This post is dedicated to all the golf widows out there.  Husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend, the Golf Gurus salute you for your patients with us.  Sometimes golf can consume all of your time.  I know at times it seems like I eat, drink and dream golf.  I even talk golf at the dinner table.  If I am not playing golf or talking about it, then I am watching it on TV.  So thank you to my wife for putting up with me and thank you to all the other significant others out there who put up with the same shenanigans.

 In fairness it’s not our fault.  Golf is like the Siren in Greek Mythology; she sings her song and we just can’t fight it, we have to play.  I know my fellow golf guru Mark is in the same boat, I think he plays more than me if that’s possible.

 So my fellow golf addicts make sure the next time you see your significant other say thank you for putting up with me.  And always remember when its there turn to watch something other then golf or ask you to take part in one of there hobbies you better abide because we all know inside that we owe them big time.
 
The clubs in my golf bag used to consist of a driver, irons (4-10), a sand wedge and a putter.  The one club that I was missing was a fairway wood.  The dilemma I always had was whether to carry a fairway wood or not.  Until recently I didn't carry the fairway wood because I couldn't hit it so why tempt myself by leaving one in the bag.  However, I decided this year to bite the bullet and get one for my birthday.  The problem I ran into, was with so many choices of clubs out there how do I select the right one.  Well here are a few things I learned along the way that may help you out when purchasing a new club.

 Hit different clubs and find the ones you like:

 So many golfers I know run to the closest sporting goods store, pick a club and purchase it on the spot.  I would strongly recommend not buying a club this way.  Many stores these days that sell golf clubs have an area that you can go to and test the clubs you are interested in purchasing.  I happened to purchase a three wood, but before I made the actual purchase I hit five different three woods, and believe it or not three right off the bat didn't feel as good as the others off the club.  So automatically they were crossed off the list.  It left me with two clubs, the Taylor Made Burner and the R9, and both felt terrific. My next concern was what shaft and degree of the club head to get.

Get your Swing Analyzed:

With today’s technology, there are stores out there such as Golfsmith that have the technology to analyze your swing.  The analysis tells you how hard you are swinging, where you are making contact, the flight of the ball.  Depending on the results, you may need a stiff shaft or a regular shaft with a low or medium torque.  Depending on the club, you may need a different degree on the face of the club.  There are different options when purchasing clubs and you want to get the ones that best suit your swing.  

When it was all said and done I ended up purchasing the Taylor Made Burner three wood.  Why did I choose that compared to the R9?  Quite simply I hit them both the same, except the burner was cheaper so I went with that.  I must say I am extremely happy that I went through the process of hitting different clubs and getting my swing analyzed.  Because of this I know I made the right purchase. 
 
I found myself in an interesting discussion over the weekend with my fellow golf guru Mark regarding drinking while playing a round of 18.  I have drank on a golf course on a few occasions, one in which I was over served, other times I had a nice glow and others only having one or two.

 

From our discussion I came to the conclusion that the majority of the time I don’t like to drink during a round with the exception of playing in a golf outing.  For some reason drinking and golf outings go together like peas and carrots.  However, during an ordinary round it just affects me too much.

 

It usually goes a little something like this.  I crack the first beer and take a sip, it tastes so good when it hits the lips.  After finishing the first brew, I feel a little relaxed and tend to stop over thinking.  Soon the second beer is cracked and again things remain relatively good.  My swing is nice and relaxed and my putting stroke is nice and smooth.  Once the third beer is cracked its all down hill.  The third beer seems like a good idea but once the empty can is rattling around the golf cart I quickly realize that I have a little buzz.  All of a sudden my concentration starts to lapse and my mechanics begin to break down. 

 

Now don’t get me wrong I am all for a nice cold brew after a round, but when it starts adversely effecting my round I have to draw the line.  My conclusion with Mark was, two beers is tops for me is when playing a round on the weekends, during golf outings just enjoy yourself.

 

But hey to each their own and remember stay thirsty my friends.
 
To all of our fellow golf lovers out there, the Golf Gurus have developed seven reasons why we love golf.  Let us know if you agree or have any others to add.

1) The freedom of being in the great outdoors

Over the course of my young golfing career, I have truly seen some of the most breathtaking sights and things in my life. Any time you show up to the course you may see something you have never seen before. I have seen the sun dropping into the ocean causing the most breathtaking sunset I have ever seen, I have seen a baby fox run up the cart path toward the tee box we were standing on, jump into the woods and come out with a chip monk in its mouth and trot back down the cart path, I have even seen a black bear sitting on top of a tree overlooking the green we were playing. It's during these moments that I really take a step back and truly appreciate this great game.

2) The gear is pretty sweet.

Come on admit it, the gear is pretty cool. From the golf spikes to the rain gear we can all look like pros even if we hit like the amateurs.

3) Playing alone

If you have never experienced playing alone, and alone I mean with no other people in your group, then I would definitely recommend it. If you have played by yourself, then you know what I am talking about. Sure it's great to tee it up with your buddies, but once in a while there is nothing like being on the course by yourself, just you vs. the course and its elements. While playing by yourself, there becomes a point that the course gets so quiet and peaceful, that you get the sense that you are the only person in the world. There is also a sense of purity and integrity in that you still count all your strokes and follow all the rules.

4) Finding Random Balls

I love the feeling of finding a brand spanking new golf ball in the ruff or a few feet into the woods. It's like the golf gods are shinning down on you, especially if the ball you find is a new a Pro V1.

5) The sounds

Ever stop and just listen to the sounds of the golf course? The pinging of a ball hit crisply off a driver, the whoosh of a nicely struck iron shot or the sweet sound of a ball when it drops into bottom of the cup. Not to mention the sounds of joy and frustration from other golfers on the course.

6) The perfect golf shot

It seems to happen at least once a round, usually on the 18th hole for me, but there is nothing like connecting perfectly with a ball. When everything aligns just right and you step up and hit the perfect golf shot. Whether it's a 200 yard iron shot, leaving a short iron 2 feet from the pin or crushing a 300 yard drive, there is nothing like it when everything clicks. It just keeps you coming back for more.

7) The 19th hole

You know I couldn't leave this out. A cold brew after playing 18 with your friends is a great way to end a round. The beer is cold and it's always fun rehashing the round and talking about the shots and sites of the day.
 
Am I addicted to golf?  That is the question I was asking myself as I drove up to Sunset Valley this past weekend.  I should note that it was 5:00 am in the morning.  Yup that’s right five in the morning.  With a wife and two kids at home I try to play as early as possible on the weekends so that I can be home for most of the day on the Saturdays that I play.

 

I know a lot of people love golf but who else is getting up with me at 4:50 on a Saturday to make sure they get to their tee-time at 6:00 am?  Well let me answer that, a lot of people.  Driving up to the course I was the only one on the road, and as I turned the corner to pull into the golf course I expected to be the first car in.  However to my surprise the course was buzzing with energy.  People on the putting green, people in the club house, the rangers were out greeting people and lining up golf carts for the day.

 

I quickly realized that there are not golf addicts rather those who golf and those who don’t.  Once you are bit by the golf bug all rational thought is lost and 6 o’clock wake up calls and $110 rounds make perfect sense.  So to all my fellow golfers Ill be seeing you on the course, Ill be the one holding the gallon of coffee.
 
Over the weekend I found myself in the golf section at Dick’s Sporting Goods and was pulled to the very large golf ball assortment that they offer.  They had oodles and oodles of offerings from Nike Raw Distance to Titlist Pro V1’s all ranging in price form $12 to $60 which got me to thinking does the golf ball really matter for a weekend warrior such as myself?  After pondering this thought for a moment, I came to the conclusion that the answer is yes to a certain extent.

 

At first I thought about it from the psychological aspect.  I can’t explain it but I just feel different when I am standing over a Pro V1 vs. a Top Flight.  In my head I have made myself believe that a ball can help me shave strokes off my game.   Maybe it is the $45 price point vs the $14 price point between the two balls.  In a game that I believe is often won or lost in your head this can be a big factor.

 

My second thought was do some of the higher priced balls that Calloway and Titlist offer provide more distance off the tee for me?  Over the past 15 years I have played many different types of balls and have found that balls like the Pro V1 and Callaway Warbirds provide at least an additional 10 yards on my drives.  With that being said I never score better.  Distance is one thing but if you can’t hit it straight does it really matter?

 

Finally, different balls offer things such as better spin control; others offer higher trajectories and softer landings.  Now don’t get me wrong, for golfers better then myself the ball does matter, however I am not good enough to even pretend that all that stuff matters and I think this is the case for the majority of weekend players.

 

So ultimately do I think the type of golf ball matters?  From a mental standpoint, I know I feel like I play and hit a “nicer/more expensive” ball better than a “cheaper/less expensive” ball.  As far as the distance and feel aspects go, if I am hitting the ball straight, then it doesn’t matter what I am playing.

 

When it was all said and done I pulled two cases of Callaway Warbirds off the shelf on sale for $35.  A nice middle of the line ball that will have me believing on the course that they are helping and providing a little extra distance but won’t break the bank either. 
 
It has been awhile since the Golf Gurus posted to our blog.  Rather then provide course reviews which can now be found on our site (www.golfcoursereviewgurus.com), we would like to use this blog to review and discuss golf equipment and products.

 

Today I would like to talk about Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf.  I was introduced to this book a few years ago from a golfing buddy of mine Alex.  From the time I picked up a club till the time I read this book I had always gripped the golf club like a baseball bat.  Alex saw this and told me I should look at Ben Hogan’s book, in which it devotes an entire chapter on how to properly hold a golf club. 

 

As an avid golfer I figured what the heck and ran out to the local book store to pick up a copy.  Man was I floored.  Hogan may be the biggest golf freak out of all of us.  The first chapter talked all about how to properly hold a golf club.  He provided diagrams and practice exercises.  I remember practicing my grip for two hours, I think my wife thought I was nuts.

 

The following chapters went on to discuss the mechanics of the proper swing, what your back swing should look like as well has how you should align your feet.  Overall the book was  very good and a very quick read.  However the best section was the grip section for me.  After reading it I saw an immediate improvement in my ball striking and saw a lot more consistency in the distance and accuracy of my shots. 

 

This book is definitely worth a read.

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