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Tidbits for you to think about
By Terry Koehler, The Wedge Guy

Terry Koehler has been in the golf industry for over 30 years and currently spends his days as the President of EIDOLON Golf, a small premium wedge company in Victoria, Texas. He's been blogging for over 3 years and has written hundreds of articles ranging from golf tips to equipment issues. His blog will appear on ClubSG twice per week. You can reach Terry to have your golf questions answered at askme@thewedgeguy.com.

We've all had fun with this topic the past couple of Friday's so I'm going to stay on it for today, and talk about how little things can mean a lot when it comes to tweaking your equipment. What I've been trying to communicate is that when it comes to your golf clubs, what you see is not necessarily what you get. On the surface, a golf club seems to be a pretty simple thing – a piece of metal, at the end of a tubular piece of metal or graphite, with a rubber-like handle at the end. But when that golf club is put into motion at 100 mph or so, a lot of dynamics begin to happen.

This is the most relevant with regard to driver shafts, for two reasons. First, the driver generates the most clubhead speed, and speed magnifies error, as we discussed. And secondly, the driver is the largest head, with the center of mass further from the axis of the shaft, so that exerts all kinds of forces on the shaft itself.

But I thought I’d wrap up this subject . . . for now . . . with some random observations I’ve made over the years about equipment cause and effect:
  1. Increasing your driving distance. The industry has taken us on this dramatic quest for distance and power, and the average driver sold today is over 45” long. That’s two inches longer than the standard of 25 years ago. And while the humongous driver heads brag about “forgiveness”, the fact is that your best shots will always come from dead center hits. FACT: A miss of ½” will cost you 7-9% distance loss, and a miss of ¾” will increase that to 12-15%. If you play your driver at 43-1/2”, you’ll hit the ball closer to the sweet spot and it will go further. It’s been proven over and over again.

  2. Examining Iron Specs – The “standard” way a set of irons has been built for decades is that the irons vary in length by ½”, and in loft by 4 degrees. But the harsh reality of this geometry is that almost every golfer will have smaller distance gaps at the long end of the set than at the short end. Shouldn’t your distance precision be tighter at the scoring range? I have tweaked my irons for years so that I have smaller length and lie differences at the short end than the long, and that allows my distance gaps to be more consistent. From the 7-iron, 3/8” and 3* per club to the PW, 5/8” and 4.5* to the 4.

  3. Fit your putter. It amazes me to watch golf on TV, where these guys have all the equipment gurus at their disposal, and see the toe of the putter up in the air at address. Simple fact is that this makes the face point left because of the loft. I’ve become a true believer in putter fitting. A good fit will ensure that your putter really is aimed at the target, and that the lie angle allows the ball to come off the putter straight. Yes, the style of putter is a matter of personal preference, but a putter that is accurately fit to you makes this maddening part of the game much less so.

  4. Watch Your Grips. We spend hundreds of dollars on a driver or set of irons, and we get disposable handles. That’s a fact. Grips wear out. They get dirty. And they need replacing regularly. Take a close look at yours. Worn, dirty grips cause you to grip the club tighter to have control. And bad shots are much more frequent because of that.

  5. Experiment. The toys are a big part of the fun of golf, so don’t be afraid to experiment. I’ve suggested you try the blade style short irons of one of your better player friends or pros, but experiment with other clubs, too. Hit your buddies’ hybrids, fairways, irons, drivers. Try different golf balls. [But I just can’t buy that tees can make a difference, sorry.] It’s fun.

So, there you have some random thoughts of the hundreds that swirl around in my head. Let me know your other questions about equipment and we’ll stay on this as long as you like.

* The Wedge Guy's views and opinions are his own do not necessarily reflect those of SkyGolf.

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The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.


[ comments ]
snazz100 says:
Thanks for the tip on the putter fitting...never crossed my mind to get it done..BTW I also agree on shortening the shaft of the driver.. It really works..
8/20/10
 
keith366 says:
I choke down on my driver for control. But I seem to lose distance.
8/22/10
 
[ post comment ]
Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

Click here to learn more about Terry.
 
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