Selecting the Right Golf Clubs to Drive Your Game
Golf is a gentleman’s game. Stalwarts of the game usually mull over which club to choose. A golf club can make or mar your game. You should be well informed before buying your golf clubs. Here are a few guidelines for choosing the apt club for a great game.
Golf rules allow you to carry a maximum of 14 clubs. They are
- Fairway Wood
- Iron Set (4 – PW, AW or SW)
- Wedge (SW and/or LW)
The 4 principal categories of golf clubs are woods, irons, wedges, and putters. These have several components common to all the golf clubs available in the market today. They are the grip, shaft, hosel and club head.
Firstly, you need to decide between an expensive but lighter graphite shaft and a steel shaft. Graphite shaft will allow greater swing and greater speed to increase the distance, especially if you are a beginner. Steel shaft is for accomplished players and they help you to be accurate. Professional players love the feel of steel more than graphite.
Secondly, you have to choose from five different types of flexes of shafts. The range is from ladies shaft with the most flexibility to extra stiff shafts that barely bend. When in doubt, you can consult a professional fitter who can help determine the speed of your club head. Alternately, you can buy one by judging how far the ball travels after you hit it with a driver.
Thirdly, you should choose a club head made up of titanium or steel. Titanium is more expensive than steel and lighter. With less weight, the drivers’ club heads can have larger surface which will make it difficult to mishit the ball. Graphite shafts and Titanium heads are the best combination for a golpher.
Finally, you have to combine your woods, clubs, irons and wedges to make the most of your game. Most people replace irons by hybrids because it is easy. There are many kinds of wedges to choose from. The gap wedge or the approach wedge, the sand wedge, pitching wedge and the lob wedge are the commonest. The putter is the most important club in any bag. There are two types of putters 1. Blade putter and 2.Mallet putter.
Which club should you use?
A driver can be used to swing a ball for 230 yards, 3 wood – 210 yards, 2-iron – 190 yards, 3-iron – 180 yards, 4-iron – 170 yards, 5-iron – 160 yards, 6-iron – 150 yards, 7-iron – 140 yards, 8-iron – 130 yards, 9-iron – 120 yards, a pitching wedge – 110 yards, a sand wedge – 90 yards and a lob wedge – 65 yards.
Care for your clubs.
If you look after your clubs, they will look good and last long.
Always clean the club face with a towel after each shot.
Use a tee to clean the grooves.
Clean your grips with lukewarm water and soap.
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Country Clubs and Golf Courses Are Struggling, Why?
“Golf is a good walk spoiled.” Mark Twain
Country Clubs and Golf Courses across the United States are struggling, but why? Are people not interested in golfing? Are costs too high? Or maybe Country Clubs and Golf Courses are their own worst enemies, not keeping up with the times.
According to the National Golf Foundation, the number of golfers in the United States has dropped by almost one-fifth since 2003. And golfers are playing fewer rounds. In 2013 U.S. golfers played four hundred and sixty-two million rounds; this might sound like quite a lot but Golf Datatech reports that is the lowest number since 1995.
Only fourteen new golf courses were built in the United States in 2013, yet one hundred and fifty-eight closed. Things have been going downhill since the global financial crisis hit in 2007. But that’s not the only reason.
Baby boomers were expected to tee-off in droves but they seem to prefer other pursuits, like trekking the Andes or surfing the breaks in Hawaii. As for the millennials: who needs to spend six hours glad-handing on a golf-course when you can do your networking with a hand-held device? Gen Xers have been squeezed every which way financially so an expensive, elitist sport that takes all day isn’t for them either.
Gone are the days when Dad could disappear on Saturday and leave Mom with the kids. These days, fathers are more likely to be the chauffeur who takes their offspring to their various sporting activities.
It is not just the clubs that are struggling. Sellers of golf clothing and equipment are also feeling the pinch. Earlier this year national retailer, Dick’s Sporting Goods, laid off hundreds of employees in its golf division. Sporting goods manufacturers like Nike and Adidas have taken a hit in earnings due to the slowdown in recreational golf. Television ratings for golf have also declined.
Country Clubs, once the holy grail of middle-class aspiration, are suffering too. People no longer join because their parents belonged or to get a foot-hold in local business networks. Once the bastions of old money and gracious living, surviving clubs are relaxing dress codes and dropping fees in an attempt to attract new members. While some of the very top clubs may be holding the line, those that were built to appeal to corporate middle managers are in desperate competition for survival. With retrenchment cutting a swathe through corporate ranks, many clubs have lost their base.
Not all commentators see doom and gloom in this situation, some believe that it’s just about recalibrating an oversupply problem. Ed Weathers, former senior editor at Golf Digest believes that the high end clubs with swathes of emerald grass and top-dollar fees will survive, as will the smaller courses, with low annual fees where people go with only one thing in mind: to play golf.
And while golf might be declining in popularity in the United States, it seems to be on the up in China. Despite an official ban on building new golf courses, Chinese state media reports that the number of courses in China increased from two hundred in 2004 to six hundred in 2015.
Seems the burgeoning Chinese middle class have gold-plated aspirations too.
Can Golf Appeal to the Next Generation?
Let’s just get it out of the way; golf is an elitist’s sport. Typically only high-powered executives, well to do business owners and old money family members are found at the country club. Country club memberships are expensive and sometimes exclusive.
The next generation of entrepreneurs, business owners and executives have advantages (or disadvantages depending on your thoughts) because of the technology available today. It’s far easier to meet people today than in generations past. Meetings, conversations and networking can happen instantly thanks to smartphones, computers and high-speed internet. So why would the next generation of entrepreneurs, business owners and executives ever consider golf?
Technology is great, and we’re all using it but have you ever participated in a meeting with someone who was constantly distracted by said technology, or disconnected because they’re answering email and text? Can you shake a hand over the internet (not yet)? Is body language obvious on a skype call or video conference call? Probably not..
In our previous blog post we discussed 10 Important Golf Etiquette tips. Among the tips included things such as not talking when another player is taking their swing, ensuring you play your ball where it lies, and not crossing in front of another player’s path to the hole on the green. The reason for these tips is really just common courtesy. If someone chooses to ignore these rules on the golf course is this someone you really want to do business with? That was the overall theme of the previous blog post.
Well you can’t establish a person’s personality over the internet as well as you can on a golf course for 4 hours. Golf will show you how someone responds during times of stress, challenge, embarrassment, not being the best, and temptation to lie or cheat. Spend 4 or 5 hours with someone on the golf course and you will know whether or not you want to do business with them.
You cannot learn that much about a person over a conference call, email or skype. You can’t even learn that much about a person during a 1 ½ hour face to face network meeting. The fastest way to learn about how a person reacts to different situations is on a golf course.
How Does Golf Appeal to the Next Generation?
Society is at a cross roads when it comes to being social. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram allow us to communicate instantly and frequently without ever actually talking over the phone or in person. Text messages mean we never have to pick up the phone to talk. Dating sites allow us to find a mate without fear of rejection or social interaction. Our society has adopted these things as the norm. There are even apps that match golfers up with other golfers in the area..what a great convenience.
I just said it..that’s how we appeal to the next generation. We need Golf apps & networking opportunities and appealing to the business savvy entrepreneurs and executives who are looking to get ahead. Country clubs have to adopt social media as part of their marketing campaign.
And an organization that brings people together for the purpose of networking and golf while utilizing a bit of the old school method of past generations (and current), and the new school approach of the next (and current) generation of using technology to communicate with their peers would catapult future generations to the golf courses and country clubs. And Jordan Spieth will also help grow another generation of golfers!
The Back-9 Boardroom is such an organization. Our intent is to grow networking groups of business owners and executives who want to meet other business owners and executives to learn more about them, on the golf course. It’s almost a guarantee that after 18 rounds you will know whether or not you want to conduct business with another person.
It’s promising that whenever I visit a golf course I often witness a group of kids learning to play the game of golf. It’s also promising that there are groups out there whose purpose is to get more children involved in the sport of golf. My own son has expressed an interest in golf without ever having played.
The 18th Hole!
Golf can, and already is appealing to the next generation. In fact I see different generations golfing together all the time, sometimes 3 different generations in the same foursome. The future is bright so long as everyone adopts the changes in society and incorporates them into the golf universe. Remember this truth that still holds today, the biggest deals are closed on the golf course. Are you missing out?
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New golfers will undoubtedly find themselves surrounded by unfamiliar and sometimes subtle rules, or worse, be the brunt of a seasoned golfer’s anger when the new golfer is not aware of one of those subtle rules. Very often the reason a new golfer lacks knowledge of these rules is because so much emphasis is put on silence, and how to properly swing the club, but nothing else.
We’ve all watched Happy Gilmore. We all know that Happy was the rebel of the golf course asking the crowd to cheer, and how it was frowned upon by the professional golfers.
It’s not that being quiet is not important; in fact it’s very important. At the green or on the tee, unless you’re the person swinging the golf club, quiet is incredibly significant. Much of the game is short bursts of action and focus. When you’re taking your shots you should be focused on doing just that.
At all times please avoid slow play! In case your group isn’t keeping up with the group facing you attempt to walk at a faster speed between shots. It also helps to begin planning your next shot as you approach your ball, take direction and the power of the wind into consideration. Check the lie as you get to your ball, visualize your shot and then use as little time as possible to take your shot to maintain the appropriate speed of play. The entire process of picking a club to taking a shot should not take more than 45 seconds. It is helpful to remember when you’re practicing or on the driving range to keep this procedure under 45 seconds. If for some reason you’re not prepared when it’s your move to play allow another player take their turn.
- Avoid distracting or disturbing competition or your fellow players.
Appropriate behavior must be displayed, no matter how extreme the game is. Prevent making noise when a player, whether with your group or just nearby, is taking a shot. In addition, ensure that your telephone or electronic device doesn’t go off, thus distracting others. Golf takes lots of focus; be sure you value people that are concentrating on their play.
- Remain where you need to be.
When on the green ensure you do not throw a shadow over it or do not step in another player’s line. The golfer furthest from the hole has the first shot. If any other members of your group are not displaying proper golf etiquette it is OK to point that out once no one is taking a shot.
- Make safety a priority before, during and following the game.
Safety should always be of high importance, including during a game of golf. When you make a practice or real swing, make sure that nobody is close enough to be hit by your ball, club or debris from the shot. Every player should wait until her or his fellow players are out of range. In case you see the ball is flying toward someone else, promptly yell “fore”, the recognized word of warning in golf.
- “Play the ball as it lies.”
It is a well-known quotation that underlies golf etiquette and it means just what it says. Play the ball from the spot it landed. Do not move or touch it. There are exceptions to this on the putting green when you’re able to pick up the ball (particularly if it’s in the line of someone’s shot ) after you have marked it, but you do not pick up a ball and reposition it to satisfy your edge, even if it landed in a bunker.
- Keep a consistent speed of play.
Slow play keeps the group behind you from moving forward in exactly the same way it keeps you from moving forward if the group in front of you is moving at a turtle’s pace. If you find that your group just can’t keep up the pace then allow the group behind you to pass.
- On the green, never step between a player and his line of site
This refers to the imaginary line between his ball and the hole. Volunteer to move your ball and place a marker if your ball is in the player’s ball’s path to the hole.
- Be considerate to other players
Don’t make an excessive amount of motion or gestures while they’re taking their shots. A golfer can be distracted by commotion in their peripheral vision.
- Always do your part in taking good care of the golf course.
Replace any divots. Rake your footsteps from the place you played from if you’re in the bunker. Fix any pitch marks you might have caused from hitting the ball on the green. You can do this after your put.
- Be pleasant to caddies.
You are helping shape future players of the sport. Plus they are able to give you hints so that you can better understand the layout of the course. There is a good chance they know the course better than you do.
- Congratulate everyone for a good game. Take your losses and victories humbly.
How does this relate to the business world? Well if you haven’t figured it out yet then allow me to explain. A golfer that kicks his ball onto the fairway from the rough to give himself the advantage is showing you that he/she is willing to take shortcuts at the expense of others.
A golfer who doesn’t replace divots or do his best to maintain the beauty and integrity of the golf course is simply inconsiderate to others that come after him, and to the owners of the golf course.
If someone is being loud or distractive while others are taking their shots, whether in your group or another nearby group then that person is not going to be considerate of your business. They will not do their best to ensure that your business does not suffer because of their actions.
And humility? Do I really have to explain it?
If you’re unsure whether or not you want to be in business with someone then take them to the golf course to see how they ‘behave’. It’s not how well they play the game, but how they play the game.
Come to one of our many events around the state, and bring that potential business partner to see if it will be a match, or if you need someone else to play golf with. Visit backninenetworking.com for more information.