Golf Tips from the Golf Partners Club's Newsletters:
GOLF TIPS: Equipment, Travel, Discounts and Deals
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're in a quizzical mood today. So here's a pop quiz on the golf ball. See how you do, just fer fun (answers are at the bottom--no peeking!)
1. A golf ball may not be smaller than how many inches in diameter?
2. True or false: A golf ball may be legally larger than the correct answer above.
3. True or false: Dimples evolved because golfers figured out that smooth Gutta Percha balls, made from heat-treated rubber-like sap, did not travel as far as rough-surfaced featheries, which were made of goose feathers wrapped in horse or cow hide.
Check your answers below. Well done. Hey, as long as you're on a roll, try this Golf Participation/Equipment Survey. The questions are far easier than our little quiz--guaranteed--and you just may win a $50 Dick's gift card.
Peter Jacobsen, 56, had back problems in his early 30s and tried playing through pain. That's not unusual; estimates are that up to 75 percent of golfers have game-related injuries. After all, repetitive swinging (not a natural motion) and constant twisting of the lumbar region make golfers particularly prone to back pain.
"An MRI showed I had four or five disc problems, so LSI went to work on me," says Jacobsen, who has won twice on the Champions Tour and seven times on the PGA Tour. Jacobsen's last treatment at LSI was 18 months ago, and he’s happy that he's healthy again.
LSI, with offices in Florida, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Colorado and California, offers what it calls a "successful alternative" to traditional open back and neck surgeries. LSI orthopedic surgeons treat painful ailments with endoscopic outpatient procedures, which you can witness by watching this video.
June 28, 2010
A Mixed Bag, Frankly
Give LT Golf props for innovation on several features of the new Easy Bag. But the Easy Bag was a mixed bag when we tried it.
Wheels for easy rolling from cart to car were good, but the narrow wheel base made for a few tipsy turns. The bag's front slot was good for handling clubs because we didn't have to lift them as high as with a normal bag. And special straps attach the bag to the cart basket, which seemed more secure than the normal single strap from the cart.
But there was too much futzing with carefully placing and removing the clubs from the individual club wells at the bottom of the bag and the club-holder ring at the top. Several times when we were hurried or frustrated by a bad shot (stuff happens), we popped the club-holder ring off its mounts, which meant more futzing.
Before using this club, we knew it could stop our slice, that blasphemous "banana" ball we hit all too often--except, of course, when we play for the slice; then we hit it straight. After using the Bob Burns No Bananas D.A.T. 14.5-degree 2-wood for a few rounds, the only bananas we saw were in the clubhouse.
This 2-wood works (even with gorillas, according to the video above) because the club face is closed 3 degrees more than a regular 2-wood, which reduces slicing, spraying or blocking right (for right-handers).
Bob Burns makes a driver, but we grew to like this 2-wood. It's small enough (285 cc) to use from the fairway and large enough to use as a driver when we need control without sacrificing much distance. In fact, we're temped to take our driver from the bag and go with the D.A.T. 2-wood.
Odd, isn't it, how the more you think about your swing during a round, the worse it gets? Well, we're weighing each word carefully when we call the Heavy Wedge "the thinking-golfer's wedge."
We call it that because Stephen Boccieri (squatting in video above) put a lot of thought into his innovative wedge so that we don't even think about chunking and skulling shots--and we start thinking about checking the ball and backing it up on the green.
Consider this: A normal wedge clubhead weighs 300 grams and has little counterbalance in the shaft. With 65 grams of mass added high in the shaft, the Heavy Wedge has counterbalance that creates a less head-heavy feel. Setting the hands during the backswing is easier, there's less "casting the clubhead" during the downswing and, most important, the clubhead is less apt to hurry ahead of the hands at impact.
Think about it, watch this video and then get the wedge. It's a no-brainer buy.
June 21, 2010
The Anti-Lard Butt Push Cart
If you know a certain someone who's getting to be a bit of a lard butt, refer him/her to this push cart. It may be just the thing to turn the golfer into a calorie-burning walker.
Take the Trekker TC3 Freestyle push cart ($189) for a test spin, and you'll see that it weighs only about 15 pounds, thanks to its aluminum-tubing structure. There's no fight in the TC3 when it's time to fold and unfold; the process takes 10 seconds--and the cart even comes with a carry bag. On the course, the TC3 maneuvers easily because it has a low, flat, reinforced sub-frame.
BTW, the Trekker Caddy Company says it has sold more than 5,000 TC3s in the past five months--not bad for a start-up golf company these days.
You had a better chance of playing in the 2010 U.S. Open than you did in 2009. This year there were 9,052 entries for U.S.G.A. Local Qualifying compared to 9,086 in 2009.
Let's face it, chances of making it to the 156-player Championship field at Pebble Beach Golf Links are remote, but there's no shortage of dreamers. This year the youngest golfer to enter was a 14-year-old from Bradenton, Florida, and oldest was an 81-year-old from Los Angeles, California.
Local Qualifying took place May 7-20 at 111 sites across the nation. Among those who failed to advance were Tour pros Colt Knost, Bob May, Gary Nicklaus, Dicky Pride and Tadd Fujikawa as well as celebs like Minnesota Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and former Major Leaguer John Smoltz.
The 2011 U.S. Open site is the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. Before plunking down your $150 entry fee, you'll need a 1.4 handicap index (or below) and the ability to dream big, real big.
June 15, 2010
U.S. Open's Nightmare
If you want the common golfer's walking tour of the Pebble Beach Golf Links, check out this video. (Pictured is the famous par-3 7th from the green looking up to the tee box.) It'll give a fun frame of reference for when you follow this week's U.S. Open.
Pebble Beach will play at 7,040 yards, around 400 yards shorter than previous U.S. Opens. But Pebble has its defenses: wind, weather and small Poa Annua greens. In cooler climates, such as the Monterey Peninsula, Poa Annua greens can be a nightmare as Poa tends to get beat up by foot traffic. The result often is inconsistent green speeds and putts that look like they're going over speed bumps.
Also, the U.S. Golf Association has added the graduated rough concept it first implemented at the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot. The goal is that the more errant the shot, the more penal the rough; less errant, less penal.
The famous 7th at Pebble Beach Golf Links. It's proof that courses change, especially when they repeatedly host the U.S. Open.
Although Pebble Beach--at 7,040 yards--won't play significantly longer in the 2010 U.S. Open than it did in 2000 when Tiger Woods won by 15 strokes, there are new tees on No. 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 11 and 13. Look for more players to hit drivers at 9 and 10 than in the past as 9 is 40 yards longer and 10 has been extended 55 yards.
Also, Arnold Palmer (co-owner of The Pebble Beach Co.) added bunkers to 6 and 15, which narrows the left side of each fairway.
"It will be a very defensive course off the tee with so many fairways being cut in and brought over toward the water," says Phil Mickelson, still looking for his first U.S. Open victory. "These fairways now are much tighter."
For avid golfers (raise your hand), your clubs can sometimes turn into "lightning rods." That is, they symbolize how much the game takes you away from home. It's as if the clubs become one with all that stands in the way of the ultimate in marital intimacy. It's a bum rap, frankly, but stuff like this happens in relationships.
So what's a hacker to do? Stash the clubs! Put them in the garage--outta sight and outta mind--but put them there in style by using the Gladiator Golf Caddy.
The caddy is 27.5-in. wide x 42.5-in. high x 15-in. deep and has a total weight capacity rating of 75 pounds. It'll store your bag, balls, shoes and accessories. And the best part is that there's room for two of everything--perfect for golfing couples!
It sucks -- especially now that school is letting out for the summer -- when your kid shows an interest in golf but you can't afford to pay big bucks for some quality sticks that'll fit him or her.
Check out Tour Edge Golf's Bazooka GeoMax Jr. sets. In short, these sets offer state-of-the-art technology for juniors at an affordable price. GeoMax Jr. is available in three sizes for children ages 3-12. The clubs are sold individually for as low as $14.99 and in complete sets, starting at $79.99 for an introductory set.
In addition, the GeoMax Jr. is the official junior club for the Hook a Kid on Golf program that teaches the game to children who have previously never had the opportunity to play the game. Hats off to Hook a Kid on Golf!