Top 5 Tips for a Better Putt

In golf, scores are determined by the number of strokes it takes for a player to get the ball in the cup. The victor is the one with the lowest strokes done within par. If you find yourself making a shot over and over again, your score will build up. The fastest way to lower your score is to improve your putting skills. It is also your last line of defense against going over par. But most importantly, it is the stroke that actually holes a ball.

In short, putting is something all golfers should master if they want to improve their golf play. We’ll walk you through a few tips that you yourself can take into consideration to get better at putting. Here are some of them:

Read the green from a different angle

Improving your green-reading skills can only benefit you because before hitting the ball with your putter, you must first analyze the field with attention. You have to factor in the accuracy of your vision and perception, the distance of your putt, and the slopes that surround the cup.

You can assess your putt and the green from different angles. Your eyes can be fooled into thinking that something is closer than it is in reality. This case is especially true when golfers try to assess the green from behind the ball looking towards the hole. To get a clearer picture of the length your ball must travel, try looking at things from a more horizontal perspective. Judge the distance by standing at the side of the putt line. This will give you a better feel of the speed and aim you need to incorporate in your stroke.

Another good tip is to assess the putt from the low side, as the high side makes the distance between the ball and the hole seem longer. Taking the low side means adopting a position where you have to look up to read a putt. This is a good position because it aligns you perpendicular to the green, giving you a clearer, more direct view of your putt.

Focus on the putt and block out distractions

As golf is played outdoors, you can be distracted by many things in your surroundings when analyzing the greens. Use your cap to block out the visual distractions around you. You can even use it as a horizontal standard to better identify the slopes in the putting green. If you aren’t wearing any headwear, you can place your hands around your face, with your fingers above your eyes as your horizontal guide and your palms as a shield against distractions.

Improve your setup

After measuring the distance, now you can prepare to hit the ball. The setup leading to your stroke can affect the path the ball will take. You must establish a good aim and a comfortable stance. A wide stance can move the ball forward with a shift to the left. A narrow stance, on the other hand, propels the ball forward with a shift to the right.

Since putting involves hitting the ball towards a hole in short distances, you also need a grip that gives you proper control. For right-handed players, make sure to place the shaft of your putter along the line on your left hand’s palm, between the index finger and the thumb that continues downward toward the wrist. Use your fingers to grip the shaft. Holding the putter this way limits excessive wrist movement. For a controlled stroke, swing using your arm, not with a flick of your wrist.

Make the ball roll

In the suggested grip and stance mentioned above, the putter will ascend slightly once you’ve begun to swing. Do not let your club hit the ball upwards, as this can send your ball flying or hopping, which you should avoid if you want to hole the ball.

Concentrate on making it roll into the cup instead. Maintain an open stance so that your left hand is free to move out towards the hole. Also, lean your putter shaft towards the hole for a smooth roll. Keep the head of the club close to the ground and then strike with the amount of power you see fit.

Practice whenever you can

Putting is the most important aspect in a golf play because it is the shot that actually leads the ball into the hole. Despite its significance, it is the easiest stroke a golfer can practice since it is only utilized for short distances and it doesn’t require much force or effort to work on. So there’s no excuse not to practice it! Master putting by practicing it whenever the opportunity presents itself. You can do it at home, during breaks from work, and on the greens.

 

There is a saying among golfers that “you drive for show but you putt for dough.” This is very true. You use strong strokes to get closer to the hole, but once you’ve made it to the putting green, your short game will decide the outcome.

Also, as the last moments of a game can be nerve-wracking, prepare well by wearing comfortable and high-quality golf wear like Swing Control’s selection of golf bottoms. Our golf apparel can give you the optimum freedom of movement and comfort you need to work the course and to nail that stroke!

Swing Control’s Top 7 Golf Club Picks

Swing Control’s Top 7 Golf Club Picks

Whether you are practicing for an upcoming match or just want to enjoy an afternoon playing golf, there are hundreds of golf clubs and golf courses to suit your purpose. Each establishment gives a unique golfing experience, but there are a few clubs that stand out from the rest because of their impressive facilities, challenging layouts, and aesthetic character.

To help you make the choice of where to spend your next tee time at, we present you with our top 7 golf club picks:

 

Augusta National Golf Club

Augusta National Golf ClubLocated in Augusta, Georgia, the Augusta National Golf Club is a former plant nursery that has been converted into a golf club. It boasts pristine and well-kept grounds that are home to a rich variety of trees and shrubs.

Designed by American golfer Bobby Jones and British golf course architect Alister MacKenzie, it has 18 holes for golfers to enjoy, as well as a collection of gift shops, dining areas, cabins, and facilities for persons with disability.

The club was established in 1933 by Jones and investment dealer Clifford Roberts. It was ranked number 1 in Golf Digest’s 2009 list of America’s 100 greatest courses, and is currently ranked number 5 in Golfweek Magazine’s 2016 list of the best classic golf courses in the United States.

Famous members of the club include Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, IBM CEO Sam Palmisano, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and many other high-profile personalities. Among golfers, it is best known for hosting the annual Masters Tournament, one of the four major championships in professional golf.

 

Pebble Beach Golf Links

Pebble Beach Golf LinksRegarded as one of the most stunning golf courses in the world, Pebble Beach Golf Links offers panoramic views of the sea, beautiful cliff-side fairways, and graceful sloping greens that are truly a feast for the eyes.

Established in 1919 and designed by golf course architects Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, the course hosts the prestigious AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, as well as annual events for the PGA Tour and the PGA Tour Champions. It will also host the 2019 edition of the U.S. Open, the sixth time for the club to hold this major golf championship. The club is also currently ranked number 1 by Golf Digest in its list of America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses.

Pebble Beach Golf Links offers golf lessons in its Pebble Beach Golf Academy, which is home to modern training facilities. Golf equipment and golf apparel for men and women are also available at their shop.

 

 

 

Medinah Country Club

Medinah Country Club

One of the most prominent country clubs in the United States, the Medinah Country Club is an architectural gem that stretches over 640 acres. It comprises three golf courses, 54 holes, swimming facilities, the Lake Kadijah, and clubhouses built in Byzantine style.

This private country club located in Medinah, Illinois, was founded in 1924 by Shriners (members of a society that is an appendant body to Freemasonry) from Chicago’s Medinah Temple. The founders enlisted renowned Scottish course architect Tom Bendelow to design the three courses. Over the years, the courses underwent a few renovations and remodeling by other well-known architects such as Tom Doak and Rees Jones.

Since its establishment, Medinah Country Club has hosted three U.S. Opens, a U.S Senior Open, two PGA Championships, a Ryder Cup Match, and other amateur and professional events.

 

Shadow Creek

Shadow CreekThis 18-hole golf course in North Las Vegas, Nevada, was designed by highly acclaimed golf course architect Tom Fazio and built by Las Vegas Casino magnate Steve Wynn over an empty 350-acre desert flatland.

Shadow Creek’s vibrant green grass, graceful hillsides, rushing waterfalls, and tall trees are a stark contrast to its sandy surroundings.  The club’s breathtaking beauty, first-rate facilities, and dedicated and hospitable staff make this one of best courses any golfer can experience. The layout of the grounds also offers excellent pace of play and challenging holes that are good for practice sessions.

Though technically a public course, Shadow Creek is quite exclusive, as only casino or MGM Resorts guests can play here.

 

Los Angeles Country Club

Los Angeles Country ClubGolfers can play 36 holes of golf in the peaceful and relaxing Los Angeles Country Club at Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles.

Founded in 1897 by a group of Los Angeles locals who called themselves the Los Angeles Golf Club, the country club has had a long history that involves numerous relocations to different sites due to the club becoming overcrowded. The first site was at Pico and Alvarado Street, followed by a transfer to Pico Heights, then to the Northeast corner of Pico and Western, and finally, the club settled in Beverly Hills.

In its hundred years of existence, the club has hosted the Los Angeles Open Tournament five times, and it is also set to host the 123rd U.S. Open in 2023. The club has also been selected by the United States Golf Association to host the 2017 Walker Cup Match.

The country club has other facilities like a clubhouse, swimming pools, and tennis courts.

 

 

Monterey Peninsula Country Club

monterey-peninsula-country-club-shore-courseThe Monterey Peninsula Country Club is a 5-star platinum club found at Pebble Beach, California. It was established and opened in 1925 by environmental conservationist Samuel Finley Brown Morse.

The club has two top-ranking courses, the Dunes Course and the Shore Course. The Dunes Course began construction in 1824 and was originally designed by the famous East Coast golf architect Seth Raynor, but his sudden death led to architects Robert Hunter and Dr. Alister Mackenzie to finish the project in his stead.

The Dunes Course became the host of the PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am from 1947 to 1964. The club’s second course, the Shore Course, was built in 1960, with the layout designed by golf course architect Robert Baldock. Both courses have undergone remodeling and renovation since then.

The two courses, with a total 15 oceanfront holes along the coastline give golfers just the right amount of challenge and fun. Players can tee off while enjoying magnificent views of the surrounding ocean and landscape.

 

Milwaukee Country Club

milwaukee-country-clubFounded in 1894, Milwaukee Country Club is one of America’s most esteemed clubs and a pioneer in the state of Wisconsin. Here, players can enjoy relaxing games surrounded by maple trees, vibrant green grass, and a view of the Milwaukee River. For golfers seeking to sharpen their skills, the course’s challenging 18 holes and bunkers provide excellent practice play opportunities.

Since its establishment, the Milwaukee Country Club has hosted the 1903 Western Open, 1969 Walker Cup, 1988 U.S Senior Amateur, and the 2008 U.S. Mid-Amateur. It is also the home club of Manuel de la Torre, a renowned teaching pro who was inducted into the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame.

 

When choosing a golf course, a player has to factor in the course layout, quality of service, and the amenities offered. Facilities like an academy course that offers lessons, a driving range for practice, and golf shops where players can buy up-to-date equipment, fashionable but functional golf apparel, and other useful supplies can help golfers improve their golf game. The clubs listed here offer all of these to give you the best golfing experience you can get.

 

A Short Guide to Swinging in Style

Golfers consider proper clothing as good decorum and part of golf course etiquette. While dress codes were much stricter in the past, modern-day golf is less restrictive. Nevertheless, the most important rule remains: golfers must dress in smart and modest clothing.

 

The more relaxed dress codes gave way for sportswear brands like Swing Control to create innovative and fashionable golf apparel. But with all the available clothing options to choose from, beginners may get a bit confused about the dos and don’ts of dressing for a game of golf.

 

Here’s a basic guide to the proper golf wear and accessories you can sport on the course:

 

Golf Tops

 

Most golf courses have specific dress codes, so it’s best to check or to inquire about these rules beforehand. Generally, however, collared shirts or polo shirts are the preferred choice among players for their classic look. For women, sleeveless shirts are even accepted as long as they have a collar. For colder months, a turtleneck shirt is a great option.

 

Of course, shirts also come in a variety of colors and prints. But keep in mind that wearing revealing shirts, tops with clashing colors, and those that have too many different patterns are considered a no-no. Your shirts should also fit well; not too tight so they don’t restrict body movement, not too loose so they get in the way of your swings.

 

Golf Bottoms

 

While not as strenuous as basketball or soccer, golf can still take a toll on your body. Golfers can face pretty harsh weather conditions. Moreover, a single game can last for five to six hours. That’s a lot of standing and walking around outdoors! To avoid discomfort and to prevent yourself from developing sore leg muscles, aim for well-fitting and weather-appropriate bottom-wear.

 

For optimum comfort and mobility, stretchable and elastic garments are the best choice. Swing Control’s selection of pants, capris, shorts, and skorts, for example, are made from a unique tummy control stretch fabric that makes movement easy while ensuring a flattering figure. Since winter is approaching, opt for pants or capris to keep yourself warm.

 

Golf Outerwear

 

Layering clothes is common among golfers because the weather can be unpredictable. If it gets too cold, you can put on a jacket. Get too warm, simply remove it! Wearing jackets, vests, and sweaters can also make an outfit more interesting and more multidimensional. Keep in mind, though, that sweatshirts, denim jackets, and denim vests are not allowed on most golf courses.

 

Headwear

 

Unobstructed vision is essential in playing golf because you’ll need to analyze the playing field carefully. Shield your eyes from the sun’s rays by wearing a visor or a cap. Headwear can also keep your face from getting sunburned, and it can protect the top of your head from getting too hot.

When it comes to caps, you have a lot of options to choose from: crocheted caps, adjustable visors, facesavers, cloches, straw hats, and even custom-made hats. Just avoid inappropriate headwear like fedoras, cowboy hats, and gag hats.

 

Sunglasses

 

You can opt to wear a pair of sunglasses with your headwear of choice. Like caps and visors, sunglasses can protect your peepers from blinding sunshine. Choose a good pair that offers technical benefits. Polarized sunglasses, for instance, can greatly reduce the sun’s glare compared to standard sunglasses.

 

Golf Jewelry

 

Yes, women can wear jewelry while playing a round! However, you should avoid flamboyant and gaudy pieces like dangling necklaces and chunky bracelets as they can interfere with your game. Stick with subtle accessories like stud earrings, small necklaces, brooches, or pins.

 

There are also gadgets that are useful and stylish, like bracelets and watch counters. These small tools can help golfers keep track of their score.

 

Shoes

 

At most golf courses or clubs, spiked shoes are considered required equipment. The spikes on golf shoes are made of soft materials like plastic or rubber, which help in preventing damage on a golf course’s grass compared to metal spike. Many clubs do not permit players to wear other types of footwear, including flip-flops, sandals, boots, and street shoes. There are golf courses that tolerate running shoes and sneakers that look like proper golf shoes.

 

Looking for stylish and functional golf wear and accessories can be frustrating if you aren’t sure of the proper clothing etiquette. However, by knowing what is acceptable and what isn’t, you can confidently tee off in style without having to worry if you’ve made a golf wearfaux pas.

How to Buy New Golf Clubs

With the prices of golf clubs being what they are, buying a beginner’s set is a purchase that you shouldn’t take lightly. You have to be absolutely sure that you are getting what you need.

 

If you are buying golf equipment for the first time, you’d be delighted to learn that there’s a good variety of options available in the market today. But what about if you already have clubs? If you want to expand your current collection, it might also be worth exploring the new generation of clubs out there. This is especially true if your current equipment is already several years old. Clubs today are generally better-designed and better-engineered compared to their predecessors. Those apparently minute differences in construction and quality could actually translate to better rounds on the course.

 

Before you part with your hard-earned money, here are a few tips that should help you get started with finding the right set of clubs.

 

Know the different types of golf clubs

 

The United States Golf Association (USGA) mandates that players can carry up to 14 clubs with them in their golf bags. If 2 players share a club set, they should never have more than 14 clubs combined.

Although you can carry whatever types of clubs you think you’ll need, a typical set usually consists of the following:

  • 1 driver – Used to launch the ball as far as possible from the tee, drivers have some of the lowest loft (7 to 13 degrees) among all golf clubs. The loft is the angle of the club face which influences the distance of shots. Drivers are usually numbered 1-wood.
  • 2 fairway woods – Fairway woods are used to propel the ball from off the grass of the fairway. Like drivers, they are also designed for distance shots. The most common fairway woods are numbered 3-wood and 5-wood, although the 2-wood and 4-wood variants are also available. They typically have club heads lofted between 15 to 22 degrees.
  • 7 irons – Equipped with smaller club heads and shorter shafts, irons are used to propel the ball from the fairway to the green. They are numbered from 3-iron to 9-iron. The closer a player is to the green, the higher an iron that the player should use.
  • 2 wedges – Wedges are similar-looking to irons, but they have shorter shafts and higher lofts, typically at 48, 52, 56, 60, and 64 degrees. They are used for performing lob shots to get the ball out of difficult obstacles like sand, mud, or dense grass. The most common wedges are the sand wedge, the lob wedge, the approach wedge, and the pitching wedge.
  • 1 putter – The putter is designed for all shots on the green. A putter’s loft never goes beyond 10 degrees.
  • 1 hybrid – A hybrid combines the characteristics of irons and woods, namely the length of an iron’s shaft and the club head configuration of a wood.

 

Start with the basics

 

Naturally, you don’t need to buy these clubs all at once. Most people start out okay with a driver, a set of irons, and a putter. Later on, you can buy new clubs to supplement your bag depending on the needs of your game.

 

Choose the type of shaft material and the kind of flex you need

 

Irons are typically available in steel and graphite shafts, while woods are now usually available only in graphite. Graphite is a lighter material while steel is heavier but usually more affordable. The shafts also come in different flex variants, namely ladies, senior, regular, stiff, and extra stiff options. The shorter your drive and the slower your swing speed, the softer the flex you should choose.

 

Consider custom-made golf clubs

 

If you’re keen on getting a set that will suit you perfectly, consider getting clubs that are custom-fit for you. Companies like TaylorMade and Henry-Griffitts provide fitting services and customized clubs for golfers. Armed with fitting technologies, these manufacturers determine the exact equipment models, components, and specifications that you need. By using equipment designed specifically for your body, you can optimize the direction and distance of your shots.

 

Buy irons with v-shaped grooves

 

In case you’re new to the sport or you are currently using old irons and are looking at buying new ones, you should know about the USGA’s 2010 ruling on club grooves. Before 2010, professional golfers were using irons with stronger u-shaped or square-shaped grooves, which allowed them to more easily hit shots from the rough to the green. In 2010, the USGA enacted a new rule that made v-shaped grooves the new standard, with the intention of reducing spin in shots out of the rough.

 

Although those playing informal games won’t have to play the new grooves until 2024, it makes sense to buy equipment that adheres to the new regulation. Note that the grooves don’t have to be v-shaped exactly, as long as they are not as sharp as those found in u-shaped or square-shaped grooves.

 

With the right information, you can begin your search for the right golf club set that is perfectly suited for you. While you’re at it, also consider getting new golf wear bottoms for that upcoming game. At Swing Control, we have a variety of pants, capris, shorts, and skorts that you can choose from. Watch out for our Winter Lookbook, which is coming out soon!