Last spring I was training hard for my summer Scotland trip. Having done two previous trips to Scotland for a week plus of 36 holes per day, I knew I needed to be in good walking shape. My home course is quite hilly and provided a great challenge to get in walking shape.
I overdid it.
A few weeks before Scotland, after pushing myself quite hard, I started to have pain in the arches and heels of my feet. Eventually the pain was so bad I could hardly walk. The training, combined with testing out new shoes which had very poor arch support resulted in plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes. If prolonged and untreated the condition can worsen and turn into other problems in the foot and other areas like the back.
In mornings and after prolonged times sitting writing incredible blog posts at the computer, the first few steps were quite painful. It was very painful getting to the finish of my swing. The right foot would nearly buckle since the arch and heel were so inflamed.
To prevent the issue from worsening and to help it heal, I had to stop the problem: walking a lot on shoes with crappy arch support. I bought a set of inserts for my shoes at a running store which “ran” about $40. The arches were very different. The bottom was very hard. The arch was very high compared to what I was used to. It took some getting used to. Since last summer, any pair of shoes I wore, street or golf, I’ve used those supports. Those inserts helped me start to heal a bit before Scotland, and helped me survive the walking I did there, a total of 125 MILES. Despite walking 125 miles, the inflammation subsided and I did not make the injury worse.
After a year of dealing with with this situation, I know much more about arch support and shoe design. And about a year later I can gladly say that since adding the inserts to my shoes the problem has completely gone away.
Early this season I was approached by Aline to test out shoe inserts designed for golf. I eagerly accepted and shortly after put the Aline inserts into action. I first wore them in my street shoes, to work and around town, just to get used to them. I’ve grown so accustomed to the comfort and feel of the Alines in my regular shoes that I feel like I can’t wear any shoes without them.
For the past few weeks I’ve now graduated to putting those old running inserts in the garage and using the Alines 100% of the time for my street shoes and golf shoes. They provide great support in the perfect places, and they’re not as hard and uncomfortable as the running store inserts. My feet aren’t as fatigued and achy as now and of course, there are no issues with the arches or heels in my feet.
I’ve just realized something else as well. This could be related to the fact that we are in the high heat of summer, but my back does not ache after golf rounds. While reading up on Aline’s inserts I happened across some information that says the inserts will help with spine alignment and help prevent back pain. Whether it’s the heat or the inserts, or both, I’m thrilled about it.
ALINE patented technology optimizes a golfer’s performance by properly aligning the back, hips, knees and ankle. This helps reduce lower body fatigue and improves swing mechanics, resulting in maximization of ground force reaction for more distance and accuracy. Proven by 10 Professional wins, Olympic Gold Medals, over 100 X Games medals and doctors across the country, ALINEs are designed for performance in sports and life. ALINE makes similar equipment for Skiing, Snowboarding, Hiking, Cycling, Gym Workouts, Running, Walking and General Fitness activities. ALINE…what’s inside counts.
At this point I’m not going to take my Aline’s out of any of my shoes. In fact, I need to get more units so I’m not constantly moving the one pair I have from street to street to golf to street. I’m walking more with less fatigue and feeling no pain in my feet or back. If the inserts could help with my chipping…. one can dream.
Line and speed are the two crucial factors in making putts. It doesn’t matter what grip you have, what putter you use, or what your apparel scripting is. If you can’t get the putt rolling on the proper line and speed you’re destined to bad putting.
PuttOut Putting Trainer
The PuttOut “Pressure Putt Trainer” is designed to train the golfer get get the putt rolling on the correct line and speed. The unique curved design returns good putts the distance they would have traveled past the hole. The side contours reject offline putts and force the golfer to a bit of a “walk of shame” to get the balls, as those shots are not returned.
An interesting feature of the PuttOut is the little retractable “micro target.” In the photo above you can see the HOG golf ball is sitting in it. Putts on the exact line and speed will stop inside the target. Once the golfer gets used to strokes at such a tight precision and speed, putting into the much larger and easier to hit golf hole seems much easier. The micro target back plate is hinged so the golfer can flatten it out and turn the device into strictly a returning device.
The unit folds into a compact and easy to carry shape. The unit would fit easily in a golf bag or even luggage when traveling.
I keep mine in the hallway between the kitchen, my office, and the bathroom. It’s quite a trafficked spot. It’s fun to grab my putter and stroke a few to clear my my mind and improve my stroke, a few times per day.
If you need help with your line and speed and “pressure putting,” the $29 PuttOut could be a good option. Not sure the unit will help with non-pressure putting though. 😉
On the 15th hole of the City Amateur tournament this weekend two players were using their lasers to get a yardage. It’s a long downhill par-3. “248,” the one player said to the other after 10-15 seconds of shooting. “Yup that’s what I got,” the other player replied. Seemed off to me but they both shot it. Player one then proceeded to knock his shot over the green. I got out my Bushnell Pro X2 laser and shot it at 228. The green slants toward the tee uphill, and the flag was on the front. I suspect each of those two guys was aiming at the flag, but their lasers were reading the back of the green and not the pin. My X2 locked onto the pin instantly. That’s a great example of my X2 story. It locks on so quickly and accurately.
Bushnell Golf Pro X2 Laser Rangefinder
Pro X2 Laser Rangefinder Features
- Pinseeker technology locks onto pin quickly
- Jolt – the unit vibrates when the pin is locked
- Slope-Switch Technology – turn slope on or off easily without changing physical hardware
- Rubber Armored Metal Housing
- IPX7 Fully Waterproof
- Accurate to a 1/2 yard
- Ranges 5-1,300 Yds; 450+ Yds to a Flag
- Dual Display Technology – red or standard black LED
- 6X Magnification
- 2nd Generation E.S.P.
- Fast Focus System
- Stable-Grip Technology
- Solid carrying case which mounts on a golf bag easily
- Two year warranty
On The Course
As I mentioned above, this laser is super-quick. I’ve used at least a dozen varying laser rangefinders and the X2 locks onto the pin faster than any of them. I prefer to use the red LED display, part of the DDT (dual display technology). The red is very easy to red and vibrant.
Being somewhat of a rules stickler, I’ve never used slope on any lasers in the past. During some non-tournament rounds on my very hilly home course I decided to try out the slope. For years I’ve calculated yardages by experience and feel. The slope in the Pro X2 shows the estimated yardage the shot would play if it was flat. For instance, the par-3 6th at my home course is 186 but quite a bit downhill. The slope rating in the X2 made it pretty clear why I’ve often hit my shots too far. I’ve calculated the downhill as 10 yards, so playing to 176 but according to the X2 it plays as 170, about another half club.
The slope switch on this unit is quite convenient. Unlike the previous slope model Bushnell, there’s no taking off a plate to change the slope. That was somewhat inconvenient and the plates could be easy to lose.
The size of this unit is great. It easily fits in the palm of my hand. The technology is getting better, allowing for smaller devices. In the old days the Pinseeker models were obnoxiously large.
The Jolt feature is one I’ve grown to depend on. When the unit is locked onto the pin, it gives a quick buzz or vibration.
I’ve played in several rain storms with the X2, a couple quite heavy. No issues at all so the waterproofing works well.
The Bushnell Pro X2 is an industry leader without a doubt. The features, technology, and performance are unmatched. That performance and quality comes with a sticker price of $499 which is well worth it in my opinion. There are definitely less expensive options out there, if you like hitting your 248 yard club for shots that are 228.
I’ve tested out many golf head covers from classy high end ones like Sumi-G to inexpensive Chinese made pho leather ones like Craftsman Head Covers. Until now none has really been a match for my game. I’ve finally paired up my driver head cover to my play, like a wine aficionado pairs up a fine Italian red with baked ziti. Say hello to Emoji Poop driver head cover.
- Fits all modern drivers up to 460cc
- Thick padding in the head area protects club
- Looks like a happy, smiling pile of poop
On The Course
My driving has been damn good of late. I’m hitting 80-90% of my fairways. No, I do not wish to talk about my iron game. My short game hasn’t been great either. But when I get to my golf bag and feel sorry for myself after making another bogey, I’m instantly entertained by that smiling pile of poop. The poop helps bring things into perspective.
My 460cc driver fits easily. Putting it on and taking it off is no problem. I find myself rotating the poop while walking the course, you know, to make sure it is right side up.
This is a terrific golf novelty gift at less than $20 on Amazon. I’ve finally found a match for my golf game in my poop head cover.
Father’s Day is coming up. This would make dad’s day great. To seal the deal, the Emoji Poop driver cover registers the maximum available on the Hooked on Golf Blog Give-a-Shit-O-Meter.
Yesterday in the rain I started testing the TecTecTec VPRO500S golf laser rangefinder. The VPRO500S has features found in units costing $500, but can be found on Amazon for $179.
Some of those features include:
- Pinsensor (LOL, not pinseeker) technology locks onto the pin
- Yards or Meters
- Measures up to 540 yards (good for you long hitters)
- Very nice zippered case with elastic quick release
- Compact size
I’m simultaneously testing two lasers right now. It’s quite geeky on the course but all in a day’s work of golf blogging!
This could be a nice Fathers Day golf gift for golfers or even hunters.
Stay tuned for my full review soon.