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It was a very busy time in Orlando last week at the 2015 PGA Merchandise Show. The week began with Demo Day on Tuesday followed by three days of everything you can imagine on the show floor. There are new golf balls from Bridgestone, Callaway and Titleist; many new golf equipment offerings including drivers, irons, hybrids, wedges and putters. For the gadget folks, there are new stat tracking devices, new enhancements to range finders and all kinds of new technology in golf grips – some that simply screw on and off your club. Golf shoe manufacturers are constantly designing shoes designed for comfort, stability and style along with features for weather (moisture wicking, cooling, etc.) My favorite is the Golf Board – the machine that looks like a giant skate board that you ride with your clubs down the fairway.

For a deeper look at some featured products, visit Golf Digest

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This is the biggest week for people in the golf industry as thousands of people converge on the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando for what is referred to the Major of the Golf Business - the 2015 PGA Merchandise Show.

The week begins Tuesday with the Thirteenth Annual PGA Show Demo Day at Orange County National Golf Course. This huge demo day provides a great opportunity to see, feel and test in real conditions, the latest in technology advancements by the leading manufacturers in the golf business. Golf equipment companies are all in one place; showcasing the newest drivers, woods, irons, wedges, putters, balls, shafts, grips and the latest in club fitting.

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Did you know that the Orange County Chapter will celebrate our 20 year anniversary in May!   We will  have lots of opportunities to celebrate in the month of MAY.
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Do you think about golf in January? How do you keep “golf-focused” during the off-season? If you live in a climate where the grass turns white in the winter, chances are golf is not really on your mind right now.

When I lived in Iowa and Minnesota (where the grass does turn white in the winter), I couldn’t wait to watch golf on TV in January, February and March. There was something about seeing the lush green grass, players wearing golf shirts and watching the TOUR from great locations such as Hawaii, California, Arizona, Florida and Texas. This was “back in the day” when golf was only on TV during the weekends and the only coverage was for two hours as the leaders played the last four holes.

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I signed up for the Networking / Golf Event on Wednesday, January 28. 

Had an awesome time last year. I hope to see you there!
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In an earlier Forecaddie Blog, I talked about the importance of changing your golf grips on a regular basis. The same is true if you wear golf shoes with soft spikes.  Runners use a rule of thumb to replace running shoes every 200-500 miles. Most people playing 18-holes will walk anywhere from three to five miles during a round.  So if you are lucky to play two rounds of golf a week, you would walk more than 500 miles a year.  Due to swinging, twisting, torque, balance and walking on all kinds of turf and pavement, the need to replace your soft spikes increases even more.

Here are some helpful hints for taking care of your golf shoes and more importantly, your feet.

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Golf courses are designed to provide the golfer with a playing field.  The playing field contains safe areas (tee, fairway, green) and unsafe areas (hazards, bunkers, out of bounds)

Two types of unsafe areas are water hazards marked with yellow states and lateral Hazards marked with red stakes.

The color of the stake determines what you can do if your ball ends up in one of these unsafe areas.

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A quick and easy way to drop a few strokes on your score includes re-gripping your golf clubs. When I give golf lessons, this is one of the first things I evaluate - the student's grips - as they reveal wear patterns from holding the club incorrectly or with too much pressure.

How do you know if you need new grips? If they are slippery or appear worn, it's time to get new grips. Slippery grips require you to hold the club with more pressure and thus interferes with making a good golf swing. A general rule of thumb is to re-grip your clubs once a year.

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Most of us know it's important to have our golf equipment properly fit - using the correct clubs that are fit for your swing and body type can make a vast improvement in your game. Do you stop with club fitting or do you continue and go through a ball fitting? Many people don't stop to think that the golf ball you play can help improve your game as well.


If you think about an average round, most scoring opportunities happen around the green. Many women have difficulty reaching the green in regulation, so when looking for more distance, they select a low spin golf ball that helps with additional distance, but isn't designed to hold shots into the green. For most golfers, they can benefit from a softer ball that is designed to land softly and stop on the green rather than hit and skid off the green. (This also happens since most green complexes are designed to hold a shot from a higher-lofted club, rather than the lower trajectory shot from a longer iron or hybrid).

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The Den Caddie - Personal PAR

When we play golf, we work to see how well we play the course versus PAR.

PAR is the score a really good golfer would expect to score on a golf hole.

PAR 3 is when the golfer is expected to reach the green with one tee shot and two putt for a 3.

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This time of year, our thoughts turn to food, family, friends and the things we are thankful for - although at some homes this week the annual mantra is "Food, family and football."

A few years ago, hosted "A Quick Nine" list of what golfers were thankful for including:

9.  Keeping the ball in play.
8.  The 19th hole.
7.  The challenge.
6.  The sounds.
5.  The places you can go.
4.  Bringing the game to others.
3.  Having an instructor.
2.  Golf is timeless and for everyone.
1.  It's all about the people.

Happy Thanksgiving and if you're lucky to play this long holiday weekend, may all your putts be short!

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Ask any golfer what contributes to a slow round of golf and he or she is likely to point out the slow play comes from other golfers.  This is partially true, but other factors contribute to a less than desirable pace of play.  Having just attended the USGA Pace of Play Symposium last week, I want to share those factors so you are better prepared to "keep pace" on the golf course.   

The three factors that contribute to Pace of Play are 1) The Players; 2) The Course Architects and 3) Course Owners/Operators. 

The Players

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The golf ball is the only piece of equipment you use for every shot on the golf course.

We spend lots of time selecting our clubs, clothes and shoes. The selection of the golf ball is often quick.  It maybe  the last ball you found in the woods when you were looking for your golf ball.

Golf ball manufacturers talk about swing speed, three piece golf balls, urethane cover over rezin mantel, distance off the driver and spin around the green.

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What is a Den Caddie?

A Den Caddie is a small golf bag like accessory used for holding golf balls at the range or to decorate your den.  


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When you stand behind your golf ball for your pre-shot routine, do you think 4-7-8?  You may think these numbers are the score you may shoot on a given hole, but Golf trainer and stretching expert Roger Fredericks says it’s a way to play better golf.

The 4-7-8 is a reminder for you to inhale slowly while counting to 4 – then hold your breath while counting to 7 – and finally exhale to the count of 8.

Learn more about how this relaxation technique will help you play better golf.

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As the leaves turn and fall to the ground, so do the temperatures across most of the country.  When I lived in the Midwest, my favorite time to play golf was in the Fall.  Other than losing an occasional golf ball in a pile of leaves, you couldn’t beat a nice autumn day on the course.  Here are some ideas to help you enjoy golf this Fall even as the temperatures start to drop.

  • Dress in layers – Now more than ever, golf clothing is made for comfort, performance and appearance.  Some are designed to wick moisture away while helping to keep you warm.  Layering is good for cool mornings and allow you to “remove layers” as the temperatures rise during the day.
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What do a soccer ball, a butter knife, a roll of toilet paper, a cookie and a CD have in common?  They are all great inexpensive and readily available (for the most part) golf training aids that you most likely have around your house.



Check out these "19 Random Things That Make Fantastic Training Aids" from 
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If you attended the EWGA Conference in Palm Springs in 2009, I presented a session on "What's In Your Bag?" designed to help women golfers with the set composition (the number of woods, irons, hybrids and wedges) or make-up of clubs in your bag.  This means, it's time to ditch the 3 and 4 iron and make sure you have hybrids and a variety of wedges.  For women, it's important to have the right clubs in your bag that you like to hit and will help make the game a bit more easier and more fun. 

In addition to the proper club composition, here are some things to include in your bag as well:
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Most golf Professionals constantly hear students ask how they can hit the ball farther. For women, this means we need to generate more power in the golf swing. A drill you can use is the “Whoosh Drill” on the practice range. To do this, turn your driver upside-down so you are holding the head of the club in your hands and the grip is pointed toward the ground. Take your normal stance and swing the club freely with one arm and try to hear the club “whoosh” as you make your practice swing – specifically where you would hit the ball at impact. What you are trying to accomplish is more club head speed which will help you add some distance. Now turn the club over to hit some balls and hopefully with your arms and body swinging together, you’ll see great results!

PGA and LPGA Professional Suzy Whaley, one of Golf Digest’s 50 Best Women Teachers in America, demonstrates some ideas how women golfers can generate more power with the golf swing and hit the ball farther.

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