Ironing Out the Kinks in your Swing

Now that you have had the chance to improve the quality of your golf clubs and equipment without spending an arm and a leg, let’s focus on improving your form and your swing. Ideally this is something that you are already practicing and are continuing to perfect, the video below does a great job hitting the major points of what goes into an excellent golf swing. And it also notes the fact that even if you have been playing for a while, it’s easy to pick up some bad habits or mistake one thing (like good rhythm) for another (a good swing). So put aside your ego for just a few moments, and take a moment to reflect on the discussion brought out in the video below.

Enjoy!

Watch the Wedge : Top 5 Golf Wedges

Adrian Rubin GolfAs we have already discussed, arming yourself with the proper tools for the game is critical if you want to ensure that you are playing at the height of your abilities. While you never want to depend on the quality of your instruments or equipment as the basis of your talent, it is important to showcase your strengths by using the proper gear.

While most well made equipment tends to be expensive, always keep in mind that there are ways of finding quality gear and not paying a lot for it. The game of golf carries the stigma of being exclusive in all ways. And that is terrible. The sport has so many benefits and should be accessible to anyone interested in picking up the sport. And if the cost of getting new clubs is prohibitive… get creative.

Can you rent clubs? Can you split the cost of a nice set of clubs with your friends who also want to learn? Can you look in the paper or online for some tag sales. Make sure to go to second hand shops or look on Craigslist or other community forums that could have a set of clubs. Even if those clubs aren’t the best of the best, they will provide a chance for you to get comfortable with the game before investing too much money upfront in the game.

Additionally, you would be surprised at the quality of golf clubs that you can find at tag sales and estate sales. Even if you’re not into antiquing or vintage shopping generally, this is a mission worth accepting. When looking for wedges those listed below are currently the top of the line, but if you’re looking at slightly used irons, just stick with the classic brands, don’t worry about how old they are, just pay attention to their condition. If you find anything from; Callaway, TaylorMade, Titleist, Nike, Cleveland/ Sixiron, Mizuno, Adams, Odyssey, Ping or Cobra and it’s in good condition… get it! Now, onto the wedges.

Callaway Mack Daddy 2/Tour Grind

The MackDaddy features deeper and sharper grooves than any other model from the brand in the past. This design feature enables greater spin and more control. A winner all around.

Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0

The 588 RTX offers versatility. It has 3 sole grinds and an incredible eighteen loft options, so based on probability at least one of these combinations will work wonders for you.

Mizuno MP-T5

Not only is Mizuno a great brand all around, but this particular wedge will offer you excellent control when it comes to determining the spin-particularly on shorter hots.  There’s also a great selection when it comes to bounce options at different lofts.

Ping Glide

Ping knew what they were doing when they designed this model. With the glide you have more potential for spin while simultaneously having more control of your spin. Thanks, Ping!

Titleist Vokey Design

Titleist, always a crowd favorite, offers 21 loft and bounce combos with 6 options when it comes to sole grinds. What’s not to love?

Mastering Your Game : Drivers

adrian rubinWhat is it that makes a painter great? Is it his or her canvas? Is it the quality of his or her paint? Is it the saturation of the colors or perhaps the learned techniques of studying at a prestigious institution or under the direction of a master painter? The likely answer is no. Instead it’s the creativity, the passion, the composition and the subject matter that makes for the compelling work and professional career of a true painter. However, all of those other elements are tools that enhance, incubate and showcase raw talent. Without high quality tools, a vision may not be properly executed, or others may not notice the beauty of the piece. While it doesn’t make or break the talent behind the piece, the proper tools can provide the extra edge that any young artist needs in order to get pushed forward.

“But what does this painterly metaphor have to do with golf?” you might ask, skeptical of my response. In truth this scenario draws a direct parallel with a golfer and his or her equipment. While spending a lot of money on fancy golf accoutrement will by no means make you a better golfer if it is not the game for you, you will notice a series of incremental advantages based on how you choose to equip yourself.

While each individual item may not contribute significantly to your overall performance alone, When added to your constantly improving game, you are allowing your best self to play with no impediments. In some cases, it’s true, you will have to spend a bit of extra capitol to get the best version of whatever it is you’re looking for. In other cases a little bit of cash and a lot of ingenuity can go a long way. In the case of golf clubs, the drivers listed below are indisputably the best in the game right now.

 

Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815

What is it that makes this driver so amazing? Customization. This driver is incredibly versatile and sueper adjustable and comes with numerous settings in order to optimize your spin. It will set you back $450 to $500 depending on the model.

Cobra Fly-Z

Not only does this driver have a thrilling name, but the product itself lives up to its namesake.

The cobra fly-z comes equipped with internal design that is light and functional. It also includes an 8-way adjustable hosel. Overall a great driver for stability and adding height to your stroke. Costs around $330.

Callaway XR/XR Pro

Callaway engineers are AMAZING at enhancing the aerodynamics found in a driver. A large part of this is due to how they work the crown. Additionally, the design is much lighter than it’s competitors, a great addition to any golfer’s collection. And the price ranges from $350 to $400.

 

Golf, VR and You

Adrian Rubin GolfGolf Company, TaylorMade recently grabbed headlines when they launched their newest campaign to promote the company’s new PSi irons. TaylorMade created an interactive experience that allows fans to join pro-golfers on the green and play, using their most recent product. While at first glance, this idea may not seem revolutionary, but the way that TaylorMade has opted to share these videos is what differentiates this campaign from others. This content  has been released  as a series of 360-degree Virtual Reality (VR) videos. The pros featured in these videos include Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia. 

TaylorMade  is a division of TaylorMade-adidas Golf, and according to the brand’s senior global brand director, Mark Buntz the initial VR initiative featuring the company’s newest product aims to capture a demographic of seasoned golfers with a handicap ranging from 0-6 .

While this may not seem like the wisest idea considering that this is a very limited segment of the golfing population as a whole, Buntz contends that these players have the power to influence others. He suggests that their talent may have sway over the rest of the population and almost act as ambassadors to this new product and marketing tactic. 

Another point of contention may suggest that by releasing this content in a form intended to be consumed as VR many people will be excluded. In truth, however, the content is available on a number of platforms.

Fans of this new campaign and product have the option of watching these videos on their phones, VR devices , YouTube360 and on PSi’s landing page.

Those starring in this new content seem excited by the possibilities of this new software,  and all involved with the project are pleased with the likelihood that this sort of content will appeal to a whole new generation of golfers.

Considering that a lower interest in the sport has been plaguing the industry in recent years, it seems that this new marketing tactic and use of VR and gaming is a great way to pull in young people. And from the perspective of the brand this is a way to pull in new consumers while contributing to the overall health and legacy of the sport.

 

 

One More Reason to Golf : POTUS on the Green

As if the mental, physical and emotional nirvana that usually accompanies a day on the green wasn’t enough of a reason to persuade you to start playing the game, this weekend added another reason to the list. If you’re lucky, you may get the chance to play with the President of the United States. Although the next story made local headlines in San Diego because of what President Obama decided to do once he finished playing golf, the point is, he had just been playing golf. So if you are on the fence about picking up this new sport – or considering getting married on a golf course, perhaps this story will sway you to just say yes!

Top 3 Golf-Injuries

adrian rubin golf injuryAs a golf enthusiast, it pains me to even bring up the potential downsides of the game. However, in order to combat one of these potential problem areas, I think that sharing this will equip players with the knowledge and ability to avoid or immediately correct potential pitfalls.

Although golf is often thought of as  a very passive sport, it is still very much physical activity. And much like any other physical feats that may seem more active outwardly, people still run the risk of injury when playing golf if they do not properly prepare and adequately address injuries as they may come up.

Below you will find the 3 most common injuries or physical areas of vulnerability that can often come from playing golf, as well well as ways to avoid or remedy these injuries.

Every year, roughly fifteen to twenty percent of golfers report injury. And while many will tell you that golf comes with a number of other potential areas of injury, the list below includes three of the most common complaints of injury from those who play golf regularly.

1. Back Pain

Unfortunately, improper form can lead to a very pointed or dull lower back pain. Even if your form is perfect, you are still risking lower back pain every time that you step out on the green because golf requires so much repetition in the swing. The best way to prevent this is to build up core strength and to work on stability and balance exercise. Building up your core means that your low back won’t be responsible for shouldering the weight of your back and repetitive movement. Instead your back will receive assistance in supporting the rest of your frame. Additionally, pay attention to your golf swing. Form is key, and swinging wrong can lead to tweaking your lower back or chronic pain. If you suffer from lower back pain, see a specialist.

2. Knee Pain

The rotation involved with your swing, coupled with the walking over the course can lead to wear and tear on your knees. To prevent this, make sure to build up the larger muscles surrounding your knees including the hamstrings and quads, and provide support to your knees.

3. Golfer’s Elbow

Golfer’s Elbow is a condition that describes when the tendons of your forearm are inflamed and swollen. Not surprisingly this is caused by gripping and swinging. To prevent this, make sure to stretch your wrists regularly. And if you are afflicted – rest and ice it.

 

FootGolf in Action

While it can be difficult and sometimes downright impossible to explain the sport of footgolf to the uninitiated in a way that doesn’t make it sound completely ridiculous, witnessing the sport in action can give some credibility to this new craze sweeping the nation. In the US alone, the American Foot Golf League has already accredited golf courses in forty eight states as suitable grounds for footgolfers to enjoy their newly found passion.

The video below explains the sport in the context of footgolf as a great outlet in the world of youth sports. Traditional golf and soccer coaches are pleased at the rise in this interesting new sport as a side effect may include an increase in the sports of soccer and golf for those who have never played before.

Golf Meet Soccer, Soccer Meet Golf. Hello FootGolf

Adrian RubinWhile many of us golf aficionados are sticklers for the rules and etiquette of the game, it’s always exciting to see new ways that people like to try and turn the sport on its head. Most recently a story emerged out of Wichita, Kansas discussing the new trend that is sweeping the country. A sport that combines elements of two classics. Footgolf is now emerging as the perfect sport for those athletes that cannot choose between soccer and golf. Since the beginning of 2014, the number of officially accredited courses for the sport have spiked from a mere 22 to  a whopping 432. These numbers are absolutely staggering when you consider how difficult and almost silly it can be when trying to explain the sport. In spite of the seemingly absurd premise, the League has accredited courses in 48 states. The numbers don’t lie, something must be working when it comes to this new sport.

The Rules

As the name suggests, the sport is quite similar to golf, but of course there are just enough differences to classify it as a new sport! The objective is the same as that found in golf – to get the ball in the hole in as few strokes as possible. However, in this case, the player is using a soccer ball and trying to kick it into the 21” hole. Typically, an 18 hole footgolf course can squeeze into the parameters of a nine hole golf course. While the simple explanation may not seem all that captivating, it is a dynamic take on both golf and soccer and provides a bit more action than your typical golf gain and more control and focus than your average game of soccer. To learn more about the American FootGolf League, visit their site here.

 

FootGolf – Who’s in Charge?

Although Footgolf has seen  a marked uptick across the US in the past two years, it is in fact a game that is played all over the world in a variety of forms with rules that can vary. However, the Federation for International FootGolf , also known as “FIFG” oversees and regulates the official sport rules. Locally in the United States however, the American FootGolf League or AFGL is the sole regulatory member based in this country as recognized by FIFG. Obviously the AFGL has been hard at work over the past couple of years as this governing body organizes tournaments all over the country in cooperation with golf courses.

It’s a very exciting time for this emerging sport and many of those who play the sport are devoted followers who compare taking up this new sport now to getting involved with Apple in 1987. They are completely convinced that it is the next big thing. While only time will tell, footgolf is certainly worth giving a shot now.

The PGA Talks Diversity

Adrian RubinEarlier this week, Pete Bevacqua, the CEO of the PGA of America spoke at the 4th Annual Sports Diversity and Inclusion Symposium on Citi Field. Bevacqua noted the fundamental need for changes within the organization to make it a much more inclusive sport as a whole. Last year, the PGA elected Suzy Whaley for the role of secretary, marking the arrival of the first female officer in the organization’s history.

This fact highlights one of the criticisms that the PGA of America faces regularly, the idea that the sport is exclusively intended for wealthy white men. While unfortunately this stereotype is often supported by the sport’s history within this country, it’s clear that the PGA is making inclusion and institutional changes a part of the organization’s new mission. The CEO exclaimed, “If we’re not more diverse in the next 25, 50, 100 years, the sport’s in trouble. So instead of hiding from that, we’re embracing that, and we’re trying to institute those changes at every aspect of our organization.”

The CEO recognized that while the organization has made strides in terms of including a more diverse roster of young stars today than in the past, the PGA needs to incorporate more diversity throughout the organization to more accurately reflect the fans.

Bevacqua acknowledged that many of the golf clubs that host the organization’s famed championship have a history of exclusivity and that the PGA may not have the power to change these membership policies in a direct way. However, he did acknowledge that the PGA has the power to not do business with clubs that stay set in their exclusive ways and to instead support clubs that have more inclusive business practices when it comes to their membership policies.

The PGA is only one of a number of sponsors of the event, some of the others include, MLB, US Paralympics, RISE, US Olympic Committee, WNBA, NASCAR, Minor League Baseball and the USTA.

 

Yogi Berra : A Quotable Man

Yogi Berra was known as an incredible baseball player during his life, but as we have seen, he was also a gifted golfer. In addition to these incredible talents, Yogi also had the gift of gab and was known for his outgoing and warm personality. Yogi had a tendency to say the profound, the hilarious and the oblivious – a trait that often kept his adoring fans at attention and a veritable media darling. Though certain quotes became attributed to the talented baseball player over the years, he eventually addressed some of the myth versus the legend in a book that he published in 1998 called, “The Yogi Book : I Really Didn’t Say Everything I said”. Whether or not the following Quotes came directly from Yogi himself or if they just became associated with him is difficult to discern, but these are some of the best Yogi Berra quotes around. And many are expressions commonly used today!