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The Golf Club: May 3, 2014

BOSTON (CBS) - Winter is officially behind us. The sun is shining. Birds are chirping. Fresh cut grass. It must be golf season, so to ring in this wonderful time of year, every Saturday on 98.5 The Sports Hub Hardy's taking us to the links starting at 6am with interviews, training tips, fundamentals and state of the art equipment reviews with experts on The Golf Club.

Leading off Saturday's show was Dennis Borg, a certified athletic trainer at the Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention in Waltham.

You're probably thinking to yourself, "What is a sports injury prevention expert doing on The Golf Club? There's no injuries in golf!"

Au contraire.

Borg deals with many golfers at Micheli, some who are looking to get back on the course and others looking to stay on the course.

For golfers that come through Micheli they are put through the Titleist performance institute screen, which is a series of 16 tests specific to the demands of the golf swing -- that, combined with their complete medical history, allows the specialists to develop a program to help keep you injury free.

Pretty high tech stuff.

Listen to the full interview below:

Micheli Sports Injury Prevention Center

Hardy's next guest was Mike Rogers, the head professional at Tewksbury Country Club.

Despite the "country club" moniker, Tewksbury is actually a public course -- a "very" public course according to Rogers. TCC boasts itself as "one of the finest 9-hole courses in New England" according to its website, and in this microwave society sometimes a 9-hole course is like Baby Bear's porridge: just right.

"I have golf courses that I play that I haven't even seen the back nine on, literally, in years. I got time for maybe seven holes, so nine holes for me is great," said Hardy to lead the discussion.

"In today's time-crunched society, a 9-hole round fits into a lot of people's schedules. There's nothing wrong with an 18-hole round, but who has five or six hours on a Sunday morning to leave the house, and leave whatever you have at the house behind? For a lot of people nine holes is perfect," said Rogers.

Some courses are known for their fast greens, manicured fairways, tough lies, water hazards -- etc.

According to Rogers, Tewksbury is a very narrow course, so for people looking to work on their accuracy there's no place better to play a round. Rogers also notes that the course's flat surface is "easy to walk" and good for all ages -- children all the way up and through senior citizens.

Listen below for the full discussion and find out about the course's upcoming 5k "fun run" during Memorial Day weekend to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project:

Mike Rogers Of Tewksbury Country Club

Next up was former PGA pro and author Dave Stockton, on to talk about his book Own Your Game: How To Use Your Mind To Play Winning Golf.

Stockton, the 10-time PGA tour winner, acknowledges that proper mechanics is paramount. However, the most important part to your golf game is above the shoulders.

"My sons and I are really into visualization and what you do, and not so much mechanical. I understand the value of the mechanical in the long game, but it can really hurt you in the short game. This book tells you about different pros that I've worked with and how I did the fix with them mentally -- nothing to do with the physical aspect."

After a crappy round we'll head back to the clubhouse, sit down in the 19th hole and nit pick every little thing we just did for the past five hours and say to ourselves, "Man, I need to play better."

For Stockton, his advice to you would be, "No, you need to think better."

"A lot of us could putt better when we were kids than when we're older, because we get these swing thoughts and tips that basically last a few days.  And when you have the tips you're not using your natural ability. And so it's kind of cleaning your mind out, just picturing it and letting it go. People don't think it's that simple but it really is," said Stockton.

Stockton's philosophy speaks to the advice given to us earlier in the season by Stow Acres' Tom Giles, who basically said there's no "one size fits all" approach to instructing golf, and what works for one person may not work for another.

Tips can convolute your mind, which Stockton says needs to be at ease at all times on the course.

It's an interesting discussion.

Listen below for the full interview:

Golf Author Dave Stockton

The final guest of the day was a friend of the show who appeared last season as well: Erin Henderson of Callaway.

Callaway's got some great new equipment to try out this season, specifically the Big Bertha.

"The Big Bertha is back!" proclaimed Henderson to start the show.

Hardy compared the strategy of when Coca-Cola debuts its new packaging on their cans. Rather than just stick with the same old, same old, by unveiling a new line of Big Berthas every couple of years it really gets the golf community talking.

"We had to put it in the penalty box," joked Henderson. "The fact of the matter is it was kind of getting regurgitated. There was another one, and another one -- but were they really different? Our new CEO and current management team made the decision to set Big Bertha aside, and not only when we bring it back does it have to have the performance, it's got to have the look, the packaging, the color scheme, the advertising and the tour usage."

For anyone that has a Big Bertha in their golf bag and swears by its effectiveness, you know just how big a deal it is having the new model out.

"Big Bertha being back is a big deal not only to my company, but to the golf industry as a whole. It's good to the retailers, the golf professionals and the consumers who love and appreciate the distance, ease of use and the forgiveness of Big Bertha."

But the Big Bertha isn't the only new thing Callaway's got going for them this season.

Listen below for the full interview:

Erin Henderson Callaway Golf


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