Wednesday, February 1, 2006
40 Things You Need To Know About Your Equipment
22. Get Dynamic
Many players have added distance without any sacrifice in accuracy by finding the right combination of loft, head CG, shaft and golf ball (with the help of a professional fitter). Driver loft is the single most important factor when considering how far a club will hit a ball, but the CG of the head also plays an important role. A club with a CG closer to the face or one with a CG higher in the head will result in lower launch angles. This is not good for most players. The majority of golfers can immediately add distance with a higher launch angle. This can result from either a higher club loft or a CG lower in the head or farther away from the face. Many of today’s drivers feature weights toward the back of the head to help increase launch angle through a change in head CG.
Today’s shafts are made with specific launch characteristics in mind. While flex is important, the launch parameters of the shaft are keys to how far a drive can be hit. Composite shafts allow manipulation of kick points to create specific launch angles for each shaft. You can’t discover what these manipulations can do for you if you don’t get on a launch monitor.
Finding the best match between head, shaft and grip is what launch angle optimization is all about. Experiencing a launch monitor fitting session will provide you with this information. The session consists of hitting different balls with a combination of driver lofts, head designs and various shafts. You’ll also hit your driver to compare your current launch angle with your ideal launch angle. The 30-minute session is well worth the the results it will provide.
23. Match Frequency
If you’re genuinely serious about your game, a shaft frequency test is in order. Each club is placed on a frequency machine and the shaft is vibrated. The number of times the shaft oscillates is its cycles per minute (cpm). Through the set, there should be consistency. Any club showing a higher cpm rating than expected will play stiffer; one oscillating at less cpms than expected will feel softer. The frequencies of all of your shafts will be compared to determine how well your clubs match not only to each other, but to your swing as well. Your repair specialist will be able to explain any shaft changes that should be made to help you play more consistent golf.
24. Remember The Reminder
When checking out new grips, pay very close attention to materials, patterns and textures. There’s a wealth of different options, and it takes time to find the one that feels the best in your hands. Also, don’t forget that grips come in two distinct shapes: round and reminder. Round grips are, well, round. The less-common reminder grip features a slight bulge on the backside of the handle that guides your fingers into proper position around the center of the grip. Some golfers, after making the switch to a reminder model, never go back to round.
25. Divide And Conquer
It’s a new season, so why not treat yourself to a new golf bag? We recommend lightweight models (get out there and walk) with kickstands, plenty of pockets and, most important, full-length club dividers. Instead of a slot for each of your 14 clubs, at least three dividers that stretch from the top of the bag to the bottom will go a long way toward protecting your gear from the jarring that occurs when the bag is in your trunk, on the back of a golf cart or on your back.
26. Bounce Back
One way to improve your ability to play well at a variety of courses is to buy another wedge or set of wedges with different bounce angles than those featured in your current set. If you currently play with high-bounce wedges (presumably for soft or wet surfaces), try a few wedges with a low- or mid-bounce angle for rounds played on firm and tight surfaces. Using a high-bounce wedge off tight hardpan is difficult, as is a low-bounce wedge on soft, muddy terrain.
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