101 Golf Secrets
Golf Secrets 67 - 69: Equipment
67 -- HOW TO BUY NEW GOLF SHOES
BY MARTY HACKEL
Buy two pairs so you can rotate them (like us, shoes last longer if they get a rest).
Today almost all better shoes ($65 and up) have a one- to two-year waterproof guarantee. So focus on the lining (particularly if you are a walker and play most of your golf in the morning). Gore-Tex linings really do work. Try shoes on at approximately the same time of day that you would wear them. (Feet expand later in the day or when they're warm.)
If the salesperson tells you "it's a little tight, but you'll break them in," do not believe it!
Shoe trees are a great investment. But only if you use them. Your shoes will love you for it.
68 -- HOW TO TRADE IN USED CLUBS
BY CAROLINE STETLER
The used-club market operates like the used-car business, minus the annoying salesperson. Trade clubs online or in a golf shop, and you could save an average of $100 on your new driver or $200 on irons. Check "blue book" values of your clubs online at golfclubexchange.com or visit the PGA Value Guide at pga.com/valueguide. You'll see how much to expect for your old clubs, based on their condition and recent market transactions. Once the club values are known, Golf Club Exchange can auction your clubs on its site for a small fee. If online sales make you nervous, bring your clubs to a participating PGA network retailer and receive a store credit toward your next purchase. Manufacturers such as Callaway and TaylorMade allow golfers to trade in almost any club, regardless of brand, for new ones in their respective lines (callawaygolfpreowned.com; taylormadegolf.com).
69 -- HOW TO PICK THE RIGHT BALL
BY MIKE STACHURA
The fastest route to improvement might be to change your ball type. "It's the simplest, most economical and beneficial fitting change you can make," says John Calabria, Golf Digest Technical Advisor and independent ball consultant. "Too many players make their ball choice to emulate the pros."
Calabria says the right ball for an average player might solve the problem of underclubbing. "Switching to a two-piece ball could give the average player more distance with the irons," he says.
Also focus on adjusting your ball choice to fit your course. Fast, firm conditions, especially on small greens, with deep, greenside bunkers call for tour-preferred, multilayer, urethane-covered balls. But if your venue is lush, soft, wet, with big, slowish greens, a two-piece performance ball (Titleist NXT, Callaway Big Bertha, Maxfli Noodle, Nike Mojo, Srixon AD 333, Bridgestone e5) is a smarter play. Mid-priced balls with multiple layers (Titleist NXT Tour, Callaway HX Hot, Nike Ignite, Bridgestone e6) might offer less of a compromise for greenside shots while maintaining off-the-tee performance.
Images from top: Lauren Nadler; Jim Herity