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New Tricks for your Golf Bag

Many golfers try to buy a better golf game with new golf equipment. I’m not a supporter of this approach, but as technology changes and improves, it’s worth a look at the “latest and greatest” products.

Let’s start with the golf ball, which has more options that ever. Premium balls that cost around $50 per dozen are great and there are lots of options in that category. However, they really may not be cost effective nor even needed for the average player. Most companies have a lower cost, lower compression ball that actually may be best for a player that hits the ball around 220 yards or less. The Titleist NXT, Maxfli Noodle and Precept Laddie, lead this category.

A new phrase for the larger head drivers is, “loft is your friend”, especially with the new, higher flight golf balls. Technology suggests that you use a driver with more loft. For some time I’ve been an advocate of a higher lofted driver in the winter and a lesser lofted driver in the summer. Try teeing the ball higher than normal to experiment with the best ball flight and tee the ball a bit further forward.

Now let’s look at the newest category for golf clubs, the hybrid. Most of these clubs will be comparable to standard clubs from a 5 iron, to a 4-wood. New shafts are being designed for this category of golf club that make them easy to swing and get the ball in the air. For most players, these clubs are easier to hit and may even go a bit further. You’re seeing more and more of them in the bags of the pro’s too.

Think about what shots you are looking for in a hybrid. Is it a higher control shot or a lower shot, for more distance? Look in the range of 18-degree to 22-degree hybrids, which are available from most manufacturers. Some hybrid clubs have a larger bottom sole like a fairway wood while some are smaller like an iron, only a bit larger. The fairway wood style will likely be easier to hit, but it will fly higher.

Lastly, let’s look at putters. MOI (moment of inertia) is the new thing. This basically means the putter is designed to assist keeping the face square through impact. Several companies market these where they look long from the face back, like the Odyssey 3-ball putter. or the triangle shape from MacGregor. Something I have found with the MOI putters is that you need to putt with them flush to the ground for a proper flow of the balance of the putter. If you putt with the toe off the ground, you will not get the proper hit on the ball. Assure you get the proper length putter for you and your putting stroke.

On the promotion side, fairly new company, E21 from Toronto Canada was featured in a recent space walk where an astronaut hit a golf shot with a golf club with their new technology. They claim to have made new strides with materials for both heads and shafts that will add distance, accuracy and feel. It’ll be fun to see how that works out! Oh…the golf ball was hit over the North Pacific, and is expected to stay in the air for 4-5 days……..Wow!!!!!!

Your local PGA-Professional is well suited to helping sort through the equipment maze. Don’t feel you can buy a better game, but with the right tools, you’ll build a better game for yourself. For holiday shopping for your golfer, think about a club fitting, club counseling, or new clubs. My associates at Plumas Pines have some gift certificate ideas on their web-site at www.plumaspinesgolf.com.

Have fun and hit ‘em straight!

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