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No doubt, the right equipment always helps, but it's not as if you'll need to empty your savings account to get started. Instead, focus on finding the sort of equipment that will allow you to develop your imperfect skills with minimal expense. There'll be plenty of time to go after the latest, hot products on the market (and when you do, make sure you start your search with one of our top 100 club fitters, but at the beginning, make learning -- and not buying -- your priority.-- Mike Stachura, Senior Editor of Equipment

1. You only need a few clubs: You're allowed to carry as many as 14 clubs in your bag, but you won't need nearly that many when you're first learning. Instead, start with a driver, a putter, a sand wedge (it's the club that has an "S" on the sole or a loft of 54 to 56 degrees) and supplement those with a 6-iron, an 8-iron, a pitching wedge, and a fairway wood or hybrid with 18-21 degrees of loft. These are the clubs that are the most forgiving and easiest to get airborne. You can find used and new titanium drivers for as little as $75 and putters for much less than online, but most larger golf and general sporting goods stores also offer racks of discounted and/or used clubs.
2. Don't guess -- try before you buy: If you're an absolute beginner looking to buy clubs, go to a larger golf shop or driving range and ask to try a 6-iron with a regular-flex and a stiff-flex shaft. (Generally, the faster and more aggressive the swing, the more you will prefer a shaft that is labeled "S" for stiff.) One of the two should feel easier to control. That's the shaft flex you should start with for all your clubs. Once you get serious about the game and are able to make consistent contact, a clubfitting will enable you to get the most out of your equipment.
3. The more loft, the better: Unless you're a strong and well-coordinated athlete experienced with stick and ball sports (baseball, softball, hockey, tennis, for example), opt for woods that have more loft. Why? The extra loft generally means it will be easier to get the ball in the air and also can reduce sidespin so shots fly straighter. So go for drivers with at least 10 degrees of loft and fairway woods that start at 17 degrees, not 15 degrees.
4. Take advantage of clubs made for beginners: Some types of clubs are easier to hit than others. For one thing, you're better off with hybrids instead of 3-, 4-, and 5-irons. And irons with wider soles (the bottom part of an iron) will alleviate the tendency for the club to stick in the ground when you hit too far behind the ball. Also, with more weight concentrated in the sole, the iron's center of gravity will be lower and this will help shots launch on a higher trajectory. Generally, a more forgiving iron will feature a sole that measures about the width of two fingers (from front edge to back). If an iron's sole measures less than one finger width, you only should be playing it if you're paid to do so. To find the right iron for you, browse through the super game improvement irons on our Hot List.

Making your wedding registry seems simple enough. Create your account on The Knot, add awesome gifts to your wish list, watch said gifts appear on your doorstep, send out thank-you cards within three months after your wedding, and never visit your registry page again, right? It's the formula most—if not all—couples follow. Registering for gifts is an essential task on your wedding planning checklist, because guests want to shower you with love as you embark on a new life milestone. But we'll let you in on a secret: There's one very important registry step people always forget, and it comes after the wedding day.

Once you're married, your registry actually changes from a wishlist to a shopping list. The Knot Registry Store offers a unique registry completion discount that lets you purchase any remaining gifts on your list at a fraction of the cost—so if you *really* wanted that gourmet pasta maker, you can buy it yourself for less than its original price.

Since this registry completion discount is one of the most underrated perks offered by The Knot, we've put together this comprehensive guide explaining how it works and why you *need* to take advantage of it.

What is a Registry Completion Discount?

Many registry services offer a completion discount, which allows couples to buy remaining gifts off their registry after the wedding date for a lower price. The exact percentage off varies across retailers, but here at The Knot, you'll get 20% off leftover items—the best discount out there.

According to our registry gift formula, we recommend that couples register for twice as many gifts as their guest list size, as this gives loved ones a variety of options at all price points. And while over-registering is the best tactic, that means there will likely be a few gifts left over after the big day. So, if you had your heart set on a few items that didn't get purchased, you can use The Knot's post wedding registry completion discount to buy any (or all!) of your remaining presents.


Source: The Knot

There are two common methods for divots at the driving range — either lined up in a row or in vertical lines. The one no-no is to leave them scattered about. It ends up chewing more turf than you need.


Golfers around the world have Scotland to thank for inventing this great game, but the term “birdie” is actually an all-American term. Specifically, Atlantic City Country Club is where the fluttery phrase for shooting one under par came to be—and boy, do they let you know about it.

The origins of this conception vary slightly, but the gist is that during a round in 1903 Abner “Ab” Smith launched a long approach shot on ACCC’s par-4 12th hole (now No. 2) that wound up within kick-in range of the cup. The result caused one of the group’s members (Ab’s brother William and Pine Valley architect George Crump rounded out the threesome) to exclaim it was a “bird of a shot!” At the time, “bird” was slang for something pretty swell or really neat or whatever else they said at the turn of the 20th century.
Also of note was that the group was playing for a few bucks (obviously). According to Scottish Golf History, Ab said he should get double the money for an under-par score and somehow his playing partners agreed to these ad-hoc terms and a tradition was born.

As time went on, the story got better—as stories often do. Ab claimed it actually happened in 1899 and that he both made the birdie and said, "That's a bird of a shot!" No self-esteem problems there! According to "The Book of the Birdie" by William Kelly, The Atlantic City Press added a fourth golfer to the group, A.W. Tillinghast, and legendary golf writer Charles Price wrote that Smith's shot had "first struck a bird in flight." So this tale about a bird also became a big fish story. Amazing.

In any event, the term "birdie" was coined, which, according to Price was an "abomination in the eyes of the British." And more than a century later, like bird poop to the windshield of my car every time I park outside, it has stuck.

Source: GolfDigest

 The short game can be overlooked by golfers when they talk about improving their overall game. As impressive as it is to hit a long drive, golfers can easily miss a birdie because of their short game. That’s why working on chipping and putting helps golfers improve their scores.

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