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The Missing Link
- By Pat Dolan

Are you unable to find the missing link as to why your Game of Golf is not perfect? What is the root cause?

Are you sure that you are the cause for the failure of the game?

Only a few years back one thing was responsible for a huge majority of bad shots. It was the first thing golfers automatically checked as the source of their problem. Yet "modern" golfers and teaching professionals often over look it.

The problems begin suddenly and for no apparent reason. They range from shots being slightly or severely pushed or pulled off line, to shots being hit fat or topped. The reason it's so hard to find and fix is the golfer assumes they are causing it. The good news is it may be easily fixed. You see the cause of these and other problems may be simply due to faulty equipment.

Back when ALL clubs were hand made, checking out your equipment was almost a daily ritual, those who played less frequently did it just before playing. It was easily remembered because as a golfer you couldn't help but notice all the other players checking out their clubs.

In today's society with precision made, machine checked and tested equipment golfers tend to overlook problems caused by faulty equipment. They mistakenly assume it can't happen.

The problems often begin when golfers get new clubs. You see, manufacturers change their standard settings and different manufacturers have different standards. Your new clubs could be longer or shorter than your old ones. Over the years many club manufacturers lengthened their standard size. Yet any golfer recently switching to new clubs will "in most cases" think their new equipment may be causing their problem and check it out.

However it is most distressing and almost impossible to locate as the source of the problem when the golfer has NOT changed clubs.

If a golfer does not get new clubs how is this possible?

Well, a golfer does not need to buy new clubs in order for their equipment to undergo change. Something as a simple as storing your clubs wrong or getting new grips can cause it.

You see when golfers get new grips they mistakenly believe they haven't changed anything about their clubs. They make a point of having their grips replaced with ones exactly like the ones being removed. So in their minds it could not be the changing of the grips, which is causing their problems.

Yet many of today's equipment problems are caused when getting new grips.

Golfers purchase new grips because they can get them for as little as $1.00 per club installed. Various discount golf stores offer them as loss leaders to lure customers to their shops. The problem is store clerks who may or may not play golf install them. Even those who play golf are often high handicappers who personally hold their clubs wrong.

When changing grips the force used, can easily cause bent shafts. Also if the grip is not forced completely onto the shaft, it can upset both the clubs overall length and balance. If it's a reminder grip, it may be crooked.

When storing clubs for any period of time it's possible to bend the shafts. For example, some golfers store and transport their clubs by laying them across the hump on the floor in the back seat portion of their car, this can easily cause bent shafts if they are left in that position too long.

So if you are having problems of any kind, it's always a good idea to sight down your shafts and see if they look straight. If not, then you may have found and solved your problem.

In addition to the above I have also uncovered the following equipment problems, which were seriously bothering some students.

  • Warped wooden headed clubs caused by wet head covers.
  • Out of round (lopsided) golf balls poorly made by top manufacturer.
  • Missing spikes that were causing balance problems.
  • Wrong shafts which the manufacturer had installed.
So if you are having problems of any kind and are unable to locate the cause of them. I suggest you take your clubs, balls, shoes, etc., to a PGA professional and politely ask them to inspect them.

How important is it to get your grips installed professionally?

After playing a round of golf with Ben Hogan (RIP) and Head Professional Roland Harper at Colonial Country Club in Ft. Worth, Texas I was quite honored when Ben asked if I would mind putting new grips on his personal clubs. You see while playing he observed my grip and compared our hand size. He was amazed my bigger hands covered less space on the club and said it was the greatest grip he ever seen. Proudly embarrassed I reacted in typical Irish fashion. I told him the damn grip better be good as I had gotten it out of his book. His own Irish showed and he laughed quite openly. In a way it was sad because he truly did have a great sense of humor and rarely showed it in public. He instructed his staff at the Hogan Company to bring the clubs to me. Since he alone tested ALL of his own designs I gladly gripped hundreds of clubs for him. It was a good deal --- all of my personal equipment was provided free.



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