Friday, January 29, 2016

How the PGA Merchandise Show Proved That #Golf is Alive and Well #PGAShow

From the hottest clubs to the latest in wearable golf technology and apparel, if you are in the golf business, you needed to attend this year's PGA Merchandise Show.

2016 PGA Show floor

Over one thousand interactive exhibits, golf pros, instructors and course owners/management converged this week in Orlando, stuffing into The Orange County Convention Center including yours truly and, if this show ever proved one thing, it was that the sport is alive and growing, no matter what the naysayers assert!

According to Sports Business Journal (which I read in the Media Center), this centennial season brought out more than 42,000 industry attendees from 25+ countries and one thousand golf companies and brands ...there was nearly ten miles of show aisles! Boy were my feet tired after navigating through my first day at the Show!

Although I cannot be at the PGA Show the entire week, I understand that the stage was filled with well-known representatives of the sport; there was a meet-and-greet with Bubba Watson, a golf clinic with LPGA star Lexi Thompson and demonstration by the one and only Annika Sorenstam. I was fortunate to learn tips from masters of golf instruction, Hank Haney and David Leadbetter.


Hank Haney_PGA Show

I'm sure I cannot do justice to the PGA Show with these photos but, if I only show our readers one thing, I hope it is to show the immense popularity of golf, a few of the hottest items that are in your local stores and a few that are sold online and making a dent in the internet.

Here is the interactive display booth for Mobitee with PIQ, the latest in golf wearable technology.

Red Joe Hydration
Fitness and Nutrient Products Like RedJoe are Proving that there is a market for hydration during a round of golf. Doesn't hurt to have Leadbetter using it either! 

PGA Show Floor
From large brands with huge displays like Callaway and Titleist to smaller booths representing health and fitness, the PGA Show is "the place to discover the latest golf technology, equipment, apparel, and new products."


Voice your opinions on the latest golf products and technology on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and below in our golf blog comments section.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Why Zach Johnson Is One Tour Player You Can Emulate #golf

Zach JohnsonEverybody wants to know what Jordan Spieth is doing, but Zach Johnson is the golfer you should really be paying attention to if you’re a 12+ handicap player. He has all of the preferred swing positions that will help you eliminate that weak slice, gain distance and hit the golf ball with authority. 

What are those swing postures? Johnson's exceptionally strong grip is something that’s easy to copy and adding it will immediately help with that open club face that plagues almost all higher handicap players. 

Next, Zack sets up with his shoulders square to his target. Most higher handicap players have their shoulders open or aimed left of target at address, which makes it more likely you’ll swing over the top and slice the ball. 

Lastly, ZJ's left arm (forward arm for lefties like me) is flatter at the top of the golf swing than most tour players. For you, the flatter left arm makes it easier to swing the club more from the inside instead of swinging over the top. 

If you can get your club face more square by adopting a more closed face (strong grip), square up the shoulder at address and swing the path of your club more from the inside on the downswing, you’ll hit the ball farther and straighter and that weak slice will be a thing of the past.  

These changes will also free you up to turn your hips more through impact. Most players stop their hips through impact to give their hands time to try to flip the club square at the last second. That’s big power leak. When you don’t have to worry about your club face being open at impact, you can turn your hips more freely through impact which is a big source of power and consistency. 

These concepts are easy to understand in this video breakdown of Zach’s swing. Watch this video below from Face First Golf and feel free to comment on this blog in the section below or on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.





The golf instruction video and information in this blog comes to you from Craig Jones of FaceFirstGolf.com, who has recently released a new online training program ... a bootcamp...for 12+ handicap players. Not only has Craig taught 10,000+ lessons and owned five golf learning facilities over the past twelve years, he was once a 15+ handicap player himself and worked his way down to a ONE handicap (super impressive).  Craig breaks down the more difficult concepts into simpler terms AND respects the rules and etiquette that make golf such a great sport. 


photo: Wikipedia

Friday, January 15, 2016

Jordan Spieth Takes Over as the Choice of a New #Golf Generation

Move over Tiger Woods...a replacement is in the wings!

Jordan Spieth and some of the young guns in golf are now being referred to as "Tiger Babies", a term being bandied about by writers and magazines with respect to former number one golfer in the world, Tiger Woods.

Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth

We watch as Tiger Woods' children are growing up right before our eyes, swinging clubs like their "old man" and, before we know it, Woods is forty-years-old...old enough to father at least one of the new trailblazers in the sport. Many of these top players have mentioned Woods as the reason that they are in the game and owe him a debt of gratitude and thanks for fattening their wallets.

As Ron Sirak stated, "All looked to Woods as an example, and the result has been a drastically deepened talent pool in golf."

With reference to Jordan Spieth, he shows an ever-growing ability to "become" the next great player...a modest, respectful and very talented golfer whom fans will follow and to whom children might refer to one day as the one who has done so much to improve the millennial base.

"We’re very excited about where we’re at and the start to our career as a team, and what Tiger has done...it’s nice to be in that company." - Jordan Spieth, after winning the 2016 season-opening Hyundai TOC.

Proper etiquette and a youthful appearance at their respective ages, however, are not enough to measure the two golfers and Spieth is loath to be compared to the former world number one golfer.

“I think that’s something that people are looking for but is not there with anybody right now because it’s something I don’t think that can be compared until at least midway through their career," claimed Jordan Spieth on the eve of the 2015 The Open Championship.

Jordan went on to say,“This is an early timetable. When people ask me about those kind of parallels I try and shake it off because it’s not the same. I’m extremely happy with where I’ve been and how we’ve been able to compete and win early and win a couple majors at my age, but at the same time, I certainly have an appreciation for how Tiger could continue and continue and continue to keep winning majors at just an unbelievable percentage of the amount that he played in because it’s not easy. It’s very challenging."

Statistics for each golfer, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth, at the same times in their golf careers, also show a comparison in their level of ability.

Woods_Spieth head to head

According to CBSSports.com, although Spieth and Woods are the only two golfers since WWII to win seven PGA Tour events before turning twenty-three years of age, Tiger began to roar soon after, winning twenty-nine times and amassing six major titles.

Only time will tell whether Spieth can hold on and make history but Jack Nicklaus commented that it's a good thing that Tiger Woods is no longer in the mix.

"It's a blessing for them to have had Tiger not being at the top because they've had an opportunity to not have to put up with being afraid of somebody dominating the game," Jack Nicklaus said. "They can go play. As a result of that they've been able to go out and win and prove to themselves they are there and can be there."


Do you think Spieth is the Choice of a New Golf Generation? Let us know in the comments section of our golf blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.

photo: Clubhousenews.com, World Golf

Friday, January 08, 2016

How to Tell If You Need New #Golf Irons in 2016

Gazing down at the grips which you recently changed on your Ping Eye 2's, that less-than-shiny finish of the once shimmering stainless steel and the tiny dings and faded club face, you realize that your almost thirty years old golf irons could use a break. Still, they served you well and you are loath to switch out your clubs and, perhaps, alter your game.

On the flip side, the hottest golf irons for 2016 are said to be better than ever before, sporting extraordinary distance, control and feel. Are you open to the possibility of improving your game with, say, the latest game improvement irons...Ping GMax, I-irons, Karstens...or Cleveland CG Black CB's?


2016 PING i IRONs: Using 431 stainless steel for the first time in a PING iron, engineers relied on the material’s high strength-to-weight ratio and softer feel to create a head design that delivers workability and trajectory control with the right amount of forgiveness. Lengths and lofts are optimized to increase distance with proper gapping, resulting in a clean, players-style iron with a high MOI.


SIGNS YOU NEED NEW GOLF IRONS


- Age of the Irons - According to SFGolf.com, "Experts suggest that if your clubs are more than three years old and you are an avid golfer who gets out there often, then there’s a good chance it’s time for new clubs" Bent and damaged golf irons are also a sign that it's time to say goodbye to your old friends - wear and tear certainly takes its toll.

- You Are Getting Older... and less flexible. That goes back to the above statement of wear and tear but not just on the club. Chances are your body isn't in the shape it was in five years ago and you could probably use a more flexible shaft and larger club head. Rockbottom Golf suggests the importance of "matching your shaft to your swing style so you get the most distance from your swing."

- Technology is Progressing, Why Shouldn't You? Do you still carry (and occasionally use) a 3-iron? Hybrids or fairway woods can replace those long irons and with better results. Need to make a choice as to which club better suits your game? Links Magazine says, "If you sweep shots cleanly off the turf, fairway woods are for you. If you have a steeper swing (you tend to take divots), you'll be better off with hybrids."

worn out golf iron grooves
A sign you may need new golf irons - worn out golf grooves!

If you decide to take the next step and consider a new golf iron purchase, remember that research and measurement is key. Whether you are a high or low handicapper, search the internet with those keywords, not focusing on the brand but on the type of player you are or have become.

For example, type in "game improvement irons" if you need help in that area or golf irons for beginners ...and make sure you take those clubs into a booth along with assistance from a custom-fit professional. Finding local demo days is also a great idea as manufacturer reps bring a whole slew of clubs for you to try!

Have you just purchased new irons or are you considering new clubs? Tell us your story in the comments section of our golf blog below and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.


photos: Ping, GolfDashBlog.com