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Equipment Insider - July

July 22 2013, Caroline Rankin

Caroline Rankin is our newest contributor to lpga.com as our Equipment Insider. Caroline travels with the Tour each week and will bring you the latest information on golf equipment.


July 22, 2013

The world of golf shafts can be very overwhelming, but it’s worth gaining general knowledge on the subject. After all, the shafts don’t only attach the grip to the club head; the correct shaft can completely change the performance of your entire set.

Companies like Matrix have made the process of choosing the correct shaft much easier. They offer three different profiles that produce three different results. Black Tie for low trajectory (less spin), White Tie for high trajectory (more spin) and Red Tie for middle of the road. These Matrix shafts are stock for the Adams Super S line of drivers, fairway woods and hybrids.

For irons, steel shafts lead the field because of their dependability. However, you must pay attention to the weight of your steel shafts. KBS being one company that sells their shafts in 5-gram increments ranging from 90-130 grams gives them the ability to fit nearly any golfer. Tour players tend to prefer heavier shafts because of their higher swing speeds, while amateurs may benefit from something lighter. The lightest steel shaft you will find is 75 grams offered by both True Temper and Nippon.

Graphite iron shafts have long been considered “wimpy,” but Aerotech, a Washington based company is changing that stereotype with their SteelFiber shaft. This shaft combines steel and graphite giving you the strength of steel, while reducing the vibration felt from impact.

Club fitters today have ways to find the best shaft for your individual swing. I recommend taking a little bit of knowledge long with you to your next appointment. You will have a better understanding of what a shaft is supposed to do for your golf game without being completely overwhelmed by the science behind it all.

 

July 14, 2013

Whether you are playing for sizeable check against the best in the world, or you have to settle a bet with your buddies on a Saturday afternoon, chances are, it will come down to how good you are around the greens. Making a player’s wedges some of their most important clubs in the bag.

Back in January of 2010 the USGA implemented the “New Groove Rule,” changing the specifications of groove depth, width and spacing. Consequently, this made it harder for a player to spin the ball out of the rough, especially in wet conditions. Ever since, manufacturers have been working on ways to bridge the gap, while still conforming to the rules.

Recently Callaway has made a splash with their new MacDaddy2 wedges. The new design uses Laser Milled Micro Grooves for added surface roughness giving you more control, as well as a 5V groove pattern giving you larger grooves for more spin out of the rough. They are available in three different sole grinds for enhanced performance and two different finishes to fit your eye.

Cleveland has released its 588 RTX wedges featuring a directionally milled face pattern giving maximum spin, especially on shots that require an open face, calling it a Rotex pattern. They too have increased the size of their U grooves allowing for more precision and spin out of the rough and sand. Their surface roughness and milling plays to dual role; creating more friction for control as well as lengthening the life of the club. Cleveland offers this wedge in one grind they call an S Sole, wider at the heel and narrow at the toe to improve bunker play.

Keep these little pieces of information handy next time you plan to invest in your golf game. A new set of wedges just might make you a little extra dough when it comes time to settle your bets next Saturday.

 

Follow Caroline on Twitter @LPGATourRep.

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