Think skiing for better golf

So being in Rossland there’s a bit of a ski culture to the community. With that being the case I want to share a way to use some of your skiing skills to improve your golf game. We’re going to focus on how we balance, more specifically where we distribute our weight on the soles of our feet. When we ski we always use the inside edges of our skis to balance against when turning and stopping. So we balance against the inside or instep of our outside foot when skiing. Anyone that skis knows how unnerving it is to get caught on the outside edges of their skis. If we relate this to our golf swing, specifically the back-swing there are some similarities. As we complete our back-swing if our weight moves to the outside of our back foot (right side of the ride foot for right handed golfers) we create a position where it is extremely difficult to transfer our weight to our left side as we start our down-swing. In most cases this will cause us to start the down-swing with our arms, casting our club on an outside to in path, limiting our speed and making quality contact difficult. Translation short and crooked. Instead if we focus on keeping our balance on the inside (left side) of our right foot we will create a position where we can push of our right foot to start our downswing. This makes transferring our weight to our left side much easier, allows to the club to follow an inside to square path and maximizes speed by allowing us to generate power from the ground up. So how do we get the feel for this? The next time your at the range take a club and place the grip end on the ground under the right side of your right foot for right handed golfers (the opposite for lefties) and make a few swings. You’ll instantly feel how this restricts your ability to move your weight to the outside of your back foot and how it keeps you in a well balanced athletic position where you can push off your back foot to generate power and transfer your weight most efficiently. Get on your inside edge for more power and control.

Limbo Your Irons for better contact and more distance.

Are you a golfer who loves their woods but has always struggled with your irons and wedges. Your woods love to be swept off the turf. Swinging with a shallow angle of attack, where the club-head catches up to your hands, can work really well at launching high straight drives and fairway woods. The problem is while this works well with your longer clubs it can cause struggles with your irons and wedges. When the club-head catches up with our hands it forces us to pick the ball off the turf leaving very little room for error. Additionally it tends to add loft to the club-face at impact reducing the energy transfer and increasing the trajectory both of which can drastically reduce distance. Ideally we want to have the hands leading the club-head at impact with our shorter clubs. Hybrids, irons and wedges are all designed to be struck in such a manner. This is one of those things all better players have figured out that separates them from the rest of the golfers out there. When the hands lead the club-head it encourages a downward or steeper angle of attack into the ball allowing for better impact location of the club-face and a big increase in backspin. This allows for more efficient energy transfer (more ball speed=more distance) and increased backspin equaling additional carry and increased stopping power. As an added bonus it also dynamically strengthens the loft of the club-face at impact effectively turns say a 9 Iron into a 8 Iron or maybe even a 7 Iron making many golfers 10 to 30 yards longer with every club in their bag. So how do we make this happen? Well as a visual guide try to think of doing the limbo with your irons, make them fly lower than you normally do. To do this you’ll have to practice keeping your hands ahead of the ball through impact. To get a feel for this stand at address and place the ball in a position where when you look down your hand appear to be closer to your target then the ball or club-head, for many of us we’ll find this ball position is further back than we’re used to. When we get it right you’ll see the ball leaving the club-face faster than ever before and you’ll be taking little divots right after impact. As a bonus you’ll also be taking longer walks straight down the middle between shots.
For help with this or any other part of your game don’t hesitate to come see Edwin for a lesson to get the most out of your swing.

The Dream Team

Here is my team of Nathan Neufeld, Sandra Meger and Richie Samuelson at the 1st Annual Rossland Museum Fundraiser. We had a great time! Had lots of laughs and raised some money for a great local cause. Between us we came close to the top spot and took home some hole competition and raffle prizes to boot. Thank you Joelle Hodgins, your volunteers and all your great sponsors!!

We have another FUNraiser 9 hole scramble on July 23rd at 3pm. Pink hair, pink gear, pink everywhere. Golf Fore the Cure raises money to support the BC Cancer Foundation. Locally this event has raised $3000 what can we raise this year? With each registration $25.00 goes straight to this great cause along with 50/50 and amazing raffle prizes. The cost $69 for non-member and $44 for members it includes your donation, golf and dinner. If you have not registered your 2 or 4 person team dont miss out and call the Golf Shop at 250-362-9141 you can also email me (Darby) at with your information.

Are you hitting it your potential maximum distance?

As golfers you’ve probably noticed all the technology being marketed in golf. Whether space age materials in club-heads, CNC milling for wedges, nano-technology in shafts or ballistic launch monitors to analyze our club and ball performance there’s no missing the science in golf. With that said most of us have no idea what all these terms and numbers being used in the equipment manufactureres marketing platforms mean. Let me try to make some sense of it and at the same time explain how it can impact your game. Let me start of with some of the terminology and its meaning.

CLUB-HEAD SPEED: The speed at impact off the club-head. Most over-rated number in golf as it tells nothing of the quality or consistency of the swing or impact conditions.

BALL SPEED: The speed at which the golf ball leaves the club-face during impact. far more important number than club-head speed as it dictates the actual distatnce potential any shot has.

SMASH FACTOR: The ratio between club-head and ball speed. Ideally ball speed will be 1.5X club-head speed. Therefore If your club-head speed is 100MPH your optimal ball speed would be 150MPH.

LAUNCH ANGLE: The angle of trajectory that the ball takes when leaving the club-face. For every club, at every speed there is an optimal trajectory that will allow for the maximum potential carry distance. If we compare launch angle to types of hits in baseball it starts to make sense. A pop fly loses its enegy going up, a line drive doesn’t go high enough to stay in the air long enough to become a home run but somewhere in between is the ideal trajestory, or home run swing, that launches the ball at the ideal angle to maximize distance.

BALL SPIN: The amount the ball spins and the angle on which it rotates can dramatically affect performance. Basically put the higher spin rates have negative affects of distance and control. Slices, hooks, ballooning shots and reduced roll out are all symptoms of too much spin. While some of this is caused by faulty swings and poor contact in many cases improperly fit clubs can have a huge impact.

To illustrate how one number can have a huge impact on performance I’ve used two low handicap golfers and there performance numbers. Golfer A Golfer B
Ball Speed: 144MPH 154MPH
Smash Factor: 1.44 1.46
Launch Angle: 15.9 6.9
Spin Rate: 2600RPM 2350RPM
Total Distance: 260 255

If you look closely you’ll notice Golfer A has 10 MPH less Ball Speed but is 5 yards longer than Golfer B. The reason is the Launch Angle, Golfer B launches the ball too low and as such it hits the ground well before it has travelled it’s potential carry maiximum. Given that both golfers have similar spin rates and Smach Factors, Player A is close to their maximum while Player B is 25-30 yards short of their potential. If Player B had a more ascending strike or added loft to their driver they’d immediately see distance gains.

Hopefully this helps your understanding of some of the jargon being used around the game of golf these days and if your looking to get the most out of your game and equipment consider a lesson and club-fitting to help maximize your potential.

Rossland Museum Tournament

Join us July 11th for the first annual charity golf tournament for the Rossland Museum Renewal Project.
It is a shotgun start at 3pm, best ball. There are lots of prizes and a chance to raise some money for a great cause. Call the Golf Shop at 250-362-9141 to register you team.