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.
What Type of Putter Should You Be Using?
blade vs mallet Putters
Jordan Spieth and his Scotty Cameron Newport 2 almost go hand in hand.
But at the AT&T Byron Nelson, Spieth put a Scotty Cameron Futura in his bag.
For those of you who don’t know, the Newport 2 is a blade style putter and the Futura is a mallet type putter.
This raises the question, what type of putter should you be using?
Recently we have seen many tour players gaming the TaylorMade Spider, which is also a larger mallet looking putter.
Here is an argument for both styles, and we will let you decide.
Lighter: For the most part this putter has less material so it will naturally be lighter. This may help players who have a smooth putting stroke already.
Lines: There are a lot of sight lines in a blade putter. Some are literally painted on it like a dot on the top of it. But a putter like a Newport 2, it has a lot of natural lines in the design that will help with alignment.
Feel: Because it is a smaller piece of material, it is easier to “feel” the putt. Saying that when you crank a putt you know and can feel it, or if you leave it short. With a mallet it is a bigger piece of material so the feel is lost in the bigness.
Heavier: Some may see this as a downfall, but if you tend to leave putts short, get a big mallet behind that little white ball and it will be flying towards the hole in no times.
Forgiving: Because the material is bigger, if you have a mishit and hit the ball not on the center of the face, it will go almost on the intended line. With a blade, mishits are a lot more exaggerated.
Alignment: Many people say because of the bulk of the putter; mallets are easier to align on your intended line towards the hole.
At the end of the day, the biggest thing with a putter is confidence. Some people don’t like the bulkiness of a mallet and say it looks ugly at address. If you are not confident looking down at the putt, you wont have a confident stroke. Confidence is key when putting. Pick your line and stick to it.
You either upgrade the whole bag and treat yourself, or you just buy a new wedge.
So what do you do with the old clubs? Here are four things you can do with your old clubs instead of them collecting dust in your basement.
Trade: This is the most logical option. If you have a somewhat new club, most stores will take them in on trade. This will give you a couple bucks to put toward the new club. The other benefit of trading is on the other end of the spectrum. If you are looking to buy, but not looking to pay full price, clubs that people have traded in before are a logical buying option. Plus, you can still trade your old club for it.
Sell: this takes a close second to trade. Some places, depending on age, wont take your clubs in on trade. So, you will have to do a little extra work and try selling it. There are a lot of options here. Facebook groups, eBay and even yard sales are the easiest. Make a few bucks and give the next guy a great deal.
Hand them down: If you have a son, grandson or nephew that is high school or college age, give them your old set. Not only will you get the dust collectors out of your basement. You may be growing the game. He may go out with a few friends for fun and start to like it. Fun fact, this is how my love for golf started. My uncle gave me a set of clubs one summer and I never looked back. Played with those clubs for a summer and realized I wasn’t going to stop golfing anytime soon and bought my own set. I then took that set and gave them to a friend so he could start golfing. Kind of the pay it forward effect.
Keep it: So the money isn’t really an issue for you. Keeping your old clubs has many added benefits. Maybe you hit a crazy shot a few years back with your 3 wood and you want to keep it to tell the story. Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a hole-in-one under your belt and you want to keep the club you did it with to tell the story. Also keeping it, you could use it as a spare bag for when a friend visits and didn’t bring his own clubs, or a friend that doesn’t golf a lot and is just playing in a charity tournament with you. Lastly, when you get in a pinch and accidentally snap your 5 iron trying to punch out from a bush, you will have a back up club. So keeping your old clubs can actually come in handy.
Upgrading clubs is always a great feeling. So don’t stress about what to do with your old ones. There are plenty of options.
Why Are Luxury Clubs Becoming More Popular?
Parsons Extreme Golf
We all know PXG.
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.