Watch The Watch

Like anyone else, I have days when I’m not hitting the ball as crisply as I’d like. If I’m blocking my golf shots or hitting weak pushes, I always go back to basics and make sure I’m releasing the clubhead. Once I start releasing the clubhead properly again, I’ll regain my distance–and my accuracy.

Turn Three Shots Into Two

Use these simple chips to become a scoring machine

Whether your skills are strictly amateur or allow you to keep pace with any single-digit handicapper, you’ll never reach your true potential as a golfer unless you learn one of the game’s great tricks: turning three shots into two around the greens. In other words, you must find a way to become a scorer. Scoring is what separates the better players you know from everybody else. Taken to a higher analogy, it’s what separates the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh from the rest of the players on the PGA Tour.

Cleat Central

Before you rush out and spend more than $100 on a new pair of golf shoes, first consider the condition your current spikes are in. Odds are, your golf shoes are poised to last for several seasons, but in the alternative-cleat era, polymer, rubber and plastic cleats require replacement at twice a year to keep your shoes performing how they were intended to.

Showcase: Cosmic Spheres

When Wayne Levi collected his winner’s check for the 1982 Hawaiian Open, little was made of his 11-under score. Rather, Levi retains the dubious distinction for being the first golfer to win a PGA Tour event using a colored golf ball. And not just any colored ball–an optic orange Wilson Pro Staff colored ball.

The Golf Club At Briar’s Creek

With more than 16,000 golf courses in the United States, you’d think there would be plenty of opportunities for golfers to find their own slice of heaven–a quiet, unpopulated course where they can roam freely without feeling crowded by other golfers. But that’s not the case. Even though 3,206 courses have been added to the U.S. golf course database since 1990, it’s still really hard to find 18 holes that you can call your own. Wouldn’t it be great to know that you could just walk on a course whenever you wanted and have the place all to yourself?

North Vs. South

Who'll win you over in Myrtle Beach?

Things aren’t always the way they seem. Remember M. Night Shyamalan’s movie, The Sixth Sense, with its edge-of-your-seat surprise ending? (If you haven’t seen it, Bruce Willis reveals in the last minute that he wears a toupee.) Just kidding.

Sweet Spot: Retief Goosen

Currently ranked fifth in the world, Retief Goosen is an elite-level player who has two U.S. Open titles on his resume and the potential to win several more. Known for long, accurate driving and clutch putting, Goosen’s swing is somewhat idiosyncratic, filled with compensating moves that make it less than ideal by modern standards.

Showcase: Square Dancing

Just when you thought you’d seen everything! Two different golf equipment companies have created two similar, yet different drivers that feature a radical new approach to the most popular golf club in the bag. Of course, it’s not the first time we’ve witnessed a makeover for the big stick. In the last 50 years, we’ve seen the transformation from 180cc to 460cc clubheads, persimmon to steel, steel to titanium and most recently, titanium to mixed-carbon materials.

Alignment Beats The Slice

Body alignment is one of two key setup elements most frequently changed by amateur golfers (the other is ball position). Because players often associate the alignment of their upper body with the starting direction of the ball off the clubface, they tend to incorrectly alter their alignment for a variety of reasons, the most common of which is to compensate for a chronic pull slice. While the logic of aiming the torso further left to prevent hitting the ball to the right may appear sound at first, this faulty compensation actually causes more harm than good in the long term.

Good Breaks

To be a great putter, you have to have sound fundamentals. This requires a steady putting stroke that regularly sends the ball rolling in the desired direction. You also ought to have a clear idea of what direction you should roll the ball–not only in the first few feet, but also during the entire distance of the putt. To do this effectively, you need to know how the green breaks by looking at two components of the putt: speed and direction. Some instructors argue that speed is the most important factor in putting because it dictates direction–that is, more speed equals less break, less speed equals more break.