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20 Ways to Play Better Golf Now

Thursday, August 10, 2017 2:55:25 PM America/North_Dakota/Center

20 Ways to Play Better Golf Now

Golf is one of those fickle games that mirrors life in an almost uncanny way.  Just when you think you’ve got things figured out, you snaphook your drive into a pond and have to take a drop.  Sometimes you bounce back and recover from those shots and other times it seems like your golf game is on some sort of death spiral and you’re just clinging on for dear life. 


The good news is that there are a few things you can do to turn your game around.  We’ve put together a list of some of the best ways you can play better golf right now.


1. Take a Lesson

Probably the most conventional advice on this list.  If you’re playing crappy golf, a reasonable reaction is to actually talk to someone who helps golfers play better for a living.  Most golf courses have pros on staff that can help you work through the kinks in your game and many offer clinics if you are more into a group setting.  Whatever you choose, go into the lesson with an open mind and be willing to try some new things that may help you get out of your head and see better results on the course.

Golf Lesson


2. Fix Your Grip

The way you grip the golf club is one of those fundamentals that cannot be overlooked.  That’s why it’s so surprising that so many golfers have a really poor grip.  What happens when your grip is off is that your body overcompensates throughout the swing in ways that you probably didn’t intend.  Essentially, if your grip is off, your whole swing is going to suffer.  Here’s a great article from Golf Digest about how to fix your swing by the weekend.  It’s a good place to start if you feel like you need to get back to the basics.


3. Visualize the Shot

Although it can be a bit cheesy, visualizing your desired outcome has been an integral part of sports psychology for decades now.  If you’re in a golf rut, try taking a moment before each shot to picture where you want the ball to go.  See yourself taking the best swing possible and approach the ball with confidence.  You may be surprised by how often the picture in your head starts to match your real results.


4. Play a Par 3 Course

For many golfers, Par 3 Courses are overlooked unless you’ve brought the kids along or are looking for a really quick round over lunch.  However, a local Executive Golf Course can be the ideal place to work out the kinks in your game.  Many of the issues that come up for golfers occur in the short game and a Par 3 Course allows you to focus on chipping and putting without the stress of trying to keep your driver online.


5. Focus on the present

Here’s another little mental tip for you – don’t stress about your last shot and don’t worry about the next hole.  Focus on the shot you are hitting in the moment.  There is only so much that you can control out on the golf course, but how you play each and every individual shot is the one thing that is always in your power.  Concentrate on what you can control in the moment and you’ll likely see much better results.


6. Hit the Range With Purpose

It may be surprising to learn that most pros don’t recommend hitting balls at the range every day.  Most pros will tell you that just hitting balls, while relaxing, probably isn’t going to actually improve your game.  What will help is heading to the range with some specific goals and drills.  When you go to the practice range, put together a plan and work through a series of drills that will help you reach your goal of playing better golf.  If you take a lesson, your pro can help you with some drill ideas, or check out USGolfTV.com for a great video series with drills and exercises for better golf.


7. Get Yourself a New Outfit

For golfers who don’t really care what they wear, getting some new duds may sound like a ridiculous idea, but you’d be surprised what a new shirt and a new pair of shoes can do for your golf game.  When you find an outfit that you feel confident in, that confidence can easily translate to a better golf game.  Because when you look good, you feel good and when you feel good, you play great golf.

New Golf Outfit


8. Invest in Some New Equipment

If you haven’t upgraded your golf clubs in a few years, some new sticks are probably worth at least a look.  Technology changes and what the newest driver or irons can do is a lot different than what clubs could do 5-10 years ago.  Most golf retailers will be able to custom fit you for the right clubs and if they have the right technology, you can compare your old clubs with the new equipment head on.

New Golf Clubs


9. Change Your Scenery

It’s a great feeling when you find a local course or club that you love.  However, if you’ve been playing the same track all year, it may be time for a change.  Grab some buddies and head out of town for a weekend golf trip or just check out one of the local golf courses that you haven’t tried before.  Some new scenery could be just what your game needs to get back on track.


10. Change Your Group

If you’re like most golfers, you probably play with the same group of regulars at the same course and you all shoot about the same no matter the conditions.  Why not invite some new folks to hit the golf course with you?  If possible, try and find golfers that are slightly better than you.  Watching golfers who play consistently well will likely give you some ideas about how to improve.  At the very least, their quality play might rub off on you, which is a good thing.

Fun Golf Group


11. Put Away the Driver

The feel of bombing a long drive straight down the fairway is like nothing else.  It’s one of the best feelings in golf and for many, one of the best feelings in life.  Unfortunately the driver is also what kills a lot of promising golf games.  If you’re struggling with keeping your drives in the fairway, just take it out of your bag for a few rounds.  Hit a 3 Wood or even a hybrid to make sure that you’ll have a playable second shot.  A long drive is great, but it does you no good if you hit it out of bounds every other shot.


12. Putt, Putt, Putt!!

Putting is the one area of the game that if you can improve, will have the most dramatic impact on your score.  Around 40% of the strokes you take on the course occur with your putter and this is where a little practice can go a long way.  While every green is different, you can easily work on your ability to read the break and practice your speed.  Show up a little early before your next round and instead of hitting the range, spend 10-15 minutes getting a feel for your putter.  You’ll be amazed at what a little extra practice time can do for your game.


13. Change Your Attitude, Grumpy

A lot of golfers get really down on themselves when they are playing poorly.  They start getting frustrated and annoyed and pretty soon they are yelling after every shot and throwing clubs in the lake.  Honestly, I get it.  We’ve all been there, but getting down on yourself for a few bad shots does absolutely no good.  Remember Tip #5 and focus on the shot at hand.


Think about Jordan Spieth at the 2017 British Open.  Leading the tournament, he hit the absolute worst drive of his life and ended up behind some equipment trucks.  He knew that he was probably going to lose the lead no matter what he did next and I’m sure it would have been very easy to get angry at that point.  Jordan’s caddy then reminded him of a picture he took that included Michael Jordan, Michael Phelps and other sports greats.  He told him, “ You belong in that group.”  Jordan then finished his round in one of the most inspiring displays in the history of golf.


14. Play Boring Golf

There is nothing more inspiring than watching Phil Mickelson stick a shot within 3 feet from a forest 40 yards offline.  You may even think you can do some of what Phil does.  Thoughts like, “If I can just lob it 70 yards above that massive pine tree,” or “if I can set this up for a draw around that pond” may be fun to think about, but for most golfers, the results you want aren’t realistic.


If you really want to improve your golf score, stick to the boring side of golf.  Chip out into the fairway instead of aggressively trying to cut off the obstacles.  Nine times out of ten, you’re going to see better results.


15. Learn How to Pick the Right Club

Most golfers know their distances pretty well if they’ve been playing for a few years.  They can pick the right club with confidence most of the time.  However, that’s definitely not the case with all golfers and your club selection on the course can have a dramatic impact on how well you play.  If you’re never quite sure which club to use for which shot, head to the range and do some testing. 


Even better, if you have access to a launch monitor or simulator, you’ll be able to document the distances for every club in your bag so that you can pick the right club every time.


16. Use Mother Nature to Your Advantage

Golf is an outdoor sport, which means you’re always going to have to factor Mother Nature into your decision making process.  Wind obviously has the biggest impact on your game and good golfers know that instead of fighting against the wind, they need to play with it.  Think about how strong the wind is and the direction it’s moving before each shot.  That will help you choose the right club and the right setup for each shot.

Windy Golf Course


17. Make it a Competition

Nothing inspires greatness like the thrill of a good competition.  For many golfers, playing in a tournament or putting some stakes on a normally casual match can elevate you out of a playing rut and bring out results that are better than normal.  Competition engages us on a level that lets our adrenaline pump and helps us focus on what we need to do to succeed.  There’s no guarantee that the competitive spirit will get you up to PGA pro status, but it will definitely challenge you in a way that can dramatically improve your score.


18. Trust Your Gut

When you’re in a rut and are playing crappy golf, it can be easy to start second guessing everything.  Your go-to club feels jinxed, and shots you normally wouldn’t think twice about taking now have you rethinking every angle.  At times like these, it’s best to take a step back and just go with your gut instinct.  Don’t overthink what you’re trying to accomplish – just hit the ball.


19. Relax

This may be the best advice on this whole list and it’s probably something that your buddies have already told you.  If you want to play better golf, just relax.  Chill out and stop stressing about your last crappy shot.  Have a beer and stop keeping score for awhile.  Your swing will come back around eventually and you’ll be a lot happier if you stop sweating about how well you’re not playing.


20. Go Out and Play

What this whole list boils down to is that if you want to play better golf, you need to just get out there and play.  All the training aids and lessons in the world are no substitute for just getting out on the course and playing a round.  Stay relaxed, keep your confidence and focus on the shot you’re hitting and you’ll probably see improvements pretty quickly.

Golf Group



 Want to stay up to date with all the latest stories, trends and gossip from the world of golf?  Make sure you sign up for our Austad's Golf Insider Newsletter!


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Posted in Golf Tips Just for Fun By Sara Austad

3 Reasons You Need to Try Volvik Golf Balls

Thursday, January 5, 2017 11:02:10 AM America/North_Dakota/Center

Volvik Golf Balls


If you’re familiar with Volvik golf balls, you probably either follow the LPGA Tour or have heard the recent news that PGA Tour stud Bubba Watson recently inked a deal to play Volvik balls.  Volvik is known primarily for their bold colored golf balls, which is completely different than what every other golf ball manufacturer is doing.  On top of the awesome colors, Volvik golf balls also pack a serious punch.  If you haven’t tested them out yet, here are three solid reasons you need to give Volvik golf balls a try today:


1. Colored Golf Balls Are Bold

Anyone can play a plain old white golf ball from pretty much any brand.  It takes a bold personality and a confident golfer to play a neon green golf ball or a stunning matte pink ball.  A golf ball with a bold color not only ensures that you’ll always be able to pick yours out of the crowd, but will also give you the confidence to bomb your drive 300 yards down the middle of the fairway or drain that 12-footer for birdie.


2. The Technology is Impressive

With their bold, bright colors, you may think that Volvik balls are all sizzle and no steak.  On this, you would be sorely mistaken.  The technology that Volvik has put into their golf balls puts them right up with the best in class.  Volvik actually has 41 patents on their golf ball technology and all of their balls have been vigorously stress tested to ensure that they are among the most durable on the market.  Their motto is, “We Use Higher Grade Materials for Lower Scores” and that commitment has helped Volvik produce some of the best performing balls in the world.


3. If They Are Good Enough for Bubba, They Are Good Enough For You

We may be jumping to conclusions here, but if World Top 10 Golfer, Bubba Watson considers Volvik balls to be up to his standards, these golf balls should be more than good enough for non-pros.  A golfer of Bubba Watson’s caliber literally has his pick of golf balls – he could have played anything from Titleist to Callaway to Bridgestone, but he chose Volvik.  Why don’t you follow Bubba’s lead and give Volvik golf balls a try today?

Bubba Watson Volvik Balls


If you’re ready to push yourself and go a little bolder with your golf game, Volvik golf balls can easily help you get there.  Stop by one of our nine golf retail locations and pick up a sleeve today or shop our full selection of Volvik golf balls online anytime.   



 Want to stay up to date with all the latest stories, trends and gossip from the world of golf?  Make sure you sign up for our Austad's Golf Insider Newsletter!


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Posted in Industry News Golf Tips By Sara Austad

14 Awesome Men's Outerwear Pieces for Fall

Monday, October 3, 2016 6:15:00 AM America/North_Dakota/Center

 14 Awesome Fall Golf Outerwear Pieces

If you're going to play some fall golf (and to be honest, you should absolutely play some fall golf), you need to make sure you have the right gear.  That means wearing layers that will keep you warm without holding all that sweat in.  It also means having rain gear on hand for those freakish fall storms that seem to like popping up when you're having the best round of your life.  Here are 20 awesome men's outerwear pieces that are perfect for the golf course or a fall football game:


Adidas Climaheat Vest

adidas Men's Climaheat Fleece 1/4 Zip Vest

Like Derek Zoolander, this vest is just really really ridiculously good looking.  The grey heathered texture on the front is right on trend and the cut and style is perfect for a quick round of October golf or watching your kid catch butterflies on the soccer field.


Adidas Quilted Jacket

adidas Men's Climaheat Prime Quilted Full Zip Jacket

You may recognize this jacket as the one that Jason Day wore several times during the 2016 season when he was lighting up the course.  Was it Day's fierce play that made him the World's Number 1 Golfer or was it the confidence that he got from wearing the coolest jacket known to man?  Pretty sure it's the jacket.


FootJoy Hydrolite Jacket

FootJoy Men's HydroLite Rain Jacket FJ# 23823

If there is one thing that you should buy for Fall golf, let it be a great rain jacket.  This FootJoy jacket not only looks fantastic, but comes with a two-year waterproof warranty and is extremely lightweight, meaning that you'll be dry and comfortable even if you're playing through a monsoon.


FootJoy Sport Pullover

FootJoy Men's Sport Pullover

Kind of like a politician trying to win a big election, the weather in fall can be a major flip flopper.  It could be sunny and 65 degrees at 2pm and 50 degrees with a 30 mph wind by 2:30.  Having a layering piece like this awesome FootJoy Sport Pullover is essential for keeping warm on those breezy flip floppin' days.


FootJoy Golf Rain Pants

FootJoy Hydrolite Waterproof Rain Pants

Is there anything worse than walking in cold, wet pants?  If you don't know the feeling, bless you - we hope make it many more decades without having to endure a round of golf with damp pants.  These FootJoy Hydrolite Rain Pants will easily protect you from "wet pants syndrome" with a 2 year waterproof warranty and Lightweight Stay-Dry system.


FootJoy Wintersof Golf Gloves

FootJoy Wintersof Golf Gloves

It's a fact - you can't play great golf if your hands are freezing.  These FootJoy Wintersof Gloves are equipped with FootJoy's WinterShield technology and are warm and windproof.  The knit palm helps you keep a strong grip on your clubs even in the worst conditions.  Best part - these Wintersof gloves are sold in pairs so you can keep both hands toasty warm.


Nike Men's Packable Rain Suit

Nike Men's Packable Rain Suit

Don't even try and play fall golf if you don't have a great rain suit.  This awesomely lightweight jacket and pants from Nike are 100% waterproof and easily pack up into a zipped pocket for convenient storage and transportation.  It's an essential for cool rainy days.


Puma 1/4 Zip Sweater

Puma 1/4 Zip Sweater

Not going to lie - this is one of our absolute favorite outerwear pieces for Fall 2016.  It's one of those great sweaters that you can really wear anywhere - on the course, to Sunday dinner or even to the office.  It's great fit and confident design will easily take you style game up a notch with very little effort.


Puma Elevated PWRWARM 1/4 Zip Golf Popover Sweater

Puma Elevated PWRWARM 1/4 Zip Golf Popover Sweater

This Puma Elevated Pullover is one of those pieces that will quickly become a go-to item in any man's wardrobe.  It's comfortable, it's cool and it's perfect for fall mornings on the golf course or raking leaves.  Available in 4 colors, you may just want to stock up and get one of each.


Titleist Cart Mitts

Titleist Cart Mitts

This one is a non-negotiable if you play cold-weather golf.  Having a great pair of cart mitts like this pair from Titleist is critical to keeping your hands warm between shots.  On a related note, these are just great mittens in general.  Get a pair to throw in your car if you live up north and you'll be set for the winter.


Travis Mathew Wall Pullover

Travis Mathew Wall Sweater

If you haven't tested out Travis Mathew apparel yet, the super stylish Wall Sweater might be the piece you want to try.  With a great style that can easily be worn in a variety of places, this sweater is also warm, incredibly soft and has become a quick favorite of the Austad's Golf staff.


FootJoy Lightweight Softshell Vest

FootJoy Lightweight Softshell Vest

This lightweight vest from FootJoy is one of those perfect layering pieces that will help keep you warm, but not too hot on those breezy fall days.  The poppin' blue color is a nice touch as well and goes well with most of the clothes that you probably already have in your closet.


adidas Men's Climawarm Novelty 1/4 Zip Layering Top

adidas Men's Climawarm Novelty 1/4 Zip Layering Top

Extend your season with this Adidas Climawarm Novelty 1/4 Zip Layering Top, our warmest outerwear designed to fight off the chill and keep you competing no matter how cold the temperature drops. Featuring advanced hollow-fiber technology, it delivers dependable protection to keep you comfortable and looking great.


Ashworth Pima Cotton V-Neck Sweater

Ashworth Pima Cotton V-Neck Sweater

What's a great go-to piece that can work for virtually any occasion?  A v-neck sweater, of course.  This classic, understated look can easily be dressed up or down with the right pairings and with the Ashworth name attached, you know you're getting quality.  Better yet, this awesome sweater can be yours for an awesome price.  This one makes a great gift as well!


Make sure that you're ready to take on fall golf or just fall yardwork.  Austad's has all the men's outerwear including jackets, pullovers, sweaters, rain gear and more to keep you looking good and staying warm no matter what the elements throw at you.




 Want to stay up to date with all the latest stories, trends and gossip from the world of golf?  Make sure you sign up for our Austad's Golf Insider Newsletter!


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Posted in Golf Tips By Sara Austad

Stand Bag vs Cart Bag: Which One is Right For You?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 12:14:28 PM America/North_Dakota/Center

Stand Bag vs Cart Bag


Right off the bat, let’s just get this out of the way – there is no right answer to the Stand Bag vs. Cart Bag question.  When it comes to choosing the right golf bag, what works well for one golfer might not fit the playing style of another.  You’ll want to focus on your own style of play and find a bag that really works with how you like to approach the golf course.  Here’s our quick guide to golf bags:


Cart Golf Bag Overview

Titleist Cart BagWhen you think of a golf bag, the image of a traditional cart bag is probably what comes to mind.  This type of bag was designed to be used on a riding or push cart and would probably make for a challenging round if you tried to walk the course with it.  At its core, a cart bag is a bag with a hard bottom, club dividers, pockets and single strap, but there is a huge range of options when it comes to the little extras that can really put your bag over the top.   


Cart Bag Highlights:

     - Storage-Friendly – Cart bags typically come with a lot of pockets that offer ample space to store your golf gear.  You’ll have no problem finding a place for rain suits, umbrellas, sunblock, refreshments or really anything else that you might want to access on the course.

     - Option-Friendly – There are so many options and extras that you can get with a cart bag.  Cooler pockets, umbrella straps, full-length 14-way dividers, rangefinder clips and valuable pockets are just a few of the many options you can get on a typical cart bag.

     - Easy Access – Because these bags were designed to be used on a cart, pockets were placed with access in mind.  A good cart bag should allow you to easily access all of the pockets while the bag is strapped onto the cart.

     - Cart-Friendly – Of course, by definition, these solid bags are designed to be used on a cart.


The Bottom Line: If you don’t enjoy walking on the golf course or prefer to always use a push or pull cart, a cart bag is probably for you.  Cart bags are also great for individuals who like the organization and storage options that lighter-weight stand bags don’t generally provide.


Shop Cart Bags


Stand Golf Bag Overview

Nike Stand BagStand bags or carry bags are unique in the fact that they feature two retractable legs which allow you to stand the bag up securely while on the golf course.  They generally feature a comfortable double-strap or backpack style strap, which helps even the load and distribute the weight of the golf bag evenly across the shoulders.


Stand Bag Highlights:

     - Lightweight – A golf bag that is designed to be carried can be anywhere from 2 to 6 pounds lighter than comparable cart bags.

     - Simpler Design – The lightweight design generally means that the golf bag design will be simpler, feature fewer pockets and while some stand bags do include 14-way dividers, most will have fewer club dividers.  Most stand bags will generally offer fewer of the “bells and whistles” that many cart bags feature.

     - Comfortable Design – Stand bags were made to be carried and most manufacturers have taken care to design straps and padding that will make your round as enjoyable as possible.

     - Cart-Friendly – Even though stand golf bags were designed to be carried, all stand bags are both push and riding cart-friendly, meaning you get the best of both worlds.


The Bottom Line: If you think that there is a chance that you may want to walk the golf course at all, a stand bag is probably your best bet.  There is a wide range of stand bags on the market from extremely lightweight and streamlined to more robust, tricked out bags, there is most assuredly a stand bag out there to suit your game.


Shop Stand Bags


Other Golf Bag Options

We should also mention here that there are some other options when it comes to choosing a golf bag.  Staff Bags like the ones seen on professional golf tours can really make a statement.  Staff bags are generally very high quality, are very large and are generally much heavier than other types of golf bags.  The weight isn’t really an issue for PGA Pros who have caddies to carry the load, but for a recreational golfer, a more compact, lightweight option is probably the way to go.


Carry Bags or “Sunday Bags” are another option for golfers who just want a simple, lightweight bag to walk the course with.  Averaging just 2 pounds of weight, these are by far the lightest type of golf bag on the market.  Bag designers were able to eliminate weight from the bag by removing some of the structural touches, the stand and by using lighter-weight materials.  If you like to walk, don’t need a lot of pockets and don’t really need a stand, then a carry bag could be a great option for you.


Hopefully now that you know a bit more about the different types of golf bags on the market, you can make an educated decision about which bag will be right for your game.  At Austad’s, we carry a full range of golf bags with a variety of styles and options from the top brands in golf.


Shop All Golf Bags

Posted in Golf Tips Golf Insider By Sara Austad Rubin

M1 vs M2 - Which Driver is Right for You?

Friday, February 19, 2016 10:45:34 AM America/North_Dakota/Center

TaylorMade M1 vs M2

If you’re a golfer, your’re in a great position because there are no shortage of fantastic driver options on the market.  TaylorMade is one company that year after year, seems to crank out the most dominant metal woods on tour and for the average joe.


New for 2016, TaylorMade has two fantastic driver options that will add distance to your long game and give you an extra dose of forgiveness.  The M1 and M2 drivers may seem similar in both name and style on the surface, but there are some key differences that mean one driver might be just the thing you need while the other can stay on the shelf.  Here’s what you need to know about TaylorMade’s new drivers and how you can choose the right model for you:


Both the M1 and M2 drivers were constructed with the same materials.  The “M” actually stands for Multi-Material, meaning that both drivers use a combination of metals to move weight around to get you the optimal amount of distance and forgiveness. 


TaylorMade’s big highlight on both clubs is the 7-layer Carbon Composite Crown.  What this boils down to is an ultra-thin, ultra-light and ultra-strong top, which allows TaylorMade to save weight and put it where you really need it.


Key Differences: None really.  Both the M1 and M2 utilize the same materials and were constructed essentially the same way.



Here’s where the big differences between the M1 and M2 come into play.  In a nutshell, if you like to tinker with your shots and desire the ability to really dial in your game, the M1 gives you whole lot of adjustability.  The M2 offers some of the same adjustability features, but TaylorMade designed this club to be as forgiving as possible, meaning you may not need the ability to tweak the club settings.


TaylorMade M1 DriverTaylorMade M1 Adjustability:

There are two areas where you can adjust this driver to really personalize your shot.  The T-Track System is TaylorMade’s revolutionary system which consists of a front and back track with 25 grams of adjustable weight. 


  • The front track gives you one 15 gram weight, which can be used to craft multiple draw, neutral and fade settings.
  • The back track gives you one 10 gram weight, which can be adjusted for multiple high, medium and low launch and spin settings.


The M1 also offers a Loft Sleeve, which allows you to adjust the face angle up to 2 degrees in either direction (4 degrees total with 12 settings).  Available lofts include 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 and 12.


TaylorMade M2 DriverTaylorMade M2 Adjustability:

While the M2 Driver does not include the T-Track System, which allows golfers to dial in almost any shot, it does boast an absolutely massive sweet spot.  It was engineered with a high MOI, Inverted Cone Technology and a redesigned Speed Pocket, all meaning, that you’re going to have a long, accurate drive with this club.


The M2 does feature the same Loft Sleeve as the M1 giving you 4 degrees of face adjustability with multiple loft options.


Key Differences: Both clubs offer the Loft Sleeve, giving you multiple options for lie, loft and face angle, but if you really want adjustability, the M1 is the way to go.


Head Size:

Both the M1 and M2 drivers are offered in a USGA max 460cc’s.  The M1 is also offered in a 430cc head size, which is geared toward better players.





The other major difference between the M1 and M2 driver is the price.  The M1 starts at $499.99 while the M2 retails for $399.99, so if price is a factor, you may want to opt for the slightly more affordable M2.



In the end, if you’re looking for a new driver this year, you’ve got two awesome options in the TaylorMade M1 and M2.  Stop by any Austad’s Golf location and speak to a Certified TaylorMade Custom Fitter.  They’ll let you swing both clubs, and help you determine which driver is really best for your game.




Want to stay up to date with all the latest stories, trends and gossip from the world of golf?  Make sure you sign up for our Austad's Golf Insider Newsletter!


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Posted in Custom Fitting Golf Tips By Sara Rubin

10 Perfect Holiday Golf Gifts for Women 2015

Friday, November 20, 2015 1:33:56 PM America/North_Dakota/Center

Perfect holiday gifts for women

Before you jump in and buy that bag of tees that you know will be just perfect for the golfer on your list, you may want to take a look at what is out on the market.  There are hundreds of amazing golf gifts that any woman would be ecstatic to receive.  Here’s our list for the top 10 golf gifts for women in 2015:


UA Womens Twisted Tech1. Every woman wants to look good on the course and the great thing about the Under Armour Women’s Twisted Tech Pullover is that it is the perfect layering piece to wear on and off the course.  The sporty style and Under Armour logo will make the woman in your life feel like the champion she is.


Nike Women's Delight V Shoe2. Every golfer knows that golf shoes are an investment that is well worth the money.  Shoes are often the most underrated piece of equipment that a golfer will buy and for regular golfers, having an extra pair on hand is an awesome way to change up your game and your style.  The Nike Women’s Delight V Golf Shoes would make a stylish and functional addition to any woman’s golf closet.


Srixon Lady Soft Feel3. It may not be the most exciting gift in the world, but a box of nice golf balls like Srixon’s Soft Feel would make a welcome addition under the tree for any golfer.  If you want to take your gift up a notch, why not personalize some balls.  Personalization is easy and it’s the perfect way to make a utility gift about a thousand times more awesome!


Winn DriTac Ladies Grip4. Another gift that any golfer would love to receive is a new set of grips.  Regripping clubs is one of those necessities that many golfers just never get around to so investing in a set of nice grips for the golfer on your list like the Winn Dri-Tac Ladies Grip is the perfect way to show you care.  Note that you can buy the grips now and have them installed at any local Austad’s after Christmas.


LPGA Flounce Skort5. If you want her to look and feel great on the course, nothing is going to do that better than some awesome new golf apparel.  At Austad’s, we carry all the best brands in golf, but this LPGA Founce Golf Skort would make an awesome addition to any stocking this year.


Frogger Amphibian Golf Towel6. On the surface, a golf towel might not seem like a super-sexy gift, but when accessories look as good as this Frogger Amphibian Golf Towel, your gift may just be the biggest hit of the year.  It’s the perfect way to spruce up any golf bag.


Bushnell Neo Ghost GPS7. If you want a gift that is guaranteed to impress, you can’t go wrong with a great piece of technology.  The Bushnell Neo Ghost GPS Unit is compact, powerful and comes pre-loaded with over 33,000 courses so she’ll always know her distance.


Cobra X Lite Women's Bag8. New golf clubs may be the gift she really wants, but trust us, an awesome bag is the next best thing.  The Cobra Women’s X Lite Stand Bag is the perfect combination of form and function and will make her look as good as she feels the next time she plays.


Golo Golf Game9. Every woman wants to cut loose and have a little fun and an awesome golf-themed game is the perfect way to do that.  At Austad’s we love Golo – it’s a dice game that can be enjoyed by golfers and non-golfers of all ages and it makes the perfect stocking stuffer.


Callaway Solaire Golf Set10.  If you really want to show her you care, a new set of golf clubs is definitely the way to go.  The Callaway Solaire Golf Set has everything she needs to go low on the course and comes in two awesome color options.


Whatever you decide to get her this holiday, remember that it’s the thought that counts.  Austad’s has great gifts for golfers of every skill level and don’t forget – gift cards always make the perfect gift.



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Posted in Golf Tips Golf Insider By Sara Rubin

Which Putter Is Right For You?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 11:10:36 AM America/North_Dakota/Center

Putter Guide

How and why did you pick the putter that is in your golf bag?  Was it feel, look, brand, price, or another determining factor?  The putter is the most used club in your bag, and the average amateur golfer will use it anywhere from 25-40 times a round which equates to roughly 43% of your strokes in 18 holes.  Like the famous saying “drive for show, putt for dough” the putter can be a great equalizer for many players.  Finding a putter that complements you can make a huge difference on you making those pesky little 6 footers for par. 


Ask yourself- how many putts do you have in a round?  What is your typical miss? Pulled left? Pushed right? Leaving the putt short? Blowing it past the hole? Burning edges?  Well if you answered yes to any of these take a look at what putter is in your bag and think of how you set up to it.  

A few questions to consider: Where do you grip your putter?  Do you put your eyes directly over the ball?  Outside the ball?  Inside the ball?  All of these factors are influenced by the length of the putter. 


Length is arguably the most important aspect of putter fitting because it has such a huge effect on how you set up to the ball and where your eyes are positioned.   Placing the golf ball on the inside or outside distorts your perception and when your eyes are outside moves it left and inside to the right. 

     -  Generally when a putter is too long your eyes will be too far inside the ball and you may push putts to the right. 

     -  When the putter is too short your eyes will be outside the ball and this will cause pulls to the left. 


Finding a putter that allows you to set up properly/comfortably with a putter that complements your putting stroke will help you make more putts which will help lead you to less manipulation with your hands.


Depending on how you set up to the ball and where you position your body/eyes this has an impact on what style of putting stroke you may have.  Do you take the putter straight back straight through?  Do you have an arc?  Do you have a strong arc?  Putting is a touchy subject and there is not a definitive correct and incorrect putting stroke/setup. 


Look at Jack Nicklaus, he is one of, if not the best golfer of all time and he putted in a non traditional way.  He generally was crouched directly over the ball, feet were close together with an open stance, hands right by his body with a forward press, elbows out, eyes behind the ball, while wearing a glove.  It may not have been the standard set up with the flatstick, but he made it work and his putting helped him break many records.  Most golfers today use a more traditional set up and finding a putter that helps you stay square through your putting stroke will drastically improve your putting. 


Now that you have an idea on your set up and posture you can see what style of putter you have.  Whether it be a mallet, blade, belly, high MOI design or something else all of these styles have different balance points and weighting.  To find the balance point of your putter hold the shaft parallel to the ground with a finger and see what the face does.  If the putters face is flat and pointing to the sky you have a face balanced putter, if the toe is hanging down at a 2:00, 4:00, 6:00 o’clock position you have varying degrees of toe weighting. 


Mallet PutterFace balanced= Generally a mallet, center shafted, or high MOI designs are great putters for those who like to putt on a straight back straight through stroke.  These golfers are usually over the ball with their eyes allowing their body to flow from square to square.


Toe weighted putters or putters with a slight toe hang or severe toe hang will help those players who are a little further away from the ball with their eyes positioned inside.  These players generally have a slight or strong arc to their strokes and on this path the putter comes from inside to square back to inside.  This weight being pushed out towards the toe helps you square the putter, so at impact you have a proper face angle.  The face angle at impact will determine the accuracy of your putt and putting with something that will not help you square your putter does not do you any favors.  Open face= pushed to the right.  Closed face=pulled to the left.  If you have a severe arc you may want to find a putter that hangs at 5:00 or 6:00 and has full toe weighting. 


If you are using something that does not complement your stroke this could be a reason why you are missing putts!  Face angle (whether your putter is square, open, or closed at impact) errors are 70 percent more influential on the golf balls line of travel compared to path angle, making it crucial to have a putter that helps you square the club.   


60% of the break of an average putt is going to occur within three feet of the hole and if you are pushing/pulling putts you will not hit your mark, thus not making more putts.  Off center hits on the putter have a huge effect on distance and direction the putt will travel and this is magnified if you can not square up your putter at impact.  Depending on your set up and stroke type certain putter designs will help you square the face at impact, which in turn will help make you drain more putts!   


Find an Austad's location near you and try out some putters in the store today or shop our awesome selection of putters online and let us help you make more putts.  Happy rolling!

Works Cited:

PGA Teaching Manual



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Posted in Golf Tips By Tom Jensen

12 Ways to Have More Fun on the Golf Course

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 10:42:10 AM America/North_Dakota/Center

12 Ways to Have More Fun on the Golf Course

It’s pretty much a given that if you’re on a golf course, you’re probably enjoying yourself.  However, if you want to make your round even better, we’ve got a few ideas on how to up the fun factor.  Even golfers who are passionate about the USGA and abide strictly by the rules of the game can learn to cut loose and try something new on the course.  So without further ado, here’s our list of ideas for how to have more fun on the golf course:


*Note: All of the recommendations on this list have been thoroughly tested and have been approved for use by Austad’s Golf staff – we thought you’d like to know.


1. Play a game.

Yes, we are aware that golf is a great game in and of itself.  But why not spice things up a bit and play a game that will make things more interesting.  There are some fantastic games on the market (we really like Mazuma) but there are also some really fun games that won’t cost you a penny extra like Bingo Bango Bongo, best ball or even match play.  Whatever game you choose, just know that you may never want to go back to playing regular golf again.


2. Leave some clubs at home.

This is an interesting one and can be frustrating for golf purists.  Next time you go out, try taking a few clubs out of your bag (try leaving your 5, 7 & 9 irons in the car).  A limited bag forces you to think differently about how to manage the course and will challenge you to think creatively.  You may actually find that you develop some new skills that can help you in your regular rounds as well, which is always a plus.


3. Scratch the stroke play – match is where it’s at.

Here’s a little tip that will speed up your rounds – switch to match play.  In match play, each hole becomes it’s own separate battle and if you’re playing with people who are honest about their handicaps, the lead can very easily switch 4 or 5 times throughout a match.  Instead of an 18-hole marathon, you’ve now got 18 holes that are equally important.  An added bonus is that because you’ll likely be conceding holes from time to time, your pace of play will speed up and that’s definitely a good thing.


Golf Buddies4. Team up.

Even though golf is inherently and individual sport, there is something magical that happens when you form a team.  The concept that you’ve got someone relying on you and someone to help pick up the slack when you fall apart adds a whole new level of interest and fun to the game.  Team best ball is a format that works really well for most foursomes.  The beauty is that while you get to play your own ball, you’ve also got a teammate to help push you to victory.


5. Make up your own rules.

The USGA might just hate us for this one, but we’ll risk it.  When you’re playing a casual round of golf, there is no reason why you have to stick to the USGA rulebook.  Why not invent a few of your own rules?  Breakfast balls become guaranteed, fluffing your lie can be encouraged and all putts can certainly be good within 4 feet.  Get creative and form your own governing body – don’t worry, we won’t tell the USGA. ;)


6. Crank the tunes.

The thought of blasting some classic rock from your cart may not appeal to golfers of the stuffier variety, but adding a little background music to your round is an instant mood lifter.  When music is playing, people instantly become looser and more relaxed, which is not only great for your game, but it’s great for your social life.  There are some awesome small Bluetooth speakers on the market that are perfect for golf and push comes to shove, your smartphone works just fine.


7. Put a little cash on it.

Let’s just get this out in the open, we are not advocating high stakes gambling.  However, if you’re so inclined, making a little side bet will definitely help make your round more interesting.  The great thing is that it doesn’t have to be high-stakes to be fun.  Put a quarter per hole on it for match play or have the loser buy the round after the match.  Whatever the stakes are, make sure that it’s something that you’re entire group is truly comfortable with and then go forth and dominate!


8. Tee it forward.

The tee it forward concept is one that is heavily advocated by golfing legend Jack Nicklaus and also by Austad’s owner and CEO, Dave Austad.  It’s always tempting to play the back tees to see just how you’d compete with the big guns, but our stance is that you’re going to have a much more enjoyable round if you move up to a closer teebox.  Think about it – when you tee it up, you’re going to have a closer, easier second shot, which means that you’re going to have a better shot at hitting more greens in regulation and having more short puts for par or birdie.  As an added bonus, you’ll probably be able to complete your round faster as well.


Wild Golf Outfit9. Take your style game up a notch.

You know that pair of khaki shorts and blue polo that you wear for every round?  It’s time for a change.  Why not head to your local golf store (preferably Austad’s) and get yourself a new ensemble.  It’s a fact that the better you feel, the better you’ll play.  If you really want to embrace the concept, have your group show up in the craziest outfits they can find.  You may get some unwanted stares, but the memories from that round will stick with you much longer.


10. Play fewer holes.

You may not know this, but playing a full 18 holes is not a requirement.  There are some days where you may be pressed for time or you just don’t feel up to playing the full course.  There’s no shame in just playing 9 or 12 holes.  The good news is that when you play fewer holes, you still get to enjoy some time on the course, but you’ve freed up several hours to do other things like spend time with your kids or attack that “honey-do” list that’s been hanging on the fridge for weeks.


11. Ditch the cart.

Here’s a pretty well-kept secret in golf – walking is awesome.  Something like 85% of rounds in the U.S. are now played with a cart and we think that’s kind of a shame.  Not only is walking great for your health (you’ll burn an average of 2,000 calories walking 18 holes), it also gives you a chance to experience the course in a whole different way.  And contrary to popular belief, walking the course doesn’t actually take more time than riding in a cart.  If you’re a regular golfer and typically ride, start small and walk every other hole or walk the front 9 and ride the back.  We guarantee you’ll feel better and probably play better too.


12. Stop keeping score.

Yep, we said it.  Stop. Keeping. Score.  Just go out and hit the ball and have some fun with your friends.  Use the time on the course to catch up and appreciate great shots.  You probably won’t want to go without keeping score for every round, but every now and then, why not go out and just enjoy the sunshine, your friends and this great sport we call golf?




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Posted in Golf Tips Just for Fun By Sara Rubin

Is a Golf GPS Watch Right for You?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015 8:28:28 AM America/North_Dakota/Center

Golf GPS Watch Buying Guide


If you haven’t heard, 2015 is the year of wearable tech.  With the advent of Apple’s iWatch and the ever-increasing popularity of wearable fitness trackers like FitBit, it was inevitable that golf tech would enter the sphere. 


Many golfers have played with and have benefitted from GPS for years, but the technology was generally confined to a handheld GPS unit or rangefinder.  Today’s technology puts distances right in your hand or on your wrist to be specific and there a lot of reasons why many golfers should consider a Golf GPS Watch for their game.  So here’s what it boils down to:


Pros of GPS Watches:

Bushnell Neo WatchConvenient – GPS technology with exact distances for every shot right on your wrist.  You never have to worry about pulling your handheld rangefinder out of the bag and scanning the course to find your distance, or god forbid, asking your buddy how far it is to the middle.

Feature-RichEven your standard Golf GPS Watch comes packed with the features you need to play better golf.  All of the watches carried at Austad’s will give you basic distances and a front, middle and back distance on the green.  Some even come with hazard distances, Bluetooth connectivity and score tracking.  You may be a golfer who wants all the bells and whistles or you may be someone who just wants straightforward distances in a convenient place.  Good news is – there is a Golf GPS watch for every person out there.

Intuitive TechnologyFor such a powerful piece of technology, the Golf GPS Watches on the market today are remarkably intuitive.  For the most part, you can take these watches right out of the box and put them to use.


We could do a similar list of cons, but honestly, this is technology that is designed to be additive to your golf game.  By it’s very nature, a Golf GPS Watch is designed to help you play better golf and have more fun.  If your interest is piqued, here are the key things you’ll want to consider when deciding which GPS Watch is right for you:


Golf Buddy BB5Battery Life – Battery life ranges from about 8-12 hours for most Golf GPS Watches.  For most golfers, this more than covers an average day of play, but if you’re a golfer who likes to take in 27 or even 36 holes at a time, definitely look for a watch with a decent battery.

Golf Course Access – You’ll want to find out how many courses are pre-loaded onto any Golf GPS Watch you consider and how many additional courses you have access to.  Many watches will have access to over 25,000 courses – just make sure that the courses you frequent most are available and you should be good to go!

Weight & Color – Like wearable accessory, the aesthetics are as important as the functionality.  Make sure that the weight is something that you are comfortable with and that the watch isn’t too bulky for your swing.

Additional Features – Before you take the plunge and buy a Golf GPS watch, think about what you really need.  Many watches feature a lot of bells and whistles like scorecard tracking, multiple hazard distances and odometers.  Make sure you really need all the extras before you decide to shell out the extra cash.


Golf GPS Watches are undisputedly very cool tech and could be a great addition for your game.  If you’re ready to find your distance, check out our awesome selection of Golf GPS Watches online or at your local Austad’s Golf.


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Posted in Golf Tips By Sara Rubin

5 Must-Have Pieces of Apparel for Fall Golf

Thursday, September 10, 2015 9:13:33 AM America/North_Dakota/Center

5 Must Have Pieces of Fall Golf Apparel

As a golf company based in the upper Midwest, we’ve played more than our fair share of cool-weather golf.  Every year, come September, the temperatures start dropping and we just want to hang onto as much of the season as we can.  The good news is that the quality of cold-weather gear has improved dramatically and a dedicated golfer can easily play comfortably when it’s 50 degrees or when it’s 85 and sunny.  Here’s our short list for the apparel you need to survive fall golf:


1.  A great layering piece.  During a round of golf in the fall the temperatures can change dramatically not just from beginning to end, but from hole to hole and from sun to shade.  This means that every fall golfer needs at least one great piece that they can easily remove or add to make golf more comfortable. 


You’ll want to look for something that is relatively lightweight and easily packable.  Something that covers your arms and neck is ideal as you can usually adjust the piece by unzipping or pushing up the sleeves to make yourself more comfortable throughout the round.  Breathable, tech fabrics are also desirable and most golf brands are offering a variety of layering pieces giving you a slew of options to choose from.

Adidas Mens Pullover     Under Armour Ladies Pullover     Nike Mens Pullover

Titleist Cart Mitts2. Cold weather gloves and/or cart mitts.  Because your hands are the only connection between your body and the golf club, it’s vital to keep them warm when playing fall golf.  Even though most golfers generally only wear a glove on their sub-dominant hand, you’ll want to score yourself a pair of gloves that will keep both hands warm throughout your round.  FootJoy’s WinterSof or RainGrip gloves are great choices that will give you the grip you need without sacrificing too much feel.


You may also want to invest in a pair of cart mitts, which are like oversize mittens that can easily be slipped on and off.  For those times between holes or shots where you have to wait more than you’d like, cart mitts are the best way to keep your hands warm and dry.


Adidas Wind Jacket3. A warm, wind-resistant jacket.  If you’re set on continuing your golf season into the fall, a great jacket is an absolute necessity.  Heavy-duty golf jackets aren’t just designed to be stylish, they are designed to keep the elements out while keeping you comfortable.  Look for a jacket that is guaranteed to be wind-resistant or windproof – you won’t regret it when those cool fall winds pick up!


Golf jackets are also designed to allow the golfer to move freely while swinging, but you’ll want to make sure that you have enough room to maneuver your shoulders through your golf swing.  Before taking the plunge, consider what type of apparel you’ll be wearing underneath the jacket.  Just a polo or a polo and a layering piece?  The number of pieces you wear under your jacket will impact the fit, so make sure get the right size.


Titleist Beanies4. A warm cap or ear muffs.   Have you ever seen football players after they come off the field during a November game?  Have you seen the steam coming off their heads?  When you’re golfing in cooler weather, you need to find ways to keep all key parts of your body warm and comfortable and that most definitely includes your head.  Get yourself a cap or at the very least, some ear warmers that will keep your head nice and toasty so that you can focus on making birdies.


Nike Rain Suit5. A rain suit to keep you dry.  While you can hope for sunny skies, fall golf can be unpredictable and the last thing that you want is to be stuck on hole 12 when the rain starts to fall.  The good news is that there are some awesome rain suits out on the market that are guaranteed to keep you dry and comfortable whether you choose to pack it in and head back to the clubhouse or push on through the rain.


Golf rain gear is designed to be taken off and on while on the course, so you’ll want to make sure that it fits comfortably over your clothes.  Look for a rain suit with a waterproof guarantee and ideally, a waterproof warranty.  Most major manufacturers use top-of-the line materials in the design of their rain gear.  Just make sure you pick up your rain suit from an authorized retailer like Austad’s.  We back all of the products that we carry with a quality and performance guarantee and work directly with vendors to ensure that you get the best quality product.


To wrap it up, with the right equipment and apparel, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be able to enjoy some great golf this fall.  With the changing leaves, it’s honestly one of the most beautiful times of the year to play.  Don’t forget – Austad’s has everything you need to have fun on the course all year round!


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Posted in Golf Tips Just for Fun By Sara Rubin

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