The 2011 U.S. Open starting tomorrow is being played at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. We are excited to watch the live coverage from our desktops. Shh....don't tell Nathan (our IT manager and he reminds us a couple of times of year that we're slowing down our bandwidth while we enjoy golf and hoops via the web).
One of the reasons why golf fans enjoy watching this major is typically the winning score is around even par unlike the other 3 Majors or even PGA Tour events. A player must be long when teeing it up at an Open venue and extremely accurate. Of course a stealth short game is a must to give yourself a chance to be in the hunt on Sunday afternoon.
This championship is our country's "open" championship which means it is open to any professional and amateur with a USGA handicap index of 1.4 or lower. Now this might weed out 99% of the golfing population in our country, but it still leaves hope for talented college players and career amateurs who have serious game. Some of the top amateurs in this year's field to keep your eye on include:
- Chris Williams - from Moscow, ID and goes to school at UW.
- Steve Irwin - Hal's son. Playing in his first U.S. Open
- Beau Hossler - 16 years old. Wow!
- And others such as Russell Henley, David Chung, Patrick Cantlay, Brad Benjamin, and Michael Barbosa.
Office Pick: John Ellis, a good friend of an employee of Pinemeadow, qualified for his 2nd U.S. Open and will be competing for the U.S. Open trophy.
Click here to follow John and your favorite players.
Players like Ian Poulter have made the color white not only trendy in their wardrobes but golf club makers have put their stamp of approval behind it and are pursuing more and more clubs with the white finish.
It’s no secret that tour pros will mix and match their equipment to find the winning combination. As more pros change out their old drivers and putters to play the new white finish drivers and putters, golfers of all skill levels are looking for the similar look and feel in their equipment.
Aside from being the brilliant marketing genius of many the top manufacturers like Cobra and TaylorMade, the white color does a couple of things visually.
- One, it does help contrast and focus the club against the background of the green fairway (or maybe the rough in some cases). This will help you set up the club and improve accuracy. White putters are where you are going to see the most improve because the white finish of the putter sets up putts nicely and allow you to not lose sight of your target line.
- Secondly, the white finish is unique and stands out in the bag. It will also visually not feel like you're swinging and huge oversized 460 head. Now you can have the confidence to pull the driver from the bag and rip it off of the tee.
Trends come and go and you may be asking yourself if the finish will no question you may feel that the white finish does nothing to help your game but consider that manufacturers like us want to make our best products stand out. And we when focus on making the best products stand out in white, you will see that performance shine through to your game. That makes it more than just a finish, but the superior technology behind the finish is what makes the difference.
People often ask, how do I choose a grip? Which one is better than the rest ? All great questions, especially in a product area that can seem a bit imposing, if not down right confusing! Well, the answer is actually quite simple. Golfers should choose the grip they like the feel of but since you can’t feel them here is some information that will help you choose what is best for you. I personally like a grip that’s tacky and a bit oversized.
Lets talk more about a couple of Pinemeadow’s new upgradable grips:
Crossline Tour Full Cord by Lamkin: The “full cord” is a grip that was originally designed for the Pro Tour. Tour players were looking for a grip with extra traction in hot and humid environments. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. When the Tour shifts from the west coast and moves east, the heat and the humidity are the first things players notice. The full cord grip also offers way better traction for golfers that can’t and or do not like to wear golf gloves. If you live in an area where humidity is a big problem these grips are perfect solution for you.
Performance Plus 3GEN Standard by Lamkin: The 3GEN is one of Lamkin’s newest grips. The 3GEN material is proprietary and is made from synthetic rubber. The goal with this grip was to produce a soft and tacky feel, while not absorbing moisture. In addition, the profile of the grip is slightly larger.
So, be open to grabbing a club here or there that might different than yours to see how the grip feels. Remember, grips are not too expensive and they are meant to be changed.
The technical aspects of golf can sometimes be difficult to understand. Many of us have spent a lot of time researching the club heads themselves, neglecting the shafts. Understanding the technical specifications of a shaft is nearly, if not equally important in choosing a club that will play in your favor. We have designed our standard Pinemeadow shafts to suit and play just right for the general golfing population, but in some cases a shaft with a different torque, weight or flex point is ideal. We make these shafts available in the form of 'shaft upgrades' on our site.
Here are a few pointers and definitions to help you understand different shaft specifications:
3. Flex point
The raw weight of each shaft is measured in grams. Graphite shafts vary from 62-85 grams, which may not seem like much. The difference is indistinguishable to some golfers when holding two clubs with differently weighted shafts. However, this difference is enough to largely affect your swing.
The purpose of a lighter shaft is to allow you to increase your swing speed, resulting in longer drives. Though, with a lighter shaft and a quicker swing speed, any golfer runs the risk of losing control of his or her swing, thereby affecting accuracy. It is important to remember this dynamic when trying to find a shaft that suits your game.
A golf shaft's torque rating is a measurement in degrees of its propensity to twist during your swing. The higher the torque rating on a graphite shaft, the more twist or torsion the shaft will exhibit during a swing. The term torque is only referenced on graphite shafts which are meant to bend and twist. The torque rating is meant to give you an idea of how much torsion you can expect from a given shaft.
The majority of players don't need to worry about torque because we can't (or shouldn't) swing hard enough for it to really have an impact on our shots. If you have an aggressive yet controlled swing, it would make sense to look into clubs with a lower torque rating because the shaft will be less prone to twist, resulting in greater consistency.
If you are like most of the golfing population, a shaft with higher torque rating is great. It gives you a softer feel and absorbs much of the vibration of the impact.
Flex point, kick point, or bend point is the fulcrum at which the greatest amount of bend is perceived when the shaft is pulled down from the back swing.
Flex point plays the biggest roll in ball flight. The higher the flex point on a shaft, the lower the ball trajectory on most shots, and inversely, the lower the flex point, the higher the trajectory. This is a good general rule for flex point, but it is important to keep in mind that every golfer's swing is unique, and flex point may affect your shot trajectory differently.
The best way to see how shaft weight, torque rating, and flex point statistics will apply to your game, is to try out different shafts with the above in mind. Click here to check out all available shafts on PinemeadowGolf.com, and good luck!
Better weather and longer days, especially for us in the Northwest, are among the most relevant, but April also excites us because it is the kick off to golf's first major, "The Masters".
Every golfer knows the week of the Masters to be the best golf event of the year. It's tough to understand what it is that puts this competition in a category all its own, but golf and the Masters seem to go hand-in-hand. Could be the course? The Players? The Coverage? The Name? I am sure we all can agree it's probably a combination of it all.
Regardless, it is every professional golfers dream to win this event, and though there may be a handful who claim not to put too high a priority on it (highly doubtful), it is easy to imagine that achieving the most coveted victory in golf, and at last, putting on the Green Jacket is likely a good feeling - it would be hard to argue otherwise. Professional golfers view the Masters as the one major to win.
Of course the experts have their picks but here are some picks from the staff at Pinemeadow:
Bubba Watson:"I don't read the PGA Tour site to highlight all of his stats but he uses Twitter to keep me updated on his life and his golf game. I appreciate his tweets and he's having a great season so far. His play is relaxed and he knows he can finish. It's a perfect foundation for him to get to the next level and a Green Jacket would suit him well."- Gabe B.
Nick Watney:"He is one of the more accurate drivers in the game while not giving up any distance. The confidence he gained with his putter at Doral to capture the World Golf Championships- Cadillac Championship will carry over to Augusta. Go get-em Nick!" - Chris C.
Ben Crane:"Well he drives the ball straight, he is putting well and he ranks high in scrambling !! It's Augusta .. He who putts well on those greens wins." - Guy M.
Fred Couples:"Freddy and Augusta go hand and hand. It would be pretty awesome for the game of golf if he were to make the final group. It's hard not to root for the guy and let's hope he can put together a magical run together like Watson did at the British Open but close it out with a win!" - Tommy B.
Phil Mickelson"I love rooting for Phil. He's fun to watch." - Nathan H.
Like most of us we will never hit a drive, make a putt at Augusta and the only green jacket we'll wear in my lifetime is the one someone gave us years ago, and it says nothing of our ability to golf. We can only enjoy another magical week in golf, which is good enough for everyone here at Pinemeadow.
Entering the members gate of Augusta National is a dream but now you have the chance to capture the nostalgia of Magnolia Lane and Founders Circle for yourself. The home of the The Masters has partners with EA Sports to invite you and your pals to walk across Rae's Creek for the first time on a game console. Tee time is set for March 29th., golfers with a PS3, XBOX 360, Wii will be able to play the new Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 "Masters Edition" video game. Conquer Amen Corner in pursuit of the putting on the green jacket.
Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National established the formation of the Masters Tournament Foundation, which is designed to invest in the game of golfs development programs world wide. All of the the profits from the video game will be donated into the new foundation.
"I am very happy and excited that the Masters Tournament is featured in the Tiger Woods PGA Tour game," Woods said. "There are many new and unique elements in the game that will make everyone feel like they're really competing at Augusta National." - Tiger Woods
In addition to Augusta National, the game features St. Andrews and Pebble Beach Golf Links among the 15 other courses to play.
It can be argued that wedges are the second most important clubs in your bag. They are used so often in a round they can really make a difference in the improvement of your game. Some players will carry up to five wedges, but it is more common for players to only have one to three depending on what suits their game. An assortment of wedges can be used for every type of shot and lie.
With so many things to consider when purchasing the right wedge, it is important to choose the wedge that is going to work for your particular game. When wedges were originally made, they were designed with regular sized club heads, but golf technologies and the game have changed so much that oversize wedges are being made available to go along with the standard, regular sized, wedges. Carrying an assortment of wedge types and lofts is a new concept that is gaining momentum.
With this is mind, it is important to decide what type wedge head size suits your game. Having an oversize versus a regular wedge head is not necessarily better, and vice versa. Here are some things to take into consideration when you are making your decision.
The advantages of an oversize wedge:
Added face height, larger sweet spot, increased forgiveness
If you have problems getting under the ball on shots out of the rough or in the deep sand, the additional face height will improve ball launch without having to dig deep. The extra face height helps to ensure contact.
Most oversize wedges also have a larger sole than usual. The design concept of the wide sole is to have a lower center of gravity (LCG) making it easier to get the ball in the air. The LCG helps reduce topping the ball.
Of course, with a larger club face comes a larger sweet spot. The bigger the sweet spot, the more forgiving the wedge will be on miss hits. That can be an advantage on any type of shot. A larger sweet spot will give you assurance that you are going to make good contact on every shot. Basically, a larger sweet spot results in increased forgiveness.
The disadvantages of an oversize wedge and why some people prefer to have a traditional/regular wedge:
Harder to shape certain shots and wedge doesn't get caught while approaching impact
Traditional size wedges give you more control. You do lose a little forgiveness and size of the sweet spot but you have the capability of shaping your shot. To hit a regular sized wedge, you should be at the point in your game where you are confident in sacrificing some forgiveness to gain control. Another disadvantage of an oversize wedge is that it can get caught up in the grass and sand a little easier and result in less distance. Since the club head is bigger, the bottom of the head has more of a chance to grab the grass or sand during your swing.
When making a decision to purchase a new complete set of golf clubs, most golfers spend the majority of their time researching and analyzing information about woods and irons. Customers often overlook the importance of finding the correct putter. It widely known that most golfers add unnecessary strokes to their game while on the putting green. Selecting the right putter those strokes can be easily avoided or at least minimized.
If you are having trouble reaching a specific benchmark in your game, try improving your putting game. The right putter can make a huge difference, whether you are trying to break 100 or 80. It is important to research putter styles to find an effective putter for your game.
All of us have grabbed a putter and instantly knew it felt good after a few practice swings. First impressions are important here. You can instantly determine what type of look and feel appeals to you. You want a putter that gives you confidence in making the putt, before you even hit the ball.
Here is a simple checklist we go over with our customers to help them decide on a putter. Of course there are numerous considerations; we try to point out the obvious to make the decision easier for you.
- Decide on a putter head shape design.
- Determine what alignment system is going to help you visualize the line you are seeking.
- Insert or No Insert? What type of feel at impact feels good to you?
We can categorize putter head shapes into three different styles:
- Cavity back putters are traditional looking putters with a hollow area in the middle back of the putter, which generates a larger sweet spot. Weight is distributed toward the perimeter of the putter head. A classic cavity backed putter is the Ping Anser putter, first popularized in the early 70s.
- Blade style putters have the weight of the club head distributed to the heel or bottom of the putter, leaving you a thin top line to look at when you are addressing the ball. The Titleist Bullseye is a great example of a popular blade putter.
- Mallet putters are typically much bigger than traditional putters. Many newer models even include alignment systems. The shape of mallet putter heads vary widely, as do their weight distribution. Half moon putters are a type of mallet putter with a rounded head shape. The Odyssey Two-ball putter is one of the hottest mallet putters on the market today.
There are various types of alignment systems available in putters. It can be difficult to decide which one to choose; golfers should base their decision on what feels most comfortable.
To make your decision easier, determine what visual aid helps you line up a putt. For example, a line, ball, or double lines can all assist your putting accuracy. There is no indication that one system is better than the other, which is why there are so many variations of putters used on the course. All alignment systems are designed to aid you in lining up your putt, however you use them.
There is a reason why inserts are located in the sweet spot of the putter. Various insert materials will provide different results. Some inserts are soft, some hard, and some are milled so the surface is completely flat. The insert material affects the way the ball behaves when struck.
Inserts can reduce skipping at impact. This is an important feature to make sure your putt stays aligned. The main purpose of an insert is to provide a specific feel to the golfer. Some golfers prefer the feel of certain insert materials over others.
Overall, the most important factor is to play a putter that feels comfortable when you address the ball in your putting stance. The more comfortable you are with your putter in your hands, the more it will feel like an extension of your body. That will translate to confidence, and hopefully, less time on the green.
We all know that long irons are hard to hit. It’s rare that we see an average player with a 1, 2 or 3 iron in his or her bag. Hybrids are replacing these clubs but you are also seeing a lot of higher lofted woods being played too.
Woods with lofts higher then 20 degrees have been around for quite sometime. Adams Golf really led the way with their original “tight lies” series of woods. The original club, if our memory is correct was basically a very thin low profile strong 3 wood. The low profile design really allowed the golfer to move the club head through the rough easier. The result from the fairway was a higher ball flight and much easier “scoop” off tight or short grass lies.
From the success of the “Strong 3 Wood” a family of clubs was created: 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 and 15 woods. All giving you a much easier chance of a solid hit combined with a higher ball flight and generally better control that you will see from your long irons. If you are looking for higher lofted woods, a thin profile our Yukon Shallow Face series are right up your alley.
Bounce or 'bounce angle' is defined as the angle the sole of your wedge creates when compared to the ground. Bounce is a specification usually only referred to when describing wedges. We list the bounce for all of our wedges in the technical specifications box on our individual product pages.
Okay, so what bounce on a wedge is suited best for me?
This may sound slightly confusing, but grab a club and put in the address position and you will see the space between the ground and the leading edge of the wedge. It is a minimal space, but the bounce angle determines how much space there is.
Wedges with very little bounce or a smaller bounce angle are usually designed for approach shots from short grass and tight lies. The smaller angle allows you to get under the ball easier. It is common for sand wedges to have the highest degree of bounce, so the wedge does not dig into the sand but it glides through while displacing the sand.
Bounce can play a large part in the performance of the wedge, and is usually based on a golfer's needs and personal preference. To help you determine what wedge is best for you, decide on what degree of bounce will fit your game and course that you are regularly playing.
If you have any more questions feel free to contact us. We are always here to help.