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?

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.

The Loss of a Legend

Adrian Rubin Yogi BerraThis week we lost a legend. At the age of 90, baseball great, Yogi Berra died. Even those unfamiliar with the sport are usually aware of Berra’s contribution to the game as an incredible catcher with a larger than life personality. This Baseball Hall of Famer was such a character that it’s widely believed that he was the inspiration for the beloved children’s cartoon, Yogi Bear. Yogi Berra was legendary for both his skill and his personality. He played an incredible nineteen seasons in the Majors as member of the NY Yankees, (except for his final season). He holds an incredible record as an 18 time all star and played as a world series champion a remarkable ten times. As if these records weren’t enough to attest to Berra’s skill, he also won the League’s MVP award not once, not twice but three times. So it’s no surprise that he is considered one of the greatest catchers of all time.

An interesting fact about Yogi Berra, is that he was also an avid golfer. During his time as a major powerhouse in American baseball, there was much concern over the fact that Yogi spent so much time playing golf because many people believed that this would ruin his swing.

In spite of this dissent about his playing golf, Berra continued to play whenever he got the chance. Berra’s style of swinging the bat reflected his interest in golf. He was known for his ability to swing swing his bat as one would a golf club in order to hit lower pitches that hovered near the plate which often lead to  serious home runs. However, Berra also maintained the ability to chop at pitches for beautiful line drives. Looking back, on Berra’s plays, it’s clear that his golf swing enhanced his game – it didn’t detract from it.

Yogi Berra claimed that his reasoning for picking up and staying with the sport of golf was solely to stay healthy. However, his record was a 10-handicap, so he wasn’t a bad golfer at all. Although he claimed that this was purely a chance for physical activity, it’s clear that he must have enjoyed the game and certainly developed skills for the game. Berra was known for taking extended vacations at high end golf courses like Pinehurst, and continued playing the sport throughout his career as a baseball player and eventual manager.
Berra was a true American athlete and legend, and his presence will be missed.

Top 3 Rookie Mistakes

adrian rubinAs is the case with any skill or sport, to become an expert requires practice, discipline and some talent. For those of us that aren’t immediate “naturals” most skills take time to develop or strengthen. That means that we will make mistakes, suffer losses and of course have a few victories thrown in there every now and then. Many mistakes are unavoidable -especially when starting out, and can in fact be beneficial to our own growth within a sport. When you make an egregious error, you know immediately what you need to practice, or what rules you need to pay attention to . However, there are some myths and mistakes in golf that tend to effect newcomers to the game. While, individually the impact might not be great, together , these errors can cause a serious handicap for the novice. So instead of suffering through needless errors, consider the following list for mistakes worth avoiding .

#1 Who plays first?

Many newbies believe that a golfer who isn’t on the green has to play a shot before the golfer who is on the green. In truth, however, the player farthest from the hole is always entitled to play first – no matter who is or is not on the green . However, there is no penalty for playing out of order. And keep in mind that  during match play, your opponent can make you replay your shot if you don’t wait your turn.

#2 Is a Ball Fall Fail a Stroke?

 Inexperienced golfers think that if a ball is touched then falls off the tee after it has been addressed counts as a stroke. However, generally speaking, this doesn’t count as a stroke and the ball should be re-teed with no penalty. Buy remember that this does counts as a stroke if the ball had already been in play, or if you were making a stroke when the ball fell off the tee.

# 3 Can you hit a provisional before searching for a drowning ball?Some amateurs mistakenly believe that if you hit a ball into the water hazard, then you can immediately hit a replacement before trying to retrieve the first one.  In truth, however, if you’re positive that your ball is in a water hazard, you’re not allowed to hit the provisional ball. The following shot you hit is recognized as a ball in play (with a penalty stroke). However, if you think your ball might be outside the hazard, then you’re allowed to hit the provisional. If it turns out that your ball is in the hazard, you must abandon the provisional.

While some of these rules may seem somewhat complicated or counter-intuitive, this is how you should be playing if you want to advance .

A swing and a Miss for Trump

Adrian RubinAlthough golf is a notoriously quiet sport, Donald Trump recently turned up the volume after he made racially insensitive remarks about Mexican immigrants during the speech in which he revealed his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. While golf and politics appear to reside at separate ends of the spectrum, Trump managed to combine the two.

Over the past few years, Mr. Trump has acquired a number of previously failed properties with beautiful golf courses. As the current owner of 17 immaculate golf clubs, it’s no surprise that the U.S.G.A., P.G.A. Tour, L.P.G.A. Tour and the P.G.A. of America signed multi-year deals with Trump in order to secure these spaces.

 

In spite of this relationship to Trump, the top US golf organizations all released statements disagreeing with what Trump has said.  However, these statements do not explain how this debacle will affect their contracts with the mogul’s properties.

These inked contracts suggest a continued partnership with Trump and his golf clubs in years to come in spite of this current controversy, and any immediate decisions that change the location of these events this year.

According to a recent article in the New York Times, 4 major golf championships are slated to take place at Trump’s courses by 2022. Additionally, the P.G.A. of America agreed to move the Grand Slam of Golf from it perennial home in Bermuda to Trump’s course based in L.A. This multi-year deal finalized last year is in effect until 2018.

Trump and these major golf organizations reached these contractual agreements long before Trump made these comments publicly. Subsequent to this backlash, Trump has claimed that he doesn’t want the golf organizations that he has partnered with to suffer any fallout from his own comments.  But only time will tell whether or not this sentiment will also be reflected in amended contracts.

PIQ Golf Performance, Thanks To New Wearable

Adrian RubinIt seems like wearables are everywhere these days. With just a quick search on google, you could probably find a wearable that measures just about anything that you can imagine. Though the Apple Watch and FitBit seem to be dominating the consumer-ready wearables market these days, a new product has just launched that has the potential to completely change the game.

Yesterday PIQ announced the release of  the “most advanced multi-sport sensor platform” that the world has ever seen. While smart wearables are starting to become the norm, the PIQ differentiates itself from products like FitBit or the Apple Watch through its unique capabilities. These sport-specific accessories work in conjunction with a sensor to track and identify data and metrics for the user as he or she is engaged in the athletic activity.

Though most new gadgets tout the fact that the product integrates the latest technology into their design, PIQ not only deploys current sensor technology in the device, but it uses this tech in a unique way. The sensor technology NFC, BLE and micro processing technology to enable PIQ to draw from 13 axes and correctly measure performance metrics like; height, G-Force, velocity, air time, trajectory and even amplitude- among others. The devices are designed to be in the prime place for data collection regardless of the sport.

While PIQ already plans to release these sensors for over a dozen different sports, PIQ is premiering the line with the fully integrated platform and sensor dedicated to golf. Additionally, PIQ has revealed a partnership with the makers of the top golf app, Mobitee. This union situates these companies as the first wholly connected wearable solution designed specifically for golf.

But what does this wearable solution look like in practice? This wearable tech has the capacity to measure more than 3,000 different data points per second through 13 different dimensions. And the fact that this is a wearable device, means that the athletes needn’t interrupt their game to receive instant feedback and data.

According to CEO and co-founder of PIQ, Cedric Mangaud, these wearable devices are not solely intended for professionals, but they are also great tools for the more casual player. He believes that these solutions will not only provide helpful insights that can in turn improve the player’s game, but that it’s also a fun experience.