Matt – Golf Sidekick

All posts by Matt

Best Low Spin Golf Balls 2021

Low spinning golf balls are touted to go further because every ball spins backward, regardless of what people say. To become airborne, the ball NEEDS to have backspin. 

Too much back spin and the ball goes less distance so inversely, reducing that backspin makes it go further. This is helpful on the drive or the tee shot on par 4 and par 5 holes to get longer off the tee.

On approach shots as well as chip and pitch shots, you'll need to weigh up the pros and cons of lower spinning golf balls for YOUR game. If you're comfortable with longer rollout on the greens and more of a chip-and-run style of chipping, you'll enjoy the best low spin golf balls. 

If you hit a low ball, you'll get extra run out as well and the ball will run a lot more on the greens. If you hit a high ball, the angle of descent alone will allow the low spinning ball to stop.

Think carefully about the decision to play low spin golf balls, and consider the game beyond just the tee shot. 

Who should play the low spin golf balls?

Surlyn: If you need more distance off the tee and shape the ball a big way left or right, the low spin golf balls may be for you. If you prefer a chip and run style of chipping instead of floating high shots, you'll like a low spinning ball. Perhaps you can roll the ball up to the greens and in that case, your approach game will like less spin - these will be the surlyn covered golf balls.

Urethane: But if you prefer to have some spin around the greens, you'll want a ball that spins more on the wedges and chip shots. These will generally be 3-5 layer golf balls with a urethane cover. The manufacturers have engineered them to the point that they have similar low spin on drivers but significantly more spin on wedges and chip shots. 

Didi, on my channel, plays to an 8.6 handicap and plays low spinning 2 piece, surlyn golf balls. That's correct, at an 8.6 handicap, he isn't playing a premium urethane high spinning ball.

His game has developed in a way that he wants more distance off the tee as he hits a fade and prefers the lower spin for more rollout and carry. On his approaches, he is often hitting 7 iron and longer into the greens so he play for the extra rollout. 

Around the greens, he plays the chip and run exclusively and that means he never needs a high spin golf ball to rip back because at his swing speed, and ball flight, he can hardly take advantage of the extra spin.

Personally, I can play 2 piece golf balls no problem tee to green. With the spin I can generate with the swing speed, the balls stick where they land. The place where I see a clear difference between the urethane multilayer balls and the 2-piece surlyns, is inside 80 yards on partial shots and around the greens, especially bunker shots and floating chips. The low spin balls don't sit as quickly. So I prefer a low-spin ball with a urethane cover off the tee, but by default, the ball will spin more on irons and wedges because of the urethane cover.

Urethane vs Surlyn covers

I will show you five surlyn covered golf balls and three urethane covered golf balls that fit into the low spin golf ball concept. 

They offer similar performance, but the urethane will be less durable. The covers scratch easily as they are softer than the surlyn. Surlyn balls can last 4 or 5 rounds while a urethane cover can be wrecked after 18 holes.

Surlyn golf balls are made of a one or two piece core covered in a layer of surlyn which is the cover. Urethane balls are made of 2-4 layers on the inside, with a urethane cover to produce some of the highest spinning golf balls. 

Best Low Spin Golf Ball 2021

                Surlyn covered

  1. Vice Drive (best for moderate to slow swings)
  2. Srixon Soft Feel (best for every mid to high handicapper)
  3. Mizuno RB566V (Microdimples for increased hang time)
  4.  Bridgestone e12 Soft (best 3-piece surlyn covered golf ball)
  5.  Wilson Duo Spin Soft (best for recreational golfer who loses balls)

    Urethane covered
  6. Srixon Q Star Tour (One of my favorite golf balls)
  7.  Bridgestone Tour B RX (Best for swings under 105 mph)
  8. Taylormade Tour Response (Best value urethane ball) 

Best low spin golf ball for slower swings

The Vice Drive ball is specifically targeted at low to mid swing speed golfers, with the soft Energy Speed core. It's a great option for these swing speeds which means a lot fo senior golfers can also benefit from this golf ball in the same category as the all-time favorite Srixon Soft Feel.

The cut-resistant Surlyn cover boosts durability, while wedge spin rates are higher in the latest Drive model for improved control from closer range.

Pros
  • Budget-friendly 
  • Cut resistant surlyn for multiple round durability
  • Excellent from tight lies, bare lies and even soggy lies
  • Strikes low in the face, still provide good results
Cons
  • Firm feel around the greens 

My go-to low spin golf ball for everyone

Srixon Soft Feel has been on the market for so many years, it's one of the stalwarts of mid handicap golf. This ball is featured in a lot of places on my website and there is a reason for that. I played this ball all the way down to a single figure handicap and I recommend it to anyone who wants a cheap, good golf ball and is always the first ball I suggest when a mid handicapper wants to break into buying new golf balls.

Tons of colors available and will always be the go-to ball I suggest to most golfers. I would rate this and the Inesis Soft 500 on equal playing field.

Pros
  • Mid range mid priced golf ball for everyone
  • Excellent runout on drives
  • Very durable golf ball 
Cons
  • Can feel a bit firm on the putter

3-piece surlyn ball with micro dimples for hang time

The Mizuno RB 566V is a 3 piece golf ball, wrapped in ionomer. A unique 566 dimple pattern which has micro-dimples means there is less drag on the ball for the correct level of spin for your needs. 

With the dimple pattern and micro-dimples, the balls launch and descend at a higher angle and makes them more stoppable on the greens. Around the greens, the balls perform well without feeling like they're made of marshmallow or soap. They have a firmer feel but work surprisingly well on the greens with very predictable results which is what you need. 

Pros
  • Long hang time
  • Ideal for mid to low swing speeds in warm conditions
  • Extremely durable cover
  • Extra crust layer improves ball speed over normal 2 piece balls
Cons
  • The cover feels very hard to the touch

Value for money golf ball for straight shots

Bridgestone make another 3-piece surlyn golf ball to feature on this list. The e12 Soft is said to reduce sidespin properties which means less dispersion left and right. In the 3 piece surlyn balls, the softer core is not making contact with the cover and in between the core and the cover is now a mantle which is a firmer layer to produce better energy transfer instead of letting the impact all be absorbed by the soft core. This is a recipe for slow golf balls. Not with the e12 soft.

Bridgestone use an Active Acceleration Mantle as an important part of the 3-piece construction. This mantle is made up of a composite material that transfers the power of the shot into the ball and creates a higher initial speed at impact.

Because Bridgestone doesn't rely on the core for the speed, they were able to soften the core to allow for softer response around the greens than most distance golf balls. Remember to separate the spin performance of urethane balls and surlyn balls. This Bridgestone e12 Soft may be a soft and long golf ball with a nice touch, it won't spin as much as a urethane ball.

This ball is for the player who understands their swing and game is not suited to a urethane golf ball.

Pros
  • Soft and springy cover and initial feel
  • Multiple layers with firm mantle to allow for soft core
  • Low spin rates and high ball speeds off the face for maximum distance

Ultra low compression of 40 great budget ball

Wilson DUO ranges of golf balls are extremely popular and before JMac on my channel was a single figure handicap, he only played Wilson DUO's. He's now onto TP5 and Inesis Tour 900 but these Wilsons were his starting point of new golf balls. And the loved them.

The DUO Soft Spin is a low compression ball that spins nicely on approaches and has a nice soapy soft feel on the wedges and putter. It feels like a Tour ball off the face but of course, the spin is much less than that. For the price, there is not much better out there. 

A weird sensation is the matte colored golf balls. They are the same as the normal balls but for some reason - maybe placebo - they FEEL like they spin more on chips and approaches, as if the cover grips onto the clubface more. 

Pros
  • Cheap and easy - no crying if you lose them
  • Soft feeling on the club face and putter
  • Matte colors and normal colors - matte color feels like it grips on the grooves
Cons
  • Covers can scratch easily

Urethane goodness at a surlyn price

This is one of my favorite balls despite being much maligned lately by My Golf Spy for the issues with the core. In any one of my videos, I may be playing this ball as it's always in my bag. 

A soft inner core slowly gets firmer as we move toward the outer edge. The new urethane covering is called Spin Skin and is supposed to grab onto the grooves of your club like velcro and I agree, i get great spin with this ball. Even at a 4 handicap, I can't tell the difference between these and more expensive premium balls.

The new side stamp is excellent with a solid black line with white font inside so you can align your golf ball to your putting line much easier. The ball has a medium 72 compression.

Pros
  • Distance off the tee as long as any other
  • Stops very quickly with the grippy urethane cover
  • Softer center, firmer outer layer
  • Superbly priced for the quality of golf ball
Cons
  • My Golf Spy report the core is not evenly produced 

Top value quality urethane ball 

While faster soft balls are very popular now, In some cases, the lower spin properties of soft balls can compensate for the loss of speed. The flip side is, the lower spin balls do supply much lower spin, which is what we want to often avoid with the iron game.

High speed, high spin players won't worry about lower spinning soft balls because the increase in distance will offset the reduction in spin because they already hit it high and full of spin. 

The urethane covered Tour Response also has the firmer mantle like the surlyn balls above. The low compression core covered in a much firmer mantle, means the soft, slow ball, turns into a quick, long ball that sits down thanks to the cover.  

That's basically how the Taylormade Tour Response works. On a budget too.

Conclusion

Pick carefully.

Hit it high, full of spin but want longer tee shots and confident your ball will sit down regardless of the ball? Use the surlyn.

Hit it low, slow speed on the irons? Think about the urethane covered low spin golf balls.

Your chips not stopping? Your pitches rolling through the green? Urethane can help.

Low ball hitter with lots of spin? Ball not rolling out on tee shots? Prefer to hit bump and run shots? Surlyn low spin golf balls are fine for you!

Best Budget Golf Driver – Affordable Distance

There is a budget category for golf clubs that include the best budget golf driver, but I have a better idea for you.

My idea is that you take a look at the cheaper end, yes. But also the higher end, perhaps a second hand model of a driver that is 4-5 years old. The drivers made in the last 4 or 5 years have no changed much and you can pick up a steal on either a new or used one.

Of course, if you want to spend as little as possible, I have a couple of options in this guide, but if I can give you one piece of advice it's to spend as much as you can afford on your equipment. It does make a massive difference to play premium materials instead of the composites that the budget manufacturers make. 

How do I know that? I grew up with not much money to spend on golf clubs and so I always played equipment that was WAY inferior to everyone else. My driver was for the longest time some kind of titanium alloy, Taylormade Burner knockoff. It did not perform as well as stuff made just 3 or 4 years prior.

Best Budget Golf Drivers

  1. Cleveland Launcher HB Driver (most forgiving driver for slow swings)
  2. Macgregor Mac Tec Driver  (best budget golf driver new)
  3. Srixon Z 585 Driver (Best of the last 5 years)
  4. Callaway Epic Flash Driver (best driver from Callaway from 2019)
  5. Taylormade M2 Driver (one of the best by Taylormade)

Forgiving and easy to hit for slower swings

The Cleveland HB Launcher has a very tall dominating face and setting up to the ball, it looks like a traditional Cleveland. Classic shape and tall face with a massive sweet spot, especially forgiving on toe hits. Used or new, it's a bargain and one of unsung heroes of amateur golf when ti comes to accessibility to good equipment at decent prices. 

The club is light and by light, I mean REALLY light. That might not appeal to everyone but it can definitely help pick up an extra couple mph in your swing. If you're hovering around 85 mph, this little beauty can bring you up to 90 mph and give you a few yards more off the tee.

On the crown, the detailing is similar to PING with cool shapes that make the driver look streamlined and powerful over the ball. 

Pros
  • Forgiving all over the face
  • Lightweight to help increase speed for slower swingers
  • Tall face with large sweet spot
  • Excellent sound
Cons
  • Loft settings are not adjustable

Adjustable at a budget

Budget beater brand new

The 460CC head can be adjusted to lofts of 9, 10.5 and 12 degrees. Whether you swing it fast, slow or medium, you can adjust it to create more height and carry.

MacGregors MACTEC driver has an ultra-thin face to generate much faster ball speeds for which in turn produces longer carries for more distance.  They've expanded the sweet-spot for greater forgiveness but don't think that just because it's a budget golf driver, that it's no good.

MacGregor have been around for years, only being overtaken in the modern era similar to Nokia being overtaken by Apple and Samsung. They still make great phones, but people just focused their attention onto the shinier objects. Macgregor is what Jack Nicklaus used to play!

Pros
  • Adjustable at a budget price
  • Looks much more high end
  • Lightweight, thin face driver for more distance
  • Very low price
Cons
  • Name brand recognition is very low for the ego golfer

One of the best drivers of the last 5 years

The best part of these drivers is how SIMPLE they look at address. There is almost nothing on the crown except a little mark to show the center of the face.

The stock shaft is a Project X HZRDS which is a high quality shaft indeed. The shaft really is the powerhouse of the club and these come fit with a very strong engine.

What I've noticed the most about this club is how on toe hits, the ball actually goes AS FAR AS solid strikes which is perfect for someone like me who hits it toward the toe more often. 

The face has no fancy graphics on it. The crown is super simple and the sweet spot sends feedback up your arms, knowing you've hit it in the pantie.

Simple looking simple shooting

Looking down at this club is not distracting at all and the top of the crown makes it easy to line the ball up to the sweet spot and with minimal decal and lines on the face, it looks classic and not full of gimmicks. A real simple point and shoot. 

Pros
  • The beauty is in the simplicity of design and superb performance
  • Extremely large sweet spot where toe hits go almost as far as middle hits
  • Z785 has some adjustability for loft while the Z585 is super simple no adjusting
  • The crown has very little detail on it, it is very classic looking
Cons
  • Z585 model has no adjustability at all

Couple years old means you get great value on the best

The Epic Flash driver is one of the best Callaway have produced. The Jail Break technology in the crown and head makes it difficult to beat in terms of distance and sweet spot extension.

Callaway put a technology called Flash Face into the driver to help you get more ball speed off the face to gain more distance. In other words, they made a bigger sweet spot on the driver and in the center of the sweet spot, it's even bouncier.

The computers Callaway used cycled through different 15,000 face iterations, learning from each iteration to finally settle on the best option being the technology they call Flash Face.

Jailbreak bars inside the head near the face stiffen and stabilize the crown plus the sole, so when you hit the ball it places the impact load in the right places for more consistent and long ball flight.

Pros
  • Three shaft options HZRDUS, Tensei, Evenflow
  • Ball feels like it explodes off the face at impact 
  • Low spin rates and high ball speeds off the face for maximum distance
  • Jail break technology at budget price
  • Moveable weight and adjustable loft sleeve
Cons
  • Graphics are a turn off on the face
  • Sound is the same over good and bad strikes

Pros
  • White top line on the crown for easy alignment
  • Long Taylormade face for more forgiveness on mis hits
  • Penetrating ball flight
  • There is hardly any difference in distance between this and newer models
Cons
  • White top line on the crown may turn you off
  • Sound is very dense instead of ping-y
  • Not adjustable

Why I don't suggest super budget driver

I do not recommend really cheap drivers because they stunt your enjoyment of the game whether you're a new player or been playing a while. If you're not playing something in the last 4,5 or 6 years, you're missing out on a lot of fun and a lot of enjoyment of the game.

How I know this, is that my sister took up golf only after she realized that she could finally afford decent equipment. When she was young, she couldn't have nice clubs and so she never got into golf because it was so difficult to play the cheaper, less effective clubs we could afford.

It changes your whole outlook on the game when you have a decent driver not just a junky one that is cheap. 

Conclusion

You can go for the ultra budget stuff, or you can settle for a new or even USED item from recent years. I would suggest a second hand driver to extract max value on the best budget golf drivers out there.

Best Golf Bags for Travel – Cart and Stand Bags (Not Travel Covers)

You want a golf bag to travel with, but every website you find shows you travel bags that go AROUND your golf bag. In THIS article, I'll show you the best golf bags for travel - not the best travel cases for your golf bag.

For travel cases to keep your golf bag safe, you can click here on this guide.

I travel a lot between countries in South East Asia as well as between Asia and South Africa. I've never had a single breakage and 9 out of 10 flights is on a low cost airline. You can use a travel case to put around your clubs, but you can also just use a strong golf bag and learn to pack it effectively for travel.

best golf bags for travel

What makes a golf bag good for travel?

STRONG BASE AND TOP: The best golf bags for traveling with have a strong top and base of the bag. This is essential so the base is not bent or misshapen from the pressure of other bags being placed on top of it.

When heavy objects are placed on a weak base, the golf bag won't stand and will keep falling over once you retrieve it at baggage reclaim. This is the one thing I have experienced while traveling. No club breakages, but the base of the bag can be warped easily. 

LIGHTWEIGHT: We want a bag that will weigh as little as possible, taking into account our other criteria. A set of clubs, I usually calculate at about 10-15 lbs (5-7kg). Depending on your airline, you may need to specially select SPORTING GOODS when purchasing the ticket as part of your luggage allowance. Other airlines include it as part of your overall luggage. So as light as possible is the best bet without sacrificing strength.

FLEXIBLE SIDES: The sides of the bag need to be strong but not brittle. They should be able to adapt in shape and size without setting permanently like that. If a bag is compressed in the middle while traveling, it will create a lopsided bag where the top and bottom of the bag are no longer aligned.

STAND BAG LEGS THAT FASTEN SECURELY WHEN FOLDED IN: Having a stray stand bag leg loose means it will get caught on any number of things as your stuff is thrown around by the beloved baggage handlers. There's nothing quite as fun as arriving at your destination with a stand bag that can't stand anymore because a leg is bent.

I've had these things happen and I've found in my travels, the best golf bags for travel are the cart bags that have twisty, bendy sides, with thick and heavy bases and also, high quality stand bags where the legs fold away easily without poking out.

Are you going to walk or drive a golf cart when you arrive?

If you're a walker, and you carry the bag, I've included some strong stand bags for you as well as some budget options for traveling with only.

If you use a cart when you arrive, and you won't be pushing or carrying your golf bag, I've included some great cart bags that are strong and sturdy that you can use every day and not have to pack anything special for your travels. 

Best Golf Bags for Travel - Push Cart and Carry Golf Bags

  1. Sun Mountain C130 Cart Bag (Best golf buggy golf bag overall)
  2. Datrek Golf Transit Bag (Retractable handle and built in wheels!)
  3. Category Fore Cart Bag (Strong waterproof with loads of storage)
  4. Izzo Ultra Lite Stand Bags (Super lightweight option for limited bag space)
  5. Cobra Ultralight Cart bag (My current golf bag)

Strong handles and base to protect your clubs

The Sun mountain C130 has a perfect top of the bag where you can see the handles cover 75% of the entrance to the bag. This will protect your wedges and putter for the trip by blocking impact from other bags.

On the base, the bag is strong and sturdy. It's divided by a 14 way divider to protect clubs from one another. The bag weighs 6.6 lbs and combined with clubs should come to about 18 lbs. keep in mind you want to throw your golf balls, rangefinder, shoes etc into the golf bag too if you have a decent weight limit for the clubs.

The C130 has tons of pockets and storage space for this purpose and is one of the best golf bags for travel.


A golf bag with wheels in the bottom and a retractable handle

The Datrek Transit Cart Bag is a little heavier at 7.4 lbs but it includes a handle that retracts just like your hand luggage bag. There are two large roller blade wheels in the base for easy wheeling through the airport. 

Traveling with clubs is a pain not because of the fragility, but getting it to and from the car, into the airport and through the scanners, on trolleys that they never fit on. Mission!

Datrek takes care of that mission, making it easy to wheel the bag through the airport, and on the other end, you can wheel it through the clubhouse straight to your cart. Push the handle back in and strap it to the cart - you're ready to go. 

13 pockets and 14 way divider seal the deal on this convenient golf bag for traveling.


Strong, practical, waterproof with a cooler pocket

If you're traveling, you're having a good time where ever you're landing. This bag is not only strong to protect your clubs, but loaded with storage pockets including a cooler pocket to hold a six back of brews.

The Category Fore has a 14 way top with liners all the way to the bottom of the bag. With carbon fiber legs for support, we're not losing this bag to a breakage. They have funky and fun colors and this bag is not just for traveling but can be your every day golf bag for push carts or riding on a buggy.

This bag is waterproof, making it an excellent choice for traveling and when traveling to any climate that may be rainy.


3.2 lbs for those with weight restrictions

The Izzo Ultra Lite Stand bag is only 3.2 lbs and because the top of the bag only has 4 slots to insert clubs, it makes it easier to bunch them together. In the 14 way divider golf bags, it is a lot harder to bunch clubs together because of all the hardware between the clubs.

The legs fold up well in the Izzo Ultra Lite. But take precautions and have your bag wrapped at the airport with some cellophane wrap to guarantee no stray legs are poking out or things in the pockets get stolen.

The lightweight golf bag is ideal for people who have limited luggage available. If your airline includes your sports equipment as part of your overall baggage and you take this bag with you, you're going to be happy to waste only 3lbs on the bag.


My choice for the strong base and flexible body

I currently use this golf bag for my golf and travels between countries. The base is very sturdy and reinforced with a flexible twisty body of the bag which doesn't permanently deform. 

.I've travelled between Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and Myanmar with this bag and it stands perfectly unassisted despite being based around on budget airlines. There is ample storage for everything including a large cooler pocket.

I jam this bag and have no problem recommending it whole heartedly. It works fantastically on golf carts as well as push carts. of course, with a single strap, this bag is not designed to be carried for very long but will protect your clubs and be a solid performer.


Options to cover your bag for traveling

If I have a short haul flight of 45 minutes or so, I'll take the heads off my fairway and driver woods. I'll turn the shafts upside down and put them butt-end up into the bag.

I'll put the driver and fairway wood head into my carry on and then screw the shaft back into the head when I arrive. 

Back to the bag. Your fairway wood and driver shafts are now sticking out the top of your bag, grip end up. You then take your irons and putter and bunch them together around the grip of the wood shafts. Wrap a few shirts and towels around this collection and tape it up with some box or masking tape. 

Once you pad your clubs enough, just be sure to leave enough space to put the rain hood one. You can put the rain hood on top and before zipping up the whole mess, you can stuff a few shirts or more clothing items to give it a nice, firm padded feel where the clubs won't move around. 

I have had zero breakages remember, and I do this often.

The preferred option

Check out my guide here on the travel cases/travel bags.

But if you are in a rush, here's an option and my current selection. The best part of this solution is that, once you get to the other side, or even when you store it in your house, the bag part folds back into the hard top section. I advice getting a long stick they sell, to keep the top of the bag from being pushed down into your clubs.

Conclusion

Whichever bag you choose, be sure to protect your clubs first and foremost because the airlines don't care. If you don't have your own private insurance on your golf clubs, and any of your stuff breaks, the airline will pay you peanuts.

They'll work out the weight and pay you per weight of the item and your $500 driver will be worth $40 to them. Protect the top of the club the most and combining my method above, with a hard case golf bag travel cover, you're not going to have any breakages!

Garmin S40 vs S60 Approach GPS Golf Watch

The Garmin S40 vs S60 debate is a common one when looking for a golf GPS watch. We want accurate info and we don't need extra features that we won't use. 

It's a toss-up between features and price. Are the features worth the extra cash? Is the extra cash such a worry long term? What's the reason i'm buying this thing? Is my wife going to still talk to me when it arrives in the mail?

I know, I had the same thoughts before I settled on the Garmin S40 when comparing the two and below, I'll do a comparison review between the Garmin Approach S40 and S60.

garmin s40 approach golf watch gps review

GARMIN APPROACH S40 FEATURES

The flagship watch for Garmin has been the S40 for a long time.

The Approach S40 has a 1.2” diameter color TOUCHSCREEN display. It's full color and provides distances to the back, middle and front of the greens on the default screen when you're out on the course. 

When you first get the watch, you have to set some basic information about the distances you hit so the watch will know what to suggest when tracking your swings. Yep! The watch tracks when you hit the ball via the feedback of the jarring nature of hitting a ball.

By preprogramming your distances, after your shot, the watch will ask which club you hit, trying to match the closest one to your distance you had to the green. This is amazing tech and it's always within 1 club up or down from what i actually hit. 

In play, so easy to use

When you play, it will automatically select the course you're closest to via the satellite system, with some other courses listed nearby. You select your course and get going.

You get the option of keeping score and this also tracks fairways, which side of the fairway you missed, if you hit the green, number of putts and penalties. 

The watch does not show you the overall layout of the hole, but only the green shape. You can click and drag the pin to wherever it is on the green, using the touch screen on the watch. It provides carry over bunkers, and the distance to the 100, 150, 200 yard layups which is incredibly valuable info.

The watch will last 3 rounds on a full charge as it's never below 75% after one round of use. I have never used it without charging, as I charge it after every round.

The entire watch including the silicone band doesn't weight much and it isn’t very bulky so it won't interfere with your swing. I hate wearing jewellery and it does not bother me one bit while swinging. 

You can look back at your performance and stats after the round via the phone app. The watch automatically records your swings, you input the details on the course, and when keeping score, the phone holds the info until you transfer it to the phone using the VERY easy to use app. 



THE GARMIN APPROACH S60 FEATURES

The Garmin Approach S60 is the same size as the S40. 

But the biggest difference is that the course maps on the S60 Garmin have aerial shots of the holes you're playing. On the S40, you only have a very flat drawing with some arrows to push to get to different readings to those hazards.

The full color aerial view of the holes means you can see the shape of the hole, and you can use the same click and drag with your finger, to move your target point on the map. This allows you to know distances to literally anywhere you want on the given map. You can only do this on the green in the S40 version.

The S60 watch also compensates for slope when considering the distances to your selected areas. There are more features geared toward other sports in the S60 which i didn't really care much about, but maybe you do participate in these and they may be helpful for you.

The reason I did not get the the S60 may help you decide:

I use a rangefinder already. I prefer a rangefinder for truly accurate distances. I wanted a watch that would keep track of my club distances automatically and store my scores and stats. I use the front middle and back of the green distances to know how much green I have to work with on approaches. I don't need aerial views of the holes and even the touch and drag nature of the green view isn't important to me. i play off a low handicap and also do not use fitness watches.

If I did not have a rangefinder, and wanted a truly full-function golf watch, I would buy the S60. I would use the aerial view of the holes, and pinpoint distances to things on the course. I knew I wouldn't need these features and I don't like needing to charge things all the time because I forget. The S60 lasts a lot shorter with the battery life in golf mode and I don't want to feel pressured if I forgot to charge it once. I needed low maintenance vibes. If I were a fitness guru, I would also take the S60.


GARMIN S40 vs S60 REVIEW COMPARISON

FEATURE

GARMIN S40

GARMIN S60

VERDICT

Touchscreen

Same size touchscreen

Green View

Same in both

Hole View

S60 kicks ass with this feature

Drag and Drop: on the green

You can move the pin on the green in both models

Drag and Drop: on the hole

S60 lets you choose any target on the hole by dragging on screen

Battery Life

3 rounds

1.5 rounds

Both last 10 days in smartwatch mode

Auto Detect Shots

Both watches feel when you've hit a shot

'Plays Like' Distance

Both watches feel when you've hit a shot

Stat Tracking in App

Great for keeping track of your stats

Courses

40,000+

40,000+

No subscription fee

Extra Features

Not much

A lot

These don't interest me unfortunately. I use this for golf only.

Who is it for??

Golfer with low maintenance needs and wants to track stats and distances of clubs easily. Probably uses a rangefinder already or is a mid handicapper.

Golfer who plays other sports and is into fitness. Prefers to use a GPS device and doesn't own a rangefinder. Will rely heavily on the watch for distances. Probably mid to low handicapper.

.

Buy

.



MY RECOMMENDATION DEPENDS

The S40 and the S60 are both fantastic - they're just for different people. It depends on what you want it for.

The Garmin Approach S40 recommended for you if

If you're like me and want to keep track of your club distances, and know a few things like distances to 100, 150 and 200 yard layups but at the same time you use a rangefinder, then the S40 is a way better purchase. You can use the basic front, middle and back of the green measurements to get around, especially if you're a double digit handicapper. 

The S40 is low maintenance because you only have to charge it every 2-3 rounds and it doesn't have all sorts of other fancy fitness and sports features that you'll never use. Bloat. It was not about the money as I could have afforded either. It was about simplifying my life while adding complications.

The Garmin Approach S60 recommended for you if

I'd recommend the Garmin Approach S60 to the player who wants to exclusively use the GPS watch for their distances. I mean, no rangefinder. If you have a rangefinder, the S60 will just be a higher maintenance stats-tracker.

But if you don't use a rangefinder and want quick reference to the front, middle and back of the green, as well as being able to work out exactly how far it is to specific locations on the course, the S60 is perfect for you. Spend the extra cash that you wouldn't spend on the rangefinder if you are looking for a distance finder. You'll have to keep it fully charged after every round.

Also, if you're a fitness nut as well as a golfer, you'll prefer the S60.

Important Questions

Is the S60 worth the 20-25% higher price?
If you want aerial views of the holes and drag and drop targeting on any area of the course, yes. If you want to track fitness markers and are into that, then yes.

But if you want to use it purely for middle, back and front of green measurements, and track your club distances, and scores, then no, the S40 is a lower maintenance, less charging, easier device. If you own a rangefinder already, and use it a lot, the S40 will not add anything to your life except stats tracking.

Is it uncomfortable to wear and swing?
I do not wear jewellery and I have no problem and don't notice it after the first ever hole of wearing it.

How long does the battery last? 
The Garmin S60 will last 30 holes and in smartwatch mode, it will last 10 days. The S40 lasts 54 holes and 10 days in smartwatch mode.

What if you sweat? Won't it destroy the charging port?
That is exactly what I wondered about, and so far after a good 20-30 usages, there is no effect on the charging, despite sweating profusely int eh tropical heat.

How long to charge the battery?
I have never measured, but I just leave it on overnight. Easy life.

Electric Golf Push Cart that Follows You – Caddytrek R2 Review

Electric push carts are the best. You're not pushing it up steep hills, but you're still walking the course instead of riding a buggy. It's the best of both worlds.

Even better is the Caddytrek R2 - the electric golf push cart that follows you - which has it all. It's fun, it's hi-tech and it's a head turner. What a conversation piece.

The Caddytrek R2 electric push cart has a couple of amazing features:

Follow Mode - The cart follows you AUTOMATICALLY
Marching Mode - The cart can drive in front of you as you walk, without it getting further from you than you prefer.

Robot Technology allows smooth starts, stops and turning without struggling like the older electric push carts used to. Turning and controlling the older generation electric push carts meant I saw a few people lose their expensive carts into water hazards, along with their clubs!

The Caddytrek has 4 wheels with the front wheels able to swivel. Older models of electric push carts used to have a single front wheel for hilarious results.

Caddytrek R2 Review

You walk hands-free with the CaddyTrek without ever needing to push the bag around. People may think this is for older men, but I have played so much golf with very low handicappers who use this electric push cart to maintain high levels of freshness and less fatigue. These are young guys under 40, playing interclub matchplay competitions.

Using golf buggies removes the option of walking the course and getting some more exercise. With the Caddytrek R2, you can walk, without the burden of carrying or pushing or even pulling the clubs which can be a turn-off, leading people to use golf buggies. 

Combining ultrasound and RF signals, the CaddyTrek calculates by itself, the speed, the distance and even the angle to the player. You simply walk the course and the cart adjusts itself to you. Unreal!

You place the remote on whichever side of your body you would prefer to keep the cart. The CaddyTrek R2 picks up the signal and adapts itself to your location, staying away enough from you while it follows you, without going crazy or going rogue and finishing in a water hazard.

The wheels are very rugged and in wet or muddy conditions, the cart still works like a beast. The cart can fit bags of all sizes due to the adjustable bag straps so whatever you like. I suggest the Sun Mountain C130.

Weight

The Caddytrek R2 is quite heavy as you'd expect weighing in at 39 lbs with the battery in. The battery is 6 lbs, so the cart itself is 33 lbs. 

Size

It folds up pretty small and is easy to carry to the car where it's easily storable. Just remember it's 33 lbs without the battery.

caddytrek r2 folded

Important Questions

Can you travel with the Caddytrek R2?
It's easy to transport in a vehicle and can be checked in on an airplane but the Lithium batteries cannot be checked in on commercial airlines.

How far from me does the Caddytrek R2 stay when following?
Usually around 6 yards and can be controlled with a remote control in case of tricky terrain.

How long does the battery last? 
It can last between 27 and 36 holes but some courses will be flatter or hillier so it's best to charge the cart after every round to ensure it lasts.

What if it rains?
The important parts are all contained within casing but of course, prolonged rain or moisture will eventually damage any electric components. A round in the rain followed by a period to dry will suffice.

Do I need an extra battery?
Like with a camera, you can never have enough battery power and having a spare on hand in case you're out for 36 holes on a hilly course will always do you good. You can purchase the batteries from the CaddyTrek site.

Will the cart dodge obstacles by itself?
You'll have to make sure your cart does not drive into nearby motor vehicles, rocks, trees and water hazards.

How long to charge the battery?
5 hours. And the battery lasts 500 charges.

Pros
  • Go hands free, stress-free trusting your clubs will be nearby without the recurring cost of buggies or caddies
  • Dual 250 watt motors are surprisingly quiet
  • Control it with a remote or using automatic settings
  • Folds down to a lightweight and small package easily transported
  • Lasts around 27 holes on one charge
  • Good value: equivalent to using a buggie 30-50 times
Cons
  • Lasts only 1 and a half rounds
  • Putting the remote on your back or front is tricky
  • Very steep slopes can be a tough ask for the cart

The Electric Golf Push Cart that follows you - Caddytrek R2 Review

Absolute must-have if you're tired of carrying or pushing your clubs around.

Best Driving Iron for High Handicappers

Driving irons have historically not been easy clubs to hit but manufacturers are discovering ways all the time to increase forgiveness and make the driving iron accessible to everyone.

Before pursuing one of the best driving irons for high handicappers, perhaps take a quick look at the guide for hybrids. They are supposed to be easier to hit, but if, like me, you'd prefer a driving iron, I've listed the best, most forgiving utility irons below.

The case for the driving iron

I don't like hybrids personally, as they like to go left and and lefter. I've tried countless hybrids and just always come back to my Srixon ZU85 2 iron. 

Some people find the extra junk in the trunk distracting plus the increased offset at address makes the club look closed.

I've found a lot of utility (driving) irons are standard fit with steel shafts and that's a big plus so it can match the behavior of your set of irons. Of course, the driving iron can also have a graphite shaft standard fit, but hybrids all come with graphite shafts.

Should I get a driving iron?

Have you ever hit one?

I mean that without malice. I've seen high handicappers like Brian (BDog) on my Youtube channel try a driving iron and all he felt was pain and ringing in his hands. He LOVES a hybrid though. 

Other times I've seen my high handicapper partners hitting driving irons and telling me that feel that they can't get a hybrid in the air and the driving iron gives them way more roll out.

It comes down to swing speed and amount of tension in your body. If you have good swing speed, you can go lower lofted. If your swing speed is not fast enough, the driving iron may hurt you more than a hybrid would. Tension in the arms, shoulders or hands will also kill the speed and relaxation needed to hit a driving iron. If you have these two things sorted, you're going to be okay.

It's all personal choice and if you have the speed; or just prefer the look of an iron behind the ball, you have to go with your gut. The aesthetics are 75% of the battle. If you don't like the LOOK of the club, you're not going to hit it well.

How do I select the correct loft for my driving iron?

Honestly, at high handicap and slower swing speeds, you should be looking at higher lofts - 20 degrees and higher. As your speed increases, you can look below 20 degrees. 

The current driving irons are higher lofted than the ancient ones which could go down to 15 degrees. Modern ones seem to start around 18 degrees and they're tough to get airborne. They're A LOT easier than the antiquities you can find at junk shops, but still, we want to have a club that is not hard to hit. It needs to be a joy-bringer.

Keep in mind also, that a graphite shaft will be lighter than a steel shaft and can assist in increasing some club head speed.

Below are some of the top driving irons to help you with accuracy off the tee and get you in play to start lowering that score to the low 90s, upper 80s. These are the easiest to hit and will provide maximum benefit to high handicappers looking for a reliable tee ball.

Best Driving Irons for High Handicappers

  1. Cobra King Utility Iron  (Forgiveness for high handicappers)
  2. Cleveland Golf Launcher UHX Utility  (Best value for money utility iron)
  3. Taylormade GAPR MID (Best for slower swingers)
  4. TaylorMade SIM Max DHY (Best if you struggle to launch it high)
  5. Callaway Mavrik Single 4 or 5 Iron (Top secret option no one tells you)

Adjustable and forgiving driving iron

The Cobra King Utility comes in either a graphite or steel shaft and with the graphite, you'll be able to get a lighter experience but if you're a fast swinger, the steel can match your irons.

You want to pay more attention to the 19.5 and 22.5 degree lofts. These driving irons are adjustable and can be set to a "draw" setting to promote more of a right to left ball flight. The 22.5 degree club for example can be adjusted to 21 all the way up to 24 degrees for more forgiveness.

The ball speed is very consistent off the club face between thins and mis hits and center strikes. Cobra are becoming well-know for the forgiveness of their irons for the weekend player and the Utility iron is similar in that regard.

From the top, the iron has a thick top line and the overall look is very similar to a normal iron in your set. From a distance the club LOOKS like a blade but it is not. it's a hollow-backed design and that resembles more of a hybrid action without the extra baggage in the back of the club.

Despite being hollow, it sounds crispy and tasty off the club face and when you pure one, everyone in the vicinity knows it. 

Pros
  • Delicious sound on good contact
  • Off center hits still fly reasonable distance but more importantly, less off line
  • Adjustable in a range of 3-4 degrees of loft and has a draw setting
  • Strikes low in the face, still provide good results
Cons
  • Loft settings will be more appropriate in lower lofted models for low handicappers

Best value for money driving iron for high handicapper

The UHX from Cleveland features a hollow-body construction, same as the Cobra above, delivering more distance with additional forgiveness when comparing to normal irons.

Cleveland's Launcher UHX comes with a graphite shaft and with lofts of 20 degrees for the 4 iron and 23 degrees for the 5 iron, the club is going to help you get it airborne and flying long.

The steel face insert in the variable thickness face delivers stronger ball speeds for distance, reducing the impact of mis-hits off the toe and heel.

Interacting with the turf is much smoother with the v-shaped sole. This is a feature on the Srixon irons. Srixon is part of the same company as Cleveland and XXIO. Quality and value for money combined with forgiveness make Cleveland an EASY recommendation for your game.

Pros
  • Hollow back design for more forgiveness throughout the face
  • V shaped sole allows for smooth turf interaction without digging
  • Value for money at this price is top

The most hybrid looking driving iron

They might almost appear to be hybrids, but when you cozy the club to the ball, it looks so different. The Taylormade GAPR MID is a chunky driving iron.

The GAPR MID is more prone to a right to left ball flight. Looks-wise, it looks like an iron on the face and the slight offset helps to stop the left to right movement. The sound of the club lets it down with a heavy, thick sound. It can be quite a common complaint with the foam-filled clubs being produced lately.

The GAPR HI is much more of a hybrid club so was not included in this purely driving iron list. It will be easier to hit but at the same time, regardless of which model, the best lofts for this driving iron are 21 and 24 degrees.

Remember we want to have a club that is easy to launch and forgiving on mis hits. The GAPR is a solid club.

Pros
  • Thick top line covers the ball at address
  • MID and HI models are easier to hit higher and longer
  • Easier to use from the fairway and rough than other brands
Cons
  • HI looks like a hybrid and MID looks like an iron wood

DHY model is best for high handicappers

In the Taylormade SIM Max DHY, you have a very forgiving DHY (Driving HYbrid). The bottom of the club very thick and full of meat which helps with confidence - as opposed to the razor like thinness of a 1 or 2 iron of old.

The trajectory is higher than the other Taylormade offerings in the driving iron category because of the hollow-body construction with a low and deep center of gravity. 

It's important to steer clear of the UDI model as this is for better players with more speed. Everything about the UDI model is thinner, smaller and harder to hit. The DHY SIM MAX model has been designed to be the easiest to hit by putting the weight in the sole, not behind the face.

Because of the thick sole, the DHY can be used from the rough as easily as any hybrid. It's a big plus because driving irons can often be seen as only a tee club. I can see this club being used to punch out down the fairway under trees, but from the fairway, I would be worried about chunking the ball because of the massive sole. Tee and rough is where the DHY will shine.

The DHY features a lot more offset than the UDI model which will promote less slice. Using the higher lofted options of 19, 22 or 25 degrees will ensure more forgiveness too and keep the ball flying less offline.

Pros
  • Very easy to launch high 
  • Very useful replacement if you struggle with woods
  • Big chunky appearance best for the tee ball confidence
  • Glides through longer grass on short punches or escapes
  • High quality shaft included as standard
Cons
  • HUGE head of the club

A forgiving single iron can work just as well

This is not necessarily a driving iron in the true sense of the word but the Callaway Mavriks have very strong lofts. That means that the 4 iron is 18° and the 5 iron is 21° of loft.

The key in this equation is that these irons are extremely forgiving to hit and that 18 degree or 21 degree loft are designed with special technology to help you get the ball in the air. This is a no brainer if you're looking for a single iron to hit off the tee.

You can order the clubs individually by selecting the number iron. I suggest 4 or 5 iron as the 18 degree loft on the 4 iron will be infinitely easier to get airborne than a driving iron with 18 degrees of loft.

The Mavriks are deep cavity backs with perimeter weighting to give you the most forgiveness on off-center hits. A really simple, efficient solution.

Other similar options would be Taylormade M2 single irons or Cobra single irons in the 3, 4 or 5 iron model. This is a little secret no one will tell you. Skip the driving iron utility irons and just get a lower lofted forgiving High handicapper iron!

Pros
  • Easy to hit from all lies
  • Can help eliminate a slice with its draw bias
  • Lower lofts but easier to fly higher due to current technology
  • Very forgiving on off center hits unlike a lot of specialist driving irons
Cons
  • Very few

That's right, sometimes single irons from a set work too!

There are driving irons that can help you but the secret sauce is in the fact you can just buy a single iron from a forgiving set of any Taylormade, Cobra or Callaway set and it will work maybe EVEN BETTER than a utility iron.

It's a cheap, reliable option and the clubs made in the last 3-4 years are so easy to hit in lower lofts from a tee peg. 

Conclusion

Taylormade, Cleveland and Cobra are top of forgiveness game in the utility and driving iron world. Make sure you have enough swing speed to get the lower lofted clubs airborne and then proceed with the higher lofted versions to ensure forgiveness.

There's no rule against having multiple driving irons if you prefer them!

Garmin Approach S40 GPS Golf Watch Review

garmin s40 approach golf watch gps review

I bought the Garmin Approach S40 watch during the time in 2020 when we were not allowed to leave the house. It arrived quickly and was ready to use out the box. It's a no mess no fuss item and can be used straight out the box.

Why did I buy the Garmin S40 at all?

I bought the S40 because I want to:

A) MAINLY track my distances with each club accurately over a long period of time to know my TRUE on-course distances. I also want to track my improvements in distance after taking lessons for my swing.

B) I want to keep fairway, green and putting stats. The fairway stats are more for knowing which side I miss the fairways on to rectify my alignment and direction issues. I want to hit more greens since my lessons and love to track improvement.


Why I chose the S40 over the S20?

I'm always looking to save some bucks but I looked at them side by side online and the S40 beats the S20 for me on the following 3 aspects:

The S40 has a COLOR, TOUCH screen which may not seem important but after receiving it, I am so happy I did not get a black and white screen. The S20 has a black and white screen and it's not a touch screen.

The one and only other feature which the watches do not share is that the S40's strap can be replaced easily. 

Is the difference in price worth it?

I like to look at these higher end purchases like this:

Will I miss the extra $150 I spent on a newer, more intuitive model that I will NOT regret buying? Will I miss that cash in 2 years which is the amount of time I hope the watch lasts? Well on average, that's $8 per month over the 24 months that I intend to have the watch. Will I miss $8 per month? No, that's two shitty Starbucks coffees a month!

Will I regret buying a cheaper model, when I realize I actually wanted the color touchscreen? Yes I will. And I don't like buyers remorse!

So with that flawless reasoning, I purchased the much nicer, touch screen, with color, GPS golf watch, the S40.

They have equal number of courses at around 35,000 worldwide and they connect to the Garmin app on the phone. I like the S40.

Garmin Approach S40 Full Review

Comfort

I don't wear any jewellery and I thought this would be the big stumbling block. The strap however, has many holes in it to fit any size you could imagine. I forget that it's even there and I wear it high enough above my glove so it doesn't interfere with play at all.

Ease of Use

There is a simple USB charging cable that you get in the box and it's a specific Garmin one, so don't lose it. It plugs into the back of the watch and it charges very quickly.

Using it on the course is simple.
1. You switch it on, tap the home screen which says "Play Golf"
2. The watch then finds satellites and depending where you are, this may take a while so do it at least 5-10 minutes before your tee time.
3. It will prompt you to select one of the courses on screen and then ask you if you want to keep score. I do keep score on it.


On-the-Course usage


From there, you just hit your shots, and the watch will automatically detect when you have hit a shot. It must be from some sort of sensor in the watch to know there was a strong enough jerk on the watch to imply a shot was hit. 

It prompts you to select which club you hit from that spot and then as you walk, it tracks the distance you hit the ball on the screen. That's pretty cool to know for immediate feedback on your drives.

Once you get to the ball again, you don't need to do anything funny. You just hit your shot, and the watch will have prompted you when you look at it again, to select a club again. 

At the end of the hole, it will ask you to insert your score, your number of putts, if you hit the fairway, right rough or left rough and if you have any penalties. Then it changes to the next hole. It's THAT easy. 

Important info at glance

The watch allows you to see the following which is highly valuable:

A. Distance to the front of water and bunkers. As well as the distance to CLEAR the water and bunkers.

B. The distance you need to hit the ball to reach the 200 yard, 150 yard, 100 yard and 50 yard distance markers. This is incredible info for lay ups on par 5 holes. 

You can scroll through all this info on the bottom of the screen using up and down arrows.

Back Middle Front of the greens easy life

You can, at any time find the distance to the back edge, the middle  and the front edge of the green from any position on the course.

This is the difference between a rangefinder and a GPS golf watch. You don't need line of sight with a GPS golf watch. This has been valuable on blind shots on a few occasions. 

Change the pin location on the watch

If you click the screen you can see the green view and use your finger to drag the flag around the green to get a better idea of the distance to the pin. I have used this when my caddie forgets to bring my rangefinder. It's not PERFECT but if you know the course well enough, it's useful.

Battery Life is great

I always charge it the night before the round and have never used it for more than one round in a row without a charge.

However, when I finish the round, without fail so far, the remaining battery is always 78%. So it loses 22% charge over 18 holes. I would hazard a guess that you could easily do 3 rounds without charging this watch, perhaps even 4. 


Statistics and post-round analysis

The Garmin Approach S40 syncs up to your phone if you download the Garmin Golf app. 

There is no point to this watch without this feature for me. I want it for statistics and information of my play to go over rounds and track progress.

On your phone with the Garmin Golf app

The number one priority for me on the watch is to know my distances. I want to make better decisions with the right club in my hand whenever I am facing a shot. The "Club Performance" page in the app gives me that.

Too often we are suckered into using the scorecard distance of the hole, minus the distance left to the pin to calculate our driving distance. That can leave a false impression and devastating results.

The next important thing I want to know is WHERE am I missing the ball on the tee shots? I want to find a reason, and adjust accordingly. The Greens in Regulation statistic is just to track a total number. if I am hitting more, I am getting better and closer to scratch.

Look through the rounds on the maps

This is a great feature to go through to correct the information on your round. The watch sometimes doesn't pick up a shot so you can add it in. 

When i say it doesn't pick up the shot, its usually the opening tee shot only, when you haven't located the satellites in time. You can change the club you inputted into the watch on the course here as well.

Sometimes you click the wrong club after the shot. Not to worry, you can just edit it later in the app. 

This is a great feature to go through to correct the information on your round. The watch sometimes doesn't pick up a shot so you can add it in. 

When i say it doesn't pick up the shot, its usually the opening tee shot only, when you haven't located the satellites in time. You can change the club you inputted into the watch on the course here as well.

Sometimes you click the wrong club after the shot. Not to worry, you can just edit it later in the app. 


Negatives

So far, there are only a couple of things I find annoying but are not really related to the watch per se - more about the user failure (me).

You need to get the satellites located at least 5-10 minutes before your tee time. Don't wait until you're standing on the tee waiting to tee off with your group to find the course you're playing. On two occasions, I waited too late and the watch vibrated when it found signal on my backswing on my opening tee shot.

No statistic for where you miss the greens. I would like to see a stat to show if I miss greens short, left, right or long. That would be the only really big upgrade I would make. 

Best Golf Shirts for Hot Weather

I play in Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and Myanmar. It's hot here for 49 weeks a year (90°-100° F). The other 3 weeks, it's mildly hot.

Here's what I learned VERY QUICKLY when I started playing in Thailand.

DO NOT WEAR COTTON WHEN IT IS HOT!

I nearly passed out the first time I played golf out here in my 100% cotton polo. I lay in the shower, on the floor, eating dried mango while the cold water washed over me. That's not a joke. 

In the hot, we want to wear synthetics. Not silk. Not cotton. Nope. Synthetics like nylon, polyester, and nylon/polyester with spandex woven into it. This will allow the sweat to evaporate and stop the shirt clinging to you. When cotton clings to you, it restricts movement. Synthetic shirts are simply the best golf shirts for hot weather.

But they feel cheap right?

I did not like to wear synthetics back then and I was convinced by the internet articles telling me to wear loose fitting cottons, linens and silks. WRONG!

After the 3rd or 4th round, you really appreciate the advice of people who tell you to get some dry fit golf attire. 

When the wind blows, it plays cool on your skin mixing the moving air with the wet front and back of your shirt. The fabric stretches and moves if it's clinging to you instead of holding your shoulders back and wrapping around your love handles. 

Shirts with spandex woven in are going to be the most comfortable shirts you'll ever wear. I know, because I created shirts specially for my own enjoyment in the heat!

Best Golf Shirts for Hot Weather


Waddaplaya Golf Polo

Created for the tropical heat - fun patterns

I have created these shirts to be the lightest, most comfortable shirts on the planet especially for the heat.

They are spandex and synthetic blended together to create a light shirt that stretches and keeps your cool in the hot weather. The fabric retains some moisture as you play and the wind cools you down as you perspire.

After you get off the course, the shirt is dry within minutes of being indoors and the best part about this synthetic blend is that it does not hold stink under the armpits. I have been using this fabric for 2 years now and cannot be happier. 

Waddaplaya is the only golf polo I wear and that's because I made it the best possible golf shirt for hot weather in the world. 


Three Sixty Six Golf Shirt

Great stretchy blend - tons of colors

ThNothing to complain about here. Great shirts for hot weather with 88% polyester and 12% elastene which is also a SUPERB stretchy thread woven into the shirt to make it breath and stretch to your body and keep you cool playa. 


Little Donkey Andy Polo 

Short and long sleeve available

Long sleeve is sometimes an option to if you want to keep the sun off your arms. Have a look at the bottom of the page if you want to see my solution which I use often out here in Thailand. UV sleeves.

This spandex/nylon blend will be a perfect feeling for you on the course and if you're worried about the cancers on the forearms or just don't like too much sun, the long sleeves are a great option. 


EAGEGOF Golf Shirt

Cool patterns and perfect spandex mix

Lovely blend of 85/15 with the poly and spandex. These patterns are not as loud and bright as the Waddaplaya Golf shirts mentioned above but are definitely more interesting than plain golf shirts. 



Conclusion

The best golf shirts or polos for heat and hot weather are always synthetic.

I promise you're going to be thanking me when you try the blended shirts especially the little tidbit about the spandex for stretchiness. You're going to love it and golf in the heat will mean nothing to you, big dog!


voicecaddie sc300 review golf sidekick

Voice Caddie SC300 Swing Caddie Review – How I use it

I've been using The Voice Caddie SC300 (Swing Caddie) for just under a year now (June 2020).

We're all a little skeptical about these types of products because they aren't TRACKMAN, GCQUAD or FLIGHTSCOPE! But those big setups cost $25k whereas the Voice Caddie SC300 is around $500.

voicecaddie sc300 review golf sidekick

And yes, I took they skepticism to the SC300 when I started using it. But It didn't last too long because the SC300 actually does work. The SC200 is a cheaper model which works just as well.

The variables you can measure are:
1. Swing speed
2. Launch angle
3. Ball speed
4. Total carry and total rollout.

They are displayed after every shot and the sound can be switched up on the machine to have a lady tell you out loud, how far the ball went.

BUT what do we do with the data that we can collect?

The Voice Caddie SC300 communicates and syncs with an app on your phone so you can store the info to review later. You can also use the MySwingCaddie app while you're hitting balls and it will show you an estimated ball flight and give you a 'trackman'-style display to see your numbers.

Once you have this info, it's so easy to do what I like to use it for:

1. Swing Speed


Swing Speed Part 1: I like to know my swing speed on my EASY swing (105-108mph) and my HARD swing (113-117mph) on the driver. This confirms to me that the shaft I'm playing is fine and that I CAN in fact hit the driver "softly" and trust it will work.

Swing Speed part 2: I like to see how consistent I hit my partial shots inside 120 yards. This year in 2020, I'm focusing on NEVER hitting my wedges FULL. So when I want to find out how fast I am swinging the wedge in relation to distance it goes, I can groove a consistent swing for every distance inside 100 with different clubs. Brilliant stuff!

2. Carry Distance


I don't care about BIG numbers. What I care about is accurate numbers for approach shots. I don't want to know my rollout distance with a 7 iron. I know my 7 iron will stop within a couple feet of the pitch mark so I need to know the CARRY distance so I can trust that the ball will clear bunkers, water and also, NOT reach the back of the green if there is trouble there.

What I usually do is separate my range time over a week or so and hit 2-3 clubs every session to really give myself a decent AVERAGE distance. I take the AVERAGE (the app will calculate this for you) and then I compare that to the MODE. The mode is the number that appears THE MOST OFTEN in a set of data. 

I find with the SwingCaddie SC300, the AVERAGE is VERY accurate over a big sample of 50 shots. I use that AVERAGE as the first part of my thinking. Then I take the number in the data that appears most often, and I use that as my other part of my distance range.

So let's say my data looks like this:

Number of shots: 50
7 iron average: 171 yards
Number that appears MOST often in the data: 169 yards (18 times out of 50 shots)

I conclude that my 7 iron range is 169 - 171 yards so I will use this range on the golf course to know which club to hit.

3. Hard vs Soft Shots

You can also use it to check your MAXIMUM HIT with a club and know that if you really have to step on a shot, it will go the distance you need. For instance, my 6 iron is my 181-186 club but when I really whack it, it will go 197-202.

I also have a shot where I put my feet about 8 inches apart and hit softer shots. I like to check how far those shots go. The less stable base means I have to swing softer, so I can check with my 9 iron, which normally goes 138-143. When I take a narrow stance, the SC300 tells me it's a 120 yard shot. That's great information to know to build an arsenal of shots. 

4. Speed Gains


When you're exercising for flexibility and strength, you can use the SC300 to measure if you're actually picking up speed from your efforts. I've seen how my swing speed has gone from a MAXIMUM with the driver of 109mph to 117mph in about a year and a half. 

How can this information help your game?


SWING SPEED: When you compare your HARD swing to your EASY swing, you can notice the difference between the two can be very minimal. That can really show you that you don't need to step on your shots. You can swing smooth and know that you may only lose 5 yards. Better yet, you may find you PICK UP yards when you're not swinging fast!

CARRY DISTANCE: This is the NUMBER ONE factor in golf that amateurs just do not know. This was a blinding realization for Brian (B Dog) on my channel. We went to the range with the SC300 to work out his carry distances. 

He was completely shocked when his distances were 10 yards shorter than he thought. He was using his TOTAL distance  (including rollout) for his shots on the course. 

You'll find yourself in a lot more water, missing the greens in the bunker short of the green and overshooting greens if you do not know your carry distance. You can imagine, B Dog was short of the green very often. After finding out his true carry distances, he immediately hit 5 more greens per round.

When you know that you can clear the hazards, bunkers, water, you can make MUCH better decisions in shot selection.

AVERAGE vs MAXIMUM DISTANCES: When I know how far I can go with a maximal strike, I can be confident when I really need a pressure smash-shot. These hard shots mean your iron shot will go longer distance but perform like a shorter iron.

For example, if I step on a 6 iron, I know I can carry it 202 yards for sure. The difference is that often, the height of the shot matches my 7 or 8 iron, so it comes in soft, with tons of back spin on a hard shot. A 5 iron that goes 202 will not come in as high as that and will release more. 

Okay, so is the Swing Caddie SC300 worth the time?


I've used it for close to a year and didn't want to recommend it until I was sure it's legit. It works brilliantly and I've used it up against a Track Man and the averages and numbers are within yards of each other. Is a Track Man 100% accurate? Who knows, but it's the market leader and costs $25k.

I've compared it to the actual real life shot on the golf course. There is often wind and uneven landing conditions out there, and the SC300 reading are within 5 yards either side of the shot. If it says 276 on the machine, it's usually between 270 and 280 on the range finder, shooting back to the tee.

For the price, it's brilliant.

Battery Life

This thing goes and goes and goes. I've charged it maybe 15 times in the last year. It comes with a USB cable that you can charge in any adaptor. 

Storage

It doesn't come with a bag or anything, so what I did was buy a cheap $2 scuba diving suit fabric bag with a zip to keep it in. Isn't it pretty?

Remote Control

It was a super easy, well laid out slim remote to change the settings and clubs and things. It's light and you can keep it in your pocket as you play. 

App to Sync Data

The greatest part is the app you can download and sync your practice data with. It stores it on the phone and you can go through it to see how you did with each club and see your averages. Brilliant. 

Tips and Tricks for Using the SC300

It can be tricky when you first use the machine.

It works best when you put it about 6 or 7 feet away from the ball. You never have to put it so close that you think you'll hit it. In fact, it doesn't work when it's that close. 

At the range, if you're hitting off mats, you want to have something the same height as the mats to place the model on. I often fold a towel to the height of the mat and place it behind the ball, maybe 7 or 8 feet away. 

The unit works in good and dull light. I have no idea how, but it picks the ball up during evening sessions when we can no longer see the ball with our own eyes. 


SC300 - GOLF SIDEKICK APPROVED

PGA Tour Stats Excel Download

You can click to download the Excel file below - it's not in a great layout but it's the data from the US PGA Tour 2019 for all the stats used in the video. Enjoy.

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