As 2009 has already arrived, it’s time to think about adding some new artillery to your golf bag. If you’re like most players, the driver is the one club you really get excited about, and fortunately, there are a number of innovative and exciting designs available in the new year. If you’re a fan of unique geometric shapes, you’ll want to check out Callaway’s new FTiQ driver, as well as Cleveland’s latest rendition of the HiBORE, the Monster XLS.
Designed to provide a combination of ultra-high performance with traditional looks and feel, the Tour Preferred irons from TaylorMade are a great choice for the demanding player. Features include a Tour-configured sole, a shallow, undercut cavity, vibration-management sound badge and TM’s Inverted Cone Technology for enhanced distance and forgiveness.
Fueling your body for optimal performance on the fairways
From the outside golf seems like a relaxing game, people walking around enjoying a nice day outdoors... And because of this perception some people do not consider golfers to be "true" athletes. In fact golfers themselves rarely prepare themselves like athletes.
The company that’s credited by many as a pioneer of the hybrid revolution with the introduction of the original Rescue model is back at it again, this time with new hybrids and fairway woods. Both new series of clubs are part of the company’s Burner family, led by the highly successful Tour Burner driver.
If there’s one person to whom we can attribute the amazing advancements we’ve witnessed in golf equipment over the last 40-plus years, Karsten Solheim is the man. His knack for pioneering new designs inspired an entire golf industry to follow in his footsteps, with various equipment manufacturers constantly trying to outdo one another with technological advancements.
If you think you?re too good for training aids, think again
We editors have spent countless hours on the practice tee at PGA Tour events, and have watched dozens of pros use training aids in their practice routines. (In fact, some Tour players believe in them so much that they either own a part of the company or are more than happy to endorse them.) Golf training aids are the real deal, and the old stigma that they make a complicated game even more difficult is long gone. If you need proof, just check out the following pages. You’ll see several models that the best players in the world use.
Choosing the right golf ball for your game can make all the difference
Even golf magazine editors sometimes need to see things for ourselves. Throughout the year, we’re inundated with countless “golf ball test results,” indicating the performance benefits of one ball versus another. We admit there are real differences between golf ball categories—we don’t dispute that. But we’re also clever enough to understand that no two golf ball tests are exactly alike. In fact, they’re all done under different conditions, with different clubs, swing speeds, launch conditions, weather types and a bunch of other variables that are hard to quantify.
The engine of every club is the shaft, and now is the time to get your engine running at top speed. Today?s shafts are, without question, better than ever.
One of the best ways to get your golf gear back into tip-top shape is to consider a new shaft upgrade. Sounds simple enough, right? If you’re among the many confused, heed the following. Choosing the right shaft is a matter of first determining what you need. Do you want more distance? More control? Both? The variations of shafts available are crafted to meet specific demands, and it looks like no demands are too great.
When it comes to buying a new set of irons, be sure to pick a set that?s made for your game and swing. The right set of irons will always perform better than a set that?s not properly fitted to your needs.
Better players know that the secret to scoring well comes from being a better iron player. Better iron shots mean shorter putts, and shorter putts lead to more pars and birdies. What irons you put in your bag are important to your golfing success, and although we say it every year, there’s more to choose from this year than there was last year!
The driver is unquestionably the most popular club in the bag.
Sometimes nothing beats hitting a drive on the screws, right down the middle. For you youngsters, “hitting it on the screws” is an old, but literal saying that harkens back a whopping 20 years to when golfers used persimmon heads with screws that held the clubface together. These days, things sure have changed. Drivers don’t have screws in the front, instead you’ll sometimes find them in the back and to the sides. In other models, you’ll find carbon, titanium, tungsten and steel, all designed to serve a particular purpose, which is to help you hit the ball farther and straighter than ever.
If the golf bag were to have a go to problem solver, hands down, the wedge would be the top pick. Designed to be playable from literally anywhere on the course, the right wedge can be a real lifesaver.
Often dubbed as a “scoring tool,” the right wedge can be a real lifesaver on the golf course. Whether it’s a pitching, sand, gap or lob wedge, each can be used from a perfect lie in the fairway or a buried lie in the bunker. In fact, there’s a reason why the distance from within 100 yards is called the scoring zone. It’s the “make or break” area, where a great wedge shot can redeem a bad drive or poor approach to the green. Any miscue from this zone is considered an unforced error that should have been avoided (especially from the fairway).
Known as the most interesting and often the most colorful club in the bag, putters are more unique than ever. Want to try a new shape? A new material? There?s something new for everyone.
If you’re in the mood for a new flatstick, this is a good year to find one—’08 brings forth a slew of new shapes, sizes and materials that are visually appealing, feel great and are often adjustable for your specific needs. Speaking of which, whether it’s mallet, blade, movable weights or specific inserts that you’re looking for, there’s a putter for you. The question shouldn’t be what type of putter do you want, but what kind of putter are you?
What is the freshest category in golf? We think fairway woods and hybrids have benefitted from a ton of new technology, making them more playable and more useful than ever before.
Today, fairway woods have become longer, bigger and more powerful than ever. Hybrids, on the other hand, have become more specific, acting as either long-iron replacements or high-lofted fairway-wood replacements. The key is to begin analyzing your current set makeup in order to determine what’s missing. Need a club that goes 215 yards and stops on a dime? How about a 3-wood that flies almost as far as your driver, albeit a lot straighter? Maybe both?
Choosing the right golf ball is just as important as choosing the right set of clubs. With the right ball, you can quickly add yards, hit it higher and optimize your ballspin on and around the greens.
In golf’s modern era, the small, round dimpled orbs that fill the pockets of your golf bags are truly the sum of their parts. From the materials that make up its cover to how it’s filled inside, a golf ball’s composition greatly affects its behavior on the course. Among other things, it determines how high or low it launches off your clubface and spins around the green and how much it compresses when hit. In short, the modern golf ball is a technological masterpiece, with a number of different varieties built specifically for players of varying skill levels. They’ve truly come a long way since a bunch of feathers were sewn inside a ratty piece of leather.
If there’s any golf equipment manufacturer that’s normally associated with traditional designs and performance, it’s Titleist. Company engineers continue this trend with an impressive new multiple iron offering, but with a strong touch of technology. Evidence of this can be seen in the player-friendly AP1, which features a multi-material construction including the use of a tungsten nickel section, an elastomer insert and a thin stainless steel face.
Everybody should get their clubs fitted, right? Two GT editors test that theory out. Read how their experience can help you.
For a while, it seemed as though getting your clubs custom fit was reserved for Tour players and those who take their golf game extra-seriously. But now, custom fitting is made available to everyone, thanks to a new era of golf clubs that feature all kinds of equipment geared for various types of golfers. Also, clubfitting has exploded beyond simple tape measurements and basic shaft flexes.
Check out the new TaylorMade CGB MAX driver and iron, both of which are designed to make the game easy for everyone.
If you’re sniffing around for a new driver this season, first ask yourself what kind of driver you need: Do you want more distance? Do you want to counteract your slice? How about a driver that features moveable weights? If your answer is “all of the above,” then you’re in luck.