Caroline Rankin is our newest contributor to lpga.com as our Equipment Insider. Caroline travels with the Tour each week and will bring you the latest information on golf equipment.
April 27, 2013
Oil changes, tire rotations and tune-ups, we all know what those are, and most of us make a point to swing by the mechanic every 3,000 miles, or at worst, when the lights on the dashboard start screaming at us.
When it comes to your golf clubs, the story isn’t much different. The upkeep of your equipment is just as important as keeping your car in good running condition. The only exception: there aren’t any of those screaming lights included in your old or new set.
At last week’s North Texas LPGA Shootout, routine maintenance was a big part of the preparation. Paul Boehmer, LPGA Tour Club Technician is on hand every week with trailer in tow. However, given the week off after the Kraft Nabisco Championship, and unfavorable driving conditions to Hawaii, it had been nearly three weeks since the players had seen him, and it was time to get some work done.
The two most important parts of club maintenance are checking lofts and lie angles and having fresh grips. On average, the players on the LPGA Tour change their grips every 3 weeks. While some request a fresh set at every event, others don’t need a replacement but once every four weeks or so. This is a “feel thing” and very much a personal preference, but for the amateurs out there, we recommend you change your grips every 40 rounds or at least once a year.
When it comes to lofts and lie angles, that’s a little different. The players tend to have these checked at least once a month, if not more often. This is typically the first thing they look at when the ball starts heading offline. You see, when your lie angle is too upright (or the toe of the club is off the ground at address), you would tend to pull the ball or hit it left. If it were too flat (heel off the ground) your tendency would be to hit it right or push the ball. Simply hitting balls, playing and using your clubs can change the lie angle over time and as little as .5* can make a difference. Paul keeps a log of all of the player’s specs so that he has a constant to compare their current numbers to.
My advice, the next time you need an oil change, stop by your local club maker first, drop off your set for new grips and a perhaps ask for a loft and lie check-up, they will be ready for you to pick up before your mechanic is finished tuning your car.
Follow Caroline on Twitter @LPGATourRep
April 20, 2013
What do Hawaii and Scotland have in common? More than you think, especially if you’re an LPGA Tour player!
Earlier this week at the LPGA LOTTE Championship Presented by J Golf at the Ko Olina Golf Club on the island of Oahu, I found many of the girls doing double duty.
With the help of Mike Pinkey from TrackMan, our LPGA players were able to test different heads and lofts to find what will work best for them in the windy conditions these paradise islands bring to the table. The focus this week was on finding hybrids that had a lower loft and lower spin rate to keep the ball flight under the wind while maintaining equal launch parameters so distance doesn’t suffer. Six players this week switched to the Adams IDEA Super LS Hybrid, which consistently showed a lower spin rate in the statistical data.
The information the players gathered will benefit them in more ways than one. With the LPGA stopping in Irving, Texas for next week’s North Texas LPGA Shootout, we could see another week full of blustery conditions. However, the LPGA girls are thinking even further down the road, into early August even, when they will be heading to St. Andrews, Scotland, the home of golf, for the Ricoh Women’s British Open.
Mahalo Hawaii, for your hospitality and beautiful scenery, but you aren’t the only thing that’s on our mind!
Follow Caroline on Twitter @LPGATourRep.
Topics: Equipment Insider