February 16, 2018
The Delaware State Golf Association has swapped technology services and entered into a new arrangement with Blue Golf. The new platform for member clubs and the golfers who enroll each year for handicap maintenance services is now online and also available as an app for either the IOS or Android systems.
In addition to posting scores, the new system gives players the option to input playing statistics for each round, such as fairways in regulation. It also has a search feature for golf courses, including rates and directions. You can conduct hole-by-hole tours of favorite courses and see the scorecards, hole locations, and even the green shapes.
The tournament registry service will be handy and there are additional tournament services, included live scoring and individual and course stats for the events.
For more information, go to dsga.org, or call 302-234-3365.
The new golf technologies make it far easier to understand exactly how your own playing experience matches up with others. For example, thousands of shots have been recorded to track fairways hit, greens in regulation, average number of putts per hole, and so on.
Some of these statistics may be a bit surprising. Golfers with handicaps from 20 to 30 should expect to make only two or three greens in regulation (GIR) per round. Players with handicaps from 5 to 19 should not be surprised to hit no more than 6 greens in a round. Even golfers whose handicaps are on the plus side (mostly touring pros) usually only reach about 12 greens out of 18 on average.
The data also show that the best way to lower your handicap is to raise your GIR averages. Reaching that goal requires lessons, practice, and a serious commitment to improvement.
In the meantime, it’s important to take advantage of other golf technology in your clubs, especially for the short game. If you can’t make a green in regulation, your next best bet is to chip or pitch as close to the hole as possible for a one-putt par or an easy bogey.
At the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show’s Demo Day, I met Phillip Castro of Monterey, CA, a Cleveland Golf representative. Cleveland wedges are well known, highly popular, and used by thousands of golfers to make their short game as good as it can be.
Castro went through the three basic Cleveland wedge offerings, aimed at golfers with different skill sets.
For players needing the most help out of sand bunkers, the Smart Sole 3.0 models should do the trick. The SS/S model is a 58-degree sand wedge with a very large, hollow flange sole. The weight distribution above the sole is set in three tiers to help with forgiveness. For the shots near the green, the SS/C chipper uses a putter-length shaft, an 8-iron loft (42°) and the same style large sole. Castro said this club should be used for “knee to knee” chip shots, with a straight back/straight through motion. The women’s models use shafts that are one inch shorter. Both of these models retail for $119 (steel shaft) or $129 (graphite shaft).
Mid-level golfers should consider the CBX wedges, which feature cavity-back designs. As with higher-lofted irons, cavity back models can provide more forgiveness from miss-hits than the muscle-back designs favored by highly skilled golfers. Using a cavity-back wedge should also make it easier to transition from similarly designed game improvement irons when out on the course.
According to Castro, the designers of the “completely redone” CBX wedges removed several grams of steel from the shaft end and redistributed it, to better center the weight distribution for the club. Cleveland continues to use its 1-, 2-, or 3-dot system for the club’s bounce designs in the sole, to take into account both the skill of the golfer and the different turf conditions they may face. These clubs retail for $129.99 (steel shaft) or $139.99 (graphite shaft).
The top-end models are called RTX-3.0 and feature the traditional blade design with some added tweaks and with steel shafts. Castro directed my attention to the laser-milled clubface and to the V-Sole options. The laser milling creates added friction without running the risk that the club would be considered nonconforming under the Rules. The V-Soles provide two different bounce angles running along the club’s bottom.
This design offers more forgiving options for golfers who like to vary their swing path for the partial shots many will face during a round. As with the CBX wedges, the same weight shift from the shaft area to the clubface was incorporated into these RTX clubs. These retail for $129.99.
Both RTX and CBX clubs come in a variety to loft and bounce options, and can also be customized with initials and different paint fill colors.