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Golf club tune-up for the New Year

New clubs and golf balls keep hitting the market, so it seems appropriate to touch on a few ideas to help you use these new tools correctly.

Let’s start at the tee with the new drivers that are out there. If you have a new large driver, you’ll need to tee it higher than with smaller clubs you may have had before. I also feel that you’ll need to have the ball teed further forward in your stance, to strike it more on the upswing.

Many of the newest drivers that have square heads are engineered to hit the ball straighter. They have a large “MOI”, which stands for Moment of Inertia. My understanding of this concept is to keep the club more square through impact, and thus produce “straightness.” If you are a very crooked driver of the ball, or hit a hook into the middle of the fairway, this may not be the club for you. It will likely put less spin on the ball and your hook may not hook, and end-up in the swimming pool on the 14th fairway. If you hit the ball slightly off line, it may be the club for you.

Look for a demo day at a golf course near you and try these Drivers out with the experts from the company. Make an intelligent choice before you invest $400 in the wrong club. Most of the companies now have launch monitors at the demo days to help you pick the right shaft, loft, and even the proper spin of the golf ball. Take advantage of this technology to get the right club for you.

Recently, I went through a session at San Jose Municipal Golf Course with a product called TrackMan. It is based on Doplar Radar, and picks up the flight of the golf ball until it hits the ground. This tool will tell you if your ball stays on an optimum flight pattern, or if it starts out nice and high, but falls too quickly. This is really great information. It will also help tell you how far you hit each iron, or if you have large gaps in-between clubs. Maybe you have a strong 7-iron, but a weak 8-iron, for example.

Many of you have the new hybrid clubs, and they are a great invention. But…do you have the right one? I have used a couple with good success. One I used hit the ball fairly low, and produced a draw. I needed to adapt to that. I have one now that produces a high ball flight, so if I have a shot into the wind, I still need to use a 3-iron. If I’m with the wind, I may choose the hybrid. Do some testing and trial and error with these clubs. There is no one club that is the cure-all for each person.

Now let’s talk about wedges. Phil Mickelson used a 64 degree lob-wedge at the Masters this year. That club would maybe yield a 40 yard distance shot for the average golfer. The highest loft wedge I use is 56 degrees. I can hit it about 80 yards, maximum. I see people that get these 60 degree lob wedges and then try to hit them from 100 yards. That is crazy! Use something that is versatile. The bottom of my 56 degree wedge is fairly rounded, so I can open it up if I need to, and it can go 80 yards. If I had a club that only went 40 yards, I would feel I was giving up something.

Consult your PGA professional or drop me a line at jabendroth@ccholdings.com if you have questions. Have the right tools, but remember you can’t buy a game. You need to learn it and earn it.

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