Golf Swing Tips

Why the Ping G25 Driver is Best for Beginners – Golf Driver Reviews

Ping G25 Driver Review

I want to tell everyone about one of my favorite drivers of all time – it’s the Ping G25 Driver – but before I get into the specifics of the club I want to say a few words about what I think makes a great driver for beginning golfers:

1 – It has to be simple to use

2 – It has to have a large sweet spot

3 – it has to be very forgiving

And I can tell you that the G25 is all that and more. So sit back and enjoy the review below…

Simplicity

So what makes a driver simple to use? As a beginning golfer, I prefer golf clubs that do NOT offer manual adjustments, but if the club is adjustable, making these adjustments needs to be extremely simple. The G25 employs Ping’s Trajectory Tuning (TM) Technology that allows the golfer to add or subtract a half-degree of loft to the club

by adjusting the hosel using the PING wrench (kind of like a small Philips-head screwdriver). When you increase the angle of loft the club will impart more backspin and a higher ball flight, however you may sacrifice a little distance due to the higher angle and added backspin.

You can also reduce the angle of the club face, which results in less loft and a lower ball flight. This also reduces the amount of backspin imparted on the ball and can help get a little more distance out of the club.

While these types of minor adjustments may be useful for professional golfers, I simply left the driver in its default ‘stock’ set-up and let it rip!

 

The Sweet Spot

The Ping G25 has a 460cc clubhead similar to other drivers, but its profile is huge! The  increased size of the head allows for a much larger sweet spot than some other drivers. This is great because a larger sweet spot means that you can hit the ball a little off-center and it will still go straight. A large sweet spot means I don’t have to hit the ball perfectly with every swing and I can still get away with it! Just another reason why I love this club.

sweet spot ping g25 driver

That’s one big sweet spot – SWEET!

 

Forgiveness

Starting with the extra large sweet spot that provides a greater surface area for less-than-perfect ball contact, the Ping G25 is one of the most forgiving drivers on the market. It is extremely easy to swing, even with its large profile because it has such an aerodynamic design and low center of gravity.

The shaft in my club is the TFC189D 45.5 inch – I use the regular flex shaft as I do not have a super-fast swing, but this club comes with one of three shaft types (stiff, regular, soft). For beginners I would recommend the regular shaft or maybe the stiff. soft (more flexible) shafts always seem to bend too much for my taste.

The Ping G25 is a sleek black beauty of a club. with its large sweet spot, lightweight shaft, large clubhead and adjustability it is (and has been) my favorite driver of all time. Check out some more of the Ping G25 specs here (this is the exact club I use!)

 

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Golf Wiffle Ball Practice Tips for Beginners

While Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Jordan Spieth have probably graduated from using plastic golf balls for practice, beginplastic golf wiffle ballsning golfers trying to improve their swing can actually benefit quite a bit just by using these hollow golf balls (shown on the left) when we want to practice, but can’t make it to the range or the weather is not conducive to actually playing a round of golf. In this article I want to give you some golf wiffle ball practice tips that you can use to improve your golf swing. We will look at why these golf balls are good practice tools, what areas of your golf game can benefit the most from using practice golf balls, what clubs are best to use with golf wiffle balls, what are the best types of plastic golf balls to use, and where you can purchase plastic golf practice balls online.

Why Golf Wiffle Balls Make Good Golf Swing Training Aids

Any tool that can help beginning golfers improve their golf swing is a good training tool in my book. Here are some reasons why I like to practice with these golf wiffle balls and why they are also good for beginners

  • Inexpensive so you can buy a lot and not have to worry about running out
  • Allows anyone to practice hitting golf balls – as least as close as you can come to hitting golf balls – in confined areas, such as small backyards or even inside the garage
  • Great training tool to practice golf indoors in the winter
  • Have similar flight paths to actual golf balls, which helps curing slices and fixing hooks

In my opinion, the greatest benefit of using these golf balls is that when practicing they …

..provide a target for your club head….in this way they help beginning golfers develop a repeatable swing…

Tips for Practicing with Golf Wiffle Balls

Tip #1 – Select a good plastic golf ball.

Believe it or not these practice balls are all not created equally and the less expensive ones do crush quickly after repeated impacts. Even the higher-end ones are relatively inexpensive. I like the idea of someone who is new at golf and maybe doesn’t have a lot of extra money to spend being able to buy something that can actuall help them get better at golf. Below I’ll tell you where you can buy these golf wiffle balls online

Tip #2 – Choose a club appropriate for this type of practice golf ball

Choose something you can use in a tight space, but that also allows you to practice a full golf swing. I like the shorter clubs like a pitching wedge or nine-iron. The irons allow you to get more use out of each practice ball, too. You can certainly use a driver, but the extra length of a driver is sometimes not what you want if you are practicing in your garage or basement. The plastic will also crush more quickly if you only use a driver.

Tip #3 – Use a golf mat when hitting plastic golf balls (especially indoors)

I use these balls in my garage in the winter and when I first started using them I neglected to buy a golf mat. Trying to hit these off of a hard surface or concrete like my garage floor is made out of is not fun. Even a slight mis-hit can damage your club head and, more importantly, injure you. A golf mat provides some soft, artificial turf that allows the ball to sit up so you are not directly hitting off of concrete.

Tip #4 – Buy extra golf wiffle balls

These practice balls are great, but they do not withstand a lot of repeated hits. Lately there have been some additional innovations like foam practice golf balls, as well as other alternatives, that are more durable and provide golf swing feedback that approximates more of hitting an actual ball.

Tip #5 – Use a golf net when practicing indoors

Even practice golf balls can damage the wall if struck hard. Also, they can ricochet off of hard surfaces, such as a concrete wall like the one in my garage, and hit you. A golf net can help catch the ball and prevent these deflections. I don’t typically use a golf net outdoors since I want to see the ball flight.

There is a good discussion and some additional tips on this online golf forum about the pros and cons of practicing with these and other types of golf balls that are specifically designed for practice as opposed to actual golf balls.

Where Can I Buy Plastic Golf Wiffle Balls Online?

There are a couple places where you can purchase practice golf balls. Prices vary and items come in and out of stock.

Amazon.com

6 pack golf wiffle balls

You can by golf wiffle balls from Amazon.com. There are several different brands and they come in several different sizes. The 6 pack of golf wiffle balls to the left are available on Amazon for $6.15 and comes with free shipping on orders over a certain dollar amount. One of the great things about Amazon is that almost everyone has an account there already so there most likely won’t need to be any registering or setting up of a new account. However, on that site prices are subject to change and items do run out of stock. The good thing is there are usually multiple brands for this type of item and they come in lost of six, twelve and twenty-four.

 

Golfsmith

ZTech Airflow Practice Balls in Mesh Bag - 18 Count

ZTech Airflow practice golf balls like the ones shown to the left come in an 18-count mesh bag and are available from Golfsmith. You can read what people are saying about them right here. These are – in my opinion – slightly more durable than the ones above from Amazon. These are my favorite golf wiffle balls and the ones I use the most for practicing in the backyard or in the garage when it’s too cold out to play.

 

 

What Other Alternatives to Golf Wiffle Balls Are There?

As I mentioned  above plastic golf balls are good to use in tight spaces and really help hand-eye coordination with your golf swing, but they don’t provide the type of feedback you get when you hit a real golf ball. Lately, there have been some advances in the development of practice balls.

The first new kind of golf practice ball is made out of foam. These are more dense and yet softer than golf wiffle balls, which are made out of plastic. Here are some examples.

Amazon

bucket of foam practice balls

The balls to the left are made out of foam kind of like a nerf football. Because of this they are more durable and last longer than the plastic golf balls above. They also provide more swing feedback similar to a real golf ball. They go farther, as well. You can see if there are any in stock right here.

 

 

Golfsmith

hank haney foam practice balls

You can also get a twenty-four count of foam golf balls from Golfsmith (with bucket). The ones to the left were designed by Hank Haney and I feel like the colors are a little more natural. You cam read more about these foam practice golf balls here. In general they are similar to the ones above from Amazon.

 

 

How far do plastic golf wiffle balls go when you hit them?

Plastic golf balls can travel about 30-40 yards if hit very hard by a driver. As I said earlier, I like to use a pitching wedge or a 9-iron and even with a full swing I may only end up hitting a golf wiffle ball 20 yards or so with these clubs. The foam practice balls go a little farther due to having a higher density. Both are great golf training tools.

Anyway, I hope you’ve learned more than you ever wanted to know and enjoyed these golf wiffle ball practice tips. Whether you choose plastic or foam the main thing is to just get out there and have fun.

Happy Golfing!

 

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What Percentage of Golfers Have a Single Digit Handicap?

Not too long ago I received a question from one of my readers who asked me, “What percentage of golfers have a single digit handicap?” And that question got me thinking two things: 1) Yeah, I’m curious about that myself and 2) What a great idea for another article for this site! I have to admit that I didn’t readily know the answer to that question, but at least I knew where to look.

USGA

Otherwise known as the United States Golf Association, the USGA offers a standard system for determining any golfer’s handicap. It has separate systems for determining Men’s Golf Handicaps from Women’s Golf Handicaps. Since I am a guy I was particularly interested in the Men’s Statistics. Here is what I found on their site (Note: This chart is directly from the Official USGA.org site (with a little bit nicer formatting). I encourage anyone interested in how the handicapping system works to continue reading this article because I will show you exactly where to find this information on their website. We’ll also talk about some of the other great features of  the USGA.org site and how it can help golfers of any level understand more about the handicapping system and even calculate their own handicaps. That site is a valuable resource for beginning golfers trying to understand handicapping.Mens USGA Handicap Index

What is a Golf Handicap?

First of all I HATE the official definition of a handicap. According to WikiPedia it’s a “numerical measure of a golfer’s potential playing ability based on the tees played for a given course.” Yeah, that’s helpful. Here’s the BeginnerGolfSwingTips.com definition of a golf handicap:

                              It’s how many strokes on average over par you usually shoot

In layman’s terms it is how many free strokes you would need to compete on a level playing field with a scratch golfer (defna golfer with no handicap or a handicap of zero). Here is a quick example of how a beginning golfer can calculate their handicap. So if we assume that par for the course is 72 and that you regularly shoot 100. You have a handicap of +28. Your score minus par = your handicap, so (100 – 72 = 28). In reality, there is a little bit more to it (okay, maybe a lot more) but for the purposes of this article and us non-professionals, that’s pretty good.

So, a single digit handicap is a handicap that is under 10 (assuming that a typical course is par 72, a golfer who shoots between 81 to 73 would be considered a single digit handicap golfer).

Want to know how to get your handicap to these levels? Check out…..

The Official How to Break 80 ™ Golf Instruction Program

What is a Golf Handicap Used For?

A golf handicap is used to create a level playing field (i.e. scoring system) when golfers of different abilities compete together. This oftentimes happens in charity golf tournaments, amateur golf tournaments, junior golf outings, and other various non-PGA level golf tournaments.

Do Beginning Golfers Have a Handicap?

All golfers have a handicap because it’s really just a measure of how well you play, but I like to separate a golfer’s handicap into their unofficial handicap and their official handicap. First let’s talk about the unofficial handicap (this is not really a thing, but something that I invented just to have fun and play with my golfing buddies who are both better and worse than I am). For my unofficial handicap, I just keep track of my golf scores throughout the season and come up with an average score. Let’s say it’s 100 so the math is easy and similar to our example above. At the end of the season I calculate my scoring average – 72 (I assume this is the average par for the courses I play) and arrive at +28. That’s my unofficial handicap. Not real exact here, but when I play with my friend who has a single digit handicap of +8, I better get my 20 strokes!

Official Handicap

For my official handicap, we’ll turn again to the USGA.org website. On their site we find this quote

While the USGA develops the formula for a Handicap Index®, a USGA Handicap Index is issued through a licensed golf club. Each licensed golf club must follow all the policies and procedures established within the USGA Handicap System – USGA.org

So now we see that while the United States Golf Association maintains the official formula to calculate your golf handicap, you actually get your handicap – referred to as a USGA Handicap Index – through one of these USGA licensed golf clubs. So if you want an official handicap index you need to find your local licensed golf club to get it.

How Can You Calculate Your Golf Handicap?

Well, if you’re a beginning golfer like a lot of us around here and you don’t need an official USGA handicap index, you can use my unofficial formula above. If you want a number that is closer to what your actual, official, USGA golf handicapping index would be, it’s not quite as easy. To calculate your official golf handicap, you need to record more pieces of information than just your score, specifically, you need to keep track of the following: USGA Course Rating, USGA Course Slope, and of course your eighteen hole score. Oh yeah, then there’s a bunch of complicated math. I prefer to use a free golf handicapping calculator like this one found on GolfSoftware.com.

Putting it all Together to Answer My Reader’s Question?

So how do we tell what percentage of golfers are a single digit handicap by looking at the chart above? Let’s first define what a single digit handicap is: It’s any golfer who has a handicap that is LESS THAN TEN STROKES. Why? Because ’10’ is the first double-digit number – duh.

Looking at the chart above we can see that 31.31% of all male golfers are a single digit handicap! That is waaaayyyy more than I would have ever thought when I was first asked this question. That’s almost a third of all male golfers. Having a single digit handicap used to seem like an almost unattainable goal when I first started playing golf, but knowing that almost 1/3 of all male golfers are this good makes me think two things: 1) Having a single digit handicap is an achievable goal and 2) Wow, here are a lot of golfers out there who are much better than me!

(Note: The above chart from the USGA.org website is always changing as more and more golfers have their official handicap index computed. I believe they update that chart every two weeks so you may find my screenshot above of the handicaps of all male golfers slightly different than the one found on the USGA website, depending on how much time has passed between my publishing of this article and when you read it.)

Everything Else You Might Want to Know About How A Golf Handicap Is Calculated

If the information above isn’t quite enough for you, I recommend that you visit the Official Handicapping Page on USGA.org. There you will find detailed explanations in the form of videos about what the USGA handicapping system actually is, the real math behind a Handicapping Index, any changes that have been made to the USGA Handicapping Index, the latest improvements in technology that can help average golfers like us calculate our handicaps, and everything else you would or could ever want to know about the handicapping system.

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