When it comes to new year’s resolutions, many people look at ways in which they can improve their personal life, whether it be their own physical or mental health, or their overall productivity. For all of you golfers, you may be looking at resolutions that can help you become the best player that you can be. To improve upon your game, your first step is to ensure that you are organized and ready to get back onto the course. Here are some ways in which you can get organized so that you are prepared for your best possible golf game in the new year:
Get an indoor putter. An indoor putter will tremendously help you during the winter months, as it will give you the opportunity to practice within your own home and get a handle on your putting. By practicing at home, you can target your weaknesses and look at how you can work to improve them prior to the spring season!
Find a mentor or professional. Once you are aware of your weaknesses and what you must work on, you can look at finding a mentor or professional to give you additional lessons and help you improve. Look into local indoor courses or local professionals that you can work with to get some healthy constructive criticism.
Clean out your golf bag. After a long golf season, you may have been so busy that you were unable to go through your golf bag, clean it out and organize it. Work to organize your clubs and, if there are any that you do not find yourself often using, replace them with ones that you will utilize on the course more often.
Regrip clubs that are slippery. While organizing your clubs, if you find that any are slippery, take the opportunity to regrip them so that they are all set for when you get back on the course in the spring.
Take advantage of holiday sales. During the holiday season there are an immense amount of unbelievable deals that you can hit on golf apparel, equipment and accessories. Take advantage of these sales and look into replacing any equipment or accessories such as clubs, putters or balls that have worn out.
Keep Up with Your Game in the Off Season
Just because the weather is getting colder and the days are getting duller does not mean that you golf game has to be affected! Even though you may not be able to regularly go to your golf course of choice, there are many ways that you can work on your golf game in the off-season! With these exercises and tips, you will be in great shape by the time the weather warms up, and you will be ready to play your best game yet! Check out some ways that you can improve your game during the winter months:
Weight training. Believe it or not, regularly hitting the gym and performing strength-training exercises can greatly improve your game. By strengthening your core, glutes, and other key muscle groups, you will gain more balance and more power throughout your swing.
Mental game. The off season is a great time to work on your mental game, which is just as important as your physical game on the course. Practice yoga a few times a week, and work on a relaxing pre-shot routine that you can utilize when you get back to the game.
Practice in the mirror. Find a full length mirror and practice putting and swinging in front of one! By doing this, you will be able to provide constructive criticism for yourself and will be able to make adjustments accordingly.
Putt within your home. Wherever you have some extra space in your home is a great place to practice putting. You can do this while watching your favorite TV program, or even to break up your work day if you are in the office!
Shop around for some new gear. Gear and accessories are key to a successful game. Take this time to hit up all of the great holiday sales and find some new, fresh equipment for a loved one or yourself!
When to Use a Hybrid
A hybrid is a cross between a fairway wood and an iron, except it’s much easier to hit. They fly higher and land softer than your long irons, which helps you keep control of those long shots. If you struggle with hitting long irons or fairway woods, consider using a hybrid. Here is some tips when using a hybrid.
HYBRID vs FAIRWAY WOOD
Many golfers don’t know the difference between a hybrid and fairway wood. Common fairway woods include your 3-wood, 5-wood, and 7-wood, depending on the loft. Hybrids were not so long ago known more as “rescue clubs.” Hybrids combine characteristics of both woods and irons, with a smaller clubhead than a wood, a shorter shaft, and more loft.
A hybrid is great for beginners or weekend golfers because it’s a reliable club that will not only advance their second shot but will help keep you score lower. The hybrid, because of its shorter shaft length, is easier to hit than a fairway wood for players who struggle with topping the ball. To get maximum performance from your hybrid clubs, swing them more around your body on the backswing and downswing. Think of the swing like a hula hoop.
WHEN TO USE A HYBRID
Hybrids are very versatile. You can hit them off the fairway, from the rough or even the tee (if you’re not so good at using a driver). The clubhead will cut through the rough better than a fairway wood, and you can even chip the ball if you’re close to the green with a hybrid. A common practice is to start your lowest-numbered hybrid at 10-15 yards less than your highest fairway wood, so there’s no gap in coverage.
From my personal experience, hybrids really do help “rescue” me when I am in a tough lie or just want to get more distance. It’s consistent, accurate and will help you hit those long shots easily.
Tips to Conquer Tough Par-3 Courses
Don’t be fooled by par-3 courses. They may seem easy, but there are many par 3 courses are just as tough, if not tougher, than 18 hole courses. It’s a good way to test how good your short game is, but if you struggle with par-3 courses, here is a checklist to help you conquer them!
1. Assess the hole
2. Tee it up
3. Think positively
4. Choose your club carefully
5. Find your own solution
Par-3s can deceive you, so assess the hole carefully before hitting. Also make sure to tee up the ball whenever you can. This can help you lift up the ball and allow it to softly land on the green. It’s also just an easier way to hit the ball. Doesn’t matter if you’re using a 9 iron – tee it up whenever you can.
Your mental golf game is so important. Many golfers tend to look at the hole and think about all the hazards ahead of them, whether its a pond or bunkers. Block out those negative thoughts and fully focus on your shot. Don’t worry about anything but your swing.
Choose your club carefully, especially on downhillers. Don’t just choose your club based on distance because there may be other factors at hand. If it’s a windy day, make sure you choose a club that will make up for that.
Lastly, even though you may want to watch other players and follow their routine, don’t rely on this too much. Their strengths may not be yours. Every golfer is different, so find a solution that fits your game.
Save yourself strokes by following this checklist!
The 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open
The PGA Tour is headed to Arizona for the Waste Management Phoenix OpenJ from January 29-February 4. The tournament takes place at TPC Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Arizona, at the Stadium Course. This PGA stop boasts the largest attendance on tour and it is an audience participation event, especially on the 16th hole. This hole can be considered the most famous hole on the tour. And the audience? Well to get a better idea of the attendance, consider the 207,000 fans attending last year…just on Saturday.
This year’s field is as talented as its ever been, featuring five of the top 10 players in the Official World Golf Ranking, including world No. 5 Hideki Matsuyama, who with a victory can become the first player since Arnold Palmer to win the event three consecutive times. It would also make him the fifth three-time winner in the tournament’s history, joining the likes of Palmer, Phil Mickelson, Mark Calcavecchia and Gene Littler. Others include Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas.
The best part about this event?
A live 360 and VR experience will be available for all four rounds of this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open. Similar to the TOUR’s Live VR events in 2017, this week’s coverage can be viewed globally in “360 video” on Twitter (twitter.com/PGATOUR), as well as through Samsung Gear VR via the “PGA TOUR VR Live” app.
Fans can now watch live in both 360 video and Cardboard VR via the PGA TOUR app on iOS. The “PGA TOUR VR Live” app will also launch on Daydream by Google – available on the Google Play Store – all at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. As the exclusive live virtual reality provider of the PGA TOUR, Intel will produce the live VR experience with Intel True VR technology, providing unprecedented access to areas on the course that can’t be experienced, even by fans on-site.
“The 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale during the Waste Management Phoenix Open is one of the most exciting in golf,” said Rick Anderson, PGA TOUR Chief Media Officer. “We look forward to bringing that excitement to our fans who can’t physically be at the tournament through live virtual reality. They will be able to experience all the thrills from home.”
The Golf Channel will carry live coverage on Thursday and Friday from 3 p.m. ET to 7 p.m. ET. CBS will take over on the weekend beginning at 3 p.m. ET.
Tips to Make Your Next Bucket at the Driving Range Better
Four tips To follow at the range
When at the driving range, all you want to do is out hit the guy next to you and swingas much as possible.
Here are some tips to make your range session more effective.
Go through a routine: A huge mistake of many people at the driving range is they buy a large bucket with about 200 balls. They hit ball after ball without moving their stance, only to change clubs. Halfway through the bucket you are dripping sweat and tired. Instead of doing this, go through a routine like you are on the course. Pick a target and yardage, take a practice swing and then hit the ball. This will slow you down and make the swing more effective.
Club choice: Don’t just hit a bucket with your driver. Utilize all your clubs in your bag and practice all of them. Practice your wedges from tight lies, punch shots, half swing irons or even a 3 wood on a tee for times you are hitting off a tee that is less than driver.
Don’t just hit the driving range: Most driving ranges have more than just a big field with yardages. Most have short game areas. The biggest mistake golfers make pre-round or just at the range is they just hit a bucket. If your swing sucks, a bucket of balls 20 minutes before your tee time isn’t going to fix anything. Head over to the practice green and get a feel for the speed and how it is rolling. You will be able to shave way more strokes off your scorecard if you can putt well all 18 holes. The short game area is a great area to practice in sand traps, greenside rough or just chip shots.
Proper divot etiquette: The worst thing you could do on a grass driving range is take divots all over the place. The proper way to make divots on a driving range is in a row. What that means is once you make your first divot, place your next ball right behind that divot so by the end of your bucket, there should be a long single trail the width of your club head on the grass. Instead of 200 divots in different areas.
The driving range is one of the best tools in golf, yet so many people misuse their time while there.
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.
Driving Irons May Be Making A Comeback
Benefits and drawbacks of Using a Driving Iron
Slowly and slowly 5 woods are disappearing from golfersbags all around the world.
Hybrids have become so popular and much easier to hit, it makes the 5 wood a historical relic.
Another club that has been long out of a lot of people bags are driving irons.
Driving irons are beefed-up irons that are designed to hit the ball higher and farther than a standard 1, 2 or 3 iron, because of the low loft, normal 1, 2 or 3 irons are almost impossible to hit on the golf course.
But the driving iron deserves a place in your bag and may be making a comeback.
Because of its low trajectory it has many uses. When you play on really windy days, obviously you want to keep the ball low so using a driving iron off the tee is a great way to still get distance even with the wind. Drivers trajectory is so high the wind knocks them down.
The other perk of the driving iron is the roll you get with it on the fairways. With the benefit of low trajectory, a driving iron will run out a lot as well. If you struggle off the tee with shots that are less than driver but still a decent shot, the driving iron has your name on it. With the beefed-up back it makes it easy to hit when it is a little teed up.
The one flaw isn’t even in the club; it is the simple fact if you want to put a club in your bag strictly for driving, other than a driver. The problem is that the driving iron gets so much roll out it is almost useless as a second shot. If you are going for the green in two with this club you are going to have to play it so it lands on fairway and runs up onto green, which can be a tough shot for an amateur. The one use for a second shot is if you are playing a massive par five and you want to layup and the hole is so far out a reach a driving iron is still considered laying up. (But who lays up? Come on now)
If you’re someone who doesn’t have a club for those awkward tee shots we all face, a driving iron may be your saving grace.