Panorama Training

How Golf keeps you healthy from head to toe – Breaking stereotypes

What is not written about fitness, which promotes our golf game, about what golf can do to us. The list of health benefits of golf is endless, the golf cosmos is full of medical treatises and gymnastic instructions. Who wouldn’t know that golf is a sport played primarily between the ears? The mental component affects the constitution. And vice versa. “Mens sana in corpore sano”, a healthy mind in a healthy body: this is mutually dependent.

Play golf longer, live longer

There are enough studies on this. The Swedes found that golfers who play regularly – about twice a week – live on average five years longer than non-golfers. The Karolinska Institute analysed the lifespan of around 300,000 active golfers who were born after 1920 and started playing golf before 2001. Ageing through play, in other words. Who doesn’t wish for a longer healthy life? You’re only one club away to achieve so.

“Moderate physical activity, such as 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 major chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, breast and colon cancer. It also helps with psychiatric conditions such as depression and dementia, and simply promotes health and well-being.

Playing one round of golf a week already adds to the quality of life in the long run. (Getty Images)

Care your mind. Golf is a mental sport

The reasons are as obvious as they are plausible. “Golf is a mental sport with aerobic and thus healthy exercise in the fresh air and in the green – and that for several hours. It doesn’t get any better than that,” says Hamburg preventologist Andrea S. Klahre, who, as a therapist for mind-body medicine and prevention coach, is professionally concerned with the coherence of body and mind.

For the therapist, the game is pure Zen beyond its “swing-technical, anatomical, physiological and also preventive aspects”. “Golf, played alone, is a kind of movement meditation and, like sitting meditation, changes the brain waves in centres that are responsible for attentional performance and the ability to cope with stress,” clarifies Klahre. “In addition, the autonomic nervous system is regulated, in the sense of a relaxation reaction.”

It is precisely this combination of flexibility, endurance and alertness that makes golf the ideal form of training for many existing ailments, from exhaustion syndromes to respiratory diseases. Or simply as a school for concentration, “as long as holistic health awareness can be promoted at the same time,” adds Klahre.

Training from head to toe – Complete sport

The key data of the time- and above all age-less game are well known, but cannot be repeated often enough: an 18-hole round burns at least 1,200 calories, five to ten kilocalories per minute. In contrast to other ball sports, such as football or tennis, golf burns mainly fats. This lowers blood fat levels, especially LDL cholesterol, which is harmful to the cardiovascular system. A skilful swing also tenses 124 of a total of 434 muscles. So training from head to toe.

A skilful full swing tenses 124 of a total of 434 muscles (Getty Images)

Golf is benefitial and this is why

Golf is a passion for many people. Some go to the range five times a week, others only twice a month – but all golfers have one thing in common: the fun of hitting the little white ball. Golf takes place in the fresh air, in nature. You move around a lot, you are often out for 4-5 hours. “Golf is good for your health,” some say. “Golf ruins your back,” say others.
What does golf actually do to our psyche? The series “Golf and Health” deals with these questions and statements and helps to get a better insight into the health of our beloved sport.

Change of mind – Golf is for healthy

When people think of golfers, they no longer think of overweight gentlemen with cigars in their mouths. The sport has become more athletic, thanks in part to Tiger Woods. Young junior golfers therefore train specifically and holistically – also to prevent injuries. The series “Golf and Health” deals, for example, with whether and how the modern golf swing is related to back problems. The amateur golfer also gains interesting insights, e.g. why golf is a health sport and offers the perfect relaxation for the mind.

Striving for a healthy swing

However: “Healthy golfing has nothing to do with the pursuit of a better handicap, but is the pursuit of an individual, but also healthy golf swing,” Prof. Dr. Eduard David, physiologist at the private university of Witten-Herdecke, said years ago.

More than any other sport, golf is suitable for everyone, young and old. And with optimal interaction, the game is the perfect sport for brain, heart, soul and all other systems. Golf should be available on prescription!

Equipment Panorama

Why the golf club grooves are key to bring great spin to your shots

Grooves is the English term for the golf club face lines. These are mainly responsible for the spin that a club achieves over the ball. It is important that the ball sticks to the club face for a long time at impact to create as much friction as possible. The grooves grip the outermost shell of the ball, creating a lot of spin. That’s why balls with a soft urethane coating, for example, deliver significantly more spin than a hard range ball.

It dusts, it splashes and the divot shreds through the air – grooves help improve contact out of the rough. (Photo: Getty)

Hitting a ball out of the rough, or slightly higher turf in general (can also happen on the fairway), is often unpredictable if there’s a lot of dirt or turf between the club and the ball. Grooves help enormously to make these shots more predictable by moving water, turf and dirt away from the contact point during the swing.

Grooves on the club face repel water and dirt, much like tread on a car tyre. (Photo: Cleveland)

In order to provide the ideal spin conditions for each club, the grooves usually adapt to the respective wedges. A gap wedge, which typically predominates in full shots, has narrower and deeper grooves that allow for slightly less spin. Too much of the backspin would not be useful for this club.

For a lob wedge – where there can never be enough spin – wide and shallower grooves are the norm. These deliver plenty of spin even on small swings, which is ideal for chips or pitches. Due to the different requirement profiles, changes in the club or groove characteristics are accordingly desirable and helpful.

Keep your club grooves clean!

After hitting a shot, you should always take the time to clean the equipment during the round, and with especial focus on the golf club grooves to keep the hitting surface in great shape. With a clean club you will achieve significantly more spin, which can only be an advantage with wedges. It’s not without reason that you see caddies on the pro tours busily rubbing the club grooves free with a towel and club brushes.

Consistency will make the difference also in the quality life of your equipment, that is why it is just as important to know how to clean them after playing too.

You should always clean the grooves of the club face before hitting with a wedge. (Photo: Getty)

The trend of micro-grooves is becoming increasingly popular. Between the actual grooves, other smaller additional grooves are placed on the clubface. This only enhances the effect of gripping the cup and increases the spin. Manufacturers have different approaches to this issue. Whether fancy angles, raised grooves or shapeless grooves – there are and will be hardly any limits to creativity.

How the grooves save you strokes

Besides the thought: “Higher, faster, further”, which is admittedly very tempting, you should always but especially in the short game place more emphasis on consistency. Of course, it is fun if you let the ball roll back with a few metres of backspin just like the pros. However, it makes much more sense if each of your shots produces the same result.

Spin is good, spin helps you play around the greens. However, it is much better if you can consistently retrieve your clubs over and over again. Therefore, don’t lose focus on the essentials. Being close to the flag again and again will save you strokes. Not if the ball rolls back a few metres after it hits.

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.


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.

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.

Equipment Knowledge Panorama Products Tips

The Golf ball – New out of the box or recycled from the lake?

When it comes to golf balls, opinions differ. While some golfers simply play the balls they find in the rough, others rely exclusively on brand new balls out of the box. The pros exemplify the latter, because completely new balls deliver the consistency and quality that are crucial in the game of millimetres.

New balls are the optimum

This much in advance: New golf balls fresh out of the box are the best in terms of quality, consistency and performance. Whether the high price justifies these characteristics for one’s own golf game is something everyone has to decide for themselves. However, if you only look at the performance, this is where you will find the best golf balls. It would be ideal if you always played the same ball model from one manufacturer. That’s what all the professionals in the world do. Coincidence? Hardly!

The same manufacturer, the same model – professionals always rely on just one golf ball model. (Photo: Getty)

Lakeballs – the solution to the problem?

The main problem with lake balls is the uncertainty of how good the ball really is. It borders on a lottery whether you get good balls or they are of inferior quality. Depending on how long a golf ball has been in the water, it takes more or less damage. Here it also depends on the temperature, the substrate and the water – all factors that are impossible to determine when the balls are fished out of a pond.

After a certain amount of time, the water penetrates the golf balls, causing damage to the cover layers and/or cores. How extensive this is is anyone’s guess. Usually, lake balls are classified into different categories that are supposed to reflect the quality. However, optical parameters such as markings, shine and abrasion are emphasised here. Sometimes a distinction is also made as to whether there are cuts in the shell. What the inside of the golf ball looks like, however, is not taken into account.

How damaged a ball is out of the water cannot be determined. (Photo: Getty)

When it comes to lakeballs, you can get lucky and get your hands on a high-quality or flawless ball at an unbeatable price. However, this can backfire just as badly – you simply don’t know. For those who see the price factor as the decisive criterion, this alternative is ideal if you are prepared to accept compromises in quality.

Refinished with new lacquer

Some lakeballs receive a refinish before they are sold. In the refinishing process, the ball is repainted and a new logo is applied. However, since the balls were originally intended by the manufacturers with a different paint finish, which then influences the dimple depth, refinished golf balls cannot be compared with the original golf balls. Often, the new coating is not even enough because it is applied to golf balls that have already been used.

Without wanting to offend the manufacturers of the refinished golf balls – but there are indeed some black sheep here. A name of an expensive golf ball is simply printed on cheap golf balls to suggest higher quality. For example, you buy a Pro V1x Refinished and underneath is a cheap two-piece ball. Therefore, you should always keep your eyes open or your fingers off Refinished golf balls.

Practice and X-Out balls

There are also Practice and X-Out balls. These have either small defects in the colour, the markings or the ink, so that they do not quite meet the quality standards of the ball manufacturer 100%. Sometimes there are also minor physical deviations, so that the performance is reduced, even if only very slightly. This is why they are labelled Practice or X-Out, while some manufacturers simply destroy these balls and they do not even enter circulation.

Professionals use practice balls on the driving range and pitching greens. (Photo: Getty)

Due to the minor defects, the sales price naturally drops, which is why money can be saved here. But watch out! Not every practice or X-Out ball is officially approved and complies with the rules. For tournaments, it is therefore better to play it safe and use the “normal” golf balls. However, for practice and fun rounds as well as for training on the pitching green, these balls offer a quality alternative at lower prices.

To conclude

With Practice and X-Out balls you can save money and get new golf balls in high quality that have only minimal deviations from the standard – ideal for practice rounds. With lake balls or refinished balls, you run the risk of getting poorer quality balls that could have a negative impact on your golf game, but this is where your wallet will be the happiest. If you want to invest more money, brand new golf balls are the best choice.

Equipment Products Tips

How to look after your clubs – Cleaning tips for golfers

The golf clubs are still dirty from the last round in bad weather? The mud sticks to the clubs and the grooves are barely recognisable. In the meantime, a dusty brown tone has settled over the clubs. But how do you get your clubs clean again and what should you keep in mind? Who hasn’t experienced it when the ball on the course is full of mud, but has to be played as it lies? You get annoyed because the shot becomes a lottery.

The mud on the ball influences the ball flight immensely and this is also the case with dirty clubs. In a game where centimetres or even millimetres matter in some situations, you don’t want to leave your good scores up to fate. Spoiler alert: taking care of your golf clubs is a factor that should not be underestimated.

Household products fight dirt

To rid the clubs of simple dirt, it is often enough to go over the dirty area with a toothbrush or a simple brush. In tougher cases, where cleaning with water is no longer sufficient, a conventional household remedy can be used to help.

Try to clean your clubs after every round played, preferably after every single shot – even the grips need regular care. (Photo: Getty)

Dishwashing liquid not only cleans your cutlery, plates and cups at home, but also your golf clubs in the future. To do this, simply pour some dishwashing liquid into a bucket full of water. Then, just immerse the golf club in it so that the clubface is no longer visible. It is important not to immerse the hosel, as the club is glued there and the glue is not resistant to the dishwashing liquid.

In general, you should try to clean the rough dirt off your golf clubs after each use to avoid consequential damage. Also make sure that you clean the grips with a cloth. Usually, machines for cleaning clubs are not the best option from numerous experiences, as they contribute to the detachment of the glue on the golf club.

Cleaning grooves as the key to more spin?

Surely, every golfer knows that millimetres are important in golf. That’s why you should leave nothing to chance and give the ball the best possible spin by cleaning the face of your clubs. But when cleaning the grooves, you must make sure that you do not make them deeper. For instance, it can happen with conventional tools that the grooves then change in such a way that they no longer comply with the regulations.

Miracle cure for flash rust

Have you not cleaned and cared for your clubs properly over the winter? A light rust film has already formed. But you can get rid of it quickly with simple remedies. To begin with, you should try using a wet cloth, as it is possible that the rust can be removed by this means. If this is not the case, you will have to resort to harder solutions.

A familiar sight for professionals: After each shot, the clubs are cleaned of dirt. (Photo: Getty)

Pour vinegar essence into a glass and rub it over the clubface again and again so that the flash rust goes away. Many golf coaches rely on a real miracle remedy in the fight against rust on golf clubs. A little sewing machine oil is said to work wonders. By the way, the latter is also suitable as a thin protective layer for putters to prevent rusting.

European Tour Knowledge Reports

Every Birdie Counts Campaign – European Tour group’s Golf for Good raises £125,000 for UNICEF

The European Tour group’s Golf for Good raised a total of £125,000 for UNICEF through its season-long ‘Every Birdie Counts’ campaign. The campaign, supporting UNICEF’s work as part of the COVAX Facility, raised sufficient funds to help the children’s charity. The did so by delivering 50,000 vaccines to some of the world’s most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach nations.

‘Every Birdie Counts’ is an integral part of the European Tour group’s overarching CSR Programme ‘Golf for Good’ during the 2021 season. Also, it raised a minimum of €1 for UNICEF for every single birdie made during the campaign, with €10 donated for every eagle and €1,000 for every albatross.

DP World Tour Championship boosted up the total.

The season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai gave a significant ‘Birdie Boost’ to those numbers. Then, the European Tour group’s Golf for Good pledged €75 for every birdie made at the final Rolex Series event of the season. This was to mark UNICEF’s milestone 75th anniversary as well as World Children’s Day, which coincided with day three of the prestigious tournament.

There was a total of €77,451 raised prior to the finale at Jumeirah Golf Estates, thanks to 57,641 birdies, 1,681 eagles and three albatrosses across a season which began with January’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

The DP World Tour Championship, meanwhile, yielded 862 birdies and 19 eagles, raising a total of €66,550 in a brilliant week for Collin Morikawa. Morikawa claimed the title in a dramatic fashion, becoming the first American golfer in the history of the DP World Tour to top the season-long rankings.

The European Tour group’s Golf for Good rounded up the total from approximately £121,250 to £125,000. Of course, the full amount will support UNICEF’s work as part of the COVAX Facility, and its aim of delivering three billion vaccines globally.

Supporting the UNICEF work.

UNICEF is leading the end-to-end supply of vaccines, as well as providing tests and treatments, in low-and middle-income countries. For instance, UNICEF focuses the aim to deliver three billion doses of vaccines in 2021 for frontline health workers, social workers, teachers and those at highest risk.


The commitment of Paul Casey with the cause.

Paul Casey, a 15-time DP World Tour winner and UNICEF USA Supporter, said: “It’s unbelievable what the European Tour group and Golf for Good have done. So much is talked about what we do on the golf course, but I don’t think enough is mentioned about what goes on for every community and country we visit.”

“In this case, it’s the global reach – partnering with UNICEF and £125,000 will go so far in assisting UNICEF’s work as part of the COVAX Facility, rolling out COVID-19 vaccines around the world. I couldn’t be more proud. Things like this make me proud of being part of the DP World Tour.”

“As a father, children are my primary focus when it comes to charity. It was World Children’s Day on Saturday during the final tournament, so I think this is very timely. You have a right as a human being to have access to certain things and children are always the most vulnerable. I tip my cap to all of those involved in getting this off the ground.”

The European Tour shows full support with the most vulnerable.

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour group, said: “We are proud to have partnered with UNICEF in their 75th anniversary year, by supporting their work as part of the COVAX Facility though our ‘Every Birdie Counts’ campaign.”

“As a global tour we committed to supporting communities and worthy causes around the world. Therefore, to that end, this donation is a fitting end to our 2021 Golf for Good campaign. It will provide enough funding to help deliver 50,000 vaccinations to some of the most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach nations on earth.”

“It was also fitting that the ‘Every Birdie Counts’ campaign should finish with such a flourish at an event sponsored by our new tour title partners DP World. They have been supporting UNICEF in the logistics and delivery of the vaccine globally. Our sincerest thanks to UNICEF, DP World and of course all of our players who, through their wonderful golf all season, helped make this happen.”

UNICEF is one step closer to accomplish its mission.

Steven Waugh, Interim Executive Director of the UK Committee for UNICEF said: “If we have learned anything from the coronavirus crisis, it is that our lives are interconnected. COVID-19 does not respect borders. At UNICEF, we know that if we only protect high-income countries, life will not return to normal. If COVID-19 is spreading anywhere, it’s a risk to people everywhere.”

“As part of COVAX, UNICEF is leading the biggest health and logistics operation in history to procure and deliver vaccines. A total of 3 billion vaccines around the world by the end of 2021. In order to achieve this historic mission, we need the help of our supporters and partners.”

“I would like to share my sincere thanks to everyone at the European Tour group, who have helped raised an incredible amount for UNICEF’s work around the world. Your support means that we can help deliver 50,000 vaccinations in low- and middle- income countries around the world.”

Press Release by the European Tour Group Communications Team.