I don’t do a lot of book reviews. For some reason I can last a few pages reading and then I get very sleepy. A reference book however, is a different story. I like books like this one, which I can refer to as needed.
Golf: Play the Golf Digest Way: Hone Your Game- From Green to Tee
Golf: Play the Golf Digest Way: Hone Your Game- From Green to Tee is a 320 page golf instruction book by Ron Kaspriske with contributions from Hank Haney, Butch Harmon, Jim McLean, Phil Mickelson and Tom Watson.
This book is a substantial size at 8.5×11 inches. Inside the pages are 300+ full color illustrations and diagrams by golf pros and instructors covering every imaginable golf teaching subject as listed below.
- Bunker Play
- The Next Step
As the title and chapter list above indicate, this book takes the player from green to tee, not tee to green. It is said that the best way to teach or learn golf is by starting with the putter next to the hole. Make a six inch putt, then move to 12 inches. Keep moving back, all the way to the tee! That’s what this book does.
The photos and descriptions are excellent, and there are many of the top players from Tiger Woods to Phil Mickelson to Rickie Fowler featured in the illustrations and photos. Below is an example by Phil Mickelson showing how to hit out of wet sand:
The book will be available for purchase on March 6, 2012. Here’s a direct link to Amazon for Golf: Play The Golf Digest Way if you’d like to preorder your copy.
“Why wasn’t this golf travel bag invented about 20 years ago?” That’s the first sentence that came out of my mouth the second I started carting around my new Sun Mountain ClubGlider Journey around the Salt Lake City International Airport a couple of weeks ago. I really could have used this ease when I was huffing my clubs in and out of airports on my big golf trip to St. Andrews, Scotland last summer. By the time I got to St. Andrews my right shoulder was very sore from bearing the weight of my golf bag.
The ClubGlider Journey is the newest and lightest model in the ClubGlider series of golf travel bags from Sun Mountain. The ClubGlider Journey is similar to many golf travel bags with the bottom half being a hard shell tray and the top half soft. That’s where the similarities end.
The Journey has a 2nd set of integrated retractable wheels which fold into the bottom tray for storage and travel. The legs extend and lock into place when moving the bag around airports and parking lots. With the four wheel setup, ALL of the travel bag’s weight is supported without the help of the schlepper. All the schlepper (bag carrier) needs to do is hold the handle at the top of the bag and guide the bag in whatever direction he’s going. (more…)
I’ve got a great new thermal hat, a.k.a. beanie, I’ve used for a couple of chilly rounds here. This one is a dual layer hat by Sun Mountain.
The outer layer is a soft fleece with the inner liner being a smoother “tricot” fabric. The fleece layer is a tighter pile than your standard fleece and is what is called “pill proof.” That simply means it won’t bunch up into those fleece lint blobs. The tricot liner is very comfortable and soft.
This hat isn’t quite as bulky as other fleece beanies I have which is quite nice. The fabric stretches to fit my
fat head cranium full of golf blogging genius. The fabric combinations keep the head and ears warm and also provide a wind barrier.
Currently Sun Mountain offers the thermal hat in three colors: black, charcoal, navy.
Sun Mountain web site
More Sun Mountain outerwear images
While at the PGA Show a few weeks ago, I was working on a freelance golf writing gig for my local golf association’s quarterly magazine (Fairways Magazine). The focus was Utah companies on display at the show. I found a very cool new company called Switch Belt. Switch is a one year old company which makes very unique plastic golf belts. Yes plastic.
Switch belts are made out of a thermoplastic resin (TPR). (Now this is starting to sound like a golf ball review. No the core of the belt doesn’t decrease spin and increase carry. Nor does the ultra thin cover of the belt produce high spin around the greens.) But, the thermoplastic resin is an Eco-friendly plastic which is biodegradable.
With the PGA Merchandise Show in the rear view mirror and spring coming, I’m happy to get back on my review schedule. Love doing golf equipment reviews. Fortunately the weather around here hasn’t been like the massive snow-in we had last winter. We have been very thin on the snow here in Salt Lake, meaning many of the lower altitude courses have been open much of the winter. This has allowed me to record some rounds, albeit not terribly warm, and evaluate some gear like the Wilson FG Tour X golf balls.
FG Tour X Overview
Wilson Staff FG Tour X Golf Ball – click to see more
The FG Tour X is a multilayer golf ball with a cast Urethane cover. Urethane is typically the material used in the outer layer of “premium” golf balls. The design of the golf ball is geared for distance first and spin second, but read my comments below on the spin and cover.
The compression level of this ball is said to be 93. I would call that a medium compression ball. Back in the old days 90 was softer and 100 was hard. A visit to the Wilson FG Tour X product page is a bit confusing on the compression. Under the product details the first sentence says “–piece features a higher compression distance ball wrapped in a thin, soft veneer of cast urethane.” I’m not sure what “–piece” means. Sounds like they need to fill in the blank there. To the right on product specs the first line says “Compression Low.” So we have two seemingly contradicting statements, one saying the ball is higher compression and one saying it is low compression.
On The Course
Typically I don’t like the hardness of “distance” balls, except for a few which now includes the FG Tour X. This ball does not feel “hard.” In fact I really can feel it compress on every club in the bag, except of course the putter. On 2nd thought, if I were putting on the massive greens at St. Andrews, I might actually compress it with a 400 foot putt. I’ll have to go try that. …Okay I’m back. The ball compresses nicely and easily, even for my slower “granny dual chicken wing” swing.
Driving the ball is fun. This ball flies very straight and does a very fine job in windy conditions. I have a very strong and mid-height launch angle with the FG Tour X, which I really like. And yes of course–this ball is long.
Irons are a pleasure to play with the FG Tour X. I can feel the ball compress on the club face and I feel like I have great control of the ball.
Short game is the BEST part of this ball, which does sound odd and contradicting to the ball being a “distance” ball. Every time I chip or pitch with this ball, my playing partners comment on the spin and check I’m getting. They’ve watched me fail to check those types of shots for years and it surprises them and me when I can check/stop the FG Tour X on a dime. The urethane cover of this ball seems a bit different than others. Just taking the balls out of the box they feel more sticky and tacky. That extra tackiness is big for me around the greens.
When putting, the ball rolls straight and true. Distance control on the greens is easy.
Wilson FG Tour X Golf Balls – click for more
Unlike most urethane covered high performance golf balls, this ball is actually durable! Even cart paths (and I’ve hit several with these balls) don’t do much damage. High spin square grooved wedges (yes I’m not on the PGA Tour and can still play square grooves) don’t shred the cover.
I’m very happy with the durability.
Admittedly I wouldn’t normally get excited if I found a Wilson ball in the bushes when searching for my previous errant shot. But if I find an FG Tour X, that one is going into the gamer pocket on the golf bag and not the shag bag. These balls are good!