We're not talking range balls, Wiffle balls or those limited-flight Cayman balls either. We're talking golf balls the kind that go too far and spin too much.
No, it’s not the surface of the moon (left), it’s a super-close-up shot of a golf ball. 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 their covers to how it’s filled inside, a golf ball’s composition greatly affects its behavior on the course.
Club Specs Investigation: GT gets up and close with Hot Stix
“Welcome to Switzerland,” a man in a white lab coat says as we near a door marked “R & D: Employees Only.” Opposite this door, a guy is driving golf balls into a net about 10 feet in front of him. Off to his side, another man in a white lab coat is monitoring his progress on a computer screen, analyzing ball spin, launch angle and a variety of other numbers and graphs.
You can tell by looking at the latest square and triangular clubheads that the driver market is changing before your eyes. Other new drivers look conventionally shaped on the outside, but are vastly advanced on the inside. Regardless of their shape, most of the latest models look plain huge. Ever since the United States Golf Association ruled that driver clubheads had to max out at a 460cc clubhead volume, club designers have taken the next obvious route in order to improve their products’ performance in your hands: advancing technology.
Known as the most versatile club in the bag, the wedge is a bona fide score saver
There’s a reason why the distance from within 100 yards is called the scoring zone. It’s the “make it or break it” 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). So, what’s that mean? Choosing the right wedges can be the difference between one or more strokes on any given hole! To start, it’s important to find a wedge that matches your needs, and luckily, if you’re in the market for game-improvement models, ’07 is chockfull of new choices.
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. Is it more distance that you want? More control? Both? The variations of shafts available are crafted to meet specific demands, and it looks like no demands are too great. To find the right shaft, it’s imperative you read up on the details and carefully consider the info and specs presented to you.
Today's irons run the gamut from forged blades and multi-material game-improvement designs to entire sets of hollow-body hybrids
Iron design has been evolving since the earliest days of golf. Though crude and often unwieldy, the first primitive tools quickly proved to be indispensable in situations where accuracy was the primary goal. In the modern era, the iron has become the staple of the set, and accordingly, iron designs are now better than ever.
In 2007, it's easier than ever to find a putter that's designed exactly for you
If you’ve ever been humbled after having your stroke analyzed at one of those high-tech putting studios, you know why the adage “feel is not real” is, well, real. After all, when examined under a microscope, all the flaws of your stroke are magnified. Your path goes left, your clubface is open, you hit everything off the toe—the data doesn’t lie and sometimes all that bad news is enough to make you want to impale your flatstick into the monitor.
Heeding their famous teaching advisor’s words, the engineers in TaylorMade’s R&D department set out to design the ultimate fitting system that would not only properly fit golfers for a full set of clubs, but also allow them to try the actual clubs before making a purchase. They accomplished this task by analyzing six years worth of data from the company’s MATT (Motion Analysis Technology by TaylorMade) System, which focused on launch conditions and their significance.
MacGregor Golf is one of the oldest and most storied golf club manufacturers in the world. Over the years, the company has been closely associated with many of the game’s all-time greats, including Jack Nicklaus, who won numerous major championships using MacGregor VIP irons and persimmon woods. Over the years, MacGregor has changed hands on several occasions and produced a wide variety of clubs with varying degrees of success.
Before you rush out and spend more than $100 on a new pair of golf shoes, first consider the condition your current spikes are in. Odds are, your golf shoes are poised to last for several seasons, but in the alternative-cleat era, polymer, rubber and plastic cleats require replacement at twice a year to keep your shoes performing how they were intended to.
The fact that golfers feel they need a $300 shaft upgrade says a lot about what these ultra-high-tech models can do for your game
One major reason for the tremendous improvement in shaft technology lately is the proliferation of oversized drivers. The unique demands a 460cc head places on the shaft has given designers a whole new segment of equipment to work with. As a result, driver shafts (as well as hybrid and iron shafts) are more advanced and of a higher quality than ever before.
When Wayne Levi collected his winner’s check for the 1982 Hawaiian Open, little was made of his 11-under score. Rather, Levi retains the dubious distinction for being the first golfer to win a PGA Tour event using a colored golf ball. And not just any colored ball—an optic orange Wilson Pro Staff colored ball.
If you've been delaying your purchase of new irons, we have but five words: "What are you waiting for?"
We here at Golf Tips like drivers and, of course, spend hours in the office rolling balls down the hall with the industry’s newest putters. But nothing beats the thrill of poring over the latest pool of irons on our annual pilgrimage to the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. To us, irons are mind-boggling. They’re easily the most sophisticated items in sport (auto racing aside). Just getting our heads around the technology to hopefully explain what they’re meant to do in the pages of this magazine is sometimes a daunting task.
The modern driver can hold the contents of a 16-ounce can of soda and, with its heightened technology, offers much more pop than that. Check out the newest big sticks and find one that fits your game.
The driver is the only full-swing club in your bag that you use 14 times a round (the ball retriever doesn't count). Thus, your driver sets up your entire round. Drive the ball well and it gives you an emotional boost—your round “feels” better than it is when you drive it great and score poorly. But drive it poorly and you feel like a rat, no matter what the score. So central is it to your game that you can tell when your A game is coming back because you begin to hit your driver solidly again.
Just when you thought you’d seen everything! Two different golf equipment companies have created two similar, yet different drivers that feature a radical new approach to the most popular golf club in the bag. Of course, it’s not the first time we’ve witnessed a makeover for the big stick. In the last 50 years, we’ve seen the transformation from 180cc to 460cc clubheads, persimmon to steel, steel to titanium and most recently, titanium to mixed-carbon materials.
Recently, one of my students came to me with a curious question. “Doc,” he said, “why do I hit it off the toe with my wedges, but not with other clubs?” We were on the practice tee, so I had him take out his wedge (pictured) and show it to me. He was right. He’d been hitting it off the toe so much that the clubface had started to wear down.
Accessories take many forms, but the most important are the bag, performance eyewear and a quality rangefinder
Golf accessories run aplenty in the Golf Tips offices, and they’re a big part of the game. But after you sift through the multiple cigar butt/puttershaft holders, groove cleaners, face-mark indicators, ball retrievers, sunblock applicators, iron head covers, ball markers and scorecard holders, you’ll discover that only three items are true must-have golf accessories: bags, golf-specific eyewear and rangefinders.
Still wondering what piece of new golf equipment you must have to play your best in ?06? Look no further than the bottom of your feet.
Golf shoes are just as vital as any club in your bag. They stabilize you, help you leverage your body against the turf and, most importantly, provide gripping support and comfort to protect your feet for the duration of the round. Today’s golf footwear features the kind of technology previously reserved for hiking boots, running and walking shoes and even climbing shoes—all wrapped up in one advanced piece of golf equipment.
If you quickly and relatively inexpensively want to improve the way your clubs look, feel and perform, try a new grip
As is the case with all categories of golf equipment, new materials and technologies have vastly improved the quality and feel of modern grips, and there now are a number of cord-style grips that feel as soft as velvet models, but with the added tack cord provides. For golfers with sensitive hands, or who simply prefer a soft feel, a buffed, velvet-style grip still is the top choice.
As golf balls become more advanced, the majority have adopted the three-piece design. The question becomes ?What mantle fits your style??
Golf ball fact: Most of the multi-layer, urethane-covered, high-performance models won’t provide significant benefits for anyone who swings the driver less than 100 mph. These models are built with cores and mantle materials that require a lot of compression in order to create the desired high velocity.
Today's fairway woods have tons of technology and an array of features that make them a must from the tee, fairway and rough. Don't miss out.
The driver is the star of the golf club world, and as such, gets seemingly all the attention, all the kudos and all the technological advancements. As a result, for a lot of golfers fairway woods have become nothing more than afterthoughts that are needed simply to fill out their collection of clubs. This approach is a definite mistake, and one that should be immediately exchanged for one that views fairway clubs as critical members of every golfer’s arsenal.
If your equipment had superheros, the wedges would be Clark Kent. At first glance, they’re nothing special. But when you’re in trouble, your wedges become Superman, helping you out of tough situations. Today’s models are true life-savers, and they don’t need a telephone booth.