It took its time arriving but it looks like the golf season is finally here… along with a load of new golf equipment to test and buy.
We haven’t put the hours in on the range so have done what we do each year and turn to new equipment and convince ourselves it will make all the difference.
Maybe it will, maybe it won’t but there’s fun (and sleepless nights) to be had finding out.
What changes have you made? New driver or irons? Plugged that gap with a new hybrid? Something adventurous like a new Ping Crossover or something simple like new shoes, grips, glove or ball?
The team at NCG give their bag tweaks.
Tell us what new golf equipment you are using at the bottom of the article.
James Savage (Equipment Editor): I’ve got a new big stick on the go for this year and three new SM6 Vokey wedges 50˚, 56˚, 60˚.
I’m struggling to solve gapping issues at the top of the bag though.
Last year I went 17˚ 5-wood to a 19˚ hybrid to a 22˚ 4-iron. But after realising the 5-wood saw little to no action I’ve put a new 15˚ 3-wood into play.
Pretty sure the 4-iron will be the next to go in favour of a weak hybrid but I’m sticking with it for now as I hit one good shot into the wind with it last week.
Dan Murphy (Editor): The start of a new season is always a fresh chance to address gapping issues. And the best/worst thing about this is the butterfly effect – as soon as you change one thing it sets into a motion a chain of events that renders all your other clubs unsuitable.
I love wrestling with this problem, and that’s one reason I love Ping’s new Crossovers, which I believe all golfers should try (once Ping have got them back in stock).
I’m currently using my 4 Crossover to bisect the gap between 5 wood and 5 iron but I keep wondering if I wouldn’t do better with a 3 Crossover and then drop the 5 wood and carry an extra iron… It really never ends.
Steve Carroll (Staff Writer): I am always tinkering with new kit and am usually swayed by new technologies. I think I’m an advertiser’s dream.
I came down three shots last year, from 15 to 12, and have still changed my entire bag for this season.
I’ve gone almost entirely to Ping for 2016, bringing in the new G irons for a bit more playability.
I’ve fallen in love with the Crossover – have one in play and am waiting – patiently – for another to arrive.
I had a huge gapping issue from driver to hybrid and am trying to fill that with a G 5-wood.
My biggest aim is to find a new putter I’m comfortable with. Until I work that out, I think playing ‘par’ rounds is going to be a big issue for me this season.
Mark Townsend (Deputy Editor): I am now down to 12 clubs which is the way I like it, more clubs bring more confusion and I’d rather have more confidence in less options. For me gapping is all well and good but I play off 8 for a reason and that’s that I’m not overly consistent.
I’ll keep this as brief as possible; a new Callaway XR16 driver which is brilliant, the same old Callaway X2 Hot 5-wood and a Ping 5 Crossover which covers pretty much everything, including world peace; the all-important ‘200 yarder’ and any long par 3 and most ‘stiff’ par 4s. And some chipping. And it’s got a headcover which pleases me more than it should.
The Ping i25 irons aren’t going anywhere but the 58˚ wedge has long left the bag as it’s not safe in my hands. The putter segment in my bag is like a revolving door so, by the time you read this, it will have changed.
Tom Lenton (Advertising Manager): I’ve 13 clubs currently in the bag and I’m on the lookout for a replacement hybrid after snap-hooking seven out of 10 when hitting it out of long grass in Scotland
New for the season for me are a 9˚ Ping G30 head coming in for a 10.5˚, a G30 3-wood that I don’t seem to top too often and Golf Pride MCC Plus 4 midsize grips through the bag.
My Ping i25 irons are staying along with an Odyssey white ice #5 putter and Answer wedges 52˚,56˚,60˚.