, steel shafts flex less than graphite and allow for greater consistency in both accuracy and distance control. Consistent torque in steel shafts ensures that you’ll have the same amount of flex in all of your irons.
 

Graphite Shafts

Graphite shafts are substantially lighter and more flexible than steel shafts. Intended for players with slower swing speeds, graphite shafts help players hit the ball higher and increase distance. A drawback in graphite shafts is that they may lack the consistent feel throughout your iron set compared to steel shafts. Graphite shafts are also more expensive to produce than steel shafts and that cost is passed on to the consumer. If you’re a junior, senior, or lady that likes the feel of a lighter club and added distance, then graphite shafts are a great option.
 

Mutli-Material Shafts

Multi-material shafts are made mostly of steel with a graphite tip. While the graphite tip allows players to gain some added distance and reduces vibration felt on mishits, the steel portion of the shaft provides control and feel.
 

Shaft Flex

All iron shafts come in a range of flex options regardless of what material they are made of. Ladies’ flex shafts are the most flexible and extra stiff shafts are the least flexible. In between are senior flex, regular flex, and stiff flex.
 
There are many different dynamics that go into deciding what type of irons you should buy. Things like budget, head design, shaft material, and flex only scratch the surface. Once you’ve made the right choice for your game, there are a number of things to consider when maintaining your irons.
 

How to Hit Golf Irons Video

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: How long do golf irons last?

A: Most manufacturers come out with several new models of irons each year. It’s easy to get caught up in the latest technological jargon and features that are “guaranteed” to improve your game. Buying new sets of irons on a regular basis can quickly become an expensive habit. The good news is that irons last a long time if you care for them properly. While you may need to sharpen the grooves and replace the grips occasionally, the material in the heads and shafts will last a long time. Our recommendation is that when you buy a new set of irons, you should play with them enough to where you become comfortable and know how they are going to perform day in and day out.
 

Q: Where is the sweet spot on irons?

A: A: You know that buttery sensation when you don’t even feel the ball hitting the clubface? These shots come right out of the sweet spot. Contrary to popular belief, the sweet spot on most irons is not directly in the center of the face. Manufacturers have realized that because the majority of golfers have an outside-to-in swing path, they catch the majority of shots toward the toe, which can be due to their golf stance. For this reason, modern irons are engineered so that the sweet spot is just slightly on the toe-side of center.
 

Q: What are game improvement irons?

A: A: Game improvement irons are either cavity back or hybrid irons that help players get the ball airborne and increase distance. They are almost always perimeter weighted, have thin faces, and are large head designs. Game improvement irons are a great choice for beginners, seniors, ladies, or players with slower swing speeds that have trouble making consistent contact.
 

Q: How do you clean golf irons?

A: A: Taking proper care of your irons after every round will keep them looking their best and ensure they perform consistently every time you hit the links. Cleaning your irons is a simple step that only requires a bucket of warm water, some liquid soap and a two-side wire-and-bristle brush. Begin by soaking all your irons in a bucket of warm soapy water. Letting them sit for a few minutes allows the dirt and grime you picked up during your round to loosen. With each club, gently run the bristle side of the brush along each of the grooves carefully inspecting that are completely clean. Only use the wire side of the brush for dirt that won’t come out with the bristle side. Using the wire side to excess can scratch the face and dull your grooves. Finish by wiping the club down with a dry towel.
 

Conclusion

Making an informed decision about which irons to buy can be daunting. Between new products coming out all the time and so many different dynamics to consider, it’s easy to feel lost. For this reason, doing some minimal research and scheduling a professional fitting are well worth the time and money to guarantee you get the most out of your irons, shoot lower scores, and have more fun.

 

Golf Club Shipping Made Easy With Ship Sticks

Ship-sticks2

I distinctly remember the child-like anticipation I had the night before I embarked on my annual week-long guys’ golf trip to Bandon Dunes. Beautiful skies, good company, and world-class golf courses beckoned, and I couldn’t have been more excited. My 5:00 a.m. flight had only one stop in San Francisco and first tee was at 1:30 p.m.

The morning of my departure could not have gone any worse. Upon arriving for check-in at Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix, I was told that my travel bag exceeded the 50-pound limit. This resulted in me paying a $125 fee. Everything went smoothly in San Francisco, but when I landed in North Bend, my golf clubs were nowhere to be found. I made it through the hassle of opening a claim with the baggage people and was assured that my clubs would be delivered to my condo by the end of the day. My clubs finally arrived the morning of our third day. Upon inspection, I discovered that my driver head was broken and the zipper on my ball pocket was also damaged. What was supposed to be the trip of the year was quickly soured by the uncertainty of traveling with golf clubs. The airlines inability to adequately care for my belongings added disappointment to my itinerary. That is when my friend Scott, rather untimely, told me that I should have used Ship Sticks.
 

What is Ship Sticks?

Ship Sticks
U.S. airlines collect several billion dollars every year in baggage fees and “mishandle” north of 20 million pieces of luggage. These kinds of numbers make any traveling golfer nervous and most of us have likely fallen victim to damaged luggage or clubs at some point.

Founded in 2011 by a group of seasoned golfers, Ship Sticks provides a user-friendly service that takes the hassle of checking bags and dealing with mishandled luggage completely out of the equation. For a fee cheaper than what many airlines charge to check bags, they pick up your clubs and luggage from your home, country club, office, or hotel. They make sure that everything arrives safe and secure at your destination by the time you get there. No more dealing with lost or damage items or excessive baggage fees. Originally founded as a service for shipping golf clubs, Ship Sticks also ships your luggage and even skis or snowboards to over 3,500 facilities in some 220 countries across the globe.
 

How Does the Process Work?

Ship Sticks Review
In an effort to avoid the fiasco I dealt with on my trip to Bandon Dunes last year, I decided to give Ship Sticks a try. I booked with them for a wedding in Dallas this past spring. The process was simple, and my clubs arrived at my destination on time and undamaged.

Setting up the shipment was straightforward on the Ship Sticks website. From the home page, simply clicking the Ship Now icon takes you to a screen where you fill out some basic information. All you have to do is to fill out your pickup and drop off location details and your arrival and departure times. After you’ve filled out the necessary fields, click Continue to login and complete the order process. Once your shipment is scheduled, just print and attach the labels to your travel case and you’re all set. You’ll also receive a confirmation email with all the details immediately after you complete your order.

Once your clubs are picked up by the delivery driver, you’ll be able to easily track your shipment the entire way. Using the tracking number in your confirmation email, simply go to the tracking page on the Ship Sticks website to get real-time information about where your clubs are. The Ship Sticks tracking team monitors each and every shipment internally. If anything arises during the process, their friendly staff are readily available and are happy to answer any questions you may have. Finally, when your clubs arrive, you’ll receive one last email putting your mind at ease that your clubs have been delivered.
 

Why Use Ship Sticks?

Ship Sticks Review
 
Ever since my trip to Dallas, there is no doubt that I will be using Ship Sticks whenever I travel with my clubs. Since they are not a shipping center, they take extra care to see that your clubs and luggage receive the utmost care. The obvious reasons for using Ship Sticks is to avoid excessive baggage fees, and the inconvenience of schlepping your bags through the airport. With Ship Sticks, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing your clubs will arrive on-time and undamaged.

The company sets itself apart from other shipping companies in a number of other ways. If you’re going to be traveling internationally, you take on greater risk of lost or damaged luggage with numerous connecting flights and having to get through customs. Ship Sticks takes care of all this for you. If you’re only going to be playing golf for part of your trip abroad, Ships Sticks International will pick up your clubs after your last round and deliver them to your home or country club. This way you won’t have to worry about lugging them around for the remainder of your trip.

Ship Skis

Maybe you put your clubs away during the winter to hit the slopes with your skis or snowboard instead. Traveling with winter equipment can be just as cumbersome as traveling with golf clubs. Partnered with ski resorts throughout North America and world-wide, Ship Skis takes the hassle out of lugging bags of heavy ski gear around. They eliminate the time wasted waiting at baggage claim and securely deliver your skis and snowboard on-time. The process is simple and easy and comes with the same guarantees of Ship Sticks. Shipment sizes come in a variety of weight ranges making it easy for everyone, from children to adults, to ship their gear. They provide complimentary insurance, allowing you to purchase additional if needed. In the rare event that something does happen to your equipment during travel, Ship Skis offers shipment protection on every shipment. Their on-time guarantee means you’ll be able to spend more time hitting the slopes and less time waiting around for your gear to show up.

Luggage

Want to take the hassle of checking bags completely out of the equation? Ship Sticks provides the same great service for luggage as well. No more waiting in line at the airport counter or for your bags to show up at the baggage claim. With the ability to ship to multiple destinations in the same trip, they offer the same on-time guarantee, and the option to ship multiple pieces of luggage. Their dedicated customer service team makes sure every shipment goes smoothly. With Ship Sticks, you’ll never have to deal with buying new clothes or sleeping without your favorite pillow again.
 

Ship Sticks Video Review

 

Why We Love Ship Sticks!

There is no denying that Ship Sticks has revolutionized modern travel. Ship Sticks provides a service unlike any other for anyone that travels with heavy bags or equipment. They constantly deliver on their promise of a safe and on-time guarantee. Alleviating the hassle of long lines, expensive fees, and the uncertainty of luggage delivery goes a long way in helping everyone enjoy their time away to the fullest. You can bet that when I travel to Palm Springs in a couple of months for my annual boys’ trip, I’ll be using Ship Sticks. Let’s just hope my golf wins me back all the money that I lost last year.
 

Click the Logo for an Exclusive Ship Sticks Promo Code

Ship Sticks Review
 

The Ultimate Guide on Golf Hybrids

The-ultimate-guide-to-hybrids-1

If you’ve been playing golf for years, then you probably remember carrying a two-, three-, and four-iron—those clubs that you hit solidly only on a rare occasion and all too often got caught up in the long rough failing to advance the ball very far. When Taylormade introduced the Rescue hybrid in 2002 the golf landscape changed forever. Other manufacturers followed suit and golfers around the world were suddenly able to hit long shots in the air and quickly stop them on the green. Hybrid technology continues to improve every year and if you’re a player that struggles to consistently hit traditional long irons, then hybrids are a must-have for your bag.
 

When Do You Use A Hybrid?

When To Use A Hybrid
Hybrid Golf Club. Source HookedonGolfBlog.com

 
Hybrids are versatile tools that can do more than rescue you from bad lies. Golfers usually use their hybrid to fill that difficult gap between a fairway wood and a mid to short iron. Hybrids can be used off the tee, from the rough, and on the fairway. What is so great about hybrids is they are designed to cut through the rough better than a fairway wood, and you can even chip the ball if you’re near the green.

 

Finding the Best Hybrid Your Golf Game

Hybrids are meant to replace your two, three, four, five, and even six-irons. With so options to choose from, it’s important to spend some time hitting hybrids of different lofts, shafts, and head designs to find the ones best suited for your game. Just like an iron or wedge, knowing the precise distance you hit each of your hybrids will help you eliminate any yardage gaps in your bag.
 

Budget

Hybrids range in price from less than $100 to over $300 per club. Knowing how many hybrids you need for your bag and what you’re willing to spend will help you narrow down your search. Depending on where you make your purchase, discounts may be offered if you buy more than one. For the sake of performance consistency, we recommend buying hybrids of the same model and brand.
 

Top Hybrid Features

Hybrids have many different features that set them apart from other clubs. Knowing what specific characteristics are best for your game will help focus your search.

Top Hybrid Features
Hyrbids come in a variety of styles. Source Titleist.com

 

Loft

Hybrids generally range in loft from 18 to 27 degrees and are meant to mirror the lofts of long irons. Because of their unique design, it’s important to remember that a 21-degree hybrid will not travel the same distance as a 21-degree 3-iron. Typically, hybrids fly slightly farther than traditional long irons but shorter than fairway woods of the same loft. Before you buy hybrids, make sure you’re able to accurately measure the distance they travel so that you’re not left with significant gaps in yardage.
 

Shaft

Shaft length, material, and flex will also affect how far a hybrid goes. Hybrid shafts are usually two or three inches shorter than the shafts on fairway woods and are meant to resemble the length of an iron. Most hybrids come with a graphite shaft to reduce weight and add distance. Steel shafts may be a custom option depending on the model and manufacturer. Shaft flex is also an important element to consider when buying hybrids. For example, if you’re swinging stiff flex in your irons, it doesn’t make much sense to swing regular flex in your hybrids. A proper fitting with a PGA Professional will ensure that you end up with the best shaft for your swing.

Hybrid Shafts
Types of Golf Shafts. Source callawaygolf

 

Adjustability

Like drivers and fairway woods, many hybrids come with loft adjustability. Lofts can be adjusted up to five degrees; allowing you to dial in your exact preferred distance. Some hybrids also allow you to adjust face angle either open or closed. This is a great option for players who struggle either hitting slices or hooks. Adjustable sole weights may be available as well. By adjusting sole weight, you’re able to change the center of gravity to raise or lower ball flight.

Hybrid Adjustability
Hybrid Adjustablity. Source GolfDiscount.com

 

Frequently Asked Questions

While there is no doubt that hybrids will improve your game, choosing the right hybrid is of paramount importance. Below we’ve answered some commonly asked questions regarding hybrids to help you make a more informed decision.

 

Q: What golf clubs do hybrids replace?

A: Hybrids are most often meant to replace long irons. Traditional long irons are difficult for most players to hit consistently and hybrids are more forgiving, promote a higher ball flight, and are easier to hit out of the rough. While you’ll commonly find Tour pros carrying hybrids in two-, three-, or four-iron lofts, many amateurs benefit from hybrids with five- and six-iron lofts as well. If you struggle hitting anything for a two-iron up through a six-iron, then hybrids are a great alternative.
 

Q: What is the difference between a hybrid and a driving iron?

A: A: As their name suggests, driving irons are meant to produce low spinning drives from the tee. Though they can be hit from the fairway, they lack some of the characteristics of a hybrid. Hybrids also tend to have larger, more rounded heads designed to get the ball in the air; and the designs of driving irons more closely resemble that of irons. The lofts of driving irons are more limited in loft, as well, and normally don’t exceed 17 or 18 degrees. Driving irons are most beneficial for players with fast swing speeds that have little trouble getting the ball in the air.
 

Q: What is the difference between a hybrid and fairway wood?

A: A: Hybrids have many features similar to fairway woods, but there are some notable differences. Though the head designs of hybrids mirror those of fairway woods, they are generally smaller and shallower. Hybrids are also shorter in length to promote control and allow players to make more of an iron swing. Because hybrids are shorter in length and have smaller heads, they do not fly as far a fairway woods.

When hybrids first came on to the scene in 2002, players around the world said hitting them was like cheating. That continues to be the case as design and technology keep evolving. As golf courses become longer, and players find themselves with more forced carries and longer shots into the green, hybrids afford consistency and forgiveness not found in traditional long irons. If you’re looking to improve your long game, shoot lower scores,d and have more fun, then hybrids are an investment you need to make.
 

How to Hit Golf Hybrids Video

 

Conclusion

Choosing a hybrid can be difficult; however, the right hybrid can leave lasting impacts on your game. The goal in buying a new club is to make your poor shots better and your good shots great. Using a hybrid can lead to only taking two shots to get on the green instead of three.

With any purchase of a new club, it is best to test each model to see what fits your swing style and preferences. Testing outside and indoors can illuminate your new hybrid’s true value. Better hybrids don’t just look nice in the bag, they provide confidence that helps you shoot your lowest rounds ever. Thank you for reading and happy testing!

 

The Ultimate Guide to Golf Carts

The-ultimate-guide-to-golf-carts-2

 
You love to walk. There is nothing better than having the first tee time of the day and strolling the dewy fairways as the morning comes alive. You scoff at the thought of riding in a power cart and lugging your clubs on your back just isn’t going to happen. Thankfully, modern-day golf carts fill the void. While the pull carts your dad and grandfather grew up with were nothing more than two wheels and a piece of metal, design and technology have come a long way. The golf carts of today not only get your clubs around the course, they make your entire experience more efficient and fun.
 

Why Use A Golf Cart?

Golf carts are a great alternative for players who prefer to walk but don’t like carrying their clubs. Easily stored in the back of your car or in your garage, golf carts are used by golfers from the time they leave their car until they return at the completion of their round.
 
Cart
 

Budget

Prices on golf push carts vary depending on brand, model, accessories, and extras. Some things to consider when budgeting for a push cart are how often you plan to use it, the materials it’s made of, how much storage it has, and what kind of warranty it comes with. Costs can range from less than $100 to over $1,000.
 

Types of Golf Carts

Golf carts come with numerous features that make them an asset for any player who walks. Most come with an umbrella holder that is like having a caddy there to keep you dry, or out of the sun on warm days. Other amenities include storage compartments, drink holders, and hand brakes.
 

Push Golf Carts

Push carts take on many characteristics of a baby stroller. Designed with either three or four wheels, push carts cradle your bag in front of you as you walk. The added amenities of push golf are countless but generally include umbrella and drink holders. An enclosed plastic storage compartment near the handle and a mesh pocket to store things like snacks, extra balls, or rangefinders are also typical. Most push carts are easy to set up and take down and occupy little space while stored. Because of the added features compared to a pull cart, push carts are generally more expensive.
 
Cart Bag
 

Pull Golf Carts

The most basic style of golf carts is the pull cart. Pull carts usually have two wheels and a handle that allows to pull your clubs behind you. With no extra features, and serving the sole function of pulling your clubs around the course, pull carts are the most affordable option.
 
golf cart
 

Electric Golf Carts

The most expensive type of golf cart is the electric version. Most are battery operated and allow you to steer your bag around the course with a hand-held remote control. Playing a round with an electric cart is like having a full-time caddy because almost no effort is needed on your part beside walking from one shot to another. Electric carts can be purchased for as little as $300, but most cost over $1,000.
 
golf cart
 

Materials of Golf Carts

Golf cart materials are either metal, aluminum, or titanium. Each has its own advantages ,but knowing what type of material your golf cart is made of before you buy it is critical.
 

Aluminum

Aluminum golf carts are by far the lightest golf carts available. The light weight feature is perfect for players who prefer not having to work too hard to get their clubs around the course. Aluminum is a fragile material that dents and scratches easily, though. If you buy an aluminum golf cart, then you’ll need to be extra careful to make sure it doesn’t run into anything.
 

Titanium

Even though titanium has been used in the manufacturing of drivers and fairway woods for years, it has only recently been used in golf carts. This material is great because it is both light-weight and durable. Since it is new and costs more to produce, golf carts made of titanium can be more expensive than aluminum or steel.
 

Steel

The most commonly used material in golf carts is steel. Though it is heavier, its durability is second to none. If you’re looking to buy a golf cart made of steel, make sure that it’s well-mounted on a set of sturdy wheels. A well-mounted metal frame distributes the weight and makes the cart seem lighter while in use.
 

What Buyers Should Look for when Purchasing a Golf Cart

There are many things to consider when buying a golf cart. The list below should give you some good ideas of what to consider.
 
golf cart
 

Size When Folded

The functionality of your golf cart relative to your needs is important, but how much storage room it takes up matters too. Before you buy a golf cart, make sure that when it’s fully collapsed it can easily fit in your car, locker, or wherever you plan to store it at home. Though most modern carts fold up to the size of a package, checking the size is still a good idea.
 

Battery Life

If you’re thinking of buying an electric cart, it’s only going to last as long as the battery. The worst thing that can happen is for your cart to die in the middle of your round. One of the first questions to ask when making a decision is how long the battery lasts and how long it takes to recharge. Some batteries can recharge in just a couple of hours, but others take 10 hours or longer. If you frequently play rounds on consecutive days, then it might be worth investing in a second battery.
 

Ease of Opening and Closing

If your cart gives you a headache every time you open or collapse it, then you’ll become quickly frustrated. There are many ways that golf carts open and close, and some take less time and effort than others. Some carts allow you to take the wheels off, while others have numerous latching mechanisms that allow you to fold the cart up in one fell swoop. Whatever cart you choose, make sure to inspect the latching mechanisms to be sure they’re well-built and can stand the test of time.
 

Wheel Size

Wheel size is important for a couple of reasons. First, the wheels should be large and wide enough that they can handle the type of terrain you play on. If you frequently walk a hilly course with uneven lies, then larger tires are best because they help prevent the cart from wandering offline and tipping over. It’s also important to put your bag on the cart and wheel it around before you buy it. If the bottom of your bag doesn’t have enough clearance, it will rub against the wheels, rendering the cart next to useless.
 

Handle and Brake

When you’re testing a golf cart, make sure the handle adjusts to a height that is comfortable. You should be able to walk comfortably and push your cart without having to bend over or stand taller. Most modern carts are equipped with hand brakes. Be sure to test the stability and strength of the brake to ensure it won’t come loose and allow your cart to roll.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

There are many characteristics you should consider when buying a golf cart. Budget, style, materials, accessories, and ease of use should all go into your decision. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding golf carts.
 
golf cart
 

Q: How much does a golf cart weigh?

A: Modern golf carts are designed to be lightweight and fully functional. Even though using a golf cart is easier than packing your clubs on your back, you still have to get it in and out of your car and push it around the course. Electric carts also come with batteries and battery packs which can add substantial weight to the cart. Before you make a decision, be sure your cart meets all of your needs and won’t cause you any undue stress because of its weight.
 

Q: How do you control the speed?

A: A: Controlling the speed with a push or pull cart is simple. The cart simply moves as fast as you push or pull it. There are a couple of ways that speed can be controlled on electric carts depending on the make and model. Some electric carts come with a pre-set speed and a simple on-off function. The most expensive electric carts, however, allow you to control the speed with a handheld remote. This setup also includes a braking function that allows you to slow the cart down while going downhill.
 

Q: How easy is it to assemble a golf cart?

A: A: This depends on the cart. Most carts arrive with the major pieces already assembled. It’s doubtful you’ll have to screw on the wheels or attach the handle. Some basic work might be required if you plan to attach accessories like umbrella holders or other aftermarket products. Make sure that you understand how to open and collapse your golf cart before buying it. Doing so will save you time and frustration.
 

Conclusion

Golf carts have long been the solution for players who like to walk but don’t want to carry their bag. Modern golf cart designs not only get your clubs around the course efficiently, but make the experience more enjoyable with extra features, storage, and simple setup and takedown. If you think a golf cart is the right option for you, make sure to do the necessary research ahead of time to ensure you end up with one that meets all of your needs.

 

The Secret to Hitting a Golf Driver Straight and Far

How-to-hit-a-driver-2-1

 
If you’re reading this article, then you’ve probably been left speechless while watching golfers with names like Rory, Dustin, Jason, Justin, and Brooks bomb drives down the center of the fairway on Sunday afternoons. Top Tracer Technology, employed by NBC, CBS, the Golf Channel, and others, shows us real time data, such as 180 mph ball speeds and 335 yard carry distances. For the best in the world the driver is a critical offensive weapon and it should be for you too. Although you probably won’t sniff the numbers of the flat-bellies on TV, there are some basic things you can employ to help you hit longer and straighter drives more consistently.
 

What’s a House Without a Foundation?

How to hit a driver
 
Setup, setup, setup!

In my teaching I constantly hear people tell me about all their swing ailments and what they read in the latest version of Golf Digest. After watching them hit a few errant shots, I inevitably stop the lesson and have the following conversation:

Teacher: “So [insert student name] you live in a nice house. It’s full of all the things you treasure in life: family pictures on the wall; granite countertops in the kitchen; and that his and hers bathroom you’ve always dreamed of.”

Student: “Yes! I love my house.”

Teacher: “What would happen to your house if it didn’t have a foundation?”

Student: “It would crumble around me.”

Teacher: “Correct. Think of the golf swing the same way. Your swing, even with all its quirks, is capable of producing decent golf shots. Without a proper setup, however, you create bad habits that lead to mishits and inconsistency.”

The truth is that setup is something any golfer can get right every time. The setup is the foundation that allows the swing to happen. And the best part? It’s easy! You haven’t even started your swing yet!
 

Driver Setup

The setup with the driver is a little different than with irons. Because the ball is on a tee, you’re actually trying to catch it slightly on the upswing. For this reason, your ball position should be slightly inside your target-side foot (left foot for right-handed players).

How to hit a driver
 
When you set up with irons, you’ll notice that your shoulders are fairly level. This position helps to create a slightly descending angle of attack, with the hands and shaft leaning ahead of the ball at impact. Since you’re trying to catch the driver on the upswing, however, tilt your spine slightly back so that your front shoulder is a little higher than your back shoulder. This will help you stay behind the shot and catch it solidly every time.

How to hit a driver
 
Because most amateurs want to hit the driver as hard as they can, they unconsciously grip the life out of the club at address. If you’re gripping the club too hard, then you’ll see the whites of your knuckles and even the veins in your forearms. If you have tension at address, any chance of making a smooth swing in good tempo is gone. While you want control of the club, make sure your hands, wrists, and forearms are relaxed.

Before you head to the range and try to fix your swing with every tip you’ve ever read, take time to check your setup and the three keys mentioned above. Chances are that many of your problems can be solved before you take the club back.

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

As mentioned above, most golfers equate swinging fast with hitting the ball far. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When you overswing, you rarely catch the ball solidly and the result is a shot that travels way off line.

Two of the best driver swings in the game are Vijay Singh and Fred Couples. Even at over 50 years old, both these players still boom it and they never look like they’re in a hurry. The key to their long and accurate drives is the time they take at the top of their backswing. By taking an extra second or feeling like there is a short pause, you give the shaft time to fully load and your body a chance to sync all the energy you’ve built up. From here, you’re able to make your downswing with proper timing and deliver the face square to impact.

I recommend watching some video of both Vijay Singh and Fred Couples to gain a visual sense of what it means to “take your time” at the top.
 

Fred Couples Explains the Key to His Golf Swing

 

Balance is Key

I get the question in nearly every lesson I give, “How hard can I swing?” The answer is simple—as hard as you want, BUT you have to maintain your balance. If you’ve spent time watching any of the names mentioned at the beginning of this article, then you can count on one hand the number of times they have lost their balance. Of course they are finely tuned athletes that spend hours in the gym, but the truth remains: if you’re not in balance, then you’ve got no chance of consistently hitting solid drives.

A great way to tell if you’re swinging in balance is seeing if you can hold your finish until the ball lands. If you can do this consistently with a driver, then you’re swinging in control and within yourself. You may look kind of silly holding your finish for so long, but trust me, your long game will thank you for it.
 

The Fairway Isn’t Your Target

When most players bring the driver out of the bag they are aiming for the fairway. Sounds pretty reasonable right? Aren’t you supposed to hit your tee shot on that big beautiful piece of turf? The answer is, yes. In order to hit more fairways though, picking a precise aiming point like a tree or the edge of a bunker, narrows your focus and gives you greater margin for error.

If you watch the best players in the world, they all start their routine from behind the golf ball. This allows them to find a fixed point at which to aim their drive. Next time you go to the range, do this on every shot until it becomes second nature.
 

Have a Go-To Shot

How to Hit a Driver
 
Anytime you pull the big stick out of your bag, you should make an aggressive move. But there are certain holes on every course that really test your mettle off the tee. If you’re going to make a good score, then you have no choice but to find the fairway.

It’s on these holes that it’s crucial to have a “go-to” shot that you’re confident in. A great way for many players to develop a reliable shot is to tee the ball lower. When you tee the ball down, the flight is lower, so it spends less time in the air where it has a chance to curve off line or be affected by wind. A lower shot hits the ground running, will end up in the fairway, and will cost you only minimal distance.
 

Conclusion

While the putter is unquestionably the most important club in your bag, getting off the tee consistently gives you the chance to score well and build confidence. If you find yourself struggling to hit fairways or getting the distance you want, then remember these tips before you go read another instructional article or buy the latest training aid. Until next time, keep it in the short grass.
 
 

The Ultimate Guide to Golf Bags

Golf-bag-buying-guide

 
One of the few drawbacks about playing the game of golf is that we have to pack around 14 clubs. An 18-hole round on a regulation course has you covering four to five miles with your clubs in tow. Whether you’re riding in a cart, carrying your bag, or pulling your clubs along, having the right golf bag goes a long way in making the journey easier and ensuring you have plenty of space to store not only your clubs but everything else you’ll need along the way. Whether it’s style, functionality, or some combination thereof, there’s plenty of options to choose from.
 

When Do You Use a Golf Bag?

Golf Bag
 
Golf bags allow you to store your clubs and all other necessary equipment in a central spot that is easy to get around the course. Golf bags vary greatly in style and functionality, but fundamentally make storing and transporting your golf gear in a central location as efficient as possible.
 

Finding the Best Golf Bag for Your Game

Choosing the right golf bag for your specific needs depends on a number of factors. If you’re a player who prefers to walk and carry your clubs, then a light weight bag with a few small pockets for essentials like tees and balls may be your best bet. If you’d rather ride in a cart and bag weight is not an important factor, you may opt for a bag with ample storage for everything you could possibly need during a round.
 

Budget

Golf bags can range in price from relatively inexpensive to several hundred dollars. You typically get what you pay for in terms of quality and functionality. Once you determine what type is bag is best for you, researching a specific style across several different brands can help you make a more informed decision.
 

Types of Golf Bags

There are many types of golf bags you can buy, it all depends on what you want to use it for. Whether you want to carry, ride, or travel there is a golf bag for you.

Pencil Bag or Sunday Bag

Pencil bags or Sunday bags are the ultimate in light weight options. Often featuring a single carrying strap, one or two small pockets and a single club divider, these bags are soft-bodied, lay flat on the ground and most often preferred by players that walk. They are also a great option for players who like to practice and only need a few clubs to take to the range or short game area.
 

Pencil Bag
Sunday or Pencil Golf Bag. Source Graylynloomis.com

 

Stand Bag

Stand bags are by far the most popular choice for golfers. Stand bags come with a double shoulder carry strap, several small pockets for balls, tees, beverages and snacks, a large pocket for extra clothing, and a kickstand that is activated when you set the bag down. Modern stand bags are designed to be lightweight and easy to carry, but also fit comfortably on power carts.
 
Golf Bag
 

Cart Bag

If you prefer to take a cart and storage is of the utmost importance to you, cart bags are the way to go. Since you’re not going to be carrying this bag over long distances, they often come with a single carry strap or rubber handles at the top of the bag. In addition to ample pockets for storage, cart bags often feature dividers for each of your clubs giving them added protection from banging together on bumpy cart paths or uneven terrain.
 
Cart Bag
 

Tour Bag or Staff Bag

Tour bags are most commonly used by the pros on television. These bags are not designed to be lightweight but instead provide ample storage for the best in the world while affording plenty of room for sponsor logos. You may also see staff bags in your local pro shop as they provide adequate space to store demo clubs while prominently displaying the manufacturer’s logo.
 
Golf Bag
 

Travel Bag

Travel bags are either hard or soft-shelled cases that protect your bag and clubs during airline or train travel. Just like any other golf bag, you usually get what you pay for and if you’re planning on traveling with your clubs with any regularity, investing in a quality travel bag can save you the hassle and money of damaged equipment incurred during transit.
 

Travel Golf Bag
Travel Golf Bag. Source Graylynloomis.com

 

What makes a quality golf bag?

With so many choices on the market, choosing the right golf bag can be overwhelming. Such a wide variety of materials, designs, and custom options make taking the time to do appropriate research worthwhile to ensure you end up with the right golf bag.
 

Q: How do I know which putter is best for me?

A: Regardless of the style of bag you choose, making sure you have a quality product is key to protecting your equipment, playing efficiently, and feeling confident about your game. Once you’ve found the bag you want, the first thing to look for is the integrity of stitching and the zippers on the pockets. If the stitching looks loose or the zippers seem sticky, chances are the bag will wear out quickly.

Knowing the material your bag is made of and its UV resistance is crucial as well. Bright colors that are made of thin material will likely fade in the sun after just a season or two, whereas thicker, more durable materials tend to retain their color longer.
 

Q: What is the most important factor to consider when buying a putter?

A: The most important aspect of putters can differ between golfers. Forgiving mallet designs can offer golfers struggling with the speeds of greens improved distance control. Putters with properly matched toe hangs will help golfers missing left or right to find the direction of the hole more often. Some golfers may buy putters because of their unique craftsmanship and exclusivity. No matter what you are struggling to find, there is a putter that can help you play your best golf.
 

Q: How do you clean a golf bag?

A: Over the course of a season, your golf bag is going to experience wear and tear. Whether it’s that Gatorade that spilled in the front pocket, or the Cliff Bar you forgot about until October, your bag is bound to get dirty. While you can’t exactly run your bag through the washing machine, taking the time to gently scrub down your bag with a wash cloth, soap, and water does wonders to keep the colors looking sharp. Cleaning out your pockets and making sure moving parts like kickstands and zippers are in good working condition goes a long way as well.
 

Q: How many clubs can you fit in a golf bag?

A: Different bags can comfortably fit different numbers of clubs. While a pencil or Sunday bag can fit the legal number of 14 clubs, the fit is tighter than a cart bag that has individual dividers and might fit 16 or 17 clubs.

 

Conclusion

At the end of the day, investing in the right bag for the type of golf you play is sure to make your experience more enjoyable both on and off the course. Whether you’re a traditional minimalist that enjoys packing your clubs around with little extra gear or the die-hard cart rider who needs space to have every piece of vital equipment at the ready, there are a countless options available to fit any budget. Being able to consolidate your clubs and other necessities in one spot will find you spending less time looking for misplaced accessories and more time in the fairway where you belong.
 

The Definitive Glossary of the Most Popular Golf Terms that Every Golfer Should Know

Golf-terms-1

 
Golf is intimidating for any beginning golfer. While the countless swing tips you’re getting from your instructor are tough enough, the verbiage and lingo only add to the confusion. There are literally hundreds of terms that make little or no sense whatsoever. What does a birdie have to do with golf? A slice? Are we talking about a piece of bread? Fortunately, we’ve got your back and have compiled a comprehensive list of golf terms with definitions.

Golf Terms Glossary

We have compiled the ultimate list of golf terms, phrases, sayings, lingo, and terminology in order to help you understand all the little nuances to the game of golf.

Golf Terms

The Definitive List

Ace

Hitting the ball into the hole on your first shot from the tee.

Albatross

Making a score of three under par on one hole; for example, either a one on a par four or a two on a par five; also referred to as a double eagle.

All Square

Reference to a match that is tied during match play format.

Approach

The last long shot onto the green; often your second shot on a par four or third shot on a par five.

Golf Games

Apron

The short cut of grass immediately off the edge of the green.

Away

When your ball is farthest from the hole and it is your turn to hit.

Back Tees

The longest set of tees you can play; commonly referred to as the “tips”.

Ball Marker

A small, flat object placed directly behind your ball on the green; pocket change or customized plastic spheres are common ball markers.

How to Play Golf

Baseball Grip

A grip where all 10 fingers are on the club; there is no interlocking or overlapping of fingers.

Beach

A reference to a bunker, sand trap, or waste area; a hazard containing sand.

Best Ball

A best-ball format is a game for foursomes when players are split into two-member teams. The lowest score of each team is counted on each hole. For example, if player A makes five and player B makes four, the score of four is recorded for the team on that hole. This game is often played in a match play format.

Birdie

A score one below par on any hole; for example, two on a par three, three on a par four, or four on a par five.

Bite

A shot with a lot of backspin that stops quickly; players will often tell their ball to “bite” if they think they have hit it too far.

Bladed Shot

A shot hit off the bottom of the of the club that comes out low and travels too far.

Block

A shot that starts to the right and stays right for the right-handed player, or a shot that starts to the left and stays left for the left-handed player.

Bogey

A score of one over par on any hole; for example, four on a par three, five on a par four, or six on a par five.

Bunker

A hazard found close to the fairway or green that is filled with sand.

Bunker

Chipping

A shot played in close proximity to the green from either the rough or apron; chip shots are usually played with a lofted club.

Chunk

Any shot where a player hits the turf before the golf ball; also referred to a heavy shot.

Coming Over the Top

A common ailment of golfers where the swing path moves from the outside to the inside, producing a slice shot.

Cup

Also referred to as the hole, a cup is the plastic and metal fitting that is dug into the green where your ball ends up when you finish a hole.

Divot

The chunk of turf that is displaced after a shot.

Divot

Dogleg

Any hole that curves or bends to the right or the left.

Double Bogey

A score of two above par on any hole; for example, five on a par three, six on a par four, or seven on a par five.

Double Cross

A shot where a player aims one direction, expecting the ball to curve back to the target, but it curves the opposite direction; for example, a player aims left but the ball curves left instead of right, and vice versa.

Draw

A shot that curves gently from right-to-left for a right-handed player, and left-to-right for a left-handed player.

Driver

The longest club in the bag with the largest head; used to tee off on long par fours and par fives.

Driver

Duck Hook

A shot that violently curves to the left for right handed golfers, or violently to the right for a left-handed player.

Duff

A widely used term for any shot that is mishit.

Eagle

A score of two below par on any hole; for example, one on a par three, two on a par four, or three on a par five.

Etiquette

A term that refers to the conduct expected of golfers.

Executive Course

A course that is shorter in length and typically has a total par that is less than a regulation course; executive courses typically consist of only par threes and par fours.

Fade

A shot that curves gently from left-to-right for a right-handed player, and right-to-left for a left-handed player.

Fairway

The short cut of grass that begins after the tee box and ends short of the green.

Fairway

Fat

A term used to describe any shot where the club hits the turf before the golf ball.

First Tee

The tee box on the first hole where you begin your round.

Flop Shot

A high shot played close to the green, where the ball is elevated and lands softly.

Flyer

A shot played from the rough where grass is caught between the clubface and the ball reducing spin, causing it to travel farther.

Fore

A term that is yelled for wayward shots that are headed in the direction of other players.

Forward Tees

The shortest tees commonly played by ladies, seniors, and juniors.

Fried Egg

A shot that lands in a bunker and stays in its pitch mark; the lie looks like a fried egg.

Fringe

The first cut of grass off the green, shorter than the apron.

Fringe

Get Up

A term used by players when they think a shot will come up short.

Gimme

A shot that ends so close to the hole that you’re playing partners allow you to pick it up instead of putting it out.

Greenie

A term that refers to the ball closest to the hole; also referred to as a “KP”.

Green Fee

The fee that players pay to the course to play either 18 or 9 holes.

Green in Regulation

Reaching the green in one shot on a par three, two shots on a par four, or three shots on a par five.

Grounding

Touching the ground with your club prior to your shot.

Handicap

A measure of a player’s ability that accounts for her most recent scores and the difficulty of the courses she plays.

Honors

Players have “honors” if they made the low score on the previous hole and get to tee off first on the following hole.

Hook

A shot that curves too far left for the right-handed player, and too far right for a left-handed player.

Hot

A player is “hot” if he makes consecutive low scores or is on a favorable streak; a “hot” golf ball travels beyond the intended target.

Lie

References the position where the golf ball comes to rest; balls in the fairway tend to be “good” lies and balls in deep rough or trouble are “bad” lies.

Lip Out

When a shot touches a large part of the hole but does not go in.

Lipping

Match Play

A scoring format where the number of holes a player has won is tallied instead of her total strokes for a round; if a player is up by two holes over her opponent, then she is “two up”.

Mulligan

A term used for a shot that is played again because the original shot was not desirable; mulligans are illegal in competition.

19th Hole

A restaurant, snack shack, or bar where players gather after their round.

Out of Bounds

A course boundary marked by white stakes; if a player hits a shot out of bounds, she must replay the shot and incur a one-shot penalty.

Out of Bounds

Par

The number of shots a player is expected to score on each hole.

Pin

The long stick with a flag that is put in the hole to mark its location.

Pitch Mark

An indentation your ball makes when it hits the greens from a long distance; also referred to as a “ball mark”.

Pitching

A shot played from near the green, but longer than a chip.

Chipping

Playing the Ball Up or Down

Playing the ball down is playing it as it lies. Playing the ball up allows players to move their ball to a favorable lie.

Playing From the Tips

Playing the longest tees on every hole; recommended for only highly skilled golfers.

Playing Through

When a slow group of players lets a faster group of players pass them.

Press

A betting term that refers to a new bet during a match, where the original bet still stands; essentially a double or nothing bet.

Provisional Ball

A second ball that is played from the same spot if a player thinks his ball may be lost or out of bounds.

Pull

A shot that starts left of target and stays there for the right-handed player, and vice-versa for the left-handed player.

Pull Cart

A two or three wheel apparatus with a handle that supports a player’s bag and is pulled along during a round.

Cart

Punching the Greens

Penetrating large holes in the green to improve growing and drainage conditions; also referred to as “aerification,” this usually happens in the spring and fall.

Putting

Any shot struck with a putter on the green.

Range Finder

An electronic device used to measure the distance to a pin or other obstacle on the course.

Ranger

An employee of the golf course charged with monitoring pace of play and course rules.

Ready Golf

Playing in an order of whoever is ready to hit instead of who is farthest from the hole.

Rough

The longest cut of grass on the course surrounding fairways and greens.

Rough

Sandbagging

A term for players that purposely inflate their handicap to gain an advantage over their competitors.

Scramble

A format in which teams of two, three, or four players each hit a shot and choose the best one; from there the process is repeated until the ball is holed.

Shank

A word that refers to a shot struck off the toe or heel that travels sideways; also called a “lateral”.

Short Sided

When a player misses a green on the side nearest the flag leaving little green between the player and the hole.

Sit

Term golfers will use when they think a shot is going to travel too far; synonyms include “get down,” “grow teeth,” and “come down”.

Skull

A shot that is struck off the bottom of the club, comes out low and travels too far.

Slice

A shot that curves uncontrollably to the right for a right handed golfers, and to the left for a left-handed player.

Golf Slice

Smoked

A reference to a tee shot that is hit long and straight.

Snowman

A score of eight on any hole.

Sticks

A term that refers to a wayward shot that can’t be found; also, a term describing one’s set of clubs.
Sticks

Stroke Play

The most common scoring format where all shots, including penalty shots, are used to total a player’s score.

Texas Wedge

When a player chooses to use a putter from off the green instead of a chipping club.

The Turn

References the midpoint during an 18-hole round; usually occurring at or near the clubhouse where players can grab food and refreshments.

Thin

A shot that comes off low and is not struck solidly.

Up and Down

When a player has one chip or pitch and one putt; the chip or pitch is up, and the putt is down.

Worm Burner

A shot that rolls along the ground for some distance but never gets airborne.
 

Conclusion

If you’re serious about golf, having a reference to basic terminology will go a long way. While you shouldn’t stress about learning each and every term, having an elementary understanding will make your experience more enjoyable all the way through, from checking in to the completion of your round. There are sure to be times when you get frustrated or intimidated, but always remember that golf is a game meant to be fun and most people are happy to help.
 
 
Check out our definitive guide of 93 of the most popular golf terms that every golfer should know when playing the game of golf.

24 of the Most Popular Golf Betting Games to Play at the Golf Course

Golf-games-1

 
While golf is a game you play for leisure, chances are you relish a little competition with your buddies as well. Not only does having a friendly match against friends give you a chance for bragging rights, it makes you better. You’re not likely to be playing for millions of dollars on Sunday afternoon, but you can still spice up your game with a friendly wager. That’s why we’ve compiled our comprehensive list of golf games ranging from the friendliest and most basic to some that are more complex and could leave your wallet a little lighter or heavier depending on the outcome.

When considering a game with your buddies, it’s important to account for everyone’s handicap to keep the playing field fair. For example, if your handicap is 12 and your partner’s is 15, your partner should be spotted one stroke on the three hardest holes (holes with handicaps of one, two and three). Handicaps for each hole can be found on your scorecard. This form of a game is called a “net” scoring, whereas a match where no strokes are given is called “gross” scoring.
 

The Top 24 Most Popular Golf Betting Games

Golf Games
 

Stroke Play

Stroke play is the most commonly played game in the United States. In stroke play, players each count all their shots throughout the round and add them up at the end. The winner is the player with the lowest total score.

Match Play

Match play is a format that tracks how many holes a player has won against his or her partner. The preferred game in the British Isles, a player’s total strokes only matter on a hole-by-hole basis. If player A scores four on a hole and player B scores 6, player A is said to be “one up”. Whichever player wins the greater number of holes in a match is the winner.

Stableford

Stableford scoring is another alternative to stroke play in which points are used to tally a player’s score. Though there are variations, one point is awarded for a bogey, two points for a par, three for a birdie, four for an eagle, and five for a double-eagle. The winner is the player with the highest point total at the end of the match.

Best-Ball

A best-ball format is a game for foursomes when players are split into two-member teams. The lowest score of each team is counted on each hole. For example, if player A makes five and player B makes four, the score of four is recorded for the team on that hole. This game is often played in a match play format.

Golf Games
 

Scramble

Scrambles are a fun format that encourage low scores and can be played with anywhere from two to four players. To begin, each player hits a tee shot and the best shot is chosen. All players hit from that spot and the best shot is again chosen. The process is repeated until the ball is holed. This is a great format for company fundraisers or less competitive tournaments where the emphasis is on having fun.

Alternate Shot

Alternate shot is one of the most difficult formats around. Two-person teams simply alternate shots until the ball is holed. If player A tees off, player B hits the second shot. In the traditional format, one player tees off on even holes and the other on odd holes. Alternate shot match play is a great format for foursomes when all players are of similar ability.

Chapman

The Chapman format is similar to alternate shot but with a slight twist. Each player on a two-person team tees off. Player A then hits players B’s second shot and vice versa. After the best second shot is chosen, alternate shot is played until the ball is holed.

Nassau

Nassau is a popular game played head-to-head or with two-player teams pitted against each other. Most often played using match play, the score on the front nine is worth one bet, the back nine score one bet, and the 18-hole total another bet.

Golf Games
 

Skins

Skins is a great game for two or more players. A player is said to have won a “skin” when he records a score lower than anyone else in the group on a particular hole. If the low score is tied, the skin is carried over to the next hole making it worth two skins and so on. The player with the most “skins” at the end of the round wins.

Bisque

Bisque can be played with just two players or among multiple groups. A variation on “net” scoring where players get additional shots relative to par on the most difficult holes, bisque allows players to instead choose the holes they want strokes on prior to the round. Stroke play scoring is used and the lowest 18-hole score wins.

O.N.E.’s

Ones is popular among groups that play on weekly basis. O.N.E.’s is a net game where a player’s total score is determined by adding scores together only on holes that end in O, N, or E (holes 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18).

Best Nine

This game is great for players with higher handicaps or those who are prone to the occasional blowup hole. Players’ scores are simply their nine low scores on the card. Best nine is fun to play among multiple groups.

Golf Games
 

Triple Six

A game meant for foursomes, triple six sees each player pairing with another in six-hole matches. Player A and player B play against player C and player D for the first six holes, players A and C pair against players B and D for the next six holes and players A and D pair against players B and C for the final six holes. The most popular scoring system for this format is best-ball.

Gruesomes

Gruesomes is a great game that sure to incite good-natured ribbing among friends. Perfect for foursomes made of two two-member teams, each player on a team hits a tee shot and the other team picks the worst tee shot from where alternate-shot is played until the ball is holed. Match play is the best scoring format for this game.

Nine-Point

A great game for threesomes where points are allocated on each hole for lowest to highest scores. The player with the lowest score earns five points, second lowest score three points, and the highest score gets one point. If two players tie for the low score, they each receive four points, and the highest score one point. If two players tie for the high score, they each get two points and the lowest score is awarded five points. The player with the most points at the completion of the round wins.

High-Low

High-low is a game for foursomes made of two-player teams. On each individual hole, the high scores and the low scores on each team each compete against each other for a point. For example, if players A and B score six and five and players C and D score four and three, players C and D earn a point for the lowest high score and the lowest low score for a total of two points.

Golf Games
 

Bingo, Bango, Bongo

This is a fun format for twosomes, threesomes, or foursomes of mixed abilities. Scores don’t count. Instead, a point is awarded to the first player to reach the green, the player closest to the hole, and the first player to hole out.

Side Bets

Golfers are notorious for getting creative with different formats and adding extra bets to their games to spice things up. Also referred to collectively as “junk”, side bets are numerous and can be a fun way to keep everyone in your group interested throughout the entire round. If the game you’re playing with your buddies simply isn’t enough action, consider adding one or more of the following side bets.

Greenies

Also referred to as “KP’s”, greenies are awarded to the player that hits their tee shot closest to the hole on a par 3. How much money each greenie is worth should be determined prior to the round.

Long Drive

Just like it sounds, long drives are awarded to players with the longest drive on a particular hole. In order for a long drive to count, it must end up in the fairway.

Golf Games
 

Sandies

A player is awarded a “sandy” anytime he gets up-and-down from a bunker in two shots.

Double Birdies

If your group is playing a betting game that awards points or units for the low score on a hole, making birdies worth double the normal amount creates some volatility and adds pressure.

Presses

If you’re playing a Nassau or Triple Six where there are multiple matches within a round, then adding presses allows players to either a chance to bet “double or nothing.” For example, if you are two down after four holes on the front nine of a match playing Nassau bet, then you may choose to “press” the front nine. When you press, the original bet still stands, but an additional match is started. If you lose the original bet, but win the press, then you break even on the front nine.

Coughing

Golf Games
 
When playing games where points or units are used for scoring, players that are losing may want to increase the amount each point or unit is worth in an effort to win their money back. “Coughing” needs to be agreed upon by everyone in the game and should not get to the point where people are uncomfortable with the amount of money exchanging hands.

Conclusion

I speak from experience when I say that betting on the golf course is wildly fun, but can get out of hand. What starts out as a friendly game amongst friends can quickly turn sour if the amount of money exchanging hands becomes uncomfortable. In order to keep friendships intact and prevent somebody’s day from being ruined, there are few things to keep in mind.

Before the round starts, make sure that everyone in the group understands the game and is comfortable with the amount of money at stake. It’s also important that everyone agrees on how many strokes each player is getting to avoid any accusations of sandbagging. Setting a limit on the amount of money a player can lose might also help keep the mood light. If you ever find yourself not understanding the game or uncomfortable with the amount of money you might lose, then it’s always best to decline and opt for simply enjoying your day on the course.

Golf is the most difficult game in the world and more often than not we lose against Old Man Par. Instead of trying to grind out your lowest score every time out, try playing some different formats that keep things fresh and provide a little competition. Whether you’re just playing for a beer in the 19th hole or a few dollars, responsibly adding a friendly wager to your round is not only fun, but is sure to make you a better player.

The Ultimate Guide to Fairway Woods

Ultimate-guide-to-fairway-woods-1

 
Finding the right fairway wood for your game can be complex. A great fairway wood, or fairway metal, is long off the tee and helps golfers find fairways when their drivers go astray. A great fairway wood also lets golfers hit high approach shots into greens on long par-4s and par-5s. Finding the perfect blend of high launch and an optimal spin rate is one of the hardest club fitting challenges for golfers in their bags.

When Do You Use A Fairway Wood?

When To Use A Fairway Wood
 
The course can require golfers to hit their fairway woods from the tee box on shorter par-4s or on holes with severe doglegs that make it ill-advised to hit a driver. Once a golfer has hit their tee shot, longer par-4 and par-5 holes may require golfers to hit their fairway metals into the greens. Fairway woods can also be useful around the greens from tight lies or on the green collars. Having a reliable fairway wood that is fit for your swing can help every aspect of your game and it is an important club to get right.
 

Finding the Best Fairway Wood for Your Golf Game

The best fairway wood for your game is entirely dependent on when you intend to use this club and when it can help you the most. Are you a player that struggles with your driver and needs help from the tee box? Do you hit your driver in the fairway but may need extra distance to help reach the longer holes at your local course? No matter what kind of golfer you are, there is a fairway wood that can be built for your swing.
 

Budget

It is 2019 and golf clubs are more expensive than they have ever been. The latest fairway wood offerings from Callaway, TaylorMade, and others will cost golfers almost $300. Budget-friendly options are available and because there is not a premium set on hitting the ball as far as you can, great fairway woods can be found at a reduced price. No matter how much you plan to spend on your next fairway wood, your new club should be properly fit and be better than what is currently in your bag.
 

Top Fairway Wood Features

Each fairway wood in your bag should share some common features. The loft of the club should match your swing speed and style to help you achieve the distances you want to hit. The head shape and center of gravity should produce the proper spin rates and create adequate forgiveness. The sole of your fairway should be built for when you are using this club the most. Once you have chosen your clubhead model and loft, pairing a shaft that improves your consistency and confidence is the final step.

Loft

The loft of your fairway wood will have the most influence on how far the golf ball travels after impact. Depending on your swing speed, some lofts may not launch high enough and thus, fly shorter than higher lofter woods. Slower swing players may find that they can hit 18 degree 5 woods further than 15 degree 3 woods. These 5 woods can also be more versatile when coming from the fairways and rough. High swing speed players may find that lower spin options help them maximize distance from the tee and provide a flatter flight that helps them take advantage of par-5 holes. There is no one loft that is perfect for every golfer. However, between golfers, there is a perfect loft for everyone.

Head Shape

Fairway Wood Head Shape
There many head sizes. Source 2ndswing.com

Golf club head shapes can help inspire confidence and can aid golfers in aligning the club behind the golf ball. The engineering of the club head is more than cosmetic, the center of gravity within each club dictates how forgiving that particular club will be. The center of gravity also has the next largest impact on the golf ball spin rates beyond the loft of the club.
The sole of each fairway wood is carved to help golfers hit the ball from a variety of lies including a short tee, the fairways, the rough, and even some bunkers with low-incline boarders. Some fairway woods like Cobra’s F8 and F9 offerings even have rails on their soles to help golfers with mishits through the turf.

Shaft

Fairway Wood Shaft
Types of Golf Shafts. Source callawaygolf

Depending on which fairway model and loft you choose, there will be several shaft options available. Many manufacturers offer custom-order shafts at no additional charge. Beyond these shafts, many golfers with choose to pay an upcharge to get specialized shafts that can help them play their best golf.

When making your choice of a shaft, you should consider length, weight, flex and the bend profile that matches your fairway metal. The typical length of fairway wood shafts are 43 inches for 3 woods, 42.5 inches for 4 woods, 42 inches for 5 woods, and 41.5 inches for 7 woods. The weights of these shafts begin around 50 grams and end above 90 grams. The most common flexes of shafts are senior, regular, stiff, and extra-stiff. Other flexes may include junior, amateur, ladies, and tour-extra-flex.
As a guide, slower swing players will favor lighter shafts that are softer in flex than the heavier, stiffer shafts of higher swing speed golfers. The shaft in your fairway wood can influence launch angles, spin rates, and impact location. The perfect marriage of golfer, clubhead, and shaft will produce optimal ball speeds, longer carry distances, and more consistent golf shots. Testing different shafts once you have selected your fairway model is the best way to tell which helps you hit your best shots.
 

How to Hit Fairway Woods Video

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Club fitting is a convoluted problem because every golfer’s swing is different. Searching for the right fairway wood can leave golfers with many questions. We have provided answers for some of the most common questions golfers have when purchasing new fairway metals.
 

Q: Driver vs Woods: What is the Difference?

A: Although drivers and fairway woods can have similar lofts, they differ in their clubface and sole design. A golf driver is designed with a clubface ideal for striking a golf ball from a tee. Fairway woods are created so they help golfers hit the ball from a tee or from the ground. These differences cause drivers to be longer and more forgiving from the tee box but difficult to launch from the fairways and rough. Fairway metals are usually shorter in length and can provide help for golfers struggling to make solid contact through their swings.
 

Q: What is the Difference Between a 3 Wood and a 5 Wood (3 Wood vs 5 Wood)?

A: 3 woods and 5 woods differ in their lofts and lengths. 3 woods typically come in lofts between 13 and 16 degrees. 5 wood lofts fall between 17 and 19 degrees. The shaft of a 5 wood is often one-inch shorter than the 3 wood shaft. These differences can affect playability between these two clubs. For high swing speed players 3 woods may fly further than 5 woods. Slower swing players may find they hit 5 woods further despite the higher lofts. Golfers may use either a 3 wood, a 5 wood, or both in their golf bags. Testing both clubs will give you the best idea of what combination is right for your bag.
 

Q: What is the Difference Between a Fairway Wood and a Hybrid? (Fairway Wood vs Hybrid)?

A: Fairway woods and hybrids differ in their clubhead size, shape, and centers of gravity. Even in the same loft, the performance of a fairway wood and a hybrid may be vastly different. Fairway woods are designed with larger clubheads and promote higher launching, higher spinning shots. Hybrid golf clubs are designed to replace long irons. These clubs launch lower than fairway metals and spin less.
 

Q: How Do I Hit a Fairway Wood?

A: Hitting a fairway wood can be the most difficult shot in golf to complete consistently. When attempting this shot, visualize sweeping the sole of your golf club along the top of the turf. Taking a divot is neither good nor bad and can vary among players. Striking the ball in the middle of the clubface requires a neutral angle of attack. To accomplish this angle, play the golf ball forward of center and allow the golf club to swing freely beyond the ball.
 

Conclusion

Golfers beginning to search for their next fairway wood should begin with analyzing their own golf games. Players looking for a driver replacement on tight courses will favor lower lofted, lower spinning models. Players looking to take advantage of par-5s and approach tough greens will benefit from a higher launching, more forgiving wood. Your new fairway wood should go the right distance, let you hit great shots from the tee box and the turf, and improve your consistency in this difficult-to-hit club. If you are looking for more info on what fairway woods can offer and which models are best for you, check out our reviews and lists of best fairway woods for each player profile. Thanks for reading and happy testing!
 

The Ultimate Guide to Golf Shafts

Golf-shaft-guide

 
An integral part of the golf club is the shaft that is paired along with it. Shafts should be thought of as “timing devices” a connection that allows you to get the most out of every golf shot. Energy is transfer directly from your body into the clubhead through the golf shaft. Outfitting your golf clubs with shafts that promote your ideal swing can make you a more confident, consistent golfer. Below, we describe the golf shaft and how each player can get the most out of their setup.
 

The Different Types of Golf Shafts

Shafts come in a variety of different materials and are put through rigorous tests to ensure performance and quality. It is important to understand how these different materials affect the physical performance of the shaft. Shaft manufacturers build their shafts to tolerances that allow golfers to test products against one another. The most common types of shafts are typically referred to as “graphite” or “steel.”
 
Best Driver Shafts
 

Graphite Shafts

Graphite shafts are typically placed in drivers, metal woods, hybrids, driving irons, and some irons sets. It is rare to find wedges with graphite shafts, but it can be done. What materials make up this “graphite” shaft varies drastically among models of shafts and between manufacturers . Materials are chosen due to their strength to weight characteristics and companies use these properties to produce excellent performing shafts. Graphite shafts fluctuate greatly in price, clubs can be bought with shafts at no additional upcharge and some manufacturers charge in excess of $300 for shaft upgrades.
Because of their ability to use different materials, graphite shaft weights can be made available from 50 grams upwards of 100 grams. These shafts promote faster swing speeds and ball speeds. These shafts can have particular advantages for junior, intermediate, and senior golfers.
 

Multi-Material Shafts

Multi-material shafts fuse graphite with their steel counterparts. This utilizes the strength-to-weight ratio of the graphite with the firmness of steel. The resulting shafts can have increased performance through the integration of the two metals. Graphite bodies with steel tips promote faster swing speeds with more reliable golf shots.
 

The Different Types of Golf Shaft Flexes

  • Extra Stiff.
    Golf shaft flexes are rated in frequency due to the number of cycles per minute, CPM, they complete. An extra-stiff shaft, denoted with an X, averages over 260 CPM with a standard driver club length of 45 inches. Consumers should not get caught up on their shafts specific CPM number but, should simply be aware that not all shafts within the same flex category are exactly the same. As a general rule, golfers who swing their drivers in excess of 110 miles per hour, mph, are recommended to use X flex shafts. However, golfers should test shafts with each clubhead as the two work in tandem for ideal performance.

  • Stiff.
    Stiff shafts, denoted S, are measured around 250 CPM. Golfers who swing the driver between 95 and 110 mph are typically fit into these shafts. The majority of golfers find this shaft along with the following to be the most ideal for their swing characteristics.

  • Regular.
    Regular flex shafts, denoted R, measure approximately 240 CPM. The majority of players who have a driver swing speed between 85 and 95 mph will fit comfortably into this shaft group. While there is no standard for carry distances among shafts, golfers who hit their driver between 200 yards and 240 yards may opt for this choice.

  • Seniors.
    Amateur or Medium shafts, denoted A or M, are recommended for golfers who fall in the senior bracket. These players swing their drivers around 75 to 85 mph and can hit drives less than 200 yards in the air.

  • Ladies.
    Ladies shafts, denoted L, as the name implies is best suited for female golfers or golfers who swing the driver under 75 mph. The name is misleading as shafts are not made gender specific. Golfers of all abilities and physical stature should test each shaft independently to see which works best for them.

 

Shaft Technology

Best Driver Shafts
 

What Is Shaft Torque?

Shaft torque is a measure of how much intrinsic resistance to torsional “twisting” a shaft contains. Torque is the parameter most associated with “feel” in the golf shaft. A shaft with less torque may feel stiffer or “boardy.” A shaft with more torque may feel less stiff or “whippy.” Torque is reported for each shaft in a measure of degrees.
 

What Is Shaft Kick Point (Flex Point)?

The kick-point of each shaft can determine how it allows the golf clubhead to work into more, or less, forward lead deflection. As the golf club is approaching impact, the clubhead begins to catch up and overtake the shaft. The kick-point determines the degree in which the golf club works forward towards the target. A shaft with a higher kick point will promote less lead deflection and encourage lower dynamic loft and lower launching, lower spinning golf shots. A shaft with a low kick point will allow the clubhead to work into more lead deflection and encourage more dynamic loft and promote golf shots that launch higher and spin more.
 

Weight of a Shaft?

The weight of the shaft can range beneath 50 grams to over 130 grams depending on its material composition. It is important that golfers test different weights in each club to ensure that they have shafts that they can easily swing yet, are not too light so they lose their timing in the transition from backswing to downswing. Each player’s optimal weight will promote well-struck, consistent golf shots that are sustainable well beyond 18 holes.
 

Alignment of Shaft?

Golf shafts are manufactured using a cylindrical process that roles the material into one sheet. This process, like rolling a sheet of paper onto itself, leaves non-uniform variations within each shaft. These variations are called “spines.” Shafts can be “pured” so their spines are in a complementary line to the lead deflection of the golf clubhead at impact. This is done through machine testing on the shaft once it has been removed from the clubhead. The pureing of golf shafts can lead to more consistent deliveries and improved shots.
 

Parallel/Tapered Tip?

As the shaft narrowing into the hosel of the golf club, its tip runs in a parallel or tapered fashion. Parallel tip shafts have terminal steps with constant diameters. Tapered tips continue to get smaller as they reach the hosel.
Graphite and multi-material shafts tend to have parallel tips to allow for the hosel adapters in their respective clubs, and steel shafts have tapered shafts for their glued hosels. Parallel tip shafts are cut to their desired length through the club set. Tapered tip shafts are cut per club and can be very specific to ensure accurate playing length.
 

Pureing a Shaft?

Pureing a shaft ensures that the shaft spine is as closely matched to the neutral axis or dynamic lead deflection of the clubhead. Because a golf shaft is NEVER perfectly symmetrical or round pureing can lead to vast improvements in golf clubs with unmatched shafts.
 

How to Find the Perfect Shaft Flex For Your Game

 

Conclusion

Shafts do not tell the whole story of a golf club, but they are the whole connection. Shafts create the energy that is going to be transferred to your golf shot. Finding the right shaft and clubhead combination can be vital to ensuring your best golf performance. If you don’t know what shafts are in your golf clubs or you simply took the stock option without trying other possibilities, you could be leaving massive performance gains away from your golf.
 

The Ultimate Guide to Golf Drivers

Ultimate-guide-to-golf-drivers-1

 
The golf driver is the most discussed club in a golfer’s bag. Driver technology has become synonymous with gold club manufactures in modern clubs with Callaway‘s patented “Jailbreak,” Taylormade‘s “TwistFace,” and Ping’s “Turbulators.” With every brand producing a flagship driver and several different models in each lineup, choosing the best driver for each golfer has never been a more talked about exercise. As performance among golf club companies is tightly regulated, the ability to tailor drivers to an individual’s swing characteristics and optimal ball flight has never been more important.
 

When Do You Use A Golf Driver?

When To Use A Driver
Always use a tee when hitting with your golf driver.

A driver can be a valuable weapon for golfers armed with the right equipment. Par-5s, and longer par-4s demand shots that are in play, and of adequate length so that golfers are not left with long approaches into increasingly undulating greens and tucked pins. Your confidence with your driver of choice can make all the difference in your round’s score. Even the most skillful of golfer can prefer their drivers over safer, more accurate fairway woods, hybrids, and the emerging driving irons.
 

Finding the Best Driver for Your Golf Game

With all of the options and information circulating about drivers and club-fitting, it can be intimidating knowing which driver is best for your game. Choosing the right driver is a complicated problem. Are you a new golfer playing the game for the first time? Are you a high- or mid-handicap player looking to improve your game, or are you a scratch player looking to edge out the competition at the local “big-money” scrambles? Are you a gear-head that enjoys tinkering with your equipment, or do you prefer simple and sleek, and something that just works? With all the information flying around, our goal is to help you find the best driver for you and improve your game while making a splash in your foursome.
 

Budget

Another aspect to consider when shopping for your next driver is how much you are willing to spend. While the newest drivers offer the most advanced technologies, and more ability to customize the shafts and grips of choice, great drivers can also be found for reduced prices in prior generation models such as Callaway’s GBB Epic, the Taylormade 2016 M1 or M2 models, and the Cleveland Launcher HB. We have curated a list that uses performance, price, and availability metrics to offer golfers a streamlined buying process.
 

Key Factors in Creating the Ideal Golf Shot

While driving the golf ball 300 yards is the goal of most; optimizing ball speeds, launch angles, and spin rates can produce massive performance gains for any golfer’s swing.

Ball Speed

Ball Speed With Driver
Ball Speed. Source adamyounggolf

Ball speed is simply the velocity of the golf ball as it leaves the club face post impact. Ball speed is a product of several factors; most importantly, swing speed and quality of strike. Players with faster swing speeds can expect faster ball speeds when comparing similar strike parameters to players with slower swing speeds. However, faster ball speeds can be achieved through improved quality of strike and driver performance technology. On the PGA tour, clubhead speeds average around 112MPH with ball speeds registering over 160MPH. While these speeds may not be achievable by all amateurs, maximizing ball speeds on each swing speed is critical.

Strike plays the largest role in determining the velocity and direction for each golf shot. Effectively, marrying the driver’s center of mass (“COM”) with the golf ball will produce maximum ball speeds. Golfers can calculate their own strike quality by dividing their ball speed by their clubhead speed. This number, termed “Smash Factor” or “Efficiency,” should fall somewhere between 1.2 and 1.5 for effective golf strikes.

Launch Angle

Launch Angle With Driver
Launch Angle. Source adamyounggolf

In addition to ball speeds, launch angle can be optimized to help improve distance and shot shape. Drivers with too little loft can launch shots too low and result in distance carry losses. Conversely, drivers with too much loft can launch shots too high and create shots that stop when they land, robbing golfers of extra yards. Golfers should strive for a launch angle that increases carry distance and improves roll for maximum yardage.
 

Launch angle is determined by 3 key factors:

    Clubface Loft =The loft of your clubface at address.

    Dynamic Loft = Dynamic Loft is the loft presented at impact of the club. This can be different from the stated loft of the club at address depending on your impact positions. Golfers who strike the ball with their hands behind the clubhead tend to add loft to the drivers and may need lower lofted club heads to achieve their optimal launch. Other golfers who impact the golf ball with their hand forward of the clubhead tend to present less dynamic loft and may need a higher lofted driver to find their max distance.

    Angle of Attack = Angle of attack can also influence the launch angle of each golf shot. Steeper angles of attack may lead to decreased dynamic lofts and more shallow or ascending angles of attack may work to add loft at impact.

While there is no one ideal launch angle for all golfers, launch monitor statistics have shown that most golfer’s optimal launch is around 12 degrees. Golfers should be familiar with their launch conditions and utilize matrixes of shafts, clubhead designs, changes in center of gravities, and head lofts to find the best combination for their unique situations.

Ball Spin

Ball Spin With Driver
Ball Travel.

Spin rate is another aspect that plays a significant role in the distance a golf ball travels, both in the air and on the ground. Spin rates that are too low can result in golf shots that prematurely fall out of the air with more aggressive curvatures. Drivers that spin too low can cause short drives or unstable ball flights that tend to curve more offline than their higher spinning equivalents. Driver spin rates that are too high can cause shorter golf shots that hold their direction better but rob golfers of their ability to hit the ball further. Again, while there is no one figure that is best for all golfers, a spin rate of around 2700 rpm is used as a reference for driver backspin rates. Marrying ideal launch angles, averages around 12-13 degrees, with adequate spin rates can create game-changing performance for golfers who previously were using inferior equipment settings.

Sidespin for golf shots is created by discrepancies between club face angles at impact and swing direction.

Draw

“Draw” sidespin is created when a club face is “closed” to the effective club path at impact. This results in a left curving shot for a right-handed golfer and a right curving shot for a left-handed golfer. Typically, shots with this curvature result in slightly more distance and roll due to the lower lofts presented as a result of the “closed” clubface. Effective draws should begin with club faces to the right of the target at impact, so they may curve back onto target.

Fade

“Fade” sidespin is created when a clubface is more “open” to the effective club path at impact, this results in a right curving shot for a right-handed golfer and a left curving shot for a left-handed golfer. Typically, shots with this curvature result in slightly less distance and higher spin rates due to the higher lofts presented as a result of the “open” clubface. Effective fades should begin with a club face slightly left of the target at impact, so the ball begins to drift back to target falling to the right.

Topspin

“Topspin” or significantly reduced backspin can result in golf shots that dive out of the air and stop well short of their intended targets.

Backspin

While the breadth of spins in golf ball flights is complex. It can be summarized by saying that each shot should be hit with an optimal spin rate to achieve the intended goal. Being able to control spin rates, hitting high spinning wedge shots that stop on demand, or wind-cheating stingers that penetrate cross breezes can greatly affect golfers’ shot distances and scores.

 

Top Rated Golf Drivers Features

Among the many factors that need to be considered when making a driver purchase, four main points should be at the top of the list. Clubhead build and center of mass, clubhead loft, the golf shaft, and the golfer’s budget. For each golfer these things can be different. Swing speed plays a large role in determining which club builds will be best. A general guide used to determine swing speeds is based on which clubs are used to achieve shots with 150 yards of carry. If golfers typically use lower lofted irons such as 5 or 6 irons, they fall in the “slower swing” category. Higher swing speed players typically use 8 or 9 irons to achieve such distances. While this is a general guide, the best way to tell which driver is best for you is to test them.

Shaft

Driver Shaft
Types of Golf Shafts. Source callawaygolf

Beyond just the clubhead, manufacturers are working hard to offer a wide variety of shafts at no additional charge to help golfers get the most out of their new drivers. As difficult as it can be to put egos aside and chose shafts with lighter flexes, it is important to choose a shaft based on performance rather than flex. Flex is not the only important factor when considering different shafts. Kick-point is an industry term used to classify shafts for their launch condition when used in robot testing. High kick-point shafts tend to promote lower launch and lower spin through decreasing dynamic loft at impact. Low kick point shafts work oppositely to promote higher launch and higher spin by increasing dynamic launch at impact. As new drivers begin to offer more and more shaft choices, it becomes more important to consider shafts alongside clubheads when making buying decisions.

Driver shafts come in several different flexes: Ladies (L), Regular (R), Senior or Amateur (A), Stiff (S), and Extra Stiff (X). Traditionally, slower swing speeds have been encouraged to use softer flex shafts and higher swing speed players have been given stiffer shafts. Testing different models on a launch monitor can provide golfers with their ideal set-up.

Shaft compositions and weight can make a significant difference in a golf club’s performance. Steel and multi-material graphite shafts are predominately used through clubs sets to achieve ideal swing weight and balance in each club. Modern drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids typically have graphite shafts that range in weight from 55 to 110 grams. Graphite and steel options are available in iron and wedge sets. However, it is uncommon for wedges to be outfitted with graphite shafts as these are typically used for shots requiring less distance. Golfers would be wise to consider a graphite option for their iron sets if weight is important to them; as it should be. Steel shafts can weigh up to 130 grams and can put an unnecessary tax on a golfer’s body over the course of a round or season. The main concern when choosing a shaft for any club should be how it responds and helps produce repeatable golf shots. Remember, the shaft is the only connection a golfer has to the club head and should not be overlooked.

These differences in shafts can have a massive impact on the performance of club designs. Each individual golfer should feel comfortable with his or her selection. The advent of adjustable clubs has made it easier than ever to change shafts and find the one that is right for you. The right club-shaft relationship can give you longer, more effortless drives, more control over iron and wedge shots, providing confidence to shoot your best round ever.

Head Size

Driver Head Size
There many head sizes. Source golf.com

The modern driver head size typically varies from 440 to 460 cc. These sizes can come in a variety of shapes and sizes because this is a three-dimensional measurement, manufacturers have the freedom to pull drivers long and back or make them short and tall. These differences can have massive impacts on how the center of mass is positioned in the club head and how the launch angles and spin rates are affected. 460 cc drivers are typically more forgiving with strikes across the face but can be less versatile for skilled golfers. 440 cc clubheads provide the ultimate in versatility but sacrifice some forgiveness with their distribution of mass.

Loft

Driver loft importance cannot be overstated. What the golfer presents at impact has a massive influence on what loft is best for him or her. Speed, impact position, and angle of attack can directly alter the dynamic loft. As a general guide, golfers with slower swing speed will need drivers with higher lofts and higher speed players will favor lower lofts. Driver lofts range from 4 to 20 degrees, so it is important that you properly fit the correct loft for you. Slower swing players may need to start with drivers between 14 and 20 degrees of loft and the highest of swing speed players may need lofts between 4 and 9 degrees. Most stock drivers come in lofts between 8 and 12 degrees but offer adjustability to fine toon ball flights.
 

How to Hit a Golf Driver Video

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most common questions for golfers looking to purchase a new driver.
 

Q: Do Seniors Need a Specific Type of Driver?

A: A golfer’s age rarely has a correlation with which driver he or she should choose. Swing speed, angle of attack, spin rates, preferences, and skill will dictate which driver is best. Adjustable drivers offer golfers ultimate customization and different models can promote ball flight correction for those who want to eliminate a big miss. For senior golfers, club shafts can play an increased impact.
 

Q: How Do I Measure A Golf Driver’s Shaft Length?

A: For a playing length measurement: use a tape measure or 48-inch measuring stick, place the club in a playing position with the sole of the club squarely on the ground and measure from the end of the grip to the hosel of the golf club.

For a shaft-only measurement: if the golf club is adjustable, use the manufacturer provided wrench to remove the shaft from the clubhead and measure from the grip end to the end of the attached adapter. If the golf club is non-adjustable, measure from the grip end to the ferrule of the golf club.
 

Q: Driver vs Woods: What is the Difference?

A: The biggest differences between a driver and woods are their sizes, lofts, and typical utilizations. Drivers are typically used only from the tee and offer the largest clubhead size. Woods are more versatile and are used from the tee, the fairways, the rough, and even fairway bunkers. The lofts of the two clubs can be similar, but the ways in which these clubs have been designed make it is easier to launch woods higher when struck from the ground instead of a tee.

While it is possible to hit a driver off the ground, most golfers will have more success using their fairway woods. From the tee, Drivers typically fly further than woods and thus give golfers the best chance to hit the ball the maximum distance. Depending on the demands of the hole, golfers may opt to use woods when accuracy is put at a premium over distance.
 

Q: What is an Adjustable Driver, and Does it Really Matter?

A: Adjustable drivers feature hosels that allow the user to configure clubs in a variety of ways. Club loft can be changed along with lie angles. Adjustable drivers provide golfers and club fitters with unique abilities to customize a club to fit individuals better than glued counterparts. These clubs also allow golfers to adjust setups depending on course conditions or inclement weather. While adjustable drivers offer golfers a litany of options, it can be best to have them fit and then play golf in a setting that you become most comfortable with. These drivers are cool, but you always have the option of getting a modern driver fully customized without ever having to do any adjusting yourself.
 

Q: How Do You Know if a Driver is USGA Conforming?

A: The United States Golf Association, or USGA, provides standards to make sure that all clubs conform so that no player is offered an advantage by use of his or her equipment. Before a new club is released for retail sale, it is thoroughly tested to ensure that it meets their standards. This database is made public so that consumers can ensure their equipment conforms to the rules of golf and is legal for any and all tournament play. You can check out the database by clicking on the link below.

http://www.usga.org/ConformingGolfClub/ConformingClubList_M.pdf
 

How to Find the Right Driver For Your Game

 

Conclusion?

Deciding which driver is best for you can be overwhelming. Swing speeds, ball speeds, strike locations, launch angles, and spin rates can feel exhaustive. We hope to make your experience that much easier by providing information that can lead you to the perfect driver. Our reviews provide comprehensive product descriptions to point you in the direction of your ideal setup. Pros and cons of each product are detailed so that you can find something that makes your bad shots better and makes sure your good shots stay great.

The Ultimate Guide to Golf Putters

Ultimate-guide-to-putters-1

 
The putter is one of the hardest clubs in the bag to get right. While major golf club manufacturers steer marketing to their flagship drivers and irons, relatively little information is provided for what putters can help your game the most. It is our goal to create a buying guide that is easy to understand and highlights the ways that different putters perform and can help you play better golf.

 

When Do You Use A Putter?

Putter
 
It may seem obvious to only use your putter when you are on the green. However, many handicap golfers can benefit from using their putters from off the greens as well. Do not be afraid to experiment with using your putter from the short grasses and fridge for shots near the green.

 

Finding the Best Putter Your Golf Game

This guide is designed to help golfers of all abilities find the best putter for their games. We take you step-by-step through the features of putters and help you match their unique components to your putting motion. Your swing and the types of greens you play on will dictate which putter types you should be using.

 

Budget

Putters are made from a wide range of materials and can be crafted by hand or produced by a machine. These differences give rise to a wide range of prices in golf shops and online. Due to putter collections, it can be difficult to tell if a putter is priced based on its performance or its shelf-appeal. Not everyone is ready to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars for their new flatstick. Be assured that your performance does not have to suffer in order to save money when it comes to putter buying. Many great performing putters are available at low prices that golfers can take advantage of.

 

Top Putter Features

All putters will share the same basic components of the club head, shaft, and grip. Beyond that, the shape of the putter head, the length of the shaft, and the type of grip the putter has will influence its’ performance. When selecting a putter, it is important to balance each of these to create a club that helps you play the bet golf.

Top Putter Feature
Golf putter features. Source Truespecgolf.com

 

Grips

Putter grips vary in size, shapes, and weights. Putter grips are designed to help golfers shift their focus from distance to making precise movements over undulating greens. These grips are designed to relieve tension and promote a shoulder-driven stroke. Standard, midsize, and oversize grips help golfers of all putting styles find a grip that is right for them.

Traditional putter grips are designed with shapes that are thicker at the top and taper toward the bottom. Players that grip the putter with a conventional style grip may feel comfortable with this tapered design due to its exceptional responsiveness. However, golfers that feel apprehensive when putting may find that larger grips help them hit better putts.

Larger grips have been used to offset the increasing weights of modern putter head designs. These grips do not taper as much as traditional models or not at all. This uniform factor gives golfers versatility when deciding how they are going to hold their putter. Players using a cross-handed putter grip or the claw method will benefit from grips that do not change in size as they move down the shaft.

In order to provide struggling golfers with even more help, counterbalance grips add weight beneath the player’s hands. This added weight helps to eliminate wrist hinging during the putting stroke and can yield better putts. Golfers may find improved mechanics and increased consistency by installing counterbalanced putting grips on their putters.

Putter Head Shape

Putters come in many shapes and club head sizes. All of these shapes can be grouped into three major classes. Blades, mallets, and perimeter weighted models will provide golfers with a variety of weights, alignment aids, and color options to choose from. Beyond their looks and feel, these models also differ in their performance characteristics.

Blade putters garner the most favor from golf traditionalists and putter collectors. These beautiful shapes are great for golfers with strong and slight arc putting strokes. Bladed putters provide superior feel and responsiveness to other model putters, but do not offer as much forgiveness due to their smaller size. Struggling golfers may want to test larger, more forgiving models for help with their putting.

Mallet style putters have the largest head shapes. This increased head mass gives these putters the edge in forgiveness and swingweight preferences. Players struggling on the greens will likely improve their putting the most with mallet designed putter shapes. Club craftsmen work hard to blend these larger shapes into profiles that golfers enjoy looking down upon. While they may not offer the same visual appeal or feedback as bladed models, the mallet putters often lure golfers who just want to make putts.

Perimeter weighted putters can offer the cleaner aesthetics of blade putters with forgiveness that is more similar to mallet designs. Made famous by the Odyssey #7, these models typically have wing-like rails coming back from the club face. This redistribution of weight allows these putters to blend the squat blade topline with flanges that flow out of vision and retain ball speeds on mishits. Many golfers will find their putter of choice in this category as they offer advantages from both the other categories.

Face VS Mallet Putters
Golf putter heads. Source TGW.com

 

Putter Shaft Length

Golfers should aim to position themselves in a stable, comfortable putting posture to take their stroke. Once in this posture, the putter shaft length should be built so that the golfer’s eyes align directly over the golf ball or just inside of it. This ensures that your vision is aimed to help you hit the golf ball most directly at the target.

Most putters are sold in lengths of 33, 34, and 35-inches. Counterbalance putters come with shaft lengths typically 35 to 38-inches. These putters are designed to leave part of the grip beyond the hands of the golfer and should align their posture like shorter model shafts. The length of your putter should produce a fluid, relaxed motion that is repeatable through several golf rounds.

Putter Length
Golf putter length. Source Golfgearweekly.com

 

Putter Faces and Inserts

Putter technology has allowed modern putters to be engineered with grooves or face inserts that help the golf ball roll more effectively. When the ball is struck with the putter, it should launch just enough to skip for two or three bounces before beginning its forward roll. To aid golfers in creating this ideal trajectory, putters now have patterns that are the product of decades of research.

Beyond the performance benefits of face inserts and grooves, putter milling or multi-material design can create soft or firm feels. Players looking for maximum feedback will enjoy the more firm feel associated with precision milled, solid putter faces. Players looking for soft feels will enjoy the luxury provided with blending multi-material inserts into the hard metal bodies of putters.

 

Putter Shafts and Hosels

Hosels are created by the angle at which the shaft enters the putter head. This angle has a large influence on how much toe hang each model of putter will have. Putters with minimal toe hang will have shafts that enter the club head directly and point the shaft’s center towards the middle of the club face. Maximum toe hang will have shafts that are either set in front of the putter head or set directly into the heel of the putter. Matching your putter’s toe flow is a critical part of refining your most successful putting motion.

 

Types of Putters

Types of Putters
 
As alluded to earlier, the types of putters and hosel shapes can affect the playability of each model. Golfers with improperly fitted putters will be fighting their natural strokes on the greens. For golfers wanting to precisely dial in their stroke types, stroke analysis software can be used. Once you have identified your stroke type, you will need a putter well suited for your arc.

By placing your hand under the shaft of a putter and suspending the putter head you can crudely measure how much toe hang the putter has. Putters that point toward the sky when suspended are denoted as facebalanced. As putters begin to swivel down towards the ground, their toe hang increases. Maximum toe hand will hang at almost 90 degrees from the ground when balanced.
 

How to Putt a Golf Ball Video

 

Frequently Asked Questions

A buying guide would not be complete without addressing some of the most common questions golfers have when buying new putters. We have answered some of these questions below.

 

Q: How do I know which putter is best for me?

A: Knowing which putter is best for you is entirely dependent on your putting arc style and visual preferences. Players with strong and slight arcs will need putters with more toe flow and players with straighter arcs will need minimal toe flow. Seeing your local golf retail shop or PGA professional can give you insight into what your stroke type is and which models are best for your game.
 

Q: What is the most important factor to consider when buying a putter?

A: Length and toe hang are the most important things to consider when choosing which putter to buy. Getting your eyes properly aligned and matching your putter head’s toe hang to your natural stroke will create more consistent putting results. All factors are important when making a buying decision but prioritizing these two things can help you get the most from your new club.
 

Q: When should I use a putter from off the green?

A: Anytime you believe that you can get the ball nearer the hole with your putter than a wedge you should be using your putter. For many golfers, a poor put will be much closer to the hole than a poor chip shot. Experimenting with you putter from different spots around the greens can lead to lower scores during your next season.
 

Q: Should I switch putters if I’m not putting well?

A: The most important thing that will determine your putting success is your ability and stroke. However, putting with a club that does not match your arc type can make the game much harder than it already is. For players that have worked hard on their stroke, but have yet to see their putting improve, a putter switch could be the jolt that gets them to lower scores. Anytime a new club is vying for a position in your bag, first ensure that it is better than the club it is replacing and properly fit for your game.
 

Conclusion

While it is true that no guide can have all the answer for anyone looking to buy new golf equipment, it is our goal to help golfers understand why what they already have isn’t working for them, and how new clubs can help their games. Every piece of the putter is designed to help golfers achieve getting the ball closer to the hole. The grip, shaft, and club head are all important things to consider when choosing your next flatstick.

Keep in mind the different advantages of blades, mallets, and perimeter weighted putters. Understanding that the right amount of toe hang can supplement your already good putting mechanics can be the difference in making putts and leaving the greens frustrated. Remember not to overlook the club that is going to be responsible for over 40% of the shots of your next round. Go and get your putters fit and come back here for more information on the best clubs for your game. Thanks for reading and make sure to check out our putter reviews and curated lists for the putters tailored to your preferred club head styles and handicaps. Happy testing!

The Ultimate Guide to Golf Grips

The-ultimate-guide-to-golf-grips-1

 
Golfers often overlook the importance of choosing the proper grip for their clubs. The performance of different models, weights, textures, and sizes cannot be overstated. The grip is the only connection to the golf club players have. Grips that are the wrong size or texture prevent golfers from swinging the club freely and causes them to alter their ideal swing arcs. Your thirteen clubs and your putter should all have a grip that has been fit for your hands and helps you hit your best shots.
 

Types of Golf Grips

There are many types and styles to golf grips, and there really is not one size fit all. Here are the different types and styles of golf grips.

Golf Grips

Rubber Golf Grips

Grips made completely of rubber are the most common grip installed for golf clubs. Popular rubber models include Golf Pride’s Tour Velvet, SuperStrokes’ S-Tech, and Lamkin’s Crossline Black grips. These grips are versatile and smooth in your hands. Golfers often prefer the feel of these smooth grips to more course options. Another advantage of rubber grips is their longevity. Due to their uniform compositions, these grips are more durable than a hybrid, corded, or wrapped grip.

Corded Golf Grips

Corded grips, or hybrid grips, have grown in popularity with the most prominent being the Golf Pride Multi-Compound grips. These grips leverage the benefits of rubber with infused brushed cotton for a more coarse texture. This texture is great when playing in the rain or for golfers whose hands perspire a lot. Golfers new to these grips may find them harsh when taking lots of swings. If you do prefer these grips, be aware that the rough cotton will wear down more quickly than the rubber components of other grips. Golfers playing these grips should expect to regrip their clubs more frequently.

Wrapped Golf Grips

Wrapped grips were traditionally designed to provide golfers with an exceptionally soft feel. Modern wrapped grips use high-performance leather to achieve a tacky-soft feel that helps golfers improve comfort and control. Some premium grips come wrapped in leather and can be beautiful additions to your golf clubs.

Lightweight Golf Grips

Lightweight golf grips help players to balance the weight of their clubs. Many grip models come in lightweight options. Golfers with smaller hands or who prefer to grip the club lightly may find that these grips offer more freedom to swing the club quickly and maintain control. Junior golfers many find these grip especially useful to ensure their clubs are not stressing their mechanics as they develop their swings.

Putter Grips

Choices for putter grips have grown exponentially in recent years. The high subjectivity of how a putter feels in different player’s hands makes choosing a putter grip more art than science. A variation of sizes, weights, and taper designs are available. Brands such as SuperStroke and Golf Pride make numerous options for golfers of all types to fit a wide range of putter head models. Counter-weight options are also available, and this helps to promote less wrist action in the putting stroke and help to counteract the increasing weight of the putter head.
 

Grip Size

Best Golf Gloves
 
Many golfers play the wrong size grip. Conventional wisdom encouraged golfers fighting a slice to move down in grip size and golfers fighting hooks to use larger grips. Many tests have been done to try and support the use of grip size to alter ball flights. However, club fitters agree that grip size in the hands of different golfers produces different results. Ultimately, a golfer should choose a grip size that feels the best in their hands and allows them to swing the club the most naturally.

Beyond just the size of the grip, taper rates can largely affect how a grip feels and performs. Most grips are created with a bottom section that is smaller in diameter than the top section. Couple that with a butt-section in the shaft that is largest at the top and you get grips that are noticeably larger under a right-handed golfer’s left hand and a left-handed golfer’s right hand. To combat this discrepancy, golfers have traditionally used wraps of tape to make the grips uniform in size. For most grips, adding four wraps of tape under the bottom hand reduces the taper.

Undersized, standard, midsized, and jumbo grips are available to help fit a wide range of golfer preferences and hand sizes. These grip sizes vary in weight and clubs should be swingweight tested once your grip of choice has been installed to ensure that your club is built for you. Between models, rubber or hybrid and wrapped options, the weight of the grip can change and should always be referenced when making a club buying decision.
 

Round vs. Ribbed Grips

Golf Grips
 
Round grips and ribbed appear very similar. After the installation of these grips, the ribbed grip has an extra piece of rubber that creates a ridge above the golf shaft. This ridge serves as a reminder for golfers who want their hands in the exact same position every swing. Ribbed golf grips make a great choice for beginning golfers who need help with where to put their hands on the club. Golf Pride has taken this ribbed design to extremes with their ALIGN Technology.
 

Firm Grips vs. Soft Grips

Golf Grip
 
Choosing a firmness of grips is highly player specific. Testing different grip textures and firmness levels, is the best way to know what is best for your swing. Aging golfers who battle fatigue and arthritis can find relief in wrapped grips and softer rubber models. These softer grips help absorb impact and can ease hand and arm pain over the duration of the golfing season.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

It is not uncommon to have questions when trying to select a good golf grip. Below, we have outlined the questions golfers have most often.
 

Q: How long do golf grips last?

A: Many grip manufacturers recommend regripping your clubs each season. However, less used clubs among your iron sets and your putter will not need to be changed as often. Depending on your grip model, the lifespan between grips can vary. Hybrid or corded grips tend to wear out more quickly than 100% rubber alternatives.
 

Q: When should you replace your golf grips?

A: Once your grip begins showing signs of wear, they will need to be replaced. Things to look for are color changes in the grip, black to grey or white to off-white, thining spots where your thumb and index finger hold the club, or a lack of tackiness when compared to new models.
 

Q: Is it better to buy one grip or a set of grips?

A: It is recommended that your entire set of clubs, minus your putter uses the same grip. Similar grips keep the feel of each club consistent to promote better scores. Many golfers will find cost-saving benefits in buying 13 grips as a set rather than buying each grip individually. Many pro shops even offer free installation when 13 grips are bought from their shop as a set.
 

Q: How do you maintain your golf grips?

A: Making sure that your grips are dry between each shot and before and after golf rounds is the best way to improve the duration of your grip’s life. Storing your golf clubs inside rather than in the trunks of cars will also help your grips retain moisture.

When storing your clubs over the winter break, make sure to keep them inside your home where the temperature is regulated. Leaving your clubs in a garage or vehicle can damage not only the grip but also the integrity of the club head.
 

Q: How do you replace your golf grips?

A: For do it yourself golfers, a grip knife, vice, double-sided grip tape, and grip solvent are required. The old grip should be removed carefully with a hook knife or box cutter. The old tape should be removed using the grip solvent and an old rag.

Once the butt-section of the shaft is free of any old tape and grip residue, place the shaft into the vice and secure your club. Measure a strip of double-sided tape that is one inch longer than the grip. This one-inch overhang will be tucked into the shaft to help seal the grip.

Place a golf tee in the hole at the butt-end of the grip and generously pour grip solvent into your new grip. Shake the grip to ensure that the interior of the grip is lubricated. Pour the grip solvent from the grip onto the tape and then quickly slide the grip over the shaft and into position. Be sure to quickly arrange any logos or marking on the grip into their proper alignment because the solvent will begin to solidify quickly. Freshly installed grips should be stored in a cool, dry environment for four hours before they are completely solid.

If you would rather employ the help of a club builder, most golf retail chains including Dick’s Sporting Goods and local pro shops have professionals with all the tools necessary to install your grips. Many offer discounts for the installment if you purchase your grips with them. Aftermarket grip installation usually costs between three and six dollars depending on your professional and number of clubs being regripped.
 

Conclusion

When purchasing golf equipment, every detail is important. The golf grip is the only part of the club your body will interact with. This relationship between your hands, the grip, and ultimately, the club head can make all the difference in good shots and bad. Differences in size, texture, weight, and price should all be considered when regripping your clubs or buying a new set. Thanks for reading and if you have any questions regarding your clubs or grips, check our other reviews and buying guides or talk with your local club pros and club builders.

The Ultimate Guide on How to Measure Golf Club Length with Chart

Golf-club-length

 

There’s a lot of talk these days about golf club length, and how to measure it. With the recent rise of Bryson DeChambeau, who has elected to play irons that are all the same length, the conversation has been reignited with two schools of thought: graduated shafts and single-length shafts. The latter’s case has yet to be universally proven, especially for the amateur golfer. In this guide, we explain the importance of being measured for your golf clubs and why you should consider doing this the next time you purchase a new one.

What is Golf Club Length?

It may sound fairly obvious, but the length of a golf club refers to the distance from the heel of the club, when it rests on the ground at address, to the end of the grip.

There are golf club lengths for each club that are known as standard. The standard length of a golf club is typically the starting point for everyone when they buy a set of clubs. If you go to your local golf store, you’ll typically find clubs that are all standard length. One thing to keep in mind is that there is a different standard length for men’s and women’s clubs. The length of a set of clubs is communicated simply by the amount over (+) or under (-) the standard length.

 
The Ultimate Guide on How to Measure Golf Club Length with Chart
 
The problem with standard length clubs is that not every golfer is the same size and not every golf swing is the same. Those differences in size and swing can dramatically impact the effectiveness of a golf club. For example, an average sized person with a fairly normal golf swing may be able to hit standard clubs really well because they happen to be fit perfectly. On the other hand, a tall, or short, player with a flat, or upright, swing will change how a club contacts the ball and, therefore, makes it less effective. So, in this article we’re going to look in to determining the right length for your golf clubs based on the graduated shaft approach.
 

What is the Graduated Shaft Approach?

The graduated shaft approach basically means that a set of clubs gets slightly longer as the club’s desired distance increases. In these sets of clubs, a pitching wedge is shorter than a 9-iron, an 8-iron is shorter than a 7-iron, and so on. This is, by far, the most popular approach to golf club length. There are several factors we’ll dig in to, but first we need to clearly define what we mean when we’re talking about golf club length.
 

Importance of Club Length

The length of a golf club may seem to be a fairly simple characteristic, but it is actually quite important. A club’s length will affect how flat or upright a player needs to swing. The shorter a golf club, the more upright the same player will need to swing in order to hit the ball well. Club length also affects club head speed. Club head speed influences a shot’s distance too, so a longer shaft will help a player hit the ball farther. That’s why you often see long drive competitors swinging drivers that are as long as possible. Next, club length also affects accuracy. In general, a shorter club will be easier to control and, thus, will be more accurate. Finally, a longer club is also more flexible than a shorter club that has the same shaft. So, when you cut down or extend a club’s length, it will either make the club slightly stiffer or slightly more flexible. Finally, and most importantly, a club’s length will also have an impact on a player’s consistency of impact. Having the right length of club will make it significantly easier to hit a shot solidly.
 

How to Measure Golf Club Length

Player Height

Like we said, there are several factors that need to be considered when selecting club length. The first, and perhaps most obvious, is your height. In general, the taller a player is, the longer the clubs they ought to have (though this isn’t always true, based on the next factor discussed below). This is because a taller player has farther to reach down to the ball. A longer club for a taller player allows that player to reach the golf ball at the same point in the swing as a shorter player with a standard golf club length club.
 

Wrist to Floor Distance

The next factor that needs to be considered is the distance from your wrist to the ground. This is measured by standing straight up and letting your arms hang down freely by your sides. This number typically correlates generally to your height; the taller a person is, the farther their wrist is from the ground. With these two numbers, you can figure out how long your clubs ought to be. Check out the chart in the section below to see what length of clubs works best for your size and swing.
 

Golf Club Length Chart

HeightWrist to Ground DistanceRecommended Club Length
>6’8”>42”+2”
6’6”-6’8”41”-42”+1.5”
6’4”-6’6”40”-41”+1”
6’2”-6’4”38.5”-40”+0.5”
6’1”-6’2”37”38.5”+0.25”
5’7”-6’1”34”-37”Standard
5’4”-5’7”32”-34”-0.25”
5’2”-5’4”29”-34”-0.5”
5’-5’2”27”-29”-1”
4’10”-5’25”-27”-1.5”
<4’10”<25”-2”

Putter Length

So far, we’ve been talking about the length of irons, drivers, and hybrids—the clubs you most often swing fully. Every golfer has another type of club in their bag though: the putter. For putters, there isn’t a standard length. When you buy a putter, typically, the golf store will let you know its length. Most normal putters are between 32 and 37 inches long; though in recent years, putter lengths have been tinkered with quite a bit.

If you’ve watched much professional golf, you’ve probably seen golfers who have long and mid-length putter shafts. Bernhard Langer and Adam Scott are two players who have often used long putters and Matt Kuchar and Bryson DeChambeau often use a mid-length putter. These are putters that either reach up to a player’s upper-body (long) or abdomen (mid-length). Because of this movement, putter length depends a lot on your putting style, comfort, and height.

 
Putter Length
 
If your putting stroke is fairly standard, your putter length will probably be between 32 inches and 37 inches. The taller you are, the longer your putter will probably be, but that can change based on how much you hunch over the golf ball when you putt. First, set up to a golf ball like you’re going to putt. Then, hang your arms straight down. The ideal putter length is one that allows you to hang your arms freely at your address position, and hold the grip of your club. You also want to make sure the putter length allows your eyes to rest directly over the ball, or slightly inside the ball. These factors will help you select the right length of putter.

All those things being said, make sure that, whatever length you choose, it is comfortable to you. One of the most important things about putters is a player’s comfort level. The putting stroke is a feel shot more than any other, so if you don’t feel right standing over the ball, then you’re less likely to be successful with the shot.
 

Changing Shaft Length

The nice thing about golf club length is that it can be changed fairly easily; there’s no need to buy new clubs to get ones that are the right length. Instead, there are two approaches to changing your golf clubs’ length, if needed. The first, is simply to buy brand new shafts in the right length for each of your clubs. Then, you would have to remove the old shaft and install the new one. However, the approach I would recommend, and the less expensive approach, would be to cut down or extend your current shafts.

 
Shafts
 
To do this, simply remove your grips and the tape underneath. Then, you’ll have an exposed shaft on the end of your club. To cut down the shaft to a shorter length, measure the amount you want to cut off and use a shaft cutter to take that amount off the end of your club. If you want to extend your club, you’ll need to buy a shaft extension that you’ll put in the end of the club to make the shaft longer. Make sure you get an extension that is the same material (steel or graphite) as your current shaft. Once you’re done with those steps, just put the grip back on like normal.
 

Conclusion

The length of your golf clubs is one of the most important factors to consider with your golf clubs. It can dramatically influence the playability of your clubs and, therefore, your overall skill. So, make sure that your clubs are the proper length for your game. If you do that, you should find that you can execute your desired shots more often, play more consistently, and enjoy the game even more.

How to Play Golf: The Ultimate Guide on Everything You Have Ever Wanted to Know About Golf

Beginners-guide

 
Golf is a wonderful game, one that combines skill, camaraderie and decorum, all while enjoying the warmth and deep green beauty of the great outdoors. However, if you are a novice golfer, perhaps someone who is just now learning about the game and how to play golf, you may have some questions regarding certain aspects of the sport? If this accurately describes you, or you need a refresher, then the following article may prove very enlightening and useful to you. Here we will highlight and define almost everything you need to know about this great game, including the general rules of golf; the proper etiquette to follow while playing; the equipment you will need while out on the course, and the general purpose behind each piece of gear. We will also talk about golf scoring; the difference between match play and stroke play; and provide some helpful information about golf handicap—what it is and how to calculate it.
 

The Rules of Golf

How to Keep Score in Golf

How to Play Golf
Golf Score Card

 
If you have ever watched golf on television, you have no doubt heard the announcers use terms like birdie, bogey, par and eagle (even “albatross” if you are lucky). And while these terms may lead you to believe that golf has its own secret language, along with a scoring system that is intricate and complex, nothing could be further from the truth. Why do we say that? Because golf, as well as being a great game, is also an incredibly simple one, particularly when it comes to scoring.

Unlike most other major sports, where the highest score wins, in golf the aim is to achieve the lowest score possible. The object of golf is to get the ball from that initial teed-up position into the hole in the fewest number of strokes (hits) possible. From the moment you tee your ball up on the first hole, each time you hit the ball counts as a stroke. Then, when you roll your ball into the cup on that first hole, tally up all the strokes you used to achieve that goal—that is your score for hole number one. From there, you will simply repeat that process for the remaining 17 holes, writing down the number of strokes you used on each hole into the corresponding spot on your scorecard. For instance, if it took you 5 strokes to get the ball into the cup on the first hole, and 7 strokes to achieve that goal on the second hole, your score after two holes would be 12. At the end of the round, you merely add up the strokes you recorded for each of the 18 holes—that is your final score. Simple, right?
 

Scoring Relative to Par

Golf scores, either on a particular hole or the overall round, are often expressed relative to par or in relation to par. Par is the number of swings or strokes that an expert golfer is expected to require on a given hole or on the course as a whole.

If the “par” on hole number one is 5, and you score a 6, your score is now 1-over par. If your total number of strokes on the next hole is 3, and the “par” for that hole is listed as par-4, you are now at “even par.”

Like the individual holes, golf courses also have a “par.” For instance, if a golf course is listed as a Par-72, an expert golfer is expected to play the entire course in 72 strokes. If you play on a Par-72 golf course, and your cumulative number of strokes is 96, your score would be expressed as 24-over par, or +24.
 

Golf Lingo and Scoring

Going back to that secret language we talked about at the onset of this section, the game of golf has certain nicknames for a score that one achieves on a particular hole. Shooting 1-over par on a hole is called a bogey (two over is a double bogey, etc.), while shooting 1-under par is called a birdie. An eagle is a score of 2-under par, and the rare albatross is achieved when a golfer scores 3-under par on a hole. These names will become second nature the more you play.
 

How Many Clubs Are (Should Be) in a Golf Bag

How Many Clubs In A Bag
Golf Clubs. Source HeronPoint

 
Understanding the number of clubs you are permitted to carry in your bag is crucial, as having too many clubs in your bag could result in penalties during tournament play. The governing body of golf, the United States Golf Association (USGA), states that a player is allowed to carry no more than 14 clubs in the bag. Therefore, if you purchase a standard set of 12 golf clubs, with three woods (driver, 3-wood, and 5-wood), eight irons (3-9 iron and pitching wedge) and a putter, you are allowed to add 2 more clubs to the bag—no more.
 

Tee Markers

Tee Marker
How to Play Golf. Source Candiaoaks

 
The “tee areas” on a golf course, commonly known as the tee boxes, are where each player starts the various holes. The area is named after the golf aides of the same name (tee), which are used to elevate the ball slightly off the ground before striking it.

The boundaries on each tee box are delineated by tee markers, one to the left and one to the right. Golfers must tee-up their ball between and (at least slightly) behind these markers.

On most golf courses, there are usually several sets of tee markers, with each set painted a different color. Municipal courses, for example, typically have three sets of tee markers, colored blue, white and red. Here is what those colors indicate:

  • Blue Tee Markers. Typically used in men’s tournaments and by male golfers with low handicaps, the blue tee markers are the furthest markers from the hole (on most municipal courses).

  • White Tee Markers. The white tee markers denote where most mid to high-handicap male golfers will start the hole.

  • Red Tee Markers. Red tee markers are where most women golfers will start from.

In country clubs and championship golf courses, there are also other colors that may be used in the tee boxes, such as black or gold (used for championship play by expert professional and amateur golfers), green (where junior players start from), and gold or yellow (for senior golfers).
 

Lost Golf Ball or Out of Bounds

How to Play Golf
Lost Golf Ball

 
Covered under rule 27-1 of the USGA rule book are the penalties that will be enforced should your ball be hit out of bounds or if you lose your ball and cannot find it within five minutes of the time you first hit it. Under part B and C of that rule, the rule book states the following for each situation:

  • Ball out of bounds. “If a ball is out of bounds, the player must play a ball, under penalty of one stroke, as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played.” In other words, you are penalized one stroke and you must hit the ball again—from the same place in which you initially started.

  • Ball Lost and Not Found within Five Minutes. The same holds true for this rule, as the rule book clearly says: “If a ball is lost as a result of not being found or identified as his by the player within five minutes after the player’s side or his or their caddies have begun to search for it, the player must play a ball, under penalty of one stroke, as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played.”

 

Touching the Ball

Can't touch your ball
Can’t touch your ball

 
If the ball is on the putting green, you are allowed to pick up that golf ball after placing a marker directly behind it. However, from a general standpoint, this is the only instance in which touching the ball on the golf course is permitted.

As the old saying in golf goes, “you must play it where it lies,” and touching your golf ball while out on the course is simply not allowed (in most instances). For example, you cannot pick up your ball to clean it while it is on the fairway, and you cannot improve your lie by moving it even a little bit in any direction.

There are a few exceptions to this rule that you will learn as you go along, but the rule of thumb is this: except when your ball is on the putting green, you must not touch it or you will incur a one stroke penalty for that infraction.
 

Golf Etiquette

how to play golf
Golf Etiquette

 
Golf is a game of manners; a gentleman’s game—or at least it is supposed to be. Thus, when you hear the term golf etiquette it is referring to a certain way you are supposed to act when out on the course, even though these actions are not specifically required under the USGA rule book. Below we have covered just a few of the general rules of golf etiquette that have been followed for centuries.
 

Avoid Slow Play

Golf is a popular sport, with lots of players typically sharing the same course. Golf course employees usually try to space golfers out by giving them “tee-times”—a time at which the golfers in a particular group (usually a foursome) will tee off on the first hole. These tee-times are spaced out by roughly 10 minutes, but if you take too long on any one hole—such as looking for a lost ball for more than 5 minutes—you are not only delaying your own foursome, but the group behind you as well (and so on). Hence, try to keep it moving when out on the golf course so that everyone can enjoy the course equally.

 

Maintaining the Course

Taking care of the golf course as you play is just common courtesy. Doing so will ensure that the players behind you can enjoy the same great conditions you were afforded while playing that hole. To maintain the course as you play, you should do all of the following:

  • Replace your divots on the fairway. When striking a ball from the fairway, you will undoubtedly take a chunk of sod with you. This should be replaced as best you can before moving on.

  • Fix your divots on the green. When your ball lands on the green, it may leave an impression in the short-cut grass. Fortunately, there are very affordable tools you can purchase in any Pro Shop that will allow you to quickly fix these small divots and keep the green rolling smoothly.

  • Rake the Sand Trap. If you are hitting a ball from a sand trap, make sure that you then rake that sand trap before moving on to your next shot.

  • Keep Carts on the Cart Path. Fairways are not intended to withstand the weight of heavy golf carts—carts that can leave divots and cause the grass to be ripped out. Instead of driving to your next shot on the fairway, park the golf cart on the cement cart path as near as you can to your ball and then walk to it.

 

Yelling “Fore”

Yelling “Fore” is golf’s version of saying “heads up.” If you strike a ball on the course, and you fear that ball may hit or come close to another golfer, you should ALWAYS yell “Fore” while the ball is in the air, giving golfers up ahead of you the chance to take cover. Chances are your ball will not hit another golfer (although it has happened), but if your ball comes close to another golfer, and you fail to yell “Fore,” you are bound to stir up some much-deserved anger in the golfers ahead of you.
 

Golf Putting

There are a few golf etiquette rules to follow when putting on the green with other golfers. Here is a quick breakdown of those rules:

  • Farthest away hits first. The player who is furthest away from the hole when on the green is the first to putt. Should the ball not go in, that golfer should (usually) then mark his ball and wait for his next turn.

  • Avoid other golfer’s lines. You should NEVER step in another player’s “line.” The line is defined as the path between that golfer’s ball and the hole. Shoe or spike imprints on that line could potentially alter the path of that golfer’s putt, causing him to miss.

  • Quiet. This applies throughout the course, but especially on the green. When another player is putting, you should refrain from talking or making any other noises that could distract the golfer.

  • Hats Off, Shake Hands. On the final green of the course, and after each player has completed their final putt, all players should remove their hats/caps before shaking hands.

 

Golf Equipment

If you are going to play golf, you are going to need a few key pieces of equipment at minimum, including golf clubs; a golf bag (of some type) in which to carry those clubs; golf shoes; and, of course, golf balls. Let’s take a closer look at each of these items:
 

Golf Clubs

how to play golf
Standard Golf Equipment

 

There are many different types of golf clubs, each with a specialized purpose or purposes. These clubs, which will help you successfully navigate the golf course, include the driver, fairway woods, irons, wedges, hybrid clubs, and a putter.
 

Driver

Usually the longest club in your bag with the largest club head, the driver can be made from a variety of materials (graphite, fiberglass, wood). Today’s drivers are very sturdy and durable, yet also very lightweight. They are used by golfers typically at the onset of each longer-yardage hole—holes that play to a par-4 or par-5 ranking—to hit the ball off the tee, but they can also be used on the fairway. Drivers have a loft angle that can range from 4 degrees to 20 degrees, although the average driver loft is between 9 and 15 degrees. A qualified salesperson can help determine which loft is most suited to you based on your swing mechanics and the club head speed you generate.
 

Fairway Woods

As the name suggests, fairway woods are “driver shaped” clubs that are generally used on the fairway to advance the ball towards the hole. Some golfers may also use these clubs on the tee box if the yardage justifies it. Fairway woods come in many different sizes (3-wood, 5-wood, 7-wood, 9-wood, etc.). As a beginner, we recommend you keep a minimum of two fairway woods in your bag—the 3-wood and 5-wood—in addition to a driver. A 3-wood has a loft angle that ranges from 12-17 degrees; while a 5-wood has a loft of 20-23 degrees in most cases. Generally speaking, golf balls hit with fairway woods travel longer than they do with irons, but have less distance than the driver.
 

Irons

While the irons in a standard golf set may all look the same, each has a different loft angle. As a beginner, we recommend you carry 7 of these irons in your bag—the 3-iron through the 9-iron. Higher numbered irons, like the 3-iron, 4-iron, and 5-iron, will enable you to hit the ball with more distance than you would the lower irons, because the loft angle on these clubs is lower. Here is a look at each of these clubs with the corresponding average loft angle: 3-iron—15 degrees; 4-iron—20 degrees; 5-iron—25 degrees; 6-iron—30 degrees; 7-iron—35 degrees, 8-iron—40 degrees and 9-iron—45 degrees.
 

Wedges

There are many different types of wedges, with the two most common types being the pitching wedge and sand wedge. The pitching wedge is a very versatile club, one that can be used for short approach shots, chipping around the green and pitching out of troubled areas to improve your lie. These wedges typically have a loft angle between 45 and 54 degrees. The sand wedge, which can also be used for the same purposes as a pitching wedge, is primarily designed to hit balls out of greenside sand traps. These clubs have an open face design, a loft angle of about 56 degrees, and a wider sole than other clubs, which allows them to cut through the sand more easily. Other types of wedges include the gap wedge—wedges with a loft angle of 50-54 degrees that help fill the “gap” between the pitching wedge and the sand wedge; and the lob wedge—the steepest of the wedges with a loft angle of about 60 degrees or more.
 

Hybrids

As their name suggests, hybrid clubs are utility clubs that are essentially a cross between a fairway wood and a long iron, sharing similarities with each type of club. Many golfers have gone to hybrid style clubs for their ability to launch the ball into the air like an iron, while also having the ability to cover the long distance of a fairway wood.
 

Putter

Putters are used on the green (and sometimes just off the putting surface) to roll the ball into the hole. Appropriately nicknamed the “flat stick,” a putter has no loft whatsoever. These clubs come in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles. We recommend you try out several of these styles before making a final decision on the putter for your bag.
 

Golf Bags

how to play golf
Different types of golf bags

 

Golf bags are essential for toting your clubs, golf balls and any other equipment you will need on the course. And as with golf clubs, there are many different types of golf bags from which to choose. Once you decide on the type of golfing you plan to do (walking, riding in a cart, etc.), you can then decide on a bag that best suits your purposes. Here is a quick look at four different types of golf bags:
 

Staff Bags

The “Cadillac” of all golf bags is the staff bag. Staff bags are the types of bags used by professionals on the tour. They usually sport a very prominent logo, are very roomy and spacious, and certainly deluxe. However, staff bags also tend to be very heavy and cumbersome. This is probably why those professionals pay for someone else (caddie) to carry the bag for them.
 

Cart Bags

Cart bags, as you might guess from the title, are bags designed to be carried on a golf riding cart or golf push cart. Usually weighing about 6-7 pounds, they are much lighter than your average staff bag, while still boasting more than enough capacity for your clubs and gear. Cart bags are designed in such a way that they give golfers quick and easy access to all the bag’s pockets and compartments while it is strapped to the back of a cart.
 

Stand Bags

Stand bags are unique in that they have two retractable legs. These legs enable the bag to stand completely on its own, either upright or slightly tilted, in which its two legs extend out further to stabilize the bag while providing easy access to any club. When the bag is lifted, the legs retract and lay snug against the bag for easy carrying. A favorite among golfers who prefer to walk the course, stand bags are very easy on a golfer’s back—golfers who would otherwise have to lay the bag down each time he/she took a shot.
 

Carry Bags

Carry bags are like stand bags without the extra hardware. Nicknamed “Sunday Bags,” these types of bags are designed to be carried on the course. They have the advantage of being the lightest bags in the industry, weighing just 2-3 pounds when empty, and they are also the most affordable golf bags on the market, making them perfect for beginners.
 

Golf Shoes

how to play golf
Different types of golf shoes

 

There are two main types of golf shoes available for wear on the course: spiked golf shoes and spikeless golf shoes.
 

Spiked Golf Shoes

Spiked Golf Shoes are those that feature actual cleats on the outsole (bottom) of the shoe. Once made of metal, today these cleats are mostly made of soft plastic to avoid damage to greens and fairways. Spiked golf shoes usually offer a bit more lateral stability overall than do the spikeless styles of shoes, especially on hilly courses and in wet conditions.
 

Spikeless Golf Shoes

Spikeless Golf Shoes are those that feature a flat outsole (bottom) with rubber studs or dimples in place of spikes. Causing no marks or holes in the green, spikeless golf shoes are usually a bit more comfortable than their spiked counterparts, but you may sacrifice some stability in the conditions mentioned above.
 

Golf Balls

how to play golf
Golf Balls

 

Golf balls are not all the same—at least not anymore. To help you become more familiar with these little marvels, below we will talk a little about a golf ball’s construction, compression and spin.
 

Construction

Golf balls can be constructed with just a single piece of material or many layers of materials that overlap to offer added distance, spin and control for golfers.

  • One-piece golf balls are typically made from a solid piece of Surlyn with dimples molded into the ball. Today, these inexpensive balls are generally used by beginners and at driving ranges only.

  • Two-piece golf balls are the hardest balls on the market and thus cover the most distance. In these balls, the solid inner core is made of high-energy acrylate or resin and is covered by a tough, split-proof outer covering.

  • Three-piece balls have either a rubber or liquid core, followed by a layer of enhanced rubber and finally a molded cover of durable Surlyn or Urethane. Softer than the two-piece ball, these balls offer more spin and control.

  • Four-piece and five-piece golf balls have several layers, each with a different purpose (distance, spin, control, etc.). These are the most expensive golf balls on the market

 

Compression

When you hear the word compression with regard to golf balls they are talking about the deflection a ball experiences when it is struck by the golf club. Compression is measured using numbers between 0 and 200, with 0 being a ball that compresses 5 mm or 1/5 of an inch; and 200 being a ball that does not compress at all. When shopping for golf balls, just remember that lower compression balls tend to be softer and compress more to create more distance. Higher compression balls offer more control and are used by more experienced players who can produce faster swing speeds to compress the ball.
 

Spin

In addition to their compression, golf balls are also rated for their spin. Low-spin golf balls enable the ball to fly straight, and while they may lack some distance through the air, you can expect more roll after they land on the fairway.

Mid-spin golf balls try to incorporate elements of both low-spin and high-spin technology to offer a mix of distance and control; while high-spin golf balls tend to travel farther in the air but may lack roll upon landing. High-spin golf balls also offer experienced golfers much more control around the green.
 

Golf Handicap

how to play golf
Determining your Golf Handicap

 
One of the very attractive aspects of the game of golf—one not seen in other major sports—is its ability to create even and fair matches between golfers of different ability levels. This is made possible through the process or system known as “golf handicap.” Officially termed the Handicap Index by the United States Golf Association, golf handicap is a system that can level the playing field for golfers of different skill levels, thus eliminating the one-sided “blowouts” that often occur in other sports.
 

What Is Golf Handicap

Generally speaking, a golf handicap is a number, based on earlier rounds of golf played, that indicates how many shots over par a golfer is expected to shoot. For instance, if a golfer is playing a par-72 golf course, and has a handicap of 20, he/she is expected to take roughly 20 more strokes (92) than the indicated par.

In a competition, if that same player (with a 20-handicap) actually shoots a 91 (19 strokes over par) on that par-72 golf course, he would then subtract 20 strokes (the handicap) from that score, giving him an adjusted score of 71—or 1-under par for the round.

To understand how the handicap system levels the playing field, let’s assume that our 20-handicap golfer was playing against a player with a 7-handicap. While our 20-handicap golfer was shooting a 91 for an adjusted score of 71 after adding in the handicap; our 7-handicap golfer actually takes 79 strokes to complete the course, giving him an adjusted score of 72—or even par. As you can see, even though our 7-handicap golfer took far fewer strokes to complete the golf course, he still lost by a stroke to the other golfer when both scores were adjusted for handicap.
 

How to Calculate Golf Handicap

As a beginner, the best way to calculate your golf handicap is to join the USGA and get an official USGA Handicap Index. In doing so, you will not have to worry about calculating your golf index, as this (fairly difficult) calculation will be done for you by other people (or most likely, by a computer) .

To get started in establishing your golf handicap index, you will need to play at least 5 and up to 20 rounds of golf, and save the scorecards for each round indicating the actual number of strokes you took in each of those rounds.

At most golf courses, there is a computer located in or around the pro shop where you can enter the score you achieved at that course and follow the prompts given to you by the computer. Continue to follow these steps at each course at which you play and soon you will have established a recognized golf handicap—one you can use as a benchmark for continued improvement.
 

Golf Formats: Stroke Play vs. Match Play

As you become more experienced in the game of golf, you may have occasion to play in tournaments and competitions. These events are usually based around one of two types of golf formats: stroke play and match play. Below we will describe each of these formats in more detail.
 

Stroke Play

Stroke Play
Stroke Play. Source Golfweek

 
A stroke play tournament or competition is the format with which most golf fans and new golfers are most familiar. If you remember the section “How to Score Golf,” you already understand the concept of stroke play.

The most basic form of golf, stroke play is the format in which the golfer with the lowest score after the competition wins the prize. In stroke play, each golfer keeps a record of how many strokes he/she took on each hole. When all 18 holes have been played by all the golfers on the course, each participant adds up the total strokes they took during that round and compares that number against that achieved by the other golfers in the competition. The golfer with the lowest cumulative score is the 1st place winner, the golfer with the second-lowest number of strokes places 2nd, and so on.

In some tournaments, such as those played by golfers on professional tours, multiple rounds will be played. However, this does not change the scoring format. The golfer with the lowest score after the 2, 3 or four rounds of golf is declared the winner.

Should two golfers tie for first place in a tournament, there is typically some type of playoff format to determine the ultimate winner. In some of these playoffs, golfers will merely play individual holes until one golfer scores lower on that hole than the other golfer. For instance, golfers may first play the 18th hole—if one golfer shoots 1-under par (birdie) and the other shoots even par, the golfer who shot the birdie is deemed the champion. If they tie on that hole, they would play another hole (and so on) until one golfer is victorious.

Another type of playoff, although rarely used, involves the playing of an entire round of golf (18 holes), with the golfer shooting the lowest score declared the winner.
 

Match Play

Match PLay
Match Play. Source Tucson Sentinel

 

Much as the name implies, match play golf “matches” two opponents against each other. In these types of tournaments, golfers are matched up against one another in a tournament bracket format, and they must face off round by round against each other until there is only one champion remaining. Whereas most major tournaments on professional tours utilize stroke play, which are won by shooting lower scores than the rest of the field, the individual rounds in match play are won by shooting lower than your particular opponent.

The rules for match play golf are fairly simple: Get a better score than your opponent on a particular hole, and you win a point for that hole. If you both have the same score on a hole, no points are awarded to either golfer. At the end of the round, the golfer with the most points wins and advances in the tournament. One of the main advantages of a match play tournament is it can move along faster than stroke play due to the flexibility in the rules.

One of these flexible rules is the notion of conceding. If your opponent is closer than you are and is within feet of the hole—a distance at which he will almost certainly sink the putt—you can concede him the shot without it having to be taken. In the same way, your opponent can concede the hole and the point to you if he or she feels the hole cannot be won. If at any time one golfer is ahead by more points than there are holes remaining, the match is over. For instance, if one golfer is 7 points ahead of his opponent, and there are only six holes left to play, there is no reason to continue any further.

Match play is unique in that it forces players to compete to win individual holes, as the golfer with the most holes won is the winner of the match. This means your strategy can be more aggressive for each hole. For example, instead of using a stroke to get your ball into a more favorable position for the next shot, golfers often take more risks in order to defeat their opponent and win the hole.
 

Conclusion

As you can see there is many details to the game of golf. However, we tried to condense it down into one simple guide, so you can spend less time reading and more time playing. Now that you have the foundation, it’s time for you to go out on the course and enjoy this beautiful game.

The Ultimate Guide on Golf Wedges

Ultimate-guide-to-golf-wedges

 
Golf wedges, commonly referred to as just the “wedge” around golf course, is one of the most important clubs to have in your bag. In fact, many of the world’s top golfers carry a variety of wedges in their arsenal. These clubs are designed to hit a wide range of close-in shots, usually from 120-100 yards or closer, including shots that are right around the green and in sand traps.

Wedges have a variety of “lofts”, which means they are shaped in such a way to strike the golf ball at many different angles. To help you get a clearer understanding about the different types of wedges, this being the pitching wedge, gap wedge, lob wedge, and sand wedge, we have put together this ultimate guide for you.
 

What is the Loft of Golf Clubs?

If you hang around golfers or golf courses long enough, you are bound to encounter the term “loft” as it applies to golf clubs. But what exactly does the term mean? In order to answer that question adequately, it is important to note that loft does not merely apply to wedges; every club in your bag, except for the appropriately-named flat stick, or putter, has some degree of loft to it.

The term “loft” or club loft can be defined as “the angle of the clubface as it is positioned on the shaft.” And the degree of a club’s loft angle is relative to the (imaginary) vertical plane, and not the ground.

Golf Club Degrees and Distances
 

As mentioned before, all of the clubs in your bag, 14 or under if you are playing according to the established rules, have a loft angle of some kind.

Drivers, for example, tend to have the lowest degree of loft, usually ranging from 9-13 degrees. However, beginner golfers can get away with an even higher degree of loft on their driver, as this loft will assist in getting the ball into the air more rapidly.

Fairway woods typically have a greater loft angle than the driver. A 3 wood, for instance, usually has a loft angle between 15 and 18 degrees; while the 5-wood carries a loft of 20-22 degrees. The 7-woods and 9-woods have the highest degree of loft among the fairway woods, usually coming in at 24 degrees or higher depending on the manufacturer.

Loft relation to ball flight

When it comes to the irons in your bag, the higher the iron is, the lower the loft angle. For example, 3-irons have a much lower loft angle than the 6-iron; and the 9-iron has a higher degree of loft than the 7-iron.

Standard pitching wedges—as we will discuss in more detail below—have an approximate loft angle of 48 degrees, but there are other wedges with an even greater loft angle, including the sand wedge, gap wedge and lob wedge.

Throughout the history of golf, manufacturers have gradually altered the loft angle of the clubs they produce. These loft adjustments have been possible due to the lack of regulations pertaining to golf club loft. Most of these changes or alterations have been minor, but they do explain why a 9-iron of today is able to cover the same distance of an 8-iron of yesteryear.
 

What is the Bounce of a Golf Club?

A golf club’s bounce is the angle created by the line of the sole of the club in relation to the line of the ground. So when you hear that a club does not have bounce, it means that its sole lies completely flat against the ground. However, when has a large amount of bounce it will make it so that the leading edge of the club is prevented from touching the ground. Instead the trailing edge is on the ground.

Golf Club Bounce

Now wedges have many different degrees of bounce. This is largely dependent on the type of wedge that you are using. A lob wedge will usually have very little bounce whereas a sand wedge will usually have the most. However, some prefer their sand wedge to have more bounce than others, for use in bunkers with very fluffy sand for example.

A pitching wedge generally has between 2 and 5 degrees of bounce; a gap wedge between 5 and 10; a lob wedge between 0 and 10; and a sand wedge between 10 and 16.
 

The Purpose, Loft and Distances of the Various Wedges

Every type of wedge in your bag has a unique purpose and a general distance it can cover. This is why each of these clubs is assigned a different loft angle. To help you understand the loft and uses of these golf clubs, below we will discuss four of these wedges in greater detail: the pitching wedge, gap wedge, lob wedge and sand wedge.
 

Pitching Wedge

Golf Wedge Distance and Degree
The pitching wedge is a very versatile club, one that can be used for a wide range of shots around the golf course. In principle, it is deemed a “wedge”, the wedge with the lowest loft angle. Some also call the pitching wedge a 45 degree wedge or a 48 degree wedge.
 

Pitching Wedge Loft?

So what degree of loft is the pitching wedge? Generally, the standard pitching wedge loft degree can range from 45 degrees to 52 degrees, depending on the manufacturer.

Pitching Wedge

However, these clubs are often treated as if they were just another numbered iron in the bag—and for good reason. Before the term “wedge” became the general common-speak for high-lofted golf clubs, the pitching wedge was actually labeled the “10-iron” in many matched golf club sets. One reason for this is it did—and still does—follow the general loft progression of the other irons in your bag. Today, most pitching wedges have a loft angle that is right around 46-48 degrees (give or take a degree).
 

When to Use a Pitching Wedge?

The pitching wedge can be used for a variety of shots, and the distance it can carry depends largely on the design of the club and the exact loft angle and the strength of the golfer swinging it. For approach shots, coming from the fairway or just off the fairway, the pitching wedge, with a full swing, can usually carry anywhere from 80 yards to 130 yards. For your average weekend golfer, a fully-swung pitching wedge is usually the club of choice for shots of about 100-120 yards. The exact distance the ball will cover using a pitching wedge will, of course, depend on a variety of factors, such as the accuracy of the swing, the condition of the course and whether the ball stops or rolls out after impact.

In addition to full approach shots, golfers can also use their pitching wedge to escape from troublesome areas (like trees), thus creating a better lie for the next shot; or for laying up in front of a hazard like water. When swung with a half-swing, the pitching wedge can also be effective for in-between lies of 40-50 yards. Many golfers also reach for their pitching wedge when their ball is on the fringe—the area adjacent to the putting green. When used with a “chipping” motion, the pitching wedge can be just as effective as a putter for these shots, lifting the ball over the fringe and onto the green—a technique golfers refer to as the “bump-and-run.”
 

Gap Wedge

Gap Wedge
 

What is a gap wedge? Well, not too long ago (before the mid-1990s), there were only two wedges that ever made it into a golfer’s bag: the pitching wedge and the sand wedge. That was fine for “back then,” because that was before manufacturers began decreasing the loft of the pitching wedge. Pitching wedges that once had a loft of 51-52 degrees are now typically made with lofts less than 49 degrees, while the sand wedge has remained a 56-57 degree loft club. This large gap—between 7-8 degrees of loft—often made it difficult for golfers to select the right club on certain shots. Fortunately, the gap wedge has put many of those difficulties to bed.
 

Gap Wedge Loft?

So what degree is a gap wedge? The gap wedge loft typically ranges from 50-54 degrees, the gap wedge is a club designed to fill the “gap” between the pitching wedge and the sand wedge.
 
Gap Wedge Loft

Also known as the “all wedge,” the gap wedge began to appear in the mid-1990s, and today, almost every golfer on every professional tour carries this type of wedge in their bag. Some golfers also refer to the gap wedge as the 50 degree wedge, or a 52 degree wedge.
 

When to Use a Gap Wedge?

Needless to say, the gap wedge is typically the club of choice for approach shots that are too long to take to with your sand wedge and too short to take with your pitching wedge. There is no exact gap wedge distance, because this is unique to each golfer. For instance, if you typically hit your sand wedge about 80 yards with a full swing, and you hit your pitching wedge roughly 120 yards with that same swing, your gap wedge would be the ideal club selection for approach shots between 90-110 yards.

In addition to approach shots, the gap wedge can be the perfect club for laying up in front of a hazard; or for escaping tall grass around the fringe of the green. Many of today’s best golfers have come up with ingenious ways to use this club, including hitting chips with top spin; and clearing a deep sand trap surrounding the green.
 

Lob Wedge

lob wedge
 
What is a lob wedge? The lob wedge is by far one of the most versatile weapons to have in your golf arsenal. The lob wedge loft typically ranges from 58-60 degrees. The lob wedge degrees are about 2-4 degrees greater than that of a sand wedge.

Lob Wedge Loft

Also known as the “Lofted Wedge” or “L-Wedge,” the club is typically the shortest-hitting iron in any golf bag, and the one that produces the highest arc. Some players may also refer to the lob wedge as the 58 degree wedge or the 60 degree wedge.
 

When to Use a Lob Wedge?

As you might imagine, many of the world’s best golfers use their 60 degree lob wedge when forced to hit short shots over a hazard of some type (water, sand). Lob wedge distances usually average around 50 yards or less, and are great for approach shots. Lob wedges also tend to be very accurate when used correctly, as they help the ball to land softly, rarely producing any roll due to the high arc. This can be a great advantage when approaching greens with difficult pin placements, where even the slightest error can be tragic. Experienced golfers can even create great backspin using these clubs.

Simply put, the lob wedge is one of the golfer’s best friends, making shots that were once near impossible very playable indeed.
 

Sand Wedge

sand wedge

The sand wedge has been around for decades and has helped many a golfer achieve lower scores than otherwise possible. Also known as a “sand iron”, the sand wedge has many unique features that distinguish it from other irons in the bag. Of course, its open-faced design is great for creating loft when loft is needed, but what truly stands out on this club is its sole and the “bounce” that sole creates.

On most of the other irons, the sole of the club forms a right angle to the shaft of the club, which means the sole is approximately parallel to the ground when the club is at rest, allowing the leading edge of the club to get between the ball and the ground more easily. A sand wedge, on the other hand, is designed with the sole of the club at an angle to the ground in the same position, lifting the leading edge of the club off the ground. This design feature, and the fact that the sand wedge has a wider sole than any other iron, allows it to glide through the sand upon impact—its original purpose—rather than dig in and get “caught up.” As such, it allows beginner golfers to escape these traps with their dignity intact, and helps professional golfers treat the sand as if it were any other shot.

The sand wedge began to catch on in the golf world about 1935—the year that golf professional Gene Sarazen used a brand new type of club to help negotiate the sand traps during a professional tour event. Today, you will find the club in almost every golfer’s bag, and many manufacturers even include the sand wedge in their matched golf club sets.
 

Sand Wedge Loft

So what degree is a sand wedge? Usually a sand wedge’s degree of loft is right around 54-56 degrees. As such, the sand wedge is also referred to as the 54 degree wedge or 56 degree wedge.
Sand Wedge Loft

When to Use a Sand Wedge?

Thanks to the sand wedges loft and bounce, it is the perfect club for escaping greenside bunkers with a lot of trajectory and spin. Furthermore, due to its wider-than-average sole and “bounce”, it is also ideal for negotiating rain-soaked and muddy areas of the course, as well as very thick rough that tends to grab other irons. Many golfers also use their sand wedge for approach shots that range in distance from 80-100 yards; and for chipping around the green.
 

Final Words

Pitching Wedge, Gap Wedge, Lob Wedge and Sand Wedge: Each of these clubs has a unique purpose, as well as a graduating loft angle to help it achieve that purpose. In summary, the pitching wedge is a great club for chipping and when approaching the green from roughly 120 yards out, and the gap wedge is the club to reach for from about 100 yards out, when a sand wedge just won’t do. Use the lob wedge around obstacles and when arc and a soft, accurate landing is needed, and always rely on the sand wedge in the bunkers—it was intentionally designed for that purpose.
 

Ultimate Guide to Golf Wedges Infographic

 
Ultimate Guide to Golf Wedges

The Ultimate Guide on Golf Balls

Ultimate-golf-ball-guide

 
What is the best golf ball for you? To answer this question, it is first necessary to study the golf ball a little more closely. Today there is a massive variety of golf balls on the market—balls boasting a myriad of different constructions, make-ups and characteristics. To help you sort through these often technical details of the golf ball, below we have greatly simplified these features and factors to bring you the Ultimate Golf Ball Buying Guide—a guide that will help you select just the right golf ball for you, one that matches your playing style and preferences.

Golf balls have a lot of unique characteristics. For instance, have you ever pondered why golf balls have dimples? Or have you ever wondered what the numbers on different golf balls mean? Below we will cover the various characteristics of golf balls and explain, in some detail, what they all mean.
 

What is the Diameter of a Golf Ball?

Ultimate Golf Ball Buying Guide
Before 1990, the diameter of the “official” golf ball depended on whether you were playing with an “American Ball” or a “British Ball.” The reason being is that the R&A and the USGA, the governing bodies of golf, could not agree on the official size.

At the time the USGA golf ball measured 1.68-inches (42.7mm). While the size of the British golf ball was a wee bit smaller, coming in at 1.62-inches (41.1mm) in diameter.

So if you performed the necessary calculations, you would have found that the British golf ball was 3.7 percent smaller than the American golf ball. Interestingly enough, while 3.7 percent does not sound like a huge difference, experts showed that the smaller British ball encounters 7.5 percent less wind resistance than the American ball—wind that must be cut through during the ball’s flight. Possibly giving an unfair advantage to the players using the British Golf Ball.

Well the R&A and the USGA finally agreed, and the minimum size of golf balls was standardized in the Rules of Golf in 1990. Now the official rule states that a golf ball “must be spherical in shape and be no less than 1.68-inches (42.7mm) in diameter.”

 

How Much Does a Golf Ball Weigh?

Weight of Golf Ball. Source Poolarity

 
According to the United States Golf Association, the official mass of a golf ball can be no more than 1.620 ounces, or 45.93 grams. And because heavier balls have the ability to cut through wind better than a lighter ball, all golf balls manufactured in the U.S. have a weight of exactly 1.620 ounces.

Note: Even though the seldom used British ball is smaller in diameter than the American ball, the weight of a British golf ball is 1.620-ounces.
 

Why Do Golf Balls Have Dimples?

Golf Ball Dimples
 

What Do the Dimples on a Golf Ball Do?

What are golf ball dimples, and why are they even there? Wouldn’t a perfectly smooth ball be better for things like putting? Well, maybe, but the amount of strokes it would take to reach the putting surface would increase dramatically with a smooth ball.

As the legend goes, the value of adding dimples to the surface area of a golf ball was actually discovered quite by accident. Golf balls were initially smooth in design, but some of the earliest golfers started to recognize that the older golf balls in their bag—the ones with nicks and indentations on them from being struck time and again—actually flew further than the smooth golf balls right out of the package.

Golf Ball Dimples

When a golf ball is smooth, it flies straight, just like a bullet, with no lift. The dimpled ball, on the other hand, because it is spinning, climbs into the sky much like an airplane. Additionally, dimples create a turbulent layer around the surface of the ball, which actually makes it slice through the air more easily, as the dimples reduce the drag force. The only downside is that the ball must spin for the lift force to be created, and a spinning ball has more drag than a non-spinning ball. But this is a trade off most golfers can live with, especially when you consider the following: “a perfectly smooth ball that is hit with a driver will travel approximately 130 yards. Add dimples to the ball, and that same swing can generate distances of 290 yards or more.”
 

How Many Dimples are on a Golf Ball?

While there are rules governing the diameter and weight of a golf ball, there are no such rules dealing with the number of dimples you can have on a golf ball or the pattern of those dimples. Most golf balls have dimples of uniform size, but some have different size dimples and many manufacturers have experimented with different numbers and patterns.

After many, many years of trial and error, it has generally been found that less than 300 dimples is too few, and more than 500 dimples is too many. So, when players ask “what is the most common number of dimples on a golf ball?” It is suffice to say that most balls on the market today have settled into the middle ground, with roughly 350 to 450 dimples.

On an interesting note, one manufacturer once unveiled a ball with a whopping 812 dimples—a ball that never “took off,” so to speak.

 

What Do the Numbers on Golf Balls Mean?

What Do Golf Ball Numbers Mean. Source Titleist

 
Golf balls all have a number stamped onto them, typically right below the ball’s trademark or logo. Golf ball numbers can either be a single digit number, a double digit number, or a three-digit number. And it is that “number of digits” that unlocks the secret to what each number means.
 

One-Digit Numbers

Golf balls with a single-digit number—usually a 1, 2, 3 or 4 (but it can be from 0-9) merely use that number for identification purposes. For example, if you and your playing partner are both using the same brand of ball, say Titleist, the number on the ball is to prevent the two of you from mixing your balls up during play.
 

Two-Digit Numbers

Although it is very rare these days, some golf balls may have a double-digit number stamped onto them. This number identifies the “compression” rating of the ball. These days, compression is no longer a major selling point for most golf ball manufacturers, as the solid core ball has nearly made the wound ball a thing of the past. However, there are still a few manufacturers that highlight this compression rating, expressed as a double-digit number, which can range from the low 30s all the way up to the high 90s.
 

Three-Digit Numbers

Finally, there are those golf balls with a three-digit number stamped below the trademark—a number that is usually in the 300s or 400s. This number represents the number of dimples on a ball. And while knowing this number does not give the golfer any insight into the way the ball may behave, some manufacturers choose to boast about their dimple pattern and thus include this number on their golf balls.

To summarize, single-digit numbers from 0-9 (usually 1-4) are for identification purposes; double-digit numbers (30s on up) indicate the compression rating of the ball; and three-digit numbers (usually in the 300s or 400s) highlight the number of dimples present on the golf ball.
 

What’s Inside of a Golf Ball?

Golf Ball Core

Source: Golf Info Guide

 
If you looked inside a golf ball, you would first find its core. The core is the center of the golf ball, the stuff around which everything else is constructed. Not too long ago, the core of golf balls were made out of tightly wound rubber bands—wound so tightly as to create a solid yet malleable core. Today, however, the core is typically a one-piece structure made out of some type of rubber—or various resins and acrylates that, when combined, produce a solid rubber-like center. In addition to balls with a rubber-like core, there are also some high-end golf balls with a liquid center.
 

Cover of the Golf Ball

Although the cover of the golf ball—the part of the golf ball that wraps around the core—can be made from a variety of rubbers, plastics, composites, etc., most are typically made from one of two types of golf ball materials: Surlyn or Balata—or a blend that includes both of these materials.

Surlyn is a hard resin material that is used to cover a good majority of the golf balls currently in play. This hard resin cover allows for soft feel and good control. As a result, it is the cover recommended for those new to the sport of golf, as well as for average to high handicappers. There are also golf balls that have a mixture of Surlyn and other materials in the cover. These golf balls also feature a hard resin and provide added durability with a little less feel. Balls with a Surlyn blend tend to add more distance while providing less maneuverability. Surlyn and Surlyn blend-covered golf balls are more affordable than those with Balata covers.

Balata is a rubber-like mixture that is used to make golf ball covers. The substances in the Balata-covered ball combine to provide excellent feel and much better control than Surlyn-covered balls. Because of this, Balata-covered (and urethane-covered) balls are often the choice for professionals and very low handicap golfers. Balata-covered balls are also more expensive than the former, often much more expensive.

 

How Are Golfs Made? The Different Types of Golf Balls

In terms of construction, there are essentially five types of golf balls from which golfers can choose: one-piece, two-piece, three-piece, four-piece and five-piece golf balls. Each of these types has a different makeup, its own characteristics and a general purpose.
 

One-Piece Golf Balls


 
Used primarily on driving ranges due to how inexpensively they can be manufactured, a one-piece ball is unique in that it essentially has no core. Instead, the one-piece ball is made with a solid piece of Surlyn—a golf ball cover material—with dimples molded into the ball. In addition to being inexpensive, one-piece golf balls are also very soft (due to the absence of a core) and oddly very durable (which is why they are used on driving ranges only). A one-piece ball, as you might imagine, is a very low-compression golf ball and, as such, lacks any kind of real distance when hit. Because of this, it is seldom used as a playing ball by golfers in the know.
 

Two-Piece Golf Balls

One Piece Golf Ball
 
The type of ball used most frequently by weekend and high-handicap golfers, the two-piece ball combines durability with maximum distance due largely to the manner in which it is constructed. These types of balls are made with a single solid core, usually a hard plastic of some kind. The very solid core is typically made of a high-energy acrylate or resin and is covered by a durable, cut-proof blended cover—a cover that is usually made from Surlyn, a specialty plastic or similar material. It is this cover on the two-piece ball, combined with the solid core, which gives it more distance and “roll-out” than any other type of ball.

While the cover on the two-piece ball is designed for added distance, this type of ball cannot be as easily controlled as those higher-piece, softer balls. However, because it can be used round after round without incurring any damage and is relatively inexpensive compared to other balls, it is typically the ball of choice for everyday, ordinary golfers.
 

Three-Piece Golf Balls

Two Piece Golf Ball
 
The three layers of a 3 piece golf ball golf ball consist of a solid rubber core or liquid core; an enhanced rubber or liquid-produced layer over the core; and a molded cover made from tough Surlyn, urethane, or balata-like material. Three-piece golf balls offer more control than two-piece balls, as they are softer and can generate more spin.

As a rule, the more layers that are added to a golf ball, the more spin separation manufacturers can create. This translates to a greater level of customized performance for a driver compared to an iron or wedge. Three-piece golf balls, then, represent the first level of ball that will feature a noticeable spin-separation advantage.
 

Four-Piece Golf Balls


 
The four layers on a 4 piece golf ball each have their own purpose, yet these distinct layers work in concert to produce a ball that combines both distance and an incredibly soft feel. The inner core of the 4 piece golf ball is comprised of solid and durable rubber, designed to provide explosive distance off the club, particularly the driver. The next layer, which immediately covers the first, is an inner cover that is made to transfer the energy from the club strike to the tough and explosive core.

The third layer or middle cover of the four-piece golf ball is what differentiates this ball from the three-piece ball. This middle cover is made from special materials that help to increase driving distance while also producing mid iron spin and feel around the green. The outer cover of the four-piece golf ball is where the great feel of this ball originates. This cover, which is the thinnest layer of the ball, usually contains between 300 and 400 dimples for great lift off and carry; is very soft and durable, and is typically made of premium-grade urethane.
 

Five-Piece Golf Balls

The 5 piece golf ball represents the latest in golf ball technology. Similar to a three-piece or four-piece ball, both of which offer plenty of spin separation and performance benefits, the 5 piece ball, with its extra layer, takes these benefits a step further. Although you can expect to take a hit in the wallet when purchasing this ball, you can also expect the very best in performance.

The 5 piece ball is manufactured with three mantle layers, sandwiched between a high speed rubber core and soft urethane cover. Each of these mantle layers is designed to react to different shots and swing speeds differently in an effort to produce the most optimized performance possible, while the core and cover offer some of the best distance and feel, respectively, that money can buy.
 

Golf Balls and Spin

In the last section we talked a lot about spin as it relates to the different layers of various types of golf balls, but what exactly makes a ball a “low spin,” “mid-spin” or “high-spin” golf ball and what type is best for you? Let’s take a look:
 

Low Spin Golf Balls

If you have a slice or struggle to get the extra distance you would like after the ball hits the ground, you may want to switch to low spin golf balls. Low or lower spinning golf balls are designed to decrease the side spin of your shots (when hit squarely), thus allowing the ball to fly straighter through the air, especially when compared to mid and high spin golf balls. While low spin balls may cost you a little distance in the air, they usually make up for it with an increased roll out after the shot has landed.

Mid Spin Golf Balls

A ball that bridges the gap between the lower and higher spinning balls, the mid spin golf ball is one that is designed to incorporate the best of both distance and feel. Aimed at perhaps the largest category of golfers—players who do not want to sacrifice distance for feel and vise versa—the mid spin golf ball offers solid distance for most players with varied feel and softness for making shots around the green. Of course, the exact properties of these mid spin golf balls will vary by brand, but nearly all golf ball manufacturers now offer a mid spin ball that is aimed at attracting this largest category of golfers.

High Spin Golf Balls

In terms of spin, the final category of available golf balls is the high spin ball. The high spin golf ball is manufactured to increase the ball’s spin when in the air. When an average golf ball is struck, it is released into the air with a certain level of backspin. A high spin ball will increase this spin and create a longer carry. Golfers with a long right to left draw can benefit greatly from a distance standpoint when using a high spin golf ball; and those golfers with an out-of-control right to left hook may find that a high-spin ball helps to remedy this problem. That is because hook shots are produced by the draw spin of a given shot overpowering the backspin of the ball, so an increased degree of backspin may be just what is needed to say goodbye to that hook forever.

Keep in mind that, due to its backspin, a high spin ball will not produce the roll-out of a low spin or even mid spin ball. However, these balls do offer a huge advantage around the greens, where increased feel and control can often be the key to lower scores.
 

Golf Ball Compression

Compression is a term you are likely to hear frequently when researching the perfect golf ball for your preferences and playing style. But what is compression and how can the compression of a golf ball affect your game? These are the questions we will answer below.
 

What is Golf Ball Compression?

Golf Ball Compression
 
When you strike a golf ball, its compression is the factor that will dictate how the ball will react off the club. Compression is a measure or calculation of the deflection a golf ball encounters when it is struck by the golf club. Most manufacturers will list the compression of their golf balls on the package (and some will stamp it right onto the golf ball). This measurement is a number between 0 and 200, although you will rarely find golf balls with a compression as high or low as these two extremes. A compression of 200, for example, means the ball will not compress at all when struck; while a compression of 0 means the ball will deflect a minimum of 5 millimeters (1/5 of an inch). Most golf balls on the market have a compression that falls somewhere between these two poles, usually between 50 and 100 in compression.

So how do manufacturers determine the compression of a golf ball? A good way to understand this measurement is to think about a rubber band. If you place a standard rubber band around three of your fingers, chances are you will feel a little pressure. However, if you stretch the rubber band out as you wind the same three fingers three times around, you are definitely going to feel an added degree of pressure. This is compression. Although you are using the same amount of material for each experiment (one rubber band), and while you are occupying the same amount of space (three fingers), you are producing different pressures by compressing the rubber band around your fingers. This is the same manner in which compression works inside of a golf ball. When the solid rubber core of the golf ball is compressed it will produce less and less deflection the more you compress you it.
 

How Can the Compression of a Golf Ball Affect Your Game?

Before golf balls had a solid core (rather than one consisting of tightly wound rubber bands), lower compression golf balls were often viewed as “ladies’ balls” because they failed to create the distance of higher compression balls; and most men would not be caught dead playing with one of these lower compression balls. Today, this has all changed thanks to the solid one-piece cores inside of golf balls. As we mentioned above, most golf balls of today have a compression rating of 50 to 100, with the majority falling into the 80, 90, 100 compression ranges—the degree of hardness a ball has.
 

What Ball Should I Use Based on My Handicap?

Generally speaking, golfers with a high handicap would be better served by a low compression ball. Lower compression balls tend to be softer and compress more to create more distance off the tee and fairway—and distance is a problem shared by many weekend and high-handicap golfers. Players with a mid to low handicap may want to opt for a higher compression ball, as these balls offer much more control than their lower compression counterparts.
 

What Ball Should I Use Based on My Swing Speed?

If you remember, lower compression balls will deflect more upon impact. And it is this deflection that helps create distance after the ball has been struck. Therefore, players with slower swing speeds should definitely opt for a low compression golf ball, as the added deflection can make up for the distance they will lose due to the slow club head speed.

Conversely, players with great club head speed—those who are usually better and more experienced golfers—can get away with a highly compressed ball because their swing speed can create more of its own deflection on impact. And because high compression golf balls have more control and feel, they get the best of both worlds.

Should I Use a Different Compression Ball Based on Weather Conditions?

Studies have shown that cooler weather can affect the manner in which the ball reacts when being struck. Cold weather tends to further compress balls, as the materials within the golf ball will contract as the temperature drops. Hence, the balls will have less deflection when hit. That being said, when playing in cooler weather, players may want to use a slightly lower compressed ball than that to which they are accustomed. This will help counter the effects of the colder weather, and will ensure they maintain the distance they are accustomed to without losing too much of the feel and control they crave.
 

Types of Compression?

Golf balls generally come in three compression types: high compression, medium compression and low compression. Below we will briefly review each type of ball and the types of players they typically suit.

High Compression Balls?

  • High compression golf balls can generate distance, but only with players who have a swing speed of 105 miles per hour or above. Because of the high speed impact on a fast swing such as this, the needed deflection that is important for distance is naturally created. Players with a high impact swing need a ball that is also dense enough to offer some control around the greens—a high compression ball with a compression rating of 90 and above.

Medium Compression Golf Balls

  • A great ball for the average golfer with an average handicap, medium compression balls (with an 80 to 89 compression rating) offer a combination of distance and control that suits most of your everyday or weekend players. Medium compression balls are designed for those with a swing speed of 85 to 105 miles per hour. However, if you do not know your swing speed, medium compression golf balls are probably the perfect solution for any distance or control issues you may be having.

Low Compression Golf Balls

  • Players with a swing speed below 85 miles per hour can benefit greatly from low compression golf balls. Low compression golf balls offer more deflection than their high and medium compression counterparts and, as a result, create more distance off the tee and fairway. Beginners, juniors, ladies and seniors will find benefits with a low compression golf ball—balls with a compression rating below 80.

 

Types of Golf Balls


 
There are several different types of golf balls—golf balls that are designed for different players and for different purposes. These include the Tour-Level Golf Balls, Distance Golf Balls, Golf Balls made for Feel and Women’s Golf Balls. To help you understand the difference between these four types, below we have compiled a brief description of each.
 

Tour-Level Golf Balls

The name given to these golf balls essentially tells you the types of players for whom they are intended: Professionals, as well as mid to low handicappers who have plenty of experience on the golf course. Designed to provide the very best in feel and control, Tour-Level golf balls are multi-layered (usually 4 or 5 piece golf balls). The mantle layers that are sandwiched between the core and cover of these golf balls give golfers much more control over the ball and enhanced feel around the greens. This affords these highly experienced players the opportunity to sculpt and shape shots when needed, and provides a greater degree of spin that is coveted around the greens. The cover on Tour-Level balls is characteristically thinner than that of other balls, which also augments spin control while providing the clean, crisp feel that exceptional players demand.
 

Distance Golf Balls

Beginners and players who just can’t crack the 20-25 handicap barrier may want to seriously consider switching to a Distance golf ball. These lower compression, (usually) two-piece golf balls provide maximum forgiveness by reducing the side spin that tends to exaggerate slices and hooks—shots that can quickly add up to a poor round. This reduction in side spin not only helps the ball fly longer and straighter, it also produces more roll once the shot hits the fairway. The larger core on Distance golf balls helps to enhance the carry of the shot in the air, while the thicker cover provides added protection against trees and other hazards on wayward shots.
 

Feel Golf Balls

Golf balls that are designed for feel are the lowest compression golf balls on the market today. When hitting longer shots with a driver or fairway wood, the low compression of Feel golf balls allows for greater deflection of the ball at impact, which in turn leads to straighter, longer shots with less spin when using low lofted clubs. Perfect for those with slower swing speeds, the Feel golf balls are also much softer than other types of balls. This softness allows for prolonged contact with the ball when using short irons and wedges, which translates to a softer, better feel around the green.
 

Women’s Golf Balls

Due to slower swing speeds, women golfers need a ball that combines both distance and a softer feel, which is exactly how Women’s Golf Balls are designed. With a two-piece construction, Women’s golf balls are generally low compression, which enhances the deflection or deformation of the ball at impact. This in turn leads to greater distance and control; in a ball that is very durable thanks to its thick resilient cover. If you are a woman, beginner or weekend golfer with a swing speed less than 80 miles per hour we strongly recommend you give these balls a try.
 

Golf Ball Fitting System

Source: Golf Ball Test

 
There are many golf manufacturers that help “fit” players with their perfect ball. These golf ball fitting systems can help you find a ball that suits your swing and style of play, and while no system is 100 percent accurate, these “systems” are often a good place to start. Below we will briefly discuss three of these golf ball fitting systems: The Bridgestone Method, the Titleist Method and the Srixon System.
 

The Bridgestone Method

At the golfing website Bridgestonegolf.com, you’ll be asked to fill out a brief online questionnaire so that the company can fit you with just the right ball. They will first ask whether you are brand new to golf or someone who knows a little about his/her game. The next questions include:

Age and Gender. Gender and age are important questions because they can usually help determine swing speed. On average, women and seniors have slower swing speeds than men.

Brand. The site will next ask you what brand of ball you are accustomed to playing, just to give them a baseline of where to start. Players can also check the “I’m not sure” box if they usually play a collection of different balls.

Average score. By asking you for your average score, Bridgestone can determine whether you are a beginner, intermediate or low-handicap player. Remember, it’s important to tell the truth if you want a ball that truly meets your needs.

Preference. Finally, they will ask for your preference—the part of your game that means the most to you: distance, feel or accuracy.

After you answer the five questions and provide your email address, Bridgestone will send their recommendation(s) to your inbox.

Bridgestone also offers one-on-one golf fitting programs at different golf clubs and retail outlets, as well as group fitting events that are available by appointment.
 

The Titleist Method

The Titleist Method is an in-person, three-step process that begins with an exhaustive assessment of your game, your performance objectives and a selection of your personal preferences, again, distance, accuracy or feel.

The second step in the Titleist Method is an on-course evaluation called the “Green-to-Tee” fitting process. This process involves an evaluation of all of your shots on the golf course, with a heavy emphasis on shots into and around the green—where scores can usually be lowered.

The third and final step of the Titleist Method is to play the ball the company selects for you continuously to ensure it meets all your needs and the preferences you indicated. This, they say, will help build confidence and consistency.
 

The Srixon Method

Like Bridgestone and Titleist, the Srixon Corporation also hosts events in which individuals can be fitted for the proper ball. At these events, you will usually undergo a series of swing tests on an actual golf course while a club professional evaluates your performance. An assessment will also be given to determine your personal preferences in a golf ball, after which you will receive three recommendations from the company to try.

Srixon makes a number of award-winning golf balls, including those that promise maximum distance; maximum spin; golf balls that pair up perfectly with those who have moderate swing speeds; 2-piece balls that are durable and distance-oriented; women’s golf balls; and golf balls for ultimate feel; among others.
 

Are Used Golf Balls as Good as New Golf Balls?

Used Golf Balls
Source: Lake of Golf Balls

 
The question, “Are Used Golf Balls as Good as New Golf Balls” is one you have probably heard many times. And, unfortunately, the answer is not exactly cut and dry. Some golfers swear by the performance of their used golf balls, while others prefer to play only the shiny brand new balls right out of the box. Of course, used balls that are cut or damaged in any way should never be played, and there is certainly a graduated spectrum when it comes to used golf balls that must be considered. Below we will explore the notion of used vs. new golf balls in terms of both cost and performance, and present our findings to help you make the most educated and budget-conscious decision.
 

Cost of New Golf Balls vs. Used Golf Balls

If you have ever been to a pro shop or golf equipment retailer of some kind, it should come as no shock that new golf balls cost more than used golf balls—often substantially more.

If you are looking for top-of-the-line golf balls—balls that are often referred to or labeled as “Tour Level” golf balls—you can usually expect to spend $40 or more for a dozen balls; while the brand new two-piece golf balls may cause you to spend roughly $30 a dozen.

Used golf balls, as we said above, are much more affordable than new ones, If you buy from a pro shop or golf retailer, used golf balls are often placed into one of four categories: mint, near-mint, average and value (or AAAA, AAA, AA, and A). These ratings are based on the condition, age and type of used ball and where it is found. Mint condition golf balls are usually about two-thirds the price of new balls, while the balls at the bottom of the spectrum—value or A balls—cost just a small fraction of what a new ball costs.

Often there are children or teenagers who collect and sell used golf balls right from the golf course, usually at rock-bottom prices, so in terms of price, it truly depends on “where” you buy your used golf balls as well as their condition.
 

New Balls vs. Used Balls: Performance

So how do used golf balls stack up against new golf balls in terms of performance? Actually, the answer may surprise you.

Most golf ball manufacturers claim that their balls can be kept safely for five years if stored in normal domestic conditions, but excessive heat, such as from the trunk or the interior of an automobile, can reduce the ball’s lifespan. Golf manufacturers also say that golf balls should be replaced frequently to keep in step with advancing technologies, but then again, why wouldn’t they say that? They are in the business of selling golf balls.

So how about water? Can prolonged submersion in a lake or pond negatively impact the ball’s performance? The old answer was “yes,” but a recent study conducted by Golf Laboratories of San Diego (California) tested the performance of submerged golf balls against new golf balls before issuing the following statement:

“There seems no obvious reason why an otherwise undamaged ball, protected by a modern covering material, should behave any differently {than a new golf ball} because of a period of submersion.”

Moreover, in 2016, the website PluggedInGolf.com conducted a thorough experiment in which they tested various grades of used golf balls (mint, near-mint, etc) against brand new balls of the same type right out of the box. Their conclusion, much like the one from Golf Laboratories of San Diego, was clear:

“Regardless of the club used by testers, and no matter what grade was given to each used ball, there was no significant impact on performance.”
 

Used Ball vs. New Ball: Final Verdict

So no significant difference in performance!

It goes without saying that the findings of these two studies should be great news to golfers everywhere. As long as the ball is modern and has no structural defects like rips or cuts; and regardless of its “grade” or where it is found (in the woods, lake, etc.); a used golf ball offers the same (or nearly the same) performance of those expensive new golf balls—balls that can add a lot of extra expense to the game, particularly for beginners.

 

Conclusion

As you can see, when it comes to selecting your ideal golf ball there are a lot of factors you will need to consider. From the characteristics and construction of the golf ball to its number of layers, spin and compression rating, the perfect golf ball can take on many different forms. Fortunately, golf fitting events, questionnaires, and swing speed analysis tests can be very helpful in determining the ideal golf ball based on your personal preferences (distance, accuracy and feel) and swing style; and regardless of those findings, used golf balls can save you a lot of money in the long run.

The Ultimate DIY Guide on How to Regrip Your Golf Clubs for Free

Regrip-2-2

 
Are your once-pristine golf clubs beginning to feel a little worn and shabby? Is the rubber or grips around the clubs beginning to feel loose, tatty, unstable or uncomfortably slick? If so and if this wear and tear is beginning to become a problem when holding or swinging the various clubs in your bag—it may be time to re-grip your clubs, a process that can make even the oldest clubs feel and respond like new.

Fortunately, the process of re-gripping your golf clubs is not a very difficult one, and it is easy to do right from the comfort of your own home. Instead of shelling out the big bucks to send your clubs out for re-gripping, which predictably can take a lot of time, money and keep you from your clubs for longer than you desire, you can systematically handle this task yourself with just a few materials and a bit of time and patience.

In the following article we have laid out a helpful strategy that will enable you to re-grip your golf clubs from home—a step-by-step strategy that is very easy to follow. Keep in mind, though, that this process does involve the use of some sharp objects and potentially toxic chemicals (when handled irresponsibly), so it is ultra-important that you observe all the best safety practices when performing this task (such as wearing gloves), as these safety precautions will drastically reduce the chance of injury and accidents.

 

Step 1: Gathering the Materials/Supplies

Before you undertake the gratifying chore of re-gripping your golf clubs you will first need to assemble and lay out all of the materials and supplies you will need to successfully complete the job. Having all of the required materials and tools nearby and at the ready will ensure you can work straight through, without any unnecessary interruptions or stoppages. This will, in turn, lead to a more complete and professional end product of which you can be proud.

In addition to gathering the tools and supplies you will need, make sure you select an appropriate work location in which the total space is ample and abundant, giving you more than enough room to work comfortably and sufficient space to lay the clubs down after they have been successfully re-gripped.

How To Regrip
Workspace for regripping golf clubs. Source Roberth Blomberg

 

Here are the materials, tools and supplies you need:

  • New Grips. Of course, you will need to purchase the new grips you plan to put on your golf clubs. New grips can be purchased at most golf supply stores; some pro shops; and are widely available online and at golf repair shops. Currently, I am using the new Golf Pride CP2 Grips and I love them. They are the most comfortable grips I have ever used, and I have better control of my clubs than ever before. Check them out, you will not be disappointed.
  • A Tee. Although this may seem odd, you will need a standard wooden or plastic golf tee when applying the grip solvent.
  • Bench Vise. A bench vise will help you properly secure the club as you remove the old grip and install the new one.
  • Shaft Holder. A rubber shaft holder will help protect the shaft of the club when it is clamped in the bench vise.
  • Double-Sided Tape. Two-sided tape is always necessary when installing new grips.
  • Scissors. Scissors may be needed to cut and remove the old grips.
  • Scraper. You will need either a dedicated golf club scraper or another type of dull scraping tool to safely remove the old tape and solvent residue.
  • Utility Knife. The utility knife you select for this job should have a hooked blade, as a sharp pointed blade can cause damage to graphite and fiberglass shafts.
  • Solvent. For best results, we recommend you purchase some type of specialized grip solvent for adhering the new grips to the golf club shaft.
  • Catch Basin. A bowl or some other type of collection container is needed to catch any run-off solvent.
  • Rag. An old rag or piece of cloth is a must when re-gripping your golf clubs.

Although this list may look extensive, many of these items can be purchased at the corner drug store (if you don’t have them already). The remainder of the items can be found at golf supply and golf club repair outlets, or even online at a discounted rate.
 

Step 2: Removing the Old Grips

When removing the old grips, you will need to hold the golf club underneath your arm with the grip end out in front. You can also use the bench vise to hold the golf club as you work. Cutting away from your body, use the hooked utility knife to slice through the grip lengthwise, making sure it is completely cut from top to bottom. Once you do this, it should be very easy to merely peel off the old grips by hand. If this doesn’t work, use the scissors to cut away the old grips.

How To Regrip
Cutting Old Grips from Golf Clubs. Source Be Your Own Handyman @ Home

 
When using the utility knife, always cut away from the body to avoid injury, and make certain that nobody is standing in front or to the side of you as you work.
 

Step 3: Removing the Old Grip Tape and Tape Residue

Although in some cases the double-sided tape used to secure the old grips will easily peel off in long strips, this is not always case. On some clubs, you may need to use the scraper to completely remove any leftover tape.

Once all of the old tape has been successfully removed from the grip area of the club, you will see that the shaft is coated with a sticky and often rough residue. This is from the old tape and solvent that was on the club and any adhesive that was used to apply the old grips. This will need to come off. To accomplish this, squeeze a generous amount of the solvent onto your old towel and rag and scrub the shaft clean as the solvent loosens the adhesive. When all of the residue has been removed, dry the club thoroughly before moving on to the next step. The grip area of the club should now look and feel just like the rest of the shaft.
 

Step 4: Applying New Grip Tape

Place the club into the rubber shaft holder and then secure the club with the bench vice clamped over that protected area. When finished doing this, the club face should be perpendicular to the ground with plenty of room to work on the grip. You do not have to—and shouldn’t—over-tighten the club, as this can damage the shaft. Just make sure it is secure and immobilized.

How To Regrip
Applying new grip tape. Source Walker Tape

 
Using the double-sided tape, cover the entire grip area of the shaft, leaving about a half-inch of the tape hanging over the butt end of the club. To accomplish this, you can apply the tape around the club in a parallel path, or use a candy cane-type striping. Just make sure there are no areas of the grip that are left untapped.

Now that the club has been wrapped, remove the backing off of the double-sided tape, and fold the overhanging portion neatly inside the end of the shaft.
 

Step 5: Applying Solvent over the Grip Tape

Prior to applying the solvent over the grip tape, place the bowl or catch basin directly under the work area to catch any runoff solvent.

How To ReGrip
Applying solvent to grip. Source Lamkin Golf Grips

 
Using a golf tee, push firmly into the vent hole of your new grip and carefully pour the solvent into the exposed end. Once you have completed this step, you will also want to cover the grip tape entirely with solvent from the new grip—this will help you to easily slide the grip over the tape. Once you finish that step, remove the tee from the vent hole and quickly move onto the next step (before the solvent has a chance to dry).
 

Step 6: Sliding on the New Grip

Once you have poured the solvent over the new grip tape, align the new grip at the top of the shaft with the logo facing upwards.

Once the grip has been properly aligned, gently squeeze the open end of the new grip and slide it onto the shaft in the proper position. You will need to push the grip all the way down until you feel the butt end of the shaft pressing against the grip cap.
 

Step 7: Checking Your Work

After you complete each club you intend to re-grip, you will want to check your work before moving on to the next club—and before the solvent has a chance to dry. To check for the proper alignment, remove the club from the bench vise and hold it in its proper position—the same way you will hold it while playing. Look down the shaft to make sure the logo is properly aligned.

How To Regrip
Check out your new golf grips. Source Lamkin Golf Grips

 

Step 8: Repeat Steps 2-7 for Each of Your Clubs

 

Conclusion

As you can see, re-gripping your clubs can be a very laborious and time-consuming process, but it is also an affordable and satisfying way to bring back the luster and proper feel of your clubs, making them look and feel like new.

 

How to Regrip Golf Clubs Video

 

How to Regrip Golf Clubs Infographic

How to Regrip Golf Clubs
 

The 7 Best Proper Golf Stance Tips that Will Help You Hit The Perfect Shot

Proper-golf-stance

 
The Golf Stance:  According to many of the most successful golfers—and golf instructors—it is one of the most crucial fundamentals in the game.  Sadly, it is also one of the most overlooked skills, one that when performed incorrectly can have some very serious implications on your game.  To help you avoid this fate, below we have compiled a step-by-step tutorial regarding the proper golf stance—an instructional manual aimed at giving you the most advantageous and fundamentally-sound setup prior to your shot.
 

Tip 1: Alignment and the Proper Golf Stance

No golf stance could reasonably be “deemed” proper without the correct alignment.  The position of your body, which for the purposes of this instructional guide means your feet, knees, hips, forearms, shoulders and eyes, should all be completely parallel to the target line—the imaginary line from the ball to the hole.

Golf Stance

To ensure you have achieved the proper alignment, have a friend stand a few yards behind you. If you are aligned correctly, it will appear as if your body (assuming you are a right-handed golfer) is aimed just a bit left of the target. But don’t fret about this perceived misalignment; it is actually an optical illusion—an illusion that occurs because the ball is directly on the target line and the body is not. This optical illusion will be even more pronounced the further your friend moves behind you, making your body appear 3-5 yards left of the target line from 100 yards back; 8-10 yards left at 150 yards; and a whopping 12-15 yards left of the target line when viewed from 200 yards behind you.
 

Tip 2: Your Feet and the Proper Golf Stance

Once you have aligned your body correctly, it’s time to think about the proper foot placement for your setup. As a point of reference, your feet should be shoulder’s width apart. We hear that term—shoulder’s width apart—a lot, but what does it actually mean? Simply put, it means that the inside of your heels should be spaced out so that they are roughly even in distance to the outside of your shoulders. This is what we will call the “base” position. This base position is the proper foot placement you should employ when hitting any of the middle irons (the 4-iron-7-iron). When hitting your driver or longer irons; or when setting up to hit the shorter irons (8-iron-wedges), you should adjust your stance two inches wider and two inches narrower, respectively.

Golf Stance

The front foot, also known as the target foot, should be opened up by about 30 degrees. This will enable your body to rotate fully towards the target as you make your downswing. In most cases, you should keep your back foot totally square—90 degrees to the target. In rare cases, you can open up the back foot slightly to aid in a more complete hip turn. Generally speaking, your foot placement should be dictated by your own personal degree of flexibility and the speed at which you rotate your body.
 

Tip 3: The Golf Ball and the Proper Stance

Ball position has a lot to do with the proper golf stance. Although most amateur and weekend golfers utilize the same ball placement in their stance regardless of the upcoming shot, most of the premier golf instructors will tell you that “the ball placement in one’s stance will vary depending on the club you intend to use.”

  • Short Irons. When using the short irons, such as your 8 and 9 iron and wedges, you will typically want to place the ball in the center of your stance—equidistant between your front and back foot. These clubs, which have a steep angle, must be swung with that angle in mind, which means you will usually leave a small divot in front of the ball.

  • Middle Irons. When positioning yourself to hit the middle irons, usually defined as the 7-iron through the 4-iron, the ball should be about one ball-length north of dead center. For right-handed golfers, this means the ball should be one ball-length to the left of dead center. These clubs have a flatter trajectory and will thus leave only a very small divot when hit.

  • Long Irons. Finally, when striking the long irons (3-iron, 2-iron, 1-iron) and woods, including the driver, the ball should be placed an additional ball length north of dead center, or a total of 2 ball lengths to the left. This will allow you to strike the ball at the very bottom of your swing arc and leave little to no divot.

Golf Stance
 

Tip 4: Balance and the Proper Golf Stance

When we talk about balance as it pertains to the proper golf swing we are actually talking about “how” to stand and “how” to distribute our weight between each foot. What you NEVER want to do when approaching a shot is stand on your heels. This is naturally UNBALANCED, not just for a golf swing, but for any athletic movement. Instead, you want your weight to be on the balls of your feet. Not only will this keep you more balanced throughout the swing, it will also help you to generate more power.

In terms of weight distribution, this again depends on the club you plan to use for a particular shot. For middle irons, you should take the MOST balanced position: with 50 percent of your weight resting on your left (target) foot, and the other 50 percent of your weight resting on your back (anchor) foot. You want this even distribution for the middle irons for two reasons: because of the length of those clubs and the relatively flat arc with which you will use to strike the ball.

Golf Stance

This even, 50-50 weight distribution can technically be used for all your clubs if it makes you feel more comfortable, but for more effective and consistent results you might want to tweak this weight distribution slightly when hitting the lower irons, and the higher irons and woods. For the lower irons, again the 8-iron, 9-iron and your wedges, try placing 60 percent of your weight on your front or target foot and the remainder of your weight on your back foot. This extra weight will help produce the desired arc for which these clubs are designed. When setting up to hit a long iron, a 3-wood or a driver, just reverse this weight distribution by placing 60 percent of your weight on your back foot, and 40 percent of your weight on the target foot. When swinging these longer and more powerful clubs, this extra weight on your back foot will enable you to achieve the correct angle on your back swing.
 

Tip 5: Posture and the Proper Golf Stance

Some might say that your golf “posture” and golf “stance” are one in the same. This is pretty close to the truth. How you stand, or setup to the ball can literally be the difference between a terrific shot and an embarrassing “worm burner” that settles just a few yards away from the tee box. To avoid this latter scenario, check out the following tips on the proper golf posture. As you settle in front of the ball, bend your knees just slightly for balance, but not so much that is causes any discomfort. Your knees should be directly over the balls of your feet, and your upper spine—the part between your shoulder blades—should be on the same basic imaginary line formed by your knees and feet. You will also want to cock your back leg (right leg for right-handed golfers) inward just a bit toward the target. In doing so, you will not only be able to brace yourself throughout the swing, you will also prevent the lower body from swaying too much, which can potentially cause any number of swing complications.

Golf Stance

When you bend over the ball in preparation of taking the shot, your body should always bend at the hips rather than at the waist. If you do this correctly, your rear end will be protruding slightly backwards. Remember that your spine is the axis for your swing—the part of your body around which everything else (arms, hands, club) will rotate. Because of this, it should be bent over the ball—at the hips—at a right angle (90 degrees) to the shaft of the club. Keep your back straight as you set up to the ball, keeping in mind that every degree of bend in the vertebrae decreases your shoulder turn by almost 2 degrees.Your head should be tipped at the same angle as your spine, and your chin should be up and away from the chest, which again allows for a more complete shoulder turn. Your eyes should, of course, be looking downward, with a focus on the back end of the ball.
 

Tip 6: Positioning Your Arms and Hands in the Perfect Golf Stances

When you approach—or address—the ball prior to your shot, your arms should hang freely, just off the inside of your front thigh and just north of your pants zipper.  There is some debate among golf instructors as to how far away from the body you should place your hands, also known as the hands-to-body distance.  Most agree the correct answer to that query depends on the club you are planning to use.  So, for the purposes of this tutorial, we will explain the hands-to-distance conundrum in the following manner:

  • Short and Middle Irons.  When using any of your short or middle irons—from the 4-iron all the way down to the wedges—your hands, as they grip these clubs, should be 3-4 inches away from your body, roughly the distance of the width of your hand.

  • Long Irons and Woods.  When swinging the “big boys,” the long irons, fairway woods and driver, your hands will need to be a little further away from your body as you grip the club in order to achieve the proper backswing and follow-through.  For these clubs, we recommend you hold the club about 5-7 inches away from your body, or roughly the distance of the length of your hand—from your wrist to the tip of your fingers.

Golf Stance

As you grip the club—any club—your arms and shoulders should form a triangle and the elbows should point to the hips.
 

Tip 7: The Perfect Golf Stance, Putting It All Together

As you start to take your stance now, it’s finally time to put it all together.  Here is what you need to remember:

  • The alignment of your feet and body in relation to the target line
  • To stand with your weight on the balls of your feet
  • The proper position of the ball in your stance
  • To remain balanced throughout the swing
  • The proper posture—how you stand and bend
  • And the proper positioning of your arms and hands

You should also remember that tension in your back, hands or arms can be an enemy to the proper stance and a solid golf swing.  You should grip the club lightly; just firm enough to prevent it from twisting during the swing.  Your arms should hang loosely, and your back should be relaxed.  The only place where you should feel the slightest of tension is towards the inside of the back leg, as this is what you will use to pivot.

Golf Stance

To cement these tips for the proper golf stance into your memory, we recommend you practice your perfect stance in front of the mirror. You may even want to ask a friend to critique you based on the tips you learned here. Remember that the perfect swing is impossible without the perfect setup—and the perfect setup begins with the perfect stance. Once you have mastered these tips, your next trip to the golf course is sure to be a memorable one.

 

Proper Golf Stance Position Video

 

Proper Golf Stance Infographic

Golf Stance
 

The Best Putting Tips that Will Help You Get More Birdies

Putting-tips

 

A very wise man once said, “You drive for show, you putt for dough.”  Sure, massive drives can thrill the gallery and make you feel, even briefly, like a golfing God, but it’s the golfers who are great at putting the ball in the hole that regularly cash the checks from the Tour.  Putting is a huge part of the game (and some would even say the easiest), but sadly, only a small percentage of golfers practice this skill with the same regularity as they do other shots. This is extremely unfortunate.

According to professional golf instructor Dave Pelz, “roughly 40 percents of a golfer’s shots during a typical round will be putts, and more than half of those will be short putts, approximately 6 feet from the cup and in.”  That’s a pretty big chunk of your game that can be improved upon, and a very meaningful statistic when you think about how many shots you could potentially save just by becoming somewhat more adept with the old flat stick.

To assist you with this, in the following article we have compiled a series of well-established tips designed to help you improve your all-important short game—tips that have proven successful with many golfers just like you.
 

On Reading Distance and Breaks in Your Putts

It is now a scientific fact that the majority of amateur golfers tends to under-read the break and distance on their putts—regardless of grip, setup or technique. In a study conducted by Golf Magazine involving 72 golfers, it was found that “65 percent of participants under-read the break on their putts and misjudged the overall distance on the short side.” Needless to say, this resulted in plenty of missed opportunities and a higher score.

Putting Tips

Experts suggest there are two things golfers can do to help properly read their putts:

  • Judge the distance and break from the side of the putt
  • Make several practice swings before actually hitting the ball

Judging the putt from the side—rather than from behind the ball or behind the hole—will give you a better appreciation of the overall putt length.  Once you look at the putt from this angle while judging the distance, you can return to the ball and make a more confident swing.

Making practice swings—with the same club speed you intend to use when actually hitting the ball—can help you transfer the information in your brain to your arms and hands. When making these practice swings, stand to the side of the ball with the club face facing the hole.
 

Grip

Grasping the club too tightly when putting can negatively impact the shot. Instead, try to grip the putter lightly. By “lightly,” we suggest you apply just enough pressure to prevent any slippage of the hands. Regardless of the grip style you use, experts say that the proper grip pressure is the “key to a consistent putting stroke.”

Putting Tips
 

Address

When addressing the ball prior to striking the putt, stand at a comfortable distance from the ball with your knees slightly flexed. Your arms should be able to hang comfortably with the putter directly behind the ball. This will help relieve tension in your arms and upper body and lead to a more consistent putting style. At address, your eyes should be directly over the ball. A perfect setup is one in which your eyes are directly over your line of putt. This will help avoid any distortion in your viewpoint while attempting to aim. To ensure you are set up correctly, you can drop a second ball from your lead eye—the eye closest to the hole. If your setup is perfect, the second golf ball will land directly on top of the first.

Putting Tips
 

Rhythm and Tempo

Once you have judged the distance, taken your grip and properly addressed the ball prior to the putt, you are ready to take your shot. To do this, swing the putter back then forward through the ball by slightly turning your shoulders. Remember, rhythm and tempo should be your primary aim here. This will also help with matching the back and through stroke. Maintain a consistent tempo for all of your putts, regardless of the distance. Whether you have a long putt or a short putt, the same rhythm and tempo should be applied, although the stroke itself will be shortened or lengthened depending on the distance. This will cause the putter to cover more or less distance in the same amount of time, thus enabling you to control the pace of the putter as it makes contact with the ball
 

Practicing Short Putts

As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. And if you want to be a great putter you will need to spend a lot of time practicing the art. In fact, for every hour you spend on the driving range, you should probably practice at least two hours on the putting green—given the fact that 40 percent of your shots on the course will come on that surface.

Putting Tips

When practicing shorter putts, those within about 6 feet of the hole, any of today’s top golf instructors suggest that you spend a little time employing the “don’t look and listen drill.” Here is how it is done:

Place 3-5 golf balls on the ground, approximately 4-6 feet from the hole. Next, go through all of your normal preparations, including reading the putt, addressing the ball, and making your practice swings. Once you are setup and ready to putt, look down at the ball, and keep your head and eyes still and in place while making the putt. Do not look up or look at the hole until after you are certain the ball has stopped rolling. Of course, if you make the putt, you will be able to hear the ball hit the bottom of the cup, otherwise known as the “best sound in golf.” So why should you spend some time on the “don’t look and listen drill?” Actually, this will help your putting game in three ways, including:

  • Steadiness.. This drill will teach you to stay steady over short putts, while also improving your rhythm and tempo.
  • Visualization.. Looking down at the ball throughout the putt, rather than jerking your head up to see the roll, will help you to better visualize the distance and the break.
  • Trust.. By looking down at the ball throughout the putt you can learn to trust your swing, rhythm and tempo, ultimately making you a more confident putter.

Practicing Long Putts

Practicing long putts, especially very long putts, is a great way to shave strokes from your score—and a great way to eliminate the dreaded “three-putt” that plagues so many amateur and weekend golfers. For this drill you are actually going to reverse what you did on the short putt drill. Here are the specifics:

On the practice green (or on an actual green), pick a spot about 25 feet from the hole, and drop 3-5 balls down onto the green. Again, you will want to go through all your normal preparations—read the putt, take your grip and practice swings, and setup to the ball in a comfortable position, with your knees slightly flexed.

Putting Tips

Once you have addressed the ball, look up at the target while you make a confident stroke, looking only at the target and not the ball. Do this with all the balls you have dropped to the green. This “look at the target” drill will enable you to focus on two very important things, including:

  • Trusting Your Mechanics. When you look at the target instead of the ball, you are forced to trust your mechanics and the rhythm and tempo of the shot.

  • Correctly Judge Distance. Looking at the target, instead of the ball, will give you a better idea regarding the distance of the shot. This is especially true after hitting a few balls in succession. The more you practice this drill, the better you will become at reading both the distance and break of your long putts.

 

Read Putts like a Clock

According to Mike Shannon, a golf instructor at the Sea Island Golf Performance Center in Georgia, reading putts like a clock will help you “simplify your reads and visualize where the ball will enter the cup.

When you approach the green with putter in hand, try to picture a clock on top of the hole, with six o’clock pointing directly towards your ball. Then, as you assess the line of the putt, try to imagine exactly where on the clock your putt will roll over and fall into the cup.

Putting Tips

Now simply react to the position on the dial. For example, if you see the ball falling into the cup at five o’clock, try to address and setup in such a way that you are focusing on that particular edge of the cup. Once you have done this, you can smoothly and confidently enable that line to guide your stroke. If your mind’s eye sees the putt entering at seven or eight o’clock, do the very same preparations while focusing on that part of the clock’s dial.

Once you have determined, in your mind’s eye, the entry point of the putt, you can allow your instincts to take over and confidently putt using the read you have determined.

 

Best Putting Tips Video

 

Final Words

By following all of these tips—tips that help you with your grip, stance, rhythm, tempo, and your confidence in judging the read and break of your putts—continue to practice these drills regularly on the putting green. Chances are that in no time at all you will be impressing your regular foursome with your newfound putting ability.
 

Best Putting Tips Infographic

Putting Tips
 

The Ultimate Guide on How to Clean Golf Clubs to Help You Gain More Distance

How-to-clean-golf-clubs

 
A clean golf club is a happy club. According to the world’s top golf instructors, a club face that is clean—free of dirt, grass and other debris—will be much more effective than one that is filthy.  Conversely, if the grooves of your club are packed with mud, sand and other particles, your ability to hit a well-controlled shot will be severely compromised. In the following article, we will explore this topic a bit further, first by explaining the importance of having clean golf clubs, followed by a step-by-step tutorial for scrubbing and polishing all of the clubs in your bag.

Why Should You Clean Your Golf Clubs?

How long has it been since you have cleaned your golf clubs? Really cleaned them? Not just the cursory “wipe-off” with your golf towel after leaving a huge divot in the turf or hitting that “fried egg” sand shot, but really took the time to clean those clubs well. If it’s been a while, chances are your golf game is suffering the effects of those filthy clubs.

A quality set of golf clubs is a big investment, not just monetarily, but also a big investment in your recreation—in that all-important chance to escape the house for a while, if only for a few hours. Given this investment, it is absolutely crucial that you take the time every so often to care for your golf clubs properly. In addition to their personal importance, clean clubs are also extremely imperative in terms of your golf game.  Sadly, many golfers do not make the correlation between clean golf clubs and sharper-hit shots, but the truth is this:  grass, dirt and other debris that can get caught between the grooves of your club face, actually negate the very purpose of those grooves, and ultimately lead to mishit or out-of-control shots and higher scores.

How to Clean Golf Clubs

The manufacturers of those expensive golf clubs in your bag literally spend millions of dollars each year to introduce new and improved technologies—methods that are all aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of each club they sell.  Collectively, these new technologies are designed to help you swing the club more freely, put a better strike on the ball and deliver increased distance with every club you swing.  Those grooves on your golf clubs, especially your irons, are not there for aesthetic purposes.  They are intentionally designed and added to those golf clubs after many years of high-tech research to help you play your best possible golf.

Some golfers spend thousands of dollars each year attempting to improve their game. They invest in the most modern state-of-the-art equipment, take lessons, and spend hours on the driving range just to drop their handicap by a few strokes. This is all well and good, but when they fail to take care of those expensive clubs, they are actually (and quite ironically) adding strokes to their game by allowing dirt, mud and grass to clog the very grooves that will allow them to hit cleaner and crisper shots. Cleaning your golf clubs regularly, preferably before or after every round you play, can mean the difference between sticking the green and a game of “hide-and-seek” in the trees as you hunt for the object of your last wayward swing. Many golf experts suggest that filthy clubs—those whose grooves are nullified by months of dry, crusty earth—can easily add 4 to 5 strokes per round, and perhaps even more for beginners.

Importance of Cleaning Grooves

So why is it so important to clean the grooves of your clubs? When the grooves on your irons—and even your woods—are clean and free of crusty dirt, they actually act like tire treads on an automobile. Similar to those tire treads, the grooves work to drive liquid and debris—even air—from the contact surface of the club, allowing you to hit cleaner shots that are not affected by the aforementioned elements.

How to Clean Golf Clubs

Clean grooves will also do a better job at “biting” in to the ball. This biting action initiated by the grooves on your clubs can add between 3,600 revolutions per minute (RPM) to 6,000 RPM of spin. This spin provides better aerodynamic lift for longer shots, and gives the ball much more stability as it flies towards it target. If you watch professional golfers on television, you have no doubt witnessed a ball that lands and actually backs up on the green. This is due to the spin applied by the golfer who hit the shot—a spin that would simply be impossible without clean grooves on the club face.

Importance of Cleaning Grips

The grips of your club should also be cleaned regularly for best results around the course. Over time, dirt, oil and sweat can mix together on the grips, causing slippage or forcing you to lose control of the club, which can negatively impact your swing and the shot. Clean grips can essentially do all of the following:

How to Clean Golf Clubs

  • Provide better moisture control.  Clean grips provide a greater degree of moisture control in very hot conditions in which people perspire.

  • Clean grips provide a better “grip.”  Keeping the grips of your clubs clean will preserve the tackiness of the grip, enabling you to have better control of the club and helping it to be more responsive in reducing errors.

  • Clean grips will last. Cleaning your grips will allow them to last much longer, as corrosive oil, dirt and even perspiration can damage them over time.

 
Most grips are made to absorb sweat and oil as you play, giving you better club control, but with time these can become quite filthy and harm your overall game. They can also acquire germs and bacteria, so it only makes sense to keep these grips as sanitized as possible.
 

How to Clean Your Golf Clubs

You now understand the importance of keeping your golf clubs clean, but just how do you go about cleaning them? Actually, you have a few options. You could, of course, send your clubs to a golf club cleaning service, or you could purchase one of the many dedicated golf cleaning kits, which can now be found in many pro shops around the country. However, both of those options can be very pricey and, in our opinion, quite unnecessary.

Cleaning your golf clubs yourself is actually quite easy to do, and the experience can oddly be quite rewarding, especially when you consider the reasons for these regular cleanings: lower scores and more enjoyment on the course.To help you get started, below we have provided a step-by-step tutorial that will make cleaning your clubs a snap.

Step 1 – Gather Your Cleaning Solution and Materials

Cleaning your golf clubs only requires a few basic materials. These include:

  • A bucket (A plastic bucket is recommended)

  • A mild dishwasher detergent

  • A tooth brush (or some other brush with small, soft bristles that are not metal. Metal can damage the surface of the golf club)

  • A rag—for washing

  • A towel—for drying the clubs as you finish cleaning them

How to Clean Golf Clubs
 

Step 2 – Create Your Cleaning Solution

The next step is to create the cleaning solution in which you will first clean your irons and your putter.  To accomplish this, squeeze a small amount of the dishwashing detergent into the bottom of your bucket, and add just enough water to cover the heads of your irons.  In doing this, take care that the water is warm, but not too hot. The heads of your golf irons are secured to the shaft of the club using little plastic ferrules. These ferrules are glued on to help join these two parts of the club.  Hot water can potentially melt the glue used to fasten these ferrules into place, so it should definitely be avoided.

Step 3 – Submerge Your Irons and Your Putter

In this next step, our purpose is to submerge the golf clubs in our cleaning solution for about 5-10 minutes. During this time, the warm water and detergent will work in unison to loosen some of the dirt and grime that has been caught between the grooves of the club, and remove some of the oils and other chemicals that may have accumulated on your irons since the last good cleaning.Remember, you want just enough water to cover the heads of your golf irons. Ideally, the plastic ferrules should be above the water level during this step so that you do not risk the possibility of weakening that glued connection.When submerging your golf clubs in the bucket, you will want to be next to an outdoor garden hose, or at a big, deep sink in the garage or laundry room of your home.

Step 4 – Cleaning and Rinsing Your Irons and Putter

The next step of our process is to clean the irons. Here you will want to remove one club at a time from the warm, soapy water and begin cleaning it, starting with the grooves. Using an old toothbrush, carefully clean each groove of the club, removing all the dirt and debris that should have now been loosened by the cleaning solution. Remember, this is the most important step of the cleaning process, as grooves that are filled with dirt essentially nullify the effectiveness of the club.After cleaning the grooves of the first club, take your brush and wet rag and finish the process by cleaning the sole and back of the club head.

Once the entire club head has been washed, carefully rinse off the club using the garden hose or water from the large sink. Make sure that all dirt and debris has been lifted from the grooves and elsewhere on the club as you rinse, and be careful not to splash water up onto the grips. After the club head has been thoroughly washed and rinsed, place it on a clean flat surface, preferably atop a large clean towel.Repeat this process with each of the irons in your bag and your putter.

How to Clean Golf Clubs

Step 5 – Drying Your Irons and Putter

With the three most outer fingers of your top hand now wrapped around the club—and with the club still nestled along the top of your left palm where it meets the fingers—it is now time to set the lead thumb and the forefinger.Without changing the position of the club, simply roll your thumb over to the right side of the handle or grip. As you do this, curly your left index finger around the club. If this step is done correctly, you should feel the meaty portion at the base of your thumb pressing directly down onto the handle or grip of the club.
 

Step 6 – Cleaning Your Fairway Woods and Driver

How to Clean Golf Clubs
 
When cleaning your metal woods and drivers, we do not recommend you submerge them in water as you did with your irons and putter. These clubs usually have a glossy finish that can be harmed by harsh soaps and chemicals. Instead, just dip them briefly in the warm, soapy water, and immediately wipe them with a wet rag to rinse the soap from the club. Dry them immediately, including the shaft, and place them back into your bag.If your fairway woods have grooves in them, you can still use a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove any dirt and debris from the grooves. After doing so, just follow the instructions provided above.Not too many years ago, the term fairway “woods” actually referred to the two or three clubs a golfer had in his/her bag that were actually made of persimmon wood. Today, most golfers have switched over to the longer-hitting metal woods and drivers; however, if you are still playing with true “woods,” the cleaning instructions above are not intended for you. To clean wood clubs, simply wipe them off with a damp rag, and immediately dry them with a towel.

How to Properly Clean Yout Golf Clubs Video

 

Final Words

By cleaning your clubs in this manner, preferably after every round of golf you play, you can ensure that the various technologies used to enhance and improve these clubs—to add more distance and control to your game—was not done in vain.

How to Clean Golf Clubs Infographic

How to Clean Golf Clubs
 

The Ultimate Guide on the Proper Golf Grip

Proper-golf-grip-cover-2

 
What is the proper golf grip?  This is a question that has been pondered—and experimented with—since the game’s invention many centuries ago.  And although several grips have been tried (with varying levels of success) throughout this popular sport’s many decades, today these choices have been narrowed down to just a few: the overlapping grip, the interlocking grip and the ten-finger grip.  Today, most professionals in the sport of golf rely on one of these “general” grip options.  But while their grip style may vary, all of these professionals agree that the manner in which the golf club is initially positioned in the hand is the absolute key to power and control.

Below we will briefly define each of the grip styles mentioned above.  We will then provide a step-by-step tutorial for properly gripping the club—a tutorial that will lead to better club control with every shot you take.
 

The 3 Ways to Properly Grip the Golf Club

According to a recent poll of some of the world’s top golf instructors, “even the slightest error in the manner in which the golf club is held can have enormous negative consequences on the course.”  Hence, most of these teachers admit that the proper golf grip is one of their first instructional priorities when working with new golfers.

Golfers can choose from three basic grip options:  the overlapping grip, the interlocking grip, and the ten-finger grip.  Here we will briefly explain each of these options.

proper golf grip

 

The Overlapping Grip

The overlapping golf grip, also known as the Vardon Grip or Vardon Overlap, is perhaps the most popular grip in the world of professional golf.  The grip was popularized by Harry Vardon, a global golf superstar in the late 1800s and early 1900s, with six British Open titles to his credit.

As the name suggests, the overlapping grip is one in which (a right-handed) golfer should overlap the pinky finger of their right (bottom) hand, placing it between the index and middle fingers of their left (top) hand.  As this is done, the thumb of the left hand should fit into the lifeline of your right hand (the lifeline is the line on your hand that extends vertically from the base of the palm to the index or middle finger).

proper golf grip

Most of today’s professional male golfers (over 80 percent by all estimates) employ the overlapping grip.
 

Ten Finger Grip  (aka the “Baseball Grip”)

Popular among many weekend golfers, the ten-finger grip is widely used on municipal golf courses around the country for its comfortable feel.  However, it is used by very few professional golfers—golfers who prefer the control provided by the other two grip styles. Hall of Fame LPGA golfer Beth Daniels is one of the most notable users of the ten-finger grip, which was also the grip of choice for PGA stars Bob Estes, Dave Barr and Masters Champion Art Wall Jr.

proper golf grip

To properly grab the club using a ten-finger or baseball grip, you will want to begin with a perfect lead hand (top hand) grip (explained in the next section).  Once you have set your top hand correctly on the grip, you will then place the bottom or trail hand on the club, making sure the pinky finger of that hand is pressed closely against the index finger of the top hand.  Next, you will once again cover the thumb of the top hand with the lifeline of the bottom palm.

People who lack strength in their wrists and forearms, such as arthritis sufferers, should perhaps use the ten-finger grip, but all others should seriously consider switching to an overlapping or interlocking grip, especially if their goal is to improve their score.
 

The Interlocking Grip

Although the majority of professional male golfers employ the Vardon overlapping grip, it is interesting to note that two of the greatest players ever to walk a golf course—Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods—used (and continue to use) the interlocking grip—the second-most popular grip in professional golf.

The interlocking grip, which is widely used on the LPGA tour, is perfect for those with smaller hands or less-than-muscular wrists and forearms.  It is commonly taught to beginners because it helps take some of the guesswork out of finger positioning.

proper golf grip

To employ the interlocking grip, you will want to take the little finger of the bottom hand and interlock it with it the index finger of the top or lead hand.  As with the overlapping grip, you’ll need to make sure that the thumb of the left or top hand fits along the lifeline of the bottom or trailing hand.
 

The Proper Golf Grip: Positioning Your Hands for the Perfect Grip

As we mentioned briefly in the introduction, the three above-outlined golf grips are all used in the sport of golf today, some certainly more than others. However, despite how the two hands ultimately come together on the golf club—by overlapping, interlocking, or just touching (ten-finger)—the manner in which the two hands are initially placed on the club is far less subjective. In fact, the majority of professional golf instructors agree that the following step-by-step guide for grasping the golf club can mean the difference between a great and a poor shot.

proper golf grip

Step 1 – Grasp the Club with Your Right Hand

Note:  For this detailed guide on how to attain the proper golf grip, we are assuming you are a right-handed golfer.  If you golf left-handed instead, simply reverse these instructions.

With your right hand, also referred to as the bottom or trail hand, grasp the golf club where the metal of the shaft meets the grip.  Naturally, this is not where your bottom hand will remain in the final gripping of the club, but it is a necessary step that will help you properly align the top or lead hand.  After you have grasped the club where indicated, hold it out in front of you at a 45 degree angle.

Step 2 – Set Your Lead (Top) Hand

As you are holding the club in front of you, place your left or lead hand behind, but not on, the club, with the palm facing you. Next you are going to properly set this lead hand. To accomplish this correctly, you will want to nestle the club along the line in which your first knuckles (closest to the palm) meet the very top of your palm. Many weekend or amateur golfers have the tendency to set the club more to the middle of the palm on their lead hand. This is a no-no—one that takes the fingers out of the swing altogether and tends to cause erratic shots.

Step 3 – Grip with Your Lead Hand

With the club set along the very top of the left palm where it meets the fingers (and without moving the hand), curl your pinky finger, ring finger and middle finger around the grip or handle of the club.  You do not need to grasp it tightly.  In fact, most instructors advise golfers NOT to grip the club too tightly.  If you have done this step correctly, it should feel as if the underside of each of these three fingers is now in contact with the grip.

proper golf grip

Step 4 – Set the Thumb and Forefinger of Your Lead Hand

With the three most outer fingers of your top hand now wrapped around the club—and with the club still nestled along the top of your left palm where it meets the fingers—it is now time to set the lead thumb and the forefinger.

Without changing the position of the club, simply roll your thumb over to the right side of the handle or grip. As you do this, curly your left index finger around the club. If this step is done correctly, you should feel the meaty portion at the base of your thumb pressing directly down onto the handle or grip of the club.

Step 5 – Set Your Trail (Bottom) Hand

Once the top or lead hand has been properly set, the next step is to incorporate the bottom or trail hand into your grip. As you will recall from Step 1, up until now the right or bottom hand has been grasping the club at the point where the shaft meets the grip, as you were setting your top or lead hand.Now, slide your right hand up the club towards your left hand. As you did with the left or top hand, you will want to set the club along the line formed by the base of your palm and the first knuckles of the fingers.

Step 6 – Overlapping, Interlocking or Ten-Finger Grip

At this point of the grip procedure, you will need to choose between the overlapping, interlocking or ten-finger grip.  If you select the overlapping grip, simply wrap your right pinky finger into the space where your left middle finger and index finger come together.  For the interlocking grip, you will want to intertwine the right pinky finger and the left index finger.  And if you select the ten-finger grip, press your right pinky finger against the forefinger or index finger of the left hand.

proper golf grip

Whichever (final) grip you select, it’s important that you add some pressure to the club with these last two fingers—the right index finger and the left pinky finger.  This is where a lot of your control and power can be gained or loss, so this connection is critical.

Step 7 – Setting the Thumb and Forefinger of the Trail Hand

In this final step, you will want to roll your right or trail thumb toward the left of the club, while also curling your right index finger around the club.  Be sure to place the right hand directly over the left thumb, using the lifeline of your right palm as a guide.  If you have performed this step correctly, you should feel some pressure on your left thumb. This pressure is caused by placing the meaty portion of your right thumb over your left thumb.
 

Proper Golf Grip Video

 

Final Words

The proper golf grip can add a measure of power, control and enjoyment to your game, helping you shave strokes even on the toughest of courses. Keep in mind that this grip is often referred to as a “neutral” grip by teaching professionals. Many of today’s star golfers are known to slightly tweak this grip from time to time, opting for a strong or weak grip when hitting certain types of difficult shots. This, however, is not recommended for beginners, as the results can often be disastrous.
 

The Propert Golf Grip Infographic

Proper Golf Grip
 

How to Swing a Golf Club to Hit the Perfect Shot

How-to-swing-a-golf-club

 

If you were to ask ten golfers the question, “How to Swing a Golf Club,” you would probably get 10 different answers.  Unlike tasks in which there is a definitive right or wrong answer, the art of swinging a golf club is a bit more subjective. From the type of stance involved to addressing the ball, to the takeaway and follow-through, many of today’s most successful golfers have minor variations in their setup and swing. However, if you are a beginner golfer that is new to the game, there are some basic tips you should definitely follow to construct a consistent golf swing.
 

3 Simple Steps that Will Help You Hit the Perfect Shot

Each day a countless number of new and enthusiastic golfers flock to driving ranges around the country to test their new set of golf clubs. Collectively whacking away, these eager golfers continue hitting ball after ball until they finally hit that one perfect shot, the shot that will keep them coming back to the golf course or range time and again. Unfortunately, what most of these individuals quickly discover is they are not able to repeat that “perfect shot” consistently, and hence discouragement begins to sink in.

How to Swing a Golf Club

Learning how to golf in this manner just indiscriminately hitting balls may work for the truly gifted athlete, but is not the best of ideas for the rest us mere mortals, as it tends to reinforce bad habits that can remain with a golfer for years if not rectified. Instead, players new to the game (or those eager to break bad habits) should first learn to divide their swing down into several different components or steps, and move through each step only after the one before has been mastered. This strategy can develop consistency, which can ultimately lead to lower scores and a greater enjoyment for the game.

Step 1: Address the Golf Ball

As the Golden Bear Jack Nicklaus once said, “A good setup can often turn even the most miserable swing into a reasonable shot.” is how to properly address the ball an address that will lead to more consistent shots with every club.

Perfect Ball Position Drill

How to Swing a Golf Club

  • As you stand in front of the ball, keep your feet together while holding the club in the air at a perpendicular angle above the ball.

  • As you open up your stance, try to stand in the most comfortable, non-forced position possible.  For most people, the most relaxed stance is one in which the feet are roughly shoulder width apart. Your feet should also be parallel to the target.

  • With the club still held straight up and down before you, lock your knees.  As you do this, you should feel your weight shift just a bit to your heels.

  • Using only your hips, bend forward slightly, making certain your spine angle is straight and your shoulder blades are back. Now, place the club behind the ball, square to the target.

  • Flex or unlock your knees just a bit, maintaining your comfortable position. The trick is to flex your legs just enough that you can still keep them engaged.

  • Finally, move your upper body slightly to the right, making sure your head is just behind the ball.  You are now in a perfect striking position./li>

 

Step 2: Set Up Your Hands and Arms

Before you move on to a full golf swing (and all the moving parts that swing entails), there are several practice exercises you should master first. The first of these is a mini-swing drill that focuses exclusively on the arms and hands. Keep in mind that the following instructions are for a right-handed golfer; if you golf left-handed, simply reverse the hand positions.
 
How to Swing a Golf Club

 

The Mini Swing Drill

  • While standing in front of the ball take a stance just as we described in the address.

  • Next, grasp your club with your left hand near the top of the club and with your right hand about 4-5 inches below your left hand. Now, without actually moving the hands along the club push down with your left hand as you pull up with the right hand.

  • After taking your grip, and without moving anything but your hands, wrist and forearms, rotate the club backwards until the shaft is horizontal or parallel to the ground and the toe of the club is pointing up. The key to this part of the drill is to keep your left hand in the same place it was upon address. This hand the left hand for right-handed golfers and the right hand for left-handed golfers is the fulcrum around which the swing rotates..

  • As you open up your stance, try to stand in the most comfortable, non-forced position possible. For most people, the most relaxed stance is one in which the feet are roughly shoulder width apart.  Your feet should also be parallel to the target.

  • With the club still held straight up and down before you, lock your knees. As you do this, you should feel your weight shift just a bit to your heels.

  • Using only your hips, bend forward slightly, making certain your spine angle is straight and your shoulder blades are back. Now, place the club behind the ball, square to the target.

  • Flex or unlock your knees just a bit, maintaining your comfortable position. The trick is to flex your legs just enough that you can still keep them engaged.

  • Finally, move your upper body slightly to the right, making sure your head is just behind the ball. You are now in a perfect striking position.

Step 3: Incorporate Your Body into the Swing

The next step towards creating a consistent golf swing is to incorporate your body into the swing, adding it to the movement of your arms and hands. The manner in which your body turns during the takeaway (backswing), fore-swing and finish is one of the keys to consistency.
 
How to Swing a Golf Club

The Backswing Drill

For the backswing or takeaway portion of your swing, try following the outlined steps of this helpful drill for adding the proper body movements to the motions of the hands and arms.

  • While standing at address, cross your arms over your chest. As you do this, make sure to place your right hand on your left shoulder, and your left hand on your right shoulder.

  • Next, slide a golf club horizontally across your chest just below your shoulders and grasp the club with both hands.

  • While maintaining this cross-arm position, turn your body as if you are starting your backswing. As you do this, allow your left knee (if you are a right-handed golfer) to turn slightly inward. Ideally, the knee should now be pointing at the ball.  Continue to turn your body until the shaft of the club is straight up and down—a 90 degree turn. The club should now be perpendicular to the ground—or perpendicular to a line formed by the tips of your toes.

The primary purpose of this third step is to keep your right leg stationary, although slightly flexed at the knees as it was at address.  Maintain this flex in your right leg and you will find that the only way to achieve the 90 degree turn that is necessary for getting the shaft of the club in that position is to rotate your body.

Think of your right leg as a pivot point—a point around which the rest of your body rotates. If done correctly and completely, your back should be pointing at the target once you reach the very top of your backswing. Also, remember that the angle of your spine at address should be maintained throughout the backswing until you reach the top.

How to Swing a Golf Club

The Unwind Drill

Now that you have reached the top of the backswing, the trick is to allow your body to unwind or uncoil back to the ball by essentially reversing the above-outlined sequence. Like with the backswing, you will maintain the cross-arm position for this drill.The unwinding process, which starts low and goes high in terms of the body parts involved, is as follows:

  • First, slide your front knee forward—moving it from its position over the top of the ball until it is now pointing at the target. Ideally, your kneecap should stop directly over your left or front foot. One of the biggest mistakes of the newbie or weekend golfer is an under-shifting or over-shifting of this front knee, especially the latter, which causes your legs to slide past the ball, thus interfering with the proper uncoiling process.

  • As we move up the body, you will now slide the front hip toward the target until it is directly over the front knee and foot. Once again, under or over-shifting of this hip can negatively impact the golf swing.

  • While practicing the uncoiling of the club using this cross-arm drill, pay close attention to the shaft of the club across your chest. The shaft of the club should be parallel with the slope of your shoulders. One way to practice this is to perform the drill in front of a mirror.

How to Swing a Golf Club

The Finishing Drill

The hand, arm and body movements you practiced in the two drills above are the same movements you will use when making a full golf swing. However, there is one final drill remaining: finishing or following through.

  • As you begin to shift your weight (as you did in step one and step two of the “unwind” drill), bring the club downwards through the point of impact and all the way to the finish position. In doing so, remember the proper swing plane you practiced in the mini-swing exercise.

  • As the club comes through, keep your left (front) leg straight and allow your right knee to rotate slightly until it just touches your left knee. When you finish, your spine angle should again be the same as it was at address, and your belly should be pointing at the target.

How to Swing a Golf Club to HIt the Perfect Shot Video

 

Final Words

The next time you hit the driving range, try incorporating each of these exercises/drills into your routine. After mastering the mini-swing drill, combine those movements with the backswing, uncoiling and finishing drills we outlined above. Keep practicing each drill until you feel comfortable enough to combine the steps into a full golf swing. Once you accomplish this, you’ll have the framework for a very consistent swing. Remember to use all of your clubs at the driving range (not just the driver), and practice these movements over and over until they become second nature. By implementing this strategy you have a much better chance to create the necessary muscle memory to repeat a consistent swing time and time again.
 

How to Swing a Golf Club Infographic

How to Swing a Golf Club
 

The 60 Best Golf Quotes of All Time

The-60-best-golf-quotes-of-all-time

At Golfers Authority we are here to not only help you with your physical golf game, but your mental golf game too. That is why we wanted to put together our list of the 60 best golf quotes of all time. These quotes are here to inspire you, gain more confidence, or simply just make you laugh. If you find that we are missing one of your favorite golf quotes be sure to comment in the section below. Note that the quotes are not listed in any particular order. So please read, share, and enjoy.

Golfers Authority Best Golf Quotes of All Time

Keep your sense of humor. There’s enough stress in the rest of your life not to let bad shots ruin a good game you’re supposed to enjoy.

 Amy Alcott

Amy-alcott

There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.

Anonymous

Anonymous-1

Golf is good for the soul you so mad at yourself you forget to hate your enemies. 

Will Rogers

Will-rogers

In golf life it is the follow through that makes a difference.

Anonymous

Anonymous-2

The worst day of golf beats the best day of work. 

Anonymous

Anonymous-3

Life is better when you’re golfing. 

Anonymous

Anonymous-4

Success in this game depends on strength of body than strength of mind and character.  

Arnold Palmer

Arnold-palmer-1

Concentration comes out of a combination of confidence and hunger.  

Arnold Palmer

Arnold-palmer-1b

I have a tip to take 5 strokes off anyone’s game … It’s called an eraser. 

Arnold Palmer

Arnold-palmer-2

Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you.

Arnold Palmer

Arnold-palmer-4

Putting is like wisdom partly a natural gift and partly the accumulation of experience. 

Arnold Palmer

Arnold-palmer-5

Track and field is tougher physically, but golf is tougher mentally. 

Asher Eaton

Ashton-eaton

As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round.

Ben Hogan

Ben-hogan-1

The most important shot in golf is the next one.   

Ben Hogan

Ben-hogan-1b

I have found the game to be, in all factualness, a universal language wherever I traveled at home or abroad. 

Ben Hogan

Ben-hogan-2

A good player who is a great putter is a match for any golfer. A great hitter who cannot put is a match for no one. 

Ben Sayers

Ben-sayers

The only thing a golfer need is more daylight. 

Ben Hogan

Ben-hogan-1a

He that can have patience can have what he will.  

Ben Franklin

Benjamin-franklin

Placing the ball in the right position for the next shot is eighty percent of winning golf. 

Ben Hogan

Bh1f

The only time my prayers are never answered is on the golf course.  

Billy Graham

Billy-graham

Golf is not a game of good shots. It’s a game of bad shots.  

Ben Hogan

Bh1

Golf is a game that is played on a five-inch course: The distance between your ears. 

Bobby Jones

Bobby-jones-3

Golf is not, on the whole, a game for realists. By its exactitudes of measurements it invites the attention of perfectionists.  

Heywood Hall Broun

Broun

Everybody can see that my swing is homegrown. That means everybody has a chance to do it. 

Bubba Watson

Bubba-watson

Golf’s three ugliest words … Still your shot.   

Dave Marr

Dave-marr

Golf is a science, the study of a lifetime, in which you can exhaust yourself but never your subject.  

Dave Forgan

David-forgan

A routine is not a routine if you have to think about it. 

Davis Love Jr.

David-love

It’s about hitting the ball in the center of the club face and hitting it hard.  

Bubba Watson

Bubba-watson-2

I’ve taken up golf … or golf has taken me up. 

Dennis Farina

Df1

Hit the shot you know you can hit, not the one you think you should.  

Dr. Bob Rotella

Dr.-bob-1

Acting is like golf: Analysis leads to paralysis.      

Peter Falk

Falk

A good golfer has the determination to win and the patience to wait for breaks. 

Gary Player

Gary-player-1

I know I am getting better at golf because I am hitting fewer spectators. 

President Gerald Ford

Gerald-ford

Golf gives you an insight into human nature, your won as well as your opponent’s. 

Grantland Rice

Grantland-rice

It took me seventeen years to get three thousand hits in baseball. I did it in one afternoon at the golf course.  

Hank Aaron

Hank-aaron

For this game you need, above all things, to be in a tranquil frame of mind.  

Harry Vardon

Harry-vardon-1

While playing golf today i hit two good balls … I stepped on a rake. 

Henry Youngman

Henny-youngman

The best quick tip in golf is to focus on your rhythm and balance.  

Hal Irwin

Hi12

If you think it’s hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball. 

Jack Lemmon

Jack-lemmon

Resolve never to quit, never to give up, no matter what the situation.   

Jack Nicklaus

Jack-nicklaus-a

It’s emotional highs and lows in the game of golf.  

Jason Day

Jd12

Sometimes the biggest problem is in your head. You’ve got to believe.  

Jack Nicklaus

Jack-nicklaus-1a

In golf, “close” is like the north and south rim of the Grand Canyon.  

Johnny Miller

Johnny-miller

The value of routine; trusting your swing.   

Lorii Myers

Lorii-myers-1

Golf is a good walk spoiled. 

Mark Twain

Mark-twain-1b

It’s good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling. 

Mark Twain 

Mark-twain

Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.      

Napoleon Hill

Napoleon-hill

Golf is a game in which you yell “fore”, shoot six, and write down five. 

Paul Harvey

Paul-harvey

I’ve always said, the harder the golf course, the better I play.  

Paula Creamer

Pc1

The object of golf is not just win. It is to play like a gentleman, and win. 

Phil Mickelson

Phil-1a

One thing that golf teaches you is humility. 

Robert Wagner

Rw

Of all the hazards, fear is the worst.  

Sam Snead

Sam-snead-2

If I have to believe in myself. I know what I can do, what I can achieve.  

Sergio Garcia

Sergio-garcia-1

Forget your opponents; always play against par.  

Sam Snead

Sam-snead-1

I always think under par. You have to believe in yourself.  

Sergio Garcia

Sergio-garcia-3

I get to play golf for a living. What more can you ask for, getting paid for doing what you love.  

Tiger Woods

Tiger-woods-1

Achievements on the golf course are not what matters, decency and honesty are what matter. 

Tiger Woods

Tigerwoods-2

Achievements on the golf course are not what matters, decency and honesty are what matter. 

Tiger Woods

Tigerwoods-2

I’m addicted. I’m addicted to golf. 

Tiger Woods

Tw1

Golf will grow so long as it’s fun.  

Tom Watson

Tw12

The game of golf is fragile and I respect that. I think it’s a mirror image of life itself.   

Steve Stricker

Steve-stickler-2

I just played, and I played my heart out.  

Lee Trevino

Lee-trevino

The 60 Best Golf Quotes of All Time

Wow you made it to the end. I hope you enjoyed our list of the Best Golf Quotes of All Time. So what is your favorite golf quote? Please share in the comments below. If you have a quote that we are missing please let us know, we may add it to the list so we can share it with our readers! 

Sign up for our Newsletter

Drivers, Woods, Irons, Putters

Tour, High, Mid, & Low Handicap

Gloves, Hats, Grips, Shafts, Tools

Carry, Riding, Push, Driving

Range Finders, GPS, Training Aids

Spike, Spikeless, Boots, Sandals