During a week off I’ve managed to fill the diary with all enquiries, ordered the necessary components bar a few back orders and appreciate everyone’s patience while the business is young and a one man band.
I want to get things done in an organised fashion and a reasonable timescale.
My pricing is competitive and I’m not here to rip people off. I love what I do.
Everything I do is designed to compel you to tell your friends. I don’t need to make maximum profit from you… I need you to tell 10 friends. #tellyourfriends.
Hole Sale Golf has a hunger to grow and offer more and more services to you all. I know how I want to set up a shop. I’m on a mission to find one.
Bigger workshop – Better tools – Faster service – More services – More staff (well… staff to start with)
Just want to emphasise the need to book appointments at the moment just so I can manage my day accordingly if supplies are needed etc or I need to nip out.
The more problems I get, the more processes I put in place to handle them.
This Hole operation is being built to grow and grow and maintain it’s personality and integrity.
The customer will ALWAYS come first. The service and after sales will ALWAYS be the best.
If you get any ideas for expansion, no idea is a bad idea. Units, Office space with higher ceilings, Golf clubs without a Head Professional, Random units you can imagine hitting golf balls in… The lot.
I’ve built in some new Putter refurbishment options that will go live soon with some examples on the website and instagram.
Lots of loft and lie questions coming in at the moment. How do you know if you have the right lie angle? An in depth article on the topic awaits.
Keeping It Simple:
I’ll ask you some questions like;
What has started your attention on lie angles?
What have you got? – clubs, ball flight, injuries or pain
Where do you want to be? – clubs, ball flight, injuries or pain
Then we’ll come out with solutions based on that.
Jump to the end “services for lie angle changes” if you don’t need all the fluff.
Making It Complex:
For those that want to know the fluff, strap in…
These are the things I’m taking in to account when asking you some simple questions in a Lie Angle consultation.
Static Fit / Current Set Up / Desired Set Up / Is It Right? / Implications to ball flight, swing and body troubles, long term / The wedges and woods compared to the irons / Services for lie angle changes.
STATIC FIT – Length and Lie Angle
The starting point for length and lie angles is to plot your height on the Ping fitting chart below.
You can find the below chart by typing in to Google images “Ping fitting chart”.
This is a mix of your height and measuring the nearest part of your watch strap from the floor while standing up in inches.
The lie angles on your clubs will have a play in the direction of your golf ball. Length will change your lie angle at impact if longer or shorter.
Everyone is a different size and shape and will have a unique starting point on this chart.
9 times out of 10, I’ve found that this chart is spot on for length and lie angle.
When looking to adjust your existing clubs it’s my favourite place to start checking how far out “off-the-rack” or second hand irons may be.
DIRECTION – Lie Angle
If the toe is too high at impact the ball can be encouraged to go left.
If the heel is too high at impact the ball can be encouraged to go right.
This could lead to someone compensation with technique to manage clubs that are not ideal.
TESTING – Lie Angle Yourself
Here is a quick and easy way to test for yourself, you need golf balls, a sharpie and somewhere to hit the balls like a driving range or on the golf course:
Draw a straight line on the ball (best to use this while still wet) or colour in the black rectangles on a range ball.
Line the ball up so that line is vertical and will make a mark on the face of your club during an actual shot and it should make a mark.
It should wipe off with a wet towel.
Do it 3-5 times to get a pattern of strike as just one shot could be a one-off.
You’re looking for something that comes out like the lines below;
Now this is the extra sauce to that theory. It is very much a theory up to this point. Here is why:
We don’t want to make the direction worse than it is.
It’s best not to mask swing flaws with lie angle unless the chart or the lie angle test supports the change.
Tend to hit it left?
If you go flatter, this will help hold the ball to the right.
Tend to hit it right?
If you go more upright, this will help hold the ball to the left.
This could be a false economy if not done for the right reasons.
Compensate technique with a clubs lie angle to hide a flaw and it won’t last long.
Poor technique can lead to long term pain in the body and the ball flight;
Back pain, knee pain, hip pain, single muscle abuse and then larger dispersion left-and-right, long-and-short while fighting an incorrect lie angle.
Wedges and Woods
Your wedges may be a different lie angle to your irons even if they are ‘standard’, so don’t neglect them. Not all brands have the same ‘standard’.
Most of the time I encourage 1 degree flatter on the wedges compared to the irons as the shafts react differently with slower wedge swing speeds.
Your woods have limited capability to change lie angle. Some have settings on adjustable necks that can compliment any needs with the irons.
Forged Irons Vs Cast Irons
Forged irons are a softer metal and can move over time. Every contact with a tree root could nudge the lie angle.
I would say to get these checked every 2-3 years.
Use me, use my services and I’ll throw some questions to you to make sure your clubs are being changed or not being changed for the right reasons and work on the long term benefits
Services for Lie Angle Changes
MOT & SERVICE – £50 – This includes a loft and lie check for the Hole bag, brilliant for forged irons and wedges. Any discrepancies would be corrected, wedges made 1 degree flatter than irons, along with a full detailing of your golf clubs.
This is the perfect way to sharpen up your existing clubs.
MOT, SERVICE & Lie Change – £70 – This is when the set need to be changed to a specific lie angle based on a good discussion beforehand.
This is perfect if your clubs do need the lie angle moving. Stick with me and you’ll get it perfect if it’s needed or you’ll save yourself some money and be reassured.
I’ve often felt that PUTTING is a game within the game.
Best day of your life, tee to green, and the flat stick doesn’t play ball?
Worst day of your life, tee to green, and you hole every putt you look at?
That’s why I think it can be a separate entity entirely. Some golfers are naturals at reading greens and some are not. To be honest, I’m really not. I putt from memory on my home course and don’t quite get it for the first 6 holes elsewhere.
Ill talk through some points on the putting green and hopefully help you with reading greens… Tell me what you do at the end!
Pace Control Fast
Putts short of the hole will miss 100% of the time. True story.
Fast greens, for me are ideally a “die in the hole” pace.
This could also work on down hill putts or strokeplay.
A trick I use for downhillers is to do everything normally but strike the ball really far off the toe. kills the speed.
Pace Control Slow
Slow greens, for me ideally are a “smack the stick” pace (while flags are left in).
This could also work on uphill putts, matchplay or the last putt for a point in stableford.
A trick I use is to imagine the hole a foot or 2 foot passed the hole, depending on scenario, Imagining that as my new target pace. Thus not hammering it but playing the normal technique.
How Do You Read Greens?
When reading greens, there’s a few ways to go about it:
Quick method 1 – The “plumb-bob”
Dangle your putter grip in your fingertips and let the putter hang. (Make sure to hold it with the face pointing the same way every time – I choose at the hole for various reasons)
Hold the still hanging bottom part of the shaft visually over the ball and try to make a visual line between the ball and the hole.
Your ball should follow the line of the shaft. If it goes to the right of the hole, it’s right-to-left. Left of the hole is left-to-right.
The more you do it, the more you’ll get used to it.
Quick method 2 – Your feet
Walk behind the hole and behind your ball as though on the ends of a rectangle
As you walk, you may be able to feel if you are walking slightly uphill or downhill. Try it next time you are out there.
Walk along the ends of the rectangle to feel if the ground is higher on one side or another. This might help you feel things you don’t see.
The ball will move downhill.
Quick method 3 – High point / Low point
Walk around the hole at a 10ft radius or so.
There will normally be 1 high point and 1 low point around the hole. You may feel them with your feet. Rise up to a peak on the circle and fall to a dip.
Both of those points, are a straight putt.
The ball will fall towards the low point
The ball will fall away from the high point
This could be very valuable information when reading greens
Comment or get in touch if you don’t quite understand my overlook of reading greens. I’d love to have a reason to make a video of this sooner rather than later.
How do we get the most from a bad day at the office?
When you think you’ve cracked the code and unlocked all the secrets of the game. Reality hits and you’re left licking your wounds.
The fun of the whole operation is in the glimpses of purity. Those few shots that just come off the clubface clean, without resistance and something like you imagined before the shot.
Something has to put a smile on your face out there?
As a Trainee PGA student at Leighton Buzzard Golf Club, the curious question of “How’d you get on” came out often…
I listened to the golfer spill the full download of the bad holes and misfortune that happened during the round just played.
I then asked what their best shot was…
Many club golfers were perplexed and forgetful at the simple task.
The instincts of the human brain find it easier to pick flaws in golf, ahead of relishing in few or many successes.
Too often we dwell on the bad parts of a game of golf but it is really important to remind yourself of the good stuff just as much, if not more so.
Pick your best shot of the day or the best hole from a round and concentrate on that.
Get a small 3″ notebook and write down good shots? Describe the wind, describe the length of the grass, what t-shirt you had on…every little detail you can think of.
Then you’d have a little book literally telling you how good you can play.
I had a book just like this as a junior and can still remember the first shot I wrote in it – 9 iron in to the 1st at Leighton, soft draw moving towards the pin, treetops were just leaning left in the breeze. I didn’t use a glove and the new grip was slightly wonky looking down at the ball, which irritated me as a 14 year old as much as it would now.
Think Neutral or Positive Only
Make bad shots run neutral in your minds eye, golf is hard after all. You didn’t mess it up on purpose ay.
Make good shots exciting and enjoy them, write them down, replay them to yourself and they might just start visiting you more often.
Your subconscious doesn’t filter the good or bad golf and select what’s best for you the next time you play. It repeats and recalls what you feed it.
After starting the business in a national lockdown, I’ve used my Grandad’s (Pop Pops) words of wisdom to good affect by sticking to what I am good at.
I build clubs, better than anyone and I genuinely care about your golf.
Recommendations are travelling far and wide and I really appreciate all the support from you all to date.
The hunt goes on for the Hole Sale Golf Pro Shop expansion, it’s only a matter of time before I build a Hole team to give you your best golf from a golf course and grow even more angles to help you.
Coaching is not far away from becoming possible with that expansion. I’ll be shaking things up even more with some interesting packages, not seen before.
After a few full set requests, there has been development in the MOT packages for a growing pool of awesome feedback from Spine Aligning…
£30 – MOT – Hole Bag Renew all missing paint Realign wonky grips Check for loose heads Adjust random length clubs Golf OCD on your BAG – Benefits – Pure
£50 – MOT & SERVICE – Hole Bag = All of the above + Basic spine align for adjustable woods + loft and lie check and adjust through the bag for complete fluidity – Benefits – Purer than Pure
£150 – MOT & SERVICE + SPINE ALIGN – Hole Bag = All of the above + All heads and grips removed + Build your clubs with all spines aligned in the same place and progressively swingweight. – Benefits – Consistently Pure Worth every penny.
Spine Aligning is £15 for steel shaft clubs and £20 for graphite shaft clubs normally if you wanted to trial it on a smaller batch, get that as credit if you go for the Hole Bag later.
Any existing MOT’ers get their price already paid reduced from the £150 if interested.
This is a slightly self absorbed post, I must apologise, but my thoughts may help you in the way you approach competition golf one day, who knows.
So I recently played in a Pro Am at Flackwell Heath.
Starting Double, Par, Quad was not the best of starts. +6 through 3 holes.
I had a burning desire to get those 6 shots back from the 4th hole onwards. I kept slamming the ball near the hole with the irons or wedges and grafted out some solid pars that had zero chance of being worse and were very close to being birdies.
I’ve not had that hunger for many years now but it was a delightful feeling.
Chasing birdies was a great way for me to approach the subsequent holes. Although the birdies weren’t quite happening, I had no danger of missing tap in par putts and had a feeling of momentum.
A few days later, I played Leighton Buzzard, my childhood golf course and finished -3 for 9 holes. I had good chances on the first 8 holes and bogeyed the 9th after thinking “ooh I’ve not had any bogeys”.
Anyhow, my approach on these fine holes still had that chasing birdies mentality and I feel like its a state of mind I want to get in to more often. -3 was the worst it could have been.
Your brain is such a powerful tool. For better or for worse.
The fundamental this boils down to is how are you motivated?:
NEED TO ACHIEVE – chasing birdies
NEED TO AVOID FAILURE – protective pars
Sometimes I feel like people expect me to shoot under par all the time but that’s not realistic. That’s me trying to avoid failure by what I perceive from imaginary people.
In reality, who really cares what I shoot in small events? Nobody is placing bets on me at this level. All that really needs to happen is to enjoy myself like the rest of us.
I quite enjoy making birdies or at least getting close to it springs me to the next tee box like a child running for the ice cream van. God I love this cruel game.
I feel like I’ve got a -10 in me deep down, lurking.
Qualifying round for the PGA Championship is looming for tomorrow (Tuesday), this is the regional qualifier to get in to the main event but my approach will be:
Enjoy yourself – chasing birdies is fun so continue with my current mindset and see what damage can be done.
Comment if you’ve had anything similar or what your thoughts have been like while in good form! Each person will have a unique approach that works.
As business is picking up and more and more diversity to my working week develops, I have a new structure to implement:
TUESDAYS – Pull clubs apart.
All the New, Used and Broken clubs that come in get broken down in to components as necessary and lined up ready for the next day.
WEDNESDAYS – Put clubs together
The components from yesterday get put back together as required as this is a far more time and resource efficient way for me to work. My favourite epoxy takes 4 hours to set and 12 hours to fully cure. Using 1 batch is the best process for me.
THURSDAYS – Put grips on and QC
This is where I get the grips on, reduce ferrules, clean up and renew paint for the clubs coming through for the week.
Drop your club/s off: over the weekend / Monday (ideally)
Pick your club/s up: Friday / over the weekend (ideally)
Need it done quicker? £20 rush fee next day ready to play
*Any components that come in late from suppliers get automatic free rush service.
I am currently looking at Warehouse/Workshop units as well as Head Professional openings at golf clubs. Do please shout at me if you see anything or have ideas.
Skill acquisition refers to voluntary control over body movements in an effort to solve a motor skill problem and achieve a task goal
So! I had a bad score …What now?
I found some weaknesses in my stats for Greens In Regulation (GIR) in the last few weeks and worked on the clubs in the bag to make sure I had the right tools for the task.
Yesterday was a PGA South Region event at Sunningdale Heath, a golf course with many par 3 holes and the odd par 4. I missed the cut for day 2.
Yardages were worked on on Flightscope Mevo and they were spot on for the day. Granted a few wrong club selections from lack of trust in it!! I needn’t have worried.
Also found a new problem that needs attention. Lack of skill. Lost my touch.
Getting up and down 50 yards and in; Pitching, Chipping, Holing Out.
The next step is to work on SKILL ACQUISITION – The easy way.
Driving range practice shows I can plant the ball on a target repeatedly but that isn’t transferring to the golf course in the same way.
Growing up, we had a great bunch of Juniors at Leighton Buzzard Golf Club. Chipping comps, Putting comps, throw your golf balls in and winner takes all.
Nothing to do with technique, just stiff competition.
I think our youthful combined handicap at one point was +8 before everyone started getting full time jobs and the location of a pub.
However, THAT is the practice model I want to try and recreate on the driving range, chipping green and putting green.
Compete with yourself. Measure it.
How many out of 12 are successful? 1, 2, 3?
No problem… Next time aim for one more point. Deduct or double points for the last ball to add a bit of sauce to it.
Driving Range – 15 minutes that was already going to be used
Never hit the same shot twice.
12 ball drills in groups of 3…. Wood, Iron then Wedge.
Each shot on target gets a point.
How many out of 12 each time?
Chipping Green – 15 minutes or so
12 balls from the edge of the green (use 1 ball so you have to restart the chipping process each time, much like the golf course)
You have to “hole out” so grab the putter and roll that ball in after each chip
How many out of 12 did you roll in each time?
Putting Green – 10 minutes or so
1 putter length from the hole, tee peg it at 4 points
1 grip-length further from the hole, tee peg it again
1 more grip-length further from the hole, tee peg it
Now you have 12 points to go from. Inner circle, middle and outer circle.
Normal routine or process, use 1 ball, how many out of 12 each time?
Measure Your Progress
When you’re looking at a 10 minute putting drill, it’s not too much of a chore.
Take mental note or actual note of the numbers you are getting out of 12 for each area of practice. Start to push yourself to make the task harder or to try and get more points each time you are doing it.
This gives you something to measure and track your skill based progress
If these scores out of 12 improve – Your scorecard will do the same.
But I Don’t Hit Practice Balls
No problem, If you tend to sneak out for 9 holes as and when you can, you can do some things to test your skill. Or pick 6 holes with your mates and try something different:
If you hit the fairway, kick it forward 20 yards (makes you want to hit the fairway)
If you miss the fairway, drop a ball 20 yards short and in deeper rough?
Yellowsomes – Play 2 balls and pick the worst one to play from each time?
If you leave a putt short, pull it back a club-length?
5ft putts and in, It only counts if you hole it twice? (Personal Favourite)
If you are in a bunker, put the ball in a footprint or step on it?
MAKE THE GAME HARDER IN PRACTICE – So it’s easier under pressure.
Over the last 11 years, I have not been able to play in a weekly medal. Not able to have a competitive scorecard in my hands on a weekly basis.
This year there are 4 main Order of Merit events in the South Region PGA which I plan to play in. This gives a lot of time in the middle to prepare.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO PREPARE?
Is a regular club competition all you need to prepare or do you have planned practice to work on specific things in the build up to the weekend? Or do you just turn up?
For me, my preparation has always been variable and not specific at all. My results when I was a PGA trainee around 2012 reflected that. Working full time, going through PGA training modules and juggling a social life and all that.
WHAT DO YOU HAVE CONTROL OF?
Time, equipment, data, facilities.
How much time can you put to practice? How can you best use that time?
If it’s 10 minutes before you tee off, no problem at all.
If it’s a week off before club champs to tune in, great.
What you do with the time you have is crucial to play your best golf.
What clubs are in your bag and are you getting every 1% gain you can?
What data can you get? stats, your club distances?
Where can you find this information? And where can you practice or improve it?
It could be as simple as counting your putts and thinking of ways to reduce them.
GOLF COURSE STATS
With some encouragement from my dear friend at https://waggleduff.com/, we kept some stats of our first rounds back on the golf course after lockdown.
He is the master of the spreadsheet.
As expected, our golf had regressed after no golf for so long, I’m sure you can relate.
What do we do about that?
I think it’s a great idea to keep stats on the course.
Even if it is as simple as putts per hole noted next to your markers score. This can give you some idea of where shots may be slipping away.
There’s so many to keep track of but the more you can keep, the better you can reflect on areas of improvement.
Score, Putts, Green in Reg Y/N, Fairway Hit Y/N or left/right, Up and Down success Y/N, Bunker Up and Down success Y/N.
THE SAT NAV PLAN
How does a Sat Nav work? – needs to know where you are – needs to know your destination – shows you the route.
Find out where you are (Your current golf stats; scores, fairways, greens, putts?)
Work out where you want to be (Expose weak areas that most damage scorecards)
Break 100, 90, 80? Hit 1 extra fairway, hit 1 extra green on the last round?
What can you do? (Go back to what you can control; time, equipment, data, facilities)
Everyone will be different but this is the basics of performance management for golf.
First few outings exposed my weakness for hitting greens in regulation (GIR).
Looking at why that happens exposed a weakness for hitting the fairways.
Playing from the rough can mess around with your distance control as more grass gets trapped between the ball and the face and wreaks havoc with your spin.
The flyer. I was missing long way too often. one round had 6 GIR. Target is 14-18.
Good job I can putt.
A few fairway left/right and GIR stats gave me some useful information.
I grew up fighting a big left shot. But 4/5 misses were to the right.
The left shot is not much of a threat statistically so I have to let go of the historic left data in my brain. It simply isn’t going left.
What do I hit greens with? Irons and Wedges.
I changed my wedges to have more choice.
Removed 54, 60. Renewed with 50, 54, 58
Then used a launch monitor to get the average carry and max carry of each club through the bag.
This was specific to my needs.
What do I hit fairways with? Driver and 3 Wood.
I changed the top end of the bag to make sure it was easier. Some clubs are cool but forgiveness and choice was lacking.
Removed 3 and 4 iron. Added 4 Hybrid and 5 wood and then made adjustments to the Driver. Overall more choice from the tee.
Continued use of the launch monitor for carry numbers.
We will see what these changes do long term but there are instant results already.
Going from 6 to 13 GIR. Comparably 77 to 71 as putts were much the same.
Not out of the woods yet but getting there.
A combination of awareness of the flaws and having the right kit to combat them was my first point of analysis.
If I had the right equipment already and it was a skill that needed work on, It would have been a completely different approach. Using the same Sat Nav idea.
The SKILL of hitting fairways and greens is my next point of attention moving forward. Applying real pressure techniques during practice. Try the below article for ideas.
Here’s a little video to show you some of the distance measuring process: