My Bag

During this past year I invested in new clubs.  I read the golf digest top 100 hot list and talked with other golfers.  Finally, I decided there was only one way to find the right clubs for me.

I contacted the in-store Pro at my local Golfsmith store.  At that time, I liked my driver and other woods, so I decided to replace my irons first. After trying several brands I decided the Ping G30 were best for me and my particular swing.  The pro took about one hour and a half and fitted the clubs to my particular impact and angle needed.  At that time, I had steel shaft Clevelands and the Ping G30 was available in both steel shafts and graphite shafts.  Testing my swing speed, the graphite swing speed was about 10mph faster than the steel, so I chose the graphite shaft and black Ping G30 irons.

I have found that the PingG30 irons are very forgiving and provide me with a confidence unlike I had previously.  Since the Ping G30 irons worked so well for me, I decided to move on to the Ping G30 Woods.  I found the woods to be similar in forgiveness and were givimg me more consistency and predictable shots.

Update: just added Ping G, 4 hybrid,  leaving only the 5 hybrid Callaway. 

Have you purchased new clubs within the past year?  If so, let others know of your experiences, good or bad.

Here is what is in my bag:
Ping G30 Driver
Taylormade Mini Driver
Ping G30 3 Wood
Ping G30 5 Wood
Ping G 4 Hybrid
Calloway X2Hot Hybrid 5
Ping 6,7,8,9,Wedge, (U) Gap, (S) Sand Wedge
Update:  New See More Blade FGP Putter
*note:
When in Florida, I use the the 5 Hybrid, when at home in Delaware I use the 5 Ping Iron. Debating whether I need Taylormade Mini Driver.

Too Busy

Its been a busy last few months.  I guess I have been lazy posting on this blog, but I have been playing a lot of golf and having a lot of fun playing and working on improving my game.

This time of the year is when you start to evaluate how you are going to approach where you are going to play golf next year.   If you are happy with your current venue, then continue your same course.  However, if not, you most likely have a lot of choices.

Here are some the things I have put in my think tank for next year:
1.  Should I consider a country club and play that club exclusively?
2.  Should I stay the course and continue to do what I am doing now?
3.  What can I afford to spend?
4.  How close are venues to my residence?
5.  What are the conditions and maintenance of the course I currently play vs others?
6.  What is the attitude of the staff in pro shop and equipment stocked?
7.  What is the attitude of the owners who manage and control the course?
8.  Is the price currently charged a good value?
9.  Do the goals I have for my golf game coincide with my course choices?
10. Do I like the people I play with me on a consistent basis?

These points are just a few and you may have others.  My own evaluation is that  I think #10 rises as the #1 reason to play a particular golf course.  Relationships, comradery, and a general comfortable feeling with those you know and play golf with are the most important. Afterall, its frienships and our families that bind our lives and keep us happy and well balanced.

 

When Puttting I Feel the Need for Speed

Putting is almost 50% or more of your golf score.  So, working on putting is a wise choice if you want to bring your score down.

Practicing putting is boring.  You have tomake it fun to keep yourself engaged and to get better at putting.   I like to practice putting with a buddy and make it a game.  For me I like to keep putts within 10 feet or less.  My logic is that if I can get within 10 feet (preferably 6 feet), I have a chance of having no more than a 2 putt.  We all know that 3 putt holes will kill your score.

Anyway, you know I am not a pro, but the guys at Golf Tec, seem to know what they are doing.  Click Here, to learn some words of wisdom and a great practice drill to help improve your putting and overall golf game.

Spring is right around the corner, unless like me, you’re in sunny Florida…..

 

Muscle Memory or Is It Golf

How is it that every time I play, I have a different partner?  That different partner is me.  I’m really good one day and bad the next!

Inconsistency is the achilles heal of most golfer, and even the pros.   Because of inconsistency, we golfers are always looking for the next thing, the next tip, the next idea, the next new club and even the right pair of socks to wear.  No kidding, I pay attention to what I wear when I have a good day, you bet I may want to wear the same outfit soon.  Damn, I can be a little superstitous.  Are you?

One of my golf goals for this year is  to just step up and hit the ball.  Yes, just relax and hit the damn thing.  Currenly, I have a lot going on between the ears, i.e. keep my head quiet, follow through, slow down, don’t be so steep, watch my club angle, keep my feet together, and lots more.

How can I get to the point of just stepping up and hitting the ball?

I think a lot has to do with muscle memory.  Muscle memory plays a big part with consistency.  In other words, you practice enough of the  to make the right stroke, then your  muscles  automatically begin to memorize the right moves, without really thinking.  You get to  a certain point and just start doing it consistently.

Muscle memory sounds easy at first glance, but it requies a lot of dedicated work.  Some might get it quick, but for me I make it a big task.

What is your best method for consistenly refining your muscle memory?

Now, go hit it….

 

 

 

James Hahn….and Winning

This past weekend James Hahn won the Northern Trust Open.  His play was spectacular, but most inspiring is his  story and  willingness to not give up.

Before becoming a US PGA professional, James Hahn was playing in the Canadian PGA tour.  Down to his last $200 and not knowing how to pay his caddy, he was ready to throw in the hat, but fortunately he won $3000 and thus, continued to play.  Getting real serious, he hung in there and Voile, is now on his way to a stellar golf career.

Often I play with guys who are ready to throw in the towel after 9 holes.  They are good guys, but the reality is that we are amateurs and golf is hard.  For me, I have some really good days, then turn around and have some really bad days.

My goal, in the words of Sir Winston Churchill is to “never, ever  give up.” I am always striving to do my best in golf, that’s just the way I am. I consider myself a student of the game and so far, have never graduated!

SAC LJThe other day, my partner (Larry J) and I, came in 2nd in a local member/guest tournment.  We came from behind the 1st day and managed to pull off a 2nd place finish.  No, we did not win, but it was a great day to come from 5 down, to finish 2nd.

Have a great Day!  Go Play!

A Student of the Game of Golf

Today I found out something I did not know.  Yes, I was told that I was a student of the game of golf.

ben hogan five lessons

Here’s how it happened…
Since being down here in Florida for my winter break, I often take about an hour on my off playing days to go to the driving range. Every time I went to the range, I would see this gentlemen trying his best to hit the golf ball.  He was having a tough time!

My intrigue, led me to ask him a few questions.  I wanted to know how long he’d been playing.  He admittedly said he had just begun playing.  So, I offered some advise and words of encouragement.  So, our conversation continued over a 3 week period.  He was so nice and appreciative of tips and hints. I got to know him and has wife as friends.

So, today I went to the range.  He called me over and he said I have something for you. He gave me the now famous, “Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons” in paper back.  Unbeknown to him, I already owned the ebook, but really wanted the real, paperback, to underscore important parts of the book.  It’s a must read for  anyone who plays  golf.

Receiving this book gift was one of the nicest things that has happend to me since playing golf.  Maybe, you too could reach out to someone who is struggling with their game.  It’s a good for you and a good thing for them.

Keep on playing golf and never, ever give up!

 

 

 

John – Making the Game of Golf Fun

Most clubs have a guy  who greet you either at the bag drop or just prior to getting you set to play and afterward once your game is finished.   A few ‘bag room’ guys make you feel special about yourself by getting your game onward in a positive manner.
bag room

Upon arriving at the course, I am often met by John.  John is from Boston and loves the Patriots.  Don’t hold that against him!  He is a special character and once you meet him, you will really like him.

John is always talking about golf, your game  and positive aspects of the day.   John is an observer of life.  For example, he saw me the other day, working on my sand bunker shots.  He relayed to me, “Mr. Collins, seems like you need some work on those bunker shots.” Embarassingly, he was right.  I needed help.  Some ‘Country Club’ golfers may have taken his comment as offensive, when in fact, it was meant to be constructive.

Now, John knows the game of golf.   He can tell a good bunker shot, a putt, chip, or drive if it is any good.  John, loves the game of golf, life, people and it comes through everytime you see him.

I think it would be fun to get John out on the course.  He most likely puts FUN into the game of golf!

Guys like John are hard to find.  Worthington Country Club should be proud they have him on their staff.

Now, get out there and have some fun….

BioMechanics and the Golf Swing

Yesterday I just happened to have an opportunity to play golf with a young man, Adam, who fully understood the nature of the proper mechanics of the golf swing.

asweb

Adam is from Green Bay, Wisconsin, has a degree in computer sciences, but has a passion for the game of golf.  His true passion is teaching golf.  He fully understands the game of golf  and has the patience to transfer that knowledge to others.

One of my golf goals for the year was to be more consistent.  This is a goal most of us amateur golfers attest.  Adam, concurred that golf is an ever changing challenge, but is often made to complicated by getting too many variables into a players mind, when golf is primarily just about using the proper bio-mechanics.

Adam and I got lucky during our game.  A rainstorm came up for about 15 minutes, but we continued to play and the rest of the golfers on the course quit.   The sun came out and the rest of the round was amazing.  Emptying out the course gave us an opportunity to discuss and analyze  the real mechanics of the golf swing.

Adam pointed out that my left leg and pronation with my hands at address were a culprit of my inconsitency.

First, my left leg was fine on the backswing, but on the full takeaway I was keeping my left leg bent, which did not allow my hips to come through and prevented a loss of lag and loss of power.  Once Adam  explained and next demonstrated the move, I was on track.

Next, the pronation.  My hands were the culprit of chunk shots.  The way I positioned my hands was causing inconsistency with my swing. My hands position was always causing me to try to ‘catch up’ with my swing and over compensate the down swing, thereby I was chunking the ball.

Now that I know how to make some tweeks to my game, what is next. Yep, on to  the practice range, with the goal only to work on proper release and rotation with hips and left leg, and proper pronation of the hands during swing takeaway and release.

Not sure if I throughly explained these moves, but next time you are on  the range or golf course, just ask your  pro or teaching professional about the role of the left leg in the release and pronation of hands during the golf swing.

Thanks again Adam for a great day of golf and enlightenment to help me with my golf game.

Now, get out there and have some fun!

PS
Check out the left left and hips at finish on the graphic!

 

 

 

Relaxing in the Sun Makes Golfing Fun

Are you freezing?  Has your golf game been shut down  by extreme cold and frozen tundra.  Disgusted and disgruntled, with nothing to do?

17th fairway worthington

Why not take a short reprieve to sunny Florida or someplace warmer nearest you?  My wife and I decided to make the great escape to the sunny south.  Call us snowbirds, I don’t care, but I prefer smart-birds.

So far, I have played golf once and found the greens to be challenging,  so I just got back from a putting clinic.  The head pro here was very helpful and helped me a lot.  Hopefully, my score will reflect what I learned.

Here are a couple good tips I got:
1.  On short putts, grip the putter just a bit firmer with  the left hand.
Vise versa if you are a lefty.
2.  On long putts, follow through more with the right hand, similar to when you might throw a ball underhanded.
3.  Your goal on long putts should be to get close enough, to make it down in 2 putts.
4.  Your next goal is make at least 3-4, one putts.
5.  Overall goal is get putts to within 29-32 putts overall.  Avoiding 3 putts.
6.  Last, relax when putting, keep your stance and eye just over and inside the ball; which will get you from rocking back on your heels and keeping your balance and feet firmly planted.

Got a putting tip?  Let us know by commenting….

PS
You don’t have to come south to practice the above.  Give it a shot on a carpeted room at home.

Go Retired Golfers………….