Ben Hogan wrote “The first step in having a repeatable golf swing is a fundamentally sound and consistent grip.” It’s not possible to have a “sound and consistent grip” when your hand slips and slides around on the club, so check out your grips—you probably need new ones. In fact, if you haven’t changed them in the last year, that need is guaranteed!
Golf Pride this year introduced the MCC Align and MCC Plus 4 Align with a visible rib that runs vertically up the grip under your fingers and promotes a square face at impact. Marketing Manager Jonathan Neal says, “It’s the biggest innovation we’ve ever had.”
According to product manager Bruce Miller, three out of four tour pros have a spine inserted under their grips to help ensure they put their hands on the club the same way every time—achieving Hogan’s “consistent” grip mantra. Golf Pride’s new grips have that feature built in. And yes, they’re USGA-legal.
Both models have a brushed-cotton cord grip under the top hand for better grip and a rubber material in the lower hand designed to enhance feel. The MCC Plus 4 Align is bigger under the lower hand to encourage softer grip pressure and improve control. golfpride.com $11-$15
To Stay Loose, Stay Warm
Erratic spring temperatures don’t have to turn your swing erratic, too. Antigua has a range of versatile layering options in its spring outerwear collection that will help you stay comfy throughout your round. They range from Regime, which combines a heather neutral twill knit with a solid jacquard lightweight stretch woven fabric, to the Arctic Pullover with two uniquely different fabric constructions. Its front body panel is double knit into a quilted diamond pattern using heather yarns and is pieced together with singularly knit jersey heather sleeves and back fabric.
In between are Vista, a mid-weight long sleeve, half-zip garment in a tonal twill knit, Promenade, a mid-weight pique with an optically interesting fabric, and Tsunami, a lightweight style with heather yarn used to define a stripe pattern. Antigua.com $83
Update Your Rock.
Are you getting most of out your golf ball? If you’ve been playing the same brand for years but not getting the performance you expect for the price you pay, consider changing to one of the new breed now on the market like the two models from Snell Golf. The inventor, Dean Snell, says his new golf balls will deliver “tour level performance at a fraction of the price.”
Snell sells two models, the MTB (which stands for My Tour Ball), a 3-piece ball designed to compete with the industry leaders with a low compression core for low driver spin, a mantle layer for accuracy and spin control on iron shots, and a cast urethane cover for short game control. The other model, Get Sum, has two layers including a soft low compression core to reduce spin rates (especially side spin), and a thin Surlyn cover to help get the ball in the air easier.
Snell points out that all modern balls perform about the same when it comes to distance from the tee, but the real test is from 100 yards and in—where scoring occurs. He suggests testing balls yourself to find the one that gives you the best results around the green. Snellgolf.com $21 – $32 per dozen
Fire Up Your Technology
Like the menu at your favorite ice cream shop, GPS watches come in a multitude of flavors. SkyGolf, though has combined their latest model, the LinxGT, with SmartTag swing tracking technology and an app for your smartphone to tell you everything you need to know about what lies ahead of you on the golf course and then how you played it.
The LinxGT watch has 35,000 courses preloaded and shows up to 40 targets per hole. The GPS maps are based on on-course surveys of every course and show not only distances to the front, center, and back of the green but to targets like bunkers, water carries, and even the end of fairways. The company’s Intelligreen technology automatically rotates the shape of the green to match the angle of your approach.
The watch also syncs with the SkyCaddie Mobile app and tags for your clubs so you can see how far (and where) you hit each shot for your round. The results are displayed on your smartphone in real time and can be stored for more complete analysis later. Newskycaddie.com $350
Belt Up Your Pants
If you’ve ever found yourself digging around in your pockets for a divot tool or ball marker while you juggle your glove, tees, and pocket change on your way to the green, it’s time to step up to the KenRick belt. Not only will one hold up your britches, it holds a convenient divot tool and ball marker right on the belt for ease of use. The divot tool slides out of the tail of the belt and the marker is attached to it.
The KenRick belts look good, too. They’re available in ribbon webbing with various patterns as well as several styles of leather including one that’s crocodile embossed. Kenrickgolf.com $60 – $120