Pro’s Corner

Peter Boyce and Jason Whitehill

Q. How many rounds will my golf ball last?

A. Well, it depends on the number of times it is being struck. The best way to determine if your ball will still perform properly is to inspect it for abrasions, indentations and most importantly, the edges of the dimples. If you have hit range balls you will notice from time to time a ball will appear to flutter or drop quickly instead of continuing on its normal flight path. This is caused by the smoothing out of the dimple pattern on the ball which results in the ball not biting the air which keeps it flying. For those who have learned about the history of the golf ball, you will recall that the original natural rubber balls were made with a smooth surface and it was discovered that older balls with nicks, scrapes and scratches flew farther. This led to experimentation resulting in the many dimple patterns that you will see on golf balls today. Dimple patterns can affect how high the ball flies and how long it will fly as well.

There are those who pride themselves in how long they have played with the same ball but they may be losing distance and spin if they keep it in play too long. That is the same reason why the range balls are changed out as they get too smooth and will not fly properly.

Q. Why do I constantly hit my ball near the heel of my club resulting sometimes in the dreaded shank?

A. Many things can cause this problem but a flat back swing can result in the club being thrown out toward the ball. Try making a good shoulder turn and get your arms and hands a little higher at the top of your backs swing. If you look at the guys and gals on the television each weekend, you will see their hands over their right shoulder and higher than their head. A position most golfers don’t get to!

Q. I am confused about loft and bounce on wedges.

A. Although the industry does not have loft standards, the common Standard Degrees of loft are Pitching Wedge-48-degrees, Gap Wedge-52-degrees, Sand Wedge-56-degrees and Lob Wedge-60-degrees

Bounce is the amount of flange that is lower to the ground than the leading edge of the iron.—more bounce, the higher the leading edge is off the ground which makes it tougher to hit off grass from a tight lie but will glide through the sand without digging in as much—so a 52-degree wedge has low amount of bounce as it is used off the grass—a 56 degree has more because it is used for bunker shots—as well as grass—You increase the effect of the bounce by opening the face of the club—the leading edge gets higher—put a wedge on a flat surface and open it—you will see what we mean—What’s best? It is up to what the player wants and what course conditions are like. The last thing you would want is lots of bounce on your wedge if the ball was sitting on hardpan.