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Shoot Lower Scores Instantly

The USGA and PGA of America initiated a new program last year and have carried it into 2012. Named “Tee it Forward,” this relatively new “program” is really no program at all. It’s common sense. And it requires virtually no math skills or imagination to implement. As the name suggests, the idea is to encourage most golfers to start playing a course that is more suited to the distances they actually hit the ball and the skill level they possess by teeing off from a set of tees forward from those they customarily use. The object is to shorten courses to a more realistic level of playability for the average golfer. The only hard thing about this idea is tossing aside your ego.     We all know the guys who insist on playing from the tips, no matter the slope or course rating. I know those guys. I used to be one of them. The Tee it Forward concept suggests that most of us have no business playing from the same set of tee blocks the pros play. The PGA and USGA tell us that playing a 7200 or 7300 yard course is equivalent to a professional playing from 8100 yards, or so. The pros don’t do that and neither should we. Most of us simply don’t hit the ball as far and certainly not as consistently as professionals.   Advances in technology have given those among us who played our youthful golf in the age of persimmon--Paleolithic Age, to be historically accurate--a nice ego boost by allowing us to hit the ball distances similar to those we achieved 30 years ago. Those same technological advances exponentially increase the distances that today’s young athletic golfers can move it.   Last year, while testing my drivers (yeah, that’s plural—as in 3) to see why none of them seemed to behave, I got on a swing monitor and was pleased to see that my swing speed was consistently at 110 mph. That’s not bad for a 52 year old chubby guy who’s main form of exercise involves taking out the garbage (those weekly reps are brutal). Dustin Johnson, acknowledged by his peers as one of the best athletes on Tour, generates club head speed of around 124 mph. So if, as they say, for each 1 mph increase in club head speed we generate an additional 3 yards off the tee, then DJ is hitting it 42 yards past me.   And that doesn’t take into consideration the fact that we amateurs are much less consistent with our ball striking (a 110 mph heel is just a reasonably quick bad drive) and that even on our good shots we don’t compress the ball as do the pros. Add to the speed mix the fact that our equipment is often not tailored to optimize launch angle and spin rate as it should be, and that 42 yards is more like 50-60…or more. Are you depressed yet? Well you shouldn’t be. There’s no reason to be bummed by the fact that we’re not as good, as strong, as flexible or as athletic as the professional golfers we try to emulate. Would you be shocked to learn that if I were good enough, and, you know, had access to the Fountain of Youth, I would be playing professional golf and not writing a blog?   No, the depressing thing is how we lie about our golf games. We lie to our spouses, who don’t care; we lie to our friends, who don’t believe us; and we lie to ourselves who then embrace those lies. For instance, I lied to you about my swing speed. While I did swing at 110 mph, I did not do so “consistently” as I claimed above. In fact, my swing speed varied between 105 on the low end to 112…alright 110 on the high end. And the crazy thing is that when I first wrote that, I didn’t even realize that I was stretching the truth. I simply remembered achieving 110 on a number of swings, so in my mind I had a 110 mph swing speed. The reality is that 110 was my max, so my real or effective driver swing speed is something less than 110. It’s not so much that I lied but more that I deluded myself, which leads to my point.   We delude ourselves about how far we hit the ball. If I were to play a round of golf with you today and you happened to catch one flush on, say, the 450 yard par 4 fifth hole leaving you with 160 to the green, you’d correctly calculate that to be a 290 yard drive. If someone were to then ask you later in the week how far you hit your driver, guess what you’d reply? You can’t lie to me. You know you’d tell them you hit your driver 290, even though that was the best drive you hit all day; even though it was down wind and the course was firm; and even though that was your longest drive on that hole all year. Why would you say this? Because you proved that you can hit it 290, so when we hear that question, we think of the optimal distance we can drive it, not our average drive, or even our reasonably good drive. We think in terms of how potentially long we are, not how consistently long.   It’s for this same reason that amateurs like us almost uniformly under club on our approach shots. “Let’s see, now. I have 145 to the middle pin. If I hit it solid, I can muscle an 8 iron, which I can hit 150 on occasion.” Never mind that the last occasion on which you hit an 8 iron 150 yards was during the Clinton impeachment, or that the last time you hit over a green was when you mistook your 6 for your 9 iron. No, no, no. You wouldn’t want to risk being long of the hole! You’d rather rely on perfection to get you close. Dumb. We all do it, or at least many of us do, and if you see yourself reflected in this description, then listen up. Can the ego and start playing smarter. That might begin with playing a course you can manage.   I’ve included a convenient chart that shows, in fairly specific terms, what length course we should be playing based on average driving distance. You will note that the highest average driving distance shown on the chart is 275 yards. There are two reasons for this. First, 275 is a very healthy driving average for an amateur, so that represents a fair outside limit at which to begin scaling back the course. Second, if you average over 275 off the tee, then you don’t need to move up. Go ahead and play the tips…and enjoy it while it lasts.   By the way, there’s no reason you have to play uniformly from the same set of tees. I’ve been going on a golf trip to Arizona with the same group of guys for the last 12 years. Everyone has a single digit handicap, so when we began years ago we played everywhere from the tips. As we got older, we discovered that we were stupid. 36 holes a day during which 420 yard par fours were the short ones just became too much. So we moved up one set on the par 4s, but continued to play par 3s and 5s from the tips. On some courses where the 3s were relentlessly long, we might move up a set on all or some by agreement. Everyone has more fun, particularly a certain chubby guy who suffers frequent bouts of driver yips.   So try moving up on some or all your holes. You’ll have more fun.     This chart is a guideline to help golfers align their average driving distance with the course length best suited to their abilities.   Driver Distance Recommended 18-Hole Yardages         275 6,700-6,900 250 6,200-6,400 225 5,800-6,000 200 5,200-5,400 175 4,400-4,600 150 3,500-3,700 125 2,800-3,000 100 2,100-2,300

Play Like The Pros: Put Hybrids In Your Bag

As readers of this blog are aware, I’m fond of advancing ideas on how to play better golf immediately. Previously, I talked about upgrading your driver and then followed with a post suggesting fairway technology had taken such a leap this year that you needed to do likewise and get a new fairway wood. You might also recall from that same fairway wood article I refused to call them “fairway metals,” so, like, don’t bother correcting me on that.   I’ve also written about the mental side of the game in a piece that suggested we all should try a little less. Even though that post was written with more than a little tongue-in-cheek, I really believe we would all improve if we didn’t care quite so much. That said, I know that most of you will never ease off the throttle or tone down your competitive zeal. And since the idea of performing better while trying less is so counterintuitive as to be almost un-American, I don’t expect anyone to write and tell me how my insightful article saved his game.   So today I get back to equipment and offer a suggestion which, if taken, will improve your game immediately…or, you know, whenever you get around to doing it.   Today we’ll talk about set composition or, why yours is probably wrong. For awhile now, I’ve been contemplating getting rid of my 3 iron, but I’ve been unwilling to do so for fear of being labeled with a big scarlet H (for Hack). In the last year or so, however, I’ve reluctantly come to the conclusion that my continued adherence to traditional set makeup is simply stupid. I gave up my 2 iron long ago when the first brown banana-looking TaylorMade Rescues with the Bubble shafts hit the market, and have utilized various 2 hybrids ever since. More difficult has been the idea of relegating the 3 iron to the antiquities bin. I know I should do it; after all, it’s really been years since I hit a 3 iron with any real degree of confidence, and even my solid shots with that club don’t come off with the height needed to generate the distance desired. In short, I have no real business carrying a 3 iron.   Part of my reluctance, I’ll readily admit, is the swagger factor. When I was a junior in high school, my dad bought me a Ping 1 iron that I carried for years thereafter and used with regularity. I loved that club, and even more than I loved the club itself, was the fact that in order to carry a 1 iron I had to get rid of my 4 wood. I liked the way my bag looked with only a driver and 3 wood. I also thought it was a bit intimidating to show up to a tournament sporting only a driver and sometimes 3 wood in an era when many players carried driver, 3, 4 and 5 woods. I would sneer at their girlie bags with their plethora of pom-pon head covers. I suspect I never really intimidated anyone with my 1 iron. And I know I don’t intimidate anyone these days, except maybe my six year old neighbor, Harold, with whom I have regular chipping and putting contests—and even he’s been talking smack lately. So as I said, I think it’s well past time to re-think my love of the long iron, which long ago stopped loving me.   This point was made dramatically clear to me this year when I took a look at Matt Kuchar’s bag following his win at The Players Championship. The lowest numbered iron used by Matt Kuchar in claiming the tournament featuring the deepest professional field in golf was a 5 iron. Kuchar is known as a guy who keeps the ball in play and rarely makes errors of a nature that lead to big numbers. He’s a fairways and greens machine. And he uses two hybrids— 20 and 23 degrees—and three wedges. Wedges are known as the “scoring” clubs for a reason and deserve our utmost attention, but I’m saving that for a future post. For now, let me stick with the point that almost every player could benefit by acing the longer irons and replacing them with hybrids. After all, the pros are incorporating more and more hybrids in their sets, so it would seem more than a little silly to reject a concept embraced by the guys who make their living playing golf just because we think we're too good.   Manufacturers have recognized this. Most sets no longer offer a 2 iron as an option, and many stock sets now begin with a 4 iron, requiring a special order if you want a 3 iron. Let me suggest that you may want a 3 iron, but you shouldn’t get it. I have a friend who’s a pretty accomplished player. He lives about 90 minutes from me so I only play with him a couple times a year. Last year, during one such round, I looked in his bag and discovered four hybrids. His lowest numbered iron was a 6 iron. When I asked him about why all the hybrids, he said simply, “They’re easier to hit.” And there you have it—hybrids are easier to hit. Callaway and other companies, recognizing this, have begun marketing hybrid/iron combo sets that feature hybrids instead of 3, 4 and even 5 irons.   Not only are hybrids easier to hit, but they’re easier to hit higher and longer than their numerically-equivalent iron counterparts, and they're alot more forgiving on mis-hits. Unless you're a scratch golfer or better and a high ball hitter,  forget the macho nonsense and put more hybrids in your bag. You’ll play better golf. I for one have replaced my 3 and 4 irons with hybrids, and my 5 iron’s getting nervous. It should be. I miss those irons, but I don’t long for them. They quit on me a long time ago, so its good riddance—let ‘em rust in the garage.   Check out all the available hybrids and mixed composition sets available at DGW. Each model Hybrid or Rescue club comes in a variety of progressive lofts ranging from the 15.5 degree Cleveland Mashie M1 to the 31 degree Cobra Baffler T Rail 7 Hybrid. We have Hybrid/Iron combo sets from Callaway and Tour Edge that offer a complete mix of easy to launch hybrids with shorter irons for precision shot making.   Change your game for the better by putting today’s modern technology to work in your bag.

New Approach Reveals Secret To Better Golf

Today I will share with you the secret of how to play better golf immediately. Sound intriguing? Of course it does, as I am chock full of intriguing ideas. Granted, most are not particularly useful, or even very good, but this one is. In fact, it is brilliant. And like so many brilliant ideas, its genius lies in its simplicity. So confident am I in my approach to better golf, that I offer this guarantee: If you are not completely satisfied with the advice in this post, you may return the unused portion of this blog and I will refund 100% of the purchase price. I know. Awesome.   The real beauty of my approach is you can implement it without practicing or taking lessons. That’s not to say you shouldn’t take lessons—you should. But if you follow my advice, you will improve without doing so much as going to the range. My approach to better golf addresses the mental aspect of the game. I am not a psychologist, but I am an expert on the psychological damage that can be inflicted by playing golf. I have played golf long enough and passionately enough to have borne many psychological wounds, some of which have left permanent scars. My approach removes those scars and ensures we will incur no new mental trauma.   Many of you have heard or read that we should play as if we were kids; the idea being that kids play with less stress and worry over the outcome of shots, so they swing more freely and with less anxiety. That’s ok as far as it goes, but I take it one step further and say you should play with actual kids, preferably your own. If you don’t have kids, you should borrow some, but they should be related so that you care about them, at least nominally. The kids should also be fairly young. The ideal age range is between 5 and 13. If your kids, or those you borrow, are younger than age 5, your golf outing will resemble a cat roundup. If the kids are over 13, they will think you suck, just like everything else sucks and you will wish to kill each other at some point early in the round, if not in the parking lot beforehand. Since killing children will have the exact opposite effect of improving your game, at least in the long term, I strongly advise leaving the older kids behind.   Assuming you have some age-appropriate children available, here’s why you should play with them. You will be so focused on the kids that you’ll forget to care about your own score. That’s it! It’s simple but it’s true, as I learned from experience. When my kids were junior golfers, I invariably played well when I played with them because I would forget my own game and focus on what they were doing. I would step up to the ball and hit it, then rush off to help one of them. I’d make six footers like they were tap-ins without even lining up the putt. I once played a round with my wife and kids while on vacation and stood on the par 5 18th tee knowing that I was playing well but having no idea where I stood to par and not really caring. It was a nice day and everyone was having fun. My daughter realized that I was playing well and innocently (I think it was innocent, although we did have a bet) asked me if I was under par. Of course, I mentally added my score then and there and realized that I was 3 under par. I further realized that the short-ish par 5 finishing hole would be the perfect opportunity to get to 4 under par for a round of 68.   I promptly hit out of bounds and took a double bogey. That still left me pleased at 1 under, but less pleased than I would have been at 3 or 4 under. But the point is obvious. We get in our heads when we play golf, and in our heads is a very bad pace to be. Playing with our kids forces us to take the game less seriously. When we play with our friends, even in a casual round, we become competitive, and when that happens we want to win.  And we begin to “focus” to think about how to win—and that’s when that vicious little brain of ours (we have just one amongst us, as most women will attest) goes into hyper-negative mode. We don’t want that to happen, so of course it does.   The answer then to our mental weakness is to find a way to banish negative thinking. At least that’s what the sports psychologists would have us believe. They tell us to “visualize” the shot and to use “positive self-talk” to get rid of negative images. Then we go to the course…and still we think. We think because we are humans, and even if we are stupid humans, we think. We can’t turn our brains off on the golf course, and the more we think, the more we try.   Worse still, we remember. We remember bad things that have happened to us on the golf course. If we’ve played long enough, we have many bad memories--of horrible shots and bad breaks, awful swings and immense soul-searing agonies that have befallen us time and time again. We have nightmares of choking under the pressure of a club championship, member guest playoff, pro-am performances, college try-outs and other indignities suffered at the hands of the golf gods that make us want to curl up in a ball and whimper. We remember: pull hooks, high flares, hitting houses, narrowly missing children in the next fairway; cold topped tee shots hit while trying to impress the ladies who were kind enough to let us go through; bladed sand wedges, hoseled 8 irons, necked 3 woods; out of bounds right and water left; hitting the tree they said no one could hit from that angle; abandoning a brand new Pro V1 that landed OB by the pool on a crowded day; and, even…choking on the 18th hole of a family outing that occurred years ago. Or maybe that’s just me.   But I don’t think so. When we play golf we tend to remember the bad stuff and we fill our heads with swing thoughts that all begin with the word “don’t.” We do this because we are trying just so hard to play well; to live up to the potential that we once had; to shoot a good round so we can bore our wives to death with tales of our daring-do on the links. And therein is the real problem. We try because we care. Let me propose a solution. Let me suggest that, while we have to think, we don’t have to care. Our golf rounds, no matter what’s on the line, just aren’t that important…even to us. We just won’t let ourselves accept that. We don’t want to accept that. We want it to be important; therefore, we care about the outcome. Here’s the antidote for caring.   I want you to leave work and go to the course immediately. Start not-caring right now, as in “I don’t care if I get fired.” Trust me. If you don’t care about cutting out of work early, your boss won’t either [Editor’s Note: That is not true]. In fact, when you stop caring about things, no one will care what you do. Go to the course. Park in a handicapped spot right by the front door because no one will care [Editor’s Note: also, not true]. Go to the snack shop and get a hot dog and don’t leave a tip because the counter girl won’t care [Editor’s Note: She will spit in your food].   When you arrive at the tee, cut in front of the guys in front of you without even asking, saying, “I’m sure you won’t care, since I’m obviously in a hurry.”  They will laugh because they will see how care free you’ve become [Editor’s note: They will beat the snot out of you, unless it’s at a country club, in which case they will call the pro and demand that he “have a word.”] Then, you should… [Editor’s note: we have omitted 3 paragraphs of “not caring” examples here because each was more ridiculous than the one before and, of course, completely untrue].   Ok, so none of that’s true. But what is true is that you should stop caring about your golf game—at least you should stop caring as much. When you do, I can tell you with 100% certainty that no one else will care that you no longer care. Why? Because they have never cared about your game.   That, my friends is the dirty little open secret of golf. Say it with me: NO ONE ELSE CARES ABOUT MY GAME. We all know this on some level, but we sooo want it to not be true. We care, so everyone else we know should care, right? Wrong. Say it again: NO ONE ELSE CARES ABOUT MY GAME. This is your mantra and it will help you achieve the ultimate goal of not caring yourself. You’ll play better golf, guaranteed.

Pick Up the Pace

    Slow play is in the golfing news this week, thanks to a ruling on the LPGA Tour over the weekend that, arguably, cost Morgan Pressel a semi-final match and a chance to win the Sybase Match Play Championship. The slow play penalty (loss of hole in match play) came on the 12th hole, which Pressel won to go 3 up in the match. She was then informed that, having been put on the clock previously, and having then taken too much time to play the 12th hole, she was being assessed the penalty. So, instead of being 3 up, she was one up in what was effectively a 2 hole penalty.   How would you react to that? Probably the same way Pressel did, which was to go on to lose the match 2 and 1. I like Morgan Pressel. She yells at her ball. She yells at herself. She seems feisty and emotional, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest that the ruling cost her the match. She had to be steaming. That was a tough way to lose, and of course we’ll never know if the outcome was truly affected, but there’s a huge difference between being 3 up with 6 holes to go and being only 1 up. Azahara Munoz, the other player in the controversy admitted that she had been just as guilty of slow play earlier in the match, and indeed, the earlier warning was for both and not just Pressel. Munoz also acknowledged that the penalty wasn’t fair and she wouldn’t have assessed it were it her choice. She said this right after she grabbed the $375,000.00 winner’s check, making it a little easier, I suppose, to be magnanimous.   This LPGA slow play incident came on the heels of the Kevin Na situation at the Players Championship. You’ll recall that Na was leading The Players after 54 holes, despite being almost physically unable to pull the trigger on virtually any shot. We watched as he fidgeted, backed off, fidgeted some more, backed off again, and then yelled at himself before finally swinging. This happened throughout the round, and it was painful to watch. And since Na acknowledged the problem and confessed to battling swing demons, we felt sorry for him, and forgave him his slow play. The Tour didn’t assess any penalties; even though his slow play had a much more significant effect on the pace of play, and his competitors, than did Pressel’s.   Slow play is epidemic on the professional tours, and I can’t do anything about that, and apparently neither can the officials (But see: Pressel, Morgan above). And I can’t say I have any particular feelings about slow play on the pro tours. These guys and gals are playing for their livelihood and a lot of money, so if they want to play at a pace resembling the Bataan Death March, only less fun, I say let ‘em. TV coverage does a marvelous job of focusing in on the actual shots and not the sometimes interminable decision making process that goes before, except in Sudden Death playoffs where there are no other players to watch. In the event of Sudden Death, you can always do something else for awhile and come back to the TV when the players reach the green, or you reach retirement age, whichever comes first.   I can, however, offer some suggestions to speed up your play, and that of your foursome. We shouldn’t emulate what we see on TV. We play golf for fun. What we see on TV is tournament golf at its highest level. Those folks are working. Don’t do what they do. Do what I say.   Here’s my list of 5 things you can do, and some things you shouldn’t do on the course:   Play “ready golf” everywhere but on the green. If your playing companion is further away than you, but not ready to hit, then go ahead and play. This is easy to do and speeds play dramatically. The same applies to the tee. Forget about who has “honors.” Whoever gets there first and is ready should go ahead and tee off. My golf group has played this way for years, and even walking the course, we get around in 3 hours. If you are driving a cart, do not under any circumstance feel that you need to park by your playing companion’s ball and watch him hit Instead, drop him off at his ball and go to yours, or have him drop you off and take the cart. If your golf balls are in the same vicinity, find a convenient area to both and park. If one of you is in the fairway, or close to it, and the other hit his last shot way left, or right, the guy in the fairway gets out first. Then the other guy can go look for his ball. In the meantime, fairway guy can hit and start walking to the green. Take one and only one practice swing when you are ready to address your ball. If you are “working on something” or you need more than one swing to get the feel for the shot you want to hit, go to the range. When on the green, line up your putt before it’s your turn. When it is your turn, be ready to putt. Do not read putts from both sides. This is ok to do, if you must, when you’re on a foreign course, but you absolutely do not need to do this on the course where you regularly play. Care less. We’re supposed to have fun on the course, yet we are so competitive, and so focused on playing our best, that we expend a lot of energy fretting over the possible outcome of every swing. In the end, it will matter not one bit what you shot today, so quit caring so much about what you might shoot. I guarantee that if you quit caring so much, you’ll play better…and faster.

Must-Have Golf Apps for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry

With today's technology there is no surprise that there are some very amazing and advanced golf apps available for us to use just about anywhere we can get service on our phones. I have researched and found a few must-have golf apps for the iPhone/iPod Touch, Android phones, and the BlackBerry phone. Read on and be satisfied! iPhone/iPod Touch Apps The US Open Golf Championship is coming up pretty quick and nobody wants to miss it. A great way to not miss this event is by downloading the free app onto your iPhone or iPod Touch. This app is the official iPhone app for the 2011 US Open Golf Championship at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, June 13-19, 2011. This app features live video from the US Open Championship available for you to view like you would on your TV. Although this app is amazing, it is only available to view in the United States. Here is the run-down of the features of the US Open Golf Championship App: Live video from the US Open Championship available (only viewable in the United States) Exclusive LIVE marquee group coverage and dedicated hole coverage On demand highlights available to you All video is viewable with Edge,  3G, and Wifi connections Latest news updates LIVE real-time scoring updates including the Leaderboard and Tee Times Full course details Latest photos from the game You can stream live ESPN Radio coverage and submit questions to be answered on-air by ESPN commentators via Ask the Booth, presented by American Express Cost: FREE Another great app for your iPhone or iPod touch is the Flick Golf! app. This is a fun little game you can play on your phone or iPod while you are bored and need a cheap golf game to play. At only 0.99 cents I believe this is a great game! The Flick Golf! app I am talking about is the new version, which is version 1.1.0. There has been many improvements and fixes to the game and a few new features were even added. This is the list of all the new features, improvements and fixes: A game center has been added for iOS 4.1 and above 5 new courses (3 Quickshot, 2 World Tour) 15 new achievements New game mode: Quickshot Pro! Platinum Trophies Easier level unlocks Levels 1&2 are now unlocked by default The timer now pauses for score summary between shots The ball movement is smoother and the ball bounce is more consistent Collision around the hole is improved Significant frame-rate improvement Added successive hole-in-one counter during play Score card was added to the tutorial New level unlocked message added during play Facebook & Twitter launch buttons More various bug fixes and improvements Cost: $0.99 Android Apps Normally Golf GPS Range Finders are extremely expensive. Did you ever think you would see the day when you could have a $1.99 Golf GPS app? Well today is your lucky day! I have found a great app, it is called SkyDroid - Golf GPS and is only $1.99. This app will help you lower your scores and it will give you the GPS distance to every green. SkyDroid also gives you distances to water hazards, bunkers, and more! You may not have as many cool tools as actual rangefinders have but either way this app is a must-have. Features of the SkyDroid-Golf GPS: GPS Golf app that will help to lower your scores SkyDroid turns your cell phone into a Golf GPS Rangefinder GPS distance to every green Distances to water hazards, bunkers, etc Satellite view of every course Distance to ANY point on the map Shot tracking You are able to download unlimited course Map ANY course you like online Cost: $1.99 Video: SkyDroid-Golf GPS   BlackBerry Apps With the Golf GPS Range Finder app for BlackBerry phones you can ultimately spend no money on a rangefinder for the golf course. Yes, I did say it, this app is 100% free! The only thing you will need to pay for is the scorecard, which is an upgrade. From all of the reviews I have read the scorecard upgrade is well worth the cost! If you don't want to pay for the scorecard you still get to experience a 14-day free trial to try out the scorecard and see if you want to pay your hard earned money for it. I found a lot of information about this app. Some of it came from the reviews of the people who have used it first-hand and the rest came from Swing by Swing Golf, the makers of this app. So after combining all of the information I came up with, here is a list of all of the cool features that come with this free app: The scorecard feature is a 14-day free trial, after the 14 days are up you either have to go without the scorecard feature or upgrade and pay for the feature The Golf GPS Range Finder is totally free and is not just a trial version While using it you can take stroke of your game with smart golf information:  You can view a satellite photo of the hole you are playing Receive accurate distance information, it rivals any $300-500 rangefinder A simple touch to the screen can show you the distance from where you are at to any point on the hole You can map your own course or Swing by Swing Golf can do it for you toll free This app is free along with all of the playable courses in the system If you see a course that is not yet mapped you can do 1 of 2 things: You can use Swing by Swing's website to map the course yourself, they say it is fun to do and only takes about 10 minutes if you know the layout of the course Swing by Swing's professional mapping team will enter a course into the system for you This is an easy-to-use app - just a few taps are you are ready to play! It automatically advances from hole to hole You can play and entire round of golf and never futz with your phone It works on any course in the world, if the course you want isn't on the map it can be mapped for you or you can map it yourself You will receive quick and reliable support from the app or from the Swing By Swing website Swing by Swing requires an email address and password to register to play. Your information is confidential and will never be sold or shared. It takes about 30 seconds to input your information and once your register you will have free access to the range finder application forever. Cost: FREE (Without the Scorecard upgrade) This app is also available for the iPhone and the Android Swing by Swing requires an email address and password to register for play. Your information is confidential and will never be sold or shared. It takes about 30 seconds to input your information and once you register with Swing by Swing you will have free access to the range finder application forever. If you don't want to risk your phone crashing or an app to not live up to your expectations you can always buy a reliable rangefinder from Discount Golf World. DGW has many different range finders for you to choose from. If you have any questions about DGW's GPS Range Finders just ask your question(s) in our Q&A section on the product page!

Golf Instruction – Healthy Training Tips

Golf is best described as perpetual practice and mental conditioning.  Every time you swing a golf club you are really practicing your swing and improving your mental concentration. Nobody, and especially no golfer, is perfect.  So naturally there is always room for improvement in your game.  With every round and practice session really being a skill building effort, you should maintain healthy training habits for greater success and less injures.  Here are a few healthy golf training tips, and some that don’t even require leaving your home. Healthy Golf Training Tips: Train with a golf professional : Taking lessons from a teaching professional, instead of a friend or learning on your own, is really the best way to learn the game. Teaching pros will be able to accurately evaluate your golf swing and can quickly show you how to improve your errors. They will also be able to help correct your stance, grip, takeaway, down swing, and follow-through. Now if you can't afford lessons with a professional, there are many training aids available to help better your game. One example is the Taylor Made TR3 SpeedStik Swing Training Aid. It helps in developing and conditioning those much needed muscles used for strength of swing as well as swing speed along with correcting step out-to-in or over-the-top swings. It also has a speed meter that measures from 60 to 140 mph for instant feedback. Practice at the driving range : The farther you can hit the ball the better potential you have for your golf score to be lower. If you can't make it to the driving range consistently then look into the Deluxe Practice Balls by ProActive which are available in a convenient 12 pack. At only $3.99 for a 12 pack, these plastic golf balls are a great product to use to practice your drive in your back yard without having to worry about damaging anything. The best part about this product is the price. With such a low price point you won’t have to worry about losing one.  Don't have a backyard worthy of golf practice?  Don't worry.  For indoor (and outdoor) use, Callaway Golf has a unique training bag for practicing ball impact. It encourages a flat wrist and promotes a square clubface at impact. Exercise : Exercising is a must when you are an active golfer, so you need to be in top shape for the golfing season. Working on keeping limber with stretches are key because your body must twist and turn as you swing your club.  Another reason you want to be in your best shape is because during a typical 18 hole round you will most likely walk more than 3 ½ miles. Increase flexibility : Many golf related injuries can be avoided with simple 15-minute stretching before each round or driving range practice. It is crucial to stretch your lower back, hips, shoulders and upper torso. Sometimes golf courses have spa services available on-site. It may be a good idea before tee time to make an appointment with a certified specialist to ease any tense muscles. Examine your mental approach : One of the most important aspects of your golf swing is timing. Instead of rushing your swing, concentrate on it. A great way to work on concentrating while practicing your swing is evaluating your mental approach. You need to have a clear mind while playing golf because your mind controls your body.  If you are feeling guilty about the yard work you should be doing that Saturday or thinking more about the upcoming meeting at work rather than focusing on what is important on the golf course, then your game will reflect that. If you can use mental training techniques and try to clear your mind of other thoughts and only focus on golf while practicing and playing the game you can dramatically improve your score. Practice short game : In order to compete effectively, you need to have a good chip and putt. Good news is that you can practice this anywhere - at home, in the office, or den. A few minutes every day is very helpful.

Intro to Golf 101 - Junior Golf Development

As the 2010-2011 school year draws to a close, many parents are beginning to discuss this summer's plans and activities for their children. With so many options out there like youth summer camps and all the different sports available, it can be a daunting task to choose what is going to occupy their child's summer activity. Let us offer this suggestion. Start your child playing golf. There are great life lessons to be learned while playing this sport. The game of golf can be a perfect example of sportsmanship, which every child should learn at an early age. But golf is more than just a game. It's a way of life. There is an understood respect among its players and it promotes honesty. Every parent wants their child to be extraordinary in whatever they choose to do in life. It's important to instill positive characteristics in them at a young age. This summer is an ideal time to introduce golf to your child. One of the great things about golf is that you and your child can play this sport together. Here are a few keys to keep in mind while trying to introduce golf to your child.... 1. Start with basic equipment: a golf club starter set, and golf balls is all you really need - they are not professionals yet, so they don't need a full set of clubs 2. Remember to "Have Patience" with your child - Golf is a mind game and if you are not patient with them they will not want to focus. 3. Most importantly "Have Fun"! - Golf can be an extremely fun and challenging sport to play 4. You will both make mistakes but it is a learning experience. Try and try again! If you don't want to tackle teaching your youngster the game on your own, there are many teaching resources for today's younger generation of golfers. For example, The First Tee is a World Golf initiative dedicated to providing young people of all backgrounds an opportunity to develop, through golf and character education. It creates opportunities for young people to learn essential skills for success on the green and later in life. The program fills kids with a sense of what's possible. The instructors of The First Tee instill nine core values into their teaching: Honesty, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Respect, Confidence, Responsibility, Perseverance, Courtesy, and Judgment. If you want to get your child involved in The First Tee program, you can download the parent's guide or find a location near you. Or you may watch this video about The First Tee life skills experience to help instill good ethics and decision-making in our youth's generation. In addition, check out our starter golf equipment section to help outfit your child in everything they will need to get started playing today. Also take a look at our large selection of junior golf apparel to get them looking like a golf pro in no time! Dressing in specific golf apparel will help performance on the course as today's golf clothing lines are designed in a manner that won't restrict your swing so you can have full range of motion. Actual golfing shoes are highly recommended to help keep balance and stability as well but not necessary, wearing other suitable athletic shoes would be OK. Want a place to start? Check out the Cleveland Juniors Series Set as a perfect value starter set with standard equipment suitable for various ages. Available in Large (11-14 years), Medium (7-10 years) or even Small (3-6 years). It's never too early to get 'em started! So start your child playing golf today. Who knows, if they stay with it, maybe one day they will be playing on Sundays.

USGA Wedge Rule Change, How Does It Affect You?

You remember the 1987 R.E.M. song "It's the End of the World As We Know It"? Well for today's golfer, December 31, 2010, will be the end of the world as we know it in regards to wedges. What? Why? What are you talking about? I'm talking about the USGA decision to change the rule regarding the grooves on wedges. As of December 31, 2010, golf club manufacturers will no longer be able to produce wedges with large square grooves that most golfers have grown to love. The new grooves must be smaller and much shallower in comparison; about 30% smaller to be exact. Why is this happening? I suspect it is because the USGA feels that professional golfers are getting too good at getting good shots from out of the rough. The intent of the rule change is to place a premium on playing from the short-grass and making it harder to have precision, spin and control when hitting out of the rough. Their goal should be accomplished on the professional level as the majority of PGA professional golfers hit the fairway approximately 60-70% of the time, and with practice I am sure that percentage will go up from there. As for the rest of us, well that's another story. In my game, I feel a little strange when I actually do get to play from the fairway. I am typically in the rough off the tee and tend to stay there most of the hole. The problem for golfers like me (there are more of you out there I know it) is that the smaller grooves reduce the contact surface with the ball (I will explain more on that in a sec) which in turn reduces spin performance and predictability from out of the rough. So since a Tour player is on the fairway the majority of the time and most average golfers like me are not,  you can see this is a problem more so for me and you than it is for the PGA Tour. How does the rule change really affect the game of golf? For the 2010 PGA Tour season, all Tour players must already be playing wedges that conform to the new ruling. At the end of this year, all manufacturers must begin to produce only wedges that conform to the new ruling. By the year 2014, all USGA sanctioned amateur events will have to have the new ruling in place. And finally, by 2024, this rule change will affect all golfers everywhere; as any golfer who posts a score for handicap purposes will have to be using the new conforming wedges. Fortunately (or unfortunately some would say), most golfers today will never be a PGA professional golfer (except maybe in our minds and our locker-room bragging), nor will the majority of us ever actually try to qualify for the US Open (although I thought about it once, then I remembered that I live in the rough), so this rule change will not affect the game of the average weekend warrior for another 14 years. So if we have 14 years until the average golfer will be affected, why are we talking about it today? Well, in short, since manufacturers will no longer be able to produce wedges with current large grooves, you will no longer be able to buy wedges with the current large grooves. Therefore your golf game will be dramatically affected from here forward. All this fuss about grooves, what does it really matter? It matters because it greatly affects your game. With 70% or so of all golf shots played within 120 yards of the green, the wedges tend to be the most used clubs in your bag. And with a majority of those shots, at least for me, being played from the rough, it is important to have a good set of wedges. Wedges are typically used from the rough because a wedge has larger and deeper grooves to help clear debris from the contact point. In fact, how the grooves work is quite interesting. The grooves on a golf club are designed to channel moisture and debris away from the club face and improve friction on the golf ball (you can think of it in the same way that a tread on your car tire channels water for grip on the road). So as expected, the larger and deeper the groove on the wedge, the more debris that can be channeled away from the surface allowing more friction on contact. Friction on the golf ball is what gives more control, spin and predictability. So if the new grooves are going to be smaller, thus not clearing as much debris away from the contact surface, you can foresee the potential problems. With the new rule change going to smaller grooves and the fact that a lot of courses are starting to make the area around the greens longer and less manageable, most golfers will have a more difficult time setting themselves up for good putts. So here is the bottom line; if you like using wedges with the large square zip grooves, then you have approximately six (6) months to stock up enough wedges to get you through the next 14 years. And with the average avid golfer buying a new wedge every couple of months, that means a lot of wedges. But don't worry; wedges will still be around to buy next year, the new ones just won't have the same technology they use today. So hurry and act now, ‘cause once they're gone, they're gone. Look to the right for some of our most popular large groove wedges still available.
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