The Ideal Golfing Experience Posts

What Makes A Golfer Happy

There is so much fuss these days about the “state of golf” and what we can day to improve the game. First and foremost, there will always be critics in any sports, so to say golf needs to “change” is a bit drastic, but with participation down in recent years it does make sense to reevaluate what golfers actually want.

In writing this piece and doing some research I came to realize that I’m in a perfect position to do some evaluating, as I am your typical millennial golfer who is around other golfers and courses on a daily basis. Golfers are a simple breed, who want camaraderie, and a fun time on the course. So, that being said, what do golfers really want?

1. A well-maintained course

A golf course is a beautiful thing and a masterpiece of human creation with gorgeous views of nature. That being said, we expect the golf course to be in nice shape. There is nothing that frustrates a golfer more than crappy fairways, bumpy greens, inconsistent rough, and beat up tee boxes. Why should I spend my hard earned money on a golf course that doesn’t provide me with a quality product? When golf was booming, course owners were building new facilities like crazy, which hindered quality. This is the industry’s fault, not the golfer’s fault. Golfers don’t mind dishing out a few extra bucks for a nicer course, but we are also not fooled by a lesser product.

2) “If you don’t play good, play fast”

This quote really resonated with me when I heard it from the general manager at Middle Bay Golf Course. I loved it because it was so true. Pace of play has nothing to do with being good or bad at golf, it has everything to do with being considerate of the golfers behind you. Every millennial under the sun thinks they have ADD or ADHD, so testing their patience in a sport that is already a mind game, is not how you get people excited. No need to rush, but play fast, and make sure you keep up with the group ahead of you. Simple.

3) Banter and Laughter 

Golf can be a serious game, but it doesn’t have to be. The average golfer hits a ton of bad shots throughout the round, which shouldn’t be frustrating, but rather an opportunity to poke fun at your buddies. If my friend or player partner hits an atrocious shot, you better believe they will be hearing about it from me. This isn’t to say I am making fun of them, it is simply keeping the mood light. After all, golf is a luxury, remember that.

4) Seeing progress

The average golfer rarely breaks 90, which means there are going to be many, many, bad shots out on the course. That’s not what golfer’s care about, and that’s not what will stop them from coming back. It is seeing constant progress that we want most from round to round. So, my best advice to a beginner or casual golfer is to get a lesson or two. Learn proper mechanics. You can sit out on the range for hours and hours, but if you’re practicing a flawed swing, then you will be ingraining poor habits for the future. Get a lesson, ingrain proper muscle memory, and see that progress you’re looking for.

Give us a good course, be considerate, allow us to laugh, and hopefully we will play long enough to get better!

Mizuno JPX-EZ Forged Irons Review

This year Mizuno decided take a game improvement iron and use their patented grain flow forged technology. This game-improvement iron no longer has a goofy, bulky look to it. Instead it looks like a mix between a game-improvement and players iron. The JPZ-EZ Forged irons are made for a player with a handicap in between 8 -18.

1. How This Club Is Forgiving and Long:

Mizuno decided to make the head of this club with their most advanced technology inside the head. This technology gives you the same distance and ball speed of a game improvement iron while giving you (the player) the feel and sound of a players iron. First, in order for the JPX-EZ Forged iron to give maximum forgiveness, Mizuno made the sole of the club big enough to give undeniable forgiveness, which is where the cavity is. This gives the player the ability to get the required accuracy even on off-center hits.

Second, the face of the club was built to go along with the cavity by giving it a multi-thickness CORTECH face. This incorporates the forgiveness from the cavity and makes the ball pop off the face, thus delivering maximum ball speed across the entire face. Also, Mizuno decided to make the lofts on these irons 2 degrees stronger. This means that you can get back to the distances you once had with a players iron by making your 7-iron fly slightly lower but giving about 5 to 8 more yards.

2. How this Club Feels and Sounds Like a Players Iron:

Most game-improvement irons are made from cast iron, Mizuno changed the game by making the JPX-EZ forged irons using the Grain Flow Forging process with 1035E carbon steel. When a club is made from cast iron, it takes out a majority of the feel a player wants when they hit the ball. Forged irons on the other hand, give a feeling of euphoria when it is hit clean, and that is exactly what these irons feel like. Whether the ball is hit right in the sweet spot or if it is slightly off-center, you still get both a smooth and buttery feel.

Now it is time to talk about how Mizuno made these irons sound like you are hitting the ball as well as a tour pro. This was done by changing the back of the club from the older JPX irons to a acoustic enhancing composite badge. Even though it looks to be just a cosmetic touch, in reality it is a crucial part to giving a crisp sound at impact. This design takes these vibrations and generates a crisp sound to the ears.

Opinion:

When I first decided to hit these I was slightly skeptical because I am a fan of the players style of irons, which have a thinner top line and less cavity. After a few swings my mind was completely changed. The ball felt smooth coming of the face of the club, feeling like I hit every ball exactly how I wanted, and the numbers were incredible. Even though these clubs are 2 degrees stronger than my normal irons, I was still getting the ball up in the air with the spin rate I wanted. This was due to the cavity and multi-face on the club. The ball was flying off these bad boys, giving me on average 7 more yards per club. I would strongly recommend these clubs for anyone who is a mid handicap and wants to start getting more feel out of their clubs, while not wanting to switch to a less forgiving players iron. I also would recommend the JPX-EZ Forged iron to a low handicapper who starting to feel like they are losing distance and accuracy, but still love the feel of their forged players iron.

 

Titleist AP1 714 Irons vs Titleist AP2 714 Irons Review

Titleist Ap1 714 Irons & Titleist Ap2 714 Irons Review

Titleist Ap1 714 Irons

New Features:

1. Most Notable Feature:

The duel cavity that Titleist inserted into the Ap1 irons have made them a very forgiving club. These clubs are considered to be their longest, most forgiving irons yet, with the duel cavity being the biggest reason. It does make the club look a little clunky, but I would rather have a club that looks clunky and goes straight than a club that looks like a blade and goes everywhere. The Ap1 irons are one of the most forgiving clubs I have hit without compromising look, feel, or sound.

2. Most Important Feature:

The most important feature of these irons is the lower placed CG. This lower placed CG gives the player a much longer, higher shot shape. Also, it makes these irons very easy to get up in the air without ballooning the ball. This added feature combined with the forgiveness from the duel cavity, makes it a can’t miss club.

Opinion:

Any player who is looking for a game improvement iron that gives you forgiveness, feel, and precision, this is the iron set for you. The best part about this set has to be the long irons (3,4,5). The ease in which the ball launches on the intended flight path almost feels like cheating. Almost.

 

Titleist Ap2 714 Irons

New Features:

1. Most Notable Feature:

The Ap2 irons are forged, cavity back irons which already sets them apart from the pack. The feel you get from these clubs are unlike any other cavity backed club. They feel like you are hitting blades even though you know these irons are cavity backed, making them more forgiving. Despite being cavity backed, Titleist made these irons with the better player in mind, meaning they are extremely workable and precise for controlling your distance.

2. Most Important Feature:

The most important feature on the Ap2 irons is the high density tungsten weighting. This gives these irons consistent speed on miss-hits from the high MOI design for better distance control. This also gives Titleist the option to make their clubs look much sleeker and have more of a tour profile. Since the tungsten weighting is around the edges of the club they could use less iron to give it a thinner look.

Opinion:

If having a players iron that is forged, forgiving, and precise is your thing, then get the Ap2 irons. The feel and sound of these clubs is unmatchable for a forgiving cavity backed club. I would recommend that no matter how good of a player you are, to go hit these irons and see for yourself. The distance control is spot on, even with miss-hits.

 

Recommendation:

My recommendation for this week is a tad bit odd but this is what I would do, so I am letting you all know. If you are a played like myself, who is not best ball striker, still solid with a low handicap, and struggles to hit the long irons pure on a consistent basis. Then this is the plan for you…get the 6 iron through Pw in the Ap2 iron set, then get the 3,4,5 iron in the Ap1 set. This will help with the forgiveness needed to improve your long iron game, while still giving you the option to dial-in the rest of your iron play.

The Art of Course Management

People say golf is a game played between the ears, and that the mental aspect trumps the physical nature of it. Well, whoever says that, is right. I was told at an early age to “never make 2 mistakes in a row” which didn’t make sense until I started competing competitively. There is a big difference between messing around and actually keeping your score. Bogeys will happen, but it is the doubles, triples, and snowman holes that really get us in trouble. So lets discuss how to avoid “the big number.”

Visualize your shot before you actually hit it. Take a good look at the hole ahead of you, determine where you want to go, where you don’t want to end up, and play the shot accordingly. For example, if out-of-bounds in on the left with a slanted fairway from right to left, playing a fade, or a draw that doesn’t challenge the left side is imperative. A miss on a safe shot may result in the occasionally bogey, but at least you’re not re-teeing.

However, there will always be times to take calculated risks. We have all found ourselves in the trees with window (A) being the safe way out and window (B) being the riskier one that gets us closer to the hole. I am not going to sit here and say always take the safer route, because I rarely do, but there are definitely a few factors to consider.

  1. It is much easier to hit a draw around trees than a fade
  2. If your ball is in deep rough the amount of spin you can generate is much less
  3. Trust your swing path
  4. Always make sure to stay down on the shot and compress the ball

Chipping around the green is where your course management skills are magnified. You are not taking full driving range swings, and you’re most likely not in the fairway, so what now? Visualization is again, key. Try to imagine what the ball will do once it hits the greens to determine the ideal landing spot. Tour professionals frequently read the greens when they are chipping to get a feel for break. Tiger made a living in his prime hitting boring chips with his 60 degree wedge, while Phil wooed crowd with his incredible flop shots. Short game is all feel and preference, just make sure to practice what feels right for you.

Lastly, putting. There is LITERALLY nothing that makes me more mad on the course than 3putting. It infuriates me, and often times, carries over into a poor next shot. The key to putting is understanding the subtleties in the green, figuring out the speed, and keeping your first putt around the hole in case you miss. Too often have a seen myself and other golfers blow their first putt past, or leave in 10 feet short. No one enjoys a 10 foot par putt, or worse, a 10 foot bogey  putt.

You drive for show, and putt for dough!

 

Bushnell Tour V3 Range Finder

New Features:

1. Most Notable Feature:

The New Tour V3 has a new technology called JOLT. This JOLT technology is my favorite innovation with range finders and should be in all laser going forward. Once you hit the target/pin, you feel a little vibration and the yardage pops straight up in front of your eye. Its simple and effective.

2. Most Important Feature:

As for the most important feature, it has to be the newly designed look and feel. This range finder is very easy to hold even for people with shaky hands, like myself. The Bushnell Tour V3 is sleek, and sports a white case with a red bottom, making it nearly impossible to lose for all you forgetful golfers out there.

Pros:

- The JOLT technology makes it much faster than most other range finders.

- Works great for people with shaky hands.

- Can shoot distances to anything, not just pins.

- Extremely, extremely accurate.

Cons:

- GPS watches simplify the process for your average golfer

- It does not show the hole, rather just gives you distance to what you point it at.

Recommendation:

My Recommendation has to be, BUY THE BUSHNELL TOUR V3!! This laser is on point and very quick. I originally was not a fan of laser range finders because I felt they took too long, but not this one. Once you feel the vibration you know you have the pin. It works great, looks great, and will really help lower your scores. Unlike watches, it works great even in cloudy conditions because it does not need any satellites. Speed up your game, and become more accurate.