Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Get Golf Equipment Your Own Size

Over the weekend I played golf with my 13-year old son. We brought a friend of his along to play with us on a near by executive golf course. He had his own golf equipment that looked to be an old set of his dads. After the first few holes, my son's friend was struggling and was getting frustrated.

I took a closer look at his clubs and realized they were probably handed down from his dad. I immediately knew that the clubs were not right for him. I compared his 7-iron to mine and his was a 1/2 inch longer than mine. The poor kid was playing with clubs that were too long, too stiff, and too heavy.

I tried giving some tips to help him swing the club better, which is something I normally don't do on the golf course. I told him to choke up on the golf club and to widen his stance, but it didn't seem to help. I felt bad for him because he had a descent swing, but the clubs were holding him back.

The clubs were definitely not the right size for him and after the round I suggested he ask his parents to see if they could get some clubs to that were his own size. This is probably the biggest problem I see with kid golfers. They're given some old clubs their dad had and they either play with them as they are or have them cut down, which is even worse. By cutting down the shaft at the butt you end up changing the flex to be more stiff, which ends up hurting the child even more.

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Golf Schools Are Your Best Bet

If you want to make a BIG LEAP in improving your golf game then a golf school is your best bet. A golf school is 100% dedicated to making you a better golfer. The majority of the golf schools can and will teach you to become a better golfer.

The 5 major features a good golf school should be offering are:

1. No more than a 4 to 1 teaching ratio with 2 to 1 being something to look for and 1 to 1 being ideal, but will be a lot more pricey.
2. The golf school's pros should be seasoned teaching professionals that are highly qualified. Make sure at least 2 of the teaching professionals are recognized in the golf world/community.
3. The golf school should have accommodations included in the price with the accommodations on or very near the golf course where you're taught.
4. The golf school should provide a specific lesson plan for your swing. They should tailor it specifically for you and not follow a caned plan.
5. The golf school should provide unlimited follow up via email or phone. I think this is probably the most important because it shows how genuine they are in improving your game.

You should also think of the golf school as a vacation so the accommodations and surrounding area should fit your lifestyle off the course. Also, look for golf schools that provide unlimited golf after your teaching session is over. Try to find some testimonials on their website to see what some of their previous students felt about the course.

The Internet is a great place to perform some due-diligence on the golf schools available in your area that meet your needs. Check the websites for the golf schools lessons and tips section to see if they offer any free advice. Here are some keywords you can use when performing your golf school search:

1. Arizona Golf Schools
2. Florida Golf Schools
3. California Golf Schools
4. Myrtle Beach Golf Schools
5. Golf Vacation Schools

Price will obviously play a big part in your golf school of choice so be sure to set a budget before you start looking for a golf school. There's a lot of competition between the golf schools for your attendance so expect them to cater to you when you call and inquire about their program. Don't be afraid to ask if they have any specials or if they provide seasonal discounts. If the golf school really wants your business then they'll be willing to accommodate your golfing needs.

A good source of information for researching golf schools is at the US Golf Schools web site.

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Are Golf Schools Worth The Money?

Do you think Golf Schools are worth the money? I did some research on some golf schools to see if it would be worth it for me to go. In my research I wanted to find some testimonials of what golfers have been saying about them. What I found out was that there are over 133 Golf Schools in America.

The Golf Schools I looked at had to have locations close to Southern California because I didn't want to pay for airfare. I looked at quite a few of 133 Golf Schools and ended picking the Golf Made Simple Golf School. I looked at the 3-day courses because they were more in my price range.

Golf Made Simple Golf School is located at the Barona Ranch Resort & Casino located San Diego, California, which is only 90 minutes away so that was a good thing. They're 3-day course runs $1,488 for a Single and $1,257 per person for a Double. The golf school is at the Barona Valley Golf Course, which is considered one of the top public courses in California. While $1500 may seem like a lot, the 3-day class at the Golf Made Simple Golf School offers quite a bit... and when compared to the other golf schools it's a good value. Oh, and the testimonials the golfers said about the golf school were very good too!!

A good source of information for researching golf schools is at the US Golf Schools web site.

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Odyssey Putter vs Scotty Cameron Putter

I thought I'd post my two cents worth on the Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball putter and the Titleist Scotty Cameron Studio Stainless Newport 2.5 because I've played with both and they're two very popular putters. I've played longer with the Scotty Cameron Stainless than I've played with the Odyssey 2-Ball. So if you're in the market or you've been contemplating either one then I hope this review or comparison helps you out.

Now they are pretty different types of putters with the Scotty Cameron Newport being more like a blade putter and the Odyssey 2-Ball being more like a mallet putter. They both have great feel and craftsmanship with the Scotty Cameron costing about $100 more retail than the Odyssey. The Scott Cameron Newport is the current putter that I play with and actually prefer over the Odyssey 2-Ball. I've cut both putters down to 33" to fit my stroke. I've added lead tape to the shaft underneath the grip on the Scotty Cameron to provide a little counter-balance weighting and also to fill out the grip.

The Scott Cameron Studio Stainless Newport 2.5 in my opinion has a great feel when struck with a Titleist Pro V1 or comparable golf ball. I've read a few reviews where the golfer said they didn't like the feel, but I have to wonder what kind of ball they were playing with. While you may think it shouldn't matter which ball you play... it actually does and you should test drive both putters with the brand of golf ball you usually play so you do know what both feel like. The Stainless Newport 2.5 has a lighter putter head than the Odyssey 2-Ball, but with the added weight I putt on the Scotty Cameron putter it allows me to make a really even and fluid stroke. I feel like I'm better able to take the putter straight back and straight through in one piece with the added weight.

The Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball is a mallet type of putter, which I've never been really fond of until I tried this one. The weight of the head made it easy to stroke through the ball and get a good roll on the ball. It took some getting use to because I had never played with a mallet type putter, but I managed to put fairly well with it. The 2-ball alignment really does help with your alignment, and if you're struggling with your alignment then the Odyssey 2-Ball may be the putter for you

As I stated earlier I choose the Scotty Cameron Studio Stainless Newport 2.5 over the Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball putter. They're both quality putters, but I like the overall feel and appearance of the Scotty Cameron putter. I feel that you can't go wrong with either putter and it's really a matter of taste. You can get both of these at a really reduced price on eBay, which is where I got my Scotty Cameron in excellent condition. If you're interested in some feedback on the Odyssey Tri-Ball putter then see my previous post Callaway Odyssey White Steel Tri-Ball SRT.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Golfsmith $50 Off Coupon

Golfsmith golf superstore is offering a $50 coupon for the Memorial Day weekend through May 29th on a majority of their golf equipment. The coupon is good for purchases over $200 and it can be used online, in-store, or over the phone. To redeem the $50 golf coupon enter FIFTYOFF3 during your online checkout. If you purchase golf equipment online and it's over $75 dollars then you also get free shipping.

Golfsmith and their golf line of products have really come a long with and they've done a great job of marketing. I purchased my current driver the TaylorMade TP R7 Quad from Golfsmith and got a great deal on it. See my previous post on the
TaylorMade TP R7 Quad.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Golf Shot Around The World

I came across this story by accident and it intrigued me to know what it meant by a golf shot around the world. It's a publicity campaign to bring awareness to this unique golf equipment manufacturer called Element 21 Golf.

E21 holds exclusive rights to manufacture golf products using Scandium, which is the 21st element in the periodic table. They've created proprietary E21 Alloys through a sophisticated multi-technology production facility. They manufactures shafts, drivers, and other clubs that have significant improvements in distance, accuracy, and feel over existing golf products. They've been able to get the attention of well known professional golfers and they've switched to or began testing E21's Eagle One shafts.

The alloys of E21 are 55% lighter and offer 25% strength to weight advantage over existing Titanium alloys that are currently used in golf industry. In E21 Alloys have advanced dynamics and the material economics that offer a performance-enhanced alternative to making driver clubs with Titanium. Of the 4 billion dollar golf equipment industry, drivers make of the biggest segment of which E21 hopes to penetrate.

E21 recently announced its "Golf Shot Around the World Mission" in celebration of the 35th anniversary of Alan B. Shepard Jr.'s historic Apollo 14 Mission. Just about every single record for distance in the golf industry will be shattered this fall when an astronaut will hit a golf ball into orbit around the earth -- using an E21 golf club. It is only natural that this event takes place on the International Space Station, considering that E21 Alloys are also used on the Space Station in high strength, fatigue resistant applications.

How do you go about smashing the world long drive record? Try hitting a golf ball in zero gravity and crushing the long drive record by approximately 3 billion KM. This is what Russian Cosmonaut will attempt to do from the International Space Station with a special gold-plated golf ball and a 6 Iron. Element 21 CEO and founder Dr. Nataliya Hearn confirmed they are paying the Russian Space Agency for this opportunity to raise awareness of their clubs but it is also a great way to celebrate the 35th anniversary of astronaut Alan Shepard Jr. when he hit a golf ball on the moon in 1971 while traveling on Apollo 14.

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

TaylorMade R7 425 vs Original R7 Quad

As a current TaylorMade R7 Quad owner, it's hard to conceive that the new TaylorMade R7 425 Quad could be that much better than the original R7 Quad. We'll I did some research and I was pleasantly surprised that TaylorMade was able to squeeze more out of the new R7 425 Quad. While this isn't quite a TaylorMade R7 425 review, it does tell you how the 425 R7 driver works.

Here are the nitty-gritty details between the R7 425 Quad vs. R7 Quad:

- 17% more movable weight- 7% increase in MOI
- 45% larger span of horizontal CG movement
- 30% broader range of lateral shot adjustment
- 13% increase in backspin-rate adjustment
- 9.3% larger address footprint
- 25% thinner clubhead walls / 40% thinner than the average cast metalwood
- 33% lower CG location relative to the center of the clubface

All of the above means that the R7 425 TaylorMade Driver promotes a wider change in shot-shape and trajectory; is more forgiving; and visually encourages increased confidence.

When comparing the R7 Quad to the new Taylor Made R7 425 Quad the new one is engineered to deliver more of a draw when the cartridges are positioned for a draw. The R7 425 Quad also produces a higher launch angle to promote a higher flight when the cartridges are positioned for a high-neutral trajectory.

Another big difference between the R7 425 Quad and the original R7 Quad is the center of gravity location relative to the center of the club face. The new 425 has a CG position 3.3 mm below the center of the face compared to 2.5 mm for the original R7 Quad, which gives the R7 425 Quad more clubface area above the CG. This in turn activates the vertical-gear effect, which occurs when the top of the club face moves back and away from the target at impact. This produces a higher launch angle and a lower spin-rate, which is ideal launch conditions for added distance.

The R7 425 Quad also incorporates Taylor Made's third generation Inverted Cone Technology (ICT). The R7 425 also has TaylorMade's new RE*AX Technology shaft, which prevents ovaling. Ovaling causes the shaft to load and release energy inconsistently, which is delivered to the club face and then to the ball. The R7 425 Quad is an amazing club, which also comes in a TP model that's being used by a lot of the pros.

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

53 Degree Sand Wedge Over The House

Now I'm sure you're wondering what in the heck do I mean by saying hitting a sand wedge over the house. Is it a new analogy for hitting a wedge shot? Nope it means exactly what it says... hitting a sand wedge over a house. More specifically an old 53 degree Ram sand wedge.

When I was around 13 years old me and my brother used to do all kinds of crazy stuff. You know how kids at this age can be (see previous post about a Golf Ball Rubber Band). Well one day we were bored and my brother dared me to hit a golf ball from our front lawn over the house across the street. Behind this house was our grade school field so if I cleared the house then I'd be safe from hitting and breaking anything. I figured it would take a 100-yard sand wedge to safely clear everything.

Well of course I took the dare. When you get dared by your younger brother you pretty much have to do it because he looks up to you and you want to show him how tough & brave you are. Now it makes sense why my 13-year old son does the things he does :-)

I went into the garage and took out a couple golf balls from our shag ball bucket (see previous post
Golf Balls... The Other White Gold). I dropped them down on the lawn and took a few practice swings with the Ram sand wedge to warm up. I was pretty nervous because the house across the street had a huge glass window in front. I was thinking that if I catch this sand wedge a little thin then I'll be doing some big time in my room... probably for the rest of the summer... and I'm sure my dad wouldn't of hesitated to bring out the belt either.

Anyway, I set up behind the ball and started to get even more nervous. I had to hide my nervousness from my brother because I couldn't let him see his big brother getting scared. If you think hitting over a lake on your approach shot is nervous time... try this out on your nerves. I took sand wedge back and came back through hitting the ball. It was a pure shot and it cleared the house with no problem. I know you were hoping to hear that I drilled it right into the window. It probably would have made for a better ending, but not this time.

We both started to laugh and yell... and my brother wanted me to hit another one. I told him no and made up some lame excuse why I couldn't. Have you ever hit a sand wedge or other golf club over a house? Have done some other crazy things with a golf ball and golf club?

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Up And Down From 100-Yards

When I was playing high school golf I used to be able to get up and down from 100-yards 8 times out of 10 with my sand wedge. My sand wedge was probably my best club in my bag. I was so good with my sand wedge because of the way I used to practice with it.

During the summer and weekends I would take hundreds of used golf balls to my high school that me and my brother got from raking the lakes at the golf course (see previous post on golf balls). I had close to 300 golf balls in a plastic create that I would carry into the back of the school where there was a big stretch of grass. I dumped out the golf balls and began hitting away. I started with my sand wedge and worked up to my driver.

After I finished hitting all of them I rolled one of the round heavy metal school trash cans out into the middle of the grass where I was hitting. I did this because I wanted to have something to hit all of the golf balls at. For the most part I used my sand wedge to hit towards the trash can. After doing this routine for several days I became deadly from 100-yards in.

I was getting so accurate at hitting my sand wedge that I was hitting the ball into the trash can with regularity. I played all kinds of wedge shots like high flop shots, knock downs, etc... from all different yardages. I was becoming extremely good with my sand wedge.

That year I played some of my best golf on the high school team mainly because I could get up and down from 100 yards in on a regular basis. My short game was phenominal and it dropped at least 3 shots from my handicap.

I know if you were to hit a couple of buckets with just your sand wedge at the range you'd probably get bored, but you'd become deadly from 100-yards in... and probably drop 3 or more strokes from your handicap. Give it a shot... what do you have to loose... a couple of strokes? :-)

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Does TaylorMade And Golf Balls Mix?

I've been hearing a lot about TaylorMade entering the premium golf ball market under their Tour Preferred brand. When I think of TaylorMade I think of drivers not golf balls, but who knows they just might pull it off.

The TaylorMade TP Red and TP Black are the new balls and they're both being played on all the major tours. I've heard that both Sergio Garcia and Hale Irwin are currently playing these balls. I've also heard mixed reviews with a lot of comparisons to Titleist's Pro V1, but I think everyone compares a new ball to the Pro V1.

I read one review where a guy preferred the TaylorMade TP over the Pro V1 for both distance and feel.

TaylorMade is putting a lot behind these balls and they've made some pretty strong claims like:

“Our goal was to build two tour-quality, urethane-covered balls that generate faster ball speed for more distance than any other ball in the category, while also offering low spin off the driver and high spin off the irons,” said Benoit Vincent, chief technical officer for TaylorMade. “From that came the creation of TP Red and TP Black, which we believe delivers a better performance package than any other golf ball of its kind.”

These are three-piece balls that employ an NdV4 core, multi-blend ionomer mantle and ultra-thin thermoset urethane cover. TaylorMade promises both balls offer accelerated speed, with high launch and low spin off the driver plus high spin around greens.

The main difference is that the TP Red is geared to produce a low launch off irons, while the TP Black is geared to produce a high launch off fairway woods, hybrids and irons. Players seeking more distance in the irons or iron replacements would probably first take a look at the TP Black; golfers seeking more control in their irons would probably first consider the TP Red.

They both go for an MSRP of $55 per dozen and are supposed to be available May 19. Currently GolfSmith is taking orders for these at $42.99 for a May 24th ship date.

If you've played with these balls I'd like to hear your comments.

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Playing St. Andrews Right In Our Backyard

Several years ago I had the opportunity to play the Royal Links Golf Course in Las Vegas, Nevada. I had heard a lot about the course with the holes representing some of the classic holes of the British Open like The Road Hole from St. Andrews, and The Postage Stamp from Troon.

The club house is a replica of a castle and adds a lot to the atmosphere. Some of the other courses represented on the course are Carnoustie, Turnberry, Royal Liverpool, Prestwick, Royal Lytham, Muirfield and Royal Birkdale. There are many monuments placed around the course highlighting historical moments in British Open history. There's also a wall near the putting green honoring the American champions of the British Open.

My friend and I were in awe of the atmosphere and couldn't wait to play. As part of the package you get a caddie for the first few holes and if you want him for longer you have to pay him. Our caddie had an Irish accent and with the atmosphere and his accent we really felt like we were in Scotland.

The wind was calm and I started off on fire. I birdied 3 of the first 4 holes and I think the caddie was a little shocked. Well I came back down to earth after the 6th hole and finished even for the front 9. By the 8th hole the wind really started to blow. It was gusting around 25 mph and it made the course extremely difficult. So with the atmosphere, caddie, and the wind we got a real good taste of what it's like playing on a links course in Scotland.

The holes had rough like you see in the British Open that measured several feet in height and very thick. With the wind blowing we found ourselves in the rough quite a bit on the back nine as well as finding those nasty little pot bunkers. We tried to keep the ball low and out of the wind, but the fairways and greens were so hard that the balls had a mind of their own... and we were at the mercy of the wind.

To give you an idea on the wind... I hit driver 3-wood on a 380-yard par 4 and was just short. On 18, which was a 515-yard par 5, I hit driver 9-iron and just missed an eagle putt.

Overall I had a great time and it was an awesome experience. If you're a golfer and you've dreamed of going to Scotland to play, but just don't have the time or money then The Royal Links is a must play. The rates are kind of high during the peak season, but during the off season it's about $125. I'd suggest getting a package deal, which are plentiful in the Las Vegas area. Also check the web for some great deals.

I also forgot to say that the course was in immaculate condition when I played in July.

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Long Putts Are A Breeze

I know for most of us long putts are not a breeze, but there's a drill you can do to make those long putts a breeze.

The key to being good at long putts is knowing the speed/distance to hit the putt. Probably 95 times out of a hundred the average golfer isn't going to make a putt from 30+ feet so to improve on our speed/distance is all we have to insure no 3-putts.

Now to consistently hit good speed/distance you need to be able to hit the putt on the center of the putter face. Hitting a putt outside of the center on the heel or toe will make the putt fall well short on those long putts.

So here's what you can do to help in hitting those long putts solid on the center of the putter face. Take two bandaids and wrap them around the putter face on the inside and outside of the centerline leaving a 1/2 inch gap between the bandaids. Make sure the soft cushy part of the bandaid is on the face of the putter. Now take a few golf balls from the 30+ foot range and start stoking them towards the hole. If you hit the putt off the bandaid you'll know it immediately because of the sound, but more importantly it will fall well short of the hole.

The reason why the bandaids are important is so you know when you miss hit a putt because it will give you immediate feedback. When you're putting from distance on the putting green you may not know that the reason a ball fell 8 feet short was because it hit on outside the centerline area.

Perform this drill when ever you're struggling with your long putts... and when 3-putts from 30+ feet are becoming the norm instead of the exception.
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Friday, May 12, 2006

When A Birdie Is An Eagle

About 10 years ago I was playing in a 2-man scramble tournament with my brother in Palm Springs, CA. I believe it was the first annual Knoll Ball Charity Golf Tournament for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, Southern California.

It was a shot-gun start and me and my brother started off on the 10th hole. We made par on the first hole and the second hole was a 390 yard par 4 . I looked at the card and then I looked down the fairway and it looked longer than what the card said it was. I got up there and ripped a drive down the middle.

We decided to use my ball and when we got up to it I still had about 220 yards to the green. I couldn't believe I was still this far out because I typically hit my drives between 270 and 300 yards. I thought the air in the desert was light and supposed to make the ball travel farther.

Anyway I pulled out my 5-wood and hit it perfect. It had the flag stick covered and I knew it was going to be close for a birdie. Sure enough when we got up there I was about 10 feet away. I let my brother go first to get the line of the putt. I stepped up and drained it.

We walked back to the cart and I started to write down the score and realized that we had been writing down the scores on the front nine. I turned the card over and looked at the 11th hole and it was a 510 yard par 5... and I realized that I just eagled that last hole with all 3 of my own shots.

We went on to win the tournament that day and came away with some nice golf equipment for the win.

Has this ever happened to you?
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Thursday, May 11, 2006

My Double Eagle (Or Albatross)

Have you every had a double eagle while playing golf? Have you ever witnessed a double eagle?

About 5 years ago I was playing in a 2-man scramble tournament with a buddy of mine at Los Coyotes Country Club in Buena Park, CA. We came up to a short par 4 of about 330-yards with an elevated tee. I let my partner hit first to see if I should give it a go and sure enough he hit it in the middle of the fairway.

The wind was playing slightly from right to left and I play a natural draw so I had start the ball about 10-yards right of the green. I took back the club nice and slow and put a perfect swing on the ball. It took off exactly where I was aiming and with the wind and slight draw I had on the ball it started taking shape to be right on target. It seemed like the ball hung up in the air forever. As it was getting closer to the green I could tell it was going to be close... really close.

It landed and practically stuck right in the green and started rolling towards the hole. I felt like my heart was going to pound out my chest. The ball reached the hole and then it lipped out a few inches away. I couldn't believe it lipped out... I thought I had pulled off the impossible. I had mixed emotions about the shot because on one hand I was millimeters from pulling off the ultimate shot in golf and on the other hand I had a tap in eagle putt.

We didn't win the tournament that day, but that one shot I still vividly remember as if it happened yesterday... and the only thing I remember from that day.

I know the post says "My Double Eagle", but this is as close to one that I've come so I consider it "My Double Eagle".

Do you have any double eagle or almost double eagle stories to share?
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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

500 Golf Balls In The School Pool

I know you're probably wondering what in the heck does 500 golf balls have to do with a pool. Well a year after I graduated from Edison High School in Huntington Beach, CA my brother was graduating. As a senior everyone tries to think of something unique to do as a senior prank.

If you've been following my posts you know that me and my brother used to rake golf balls from the lakes at golf courses at night. We did this to make a little extra money by selling them back to the golfers. Over the years we had accumulated quite a few cut-up golf balls that were only good for shag balls. We probably had close to 750 of these shag golf balls in our garage.

Well my brother decided as a senior prank that the night before graduation he would take about 500 of these shag balls and dump them into the 12-foot deep diving pool. Boy did the faculty personnel get upset with that prank. I remember they threatened to not graduate the person or persons responsible for this unless they came forward. They basically pulled out the bluff card because there was no way they were going to find out because my brother pulled this off by himself so no one knew about it... not even me until a few days later when he told me.

I can't imagine how much of a pain that was to clean all of those golf balls from the pool. I wonder if it clogged any of the filters. Anyway, I thought it was pretty damn funny because that following weekend I went back to the high school to take a peek at the pool... and the golf balls were all over the bottom. There even some of those old-school orange hi-visibility golf balls that stuck out like a sore thumb.

Do you have any unique high school pranks to share?
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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

John Daly Looses $60 Million In Gambling

John Daly's book titled "John Daly: My Life In and Out of the Rough" was released yesterday (5/8). Daly states in his book that he has lost between $50 million to $60 million in gambling since 1992... and over that time he's been married 4 times with alcohol problems. I've always liked John Daly because he's always represented the underdog. It's amazing that he's lost that much money because I didn't think he made that much during his carrier, but I'm sure that includes endorsements.

Here's an article from The Charlotte Observer by Ron Green Jr.

John Daly said his conversation Monday with PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem about the gambling revelations in his new book was 'positive' and the commissioner suggested the two-time major champion seek counseling.

On the practice range Tuesday at the Quail Hollow Club, Daly said he doesn't plan to undergo counseling for a gambling habit that, in his estimation, has cost him between $50 million and $60 million since 1992. Daly said he estimates he won $20 million to $25 million gambling.

The enormous gambling losses are detailed in 'John Daly: My Life In and Out of the Rough,' to be released Monday by Harper Collins. They are just part of the story Daly tells about his often-wild life.

'It's the truth about my life,' Daly said. 'I'm not going to sidestep anything.'

Since Daly shocked golf by winning the 1991 PGA Championship as a virtual unknown, his life has been a turbulent tale.

Daly has been married four times and battled alcohol problems along with his gambling troubles, all of which he details.

Daly said the book was edited eight times, usually toning down the coarse language, so he could give the publisher the product it wanted without doing too much damage to the PGA Tour.
'There's a lot of cussing in the book but we toned it down as much as we could,' Daly said.

Finchem told Daly it made him look unprofessional.

'My life is unbecoming of a professional,' Daly said. But 'it's hard to say it in anybody else's words.'

Daly said he decided several years ago he wanted to write the book before his 40th birthday. He turned 40 Friday.

'It brings back memories of the stupid stuff I've done and of the good stuff I've done,' said Daly.

'It's honest. It was fun to do. A lot of stuff in there was tough to talk about but it felt good to do it.'

Near the end of the book, Daly tells of losing to Tiger Woods in a sudden-death playoff last fall in a World Golf Championship event in San Francisco.

After winning $750,000, Daly went to Las Vegas where he lost $1.65 million in less than six hours, playing a $5,000 slot machine.

'Twenty pulls is a hundred grand,' Daly said. 'The next thing you know, 600 grand is gone.'

Daly said he had reduced his gambling in recent years before his night in Las Vegas last fall. It has not happened since, Daly said.

'It's not like I'm dying to gamble,' said Daly, who admits he hasn't given up gambling completely.

In talking with Finchem, Daly said the commissioner expressed his concern about the gambling.

Daly said he asked Finchem how he felt about the book and the commissioner said, 'I'm borderline about it.'

On Sunday, Daly will be featured on CBS magazine show '60 Minutes,' where he'll talk about the story he tells in his book.

'Will I lose some fans?' Daly said. 'I hope not. I might gain some.'
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Monday, May 08, 2006

Golf Balls Love The Warmth

I learned an interesting fact about golf balls the other day that all golfers should be aware of.

It takes about 8 to 10 hours for a golf ball to be completely affected by the weather/temperature. So it's important to keep your golf balls in a warm and controlled temperature environment like your house.

Keeping them in your house before you go to the golf course will give you an edge on those cold golf days. I know we've all played in the cold and the feeling of miss-hitting that cold hard golf ball is something we all dread, but if you keep your golf balls warm before you play then that miss-hit won't feel as bad.

Also, when you're putting the ball it will feel more natural coming off the putter face instead of feeling like a piece of granite. This is especially true for the already hard two-piece balls like the extra distance Top-flite type of golf balls.

So just remember to keep those balls in a warm place and not in the trunk of your car overnight. You'll thank me the next time you're playing on a cold day!
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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Warm-up To Play Your Best Golf

Do you warm-up before you play golf? More importantly do you warm-up correctly?

In all sports, it is essential that you warm up properly to attain the best performance. If you go to any professional or even amateur sporting event, you will see competing athletes doing pre-game warm-ups. Golfers, especially those in the professional level, are not different from them. When tour professionals are about to begin their first tee, they would have made full warm-ups to be able to make their best swings.

However, most amateurs have their "warm-ups" done by racing from their autos to the golf shop and check in, then dashing to their first tee, in just about five minutes. Most of the time, this is followed by an unsteady and inconsistent play for the first holes, ending up with another lackluster golf round. The result: Disappointing golf scores.

Here are some tips to improve your golf score:

1. First, go to the golf course as early as possible. You need time in taking care of your matters in the golf shop, in using the restroom, changing clothes and shoes, among others. It is crucial that you do not feel pressured or rushed, allowing you to get warmed up at a relaxed pace. Remember that your warm-up time sets your mood and tempo throughout the day, so just relax and move slowly. A minimum of an hour or two before you begin hitting your first tee would probably help you get a nice and relaxed warm-up.

2. Start your warm-up routine on the putting green. By starting your warm-up on the putting green, you will be ready for the speed of the greens. More importantly, you will start up your day with a nice, deliberate, and smooth tempo.

3. Spend about 10 minutes or so trying to hit the chips around the green using a tee as your target. First test the greens' firmness to see how much or less the golf ball will roll. In general, the ball tends to move more on hard greens than the soft greens. In addition, there are various kinds of rough which make the ball move differently when it touches the green. Spending some time around the green helps you visualize some shots on the green during your round, and also, the spots where you are landing the golf ball on the putting surface.

4. Next spend about 20 minutes on the golf range. Make sure you properly stretch before hitting any golf balls. You want to start hitting half-wedge shots and progress up to your driver hitting 3 or 4 balls with each club. I personally start off with my sand-wedge, 9-iron, 7-iron, 5-iron, 3-iron, 3-wood, and then my driver, which turns out to be about 30 golf balls. Remember the reason for hitting golf balls is to get your body warmed up. You're not there to practice your golf swing so don't get a large bucket and pound out 100 golf balls before you play.

5. Next go back to the putting green and putt for 5 to 10 minutes. Take 3 balls and from 3 feet and hit them until you make 3 putts in a row. Repeat this from 6 feet and then from 10 feet. Don't worry if you don't make it through all the distances in the 10 minutes because the importance is getting your confidencence up on making putts.

Remember: If you do not get enough warm-up, you should not expect to have an optimal performance, and consequently, a good golf score. So do yourself a favor and make the warm-up a regular part of your golf game to give yourself the best possible outcome at the end of the day.
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Saturday, May 06, 2006

In Search Of Golf Equipment

Getting the right golf equipment to play the game of golf can be daunting for someone new to the game because of all the choices. You just need to be pointed in the right direction with a few tips and it's really pretty easy.

Here are some tips to get your started on buying golf gear:

1. The first thing you must do is determine your budget. How much are you willing to spend on a complete set of golf clubs. When I mean a complete set of golf clubs I'm referring to the irons, woods, putter, and bag. It's important to set a limit on what you want to spend because a complete set can cost from $150 to over $2000.

2. The next thing you need to determine is how often you'll be playing golf. If you're just starting out to see if you like golf then you'll probably want to get the least expensive set that does the job with no emphasis on brand names. A lot of the sports shops carry complete golf sets and they often have great sales on them. I know Costco even carries a nice set by Jack Nicklaus that's around $200. This is a great price for a complete set and it can definitely be used for many years.

3. If $200 to $300 is still out of your range then I would look into used or second hand golf sets. Pretty much all golf shops carry second hand golf equipment and you can get some really good deals on them. The majority of the time you're not going to find a used complete golf set so you'll have to purchase the irons, woods, putter, and bag separately. Later on if you decide you want to get more serious in golf then you can usually trade your existing clubs in and use the money to purchase a brand new set.

4. Now when it comes to determining one brand from the other it's really not something a beginner should worry about. Don't be pressured by a salesman if he's trying to push a brand name set on you. When you're just starting out it really doesn't matter what the brand is. If you're interested in brand name sets then the salesman should be able to provide you with information describing the difference between the brands.

5. I suggest looking through the Saturday or Sunday newspaper for sporting good ads and look for complete golf sets. Golf specialty stores are also a good place to get pricing on sets. I'd also search the Internet because there are hundreds of golf sites offering complete golf sets. EBay is an excellent place to get golf equipment, which includes complete golf sets. I've purchased and sold a lot of golf equipment through eBay and I've been very pleased with the quality. Craigslist.org is also another place you can look for used clubs that are local to you.

6. As a last suggestion I'd ask some of your friends if they have any old sets they'd be willing to sell you, which often time they'll give you an extremely good deal. If they don't have any then they may have a friend who does so there's no harm in asking.

Good luck on your search and if you need any additional help place a comment for this post.
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Friday, May 05, 2006

Golfer Killed In Golf Cart (Public Service Announcement)

This is somewhat of a Public Service Announcement so it's very much worth reading if you're a golfer.

Several years ago a golf buddy of mine told me of a friend of his that was killed while riding in his golf cart. It was an extremely freakish accident, but as you'll read on it could happen to anyone riding a golf cart.

If you've driven a golf cart then you're aware of the roped off sections of the golf course to keep golf carts out. You typically see these areas along side the cart paths to keep the carts from driving onto the fairway. You also so these ropes about 30 yards in front of the green to keep the golf carts out. You have all different kinds of objects supporting the rope to stay up like PVC piping, metal stakes, etc...

Now if you're like me there have been times where I needed to cross over the roped off area with my golf cart. Sometimes I'll get out and lay down one of the supports for the rope so that the cart can ride over it. There have been other times, while in the cart, I've taken a club and held down the rope while driving over it. In both of these scenarios it can be extremely dangerous.

My friend told me that his buddy drove over the rope of a roped off area on the golf course, but as he drove over it the rope got pulled up into the wheel-well and around the axle. He didn't know this and kept riding on while the rope got tighter and tighter. When all of the sudden one of the metal stakes holding the rope pulled out of the ground... and like a sling-shot the stake came flying at the golf cart and struck him in the head killing him instantly.

While this was the first I heard of someone getting killed like this, I see guys in golf carts do this all the time and I'm surprised there aren't more injuries or deaths because of it. I have noticed that more and more golf courses have been using PVC piping for the roped off areas, which will definitely help reduce the potential for injury or death.

So the next time you're riding a golf cart be extremely careful and aware of these ropes getting caught in the wheel-well.

Do you have any freakish golf stories to share?

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Duck, A Whirling 5-Iron

Have you ever been on the golf course or range and have the head of your golf club fly off?

It has happened to me several times and it's a very strange feeling. I remember the first time was when I was playing a match in high school. I was playing on the par 3 eight hole at Seacliff Country Club in Huntington Beach, CA. I hit a pure 5-iron, but on the follow-through the head flew off and started to chase the ball. The head went about 50-yards, but the ball landed on the green about 20 feet from the pin.

Everyone in the group for a moment was startled because as the head was flying it was making a weird whirling sound. I think at first they didn't know what it was, but as soon as they did they started to laugh. I had to laugh with them because there was really nothing I could do about it.

I ended up birding the hole and winning my match that day.

Has this every happened to you?
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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A 100-Mile Long Golf Ball Rubber Band

When I was about 11 years old me and my brother were always into something. One day we decided we wanted to know what the inside of a golf ball looked like. We had heard all of these stories about the core of a golf ball containing some toxic liquid and that made us even more curious.

So we took a Titleist golf ball and put it into a vice and started to saw the cover with a hacksaw. We rotated the golf ball as we cut the cover, but we cut too deep and the ball started to make this crackling sound and it looked like stuff was trying to crawl out of it. We both jumped back and waited for it to stop and it did after about 10 seconds. We got closer and noticed it looked like a million rubber bands were inside the golf ball. We realized that the golf ball was wound with one gigantic rubber band.

We got another Titleist golf ball out and this time we were very careful not to cut through the rubber band. We peeled off the white cover and saw the wound golf ball. We started to unravel the rubber band from the golf ball and it seemed like it went for ever. As a kid if you asked me how long it was I probably would have said something like a 100 miles.

Now you can only imagine what a 10 and 11 year old boy could do with something like this. One particular stunt we pulled was to take the rubber band and wrap it around the light post from one side of the street to the other. We had created a rubber band barricade that was invisible because we did this at night. We hid behind the pushes and waited for a car to go through it.

And this is when things got really interesting. A guy in a Pontiac Trans-Am was coming and he went through it and immediately stopped after it tore off his car antenna. We all started to run and he put his car in reverse... and the chase was on. We ran down this small alleyway that lead to the school. He recklessly chased us down the alleyway, but it was a dead end for him because it was fenced off and only room for pedestrians to go through.

We all laughed and stayed at the school for a little bit until we thought things were safe... and that's when we saw a car at the far end of the school driving recklessly in the parking lot. The car then made it's way on to the blacktop and then on to the field. It was the guy in the Trans-Am and he was coming for us on the school campus. We weren't laughing anymore and started to run back to where we came from. We all hid in the bushes and waited there until the coast was clear. He did come back through the street looking for us, but luckily he didn't find us.

Do you have any interesting golf ball stories to share?

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Who Said Lake Golf Balls Are No Good?

If you've been following my posts you know that me and my brother used to sell golf balls on the weekends to golfers. More specifically we sold them along side the 3rd hole at Meadowlark Golf Course in Huntington Beach, CA. We would have them out on display in egg cartons behind the fence right next to the tee box. We figured this was a strategic selling place because the golfers couldn't miss seeing the golf balls as they would walk up to the tee box.

One day a golfer walked up and immediately said our golf balls were no good because they were waterlogged from being in the lakes. We both said that a lot of these golf balls have only been in the water for a few hours and there's no way they were waterlogged. The golfer was convinced that these experienced golf balls were waterlogged and not worth the 50 cents a piece we were charging. Now that I think back we should have been charging more than 50 cents because a lot of them looked like they came from a brand new sleeve of golf balls.

Anyway, my brother was getting a little pissed at this guy and said "Let my brother hit one of these golf balls with your driver and see how water logged they are." The golfer thought about it for a second and then said ok.

I climbed over the fence to hit the golf ball. I was pretty nervous as he handed me his driver. You have to remember that I was only about 13 years old the time. I teed up the ball and ripped one down the middle and the ball rolled up about 10 yards short of the green. I could tell everyone in the group was stunned at how well I hit the ball. It was all it took because they all bought golf balls from us.

From that day forward that same Saturday group were regular customers of ours. It didn't take long for word to spread about our golf balls and business was good for the Smith brothers.
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Monday, May 01, 2006

He Died While Playing Golf

Fred got home from his Sunday round of golf later than normal and very tired. "Bad day at the course?" his wife asked.

"Everything was going fine," he said. "Then Harry had a heart attack and died on the 10th tee."

"Oh, that's awful!"

"You're not kidding. For the whole back nine it was hit the ball, drag Harry, hit the ball, drag Harry."

I needed a laugh today :)

Got any good golf jokes to share?