Sunday, September 28, 2008

Golf Tip-What Shaft Flex Should I Use as a Beginner?

What Shaft Flex Should I Use?
If you are just learning to play golf and you are considering getting custom fit golf clubs, you may wonder, 'what would be the best flex of shaft for me?' Or you may be a do-it-yourself kind of person and you are wanting to get into clubmaking. You will need to know all about golf club components, and that includes club fitting people for the proper shaft flex. You will have to know how to fit people for their drivers and irons, and know how to fit people for graphite shafts or steel shafts. What tips do we need to know to accurately help people to find the perfect golf swing? Of course their is no perfect golf swing, but rather each person has their own natural golf swing. And the natural swing and shot pattern needs to be taken into consideration when determining shaft flex.

First, we need to understand what happens to a golf shaft when you swing it. If you were to watch your golf swing in slow motion you would notice that the shaft bends. This happens because when we swing a golf club we put a lot of pressure on the shaft causing it to bow in the middle. There are a lot of things that can happen to our golf shots if the flex in our shaft is too soft,or too stiff.

For example, I had a small slice in my personal golf shot with my long irons and I was always looking for ways to improve my golf swing to correct this, but to no avail. I was using Rifle shafts and these are great steel shafts, but I found out that my flex was too stiff. So I extracted those stiff shafts from my clubs and replaced them with a regular flex and my golf slice all but disappeared. All without adjusting my swing or my golf alignment!

The same can be true if you suffer from poor trajectory, poor accuracy, or you have reduced distance when you hit your golf ball. Think about your own golf shot and then continue reading.

Ball Flight Problems 
3 things can happen to our ball flight from having the wrong flex in our shafts.
  1. The distance of the ball could be less (obviously, this would not be good)
  2. The trajectory (could be higher or lower)
  3. Our accuracy (the ball could end up going right or left)
The reason we would have these problems is because when the golf club flexes it changes the position of the clubhead. The clubface could become opened or closed at impact, or loft could be added or subtracted. Did you know, that if you slice the golf ball, for example, it may be because you have the wrong flex for your swing? It's a real possibility, so pay attention to the following golf tips!

To figure out what shaft flex is proper for you, make an honest analysis of your current golf swing and answer the following questions:
  • How far do you hit your driver (carry distance)?
    • 250 or more yards-pick a stiff shaft
    • 230 to 250 yards-pick a regular shaft
    • 200 to 230 yards-pick a senior shaft (also called A-flex, originally called (A)mature. A lot of players would benefit by hitting an A-flex shaft)
    • Less than 200 yards-pick a ladies shaft
  •  Do your drives go to the left?
    • If yes then try a stiffer flex
  • Do your drives go to the right?
    • If yes then try a softer flex
  • Do you have a lower ball flight resulting in less distance?
    • If yes then try a softer flex
  • Is your ball flight extremely high?
    • If yes then try a stiffer flex
If you are new to the game of golf and you are shopping for clubs then there are 2 really good ways that you can determine which shaft flex is right for you. One is, go to a club-fitter, or a teaching pro, and get fitted. The other is, go to a local golf shop and see if they will let you demo some drivers with different shaft flexes, and observe your ball flight. Once you have hit all available shaft flexes, then ask yourself the above questions to help determine your proper flex. The next thing you will need to figure out if you want graphite or steel shafts. Hopefully this information will help you getting the proper shaft flex for your golf club sets.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Torque Advice for Beginners: Graphite vs Steel Shafts

Golf Club Components-Steel vs Graphite Shafts
Something that I was often asked about when I worked at a golf shop was 'torque'. I'm talking about torque when it comes to shafts, steel golf shafts and graphite shafts for golf clubs.

We carried a lot of golf club shafts for club-making and repairs. And we had a lot of different brands of golf shafts for sale. Some of the popular brands that we carried were: Aldila, Fujikura, Grafalloy, Graman, KB Tour, Mitsubishi Diamana, Nippon, Paragon, Rapport, True Temper, and the ever popular UST shafts.

Torque Analogy
Ok, back on topic. Now we are not talking about the torque like that of an automobile engine, however that is a good analogy, so I'm going to use it. I'm not an engine expert, so please just go along with my explanation, because I know that torque is so much more than what I am about to describe.

The engine in our cars, when revved up, twists, due to the moving parts inside the engine! Especially is the twisting evident when the engine is quickly revved at high RPM's. If the engine was not bolted to the frame, it would twist itself right out of the engine compartment. Even with the engine bolted in, the torque of the engine can cause the vehicle to move. For example, if you press the brake and the accelerator at the same time you will see and feel the car move due to torque.

Golf Shaft Torque Explanation
This sort of describes what happens to a golf shaft when a load is applied to it. We apply torque, for example, to our driver or fairway woods shaft, when we quickly go from our backswing to our downswing. The quick motion applies pressure on the shaft causing it to twist.

At this point, I need to clarify that we are not talking about shaft flex, but rather shaft twist. The twist of, or rather the torque of the shaft is measured in degrees. The higher the number the more the shaft will twist. Conversely, the lower the number, the less amount of twist.

The number of degrees range from 1 to about 8. A steel shaft falls between the ranges of 2 to 4 degrees, whereas a graphite shaft can range from 1 to 8. So you can see that a steel shaft doesn't really have much twist, whereas a graphite shaft can be extremely rigid or it can really twist a lot.

What Degree of Torque Should You Use?
Well then, that brings up a good question. What degree of torque should I look for? You really don't have to worry about shaft torque when it comes to steel, since steel doesn't really have a broad range of torque. However, if you are thinking of using a graphite shaft you will have to consider your swing. If you have an extremely aggressive swing and you release the club late, then you want a shaft with torque no greater than 5. If you have a smooth tempo then you don't want a shaft lower than 4. The majority of graphite golf shafts available today fall between the ranges of 3.5 to 5.5. Most people will do well with a shaft that falls within this range.

Hopefully this explains what torque is all about when it comes to golf shafts, both graphite and steel.

Friday, September 19, 2008

How To Hit a Golf Ball With Hybrid Clubs

Beginner Tip-The Proper Swing With Hybrid Golf Clubs
Not to long ago, I had been considering replacing my long irons with a few hybrid clubs. I went to my local Edwin Watts and demo'd a few. At first, I hit them really well, but then things changed dramatically, and I no longer could hit them consistently, and so I took them back until I could find some golf secrets that would allow me to hit 'em. I even went to a book store to see if there was a 'golf for dummies' book that dealt with learning how to hit a hybrid golf club. At the time, no such luck.

I decided at that point that I was not going to replace my long irons. But it always confused me why I could no longer hit them. I really liked the looks of them, I liked the idea behind them, but for some reason I just couldn't hit them! I can hit my fairway woods really well, so why can't I hit hybrids?! I just figured that I didn't have the natural golf swing to hit a hybrid golf club.

But then I came across a free golf tip that really opened my eyes. It has been the most simple tip that I have ever came across. According to this tip all you have to do with your hybrid club is hit it like an iron. That's gotta be it! So I went back to the golf shop and checked out a hybrid again. Can you guess what happened? I'll tell ya. I started hitting great golf shots again. I am now in love with hybrids! I started hitting that golf club better than any club in my bag. Why? Because it had to do with my golf swing. I was using more of a sweeping motion, like hitting a fairway wood, instead of a more steep swing. 

Now I just have to work on my golfing alignment and I'll definitely improve my golf score. Haha. Soon, I'll go back to the golf shop and have a custom hybrid golf club made for my swing speed. Oh ya!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Tips on How Beginners Can Increase Club Head Speed

How to Increase Golf Swing Speed 
Many golfers, including beginners, are looking for golfing tips to increase their golf club distance they hit a golf ball off the tee. In fact, many simply type in the search engines 'improve my golf swing', I know I have. One way to do that is to increase golf club swing speed. To improve golf swing speed one must understand the physics of the natural golf swing. The faster your club head is going at the bottom of your swing, the greater the amount of kinetic energy that will be transferred from your club head to the ball, resulting in the ball going a long distance off the tee. Some try to achieve maximum club head speed by snapping their wrists at the bottom of their swing, however, the results are opposite of increased golf swing speed. You end up with slower swing speed. So what can golfers do to increase their golf swing speed? You can try golf strength training!

Simple Golf Flexibility Exercises
There are a lot of online golf tips that highlight golf swing flexibility. One golf fitness program gives this drill or workout: pick a weight that is slightly heavier than your driver. Assume your golf posture, and hold the weight where you would hold your driver. Slowly start your back swing until your left arm is parallel with the floor. (Opposite if you are left handed) Now slowly begin your down swing, smoothly reaching the bottom of your down swing, and continuing on up to your follow through, only going until your left arm is parallel to the floor. Then slowly reverse the process, going back and forth about 20 times. Repeat this another 3 times.

Do this golf exercise 3 times a week for the first week, then increase your weight slightly for the 2nd week. Take the 3rd week off then start the process over again, starting with the weight you used during your 2nd week of training. For week 5, increase weight slightly again, then take week 6 off. Resist the urge to start with a heavier weight. You may be able to do more weight, but that's not what we are looking for. We are trying increase strength but most importantly this exercise is creating flexibility. By doing this exercise as one fluid motion, it helps to eliminate snapping of the wrists, and allows you to develop the golf specific muscles that are used in the golf swing. How about that for a simple golf swing secret!

Free Golf Instruction To Increase Golf Swing Speed
Try these exercises to increase your golf clubhead speed. You can continue to do these exercises for many weeks for golf improvement, but be extremely careful not to end up using really heavy weights, because this could cause injury to your muscles. Remember, flexibility coupled with strength will result in faster club head speed, thus further distance off the tee.

Continue to check back to see other tips for beginners such as golf alignment, curing a golf slice, and the proper golf grip. If you really want a golf swing analysis of your golf swing then consider golf lessons for beginners. Golf pro's can really help you with your golf game and how to increase your club head speed.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Golf Improvement Tip for Beginners

Beginners Tip to Improve Your Golf Swing
Here are some free golf tips that you as beginners can do to improve their golf game. Many experts suggests the use of golf club weights, which can be purchased at a discount golf equipment store. These weights easily attach to the end of their clubs. Or they use a weighted club such as the Medicus  Driver, or Iron. They swing the golf club back and forth slowly and repeatedly to groove muscle memory. It can also serve as a great warm up tool that a golfer can use before teeing off.
Problems Possible with this Golf Tip
The only problem with using a weight on a club, or a weighted club, to groove muscle memory and to build strength is, if you have a bad swing to start with you could really ruin your game. Most do not have the proper golf swing, nor do they have a natural golf swing. So using this type of strength training could do more harm than good.

I prefer to recommend golf lessons for beginners. Learning the game from a golf pro will help you to get the correct grip, alignment, and thus in time, learning the proper golf swing.

What's More Important: Muscle Strength Or Muscle Stretch? 
Will the weights increase golf club distance? Probably not. If you want to increase your distance off the tee try lifting weights and doing golf strength exercises that target the big muscles used to hit the ball. Such as your arms, legs, and back.

Stretching is actually more important. If you can get your body to be really limber and loose, it will help with your golf swing, with both the take away and the follow through. Do a search on the Internet to find really good online tips for golf stretching exercises which can actually improve your overall golf conditioning.

Game Improvement Tip Conclusion
Gaining strength and flexibility with your muscles will help you in your quest for a better game of golf. This golf improvement tip for beginners comes with one warning though: Always check with your doctor before undergoing any sort of golf swing exercise program! We want everyone to be safe, if you know what I mean.