Many weekend golfers may overlook the importance of the golf balls that they play. You might borrow some from your friends or buy the cheapest balls you can find. However, the ball you play can dramatically affect your scores. The right ball can help you chop strokes off your golf handicap. The wrong ball can cost you strokes and boost scores.
So how to do you choose the correct golf balls?
Ideally, you should choose a ball based on how it boosts your scoring chances. This often comes down to a choice between distance and feel. Do you want a ball that you can hit farther? Or one that helps you putt better?
Below are some common questions we fielded from players in our golf lessons on how to choose a ball. The golf tips below will help you choose one that’s right for you.
1. Should You Use The Same Balls As The Pros?
No, because the pros have different needs than you. They use specific golf balls that provide them short game spin and control so that they can hit low shots around the green. Weekend golfers need balls that launch and spin more.
One choice for golfers with high golf handicaps is a three-piece ball with a urethane cover. Three-piece balls feature superior driver performance. The urethane cover also provides improved feel and control on approach shots. As you lower your golf handicap, you can start using balls offering better control on shots around the green.
2. What’s the Difference Between Urethane and Surlyn covers?
While both are polymers, they offer different performance characteristics.
Urethane offers good green side control, feel, durability, and distance.
It’s more expensive than Surlyn.
Players with low golf handicaps should consider using Urethane golf covers
It spins less as you get closer to the green but launches higher off the tee.
Works well if you need a short-high approach
Ideal for golfers looking for distance and low dispersion off the tee.
Players with high golf handicaps should use Surlyn covers.
3. Expensive balls or cheaper balls? Does it matter?
It’s not just about the price of the golf ball you should consider – it also has to do with performance. Premium balls tend to provide better performance than non-premium balls. So if you have a low handicap and you’re serious about improving, it’s worth playing a better ball.
However, if you have trouble hitting the fairway due to distance, try a distance type of ball that spins less. If it comes down to a choice between price and performance, choose performance.
4. When do I need to buy new golf balls?
It depends on how much you use the ball and storage conditions. Store your golf balls at room temperature for maximum life and keep them dry. Storing balls in extremely hot or cold places, like the trunk of your car, limits life. Submerging balls in water for long periods also limits life. Retire any you’ve used excessively. You can start to tell when the golf balls start to wear.
Choosing the right ball can take your game to the next level. It can also help chop strokes off your golf handicap. Take your time choosing a ball. Make it the right one.
The Next Vokey Wedge is Here
In the world of golf, there are a lot of factors that come into scoring well and one of the biggest factors are wedges.
Spinning a ball into the green and putting it close to the pin is vital.
One of the best wedges for years on local courses and the PGA Tour has been Titleist’s line of Vokey wedges.
Bob Vokey has long been designing some of the best wedges to hit this earth.
The Vokey line has grown in popularity year in and year out and you see many people still playing the older Vokey’s.
The newest one is almost here. The Vokey SM7 will be getting its first look on course this week at the Shriners Hospital for Children Open at TPC Summerlin.
These are not the finished product. They are rolling out the SM7 prototypes this week and Titleist loyalists Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and others will have these wedges in their bags.
“We design the best product possible and take it to the tour. If the tour players accept it, then we say this must be awfully good.”- Bob Vokey.
If you own or have seen last years’ version, the SM6 it was a very sleek looking wedge.
But this year, according to prototype pictures, has a different look, but it may be a little simpler and better looking.
This year’s rendition still has the signature gear in the corner, the BV with the wings and the Titleist logo.
One noticeable difference, that may only be on the prototype is the SM7 logo is just below the BV logo and it makes it look very clean and simple. On the SM6 it was off to the side, tucked in the corner.
Another year, another inevitably great Vokey wedge.
Other companies have tried their hand at wedges, but Vokey remains at the top.
Titleist Unveils New Irons
Debut of 718 Irons
Titleist has long been one of the most popular irons gamed on tour and at your local course.
This week they unveiled their 718 line of irons, their most recent rendition of the ever popular lineup.
The lineup includes the classic AP1, AP2, CB, MB and T-MB, but Titleist decided to switch it up a little this year.
I have a feeling it is because of all the recent releases of different irons by brands like Taylormade and Callaway.
With the 718 line, comes the AP3, an all new iron in 2017.
The AP3 is an iron in which the shape will appeal to the better players who are used to blade irons. But then it is built up enough to where it will perform for any serious golfer.The sleek design is made up of three separate pieces made into one dominate iron.The AP3 may be their best looking iron as it has a sleek looking cavity on the back with blade look in gaming position.
They have also made a few performance changes to some of the other iron lines.
The T-MB has received improved design in the lower part of the face as they noticed that many players were utilizing their driving irons not just off the tee, but off fairways as well. With that, players are needing better performance off the bottom of the of the face as the ball isn’t teed up and hitting the middle to top of face.
The CB has also seen some changes as they moved the center of gravity toward the toe of the club, creating more consistent ball speeds across the entire face.
Titleist has had some of the best irons on the market for years. From the 712’s to the 718’s, they always perform.
Lets see if all the upgrades to the 718’s are as good as they sound.
The Pros and Cons of Playing a Par-3 Course
“Pitch and Putt” Par 3 Course
Sometimes, you just want to have a nice relaxing round.
A great way to do that is play a par 3 course.
Playable: It is only a par 3. So it is relatively playable for the non golfer. Whether that is an old friend who has clubs but never plays, a kid or even your girlfriend. Par 3 courses are short enough to where even someone who tops the ball 9/10 times can have fun.
Walkable: Some people hate walking on a normal course. Par 3 courses are nice to walk because it isn’t all that much walking. 18 holes is going to be right around 3,000 yards compared to real courses that could be up to 6,500.
Time: Since the holes are smaller, they take less time to play. 18 holes will take a lot less time at a par 3 course. So if you are just trying to squeeze in some swings, this is a great option.
Irons: Unless you are very very old. Driver and woods are going to be staying in your bag most of the day. This means all irons. Which can be good. This is great time to get some practice with your irons and maybe even a hybrid on the longer holes.
Putting: Most of the time, when you hit a green in regulation, you are outside of 10 feet from the hole. Unless you are a PGA Tour pro. But this means you get to practice long lag putts, speed control and other things that come into long putts. Instead of you missing the green and chipping close.
Pace of Play: Because they are relatively easy and family friendly, the people at these courses suck. I recently got stuck behind a father and son playing and the father topped everything and the son would scream “Kobe” every time he swung as if he was mimicking Kobe Bryant.
Only Irons: You never really get to pull out the diesel stick or even 3 wood. So just keep them in your car so you aren’t tempted to do something stupid.
Price: Although it is a lot less course, most of the time the rates are the same as a normal par 72 course.
Par 3 courses can be fun and relaxing. Leave the expectations at your country club and just have a fun day.
What Type of Putter Should You Be Using?
blade vs mallet Putters
Jordan Spieth and his Scotty Cameron Newport 2 almost go hand in hand.
But at the AT&T Byron Nelson, Spieth put a Scotty Cameron Futura in his bag.
For those of you who don’t know, the Newport 2 is a blade style putter and the Futura is a mallet type putter.
This raises the question, what type of putter should you be using?
Recently we have seen many tour players gaming the TaylorMade Spider, which is also a larger mallet looking putter.
Here is an argument for both styles, and we will let you decide.
Lighter: For the most part this putter has less material so it will naturally be lighter. This may help players who have a smooth putting stroke already.
Lines: There are a lot of sight lines in a blade putter. Some are literally painted on it like a dot on the top of it. But a putter like a Newport 2, it has a lot of natural lines in the design that will help with alignment.
Feel: Because it is a smaller piece of material, it is easier to “feel” the putt. Saying that when you crank a putt you know and can feel it, or if you leave it short. With a mallet it is a bigger piece of material so the feel is lost in the bigness.
Heavier: Some may see this as a downfall, but if you tend to leave putts short, get a big mallet behind that little white ball and it will be flying towards the hole in no times.
Forgiving: Because the material is bigger, if you have a mishit and hit the ball not on the center of the face, it will go almost on the intended line. With a blade, mishits are a lot more exaggerated.
Alignment: Many people say because of the bulk of the putter; mallets are easier to align on your intended line towards the hole.
At the end of the day, the biggest thing with a putter is confidence. Some people don’t like the bulkiness of a mallet and say it looks ugly at address. If you are not confident looking down at the putt, you wont have a confident stroke. Confidence is key when putting. Pick your line and stick to it.
You either upgrade the whole bag and treat yourself, or you just buy a new wedge.
So what do you do with the old clubs? Here are four things you can do with your old clubs instead of them collecting dust in your basement.
Trade: This is the most logical option. If you have a somewhat new club, most stores will take them in on trade. This will give you a couple bucks to put toward the new club. The other benefit of trading is on the other end of the spectrum. If you are looking to buy, but not looking to pay full price, clubs that people have traded in before are a logical buying option. Plus, you can still trade your old club for it.
Sell: this takes a close second to trade. Some places, depending on age, wont take your clubs in on trade. So, you will have to do a little extra work and try selling it. There are a lot of options here. Facebook groups, eBay and even yard sales are the easiest. Make a few bucks and give the next guy a great deal.
Hand them down: If you have a son, grandson or nephew that is high school or college age, give them your old set. Not only will you get the dust collectors out of your basement. You may be growing the game. He may go out with a few friends for fun and start to like it. Fun fact, this is how my love for golf started. My uncle gave me a set of clubs one summer and I never looked back. Played with those clubs for a summer and realized I wasn’t going to stop golfing anytime soon and bought my own set. I then took that set and gave them to a friend so he could start golfing. Kind of the pay it forward effect.
Keep it: So the money isn’t really an issue for you. Keeping your old clubs has many added benefits. Maybe you hit a crazy shot a few years back with your 3 wood and you want to keep it to tell the story. Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a hole-in-one under your belt and you want to keep the club you did it with to tell the story. Also keeping it, you could use it as a spare bag for when a friend visits and didn’t bring his own clubs, or a friend that doesn’t golf a lot and is just playing in a charity tournament with you. Lastly, when you get in a pinch and accidentally snap your 5 iron trying to punch out from a bush, you will have a back up club. So keeping your old clubs can actually come in handy.
Upgrading clubs is always a great feeling. So don’t stress about what to do with your old ones. There are plenty of options.
Why Are Luxury Clubs Becoming More Popular?
Parsons Extreme Golf
We all know PXG.
Parsons Extreme Golf is a newish golf equipment company that makes everything you need from drivers to iron setsto putters and everything in between.
These clubs have been reviewed and have had pretty good reviews. PGA Tour players James Hahn, Ryan Moore, Pat Perez and others on the PGA and LPGA Tour play these clubs.
There is a catch though. These clubs cost a pretty penny.
Here are some of their price points.
Their 0311 irons, “Engineered for golfers at every level of the game, PXG 0311’s are the world’s sexiest, most forgiving irons that launch higher, go farther, feel softer and have a sweet spot the size of Texas.” As their website says will cost you around $300 dollars a club. Oh, and you can only order them through an authorized fitter…
Let’s look at their 0811 driver.
Available in 9 degree, 10.5 and 12 degree lofts, this driver will only cost you $850 dollars, pocket change. Also only available at an authorized fitter.
Recently PXG released a new line of wedges that are 100% milled wedges in various loft, lie and bounce options. 100% milled wedge must be a fine work of art that performs unlike any other and for the low starting price of $650 dollars you can start holing out with you 60-degree wedge, so worth it!
The only club you can buy on PXG’s website are putters. They range from $400-$600 dollars.
But this isn’t just about PXG.
Titleist JP WEdges
Recently, Titleist introduced their line of JP wedges.
These wedges are designed by James Patrick Harrington and they do not disappoint. These wedges are beautiful top of the line clubs that perform as well as they look.
When you order them you have customizable options such as stamping, paint fill, grip size and of course loft.
For a small price of $2,000 dollars you get a one on one fitting with Harrington where he will look at your swing using high tech cameras.
Once diagnosing your swing, he will tailor three wedges for your swing, but only three. Each additional wedge after the three will cost you $500 dollars a piece.
These “high end” clubs seem to be catching on. Although you may not seem many people at your golf coursewith them, people are still buying them.
What happened to just buying a Mack Daddy Callaway wedge for around $100 dollars and being happy with it?
Seems as if people that buy these clubs are putting too much stock into the game improvement of them.