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What are Hybrids?

In short, a hybrid golf club is easier to hit than a long iron with the same loft, and with a hybrid golf club the ball will have a higher trajectory. To understand this one needs to know about two things: the 24/38 rule, and the vanishing loft phenomenon which has occurred in golf over the past 20-30 years.

The 24/38 Rule says that most golfers, do not have the ability to consistently hit an iron with 24 degrees or less of loft and 38 or more inches of length. For the vast majority of golfers in today’s world, this means that they cannot hit shots consistently with any iron longer than a five iron.

Surely every golfer is aware that the lofts of iron clubs have crept lower over the years. Golf club companies would introduce new clubs and promote how much farther you can hit a 5 iron, for example, with their new clubs than you could with your old 5 iron. They didn’t immediately tell people that the new club had less loft and was really more like their old 4 iron, but eventually this became obvious. So a 4 iron today has generally settled into lofts of 23-24 degrees vs. 28 degrees some years ago. Applying the 24/38 rule to this means that only a few golfers today can consistently hit a 4 iron. How is it that the lofts and lengths of clubs were allowed to change? It so happens that there are no official standards for these and other golf club design parameters. Thus the golf club companies could make the lofts be whatever they thought was best for the marketing department, within reason.

Why Does The Ball Fly Higher With a Hybrid Golf Club? The answer to this question is easy to understand. With a hybrid golf club the center of gravity (CG) of the club is farther back. For example, the CG of a 4 iron or any other iron club for that matter is slightly behind the club face. A 4 hybrid, which looks like a small wood club (wood as in 3 wood, 5 wood, etc. All these are made of metal these days) has a CG that is farther back. This make the ball get into the air easier and thus the club seems easier to hit.

Most golfers use clubs that are too long or have improper loft. Golfers can obtain and play with the best equipment for their games; and the best way to do this is to get properly fitted from an experienced golf club fitter and club maker.

Should You Hit Hybrid Golf Clubs? Unless you are a very skilled player to whom the 24/38 rule does not apply, the answer is probably yes. Even PGA Tour players, who clearly are not bound by the 24/38 rule are using them because sometimes they want to get those long iron shots higher into the air. In fact for most players, the longest iron in their bag should probably be a 5 iron. 3 and 4 hybrids should replace your 3 and 4 irons, which most golfers cannot hit properly and consistently. And remember, your hybrid golf clubs should be the same lengths , or at most a half inch longer, than the iron which they are meant to replace. You want to replace the 3 and 4 irons with the equivalent hybrid golf clubs. What you don’t want is a club that will hit the ball further and create a yardage gap between the 4 hybrid and 5 iron, for example. Thus, the lofts of hybrid golf clubs and the irons they are to replace should be equal as well. You want your 4 hybrid to travel the same distance that your 4 iron did.

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Old Names for Golf Clubs

Play Club or Grass Club: Either of the two longest hitting wooden clubs formerly in use: the play club or the grass club (or grassed driver). The modern day club is the longest hitting club, the number one wood.

Brassie: This club was fitted with a brass sole plate. The term also applied to various lofted wooden clubs in the 1880s and 1890s. The modern day version would be the number 2 wood, which of course is now very rarely used with the proliferation of utility clubs.

Spoon: Any of a group of early wooden clubs having graduated lofts greater than that of the grassed driver, and correspondingly shorter shafts. The name originated because the loft on early club faces, both wooden and iron, was most often concave and sometimes, therefore, resembled the bowl of a spoon. In the early 20th century it was a somewhat more lofted club than the brassie. The modern equivalent would be the three wood.

Wooden Cleek or Baffy: A small headed, steeply lofted wooden club, no longer in use, which was developed from the baffing spoon. The modern equivalent would be the four wood.

Cleek: Any of numerous narrow-bladed iron clubs, variously adapted and used for playing long shots through the green, for playing from sand and rough and for putting. The basic characteristics of cleeks were that they were narrow-bladed and relatively light. The alternative name for the number one iron. Again this is a club that is very rarely used and has been overtaken by the modern day driving iron

Mid Iron: An iron club no longer is use, somewhat more lofted than a driving iron. The alternative name would be the number two iron.

Mid Mashie; The alternative name would be the number three iron.

Mashie Iron: An iron club no longer in use, somewhat less lofted than a mashie, that was used for driving and for full shots through the green. The alternative name for the number four iron.

Mashie: A lofted iron club, no longer in use, introduced about 1880 and used for pitching with backspin. The modern equivalent would be the number five iron.

Spade Mashie: A deep-faced iron club, no longer in use, some what more lofted than a mashie. The modern equivalent would be the number six iron.

Mashie Niblick: An iron club, no longer in use, having a loft between those of a mashie and a niblick, used for pitching. The modern day equivalent would be the number six or number seven iron.

Pitching Niblick: An iron club, no longer in use, having a loft between those of a mashie and a niblick, used for pitching. The modern day equivalent would be the number eight iron.

Niblick: A short headed steeply lofted wooden club, no longer in use, used for playing out of ruts and tight lies. The alternative name for the number nine iron.

Jigger: A moderately lofted, shallow-faced, short-shafted iron club, no longer in use, that was used especially for approaching. It was a club used for chip shots, not dissimilar to the modern day pitching wedge.

Rake: the modern day equivalent would be the Sand Wedge.

Putting Cleek: The modern day equivalent would be the putter


Unusual Putting Styles

In a golf match, about half of the strokes are devoted to putting and thus, it is imperative for you to devote complete attention to this part of your game. It is a major contributor to your score and if you want to be a good golf player, you must make sure that you practice putting will full enthusiasm and dedication.

There are a number of ways in which you can perfect your putter grip. After you learn the basics, you have to understand by yourself and with the help of your coach which grip suits your style of playing the game. Identifying the grip you are comfortable with and then working on it to become an expert of your kind of grip is one of the most important parts of learning the game.

Below is a list of the most popular putting styles that you need to be familiar with:

• The traditional overlap grip: This is by far the grip adopted by the maximum numbers of golf players. This grip consists of placing your left hand on the grip and resting the right hand just below the left. Once in this position, you need to connect both of your hands by covering the fingers of the right hand with the index finger of the left hand.

• The two fingers down grip: For this grip, you need to cover the putter grip with both of your hands. After you do this, you need to place the index fingers of both your hands in such a way that they point towards the putter grip.

• The Claw grip: This grip is considered by experts to be one of the most unusual grips in the game of golf. However, many golfers consider this to be a great grip whenever they face a putting problem. In this grip, you need to place the left hand on the grip and then the right hand above the putter grip. The final step consists of hooking the hand with the help of your right thumb.

• The left below hand grip: Another golfers' favorite, this grip is the exact opposite of the traditional putting grip. All you need to do is to inverse the positions of your right and left hand.

• The box grip: This is a relatively new kind of grip. It has emerged as the preferred kind of putting grip for a number of golfers after it came into being a few years ago. For this grip, you need to put both your hands side by side in order to make the shoulders level. Then, put your left hand on top of the putting grip and the right hand about an inch below it. This will create a box shape with your hands.

These are the most popular golf grips used by golfers around the world. On these basic grips, each golfer can add his or her own improvisation. So if you are a beginner, start off by going for the grip that suits your playing style best and then gradually improvise on it to improve your game.

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Some of these are well known because of PGA Tour events held there. Pinehurst; The Greenbrier; and Pebble Beach certainly belong in this catagory. Others are located in towns with even more than golf as an attraction. In this Category is The Otesaga in Cooperstown, New York; Basin Harbor Club on Lake Champlain.

What are Belly Putters?

The Belly Putter has enjoyed a big surge in popularity in recent years as a number of professionals have switched from a traditional putter and done extremely well with the innovation. The aim of the Belly Putter is to eliminate most if not all of the wrist action utilized with the traditional putter. The idea is that a golfer might get shaky or nervous standing over a putt, and this makes it difficult to putt solidly and on line. The grip, the setup and the Belly Putter itself all differ tremendously from the old-fashioned putting style.

Belly putters fall somewhere in between the traditional short-shafted putters and the broomstick-style long putters. Their medium-length shaft provides an anchor point for the putting stroke when placed against the stomach.

Golf, let's face it, is jam-packed with archaic rules and silly contradictions.

They could all agree that straddling the line and putting croquet-style was illegal when Sam Snead won doing it in the late 1960s. But now, faced with an equally knotty test - the long putter, anchored in the belly-button or against the chest, so that it is no longer a club freely swung with the hands alone - the old boys at the United States Golf Association and the R&A, who appear to regret having OKed the practice in 1989, are now looking at the proliferation of successful belly-putters on the world's professional golf tours and thinking: ``If it's making the game this easy, there must be something wrong with it.''

Just when it appeared likely that belly putters and chest putters would be with us for an extended period of time, a new ban-the-belly movement within the R&A has convinced the U.S. Golf Association to take what executive director Mike Davis calls a “fresh look” at the putting phenomenon known as anchoring.

Anchoring, as it is commonly called in R&A and USGA circles, refers in general to any putting method in which the putter is secured against the body in a manner considered to be outside the definition of a natural or traditional stroke.

In belly putting, the grip end of the putter is anchored in or around the abdomen. In chest putting, which is often called long putting, the grip end is locked against the chest.

Tiger Woods has a solution to long putters — make them no longer than the shortest club in the bag.

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A 7 iron or 3 wood?

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