5 Signs that it is time to buy new golf clubs.

5 Signs that it is time to buy new golf clubs.

5 Signs that it is time to buy new golf clubs.

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

5 Signs that it is time to buy new golf clubs.

Worn out groves on your irons are a telltale sign to look for with your irons.

When is it time?

It would be quite an expensive endeavor to buy new clubs every time new (and “better”) equipment hits the market. You’d also only see marginal gains from your equipment year-over-year, so it may not be the best use of your money. On the flip side, however, if you let years and decades pass without upgrading equipment, you’re undoubtedly missing out on improved technology that could help your scores.

So, when is the right time to switch to new equipment?

5 Signs that it is time to buy new golf clubs.

Even outdated equipment will affect you distance and accuracy!

The absolute best way to know for sure is to consult with a professional fitting expert to evaluate your current setup. I can’t recommend this enough. Still, I understand that many golfers won’t go through the complete process, for varying reasons, which is why, for this article, I’ve enlisted the help of David McKee, the production manager at GOLF.com’s sister company True Spec Golf. He’s a longtime expert in the field of club building and fitting. Together, we’ve compiled 5 telltale signs that it’s time for an equipment upgrade.


2) Not enough height

Do your drives barely get off the ground, with more of a line-drive flight than a towering moon shot? Are your irons hitting the greens and bounding over the back?

If this is the case, you’re giving up distance and distance control. Penetrating ball flights can be helpful in super windy conditions, but hitting the ball too low can be detrimental in the long run. Every year, new technologies hit the market that help golfers hit the ball higher. If you’re a golfer who hits the ball too low, and you’re playing with older golf equipment, it’s likely that new equipment can be a game-changer. By launching the ball higher into the air, you could gain distance off the tee and control with your irons.

To see the other 3 signs that it is time to but new golf clubs, go here.

Source: Andrew Turskey  GOLF.com

Pictures: golfdashblog.com

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USGA has more meetings to help speed up play - Is it helping?

USGA has more meetings to help speed up play – Is it helping?

USGA has more meetings to help speed up play – Is it helping?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

My dad used to have a saying that I totally agree with.  “If you want to get nothing done, form a committee.”  

The USGA has put forth various efforts to speed up play and I think the last one which was the “While we’re young” campaign was an absolute disaster!  It did absolutely nothing to speed up play!  People will not return to a course that takes too long to play. Hire more rangers, charge a slightly higher green fee, and people will play, if they know they will be off the course in under 4 1/2 hours!   I played Pasatiempo in CA a few years ago, and it took 6 hours.  If they gave me free green fees for the rest of my life I would never go back there!

The USGA can learn from the busiest course in the world – The Old Course at St Andrew’s.  

The course is busy every day, and yet I have never had a round over 4 1/2 hours there.  My first round there we teed off at 7.40 am.  As we were walking off the first green, the ranger rode up to us on his little scooter and said “Gentleman, the group in front of you has been instructed to play at a 4-hour pace.  You should finish in 4 hours if you keep up.  If not, I will ask you to leave the course.”  Guess what, we finished in 4 hours!  The first group is told to play at a certain pace, and everyone is instructed to keep pace with the group in front of them.  The last group should play at the same pace as the first group!

Thanks to Golf World for addressing this pressing issue!

USGA has more meetings to help speed up play - Is it helping?

The deliberate push from the USGA to speed up the game moved west to Brookside Golf Course in Pasadena, Calif., for the association’s third Pace of Play Symposium.

Data revealed during the two-day session will help the USGA’s smart team target ways tournaments and facilities can get faster.  Research at the seminar showed definitively that better tee-time spacing will eliminate bottlenecks, whether on the LPGA Tour (where rounds were shortened by as much as 22 minutes) or at the everyday golf facility. To counter the view of course operators who want as many players as possible, speakers revealed findings that showed younger golfers are willing to pay more if they feel a course has taken measures to keep players moving.

To see the rest of the USGA’s effort to speed up play, go here!

Source: Geoff Shackelford    Golf World Digital

Pictures: Bob Cotter

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Every Sport needs a Bad Guy. Who will it be in Golf?

Basketball had Dennis Rodman, Boxing had Mike Tyson and Baseball had Pete Rose.  All sports have had a guy that people just loved to hate!  But what about golf?  Most golf professionals are real gentleman and golf is one of the few sports where the players police themselves.  I cannot imagine an NFL player walking over to a ref and saying.  “Hey, you missed me pulling on my opponents face mask!”  I think we really need a Darth Vader in golf and I think Patrick Reed or Bubba Watson are two that would fit the bill.  They are both brash and arrogant enough to fit the bill perfectly!  
Getty Images

“The more successful the villain, the more successful the picture,” Alfred Hitchcock said. Which makes sense thatStar Wars, the most well-know film franchise in the world, boasts a first-class monster in Darth Vader.

No cinematic character is as universally associated with evil than Vader, and with good reason. A larger-than-life disposition in aura (his presence is felt in scenes he’s not in) and appearance (no coincidence that he towers over others and garbed in black), Vader epitomizes “bad guy” in culture. It’s why Ronald Reagan referred to the Soviet Union as the “evil empire,” and why the Ukraine, in its decommunization process, dressed up a statue of Vladimir Lenin with Vader’s helmet.

These comparisons apply to the sports world. Athletics, it has been said, are society’s most riveting theater, and often contextualized in a “good vs. evil” panorama. Every game owns, and in some cases, markets, it’s villains. The New York Yankees, Nick Saban, New England Patriots, Kobe Bryant, the Duke Blue Devils: Outside of their regions, they are loathed. And their sports are better for it.

Which brings us to golf. And it’s lack of a “man in black.”


Certainly, from fan’s rooting perspective, golf is a different animal. There are often multiple competitors you are pulling for, and, in most cases, not one you are advocating against. Case in point: The triumvirate of Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day. One of the recurring sentiments of golf’s youth revolution is group’s collective charm and congeniality. Ditto for Rickie Fowler. We want them to succeed.

Yet, if you’re a Fowler follower, you’re not hissing at the TV if Fowler is out of the running and Spieth, McIlroy or Day are in line for victory. This is in contrast to say, Michigan football, as its fans do not send wishes to Ohio State when the Buckeyes are in the postseason.

Moreover, the golf course itself is a featured player; Augusta National, St. Andrews and Pebble Beach as prime examples. Like the golfers that rove their grounds, these places are usually beloved. Besides, you can’t abhor an inanimate object.

You could argue golf’s individualism spurs this outlook, and that’s a component in the equation. But other sports, whose characters work as lone entities, have their villains. Floyd Mayweather is reviled. For years, NASCAR fans hated Jeff Gordon. Tennis had John McEnroe, Lleyton Hewitt; Novak Djokovic was booed at the U.S. Open just seven years ago.

To read the rest of this controversial article, go here!

Source : Golf Digest

Pictures : Getty Images

Bizarre and Beautiful Golf Trophies won around the World!

Here are 13 Bizarre and Beautiful Golf Trophies that are presented to the winners of PGA, LPGA and European Tour events.  Some of them are extremely stunning while others fit into the “What were you thinking” category.  Everyone’s favorite is of course the Masters Trophy.  Which professional golfer has not dreamed of holding that aloft!  Thanks to  of Golf Digest for compiling this group of 13 trophies!
The Masters

Phil Leaves Butch Harmon in a real classy way! Check this out!

Phil Mickelson is a class act.  No breaking up with his coach via email or text.  He got on a plane, flew to Las Vegas and met with Butch Harmon in person.  This is the way you handle things in life, people!  Butch has put in many, many hours with Phil and Phil showed his respect to the best coach in the business!  Thanks to  for Golf Digest for this breaking story!

Butch Harmon with Phil Mickelson at the Presidents Cup.

Butch Harmon with Phil Mickelson at the Presidents Cup.

Butch Harmon could sense it coming. He’d been there with Greg Norman and Tiger Woods after taking them to No. 1, and now he was there with Phil Mickelson. It’s that moment when an instructor and a player just aren’t communicating the way they used to and the end is inevitable.

So when Phil Mickelson flew to Las Vegas last week and met Harmon for breakfast at Rio Secco, there weren’t any surprises. The highs of the 2010 Masters victory and that incredible, unforeseen British Open win in 2013, not to mention walking off arm-in-arm after winning the Players in 2007, were now history. At 45, Mickelson wanted to make some more history, so it was time to make a change.


“He flew up on his plane last week to sit down and talk,” Harmon said when I reached him Wednesday night. “We talked for about two hours. I completely agreed that sometimes you need to hear things a different way, get a different perspective on things. He’s been frustrated the last two years. I thought it was a good idea that he would do this. He needs to hear things differently that maybe get him rejuvenated and get him back to what we all know he can be.”

This was not going to end bitterly, the way Harmon and Woods ended. Those two have hardly talked since 2002. Mickelson was equally as high road as Harmon, saying the teacher deserved to be told face to face.

“I respect him as a person and as a teacher and as a friend, and just wanted to talk to him in person about it,” Mickelson said. “It’s not something you do over the phone. He’s been good to me long before we ever started working together. That stuff is never easy, but it’s what he deserves.”

To read the rest of the story of Phil’s breakup with Butch, go here!

Source :   Golf Digest

Pictures : brent flanders   Tour Pro Golf Clubs

Rich Beem helps Poulter try to qualify for the Ryder Cup Team!

I’m not sure whether this is a good thing or a bad thing!  On the one hand Ian Poulter is a feisty Ryder Cup competitor who seems to raise his game on Ryder Cup week and would be a formidable opponent for the European team.  On the other hand, Poulter has been in poor form recently, and if he does not make the team, but makes it as a captains pick, he would be the weakest link on the team. A good thing for the US, looking for an elusive victory! Once again thanks to Chris Chaney,  of Wrong Fairway and back9network.com for this breaking story!
Ian Poulter and his Ryder Cup teammates during a practice round.

Ian Poulter and his Ryder Cup teammates during a practice round.

Less than a year out from the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, the United States nearly avoided having to worry about the eye-bulging stares of Ian Poulter. Not unlike the scheduling snafu that precipitated Martin Kaymer’s loss of PGA Tour status for the 2015-16 season, Poulter found out on Monday, Oct. 19 that he had fallen outside of the Official World Golf Ranking’s top-50 for the first time since September 2006. No big deal, right? Wrong. Like many global stars of the game, Poulter holds membership on both the PGA and European Tours and is forced to set a schedule that requires he play in 15 PGA Tour-sanctioned events and 13 European Tour-sanctioned events. Spending the majority of his time stateside, Poulter played in 19 PGA Tour events and, prior to this week, 12 European Tour events. The requirements have their advantages and disadvantages as major championships and World Golf Championships are co-sanctioned events, thus limiting the number of starts players need to make on each Tour — four majors and four WGCs already mark off eight events on each circuit. However, to qualify for each WGC including the HSBC Champions, which will be contested Nov. 4-8, one needs to fall into a certain category of winners, be a top finisher in an end-of-season series (FedEx Cup, Race to Dubai) or, you guessed it, be ranked in the top-50 of the OWGR. With Poulter outside the top-50 and just 12 events to his credit on the European Tour, the Englishman was thrust into scramble mode, not only to maintain his European Tour card, but also to be eligible for the 2016 Ryder Cup. To read the rest of the story of Rich Beem’s generosity, go here! Source : back9network.com   Chris Chaney, Wrong Fairway Pictures : Keith Allison  Camron Flanders

10 Ways To Behave Poorly at a PGA Event. I hate #3 and #6!

Yes, this is an etiquette sheet for what-not-to-do-at-a-PGA-Tour-event. Many of you wouldn’t be caught dead performing most of these behaviors.  I hope you do not see yourself in #3 or #6? Check out this article by Ben Alberstadt for golfwrx.com, and see the video where Webb Simpson’s trophy presentation was interrupted by a bird call!  

1. Wear your golf shoes

“Hello, sir. Are you participating in the tournament today?” If the answer to that question is no, you have NO business wearing your golf shoes at a PGA Tour event. Period. Do the spike-wearers also lace up their cleats when they head to football and baseball games? And whatever material advantage one gains in terms of on-course traction is surely outweighed by the ridiculousness quotient. Note: Caddies don’t wear golf shoes and they walk the course with 50-plus pound bags strapped to their back. Thus, you don’t need to either.

2. Be the beer-and-cigar guy

Do you know this guy/these guys (they usually travel in packs)? Booming alcohol voice, douchily attired, clutching three-plus empty plastic beer cups in one hand and a (lit or unlit) cigar in the other? And whether the product of beer-induced tunnel vision, total lack of concern, or general ignorance, beer-and-cigar guy (and his beer-and-cigar buddies) is always spouting off with little regard for those around him. He’ll be happy to add a few colorful words to your child’s vocabulary and will offer unrestrained praise for the assets of the fairer sex he spots in the gallery.

3. Yell “Baba Booey,” or “mashed potatoes,” or “get in the hole”

You’d like to think that even repeat “Baba Booey-ers” are annoyed when they hear the signature exclamation of golf fan idiocy bellowed as a Tour pro tees off. If you find yourself compelled to belt out the above or any other ridiculous exclamation for that most-rewarding knowledge that you “got on television,” please don’t. It’s a race to the bottom with these folks, and the upcoming season will bring with it new moronic vocalization. Great.

4. Trample or otherwise fight children for autographs

Look, I understand adults have the right to ask pros for autographs. Maybe you have a sports memorabilia business, want to make a quick buck on eBay, or are merely looking proudly display a signed Phil Mickelson 8-by-10 in your office. All of that is fine. Still, children must have first priority in the hunter for Tour pros’ Sharpie scribbles. Why? Do you not remember being a kid? Do you not remember the deities that professional athletes were to you? Do you not remember the overwhelming sentimental value of an autograph? Autographs are most important to children and children’s enjoyment of golf is most important to the future of the game. Don’t be one of those guys trampling children in an effort to get Adam Scott’s autograph.

5. Offer on-course commentary

Have you seen this guy (and it’s usually a guy)? He posts up at a hole and shares his expansive knowledge of the game of golf and the players on the PGA Tour with anyone who will listen. As he’s often attending the tournament alone, he has no choice but to scatter his pearls of wisdom before strangers. In addition providing color commentary (“Dufner’s wife is hot”…”He has great hands. Shouldn’t have any trouble with this pitch”), he’ll share his green reads with anyone in his proximity. He’s honed the reads, of course, from camping out at the same green all day. To see the other 5 ways to behave poorly while watching golf at a PGA event, go here! Source : Ben Alberstadt  GolfWrx Pictures :

Jason Day’s Story is an Inspirational one for sure!

If you love golf, If you want to be a champion, if you have a child who wants to be a champion, watch this video.  The story of Jason Day’s journey, the hardships that he faced and overcame, are an inspiration to all who watch it.  Not only is he a nice guy, he deserves every ounce of praise he gets.  Nothing was given to him on a silver platter, he earned it!
Jason Day’s journey to the top of the golf world is unlike anyone else’s. From humble beginnings in Australia, Jason overcame adversity to find his path through hard work and dedication. Through exclusive, behind-the-scenes access Jason’s story is shared with the world for the first time here. We’re proud to call Jason a member of Team RBC.
QUOTE OF THE YEAR?: Jason Day before the Tour Championship Here’s the video: Source : RBC Pictures : Hone Morihana

Evian Resort Golf Club, home to the LPGA’s new Major!

Congratulations to Lydia Ko, who became the youngest female player to win a Major Championship, with her victory at the Evian Championship.

The Evian Championship started out as the Evian Masters in 1994 and was considered a major by the Ladies European Tour.  It became a co-sanctioned event with the LPGA Tour in 2000.  It has now come full circle and in 2013, was considered a Major Championship by the LPGA Tour, and has the second highest purse (next to the US Women’s Open.) in women’s golf!

The Evian Championship – Seduced… by a Singularly Charming Golf Course

 The championship course was resplendent; the fairways were bathed in abundant Alpine sunshine, and the clear blue skies set a sparkling stage for the 2015 Evian Championship.
Evian - Hole #2a
Hole #2 at Evian, a breathtaking downhill par 3 
Watching the coverage of this tournament it quickly becomes clear that the golf course at Evian Resort Golf Club, has a special place in the hearts of the players. They speak about in interviews and on social media. The sublime lakeside location, with its majestic mountainous backdrop, is certainly part of it, but the allure of this golf course goes beyond the obvious beauty of the site. The Evian Resort Golf Course… I would venture to say… has a uniquely seductive personality.
Evian - 22
Pink flagsticks complement the lush emerald greens of Evian Resort Golf Course
Golf courses, like people, have personalities. Some are affable and easy going, while others are distant and demanding… some quiet and calm, others open and exuberant. We who play the game know this, and Evian’s personality, I can happily confirm, is delightful.
We’d been looking forward to playing at Evian for years, and when our closest friends moved to the French Alpes… just a couple of towns away… we knew the time was right.  So we made our way there this summer, and on a sun-drenched day in early July we experienced firsthand the singular, seductive charm of Evian Resort Golf Course.
Evian Resort Golf, Golf Girl Media
The seduction began well before we approached the first tee. We’d booked a twilight tee time, but arrived early in the afternoon, giving us time to have lunch, look around, and spend some time on the practice range.
Pictures : Golf Girl Media

7 Ways to Introduce your Kids to this Great Game of Golf!


                    My father introduced me to the game of golf when I was 16.  I had played a lot of sports at school and when he joined a local Country Club, I went along to go to the pool.  No intentions of playing golf.  But this club allowed juniors to play after all the members had teed off.  So my cousin and I went out to play.  I had no idea how to hold or swing the golf club, but being a fairly good athlete, I managed to par the first 3 holes I played!  That was all I needed.  I was hooked.  The fact that I then proceeded to make 6’s and 7’s the rest of the 9 did not matter.  I was going to play this great game of golf!  of Golf Digest brings you 7 ways to introduce your kids to the game in a way that they will be asking “When can we go and play golf again?”  We need to grow this game through our kids.  Get them involved in a group lesson program, enter them in some fun three hole tournaments, and they will not only learn to love the game, but learn some life lessons along the way!

Introduce your kids to the game without losing your mind (or your club membership)


Pick the right hours

I probably don’t need to tell you this, but this is not a Sunday morning at 8 a.m. activity. Or at least not if you plan to go to a golf course that includes other humans. (If you happen to have your own private golf course at your disposal, I encourage you to do what you want. I also have reason to believe you and I can become best friends. I’ll follow up). Restricting family golf time to evening hours is not only advised out of consideration for your fellow golfers, but also for your own sanity. Trust me, there’s nothing fun about watching your kid hit eight consecutive shots in the bunker while some crankasaurus stands with his hands on his hips in the fairway. I’m a firm believer that kids need to have a general respect for pace of play even at a young age, but you’re setting yourself up for disaster if you don’t allow for the occasional delay.

Let them get excited about new stuff

Look, I spend as much time as any parent trying to push against my kids’ fixation with material possessions. It’s a problem, particularly on an editor’s salary. But face it, part of the fun of golf for kids is all the stuff that comes with it. I’m not advocating you buy them a brand new set of Callaways. But even the littlest things make a difference — ball markers, tees, the occasional sleeve of balls. This should get you through the first month or so of their golf careers. Then they’ll see their first Nike commercial and you’re screwed.

Embrace the golf cart

This is another one of those philosophical compromises you need to make when it comes to golf with kids. As a golfer, you may be a devout walker because you feel like that’s the way the game should be played and because you welcome the exercise. But a golf cart to kids is like an amusement ride. It’s fun, it’s conducive for some meaningful exchanges every now and then, and it cuts into the fatigue factor that is inevitable when you’re hoofing it carrying your own bag. I’m not saying you should take a cart every time you play with your kids. But this is one area where your inner golf snob needs to keep his trap shut.
Pictures : Golf Digest