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:


January 31, 2012

How to Avoid Setup Boo-Boos

A bad swing starts before you swing. That is, whenever you hit a shot that sucks, the cause is often your setup. In this video, golf instructor Rickard Strongert demonstrates common mistakes made at the setup, including:

  • Weight on heels. When you put too much weight on your heels, it causes a flat swing. To get better balance and maximum power, put weight more on the balls of your feet.
  • Slumped posture (see image). The body can only turn around its axis if the back is straight. With poor posture, you're forced to use mostly your arms because you can't rotate around this axis. Lean straight forward from your hips, and let your "axis of power" go to work.

Don't overlook the little details in the setup; they play a big part in hitting super shots.

January 30, 2012

No to Treats, Yes to Training

Craving carbs this winter? Check out this workout video of Camilo Villegas; it'll inspire you to get fit because he's known for being buff -- big time. But it's also insightful about how driven PGA Tour golfers have to be and how a realistic Villegas handles the pressures.

What originally motivated Villegas to get in such great shape? He was a 5-ft. 9-in., 138-pound freshman on the University of Florida golf team with a dream of going pro. To do so, he needed to hit the ball farther, so Villegas used the training facilities constantly to lose body fat and gain muscle weight.

Being a workout warrior -- including taking 98-mile bicycling trips to Miami -- has paid off with three wins and more than $13 million in prize money in four years as a pro. The spoils of winning include treats on the tour, and Villegas has a tip on such temptations

January 24, 2012

To Play the Wind, Watch This

After enduring winter's forced layoff from golf, we often leap at the chance to play in the early season, even though the wind is up -- sometimes brutally up. In order to play the elements to our advantage, we wanted to find out exactly how much wind affects the flight of the ball (see video). These discoveries may blow you away:

Headwind. The video explains how wind affects lift and drag, which influence ball flight. A headwind increases lift and hang time, giving wind more time to work against the normal flight. This decreases distance by up to 40 yards (with a 40-mph wind).

Tailwind. A 40-mph tailwind reduces lift and hang time, but the force pushing the ball makes it travel up to 20 yards farther.

That headwind/tailwind distance difference of up to 60 yard affects club choice, obviously. Equally impressive is how strong crosswinds can be even more punishing.

January 19, 2012

Why Do Golf Balls Have Dimples?

Not because they look cute. It's because dimples make you look good.

In short, dimples maximize the distance golf balls travel. In the distant past, observant golfers noticed that beat-up balls traveled farther than the standard smooth balls of the time.

Aerodynamics came into play, and scientists discovered that dimpled balls traveled up to four times farther than smooth-surfaced balls. The dimples reduce the drag on a golf ball by redirecting more air pressure behind the ball rather than in front of it. The higher levels of pressure behind the balls force them to go far distances. This makes you look good, yes?

Round dimples are the standard, but a variety of other shapes have been experimented with. Among these are squares, rectangles and hexagons. The hexagons result in a lower drag than the round dimples, which is why you see some balls with hexagonal dimples.

January 18, 2012

Fix 80% of Your Golf Problems

We're talking about fixing your swing plane, and what you may not realize is this: Once you get that rascal fixed, your swing is pretty much set. This training device helps you set it and forget it, so you can move on to playing golf instead of constantly futzing with your swing.

With the Medicus Vision Track, you can see the line your club head should follow during the swing. That's sometimes a confusing point; the swing line is not the same as your target line -- and you can see both at once very clearly with Vision Track. The cool thing about Vision Track is you not only see the proper swing line, but also if you swing off that line, the device let's you know it big time (see video).

Vision Track (reversible for lefthanders) promotes keeping your head behind the ball at impact and swinging through the contact area versus hitting at the ball.

January 17, 2012

An Iron That's Black and Forgiving

Steve Pike is into forgiveness with his golf game, so he likes these new irons. Pike is a longtime golf-gear writer and contributor to Partner Advice.

Cleveland Golf probably always will be best known for its wedges -- and rightfully so -- but the company has made terrific irons for years. The latest is the CG Black irons (4-PW steel, $899-graphite $999).

The irons feature a thin, high-strength Ti face for increased ball speed and maximum distance, while a larger face area and full cavity back maximize forgiveness on off-center hits.

The color gives the irons a great stealthy look, and the Ti face does indeed help increase distance. I can attest that the CG Black irons also deliver forgiveness, especially on toe-hits.

The Miyazaki C. Kua 59 graphite shaft reduces the overall weight of each iron. That takes a little getting used to if you're a steel-shaft player normally, but it's definitely worth trying, especially for players with slower swing speeds.

January 16, 2012

Higher-Loft Driver=More Distance

For years equipment manufacturers have touted the advantages of higher-lofted drivers but rarely marketed anything above 10.5 or 11 degrees; higher-lofted drivers have been tough sells.

Perhaps Titleist's new 910 D2 12-degree driver can change some minds. The basis for integrating a 12-degree loft into this new driver head is testing that revealed greater carry distance with 12 degrees of loft -- but only for ball speeds of 130 mph and lower; that gain in carry distance becomes negligible as loft exceeds 13 degrees (for ball speeds of 130 mph and lower).

With Titleist's SureFit Tour dual-angle hosel (see videos), you can adjust the 910 D2 12-degree head ($499) down to 11.25 degrees and up to 13.5 degrees; this accommodates the launch variations across the range of the 110 to 130 mph swing-speed group.

Steve Pike likes this new driver with a higher loft. Pike is a longtime golf-gear writer and contributor to Partner Advice.

Titleist Mens 910D2 Driver

January 10, 2012

When DJ Adjusts His R11S Driver

Steve Pike has only one doubt about the new R11S driver. Pike is a longtime golf-gear writer and contributor to Partner Advice.

Golf is all about making adjustments on the course and off (see video of Dustin Johnson gaining 14 yards by adjusting his new R11S driver). TaylorMade-adidas Golf continues to adjust its R11 driver line by rolling out the R11S, TMaG's "most technologically advanced driver to date." That's an ambitious statement given the technology and success of the R11 driver and its predecessors, but we've come to expect no less from TMaG.

Like the R11, the R11S is all-white and features TMaG's three-degree Flight Control Technology (FCT) sleeve. What's new is the five-way Adjustable Sole Plate (ASP) that helps you find your optimum address set-up -- a proprietary setting not found in any other driver.

The R11S ($399)TP ($499) can be tuned for 80 launch settings, which TMaG says makes it golf's most adjustable driver.

The question is: How many settings does a player really need?

TaylorMade R11S TP Driver

TaylorMade R11S TP Fairway Wood

January 04, 2012

1-on-1 Lessons From Pro Instructor

You know, they don't just hand out PGA Teacher of the Year awards on street corners. These guys and gals are good -- good at making you good.

So what's the value of lessons from these instructors? Priceless? Maybe, if they could fix your swing and make golf more enjoyable for a lifetime.

Would it give you pause if we said the cost today of one-on-one lessons with 1995 PGA Teacher of the Year Jack Lumpkin is $5.95? The catch? These lessons with Lumpkin aren't live -- they're better because he's at your command. By purchasing Lumpkin's Tee to Green DVD, you can study his tips instantly and repeatedly on computer or mobile device to improve every aspect of your game: from driving to fairway woods, chipping to pitching, sand shots to perfect putts.

C'mon, $5.95 for lessons from a master -- with free shipping and a 30-day money-back guarantee? That's too good.

January 2, 2012

Resolution #2: Get Hole-in-One

The second-hardest golf feat is making a hole-in-one. However, you may be able get one in 2012 -- and check it off your New Year's resolutions list -- by watching this video.

At the Masters Par-3 Contest, 21 aces have been recorded on the 9th hole. Why so many on that hole compared with the other par-3 holes?

John Brenkus of ESPN Sports Science scientifically explains what's happening at the 9th. One factor is the grass. The greens on the 8th and 9th holes are bent grass, which can be cut lower than the Bermuda grass that's used on the rest of the holes. This lower cut allows the ball to roll truer and faster. Another factor: pin placement.

So, all you need to get your ace is to get invited to play at the Masters Par 3 Contest -- the hardest golf feat of all.

January 1, 2012

Golf Resolution #1: Add Power

Every year golfers make New Year's resolutions, but not everybody fully commits to them. Well, adding power to your game is one you can commit to -- we all want more distance -- especially if you can accomplish that without a lot of fuss. To help you check that resolution off your list, we have a great "idea:" the Adams Idea a12 OS Hybrid (see video).

When we tried this hybrid at the range, we had one of those wow moments that follows a great hit with a club that's the No. 1 hybrid on the PGA Tour. Wow, the Velocity Slot Technology and the ultra-thin face not only made the ball explode off the face, it also provided a higher launch angle without taking away any distance. And we appreciated the increased forgiveness due to the larger sweet spot and the perimeter weighting that's been added to the original Idea a12 Hybrid.

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