Ball Fitting, Explained...
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August 13, 2019
Recently I needed a new mop bucket and ringer, have I lost your interest already? Try and stay with me! I went online to see what was out there in the world of bucket / ringer technology. I found a Rubbermaid, strong bucket, splash resistant, non metal wheels. Very important… metal rusts, wheels stop turning, bucket tips over, owner not happy. That’s the typical progression. Mr. Google led me to the Home Depot site. The Home Depot site said there were 4 left at my local East Appleton store. I packed up the kids and we headed to the man’s mall. Now, I’ve gotten smart, Home Depot app tells you exactly where things are located, breaking it down to aisle and bay number. I get there, and I don’t see them. I ask an associate, they say “sorry sir, I think we are out”. No wait associate, I might know more than you, according to your live inventory, it says you still have 4, so they must be here. Sure enough, they are on a high shelf, the fork lift comes winging around the corner, the barricades are set up blocking off customer foot traffic in a periphery that looked like 100 yards, and the bucket box is retrieved. I proceed to check-out, mind you it’s all self service now, pay the faceless machine, and I’m on my way home. Now what stands out in that story? 20 years ago, the chain of events would have been very different. Today, I have a thought: the internet provides the expertise, GPS tells me where to go, online inventory management claims I’m in the right place, an artificial intelligence cash register checks me out. If I had an OSHA approved fork lift license, (which I did in 2002) I wouldn’t need a human ever again. A recent golf article about attracting millennials said this. “Young people would like mobile check-in, mobile F&B ordering, etc. It’s not that young people don’t want service, they simply don’t want to have to engage with service people on the business’s terms. They want to engage when they want something. Owners, you should see this as good, it could be a reduction of frontline staff, though there never seems to be enough in those critical moments when people want something on a high shelf”. I guess that’s what happened at Home Depot. Can you imagine the future golf experience? Or wait…is it already happening?
Go look in your trunk. You see those golf shoes, I am terrified of your golf shoes. Hank, our superintendent, he is really terrified of your golf shoes. They are the black death, they are the bubonic plague. I’m not talking about the smell, because you are one of those dewsweeper golfers with the wet socks after every round. Look at the bottoms, you see that….You see those little blades of grass, jammed around the spikes, wedged in that awesome heel air pocket, petrified between the sole and the last, you see that…it’s dangerous. Where were you last? What course are you carrying around on the bottom of those shoes? Why Nick? Why are you freaking out about my shoes? Take a look at our practice green, then look at the tee and green on hole #1. Do you see all that? I know you will keep seeing it your whole round; but as you go, you see less a less. Give it a few years, the 18 green will soon be as bad as the first, it’s only a matter of time. You brought me some other course’s disease. We had an immunity, until you came. You dropped most of it on the first areas you walked, so did everyone else. Eventually people will pick that up and deliver it to holes further in the round. Soon it will be all over 18 green and then….that’s right, you will deliver it to the next course you play! You won’t see as much contamination here as you will see at a course that’s 75 years old. Makes sense, it takes time for all the spores to travel and take root. Courses like ours are also fighting the battle through various chemical treatments. I got you and your shoes covered, no need to worry! You are another step closer to a PHD in golf course ownership.
Tales From The Tall Grass
July 24, 2019
Ball manufacturers have been using the buzz phrase “ball fitting” for the last few years, and I find that most golfers have no idea what that means. The most confused among us believe that if they find a ball on the edge of the lake, and the ball pocket on their golf bag can still be zippered shut, that must be a “ball fitting”. There’s actually a little more to it. If you came to me and said Nick, can you give me a ball fitting, here is what I would ask: 1) What golf ball are you currently playing, and why do you play that ball? 2) Are you playing that ball consistently or switching every time you find a different ball? 3) Are you concerned about how a ball performs, maybe better yet, are you aware that balls perform differently? 4) When you accuse your ball of being the worst, is it short game, long game, drives? 5) What is your typical ball flight, high, low, fade, draw? 6) What would happen if you played a ball that spun a lot more? What if you played a ball that didn’t spin? 7) Do you have difficulty holding greens on approach shots? 8) Do you prefer the feeling of a softer ball, or the click of a harder ball? 9) What are all you preferences: feel, color, play numbers, markings, durability, price, etc? If your preference is to find all your answers sitting on the bottom of one of our lakes, that might be a difficult for me satisfy on a consistent basis. If you choose to buy them from me in the Golf Shop, I really think I can do a good job for you! If I could give you one piece of advice that really trumps all others, I would say this: buy the most expensive ball from me, with the highest margins, so I can eventually get that cigarette boat I’ve always wanted. I’m kidding! My real advice: try to play the same ball (whatever the ball) all the time. If you play low spin ball that runs out when you chip, don’t switch to a high spin ball on the next hole. If you can’t predict how a ball reacts, how will you ever be able to calibrate your swing to get a predictable result. A ball that usually ran up to four feet is now 20 feet away. One putt becomes a two putt, a 43 soon becomes a 48 and here’s the sad part: you made the perfect swing on every hole, you just kept switching balls. Good golfers are good for a reason. They eliminate variables. Let me help you.
Taking My Thoughts to Inquiry...
Nick Stephens, PGA
July 2, 2019
July 9, 2019
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