During my last round I realized people do something that drive me nuts on the golf course. I get irrationally mad and it made me stop and think what are the top 5 things that drive me insane on a golf course
- Slow play– I assume this one drives a bunch of people insane but I will add a caveat to this. It really annoys me during Twilight golf. In my last round I was out at twilight trying to get in a full 18 holes and I got caught behind a group of 3 who insisted on taking 5 practice swings per person per shot. Then they wernt playing ready golf. Everyone drive to someones shot. Then after they hit everyone to the next shot. Drove me insane. LOOK WERE ALL TRYING TO GET 18 IN HERE! LETS GO!
- Guys who insist on taking 8 minutes looking for a lost golf ball– This goes with number 1. I hate when all 4 members of a group are looking for one guy’s golf ball. All 4 are walking around looking. all going “It llooked like it went into the deep words about here”. Then when you ask him what he is playing and he goes “Slazenger”. I just want to say those are 12 dollars for 2 dozen. Here is 50 cents, can we keep playing?
- No fixing ball marks– This guy is just a jerk. Fix your damn ball mark. It isnt hard. If you dont have the tool a playing partner does. If they dont, use a tee. If you dont have a tee go put your putter up and drive off the course and go home.
- Guy who drives his cart near the green or on the tee box– I hope bad things happen to you. That is all
- Guy who picks up your golf ball without even checking– Hey! Thats my ball. Yea the guy on the tee box of the fairway youre on. I know its weird to think a golf ball not yours would be there but I dont know check to see if its mine. Oh by the way I see you and I see you grab the ball. Now its going to be awkward because I have to ask you if you took my ball knowing good and well you did.
After work this past Friday I decided to go play a Twilight round of golf. I got on the course around 5 and wanted to get a full 18 in. I had to play a little fast and I think it actually helped.
Going it alone
I went to Luna Vista golf course and when I walked in the pro shop staff told me I could head on out as a single. I headed out to the first tee and did not hit a very good tee shot. I still hit it a good distance. I didnt feel great hitting my tee shot but I hit my second shot well and got a par. Hole 2 at Luna Vista is my nemesis. Water is way right and the road is left. It is a Par 5 that I have never scored better than a 7 on. There is only one hole I have ever played often that owns me like this hole does. I step up and hit a push. I stayed dry! I was trapped behind a tree but I I took a look at the shot and determined I could start it left of the tree and cut it back. I ended up hitting it perfectly and left myself about 75 into the green. I took my two putts and walked off with a par. The round was going great! I missed the green on the par 3 third hole but got up and down. Hole four is a short par four and I felt confident with driver. I drove it to 60 yards yards out and got my 4th consecutive par.
The wheels come off
I stepped up to hole 5 very confident. I pulled driver and thinking I was playing great! I should have known trouble was coming with the big push on number 2 and missing the green right on the par 3. The ball took off right and stayed right. I actually ended up in the hole 4 fairway. The good news was I had a big time window to get my ball on the green. I obviously miss the green and end up with a double. Hole 6 has trouble right and a bunker left. I took 3 wood and ended up topping it to the forward tees. After missing the green I took my second consecutive double bogey. Hole 7 shows up and I ended up in the water on the right. I couldnt find the cup with my putter either and walked off the green with a triple. Hole 8 is a long uphill par 3. The pin is always on the right side guarded by a bunker. The shot requires a cut. I defiently hit a cut. The big problem was I started it out right and missed the green by about 30 yards. I shanked the following chip. I hit the next one into a bush. I chipped up to the green with my 4th shot. Thats yet another triple. I rolled up to 9 frustrated. I ended up hitting into the water but thanks to a really good 3rd shot I was able to walk away with a par on the par 5. For those of you counting that is a 10 over 46 on the front 9. That is making 5 pars. Try to find a worse 4 hole stretch. It gets even worse when you look at my back 9
It gets better
I started the back just like I started the front. 4 straight pars. Hole 14 got me back on the bogey train. I followed it up with another bogey. It started to get dark and I needed to hurry up. Playing a little faster got scores to go back down. I hit a great tee shot on 16 and was able to knock it on the green. I lipped out for yet another par. 17 is a long par 5 and I played it terribly but scrambled to get a bogey. Heading into 18 it was pretty dark but I was determined to play 18 holes. 18 requires a nice draw or else you will end up in the bunkers that protect the dog leg. I ended up hitting my longest and straightest drive all day and went over the bunkers. I hit my second shot right of the green. I rattled the stick on the chip. Putted in for my par.
That right there is the most frustrating 85 in the history of ever. If you need help counting that is 0 birdies, 11 pars, 3 bogeys, 2 doubles,and 2 triples. In 7 holes i managed to shoot 13 over. It was absolutely frustraing yet I will be out there on Monday playing 18. This game is so rewarding such as when I got my lowest score on hole 2 and so frustrating at the same time.
A few months ago my dad was talking about coming up to the Byron Nelson with a friend. Obviously I was interested in going as well. While looking around on the internet I found a coupon for 4 tickets for $80. I sent it over to my mom and told her to show dad. About 2 days later mom told me that Dad had found a promotion that allowed Veterans a pair of free tickets everyday of the tournament. Seeing as how both my parents are vets it was a chance for a good ol’ family outing.
The Second Tee Box
As my parents and I walked in one of the first things we saw was a giant sand sculpture. It was incredible. At least 6 feet high. It took a lot of work to do. We also saw some of the various sponsor tents. Once we paid sponsorship row we were at the firs tee box. We were headed to 16 when I looked and saw the number 2 tee box wide open with about 5 people at it. I thought it would be cool to sit and watch the pros hit a 202 yard par 3 tee shot. My parents agreed and we watched a couple of groups. We started our trek again when I looked at Dad and said “The leaders are coming through in like 5 groups. We should stay and watch them.” Mom agreed with me. We decided to set up shop and watch the pros do what they do. This being my moms first tour event she was surprised at how close those guys would hit it. “Is that his ball? How did he do that?”. We were super close to the players too. We were about a 3 putt away from the players. So about 15 feet. About 40 minutes later my moms favorite player Jordan Spieth comes up to the tee box. We look behind us and see the crowd that was very light earlier is now about 10 people deep for all 202 yards. It was incredible to see the kind of following he brings. I can only imagine what it was like following Tiger in his prime. After Spieth hits the crowd dissipates and mom jokingly says ” Im ready to go home.” At this point we decided to figure out our next move for the day.
5 Star Service
On the way to the course my dad had mentioned that the veterans had a little box with food and drinks you could enjoy. My mom said she needed some water and the bathroom. We decided to walk over to 18 and check out the little suite. We walk over and sign in as we are signing in someone mentions that there is a little viewing platform for the veterans. I grab a soda and tell my dad I am going to go check out the viewing platform. He says ok and waits on my mom to get a little food and drink. I walk up and couldnt believe the view. It was incredible. We had the best seat in the house. I am sitting there and just waiting on my dad trying to save enough seats for everyone. Dad showed up about 10 minutes later and was also amazed by the view. Thanks to some quick thinking by my dad we manage to find 2 seats right next to each other. Now I will be honest my mom doesnt stay at things very long especially if they are outside. Its usually a few hour and then she says “Im done” and we all leave. This time was different though. She sat there all day. We had access to water and soda and she was super happy. Dad and I were starting to talk about the tournament and she was getting into it. She was nervous for the players and got super excited when they hit a good shot. It was fun to watch. It also helped the tournament was a really good one.
As I said the tournament was an exciting one. Brooks Kopeka had a lead going into the final round and was paired with Jordan Spieth. Everyone was expecting Spieth to make a Sunday charge in his hometown. That didnt happen and he actually had a pretty bad day. He played himself out of the tournament. One person did make a late charge. Sergio Garcia ended up coming to 18 tied with Brooks for the lead. He was in the group playing before Brooks. He ended up with a par and had to wait for Brooks to play 18. Brooks ended up on the green with a birdie putt to win. It slid past the hole and it was playoff time. It was play off time. After sitting on the 18th green all day it was pretty obvious the play was out right and to take the water out of play. We are watching the tee shots and we see Brooks dunks his tee shot in the water. That made things pretty easy for Sergio. He nailed his drive and from there it was all over. Sergio gets a par and Brooks walks away with a double and a second place finish. It was awesome to watch my mom live and die with each swing and putt.
All in all it was a great day. The weather was perfect. The view was perfect and it really helps the tournament was awesome. I love good golf and I love my family. All in all I couldnt have asked for more.
One of the things I find hardest to do is find a practice plan and stick to it. When you search practice plan golf on google there are a bunch of different ones. One is a 6 hour practice plan. If you dont have 6 hours like me to practice I can give you how I practice and any drills I may do during this time. It can be a starting point for you and feel free to change it as youd like.
Most practice plans are very regimented. The require you to hit an 8 iron 30 times. Then 40 minutes of your wedges. They will want you to putt for 25 minutes. I know this doesnt work. Your game will shift. Sometimes you are hitting your wedges great and sometimes you cant hit them. My plan wants you to work on what you want but also work on everything else at the same time.
Warm Up: 10 shots with Lob Wedge, Sand Wedge, Gap Wedge. I usually dont really aim at a target at this point. I am really just trying to get in the groove of things.
Second Step: I will pick out a target that is 150 yards away and grab my 8 iron. It is my club for 150 yards. I want you to grab your 150 yard club and go for it. It can be a 5 iron or a 9 iron it doesnt really matter. I will then hit 15-20 balls. After I hit those balls I do a brief analysis. Was I hitting it solid? Did I like the flight the ball had? Was the ball doing what I like it to or what it normally does? If I feel like everyhing felt pretty good I will move on. If I dont I will continue to hit balls with my 8 iron. My 8 iron is the club I am most comfortable with and if I am not hitting it well it a sign of bad things to come.
Third Step: It is at this point where I think about my game and what I most need to work on. For me recently it has been dialing in my wedge distance. It hurt me really badly in my last round and I dont want it to happen again. Other times it has been driver and 3 wood. I then hit golf balls until I have about 10 balls left. Throughout the bucket I am working on feel and various swing mechanics. If I am snap hooking the ball I am working on delaying my release. if I am hitting a slice I am wanting ot come more from the inside.
Wrap up: When I have about 10 golf balls left I go do the opposite of what I had been doing. If I am working on my wedges I will grab my driver and take 10 swings with it. If I have been working on driver and 3 wood I will jump over to my wedges and hit a couple of those as well. I want to make sure I am still touching all parts of my bag. I will occasionally grab my 4 iron and work on that if I havent in a while for my last 10. The last 10 is kind of a free choice. I personally use it to go opposite of what I was working on.
Chipping: Now depending on how much time I have this is when I head over to the short game area. I see people often grab a handful of range balls and start chipping. In my eyes this is a terrible thing to do. A range ball will not react like my golf ball will. I buy my golf ball because it spins how I like and how I am used to. I dont want to think if I hit a chip it will run out 15 ft then get on the course only to learn the golf ball I use checks up and stops at 15 ft from the hole. I grab 5 of my golf balls and just start chipping to random holes. I want to give myself different looks all the time. I want weird angles. I want weird slopes. I want short chips and I want long chips. No chip is ever the same on the course. I honestly do this until I get bored with it. I cant tell you if 15 minutes is ok or if 45 minutes is ok. Challenge yourself and make it fun. Hit your first one and try to get the next one inside of it. Then the next and so forth. Try to beat yourself.
Putting: I will usually end on putting. I play a couple of games to challenge myself. My favorite involves grabbing 4 tees. Put one 4 ft away from each side of the hole. On at the front,back,left,and right. Grab 3 golf balls and hit 3 from each spot. Your goal is to hit 9 out of 12. I like 9 out of ten because it requires you to go 3 for 3 from at least one spot. This game helps get you comfortable with the “easy” ones and it also helps you putt with a little pressure. I usually play this game last and will not allow myself to go home until I complete it. When you have your last 2 balls and you need to make both before leaving it can really add some pressure. Especially if it is 8:45 and you have been practicing for an hour already.
Make it work to your schedule
Thats how I practice. I will sometimes split up the practice as well. One day I will go and hit balls and then the next I will work on short game. It allows me to break it up and use my time better. It is easier for me to get away for an hour a day than to be at the range for 2 hours. I hope this helps someone. I know its hard to find a plan that works and fits your schedule. If it does help let me know by dropping a comment!
I constantly see the discussion that golf is dying or that golf is an old man sport. As someone who is younger I find myself the target demographic everyone is talking about. Why do people my age not like golf and how do we get them to come out to the course?
The biggest problem my generation has is with time. We grew up in the height of the tech era. We have a need and want for things to be quick. I myself have no problem going out and dropping 3-3.5 hours on 18 holes. It gets crazy when we start approaching 4-5 hours for 18 holes. Hell, I like golf and I find myself not wanting to go out and play because of the fear of being out there for 5 hours on a Saturday. I hate to say this but I have other things to do with my time on a Saturday than spend 5 hours on a golf course.I have a wife,friends,and other sports to watch. A day should not be spent doing one thing all day. Its crazy. Also on a Saturday during the fall I will be at the University of Houston game. If they play at 2 that almost always eliminates golf. If I knew I could get on and off a course in 3-3.5 hours I would be much more likely to play on that Saturday. A 5 hour round and a 2pm kick off requires me to tee off at 830 AM to make sure I can play 18 then make it home in time for kickoff. I see courses now that promote playing in 4.5 hours. Are you kidding me? If someone falls behind pace Im guaranteed a 5 hour round. Thats ridiculous. Just look at the picture above. Your goal is 4 hours and 15 minutes. If I reach that I feel like I am playing incredibly slow. It is crazy to think 4:15 is a good pace. If you want more younger people we must address the pace of play epidemic. It truly is killing this great game.
The next biggest problem that is killing the game of golf with young people is the cost. My generation graduated college in the worst job market since the Great Depression. When we graduated no one had any money and it was tough for us to even find jobs. When I graduated college I took an internship paying the minimum wage. If it wernt for my wife making 30K a year we wouldnt have survived. When you look at that job market and you look at the complete lack of income I just couldnt afford golf. If you want to play you can always start with your basic beginner box set. For that you are looking at $250. Then you are going to need some golf balls. Maybe you dont care what you hit. Well there is $15. Now you want to hit a few buckets before you head out to the course. Those are $10 a pop. Now you are ready for the course. Time to pony up almost $50 to go play a cheaper course. It builds up very quickly. Dont even get me started on getting any kind of name brand club. I have shown how you can do it on a tight budget but that doesnt make it cheap. Looking at the top 100 courses in Texas only 33 are public courses. Of those 33 only 15 are under $100 . The cheapest is $49 at Memorial Park in Houston. When you are our age you also want to have a place to hang out. The best places to hang out after a round are usually the private courses which again we cant afford to get into. Equipment is too expensive and courses are too expensive.
The final reason golf has a hard time attracting younger folks to play is the very uptight nature of the game. The “outrage” over the outfit above is a prime example of this. Reactions ranged from “How dare he disrespect the game” to ” He looks like a clown”. Me personally I like everything he is wearing and think he looks pretty good. One thing my generation loves is relaxation. We work hard throughout the week and on the weekends we want to be able to let our hair down and have a good time. The last thing most people my age want to do on the weekends is pay to have to wear slacks and a polo. Hell my job allows shorts, T-shirts, and flip flops. I have to get more “dressed up” to relax than I do to go to work. That is crazy. When I go out to practice I will wear a T-Shirt and some athletic shorts. When I do this I will draw some crazy looks. I am there to put the white ball into the round cup. Who cares what I look like? I have played courses that require your shirt to be tucked in at all times. No one my age wants that. We hate it. Let me wear some shorts and a T-Shirt. If I am being honest I will probably end up wearing a polo anyways. It also doesnt help that golf has a very “Good Ol Boys Network” feel to it. I would love to join a Mens Golf Association at my local course that has weekly tournaments that take place at 5PM. The problem is hardly any of those exist. If it has to be a 9 hole round lets do that! Its very hard for a working guy to get into the good ol boys network and participate with them. Dont you dare even approach that group in jeans and a T-Shirt no matter how good you may be.
In order to keep our game alive and attract more people my age we must change how we see the game. I think it is wrong when we try to make the game easier. We dont need bigger cups and we dont need nonconforming equipment. What we need is a faster,cheaper,and less uptight game. To me the biggest thing is speeding up pace of play. If we can do that we can get more rounds in and increase the revenue the course make. If we do that maybe rounds will be cheaper as well. All we can do is hope.
One thing I have been considering for about 9 months now is getting a membership to a course. I cant afford to go private but many courses in my area offer a Player Development Program (PDP). Most of the courses offer a program that ranges from 40-65 dollars a month. This usually includes unlimited range balls,free golf clinics,and discounted rates at the course during twilight.
Is it worth it?
When I was looking up these programs I decided to do a cost benefit analysis. I figured I could play once every other week and go to the range 3-4 times a week. If I am at the range that much spending $10 a bucket doesnt make much sense. Without the membership I wouldnt be able to afford to go to the range as much. Most of these memberships included golf but it was only Monday-Friday. That took away my chance at playing on the weekend. I wasnt a huge fan of this but figured I could go to the range on the weeknds and make use of the unlimited range.When thinking about the golf costs per month I figured $50-$60 in range fees then $25-$30 per round. That would get me 2 rounds of golf at a course plus a bunch of range time for $100-$115 a month. Thats not a bad deal at all. For me the most important part was the range time. I am a range rat and can always take 20 minutes at the range. I had decided on a course and was about to sign up when I thought of something else.
PGA Tour Superstore
I remembered seeing something at the PGA Superstore. It was called the Player Plus Pass. It costs $100 for a year. For your money you get 30 free regrippings, exclusive offers, half off all club work and unlimited 30 minute sessions in the simulators. I was worried about the availability of the sims. I thought that when it was busy I would be told I couldnt use the simulator. I went to the store for a week at times I would be using the simulator. When I showed up at these times it seemed to be empty. There were obviously some negatives with using the PGA Superstore. They dont have a short game area for me to use. Also I would feel a little weird putting on the practice green with my putter. I will also be hitting off of mats consistently. This can mask some problems in my swing. I had used their mats before and they give very good feed back if you catch it fat. Before I bought the membership I needed to figure out how to account for those short falls.
Finding a solution to my problems
I took a week to think about it and figured out a couple of solutions. To address the short game problem I decided to make use of the short game area at the muncipal course by my house. I feel a little bad about using the facilities without buying anything but I justify it by assuming since I live in Dallas I am probably paying a tax for it somewhere. In my eyes its like any other park (side note: go play Luna Vista in Dallas great course,nice staff,nice facilities). As far as hitting off mats I couldnt quite figure out how to make up for that. I was going to have to trust myself. I was going to have to take it out to the course and see how it goes.
The value was just too good
I decided to go with the PGA Superstore membership. I have had it for about 2 weeks now and have used the simulators 4 times. Each time has been great. There has been no problems with getting a simulator. I have also taken advantage of some regrippings and some other club work. So far so good. For $100 I cant beat the value. I will get the most value when winter hits. I can still practice no matter the weather. This whole week it is supposed to rain. If I had a normal membership I would be out a full week of practice and it is also a waste of money. If you couldnt tell in this blog so far I dont like wasting money.
Earlier this week I took a look at the weather forcast and saw rain. I saw rain Saturday,Sunday,and all this week. I took his advice and decided to make plans for the weekend with my wife.
Saturday rolls around and about 5 am a storm comes through. It was a pretty large storm. Enough that it freaked out our dog and kept me up for about an hour. After I fell back asleep for a few hours my wife and I had some nice chores to do around the house. When I was done with those I could have went and played golf but I still couldnt shake the fact the weather forecast was calling for a 60 percent chance of rain. I kept looking at the sky and it seemed to be ok but here in Dallas storms roll in before you know it. The worst place to be when a storm rolls in is the 14th tee box. Trust me I have been stuck on the course with no umbrella or rain suit when it hits. I decided to go to the golf store and get some work done to my newly acquired putter. I got the lie taken down 3 degrees and a new super stroke grip added. For a guy who has never been a big Superstroke fan I couldnt pass up the opportunity.
Sunday was supposed to be more rain. Plus I had signed up to volunteer at my wifes job as a part of Feed the World. We woke up to celebrate Senior Sunday. My wife like usual knocked it out of the park. I was going to go practice for a hour but I came home and my wife wanted to take a nap. Me being the good husband I am I couldnt just let her take a nap by herself. We fell asleep and when we woke up it was time to head out and prepare 20,000 meals for children around the world. While the event was going on the skys kept looking dark and I thought there was a chance more rain would come in. It hadnt rained all day but I knew it was supposed to. I decided to not go hit some putts and head home.
Had I not thought it was going to rain I may not have even got the putter fixed and I would have been a lot less happy at the volunteer event tonight. As I sit here it is dark outside and I am listening to it rain. The weather man was correct. It did rain Saturday and Sunday but not at times that would have messed with golf. Sometimes the weatherman is wrong and sometimes when he is everything ends up working out perfectly
This time of the year is usually pretty quiet on the equipment front. Most guys on tour have the new stuff in the bag and there are not many releases. It can be kind of boring. That was until today. Today we got a brand new iron release from Ping.
Ping continues to consolidate
Over the last few years Ping has consolidated some of their lines. The K line has become the GMAX and the G Line has remained. The I series became the LS TEC in the woods and the i in irons. We knew the S series iron was set for a revamp this year. Well we found out what the new irons look like. We also found out that they will continue to consolidate lines. The S series irons will now be called the i blade.
A glide like iron
The new iron looks just like the Ping Glide wedges. Im surprised they didnt just call them Glide irons. Me personally, I think the little cavity looks off for some reason. I think the same thing with the Glide wedges as well. Thats not me saying I hate them. One thing a lot of golfers want is a nice simple cavity on an iron. Taylormade can get carried away with some of their graphics. No one will accuse Ping of doing it on these.
A blade from Ping?
The s series irons have always been known as Pings “blade”. In my eyes they are not a true blade. They have a cavity in them. These have the name I blade so you are probably expecting a true blade. These do have a cavity. In my eyes they are not a blade. They may play like a blade with very little offset but to me they are still a CB. That being said I prefer a cb. Hell most golfers would prefer a little forgiveness. A lot of big time players play a CB. If Jordan Spieth can play a CB so can I.
Overall, I think its a great looking iron despite the weird paint. I am a big Ping iron fan. They are my favorite iron brand every year. Their G series just hit it straight and high. The I series increases feel and uses less offset. I can only imagine these are going to be great.
When I showed up to the First Tee on Thursday the head instructor asked me if I had any plans for Saturday. I told him I was going to go play golf but I could be persuaded to do other things. He said eh had some tickets to the Emmitt Smith Charity Golf Tournament. It included food and drinks.
The Charity Tournament
The charity tournament took place at a private course in DFW named TPC Craig Ranch. It was my first time out there and it was GORGEOUS. My friend and I walked into the VIP tent and decided to grab our first beer. We saw the grandstand and decided to go watch some celebrities. It was fun to watch the celebrities come down the 18th hole. The 18th hole at Craig Ranch is a par 5 that requires a lay up. There is water in front of the green. I didnt see anyone go for it the whole time. Seeing how players approached this was fun. The food was great as well. The one thing that made it difficult to follow was the fact you couldnt really tell which celebrity was coming up the fairway and also no one was there to tell you who was coming up to the green. That was a little frustrating.
Now its my turn!
We stayed until 2:30. As I was walking out of the tournament I decided to hop online and check to see if their were any courses in the area I could go play. Google Maps told me that a course was 8 minutes away. Their website said they had a tee time in 22 minutes. I jumped in the car and took off down the road. I arrived to the course and asked if they still had room for a single. The guy in the clubhouse told me to hurry out and I could join the 2 some heading out. I didnt want to take this round too serious. I was having a fun day and wanted to continue the day. If I played well great if not that would be fine too.
How is that new driver working?
It was also my first round with the SLDR. I had no idea if I would be able to keep the ball on reservation. On the first tee I ripped it. It felt great and had a perfect ball flight. I obviousy thought this was an outlier. Next tee box I pull driver again. It was another huge driver down the middle. I was gaining an extra 15 yards on drives. I never trust GPS yardages but I had a shot that showed up as 332 and it was down the middle. Overall on the day I hit 10 of 14 FW’s. 2 of these were on the last 3 holes and one was a 3 wood that I leaked out right. I think I am going to love this thing. I ended up shooting an 88 though. I had 34 putts. Still cant putt at all. One problem I had was my allergies were atrocious. I couldnt putt all day because I was sniffling and having snot run down my face. Another big issue I had was the fact I was hitting my driver longer than usual. I kept launching wedges over the green. I hit 3 out of 18 greens. One of those was a par 3. I see I need to get my wedges dialed in better. This will be really important if I keep hitting my driver this way. Its not a bad problem to have.
I feel I am hitting the ball really well. Its time to get everything to come together and have the round of my life.
After my last round of terrible putting I decided not only is my technique terrible but I also have no confidence in what I am using as my putter. I went to a local Golf galaxy and saw they not only offered putter fittings but they offered SAM putter fittings. SAM is the best putter analyzing tool on the market. It is basically the Trackman of putters. I decided to try it out.
First off I love the fact they give you a PGA pro for the fitting. The pro at the Grapevine Texas store was Mike White and let me tell you he was as professional as they come. We did have a little misunderstanding but in no way was it Mikes fault. No one told him I was at the putting green and he thought it was a lesson. No big deal. Even though we started 20 minutes late and he in no way rushed our fitting.
To start off Mike told me to go grab some putters I would be interested in. I grabbed a traditional blade putter from Nike, my current Cleveland 3.5, a Seemore blade,Ping Ketsch, Metal X #9, and an Edel Torque Balanced. I hit balls each with the golf ball of my choosing. Mike didnt let me see any results between putters. I appreciated that. I was told to do my normal preshot routine and treat it like a normal putt. I also really liked the fact that I got to use my golf ball.
After hitting all of the putters the SAM putting lab ranks all of the putters. They have 2 seperate rankings. The first is performance and the second is consistency. Performance measures the aim and the contact. The consistency tells us how you are able to replicate your stroke. As far as performance goes the Seemore performed the best. I was able to make the best stroke on the ball with the Seemore. I aimed it the best as well. When it came ot consistency the Edel Torque balance performed the best for me and it wasnt even close. I could make the same stroke with it over and over again. In calculating the overall score of the putter the consistency led the system to suggest the Edel Torque Balance. Now one thing the system doesnt measure is the result of the putt or the feel of the putter. Considering I made 4 of 5 from 12 feet away with the Ketsch I had to instantly vault it up the leaderboard.
Ranking the putters I tried went as following
- Edel Torque Balance
- Metal X
Mike and I took a look at the results and the recomendation was
A face balanced putter.
Heavier. 350-365 Grams
Possibly Counter Balanced
3 Degrees Flat
3 Degrees of Loft
You may be thinking 3 degrees is VERY FLAT. It is an unusally flat lie angle for a putter. The reason being is I am short but I have very long arms. This causes me to have a very exagerated toe up lie angle. This was also causing quite a bit of inconsistency in my face contact. I am now in search of the putter to fit me. The SAM putter fitting was very eye opening and awesome to experience.