Category Archives for Beginners & High Handicappers Guide

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!

How To Fix A Slice With A Driver

If you're here reading this article, chances are that you are slicing you driver. You stand up to the ball with your big stick and give it a rip, only to look up and see that the ball is sailing high and right with very little distance. It's often enough to make you want to quit the game altogether.

Thankfully, a slice is a really common problem for most golfers and there are countless articles and videos out there telling you how to fix your slice forever!

The hard truth is, we're all going to slice our driver at some point, all we can do is try to build a golf swing and mindset which reduces the amount we slice the golf ball and how destructive those nasty slices are.

Read on, and let's try and sort that slice out.

golfer laughing

Why am I slicing my driver? What causes a slice in golf? 

There are a few things in the golf swing that can lead to a slice. The most common are swing path and club face control.

If you have an outside to in path, your swing will take the club head outside the line of the golf ball, before coming back across the line of the ball to make contact. This compensation in swing path leads to a shot which has a lot of cut spin.

Many golfers can play with an out to in swing path just fine, so how does this lead to a dreaded slice?

If you combine an out to in swing plane with an open club face at impact, this is the perfect recipe for a big booming slice.

How to correct a slice in golf

I'm assuming all of this is sounding familiar to you. Don't worry I've got you. We're going to step through all things which cause a golf slice from alignment to poor grip and ball position.

The key is to stop bad swing habits from becoming too deeply set in your golf game and we can do that by focusing on some key fundamentals.

Before you know it you will hopefully be hitting smooth controlled draws or Dustin Johnson style power fades.

To keep things simple, we'll assume you're a right hander. If you're a lefty, flip the directions and use the same steps.

How To Fix a Slice Off The Tee: 5 keys to straighter drives

  1. Alignment
  2. Ball position
  3. The golf grip
  4. Tee height
  5. Hip rotation

Key 1: Check your alignment

On my channel I play with a lot of guys who slice the ball. Some have learned to manage this shot on the golf course and master their stock ball flight. What they have in common is that they understand their shot shape and align their body to aim their shots to compensate.

Now this works for those who don't want to completely overhaul their golf swing, but if you want to fix your slice, you are going to have to start aiming more down the middle.

BDog on my channel used to aim miles right, and hit big pull fades. This is a classic anti slice set up issue and actually makes things worse over time. Aiming right makes most amateur golfers come "over the top" in their swing. The ball starts left and then goes further left if the club face is closed or right if it's open.

It's not a sustainable way to play golf as it requires perfect club face control and pretty impeccable timing.

BDog has worked on aiming more down the middle and makes practice swings with an exaggerated in to out swing path. This counteracts his bad habits and leads to straighter golf shots. Check out this video where BDOG had a lesson to fix his driver slice.


Key 2: Ball position

Ball position is one of the fundamentals of the golf swing and is quite simple to understand, but it is very often misinterpreted by beginner golfers.

Google any article on ball position and it will tell you have the golf ball in line with the heel of your lead foot for the driver swing. This is on the whole, good advice but it needs to be matched up with other swing fundamentals to work properly.

I see so many guys with the ball teed WAY to far forward for their swing path. They end up reaching for the ball and by the time they hit the golf ball, they have an open clubface and there is no chance of hitting the ball straight.

If you're struggling with a slice, trying moving the ball back in your stance a bit. Not a massive amount, but somewhere a couple of inches forward of centre. It might feel weird to start with, but it should encourage you to hit the ball with an in to out swing path and make contact with the club face when it's more neutral.

Give it a try and see if it's moving where you hit the ball.

positive angle of attack with the driver

Notice where Tiger Woods has the ball positioned for his driver. Inside the left heel. 

Key 3: Check your grip (golf grip to fix slice)

The golf grip is controversial. I know this. There is no such thing as a perfect golf grip and many players make do with what they have. JMac from my channel uses a 10 finger baseball grip, Didi has one of the weakest golf grips on the planet and mine changes depending on which way the wind is blowing.

However, on the whole, golfers who have a slicing issue have a weak grip. This means that their left hand is showing too few knuckles and their right is showing too many. I've written an article on grip you can check out here for more detail.

If you think you have a poor grip, you first need to work out what effect it's having on your club face at impact. It's still possible to slice the living hell out of a golf ball with a strong or neutral grip so again it's all about working out the match ups in your fundamentals.

Changing your grip is going to feel strange, so I'd recommend trying it out at the driving range first, or by using a grip trainer tool to groove the feeling.

Once you start to see a change, take it out onto the golf course and let rip.

Key 4: Tee height

Tee height is something many golfers overlook when trying to fix their golf slice and I think it's a really important part of the puzzle.

I think that most amateur players tee the golf ball too high when using their driver. YouTube gurus trying to sell new equipment and golf forum experts saying stuff like "tee it high, let it fly" have led to an epidemic of sky marks on the drivers of us normal players. Yes, hitting up on the golf ball is great for adding distance, but if you're striking the ball all over the face of the golf club it doesn't make that much difference.

It also doesn't help that you hear the commentators on the TV talking about teeing the ball low to hit a "squeeze cut" or something like that. What we need to remember is that we're amateurs, and we need to try and make contact with the middle of the golf club as often as possible.

A consistent tee height will make this easier. As a general rule, no more than half of the golf ball should be visible above the crown of your driver head. If you can find a plastic castle tee which is this exact height, then perfect. This will allow you to always tee the ball up the same height, meaning you're hitting shots with one less variable. It might feel like the ball is a bit low to start with, but trust me, you will find the middle of the face more often and give yourself a fighting chance to fix a slice!

tee height with driver

Key 5: Hip rotation

If you've ever played baseball or cricket, you will know the importance of a full and committed hip rotation in making a good swing of the bat. If you haven't played either of these sports, you should try them.

I see so many golfers (noticing a trend here...) who get stuck on their right side through their golf swings. They rely on their arms and hands to "swing" the golf club and this all adds up to creating a nasty slice. A steep swing where the club gets "picked up" is also very common.

Getting onto the front foot and using your upper body in tandem with your hips and legs might sound complicated, but really it's about making an athletic move through the ball. Jim Furyk was and is famous for his loopy swing, but he rotated hard through the downswing and was able to create a lot of power. He said that his main swing thought was about turning through and completing his swing which is something we could all learn from.

Try taking a few practice swings where your belt buckle finishes facing the target. Don't be tempted to quit on your swing if you feel like it's not quite right. Your brain will learn the feeling of a full rotation and getting onto your left side will be a breeze.

Slicing driver but not irons

Your driver is a much longer club than your irons and the margin for error in the golf swing is much smaller. Any issues with grip, ball position, alignment and strike will all be exaggerated and most players make it much worse by swinging out of their shoes with the big dog in hand.

Hitting your irons well also requires you to hit down on the golf ball with the golf club, hopefully taking a divot as you go. The low point of an iron swing is very different to hitting a driver where where actually want to hit up on the ball if possible, with a positive angle of attack. I have written a full article on the driver vs. iron swing which you can read here, and it gives you all of the information you're going to need to take the best parts of your irons swing into your driver game. 

Conclusion

Slicing the golf ball can be totally demoralising, and make you feel like you will never be able to properly play golf. All of the keys and tips I have given you in this article are things that have worked for me and amateurs I have played with over the 20 odd years I've been in the game. Some will work and some won't as it's really, really tough to get rid of old swing habits. 

If in doubt, go and see a PGA Pro for a lesson and get on the right track. Good luck! 

What Golf Club Shaft Flex Do I Need?

The shaft in your golf clubs is what connect your swing to the golf ball so playing the right shaft flex for your game is very important.

If you play the wrong golf shaft flex you could be adding unnecessary shots to your score.

Playing the wrong golf shaft flex can also lead to bad habits developing in your swing and golf game that are hard to shift.

Playing the right flex for your swing will help you match up your swing speed, tempo and club head with the ball. Confused? Let's dive into the magical world of golf shaft flex and see what we can do to help your game.

golf shaft flex overview chart

What Is Golf Shaft Flex?

Flex in a golf shaft determines the amount the shaft will bend during the swing and at impact. 

Pros or low handicap golfers, tend to use stiffer shafts. This is to adjust to the faster swing speeds and torque generated by stronger golfers to club head the best chance of being in the exact position it needs to be at the point of contact.

Players with slower swing speeds, such as seniors or lady golfers, will use a softer flex shaft to allow the clubhead to turn over naturally in the swing.

Depending on the manufacturer, shafts will fall into categories such as extra stiff, stiff, regular, ladies, or senior flex.

Golf Shaft Flex Letters

Have you ever seen the letters on a golf shaft and not understood what they mean. Here's a clear breakdown of what golf shaft letters mean;

  • SR = Soft Regular in America/Europe
  • R = Regular flex
  • SR = Stiff Regular in Asia
  • S = Stiff
  • S+ = Stiff Plus
  • X = Extra stiff
  • TX = Tour Extra stiff
  • L = Ladies flex
  • A = Senior flex
  • W = Wedge flex

Golf Club Shaft Flex Chart

This is a really useful golf shaft stiffness chart that matches up swing speeds to the appropriate flex. This is a good guide but as always, if in doubt, see a professional clubfitter for advice

Swing SpeedClubClubhead Speed RangeShaft Flex
Very FastDriver105 mph +X Stiff
3 Wood100 mph +X Stiff
3 Iron97 mph +X Stiff
6 Iron92 mph +X Stiff
FastDriver97-104 mphStiff
3 Wood93-97 mphStiff
3 Hybrid90-96 mphStiff
6 Iron84-91 mphStiff
AverageDriver84-96 mphRegular
3 Wood84-93 mphRegular
4 Hybrid80-90 mphRegular
6 Iron75-83 mphRegular
SlowDriver72-83 mphSenior
3 Wood70-80 mphSenior
4 Hybrid68-78 mphSenior
6 Iron65-75 mphSenior
LadiesDriver< 72 mphLadies
3 Wood< 70 mphLadies
4 Hybrid< 68 mphLadies
6 Iron< 65 mphLadies
shaft flex distance speed chart

How will golf shaft flex impact my game?

The flex of your golf club shaft has a big impact on the outcome of your game. Right through your golf bag, from driver, to irons to wedges, each golf club must have the correct shaft in order to optimize ball flight and trajectory.

Golfers with high swing speed are best suited using stiff shafts. This because when a soft shaft bends under high swing speed it "lags" behind where it should be and can't catch up with your hands. This can cause the club face to over-rotate at the bottom of the swing, causing a big hook.

On the other end of the scale, if you're a golfer with a slower swing speed using a stiff shaft, you will struggle to close the club face at impact, resulting in a dreaded slice.

correct flex shaft makes a difference

Shaft flex also has an impact on the height of your golf shots. For example, a faster swing speed golfer with a correctly fitted shaft flex will be able to hit a lower yet piercing ball flight. If they were using a regular flex shaft, it may cause the club face on all of their clubs to be de lofted at impact, resulting in a flight which is too low, combined with unpredictable distances.

What we want is to manage the spin rate of the ball which is generated relative to the swing speed of the golf swing. More speed can result in more spin, and more spin can result in a loss of distance as the ball balloons in the air. However spin is need to get the ball airborne, so slower swing speed golfers need a shaft which generates enough spin to help them out in this area.

As a general rule, you will use the same flex shafts in all of your clubs, with the exception of your wedges. Wedges tend to to have stiffer shafts, known as "wedge flex". They're not overly stiff, but they do encourage accuracy in these precision clubs.

You can judge the right flex shaft for you based on feel, and some people swear that in the hands of an amateur, flex doesn't matter. I think that shaft flex is an essential timing element in the golf swing, and to get this part of the game right, I'd always recommend seeking the help of a professional club fitter.

Shaft Flex by Golf Swing Speeds

Working out the correct shaft flex for you is usually done by working out your swing speed and then seeing which shaft flex is right for the club head speed you're generating. All of these speeds are with a driver.

  • Under 75 mph – Ladies flex  or Senior flex
  • 75 to 95 mph – Regular flex
  • 95 to 110 mph – Stiff flex
  • 110 mph and up – Stiff or Extra Stiff

This is a basic guide to follow.

Golf swing speed calculator

In order to work out your driver swing speed you can use these simple calculations.

Driver swing speed calculation option 1

Take your total carry distance with driver and divide it by 2.3.

Here are are two examples:

  • If your driver carried 240 yards.  Take 240 and divide it by 2.3.  Your approximate swing speed with the driver is 104 miles per hour.
  • If your driver carried 300 yards.  Take 300 and divide it by 2.3.  Your approximate swing speed with the driver is 130 miles per hour!

Driver swing speed calculation option 2

If you know your ball speed divide that number by 1.4.

What Do Golf Shaft Flex Numbers Mean

Golf shaft brands like Project X use numbers on their golf shafts instead of letter to describe the flex of the shaft. In this case the higher number on the golf shaft, the stiffer the shaft will be. Here are some examples;

Project X Golf Shaft Flex Chart

  • 7.0 - Tour extra stiff
  • 6.5 - Extra stiff
  • 6.0 - Stiff flex
  • 5.5 - Regular flex
  • 5.0 - Senior flex

Depending on the specific shaft, these numbers might shift slightly.

Signs you need a stiffer shaft

As you get better at the game of golf, our develop a more confident swing, you may begin to think that you need a stiffer shaft in your clubs. There are a few signs that this might be the case which are;

  • You're hooking the ball with all clubs
  • You can't control the distance of your irons consistently
  • The golf ball balloons in the air
  • You can't feel the club head in your swing

All of these can be signs that your shafts are too soft for your swing.

When to switch from stiff to regular shaft

I often find that too many players use stiff flex shafts. There is nothing wrong using a regular flex shaft and in truth shaft flex has no relation to skill level in golf. I have played with and had my ass kicked by plenty of seniors who are using super light and whippy shafts.

Here are some signs that it's time to switch from a stiff to a regular shaft;

  • You are hitting slices with your driver
  • You can't get the ball of the ground with woods and long irons
  • Ball flight is weak with mid and short irons
  • No spin on approach shots

These are some of the tell tale signs of a shaft which is too stiff for you.

What Shaft Flex Should I Use For My Driver

If you’re between 97 and 104 mph with the driver, you need a stiff flex.

If you’re between 84 and 96 mph, regular is going to be best for you. This is the swing speed rage of most amateur golfers.

Between 72 and 83 mph with the driver signifies you need to be hitting senior flex.

Swing speed for stiff shaft irons

IRON SHAFT HOW TO KNOW
6-iron Carry Distance6-iron Swing SpeedDriver Swing SpeedShaft flex (all clubs)
< 130 yards60 – 70 mph75 – 85 mphSenior Flex
131 – 155 yards71 – 80 mph86 – 95 mphRegular Flex
156 – 175 yards81 – 90 mph96 – 105 mphStiff Flex
> 176 yards91 + mph105 + mphX-Stiff Flex

7-iron swing speed chart shaft flex

7 iron distanceFull Swing3/4 SwingHalf Swing
<115LADY FLEXLADY FLEXSENIOR FLEX
115-130LEDY FLEXSENIOR FLEXSENIOR FLEX
130-145SENIOR FLEXREGULAR FLEXREGULAR FLEX
145-155REG FLEXREGULAR FLEXSTIFF FLEX
155-165STIFF FLEXSTIFF FLEXSTIFF FLEX
165-175STIFF FLEXX STIFF FLEXX STIFF FLEX
175+X STIFF FLEXX STIFF FLEXX STIFF FLEX
7 iron distance chart

Ping shaft flex chart

True Temper shaft chart

Dynamic Gold shaft chart

KBS shaft chart

kbs tour shaft chart
kbs shafts chart


Project X Shaft Flex Chart

Original Project X Rifle Irons

Tapered

  • Regular – 5.0
  • Regular Plus – 5.5
  • Stiff  – 6.0
  • Extra Stiff  – 6.5
  • Extra Stiff Plus – 7.0

Parallel

  • Regular Plus – 5.5
  • Stiff – 6.0
  • Extra Stiff – 6.5

Original Project X Woods & Hybrids

  • Regular Plus – 5.0
  • Stiff – 5.5
  • Stiff Plus – 6.0
  • Extra Stiff – 6.5
  • Extra Stiff Plus –7.0

Project X 95 Flighted Irons

  • Regular – 5.0
  • Regular Plus – 5.5
  • Stiff  – 6.0
  • Extra Stiff  – 6.5
  • Extra Stiff Plus – 7.0

PXi Irons

  • Regular – 5.0
  • Regular Plus – 5.5
  • Stiff Plus – 6.0 
  • Extra Stiff – 6.5

Rifle Irons

Parallel

  • Senior – 4.0
  • Regular – 5.0
  • Stiff – 6.0
  • Extra Stiff – 7.0

Tapered

  • Senior Plus – 4.5
  • Regular Plus – 5.5
  • Extra Stiff – 6.5

PX LZ Steel Irons

  • Regular – 5.0
  • Regular Plus – 5.5
  • Stiff – 6.0
  • Stiff Plus – 6.5

PX LZ Tour Graphite Irons

  • Regular – 5.0
  • Stiff – 6.0

PXv Tour Graphite Woods

  • Stiff – 5.5
  • Stiff Plus – 6.0
  • Extra Stiff Flex – 6.5
  • Extra Stiff Plus – 7.0

Project X Black Woods & Hybrids

  • Stiff – 5.5
  • Stiff Plus – 6.0
  • Extra Stiff – 6.5
  • Extra Stiff Plus – 7.0

HZRDUS Woods & Hybrids

  • Regular Plus – 5.5
  • Stiff – 6.0
  • Extra Stiff – 6.5

HZRDUS T1100 Woods

  • Regular Plus – 5.5
  • Stiff – 6.0
  • Extra Stiff – 6.5

EvenFlow Woods & Hybrids

(Available in Black and Blue)

  • Regular Plus – 5.5
  • Stiff – 6.0
  • Extra Stiff – 6.5
project x shaft flex chart

Conclusion

Using the correct shaft flex for your game is essential. You don't want to add shots because of your equipment and a poorly fitted shaft could be the cause of those wild hooks and slices. See a pro club fitter and get the right shaft for you. 

What Is A Tight Lie In Golf?


A tight lie in golf is when a ball is on a small amount of grass or sitting on a bare patch of dirt. For handicap golfers, a shot from a tight lie is one of the most difficult to execute. 

Playing the golf ball from a tight lie requires a bit of thought and precise execution of the golf shot. From tight lies it's easy to hit a thin shot, where the leading edge of the golf club strikes the ball instead of the club face.

playing golf in the wind

Playing a burnt course with lots of tight lies in South Africa

How to Identify a Tight Lie

A tight lie is usually found when there are hard ground conditions on the golf course. They are very common during the summer or warmer months when golf courses dry out. You may have seen a tight lie when playing a links style course as the ground is naturally much firmer.

In reality we see tight lies every time we play golf - when the golf ball sits on the green! The difference is that you aren't taking a full shot with an iron or wood from the green (or I hope not) and using a putter off such a tight lie is much easier.

Experienced golfers are fully aware of the potential issues that come from a tight lie. To the unseasoned eye, it might look like the ball is sitting up, just asking to be hit.

But as you take a closer look, you see you have a tight lie and realize it's going to take a different club and type of swing to play the ball effectively.

To make matters worse, your margin for error has narrowed considerably! Nothing less than a perfect strike is going to make the ball behave in a way you can predict. Sounding fun? Read on to learn how to get out of this situation.

Where can you find a tight lie?

  • Burnt out areas with very little grass
  • Parts of the course without good irrigation
  • Hardpan surfaces
  • Bald areas without any grass at all
  • Fairways and fringe where the grass was cut too low

These are some of the most common places you might find a tight lie, and hopefully you can adjust your game to avoid them.

You will also find a tight lie on a tee boxes. As you'll be using a tee to raise the ball in the air, it won't really matter.

If you're playing in frozen conditions in the winter months, everything will be a tight lie due to the hard surface, and the club will bounce off the ground making it tough to make solid contact with the golf ball.

golf ball sat on a tight lie

It might look like there's grass here, but this ball is on a very tight lie and will require a perfect strike. 

How to Play from a Tight Lie

The toughest thing about a shot from a tight lie is that it requires a precise strike. If you catch the ball slightly fat or heavy, you will thin the golf ball. If you try to hit up on the ball to "scoop" it off the tight surface, you can blade or top the ball. Either way, the ball will not go where you intended. So what can you do?

Hitting Irons From Tight Lies

Compressing the back off the golf ball pretty much eliminates a tight lie. Taking a divot can be difficult, so you want to feel like you're bruising the turf with your irons. This will lead you to "pick" the ball from the surface.

Making contact at the very bottom of your swing prevents a tight lie from being too much of a problem. Just look at a pro golfer, they have no issue hitting from a super tight lie like a cart path, in some ways they'd prefer it!

Pitching tight lies

Hitting pitch shots from awkward distances within 75 yards is hard enough, but add in a tight lie and things start to get that little bit tougher. I think that there are a couple of options available to you and one it something you might not have considered!

First option - take a low bounce wedge, and play the shot as your normally would. Yes, you'll need a good strike off a bare lie, but the low bounce will help you by preventing the club from digging in.

Second option - use fairway woods and "putt" the ball to the hole. This will require the ground between you and the green to be dry with very little grass underneath, but it could be the secret to success from a bare lie! You will need a lot of feel to play this shot as you won't be making a full swing, but the wide sole of the fairway wood will make it way easier to strike the ball. Play the golf ball from off your front foot and be confident hitting the shot.

Chipping from tight lies

If you find a tight lie greenside, then I suggest playing a bump and run chip shot. Take a club like a 7 or 8 iron and have the ball at the back of your stance, nearer your back foot. The reason I recommend using an iron over a sand wedge for example, is that all we want to do is get the ball rolling forward and remove the need for an absolutely perfect strike.

If you have a high skill level, you might be able to use your lob or sand wedge to get the ball airborne quickly, but I would play the percentages and bump the ball all day.

chipping with a hybrid

Hybrid from tight lies

My personal favorite club to use on a tight lie is a hybrid. With a hybrid, you can sweep the ground without a divot, elevate the ball, and get some distance.

The important thing to remember here is not to come down steep as that will cause too much club-turf interaction.

Unsurprisingly, I'm also a big fan of the 15-yard hybrid chip shot that runs up the fairway and onto the green.

Tight lie vs bare lie

A tight lie will most likely have some grass between the ball and the turf, but not much. A bare lie is when there is nothing but dirt under the ball. Both are tough to play from!

Adams golf Tight lies fairway woods

Adams golf are famous for making super forgiving fairway clubs, and their tight lies models have been helping golfers find the sweet spot for years. I have a Tight lies Ti+ 3 wood and it's a rocket launcher. The sole of the club is shaped specifically to be hit from tight lies and it really lives up to its name. It's also really good from a fluffy lie where the ball is sitting up. I'm yet to find something it can't do! If you see the adverts on the Golf channel, get one, you won't regret it.  

Final thoughts on what is a tight lie in golf?

A tight lie is less than ideal for most handicap golfers, but it doesn't have to be the end of the world. I hope that this guide has give you a few tips and tricks to make the most of these tricky lies on the golf course. 

Why Do Golf Balls Have Dimples? (All You Need To Know)

If you've ever seen a golf ball you will notice that it has loads of small indentations on its surface. These little craters are called dimples and they are really important for golf ball aerodynamics. A smooth golf ball just won't work when playing golf, so we have to use a dimpled golf ball.

Why does a golf ball have dimples? 

Early golf balls were smooth. As golfers used the same balls over and over on the golf course, they started to notice that the more beat-up golf balls were traveling farther than their new, smooth golf ball! These golf pioneers realised that the nicks, bumps, and slices were helping them play better. Now, all a golf ball manufacturers put dimples on golf balls. Physicists have since scientifically proven that a dimpled golf ball will perform much better than a smooth ball making it much easier to play golf.

refurbished golf balls

Avoid smooth looking golf balls. They don't work!

Golf ball dimples aerodynamics

The dimples in golf balls create turbulence which, if done right, reduces drag, making it go farther and increasing the golf ball's lift.

The mixed airflow is of two types: laminar and turbulent. Laminar movement creates less drag but is vulnerable to "separation”— the phenomenon whereby the air layer that clings to the ball as it moves through the air separates from the ball. Turbulent flow creates more drag initially but is less vulnerable to separation. When golf balls were smooth, separation happened easily. 

At high speeds, you want the air layers to cling to the ball as long as possible. The dimples on the turbulent boundary layer make this happen.

How many dimples does an average golf ball have?

According to Scientific American, most golf balls have 300-500 dimples on their surface. The famous Titleist Pro V1 golf ball has exactly 388 dimples. This number and their special dimple pattern make the ball spin and perform in a consistent way.

ProV1 392 golf ball

An old Titleist Pro V1 with 392 dimples. 

How many dimples on a golf ball Titleist

Titleist have developed nearly 2000 unique dimple design patterns for their array of golf balls. Titleist balls are the most used on the PGA tour.

Here's a list of the dimple numbers on some of Titleist's golf balls:

  • Titleist Pro V1 golf ball - 388 dimples
  • Titleist Pro V1X golf ball - 348 dimples
  • Titleist Pro AVX golf ball - 348 dimples
  • Titleist Velocity golf ball - 328 dimples
  • Titleist Tour Soft golf ball - 364 dimples
  • Titleist TruFeel golf ball - 376 dimples

How many dimples on a Callaway golf ball

Callway golf balls are famous for their unique hexagonal dimples. Their balls are used by players like Phil Mickelson and Xander Schauffele.

Here's a list of the dimple numbers on some of Callaway's golf balls:

  • Callaway Chrome Soft golf ball - 332 dimples
  • Callaway Chrome Soft X golf ball - 332 dimples
  • Callaway Supersoft golf ball - 332 dimples
  • Callaway Warbird golf ball - 332 dimples
  • Callaway CXR Power golf ball - 332 dimples
  • Callaway CXR Control golf ball - 332 dimples
  • Callaway ERC Soft golf ball - 332 dimples

Final thoughts on why do golf balls have dimples?

Playing a dimpled ball makes golf possible. If you were to use a golf club to hit a smooth ball, you would soon see how hard golf could get - if wasn't hard enough already! Make sure you take notice of a golf balls dimpled pattern next time you play - it's a small wonder of the game. 

Are Chippers Legal In Golf?

Golf chippers are some of the most controversial golf clubs that you can buy.

Why? Mainly it's because they make the game way easier and this rubs up a lot of golf purists the wrong way the same way hybrids shook people upside their head. 

A golf chipper removes some of the common issues you get from playing with a sand wedge or lob wedge around the green and can help to remove duffs and fluffs, allowing you to use a putting stroke to chip the golf ball with ease. So what's all the fuss about a golf chipper?

The main sticking point and why golf chippers cause controversy is that some people thing they aren't legal for tournament play. So, are golf chippers legal?

golf chipper being held by a man

So, are golf chippers legal? The simple answer is YES. According to the USGA, a chipper is a legal club. 

But as ever, there are some rules you need to follow. For example, that cheap two-way chipper or that long shafted chipper in the garage are illegal clubs. Don't shoot the messenger.

With chippers becoming more and more popular, you might be tempted to add one to your bag. I have one, but I did my research to make sure that it's legal for tournament play on the golf course. Here's what I have found so you can make sure you are playing legal golf equipment and don't get banned from your golf club.

Are golf chippers legal?

Golf chippers are definitely legal. They are defined as iron clubs instead of putters and this information is direct from the Equipment FAQ at the USGA (United States Golf Association). However, as a chipper is also seen to be a standard golf club, they have to follow the same rules as other equipment in the game.

Some of the rules for using chippers as legal golf clubs include:

  • You cannot use a chipper with a putter grip. (That would make things too easy)
  • The chipper must have only one striking face
  • No long chippers are allowed (chipper must be the same length as a 7 iron).

You must follow these rules or risk being disqualified from any competition you're playing in.

If in doubt look for a stamp on the chipper that says “USGA qualified” or "USGA Approved" to know whether or not the chipper is legal in gameplay. Brands such as Wilson, Ping, Inesis and Cleveland make legal golf clubs.

Can You Use a Chipper in a Golf Competition?

Yes. You can use your golf chipper in your golf club competitions.

You are unlikely to see professional golfers use a chipper on the PGA tour even though they are a legal club. Top players have the skills to manipulate the golf ball with any club in their bag and so don't see the need to take up a slot with a specialist chipping club.

Chippers are specifically designed for golfers with a mid to high handicap. Higher skilled players and scratch golfers will usually want to have complete control over their ball and its spin, so a chipper is not a common piece of golfing equipment at these levels of the game. I've never seen or heard of a professional on the PGA tour using a chipper, but who knows, the world is a crazy place! 

Should You Use a Golf Chipper?

If you can't chip, then getting a chipper is going to make the game of golf much easier for you. I have used a seven or eight iron for shots around the green for a long time, and a chipper replicates the type of trajectory and roll out you would get with these clubs.

A chipper feels like a putter in many ways and you use a chipper in similar way, by using a putting stroke. You will notice that your golf balls won't have much spin, so you need to factor in some roll out.

Are Double-Sided Chippers Legal in Golf?

While a regular chipper is legal in golf, a double-sided chipper is not legal. If you or your teammate are caught using a double-sided chipper, you will be automatically kicked out of a tournament. In team situations, the entire team will get the boot, so please don't do this!

The main reason a two-way chipper is illegal is that there are two club faces. USGA rules state that a piece of equipment is legal for play as long as the clubfaces are less than ten degrees in loft. So, a putter with two clubfaces is legal. 

If you are playing for fun with friends, don't rule out using a two-way chipper. If you see one for cheap somewhere, pick it up and don't look back. 

How Far Can You Hit a Golf Chipper?

A golf chipper is a short game club so it's designed for finesse shots around 30 yards from the flag. Mostly you will be using a chipper from the fringe of the green, not for full shots!

What is the Difference Between a Chipper and a Wedge?

Are you looking to put a chipper in your golf bag? As long as it is not two-way, then it can be used in golf legally. You might be wondering if it's worth removing a wedge to add a chipper. Here are the main differences to help your decision.

  • Chippers have a loft variation of anywhere from 32 to 37 degrees, while a wedge has 44 to 65.
  • Wedges and chippers are convenient for the short game, although a chipper is better suited for shots from the fringe.
  • Wedges are really designed for long shots up to 140 yards, while a chipper is better used for shorter shots of up to 30 yards.
  • Chippers work like a putter, while a wedge is an iron.
  • Chippers are a rather new invention, while wedges have been around for quite some time, which is why it is somewhat unknown whether or not chippers are “legal” in golf.

What are the best golf chippers?

I have written an article detailing the best chippers in golf. Check it out here. In my opinion, the best chipper golf club is the Cleveland Smart Sole C.

Final thoughts on are chippers legal in golf?

If you are struggling with your golf game inside chipping range, then a specialist chipping club might be for your. Shots around the green are where you're going to score so any help you can get as a handicap golfer should be grabbed with both hands. Try one out on the golf course and see how the golf ball reacts. It could be the key to unlock your short game. 

What Do The Numbers On Golf Balls Mean?

If you're new to the game of golf, you may have noticed that golf balls have number on them. But what do the numbers printed on a golf ball mean? In this article we're going to answer this question and give you some in depth information too.

It's not that complicated, but number on a golf ball can mean a few things. Most golf ball manufacturers will put numbers on balls, mostly to stop you picking up the wrong golf ball but that's not the only reason.

The numbers on a golf ball could indicate:

● An identification number, so you can tell which ball is yours (most common)

● The number of dimples on the golf ball

● The golf ball's compression rating

What golf ball do you play? 

Identification purposes (most common) 

By far the most common number on a golf ball is a single digit number printed for identification purposes.

Many golfers will play the same brand and model of ball and this can cause mix ups when players are looking for their balls after hitting their shots. It's common practice to tell your playing partners which make and model of ball you're playing on the first tee along with it's identifying number or markings.

Most major manufacturers like Titleist, Callaway, Srixon, TaylorMade and Bridgestone will print a single digit number from 1-4 on their balls. Why is this? Most golfers purchase golf balls in boxes of a dozen. These are split into sleeves of three, with each sleeve having the same number printed on them. 12 divided by 3 is four sleeves, so you'll most likely have 1-4 on your balls.

It's has become more common for players to customise the number on their balls when buying them from a store like Golf Galaxy or direct from the manufacturer. This used to be something reserved to professional golfers, but now an avid golfer can select a number with a personal meaning to go on their balls.

Personal Golf ball numbers for identification can go into double digit numbers but most golf balls will have single digit numbers. If you play the same golf ball as your playing partners but don't want to splash the cash on some custom balls, using a permanent marker to make some unique markings will do the job. Never play the wrong ball on the golf course again!

These identification numbers are found on all manufactured golf balls, whereas dimple numbers are optional. Depending on the brand of golf balls you have, it's usually found directly above or underneath the brand name. 

Taylormade RBZ golf ball

TaylorMade RBZ golf ball with custom numbers

Number of Dimples: Three digit number

It's not that common these days, but you might see a triple digit number on your golf ball. This number is probably be found underneath the ball's brand name and can range anywhere from 300 to 500. This number is telling you how many dimples or indentations there are on the golf ball.

Knowing the number of dimples on the ball helps you to understand how it might perform when you've hit it. The Titleist PRO V1 used to have the number 392 printed on its cover to indicate that it had 392 dimples. The manufacturer took this off after 2005 as golfers then understood that this was a premium golf ball. It was also to differentiate between the PRO V1* (392 dimples) and the PRO V1X (332 dimples).

Dimples on a golf ball are responsible for creating boundary layer of air that clings to the ball's surface. In basic language this means that your ball will fly through the air with a level of predictability if you strike it consistently.

If you've ever played an old scuffed up ball you took from a driving range, you might notice that it behaves strangely in the air. This is because there is uneven friction or none at all which can make the ball drop out of the sky with no spin.

Some golf ball manufacturers no longer print the number of dimples on a ball, or they never did. Of course, like many golf ball manufacturers out there, some have roots going back a long time. Printing the number of dimples on a golf ball is part of what makes up their brand.

ProV1 392 golf ball

Older Titleist Pro V1 - 392 golf ball. The 392 refers to the number of dimples.  

Golf ball compression rating

This is probably less common than the number of dimples, but you might find a two or three digit number on a golf ball which relates to its compression ratings.

Golf ball compression rating isn't something that was that interesting until manufacturers started releasing extreme distance and "soft" golf balls into the market. I've written a full article about golf ball compression but basically, a lower compression rating will be a "soft" feeling golf ball and a high compression rating will equate to a firmer or "faster" golf ball.

Most golfers prefer a ball with a medium compression rating which gives them a combination of green side feel and then distance with their longer clubs.

When it comes to compression, the numbers range between a score of 30 and 120. The softest being 30, and the hardest 120.

Precept MC 30 golf ball

Precept MC golf ball with 30 compression number printed on it. 

Red vs. black numbers on golf balls

Often the colour of the number on a golf ball doesn't have much meaning other than for design and marketing purposes. You might have noticed that on some Titleist golf balls, the number below the brand name is either red or black. Red numbers on a Titleist ball mean it's a Pro V1X and black is used on pretty much every other ball that they make.

TaylorMade will use lots of different colours, the RBZ has green numbers while their project(a) ball had orange numbers.

Srixon will will use blue numbers on golf balls for their AD333 model and green numbers for their Soft Feel model.

As a rule though, you will see a red number on the harder variation of a brand's premium golf ball. This is the case for Titleist (Pro V1 line), TaylorMade (TP5 line), and Bridgestone.

Titleist Prov1x golf ball

Titleist Pro V1X golf ball with red numbers.

Final thought on number on golf ball and what numbers on golf ball means

Most commonly, the number printed on golf balls is for identification purposes. If you're playing a competitive game of golf and play the wrong ball, you will be penalised, so the golf manufacturers have made it as easy as possible for us to find and play the right ball. Choose your lucky number and get playing! 

What Degree is a Pitching Wedge Loft?

If you're a beginner golfer, your pitching wedge is going to to be an essential golf club for you. Forget that 60 degree lob wedge, a pitching wedge is going to be a much more consistent and useful tool for your shots around the green.

In this article, we're going to go over all of the basics to do with a pitching wedge, and help you understand the loft of this golf club. Feeling confident and comfortable with you wedge lofts is the secret to a better short game, so let's jump right in and expand our knowledge!

What Is Loft In Golf?

Loft refers to the angle of the face of each golf club in your golf bag. The more loft a club has, the higher and shorter the golf ball will go. The less loft a club has the lower and longer the ball will fly. (In theory...)

loft and bounce

What Loft Is A Pitching Wedge?

Pitching wedges can have between 45 and 50 degrees of loft. The most common pitching wedge lofts are between 46 to 48 degrees. In recent years, club manufacturers have made some pitching wedge lofts stronger to increase distance. In some game improvement irons, you might find a pitching wedge with as little as 41 degrees of loft, which is closer to a traditional 9 iron.

What Angle Is A Pitching Wedge?

Angle and loft are interchangeable when it comes to golf clubs, but loft is the more common term. If you are reading an article and they reference the angle of the wedge, they are talking about the loft, which will sit between 45 and 50 degrees.

TaylorMade Pitching Wedge Loft

TaylorMade are one of the biggest golf club manufacturers in the world. The pitching wedge loft angle in their sets of irons is between 45 and 48 degrees depending on the year the clubs are released . In their super game improvement sets, TaylorMade has produced pitching wedges with 43-degrees of loft.

Callaway Pitching Wedge Loft

Callaway Golf have been known to make the pitching wedges in their iron sets with less loft than many of the other brands. Some Callaway pitching wedges fall between 41 and 45 degrees.

The Callaway Steelhead XR pitching wedge has a loft of 44 degrees. This may be because most 9-irons have a loft of around 41 degrees.

Having a lower loft pitching wedge gives you the option for a little more distance on your low yardage approach shots.

When To Use A Pitching Wedge?

A pitching wedge is a great club to use when you have 100 yards or so left into the putting green.

Due to the higher loft of the pitching wedge, you will be able to get the ball to fly higher in the air and land near to the pin without roll out.

If you have a lower lofted pitching wedge, (between 41-44 degrees) you won't be expecting the ball the fly as high as a pitching wedge with 45-50 degrees of loft.

You can also use your pitching wedge for chip shots and bump and runs around the green. I always suggest that higher handicappers use one chipping club and the pitching wedge is ideal for this job. It is more forgiving than the high lofted wedges and will get the ball moving forward faster.

You can use a pitching wedge for bunker shots. If your local course has a lot of sand, I would suggest investing in a sand wedge with around 56 degrees of loft. Sand wedge features are designed to get the ball out of bunkers more easily so take advantage.


How To Hit A Pitching Wedge

Hitting a pitching wedge is different from your other irons. The best piece of advice I ever got was to try to avoid full swing shots with my wedges, try and limit your swing to a maximum of 75% power.

I try to bruise the turf with my pitching wedge, leaving a small scuff the size of a dollar after the golf ball. This means I've not been too steep or shallow with my swing.

The best way to learn how your pitching wedge will react in different conditions is by hitting shots is practice rounds or at the range.

What Is A 52 Degree Wedge Good For?

Sometimes, you need a wedge that can bridge the gap between the pitching wedge and the sand wedge.

Since the average pitching wedge loft is ideal for shots around 135-yards and under, and sand wedges are better for much closer green work, having a gap wedge that sits at 52-degrees can be very useful.

This middle loft wedge is meant to give you the ability to use a full swing at those distances that are a little too close for a pitching wedge, and a little too far for a sand wedge.

Approach wedge loft / A wedge loft

An approach is sometimes called a gap wedge and fill the space between a golfer's pitching wedge and their sand wedge. The typical loft of an approach wedge or A wedge is 50 to 52 degrees.

As you get more skilled at golf, gap wedges will allow you to get proper loft gapping with your clubs so that you can hit shots a specific yardage. I now carry a pitching wedge, A wedge and gap wedge so I can pinpoint my pitch shots and wedge approach shots.

Other wedge options

A pitching wedge isn't always the best option for some golfers because it is naturally lower lofted. If you feel it's not working for you, there are a number of other wedges to consider playing.

The most common wedges to have in your bag are a gap wedge, sand wedge, and a lob wedge.

As mentions above, a gap or A wedge will fill the “gap” between your pitching wedge and the sand wedge.

Sand wedges are best suited for shots from thicker rough and out of sand. Many golfers will also use a sand wedge for chipping close to the green.

A lob wedge is the highest lofted club in most golfer's bags and is designed to get the ball into the air as quick as possible. Phil Mickelson is famous for his lob wedges and the shots he can play with them.

Final thoughts on pitching wedge loft

As a beginner, a pitching wedge might be the most lofted club in your bag for a while. Getting confident with this wedge will then allow you move into the more lofted wedges to hit speciality lofted shots where you want maximum spin to stop the ball quickly.

Until then, use your pitching wedge and learn to love it! 

Golf Ball Position (Full info with chart)

I have been playing the game of golf for 25 years, and golf ball position is still something I'm yet to work out. Over time, I find that the ball will move forward or back in my stance with different clubs, and I just don't know why!

Along with grip and posture, ball position is considered to be one of golf's "fundamentals" and is essential to play consistent golf.

But like most things in the game, ball position can be complicated. There are different positions for every club in the bag, and these vary player to player in relation to a few factors like width of stance, grip and stock shot shape.

Confused? Don't worry - I'm here to help you out!

Let's look at the correct golf ball position for every club and get you playing better golf now.

Here's a printable chart for you to use. 

golf ball position chart


Golf Ball Position: The basics

When talking about golf ball position we are going to mention the front, middle, and back of your stance. Your stance is how you stand when playing a golf shot.

To keep things simple, in this article all positions are for right-handed players. If you're a lefty like Phil Mickelson, just flip things over so they make sense for you.

Here's what we mean when we talk about front, middle and back of your stance.

  • Front - The golf ball is closer to your fornt or lead foot. This is the left foot for a right handed player.
  • Middle - The golf ball is an equal distance from your front and back foot.
  • Back - The golf ball is nearer to your trailing foot. Right foot for a right handed golfer.

With the basics out of the way, let's see how we can use these terms in relation to the clubs in your golf bag.

Golf Ball Position For Driver

The driver is the longest club in your bag, and for many golfers is the hardest club to hit.

Having the correct golf ball position longer clubs, especially the driver is essential for making clean contact.

We will most likely be hitting our driver from a tee, raising the ball into the air.

A tee gives us the best chance of getting the ball to fly further but we need to combine this with putting the ball forward in our stance. We want to hit up on the ball with our driver with an upward attack angle. To do this we have to make sure our swing arc allows us to hit the ball as the club is moving up, not down.

Using a wider stance and placing the ball just inside your front foot will encourage this upward strike and hopefully stop the dreaded slice from happening.

Golf Ball Position For 3 wood (and other fairway woods)

Like the driver, the 3 wood has a longer shaft and requires us to try and hit up on the ball. We will also be using a tee raise the ball up of the ground, so we should do the same as out driver and have the golf ball positioned forward in our stance.

As the number of the fairway wood increases (e.g. 5 wood or 7 wood), you can move the ball more towards the middle of your stance to offset for the shaft length getting shorter.

Golf ball position for hybrids

Hybrids, sometimes called rescues or utility golf clubs, are in between fairway woods and long irons when it comes to their length.

This means the correct golf ball position for hybrids is almost halfway between your front foot and middle of your stance.

Hybrids are different to fairway woods in that we want to hit down on the ball with them like you would with an iron. If moving the ball more towards the middle of your stance helps promote this downward strike, try it out. Keep a close eye on your ball flight, as moving the ball closer to the middle can cause a slice with a longer club for some golfers.

Golf Ball Position For Irons: 3-Iron to 9-iron

The average golfer will have between 5 and 7 different golf irons in their bag. Most modern iron sets start at a 5 iron and end with a 9 iron, and the ball position for every iron is slightly different.

The keep it simple, I just remember that – the longer the club, the further forward the ball needs to be in your stance.

When hitting a 5 iron, the bottom of your swing arc will be after the middle of your stance so play the ball slightly forward, closer to your front foot.

When hitting an 8 iron, your swing will bottom out pretty much at the centre of your stance so the ball needs to be almost in the middle.

You might see professional or expert golfers play the ball from behind the middle of their stance. This is usually to hit a specific shot like a low draw or punch shot and isn't advisable for the average player. It will more than likely cause you to duff or chunk the ball.

It's also worth noting that if the ball is too far forward in your stance, you can thin or blade the ball, which can be both painful and disastrous for your round.

Golf ball position for wedges

Most golfers will carry at least two specialist wedges in their bag and these short clubs have a big impact on your score. These are the shortest clubs and golf ball position is influenced by this.

When hitting approach shots with your wedges, we want to maximise spin, trajectory and control the distance the golf ball travels. To achieve these things, it's really important we play the ball from the correct position in our stance.

If I'm playing a full shot with a pitching wedge or gap wedge, I'll have the ball in the middle of my stance. This allows me to make a golf swing that creates a downward strike on the ball with a square club face.

Any shots that have a shorter swing, right down to chips have the ball more towards the back of my stance. If I'm playing a bump and run with a wedge, I might even have the ball in front of my back foot to take height off the ball flight.

This is what works for me, and it will change depending on your technique and how you feel over the ball, but I think these are good pointers for most players.

Golf ball position for putter

Putting is a dark art and an area of the game that no one practices enough.

Unlike irons, hybrids and woods, there is no definitive correct ball position for your putter.

The vast majority of players will set up with the ball in the middle of their stance. This is a great place to start as it will most likely be at the bottom of the arc of your putting stroke.

Some players find that having the ball forward, more towards their front foot encourages a cleaner "hit" with the clubface and gets the ball rolling on line, end on end without side spin.

Joe who writes for the site is a taller guy and he find that having a narrow stance with the ball more on his back foot stops him pushing the ball right with his putter.

Try taking a video of your putting to see what type of stoke you have and work from there.

How far to stand from golf ball?

Knowing how close or far you should stand to the gold ball is a big question for beginners. A simple trick I use when showing new players the basics of the game is to put the club head behind the ball, then move the grip of the club straight down. It should hit your knee on the way, which tells you that you're standing the correct distance from the ball.

If it hits your thigh, you're too close. If it hits nothing, you're too far away. This will become second nature once you play more golf, but try this out next time you're on the course or at the driving range to get a feel for what is comfortable for you.

Golf Ball Placement: Specific shots

As you play more golf, you're going to recognise that very rarely do you get to hit the ball from a perfect flat lie like at a driving range. On the golf course, often the ball will be above or below your feet, on either and up or down slope, and in a variety of different grass types. This doesn't even take into account hazards like bunkers and trees!

A seasoned golfer with decent ability has options and can use different types of shots to navigate even the most challenging holes or conditions. Golf ball position is essential in executing these unique shots.

Let's look at some different shots you might encounter and the proper way to position your golf ball in your stance when attempting them.

  • Chip – The average mid handicap player is hitting 7 greens in regulation a round. Even the best players miss greens, so you will be forced to chip to get “up and down” to save a score. When hitting a standard chip shot, make sure your golf ball position is slightly back in your stance.
  • Bump-n-Run – a “bump-n-run” is a type of chip shot designed to run along the ground. Ofter played with short irons like a 7 iron, the golf ball position for this shot is off your back foot.
  • Greenside Bunker – to get out of a bunker near the green, you want to splash the ball out. Have the ball in the front-middle of your stance to properly execute and slap the sand with the sole of the golf club.
  • Fairway Bunker – in a fairway bunker you want to pick ball off the top of the sand and avoid a fat shot. Your golf ball needs to be positioned forward from a regular shot. You almost want to feel like you're going to top it.
  • Flop Shot – a flop shot is a floaty wedge shot that lands softly on the green. You open the face of your wedge and cut across the golf ball. To play this shot, your ball position should be forward in your stance.
  • Stinger – Tiger Woods is MR STINGER. It's a low, straight shot that pierces the wind. To hit a stinger, you will need the golf ball back in your stance to reduce the spin on the ball.
  • Punch – The punch is useful when playing in windy conditions and from under trees. The key here is keeping the ball low, so like a stinger, place the ball back in your stance.

Now let's be clear, just changing your golf ball position won't magically make you hit these shots, but it is a good start.

Final thoughts on golf ball position

Golf is hard, but it's so much fun. Things like golf ball position can unlock new parts of your game and allow you to hit difference shots at different targets.

Get out there and try a few different things to find what is suitable for you. 

What Should You Wear to the Driving Range? (Full info)

When you first start getting into golf, chances are you will be hitting your first balls at a driving range. Golf can be a pretty intimidating game to start out in, and the driving range is much more chilled and informal place to work out your swing than a golf course.

I spent hours on the range before I even went near a golf club, and it was a great way for me to shake of the nerves of playing golf at an actual course.

Another great thing about the driving range is that there usually isn't a dress code. Unlike at golf courses, you don't have to think too hard about what to wear to a driving range but there are some pretty basic do's and dont's which we'll cover in this article.

Let's dive right in!

golf driving range

An outdoor driving range in Asia 

What to wear to driving range male

If you're a total beginner at golf or a seasoned pro, it's always good to know what to wear to the driving range. Personally I try and wear golf clothes when I go to the range to practice as it get's me in the same mindset as when I'm out on the course.

But there are times when I'll be wearing jeans and normal t-shirt if I just want to hit balls with a few buddies and shoot the breeze. It all depends on your purpose for visiting the range.

I am going to go through each item of clothing you could wear to the driving range to give the best set of options for your trip.

Shoes

I normally wear my golf shoes to the range. I think it's really important as your shoes are what link you to the ground and different footwear will influence your swing in different ways. I wear spikeless golf shoes which are a lot like sneakers and they are super comfortable - I sometimes wear them for non golf stuff!

If you don't feel like wearing your waterproof shoes or FootJoy classics with jeans, make sure you wear a pair of comfortable running shoes or tennis shoes which have a similar thickness of sole to your golf shoes. This will mean that you are the same height when practicing on the range as you would be on the course.

If in doubt wear running shoes.

Socks

I would always recommend wearing socks when playing or practicing golf. Blisters aren't fun and getting sweaty feet can get really uncomfortable.

Personally, I like to wear low profile trainer socks whenever I'm playing golf or practicing on the range. These socks from FootJoy are perfect and keep my feet nice and dry, even in the tropical heat of Thailand.

If the driving range you're visiting is attached to golf course, you will almost definitely have to wear socks. Some may even make you wear longer ankle socks if you are also wearing shorts. Make sure to check the dress code rules ahead of time.

what to wear driving range male

What I like to wear to the range in the heat of Thailand

Shorts

If it's a warm day, wear short to the driving range. Most golfers will hit around 50-100 balls in a standard range visit and it can be hard work. Staying cool and dry is a priority, so make sure to wear shorts which are made from a synthetic material which wicks away moisture.

Shorts made from denim can be a really restrictive and may even cause chafing after a while. Avoid these if you can.

Pants/trousers

With pants for the driving range, I always go for comfort and flexibility. Usually I'll wear a pair of golfing trousers made from a synthetic material but I am also a fan of jogging pants.

One thing I usually don't do is wear jeans. Jeans are great but they aren't the most comfortable when you're making repeated golf swings. You also won't be able to wear jeans if the driving range is attached to a golf club where their dress code applies.

If in doubt, wear golf pants or sweat pants.

Shirt

A collared shirt is the standard for playing golf but you don't have to wear one to the range. A golf shirt is comfortable and will do the job, but isn't always the most fashionable thing to wear, especially if your going somewhere else after the range.

A loosely fitted cotton t shirt or synthetic work out shirt will be perfect and give you more than enough flexibility to make swings in. Collared shirts can still be worn, and may be a requirement if the range is attached to a golf course with a formal dress code.

Here are some great collared golf shirts which look and feel great!

Sweater

If it's cooler weather you may want to wear a sweater when at the driving range. Any sweater made from a material like merino wool or a synthetic blend will give you the comfort and breathability you'll need when working up a sweat on the range.

I personally like micro fleece or merino wool as they are comfortable and breathable. 

Hat

If you watch golf on the TV, you'll see all of the pros wearing a hat. Most of them wear baseball caps for sponsorship reasons - Rory McIlroy doesn't wear one if he's playing in the Ryder Cup or the Olympics.

You don't need to wear a hat to the driving range, but some will find it more comfortable. Most driving ranges are covered, so keeping the sun off your head isn't really a factor. I like wearing a bucket hat when playing and practicing, and you pick one up here.

Base-layer

If it's super cold and you need some extra protection from the elements, wearing a base-layer is great idea. the best base-layers are made from high quality synthetic fabrics and will either insulate you from the cold or wick away moisture from your body if you're hot.

Base-layers are included in most golf course dress codes so you won't have to worry about wearing one to any range.

Golf Glove

Unless you want to get blisters, wearing a golf glove to the range is essential. My go to golf glove for years has been the Foot Joy WeatherSof. Cheap, lasts for ages and works when wet. 

What to wear to driving range girl

what to gear to a driving range girl

Spot the do's and don'ts in this picture  

To find out what is comfortable and practical for woman to wear to the driving range I asked my sister Teaski for he opinion. She is a high handicapper who is hooked on the game, and she tries to get to the range at least once a week to work on her swing. She lives in Thailand, so her tips are based on clothes for hot weather. Here is her guide to looking and feeling good at the range;

Shoes

Spikeless golf shoes are my go to for a trip to driving range. I sometimes wear sneakers but I like practice in the same shoes that I will be playing golf in. My favourite pair of golf shoes are the Adidas Tour 360. 

Socks

I'm a big fan of hidden sneaker socks, especially in the heat of Thailand and Malaysia. I prefer stretchy materials which keep your feet cool, and these socks from FootJoy are my go to choice.

Shorts/Skorts

The skort has been a great invention for female golfers as they let you wear something which looks good and is really comfortable and functional. I do wear sports shorts to the driving range if it's not attached to a golf course, but I will more often wear a skort like this one. 

Pants/Leggings

I don't really wear golf pants due to the hotter climates I play and practice golf in, so if I don't want to wear a skort or shorts I will wear leggings. They are comfortable and practical and have many uses beyond playing golf. These yoga pants are a really good option. 

Shirt

If I'm going to a standalone driving range, I will wear a looser fitting tee shirt to practice in. I like synthetic/cotton mix fabrics as they keep you cool and comfortable in the heat. If I'm at a range attached to a golf course, I will wear a collared shirt so that I can go straight out onto the course or sit in the club house without issues.

Hat

I will usually wear a baseball hat to the driving range as I'll have my hair in a ponytail and the hat helps keep it out of the way. I will sometimes wear a bucket hat if the driving range is uncovered and I want extra protection from the sun.

Can you wear shorts to driving range?

Yes, you can wear shorts to the driving range. If it's colder weather it might be best to wear pants, but it's up to you. Golf shorts are made from flexible and breathable fabrics which are designed to make it easier to swing the golf club. I would avoid wearing shorts made from denim or other heavy materials.

What Shoes Should You Wear to the Driving Range?

Although you don't need to worry about what clothes you're going to wear to the driving range what shoes you should wear is probably worth a bit of thought.

Because however relaxed you are about your practice session at the driving range if you are planning on hitting a few decent shots you are going to need a bit of grip on your feet.

Now that doesn't mean for example that you have to wear golf shoes however you do need a good grip on the ground when you swing the club.

Wearing shoes with enough tread on the soles to give you grip when you swing the club are best to wear to the driving range. Trainers, sneakers or loafers for example are a good choice if you don't have or want to wear golf shoes but sandals, flip-flops, work boots and heels are not recommended.

If you swing the club a bit fast and hard you may find your feet move a bit when you swing the club if you don't wear golf shoes but for beginner and high handicap golfers for example, who typically have low swings speeds, it is fine whatever shoes with some grip they choose to wear.

Most spikeless golf shoes are in reality just sneakers with extra grip on the soles so whatever trainers you wear will be fine.

Some people can feel a bit self-conscious wearing their golf shoes with basketball shorts or tracksuit bottoms or jeans but that's a fashion consideration rather than golfing one.

Sandals, flip-flops and heels are out though. Also men's working boots are probably not a great idea.

One thing to bear in mind also if you do decide to wear your trainers is if you're going to practice regularly at the driving range you may not want to wear you best pair all the time if you want to keep them looking pristine.

On the astroturf mats which you play off at the vast majority of driving ranges they will scuff up, particularly around the toe area after you complete your swing.

Better therefore, if you want to keep your sneakers or trainers looking as good as new for a while yet, to go for an older or more durable pair which you don't mind maybe getting a bit scuffed up.

If you're going for a golf lesson by comparison though I would always wear the same shoes I wear on the golf course. You want the pro to give you feedback on your swing in as close to the same conditions as you play on the course.

And if you wear golf shoes on the golf course you should wear them to your lesson at the driving range.

The height difference in the sole between your golf shoes and your trainers could make a difference as to how you hit the ball at the range compared to the course so the pro may not give you the best feedback for your game because you're swinging differently when he sees you.

One final little thing I've also found over the years when wearing golf shoes at the driving range is that by virtue of having soft spikes on my feet to raise them a little off the ground my feet stay a bit warmer in the winter than they do when I wear trainers!

Final Thoughts On What To Wear To A Driving Range

Guy or girl, old or young, they key to the right clothes for the driving range is COMFORT. You're basically going to be working out, so when you're at golf driving range wear an outfit which you can move freely in and is able to withstand you working up a sweat.

If you're at a driving range attached to a golf course, it's totally fine to wear golf clothes, in fact it's probably easier so you avoid any awkward conversations around dress code. If you do wear golfing clothes, choose items which can also be casual clothes, that way you can get other things done in your day without having to change.

If you don't want to wear golf attire, pick something comfortable like workout clothes and swing away. 

If you want to know what to wear when golfing for the first time, check out my guide here.