Royal St. Patrick's Golf Links

                                                                                                                               in Wrightstown, Wisconsin


How do you know which wedges, how many wedges, what bounce to play? There are many factors that determine a well assembled set of wedges, here are some thoughts to consider. 1) Your set make up. If you have bought a set in the last 10 years, there is a good chance that you pitching wedge measures 43, 44 or 45 degrees. If you like the idea of carrying a 60 degree wedge, then you have 15 degrees between those two clubs. The difference between you 6 and 7 iron is 4 degrees, so 15 degrees is a big gap to fill. Given the relative shortness of courses in our area, you could make the case (if playing the correct tees) you have a lot of shots from 130 yards and in. Wouldn’t it make sense to have a bunch of options for dealing with that distance. An argument for more wedges and filling all those gaps. Let’s say your PW is 46 degrees, lets add a 52, 56, and then your 60. Or maybe a 50, 54 and a 58. If we reduce the option from 3 clubs to two clubs. I like 52 and 58. 2) Now let’s take a look at how we set up bounce. Let me be pretty clear, you need bounce. Bounce is good. Bounce makes poor quality strikes turn out pretty decent. If you are not going to practice, then make sure you have bounce. Now, my experts out there might say, Nick, if turf is hard, you don’t want bounce. I get that….but as a rule, the Valley is not a firm turf environment. West Texas is a firm turf environment. We have blue grass here, not firm. We have lots of rain, not firm. We have plenty of humidity, not firm. We over-water here because of no restrictions, not firm. Some courses don’t pick up their clippings, leading to thatch, which leads to spongy turf, again not firm. You can try to claim that you once were near a tree root on some bare dirt in the middle of July and too much bounce caused you to skull the shot, but I’m not fitting you for clubs that help you escape the woods. We are working on great strikes from the center of fairway. If this is the year that you plug your wedge gaps, or learn the correct way to pinch the ball off the turf, make sure you ask us first. We know all the questions that will lead to a great wedge fitting. 

March 2018

Thanks to the Royal St. Patrick’s Golf Academy, the indoor Foresight Launch Monitor and a genuine curiosity about the golf swing, myself and Tom our Teaching Instructor often pontificate how we can make you better at golf. This past winter we delved into the idea of reducing spin off the driver. While average golfers with low swing speeds actually benefit from the spin these modern drivers create with their low CG, better players with high speeds seem to spin the ball way to much when they hit the same driver head. The reality is, manufacturers build their driver heads for the average player. Most golfers are average, most golfers need help with distance, spin gets the ball up, a ball hit higher will go farther. Basic physics. When we see the “numbers” of the best players in the world, we wonder how do the really good tour players, mini tour players, etc hit the ball with such low spin?  Better swings, special shafts, what is it? It’s simple, the heads tour pros have in their clubs are completely different than the heads you buy at Dicks, Golf Galaxy, online, and even your local golf course shop. While they may look the same on the exterior, they are weighted completely different. They are designed only for people with very high swing speeds, people like tour pros. So what happens if you are good local club player, with high swing speed and you spin your driver way too much? Nothing, that’s what happens.  Unless you have a way of getting your hands on a tour van head, you will continue to spin these retail heads designed for slower swing speeds. Your quest should be, how do I get my numbers better, not how do I get my numbers to look like the pros. You will never be able to get your numbers like the pros because they have special equipment. But all is not lost. There are companies out there that actually make low spin driver heads available to Joe Public. Infiniti and Wishon are two of them. While there are a number of you who will read this and immediately go online to research these companies, I bet there are an equal number of vanity golfers who can’t imagine having a no-name driver that actually performs. One more thing high spinning better player…the average players reading this… they don’t feel bad for you. Your high spinning bad drive is still 70 yards past there’s. When you whine about 285, it just seems unsavory. Try to enjoy the fact that you are blessed.    

This past winter a golf pro friend of mine interviewed at another club. Nothing in close proximity, but we will still leave the party nameless. I thought he had a great chance for the job, but he did not make the final three, and that left him a little salty. I asked him if he could remember anything from interview that maybe didn’t come across exactly as it should. He said, “Nick, you know how we always talk about getting new members. They wanted to know how I would get them. I told them…look guys, I don’t know anyone around here, but more importantly, I don’t hang in the circles of people who can afford to belong to a private club, but you do. The people who are most likely to be members at this club are your friends. You must remember that “YOU” are the club. The club only exists if there are 200 of “YOU” that want to get together, play golf, eat, drink, conduct business, etc. You must know someone… Everyone who is a member has a vested interest, everyone needs to do their part. No one is exempt.” When he was finished he told me there were a few old guys in the corner who might have been a little turned off by his quote. While he attempted to rally them, the Pro thinks they actually wanted an interviewee to lie to them… See, those guys don’t feel like they ARE the club, they think they joined an separate entity.  They give money to this entity and they wonder why it isn’t better, and who’s going to do something about it. They want someone else to recruit new members, strike out miserably, take the blame, and give them more to complain about.  Guys, that plan isn’t working, that’s why you are on a hiring committee again. This is the reason clubs struggle and membership isn’t what it used to be.  I forget the point I was going to make…anyway…if anyone knows of a club that needs some help, I might know a guy with some great ideas.  

Tales From The Tall Grass 

March 13, 2018​

Articles From The 

Wandering Mind of 

​Nick Stephens, PGA

March 20, 2018​

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