101 Golf Secrets
Golf Secret 58: Social
58 -- 10 WAYS TO GET ON A VERY EXCLUSIVE PRIVATE COURSE
BY STEVE FRANK, Golf Digest Course Ranking Panelist
If you really want to play, you must put aside your timidity. (1) Become acquainted with or find a member who'll host you. (2) Inquire if the course is used for a charity event, which is open to the public. (3) Find out if the course is used as a local qualifying site for a USGA or regional championship and, if your handicap's low enough, enter. (4) Ask the director of golf if a nonmember can play the course during the off-season. (5) Have the pro at your club call the pro at the other club. You might be able to play at an off-peak time. (6) Does the club have a tie-in with a hotel, which accords limited playing privileges? (7) Take lessons from the club's professional, and after getting acquainted, ask for a playing lesson. (8) Get a part-time job at the club, which might include Monday playing privileges. (9) Volunteer at a major tournament. Volunteers are sometimes allowed to play after the event. (10) Always be courteous.
Golf Secrets 59 - 60: Equipment
59 -- HOW TO KNOW WHAT MATTERS
Why is a bigger club better? Because an anvil is more stable than a feather. Bigger drivers and putters are more stable on off-center hits, imparting more useful energy to the ball. Meatier hybrids provide more stability than weaker long irons.
60 -- HOW TO GET A PERFECT CUSTOM-FIT
BY MIKE STACHURA
The estimate from many clubfitters is that less than 20 percent of golfers get custom-fit for their clubs. That's like buying underwear without checking the size first. Boxer shorts or golf clubs, a bad fit doesn't work. If you want to get custom-fit, there are a range of options. One source is The Professional Clubmakers' Society website (proclubmakers.org), which provides a locator search option for certified fitters in your area. Most large retailers like Golfsmith, Golf Galaxy and Golf Headquarters stores provide full-service fitters at their shops. And nearly every golf shop has some fitting component to its services (if it doesn't, take your business elsewhere). Here's what to look for:
- Make sure there is a launch monitor—and a qualified operator—on site. Plenty of shaft and loft options (for the driver) are a must.
- Be prepared to pay a fee. Fitting sessions range from no charge to $150 per club and run a half-hour to three hours. (For example, at Hot Stix Golf, the gold standard of fitters, a top-to-bottom fitting could reach $375.) Often, the fee can be applied to a club purchase.
- Before committing yourself to the recommendations from an indoor fitting session, see if you can demo some options outdoors. Ball flight is the ultimate confirmation.
Image: Jim Herity