golf-greens

Few golfers know what kind of grass their playing on, let alone how the grass has an impact on their games from tee to green. Pros on the other hand are very aware of this change, and can and do make adjustments to their equipment, swings and technique to help better their chances of scoring well. In this article we’ll talk a little bit about the most common types of golf grasses out there, and how they can affect your game.

Most Common Type of Grass

bermuda-grass bentgrass poa-annua-grass
Bermuda Bentgrass Poa Annua
 - very thick grass – common in the South  - some of the most common golf grass, especially a different strain – creeping bentgrass.- holds its line extremely well, very reliable grass - commonly considered a parasitic type grass, can easily replicate and takeover other grasses- can look yellow and wiry, and often is uneven on a putting surface

Bermuda Golf Tips

Bermuda can be a real bitch, especially when you get into the rough. The structure of this grass is thicker per weight than most other grasses played on golf courses. So hitting from the rough can be especially difficult, as this grass tends to grab and twist your club, and robs you of speed, and thus distance. Furthermore, the ball isn’t well supported, so it usually sits down in the rough and needs to be dug out from its nested lie. Consider using a club with more loft and make sure you’re attacking the ball with a descending blow. Tightening up your grip a bit when you’re in the deep stuff can also help. This grass is often found in the southern United States due to its sensitivity to cold. TPC Sawgrass is build on bermuda grass. Moral of this story – keep it in the fairway.

From the fairway, you will notice that more often than not you’ll be hitting from tighter lies, and because of this the ball tends to fly further when struck. Ball first contact is a must, and these fairways have been described as “spongier”. Because this grass grows in more of a gnarly tangle than straight up, lies from the fairway can be a little sticky. Chunking shots on this type of grass is especially common, so hit the ball below the ground.

When you’re playing on Bermuda greens, there’s a couple things you should know. This grass is pretty grainy and will tend to follow the sun throughout the day. The ball will also tend to follow the grain, so knowing how the grain lies is important on this type of grass. If the grass appears a dull, dark green, the grain is likely growing toward you, and will slow your putts. If the grass looks shiny and light green, it is likely growing away from you, and the ball will roll more. This grass also has a tendency not to roll out as much as other grasses, due to its stronger structure.

Bentgrass Golf Tips
Bentgrass rough is pretty tame, the ball can often sit up and doesn’t give you much of a problem to get out of it. Sweeping it off this rough is common. One thing you need to be aware of is watching where this grass is growing in relation to your target. If the grass if growing in the direction of your target, you will often get flyer lies, if it lies against you, expect it to slow your club down quickly upon impact.

Bentgrass fairways are usually softer, and often are mowed quite tightly as the grasses grow straight up. Shots to the fairway often roll out. These fairways are easy and straightforward to hit off of.

Bentgrass greens are some of the most common on the planet, due to their thick root structure and ability to withstand a ton of foot traffic. Furthermore, this grass makes some of the best greens on the planet, and is notorious for being able to hold the line of your putts no matter what type of stroke you put on it. Also a broader variety of strokes can be used on the greens with this type of grass. Ideally you want the ball to be rolling ASAP on the greens, but this is not as important on this type of grass, it is incredibly smooth, and even putting strokes that cause the ball to hop and skip won’t hurt you too much in the end.

Poa Annua Golf Tips
This grass is considered by many greenskeepers as an invasive species. It usually finds its way onto golf courses all over the planet by hitching a ride from one course to another on a golfers shoes. From there it can take root, and begin to grow. You can pick it out because of its lighter green color, and the fact that it grows in small patches amongst other grasses.

Poa Annua rough is slightly less tangly than bentgrass, and often requires less force to help the ball get out. More times than not, this grass doesn’t put up much resistance to golf clubs, and can leave golfers with decent rough lies with the ball sitting up on occasion.

Poa annua grass has one specific quality that a lot of people hate – different strains of the grass can grow at different rates. So this means that if you play in the afternoon, you can be dealing with much bumpier greens than people who played in the morning. Pebble Beach is built on Poa annua, and this is an often complaint of players. When it comes to putting, the faster you can get the ball rolling the better, balls that jump off the face and hop and skip on the greens can often be bumped offline on this type of grass. Furthermore hitting putts true, and on the sweet spot is recommended, anything short of good stroke will cause the ball to roll offline and the mistake will be exaggerated.

 

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Ok, its official, I hate range mats. But let’s be clear, I always have. I get it. They don’t require watering, they last a reasonably long period of time, they are sorta effective at mimicking real grass, and likely on the long term save courses money. But honestly, they are ugly, annoying pieces of shit, and here’s why:
1) They make you a worse golfer
Ever notice how you have a perfect lie each and every time you play on the course? No? Oh that’s right, you never do… so why do range mats offer you this privilege? Yes, they are great for beginners who need the confidence boost, but once you’re past a 20 handicap, they provide you with unreasonable expectations. The best, is when you get a slightly worn out mat, and the ball sits up on the ‘fairway section’ like a groundhog poking its head out of a hole. Yeah, that’s like real golf. The worst part? It’s pretty much impossible to hit a shot fat or chunky on a range mat. I mean, you can, but the result is very different than on grass. If you hit an inch or so behind the ball on grass, you chunk it. On a range mat, the club skips off the ground and continues on its merry way into the ball – talk about great feedback.
Some of you may be saying – well, at least some mats have alignment aids, which is true, and they can often be helpful, but more times than not they are aiming you in odd locations around the range, and not specific targets (which you should be aiming for btw).
2) They don’t mimic grass
I have yet to meet a range mat that accurate mimics fairway and rough conditions, and I doubt I ever will. That’s because their made of plastic, and made to last. Real grass ain’t. The rough is usually way too soft, and the ball sits down in it so only the top half of the ball is visible – forcing you to dig it out. Sure, some shots from the rough are similar, but you don’t have to nearly break your wrists in the process to move the ball.  The fairway usually is like hitting from hardpan, and the ball sits up way too well. There’s no happy medium. Move the ball 5 feet to the nearby grass and take a swing, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Its no wonder better players and pros prefer to play using real conditions on real grass when practicing.  The results of good, bad, and mediocre swings are consistent and repeatable – something range mats cannot offer.
3) They ruin your clubs
Aside from the green melted plastic that finds its way on to every one of your clubs, range mats are very effective at collecting sand and rocks in their plastic fibers just aching to chew up your clubs. Furthermore, the plastic itself is often too coarse and thick for softer metals – like forged blades. Over time you’ll start to see wear lines on the heels of your club from hitting off mats. Sure, you can hit rocks and ruin your clubs on real grass too – I’m not saying you can’t – but rocks often have a harder time hiding on the short practice grass a normal driving range should have.
4) They are frustratingly useless at times
This is one of my biggest pet peeves of range mats – the tees. They are often not level to even hold ball, or have enough rigidity to handle the weight – that is of course if you’re lucky enough to have a tee at all.
Depending on their construction, you can be faced with different annoying challenges – like the range mats made with panels that rarely last more than one season, and are easily disconnected leaving you with four unanchored grass squares that move after each shot. Or for the larger one-piece construction mats, you may have to deal with how water can add bulges and make the mats uneven. Sure, you can chalk this up to “uneven” lie experience, but who are you kidding?
5) Can Be Dangerous
Many of you will laugh at this one, but hear me out. How many of you have hit off a range mat and have your foot slip? How about seen a ball fly sideways? Or chunked a shot so bad your wrists were in pain. And again, yes, this can all happen on real grass, but its more common on mats because you’re forced to use whatever setup the range mats have for you versus what would come more natural.
kurokage_hbp_top

 

Profile - This latest from Mitsubishi Rayon is the Kuro Kage Black HBP – but it isn’t exactly new to the market. This shaft has been on the market for sometime, and this re-make of it offers a Higher Balance Point – hence the HBP. This shaft has a particularly interesting bend profile – one that starts stiff at the butt, loosens up in the mid-section, and maintains that through to the tip.  It’s quite noticeably softer and more responsive then its Silver TiNi brother (see the bend profile chart).


kuro-kage-bend-profile

What Makes It Work – As said by the manufacturer: “This new shaft features the same technically advanced High Density Prepreg with up to 15 percent more carbon fiber and significantly less resin (20 vs. 33 percent) than standard prepreg. Fewer gaps and voids in the prepreg creates more consistent performance, increased stability and a better feel at impact with less harshness.” Mitsubishi thickened up the walls of the shaft leading up to the butt section, raising the balance point up and leading to the softer mid and tip section.  With all this said, don’t go thinking this shaft is a weakling. Even with this profile, the tip torque maxes 4.8 for stiff, and drops down to 2.8 for X. These specs are only a touch softer than the original Black version without the HBP.

Who’s It For – This shaft is great for players using adjustable driver technology as well as those who simply like a smooth balanced feel to their shafts.  With models ranging from L to X, a large weight variety from 50-70 grams,  and quite some variance in torque, there is likely a shaft that will fit most swing types and speeds – as long as you don’t mind spending $200 for a new shaft.

Specs

kuro-kage-specs

MSRP – $200

 

 

BASSARA P-Series

Earlier this month MRC Golf introduced the BASSARA P-Series Shafts. The P-Series utilizes elastic Titanium Nickel (TiNi) Wire in the tip section. MRC Golf also uses TiNi Wire technology in their G- and W-Series. The elasticity of the tip combines with a stiff mid-section resulting in a dynamic energy transfer throughout the swing. The end result is a penetrating ball flight with a low spin. These shafts were specifically designed for distance.

BASSARA P-Series 2

The BASSARA P-Series is available beginning April 15, and has a suggested retail price of $400.

The BASSARA P-Series is offered in the following weights and flexes:
  • BASSARA™ P-Series 30 (L, R)
  • BASSARA™ P-Series 40 (L, R)
  • BASSARA™ P-Series 50 (R, S, TS)
Tour Edge CB PROs 2

Tour Edge introduces the first forged wedge in its Exotics line, the CB PROs. The club combines a forged construction with TourTour Edge CB PROs 1 Edge’s new MONGO grooves which creates optimized control and improved accuracy around the greens. The MONGO grooves are precision-milled  and designed to feature the most aggressive legal sharpness and width allowed by the USGA. The grooves are layered with 28 micro-grooves and provide the maximum face roughness to help with short game control.

The tour-grind beveled sole produces great versatility. A custom sole grind was designed by Tour Edge president and chief designer David Glod with the intention of creating increased versatility to meet the needs of both PGA Tour players and good amateurs. The eliminated bounce from the heel and toe for to allow players to open the club face or shut it down with ease.

The Exotics CB PROs wedges include Tour Edge’s lifetime warranty and 30-day play guarantee. The CB PROs is available in True Temper Dynamic Gold wedge shafts. The wedges are available in 50, 52, 54, 56, and 60 degrees with a suggested retail price of $99.99 for steel and $119 for graphite.

Visit: www.touredge.com to learn more.

Taylormade RBZ 3 fairway wood

TaylorMade Rocketballz (RBZ) Fairway Wood Review

Thanks for stopping by and good morning all. We have another review for you today – this time we’ll be taking a closer look at the TaylorMade RbZ 3 fairway wood. This club could definitely add some distance to your game.

LookTaylormade RBZ 3 fairway wood

The Rocketballz Fairway Woods continue to utilize TaylorMade’s white non-glare finish with a black clubface. The black clubface looks great at address and does a nice job of framing the ball. TaylorMade introduced a “Speed Pocket” on the RBZ fairway woods, which is a channel visible on the sole of the club behind the clubface. A weight port in the sole is positioned directly behind the speed pocket to improve ball speed. TaylorMade moved the center of gravity forward and below the center of axis to promote a high launch and low spinning shot. The RBZ fairway wood has a fairly standard look and thus rates 7 out of 10.

Performance

I tested the RBZ 15 degree fairway wood with the stock Matrix Ozik stiff shaft. The club performed awesome, as did the other RBZ products. My ball flight was straight and consistent. The RBZ produces a mid to high launch and feels really easy to swing. In fact, the RBZ feels effortless and the ball explodes off the face. The RBZ performs well from a variety of lies. Even from tight lies, I was really impressed with how well the RBZ launches the ball in the air. I feel the RBZ outperformed my current Ping i15 3 wood in distance and accuracy. The RBZ 3 wood provides a nice boost in distance and is still easy to control. When it comes to distance, players should definitely pick up some extra carry distance with the RBZ and thus it earns a 10 out of 10 performance rating.

Feel

The RBZ Fairway wood features a lightweight 50 gram Matrix Ozik stock shaft. The club weighs 315 grams and has a swing weight of D4. While the club is advertised as lightweight to generate more swing speed, I could still feel the club head throughout the swing. Impact feels great. The RBZ feels very forgiving even on off center hits and I rate the club at 9 out of 10.

Value

TaylorMade advertises up to an additional 17 yards longer with the RBZ fairway woods. If a player can pick up an additional 17 yards, that could be the difference of laying up on a par 5 and reaching a par 5 in two shots. The entire RBZ lineup is very solid, including the fairway woods. The price is slightly higher than the average fairway wood price point of $199.99. However, in my opinion the RBZ is worth the extra thirty dollars and retails at $229.99. The RBZ is one of the best fairway woods available, receiving a 10 out of 10 rating.

 

DSC03481

Hey everyone, thanks for stopping by.  Today we’re sharing with you an in-depth review of the CS2 Putting Aid by GreenActive Golf and endorse by Ian Poulter.  Let’s get to it!

Pros

  1. The CS2 will teach you about your own putting stroke and allow you to repeat it consistently. For short to medium putts, this guarantees more success.
  2. If you take the time, you can use the CS2 to learn the relationship between the speed of the putt and the amount it breaks. This will help your green reading and make you more confident on short breaking putts.
  3. Good price, lots of instructional videos, portable and useable indoors and out

Cons:

  1. In my view it is not designed to help judge the speed of lag putts. Sure you can use it to guide your stroke on long putts, so all you have to think about is weight but its strengths are alignment and swing path.
  2. To take advantage of the CS2 on a course, you have to monopolize a hole on the practice green. On a busy day, this will not make your fellow golfers happy so pick your practice times accordingly.
  3. The guide rails are locked in place with magnets, which are easily dislodged and the device includes a lot of little pieces which if you are not careful you will break or lose. These pieces all add to the flexibility of the device but be sure to pick them up and pack them away after your practice session.

The CS2 Putting Aid will make you a better putter. No question. But so will practice. The big question is whether or not you will use the CS2 to practice more effectively.  Most of us do not practice enough on the greens. It doesn’t matter that we know an extra putt per hole adds 18 shots to our score. Hitting long shots on the range, even pitching and chipping to a target are just more interesting than repeatedly missing that five-foot practice putt. Maybe if our putting practice produced positive results, perhaps then we would be willing to commit the time.

The CS2 is made by GreenActive Golf, based in Johannesburg, South Africa but is available at your favorite golf shop or on-line. It retails from about $90 to $100.00, which in the context of green fees, club costs and lessons, is pretty inexpensive. It arrives neatly packed in a green plastic case that is designed to fit into a large side pocket of a golf bag. The CS2 comes with an instructional DVD, and various paper guides to explain how to set it up and very importantly, how to pack it away. After about the fourth time I did not need to refer to the “How to” guides so don’t get frustrated by your first couple of attempts. This is a device that needs some explanation so don’t ignore the instructions. Take the time to watch the DVD and follow along with Ian Baker-Finch and Mike Shannon as they walk you through what the CS2 can do. Yes, it is an infomercial but it is helpful.

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The CS2 bills itself as the most complete putting aid because it addresses the five fundamentals of good putting: Aim, body alignment, consistent path, square face at impact and speed. The CS2 is designed to be used indoors and on the practice green.  I mentioned earlier that putting practice isn’t fun but when you can’t be outside, putting on your carpet while watching the pros play on TV is a great way to tune your game.

How does the CS2 help you with fundamentals? The Aim part is easy, you simply aim the CS2 on a line you think you need to make a putt and you discover quickly how your eyes or green-reading skills can be fooled. Once you have the device aligned, you can set adjustable guide rails to see how consistent your backswing and follow-through are. Herein lies a problem, advanced players know that there are different kinds of putting strokes – straight back and through vs an arc (inside the target line on the backswing, on target at impact and then back inside the target line) being the most common. The CS2 allows you to groove your stroke no matter how it curves but you need to know what makes sense for you, what you natural tendencies are and the type of putter you are using. If this is Greek to you, check out the numerous YouTube videos on putting strokes, you will be an expert in no time. The guiderails can be far apart or quite tight to your putter, if you are consistently hitting the guiderails on your backswing you know you do not have them set properly for your swing or like me, you discover your backswing is a wee bit inconsistent.

In my view, one of the best assets of the CS2 is that I know I am grooving a proper stroke when I use it. It gives me the incentive to keep practicing because I know I am learning about my particular stroke and what I need to do to reduce the errors that make short putts for birdie such a challenge.

Having your putter face square to the target line seems simple enough until the alignment guides on the CS2 showed me what that really looks like. I realized that my own set-up was never perfectly square to the target line. My slight forward press before starting my stroke made this misalignment worse. The CS2 reinforces good alignment and allows you to train your eyes to recognize what square looks like.

As the instructional material shows you or you can watch Ian Poulter present on YouTube, the CS2 can be minimized to a set of tees in the ground once all the alignment guides, and rails are removed. It is much harder to make a consistent stroke without the reinforcement of the lines on the device. Of course, this is what real putting is like.

In summary, we all know that the best way to cut strokes from our game is to become a better putter and we also all know this is what really distinguishes the best from the rest on the PGA tour. For the cost of a lesson the CS2 will give you years of follow up reinforcement on your putting stroke and alignment. If you want a better score, I say this is a good investment.

Dog Beer Cart

Kickstarter has become a bankroll for some pretty cool projects lately – video games, 3D printers and even movies. It’s amazing to see the amount of money certain projects have raised and the types of ideas people have. But I’ll be honest.. I’m not a real “technological wizard”. The idea of putting money into a new video game about hobbits and gnomes doesn’t excite me nor does the opportunity to have a 3D printer on my desk. A dog powered beer cart on the other hand… that’s something I can throw my support behind. Danny Blodgett from Utica, Michigan… you’re onto something!

Ok let’s quickly go through some of the things that make this awesome…

  • He adopted an abused dog
  • He’s drinking a beer while demonstrating the product
  • He lists Iron Man 2 as one of his inspirations
  • You only need a college degree to put his prototype together
  • It’s a beer cart pulled by a dog

I’m in.

If “legit” inventions and ideas are more your style, check out the Zen Bloodhound putter. Some interesting stuff… and there’s a cool rocket car!

taylormade rescue 11

TaylorMade Rescue 11 Review

Hi everyone – thanks for stopping by. This morning we are reviewing the TaylorMade Rescue 11. This club is very adjustable and stands out with TaylorMade’s white club head. Don’t forget, we love to hear reader’s feedback and encourage you to let us know your thoughts below. Here’s our take on the TaylorMade Rescue 11.

Looktaylormade rescue 11

Everyone has something to say about the all white club head of TaylorMade’s product line. It has been a great marketing strategy to set their product apart from the competition. I have heard many people say, “I can’t look down at this all white club head.” If this is what you are focused on, you are probably doomed to hit a poor shot anyway. Yes its different, but it shouldn’t affect performance one bit. The black clubface really does a nice job of framing the club in the address position. In addition, the black clubface and white crown make alignment fairly easy.

The TaylorMade Rescue 11 provides a traditional hybrid appearance. Players will feel confident they can hit a good shot. The Flight Control Technology of the Rescue 11 allows for a 4 degree face angle change which is noticeable at address. The club looks sharp, I’ll rate it 10 out of 10.

Performance

The trend in golf equipment these days is adjustable technology. The TaylorMade Rescue 11 is loaded with Flight Control Technology to help you hit the ball farther and straighter. The Rescue 11 allows you to alter loft by + or – 1 degree. There is a possible eight different combinations to alter ball flight.

The 18 degree Rescue 11 contains a deep face and lower center of gravity to get the ball up in the air. The neutral setting provides a high ball flight. Searching for more distance and spin, I added a degree of loft which increased ball flight and carry distance. My natural ball flight is straight to slight fade and I found it easy to replicate my normal shot pattern. However, I found it difficult to turn the ball over and produce a draw. Decreasing loft produced more of a consistent fade, which might be beneficial for someone who fights turning the ball over. The Rescue 11 does a nice job of hitting from any lie, including digging the ball out of the rough. With all the different options available for the Rescue 11, it rates in at 9 out of 10 in terms of performance.

Feel

The TaylorMade Rescue 11 has a nice weighting associated with the club. Personally, I prefer a slightly heavier feel to a club, and the Rescue 11 weighs in with a swing weight of D4. The weighting makes it easy to feel where the club head is throughout the entire swing. Impact has a solid feel and provides solid feedback even on off center hits. I rate the club 9 out of 10 in terms of feel.

Value

The TaylorMade Rescue 11 is a versatile hybrid that will provide players many different options. Players can be creative and even play an effective bump and run shot around the greens with the Rescue 11. The Flight Control Technology is invaluable for those searching to control ball flight. The cost is slightly higher than some of the competition at $189, however, there are many competitors that come in much higher. The Rescue 11 has a solid price point and is fairly easy to hit. It rates in at 9 out of 10 in terms of overall value.

masters banner

Many of you are probably just like me right now. Stuck at your desk, trying to stream Masters coverage without the IT department noticing the heavy bandwidth increase while attempting to shield your screen from your supervisor. The Golf Drill Guru, Eddie the Intern (more from him in the coming days) and I have been attempting to watch as much as we can this morning and came up with 5 completely random musings..

  • Without fail, there’s always an old guy or two that makes an early run in a major. In recent years we’ve had guys like Norman and Watson actually stick around until Sunday. If you had to pick a 50+ player to actually win another major, who would it be? Our office seems to be split between Couples and Jimenez. Couples has the best shot at the Masters but I think Jimenez has a shot at the Masters and the Open Championship. Sorry Sandy Lyle, your name didn’t come up…
  • I hate the phrase “growing the game” and I don’t always agree with the uppity individuals running the show in Augusta but kudos to them for doing their best to get more kids excited about golf. It was really cool to see the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals held at Augusta on Sunday. The game is losing a lot of momentum with the younger crowd but seeing some outside of the box thinking like this is promising. Personally I’d like to see more “kids play for free” promotions out there. As mush as the older crowd doesn’t always like having throngs of kids hanging out around the course, it’s a key to long term survival (and lower green fees).
  • If you could pick one Major to see in person, what would it be? How would they rank for you? I think most would probably say the Masters, Open Championship, U.S. Open and then the PGA Championship. I wonder if there’s anyone out there that aspires to make the PGA Championship their first stop?
  • Let’s be honest.. how may of you really miss Tiger this week? Remember when it used to be “the only way that someone else wins is if Tiger isn’t playing”? Good times…
  • Hypothetical, if John Daly was playing this week, would we have to be on the 100 watch? If he can pull off a 90 at the Valspar Championship, I think 100 at Augusta is obtainable. It’s no Mike Reasor though… those rounds of 123 and 114 are untouchable (although he was only using one arm…).