If you're new to the game of golf, you have probably heard the term par before but used in a different context. People will often say something like "that's par for the course" when talking about a certain standard or level. So what does par mean in golf?
According to Merriam-Webster, “Par” is the score standard for each hole of a golf course. Every hole on a course is given its own par rating which is defined by a number of factors. Most golf courses will have a mix of par 3, par 4 and par 5 holes. The total par value for a 18 hole golf course will usually add up to 72.
Par is also loosely linked to the length of an individual hole. Typically, longer holes require more shots to complete, therefore the par for these holes is greater in comparison to holes with fewer yards.
How does par work in golf?
Par is the standard that golfers try to achieve. It is important to note that par is a score which an expert golfer or professional golfer would be expected to make on that individual hole. Most golfers expected score on a hole could be anywhere from 1 to 3 shots over par depending on their golfing ability and experience.
Is a par good in golf?
If you're making pars on the golf course, you are playing to a high standard. Golf is an extremely challenging game and getting the golf ball into the hole is really difficult. Professional golfers will make mostly pars when playing a complete round. Recreational golfers making pars regularly should be proud. A scratch golfer would be considered to be playing to a par score regularly.
How many shots you need to take to make a par score will depend on the golf hole in question. Most golf courses will consist of par 3, par 4 and par 5 holes. On a par four for example, an expert golfer is expected to take two shots to reach the green, then take two putts to get the ball into the hole.
If they were two take one stroke less this would be a birdie. Two strokes less and it would be an eagle!
What is par-70, par-71 and par-72?
You could be led to think that this means a very long hole, but it is actually the total of all the par values for all the holes on an 18 hole golf course. Most regulation golf courses will have a par between 69 and 72. A par 72 course may have four par-3 golf holes, ten par-4 golf holes and four par-5 golf holes.
What is par in golf for 18 holes?
Par over 18 holes is usually 72 strokes. Some course may be as much as par 74 or 73. There are executive courses which could be a lower par, from par 54 to par 69. Most professional level golf courses will have pars between 70 and 73.
What is par in golf for 9 holes?
Half a round is usually the 18 hole par divided by any random 9 holes could have a par anywhere between 27 and 38.
What does par 72 mean in golf?
Par 72 means that the 18 holes on that golf course should be playable by a scratch handicap in 72 strokes.
What does par 3 mean in golf?
Par 3 is a short hole with a maximum length of 250 yards which the scratch golfer should complete in 3 strokes.
What does par 4 mean in golf?
Par 4 is a hole with a length between 251 yards to 470 yards which the scratch golfer should complete in 4 strokes.
What does par 5 mean in golf?
Par 5 is a hole with a length between 471 yards to 690 yards which the scratch golfer should complete in 5 strokes.
Scoring relationship and par
If you have ever watched golf on the television, you will have heard the golf terms "level par", "even par", "under par" and "over par."
These are used to describe a player's scoring relationship relative to par. For example if a player plays the first hole of a golf course, (a par 4) in for shots, they would be level par or even par through one hole. If they then made a hole in one on the next par 3, (unlikely) they would be 2 under par.
You probably heard of the term “par for the course.” It’s basically an idiomatic expression derived from golf which usage is equal to that of “normal”, “expected” or “common.” Like in golf, par is the expected/normal number of strokes. So you could use the phrase to describe a similar situation, event or behavior.
What does under par mean in golf?
Under par means the golfer scores a number of strokes into the hole, less than the number stipulated on the scorecard. The names for these scores are birdie, eagle and albatross.
On a par 4, that would be 3 or fewer strokes.
On a par 5, that would be 4 or fewer strokes.
On a par 3, that would be 2 or fewer strokes.
Over 9 holes, you can add up a score and be considered 'under par' if your total score is below the total number for par on that nine.
Over 18 holes, you add up your score and be considered 'under par' if your total score is below the total number for par on that course.
Scoring an "eagle" in golf is not an easy thing to do. It is a score which is usually made by expert or professional golfers.
Scoring an "eagle" means to get the ball in the hole in 2 strokes under par for that golf hole.
Still interested to know more about what an eagle is and how you might score one? Let's dive in.
How many golf shots do you need to score an eagle?
We know that an eagle corresponds to getting the ball into the hole in 2 under the par of that hole. Therefore to score an eagle, you would need to have the ball in the hole in:
One stroke on a par-3 hole
This is normally called a hole in one and is extremely rare! Pretty much a miracle golf shot.
Two strokes on a par-4 hole
Usually a result of a holed approach shot or chip in. In golf terms this is still pretty rare but can happen on shorter holes.
Three strokes on a par-5 hole
Most eagles are made this way. Hit the ball off the tee, second shot hits the putting green, hole the putt.
What shape is used for an Eagle on a scorecard?
Two concentric circles are used to represent an eagle on a scorecard or a PGA Tour overlay.
Where does the term eagle come from?
The basis of the term eagle is linked with the other ornithological golfing term “birdie.” An eagle is a big rare bird or "big birdie" and is thus considered to be less common and better version of a "birdie." It's one of many golfing terms which we need to learn.
How rare is an eagle in golf?
I've been playing golf for 25 years and I've made a few eagles, but not very many. When you watch the PGA tour, you might be fooled into thinking that eagles are easy to make - this isn't the case, it's a rare occurrence.
Getting the ball onto the green in two strokes on a par 5 or one shot on a par 4 in extremely difficult and requires you to hit it the ball a very long way. For most golfers, it is a significant accomplishment to make a par or birdie on a given hole so don't be hard on yourself if you don't make an eagle!
How do you make an eagle in golf?
As we have covered, making an eagle probably means you are an expert golfer or the golfing gods have been smiling on you on the golf course. For an average golfer, their best chance at an eagle might be a hole in one on a par 3 (which is still very rare). But don't give up, let's look at some ways you can maximise your chances of scoring an eagle.
Learn to hit the ball further
Making an eagle on a par 4 or 4 will most likely require you hit the ball over 250 yards with your tee shot. If the wind direction is in your favour and you can can take advantage of any natural terrain and fast fairways you might be able to do this without hitting the gym. In reality you need to have some strength to get the ball to travel that far. Get up on to that tee box and be prepared to rip it!
Be confident with long irons and fairway woods
Do you know your carry distance with these clubs? To make an eagle you need to be hitting the green on a par 5 in two shots, so you need to know how far your long clubs are making the golf ball fly. On longer holes, your second shot will be landing at a flatter angle so you need to be aware of this as it makes holding the green a more difficult task.
Lower your expectations
An eagle is a very rare bird! Such a score is rare and if you go chasing eagles, you will be bringing bogey, double bogey and maybe even triple bogey into play. In scoring terms, a few birdies is probably more likely and healthier for your card than one eagle. Be patient and take your chances.
What Is A Double-Eagle In Golf?
If an eagle is rare then a double-eagle is its even rarer sibling. The latter means a score of 3-under par on the hole, which, only when possible, is done on just a par-4 hole or a longer one.
Par-4s require you to shoot a highly unlikely-to-succeed hole-in-one. Par-5s call for holing your second shot. And this, once again, is also extremely uncommon. You also cannot score a double-eagle on a par-3 hole because it’s impossible for any golfer to even think of aiming for 3-under par on this type of hole.
What Does It Really Mean When You Score An Eagle In Golf?
You’re sure to become a golf legend if you can make eagles all the time. No doubt, this would boost your confidence levels to a whole new height. And talk about crushing your fellow golfers and competitors!
The higher the number of eagles you achieve, the lower are your scores in golf. Hence, better chances of actually winning that game. When you make an eagle often, consider yourself to never again be termed as an ‘average golfer.’
What’s Better Than An Eagle In Golf?
That would be double-eagle or albatross – a continuation of birdie and eagle in golf. So albatross or double-eagle is 3-under par. And it’s supposed to be an even more infrequent or rarer occurrence in the game of golf, hence even more celebratory.
You shoot into the blind green with no idea where the ball has landed. And then you assume it’s gone off to the right somewhere. But maybe the golf ball managed to make that hole-in-one on par-4, also called scoring a double-eagle or albatross.
What About a Condor?
It doesn’t stop at the double eagle. You can also go a step further and achieve a triple eagle, otherwise referred to as a “condor”. When it comes to the term “condor” in golf, it essentially refers to scoring four under on a hole. That said, a condor is only viable on a 5-par or 6-par hole.
A condor shot is one of the least likely scores in golf, although some people achieve it. To score a condor, you would have to make a hole in one of the 4-pars or score in just two strokes on a 6-par. Needless to say, this isn’t something that happens often, and while you can strive for it, you may want to start at a single eagle shot.
“Birdie” is one of the scoring terms you will often come across when playing golf. There are many words and terms you will hear out on the course, but birdie is one of the most exciting as it means you might be playing well!
Why are good shots in golf named after birds? How many shots does it represent? How do I make a birdie? We will cover these questions and many others in this article. Let's take a deep dive into the meaning and definition of the “birdie” term and maybe you can learn how to make one and lower your golf score too.
What is a "birdie" in golf?
If you've ever watched or played golf you will have heard the commentators or golfers talk about "birdie." No, they aren't talking about fluffy things with wings, they are using a real golfing term. According to golf.com, "A player makes a “birdie” when he uses one fewer strokes than the par of the hole."
Let's break this down using an example from the golf course. We are on a par 4 hole. The aim here is to get the ball into the cup in 4 shots, to make par. If you manage to get the ball into the hole in 3 shots, this would be 1 under par for that hole and called a birdie. If you were on a par 5 hole and took 4 strokes to hole out, this would also be a birdie. Am I making sense?
Why is the word “Birdie” used in golf? Where does it come from?
Despite the game being invented in Scotland, we have American golfers to thank for the word birdie being used in golf. It come from the American slang “bird” which is apparently used to described something that is great, cool or wonderful. To all the Americans out there, please can you confirm this is the case?
However like all things in the long history of golf, there are competing accounts of the exact origin of the phrase. The one story which has gained the most traction is from the Atlantic City Country Club in New Jersey back in 1903. This event is referenced on the USGA website as the definitive first use of the term birdie, and is attributed to golfer AB Smith. The Atlantic City Country Club have a plaque on the apr 4 second hole to commemorate this moment.
By 1913, the term had crossed the Atlantic (from Atlantic City) to the British Isles by Bernard Darwin.
How can I make a birdie?
There is no feeling quite like making birdies on the golf course. Standing over a birdie putt, knowing that you managed to get the golf ball this close to the hole makes you proud, but it's also nerve wracking. I've been playing golf for 25 years and I've made birdies on many different golf courses. This is how you can make birdies too.
Get your golf ball in position
Most recreational golfers won't be making birdie from the rough, dense trees or water hazards. You need to choose your golf club wisely. A driver isn't always the best option. Finding the fairway with your tee shot is the first step to a golf score under par.
Target shorter holes
On any given hole, the shorter your second shot is, the more likely it is that you will be closer to the hole with your approach. It makes scoring easier. A seasoned golfer will look at the score card and use strategic planning to target these holes as potential birdie holes. A par 3 will provide good birdie chances, but your first shot will have to be a good one! A par 4 less than 350 yards could provide opportunities, as could a par 5 under 450 yards.
Practice your putting
Most golfers won't be left with a tap in birdie putt. Most professional golfers make their birdies from long range and the secret is that they are really good at putting. Mastering the putter is something even beginners can get good at, so find a putting green and practice.
An expert golfer will hope to make 1 or 2 birdies in a round of golf. This will be mixed in with pars, bogeys, double bogey and worse! If you are getting to the green one stroke less than par, then you're doing great. If your number of strokes is way above par, don't be hard on yourself. The game of golf is a really tough. On most holes you may not get the chance to make a birdie, so take your time, find the short grass and enjoy your time on the course. A good score will come.
Ask for advice
If you're struggling to get the ball in the hole, seek guidance from a PGA professional or even your playing partners. They will have also been on the hunt for lower scores and will be happy to help you improve your golf game. Watching someone scoring a birdie after you have given them a tip is a great feeling.
In 1990, the USGA and R&A came together and agreed on the weight and diameter of the golf ball that is in use today. They agreed that a balls should have a minimum weight of 1.62 ounces and an inch diameter of 1.68. Golf ball size has remained the same for over 30 years.
Golf equipment manufacturers have made this the standard golf ball size, regardless of what type of measurement system is used in different countries.
But how did we get to this standardised ball? Some will know that the earliest golf balls used feathers, tree sap, and wood and that now the more modern two piece and three balls use man made compounds like Urethane and rubber wound cores. Older golf balls, known as a British ball, can be found with a diameter less than 1.68 inches, as some golf balls, pre-1990s, had a width of 1.62 inches.
Let's go back in time and look at the history of golf ball size. We’ll take a look at how far the golf ball has come over hundreds of years to become the modern ball we all know and use every time we play a round of golf.
The history of Golf Ball Size (British Ball to American Ball)
British Golf Ball - The Original
At the dawn of golf in England and Scotland, players used hard wooden golf balls usually on links golf courses. The firm wooden balls were difficult to control, and golfers switched over to what was known as the featherie in the 18th century. This new golf ball was far softer than the wooden golf ball, because they had feathers inside them, covered with a leather exterior. They were, however, too costly to produce. Imagine losing two or three of them a round!
The featherie was also not always round so when players hit the ball, knowing the ball flight was a lottery.
The new ball that players used was made with materials extracted from a former British territory in Malaysia. This ball was called the "Guttie" made from the dry sap of the Malaysian sapodilla tree. This ball was easy to make in quantity, could be reshaped when damaged, and cost much less than any prior version of the featherie ball.
American Golf Ball - Closer to today's ball
Once the guttie was the standard issue ball in England, a man from Cleveland, Ohio, created a new ball no one had ever seen before, turning the market on its head. This ball gave birth to the modern golf ball we are used to today. It was made with rubber threads almost like elastic bands, around a rubber ball shaped core.
That round core of rubber was covered with a material which was still used into the late 90s and early 2000s - balata. Material for the ball started coming from Central and South America and the Malaysian sapodilla was abandoned. Balata covers are made of balata sap, from the balata tree found growing in Central and South America.
The balata outer layer was soft and created backspin. In fact, if you haven't hit a balata covered golf ball, you have to try find some on eBay and give them a whack to see how much they spin. Dimples were finally introduced because of the malleability of the new cover which is the key to a predictable ball flight flight. Without dimples, the ball squirrels all over the place. The springy nature of the core of this new American golf ball increased distances the ball could be hit.
Balata balls were the golf standard for Tour quality golf balls even up to the Professional 90 and 100, as well as the Tour Balata golf balls by Titleist. Surlyn however, became a very popular material and is found surrounding most 2-piece golf balls currently on the market. It's a compound of a few materials and is much more durable than balata. Balata balls are known to split or deform, showing pimples on parts of the golf ball that strike hard surfaces. The rubber surrounding the core would snap and create a pimple on the cover.
Surlyn lowered spin rates and also lasted much longer, providing a straighter ball flight on a ball that could be used for many rounds. A balata ball would need to be replaced every few holes. Now everyday golfers had a more economical and fun ball to play.
Key Differences Between the British and American Golf Balls
The American ball, by USGA (United States Golf Association) Rules, must reach a diameter of 1.680 inches and not exceed 1.620 ounces, or 45.93 grams. Until the 1990s, the British governing body, the R&A, allowed the standard use of golf balls less than a diameter of 1.68 inches. These smaller golf balls were nicknamed as the “British ball” by professional and amateur golfers.
Standard Golf Ball Size Today - The Rules
What is the diameter of a golf ball - and the weight?
A USGA-legal golf ball must have a diameter of 1.68 inches or 42.67 mm. Its weight must be a maximum of 1.62 oz. or 45.93 grams. These standards have been set by the USGA for America and by the British R&A, that governs golf in Great Britain and Northern Ireland and beyond.
A golf ball found to be heavier or larger than these standard diameters or weights is considered against the rules by the USGA and R&A, and golfers playing these balls will be disqualified from tournament competitions.
There are numerous golf balls on the market which game the system. They are of course not allowed in competition, but the general rule is that if the ball has a smaller diameter, it will go further. I have a few golf balls from a company called Zeus Impact and the golf balls are marked as 'non-conforming' on the pack so you know they are too small and against the rules.
In 1952, there were two sizes of the ball standardized: the smaller British ball had to be bigger than 1.62 inches in diameter and weigh less than 1.62 ounces whereas the larger American ball was to be no less than 1.68 inches in diameter and had to also weight less than 1.62 ounces. The difference is small, but the smaller golf ball flew farther and straighter than the larger ball. American players who went to play in the British Opens would change to the small golf ball during those tournaments because of the advantage.
In September 1970 both sides of the ocean tried to find consensus to use a 1.66-inch diameter golf ball. After 3 years of talking and negotiating and arguing, the idea was withdrawn in 1973.
In 1974, The R&A made the 1.68-inch ball mandatory at their Open Championship. The Royal and Ancient only outlawed the smaller golf ball in 1990. All this arguing over the size of a golf ball. Madness.
There is no standard when it comes to the number of dimples on the surface of a golf ball. Equipment manufacturers can implement technology to create as many dimples as they want, although the small size of the golf ball prevents more than around 500 at most. The famous Titleist Pro V1 golf ball has 392 dimples.
Old Titleist Pro V1 golf ball with 392 dimples.
Differences Between two Piece, three Piece, and Multi-Layer Golf Balls
Two-Piece Golf Ball
Two-piece golf balls are 42.67 mm in weight and 1.68 inches in diameter. They consist of an outer cover layer usually made from Surlyn, and a smaller interior consisting of one solid core made from a plastic compound.
These two-piece golf balls offer more distance because they are usually harder than other balls, providing better compression for players with slower swing speeds. The 2-piece golf ball is the most common ball found on the market for average golfers. It's cheap and durable so they last very long, as long as you don't lose them.
Three-Piece Golf Ball
Three-piece golf balls have the same standard 1.68 inch and 42.67 mm width, and the same weight at a maximum of 1.62 oz. These balls have three parts; the cover, the small inner core, and a third layer between the cover and core. It sounds complicated but it's not - the core and 2nd layer are basically the same item just defined by different densities and colors.
The cover is almost always a urethane cover on a 3-piece golf ball. There are surlyn golf balls with more than one inner core but generally, you find the 3-piece is used by golfers who want more spin performance so they have a urethane cover.
Three piece balls are becoming more and more affordable for players, providing enhanced levels of control and spin for golfers of all standards. The price of manufacturing a Titleist Pro V1 which is the most expensive ball on the market is ridiculously cheap - something like 10c.
Multi-Layer Golf Ball
A multi-layer ball offers more options for skilled players. These balls combine softness, spin control, and exceptional distance while adhering to the minimum rules on size and weight. Like 2 and 3 piece balls, these golf balls offer the same diameter, 1.68 in. or 42.67 mm and heft, 45.93 grams or 1.62 oz.
The ball has several smaller inner layers that surround a smaller core. The way these layers interact with the club face when the ball is struck can produce unique ball flight characteristics which are needed by better players. Professional golfers like Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Bryson Dechambeau all use Multi-layer golf balls. Imagine how good the old greats like Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus might have been with this technology available to them.
Questions and answers on golf ball size
Are all golf balls the same size?
Yes, for tournament play, the golf ball has a universal standard that must reach 1.68 inches, or 42.67 mm, in diameter, and a weight of no more than 1.62 ounces, or 45.93 grams.
This weight and diameter of golf balls is optimized for golfers to provide the most ball velocity and distance possible, along with a controllable spin rate. The diameter of modern golf balls is designed to work well with the size of the cup or hole on courses at 4.25 inches.
There are however quite a lot of manufacturers, especially in Asia that produce non-conforming golf balls. These golf balls are smaller, so they fly straight and further. The balls I have used are made by Kasco, called Zeus Impact. They must have had fun naming that golf ball.
Then there are other manufacturers like Callaway who make the SuperSoft MAX golf ball which are slightly bigger than the standardized golf ball. It's a mere 3-4% larger but it's supposed to promote distance and control.
When did the golf ball change size?
The golf ball has changed sizes multiple times over its history, but the standard of 1.68 in. and no more than 1.62 oz., were set as the minimum measurements in 1990. The R&A wanted the British ball to stay at 1.62 inches in diameter for their own rules of golf.
As the game increased in popularity in the USA, the size became universal after a compromise Manufacturers soon adopted the technology to create these golf balls to this size for the open market, so amateurs could play with the same ball as the pros.
What is the size of a golf ball in centimeters and mm?
The golf ball size in centimeters is 4.268 cm or 42.67 mm in diameter. For playing equipment, this standard is equivalent to 1.680 inches, as every golf ball must meet that minimum to be legal to play in tournaments.
The size of these golf balls, as approved by the rules of golf authored by the United States Golf Association, or USGA, is uniform because this specific weight and diameter provides the best velocity and distance for all playing conditions.
Golf ball weight
For a golf ball to be legal it must have a weight of no more than 1.62 ounces, or 45.93 grams.
Why is a golf hole 4.25 inches?
In 1891, the British R&A rules governing body established the 4.25-inch diameter for a golf hole. Before installing these regulations, the size of the hole was larger, up to six inches in depth in some instances. The hole is this size to make the game difficult yet possible to hole out from a distance.
Anyone arguing that the hole is too small will have a tough time. The point of golf is for people like us to try something difficult and overcome the difficulty with the hope of those perfect shots that go in the hole. Golf has been going strong for years and years with the 4.25 inch cup so it won't stop now.
There has been chatter about making the hole bigger for weekend players and casual golfers. Some courses will cut bigger holes for some fun tournaments. There is also a game called golf soccer where the holes are cut big enough to contain a number of soccer balls. The question you have to ask is, will a bigger hole actually make people score lower?
There is no real talk about changing the 4.25-inches for professional golf by either of the two governing bodies.
What is the volume of a golf ball?
Because the USGA and R&A allow a ball to have a diameter of 1.68 inches, when you calculate the volume of a ball, the answer of the volume of a golf ball is 2.48 cubic inches or 40.68 cm3. The number of dimples and how deep they are can also reduce that volume though.
Circumference of a golf ball
The circumference of a standard golf ball is approximately 68 millimeters (2.68 inches) as per the regulations set by the United States Golf Association (USGA). However, there can be slight variations in the exact size of a golf ball produced by different manufacturers.
The size of a standard golf ball is approximately 4.27 centimeters (or 42.7 millimeters) in diameter, as per the regulations set by the United States Golf Association (USGA). The circumference of the golf ball, which is the distance around the ball, is approximately 13.42 centimeters (or 134.2 millimeters).
The size of a standard golf ball is approximately 42.7 millimeters (or 4.27 centimeters) in diameter, as per the regulations set by the United States Golf Association (USGA).
Final Thoughts on Golf Balls Size
The golf ball is a confusing thing so we hope to clear the info up for you through our lists of golf balls and explanations in further detail about the nature of the balls, how they react to being hit, how they react to landing. The golf ball is such a talked-about topic and knowing some history about it can help you understand just how good we have it nowadays in terms of costs and benefits of the golf ball.
It's standard for everyone now and we can play anywhere under the same regulations on the ball.
It sounds simple, take the putter back on a straight line and then follow that line back though the ball but often our putter is not suited to this stroke. Using a putter designed for an arc-style putting stroke makes it much harder.
The solution to this problem could be in the putter you’re using. Blade putters look good but will show up any glitches in your stroke. Switching to a mallet design could help you hole more putts and get the Big Dick Energy of a putting maestro.
Let’s take a look at a few different models to see if we can find the best putter for straight back and through stroke in your game.
This is a great putter. Simple. It is counterbalanced meaning the balance point of the club is closer to the hands which is ideal for a straight back and through stroke. The head has a matte black anti glare finish and features simple alignment guides which match up perfectly with the centre aligned shaft.
The double milled CNC face feels amazing - even with harder distance balls. This is a hard putter to beat for the price!
A really interesting design which gives centre shafted fans a blade option
Yes, the Truss design looks a bit strange, but it is there to add supreme stability to the club head throughout the putting stroke. This bladed version of the Truss line looks AWESOME down at address and you don’t notice the extra metal near the shaft at all.
This is a super premium product and everything about it looks and feels quality. TaylorMade says the Truss design can reduce head rotation but 70% in the centre shafted model, so this could be the silver bullet for straight back and through putters who are struggling for consistency. Worth a try if you have the budget!
No frills mallet from probably the best in the business
If you don’t like the idea of a centre shafted putter but want the stability of a mallet, you can’t look past the Odyssey White Hot Pro 2.0.
The White Hot Pro 2.0 has a white urethane face insert, which provides golfers with a soft and receptive face allowing the putter to have similar characteristics to that of a hard-faced putter but with much more feel and forgiveness.
The Eyefit alignment systems make framing the ball simple and the black finish rounds out the sleek look. A solid option for any golfer.
Tour Edge makes excellent value products with premium features. I am a huge fan of their fairway woods and was interested to try this putter out. It’s packed full of technology and the weights can be adjusted to suit your putting stroke.
This putter has a super high MoI but it doesn’t feel like a sledgehammer in your hands. The alignment aid on the top is different to many designs out there but I really liked how it focused my attention on the ball. It was pretty obvious when you were misaligned, and combined with the centre shaft it was perfect for my stroke.
The Odyssey #7 is an iconic putter shape and with the EXO features it includes all of the latest technology Callaway has to offer.
This version is claimed to be 50% more forgiving than the standard Seven which when combined with the centre shaft and Microhinged White Hot face , make this putter a seriously gameable option for players with a straight back and through stroke.
It’s on the pricey side, but with Odyssey, you know you’re getting a quality piece of kit which will deliver round after round.
Factors for picking a Straight Back and Through putter
Your putter is easily the most important scoring club and that's why i focus so much on the short game in my videos and articles. You use the putter every round, on every hole between 25 and 45 times depending on your skill. Hopefully you move toward the 25 putts benchmark and not higher than 34 or so.
The putter keeps you in the game if you're having a bad ball-striking day and takes you low when you're hitting it close.
How to match putting stroke to putter style
Most golfers fit into a two styles of putting stroke. Remember there isn't really a putting swing, it's a different motion:
Straight Back and Through - A face-balanced putter will be best for the straight back and through stroke. The putters mentioned above are good for Straight Back Straight Through strokes.
Arc Stroke - You want more weight toward the toe of the putter because this type of stroke means the toe will actually come around almost like a full golf shot. These are usually putters like blades where the toe hangs down below the heel when you balance it on your finger.
Mallet or High MOI Putter
Mallets often behave more like a blade often. They have a longer back section for alignment but they have been taken over by the High MOI putter such as the Spider, some putters from Odyssey and also Scotty Cameron. The differences between the two are somewhat noticeable in the shape alone but there are some tech differences.
The mallet is smaller than the high MOI putter. The mallet can be face-balanced but often has toe hang. This can affect your ability to keep the head and face square in the straight back and straight through technique. Often the High MOI putters are face-balanced.
Shape and Weight of Putter Head
The feeling in your hands and the look at address you prefer is completely subjective. I can't tell you which you should like more but I have some suggestions.
Shape - when you look at the putter behind the ball, you want to feel like it is easy to align. The rear of the putter alignment aid should be long and clear enough for you to know your face is aimed at your target. The overall shape whether square, round, or weirdly shaped is up to your taste.
Weight - your tastes my vary to mine, but for quicker greens, I prefer a LIGHTER putter or a mallet. For slower greens, I prefer a HEAVIER putter or a HIgh MOI putter because it gets the ball moving with very little effort. On slower greens, you want to have the ball rolling assertively without much 'slap' or 'hit'. On quicker greens, you want to stroke the ball with minimal effort but maximum feel.
Best putter shaft for straight back and through stroke
There are 3 types of shaft to choose from on putters and each will have its own characteristics and suitability for a straight straight stroke.
Double Bend Shaft - The face of a putter with a double bend shaft rotates much less. The double bend is probably your best choice for straight back and through putting. It minimizes potential errors in your wrist or hand action by preventing the twisting of the face. You'll be able to start the ball on line very easily.
Plumbers Neck - This type of neck is where the shaft ends and the putter begins with a 90° angle into the club head. The club face is set moderately behind the connection to the hosel. It encourages having your hands in front of the ball at address with minimal effort. This type of hosel typically has some toe hang. It will suit you if you sometimes take it back straight and follow through straight and sometimes use an arc.
Center Shaft - The center shaft is my choice for straight back and through putting. You do need steady hands and must be sure your stroke is pure enough not to rotate the face because it is now set right in the middle of the head. You can really become a steady, straight back, straight through putter with this shaft and if you can get the stroke consistent, you can be sure of every putt starting right on line. If you have a slight arc in your stroke, this is not for you.
The alignment aid is a huge factor so that you can be confident that your putts are lined up to where the ball must go. If you ever doubt your alignment, you have lost the ability to putt correctly. Commitment and confidence is key. There are many putters out there with multiple alignment aids on one putter and these are your best bet if you're not a natural at lining up. If you're really confident with your natural alignment, you should choose a putter that just suits your eye because you're one of the lucky few.
With a straight back and straight through putting stroke, you will be a machine on the greens. You do need the correct putter so that you groove good habits. If you practice enough, and use the correct tools for the job, you can start the ball on the line you intend and after some time, you will get the feeling of the pace with your new putter. I hope this guide helps you find the best putter for a straight stroke.
TaylorMade produce the most popular drivers on tour. In the age of hybrid club deals, where professional golfers can pick and choose what golf clubs go into their bag from any manufacturer, TaylorMade regularly come out as favourites.
For starters they are constantly innovating and adding new tech to their lineup, and their products offer a nearly infinite level of adjustability.
But what is the most forgiving TaylorMade driver? Are they suitable for players of all skill levels? Let’s take a look at some of their golf drivers and see.
The new STEALTH from TaylorMade looks pretty much like a TaylorMade SIM MAX or SIM 2 MAX but with some subtle but significant differences. The sole has been simplified and the new colors are red and black, like they were in the M range of TaylorMade clubs.
The black finish with matte crown makes this club look really neat and compact behind the ball. The first thing you notice about this new STEALTH driver is the depth of the face. Yes the face is red, but honestly, it's way less bright than the promo photos you will have seen of this club. Also, unless you're playing a super high lifted version with the face wide open, you won't even see much of the face at address.
The club looks the same size as the SIM 2, so how did TaylorMade manage to make the face deeper and more forgiving? The answer is in the new lightweight carbon material the face is made from. This weight saving mean there can be more material put into he face without making the driver illegal. The new carbon fiber face also makes it feel like golf balls explode off the club, it's a great feeling!
Site contributor Joe hit the STEALTH at the Belfry in the UK with the stock Project X Smoke shaft and was blown away by how easy it was to hit. He had the Cobra F Max in his bag and was struggling with hitting the ball high in the face. The deeper face of the STEALTH turned those hits into centre strikes out of the sweet spot with the same swing and tee height. He also noticed in increase in clubhead speed. It was like cheating. He now has the club on order.
Definitely the most forgiving TaylorMade golf driver the OEM has ever produced.
Now an older model, the TaylorMade SIM max driver straight out the gate impressed with the matte color charcoal gray crown. The muted gray top line looks so much sleeker and BOSS than the chunkier versions found on the older models.
Inertia Generator is the name they gave to the bulky thing in the back. You have to see it from the rear to fully FEEL it. When you see someone else holding the club behind the ball, you automatically get a feeling of power. It almost looks like a jet exhaust on a fighter plane. What it means is that when you get to hit with the club, that vision of power is in your mind.
That's the mental, but the physical is that it's supposed to reduce drag on your down swing. Whether that works or not, nothing takes away from the immensely powerful figure it creates behind the ball. I also felt like this feature helped me feel where the sweet spot was in my swing, allowing me to just grip it and rip it.
If you have ever hit a TaylorMade driver, this is much the same as the prior models. I see no difference in performance on the golf course other than the confidence that the underside of the club gave me. Truly, that mental improvement alone is worth the money involved for a potential upgrade.
The TaylorMade Gloire line of clubs was specifically created for Asian markets and released in 2012. Don't ask me how to pronounce it. This is some fandangled language!
These clubs are expensive, but they do contain features which aren’t found in the standard TaylorMade models. This Gloire driver is straight point and shoot. There's no fiddling with weights or shaft options for changing the lofts. The low centre of gravity in this model will suit players with slower swing speeds who struggle to get the ball airborne.
You'll find the same Speed Slot and Twist Face in the Gloire series but there is no Inertia Generator as found in the latest STEALTH and SIM models. In terms of looks this club most closely resembles the excellent M4 driver and might remind some players of the legendary TaylorMade RBZ. As the Gloire is a premium line, you can be sure that each golf club has been built to the highest standards.
If you want to stand out from the crowd and add some distance to your drives, this is the club for you, especially if you have a steady or slower swing speed.
I played this driver for some time on my channel and I loved it. But like all drivers, I moved onto another model. During its time on my channel, I hit some big dogs with it. It's a good driver.
The weight adjustment is useful as you can control the flight left and right and up and down. The only negative is this thing gets FULL of turf after a round of golf.
Once you have your settings dialed in, don't mess around with them both on the shaft and on the bottom of the club with the weights. The Speed Slot and Twist Face are still major features of this club. For the M5 and M6 they added speed foam into the face to take it past legal limits, then bring it back(?).
If you're in the market for a more budget friendly option, this one will be like a much cheaper STEALTH HD. The reason I would go for the STEALTH HD always is purely because of the sole design. The STEALTH gives me so much confidence because of that.
But if you like a solid, no frills looking driver, the M5 is a delicious piece of machinery available at bargain prices.
Adjustable for endless possibilities for your golf ball flight
Lightweight and punchy face for more explosive impact
Good from the high toe and low heel
Hot face with big sweet spot
Lots of turd gets caught in between the little edges and nooks and crannies on the sole
What makes a driver forgiving?
If you are looking to buy a forgiving new driver it can be a bit intimidating, especially if you're a beginner. There are so many brands, features and options to navigate.
What we want to focus on is choosing the club which has the most forgiving features - designed to reduce bad shots. Golf brands want to sell their clubs to as many players as possible. To do this they have designed drivers which are easy to hit, promote straight shots, and make the game more fun to play.
Drivers used to made from materials like persimmon and steel. Their shafts were very heavy and heads very small. With the introduction of new compounds like titanium and carbon fiber, manufactures could make bigger, easier to hit heads. Now big drives were an option for everyone! Here's an in depth look at some of the common terms associated with driver forgiveness.
Moment of Inertia
MoI increases the forgiveness of a driver through perimeter weighting. It means that any off center hits are less likely to twist the face and cause a drive to go wildly offline. The higher the MOI the more forgiving the club head. An increase in MoI will also lead to a larger sweet spot. All of this should lead to a good shot being the outcome.
Forgiving drivers will give you the ability to get he ball into the air more easily. For higher handicap golfers with moderate swing speeds, we want the golf ball to be in the air for as long at possible. This will give it the best chance to fly as far as possible.
Increasing your launch angle will increase forgiveness but it has to be combined with a positive attack angle. Here, we are trying to reduce excessive spin which will prevent roll out on drives.
If you want forgiveness in a driver, forget anything below 11 degrees of loft. Yes there will be exceptions to this rule, but the average player won't be able to successfully hit an 8 degree driver. You need the optimum loft for your swing speed and face delivery. The lower the loft, the harder it will be to square up the face at impact.
Ever hit a low drive which falls out of the sky quickly? Check your loft! You may be playing with a driver which has far too little loft for you. If in doubt, go and see a PGA professional or qualified club fitter and hit some balls with a different driver. If you take one thing away from this guide, playing the correct loft should be it.
I would approach adjustable drivers with caution BUT they can give you options to increase forgiveness. The weights and loft can be adjusted to adapt to your game as it changes. I would always suggest getting a club fitter or PGA pro to make adjustments. Then put the wrench away!
I saw a professional fitter and he moved the weights in my TaylorMade driver into the back and perimeter of the club head. This immediately created a more forgiving ball flight. May people have the weights too close to the club face to chase "low spin." This concept has become an obsession with the industry but it is completely misunderstood. Lowering spin on drives can help to keep them straight and add roll out, but spin is what gets the ball into the air. We need to find the optimum position of the weights in our club, combined with the correct loft to give us our desired launch conditions.
Center of Gravity
This can get really confusing but let's try and simplify this concept. For a driver to be forgiving, the club's centre of gravity (CoG) and sweet spot needs to be low and back in the driver head. This means that the club is doing everything it can to promote a higher launch angle and positive angle of attack.
As we have seen with the above points, these are essential to hitting better drives which go higher and farther.
Shaft flex and material
This is another key feature for a forgiving driver but be very careful. Shafts can become a rabbit hole which we can fall into and never come out of.
As a rule of thumb, the slower the swing, the more flexible the shaft needs to be. The idea here is that we want the shaft to help us square the club face up at impact. If you swing slow with a very stiff shaft, you will have to time every part of the club's delivery perfectly to make pure contact with the ball.
Shafts marked, A, R or Lite will be the most forgiving for the vast majority of golfers. All of the main brands will provide these options with their clubs.
It's really not a thing these days, but avoid steel shafts in your woods. Some better players may put them in (rarely) for their own reasons but we need the help provided by modern multi material golf shafts.
Overall TaylorMade makes very forgiving drivers. You can't really go wrong with any that have been made in the last 4-5 years. If you're trying to break 100 or 90, these could be the drivers to but in your golf bag.
The Gloire is great golf club for slow speeds, and any of the others are great for every speed, depending on the shaft you use and if it's right for your swing.
The additional settings on the lie and loft as well as the weights under the club should be set up with a club fitter or a PGA professional and from there, you really can't go wrong. As always, give your golf equipment the attention it deserves.
If you're looking for a forgiving driver and you have any doubt in your mind, get the new STEALTH big stick, it really does live up to the hype.
Playing in the cold is for die hard golfers. I’m a fair weather player, but there is something appealing about a round on a cold, crisp winter day when the sun is shining. So I asked Joe, a subscriber to help me with this article. He is from England and he is mad. Joe is also able to give a real insight into the best golf balls for cold weather.
Wearing warm clothing and the right shoes is essential, but have you considered your golf ball? Playing the best cold weather golf balls is an important factor when trying to play cold weather golf.
What to look for in a cold weather golf ball
Cold weather means that the golf course will be playing differently. In some parts of the world, temporary tees and greens can be in use and bunkers out of action. The turf is likely to be soggy and the air heavy with moisture. There can be leaves on the ground, obscuring your golf ball in the rough. All of these things will act to make golf a different game in these weather conditions.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when looking for the best golf balls for cold weather.
Here is a quick rundown of what we should be looking for.
Cold, wintery conditions are tough on balls and they are more likely to scuff. We need to choose a golf ball which can withstand the cold weather elements and perform round after round.
Speed (best distance golf ball)
Cold air is denser than warm air and creates additional drag on the golf ball. For every 10 degrees drop in temperature, the ball loses two yards of distance. We must choose a winter golf ball which maximises every MPH of club head speed in cold temperatures.
Visibility (best colour golf balls for winter)
Light can be low in cold, wintry conditions and balls can get plugged or obscured by leaves in the rough. Choosing a brightly coloured winter golf ball can be the difference between losing a ball in the semi or finding it.
A premium ball with a soft cover isn’t going to add much to your game in the winter. Save your money for the summer season and choose a more economical golf ball for your low temperature rounds.
What makes this such an attractive winter option is the use of the fastest material Titleist can create in the ball’s construction. This golf ball flies really high in the colder air and I found that it wasn’t overly affected by the windy conditions.
As you would expect from a Titleist ball, there were no issues with durability, even when playing out of wet bunkers and soggy lies. Around the greens this ball performed really despite being harder than other balls in the range. It doesn't feel like a two piece ball, and has the softer feeling you'd associate with a more expensive golf ball.
The yellow ball is my preferred color option and I was able to pick it up really well on a misty February morning. The side stamp decal was really useful for lining up putts. It's not a Pro V1, but would you notice the difference in cold damp conditions?
Premium urethane option which ticks all of the boxes
If you crave the soft feel of urethane but don’t want to risk scuffing or losing a super premium golf ball, this might just be the golf ball for you. I found this ball to feel very similar to the TP5 and performed really well even though my swing speed was slower than normal due to the amount of winter clothing I was wearing.
The ball was stopping dead on the softer greens and gave me the confidence I needed to fire at the pin. On short wedge shots the ball skidded in the dew once before checking up near to the hole. Off the putter, the ball has a good feel, soft but with enough resistance to give good levels of feedback.
Available in yellow or white, this would’ve taken the top spot if it were slightly cheaper.
I’ve used and reviewed the Bridgestone e6 before so I was interested to see how they would perform in cold conditions. I have come to expect a golf ball that goes long and straight but isn’t super soft.
It turns out this combination is PERFECT for cold weather and wintery conditions. The two piece construction and low compression allows this ball to fly in the dense air and the unique Dual Dimple pattern reduces sidespin making the ball super stable in the wind. The 2021 e6 Speed is an improvement on older models and the yellow version is particularly striking and easy to follow.
Ok I’ll level with you. When I pulled these out of the sleeve, I wasn’t expecting much. The matte finish reminded me of my go-to Volvik Vivid, but something wasn’t sitting right. Was it the colour? Anyway, long story short is that these are EPIC. Ignore the fantastical claims on the box and let the golf ball do the talking because these things produce BOMBS!
This could be the stealth contender for one of the best golf balls for cold weather. They come in a silly low price, they are available in lots of colours and they are consistent in the cold, dense air. This is everything we’re looking for from a cold weather ball.
This is a 3 piece ball so they did spin well around the green and felt very soft which was a surprise considering how far they flew. The ionomer cover meant they were super durable. I will definitely be keeping some of these in my bag.
I love Volvik balls. I regularly game the Volvik Vivid so I wanted to try out the ViMax as I’d heard they offered similar performance at a slightly lower price point.
Volvik ViMAX Soft balls have a 2 piece construction, 75 compression and high launch with soft greenside spin. This ball felt slightly harder than the Vivid, but the matte finish and high visibility color made it feel very familiar.
This ball felt hot and long off the driver with a medium ball flight. With my long irons this ball went so high, I was glad that I had selected the red finish as I might’ve lost it! Spin on and around the greens wasn’t the most I’ve experienced, but I was playing on pretty moist surfaces. In the summer these would probably suit a player who prefers to roll up their chips and pitches.
Great visibility due to matte finish and color options
Perfect for slower swingers - 75 - 90 MPH.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some of the most common questions about cold weather golf balls.
Does Cold Weather Affect Golf Balls?
Yes, it does. The temperature of the weather affects your golf balls a lot. The material of a ball has a thermal reaction. It can expand and shrink due to the high and low of the weather.
Do Golf Balls Go Shorter in Cold Weather?
Yes, they do. Cold weather can make the golf balls go shorter. Cool air can drag the ball more and make it launch higher and can’t fly far.
Why Do Golf Balls Go Farther in Warm Weather?
Golf balls go farther in warm weather for some reason. First, the warm air is less dense than the cool air. It does not add any extra drag to the ball. Second, both your ball and clubs are colder, so your energy transferring process is slower and inefficient.
How Much Distance Do You Lose in Cold Weather Golf?
According to Trackman Golf, you can lose one yard in every 10-degree lowering in temperature. It means you can lose about four yards if you play on a 50-degree day compared with playing on a 90-degree one.
Is It Legal To Warm Golf Balls?
No, it isn’t. According to USGA rules, warming a golf ball artificially is illegal (rule 14-3 or 13.5). However, you can put a ball in your vest pocket to warm it trickly and legally before using it in a round.
What is the longest golf ball in cold weather?
The longest golf ball for cold weather is the Bridgestone E6. BUT this ball is better suited to average to below average swing speeds. Higher swing speeds will get more distance from the Titleist TruFeel or TaylorMade Tour response.
In cold weather conditions we want a golf ball with a compression level which will allow us to get the most out of our swing. As a rule, the slower your swing, the lower the compression of the ball needs to be. We must not confuse compression with golf ball hardness, the can go side by side but are different things. Compression refers to the inner core whereas cover hardness refers to how hard the golf ball cover actually is. For example you can have a low compression ball with a very hard cover (common in some cheaper balls) and high compression balls with very soft covers (Pro V1 X for example.)
Cold weather golf is a brave mans sport. You need to be super keen and have a stock of hand warmers for your pockets. You want to have durable and high visibility golf balls that will still go a decent distance. Remember, playing the best golf balls for cold weather is an important factor when trying to tackle difficult conditions.
The threat of losing balls, not finding them for no apparent reason and also the lack of distance will render most golf balls the same. Go cheaper, go colorful, and good luck!
Your golf bag should be something that doesn't get in your way. You need to be focusing on your shots, and have the clubs easily accessible, without snagging, tugging, twisting and goddamn it! That damn thing won't come out! That's where the best 14 way golf stand bag comes to the rescue.
Then you pull the inner lining out of the bag and have to tuck it back in, all while losing your temper. No thank you! That’s where the best 14 way divider golf bag can come in to save face so you don't have to be huffing and puffing in front of your buddies. A safe place for every club with minimum effort. Simple. No tangling, no frustration, no kicking the bag!
Sun Mountain make some of the best golf bags out there and the 4.5 Ls 14-Way doesn’t disappoint - everything about this bag screams quality. It weighs in at 5.2lbs, which is on the lighter side for a bag with this many features. The 14 way divider works as expected but as a bonus, each divider runs the full length of the bag, NO MORE tangled grips!
The 4.5LS 14-Way Golf Stand Bag features Sun Mountain’s adjustable, E-Z Fit Dual Strap System with padded straps made of three-layer foam construction. These are some of the most comfortable shoulder straps out there and the back padding is also a premium touch.
When it comes to storage, this bag really takes things to the next level. There are 9 pockets in total including;
- Gigantic clothing pocket - Easy access hydration pouch - A super cool velour-lined valuables pocket - Multiple accessory pockets for tees and balls
Another premium feature of this bag is the inclusion of a speaker pocket, full umbrella sleeve, and integrated alignment rod holder. Sun Mountain really has thought of everything! One of my pet peeves with stand bags can be the folding legs. When these are bad they are really annoying and can lead to bags falling over. The legs on the Sun Mountain 2020 4.5 Ls 14-Way are no problem at all. When extended they are solid and the enlarged foot pads mean they won’t sink into soft ground. Another cool feature is a velcro strap to hold the legs in place for travel/storage or when using a cart.
The bag comes with a rain hood which works perfectly and makes sure you keep things dry when the bad weather arrives.
The Callaway Fairway 14 Stand Bag has been designed to be used in a variety of settings. It’s definitely one of the most versatile Callaway golf bags.
The OptiFit straps and X-Act Fit strap system are really comfortable, making it a great carry option. The bag also has ample storage and a sturdy structure, meaning it will also work as a cart bag, especially with the bottom of the bag not featuring a sticky outy lever system.
The 14-way divider top allows for easy club separation and organization, while the pocket design has been updated from previous models to increase storage.
You can fit all of your gear in the different sections with room to spare. In fact, there’s more storage available on this stand bag than you’ll find on some cart bags.
This is an excellent crossover bag that’s ideal for golfers who like to mix it up between carrying, using a push cart and taking a cart - which is ever increasing on a lot of golf courses these days.
Reliable and durable - everything you expect from a PING bag
The PING Hoofer series is synonymous with reliability and has been a go to for golfers for years. Even people who don’t play PING clubs will use a PING bag because they are that good.
PING claims to have invented the collapsible leg design found on most carry bags and the version the Hoofer doesn’t disappoint. It’s a solid design which doesn’t get stuck and can be easily locked into place when using a trolley or cart.
The 14-way top makes it easy enough to keep track of your clubs, but what stands out is all the storage. Some people like to take a minimalist approach to what’s in their bag: a few balls, some tees, maybe a jacket and a pencil to keep score. That isn’t me. I’m always carrying more than I need and I’m never caught short on the course. I have my wet weather gear, Suncream, gloves, spare batteries for my phone, a tool to adjust my driver, plenty of balls, tees and markers and loads of “water”.
With all the pockets on the Hoofer, I was able to stow everything away where it was easily accessible. I also liked how the water bottle always stays upright, something which is often overlooked in a carry bag.
The final big plus is the comfort this bag provides. I carried it for 36 holes and it was a lifesaver for my lower back. An excellent choice all round.
Not everyone has heard of OGIO but they offer great golf accessories at a very reasonable price point. But why would you ditch one of the “big” brands for someone you haven't really heard of before?
This isn’t the most lightweight bag but it’s really comfortable to carry with a nifty club separation idea. There are ridges that the clubs can sit in and while it's not strictly 14 way divided, there are 8 dividing holes at the top.
There are 4 smaller ones which will hold your woods, with 4 larger ones which will hold your irons. The irons will fit into the ridges on the entry of the bag, while the woods and putter is kept separate which is a perfect design concept.
Storage is excellent with 9 front facing pockets providing space for clothing and accessories. The top divider with ridges allows you to keep clubs well separated and organized. No more fighting with the bag to organize your putter and woods away from your irons.
The load balancing double straps and padded hip pad means this hybrid bag performs well if you want to carry. There is a built in lift handle plus double cart strap pass-through giving this bag a great amount of versatility.
OGIO are serious bag manufacturers also specializing in tough as nails travel baggage. This bag will last you forever.
Cleverly designed base means this is easy to use on a trolley
Some people are brand loyalists when it comes to their golf bags and I’d say this is very true of Titleist owners. This is probably the perfect bag for a Titleist fan as it works really well as both a carry and trolley bag. My friend in the UK noted that this is especially useful as many players over there will switch between trolley/carry depending on the weather conditions.
It is worth noting that this bag is fairly expensive compared to other bags in this space. Also not all the club dividers were full length. BUT it is super light and comfortable to carry around the course. Using a push trolley was easy and it fitted nicely into a Powakaddy base. A nice feature is the insulated drink compartment and, as expected, it has loads of room for your gear. Definitely worth considering for Titleist fans.
Excellent range of features for a bag at this price point
If you're on a budget and want a bag that can be used for carry, push trolley or golf cart the Bag Boy Golf 2018 Go Lite Hybrid Stand Bag might be the choice for you. I found this bag to work really well in all situations - especially when on a cart.
The legs on this bag are very sturdy and folded away nicely when not in use. I found the base of the bag to be more square than other designs, meaning it fit onto the back of a cart a bit more easily than a classic carry bag.
The dividers work well, although a couple were a little tight towards the top, meaning larger grips tended to get stuck occasionally but not that often to be a concern. Overall a very good offering for the money.
If you're carrying your stand bag, you want it as light as possible - try go as low as you can, under 5 lbs. If you put it on a push or pull cart, the weight could be a bit higher and if you play with a buggy or golf cart exclusively, then weight doesn't mean a thing.
The more pockets and features the bag has, the heavier it will be. It will depend on whether you play in conditions that are stable or variable whether you get a bag that has ample storage space for jackets, rain gear, towels, extra accessories.
Storage capacity/number of pockets
The number of pockets on a stand bag will be limited in general because of the are of the bag that touches your butt as you walk. There is usually a pad there so you lose that storage capacity.
On the opposite side of the bag there is the long pocket which can house your jackets and accessories for rain. Pockets on the front side of the bag keep your rangefinders, tees, drinks and other gear.
Durability and Leg sturdiness
Depending on the weather conditions and how often you play, you want a bag that is going to be tough. This will come down to the fabric they use and the build quality of the frame. These are generally fine in all stand bags, but the big one is the legs.
Check out the legs of the stand bag. They are usually folded up on display and kept in place with a velcro strap. When you check out a bag, unstrap them, and let the bag stand on the ground of the shop as it would on the course. Wiggle the legs a bit and make sure that they feel strong in the joints where they attach to the bag. Check the spring looking joint that attaches the middle of the legs to the middle of the bag. These hinge and should. be fixed securely.
Sometimes the hinge part pops out of the leg and you have a leg flying all over the place. Make sure the feel also have nice non-slip feet for when you have to put your bag on a path or paved area around the practice green.
Layout of the top of the bag
The 14 way dividers should give enough room to get the clubs in and out easily without frustration. Some of the bags may have full length liners. If they do not, sometimes your grips can tangle on other grips. There is an easy solution to this.
You can get some plastic pipes that fit into the bag to house the entire club.
14 way dividers are all I have used since 2015 and I can't see myself ever using a bag that has only 6 holes unless there is a special place for every clubhead to rest. Removing the frustration is so easy with the new bags that can often double as both stand bags and cart bags. The Sun Mountain is the best of the best.
I’ve had the yips. I was standing over a 2 foot putt and had no confidence that it would go in the hole. My problems went deep and I had to overhaul many aspects of my game from my psychological approach to my technique and equipment.
Something I really struggled with was my alignment. I grew up playing bent grass greens, and when i moved to Asia where we play on mostly bermuda grass, I was dead in the water. The best putter for alignment can come in different shapes and sizes and needs to work for YOU.
There are many options out there which are designed to make your stroke more consistent, with countless features like perimeter weighting and face inserts as well as with long alignment aids in the back of the putter. Try a few and see which feels right.
Ping Fetch putters are just beautiful. I loved the Sigma II version and this matte black update is sensual to look at. When it comes to alignment, the color is more than just a style choice. It's anti glare and contrasts with the ball and grass giving you laser like focus on the leading edge of the putter face.
It's incredibly easy to align this putter and if I didn't putt with an EVNROLL, I would have a Ping Fetch in my hands.
The fetch system is a standout feature as it saves your back from reaching down to pick up the ball. It’s a small thing to some but MASSIVE for those with a bad back.
I like this putter on quick greens as well as slower greens. I would say though, if you play on greens below 9 on the stimp meter, then this is going to a very easy putter to use. The power generated from a small stroke is excellent and the insert gives such a silky feeling off the face.
100% this is my 2nd choice after my EVNROLL blade.
Your playing partners will not enjoy watching you do it, but you can stand this putter up and get setup, then literally let go of the putter, walk away and the putter stays where you left it. It just stands there.
If there is any way to make certain of your alignment, that's the only way. It is a bit gimmicky but it works. It is the best stand alone putter on the market today.
Steve from my channel has been using the Triple Track putter with a Triple Track Callaway ERC Soft since 2020 and he has become unbeatable inside 6 feet.
That is not a coincidence as he bought this specific putter after 5 visits to the store to make sure it was what he thought it was. He wanted something to be able to give him confidence to bash the ball at least 2 or 3 feet past the hole on his birdie putts.
Never up never in is what they say, so he was tired of hitting them short leaving tap-ins like a scared person. Now he hits them past the hole, KNOWING that he will jam the returning 2, 3 or 4 footer.
The triple track on the back of the club, combined with the line on the Callaway golf balls means that if you can get them lined up together, on the correct line on the putting green, it's going in.
You'll lose all the doubt about being aligned correctly.
Fang style putters work for alignment. I get ciliary spasm in my eyes from too much computer work and alignment of the putter can be tough on the next rounds back. Regardless of the manufacturer, these fang style putters are some of the easiest to align in the game.
The EVNROLL has a small dot on the top line, a white line extending back and the fang portion hollowed out so you have 3 alignment tools to get set for your putt. EVNROLL black putters are easier to align because of the high contrast.
If you prefer chrome finish though, their entire range comes in chrome. The function of the face which is the main selling point of EVNROLL is also consistent throughout the range of putters. The ridges in the face help to realign your mis strikes and get them closer to the hole instead of leaving them 2-3 feet short.
I used my EVNROLL with a thin grip to start with but upgraded to the Gravity Grip and it changes the feel of the putter completely. I'd say that it activates cheat codes to hole more putts.
Popular tour level putter with high level of forgiveness
There’s a number of reasons the TaylorMade Spider X is so popular on tour. They look great, and they have a reputation of being really stable and forgiving, things that even the best players in the world want from their short stick.
The Spider X is the compact model in the Spider range and this short slanted version gives you a great amount of feel through the putting stroke. The face on these putters is a little shallower than other brands and I find it makes you really focus on your putts, ensuring the ball comes off the face as smoothly as possible.
The high MOI design means that off centre strikes still perform really well and I really like the clean alignment aids on the top of the head.
Not a putter but an essential piece of equipment for any player
I’m biased as I designed this alignment marker, but I truly believe it is one of the best golf products on the market. I like taking time over reading my putts, but I don’t want to hold up play. This marker means I can make a preliminary gut based read when I mark my ball, leaving me to make a minor adjustment when it’s my turn to play.
It’s a beautiful size and weight and the detailing is mesmerising. If you don’t want to change your putter, consider this as the next best thing to enhance your putting game.
Easy addition to align your ball, to your marker, to your putter -the full system
Speeds up play
Improves your green reading skills
Amazing size and weight
How to align the ball on the greens
Putter alignment lines
The lines you have on your putter will make a big difference to how well you can align the putter to the intended target. Two key concepts decide if you make putts and it's very simple.
The line is the first aspect of the putt that you will assess as you walk to the green. You'll start to get a feel for the slope, and observe how the green will affect the direction the ball will move on the green toward or away from the hole.
When your brain sees a line, remember that generally, it's already taken into account a pace. You do not need to worry about the pace of the putt since the line your brain has shown you is factoring in that speed. You just need to focus on hitting the ball starting on the target line.
Speed of the putt is important to match the line you chose.
Too hard, right line
When the ball finishes behind the hole, but in line with the cup, it means you hit it on the right line, just too hard.
Too soft, right line
If you hit it too soft on the correct line, then the ball will finish in line with the hole, but short of the cup
Too hard, wrong line
If you hit your putt too hard and finish beyond the hole, but the ball is either right or left of the cup when it settles, it means your line was incorrect
Too soft, wrong line
Usually we hit the putt too soft and do not take enough break so we finish in front of the cup, toward the side the ball is breaking. This is the weakest, most fearful style of putt and should be avoided at all costs.
How to start a putt on the target line
When you decide on your line, and see the patch that the call will take to the hole, find a piece of grass or a blemish on the line you chose, in line with the hole. So if your line is 6 inches right of the cup, select a piece of grass or ball mark 6 inches to the right of the cup and try to make your putt a straight putt to that point.
You can align your putter face to the small target near the hole, but it is quite difficult. you should find something 1-2 feet in front of the ball to align your putter face to. From there you can be very sure that the face is starting in the correct position for the putting line you chose. Make the correct stroke with the correct pace, starting the ball on your line, and you'll improve very quickly.
How to improve your putting alignment
You can watch my Youtube video where I give you in depth details on how to start the putt online and putt and how to align your putter to the correct line you chose. Also check out the Waddaplaya ball marker above to see how the marker you use can affect lining up your golf ball.
Your eyes, brain and body must all agree. There is only 100% commitment with putting. That means you must feel comfortable that your brain is telling your eyes that you are aligned. When your eyes agree, your body must accept it and allow you to make a pure stroke. If you have any doubt in your brain or body or eyes, you will make compromises and adjustments. This is the end of your alignment. You must be perfectly in sync with yourself. Check out the video below.
Which putters are best for hitting your target line?
Whether you're a low, high or medium handicapper, improving your putting is how you SLASH strokes from your game.
The best putters for you to improve your lining up are a) Mallet putters if you have a straight back and through stroke and b) blade putters are best for players who arc their putting stroke.
Mallet putters can give you the advantage because of the extended rear part of the putter which contains very easy to use alignment lines. They are usually very bold and stand out in contrast to the color of the putter and because of the length of the rear of the putter, can really help your eyes line up.
If your swing is not straight and comes down and you have an arc to your swing, the blade is best. But you will find it more difficult to align your eyes with the alignment aid on these putters on the greens. The alignment aids are usually a single line, or maybe 2 lines and they are generally less than 1.5 inches in length.
Center shaft putter
These putters are the best for alignment if you're struggling to find the line with your eyes. The promote a more eye-over-ball putting stance which allows your eyes to track much easier along the line. Beware though that you need a a very sturdy stroke.
A loopy stroke means you can often rotate your wrists and hands which, because the shaft is attached to the sweet spot, means you can open and close the face super easily. You can negate this with a thicker grip like a Super Stroke or a Fat Cat.
Putters to avoid for alignment
Avoid the old school blades with only a single dot on the top line for alignment. They are not the ones with the plumbers neck hosel. I am talking about the ones that look like an iron or a hockey stick like in the picture below. This are very difficult to align.
Are these the best putters for the yips?
They yips can find any one of us at any time, but sometime changing your putter can make the yips go away. There are many causes, by finding a good alignment putter can help remove another thing from your mind when you're on the greens. Find the best putter for the yips and stick with it!
When aligning your ball on the green, you need the right line and then you need help to make sure you roll the ball on the correct starting line. if your stroke is pure enough, half the battle is won just by being aligned.
The feeling of relief knowing you're aligned allows you to focus just on the pace of the putt. With a decent putter specifically made for alignment, you can be sure of it. Couple that with a ball that either has a line drawn on it or preprinted on the ball, and you're rolling it end over end like a pro.
Whatever you choose, make sure you swing the putter a few times. The one you love the feeling of in your hands, is the one you WILL putt better with.
If you're serious about improving your golf game, you need to know how far you hit the ball.
It's MOST ESSENTIAL if you're trying to break 90 or 80. Under or over clubbing could be the difference between a par, bogey or double. You know what it's like. Great drive, nice five because you landed in the deep deep bunker short of the green with no chance of parole with only 130 yards into the green.
So what are the best golf distance measuring devices? I’ve chosen a mix of options to cover all bases. Let’s take a look at what distance measuring device will improve your game. Personally the best in this category are the Bushnell Tour v5 Shift and Garmin Approach S40
Why even use a GPS, Rangefinder or GPS golf watch?
It used to be that the only way to work out your distances was from the markers on the course. These are OK to a point, but they are based on specific lines to the green from specific points in the fairway, from specific locations on the course.
Then how far is the pin from the front or middle of the green? The scorecard states the hole is a certain distance but you hit a mediocre drive and the markers are telling you that it's a 290 yarder!
The scorecard states one distance of the entire hole. The tees change regularly so you never know the exact length of a hole. The hole is then measured up the middle of the fairway from the tee to the green - a dog leg will be measured up the center of the entire fairway, not over the dogleg. Sometimes the measurement is to the front of the green, sometimes it's to the middle of the green.
A lot of people are walking around not knowing how far they really hit the ball. Distance measuring devices help you dial in your true distance, and help you select the club and shot type for that distance.
You can use a touch screen, shoot a laser or have an accurate measurement to just the front, middle or the back of the green for max enjoyment.
Handheld Golf GPS Device
Handheld GPS devices are a bit old school but are designed specifically for golf. I mention this because phones have taken over a lot of peoples golfing measurement device needs.
The reasons I don't use a phone are: battery life (short), need for cell phone signal, multiple apps not just for golf and my biggest pet peeve is having to unlock them with a swipe/password/passcode.
I've tried with cell phones but I find they just do not cut the mustard. A handheld golf specific GPS device will bring infinitely more pleasure.
Easy storage in your bag - just remember to take it out for charging
Large screen for super easy navigation of the course - zoom in and out everywhere
Excellent battery life
Price has come down a lot for these
Almost every course you can imagine is mapped out
You don't need line of sight to the target to know how far you are
Limited use for golf only unlike a watch and even a rangefinder
As big as a phone without being a phone
Easy to lose if you're remotely careless
GPS Golf watch
Golf GPS watches are more compact and wearable versions of the GPS handheld devices above. I like both but the watches have a feature that make them one of the best options for calculating your shot distances.
They come with technology that can feel when you've hit a golf shot. This allows the watch to track your entire round and ask you to input your club immediately after the shot. After 20 rounds, you'll have a great estimate of how far you hit your clubs within a very tight range.
Automatic shot tracking - identifying when you have hit a shot
Newer models allow for detailed overviews albeit on a smaller screen
Many models can be used for fitness tracking and sync to your phone for messaging
Sync to your GPS providers app software for you to review rounds
Almost every course you can imagine is mapped out
You do not need line of sight to your target to know the distance
Almost impossible to lose while on your wrist!
Measurements to layup to the 100, 150, 200 markers as well as to reach and carry hazards
Small screen for zooming
Charging cables goes missing and you have to buy a specific replacement
Golf Laser Rangefinders
The golf rangefinder is a staple in my bag. I use everything, but nothing is as quick and easy as shooting a distance to a hazard, pin or green as a rangefinder.
As long as you have a line of sight to the object you're measuring, you have full confidence that that distance is accurate to within 1 yard. More expensive models are quicker and more accurate while mid range models are as accurate but not as quick. Lower priced models, and I mean really low, are usually trash.
You get what you pay for in optics, and the investment will last you years. One of the big problems people have with rangefinders is the color and how they get lost on a cart seat or left on a cart strap. Always pack away your rangefinder first after your round!
If you’ve been around golf for any decent length of time, you know Bushnell. They are considered to be the number 1 manufacturer when it comes to distance measuring devices in golf, and the Bushnell Phantom 2 Handheld GPS is another device that proves their effectiveness time and again.
The Phantom 2 is a neat little package and is easy to use for golfers of all skill levels. This version has 40% bigger text on the screen than the previous model making it easy to read, and with 38,000 courses preloaded, it’s ready to go right out of the box.
The new GreenView technology, with movable pin placements for super accurate distances to the flag helps to get more accurate readings so you can hit the correct club.
Another usefull feature is the 'Dynamic Green Mapping' which provides measurements to the front, middle and back of the green regardless of which angle you are approaching from. Wherever you are on the course, you can see how much you need to reach the green, and if there is trouble long, know how far it is to the back edge etc.
One of my favorite things about this device is the high powered magnet which lets you stick it to your bag or buggy - you just need to remember to take it off and take it home with you after the round!
Far and away the best golf GPS watch on the market today
I thought watches were a bit gimmicky. How could they be as accurate as my rangefinder? I have used a rangefinder for years and never thought I would buy a watch.
But then I got a Garmin Approach S40 to track my changes in distance with a swing change I made. This is such a cool piece of gear and helped me not only to track how far I am hitting the ball with every club, but when i don't feel like pulling out the rangefinder, I just check middle of the green distance and hit.
The interface is really easy to use, and the partner Garmin Golf App for smartphones makes loading courses and analyzing your post round stats very easy. Check out the comparison with the S60 here. And my full review of the S40 here.
You get front, middle and back measurements to green and the option to pick a pin placement on the touch screen. Distances to hazards - both carry and reach - are on th watch. It just takes a little bit of scrolling on the touch screen.
The best feature however, is the auto shot tracking.
This is AMAZING. The watch detects when you hit a shot and you then quickly note which club you used by telling the watch after it prompts you. After your round, you will see every shot you played in perfect detail on the app after you sync up with your phone and watch. This is such a useful tool to see your club distances and also to see where you can improve specific parts of your game. It tracks fairways missed and which side, greens missed and putts.
You can further enhance this feature with trackers which you can attach to your clubs. I haven’t seen the need to do this yet as the data I’m getting from the watch is so good. An excellent piece of kit which you can get for very reasonable prices.
Solid rangefinder from a respected golf watch brand
Shot Scope are best known for their golf watches, so does their expertise in that area transfer to the rangefinder market? The Shot Scope PRO L1 offers features of the premium models but at a slightly nicer price.
I find this rangefinder to be a solid build which is always a giveaway. I've bought rangefinders from all sorts of manufacturers, and the first thing you notice is always the build quality. Any rattling, weird empty feeling etc and I'm turned off.
The L1 is pretty basic in its design and build, but it's very reliable when providing distances on the course. The Target-Lock Vibration feature is very helpful to let you know it's locked onto a target and the slope feature gives accurate numbers. The red/blacks optics switch worked well, but red is not my style as I have a slight color blindness.
This is a very light rangefinder, weighing in nearly 100 grams less than my Bushnell. You may think it suggests the build quality is cheaper, but I didn't find this to be the case.
This is perfect for a golfer who wants a rangefinder but doesn’t want to blow a stash of cash for a premium model.
The Bushnell “Tour V” range is the rangefinder equivalent of the Pro V1 to the golf ball market. Bushnell are always looking for ways to optimize their flagship product and the Tour V5 Shift model is focused on the speed that a target is acquired and confirmed on the course.
This rangefinder is sturdy and robust in your hands. It justifies its higher price point. All of the buttons and sliders are easily accessible and solid.
The yards to meters button helps a lot for me between altitude and sea level as I use yards at sea level and meters at altitude. The slope feature works excellently and the target acquisition on this model is simply the best in class. Not other rangefinder comes close to speed and accuracy of the pin pointing of the target.
A small ring appears on the screen to confirm you have locked on and a little vibration acts as secondary confirmation.
Like all of the Bushnell’s products, the accessories that come with this device are premium and the case is particularly eye-catching. I’m a big fan of the BITE magnetic cart mount as it means your beautiful rangefinder isn’t sliding about in the buggy, potentially getting lost or scratched!
If you have the resources, this is definitely worth getting, it’s that good.
In optics, whether binoculars, scopes or rangefinders, you get what you pay for I promise.
Golf rangefinders have been specifically designs to see targets IN FRONT of the general bush or backdrop. Hunting rangefinders have been designs to pick up targets with a lot of backdrop or foreground - in other words, animals walking around.
Why short-change yourself by going cheap? I have tried a lot of distance finding devices and you will be disappointed with the following items due to inaccuracy, defective production and unsuitable utility for golf:
1. Milessey Rangefinder
I tried 3 models and they all showed distance differences on the same measurement of +7 and -7 yards. Total trash.
2. Tectectec Rangefinder
I don't know how this thing has so many amazing reviews? For similar money, Precision Pro is a much better option.
3. Any hunting rangefinder
there is no point purchasing something ill suited to the task you need it for, just because it may be cheaper. Get a golf rangefinder and you will not regret it. Buyers remorse sucks!
You only have to decide what your priority is. From there, the selection is easy and with the above choices, you can't go wrong. Watches are for convenience and quick glance distances. Rangefinders are for specific distances to specific targets. Handheld devices are for those who want a bigger screen and don't want to use their phone.