Connect with us

Opinion & Analysis

Wishon: Getting the right grip size, time after time

Published

on

This part of the series is about how we teach club fitters to fit golfers for the proper grip size and style.

Many of you might be saying “OMG really? This will be a yawner.”

Wishon

I’ll ask that you to hang on through the first part of this story, because we’ll get to some other information about grip fitting that many of you may not know.

OK, sure, there isn’t any rocket science associated with fitting golfers for the right grip size and style. Grip size/style fitting is chiefly a matter of golfer preference for what FEELS the best.

“WHAT STYLE AND SIZE ALLOWS THE GOLFER TO MAINTAIN A SECURE HOLD ON THE CLUB WITH THE LEAST AMOUNT OF GRIP PRESSURE?”

The more grip pressure golfers have to use to keep their hands securely on the grip throughout their swing, the more their forearm muscles will contract. And the tighter their forearm muscles, the less consistent golfers will find their swing tempo, timing, rhythm and shot consistency.

The result? More bad shots, which no one wants. 

Grip size fitting charts, which offer a size based on a measurement of the hand and middle finger length, stand ONLY as a starting point. Just like a wrist-to-floor measurement acts only as a starting point for length determination, hand/finger measurements are done simply to give the club maker a starting point for coming up with the best grip size for each golfer.

Plain and simple, the golfer has to try different grip sizes to choose the one that is most comfortable and allows him to maintain a secure hold on the club with the least amount of grip pressure. That means trial and experimentation. While many club fitters do this with cut-off shafts and grips installed to different specific sizes, it is better for the golfer to try grip sizes on a fully assembled club. Holding a grip mounted on a cut-off shaft just doesn’t FEEL like a real club and has been known to adversely affect a golfer’s size decision.

Following this guideline, there has been a recent increase in golfer preference for building up the diameter of the lower-hand part of the grip. For example, a right-handed golfer might prefer two wraps of grip tape under his left hand and three wraps under his right hand. That’s great if that’s what’s comfortable for him or her. Remember, getting the right grip size is chiefly a trial-and-experimentation process, but building up the lower hand can be done to help a golfer who indicates that he is turning the ball over a little more than he or she would like.

So comfort and a golfer’s own preferred feel rule all in grip size/style fitting. That’s no news to most of you. What is worth your attention is whether you really do know exactly what grip size you prefer. If you do, you’re assured that you are getting the same size grips when you switch to a different shaft or club.

Because of the VAST amount of variation in shaft butt diameters today, the old tried-and-true procedures for calculating known grip sizes in club making are totally disorganized and confusing. It’s an area in club making that used to be very comfortably protected by standards upon which every company agreed, but it is yet another example of equipment specifications that are out the window these days.

For a very long time in this industry, a men’s standard grip was defined by a diameter of 0.900 inches at a point 2 inches down from the edge of the grip cap, coupled with a diameter of 0.780 inches at the 6-inch point down from the end of the grip. It was from this that the industry designations for under or oversize grip diameters were based. Thus a +1/32-inch (0.031 inches) oversize grip was 0.930 inches/0.810 inches at the 2-inch/6-inch positions respectively, and so on for each of the other common grip sizes.

Ensuring the accurate size was easy. Pretty much all X-flex shafts were made with a 0.620-inch butt, S-flexes were 0.600 inches, R’s and A’s were 0.580 inches and L-flexes were 0.560 inches. To match to this, grip companies made their men’s grips with core sizes to match. Men’s grips were available with 62, 60 and 58 core sizes, and women’s grips had a 56 core size. Match the core size to the butt diameter, use one wrap of 2-way grip tape and you ended up with the standard men’s or women’s size every time.

Oversize grips were created by applying layers of masking tape to achieve the desired increase in the butt diameter to stretch the grip larger in diameter. This, too, was pretty much a standard since virtually every roll of paper masking tape was made with a thickness of 0.005 inches. Hence, for each layer of masking tape wrapped around the butt, the shaft diameter increased by 0.010 inches. And from this came the vernacular of 3 wraps makes a +1/32 inches oversize, 6 wraps makes a +1/16 inches oversize, and so on.

Not today.

Shaft butt diameters are all over the place now. Different model shafts of the same flex can now range in butt diameter from 0.580 inches to 0.640 inches. Not only that, but masking tape has been cheapened so much over the years that it’s tough to find a roll with the same 0.005-inch thickness as was so common before.

Most masking tape is 0.003 inches thick. Then you have the trend of the grip companies to mold separate grips to “midsize” or “oversize” diameters. Just how large IS this or that grip company’s mid or oversize molded grip?

Here we have one more club spec that used to have standards agreed upon by all that no longer exists. No more is “3 wraps a +1/32” or any other wraps versus size designation. To be sure you get the same exact grip size on all clubs/shafts you play, the only solution is to:

Make note of the butt diameter on the shafts you play.

  1. Note the core size of the grip you use. Typically, this will be seen as a 2-digit number on the underside of the mouth of the grip: 58, 60, 62. 
  2. Make note of the thickness and number of wraps of tape used.
  3. Take a final micrometer or calipers measurement of the outside diameter of the installed grips done at different points along the length of the grip.

When you change clubs or shafts and find the butt diameters are different, ensure you get the same final grip size by calculating the combination of butt diameter, tape thickness and final calipers measurement. More work, in other words, but it’s now what’s necessary. 

So the next time you tell your club maker your preferred grip size is an XYZ grip with X number of wraps and the grips turns out not quite right, you know why.

Related

Tom Wishon

  1. What length should your clubs be?
  2. What lofts should your clubs be?
  3. Face angle is crucial for a proper fitting
  4. The best way to fit lie angle
  5. How to choose the right club head design
  6. Tom Wishon’s keys to set makeup
  7. Getting the right size grip, time after time
  8. What shaft weight should you play?
  9. What swing weight should your clubs be?
  10. What shaft flex should I use?

This story is part of a 10-part series from Tom Wishon on professional club fitting.

Your Reaction?
  • 225
  • LEGIT25
  • WOW16
  • LOL2
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP8
  • OB1
  • SHANK9

Tom Wishon is a 40-year veteran of the golf equipment industry specializing in club head design, shaft performance analysis and club fitting research and development. He has been responsible for more than 50 different club head design firsts in his design career, including the first adjustable hosel device, as well as the first 0.830 COR fairway woods, hybrids and irons. GolfWRX Writer of the Month: February 2014 Tom served as a member of the Golf Digest Technical Advisory Panel, and has written several books on golf equipment including "The Search for the Perfect Golf Club" and "The Search for the Perfect Driver," which were selected as back-to-back winners of the 2006 and 2007 Golf Book of the Year by the International Network of Golf (ING), the largest organization of golf industry media professionals in the USA. He continues to teach and share his wealth of knowledge in custom club fitting through his latest book, "Common Sense Clubfitting: The Wishon Method," written for golf professionals and club makers to learn the latest techniques in accurate custom club fitting. Tom currently heads his own company, Tom Wishon Golf Technology, which specializes in the design of original, high-end custom golf equipment designs and club fitting research for independent custom club makers worldwide Click here to visit his site, wishongolf.com

31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. M

    Mar 1, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Tom – I have trouble with my right hand (RH golfer) coming off the grip at the top. I currently play an oversize grip (+1/32) plus an extra wrap of tape under my bottom hand.

    Would it be helpful to go smaller?

    • Tom Wishon

      Mar 2, 2015 at 10:35 am

      M
      As much as there are definite “cause and effect” elements in other areas of clubfitting, this matter of grip size vs a golfer’s ability to maintain a secure hold on the club during the whole swing still very much is an area of trial and experimentation. Sometimes a significant grip size change can help in this area, many times not. So I wish I could tell you a for sure remedy, but I can’t. You would have to take one club and go through a series of trial grip size changes and then hit balls for a few weeks to see what works, what doesn’t.

      Gut feel says that you should try a LOT bigger lower hand grip – like install a grip with the left hand size as it is now, but then put 6 to 8 wraps under the lower hand to try that first. In the end, whenever I have seen a golfer who loses the lower hand during the swing, the golfer has to train himself to change the way he applies his grip pressure with the lower hand – more often to feel like he is squeezing the left thumb firmly on the grip with the thicker muscular area at the base of his lower hand thumb and to consciously hit several shots while thinking of always maintaining that squeezing feel during the whole swing. Not to hold with more finger pressure.

  2. KK

    Feb 24, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    It would seem to me that larger grips will have a larger surface area and thus require less pressure to maintain adequate hold. They’re also smoother in feel. So I would say, play the largest grip that is comfortable. As far as uniform grip size throughout the set, that’s a tough one with so many different shafts from driver to fw to hy, iron and wedges. And even then, easy club is swung in a slightly different way. But thanks for the article. Great history lesson.

  3. tlmck

    Feb 24, 2015 at 10:06 am

    I do not know the finished size, I just know I use a .580 grip on a .600 shaft, or a .600 grip on a .620 shaft with no extra tape. I buy the same tape from Golfworks everytime, so I know it will be consistent. Never failed me so far.

  4. theo

    Feb 20, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    Golfer personal preference. End of story.

  5. FTWPhil

    Feb 20, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Once you find your preferred grip size there is a simple shortcut to conformity. Use 2″ grip tape and note the gap, our overlap on the final wrap used. Now regrip the rest of your set to that gap size.

  6. james

    Feb 19, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    Tom, thank you for this series of articles! Great reads.

    I have a question, and it may be a stupid one, but should grip size be the same through the whole bag or does some clubs call for different sizes (e.g. thicker grip on driver vs. Smaller grip on irons)?

    • Tom Wishon

      Feb 20, 2015 at 10:25 am

      James:
      The tradition for using the same style and size of grip for all clubs is sound because that is the most sure way to achieve the same grip pressure with all clubs and from it, the same level of forearm/hand muscle contraction so the takeaway and tempo has more of a chance to be consistent with all clubs.

      That being said, there could be a reason/justification to invent a totally new type of grip for wedges that would be longer in length and with a different diameter tapering design so that when the golfer grips down on the wedges, which is done so often in the game, he would then not have to deal with the grip being too small. Right now whenever anyone grips down on a club, he has to accept the fact that he now is playing a grip which in essence is a good bit smaller for both hands. Challenge in this would be to determine how you would create the tapering rate of the grip diameter so that when he doesn’t grip down, the grip is not too large in some manner.

  7. Eric h

    Feb 19, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Tom
    Thanks for the comments. I am a smaller male (5’4″) with a small hand (6.5″ with my longest finger at 2.75″. Normally use undersized grips on all my clubs.

    I started to think back and my two best drivers in the past 5 years have had standard and midsized grips on them. Never gave it much thought until this week. I bought some new irons and immediately put my normal undersized grip on it. Put it on a monitor and most every shot was a hard draw. I have a neutral to strong grip and my iron miss is usually an overlooked draw.
    I hit a test Demo iron and it was much straighter. So I put on an oversized grip on my new 7i and hit it on the monitor again. Much different results. Club head speed was up almost 2mph, Gained 6 yds of carry which is a lot for me as I am a short hitter and dispersion was 4 yds tighter.

    I also hit the same test demo iron to ensure the monitor was reading consistently and it was spot on my results the week before.

    Oh and forgot to mention, I play a 10 finger grip and the larger grip just “feels” better and I bet my grip pressure is down a good 50% than what it was before with the undersized grips.

  8. Felipe Aspillaga

    Feb 19, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Tom,
    Always enjoy reading your in depth articles here on WRX.
    Also happened to find your book in some random used bookstore bin 😀

    When it comes to dialing in the correct grip size, especially for the garage builder/tinkerer, I would have mentioned installing grips using masking tape and air compression.
    This would allow the builder to easily switch out grips and add/subtract layers of tape with zero wait/drying time and without the need to destroy the grip to try the next setup.

    What do you think about grip installation via air compression, particularly as a “permanent” installation method?

    Cheers,
    Felipe

    • Don Greenwood

      Feb 19, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      I have used an air compressor for years to install & remove grips. A pancake compressor from Lowe’s or Depot works good. The only other things to get are the air nozzle for grips and a sleeve to put over old grips (nylon or PVC pipe) when using air to remove them. This helps contain the grip from blowing up like a balloon. Makes a really loud bang. What is nice is that you can install a new grip, remove and add tape if needed, reinstall grip and test to see if the customer likes. Remember the 2″ & 6″ measurements. Keep a record of the grip type and layers of tape. When your customer come back for new grips later, you can just blow those off and install new grip fast and easy. Always check that under the top 1″ or so does not turn in the hand. I have had some grips that needed additional masking tape there. Use a rough service masking tape. I get mine from Ace Hardware. Just start the grip on the shaft like normal, put one hand by the shaft end to push the grip down and add air to the butt end of the grip. Practice a couple times and you be fine. Hope this helps.

      • J.R.

        Feb 20, 2015 at 1:56 am

        I’ve seen that air compressor method demonstrated on YouTube, but I’m not sure it would work for everybody.
        As you mentioned, there’s the possibility of blowing up the grip (exploding it), especially if it isn’t a very high quality grip, even if you use a sleeve to prevent it from happening.
        Also, I’ve heard that this method works poorly if one is using double-sided golf grip tape as opposed to just standard run of the mill masking tape. You mentioned that you bought Ace Hardware masking tape, which is only sticky on one side, then slick on the other. Using double-sided grip tape made specifically for golf gripping purposes may preclude the air compressor method. If your customer comes in with grips that are not worn but simply wants to try a diameter change, his existing grips may have double-sided grip tape already on them.

        • Felipe Aspillaga

          Feb 20, 2015 at 10:09 am

          Yeah, double-sided tape + air compression isn’t really a compatible combination.

        • Tom Wishon

          Feb 20, 2015 at 10:32 am

          JR:
          It’s highly unlikely that a grip will explode in an air removal if there is a tube over the grip, even a cardboard tube from the inside of a roll of paper towels. While the tube certainly is there for safety reasons, it also prevents the grip from bubbling up so much that it becomes ruined should you be wishing to re use the grips being removed. Plus the alternative for an intact grip removal is a hypo needle and solvent, and THAT can be a very dangerous thing to do. Years ago I saw a clubmaker who slipped and accidentally injected some solvent into his hand doing this and he just happened to have a HORRIBLE tissue reaction that almost caused him to lose the hand.

          Also, as long as the grip core is not larger than any area of the diameter of the shaft, air installation over plain masking tape is just fine for keeping the grip secure to not slip. So if a golfer needs an oversize grip to be achieved by multiple wraps of build up tape, that can be done with masking tape with the grip installed over the wraps by air, and the grip will stay put.

  9. Dave S

    Feb 19, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Wow, that was a lot more complicated that I thought. My biggest issue is having a place to actually try different grip sizes on full clubs (I imagine this is an issue for a lot of people). I can’t just try a bunch of grips and various wraps and then pick the one I want put on all my clubs. Instead, it’s more trial-and-error… I get a grip i think feels good then put it on all my clubs. Regripping all clubs gets pretty expensive so I really just play with what I have (which I’m sure is not an optimal scenario). I have no way of knowing if there’s a better grip/wrap combo out there that I just haven’t tried yet… suggestions???

    • Tom Wishon

      Feb 19, 2015 at 11:35 am

      DAVE:
      There are two ways to go about this. One, you work with an experienced clubmaker who can do these calipers measurements for diameter to start with your current grips as a baseline, and then have him install different size grips on clubs from perhaps previous sets you may still have around that you can hit over time to get a sense for whether something different is more comfortable or not. Or two, you learn how to do grip sizing and installation yourself so you can do your own experimentation. Bottom line is really to not over think it – if you feel that you are able to maintain a secure hold on the club with a minimum amount of grip pressure with your current grip size, then leave it at that. But if curiosity is strong, then you have to look at either option one or two I explained above and tinker around with it over time.

      • Justin

        Jun 27, 2016 at 2:32 pm

        I realize I’m late to this party (as always lol), but there’s another option. Gauze, the kind trainers use to wrap ankles and wrists, can be used.

        Take a 6 or 7 iron to the range, hit shots as a baseline, then add a layer of gauze and hit some more. Keep adding a wrap until you get your best result.

        Take that info to a local clubfitter, so s/he can duplicate the test and measure the new diameter with calipers and install grips at the new size.

  10. Kevin

    Feb 19, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Tom,

    You mention measuring at various points along the grip. Where do you measure in addition to 2″ down from the but cap?

    • Tom Wishon

      Feb 19, 2015 at 11:44 am

      Kevin
      The customary points of grip diameter measurement are at 2″ and 6″ down from the edge of the grip cap – 2″ covers the upper hand, 6″ the lower hand in the grip. One commenter made a valid point here when he observed that in addition to shaft butt diams being all over the place these days, so too is the tapering of the butt section of the shaft which then controls the lower hand grip size. Hence the need to also have a lower hand diameter measurement for serious golfers who are very picky about the whole size of the grip.

  11. 8thehardway

    Feb 19, 2015 at 12:15 am

    The top photo shows a striking resemblance to William H. Macy in Showtime’s series Shameless.

    More to the point, your breath and depth of knowledge is staggering – beginning with Search for the Perfect Golf Club (read it around 2006) I’ve never come across anyone who packs so much detail, experience and help into their communications; at the very least you deserve a Lifetime Achievement awards for common sense in golf equipment. Thanks for being so involved and for the continuing education.

    • Tom Wishon

      Feb 19, 2015 at 11:52 am

      Thanks very much but it all goes back to very long ago when I was just starting to get consumed with learning everything possible about golf clubs and continually got put off, rebuffed or BS’d when I would call club and shaft companies asking questions. After about the 12th time of this, I really got pissed and told myself that I was going to have to do this on my own and if I did ever get to a point where I knew this stuff, I was going to be sure to share anything I learned with whoever was interested.

      Some here on WRX have formed the opinion that the only reason I do this is to further the business of my company. But I have been continually writing books/articles and sharing what I learn ever since the late 80s and will continue to do so as long as I can because I just feel there is a real need for the facts in the face of all the misinformation that has been a part of this industry for so long. Thanks again.

      • Cyd

        Feb 19, 2015 at 4:34 pm

        All I can add is:

        Thank you!

      • J.R.

        Feb 20, 2015 at 2:08 am

        @Tom Wishon. When I see a Wishon article on GolfWRX, I always read it, and I always appreciate the info.
        You’ve also helped to clarify and often de-bunk a lot of the info put out my major OEM’s about such things as moveable weights (how much weight will actually affect ball flight), and such things as the adjustable hosels.
        I recall reading an article somewhere about how often major OEM’s mis-lable the lofts on their drivers. I wish I could find that one on GolfWRX. It listed several big companies and the actual lofts versus the stated lofts of their drivers.
        As for criticism that you are writing articles to promote your personal business, please ignore those baseless claims. I’ve never seen you promote or even mention any of your specific models, and your bio at the end of the article simply serves to explain your expertise in the area of golf technology.
        Keep up the good work 🙂

  12. Shallowface

    Feb 18, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    The biggest problem I have is with shafts like the Aldila NV that have a butt diameter listed as .620 or .625, but taper so rapidly that one can end up with a grip that is significantly undersized under the trail hand. Other than trial and error, it’s difficult to know just how much to build up and where to start it. I remember having the same problem with an HM-40 20 plus years ago.

    I don’t think very many realize what havoc even slightly different grip sizes plays with one’s consistency. With it being so common today for one to have a number of different shafts in one’s set, it’s very difficult to get all of those grips exactly the same. But it is worth the effort.

  13. Chuck

    Feb 18, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Another great no-nonsense Tom Wishon article. Because I am someone who does my own grips, and who fastidiously uses the same grip model (Lamkin Crossline .58 Rib) and even the same rolls of tape (one layer of blue painters tape, then one layer of Golfsmith two-sided masking tape), and the same regripping technique every time, I get exactly what I like.

    It is remarkable to me, how often somebody casually picks up one of my clubs, does a double-take, and says something like, “Hey, that’s really nice; what a good feel that is.” I used to think that it was because I almost always have fresh grips on my clubs. Then I began to think that it is the Rib grips. So few people re-grip with Ribs, because they are so hard to come by. I think a lot of people nowadays — younger players in particular — are more concerned about grip color than grip feel.

  14. Barry S.

    Feb 18, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Another great article by Mr. Wishon. Something to possibly factor in would be the type of release. I like to add 4 or 5 one inch wraps of masking tape when I regrip to the butt of the shaft to create a wedge.

    I have super lite grip pressure and I sling the club out and away from my left side. The wedge keeps the club from flying out of my hands.

  15. Ian

    Feb 18, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    I’ve started measuring the buildup tape first, since measuring the grips can be way tougher. Plus, it saves time from putting on grips, realizing they’re too small, then cutting off grips and redoing the tape.

  16. Donnie

    Feb 18, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Tom, I remember reading a while ago in GD about the effect of an oversize/undersize grip on shot shape tendencies, and how most people aren’t using a properly sized grip. Do you have data or feedback on that?

    • Tom Wishon

      Feb 19, 2015 at 3:45 pm

      If you are referring to the statement that too big of a grip will cause a slice or push and too small of a grip will cause a hook or a pull, this is something that can happen to some golfers but by no means even close to all. This depends on different variables in the manner the golfer releases the club, the aggressiveness with which they release the club, not to mention how much larger the grip would have to be before it even can have an effect on the release. At the best for those golfers who do experience this change in delivery of the face angle from a different grip size, it is more slight than big time pronounced. In other words if the golfer hooks or slices the ball more than 10-15 yds, a grip size change does not get rid of the hook or slice.

      At the end of the day, it is FAR better to simply find the MOST COMFORTABLE GRIP SIZE that allows the least amount of grip pressure to maintain a secure, non moving hold on the grip during the whole swing. And then if the golfer has a hook/pull or slice/push problem, address that with a proper fitting change in the face angle or the shaft weight or the swingweight or lengths, and make sure the lie angles are all correctly fit in a dynamic lie fitting procedure.

  17. Pingpro1959

    Feb 18, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Tom-Brilliant as usual, a couple of questions…
    1. Most golfers don’t grip the club properly in the left hand, with the club in their fingers. While comfort is a priority do you think that a proper grip trumps feel?

    2. What effect from a scientific basis does grip size affect wrist cock and ability to square the club? Does this change for lower handicap/pro players?

    Keep up the good work!

    • Tom Wishon

      Feb 18, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      Pingpro:
      Among the many things the clubfitter needs to do in the “player interview” as part of the pre fitting analysis, we advise that they need to ask the golfer, “Are you presently taking lessons and if so, what are you working on, and are you seeing changes from the lessons that indicate you will make the swing/grip change that your teacher is working on with you?” The question has to be asked so the clubfitter can know whether he fits the golfer for how he IS or whether he addresses the fitting to focus on how the golfer WILL BE with the swing/grip changes. So for your #1 question, if the golfer is not taking lessons or has no plans to take lessons to make any swing or grip changes, you fit him for grip comfort on the basis of how he grips the club when he comes to you. At the same time, if you notice his grip is less than stellar, this gets into that area that each fitter has to decide for himself as to whether he combines a little teaching with the fitting or not. Some clubfitters who may have decent teaching knowledge may do this. Those clubfitters who do not have any experience or background in teaching should leave that to the teaching pro.

      For #2, this one is all over the map in terms of whether golfers find that grip size changes have an effect on the release. Some do, many to most do not, at least from what I have seen in our work and what I hear from the many clubfitters I correspond with over the years. Typically though, if a golfer finds a new grip size that is much more comfortable than before, the decrease in grip pressure from finding the more comfortable grip does tend to allow them to release the club more freely, with less manipulation and in many cases with more speed too since the arm muscles are less contracted from the excess grip pressure.

      But no, one cannot say that for all or most golfers that they would leave the face open with a larger grip or close it more with a smaller grip. For a few, yes this can happen. For most it doesn’t.

Leave a Reply

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Opinion & Analysis

The coveted FedEx Cup Top 30: Why making it to the Tour Championship really matters

Published

on

This week at the BMW Championship held at Medinah Golf Club in Chicago, the top 70 players left in the FedEx Cup Playoffs are looking to seal their spot in the top 30 and get to East Lake for the Tour Championship.

Not only does getting into the top 30 mean a chance at winning the FedEx Cup and a cool $15 million bonus for winning the event, but heading into the 2020 season, being in the top 30 comes with some big perks. This top 30 threshold allows players the opportunity to build their schedules around the biggest event in golf.

Let’s take a look at what punching a ticket to East Lake really gets you

  •  An automatic invitation into every major in 2020: The Masters, PGA Championship, US Open, and The Open Championship. For many players qualifying for these events, especially The Masters in a lifelong dream.
  • Invitation to all the WGC Events: There are only a few event on tour that get you an automatic paycheck and FedEx Cup points. Being eligible for the WGCs shows that you are a world-class player, and with these events on the schedule, you don’t have to worry about qualifying through world rankings.
  • Invitation to all limited field events: This includes the Genesis Invitational (formerly Genesis Open / LA Open), The Arnold Palmer Invitational, The Memorial, and The Players Championship.

If a player was to play every one of the qualified events that would put them at 12 events for the season—to maintain a card for the next year a player has to play in at least 15 events. If you conclude that many of these are also winners and will play in the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii that would put the players at 13 events.

This is why being in the top 30 is such a vital line in the proverbial sand—it gives these top players the ability to pick and choose their schedules for the 2019/2020 season without the stress of worrying about what events they are in. Although not to the same extent, this is also why every cutoff is so crucial for each player, whether it be the PGA Tour top 125, PGA Tour 125-150, or those players that gained their cards through the Korn Ferry Tour. Every dollar and every point earned accumulates towards playing opportunities for the next season!

Your Reaction?
  • 4
  • LEGIT2
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

Opinion & Analysis

WRX Q&A: NewClub’s Matt Considine

Published

on

A friend of a friend pointed me to NewClub’s website. Having never heard anything about the effort previously, my first impression of NewClub was a product of its homepage, which looks something like (OK, exactly like) this.

“Sounds great,” I thought. “But what the heck does all of this mean practically?”

To get the answer to that question, I got in touch with founder and CEO Matt Considine, who was kind enough to answer a few questions about the venture.

GolfWRX: Let’s start with a little bit about your background in golf…

Matt Considine: As Lebron likes to say “I’m just a kid from Akron” and like many Midwestern kids, I’ve loved playing games with my friends, especially the game of golf. I grew up working and playing at area clubs, munis, and driving ranges. I always had a club in my hands — my mom will attest to all the divots in her carpet and repaired windows in our house. My first internship in college was with IMG Sports in Cleveland and that was my first formal introduction to the golf industry.

WRX: How did arrive at the concept for NewClub?

MC: Golf societies have been around since 1744, so I’m not sure I can take credit for conceiving anything. We took an old idea and made it new again, something that would mesh with the life of a modern golfer.

The first time I was introduced to a golf society was in 2005, and I haven’t been able to shake the concept since. Like many people I’ve talked to, I was burnt out and frustrated with golf, so I quit my college team and shipped off that summer to study at University College Cork in Ireland for 9 months.

I left to get away from golf but it was my experiences in Ireland that introduced me to a whole new way of enjoying the game. After getting laughed off Cork’s Hurling team (Ireland’s native sport) they found out I could play a little bit of golf and offered me a spot on the club team (league rules permitted one American per squad). My dad shipped my clubs over and I was back in business. Because their University teams operated on a lean budget, we would play matches against local societies and clubs in between the college matches to keep the competition sharp. It was those matches and people I met that taught me a whole new way to look at, appreciate, and enjoy the game of golf. It was a miraculous blessing looking back on it now.

Fast forward 10 years, I was living in Chicago working in business development for a technology company. I kept meeting people who were self-proclaimed “golfers,” but not playing much golf. So a small group of friends took a trip over to Scotland where we had an especially enlightening experience playing the Old Course and hanging out at The New Golf Club of St. Andrews after our match.

It was our experience there that was the final spark that NewClub needed. We enjoyed our lunch while The New Golf Club members file through the entrance, four golfers at a time to reminisce about their game on one of the seven links courses available to them through the St. Andrews Links Trust and their golf society membership.

We met teachers, bankers, architects, grocers, police officers, accountants, and fishermen. We heard stories about legendary members like Tom Morris and Sandy Herd. The New Golf Club of St. Andrews is a magical place where any golfer in their community, anyone in good standing with a passion for the game could make their golfing home.

When I returned to Chicago from that second pilgrimage in May of 2015, I decided it was time to start enjoying golf again. Just like the way I used to as a kid, the way those clubs and societies did in Ireland, and the way those members did at The New Golf Club of St. Andrews. That summer I started a standing game every Saturday at any compelling course I could find and my golf society was born. Then in 2017, we made NewClub official with 50 founding members and 5 clubs in Chicago willing to host the society.

Matt Considine

WRX: What’s happened since launch and where you are now?

MC: The society has grown to over 300 members and we have relationships with over 50 private clubs and golf courses that we find fun and compelling places to play the game. We have standing tee times every Wednesday to Sunday throughout the golf season and host five tournaments and three trips every year. Next Spring, we have our first NewClub trip scheduled to back to Scotland.

We’ve also introduced an ambassador program for people from all around the country. It’s been amazing how many people we’ve met who are eager for something like this in their own community, a golf society that they can genuinely be proud of.

WRX: Anything more about what members are saying and what the feedback is been like?

MC: In a lot of ways, we’ve set up this really unique society golf experiment, so we’re not afraid to try new things and see how people respond. Our members have been incredibly helpful with feedback. We’ve been listening a lot, watching how they use the mobile app, how they play their golf, learning about things they need, things they don’t. It all has helped us get to where we are now.

Overall, we’ve found that people have enjoyed the access and discovery of new and exciting courses, but the more pleasant surprise has been how much our members enjoy meeting new people and playing with each other. Nobody ever thinks (or admits) that they need golf buddies. But what we’ve found is that people are far more likely to play a round if they know they’ll be playing with someone they actually want to play with.

We’ve also learned that match play is very unappreciated in our country. Members love the matches, and match play is one of our core principles at NewClub.

WRX: What’s next for NewClub?

MC: We have plans for our second market launch in 2020 and will continue to grow our ambassador program to show us the road ahead. People are starting to stand up and say “this is how I want to experience golf,” so we know there is a serious need out there and we want to make sure we are meeting the demand by growing in the right way.

WRX: What do prospective members need to know?

MC: We have a really straightforward and proprietary application process on our website. Every prospective member needs to complete the application before being considered for membership. We look for applicants who possess a high quality of character, passion, and respect for the game of golf, and always leave the course in better shape than they found it.

Your Reaction?
  • 5
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Opinion & Analysis

Slow play is all about the numbers

Published

on

If you gather round, children, I’ll let you in on a secret: slow play is all about the numbers. Which numbers? The competitive ones. If you compete at golf, no matter the level, you care about the numbers you post for a hole, a round, or an entire tournament. Those numbers cause you to care about the prize at the end of the competition, be it a handshake, $$$$, a trophy, or some other bauble. Multiply the amount that you care, times the number of golfers in your group, your flight, the tournament, and the slowness of golf increases by that exponent.

That’s it. You don’t have to read any farther to understand the premise of this opinion piece. If you continue, though, I promise to share a nice anecdotal story about a round of golf I played recently—a round of golf on a packed golf course, that took a twosome exactly three hours and 10 minutes to complete, holing all putts.

I teach and coach at a Buffalo-area high school. One of my former golfers, in town for a few August days, asked if we could play the Grover Cleveland Golf Course while he was about. Grover is a special place for me: I grew up sneaking on during the 1970s. It hosted the 1912 U.S. Open when it was the Country Club of Buffalo. I returned to play it with Tom Coyne this spring, becoming a member of #CitizensOfACCA in the process.

Since my former golfer’s name is Alex, we’ll call him Alex, to avoid confusion. Alex and I teed off at 1:30 on a busy, sunny Wednesday afternoon in August. Ahead of us were a few foursomes; behind us, a few more. There may have been money games in either place, or Directors’ Cup matches, but to us, it was no matter. We teed it high and let it fly. I caught up on Alex’ four years in college, and his plans for the upcoming year. I shared with him the comings and goings of life at school, which teachers had left since his graduation, and how many classrooms had new occupants. It was barroom stuff, picnic-table conversation, water-cooler gossip. Nothing of dense matter nor substance, but pertinent and enjoyable, all the same.

To the golf. Neither one of us looked at the other for permission to hit. Whoever was away, at any given moment, mattered not a bit. He hit and I hit, sometimes simultaneously, sometimes within an instant of the other. We reached the putting surface and we putted. Same pattern, same patter. Since my high school golfers will need to choose flagstick in or out this year, we putted with it in. Only once did it impact our roll: a pounded putt’s pace was slowed by the metal shaft. Score one for Bryson and the flagstick-in premise!

Grover tips out around 5,600 yards. After the U.S. Open and the US Public Links were contested there, a healthy portion of land was given away to the Veteran’s Administration, and sorely-needed hospital was constructed at the confluence of Bailey, Lebrun, and Winspear Avenues. It’s an interesting track, as it now and forever is the only course to have hosted both the Open and the Publinx; since the latter no longer exists, this fact won’t change. It remains the only course to have played a par-6 hole in U.S. Open competition. 480 of those 620 yards still remain, the eighth hole along Bailey Avenue. It’s not a long course, it doesn’t have unmanageable water hazards (unless it rains a lot, and the blocked aquifer backs up) and the bunkering is not, in the least, intimidating.

Here’s the rub: Alex and I both shot 75 or better. We’re not certain what we shot, because we weren’t concerned with score. We were out for a day of reminiscence, camaraderie, and recreation. We golfed our balls, as they say in some environs, for the sheer delight of golfing our balls. Alex is tall, and hits this beautiful, high draw that scrapes the belly of the clouds. I hit what my golfing buddies call a power push. It gets out there a surprising distance, but in no way mimics Alex’ trace. We have the entire course covered, from left to right and back again.

On the 14th tee, I checked my phone and it was 3:40. I commented, “Holy smokes, we are at two hours for 13 holes.” We neither quickened nor slowed our pace. We tapped in on 18, right around 4:40, and shook hands. I know what he’s been up to. He understands why I still have a day job, and 18 holes of golf were played—because we both cared and didn’t care.

There you have it, children. Off with you, now. To the golf course. Play like you don’t care.

Your Reaction?
  • 50
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW1
  • LOL6
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP9
  • OB2
  • SHANK47

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending