May 2018 Newsletter
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What’s wrong with Your Golf Bag?
There’s a reason we have both Professionals and amateurs in golf that goes beyond playing ability. Many of us club golfers make mistakes regarding the things we have, and indeed don’t have, in our golf bags.
It could be our clubs, our accessories or maybe even the bag itself, below is a list of things that you should have, or remove from you bag, NOW!
A Sharpie to mark your ball.
So you step on the first tee and introduce yourself or say hi to friends followed by the name and number of the ball you’re playing. That’s a veteran move until one of your playing companions says they have the same ball? Most golfers struggle to find a scoring pencil in their bag, let alone a Sharpie to mark their ball, but the Sharpie is an integral part of the bag and a must.
Purchase one of the small ones (and if you’re really creative, two of them in different colours in case that playing companion also has the same shade). Not sure how you want to mark your ball? Say you just make with a dot above the number, on another ball either use the same markings but with an alternative colour or place dot below the number. If you have to hit a provisional you can then identify which was which.
Your clubs don’t match the course you are playing.
You can’t just go with a typical standard set make-up and think you’re good to go. You get 14 clubs and you should figure out the course you play most often and if every single one of those clubs serves a purpose. Do you really need that 4-iron that you can’t hit above waist height? Perhaps you have a pitching wedge and sand wedge but you face a lot of shots between 70 and 105 yards (consider going four wedges). Can’t hit your irons very high, then consider using lofted rescue clubs. If you don’t use a club very often it’s entirely possible something else in place of it would be more useful.
Other bits in your bag.
A lot of golfers prefer to walk, especially for the health aspect side and it can be a more sociable thing to do. This is great of course unless your bag to make the weight restrictions at the airport and you need a crane to lift it up. It can be the bag itself and if when empty it weighs more than 4kg then that makes for a difficult carry. Then you get the folks that want everything in their bag including the picnic for all 4 players, do you really need all those non-essentials? How about tees, is a bag of 100 really needed for a round, do we need 6 ball markers because they look nice, how about just taking 6 golf balls instead of the 20 that are in the bag. When it’s a nice sunny day with no rain forecast take that umbrella off, dump the waterproofs and suddenly you can left the bag with one hand.
A bag with your name on it?
A definite “no no” unless you’re playing on the next European Tour or LPGA event, maybe a Head Professional at a golf venue is suffice but other than that don’t do it. It’s not cool and you look a fool.
Excessive bag tags.
If you’re a member of a club you get one, display that with pride and maybe one other but only if it’s from a “High Profile” course that you’ve actually played. Having a friend bring you one back from holiday doesn’t count.
Your Golf Clubs.
We’ve heard it before: “These clubs are fine for me; the new stuff isn’t really all that much better.”
If your clubs are more than five years old that is wrong and wrong, especially if you haven’t been Bag of Old Clubscustom fitted.
Go see one of your friends that recently was custom fitted or has suddenly found the money they hid when white £5 notes went out of circulation, see how much more consistency they have gained and you’ll be off to the pro shop with credit card in hand.
You have 14-way dividers in the bag?
Manufacturers will tell you these ugly things prevent lots of wear and tear saving your clubs from ruin etc. Hmm let me think, you’re swing a golf club at around 100mph-ish, and then hitting a golf ball and the ground!! Do they really need to be cuddled and put nicely back into the correct slot?
You need a rangefinder/GPS.
If you don’t have a rangefinder or golf course GPS app, then you need to get one now! If you are just guessing at the distance or trying to work out how far it is by pacing from the 150yd marker, then all your doing is holding up the rest of the field and making your own game tougher. Don’t get upset if your watch / rangefinder are off by a yard or so, most of us are not that good at a precision shot to an exact yardage.
And finally, Clubs that don’t match your ability.
An extract from golf magazine
Don’t take it from us. Take it from U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson, who recently told Golf Digest: “A lot of amateurs use clubs that are too heavy. It’s not that they are weak, but they don’t have the proper golf muscles to swing the clubs they’re swinging. They also should use more forgiving irons. I see a lot of 10- to 12-handicappers using very small irons and they need to realize they’re going to miss a lot more shots than hit those solid. … I’ve always thought club fitting is super important for guys like that.”
thanks for reading, hope you golf improves.
See you soon
Martin Rathbone PGA – Head Teaching Professional – Surbiton Golf Club