PGA Merchandise show prompts equipment review for the high handicapper
Working part time as a caddie has given me hours and hours to think about golf. I might think about my ball flight and which golf ball will give me the best results. After about 10 minutes of internal conversation and argument (I have a serious problem- I’m able to entertain myself for hours just thinking about stupid things like this), I change the subject of my introspective rambling from golf balls to course management. I debate which of “the big three”- the driver, putter, or wedge- is more important, and almost always come to the same conclusion: it depends on the player. I sometimes contemplate my swing, and I wonder whether a stronger grip with more lower body action is preferable to a weaker grip with more club release.
But the most common aspect of golf that I contemplate is clubs. I see a plethora of clubs everyday, and I can’t help wondering what it would be like to hit some of them. I think about buying a new set of irons with the hope that they might make my swing click; I think about getting the hottest new driver on the market so that I can gain an extra 8-10 yards. I have contemplated losing my 2-iron in favor of a 60-degree wedge. But then I change my mind because I sold my old lob wedge about 2 months ago. Maybe this is the problem with my game- I’m cheating on the clubs I currently have in my bag and they know it.
With Golf Digest’s recent release of their “hotlist” and the beginning of the PGA merchandise show, now is the perfect time to evaluate some golf equipment. I feel, however, that it is my duty to evaluate some clubs for the average golfer out there- the person with a handicap over 15. In fact, this information is relevant for me, and the computer says that my index is 8 (we all know computers can lie).
Some of the data I’m going to share comes from my own playing experience, while some, which is just as reliable, is data I collected from being a close observer of many rounds. I will break my results into categories (i.e. drivers, irons, wedges, balls) and share them individually over the next week.
The Taylor Made R7 Quad, the Titleist 905 T, and the Cleveland Launcher 460 are all excellent drivers. Each has a wonderful feel and sound, though the Titleist gives the impression that it is the most explosive. The Nike Sasquatch Tour 460 , the Ping G5, and Ben Hogan “Big Ben” C-S3 drivers are also very good clubs, and have a great deal to offer every player.
The “Big Ben” and most notably the Taylor Made R7 Quad come with an advanced-weighting system (the Hogan is a fixed weighting system, while the R7 Quad is adjustable) that allows a player to customize the club to his or her preferred ball flight. This weighting is a very nice benefit, particularly if you have a consistent and reliable swing.
While the Titelist 905 T and Cleveland Launcher 460 do not contain any of this weighting technology (at least not yet) these two clubs have the most classic look of any of the new drivers available (even though they’re still gargantuan). At setup, both create a sense of comfort and ease similar to warm blanket.
Surprisingly, the biggest similarity that I found between these clubs is the ball flight and trajectory that is produced when they are miss-hit. For example, if the player takes a divot and hits the ball off the top of the club, resulting in a “dummy mark”, all of the aforementioned drivers send the ball straight into the air with no distance. Similarly, balls hit directly off the toe on a swing that is too quick all seem to be low snap hooks. Finally, and most definitively, all swings that were over the top involving a huge “cast” move resulted in large slices. Not fades, slices. It was uncanny.
If your handicap is 15 or above, most new technology is the same, so don’t get too worried about launch monitors and the other technological bells and whistles that are offered. As long as you’re not playing with a piece of wood stuck to a hickory shaft, your swing is the most important thing.
|« Tiger's length no longer a headline after Buick Invitational win||If you are reading these blogs, you already know the secret of golf »|
This post has 5 feedbacks awaiting moderation...