By Ed Townsend
The golf equipment evolution has many people asking the question “Where have all the standards gone?”
Lofts of both woods and irons have been becoming stronger over the past quarter-century and where they go in the future will be interesting to watch.
With the advent of the “Rescue” type of club, which is an iron/wood or wood/iron hybrid, long irons labeled as No. 3 or No. 4 may soon be a thing of the past. These new designs may act as transitional clubs in place of high-lofted woods or strong-lofted irons, making the set of clubs probably more playable for most golfers.
Lofts of shorter irons may be more incrementally user friendly in the form of a 50-degree pitching wedge, a 55-degree sand wedge and a 60-degree lob type of wedge. The set will still have 14 clubs, but they may not necessarily be thought of as “woods” or “irons,” but rather just as specifically lofted clubs. Yes, only time will tell.
Club lengths have been on the increase as well. It is not uncommon in today’s world to have the same numbered iron be 1 and 1/2 inches longer than in the past.
Twenty years ago, most No. 5 irons were 37 inches long. Today, there are No. 5 irons on the market at more than 38 and 3/4 inches in length.
The reasoning behind this trend is twofold.
One, players want to hit the ball longer. The longer the club, the longer the swing arc and the potential for more club head speed and distance.
There is also the theory that the longer clubs may be more difficult to control than shorter clubs and here is where perimeter weighting comes into play.
While longer clubs may be more difficult to return to an on-center position, the perimeter weighting of cavity-backed and oversized clubs make the results of less-than-perfect impacts not so poor.
Plus, when the player returns the longer club to a square impact position, the ball goes longer. Hence, the player feels he or she hits longer clubs a greater distance. This tends to make his or her shots go farther and the “misses” are longer and more playable as well.
It continues today to still look like it’s “Hip To Be Square” on the golf course with the introduction of the hottest drivers out on the golf market.
Some are saying move over to the traditionally shaped driver and welcome to the technologically enhanced driver that is supposed to give you a forgiving golf club off the tee.
And then again, many will counter this statement that it’s the golfer and his swing that determined success off the tee.
A high Moment of Inertia and a new square face are now being featured in drivers manufactured by many companies.
The technical changes being offered by these companies is that this new concept in drivers is designed to help the golfer go straighter with what some are calling “Total Accuracy Control” technology.
Engineers for golf club manufacturers have taken their time to make sure their “center of gravity” is positioned to provide improved forgiveness, greater distance and a perfect launch angle while presenting a pleasing profile at address.
This new geometric shape moved the “center of gravity” back and lower in the club head and offers a very high “moment of inertia” that helps keep the club head from twisting at impact.
This square profile repositions weight at the corners of the club head, raising the “moment of inertia” across both the horizontal and vertical axes.
Golf manufacturers are saying this produces greater stability and forgiveness for ball striking across the entire face, which is much wider than your average driver.
The new concept helps ensure the best ball flight possible and some manufacturers have improved the bulge and roll of the driver and they say this produces a ball flight that is straight, while still being workable.
Golf club manufacturers are saying that the proprietary Total Accuracy Control technology with the square head provides maximum perimeter weighting and more discretionary weight for precise positioning of the “center of gravity” and “moment of inertia.”
Some club makers have even built in two draw-fade adjustable weight ports that they say put their product way out in front of the competition.
New technology in golf clubs continues to challenge our great game of golf.
Check these latest features out with your local golf professional.
The Golf Tip
By Robert Menges
Shaft Flex: New drivers are hitting the ball longer than they were 10 to 15 years ago.
Every golfer is looking for more distance off the tee.
With the new materials the drivers are made of, you can find them to be very light and easy to swing. This can increase your swing to allow you to hit the ball longer.
When you are looking to get a new driver, you must also look at the type of shaft you have. This is the part of the club that is more overlooked.
The shaft of the club is very important to how the club will react based on your swing.
It is important to have the right shaft flex and weight to help you hit the ball properly.
If a shaft is too heavy or too stiff, it will effect the club face at impact.
This is the most important part of the golf swing, and you want the club to be in the right position when you are about to hit the ball.
The technology of the shaft has grown as far as the materials in the makeup of the head of the club.
Before you invest money into a club, see your local PGA professional to help you select the right shaft for your swing.
He will be able to see the proper flex and weight of the shaft to give you the best opportunity to hit the ball far and straight.
The right shaft will help you with your accuracy and, in turn, enable you to hit more fairways.
Robert Menges is the Golf Professional at the Swan Lake Golf & Country Club on Mt. Hope Road in Swan Lake. He is available for private lessons and if you have a question or subject you would like covered, he can be reached by telephone at 292-0323 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
A couple of tips learned while visiting a professional at a local club recently were quite interesting and so I’ll share them with you.
The first tip is on chipping.
When chipping green side, try using a putting stroke.
If the shot calls for more run once it hits the green, position the ball to the rear of center in your stance.
If the shot calls for more loft and less run, play the ball front of center in your stance.
And you know what folks, it works.
The second tip was something like “brush your pocket.”
For right-handed golfers, the pro suggested that on the downswing, brush your right pocket with your right cuff. This eliminates any possibility of coming over the top.
If done right, the cuffs on all your golf shirts will become frayed at the right cuff.
And after trying this, I can say that it definitely eliminates any possibility of coming over the top.
Aug. 23 Mel Mednick Memorial Golf Outing and Dinner, Lochmor Golf Course, South Fallsburg. For more information, call 434-1257.
Aug. 23 Sheriff Mike Schiff Golf Tournament, Swan Lake Golf Club. For more information, call 292-0323.
Aug. 29 Liberty Cup Tournament, Sullivan County Golf & Country Club, Liberty. For more information, call 292-9584.
Aug. 30 Kutsher’s Outing, Swan Lake Golf & Country Club. For more information, call 292-0323.
Sept. 12 Steak Bake Tournament. Sullivan County Golf & Country Club, Liberty. For more information, call 292-9584.
Sept. 12 Trevor Simpson Memorial Tournament, Swan Lake Golf & Country Club. For more information, call 292-0323.
Sept. 20 Methol Hunting Club Tournament, Tennanah Lake Golf Club, Roscoe. For more information, call (607) 498-5000.
Sept. 19 Club Championship Tournament, Sullivan County Golf & Country Club, Liberty. For more information, call 292-9584.
Sept. 20 Community Unity Golf Event, Swan Lake Golf & Country Club. For more information, call 292-0323.
Sept. 26 The Hammer Invitational, Sullivan County Golf & Country Club, Liberty. For more information, call 292-9584.
This column is written by Ed Townsend, a consultant to the amateur and professional sport of golf and to several golf writers associations. If you have a topic that you feel would make good reading or have league scores and tournament information, Ed can be reached by phone at 439-8177 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. For a more expanded version of this golf column, please visit our Web Page at bght.blogspot.com.
Twin Village Golf Club
Monday Men’s League
1. Ron Schulte Sr./Dennis Bennett....149
2. Tom Roseo/Chuck Husson IV......148.5
3. Lew Hendrickson/Jim Bowers....145.5
4. B. Hendrickson/C. Ulshafer...........142
5. Chuck Husson/Tom Ackerly.......141.5
6. Troy Kirchner/Dustin Sullivan.......141
7. Peter DeVantier/Charlie Barnes....139
8. Steve Bowers/Dylan Bowers.......136.5
9. T. Knickerbocker/F. McGreevy.......133
10. Joe Schulte/Al Johnston............131.5
11. Merlin Brock/Dick Shea............127.5
12. Fred Tucker/Randy Smith............119
13. Ed Townsend/John Hoffmann.....116
14. Tom Trask/Ken Mooney................112
15. Bill Knipscher/Dan Baldo.........110.5
16. Ken Knudsen/George Powell....102.5
17. Rob Eggleton/Don Eggleton........101
As of 8/17/09