Posts Tagged ‘TaylorMade’

3 Helpful Tips From Tiger’s Win

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll look at 3 things from Tiger’s win yesterday that you can immediately use with your junior golfer.

The last few years for Tiger Woods have been difficult, to say the least. Speculation has been rampant with so many reasons that he could never be the Tiger of old, much less win anything, much less a big tournament. He proved the doubters wrong and won a tiny event called The Tour Championship. This, his first win since 2013, has been called the greatest comeback of all time.

Certainly it’s a very big victory, requiring excellent application of massive amounts of every skill, mental and physical, that a professional golfer has.

Here are 3 lessons from Tiger’s win that you can use with your son/daughter: 1. He kept his passion for the game, the competition, being in the hunt on Sunday. Your child’s passion/love of the game is a major driver. Please stay on task and be aware of this. 2. He believed he would come back. Through all the messiness of life and the injuries, surgeries and rehab, Tiger relentlessly stayed on a comeback path. Encourage your kiddo. Help him/her stay positive when “life happens”. 3. He continued to do golf things. Tiger always asked his doctors what golf functions he could do. Can I putt, chip, hit wedges, do something with a golf club or golf ball. And he also kept up with new technology and innovations, evidenced by his new Bridgestone golf ball, the Tour B XS, and his bag of TaylorMade clubs. Yes, some of this is because Nike left the golf ball/equipment business, but still, Tiger had to spend time on research. Go shopping with your junior golfer. Hit some new clubs. Read up on new golf balls. Staying current is critical.

Photocredit:espn.com

Tiger’s playing great and the crowds are huge. Should be an exciting Ryder Cup, September 28-30 from Paris!

See you on #1 tee unfazed by life’s intrusions… 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: Parents This Inexpensive Rain Gear Is Your 1st Choice

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will take the parent’s perspective on rain gear. Your son’s/daughter’s take on the most important piece of rain gear may be different from Mom and Dad’s. (image offcoursegolf.com)img_0106-1

Until you’ve been there, you haven’t. Yes, unless you, Dad and Mom and your junior golfer have had the very tough experience of trying to keep dry and continue to play golf in the rain but still ending up soaking wet and barely being able to play the game, you may not understand where I’m going.

Depending on whether you have a son or daughter playing golf, their desire for the 1st piece of rain gear may be fashion-oriented. S3, again this was before he got soaked in a tournament, would lean towards the latest really cool-looking rain jackets, understandable. Your daughter might go the same route or perhaps she would prefer a beautiful umbrella. Depends on your kiddo and their personality.

Parents, I assure you that the 1st time your child gets totally soaked, reality sets in. And that is that being wet and miserable is bad enough, but he/she can still function physically, even with the discomfort and inconvenience. So play continues and yes, your child will want to gut it up and keep playing until the round is completed or play is stopped by the officials.

Ready for reality? The 1 thing that will totally shut down your junior golfer’s game is not being able to hold on to the club. It is impossible to play golf if you can’t hold on to the golf club! Things we have personally seen is the club slipping so badly at impact that the ball goes nowhere or ends up in a totally horrific spot and then, the most dangerous and scary occurrence of all, the club flying out of the player’s hands and people ducking for cover. Even with snakes and alligators on some golf courses, the scariest thing Linda, S3 and I have even seen during a tournament is a golf club sailing uncontrollably toward some fans. When a golf club strikes a human, the golf club wins, every time!

Guess what the 1st thing was that we bought the next day? Yes, the wet weather golf gloves. Back then I think only Footjoy made them but now several brands are available including but not limited to, I think, TaylorMade and Callaway. Retail pricing is around $22.00 for a pair of gloves, so they are very inexpensive. And they work!

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Phil Mickelson doesn’t hesitate to put them on in high humidity or when it’s raining. Obviously he practices with them, so he’s comfortable wearing them and plays great with them. Our whole family has a pair in our golf bags and we practice with them on the range. It’s fun, a nice change to the regular range routine.

Dad and Mom, we can’t emphasize this enough. These gloves are an essential piece of equipment and should be in your youngster’s golf bag immediately and at all times in the future. Take your kiddo to a golf store this weekend and try on some different brands and buy a pair. You’ll both be glad you did.

See you on #1 tee ready for a good grip… Sam

Junior Golf: Love Your Golf Ball

In this Monday Mulligan we will continue our look at golf balls and why your daughter needs to really like/love the ball she plays with. It’s her most important piece of equipment so let’s treat it as such. (image jennleforge.com)image

Yes, if your girl is a beginner and struggling to make contact with the ball, please buy some inexpensive balls until she starts smacking the ball on the clubface, hopefully near the middle, and is getting it up into flight. Then it is the time to get some education for both of you in the world of golf balls.

Last post we talked some technical things and most of the balls for your beginner to intermediate skill level young lady would be the common 2-piece variety. At this stage of her golf development what would cause her to enjoy/like/love a particular ball? The easiest benefit to see is increased distance. 1 ball may stand out as going farther than the other balls she has hit. Buy some. Let her enjoy her new length. As she get used to this ball, ask her how it feels when she hits a good shot. If she says it feels good or I barely feel any contact, you have a ball to stick with for a while, at least until the more sophisticated area of spin levels comes into play.

Another thing that simply makes golf more fun is the color of the golf ball. I can assure you that my wife Linda, really enjoys playing with colored golf balls. It’s easy to see that it makes golf more fun for her. There are bright yellow, bright green, pink, deep-rose colored balls and more. Ask your daughter if she would like to play with a color other than a white golf ball. Buy her some. Please be aware everyone’s eyes are different. I personally still see white balls quicker than any other color. Then yellow and green and frankly the pink, deep-rose colors are very hard for my eyes to pick up.

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A hybrid type of ball is the Callaway Chrome Soft Truvis Ball offered in red/white and yellow/black. These are easy for my eyes to see and the color pattern looks kind of like a soccer ball. They are pricey at $39.99 per dozen and may not be appropriate for your girl’s swing speed. It is incredibly easy however to see the spin with this ball. Buy 1 sleeve for putting and chipping practice. (image golf balls.com)

The bottom line here is buy her a sleeve each of several of the top brand names like Titleist, Callaway, Bridgestone, Nike-while you can get them, Srixon and TaylorMade. At some point she will tell you which 1 stands out to her. And buy her some colored balls for fun. Who knows what her final choice will be, but at least she has had the chance to audition a variety of quality golf balls. You’re putting her in a position to succeed!

See you on #1 tee with a golf ball you love… Sam

Junior Golf: The Right Ball-Better Golf

In this Friday Flop Shot we will discuss the positive difference that the correct golf ball can make in your son’s game. The right ball equals better golf and here’s why.img_0106-1

It was perhaps 6 months ago that Ryan Moore began playing considerably better on the PGA Tour. Something changed and he was finishing in the top tier, even top 5 or top 10 in almost every event. What’s going on? It turns out that 1 of the golf announcers, I can’t recall if it was Johnny Miller, Nick Faldo or who said, “He (Ryan Moore) has made some equipment changes and is now playing a ball which he is more comfortable with, and it is a better fit for his game and the golf ball is every golfer’s most important piece of equipment.” Wow, great stuff! (photo offcoursegolf.com)

I don’t know his previous ball but I think Ryan changed to Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x. Look at his record for the last few months including his dramatic Ryder Cup final round victory. The right ball makes a huge difference for the pros and it will for your son too.

Growing up there were Titleist, Maxfli/Dunlap, Wilson, Spaulding and a few other brands I can’t recall. I always loved Titleist, in fact if I wasn’t playing a Titleist I didn’t really feel like I was playing golf. In high school we jokingly called ourselves “Titleist snobs!” Yes, Titleist was that dominant during the 1960’s. There weren’t any lady’s or youth balls and you just played what felt good. We had no idea of our swing speeds or anything else, we just played what we could afford. I can’t tell you how many times we bought used golf balls from guys who were picking them out of hazards…for like
10 cents each or 3 for a quarter.

Today of course, there are golf balls for ladies, juniors, for any player young or old with a fast or slow swing speed. How do you find the proper ball for your junior golfer? Beginner to intermediate should be trying 2-piece or 3-piece balls if they even still make them. Read the box. Go with slower swing speed balls for 105 mph speeds or less or 95 mph or less. Basically, the younger your son, the slower his swing speed.image

Stick with the name brands like Titleist, Bridgestone, Callaway, Nike, Taylormade and Srixon. Golf ball marketers change the names and designations of their balls all the time. It’s impossible to keep up with so you must read the labels. Unless your son is breaking 80 and has a swing speed of 105mph or higher, you will benefit him more if you buy the lower to mid-price balls. Titleist NXT Tour or Velocity are excellent. Bridgestone e5, e6 or e7 are good for swing speeds of 85-95 mph. Callaway has some balls in their Hex and Supersoft lines that would work. Srixon has some Soft Feel balls as well as their Q-Star ball that your son could try. I have a good friend who plays Taylormade balls and loves them. And don’t forget Nike. Their RZN balls have been favorites of S3 and mine for some time. The Speed Red or Speed White is great for me and S3’s swing speed requires the RZN Tour balls. (photo GolfWRX)

The bottom line is that your son must like his golf ball. And the 1st thing he must like about it is how the ball feels coming off the club face. This list of balls will get you started on a solid path. Have fun!

See you on #1 tee loving your golf ball… Sam

Junior Golf: Custom Clubs, The Remaining Ones

imageIn this Wednesday Waggle we will look at the remaining custom clubs in my bag. Previously we discussed my driver and 4-P. Now let’s look at what’s left. (golfdigest.com)

My TaylorMade Rocketbalz 3-wood, factory stiff shaft, was untouched except for a new Lamkin grip with an extra wrap of grip tape under my low (right) hand. This was more of a function of time and not really needing to do much to it since I already was hitting the club quite well. This club may end up competing with my new driver. This 3-wood goes 250-270 yards when I catch it on the screws. Yes, I like this club.

Next is S3’s and my favorite “shared” club of all time, our 10-year old Nike Ignite 5-wood with factory stiff shaft. We would move this from my bag to his depending who was playing next. There is something about 5-woods. They tend to be sweet and easy to hit. This club goes about 210-225 for me. I heartily suggest taking your junior golfer and hitting some 5-woods. This stick can easily become a comfort club that is always helpful to have in the bag.image

Now to my driving iron. It’s a tour edge exotics CB ProH head, which is a cavity back design that allows for the manufacturer to thin out the face for more rebound (speed). Full steel construction. The shaft is a Nippon NS Pro, a Japanese shaft maker that generally makes the best lighter weight shafts. It’s about 100 grams and has constant wall thickness. Basically it is a 21-degree, specialized 3-iron. I love the way it feels and just need to hit it some more to get comfortable with it. 200-220 yards looks about where the distance will fall. Driving irons are in the golf bag to provide a dependable, easier to hit club when confidence in driving accuracy is required rather than maximum distance.image

Wedges, my Cleveland wedges. Until I got S3’s previous set of Cleveland’s, I had never picked up a Cleveland wedge. Well, it was love at first sight! Immediately I knew why they had such a great reputation in the wedge community. They just feel so good to hold! Mine are REG 588, 56-14 (56-degree loft, 14-degree bounce), bent strong to 54-degrees, for more distance and the 60 CG 16 (60-degree loft and 12-degree bounce). Adam will bend this to 59-degrees when he has the opportunity. Since I now have 3 instead of 4 wedges, the strong bending helps cover the distance gaps between the clubs. Both have the matt finish to help reduce glare and both have Lamkin grips with the extra tape under the low hand. I hit the 54 about 85-95 yards and the 60 about 60-75 yards. S3 is helping me hit down and compress the ball better with these clubs which will certainly add distance. It’s fun!

That’s my bag, except for my putter. See you on #1 tee looking customized… Sam

Junior Golf: CustomIrons For Slower Swing Speeds

imageIn today’s Monday Mulligan we will look at the bulk of my custom golf clubs, my irons 4-P. Strategically Adam helped me totally reconfigure my golf bag. His initial question asking me to justify the presence of every club in my bag led to some revealing observations.

My main iron set went from 4-A (A being a wedge of higher loft than a pitching wedge but less loft than a sand wedge, usually around 52-degrees). So I had 8 clubs, TaylorMade Rocketbalz. After talking with Adam we decided to go to 4-P, 7 clubs.

My previous bag was: driver that I basically never hit, 3-wood, 3-hybrid, 4-A, 56 and 60 degree wedges and putter, 14 clubs. My new custom bag is : driver which I love and am getting used to, 3-wood, 5-wood, 21-degree driving iron (3-iron loft), 4-P, 56-degree bent stronger to 54-degrees, 60-degree and putter, 14 clubs. The main reason for the new lineup is to better cover the gaps between my clubs. For my game and S3’s game for now, 3 wedges is adequate.

 

As I get used to these wonderful customized clubs there are a couple of scenarios which may play out. 1 is that as I get used to hitting my driver, how much will I use the 3-wood off the tee?Also how much will I hit our beloved Nike Ignite 5-wood as I learn to hit the driving iron?image

Ok, my Titleist 714CB Irons feel like an extension of my arms. I truly don’t believe I have ever had many, if any, clubs that feel as good and natural as all these clubs that Adam touched. The irons are a dream to hit. I’m still getting used to them, but once I loosen up on the range they really feel sweet. The shafts are KBS Tour which gives shot versatility with a mid-trajectory. All of the iron shafts were frequency matched, which basically means the flex runs constant throughout the set with no outliers, each weighing about 110 grams raw. All of the irons were MOI matched, which basically means that the amount of inertial force required is constant throughout the set as per Newton’s second law. This is really cool stuff!image

The grips are Lamkin and we put a second wrap of grip tape under my low (right) hand. These grips feel great! I went with Lamkin for 2 reasons: first we have never had a Lamkin grip on anything in our house so it is a good time to try them and second, when you go to the Lamkin website, there’s Arnold, Arnold Palmer on the home page. Well, Arnold is my all time favorite athlete and if he is a Lamkin spokesman, I’m trying them! I love these grips! The sensitivity and feel is excellent and having that extra wrap of tape under my low hand actually allows me to grip the club with my right hand more naturally and frankly, easier.

So the question is how am I hitting them? I hit some good shots, but I am still working on getting my swing back and getting used to these clubs at the same time. There’s quite a bit going on. The main criteria was to have a mid-trajectory 7-iron go 150-160 yards. Hopefully this will be the case. These irons are wonderful to swing and beautiful to look at.

See you on #1 tee ready to stick that approach shot right by the pin… Sam

 

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