This week Armchair Golf Blog readers weigh in on golf clubs. Following is Howard's story:
"I owned and had played a set of graphite shafted component irons that my father (a clubmaker) had put together for me to my own custom specifications. While my driving was fine, I noticed that my iron play was holding me back from scoring well; my shots just were not accurate enough. I determined to seek and test other irons to see if they would make a difference."
Consulting Golf Club Test Results
"I began to research products. One of my main sources was the well done Golf Magazine club tests. I highly recommend that you reference these test results (available on their Web site). You can narrow down your search by looking for the characteristics you seek in your new clubs. You can save a LOT of time starting with these test results."
Participating at Demo Days
"I then went to the 'demo days' for each of the manufacturers I was interested in and hit as many different sets of each manufacturers' clubs as I could. I believe that trying clubs before you purchase them is vital.
"Hitting shots changed my entire perception of which club I thought I wanted. The clubs that pleased my eye most (and that I would have purchased without actually hitting shots) turned out to hit weak pop ups. I also thought I wanted graphite shafts (my prior set of irons had graphite shafts) for the performance and smoother feel. But hitting both graphite and steel shafts proved to me that steel shafted irons have a much tighter dispersion. When I hit shots with steel shafted irons, you could put a bushel basket over them. With graphite shafts, it would have taken a large tarpaulin to cover them. Significant and surprising difference."
Ping I5s Are Automatic
"Finally, my swing and physical dimensions require custom tailoring of irons (2 degrees flat lie and plus 1 inch length and mid-size grips). For every manufacturer except Ping, this presented problems. Customizing their irons is routine for Ping.
"In the end, I bought Ping I5s. The G5s and S58s worked fine but the I5s had just the right mix of distance, eye appeal and workability to suit me. I matched them with three Ping Tour wedges. I just received them and will play with them for the first time next week. Thus far on the practice range, I cannot say enough good things about the Ping I5s. They are 'automatic.'
"My advice is to go straight to a Ping demo day. If you like any of the Ping s, your search is over. Order them and enjoy them."
"For no good reason, I was formerly a 'Ping' hater. When the Eye 2 Ping products first came out years and years ago, I couldn't afford them and was jealous of poorly skilled golfers who could buy a better golf game. Now that I, too, can afford Ping irons, I am no longer jealous! Count me among the Ping believers."
Special thanks to Howard, Luke Swilor, Anonymous and Lancer for their input for this week's series on golf clubs.
To everyone else, thanks for reading and feel free to share your experiences in the comments section or by emailing me at email@example.com.
The Armchair Golfer