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TJ Hall

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  1. Like
    TJ Hall reacted to GolfSpy SAM for an article, Where to Buy Used Golf Clubs   
    Hey all!  Another article has hit the main site - and despite it saying it was written by "Forum Staff", I promise it was me - so direct any/all comments at yours truly 😉

    Hope you enjoy, and happy to hear any thoughts you had (and any obvious ones we missed out on adding (despite it not being a catch-all, it's always good to have great sites for used options)!
    -GolfSpy SAM
  2. Like
    TJ Hall reacted to GolfSpy_KFT for an article, Common Golf Injuries and Prevention Strategies   
    Common Golf Injuries and Prevention Strategies
    Photo Credit: The Central Orthopedic Group
    As with any sport, injuries are bound to appear in the game of golf. Injuries not only impact us at home and at work but also hinder the progress we are able to make with our game. If you’re injured, you’re losing valuable time to practice, play and improve. The majority of injuries golfers will face in a lifetime are the result of overuse or the frequent, repetitive motion and posture used for the golf swing. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common golf injuries and strategies we can take to prevent them. 
    Why Injuries Occur
    How to prevent golf-related injuries begins with understanding why and how they occur. Injuries in sport occur due to an amount of pressure or force that is applied on the body that exceeds its tolerance threshold. A good example of this is an ACL tear in a basketball or football player. A sudden change of direction or awkward landing imparts force the ligament cannot withstand, causing it to tear. 
    In the golf swing, strong, repetitive rotational forces are being placed on the body each time we swing. Impact with the ground applies additional force, and stress, that our body needs to be able to tolerate and withstand over many repetitions. Our swing mechanics will also play a role in potential risk for injury. Physical fitness has  become a priority in today’s professional golf landscape and is a key to injury prevention. 

    Photo Credit: Rochester Regional Health
    Common Golf Injuries
    Outlined below are some of the most common injuries that will occur over a golfer’s lifespan. Consider yourself lucky if you’re able to avoid all of these completely. The common theme you will see with these is they are predominantly overuse injuries. 
    Back Pain
    The golf posture lends itself to a predisposition for lower back pain. You spend hours on the course for an 18-hole round repeatedly addressing the ball to take a swing. As “back pain” is quite a general term, we can take a look at three predominant categories of golf-related back injuries. Lumbar strains. Essentially another way to describe back pain, this muscle pain is caused from excessive strain. These will typically be diagnosed as soft tissue injuries. Disc herniations. These occur when the padding between your vertebrae move out of place. Spondylosis or osteoarthritis of the spine. This occurs when the cartilage in a golfer’s spine breaks down over time and is typically found in older individuals. Rotator Cuff Injuries
    The rotator cuff, which is made up of four individual muscles, provides stabilization and support to the shoulder joint. Golfers will often experience a muscle strain or complete tear of one or more of the muscles of the rotator cuff when this type of injury occurs. Golfers may also experience rotator cuff tendinitis, swelling of the cuff tendons.

    Photo Credit: Back in Balance Wellness Center
    Golfer’s Elbow
    Golfer’s elbow causes pain where the tendons of your forearm attach to the bony bump on the inside of your elbow. This injury may cause inflammation and radiating pain that spreads throughout your forearm muscles and into your wrist. This is a very similar injury to tennis elbow and typically occurs due to excess or repetitive stress through forceful wrist and finger movements.
    Wrist Injuries
    The most common wrist-related injury in golf is a sprain. Wrist sprains could be the cause of poor swing mechanics (think a fat shot that you don't get the clubhead through the turf smoothly) or the abrupt stoppage of the clubhead at impact due to striking a rock or tree root. Tendinitis, an inflammation of the tendons of the wrist, is another common overuse injury among golfers. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the nerves in the wrist are compressed. The result of this overuse injury may lead to temporary numbness and tingling in the hands.  Hip Injuries
    Some common injuries to the hip can include general pain, muscle strains and hip instability. Hip pain most commonly stems from general wear and tear of the joint as we age. However, hip pain can also be the result of overuse and poor mechanics, which impact the swing and power we are able to generate. Muscle strains, as discussed previously, occur when fibers of the muscle are damaged. Instability of the hip arises from too much motion within the joint of the hip itself.
    Prevention Strategies

    Photo Credit: Blog by golfballs.com
    Now that we've discussed a multitude of potential injuries a golfer may face over the course of their playing life, let's take a look at some prevention strategies to help mitigate the risk of injury. Just like the golf swing, injury prevention is not a "one size fits all" strategy or solution. Finding a routine that works best for you is key not only to reducing your risk of sustaining an injury, but also your ability to perform it consistently. We will discuss a variety of things you can incorporate into your daily routine to help you reduce the likelihood of an injury and make you feel better and stronger physically. 
    The Warm-Up
    This one may seem like common sense, but if you polled 10 golfers and asked them whether they perform a proper warm-up (raking balls on the range doesn't count), I'd venture to guess that three or four (tops!) would say yes. I want you to think back to your high school years. Whether you played football, basketball, baseball, soccer, volleyball or softball (you get the idea), odds are you performed a warm-up of some sort before the game. Warm-ups allow us to prime our body for movement. We are able to target a specific group of muscles through these activities that are relative to our sport. Some great dynamic stretches you can perform on the range before your round include:
    Standing Core Rotations Wide Stance Crossing Toe Touches Shoulder Dislocate Mobility Stretch Lateral Arm Swings You could also look to add something like Therabody's Theragun, a portable percussive massage device, to your warm-up routine. Percussive massage can help to alleviate aches and pains while providing relief for sore muscles. 
    Strength Training

    Photo Credit: TRX Training
    I am a firm believer that a healthy body is a strong body and, regardless of your age, you can and will benefit from adding strength training to your weekly routine. Again, a “one size fits all” approach to strength training does not work, as each individual is unique and has different limitations to what they are able to perform physically. 
    If you currently do not have any strength training in your routine, start slowly by adding some bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups and planks. Aim to perform two to three sets and 10 to 15 repetitions of each exercise. You can modify these exercises to fit your current fitness level as well. For example, if you cannot perform a standard push-up, modify it so your knees, not your feet, are on the floor. If that is still too challenging, brace yourself against a table or wall to perform them. For planks, set a time goal you'd like to hold the position for and work your way up to it. 
    If you're short on space or don't like going to the gym, check out the PRO4 System suspension Trainer from TRX. You could also add their Rip Trainer to incorporate some golf-specific training into your routine. TRX uses your body weight as resistance to perform a multitude of exercises and is a great training tool that accommodates all levels of fitness.
    Mobility Exercises

    Increasing your mobility, or the range of motion through which you can move, will also help to reduce the likelihood of sustaining an injury. If you're looking to increase your mobility and feel better physically in general, make sure you check out this article on some exercises you can add to your routine today.
    Recovery Techniques
    Equally as important as the warm-up, recovery techniques like static stretching allow us to lengthen our muscles after repetitively shortening them through activity. Ice and heat therapy can also relieve sore muscles and help speed up the recovery process. The RecoveryTherm Cube from Therabody provides hot and cold therapy in one compact package. Use heat to relieve sore muscles and stiffness and help with muscle spasms. Heat therapy has also been shown to improve blood circulation, getting more red blood cells to the target site to aid in increasing recovery. Cold therapy can help to relieve pain, inflammation and swelling in joint, muscle and soft tissue injuries.

    Photo Credit: OrthoVirginia
    With any and all injuries, I cannot overstate the importance of scheduling an appointment with your primary care provider if you feel you may have sustained an injury beyond general stiffness or soreness. I get it, this means more time away from the course, which is not what any of us wants. However, the timely diagnosis of an injury may be treated through physical therapy without surgery. By ignoring the nagging or lingering pain you are experiencing, you run the risk of exposing yourself to significant injury and even more time away from the game.
    We hope now you have a better understanding of the most common golf injuries and are now better equipped with prevention strategies to keep you playing your best golf all of the time.
  3. Like
    TJ Hall reacted to GolfSpy SAM for an article, Ben Hogan's Swing   
    Take a look at a little something I wrote up for the main site on the sweetest swing ever. 
    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! 
    What do you think? Who's swing was sweeter than his? 
    -GolfSpy SAM

  4. Fire
    TJ Hall reacted to GolfSpy_KFT for an article, Forum Member Recap: Cobra 50th Anniversary   
    The Testing Opportunity

    COBRA celebrated their 50th anniversary in the golf industry with the launch of their AEROJET line. With the tagline “Faster by Design,” COBRA says it engineered Aerojet to enable new levels of speed through an aerodynamic and bold design. 
    Six Forum members were given the opportunity to test and keep a full bag of COBRA products. All of them tested the woods while two were selected for the KING TOUR muscle-back/cavity-back, Forged Tec/Tec X and AEROJET iron lines, wedges and their choice of putter. Testers were also able to select the Ultralight Pro cart or stand bag. 
    As three-man teams, the testers competed in weekly challenges. Each challenge focused on a particular part of the bag: Woods and Wedges, Putt-Putt King, Irons Only and a Four-Club Challenge. Check out the thread HERE to find out who ended up as the COBRA Challenge Champions!

    Initial Impressions: Club Fittings
    All six testers were able to experience a complete fitting in various ways including Golf Galaxy, True Spec, PGA Superstore, a privately owned golf center and directly with a COBRA rep. The consensus was that the importance of a proper fitting cannot be overstated.

    Said sirchunksalot of his fitting experience: “I can't properly describe how much fun I had today and how good of a fitter David was. He helped me find the right ball position and was extremely encouraging throughout the fitting. I appreciated his expertise and ability to make me feel comfortable throughout the whole process.”
    Jnoble89 had his fitting with a COBRA rep. “Steve handed me my first club, which was a 7-iron. Right away I could tell it was standard length (I play +1”), so I was kind of confused but went with it. Expectedly couldn’t hit it to save my life and was wondering what the heck I got myself into. After maybe 3 swings, Steve hands me another one and says “ok, now let’s go with this.” First swing was LASERED to a roughly 160 carry into the wind. He then told me he had me hit one that would have been “off the shelf” and one fitted to me so I could feel the difference as to why fittings are so impactful.”

    All of our testers were fitted into the AEROJET Max driver which was somewhat of a surprise considering the wide range of handicaps. COBRA reshaped the head through a raised skirt, symmetrical shaping and streamlined edges to help players achieve maximum swing speeds.

    Tester JerryB had this to say about the AEROJET Max Driver: “When you hit it square, you know it.  When you don’t hit it well…you actually aren’t that aware.  Mishits travel nearly as long as solid hits.  I’ve been averaging roughly 5 yards more than my current gamer with a lot of consistent distance.  I even hit a new personal longest drive.”
    While the Max didn’t make the final bag for tester Chisag, he had this to say about it: “There is just so much to like about this driver. The stock Kai’Li Blue shaft is about as good as it gets for a no upcharge shaft. Those that prefer a longer face to rear look, should have the AEROJET Max at the top of their demo list. And the moveable weights along with the adjustable loft sleeve provide an excellent ability to fine tune your performance.”
    COBRA AEROJET Fairway Woods
    There was a mix of  the standard and max versions of the AEROJET fairway woods tested. Featuring PWR-Bridge and H.O.T. Face technology, testers raved about their performance. 
    Tom the Golf Nut stated: “I had TaylorMade SLDR 3 and 5 woods in the bag for years and the 3 wood was the high launch version. The AEROJET 3 wood is easier to hit and launches higher. The surprise out of the bunch was the 5 and 7 wood. Although I had a COBRA 7 wood (F6) in the bag this one is sneaky long with a higher ball flight. The five wood is a rocket ship. So much that I might not need a 3 wood.”

    However, there may not be a tester who saw a bigger impact to his game from these clubs than CFreddie: “The 3W is an absolute rocket off the tee (where I’ve typically hit it), besting my current gamer by >20 yards.  Even more important, one of the weakest parts of my game has drastically improved with properly fitted fairway woods (who would have thought?).  And on the 7W, I get excited just thinking about the next shot I’ll hit with it - it's truly effortless to launch high and stick soft, and has become my 2nd shot club on par 5s.”
    COBRA Hybrids
    Our testers gamed a mix of hybrids between the AEROJET and KING Tec. COBRA touts “Versatility by Design” with the AEROJET hybrid, blending distance and high launch to provide greater forgiveness on long approach shots out of different lies. The KING Tec hybrid offers custom tuning via three weight ports and a loft sleeve, giving players the option to optimize their ball flight.

    sirchunksalot was blown away by the KING tec hybrid. You could say it was love at first swing: “These clubs have transformed my long game. They are easy to get in the air and fly straight…They are the main reason I shot one of the lowest rounds I’ve had in a while…If I were to write a love letter to golf clubs, I would wax poetic to these hybrids. They are firmly in my bag.”
    Tester JerryB elected to play a 4-, 5-and 6-hybrid from the AEROJET line as he mentioned some struggles with longer irons. “ The 4 hybrid is most like what I already use, so the adjustment was easier.  It launches well and can go a mile when I get hold of one.The 6 hybrid is interesting, and I’ve used it as a bit of a utility club.  I’ve used it to punch out of trees, as a long bump-and-run club, and as a bit of a chipper just off the green.  As with the other hybrids, the ball rockets off the face.”
    COBRA Irons

    Our testers were selected to test specific iron sets based on their handicap level. Chisag and Tom the Golf Nut tested the KING Tour CB/MB category, sirchunksalot and CFreddie tested the Forged Tec/X, and Jnoble89 and JerryB tested the AEROJET line.

    Said Jnoble89, regarding the AEROJET irons: “ For a GI (game improvement) iron, the top line isn’t overly thick, and you cannot see any of the back of the iron when setting up to the ball. Feel on well struck shots is crisp, and produces a nice “thwack” sound. You can also feel when you don’t strike the ball well on mishits, which I think is good for feedback. I think sometimes GI irons are TOO forgiving on feel, so I appreciate this aspect.”
    Chisag raved about the KING Tour’s performance on-course: “The KT’s simply do everything you have the skill to demand from them. They are very accurate, produce a pleasing trajectory with plenty of spin to hold hard, fast desert greens. I don’t normally play fades or big draws with my irons, but when needed after a poor tee shot the KT’s performed flawlessly. Hitting them high or low is easily produced on command.”

    Mid-handicapper CFreddie went with the Forged Tec irons: “COBRA has built an incredible club - I’d categorize the FT as a middle of the road iron (perfect for my current handicap), bridging the gap between a true players iron and game improvement…I’ve never considered Cobras in the past, but I’m now a converted fan of the brand & clubs.”
    COBRA Wedges
    All of our testers opted for the SNAKEBITE wedges. These boast COBRA's most aggressive grooves to date, designed to maximize spin while utilizing a notch design to deliver precise shot-making around the green.

    Tester Tom the Golf Nut said this about his 54-degree Snakebite: “The 54* did everything I asked of it and helped me to shoot a personal best. The club put enough spin on the ball that it just sat where it landed, and I could attack the pin more. Stopping and proximity to the pin were outstanding.”
    Jnoble89 also saw positive results with his set of wedges: “These are a no-brainer play for me. I have never owned a true wedge set, and so far I am really enjoying these clubs. The 60° has been a revelation out of bunkers, and the first shot I ever hit with it was getting up and over a towering pine after missing the green on a Par 3. I was sold at that moment.”
    COBRA Putters
    The full line of COBRA’s putters were made available to testers with mixed feedback. 

    Chisag was very surprised, in a good way, on the performance of the Vintage Sport 60: “I don’t change putters often so I was not looking for a new putter and I was certainly not looking to change putters. But the overall feel, look and the excellent roll from the SIK face has earned the right to be my gamer.”
    JerryB selected the KING Stingray 20 and was thrilled with its performance: “Putting has long been my weakness and this putter didn’t magically make me a better putter.  What it did do was make me feel more poised while standing over a putt. The SIK face technology means the ball rolls smoothly almost instantly off the club face…I’m getting my speed dialed in much better than with my old putters…my lag putting is miles ahead of where it was previously which is leaving me with fewer three-putts.”

    Final Verdict
    Overall, our testers came away impressed with COBRA’s 2023 lineup. They found that regardless of a golfer's ability or skill level COBRA has a golf club that can perform well for that type of golfer. 
    Not all of the testers are keeping all their COBRA clubs in play permanently, with some choosing to go back to their previous driver, wedges or putters. That being said, all of them found areas in which the COBRA golf clubs excelled. This was reflected in the grades which were given at the end of the test. 
    Testers were asked to grade each area (driver, fairway, woods, hybrids, irons, wedges, putter and bag) out of 15 for a possible total of 105 points. 

    When the results were tallied scores ranged from 85.5 to 99.5. Respectable scores without question and scores that show the overall value and performance of the 2023 COBRA lineup of golf clubs.
    Want to read more about the full experience and reviews? You can find the full reviews from all the testers here: 
    MyGolfSpy Forum Cobra 50th Anniversary Challenge
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