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Confessions of a Golf Ho

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You know what I’m talking about. That golfer you know that can’t ever seem to find that perfect club. Personally, I can hit all of my clubs straight and as far as I should. My philosophy is to not fix what isn’t broken. Someone very close to me feels differently. I wanted to get to the bottom of this behavior so I asked that they tell me what the big deal was:

“Ever feel like clubs are to golfer as women were to Wilt Chamberlain – there is always another one out there? I am on a current club binge and honestly do not see the end as long as there are new products every three months. Why the 90 days you might ask? Well, that is the time I have to play a club and be tempted by another companies advertising and claims. Or, the hardest of all is the feedback and debates brought up on this very site without losing a dime of my purchase. I approach each trade with the guilt of a bad break up knowing I have left the signs of a traded club on the rack. Whether it be the matching grip or the lead tape, there’s an anxiety that goes when parting with what was once hope. There is guilt, but once I think of the unbelievable profits these companies make it is easier to find fault when the club does not deliver. I’m not biased to one particular club, but I do find comfort in my irons and will trade a wood or driver in a heartbeat. I would like to strike out at the endless options of shafts that have left me wanting that perfect combo and even when happy thirst for more. Now, I have a new fairway wood and driver on order and I think these could be keepers. Wow! I just lied, so it will be Christmas again this month without the long return line.”

Hmm…I guess it is just a matter of preference. I know that I’m not alone and am more advanced than many of my golfer pals. For instance, my irons are only about a year old and the set I had before that didn’t even last a year. I did trade my driver a few times before settling on this one. Since my clubs are working I will wait until they aren’t anymore. I know some golfers that have had the same clubs for years and years. That I can’t do. I know my game and technology will keep improving.

What kind of golfer are you? Do you stick with a club until the bitter end? Do you get every new club that comes out?

 

 

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Nick Messi

    Mar 22, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    I play tennis once a week and for the last 5 years have only used 2 different racquets.
    But golf is a different monster all together. In the last 5 years :
    6 iron sets
    4 drivers
    5 hybrids
    6 putters
    3 fairway woods
    3 buggies
    2 bags
    8 wedges
    In hindsight this is just nuts.
    Obsessive compulsive silly behaviour (that I always seem to logically and prudently justify without fail every single time !!)
    Every time I say to myself that this purchase will be the last I always seem yo be tempted just one more time…and sooner rather than later.
    H E L P !!!!

  2. Roy Perry

    Dec 17, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    ^^
    I wouldn’t say that we are “hacks”. You just said that you’ve been clean for only 12 months, so are you a recovering hack :). As for me, I had a set of irons given to my by my dad that he bought new in 1994. I was introduced to the game late at about 25 years old (12 years ago) and I played those old Callaway Hawkeye’s along with an Orlimar driver, woods, and hybrids, purespin wedges and a Ben Hogan Bettinardi putter. Two years ago, I traded everything minus wedges and putter and dropped for a FT (08) iron set, and FT-iz driver, woods, and hybrid. Cracked the shaft in the driver THREE times and went the Diablo Octane Black tour. Loved it, but there was just something that didn’t feel just right in it. Last year, I took the forged plunge and liking the classic look of a player’s iron, I made my own mixed set of 4-6 razr x forged, and 7-9 razr x muscleback. I purchased an Adams superblack 19* hybrid that I couldn’t make go straight if I wanted to, so traded that for what I have now, a 910h 19* with the PX 6.0 shaft. For the FW wood battle, it only went from FT-iZ to Diablo, to Cleveland FL, to now my R11 ti with a PX 6.0. The driver has evolved from FT-iZ, to FT-5 (still have), to Diablo Octane Black tour (still have), and the current 910d2 with the Px 6.0. I have had my putter now for almost 10 years and bought 3 others only to go back to the one I know and love. Aside from the driver, I have been “clean” for about 9 months now and couldn’t be happier with my setup. If I could change anything, I would go from the 8620 milled Scratch wedges that I have and take the plunge to the 1018 forged in the same lofts. Who knows, maybe Santa will bring next year after I can say I’ve gone over a year :).

  3. bobby bongwater

    Jan 22, 2012 at 9:54 am

    I had to go to rehab and have been clean for nearly 12 months on getting any new clubs. My game has never been better. Not the arrow but the indian. Now I laugh at club ho’s. They are all hacks.

  4. Leonard

    Jan 11, 2012 at 3:49 am

    I’m curious as to why different clubs give different feels. For me it’s all feel, and coincidentally, I prefer the feel of hitting it LONG with ease. No CLICKITY! CLACK! CLANK! Sounds. Maybe something that sounds softer? I prefer a smooth, soft transfer of power through the ball. Am I making it up? Or are different clubs made with less pure metals or metals that are less dense. Or for instance with drivers…are they HOLLOW?!? How do they make such deafening, echoeing sounds? Who knows?

  5. Tim Schoch

    Jun 16, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    The bitter end, hopefully, is a long way off, but I do love to try new wedges and drivers. My putting seems to stay the same, regardless of the club.

    What I do change a lot are golf balls. Just about the time I lose or retire a dozen, I’m ready for some fresh faces to look at. Sometimes, a box of balls will seem to last forever, and I get really irritated with them for over-staying their welcome and preventing me from getting another brand. So I give them away to some hacker and slicer, just to teach them a lesson.

    Speaking of lessons, I switch teachers, too.

  6. sneak

    Jun 13, 2008 at 11:40 am

    I have spent the last 3 years doing what you are doing and I think I have built the perfect set for me, 2200.00 in 2 weeks later, okay really I perpetuate the same thing I know in about a month those clubs will be gone and new ones will replace them. Right now I am just focusing on wedges, I feel less guilty dropping 125.00 on a wedge than what I would on a driver, although my driver has been working really well for me. I have also gone through a number of short lived relationships and breakups, not just with clubs but with women, because of golf, so I am sure they all think I need therapy.

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What GolfWRXers are saying about the easiest to hit hybrids

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the easiest to hit hybrids currently on the market. WRXer ‘Used2PlayAlot’ struggles to launch the ball with anything less than a five iron and reaches out to fellow members for suggestions on an easy to hit hybrid. Our members discuss.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • kcsf: “Ping G410. Consider going with a softer flex than you’re currently using too.”
  • mgoblue83: “Sounds like you are playing clubs that are way too heavy and stiff for you. Try something with a light R flex or Senior flex shaft in the 21-25 degree range. Choke up on it if needed, but if you can’t get that in the air it’s your swing, and no club will help.”
  • Tax77: “Adams 2014-2015 model hybrids, New Idea or Idea tech. The heads are massive, super-duper game improvement hybrids. You can find them for 20-30 bucks.”
  • Argonne69: “The Ping G30 and G hybrids can be found used for less than $100. Heck, I just sold a G30 4h for $60. Both models are available in 26 (5h) and 30 (6h) degrees. If you can’t get them airborne, it’s definitely a swing issue.”
  • txgolfer45: “Callaway Big Bertha hybrids.”

Entire Thread: “Easiest to hit hybrids?”

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Golf club history: woods and irons

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If you’re going to play golf, you’re going to need some clubs. The game dates back to the 1400s in Scotland, so naturally, golf club history does too. We’ve come a long way from wooden clubs and feather-filled balls. For the sake of this piece were going to stick with the modern evolution of the game’s equipment starting off with the invention of the steel shaft in the early 1900s.

Some of the first steel shafts came from a fishing rod producer in Britain by the name of Apollo and we’re developed in the early 1920s. The shafts were much more consistent than the wooden shafts they were attempting to replace but they were still considered inconsistent by many players. Steel shaft also didn’t catch on until a number of years after their conception because until 1924 the USGA considered them nonconforming equipment. It took 5 more years for the R&A to make them legal in 1929.

It was that same year in 1929 when True Temper advanced the steel shaft and developed the process to taper shafts down or create “steps”—something we are all familiar with now. These steps could be moved around the shaft and change the flex which created more options for golfers to find the right equipment and be fit.

Since that time, the biggest steps (no pun intended) we have seen taken in steel shafts have come from stronger, lighter materials to create more flex and bend profile options for golfers.

If you are curious about graphite shafts, check out my piece “The real firsts of the golf industry” for the history behind their development as well as some other technological firsts.

Here’s a broad survey of recent golf club history.

Golf club history: woods

best driver 2020

Now to the “big stick.” The term “driver” comes from the idea that the longest club was meant to be driven as far as possible from the teeing area and hence the name stuck. The club heads were made of persimmon, because of the strong dense nature of the wood. To get these wooden heads to where they needed to be for weight, they would be fitted internally with lead weights.

The video below profiles one of the last persimmon wood manufacturers in the world.

With persimmon becoming more expensive and golf growing in popularity, many manufactures shifted from using solid persimmon to laminate—that change also made the clubs more durable, and also a change in golf club history. Those companies included Wilson, Spalding, MacGregor, even Ping with the introduction of the Karsten driver and woods.

As technology continued to move forward, other companies used various materials like graphite composites to make woods, and as much as they worked well for increasing durability they never quite caught on.

The next jump came in 1979 when Gary Adams had an idea to make wood a thing of the past. He took out a $24,000 loan against his house to found TaylorMade Golf. The first product to market was a 12-degree metal driver; the very first of it’s kind in golf club history.

Since then, metal wood technology has continued to move forward leaps and bounds; shifting from steel to titanium, and titanium to multi-material heads featuring aerodynamic designs built for speed. The rules of golf have limited size and spring-like effect of drivers but manufacturers continue to innovate and make drivers faster and more forgiving.

golf club history: Irons

Until Karsten Solheim and Ping arrived on the scene (see Greatest Ping irons of all time), iron design remained mostly the same—thin, forged blades that weren’t very forgiving. It’s not to say that everything was exactly the same, quite the contrary, but from an evolution standpoint, these were just baby steps.

To see the blade evolution here are a couple of great reads:

Then, just like with putters, Karsten Solheim designed an iron that would help reduce the severity of shots hit away from the sweet spot and the modern cavity back was born: the Ping 69. It was then only a few years later in 1982 that the most popular iron of all time, the Ping Eye 2, was set free into the world and this is where iron technology went from baby steps to full-blown Olympic sprinting.

Cavity back irons make the game more enjoyable and easier because their design reduces the severity of mishit shots and get the ball in the air easier, something that benefits all level of golfers, even professionals. Just like drivers, over the last decade, we have seen the introduction of faster, longer more forgiving multi-material designs enter the market. As CAD design and manufacturing techniques go well beyond was would have been imaginable only a decade ago.

Golf club history: beyond cavity backs

New 2020 PXG Gen 3 Irons

The next leap forward was thin-faced irons so fast they needed to be reinforced with polymer materials to prevent them from caving in. The idea wasn’t new, with the introduction of clubs like the PXG 0311 or Taylormade P790, but they perfected the ability to build ultra-thin faced irons that not only performed but felt good too. The title of the first thin or slot-soled irons belongs to Wilson golf and their Reflex irons.

Conclusion

Technology will continue to push the boundaries of design, and golfers will benefit from these breakthroughs. The question of “how much further can we really go?” is up to engineers and advancements in materials and manufacturing, but however far it is, we should be excited about what they will think of next!

 

 

 

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The most popular golf clubs on Amazon right now (Summer 2020 edition)

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The most popular golf clubs on Amazon right now (Summer 2020 edition)

What are the most popular golf clubs on Amazon right now? From time to time, we like to get out of our little bubble of OEM releases and what’s being played on tour to look at what golf consumers are buying on one of the largest online retail marketplaces: Amazon.

Here are the best-selling golf clubs on Amazon as of July 2020.

1. Callaway Golf Men’s Strata Complete


The best-selling golf club on Amazon is actually a collection of clubs: a starter set from Callaway’s Strata line. 

From the listing: “The Strata 12 piece set is designed for maximum performance right out of the box; The set includes: driver, 3 Wood, 5 Hybrid, 6 to 9 Iron, PW, Putter, stand bag and 2 head covers.

Price: $249.99.

Buy here.

2. Pinemeadow Wedge

The most popular golf clubs on Amazon right now pinemeadow wedge.jpg

A decent-looking wedge for under 30 bucks…plus, it comes in 68 degrees!  

From the listing: “Built standard with high quality Pinemeadow steel from Apollo(R), a 125 gram shaft with a low to mid kick point for the same $19.95 value, perfect for the beginning to average golfer.”

Price: $29.19

Buy here.

3. Wilson Harmonized Wedge

Tidy-looking wedge with a sole grind that affords you some versatility for under $40. 

From the listing: “Blade shape with modified bounce angles for dead stop spin and versatility from the sand, rough, or fairway”

Price: $36.94

Buy here.

4. PreciseGolf Co. Precise X7 Junior

The top-selling junior set on Amazon, here. 

From the listing: “Right handed, designed for age 9-12, Boys, junior set includes: 15 driver, 22 Hybrid, #6/7 iron (1 piece), #9/P iron (1 piece), putter, 2 head covers and stand bag (rain Hood included)”

Price: $128.67

Buy here.

5. Callaway Women’s Strata Complete Golf Set

Just like the men’s version, Callaway’s Women Strata golf set is the most popular golf set in its category on Amazon

From the listing: “The Strata Plus Women’s Package Set is designed with distance and forgiveness technologies for women who want to easily hit accurate shots that go a long way. The complete set includes: Driver, 5 Wood, 5 hybrid, 6-9 Iron, Pitching Wedge & Sand Wedge, Stand Bag and 3 Headcovers.”

Price: $249.99 – $499.99

Buy here.

6. Pinemeadow Excel EGI Hybrids

Replace any of your irons with Pinemeadow’s Excel EGI hybrids

From the listing: “3 Hybrid/19°, 4 Hybrid/22°, 5 Hybrid/25°, 6 Hybrid/28°, 7 Hybrid/32°, 8 Hybrid/36°, 9 Hybrid/40° & PW Hybrid/45°. More and more players are trading in their traditional irons and replacing them with hybrids. The EGI hybrids allow you to do this for every iron in your bag. Join the movement and expect an improvement in your game”

Price: $43.26 – $69.63

Buy here.

7. PGX Offset Golf Driver

An affordable driver option with plenty of offset designed to help players hit more fairways

From the listing: “Offset anti-slice Technology. 460Cc clubhead. Headcover included ; The matte black finish and white and green gives the driver a clean and sleek look.  The offset of the driver helps you square the ball at impact.”

Price: $49.31 – $119.20

Buy here.

8. TaylorMade Men’s RBZ Black Driver, Black

TMs RBZ black driver is a great option for those looking for greater launch off the tee and comes in a sleek satin black finish

From the listing: “A large, 460cc Titanium head with an adjustable loft sleeve allows for optimized launch and trajectory. Ultralite Titanium core strategically positions mass for higher launch and trajectory control. Premium matrix White tie 55 shaft for maximum distance and smooth feel. Legendary speed pocket performance for high launch and low spin, resulting in more distance. New satin black finish with elegant detailing to improve alignment”

Price: $199.99

Buy here.

9. Square Strike Wedge

The extra wide sole of the Square Strike Wedge aims to do away with fat shots. The wedge is fully legal for tournament play and costs under $100

From the listing: “The Square Strike Wedge pitching wedge has an extra-wide sole and beveled leading edge prevent digging; No more chunked pitch and chip shots reduces wasted strokes; Heavy, solid feel promotes greater confidence vs thin-faced wedges that dig and rotate; Less rotation with the Square Strike Wedge golf wedge for men and women makes clean contact easier and much more consistent”

Price: $99.00

Buy here.

10. Wilson Golf Profile JGI Junior Set

The perfect set for kids learning the game, with each club in the set offering lots of forgiveness

From the listing: “Engineered with Super Game Improvement technology to enhance new Junior golfer experience. Weight is positioned very low in this oversized junior driver to help launch the ball for a better ball flight off the tee”

Price: $127.88 – $325.99

Buy here.

11. Pinemeadow Golf PGX SL Putter

One of the best-reviewed putters on Amazon. A great plumbers neck option for those on a budget

From the listing: “Perfect Balance. Alignment Tool. Headcover Included”

Price: $42.49

Buy here.

12. Cleveland Golf Men’s RTX 4 Wedge

Cleveland’s RTX 4 Wedge remains a very popular option amongst golfers and comes in several different finishes (Black Satin, Tour Satin, Raw)

From the listing: “4th Generation Rotex Face Technology with our sharpest Tour Zip Grooves yet, the most aggressive face milling we’ve developed, and even more precise laser milling, Rotex 4 generates more spin.”

Price: $99.99

Buy here.

13. Acstar Two Way Junior Golf Putter

A junior putter designed with both right and left-handers in mind

From the listing: “Zinc alloy putter head + 100% carbon putter shaft + anti-slip rubber putter grip construction, shaft flex: regular. Two way putter–Perfect for any golfer,whether you are right-handed, left-handed,advanced or a beginner, this double way putter performs at a high level ”

Price: $28.99

Buy here.

14. C3i Wedge

Featuring a wide auto-glide sole, the high-loft C3i wedge is a popular option for golfers looking for an effective wedge under $100

From the listing: “The C3i lob wedge is extra-wide. Its auto-glide sole cuts through the sand without skipping or digging; This sand wedge is a high loft golf club for men and women that gets the ball up easily to clear the lip and stop it quickly on the green; 12 degrees of bounce make sand wedge for men and women perfect for any type of sand, fluffy to firm; Get out in one more often and reduce wasted strokes; Makes bunker play a breeze with this sand wedge golf club.”

Price: $99.00

Buy here.

15. Odyssey White Hot Pro 2.0 Putter, Black

The evergreen Odyssey White Hot Pro 2.0 Putter remains one of the best-selling putters on Amazon

From the listing: “Designed to meet the meticulous performance demands of the world’s best golfers. Re-engineered White hot insert generates improved sound, feel and overall performance. Laser milling insert cutting process achieves tight tolerances for consistent performance.”

Price: $109.99 – $299.99

Buy here.

16. Wilson Golf Women’s Ultra Package Set

Designed for women picking up the sport, Wilson offers a complete set for just $219.99

From the listing: “Super game improvement design focuses on generating more distance for beginner golfers. Designed for Women’s swing speeds with low center of gravity for improved launch characteristics.”

Price: $219.99

Buy here.

17. TaylorMade Men’s RBZ Rescue, Black

TM’s RBZ Rescue is a massively popular club amongst golfers and it comfortably cracks the top-20 list on Amazon

From the listing: “Legendary speed pocket for high launch and increased carry distance. New satin black finish with elegant detailing to improve alignment. Shallow profile and improved sole geometry for optimized turf interaction.”

Price: $129.99

Buy here.

18. Wilson Golf Profile SGI Men’s Complete Golf Set

The super game improvement characteristics of this set from Wilson makes it one of the most popular sets on Amazon for teenage golfers

From the listing: “Designed for Teen swing characteristics to produce maximum distance and a rewarding experience for beginners. Large 460cc Driver Engineered with Super Game Improvement technology to enhance new golfer experience
Deep, perimeter weighted 431 stainless steel irons with very low center of gravity for improved accuracy and distance.”

Price: $319.95 – $349.99

Buy here.

19. Callaway Golf 2020 Mavrik Max Individual Iron

Loaded with technology designed to take your iron play to the next level, Callaway’s Mavrik iron cracks the top-20 list

From the listing: “With MAVRIK, we’re using Artificial Intelligence for the first time in an iron. Ball speed is further enhanced by our 360 Face Cup that flexes and releases at impact. We’ve created a sophisticated face architecture that’s unique to every loft, so we can create a significant boost in ball speed and increased spin robustness off of every iron.”

Price: $128.58

Buy here.

20. Wilson Golf Ultra Plus Package Set

Another Wilson golf set that has proved popular amongst buyers and offers an entire set including a 360cc forged titanium driver for under $300

From the listing: “Includes 9 clubs: Driver, 3 Wood, 5 Hybrid, 6-PW, Putter. Oversize 460cc forged titanium composite driver features advanced weight distribution to create an enormous sweet spot. Unique driver head design provides stability and improved launch conditions at impact for straighter ball flight for greater distance.”

Price: $299.99

Buy here.

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