Phil Mickelson you’re not. Maybe Paula Creamer. You’re no Dustin Johnson but perhaps closer to Ai Miyazato. If you, like me, are the average, to slightly above, male weekend warrior golfer then I highly suggest that the best role models for us are the women pros.
Do you realize the top five men in driving distance all AVERGAE well over 300 yards? Were you aware that their swing speeds more closely resemble that of a Lamborghini than the family sedan you are driving? And talk about physique, did you happen to pay attention to Tiger Woods in his prime? He looked far more like your average NFL linebacker than any golfer past or present. I fear the day of the smaller Corey Pavin, Gary Player, Mike Weir body types is coming to a screaming halt.
The Facts Jack
What I am trying to stress here is that your game better resembles that of the average LPGA woman than it ever will even the lowest ranked of the PGA men. Our swings speeds are more similar, driving distances more comparable, and for sure our general physical stats are even more closely related to the women than the modern male golfer.
If you ever get the chance, go watch the lady pros in action. Their game is more control than brute power. Their forte is placement not sheer bombardment. And theirs is more of a thinking game than one of brawn and machismo. All traits that will enhance your enjoyment when playing casual rounds with your buddies while improving your scoring.
When was the last time you hit a 5 iron 220 yards like Mickelson did in the 2011 PGA Championship? Are you a buff 6’-3” and 220 pounds of sinew like the PGA players of today? Do you play courses that average more than 7400 yards with ratings and slopes so high you can’t even do the math? I thought not!
Then I suggest you get a grip on golf reality and carefully mimic what you see the women of the LPGA doing. You have a great opportunity right now as the best women players from the USA and Europe are battling it out in the Solheim Cup at Kileen Castle in Ireland. Check it out and pay close attention. Role models like Morgan Pressel, Christie Kerr, Suzann Pettersen and Annika Sorenstam are not just for the lady golfers among us. They are for the men as well.
There is no other sport I can think of that has such a dreaded, misunderstood and little followed set of moral and technical codes as does golf.
Admit it, many of you are avid golfers yet during a round something happens, as it relates to the rules, and you all stare at each other in an embarrassed state of Rule Ignorance. Don’t feel bad. Hell, the pros have to have a rules guru walking with their group or readily available on the golf course. These conduits to the past interpret the Royal and Ancient dialect known as The Rules of Golf.
I have searched the governing documents high and low for the rule that certainly must spell out the “Right to advance the ball by foot while no one is looking” process so prevalent nowadays. I have been equally stymied locating the precise bylaw governing the ever popular “Let me see if this ball nestled down in 5” inches of fescue is mine and while I’m at it I might as well give it a fluffy lie” procedure?
And remember, you can ground your club in one of Jack Nicklaus’ famous desert washes (that to any common observer look like sand traps) but you can’t do that anywhere in the sand dune “traps” of Whistling Straits (that to any sane observer are clearly not traps) or it may cost you a major tour victory ala Dustin Johnson at the 2010 PGA Championship.
If you are color blind then you have a whole other set of issues to confront. Red borders, yellow borders and white stakes, sometimes on the same whole, designate different penalties and remedies depending on the day of the week and the sex of your first born. You don’t have a first born? Hmmmm? I need to look it up.
Started with a Titleist but finished with a Nike? Violation. Too many clubs in your bag? Big no no. Can’t add your score correctly? Eviction. Touched your ball on the fringe? I can’t even imagine the penalty. And, I still don’t know if it’s worse to have hit it in the Pacific bordering the 18th at Pebble Beach or bouncing one in the pond fronting the green at my local muni. I think it’s the same but let me get back to you.
What if the Broadmoor bear that inhabits the Mountain Course claims my ball? Is that stroke and distance? A lost ball? Perhaps I play a provisional? And what of the Cabo San Lucas golf course iguanas who think your ball is their egg? Play it where it lies? And is that two club lengths when I drop apply to a plugged lie in a sand trap or is that when it’s embedded in the shore of the creek or on someone’s deck? Yea, better get back to you on those.
To top it all off, our rules differ from the pros. We get our butts saved by so called “Local Rules”. These rules allow us amateurs to cheat (and keep up the pace). Can’t hit the island green at the TPC Sawgrass? No problem just go drop on the other side and add a stroke. No need to channel Kevin Costner in Tin Cup and hit your last two sleeves of PRO V1’s into the gator infested moat.
I suggest on course advisors with every green fee, rules advice through the carts GPS or at least “an APP for that” as everyone is on their phone anyway. By the way…is there a rule against cell phone annoyance? I’ll have to get back to you.
Can someone please tell me why in the world it costs $4 to play a top-line golf ball? How much more goes into it, other than advertising, compared to balls at $1 apiece. I know, I know, there is a somewhat linear relation between cost and quality. But then shouldn’t my $3 ball also go a lot further than your $1 cheapo rock of a ball? You mean I paid three to four times as much for balls that still: don’t avoid sand, live for the forest, go only 10 yards further and don’t know how to swim or find their way home? Are you kidding me?
And what about those SUV sized $500 drivers? For you discriminating amateurs out there I recommend you be an early adopter. While there is no doubt that the extra 5 or 6 yards would be:
- Your least cost effective
- Fastest depreciating
- Most treasured investment
- All of the above
…..I still say wait a year, get one at the consignment shop and remember…..keep your day job. How do you think you are going to pay for all this stuff?
It’s not just the balls and metal woods (is that an oxymoron?) whose cost has risen faster than my standard of living. What about clothing? If I wanted to look like Adam Scott, Ian Poulter or Rickie Fowler (oh the visual) it would cost me a week’s pay or more. I can’t afford to be that handsome. Hey Michelle Wie, Paula Creamer, and Natalie Gulbis…we have to pay for our stuff. Can you get a clothing contract for me and my foursome please? We’re looking a bit tattered lately.
While we’re ranting, what about those green fees? Top notch desert layouts fetch nearly $300 in prime season. Pebble Beach nearly double that. And imagine the nerve; none of these include a caddy, drinks, Cuban Cigar, rooting section, limo or even a masseur. I have no trouble with a $500 round of golf but shouldn’t one expect a few of these basic perks? How about providing the ever popular “On course ridicule of your group by revered announcer extraordinaire Johnny Miller”?
All kidding aside, let’s keep some sanity in regards to all the costs of playing the game. Our economic times have taken care of sky high green fees and mortgage sized initiation dues. Yet, equipment costs are higher than ever. Anyway, there are great deals on green fees and vacations all over. This is a great time to support your local golf course and get in an extra round or two with the savings.
When investing in new irons can cost $500, $1,000 or more, shouldn’t we be able to take, or rent, a set for a few rounds before we purchase? So few places have this service. Hitting some shots in a cage in a strip mall or a dome in the dead of a Minnesota winter is not the best way to purchase a non-refundable investment. Entrepeneurs?
It used to be I could keep my attention focused during a round of golf. Am I losing what patience I have left? Or, is it not just charity events that take over five hours to play these days? Seems as if it is a persistent problem wherever I play.
Blame the pros – kind of
How often do we see Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, etc look at a putt from every conceivable side of the hole and then have their caddy peer in as well? And what’s with the Camilo Villegas human crab position as he reads a putt? But remember, this is their livelihood so I guess they deserve some slack. But hey, even tour rounds are out of control as there is little or no enforcement of their own slow play rules. I swear I could get a massage at the Broadmoor and Sundara during some of their pre-shot routines.
It’s time to play by, and enforce, some semblance of pace of play on the pro tours. Now is their time to show the average golfer that they need not consult a wind gauge, yardage book, laser, trusted putt reader, topographical map and course psychiatrist before every stroke.
- Whoever gets to the tee box first….tee it up! Honors is best reserved for education.
- If one of your group hits it in the woods…..you didn’t all hit it in the woods! Have one person help out (remember there is a time limit to look) while the rest go to their balls and hit.
- Have a pre-shot routine….just don’t have it include a beer, a smoke, a laser reading, phone call, an audience, and a Sergio Garcia like 16 practice swings.
- If you take a cart……drop one person at their ball and take the cart to your ball. Don’t sit, wait and watch the first player hit! Also, always take one club more and one less than what you think the correct club will be. Don’t walk all the way back across the fairway to get another club.
- If you’re having a horrible hole or round…….feel free to pick up your ball on occasion and put it in the safety of your pocket before things get worse. The game is freaking difficult…….this will ease your frustration and keep things moving for all.
- If you shoot over 80 and/or are aged 40 or over, please do not attempt the Villegas crab (as I recently witnessed on a public course) when reading greens. It’s embarrassing to need help getting up only to be carted off to your chiropractor.
These are but a few of the many things you can do to speed up play, enjoy the game more, save your marriage and avoid a police APB for being gone from sun up to sun down for one round of golf.
Maybe my biggest pet peeve in golf is amateur golfers who insist on “playing from the back”. You’ve seen them. Without checking the yardage or course slope and rating they automatically take their ego inflated selves to the far reaches of the back tees. There they proceed to take out their Pro V1’s and smash it an amazing 200 yards……right off the fairway. Why play Pebble Beach from the back tees when you can't break 80 on your local muni?
What’s up with that? Please take your stylish clothes, un-needed top of the line equipment and your weekend warrior swing up a few tee boxes and help all of us enjoy our day at the golf course a lot more. Shooting 100 from the tips during a five hour round cannot be enjoyable for either you or the groups behind you who are ready to remove your playing privileges after the first hole.
If you are a scratch golfer then feel free to play from 7,000 yards. If you are good enough to break eighty then maybe 6700 yards. For the rest of us, drop the masochistic tendencies and get your butt up to a more comfortable yardage. We’ll all feel better if you do.
Let me explain why playing from the correct tees is important. A well designed course has certain features based on distance. For example, a short 380 yard hole is designed with the idea that players will be playing a very short iron, with lots of loft, into the green. There are no openings to “run the ball up” onto the green. Any lack of hole length is compensated for with well trapped, small and unforgiving greens. So, if you only hit it 200 off the tee and are hitting long irons to a tiny green meant to hold only wedge shots then you are in for a very long day.
If you played that same hole from the proper tees for your ability then you too would be hitting wedge into the green. You not only will score better and have a more enjoyable day, you will get to understand and appreciate all that goes into a well designed course.
So please, keep the logo’d shirts, fancy pants, too good golf balls and spit polished shoes if you must. But leave the oversized ego at home, move up to where you belong, and everyone on the golf course will have a more enjoyable, and shorter, round of golf.
The sound of a Ping Golf Iron is something that is music to the ears of any golfer. Founded by a former engineer, Ping originally produced putters in the late 1950’s, but quickly broadened its line to keep up with demand and the times. Historically, Ping came into prominence as the “winningest” brand putter because of more than 500 professional golf wins as well as the heel to toe weighting technology that the company designed. Introduced and popularized in 1969, the “69” model of irons began Ping’s claim to fame on the game of golf outside of just putting; since that point, Ping has produced countless lines of irons, but also introduced and engineered some of the greatest technology in the short game and iron industry.
Currently, Ping produces seven models of irons, Ping not only uses the most advanced technology, but also continuously develops and tests new features, science, and products at its private and all-inclusive facility in Phoenix, Arizona. An interesting and well known model of Ping Golf Irons is i15. Made of a composite material including Tungsten, the i15 line is essentially on the center of the Ping scale in terms of playability. Offering moderate forgiveness and a medium trajectory, the club face is average size and ultimately combines the style of the old game with the technology and efficiency of the new game.
The price of Ping Golf Irons vary depending on the gender, material, and specific qualities of the set. However, buyers can expect to pay approximately $500 USD for a new, upscale lie of Ping Golf Irons. The investment is well worth it because reviews of the i15, K15, and new G20 series indicate that several players have added distance as well as improve accuracy after testing and buying the famous brand. Although all brands and clubs are not created equally, Ping’s illustrious past and devoted present has set itself apart from competitors by means of success and how the company is able to change the game: one swing at a time.
Shopping for Ping takes little effort. The brand is nationally and internationally recognized for its professionally built and serviced products. One suggestion when in the market for anything Ping is to look at both local and chain stores. Local stores may be a bit more expensive, but the service may be tailored specifically to golf, which can provide the prospective buyer with an unbiased review of the clubs. National chains like Dick's Sporting Goods or Sports Authority provide products at a discounted rate, but the staff may not be as knowledgeable about the specifics of one brand of one sporting good as opposed to the other.
Ping was originally founded by a former General Electric engineer who produced putters from a garage in the late 1950’s, but became involved in all aspects of the golf industry by the late 1960’s: designing and selling irons, bags, and everything in between. Although Ping became known as the “winningest” brand putter in all of golf, other aspects of the brand, game virtually went unsung for years. Ping Golf Bags are one of the highest quality and used bags in the game of golf; however, because golf bags are not necessarily integral to one’s game, the comments or reviews of the many models of Ping Golf Bags are few and far between.
Eight different models of bags that range from easy to maneuver stand bags or the tour classic cart bag. One of the stand bags that is popular among college teams and casual players is the 4 Under model. Made from a lightweight, durable, waterproof material, the 4 Under is economically built and priced for any skilled golfer. Coming in at just under four pounds, this two-strapped, ergonomic design offers four pockets for balls, tees, accessories, and apparel as well as a hip pad, umbrella holder, and a four-way club divider that all sit upon strong, retractable legs.
As for the cart models of Ping Golf Bags, the T9.5 Bag is used by several players out on tour, but by club champions and amateur players around the country. The T9.5 Bag is just one notch below the Tour Staff Bag that is made popular by the big name is golf; however, T9.5 is the perfect bag for those players just starting out in the professional realm: cost and feature efficient. With eight pockets, one veelour-lined valuables pocket, and a six-way club divider, the T9.5 Bag is sensible, stylish, and a great option for golfers with a large collection of clubs and items to take out on the course.
Competitive shopping is key to any successful purchase: golf bags included. Used Ping Golf Bags may be a bit more difficult to come by, but garage sales or flea markets in the area are great places for a possible purchase: Ping bags stand the test of time so there is a sting likelihood that when someone comes across a used Ping, it is in relatively good condition. New bags to carry a bit more cost, but with a splurge on a new bag, users will be exposed to the best technology in the bag sector of the golf industry.
Since the Ping brand is popular with professionals, amateurs, frequent players, casual players, teachers of the game, and those learning the game, the only logical decision when in the market for nothing more than a bag, make it a Ping Golf Bag and enjoy all of it's capabilities.
OGIO was founded on the basis for producing quality and uniquely designed gear bags. Since OGIO is not necessarily a nationally known name, finding a store that sells OGIO products is relatively difficult to come by. The company is based in Utah so many of the mountain-west states may carry products as well as stores that feature backpacking and BMX equipment. OGIO has made an impact on those specific niche markets so stores that appeal to those customers may also sell golf bags.
However, the most successful tool used for buying a OGIO Golf Bag is the internet. Featuring all of its products and providing free shipping on all golf bag orders, the OGIO website is the best way to research and purchase a bag.
OGIO produces 17 lines of bags that are available in countless color schemes and with countless combinations of accessories and amenities that make each line unique and highly desired in the amateur market. Not the best bag perhaps, but certainly not the worst, OGIO Golf Bags are perfect for the casual or young golfer: offering lightweight models that can endure a significant amount of wear and tear or time sitting in the garage waiting for action on the course.
Retailing for $100 USD or so, OGIO stand bags like the Wire, Featherlite or Ozone lines are on the lower-end of cost, but provide features that have become standard in the industry. The Wire line, for example, accommodates the young golfer or frequent walker with many comfortable amenities: a hip pad, ergonomic plastic grips, plenty of storage pouches, and a water bottle net for easier access. Lines like the Grom, Edge, and Diva are upscale stand bags that incorporate the luxuries of a visible ball pocket, handy towel ring, a golf glove attachment, and tee slots in addition to the aforementioned amenities for the smaller models.
For about $200 USD, OGIO cart bags such as the Kingpin, Assassin, or Sultan lines are geared toward the frequent player or the few tour players that carry a OGIO Golf Bag. Features in some of the more luxury OGIO cart bags include more pockets, more club divisions, more spaces for tees, balls, and apparel as well as a stable and sturdy base for an easy fit into any golf cart.
There is a lot to consider when purchasing a golf bag so be sure to do some research before committing to any bag: OGIO included. As the perfect beginner or light-use bag, OGIO provides the most for the money and can be one of the up and coming brands as the game of golf rises in popularity amongst youth all over the world.
So many companies claim to have the “best” brand name golf irons, but who is really producing the best golf irons? According to several players, golf professionals, and tour champion players, Callaway makes the best irons on the market. Originally discovered in the wine country region of California, Callaway became the epitome of luxury and style with its various products. In today’s market Callaway irons can be found across the country in a number of major retail chains as well as local pro-shops and clubhouses and have become noted as some of the best golf irons. Professionals currently touring and using Callaway irons include Master’s winners Trevor Immelman, Phil Mickelson, and Gary Player as well as Annika Sorenstam and Morgan Pressel of the LPGA.
Callaway uses the highest quality and performing materials available. The testing facility at Callaway also is known for researching a club until it literally breaks from so much wear. Ultimately, the research and testing pays off with some of the finest products on the market including the Best Golf Irons. Finding some of the best irons does not have to come with a cost: discounts are available at large retail outlets or through online sources. Custom fittings are also offered by Callaway, which is yet another service that sets them apart from the rest.
Now, how might one come across a used set of the Best Golf Irons. Well as one of the more popular brands of apparel available, the problem is not finding a set, but rather affording them. Retailing for approximately $700 USD, the Diablo Forged Iron collection offers the best in technology, comfort, and other important aspects that golf equipment need to have. As the most strategic and important clubs, Callaway has and continues to be committed to excellence in its short and long range iron collections.
As one of the best lines of irons, the Diablo Forged Irons is not only favored by those on tour, but also club champions, ranked NCAA golfers, and the average player too. Diablo Forged Irons incorporate some of the best science for the price and are bound to improve any golfer’s performance out on the course. Some of the intended features of the Diablo Forged Iron series is a lightweight shaft for a faster swing, a smooth club head for perfect club-ground-ball contact, and a unique and custom-feeling grip that is both comfortable and functional when swinging one hundred percent or just ten percent. Benefits of the Diablo series include adding a profound distance onto every stroke, an industry comparable loft, and the rounded ‘blade’ for a more forgiving swing.
Cobra Golf has experienced a rich and at times, famous past. Founded by an amateur Australian golfer in 1973, the company began producing one of the most utilized and complex utility clubs of its day. By the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Cobra began pioneering graphite technology and experimenting with composite metals for its drivers, irons, and putters. In 1991, the Cobra Golf Company and its famed Cobra Golf Irons saw a boost in popularity and performance when legendary golfer, Greg Norman, began endorsing the line of products. By 1992, the King Cobra oversized iron collection became the leading line of irons in he world and the company never looked back.
Today, Cobra’s popularity may have settled, but the company’s past is as much the present and future as can be: remodeling and redesigning lines that made the company successful in the 1990’s have given new life to the Cobra name. Some of the current Cobra Golf Iron lines include Cobra S3 Max, Cobra S3 Iron-Hybrids, and Cobra S2 Forged.
In the Cobra S2 Forged line, golfers are treated to superior control, carbon steel milled grooves, and a cavity optimized for the ideal, center-out weighting. The cost of purchasing this particular set is about $600 USD, but is well worth the investment for it will radically change one’s game for the better. Hybrid models are becoming increasingly popular among amateur and even professional players because of the forgiveness and improvement to a shot that is provided with a hybrid club. In the game of hybrid irons, Cobra may be lesser known, which may be to the fault of buyers themselves. Cobra manufactures several lines that are mixed iron-hybrids and can compete directly with the more famous brands and in some cases outperform them: a reference to one Cobra S3 Max Iron-Hybrid 7 iron versus a Adams IDEA a7. Of course results may very and may not be able to be reproduced, but it only takes one great shot to go from a potential par to the beloved birdie.
Ranging in material, style, shape, and function, what seems to be the only constant across Cobra lines is that each club maintains the signature gold and black color scheme that sets Cobra apart from the other name brands of golf clubs. Another unique quality to Cobra Golf Irons is that both male and female styles are very similar in performance and upon inspection of the Cobra website, each model has an opposite gender counterpart. What this means for players is that no one gender has the advantage over the other and that the quality of the clubs are universally controlled at the manufacturing plant.
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