Getting Back Into the Game of Golf

Posted by Aaron West at 10:45 AM in Golf, Personal

I spent a considerable amount of time yesterday at Dick's Sporting Goods, trying out all sorts of new iron sets. Getting back into golf, I'm in the market for a new set of clubs. The clubs I have right now are about 13 years old as I used them back when I was in high school. I've grown a bit over the years and the clubs don't fit anymore. Not to mention I paid about a 100 bucks for them at Wal-Mart.

To begin the decision-making process I spoke with one of the golf salesman (not a pro) and explained a little about my game over the last 10 years. I made it clear I'm a mediocre player with a handicap of probably 15-20. With this type of inconsistency, having a set of irons that are forgiving is paramount. The salesman directed me to two sets right off the bat, the Taylor Made R7 and the Callaway X-20. I also asked to see the new Nike Sumo irons as I have been reading about them online lately.

All three iron sets have distinguishing looks, something very important in the very mental game of golf; if you don't like the look of the club you're looking down, you're probably not going to have much confidence, much less hit the ball well. The X-20's and the Sumo's definitely stand out in this category with the Sumo's taking a slight lead with the interesting rubber insert designed to dampen off-center hits.

With several 6 irons in hand - graphite and non-graphite set -ups where possible - I stepped into the simulator to hit a few balls. An hour and a half later, and much more than a few balls, I was more familiar with each of these three sets. It didn't take long to shun the R7 as the feel of the club just wasn't right. I tried a graphite and steel shaft in the R7 and I simply couldn't hit the club straight or consistent. Next up was the Nike Sumo, which felt a lot better. I was hitting the ball pretty consistently and my approach was generally down the center of the fairway. I was getting good club head speed and good loft to generate extra distance after impact with the simulated ground. Next up was both graphite and non-graphite editions of the X-20. This club felt the best and I hit the best with it. Almost all of my shots were pin-pointing the imaginary center fairway line and my distance was predictable each and every time. The X-20 is designed to get the ball up in the air and it was certainly accomplishing this under my care. The trajectory lines generated by all my shots - visible on the screen at all times - began to arch higher as I hit the X-20 more and more. Of all three brands, the X-20 was definitely getting the ball the highest in a very pronounced way. While this is good, it also means sacrificing distance on your shots. On average, I was hitting the X-20 10-15 yards shorter than the Taylor Made and Nike.

At the end of my session I had settled on the Callaway X-20 (w/ graphite shaft) being the best iron in terms of feel, my swing speed, and the accuracy generated. However, I didn't have the chance to try the Nike Sumo in a graphite shaft, so I've not made a final purchasing decision. I'm hoping to hit this set up soon at another simulator in town and then compare the results.

While I was testing irons in the simulator, my wife occupied our son with golf equipment designed for kids. I was able to grab a picture of him later which is completely adorable. One day, he'll hopefully be playing golf with me!

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This entry was posted by Aaron West on December 9, 2007 at 10:45 AM. It was filed in the following categories: Golf, Personal. It has been viewed 9144 times and has 4 comments.

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4 Responses to Getting Back Into the Game of Golf

  1. I am not that much a fan of golf. I am mostly into more "active" sports ( lets put it like this ) like football ( soccer ) or basketball, but lately I have had no time to play that much. Anyway, we have very few courts for golf here in this region and its difficult to be able to play it. I wanted few months ago to go to Cluj-Napoca to a private court where I would have had the chance of playing, yet I found other activities more important at that time.

    I guess we also have a problem of being shown and thought more about sports. For example some sports are not promoted enough in schools ( highschools or universities ) and I do not mean box or similar sports, I mean golf, swimming, chess...

    Sometime it`s better to just go for it and do as you like when you like. For me you look like an expert in this sport and the way you talk about golf equipment is extraordinary :-)

    Kind regards,

  2. @J.Mihai

    I love all types of sports, including some you mentioned. As I get older, the more physical sports like soccer tend to get harder and harder. I can't run much anymore, and that means no soccer. Golf however, while still being very physical, requires a lot less in the realm of cardiovascular strength and stamina. Plus, my mental prowess seems to get better as I get older and golf is 90% mental.

    As far as anything I say about golf being "extraordinary," I fall very short. I'm an amateur and only slightly knowledge about golf and golf technology. Folks interested in hearing authoritative commentary on golf should look to the pro's. I post my comments on using golf equipment from an amateurs prospective and what works for me may or may not work for someone else. Thanks for your comment.

  3. You know, I just found your article in a strange way. These days I am working on a site related to golf equipment and I was thinking I may get to know more about golf since I will work with that many info related to this sport. Maybe next time there will be an article about golf I will be able to discuss more on it with you :-)

  4. Buying golf clubs can be such a huge step. Thanks for your insight into the buying process and what you went through. I hope that many people get a chance to see this.