TERRE HAUTE — As most golfers do, I’ve been searching for some new golf equipment.
This is not an incessant need to spend money, or to keep up with the Joneses. I am not one to buy new equipment very often.
I don’t really like making changes, as is evidenced by the golf bag I’ve been using for more than 10 years. (If only those mice last winter had gotten to my bag instead of just a clip-on accessory, I might have shelled out for a new one.)
My search for new equipment only comes about because I feel I could be missing out on some of the new technology available that might help me with distance and consistency.
I don’t need all new equipment; my irons are fine, and I like my wedges. I have two 5-woods that I use, one of which would be hard to get me to part with. (Even though the head looks baby-sized in today’s world of woods, I’m very comfortable with that club and use it often.)
Just last year I replaced my old TaylorMade Burner Bubble 10.5 degree driver. It was a good club for me, but I tried a Nancy Lopez Torri 14 degree, and found that I hit it farther. I still carry a TaylorMade Burner Bubble 3-wood, which is ancient by golf equipment standards, and that’s the one I’m looking into the possibility of replacing. At one time I considered that 3-wood the most reliable club in my bag, so I’ve kind of been dragging my feet when the idea of replacing it comes up.
One of the golf magazines that I subscribe to, GolfWorld, has a section in it every week showing what’s in the bags of players who have won a tournament in that past week, including the ball they played.
Even though tour pros usually have an equipment sponsor, they don’t necessarily use every one of the sponsor’s clubs. It’s common for players to play different brands for irons, driver or 3-wood or even multiple brands of irons.
They’re out there making money with this equipment, or at least trying to, so they need to find the tools with which they can to their best. The same is true of amateurs, although most amateurs have limited funds, and aren’t likely to have someone honing equipment to suit their game.
Phil Mickelson popularized the concept of fitting the clubs to the course after his Masters win this year, when he carried two different types of drivers. Had he continued with that winning streak at the U.S. Open, every one in the world probably would be carrying two drivers. Instead, he showed us how NOT to use a driver throughout a certain course.
Tiger Woods, on the other hand, used his driver only one time in his British Open win, using instead his 2-iron or 3-wood off the tee. I don’t know if many of you are thinking about removing your driver and replacing it with a 2-iron, but if you could hit a 2-iron as far as Tiger can, you wouldn’t be losing much distance, and perhaps you’d gain accuracy. This might be a good idea for the upcoming Men’s City Tournament and the rounds played at Hulman Links!
If you are not accurate with your driver, but you are with your 3-wood or 2-iron, think about taking the driver out of your bag. Just ask yourself, “Would I rather have an 8-iron shot from the fairway, or a sand wedge from the woods?”
Another notable trend in equipment with tour pros this year is splitting up iron sets. At the Cialis Western Open, 45 players carried at least two different models of irons. It might be the same equipment maker, but different models. At the U.S. Senior Open, Loren Roberts used different models for his long irons (5 and below) and his 6 and up.
Fred Couples did that as long ago as 1995 when Lynx brought out the Black-Cat irons. He used the Black-Cats for his 2-,3-,4- and 5-irons, but kept the Pallrax model of the 6-iron through pitching wedge. This makes sense because the wedge through 6-iron are often “feel” shots.
Some equipment makers, like Titleist, have seized upon that idea and are offering sets ranging from muscle-back (more like a blade) in the short irons to cavity backs. They progressively get more and more cavity back as they get longer, making the long irons more forgiving and adding more feel to the short irons.
One of the reasons I’m hesitant to replace my 3-wood is the head size. I’m not thrilled with the massive club heads that are on the market these days.
I recently tried hitting a driver with a head so big I was concerned it wouldn’t fit in my bag with any other woods, or even in my car. It might have to be fitted with a red flag so it can hang out the window.
A driver is hit off of a tee though, so a large club head, although somewhat disconcerting to look at, does help with miss-hit shots. With a 3-wood though, I sometimes need to use it to hit out of the rough, and a smaller club head must be better for that.
I’m going to try a few demo clubs and see if they make any difference. If they don’t, I’ll stick with what I have, and just invest in a new pair of golf shoes. That always helps my game!
I I I
Quote of the Day — “I’d just as soon pull a rattlesnake out of my bag as a two-iron.” — Lee Trevino
Upcoming Events — The Men’s City Championship, sponsored by WTHI Action 10 News, is Sept. 16, 17, 23 and 24. Entry fee is $75. Forms are available online at www.thga.org, or at Rea Park or Hulman Links.
The Spaghetti Open is Sept. 9-10 at Matthews Park in Clinton. Call (765) 832-9016 for more information. Visit
www.thespaghettiopen.com to sign up.
Jennifer Myers can be reached by mail at P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute, IN, 47808.
TERRE HAUTE — As most golfers do, I’ve been searching for some new golf equipment.
- On & Off the Course
Death Notice: Feb. 7, 2013
• Gary R. Wright
Donna Lynn Strahla Bown
Donna Lynn Strahla Bown passed away early Friday morning, Jan. 25, 2013, with her children by her side.
‘The Match’ pitting amateurs vs. pros recalled 62 years later
Quote of the Day: “I play golf with friends sometimes, but there are never friendly games.” — Ben Hogan.
Bubba Watson has had a busy fall. Not only did he play all the way to the final round of the FedEx Championships, and in the Ryder Cup, he also played in an event commemorating a very famous match played at Cypress Point in 1956, pitting two of the greatest golf pros at the time against two of the best amateurs.
Come to think of it, all four were some of the best golfers of all time. This year’s event was celebrating The First Tee’s exceeding $100 million in pledges to reach 10 million new young people. It wasn’t televised and kept very quiet; only 225 people were in the gallery.
One of the people in the gallery was Mark Frost, the author of a book titled “The Match,” which is about that match played 62 years ago that was re-enacted in modern terms last week. The pros in 1956 were Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson and the amateurs were Ken Venturi and Harvie Ward. It was supposed to have been a private affair, built around a wager by two millionaires, George Coleman and Eddie Lowery.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Golf from the wrong side of the brain
Imagine this scenario: a woman, small in stature (possibly freckled), walks into a hospital emergency room and says, “I have an emergency, I need a doctor quickly!” The admitting nurse, ever trying to be helpful, asks what the emergency is.
Farmers looking at widely varying yields
Combines will roll through fields this weekend, bringing in the harvest from a summer with nearly no rain.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Golf debut in London would have been nice
As the Olympics get underway in London this weekend, I was thinking it’s too bad that the Olympic committee decided too late to add golf as one of the sports for this event; instead it will be added to the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Getting to Hoosier country’s best golfing venue part of the fun
If you are looking for Indiana’s premier golfing destination, then you should look no further than French Lick.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Indiana's Pete Dye courses worth the drive
You’ve probably heard of the Robert Trent Jones Golf trail throughout Alabama, but you might not be aware that Indiana has its own “Pete Dye Golf Trail” comprised of seven courses.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Fathers typically a big influence on golfing sons
Some events fall naturally into place around holidays. The Fourth of July always falls somewhere during Wimbledon, giving all of the Yanks in attendance something to be boisterous about, to the chagrin of their hosts; The Masters often, but not always, ends on Easter Sunday, which is fitting since golfers find it such a reverent occasion.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Memorial just one of many visions of Jack Nicklaus
When Jack Nicklaus was a young man, the golfer he most admired was Bob Jones.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: With some tricky rules, golf is not a walk in the park
Golf is not a casual sport, even though it has a term called “casual water.”
On and off the course: Sycamores seeded sixth heading into MVC golf tourney
It wasn’t too long ago that Indiana State University didn’t even have a women’s golf team.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: A hard ticket to come by
This is the weekend of the Masters Tournament, the first of the four major tournaments.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Some things on golf course are worse than steep putts
It’s not often that anything gets more scary on a golf course than a steep downhill putt, but on some courses around the world, things a little more on the supernatural side might give you a bigger fright!
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: The shot heard round the world
I don’t know if the Golf Channel will show a “Best Shots of 2011” highlight reel, much like ESPN does for baseball or football.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: The Red, White and Blue visits the Isle of Green
In 2006, the Ryder Cup was held in Ireland at The K Club in County Kildare.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Fall may be coming but golf season is far from over
Once the major tournaments are over with, what’s there to look forward to in the world of golf?
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Golf… simplified!
Golf is not a simple game. A golf course is made up of 18 holes, all different. There are par-3s, par-4s and par-5s; they all vary in length and elevation, and each has its own challenges. There can be water hazards, trees, sand bunkers, tall grass, hills, valleys — and then, if that’s not enough, there’s probably wind too.
On and Off the Course: Northern Ireland builds on golf history
Northern Ireland is only about 5,452 square miles in area and has a population about the same as West Virginia, which is about 1,880,344.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Women’s Open at the Broadmoor
This is the weekend of the U.S. Women’s Open, and this year it’s being played at The Broadmoor, East Course, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: The Fort Golf Course: A Walk in the Park…
Indiana has some pretty spectacular state parks, but one of them gives you the ability to “spoil a good walk” by chasing a little white ball.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Father’s Day is a good day for golfers
Most people consider the time around Christmas to be the gift-buying season.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Playing with lead a difficult task
As exciting as last week’s Masters was, with six players being tied for the lead at one point on Sunday, it was very difficult watching Rory McIlroy fall apart to shoot an 80.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Masters a rite of spring
This is Masters weekend, the grand kickoff to the golf season for a lot of golfers. Sure, there have been tournaments on TV, because the professionals have been playing in Hawaii, California, Texas, Dubai, and other areas not so affected by winter as we are here in the Midwest, but to me, watching The Masters is a rite of spring.
ON THE OFF THE COURSE: Some history on the Ryder Cup
I fell asleep in way too many history classes to ever qualify as a history buff. However, since I have grown up a bit (not much), I enjoy learning about all kinds of history. I often have questions about how something began, or how something came to be.
On and Off the Course: Purdue's Kampen Course a gem in Indiana's rough
About a month ago, Indiana was still heavily mired in heat and humidity, making outdoor activities such as golf less appealing than usual. At that time it felt like the repressive heat would never go away, it would never rain again, and all of the grass was just going to continue to wither and die. And the month prior to that we kept getting rained out of golf events!
On and Off the Course: Successful golfers know ... focus is the key
I have a good friend who coached his daughter’s basketball team for a number of years, and told me that his theme with the girls was always “focus”, until it was ingrained in their brains. Now when they play high school ball, if they hear “focus” yelled from the stands, they know the source.
On and Off the Course: Technology adds even more fun to the course
You’ve hit a drive into some brush in an area marked as a hazard, but you can’t find the ball to prove it is there. And no one actually witnessed it go in the hazard. You just think that’s where it probably is. What is the rule for this situation?
On and Off the Course: Anthony Gonzalez First Tee Classic a worthwhile charity event
On Monday, I worked as a volunteer for the Anthony Gonzalez First Tee Classic, Golf Tournament and Auction at Eagle Creek Golf Course in Indianapolis. It was an absolutely beautiful day, with clear blue skies, just a few wispy clouds here and there and a high temperature of about 76 degrees.
On and Off the Course: Trends show golf in decline
You don’t have to watch the news or read the paper to understand that America is struggling on the economic front. The evidence can be witnessed at the local golf course.
- More On & Off the Course Headlines
- Death Notice: Feb. 7, 2013