Monday, 27 May 2013

Wilson Staff Di7 Irons

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After spending the last few weeks fighting with my Titleist AC-108, I decided that they weren't the clubs for me, which is the unfortunate side of buying online. They may be cheap, but if they aren't suited to you and you haven't had a chance to try them before buying, then you've just wasted however much money you've spent on them.

My problem with these clubs were that the heads were just far too small, or at least in my mind they were and I couldn't look past it. It was affecting my swing constantly and whenever it came to using a longer iron that didn't have a high degree of loft, I was screwed. Topping, slicing, shanking, you name it, I was doing it.

I ended up having a look around and read up about game improvement irons, which have more loft and a cavity back, which to my understanding help you get the ball higher and further.

I went into my local golf shop in Aberdeen and when browsing the shelves, noticed a second hand pair of Wilson Di7 irons, consisting of 3-SW for only £100. Now these things were in pristine condition and looked as if they had never even seen a golf ball, let alone hit one.
I asked the guy in the shop if they could put them to the side for me, whilst I decided what to do and researched them a bit more. They kindly obliged and off I went to begin getting as much information about the clubs as I could, as well as pricing them up elsewhere to see if I was really getting a bargain or not.

From looking around on sites such as eBay, I soon found that a set of these irons were going for roughly around £140-£200 and that was only for a 4-PW, so to get the extra couple of clubs at even less than that seemed almost too good to be true and my assumption was that the irons must not be too great, but even reviews were saying that they were a dream to hit and definitely helped improve other beginners game.

I had learned my lesson of not being able to try them from buying online, so when I went into the store I asked if I could give them a hit before buying them and they were more than happy to let me do so.
Hitting them felt great and I was managing to get the ball in the air on the simulator. I decided to go ahead and buy them and have definitely felt that my iron shots have improved. They may not be perfect, but at least I'm actually hitting the ball a bit more consistently on my longer irons now.

I'll have to report back once I've used them for a longer period of time, but at least for now, it's looking promising.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Trying to cure my slice

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After self diagnosing myself with one hell of a horrible slice I decided to research online as to what could be the cause and was fortunate to stumble across a few fantastic video tutorials and guides about correcting your slice.

Some were saying to just aim more to the left, but I didn't want to go through life always having to aim about 40/45 degrees left of target just to compensate for my slice. I wanted to actually have the ability to aim at the target that I want the ball to travel to and hit it there.

After filming my swing in the garage from behind, I realised that almost everything that could be wrong with it, was. My arms were all over the place meaning that my swing plane was all off. My weight distribution was all wrong and my head moved a lot more than it should be.

So I went back to the start and began reading about the very basics of golf, as it should be explained to someone who has never ever held a golf club, let alone swung one. It turned out that my grip was extremely strong and baseball style. Now whether this had any play in my slice, I'm not sure. I felt it would be better to start from scratch again and begin with a clean slate. Effectively forgetting everything that I had picked up from when I was younger.

I changed my grip to a neutral interlocked, which felt extremely uncomfortable to begin with, but after a while I actually felt like my hands were naturally going into the position needed. I felt I had a bit more control over the club when swinging, but my progress on the range wasn't showing any dramatic improvement and my slice was still haunting me.

Obviously I still had everything else to correct, but at least I had taken a step towards getting my shots going where I wanted them.

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Thursday, 23 May 2013

Buying Golf Clubs

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I decided that I was definitely going to start playing again and went on the hunt for a set of cheap second hand golf clubs. The usual haunt for second hand goods was on eBay or my local gumtree site.

After searching for a few days and realising that this could be an expensive hobby to take up, I stumbled across a set of Titleist clubs going for dirt cheap and they looked not too bad either. I did a bit of googling, but couldn't really find any information about them. This should have raised a bit of alarm bells, but I was naive and didn't realise what I was getting myself in for. So I bought them. At £30 it was a set of titleist irons, what could go wrong?

I purchased said Titleist AC-108 irons from the seller and they were here within the week. When they arrived they looked exactly as they did in the picture but the heads on them seemed tiny.

Not knowing too much about golf equipment, I think I jumped in too quickly. I didn't want to just write them off immediately without at least giving them a hit, so I decided to head to the range. After hitting some shots, I found them to be quite hard to hit, but I couldn't afford to buy new ones so they would have to make do for the time being. 

I actually grew quite fond of the smaller clubs and could quite easily hit 8-PW without any problems. Anything longer than those, I really struggled with topping the ball and getting good contact. This could have just been down to my swing, but unfortunately once I got the idea in my head that they weren't modern enough for me, I was finding it hard to hit anything remotely decent, but I knew I wouldn't pick up and have a low handicap immediately, so it was time to just grit my teeth and get stuck in. 

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My first round

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I had practiced at the range for about a week before I plucked up the courage to head over to the local golf course. I didn't think I had the confidence or the skill to tackle the full 18 hole course just yet, so opted to play the smaller nine hole. The course is moderately simple with most of it being comprised of straight up and down holes with some rough on either side and a few bunkers. Only a couple of the holes have real hazards in them, one being over a gully and the other is downhill with a water hazard and a river running behind the green.

I went over with an open mind and didn't expect too much of myself. I found this to be the best approach and it turned out right as I was pretty shocking, but knew that this is what would happen due to my relatively new introduction into the world of golf.

I did decide to keep scores though just to see my initial scores and have something to work from.

The round was tracked using the SwingBySwing golf app on my android phone and it worked perfectly for me.

You can see the result of the round here.

The par of the course is 31 and I scored a 48, which I didn't think was too bad for my first time. A lot of my screw ups were due to not taking my time and rushing shots, which resulted in a lot of topping and slicing.

I know that I can learn from this and have begun trying to improve my game by thinking about the shot before just walking up and hitting it as hard as I can in the direction I think it will go, because 9 times out of 10 it resulted in just having to take another shot from some other hazard or rough area.

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Monday, 20 May 2013

I'm Peter, I'm 26 and I'm a beginner golfer

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It was coming to the end of my time of being a student at university and having got to know a few guys in the class, it turned out one of them was a keen golfer. I began wondering why I hadn't kept playing from when I was younger and started to question it even more as the days went on.

I had always quite enjoyed whacking the ball up and down the local park across from my house, but had never really been properly involved in the game.
I was given a junior half set of Regal clubs from my grandparents for my 11th or 12th birthday. The exact year I can't really recall, but I was quite young. A lot of my time was spent just hitting balls back and forth in the park and not really over at the course or getting any lessons.

My dad was a keen golf player in his youth, so taught me what he knew, but again he was never really taught how to play. He just picked up a set of clubs and taught himself to play through trial and error. So any bad habits that he picked up were never addressed and we're in time passed onto me.

I played the local 9 hole course at Peterhead Golf club every couple of months and quite enjoyed it, although never taking it too seriously and keeping scores.

After a while, my interest turned to other things and my clubs were left in the shed to rust away.

Fast forward to 2013 and I'm now a 26 year old man looking to get back into the sport. Luckily my sisters fiance is also a avid golfer, so I had someone to turn to for tips and advice about buying clubs, etc.

I hadn't invested in anything yet, but the seed was planted and I couldn't wait to get myself to the range/course/park again to see if I could still play.

This was just the beginning of my journey. I was on the road to becoming a beginner golf player once again.

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