Monday, March 17, 2008

Time to Get in Golf Shape

The weather and my schedule hasn't been cooperating quite enough to get out and start hitting balls, but it is time to start getting in golf shape for the coming season. This weekend I dug out two of my golf training aids: the Speed Stik and the Momentus Swing Trainer.

While I've heard a lot of pros and cons about the Speed Stik, let me first say that I purchased mine with part of a $500 Golfsmith gift card I won from Golf Digest a couple of years ago, so it was more like a gift. And while I can't vouch for the speed gauge and whether I'm swinging faster of not, I will tell you that I find the Speed Stik to be excellent for warming up and stretching before a round of golf. It also make an excellent alignment aid when hitting golf balls at the practice range. Whenever you look at the pictures of the PGA tour pros' golf bags on the various golf sites, you always see a Speed Stik is several of the bags. Of course, it is endorsed and used by Tour Pro Vijay Singh, who uses the Speed Stik and a variety of other 'home-made' training devices during his hours of relentlessly hitting balls on the practice range.

I also like to use the Momentus Swinger Trainer to get my golfing muscles in shape before the season and to keep them stretched out during the summer. The Swing trainer is endorsed and used by PGA Tour Pro Fred Funk. I have replaced the training grip on mine with a traditional grip which I like better. I'll probably do about 3 sets of 10 swings every other day to get the feeling of swinging a golf club again, stretch out and condition my shoulders and arms, and hopefully groove a swing before the season starts. I am also looking at purchasing one of the new Momentus PowerHitter Drivers that I can take to the practice range. You can actually hit balls with this weighted driver in order to add distance as well as accuracy to your tee shots.

And now that daylight savings time has begun, I plan to start walking several evenings a week with my wife to get my legs in shape for the golf swing, as well as walking the golf course.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Victory Golf Show: Like a Kid in a Candy Store

My friend Ken and I attended the Victory Golf Show at the King of Prussia Convention Center this past Sunday. The show was just what any golfer needed to begin shaking off the winter blues and rekindle the excitement of the coming season. It was like being a kid in a candy store as hundreds of vendors offered discounted golf equipment, as well as information, discounts and bargains on golf courses and golfing destinations. There was also hitting bays in which you could test the latest golf equipment from the leading manufacturers such as TaylorMade, Callaway, Nike, Adams, Cleveland, and Mizuno; instruction from some of the area's top PGA professionals; contests, entertainers like comedian and impressionist Billy Finch and local sports celebrities like Eagles play-by-play broadcaster Merrill Reese.

One of The Muni Golfer's favorite stops was Rock Bottom Golf, an online discount golf retailer from which numerous clubs and other equipment. One of the advantages to visiting the golf show on Sunday is many vendors are slashing their already discounted prices. With that in mind, The Muni Golfer went looking a new 4 hybrid. I managed to pick up both a 4 AND a 5 hybrid from Nickent Golf. I got the newer 3DX DC Ironwood model to replace my 4 iron, and the older 3DX Ironwood to replace my 5 iron. They will make nicely complement the Nickent 19 degree 3DX DC Utility that's already in my bag. The guys from Rock Bottom Golf were even nice enough to credit an online $10-off coupon which I forgot to print out and bring with me. I got both hybrids for $100. Ken also picked up a Nickent 3DX Ironwood 4 hybrid at Rock Bottom Golf.

Another fun aspect of the golf show is seeing a lot of the unique golf products that you don't necessarily find in the golf catalogs or stores. One interesting item that Ken and I both bought was the Dry Grip Rain 'R' Shine golf towel from Golf Duck. This unique product is a microfiber golf towel that you clip to your golf bag to keep your clubs clean. But it has a water-resistant outer shell and flips over your clubs to keep them dry like a rain hood in wet weather. A neat little dual-purpose golf accessory that was being sold for $20. Ken also picked up a pair of winter golf gloves from Valley Forge Gloves, a local golf glove manufacturer, and a long-sleeve mock polo for $20.

All-in-all, it was a fun time, almost as fun as being out on the fairways. And by the end of the day, when it was time to leave, it sure felt like Ken and I had walked 18 holes...