Golf Tips from the PGA Partners Club


GOLF TIPS: Equipment, Travel, Discounts and Deals

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October 28, 2009

Putter—Put Your Money Where Your Mass Is

IMO, in online lingo, means "in my opinion." Well, IMHO (H stands for "humble"), this new IMO putter by Rife Putters looks almost 2G2BT ("too good to be true").

This all-aluminum putter head has 85 percent of its mass concentrated in the middle 40 percent of the putter (from front to rear). The remaining 15 percent of the mass is in the sides, which are hollowed out underneath. With this much mass directly behind the ball, the IMO should have a high MOI (golf lingo for "moment of inertia") and increased stability. Bottom line is it's easier to swing on plane, in theory, and not pull or push the putt.

The USGA requires that putters be wider than deep. The IMO passes, measuring 4 3/4 inches wide and 4 3/5 inches deep.

Putter choice is all personal, @TEOTD ("at the end of the day"), but if Rife keeps coming out with what seems 2B ("to be") GR8 ("great") putters like the IMO—that also happen to be so acronymic, 4COL ("for crying out loud")—then the company may be cited by the AAAAA ("American Association Against Acronym Abuse").

Get a free IMO trainer.

Guerin Rife IMO Trainer Putter

October 26, 2009

Maybe re: Mickelson's Short Game Video

Would we recommend the DVD Phil Mickelson: Secrets of the Short Game? Maybe.

Mickelson is animated and into his instruction; no mailing it in, as with some pros turned instructors. The DVD is well produced, and a helpful booklet is included. Good because a point from the video may escape you, but you'll get it from the booklet. If you want more written instruction, purchase the DVD and a 208-page book.

While a great deal is explained, we wish Mickelson would have slowed down, covering less and teaching fundamentals more. He moves through a number of chipping shots based on the hinge-and-hold method. He teaches the wrist break, quickly, but he could have spent more time breaking down the fundamentals of this method, head to toe, and less time later on the spinning flop shot and two trick shots (the Two-Ball Bunker Shot and the Backward, Over-the-Head Shot). While entertaining, these are shots you won't use.

The putting section was best, including tidbits such as on putting off the green (read only the fairway, not the green). Still, many of Phil's drills you've seen before.

While this DVD's a maybe, maybe Phil will do another on fundamentals. We hope.

October 21, 2009

New Equipment: Titleist AP1 + AP2 Irons

Titleist's new AP1 and AP2 irons use the Tuned Feel System. This insert, made of elastomer and aluminum, improves the sound and feel. The AP1 has a thinner face and more weight in the sole. The AP2, for skilled players, has more subtle changes to improve feel and turf interaction.

"The new AP1 and AP2 irons retain the dual-cavity design and multi-material construction that's the key to their advanced performance," says Dan Stone, of Titleist. "However, the designs have been significantly upgraded for feel with the addition of our new Tuned Feel System. Additionally, the structure of the new AP1 provides improved forgiveness, while a modified sole on the new AP2 provides improved ground control."

The AP2s are more popular on the professional tours. At the Turning Stone Resort Championship, three new players put AP2s in their bags: Brendon de Jonge, Jeff Klauk and Marc Leishman. Zach Johnson, Tom Pernice Jr., Brad Faxon, Bill Haas, Nick Watney and Ben Curtis already had been using the clubs. Pernice became the first tour player to win with the new AP2s in his Champions Tour debut at the SAS Championship.

Video review of AP1 and AP2.

October 19, 2009

How to Golf and Fear No Evil

Fear is germane to golf. First-tee jitters, four-foot yips, going bonkers about bunkers—just part of the game, right?


In the DVD Fearless Golf, sports psychologist Dr. Gio Valiante says fear is an option, and you can choose to lose it. Well, high marks to Valiante for naming the dragon that causes us to flame out on the course—and for offering tools to flush out fear from our putting, short game, driving, etc.

Some of Valiante's discussion you've heard before, but he has fresh ideas as well. The best, in our opinion, is in this question:

Why do you golf, for ego or for mastery?

If for ego (image, bragging rights, etc.), you're more vulnerable to fear. If for skill mastery, you're less vulnerable and more free to enjoy the game.

He has many drills, such as this three-club drill. Pick a distance (100 yards) and hit what you'd normally hit for that distance (sand wedge). Next hit an 8-iron and then a 6-iron that same distance. The point: Building trust in what Valiante calls your "trump card," your natural athleticism, de-emphasizes mechanics and swing thoughts and calms your fears.

Free Fearless Golf newsletter.

Fearless Golf DVD Training Aid: Mastering the Mental Game, By Dr. Gio Valiante

12 Step's Fearless Golf

October 14, 2009

Equipment Update: Mizuno's New Irons

Forgiveness. Too often in golf, you're punished for your mishits. So it's refreshing—perhaps divine—when a club offers forgiveness. And that's what Mizuno claims to offer in the recently introduced MX-300 irons.

They feature a traditional appearance with a minimal progressive offset, a compact head size and modest sole width to deliver the look for an aggressive player profile, while Y-Tune Pro technology provides enhanced feel and ball flight control, with added forgiveness (that word again).

Y-Tune Pro technology means a specially configured cavity-back design provides mass behind the hitting area for a solid feel and workability, plus there's an enlarged sweet spot for increased playability.

The MX-300s feature a milled pocket cavity in the 3-7 irons, allowing for redistribution of 17 grams of discretionary weight low and deep; this provides a high penetrating launch. The scoring irons (8-GW) have a power bar design for a solid feel and pin-attacking precision.

"We realize that many players are looking for added forgiveness, but prefer a more traditional head shape and profile in the playing position," says Dick Lyons of Mizuno. "The MX-300s are the perfect irons for those players."

Virtual tour of the MX-300.

Mizuno MX-300 Iron Set

October 12, 2009

A Rangefinder That Will Break Your Will

"Don't need no rangefinder!"

Uh-uh. We used to think that. Why? Well, we're a pretty keen judge of distances and which club to pull. So rangefinders were superfluous, less for us pure golfers and more for flailing futzers and techno-geeks.

And then we picked up the Bushnell TOUR V2 Slope Edition. Yeah, the rangefinder's cool and all, confirming distances that we could figure out from course markers and experience. It also has 5x magnification and can provide distances from 5 to 1000 yards with an impressive one-yard accuracy.

But the feature that broke our will to bypass the rangerfinder market is a built-in "accelerometer-based inclinometer." It displays the exact slope angle, whether the pin is on a hill or in a gulch. It then uses "internal algorithmic formulas" to compute what distance the sloped shot is playing (see video of how this feature works).

EXAMPLE: Say the true distance to the pin is 162 yards, which is normally a 6 iron for you. But with an uphill slope of +4 degrees, according to the TOUR V2 Slope Edition, the compensated range is 173 yards—meaning you should hit a 5 iron.

Legal to use under USGA rules?

Bushnell Tour V2 with Slope

Bushnell Tour V2 with Slope

October 7, 2009

Kick Back at Luxurious Golf Lodges

Imagine a golf-vacation hotel where everyone knows your name—and speaks the language of golf. That's the luxury life at golf lodges, where you can relax and have access to world-class championship courses. Here's a sampling:

Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Lodge & Club This club-like, folksy 65-room property overlooking the famed Bay Hill course, site of the PGA TOUR's Arnold Palmer Invitational, offers great golf and a chance to see or meet Arnie.

Lodge at Bandon Dunes ResortWith three courses perched on rugged cliffs above Oregon's Pacific Ocean coast, Bandon Dunes offers a phenomenal seaside links experience.

Lodge at Ocean Hammock ResortOverlooking the Jack Nicklaus Ocean Course along the Atlantic coastline, the 20-room lodge has oversized decks and the ambiance of boutique luxury hotel.

Lodge at Sea IslandResembling a luxurious 40-room elegant English manor, the Lodge at Sea Island drips with enviable amenities and views of St. Simons Sound, Atlantic Ocean or the Plantation golf course.

Lodge at Torrey PinesPerched on a dramatic stretch of southern California coastline 20 minutes from downtown San Diego, the 170-room Lodge at Torrey Pines pays homage ts

October 5, 2009

5 Reasons to Do a Swing School

1. It's time. You've spent years (decades?) making the same swing mistakes and hoping for different results. Stop the insanity and check yourself into a swing school.

2. Full immersion. No rushing, no worries, just methodically learning to play the game better over the course of a long weekend. Top-flight instructors customize their instruction to your swing's idiosyncrasies.

3. Fascinating learning tools. At TPC Sawgrass, for example, there are 3,000 square feet of learning space, TaylorMade MAT-T 3-D Motion Capture System, Trackman ball flight monitor and TaylorMade Putting System (one of two, anywhere).

4. Ultimate golf destinations. Play TPC Sawgrass, World Golf Village, TPC Las Vegas, TPC Scottsdale, Hilton Head and TOUR Academy New York. Better your game and best some of the world's best courses.

5. Great deal. Here's the offer from PGA TOUR Academy: 25% off TOUR Academy golf schools nationwide for Club members.

As a Club member, you can use this offer to bag a big-time, dollars-and-cents benefit—and your game's bound to get better. The @



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