Posts Tagged ‘golf clubs’

Junior Golf: 3 Tips For Summer Golf Success

In this Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at 3 simple ways for your junior golfer to have a successful summer of golf.

Ok, school is out for just about everybody so let’s get after some fun summer golf planning!

1. Start with getting the whole family together to go over summer calendars. Prep for this by having dates of tournaments and golf camps on hand. If you’re planning a major vacation for the family, be sure to include the golf clubs.

2. Mom and Dad, review the summer budget. Then decide how much discretionary money can go towards golf. Know costs of tournaments, golf camps, clubs and lessons. Remember that summer is a time when major advances in skill levels can occur.

3. Be aware that your non-golfing kids need attention too. Balance your time and money as best it’s possible, among the youngsters.

There you go, quick and easy. If college golf is a goal, I encourage you to spend as much time and money as you can, in a prudent way, to immerse your kiddo in summer golf. Amazing things happen with immersion!

S3 took this photo of my shot on this par 3 at the beautiful Nicklaus Ocean Course at the Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Florida. This was during his college graduation trip in 2016.

The summer between his junior and senior years of high school, S3 had 23 days of tournaments. Yes, this is a lot of golf but we had budgeted for it and he played some of the best golf of his life. It was fun!

See you on #1 tee with a better game… Sam

Junior Golf: Please Get Your 7-iron

In this Wednesday Waggle we’re going to use your child’s 7-iron to put us on an informative and educational path.

Today’s point is that our clubs, for this post, our irons, may not always be what they seem. If you’re asking yourself, “Where on earth is he going?”, fear not, clarity is on the way.

You may recall my post of May 25, “Use Demo Days to Lower Your Scores”, where I described the excellent club fitting I received from a Wilson Staff rep. I filed his suggestions for future use as I decided to continue to explore more options rather than buying a new set of irons, although it was very tempting.

Upon returning to San Antonio I went to see Ben, a highly recommended club fitter. I told him my 7-iron didn’t go anywhere. It was at least 15 yards shorter than it’s predecessor and I really didn’t have confidence in any of my irons, even though this set was made for me by a good friend.

As he put it on the loft/lie machine, Ben found my 7-iron to have a loft of 37-degrees, basically an 8-iron’s loft. That’s why it didn’t go anywhere. Once corrected to the typical 34-degree loft and along with a lie adjustment of 1-degree upright, I went to the adjacent range to hit. My “new” 7-iron was wonderful, the ball flew beautifully and carried much farther than before.

Photocredit: bettershotgolf.com

For the record, all my irons were off and Ben put them back to typical specs and a 1-degree upright lie. Then I thought about my driving iron I’d never been comfortable with. It was too flat/strong and he fixed that. On my first swing I hit that driving iron better than ever!

So this is a bit embarrassing that I hadn’t done this before but at least it’s done now. Out of the 10 irons in my bag, only my 2 Cleveland wedges were the correct loft, requiring just the lie adjustment. My driving iron and 4-p all needed a loft correction plus the 1-degree upright adjustment. No wonder I couldn’t get any confidence with those clubs!

My investigation into what to do with my irons has taken a fun turn. Instead of spending big money on new irons, I’m hitting these for a few weeks to see how I like distance, ball flight and feel. Then Ben and I will discuss whether a change of shafts or heads might be beneficial.

Parents, please ask around about recommendations for club fitters in your area. Then take your kiddo’s irons in for a loft and lie checkup. You may be surprised at what you learn. You and your son/daughter will at the least leave with confidence that those irons are now the correct loft and lie. Go hit ’em!

See you on #1 tee with proper lofts… Sam

Junior Golf: Use Demo Days To Lower Your Scores

In this Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at the benefits of Demo Days and how you and your junior golfer can use them to shoot lower scores.

Demo Days are regularly scheduled at nearly every golf course and at some golf academies and learning centers. All the major manufacturers have representatives who put on Demo Days. Please check with the golf facilities in your area for dates of upcoming Demo Days and plan to attend.

Don’t be concerned if you’re not familiar with a certain club manufacturer. Go anyway. It’s great fun! There’s always something to be learned. It will pay off. It’s a free education!

Before you go, you and your kiddo briefly discuss any specific clubs you may want to evaluate. Whether it’s the driver, irons or wedges, have some thoughts ready ahead of time.

Put his/her full set of clubs in the car with you and then take the club you are most interested in with you when you walk up to the rep. If it’s irons, take the 7-iron.

Most reps today have numerous different weight/length/flex shafts that they can immediately screw on to any head. They do it right there and it only takes a few seconds. Let the Demo Day rep look at the current 7-iron and ask for suggestions of what shaft/head combo he has that might improve distance and accuracy.

Recently I was with Wilson Staff master fitter, Jeff Pittillo, at River Falls Plantation in South Carolina. I showed him my current 7-iron and mentioned I wasn’t happy with it because the ball didn’t go anywhere. I’ve lost a bunch of distance. His analysis: the shaft is too heavy. It’s stiff flex and I need regular. And the heads are almost blades and I need a more forgiving cavity-back style club. Wow!

Here’s what we did. We tried a couple of different weight shafts, all regular flex and ultimately Jeff recommended the KBS 90 gram regular flex shaft for more speed. We put it on the new Wilson Staff C300 Forged heads and the C300 Cast heads. The C300 Cast went further, felt better and had a beautiful ball flight. And the Cast is cheaper than the Forged. They’re great!

You can duplicate this scenario with your youngster at every Demo Day. Attend as many DD’s as possible so your son/daughter can get opinions from several club fitters and get a feel for different makes of clubs. At some point, you will hear, “Dad, those xxxxxx’s really felt good and they increased my distance!”

Now it’s up to the golf budget guru to see what can be done. Remember, the PGA publishes golf club trade-in values so you may get some bucks from the current clubs. A few times each year most facilities offer extra value on your trade-ins. Ask and they should be able to tell you when the next extra value trade-in period is and plan accordingly.

In order for your junior to be competitive, it is critical that Dad and Mom plan and commit to provide golf clubs that are correct for your child’s size, strength, athletic ability and skill level. This is a great way to get quality input from multiple sources!

See you on #1 tee with the right clubs… Sam

Junior Golf: 3 PreSummer Checks For Irons That Fit

In today’s Monday Mulligan we’ll look at 3 aspects of your junior golfer’s irons so you can be sure he/she has the correct equipment for maximum summer golf benefits.

Your youngster is growing, needing bigger shoes, new pants, shirts, tops and bottoms. Remember Mom and Dad, that getting taller, faster and stronger likely means different golf clubs.

Irons and all golf clubs that are mismatched to any golfer are a handicap. Your kiddo’s chance of success is poor if he/she is using improper equipment.

Start by asking for the name of the best club-fitter in your area. It’s best to ask the really good adult golfers, the ones who seriously compete and win in amateur events in your area. They know! Not being judgemental, but if you ask your swing coach, he/she will say they can do it. Now, this may be true or not. Perhaps they are the best swing coach around and are capable of doing a club fitting, but are they the best club-fitter, I don’t know. If you ask a junior or their parents, they may say they use their swing coach.

The swing coach will recommend that your child needs this, that and the other in the next set of irons, which should be soon. The club-fitter makes that happen with their own unique set of skills. And the best club fitter is a very talented and well-respected person!

Here’s what should be evaluated and acted upon now, with the current set of irons, to make the best use of your summer golf investment:

1. Iron shafts: are they the correct length, weight and flex? For example: “x” inches long, 100 grams and regular flex.

2. Iron heads: are they matched to the skill level. For example: lighter or heavier weight, cast or forged construction and best for beginner, intermediate or advanced skill level junior golfers.

3. Iron grips: are they correct for your young golfer’s hand size and “feel” preference? For example: too small/skinny, too big/fat, just right/perfect and do they “feel” hard/slick, rough/coarse or pleasant, meaning slightly tacky/grabby.

There will be more than one club fitter in your town. The reality is that most are ok, but one or two are genuinely talented. Those are the folks you want to find.

A simple equation is that as your child’s skill level advances, they require more highly-skilled professionals, including swing coaches and club-fitters. Find out who the best are so you can go to them when you need them. You will need them!

See you on #1 tee with a proper set of irons… Sam

Junior Golf: 3 Fast Spring Cleaning Tips For Better Scores

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will address some spring cleaning issues. These are excellent tips that will help your daughter feel more confident with her game and help her achieve better scores. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

Spring cleaning, wow! Depending on your exact circumstances those words can strike fear and stress into Mom and Dad’s hearts. Not to worry, these suggestions are fast, easy and effective and really are things that should become a part of your girl’s regular routine.

Clean the grips. Time required: 15-30 minutes. Repeat at least once a month or more often depending on frequency of use and weather conditions. Sweat, dirt, mud, grass and who knows what else can find its way onto the grip of a golf club. Proper texture, feel and softness of the grip are critical to hitting good shots. Clean grips give your daughter the desired feel when she takes the club in her hands. Put some non-abrasive detergent/dish soap in a bowl of warm water. Use a mildly abrasive and clean terry cloth rag or towel or a soft bristle brush and gently scrub the grips until they are clean and regain their correct feel. Rinse and dry.
Clean the clubface and grooves. Time required: 15-30 minutes at home. Repeat after every shot during practice and play. I can’t tell you what age S3 was when he decided that a clean clubface was a good thing. It may have been while we were watching a tournament on TV and a player hit a shot with a ton of spin and handed his club to the caddy who promptly cleaned the face and grooves. It was at this moment that S3 said, “So that’s what those grooves are for!” A clean face and clean grooves give the ball and clubface the opportunity to interact in the manner that was intended and will result in better shots. Correct friction between the 2 is critical. Some soap, water and a brush are all that is required. Scrub the face and grooves to remove all dirt and wipe off with a towel. Having a clean clubface at the start of a round means it’s easier to clean during the round when all that’s available is water and a brush. (golfshake.com)

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Clean the golf shoes. Time required: 30-90 minutes depending on time for soaking. I know that the tops of golf shoes being clean doesn’t technically impact your daughter’s swing but if they look nice it will help her feel better about herself and that’s a positive thing! So clean and polish the tops. Now turn the shoes over and look at the bottom. Is there some rock-hard gunk caked on in some spots? Are all the cleats there? Do they need to be replaced? Great tip: put the shoes in a shallow pan with just enough water to cover the bottoms. Let them soak for an hour. This should be enough to loosen the caked-on mud as well as the threads on the spikes if they need to be replaced. A brush and perhaps a screwdriver to dig out the really difficult junk are all that you should need once you have soaked the shoes as described. Scrub ‘em clean and deal with the spikes as needed.

Congratulations, Dad and Mom you have just set your girl up for success. These simple tasks are extremely important and should now be a regular part of your junior golfer’s regimen.

See you on #1 tee all cleaned up… Sam

Junior Golf: Five Right Choices For Success

In this Friday Flop Shot we will learn 5 right choices that will put your son on the path to success. 1 of the basic tenets we encourage in our parenting classes is to set your child up for success. As the parent, this is up to you. (image offcoursegolf.com)img_0106-1

Attempting any endeavor without proper preparation, equipment and mental attitude will likely lead to a frustrating experience.As the parents and being the parents, Mom and Dad, it is fairly easy to set your son up to be successful in junior golf.

1. Choose proper equipment. His golf clubs must fit him for his size, strength and skill level. Ill-fitting clubs give your kiddo zero chance to develop a proper swing and have a good shot. It would be like sending him out bear hunting with a BB gun!
2. Choose proper golf shoes. The most important thing is that the shoes fit properly and are comfortable for walking. Buy golf shoes. While playing golf in tennis shoes is commonly seen in beginning junior golfers, it is not a preferred option in our opinion. Shoes made for golf will provide a stable platform for the swing motion-read lateral movement, soft spikes for traction, proper height above the ground for better balance and less risk of injury and some degree of water resistance/waterproofing. Buy the absolute best golf shoes you can afford. Golf shoes are 2nd only to golf clubs in importance.
3. Choose proper clothing. Abide by proper dress codes for golf etiquette. This shows an inherent respect for this wonderful game. Buy modern fabrics. The array of moisture-wicking shirts, pants, shorts and socks is amazing. Your son can stay cooler, warmer, and more dry than either of you ever thought possible. More freedom of movement too! Proper clothes really help!
4. Choose a proper pre-game atmosphere. Start the night before a tournament by setting a positive environment. Adrenaline can kick in early once your junior golfer realizes that his tournament starts tomorrow. He doesn’t need additional things to think about or worry about. Dad and Mom this isn’t rocket science. All you need to do is let him relax and perhaps play some video games with some friends. Or go to a movie. Take his mind off of golf. Then get a good night’s sleep, a solid breakfast, a relatively quiet drive to the course and then some encouraging words as he proceeds to check-in and warm-up. (image Lyman Orchards Golf)

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5. Choose to let your child choose golf. The previous 4 choices are your responsibility. Linda, my wife and coaching partner, has shared that the love of the game and the success that follows is your child’s. If his heart is not in the game, the best equipment and best environment won’t make him successful.

See you on #1 tee ready for success… Sam

3 Steps To Prepare For Spring Golf

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will look at 3 things to do to help your daughter be prepared from a golf equipment standpoint, for spring golf. Tournaments will be here before you know it and the last thing you want is for your daughter to be walking out the door without an essential piece of equipment and no one is aware of it! (image jennleforge.com)image

Here we go:
Gather all her golf equipment. This means clubs, bag, zip-on top for the golf bag, push cart, head covers, tees, balls, golf brush, ball marker, golf towels, golf gloves, divot repair item-tees work fine and the very important Sharpie for marking her balls and the scorecard.
Carefully inspect everything. Is the bag fully functional? Does it have any tears or holes? Do all the zippers work? Are the stand legs working? Are the non-slip bottoms still attached to the legs? Are all her clubs there? Do her grips have the kind of soft tacky feel of new ones? If not, replace them. Or at least gently scrub them with non-abrasive soap and warm water, dry them and see how they feel. Does she have everything listed above? Wash the towels. Replace worn gloves. Do the old gloves even still fit? Does the Sharpie have any ink in it or has it dried out?
Take action. Look at the calendar. When is the 1st golf event? Plan a time to take your daughter shopping to buy the items needed. Go to the biggest possible golf store in your area. They will likely have a better selection and may also have some new items that your girl might like to try. (photo Junior_Academy_3.jpg, Banners Golf)

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Dad and Mom we’ve all been there. That moment when you thought you had everything in order only to arrive at the course and an item, usually one not sold at the course pro shop, is missing. Set your daughter up for success and do this little bit of advance preparation. It will save a bunch of headaches!

See you on #1 tee with everything you need for success… Sam

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