Utility Clubs. That’s what “hybrids” were once dubbed, in their infancy, when they seemed like more of a novelty than required equipment. The most memorable of the early versions was Cobra’s perfectly named “Baffler,” both for its looks and its wide range of uses. Was it a wood or an iron? Could you really hit it out of the rough? The answer to both was a resounding yes. Utility clubs could be used out of seemingly any length of grass, as a wood or as an iron. Heck, you could putt with one if you so desired. These clubs are no longer known as “utility clubs” but as
Now that the 2017 golf season is upon us, the time has come to kick your game into high-gear. Before doing so, consider revisiting a few fundamentals to give yourself the best chance of success on the course this year. A typical golf bag is comprised of somewhere around 75% irons. On any given hole, the average golfer is nearly guaranteed to hit at least one iron shot. The caliber of irons you put in your bag are, therefore, worth considering. Your ball-striking ability is a crucial component to your overall craft as a golfer, and like any craftsman knows, you are nothing without your tools.
When did golf become so darn… techy? Sure, golf has always feigned the appearance of a sophisticated, erudite game, but check out the diction being used by some of golf’s most trusted names: “titanium Exo-Cage,” “ultralight triaxial carbon crown,” “acoustic engineering,” “turbulators,” “Vortect technology.” The list goes on, all the way to biomimicry and “geocoustics.” Most in your Sunday morning crew didn’t study astrophysics in college, so after parsing through that mumbo jumbo technological jargon, here’s what you need to know: The innovations Callaway, Titleist, Srixon, Ping, and Taylormade, among others, are introducing to golf technology are working immensely in your favor. From 1980 to 1993, the average driving
You drive for show. You putt for dough. But what about those tricky shots around the green that, more times than not, we fail to get up and down? Why has this become such an overlooked portion of our game? The pros put in an incredible amount of time on their short game and greenside shots – some estimate well over 50% of their practice time – perhaps it should be a focus for you too. The next time you are left with a dicey pitch shot to salvage the round of a lifetime, you’ll be thankful you put in your time. Of course, a
Noted golf course architect William Flynn turned out to be something of a clairvoyant. In 1927, he predicted the need for longer golf courses, a result of rapidly advancing equipment technology – even as early as the mid-1920s. And indeed courses have become behemoths, especially by the standards of Mr. Flynn’s era. The idea of an 8,000-yard track is no longer a ludicrous notion, but a matter of reality (there are at least seven such courses in the US and a few more internationally). This means that the need for fairway woods and hybrids, and the combination of distance and control they offer, is more prevalent
2016’s new irons feature hot faces, great feel, and improved sole designs. Whether you’re looking for better ball flight, more forgiveness, or just need some extra juice for longer shots, there’s an iron set for everyone at any skill level. Club manufacturers make irons in three general classifications: Game Improvement, Max-Game Improvement, and Better Player.
Game Improvement IronsIrons designated as “game improvement” are designed for better ball flight and distance. They are engineered towards the majority of middle handicap golfers, as well as higher handicappers aspiring to play better and have a more versatile club in their hands, as well as lower handicap players who feel they
If you’re looking to upgrade the most important scoring club in your bag, putter manufacturers have come up with several impressive offerings for 2016. From innovations in materials and design to helping golfers affected by Rule 14-1b (anchored club ban), this year’s crop of putters will help you dial in your short game and shoot lower scores. The Nike Method Origin blade putters and Nike Method Converge mallet putters both won Gold on GolfDigest’s Hot List with a focus on counter-balance technology, improved feel, and better roll. The Nike Method Converge putter with CounterFlex system comes in a heel-toe weighted style (B1-01), and a mallet style (S1-12). The
Speed – that’s the new name of the game in golf. Don’t laugh. It’s not a joke, because while golf’s pace of play can sometimes be glacially, painstakingly slow, speed doesn’t necessarily concern how quickly a player gets from the first tee to the eighteenth green. We’re talking club speed and ball speed. Specifically: How fast and far can a club make a little white ball sizzle down a fairway? That’s the question designers evidently sought to tackle this offseason, particularly so off the tee. The newest crop of drivers, from Callaway’s Great Big Bertha to the Cobra King F6 to the Nike Vapor Fly/Pro, have
The best, quickest way to shave strokes by throwing down a few bucks used to mean getting the right ball or being fitted for a driver. Now, though, it might just be getting some technological gadgetry on your side. Consumer electronics have become a big part of the game of golf and just about every aspect of the game is supported in one way or the other by these devices. Today, they run the gamut of possibilities from helping to analyze a golf swing to giving a golfer the right distance to the pin. There are even a few smartphone apps available to help you
Wedges have an attitude. They’re complex. But given their job description, golfers cannot imagine walking on to the course without them. Wedges are the scoring clubs and, often, the tools needed to save a score after an offline shot. They can deliver the ball to the green from fairways, sand, rough, or hardpan across a wide range of distances. What follows is a review of a few of the latest wedges from the top manufacturers. Often, there are too many variations to cover, so it’s best to consult a professional to find the right lofts and grinds for you and your game.