By Chris Mile
I just had a club fitting with my club fitter, Nate Lammers, to check out some new clubs that might be a better match for me as I continue to get older. I’d like to tell you about that fitting, but to set the stage, it got me thinking about playing with older golfers when I was not an older golfer myself.
Does this bring back memories? Those old codgers used the same clubs I did as a younger player. Everyone’s set was 2-PW, SW, 1-3-5 woods and a putter. All had heavy steel shafts either regular or stiff. Those old guys hit every shot about knee high and would virtually roll the ball around the course from either the blue or white tees. I had little appreciation on how frustrating that must have been to play like that.
These memories make me fully understand how lucky I am to be old now. I am not sure I would still be playing if I did not have these new clubs. Here is why.
One of the main things Nate works with me on my clubs is the height of my shots. If I cannot get enough height with one club, he eliminates it and tries something else. This means that all my clubs have more loft than they did in earlier times. Gone is a 3 wood. I hit a 4 wood further than a 3 wood. Gone are hybrids that are less than 21 degrees. A 7 wood gives me the height I need. Gone is a 6 iron for a couple of reasons, the new 6 irons have the loft of a 5 iron. Granted these new clubs hit it higher with less loft because of the way the heads are weighted, but with my limited club head speed, they just do not go high enough.
All my new clubs have much lighter shafts than clubs of years ago along with much hotter faces. This still does not mean I am breaking any clubhead speed records, but when I compare how far I hit these new clubs to heavier clubs without the hotter faces, it isn’t even close.
Here is what Nate and I came up with for my set of clubs:
Callaway Big Bertha Driver – This is a couple of years old but still a favorite of mine.
Titleist 917 #4 and #7 Fairways – I think this is where I saw the greatest equipment improvement. These new fairways are incredibly straight, and with the hot faces, they are really long.
Titleist 818 #21, #24, #27 Hybrids – These seem more consistent than my old hybrids. I like the fine tuning you can do with the loft and lie angle of these Titleist hybrids.
TaylorMade p790 Irons 7-GW – All our fitters think this will be one of our best-selling irons in 2018. It has the hotter face of the new irons but the feel is more like a traditional club. They hit it high and long with a great feel.
Callaway MD3 Wedges #54, #58 – I am using an older model that I still like. Nate and I did not test the new ones but it is on my to-do list as Vokey has new wedges coming out this spring.