Posted by & filed under Golf Tips.

This article was written by Steve Carroll from our partner National Club Golfer.

Thanks to Kenneth Johnston for emailing in a question I suspect has caught a few out from time to time.

“If I accidentally lift my ball on the green without putting my marker down then realise what I have done when it is my turn to play, what would the rule be, and what penalty would I incur? I have actually done it.”

As have I Kenneth and, as we’re about to see, so did a very famous player in a big tournament.

Let’s reveal the answer…

Yes, Jon Rahm got caught out with this rare lapse in concentration when he picked up his ball without marking it on the 5th green at Olympia Fields in the second round of last year’s BMW Championship.

Cue lots of headlines shouting about ‘bizarre’ rules breaches. But while it’s certainly not common at the professional level, are there any of you out there who have fallen foul?

I did in the opening week back after the first lockdown last year. Clearly being back on the fairways after so long away melted my mind.

The result was I had to add a stroke to my score.

A ball on the putting green can be lifted and cleaned but it also needs to be replaced on its original spot.

Rule 14.1a – Spot of the Ball to Be Lifted and Replaced Must Be Marked – explains that before you lift it, you’ve got to mark that spot. That’s most commonly done with a ball marker, though you can also hold a club on the ground behind or right next to the ball.

If you forget and lift the ball off the green without marking its spot, you get a penalty stroke. And if this does ever happen, make sure you put the ball back where it was before cracking on.

Posted by & filed under Golf Tips.

This article was written by Steve Carroll from our partner National Club Golfer.

This is the situation. It’s a par 3 where you can’t see much of the flag and there’s trouble in all directions. You hit a tee shot but don’t see where it lands.

Worried about its location, you announce and play a provisional. You get to the green, spend three minutes looking for the first ball but can’t find it.

Disappointed, you move on and play the provisional, which is on the green, and you now believe to be the ball in play under penalty of stroke-and-distance.

Holing out after two putts, you get to the cup only to see your original ball also nestled at the bottom.

So what now? Is it a hole-in-one, or a double bogey? In both cases, the players who contacted me opted to write the latter on their scorecard. But were they right?

Rules of Golf explained: Our expert says…

This one sounds complicated but the answer is revealed right at the front of the rule book. In Rule 1.1, no less.

In fact, it’s clear if you just stop for a second and think about what the game is really all about – what its purpose is.

Let’s give you the R&A and USGA definition. “Each hole starts with a stroke from the teeing area and ends when the ball is holed on the putting green.”

Got it? That’s right. As soon as your original ball went in the hole, it was over. Everything else, the provisional, the searching, the putts, didn’t count. The hole was completed the moment the ball was at rest in the hole after your stroke.

So get your wallet out, you’re buying everyone a drink. You’ve hit the perfect shot.

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Cobra have expanded their King players’ family line for 2021 with the new Cobra King Tec hybrid. 

Cobra King Tec Hybrid: First impressions

I love the matte black and silver aesthetic on the crown of this club – it looks incredible. I also like the really futuristic styling on the sole.

Cobra King Tec Hybrid

The overall profile is slightly oversized which inspires a lot of confidence over the ball. 

Cobra King Tec Hybrid: The technology

This is the first Cobra hybrid to feature a Pwrshell face design as we see in the Radspeed irons. This is a thin, forged L-Cup insert that is extra flexible to create faster ball speeds and higher launch. 

There is a Carbon Fiber Crown that saves 10 grams of weight which Cobra have repositioned low and back to lower the centre of gravity.

Cobra King Tec Hybrid

To optimise performance for a wide range of golfers the hybrids feature an adjustable weight and loft system. There are three adjustable weights on the sole. This can be adjusted to the toe or heel to make the club more draw or fade bias. Alternatively, they can be repositioned at the front for a neutral and lower launching ball flight. The Cobra Myfly hosel also features eight settings so you can adjust the loft and ball flight. 

Each hybrid comes with a Cobra Connect grip powered by Arccos caddie. 

Cobra King Tec Hybrid: The details

RRP: £239

Lofts: 17°, 19°, 21° and 24°

More info: Cobra website

This article was originally published by our partner National Club Golfer.

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The TP line-up from TaylorMade is back for 2021 and they’re already making waves on the PGA Tour.

TaylorMade TP Hydro Blast putters: First Impressions

These have a much more classic styling compared to the popular Spider line-up perfect for all your traditionalists out there.

The combination of the intricate detailing and new finish make these really eye-catching and I also love the pop of blue from the TP badge.

TaylorMade TP Hydro Blast putters

TaylorMade have stuck to some popular classic shapings across the range with real attention to detail on the shaping and sightlines for optimal alignment.

TaylorMade TP Hydro Blast putters: The Technology

The stand out Hydro Blast finish to these putters is created by applying a high-pressure stream of water to the 303 stainless steel. This metal is used as it delivers superior feel and it looks stunning with this finish and the machine milling details.

In terms of face technology each model features the same White Pure RollTM Insert we see in the very popular Spider X putters. The insert features grooves at a downward 45° angle, this promotes topspin which helps the ball start rolling end over end sooner improving your overall roll.

Each model features movable sole weights so you can dial in the swing weight to best suit your stroke and length of putter.

TaylorMade TP Hydro Blast putters: The line-up

First up the Soto has a very classic blade design. It has very clean shaping and lines and features a single sightline on the back cavity. This model is all about producing exceptional feel putt after putt.

TaylorMade TP Hydro Blast putters

As we see with most blade putters it features an L-Neck hosel producing 40° of toe hang. This makes it best for players who have a stronger arc to their stroke with maximum face rotation.

If you’re after the looks and swing of a blade but the feel of a mallet the Del Monte is a great option. It has a shorter blade length and is deeper from front to back.

TaylorMade TP Hydro Blast putters

This is available in both an L-Neck and a single bend hosel giving an option for players with straight and arcing strokes.

The Bandon is a tour-inspired double wing design. Players like this shaping as it helps frame the ball at address. It also allows TaylorMade to increase the forgiveness by adding more perimeter weighting. We have already seen both Dustin Johnson and Tommy Fleetwood put these in play on tour.

TaylorMade TP Hydro Blast putters

Tommy Fleetwood first put the L-Neck version in the bag at the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, South Carolina, after spending hours with TaylorMade’s Tour team and testing numerous configurations. He ultimately elected to use Bandon 1 because it improved the centeredness of his strikes – with his prior putter, he tended to have heel-ward mis-hits.

Fleetwood has a long history of using blade putters, and because this model features 22° of toe hang, it made the transition to a mallet-style head seamless.

“For Tommy, the centeredness of strike was a big reason for his switch to the Bandon. The heel– side miss is something he battled with his blade, and we’ve helped him develop a little more consistency with this one. Beyond that, he’s very comfortable with the shape of the putter and has said that it helps him with alignment.”

– Adrian Rietveld, TaylorMade Senior Tour Rep

The Bandon comes in two models the 1 has an L-Neck with 22° of toe hang. The 3 features a short slant hosel with increased toe hang (32°) for even more blade-like performance in this mallet design.

The DuPage has always been my favourite shape in the TP line-up. I really like the modern mallet shaping and the unique visual alignment cues that frame the ball really well at address. This is a face balanced putter with a single bend hosel for those of you with less arc to your putting stroke.

TaylorMade TP Hydro Blast putters

The Chaska takes inspiration from the original TaylorMade Corza Ghost design and features the familiar circular alignment aid in the back of the putter and three sightlines on top. This putter combines high levels of stability and simple alignment features to get you holing more putts. This is a face-balanced putter thanks to its single bend hosel so is most suited to players with a straight back and straight through putting stroke.

TaylorMade TP Hydro Blast putters

TaylorMade TP Hydro Blast putters: The details

Available: Now

RRP: £199

Grip: Lamkin Sink Fit Skinny Pistol

More info: TaylorMade website

This article was originally published by our partner National Club Golfer.

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Every fairway was stripped, every bunker renewed. Thousands of metres of irrigation piping were laid and more than 30,000 tonnes of sand shaped onto the holes.

The renovation project was massive and the aim – carpet-like surfaces that are playable all year round – was ambitious.

But, following an intensive year-long redevelopment, we’ll finally see the fruits of the labours when Chart Hills officially relaunches on June 1.

The Kent course has always been renowned for being Sir Nick Faldo’s first European design and for a collection of bunkers that were infamous for their scope and ferocity.

In recent years, though, the golf course had fallen on hard times.

Ramac Holdings, who also own Prince’s, bought the property at the end of 2019 and unveiled some big transformation plans.

Led by director of golf, Anthony Tarchetti, and course manager, Neil Lowther, the work pressed on despite the coronavirus pandemic and a series of shutdowns.

Tarchetti thinks the restoration has produced a playable, yet challenging, layout that will be presented and manicured to championship standards – while making the most of some picturesque South East countryside.

“We have made enormous strides and are hugely proud of the product we will be presenting,” he said.

“While the work has been significant, we absolutely will not rest on our laurels. This is just the beginning of a road of continuous improvement at Chart Hills, with plans already in place to continue developments over the coming years. 

“We are extremely excited to welcome our members and their guests back to the club in the coming months.” 

It was initially thought that completely redeveloping the property would take more than two years to finish and the team hoped for a late summer opening next year.

The pandemic, and forced closures because of government restrictions, gave Tarchetti and company a chance to change tack.

They had an opportunity to dramatically accelerate the timeframe. They decided to completely close the course in July 2020 and not to reopen until all 18-holes had been renovated – something of a risk given members couldn’t play golf on site and with the sport enjoying a post-lockdown boom last summer.

The fairways were exposed to the bare soil, and the finishing team spread creeping-rye grass on each before watering and fertilising.

This carried on despite a wet, cold, and challenging winter and new touches were applied to the green complexes, as well as a complete overhaul of Chart Hills’ famous collection of more than 100 bunkers.

The course was just the start. The entire venue has been remodelled, with a completely redecorated clubhouse, a new club shop and modernised bar area, along with an improved car park and signage and upgraded practice facilities including a state-of-the-art simulator room. 

While Chart Hills, like all other golf facilities, will still have to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines for the time being, the reinvigorated facility will be fully operational from the start of June.  

This article was originally published by our partner National Club Golfer.

Posted by & filed under Golf Tips.

Shoulder stability is important in golf performance for a number of reasons – including allowing golfers to hit the ball further. A research study has found that 20% of total clubhead speed is, in fact, generated by the shoulder.

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body due to its inherent nature. This is great for a variety of movement but not so great for instability and injury. In many cases where shoulder movement is restricted – overhead or in rotation – it is due to the lack of stability in the joint.

The shoulder blades (scapular) are extremely important in shoulder health and a restriction in their movement can cause lots of issues.

Often due to postural issues (forward head position, flat back, excessively rounded back) and muscular imbalances, we see restricted movement of the scapula which can make it difficult to get optimum arm and shoulder movements.

Good scapular control allows a golfer to…

  • Adequately rotate in backswing
  • Increase the stretch-shortening ability of the muscles in the trail shoulder for more elastic power
  • Increase clubhead speed
  • Control the clubhead through impact
  • The ability to do all of the above with reduced injury to the shoulder

Having the ability to control the scapular and maintain good connection with the ribcage is vital to getting into a good backswing position.

In addition all the energy that we create in the lower body due to ground forces, has to migrate into the trail shoulder to then allow the golfer to apply the force to the club.

If you do struggle with shoulder stability and movement, there are certain exercises that you can work on to improve this. Check out my video below which has a number of exercises that you can easily perform at home with only a band.

Golf fitness tips: Shoulder stability

If you would like a more specific programme aimed at improving shoulder mobility to improve your game and performance, then why not arrange a FREE 30 minute consultation. We can discuss what specifically you are looking for and how we can help your game with a remote or face to face training programme.

About Rachael Tibbs

Rachael Tibbs is a TPI L2 certified golf fitness professional based in Leeds, specialising in golf-specific strength and conditioning.

She is currently offering FREE online TPI assessment when you sign up to 3 months of our online coaching.

If you want to find out more, you can visit the Dynamic Golf website.

This article was originally published by our partner National Club Golfer.