Equipment Thread

Discussion in 'Golf' started by tomwilhelm, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. tomwilhelm

    tomwilhelm Member+

    Dec 14, 2005
    Boston, MA, USA
    Club:
    Fulham FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Ok, I'm actually here to ask for specific suggestion for upgrading my gear. But I figured we'd be best served by a general thread on the topic of equipment.

    So here's my situation. I've been playing (with varying frequency) for close to a decade now. Just about all of my equipment... bag, irons, woods, etc. was used when I bought it back then and I haven't really upgraded much since. I played somewhere around a dozen rounds in 2010. I usually shoot somewhere in the 95 to 105 range (not counting the odd mulli... ;)). I have no clue what that means vis-a-vis handicap. Basically, I'm a hack... one step up from a beginner and playing with beginner's equipment.

    Well, I'm looking to change that this winter, with a view to sucking just a little less this coming year. I'm particularly interested in getting last year's (or the year before's) models new, but unused/unsold. I'm most certainly not interested in throwing $1000 at a small handful of clubs.

    So I'd like to hear your suggestions.

    Where do you get good gear that will work for your height/style of play without paying an arm and a leg?

    If you could suggest a single piece of equipment that made a huge difference in your game, what would it be?

    The current order of "need" in my head goes like this:
    Shoes (I currently play in sneakers and hear these will make a big difference.)
    Driver (I currently play with a 15yo Aluminium driver. No, really.)
    Sand and Flop wedges (I lost both toward the end of last year)
    Woods (I'm playing with old crap woods, but I don't hit woods all that often)
    Irons (Playing with an old, but functional set of Snake Eyes)
    Bag (the self-standing mechanism is finally giving out...)
    Balls (I've literally bought a dozen balls in a decade. Every other ball has been found while wandering the rough/woods for my oft errant shots.)

    So how the hell do you replace everything without your wife "teeing off" on you, so to speak?
     
  2. Matt in the Hat

    Matt in the Hat Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 21, 2002
    Brooklyn
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    First things first. Do you need authentic equipment. If not, there is a great knock off factory in Indiana called IN golf

    http://www.golf-components.com/

    You can build everything from individual clubs to complete sets. If you can get a fitting from a pro they can do all those nice custom fixes if you need them.

    For clothing/shoes/bags, go to the golf shop and try on what feels nice to you (I'm currently a big fan of Bite) Then go to

    http://www.3balls.com/index.php?

    They have a bunch of out of season products at pretty severe discounts.

    From your description of how you stay away from woods it sounds like you are the perfect candidate for hybrids I'd suggest after you replace those wedges (mega priority) that you look into a 24º which is sort of a replacement 4 iron and possibly an 18º which is equal to a 2 iron but you can actually hit it. So you can get all of the wood distance with an iron swing. And unlike woods they are even useful outside the fairway.

    As an aside, I would love to go out and play with you if I ever made my way up around your parts.
     
  3. gazza

    gazza Member

    Dec 15, 2004
    Just hit the new Taylormade R11. Demo at the range. I'm not a got to have the new equipment guy. My det is probably well over 15 years old now. but I've got to say, straighter and longer. Probably added 25-30 yards to my drive. My 14 year old son hit it as well. Probably added 50 yards to his. Spendy though. Went in and talked to the guy working and he said more people are liking the new 2.0 and they are cheaper.

    Still think I'll invest in a new iron set for now.
     
  4. DoctorJones24

    DoctorJones24 Member

    Aug 26, 1999
    OH
    The standard length and angle is most likely what you should be playing with, unless you're really short or really tall. Or have abnormally long/short arms.

    1) In grad school, I bought one of the original Tight Lies 16 degree fairway woods off a friend who sucked at golf and thus blamed his club, of course. From day one, I've hit the thing straight 200 yards from the fairway. It's even got a big dent in the clubhead, but now ten years later, I refuse to replace it. It's a pretty famously easy fairway wood to hit, so you might want to check one out. And they're cheap now.
    2) Check out a Lob Wedge. To be able to take a nice easy full swing from 60 yards and have the ball just drop straight down and stop is really helpful. Should allow you to save par a lot when you've missed those long par 4s way short. I paid like $30 or so a few years ago for a "wedge set" from Rockbottom Golf. Included a SW and gap wedge as well. I think it's the Tom Watson Adams set, if that means anything.

    Totally. Look for a sale. Spend $30-40 and get some spikes. Will really help.

    How do you hit it? If you're hitting it straight and getting 200+ off the tee, I'd spend on the other things first, but then get some affordable 460cc beast to gain some distance. Maybe a knockoff or just a discontinued 2nd tier brand.

    Yeah, mandatory. Check rockbottom for that wedge set.

    I only carry the Tight Lies 16 deg. It's basically a short 3 wood for me, but it gets up in the air quickly and stays straight.

    Check reviews online for "game improvement" irons. Then check what deals places like Rockbottom are running online. Then see which sets Dicks carries so you can go into their closet and swing a few. Most game improvement sets come with hybrids replacing the 3-5 irons, as MiTH mentioned. That's good. I use the Adams Idea set.

    Do you usually walk? I finally bought a cart bag this year because I realized I haven't walked in years and never plan to again. Just would get to fatigued by hole 14, and the rest of the round would just be an endurance battle while my game went to shit. I guess if you usually play 9, a carry bag is useful for saving cash.

    I'd say don't pay extra for any 3 or 5 piece balls. Those are the expensive $45/dozen balls that spin a lot. If you're scoring around 100, you don't need more spin. It would just enhance your slice/hook! Yay. Stick with any 2 piece until you start really getting an inside out swing and working the ball (never, for most golfers).

    Sell something on ebay. Take payment on Paypal. Use that paypal money to buy golf equipment on ebay or some other online store that accepts paypal. Even if you have to kick in a bit extra with the credit card, it'll look to her like it was super cheap.
     
  5. StiltonFC

    StiltonFC He said to only look up -- Guster

    Mar 18, 2007
    SoCal
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    My golf history, in brief:

    Played 4 times as a teen, w/ borrowed clubs. Met a guy who talked me into taking the game up when I was 33. Played 3 times with him, after buying a set of Hogan irons and Wilson Staff Stratablock woods. Didn't play for 10 + years.

    Then, in 1986, started back, bought a set of Hogan Magnum irons, early cavity back, and took 4 lessons.

    My first handicap was 17, dropped to 14 over the span of 4 years. Bought a set of Powerbilt TPS irons and Taylormade metal woods with titanium shafts. Took 6 more lessons. Improved my handicap to 11. Bought Yonex Driver and 3 wood(composite). Bought a set of Wilson Staff FG51 irons. Took 6 more lessons. Handicap now down to 9.

    Finally whittled my handicap to 6.4.

    The point is that the combination of lessons and better equipment can make a difference in your golf game. I also need to point out that I played at least twice a week. I had the kind of job where I could get in a round before work by teeing off before first light. At that time of day, 18 holes only takes 3 hours.

    I've purchased a bunch of used clubs, mostly name-brand woods, in bins at Roger Dunn. One of my best purchases was a Callaway Heaven Wood. Hit that suckah out of the rough, over a tree onto a short par 5 (480 yards) from 200 yards. Missed the eagle putt.
     
  6. Bluto11

    Bluto11 The sky is falling!

    May 16, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    I picked up a used R9 this weekend. Tried it out at the range yesterday and loved it. Didn't slice one! Of course, when I play tomorrow I'll probably slice every single drive.
     
  7. Matt in the Hat

    Matt in the Hat Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 21, 2002
    Brooklyn
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Last week I had the steal of the century. For $200 I got

    A brand new backpack walking bag
    A new 21º hybrid 4
    New pitching and sand wedges and
    An unused R9 Driver

    Can't hit the driver for shit (I'll stick with the Sumo) but I am a complete hybrid convert. My 3 iron can suck it.

    Due to the price I have only been able to play par 3's but over the last 4 weeks I have played every weekend and have had only one hole over 4. I'm ready to come back to the US and take my pop's quarters :)

    Also, I have been having a debate with a friend on the benefits of blades vs. cavity backs. I rock a set of ping eye 2's so I love the cavity's. Am I missing out on something?
     
  8. Bluto11

    Bluto11 The sky is falling!

    May 16, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Nice work on the clubs!

    I've never gotten into the blade/cavity debate. I'm still using a set of Tour Edge's that were my 8th grade graduation present in '96 but my wedges are blades. My pitching wedge is a very old Tommy Armour blade that is about twice as heavy as my other irons. I have to remind myself of this every time I swing it!

    Played 18 yesterday and broke 100, by one stroke. Drives were better with the newly purchased driver, but I was hooking it and that used to never happen. I also have started hooking my 3, 4, and 5 irons and my 3 iron used to be my money club. Need to fix that.
     
  9. Matt in the Hat

    Matt in the Hat Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 21, 2002
    Brooklyn
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I've had the same problem recently. Chronic slicer until this year when I stood more upright and rotated my grip. I think I've actually over rotated it and now I draw pretty heavy if I'm not paying attention.
     
  10. Bluto11

    Bluto11 The sky is falling!

    May 16, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    I think I'm over rotating too much. Whenever it happens I'm on my heels on my follow through and it feels like my right shoulder is way to far too the left. Need to hit the range a bit to work it out.
     
  11. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Shoes. You will be amazed by how your game changes with a set of spikes.

    Though you already sound better than I ever was, the one era of marked change for me was when I narrowed my list of clubs. I was overwhelmed by the clubs, and if I hit a 6 iron well, it would go 120 yards. If I hit a 7 iron well, it would go 120 yards. No reason to carry both a 6 and a 7 if you can't take advantage of the club. So, I carried only 5 clubs: a fairway 7 wood, a 3 iron (which I putted with), a 4 iron, a 7 iron and a pitching wedge. So, I just sort of one-offed clubs with various demos for zero cost. My bag was a Target starter bag for $25, it was light and easy to carry, and I never paid for carts.
     
  12. tomwilhelm

    tomwilhelm Member+

    Dec 14, 2005
    Boston, MA, USA
    Club:
    Fulham FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I barely even got onto the course this summer, sadly. So my game has undoubtedly gone to hell. With a baby on the way, next summer doesn't look so good either! ;)

    But yeah, i'm definitely thinking of cutting back on the # of clubs, particularly woods. I just don't use many of them and for others (eg: 7 and 8, 5 and 6) there's no discernible difference in distance.

    I too never ride. ($20 EACH for 1 cart? Suck it!) And I already have a pull cart I picked up for $5 at a consignment shop. Paid for itself the very first round.

    Thanks!
     
  13. Matt in the Hat

    Matt in the Hat Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 21, 2002
    Brooklyn
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Is it just me or does your game just get better when you walk. It's like not driving forces you to play better shots because you couldn't be bothered walking and it gives you something to immediately focus on after a bad shot.

    As for the kid thing, find yourself a nice par 3 course to reduce your time out, money spent and female aggravation. It's worked for me.
     
  14. tomwilhelm

    tomwilhelm Member+

    Dec 14, 2005
    Boston, MA, USA
    Club:
    Fulham FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Good advice. :)

    I'll see what I can track down. My experience with par 3 courses is that most aren't really par 3 courses. They're putt putt with a pitching wedge. But maybe someone out there in my area got it right.

    9 holes is the other option, though it's just not as fulfilling as a long 5 hour 18.
     
  15. SoccerKowboy

    SoccerKowboy BigSoccer Supporter

    Jul 13, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Tom, did you ever end up purchasing more gear? With a baby on the way, it would be understandable if you decided that you're good with what you have.

    In case you are still looking, I'd recommend you check out Alpha golf. I've have their V5 woods in my bag, as well as their wedges (can't remember the model). The woods are somewhat expensive at about $200 a pop custom-made, but they are great. Consistent, lots of distance. Their wedges are very soft, lots of feel.

    I also love my Nike forged blades, but I know they don't suit everyone.
     
  16. tomwilhelm

    tomwilhelm Member+

    Dec 14, 2005
    Boston, MA, USA
    Club:
    Fulham FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah. It was an incredibly busy summer and with the kid coming in February, my odds of playing more than a few rounds next year are looking pretty slim!

    Even so, if i can even get a pair of spikes and upgrade the driver and putter, that'll be a good start.
     
  17. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Acnestia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Should I get bigger (larger diameter) grips? They feel more comfortable when I try them, but what I don't know is whether the larger grips will have side-effects, like worsening my slice (which I just got under a little bit of control).
     
  18. SoccerKowboy

    SoccerKowboy BigSoccer Supporter

    Jul 13, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Bunga, I have bigger hands (no comments please), so I moved up to medium grips. They fit my hands much better, and allow me to use a looser grip on my clubs. I have noticed no deleterious effects on my swing.
     
    bungadiri repped this.
  19. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Acnestia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Excellent, thanks. I tried them at the end of the season last year and am seriously considering it. I just seemed to be more comfortable and easier to relax my grip.
     
  20. HardHatMike

    HardHatMike DOOOOOOOOM!

    Traktor Nebraska
    Aug 31, 2005
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Just picked up a set of Cleveland Mashie hybrids, irons, and fairway woods. This is my first non-store brand set of clubs in my life so I'm interested to see if my game improves this year.
     
  21. Hugo Sanchez

    Hugo Sanchez Member+

    Aug 21, 2003
    MEX2010
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--

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