Srixon Z 745 & Z 545 Irons: Superior Irons for All Abilities

745-545-irons

The Srixon Z 745 and Z 545 pick up right where the Z Series woods left off. These irons are sure to catch every passing eye. For those seeking a traditional looking club packed with technology and innovation, the Srixon Z 745 and Z 545 irons are the way to go.

The irons feature a newly developed Tour Extreme V-Sole through rigorous testing with tour athletes such as Keegan Bradley, Graeme McDowell, Hideki Matsuyama and Inbee Park. They’ve designed a sole to look like a “V” by increasing the leading bounce and decreasing the trailing bounce. Through testing this “V” sole tightened shot dispersion and created a consistent feel at impact. They’re also forged from 1020 carbon steel which is the softest steel available. This forging provides a soft and responsive feel at impact.

The face of the irons feature a double laser milling process that places two different patterns on the club face, one parallel to the grooves and another slightly angled. These two different patterns create consistent spin from all lies, fairway, rough, or bunkers. Through testing these irons have also produced a closer distance gap in all playing conditions (rain or dry) than those without this groove pattern.

srixon-z-irons

Z 745 Irons

Who’s It For: Tour Player seeking a thinner topline and workability

  • Tour Extreme V-Sole
  • Tungsten Weight (3-6 Iron Only)
  • 1020 Carbon Steel Forged
  • Double Laser Milled Face
Z 545 Irons

Who’s It For: All Abilities seeking distance

  • Tour Extreme V-Sole
  • Tungsten Weight (3-6 Iron Only)
  • 1020 Carbon Steel Forged
  • Double Laser Milled Face

To learn all about the Srixon Z Series woods see our previous post.

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Posted in Equipment, Irons

All You Need to Know about the Grass on a Golf Course

You’ll be surprised to know that a lot of research and planning goes into designing and making a golf course. Unlike many other sports where the field or court dimensions and structures remain the same the world over, golf courses differ from each other in numerous ways.

A golf course can be different from another in terms of the layout or the design. Golf courses may also differ from each other based on the type of grass used.

Here is some useful information on the types of grass used in golf courses, how they affect the game, and how greens are maintained.

Types of Grass

Professional golf courses make use of natural grass on the golf course. Golf courses with artificial turf are popular too as they require zero maintenance. Environmentalists favor them as they don’t consume water and pesticides either.

Following are the species of grass used as natural turf.

1. Bentgrass

Bentgrass is very durable which makes it a great choice for several golf courses. Public golf courses that see many players especially use bentgrass.

Bentgrass has a shallow and thick root system which allows it to grow consistently and withstand heavy traffic. It remains healthy even if cut very short. The texture of the leaves is very fine and without grain. The most common form of this grass is the creeping bentgrass which can create a dense cover.

The grass belongs to the poa family and is available in several varieties. It grows well in warm climates. Cooler evenings and nights help reduce stress.

2. Bermudagrass

Bermudagrass has a strong root system and grows in clumps. The grass can be cut short to make the best greens and fairways. Bermudagrass can also be used to make up the rough of the golf course.

Bermudagrass grows well in warm weather as it can withstand heat and high humidity. This species of grass is better at withstanding damage caused by golfers’ divots too. It is also drought resistant and repairs quickly. However, cold weather isn’t favorable for this grass. To fill in gaps in the cover, bermudagrass may be over-seeded with perennial ryegrass.

3. Perennial Ryegrass

Perennial ryegrass grows well in regions that have cool summers. Like bermudagrass, this grass grows in clumps too. In order to have a tight and hole-free cover, perennial ryegrass needs to be planted heavily.

4. Zoysia

Zoysia grows well in a range of climates except for desert or cold climates. The grass is deep-rooted, grows in clumps and has fine blades. It is a member of the poa family.

The grass grows slowly compared to other species but creates a thick mat-like cover. It needs only a little fertilizer to ward off pests and minimum maintenance.

How the Type of Grass Affects the Game

The surface of the golf course affects the direction and the speed of the golf ball. Two things affect the outcome of a putt- grain and break. Break refers to the putt going towards the left or right due to gravitational pull, while grain refers to the direction in which the grass grows.

Take the slope of the golf course into account before lining up your putt. You can figure this out for yourself or ask the course superintendent about the lowest point on the course.
Most types of grass tend to grow horizontal to the surface which produces grain. The grain or direction in which the grass grows depends on the direction in which the prevailing winds blow; the direction of the setting sun; and water drainage on the golf course.

Bentgrass grows straight up and can be cut low to provide zero grain. Bermudagrass tends to grow horizontal to the surface and thus offers moderate to high resistance. Bentgrass greens are thus fast while bermudagrass greens are relatively slow even when the grass has been cut low.

Irrespective of the turf used on a golf course, a putter needs to identify the slope and the grain so as to make the most of their putts.

Maintaining Grass on a Golf Course

You can tell how good a golf course or a course superintendent is by just looking at the grass. Often, putters will turn a blind eye to other faults on the golf course if the grass is perfect throughout the year. Greens need to be maintained and protected from mechanical as well as environmental stress.

A golf course superintendent decides when and how much the grass needs to be mowed. During high temperatures and humidity levels, greens are either left un-mowed or mowed at a raised height. Double-cutting may also be avoided to avoid applying stress on the grass.

Environmental stress can be caused by excess or lack of sunshine, water, nutrients, pesticides or air-flow. Trained workers may occasionally syringe the turf to reduce moisture and heat build-up. If this is overdone, the grass may wilt or diseases may set in. Syringing is only done in specific areas that require the process.

Pocketed greens are those that are partly surrounded by trees or shrubs. The temperature and humidity levels are often high in such areas. Providing good air circulation is important and may be achieved by thinning out the surrounding trees and shrubbery.

Irrigation is important, but for a golf course to be in great condition, having it aerated at least twice in a year will be beneficial. This allows oxygen to reach the roots and dries out a very wet soil. Fertilizers and pesticides need to be used as required.

Divots have to be replaced right away so the root can reattach itself to the ground. Moreover, the greens have to be repaired at the end of each day. The superintendent also has to ensure that the course is litter-free.
Bunkers and water hazards need to be maintained too. The sand needs to be raked regularly, and water hazards need to be at appropriate levels and free of floating debris.

Conclusion

Just as the game of golf isn’t as simple as it seems, the golf course isn’t simple either. A lot of things go into making the perfect golf course for the enthusiasts to enjoy. The next time you are perfecting your putt, be sure to apply some tips from above.

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Posted in Golf Talk

Tee It Up With The Little Pro: Ch. 3

Golf Digest Round Table. From left to right: Sam Snead, Bill Davis, Paul Mennig, Eddie Merrins, Cary Middlecoff

Golf Digest Round Table. From left to right: Sam Snead, Bill Davis, Paul Mennig, Eddie Merrins, Cary Middlecoff

Welcome to the third tee box in our Tee It Up with The Little Pro series. Today we are going to continue our analysis of the “Set Up”. We’ve covered Posture and Balance and will now talk about the critically important element, Ball Placement.

It has been my experience that golfers have a tendency to speed through the initial elements of the “Set Up” in an effort to arrive where the action is, the swing itself. I encourage you to not treat the “Set Up” casually as once you master all of the collective elements, your swing will produce better shots thereby affecting your confidence, which in turn will yield better results. An upward cycle of performance is emotionally uplifting and breeds more confidence.

The proper “Set Up” will have the ball positioned just inside the left heel, for each and every club, as the ball position within the stance will determine the direction of the clubface; square, open, or closed at the time it impacts the golf ball. Positioning the ball in the same place for each club will help deliver consistency with each shot.

The stance is widened as the shots become longer by moving the right foot back away from the target to adjust for terrain and to provide the required balance with the longer clubs. Playing the ball opposite the left heel forces you to thrust your legs properly toward the target as you begin the downswing, or as I like to call it, the forward swing. This lateral motion actually happens in that very short time frame between the backswing and the forward swing. The lateral movement of the legs helps the weight shift onto your left side and delivers a downward strike through the ball.

The only valid departure from this ball placement is if we have a tight lie or a pronounced downhill lie, at which time we move the ball back toward the right foot so that the strike makes contact with the ball first before the ground. A further tip is to use a more lofted club when faced with a downhill lie as the slope will cause the shot to have a lower than normal trajectory.

You may have noticed the tour players on television first take their grip and then place the club behind the ball before taking their stance. I believe the club should be lowered to the ball in this fashion, except that you should keep the club just off the ground. This vertical lowering of the club will unhinge your wrists in the proper manner and help you focus on measuring to the ball and not the ground. The clubhead should be aimed slightly to the right of your intended target so that it will be perfectly squared to the target line when it reaches the ball at impact.

Remember, the purpose is to move the ball around the golf course by choosing one target after another as you move one shot at a time through each hole. From the longest tee shot to the shortest putt, the focus is on a target.  Consistent ball placement removes a variable and allows you to be target focused and produce consistent shots.

A great example of being focused on the target was raised by the great Sam Snead during a Golf Digest teaching panel that I participated in. The panel consisted of a dozen teachers and players and we would meet periodically to develop teaching editorial content for the magazine. The editors would ask provocative questions and we would go around the table and deliver our opinions, often leading to disagreement and controversy, but always providing interesting content for Golf Digest.

During one such exchange, the topic was how to conduct a playing lesson. Bob Toski, Jim Flick, myself, and John Jacobs all answered with our respective viewpoints, and then Sam Snead stopped us all in our tracks, and said, “The best playing lesson is without a ball”.

Sam continued after we all collected ourselves and explained, “ you take a student out on the golf course and move him from station to station, from the tee to a place in the fairway where he would have to hit his approach into the green. From there, he imagines what his next shot will be, he then makes an imaginary swing and proceeds to the next position. By taking the ball out of the equation, the student focuses on the target and strategy of moving the ball from target to target through the green.

I have spiritually thanked Sam profusely over the years for this nugget of teaching gold that I have used to better help my students picture where they want the ball to go and what they want the ball to do.

We will move on to discussing Stance Width, Weight Distribution, and Alignment on the next tee. Until then, keep swinging the handle.

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Posted in Eddie Merrins - The Little Pro
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