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Are New Clubs Better?

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I have been playing for about 55 years and equipment has changed a great deal during that time. I am a single handicapper and always hit player’s clubs rather than forgiving clubs.

in the last few years, my swing speed is declining, but I can still hit solid shots and score okay althiough I no longer have the urge to play from the tips or to use clubs with tiny sweet spots. My old favourite irons were Mizuno Grads and I still have them but have moved on to Ping Anser irons for their forgiveness, feel and playability and have used them for a few years now. I don’t hit that sweet spot as often or as easily as I used to so tried a friend’s TM Rbz irons they were easy to hit, long and consistent, but don’t have the feel of the Pings. As soon as I start swinging better, I go back to the Ansers.

My old favourite Woods were the Ping Eye 2 and later, the ISI’s and back then, they were long, solid, straight and consistent. Technology marched on and over the years, I went from Mizuno to Yonex to TM, then to Callaway and finally to three drivers now which I alternate. The Callaway Epic is solid, straight and feels great. The TM M1 is the same but feels a little different while the Ping G is similar, yet feels different as well.

I always try the newest clubs, but have found there is no value for most of the new clubs anymore. I did not like the new Matrek Woods or the TM Sim and no new irons appeal either. At the end of last year, I tried a friend’s Ping G driver with the Fuji Pro Tour Spec shaft and was amazed how nice it felt and how well it performed. I went online and purchased several Fuji shafts and re-shafted my three drivers. On a monitor at Golf Town, these shaft/head combos gave me an additional 3 mph ball speed and less dispersion which is great. I haven’t found a single new club that even approaches the performance of my older clubs with new shafts or my small soled irons.

Anyone  else find that new technology doesn’t mean better for your game while taking a big chunk out of your wallet? Is it my age or do you younger guys agree that new isn’t always better?

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Are you going by actual numbers or just how you ‘feel’ with the new clubs you’ve tried? I know you mentioned some monitor work. Seems odd with all the choices out there you couldn’t find a good fit. Ping i200, 210 and 500? If you like the Ansers I can’t imagine you not liking any of those irons. Callaway Apex? Mavrik Pros? So for me no. I enjoy hitting older clubs for entertainment but I’d never choose them over the newer ones available.

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1 hour ago, Pinger said:

Is it my age or do you younger guys agree that new isn’t always better?

I agree that new isn't always better but you should let the numbers from a launch monitor be the telling force.   When I purchased new clubs I switched from a 6h to a 6i and the numbers were very similar, nothing to really note any change.   I just wanted new clubs.   Better, nah but new.     Most people do see improvement in distance and dispersion with new clubs.   Most newer clubs are more forgiving.  

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Maybe check the Srixon Z 785 or Z 585 irons. They're both forged which will have that feel you like. They're both cavity back forged irons. The 585s are supposed to be a little more forgiving than the 785s. 7 iron loft on the 785 is 32 degrees. 7 iron loft on the 585 is 31 degrees. Maybe think about a blend set. Maybe think about going to hybrids at 5... depending upon how well you get on with them.  

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I'm no scratch or single digit player, so old or new equipment probably dont make any difference, I just play 15-20 year old second hand clubs because they look and sound better than new ones 

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It's what suits you, and sometimes modern technology may help. To cut a long story short, I recently sold a three year old Taylormade M1 to fund a seventeen year old Callaway G2. I was told by a very experienced pro that technology hit a wall about 14 years ago, but many people won't believe that. 

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22 hours ago, DrvFrShow said:

Maybe check the Srixon Z 785 or Z 585 irons. They're both forged which will have that feel you like. They're both cavity back forged irons. The 585s are supposed to be a little more forgiving than the 785s. 7 iron loft on the 785 is 32 degrees. 7 iron loft on the 585 is 31 degrees. Maybe think about a blend set. Maybe think about going to hybrids at 5... depending upon how well you get on with them.  

Hi,

good suggestion. I have them in mind, but demo’ing them is difficult. In head to head comparisonsmwith my Ansers, which are custom-fitted, it is hard to compare apples to apples. They make great clubs and don’t change every year, but you don't see many in play generally.

I might have a look around and see what I can do with 585’s or a blended set.

2 hours ago, iacas said:

Year to year? Not necessarily for your game.

Decade to decade? Remarkably so, yes.

Agreed. I was talking mostly about year to year or recent model changes and the past few decades have seen drastic changes in technology and function.

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2 hours ago, Mr Puddle said:

I was told by a very experienced pro that technology hit a wall about 14 years ago, but many people won't believe that. 

 

nike-covert-driver-play-in-the-now-large

Don't get hung up on old technology, switch to the Nike Covert Driver.

 

Edited by David in FL

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2 hours ago, Mr Puddle said:

It's what suits you, and sometimes modern technology may help. To cut a long story short, I recently sold a three year old Taylormade M1 to fund a seventeen year old Callaway G2. I was told by a very experienced pro that technology hit a wall about 14 years ago, but many people won't believe that. 

I agree. COR has been constant for many years now. My longest driver was the Ping G15 and the only reason I still am no longer using it is the lack of adjustability to prevent frequent hooks. Being able to open the club face has transformed my game. I also like the freedom of using adapters and the ease of changing shafts once adapters are installed.

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And with drivers.... don't overlook the Mizuno ST200. They have the look and kept the price right - $299. When the quarantine is lifted give it a test. And you know Mizuno makes quality. Or if you have money to burn, one of the Ping G410 models.

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56 minutes ago, Pinger said:

I agree. COR has been constant for many years now. My longest driver was the Ping G15 and the only reason I still am no longer using it is the lack of adjustability to prevent frequent hooks. Being able to open the club face has transformed my game. I also like the freedom of using adapters and the ease of changing shafts once adapters are installed.

Technological improvements include a lot more innovations than simply increasing COR...

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I think that if you are getting properly fit, and your swing isn't changing much (say in your 30s-40s), 8-10 years is fine to go before going back for another fitting. Unless you are playing for big $$$$ and get your equipment for free, there is no reason to get fit every other year except just wanting to buy something.

As far is your equipment, you are used to what you have been playing for a long time. There aren't too many small soled MBs on the market, and they really aren't too much different from older stuff.

Side note: I am a pool player and in the last 3 years carbon fiber shafts have become very popular. I've been playing competitively for about 4 years and I made the switch about 2.5 years in. There are plenty of older guys that have been playing for 20 years plus that will never switch to carbon because the feel is different and the are used to the deflection (how much the ball squirts or deflects to the side opposite the cue tip on side spin shots) of the older wood shafts. I'd say this is a similar condition to what you are experiencing. You are used to something, and looking/feeling something else is completely foreign and not necessary for you to play well, and may only hurt.

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3 hours ago, Mr Puddle said:

It's what suits you, and sometimes modern technology may help. To cut a long story short, I recently sold a three year old Taylormade M1 to fund a seventeen year old Callaway G2. I was told by a very experienced pro that technology hit a wall about 14 years ago, but many people won't believe that. 

I think technology hit a speed bump (literally) but not a wall.  There are ways around COR and CT...

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18 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

I think that if you are getting properly fit, and your swing isn't changing much (say in your 30s-40s), 8-10 years is fine to go before going back for another fitting. Unless you are playing for big $$$$ and get your equipment for free, there is no reason to get fit every other year except just wanting to buy something.

As far is your equipment, you are used to what you have been playing for a long time. There aren't too many small soled MBs on the market, and they really aren't too much different from older stuff.

Side note: I am a pool player and in the last 3 years carbon fiber shafts have become very popular. I've been playing competitively for about 4 years and I made the switch about 2.5 years in. There are plenty of older guys that have been playing for 20 years plus that will never switch to carbon because the feel is different and the are used to the deflection (how much the ball squirts or deflects to the side opposite the cue tip on side spin shots) of the older wood shafts. I'd say this is a similar condition to what you are experiencing. You are used to something, and looking/feeling something else is completely foreign and not necessary for you to play well, and may only hurt.

There are also very low deflection wood shafts these days...

You're right though.  For those of us who have been playing a long time, there’s certainly an adjustment curve.  It probably took me 2 months to transition comfortably to a low deflection shaft after playing with standard shafts for 35 years or so.

But, that’s significantly different than the change in golf club technology.  In order to take advantage of the changes in equipment technology, there’s little or no need to actually change your swing or adjust how you aim.  In fact, you can choose equipment that better suits you current swing and tendencies, rather than having to adapt to the equipment itself.

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Just now, David in FL said:

There are also very low deflection wood shafts these days...

You're right though.  For those of us who have been playing a long time, there’s certainly an adjustment curve.  It probably took me 2 months to transition comfortably to a low deflection shaft after playing with standard shafts for 35 years or so.

But, that’s significantly different than the change in golf club technology.  In order to take advantage of the changes in equipment technology, there’s little or no need to actually change your swing or adjust how you aim.  In fact, you can choose equipment that better suits you current swing and tendencies, rather than having to adapt to the equipment itself.

I know what you mean. The 11.75 wood LD shafts are almost identical to carbon. I think that Predator even advertises that the Z is the same as the Revo in terms of deflection. It's cool that you made the switch after so many years. I am by far the youngest on my league team and none of them are every going to make the switch because they are so comfortable with what they have. They are all in their 50s and 60s whereas I am only 31 and new to pool.

I don't think that the pool players that aren't going to switch would deny the superiority of LD or carbon, same as I wouldn't in golf, but it really is a feel thing. I can't seem to hit an iron that doesn't have a thin top-line and tiny sole, and I am not a good golfer by any means. If I take out my Eye2s, I hit far more crap shots than my SSBR or my gamers. Just can't seem to get over the giant face and large offset. It messes me up something fierce. Perhaps this is what the OP has going with him too.

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1 hour ago, Double Mocha Man said:

I think technology hit a speed bump (literally) but not a wall.  There are ways around COR and CT...

Such as…?

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2 hours ago, DrvFrShow said:

And with drivers.... don't overlook the Mizuno ST200. They have the look and kept the price right - $299. When the quarantine is lifted give it a test. And you know Mizuno makes quality. Or if you have money to burn, one of the Ping G410 models.

I know Mizuno makes good equipment, but I am happy with my present drivers.

I am not interested in the G410 as I already have the G and G400. Funny, the G is the best for me at this point. The G400 3 wood is the worst of all my fairway woods. I am trying a new shaft this year before trading it away. No need for money to burn if you can wait to buy.

2 hours ago, Bonvivant said:

I think that if you are getting properly fit, and your swing isn't changing much (say in your 30s-40s), 8-10 years is fine to go before going back for another fitting. Unless you are playing for big $$$$ and get your equipment for free, there is no reason to get fit every other year except just wanting to buy something.

As far is your equipment, you are used to what you have been playing for a long time. There aren't too many small soled MBs on the market, and they really aren't too much different from older stuff.

Side note: I am a pool player and in the last 3 years carbon fiber shafts have become very popular. I've been playing competitively for about 4 years and I made the switch about 2.5 years in. There are plenty of older guys that have been playing for 20 years plus that will never switch to carbon because the feel is different and the are used to the deflection (how much the ball squirts or deflects to the side opposite the cue tip on side spin shots) of the older wood shafts. I'd say this is a similar condition to what you are experiencing. You are used to something, and looking/feeling something else is completely foreign and not necessary for you to play well, and may only hurt.

All true. My reality is that at 65, my body won't let me swing as fast as I could in years past. Ultralight shafts would help, but throw off my feel and timing as I have always preferred heavier shafts. Luckily for all of us, technology marches on making equipment better in most ways. If you hit an old persimmon driver on the sweet spot, it is still terrific, but the reality is as you age, you don’t hit that sweet spot as often which is why technology is a good thing.

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