My Golf Instructor

Equipment

Equipment encompasses all the tools you need to play a round of golf. This includes: golf clubs, a golf bag, golf balls, tees, a glove, golf shoes, a ball marker, a divot repair tool, rain gear and umbrella, a pencil or pen for the scorecard, a range finder or gps and anything else you may need to navigate around a golf course.

Equipment Tips

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  • Can't Go Wrong With a 2 Piece Ball

    As a beginner I recommend that you look for a good 2 piece ball to start with. They are more durable and will help you with distance. There are many that will give you distance off of the tee, but still help with spin and control around the greens. There's hardly a player that couldn't use both of those so you can't go wrong if you are just starting out and go with a 2 piece ball. As your game progresses it's a good idea to go get a ball fitting on a launch monitor to make sure the ball you are playing matches your needs.

  • Arm Yourself With Proper Supplies

    Besides clubs and balls some of the items you will need to play golf are: a glove, a ball marker, tees, a towel, a rain cover or umbrella, sunscreen, a snack, scorecard and pencil, water and a mini first aid kit with band aids, aspirin, etc.. It's also a good idea to wear a hat or visor and sunglasses to prevent glare and protect your eyes even if it doesn't seem like a super sunny day. I also recommend dressing in layers that you can shed on cool days in case you warm up as you play. Keep in mind the more prepared you are the more enjoyable your round will be.

  • Make Sure Your Putter Fits Your Stroke

    Get your putter fit!!! In order to develop a consistent putting stroke you need to have a putter that is well fit. That means not only fit to your body, but fit to your stroke as well. If you are constantly hitting the ball on the toe or heel, it will be very tough for you to hit solid putts and build the consistency you need. Also, your putter should match your stroke (arc or straight line). For instance, heel shafted putters as well as mallet styles fit more of an arc stroke.

  • Beginners Choose a 2 Piece Ball

    If you are a new player or high handicapper and haven't been fit for a golf ball yet, your best bet is to choose a two piece ball. A two piece ball will help you maximize your distance. Distance is hardly ever something that anyone turns down and can never hurt! For better players with higher club head speeds though, they will most likely seek more spin and control around the greens. A two piece ball is also hard to cut and more durable so yet another reason to choose this ball if you are just starting out.

  • Get Your Loft & Lie Checked

    If you are a player that plays and practices often, especially if you hit a ton of balls, make sure to get your loft and lie checked on your clubs. How often? That depends on how much you use them. I know tour players who stopped by our lab after every couple of events to make sure they weren't gaining loft and the heads weren't moving. The infrequent golfer, need not worry too much, but if you are a good player and serious about your game, it's worth looking into. We had tour players get their clubs directly from their club sponsors and still bring them in to us right away to make sure they were correct. Mistakes happen and quality control is not always that good.

  • Wait Until Your Swing Develops to Get Fit

    If you are just starting out with the game, don't be in a rush to get custom fitted clubs. Over the next couple of years your swing will change often as it develops into the swing you desire. The last thing you want to do is spend a bunch of money on clubs that might not fit you in two years. This is not to say you shouldn't try to find clubs that have the right length, shaft flex and lie angle for you, just know that these specs will most likely change over time.

  • 3 Point Check for a Slipping Grip

    If your club is constantly slipping in your hands there are 3 easy solutions. First off make sure that you have the grip properly placed in your hand. Check out my articles on grip or work with a qualified teaching professional to make sure you are holding it correctly. Second, if you aren't wearing a glove you might want to try one as they really do help with traction. Along with this is the obvious issue - make sure your grips aren't getting worn out and slick. The third solution is to try a chord grip which works well for many players. When your hands are sweaty or you are playing in the rain, even a half chord grip can help you maintain hold of the club without slippage.

  • Does Your Putter Match Your Stroke?

    Make sure to buy a putter that matches your type of stroke. If you move the putter on an arc you will want to get a putter conducive to an arc stroke. This means it may have more weight in the heel, is not face balanced and allows for some face swinging open and closed. If you prefer to move the putter on a straight line you will definitely want a face balanced putter and maybe even one that is center shafted. It's critical to have your equipment match your style so you are not constantly forcing the putter to do something it isn't designed to do.

  • Longer Isn't Always Better

    Remember when choosing clubs, especially a driver that distance relates directly to speed and centeredness of contact. In other words, don't always think longer is better. Yes, longer could increase your clubhead speed, but if you are hitting the ball on the toe or heel of the club, you are missing the hot spot and hitting the weaker spots as well. Not to mention you will probably be spraying the ball all over the course.

  • Use a Launch Monitor For Ball Fitting

    To decide what type of ball you should play, the best thing is to get on a launch monitor. There is nothing wrong with eye balling it while you are out playing and experimenting to see which balls seem to perform best for you. A launch monitor however gives you precise readings on your spin rates, launch angles, ball speed and carry distance. The machine doesn't lie and it's a great way to know for sure that you have the best possible ball for your game in your bag.

  • No Need For a Full Set When Starting Out

    To learn the game you don't need a full set of clubs. You may have noticed that many starter sets come as a partial set. Many manufactures have programs where you can add clubs back in later or trade the starter set in for a more advanced set. Clubs that are critical to have to begin learning are a putter, a wedge (I prefer the sand wedge), a mid iron and a fairway wood. This way you can learn all aspects of the game. Then as you progress and you start to see a difference in the distance you hit various clubs, you can add clubs back in to your set.

  • The Bigger Your Grip, The Less Wristy You Will Be

    Try a fat grip. If you are having major troubles with speed control, chances are your hands and wrists may be too involved. When the little muscles are over active, it's hard to be consistent. You could try to wrap your grip with tennis grip tape to fatten it up or purchase a new grip altogether like the super fat one that you may have seen K.J. Choi use. The bigger the grip and the more you have to palm it and the stiffer your wrists will be.

  • Don't Rush Into an Expensive Set of Clubs

    When starting out and trying to choose clubs you can become overwhelmed by all the options. The first thing to know is that you don't want to go out and spend a bunch of money on expensive custom fitted clubs when a) you may decide at some point you don't want to play anymore (God forbid!) or b) your swing may develop and change so much that the clubs might not fit in the future. Your best bet is to get a used set or a starter set where the specs reasonably fit you and then upgrade later.

  • Are Your Grips the Right Size?

    When trying to find the right grip size for yourself, know that the general rule is that the fingers in your lead or top hand (left for right handed players) should barely touch your palm. I use term "general rule" because a lot depends on your shot pattern with your ball, what your swing looks like and what your goals are. If you have arthritic hands or other issues with your hands a fatter grip will end up being best. If you are too handsy, a hook can result and a fatter grip could help off set this mistake. The best case scenario is to work with a qualified fitter or at the very least a qualified teaching professional to make sure your grip size is right for your game.

  • Get a New Fitting if You Change Your Swing

    Whenever you make a major swing or posture change, it's a good idea to get a quick fitting to make sure your clubs still fit you. If you start standing lower or more erect than you were when you got fit for your clubs the length and lie angle that you were fitted to may no longer match your swing. The same is true for major changes that affect your swing plane or angle of attack. This can alter how your clubhead comes into impact and cause you to start striking with the toe or heel down.

  • When to Change Your Grips

    You should change your grips more often than you probably think. Most experts will say at least once a year, but if you play frequently you should consider changing them every 6 months. Air, sweat and oil from your hands, heat and cold are are elements that can affect the wear and tear on your grips. Even if they don't feel slick to you and you aren't getting indentations in them, they probably are not up to par if it's been over 6 months.

Who is Maria Palozola?
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