Golf

Review: GolfJet

Well, I know it’s been quite a while since my last post. But, better late than never. Right?

golfjet, jetpack,

When is the last time you tried a new golf ball? When did you last step into the vast world of compression, cover softness, spin numbers, branding …?

I was contacted some months ago by a new company called GolfJet. A fledgling Australian business entering the very competitive market of golf balls. They were interested in hearing my opinion on their product.

After receiving one of their JetPacks (which included nine of their Jet 4 balls, a glove, tees and a ball marker) I headed out with a few mates of ranging ability over the next few weeks to conduct some completely non-scientific, albeit fun, tests.

The first thing I noticed was the extreme softness of the ball. It produced a very high flight off my club with a ridiculous amount of spin. I tend to hit the ball very hard and generate lots of spin anyway so the ball was spinning off the front of greens and falling short due to the ballooned flight. Most of the other players in the low to mid handicap range saw similar results too, noting high flight and heaps of spin. The short game feel and performance, however, was incredible. Heaps of check and spin control. The ball performed very well with the putter too. The higher handicap players, who played longer irons into the green, tended to love the ball as it gave them good distance and control.

After playing with the Jet 4 for a few weeks and with many different players, the verdict was quite clear; the Jet 4 was not for me (or my fellow power players). I suspected this from the start as the Titleist Pro V1 is too soft also. I often try to play a slightly harder ball (Bridgestone B330) to avoid generating too much spin and bring the ball flight down a bit.

golfjet, jetpack, golfballs, golf gift set

After this period I had the privilege of meeting-up with Brad, a founding member (of two) of GolfJet for a few drinks and a chat. Brad is a super keen and obviously intelligent man with a passion for golf. He’s an engineer by trade and, along with a long-standing friend, developed the idea of starting a company to deliver high-quality balls to players using a unique marketing approach. Brad told me they have spent years in research and development to finally get to this point. Sourcing, testing and comparing products from the world’s leaders to develop a ball with comparable characteristics and performance. Brad’s own ethics clearly come through the GolfJet philosophy; a very customer focused, quality experience and product. He ensures he is approachable and listens carefully to feedback. I guess that’s the great thing about a personal business, you can make a choice to focus on what really matters. I thank Brad for his time in answering all of my questions about his ball and other products.

A week following our meet-up, a package of Jet 3 balls turned-up in the mail. When talking with Brad he informed me that their Jet 3 golf ball is a lower flighted and less spinning model which would probably suit my game better. True to Brad’s information, the Jet 3 suited my game very well. A much lower, penetrating flight with controllable spin characteristics. This ball is a real treat to play with. Not only is it good with the driver and long irons, it had the same (slightly less) spinning nature around the greens as the Jet 4. The Jet 3 would have to be up there with the best balls I’ve used.

To ensure consistency in my completely non-scientific tests, after some time I managed to wrangle the same group of players who tried the Jet 4 and, surprise, surprise, they liked the Jet 3. Saying things like, “it’s the same as the ball I play now” and “I really like this one, it’s quite different to the Jet 4”. I have to say this came as a bit of a surprise to me because I know some of these guys are die-hard brand players. Same club, clothing and ball brand. They generally don’t sway too far from their comfort zone. They know the feel they love, the look and flight of the ball and spin they generate. The trust they’ve built over many, many years. I’ll be the first to admit I can be the same too. But the Jet 3 won me over. I’m happy playing it and trust it will do what I want.

golfjet, jetpack, golfballs, golf gift set

I’m not saying everyone will love these balls. They are a premium ball and do spin like you would expect a premium ball to. What I am saying is that you couldn’t go too far wrong giving them a go and supporting a wonderful growing Australian company.

Visit GolfJet to learn more about their company and products.

Luke @ Golf Blog Australia

All opinions expressed are my own. Information accurate at time of publication.

Tip: How To Build A Golf Club

Ever wondered how to build up a custom club? Or perhaps just wondered how clubs are put together? Let’s have a look at the process.

A friend of mine wanted to custom make a set so we headed out to my backyard shed and got cracking. Don’t be afraid to roll up the sleeves and and have a go yourself. With a little practice and the right tools you could do the same.

What you will need…

– Club making glue (2 part epoxy)
– Ferrules
– Shafts
– Club heads
– Shaft cutter (I use a Dremel tool)
– Grips
– Grip tape
– Iron head wire brush drill bit
– Solvent (mineral turpentine)
– Cutting blade (hook) if removing old grips
– Masking tape
– Vice
– Rubber shaft holder
– Plastic container
– Rag
– Air compressor (not essential but handy)
– Bench grinder or file

Let’s assume that you are making these clubs from scratch using just the components (nothing put together yet). If you are actually doing a club repair these steps can be followed also.
A detailed article on how to put new grips on golf clubs can be found here (How to Re-Grip a Golf Club), so I will skim over this section.

What to do…

Step 1 Source components and supplies.

Work out what equipment you need and want then source your components. We went for Titleist 712 CB heads with KBS Tour 110 regular shafts, Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord grips and ferrules sourced from eBay to match the shaft and head specifications.

Finding components is fairly easy on the internet and shipping internationally can save you a lot of money. You do want to make sure you buy from reputable sellers and double check that you have ordered all the components you need.

The next step is to buy the club making supplies. I have been using Mr Golf Grip lately and find them to be very good. Quick shipping and good prices. You will need glue, grip tape, solvent, a shaft vice grip and a cutting blade.

The rest of the supplies you can find at pretty much any hardware store.

Step 2 Measure and cut shafts.

Make sure your work space is clean, dust free and clear of clutter. The best results come from careful preparation so take the time to prepare properly.

Measure your shafts and cut them to length. The shaft will typically come with a sticker telling you which iron they are intended for. You will need to cut them down to the length you require. Check out this handy guide for information on shaft lengths.

Custom Club Making, Golf Club Making

Golf Club Making, Custom Golf Clubs

NOTE: Always cut the length from the butt of the shaft with irons. When dealing with graphite shafts refer to manufacturer specifications. Some require tipping and then length taken from the butt. You can change the stiffness and characteristics of a shaft by trimming them in specific ways.

Golf Club Making, Custom Golf Clubs

TIP: I like to measure then place a tape line to cut along. Use a grinder or file to take off the burrs when you have finished cutting.

Step 3 Sand the shaft tips.

To ensure you have a good surface for the glue to adhere to, use some coarse sandpaper to thoroughly roughen the tip end of the shaft. Just make sure not to go to far up the shaft as you will see the scratches later (we don’t want that!).

Golf Club Making, Custom Golf Clubs

TIP: If you are unsure about how far to come up the shaft, place the ferrule and the iron head on to check. You could even mark it with a marker to make sure you don’t go too far.

Step 4 Clean the surfaces to be glued.

As we sourced second hand heads, there was still a bit of glue where the old shafts had been pulled. Use a wire brush drill bit to clean out the old glue from the inside of the head. I like to also use some acetone to clean out any left over glue and dust from inside the hosel. A bit of rag wrapped around some wire works well for this.

Golf Club Making, Custom Golf Clubs

Step 5 Attach the ferrules.

Place a small amount of glue on the end of the shaft and push the ferrule on. Insert the iron head and continue to push until the ferrule is in place.

Golf Club Making, Custom Golf Clubs

Golf Club Making, Custom Golf Clubs

TIP: If you feel like the ferrule is not on far enough insert something narrow inside the hosel and mark how far down it goes. Compare the mark with the ferrules position on the shaft. If they don’t match try forcing it by holding the head and banging the butt of the shaft on a block of soft wood. This should enable you to get the ferrule in the correct position with the shaft fully inserted into the club head.

Step 6 Attach the head.

Roll the tip of the shaft in the glue to give good coverage. I like to also place some glue on the inside of the hosel to ensure even coverage to the entire surface. Push the head into place. If you have spine aligned shafts you will need to make sure you place them in the correct orientation. Leave the heads to cure.

Golf Club Making, Custom Golf Clubs

TIP: On some re-shafts the shaft has a cover or weight in the end or tip of the shaft. If the air has nowhere to go the club head will not seat in the correct position. It will feel hard to push down and spring back up a bit. You can drill a small hole in the weight or cover to allow air to escape.

Step 7 Align the ferrules with the heads.

Sometimes the girth of the ferrules may not quite match that of the heads. There might be a small step. Whilst this isn’t a problem in terms of performance, we want these clubs to look beautiful. Acetone can be used to smooth down the ferrules. Simply dampen a rag with some acetone and turn the club around in your hands, lightly rubbing the ferrule. The acetone works to incrementally dissolve the ferrule, slowly shrinking it. Work slowly here, don’t rush it. Keep turning the head until you are happy with look and feel.

Golf Club Making, Custom Golf Clubs

Step 8 Apply grips.

Please refer to this article for detailed instructions: How To Re-Grip A Golf Club.

Step 9 Attach the shaft stickers.

Decide on your preferred position. Most people like to place it at the back of the shaft so that it’s not visible at address. It’s really up to you.

Golf Club Making, Custom Golf Clubs

Step 10 Allow to dry.

Don’t be tempted to use them too early. The glue needs time to set for the strongest bond. Refer to the glue manufactures recommendations. 5 minute epoxy will set faster but will have a slightly weaker bond compared to 24 hour epoxy.

 

That’s it! Now you can hit the course with your custom set of clubs. Not only will you know how your clubs have been put together you will also know how to fix any potential future problems.

Don’t be afraid to have a go at club repair. Once you gain a bit of knowledge and experience, you’ll be hooked. You might even find it will save you a heap of money and time.

 

Luke @ Golf Blog Australia

Review: Cobra Fly Z Plus Driver

Cobra, Cobra Golf, Cobra Driver, Cobra Fly Z +, Cobra Fly Z Plus

If you are looking for a new driver, now is a very exciting time to go shopping. With all the major brands releasing their 2015 models the choices are almost endless and extremely confusing.

After a great run with my Taylormade R11 it was time for an upgrade (well, not really time, but I was looking). I went looking for a driver that would be as long and hopefully more forgiving. I’ve never had a problem with distance, so this wasn’t a real factor in the search. I guess I was looking for something that looked good, felt and sounded good and maybe gave me more accuracy. I know accuracy has more to do with face and path angles but I do get a lot of spin which can turn the ball further than some low spin drivers. Almost all of these brands advertise lower spin and lower center of gravity. I went shopping and came home with the Cobra Fly Z Plus. When I say came home, I had to wait for it to be built.

Cobra, Cobra Golf, Cobra Driver, Cobra Fly Z +, Cobra Fly Z Plus

Appearance

It’s hard to know where to start. It is a great looking club with a huge, square-ish black face. At address it is confidence inspiring and gives me the feeling that I just couldn’t miss. The face is surrounded by a ‘speed channel’ which looks like a recessed slot running around the perimeter of the face. You can not see it at address and it really looks quite different. I chose the black version (it comes in 5 colours with a green reported to come). The top is a speckled shiny colour and looks really nice. The head shape is not to drawn back and looks quite compact, definitely the shape I was looking for. On the sole of the club there is a deep channel with a gold movable weight. This weight can be moved forward or back depending on the flight you are after. All-in-all a fantastic looking club. No surprises there, I have always loved Cobra’s design and attention to detail.

Cobra, Cobra Golf, Cobra Driver, Cobra Fly Z +, Cobra Fly Z Plus

Performance

Firstly it must be said that I am a huge believer that the right shaft or type of shaft in the driver can make a huge difference in the overall performance of a club. Cobra have done something here that amazed me and bought a smile to my face. They offer 6 shaft options at no extra cost! Yes, 6. The stock shaft is a Matrix VLCT ST which is a nice shaft. Plus 5 other shaft options! As soon as I saw the Aldila Tour Green X flex (I currently play the Aldila RIP Alpha and love it)  I was very interested. Let’s put it into perspective, I could get a nearly $200 shaft that I trust will do the right thing for my swing for free. Huge selling point. At the time the Cobra cost $499 (6 shaft options) compared to the new R15 at $540 with no shaft options and the Titleist was more again. Master stroke Cobra. Had me in almost immediately.

I have used the club for about a month now and I must say that I’m very impressed. The ball flight is low and penetrating. It carries a long way and rolls out nicely for me. My misses are no where near as bad, showing that I am indeed getting low spin and the shaft and head combination is indeed working well. I have played around with the settings and moving weights does effect the flight higher and lower. The loft is also very easy to adjust via the MyFly8 adapter. It can be adjusted 8.5 to 11 degrees with some draw options as well. The smart pad ensures that the club looks nice and square at address no matter the loft.

When hit it has a loud(ish) noise. It feels solid but not harsh. The ball really flies out off the face and feels hot. There just is nothing better than a well hit driver, is there? This driver is quite workable too. I can work it both ways and control the flight quite well.

Cobra, Cobra Golf, Cobra Driver, Cobra Fly Z +, Cobra Fly Z Plus

Specifications

The marketing around this driver is really very good. If you would like to learn more about flip zones, speed channels, smartpads, lofts, composite materials, lower center of gravity etc. please refer to the Cobra website, they will do a better job than me. And let’s be honest, you’re here to hear my thoughts on the driver, not theirs. From what I’ve been able to do so far, I believe all of the marketing. Obviously you do need to put a good swing on it, it won’t hit the ball for you.

Cobra Fly Z + Website

Recommendation

Yes. Huge yes. Just love it. The right looks and performance for me. Free premium shafts are a huge plus. Another fantastic product from Cobra. If you’re in the market, go and find one to try, you won’t be disappointed.

Oh, and on a side note, I just won the Club Championships with it. A bit brave given I’d only had it for two weeks but it just felt really comfortable in my hands from day 1 and performed very well.

Cobra, Cobra Golf, Cobra Driver, Cobra Fly Z +, Cobra Fly Z Plus

Luke @ Golf Blog Australia

Club Championships 2015

Quite unexpectedly I received the following message through my blog last week. I was originally not going to share this on my blog. However, after some thought I decided that it’s not an achievement that comes every day, so here’s the message:

“Hi to all of Luke’s followers at Golf Blog Australia,

I write to let you all know that as humble as Luke is, he will not go out of his way to let you know of his recent play in the Heidelberg Golf Club, Club Championships.

He excelled over the many days, to come out on top with the best gross score. This is an excellent feat around Heidelberg, given its many good players and since the course is set up as difficult as it can be.

For all of us, we know that there are may reasons why your game of golf often falls in a heap during one round, but, to concentrate and put a number of rounds together for a Championship win, is outstanding.

Congratulations Luke and know that we all look forward to your next GBA entry.

Good golfing to all”

In all honesty I did play well and had quite a bit of luck go my way over the tournament. I putted exceptionally well, got up and down from 7/8 bunkers and channeled Seve Ballesteros from the rough, trees, forest, jungle on more than a few occasions!

I have learnt a few things over the last few months:

1. If you can’t get out on the course (because of young children – or any other reasons for that matter) use the space you have. Make practice swings with the broom, chip in the backyard or putt in your hallway. I’ve been using these to keep motivated and groove the swing a bit.

2. If you are feeling lost, get a lesson. I must admit, I’ve been struggling for months now. Almost to a point of having a lay-off. I went to get a lesson with Tim Wood and …..well, I won my club championships!

So I have now had a hole in one, won a Monthly Medal and now the Clubbies! It’s time to set a new goal for the year…

I want to hold single figures on my handicap and shoot in the 70’s more regularly.

Stay turned as I take you on my journey towards this goal.

And thanks James for the comment. It’s nice to know people are enjoying the blog and following along. This is part of what golf is all about, getting to meet new people and make real connections.

Luke @ Golf Blog Australia

Review: Mizuno JPX EZ Forged Irons

Mizuno JPX EZ Forged, Mizuno, Mizuno irons

Appearance

The first thing you notice about these irons is the deep bronze finish, a rich metallic black-ish colour. I personally really like it and it also works to reduce glare on sunny days. Overall, they are modern looking and not something really seen before from Mizuno, a brand which typically produces quite traditional looking clubs.

As you place the club on the ground and address the ball the club head definitely looks bigger than a standard head. Although not overly huge, it does give you a feeling of confidence. How could you miss hit these? The top line is thick without feeling chunky and the sole lines up nicely without huge amounts of off-set.

The clubs have an undercut that lowers the center of gravity which will help you get the ball to launch. On the back of the club there is an insert which looks great. Mizuno call it H.I.T (Harmonic Impact Technology). It really does look good. This might not be to the taste of all golfers, in particular the traditionalists out there, but I like it a lot.

These clubs are stamped ‘grain flow forged’ and if you have ever hit Mizuno forged clubs before you will know what this means. Crisp, soft, awesome feel. They also have a Mizuno stamp on the back toe section with the club number on the sole. These are painted white and look great against the black finish.

I think the thing that stands out for me is that they look big at address. This does give you a feeling of confidence but might not be for everyone. All in all a modern looking club that has technology written all over it. You know they are going to help your game.

Mizuno JPX EZ Forged, Mizuno, Mizuno irons

Mizuno JPX EZ Forged, Mizuno, Mizuno irons

Performance

Two words: long and forgiving. And long! I’d say I hit them 15 meters further than my irons and longer than other iron I hit that day. This could be because the lofts are stronger than average irons with the 4 iron coming in at 22 degrees and the PW at 45 degrees. The other thing I noticed about these irons is that I got basically no distance loss with shots hit out of the toe and heal.

I have always liked the soft, responsive feel of Mizuno irons and these don’t let the forged feel down. When you hit one out of the middle it is as good feeling as a pure blade. Hit one out of the toe or heal and I knew it. However, I was not penalised (great!). I really liked the feel through the swing. That slightly bigger head didn’t feel so big during the swing and at impact it felt safe to be aggressive and easy to square up.

Impact = awesomeness! These clubs launch out hot and fast. I hit them reasonably high and produced quite a lot of spin. I was hitting the 7 iron 165 meters and stopping it dead. They really have that performance that inspires pin killing confidence.

There is no doubt that what you give up in traditional looks you gain in technological advantage.

Mizuno JPX EZ Forged, Mizuno, Mizuno irons

Specifications

These clubs come in 2 degree strong on most irons. The 8 iron is 36 degrees,  9 iron is 40 degrees and the PW is 45 degrees. This might explain the extra length I was seeing. For all specs see the link below.

Recommendation

Yes! A huge yes for me. I’d play with these clubs for sure. They are probably not going to suit your scratch golfer or player who prefers the traditional looking club. I’d say that these clubs would suit players from 6 – 25+ handicap looking for a confidence inspiring, forgiving club to grow with your game.

Fantastic clubs again Mizuno. Well done!

Mizuno JPX EZ Forged, Mizuno, Mizuno irons

For more information on these clubs visit Mizuno.

Luke @ Golf Blog Australia

All opinions expressed are my own. Information accurate at time of publication.

The Grip Master Putter Grip

I bought a new putter a few weeks ago and really love it.

It was second-hand, and although in pretty great overall condition, the grip was a little worn and old. I wanted to update it and make it a bit less, well, bright. The original grip was embellished with the Australian flag and whilst I’m as patriotic as the average golfer (I’ll cheer for the Aussies watching the golf on TV and will even jump up and down about the Olympics) for me the grip was just a bit too much.

I wanted something a little blacker!

The Grip Master, putter grip

Along with neutralising the colour, I was also looking for something that would be long-lasting, soft-feeling and amazing-looking.

And I actually managed to tick all the boxes here!

The Grip Master, putter grip

The Grip Master Grips are fantastic. You can really feel the quality. They are soft yet firm, if you know what I mean, and incredibly good-looking with their stitched backs and embossed markings. I must say, I’m in love…with the feel, look, smell. Everything about these grips just oozes class.

The Grip Master, putter grip

I went for The Grip Master Mid Size Putter. They have an extensive range and the choice was hard. I have been using a mid-size for some time and love the slightly larger size. I’m sure no matter what you are looking for you’ll find it. Take a look at The Grip Master.

Another really cool thing about The Grip Master is that they’re Australian. I always love to buy Australian when I can to support local businesses. Their website also contains some great info about company history, grip fitting and other general information. Click here to read more from The Grip Master.

I’m not too sure where the company is located in Australia, but I do know that I bought direct from their website and the order was delivered within three days. Great shipping, great price and great quality.

Thanks to The Grip Master I’m now putting well and looking great!

The Grip Master, putter grip

The Grip Master, putter grip

Luke @ golf blog australia

Custom Club Fitting

As you probably know technology has really changed the way we select golf clubs. I know of many golfers who play regularly, who have simply walked into a shop and bought a set of clubs off the rack without being fitted. This seems mad to me. Golf is a difficult sport anyway, why not give yourself the best chance of playing well?

As I already know the advantages to getting fitted properly, I thought I would take a trip to one of my local golf stores to have a chat and do a fitting to show you how it works and see if I could learn something new.  I contacted House Of Golf (Epping) where I spoke to a Matt, a great salesman who was more than happy to oblige in helping with the process.

I must admit, the thought of getting a full fitting scared me a bit. Will I be hitting it well? Will the results I see reflect what I see on the course? How much will it really help my game? So, let’s find out what it’s all about.

The first thing that struck me was the personal nature of the fitting. It started with a lot of questions about me and my game. In particular what I was trying to achieve. This gave Matt a good idea of my attitude and the direction I wanted to take my game. I was quite clearly looking for a ‘players’ club that offered some help. Their range is very extensive so narrowing the choices down quickly is a really good thing.

A quick measure of my height and arm length established the correct length of shaft I should be playing.

He then went on to look at my swing and assess the type of club that would suit me. I was given quite a few practice swings to warm up and when I felt like I was swinging okay he gave me a club with a funny looking blue box on it. This would measure the swing speed, tempo and flex in the shaft. As I have covered before, the shaft can have a real impact on the flight of the ball.  I personally feel that this is the most important factor for your new set. After measuring a few swings he entered the results into the computer program and found my ideal shaft options.

Custom Club Fitting, House Of Golf

This process also gave Matt a chance to see my swing and think about head options to match all the things we had discussed. The computer also gave its suggestion and that is where we started. After hitting a few models that we thought would be the best options, we made a decision on the head.

Custom Club Fitting, House Of Golf

The next thing to see was the lie angle. He placed a white strip on the bottom of the club. I proceeded to hit a few shots off a hard plate. This measures the lie of the club at the point which I strike the ball. Clubs can be adjusted ‘flat’ or ‘upright’ to match the players swing.

Custom Club Fitting, House Of Golf

Matt then went on to measure my grip size. He stated that too many golfers don’t even consider this as a factor.

After hitting a heap of balls with the chosen club the computer analysed my distances, spin rates and smash factor. The computer program then suggested full club options from 3 iron to wedges. Giving us some choices of the wedge gapping. I chose my wedges on a distance factor rather then a loft factor. This would involve ordering my wedges to be custom bent to the angles that suit my swing. These clubs can then be equally spaced leaving me no awkward distance gaps in my set.

Custom Club Fitting, House Of Golf

After all of that the irons and wedges were decided upon and I thought we were done. Wrong. Matt was very keen to look at putters. He says that custom fitting a putter is really important. As we all know almost half of our shots are on the green so getting the right putter is vitally important. Now, I must admit, I have never considered this before. I’ve always just used one straight off the rack. We went over and had some further discussion about my putting and chose a few models that I preferred. We used a board to see where my eyes were lining up and the data told us that some putters would be a better option than others.

Next we went back to the launch monitor and Matt fitted me up for a driver. This was relatively straight forward because we already had so much information about my swing and because the adjustable nature of drivers makes them very accommodating. Matt selected a few drivers and we adjusted them to match my swing to get the optimal launch angle and spin rates. After hitting a few, I decided on the driver that felt, sounded and performed to my liking.

Custom Club Fitting, House Of Golf

Matt was leaving nothing to chance. We then discussed the importance of balls and which models might suit my game and preferences.

All in all, Matt was very thorough. What I really liked about this fitting is the time he took to understand me and my game – not just look at the computer generated numbers and make recommendations based on them alone. He showed a genuine interest in me and helping to find the clubs that will improve my performance.

Based on my experience, I would recommend any golfer get a custom fitting when buying a new set of clubs. I found it insightful and interesting.

Of course, if you’re local to Melbourne, then be sure to visit Matt at House of Golf (Epping).

Custom Club Fitting, House Of Golf

This is Matt. Go and see him for a fitting on your next new set of clubs.

Luke @ Golf Blog Australia

Review: Mandalay Golf Course

Mandalay is one of the newest courses on offer for Melbourne golfers. It’s a par 72 Peter Thomson designed championship course and is located in Beverage approximately 45 minutes from the CBD.

This is a traditional estate course with housing surrounding many of the holes. The course is very wide spread with a distance between each tee and green. It is set in a grassland environment with lush rolling hills forming the backdrop. The course also rolls with undulating fairways and many elevated tees. You can usually clearly see where to go with the exception of a few holes which cleverly bend and dip or rise.

The condition of the course is amazing. Quite notably the greens were in fantastic condition and rolled very true and smooth. The tees and fairways were also in great condition with a lush cover and well manicured turf. One of the features of this course would have to be the bunkering. There are quite a few well placed bunkers, but many can be easily avoided by selecting appropriate clubs or shots. As mentioned above, this course emerges from the surrounding grassland. The fairways are generous which is good because the rough is, well, rough! I also know that this particular area is a wind tunnel and you will almost always have some wind to contend with. When I played the wind was moderate but by no means strong. Still, I found that the ball was being pushed quite a long way.

I think this course has an interesting and challenging layout. It will test even the best of golfers. I was playing okay and made plenty of pars with a few good opportunities for birdies. When I was in the fairway, the holes seemed quite straight-forward with good sized greens to hit. However, and it is a big however, roll even the slightest into the rough and the ball is most likely lost. I lost four out of five balls hit into the rough. I lost one ball that landed only slightly long of a green, took a bounce and…gone! This also happened to my playing partner as well. With the amount of wind, distance control was difficult and the consequences were huge for even the smallest misjudgement. Personally I’d like to see the rough a little more forgiving. I’m not saying mow it to the ground. If I miss a fairway, I do deserve to be penalised. But a lost ball every time is just soul destroying and can ruin a good round very quickly.

All in all, this is an excellent golf course in fantastic condition. The layout is varied and interesting with many challenging holes that will not let you relax till the very end. I’d definitely recommend coming to Mandalay Golf Course for a game if you want to try out your skills against a championship course.

Here are some of my favourite holes.

The 3rd: A 182 meter par 3. You tee off from an elevated tee to a large green that sits horizontal to you. Distance control is the key here. Long will be better than short as there is a large mound at the back and a deep bunker at the front. Putting should be fairly straight forward once on the green.

Mandalay Golf Course, 3rd Mandalay Golf Course

The 15th: A 202 meter par 3. A very long par 3 guarded by a dam short (really wont come into play unless you really hit a bad one). Bunkers short and long with a lay-up area left. Shoot for the green and hope for the best!

Mandalay Golf Course, 15th Mandalay Golf Course

The18th: A 391 meter par 4. A fantastic finishing hole. Long with well placed fairway bunkers and a guarded but generous green. Shoot for the centre of the fairway and play a long to mid iron into the green. Will really change depending on the wind. A tricky putt if you finish above the hole here.

Mandalay Golf Course, 18th Mandalay Golf Course

On an extra note. I must say that I really enjoyed the back nine. It had many great par 4’s that weaved through the fields to a scenic hilly backdrop (may change as housing continues?).

Mandalay Golf Course

 

Luke @ Golf Blog Australia

Junior Clinics

Golf is an awesome sport for any age. Being a teacher I see many of my students (and parents) looking for things to do over the school holidays. When a good buddy of mine said he was running a Junior clinic, I was all to happy to help promote his upcoming event. If you know a child who is still looking for a sport to play or just to try something new. Give Daniel a call.

After all the future of our sport is the children who fall in live with this game.

Junior Golf Clinic

The Golf Course Guide 2014 – APP

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The Golf Course Guide has always been a good publication. With details on over 600 courses and great discounts and deals to entice players. When I opened my emails earlier today and saw they have launched an App, I was straight in there!

The guide can be downloaded for phones and tablets (although it did tell me it was not compatible with my Samsung Galaxy Tab 3!). I downloaded it to my phone and, hey presto, access to all the contact details and course information any golfer would want.

How good are mobile Apps? You can search by Name, Nearby Map, Nearby List, Australia Map and even their own rankings list. I really like the ease of being able to simply click on a link to see the clubs website or even make a call to book right there and then.

Best of all the App is free! Yes free, and if you download the App and like their Facebook page they will send you a free copy of the book (for a limited time) so you can enjoy those special offers and discounts. All you have to do is pay the postage cost (for me $6).

For further details go to Ausgolf. If on a mobile device the special offer will display. Not to sure how long this offer will last so be quick.

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Luke @ Golf Blog Australia