Thursday, January 11, 2018

How to Hit the Ball Longer

By Lucas Hana, PGA Director of Instruction

I frequently get asked the question, “How do I hit the ball longer?” from a number of my students and the answer is in the numbers. As you can see in the picture below, this player hit a drive 242 yards with 133 mph ball speed.

This ball speed is average for most male members here at GBCC, however the 242 yard drive is much above average because of how this individual struck the ball.

Here are 3 keys to getting more distance without more speed:

1. Strike the ball in the center of the club face. To get the most distance, you need to hit the ball in the center of the club face. We have impact stickers by the Golf Simulator to help you see where you strike the ball on the club and they are free for you to use at anytime.

2. By swinging up and to the right of your target (for a right handed golfer) you create the optimal launch angle and backspin. As you can see in the picture, this individual had a nice high launch angle of 13.7* and backspin of only 1603rpm. That’s a recipe for maximum distance.

3. To get a good amount of roll on your drive, you need to have LEFT sidespin by striking the ball with a closed clubface. A sidespin of 306 L is perfect for lots of roll.

As you can see, great distance comes from good numbers! Make a tee time on Foretees for the golf simulator and we will help you understand how you can create good numbers for more distance and a lot more fun in your game!

Friday, January 5, 2018

A Matter of Course: What is the Impact of Sub Zero Temps?

By Golf Superintendent Ben Larsen

Are these sustained sub-zero temperatures harming or injuring the golf course??? The USGA states, “Winter injury is a very complex event because it is controlled by many variables that are not completely understood.”

During these windy sub-zero temperatures, two winter injuries can occur: low temperature kill and desiccation.

Low Temperature Kill
As of now, low temperature kill is not a concern because of our high population of bentgrass on our playing surfaces. Bentgrass has a very high tolerance for low temperatures and can withstand this type of weather pattern. As an added benefit, the average 6” of snow is insulating and protecting the bentgrass.

Desiccation is the drying of the plant due to the exposure of low temperatures, high winds and no added precipitation. This past fall, just prior to the low temperatures and snow, we executed a couple of a preventative practices for desiccation.

 First, we sprayed an anti-desiccant on all high exposed areas (i.e. #6 green, putting green and etc.). An anti-desiccant is coating that helps protect and lock in moisture on the bentgrass leaf blades and crown. Second, we did a heavy topdressing application on all greens and tees (seen below). By doing this, the sand acts as an insulator from the low temperatures and cool high winds.

The most important and natural element to minimizing and/or eliminating low temperature kill and desiccation is snow. Snow is the best insulator for the golf course; it protects from high winds, locks in warmth for the plant to survive and keeps the plants hydrated. As of today, with current conditions, we are setup for the course to over winter nicely.

Winter Projects
On a positive note, we have been able to complete some projects during the deep freeze. Below are just some of the projects the Grounds Department has completed:

Repaired and re-routed irrigation lines around #13 tee

Installed a new Simulator screen

Re-leveled the Simulator floor