What Wedge Should You Use and When

If you’ve been around the game of golf for a little while eventually you start to understand how your clubs work and how to go about choosing the right club for certain shots. It’s not that complicated right? The higher the number on the club the higher the loft (or the shorter the ball goes). This is standard in golf, whether you’re using woods or irons except… when it comes to wedges. Unfortunately, for a novice golfer or even an advanced one, it’s not always obvious what each type of wedge is for, and that can be frustrating. Luckily though, we’re here to shed some light on that today.   Continue reading “What Wedge Should You Use and When”

Two Keys to Crush Your Drives Long and Straight

People love the driver. It’s just that easy to explain. Who doesn’t love crushing the ball down the middle past all their buddies? And honestly, this is how I’ve been my entire life. As a kid, the driver was the only club in my bag that I really had any faith in. From my first driver which was part of a four club set, to youth tournaments playing with a passed down Nike Sasquatch (which I still use, even though it’s been refurbished a few times), I knew I could trust my drive and my tee shots. This sort of consistency was one of the biggest factors (besides my chipping) for my early competitive victories. While other golfers would hit their drives into hazards and waste strokes hundreds of yards from the green, I would very rarely join them in their misery ( instead I gave away strokes with my irons…). As I grew my consistency fluttered but my power surged. Throughout high school I was the biggest hitter on my team and frequently in my foursome. This advantage of the tee can be hard to quantify but eventually, hitting wedges instead of 7 irons starts to add up. And at the end of the day, you have to travel a set amount of distance on each hole, and hitting the ball further (as long as it’s straight) can only help you play better. Driving always has been one of my favorite parts of golf and I know that once you unlock your own potential off the tee, you’re going to fall in love with long, straight, drives just like I have. Continue reading “Two Keys to Crush Your Drives Long and Straight”

Simple Tips for Crisper Irons

I can still remember my eight year old self one early morning. At this point in my life golf was everything, and to be honest, all I really wanted was to ditch the 5 iron and the 9 iron from my Tiger Woods Golf Starter set and get my own, full set of clubs. This dream came true one morning when my dad presented me with a full set of Progression irons that one of his friends had given him. Already filled with groves and pits this set of thin, light, extensively used irons was in a less than pristine condition but I couldn’t care less. I was a real golfer now, or at least that’s how I saw it. Those irons saw everything throughout the next few years of my golf career. Every round, every tournament, every day spent practicing in my back yard, those irons would be with me. And while I eventually exchanged them for more modern set of irons I will always think of those clubs as my first real set and I guess that is something special for every golfer.

Now that’s not to say that all of my memories with these irons were good ones. In fact, it was really a love hate relationship with irons shots in general as a kid because honestly, I wasn’t very good with them. I was solid one the green, excellent with in 50 yards, and straight and long off the tee, but I could never consistently count on my irons to do what I needed them to do and that bothered me. It bothered me so much that I would go out of my way to not use them. Eventually this led me to play with almost as many woods as irons (I had a 7 wood and even a 9 wood for a little while) but shy away from irons only made the problem worse. It wasn’t until I entered high school that my ball striking and strength finally convinced me to give irons another chance. And thank God I did… Looking back at high school and the competitive rounds of golf I play now I couldn’t imagine my game without consistent, straight irons because they are absolutely necessary to hit greens in regulation and in turn, score well.

So let’s talk about irons… Continue reading “Simple Tips for Crisper Irons”

How to Chip Away Strokes Around the Green

As a child chipping was always my favorite part of golf. I would take a bucket of old range balls I received from a family friend and chip at a makeshift green my dad made in our back yard. Eventually after I took hundreds of chips from each spot around our backyard green I ended up “designing” my very own golf course. A nice par 3 course where I got a chance to hit a variety of different shots. One around a tree, one over a bonfire pit, one up a hill, 50 yard pitches, 10 yard flop shots, I actually covered a lot of basic chips a golfer would have to hit. Eventually, after playing this course almost daily, my chipping got so good that I would never miss the green on my “tee shot” and I could even start to place the ball where I wanted it to land around the green. And now that I was really starting to golf frequently in my life, this improvement around the green slashed my scores in a way I had never seen before. What good chipping gave me was a safety net. Good chipping let me miss a green in regulation and still save par on a hole. Good chipping started to drastically decrease the number of putts I took in a round and good chipping keep me from throwing away needless strokes around the green. Chipping was my favorite part of golf at the time, and I would spend hours hitting all sorts of different chip shots just dreaming of new ways to have fun in my back yard.

The unfortunate thing about chipping and why I think it’s so hard for golfers to master is because there is no easy way to gauge how different variables will change each shot. Let me elaborate. If you use a 7 iron for a bump and run chip the ball will spend a very short amount of time in the air. That’s fine if you have room for the ball to roll out, or if you’re on the fairway. But what if you’re in the rough instead and you don’t have enough room on the green? Do you hit a flop shot? Well what if there are trees in the way or gusty winds? Which wedge will you use for this shot? All of these variables; wind, green speed, obstacles, your lie, all effect your chip in a specific way each time, and that is what makes chipping so difficult to master. Continue reading “How to Chip Away Strokes Around the Green”

Three Easy Ways to Shave Strokes on the Green

Very few areas of golf will ever rival the importance of good putting to having a successful round of golf. Every winter while snow was still covering the driving range and it was too cold to even consider stepping outside to play golf (Wisconsin problems) I would sit in my basement with my astro-turf putting mat, three golf balls, and a putter. This was the beginning of my golf season and may have ultimately led to some of my success. I could spend hours down there putting 5-15 foot putts on cold winter days with my brother. We would play horse, the golfing version of a 3-point contest, and other games, stacking coasters to create different breaks for our putts and honestly having a really good time with the $15 putting mat my parents bought us. Even though at the time I was oblivious to it, I was mastering some of the fundamentals of successful putting. Continue reading “Three Easy Ways to Shave Strokes on the Green”