Monday, December 28, 2015

Getting more loft with your irons

     One question I'm often asked from customers is how can I get more loft with my long and middle irons? Granted hybrids have become a popular alternative there are still many players who enjoy hitting their 3,4 and 5 irons. The problem is the lower trajectory shots won't hold and run off the back of the green.  
     The most effective way to increase height is to adjust the loft of your irons. Using a loft and lie machine to add loft will increase the trajectory - the ball will land softer and stay on the green. You will hit the shots just a far because the ball stays in the air longer, thus increasing your carry distance.
     Modifying your shafts can help, but to a lesser degree. Flighted shafts are designed to produce a higher trajectory in the longer irons, but not the shorter irons. Another method is to install a softer flex in your longer irons than what you have in the rest of the set. Soft stepping is another method where the 3 iron shaft is installed in the 4 iron, the 4 iron shaft in installed in the 5 iron, and so on throughout the set.
     If you have questions about the your equipment give Steve a call or stop by Golf Rx.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Gift Cards available at Golf Rx

     We all know golfers can be difficult to buy for which makes a gift card from Golf Rx the perfect solution. Golf Rx gift cards can be used for any of our products and services including lessons, golf equipment and club repair.
     So whether your golfer wants to improve their game, needs new custom fit clubs, or new grips for their existing clubs a gift card will make your shopping easier.
    We also carry Bushnell Rangefinders and Golf Buddy GPS handhelds and watches. Gift Cards may also be used for custom orders if we don't have the item in stock.
    For more information contact Steve at Golf Rx at (615) 288-4539.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Things to consider about golf shafts

    I have often heard golfers say that the shaft is the "engine " of the golf club. Actually the shaft is more like the "transmission" of the golf club. It connects the player's hands to the clubhead, and allows the golfer to transfer his power to the clubhead, and thus, to the golf ball. Players who like to say the shaft is the engine of the golf club often come to this conclusion when experiencing shot improvement after making a shaft change.

   In regards to the importance of the shaft to the performance of golf clubs here are three factors to consider:

1. The weight of the shaft is important to all golfers because the shaft weight determines what the overall weight of the club will be. The weight of the shaft influences how much headweight is required to produce a particular feeling of the clubhead during the swing.
    Most golfers believe a lighter shaft will increase clubhead speed resulting in more distance. It is true a lighter shaft may increase clubhead speed, but this doesn't mean all players using a lighter shaft will experience an increase in distance. To do that the lighter total weight must be matched to the golfers timing and tempo so that they can hit the ball on center the highest percentage of time. Hitting the ball off center with higher clubhead speeds results in less distance compared with a slightly slower clubhead speed with more on center hits.

2. The flex and bend point of the shaft can contribute to launch angle and spin rate, but only for players who possess a late release of their wrist on the downswing. For the majority of golfers who unhinge their wrists early or in the first half of the downswing the shaft won't display any real difference in launch angle of spin rate. 

3. Most experienced golfers, not just tour players, have an inherent sense of feel regarding shafts. When players sense the shaft is too stiff, they tend to swing harder - and when the shaft is too flexible, they try to ease up. In both cases these swing adjustments are an attempt to make the shaft feel right for them. In either case the shot results are not very good. This is the classic example of a player adjusting his swing to the club rather than having the club built to his particular swing. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Great time to improve your game

    With the winter months approaching now is a great time to work on improving your game. Maybe your slice won't go away, you're not hitting your irons solid, or having trouble with that short approach shot, this is the time to finally correct those faults.
    In one or two lessons we will have you on your way to better golf and more fun this spring. Make a resolution that this is the year you are going to do something to improve your game. Contact Steve about making an appointment - I assure you it will be the best thing you've done in a long time. Taking a few dollars off your golf buddies isn't a bad thing either...

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Taking the Mystery out of Club Fitting

Here are my answers to customer's most commonly asked questions regarding club fitting:

Exactly what is customized in a set of custom fit clubs?
   Practically every part of the club may be modified to some extent. These include club length, shaft material, weight and flex, club head type and design, lie angle of the irons and grip type material and size. Also the number of clubs needed to make up your particular set.

Why is the shaft important?
    Not all players' swings possess the same tempo and swing speed. Today's shaft are available in a variety of weights, flexes and tip stiffness that can greatly influence a players' ball flight, launch angle and distance. By observing your swing we are able to determine the proper shaft to maximize your distance and accuracy.

What is Lie Angle and why it is important in my irons?
    Lie angle is the angle between the sole of the club and the axis of the shaft. Lie angle has a major effect on the direction of your shots. A too flat lie angle (toe down) results in shots going right of the target. A too upright lie angle (toe up) causes the ball to go left of the target. By using lie tape and hitting balls off a lie board we determine the correct lie angle for you new irons.

I'm shorter than average so should I use shorter clubs? 
   In most cases you would not because it shortens your swing arc resulting in a loss of club head speed and distance. Shorter players will often require flatter lie angles because of a flatter swing plane.

Are custom clubs more expensive than off the rack sets?
    No. As a matter of fact they are often less expensive because you may only need 5 or 6 irons rather than the conventional 8 irons in most off the rack sets.

After my fitting how long does it take to get my new clubs?
    Virtually all major club manufacturers are now tooled up to produce and ship custom orders in 3 to 5 days. Our customers receive their new clubs in 7 to 10 business days.

What if I loose a club - can I get a replacement to match my original specifications?
   Our shop as well as the manufacturers maintain records of each customer's order including all specifications. If a club is lost a replacement can be made to exactly match your original set.

Will custom fit clubs make me a better player?
    Professionally fit clubs are an important tool in order to become the best player you can be, and that is what we would all like to experience. Properly fit clubs reward good swings with good golf shots. Poorly fit clubs force a player to compensate. You wouldn't buy a new suit at a store without trying it on. Neither should you invest in new golf clubs without first being professionally fit.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

End of Year Demo Sale at Golf Rx

Right now you can take advantage of big savings on our 2015 demo clubs and sets. These clubs are used primarily indoors during the season so they have little or no wear. We have drivers, fairway woods, hybrids and iron sets from Ping and Callaway. We also have big savings on balls, gloves, shoes and headwear. Call or stop by for details.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Fall News from Golf Rx

    There is quite a bit going on at Golf Rx as Fall begins. First of all, Ping has lowered the prices on  G30 clubs including irons, drivers, fairway woods and hybrids. Save $100 on new custom fit irons and $50 on new G30 drivers. The G25 line will only be available until the end of this year. We still have a few Ping Lattitude stand bags left that have been closed out. Retail is $199 and we have them at $129.00.
    Our entire inventory of TRUElinks wear golf shoes are 50% off. Save up to $75 on the Game Changer Hybrid, Tru-motion and Ladies Fairway models.
    We have the Golf Buddy WT5 GPS Watche on sale. Regularly $229 they are on sale for $179. Each watch has over 37,000 courses pre-loaded and there is no yearly fee. These make great gifts.
    In the custom fitting department we have the new Ping I and Gmax irons as well as the new Taylor Made Aeroburner, PSi and RSi tour. The new Taylor Made M1 driver as well as the R15 will arrive this month. The new Callaway Great Big Bertha driver is here and ready for you to test drive it.
    If you're weren't happy with your game this summer now is the time to let Steve help you improve it. Our indoor teaching studio complete with a Full Swing Golf Simulator and V1 Digital Video provides a great learning environment. Steve is an award winning instructor and author of 3 instructional books.
   Finally our full service club repair department is here to provide whatever you need to keep your equipment at its best. We offer same-day service on re-gripping and loft & lie adjustment, and next day service on re-shafting. Golf Rx is THE SHOP for PGA Instruction, Custom Fitting and Club Repair Services. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Tee to Retee Drill promotes hands, arms and wrists action

    I've never seen an accomplished player that doesn't have active arm and hand action. Most developed this early on as juniors or teenagers. The correct hand action is truly the heartbeat of the golf swing. The average golfer needs to feel the release of the clubhead in the cocking, uncocking and recocking of the hands and wrists.

   Here is a great drill to help you feel the role your hands play in the golf swing. It is called the Tee - to - Retee Drill.

    Place a tee in the butt end of the grip of a 6 iron and put 2 tees in the ground along the target line, one about 3 feet directly behind the ball, the other about 3 feet in front. Take your normal stance and swing the club back, consciously cocking the club so the tee in the grip points to the tee behind the ball. Then on the through swing, purposely uncock your wrists so the tee in the grip points to the tee in front of the ball.
   This drill will train your hands, arms, and wrists to uncock the clubhead earlier on the downswing, thereby creating more clubhead speed and helping to square the clubface at impact. An interesting point, the more relaxed your grip pressure and arms the faster the clubhead will be moving.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Summer Clearance Specials

We have some great Clearance Specials right now at Golf Rx. Check these out:

1. Ping has closed out the Lattitude E2 Stand Bag. The Lattitude retails for $215.00 and we have then available for $129.00.  I received 6 bags last Thursday and only have 4 left.

2. True Linkswear golf shoes are now at 50% off. The Tru-motion style retails for $149.00 and is now available for $72.00. We have over 2 dozen in stock.

3. We have the Golf Buddy WT-5 GPS Watches on sale. This is Golf Buddy's latest product which retails for $229.00. We are selling them for $179.00. Only four left in stock.

4. Save up to $200.00 on the Ping G25 irons. You can also save $80.00 on the Ping G25 drivers. These will be available through the Fall. Price includes all customization.

Call Steve for more information or if you have any questions.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Golf Buddy GPS Watches on sale

If you are considering a new GPS Watch now is a great time to purchase one at Golf Rx. The new Golf Buddy WT5 GPS Watch is on sale for $179.00. Retail price on these watches is $229.00. The WT5 has lots of features:
  • Distance to front / center / back of green
  • Full targets & hazards information
  • Dynamic green view
  • Moveable pin placement
  • Digital scorecard
  • GPS tracking
  • Water resistant
The best thing about these new watches is the ease of use. When you get to the course simply turn it on and you're ready to go. Each unit has over 37,000 courses pre-loaded, and can be updated as new courses are added. There is never a yearly subscription fee with Golf Buddy. Each unit comes with charging station, USB cable and user manual.

Stop by Golf Rx to get yours.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Ping G25 is a great value

     One of the best deals right now in golf equipment is the Ping G25 line of drivers, fairways, hybrids and irons. Ping has decided to continue selling the G25 clubs through the Fall, and just recently reduced the prices.  As always there is no charge for any customization in your set. Call or come by Golf Rx if you would like more information.

   Winn Grips recently introduced a new Dri-Tac Wrap to their very popular Dri-Tac line of grips. The wrap provides a contoured feel in a classic wrap-style design with exceptional non-slip all weather performance. Golf Pride as well has a new grip called the MCC Plus 4. It is similar to the New Decade Multicompound, but the 4.6% larger lower hand encourages a lighter grip pressure. The 20% softer rubber in the lower half  matches the feel of building up your grip with extra layers of tape.

     As we enter our 6th year of business at Golf Rx I would like to personally thank all of our customers for their support and patronage. I saw a need for a full service golf facility that could provide customers with personal and professional service. I also wanted Golf Rx to be a your "one stop golf shop" providing PGA Instruction, Custom Fitted Professional Equipment, and Club Repair Services. I feel fortunate that our customer base continues to grow each year.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Beware of buying on the internet

      A few weeks ago I had a student who wanted to get custom fit for a new Ping G30 driver. After the fitting he said he would let me know about ordering it. A week later he came to the shop asking if I could sell him an adjustment tool for Ping woods. I asked him why and he said he got a great deal online for a brand new G30 driver, 3 & 5 wood. He said he paid less than half the regular price.
     I asked him if I could look at them so he brought them in for my inspection. A minute later my suspicions were confirmed. All three clubs were counterfeit. At first he wasn't convinced so I called Ping and read off the serial numbers. Ping confirmed they were counterfeit.

    Not only is he out a lot of money but the clubs are worthless - the heads are made of pot metal and the shafts are closer to a ladies flex. Unfortunately this is not the first time I have had to give this bad news to customers. There are thousands of counterfeit clubs brought into the U.S. everyday. 60 Minutes, the CBS news show did a piece on the problem a few months ago.

    Be careful when buying from the internet. My rule of thumb is "If it sounds too good to be true, it almost always is."

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

When to take a golf lesson

     As a golf instructor it may sound peculiar that I would say not everyone needs to take a golf lesson. However, I will say that probably ninety percent of the players I see on the practice tee and golf course do need to take a lesson.  If you can identify with any of these situations I would suggest taking a lesson.

1.  " I can't keep my tee shot in play."  The driver may very well be the most important club in the bag. To score in golf a player must be able to keep the ball in play off the tee. Penalty shots are killers to scoring well and most occur with the driver.

2. "Once I get within 50 or 60 yards of the green I either hit the ball fat or skull it over the green." 
75 percent of your strokes in a round of golf take place inside of 60 yards of the green. It is imperative on short approach shots to get the ball on the green in one stroke.

3.  "I am taking over 40 putts every time I play 18 holes."  Putting is 40 percent of your score. To score well in golf a player must eliminate three putts.

4. "I am hitting shots in both directions and I have no idea why."  If you want to improve your game it is important to understand why the ball goes different directions. Your shot pattern is the result of the impact conditions between the clubface and the ball. Once a player understands this "impact geometry" the instructor can then explain what they are doing to put the clubface in that particular position.

5. "I am new to the game and all my buddies are trying to help me."   The best thing a new player can do is get some professional instruction early on. By establishing proper fundamentals you will improve faster and have more fun. It is no more difficult to learn the right way then it is the wrong way.

6. "I'm reading the magazines and trying all the instruction tips."  Trying to learn golf by trial and error - that is trying one thing one day and another the next is a recipe for failure. Because their swing has not been developed on correct principals, it is unreliable. They have to depend on the next tip or idea with no basic principal to back it up.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Ping G30 Driver has been a big success


       The Ping G30 driver has done extremely well since it was introduced. In April, the busiest month of the year for driver sales, the PING G30 driver increased its industry-leading market shares in units (13.95%, up 6%) and dollars (18.56%, up 6%)  according to Golf Datatech LLC, which tracks golf equipment sell-thru data for the United States.

    The G30 driver sold 56% more units in April than the next-closest model. It marked the third consecutive month the G30 driver was #1 in units and the second-straight month it ranked #1 in revenue share.  Over the nine months since its introduction in July last year, it's been the top-selling driver model in units and revenue.

      The G30 driver is offered in three options to custom-fit golfers. The standard G30 is offered in 9° and 10.5° lofts. The G30 SF Tec, which helps produce a right-to-left shot bend (for right-handed golfers), is available in 10° and 12° lofts. The G30 LS Tec is engineered to provide low, stable spin for added control and comes in lofts of 9° and 10.5°. All options are adjustable +-1° loft, a T9S titanium face and a low/back center of gravity.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

$50.00 Gift Card with each Golf Buddy GPS Watch

With Father's day approaching now is a great time to visit Golf Rx for some gift ideas.
     Golf Buddy is offering a $50.00 Visa Gift Card with each purchase of the new Golf Buddy WT5 GPS Watch. Each unit is pre-loaded with nearly 40,000 courses. You simply walk up to the first tee and turn it on. No downloading and no yearly fees.
     Ping has just reduced the prices on their G25 clubs including drivers, fairways, hybrids and irons. The clubs include custom fitting at no additional charge. With each purchase of any new Ping Glide wedge you will receive a free Ping Tour Cap ( a $24.00 value).
     Save $4.00 when you purchase two Callaway Tour Gloves. The new Callaway Super Soft and Chrome Soft golf balls are on sale as well.
     All 3 of my golf books are available and make great Father's Day gifts. You can order them online at
      Golf Rx Gift Cards are available and may be used for instruction, equipment, club repair services as well as custom orders. As we begin our 6th year at Golf Rx I would like to thank all my customers for their business and support. I opened Golf Rx with one purpose: To offer professional, knowledgeable and personal service to golfers in Middle Tennessee.
      Please feel free to email me with any questions regarding equipment, custom fitting, club repair, golf shafts or other related items. I will respond as quickly as possible. Please visit our new website at

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Why Bigger isn't always Better

          I have been in the golf business since 1987. I worked in industrial sales for 8 years prior to that. If my math is correct that adds up to 37 years experience working directly with customers.
        I opened Golf Rx nearly 6 years ago and have been fortunate as my customer base has grown each year. In the past year customers have asked, "When are you going to move to a larger building?", " When are you going to open another location?", "Have you thought of franchising?".
        Those questions are the very reason I opened Golf Rx. Having worked for a big box retail store for five years I saw first hand what happens when you grow too fast. The bottom line comes before customer service. Experienced and knowledgeable employees are no longer on staff. It is almost impossible to talk to a real human being when you call with a problem.  
          I saw a growing sense of frustration from golfers wanting professional, knowledgeable and personal service. When customers call Golf Rx they talk with me - the owner. When they visit the store they talk eye to eye with me - the owner. If they have a problem with their game, want new equipment, or need a club re-shafted they deal with me - the owner.
         To me, this is the advantage locally owned businesses have over the big box retailers and franchises. I'm not saying at some point I may not move to a larger location, but one thing won't change. I will still be the one answering the phone and greeting my customers. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

The golf swing has only one purpose

  Yesterday afternoon I watched Jim Furyk win The Heritage Classic in a two hole playoff with Kevin Kisner. Furyk birdied both holes in the playoff to win his 17th PGA Tournament. During his career he has finished second 29 times and has won over 63 million dollars. Not bad for a "weird" golf swing.
   John Jacobs, one of the most influential golf teachers in history has an interesting perspective on the golf swing. He said, "The golf swing has only one purpose: to deliver the club to the ball correctly, and to achieve such impact repeatedly. How a player achieves this is of no significant importance as long as it is repeatable. If golf were about getting into correct positions throughout the golf swing, then the greatest players in the world have had it wrong."
    Hank Haney, one of many disciples of Jacobs recently spoke at our PGA Education Seminar. Haney has taught over 50,000 lessons during his career including some of the best players in the world.  He echoed the same message. Don't change a player's swing just because it doesn't  conform to the "perfect swing" image we all have in mind. All players are different when it comes to height, body shape and swing characteristics.
     As long as the player makes consistent contact and produces a repeatable ball flight there is no reason to change their style. Let's say a player comes to you and is having trouble hitting his irons solid. Sometimes he hits them fat and other times thin. He is a 13 handicap and has been playing for over 25 years. You watch him hit a few balls, and notice his hands are not staying firmly together at the top of the swing. The left thumb and right palm have separated during the backswing and then reconnected at the start of the downswing.  You explain how this causes a casting motion leading to both fat and thin shots. He corrects the fault and immediately begins hitting his irons solid. 
    A less experienced teacher would also want to correct the quirks in the player's swing because they don't look quite right. He would be doing the player a major disservice. I teach beginners the correct fundamentals so they get off to a good start, but I also realize they are individuals and accept that each will have their own particular swings.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Interesting short game facts

Here are some short game facts and statistics that you may find interesting. 

When hitting a putt the ball is actually on the putter face for .000125 of a second.

Which is more important when putting: Club face or Club path?
Putter face 83%, Putter Path 17%. The putter's face angle is 5 times more important than putter's path.
A 1degree closed or open putter face on an 8 foot putt will cause you to miss the putt.

PGA Tour Statistics  Percentage of putts made from these distances

3-5 ft.         94%
4-8 ft.         77%
5-10 ft.       65%
10-15 ft.     39%
15-20 ft.     26%

On putts from 4-8 ft. there is a nearly 15% difference between the No. 1 and No. 150th ranked putter on the PGA Tour. For every 100 attempts the No. 1 will hole 15 more than the 150th. That's nearly 11 strokes in a 72 hole tournament.

During a 6 year period on the PGA Tour Tiger Woods won 45% of the tournaments he entered. If he had not three putted he would have won 85% of them.

How important is the short game? Check out these statistics.

PGA Tour Leading Scoring Average through March 10, 2015.

                                                      Avg.                                       Greens in Regulation

1. Bubba Watson                            69.63                                          64%
2. Webb Simpson                           69.42                                          70%
3. Dustin Johnson                           69.69                                          65%
4. Brooks Koepka                           69.71                                          67%
5. Ryan Palmer                               69.72                                          70%

These players are hitting between 11 to 12 greens in regulation and yet they are averaging 2 under par per round.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Bad information on Golf Fix

      Last night I turned to the Golf Channel and Michael Breed was on with the Golf Fix. He was demonstrating a drill using a coat hanger to help players consciously delay their hand action right to up to impact. He said this "late hit" drill would help players increase their club head speed.

      When I saw this I couldn't help but think of the thousands of weekend golfers now standing in front of their TV's  attempting to "hit late". Unfortunately they will not be swinging faster, but just the opposite. Why? Because of what they are all doing wrong. They are now trying not to hit the ball!

     Yes, I know you're going to say, "but Steve I have seen high speed camera pictures of the tour player's swings half way through the downswing. It shows the hands almost opposite the ball and the club head still up near the right shoulder. I must try and copy this position if I'm ever going to play better."

     You and Michael Breed couldn't be more wrong! To explain myself please consider the following points:

1. Until technology brought us the high-speed camera no one had ever heard the phrase "late hit." There is no reference to it with early accomplished players or in their books or teachings.

2.  The speed of our reaction time ( the brain's message to our muscles ) is such that any deliberate attempt to hold back the club artificially until a certain moment inhibits a natural swinging motion. The delayed release seen in the pictures is the "effect" of the player's lower body action during the transition from backswing to forward swing. It is not "caused" by a deliberate holding back of the hands and wrists. When the weekend player makes a deliberate effort to "hit late" it will have the opposite effect - he inhibits the speed of the club head rather than increasing it.

3. Authors of golf books and instructional articles are accomplished players. They developed  excellent hand and wrist action by learning the game at an early age and playing and practicing their entire lives. Over a long period of time their hands and wrists become so strong and lively that their shots become are erratic if they work independently of their body action. Because their athletic body action helps give them control a sense of delaying the wrist action is often the feeling they have.

4. Most average players do not have the physical gifts or trained muscles to attempt any inhibited or delayed actions in their golf swing. They need to generate more club head speed, not to diminish it. They need all generate all the "swoosh" they can into their swing, and eliminate anything that will reduce the free swinging of the arms and club head through the ball. Leaning to control this speed is important but the first step is to actually develop it. For almost all players any attempt to "hit late" will certainly reduce the speed of the club head at the ball.

     Very few players should try to improve their swing by slowing down the club head. Instead the average player needs to feel that he is moving the club head as fast as possible towards the back of the ball. They should be trying to generate maximum club head speed with their arms. In doing so the hands and wrists will do their part.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Demo Days are here at Golf Rx

     Golf Rx now offers demo clubs and sets of irons for our customers to take to the golf course. We have demo drivers, fairways, hybrids and complete iron sets from Ping and Callaway Golf. Come by to see our complete inventory of demos.

     Just arriving at Golf Rx are the new TRUElinks wear golf shoes for 2015. TRUElinks are the most comfortable golf shoes you've ever worn. We have both men and ladies' models in stock. To learn more about TRUElinks visit . We also have the new Golf Buddy WT5 Golf GPS Watch and BB5 Golf GPS Band. These newest models come pre-loaded with over 37,000 courses, and offer various color options. To see the new models visit

      Spring is the perfect time to have your clubs evaluated. Call and schedule a Club Fitting Checkup. Steve will provide a complete club fitting evaluation to make sure you are getting the most of your clubs. Golf Rx also has a full service club repair department offering re-gripping, re-shafting, loft & lie adjustment and frequency matching.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Custom Fit or Off the Rack

Custom Fit or Off the Rack

The next time you go to the golf course or driving range, take a moment to observe how different golfers are in their size, strength, athletic ability and swing characteristics.  Then stop and think how golf clubs have always been sold to all these different golfers. All the different models and brands are displayed on the wall already built to a predetermined set of specifications by the respective company. It makes about as much sense as a men’s clothing store stocked with all brands of suits, but they are all a size 42 long.
If a sports store sold bats the same way golf shops sell golf clubs, no baseball or softball player would ever buy a bat there. Why? Because baseball and softball players all know to be able to hit the ball to the best of their ability, they need to use a bat that has the right length, right weight, right handle diameter to match the player’s size, strength, athletic ability and swing.
Golf Clubs sold off the rack are built to one series of standard specifications because it would be far too difficult for the golf companies to make all the different combinations of custom fitting specifications that golfers needs. It would be too expensive for the golf retail stores to stock all the different brands in the different custom fitting options that golfers would need to fit their swings. So golf clubs have remained a “one size fits all” business and golfers have been led to never question it.
That’s too bad because within this more convenient business model of the golf equipment industry, golfers are getting the short end of the stick. When custom fitting is performed by a knowledgeable, experienced fitter golfers can feel and see visible shot improvement and play to the best of their ability.
Golf is a difficult game to master. But anyone who was reasonably good in sports when they were in school should be able to hit golf shots with more than a 50% success rate. The problem is that a population of golfers that are very different from each other in their size, strength, athletic ability and swing characteristics simply cannot play their best using golf clubs which are all built to one series of standard specifications.
During a television interview aired on The Golf Channel, Tiger Woods as asked what he noticed the most about the amateurs he plays with in pro-am events. His response was that he sees very few golfers who are ever custom fit with clubs. In a 2011 interview with Golf Magazine, Nick Faldo made the comment that 98% of all the golfers he encounters do not play with golf clubs that are fit to match their swings. 

Taken for Tom Wishom’s book, Search for the Perfect Golf Club.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Now is the time to improve your game

      What a strange time of the year. Ice and snow warnings for tomorrow and  Daylight Savings Time starts four days later. Believe it or not Spring is almost here so now is the time to get your game together.
       Most players I work with set a goal each year. They want to finally break 90, cure their slice or improve their short game. Having a goal is a great idea, but you need a plan to help you reach it. Otherwise your goal is just a dream. I have been giving golf lessons for 30 years and correcting swing faults is just part to my job. The other is developing a plan to help players reach their goal.
     Let's say your goal this year is to break 90 for the first time. The first thing I will do is find out what part of your game is preventing you from scoring in the 80's. It may be erratic driving resulting in too many penalty strokes. You may get near the green in two or three shots, but then take five or six strokes to get the ball in the hole.
    Once I know where the weak link is we can develop a plan to you improve those particular areas. This will include a diagnosis of what is causing the mishit, explaining it to you in terms you can understand, then demonstrating the correct motion.
     I often use drills that will help you feel the new and correct motion. Finally I will develop a productive practice regiment to help you improve your skills and consistency. A goal is a great idea, but without a well thought out plan it will remain simply a dream.  

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Supply side economics favor the golfer

     In a recent presentation at the PGA Merchandise Show, Jim Koppenhaver of Pellucid Corp. gave his analysis of the golf business. Each year his presentations are sold out because so many in the golf industry value his opinions.

    There is a wealth of data which he bases his findings on, but the message his simple and to the point: There continues to be too many golf courses and not enough golfers to fill them. According to Koppenhaver there were 518 million rounds played in 2000 compared to 451 million rounds played in 2014. That is a 13 percent decrease. The total number of golfers is currently around 23 million compared to nearly 30 million in 2000. That is a 24 percent decrease.

    On the supply side the number of courses has dropped each year since 2006. Since 2011 an average of 137 courses have closed each year. That number may sound considerable, but Koppenhaver says another 700 courses need to close to reach a state of equilibrium on the supply/demand graph.

    This is bad news for the supply side: course owners and operators continue to struggle to capture a piece of the declining playing population. However, this is good news for the demand side: golfers looking for a good deal. Golf rates probably haven't been this low since the 1990's at public and semi-private courses. Many private clubs have waived initiation fees in order to attract new members.

      These low rates should continue for at least the next five years until the gap between the number of courses and players to fill them closes. If you are a golf enthusiast I would say now is the time to take advantage of the low rates and great deals. Or as Old Tom Morrison says. "Go Play!"

Monday, February 16, 2015

Beware of counterfeit clubs

  The import of counterfeit golf equipment, generally from China, has become a huge business. U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it has seized over half a million dollars’ worth of illegal clubs so far this year – that does not include the items they did not catch.

      In a press release the U.S. Customs Department said, “Seizures of counterfeit golf clubs has increased by 37 percent from 2012 to 2014.” Many counterfeit clubs look very similar to the real thing but that is only on the surface. They don’t perform at all and generally break or crack because of the inferior materials and craftsmanship.

       People buying clubs online are at a disadvantage. As an authorized retailer I can compare a club with others to help determine whether it’s the real thing. At Golf Rx during the past five years I have had dozens of counterfeit drivers and iron sets brought in. The customers said the clubs were not performing as they thought they should. After carefully inspecting the clubs, or sometimes checking the serial numbers I had to give them the unfortunate news that they had been scammed.      

Here are some steps I recommend to avoid being scammed and losing hundreds of dollars.

1.     Purchase from authorized retailers and dealers. You can visit a brands website for a list of authorized dealers.

2.      Be wary of any internet retailer that offers what is claimed to be a “new” product that is exceptionally lower than the normal retail price for that product. If it is too good to be true it generally is.

3.      Be wary of internet sites that fail to provide reasonable contact information, or that ship product from a faraway location.

4.      Carefully research the money-back policies, and return policies if not satisfied with the product.
5.      Request references. Any legitimate retailer will be happy to oblige.

6.      Counterfeiters often use the trick of displaying a photo of a genuine product on their website, but ship buyers something entirely different. The only way to avoid these traps is to buy from an authorized retailer.

7.      If you purchased what you later determine to be a counterfeit product make sure to report the seller to the appropriate authorities.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Back from PGA Teaching Summit

      I just returned this week from the 2015 PGA Teaching and Coaching Summit in Orlando. The Summit was two full days of teaching and coaching from the best instructors in the world. Those presenting included Butch Harmon, Jim McLean, Mike McGetrick, Chuck Cook, Sean Foley, Jim Hardy, David Leadbetter, Martin Hall and many others. These was also sessions from PGA Tour Players Justin Dufner, Greg Norman and Nancy Lopez.
     It was a great learning opportunity with these great teachers sharing their thoughts and teaching philosophies. Although I have been teaching the game of golf for nearly 30 years I always learn from hearing other teachers' presentations.
    As the saying goes, " Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn."