3 Absolutely MUST DO tips to play in cold weather!

I have a friend in Toronto, Canada. who simply cannot wait for decent weather to play golf. He’ll golf in snow, sleet and rain if a course is open. This student of mine even tricked me into joining him once, with a promise that it was going to warm up (from 36 F to 45 F) and a promise that we’d only play 9. HA!  I showed up at the course and there was a lone golfer hitting balls on the range.  I knew it was Michael!  When I went into the clubhouse, his wife Jayne looked at me hopefully, but I knew Michael was determined to play.  After 9 we tried to trick him by saying “Lets go to the clubhouse for a hot chocolate?”  “Yes, but we’ll leave or bags on the 10th tee”  So, we played 18 of the coldest holes in my life.   But I learned from my mistakes and here are 3 great tips for playing in cold weather.
A cold blustery day, but you can still go out and play if you dress correctly!

A cold blustery day, but you can still go out and play if you dress correctly!

  If you find yourself scheduled to play in unfriendly weather, consider these three great tips to make it more bearable:  
Dress appropriately in cold weather.  Good gloves are a must!

Dress appropriately in cold weather. Good gloves are a must!

  1. Dress for it – Start with a long-sleeved, snug shirt made of a moisture-wicking synthetic fabric like those made by Under Armour. Add a lightweight turtleneck sweater next. On top of that, layer a zip-up, warm vest. Lastly, put on a windproof jacket that can easily fit into your golf bag. (In case it warms up) Also, wear moisture-wicking long underwear and top with windproof slacks. Put a wool, fitted hat on your head that covers your ears. A huge amount of heat is lost through the head, if it is not kept warm.  Wool mittens add the final touch to keeping your hands warm.

2. Change Your Ball – Try playing a lower compression ball. Higher compression balls feel like rocks in cold weather, and it’s harder to compress them on the clubface.  Also, keep one ball in your pocket and switch out on the next tee, that way you’re always playing with a warm ball.  Keeping one of those hand heaters in your pocket will speed up the warming process.

3. Retain your sense of humor and expect to shoot a higher score – Hey… you’re golfing, not working!

If you have any further ideas to add to these I would appreciate your comments!

Source : Mel Sole.

Pictures : Towne Post Network   Allen Watkin  Mr. Tin DC

How to play out of Soft, Fluffy bunkers.

Unless you’re playing the PGA Tour, it’s likely that you’re playing courses with bunkers that have varying textures of sand, from hard pan to soft and fluffy. Learning how to manage these tricky situations is critical to lowering your scores. Last year, Mel Sole shared three pro tips for playing out of hard bunkers. As mentioned, the approach for playing hard bunkers versus soft bunkers is quite different. On location in Mexico, Mel explains the key to successful shots out of soft, fluffy sand in this month’s video golf tip. Watch now!     Source : Mel Sole Golf Schools Picture : Mel Sole

Breaking News! Caddies sue PGA Tour!

Breaking News!  I have always thought that the caddies were compensated for the advertising on the bibs that they wear during a PGA Tour event.  Boy, was I wrong!  The caddies get SQUAT!  And I think it is about time things change.  Michael McCan writing for GOLF.com and being a lawyer, explains the legal ins and outs of this intriguing story! (Michael McCann is a Massachusetts attorney and the founding director of the Sports and Entertainment Law Institute at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. He is also the distinguished visiting Hall of Fame Professor of Law at Mississippi College School of Law.)  
Caddies wear bibs to indicate their players.  But advertising logo's have become a point of contention!

Caddies wear bibs to indicate their players. But advertising logo’s have become a point of contention!

Caddies are often overlooked in golf. That is about to change. On Tuesday Mike Hicks, who has caddied for Payne Stewart and Greg Norman, and 80 other professional caddies filed a multi-million dollar federal lawsuit against the PGA Tour. They argue that the Tour unlawfully compels caddies to wear logos and other insignia of corporate sponsors on bibs. The tour also allegedly prevents caddies from sharing in tens of millions of dollars in annual advertising revenue. Put bluntly, the caddies contend that the PGA forces them to become unpaid human billboards for the advertisement of companies sponsoring the Tour. The caddies have filed their lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California—the same court where Ed O’Bannon v. NCAA was tried and where Martin Jenkins v. NCAA and Cung Le v. UFC are in litigation. Like O’Bannon and other athletes who are using law to address alleged exploitation in sports, the caddies raise claims under antitrust law, intellectual property law and contract law. The caddies have petitioned the court to certify Hicks v. PGA Tour as a class action on behalf of all caddies residing in the United States who, without pay, wear or have worn bibs bearing the logos of the Tour’s sponsors during tournaments. This proposed class would include about 1,000 caddies and potentially threaten the PGA Tour with hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. Understanding the employment of a caddie during a PGA tournament and the role of the bib From the vantage point of a fan, caddies often blend into the background of PGA tournaments. Television cameras understandably focus on the stars of the show: the golfers. Broadcasters and journalists similarly devote most of their commentary to describing the golfers, as well as sharing anecdotes about golfers’ backgrounds, personality traits, families, hobbies—you name it. To these golfers’ right or left stand their caddies who receive much less fanfare and at times seem inconsequential. The caddies, however, are visible on-screen, an important point in Hicks v. PGA Tour. From the vantage point of a golfer, caddies are instrumental. Golfers rely on caddies for their expertise on clubs, swing techniques and course topography, among other crucial aspects of competitive golf. Caddies are also famously known for lending emotional support and counsel. It would be reasonable to conclude that caddies enhance the overall quality and accompanying marketability of PGA tournaments. Caddies do so by improving the play of their respective golfers. While caddies play a crucial role in PGA tournaments, their relationship to those tournaments is indirect. Golfers, rather than the Tour, employ caddies. Caddies nonetheless must adhere to Tour regulations as a contractual condition of participating in tournaments. In many respects these regulations are permissive. Most significantly, caddies can wear sponsored logos on their clothing. This means that caddies can freely sign sponsorship deals with apparel companies, like New Balance and Nike, and wear those companies’ clothing in front of TV cameras. On the other hand, caddies are expected to wear bibs, which bear logos of companies paying the PGA Tour but not paying the caddies. These bibs are seen during television broadcasts of tournaments and are captured in photographs used in magazines and on websites. These bibs lie at the heart of Hicks v. PGA Tour. The legal question is whether caddies should be paid for wearing them. Caddies suing the PGA Tour assign a considerable value to these bibs. “The bib,” the caddies insist, “provides the most valuable marketing medium between commercials during tournament broadcasts …[with] the annual value of the bib exceeds $50 million.” While there is no specific Tour rule that caddies “must” wear the bibs, caddies are thought to be contractually required to wear them as part of an agreed-upon “uniform.” Hicks and the other caddies in the lawsuit also contend the Tour compels the wearing of bibs through coercion and retribution. They charge the Tour threatens caddies with exclusion from tournaments if they won’t wear the bibs, encourages golfers to fire caddies who refuse to wear the bibs and admonishes caddies against receiving endorsement money from sponsors that are competition with bibs’ sponsors. The caddies’ lead attorney, Eugene Egdorf, believes Hicks v. PGA Tour is about treating the caddies fairly and recognizing the value they bring to the Tour. “Over the years,” Egdorf tells Golf.com, “the PGA Tour and its sponsors have received literally hundreds of millions of dollars in value from endorsements from the bibs the caddies are forced to wear without any compensation whatsoever.” Egdorf, who is the Managing Attorney at the Lanier Law Firm (where he’s in charge of the firm’s Commercial Litigation and Sports Law Practice Groups) adds, “The PGA Tour imposes all sorts of restrictions on caddies for its benefit, yet refuses to provide the most basic of benefits. Just like the athletes that sued NCAA in O’Bannon v. NCAA, Hart v. NCAA and Keller v. NCAA, the caddies want their fair share of the value they provide.”
Caddy with the AT&T logo on his back.

Caddy with the AT&T logo on his back.

                        The caddies’ core legal arguments The caddies plead several causes of action that should provide the Tour’s lawyers with many billable hours in the months ahead. Antitrust law is a key source of law cited by the caddies and is especially threatening given that antitrust damages are normally trebled (multiplied by three) if the plaintiffs prevail. The caddies contend that the bib policy is an unlawful restraint of trade under the Sherman Antitrust Act. This policy, according to the caddies, is anticompetitive since it prevents caddies from negotiating their own sponsorship contracts for bibs. As an alleged result, caddies are denied earnings they would otherwise obtain. Also, the marketplace for bib sponsorships is less competitive since only the Tour—and not caddies—can negotiate bid sponsorship contracts. At least in theory, this arrangement raises the price sponsors must pay for bib endorsements since the only seller is the Tour. Any associated earnings from this practice then go to the PGA Tour. The caddies also contend that the Tour has monopoly control over employment opportunities for caddies in the U.S. and has conspired with local tournament organizers to force caddies to wear bibs. These local tournament organizers, according to the caddies selfishly stand to profit by enforcing the Tour’s rules. In addition to antitrust arguments, the caddies assert intellectual property claims. Specifically, they contend that the Tour misappropriates the images and likenesses of caddies for marketing purposes without the caddies’ consent. The caddies insist they never permitted the Tour to use their likenesses and images for commercial purposes, and never agreed to marketing companies on bibs to potential consumers. The caddies, moreover, charge they receive less in sponsorship agreements for their sponsorships since the prominence of bibs’ size and colors covers or overshadows other pieces of clothing. The caddies raise yet other claims, including those for breach of contract (the Tour allegedly breached the caddies registration agreement by barring caddies from wearing clothing of sponsors), violation of the Lanham Act (the Tour allegedly causes consumers to be confused into thinking caddies endorse the companies sponsoring the bibs) and interference between caddies and their own sponsors. Likely defenses by the PGA Tour In the coming weeks, the PGA Tour will answer the caddies’ complaint. The Tour’s answer and subsequent legal filings will surely deny much of what the plaintiffs contend and also repudiate the caddies’ legal theories. For instance, the Tour might object to the caddies’ assertion that caddies are obligated to wear bibs. The Tour’s registration agreement with caddies noticeably does not refer to a requirement that caddies wear bibs. Instead, caddies are more generically required to adhere to a “uniform,” a term the caddies contend includes bibs. The Tour might have a very different reading of this term. This seems particularly the case given that “uniform” is defined by the Tour to include such specific features as “Khaki-style pants, which touch the top of the shoe, or solid-colored, knee-length, tailored shorts and a collared shirt,” and “smooth rubber-sole shoes,” yet this definition fails to mention bibs. The Tour could also contend that no caddie has refused to wear a bib. If this is true, it could suggest that the caddies’ harm is imaginary: if caddies are so disadvantaged by bibs, why hasn’t one refused to wear a bib? This defense might not hold up well. The plaintiffs are prepared to cite the experience of James Edmondson, who while caddying for Ryan Palmer at the Honda Classic last year reportedly removed his bib at the end the round and didn’t wear his bib during a one-hole playoff. Although he faced no punishment because of the unique playoff circumstance, Edmondson still had to explain his decision to Tour officials. Nonetheless the Tour would stress that caddies have behaved as if bibs are acceptable to them. Along those lines, Tour will highlight that caddies contractually assent to follow the rules. Caddies are not obligated to participate in Tour competitions and their choice to do so is made freely. Anticipating this type of defense, the caddies frame the Tour as a monopoly for the highest level of professional male golf. The Tour will need to establish how there is competition for the services of caddies that go beyond Tour-sponsored events. The Tour is also poised to argue that bibs improve the presentation and marketability of tournaments. This is a potentially important point in antitrust analysis, which often balances the “pro competitive” virtues of a restraint (here the restraint is an alleged Tour rule that caddies wear bibs) and its “anti-competitive” harms. While imposing bibs on caddies might harm those caddies, the Tour could portray tournaments are more profitable due to the bib policy and thus the overall tournament product is improved. Perhaps the Tour will also express that caddies could face unintended consequences if they succeed. After all, if caddies extract too much revenue from the Tour, the Tour might need to promulgate more exclusive conditions to become a caddie. New conditions might cause some caddies to lose their line of work. One challenge for the Tour in raising these types of defenses would be the caddies’ contention that there are less-restrictive means of standardizing the appearance of caddies than forcing them to wear bibs. In antitrust law, the possibility of less-restrictive means for the defendant to achieve the same ends is often a strong argument for the plaintiffs.
Caddies at the Masters Tournament do not have Advertising!

Caddies at the Masters Tournament do not have Advertising!

                Next steps This is a transformative era for caddies. They have become more organized and vocal through trade associations like the Association of Professional Tour Cadies (formed in 2013) and the United States Caddie Association (formed in 2014). Now many of them have filed a potentially game-changing federal lawsuit. If the caddies succeed in their lawsuit, a court will enjoin the PGA Tour from requiring caddies to use bibs and will compel the Tour to pay many millions in damages. But keep in mind that antitrust and intellectual property litigation often takes years to play out and that plaintiffs often fail in these cases. The Tour obviously has deep financial resources to wage a strong legal defense and as explained above, the Tour might raise powerful defenses. The filing of a lawsuit is only the first step in a long process where the defendant—here the Tour—has multiple moments to defeat the lawsuit. Still, Hicks v. PGA Tour does not necessarily have to prevail in order to lead to changes. If the caddies’ lawsuit advances past a motion to dismiss, the caddies would be in a position to compel “pretrial discovery.” Attorneys for the caddies could then demand sensitive documents from the Tour and depose Tour officials under oath. At that point the Tour might be interested in settling the lawsuit rather than participating in pretrial discovery. A settlement would likely lead to changes in the bib policy and perhaps compensation to caddies. It could also encourage other groups, such as female caddies, to consider filing similar litigation. Big changes could be ahead in the world of caddies, whether or not the world of golf welcomes them.
Source : GOLF.com    Michael McCann Pictures : Jonathan Palombo   Steve Juvetson  Matt Olson  

Senior Golfers……Come on in the Water's Fine!

Golf is played in such a beautiful environment.

Golf is played in such a beautiful environment.

                    Some older golfers have left the game and some are reluctant to take it up.  Why?  Mainly affordability and degree of difficulty. I’m here to change your mind on both issues plus two more! Affordability : The current economy is on an upswing, but green fees, etc. are still reflecting recession process.  Many clubs have opened their doors to non-members with special playing priveleges.  Most public courses and ranges offer big discounts on a regular basis.  Some USA clubs are offering “Golf-by-the-Hour” where you can play on a 4 or 5 hole loop for just $20. Degree of Difficulty : New ways of playing the game are being encouraged by the golf industry and embraced by recreational golfers.  “Tee it Forward” means men can shrink the golf course by at least 500 yards and women by as much as 1000 yards.  Check out the new U.S. Recreational Golfers Association (usrga.com) where these 3 rules, along with many others, make the game easier to play. 1. You can move your ball out of a divot, un-raked sand in a bunker or bare turf and suffer no penalty. 2. You can carry up to 20 clubs and use any clubs that are for sale in stores (including long putters) 3. Out-of-bounds shots incur 1 penalty shot, not 2.
Winning never gets "old"

Winning never gets “old”

                    Equipment : Great new year for senior golfers includes lightweight drivers, graphite shafts in senior flex, and softer compression balls for players with moderate clubhead speed .  And don’t forget hybrids, truly a great invention that’s made the game a lot easier.
And the winner is................

And the winner is…………….

                    Golf Instruction : Last, but not least, golf instruction is more affordable now. Get a package of lessons or take a 3 day “Senior Program” at a reputable golf academy and you’ll love that you took that jump! Other benefits for senior golfers include, getting out in the fresh air, plenty of exercise, golf is played in a beautiful place, camaraderie with your fellow golfers all adds up for me to conclude – GO PLAY GOLF! Source : Mel Sole Pictures : Neville Wootton  Ken Mattison          

The skinny on a new golf ball!

How important are golf balls?  To some they seem to make no difference at all and to others, they have been playing the same brand for years.  When the pro’s play in the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup, there is always the question of whose ball they are going to play, so for the Pros it’s obviously a big deal.  When I played on Tour in South Africa in the early 80’s compression was a big deal.  100 compression was for long hitters, 90 compression for the average hitter and 80 compression was for ladies.  Now Callaway is coming out with a 65 compression ball that looks like it will be all the rage.  What’s the story? Well, Jim Achenbach, Senior writer for GolfWeek Magazine and golfweek.com  has the bases covered.   Calloway Ball              
Golf balls are getting softer. As a whole, compression ratings are going down. Callaway is part of this trend. The company introduced its Chrome Soft, a 65-compression ball with three-piece construction and a urethane cover, on Dec. 16. The ball, to be available at retail Jan. 16, has caught the attention of five-time major champion and Callaway staff player Phil Mickelson. Mickelson, who probably will not use the ball on Tour but who tested it, said his iron shots fly “7 or 8 yards longer” with Chrome Soft. “Phil kind of jumpstarted all this attention for Chrome Soft, but it wasn’t planned that way,” said Dave Bartels, Callaway’s senior director of golf ball research and development. “He just started testing the ball on his own, and he was blown away by it. The lesson here is that the ball can appeal to all golfers, not just those with slower swing speeds.” One concern is control around the greens. Some soft golf balls are popular for feel and in some cases distance but not for greenside manageability. Chrome Soft addresses this with a urethane cover that enhances spin with the wedges. Most soft golf balls are made of two pieces (core and outer cover). Surlyn is widely used for the cover. This is exactly the construction of Callaway’s SuperSoft ball. By utilizing a mantle layer beneath the outer cover and a tour-quality urethane cover, Callaway hopes to attract skilled Chrome Soft. The golf balls will be available in white and yellow for $37.99 per dozen.   Calloway Ball 33                       Source : Jim Achenbach  GolfWeek Pictures : Zach Heller   Ron Kroetz  Sean Hobson

The top 5 LPGA Players to watch in 2015. What's in their bag?

I have always been interested in what type of club setup the top players in the game carry.  If you have that same interest, here is a list of all the LPGA players and what’s in their bag. 1 Stacy Lewis – Taylor Made Driver, Mizuno fairway woods and irons, Taylor Made Putter and Titleist ball TaylorMade Driver                 2. Inbee park – Dunlop driver, Taylor Made fairway woods, Dunlop irons, Dunlop and Cleveland Wedges, Odysee putter and Srixon ball. 3. Michelle Wie – Diver, Fairway woods, irons, wedges, putter and ball…….All Nike.   Nike Ball                   4. Lydia Ko – Calloway Driver, fairway woods, irons, wedges, putter and ball. 5. So Yeon Ryu – Honma Driver, Callowat 3 wood, Honma hybrids, a mix of Honma and Calloway wedges, Odessey putter and Titleist ball. For a complete list of clubs of all LPGA players click here Source : LPGA.com Pictures : CJ Anderson   Shawn Carpenter  Robert  

62nd PGA Merchandise Show a HUGE Sucess!

Happy to  say that I was one of the 2800 golf professionals and 35000 other industry people for the “Major of Golf Business” at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL from Jan, 20 to 23. Record attendance at the PGA Teaching and Coaching Summit plus at the PGA Show Outdoor demo day, proved that many people are investing their intelligence and skills in keeping this game alive and relevant. Personally, I was very inspired by the seminars on coaching, teaching, leadership and Sales & Marketing, headed up by such luminaries such as LPGA teacher Nancy Quarcelino, Dr. Jim Suttie, Dr. Paul Schempff, Stan Utley (short game) and Todd Anderson from Sea Island Academy. Greg NormanLexi Thompson   Bubba Watson entertained the crowd, Greg Norman and Lexi Thompson appeared on behalf of Cobra Puma and a panel consisting of the President of the International Golf Federation, plus Suzanne Petersen, Graham MC Dowell and more, brought us up to speed on the 2016 Olympic Games. We will see golf as part of the games for the first time in 111 years. There was also impressive discussions about recruiting and retaining woman in the game, headed up by Suzy Whaley,  PGA of America and other prominent woman inside and outside the golf business. Read more about the worlds largest global summit for the business of golf as described by pga.com  
ORLANDO, Fla. – A lengthy list of golf industry leaders and luminaries joined 1,000 leading companies and attendees from all 50 states and 78 countries on a busy Day One of the 2015 PGA Merchandise Show – The Major of Golf Business – at the Orange County Convention Center on Wednesday. With Golf Channel providing “Morning Drive” coverage from 8:30-11:30 a.m., Bubba Watson was on hand to officially welcome attendees and open the PGA Show from the Main Lobby, while PGA President Derek Sprague – as well as thousands of enthusiastic PGA Show attendees – looked on. “The first day of the PGA Show has been exciting, fun and very crowded. It’s busy, busy, busy,” said PGA Professional Tara McKenna of Fort Myers, Florida, who has attended every PGA Show since 1991. “For those in the golf industry, this is like Christmas morning.” Wednesday also marked the first of three days of the PGA Education Conference, featuring dozens of seminars on Leadership, Teaching & Coaching, Retail & Merchandising, and Sales & Marketing. Greg Norman and Lexi Thompson appeared on the PGA Forum Stage presented by OMEGA on behalf of Cobra Puma, while an update on golf’s return to the Olympics in 2016 was another first-day highlight. The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and women’s golf initiatives were highlighted in a special presentation in the same location, and a new website for women’s golfers, GolfForHer.com, was also unveiled. Panelists bring PGA Show attendees up to speed on the 2016 Olympic Games It has been 111 years since golf was last a part of the Olympics. But the return of golf to the Games is well under way, and the golf course where the competition will be held is in the final stages of construction. As the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, near, a panel met yesterday morning on the PGA Forum Stage presented by OMEGA to discuss the state of construction on the golf course and the excitement for potential Olympic golfers. On the panel were Peter Dawson, president of the International Golf Federation (IGF); Ty Votaw, vice president of the IGF; LPGA Tour player Suzann Pettersen; PGA Tour player Graeme McDowell; former LPGA Tour player Amy Alcott, who is part of the Rio course design team, and Gil Hanse, president of Hanse Golf Course Design, the architectural firm in charge of course construction. “Golf in the Olympics is the biggest grow-the-game opportunity we have,” said Dawson, referring to the golf industry as a whole. “The growth of the game is worldwide. Golf in the Olympics will lead to extra exposure and extra government support for the game.” Bubba Watson thrills crowd on PGA Forum Stage presented by OMEGA  The 2012 Masters produced one of the most memorable golf shots in recent history. Facing Louis Oosthuizen in a playoff, Bubba Watson pulled his tee shot at the 10th deep into the towering trees, where it came to rest on the pine straw. The left-hander proceeded to pull a 52-degree wedge, hit a 50-yard draw, and land it 15 feet from the cup on his way to winning the Masters. On Wednesday afternoon, Watson took to the PGA Forum Stage presented by OMEGA to talk to PGA Show attendees about how he works the golf ball like he did at Augusta, his social media usage and what it’s like to win the Masters. “Whether you’re 92 or 35, like I was, when you have the green jacket on you’re 12 years old,” said Watson, describing the setting of the Champions Dinner at Augusta. “When we wear the green jacket it turns us all into kids. It’s great to see because it reminds me of why I play golf.” The reason he plays: Because golf is fun. Another fun thing for Watson is “doing weird stuff on social media.” When he’s not posting hip-hop golf videos, Watson uses his social channels to interact with fans. “If it’s the golf course, baseball field, football field or the doctor’s office, it’s tough to really see who a person is,” said Watson. “Social media is a way to interact with fans and show them who I am as a person.” Watson closed by taking questions from the audience and amazing a young golfer when he confirmed that he uses 10 wraps on his grips. About the PGA Merchandise Show The 62nd PGA Merchandise Show, held Jan. 20-23, 2015, in Orlando, Fla., will welcome some 1,000 top golf companies and brands and more than 40,000 industry professionals from around the world to the industry’s annual global summit for the business of golf. The PGA Show Outdoor Demo Day, the world’s largest professional golf testing event, will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 20, at the Orange County National Golf Center. During PGA Show days, Jan. 21-23 at the Orange County Convention Center, PGA Professionals, retailers and industry leaders will uncover the latest trends, source the newest golf merchandise, test the latest equipment, learn proven business best practices, network among peers and move forward the business of the game. The PGA Merchandise Show is organized in partnership with The PGA of America as a trade-only event.
Source : Nancy Quarcelino  Dr Jim Suttie   Dr. Paul Schempp  Stan Utley  Todd Anderson  Golfweek.com Pictures : Steven Newton   Keith Allison      

How to Pack Your Golf Clubs So They Arrive "Unbroken"

If Louis Zamperini, the subject of a movie called “Unbroken”, was a golfer, he would travel just like Craig Better of golfvacationinsider.com.  Craig describes how to pack your golf clubs so they arrive without shafts being bent, or worse still, club heads snapped off.  This has happened to me, and I wish I had read this article before I travelled.
You might think I am obsessive after reading how I pack my golf clubs, but I’ve flown with them on a lot of golf trips and never once opened my travel bag to find a damaged club. Here are my tips on protective packing, and, of course, I’d love to hear yours, too. The Theory: If a club breaks in transit, it usually happens where the clubhead meets the shaft. Think about it: the rest of the club is protected by the “shell” of the golf bag, but the head sticks out and bears the weight of anything placed on top of it. So, my entire approach revolves around protecting that point — where the clubheads meets the shafts. The Approach In the old days, I would turn my woods upside down so the heads were inside the bag with the shafts sticking up, but with today’s narrower dividers and oversize heads (particularly on drivers) that’s usually impossible. Instead, I go with a “strength in numbers,” approach. For example, a single wooden chopstick is pretty easy to break, right? But bundle 10 chopsticks together and even Dustin Johnson can’t break them. todays photo Same idea here: I simply group all the clubs as closely together as possible, preferably will all the shafts in a single section of the bag. It helps to throw a sock over your irons (and putter) to keep them together, and may reduce scratches, too. Note, too, that I place my tallest club, my driver, in between my other woods/hybrids. The club that sticks up the most is usually going to be the most susceptible to breakage, so I try to insulate it as much as possible. Once that’s done, I throw my rain hood over the whole thing to keep everything in place and as a precaution against rain or leaking engine oil (although if the latter is happening, ruined golf clubs don’t seem like such a big deal). Finally, I put this setup into my golf travel bag. Once inside, I try to fill up any space above and below the clubheads to further reduce any stress/flex put on them. todays photo In this photo (on my driveway so you could more easily see what I mean), I’ve placed my shoe bag under the clubheads. On top, I’ll usually put a rolled up golf towel or two. By the way, there’s a product you can buy that largely achieves the same effect as all this. It’s called the Stiff Arm and one of my colleagues never travels without it. todays photoMade by the same company that makes the Club Glove, it’s basically a telescoping closet rod with a small frisbee on one end. Placed down the center of your golf bag and extended up to the top of the inside of your travel bag, it becomes the tallest “club” in your bag and takes the brunt of any weight placed on your gear. (By the way, if you have those nifty, adjustable clubs that easily pop on and off their shafts, I’d recommend toting the clubheads in your carry-on bag.) I hope these tips on packing your golf clubs will be useful for your next golf vacation. If you have other methods that you use, I’d love to hear about them. Drop me a line at editor@golfvacationinsider.com. Source : Craig Better    golfvacationinsider.com Pictures : Craig Better    meridican

Tom Wishon, the Father of American Clubfitting.

After I had read Tom Wishons book “In search of the perfect club”  I finally understood how complicated clubfitting is.  In the years I was a club pro in South Africa ( from 1966 to 1983) clubfitting was taking a student out on the range letting him hit a few balls and saying “You need a “R” Shaft and a D2 Swingweight.  If the student was very tall I would say “Lets add an inch”  That was as technical as I ever got.  Todays club fitters use sophisticated technology to measure club head speed, toe down, kick factor, smash factor, ball spin and launch angle, just to name a few of the measurements. Here is an insight into the Father of American Clubfitting, Tom Wishon done by golfdashblog.com Tom Wishon          
This months not so “Quick 9″ is with master clubmaker, Tom Wishon. Tom discusses club design, golf club myths, getting properly fitted, future technology and much more. You’ll learn a ton. I promise. I’m so thankful to Tom for agreeing to do is and put this important (and often VERY misunderstood) information out there for you. First: Who exactly is Tom Wishon? With more than 35 years of experience in the field, Tom Wishon Golf Technology is recognized as one of the industry leaders in the research of golf club design, performance and clubfitting technology. Our R&D has been at the forefront of the golf industry including the development of more than 50 golf club design technology firsts as well as countless discoveries in the science of golf club performance for golfers. Having begun his golf equipment career in 1972, Tom Wishon has designed over 300 original and innovative clubhead models, more than any other single person in the 500 year history of the game. His clubhead designs represent more than 50 different technology firsts. Tom Wishon is the only designer from the custom clubmaking side of the golf industry whose clubhead designs have been used to win on the PGA Tour, the Champions Senior Tour and in Ryder Cup competition. He has designed and custom built the golf clubs used in competition by Scott Verplank, Bruce Lietzke, Ben Crenshaw, as well as the last set of clubs played by Payne Stewart before his tragic accident in 1999. Tom is the also the author of 9 books within the field of golf club design, performance and clubfitting, in addition to hundreds of equipment related articles written for virtually every golf publication in the golf industry. As Terry McSweeney, Director of Communications for the PGA of America states, “Tom has the unique ability to communicate technical issues about golf equipment so non-technically minded people can easily understand and follow the subject” Two of Wishon’s books, The Search for the Perfect Golf Club and The Search for the Perfect Driver qualified for best-selling status and won successive Book of the Year awards in 2006 and 2007 from the International Network of Golf, the oldest and largest organization of golf industry media professionals in the world. Shortly after they were published, both books became a part of the curriculum for membership training in the PGA’s of Sweden, Great Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands. He is considered the ‘go-to guy’ by the equipment editors for many of the major consumer golf publications in their search for honest, marketing-free explanations about the technical performance of golf clubs. Jim Achenbach, equipment editory for Golfweek magazine has said, “Tom is the smartest person in the golf industry when it comes to golf clubs.” As Tom stated in making his decision to establish his own company in 2003: “I completely respect the product design work of the large golf equipment companies. But my three decades in golf club R&D has proven without question that the best set of golf clubs any golfer will ever play will be a set of professionally custom fit golf clubs, and not a set of standard made clubs simply bought off the shelf. I am committed to educating golfers about the tangible, game improvement benefits of being professionally custom fit because I know this is the only way any golfer can hope to play to the best of their ability and benefit the most from swing instruction.” Click here for the rest of the interview. Source : golfdashblog.com Picture: wishongolf.com  

Bettinardi Putters 2015 – are they worth it?

My own thoughts are that if a putter works it is priceless.  Almost all Gary Players Major Championships were won with a putter he paid $5 for in    a   “Sale” barrel in a golf shop while playing in a tournament in China with Arnold Palmer.
Bobby Locke, who is still regarded as one of the best putters who ever lived, played with a hickory shafted banged up blade putter and won 4 British Opens with it. Check out what mygolfspy.com has to say about these 2015 putters! 2015-Bettinardi-Signature-10-1
We all look forward to different things around the holidays. Some look forward to seeing family and friends. Many impatiently await the return of egg nog, while others revel in the rebroadcasting of Rudolph, Bumbles, and the other animated holiday favorites. I too look forward to that cadre of holiday returnees, but my true anticipation lies not for yule and airing of grievances. For me, the frosty season is not about the cheer, it’s about the gear. While we have seen a good portion of the 2015 drivers, and a few sets of irons, we have not yet seen any of the new year’s putters. Today we change that. We get the putter lover in on the 2015 golf gear anticipation. Today, we get to see what 2015 holds forBettinardi Golf. We are not going to check out just one of the putters, or even one of the lines. Instead, we have all of them. We will show you the new Studio Stocks, the Queen B’s, a new Kuchar Model, a pair of DASS Signature Models, and something brand new, andinnovative from them that is unique enough that it needs it’s own new product line. We’ll let you read what Bettinardi says about the new putters, see in-hand photos from all angles, and give you a touch of inside the ropes play testing. We’ve got all you need to know about what Bettinardi has in store for the coming year. Let’s get it started with the new 2015 Studio Stocks.
Check out these rest of this article and see these Studio Stocks right here! Post your comments below on your thoughts on this matter once you have read the article on these very popular putters.
Source – mygolfspy.com Photo Source – Jiroyan