photo credit: diskychick One of the most important elements of a golf club is the shaft. There are so many brands and varieties to choose from, that it's a wonder you can find a shaft that will be right for you.
Shafts are made from two types of material, graphite and steel. They come in various degrees of flex A) Ladies, B) Senior, C) Regular and D) stiff. Each category has various degrees of flex, depending on the manufacturer. Note: There are no standardized flex measurements.
There is another misunderstood term called “kickpoint” which means the point at which the shaft has the most bend. There are three different points of flexibility, the butt, the center and the shaft tip. A shaft that is more flexible at it's tip will create higher shots.
photo credit: commish96 If you have trouble being consistent with your shots you need to examine the way in which you are swinging the club. Very likely, you are using both arms to swing the club which is probably why your shots are so inconsistent.
Tip: Take control of the club with your left arm (right handers) during the entire backswing. Once at the top, the left arm pulls the club downward. When you are at about the 9 o'clock position, the right hand takes over and helps release the club into the ball. This method will work wonders for your game. Expect crisp, solid contact and more shot distance. Make sure you spend time at the range since it take a bit of getting used to.
photo credit: Seattle Municipal Archives While playing recently, my opponent's ball was taken by two young adolescents strolling across the course. The ball was hit just over the green and they walked directly over it. I was playing my shot without realizing they had picked up his ball. I called to them but they kept on going.
Having the ball come up missing is a frequent occurrence but what is the procedure in this case? – Take a drop as close as possible to the area where it was taken (or accidentally hit by another golfer) and no closer to the hole. There is no penalty for this situation but you must be able to prove that your ball was not lost in another manner. If, by chance it was lost, you have to replay the previous shot with a one-stroke penalty.
photo credit: somegeekintn With literally hundreds of varieties of shafts to choose from, which one is right for you? There are two basic types of materials that shafts are made from, graphite and steel.
Graphite has the benefit of being lighter than steel. Graphite shafts weigh 2 ounces compared to a typical 4 ounce steel shaft. The lighter weight of graphite means faster swing speeds which add 5 yards of shot distance. Some say graphite offers better feel. A disadvantage of graphite is that it is more costly.
Presently, there is experimentation which combines Kevlar, glass, steel or boron fibers with graphite. Shafts that combine steel and graphite are already available. Important: Select a shaft and flex which will compliment your swing speed. Slower swing speeds require more shaft flex.
photo credit: Jim Epler Amongst amateurs, the Sand Wedge is widely missunderstood. The problem occurs when this Wedge is used for short approach shots especially on the “apron” (area in front of the green).
Sand Wedges have “bounce.” This angle (flange), on the bottom of the club, is what keeps the clubface from digging into the sand. In sand it works perfectly but on short grass, it can be your worst enemy.
If you're on a tight lie, the ball has to be struck perfectly with the Sand Wedge, otherwise it will bounce into the ball and ruin the shot. Tip: Use a Pitching Wedge around the green, except in rough or sand. Stick with the Pitching Wedge, get to know it and you'll save plenty of strokes.
photo credit: Lisa Sanderson Many amateurs carry duplicate clubs since some clubs carry the very same distance. If you use a 20 degree hybrid, a 19 degree five wood or a 22 degree four iron, you have three clubs in your bag that carry the same distance. You need to start using clubs that will give you better shot results. Replace your 2, 3 and 4 irons and also your 3 and 5 woods. Instead, consider a 4 wood, 7 wood, 24 degree hybrid and a Gap Wedge. Simply do away with the 4 iron.
You are, in effect, replacing the harder to hit clubs and giving yourself more yardage space between clubs. This change will really improve your game, especially if your swing speeds are typical for most amateurs, (75 to 95 mph.).
photo credit: 1suisse Whether your playing for an Abe Lincoln or a Ben Franklin, nothing can ruin your chances for success quicker than a bad case of nerves. Nerves play a critical role in winning or losing. How you handle your nerves will determine the outcome of your match.
You are facing the final three holes and you are ahead by 1 stroke, your knees are rattling. Here are a few tips to calm yourself: (A) Take deep breaths. Open your mouth, place your tongue on the roof of your mouth and inhale to a count of 4 – hold for 8 seconds and exhale through your nose to a count of 8. (B) Think pleasant thoughts. It's only a game and nothing more so relax and enjoy what your doing. (C) Meditate. Repeat the same phrase or word over and over to keep your mind occupied.
The contestants that went out in the early morning hours of the first round had perfect playing conditions, while those that went out in the afternoon were confronted with sloppy conditions in the rain. Although this can be the case in any PGA Tournament, when it happens continually over the entire four day event, it calls into question the credentials of the winning player.
The Open is played mostly, on some of the most notorious eastern courses. Maybe in the future, the USGA should consider courses located in the sun-belt.
The stop and go of the 2009 Open robbed players of the playing momentum that is so important in golf. It could be time for a change.
photo credit: dmytrok Be prepared for your next golf vacation, here's how: (A) Bring Painkillers such as Advil, Aleve or Tylenol. (B) Alcohol-based sunblock spray with a high SPF rating. (C) A digital camera with new batteries. (D) Underwear with plenty of socks in case of rain. (E) Laptop for monitoring weather or booking tee times. (F) Cell phone & Charger. (G) Rain Gear. (H) Bug repellent. (I) Rain gear. (J) Sweater and/or jacket. (K) Two extra golf gloves. (L) Extra pair of waterproof golf shoes. (M) Blue-Ice, for sore muscles. (N) Energy bars/peanuts. (O) Sunglasses. (P) Umbrella. (Q) Plenty of one and five-dollar bills for tips etc. (R) Band-aids. (S) Mini- alarm clock.
Don't wait until the last minute to pack. Place all your gear in one area (spare bedroom) and accumulate it over several days prior to leaving so that you will have plenty of time to remember everything you need.
Open the face of your club and aim left of your target. Take the club back sharply on the outside and swing to the inside. Hit about a half inch behind the ball. Playing the shot in this manner tends to dull the contact between the club and the ball, therefore, it is necessary to hit it harder than you would for a normal shot of the same distance.
A perfect place to practice this shot is on the range where divots are plentiful. Unfortunately, there will always be players that do not repair their divots.