Golf Tips from the Golf Partners Club's Newsletters:
GOLF TIPS: Equipment, Travel, Discounts and Deals, and just some funny videos.
I have been a life long member of the PGA Partners Club. They have exciting news about the future of the Club! They are moving in a new direction after 12 great years as partners with the PGA TOUR. Effective January 1, 2010, the Club ceased its affiliation with the TOUR and began a new partnership with GOLF Magazine.
As a result, they are called Golf Partners Club. Going forward, all paid Club members will receive GOLF Magazine every month instead of PGA TOUR Partners every other month. Please visit their new site: Golf Partners Club
I will still be posting these newsletters on a timely basis, and if you would like to join the Golf Partners Club please click this link:
We tried mightily to come up with a Partner Advice holiday greeting that wasn't hokey, yet true to the golf world and the season. But frankly, visions of belly putters and new drivers weren't dancing in our heads, so we almost "Scrooged" it and blew the whole thing off.
And then we came upon this sneaky video. Wow, we never thought a mob and a security guard could so move us!
To get this seasonal sensation rolling, a saxophone soloist strolls into the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. He plays a not-so-merry "Going Home" by Antonin Dvorak. OK, you think, a street musician coming in out of the cold.
Then he switches to a sleepy version of "Deck the Halls." A soprano joins him followed by an alto. And then ... well, just fasten your seat belts!
Oh, it would be fun to believe that we play 18 holes because a well-oiled elder golfer at St. Andrews Links keenly observed that it took 18 shots to finish a fifth of scotch -- a shot per hole.
But that's just legend. The facts are the number of holes varied; Leith Links, for example, happened to have land for a five-hole layout; Montose Links had seven, expanding to 14 by 1825 and 25 by 1866. The original course at St. Andrews was 11 holes along a narrow strip of land next to the sea. Each hole was played twice, so a round was 22 holes. In 1764, two holes were judged to be too short, so the switch was made to nine holes played twice each. And in 1858, the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews made it official that one round, or 18 holes, constituted an official match.
December 19, 2011
'Tis the Season for Snow Golf!
OK, snow golf is a tough sell in Sanibel Island, Florida; heck, it's a tough sell in Minneapolis. But there are stalwarts who do it and love it ... at least that's their story and they're sticking to it.
So what's the attraction? And how do you actually play? According to this video, the attraction is the same as in summer: to play golf. This foursome has been playing every Sunday year round for 25 years now.
As to how to play, well, winter (survival) rules apply, obviously. When there isn't much snow on the greens, you have to learn to blast your putts because you don't get much roll. And typically the flag stick is frozen in the hole and there's a lot of snow cover. In this case, draw a wide circle around the flag stick; you "hole" the putt if you get your ball inside the circle.
December 13, 2011
5 Most Annoying Resort Practices
Check out the list by Edward Schmidt, longtime golf writer and contributor to Partner Advice.
I love playing golf at resorts. However, the following irritate me more than a three putt from 12 feet:
No Walking. Is there anything worse than playing cart-path-only golf? Why not let us walk during this time? We're tired of being a bunch of lard butts who can't play without four-wheel transportation.
Pricey Course Guides. Many resorts slap a $9 to $15 price tag on course guides, which speed up play by providing yardages and hazard locations. C'mon, we're talking about a disposable item that can cost almost as much as a John Grisham novel. Once you leave the resort, you'll probably never use the course guide again.
Overpriced Water. I don't mind being charged $4 or $5 for a sports drink, but $4 for an 8-ounce bottle of water is ridiculous. Overpriced water on a 100-degree day is a health issue.
Surly Starters. Instead of a valued resort guest, some resort starters treat you like an interloper. Please drop the scowl and the wordy lecture about the 90-degree cart rule and repairing divots. Been there, done that.
Mandatory Resort Service Fees. Regardless of how the resorts explain the value-oriented aspects of the fee, it's basically a way to boost their room rate. Many times, if you see a $99 room rate, it's really $124.
December 12, 2011
Gear Guy: Sabertooth Belly Putter
Check out Steve Pike's review of this dual-fanged putter. Pike is a longtime golf-gear writer and contributor to Partner Advice.
The jury is still out on the mass appeal of belly putters, but there's no doubt the long sticks are increasingly popular. Enter Callaway Golf Company's Odyssey Men's White Hot XG Sabertooth Belly Putter($189.99), a 43-in. mallet putter. That's a good length if you're caught between a standard 34- or 35-in. putter and a 48-in. model.
Keegan Bradley used this putter to win the 2011 PGA Championship, and Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Trevor Immelman and Stuart Appleby put Sabertooth Belly Putters in play last season.
Featuring a radical head shape, the Sabertooth's dual fangs put more weight to the outer edges, which helps keep the putter on line.
The White Ice Insert allows weight to shift to the perimeter (for stability) while also delivering enhanced feel, sound, responsiveness and resiliency. The belly model features a mid-length, double-bend shaft with a full-shaft offset.
All golfers have missed an easy 8-ft. putt and wondered: "How did I miss that putt?" Well, John Brenkus, host of "ESPN Sports Science," explains how in this video.
You may think you know what Brenkus will say, but it's still fascinating to watch him analyze the fast greens at Augusta National Golf Course and state that these determine if a putt is makeable:
Impact speed. If a putt crosses the center of the hole, the fastest the ball can travel and still go in is 3.64 mph.
Impact parameter. The farther from the center that a putt crosses the hole, the slower -- 2.7 mph -- the ball must travel to go in.
What's a bit surprising is when Berkus breaks down how uphill putts, which we all desire, move away from the hole when mishit. So should we welcome downhill putts that move toward the hole when mishit? Check it out.
December 07, 2011
Trying Harder = Slower Swings
Sound familiar? You're not trying to cream the ball but just make good contact with an easy, controlled swing. Boom! The ball soars and your jaw drops. "I wasn't even swinging hard! What happens if I do?" You know the answer.
Here's a tool that'll help you get the feel for when your swing speed is greatest. Use the Medicus Golf Power Meter and you'll discover that trying to swing harder decreases swing speed. You'll learn how to use your body, rhythm and balance to increase your swing speed.
The Medicus Power Meter has a built-in military-grade accelerometer (see video) that gives accurate readings of club head speed and club swing speeds up to 145 mph. It works on any club and any shaft.
Check out this risk-free trial: Buy two Power Meters for $9.95 (one for you and one for a holiday gift), and if you're satisfied after 30 days, pay $129.95 -- still 50 percent off the list price of $259.90.
Steve Pike doesn't like rangefinders but sees something in this one. He's a longtime golf-gear writer and contributor to Partner Advice.
I'm not a big fan of rangefinders, but I have to admit they're becoming more prominent on golf courses. SkyGolf deserves much of the credit because of its SkyCaddie, and the newest generation is out.
The Wi-Fi enabled SkyCaddie SGXw provides the convenience of "on the go" access to the most accurate and up-to-date course maps. The SGXw (suggested retail price $399.95) connects wirelessly to SkyGolf's library of courses via Wi-Fi at home, the office, the golf course, etc.
The SGXw features Dynamic RangeVue, which SkyGolf says is designed to help you make smart club selections. It also features PinPoint Technology with IntelliGreen that the company says makes lasers obsolete. Hmmm.
Who knows, if SkyGolf keeps coming up with these kinds of features, I may become a fan.