Equipment Panorama

Different types of Putter with respect to the putter head

Over the years, the types of putters have changed dramatically. Whether it is in terms of material, construction or sheer size. Nowadays, the three main putter categories are Blade, Mid-Mallet and Mallet. At first sight, every beginner would consider the different types of putter by putter head. The putter is always better to have it on our side, it can go from best friend to becoming our biggest fear real quick. For that reason, it is crucial to start off right, and choose the type of putter head that suits you best.

Mallet Putter – Larger shape

Mallet putters are the largest models available under the three categories. This also means that they offer a larger list of possibilities. Elaborate and sophisticated aiming aids are just one of the features used in various mallet putters. Furthermore, mallet putters are characterised by an extremely high inertia value. Due to the large head shape, the weight distributes better, more precisely and improving the targeting, which is why mallet putters provide greater forgiveness in the event of misses.

These models are particularly well suited for golfers who have little to no arc in their putts. Often mallet putters are even “face balanced”. This means that the face points straight up when the putter is at rest. A putter with more toe slope will fall towards the toe, so the face will point to the side when balanced. If you make a big arcing motion when putting, you should take a closer look at blade putters.

On the left is a putter with a lot of toe hang, the mid-mallet model in the middle has some toe hang and the mallet putter on the right is face balanced. (Photo: Golf Post)

The downside is the sheer bulk, which is certainly not to some people’s liking. The look of the mallet putter is too clunky, too big and too unfamiliar if you have been playing with a thin blade putter for years or decades. Furthermore, mallet putters tempt you to want to execute the stroke much too straight. A small bow movement does not spoil the result at all, which is why you should trust your swing.

In summary, mallet putters are particularly suitable for golfers who have problems aiming, who tend to have a straight putting motion, don’t want the putter to twist much during the swing, want more help with misses and prefer a larger head shape.

The TaylorMade Spider X is a mallet putter like no other. The large profile, aiming aid and weighting that is forgiving of mistakes are all characteristics of a mallet putter. (Photo: TaylorMade)

Blade Putter – Slim head design

Blade putters receive a much simpler design compared to the massive mallet putters. The DNA of the early days of golf is still clearly visible in blade putters. However, this does not mean lack of technological progress in modern blade putters. Inserts or milling improve the hitting surface, weights and hosel design influence the toe hang and materials and aiming aids optimise feel and alignment.

Due to the shape and the resulting weighting, blade putters turn to be the best for golfers who do not shy away from a strong arc movement when putting. Considering all types of putter by putter head, Blade putters are the most slim and simpler to the eye. They are easier to open and close, and therefore resulting the right choice for golfers with a larger arc swing movement.

Many professionals rely on blade types of putter. (Photo: Getty)

Off-centre hits show on these type, but they often miss the target. This is due to the smaller and more compact design. It cannot deliver extreme values in terms of forgiveness.

One advantage is the clear, thin and pure look that blade putters bring with them. Normally, these putters also provide a clearer and more precise feel and feedback during the stroke. Because of this, many professionals prefer blade putters. They expect feedback from the club.

This putter – Tiger Woods’ Scotty Cameron Newport 2 – has been used to win 15 majors. Probably the most valuable putter currently available. (Photo:

Mid-Mallet Putter – Half way through the Mallet Putter head

Mid-mallet putters are a mixture of both worlds. If we compare them to the blade models, they offer a little more space for aiming aids. Also, these have a less pronounced toe slope, a more forgiving shape and a larger footprint.

Due to the slight toe slope that mid-mallet putters usually have, this types of putter by putter head is ideal for golfers with a slight bow motion. Here, the mid-mallet putters rank exactly in the middle between mallet and blade putters.

Phil Mickelson loves his mid-mallet putter. (Photo: Getty)

In other respects, too, mid-mallet models are somewhere between the two extremes. They combine the advantages of blade or mallet putters in equal measure, but have to make sacrifices just the same. There is room for a smaller aiming aid, but again not as much as with a mallet putter. The profile is more compact, but less sleek as the blade putter. You recognise the pattern – it’s just a middle ground.

The #9 from Odyssey is Phil Mickelson’s favourite putter and is considered a prime example of mid-mallet head putters. (Photo: Odyssey)

It is best to look at and test different types of putter by putter head during a fitting.  However, last but not least, the feeling, the look and individual preferences play an immensely important role, which should not be disregarded.


The health benefits of Golf – Pure medicine for your heart

The topic of golf injuries, especially back pain, is often discussed. Every little ailment is taken up and discussed, certainly with good reason, according to the motto: Do you still play golf or are you already ill?. However, the healing effect of the sport is often neglected. Golf is pure medicine for your heart, for instance. It improves your heart rate and blood pressure. The health benefits of golf cover a long list, and not only in physical terms. Golf is a sport that benefits both body and mind.

Five more years of life

There are plenty of studies about the health benefits of golf. The Swedes, have found that golfers who play at least once a week live an average of five years longer than those who don’t. The Karolinska Institute, in its capacity as the Royal Medical University, analysed the lifespan of 300,000 active golfers. The mean was born after 1920 and started playing before 2001. However, this applied primarily to male golfers with single-digit handicaps. The goal was to examine ageing over a lifetime of playing golf.

“Moderate physical activity like golf increases life expectancy,” says Dr. Andrew Murray, head of the Golf & Health Project at the University of Edinburgh. The sport supports the prevention and treatment of more than 40 important chronic diseases such as heart and stroke, diabetes, breast and colon cancer.

Prophylaxis against coronary disease

The British recently called for people to play golf in old age. For instance, the second largest charitable insitution regarding heart health in the UK, “Heart Research UK” praised on its newsletter the benefits of walking the fairways.

The Institution described that action as a proven prophylactic against the development of heart weaknesses and heart diseases. “Physical activity, and golf in particular, can improve levels of weight, blood pressure and cholesterol,” says the “Active Lifestyle Recommendation”. “Do what you enjoy and start slowly. Actually, what matters the most is that you start in the first place.”

The Heart Research UK has golf in high steem because it “adds a lot of walking miles to the exercise account” in a more fun way – see the 10,000-steps-a-day rule of thumb. In 2017, the Sport Industry Research Centre at Hallam University in Sheffield found that just one regular round of 18 holes a week reduces the risk of coronary heart disease by 30%.

Start early enough for healthy ageing

Admittedly, Heart Research UK’s call primarily aims at the elder to “enrich their golden years with moderate health-promoting and enjoyable physical activities.” But, as we all know, you can’t start ageing healthily soon enough!

Basically, one 18-hole round burns at least 1,200 calories, 5-10 kcal/min. This corresponds to three hours of power walking, for example. Unlike other ball sports, such as football or tennis, golf burns mostly fats. This lowers blood fat levels, especially LDL cholesterol, which a surplus of it can be more harmful to the cardiovascular system.

In addition, a total of 124 muscles tense during a skilful swing. Training from head to toe. All of this in the fresh air, with constant exertion at a low pulse rate – unless the ball is lying for an eagle putt – and in the aerobic muscular range of motion. Once you manage to maintain the low pulse rate when putting a 5-foot for birdie, then you will have reached the peak of the health benefits of golf at its fullest, regarding body and mind.

Perspectives for golf clubs and golf facilities

Last but not least, in the context of the demographic development of organised golf in the country, there is also a considerable prospect for golf clubs and facilities. The target group is the “Forever Youngsters” – everything needs a catchword. Futurologists associate this with an elder social class that focuses on optimising health in the sense of longevity and refer to health as a symbol against looking old and being old.

Prevention, rehabilitation, inclusion

Consequently, the DGV launched the “Golf and Health” project in 2017. Ultimately, it is about the golf club and facilities to seek for health partners and orientations towards prevention, rehabilitation and inclusion. A perfect example is the Hummelbachaue golf course near Neuss. This club cooperates with the health service provider MedicoReha, which operates the “MedGolf Institute”. They offer a wide range of sports medicine and physiotherapy measures in its PGA golf clinic. Also in cooperation with the professionals at the Hummelbachaue.
No need to conclude that golf is the ideal sport to improve your health regardless of your age.


Brooks Koepka, the new “Slim Shady”? Fans can’t help but comment on his new hairstyle

Brooks Koepka shocked his fans twice on Twitter. Koepka profile picture captured all the attention, but just if that was not enough, the American golf star surprised everyone with his new hair colour. The responsible of such a news is Philly “BarberKing” Garcia, the barber who gave Brooks a chic new fringe in the 2000s Eminem look. White blonde from roots to tips, Brooks Koepka hairstyle is on everyone’s lips now, and how he presents himself to his fans. “Blondes have more fun” is his credo for the new hairstyle.

The new “Slim Shady” Brooks Koepka

Koepka himself underlay the video for the new hairstyle with The Eminem classic “The Real Slim Shady”, so it’s no surprise that his fans are providing the comparisons to arguably one of the most famous rappers of the 2000s.

“You must have lost a bet!”

Of course, there is also wild speculation as to why Koepka has gone among the blondes, at the forefront of which is, of course, a lost bet. Could it be that his colour change is not going down well with the fashionistas of the golf course?

The best comparisons

Apart from various speculations on how Brooks Koepka hairstyle came about, fans did not miss the opportunity to compare Koepka’s new look with the fashion icons and faux pas of the past decades. In addition to Miley Cyrus and P!nk, there are numerous boy band members and sitcom actors who were fodder for comparisons.

Gunther from the sitcom “Friends”

Koepka as a 90s boy band member?

Or the new Justin Bieber lookalike:

I wonder if Brooks would have survived long in Game of Thrones. In any case, the hair colour fits in perfectly with House Tagaryen, the white-blond dragon lovers from Westeros.

While we’re on the subject of fantasy epics, the comparison with Harry Potter’s teenage nemesis is not far off. Brooks Koepka as Draco Malfoy’s older cousin? Koepka, with his new hair colour, would fit in really well with the family of the spoilt blond creep from the wizarding saga.

And the political satire “Don’t look up” is also drawn on for gloating about Koepka’s new top coat:

Mixed feelings about the new look

Some fans see Brooks Koepka’s new hair as an upgrade, although not directly for his style:

Some (former) fans must have been very upset by the new hair colour and resorted to harsh words. There are only few things worse than the words of this Twitter user:


Bryson DeChambeau explains why he forgoes the “Fore”.

“Fore” is one of the words golfers learn very early on in their coaching lessons. At the latest when you stand on the golf course for the first time, you encounter golf’s own warning call for the first time. It doesn’t matter whether you are a novice or a tour professional, the call when you hit a failed ball is part of etiquette and even more, part of the basic safety measures on the golf course and is obligatory in these cases. However, Bryson DeChambeau sees it a little differently. In the podcast “Rick Shiels Golf Show” he now talks about his decision to deliberately omit the “Fore”.

Bryson DeChambeau: “The patrons don’t hear me anyway”

Bryson DeChambeau has repeatedly attracted negative attention in recent years due to his lack of “Fore”. But he does not see himself at fault. He points out that many professionals leave out the warning call on the tours if they think they are not endangering the spectators. “Most of the time when we hit shots, if we don’t think it’s going to get there, there’s really no reason to say anything and most guys don’t on tour.”

But why, then, does it seem that the Tour’s DeChambeau, in particular, is piling up the negative headlines? “You could, because of how far I’m hitting it, every single shot say ‘FORE’. Sometimes, it’s potentially more harmful because people move and they walk into the direction of the golf ball. When I see a ball and it’s close but I don’t think it’s going to get to someone, that’s when I’m like one, they can’t hear me because it’s into the wind.” DeChambeau implies in the podcast that he can judge the landing point of his balls surprisingly accurately from over 300 metres, especially considering that he doesn’t always care where the fairway is as long as he thinks he can hack his way out of the rough.

Even other professionals keep criticising him for his lack of warning calls:

“Of course I care if I hit people”

Bryson DeChambeau has already hit a spectator with his ball in the past. Contrary to popular opinion, as DeChambeau expressed, he does care if he hurts someone with his shot. “I’ve hit people before and it’s been the worst possible feeling in the world, so don’t ever think I don’t care about fans.” Nevertheless, his motto seems to be to shout once too little rather than too often. After all, he does not want to break the concentration of other players with his frequent shouts.

“The one time that looks like I should be yelling fore and I don’t, sometimes that’s the one that I get the most slack for.” This begs the question, isn’t the criticism justified when it comes to the issue of safety, Bryson?

European Tour

Ras Al Khaimah Team Challenge to debut on the DP World Tour

The DP World Tour’s commitment to innovation in the game of golf will be apparent once again next month when a new special event – the Ras Al Khaimah Team Challenge – takes to the fairways.

26 teams compete in scramble format

The one-day exhibition event will be played on Tuesday February 8 at Al Hamra Golf Club, in between the two tournaments already scheduled at the UAE venue; the Ras Al Khaimah Championship presented by Phoenix Capital (February 3-6) and the Ras Al Khaimah Classic (February 10-13).
The event will be shown live in the UK and Ireland on Sky Sports – who on Monday announced a two-year extension to their current agreement with the DP World Tour – and around the globe via the Tour’s expansive World Feed network. It will also feature across the Tour’s digital platforms.
The Ras Al Khaimah Team Challenge will feature 26 teams of two professionals per team in a stroke play event playing over nine holes in a classic Scramble format; ie: each team selecting the best drive and both players playing from there, then selecting the best second shot and both players playing from there until the hole is completed.

Keith Pelley expects a successful debut

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the DP World Tour, said: “As well as celebrating the tradition of 72 hole tournaments within golf’s current ecosystem, we are always looking to do something different to continue to broaden golf’s appeal to fans around the world, and the fun exhibition that is the Ras al Khaimah Team Challenge will do just that. Most people who play golf will have played the Scramble format with their friends at their local clubs at some point, and I’m sure they will be intrigued to tune in to see how our professionals cope with this different and unique challenge.”
Following last week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Yas Links, the DP World Tour this week moves to neighbouring Dubai for the Dubai Desert Classic, the second consecutive $8 million Rolex Series event to start the 2022 calendar year.

(Text: DP World Tour)

European Tour Fun Panorama

Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland back to school at the DP World Tour

Last weekend was a throwback to school for Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland at the DP World Tour. The two golf stars competed against each other in a quiz. They were not left alone in the face of danger. Two junior golfers supported these two top DP World Tour players, helping them in this “child’s play” quiz.

What colour is a giraffe’s tongue?

The questions in this somewhat different quiz could be thematically classified as general knowledge. But do the golfers really know which is the longest river in the world? Or how many years ago did the dinosaurs become extinct? Good thing Fleetwood and Hovland counted with the two junior golfers Maya and Daniel to help them get through the exam.

The final challenge was not about general knowledge, but rather about something in what the two golfers are experts at, a putting contest. For the points they had previously earned, they had to move ten feet (3 metres) closer to the flag for each point. In this way, a 30-metre putt can be quizzed into a feasible chance of winning for the better team.

Full video of the DP World Tour and HSBC challenge


Back pain in golfers: The modern golf swing in the spotlight of the root cause

The golf scene has a back. We are talking about back pain in golfers, one of the main reasons why physical therapy attention increases among those who practice this sport. Tiger Woods went under the knife because of it, Suzann Pettersen had to sit out for a while, Fred Couples has been plagued with back problems for years. Back pain in golfers is a very popular desease within the golf world.

Dr. Jim Suttie blames the back pain on the “New School”

In America, they have identified the culprit: the modern golf swing is said to be to blame. “It’s a back killer,” says Dr Jim Suttie, bio-mechanic and top 50 coach.
According to a 2008 study by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, 60 per cent of professionals and 40 per cent of amateur golfers suffer “permanent traumatic or overuse injuries”. Top of the complaints hit list: the lower back, followed by the elbow, shoulder and wrist.

The “right back” to avoid back pain in golfers

The modern golf swing, then. “The steep shoulder rotation and the hip blocked to build up tension, the enormous impulse from the legs and then the hip already bent in the direction of the target during the ‘impact’. Meanwhile, the right shoulder is still pointing below the left towards the ball, all this is not sustainable in the long run,” criticises Dr. Suttie from the USA. With all that goes into a swing, it is easy for golfers to develop back pain.

We ask the German golf coach Frank Adamowicz what he thinks of this assessment: “I can imagine it,” says the golf teacher and former national coach about the negative effects of the swing, “but to generalise is nonsense! A lot of things come together.” For him, the first concern should be if the cause is really the new technique or rather overestimation. The meaning behind is that one must also have the “right back” for the modern golf swing.

“Everything is about Tiger Woods now, but maybe he really did too much in the weight room and neglected his flexibility,” Adamowicz speculates. “After all, there are plenty who can!” Ernie Els, for example. Or Rory McIlroy with his enormous twist in the upswing and follow-through: “I don’t think he’ll ever get back problems.”

“Old school” takes pressure off the spine

The US PGA published a study years ago according to which one in three golfers has had to take at least two weeks off because of lower back problems. In 2011, it featured golf fitness expert Sean Cochran on its website, who said that statistically, one in two golfers will suffer a lower back injury at some point. Retief Goosen comes to mind, Dustin Johnson or Rickie Fowler. They all plague themselves with backs.

On the downswing, according to Cochran, there is a detrimental imbalance between the rotational speed of the hips and pelvis and the rotational speed of the shoulders and back, which is more than twice as fast.

They used to swing differently, the Nicklauses, Palmers, Hogans and Joneses. The “Old School” – the old school – allows the heel of the front leg to lift on the upswing to follow the rotation and weight transfer. This takes a lot of pressure off the spine and pelvis. “The classic 45-90 principle,” says Frank Adamowicz, “45 degrees hip rotation, 90 degrees shoulder rotation.” Nowadays, it seems, the tendency is towards a maximum of 30 degrees hip rotation, but preferably 100 degrees shoulder rotation. The trainer from the St. Leon-Rot Golf Club wonders “Many misjudge their possibilities. If the back is not really fit and strong, it doesn’t work.”

Long courses, brutal material

That’s how he handles students who want to swing like Tiger Woods. Adamowicz holds the eleven’s hips from behind and lets him swing up, rotating the upper body on the longitudinal axis against the rigid lower body. “The pain then shows very quickly that most of them don’t have the back for something like that.”

In the case of one or the other professional, Adamowicz estimates, “after a sports doctor’s examination they would probably also say: slow down!.” But firstly, some pros probably don’t handle their health very professionally, and secondly, the pressure to perform and the external circumstances leave little choice. “On today’s golf courses, you have to create stroke length at any cost in order to play the courses successfully,” says Adamowicz. “The material has become more brutal, I only mention the mega-stiff X-shafts as a keyword. Everything is too extreme.” Here, too, less means more.

Equipment Panorama

The Golf equipment terms that will peak your set: Players irons and Blades

At the outset, the iron categories described below are names that have become established over the years. The golf equipment is very extensive, and the irons terms can sometimes be tricky. There are not fixed laws and many iron sets fall between the categories of golf players irons and blades. In addition, the lines demarcating each category are often blurred with each other.

Golf Players Irons

Two groups of golf irons fall under the category of Players Irons. The first is the blades, also called muscleback blades. They are very thin and sporty shaped cavity back irons. This upper category aims at the professionals and those who want to become professionals.

A classic muscleback iron delivers an extremely direct feel at impact. Better golfers need and want this kind of equipment. Furthermore, the look is much narrower, more compact. One characteristic that stands out between other variants of golf players irons and blades is that the controllability of the blades is at a maximum.

A classic muscle back iron is compact, thin and sporty. (Photo: Titleist)

Skilled golfers thus conjure up precise draws or fades into the greens or deliberately let the balls fly higher or flatter. Due to the higher centre of gravity, the balls tend to launch flatter and have more spin. The disadvantage is the forgiveness. The centre of gravity is high and most of the weight is centred rather than distributed, and therefore the failures have disastrous consequences.

Although blades are less forgiving than cavity irons, they tend to have less offset, better turf interaction and better workability compared to cavity irons. They also force better players to be consistent in their swing, which is why they remain a favourite of tour pros.

In a cavity back iron, the back of the club is hollowed out to allow for weight distribution. (Photo: Titleist)

Cavity back irons, although it sounds very bumpy, also mean “hollowed out back irons”. This makes the principle of these irons quite simple to understand. Metal is hollowed out on the back of the iron, creating a kind of cavity. The weight is much more distributed to the edges – simply not so centred on a small surface.

What is the point of all this?

Due to the distribution of the weight, the inertia as well as the forgiveness is higher. In addition, the hollowing out lowers the centre of gravity. The higher stability means that the miss results better as the the power transmission also works out better. The club twists less if the balls impacts at the heel or the toe. The lower centre of gravity leads to an easier launch of the ball.

Cavity back irons are the basis for game and game-improvement irons. The classic and very sporty cavity back irons fall under the players irons term due to their minimalist construction.

If you take a look into the bag of the pros, you will see irons with a small cavity back everywhere. Many stars also mix their iron sets with traditional blades on the short irons and cavity back irons on the long irons to take advantage of both worlds.

More and more pros are turning to cavity back irons. (Photo: Getty)

Players Distance Irons

A rather newer phenomenon in the golf equipment world is the Players Distance irons. In terms of look, control and feel, they come close to the classic Players irons. However, they put more emphasis in increasing the distance – hence the name. They count with technologies that often affect the hitting surface in order to increase the speed and thus the distance.

This category has grown the most in the last decade. Golfers who prefer the classic look but seek for speed support are ideally served here. The typical game-improvement irons players also look to this category because the look and feel are a little more sporty.

Players Distance irons combine the look of sporty Players irons with the supportive features of game-improvement irons irons. (Photo: TaylorMade)

Game-improvement irons

The Game Improvement Irons live up to their name. These clubs are designed to make you a better golfer, to improve your game. The goal of their technologies aim at increasing distance, forgiveness, consistency and feel.

Compared to the Players irons, the footprint of these irons is significantly larger. The clubface, the sole, the top line and the cavity back is one dimension more spacious. This allows the weight to be distributed quite differently in the club. A thick sole, for example, lowers the centre of gravity massively. The result of the low centre of gravity is that the balls gain height much more easily, and thus launch more steeply.

Game Improvement irons incorporate a number of technologies to (Photo: Callaway)

Furthermore, the principle of the cavity back helps to distribute weight to the edges to increase stability and forgiveness. Meanwhile, the use of tungsten is also common. This metal has a very high density, which is why even small amounts have a great influence on the internal weighting. This “miracle metal” belongs to almost all the club categories.

The disadvantage of game-improvement irons is often the feel and sound. That is why manufacturers are now coming up with new technologies that reduce the vibrations to improve the sound.

Super Game Improvement Irons

Super Game Improvement Irons are the next escalation level of Game Improvement Irons. Recall everything you have just read about Game Improvement irons and multiply this by a factor of X. The sole becomes wider and wider, and the centre of gravity sets even lower. The ball launch is easier and the ground absorbs a lot more the failure effects.

Bigger, thicker, wider – the Super Game Improvement irons have the highest circumference. (Photo: Callaway)

Other iron sets that relates to the Super Game Improvement category are the hybrid irons and the lightweight iron sets. Light-weight clubs are a perfect fit for golfers with slow swing. The weight is cut at every turn to make the clubs as light as possible. The trick is quite simple, due to the lower weight, the player can swing them faster, which leads to a larger length.

Less is more – at least when it comes to less weight and more speed. (Photo: Cobra)

Another alternative is the hybrid iron sets. Here, there is a progressive construction within the iron set. From a distance, the long irons almost seem hybrids, while the short irons look much more compact and classic. Usually, the longer the iron, the more difficult it is to play. However, technology tries to narrow down the difficulty gap to where even the 5, 4 or 3 irons result easy to manoeuvre in the air.

In a hybrid iron set, the long irons mutate into ever larger volumes. (Photo: Cleveland)

Driving or Utility Irons

For the sake of completeness, let’s mention also the driving irons or utility irons. These irons replace the long irons, which are more difficult to play, and thus compete with hybrids, which is why some golfers compare both of them. As a rule, driving irons have a wider sole, a hollow construction. They are also packed with technologies that increase distance.

Driving or utility irons are used in the long game. (Photo: Mizuno)

However, there are serious differences between the individual models of the various manufacturers. The group of utility irons is very heterogeneous. Some irons are suitable for bringing balls into play flat and then letting them roll out a lot. This shows at the British Open, as the wind and the dry fairways tempt such shots. But yet, others deliver great flight and launch the ball more steeply into the air.

European Tour

DP World Tour set for another exciting new chapter in Ras Al Khaimah

Danny Willett, Bernd Wiesberger and Nicolai and Rasmus Højgaard will lead the field when the inaugural Ras Al Khaimah Championship presented by Phoenix Capital heralds another exciting new chapter on the DP World Tour.

The Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah will host a DP World Tour tournament for the first time from February 3-6, when some of the Tour’s biggest stars battle it out at the spectacular coastal venue of Al Hamra Golf Club, which has previously hosted three Challenge Tour events.

Danny Willst is looking forward

Willett, who triumphed at Augusta National when he won the Masters Tournament in 2016, is a two-time winner in Dubai, just 100 kilometres southwest of Ras Al Khaimah along the Persian Gulf, and is looking forward to visiting a new Emirate next month.

“I have some great memories from my time in the United Arab Emirates,” said the Englishman, who won his eighth title at the 2021 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, on his 34th birthday. “It’s a place I’ve always enjoyed visiting and I’ve obviously won twice in Dubai, so it’s exciting that we have a new region to visit and a new golf course to play on this year.

“We always receive a warm welcome when we play in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and I expect it’ll be the same when we visit Ras Al Khaimah in a few weeks’ time.”

Bernd Wiesberger: “I really enjoy playing golf in the Middle East”

Like Willett, Wiesberger will start his 2022 campaign with consecutive events in the United Arab Emirates, starting with the back-to-back Rolex Series events in Abu Dhabi and Dubai before playing in Ras Al Khaimah for the first time.

The eight-time European Tour winner made his Ryder Cup debut last September at Whistling Straits, becoming the first player from Austria to represent Team Europe.

“Last year was a great year for me, with the win in Denmark and then making my Ryder Cup debut,” said Wiesberger. “I’ve worked really hard since returning from injury in 2019 to compete at the biggest events in golf and I want to continue pushing myself as we start an exciting new era on the DP World Tour.

“I really enjoy playing golf in the Middle East, the only thing I’m missing there is a victory, so I hope to have a strong start to my season in the UAE.”

Twin power by Nicolai and Rasmus Højgaard

Last year, twins Nicolai and Rasmus Højgaard made history by becoming the first brothers to win in back-to-back weeks on Tour. Rasmus earned his third DP World Tour title at Omega European Masters and Nicolai won the DS Automobiles Italian Open the following week.

Also joining the field in Ras Al Khaimah are former Ryder Cup Captains Thomas Bjørn, who led Europe to victory at Le Golf National in 2018, eight-time European Number One Colin Montgomerie and three-time Major Champion Pádraig Harrington.

Al Hamra Golf Club previously hosted the European Challenge Tour from 2016 to 2018, with the Challenge Tour Grand Final taking place in 2018. The Peter Harradine-designed layout will host the DP World Tour in back-to-back weeks, with the Ras Al Khaimah Classic also taking place at Al Hamra Golf Club from February 10-13.

(Text: DP World Tour)

Equipment Knowledge Panorama Products Tips

What golf ball fits you best to achieve your goals – Performance or Distance

“I only ever play balls that I find in the rough”, this statement sounds familiar to you or you could be behind this statement yourself? In any case, this behaviour is deadly for consistent shots. You wouldn’t play with different golf clubs every time, would you?

Play with one ball

Golf balls can be vastly different from each other. This means that consistent reproducibility of shots is impossible if you use different golf ball models over and over again. Some balls are designed for distance, some deliver more spin – with one and the same movement there is then a difference of 10 to 15 metres in the hitting distance. Therefore, it is best to choose only one golf ball.

Performance golf balls

All professionals play performance golf balls. The manufacturers pay the most for these models, but they deliver the total package of playing advantages. Spin in the short game, distance on long shots, stop function on shots into the green, long durability and pleasant feel – all combined in one golf ball.

The most successful balls in history are the Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x. No other balls have won so many tournaments. (Photo: Titleist)

This mixture of advantages is made possible by a multi-layer construction. This is known as 3-piece, 4-piece or even 5-piece construction. Several core and cover layers are combined under the shell to cover as many playing characteristics as possible. Performance golf balls therefore score above average in every discipline, which is why they are played by all the stars.

What also unites performance balls is the last layer, the shell. This is made of urethane, which kills several birds with one stone. The durability is increased, the feel is softer and more spin is made possible. The latter happens because the soft urethane is easier to press into the grooves of the clubs, resulting in more friction and more spin. As a rule, every golf ball manufacturer has a performance ball in its product range. Contract players then use these balls.

Professionals use performance golf balls. (Photo: Getty)

The one-ball rule

In almost all professional tournaments, this rule applies, which prohibits the playing of different golf ball models. For example, Martin Kaymer plays with the white 2019 TaylorMade TP5x golf ball. For the entire tournament, he is only allowed to use balls of exactly this model type. He is not allowed to use the TP5, a coloured TP5x or a TP5x golf ball from 2017. Professionals would not change balls anyway because they rely on the consistent results of their preferred ball model, but it is still prohibited.

Distance golf balls

Three guesses as to what sets Distance balls apart. The technologies used are designed to get the maximum distance out of a shot. However, this is at the expense of other game advantages, such as spin. In direct comparison to the higher-priced performance golf balls, distance balls rank in the lower price segments.

Distance golf balls are usually available in colourful models in addition to the classic white. (Photo: Titleist)

A large core serves as the motor for fast golf balls, which is why distance balls often consist of “only” two layers. This leaves more room for only the one large core. Furthermore, the spin generated is lower on all shots, so that the balls still roll out after impact. The problem with distance golf balls is the short game. There is significantly less spin delivered and the feel is harder. If distance is the most important thing for you, distance golf balls are just right for you.

To clear things up.

In summary, it can be said that Performance golf balls deliver the total package. These balls perform in every aspect of the game. Due to the multi-layer construction and the urethane shell, which is expensive to produce, the balls are more expensive than distance golf balls. The latter convince with a lower price and provide you with more length. Between the two extremes (distance and performance), there are an almost infinite number of other options on the market that offer a middle ground between the two worlds.

However, you should only trust one golf ball model to bring consistency into your game. It is up to you to decide which advantages you want and how much money you want to spend. Whether it is a low-priced distance ball, a high-end performance ball or a golf ball from the mid-range segment – the main thing is that you choose a golf ball.