101 Golf Secrets
Golf Secrets 64 - 66: Equipment
64 -- HOW TO BUY A DRIVER THAT DOESN'T SLICE
BY MIKE STACHURA
Some things can't be fixed. If your swing includes a severe over-the-top, outside-to-in downswing with the clubface wide open, nothing short of reconstructive surgery and a lobotomy might fix your slice. For others, however, there are a few key driver tweaks that could help rein in those wild tee shots. An offset clubhead and a more flexible shaft are two options that can help some players square the clubface at impact, says Tom Cook Sr., lead clubfitter at Pat Ryan Golf and The Professional Clubmakers Society International Clubmaker of the Year for 2002.
"The majority of players we see are using a driver that's too long, too stiff, too light and has too little loft," says Cook, who notes that more loft reduces the tendency for sidespin to take over, and a softer flex helps close the face at impact. But the biggest slice fighters are length and weight. He suggests shorter (43.5 to 44.5 inches) and heavier as a good way to improve impact. "By shortening the shaft and increasing the weight by 15 to 20 grams, you can maintain the moment of inertia of the club." A club with a closed face angle would work well, too, but only if the player resists the temptation to square the clubface at address.
65 -- HOW TO REGRIP YOUR CLUBS
BY E. MICHAEL JOHNSON
You'll need a rubber vise clamp, grip knife, solvent (not gasoline or anything flammable), masking tape, two-way tape and grips. Get these at a hardware store or through golfsmith.com.
1. Secure the club in the vise and clamp the club near the grip. The club should be set up so you're looking at it in the playing position. Remove the old grip and old tape with the grip knife. Remove residue with a towel and a touch of grip solvent. Don't scratch the shaft!
2. To build up grips, apply masking tape a little longer than the grip's length. A vertical wrap is easiest. Apply along the top of the shaft butt so the overlap occurs along the back of the shaft.
3. Wrap one layer of two-way tape, leaving an extra inch over the shaft butt. Peel the backing and cover the butt with the extra tape.
4. Generously squirt solvent inside the grip, sealing the vent hole with your finger. Close the open end of the grip and shake it to wet the entire inside. Pour the solvent over the entire length of the two-way tape (catch the excess with a metal pan and re-use).
5. Hold the grip with the alignment pattern up, and squeeze the grip with your thumb and forefinger to get a flared shape. Push the flared mouth up and over the butt end of the shaft.
6. Push the grip firmly onto the shaft, and make sure the grip butt cap is all the way against the shaft butt. The grip should be straight and the alignment pattern square to the clubface. The grip should be set to play after a few hours.
66 -- HOW TO SELECT A PULLCART
BY CAROLINE STETLER
Are you tired of carrying a golf bag for 36 holes, but pride keeps you from riding in a cart? Try a modern-day pull/pushcart with all the conveniences traditional pullcarts lacked.
Opt for a cart that's lightweight, maneuverable and compact enough to fit easily in the trunk of the car along with your golf bag. Be sure to demo the cart before buying: Push and pull it over uneven surfaces, and test its stability, because there's nothing more embarrassing than having your cart topple over in the middle of your buddy's pitch shot. Pay attention to performance features such as handbrakes, shock-absorbing tires and attachable air pumps to determine the maintenance your cart might need. Pullcarts come equipped with gadgets such as holders for umbrella, scorecard and drink, and fold-away seats.
Pullcarts are available in motorized versions as well. Consumers can find a reliable pull/pushcart from Sun Mountain, Cadie Golf and Club Glove for about $200 compared to motorized models, Bag Boy, Powakaddy and Kangaroo Caddy, which start at $800. Some motorized carts such as the Shedda and Bag Boy's Navigator (pictured) feature remote controls.
Images from top: Jim Herity; Courtesy Bag Boy