Friday, February 21, 2020

What's in Your Golf Bag?

Having played golf for at least 40 years, one can only imagine all the different clubs that have been in the bag. Clubs ranging from Ping irons, Ping Eye 2s, Wilson Staff Blades, TaylorMade 300s, Adams a2OS, Mizuno MPs, and my latest Mizuno JPX 900 Forged. Surely there is a couple of sets that I missed along the way, but you get the idea. A lot of clubs have been in the bag! This begs the question - Why do we change clubs, especially when the ones we currently have in the bag are probably working just fine?

Is it that we are doing it to keep up with our buddies?

Are we seeking the newest technology that we think will finally get us to where we want to be?

With all the hype on Game Improvement Irons and the Player's Irons, is there a stigma attached to a certain category and we are buying clubs to meet an ideal?

Do we need the latest and greatest to promote who we are?

Knowing what I know and seeing what I have seen - I can tell you for a fact that I know some old-timers, who play clubs that are older than some of the guys I run into on the course, play an incredible round of golf! They are not concerned in the least with how far they hit the ball. They manage the course and let the game come to them. Their equipment is good enough for what they are trying to accomplish - enjoying the game.

Now I am not advocating that you should not buy new equipment from time to time. But I do have to ask - When is the right time to buy new equipment?

Speaking from my own experience, I have looked at changing equipment when I felt my game was changing. There were periods of time that I had time to practice a lot and there were periods in my life there was no time at all. When I practiced and played consistently, I could handle the Wilson Staff Blades I mentioned earlier.  I absolutely loved them! During the time period in my life when I was raising a family and had heavy work commitments, I needed clubs that would give me max forgiveness, i.e., Adams a2os and the Taylormade 300s (best club Taylormade ever produced IMHO). I always tried to match the club to my swing and the game that I was trying to play, and no they weren't always the latest and greatest.

Today, I find myself not hitting the ball as far with the irons as I once did, its an ego thing I guess to have really noticed enough to care. The clubs I play are a generation or so back. It actually took me twelve years to pull the trigger on a new set of irons when I did put them in. I changed for two reasons... First, the swing is slowing down, and second, I wanted the experience of the feel you just can't get outside of forged irons. So what's in the bag now?

Here's my humble bag starting top to down...

Driver: Wilson Staff D7, 9 degrees, UST Mamiya Helium Stiff Shaft (This club went in my bag in 2019 after an unfortunate episode of the head cracking on its predecessor.)

3 Wood: TaylorMade RBZ, 15 degrees, Stock Stiff Shaft ( In the bag for 8 years now, no need to change something that works great!)

Strong 7 Wood: Adams Tight Lies, 24 degrees, SuperShaft Stiff mid-flex ( In the bag since 1998 and will probably be three until it finally dies. Regripped to many times to count! Best rescue club ever!)

2 Iron: TaylorMade 300 Forged, 19 degrees, True Temper Rifle Shaft S flex (In the bag since 2002, partly because most more modern iron sets don't come with a 2 iron. Partly because I just can't part with it, and mostly because it goes for miles in windy conditions.)

4 Iron thru GW: Mizuno JPX 900 Forged: Strong lofted 21 degrees to 50 degrees, N.S. Pro 105 shafts (In the bag since 2018, the feel and accuracy of these irons cannot be overstated. The strong loft on these clubs puts the 19 degrees TaylorMade 2 iron in play nicely.)

Sand Wedge:  Pursuit s510 True Forge: 56 degrees. Bought it because I was curious and it turned out to be a great purchase.

Putter: I own a bunch of them, just ask my wife! But my favorite is still my old PING B60, Circa 1986.

With the exception of the wedges, I really don't see myself upgrading any of this equipment anytime soon. I do see myself hitting the range and getting a short game lesson or two in the near future. The handicap went up a bit last season - Mostly due to the short game. Putting has been the biggest challenge, working on it, and no it's not the equipment (I've tried many a putter!). I am currently playing to an 11.2 handicap. Perhaps with good weather here in Colorado and consistent time on the course, I'll get it back into single digits this year. If it comes to fruition, it certainly won't be because I went out bought the lastest and greatest equipment.

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