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.
If you show up to the course before your tee time and all you do is hit balls, you are doing it wrong! Skipping a good golf specific warm up is costing you strokes and messing up the first few holes of your round. Warming up before your round doesn’t have to be a time consuming ordeal.
Try these four warm-up stretches on the course before you tee off. (Hold each stretch for two to five deep breaths.
If you have ever played golf after doing chest exercises at the gym, you know how uncomfortable and painful it is to swing the golf club with tight and sore chest muscles. it also reduces our ability to rotate during the swing which can lead to many problems.
Hold onto the golf cart and turn your body in the opposite direction. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds then come back to the starting position. Repeat 5 times per side.
Being able to lift your arms overhead is necessary for a good golf swing, however when your lat muscles are tight, you are going to be struggling at the course.
You’re going to put your feet close to the cart and hold onto it. Stick your butt back and let yourself hang. You will feel it stretching on the muscles on the sides of you body. Hold for 5-10 seconds, then come back to address position. Repeat 10 times.
if you early extend or lose your posture during the golf swing, it’s likely that your calfs are to blame.
Use your golf cart to stretch them out by putting the balls of your feet on the edge and letting your heels drop. Hold for 5-10 seconds, go back to address position and repeat 10 times per side.
Hip Flexor Stretch
We all know the glutes are known as the king of the golf swing. However, when our hip flexors get tight it won’t be able to generate power or stabilize our bodies to their maximum potential
Get into a staggered stand position by putting one of your feet onto of the golf cart. Squeeze your glutes tuck your tailbone in and bring your hips forward. Hold for 5-10 seconds, get back to address position, repeat 10 times per side.
Three Golf Myths De-Bunked
Some of you may not know all of the myths of golf, but they are there and they need to be de-bunked! You may hear some tips from a fellow golfer, a co-worker, or a video/article online that may tell you things that aren’t necessarily true. Sadly, these myths can impede your golf game.
Here are three popular golf myths de-bunked:
Myth #1: Keep You’re Head Still / Down
You’ve probably heard someone say, “Keep your head still” or “Keep your head down” when swinging the club. The combination of these two “tips” can hurt your swing. For example, keeping your head still and down on the downswing impedes your upper body rotation through impact, forcing your body to rise up and causing you to mis-hit the ball.
It’s actually okay to let your head slightly move because your neck is an extension of your spine. When you rotate, you should be leaning towards the ball and allowing your head to shift a little will encourage proper weight shift on the backswing.
Myth #2: Use A Natural Grip
Another popular myth is when someone tells you to have a “natural” or light grip. For some golfers, this can be comfortable and a great fit for them. BUT, for others, it’s not the best choice! Everyone is different with how they prefer to hold the club. If you don’t have a grip that suits your needs, it can cause swing errors. The key to the right grip is having one that matches your swing. Figure out what works best for you by practicing at home or at the range.
Myth #3: One Ball Position For All Clubs
For some Tour pros, using one ball position might be easy for them. But, most weekend golfers are better off using different positions for different clubs. The key is knowing where each club bottoms out. Clubs of different lengths reach the bottom of the swing arc in different places—longer clubs bottom our far forward in your stance than shorter ones. With longer clubs, you also must adjust to how far you are from the ball.
Hopefully clearing up these three myths will help you and your golf game. If you aren’t sure about something you are told, just ask a golf instructor or a professional who would know best.
Do You Really Need to Wear a Golf Glove?
I wear a golf glove every time I’m on the course. It really never occurred to me not to do this. You watch your favorite PGA or LPGA pros wear them, and you see your fellow golfers wear them too. I figured it was a necessary part of the equipment, but it’s not. A golf glove is used to protect your hand from unwanted blisters after repeatedly swinging the club and to add a little more of a steady grip. I wouldn’t suggest not wearing a glove when you’re at the range because you most definitely will end up with blisters (unless you have hands that aren’t as delicate as mine seem to be).
Here are some tips about purchasing / wearing a golf glove:
Buy the right glove for the correct hand
Most golfers who wear a glove only wear one—and it goes on the hand that is the “upper hand” on the golf club shaft. If you are a right handed golfer, then buy a glove for your left hand. If you are a left handed golfer, look for a right hand glove. Sounds pretty obvious, but there are times it can get confusing. Bottom line – you want the glove to go on your NON-DOMINANT HAND.
Does it fit properly?
While wearing a golf glove, you want to be comfortable. It needs to leave enough room for comfort and flexibility, but it shouldn’t be sticking to your hand either. With a little bit of wear, the glove should easily conform to your hand. Also, after a while of use, it will start to wear down and become stiff, especially if it happens to get wet from the rain.
Try it on before you buy
Even if you know your size, try it on. Different manufacturers have slightly different measurements. With a glove that fits well, your game might improve, but if a glove fits poorly, stretches, pinches, is too loose or too tight, it will almost surely be a distraction and will almost certainly do nothing to help your game.
What material should you choose?
Gloves are made of a variety of materials: soft leather that is water-resistant – not for those big rain storms, but resistant to the perspiration on your hands, also gloves are made from nylon, knitted materials and some synthetics. Your choice depends on climate and weather conditions. I have a pair of rather funky looking gloves that are meant to be used for rainy days. There are two to the set and the material is somewhat tacky. I wear two gloves to ensure that my grip doesn’t slip on the club. I also have a pair of winter gloves. Again, they come as a pair and on those crisp winter mornings (I will play in temps down to about 45 degrees F) they are a very welcome addition to my golf attire.
How To Choose The Correct Golf Ball
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.