Who better to ask than the pros?
Let’s face it, there are thousands of possibilities when it comes to selecting golf clubs, with new models coming out even as you read this. What were once handmade niblicks and mashies are now highly complex, scientifically designed tools of the trade, made from graphite, titanium, steel, and other metals. The modern club is designed to hit farther, straighter, with more or less loft, with or without draw, and with precise accuracy. Of course, the ability of the player always factors into the equation, as even the most scientifically advanced club will not help the ultimate duffer.
And clubs are not the only golf equipment to have improved. Golf balls have, too, gone through multi-step scientific testing. And golf clothes as well. Golf bags are becoming lighter, shoes are becoming lace-less and shirts are eliminating sweat. Perhaps the perfectly contoured, perimeter-weighted tiny pencil is next on the horizon.
Here is a look at golf equipment as recommended by some of
Rich Doino, head professional at Somers Pointe Golf Club, uses the Titleist Forged 695CB Irons with the Z-Cavity design. He also likes the success of the Callaway X-18 and C-18 Pro Series Irons. As for putting, it’s Scotty Cameron all the way for Doino. “The Scotty Cameron putters have a nice soft feel and they set up perfectly square. I can look at it and not have to line it up,” Doino explains.
“The Titleist 905R is one of the best drivers out there,” says David Young, PGA golf pro at Sleepy Hollow Country Club. The 905R is a 460cc driver that is very popular on the PGA tour, providing high launch, low spin, and maximum ball velocity. Young also uses the Cobra Baffler DWS (which stands for Dual Weighting System), which he calls one of the most forgiving clubs out there. He is also among the many local pros to point out the continuing popularity of the Titleist Pro V golf ball. “It’s a favorite of many tour players,” he says, adding that it spins a little bit more.
Nick E. Manolios, golf pro at Mount Kisco Country Club, touts the popular hybrids from Taylor Made. “They are good replacement clubs for the two, three or four irons,” says Manolios, who uses the Taylor Made Rescue Series of hybrids. The Rescue Dual and Dual TP are designed for straighter hitting. A new T-shaped sole promotes increased clubhead stability at address and reduces drag at impact, for better accuracy and distance.
Knollwood Country Club’s PGA head professional, Bob Miller, Jr., has taken a liking to the Tour Edge Exotic driver. “The club has a molded base,” says Miller of the carbon driver that comes in Draw Bias and Power Fade models. The Tour Edge Bazooka irons have also sold well this year. A true hybrid, the Bazooka Iron-Wood’s have a larger and more forgiving club head that makes it an ideal iron replacement. “They’re nice clubs at a good price point for the average player,” Miller notes.
At Ardsley Country Club, golf pro Jim Bender is swinging away with the Calloway X460, a 460cc, all-titanium driver built for longer and straighter tee-shots. “I don’t even stock three irons anymore; haven’t sold one in the last year,” says Bender, who highly touts popular FT Hybrid H3 fusion from Calloway. “That club can be purchased with a draw face, a neutral face, or a fade face, so you can use it to match your ability,” Bender explains. The club, he notes, is used by Phil Mikkelson and Annika Sorrenson. “There’s also a big push for the Calloway Tour balls—HX Tour and HX Tour56.”
PGA professional Kevin Sprecher, the teaching pro at Sleepy Hollow, acknowledges the popularity of the hybrids. “I’m a big fan of the Titleist PT 585H utility metals,” says Sprecher, referring to the clubs that blend the best of fairway metals with long irons to make life easier for players who struggle with the 2 and 3 irons and fairway woods. “Titleist is the leader in balls; they’re great for all levels of players,” Sprecher says. “For players with slower swing speed, I recommend the NXT and NXT Tour.”
Suggested Retail/List Prices
Callaway X460: Retail $325
Titleist 905R: Retail $500
Tour Edge Exotics: List $500
Hybrids and Utility Metals
Callaway FT Hybrid H3 fusion:
Retail $275 (graphite), $250 (steel)
Cobra Baffler DWS:
List $180 (graphite), $160 (steel)
Taylor Made Rescue Series Rescue: Dual $199 (graphite), $179 (steel),
Dual TP $299 (graphite), $249 (steel)
Titleist PT 585H utility metals:
Retail: $208 (graphite), $175 (steel)
Callaway X18 irons & C-18 Pro Series irons: Retail $1,200 per set (graphite), $880 (steel).
Titleist Forged 695CB Irons: $150 (graphite) per iron, $135 (steel)
Tour Edge Bazooka Irons: List $50 per iron, (graphite), $45 (steel)
Scotty Cameron putters: Various models retail from $200 to $300
Titleist Pro V1 & Pro V1X:
Retail per dozen $58
Titleist NXT & NXT Tour:
Retail per dozen $36
Callaway HX Tour & HX Tour56:
Retail per dozen $50
What to Wear
Who better to ask than the pros?
Scarsdale Golf Club’s Head Golf Professional Bill Smittle talks about the latest in clothing. The wicking fabrics from Cutter & Buck’s DryTec series or Greg Norman’s PlayDry clothing are “very nice because they keep the moisture away from your body and they are cooler fabrics,” says Smittle of the golf ware designed to help players perspire less and feel more comfortable on the course.
Cutter & Buck DryTec: Various men’s and women’s styles list from $37 to $85
Greg Norman’s PlayDry: Weatherknit men’s Windshirts from $58-$68
Women’s PlayDry Stretch Mock