Butler Cabin, Augusta National (c) Burgh Golfer

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Birdie Balls -product review


I received an interesting gift under the Christmas Tree last year from my wife.  It was a golf practice system called Birdie Balls.  Normally I am not a big fan of golf practice aids as I prefer the real practice range.  However, this one intrigued me as it came in a small box.  The Birdie Ball practice system consists of two components.  The first component is the Birdie Balls themselves.  The balls are cylindrical in shape and slightly larger than a traditional golf ball.  The cylinder has a hollow core and a relatively thin shell.  The second component of the practice system is a plastic mat you can hit the balls from.  Or, you can just hit them off the grass the same way you would a regular golf ball.
The key to the system is that the balls are supposed to fly through the air the same way a regular golf ball does.  This is unique because if you have ever hit a plastic golf ball you realize that is not the case typically.  So, if you strike the Birdie Ball in a manner that causes the ball to slice, then the ball will slice.  Likewise, if you hit the Birdie Ball with a hooking motion the ball will hook.  Unlike, most plastic practice balls the Birdie Balls simulate actual ball flight.  The other neat things about the Birdie Balls are that they do not fly very far.  For example, I usually hit my nine iron about 140 yards from a good lie on the course.  With the Birdie Balls I can take a full swing and only hit the ball about fifty yards.  The same holds true for my mid irons.  I usually hit my six iron about 175 yards on course, whereas, with the Birdie Balls I can only hit it about 70 yards.
One more important aspect to the Birdie Balls flight is the trajectory.  Ball trajectory is very important in golf.  One of the main reasons for going to the driving range to hit real golf balls is to watch the ball take off.  Another added benefit is that the Birdie Balls also simulate my regular ball trajectory.  It is not perfect but it is close enough and far superior to other plastic practice balls.  For example, when I hit my six or nine irons I am used to seeing the ball take off on a certain path.  I do not lose this feedback when using Birdie Balls.
So, if you are looking for a training aid or a golf gift I highly recommend the Birdie Ball system.  It allows the player to take full swings, see the ball trajectory and receive immediate feedback on shot shape.  Whether the player is trying to correct a hook or a slice the Birdie Balls will provide that input.  Plus, you do not have to walk very far to retrieve them.  Lastly, if you are fairly consistent with your ball striking then the balls will land in a fairly tight pattern.  This makes retrieval very simple and quick.
If you have ever used Birdie Balls, leave us a comment on your feedback.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

British Open Week

                                                                       source; golf.com

The 2012 British Open Championship is upon us.  It is British Open week for the golf lovers out there.  In a press conference the other day Tiger Woods called the British Open Championship his favorite major.  As a golf fan I have to agree because it is such a unique event.  In the United States we do not get a chance to see very much “Links” golf played on TV.  Even when we do it is not true links golf.  Here are a few of the things I love about watching the “Open Championship” as the rest of the world calls it.
·         Peter Allis- The sound of Peters voice just says it British Open week.  The terms he uses, the stories he tells, the pictures he paints with words are priceless
·         The bump and run- who does not love seeing a player putt the ball from forty yards off the green
·         Flagsticks bent over from gale force winds- they do not stop play because it is a little breezy-play on they say
·         Heather, Gorse and all kinds of grasses- in the US we might call it hay or feed but in the British Isles they call it rough
·         Berns- those little streams that cross the fairways in strategic spots- not much bigger than a ditch but very penal and cool to look at as a spectator- Of course, Jean Van de Velde may not agree as a player
·         Manual scoreboards- I love to see the old, yellow, manual scoreboards- no fancy LED screens for the Open Championship- good old manual scoreboards with some guy behind it flipping names and numbers
·         Players struggling- It is fun to watch the best players in the world struggle from time to time- nothing like watching a top athlete staring at the ground, with his hands on hips trying to figure out what just went wrong
·         Seeing players from around the globe- it is fun to watch players from around the globe we have never heard of in the US.  Remember 1998 when seventeen year old amateur Justin Rose burst onto the scene and almost won the Open?
·         Architecture- it is nice to see the shots and scenes captured on TV of the old towns, buildings and houses of the British Isles.  There is something comforting about seeing a five hundred year old building
·         Tom Watson- he is synonymous with the Open Championship having won it five times.  You have to love watching old Tom standing in the fairway arms crossed, rain coming down and him visualizing a shot.  Then more times than not executing the shot.
What do you enjoy about the British Open?  Leave us a comment and let us know.