Saturday, December 8, 2018

Gift Certificates for your golfer

   Golfers can be rather particular when it comes to their equipment as well as who works on them. As one who has played golf practically my whole life I would certainly put myself in this category.
This makes a gift certificate the perfect choice for the golfer in your family. They can be used for lessons, golf equipment or club repair services. If we don't have an item they desire we can order it and have it in a few days.
   Gift certificates can be purchased for any amount and there is no expiration date. If a trip to Golf Rx is inconvenient just call us and we will be happy the mail it to you. Make sure you have a happy golfer this year with a gift certificate from Golf Rx.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Our Business Philosophy

    I opened Golf Rx in February of 2010 after nearly 25 years in the golf business. I had a concept in mind of an indoor golf studio to provide instruction, custom fit equipment and club repair services. After a lot of soul searching and support from family and friends I decided to take the leap into entrepreneurship.
    Let's be honest though, starting a new business is a risky undertaking. According to the Small Business Administration 50% of new businesses fail after the first five years and 66% during the first ten years. So how was I going to avoid becoming one of these statistics?
    Golf enthusiasts have lots of options when it comes to taking lessons, buying equipment and having their clubs worked on. How was I going to make them want to come to Golf Rx rather than the big box stores, franchises and the internet?
    The only thing I could do to set myself apart was to provide better customer service and a higher level of knowledge and expertise. My goal was to have each and every customer leave my shop 100 percent satisfied. If so I felt they would tell their friends and if their friends visited and were happy they would tell their friends.
     You don't develop a business reputation overnight - it takes years and you start with one customer at a time. I am happy to say that nearly ten years later I have hundreds of repeat customers and many new ones that are referred here.
     This holiday season I would like to thank my many friends and customers for your continued support and to wish you a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year!

Steve Kirkpatrick
PGA Professional / Owner
Golf Rx

Monday, November 19, 2018

Best current deals in equipment

     In my opinion the best current deals in golf equipment belong to Ping. The Ping G400 driver has been repositioned by Ping and is now available for $299.00. Considering that most of the top line drivers are selling between $400 and $500 makes this a tremendous value.

     Also in the Ping stable is the Ping G iron. This model preceded the G400 iron but is very similar in looks and feel. This iron is available in steel for $85 per iron and graphite for $99 per iron. Keep in mind this includes any custom fitting needed. For the player who wants to move up to a professional grade custom fit set of clubs this is the best value by far.

     At Golf Rx we have gift cards available that can be used for lessons, golf equipment or club repair services. Call Steve or stop by the shop if you have any questions.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Quick cure for a slice

      I have found during my teaching career that chronic slicers of the ball have two faults in common: a weak grip and a tendency to fan the club open early in the backswing. If you have always fought a slice do these two things to cure it.

    First, adjust your grip so you can see 2-3 knuckles on your left hand, and the V's formed between the thumbs and forefingers of both hands are pointed at your right shoulder. Your left hand will feel more on top of the grip and your right hand will feel more under the grip.

   Second, keep the club facing the ball as you begin your backswing. The feeling will be of the club facing downward rather than skyward until it reaches waist high.

  These two adjustments will deliver a square clubface at impact so the ball will no longer curve to the right.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

PIng G400 has big week

   The Ping G400 driver was in the bag of both the winner and runner up last week at The Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, Mississippi. In only his second event as an official member, Cameron Champ led wire-to-wire to win his first PGA Tour event. Champ was using a G400 Max driver. Another Ping Pro, Corey Conners finished in solo second using a G400 LST driver.
    Tony Finau, who also plays the G400 driver tied for first place in the WGC-HSBC Champions in China. Needless to say, the Ping G400 driver had a pretty impressive week.
 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Speed comes from Flexibility

   The phrase "The less I try the better I do" certainly applies to the golf swing. Often times my students return from their first PGA Tour event describing the player's swings as "effortless" and yet they create amazing distance.

   The reason is speed comes from flexibility and flexibility means lack of muscle tension. The more speed you desire the more important flexibility becomes. Try to throw a baseball with a tense, stiff arm or try to run fast with stiffened legs. You get the idea...

    For golfers, tension is their biggest enemy, and flexibility is their greatest ally. At address your arms should be completely tension free and remain this way until the swing is completed. When you arms are tension free the feeling is transmitted to the entire body. This allows you to swing the club with a feeling of effortlessness.

   Most players think the harder they swing the farther the ball will go. NOTHING COULD BE FARTHER FROM THE TRUTH!  Trying to hit the ball harder creates tension. Remember, tense muscles do not move fast - they are a speed killer. Speed comes from flexibility and flexibility means lack of muscle tension.

   Next time you practice or play focus on making relaxed swings with a more relaxed grip pressure. Ensure you can feel the clubhead in your hands throughout the entire swing. You will hit straighter, more solid and longer shots.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Determing the proper length club for a golfer

     Determining the proper length club for a player is one fitting component that is often done incorrectly, resulting in a player using clubs that are either too short or too long. Using a ruler or yardstick to measure wrists or fingertips to floor is an incorrect method, and has little to do in determining the proper club length for an individual. This method doesn't take into consideration a player's ability level or posture when addressing a ball.

     A player should use the longest possible length club they can handle that produces consistent center face impact, good directional control and a solid feel at impact. Keep in mind as a club gets longer it is more difficult to hit in the center of the face resulting in a loss of distance and directional control.

      Using impact tape on the clubface is the correct method to determine the proper length club for a player. During the process the player is given a progressively longer iron of the same number (i.e. 7 iron) We know we have exceeded their proper club length once the player can no longer produce consistent impact marks near the center of the face.

     As you can probably tell by now the biggest factor in determining proper club length is the player's ability. As a player's expertise improves his impact patterns will be more consistent and closer to center.

     In regards to the driver it is interesting that a shorter driver length will often increase a player's distance. This is because the ball is struck closer to the center of the clubface applying more energy to the ball.  Most weekend players will hit the ball straighter and more consistent using a driver no longer that 44 1/2 inches in length.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Interesting facts

Here are some amazinging facts that occur during the golf swing.

1. During the downswing the shaft is flexing in various directions causing the club's length to actually shorten. A driver's length will shorten by approximately 1/4 ".

2. The elapsed time from the very top of the backswing to just before impact with the ball is approximately 1/5th of a second. During this short time the average male player will generate a clubhead speed of 90 to 100 MPH.

3. During impact the ball stays on the clubface for 5/10,000 of a second. During this time the ball travels a distance of  3/4 " to 1".

4. The maximum forced (energy applied to the ball) at impact approaches 2,000 pounds, or one ton and causes the ball to compress 15% to 30% of its original diameter.

5. The centrifugal force exerted downward and pulling on the golfer's hands at impact is the equivalent of 40 to 60  pounds.

6. Because of the time required for the impact to travel through the clubhead, up the shaft, into the golfer's hands and register with the brain, the golf ball is already 10" to 12" from the club face when the player feels the hit.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Understanding clubface rotation

    I have found during my teaching career that students have many misconceptions as to how to swing the club. One of the most frequent misunderstood concepts is the rotation of the clubface during the swing.
    It is true the clubface opens in the backswing and closes in the follow through.  The confusion comes in how this is interpreted. The opening and closing of the clubface is relative to the target line rather than a rolling of the hands around the circumference of the shaft.
    Try this simple exercise to understand the correct motion. Take an iron and hold it straight out in front of you with the toe pointing straight up. The clubface is now pointing directly toward your target. Now rotate your body around your spine slightly to the right so the club has moved about two feet from its starting point. Do this without any rolling of the hands so that the toe is still pointing straight up. Notice how the clubface is now pointing right of the target line. At this point the clubface  appears to have opened. Do the same exercise except this time rotate your body slightly to the left so the club again has moved about two feet. Notice how the clubface is now pointing to the left of the target line. At this point the clubface appears to have closed.
     During the swing the clubface remains square to the arc. The opening and closing refers to the clubface and the target line. If you roll you hands clockwise during the backswing you must roll them back the exact amount in order to square the clubface. It is nearly impossible to do this with any amount of consistency.
     Here is a simple drill to help demonstrate the correct motion. Grip your putter with the flat part of the grip facing up - while making three quarter swings make sure the flat part of the putter grip is always facing towards you. After doing this with your putter take a short iron and create the same motion. You'll soon be hitting straighter and more consistent shots.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

End of Summer Close Out Sale

We have a great selection of 2018 drivers, fairways and hybrids at close out pricing. Brands include Callaway, Taylor Made and Mizuno. Call or come by for details on great savings on these products.
Also we just received the new Flat Cat putter grips now seen on the PGA Tour. We have all sizes and models so come check them out.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Proper gapping between irons and wedges


      In regards to improving your short game one of the most important factors in ensuring the proper gap in the distances between your irons and wedges. Typically the loft between irons is three to four degrees. Because of this you will probably need about 4 degrees between wedges.
To find the proper gaping measure compare the loft on your most lofted wedge to your shortest iron. Let's say your wedge is 58 degrees and your pitching wedge is 46 degrees. This 12 degree gap requires adding a 50 and 54 degree wedge to your bag. This spaces your lofts at 4 degree increments. Without these wedges you have an excessively large gap that requires partial shots on a regular basis.
     Getting fitted by a professional will ensure proper gaping between your irons and wedges and will most certainly lead to a better short game.   

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Mizuno JPX 900 Tour and Hot Metal irons / New Ping models

    Because Mizuno is introducing a new line of irons in September the JPX 900 Tour and Hot Metal irons are no longer available for order. The 900 Tour is the same iron Brooks Koepka has been using the past two years, and the Hot Metal is the best selling iron in Mizuno's history.

    I currently have one set of 900 Tour irons ( 4-PW KBS Tour C-Taper 120 S ) and two sets of Hot Metal irons ( Both 4-PW, one set has True Temper XP 95 R-300 and the other has Nippon NS Pro 950 GH R ) in stock if you are interested in a set. I will see the new models next month and the fitting clubs will be here in September.

    Ping has introduced two new iron models to their line up.

The i 210 replaces the i 200 and features a larger, softer elastomer insert for better feel at impact. It also has a more compact shape and thinner top edge.

The i500 is a hollow body design combining a forged C 330 face with a 17-4 stainless body. This results in faster ball speed for longer and higher shots. The design has a clean blade style shape similar to the i blade.

If you have any questions regarding your equipment call me at the shop or stop by.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

How long should your clubs be?

    Having your clubs fit to the proper length is an important variable in custom fitting. It is obvious that a person 5' 7'' tall compared to a person 6' 4" tall should not be using the same length clubs. But how do you know the correct length for you?
    A good starting point is measuring the distance from a player's wrist to floor. We use this measurement rather than height because body types are different. For example one person may be 6' 5" tall but has very long arms so his wrist to floor measurement is 36 inches. Another person may be 6' 0" tall but because his arms are shorter his wrist to floor measurement is also 36 inches. With this in mind a taller person may or may not need longer clubs.
    I am 6' 0" tall and have a wrist to floor measurement of 36 inches. For me standard length clubs are fine. A person 6' 3" tall with a wrist to floor measurement of 37 inches would generally need clubs 1/2 inch longer. Some players feel more comfortable with extra length which is fine as long as they can make solid contact with ball. In these cases I use impact tape to see where they are making contact on the clubface. At some point using a progressively longer club the player will no longer be able to consistently make solid contact You know that club is too long.
     Shorter players don't necessarily need shorter clubs, but often will need their lie angles flatter. When fitting juniors it is a good idea to make them slightly longer because they will be taller six months from now.
     Putter lengths will vary between 32 and 36 inches. Because putter length is more of a personal preference I use a fitting putter with an adjustable shaft. I will have a player address a ball to putt. I then hold the putter head against the ground and have them slide the grip up or down to their preferred length.
     Driver length is very important in regards to maximizing distance and control. The average length driver on the PGA Tour is 44.5 inches, yet most off the rack drivers are close to 46 inches. Almost every player would benefit using a slightly shorter driver because they will hit the ball more solidly resulting in more distance.
   In summary club length is an important fitting variable and should be done with a qualified club fitting professional.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Why is launch angle important in maximizing distance?

     We all want to hit our drivers as far as possible. Obviously clubhead speed and center face contact are the two most important factors, but launch angle and spin rate also play an important role.

     Launch angle is the angle the ball flies as it leaves the club face. The optimum launch angle for each player depends on their club head speed. The faster the club head speed the lower the ball should launch. The slower the club head speed the higher the ball should launch. Let me give you an analogy to help explain why. You are watering a flower bed with your garden hose and the water pressure is at its highest. You are twenty feet from the bed so with a powerful stream of water you can hold the nozzle at a relatively low angle. If your turned the water pressure down by a third you would have to raise the angle of the nozzle in order to reach the flower bed. You are adjusting the angle of the nozzle according to the amount of water pressure you have. Think of club head speed the same way you think of water pressure.
    The average club head speed on the PGA Tour is 113 MPH with a launch angle of 10.9 degrees and spin rate of 2686 RPM. The average player I fit in my shop swings between 80 and 90 MPH.
Those players need to launch the ball between 13 and 15 degrees with a spin rate under 3,100 RPM.
By finding the right shaft and loft combination players can maximize their distance and improve their shot dispersion.
     When in the market for a new driver or fairway woods seek out a qualified professional that utilizes a launch monitor. You will be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Why is the golf swing so difficult?


Through the website Quora I recently was asked to answer the question, "Why is the golf swing so difficult?" I thought about it for quite awhile and below is my response. 

     The golf swing itself is not a difficult motion, but rather the proficiency required to become a good player. Let me give you an example: Most anyone has the physical ability to attempt shooting a free throw in basketball or to roll a bowling ball down a lane. The same is true for tossing a horseshoe or pitching a dart. But how many people can make ten free throws in a row, make ten strikes in a row, throw ten ringers in a row or hit the bulls eye 9 out of 10 times with a dart?
     That’s where the proficiency comes into play. These individuals have spent years practicing to develop their skills. The golf swing is no different. It doesn’t require an extraordinary amount of athleticism to swing an object weighing less than a pound to propel a ball weighing less than two ounces. It does however require a tremendous amount of practice to develop the skills and proficiency to hit shots with any level of consistency.
     Most individuals possess the necessary physical attributes to play golf at a reasonable level. A player’s determination, work ethic and mental attitude will have a lot to do with how good a player they become.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

What is Golf Rx?

     Over the years many people come in the shop saying " I have driven by here a number of times and saw your sign. I finally decided to stop in to see what you do here." They are often surprised by seeing our equipment and the services we offer. For those of you who haven't visited our facility I thought I would take a minute and explain what Golf Rx is all about.

     I would best describe Golf Rx as a "golf studio" that offers golf instruction, custom club fitting and club repair. As an indoor facility weather is no longer a factor when teaching or club fitting. Our equipment is state of the art. We utilize a Full Swing Golf Simulator with the latest E-6 software along with an ION 2 Tracking Camera. We provide video lessons using V1 Digital Video software.
Today's technology is simply amazing and provides the professional and the students tremendous information for teaching and club fitting.

    We have fitting systems in house for Ping, Callaway, Taylor Made and Mizuno golf equipment. Players are able to hit a variety of head and shaft combinations enabling us to determine the best combination for distance and consistency. We also have a full service club repair department offering re-gripping, re-shafting, loft and lie adjustment and frequency matching for shafts.

    So whether you need some help with your swing, shopping for some new custom fit equipment or need a club repaired Golf Rx is here to help you. Next time you are in the neighborhood stop by or visit us online at www.golfrx.biz.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Steve's latest book now available

    My latest book, The Pocket Caddy  is now available for golf enthusiasts. This helpful publication is a quick reference guide designed for players to keep in their golf bag. The spiral bound booklet covers twenty of the most common shot problems.
    The cause and correction for each shot problem is explained in two or three paragraphs, and written in easy to understand terms. Each topic is accompanied by pen and ink drawings done by a professional artist. The illustrations provide excellent visual explanations of each shot problem.
      The Pocket Caddy is a great reference tool and the next best thing to having your instructor with you on the practice tee. 
 To learn more about The Pocket Caddy  and Steve's other books visit www.pocketcaddy.net. All books ordered will be personally signed by Steve.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Changing the length of a golf club

     Occasionally a customer will ask me to shorten or lengthen a club or a set of clubs. Usually the reason is the club or clubs feel either too long or too short for the person. What they often don't realize is changing the length also changes other characteristics of the club.

     An example would be a customer wanting his driver shortened from 46 inches to 44 inches for more control. His current driver has a swing weight of D-1 and a shaft frequency of 260 CPM. Shortening the club by 2 inches will change the swing weight to a C1,  the shaft is stiffer and the overall weight of the club is now lighter. Lengthening the club will have the opposite effect. The swing weight will be an E-1, the shaft will be softer and the overall weight will be heavier. In both cases the club now feels totally different and would be virtually unplayable.

      Components of club heads and shafts are designed based on that club being built to a specific length. This is to assure maximum performance, consistency and feel for the player.

    Custom fit clubs are often built with shorter or longer lengths. However, in these cases the manufacturer will pick the proper gram weighted heads and either soft step or hard step the shafts to insure the proper weight, flex and feel of the clubs so they will perform correctly.

     If you are considering changing the length of your club or set make sure to talk to a professional before doing so.
   

Monday, March 12, 2018

2018 Golf Digest Hot List

    Recently Golf Digest published their Hot List for 2018. Four of the drivers featured include the Ping G400, Callaway Rogue, Taylor Made M3 and M4 and the Mizuno ST180. We now have our demos in all these models in a variety of shafts and lofts.
    We have also received the new iron models that were featured for 2018. These include the Ping G700, Callaway Rogue & Apex CF, Taylor Made M3, M4 & P790 and Mizuno Forged MP-18 and MP-MMC.
    To have your current driver or irons evaluated (we will frequency test the shaft at no charge) and compare its performance against these new models call the shop to schedule a fitting appointment. 


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

What is torque in golf shafts?


     Torque is the property of golf shafts that resists twisting during a golf swing. The fact that the shaft attaches to the heel end of the golf club means all the club head weight is in front of the shaft. During the golf swing because of the weights location a twisting force is exerted on the shaft.

     Torque is measured in degrees. The lower the number is better the shaft resists twisting.The range on today's graphite shafts can be as high as 7 degrees and as low as 1 degree. A steel shaft's range, because of the material, is much narrower - a little more than 2 degrees to just under 4 degrees.

     The reason that torque is not a critical fitting factor today is because shaft makers design the torque of their shafts to coincide with the flex. Because a strong player with an aggressive tempo creates more twisting force on the shaft you rarely see S and X flex shafts with torque higher than 4 degrees. With R, A and L flex shafts are designed with higher degrees of torque because a slower swinger exerts less twisting force on the shaft.

    In summary for most players torque is not a factor to be concerned with in shaft fitting. For those who's swings warrant consideration of shaft torque it will apply only to graphite shafts and not steel.


     

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Clubhead Speed Versus Headweight

     A reader sent in a question about headweight and how it affects distance. This is a great question and one that has stirred debate in the golf industry for years. Most people would agree that a lighter club would be better, but if you look closer that answer would need to be qualified.

     A typical driver today is 45 1/2 inches long, has a headweight of 200 grams and a swing weight of D-1. If swung around 100 mph the ball leaves at about 145 mph and carries a little over 245 yards. If you could swing a heavier club at the same 100 mph the ball would not go proportionately faster and  farther. A 400 gram head (twice the normal weight) swung at 100 mph would send the ball at 160 mph. It has also been shown that lightening the head does not substantially increase distance. As the clubhead is lightened a player can swing only slightly faster. 

    As a result we can say there are a wide range of weights and will usually produce the same length for a particular player. As the clubhead gets lighter (less mass) the swing speed increases and as the clubhead gets heavier (more mass) the swing speed decreases. Both of these produce approximately the same distance.

     Engineers and club manufacturers test a multitude of weight combinations to produce a club that maximizes distance. An experienced clubfitter will then customize the specifications - shaft weight, shaft flex and swing weight - based on each player's swing characteristics.   

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Nashville Golf Show

      The 2nd Annual Nashville Golf Show is February 2nd, 3rd & 4th, 2018 at the Music City Convention Center. The show hours are Friday, Noon - 6 PM, Saturday, 10 AM - 6 PM and Sunday, 10 AM - 3 PM.
      I will be there each day to help attendees with their golf swings as well as their golf equipment. 
My station ( located at the hitting net ) will include a launch monitor, video camera, shaft frequency meter and fitting clubs to assist players.
      If you would like to reserve a time with me during the show please send an email to stevejkirkpatrick@comcast.net or call Golf Rx at 615 288-4539. Feel free to bring your driver or 7 iron with you. 
     For more information visit www.nashvillegolfshow.com