QA Men Using Womens Clubs

By Frank ThomasSeptember 12, 2007, 4:00 pm
Editor's Note: This is the latest in a weekly Q&A feature from GOLF CHANNEL's Chief Technical Advisor Frank Thomas. To submit a question for possible use in this column, email letsbefrank@franklygolf.com
 
Dear Frank:
 
Thanks for the great web site. I wait for each week's questions.
 
I noticed today your discussion with someone whose 3-wood is 'too long'. I am 5'8' and find it virtually impossible to swing any of the longer (standard) men's drivers and get my wrists closed so as not to slice like crazy. It feels to me like a brick on the end of a shaft. I've tried most of the $200-$500 drivers in the bays at my local Golfsmith, and the result is always the same.
 
My solution was to go to a shorter driver, namely my wife's women's Adams Ovation Driver, which is both shorter and light as a feather. I may not outdrive a lot of men, but I feel like it gives me the confidence to automatically close my wrists and my drives are now generally very straight.
 
Am I crazy for using a woman's club, or smart?
 
Thanks
-- Ed

 
Ed,
 
You are not crazy and therefore must be smart.
 
There is no reason why you should not use shorter clubs. The shorter the club, the more control you have; also, the lower the swing weight, all else (such as head weight) being equal. This is one reason why it feels lighter than your own 'Big Stick'.
 
The guidelines I have proposed for some time suggest using a standard set with the appropriate shaft flex but a shorter than standard driver. This seems to be catching on, and many golfers are reporting success with this concept and gaining confidence on the tee.
 
In the long run, golfers prefer to shoot a lower score rather than hit the occasional long drive when all the stars are in synchrony and they just happen to get it all together. On these few occasions -- which are fun -- we do feel some pride about how great we are, but this doesn't last long.
 
You are not crazy; most golfers will find that when it comes to drivers, shorter is better. Glad you are enjoying the Q and A's. Be sure to sign up as a Frankly Friend for weekly Q and A alerts by clicking here.
-- Frank
 
Frank:
 
Thank you for your intelligent insights and advice. I enjoy reading both your editorials and Q and A articles.
 
In many of your articles, you discuss the proper length of the club shaft. How, exactly, do you measure the shaft of a golf club?
 
Thank you.
-- Jay

 
Jay,
 
You have asked a question about shaft length because I have referred to it so often in my weekly Q&As and also in various articles. What we are really talking about is not shaft length but club length.
 
Because of the various head designs and the methods used to assemble clubs, the shaft length may vary significantly even though the club length is the same. Because club length is more important than shaft length, when referring to length we should always use the full assembled club length.
 
A common method of measuring length, which is not very accurate, is to measure from the grip end to the sole/heel intersecting point. A slightly improved method, taking into account the radius on the sole, is to make the measurement by placing a rigid measuring stick (extended yardstick) under the shaft when the club is in the normal address position and reading off the measurement to the end of the butt cap of the grip from where it rests on the ground. This is close, but the actual length may be a little longer than this measurement.
 
The most accurate and consistent method is to measure the distance from the end of the butt cap of the grip, along the axis of the shaft, to where this line intersects the level surface on which the club is resting when in its normal address position. This is a little more cumbersome because a special fixture may be needed.
 
Having explained all this, I can say with some assurance from a golfers performance point of view that as little as ' is not going to mean very much at all to your performance. Such small differences dont matter; however, some manufacturers furtively increase the length by more than an inch, widening the arc of the swing to help the golfer hit longer drives. I have a definite problem with this practice. If those manufacturers who lengthen drivers without telling us had any integrity, they would include in the box with the driver a snake bite kit, because the golfer is going to spend a lot of time searching for his ball in some nasty places.
 
Hope this is not too long, but there is no short answer.
-- Frank
 
Hi Frank,
 
I have a question on spin rate.
 
I am 52 and have been playing golf for about 7 years. My average driving distance is about 230 yards using a Pro-Launch 65 Regular shaft with an 11.5 degree loft 460cc head. I usually play Pro-Staff TRUE balls. My normal ball flight is fairly high (fly 220 and roll 10). Occasionally my ball will balloon up and block to the right.
 
Should I try to lower my ball flight? If yes, should I reduce the loft of my driver or change the shaft or try another type of ball? How does shaft weight and ball type affect spin rate? Is Pro-Launch 65 the right shaft for my swing speed (80-85 MPH)? Some club fitters suggest switching to a lighter shaft.
 
Thanks.
-- Steven

 
Steven,
 
With an 80 to 85 mph head speed, you are getting a very good distance already. If, however, you are looking for a little lower ball flight with a little more roll, I would try a lower spinning ball to begin with, followed by trying to hit the ball slightly higher on the face. This changed impact point will help by decreasing the spin; it will increase the height of the initial launch angle, but the ball wont balloon on you as much. If this fails, then a change to the loft of the club may be called for -- not a shaft change.
 
A shaft change to get distance may take you out of your comfort zone if you like the shaft you have, and this will not be good for your confidence and may detrimentally affect your distance. Your driving distance is about 35 yards farther than the average male golfer's drive. At 52 you are, however, a good candidate for a strength and stretching regimen to increase your range of motion. This will add more yards than any new club, and it doesn't have to be a major chore. Moderate daily exercise, especially the stretching part of it, will do wonders; the problem is we need to do it.
 
Stretch the body rather than the wallet.
-- Frank
 
Click to purchase the Frog PutterFrank Thomas, inventor of the graphite shaft, is founder of Frankly Golf, a company dedicated to Helping Golfers. Frank is Chief Technical Advisor to The Golf Channel and Golf Digest. He served as Technical Director of the USGA for 26 years and directed the development of the GHIN System and introduced the Stimpmeter to the world of golf. To email a question for possible use in an upcoming Let's Be Frank column, please email letsbefrank@franklygolf.com
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Lincicome grouped with two rookies in Barbasol

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 17, 2018, 9:54 pm

Brittany Lincicome will tee it up with a pair of rookies when she makes her first start in a PGA Tour event Thursday at the Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky.

Lincicome, an eight-time LPGA winner, is scheduled to go off the 10th tee at 9:59 a.m. ET in the first round with Sam Ryder, 28, and Conrad Shindler, 29. They’re off the first tee Friday at 2:59 p.m. ET

Lincicome will become just the sixth woman to play in a PGA Tour event, joining Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Michelle Wie.

“The first three or four holes, I’ll be a nervous wreck, for sure,” Linicome said.

 

 

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Lincicome thrilled by reception from male pros

By Randall MellJuly 17, 2018, 8:31 pm

Brittany Lincicome wondered how PGA Tour pros would greet her when she arrived to play the Barbasol Championship this week.

She wondered if there would be resentment.

She also wondered how fans at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky., would receive her, and if a social media mob would take up pitchforks.

“I can’t stop smiling,” Lincicome said Tuesday after her first practice round upon arriving. “Everyone has been coming up to me and wishing me luck. That means a lot.”

PGA Tour pro Martin Piller, husband of LPGA pro Gerina Piller, welcomed her immediately.

Other pros sought her out on the practice putting green.

She said she was also welcomed joining pros at a table in player dining.

Fans have been stopping her for autographs.

“It has been an awesome reception,” said Dewald Gouws, her husband, a former long-drive competitor. “I think it’s put her much more at ease, seeing the reception she is getting. There’s a lot of mutual respect.”

Lincicome, 32, wasn’t sure if she would be playing a practice round alone Tuesday morning, but when she made her way to the first tee, Domenico Geminiani was there, just about to go off.

He waved Lincicome over.

“He said, `Hey, Brittany, do you want to join me?’” Gouws said. “Come to find out, Dom’s a pretty cool guy.”

Geminiani made it into the field as a Monday qualifier.

“The two of us were both trying to figure things out together,” Lincicome said.

Keene Trace will play to 7,328 yards on the scorecard. That’s more than 800 yards longer than Highland Meadows, where Lincicome finished second at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic last weekend. Keene Trace was playing even longer than its listed yardage Tuesday, with recent rains softening it.

Nicknamed “Bam Bam,” Lincicome is one of the longest hitters in the women’s game. Her 269.5 yard average drive is 10th in the LPGA ranks. It would likely be dead last on the PGA Tour, where Brian Stuard (278.2) is the last player on the stats list at No. 201.

“I think if I keep it in the fairway, I’ll be all right,” Lincicome said.

Lincicome is an eight-time LPGA winner, with two major championships among those titles. She is just the sixth woman to compete in a PGA Tour event, the first in a decade, since Michelle Wie played the Reno-Tahoe Open, the last of her eight starts against the men.

Lincicome will join Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Wie in the elite ranks.

Zaharias, by the way, is the only woman to make a 36-hole cut in PGA Tour history, making it at the 1945 L.A. Open before missing a 54-hole cut on the weekend.

What are Lincicome’s expectations?

She would love to make the cut, but . . .

“Just going to roll with it and see what happens,” she said. “This is once in a lifetime, probably a one-and-done opportunity. I’m just going to enjoy it.”

Lincicome grew up playing for the boys’ golf team at Seminole High on the west coast of Florida. She won a couple city championships.

“I always thought it would be cool to compete against the guys on the PGA Tour,” Lincicome said. “I tend to play more with the guys than women at home. I never would have gone out and told my agent, `Let’s go try to play in a PGA Tour event,’ but when Tom Murray called with this opportunity, I was really blown away and excited by it. I never in a million years thought I would have this opportunity.”

Tom Murray, the president of Perio, the parent company of Barbasol and Pure Silk, invited Lincicome to accept one of the tournament’s sponsor exemptions. Lincicome represents Pure Silk.

Lincicome said her desire to play a PGA Tour event is all about satisfying her curiosity, wanting to know how she would stack up at this level. She also wants to see if the experience can help take her to the next level in the women’s game.

As a girl growing up, she played Little League with the boys, instead of softball with the girls. She said playing the boys in golf at Seminole High helped her get where she is today.

“The guys were better, and it pushed me to want to be better,” Lincicome said. “I think playing with the guys [on the PGA Tour], I will learn something to take to LPGA events, and it will help my game, for sure.”

Lincicome has been pleased that her fellow LPGA pros are so supportive. LPGA winner Kris Tamulis is flying into Kentucky as moral support. Other LPGA pros may also be coming in to support her.

The warm fan reception Lincicome is already getting at Keene Trace matters, too.

“She’s already picked up some new fans this week, and hopefully she will pick up some more,” Gouws said. “I don’t think she’s putting too much expectation on herself. I think she really does just want to have fun.”

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Stunner: Inbee Park steps aside for Int. Crown

By Randall MellJuly 17, 2018, 4:00 pm

There was a big surprise this week when the LPGA announced the finalized lineups for the UL International Crown.

Rolex world No. 1 Inbee Park won’t be teeing it up for the host South Koreans Oct. 4-7 in Incheon.

She has withdrawn, saying she wanted another Korean to be able to experience the thrill of representing her country.

It’s a stunner given the importance the LPGA has placed on taking the UL International Crown to South Korea and its golf-crazy allegiance to the women’s game in the Crown’s first staging outside the United States.

Two-time major champion In Gee Chun will replace Park.

"It was my pleasure and honor to participate in the first UL International Crown in 2014 and at the 2016 Olympics, and I cannot describe in one word how amazing the atmosphere was to compete as a representative of my country,” Park said. “There are so many gifted and talented players in Korea, and I thought it would be great if one of the other players was given the chance to experience the 2018 UL International Crown.”

Chun, another immensely popular player in South Korea, was the third alternate, so to speak, with the world rankings used to field teams. Hye Jin Choi and Jin Young Ko were higher ranked than Chun but passed because of commitments made to competing in a Korean LPGA major that week. The other South Koreans who previously qualified are So Yeon Ryu, Sung Hyun Park and I.K. Kim.

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Na: I can admit, 'I went through the yips'

By Rex HoggardJuly 17, 2018, 3:35 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following his victory two weeks ago at A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier, Kevin Na said his second triumph on the PGA Tour was the most rewarding of his career.

Although he declined to go into details as to why the victory was so gratifying at The Greenbrier, as he completed his practice round on Tuesday at the Open Championship, Na shed some light on how difficult the last few years have been.

“I went through the yips. The whole world saw that. I told people, 'I can’t take the club back,'” Na said on Tuesday at Carnoustie. “People talked about it, 'He’s a slow player. Look at his routine.' I was admitting to the yips. I didn’t use the word ‘yip’ at the time. Nobody wants to use that word, but I’m over it now so I can use it. The whole world saw it.”


Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Na, who made headlines for his struggles to begin his backswing when he found himself in the lead at the 2012 Players Championship, said he asked other players who had gone through similar bouts with the game’s most dreaded ailment how they were able to get through it.

“It took time,” he said. “I forced myself a lot. I tried breathing. I tried a trigger. Some guys will have a forward press or the kick of the right knee. That was hard and the crap I got for it was not easy.”

The payoff, however, has steadily arrived this season. Na said he’d been confident with his game this season following a runner-up showing at the Genesis Open and a fourth-place finish at the Fort Worth Invitational, and he felt he was close to a breakthrough. But being able to finish a tournament like he did at The Greenbrier, where he won by five strokes, was particularly rewarding.

“All good now,” he smiled. “I knew I was good enough to win again, but until you do it sometimes you question yourself. It’s just the honest truth.”