In the world of golf, there are a lot of factors that come into scoring well and one of the biggest factors are wedges.
Spinning a ball into the green and putting it close to the pin is vital.
One of the best wedges for years on local courses and the PGA Tour has been Titleist’s line of Vokey wedges.
Bob Vokey has long been designing some of the best wedges to hit this earth.
The Vokey line has grown in popularity year in and year out and you see many people still playing the older Vokey’s.
The newest one is almost here. The Vokey SM7 will be getting its first look on course this week at the Shriners Hospital for Children Open at TPC Summerlin.
These are not the finished product. They are rolling out the SM7 prototypes this week and Titleist loyalists Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and others will have these wedges in their bags.
“We design the best product possible and take it to the tour. If the tour players accept it, then we say this must be awfully good.”- Bob Vokey.
If you own or have seen last years’ version, the SM6 it was a very sleek looking wedge.
But this year, according to prototype pictures, has a different look, but it may be a little simpler and better looking.
This year’s rendition still has the signature gear in the corner, the BV with the wings and the Titleist logo.
One noticeable difference, that may only be on the prototype is the SM7 logo is just below the BV logo and it makes it look very clean and simple. On the SM6 it was off to the side, tucked in the corner.
Another year, another inevitably great Vokey wedge.
Other companies have tried their hand at wedges, but Vokey remains at the top.
Titleist Unveils New Irons
Debut of 718 Irons
Titleist has long been one of the most popular irons gamed on tour and at your local course.
This week they unveiled their 718 line of irons, their most recent rendition of the ever popular lineup.
The lineup includes the classic AP1, AP2, CB, MB and T-MB, but Titleist decided to switch it up a little this year.
I have a feeling it is because of all the recent releases of different irons by brands like Taylormade and Callaway.
With the 718 line, comes the AP3, an all new iron in 2017.
The AP3 is an iron in which the shape will appeal to the better players who are used to blade irons. But then it is built up enough to where it will perform for any serious golfer.The sleek design is made up of three separate pieces made into one dominate iron.The AP3 may be their best looking iron as it has a sleek looking cavity on the back with blade look in gaming position.
They have also made a few performance changes to some of the other iron lines.
The T-MB has received improved design in the lower part of the face as they noticed that many players were utilizing their driving irons not just off the tee, but off fairways as well. With that, players are needing better performance off the bottom of the of the face as the ball isn’t teed up and hitting the middle to top of face.
The CB has also seen some changes as they moved the center of gravity toward the toe of the club, creating more consistent ball speeds across the entire face.
Titleist has had some of the best irons on the market for years. From the 712’s to the 718’s, they always perform.
Lets see if all the upgrades to the 718’s are as good as they sound.
The Pros and Cons of Playing a Par-3 Course
“Pitch and Putt” Par 3 Course
Sometimes, you just want to have a nice relaxing round.
A great way to do that is play a par 3 course.
Playable: It is only a par 3. So it is relatively playable for the non golfer. Whether that is an old friend who has clubs but never plays, a kid or even your girlfriend. Par 3 courses are short enough to where even someone who tops the ball 9/10 times can have fun.
Walkable: Some people hate walking on a normal course. Par 3 courses are nice to walk because it isn’t all that much walking. 18 holes is going to be right around 3,000 yards compared to real courses that could be up to 6,500.
Time: Since the holes are smaller, they take less time to play. 18 holes will take a lot less time at a par 3 course. So if you are just trying to squeeze in some swings, this is a great option.
Irons: Unless you are very very old. Driver and woods are going to be staying in your bag most of the day. This means all irons. Which can be good. This is great time to get some practice with your irons and maybe even a hybrid on the longer holes.
Putting: Most of the time, when you hit a green in regulation, you are outside of 10 feet from the hole. Unless you are a PGA Tour pro. But this means you get to practice long lag putts, speed control and other things that come into long putts. Instead of you missing the green and chipping close.
Pace of Play: Because they are relatively easy and family friendly, the people at these courses suck. I recently got stuck behind a father and son playing and the father topped everything and the son would scream “Kobe” every time he swung as if he was mimicking Kobe Bryant.
Only Irons: You never really get to pull out the diesel stick or even 3 wood. So just keep them in your car so you aren’t tempted to do something stupid.
Price: Although it is a lot less course, most of the time the rates are the same as a normal par 72 course.
Par 3 courses can be fun and relaxing. Leave the expectations at your country club and just have a fun day.
Compress The Ball For Better Iron Shots
Flush It Off The Fairway
Irons are arguably the toughest club to hit in the bag.
They are pretty small, the shafts are longer than a wedge and there isn’t much room for error.
Everyone knows with your driver you want to be on the upswing when you hit the ball, because of the small loft it helps get the ball in the air.
However, a lot of people have no clue where in the swing you should hit irons.
On the way down? Bottom of swing? On the way up?
“Well pros make divots so it must be after they hit the ball, so you hit it at the bottom.”
“Hit it on the way up, get the ball in the air!” Well, that’s wrong.
Surprisingly, you want to hit the ball on the downswing. You want to compress the ball.
Here is a simple way of explaining it:
On your downswing, you want to pinch the ball between your club face and the ground, so the ball wont go straight into the ground.
You want to hit the ball with your right palm facing the ground making the club pound down on the ball.
Once you hit the ball you it will explode off the club face and your club will continue down then up, actually creating the divot after you hit the ball.
Can you believe that? The divot is actually after you hit the ball, not before. Weird.
Once you start hitting your irons on the way down and compressing that little urethane ball with your metal club face, you will be hitting your irons higher and longer than you ever have.
Say goodbye to sweeping the ball off the ground and getting minimal distance and terrible trajectory.
Parsons Extreme Golf is a newish golf equipment company that makes everything you need from drivers to iron setsto putters and everything in between.
These clubs have been reviewed and have had pretty good reviews. PGA Tour players James Hahn, Ryan Moore, Pat Perez and others on the PGA and LPGA Tour play these clubs.
There is a catch though. These clubs cost a pretty penny.
Here are some of their price points.
Their 0311 irons, “Engineered for golfers at every level of the game, PXG 0311’s are the world’s sexiest, most forgiving irons that launch higher, go farther, feel softer and have a sweet spot the size of Texas.” As their website says will cost you around $300 dollars a club. Oh, and you can only order them through an authorized fitter…
Let’s look at their 0811 driver.
Available in 9 degree, 10.5 and 12 degree lofts, this driver will only cost you $850 dollars, pocket change. Also only available at an authorized fitter.
Recently PXG released a new line of wedges that are 100% milled wedges in various loft, lie and bounce options. 100% milled wedge must be a fine work of art that performs unlike any other and for the low starting price of $650 dollars you can start holing out with you 60-degree wedge, so worth it!
The only club you can buy on PXG’s website are putters. They range from $400-$600 dollars.
But this isn’t just about PXG.
Titleist JP WEdges
Recently, Titleist introduced their line of JP wedges.
These wedges are designed by James Patrick Harrington and they do not disappoint. These wedges are beautiful top of the line clubs that perform as well as they look.
When you order them you have customizable options such as stamping, paint fill, grip size and of course loft.
For a small price of $2,000 dollars you get a one on one fitting with Harrington where he will look at your swing using high tech cameras.
Once diagnosing your swing, he will tailor three wedges for your swing, but only three. Each additional wedge after the three will cost you $500 dollars a piece.
These “high end” clubs seem to be catching on. Although you may not seem many people at your golf coursewith them, people are still buying them.
What happened to just buying a Mack Daddy Callaway wedge for around $100 dollars and being happy with it?
Seems as if people that buy these clubs are putting too much stock into the game improvement of them.
Driving Irons May Be Making A Comeback
Benefits and drawbacks of Using a Driving Iron
Slowly and slowly 5 woods are disappearing from golfersbags all around the world.
Hybrids have become so popular and much easier to hit, it makes the 5 wood a historical relic.
Another club that has been long out of a lot of people bags are driving irons.
Driving irons are beefed-up irons that are designed to hit the ball higher and farther than a standard 1, 2 or 3 iron, because of the low loft, normal 1, 2 or 3 irons are almost impossible to hit on the golf course.
But the driving iron deserves a place in your bag and may be making a comeback.
Because of its low trajectory it has many uses. When you play on really windy days, obviously you want to keep the ball low so using a driving iron off the tee is a great way to still get distance even with the wind. Drivers trajectory is so high the wind knocks them down.
The other perk of the driving iron is the roll you get with it on the fairways. With the benefit of low trajectory, a driving iron will run out a lot as well. If you struggle off the tee with shots that are less than driver but still a decent shot, the driving iron has your name on it. With the beefed-up back it makes it easy to hit when it is a little teed up.
The one flaw isn’t even in the club; it is the simple fact if you want to put a club in your bag strictly for driving, other than a driver. The problem is that the driving iron gets so much roll out it is almost useless as a second shot. If you are going for the green in two with this club you are going to have to play it so it lands on fairway and runs up onto green, which can be a tough shot for an amateur. The one use for a second shot is if you are playing a massive par five and you want to layup and the hole is so far out a reach a driving iron is still considered laying up. (But who lays up? Come on now)
If you’re someone who doesn’t have a club for those awkward tee shots we all face, a driving iron may be your saving grace.