It's The Little Things . . . And Other Musings
Greetings from Orlando, again. I spent the day at the annual PGA Show yesterday, but really didn’t feel a “buzz” on the show floor. Often there’s a product that has the industry buzzing, but the technology envelope has been pushed to the limit in drivers, irons, shafts . . . so there really doesn’t appear to be a trend that stands out.
Update on Grooves
The closest thing to it is the continuing conversation about grooves, and that has been elevated by the talk of some tour players digging out old Ping wedges and putting them into play, the most visible “perpetrator” being Phil Mickelson.
In his interview on the subject, Mickelson tried to carefully define the difference between “conforming” and “allowed”. The old Ping wedges do not “conform” to the new USGA rule defining groove geometry, but they are “allowed” as the result of Ping clubs being grandfathered under the terms of the settlement of the very expensive and drawn out lawsuit that company filed against the USGA long ago. Mickelson is catching some heat on taking this position, with at least one pretty visible pro defining his action as “cheating”. So is he? That’s your decision to make.
But the fact is, the new grooves issue was sure to spur the development of new ball technology, and it already has. Bridgestone is one of the first, with their B-330RX and RXS balls, designed to give better distance off the tee and improved spin around the greens for average players with swing speeds of 105 or less. I’ve tried the RX and really like what it does, so you might give that a shot if you are looking for a better ball than what you play now.
The Little Things
This crazy game is enough to make you mad sometimes. I have not played as much the past year, but in preparation for my Florida trip, stepped up my practice a bit and was hitting the ball really well. Wednesday I was struggling with hitting it a bit thin off the tee and not getting the “zip” on my irons I’m used to. Then, standing over a tee shot on the sixth or seventh hole, it hit me that I had the ball a bit forward. So I stepped away, took about 5 extra seconds to pay closer attention to my set-up and striped the best drive of the day. I hit it pretty well for the rest of the day.
My point is that it wasn’t my swing or anything complex, but simply that I had the ball an inch or two too far forward to make solid contact. And that very little thing was throwing my swing totally out of kilter.
So, as many of you get ready for a new season, spend time reviewing the basics – grip, posture, set-up . . . . and you’ll have a better foundation for having a great season.
Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next Tuesday with another wedge winning question and answer. Send yours in for consideration!!!!
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That is my number one goal for this season to concentrate on setup before EVERY SHOT. I tend to just get up there and aim and swing. I want to make sure grip, alignment, posture, ball placement, and then committ to the shot then swing.
I agree about the ball position. I have read too many articles and seen too many videos saying that I have to have the ball forward for this club and more forward for that club. The reality is that I strike the ball much better if the ball is around center for my longer irons or slightly back for higher lofted irons. Experiment with ball position before you make a potential poor swing altering correction.
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