Posted by & filed under Blog.

The article below was written by Steve Carroll of National Club Golfer.

I’m ashamed to write this but this is my truth: I fear I’m becoming a fair-weather golfer.

I’ve barely set foot on a course in the last few weeks and I’m a snow shower away from packing the bag up until the winter months pass.

This was not always the case. A generation ago—it is longer than it feels—I’d have dusted off the hand warmers and been out playing golf in any weather and at any time of year. That was then.

There is a lot about winter golf I really like. A shorter course for one, but when it starts to get really inclement I can think of any number of things I’d now rather be doing than tramping round a sodden layout in the drizzle with my eyes popping out of the snood and only a pair of heavy-duty gloves stopping my fingers from succumbing to frostbite.

I won’t miss the annual Wines and Spirits competition—those Christmas presents won’t win themselves—and I do enjoy a good winter Stableford, even though I’d change the format in a second if given the chance.

But after a summer of busy competitions, which has depressingly seen my handicap notch up the best part of three and a half shots, it’s nice to put the weekly grind aside and really accentuate the off in off-season.

Some of you, though, clearly have more of a taste for it. My club have rated their winter course and, for those that want it, there is the opportunity to make general play scores count for handicap all year round.

This was one of the big things that came out of the introduction of the World Handicap System. Officially, I don’t think there’s any such thing as qualifiers anymore.

They’re just acceptable scores and there aren’t many occasions where you can’t enter one into the computer. In fact, you’re actively encouraged to do so.

It’s a long time between those back tees going away at the end of October and coming out again at the start of April. Anyone who has been hitting the driving range, or has suddenly found a secret, can improve dramatically over that time.

It’s not unusual to see the same faces sweeping early season tournaments as the system races to keep up with their improvement.

England Golf, among other governing bodies, have long encouraged clubs to take a firmer stance with winter leagues as well as those who are performing just a bit better than their index would suggest.

I get all that. I really do. And I’m on board with the sentiment. But, and I’m sorry, I just can’t muster up any enthusiasm for it. The game is hard enough as it is without adding a scorecard to the winter weather as well.

Greenkeepers perform small miracles to keep us on proper greens as much as they do through January, February, and March, but let’s not try and pretend they’re in the same league as during peak season.

Some people putt well whatever the conditions. I’m not one of them. Slow and bobbly is not what I signed up for when a card is on the line. Pop a couple of temporary greens in there as well, as you will inevitably have to, and you can just forget it right now.

I’ve said the shorter golf course suits me well, but that says somewhat more about the state of my game than the principle at stake. In winter, you take on your track with its defences lowered.

One hole at my home course, which off the back tee causes me kittens and is the second hardest in terms of stroke index, is nothing more than a hybrid and a flick at the moment. I’m genuinely disappointed when I don’t come off with a birdie.

I’m convinced any scores I’d achieve by putting winter cards in would essentially be false. Until I have to face a tight tee shot through a chute of trees again, or feel a shiver of terror as I take on 160 yards of par-3 over water, it’s basically not proper golf.

Add tee mats into the equation, and let’s be honest some of them can be of very variable quality, and you’ve got an unpleasant mix.

It’s golf, but not as it should be, and that’s OK for me in the winter. I’m happy to be out there at all – when the mood takes. So, and I’ll say this as politely as possible, you can keep your acceptable scores for the time being. I hope I don’t see a scorecard again until the spring.

Posted by & filed under Golf Equipment.

Electric golf trolleys aren’t for everyone. Despite folding down into a compact size, golf push trolleys are still the preferred choice for many, as they’re generally lighter and easier to use—plus, they’re nowhere near as expensive.

Despite being simpler versions of their electric counterparts, modern push trolleys contain many features that make them an attractive alternative.

We’ve selected some of the best golf trolleys on the market to help you choose.


1. Motocaddy P1 Push Trolley, £159.99 (RRP £179.99)

best golf trolleys image

The P1’s simple one-step folding mechanism gets a big thumbs up—it’s ready to use in seconds. It’s also one of the most feature-packed push trolleys on the market.

A foot parking brake, friction-free oversize wheels, adjustable handle height, adjustable bag supports, and an accessories compartment are just some of the features you can expect. There are many more features that make the M1 one of the best push golf trolleys around.

Related: The best golf practice mats on the market


2. Motocaddy Z1 Push Trolley, £99.99 (RRP £144.99)

the best push golf trolleys of 2022

The Motocaddy Z1 will suit anyone looking for a simple, lightweight push trolley. It just about offers the same number of features as the brand’s P1, although you don’t quite get that same premium feel.

Even so, with the three handle height settings, friction-free oversize wheels and two-step folding system, it’s highly functional, and it’ll definitely appeal to the more budget-conscious golfer, being one of the best value golf trolleys on our list.


3. Motocaddy CUBE Push Trolley, £149.00 (RRP £189.00)

best golf trolleys image

Compact and simple to fold with its two-step folding system, the Motocaddy CUBE is a lightweight push trolley that does an excellent job of saving space.

At the same time, it provides golfers with all the handy features they need over the course of a round. It’s packed with storage options, whilst the adjustable handle height and foot parking brake enhance its functionality. 


4. PowaKaddy Twinline 4 Push Trolley, £158.90

best push trolleys for golf

This sleek-looking push trolley features a lightweight, robust aluminium frame with a quick fold system that provides a swift and easy set-up from its compact size to full assembly.

Meanwhile, PowaKaddy’s Key Lock system ensures your bag stays secure so that you won’t experience any annoying slipping throughout the round. It can also be adjusted to fit varying ride height requirements, which is useful.

Related: How to keep warm playing golf


5. Fastfold Mission 5.0 3-Wheel Golf Push Trolley, £199.95 (RRP £229.00)

push golf trolleys

Featuring an ultra-light design, easy fold system and removable rear wheels, this push trolley from Fastfold ticks many boxes. It doesn’t lack features, with the upper bracket and automatic bag clasp amongst the best of them, whilst the storage net, tee and ball holder, mobile phone holder and Velcro glove storage demonstrate that attention to detail golfers crave.


6. Big Max Ti-Lite Push Trolley, £189.95 (RRP £239.99)

best push golf trolleys uk

A product that lives up to its name, it’s also worth pointing out that this is one of the best golf push trolleys thanks to its sturdy and robust design, and few are quite so easy to use.

Whilst it doesn’t fold down to such a compact size as many others, its superb practicality more than makes up for it. Meanwhile, the deluxe Organiser Panel offers ample space for all your golfing essentials.


7. Big Max Blade Quattro Push Trolley, £229.00 (RRP £249.95)

best golf push trolley 2022

With a robust four-wheel construction, the Blade Quattro certainly navigates the fairways with ease—and it comes into its own on especially hilly terrain—yet it’s also simple to assemble and fold down to store away in the boot of a car. The manufacturer describes it well when it says the trolley “opens like a fan” as it shifts from flat to fully open in seconds.

Related: The 5 best golf club sets for beginners


8. ClicGear 4.0 Golf Push Trolley, £219.00 (RRP £259.00)

best golf trolleys uk

Stylish and functional, the ClicGear 4.0 sits towards the upper end of the price spectrum—but don’t let that deter you if you’re in the market for one of the best golf push trolleys.

The aluminium frame has a premium look, and if there were an award for how smoothly a trolley operates around the course, this would be a contender. It doesn’t lack attention to detail, with all the golfers’ needs considered.


9. Stewart Golf R1-S Push Trolley, £199.20 (RRP £249.00)

push golf trolleys uk

Designed from the wheels up to improve the on-course experience, the Stewart Golf’s R1-S glides along the fairways with minimum effort thanks to its dual ball bearing, free-rolling wheels.

The bag jaws open wide enough to accommodate the biggest bags, whilst a silicone grip secures it firmly in place. It’s nice to see a few extra colour options, too, which hasn’t always been the case with trolleys.

Posted by & filed under Golf Equipment.

The article below was written by Hannah Holden of National Club Golfer.

TaylorMade are back with the latest changes to their hugely successful P700 series. The update sees new TaylorMade P770, P7MC and P7MB’s join last year’s new and improved P790 irons.

Across the range, three main concepts influenced the designs. Feel, craftsmanship and performance. So what’s new?

TaylorMade P700 Series

The TaylorMade P700 iron series encapsulates all of the brand’s better player irons. From your favourite tour players’ blades to the P790, which are more gameable for the average club golfer, there is a wide range of options for golfers of all ability levels.

TaylorMade P770

The TaylorMade P770 irons are the most forgiving option in this latest P700 Series release and sit one down from the brand’s super successful P790 model.

The P770 is all about having the visual of a compact tour players club with hidden technology for powerful performance.

Compared to the P790, these have a more compact tour-proven shape, a thinner topline, less offset and a shorter blade length. All this sounds right up my street.

The P770 has a  forged L-Face but does have a hollow body construction. This combination delivers more distance and forgiveness without lacking in the feel department.

New for this 2023 version is FLTD CG technology, a strategic design feature that positions the centre of gravity lowest in the long irons while moving it progressively higher as you move down the set. This has been done by redesigning the tungsten weighting in the long to mid irons. This is important as it makes the longer irons easier to launch while ensuring you hit the optimal spin and launch window with your middle irons.

As we have seen in previous models the club head features SpeedFoam Air which sits inside the forged hollowed body and dampens sounds and vibrations to give you that players iron feel.

The 4140 steel face is the thinnest P770 face TaylorMade has produced. Combined with the Thru-Slot speed technology, you can expect more distance, especially on strikes low in the face.

RELATED: TaylorMade P770 irons review

TaylorMade P7MC

If you want precision with a hint of forgiveness, the P7MCs are up to the task. These still have a shaping that suits the eye of the more discerning golfer. It has minimal offset and has a narrow sole and top line but does have some perimeter weighting to boost performance.

Like the P7 MBs these are forged using TaylorMade’s Compact Grain Forging process. This involves 2,000 tonnes of pressure shaping the irons. This additional force helps produce a tighter grain structure which improves feel and strength.

The face of this iron is machine milled to ensure precision and quality in every set. The P7MC’s features TaylorMade’s most aggressive score line geometry for exacting shot making. 

RELATED: TaylorMade P7MC irons review

TaylorMade P7MB

TaylorMade’s most traditional muscle back iron offering is exceptionally popular on tour. So what was there to change?

With these clubs, it was all about working on the small details as a result of direct testing and feedback from Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa. How could TaylorMade keep the high level or feel and feedback but still improve performance?

The blade length of the club head has been reduced to give a more compact look behind the golf ball.

The sole is one millimetre narrower than the previous model, which may seem insignificant, but is a big change in the world of equipment.

This has led to more bounce being added to the leading edge, creating a different hitting sensation through the turf.

We also see progressive offset throughout the set to help players control shot shape and trajectory.

The sole is one millimetre narrower than the previous model, which may seem insignificant, but is a big change in the world of equipment.

This has led to more bounce being added to the leading edge, creating a different hitting sensation through the turf.

We also see progressive offset throughout the set to help players control shot shape and trajectory.

RELATED: TaylorMade P7MB irons review

RELATED: TaylorMade P790 irons review

These irons have been designed, so creating different combo options across each model type is easy. It is great that TaylorMade has really easy loft charts to help with this but also that the pricing is per club across the range so there is no financial impact of combo setting to put people off getting the set that is most optimal for them.

TaylorMade P700 Series: The Details

Available: January 20, 2023 (Pre-order from December 6, 2022)

RRP: £165

Stock shafts: KBS Tour Steel shafts (X130g, S 120g) 

Grips: Golf Pride Z-Grip 360 Grey/Black

Posted by & filed under Blog.

The article below was written by Alex Perry and George Cooper of National Club Golfer.

If there’s one figure who’s been as vocal as anyone during golf’s not so civil war in 2022, it’s Rory McIlroy.

The World No 1 has continued to play a leading role in speaking out against LIV Golf, ardently defending the PGA Tour and his stark principles while clashing with Greg Norman on countless occasions.

In the process, McIlroy has polarised debate. For the most part, the Northern Irishman has been held up in high regard by fans and peers alike, admired and saluted for his honesty and eloquence while producing the perfect balance through his on course success.

On the flip-side, McIlroy’s vocalism has often intensified the ever-growing rifts in the sport, his candidness acting to provide further ammunition to the LIV Golf contingency.

Rory McIlroy vs Greg Norman

So what are we to make of McIlroy’s role over the past year? Has the four-time major winner gone too far with his condemnation of the breakaway series? Has he helped bolster LIV’s notoriety? And have his words exacerbated the tumultuous climate the sport is now in?

Here’s what two of our writers make of all the noise…

‘His actions are absolutely justified’

We called him the guardian of the PGA Tour, says Alex Perry, and people mocked that idea. But actually, that is what he’s been. He’s been the one doing all the fighting for the benefit of not just the PGA Tour, but his peers and the fans alike.

You could say why doesn’t McIlroy just step back and let Greg do what he’s got to do? But McIlroy has managed to defend the PGA Tour in a way that’s not been a distraction to his own game – because obviously he’s been out of this world in 2022 – all while being incredibly funny and entertaining for the rest of us.

Norman deserves everything that he’s had this year. If McIlroy had been unprovoked, then I’d say he’s been unjust, but the way LIV has been created, the way they’ve made all this noise, and the way they’ve gone after the PGA Tour means McIlroy’s actions are absolutely justified.

‘He’s exacerbated the friction’

I’m not saying they’re not justified, argues George Cooper, but McIlroy’s words have been problematic. No matter how well he speaks and how valid his points are, whenever he’s chimed in and taken a stab at LIV, it’s only exacerbated the friction and helped fuel their agenda.

If Rory hadn’t been so vocal this year, had he just sat back and not given LIV the time nor day, the rifts wouldn’t be as tetchy as they now are.

As golf’s biggest star, the media and fans hang on his every word. So, by coming out and acting the way he has – at times inconsistently – he’s made the drama much worse.

LIV must be loving every minute of it. After all, any attention is good attention. McIlroy has played into LIV’s hands this year. Greg must be loving it, because whenever McIlroy speaks out against LIV, provoked or not, suddenly every headline under the sun is LIV, LIV, and more LIV. It’s free advertising for them.

I appreciate it’s easier said than done given the provocation, the media bombardment, and the personal attachment to the controversy. But surely, sitting back, saying nothing, and letting LIV self-destruct would prove way more effective. Now we’re stuck in this divided situation, a situation Rory has unquestionably exacerbated.

Posted by & filed under Debates.

The article below was written by Steve Carroll of National Club Golfer.

This is probably golf’s biggest myth. It just refuses to die, no matter how much you shout about it, or just scream into a mirror. It’s a belief that’s just so widespread on our fairways that it will probably always have legs.

But let’s have a go at squelching it anyway—because the more of you that read this and pass it on, the more we’ll have a chance of finally silencing one of the sport’s largest misunderstandings…

Lost golf ball rules: Can you declare a ball lost?


One more time: No.

Simple, isn’t it? But I get so many emails telling me that’s exactly what someone has done in a particular rules situation, and it’s dominated how they’ve then proceeded on the course.

When I’m out playing too, people will often say to me, after hitting a shocker, “I’ll declare that lost”.

But you can’t say that, and you haven’t been able to for quite some time.

I think one of the reasons this has stuck as long as it has is that back in the dim and distant rules past you were indeed able to consider that your ball was beyond salvation and say so.

It was right there in the definitions, like this one from the 1960 Rules of Golf: “A ball is ‘lost’ if… it be declared lost by the player without searching for five minutes.”

That book is pretty significant, actually. Because it was the last time that assertion appeared in print. Fast forward four years to 1964 and it was completely gone. You’ve not been able to declare a ball lost since.

In the 2019 Rules of Golf, there was an interpretation to the definition of lost that explicitly said ‘Ball May Not Be Declared Lost’.

It stated: “A player may not make a ball lost by declaration. A ball is only lost when it has not been found within three minutes after the player or his or her caddie or partner begins to search for it.”

But maybe the message hadn’t got through as the R&A and USGA have addressed it again the 2023 Rules of Golf. Now, it has been written into the definition of lost.

For the avoidance of any further doubt, it states: “A ball does not become lost as a result of the player declaring it to be lost”.

Why does it matter?

You always have the option of taking stroke and distance relief – no matter where your ball is on the course. Sometimes you’ll hit one so badly you won’t even look.

It’s because there are occasions where thinking you can make such a declaration, when you can’t, can get you into trouble.

There was a great example of this in the 2019 interpretation. While that might be scrubbed clean in the new rule book, the example is still very relevant.

It outlined a player who is searching for their ball and spends two minutes doing so. They get fed up, declare it lost, and start walking back to put another ball into play.

Before that happens, and within the three-minute search time, their original ball is found. That ball is still in play. The player has to return to that ball.

And what if you announce a provisional? Yep, it becomes the ball in play after the end of the three-minute search time, or when that provisional is played from a spot nearer the hole than where the original ball is estimated to be.

So, once and for all, put any thoughts of declaring a ball lost out of your minds.

Posted by & filed under Playing Tips.

Many golfers call it a day when the sun sets early, and the grass gets a touch of frost. However, little do they know (perhaps) playing golf in winter can be the most enjoyable of all the seasons.

The fresh, clear winter mornings, quieter courses and fabulous deals can really make it feel like you’ve hit the jackpot.

That aside, if you’re keen on improving your golf game, giving up completely during winter is not the way to go about it—you really don’t want to lose your momentum.

To ensure you hit the ground running when the new season starts, check out our 9 top tips for keeping your game up to scratch when playing golf in winter.


Keep playing

playing golf in winter

Yes, it might sound obvious, but keeping up the momentum is vital at this time of year. Everything else aside, you’ll improve your skill by testing yourself when playing conditions are at their most trying.

You’ll learn to perfect a wide range of shots when you’re braving the elements, whether it’s the low punch into the January wind or the runner that scampers across a frozen fairway to find an icy winter green.  

After all, these shots will stand you in good stead when the milder weather returns. While you’re here, reading Bernard Gallacher’s top tips for playing golf in the rain might also be useful.


Wear the right winter golf clothes

playing golf in winter

Playing your best golf requires feeling comfortable in what you’re wearing. Here are some of the most essential garments to help you brave the adverse weather and keep your winter golf game the best it can be.

  • Wet weather gloves – keeping your hands warm and dry is essential when playing golf in winter. These gloves are a great purchase because the wetter they get, the firmer the grip, making holding your clubs a lot easier
  • Efficient base layer – wearing layers upon layers is likely to limit your movement, particularly your swing. But at the same time, you don’t want your body to stiffen up in the cold. That’s why a thin base layer is the way forward
  • Thermal socks – wearing more than one pair of socks, or a thick pair of winter socks, is likely to make all the difference to your body temperature

Related: What to wear to golf in cold weather


Have the correct equipment

playing golf in winter

Playing golf in winter comes with unpredictability, so having the necessary equipment to tackle a range of climates—from wind and rain to frost—is essential.

Here are a few things that will make your golf more enjoyable this winter…

  • Purchase some winter wheels – winter wheels pick up less mud, making them easier to move, and they’ll also cause less damage to the ground. However, ditch the golf buggy and carry your bag instead if you can. The course will thank you for it, and you’ll be a lot warmer
  • Use a high-vis yellow ball – they’re a lot easier to spot on icy courses
  • Add loft to your driver – your ball simply won’t roll as much when the ground is boggy and soft. Adding loft to your driver will add more carry and distance
  • Umbrella – come rain, sleet or snow, a good-sized umbrella will ensure you stay dry and protect your bag when you’re taking a shot


Keep your golf balls warm

playing golf in winter

Sounds daft, right? However, it’s believed that for every ten degrees the temperature drops, a golf ball will carry two yards shorter. If this is indeed the case, you’ll want to keep your golf balls toasty on the course. Keep them in your pocket as much as possible, and even throw a hand warmer in there for extra measure.

Having said that, the construction of certain balls makes them ideal for cold weather. Check out this article to find out which golf balls hold up best in winter and why.


Make the most of the driving range

playing golf in winter

We’re all guilty of making excuses for not going outside much in the cold winter months. It’s definitely easier to head down to a covered (and sometimes heated) driving range for your golf, too.

Visit the driving range as often as possible during winter and work out a practice routine that works for you—don’t just bludgeon balls wildly without an objective in mind. Pick a flag or other spot to aim at and work your way through the clubs, hitting different types of shots.

Related: 7 driving range tips to improve shot consistency


Take lessons

playing golf in winter

Whether at the driving range, down at your club’s practice area, or on a deserted winter course (AKA the dream), a series of lessons throughout the off-season could make all the difference to your golfing fortunes come spring.

Winter is the perfect time to make changes to your game—you don’t want to make major alterations when competitions are just around the corner.

If you’re unsure where to turn, a simple Google search like “golf lessons near me” will do the trick.


Use a golf simulator

Golf simulators are a great way to help your game if you prefer practising indoors when it’s cold out. Although indoor simulators aren’t great for putting, they’re fantastic for driving and iron shots.

Related: The top 7 golf simulators on the market


Buy a net

If you have enough space, it might also be an option to buy your own golf net so you can practise in the comfort of your own home.

Some of the best nets on the market include The Net Return Golf Practice Net, which automatically returns the ball to you, and the IZZO Golf Tri-Daddy Golf Hitting Net—check them out!


Read and watch

It’s amazing how much you can learn about golf without actually swinging a club or hitting a ball. Winter and the Christmas holidays, in particular, are a perfect time to swot up, and many instructional books might strike a chord or spark a thought that could change your game.

Why not add one to your Christmas list?

If not, re-watching golf tournaments and YouTube videos are also good ways of picking up on bits and bobs during the off-season.

Related: 14 books every self-respecting golfer should read