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Weapons of our fore! fathers

Geschrieben am 10.3.2010 um - 0 Kommentare - Schreibe einen Kommentar - Link

Chapter 2: Gearing Up 29 Weapons of our fore! fathers The earliest players carved their own clubs and balls from wood. Later, skilled craftsmen assumed the task. Long-nosed wooden clubs are the oldest-known designed clubs — and the most enduring equipment ever conceived, remaining in use from the 15th century until the late 19th century. Long-noses were made from pear, apple, beech, or holly trees and were used to help achieve maximum distance with the feathery golf ball, which dates all the way back to 1618. Later, other parts of the golf set developed: play clubs, which included a range of spoons with varying lofts; niblicks, a kin of the modern 9-iron (TaylorMade R7 Iron Set)or wedge that was ideal for short shots; and a putting cleek — a club that has undergone (and is still undergoing) perhaps the most rigorous experimentation. I know that my putters have undergone severe tests of stamina and stress. ou’re probably familiar with the I’m-goingto- hrow-this-thing-into-orbit-and-let-Zeus-seeif- e-can-putt-with-it test, as well as the ver-popular break-it-over-my-knee-so-it-can’tharm- nyone-again test. These tests should be onducted only by professionals. he development of the gutta percha ball, much arder than a feathery, forced club makers to ecome truly revolutionary. Some club makers tried using leather, among other materials, in their clubs in an attempt to increase compression and, therefore, distance (obviously, a recurring theme throughout the ages). Others implanted metal and bone fragments in the clubface. In 1826, Scottish club makers began using hickory imported from the United States to manufacture shafts, and hickory was quickly adopted as the wood of choice. It’s probably a good thing that the fore! Fathers never saw what may have been the goofiest innovation of all: the orange ball Jerry Pate used to win the 1982 Players Championship. Clothes: How to Dress Like a Pro The easiest way to date an old picture of a golfer, at least approximately, is by the clothes he or she is wearing. Sartorially, the game has changed enormously since the Scots tottered ’round the old links wearing a jacket, shirt, and tie. Back at St. Andrews, the restraint of the clothing affected the golf swing. Those jackets were tight! In fact, I believe that was the single biggest influence on the early golf swings. A golfer had to sway off the ball and then let his left arm bend on the backswing to get full motion. Also, he had to let go with the last three fingers of his left hand at the top of the swing. It was the only way a golfer could get the shaft behind his head. Put on a tweed jacket that’s a little too small and try to swing. You’ll see what the early golfers had to go through. Fabrics have changed from those days of heavy wool and restricted swings. Light cotton is what the splendidly smart golfer wears today — if he or she hasn’t switched to one of the new, high-tech fabrics that wick perspiration away from the body. (I always said golf was no sweat.) Styles have changed, too. When I came on tour in the early 1970s, polyester was the fabric of choice. Bell-bottoms and bright plaids filled golf courses with ghastly ridicule. We’ve evolved to better fabrics — and a softer, more humane existence on the course. Some guys on tour now wear expensive pants with more-expensive belts. And a few, like Jesper Parnevik, are known for the retro look — plaids and pastels like we wore back in the ’70s! But most players wear off-the-rack clothes provided by clothing manufacturers. Women have undergone an enormous fashion transformation on the course, too. Years ago, they played in full-length skirts, hats, and blouses buttoned up to the neck. All very restricting, I imagine. Now, of course, they’re out there in shorts and pants. First of all, dress within your budget. This game can get expensive enough; there’s no need to outdress your playing partners. My general rule is to aim to dress better than the starter at the course. (The starter is the person in charge of getting everyone off the first tee.) The starter’s style is usually a reflection of the dress standards at that particular golf course. If you’re unsure about the style at a particular course, give the pro shop a call to find out the dress code.The bottom line is to dress comfortably and look good. If you dress well, you may appear as if you can actually play this game with a certain amount of distinction. People can be fooled. You never know! Golf shoes are the final aspect of a golfer’s ensemble. Shoes can be a fashion statement — alligator or ostrich. They can be comfortable — tennis shoes or sandals with spikes. They can take on the lore of the Wild West in the form of cowboy boots with spikes or, as my mentor Fairway (PING Rapture V2 FAIRWAY WOODS)Louie used to highlight his golfing attire, they can even be military combat boots. 30 Part I: Getting Started: No, You Can’t Hit the Ball Yet What’s on the bottom of the shoe is all the rage now. The traditional metal spikes have been replaced with all sorts of soft spikes. Soft spikes reduce spike marks and wear and tear on the greens. They’re also easier on the feet. If the style of shoes is worthy, you can even go directly from the golf course to the nearest restaurant without having to change shoes. The golf world is becoming a simpler place to live. Accessories: The Stuff You Need When it comes to accessories, there’s a whole golfing subculture out there. By accessories, I mean things like _ Covers for your irons _ Plastic tubes that you put in your bag to keep your shafts from clanging together _ Tripod tees to use when the ground is hard _ Golf watches that keep your score _ Rubber suction cups that allow you to lift your ball from the hole without bending down I’ve even seen a plastic clip that fits to the side of your bag so that you can “find” your putter quickly. You know the sort of things. Most accessories appear to be good ideas, but then you often use them only once. The place to find all this sort of stuff is in the classified advertising sections of golf magazines. But take my advice: Don’t bother. Real golfers — and you want to look and behave like one — don’t go in for that stuff. Accessories are very uncool. The best golf bags are spartan affairs and contain only the bare essentials: _ About six balls _ A few wooden tees _ A couple of gloves _ A rain suit _ A pitch-mark repair tool _ A few small coins (preferably foreign) for markers _ Two or three pencils _ A little bag (leather is cool) for your wallet, money clip, loose change, car keys, rings, and so on Chapter 2: Gearing Up 31 Your bag should also have a towel (a real, full-size one) hanging from the strap. Use your towel to dry off and clean your clubheads. Keep a spare towel in your bag. If it rains, you can’t have too many towels. I mentioned headcovers. Keep them only on your woods or metal woods. Golfers have a wide range to choose from. You have your cuddly animal devotees. Other players like to be identified with a particular golf club, university,or sports team. Some players are content merely to advertise the manufacturer of the club they’re using. Bottom line? I recommend that you get headcovers with which you readily identify. Create your own persona. For example, tour player Craig “The Walrus” Stadler has walrus headcovers. Esteban Toledo, a former boxer, uses little boxing gloves. Australian Steve Elkington doesn’t use headcovers. As for your golf bag, you don’t need a large tour-sized monstrosity with your name on the side. I’ve got one because I play professionally and someone pays me to use their golf equipment. But you should go the understated route. Especially if you’re going to be carrying your bag, go small and get the kind with legs that fold down automatically to support the bag. First, you don’t want to be loaded down on a hot day. And second, the last thing you want to do is draw attention to yourself. Blend in. Be one with the environment.

Part I: Getting Started: No, You Can’t Hit the Ball Yet

Geschrieben am 9.3.2010 um - 0 Kommentare - Schreibe einen Kommentar - Link

Part I: Getting Started: No, You Can’t Hit the Ball Yet

Technology and all its implications is a conversation topic that PGA Tour players visit quite often. Is the ball too hot? Are the big-headed titanium drivers giving the golf ball too much rebound? Is Tiger getting rich? I think that most players would answer these questions in the affirmative. Should golfers take a stance on the tenuous line between the balance of tradition and technology?“Probably not” would be the answer if all were polled.

To see where golf is today, you have to examine its past; then you can try to predict golf’s future. This section helps you gaze into the crystal ball to focus on what the future has to offer.

Whoever said that golf is played with weapons ill suited for their intended purpose probably hadn’t played with clubs made of titanium and other composite metals. These clubs allegedly act like a spring that segments of the golfing populace believe propels the golf ball — also enhanced by state-ofthe-art materials and designs — distances it was not meant to travel. This phenomenon is called the trampoline effect, which some folks may mistake for a post-round activity for reducing stress. In fact, this effect is the product of modern, thin-faced metal clubs.

This phenomenon has fueled a debate pitting the forces of technology (the evil swine) against those of tradition (those languorous leeches who never see special-effects movies). equipment that makes the game easier for the masses helps the game grow, the techno-wizards say. Traditionalists fret that classic courses are becoming obsolete, the need for new super-long courses may make the game cost more in both time and money, and golf may become too easy for elite players. Regardless of which side you agree with (you may, indeed, back both camps), one fact is undeniable: Improving Golf Equipment?has been an unceasing process throughout the game’s history.

People have been developing the golf ball and clubs for many years. In the last 100 years, however, science has played an increasing role in golf-club development, with a strong influence coming from research into new metals, synthetic materials, and composites. Other developments worth noting:

The introduction of the casting method of manufacturing clubheads in 1963.

The introduction of graphite for use in shafts in 1973.

The manufacture of metal woods in 1979 (first undertaken by TaylorMade). This last creation rendered persimmon woods obsolete, although a small number are still crafted. The application of titanium to clubheads raised the bar in technological development (yet again) just a few years ago. Lighter than previous materials yet stronger than steel, titanium allows club makers to create larger clubheads with bigger sweet spots that push the legal limit of 470 cubic centimeters. Such clubs provide high-handicap golfers a huge margin for error — there’s nothing quite like the feel of a mishit ball traveling 200 yards! But it’s

Chapter 2: Gearing Up 27

golf balls flying in excess of 300 yards that raise suspicions that these new clubs are making the ball too “excitable.” Golf balls have been under scrutiny for much longer, probably because each new generation of ball has had an ever greater impact on the game. Ball development makes golf easier and more enjoyable for the average person and, thus, cultivates more interest. Modern balls tout varied dimple patterns, multiple layers, and other features that attempt to impart a certain trajectory, spin, greater accuracy, and better feel, as well as the ever-popular maximum distance allowed under the Rules of Golf established by the USGA. A recent change in the Rules added more than 20 yards to the old maximum of 296.8 yards. But even way back in 1998, John Daly averaged 299.4 yards on his measured drives on the PGA Tour. By 2004 the leader, Hank Kuehne, averaged 314, and the trend is upward. Uh-oh. In the coming years, golf stands to become increasingly popular, and if history tells us anything, it’s that technology is apt to contribute to the game’s popularity. However, advances in golf equipment may occur at a relatively glacial pace. The early 21st century likely won’t come close to rivaling the first ten years of the 20th for technological impact or dramatic innovation. Why? For one thing, scientists are running out of new stuff they can use to make clubheads — at least stuff that isn’t edible. An expedition to Saturn may yield possibilities. Metallurgists are going to be challenged, although so far they’re staying ahead of the game. New entries in the substance category include beta titanium, maraging steel, graphite (yes, in clubheads), and liquid metal, all purportedly better than current club materials. Dick Rugge, Senior Technical Director for the USGA, is one of the prominent folks standing in the way of radical equipment enhancement. His job is to regulate the distance a golf ball should travel, yet he doesn’t want to stifle technology altogether. The goal is to give the average golfer an advantage (whether it comes from the equipment itself or the joy of having better equipment) while keeping the game a challenge for the top players. But someone is always trying to build a better mousetrap. And although everyone wants more distance, most performance-enhancing innovations are likely to come in putter designs. On average, the USGA approves more than one new putter every day, and many of the new ones look like something out of Star Wars. Still, no one has yet invented a yip-proof blade. When somebody does, that genius is going to make a fortune. We may also see more changes in the ball — although, again, dramatic alterations in ball design are unlikely. Customizing may become more commonplace. You may also see more layering of golf-ball materials to help performance.

28 Part I: Getting Started: No, You Can’t Hit the Ball Yet

Not to be discounted are improvements in turf technology — an overlooked area boasting significant breakthroughs in the last 20 years. For example, in 1977, the average Stimpmeter reading for greens around the country (the Stimpmeter measures the speed of a putting surface — or any surface on a course) was 6.6. This means that a ball rolled from a set slope traveled 61?2 feet. Today, the average is closer to 9 feet. The biggest future breakthroughs will probably come from humans. Physiological improvement and psychological refinement may be the surest paths to more distance and lower scoring. So hit the gym, take up Pilates, hit your psychologist’s couch, get in touch with your inner self, eat bran and all the protein bars you can stand, drink 20 glasses of water a day, and take a stab at self-hypnotism if you have to. And if all that fails to add 10 yards off the tee, then you can try a different ball. Ain’t innovation grand

Build your own clubs

Geschrieben am 8.3.2010 um - 0 Kommentare - Schreibe einen Kommentar - Link

Build your own clubs

You can get quite sophisticated when choosing a club. Club-component companies specialize in selling clubs piece by piece. You can literally build your own set of clubs to your own specifications; you just have to do some research

Chapter 2: Gearing Up 23

_ What shaft length do I need for my clubs? Golfers come in different heights and builds. Some people are tall with short arms, and some are short with long arms. People have different postures when they bend over to address the golf ball, and they need different shaft lengths to match that posture. This is where PGA golf professionals can really help; they’re trained to answer questions like these and can make club fitting very easy.

_ What lie-angle do I need on my clubs? Here’s the general rule: The closer you stand to the ball, the more upright your club needs to be. As you get farther away from the ball, the lie-angle of your clubs should be flatter.

_ What grip size do I need? The bigger your hands are, the bigger grip you need. If you have a tendency to slice the ball, you can try smaller grips that help your hands work faster. If you have a tendency to hook the ball, you can use bigger grips that will slow down your hands and help you beat that hook.

_ What material — leather, cord, all-rubber,

half-rubber — do you recommend for my grips? Many different materials can make up a golf grip. Leather is the most expensive and the hardest to maintain. It’s for accomplished players; I don’t recommend leather for beginners. Stick to an all-rubber grip — and change your grips every year if you play at least once a week. I use a combination of rubber and cord — and it has nothing to do with my name. These grips help me hold on to the club in hot weather. My hands are callused, though, so they don’t hurt from the rubbing of the cord.

_ What kind of irons should I buy — investment-cast, forged, oversized, or cavityback? The best advice I can give is to look for an investment-cast, cavity-backed, oversized golf club. For beginners, this is the best choice. Just take my word for it — I haven’t got enough paper to explain all the reasons.

_ Should I use space-age materials like boron, titanium, or graphite in my shafts? Or should I go with steel? Steel shafts are the cheapest; all the others are quite a bit more expensive, so keep your budget in mind. See if you can test some of these other shafts to see how they compare with steel, which is still very good and used by most of the players on tour.

_ What type of putter should I use: centershafted or end-shafted? Do I want a mallet putter, a belly putter, or a long putter? There’s been an explosion of putter technology in the past few years. You can try out the result at the golf course where you play. Just ask the pro if you can test one of the putters on the rack. If you have a friend or playing partner who has a putter you think you may like, ask to try it. For more on putters and putting, see Chapter 8.

_ If you’re going to buy new clubs, ask the pro if you can test them for a day. Most of the time, someone who’s trying to make a sale will give you every opportunity to try the clubs. Golf pros are just like car dealers; they’ll let you test-drive before you buy. first. A lot of people are building their own clubs, judging by the success of firms like Golfsmith. For one thing, these clubs are cheaper than the clubs you can buy off the shelf. Although building your clubs does require time and effort, the end result is the same. Component companies can sell you everything you need. You can get catalogs, call their toll-free numbers, or visit their Web sites (see Appendix B). Component companies offer grip tape, solvents, clamps, epoxy, shaftcutting tools, shaft extensions, grip knives, and every kind of shaft, head, and grip imaginable. You name it, they’ve got it. You just have to know what you want. If you’re not sure, order a club-making video or book first. You never know — you may end up an expert in the field.

When You Know Your Game

Before 1938, the Rules of Golf allowed players to carry as many clubs as they wanted. Since then, however, golfers have been restricted to a maximum of 14 clubs in their bags at any one time. But no rule tells you which 14 clubs to use, so you have leeway. You can match the composition of your set to your strengths and weaknesses. I’m assuming that you’re going to carry a driver,, a 3-wood, a putter, and irons 4 through 9. Nearly everyone does. So you have five clubs left to select. The first thing you need to know, of course, is how far you’re likely to hit each club. (That’s golfspeak for hitting the ball with the club. Don’t go smashing your equipment!) After you know that, you can look into plugging the gaps. Those gaps are most important at the short end of your set. I recommend that you carry three wedges, each with a different loft. I do. I use a 48-degree pitching wedge, a 54-degree sand wedge, and a 59-degree lob wedge. I hit them 125 yards pitching wedge), 105 yards (sand wedge), and 85 yards (lob wedge). That way, the yardage gap between them is not significant. If I carried only the 125-yard wedge and the 85-yard wedge, that would leave a gap of 40 yards — too much. If I leave myself with a shot of about 105 yards, right in the middle of my gap, I’ve got problems. Carrying the 105-yard wedge plugs that gap. If I didn’t have it, I’d be forced to manufacture a shot with a less-than-full swing. And that’s too hard, especially under pressure. Full swings, please! Okay, that’s 12 clubs taken care of. You have two left. I recommend carrying at least one lofted wood. Make that two. Low-numbered irons are too unforgiving. So give yourself a break. Carry a 5-wood and even a 7-wood. These clubs are designed to make it easy for you to get the ball up in the air. They certainly achieve that more quickly than a 2-iron.

24 Part I: Getting Started: No, You Can’t Hit the Ball Yet

Another option is the hybrid club. Sometimes called a utility club, the hybrid is sort of an iron, and sort of a fairway wood. It’s a fairly recent entry — a forgiving club that gets the ball airborne in a hurry. You can even use it for chipping, as Todd Hamilton did on a shot that clinched the 2004 British Open. Hybrid clubs, which come in different lofts, are getting more and more popular. You should swing a few, and consider carrying a hybrid instead of that 7-wood, 5-wood, or maybe even your 4-iron. Figure 2-1 shows the clubs that I have in my bag.

When to Use Each Club

Table 2-1 shows how far the average golfer generally hits with each club when he makes solid contact. When you start to play this game, you probably won’t attain these yardages. As you practice, you’ll get closer to these numbers.

Figure 2-1:

My implements of destruction — from left to right: putter, lob wedge,sand wedge, pitching wedge, 9-iron, 8-iron, 7-iron, 6-iron, 5-iron, 4-iron, 21-degree Hybrid Rescue, 18-degree Hybrid Rescue, 3-wood,driver.

Chapter 2: Gearing Up 25

You should know your average. The best way to find out is to hit, oh, 50 balls with each club. Eliminate the longest five and the shortest five and then pace off to the middle of the remaining group. That’s your average yardage. Use your average yardage to help you gauge which club to use on each shot.

Table 2-1 Which Club Should You Use?

Club Men’s Average Women’s Average

Distance Distance

Driver 230 yards 200 yards

3-wood 210 yards 180 yards

2-iron 190 yards Not recommended; 4-wood or hybrid =

170 yards

3-iron 180 yards Not recommended; 5-wood or hybrid =

160 yards

4-iron 170 yards 150 yards (Consider a hybrid instead)

5-iron 160 yards 140 yards

6-iron 150 yards 130 yards

7-iron 140 yards 120 yards

8-iron 130 yards 110 yards

9-iron 120 yards 100 yards

Pitching wedge 110 yards 90 yards

Sand wedge 90 yards 80 yards

Lob wedge 65 yards 6 yards

Tradition versus Technology:

Keep Tinkering with Success

Technology is the guiding light of fundamental change that is inherent to a capitalistic society in search of a more expensive way to hit the #$&*!?*@ ball farther.

—Quote on the bathroom wall of the Wayward Soul Driving Range in Temecula, California

How to Choose Your Weapons

Geschrieben am 6.3.2010 um - 0 Kommentare - Schreibe einen Kommentar - Link

How to Choose Your Weapons

Deciding on a set of clubs to use can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. You can go to any store that doesn’t have a golf pro, pick a set of clubs off the shelf, and then take them to the tee. You can go to garage sales.
You can check with the pro at your local municipal course. Any or all of these methods can work. But your chances of choosing a set with the correct loft, lie, size of grip, and all the other stuff involved in club fitting are worse than my chances of winning on American Idol.
Having said that, I must add that it wasn’t so long ago that unsophisticated was a fair description of every golf-club buyer. Yeah, the better player might waggle a new club a few times and “know” that it wasn’t for him — hardly the most scientific approach! If you’re just beginning to play golf, keep in mind that you may discover that this game is not for you. So you should start out with rental clubs at a driving range. Most driving ranges have rental clubs. Go out and hit balls with these clubs. If you still want to play golf after hitting a few balls, then buy your own clubs.
20 Part I: Getting Started: No, You Can’t Hit the Ball Yet

Find an interim set of clubs

If you’re just starting out (and you’ve played with rental clubs for a while), find cheap clubs to use as an interim set during your adjustment period. You’re learning the game, so you don’t want to make big decisions on what type of clubs to buy yet. If you keep your ears open around the golf course or driving range, you may hear of someone who has a set that he or she is willing to sell. You can also ask whether the person has any information on clubs that could be sold cheaply. Go take a look at garage sales that have golf clubs for sale, or try the classified ads of your weekend newspaper. And, of course, you can check the Internet — the fastest-growing marketplace in golf. (In Chapter 17, I describe some of my favorite Internet golf sites.) You can become your own private investigator and hunt down the best buy you can find. Buy cheap for now — you’ve got plenty of time for the big purchase. Try all sorts of clubs — ones with steel shafts, graphite shafts (which are lighter and, therefore, easier to swing), big-headed clubs, investment-cast clubs (made by pouring hot metal into a mold), forged clubs (made from a single piece of metal), cavity-backed clubs (ones that are hollowed out in the back of the iron). You have more choices than your neighborhood Baskin-Robbins. Remember: You’re in your experimental stage. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends if you can try their clubs on the range. I do this all the time on the tour when a new product comes out. Try out these clubs, and you can judge for yourself whether they feel good. But if you don’t like the club that you just tried, don’t tell the person who loaned it to you that the club stinks — that’s not good golf etiquette. Simply hand the club back and say thanks.
Try this on for size

Today, club fitting is big business. Tour pros and average amateur golfers have access to the same club fitting technology and information. It’s important for all golfers — male and female — to use the right equipment for their body types and physical conditions. For instance, many manufacturers of golf clubs specialize in creating clubs for women that have softer shafts, which are lighter and more flexible. Here are some factors every golfer should consider:
_ The grip: Determine how thick the grip on your clubs should be. Grips that are too thin encourage too much hand action in your swing; grips that are too thick restrict your hands too much. Generally, the propersized grip should allow the middle and ring fingers on your left hand to barely touch the pad of your thumb when you hold the club. If your fingers don’t touch your thumb, the grip is too big; if your fingers dig into the pad, the grip is too thin.
Chapter 2: Gearing Up 21


Quick Link: Taylormade golf clubs Ping golf clubs   Titleist golf clubs


_ The shaft: Consider your height, build, and strength when you choose a club. If you’re really tall, you need longer (and probably stiffer) shafts. What does your swing sound like? If your swing makes a loud swish noise and the shaft is bending like a long cast from a fly-fishing rod at the top of your swing, you need a very strong shaft. If your swing makes no noise and you could hang laundry on your shaft at the top of your swing, you need a regular shaft. Anybody in between needs a mediumstiff to stiff shaft.
_ Loft: Then there’s your typical ball flight. If you slice, for example, you can get clubs with less loft — or perhaps offset heads — to help alleviate that common problem. For more information about slicing, see Chapter 11.
_ The clubhead: Consider the size of the clubhead. Today, you can get standard, midsize, and oversize heads on your clubs. I recommend you use bigger clubheads for your early days of playing golf. Bigger clubheads are more forgiving and can help psychologically, too. With some of today’s jumbo clubheads, your swing thought may well be, “With this thing, how could I miss?”
_ The iron: Advanced players choose irons that are perfectly suited to their swings. Forged, muscle-backed irons are for good players who hit the ball on the clubface precisely. Cavity-backed irons are for players who hit the ball all over the clubface. The bigger the clubface, the more room for error — hence the biggerheaded metal woods that are popular today for all you wild swingers out there. Because of all the technology that is available, purchasing golf clubs nowadays is like buying a computer: Whatever you buy may be outdated in six months. So be frugal and shop for your best buy. When you get a set that fits you and you’re hitting the ball with consistency, stick with that set. Finding a whole set of clubs that matches the temperament of your golf swing is hard. Find the ones that have your fingerprints on them and stick with ’em.
22 Part I: Getting Started: No, You Can’t Hit the Ball Yet

Ten questions to ask before you buy

_ Do you have a club fitting program? Check with your local PGA golf professional and see whether he has a club fitting program. If he doesn’t, he’ll be able to direct you to someone in the area who does. After you’ve started this game and found you like it enough to continue playing, choosing the right equipment is the biggest decision you’ll have to make. So talk to a PGA golf professional.
_ What’s the price of club fitting? Don’t be too shy to ask this question. Club fitting can be
expensive. You should be the judge of how much you can afford.

When golf was a (lopsided) ball

Geschrieben am 5.3.2010 um - 0 Kommentare - Schreibe einen Kommentar - Link

When golf was a (lopsided) ball Early golf was played with a feathery golf ball — a stitched leather ball stuffed with boiled goose feathers. A feather ball cost three times as much as a club, and because feathery balls were delicate, players had to carry three to six balls at a time. The balls flew poorly in wet weather (a problem in Scotland), and were hard to putt, because they weren’t round. They were closer to egg shaped, in fact. Although the feathery ball was a vast improvement over the wooden balls that preceded it, the gutta percha was an extraordinary breakthrough. In 1848, the Reverend Adam Paterson of St. Andrews introduced the gutta percha ball, or gutty, which was made from the sap of the gutta tree found in the tropics. When heated, the rubberlike sap could easily be fashioned into a golf ball. This invention, not to mention the spread of the railways, contributed to the expansion of golf. The gutty was considerably more durable than the feathery and much more affordable. After golfers discovered that bramble patterns and other markings on the gutty enhanced its aerodynamics, this ball swiftly achieved dominance in the marketplace. After 1900, the Haskell rubber-cored ball quickly replaced the gutta percha as the ball of choice.Invented two years earlier by Cleveland resident Coburn Haskell and manufactured by the B. F. Goodrich Rubber Company of Akron, Ohio, the Haskell ball, featuring a gutty cover and a wound rubber core, traveled farther (up to 20 yards more on average) and delivered greater durability. It didn’t take much time for this new ball to gain acceptance, especially after Alexander “Sandy” Herd defeated renowned Harry Vardon and James Braid in the 1902 British Open at Hoylake, England, using the same Haskell ball for 72 holes. Most golfers today, on the other hand, use six to eight golf balls during a single round of a tour event.
The rest of the 20th century was spent refining the Haskell. In 1905, William Taylor invented the first dimpled ball, improving flight because the dimple pattern maximized lift and minimized drag. Around the time Taylor was playing with his dimples, Elazer Kempshall of the United States and Frank Mingay of Scotland were independently experimenting with liquid-core balls. In 1920, gutta percha began to fade entirely from use, replaced by a soft rubber called balata. It was another 50 years before a popular alternative to the Haskell came along. In 1972, Spalding introduced the first two-piece ball, the Executive. Today, two-, three-, and even four-piece balls dominate the market. (A three-piece ball has a thin extra layer between the cover and the core; a four-piece ball has a core within a core.) Many pros use three- or four-piece balls whose cover hardness, launch angle, and spin rate are perfectly tuned to their games. Go with a two-piece ball. I wouldn’t recommend a three-piece ball to a beginning
golfer. Tour pros and expert players use such balls to maximize control. For many years, the best players used balls with covers made of balata, a soft, rubbery substance. Today, many high-performance three-piece balls have covers of something even better — high-performance urethane elastomer, which is a fancy way of saying “expensive superplastic.” But you don’t need that stuff. As a beginner, you need a reliable, durable ball. Unless you have very deep pockets and more cash than Bill Gates, go the surlyn, two-piece route. (Surlyn is a type of plastic first developed by the Dupont Corporation.) Most amateurs with double-digit handicaps use this type of ball. A surlyn-covered ball’s harder cover and lower spin rate give you less feel — which is why better players tend not to use them — but, assuming that you don’t whack them off
the premises, they last longer. They just might roll farther, too. Golf balls used to come in three compressions: 80, 90, or 100. The 80- compression ball was the softest, and the 100 the hardest. When I was growing up, I thought that the harder the ball (100 compression), the farther it would go. Not the case. All balls go far when hit properly, but each one feels a little different. How hard or soft you want the ball to feel has to do with your personal preference. These days, you needn’t worry about compression. It’s no longer such a big deal. Just determine whether you like a harder or softer feel, and swing away.
Take all the commercial hype with a grain of salt. Make that a handful. The most important things you need to know when buying golf balls are your own game, your own tendencies, and your own needs. Your local PGA professional can help you choose the golf ball best suited to you.
go to golf clubs website


Gearing Up

Geschrieben am 4.3.2010 um - 0 Kommentare - Schreibe einen Kommentar - Link

Gearing Up

In the last 100 years, golf has changed enormously, but the most noticeable difference is in equipment. The game may be inherently the same, but the implements used to get from tee to green and into the hole are unrecognizable compared to the rather primitive implements used by Young Tom Morris (one of the great, early pioneers of golf) and his Scottish buddies in the late 19th century. Okay, so early golf equipment had more romantic names: Niblick, brassie, spoon, driving-iron, mashie, and mashie-niblick are more fun

than 9-iron, 3-wood, 1-iron, 5-iron, and 7-iron. But golf equipment today is much better.

The old Scottish worthies (a great name for players) used clubs whose shafts were wooden — hickory, to be exact. Individually, these clubs may have been fine, but what were the chances of finding a dozen or so identical pieces of wood? Slim to none.

Nowadays, you have no excuse for playing with equipment ill suited to your swing, body, and game. There’s too much information out there to help you.And that’s the purpose of this chapter — to help you find your way through what can be a confusing maze of statistics and terminology.

Golf Balls: The Dimple Derby

Many technological advances have occurred in the game of golf over the years, but perhaps nothing has changed more than the golf ball. It’s no coincidence that the United States Golf Association (USGA) and Royal and Ancient Golf Club (R&A) keep a tight rein on just how far a ball can go nowadays. If

18 Part I: Getting Started: No, You Can’t Hit the Ball Yet

the associations didn’t provide regulations, almost every golf course on the planet would be reduced to a pitch and putt. We’d all be putting through windmills just to keep the scores up in the 50s. For the record, here are the specifications the USGA imposes on Titleist, Maxfli, and the rest of the ball manufacturers:

_ Size: A golf ball may not be smaller than 1.68 inches in diameter. The ballcan be as big as you want, however. Just don’t expect a bigger ball to go farther — it won’t. I’ve never seen anyone use a ball bigger than 1.68 inches in diameter.

_ Weight: The golf ball may not be heavier than 1.62 ounces.

_ Velocity: The USGA has a machine for measuring how fast a ball comes off the face of a club. That’s not easy, because impact lasts only 450 millionths of a second, and a good ball can zoom off at more than 170 miles an hour.

No legal ball may exceed an initial velocity of 250 feet per second at a temperature between 73 and 77 degrees. A tolerance of no more than 2 percent is allowed, which means an absolute max of 255 feet per second.

This rule ensures that golf balls don’t go too far. (In addition to balls, the USGA now tests bouncy-faced drivers to keep a lid on distance.)

_ Distance: Distance is the most important factor. For years the standard was the USGA’s “Iron Byron” robot (named for sweet-swingin’ Byron Nelson). No ball struck by Iron Byron could go farther than 280 yards. A tolerance of 6 percent was allowed, making 296.8 yards the absolute farthest the ball could go. Today the robot has some help from high-tech ball launchers in the USGA labs, and the upper limit has risen to 317 yards. Yeah, right. Iron Byron, meet the PGA Tour! Guys like Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, and their buddies just aren’t normal — they regularly blast drives way past 350 yards! _ Shape: A golf ball must be round. An anti-slice ball on the market a few years ago was weighted on one side and failed this test. Nice try, though! Even with these regulations, take a look around any golf professional’s shop and you’ll see many different brands. And upon closer inspection, you’ll find that every type of ball falls into one of two categories: Either the manufacturer is claiming that this ball goes farther and straighter than any other ball in the cosmos, or it’s telling you that this ball gives you more control. Try not to get overwhelmed. Keep in mind that golf balls come in only threebasic types: one-piece, two-piece, and three-piece. You can forget one-piece balls — they tend to be cheap and nasty and found only on driving ranges. So that leaves two-piece and three-piece balls.

Don’t worry; deciding on a type of ball is still easy. You don’t even have to know what a two-piece or three-piece ball contains or why it has that many “pieces.” Leave all that to the scientists. And don’t worry too much about launch angle or spin rate, either. Today’s balls are technological marvels, designed to take off high and spin just enough to go as straight as possible.



Callaway FT i-Brids Iron sets

Geschrieben am 9.2.2010 um - 0 Kommentare - Schreibe einen Kommentar - Link

Callaway FT i-Brids  Iron sets

At the end of 2007, when, Callaway company announced earlier this year, to be launched one after another product line. Different players have a handicap for their own products, for beginners, to control the ball with good performance will be improved iron is the best choice, Callaway2008 years, will launch FT i-brid Irons, the main ball for high handicap Friends.

The new FT i-brid Irons has taken the company's most proud of Fusion science and technology, simply put, is the use of composite materials. Head of the main for the titanium alloy, the bottom of the embedded system on Tunite alloy weight, and then coupled with a concave dorsal lump of TPU SenSert, i-brid deliberately created a similar mixed rod shape, stress tolerance with high error-prone play of special characters, so the ball easier to hit the ball out of friends.

i-Brid Irons a look at the people find it very easy to manipulate, the ball is the amount of technical innovation type Callaway i-brid Irons a look at the people find it very easy to manipulate, technicians will head size increase, with the advantages of composite materials, to create a a low and deep center of gravity effect. According to Callaway said that apart from the main body of the design of large-size head, the technician increased the extent of the face and hit the ball surface after the shift, and widen the bottom of the rod contribute to the formation of similar mixed-race high fault tolerance, distance and stability.


Callaway I-Trax Putter

Geschrieben am 9.2.2010 um - 0 Kommentare - Schreibe einen Kommentar - Link

Callaway I-Trax Putter

Callaway I-Trax Putter Putters feature the latest technology, unique design, there is an alternative target device that can help accurately Aiming the ball. The tendency of putting device consists of four small bolt fixed to the head, the necessary players can choose an appropriate observable to help accurately aim the ball device.

In addition, there are three head weight plug-in - two copper weight plug-in, located in rod surface; an aluminum weight plug-in, located in sole. This triangular design makes putting weight has a good balance between performance and anti-slip effect. Head of the roots and the toe weight distribution for a fixed mode, a lower center of gravity moved to head much further back on the place, increases the Moment of Inertia, so batting is more stable.

This putter is equipped with Winn grip plates, head for the aluminum, feel good, solid shots. Face behind the ingenuity to design a voice amplification device so that the sound sonorous stroke, highlighting the ear. , If coupled with aerodynamic design according to the Callaway ball, hit the ball better results.

I-Trax Putter thoughtful designers, for this putter is equipped with an L-shaped wrench and 4 spare bolts, so that the tendency of players to replace their own devices.


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