Friday, May 11, 2018

10 Absolutely Stupid Golf Fashions

1. Long Sleeve Dress Shirts

Lately, Phil Mickelson has been wearing these at tournaments. He looks like a rules official or some bored office worker that wants to pull off a quick nine after a long day toiling away in a cublicle. Even Phil the Thrill can't pull this look off, so puh-leeze, just wear a regular golf shirt. Another great and goofy Phil fashion statement is wearing a watch while playing. 

2. Flat Brim Caps

Unless you're trying to squeeze in a quick round before you attend a rap concert, please refrain from wearing these ridiculous looking lids.

3. All White From Head to Toe

If your desire is to look like an ice cream truck driver, house painter or tennis player at Wimbledon, by all means, show up at the golf course in all white.

4. High-Top Golf Shoes

You can thank Rickie Fowler for trying to introduce this fashion statement on to the golf course. Thankfully, it hasn't caught on. Unless you're an NBA golf fanatic like J.R. Smith or Stephen Curry, please leave your high-tops at home in your closet.

5. Camouflage Outfits

Maybe for Larry the Cable Guy or some deer hunter who just fell out of your tree perch onto the fairway, but the rest of us should not wear camouflage on the golf course. Same goes for bowling shirts, Hawaiian shirts and baseball and football jerseys.

6. Golf Sandals

Yes, you might be in the bunkers all day, but that still doesn't give you the right to play golf in sandals. If you like sandals so much, please take up beach volleyball or perhaps frisbee golf.

7. Matching Husband and Wife Outfits

This is the couple that has WAY too much time on their hands. Oh yeah, they also generally own a tricked up golf cart with sheepskin seat covers and a customized license plate that reads "Bob & Madge."

8. Oversized Golf Shirts

Hey, the 1980s called and they want these shirts back NOW.

9. Logos Gone Crazy

Nothing and I mean nothing is more annoying than the guy who shows up wearing a logo hat, shirt and pants. He's basically saying, "Hey guys, I played Pebble, Pinehurst and Bandon Dunes and went to the Masters and you poor slugs haven't been anywhere."

10. Cowboy Hats

I realize a cowboy hat provides more protection against the sun than a traditional golf cap, but unless you're a rancher rounding up some cattle or an urban cowboy looking for love in all the wrong places, I highly suggest leaving this legendary lid at home on the hat rack.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Product Review: Square Strike Wedge

You would think someone named "The Guru" would be a fairly good stick, right?

Well, I'm not. I'm just another struggling mid-handicapper that's hit a pool screen or two and chipped more thin and fat shots than I can count.

My long game is pretty consistent, but from 15 or 40 yards away from the green I'm the master at turning a sure par into a double bogey.

Enough is enough... I decided to finally do something about my lousy short game.

I got the Square Strike Wedge.

By now, you've probably seen the commercial on The Golf Channel with two-time U.S. Open Champion/TV commentator Andy North touting the Square Strike. For whatever reason, North comes off as sincere and not just some celeb offering a testimonial for a paycheck. The more I watched the video the more I believed it might be the answer to some of my problems.

I've used everything from a putter to 4-iron to sand wedge to chip. Nothing worked consistently.

So, I guess you won't be surprised when I tell you I was chipping balls with my Square Strike minutes after ripping open the box.

I threw a few golf balls down on my carpet in my den and started chipping away.

Let's just say, I was kicking ass in my den. At this point, I wasn't sure how it would work on the course, but I sure liked the immediate results. Except for one ball I bounced off an end table, I had no mishits with about 10 shots.

By utilizing a simple, exaggerated putting stroke, I was amazingly popping the ball up instead of hitting dribblers and chunks.

Two days later I took it to the golf course, a great little 9-hole layout, the Winter Park Golf Club just north of Orlando. Located on the edge of the village, it's one of the nation's best walking courses and the Guru loves to walk to play golf.

I had some impressive results. I probably saved three or four strokes on my round by being able to execute shots that typically give me trouble such as chipping over a bunker and hitting a 20-yard chip when I was short of a green to about 8 feet to the pin. Normally, with that type of shot I can't get it within 15 feet of pin and that's if I don't chunk it three feet or skull it over the green.

Oh yeah, while I was waiting on the group in front of me I hit a couple of 30 to 40 yard practice bump and run shots with good results.

I'm not going to go all scientific on you. In simple language, this is why I think the Square Strike worked for me:

* It's heavy (.73 pounds) so it forces you to make a pendulum swing, which helps with control and accuracy. My gosh, even the most struggling duffer can execute a putting stroke, right?

* It has a shorter shaft so you must hunch over a little more than with a regular wedge. The result is you have much better control.

* The club face looks and feels like it's more forgiving. I instantly had more confidence with it. Instead of imaging a chunk with one of my other wedges, I actually had positive swing thoughts with the Square Strike. 

Just The Facts:

Loft: 45 degrees

Length: 35.5 inches

Lie angle: 68 degrees

Head weight: 330 grams (.73 pounds)

Guru Verdict

If you can swing a putter, you can use the Square Strike. While it takes some getting used to swinging the heavier club head, once you do you'll be pleased with the results. I definitely think you can save 3 to 6 strokes a round and maybe even more. The Square Strike has taken a permanent place in my golf bag.