Master golf's most difficult bunker shots
If only we could tee up every golf shot. We’d always have perfect lies, where no grass or trees or sand could get in the way of making clean contact with the ball. Of course, that isn’t the case. Between the tee and green, we have to surrender to the course and “play the ball as it lies.” That means adjusting to a number of challenging circumstances, such as plugged bunker shots and awkward stances. For this story, I’ve concentrated my efforts on just those types of lies—the ones you get where you look to your playing partners, throw your arms in the air and say “anybody have any suggestions?” Take time to practice these shots, and you won’t wonder what to do the next time you’re faced with an awkward lie.
Add yards with our long drive secrets
So you think you’re a big hitter? Well, consider this. Today’s top long drivers don’t bunt the ball a measly 250 yards off the tee. Heck, a mediocre wallop drops somewhere around the 320-yard range. Frankly, these guys aren’t satisfied with anything under 400 yards when it comes time to winning a paycheck. Now that’s long!
How Far Is Too Far?
Sometimes it just doesn’t matter if you have great posture, a perfect spine angle and even a steady head position. As long as you’re standing too far away from the ball, you’re going to have a devil of a time hitting consistent golf shots. In fact, most students I’ve taught tend to stand too far away from the ball for reasons that make sense, such as a fear of shanking the ball off the hosel or hitting a fat shot.
Down the stretch, the last thing you want is to find yourself uncomfortable over a short putt. In most cases, the yips comes from the golfer decelerating, the putter then strays offline and well, there you have a missed putt!
Pro Positions: Will MacKenzie
Willie Mac Attack!
I often long for the days when Slammin’ Sammy Snead and Gene Sarazan played the game, a couple of great sticks with personalities just as bright as their games. Well, fortunately for golf fans, there’s a new kid on the block and he’s brought a unique backstory and stellar game (albeit with a modern flair). His name is Will MacKenzie, or “Willie Mac,” as the 2006 Reno-Tahoe victor is sometimes called.
Golf is a game of circles, right? The ball is round, the cup is round,the golf swing is somewhat round. So what’s all this business about having a straight spine angle? How does that have anything to do with making successful contact?
Split The Grip
We’ve all experienced this one time or another. Midway through the round, after hitting what seems to be a decent number of fairways, the ball starts to slice. And not only does the ball begin creeping to the right, the slice becomes more and more pronounced with each swing. This then causes the body to tense up and limit the needed rotation of the hands through the impact zone. Now that’s an awful thought, isn’t it?
Training Aids 2008
When it comes to training aids, it’s important to know that they must be used properly and with regularity for improvement to take place. Most importantly, though, is choosing the proper aid for your particular problem. Like a fitted set of golf clubs, the right training aid can bring significant improvement—if it’s right for you. To make sure you choose the one that’s best suited to your problem, it’s a good idea to consult with your pro and discuss his or her feelings regarding what your needs are and what aid would be most helpful.
You can’t fire a gun unless you pull the trigger, right? A similar concept also applies to the golf swing, which also usually requires a “trigger move” to get the body moving. Now, not everyone has a trigger, some manage to swing well from a static position to a dynamic position. But for the rest of us who often find confusion when it comes to where to start the golf swing, a trigger move can help you start swinging in a fluid and consistent manner.
Accessories Buyer's Guide 2007
Think the only things that make you a better golfer are clubs and balls? Well, think again. There?s a lot more to the game and it can all fit right in your bag.
We live in a modern world, where technology has become an integral part of our daily lives, from mapping our commutes via onboard navigation systems to wearing clothing with materials specifically designed to wick away moisture to capturing moments in time with our cell phones. We’re happy to report that the golf world isn’t immune to many of the same technological advancements.
Balls Buyer's Guide 2007
We're not talking range balls, Wiffle balls or those limited-flight Cayman balls either. We're talking golf balls the kind that go too far and spin too much.
No, it’s not the surface of the moon (left), it’s a super-close-up shot of a golf ball. In golf’s modern era, the small, round dimpled orbs that fill the pockets of your golf bags are truly the sum of their parts. From the materials that make up their covers to how it’s filled inside, a golf ball’s composition greatly affects its behavior on the course.
Club Specs Investigation: GT gets up and close with Hot Stix
“Welcome to Switzerland,” a man in a white lab coat says as we near a door marked “R & D: Employees Only.” Opposite this door, a guy is driving golf balls into a net about 10 feet in front of him. Off to his side, another man in a white lab coat is monitoring his progress on a computer screen, analyzing ball spin, launch angle and a variety of other numbers and graphs.
Driver Tech 101
High M.O.I. Rules
You can tell by looking at the latest square and triangular clubheads that the driver market is changing before your eyes. Other new drivers look conventionally shaped on the outside, but are vastly advanced on the inside. Regardless of their shape, most of the latest models look plain huge. Ever since the United States Golf Association ruled that driver clubheads had to max out at a 460cc clubhead volume, club designers have taken the next obvious route in order to improve their products’ performance in your hands: advancing technology.
Drivers Buyer's Guide 2007
They're huge, easy to hit, long and full of new technology. Check out today's big dogs and get ready to drive it a mile.
The talk of the shop this year when it comes to driver technology is definitely the leaps we’ve seen in exciting new driver geometries. The golfer today can choose from just about anything: square, traditional, scoopback or even triangular. The fact is, the driver category is chockful with scores of options to choose from, making the category not only better, but more confusing for the golfer jonesing for a new big dog.
Fairway Woods Buyer's Guide 2007
Whether it?s a fairway wood or hybrid, knowing what club to hit depends on what clubs are in your bag
It doesn’t matter if it’s a long par-3, a short par-4 or a reachable par-5, making the right shot choice first depends on having the right clubs to choose from. Today, fairway woods have become longer, bigger and more powerful than ever, and hybrids, on the other hand, have become more specific, acting as either long-iron replacements or high-lofted fairway-wood replacements. The key is to begin analyzing your current set makeup in order to determine what’s missing. Need a club that goes 215 yards and stops on a dime? How about a 3-wood that flies almost as far as your driver, albeit a lot straighter? Maybe both? Discerning your needs is crucial to hitting better shots. And with today’s models, it’s hard to go wrong.
Irons Buyer's Guide 2007
Today's irons run the gamut from forged blades and multi-material game-improvement designs to entire sets of hollow-body hybrids
Iron design has been evolving since the earliest days of golf. Though crude and often unwieldy, the first primitive tools quickly proved to be indispensable in situations where accuracy was the primary goal. In the modern era, the iron has become the staple of the set, and accordingly, iron designs are now better than ever.
The latest in golf equipment, instruction, training aids, apparel & more
Putters Buyer's Guide 2007
In 2007, it's easier than ever to find a putter that's designed exactly for you
If you’ve ever been humbled after having your stroke analyzed at one of those high-tech putting studios, you know why the adage “feel is not real” is, well, real. After all, when examined under a microscope, all the flaws of your stroke are magnified. Your path goes left, your clubface is open, you hit everything off the toe—the data doesn’t lie and sometimes all that bad news is enough to make you want to impale your flatstick into the monitor.
Shoes Buyer's Guide 2007
What you wear on your feet can make a huge difference in not only how comfortable you are, but also how powerful a swing you can make
The soles of today’s top golf shoes have not only superb gripping capabilities, but also integrated webs and channels to whisk away water and debris for a steady grip. Better yet, most golf shoes resemble running shoes from the bottom, replete with a two-pod sole for a more effective weight transfer into the ball.
Wedges Buyer's Guide 2007
Known as the most versatile club in the bag, the wedge is a bona fide score saver
There’s a reason why the distance from within 100 yards is called the scoring zone. It’s the “make it or break it” area, where a great wedge shot can redeem a bad drive or poor approach to the green. Any miscue from this zone is considered an unforced error that should have been avoided (especially from the fairway). So, what’s that mean? Choosing the right wedges can be the difference between one or more strokes on any given hole! To start, it’s important to find a wedge that matches your needs, and luckily, if you’re in the market for game-improvement models, ’07 is chockfull of new choices.
Focus On: The Grove
Combining two distinctively different experiences into one that the consummate golfer and traveler will appreciate is a difficult challenge. Then again, this describes The Grove so naturally, you’d assume anything is possible…
Four Days In The Brunswick Isles
For great golf, head to the border
A number of destinations around the world feature golf as the main attraction, and the Brunswick Isles, an area straddling the border of North and South Carolina, is definitely one of them. There are 16 golf courses from Calabash up north to North Myrtle Beach down south. Along the way, golfers can tee it up on courses designed by Arnold Palmer, Rees Jones and Myrtle Beach regular, Dan Maples, to name a few, and find themselves negotiating marshland, rivers and creeks, as many courses take advantage of the area’s natural hazards.