ONE WEEK TIL SPRING LADIES !!!
Looking forward to enjoying some desirable spring weather after our very cold winter. Say goodbye to those skinny lies and heavy muddy divots, and hello to new fresh growth on our fairways and sun on our backs.
Some of you, like myself, have had a little break over winter. Cold weather gives us the opportunity to catch up on house hold duties and family commitments. I mean why play in the rain when you don’t have too? Taking a break can be a time to regenerate the body and the mind.
My Bag could do with a clean out before the next season of Golf begins so I thought I’d share few tips on getting ready for Spring. Most commonly before teeing off I’m in the bottom of my bag looking for the cleanest ball I can find !!
I thought I’d ask Tom Corker, from Kingston Heath Pro Shop, to give us an insight to his professional thoughts on ball choice.
WHAT BALL SHOULD I USE ?
There must be close to a hundred different balls on the market. Just go into a retailer like Drummond Golf and you’ll see the wall of brands and models of all the different options. Some say they go the furthest, some say they’re the softest and some say they spin the most. So how do I choose the best one for me?
First of all, I’d like to extinguish a common myth. There’s no such thing as a ball exclusively for men or good golfers.
All golfers should feel comfortable to choose a ball that works for them whether it be the top of the line Titleist or the bargain pack on sale. Also, don’t be pigeonholed by pink packaging, that is just marketing!
Now, let’s find you a ball.
I’d recommend narrowing the search down to the following brands, Titleist, Callaway, Taylormade and Srixon. These companies are market leaders for R&D and in my opinion have the best offerings for each category explained below.
The Tour ball
These balls are designed to give the golfer optimum distance down the fairway and control around the green. As mentioned, these balls can be for everyone – the only deterrent is the cost. Individual $8-10 Sleeve (3 balls) $20-25, Dozen $60-80.
Example ; Titleist Prov1 X and Srixon Z-Star. If you lose a few balls per round then these balls are not for you.
The Almost Tour Ball
These balls are the next level down, but still a great all rounder. The only difference from a tour ball is that they’re slightly lower spinning around the greens. Individual $5-7 Sleeve $14-18, Dozen $45-59.
Example ;Taylormade Project A and Srixon Q-Star.
The Soft Ball
The ultra soft ball is in vogue. The argument is that the ball is soft enough to compress and recoil at impact so you gain more distance with a slower swing speed. Also, because they’re soft, the feeling off the club is less jarring. Individual $5-7 Sleeve $12-16, Dozen $30-45.
Example; Callaway Supersoft, and Titleist DT Trusof.
The Distance Ball
The distance ball is code for ‘the cheapest ball’. Features of this ball are good durability and affordability. If you stick with the brands I’ve listed above, the distance ball is still a very viable option. Individual $4-5 Sleeve $12-16, Dozen $20-30. Example; Srixon Soft Feel and Titleist Velocity.
FIVE TIPS IN PREP FOR SPRING GOLF…
CHECK YOUR EQUIPMENT
Do your clubs need to be re-gripped?
If you’re relatively new to the game of golf, then there is something very important that you need to know. As you use your equipment, the grip on your clubs will wear down a bit and it will affect your game. This is one of the most overlooked aspects of improving your performance. Did you know that all the pros end up getting their clubs re-gripped every three or four months when they’re out playing on the touring circuit? You might not get in as many rounds as they do, but you’re still probably not maintaining your grips as often as you should. Cost is approximately $7 per club.
How do the faces of your wedges look? Are the grooves worn down? At impact, the grooves are responsible for biting into the cover of the golf ball. The downward strike on the ball, coupled with the sharp grooves, traps the ball against the ground and creates backspin.
Over time, the lower grooves will start to wear out and eventually will not catch the ball as sharply. The dulling grooves allow the ball to roll up the face just slightly before catching some of the higher grooves. When the ball rolls up the face, spin is lost because friction is lost. Old clubs could be worn out.
How do your gloves look?
Go through your golf bag and check your golf balls and get rid of any really old golf balls. Don’t retain any that have cuts or chips on the outer skin.
It is important to get your body ready from a fitness standpoint to be ready for the spring season. I encourage Yoga, Pilates, home exercise program (see past articles) and any cardiovascular workout that you enjoy and work on your core strength. I would highly recommend finding a golf specific exercise program. My Pilates program is a core based program that has shown tremendous results for golfers. Fitness is important to prevent injuries and to add more yardage to your shots.
If you choose to put your clubs away for the winter, save yourself some frustration by starting the season off with a series of lessons so you know what to work on and you will be way ahead of the game. It is important to find an instructor that you are comfortable with and will teach in a simple and concise way so you are not overwhelmed. Taking a lesson should be fun and you should see improvement quickly.
Practice putting indoors. Putting is something we can all do indoors on the carpet. I like to practice putting to a coin because then I know the cup will look large when I start playing again. Practice different distances to work on your speed control. I think putting on carpet can help, but best to use carpet that is rather thin so it’s similar to a real green. With thick carpet the ball will slow down too quickly so your sense of timing and speed of the swing could go off.
Indoor putting can help you work on your swing mechanics, but you should still make time for practicing on a real putting green, as the only way to practice reading greens and judging the breaks is to putt on a sloped surface.
Get your mental game in check. If you haven’t already done so take some time to read some books on how to practice and how to think both on the golf course and while you practice.
Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book
Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf
Golf is Not a Game of Perfect by Dr. Bob Rotella
The Short Game Bible by Dave Pelz
Research states not to read a lot of books on instruction because there is not a “one swing fits all” technique out there. Everyone is different and therefore everyone has a different swing. Alot of good golf literature isn’t instructional it often is about attitude , mental approach , game/ life management , inspiration and motivation.