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Seventh in a Series: Practicing Golf Effectively

Town Manager Mark Haddad, Town Clerk Michael Bouchard, Michael Harnett and Tom Fitzpatrick competed in the Groton Country Club Senior Championship this past Saturday. Photo by Robert Mingolelli.


by Robert Mingolelli
30) Get Fitted
     There is no question that you are making golf harder for yourself by playing equipment that is not correct for your game. There are no standards in the golf indus- try. Shafts are different, lie angles are different, and there are many other critical elements of clubs that can effect your performance on the course. Working with a knowledgeable club fitter can absolutely improve your scores by making your bad shots not as bad, and your good shots just a little bit better. If you just go to the store and pick a club based on marketing claims of manufacturers then you are not giving yourself the best chance to succeed.
31) Understand Wedge Bounce, and How to Use It
     Wedges have come a long way, and there are many options available to golfers. The short game is extremely important to improving your scores, and knowing a few basics about how wedges actually work can make all the difference. Pitching wedges (between 44 and 50 degrees) and will travel 100-140 yards. Gap (46-54 degrees) Most golfers will hit it 90-110 yards. Sand wedges (54- 58 degrees) for just that, hitting out of sand traps but also out of rough and for precise shots. They can be hit 90 yards. Lob wedges (60-65 degrees) can be hit 60-70 yards and are designed to send the ball high into the air.
32) Longer Isn't Always Better
     One of the the trends in the golf industry has been to intro-
duce longer shafts on drivers be- cause golfers are demanding more distance. Stock driver shafts can be as long as 46” now, and for most golfers that does increase their swing speed, but something else’s much harder for them to make proper contact on the face, which is crucial to hitting longer and more accurate drives. Learn about shorter shafts, and how some club fitters in the industry believe that going with a shorter shaft will not only help your accuracy, but might actually help you hit the ball farther.
33) Lie Angle
     If you have no idea what the lie angle is on your irons, and if they were not properly adjusted, I hope this helps. Lie angle is defined as the angle between the shaft and the ground line when the club is measured in normal playing po- sition with the center of the sole touching the ground line If you have clubs that are too upright, or too flat for you then your ability to hit accurate iron shots will be greatly diminished. This is possibly the most important golf tips for your equipment!
34) Driver Shafts and Lofts...they are ALL DIFFERENT
     Most golfers assume that based on their swing speed they should get X loft driver with X shaft. This is wrong for many reasons. First off, there are no standards in the golf industry for shafts. One manufacturer’s stiff flex could be the equivalent of another “regular” flex. Additionally, most golfers assume that in order to hit the ball farther you need a lower loft on your driver. Completely untrue! Many players actually need more loft in order to hit the ball farther (it could be as high as 11 or 12 degrees).
Understand golf equipment
     There are so many myths amongst golfers on what equipment can and can’t do for their games. Becoming a more educated consumer will help you spend your money wisely and can improve your game.
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