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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:


November 29, 2011

Why Is Hole Diameter 4.25 Inches?

Good question. The answer's in this video, but before getting into that, you may find it interesting that many golf clubs, in order to make the game more appealing and faster, have experimented with enlarging the hole. And get this: Golfers who play well are more likely to see the hole as larger than their poor-playing counterparts, according to a Purdue University researcher.

But back to the question. Golf was played in Scotland for years with the hole being rabbit holes or non-uniform holes dug in the sand. Competition was very localized match play, so there was no need for uniformity until the 1890s, when golf started to expand internationally.

In 1891, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club based in St Andrews caught wind of a cup cutter that the Royal Musselburgh Golf Club had been using since 1820. Guess what the diameter of that cup cutter was?

November 28, 2011

Gear Guy: The New Titleist Irons

Check out Steve Pike's review of these new irons. Pike is a longtime golf-gear writer and contributor to Partner Advice.

The new Titleist AP1 and AP2 irons (712 Series) are multi-material, dual-cavity irons that combine forgiveness that we all need with the traditional looks that we all have come to expect from Titleist irons. Since 2007, when Titleist first introduced AP (Advance Performance), the irons have been among the market's more consistent sellers.

The new AP1 features an updated top-line shape and progressively reduced blade lengths, resulting in more traditional-looking short irons. Changes to the AP2 include a new square-toe profile (preferred by many PGA Tour players) and reduced-sole width in the short irons.

For average and better players, the AP1 and especially the AP2 irons were played with success on the PGA Tour this past season. The irons carry a suggested retail price of $154 a club (steel) and $175 (graphite).

Titleist AP1 710 Irons (Steel) 4-W

Titleist AP2 710 Irons (Steel) 3-PW

Titleist AP1 712 Irons - (Graphite) 4-PW

Titleist AP1 712 Irons - (Steel) 4-PW

November 23, 2011

Short on Short-Game Confidence?

Chipping ... its sure seems as if it should be easy. But for many of us, it's not; in fact, it's our Achilles' heel. Michael Breed, who hosts The Golf Fix, says confidence is the key to chipping.

So how can a golfer gain confidence in chipping? Breed explains that golfers who struggle with their short game usually:

  • Put pressure on themselves to hit the perfect shot. A perfect shot isn't likely, so why not set a goal to position the ball for a reasonable uphill putt?
  • Don't think where they want to land the ball on the green; instead, they think about where they want the ball to end up (in the hole).
  • Don't make good use of practice swings; they swing to loosen up or to shake out tension but not to get a feel for how hard to swing.

November 22, 2011

Gear Guy: New Bridgestone Drivers

Steve Pike is a longtime golf-gear writer and contributor to Partner Advice.

Bridgestone Golf is best known for its B330 golf ball line, but don't forget about its clubs; I believe they've been underrated for years. That might change with the company's introduction of two new drivers.

The J40 445, according to Bridgestone, promotes a mid-to-high launch trajectory with low spin rates, meaning it should appeal to mid- and higher-handicap players. It features a short hosel and Bridgestone's Variable Face Thickness Design that provides increased mass on the face toward the heel and toe of the club for higher ball speed on off-center hits.

The J40 430, meanwhile, is slightly smaller than the J40 445 and designed for players looking for a controlled low- to mid-launch trajectory.

The Bridgestone J40 445 driver will feature a street price of $399. The J40 430 driver will be available in January 2012 also with a street price of $399.

Bridgestone J40 430 Driver

Bridgestone J40 Fairway Wood

Bridgestone J38 Driver

Bridgestone Tour B330-RXS Golf Balls (1 Dozen) - Free Personalization

November 17, 2011

McIlroy: It's All in the Hips

In the 2011 U.S. Open, the champion Rory McIlroy outdrove the field, hitting a crushing average of 310 yards a drive. What's impressive, though, is he is 5'9" and weighs 161 pounds. So how does McIlroy outdrive other golfers to make up for his size?

The answer is in this video from ESPN Sports Science. Host John Brenkus describes how scientists looked at McIlroy's kinetic chain in his swing at the Titleist Performance Institute.

They discovered it is McIlroy's rare reverse-velocity in his hips that helps give him so much power. Most golfers just have a forward rotation with their hips, but McIlroy is one of the few professional golfers who has a forward and reverse rotation in his swing.

You gotta check out how McIlroy's rotational velocity compares to most amateur and professional golfers; it'll blow you away.

November 16, 2011

79 Cents Can Buy You More Power

Here's the thing about power: You don't have it, you get it. Yes, there are those rare few golfers with a natural swing, but even they have to work at maximizing their technique and strength. The rest of us? We definitely have to focus on gaining power; either that or spend our rounds wishing and whining.

You can buy driver power, to some degree, but you've probably already gone that expensive route. So try this: Buy more power for only 79 cents.

You're not buying instant power with a quick fix; you're buying into the Tremendous Power program by Medicus Golf. In this downloadable book, Ten Minutes to Tremendous Power, you'll learn 10-minute-every-other-day exercises that'll build "speed muscles" and add power. You also learn warm-up and training routines for the range, including those using tools -- the PowerMaximus, the Dual Hinged trainer and the PowerMeter -- that help with power, swing plane, tempo and timing.

Medicus Driver Improves all aspects of your swing from the takeaway to downswing.

November 14, 2011

Finally, FootJoy Goes Spikeless

Spikeless golf shoes are becoming more popular these days and could prove even more so when FootJoy begins shipping its new Contour Casual shoes designed for wear on and off the golf course. In other words, you can step right out of the car and onto the course with a Contour Casual shoe. No more changing outside your car or in the clubhouse locker room.

Contour Casual is an extension of FootJoy's popular Contour Series franchise, which the company says is the best-selling golf shoe category in the world. FootJoy says the Contour Casual footwear utilizes soft, premium leathers, lightweight underfoot comfort and waterproof protection.

Perhaps best of all, Contour Casual ($105 a pair) features the most sizing options in the casual spikeless category with 47 possible length/width combinations. The shoes will be offered in four colors -- dark brown/green, black/taupe blaze, white/taupe blaze and navy/red.

FREE Shipping On Orders $75 Or More At Golf Galaxy

November 07, 2011

Padraig Applauds USGA Rule Changes

There's something about the "Rules of Golf" that's compelling. Golfers just love reading them and reading about them -- especially when changes are for the better.

In this case the changes, announced by the USGA and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, include a revision stating that golfers will no longer be penalized if their ball moves after it has been addressed. This is a relief for three-time major champion Padraig Harrington, who was penalized when his ball blew uphill on the 15th green at the 2009 Masters after he had addressed it.

"Every time the wind blows, I am worried that my ball is going to move and I am worried about grounding my putter, distracting me from trying to hole my putt," said Harrington, who is an R&A ambassador. Rory McIlroy and Webb Simpson have also been penalized this year under the old rule.

November 01, 2011

11 Goofy Golf Videos

Gotta admit that when we clicked through to this Bleacher Report article by Ben Cousins, we groaned when we saw that there were 11 videos included (13, but two are no longer on YouTube). We proceeded with one video at a time, looking for any excuse to click off. We found none.

These are weird and whacky and, at times, wonderful. Just the sight of European pros David Howell, Paul McGinley, Marcel Siem and Rhys Davies gathered at The Gap of Dunloe, Killarney, Ireland, to skim balls 200 yards across a lake and hit a 9-in. gong is odd. But try not to laugh when one of them hits the gong!

The sleeper of the batch, however, is Fuzzy Zoeller's unlikely hole-in-one. Yes, yes, you've seen many holes-in-one before (and perhaps have hit one), but check this one out. The ball is dead in the rough and yet ....

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