Golf stuff

You may recall that I blogged a while ago that I bought a new set of clubs a couple of months back. I’ve finally started to get the feel for them only now, after playing with them about once a week or so. Takes a while at that rate – playing for a week straight would get you used to them, but we all can’t do that.

They are a set of Ping G10 irons and the 3 wood. I didn’t want to driver at the time, because there’s a market out there just for drivers. And I have a high-loft 3 wood that I quite like – a King Cobra – that I carry instead of a 5 wood proper.So my bag, Ping-wise, has 3 wood and 3 iron through sand wedge. What took me a while to get used to was the forgiveness that their weight and design gives. My old set, if you weren’t hitting the ball in  the centre of the face, you knew about it by the time the ball landed. But with these, the center is larger to give you a straighter, more accurate hit.

And they are heavier than my old irons. The toes in the G10s have added weight to raise the moment of inertia (MOI). What does this mean? Well, when you are swing a club and hitting a golf ball, there are various MOIs. The one that is important to distance and accuracy is when the club head strikes the club ball. When the face comes in contact with the ball, the head wants to sping along the line that goes through the head’s centre of gravity – even if it’s glued to the shaft. Obviously it wont rotate, but the club as a whole moves and twists in your hand enough to cost you distance and accuracy. That’s where the club head design comes in. To countract this, heads with bigger faces and/or perimeter weighting will reduce the loss in distance and accuracy. The Ping G10s have both – large faces and, as mentioned, heavier toes. This is where the science of the forgiveness that I was talking about comes from – but it also threw my swing out.

There was a shift in the weight on the head enough that I started to hit the balls closer to the heel. While I was saved because of the added forgiveness in the clubs (not hitting on centre, but still making good distances and not jagging to the left or right), I wasn’t getting the most out of my irons. For the meantime, I’ve shifted a couple centimetres back in my stance. 95% of the time this works. 5% of the time, the swing goes through fine and I start hitting the ball on the toe of  the head and I get a slice. Which is never good. I’ll have to fix that. I’m overdue for some tuning lessons with the pro.

The shafts for each iron, for the ones I got ordered, are ~$100 each. They are regular flex, because I’ve only ever used regulars in my irons. I tried graphite for a while, but hated it. Too much change required in my swing. And I wasn’t about to gamble changing this much up for the cost of graphite shafts.

Probably worth mentioning that the finish on them is supurb too. I’ve hit twenty or so rounds, and there’s not a scratch that could be cleans off. Seriously, they look good and their looks won’t fade with age.

I need to upgrade my wedges now as well. I have a pair of Ben Hogan wedges at the moment – 56 degrees and 60 degrees – with high-flex graphite shafts. The shafts let me hit through the ball quicker, giving it higher loft and more spin on the green. I’m looking to buy some Cleveland wedges – again, 56 and 60 degrees – because they are known for their wedges. Titleist, however, currently have some quality wedges out in their range. I haven’t seen Ping’s wedges yet, and while it would look good to carry one brand around, I’m likely to go with the Cleveland or the Titleist anyway.I just them  through the swing – light but still making great contact. And you can always get a good feel with them because of the way they are made. Not to mention the shafts that they use cost past $100 each.

I’ve already broken the one-brand thing anyway: I carry all my clubs in a Cleveland bang anyway. Good bag – light and sturdy, and heaps of pockets. The insulated pocket makes those long, 4 hour walks tollerable (even with the bad golf) and you can get a could of drinks in  there to tide you over.

I will buy a new putter. And I’ll most likely buy the Ping one of that. We currently have the Anser model (yes, Anser, no w) that was recently release. Boy does that feel good. It’s weighted perfectly, and the insert feels like it’s the body. But the i-Series that we have at the store now is what I have my eyes on. I’d have it already if it weren’t $220 bucks retail (I’d get it for cheaper, but, with the cost price of Ping, not much cheaper). Again, they’ve been designed for a higher MOI. Extremely light heads too. The one I want is heel-shafted balanced with plus or minus 4 degrees. If I get it – and I’d be more likely to get it before the wedges – I’ll be down on the practice green more than I am now. It would leave my current putter for dead.

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