TEE TIME: Make sure the clubs fit

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Tee Time

By Dennis George

Several years ago I decided to buy a new set of Mizuno MP-60 irons. Before I ordered them, I visited Club-Fit in Middletown to have my friend Dave Malthouse fit me for the clubs.

After hitting several balls with different shafts, Dave asked what kind of shafts I had in my current set.

“Dave, I’ve been playing stiffs for several years,” I replied.

He told me that the computer showed that I should use a regular shaft. (I guess he was saying that I was getting old and didn’t swing at the ball as I did as a youngster.) He suggested that I could stay with stiff shafts if I felt better with them.

“If I don’t get what the computer says, I’ve wasted my time, your time, and fifty bucks,” I told him. I ended up getting what he suggested and never looked back.

With today’s technology, golfers should consider being custom fitted for their clubs instead of buying a set off the rack. Golfers come in all shapes and sizes, and their swings aren’t the same either. In a similar vein, nor are all clubs created the same. A player will comment that he hits a wedge from one supplier farther than he does from a second company.

There’s a reason.

A pitching wedge from Ping may have a 45-degree loft while its Titleist counterpart may be 48 degrees.

“There are no standards in the industry and so a Titleist standard length for their clubs may not be the same as TaylorMade,” explains Kevin Hurst, assistant pro at Maywood and a veteran club fitter. “Having proper-fitting clubs is very important because it’s the largest determining factor in your success. If your clubs don’t fit you properly, you can’t set up to the ball the way you should.”

Hurst described the job of a club fitter as someone who can write you a prescription that fits your game.

That will include length of club, shaft flex type, grip size and lie angle. That information is then plugged in for a specific manufacturer to be able to generate the proper club fit.

However, Hurst said, a golfer must also be able to pick the style of club that fits his game. This is important for golfers who do not get fitted but want to buy a used set of clubs.

They include:

• Maximum Game improvement irons — These clubs are designed to offer maximum forgiveness and lessen the decrease in distance and accuracy when the player is not able to hit the ball in the center of the clubface. These should be used for golfers who have trouble getting the ball airborne. They will have a deeper cavity in the back of the iron. Ideal for high handicap golfers with handicap 13 and over.

• Game Improvement irons — Designed for players with 7-15 handicaps, these clubs are designed for good ball strikers who may need some help with their long irons. This player usually has no problem getting his shots in the air. The set will be blended to include more cavity back on the long irons with a blade look on the 7-wedge.

• Blade — Designed for low handicap golfers who consistently hit the ball in the center of the face. Because of its makeup, the club allows the golfer to shape his shots.

There are other considerations before buying new clubs. The average golfer will oftentimes struggle with hitting his 2-3-4 irons consistently. With the performance of hybrid clubs, you may want to start your set with a five iron and using hybrids to fill in the gap. From a personal standpoint, there was a time that I wouldn’t hesitate to pull out a two iron from 230 yards and feel confident that I would be able to hit a green. No more. You won’t find a 2-3-4 iron in my bag, and that was a tough cookie to swallow.

Can club fitting help your game?

Dawna Kelch of Lebanon was fitted for new clubs earlier this summer and she shot personal bests in her next few rounds. She readily admits that it has made a big difference in her game. And this set had more hybrids than her previous set.

(I made a mistake and got away from the Mizuno clubs and now have a set of TaylorMade cavity back irons. While I like them, I miss my Mizunos. So, if anyone is needing a used set of clubs …)


How to properly fix a ball mark

How many times have you hit a putt that is heading straight to the cup only to hit an unrepaired ballmark and veer off course? An unrepaired (or incorrectly repaired) ballmark can take up to three weeks to heal over while one done properly will not be noticed in a couple of days. From the Golf Course Superintendents Association, here is the PROPER way to fix a ballmark:

• Use a prolonged ballmark repair tool (preferably), or a knife, key or tee.

• Insert at the edges of the mark, not at the middle of the depression.

• Bring the edges together with a gentle, twisting motion, but don’t lift the center. Try not to tear the grass.

• Smooth the surface with a club or your foot. You’re done when it’s a surface you’d putt over. (Source: Golf Course Superintendents Association of America)



Jack and Jill League Leaders at OKH

Bogey Division — John R. Wheatley/Jodie Wheatley

Scratch Division — Joe B.Yates/Susie Yates

Hook Division — Danny Hayden/Betty Kaye Hayden

Slice Division — Mike Elliott/Ella Elliott

Low gross — Danny Hayden/Joan Rizer (69)

Low net — Mike Elliott/Ella Elliott (68)


Bud Light Womens League at OKH

Standings — Frances Smith/Dwana Thomas (1st), Nancy Hoerter/Annette Wimpsett and Margaret Taylor/Judy Miles (T2nd), Rita Goldstein/Brenda Sonne and Jeannine Roy and Shannon Shelburne (T4th)

Low gross — Joan Rizer (40)

Low net — Bonnie Drake (28)


Maywood Mens League

Only two weeks remain in league play as teams jockey for a spot in the season-ending shootout. The top three teams from each half of the league and the four teams with the next highest points will compete.

Standings — Chris Ison/Pat Disponett (1st), Scott Deopore/Brian Mattingly (2nd), Mick Spalding/Ty Puyear, Stephen Ewing/Roger Ewing, John Kutch/Scott Close (T3rd)

Low gross — Crit Reddick (3-under par 33)

Low net — Roger Ewing (30)

Closest to the hole — Willie Edelen (#11) and Chad Riggs (#16)


Boone’s Butcher Shop League at OKH


Four teams finished the second half of the league within two points but it took a tiebreaker for Joe Clayton/Mike Wheatley to claim the title over Walt Liebergott/Jeff Reynolds. Each team had 39.5 points. The team of Tim Gilpin/Wally Bowling was a single point behind them, and Bob Ditto/Don Hudson were fourth with 37.5 points.

Low gross — Joe Clayton (one under par 34)

Low net — Wally Bowling (32)

Closest to the hole — Mike Wheatley (#2) and Jeff Reynolds (#7)



It’s only fitting that league sponsor Jerry Boone’s team win the tiebreaker and be declared champions of the second half of the season. His partner is Joe Chesser. They finished with 41 points and tied with Bard Wise/Jay Evans. Chuck Filiatreau/Randy Burba came in third.

Mouse Culver/Larry Ball finished the year with the highest total of points with 74.5. Joe Judson/Chip Spalding were a half-point behind. Those two teams will join the top two teams in the second half and the winning team from the first half (Wes Robertson/Jack Kelley) in a playoff to determine the league champions.

Low gross — Joe Judson (3-under par 31)

Low net — Gary Blandford (31)

Closest to the hole — Joe Judson (#2) and Mike Wheatley (#7)


OKH Men's League

Randall Burba/Don Bresnahan have a three-point lead in the second half of league play. There is a two-way tie for second between Tony Graham/Patrick Carey and Jeff Lear/Thomas Hamilton. Tied for fourth are Chris Monin/Millard Sims and Doug Osborne/Steve Mattingly.

Low gross — Richie Berry (even par 35)

Low net — Steve Mattingly (29)

Closest to the hole — Chris Monin (#7)


OKH Member-Guest

Troy Jennings/Nick Thurmond finished a three-hole shootout nearly a full stroke ahead of Bryan Mouser/Kelly Mouser to claim first place in last weekend’s OKH Member-Guest Tournament.

The winning duo finished with a net score of 8.855 compared to the Mouser team’s 9.763.

The top three teams in each flight of the 45-hole event qualified for the opportunity to win the event.

First Flight — Chad Riggs/Phillip Wheatley (1st),Troy Adams/Jack Kelley(2nd), Charles Smith/Duke Fletcher (3rd)

Second Flight — Bryan Mouser/Kelly Mouser (1st), Basim Kahleifeh/Chuck Durrant (2nd), Bill Osbourne/Tony Edelen (3rd)

Third Flight — Andy Meredith/Raffo Wimsett III(1st), Byron Hayden/Tee Hayden (2nd), Pike Conway/Kevin Bowling (3rd)

Fourth Flight — Troy Jennings/Nick Thurmond (1st), Jason Cheek/Teddy Crume (2nd), Tommie Hurst/Stan Hurst (3rd)

Fifth Flight winners; Chris Monin/Terry Shelburne (1st), Shannon Hoerter/Ken Briney (2nd), Sammy Samuels/Johnny Matthews (3rd)


Last column

With the golf season winding down and high school fall sports in full swing, it’s time to mothball this column for a few months. When Peter asked me if I would write a golf column, I was somewhat hesitant because I was concerned that I wouldn’t have enough topics to cover. However, that has not been a problem and I appreciate the many suggestions that I have received from readers. I would be remiss if I did not take the time to express my appreciate to Lincoln Buzick, Tim Gilpin, Cathy Bresnahan, Pikey Conway and Matt Kirchgessner for sending me results of your play. Continue sending them until your leagues are over and The Standard will print them. I hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as I have writing it, and it is my wish that it has been a welcome addition to the sports pages.

They say that humility is a virtue, but it’s not a virtue that I have been blessed with. However, I have been humbled by the many kind words that I’ve received from readers, many of whom are non-golfers.


Dennis George is a contributing writer for The Kentucky Standard. Report your golf news to him at dmg11854@gmail.com.