This book has been written to show all golfers' what style elements they can do without and what functional elements are integral to soundly struck golf shots. What is pretty and what works? Forget about form and focus all your attention on two simple keys that make all the difference in the world.Read More
So often golfers are tempted into believing their equipment is the reason for the poor results they have been experiencing. Sometimes they may be correct, yet most times, this leads to the decision to make a change.
Here are a few simple things to keep in mind when considering making a change to your set:
- The latest and greatest is not necessarily all it is hyped to be. It is more than likely the same old thing with a new and exciting paint job. Decide what you like and stick with that! I am currently using a set of irons with the same type of heads (blades), shafts (Dynamic Gold s-400) and grips (rubber with reminders) that I used when I first started to play the game. (Titleist 690.MB)
- When it comes to irons there are three options: blades; the oversized helper set; and something in between the two. Get something you know you will be comfortable with.
- As far as fitting for irons we all need to know two numbers: the length and lie angle that we prefer! Not 2 degrees over standard or plus a half inch on length! This is because all companies have different standards (don't we all?) and if you know the length and lie of your clubs you are immune to any problems that might arise. My 6 iron is 37.50 inches long and has a lie angle of 60.50 degrees. I will use those numbers for as long as I can swing.
- Get clubs that fit your body and not strictly your impact position on the day of fitting! Lose the lie boards and tape on the bottom of irons please.
- Find a shaft that fits your swing and feels good to you and then stay with it for as long as they make it! Make sure it is not too strong.
- When it comes to putters keep in mind that there are essentially two genres: face-balanced and toe weighted. If you are considering making a putter change try to stay in your genre unless things have just been horrific on the greens.
- There have been very few to no improvements made in the field of fairway woods. Titanium is very light and thus the heads tends get too big, so find a simple and small stainless steel head that you like the look of and set about developing a long lasting relationship with it.
- When selecting a fairway wood decide whether you would like to use it predominantly off the fairway or more as a tee club. Select the loft of the club accordingly.
- Limit the number of wedges in your bag to a maximum of three - that means a PW, SW and an LW at most! If you struggle with the wedges stick to a PW and SW so as to not cloud any decision-making around the greens. Tour players practice enough, are skilled enough and play the kind of courses that require precise enough shots to justify four wedges being in the bag.
- There should be an even number of degrees between each of your wedges. Most PW's are 48 degrees and I have a 54 and a 60. Other viable options are a PW and a 52 and 56 or a PW and a 53 and 58.
- When selecting your wedges be sure to incorporate enough bounce in each club. Unless your name is Eldrick, Phil or Vijay you need more than 6 degrees of bounce on any wedge you own. That's why manufacterers build clubs with 14 degrees of bounce!
- There are two shapes of grips folks - rounds and reminders! Find out what shape you like and ask for it by name the next time you refresh your grips.
- When it comes to grips forget the latest cool colors or which ones your favorite player is using - they are more than likely getting paid to use the ones on their clubs. Decide which grips are for you and your preference and now you don't have to worry about the latest fad.
- The driver is the one club in the bag where it pays to stay current. Find a reputable club fitter in your area that uses a launch monitor and go and get fitted. Whenever you get the urge to replace your current big stick get back on that launch monitor to compare the latest offering with your trusty old steed!
- The current fitting carts that most companies have make it very easy to try multiple different heads with various shafts. Be patient, try them all and then find a club that gives you good numbers and looks great to you!
Enjoy watching the world's best wade through the quagmire that appears to be the 2009 US open this weekend.....
So often I read that it is important to be "behind the ball". While this statement is almost correct I would prefer for a golfer to be "over" the ball and this sense initiates with the set up position.
The set-up encompasses ball position, stance width and spine/shoulder tilt. Let's take a look from the ground up.
With the irons I would like to see the ball played from the middle of the stance - keep in mind, that in order to hit down on the ball, a must, the weight must be in front of the ball. Notice that I said weight and not body or head! When the ball is centrally located it is that much easier to hit down on. As you get to the longer clubs(woods) slide the ball up toward the inside of the left heel. In the Ben Hogan illustration you'll notice how his ball is not quite in the center but a little forward. This is due to his pronounced hip slide into impact which still allowed him to be able to hit down on a more forward ball position.
As far as the stance width goes, I prefer a narrower stance than a wider one and here's why. A narrow stance allows for the weight to get to the front foot easily - that's why you should be chipping and pitching with a narrow stance. Too wide and you'll have a hard time getting onto the front foot without excess movement.
Head position and spine tilt is the most important factor in the set-up! I read an article yesterday pontificating about if you tilt away from the target you'll reduce your slice. Well, you might reduce the slice, but you'll have a hard time making solid contact with the ball. All the best ball strikers set up as Hogan has here, with the head positioned between the feet, the left eye over the ball and the spine just about vertical. There should also be a minimal amount of shoulder tilt when the spine is vertical. Make sure you avoid any excess tilt into your back side as this will make it almost impossible to get "over" the ball at impact.
Set yourself up to get into a great impact!
Things to ponder:
- Harbourtown and the TPC Louisiana are both Pete Dye golf courses. They look like they are from different planets!
- Can Steve Stricker finally get the job done on Sunday? It's been a while!
- Tiger Woods is a great champion, but does he play golf the way it was meant to be played? Does modern equipment let him play the game "his way"? I offer Greg Norman and Nick Faldo as contrasts.
- I was going to ask, " When will Sergio grow up?" but I'm not sure he ever will.
- Will Sergio ever grow up?