Wedge shafts make a big difference

Custom Fit Your Wedges for a Sharper Short Game.

Custom fitting has become an increasing part of the equipment industry, with all
major manufacturers offering some kind of custom fitting program.  In addition, there
is a network of about 1,500 qualified custom clubmakers and clubfitters working out
of their small independent shops across the U.S. and Canada , and around the world.
More and more golfers are finding that tweaking their specs and experimenting with
different shafts can have a profound effect on their shotmaking.

But most of them totally ignore their wedges.

As a group, your wedges represent your “last best hope” of saving par and making
birdies, but how much attention have you really given them?  Almost every wedge sold
is an off-the-rack selection and over-the-counter transaction.  And you typically get
a “one-size-fits-all” shaft, probably chosen more for cost than performance.  A
little extra attention to your scoring clubs can yield big results in shaved strokes.

The reality is that no other club in the bag can benefit more from the extra
attention of custom fitting and tweaking the shaft than can your wedges.  A wedge
that is properly fitted in both lie/length specs and shaft flex can make a dramatic
improvement in any golfer’s short game.

The Importance of Shaft Choice in Your Wedges

No other clubs you carry are asked to perform at such a wide variety of swing speeds
as your wedges.  In every round, you hit shots at with all kinds of clubhead speeds,
ranging from full swings to not much more than putter speed.   This puts a unique set
of demands on the shafts.

There are two elements of shaft choice in wedges – flex and weight.  Regarding shaft
flex, your wedges should be closely matched to your irons.  If you play Regular flex
shafts in your irons, you should play a Regular Flex in your wedges.  As for weight,
if your irons have graphite shafts, you should strongly consider graphite in your
wedges as well.

But the wedge shafts are a different animal than that in all your other wedges.
Good wedge play requires a shaft that is soft enough to provide a little flexing
action at the slowest swing speeds – for head feel – but strong enough in the tip to
prevent ballooning trajectories when you make a full swing.   It may take a little
experimentation, and there are shafts on the aftermarket that are designed
specifically for wedges.  It’s worth some tinkering if you want your short game to
shine.

Custom Fitting of Your Wedges

Regardless of your shaft choice, every golfer can benefit from some custom tweaking
to his or her wedges.

First of all, take a tip from tour professionals . . . almost all of them have their
wedges set 1-2 degrees flatter than their irons.  That’s because nearly all wedge
shots are played with less than full swings, and the flatter lie promotes the “low
hands” path through impact that all good short game practitioners exhibit.  Since you
are generally flexed a little more at the knees when you play wedge shots, and taking
a shorter, slower swing, the flatter lie insures the sole of the wedge makes level
contact with the turf, so that the bounce is true.

The other consideration is length.  Even if you play your irons over standard, you
should be cautious about doing the same with your wedges.  Overlength wedges are
unwieldy.   At EIDOLON, we recommend that any golfer playing over-length irons should
keep their wedges to no more than half the over-length amount.  In other words, if
your irons are ½” over standard, play your wedges no more than ¼” over.  You’ll be
pleased with the results.

If you really want to improve your short game, make these changes to your wedges.  I
feel certain you’ll be impressed.

Terry Koehler

Hybrid golf clubs explained

Hybrid Clubs-why the fuss?
 
What’s up with these new hybrid clubs?
 
Everyone is talking about ’em these days. Are they really the game saver that all the hype seems to say? 
 
The fact is, clubs like hybrid type clubs have been around a long time. They used to go by names like baffler and rescue clubs or just plain utility woods.
 
So are they really something new? Well, yes and no. 
 
The hybrid as we know it today was actually developed with the help of Gary McCord, the TV announcer and former PGA pro. He saw his golf buddies back home struggling with their long irons, so he thought maybe something could be done to make them easier to hit. He went to his sponsor, TaylorMade and suggested they come up with something new. 
 
The result was the TaylorMade Rescue. The first of a new breed.
 
So what the heck did they do to make this new club? 
 
Well, it’s called a “hybrid” because it a combination of a wood and an iron. They basically took an iron shaft and and put a new kind of head on it. That head would have features of a wood.
 
Features like a wide sole, low-back center of gravity, and more mass. So what’s so different about that? Why not just get a 5 or 7 wood?
 
The big difference is that shaft. The loft of a 2 iron and a 5 wood may be about the same…but the shafts are way different.   The shaft length on a 2 iron for an average height player is about 39 inches. The length on a 5 wood is about 42 inches. Hybrids are somewhere in between.
 
The longer club will always go farther because a longer club will produce more clubhead speed. That extra speed will also tend to make the ball go higher. The problem with that extra speed is it can make the club harder to control.   Iron shafts are also thicker than wood shafts. I bet you didn’t realize that.
 
Not a lot (.03 inches), but enough to make the shaft more stable which adds up to a bit more accuracy.  Starting to get confused?
 
Well here’s the bottom line.  Compared to a comparably lofted wood, a hybrid club is:
 
  • more accurate
  • won’t go quite as far
  • easier to hit because it’s shorter
 
Compared to the same long iron, a hybrid is:
  • easier to hit because the head has more mass and a lower center of gravity
  • will make the ball go higher, carry further and land softer
  • better out of sand and bad lies
Hopefully that clears up any confusion. 
 
So which ones to buy? 
 
Today’s hybrid clubs are actually quite varied. In addition to a choice of lofts, you can also get different sole widths and face heights. You can get lengths that are longer than standard irons and shorter or just as long as woods.
 
In short, some hybrids offered are more like fairway woods and some are more like irons.
Just remember the basic rules of club design–the lower and farther back the center of gravity, the higher the ball will tend to fly.
 
The longer the shaft the farther the ball will go but the extra length may make it harder to control.
 
Make your selection based on what your game needs.  Price ranges for brands are in the $150 to $250 range. You can find custom clone versions for under $50.
Give those hybrids a try. They’re bound to help your game. 

Choosing the right golf clubs

Skill Level should Determine the Clubs You Carry

Which clubs should you be
choosing to carry in your bag?  Well, that depends on your BUDGET and your SKILL level!

Obviously, a better golfer (Low handicap) has different needs then the average
weekend warrior.  Some clubs are easy to control for all players, some should only be
used by very good golfers. Plus, the Rules of Golf allow you to carry a maximum of 14
clubs in your bag. But, unless you’re in a tournament, we at breaking110 don’t really
care about that particular rule. However, we will use it as a guideline….

I’ve got some ideas, and they are general in nature when choosing the right golf clubs.

If you have a favorite club
that is NOT listed, KEEP IT!!  Results count!!!

The High Handicapper’s Bag – 3-wood – 5-wood, 7-wood – 5-iron through 9-iron –
Pitching wedge – Putter

Most high handicappers cannot hit a driver, no matter how badly they want to.
Drivers are especially dangerous in the hands of high-handicappers because many view
distance as the quality they most want to have off the tee. So they spend several
hundred dollars on an oversized titanium driver that most of the time will only put
them farther off the fairway, not farther down the fairway.

You need to own a driver – just practice with it on the driving range, and leave it
at home when you hit the course.

The Mid-Handicapper’s Bag – Driver – 3-wood, 5-wood, 7-wood – 4-iron through 9-iron
– Pitching wedge – Sand wedge – Putter

Intermediate players may also be better off hitting 3-wood off the tee rather than
driver, but certainly have a better shot at controlling the driver than high
handicappers.

Mid-handicappers who are strong in their short game might consider adding a lob
wedge or gap wedge to this assortment, but most will probably be better off with the
lofted fairway woods rather than long irons.

The Low Handicapper’s Bag – Driver – 3-wood – 2-iron through 9-iron – Pitching wedge
– Lob wedge – Sand wedge – Putter

Scratch golfers will carry the same bag with one exception:

Substituting a gap wedge for the 2-iron.

The better you are, the more specialized your game becomes. And that specialization
for the best players leads to a concentration on the short game. Most top players hit
the ball far enough that they rarely use a long iron, hence the ability to bypass
1-irons and 2-irons in favor of adding more wedges.

The lob wedge and gap wedge simply increase a great player’s options around the
green.

Remember: No matter what your skill level, hit clubs you are comfortable with. If
you are a high handicapper but you can keep your driver in the fairway, then by all
means carry a driver. If a 1-iron is a club that you have mastered, carry a 1-iron.

Know How Far you Can Hit Each Club in Your Bag.
The first time I every played 5 rounds in 5 days, something very interesting
happened.  It was an accident.  I hadn’t read it anywhere.  But suddenly when I was
100 yards from the pin, I knew that I could hit a 9 iron that distance every time.
Suddenly, after 5 days I wasn’t surprised at being over the green or embarrassingly
short.
It occurred to me that this information was handy so I starting making some notes.
How far could I hit a 3 iron, a 3 wood, a 9 iron, a 7 iron?  Then every time I was
standing on a par three 150 yards from the pin or on an approach shot 150 yards out,
I knew what club to hit–without worrying.
Learn YOUR distance.  This chart is typical.  Adapt it to your game. The right golf clubs are the clubs that work FOR YOU!
Pitching Wedge     70 yards

9 iron                      100 yards

8 iron                      120 yards

7 iron                      140 yards

6 iron                       150 yards

5 iron                      160 yards

4 iron                      170 yards

3 iron                      180 yards

3 wood                    203 yards

driver                      225 yards

Know your distance, use the same tempo on each swing, let the club do the work and
your rounds will be more consistent.

If you hit a 5 wood and a 3 iron the same distance, consider using the 5 wood more
often on the fairway.
Soon you will have an easier time on long par 4s.