Pre-season preparations

March 6, 2021

The Cape Region winter wasn’t as frozen over as in past years, but near-constant rains dampened playing prospects just the same.

I make no apologies for awful puns.

With spring approaching, golfers can prepare for the coming season without being out on the course or at the practice range.

Every local golf pro I talked to recently noticed a significant uptick in the number of golfers and rounds of golf since midsummer. Some returning golfers are using seriously outdated equipment. One pro said he saw a golfer using persimmon woods, last found in common use about 30 years ago.

If your clubs are more than five years old, look into last-season bargains at local pro shops, Second Swing or other golf retailers. The club companies are busy promoting this year’s latest and greatest, and that’s fine too, but you should expect to pay handsomely. The laws of supply and demand are not suspended during the pandemic.

If you plan to keep your existing equipment, check your grips to see how slippery they are. Scrubbing with a rough sponge using warm water and a bit of Dawn detergent will bring back the tacky. 

Worn grips can be easily replaced without much expense. Some golfers like doing this themselves, but local pros will happily handle this task for you.

If you had noticed that two or more of your irons go about the same distance, it might not be a swing fault. For those using forged irons, I suggest checking out the loft and lie angles if you haven’t done so in a while, or ever, for that matter.

Forged steel is relatively soft and can bend if repeatedly pounded into the ground. This can affect not only the loft on the club face, but also the lie angle of the shaft. Cast clubs, such as Pings, are made of harder stuff and don’t bend as easily.

I met recently with Chris Krueger, director of instruction at Kings Creek Country Club, to have the lofts and lies for my Callaway forged irons checked against their original specifications. Krueger used his loft/lie machine to inspect them as well as my Cleveland wedges.

My tendency to sweep my clubs with minimal divots may be why my loft and lie angles either matched the specs or were only a half-degree off.

Consider a similar lie/loft check for newly purchased clubs. Rehoboth Beach CC Head Golf Pro Pat Mastrian said his staff will perform a loft/lie inspection for club members as a final step in quality assurance.

You could also contact Cape Region pros to schedule a check-up lesson or a lesson series. An early-season review of your swing can provide a useful plan for practice and improvement.

Moonshine Golf

Moonshine Golf co-founder Andrew Mikowski suggests that when it comes to what to wear on the golf course, “It’s all about being comfortable with who you are.”

He’s mostly correct, except for whatever dress codes apply where you play the game. These codes are the golf equivalent of the “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service” signs you see at Cape Region stores and restaurants.

“We are going for a fun lifestyle look,” he said in a recent interview. The company’s name came from the co-founders’ fond memories of playing golf around sunset and beyond, and “just having fun.” The company logo, a stylized representation of a mason jar, makes the point visually.

Moonshine Golf was a new apparel entry at this year’s virtual PGA Merchandise Show. The Colorado company showed off a limited line of clothes that comply with any sane golf club dress code but still depart from the ordinary.

The Ozark shirt ($89 SRP) is similar to what you might find in a West Marine or Patagonia store. It bears a striking resemblance to a fishing shirt.

This was deliberate. The loose-fitting shirt has a normal collar, pockets on both sides of the chest and pockets elsewhere. Mikowski said it was perhaps the “most disruptive” look of their new line.

The All-Day Polos ($65 SRP men, $60 SRP women) use another design element from other outdoor sports. A vent runs the full width of the back, just below the shoulder blades. Besides cooling properties, the vent also reduces the tugging that sometimes happens during a swing.

The last item was the Boone, a “lightweight bamboo hoodie,” according to Mikowski.

Hoodies are showing up on golf courses more and more recently, led by the younger generation. Internet dress guides for older gentlemen bluntly state that hoodies are a big no-no. If you are in your teens to early 30s, however, hoodies are more like a uniform.

Just kidding.

The first launch, scheduled for this month, offers a few color options. Mikowski said they plan to extend the color palette in the future. As for sizing, he said the smalls and mediums are a “more athletic fit,” while the large and larger sizes are “more forgiving.”

If you like Moonshine’s shirts and hoodies, you might also like their hats and accessories. Mikowski said the hats are selling well and the headcovers are sourced from the Dormie Workshop in Nova Scotia (


  • Fritz Schranck has been writing about the Cape Region's golf community since 1999. Snippets, stories and anecdotes from his columns are included in his new book, "Hole By Hole: Golf Stories from Delaware's Cape Region and Beyond," which is available at the Cape Gazette offices, Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, Biblion Books in Lewes, and local golf courses. His columns and book reviews are available at

    Contact Fritz by emailing

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