first talk about your body. Before we can even begin to address
about your clubs, we need to make sure our personal hardware is
in its best possible condition in order to hit the golf ball consistently
with an athletic swing over a 4 ½ hour period. The best thing
to remember is that you need 30+ minutes of cardio at least 2-3
times a week. That is the minimum requirement which is used as a
rule of thumb. Any cardio is better than no cardio, but this will
help you on the course more than you can imagine. The more cardio
you have done in the past will result in more controlled swings
over your 18 hole round and therefore lower scores. Light weight
training is also important to keep your muscles toned and your
swing athletic. Please consult your local trainer before starting
any workout routine. Also in your golf bag make sure you have a
sports drink, granola bar, and maybe a piece of fruit so you can
reenergize yourself and keep your mind thinking clearly with the
electrolytes, grains, and antioxidants. You can drink water all
day instead of a sports drink, but you do need some carbohydrates
and antioxidants to keep your blood sugar up to get you through
the round. I want to stress to you that a hot dog and beer, although
some of the best food on a golf course, does absolutely nothing
for you as far as nutrition and mind control. It may taste great
going down, but I wouldn’t guarantee any extra birdies playing
with that fuel.
is very important before your round. I see guys with bad backs not
hit any range balls before a round and then go straight to the first
tee and try to hit a driver. They then wonder why they have bad
backs. Make sure to stretch your body with the club, do some quick
jumping jacks; get your body a little warmed up before attempting
the driver. If you can hit the range before your round and start
out with some short wedge shots then gradually work your way up,
that would be ideal; but remember always stretch and warm up before
couple other things that are also very important for your body are
sun block and lip balm. For sun block, I like to use a 60 SPF. For
me, the sun block that comes in the compressed can is the best for
golf. You don’t have to touch it and it sprays a continuous
fine mist to get your arms, legs, neck, and face. You will never
catch me on the course without my Chap Stick; honestly I feel naked
without it and over time it has become bad luck if I don’t
have it. Maybe a superstition, but with this game, we need all the
help we can get so I make sure I always have it with me.
Now let’s move on to your golf hardware. Before we even
look at new clubs or getting fit, look at what you are currently
playing with. If you know that you are of an average height and
build, you probably don’t need anything custom fit unless
you swing exceptionally hard or if you are getting in the silver
years and have started slowing down a little, then you might need
to analyze your shafts. So long story short that means you would
be standard length and lie of the club and a regular flexed shaft;
steel for the younger guys and graphite for the older generation.
Your grip size would most likely be standard as well. This means
you can buy right off of the shelf. 80% of all golfers are standard
everything so no customer fit necessary. Assuming that is what
you own, when watching amateurs, one of the worst things I see is
when people play with dirt in their grooves. No matter how good
of a swing you put on it or how custom fit your clubs are, when
your grooves are dirty the ball is going to come off of the face
like a knuckle ball with no controlled spin; it could go anywhere.
With that said how about cleaning the shafts and grips as well while
you are at it. When you are lining up a putt or setting up to an
iron shot and you see nothing but finger prints on the steel shafts,
they can be distractions; the clubs need to be spotless to help
retain your focus. Also, have you noticed the pros wiping down their
grips on every shot? I know we are not on tour, but to be more consistent,
the only thing that is touching the club is your glove to the grip.
If either is worn the club can easily move a little and a little
is a lot in golf. I heard somewhere that 1/8” off on a mid-iron
shot sways 10 yards offline. That is a lot and we need to hit it
as straight as possible…unless you are Houdini around the
greens of course.
your glove and grips regularly for wear and replace as necessary.
What I have heard for years is that if you play golf once a week
you need to replace your grips once a year. Play twice a week, change
twice a year and so on. An old glove can be brought back to life
by grabbing your wet towel for a second and then working the glove
back in, but for better feel, change your glove when it is worn.
Now that I think about it, you might want to check your spikes out
while you are at it. Without having the old metal spikes around
that really stuck in the ground, you need to make sure your plastic
spikes are holding up to the challenge. If they are worn, replace
them. Your spikes are the only things that are connecting your body
to the ground, so they are kind of important. Golf is a game that
requires respect of not only the people around you and the course,
but also your clubs and body. When you respect them and change them
as necessary, the golf gods will see that and begin to pay you back.
Now let’s say you are 6’-7’ tall or under 5’5”,
then you should look at a custom shaft and or lengthened/shortened
clubs. The slower swing speeds need more whip in the shaft to help
with more club head speed and maybe a little shorter shaft to help
with accuracy. The taller golfers and generally faster swing speeds
need a stiffer, longer shaft to accommodate the extra club head
speed. Keep in mind that the longer the shaft gets, the weaker it
gets. So if you play a stiff flex, but you need over an inch in
length added to your shafts, you might want to look into extra stiff
in the longer length. The same rule works both ways for shafts becoming
stiffer as they get shorter. Grip size then also becomes very important.
The longer fingers are going to need a mid-size or jumbo grip to
ensure that the left fingers are not pushing against the palm (right
handed golfer). The fingertips should lightly be touching your palm
when you take your normal grip to ensure a proper grip size. Smaller
hands are generally okay with a standard grip, other than most women.
Ladies' grips are thinner and lighter than standard men’s
grips. The correct grip size is very important for the timing of
the club during impact. Too small and it goes left, too big and
it goes right.
You can also adjust the lie of your golf club upright or flat.
This is generally done by hitting on a lie board and analyzing the
mark on the bottom of the club or done by analyzing the spin rate
from the ball off of the face. This is done with current technology
using high speed computers, cameras, and mathematical equations
to catch the actual spin of the golf ball. The old way is basically
to look at your divot and see if you are toe or heel deep. If you
are toe deep that means your clubs are too flat and need to be bent
upright and the opposite for heel deep. Your local golf professional/club
fitter will help you decide what is right for you.
It can get as detailed as you want it to be. Do not get lost in
all of it; the most important thing is to take care of yourself
so you can have more fun and success at doing something you love.
Hit it pure!