I have worked with numerous launch monitors and new technology to help dial in my swing specs. However, I have found that I am the best judge of my equipment. That is to say, I like club heads that look and feel great as well as a shaft to complement those clubs. But I stay away from the launch monitor now because it might give me different readings. Nothing can replace confidence that translates into fluid swings and better performance.
So the question is: When is too much technology too much?
I love to see new products released by the various manufactures each year, and see if the so-called “latest and greatest” truly are great. But what’s in my bag now is not the latest and greatest. It’s simply what works well for me.
For example, I have a Tour Stage driver from 2008. There are no fancy colors or moveable weights. It is simply a medium-sized (445cc) pear shaped club head. This driver is the longest and most maneuverable driver I have ever played – and I have tried them all from TaylorMade, Nike, Titleist, Bridgestone and Ping, each of which for me are too “springy.” I lose feel when the ball is struck, as opposed to the Tour Stage face – I can feel the golf ball stay on the face for a longer period of time.
I have finally settled on a fairway wood, which for me is the most difficult club in the bag to feel comfortable with. Playing a majority of my golf in South Florida, where the fairways are typically closely mowed or lacking grass, hitting the fairway wood off the ground can be a challenge. My preference is to have a fairway wood that I can hit off the tee. This ultimately results in having to compromise – either a club head that is too shallow for the tee or too deep for the fairway. I have settled on another Tour Stage product, the T fairway wood (14 degrees).
I have two sets of irons. One is a typical muscle back blade iron and a second set that is a forged cavity back. Both sets are Tour Stage. The blade 901 irons I use when I am not playing very much or very well. I find them to be much more difficult to hit, but I love working on my swing with them. The cavity back set is the newer 707 irons – very stable and forgiving.
I have a Titleist 585H hybrid that has a clean and professional look and I carry an Odyssey ProType putter, which is a typical blade putter. There are no moveable weights or interchangeable faces. It’s 35 inches long – I am not a fan of the long or belly putters.
This holds true with my forged wedges, which are very standard; a 56-degree sand wedge and 60 degree lob wedge made by Carnahan Golf.
As for golf balls, when I find a ball that suits my feel and eye when launched I stick with it. I have found two; the Bridgestone B 330 series and Srixon Z-Star series balls.
My bottom line: Launch monitors are great, but use clubs and balls that provide the best feedback with regards to feel. It will translate into better performance.