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Grouchy Golf Blog

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Thorlos for (Almost) Free!

When I was growing up, my sport du jour was tennis. I started playing sometime in elementary school and became good enough to play on the high school tennis team. I still play to this day, albeit much less frequently. During most of this time, I've heard about the comfort wonders of Thorlo socks from countless tennis players. However, I never tried Thorlos because of sticker shock. I had become accustomed to buying the generic bulk pack white athletic socks at Foot Locker that averaged $1 per sock. So whenever I considered Thorlos, I asked myself, "can these socks be worth 10x the cost of normal socks?" My answer was always, "No friggin' way!"

But I recently discovered that Thorlo is running a promotion for a free pair of socks. While the socks are free, there is still a $4.90 shipping and handling fee so it isn't totally free. Nonetheless, this is a really good deal for socks that are normally $13.99. I submitted the order form for the padded golf socks and around a week later I was in possession of the socks that I had waited almost 30 years to try. I was eager to try them out and wore them for my next golf outing several days later. After 9-holes of walking, I can say that they are indeed the best athletic socks I have ever worn. The toe seem had always been a source of irritation for me but not so with the Thorlos. It's too early to tell whether these socks will reduce the occurrence of blisters, corns and other foot ailments, but I'm fairly confident that they will. So, are these Thorlos worth $13.99 a pair? I'm still not sure since that still seems like a lot of moolah for athletic socks. But they are sure worth $4.90 a pair! Try them and see for yourself.

Monday, June 23, 2014 at 8:04 AM

Think Hockey When Playing Golf

Watching my LA Kings' amazing march to the Stanley Cup this year was a revelation to me. Not about hockey nor the will of champions, but about the golf swing. I noticed that the hockey slap shot is quite similar to a full golf swing. The key is that a properly executed slapshot requires that the hands are slightly ahead of the puck at impact. This is the same principle that applies to the golf swing. It's no wonder that so many hockey players are great golfers, including Happy Gilmore!

They are so similar that I find it helpful to visualize a slap shot when I setup and swing a golf club. I imagine that the golf club is just a disproportionate hockey stick with a longer shaft and shorter blade. First, I picture that the leading edge of my golf club is the blade of a hockey stick and I align it square to the target. Second, I make sure that my hands are slightly ahead of the ball with the shaft leaning back to the ball like a slapshot. Lastly, I pretend that I'm Anže Kopitar blasting a slap shot past the goalie into the net for the win!

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Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Golf Tips - The Proper Golf Grip II

The golf swing is such a finicky thing. One day you may be striping the ball as pure as Adam Scott and the very next day you may be $hanking it like a rank beginner. WTF? Since the golf swing requires so much precision, the reason is often a breakdown of swing fundamentals. Even an infinitesimally small change can throw a monkey wrench into a golfer's swing. The fact that these changes are frequently unnoticed by the afflicted golfer in turn leads to disbelief and frustration.

I think that the most important, but also the most overlooked fundamental is the grip. I've already posted Butch Harmon's proper grip technique, but I recently came across another excellent video on the topic below. It covers some important elements that Butch does not. After viewing and fully understanding both of these videos, there's no excuse for not gripping the golf club correctly every time!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 10:23 PM

Congrats Kelly Xu!

Penmar's very own Kelly Xu won the Girls 7-9 Division at the inaugural Drive, Chip & Putt Championship held at Augusta National Golf Club. She was among 8 kids to beat out over 17,000 other competitors from around the nation. Since her division was the first girls championship to finish, she was also crowned Augusta National's first ever female champion. Somewhere Martha Burk must be smiling.

Here at her home course, Penmar by the Sea, all the locals are thrilled and proud of her. Anyone who has had the pleasure of knowing this exceptional 9-year-old girl knows that her personality and character matches her talents on the golf course. Unlike some other junior golfers who take brat to the extreme, Kelly is sweet, smart, happy and humble. All of these qualities are readily apparent in her interview with the Golf Channel's Michael Breed. It is just priceless!