Neil Tappin takes a look at the 7 Easiest Golf Gear Upgrades covering everything from new grips to your choice of wedges to help you make smarter equipment choices!
7 Easiest Golf Gear Upgrades
Let’s face it, no matter how you play, the 2021 golf season is likely to be one of the best ever. Having spent so much time indoors recently, the prospect of dusting off your clubs and putting a score together is seriously exciting. In preparation for the season ahead, we put together a list of the 7 Easiest Golf Gear Upgrades to inspire better equipment choices.
If you have certain clubs in your bag you love but that are feeling a bit tired, a great option is to put new grips on them. Before you do, take a good look at your grips. If the condition isn’t too bad, give them a good clean with hot, soapy water. If they still aren’t providing much traction, think about investing in new grips.
At anywhere between around £5 and £12 per grip, this might seem expensive for a full set of irons but you’ll be amazed at how it can make older clubs feel like new!
RELATED: Best Golf Grips
2 Lob wedge
Every time you hit a bunker shot, you are effectively sand blasting the face of your wedge. Over time, the grooves will wear and the amount of spin you generate will reduce - and this won’t just affect how much your chips check but it will also change the flight of your pitch shots. If you are looking for more control in your short game, a new lob wedge could be the way to go.
RELATED: Best Golf Wedges
3 Golf Balls
Do you use the same model of ball every time you play? If not, now is the time to consider it because, the more you play the same ball, the better feel you will have for how it performs, particularly in the short game.
Every ball on the market is designed to perform differently - whether it is to fly lower, feel softer or spin more in the long game. Identify the ball that you think will help you play your best and then buy a couple of dozen. You can then use the same ball for the first few months of the season (hopefully!) and you’ll be able to see if this makes a difference.
RELATED: Best Golf Balls
4 Golf Shoes
Now is a good time to think about your golf shoes for the year ahead. Start by looking at the shoes you currently have. If there are any pairs that are particularly tired, and you can’t imagine wearing them again, get rid of them to make some space.
Now clean the other pairs that are left and replace any missing or worn soft spikes. Once you have done that you’ll be in a better position to identify any gaps - it might be that you need a new pair of spikeless shoes to wear in the summer or you want something that can cope for all weather conditions.
RELATED: Best Golf Shoes
5 Distance Measuring Devices
A good DMD should tell you a lot about your game. It should be easy to use, provide consistently reliable yardages and give you some insight into how far you hit the ball while you’re competing on the course. How does yours stack up? If it is unreliable or frustrating to use, now is the time to upgrade. The 2021 offerings are packed full of features and easier to use than ever.
RELATED: Best Golf GPS
6 Fairway Woods
These are often the hardest clubs in the bag to hit well. With the ball on the deck and the shaft of the club so long, finding consistently sweet strikes can be tricky. However, today’s range of fairway woods are much easier to hit than older generations. If you are using an older fairway wood that doesn’t instil confidence, now is a great time to invest!
7 Putter Grip
Given the number of shots you hit with it, the grip of your putter is likely to wear faster than other clubs. If yours is looking a bit tired, or perhaps your putting isn’t as good as it could be, think about a new putter grip. This will give you a completely new feel - if your putting has been poor, go for something that’s either fatter or thinner to change the way it feels in our hands. This is a relatively small change that could make a big difference to your performance!
In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."
Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points.
Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSi2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X
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