21 Ways to Produce a More Powerful, Effortless Golf Swing

3D book cover sm 236x300 21 Ways to Produce a More Powerful, Effortless Golf SwingAre you looking to create a smooth, powerful golf swing? One with less tension and effort? One with tempo, rhythm and flows from YOUR unique golf swing? well, this book will be right up your alley!

The book actually stemmed from one of our most popular posts ever called, 7 Ways to Produce a Powerful, Tension-Free Golf Swing. People would email me and ask for more posts like this or expand upon it. That’s exactly what I did.

Having less tension and restriction in your golf swing, I believe, will allow your natural swing (and power) to produce your greatest golf on a more consistent basis.

I tried to put all kinds of tips, techniques and modalities in 21 Ways to Produce a More Powerful, Effortless Golf Swing. I wanted it to be like an eclectic smorgasbord. Just kinda pick and choose what feels or looks right to you. Just a single distinction can be the one thing to really unlock your swing and bring more freedom and power to it.

Don’t get conned into thinking that it HAS to take forever. Why? Who made that rule? Can’t change happen in an instant?  Why not? I can attest to that for a simple, almost instant change happened for me this year that dramatically lowered my scores. I will be telling that story soon.

The trick (and I do believe it’s a trick) is to circumvent anything that inhibits your natural swinging motion.

Funny, when you see kids out in the playground running, jumping, playing catch, hitting a ball, whatever — there is such a natural freedom of movement. See a lot of tension?  Idon’t think so! It’s only when we get older that we somehow have to thwart own our sophistication.

For the record, I’ve played excellent golf, I’ve played good golf, I’ve played poor golf and I’ve played such miserable, frustrating, incompetent golf that I felt like I didn’t even belong on a golf course, so hopefully I can help with a few ideas that have helped me.

What you’ll learn by downloading the book:

and much, much more . . .

I truly hope you’ll enjoy this as much as I enjoyed writing it. It’s written for you. I admit some of the methods might be a little “fringe” but I just didn’t want to produce the same boring dribble you can get anywhere.

My recommendation is to view them all with an open mind. Think of them as little “mini-experiments.” Have fun with them. Play with them. See where they lead you. One of them just might be the key YOU need to play some of your most powerful and effortless golf ever.

Click here: 21 Ways to Produce a More Powerful, Effortless Golf Swing

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Quick 9: Interview with Master Clubmaker, Tom Wishon

tom wishon Quick 9: Interview with Master Clubmaker, 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.”

Let the Interview begin . . .
 
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your background?

I began my career as a PGA club professional from 1972 to 1980 working in the Northern California Section of the PGA in the SF Bay area.  I fell in love with equipment when I taught myself club repair as a way to supplement my income at the time.

I operated a full club repair service for 12 golf courses in the North Bay area of SF which triggered my desire to know everything possible about how golf clubs worked and why one club worked better for one golfer vs another. 

I began working in the national side of the golf equipment industry in the 80s.  My break came when I was asked to be president of Dynacraft Golf Inc in Newark, OH in 1986.  Dynacraft was a leading component clubmaking supply company that was 50% owned by Dynamic Precision Casting Corp, who today is still one of the 4 largest clubhead production factories in the golf industry, manufacturing clubheads for many of the largest golf club companies. 
 
I spent months at the Dynamic Precision factory where I learned everything about clubhead production and from that, began my career in clubhead design that same year in 1986. I served as president of Dynacraft from 86 to 93, then accepted the position of VP for Golfsmith International in 93 to run their component clubmaking division.   Then we started Tom Wishon Golf Technology in 2002.  
 
From 1986 to present, I have had the pleasure to design more than 350 different models of driver, wood, hybrid, iron, wedge models during which I have been able to create over 50 different design technology firsts in the industry. 

This includes the first adjustable hosel driver in 1995, the first high COR fairway woods in 2004, the first high COR hybrid heads in 2006, the first high COR irons in 2004, the first moveable weight driver in 2005 among others.  I have had the pleasure to design and create custom head models for tour players such as Bruce Lietzke, Scott Verplank, Ben Crenshaw and I sadly had the pleasure of designing the last set of clubs played by Payne Stewart before his tragic, untimely accident in 1999. 


During my career I have written 10 books and over 250 magazine articles all related to club performance and Clubfitting technology.   Two of my books are a part of the curriculum required for membership in the Swedish PGA, British PGA, Dutch PGA and German PGA for teaching Clubfitting and club performance technology.  
 
2. Where in the world does someone start to begin the process of getting equipment that is as close to one’s unique swing characteristics as possible?

By finding an independent custom clubmaker/clubfitter who can perform a professional fitting analysis to measure and analyze the golfer and their swing characteristics to know what each of the 12 key fitting specifications needs to be for each one of the clubs in the bag – and then to custom build the clubs so they possess each one of the recommended fitting specs. 

The independent custom clubmakers are akin to what a tailor is to a suit – individuals who have studied, trained and gained experience working one on one with golfers, one at a time, to analyze and determine what each of the key fitting specs needs to be for each different golfer.

But unlike the tailor for a suit, because professional Clubfitting has never been marketed heavily to consumers to generate awareness and demand, the price golfers will pay a professional independent custom clubmaker will be commensurate with what golfers pay for any brand name marketed club bought in any of the big golf retail stores – but with the huge added benefit that the clubmaker will custom fit and custom build the clubs so EVERY spec on the clubs properly fits the golfer’s size, strength, athletic ability and swing characteristics. 
 
The best resources to find a professional independent custom clubmaker are:
 
The AGCP (Association of Golf Clubfitting Professionals) –  

The ICG (International Clubmakers’ Guild) 

The Wishon Golf Clubfitter Locator
 
The major branded golf equipment companies and their retailers have never been able to pursue a business model of one golfer at a time, one custom fit set at a time.  The reason is because you simply cannot achieve the volume in sales required by the large golf companies and big box/online retailers by putting golfers through a 90min to 2 hr fitting analysis followed by individually building the clubs to possess the specifications determined in the fitting analysis. 

Not only that, but because there are far too many retail outlets for the major brand clubs, no retailer can make enough profit selling the heavily marketed brand clubs to be able to devote even close to the time required to properly fit, let alone custom build the clubs for one golfer at a time.  
 
Proper fitting to ensure the highest level of game improvement requires that all 12 of the key fitting specifications for each club in the bag are determined for each different golfer through a professional and extensive analysis followed by custom building the clubs to accurately display each of the recommended fitting specs.  

The 12 key fitting specs for each club are length, loft, lie, face angle, shaft weight, shaft flex, shaft bend profile, total weight, swingweight, set makeup, grip style/size and the clubhead model design.  
 
3. What are the biggest myths about the driver that you encounter? 

First, that the longer the length of the driver, the farther you will hit the ball. There is an old adage in Clubfitting that has been proven for decades – “The longer the length of the club, the more difficult it is to hit accurately and consistently on center.”  But don’t just take my word for this.   For well more than ten years, the average driver length on the PGA Tour has been 44.5”. 

Yet for more than a decade, the standard driver length offered to male golfers in the drivers sold by all of the major brand companies has been between 45” and 46” – and for women, 44.5”. What does that say when the world’s best players CHOOSE to play driver lengths that are shorter than what the major golf companies sell to all the average men and women that play this game?  
 
Second, that you can be custom fit for your clubs in any of the traditional big box stores or pro shops that sell major brand equipment. Fitting at such operations is typically limited to hitting a handful of drivers taken off the rack until a $10/hour sales person says this is the one for you.  

Fitting is as I have said, all 12 key fitting specs for all clubs in the bag determined by a thorough analysis of the golfer’s size, strength, athletic ability and swing characteristics by a professional clubfitter who has a depth of experience in the trade. 
 
Third, that so many average golfers believe that they have to be lower handicap players for custom fitting to matter and help. The fact is the exact opposite.  Players who shoot between low 80s and 100 benefit the most from professional Clubfitting for two reasons.  

  1. So many of the standard specs on drivers today, namely the 45-46” standard length, makes the driver much more difficult to hit for average ability players.  So the vast majority of clubfitters know when they see an average golfer wanting more consistency/success with the driver, shorter length is the first thing in mind.
  2.  

  3. Good fitting for the average player is not done to CURE swing mistakes.  It is done to reduce the severity and the frequency of their poor swing shots.  Shorter driver lengths at 43 to 44”, higher lofts to better match to the average player’s 75 to 95mph clubhead speeds, a face angle spec which is chosen more closed to offset the average player’s tendency to slice the ball, and the shaft and weighting of the club matched to the golfer’s clubhead speed + downswing tempo and swing force – do these things and you can count on at least 85-90% of all average golfers walking away hitting the driver more consistently than before.
  4.  

4. What 3 recommendations could help the average golfer improve in terms of technology?

First, the path to improvement through better equipment is in the FIT more than it is in the clubhead design. The big golf companies have always focused their marketing on their clubhead designs.  This of course compels the golfer to think that the head design is the most important element. But today, ALL companies have drivers at the limit of the rules for face COR and distance. 

They now all have high COR fairway wood, hybrid and iron designs. Loft angles on irons today are between 6* and 8* lower than they were 30 years ago – to make iron lofts any lower to offer more distance risks giving golfers a 3-, 4-, 5- and even a 6-iron that are so low in loft that most golfers can’t hit the clubs very well.   Clubhead design technology has hit the wall in other words. 

But proper fitting, in which the golfer is carefully and professionally analyzed and measured to determine his/her best fit specifications for all 12 of the key fitting specs on all clubs in the bag is virtually unknown to most golfers.   Find a GOOD, EXPERIENCED clubfitter to work with and you will walk away with measurable game improvement.  
 
Second, being FIT correctly also leads to learning better swing fundamentals through lessons more quickly.  With drivers and woods that are too long for most average players to swing with control and consistency, with loft angles on 3 to 5 of the clubs in the bag too low for the average golfer to be able to hit consistently well up in the air to fly, and with everything else standard on the clubs sold off the rack, average golfers can find that it is very difficult to take lessons and master the swing changes for permanent improvement taught by their instructor.  

Get FIT for the right lengths, lofts, lies, face angles, shaft, weighting and grip size and learning a new swing change will come easier.  
 
Third, re-read points number one and number two above.
 
Don’t believe proper clubfitting is that important?  Think about this.  Golf is the ONLY sport in which we use a “stick” to hit a ball in which the “sticks” are not commonly custom fit and offered for ALL of their possible fitting specifications to the participants. Baseball and softball are similar “stick hits ball” sports in which the participant’s success and enjoyment is measured by how well they hit the ball. 

Ball players have forever been able to walk into a sports store to buy a new bat and select that bat from a wide variety of different LENGTHS, WEIGHTS and HANDLE DIAMETERS – which are the three key fitting specs for a bat. Imagine how ball players who have been used to always buying their bats with the right length, weight and handle diameter for their swing would view a store that only offers bats in 33”, 33 oz and with one handle diameter and not in the lengths from 29” to 36”, weights from light to heavy and handle diameters from thin to thick.  
 
Now take tennis, another “stick hits ball” sport just like golf. Walk into a good tennis shop and what do you see? Rackets are never pre strung because the players know they need to select the type of string and the string tension that best matches their racket speed, strength and manner of play, spin vs flat.  The unstrung rackets are also stocked in different grip diameters, with the size noted on the side of the racket. 

Here again, what do you think a tennis player would think if he/she walked into a store and saw all the rackets pre strung with one type of string to one tension and all the grips at 4 7/8” when they know they need a specific string type, string tension and grip size to play their best?  
 
But not golf.  Golf is the only “stick hits ball” sport in which the players never question that the clubs displayed on the racks are made to a single length, single loft option, single lie option, single everything option – one size fits all. Sure, golfers can choose from an L, A, R, S or X flex in the shaft.  They can do that.  But consider this – there has NEVER been any sort of industry standard for shaft flex in golf. Never. 

So the R flex from one company can commonly be as stiff as the S flex from another company and sometimes even the A flex from a third.   At least in tennis where string tension is the equivalent of shaft flex in a golf club, string tension is UNIFORM and STANDARDIZED.  A 53 lb tension is a 53 lb tension no matter if you had your racket strung in Hawaii or Maine.  
 
Golf has always existed with the companies marketing the clubhead and saying nothing about full specs fitting as is routine with bats and rackets because it is too difficult from an inventory standpoint for golf companies and golf retailers to offer all of the key fitting specs in golf clubs to golfers.  So here we sit with a one size fits all approach in golf clubs while golfers, just like baseball, softball and tennis players, are so very different from each other in their combination of size, strength, athletic ability and swing characteristics. 
 
Once again – read points 1 and 2 above if you want golf clubs that will allow YOU to play to the best of your given ability.

Tom wishon seminar Quick 9: Interview with Master Clubmaker, Tom Wishon  
 
5. In your opinion, does properly fitted equipment minimize your swing faults or does it actually help correct those?

It can do both but for most golfers, it minimizes their swing faults by reducing the severity and the frequency of your worst shots. For example, Golf Digest magazine has said 70% of all golfers slice the ball to some degree. That’s understandable because hitting the ball straight requires delivering the clubface square, which is tough to learn to do for anyone with less than average neuro-muscular control with above average athletic ability. 

While lessons to turn those slicing swing mistakes into a square path with square face are always the sure cure, most golfers ARE UNABLE TO FULLY CURE THEIR SLICE WITH LESSONS. Lessons cost money. Lessons take repeated work AND many follow up hours on the range to groove the correct swing motions.

Most people who take lessons to cure their slice do not see real success because, 1) it costs too much,  2) it takes too much time in practice,  3) it takes a certain level of neuro-muscular control and athletic ability that may golfers simply do not possess. 
 
On the other hand, moderate slicers of the ball can be fit with a driver/woods with a shorter length and more closed face angle and with the same swing, experience a visible reduction in the amount they slice the ball.  From this type of game improvement fitting, the 15 to 30 yard slice can be reduced to a 5 to 15 yard fade.  It’s still a fade, but it is an average shot pattern that is now in play more often than before, which gives the golfer more open shots to the green, which allows the golfer to hit more greens or get closer to the greens more often, which leads to a few more pars and bogeys with fewer double or triple bogeys.
 
And that’s how proper full specs fitting works to deliver visible improvement – it rarely CURES the shot problems, but rather it increases the number of decent shots while reducing the frequency and severity of the golfer’s poor shots.  Added all up, full specs fitting can offer on average between a 3 and 10 shot improvement for over 80% of the golfers who shoot between low 80s and 100. 
 
But ONLY if the fitting is done by a good, experienced clubfitter who fits the golfer for all 12 of the key specs for all clubs in the bag.  Not 2 or 3 specs fit for 1 or 2 clubs in the bag. And once again, to find a good clubfitter, use the resources listed above.
 
6. If you had the power to change 1 thing, globally, in the golf equipment industry, what would it be?

I hate to keep sounding like a broken record but if I had the power to change one thing in the golf equipment industry it would be to somehow be able to make all golfers aware of the proven fact that being properly fit by a good clubfitter will allow a huge percentage of average golfers to play better than if they continue to buy their clubs off the rack through the traditional golf retail stores and shops. 

And with that, to also be able to get more golfers to understand that the quality of the FIT is far more important than the image and ego associated with a certain model or brand name sitting in their golf bag. 
 
7. I once was fitted for a driver but the club that was built and sent to me just was not the same one I demoed. Can this happen?

Yes, this is possible when golfers place an order for a big company club through a retail golf store or pro shop for a number of reasons. First, all clubheads and shafts are produced with +/- tolerances for every one of their design and production specifications. It is definitely possible that the head and or shaft in the ordered club came out of production with a little different tolerance than the head and or shaft in the demo club they hit. 

But the biggest reason for this is simply because the workers assigned to build the special order clubs from the big companies do make mistakes and the QC inspections do not catch these mistakes. I hate to say this but it’s a law of averages thing related to the work ethic of lower wage workers who do not view their work with much passion for doing the very best job they can in a job that is the same, day after day after day.
 
At the same token, while it can happen that an independent custom clubmaker could also make a mistake in a custom build, that tends to not happen nearly as often as it does with orders from the big companies because far more clubmakers have a much greater level of care and interest and passion for their work. The big company worker is a lower wage employee, doing the same job day in and day out.

The custom clubmaker is an independent business owner who CHOSE to become a clubmaker because he had a strong interest in the field. Therefore, the independent custom clubmaker is not only more motivated to do a good job because of his interest, but he also knows he must do a good job because this is his business that he wishes to keep growing and a good reputation is the most important element in achieving that success. 

twg logo Quick 9: Interview with Master Clubmaker, Tom Wishon
 
8. What are you most excited about currently in terms of future golf club technology?

I’m optimistic that little by little, more and more golfers are beginning to discover that proper fitting could be better than continuing to buy their equipment off the rack through the big box retail/on line stores and pro shops. It’s not an avalanche by any means, but it is an increase in awareness that is beginning to grow. 

But with more golfers who are open to listening to the facts about fitting comes a prickly situation in which the golfers who know so very little about REAL fitting vs false fitting can be susceptible to being fooled into not doing their due diligence enough to find a good fitter to work with. 
 
The big companies and big retailers know full well that there is a growing awareness among golfers about custom fitting so they are increasing their marketing to claim that they offer custom fitting. But the big companies and their big retailers are trapped by their standard off the rack volume business model as the only way they can achieve the highest level of sales.

So there is no way they can offer a 90min to 2 hr fitting analysis that results in the clubs being built from scratch to offer the golfers all 12 of the key Clubfitting specs for all the clubs in the bag. It is going to be a challenge to teach golfers the difference between a “slam-bam” fitting that falls short of what the “tailor to the suit” type of fitting can offer.  
 
9. What is new and noteworthy at WishonGolf?

We’re so different than any other golf equipment company because everything at Wishon Golf revolves around full specs fitting to the golfer’s different combinations of size, strength, athletic ability and swing characteristics.  So when we design clubheads and shafts, we focus on creating different models that are designed to best match to specific swing characteristics of golfers from plus/scratch all the way up to 100 shooters and everywhere in between. 
 
When I work in design concepts, the first thing I look at is whether we have a clubhead or shaft model for this swing type or that player type rather than to simply look at trends for what might sell better or attract more marketing attention. 

All my design work is focused on being able to deliver any combination of fitting specs and fitting performance for any type of golfer because that’s what club performance should be about for all golfers – getting the right clubs that allows every golfer to play to the very best of their abilities. 
 
As such we’re very proud that we have developed a hand select service with an all bendable hosel line of drivers, fairway woods and hybrids so clubmakers can now much better custom fit their golfers for whatever lofts, lies and face angles they need in these clubs. 

No one had figured out how to make these head types with the ability to be custom altered to hit any loft, lie or face angle in their drivers/woods/hybrids previously.  So this is a real step forward in being able to offer the most game improvement possible through proper fitting. 
 
I will say that one thing I am most proud of that so few golfers know about because we are so under-marketed at Wishon Golf is the depth of our head design and fitting research knowledge. Over the years, we have contributed 10 books and countless technical articles explaining clubitting technology and club performance. 

No company knows as much as we do about how to choose the best lengths, lofts, lies, face angles, shafts, total weights, swingweights, set makeup, clubhead design and grips for golfers. 
 
Head design wise, we’re very proud of how much we’ve been able to lead the whole industry in clubhead design technology.  And very few know about this again because we have been so under-marketed. Over the past 3 years, the other companies have introduced their adjustable hosel drivers, high COR fairway woods, high COR hybrids, high COR irons, moveable weight drivers as “new” technology for the industry. 

Yet few know that we designed the first adjustable hosel woods in 1995, the first high COR fairway woods in 2004, the first high COR hybrids in 2006, the first high COR irons in 2004 and the first universal movable weight driver in 2006. 
 
On the other hand, that information plus $4 will get you a coffee at Starbuck’s any day. So we keep working hard to do what we can to continue teaching the clubfitters everything possible about club performance and fitting technology, and we keep trying to get information out there about the benefits of real, full specs fitting so that a few more golfers can realize they would be so much better off working with a good, experienced independent clubfitter for their equipment needs than to continue to walk into big box golf stores to buy their clubs off the rack.  

Books by Tom Wishon

The Search for the Perfect Driver Quick 9: Interview with Master Clubmaker, Tom Wishon

The Search for the Perfect Golf Club Quick 9: Interview with Master Clubmaker, Tom Wishon

The Right Sticks: Equipments Myths That Could Wreck Your Golf Game Quick 9: Interview with Master Clubmaker, Tom Wishon

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Why You Need to Upgrade Your Golf Equipment

old golf clubs Why You Need to Upgrade Your Golf Equipment

Do you sometimes feel, that for whatever reason, some of your golf club(s) just aren’t cutting the Grey Poupon anymore? They just don’t give you any feel you’re looking for?

I remember a few (ok, more than a few) years back I was hitting an aluminum shafted persimmon 3-wood (Yes, ALUMINUM!) and I could literally knock the buggers out of that thing – and this was not long after almost everyone was hitting metal woods. My playing partners would rib me to no end when I hauled that out.

But it just was the right size, shaft had the perfect amount of bend, etc. I just felt like I could never hit that club bad (gee, I wish I could find 1 more club like that!)

Anyway, it will pay to have you take a good, objective look at your current golf clubs. Are they really serving you or vice versa?

EQUIPMENT CAVEAT

What we will NOT delve into here are the specifics of custom club fitting – lie angle, shaft flex, swing speed, launch angle, etc. that is for the land of custom fitting and that’s for another time and place.

We are also going to go on the assumption that your swing is fairly solid. I’m not going to mingle swing patterns (left to right ball path, low ball hitter, etc. etc.) with equipment changes, although we both know they are part and parcel of the same thing.

I believe the questions below are a good start to at least start the conversation so you can take action.

Realize this doesn’t have to be anything scientific. I’m not asking you to rev up Microsoft Excel and to complete a thorough, detailed, ultra-specific, scientific assessment by any means. Just jotting down a few notes on paper will suffice. I’ll get a bit more specific about what to jot down towards the end of the post.

My goal is to hopefully instill a few “ah-hah” moments where you will consider an equipment change(s) that will *almost* instantly transform your game.

Here we go.

HOW OLD ARE THEY?

Anything over 4 years + you might want to begin thinking about upgrading or buying new.

Not that technology has been super improved. Sure, shafts have improved and some aerodynamics and size, however, the big thing to think about is the adjustability. Obviously, I’m talking about drivers here.

You may have a driver that is getting up there in age and you are “locked” into thats clubs loft, face angle, etc. The adjustability, in my opinion, is terrific. It gives you that much more flexibility to hone in on the specs that will work for your own unique swing characteristics.

Also, what general condition are they in? If you play a ton of golf, things just wear out after time. Particularly if you play and practice a lot, you might not realize that particular club has just seen better days.

For example, wedges often go first, particularly if you practice a lot out of the sand. The grooves will get worn down in a hurry.

ARE THERE ANY GLARING GAPS?

Now assess what your current club lineup. Say you have a PW, SW, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, Driver, 3-wood, 5-wood, putter. That’s 13 clubs total. USGA rules allow you to carry up to 14.

Just as an example, say you are over 50, play from the white tees and your home course plays relatively short and has some consistently knarly rough around the greens.

In this case you might want to consider adding a lob or gap wedge to your clubs.

Vokey (makers of the exquisite line of Vokey Wedges) actually recommends 4-6 degrees of loft between your wedges which equates to distance gaps of approximately 12-15 yards.

For example, in your current set, you have a pitching wedge that is 44 degrees and you hit it 110 yards (on average). You also have a 56 degree sand wedge which you max out around 80 yards. So we have a working gap of 30 yards between your wedges. If you play a shorter course and there’s a premium is on getting up and down then that gap is too much.

You might then consider adding another wedge to your set. Say a gap wedge. If you had one that you could max out at 95 yards or so, you’ve “closed the gap” and added an important club to your game.

Same goes with other clubs. If seen playing partners with much to big of a gap between like a 4 or 5-iron and the next club is a 3-wood. That’s pretty substantial. Again, I realize this is just a method to figure out if the gaps are NOT working for you based on your current game, home course, etc.

ARE THEY NOT PERFORMING?

Are some of your clubs not performing? I’m of the mindset that you should be *fairly* confident with every single club in your bag. I realize this is relative statement. Sure, sometimes you will make the most disastrous of flubs with your favorite clubs but we know (don’t we??) that we are not going to always hit solid shots.

But if a couple of your clubs are driving you to put that flask in your bag almost every round maybe you need to make a change. Did you “all-of-a-sudden” stop hitting it? Have you really ever hit this club well? Do you hit it solid on the range? How old is the club?

If we have had the club for a number of years, that could be part of the reason. There are other reasons, too. Bottomline, if it’s not performing for you, consider removing and replacing.

worn out golf grooves Why You Need to Upgrade Your Golf Equipment

DO THEY NEED TO BE RE-CONDITIONED?

Instead of buying new or a relatively newer, used club you may want to consider reconditioning your clubs.

If your iron grooves have been noticeably worn down you can purchase a groove sharpening tool. You can get these at any online golf retailer, but you need to be aware of what you are doing. While the sharpening tools do give bite back to a “senior” wedge, they do not come close to the sharpness of new grooves. But it is an improvement.

Keep in mind the rules of golf state that grooves must be no more than 0.035 inches wide, 0.020 inches deep and 0.075 inches from any adjacent grooves. Pretty specific, eh! If you play competitively, using a groove sharpener could make your clubs non-conforming and illegal for competition. As a matter of fact, Titleist’s Vokey Wedgeworks shops will not resharpen grooves because the margin is so thin between conforming and non-conforming.

How about the grips? Do they “feel” new? Do the grips feel new and tacky? or does it feel like you have half a sandwich embedded in them? Well, my little munchkins, then it just might be time to, of course, clean and if in even sadder shape, just replace.

I often think replacing the grip is one of the fastest way to bring some lustre and life to your clubs. It’s so easy to do or have them done. Almost immediately they feel brand new and there are so many good options out there. Look into the innovative stuff Lampkin or Winn Grips have to offer.

DO I REALLY NEED THIS CLUB?

When evaluating your equipment take a close look at all your clubs. Are there any that you just don’t need (or use) anymore? This is a bit different than if the club is performing or not. So it’s a good, solid performing club but if you don’t need it – asta la vista, baby.

Just last year I still carried a 3-iron. I used to smoke that thing but now that I’m over 50 and the swing speed has slowed a bit I just don’t need the damn club. I don’t use it and it’s just not working for me.

Just out of vanity I probably carried that club 2 years too long. I don’t know, maybe just to show off to my younger player partners that I still carried one.

Whatever the twisted psychological reason, it should have been removed MUCH earlier. I replaced it with a hybrid and I (and the game) are much happier.

golf 1iron Why You Need to Upgrade Your Golf Equipment

YOU DON’T LIKE THE WAY THEY LOOK

Sometimes this one get’s underplayed a bit. I mean if every time you look down and your 1st mental thought is “Yuk” as you really don’t like the look of the darn thing – well, that’s not conducive to your best golf.

I think inherently we “know” a nice looking club when we come upon it. Of course, that’s why there are so many styles, looks, etc. Some want clean and classical, some want a little more modern and hip and others like funky and a bit out there (and I’m sure I’m missing many others!)

The good news is most of us know that already! We kinda have a feel for our style. It’s like the way we USUALLY dress. Do we dress like Tiger (classical) or Rickie (hip) or John Daly (out there – the pants anyway).

So think about those things when changing your equipment. For me, somehow the classic Titleist driver just is too formal looking. Yeah, I know, if I hit the snot of out it, who cares, right? but I want the club(s) to feel like they are “part” of me – like they are an extension of me.

So take a look at your current set with that filter in mind. Also, it’s cool to go a larger golf store and just pick up, look and feel a lot of clubs. You’ll tend to gravitate towards some and not others. Make note of that. I just love doing this! My wife thinks I’m nuts but hey, it’s golf!

WHAT DO I DO NEXT?

Steps to take.

1. The first, and most important, is to write down what you currently have. Yes, write it on paper. Catalog it.

2. Write down how old the club is. If you don’t know, just guesstimate.

3. You know those little smiley faces you notice at hospital’s or clinics that are supposed to suggest your pain level from 1-10? yep, draw one of those next to it.

4. Jot down a few notes as to your typical course, do I want to get up and down more? more distance (who doesn’t), Need a 200 yard hybrid, etc.

5. Plan to upgrade, replace or add/substract just 1 club. If you want to do more than one – go for it, but at least that’s do-able.

I know from experience if you try to take on your whole bag at once, well, mentally, it’s just easier to do nothing.

6. Next, Talk to your pro. See where you go with that. Look up if there are local club fitters in your area, head to a demo day and try to hit a slew of clubs. See which ones fit your eye and your swing. Or you can obviously go out and buy new golf equipment! It sometimes can be instantly obvious that THIS is the club that will make a huge (no, not just a minor) difference in your game.

I’d be curious to know how you made out. Be great to hear your comments.

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Innovative Mental Skill Training with THINQ Golf

thinqgolf home Innovative Mental Skill Training with THINQ Golf

THINQ Golf is a leading company that is helping golfers (and other athletes) to optimize their performance through scientifically based games and education.

Training your mind/body for optimum performance in golf is really the new frontier in athletic training that has been only *somewhat* explored but TG is really taking this to a new level in their world-class, innovative products and training.

How Did This come About?

THINQ Golf was founded in 2012, by a select group of sports psychologists, neuroscientists, and PGA/LPGA professionals who were searching for tools and methodologies on how to improve mental/cognitive skills that directly effect (and, of course, influence) performance on the golf course.

Most amateur athletes understand that their professional/elite-level counterparts possess stronger physical skills, but several recent scientific studies have proven that these elite-level athletes also possess stronger cognitive skills.

More specifically, these studies have determined that in performance based situations, the brain maps of elite athletes are more “synchronous” than those of amateurs.

THINQ Golf’s mission is to address this “gap” in cognitive performance through the use of science-based games and a variety of mental tools. Golfers of all ages and abilities should be able to benefit from these tools and work on their mental game in a way that is fun, easy, and informative.

THINQ Golf is my new game of choice. Healthy for my mind and good for my golf game – Trevor Murphy, Web.com Tour Player

Improve your Mental Skills

THINQ Golf has targeted 5 specific areas that can be measurably improve our golf performance. These include:

Awareness – The skill of awareness is the first key to performance. Without it, we cannot initiate a change.

Attention – Your thinking precedes motion is the concept explaining why attention is so vitally important. Where is your attention just before you pull the trigger? (hint: it better be in the present moment)

Synchronicity – The ability to synchronize everything throughout the entire sequencing of your golf swing.

Intention – Making a clear intention on every shot based on all available information at the time is one mental skill used by all the best golfers.

Adaptability – The mental ability to adapt to any situation or circumstance.

About the Science

If you think this is a bunch of fuzzy logic and hack science that results in pulling the wooleys over your eyes, you might want to re-evaluate once you take a gander at all the thorough research and testing that went into these games.

A laboratory measure of each mental skill (Awareness, Attention, Synchronicity, Intention, and Adaptability) was used to design the games. Upon completion, each game was also research tested to determine the efficacy of the game to influence brain patterns and/or golf performance, or both.

I mean you can see all the research, stats and more on the site. It’s amazing to read through. For example:

Intention game training (10 minutes) illustrated a significant decrease (24%) in cm error from the hole compared to control golfers who increased cm error (9%) from the hole. There was also a 39% increase in number of putts made following the Intention game play, while controls increased putts made by 6%.

There is also a nice section on the use of EEG (electoencephalograph) in their research. This represents the amount of electrical activity in a specific area of the brain.

EEG brain maps are read by the color represented and the balance of activity in each site of each hemisphere. The brighter the color, the more the activity in that specific location. So you can kinda get a holistic view of what parts of the brain are stimulated just prior to initiating motion.

thinqgolf awareness Innovative Mental Skill Training with THINQ Golf

What Kind of Games are Offered?

Awareness Game – This game trains you to be aware of the target, or becoming more target-focused. A target provides an image your brain can work with. A lot of us (me included) sometimes get fuzzy about what we’re aiming at. For example, have you ever had this mental state, “I’ll just hit it somewhere out-there”. Yeah, well, that’s not too specific, right? We can do better. Much better.

What if we were laser-focused on the target? What if you could improve your target awareness skill? Do you think think your results would change? Once you are dialed in, a motor program is then constructed in the brain as a template to send to the muscles and BINGO – better, more consistent golf shots!

Attention – This will determine which swing comes out and how our shot flies or rolls. Our minds must have something to do to stay in the present moment, or it will wander.

Attention is the last factor we have conscious control of before we start the motion. There are three aspects of attention that are being trained in this game: acuity (how clearly we focus), distractibility (how easily we lose our focus of attention), and sustainability (how long we can maintain our focus of attention).

Synchronicity – This is an other game I love! It trains our ability to take an outside signal (a tone), a visual signal (a bar traveling across the screen), and respond by tapping the bar at the exact time of the tone. This allows you to further strengthen the neural paths that synchronize your mind, body, and target.

Intention – Honestly, this is a game that has challenged me a bit but I suspect different folks might have challenges with different games. That’s fine – this is about improving your mental skills, afterall.

The game uses a cost-benefit analysis concept and prompts the player with three risk options: high, medium, and low, in which the task is more difficult with choosing a higher risk level.

Then, the golfer performs the game task at the level they have chosen. After completing the task, the golfer evaluates their performance to complete their routine.

Who’s using it

I’ve been in the golf business for a little bit and currently I’m seeing more information on how to improve mental performance but mostly in terms of auto-suggestion, affirmations, swing keys, etc. This is different. It’s training for your mind.

So I’m not surprised to see all the high profile players, teachers, coaches, organizations and others using the ThinqGolf training. These include the LPGA, The First Tee, Girl’s Golf, Texas State and Arkansas, just to name a few.

I finally have a game that not only I enjoy playing but that also helps me improve on the hardest aspect of my golf game. These games are intriguing and catching, I always finish playing – GIULIA MOLINARO, Tour Player

q leaderboards Innovative Mental Skill Training with THINQ Golf

Become a Member

You can play a number of games for free so you don’t have to become a member. But at only $4.99 a month it really is a super deal considering all the cool stuff you receive including:

All in all, you receive tremendous value for the price of 1 (just one!) Starbucks Caramel Macchiato per month! Can’t beat that now, can you?!

Check out all the great info on their site here: THINQ Golf

Get the apps below:

ThinqGolf for iPhone/iPad

ThinqGolf for Google Play

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Golf in Western France

golf de la bretesche Golf in Western France

Ah, “Gay Paree”! When was the last time you visited that enchanted city and all the marvels it has to offer? For me, it’s been far too long but I’m heading back next summer for the art, wine and golf!

Did I say “golf”? Yep, I did — and it’s not exactly in Paris but slightly to the West – golf in Western France. Like I mentioned, I have been to France before and just loved it but I have never even swung a golf club there.

French golf often gets a bad rap and it’s difficult to even name a few prominent French Professional golfers. Only a handful come to mind – Thomas Levet, the talented, young newcomer (and fresh off a stellar Ryder cup debut) Victor Dubuisson and, of course, the most famous of all, Jean van de Velde, who had that famous collapse in the 1999 Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Van de Velde has vastly curtailed his playing but has taken on being somewhat of an ambassador for golf in France, recently being named the Championship Director of his home tourney in France – the Alstom Open de France.

And it IS nice to see Dubuisson giving more exposure to French golf and all the beautiful but often seldom known courses that are available for play.

One I’m planning to play is the Golf National Albatros, located just 20 miles West of Paris.

It’s a 7200+ yard course that has held the French Open since 1991 and the host location of the 2018 Ryder Cup. So I’m glad I will get the opportunity the play this gem of a course before it gets even MORE popular.

The other course I’m excited to play is Golf de la Bretesche (see top photo). This is a course housed in the shadows of a magnificent fairy-tale chateau – complete with towers, turrets, moat and adjoining lake in this off-the-beaten-path woodland course.

Now when I’m on holiday I like time that’s on the peaceful side. Not as much hectic-ness or all-city time. I need some R & R (isn’t that what holidays are for?!) so this course is going to be a perfect for that – oh and I think the wife will love this setting, too icon smile Golf in Western France

Golf in France has the additional enticement of having very reasonable green fess – comparatively speaking to say the US and UK anyway. We’re talking in the $50-$150 range for an elite course.

Besides the unbelievable food, culture, weather and, of course, golf, why not look into playing a few rounds in Western France? – in might be far less expensive then you believe and you’ll have the most precious of memories.

The folks at Brittany Ferries have put together a lovely infographic on golf in Western France below.


best golf courses north west france infographic Golf in Western France

Image source: Brittany Ferries presents the best golf courses in Western France.


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The TeeSquare: Improve Balance & Stability in Your Golf Swing

tee square The TeeSquare: Improve Balance & Stability in Your Golf Swing

The TeeSquare is an ingenious little training aid that can help just about any golfer – from amateurs to pros (and everything between) – with one of the most common golf flaws there is – swaying (and moving off the ball).

You’re listening to someone who has more training aids than Rory has of gutted tee-shots. That being said, for me, the simpler the better. Too many moving parts only disperses your focus. You want it laser-focused so you can optimize your time and focus when practicing.

Let me tell you a little story about the TeeSquare. I was having the damnest time this year turning and loading on my left side (I’m a Lefty) earlier this season. Not sure why but I would go to the range almost every day to try to work it out.

Sometimes, I don’t like to read that much about an golf issue I’m dealing with. I just want to go the the range and “dig it out of the dirt” – just like Hogan did. Somehow that makes more sense to me now. Actually, a while back I heard an interview with Bruce Springsteen and he mentioned “all the surprises come in the doing.”

Meaning that you need to create a bit of heat, like the actual rubbing of 2 dry sticks to make a fire, to really get your body and mind moving to make discoveries and new connections. It’s different then just trying to get a concept from a book or a video. Maybe that’s old-school. I don’t give a hoot. It works for me.

Anyway, a month or so ago I received this little training device and thought the packing was pretty cool so I gnawed open the packaging and all these cool, bright-orange tees plopped out.

They were a bit odd-looking at first as they had an oblong shaped disc just below where you set the ball. I really wasn’t sure what it was supposed to do but was curious to give it a try.

So I threw them in my golf bag and headed off to the range. On the way, I perused the packaging and it was immediately apparent what the purpose of the device was. In short it:

My issue was that I was turning fine but my upper body was getting too far over and out on my left leg (again, I’m a lefty). I was still hitting it okay but never got into a nice full complete follow through position. It was hard to get my weight onto my forward foot in the downswing.

But once I started using the TeeSquare it became apparent what was going on. See, when you move of the ball (or sway) a little edge of the disc I mentioned above appears (if you don’t move – the ball covers the orange disc below) – and sure enough I was seeing more of that pesky little disc than I cared to see.

I didn’t solve the issue at that moment but I knew what was going on. It just “clicked” one day when I got on the course on the first tee. I needed to turn “inside” my rear leg (not get outside of it). I immediately smacked the most solid drive I hit in a long time and ended up in a nice, full follow through position.

Anytime you attempt a new golf move it takes time to integrate it. I’m not saying every shot thereafter was “Rory-like” but it did start me on the path to MUCH better move into the ball therefore substantially improved ball striking. I went from shooting mid 40-ish scores to shooting in the 30’s consistently now in my league.

It’s funny, I didn’t really think the TeeSquare was going to solve my golfing issue because I didn’t know what it was exactly! I DID know that my swing (and scores) was not where I knew they could (or should be).

ta teesquare The TeeSquare: Improve Balance & Stability in Your Golf Swing

Did the The TeeSquare really do all that? Heck, it’s just this tiny, little orange tee(s) with a disc on it. I’m pretty sure it did. Often, a swing flaw can be cured almost instantly (like mine was!) When I saw that I was seeing WAY too much of the disc I knew something was off. Will this happen to you? I don’t know. Maybe it will.

I think the TeeSquare is an aid well worth investing the minimal price it costs (somewhere in the range of $14.99) even if you feel you have a solid golf swing as it is always best practice to keep your fundamentals sound.

The training aid is endorsed by Tommy Armour III whom we have written about before titled, Who the Heck is Tommy Armour III?, and who knows a thing or two about striking a golf ball.

He says:

The TeeSquare Trainer provides INSTANT and easy-to-understand feedback you can quickly implement to fix your golf swing – and improve your game.

I don’t care who you are – if you put your name on a product your reputation is on the line. Take it from Mr. Armour (and me!) this is a training aid that is simple, innovative and effective. Period.

Get one here: The TeeSquare


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7 Putting Secrets You Need to Know

golfer putting 2 7 Putting Secrets You Need to Know

Being a better putter, that’s every player’s goal who really understands the game. After all, the flat stick is the one we use the most during every round played. The problem with putting is that there are more styles, stances and systems than for any other part of golf.

Just look at the range of putters available. It seems like every week another company comes out with the latest space age contraption. And of course you can get them in every length from your knees up to your chiny-chin-chin.

There’s also been a proliferation of putting coaches and training aids to help you hone the perfect stroke. Many of today’s top Tour players have coaches just for putting as this is what usually separates first place from everyone else (and allows them to eat pretty well, too!).

So what’s the secret of being a better putter? For one thing, you have to find the setup and stroke that’s right for you. It’s my belief that there is no one ‘right’ way to putt. Just look at the game’s best putters and you’ll find as many different putting styles as players.

For example, Jack Nicklaus was a great putter who had a very hunched over style. Tiger Woods, who many feel is the best putter in the game today, stands very tall. It’s sort of like finding your soul mate, there’s someone out there for everyone, you just have to find them.

Finding The Right Setup

How do you find the right setup? I’ve never come across any system that helps you determine this. I don’t think there are any shortcuts, you just have to take the time and try different styles until you find one that feels comfortable, comfortable being the key word.

Every golfer who has played much knows that you can be set over a putt and you almost know in advance it’s going in, while other times it feels like you’re holding a broomstick in your hands. For every golfer body type and mental outlook, there is a ‘best’ putting setup and stroke.

jack nicklaus putting 7 Putting Secrets You Need to Know

Remember, first and foremost you have got to be comfortable over the ball. Do what I did last winter. Find a place indoors to try different putting styles, being attentive to what feels right.

Trust your body, it probably knows more about what’s best for you than your brain does. Put at least 10 or 15 minutes every day. Slowly you’ll start to find the setup characteristics that feel the best to you.

Here are 7 putting secrets that are almost universally accepted as true today. The “secret” part is you may know these but they could be lying dormant in some dark closet along with your mold-invested golf shoes. Now’s the time to bring some light and consciousness to them!

1. Keep your Head Still

This is critical. I don’t care what kind of putter or stroke you have, if you lift your head at impact or just after you aren’t going to be a good putter. Here’s a good benchmark: on anything shorter than 4 feet, you should hear the ball fall in the cup before you look up.

2. Use the Big Muscles to Putt

This means rocking the shoulders to move the putter. The big muscles are more consistent and less prone to twitches. Keep the wrists stable through the entire stroke.

3. Make as Smooth a Stroke as Possible

Please make a stroke as smooth as possible (with your own unique tempo) and accelerate the putter head through the ball. Simple, right!

4. Keep your Grip Light (and fluffy!)

I mean really light, particularly on short putts. By doing this you let the mass of the putter head move like a pendulum which is the best way to make sure the putter strikes the ball squarely and online. If you grip tightly you are going to get the yips, no two ways about it.

5. Learn to Read Greens

You can have the best stroke in the world, but if you can’t pick the right line you aren’t going to putt well. More on this coming soon – don’t worry – we gotcha covered.

6. Putt to Your Natural Tempo

Peter Kostis made an interesting point recently when he mentioned that your putting stroke should resemble your general overall swing temp/rhythm.

He mentioned Ben Crenshaw who had a smooth, rhythmic overall full swing and also one of the smoothest most beautiful putting strokes ever. It would be odd to add a pop-like putting stroke if you had a Ben Crenshaw-like swing. Get things syncing together. Make it easy on yourself.

7. Practice – Then Practice Some More

Oh no, you’d knew I’d say that, right?! You have got to spend time on the putting green if you want to get better. Putting is all about feel and the only way to produce feel is to practice. And practice with a purpose. There are a lot of golf books and web sites that can give you a lot of excellent putting drills.

Here’s one last bonus tip that I got from Jack Nicklaus that has helped me tremendously. Once you have your line, pick out a spot a few inches ahead of the ball and make sure you putt over that. Think about it, if you’ve read the green correctly and have the right speed then the ball will go in the hole if you hit that spot.

This also helps keep your mind from ‘adjusting’ your aim during the through stroke. David Pelz has documented this all to common occurrence among pros and amateurs. If your mind is focused on something a few inches in front, it will be more of a help than a hindrance.

Hey, and if you’re putting well, you’ll be surprised at how many of your playing partners end up buying the same putter as you – see if you can get a little cut on that action!

PS: I mean golf, overall, is never an easy sport. It seems to come and go at times. But, then again, golf is not like playing bingo.


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How Kinesiology Taping is Helping Golfers

Michelle Wei taping How Kinesiology Taping is Helping Golfers
You may have seen Michelle Wie or a number of others on the PGA or LPGA Tour using that strange, brightly colored tape on their bodies. Well, what the heck is it and why are they using it?

The first thing you might notice is how weird it can look. Looks like some bored kids who might have (just for fun) used some bright-colored duct tape on one of their siblings while sleeping.

It’s called Kinesiology Taping (KT) and it’s actually been around for over 40 years.

World Class athletes are touting the benefits of kinesiology tape for its ability to accelerate healing, increase circulation and relieve muscle pain and swelling – all of which help improve endurance and overall athletic performance.

Who Invented It

A Japanese chiropractor, Dr. Kenzo Kase, originally developed both the taping method and the first elastic therapeutic tape (Kinesio Tape) back in the 1970s because he was dissatisfied with the properties of the tapes available.

Previously the tapes available allowed for a totally different paradigm. They were non-elastic and were designed to provide rigid support and prevent movement (and only worn after short periods of movement) Then, of course, they were removed to allow for circulation and movement.

He also founded Kinesio, the company behind the product, in the 1980s, and formed the Kinesio Taping Association (KTA) in 1984. By 1994 he had published 20 books on the Kinesio Taping Method.

He was looking for a natural way to relieve pain. He knew the pain sensors were located between the epidermis and the dermis (the first and second layers of your skin) so he thought if he could lift these somehow, more blood would flow to the strained or inured area.

Originally, Dr. Kenzo used the tape with those (rather portly) Sumo wrestlers. They always seemed to be injured and once they started using it, the amount of relief was nothing short of amazing.

Before hitting the modern day world of competitive sports performance, the tape was primarily used by orthopedists, acupuncturists, massage therapists and chiropractors.

How It Works

The tape can work in several ways.

1. Take Pressure Off Painful Areas – this reduces the tension through weak, strained or inflamed muscles and tendons.

2. Relax Muscles – this assists the stretch receptors in the skin which provide
feedback to influence the control of the muscle tension under the skin.

3. Promote Blood Flow and Lymphatic Drainage – when applied to the skin with stretch the tape naturally wants to recoil a bit. As a result it lifts the skin and fascia to allow blood and lymph flow which helps speed up the healing process.

4. Provide Structural Support – provide structural support for weak or injured muscles and/or joints.

Is It Really Effective?

Renee Garrison, a physical therapist with MUSC Sports Medicine, shared her thoughts of kinesio taping. Although there is some debate about the effectiveness of kinesio taping and how and when it should be used, Garrison says the concept behind the taping makes sense.

“Kinesio tape has a little stretch, and the therapist applying the tape can apply more or less as needed,” she explains. It is designed to ensure proper mechanics with sports movements by providing feedback to correct a joint’s position. Because of its elasticity, it helps to reposition a shoulder, for instance, and thus correct faulty mechanics that come with fatigue.

Garrison normally sees this method used by athletes after injuries, and it can help them play through pain.

“By encouraging proper muscle contraction and facilitating the proprioception (a joint position sense) of a knee or shoulder, it might not hurt as much. Plus it does help stimulate the lymphatic system to help decrease swelling and rid the area of lactic acid more quickly.

kinesio tape shoulder How Kinesiology Taping is Helping Golfers

Tape Properties

Kinesio tape is made of cotton over elastic fibers. It’s breathable, flexible, and mimics the skin’s elasticity.

It’s unrestrictive properties allow many athletes to continue to train during injuries. It’s designed to withstand the harsh conditions of sweat, dirt, and water and can be worn up to 3-5 days. You can even wear in the shower or while sleeping (although you might frighten your sleeping partner in the middle of the night!)

You can wear it in the shower and while sleeping so it’s providing therapeutic treatment around the clock.

Interestingly, the first colors were designed were more a beige (or skin-like) color but a schoolgirl in Japan complained to Dr. Kenzo that it looked horrible and made her feel sickly. Soon after, shocking pink and blue were introduced. Of course, now, almost every crazy, cool color and patterns are now available.

What About Those Strange Patterns?

Why those strange, spiderman-superhero-like taping patterns are you seeing on athletes?

Some of them do, indeed, look rather strange but they are specifically designed to encourage and support proper postural and movement patterns.

Previously you had to cut these patterns yourself with scissors – round the corners, add pieces, etc. but no more. Most of the big manufacturers now offer pre-cut, ready-to-apply applications for specific body parts. So just peel, apply and you’re off and running (or swinging)

How To Apply It

So can you apply it yourself or do you have to have a PT (Physical Therapist) or some sort of other specialized practitioner apply it?

I guess it sort of depends (great answer, right!) I mean if you livelihood depends of your athletic performance it might be a good (really good) idea to have a pro apply the tape – at least initially.

That being said most of the big tape producers (I’ll list them below) have videos on how to apply it by yourself. Further, the a lot of the tapes are pre-packed by body area – shin, knee, shoulder, etc. – so it’s just a matter of finding the right package, following directions on the package and/or checking out a video or 2 just to be sure.

Not Just For Athletes

Keep in mind too, that Kinesio Tape is not just for athletes. In my research I found a number of individuals swear by KT. Just regular folks like moms, gardeners, retirees, etc. who have found the tape to provide the relief and support they were looking for.

The funny thing is that some had no idea how it actually worked. They just applied and it did. But that’s the cool thing, right? who cares as long as it works! The exercise physiologists have already figured the science out.

So don’t feel like if you’re not Rory McIllroy or or LeBron or Venus Williams that this product isn’t for you. The only way you’ll know is to give it a whirl.

golf kinesio tape How Kinesiology Taping is Helping Golfers

Top Kinesiology Tape Brands

And while not an official sponsor, golf pro, Michelle Wie just recently began endorsing SpiderTech:

“This (SpiderTech) definitely helped me get through the week!”

Sponsorhips by kinesiology tape brands are also on the rise. Rocktape and PerformTex are sponsors of CrossFit, and PerformTex also is the first tape to sponsor a Nascar’s team, the Turner Motor Sports Team. Strengthtape is the official sponsor of the IRONMAN® events.

Resources

RockTape

KT Tape

StrengthTape

PerformTex

Introduction to Kinesiology Taping:

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Why Aren’t Sports Clubs Opening Their Doors to the Disabled?

clubs for disabled golfers Why Aren’t Sports Clubs Opening Their Doors to the Disabled?

According to the last census, there are 9.4 million disabled people in England (never mind the US) – that’s almost one in five of the population. In difficult economic times, simple economics might suggest sports clubs would do all they can to open up to all fans – including those with disabilities. The reality is that this simply is not happening.

As a result of recent changes to the law – and especially the Equality Act 2010, it is now illegal for service providers to treat disabled people less favourably than other customers. As part of this, sports and golf clubs are required to look at their facilities to determine what adjustments are required to achieve equality (e.g. loop hearing, audio visual descriptions, ramps, suitable toilets, etc.).

Despite the passing of the Act, disability access is still a problem across many sections of the leisure industry – as was demonstrated in a recent survey from the charity, Vitalise. On looking at 52 of Britain’s 100 most visited tourist attractions, the charity found 63% were not fully wheelchair accessible. Shameful!

Other findings included the fact 44% of sites offered no discount for disabled people and 26% of attractions failed to give accessibility information on their websites.

To some extent, catering for everyone may pose difficulties at historical sites, surely it’s a different story at 21st Century sports stadia? Not always – according to a recent BBC report on the Premier League. Since 2004, English Football’s top tier has had guidelines in place setting minimum standards for grounds in terms of provisions for disabled fans (about time!)

The report showed only eight out of 20 Premier League clubs currently provide the required number of wheelchair spaces specified under the guidelines. As part of the BBC investigation, disabled fans reported problems such as having to suffer extremely restricted views and not being able to sit with their own team’s supporters. Some clubs were also shown to have specific disabled fan ticketing policies – meaning disabled supporters were faced with restrictions that do not apply to non-disabled fans.

It seems the R & A (Royal & Ancient Club) is doing more than the PGA in the golf arena in this regard including recently at the Open Championship. Provisions were set up for wheelchair friendly stands on the 8th, 15th, 17th and 18th greens. Wheelchair-accessible toilettes were also provided and marshals were requested to assist in asking spectators to allow wheelchair users to access the front of the rope line where possible. Not totally thought out yet, but a move in the right direction.

Just how difficult is it to achieve equality of provision?

If the richest sporting organization in the country is failing disabled fans, what hope is there for clubs at grass roots level? In fact, with a little common sense, a lot can be achieved; that’s the message from the English Federation of Disability Sport in their recent guide, Access for All: Opening Doors.

The guide will make welcome reading to sports club trustees who want to make changes but are put off by ‘health and safety’ fears (e.g. fire risks) and the assumption that the cost is going to be prohibitive. As the guide puts it, “much can usually be achieved with either modest physical adjustment and/or the introduction of appropriate management practices”.

The providers of sports insurance solutions can also perform a very useful role in helping clubs become more accessible. This is especially the case when it comes to risk management. The approach taken by specialists in this area is not to see disabled people as a ‘problem’ to be dealt with.

Rather, it is often about helping clubs work out the most effective ways of making sure everyone who wants to get involved with the club is able to do so.

Bluefin Sport is one of the UK’s leading independent insurance brokers, providing specialist insurance and risk management services to individuals and businesses.

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A Good Teacher For My Horse

mr ed A Good Teacher For My Horse

If I had a horse, I’d trade him for a good golf teacher. But only if the price of gas goes below $3.00 again.

So we’ve decided that there are at least a few good teachers out there. I’ll posit that most are where the serious money is – teaching the pros and opening up golf schools. That way they can stay away from us, the pitiful golfing public.

I mean, they tell you to do one simple thing, give you two weeks to practice and you still can’t do it when you return. That’s got to wear you down. You tell a pro to practice something, most of them are going to do it at least 6 days a week since it puts the food on the table.

And why won’t we practice? Because you have to practice a lot to get a little bit better. And then, your likely to lose it anyway if you take just a week off. Or maybe you’ll lose it anyway, even if you don’t take time off.

Two weeks ago I played a good round of golf for me. Then I took a week off and went to the range this Monday. I felt like I’d never swung a club before. I swear some joker changed all my clubs for brooms.

How come pros can wake up one day and “all of a sudden” lose it. And how come you can’t make a simple change and be back on track for Saturday and Sunday

And if a PGA pro can’t do this, then what the heck am I beating my head against the wall for? How can I, average Joe or Joyce, expect to ever improve?

Conclusion? Simple. It’s just golf.


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