Golf Tips from the PGA Partners Club


GOLF TIPS: Equipment, Travel, Discounts and Deals

I am a life long member of the PGA Partners Club and receive a news letter each week concerning equipment and travel and discounts and other useful tools.

I will post these newsletters on a timely basis, and if you would like to join the PGA Partners Club please click this link:


December 28, 2009

Golf Wales, Where 2010 Ryder Cup Will Be

Remember how the 2006 Ryder Cup showcased Ireland as a golf destination? Get ready for the same to happen to Wales, which will host the Ryder Cup matches in 2010.

Wales, a country that is part of the U.K., is bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. Wales is primed to become the next great golf-vacation spot of the British Isles. Wales has more than 170 courses, and green fees are generally about one-third less than Scotland and Ireland. Its lush, verdant terrain has more castles per square mile than any other country.

Next fall, the golf universe will revolve around the Celtic Manor Resort near Newport, site of the Ryder Cup. In a bold and innovative move, the resort took nine holes from its Wentworth Hills course and built nine new ones along the River Usk to create the Twenty Ten Course. Other resort play opportunities include the new Montgomerie Course, designed by Colin Montgomerie, and the Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed Roman Road course.

Courses on the Wales "must play" list include Royal Porthcawl, Pennard Club, Aberdovey GC, Tenby GC and Cardigan GC.

Ian Woosnam on Wales golf.

PGA Golf Tickets at Stub Hub

Buy Golf Tickets at RazorGator

ABC tickets

December 21, 2009

Gift Could Pay for Itself in One Round

OK, here's the real reason we don't carry ball retrievers: embarrassment.

Yes, we want that expensive ball that we just ker-plunked. Yes, we want those other balls nearby that are pleading from their watery graves. But no, we don't want to play a classy course and with people we want to impress and be seen as hicks with a ball retriever poking out of our bag.

Here's a solution: Hide the retriever in a bag pocket. You can with the new IGOTCHA UltimateXL Golf Ball Retriever. It weighs just 20 ounces, collapses down to 20 inches yet extends to 18 feet.

Look at it this way: Request the IGOTCHA as a holiday gift, and think of your stowaway tool as a good investment. Heck, depending on how much water is on the courses you normally play, this little gift could pay for itself—in terms of money normally spent to replace lost balls—in just one round.

I GOTCHA Ball Retriever

I GOTCHA Ball Retriever

December 16, 2009

Size Matters With Hitting Nets

During this off-season, do you want to turn on that elusive swing-improvement "switch?" You can't play (at least here on the tundra), but you can practice so that your swing is sweet by next spring.

However, practicing at indoor driving ranges is costly, and the lighting and range balls suck. What about using home practice nets?

We looked at several (most seemed flimsy) and tried one, The Net Return. Here's what we noticed:

  • It's huge—7.5 feet tall, 8 feet wide and 3.5 feet deep. Use any club and swing freely. But don't let the picture fool you; this won't easily fit into most rooms. It helps to have a vaulted ceiling or space in your garage.
  • Ball doesn't trampoline off the net, but, because of the way the net hangs, it returns slowly to your feet. This is good because you can make the most of your practice time and use one high-quality ball. But you'll be tempted to abbreviate your follow-through, which is bad, in order to stop the returning ball.
  • Quality is excellent. Lightweight, strong 1.5-inch tubular aluminum frame supports a commercial-grade, UV-treated polyester net.







December 14, 2009

Do You Understand the New Groove Rule?

Sort of. Seems that the USGA is into crime and punishment a bit more for 2010. The governing body wants there to be more punishment for missing fairways, and current wedges with big grooves make it too easy for pros to escape the rough.

As this video by Cleveland Golf/Srixon explains, the new rule makes the squared groove edges more rounded; it also reduces the volume in the grooves by 30 percent from current standards.

Two misconceptions about the rule, according to the video:

  • The new grooves will produce less spin (not necessarily).
  • All grooves need to be V-shaped (nope).

For the PGA TOUR pros, the rule goes into effect in 2010; for top amateurs in 2014; and for all amateurs in 2024. However, at the end of 2010, all manufactures must cease to make clubs with current grooves and switch to the new, shallower grooves.

Groove and face maintenance.

December 9, 2009

Travel Bag for Golf and Business

One very convenient thing about golf is its crossover with business. Clothing in particular can swing both ways in many business settings, and so does conversation. Indeed, when schmoozing starts to slow at your office holiday party, start talking golf and things will pick up.

And then there's this travel item. Titleist's Wheeled Duffel expands to meet your packing needs for business and golf travel. It features:

  • A full-base parallel wheel assembly with in-line skate wheels for easy mobility
  • A hidden 2-inch zippered gusset that makes the bag expandable for extra space needed for souvenirs
  • An internal zippered pocket with a platform base, which allows for storage of heavier items like golf shoes (or a tournament trophy)
  • A telescoping handle for pullingSkid plates for durability moving the bag up and down curbs
  • A removable, padded shoulder strapOne large and two small internal pockets, two external zippered pockets and a hidden wet pocket.

December 7, 2009

Exchange Worn Wedge Face for a New One

This makes so much sense, doesn't it? You got a wedge with worn out grooves, and you change the face but not the whole club. That way, you get to retain all the touch and mojo that has made you one with your wedge all these years.

TaylorMade Golf has introduced the TP wedge with xFT (Exchangeable Face Technology), which allows you to easily remove a worn clubface and replace it with a new one, for improved spin and control.

A wedge's face wears from contact with the ball and from dirt and sand that's sandwiched between the ball and the face at impact. Over time the face wears down and the edge-radius of the grooves becomes dull, meaning there's less ability to grab the ball. Also, grooves lose volume, meaning less moisture and debris are able to be channeled off the clubface.

The xFT face is held in place with two screws located on the back of the clubhead; you loosen and tighten these with a R9 torque wrench. Each TP xFT wedge face is forged from soft 304 stainless steel and then completed with a four-step precision-milling process.

Video review

TaylorMade Golf Equipment at Austad's Golf

December 2, 2009

Musings of a NOT Mega-Selling Golf Author

From Club member, comedian and golf author David Wood:

How boring it must be as a mega-selling author. You wake up and know within a spot or two where you are on's Bestseller List. Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol is #2 behind Stephen King's Under the Dome: A Novel. Sarah Palin's book Going Rogue: An American Life is #3. Just like Venezuela, Italy and Sweden in the Miss Universe pageant, they know they're top five no matter how cute Miss Laos and Miss Chad are. Big deal.

Yesterday, in just 24 hours, my book, Around the World in 80 Rounds: Chasing a Golf Ball from Tierra del Fuego to the Land of the Midnight Sun (Bobby Clampett called it, "Laugh out loud funny!"), went from #845,742 to #121,647 back to #757,608. We're talking a swing of 700,000 plus! How's that for a wild day on the Dow! At #121,647, I was even 900,000 spots ahead of a re-released

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