A Reader Asks, “Why is Zero Called Love in Tennis?”

Answer: Many Point to Game’s French Root for Answer
 
This spring we asked you, our readers, to submit sport-related questions you wanted answered. Out of the many responses, we chose one from Christopher Agnew of Erdenheim, Penn. He wanted to know why zero is called love in tennis. With his mom a devout tennis fan, this question has befuddled him for years.
 
If it’s any consolation, Christopher, tennis scoring has perplexed many, including some of the game’s leading players. When Billie Jean King first learned that the first two points are 15 and 30, she (like most of us), figured the next point would be 45. When told that it was actually 40, she is reported to have asked, “What is this sport?”
 
Another tennis great, Andre Agassi once said that the points’ names were “Invented to cause frustration to those who chose to play.” Still, you have to like a sport where the word “love” is bandied about so frequently.
 
Love = A Goose Egg
 
While there is no definitive source on the subject, it is believed that “love” may be derived from the French word l’oeuf, or the egg. Before you think this a silly way to note score, remember that in American English, we frequently use the term “goose egg” to denote zero. Why “l’ouef,” rather than “goose egg?” Because many believe the game originated in France, perhaps as early as the 12th century. When the game was adopted by the English, “l’ouef” was assimilated into “love” because the pronunciation for the two terms are close. “Love” has stuck ever since.
 
Clock Face Explains Scoring
 
To understand the rest of the points, you have to picture a clock face and the minute hand. Four points are needed to win a match and a clock is dived into quadrants: 15, 30, 45 and 60 and these might have been the points except for the fact that a game must be won by two points. Therefore, the first three points advance the hand to 15, 30 and 40. If both players are at 40 points, that’s called deuce, meaning two points are needed to win the match. The next two consecutive points advance the hand by 10 minutes each, first to 50, then to 60, which would still have the game finish at the 60 mark.
 
One more bit of trivia, Christopher: It is believed “tennis” evolved from “tenez,” or take heed. Think of the “fore” in golf, used to warn those ahead (and sometimes beside) us.
 
If you want to experience a little “love” on the court, be sure to speak with one of our knowledgeable tennis experts at your local Dunham’s Sports store. As with nearly every other sport, tennis equipment and apparel have advanced a great deal in the last few years. With the right equipment, you could learn to love tennis and the cardiovascular workout it provides.
 
-Tennis is My Racquet
 
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The Gear on Your Back

You’ve packed your rod and reel for that fishing trip, but do you have apparel engineered for a day on the water?
 
Fishing is a great way to get outdoors and spend quality time with the family. But if you’re brand new to the sport, where do you begin? What kind of rod or reel is best for me? What kind of lures should I look for? What kind of safety concerns should I be aware of?
 
To make things a little easier, let’s start with the basics: the rod and reel. As the sport of fishing progresses, so do the advances in equipment, and that means a plethora of choices. To make things easy, fishing tackle companies make combo kits, which include a rod and reel sold together. This means you can match your child’s age with a set instead of having to match separate pieces.
 
“Combos take the guesswork out and pair the correct rod and reel for you,” explained Ken Staudinger of Pure Fishing. “For example, Shakespeare Crusader combo comes with a rod, reel and line, making it less stressful to get the family geared up and enjoy more time fishing.”
 
With the rod and reel out of the way, next it might be a good idea to find the right lures and hooks. Are you fishing off a dock or pier in shallower water? Then keep your eyes peeled for some floating or shallow-water lures. The package will tell you what type of water it’s best for. Fishing on Lake Michigan in some deeper water? Then a diver might be best for you.
 
For the little ones who might not make it a full day of fishing but still want to pull some lunkers out of the water, artificial bait products can be incredibly effective. While they don’t quite replace live baits, they’re another option that kids like.
 
“Artificial bait alternatives such as Berkley Gulp! Alive small jars can be intriguing to kids,” Staudinger explained. “However, live bait like worms, minnows and crickets might be the most exciting thing to a child until they can reel in their first fish.”
 
The most important consideration when getting the family out on the lake is safety. Fishing requires a lot of sharp objects, so mom or dad needs to be extra careful when their children are handling hooks and lures.
 
“It is very easy to hook someone during a cast if you are not paying attention,” Staudinger said. “The Shakespeare Hide-A-Hook system is an excellent and safe setup for children as it hides the hook point in the bobber when casting.”
 
Having the right essentials is key in making sure you and your family make the most of what the lake has to offer. With combo kit options and lures from Pure Fishing, it’s never been easier to get outdoors with the entire family.
 
-Hook, Line & Sinker
 
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Family Fishing Fundamentals

Tips and tricks for amateur anglers.
 
Fishing is a great way to get outdoors and spend quality time with the family. But if you’re brand new to the sport, where do you begin? What kind of rod or reel is best for me? What kind of lures should I look for? What kind of safety concerns should I be aware of?
 
To make things a little easier, let’s start with the basics: the rod and reel. As the sport of fishing progresses, so do the advances in equipment, and that means a plethora of choices. To make things easy, fishing tackle companies make combo kits, which include a rod and reel sold together. This means you can match your child’s age with a set instead of having to match separate pieces.
 
“Combos take the guesswork out and pair the correct rod and reel for you,” explained Ken Staudinger of Pure Fishing. “For example, Shakespeare Crusader combo comes with a rod, reel and line, making it less stressful to get the family geared up and enjoy more time fishing.”
 
With the rod and reel out of the way, next it might be a good idea to find the right lures and hooks. Are you fishing off a dock or pier in shallower water? Then keep your eyes peeled for some floating or shallow-water lures. The package will tell you what type of water it’s best for. Fishing on Lake Michigan in some deeper water? Then a diver might be best for you.
 
For the little ones who might not make it a full day of fishing but still want to pull some lunkers out of the water, artificial bait products can be incredibly effective. While they don’t quite replace live baits, they’re another option that kids like.
 
“Artificial bait alternatives such as Berkley Gulp! Alive small jars can be intriguing to kids,” Staudinger explained. “However, live bait like worms, minnows and crickets might be the most exciting thing to a child until they can reel in their first fish.”
 
The most important consideration when getting the family out on the lake is safety. Fishing requires a lot of sharp objects, so mom or dad needs to be extra careful when their children are handling hooks and lures.
 
“It is very easy to hook someone during a cast if you are not paying attention,” Staudinger said. “The Shakespeare Hide-A-Hook system is an excellent and safe setup for children as it hides the hook point in the bobber when casting.”
 
Having the right essentials is key in making sure you and your family make the most of what the lake has to offer. With combo kit options and lures from Pure Fishing, it’s never been easier to get outdoors with the entire family.
 
-Hook, Line & Sinker
 
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Maximize Your Camping Experience

Enjoy the Great Outdoors with The Right Camping Equipment.
 
Some of our best memories are centered around camping trips when our two boys were young. After spending the entire day outdoors, we would gather around a campfire in the evening to watch bats fly overhead and to listen to the chirping of crickets and the croaking of tree frogs. Camping gave us more opportunities for face-to-face time and a respite from such distractions as television.
 
It should be noted that we never “roughed it.” We firmly believed our camping experience would be more enjoyable for us and our kids if we had the right equipment. That equipment has undergone a significant transformation in the more than 10 years since we stopped camping. It’s significantly better—more durable, more lightweight and specifically designed to further enhance the outdoor experience. If you’re considering camping, keep the following offerings in mind.
 
Chill Out with Yeti Coolers
 
Whether you’re camping, hunting or fishing, you want a cooler that keeps items cold for a long period of time and one that is nearly indestructible. Those are the traits that have made Yeti coolers extremely popular with campers. They have very few working parts and feature locks and handles that are extremely durable. As avid campers know, Yeti coolers were developed out of necessity in 2006 by two brothers who are extreme hunting, fishing and outdoors enthusiasts. They created premium coolers with a focus on quality, not price. For 2017, the big news from Yeti is the introduction of its Hopper Two line of portable soft sided coolers.
 
“We came out with our first soft-sided cooler two years ago. It was completely watertight, including the closure, and durable. The original Hopper worked great, but we knew we could make it even better,” said Yeti’s Casey Sellers.
 
And improve on the original Hopper they did, starting by increasing the amount of ColdCell insulation, ensuring that items stay colder longer. Even a long way from camp, you can rest assured your catch (or kill) stays fresh. Your prize is also easier to load and unload into the Hopper Two, thanks to the new front zipper location, which makes the opening much wider.
 
“We also made the body more tapered, which makes carrying it for longer periods more convenient,” added Sellers.
 
As Sellers explained, the more tapered body is ergonomically efficient, as are the new handles. There are now three different sets of reinforced handles, giving you options in how you want to carry the Hopper Two. Yeti also redesigned the zipper clasp; it’s now easier to open and close.
 
The Hopper Two is available in three sizes: 20, 30 and 40, with sizes corresponding with the pounds of ice that can be carried. All three sizes feature the company’s DryHide™ waterproof shell to prevent leaks.
 
De-stress in a Grand Trunk Hammock
 
One of the primary reasons for going camping is to de-stress, and there are few better ways of doing so than in a hammock. They’re ideal to while away an afternoon while reading a book or catching some shut-eye. If that sounds appealing to you, we recommend hammocks from Grand Trunk.
 
The company was founded in 2001 when owners Jon Neff and Kevin Kaiser met during a backpacking trip in Thailand. They shared a passion for travel and a desire for letting people sleep suspended rather than on the ground. Today, Grand Trunk offers some of the widest and longest hammocks on the market, certainly the case with the Double Hammock.
 
“Our Double Hammock is made of 70D taffeta nylon, and it’s 20 percent larger than normal-sized hammocks. It features nautical-grade carabiners, comes in a variety of colors and offers a 400-pound capacity. It’s a great seating option; two people can comfortably and safely sit in it,” said Grand Trunk’s Brian Fisher.
The Double Hammock is mold- and mildew-resistant, comes with a lifetime warranty and can be conveniently cleaned in a front-load washer; just be sure to remove the carabiners before doing so.
 
To hang your hammock in areas where trees are farther apart, consider Grand Trunk Tree Slings. They feature 10-foot cord on either side for more versatility and a piece of nylon webbing to protect the trees. They also come with a lifetime warranty against defects and manufacturing issues.
 
For those situations and areas where trees are not available, such as tailgate parties, picnics or your own backyard, Fisher recommends the newly introduced Hang-Out Hammock Stand. It will be available in Dunham’s stores next month – in early July.
 
“We like to say that the Hang-Out hammock stand allows you to hang wherever you are,” said Fisher.
 
This portable hammock stand weighs approximately 32 pounds, breaks apart into eight sections and comes with its own carrying bag.
 
Stay Dry and Comfortable in a Columbia Tent
 
When my family and I camped, it was in a pop-up camper. Now that the kids are grown and we no longer own the camper, my wife and I are considering purchasing a tent, and we’ll likely start by looking at the Columbia Pinewood Dome tents, specifically the 4 Person and 6 Person models.
 
Both are equipped with Columbia Omni Shield Advanced Repellency Technology. It creates an exceptional water barrier to help campers stay dry and enables the fabric to dry three to five times faster than untreated fabric. That’s important if you need to pack your tent shortly after a rainfall.
 
To make it easier to get into the tents, both models feature a double-door design with an extra-high awning over the door, and both deliver great air flow inside the tent due to the upper and lower cross-ventilation design. This ensures optimal comfort on warm nights. When evenings turn chilly, especially at the beginning and end of the season, the vents can be closed to retain more warmth.
 
And when it’s raining, you can stay comfortable and dry in your tent, thanks to the easily attachable and detachable rainfly. When attached, it creates an awning over the door for protected entry and exit from the tent. Both the 4 Person and 6 Person tent also feature an electrical access port to facilitate plugging in electrical equipment and gear pockets to keep valuables safely stored and out of the way.
 
As the name implies, the 4 Person model sleeps up to four, measures 9 feet by 7 feet and features a 59-inch center height. For those who need or simply want a larger tent, the 6 Person model measures 11 feet by 9 feet and features a 72-inch center height. Columbia made setup and takedown easy, thanks to durable shock-corded fiberglass poles with a fast clip and a pole sleeve design.
 
Columbia also offers several items to make your camping or backpacking experience more pleasurable, including the Clackamas daypack series, which features a large main compartment with two soft-lined pockets and a zippered mesh pocket. To alleviate shoulder stress, this daypack features contoured shoulder straps with high-density foam and breathable air mesh. There are dual side water bottle pockets to ensure that you stay hydrated on long excursions and quick-access points on the right and left side to attach sunglasses. The Clackamas is available in beet, black, blue moon and collegiate navy.
 
In today’s ever-connected world, it’s a good idea to get away. Check out the camping products mentioned in this article to make your camping experience pleasurable and hassle-free.
 
-Happy Camper
 
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Why You Need To Train Legs

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Leg day is the easiest session to skip in the gym. Leg training is tough — no doubt about it — and it can be tempting to forget your leg workouts in favor of easier training sessions or missing the gym altogether. Many guys and girls prefer to focus on the showier muscles — arms, abs, shoulders and chest — but leg training has many benefits that go beyond aesthetics. No matter how big your upper body is, Not training your legs will stunt your potential for your overall body. Having small legs will make your physique look odd at the least, if not ridiculous too. I was called chicken legs by a man who was like a second dad to me, my Brooklyn manager Dr Julie Levine who owned R & J Health studio. Those words were rocket fuel for me, it motivated me to prove him wrong, which thank God I did. In bodybuilding contests, judges don’t look at muscle mass in one area — they look at your whole package. This includes proportion and symmetry criteria, so if your legs are lacking, you won’t get far in the bodybuilding game. Even if you’re not looking to compete, small legs don’t look good when you’re at the beach or strutting your stuff in shorts.As you get older your legs become your best friend, helping you get out of a chair or car or bath tub.
 
For sport and athletic performance, working out your legs is vital, according to a 2013 study. A bigger squat, dead lift and power clean will translate to running faster on the sports field and jumping higher on the basketball court. Even endurance athletes can benefit from stronger legs. You’ll also build strong knee, hip and ankle joints leg training, reducing your risk of injury. Think you need cardio workouts to burn fat? Think again. Training your legs, particularly with multi-joint compound exercises, burns a higher number of calories than easier upper-body moves such as biceps curls or lateral raises. This leads to increased fat loss, which is also partly caused by the release of hormones you get when training legs. Your leg muscles are so large that this hormonal response can even help you build upper-body muscle mass. Weight-bearing exercises and resistance training are crucial components in the prevention and management of osteoporosis and arthritis. If you’re using weight training purely to keep bones and joints healthy later in life, do front squats, stiff-legged dead lifts, calf raises, leg presses and any other challenging leg moves that take your fancy. If you’ve been diagnosed with a bone or joint condition, however, and are looking to training to manage your condition, consult with your doctor and a fully qualified trainer before starting a routine.
 
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Use the “Wet Test” to Determine What Kind of Feet You Have

1. Get your foot wet.
 
2. Then step on a surface, such as a sidewalk or a piece of dark construction paper, which will show an imprint of your foot.
 
3. The characteristics of the imprint will determine your foot type:
 
• Flat Footed/Pronated — Your feet are pronated if a complete impression of your foot can be seen.
• High-Arched Footed/Supinated — Your feet are supinated if there is a large open area on the imprint where the arch of your foot didn’t touch the ground.
• Neutral/Ideal — Your feet are neutral/ideal if a moderate space is visible in the arch area.
 
-Fitness Fanatic
 
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Keep Your Feet Happy, Every Day

What feels better than stepping outside into the spring air after a long, cold winter stuck inside your house? If you have tired, achy feet, staying on the couch might feel a lot better. But with advances in comfortable footwear, that walk in the park can feel a lot more like, well, a walk in the park!
 
Think about everything your feet do for you every day. We all know that we should get more physical activity and stand more throughout the day rather than sitting at a desk. But if you suffer from foot pain or an injury, some things can become difficult or nearly impossible to do. Who can think about exercise when it hurts just to get out of bed? And people who have to stand on their feet for their jobs are even more at risk for painful and debilitating foot issues.
 
One common foot problem is plantar fasciitis, which comes with pain in the heel. This can be caused by walking in or standing in shoes with thin soles, according to WebMD www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/understanding-plantar-fasciitis-basics. And heels or flip flops can also cause issues, including blisters, bunions and calluses. Even going barefoot can be dangerous for your feet, particularly if you suffer from diabetes.
 
Wearing comfortable shoes that fit properly are a big part of keeping your feet in good health. Shoes that offer stability and cushion can help you dodge many of the foot ailments that can come from everyday life. And they can be fashionable and affordable, too! Shoes that offer cushioning right in the sole can help you avoid the potential cost of inserts to absorb shock.
 
adidas offers its Cloudfoam technology to keep your feet happy every day. Cloudfoam is made with a material designed to absorb shock and can provide a high level of comfort compared to other shoes.
 
Stu Utley from adidas says that any customer looking for comfortable, trendy shoes for an affordable price will benefit from adidas’ Neo line of shoes featuring Cloudfoam.
 
“Our shoes with Cloudfoam are great for everyday wear,” Utley says. “They are built to provide you with stylish comfort.”
 
And the whole family can get the benefits of adidas Cloudfoam technology. The Neo model comes in women’s, men’s and kids’ designs.
 
Skechers also has options for those who want to pamper their feet and stay stylish. You can get Skechers models with memory foam for men, women and children. That includes their D’Lites brand for men and women.
 
“Skechers memory foam offers additional cushioning with a slight rebound to reduce foot fatigue,” says Doug Kelley of Skechers. He called the Skechers shoes with memory foam “an athleisure product for every day.”
 
These cushioned options from Skechers and Adidas are best for light, everyday activities. They are great options for running errands, strolling through your neighborhood or walking your dog.
 
Remember those fitness resolutions you vowed to keep back in January? Keep your feet in good health so you can go out and make them happen! Try shoes with cushioning this spring.
 
-Fitness Fanatic
 
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Core Strength

Pilates builds strength, flexibility and endurance.
 
Want to flatten your tummy, strengthen those shoulder blades, and build better posture? Pilates might just be the thing for you. Pioneered by the late Joseph Pilates in the mid-1920s, pilates builds strength, flexibility and endurance without adding bulk to muscles or increasing risk of injury. Pilates has outlasted just about every exercise fad and attracts all types of people, from exercise enthusiasts and Hollywood celebrities to rehabilitation patients and reformed couch potatoes.
 
There are a variety of methods that are modifications of the original, among them STOTT PILATES®. The original “classic” pilates program promotes movements on a flat back, while STOTT focuses on the spine’s natural curves and rebalancing body muscles.
 
We are featuring STOTT pilates as part of our Let’s Get Physical series. STOTT offers hundreds of specifically designed exercises that blend body awareness and breathing with fluid, controlled movements to tighten your core, stabilize your spine, and improve the way you move, feel and look. The body’s core is the heart of this exercise program.
 
“The core is like a box, with your abs on your front, side and back, spine on the back, diaphragm on the top and pelvic floor on the bottom,” explains instructor Liz Smythe, who teaches at one of the nation’s top STOTT teacher training studios, Equilibrium, in Bloomfield Hills, MI. “Pilates strengthens all of this and improves everything I do.”
 
It will take at least two pilates sessions (class, private or at home) per week to reap maximum benefits. It’s ideal when combined with cardiovascular exercise (walking, running, aerobics, swimming) and a great complement to weight training. Smythe demonstrates some of her favorite pilates poses.
 
THE HUNDRED (For abdominals and endurance)
 
To start, lie flat on your mat with your arms by your side and legs in the air with knees bent so that your shins are parallel to the floor.
 
Inhale, slightly nod your chin, exhale and curl up off the floor with your hands reaching toward your toes. Focus eyes toward your knees. Legs can stay where they are, or for more challenge, reach them out on a diagonal.
 
Begin inhaling through your nose for 5 counts and exhaling through a pursed lip for 5 counts until you reach 100 (10 sets). Gently pump your arms up and down, like you are pressing an imaginary nail toward the mat with your hands.
 
SPINE TWIST (Increases upper body range of motion)
 
Sit tall, engage abs and flex your feet. Move arms to the sides, relax shoulders.
 
Rotate from your abs to the right 3 times, going as far as you can the first time and attempting to go slightly further the next two times. Imagine you are getting taller with each rotation.
 
DOUBLE LEG STRETCH (Works the abdominals)
 
Lie flat on the mat with your legs in the air, knees bent, and shins parallel to the floor (tabletop position). Hands are on the outside of the knees and upper body is flexed off the mat, eyes on the knees.
 
Exhale, simultaneously reaching your legs to a diagonal position and your arms up past your ears like you are taking off an imaginary top hat.
 
Simultaneously sweep your arms out to the side and back where they started, touching your knees as you also return your legs to tabletop position.
 
PUSH UP (Works triceps, pectorals and abdominals)
 
Stand straight, keep shoulders down and bring arms straight above your head.
 
Nod head, roll down toward the mat. Pull in abs and curve spine until your hands reach the mat.
 
Arms can go out to the side or straight back. Inhale. Lower your arms for 3 counts. Exhale as you push up, keeping the shoulders stable. Do six reps.
 
SWIMMING PREP MODIFICATION (Great for lower back pain)
 
Start on your hands and knees with your hands under your shoulders and hips over knees, keeping the knees hip-distance apart. Spine is in neutral position following the back’s natural curve. Engage your abs as you lift your opposite arm and leg in the air.
 
Simultaneously move the arm and leg out to the side and back, keeping the rest of your body still.
 
Lower and repeat on other side. Kneel or sit on heels, extend arms overhead toward ceiling, then alternate arms in a swimming motion.
 
REFORMER: REVERSE EXPANSION (For balance and spine stability)
 
When visiting a pilates studio, you may find yourself utilizing some of the STOTT PILATES® specific equipment. Kneel on the carriage with your feet against the shoulder rests, ankles flexed, in an upright position. Spine is in neutral. Hold the straps with your palms facing forward and arms by the side of your body. Exhale. Reach the arms forward and upward as high as possible up to eye level, flexing the shoulders. Do not move torso, hips or legs. Return arms to starting position without falling.
 
 
 
NOTE: Before starting any exercise program, you should first consult with your doctor. Exercise is a physical activity that has potential physical risk. Dunham’s Sports and all their affiliates are not responsible for an injury that could occur from exercise.
 
-Fitness Fanatic
 
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Why Do Golf Balls Have Dimples?

Accidental discovery is why golf balls travel farther than any other ball.
 
Last fall, we asked you, our readers, to submit sport-related questions you wanted answered. Out of the many responses, we chose one from Alex Wheatley of Flushing, Michigan. Alex wanted to know why golf balls have dimples. The simple answer is that they keep a golf ball in the air longer. Because every golfer wants their golf ball to fly farther, dimples are critical design aspects. Let’s take a deeper look at dimples.
 
As the United States Golf Association (USGA) points out, the first golf balls were hard, wooden balls. As one can imagine, they did not go very far. In the 17th century, the “featherie” was created by stuffing a leather pouch with goose feathers and sewing it up. They flew better than wooden balls but were expensive to make and very fragile. The next golf ball revolution took place in 1848, when Robert Adams made golf balls out of gutta-percha, a rubbery sap from tropical trees. They were more solid and more resilient than featheries. They could fly longer, bounce higher and last longer. Toward the end of that century, Coburn Haskell created the first multilayer ball; it had a solid rubber core that was wrapped in rubber bands and covered with a layer of gutta-percha. Today’s golf balls have as few as one and as many as six layers; generally, the more layers, the more expensive and better performing the ball.
 
Aerodynamic Efficiency
 
Getting back to why golf balls have dimples, in the 19th century, golfers discovered that old, dented balls flew farther than new ones. Soon, they were deliberately hammering dents into their golf balls. What they likely didn’t understand, and what an aerodynamic engineer will appreciate, is that the dimples were creating turbulence in the airflow around the moving ball, which makes its wake (the air behind the ball) thinner and reduces drag, enabling the ball to travel farther. The dimples also increase spin.
 
When struck by a club, all golf balls have backspin. It’s what gets a well-struck iron shot to land and stop on the green, and too much of it off the driver reduces distance. Without dimples, golf balls would travel half as far.
 
Choices Abound
 
Today’s golfers have a wide selection of golf balls at their disposal. All are designed for optimal aerodynamic efficiency, durability and consistency. Generally, the less-expensive options tend to be distance balls, but they have little stopping power on the green. Premium balls, because of their multilayer design, can deliver distance and stopping power. Even newer golfers can benefit from playing a better ball. And remember, for optimal performance, clean the ball at each tee box, and replace it as soon as you notice a nick or cut. For additional assistance, please see one of our Dunham’s Sports golf enthusiasts.
 
We wish to thank the USGA for the golf ball historical primer. Visit USGA.com for other interesting golf-related information.
 
-Par Shooter
 
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A Better Game Awaits

New Equipment From Leading Manufacturers Can Help You Improve Your Score.
 
For golfers, there’s nothing like the prospect of spring. After hours in the gym and the indoor range, studying golf magazines and watching instructional videos, we’re ready to take the game to the course. To help you improve both your score and your enjoyment, consider the following equipment from some of the leading golf brands.
 
Callaway
 
The big news from Callaway for 2017 is the introduction of two Great Big Bertha (GBB) drivers: GBB Epic and GBB Sub Zero. Both feature the company’s Jailbreak Technology, which includes two titanium rods behind the club face to ensure the face, crown and sole work more efficiently.
 
“With either club, golfers will see more ball speed across a larger area of the face, resulting in increased average distance,” explained Callaway’s Jason Finley.
 
For golfers who like to work the ball (or are looking to overcome an issue), Finley suggests the Epic driver. Thanks to its perimeter-weighted technology, it can be customized to deliver 21 yards of shot shape.
 
“If, instead, you’re looking to control the ball’s trajectory, the Epic Sub Zero is the way to go because it features two weights in the sole,” Finley added.
 
Consider pairing up either driver with Callaway’s new Chrome Soft X ball. It’s slightly firmer than the company’s Chrome Soft and is designed to deliver more spin from the mid- to short-irons.
 
“Players will note that Chrome Soft X will deliver a more piercing, more workable ball flight,” Finley said.
 
Cobra
 
Golfers are always looking for feedback: how far and how well did I hit that drive? That’s why I’m anxious to get my hands on the new Cobra F7 drivers; they include Arccos sensors in the grip that, when paired with the company’s app, provide a wealth of analytical data.
 
“It’s the future of golf,” said Cobra’s Brian Dameron.
 
That’s not the only innovation found in the F7 drivers. As Dameron explained, the faces are thinner, so the ball launches faster.
 
“We’ve expanded the sweet zone, so golfers will see more forgiveness for off-center hits and a lot more speed,” he added.
 
The King F7 has the larger profile of the two drivers and is available in lofts ranging from 9 to 12 degrees. Better players will likely migrate to the King F7+. It features a smaller profile and lofts that range from 8 to 11 degrees.
 
TaylorMade
 
Visit any golf course and you’ll see most golfers playing TaylorMade clubs. In 2017, expect these golfers and others to add one of the company’s new golf balls – TP5 and TP5x – to their bag.
 
“Both balls feature five-layer technology, versus three or four layers from competitors. We believe that five layers means more performance with zero compromises. That’s why we call them the most complete Tour Balls,” said TaylorMade’s Tim Ulrich.
 
Ulrich explained the five layers in these balls deliver the perfect combination of distance for all shots without sacrificing spin and control around the green.
 
The TP5 has a softer compression core – 83 – and, as with other ball manufacturers, the x model has a higher compression core of 90. This means the TP5x will launch higher and spin less, making it slightly longer than the TP5.
 
“We believe these are among the longest in the competitive set with the driver and, especially, with irons,” Ulrich added.
 
Be sure to also check out TaylorMade’s Project (a) ball. We’ve liked its performance and soft feel with every club in the bag, including the driver and putter. Ulrich described Project (a) as delivering, “Tour performance for amateurs, with tour-like spin around the green.”
 
Titleist
 
Last fall, I was one of 80,000 golfers around the world who were asked to test Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x prototypes. What my fellow testers and I discovered is that both balls are better than the previous versions.
 
“The new Pro V1 is significantly longer than its predecessor, thanks to innovation in core technology. Golfers will experience more ball speed and less spin, resulting in a distance advance. Historically many players have chosen Pro V1x for its longer distance characteristics; that really has changed with the 2017 models. Pro V1 is now every bit as long as Pro V1x and both models continue to deliver exceptional greenside control, so golfers should focus their decision based on flight, feel and spin,” said Michael Mahoney, Titleist vice president of golf ball marketing.
 
If you’re looking for a ball that flies lower and feels softer, go with the Pro V1. If you’re looking for a ball that launches higher, feel slightly firmer and spins more with the mid-irons, give the Pro V1x a try.
 
Both Pro V1 and Pro V1x also feature new dimple patterns which produce even more consistent flight, particularly into the wind.
 
“We believe it’s worth investing in either Pro V1 or Pro V1x because they deliver a total performance to every golfer. The ball performs on every shot,” Mahoney added.
 
Conclusion
 
Golf has been described as a pastime that takes a lifetime to master. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of advancements in technology, be it in clubs or golf balls. Outfit yourself with equipment from these manufacturers to help ensure more pleasant, more rewarding rounds this year.
 
-Par Shooter
 
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