Playing Golf in the Wind: A Guide to Adjust Your Game

Golf isn’t easy. Even in the best of weather conditions, it’s one of the most difficult sports in existence. Add heavy winds to the equation and it’s a challenge unlike any other. But you can’t just bow out of a round because it’s a little windy. You have to adjust your game to meet a different set of demands. Wondering how it’s done? Curious as to how you can conquer those windy days? Then read on. Here’s a full guide to playing golf in the wind. 

Keep Side Spin to a Minimum

Maybe you like to play a fade? Perhaps you like to play a draw? There’s nothing wrong with either . . . when the weather is decent. 

Unfortunately, when heavy winds start blowing, they can turn a slight fade or a slight draw into a bad slice or a horrible hook. So, in short, any type of spin that your golf ball has on it will be compounded by the wind. 

How do you combat this problem? By playing with as little side spin as possible. The more front spin you can put on your ball, the better off you’ll be. 

Now, we know that reducing side spin isn’t easy, especially if it’s a regular part of your game. But you can usually reduce it by slowing down your swing and focusing on keeping your clubface square during impact. 

Our advice is to hit the driving range before teeing off. See what you can do to lessen your fade or your draw and then use those same techniques during your round. 

Gauge for Wind Adjustment

It doesn’t matter how crisply you strike your ball, if it’s windy out there, it’s going to get caught up. The only thing you can do to combat this is to gauge for adjustment prior to taking your shot. 

In other words, if the wind is blowing heavy to the right, you should aim left of your intended target. Conversely, if it’s blowing to the left, you should aim right of your intended target. 

Again, it’s wise to get out on the practice range prior to starting your round. This way, you’ll know just how much adjustment you need to make. 

Club Up/Club Down

When the wind is blowing hard, you can’t always play your clubs at their typical distances. Why? Because a strong wind could turn a 120-yard 9-iron into a 100-yard 9-iron and could turn a 150-yard 6-iron into a 170-yard 6-iron. 

As such, before each of your shots, you need to get a feel for the strength and direction of the wind. Only then will you know which club to use. 

There are a number of ways to gauge the wind’s strength and direction, but the best option is to look for items that are blowing. Ideally, you’ll have a flagstick nearby that you can use to gauge the wind. But if you don’t, you could also tear up a few pieces of grass and let them fly; don’t toss them, just let them go and see which way the wind takes them. 

Get Conservative

Are you a particularly aggressive golfer? If so, and if you’re playing on a windy day, you might want to tone it down a bit. Generally speaking, aggressive golfers and heavy winds go together like ketchup and applesauce, which is to say that they don’t go well together at all. 

Thinking about trying to clear that water on hole 8? The wind could put it right in. You might want to lay up instead. 

Are you used to playing a draw in order to get a good angle on that dogleg? With the wind blowing, it’s going to be risky. Playing it short is the safer option. 

Erratic with your driver? It’s only going to be worse in windy weather. You might want to consider playing a 3-wood instead. 

Put simply, windy days are no time to get creative with your golf game. If you want to be successful, you have to play it relatively safe. 

Sure, your score might not be as low. But the others’ scores won’t be as low either. Let them make the mistakes instead of you. 

Keep It Low

As a rule of thumb, the higher you hit the ball, the less control you have over it. This is particularly true when it’s windy, as winds are stronger higher than they are lower. As such, on a windy day, you should do what you can to keep the ball low

The easiest way to hit the ball lower is to put it further back in your stance. In doing so, you’ll allow your club to strike the ball on a downward trajectory, thus reducing its loft. 

Another way to keep the ball low is to limit your follow-through. By extending your club outward during your follow-through as opposed to upward, you’ll put a lower trajectory on the ball. 

Low shots are important in high winds not only because they have a smaller chance of getting caught up in said winds, but because they tend to have more speed on them as well. This increase in speed enables the ball to cut through the wind, limiting its effect. 

Golf in the Wind Successfully With These Key Tips

It’s not easy to golf in the wind. But sometimes, it’s unavoidable. If you’re playing in a tournament or scheduled golf outing, you have to go out there and give it your best shot; these tips will help you to do so. 

Looking for other golf-related tips? If so, you’re in the right place. Golf Gear Geeks has you covered. 

Whether you’re looking for golf tips, info on golf products, or otherwise, our website can help you. Check out our other blog posts now!

Covid-19 Pandemic Golf Rules

You may be thinking “what are the new rules at golf courses now that we are in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic?” or “what should I be doing to minimize my exposure to Covid-19 while golfing?” We checked at several golf course pro shops and the PGA website to get an idea of what the new rules are or at least what is recommended. If your local course is not following these rules, you may want to make them aware of the following best practices:

1)      Minimize or eliminate the handling of any equipment on the course owned by the club and normally handled by every golfer. For example at one course they do not want you to pull the flags, just leave them in place. They also do not want you to pick up and handle the rakes to remove your tracks in the sand traps. These will be groomed by the staff at the end of the day. 

2)      Bring your own water bottles so you do not need to touch and drink from the public water fountains.

3)      Most courses are not renting clubs as this creates too much extra work to sanitize them between rentals.

4)      Participants are still paired into foursomes, however each player is required to ride alone in his cart. Rented carts are disinfected between rounds. If you live in the neighborhood, now is a good time to purchase a golf cart for your own use.

5)      Keep the social distancing rules of 6 feet between people as in other public places. One course recommends a distance of 10 feet if it is windy.

6)      Perform the normal cleanliness habits of not shaking hands, keeping anti-bacterial wipes handy or hand sanitizer just in case you need them, sneeze into your elbow, wash your hands with soap and water as often as possible,  etc.

7)      Face masks are not mandatory, however if you have allergies it might make sense to wear one to prevent allergens from entering your nose causing you to sneeze, and if you do sneeze, it shows courtesy towards the other players.

The Latest Golf Trends Golfers Need to Keep a Close Eye on in 2020

Golfing is both a sport and a refined art. As such, it’s imperative to be on top of all the latest trends not only for the sake of your game but also for respect in your social circles. This year has seen some pretty exciting trends; some picked off from last year and some new.

From a sportsman’s perspective, there’s always something better every year in terms of equipment. 2020 is no exception with new technology golf clubs and a general adaptation of golfing to the current technological wave. Some of this year’s golf trends are more social and revolve around the golf course stuff like fashion and even music.

Over 107 million Americans in 2018 played, read, or watched golf. It shows how invested people are in golf trends.

If you’re unfamiliar with golf trends, here are some more recent trends that you should be aware of.  

Music on the Golf Course

Who’d have thought that we’d be bumping to our favorite tunes while swinging our golf clubs? Playing music while golfing will become prominent this year, especially now that many youngsters are embracing the sport. 

It’s a tactic some golf resorts have embraced to attract the attention of young golfers. Of course, you shouldn’t expect loud booming music on the fairway; that will completely throw you off your game. That’s why this trend could have some difficulty going forward to accommodate different music tastes.

Classical or calmer music, however, can be something the veteran golfers appreciate. Also, it’s far less outlandish than the upbeat, blaring music the younger generation often prefers.

So get ready for some tunes the next time you tee off.

New Golf Apparel

Of course, a list of golf trends won’t be complete without mentioning fashion. The fashion trend this year is clothing that’s sharp, modern, and functional.

For instance, shirts that help with elbow swing and pants that help maintain the correct posture.

Breathable wear has been the norm for a couple of years and is likely to stay for a while.

Since most people love golfing in summer, it’s the ideal time to whip out your snazzy summer threads. Remember not to get carried away on the fashion aspect and forget about the game.

Plus, don’t forget golf wear etiquette, or you’ll be the laughing stock of the entire course.

Healthier Lifestyle for Golfers

Golf isn’t a sport that’s very much associated with healthy diets. That’s because unlike other intensive sports, golf doesn’t involve a lot of physical exertion. However, many golfers are embracing a healthier diet to give them an edge over their rivals.

This healthy diet choice isn’t restricted to your home. Expect an array of healthy drinks in your local golf resort. Think along the lines of healthy vegan smoothies, artisanal coffee, and the likes.

In other words, you might want to forget the usual golf club hotdog this year.

Three Hole Tournaments

In 2020, three-hole to nine-hole tournaments are steadily gaining traction in the golfing community. It’s an alternative to the usual 20/20 gaming format, which is lengthy and even tiring for some.

These short tournaments can take no longer than three hours.

This is great for busy people who are rushing to work or some other place after the game.

Beginners can also try their hand at golf without fear of embarrassing themselves in the long game.

Increased Social and Corporation Adaptability

For most people, golf is more than just a sport, it’s also a way to socialize or advance business agendas. Golf resorts and clubs are aware of this and are making their establishments more conducive for businesses and social groups.

Golf clubs are tailoring tournaments for business teams to compete against each other. These clubs are also incorporating other fun activities for college clubs and families.

Popular golf clubs have a knack for switching up their style to fit their clients’ wishes.

In 2020, adapting the golf resort to business and social groups has worked in favor of golf clubs. It has also made golf less intimidating for people willing to take up the sport but is scared to do so.

More Technology in Golf

Technology has also crept its way into golf with the latest tech innovations.

For instance, streaming live events, music, and golf information on golf carts is now the norm, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Nowadays, there’s a hands-free push cart that will carry your golfing stuff all across the court.  On the software side, there are tons of golfing apps to help you up your game.

Not to mention, there are tons of golf mobile games to keep you occupied while you wait for your turn.

The notion that golf is rigid to technology has been overturned over the past decade. Now more than ever, golf is embracing technology for a better overall golfing experience and making learning golf easier.

These Golf Trends Have You Set for 2020

These are some of the hottest golf trends you should expect this year. Tell your golfing buddies all about them, so they aren’t left out. Also, keep your eyes peeled for next year’s golfing trends, so you’re always on top of your game. 

For more informative and insightful golf reads on everything golf, check out our golf talk blog and be in the know.

9 of the Worst Golf Courses in the United States

worst golf courses

What are the worst golf courses in the United States?

Whether you’re a hacker or a golfer with a low handicap, you want to play at a course that provides a great experience.

Out of over 15,000 golf courses in the country, we managed to narrow this list down to the 9 golf courses you’ll want to avoid.

Read on to find out what they are.

What Makes a Bad Golf Course?

Ranking the worst golf courses is a purely subjective endeavor. However, there are some criteria that were used to create this list.

We took into account what makes a great playing experience. Fast play without feeling rushed and greens where you can actually make putts matters to golfers. The driving factor for most golfers having a good experience is the condition of the course and the price paid for the round.

Put it another way, if you paid a lot of money for a round at a course where there was no electricity and the grass was overgrown, you would think that’s a horrible course.

Here’s what else we took into account.

Design

Golf course designers don’t have an easy job. They have a piece of land to work with, elements like wind and water to contend with, and they have to design a great golf course.

Designers can be known to go overboard with water features or try to cram in too much in a small space.

Good design should challenge every golfer, have a personality or theme, and take advantage of the natural beauty of the landscape.

That’s why courses like Pebble Beach and Augusta National constantly rank at the top of listings. They’re beautiful courses that are challenging.

Maintenance

It’s expensive to maintain a golf course, and if a course is struggling financially, that can impact your golf experience.

In 2016, the average maintenance budget was roughly $700,000.

There is a lot to maintain at a golf course. There’s the greens, trees, labor, fertilizer, fairways, and sand traps all take money to maintain.

Then there are capital expenditures to make improvements to the golf course. Maintenance equipment like water pumps and lawn mowers have maintenance needs of their own as well.

1. Chambers Bay Golf Course

Chambers Bay opened up in 2007 in Tacoma, WA. In 2015, it was the host of the U.S. Open. It may be known for its wild design and hard to read greens.

Former U.S. Open winner Gary Player tore the course apart, calling it “impossible to play on.” and not being accessible to the average golfer because it was so challenging. At almost 7600 yards, be prepared for a long day out.

2. TPC Louisiana

This is a course that average players seem to love, but pro players hate. There’s a reason why that players have avoided the Zurich Classic. The flat and unimaginative design leaves players feeling like they’re uninspired during play.

3. Furnace Creek Golf Course

Would you golf in the middle of Death Valley, CA in the middle of summer? You can at Furnace Creek Golf Course. It is open for play all year long, but it’s the summertime heat that will get you. You’re 214 feet below sea level golfing in 115-degree heat.

At that point, your golf game becomes about efficiency. No practice swings, and make a few movements as you can.

Gameplay can be difficult with ground temperatures hot enough to melt a golf ball. Not only that, but it’s difficult for anything to survive, even the sand. It can easily blow away in windstorms. That’s why you’ll see grass bunkers there.

4. Walt Disney Resort – Palm Golf Course

You might think that a trip to Disney means pristine golf courses that are well worth the price of admission. You might want to think again.

It’s the host of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic and some pros aren’t fans of the course, even after a 2013 redesign.

The fairways are much wider with plenty of water traps. The sand dunes are deceivingly deep, and the greens are harder to read.

5. River View Golf Course

This golf course in Santa Ana, CA can seem like a great idea if you’re in the area and you have your clubs with you.

On the plus side, the course is an excellent value.

On the downside, you need to bring your A game and you need to pay attention during play. The greens are very narrow, making this course challenging to play on. The layout overlaps, which can make finding the fairways and tees very confusing. You’ll need to bring a GPS with you to get around.

6. Pelham Park

This public course in the Bronx, NY made the list for maintenance reasons. The layout is fine, but the course conditions and staff can leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth.

It may be worth it if you get a discounted rate, but even then, you’re pressing your luck.

7. Kinloch Golf Course

Kinloch Golf Course is a favorite for some, but it could be because they’ve golfed there before and know what to expect.

If it’s your first time there, be prepared. First is that there are no golf carts. That’s right, play golf the old fashioned way – with caddies. It can be challenging to navigate and if you’re out and about with family, you may not find this to be a great experience.

8. Torrey Pines

If you’re going to spend time in San Diego, you may be tempted to pay a visit to Torrey Pines Golf Course. With the history and prestige, you’d think that it’s worth every penny to go.

Don’t do it. It’s only pretty on TV. The reality is that the upkeep is lacking, which makes the course a huge disappointment.

9. Liberty National Golf Course

Jersey City, NJ is the home of the worst golf course on the pro tour. At a price tag of $250 million, you’d expect a much better review.

The setting is incredible, with the New York skyline in full view, but the gameplay leaves a lot to be desired.

The Worst Golf Courses in America

The worst golf courses in America all have a little something in common. They have poor design, try to be too much, and they’re not well maintained.

The bottom line is that they didn’t make a great golfing excursion.

If you’re looking for tech tools and tips so you can be a better golfer, check out our blog today.

9 Must-Have Golfing Accessories to Take Your Game to the Next Level

golfing accessories

Golf may be “the gentleman’s game,” but when it comes to getting a leg up on your competition, the game is anything but gentlemanly.

Whether it’s fine-tuning their short game or buying new gear, golfers are always trying to get a leg up on the competition. In this article, we’ll be focusing on the latter. With the competition in golf as stiff as it is, you need all the help you can get.

9 Golfing Accessories You Need In Your Bag

Some sports, like tennis or hockey, rely extremely hard on gear for performance. If you don’t have the top-of-the-line racket or skates, you won’t be able to compete with the pros.

This is especially true for golf, but it doesn’t stop at golf clubs. There’s plenty more you can add to your golf bag to improve your performance. Here are the 9 best add-ons in the market.

1. Shag Balls

If you’re trying to improve your golf game, the thing you need most is practice. If you’re stuck behind a slow group of golfers out on the course, shag balls are the perfect target practice.

No one wants to waste time out on the course, and practicing your swing on shag balls during those idle periods is time-well-spent.

2. The Blast Motion Swing and Stroke Analyzer

On top of practice, you also need data to improve your game. This nifty technology from Blast Motion can deliver just that.

How it works is simple: You attach this little device on to the grip of your golf club and tracks the quality of your swings. It tracks the speed of your swing, measures your timing, and uses a compass to create a 3D map of each of your strokes.

With this data, you’ll be able to hone in on imperfections in your game and adjust accordingly.

3. Garmin S6 Approach Watch

When playing a new course, it’s helpful to know the ins-and-outs of the green, like the yardage of each hole. This watch is loaded with in-depth information of over 39,000 golf courses worldwide.

It also has a digital scorecard and can display text messages and emails from your phone.

4. A Rangefinder

If you don’t want to go the watch route, you can use a rangefinder like the Leupold GX to get extremely accurate yardage readings. This rangefinder can also record the incline or decline of the course, as well as the temperature and the altitude.

Of course, you want to be able to intuit this sort of thing over time, but you can use this as a training tool. Before taking your readings, try guessing the yardage or incline/decline. You’ll find that you’ll get more accurate over time. It’s like developing a superpower!

5. The EZee Golf Power Club

Golfing, like any other physical activity, becomes more difficult to do with age. But age or injury doesn’t have to prevent you from hitting the golf courses these days.

If those intense swings when teeing off cause you too much pain you can get a little help from this piston-powered driver. With the hard part out of the way, you can still work on your short game.

6. Putter Grips

Speaking of your short game, it can benefit greatly with some updated putter grips, like these. Putters can be tricky and a lot of the stock grips on these clubs aren’t great for a lot of players.

Since putting is such a fine motor movement, you need all the help you can get. One slip-up could ruin your performance on the course. These Lamkin putter grips add a little weight to your club, giving your put some more heft. This added weight theoretically smooths out your swing if you’ve got a hitch in your putting motion.

7. Swingbyte 2 Training Aid

The Swingbyte 2 Training Aid is a lot like the Blast Motion stroke analyzer but can monitor even finer motor movements. It monitors all the same things in your swings like speed, tempo, and angle. But it can also check for things like if you’re rotating your clubface accurately on drives.

It also weighs less than an ounce, so having it clipped to your club shouldn’t affect your swing at all. The accompanying smartphone app is loaded with personalized lesson plans to improve your game as well.

8. Customized Golf Gloves

Golf requires that you have an iron-clad grip. You can’t tee off right if your hands are slipping and sliding around the grip on your club.

If you don’t already have gloves, you should get a pair tailored perfectly for your hand. These gloves by Gfore, for example, have fine-tuned size options to ensure a perfect, snug fit.

You’ll find that your golf game will improve a lot with a good pair of gloves.

9. Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls

A good golf club is essential for good gold performance, but their quality is negated if you’re hitting rocks off the tee.

Any quality golf ball will vastly improve your game, but we recommend the Titleist Pro V1 golf balls. It’s the ball most PGA pros use and for good reason. The ball is constructed with an ultra-soft outer layer perfect for soft puts around the hole. But it also retains enough aerodynamic qualities so that no power is lost when driving off the tee.

Titleist ensures that using this ball will result in longer distance drives and more consistent flight.

Ready to Hit The Green?

With these golfing accessories, you’ll be able to improve your game and dominate the courses in no time flat. It’s important, however, to remember the fundamentals. A pair of gloves alone isn’t going to help you improve your game.

It’s easy to get lost in buying new gear, but you need to remain dedicated to improving the basics of your game.

If you need any more advice on recommendations on training golf gear, check out the training section of our website. Happy golfing!

Top 7 Apps to Help You Play Golf Like a Pro

play golfHeading out to the golf course is a popular American pastime. In 2016, over 23 million golfers took to the links.

While the basics of golfing haven’t changed over the years, the technology available to players has.

Using golf technology to improve your game can lower your score and maybe even give you bragging rights in the clubhouse.

Whether it’s using the latest clubs to improve your swing or using GPS technology to track the distance to the green, there are many ways for technology to improve your game.

One key piece of technology that you likely have access to is the smartphone.

Your smartphone can do more than take pictures or allow you to text your friends about that birdie putt. It also offers access to an array of golfing apps you can use to help you progress and become a better golfer.

We’re here to tell you about the 7 best golf apps that can help improve your golf game.

Top 7 Apps You Don’t Want to Play Golf Without

There is no shortage of golf-related apps you could choose. We’ve selected to 7 we feel are the best for improving your golf game.

1. Golf Channel Academy

This app is a great addition if you’re trying to improve your swing. The app provides access to a collection of over 2,000 videos from top golfing instructors.

No matter what aspect of your swing you’re trying to improve, there’s no shortage of videos from pro golfers explaining how to make your swing better and improve your game.

If watching videos isn’t enough to improve your swing, you can use the app to find a Golf Channel Academy coach nearby who can work with you in person.

All these features make the Golf Chanel Academy a great app.

2. Golfshot: GPS + Scorecard + Tee Times

Another great app, Golfshot can help you with keeping track of your score. But it doesn’t just keep track of your score, you can use the app to track the scores of friends as well as you play golf.

The app also allows creates graphs of your performance in driving, your short game, and putting. This means you’ll have insights into your golf game you can use to improve your performance.

If that wasn’t enough, it will provide you with distances for over 38.000 golf courses, so you don’t have to guess how far away the green is.

If you go for the Golfshot Plus version of the app, you’ll be able to find real-time distances to the green and hazards. You’ll also get a 3D flyover preview of each hole and personalized club recommendations based on your previous shots.

3. Golf Nearby

This app has an expansive list of golf courses around the world. Using this app, you’ll have no trouble finding the nearest golf course when you want to play golf.

The app is great if you’re a frequent traveler but still want to be able to find a golf course that meets your needs wherever you are. You’ll always be able to practice even when you’re in an unfamiliar area.

It will also give you directions to the course, contact information so you can set up your tee time, and even give you an overview of the course.

This makes Golf Nearby a handy travel accessory for those of you who are determined to get in a round while on the road.

4. TheGrint – All Golf. One APP

Maybe you’re the type who doesn’t want to load your phone with all sorts of different golfing apps. If so, then this is the only app you’ll need.

This app serves as a GPS rangefinder, handicap calculator, and can track live scoring. Also, the app helps you book tee times and track your performance, so you can see how your game is progressing and where you need to improve.

It’s hard to beat this one as your go-to app of choice.

5. V1 Golf

A great tool for improving your golf swing, this app allows you to use your phone’s camera to record and analyze your swing.

The app lets you analyze your swing in slow motion as well as frame by frame. You can edit the video and even add notes to it.

One great feature of this app is the ability to compare your swing to the swings of over 50 professional golfers from the PGA, LPGA, and Champion Players tour. This allows you to see how your swing stacks up against top golfers and find ways to make your swing better.

6. mScorecard

While this is predominantly a scorecard app, it offers other features that will help you improve your game. Naturally, it helps you keep track of your score, strokes, sand shots, chips, saves, penalties, putts and other scoring metrics.

But it also has some GPS features to help determine the distance to the green or hazards along the course. It will also keep track of your game histories and stats, so you can use this information to find new insights into your game.

7. Swingbot

Another app you can use to analyze your swing, the Swingbot features video playback and allows you to upload the video from your smartphone.

What sets this app apart from other swing improvement apps is its ability to give instant feedback about your swing as you play golf. This means you can use it while you’re out on the course as well as when you’re practicing your swing.

Ever wonder what went wrong with that last shot? Look at the app and you’ll be able to see your last swing. By uploading the videos to a library, you’ll also be able to track how your swing is changing over time.

Hitting the Course

Before heading out to play golf, you should download some of the great golfing apps here.

These apps can help you improve your game and make your day on the links more enjoyable.

We’re always happy to get feedback on any great golf apps you’ve found. Let us know if you have any favorites we didn’t mention.

2018 Golf Predictions – the Future of the Game

2018 golfSome people believe that Nostradamus was foretelling the election of Donald Trump when he predicted, “The great shameless, audacious bawler, he will be elected governor of the army.” Not a bad prediction considering he was writing in 1566. Want to know what will happen in the 2018 golf world?

One of the reasons we love golf is that it is full of surprises. On and off the course predictions are difficult. For this very reason, it’s great fun to discuss and debate the future.

So, just for fun, read on for a bunch of 2018 golf predictions.

A Brief Look Back

Predicting the future is best done with an eye to the past. What was your highlight of 2017? For many, it was a moment on the 13th at the Open at Royal Birkdale. Jordon Spieth was at a turning point.

He could have crashed and burned just as he had the previous year at the Masters. From an unplayable position and in a tie with Kucher he was set to lose. He took his next shot from the driving range and then with three birdies and an eagle, lifted the Claret Jug.

This proves that one thing we can be sure of is, this game we love is full of surprises.

More to Life Than Golf

Before we get more deeply into the 2018 golf predictions it is worth mentioning that 2018 is a year full of sport and two certain predictions.

The Winter Olympics and then the Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea in February and March will be the biggest event of the year. A safe prediction will be, last times host and top medal winner, Russia, will win no medals. They are excluded from the games due to doping offenses.

Another major global event will be the Soccer World Cup which takes place in Russia in June and July. It’s safe to predict that the USA will not win. The US team failed to qualify for the tournament.

Tiger Burning Bright

Tiger Woods must appear more often than any player in annual golf predictions. At the Hero World Challenge last year he achieved eight under par and beat the likes of world number 1, Duston Johnson. His recent spinal operation has left him pain-free for the first time in many years.

What can he achieve in 2018? Sponsors love him and golf fans love him too. He could surprise us with a return to winning ways. So Tiger to win a tournament in 2018 is my first 2018 golf prediction.

Grand Slam

Jordon Spieth still needs to win the PGA Championship to complete a career grand slam. After his performance at the Open at Royal Birkdale in 2017, he has demonstrated the mental strength to deliver when it matters.

He is young and so the pressure of having to achieve his career grand slam before it’s too late is not there.

Speith jointly owns the Masters Scoring Record with an 18-under 270 to win in 2015. He shares this record with Tiger Woods. My prediction is he will also complete his career grand slam in 2018.

Up and Coming

It’s always exciting to watch the new talent emerge from obscurity. Tiger Woods had a great school golf record and tying with his record is Maverick McNealy.

He starts this season with no status on any major tour just like Jordan Spieth in 2012. It didn’t hold Jordan back and it needn’t hold McNealy back either. My prediction is McNealy is the 2018 golf newcomer to watch.

LPGA Winner

“Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.” So said Zig Zigler. Lexi Thompson has had a tough time in 2017.

A bizarre four-stroke penalty at the ANA Inspiration cost her a major championship title. Later in the year, she has had to endure family illness and bereavement. In 2017, her nine top-ten finishes, two of them wins shows her talent.

I predict, Lexi Thompson coming back from adversity in 2018 and winning several majors.

Ryder Cup

The Ryder Cup will be very closely contested in 2018. The US has not won in Europe for 25 years. With half a dozen superstars in the team and local knowledge, Europe looks a good bet.

The US win in Hazeltine was impressive and perhaps the time has come for a US victory in Europe. My prediction is that the US will have to wait a little longer and the Europeans will triumph.

Golf Balls

Golf ball brands are competing for your golfing dollar. The balls available in 2018 include soft, hard, control, distance, spin reduction, soft center and more. The choice is bewildering.

My prediction is your ball will be the only item of golf equipment you use for every shot. Find one you like and stick with it, at least for 2018. Use it in practice and competition.

Golf GPS

Golf has seen huge steps forward in technology. Clubs, balls, and clothing have all benefitted from this.

If you don’t own a golf GPS you may be one of the many golfers who will feel that 2018 is the year to invest. With a golf GPS, you can play any course as if you have played it many times before. The technology has come on so far and now provides powerful, pinpoint information.

The addition of swing analysis, details about locations of water and traps, and distance to the hole all support your golf game. Post-Game analytics help you improve too. I predict better scores and more enjoyable golf for users of golf GPS.

2018 Golf

The 2018 golf year will see majors at, US Masters at Augusta National in April, US Open at Shinnecock Hills in June, Open Championship at Carnoustie and US PGA at Bellerive in August. Lots of great golf to look forward to.

Your golf year might see you with a new club, a new course or a new love for the game. Whatever it is, my confident prediction is golf will still hold a fascination for golfers all over the world for many years to come.

To read more about golf and golf gear, click here.

5 Reasons to Use a Golf GPS Device

golf GPSHitting the links never feels so good as when you do it with total confidence. Knowing every blade of a course gives an immense feeling of accomplishment that resonates in your game.

With golf GPS apps and devices, any course can be played with total familiarity, even if you’ve never set foot on the fairway. These apps and devices add a touch of augmented reality to provide a powerful experience.

Whether you are looking to excel at a new course, push the limits of your favorite, or just have a relaxing day on the fairway, these devices can help.

Not convinced? Consider these following 5 reasons you should be on board with a golf GPS.

Golf GPS

GPS has come a long way in the past 10 years. What was once a sort of novelty for geocachers has expanded to be a common part of every digital technology.

Much like a typical GPS a golf GPS uses satellite data and tracking software to triangulate a location. Built into a watch, a smartphone, or other handheld devices, the system gives powerful and precise information about a course. Some services boast as many as 40,000 courses in the library and those libraries are growing.

Topical displays and features different from one device/service to the next, but in general they all serve the same purpose, to improve your game by adding vital information.

Let’s explore what these features provide in the following list.

1 A Digital Caddy

If you have played with a caddy, you know how invaluable they can be to explaining the features of a course. They also know what clubs to recommend given the terrain, weather, and other conditions. They provide a valuable service that often only the pros and semi-pros get to benefit from.

With a golf GPS, you have the next best thing at your disposal. You can store information about your average swing distance with each club and the programs can recommend clubs based on distance and situation.

Even if you don’t use a swing analyzer knowing where the water hazards are, the distance to the hole, curvature, and grade of the fairway, in addition to other factors, will let you make better decisions and give you that professional experience.

If nothing else, these programs offer a second perspective, a voice outside your own. Being able to keep that kind of objectivity can do wonders for keeping you focused on the game.

2 Enhanced Situational Awareness

Familiarity with a course, as mentioned, gives a lot of advantages for not only playing a good game but enjoying the game you play. While it can take many plays on a course to get into the mindset of playing the strengths and avoiding the traps, a golf GPS can provide that info up-front.

Knowing not just the distance to the hole, but where the rough starts, where the water and sand hazards are located, and the slope of a green can all contribute to a solid game.

When you land a ball outside of the fairway and need to orient to the hole and push hard to recover a stroke GPS knowledge gives an advantage. The kind of advantage that normally only comes with repeated experience.

3 Speed Up Your Game

You may have different objectives for a game, be it simply to enjoy the day or improve your overall game. Either way, utilizing a golf GPS can improve the flow of your game and the speed of play.

This is not to say that the apps will rush you, just that you won’t’ have to spend valuable time measuring, eyeballing, or considering distances. No need to walk and pace and stare at the clubs to think about the situation when the information you need can be present.

This puts more of the time you spend playing the game into playing the game.

4 More Enjoyment

Taking a single stroke off a rough hole can have a ripple effect on the whole day. When you come up with a strategy and finish a tricky shot, you feel that sense of accomplishment from improvement.

These types of achievements come more readily when you have the information you need at your fingertips.

One of the greatest values of an app or device comes from its utilitarian nature. You decide how it is used, so you decide what enjoyment means to you. While improving the game might be a benefit for some, spending more time really playing the course might be best for others.

Don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees, so to speak.

With a golf GPS, you can plot out your whole game moving from hole to hole before you get to the site. Then you can measure and make your play against your ideal strategy. This kind of tactical planning and execution brings a lot to a game.

5 Post-Game Analysis

Golf GPS apps and devices help catalog information as you go. With help from swing analyzers and scorecards, you can see where your best lies fall and where you need improvement.

Analysis can help you see where you went wrong, see what you did right, or figure out which club choices should change for the future. If nothing else, a digital record can help you recall what choices you made when memory fails.

Recording a game also lets you play back the markers. It never hurts to show off a bit of your technique to friends and colleagues. (Well, it can hurt some feelings, but it will also inspire them to seek you out for some advice in the future.)

Some apps even let you list your scores online. You can use this to chart progress over time, or join and compete on leaderboards to show off your game to others playing the course.

Learn More

Propel your game into the 21st century with cutting edge tech and the knowledge to utilize its potential.

If you are interested in golf GPS, or any of the other emerging digital technologies that are shaping modern golf game, check out our Golf Talk blog. We have product reviews and guides for a lot of golf equipment, accessories, and apparel.

Gear Review – FX-Sport VC Golf Headphones

We recently had the chance to review a new golf product called the VC Golf Headphones by FX-Sport based out of the UK.

Who Are They

First lets take a look at the company behind the product.  FX-Sport is centered around coaching and training and puts together audio for wireless headphones that you wear while you work out and train.

They have several products that are geared toward workouts and weight training.  They have several conditioning coaches and personal trainers who have recorded audio and you can upload them onto their VRX model.  The selection is pretty extensive ranging from basketball, cardio, triathlon, and swimming.  We took a look at the VC-Golf product specifically and wanted to share our geek thoughts on it.

For their VC-Golf Headphones they got a A-team of golf and sport psychologist and trainers to create the content.  Check out their crack team:

Dr. Morris Pickens – Sports Psychologist with a strength in competitive performance enhancement.  Clients have a combined 27 PGA Tour victories.

David MacKenzie – Founder of ‘Golf State of Mind’ and a 10 year performance coach.  Students include PGA, LPGA, and NCAA golfers.

Karen Palacios-Jansen – Golf Digest’s Top Female Instructors, owner of Swing Blade Enterprises, and a Nike Golf Performance Specialist and created Cardiogolf.

Dr. Mark Smith – Advisory Board Member for TPI and has a doctorate in exercise physiology and owns The Spa and Sports Center in California.

Needless to say, they know what they are talking about and provide the best coaching and insights in golf available.

Why You Need Them

Mental toughness is a crucial component in any sport, but especially golf.  Being able to concentrate and focus on the shot and swing in the moment is a skill and it does NOT come naturally.  You must practice and be aware of this in able to improve.  I personally think the earlier you practice mental toughness, the better off you will be…like I mean as soon as you think you want to start playing golf.  The sooner the better.

In our multiple gadget world of blue light, the art of focusing on a single task can be lost.  This is why I personally love to play golf..the quietness and calmness of the course.

Now on a professional level, the pressure is a lot different.  Money is on the line and rankings are fluid.

For amateur golfers like myself, concentration can lead to a happy golf round..and therefor a happier overall day!  For professionals, its higher standings and more confidence going into the next tournament.

 

How It Works

Ok, lets get into the nitty gritty of these headphones.

Physically, the headphones are nice with no wires to get tangled.  They are water-resistant and sweat-proof.  They are pretty comfortable and do not squish your ears too much (if you have big ears like me, this happens a lot).  After swinging and walking for a long period of time, they did not move or fall off.

Most of the tracks that are pre-loaded on them are all about preparing yourself mentally for the game of golf, boosting your confidence, bettering your body language, and be able to relax in the moment.  These are great to listen to while at the range or right before a round.

There are also workout drills.  These are challenging scenarios that are intended to simulate a tricky shot in order to prepare your nerves for the real thing.

The only con I have with them is that they are a little tricky to figure out at first.  Since they don’t have a screen or display to show what is playing or to scroll through the tracks, it can get a little confusing.  After a few minutes though you get the hang of it.

The workout drills can play simultaneously  with the psychological tracks which is also a little confusing.  The drills are meant to be used in real time so the other tracks (music or audio) can fill the void if you don’t want the silence.

They do have a USB port and you are able to transfer your MP3’s onto the headphones although you must use their software to do this.  Downloading is easy for Mac or PC.

Some other key features:

  • 5 hour battery life from a lithium ion battery (included) – more than enough time for a round of golf or practice.  And don’t worry..no fires or explosions!
  • Compatible with other workouts from FX-Sports including swimming, basketball, weight training, and cardio to name a few.
  • The Cardiogolf warm up and workouts – Keep loose!  I mean how else is Phil still playing…
  • Comes with USB cord and storage case
  • Able to customize your own workouts – With the FX-Sport software, you can upload your own personal drills and commentary..if your not sick of your own voice

 

How To Make It Useful

Ok, so think of these headphones as the equivalent as a personal psychological and golf coach standing right behind you giving you valuable advice.  FX-Sports have done a great job of getting the best coaches and doctors in the industry to put together a training and practice routine for everyday golfers.

Personally, I would use these while at the range or putting green and maybe right before going out for a round.  Again, these are for the (beginning and intermediate level ) golfers who are more serious about getting better at the game than most.  It is a tool to better your golfing mindset and get focused on lowering that score and having for fun out there!

 

 

The 12 Days of Golf Gifts Starts Right Here

golf giftsLong gone are the days of buying bag stocking gifts like packs of balls and boring gloves for the golf lover in your life.

With endless options for tech gear and useful gadgets available for any price range, you’re sure to find a gift they’ll love.

Keep these 12 awesome golf gifts in mind for this upcoming holiday season.

1. Aguila Golf Virtual Reality Golf Trainer

The Aguila Golf virtual reality headset allows the golfer in your life to be fully immersed in a 360-degree virtual environment.

The headset works when paired with any smartphone and allows for various on-course situations to be faced and worked through. Over time using the Aguila Golf headset will improve your game through accurate assessment of shots.

The app this headset pairs with comes with statistics, visual training guides, golf lessons, and fun facts about rules and the game itself.

2. FlightScope Mevo

The FlightScope Mevo is one of the best launch monitors you can buy.

This launch monitor records and analyzes your performance. You can pair your FlightScope Mevo with your Android or iPhone smartphone to capture and playback video directly on your phone.

This seamless experience allows you to practice without any interruptions since your video will be clipped and saved with your performance data overlaid. This technology also allows for easy sharing of your stats.

3. The Power Package

The Power Package claims to help you “swing like a pro” and the reviews of this product say it doesn’t disappoint.

This swing trainer helps to correct all of the most common problems golfers face when they’re perfecting their swing all at once.

With the Power Package, you’ll be training your arms and your hands to swing through with the most accuracy and power possible, every single time.

4. SkyTrak Launch Monitor

Another amazing launch monitor, the SkyTrak is a real-time practice and play monitoring system.

The SkyTrak can be synced up with your smartphone or PC device where you can capture and see your launch and ball flight data immediately after hitting the ball. The ability to receive and display this instant feedback is revolutionary in personal launch monitors.

5. Arccos 360

The Arccos 360 is a live shot tracking system with a set of 14 sensors to make sure you have one for every club in your bag.

With the Arccos 360 you can know exactly how far you are from any point on the course, intuitively learn which club to use in varying circumstances, and begin to point out your strengths and weaknesses in your game.

6. GolfBuddy Voice 2

The GolfBuddy Voice 2 is an audio distance measuring device that is tournament legal and pre-loaded with more than 38,000 global golf courses.

This compact system can be kept on a watch, a belt clip, or simply slipped into your pocket.

The GolfBuddy Voice 2 is able to show you the distance to the back, front, and center of the green and allow you to see a dynamic view of the green from the golfer’s perspective.

7. Garmin Approach S60

As far as golf gifts, The Garmin Approach S60 is one that anyone will love thanks to its offerings of GPS tracking and a large, sunlight-friendly easily readable full-color touchscreen display.

This watch allows you to get incredibly precise measurements to any point on the course and see where you’re at on course maps.

The battery life on this smartwatch is up to 10 days in regular watch mode and up to 10 hours when you’re in golf mode.

8. RolFlex

When looking for golf gifts, The RolFlex is perfect for unwinding and helping your muscles out after a long practice session.

The design of the RolFlex helps to promote healthy muscle tissue and alleviate pain by applying pressure to trigger points deep within muscles.

Using a RolFlex will cut down on recovery times and ease muscle tension and soreness that may result from a day on the course.

Unlike most foam rollers that are bulky and a pain in the butt to use, the RolFlex is compact and designed in a way that allows you to roll away your muscle fatigue without exerting so much energy that you’re defeating the purpose of a roller.

9. Bushnell Tour V4 Rangefinder

The Bushnell Tour V4 Rangefinder is, as its name would suggest, a tournament legal rangefinder that uses technology to make golfer’s lives easier.

With a combination of accuracy, speed, compact size, and Slop and JOLT technology, this rangefinder allows golfers to pinpoint the exact distance down to the green.

The JOLT technology is quick and accurate and lets the golfer know that the rangefinder has locked onto the flag with quick bursts of vibration.

10. Golf Pride MCC Align Grips

These Golf Pride grips are rubber and cord hybrid grips that are perfect for performance in any weather.

The Align technology aids in golfers getting the perfect grip and hand placement to play their best game every time. This technology works through a red, raised ridge along the back of the grip that promotes more awareness of the swing and a square hit.

11. Cobra Connect

With the Cobra Connect, you can see real-time data about every shot you hit via sensors that fit directly into the top of your grips.

These sensors pair with the Arccos Driver App to allow you to review your distance on your smartphone as soon as you hit the ball.

After your game, you can review your average driving distance, the number of fairway hits you had, and your longest drive.

12. Zepp Golf 3D Swing Analyzer

The Zepp Golf 3D Swing Analyzer is able to analyze your performance after a few quick swings.

After the technology analyzes your swing, you’re able to get immediate feedback and smart coaching within the app to guide you to an improved game.

Get the Best in Golf Gifts this Year

Get the golf fanatic in your life one of these golf gifts that they’ll love for years to come.

Use this list of 12 of our favorite golf gadgets to get some ideas, and check out our list of golf technology that will improve your game while you’re at it.

Drop us a comment below and let us know what else we should have included on our list!