If you’re like me, the beginning of Masters Week is filled with more anticipation than the coming of Christmas morning. I start thinking about the iconic CBS golf announcer Jim Nantz and his famous “Hello Friends” opening line to begin weekend coverage and it sends chills down my spine.
It’s the same for me every year. The week begins with watching Golf Channel’s Live from the Masters on Monday morning. Next comes the flood of e-mails in my inbox from friends inviting me to join Masters pools. After the beating I take every year in March Madness I probably shouldn’t allocate any more funds, but I do anyway. Then comes the Par 3 contest on Wednesday afternoon where wives and kids get to caddy in oversized white jumpsuits and the roars of tee shots finding the bottom of the cup echo through the Georgia pines. By the time Thursday coverage starts it’s been made clear to my girlfriend that I am not to be bothered with yoga classes or healthy food for the next four days. To cap it off on Sunday, I invite anyone that wants to join over to watch the final round where we eat too many pimento cheese sandwiches, drink sweet tea (mixed with something else) and dress in Master’s green.
For most golfers, the Masters is indeed a tradition unlike any other. Not only is it the symbolic beginning of spring and the first major of the year, but it’s also the only one that returns to the same venue every year. What began as a vision of the great Bobby Jones to be a gathering of friends nearly a century ago has become the most celebrated tournament in the game. Over the years there have been career-defining moments that we all remember but there are also countless stories and anecdotes that are less told but equally important. If you’re curious to know a little more about the hallowed grounds of Augusta National and the Masters, read on.
Alister McKenzie Never Saw the Finished Product of the Course He Designed
Alister McKenzie was a renowned golf course architect who designed some of the most revered courses in the world dating from 1905 until 1933 when he completed his final work, Augusta National. When the club’s founder, Bobby Jones, played Cypress Point in California (another McKenzie design) he knew McKenzie was the man he wanted to design Augusta National. With the course ready to open its doors and the inaugural Master’s tournament slated for the early spring of 1934, McKenzie passed away on January 6th just a couple months before the tournament was to be held.
Tournament Officials Kick Announcers Off the Air if They Don’t Follow the Rules
There is no denying that the decorum expected at the Masters is unlike anything else in all of sports. For announcers doing the broadcast, spectators are to be referred to as patrons or gallery. Calling them fans is strictly forbidden. Just asked Gary McCord and Jack Whitaker who violated the rule and were promptly dismissed from their posts.
Gary Player is the Only Masters Winner Not to Have His Jacket Kept at Augusta National
When Gary Player won the first of his three green jackets in 1961, he took the jacket with him as winners are allowed to do. Augusta asks that jackets be returned the following year where they will be stored from then on. In the years that followed his victory, Player developed a habit of perpetually forgetting to return his jacket. It is now on display at the World Golf Hall of Fame in Florida.
It Hasn’t Always Been Called the Masters
When the tournament was first played in 1934, it was called the Augusta National Invitational. It wasn’t until 1938 that founding member Clifford Roberts coined the term Masters. Fellow co-founder Bobby Jones never like the term and often referred to the tournament as the “so-called Masters.”
Augusta National Couldn’t Afford to Pay the Purse to the First Winner
Horton Smith was the first winner of the Masters. The initial plan was for the club to have 1,800 members from which revenue would be generated and purse could be paid. At the time of the first Masters, however, the club only had 76 members and there wasn’t enough money to pay the winner. Horton eventually collected thanks to a private collection taken up by the membership.
Augusta National Closed During WWII
Despite several attempts to raise money to keep the doors open, Augusta National was forced to close during WWII. During the war, the club used the land to raise cattle and turkeys in a failed attempt to make money.
Green Jackets Were A Bit of an Accident
In 1939 members of Augusta National decided to all wear green jackets so that spectators (patrons) could easily identify them and ask questions. It wasn’t until 1949 that Sam Snead was the first winner to receive a green jacket.
It wasn’t until 1982 that players were allowed to bring their own caddies. Prior to then, they were assigned local caddies who knew the course inside and out. One of the most notable local caddies of all time is Carl Jackson who began caddying for Ben Crenshaw in 1976. The relationship continued for more than 30 years.
One of the most indelible images is Masters history is the two embracing on the 18th green in 1995 after Crenshaw’s emotional win shortly after the death of his lifelong friend and coach, Harvey Penick the week before the tournament.
How Did Rae’s Creek Get its Name?
The iconic creek that meanders through holes 11-13, known as Amen Corner, was named for the property’s original owner, John Rae, who passed away in 1789 long before Americans even knew what golf was.
The Masters Almost Never Came to Be!
In 1934 founding members Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones petitioned the USGA to host the US Open. When the USGA denied their request, they decided to host their own tournament called the Augusta National Invitational.
Arnie’s Army Started at the Masters
In 1958 Augusta National granted military personnel from a nearby army base free admission to the tournament. As a former military man, Arnold Palmer was a huge hit with all the soldiers in attendance. As Palmer passed a scoreboard during the tournament, a military member hung a sign that read “Arnie’s Army” and the moniker is still used to describe the King’s fans today.
Dwight D. Eisenhower Is More Than A General and President
Eisenhower is the only president to have ever been a member at Augusta National. On hole 17 a large tree overhung the fairway on the left side that Eisenhower purportedly hit more than any other member. The tree affectionately became known as the Eisenhower tree. Unfortunately, the tree was cut down after it suffered serious damage during an ice storm in the winter of 2014.
Whose Jeff Knox?
Anytime an odd number of players making the cut at the Masters, a marker plays with the first player out on Saturday and Sunday morning. So who is the marker at Augusta? None other than Jeff Knox. And Knox isn’t just some 4-handicap that’s lucky enough to play alongside the game’s greats. He’s not only an Augusta member but the guy can flat out play. He holds the course record from the member tees at 61. He’s won the Georgia Mid-Amateur three times. He’s also a member of the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame.
When Knox plays as a marker his score is not officially reported but it’s pretty well known that the 50+-year-old has a decent record against some of the game’s best notably beating the likes of Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia. If you ever get the chance to watch the Masters early on Saturday or Sunday morning, keep an eye out for this guy.
A Tradition of Amateurs
Augusta’s founding members, Clifford Roberts, and Bobby Jones were both amateurs their entire career. That tradition continues to be reflected at the Masters every year. The winner and runner-up of the U.S. Amateur and winners of the British Amateur, Asia-Pacific Amateur, Latin America Amateur, and the U.S. Mid-Amateur all receive invitations to the Masters the following year. While it’s rare that one of these players finds there a way to the first page of the leaderboard on Sunday afternoon, the amateur with the lowest score at the end of the tournament receives the Low Amateur award and a piece of coveted Augusta crystal for the feat.
If you’re a golfer and the Masters isn’t your favorite tournament of the year, you need to have your head examined. With the trimmings of southern hospitality and a rich golfing history steeped in tradition, there exists no greater stage in the world for the best players usher in the beginning of spring. While we all remember Nicklaus’ iconic win in 1986, Larry Mize’s chip-in on hole 11 to beat Greg Norman in a playoff in 1987 and Tiger’s 12-shot victory in 1997, there is so much more to the Masters worth mentioning that goes overlooked. As you watch the Masters this year, take time to appreciate the minor details and little tidbits that are barely mentioned and you’re viewing experience will only be enhanced. In the meantime, I have to get to the ATM and turn in my pools.
Aside from waking up to watch the final round of the Masters or every round of the British Open, I relish my annual golf trip with my buddies more than anything else. The trip gives us a chance to get away from our better halves and enjoy some much-needed camaraderie amongst ourselves for a few days.
I’ve been doing these golf-centric rendezvous for several years and have learned my share of do’s and don’ts. As I grow older, I have come to realize that these trips aren’t about cramming in 36 holes a day for a week straight. Been there, done that and it doesn’t work. What I have come to realize is that we aren’t as young as we once were, and people have obligations of family, work, coaching and financial limitations that make dream trips to Pinehurst or the British Isles nothing more than a dream.
The good news is that you can still book your annual buddies’ trip, not break the bank and have a great time. Below are my best tips to make sure that everyone has a good time on the trip you think about all year.
You Don’t Need to Drink Champagne on a Beer Budget when with your Golf Buddies
I’m fortunate to live in the great state of Oregon and Bandon Dunes is the site of my annual golf trip. It’s affordable for Oregonians in the winter. I’m lucky.
A successful golf trip with your buddies doesn’t have to be hallmarked by exclusive courses that cost an arm and a leg. I remember a spur-of-the-moment boys trip to Boise, Idaho in September where we never paid more than $60 for a green fee, cart included.
With a little research, it’s easy to find places that everyone can get to and there are hundreds of quality courses that fit everyone’s budget. If you do this work upfront, you’ll attract more players and you’re sure to have trip to remember.
Start Planning Early
Whether your group is four or 44, planning is key to a successful buddie’s trip. The last thing you want is any loose ends not to be tied up.
Planning can start as far out as six months in advance. A good place to begin is an email thread that invites everyone on the trip and let’s them know that spots are limited. Doing this and asking for commitments in advance plants a seed. You’ll likely get a barrage of responses that say, “I’m think I’m in” or “Sounds great and I’ll get back to you.” While this is annoying, at least you can establish a baseline of what your budget and reservations look like.
From here you can start making tee times and reservations for places to stay. If you do these things in advance, it’s likely you’ll receive favorable treatment of discounted rates on both rooms and golf.
Fast Pay Makes Fast Friends
After you send out that initial e-mail it’s important to start collecting deposits. Even if it’s just $50 per guy for rooms, collecting this money upfront alleviates your liability and gives your golf buddies an incentive to see their commitment through. Trust me on this one, I’ve made the mistake of paying before collecting and I won’t ever do it again.
Be Fair and Be Square, Remember these are your Golf Buddies
You’re at the point that you have some commitments and deposits. Now the real fun begins. You need to communicate the format to everyone involved. Unless you’re spending your last penny to go on this trip in the first place, chances are you and your buddies want to enjoy some friendly competition with a few dollars involved. On my annual trip, each player pays $40 a day that goes toward daily skins and payout as well as the overall pot. If you have one good day, you’re sure to break even at worse.
The biggest key is to make the format fun and competitive. After you get everyone’s updated handicap, your options are virtually limitless. Below is my favorite format for groups for four or more. Feel free to get as creative as you want.
While it’s not likely you’re going to attract passionate fans from both sides of the Atlantic and be broadcasted on national television, there’s nothing better than a friendly competition that divides your group in two. Using the match play format, you can come up with creative pairings that award each match a point toward the team total. The team that ends up with the most points at the end of your trip leaves with a few bucks, bragging rights and a “trophy.”
Speaking of Trophies
Belts with huge buckles were cool for a short while but they aren’t anymore. When you’re on a buddies’ golf trip, you’re not vying for the world heavyweight boxing title. You should choose an award that is special to the group. For me, the winning team wins not only a few bucks but a coveted chalice that I purchased for $12.50 at a thrift shop when I was in college. That’s a story for another time but it’s sacred in our group. Your prize should be too.
Too Much Golf
Whether your trip is for a weekend of a week, there is a lot more involved than the golf. At the end of the day it’s about spending quality time with friends you don’t get to see every day.
I remember the first time I flew in three friends to my hometown in Oregon and arranged world-class golf for six straight days. By day four, we were all burnt out and no one wanted to play the last two days. If you’re going to be at a destination more than two or three days, taking a day off in the middle of the trip is a wonderful idea. Let your friends explore the local sites on their own and meet in the evening for a great meal where everyone has a chance to catch up and recant the day’s non-golf adventures.
The Best Things Come in Moderation, Including Moderation
This trip is your one chance to cut loose and have a good time with your friends. You should enjoy yourself. There’s going to be a night or two when everyone wants to tell the same stories from a decade ago just like they did last year. This is usually accompanied by some food and some adult beverages. Have fun. You’re only with this group once a year… But remember you still must play golf the next day.
Early Bird Get’s the Worm, Said No One Ever on a Golf Trip
Don’t get me wrong, I love being the first group out on a Saturday morning when my surroundings are quiet, and the smell of freshly mown grass permeates the air. As romantic as these rounds are most days of the year, getting proper sleep on your buddies’ trip is imperative for everyone. Chances are there are going to be some late evenings and the libations will flow so there’s no sense in making early tee times. Teeing off between 10:00am and 11:00am gives everyone the chance to sleep in and have a leisurely morning.
Chances are your group represents a wide spectrum in terms of ability, so you need to play a net format where appropriate handicaps are given and make agreed upon adjustments after each round.
I remember being on a trip one year and the first day my opponent was a 16 handicap and shot 74. Safe to say I didn’t stand a chance and was not a happy camper after the round. Much to this player’s dismay, his handicap was adjusted for the rest of the trip and he was never invited back. You don’t want to have anyone like this guy in your group.
While people do play above their expected levels from time to time, adjusting at the end of play each day keeps everyone competitive and in the game.
Trips with your golf buddies can be a lot of fun. They give you a chance to bond once a year for a few days and don’t have to cost a fortune. If you start planning early and make sure everyone is on the same page with each facet of the trip, you’re sure to make memories that last a lifetime and create a tradition you can look forward to for years to come.
I distinctly remember the child-like anticipation I had the night before I embarked on my annual week-long guys’ golf trip to Bandon Dunes. Beautiful skies, good company, and world-class golf courses beckoned, and I couldn’t have been more excited. My 5:00 a.m. flight had only one stop in San Francisco and first tee was at 1:30 p.m.
The morning of my departure could not have gone any worse. Upon arriving for check-in at Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix, I was told that my travel bag exceeded the 50-pound limit. This resulted in me paying a $125 fee. Everything went smoothly in San Francisco, but when I landed in North Bend, my golf clubs were nowhere to be found. I made it through the hassle of opening a claim with the baggage people and was assured that my clubs would be delivered to my condo by the end of the day. My clubs finally arrived the morning of our third day. Upon inspection, I discovered that my driver head was broken and the zipper on my ball pocket was also damaged. What was supposed to be the trip of the year was quickly soured by the uncertainty of traveling with golf clubs. The airlines inability to adequately care for my belongings added disappointment to my itinerary. That is when my friend Scott, rather untimely, told me that I should have used Ship Sticks.
What is Ship Sticks?
U.S. airlines collect several billion dollars every year in baggage fees and “mishandle” north of 20 million pieces of luggage. These kinds of numbers make any traveling golfer nervous and most of us have likely fallen victim to damaged luggage or clubs at some point.
Founded in 2011 by a group of seasoned golfers, Ship Sticks provides a user-friendly service that takes the hassle of checking bags and dealing with mishandled luggage completely out of the equation. For a fee cheaper than what many airlines charge to check bags, they pick up your clubs and luggage from your home, country club, office, or hotel. They make sure that everything arrives safe and secure at your destination by the time you get there. No more dealing with lost or damage items or excessive baggage fees. Originally founded as a service for shipping golf clubs, Ship Sticks also ships your luggage and even skis or snowboards to over 3,500 facilities in some 220 countries across the globe.
How Does the Process Work?
In an effort to avoid the fiasco I dealt with on my trip to Bandon Dunes last year, I decided to give Ship Sticks a try. I booked with them for a wedding in Dallas this past spring. The process was simple, and my clubs arrived at my destination on time and undamaged.
Setting up the shipment was straightforward on the Ship Sticks website. From the home page, simply clicking the Ship Now icon takes you to a screen where you fill out some basic information. All you have to do is to fill out your pickup and drop off location details and your arrival and departure times. After you’ve filled out the necessary fields, click Continue to login and complete the order process. Once your shipment is scheduled, just print and attach the labels to your travel case and you’re all set. You’ll also receive a confirmation email with all the details immediately after you complete your order.
Once your clubs are picked up by the delivery driver, you’ll be able to easily track your shipment the entire way. Using the tracking number in your confirmation email, simply go to the tracking page on the Ship Sticks website to get real-time information about where your clubs are. The Ship Sticks tracking team monitors each and every shipment internally. If anything arises during the process, their friendly staff are readily available and are happy to answer any questions you may have. Finally, when your clubs arrive, you’ll receive one last email putting your mind at ease that your clubs have been delivered.
Why Use Ship Sticks?
Ever since my trip to Dallas, there is no doubt that I will be using Ship Sticks whenever I travel with my clubs. Since they are not a shipping center, they take extra care to see that your clubs and luggage receive the utmost care. The obvious reasons for using Ship Sticks is to avoid excessive baggage fees, and the inconvenience of schlepping your bags through the airport. With Ship Sticks, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing your clubs will arrive on-time and undamaged.
The company sets itself apart from other shipping companies in a number of other ways. If you’re going to be traveling internationally, you take on greater risk of lost or damaged luggage with numerous connecting flights and having to get through customs. Ship Sticks takes care of all this for you. If you’re only going to be playing golf for part of your trip abroad, Ships Sticks International will pick up your clubs after your last round and deliver them to your home or country club. This way you won’t have to worry about lugging them around for the remainder of your trip.
Maybe you put your clubs away during the winter to hit the slopes with your skis or snowboard instead. Traveling with winter equipment can be just as cumbersome as traveling with golf clubs. Partnered with ski resorts throughout North America and world-wide, Ship Skis takes the hassle out of lugging bags of heavy ski gear around. They eliminate the time wasted waiting at baggage claim and securely deliver your skis and snowboard on-time. The process is simple and easy and comes with the same guarantees of Ship Sticks. Shipment sizes come in a variety of weight ranges making it easy for everyone, from children to adults, to ship their gear. They provide complimentary insurance, allowing you to purchase additional if needed. In the rare event that something does happen to your equipment during travel, Ship Skis offers shipment protection on every shipment. Their on-time guarantee means you’ll be able to spend more time hitting the slopes and less time waiting around for your gear to show up.
Want to take the hassle of checking bags completely out of the equation? Ship Sticks provides the same great service for luggage as well. No more waiting in line at the airport counter or for your bags to show up at the baggage claim. With the ability to ship to multiple destinations in the same trip, they offer the same on-time guarantee, and the option to ship multiple pieces of luggage. Their dedicated customer service team makes sure every shipment goes smoothly. With Ship Sticks, you’ll never have to deal with buying new clothes or sleeping without your favorite pillow again.
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Why We Love Ship Sticks!
There is no denying that Ship Sticks has revolutionized modern travel. Ship Sticks provides a service unlike any other for anyone that travels with heavy bags or equipment. They constantly deliver on their promise of a safe and on-time guarantee. Alleviating the hassle of long lines, expensive fees, and the uncertainty of luggage delivery goes a long way in helping everyone enjoy their time away to the fullest. You can bet that when I travel to Palm Springs in a couple of months for my annual boys’ trip, I’ll be using Ship Sticks. Let’s just hope my golf wins me back all the money that I lost last year.
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Golf is intimidating for any beginning golfer. While the countless swing tips you’re getting from your instructor are tough enough, the verbiage and lingo only add to the confusion. There are literally hundreds of terms that make little or no sense whatsoever. What does a birdie have to do with golf? A slice? Are we talking about a piece of bread? Fortunately, we’ve got your back and have compiled a comprehensive list of golf terms with definitions.
Golf Terms Glossary
We have compiled the ultimate list of golf terms, phrases, sayings, lingo, and terminology in order to help you understand all the little nuances to the game of golf.
The Definitive List
Hitting the ball into the hole on your first shot from the tee.
Making a score of three under par on one hole; for example, either a one on a par four or a two on a par five; also referred to as a double eagle.
Reference to a match that is tied during match play format.
The last long shot onto the green; often your second shot on a par four or third shot on a par five.
The short cut of grass immediately off the edge of the green.
When your ball is farthest from the hole and it is your turn to hit.
The longest set of tees you can play; commonly referred to as the “tips”.
A small, flat object placed directly behind your ball on the green; pocket change or customized plastic spheres are common ball markers.
A grip where all 10 fingers are on the club; there is no interlocking or overlapping of fingers.
A reference to a bunker, sand trap, or waste area; a hazard containing sand.
A best-ball format is a game for foursomes when players are split into two-member teams. The lowest score of each team is counted on each hole. For example, if player A makes five and player B makes four, the score of four is recorded for the team on that hole. This game is often played in a match play format.
A score one below par on any hole; for example, two on a par three, three on a par four, or four on a par five.
A shot with a lot of backspin that stops quickly; players will often tell their ball to “bite” if they think they have hit it too far.
A shot hit off the bottom of the of the club that comes out low and travels too far.
A shot that starts to the right and stays right for the right-handed player, or a shot that starts to the left and stays left for the left-handed player.
A score of one over par on any hole; for example, four on a par three, five on a par four, or six on a par five.
A hazard found close to the fairway or green that is filled with sand.
A shot played in close proximity to the green from either the rough or apron; chip shots are usually played with a lofted club.
Any shot where a player hits the turf before the golf ball; also referred to a heavy shot.
Coming Over the Top
A common ailment of golfers where the swing path moves from the outside to the inside, producing a slice shot.
Also referred to as the hole, a cup is the plastic and metal fitting that is dug into the green where your ball ends up when you finish a hole.
Any hole that curves or bends to the right or the left.
A score of two above par on any hole; for example, five on a par three, six on a par four, or seven on a par five.
A shot where a player aims one direction, expecting the ball to curve back to the target, but it curves the opposite direction; for example, a player aims left but the ball curves left instead of right, and vice versa.
A shot that curves uncontrollably to the right for a right handed golfers, and to the left for a left-handed player.
A reference to a tee shot that is hit long and straight.
A score of eight on any hole.
A term that refers to a wayward shot that can’t be found; also, a term describing one’s set of clubs.
The most common scoring format where all shots, including penalty shots, are used to total a player’s score.
When a player chooses to use a putter from off the green instead of a chipping club.
References the midpoint during an 18-hole round; usually occurring at or near the clubhouse where players can grab food and refreshments.
A shot that comes off low and is not struck solidly.
Up and Down
When a player has one chip or pitch and one putt; the chip or pitch is up, and the putt is down.
A shot that rolls along the ground for some distance but never gets airborne.
If you’re serious about golf, having a reference to basic terminology will go a long way. While you shouldn’t stress about learning each and every term, having an elementary understanding will make your experience more enjoyable all the way through, from checking in to the completion of your round. There are sure to be times when you get frustrated or intimidated, but always remember that golf is a game meant to be fun and most people are happy to help.
Check out our definitive guide of 93 of the most popular golf terms that every golfer should know when playing the game of golf.
While golf is a game you play for leisure, chances are you relish a little competition with your buddies as well. Not only does having a friendly match against friends give you a chance for bragging rights, it makes you better. You’re not likely to be playing for millions of dollars on Sunday afternoon, but you can still spice up your game with a friendly wager. That’s why we’ve compiled our comprehensive list of golf games ranging from the friendliest and most basic to some that are more complex and could leave your wallet a little lighter or heavier depending on the outcome.
When considering a game with your buddies, it’s important to account for everyone’s handicap to keep the playing field fair. For example, if your handicap is 12 and your partner’s is 15, your partner should be spotted one stroke on the three hardest holes (holes with handicaps of one, two and three). Handicaps for each hole can be found on your scorecard. This form of a game is called a “net” scoring, whereas a match where no strokes are given is called “gross” scoring.
The Top 24 Most Popular Golf Betting Games
Stroke play is the most commonly played game in the United States. In stroke play, players each count all their shots throughout the round and add them up at the end. The winner is the player with the lowest total score.
Match play is a format that tracks how many holes a player has won against his or her partner. The preferred game in the British Isles, a player’s total strokes only matter on a hole-by-hole basis. If player A scores four on a hole and player B scores 6, player A is said to be “one up”. Whichever player wins the greater number of holes in a match is the winner.
Stableford scoring is another alternative to stroke play in which points are used to tally a player’s score. Though there are variations, one point is awarded for a bogey, two points for a par, three for a birdie, four for an eagle, and five for a double-eagle. The winner is the player with the highest point total at the end of the match.
A best-ball format is a game for foursomes when players are split into two-member teams. The lowest score of each team is counted on each hole. For example, if player A makes five and player B makes four, the score of four is recorded for the team on that hole. This game is often played in a match play format.
Alternate shot is one of the most difficult formats around. Two-person teams simply alternate shots until the ball is holed. If player A tees off, player B hits the second shot. In the traditional format, one player tees off on even holes and the other on odd holes. Alternate shot match play is a great format for foursomes when all players are of similar ability.
The Chapman format is similar to alternate shot but with a slight twist. Each player on a two-person team tees off. Player A then hits players B’s second shot and vice versa. After the best second shot is chosen, alternate shot is played until the ball is holed.
Nassau is a popular game played head-to-head or with two-player teams pitted against each other. Most often played using match play, the score on the front nine is worth one bet, the back nine score one bet, and the 18-hole total another bet.
Skins is a great game for two or more players. A player is said to have won a “skin” when he records a score lower than anyone else in the group on a particular hole. If the low score is tied, the skin is carried over to the next hole making it worth two skins and so on. The player with the most “skins” at the end of the round wins.
Bisque can be played with just two players or among multiple groups. A variation on “net” scoring where players get additional shots relative to par on the most difficult holes, bisque allows players to instead choose the holes they want strokes on prior to the round. Stroke play scoring is used and the lowest 18-hole score wins.
Ones is popular among groups that play on weekly basis. O.N.E.’s is a net game where a player’s total score is determined by adding scores together only on holes that end in O, N, or E (holes 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18).
This game is great for players with higher handicaps or those who are prone to the occasional blowup hole. Players’ scores are simply their nine low scores on the card. Best nine is fun to play among multiple groups.
A game meant for foursomes, triple six sees each player pairing with another in six-hole matches. Player A and player B play against player C and player D for the first six holes, players A and C pair against players B and D for the next six holes and players A and D pair against players B and C for the final six holes. The most popular scoring system for this format is best-ball.
Gruesomes is a great game that sure to incite good-natured ribbing among friends. Perfect for foursomes made of two two-member teams, each player on a team hits a tee shot and the other team picks the worst tee shot from where alternate-shot is played until the ball is holed. Match play is the best scoring format for this game.
A great game for threesomes where points are allocated on each hole for lowest to highest scores. The player with the lowest score earns five points, second lowest score three points, and the highest score gets one point. If two players tie for the low score, they each receive four points, and the highest score one point. If two players tie for the high score, they each get two points and the lowest score is awarded five points. The player with the most points at the completion of the round wins.
High-low is a game for foursomes made of two-player teams. On each individual hole, the high scores and the low scores on each team each compete against each other for a point. For example, if players A and B score six and five and players C and D score four and three, players C and D earn a point for the lowest high score and the lowest low score for a total of two points.
Bingo, Bango, Bongo
This is a fun format for twosomes, threesomes, or foursomes of mixed abilities. Scores don’t count. Instead, a point is awarded to the first player to reach the green, the player closest to the hole, and the first player to hole out.
Golfers are notorious for getting creative with different formats and adding extra bets to their games to spice things up. Also referred to collectively as “junk”, side bets are numerous and can be a fun way to keep everyone in your group interested throughout the entire round. If the game you’re playing with your buddies simply isn’t enough action, consider adding one or more of the following side bets.
Also referred to as “KP’s”, greenies are awarded to the player that hits their tee shot closest to the hole on a par 3. How much money each greenie is worth should be determined prior to the round.
Just like it sounds, long drives are awarded to players with the longest drive on a particular hole. In order for a long drive to count, it must end up in the fairway.
A player is awarded a “sandy” anytime he gets up-and-down from a bunker in two shots.
If your group is playing a betting game that awards points or units for the low score on a hole, making birdies worth double the normal amount creates some volatility and adds pressure.
If you’re playing a Nassau or Triple Six where there are multiple matches within a round, then adding presses allows players to either a chance to bet “double or nothing.” For example, if you are two down after four holes on the front nine of a match playing Nassau bet, then you may choose to “press” the front nine. When you press, the original bet still stands, but an additional match is started. If you lose the original bet, but win the press, then you break even on the front nine.
When playing games where points or units are used for scoring, players that are losing may want to increase the amount each point or unit is worth in an effort to win their money back. “Coughing” needs to be agreed upon by everyone in the game and should not get to the point where people are uncomfortable with the amount of money exchanging hands.
I speak from experience when I say that betting on the golf course is wildly fun, but can get out of hand. What starts out as a friendly game amongst friends can quickly turn sour if the amount of money exchanging hands becomes uncomfortable. In order to keep friendships intact and prevent somebody’s day from being ruined, there are few things to keep in mind.
Before the round starts, make sure that everyone in the group understands the game and is comfortable with the amount of money at stake. It’s also important that everyone agrees on how many strokes each player is getting to avoid any accusations of sandbagging. Setting a limit on the amount of money a player can lose might also help keep the mood light. If you ever find yourself not understanding the game or uncomfortable with the amount of money you might lose, then it’s always best to decline and opt for simply enjoying your day on the course.
Golf is the most difficult game in the world and more often than not we lose against Old Man Par. Instead of trying to grind out your lowest score every time out, try playing some different formats that keep things fresh and provide a little competition. Whether you’re just playing for a beer in the 19th hole or a few dollars, responsibly adding a friendly wager to your round is not only fun, but is sure to make you a better player.
There’s a lot of talk these days about golf club length, and how to measure it. With the recent rise of Bryson DeChambeau, who has elected to play irons that are all the same length, the conversation has been reignited with two schools of thought: graduated shafts and single-length shafts. The latter’s case has yet to be universally proven, especially for the amateur golfer. In this guide, we explain the importance of being measured for your golf clubs and why you should consider doing this the next time you purchase a new one.
What is Golf Club Length?
It may sound fairly obvious, but the length of a golf club refers to the distance from the heel of the club, when it rests on the ground at address, to the end of the grip.
There are golf club lengths for each club that are known as standard. The standard length of a golf club is typically the starting point for everyone when they buy a set of clubs. If you go to your local golf store, you’ll typically find clubs that are all standard length. One thing to keep in mind is that there is a different standard length for men’s and women’s clubs. The length of a set of clubs is communicated simply by the amount over (+) or under (-) the standard length.
The problem with standard length clubs is that not every golfer is the same size and not every golf swing is the same. Those differences in size and swing can dramatically impact the effectiveness of a golf club. For example, an average sized person with a fairly normal golf swing may be able to hit standard clubs really well because they happen to be fit perfectly. On the other hand, a tall, or short, player with a flat, or upright, swing will change how a club contacts the ball and, therefore, makes it less effective. So, in this article we’re going to look in to determining the right length for your golf clubs based on the graduated shaft approach.
What is the Graduated Shaft Approach?
The graduated shaft approach basically means that a set of clubs gets slightly longer as the club’s desired distance increases. In these sets of clubs, a pitching wedge is shorter than a 9-iron, an 8-iron is shorter than a 7-iron, and so on. This is, by far, the most popular approach to golf club length. There are several factors we’ll dig in to, but first we need to clearly define what we mean when we’re talking about golf club length.
Importance of Club Length
The length of a golf club may seem to be a fairly simple characteristic, but it is actually quite important. A club’s length will affect how flat or upright a player needs to swing. The shorter a golf club, the more upright the same player will need to swing in order to hit the ball well. Club length also affects club head speed. Club head speed influences a shot’s distance too, so a longer shaft will help a player hit the ball farther. That’s why you often see long drive competitors swinging drivers that are as long as possible. Next, club length also affects accuracy. In general, a shorter club will be easier to control and, thus, will be more accurate. Finally, a longer club is also more flexible than a shorter club that has the same shaft. So, when you cut down or extend a club’s length, it will either make the club slightly stiffer or slightly more flexible. Finally, and most importantly, a club’s length will also have an impact on a player’s consistency of impact. Having the right length of club will make it significantly easier to hit a shot solidly.
How to Measure Golf Club Length
Like we said, there are several factors that need to be considered when selecting club length. The first, and perhaps most obvious, is your height. In general, the taller a player is, the longer the clubs they ought to have (though this isn’t always true, based on the next factor discussed below). This is because a taller player has farther to reach down to the ball. A longer club for a taller player allows that player to reach the golf ball at the same point in the swing as a shorter player with a standard golf club length club.
Wrist to Floor Distance
The next factor that needs to be considered is the distance from your wrist to the ground. This is measured by standing straight up and letting your arms hang down freely by your sides. This number typically correlates generally to your height; the taller a person is, the farther their wrist is from the ground. With these two numbers, you can figure out how long your clubs ought to be. Check out the chart in the section below to see what length of clubs works best for your size and swing.
Golf Club Length Chart
Wrist to Ground Distance
Recommended Club Length
So far, we’ve been talking about the length of irons, drivers, and hybrids—the clubs you most often swing fully. Every golfer has another type of club in their bag though: the putter. For putters, there isn’t a standard length. When you buy a putter, typically, the golf store will let you know its length. Most normal putters are between 32 and 37 inches long; though in recent years, putter lengths have been tinkered with quite a bit.
If you’ve watched much professional golf, you’ve probably seen golfers who have long and mid-length putter shafts. Bernhard Langer and Adam Scott are two players who have often used long putters and Matt Kuchar and Bryson DeChambeau often use a mid-length putter. These are putters that either reach up to a player’s upper-body (long) or abdomen (mid-length). Because of this movement, putter length depends a lot on your putting style, comfort, and height.
If your putting stroke is fairly standard, your putter length will probably be between 32 inches and 37 inches. The taller you are, the longer your putter will probably be, but that can change based on how much you hunch over the golf ball when you putt. First, set up to a golf ball like you’re going to putt. Then, hang your arms straight down. The ideal putter length is one that allows you to hang your arms freely at your address position, and hold the grip of your club. You also want to make sure the putter length allows your eyes to rest directly over the ball, or slightly inside the ball. These factors will help you select the right length of putter.
All those things being said, make sure that, whatever length you choose, it is comfortable to you. One of the most important things about putters is a player’s comfort level. The putting stroke is a feel shot more than any other, so if you don’t feel right standing over the ball, then you’re less likely to be successful with the shot.
Changing Shaft Length
The nice thing about golf club length is that it can be changed fairly easily; there’s no need to buy new clubs to get ones that are the right length. Instead, there are two approaches to changing your golf clubs’ length, if needed. The first, is simply to buy brand new shafts in the right length for each of your clubs. Then, you would have to remove the old shaft and install the new one. However, the approach I would recommend, and the less expensive approach, would be to cut down or extend your current shafts.
To do this, simply remove your grips and the tape underneath. Then, you’ll have an exposed shaft on the end of your club. To cut down the shaft to a shorter length, measure the amount you want to cut off and use a shaft cutter to take that amount off the end of your club. If you want to extend your club, you’ll need to buy a shaft extension that you’ll put in the end of the club to make the shaft longer. Make sure you get an extension that is the same material (steel or graphite) as your current shaft. Once you’re done with those steps, just put the grip back on like normal.
The length of your golf clubs is one of the most important factors to consider with your golf clubs. It can dramatically influence the playability of your clubs and, therefore, your overall skill. So, make sure that your clubs are the proper length for your game. If you do that, you should find that you can execute your desired shots more often, play more consistently, and enjoy the game even more.
Golf is a wonderful game, one that combines skill, camaraderie and decorum, all while enjoying the warmth and deep green beauty of the great outdoors. However, if you are a novice golfer, perhaps someone who is just now learning about the game and how to play golf, you may have some questions regarding certain aspects of the sport? If this accurately describes you, or you need a refresher, then the following article may prove very enlightening and useful to you. Here we will highlight and define almost everything you need to know about this great game, including the general rules of golf; the proper etiquette to follow while playing; the equipment you will need while out on the course, and the general purpose behind each piece of gear. We will also talk about golf scoring; the difference between match play and stroke play; and provide some helpful information about golf handicap—what it is and how to calculate it.
The Rules of Golf
How to Keep Score in Golf
If you have ever watched golf on television, you have no doubt heard the announcers use terms like birdie, bogey, par and eagle (even “albatross” if you are lucky). And while these terms may lead you to believe that golf has its own secret language, along with a scoring system that is intricate and complex, nothing could be further from the truth. Why do we say that? Because golf, as well as being a great game, is also an incredibly simple one, particularly when it comes to scoring.
Unlike most other major sports, where the highest score wins, in golf the aim is to achieve the lowest score possible. The object of golf is to get the ball from that initial teed-up position into the hole in the fewest number of strokes (hits) possible. From the moment you tee your ball up on the first hole, each time you hit the ball counts as a stroke. Then, when you roll your ball into the cup on that first hole, tally up all the strokes you used to achieve that goal—that is your score for hole number one. From there, you will simply repeat that process for the remaining 17 holes, writing down the number of strokes you used on each hole into the corresponding spot on your scorecard. For instance, if it took you 5 strokes to get the ball into the cup on the first hole, and 7 strokes to achieve that goal on the second hole, your score after two holes would be 12. At the end of the round, you merely add up the strokes you recorded for each of the 18 holes—that is your final score. Simple, right?
Scoring Relative to Par
Golf scores, either on a particular hole or the overall round, are often expressed relative to par or in relation to par. Par is the number of swings or strokes that an expert golfer is expected to require on a given hole or on the course as a whole.
If the “par” on hole number one is 5, and you score a 6, your score is now 1-over par. If your total number of strokes on the next hole is 3, and the “par” for that hole is listed as par-4, you are now at “even par.”
Like the individual holes, golf courses also have a “par.” For instance, if a golf course is listed as a Par-72, an expert golfer is expected to play the entire course in 72 strokes. If you play on a Par-72 golf course, and your cumulative number of strokes is 96, your score would be expressed as 24-over par, or +24.
Golf Lingo and Scoring
Going back to that secret language we talked about at the onset of this section, the game of golf has certain nicknames for a score that one achieves on a particular hole. Shooting 1-over par on a hole is called a bogey (two over is a double bogey, etc.), while shooting 1-under par is called a birdie. An eagle is a score of 2-under par, and the rare albatross is achieved when a golfer scores 3-under par on a hole. These names will become second nature the more you play.
How Many Clubs Are (Should Be) in a Golf Bag
Understanding the number of clubs you are permitted to carry in your bag is crucial, as having too many clubs in your bag could result in penalties during tournament play. The governing body of golf, the United States Golf Association (USGA), states that a player is allowed to carry no more than 14 clubs in the bag. Therefore, if you purchase a standard set of 12 golf clubs, with three woods (driver, 3-wood, and 5-wood), eight irons (3-9 iron and pitching wedge) and a putter, you are allowed to add 2 more clubs to the bag—no more.
The “tee areas” on a golf course, commonly known as the tee boxes, are where each player starts the various holes. The area is named after the golf aides of the same name (tee), which are used to elevate the ball slightly off the ground before striking it.
The boundaries on each tee box are delineated by tee markers, one to the left and one to the right. Golfers must tee-up their ball between and (at least slightly) behind these markers.
On most golf courses, there are usually several sets of tee markers, with each set painted a different color. Municipal courses, for example, typically have three sets of tee markers, colored blue, white and red. Here is what those colors indicate:
Blue Tee Markers. Typically used in men’s tournaments and by male golfers with low handicaps, the blue tee markers are the furthest markers from the hole (on most municipal courses).
White Tee Markers. The white tee markers denote where most mid to high-handicap male golfers will start the hole.
Red Tee Markers. Red tee markers are where most women golfers will start from.
In country clubs and championship golf courses, there are also other colors that may be used in the tee boxes, such as black or gold (used for championship play by expert professional and amateur golfers), green (where junior players start from), and gold or yellow (for senior golfers).
Lost Golf Ball or Out of Bounds
Covered under rule 27-1 of the USGA rule book are the penalties that will be enforced should your ball be hit out of bounds or if you lose your ball and cannot find it within five minutes of the time you first hit it. Under part B and C of that rule, the rule book states the following for each situation:
Ball out of bounds. “If a ball is out of bounds, the player must play a ball, under penalty of one stroke, as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played.” In other words, you are penalized one stroke and you must hit the ball again—from the same place in which you initially started.
Ball Lost and Not Found within Five Minutes. The same holds true for this rule, as the rule book clearly says: “If a ball is lost as a result of not being found or identified as his by the player within five minutes after the player’s side or his or their caddies have begun to search for it, the player must play a ball, under penalty of one stroke, as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played.”
Touching the Ball
If the ball is on the putting green, you are allowed to pick up that golf ball after placing a marker directly behind it. However, from a general standpoint, this is the only instance in which touching the ball on the golf course is permitted.
As the old saying in golf goes, “you must play it where it lies,” and touching your golf ball while out on the course is simply not allowed (in most instances). For example, you cannot pick up your ball to clean it while it is on the fairway, and you cannot improve your lie by moving it even a little bit in any direction.
There are a few exceptions to this rule that you will learn as you go along, but the rule of thumb is this: except when your ball is on the putting green, you must not touch it or you will incur a one stroke penalty for that infraction.
Golf is a game of manners; a gentleman’s game—or at least it is supposed to be. Thus, when you hear the term golf etiquette it is referring to a certain way you are supposed to act when out on the course, even though these actions are not specifically required under the USGA rule book. Below we have covered just a few of the general rules of golf etiquette that have been followed for centuries.
Avoid Slow Play
Golf is a popular sport, with lots of players typically sharing the same course. Golf course employees usually try to space golfers out by giving them “tee-times”—a time at which the golfers in a particular group (usually a foursome) will tee off on the first hole. These tee-times are spaced out by roughly 10 minutes, but if you take too long on any one hole—such as looking for a lost ball for more than 5 minutes—you are not only delaying your own foursome, but the group behind you as well (and so on). Hence, try to keep it moving when out on the golf course so that everyone can enjoy the course equally.
Maintaining the Course
Taking care of the golf course as you play is just common courtesy. Doing so will ensure that the players behind you can enjoy the same great conditions you were afforded while playing that hole. To maintain the course as you play, you should do all of the following:
Replace your divots on the fairway. When striking a ball from the fairway, you will undoubtedly take a chunk of sod with you. This should be replaced as best you can before moving on.
Fix your divots on the green. When your ball lands on the green, it may leave an impression in the short-cut grass. Fortunately, there are very affordable tools you can purchase in any Pro Shop that will allow you to quickly fix these small divots and keep the green rolling smoothly.
Rake the Sand Trap. If you are hitting a ball from a sand trap, make sure that you then rake that sand trap before moving on to your next shot.
Keep Carts on the Cart Path. Fairways are not intended to withstand the weight of heavy golf carts—carts that can leave divots and cause the grass to be ripped out. Instead of driving to your next shot on the fairway, park the golf cart on the cement cart path as near as you can to your ball and then walk to it.
Yelling “Fore” is golf’s version of saying “heads up.” If you strike a ball on the course, and you fear that ball may hit or come close to another golfer, you should ALWAYS yell “Fore” while the ball is in the air, giving golfers up ahead of you the chance to take cover. Chances are your ball will not hit another golfer (although it has happened), but if your ball comes close to another golfer, and you fail to yell “Fore,” you are bound to stir up some much-deserved anger in the golfers ahead of you.
There are a few golf etiquette rules to follow when putting on the green with other golfers. Here is a quick breakdown of those rules:
Farthest away hits first. The player who is furthest away from the hole when on the green is the first to putt. Should the ball not go in, that golfer should (usually) then mark his ball and wait for his next turn.
Avoid other golfer’s lines. You should NEVER step in another player’s “line.” The line is defined as the path between that golfer’s ball and the hole. Shoe or spike imprints on that line could potentially alter the path of that golfer’s putt, causing him to miss.
Quiet. This applies throughout the course, but especially on the green. When another player is putting, you should refrain from talking or making any other noises that could distract the golfer.
Hats Off, Shake Hands. On the final green of the course, and after each player has completed their final putt, all players should remove their hats/caps before shaking hands.
If you are going to play golf, you are going to need a few key pieces of equipment at minimum, including golf clubs; a golf bag (of some type) in which to carry those clubs; golf shoes; and, of course, golf balls. Let’s take a closer look at each of these items:
There are many different types of golf clubs, each with a specialized purpose or purposes. These clubs, which will help you successfully navigate the golf course, include the driver, fairway woods, irons, wedges, hybrid clubs, and a putter.
Usually the longest club in your bag with the largest club head, the driver can be made from a variety of materials (graphite, fiberglass, wood). Today’s drivers are very sturdy and durable, yet also very lightweight. They are used by golfers typically at the onset of each longer-yardage hole—holes that play to a par-4 or par-5 ranking—to hit the ball off the tee, but they can also be used on the fairway. Drivers have a loft angle that can range from 4 degrees to 20 degrees, although the average driver loft is between 9 and 15 degrees. A qualified salesperson can help determine which loft is most suited to you based on your swing mechanics and the club head speed you generate.
As the name suggests, fairway woods are “driver shaped” clubs that are generally used on the fairway to advance the ball towards the hole. Some golfers may also use these clubs on the tee box if the yardage justifies it. Fairway woods come in many different sizes (3-wood, 5-wood, 7-wood, 9-wood, etc.). As a beginner, we recommend you keep a minimum of two fairway woods in your bag—the 3-wood and 5-wood—in addition to a driver. A 3-wood has a loft angle that ranges from 12-17 degrees; while a 5-wood has a loft of 20-23 degrees in most cases. Generally speaking, golf balls hit with fairway woods travel longer than they do with irons, but have less distance than the driver.
While the irons in a standard golf set may all look the same, each has a different loft angle. As a beginner, we recommend you carry 7 of these irons in your bag—the 3-iron through the 9-iron. Higher numbered irons, like the 3-iron, 4-iron, and 5-iron, will enable you to hit the ball with more distance than you would the lower irons, because the loft angle on these clubs is lower. Here is a look at each of these clubs with the corresponding average loft angle: 3-iron—15 degrees; 4-iron—20 degrees; 5-iron—25 degrees; 6-iron—30 degrees; 7-iron—35 degrees, 8-iron—40 degrees and 9-iron—45 degrees.
There are many different types of wedges, with the two most common types being the pitching wedge and sand wedge. The pitching wedge is a very versatile club, one that can be used for short approach shots, chipping around the green and pitching out of troubled areas to improve your lie. These wedges typically have a loft angle between 45 and 54 degrees. The sand wedge, which can also be used for the same purposes as a pitching wedge, is primarily designed to hit balls out of greenside sand traps. These clubs have an open face design, a loft angle of about 56 degrees, and a wider sole than other clubs, which allows them to cut through the sand more easily. Other types of wedges include the gap wedge—wedges with a loft angle of 50-54 degrees that help fill the “gap” between the pitching wedge and the sand wedge; and the lob wedge—the steepest of the wedges with a loft angle of about 60 degrees or more.
As their name suggests, hybrid clubs are utility clubs that are essentially a cross between a fairway wood and a long iron, sharing similarities with each type of club. Many golfers have gone to hybrid style clubs for their ability to launch the ball into the air like an iron, while also having the ability to cover the long distance of a fairway wood.
Putters are used on the green (and sometimes just off the putting surface) to roll the ball into the hole. Appropriately nicknamed the “flat stick,” a putter has no loft whatsoever. These clubs come in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles. We recommend you try out several of these styles before making a final decision on the putter for your bag.
Golf bags are essential for toting your clubs, golf balls and any other equipment you will need on the course. And as with golf clubs, there are many different types of golf bags from which to choose. Once you decide on the type of golfing you plan to do (walking, riding in a cart, etc.), you can then decide on a bag that best suits your purposes. Here is a quick look at four different types of golf bags:
The “Cadillac” of all golf bags is the staff bag. Staff bags are the types of bags used by professionals on the tour. They usually sport a very prominent logo, are very roomy and spacious, and certainly deluxe. However, staff bags also tend to be very heavy and cumbersome. This is probably why those professionals pay for someone else (caddie) to carry the bag for them.
Cart bags, as you might guess from the title, are bags designed to be carried on a golf riding cart or golf push cart. Usually weighing about 6-7 pounds, they are much lighter than your average staff bag, while still boasting more than enough capacity for your clubs and gear. Cart bags are designed in such a way that they give golfers quick and easy access to all the bag’s pockets and compartments while it is strapped to the back of a cart.
Stand bags are unique in that they have two retractable legs. These legs enable the bag to stand completely on its own, either upright or slightly tilted, in which its two legs extend out further to stabilize the bag while providing easy access to any club. When the bag is lifted, the legs retract and lay snug against the bag for easy carrying. A favorite among golfers who prefer to walk the course, stand bags are very easy on a golfer’s back—golfers who would otherwise have to lay the bag down each time he/she took a shot.
Carry bags are like stand bags without the extra hardware. Nicknamed “Sunday Bags,” these types of bags are designed to be carried on the course. They have the advantage of being the lightest bags in the industry, weighing just 2-3 pounds when empty, and they are also the most affordable golf bags on the market, making them perfect for beginners.
There are two main types of golf shoes available for wear on the course: spiked golf shoes and spikeless golf shoes.
Spiked Golf Shoes
Spiked Golf Shoes are those that feature actual cleats on the outsole (bottom) of the shoe. Once made of metal, today these cleats are mostly made of soft plastic to avoid damage to greens and fairways. Spiked golf shoes usually offer a bit more lateral stability overall than do the spikeless styles of shoes, especially on hilly courses and in wet conditions.
Spikeless Golf Shoes
Spikeless Golf Shoes are those that feature a flat outsole (bottom) with rubber studs or dimples in place of spikes. Causing no marks or holes in the green, spikeless golf shoes are usually a bit more comfortable than their spiked counterparts, but you may sacrifice some stability in the conditions mentioned above.
Golf balls are not all the same—at least not anymore. To help you become more familiar with these little marvels, below we will talk a little about a golf ball’s construction, compression and spin.
Golf balls can be constructed with just a single piece of material or many layers of materials that overlap to offer added distance, spin and control for golfers.
One-piece golf balls are typically made from a solid piece of Surlyn with dimples molded into the ball. Today, these inexpensive balls are generally used by beginners and at driving ranges only.
Two-piece golf balls are the hardest balls on the market and thus cover the most distance. In these balls, the solid inner core is made of high-energy acrylate or resin and is covered by a tough, split-proof outer covering.
Three-piece balls have either a rubber or liquid core, followed by a layer of enhanced rubber and finally a molded cover of durable Surlyn or Urethane. Softer than the two-piece ball, these balls offer more spin and control.
Four-piece and five-piece golf balls have several layers, each with a different purpose (distance, spin, control, etc.). These are the most expensive golf balls on the market
When you hear the word compression with regard to golf balls they are talking about the deflection a ball experiences when it is struck by the golf club. Compression is measured using numbers between 0 and 200, with 0 being a ball that compresses 5 mm or 1/5 of an inch; and 200 being a ball that does not compress at all. When shopping for golf balls, just remember that lower compression balls tend to be softer and compress more to create more distance. Higher compression balls offer more control and are used by more experienced players who can produce faster swing speeds to compress the ball.
In addition to their compression, golf balls are also rated for their spin. Low-spin golf balls enable the ball to fly straight, and while they may lack some distance through the air, you can expect more roll after they land on the fairway.
Mid-spin golf balls try to incorporate elements of both low-spin and high-spin technology to offer a mix of distance and control; while high-spin golf balls tend to travel farther in the air but may lack roll upon landing. High-spin golf balls also offer experienced golfers much more control around the green.
One of the very attractive aspects of the game of golf—one not seen in other major sports—is its ability to create even and fair matches between golfers of different ability levels. This is made possible through the process or system known as “golf handicap.” Officially termed the Handicap Index by the United States Golf Association, golf handicap is a system that can level the playing field for golfers of different skill levels, thus eliminating the one-sided “blowouts” that often occur in other sports.
What Is Golf Handicap
Generally speaking, a golf handicap is a number, based on earlier rounds of golf played, that indicates how many shots over par a golfer is expected to shoot. For instance, if a golfer is playing a par-72 golf course, and has a handicap of 20, he/she is expected to take roughly 20 more strokes (92) than the indicated par.
In a competition, if that same player (with a 20-handicap) actually shoots a 91 (19 strokes over par) on that par-72 golf course, he would then subtract 20 strokes (the handicap) from that score, giving him an adjusted score of 71—or 1-under par for the round.
To understand how the handicap system levels the playing field, let’s assume that our 20-handicap golfer was playing against a player with a 7-handicap. While our 20-handicap golfer was shooting a 91 for an adjusted score of 71 after adding in the handicap; our 7-handicap golfer actually takes 79 strokes to complete the course, giving him an adjusted score of 72—or even par. As you can see, even though our 7-handicap golfer took far fewer strokes to complete the golf course, he still lost by a stroke to the other golfer when both scores were adjusted for handicap.
How to Calculate Golf Handicap
As a beginner, the best way to calculate your golf handicap is to join the USGA and get an official USGA Handicap Index. In doing so, you will not have to worry about calculating your golf index, as this (fairly difficult) calculation will be done for you by other people (or most likely, by a computer) .
To get started in establishing your golf handicap index, you will need to play at least 5 and up to 20 rounds of golf, and save the scorecards for each round indicating the actual number of strokes you took in each of those rounds.
At most golf courses, there is a computer located in or around the pro shop where you can enter the score you achieved at that course and follow the prompts given to you by the computer. Continue to follow these steps at each course at which you play and soon you will have established a recognized golf handicap—one you can use as a benchmark for continued improvement.
Golf Formats: Stroke Play vs. Match Play
As you become more experienced in the game of golf, you may have occasion to play in tournaments and competitions. These events are usually based around one of two types of golf formats: stroke play and match play. Below we will describe each of these formats in more detail.
A stroke play tournament or competition is the format with which most golf fans and new golfers are most familiar. If you remember the section “How to Score Golf,” you already understand the concept of stroke play.
The most basic form of golf, stroke play is the format in which the golfer with the lowest score after the competition wins the prize. In stroke play, each golfer keeps a record of how many strokes he/she took on each hole. When all 18 holes have been played by all the golfers on the course, each participant adds up the total strokes they took during that round and compares that number against that achieved by the other golfers in the competition. The golfer with the lowest cumulative score is the 1st place winner, the golfer with the second-lowest number of strokes places 2nd, and so on.
In some tournaments, such as those played by golfers on professional tours, multiple rounds will be played. However, this does not change the scoring format. The golfer with the lowest score after the 2, 3 or four rounds of golf is declared the winner.
Should two golfers tie for first place in a tournament, there is typically some type of playoff format to determine the ultimate winner. In some of these playoffs, golfers will merely play individual holes until one golfer scores lower on that hole than the other golfer. For instance, golfers may first play the 18th hole—if one golfer shoots 1-under par (birdie) and the other shoots even par, the golfer who shot the birdie is deemed the champion. If they tie on that hole, they would play another hole (and so on) until one golfer is victorious.
Another type of playoff, although rarely used, involves the playing of an entire round of golf (18 holes), with the golfer shooting the lowest score declared the winner.
Much as the name implies, match play golf “matches” two opponents against each other. In these types of tournaments, golfers are matched up against one another in a tournament bracket format, and they must face off round by round against each other until there is only one champion remaining. Whereas most major tournaments on professional tours utilize stroke play, which are won by shooting lower scores than the rest of the field, the individual rounds in match play are won by shooting lower than your particular opponent.
The rules for match play golf are fairly simple: Get a better score than your opponent on a particular hole, and you win a point for that hole. If you both have the same score on a hole, no points are awarded to either golfer. At the end of the round, the golfer with the most points wins and advances in the tournament. One of the main advantages of a match play tournament is it can move along faster than stroke play due to the flexibility in the rules.
One of these flexible rules is the notion of conceding. If your opponent is closer than you are and is within feet of the hole—a distance at which he will almost certainly sink the putt—you can concede him the shot without it having to be taken. In the same way, your opponent can concede the hole and the point to you if he or she feels the hole cannot be won. If at any time one golfer is ahead by more points than there are holes remaining, the match is over. For instance, if one golfer is 7 points ahead of his opponent, and there are only six holes left to play, there is no reason to continue any further.
Match play is unique in that it forces players to compete to win individual holes, as the golfer with the most holes won is the winner of the match. This means your strategy can be more aggressive for each hole. For example, instead of using a stroke to get your ball into a more favorable position for the next shot, golfers often take more risks in order to defeat their opponent and win the hole.
As you can see there is many details to the game of golf. However, we tried to condense it down into one simple guide, so you can spend less time reading and more time playing. Now that you have the foundation, it’s time for you to go out on the course and enjoy this beautiful game.
Are your once-pristine golf clubs beginning to feel a little worn and shabby? Is the rubber or grips around the clubs beginning to feel loose, tatty, unstable or uncomfortably slick? If so and if this wear and tear is beginning to become a problem when holding or swinging the various clubs in your bag—it may be time to re-grip your clubs, a process that can make even the oldest clubs feel and respond like new.
Fortunately, the process of re-gripping your golf clubs is not a very difficult one, and it is easy to do right from the comfort of your own home. Instead of shelling out the big bucks to send your clubs out for re-gripping, which predictably can take a lot of time, money and keep you from your clubs for longer than you desire, you can systematically handle this task yourself with just a few materials and a bit of time and patience.
In the following article we have laid out a helpful strategy that will enable you to re-grip your golf clubs from home—a step-by-step strategy that is very easy to follow. Keep in mind, though, that this process does involve the use of some sharp objects and potentially toxic chemicals (when handled irresponsibly), so it is ultra-important that you observe all the best safety practices when performing this task (such as wearing gloves), as these safety precautions will drastically reduce the chance of injury and accidents.
Step 1: Gathering the Materials/Supplies
Before you undertake the gratifying chore of re-gripping your golf clubs you will first need to assemble and lay out all of the materials and supplies you will need to successfully complete the job. Having all of the required materials and tools nearby and at the ready will ensure you can work straight through, without any unnecessary interruptions or stoppages. This will, in turn, lead to a more complete and professional end product of which you can be proud.
In addition to gathering the tools and supplies you will need, make sure you select an appropriate work location in which the total space is ample and abundant, giving you more than enough room to work comfortably and sufficient space to lay the clubs down after they have been successfully re-gripped.
Here are the materials, tools and supplies you need:
New Grips. Of course, you will need to purchase the new grips you plan to put on your golf clubs. New grips can be purchased at most golf supply stores; some pro shops; and are widely available online and at golf repair shops. Currently, I am using the new Golf Pride CP2 Grips and I love them. They are the most comfortable grips I have ever used, and I have better control of my clubs than ever before. Check them out, you will not be disappointed.
Bench Vise. A bench vise will help you properly secure the club as you remove the old grip and install the new one.
Shaft Holder. A rubber shaft holder will help protect the shaft of the club when it is clamped in the bench vise.
Double-Sided Tape. Two-sided tape is always necessary when installing new grips.
Scissors.Scissors may be needed to cut and remove the old grips.
Scraper. You will need either a dedicated golf club scraper or another type of dull scraping tool to safely remove the old tape and solvent residue.
Utility Knife. The utility knife you select for this job should have a hooked blade, as a sharp pointed blade can cause damage to graphite and fiberglass shafts.
Solvent. For best results, we recommend you purchase some type of specialized grip solvent for adhering the new grips to the golf club shaft.
Catch Basin. A bowl or some other type of collection container is needed to catch any run-off solvent.
Rag. An old rag or piece of cloth is a must when re-gripping your golf clubs.
Although this list may look extensive, many of these items can be purchased at the corner drug store (if you don’t have them already). The remainder of the items can be found at golf supply and golf club repair outlets, or even online at a discounted rate.
Step 2: Removing the Old Grips
When removing the old grips, you will need to hold the golf club underneath your arm with the grip end out in front. You can also use the bench vise to hold the golf club as you work. Cutting away from your body, use the hooked utility knife to slice through the grip lengthwise, making sure it is completely cut from top to bottom. Once you do this, it should be very easy to merely peel off the old grips by hand. If this doesn’t work, use the scissors to cut away the old grips.
When using the utility knife, always cut away from the body to avoid injury, and make certain that nobody is standing in front or to the side of you as you work.
Step 3: Removing the Old Grip Tape and Tape Residue
Although in some cases the double-sided tape used to secure the old grips will easily peel off in long strips, this is not always case. On some clubs, you may need to use the scraper to completely remove any leftover tape.
Once all of the old tape has been successfully removed from the grip area of the club, you will see that the shaft is coated with a sticky and often rough residue. This is from the old tape and solvent that was on the club and any adhesive that was used to apply the old grips. This will need to come off. To accomplish this, squeeze a generous amount of the solvent onto your old towel and rag and scrub the shaft clean as the solvent loosens the adhesive. When all of the residue has been removed, dry the club thoroughly before moving on to the next step. The grip area of the club should now look and feel just like the rest of the shaft.
Step 4: Applying New Grip Tape
Place the club into the rubber shaft holder and then secure the club with the bench vice clamped over that protected area. When finished doing this, the club face should be perpendicular to the ground with plenty of room to work on the grip. You do not have to—and shouldn’t—over-tighten the club, as this can damage the shaft. Just make sure it is secure and immobilized.
Using the double-sided tape, cover the entire grip area of the shaft, leaving about a half-inch of the tape hanging over the butt end of the club. To accomplish this, you can apply the tape around the club in a parallel path, or use a candy cane-type striping. Just make sure there are no areas of the grip that are left untapped.
Now that the club has been wrapped, remove the backing off of the double-sided tape, and fold the overhanging portion neatly inside the end of the shaft.
Step 5: Applying Solvent over the Grip Tape
Prior to applying the solvent over the grip tape, place the bowl or catch basin directly under the work area to catch any runoff solvent.
Using a golf tee, push firmly into the vent hole of your new grip and carefully pour the solvent into the exposed end. Once you have completed this step, you will also want to cover the grip tape entirely with solvent from the new grip—this will help you to easily slide the grip over the tape. Once you finish that step, remove the tee from the vent hole and quickly move onto the next step (before the solvent has a chance to dry).
Step 6: Sliding on the New Grip
Once you have poured the solvent over the new grip tape, align the new grip at the top of the shaft with the logo facing upwards.
Once the grip has been properly aligned, gently squeeze the open end of the new grip and slide it onto the shaft in the proper position. You will need to push the grip all the way down until you feel the butt end of the shaft pressing against the grip cap.
Step 7: Checking Your Work
After you complete each club you intend to re-grip, you will want to check your work before moving on to the next club—and before the solvent has a chance to dry. To check for the proper alignment, remove the club from the bench vise and hold it in its proper position—the same way you will hold it while playing. Look down the shaft to make sure the logo is properly aligned.
Step 8: Repeat Steps 2-7 for Each of Your Clubs
As you can see, re-gripping your clubs can be a very laborious and time-consuming process, but it is also an affordable and satisfying way to bring back the luster and proper feel of your clubs, making them look and feel like new.
A clean golf club is a happy club. According to the world’s top golf instructors, a club face that is clean—free of dirt, grass and other debris—will be much more effective than one that is filthy. Conversely, if the grooves of your club are packed with mud, sand and other particles, your ability to hit a well-controlled shot will be severely compromised. In the following article, we will explore this topic a bit further, first by explaining the importance of having clean golf clubs, followed by a step-by-step tutorial for scrubbing and polishing all of the clubs in your bag.
Why Should You Clean Your Golf Clubs?
How long has it been since you have cleaned your golf clubs? Really cleaned them? Not just the cursory “wipe-off” with your golf towel after leaving a huge divot in the turf or hitting that “fried egg” sand shot, but really took the time to clean those clubs well. If it’s been a while, chances are your golf game is suffering the effects of those filthy clubs.
A quality set of golf clubs is a big investment, not just monetarily, but also a big investment in your recreation—in that all-important chance to escape the house for a while, if only for a few hours. Given this investment, it is absolutely crucial that you take the time every so often to care for your golf clubs properly. In addition to their personal importance, clean clubs are also extremely imperative in terms of your golf game. Sadly, many golfers do not make the correlation between clean golf clubs and sharper-hit shots, but the truth is this: grass, dirt and other debris that can get caught between the grooves of your club face, actually negate the very purpose of those grooves, and ultimately lead to mishit or out-of-control shots and higher scores.
The manufacturers of those expensive golf clubs in your bag literally spend millions of dollars each year to introduce new and improved technologies—methods that are all aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of each club they sell. Collectively, these new technologies are designed to help you swing the club more freely, put a better strike on the ball and deliver increased distance with every club you swing. Those grooves on your golf clubs, especially your irons, are not there for aesthetic purposes. They are intentionally designed and added to those golf clubs after many years of high-tech research to help you play your best possible golf.
Some golfers spend thousands of dollars each year attempting to improve their game. They invest in the most modern state-of-the-art equipment, take lessons, and spend hours on the driving range just to drop their handicap by a few strokes. This is all well and good, but when they fail to take care of those expensive clubs, they are actually (and quite ironically) adding strokes to their game by allowing dirt, mud and grass to clog the very grooves that will allow them to hit cleaner and crisper shots. Cleaning your golf clubs regularly, preferably before or after every round you play, can mean the difference between sticking the green and a game of “hide-and-seek” in the trees as you hunt for the object of your last wayward swing. Many golf experts suggest that filthy clubs—those whose grooves are nullified by months of dry, crusty earth—can easily add 4 to 5 strokes per round, and perhaps even more for beginners.
Importance of Cleaning Grooves
So why is it so important to clean the grooves of your clubs? When the grooves on your irons—and even your woods—are clean and free of crusty dirt, they actually act like tire treads on an automobile. Similar to those tire treads, the grooves work to drive liquid and debris—even air—from the contact surface of the club, allowing you to hit cleaner shots that are not affected by the aforementioned elements.
Clean grooves will also do a better job at “biting” in to the ball. This biting action initiated by the grooves on your clubs can add between 3,600 revolutions per minute (RPM) to 6,000 RPM of spin. This spin provides better aerodynamic lift for longer shots, and gives the ball much more stability as it flies towards it target. If you watch professional golfers on television, you have no doubt witnessed a ball that lands and actually backs up on the green. This is due to the spin applied by the golfer who hit the shot—a spin that would simply be impossible without clean grooves on the club face.
Importance of Cleaning Grips
The grips of your club should also be cleaned regularly for best results around the course. Over time, dirt, oil and sweat can mix together on the grips, causing slippage or forcing you to lose control of the club, which can negatively impact your swing and the shot. Clean grips can essentially do all of the following:
Provide better moisture control. Clean grips provide a greater degree of moisture control in very hot conditions in which people perspire.
Clean grips provide a better “grip.” Keeping the grips of your clubs clean will preserve the tackiness of the grip, enabling you to have better control of the club and helping it to be more responsive in reducing errors.
Clean grips will last. Cleaning your grips will allow them to last much longer, as corrosive oil, dirt and even perspiration can damage them over time.
Most grips are made to absorb sweat and oil as you play, giving you better club control, but with time these can become quite filthy and harm your overall game. They can also acquire germs and bacteria, so it only makes sense to keep these grips as sanitized as possible.
How to Clean Your Golf Clubs
You now understand the importance of keeping your golf clubs clean, but just how do you go about cleaning them? Actually, you have a few options. You could, of course, send your clubs to a golf club cleaning service, or you could purchase one of the many dedicated golf cleaning kits, which can now be found in many pro shops around the country. However, both of those options can be very pricey and, in our opinion, quite unnecessary.
Cleaning your golf clubs yourself is actually quite easy to do, and the experience can oddly be quite rewarding, especially when you consider the reasons for these regular cleanings: lower scores and more enjoyment on the course.To help you get started, below we have provided a step-by-step tutorial that will make cleaning your clubs a snap.
Step 1 – Gather Your Cleaning Solution and Materials
Cleaning your golf clubs only requires a few basic materials. These include:
A bucket (A plastic bucket is recommended)
A mild dishwasher detergent
A tooth brush (or some other brush with small, soft bristles that are not metal. Metal can damage the surface of the golf club)
A rag—for washing
A towel—for drying the clubs as you finish cleaning them
Step 2 – Create Your Cleaning Solution
The next step is to create the cleaning solution in which you will first clean your irons and your putter. To accomplish this, squeeze a small amount of the dishwashing detergent into the bottom of your bucket, and add just enough water to cover the heads of your irons. In doing this, take care that the water is warm, but not too hot. The heads of your golf irons are secured to the shaft of the club using little plastic ferrules. These ferrules are glued on to help join these two parts of the club. Hot water can potentially melt the glue used to fasten these ferrules into place, so it should definitely be avoided.
Step 3 – Submerge Your Irons and Your Putter
In this next step, our purpose is to submerge the golf clubs in our cleaning solution for about 5-10 minutes. During this time, the warm water and detergent will work in unison to loosen some of the dirt and grime that has been caught between the grooves of the club, and remove some of the oils and other chemicals that may have accumulated on your irons since the last good cleaning.Remember, you want just enough water to cover the heads of your golf irons. Ideally, the plastic ferrules should be above the water level during this step so that you do not risk the possibility of weakening that glued connection.When submerging your golf clubs in the bucket, you will want to be next to an outdoor garden hose, or at a big, deep sink in the garage or laundry room of your home.
Step 4 – Cleaning and Rinsing Your Irons and Putter
The next step of our process is to clean the irons. Here you will want to remove one club at a time from the warm, soapy water and begin cleaning it, starting with the grooves. Using an old toothbrush, carefully clean each groove of the club, removing all the dirt and debris that should have now been loosened by the cleaning solution. Remember, this is the most important step of the cleaning process, as grooves that are filled with dirt essentially nullify the effectiveness of the club.After cleaning the grooves of the first club, take your brush and wet rag and finish the process by cleaning the sole and back of the club head.
Once the entire club head has been washed, carefully rinse off the club using the garden hose or water from the large sink. Make sure that all dirt and debris has been lifted from the grooves and elsewhere on the club as you rinse, and be careful not to splash water up onto the grips. After the club head has been thoroughly washed and rinsed, place it on a clean flat surface, preferably atop a large clean towel.Repeat this process with each of the irons in your bag and your putter.
Step 5 – Drying Your Irons and Putter
With the three most outer fingers of your top hand now wrapped around the club—and with the club still nestled along the top of your left palm where it meets the fingers—it is now time to set the lead thumb and the forefinger.Without changing the position of the club, simply roll your thumb over to the right side of the handle or grip. As you do this, curly your left index finger around the club. If this step is done correctly, you should feel the meaty portion at the base of your thumb pressing directly down onto the handle or grip of the club.
Step 6 – Cleaning Your Fairway Woods and Driver
When cleaning your metal woods and drivers, we do not recommend you submerge them in water as you did with your irons and putter. These clubs usually have a glossy finish that can be harmed by harsh soaps and chemicals. Instead, just dip them briefly in the warm, soapy water, and immediately wipe them with a wet rag to rinse the soap from the club. Dry them immediately, including the shaft, and place them back into your bag.If your fairway woods have grooves in them, you can still use a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove any dirt and debris from the grooves. After doing so, just follow the instructions provided above.Not too many years ago, the term fairway “woods” actually referred to the two or three clubs a golfer had in his/her bag that were actually made of persimmon wood. Today, most golfers have switched over to the longer-hitting metal woods and drivers; however, if you are still playing with true “woods,” the cleaning instructions above are not intended for you. To clean wood clubs, simply wipe them off with a damp rag, and immediately dry them with a towel.
How to Properly Clean Yout Golf Clubs Video
By cleaning your clubs in this manner, preferably after every round of golf you play, you can ensure that the various technologies used to enhance and improve these clubs—to add more distance and control to your game—was not done in vain.
What is the proper golf grip? This is a question that has been pondered—and experimented with—since the game’s invention many centuries ago. And although several grips have been tried (with varying levels of success) throughout this popular sport’s many decades, today these choices have been narrowed down to just a few: the overlapping grip, the interlocking grip and the ten-finger grip. Today, most professionals in the sport of golf rely on one of these “general” grip options. But while their grip style may vary, all of these professionals agree that the manner in which the golf club is initially positioned in the hand is the absolute key to power and control.
Below we will briefly define each of the grip styles mentioned above. We will then provide a step-by-step tutorial for properly gripping the club—a tutorial that will lead to better club control with every shot you take.
The 3 Ways to Properly Grip the Golf Club
According to a recent poll of some of the world’s top golf instructors, “even the slightest error in the manner in which the golf club is held can have enormous negative consequences on the course.” Hence, most of these teachers admit that the proper golf grip is one of their first instructional priorities when working with new golfers.
Golfers can choose from three basic grip options: the overlapping grip, the interlocking grip, and the ten-finger grip. Here we will briefly explain each of these options.
The Overlapping Grip
The overlapping golf grip, also known as the Vardon Grip or Vardon Overlap, is perhaps the most popular grip in the world of professional golf. The grip was popularized by Harry Vardon, a global golf superstar in the late 1800s and early 1900s, with six British Open titles to his credit.
As the name suggests, the overlapping grip is one in which (a right-handed) golfer should overlap the pinky finger of their right (bottom) hand, placing it between the index and middle fingers of their left (top) hand. As this is done, the thumb of the left hand should fit into the lifeline of your right hand (the lifeline is the line on your hand that extends vertically from the base of the palm to the index or middle finger).
Most of today’s professional male golfers (over 80 percent by all estimates) employ the overlapping grip.
Ten Finger Grip (aka the “Baseball Grip”)
Popular among many weekend golfers, the ten-finger grip is widely used on municipal golf courses around the country for its comfortable feel. However, it is used by very few professional golfers—golfers who prefer the control provided by the other two grip styles. Hall of Fame LPGA golfer Beth Daniels is one of the most notable users of the ten-finger grip, which was also the grip of choice for PGA stars Bob Estes, Dave Barr and Masters Champion Art Wall Jr.
To properly grab the club using a ten-finger or baseball grip, you will want to begin with a perfect lead hand (top hand) grip (explained in the next section). Once you have set your top hand correctly on the grip, you will then place the bottom or trail hand on the club, making sure the pinky finger of that hand is pressed closely against the index finger of the top hand. Next, you will once again cover the thumb of the top hand with the lifeline of the bottom palm.
People who lack strength in their wrists and forearms, such as arthritis sufferers, should perhaps use the ten-finger grip, but all others should seriously consider switching to an overlapping or interlocking grip, especially if their goal is to improve their score.
The Interlocking Grip
Although the majority of professional male golfers employ the Vardon overlapping grip, it is interesting to note that two of the greatest players ever to walk a golf course—Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods—used (and continue to use) the interlocking grip—the second-most popular grip in professional golf.
The interlocking grip, which is widely used on the LPGA tour, is perfect for those with smaller hands or less-than-muscular wrists and forearms. It is commonly taught to beginners because it helps take some of the guesswork out of finger positioning.
To employ the interlocking grip, you will want to take the little finger of the bottom hand and interlock it with it the index finger of the top or lead hand. As with the overlapping grip, you’ll need to make sure that the thumb of the left or top hand fits along the lifeline of the bottom or trailing hand.
The Proper Golf Grip: Positioning Your Hands for the Perfect Grip
As we mentioned briefly in the introduction, the three above-outlined golf grips are all used in the sport of golf today, some certainly more than others. However, despite how the two hands ultimately come together on the golf club—by overlapping, interlocking, or just touching (ten-finger)—the manner in which the two hands are initially placed on the club is far less subjective. In fact, the majority of professional golf instructors agree that the following step-by-step guide for grasping the golf club can mean the difference between a great and a poor shot.
Step 1 – Grasp the Club with Your Right Hand
Note: For this detailed guide on how to attain the proper golf grip, we are assuming you are a right-handed golfer. If you golf left-handed instead, simply reverse these instructions.
With your right hand, also referred to as the bottom or trail hand, grasp the golf club where the metal of the shaft meets the grip. Naturally, this is not where your bottom hand will remain in the final gripping of the club, but it is a necessary step that will help you properly align the top or lead hand. After you have grasped the club where indicated, hold it out in front of you at a 45 degree angle.
Step 2 – Set Your Lead (Top) Hand
As you are holding the club in front of you, place your left or lead hand behind, but not on, the club, with the palm facing you. Next you are going to properly set this lead hand. To accomplish this correctly, you will want to nestle the club along the line in which your first knuckles (closest to the palm) meet the very top of your palm. Many weekend or amateur golfers have the tendency to set the club more to the middle of the palm on their lead hand. This is a no-no—one that takes the fingers out of the swing altogether and tends to cause erratic shots.
Step 3 – Grip with Your Lead Hand
With the club set along the very top of the left palm where it meets the fingers (and without moving the hand), curl your pinky finger, ring finger and middle finger around the grip or handle of the club. You do not need to grasp it tightly. In fact, most instructors advise golfers NOT to grip the club too tightly. If you have done this step correctly, it should feel as if the underside of each of these three fingers is now in contact with the grip.
Step 4 – Set the Thumb and Forefinger of Your Lead Hand
With the three most outer fingers of your top hand now wrapped around the club—and with the club still nestled along the top of your left palm where it meets the fingers—it is now time to set the lead thumb and the forefinger.
Without changing the position of the club, simply roll your thumb over to the right side of the handle or grip. As you do this, curly your left index finger around the club. If this step is done correctly, you should feel the meaty portion at the base of your thumb pressing directly down onto the handle or grip of the club.
Step 5 – Set Your Trail (Bottom) Hand
Once the top or lead hand has been properly set, the next step is to incorporate the bottom or trail hand into your grip. As you will recall from Step 1, up until now the right or bottom hand has been grasping the club at the point where the shaft meets the grip, as you were setting your top or lead hand.Now, slide your right hand up the club towards your left hand. As you did with the left or top hand, you will want to set the club along the line formed by the base of your palm and the first knuckles of the fingers.
Step 6 – Overlapping, Interlocking or Ten-Finger Grip
At this point of the grip procedure, you will need to choose between the overlapping, interlocking or ten-finger grip. If you select the overlapping grip, simply wrap your right pinky finger into the space where your left middle finger and index finger come together. For the interlocking grip, you will want to intertwine the right pinky finger and the left index finger. And if you select the ten-finger grip, press your right pinky finger against the forefinger or index finger of the left hand.
Whichever (final) grip you select, it’s important that you add some pressure to the club with these last two fingers—the right index finger and the left pinky finger. This is where a lot of your control and power can be gained or loss, so this connection is critical.
Step 7 – Setting the Thumb and Forefinger of the Trail Hand
In this final step, you will want to roll your right or trail thumb toward the left of the club, while also curling your right index finger around the club. Be sure to place the right hand directly over the left thumb, using the lifeline of your right palm as a guide. If you have performed this step correctly, you should feel some pressure on your left thumb. This pressure is caused by placing the meaty portion of your right thumb over your left thumb.
Proper Golf Grip Video
The proper golf grip can add a measure of power, control and enjoyment to your game, helping you shave strokes even on the toughest of courses. Keep in mind that this grip is often referred to as a “neutral” grip by teaching professionals. Many of today’s star golfers are known to slightly tweak this grip from time to time, opting for a strong or weak grip when hitting certain types of difficult shots. This, however, is not recommended for beginners, as the results can often be disastrous.
At Golfers Authority we are here to not only help you with your physical golf game, but your mental golf game too. That is why we wanted to put together our list of the 60 best golf quotes of all time. These quotes are here to inspire you, gain more confidence, or simply just make you laugh. If you find that we are missing one of your favorite golf quotes be sure to comment in the section below. Note that the quotes are not listed in any particular order. So please read, share, and enjoy.
Golfers Authority Best Golf Quotes of All Time
Keep your sense of humor. There’s enough stress in the rest of your life not to let bad shots ruin a good game you’re supposed to enjoy.
There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.
Golf is good for the soul you so mad at yourself you forget to hate your enemies.
In golf life it is the follow through that makes a difference.
The worst day of golf beats the best day of work.
Life is better when you’re golfing.
Success in this game depends on strength of body than strength of mind and character.
Concentration comes out of a combination of confidence and hunger.
I have a tip to take 5 strokes off anyone’s game … It’s called an eraser.
Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you.
Putting is like wisdom partly a natural gift and partly the accumulation of experience.
Track and field is tougher physically, but golf is tougher mentally.
As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round.
The most important shot in golf is the next one.
I have found the game to be, in all factualness, a universal language wherever I traveled at home or abroad.
A good player who is a great putter is a match for any golfer. A great hitter who cannot put is a match for no one.
The only thing a golfer need is more daylight.
He that can have patience can have what he will.
Placing the ball in the right position for the next shot is eighty percent of winning golf.
The only time my prayers are never answered is on the golf course.
Golf is not a game of good shots. It’s a game of bad shots.
Golf is a game that is played on a five-inch course: The distance between your ears.
Golf is not, on the whole, a game for realists. By its exactitudes of measurements it invites the attention of perfectionists.
Heywood Hall Broun
Everybody can see that my swing is homegrown. That means everybody has a chance to do it.
Golf’s three ugliest words … Still your shot.
Golf is a science, the study of a lifetime, in which you can exhaust yourself but never your subject.
A routine is not a routine if you have to think about it.
Davis Love Jr.
It’s about hitting the ball in the center of the club face and hitting it hard.
I’ve taken up golf … or golf has taken me up.
Hit the shot you know you can hit, not the one you think you should.
Dr. Bob Rotella
Acting is like golf: Analysis leads to paralysis.
A good golfer has the determination to win and the patience to wait for breaks.
I know I am getting better at golf because I am hitting fewer spectators.
President Gerald Ford
Golf gives you an insight into human nature, your won as well as your opponent’s.
It took me seventeen years to get three thousand hits in baseball. I did it in one afternoon at the golf course.
For this game you need, above all things, to be in a tranquil frame of mind.
While playing golf today i hit two good balls … I stepped on a rake.
The best quick tip in golf is to focus on your rhythm and balance.
If you think it’s hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball.
Resolve never to quit, never to give up, no matter what the situation.
It’s emotional highs and lows in the game of golf.
Sometimes the biggest problem is in your head. You’ve got to believe.
In golf, “close” is like the north and south rim of the Grand Canyon.
The value of routine; trusting your swing.
Golf is a good walk spoiled.
It’s good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling.
Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.
Golf is a game in which you yell “fore”, shoot six, and write down five.
I’ve always said, the harder the golf course, the better I play.
The object of golf is not just win. It is to play like a gentleman, and win.
One thing that golf teaches you is humility.
Of all the hazards, fear is the worst.
If I have to believe in myself. I know what I can do, what I can achieve.
Forget your opponents; always play against par.
I always think under par. You have to believe in yourself.
I get to play golf for a living. What more can you ask for, getting paid for doing what you love.
Achievements on the golf course are not what matters, decency and honesty are what matter.
Achievements on the golf course are not what matters, decency and honesty are what matter.
I’m addicted. I’m addicted to golf.
Golf will grow so long as it’s fun.
The game of golf is fragile and I respect that. I think it’s a mirror image of life itself.
I just played, and I played my heart out.
The 60 Best Golf Quotes of All Time
Wow you made it to the end. I hope you enjoyed our list of the Best Golf Quotes of All Time. So what is your favorite golf quote? Please share in the comments below. If you have a quote that we are missing please let us know, we may add it to the list so we can share it with our readers!
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