Masters Cut Line | All You Need To Know

The Masters held at Augusta National Golf club in Georgia USA is one of the most iconic golf tournaments in the world. It is the first major championship of the year and golf fans see it as the unofficial start of the golfing season.

For the invited professional players, making the cut and being part of the weekend field is what playing at golf's elite level is all about. Being in competition for the coveted green jacket and a significant payday are serious motivating factors to make good scores in the first and second round of the tournament.

In this article we'll break down how many players will make the cut at the Masters, and some of the rules around the cut line. Read on to find out more.

Who Makes the Cut at the Masters?

The Masters cut rule states that the top-50 players, including ties, after round two has been completed will progress to the weekend.

If you have ever look at a golf tournaments leaderboard and been confused by what top 50 and ties making the cut means, lets give you an example.

After round two, if 49 players are 3-over par or better, and 10 more players in the field are 4-over par, the 59 players at 5-over par or better would make the cut.

Watching the projected cut line can be a nerve wracking experience for players right on the cut line who want to play on the weekend.

The precise number of golfers who make the Masters cut will change from year-to-year. It depends on how many players are tied on the cut line, and in 2021 54 players made the cut in that edition of the Masters tournament.

Who has made the most cuts at the masters?

37 - Jack Nicklaus
30 - Gary Player
30 - Fred Couples
27 - Raymond Floyd
27 - Bernhard Langer
26 - Phil Mickelson
25 - Arnold Palmer
25-  Ben Crenshaw
24 - Tom Watson
23 - Billy Casper

Who has made the most consecutive cuts at the Masters?

23 - Gary Player (1959-1982)
23 - Fred Couples (1983-2007)
21 - Tom Watson (1975-1995)
21 - Tiger Woods (1997-2020)
19 - Gene Littler (1961-1980)
19 - Bernhard Langer (1984-2002)
18 - Billy Casper (1960-1977)
19 - Tiger Woods (1997-2018)
17 - Phil Mickelson (1998-)
15 - Bruce Devlin (1964-1981)
15 - Jack Nicklaus (1968-1982)
13 - Ben Crenshaw (1980-1992)
13 - Nick Faldo (1979-1996)
13 - Raymond Floyd (1973-1985)
13 - Corey Pavin (1985-1998)
13 - Justin Rose (2003-2018)
12 - Adam Scott (2010-2021)

Masters Cut Rules Through the Years

The current top-50-plus-ties rule for the Masters cut line is pretty easy to follow, but there have been a number of variations used to work out the Masters cut line in the past.

2014-2019

In 2014 the cut rules were changed to include the top-50 and ties but also anyone within 10 strokes of the leader to play the weekend.

1961- 2013

In this long stretch of time, the cut rules allowed the top-44 players plus ties to move on to the weekend.

Pre-1961

Before 1961, the cut line was the top-40 players plus ties advancing past the first round and second round to the third and fourth rounds.

Final thought on the Masters cut line

The reason the Masters is so appealing to golfers around the world is that is gathers together a smaller field made up of only the best players in the world. If the Masters were to change its qualification rules (which is unlikely any time soon) more players could play and therefore the cut line rules could change. 

How Do I Prepare For My First Round Of Golf?

So the day is finally here. You've taken up golf, maybe been to the driving range a few times to hit some golf balls, and now you want to play on a golf course for real. Stepping onto the first tee box for the first time ever can be a little intimidating, but don't worry! I'm here to guide you through how to prepare for your first round of golf to make sure you have fun from the first tee shot to final putt and keep you coming back for more.

fancy country club in Palm springs USA

Pick the right golf course

A golf course is a golf course right? Sure, they are all places to play golf but there are some variations which will make a difference to you as a beginner player. In most countries, golf courses are divided in to public, semi-private and private. For most beginner players, you're going to want to look for a public or municipal golf course to play your first round of golf.

Here's a quick breakdown of what to expect at each type of course.

Public or municipal golf course

These are golf courses which are usually owned and operated by the town or city in which they are located. Municipals are open for all to play and are usually priced very fairly. Of course there are exceptions to this rule (Pebble Beach and Bethpage Black in the USA are both municipal courses) but playing a municipal should be an easy way for novice golfers to get into the game.

They might not be maintained to the same standards as private courses, but there will be tees, fairways and greens and you will be playing golf on a real course! Get on google to see if there's a local municipal near you and get out there!

Semi private golf courses

These types of courses are more common in the UK. Basically, the course is owned or used by members but they allow visitors to play golf by paying a "green fee." This can range from anywhere between $5 to $500 depending on the standard and location of the course in question.

Semi private courses are usually well maintained and welcoming to visitors but they aren't always the best place for a beginner golfer to play their first round. Many courses will have a handicap limit and require you to prove that you can play to a decent standard before they let you out on the links. This is becoming less common as courses struggle to get people playing but its worth checking before you book a tee time.

Private golf courses and country clubs

Private golf courses can be good and band for beginner players, depending on if you're a member or know a member of the establishment. Private courses will not allow visitors to play without being invited by a current member and so it's unlikely that this will the venue for your first round of golf.

However, if you're really keen on learning the game, joining a private club and getting lessons for the resident professional golfer is a really good way to get into the game. The pro might even do a few playing lessons with you to get you familiar with being out on the course before you play your first real round!

Play at the right time

Playing golf for the first time can be nerve wracking and lots of beginners struggle when they're being watched by other golfers. Also, playing your first round of golf will probably take a while as you plot your way around the course, hitting good shots, bad shots and everything in between.

With this in mind it's essential that you pick a sensible time of day to play your first round. 10AM on a Saturday or Sunday might sound good, but will see you on a packed course full of other golfers trying to get their rounds in. Pick a quiet weekday, or twilight weekend round (later in the day) to make sure you aren't being chased around by more established players. It's best to just dave yourself the aggro, trust me I've been there.

Play with the right playing partners

Golf is a social game and the right playing partners can be the difference between and good and bad first round of golf. My advice is to play with people who couldn't care less how you hit the ball, and will offer good company and general encouragement. The last thing you want is someone giving you swing tips while you're playing. While usually well intentioned, it will get in your head and stop you from just trying to hit the ball and get it in the hole.

If you don't have any golf buddies, playing alone is fine, but don't be afraid to ask the people in the pro shop if they know someone who will go around with you. They will often be able to recommend a nice guy or lady who will show you the ropes and understand that this your first round and not judge your golf game!

Play from the right tee box

Most courses will have multiple tees which you can play from, which vary in length. As a beginner you want to be playing the shortest possible tees you are allowed to play. Trust me, don't be a hero, golf is hard.

golfer on a tee box making a golf swing

Learn some of the rules of golf

If you're just getting into playing you don't need to play to full PGA tour level rules when you play golf. If you are playing with guys who insist on every single rule being followed, choose other golfers who are more chilled out.

That being said, knowing some of the rules and etiquette of the game before your first round is a good idea to make things go a bit smoother and so you don't look like a dork on the course.

Here are few things to keep in mind:

  • Tee the ball up in line with or behind the tee markers
  • The guy furthest from the hole normally plays their shot first (unless you've agreed to play ready golf and hitting out of turn won't put anyone in danger)
  • You can't pick you ball up until you're on the green
  • You can't move your golf ball. Some guys will "play it up" meaning you can prefer your lie to make it easier to hit, but this has to be agreed before you start playing.
  • You should only use a putter on the putting green.
  • Repair divots and pitch marks.
  • Don't talk during other people's swings.
  • Try not to walk past other golfers when they're swinging. Its good form to stop and let them hit their shit.
  • Don't make a big deal of a bad shot. Bad shots happen to everyone and shouting about it won't make it any better.

Play 9 holes

Playing an entire round of 18 holes is pretty tiring both mentally and physically, especially for a novice or beginner. My first real round was at a 9 hole par 3 course where the longest hole was 175 yards. This was the perfect place for me to get started with my game and didn't result in any lost balls or massive frustration.

Playing 9 holes is usually an option at public and municipal golf courses so give this a try before playing the full 18 on a full length golf course. It usually takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to play 9 holes depending on if you're walking or riding in a golf cart.

Have the right equipment

Obviously to play golf, you're going to need some golf clubs and other equipment. Borrowing clubs from a friend is a good way to get started and some courses will have rental sets for your to use. There are a few other things you might want to have with you to make the round a little easier and I've listed them here for you.

Golf clubs

I would recommend taking a small selection of clubs, not a full set of 14 with you. This is the set I would use for my first round:

  1. Tee club - This could be a driver, wood, hybrid or long iron, whatever you're most comfortable with. Everyone loves to hit driver but if it's causing you to lose balls, consider another option!
  2. Irons - I would have a couple of irons in my golf bag, maybe a 6 and 8 iron. These can be used on the tee box or for approach and pitch shots into the green.
  3. Wedge - A pitching wedge will be just fine for your first round and you can use this for chipping and shorter shots.
  4. Putter - This is the club you will use on the putting green to get the ball into the hole and will be the club you use the most. Read my guide here on the best putters for beginners.

Golf bag

You will need a golf bag to hold your clubs and other golf gear. Courses will usually not let you play without a golf bag, and to be honest, it would be a pain in the ass to have to carry everything.

You can get stand or cart bags depending on how you will be getting around the course. Check out my guide here.

TaylorMade Flex Tech golf bag

Golf balls

You can't play golf without a golf ball and it's with having a few with you for your first round. You can usually buy used golf balls from the pro shop at the golf course or get them online. Playing with brand new golf balls is nice, but not essential. You might lose a few balls in your first round so don't spend too much on balls.

You can put a mark on your ball with a sharpie so you know it's yours. You don't want to accidentally play another player's golf ball.

There are loads of different types of balls and you can learn more about them here.

Golf balls on a golf green

Pitch mark repair tool

When the ball hits the green, it can make a small indentation called a pitch mark. It's good etiquette to repair these this a pitch mark repair tool when you're playing to keep the putting green in good condition for you and other players.

Ball mark

A ball marker is used on a putting green top mark where your ball is so you can pick it up. The green is the only place on the golf course that you can pick up and clean your ball without picking up a penalty shot. You can use a tee or coin as a ball marker, but most players like to use something unique like one of the ball makers you can find here.

Golf tees

Golf tees aren't mandatory but they make the game a lot easier! If you using a driver, fairway wood or long iron off the tee, putting the ball on a golf tee can make it easier to make clean contact with the golf ball on your tee shot. You can also use a tee on a par 3 hole but it's not essential.

Tees are also useful as makeshift pitch mark repair tools and ball markers and can be used to clean the grooves on your irons and wedges.

Towel

Attaching a towel to your golf bag for cleaning your clubs after golf shots is something that all seasoned players will do. You can use any small towel for the job, but there are specially designed towels which are perfect for the job.

If you're playing on a dry day, make sure to soak one end or corner of your towel in a little water to make it easier to clean a golf club when it picks up dirt and grass. Dried on dirt is really tough to shift, so cleaning your clubs after each shot saves a lot of time and effort. It also helps to keep the grooves on your irons and wedges clear of debris so you can extract as much spin as possible.

Wear the right clothes

If you've watched any golf on TV or been to a golf course before, you will notice that golfers tend to wear certain clothes when playing. Dress code in golf has loosened up loads over the last few years and most municipal courses will allow you to wear pretty much anything when playing. I have written a comprehensive article on what to wear when playing golf, but here are a few tips and pointers to help you out before your first round of golf.

Golf shoes

Most courses will ask that you wear golf shoes on the course. Since the release of spikeless golf shoes about a decade ago, pretty much all sneakers are now fair game but they don't always offer the support and grip you're going to need to play golf.

The golf swing is an athletic move and involves a fair amount of effort. If you're wearing shoes with really flat soles or zero grip, you're going to slip or go off balance really quickly.

I would recommend investing in a decent pair of spike-less golf shoes if you think the game is something your going to take seriously.

Golf glove

A golf glove is not essential, but trust me, it will save you a lot unnecessary pain and will improve your golf swing. You wear a golf glove on your top hand - left for right handed players and right for left handed players.

A golf glove should be a relatively snug fit so that you hand can't move around in it too much when swinging the golf club. All pro shops will sell gloves and it's ok to try them on before you buy them.

Golf shirt

If you're playing at a club with a dress code, you will need to wear a shirt with a collar. Most golfers will wear a polo shirt made from a synthetic material to wick away sweat and keep you cool while playing. These shirts also aren't restrictive when you swing. Check out some options here.

Pants or shorts

Depending on the weather and dress code, you can wear pants or shorts to play golf. Wear whatever feels comfortable but avoid jeans and heavy fabrics which can get hot and cause the dreaded chafing all golfers try to avoid.

Hat

Most pro golfers will be seen wearing a baseball cap but this is pretty much solely for advertising reasons. A hat is always a good idea if the weather is good to keep the sun off your head, but don't feel like you have to wear one to play golf!

Socks

A full round of golf can be equivalent to walking 5 miles on some courses so wearing a good pair of quality socks is essential. Choose sport socks that will keep your feet cool and dry and make sure they're the right size! Any slipping can result in blisters which you don't want.

Have fun!

What Is Offset On a Golf Club?

Regardless if you’re an enthusiast or a weekend hacker, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the structure of a golf club. When searching for clubs, or if you plan to get a fitting, it helps to know what each part is. One big question that comes up when looking for new irons is around offset.

What is an offset in golf? An offset is a design component in the head of a golf club in which the hosel or neck of the club's head is positioned in such a way that the club face appears to be slightly set back from the club's neck. In other words, an offset is a distance between the forward side of the club head's neck and the bottom of the leading edge.

In the 1800s, Scottish golf pro Willie Smith is credited with inventing offsetting in golf. The modern offset didn't really take off until around a century later when PING engineers created the offset iron in the 1960s.

extreme offset on a driver

Pros of Golf Club Offset

Offset is a great way for the average golfer to improve their ball flight. Offset is three to smooth out some of the kinks in your golf swing and give you the best chance of hitting a good golf shot. Let’s review some of the main advantages of an offset club:

1. Squares the club face at impact

When you are playing an offset driver, this is one of the best benefits for you. Offsetting helps reduce a slice. Most golfers find it difficult to control this shot with the driver, so using an offset may be the way to straighten out your ball flight and encourage a draw.

Because of the design, your hands can get past the ball before the club does, giving you more time to square the club face up and reduce side spin. Game improvement clubs feature offset to help golfers gain confidence in their driver and irons to hit more fairways and greens.

Most game improvement iron sets will have a progressive offset, meaning that the longer the iron is, the more offset there will be. This give you maximum forgiveness for the harder to hit golf clubs.

2. It Allows You to Hit Higher Launch Angles

In that last decade or so, golf club makers and golf ball designers place importance on higher ball flights in their designs. Getting a golf club with a low center of gravity (CoG) that promotes a higher flight will help you hit shots that get up quickly and land softly. Offset golf clubs will have adjusted CoG to compensate for the reduced loft that the offset creates.

The amount of offset varies from manufacturer to manufacturer so test the clubs if you can to see how your swing will work with the offset on the clubs.

3. Straighter ball flights

For expert golfers and professional, offset isn't really a benefit for them since they would rather work their shots and shape their ball flights. But for beginners or average golfers, it’s a necessity to keep the ball straight and in play. Offsetting enhances the level of your club and helps you keep your club head square which helps you hit straighter ball flights.

4. Reduced risk of a slice

One of the most important benefits of offsetting golf clubs is that it brings a reduced risk of a slice. The square face that offset brings increases the chance of the golf ball's starting line being left of the target and reduces the possibility of hitting a booming slice.

Offset drivers will also have extra weights in the heel of the golf club to encourage the face to close through impact. This extra weight combined with the offset face design should make even the most out to in swings show an improved ball flight.

Cons of an Offset in Golf

Even if offsetting a golf club is becoming more popular, it still has its disadvantages for some golfers. Let's go through some of them.

1. More of a crutch than a cure

Offsetting golf clubs is a quick fix, not the source of the problem. Indeed, it offers a remedy and allows you to hit straighter shots, but you don’t really solve the real underlying swing issue.

Swing coaches recommend that you should consistently work on fixing your swing issues while you’re using the offset. This leads to a win-win situation where your confidence level and swing improve.

2. Increased risk of a hook

We’ve already talked about how the design of offset clubs helps them reduce slices. But they can also increase the risk of hitting a hook. For example, right handed players would usually notice that offset clubs will create right to left draw spin off the face. This can cause a hook if your swing is naturally in to out or massively over the top.

3. Over compensation

Another issue that offsetting causes is the possibility of overdoing the shot you want to fix. Although an offset can help you cure a slice because it gives you more time to correct an error, you brain might over compensate and exaggerate your swing fault.

Offset Vs. No Offset Golf Clubs

“What’s the difference between Offset or No Offset golf club?” This is one of the most frequently asked questions that golfers discuss around offset. The simple answer is that there are various differences in the design and functionality of these two golf clubs. Here, we list the differences to help you understand:

  1. Golfers can prevent slices with offset clubs. On the contrary, non-offset golf clubs do not have specific design features to help overcome slices. Rather than relying on your club’s design, some would say the best course of action for you would be to research and do the appropriate corrective swing changes to prevent slices.

  2. Due to how the leading edge of the clubface is positioned, offset golf clubs have a shaft which is set back from the face. This is visually off putting for some players. Straight shafts are present in non-offset clubs from the hosel to the top of the grip and suit the eye of more traditional golfers.

  3. The offset golf club design places your hands in front of the clubheads during shots. Non-offset golf clubs, on the other hand, are designed to do this so any shaft lean will come from your swing, not the equipment.

  4. Offset golf clubs are ideal for high handicap players or golfers who are really struggling with a slice. Non-offset golf clubs are suitable for better players and professional golfers but even they will often play longer irons with the maximum offset which suits their eye.

Should You Use Offset Golf Clubs?

Throughout the article, we’ve talked about offset and how it can influence our game. Working out if offset irons or drivers are right for you all comes down to what you want to achieve. If you struggle to square off the face at impact or if you are struggling with a slice, then offsetting your club may be the right thing to do.

If you want to improve your game in the long run, getting lessons to fix unwanted shot shapes might be better than using offset golf clubs to hide the problem.

Final thoughts on Golf Club Offset

Offset matters. It is essential for you if you prioritize guaranteeing your shots land where they should. As you can see from everything we've discussed thus far, if you want to achieve a straight ball trajectory, nothing performs better than anti-slice offset technology.

Best Winter Golf Gloves

When the days get shorter and the weather turns colder, some golfers choose to put their clubs away for a few months and go into hibernation. I am not one of those golfers. I want to play golf all year round, even when it's freezing cold.

Winter golf in cold weather requires some preparation, but once you've done it a few times and have the right gear it shouldn't be a bad experience. One thing that is absolutely essential to playing golf in the cold is the right golf gloves. Normal golf gloves won't cut it in the cold so you need to find a pair gloves (yes for both hands!) to keep you warm on the golf course.

I have tried loads of different cold weather golf gloves and I have found the best winter golf gloves for even the coldest climates. Read on and lets keep your hands warm!

Best winter golf gloves 2022

  1. FootJoy Wintersof Winter Golf Gloves (editor's choice)
  2. Callaway Thermal Grip Gloves (tech filled winter golf gloves)
  3. Nike Cold Weather Golf Glove  (Best winter golf gloves for grip)
  4. FootJoy StaSoft Winter Golf Gloves (Best premium winter golf gloves)
  5. Mizuno Thermagrip Gloves (Most lightweight winter golf gloves)

The best winter golf gloves you can get

footjoy wintersof golf gloves

My favorite golf gloves are the FootJoy WeatherSof and WinterSof are their cold weather relatives. FootJoy make great golf gloves and they really have tried to think of everything when it comes to cold weather gloves.

The WinterSofs come as a pair and feature an elongated elasticated cuff instead of the usual velcro enclosure. This is a great design choice as it keeps warmth inside the glove and allows you to take the gloves on and off easily. I found that due to the slim design, I kept the gloves on for the entire round. They were very warm and the micro fleece fabric didn't feel like it was getting in the way or too bulky. 

The gloves look really sleek and the big FootJoy log on the back reminds you that you are actually wearing golf gloves! The grippy material on the palms gives a good level of control over the golf club and I felt confident making full swings with my driver, even when there was a bit of moisture around. 

Price wise, these aren't the cheapest winter golf gloves you can get, but they are quality and will last you for a winter season no issue. With the amount I play in the coldest conditions, these will probably last for a few years as long as I look after them properly. Defintely worth the cash. 

Pros

  • Super warm
  • Fleece lining stays dry even in the rain
  • Thin for a winter golf glove
  • Excellent grip

Cons

  • Nothing major, but the tee holder is a bit of a gimmick

Loads of technology packed into these winter golf gloves

callaway winter golf glove

I've never really tried a Callaway golf glove before, so I was interested to see how these would stack up against the competition. I have to say that I was really impressed by these winter gloves and for once, all of the "tech" that the marketing materials go on about actually seemed to work! 

Callaway’s Thermal Grip Gloves have been designed with making and keeping warmth as the main focus. The gloves are pretty water proof and are noticeably wind proof which is something overlooked by other manufacturers.  The weirdly named "Digitised Synthetic leather" palm gives you great grip on the golf club which is something you would expect from a high end golf glove. The gloves also include the Opti Fit adjustable enclosure. This is actually a good design as the velcro section doesn't protrude from the gloves and snag on your layers which is vital in winter. 

Great cold weather golf gloves which look cool too. 

Pros
  • Excellent fit for winter gloves
  • Almost totally wind and water resistant
  • Soft fleece lining to keep your hands warm
  • Looks like a normal golf glove

Cons

  • Lack of elasticated cuff - can let out warmth

Great looking golf gloves for winter use

nike winter golf gloves

Yes, Nike might have stopped making golf hardware a few years ago, but they are still a leader in the soft goods and clothing part of the golf business. I really like the look of these golf gloves and they are a welcome change from the standard all black you normally get from winter models. Nike products can sometimes be hit and miss in terms of durability, but I've found these to be very robust. The seams and grip on the palm are still like new after 6 rounds and the grey material hasn't become marked or stained after playing in wet and muddy weather. 

These gloves are quite thin and aren't the warmest I've tried, even though they have a double layer of fleece. That being said, I didn't feel like my hands were too cold to play golf so they performed as expected. 

I see these being popular with Nike enthusiasts but there are probably better gloves out there for the money. 

Pros
  • Excellent grip and durability
  • Easily feel the golf club through the material
  • Stylish design - not just a black glove
  • Double fleece lining for added warmth

Cons

  • Enclosure is fiddly to use

Most premium winter golf gloves you can buy

footjoy stasof winter golf gloves

If these weren't as pricey are they are, they would be top of the list without a doubt. These are simply the Rolls Royce of winter golf gloves. A perfect blend of golf performance and cold weather comfort, the FootJoy Stasoft gloves are pretty special. They have super soft cabretta leather in all of the right places and then a very high quality fleece material for the rest of your hands. 

I wore these on a particularly cold December round of golf in the UK and I think they actually made me play better. Like their cheaper siblings, the WinterSofs, I didn't feel the need to take these off as my hands were able to regulate their temperature perfectly. They are fractionally bulkier than other gloves on this list, but I was able to use them on both hands for delicate chips and putts without any issues. 

If you want the best winter gloves money can buy, these are the bad boys for you. 

Pros
  • Premium materials
  • Look like normal golf gloves
  • Winter performance golf gloves
  • Excellent grip for cold weather golf gloves

Cons

  • More expensive than other options

Lightest winter golf gloves I've used

mizuno thermgrip golf gloves

These Mizuno Thermagrip gloves are very similar in design to the FootJoy WinterSofs at the top of this list. They have a knitted cuff to hold in warmth and mixed materials to give you the best defence against the wet and cold. 

Where they are different is that they have a traditional velcro enclosure on top of the  elasticated cuff. This gives them the look of a normal golf glove, but actually gets in the way and doesn't do much to enhance the fit of the gloves. 

They are still very good at doing what you want, keeping your hands warm, but the awkward fit makes them lose a few marks from me. 

Pros
  • Lightweight design but still very warm
  • Perform well in wet conditions

Cons

  • Not the best fit
  • Harder to take off if needed during a round

Best thermal golf gloves

 The best thermal golf gloves you can get in my opinion are the FootJoy Wintersof Winter Golf GlovesAs mentioned in the review above, these gloves have a really good amount of lightweight fleece to keep your hands warm and the elasticated cuff makes sure no warmth escapes out of the top of the gloves. 

Final thoughts on the best winter golf gloves

If you want to keep golfing all year round, then investing in a quality pair of winter golf gloves is essential. Winter golf gloves work and can make the game much more enjoyable in cold and wet conditions, so give any of the gloves on this list a try and see which ones are the best fit for you.

Do Groove Sharpeners Work?

If you've had your irons or golf wedges for a while, or if you've bought a some clubs second hand, you might notice that the grooves on the golf clubs are worn.

It's all part of normal wear and tear, but as the grooves get worn, you're going to lose the ability to put as much spin on the golf ball and this will affect distance and control.

But hold on! Before you decide to to splash your cash on a new set of irons or wedges, let’s talk about groove sharpeners and if they’re the solution for your worn-down grooves.

What Is A Golf Club Groove Sharpener?

A groove sharpener is a small golf tool that sharpens, cleans, and extends the iron or wedge grooves so that they are sharp and close to their original state.

There are commercially available groove sharpeners, as well as some do it yourself options.

groove sharpener?

Do Groove Sharpeners Work?

The short answer is yes, they do. 

When you carefully guide the groover sharpener back and forth in the indents of the grooves’ edges, they will reform and sharpen. This will increase the golf club's spin potential when you hit a golf ball.

The friction created by the grooves is necessary to create spin, and the depth and sharpness of your grooves will have a direct impact on the amount of spin you will get.  

A groove sharpener is going to work best on forged golf club which is made from softer steel.

How To Use A Golf Club Groove Sharpener?

There are usually specific instructions included with each golf club groove sharpener. Follow those instructions correctly to make sure you're using the right part of the groove sharpener for the type of grooves on your golf club. The original grooves could be square grooves, V grooves or U shaped grooves depending on the manufacturer of the golf clubs you have.

Here are some basics to keep in mind when sharpening golf club grooves: 

  • Before groove sharpening, thoroughly clean the club's surface to get rid of any dirt
  • At a straight angle, insert the groove sharpener in the grooves
  • Slide the sharpener back and forth within the grooves slowly and consistently
  • Ensure that the sharpener is straight and that the original groove shape is preserved

Watch this video on YouTube for a visual reference on how to use groove sharpeners. 

Is It Legal To Sharpen Grooves?

Yes, a groove sharpener is legal to use. BUT there is a fine line which you could cross and make your clubs or wedges non conforming.

Manufacturing standards allow for a maximum depth and sharpness of grooves. 

Golf clubs are manufactured with the maximum allowance in mind. If you modify the club and it exceeds the rules' allowances, the club will be illegal.

But if the grooves on the golf club are really dull and need sharpening, then restoring the grooves to their original sharpness is legal, you just might not know if you've made the club too effective!

How Often Should You Sharpen Your Wedges?

You should only really sharpen grooves when your wedges noticeably lose their spin.

Sharpening your grooves is a tricky thing to do and you shouldn't try and do it often. When you notice that there is a significant dulling that leads to a loss of friction between the club and the ball, that's the time you should consider sharpening the grooves.

During these times, you should make sure that you are just restoring the sharpness and groove size to its original state, not trying to over sharpen the grooves and potentially ruin the golf club.

Tips and Tricks When Using Groove Sharpeners

When sharpening grooves on your wedges in particular, you will notice an even greater difference in spin and accuracy.

Take note of these tips when you’re sharpening the grooves in your wedges: 

  • Sharpen the grooves only when you are sure that it is needed and the club face is not creating satisfactory friction and spin.
  • As you use the groove sharpener, make sure that you do so slowly and steadily, so that you don't damage the golf club and the heel and toe of the face next to the grooves.
  • Make sure that your groove sharpener is of good quality and that it fits the grooves precisely. A cheap tool will result in poor results, and using the wrong part of the tool could actually make the grooves worse!

Ideas For A Homemade Groove Sharpener

There are a lot of affordable choices where you can buy professionally-made groove sharpeners. But did you know that you could make one yourself?

There are many golfers that have created their homemade tool that works just as well and did the job. 

One of the most common Do-It-Yourself versions of a homemade groove sharpener is using a flathead screwdriver. 

There are other golfers who’ve used nail files to help straighten up the grooves. Although the nail file is softer than a screwdriver, it can still bring the same results.

Sometimes a nail file is a better alternative because it stops you from overdoing the sharpening. Remember when you pick a homemade tool, do so with caution.

It's worth pointing out that tools that aren't specifically developed for refining golf club grooves have a greater margin of error.

Groove sharpeners aren’t that expensive, so purchasing one may be the best way to ensure the sharpening gets done accurately.

Recommended Iron Groove Sharpener

The number one recommended is the GrooVex Golf High Precision Carbide Groove Sharpener

With its versatility, toughness, and easy-to-use features, it is suitable for any of the irons or wedges in your bag. 

It has a variety of length settings and is the best option for you to sharpen the grooves and not overdo them.

Recommended Wedge Groove Sharpener

For wedge sharpening, our recommendation is the HIRFOM Groove Sharpener. Its 6-blade design can sharpen both U and V grooves, and it has a comfortable and durable handle.

This is also a more affordable choice.

Conclusion

Sharpening your golf grooves can make a big difference in your game as long as you don’t overdo it. Follow this guide to to make golf groove sharpeners work for you.

FAQ

Should I Sharpen The Grooves On My Irons?

Yes, the sharp grooves will give an increased spin rate, which can increase your chances of scoring.

Are Golf Club Groove Sharpeners Legal?

Yes, it they are. But there are certain conditions you must meet such as depth, spacing, width, symmetry, and consistency so don't make your clubs illegal by accident.

How Do I Know If My Iron Grooves Are Worn Out?

The fingernail test is one of the best ways to find out. Use your fingernail and run it along the face of the wedge, when you feel roughness and irregularities, that’s when you know.

Why Do Golfers Only Wear One Glove?

I love playing golf, but something that is odd about it is all of the stuff you do, but don't ask questions about. You know what I mean, like shouting fore without knowing what it means, and taking super exaggerated care to not walk on your playing partners putting line when you know he can't putt for sh*t.

Wearing gloves for golf is one of those weird things. When you watch the old greats of the game like Ben Hogan, you will notice they didn't wear a glove, so why do we wear gloves now. And if you wear one golf glove, why don't we wear a glove on both hands?

Like most things in golf, wearing a glove is probably down to clever marketing, giving us players another thing to spend our cash on. I wear a glove on my left hand (I'm a right handed player) because it gives me better grip and stops me getting blisters. So why don't I wear two golf gloves to keep things even and possibly make things easier? Let's look at some reasons why golfers don't wear two golf gloves.

Feel

For most golfers, their bottom hand is where all of the feel in the golf swing comes from. this hand shouldn't grip the golf club too tightly and by not wearing two gloves, you can get a better idea of your grip pressure when you're playing golf.

When I'm chipping around the green or playing finesse shots, I will often take my glove off my left hand so that I've got even more control and feel. Some golfers wear their glove for every shot as it makes them feel more consistent but it's all down to personal preference.

Grip issues

I use an interlocking golf grip and if was going to wear two gloves, I don't think I would be able to grip the club properly and it would feel pretty weird. The extra layer of leather would again make it feel like I was gripping the golf club too hard and I would then over compensate in my swing and adversely affect my golf game overall.

Cost and availability

Wearing two gloves will cost twice as much as wearing one glove, it's pretty simple. Yes the glove on the bottom hand might not wear as fast as the dominant top hand, but it will still need replacing and that costs money.

A "left handed glove" (for your right hand ironically) costs the same as any other glove, but they aren't as readily available. Not every pro shop will carry a glove for your right hand, and if they do, it might not be your size or preferred brand or material.

Style

Golfers are fickle and many golfers won't wear two golf gloves because it just looks weird. I find this odd because many guys will have played baseball with two gloves but as soon as they get on the golf course it's a big no no style wise.

English pro golfer Aaron Rai wears two gloves and he looks perfectly fine, so I think those style gurus might need to just chill out a bit.

So Should You Wear Two Golf Gloves?

Feel and other issues aside, what are the reasons why you would want to wear two gloves when you play golf?

Sweaty Hands

I play most of my golf in the tropical heat of Thailand and you will not avoid getting sweaty hands here. I will usually have 3 or 4 golf gloves in my golf bag and rotate through them when I'm playing to make sure I have a dry glove for perfect contact with the golf grip.

It stands to reason that wearing two gloves would stop any sweat getting onto the grip and stop any issues with the club slipping in the golf swing. If you suffer from sweaty hands give it a go and see if it helps!

Wet, Rainy and Cold Weather

My friend Jim who plays golf in the UK has probably 6 gloves in his bag in the winter months incase he gets caught in the rain. A wet golf grip is no fun and golfers wear special winter gloves in cold and wet climates to keep their hands warm and dry on the course.

These winter gloves will often come in packs of two for both hands and are designed to be kept on throughout the round and not taken off between shots.

How do I stop getting blisters? 

Get the right grip

If don't want to wear two golf gloves, but you still get blisters on your bottom hand, getting the right grips for your golf clubs could be the solution.

There are loads of different styles of golf grips. You can get oversized and undersized grips, ones with cord in them for extra grip and other made from leathers for a really soft feeling. If you want something softer, try the Golf Pride Tour wrap grips which look and feel like leather but perform like a multi compound golf grip.

Get the best golf glove 

I've written loads of articles on the best golf gloves for all conditions. Here are two gloves which I recommend to everyone.

Best Premium Golf Glove: Hirzl Trust Control

Hirzl Trust Control Glove

Hirzl create amazing golf gloves and have sponsored the Ladies European Golf Tour. These gloves are premium and top quality. The palm is made of KANGAROO leather which is often used to make soccer boots and other hard wearing sports items. It is more durable and flexible than Cabretta leather, which is used on the back of the glove.

I have found that the more you wear these gloves the better they get. It's like wearing in a new pair of leather shoes. Once they work out the contours of your hand and get used to the warmth you're giving off, they mould to the shape of your hand like, well, a glove...

They are insanely grippy, even on the most humid days where sweaty hands are inevitable. They are like velcro to a golf club. This isn't usually the case with a leather glove which can get greasy when wet.

They're super thin and yet such a durable golf glove. I still own the same one I got 2 years ago and it's always in my bag for those really sweaty days. And get this, I just chuck it into the washing machine to freshen it up. This would mean certain death for most golf gloves! 

FootJoy WeatherSof golf glove

According to glove manufacturer FootJoy, 20% of golfers use the stalwart WeatherSof golf glove. These are the number one choice because they're so durable and come in at a great price point. I'll usually put 3 of these in the bag a the beginning of the season. They show only mild signs of wear after a few games in hot and humid conditions, and if you rotate them throughout a round, they will last for ages.

The WeatherSof has leather patches on the thumb and the meaty part of your palm while the rest of the glove is a highly durable synthetic materials.

Rain or shine: The glove works for both rain and sweat. It absorbs liquids better than the majority of gloves on the market and in Thailand's heat and rain, these are close to my first choice for the best golf gloves for sweaty hands. 

Final thoughts on golf glove both hands

There's nothing stopping you from wearing two gloves, and you should do what feels best for you and your golf game. If you have issues with your hands being sweaty or if you get blisters regularly, wearing two gloves might be the thing which allows you to play with more freedom and not worry about things outside of just getting the golf ball in the hole. 

Best Offset Driver | Tame That Slice

Beginner and high handicapper golfers can be prone to a slice with their tee shots. We've all been there, you step up to the golf ball, make your golf swing and then boom the ball flies right off the club head and keeps going right.

What is really depressing about a slice is that results in a weak ball flight, loss of distance and the potential for lost balls. This a recipe for making you want to give up the game.

But wait! There is help to be found and the Offset driver was created for golfers who cannot keep the ball on the planet and have lost the will the keep playing the game. Read on and learn all there is to know about offset drivers and how they can improve your golf game.

What is an offset driver?

Offset golf drivers feature a club face which is set back from the hosel and shaft of the golf club.

extreme offset on a driver

The reason this is done is to help players square the club face at impact. If the face is slightly behind where it would normally be without offset, it has more chance to rotate through the swing and strike the golf ball cleanly without cutting across it.

Offset drivers are also called Draw type drivers (D type) and have extra weight positioned in the heel of the club. This makes the toe of the golf club lighter, allowing it to rotate faster than the heel, again giving you more chance to present a square club head at impact.

Finally, offset drivers will have a naturally closed face to encourage the start line of the golf ball to be left rather than right. This will also decrease loft and spin on the golf ball, which are both things which can contribute to the dreaded slice.

Best Offset Driver 2022

  1. Callaway Big Bertha B21 (editor's choice)
  2. Wilson Launch Pad (best budget offset driver)
  3. TaylorMade STEALTH HD Driver  (best looking offset driver)
  4. Cobra Air X Driver (most forgiving offset driver)

Incredibly forgiving offset driver 

The Big Bertha range is back with an offset option to stop the big slices and more exciting for the higher handicapper players, there are higher lofted options.

I love the sound of a 12.5 degree driver and Callaway have done it with the B21. The face is also created by AI (artificial intelligence) to increase ball speeds which makes this a very high launching driver with very low spin. We want that to avoid the big slices and we want the high launch for more carry.

Anything that helps a high handicapper feel confident like this will allow you to move on to a different driver in the future. But start here - why put the game of golf on "expert" mode before you've built that base of confidence? 

The Big Bertha B21 can be a gamechanger for many people. It's almost a mini driver when it gets to the higher loft of 12.5 degrees, but it's a maximum 460CC in size so you're not hitting a smaller clubhead. 

On top of the forgiveness and increased distance, the looks are stunning for such a maximum game improvement driver. 

Pros

  • Draw bias helps stop a slice
  • Offset isn't that noticeable at address 
  • Lightweight shaft to improve swing speed 
  • Higher loft helps with launch 

Cons

  • Slower swings only - shafts and clubhead setup is not for quick swings

Minimal offset but this is still a draw biased driver

Wilson Launchpad Driver

The 460CC head on the Launchpad driver can be adjusted to lofts of 9, 10.5 and 12 degrees. Whether you swing it fast, slow or medium, you can adjust it to create more height and carry.

Wilson's Launch Pad driver has an ultra-thin face to generate much faster ball speeds for which in turn produces longer carries for more distance. They've maxed out the sweet-spot for increased forgiveness and their is a hint of offset to encourage that club face to close at impact. 

This club is super light. The lightweight materials in the head, shaft and grip all add up to a crazy low 272 grams. this means you can generate some serious club head speed with this bad boy in your hands. 

Don't be fooled into thinking that because of the low price that this driver is no good. 

Wilson have been around for years, only being overtaken in the modern era by the brands with bigger marketing budgets. Top players like Gary Woodland still game their clubs and they make high quality equipment. Wilson are always a sleeper pick but currently also produce some of the nicest putters and wedges I have tried. 

Pros
  • Super low price
  • Has a real high end look and sound 
  • Offset is subtle but still stops the slice
  • Super light construction for more speed 

Cons

  • Balls speeds aren't the highest but it's made up for by the lightweight 

Crazy long distances from this carbon faced monster 

Taylormade STEALTH HD Driver

The STEALTH caused a massive buzz in the equipment world due to its RED carbon face and (outlandish) ball speed claims. What's not up for debate is that TaylorMade consistently produce some of the best drivers with every new release and the STEALTH is no exception. 

The HD (High Draw) model is one of the first TaylorMade drivers targeted at the slower swinger and those struggling with a slice. The carbon face is 40% lighter and lot and shaft options make it easy to find you perfect combination. 

The club really is a head turner on the course. The red face is a talking point and the sound of the face is supreme, as you expect from TaylorMade. The TaylorMade STEALTH HD comes in 9°, 10.5° and 12° lofts and can add a new dimension to your tee game. Adjust the loft and you have a driver that can be 12.5° and 14° drivers if you please. There are no complicated set ups, just pick it up and smash.

Pros
  • Super long 
  • Lightweight face
  • The Inertia Generator increase clubhead speed and therefore distance
  • Goof loft options for lower swing speeds 

Cons

  • Price - higher than most
  • No adjustable weights in the clubhead

Best low spin high launch hybrid clubs

Cobra air x driver

Everything about this driver is geared toward maximizing swing speed. The shaft is light, the head is light and the face is forgiving. In the Air X range, there is also a draw model with an offset shaft. This will help you to correct a slice.

The best part of this range that Cobra releases is that these clubs are just dead simple to hit. They come in 9.5 and 10.5 degree options. That may sound a bit low, but the tall face and large footprint of the driver helps to get that ball way up in the air.

Brian, from the Golf Sidekick Youtube channel used to play with the older model of this driver to learn to hit driver. He struggled a lot with standard drivers but after playing this one, he learned and then moved onto the Cobra Speedzone and eventually a G410. That's the power of using a simple driver like the Cobra Air X. You get confidence to hit the ball solid, then upgrade when you stripe the pipe. 

Teaski, my sister, also enjoys her Cobra Air X but hers is in the women's clubs. The idea is the same though. Light and fun, easy to hit with a maximum forgiveness and high handsome ball flight. It's a no-brainer whenever someone wants a 'first nice driver'.

As a stickler for alignment aids not being distracting, this one is a perfect improvement on a Ping crown. The top of the club at address subtly helps to keep the club aimed where you want to go. 

The ultralight construction is designed to give you more speed in the downswing but what it also does is give you the feeling of not needing to hit the ball so hard because it is just so light. This gives you rhythm and with rhythm, you increase swing speed sub-consciously. 

Pros
  • Great price for a premium club
  • Offset is there to help with that slice 
  • Nice alignment aids on the crown 

Cons

  • Not adjustable - choose the right loft for you 
  • Aimed more at beginner players 

Offset Driver Vs Draw Bias Driver?

Offset and draw biased drivers are basically the same club. The word "offset" can put some people off so manufacturers started to call clubs with an offset "draw biased" to appeal to more people.

A draw biased driver will always have some offset built into the design to encourage that right to left ball flight (for the right handed golfer). TaylorMade make a draw biased version of their drivers call the D-Type and it has a clean and sleek look, as most of the draw tech comes from internal weighting. You don't need to play an ugly golf driver to get rid of a slice.

Are Offset Drivers Legal?

Yes. Any offset driver made by a major manufacturer is legal. The golf club will be on the USGA conforming clubs list and is therefore permitted for tournament play.

Pros of Offset Drivers

Here are some of the common pros of having an offset driver:

  • Less side spin
  • More upright lie angle encourages a better start line
  • Club head weighting to close the club face

An added bonus of using a club with a specific purpose is that it actually makes you swing with more confidence. More confidence will mean more club head speed and hopefully more distance and more fairways found on your golf course. 

Cons of Offset Drivers

If you use and offset driver and you actually don't need one, it's going to cause you unnecessary problems.

If you have an in to out swing path, the offset driver is going to cause a massive hook unless you aim way out to the right. Hooking the ball is not fun (trust me) so if the ball starts to go left on you, think again.

Many tour pros will actively seek out a fade biased driver to prevent uncontrollable hooks from happening on the golf course.

How To Hit An Offset Driver

There is not secret to hitting an offset driver. The whole point of the club face being offset is that it corrects any issues with your swing and how your are delivering the face at impact.

You should only be using the club if you struggle to square the face, even after lessons and coaching. Swing as you normally would and watch the offset driver do its thing.

Final thoughts on offset drivers

Golf is really tough game. So many guys quit because they cannot shift the slice from their swing and I'm here to tell you that it's OK to get as much help as possible from your equipment. Get an offset driver, make your swing and enjoy the game. Over time you will improve and things will be golden. 

Overlapping Vs. Interlocking Golf Grip – What should I use?

The golf grip is one of the games fundamentals along with the stance and ball position. Looking for the perfect golf grip can be a long and excruciating search. To help you out, let’s talk about two of the basic golf grips: the overlapping grip and the interlocking grip.

Overlap golf grip

The overlap golf grip is sometimes referred to as the Vardon grip. This golf grip takes the right pinky finger and places it on top of the gap between the index finger and the middle finger on the left hand.

This grip is usually for people with larger hands and people who need to control their grip pressure. Some think that they are less likely to experience hand irritation or blisters when they use the overlap grip.

Some pro golfers such as Ben Hogan, Phil Mickelson, and Arnold Palmer have used the overlap grip through the years. Although this seems to be the more popular grip, don’t miss out on the interlocking grip.

interlocking golf grip

Interlock golf grip

Contrary to the overlap grip, the interlocking grip is for people with smaller hands. An interlock grip is when your right-hand pinky fits between the index and middle fingers of your left hand. The idea behind this grip is to get your hands to work well together.

Interlocking golf grip pros and cons

Some of the cons of using this grip are that you end up gripping the club too tightly. Some people also feel that this grip feels funny and creates friction between the fingers.

One thing about the interlocking grip is used by Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. When you feel like the interlocking grip is too much, be comforted by the names on our side.

What is the best golf grip: Overlap or Interlock?

This question is one of the most significant debates in golf. There are teaching professionals that swear by the interlocking grip and would judge you for trying to use an overlap. But the reality is that you should pick which of the two grips allows your hand to sit neutral on the club.

Between the two grips, you need to pick one that ensures you can release the golf club and stay connected throughout your swing. There is no sure way to say that one is better than the other, although it is recommended that people with small hands use the interlock and those with larger hands use the overlap. In the end, it still depends on you.

The Baseball Grip – What is it and What are the Benefits?

The baseball grip is also known as the ten-finger grip and is one of the most basic club grips. This grip is often taught to children when they first begin, as it makes it simple for them. But as they grow older, remember to transition them away from the ten-finger grip.

When adult players use the ten-finger grip baseball grip, their hands don’t have anything that forces them to work together. When this occurs, it can lead to a lot of hand action in a swing. This can cause a player to swat at chip shots or grip the club too tightly.

For senior golfers who feel pain in their hands when using interlocking or overlapping grips, they can switch to a ten-finger grip. But they should make sure to watch the overall grip pressure.

Can I switch my golf grip?

If you’ve been playing with the interlocking grip for a long time and want to switch to overlap, that’s alright. But don’t ever think of switching back and forth between rounds or between seasons – that is a big mistake. Your grip is your connection to the golf club. Pick one and commit to it. Work on perfecting either the interlocking or overlap grip and don't fall down the rabbit hole of trying to find the perfect neutral grip.

What is the best grip to use for putting?

There are three main types of grips for putters: the reverse overlap, the claw, and the cross-hand. The goal of putting is to get your hands out of the way. The more large muscles you can use in your putting stroke, the more reliable your putts will be.

One of the popular grips in recent years is the claw, but for the amateur golfer, the claw grip can be difficult. What is recommended for amateurs is the reverse overlap.

The reverse overlap is having a finger or a few fingers from the left hand overlap the right. This comfortable putting grip does not take long for a golfer to learn.

What if an interlocking golf grip hurts my pinky finger?

One common complaint with the interlocking grip is that it hurts your pinky. Some solutions to this would be wearing a golf glove or simply easing up on the pressure. For right handed golfers, you want to have the handle of the club more in the fingers rather than the palm of your hand and that will reduce the pressure on your pinky finger.

How do I work out what is the best golf grip for me?

The only way to determine which golf grip will work best for you is through trial and error. Start with the overlap if you are a novice golfer with large hands. If you're new to golf and have small hands, start with the interlock.

As you keep playing and experience your swing strengths and start to develop your skills, you can better decide which grip is fit for you. The most essential thing to look for in a grip is anything that allows you to lay your hands on the club consistently.

You don't want to have to adjust your grip every time you acquire a club. Choose something that is both comfortable and effective, and stick to it.

What is the best golf grip for a draw shot?

The overlap grip makes it easier to draw the ball because this grip makes it easy to release a golf club. When you release the golf club, take the clubface and turn it from open to square to closed.

The club face is usually turning towards closed for you to hit a draw. It is easier to get to this release point with the overlap and that makes a big difference in the game. Interlocking golf grip for small hands

Final thoughts on interlocking vs overlapping golf grip

One thing that is certain, and that every golf professional will tell you, is that the grip is essential to your golf swing. If you do not perfect the grip, you cannot move on to swing mechanics and other higher-level stuff. Make sure that you are fully prepared for every swing and upgrade your golf game.

Best Illegal Golf Balls 2023

Illegal golf balls are a controversial thing in golf for obvious reasons. Playing with them in a competition is cheating but what about using them for a casual round on your own or with friends? We know that golf is a hard game, so why not get a little bit of extra help from non conforming golf balls to boost distance and improve accuracy?

I'm a golf ball nerd, and I've played all of the balls in this list so you can be sure that the feedback I'm giving you is genuine. There are a lot of wild claims made by the manufacturers of illegal golf balls and many are total BS. Let me guide you in your choices and make sure you're getting the most from your money.

Best Illegal Golf Balls 2023

  1. Polara Self Correcting 2-Piece Golf Balls (editor's choice)
  2. MG Golf balls  (best for seniors and golfers with slower swing speeds)
  3. Kaede Fly Distance Golf Balls (most unusual illegal golf balls)
  4. Bandit Maximum Distance Golf Balls (best of both worlds illegal golf balls)

These golf balls really do work - long and straight!

polara straight golf balls

Ok, these illegal golf balls are the real deal. I picked up a dozen to play with some non conforming clubs as an experiment and I was just blown away. I literally couldn't hit a shot with ANY shape, they just went arrow straight and at least 10-15 yards further than my normal golf balls. If you struggle with a big hooks and slices off the tee, this is definitely the golf ball for you.

The secret of this illegal golf ball is that you have the line the seam up with the target. You can do this on every shot to give you a perfect ball flight, but it will be illegal in tournament play. Polara claim that they reduce unwanted shot shapes by 75% and that its definitely what I saw on the golf course.

The dual core 2 piece construction feels along the lines of a Srixon Soft feel and I was impressed with the greenside spin and control. Off the the putter they felt firm but not unpleasant.

Pros

  • They go arrow straight on every full shot
  • Durable two piece construction
  • Looks and feels like conforming golf balls
  • Way more fun than legal golf balls 

Cons

  • They are a bit pricey, but you may never lose one! 

Perfect illegal golf balls for senior golfers

mg senior golf balls

These illegal golf balls from MG were specifically designed to increase distance for senior golfers who have had a drop in swing speed as time catches up with them. Balls designed for seniors will also help beginner golfers who struggle with their strike or players who have naturally slower swings so if you fall into any of those camps, these could be a great option for you. 

What makes these balls illegal is that their initial rebound velocity off the face of the golf club is not conforming to USGA standards. This is the only ball sold by MG which isn't legal, so make sure you're buying the ball you want - whatever that may be! 

If you hit the ball under 250 yards (which is most people to be honest) these balls will give you up to 20 yards more distance - or so the marketing materials on the box say. I swing the club too fast for these balls, but my friend Fred has a respectable 90mph driver swing speed and found that these balls went like sh*t off a shovel! He wasn't getting 20 yards more, but he was seeing at least 10 extra yards on drives and found that the ball felt extremely hot off the face. 

On finesse shots greenside the ball does OK - it has a decent surlyn cover but it's not going to rip like a Pro V1. Off the putter it feels hard, but we have to remember its a distance ball.   

Pros
  • Perfect for senior players 
  • Budget friendly pricing 
  • High visibility neon design 

Cons

  • These just fall out of the sky for faster swingers 

Weird looking golfs balls but they go long

kaede fly golf ball

I've included these strange looking illegal golf balls in this article because they are something completely different. I've never seen anything like this on the market and I had to see if they were a gimmick.

The unique dimple pattern on these Kaede fly golf balls is meant to reduce drag by 19% over standard golf balls, which is said to lead to big increases in carry distance. I teed these up on a normal round in Thailand where carry distance means everything due to the soft fairways. I have to say, I didn't notice any real difference in how far the ball flew, but I did find that they had a much lower ball flight that normal. 

This lower ball flight could be good or bad for you depending on how you normally hit the ball. I did find that they weren't very durable and the strange dimple pattern scuffed up really easily, especially when playing out of the bunker.  

There are much better golf balls on this list if I'm completely honest! 

Pros
  • Unique design and colors - like nothing else out there 
  • Lower ball flight 
  • Added distance through reduced drag

Cons

  • Not ideal for short game controlNot very durable
  • Very expensive 

Best of both worlds - flight correcting and long 

bandit maximum distance golf balls

The box says that these are the worlds longest (illegal) golf balls. Now, I can't verify this claim, but I'm going to keep this review nice and short. They are very, very long. They aren't the complete package like the more expensive Polara golf balls, but damn, for the price you really can't go wrong with these. 

You playing partners will not know what has happened to your game when you start bombing perfectly straight drives down even the narrowest of holes!  

Pros
  • Decent performance for the price 
  • Good combination of flight correction and additional distance 
  • Pretty durable 

Cons

  • They sounds like a pebble 

A history of illegal golf balls

First and foremost; what is an illegal golf ball anyway? Most golf balls are made with strict adherence to PGA rules and standards. For official tournament play, the PGA does their best to make the playing field as equal as possible.

This means no gear whatsoever that can give a player an unfair advantage. And illegal balls are just that – an unfair advantage. Of course, it's only unfair if you are competing in an official amateur or professional tournament.

Outside of these official settings, “unfair” translates to a lot of fun. The reason these kinds of balls are typically banned is that they are manufactured to give you more distance. Some balls also help correct hooks and slices on their own.

In fact, some illegal balls can add as much as 15 yards to your shots. Of course, there are a couple of hitches with illegal balls. While they are a blast for casual play, they won't do anything to improve your game. In fact, if you use them too often, they could actually hinder your game.

Secondly, the added distance and slice correction usually coincides with a lack of playability on the green. Most people use them for distance and to get straighter shots in the long game. So if you are in fact in the market for a ball of this nature, take a look at our list.

Final thoughts on best illegal golf balls

If golf is about having fun for you, and you aren't going to be playing in a load of official tournaments then using an illegal golf ball isn't going to do anything bad for you. Tee any of the balls in this list up and you're going to be the envy of your playing partners. It might also improve your game and you just learn to trust your golf swing and not try and steer the ball.  

Why Do Golfers Shout Fore?

The sound of a fellow golfer yelling fore should be something most regular players are familiar with. For those new to the game, it can come as a surprise to hear a fore call, but it's a sign that an errant shot has been hit and that there could be an incoming ball!

When I hear a shout of fore I normally duck and cover. There are no man points for getting knocked out by a rock hard Pinnacle on a Sunday morning.

A golfer should shout fore if they have hit a ball off line on the golf course to warn other golfers that the ball could potentially be heading in their direction and give them enough warning to take evasive action.

Here are some key reasons why golfers should shout fore.

golfer shouting fore

Why Should Golfers Yell Fore?

It is proper golf etiquette to shout fore if you hit a shot which could potentially land close to or hit anyone on the golf course. Golf is a really tough game, and golfers will be aware that bad shots happen and be ready for a shout of fore, it shouldn't come as that much of a surprise. Always shout fore, even if you think that there aren't any players near to where the ball will lands, it's just safer to do so.

It's Proper Golf Etiquette

Golf is a game of tradition and respect. One of the keys to good golfing etiquette is to try and play without having an impact on the groups around you. It might then seem counter intuitive to be shouting "Fore" at the top of your lungs, but this is the only time you're really permitted to make a lot of noise on the course as it could be the thing which stops that errant shot hitting another player.

Golf Balls Are Dangerous

A golf ball hit with a driver can be travelling at speeds around 140-150 mph. It doesn't take a genius to work out that getting hit by a hard object like a golf ball at those speeds is potentially very dangerous. You could be knocked unconscious or worse, and if you're lucky enough to not get hit on the head, you will have a massive bruise as a souvenir.

When should you shout fore?

You should shout fore whenever you believe you golf ball could land near another person on the course. This could mean a member of the greens staff, another player, or perhaps someone walking their dog on a public footpath. If in doubt, shout fore!

What To Do When Another Golfer Calls Fore In Your Direction?

When people hear fore on the course, their immediate reaction is to turn and look at the direction the shout came from. This is a bad idea. Any golf ball coming your way will be travelling at serious speed and with a trajectory you won't be able to predict. If you did manage to track the flight of the ball, it might still be travelling to fast for you to get out of the way in time. The best thing to do when you hear fore, is to crouch down and cover your head. If you are near some cover, like a tree or even your golf bag, you could shelter there, but don't do so if you have to move around too much.

Fore Right. Fore Left

I've never really understood the need to add right or left to a fore shout. Whose right or left are we talking about? A simple and loud call of fore should be enough for anyone in harms way to take the necessary cover before the ball lands.

Putting an arm out to signal a direction might be useful, but again it requires people to he able to see you! You might see pro golfers do this, but they have loads of people in the galleries watching their swing so it makes more sense.

Why Don't Professional Golfers Shout Fore? 

It has become a bit of a hot topic in recent years as to whether pro golfers should yell fore or not. To me it's simple, YES they should. I don't care how many marshalls or forecaddies there are on the courses they play, there's just no excuse not to shout fore.

Sure, they might be frustrated with their shot, but it'll get a lot worse if they hit a spectator who had no warming the ball is heading for them. Bryson Dechambeau used to be guilty of not shouting fore when hitting a bad shot, but he's since made a point of yelling fore.

In Thailand where I play a lot of golf, all of the caddies shout fore, sometimes even when the ball is going to land in the middle of the fairway! Me and my playing partners still make a point to shout fore too, even though we know the famous caddies siren is about to go off.

What does fore mean in golf?

For has been a documented golf term for a long time. It was recorded in the Collins dictionary in Scotland as far back as the 1800's.

There's speculation that the word fore comes from the military, where Artillery men would shout ‘Fore' to warn infantry in front to drop and cover. It could also come from an abbreviated use of the term "fore-caddie" who are people responsible for watching where a golfer's shots went on the golf course. Golfers would shout "fore" to warn the caddie to look out for where their ball is going to land to prevent lost balls. Golf balls used to be even more expensive than they are now, so paying a fore caddie made economic sense!

Final thoughts on why do golfers shout fore

Shouting fore should be a central part of any golfer's knowledge of etiquette. Forget walking on other people's lines, if there's one thing you remember when playing golf, it should be to shout fore when you hit a poor golf shot which could hit other players. A wayward shot is pretty much guaranteed in a round of golf, so be a considerate golfer and shout fore when you can. 

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