Is it me?

The golf ball fitting was a great experience for me. I learned that the ball I had been playing was probably the best ball for me. Look at the stats I was pretty happy until I dug a little deeper. I looked at those numbers and I noticed how low the ball speed was in comparison to the club head speed.

Were going to get into a little bit of technical information. In 1998 The USGA set the COR limit for woods at 0.822 with a test tolerance of .008 effectively taking the limit up to 0.830.The current USGA rule limiting the coefficient of restitution of a clubhead states that the COR cannot be higher than a measurement of 0.830. This means that when the clubhead impacts the ball, there cannot be more than an 83-percent transfer of the energy of the head to the ball.

In golf club fitting there is a statistic known as smash factor. To reach the COR limit the consensus maximum smash factor is a 1.49. You want to get to 1.49 to maximize distance. If you are below that limit you are losing valuable yards. To figure out the smash factor you will need to get onto a simulator. When you get your stats look at your club head speed and the ball speed. Take the ball speed and divide it by the club head speed. You will want this number to be as close to 1.49 as possible. The main thing that can cause you to not hit that number would non center contact. It also could be the fact that the driver just doesnt meet that COR limit.

When I went to the simulator to test out a different shaft I noticed my smash factor was 1.34. i thought maybe the simulator wasnt measuring it correctly. I have been looking at new drivers but I was hitting it pretty straight and my normal distance. I figured Im giving up some distance but nothing too bad. Then I went to the golf ball fitting and got the same 1.34 result. I went out and bought some impact tape. Maybe I think im hitting the center but Im not. I put on some impact tape and took my swings. all but one was dead center. I should be getting pretty close with this impact tape. I know one isnt close but I knew I mishit that one.

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As much as I love this driver and how it feels Its hard to give up an extra 25 yards. Thats the difference between a 6 iron and an 8 iron into a green. Im not good enough to give up 25 yards. Im going to try and find a new driver. One that maybe comes close to 1.49.

Finding another driver is just another step as #thequestcontinues

I wish I could quit you

In yesterdays post I told you all about my golf ball fitting on Good Friday. I also mentioned that my car battery stopped working and I had to detour from the day of golf to go fix that. Well I did get out to the course.

Now all last week I was pretty sick. On Tuesday I had a pretty bad fever. I felt weak most of the week. Well I wasnt going to let anything stop me from golf on my day off. I decided to head on over to Luna Vista here in Dallas. Its usually a good price and I like the track. The course was packed. Because the course was packed I got paired with 3 others. They all looked like they could play pretty well.Everyone steps up to hit their tee shots. I was the last to hit. I took my swing and STRIPED it 265 down the middle. I thought ‘This is going to be a good round”. Sitting in the fairway by yourself is a great feeling. What is not a good feeling is grabbing your 9 iron and shanking it into the woods by the green. The ball didnt get more than 3 feet off the ground and went right instantly. I wedged it up and hit my 2 putts. I licked my wounds and headed to hole 2.

Hole 2 at Luna Vista is my arch nemisis. Up to this point my record on the hole is 0/5 .The course has water WAAAAAYYYY right. It also has a road running down the left side. In 5 attempts I have hit it in the water all 5 times. I have tried Driver, 3 wood, hybrid off the tee and every time I end up in the water. I told this story to the playing partners and we all had a good laugh. I tee up and snap hook it into the street. “make that oh for 6 ” a voice behind me says. We all had a good laugh and we continue on. The rest of the front nine was the same. I topped a 3 wood and didnt make the front tees. I hit a pure 6 iron on a par three and despite 3 people seeing it when we got to the green it was gone. No idea what happened to it. It was a disaster.

I didnt really feel that great and never really felt my legs get underneath me until around 12 or 13. By then the scorecard was ripped up. I wanted to quit after 9 and go to church but I paid 30 bucks for the round I might as well finish it. Multiple times throughout the round I asked myself why I played this stupid game. My aim was off my swing was off. I could feel  parts of my body moving that dont move usually. My legs were all over the place. My hands wernt rotating. I wasnt fully turning. I could feel it going wrong but couldnt fix it.

This week doesnt have a lot of golf in it. One thing i do want to tell you is to be on the look out for a few reviews coming up. I am trying to get products in here to try so you know what to buy and where to buy it.

See ya tomorrow as #thequestcontinues

 

What ball was best for me?

Last week I wrote about how excited I was to actually go to a Bridgestone Golf Ball Fitting. As someone who loves to geek out over golf equipment and some of the science behind it I couldnt wait to go. I was off on Good Friday and that meant my schedule finally met up with Bridgestone’s.

The hours you could get fit were between 10 and 2 PM. I knew I wanted to go buy some of the balls they fit me for then get out on the course.  That meant I was going ot have to wake up a little early and get out to Prairie Lakes. I also know myself pretty well and I knew I wasnt going to wake up TOO early. I pulled up Google Maps and wanted to make sure I knew where I was going to. I get to the intersection before the course and I heard a siren. I dont go through and the next thing I know a police officer had traffic blocked. I see a pickup truck coasting through the intersection. Then I see another one. In the section one I hear what sounds like a man preaching. About 30 seconds later this appeared.

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Yep, Thats Jesus carrying the cross in the middle of Grand Prairie. I am aware that has nothing to do with my golf ball fitting I just needed to find a way to post it.

Anyways I pull up to the course. I didnt see anything to do with Bridgestone anywhere. I decided I needed to walk up to the pro shop. The trek to the Pro Shop was stopped when a Bridgestone tent appeared. I turned around and grabbed my driver. It was go time. The tent was occupied by two men. I asked what I needed to do to sign up and they said “you just did”. They asked me what ball I currently play. Well the ball I like is the Bridgestone e5 but I didnt want to say that ball and then them kind of not really do anything it and say “oh yea thats the right ball for you”. I decided to pick another ball in the same price point as the e5. I decided to go with the Srixon Q-Star.  At that point they grabbed a sleeve of Q-Stars and we stepped up to the launch monitor and net.

I began to take my swings. They had one guy with me and another one the computer looking at the stats. As I am taking my swings the guy out there with me is telling me about the difference between the balls. He is really harping on the seam of the golf ball. I honestly have never reallynoticed a seam on a golf ball. It hasnt effected me honestly. Maybe it has and I just dont know it does. Well I take my 5 swings and all 5 felt pretty good. We walk back to the table and the guy working the table grabs a sleeve of e5 balls. I chuckle a little to myself and we head over to the sim. Again its the same thing. Telling me about the seamless technology on the Bridgestone and the fact it has a urethane cover as opposed to a non urethane cover on the Q-Star. For those who dont know Urethane is a softer cover and the cover that is used on all Tour Balls. This cover is used to increase spin on your wedges and irons. It gives more greenside control. For me this is a big positive and the main reason I played it. We took 5 swings with it and these were the results.

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As you can see spin went down as did launch angle. This led to an increase to an increase of 4 yards. A pretty decent gain. I was closer to optimal launch conditions with the e5. It was awesome to see the golf ball I chose for myself a few years ago actualy be the same one the professionals chose for me as well. Maybe I do know a little about golf. When I was done they handed me a two pack of e5’s.

Next step was to go to the golf store and buy some golf balls. Before I did that I needed some gas. I fill up  my tank and go to crank the car and my battery is dead. That really put  akin in my plans. My day of golf turned into a car repair day. I get a jump and headed home to fix my problem. I spend a few minutes fixing the car and it started just fine. The golf store was calling my name. I walked in a went for the golf balls. I wanted to grab the e5’s but decided to try something else. I wanted to do my own comaprison on course. I wanted to stay in the same price range so I grabbed a box of Callaway Supersofts. How did they compare? Look for a post in a few weeks after I take them both for some more rounds.

See you next time when #thequestcontinues

The Perfect Wedge

I usually take the time to update you on my round or some kind of cool thing related to golf in my posts, but today will be a little different. It has to do with golf in a very roundabout way.

About 5 or 6 years ago on a routine trip out to my future in laws house, my future father in law asked me to go out to the garage with him. I obviously did. You go where your future father in law tells you to go when you’re at his house. He knew how much I loved golf and wanted to give me a gift. We go outside and he has his full set of clubs waiting in the garage. Its a full set of Bertha Irons, Taylormade woods,and a big ole Callaway Staff bag. He said “I cant get out to the course anymore and I want to make sure these go to a good home.” My future father in law couldn’t make it to the course anymore because he had advanced lung cancer. Knowing this fact I knew I had to take these clubs. I run inside and tell my girlfriend about these clubs. I was super excited to try them out. He could tell I was excited and my future wife could as well.

We go home and I try to figure out what I am going to do with two sets of golf clubs. I finally figure out the logistics of it all and decide to take them out for a spin. They went into the trunk and off to the range. When I got there I grabbed the 7 iron of my current set and of my future father in laws set. They each got 10 balls. Boy I was hitting them both pretty well. The current clubs had a nice mid flight that just kept going. The Berthas on the other hand spun like a top and went about 10 yards shorter. It was at that time I decided I needed to stay with my current set.

The Bertha’s stayed in storage for a while. During this time his daughter and I got engaged and were ready to get married on April 13th. On March 27th he passed away. Obviously this was very difficult for my partner and I.

After all of the ceremonies for him and our wedding settled down it was back to life. One thing I do when stressed and sad is I play with golf clubs. It was one night I decided to change my wedge set from a 52,56,60 degree set up to a less traditional 50,54,58 degree set up. When I did this I remembered that the Bertha set had a gap wedge that was listed as a 50 degree. I knew I had to have this club in the bag. The night I decided to pull it out of storage was a fun night for my wife and I. We went through the bag and found all sorts of things. We found a leather flask, a bag of tees and our favorite thing: a pouch that had his initials embroidered on it. It was the most stereotypical thing he would have had.

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My very first trip out to the course with this club I decided to try and use it around the green. The chip gets going and rolls to about 2 feet. I walk up tap it in and get my par. 4 holes later its time for another chip. What did I do? I grabbed that wedge and took my shot. It rolls out and makes a beeline for the hole. It hits the pin and drops in for a birdie! Well at that point the club is now firmly in the bag. The club is my go to club from 100 yards in. I don’t miss with it. Its a big game improvement club with a ton of offset. It’s begging to be snap hooked off the face of the earth. I just aim to the right and watch it hook right onto the green. It’s point and shoot.

Basically this post is to thank my Father in Law for my favorite golf club. I appreciate all the help he has given me out on the course. I know when I grab it he is watching me going “don’t hit it bad…don’t hit it bad” Then he lets out a cheer when it sticks to five feet. I guess I kind of appreciate the wonderful wife he has given me as well.

Here’s to you, sir. May we always love your daughter and may we always shoot them straight. Until tomorrow everyone!

 

Bridgestone Ball Fitting Time!

Well this post is an exciting one for me. Bridgestone is going to be out at one of my local courses and I just happen to have the day off and some free time. Ive wanted to do this for a while but my schedule has never matched up with the fitting schedule.  If your elike a lot of people you just grab a golf ball and go. This is obviously not the way to go. You could be using a ball that spins too much or not enough. This could be costing you 5-10 yards.

I have always played any ball with a urethane cover. This fiting hopefully gets me off any old urethane cover.The fitting itself is fairly simple. You can tell them a ball you play and you will take 5 swings with that ball and they will then grab a Bridgestone ball that they think will work for you. You then hit 5 and compare the results. One thing I have heard is the fact Bridgestone will recommend a ball even if its not one of theirs. To me this shows confidence in their ball. I dont know if you remember the Pepsi Challenge from the late 90’s or early 2000’s but I love stuff like this. its shows confidence in their product. I can respect that a whole lot. I also plan on hitting the course after the fitting and doing some comparisons on the course as well.

Ill see you tomorrow when I give you the results of the fitting. Until then #thequestcontinues

Golfsmith does it again!

Sorry about not posting yesterday. I got super sick and didnt have the ability to write.

This post is going to seem like its me beating up on golfsmith again and honestly it probably is. Honestly though they deserve it. I dont feel bad about this at all. A few months ago I saw a commercial for Golfsmith. The commercial was telling customers to come in and get fit. It showed a guy being fit and he was super happy with the results. I didnt think much of that until I saw this.

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Do you see it? No its just me? Fine! Enhance. I SAID ENHANCE!!!!!!!

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Are you kidding me? You are trying to sell me a fitting and the guy in your commercial is hitting a slice. The line in the middle is the center of the range. If you hit it there the ball goes straight. As you can see this ball is not even going to come close to the center line.  Look how happy the guy being fit is. He is amazed at the fact his ball is going so far. What he didnt realize is his ball is 60 yards offline. If I hit this shot on the course I am grabbing another ball while saying 4 letter words.  Looks like were hitting three of the tee but damn that ball went far! Goodness this is bad. Also has anyone gone to a Golfsmith that had a range this wide open?

Now that I have gone off on how terrible that shot is and the fact that he is happy with that shot. How the hell did this get past the editing stage? Why would you even turn on the monitor if you dont hit it straight? Why would you not get a guy who hits it straight or at least doesnt hit a big push slice off the tee box. Thats bad editing. thats bad directing. This is embarassing. Have some pride Golfsmith goodness. Want to know why people think getting fit at a big box store is a joke? This is why people think its a joke. With that being said Ill come join your marketing team. I require a full set of clubs, membership to a local course, 40k a year and you have to convince my wife that we should move to Austin.

 

SwingByte 2

Today we take a look at a product I have been looking forward to reviewing for a while now. Its Called the Swingbyte 2. It very well may be the swing trainer you are looking for. I have had it for a couple of months and have enough range sessions to be comfortable with it.

 

Pros:

My favorite part of this item is the sheer amount of data. For something this small it produces a ton of data. Anything that relates to the club can be found in the app. One thing i have been wondering is how far from the inside I have been hitting the ball. This was an eye opening experience for me. I was able to see I have been coming from really far inside. Another thing it told me was my face was closed to the path. Coming from the inside with a closed face make the ball go left. I may be doing it too  much but now I know.I mean look at all these data points:

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I also compared it to a simulator and all of the measurements matched it as well. If youre looking for spin rates and ball speed this wont work for you. This will tell you the information from the club. People pay a lot of money to get devices that measure only part of these.Seeing it in its packaging you may think it will cause some issues with weight and be a distraction. The white is actually a good choice as it blends fairly well into the club. It was fun. I also really appreciated how easy it was to set up. Pull it out of the package, download the app,sync up your blue tooth,and swing away.The app is another positive for this device. It is easy to use. The best part of the app is the fact that you are able to input your club measurements. That way it can really tell you how much loft you are adding and subtracting from each shot. Of course you dont have to use that but if youre smart you will do it. The app also has a comapare function. They have some pro models you can compare to. I noticed that I am extremy flat compared to most of the pro models. One thing you may also hear with items like this is the ability to align it. The top has a nice white line that makes it very easy to align.For the most part the device stays aligned on the shaft. There are examples where it hasnt (See Below) but its not something where you have to adjust it every swing I also love the fact it can track putters as well. This has been very beneficial for me

Cons:

The device does feel robust but I do have to tell you about a problem I had with it. I took it out for my first range session and everything went well. I was super impressed with the device. I decided to take it out to the range for my second session. This was after my lesson and I wanted to see some differences in numbers. Well as I have said in past posts is my miss is thin. When out on the course if I have to miss I prefer to miss thin. Well the Swingbyte doesnt like it to be hit thin. When I hit it thin it shook the club so much that the Swingbyte would come loose. Well i took a swing and actually caught this one pure. As I watch the ball I see my Swingbyte go flying down the range as well. I go to pick it up and the metal latch had come off. I searched the range and couldnt find it. I also noticed a very large crack down the side of it.To be fair to Swingbyte they answered my question the next morning and was told to take it to the store I bought it. I did that and had a new Swingbyte in 2 and a half weeks. It was great customer service and wasnt a pain at all. The durability is a concern though if you hit it thin. The new device has withstood some of the thin shots much better. Another problem I have is the lack of the Android support. Android does have the app but we dont have the virtual coach or the awesome Cleveland wedge analyzer software. This is probably the biggest thing that upsets me about it. I love the information and I would love to try those things but because they dont make certain parts of the app available for Android I feel like I am getting only half of the benefits. If they bring these options to Android (which they should) then the device will be almost perfect.

Conclusion:

The device give so much information it can almost be overwhelming. If youre a range rat and a data guy when analyzing your golf swing like I am then this is absolutley the device for you. I was able to get past the fact my first one broke after 2 range session. I was helped quickly and efficently. Its great customer service like that which keeps customers.The only thing keeping this from a better score is the fact the Android support is so small. Maybe we will get a date at some point for when I can get the virtual coach and Wedge analyzer but until then I will have to give this device a

90/100

First Day at the First Tee

In an earlier post I spoke about the decision to volunteer at the First Tee. Well due to some circumstances not entirely my fault I had to skip out on the Early Spring session. Well the second session of the spring started on Thursday and I was there waiting to go.

I was able to get to the driving range where the class took place about 15 minutes before class started . Walking up to the class I saw 10 kids already there ready to go. This surprised me since it was supposed to start at 6. Thats a tight window for someone who gets off at 5 to pick up their kid and get them to the range in an hour. It was impressive. As I looked around I saw about 6 other coaches already there as well. This also was very good to see. The coordinator grabbed me and told me to make a name tag and that I would be working with the older kids. I can handle older kids MUCH better than younger ones. When I work with my wife’s youth group she puts me with the older kids. I feel I can actually talk to them and not just get them to actually listen. The clock hit 6 and we headed outside.

Coach Mike leads the kids in their warm up. The game consisted of having two options (Cookies or Ice Cream etc etc). After hearing the options they had to run and pick a side. If they couldnt decide they had to stand in the middle and do a “workout move”. Eventually the kids were deciding on the middle and wanted to do the jumping jacks or push ups. After we finished our warm up we separate by age/skill level. My group drew chipping first.

The most important theme of the day is the core value. On day one the First Tee likes to promote its biggest and most important core value: Respect. We taught respect in varous ways. Having the kids patiently wait their turn at the various stations. Not talking while a coach is talking. Things like that. They got awarded with a Starburst whenever we saw that. Its crazy how well a kid acts when they know there is a chance for a single Starburst.

By know youre wondering what we taught the kids. First lesson was all about the grip. We went over the 3 types of grips you can use to grab a club. For those not sure those are the 10 finger (baseball style),Interlock, and overlap (Vardon). To demonstrate that those will be the best ways to hold a golf club we had the kids hit some chips like a hockey player.Bottom hand REALLY low. No one could make solid contact at all. When holding it hockey stick style there were so many balls shooting across the green it was hard to contain. After making the kids pick up the balls and rotate we made them hit a chip cross handed. Contact got a little better but still not very good. We actually had a few stay on the green and 2 even hit the target hula hoops.  Next up was full swing. Overall it was same thing. Hockey stick style, cross handed,normal.We obviously did this with a 7 iron. We went through all the different styles and had some time left at that station. A couple of students were asking to hit driver so we decided to let them hit their drivers. Some of the older kids who have been in the program for a while could really stripe the ball. I never thought I could be envious of a 12 yr old but then you watch him hit his driver 150 dead straight with a little draw and you think, “what am I doing with my life?”. After that we moved to putting where we let each kid putt in the same 3 styles. It was fun to watch the kids have been while also being respectful of the other kids playing. Honestly me and my co-coach had no idea what we were doing at the putting station. We had a game set up but didnt really get it. We decided to teach the kids respect by showing the order of play and how to play fast golf. We figured we can have them learn that. The last thing I want is for a kid to grow up thinking he can take 5 hours for a round of golf. Also if you think thats ok youre the worst person in the world. Id rather you stay away from every golf course ever… Sorry got carried away there.We wrapped up class and went over respect one more time. the kids all gathered up their clubs and headed home.

At this point I could have told everyone good bye or I could have helped the staff hit balls out into the range so the picker could grab them. Well when youre trying to reach scratch you take any opportunity to practice you can so I went out and hit about 25 balls. All were pretty good shots. It was nice to be loose and just hang out with some fellow golfers.

Well guys Ill see you tomorrow when #thequestcontinues

Getting a Grip

The only part of a golf club you touch is the grip. Thats why finding a golf grip you love is so important. Some people like to have one grip on every club. Me personally I like to have the same grip on every club section. All the wedges get a certain grip. All the woods get a certain grip and the irons get a certain grip. My drivers I prefer a corded grip. With the woods I like to grip it and rip it. For that I need all the traction I can get. For Irons I use a tour velvet feel grip and wedges I will vary depending on my mood. I know it can be tough to find grip reviews so I am here to help with my top 5 and bottom 5.

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5) Golf Pride Tour Velvet

The Good: A classic. The most used golf grip in the world. Tacky and performs great in all weather.

The Bad: Kind of boring.

 

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4) Golf Pride VDR

The Good: The price is usually affordable. Come sin a few colors. Actually gets better as time goes on

The Bad: Can get a little slick in the rain or wet conditions.

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3) Iomic Sticky

The Good: Feels great after a bunch of rounds. Last forever. Non rubber. Feels soft and is very sticky

The Bad: These things are expensive. If you are playing MCC you might as well get the iomics in my opinion.

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2) Pure Pro

The Good: Tacky, Can hit it wih a quick toothbrush scrub and all the tack comes right back. Seem to last a while. Easily installation if you have an air gun. Fun Colors. Just a inexpensive as the Tour Velvet

The Bad: Not easy to find in stores. White part of the logo turns yellow easily.

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1)  Best Grips Classic Grip

The Good: Tackiest grip on the list. Wipe it with a wet towel and it becomes new again. Doesnt break down only breaks in. Hands down the best grip out there. Can customize to whatever colors youd like. Made in America

The Bad: These are very expensive. $18 a grip. Considering these last a few years though it may be worth the initial investment. Can sometimes be too sticky.

The Bottom 5

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5) Winn Dri Tac

The Bad: Too mushy, Twists too much in the hands. Provides no feedback, Standard doesnt feel like a standard. A huge pain to get on the club. Tears up in no time at all.

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4) Lamkin Crossline

The Bad: Very rough texture for a velvet type grip. Surface pattern is very deep.

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3) Golf Pride Multi Compound

The Bad:The weight has always felt off. I dont hit any club with a multi compound well. As soon as I get the grip off and replaced I hit the club better. Tears up hands and gloves

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2) Golf Pride Z Cord

The Bad: Super rough. Might as well wrap sandpaper around the club and have me grip that. This grip is for people who hate themselves

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1)  Golf Pride Tour Wrap 2G

The Bad: Moisture control is the worst. I play in Texas where humidity and sweat play a major role in what happens down here. As soon as a drop of moisture hits this club you might as well throw it away. You can not grip the club any longer. Also the finish on these grips collect dust very quickly and make the grips fairly slick

I know you are wondering what I have on my clubs. I play the Pure Pro on my irons. On my woods I play the Lamkin UTX,and wedges get the plain tour velvet grip. If you need any other recommendations I would love to help.

 

 

 

 

Getting clean

When I was a kid and playing baseball I was always told to treat my glove like my most cherished possession. There was no throwing or slamming the glove. We wernt allowed to leave it anywhere and if we did we had to run. I always took this very seriously. This has made its way into my golf game. I love my equipment. Like a lot. My wife can attest to this.

Tonight I got to do my weekly cleaning with my clubs. They get cleaned once a week but depending on the status they are in it can be more. Its one of those things I enjoy doing. I am usually watching TV while im doing it. Just dip the toothbrush in soapy water. Scrub it until the grooves are cleaned out. Dry off with a towel and move on to the next club.Every 3 or so cleanings the grips get hit with the toothbrush as well. This makes the grips feel brand new. There is something about a nice clean set of golf clubs in the bag that gives me some confidence. I have always felt that when there is dirt in the grooves it affects the shot. Im scared some glob of dirt is going to send the ball rocketing the other way. I also dont feel the ball flys as well. Call em crazy but clean shots come from clean clubs. I even try to clean between shots on the course. Usually I wont do this on the range because Im working on a feeling not necessarily a shot.

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With the beauty of modern launch monitors we can now compare clean grooves vs dirty grooves. With dirty grooves my inclination was right. The ball does fly much differently. Since there is dirt in the grooves spin rates go down. this will prevent you from holding that green making you chip your 3rd shot instead of putting it. Were talking the difference between a 8 ft birdie put or a 20 ft birdie putt. The ball also launches higher. With dirt on the face the ball tends to stay on the club a little longer. This makes the ball launch higher. As I said yesterday high launch and low spin equals more distance. That sounds good in theory but with less spin also means that usual shot that starts left and goes right now goes left and wont come back. It is also much less consistent. Id rather have an idea what  is going to happen than an extra 15 yards.

Dirty golf clubs can negativly effect your golf game. It can bring more inconsistencies to your game. I also believe in taking care of your equipment. Take care of it and it will take care of you. In addition to preventing  inconsistency it also is a better look. Take pride in your things. It takes 30 minutes. Go outside check your grooves andhit them with an old toothbrush. Its easy I promise.

#thequestcontinues