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.

 

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.

 

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 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 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 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.

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