Written by: Tommy Snell, writer for the Sun Herald Newspaper (Biloxi-Gulfport and the Mississippi Gulf Coast)
Golf professionals know “more than one way to skin a cat,” and that’s good for golfers wanting to improve their golf games. Butch Harmon in his About Golf DVD quickly points out that he does not have one method when he teaches. He takes the swing his pupils have and improves on those motions.
His cats happen to be some of the greatest players of all time, but I would contend that his DVD would help beginners and intermediate players more than PGA Tour players. However, advanced players can use the DVD to tweak forgotten fundamentals.
The best teachers are the professionals who mold fundamentals into homegrown golf swings that were born in back yards, living rooms and public driving ranges. Whether Harmon checks alignment for Ernie Els, suggests towel drills to Natalie Gulbis or focuses on the Norman grip, the teacher who is steeped in golf instruction emphasizes posture, ball position, stance, alignment and other basic fundamentals.
Wives and girlfriends who have hinted about new relationships on the golf course might want Butch Harmon’s latest release on the Christmas list. Parents who have juniors interested in the game will benefit from Harmon’s basic approach to every shot. The DVD offers 250 specific tips in 57 chapters.
Nevertheless, nothing replaces hands-on instruction from PGA professionals. Just like classroom teachers and professors improve basic skills learned in textbooks, golf professionals oversee and make clear what golfers read in books and see in instructional videos. The best PGA Tour players seek PGA professionals when they want to fine-tune fundamentals. Amateurs should as well.
Golfers ought to catalogue Harmon’s About Golf as ‘Man Cave’ reference material and should position the DVD in the home periodical section. Harmon “doesn’t believe in any system. There is no one way to swing a golf club.” He knows how to skin a cat on the practice tee.
By Rick Young, senior writer for Score Golf Magazine
For 55 years Katsuhiro Miura has been forging some of the world’s most beautiful irons with an uncompromising blend of quality, detail and craftsmanship.
Don’t expect that to change.
The Vancouver-based company still produces its exceptional wares in the traditional samurai sword-making capital of Himeji, Japan; still does so in one factory with one forge under the watchful eye of the company’s skilled master craftsman and founder.
What has changed for Miura in recent times is product expansion. Though irons, then wedges, provided the upscale golf brand its foundation, gaining traction in the retail marketplace requires a much more assertive business plan often involving multiple equipment categories. That means rolling out drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, irons, wedges and putters.
Last month Miura Golf showed again its capabilities as a producer of high-end golf equipment is not limited even when it comes to non-forged golf clubs. President Adam Barr sent along test samples of the company’s two most recent products, the new SIT-460 driver and KM-007 putter. Both are a showcase for the Miura philosophy of handmade over mass production.
Admittedly the new driver at first glance was not an immediate slam dunk for me. In a crammed market of adjustability function, sightline alignment aids and bold new finishes, the SIT-460 — Miura’s second driver offering — seemed a bit staid out of the box. Further visual analysis shows there is more going on here.
Short for Strong & Ideal Trajectory (SIT), the titanium driver head in the hitting position looks anything but 460-cubic centimetres (cc). Much smaller in appearance, some golfers might even construe it as just slightly bigger than one of the larger model three-woods found in the industry now. This however is every cubic centimetre a driver.
Use of a flat-black matte finish and a deeper, tall face behind the golf ball streamlines the head size while a softer ‘gear effect’ visual on top of the club behind the face provides not only a sightline for square alignment but also creates a sense of workability. Barr told me earlier this year in a brief discussion about the SIT-460 driver that the design, overseen by Katsuhiro’s son Shinei, is an extension of Miura’s success with last year’s MG hybrids. Those clubs faces were exactly as tall as a golf ball providing what the company calls “ball coverage” at impact. There is also plenty going on in the sole. Highlighted by two distinct tiers each one contributes weighting functionality to the lighter-weight 196-gram head design while also assisting the end user to sit the club square at address. By the way that lighter-weight head provides Miura fitters with the opportunity for more shaft options. The one sent to me came with one of Aerotech’s Claymore MX-60 shafts.
As for performance the club is admirable. What I most liked on the range and on the golf course was the consistent trajectory of the SIT-460. Even when I teed it lower or higher or when I tried to work the ball either way the ball flight was remarkably similar. In a retail driver market dominated by top names and advanced technology this club might easily be passed over. Golfing traditionalists and players seeking something simple but unique should give this club some attention. It’s a sleeper.
Miura’s new KM-007 putter extends the brand’s blade putter capabilities to the mid-mallet category. Similar to Scotty Cameron design beliefs for the vast majority of his products, Miura is not about face inserts with its putters.
Made of softer, mild steel, forged and CNC (computer-numeric controlled) milled, the KM-007 provides exceptional feel at impact with a shape and design that harkens a golfer to Cameron’s current Del Mar line or Odyssey’s Rossi product.
You won’t find bells and whistles here either. About the most distinctive individual aspect of this putter is the black/red Lamkin-produced Miura-inscribed putter grip. The 360-gram KM-007 comes in a nickel (satin) and chrome non-glare finish to keep a golfer’s eyes focused on the single, white top sightline.
What I like most about this club is how it comes off the face. That feel equates to great responsiveness which I found no different on a 40-foot putt or a four-foot putt. To me that’s a sign of a great putter product.
Here is another tip of the week from Golf Digest – Butch Harmon’s to to Eliminate All Chunks – see below. Mary Beth
|TIP: ELIMINATE ALL CHUNKS|
|Hitting it fat out of the rough is a product of the backswing. If you make your normal swing, keeping the club low to the ground going back, you’ll come down too shallow and catch the grass behind the ball. To avoid this, make a steeper takeaway, hinging your wrists quicker from the start (left). This sets up a sharp descent back to the ball for clean contact. Open the face slightly at address, aim left, and hold your wrists firm through impact. You’ll catch it flush and hit a little fade. —Butch Harmon, Golf Digest Teaching Professional|
Nathan Trifone, the editor for a good website/blog in the U.S. – www.OOBGolf.com, featured the Butch Harmon About Golf DVD on the website during the Frys.com Open. The link to Nathan’s coverage is in the link below. mb
Butch Harmon was featured in Golf Digest’s Tip of the Week eBlast Newsletter, highlighted is a tip from Butch on how to break a putt.
|TIP: EVERY PUTT IS STRAIGHT|
|Here’s what amateurs do wrong on breaking putts: They might read the right amount of break, but when they get over the ball, they look at the hole. When you do that, your aim shifts that way. Instead, think of every putt as straight to the high point of the line, or the apex. That’s my focus point. If I get it there, the slope will do the rest. One more thing: The center of the hole shifts based on break (left). Imagine the hole as a clockface: The center is 6 o’clock on a straight putt, and adjust accordingly for break. —Butch Harmon, Golf Digest Teaching Professional|
Tech-driven, fashion-forward apparel with an environmental appeal
One of the emerging trends in the golf industry is that of environmental awareness and sustainability. While the most visible signs of this can be seen on the actual golf course itself, the same principles and philosophies are extending out into other areas of the industry such as golf apparel.
Montreal-based A|U|R, which is owned by The Fletcher Leisure Group of Canada, is among the leaders in very tech-driven, reasonably priced and fashion-forward apparel that also appeals to the environmentally conscious.
A|U|R, which stands for “All that you Are”, offers three distinct categories for both men and women – Active, Authentic and Aware.
A|U|R Active is a performance golf collection with emphasis on the golfers ease of movement. This category includes the A|U|R double-knit Dri-Max polyester polo that features stretch, spandex, a soft supple hand feel and a lightweight drape that makes it ideal for swinging a golf club. Golfers will appreciate the long lasting synthetic fibers, which create a strong, crease resistant fabric that is quick drying and maintains its shape season after season.
A|U|R Authentic is a collection of more traditional golf-inspired clothing featuring an assortment of sweaters, vests, pants and shorts in classic colors of black, navy, taupe and charcoal. Classic inspired v-neck argyle vests and full-zip cardigans in black or indigo are standouts in this collection. These argyle classics have a front panel design with ribbed finished collars, cuffs and waistbands.
A|U|R Aware is the company’s attempt to give back to the planet with a unique list of specifically designed fabrics including CarboCool, S.Cafe and Ecosmart. This line not only looks great on the golfer but is great for the world’s golf environment.
EcoSmart is a fabric made from Recycled Polyester Yarn which comes from plastic post-consumer based products, such as plastic water bottles. The Ecosmart story encompasses two different fabrics including 100-percent Recycled Polyester and Combed Cotton/Recycled Polyester. The Combed Cotton / Recycled Polyester provides the durability and performance of polyester with the added comfort and breathability of cotton. It is environmentally friendly by reducing fossil fuel consumption and green house gases when compared to regular polyester production.
CarboCool fabric contains a blend of Polyester and Bamboo Charcoal. The carbonized bamboo can be seen as a grey tint inside the garment which has a buttery, silky feel to the touch. The benefits of this fabric include Moisture Wicking and Fast Drying for comfort, as well as Anti-Odor and Added UV Protection for peace of mind. Carbonized Bamboo is environmentally responsible because bamboo is one of the world’s most sustainable resources. It offers the same benefits that a chemical finish would without the unnecessary harm to the environment.
S.Cafe uses a patented process that transforms the coffee grounds into yarn, which is then used to produce polos. Most coffee grounds end up in landfills, which contributes to our overall solid waste management problem. Producing a garment with S.Cafe fabrics helps in easing these landfill concerns.
The Spring 2013 color palette for men features basic must-haves in a myriad of colors – cool grays and black mixed with additional bright blasts of color: Pool, Crimson and Slate are the highlight colors.
For women, distinctive style, fine quality and an aura of sophistication lends itself nicely to a golf collection that is current and on-the-ball. Fashion driven Sweet Praline features a stylish Geo print paired with classic plaid bottoms. Pretty in Pink features Passion Pink with subtle grey accents to provide a sporty, fun look. Purple Haze is all about bright trendy colors. Wisteria and Emerald green are base for this group with a cool diamond inspired print.
Also for Spring ’13, A|U|R welcomes Stormpack, a continually evolving outerwear collection, under it’s umbrella. Stormpack offers a complete range of waterproof, breathable, windproof, seam sealed and lightweight high performance and stylish tops and bottoms for both men and women.
For the men, the price range for polos is between $38 to $60, sweaters – $50 to $110, shorts and pants – $45 to $90. Pricing for women’s apparel is between $38 to $60 for polos, $50 to $110 for sweaters and $70 to $90 for fashion bottoms. The Stormpack collection ranges in price between $80 to $110.