Don’t Let Your Ego Choose Your Equipment

“Those blades look absolutely amazing!”

If I got paid every time I have heard that I would be a very rich man. Of course I would have to pay a good friend of mine all of that and more for the amount of times I have said this exact thing.

Who better to tell you to leave the ego at the door when choosing your equipment then someone who has had to learn first hand.

Players irons are fantastic looking clubs and yet for most golfers you should never touch them. And it is not that most golfers are not consistent — terrible word — because most of you are consistent, just not at hitting the center of the club face. That is where the disadvantage comes into play with your clubs.

Sweet Spot = No loss of yardage

1/4″ off = -10% in yardage

1/2″ off = -20% in yardage

3/4″ off = -30% in yardage

What does this mean for most golfers who do not hit it on the sweet spot? 

Have you ever hit an iron so flush that the ball went 20 yards further than you “normal” yardage? Guess what — your body moved the same, the path of the club was more then likely the same, your swing speed did not pick up — you hit the center of the sweet spot of the club. Clubs that have a little more metal backing them, “game improvement clubs”,  have more bounce on them even on the mishits. So on a normal day you are consistently mishitting the sweet spot and then every once in a while you see what that extra 20% gives you when your ball waves at the green as it sails into the creek!

PGA Tour Players playing blades 2011: 30%

PGA Tour Players playing blades 2018: 10%

Forged clubs, which are the clubs that most of your better players prefer, are moving into the forgiving category. Among others that is one variable that has created the drop in blades on the PGA Tour. Brands such as Mizuno, Miura, PXG, Titleist, Callaway, Srixon and Epon have taken forged clubs to new heights by designing good looking, technologically advanced, forgiving forged irons.

My beautiful MP 18’s are about to be office ornaments and replaced by the fantastic and looking and forgiving JPX 919 Forged irons. There might be some hybrids in there as well but tell no one.

Don’t let your ego destroy your golf game. Get fit by a proper fitter and maximize your abilities with the best technology possible.

 

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Jeans for the Golf Course

I live in a part of the nation where jeans reign supreme. The golfing elite are starting to be okay with jeans as they start to wear them in the boardrooms during business casual days.

Designers have been on board for quite some time now it has just taken some time for the golf elite to join. A survey conducted by Golf Digest shows that jeans are now allowed in 2/3rd of the facilities in the United States. It is all in how you wear jeans and the style of them that makes all the difference in the world.

Scottie_2

Jeans have always been an issue for me not so much because of the look but because of the weight and mobility of the material. Until my wife purchased a pair of dark Levi 541 jeans a couple months ago. These jeans are great because they are designed to fit around the muscles in the leg rather then constrict them like a pair of compression pants but they also are not baggy and lose which helps make them too heavy. The biggest win is that they sit well on the hips without sliding and sit right on top of the shoes when you find the proper length.

Things to look for when purchasing athletic jeans:

  • light weight material blend
  • designed to hug the hips to keep from slipping
  • proper length to sit on top of the shoes and not ingulf them
  • flexible material
  • designed to be mobile for athletes
  • color preferably dark or a slight fade

These are important aspect to look good and functional on the golf course in your jeans.

Jeans that are out there designed properly:

 

If you have not tried to play golf in jeans you should try it. Recently I did and it has opened a world of different styles both on/off the golf course.

Please be mindful that jeans are still frowned upon at many facilities and to always ask before going to a new facility.

As always: Play well and look great doing it or just look great and no one will pay attention to how you play.

Otis Park: Limestone Capital Beauty

Located just outside the small town of Bedford in southern Indiana, a town best known for being the home of Indiana University’s great Damon Bailey and the “Limestone Capital of the World”, lies the beautiful little municipal golf course, Otis Park. I grew up playing this golf course and practically lived there when I was a teenager. At the time I took the golf course for granted for what it truly was and until recently I still did. One of things that you must know about Otis is that if you can not hit a golf ball unless it is on a flat lie then you might not want to bother because there are few places on this rolling hilly terrain that you are going to find a flat lie. The enthusiast of old school architecture would love this design with the tree lined holes that play back and forth, small greens (and I mean small greens), and non manipulated hilly terrain this course is a jump in the past for architecture.

course

Otis Park is located on 150 acres that was donated in 1935 to the city of Bedford by Fred B. Otis. While it has changed quite a bit since its inception Otis Park has not deviated from its roots. Once you drive up to the facility you will get a feel for the character of Bedford, Indiana. This place is not like the golf courses in French Lick just 45 minutes down the road, it is not going to chew you up and spit you out and the budget is much smaller; however, the staff do a great job of taking care of Otis. And at 6400 yards from the tips the golf course will not over power you with length but you better have a great wedge game, because you are going to need it. The greens are the teeth of this golf course especially when they speed them up as they are small and have some movement in them.

The picturesque hole on the golf course is the longest hole on the golf course as well, #17. This par 5 is a blast starting from the tee shot which is from a cliff to a valley below over a creek. This is a go get it type of hole if you can stay out of the creek and the bunkers. Plus you better score on this hole because #18 is part of the trifecta at Otis, with your final hole being a par 3 that is all carry, just like the other two par 3’s on the course.

Untitled design

Otis Park is a picturesque golf course with an old school style of architecture and historical landmarks. For the better player it might be an easy place to play but that is not what should be valued at Otis as it is not designed to be difficult. Otis shows off the character of Bedford and of southern Indiana. The limestone walls, limestone bandshell, red brick mansion and the rolling hills are what make Otis a great place to visit. As I said earlier I grew up playing this place and my children will as well.

history

Fall Apparel Launch

Fall is a whole new season in the golf industry and this does not mean that the clubs are the only new items coming out on the market. The apparel companies are really stepping up their game and launching items in the fall as well. Golf style is getting better and more diversified. Below are some of the hottest brands in the industry.

PUMA

The Volition America Golf Collection

This is a great line that Puma has had throughout this year. The program supports the families of the Folds of Honor Foundation. Puma New Gear

POLO RALPH LAUREN

Polo always has great looking clothing. These are just some of the products they are releasing this fall that is great for the golf course and off the golf course. PRL New Gear

SOUTHERN TIDE

Southern Tide is a great coastal product that has a very quality product. The Skipjack polo has many variations and is extremely comfortable. Southern Tide New Gear

UNDER ARMOUR

Known for their form fitting and moisture wicking material, Under Armour has some fantastic gear for the cold weather as well. UA New Gear

VINEYARD VINES

The team who spent their summers in Martha’s Vineyard during the summer have created a lasting brand that has been around for 20 years. Their product is great and a must try if you have yet to own a piece from Vineyard Vines. Vineyard Vines New Gear

PETER MILLAR

A list of new golf apparel would not be complete without Peter Millar. Some of the best classic fit performance products in the game. Peter Millar New Gear

 

As always: Look good and play well or just look good and no one will talk about your play!

The Putter Should Fit Your Style

Golf is an individualistic sport that in most cases the player has only themselves to applaud or be disgusted with. There is probably no other piece of equipment in the bag more individualistic then the putter. Majors have been won with multiple shaft leans such as Phil Mickelson with a strong forward press to Zach Johnson with no forward press. Even the grip on the club has many different variations with major wins from Sergio Garcia with the claw grip, Jordan Speith with left hand low and of course many with the standard right hand low grip. The point is there are many variations of how people setup and swing a putter and this doesn’t event scratch the surface of the style and manufacturers of putters out there.

Still confused on what putter you should play? Here are a few tips of some different variations match some different swing styles.

Mallet

One of the first to be made was the 1976 Zebra putter. However, it took many years after its introduction for the mallet to gain popularity. Below are some of the styles they tend to match:

  • slight arc
  • over rotation of toe
  • slight forward press

Blade

While there were others before it, the Anser was a game changer for putters. What are the typical styles that are great with a blade putter:

  • strong arc
  • strong forward press
  • lead with left hand (for righty)

Center Shaft

Many putters have been centered shafted yet SeeMore makes a living off of it. What are the styles that work great with a center shaft:

  • upright stance
  • slight arc
  • fairly straight putting stroke
  • little to no forward press

Insert vs Milled

This is a feel situation. Personally I like the roll I get from a milled putter especially with faster greens. And in most of my research to date I have found very little data showing that either one has an advantage or a disadvantage.

LASTLY: Get Evaluated

Getting a professional fitting/ evaluation for your putter is extremely important. As it has been my experience that very few people actually know what they are doing in their full swing even with a putter. However when you go looking for a fitter start with these questions to find out if they know how to fit a putter properly.

  • Is your address square, open or closed?
  • Are you hunched over or upright?
  • Do you press your hands forward? How much?
  • What is your swing path? Slight Arc, strong arc, across the ball or push?
  • What speeds are the greens that you typically play on?