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Articles: Golf Club Counterfeiting | While We're Young | Moving Forward | Old Tiger Is Gone | Spring Cleaning | Need For Speed | Favorable Bounce | Mad About Dad | Getting Fit | Ode To Joe | Home for the Holidays | Happy New Year! Help Is On The Way | Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice, Practice, Practice...your short game!
by: John Phipps - 03.26.2013

This concept is nothing new to be sure, but practicing your short game is easily the shortest route to lower scores. While most amateurs (myself included) would much rather pound ball after ball with drivers and such, after attending the recent Accenture Match Play (many thanks to Bridgestone Golf) my attitude toward what to practice has changed forever. While watching Bridgestone's guy, Matt Kuchar, chip, pitch and putt the field to death in frosty Tucson, I decided where I am headed the next time I practice...the short game area. Be honest with yourself...how many greens do you truly hit in regulation? The GIR leader on tour is at 77% meaning he is hitting 13 out of 18 greens in regulation. So the very best in the world is chipping or pitching 5 out of 18 holes and most of the time how he fares on those 5 holes is the difference between cashing a check or packing your bags Friday night. Or in our case, who's picking up the tab at the end of the round. Please visit your local PGA professional to learn the secrets of a great short game!

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Happy New Year! Help Is On The Way
by: John Phipps - 01.09.2013

As the calendar turns the page to another year, resolutions abound. Exercise more, eat healthier, get in shape usually top many new year resolution lists. But let's be honest. How many of you have tread mills that see more action as a coat rack than a piece of fitness equipment? My guess is 95% but I am cynical.

For a golfer, practicing more and lower scores typically top their reasons to upset the status quo. And like most resolutions, this may last for a couple of weeks but soon passes as we all seem to go back to our regular routine. While there is truly no substitute for practice, there is some help on the way in the form of new equipment.

All the major manufacturers are coming out with highly evolutionary if not revolutionary products in the coming months. Adjustability is the mantra of this new generation of score-busting technology. Whereas you would previously buy a 10.5 loft with a stiff shaft say, now you will buy a regular or stiff shaft and the loft will be adjustable among face angle and other adjustments.

According to TaylorMade's new advertising, they claim 80% of golfers play the wrong loft for their swing. My guess the 80% have a handicap of 15 or above. So how do you find the correct loft for your swing? Easy. Swing into any Roger Dunn, Vans, Golf Mart or Golfers' Warehouse location and have one of our friendly club specialists fit your new driver using the state-of-the-art GC2 launch monitor technology.

As with the beginning of every year, hope springs eternal. The difference this year is there just may be some very good reasons to be optimistic!

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Home for the Holidays – travel tips for golf travelers
by: John Phipps - 11.12.2012

If you are anything like me, every year the holidays seem so far away and then out of nowhere they are upon you like a speeding train. And if your holidays include a trip to the links, here are a few suggestions that can help the holidays be merrier.

I always say I’ll be more prepared “next year” only to find myself in the same position year after year…in the garage the night before my flight wondering where I put my travel cover, making sure I put back the wedge I use to chip in the yard and checking to see if I have enough golf balls. Well it’s a new year and I think I’ll be ready.

Travel Cover: This is not something to skimp on. I am continually amazed at how some golfers put their expensive clubs in a cheap travel cover. If you’re simply driving to your holiday destination then a less expensive cover could suffice. But if air travel is in the plans do yourself (and your clubs) a favor and spend the extra $$$ to get a good quality cover. If you shop in-store feel the fabric and look at the zippers. Do they look like they’ll hold up after being tossed around by luggage handlers and falling off on the tarmac? If you shop online look at the fabric density, the higher the better. Most quality travel covers also havepadded tops for extra protection and of course wheels for easier maneuvering.

Hard Case vs. Soft Case: Hard cases offer maximum protection and usually cover any replacement costs should damage occur in travel. The one downside is flexibility. They are not going to fit in a small to medium size car with other luggage and otherpassengers. Soft cases are easier to manipulate but obviously lack the durability of their hard case counterpart.

Packing Tips: A few years back, Club Glove developed The Stiff Arm. This strong yet lightweight aluminum pole features a small, umbrella-style top and adjusts to fit in your golf bag. It’s purpose is to take any pressure off your driver and longer clubs so they won’t break during travel. It’s an inexpensive insurance policy that you won’t have to get borrow your father-in-law’s A-flex driver or even get a new one at your destination. Another protective idea is to pack clothes around the club heads. Not only does this help protect yourclubs, it affords you more room in your luggage for presents!

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Ode To Joe! (a.k.a. it's all about the short game)
by: John Phipps - 09.21.2012

Growing up in North Suburban Chicago, our high school golf coach Joe Rusk epitomized what's truly important in succeeding at this great game of golf. His swing off the tee would lead one to believe he would be lucky to break 100. Fairly straight but certainly not all that far. Down by the green was another story. You see Joe could chip and putt like nobody's business. If he got anywhere around the green, up and down was almost guaranteed. The secret to his success was quite simple: Practice. I was taught long ago by Coach Rusk that twice as much time should be spend working on your short game. These days when I am on the range I see most high handicap golfers pounding balls - bucket after bucket. Very few spend time chipping and putting. The reason is simple, too: practicing the short game can be boring.

So next time you head out to the range, think of Joe and before you touch an iron or driver, spend a half hour chipping, pitching and putting. Do this every practice session and you'll gain more confidence on the course and see lower scores sooner than later.

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Getting Fit!
by: John Phipps - 06.25.2012

While those two words may bring visions of weight rooms, Pilate classes or countless miles on the tread mill, getting fit in golf means having your swing analyzed by a state-of-the-art computer fitting system and a trained fitting specialist. Ill-fitting clubs cause not only bad shots, but added frustration and a dislike of the game. For example, if your clubs are too upright for your height, build and swing, chances are you will catch the toe in the turf at impact causing the face to open and the ball to go right. Conversely if your club lie angle is too flat, the heel will catch causing the clubface and ball to go left. The solution is a professional fitting at any Roger Dunn, Golf Mart or Vans Golf shop location. Using the state-of-the-art Game Changer video system, our manufacturer-trained club specialists will get you the exact clubs that fit your swing. You will see more solid hits more often which will lead to lower scores.

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Mad about Dad? Let him know!!
by: John Phipps - 06.08.2012

It happens every June, the trees are green, fairways lush and the U.S. Open is eagerly anticipated. Oh by the way, it's Father's Day. While gift ideas for Pops can be challenging, if your dad plays the grand old game, golf gear is always a welcome for this annual celebration of what dad does the other 364 days. So let's get to it.

The No Brainer Gift -- Golf Balls
Every golfing dad needs and wants golf balls. They range in price from $9.99 all the way up to $48. The adage "you get what you pay for" applies to golf balls. The difference is the number of layers (2 - 5) and space-age materials used in those layers. The more layers, the more high-tech materials the more expensive. It only makes sense.

The Techy Gift -- Rangefinders
One of the hottest gifts this year will undoubtedly be rangefinders. Whether a GPS or laser unit, this is a gift dad is sure to love. GPS uses satellites to provide distances to the green and hazards, where laser units let you target pins and hazards by utilizing lens and laser technology.

The Distance Gift -- Rocketballz Fairway Woods
This is unofficially the year of the fairway wood and atop the leaderboard is TaylorMade's Rocketballz Fairway wood with slot technology. Acting like a trampoline, slot technology helps the ball jump off the face for previously unseen distance. Pros are gaining 17 yards...what will your dad gain?

The All-Around Gift -- Gift Cards
If you are like a lot of folks, you may not know what dad wants or needs. In that case, a Roger Dunn gift card is the gift that always fits. They are available online or in-store in any amount. trampoline, slot technology helps the ball jump off the face for previously unseen distance. Pros are gaining 17 yards...what will your dad gain?

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Favorable Bounce!
by: John Phipps - 04.23.2012

We recently had the pleasure of hosting Master Club designer, Roger Cleveland, from Callaway Golf in our Santa Ana SuperStore and of course he spoke in depth of his real passion and that's Wedge design. If you have ever looked closely at a proline wedge, you'll notice two numbers such as 56-10. The first number is the loft and the second one is the bounce. The bounce merely refers to the angle between the leading edge of the wedge and the trailing edge of the wedge. Bounce generally helps a golfer get the face of the club under the ball to land it softly on the green. But if you look at enough wedges you'll soon realize bounce can vary. So why is that? The simple answer is because playing conditions can vary from region to region or even course to course. A general rule is if you play a golf course with firmer conditions such as some desert courses, you should use a wedge with less bounce to keep the leading edge down so you can dig into the turf and through the ball. Conversely well-watered courses that are softer would need more bounce to prevent the wedge from digging in the ground. You individual swing also plays into the equation so be sure to check with your Worldwide Golf Club specialist to get the right wedge for your swing and conditions.

John Phipps is a highly respected golf writer.

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I have the need...the need for speed!
by: John Phipps - 04.05.2012

A phrase coined in 1985 by Tom Cruise in Top Gun resonates more than ever today with Nike's newest challenge to all other woods on the market. The Nike Speed Trials is a challenge to see how much distance you will gain by playing their new VR_S Driver, Fairway Wood and Hybrid vs. the clubs you are currently using. From March 31st through May 15th come into any Worldwide Golf Shop, take 3 swings with your clubs, record the distance on our state-of-the-art launch monitors, then take 3 swings with the new Nike VR_S woods and see how much distance you gain! After the speed trial take your "speeding ticket" home and register online to win a brand new 2012 Chevrolet Camaro! One lucky Worldwide Golf Shops customer will win so your odds of winning are very good (or greatly better than winning the lottery)! So start adding speed to your game and I bet you'll see lower scores on your card!

John Phipps is a highly respected golf writer.

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Spring Cleaning!
by: John Phipps - 03.27.2012

We all have them stashed in our attics, basements, closets and garages...old clubs. While "some" may have value, let's face it most do not. Yes, you probably paid a fair amount of money for them years ago, but just like a car, clubs depreciate for the most part. But instead of throwing them away, you may want to consider donating these clubs to your local Junior Golf Program such as The First Tee. There's a lot of kids that have no clubs so your trash can be a treasure to these youths. You may not get a tax deduction, but you will get the satisfaction of helping tomorrow's golfers!

John Phipps is a highly respected golf writer.

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The Old Tiger Is Gone Forever
by: John Ziegler - 02.13.2012

Tiger Woods will likely win again. He will probably even win at least one more major, if only for old time’s sake. But despite what his recent resurgence may indicate, the Tiger we once knew is gone and is not coming back. 

After winning his own “tournament” in dramatic fashion late last year and leading a European Tour event into the final round before finishing third, the golf media, desperate for their golden goose to return to his past glory, quickly heralded his rebirth. However, as a long-time Tiger watcher, it seems pretty clear to me that this is little more than wishful (almost desperate) thinking. 

Before the scandal, I used to literally be Tiger’s biggest fan (back when there was fierce competition for that honor). I still consider myself lucky to have been living in the first part of the last decade when we saw what was clearly the best golf ever played in the history of homo sapiens. There was even a time when I wondered if Tiger even technically qualified as a mere human being. 

But with this version of Tiger Woods, the thrill is gone and not just because we now know that as a person he is nothing remotely special. In fact, from purely a golf perspective, Tiger Woods “3.0” is usually downright boring and, even at his best, not particularly spectacular.

In his prime, even the casual fan could instantly see that Tiger was fundamentally different/better than anyone else on tour. He hit the ball farther than almost anyone and (especially in 2000-2001) his swing was both incredibly powerful and almost perfectly symmetrical. At his best, his follow through looked exactly like the mirror image of the top of his swing. While he didn’t hit every fairway, his recovery skills were so Seve-like you almost looked forward to him making the rare mistake just to see the magic which would inevitably ensue.

Today, when everything is clicking for him, he morphs into a poor man’s Nick Faldo with a little more distance. He is no longer a highlight machine waiting to be turned on, but rather just a steady contender who hits fairways and greens and makes the occasional putt. Tiger is certainly one of the best players in the world, but not significantly better than anyone else in that group and nothing really to write home about. 

His swing, once a feast for the eyes, no longer inspires awe. While seemingly becoming more efficient, his swing now finishes either with the shaft pointing straight towards the sky or, when he is playing a fade, across his no longer geometrically ideal stance. 

Tiger still hits it far, but isn’t close to the longest player on tour. Perhaps more disappointing, it seems as if this Sean Foley version has sapped most of the magic out of Tiger’s swing and stripped him of his prodigious powers of recovery. Even his short game doesn’t seem to create nearly the fireworks it used to and his putting is no longer the definition of clutch. 

In short, as sleep inducing as golf can be to watch on television without Tiger, it is almost as dull even with him now. The biggest reason it isn’t is simply the great memories we associate with Tiger and his incredible career. Without those reminiscences, watching him would be pretty much the same as anyone else, which, in some ways, might be the most damning indictment of what he has become. 

My personal view as to why this has happened is that it is mostly tied to those couple of months after the scandal broke when Tiger was in hiding. It seems pretty clear that he underwent some sort of significant mental therapy, which probably included a rather harsh tearing down of many of the belief systems which helped make him so great to begin with. In a sense, his internal hard drive was fried and then partially restored. Obviously not all of the files (including the ones labeled “magic” and “intimidation) made it through the rebooting process. 

While this is all very sad and somewhat tragic, there is a bright side to it. While we will never again get to see Superman in action, we still have the fascinating spectacle of finding out what Clark Kent is capable of achieving while armed with little more than the distant memories of what he once was. 

So the Tiger Woods saga will still be “interesting,” just don’t expect it to be “amazing.” 

John Ziegler has played in three national amateur championships and won four private club championships in three different states, including the last two at Oakmont Country Club in Glendale. He is currently a member at Spanish Hills Country Club in Camarillo.

John Ziegler - Contributing Writer - Worldwide Golf Shops - talktozig@aol.com

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Moving Forward
by: John Phipps - 02.13.2012

While we all want to get ahead in life, that doesn't seem to translate to the golf course. In fact some of us are going backwards...as in tee boxes. A good majority of golfers are playing the blue tees when they should play the white tees or playing the white tees when they should play the forward tees (which many golf courses now offer). And playing the wrong tee boxes leads to - you guessed it - slower play. Let's look at it this way; the yardage difference between tee boxes can be the equivalent of an extra hole! That means you are playing 19 holes, scoring 4-5 shots higher and taking an extra 10 minutes to play your round. So check your ego at the bag drop, move on up and my guess is you'll score lower and have more fun.

Tell us what you think. Take our poll at www.facebook.com\worldwidegolfshops

John Phipps is a highly respected golf writer.

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Hey Pal, While We're Young!
by: John Phipps - 01.11.2012

The PGA Tour's #1 ranked player recently tweeted his feelings on slow play on the PGA Tour. Basically it's killing the sport Mr. Donald said. I've said for years one of the biggest problems facing golf is it can take just too long to play. One of my solutions is to trim a round of golf down to 15 holes but that would mess up Robin Williams' classic comedy skit on the origins of golf. Can't do that.

To be fair, the flip side may be "I've paid a lot of money I'm going to take my time," which has some validity I admit. But for the most part there's too many golf brethren that take too many practice swings only to jack it OB, because there's just something different between a practice swing and the real swing...oh yeah, there's a little white or yellow obstacle in the way that messes with reasonably intelligent individuals time and again. I won't even touch slow play on the green due to time constraints.

The problem as Mr. Donald points out is slow players don't know they are slow! That being the case, for the sake of the game, if you play with someone that perhaps plays not exactly fast, maybe remind them with a wedge to the back side "Hey Pal, While We're Young!"

John Phipps is a highly respected golf writer.

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Golf Club Counterfeiting at an all-time high.
by: John Phipps - 01.05.2012

The term buyer beware is becoming all-too relevant in golf these days as golf club counterfeits are becoming better and better. While the practice has been around for a long time, the technology has not. Years back counterfeits were very easy to spot, but today even club designers at the major manufacturers have a difficult time distinguishing the real clubs from the fakes.

While clubs may "look" the same, the certainly do not perform the same. Authentic clubs made by major manufacturers  like TaylorMade and Callaway are designed and built using the specific metals, carbon composites, graphite, weighting, etc. to ensure maximum performance on the golf course. Counterfeits or "knockoffs" are simply made to look as close to the real club as possible but will not perform anywhere near the original.

To ensure you get the real deal, here's a quick checklist. While these may seem obvious, golfers can get caught up in the excitement of getting a new golf club at a greatly discounted price:

  • Always buy from a trusted source whether online or not. A guy in parking lot selling from his trunk just may be a red flag.
  • Check to see if there's a return policy from any seller especially online. Reputable dealers will offer at least a 30-day guarantee of some sort.
  • If it's too good to be true...it isn't. It sounds cliché until you are stuck with a useless counterfeit.

John Phipps is a highly respected golf writer.

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