Tips

Golf Ladies First Tip no. 14 - FIT for Golf?

This month I am going to explain Golf Club Fitting. This is a process that is vitally important for every golfer from the complete beginner to the top professionals.

Fact: If the golf clubs aren't correct for the individual then it can produce a bad shot even with a perfect swing. The most expensive clubs are the ones that don't suit, regardless of price.

Golf club fitting is a process that will take around an hour with an experienced club fitter for the full set. A driver fitting or a putter fitting may take about 1/2 an hour. It can be done as a "Static Fitting" which deals only on figures and without hitting any shots but I am going to discuss what will happen in a typical Golf Ladies First iron fitting out on the Driving Range. We have developed a system which is designed for lady golfers of all capabilities and finds the most suitable clubs for each individual.

There are 5 basic elements that have to be analysed and documented for each individual. Remember everyone is built and plays differently so just like if you were buying a bicycle then the characteristics are for each person different. I hear a lot "My golf is not good enough for a fitting and it doesn't matter" Well it is just the opposite, The clubs must fit the person and not, as is the case in standard clubs, the person fits the clubs.

These five elements are Club length, Shaft flexibility, Grip size, Clubhead lie angle and Clubhead design. Through our Golf Ladies First Fitting Process we measure various things like height, hand to floor, hand and finger size. We then will measure, amongst other things,  clubhead speed, ball speed and smash factor which is ball speed divided by club speed.Smash Factor relates to the amount of energy transferred from the club head to the golf ball. 

From these measurements we can determine the correct length of shaft, flex of shaft, material of shaft and grip size. I see many ladies making the mistake, often due to bad advice or lack of alternatives, of fitting mens grips on their clubs without having large hands. This will change the swingweight of a club by up to 2 or 3 points, making it feel much lighter and changing the characteristics of the club. If larger grips are fitted then the swing weight must also change accordingly!

Next up is the lie angle - which is the angle between the club head and the shaft. This is the most important element of a iron fitting. The image below will show you what will happen when the lie angle is incorrect for the player.

When all this has been analysed only then will we look at different companies, trying as much as possible to not let the person getting fitted know which makes of clubs they are trying. Most people come with pre-conceived ideas in their heads about which clubs suit them best. They may be correct but we like to give everyone the opportunity to try all makes so that we can get the correct result.

Fittings are nothing to be scared of and at the end of the session the correct clubs will be found for each individual. This guarantees that with the correct swing the ball will go in the intended direction and even if the swing is less than perfect you will give yourself the best possible chance of a good shot.

This was a brief description of what happens on a Golf Ladies First Club Fitting and if anyone wishes further details or wants to discuss please phone me, Gordon,  on 0401 726598 or e-mail: info@golfladiesfirst.com.au

Until our next tip, keep it on the Fairway

Thanks for reading,

Gordon

 


Golf Ladies First Pro Tip 13 - Short Game Drill

The Short Game is the least practised and the most important of all golf shots. The quickest way to improve your results is regular and quality practise on the shots around the green. For some reason most people are more interested in gaining 10 metres on their drive or fairway woods instead of trying to decrease the number of shots they take from 50 metres out from the hole.

Regardless of your talent or level of handicap, if these shots were more consistent (and I include putts in this) your scores would get lower (guaranteed). Remember also if your tee shot is 10 metres further you will still have a long way before the ball is in the hole, and that is what golf is - getting the ball in the hole in the fewest number of shots.

All sounds good in theory I know but I'm going to give you a drill which will make practise more fun and will improve your feel.

  • Go to the practice putting green or chipping green. (Be careful as some clubs don't allow chipping on practice putting greens; something I've never understood but that's a different story) - Use whatever you club you want to chip with and a putter. If the practice green has multiple holes choose one for the whole drill.
  • Now with one ball start from a point about 3-4 metres away from the green. Chip onto the green and then hole out in your chosen hole with your putter.
  • Go back to your original spot off the green and pace out 10 metres further round the green. Chip on again and hole out with your putter in your chosen hole (Please remember it is always the same hole)
  • This procedure is done 9 times. You keep a count of each hole. 
  • Each hole is a Par 2 so Par for 9 holes is 18. If you achieve this then your short game is brilliant (Tour standard). It should be no more than 27 and anything inbetween is good. 

It's a great exercise and done a couple of times a week it will make a difference no matter what your handicap is. It can be made easier or harder depending on where you choose to start from. It could be that a bunker is included or heavy rough.

I always include this drill when I coach teams as it can become very competitive and is a great way to see just what is required to be looked at. A reference to my Tip 2 and Tip 5 is also a good refresher at this point.

Good luck and please let me know how you get on.

 Gordon McCallum. PGA Certified Professional

                                                     Advanced - Coaching

                                                                        Game Development              

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Golf Ladies First Pro Tip 12 - Warm Up before your round.

This month I am going to talk about something the majority of club golfers never do or never do properly and that is warming up before a round. It never ceases to amaze me how many golfers simply have a couple of putts and then stroll on down to the first tee and wonder why the first tee shot goes straight left and why they have niggling injuries after golf. A lot of people come to golf from tennis and I would almost guarantee that very few tennis players would start a tennis match without a warm up. Then why do it with golf?

Here is a routine that will take about 10 minutes before you tee-off. When done be ready to start within 5 minutes otherwise it will lose its effect. You should be ready to play so that you tee-off soon after finishing this warm up.

 

  • Walk for about 3 minutes,  around the car park or you  might want to walk from your car to the clubhouse and back a few times.
  • Hold a  club (e.g. mid iron) over your head with hands at either end. Arms should be fully stretched directly above you. Squat down until your thighs are almost parallel to the ground and stand up. Repeat 4 times. Have a short rest and if you feel good do it again
  • With your feet shoulder width apart stretch your arms out to the side at shoulder height. Firstly clockwise make big circles with your arms and gently decreasing the circles to small ones. After about 10 - 15 seconds reverse the motion (anti-clockwise) and increase the circles again to big circles.
  • Stand with your right arm extended straight out. Pull back your fingers with the other hand until you feel a stretch in your forearm. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat with the other wrist. Repeat again for each wrist.
  • Finally spend 2 minutes hitting balls into a net (or simply do practice swings if not possible) and a further 2 minutes gently putting.

 

Now the above warm up routine will take very little time and really it is as simple and the minimum you should be doing. There are many, many more advanced exercises that you can do but if you don't normally do any try these and your first few shots will be better and you should have less small injuries etc. Please remember however that at no time should you feel pain or discomfort in any way. If you do STOP immediately and rest.

 


Golf Ladies First Pro Tip 11 - Practice on the Course

Practising on the Golf Course.

This month I want you all to go out and play 9 holes with just 4 clubs, including your putter. You can choose whichever clubs you like, but for those trying this for the first time, I would recommend a driver, a  mid iron, a wedge and a putter. You're going to play all 9 holes with just those four clubs. It will teach you to be  more creative and you will learn how to manufacture shots.

This is a practice I was "made " to do by our Professional when I was a junior growing up. It can be very difficult and frustrating at times when the shot you have is seemingly impossible with the clubs(4) that you now have in your bag. It can also be brilliant fun as you attempt things with the "wrong" club.

The object is that you will discover what actually makes the ball fly (loft on the club). How the angle of attack of the clubhead can change the performace of the ball. How do I need to change my swing to get the ball to react differently with the "wrong" club.

I know a lot of you are thinking "Wow, this is way above my skills and thoughts" but please just try it with an open mind, I guarantee you'll be surprised.

What it will also do is that when you go back to playing with a full set of clubs the result is that it will be so much easier.

I look forward to hearing your feedback on how you got on.

P.S. Keep practising your short game and remember to have fun!!