Getting back into golf a few years ago just felt right. I had played a quite a bit 20 years ago but it had been 3 or 4 years since I had even hit a golf ball. So that is where it started, I played about once a month with non-fitted, graphite shafted, Big 5 specials. I quickly realized that I could not hit the driver that came with the set. This was especially disturbing since driving had been the one aspect of my game that had always been my strong suit. However, with that club I hit the ball everywhere; right, left, high and low but rarely straight. So I did what any self-respecting duffer would do, I bought a new driver.
I bought a John Daly driver at Target. OK I know, I know, that was a pretty dumb thing to do but it was only $39. And while it did not solve my problem, it was a 460cc driver and the one that came with my set was about 400cc’s. So at first it produced much more reliable results. After practicing, practicing and yes practicing, I got to the point in my game where I was playing about once a week and was consistently breaking the 100 mark in my rounds. Even though I felt better about my game, I still was not seeing the results I expected from all the playing and practicing I was doing. It was while I was out at a driving range with a colleague from work (a 10 handicapper) that I realized I had reached the limit of my new driver as well. My buddy felt that a stiffer shaft would probably help my driving consistency. His recommendation, "get fitted!"
So I went out to my local International Golf store and got fitted. What I discovered was exactly what my buddy had suggested. Turns out that I had a pretty fast club head speed (105+) and therefore I was in the range of folks who would benefit from stiff shafted clubs. So that is how it happened, that was the trigger point for my quest for a new set of golf clubs.
I started with irons. As I said a little earlier in this article, driving had been my strong suit so naturally my irons were where I needed the most help. I started looking in January with a goal of having new clubs with my tax returns that year. I looked at many iron sets. At first I thought I might like the new Nike Slingshot OSS irons, but after hitting them a couple of times I just wasn’t sold. I tried some of the Callaway Big Bertha 2006 irons and while I liked them I found them to just be too expensive. The third set that I tried was the Adams A2 OS irons and I loved them. I got the stiff steel shafted set in March of ’06. Right away I saw a huge difference in my confidence with an iron in my hand and the fact that the set contained 4 hybrid clubs just worked for me.
To complete the set I bought an Adams Ovation driver with an Aldila shaft. I liked my driver and irons so much that within a couple of months I purchased an Adams RPM 3 wood as well. All seemed right in the land and my scores were coming down too. I had gone from trying to break 100 to trying to break 90 instead. That year I had 3 rounds in the mid-80s and could not believe some of the distances I was hitting my driver and irons. My only club issue revolved around that new 3 wood I bought. It was very frustrating, my driver was great, my 3 iron was great, even my wedges, were great, but the 3 wood sucked. It was right, left, high, low. All I could think was not again. I stubbornly held on, trying it when called for in the round but always apprehensive of what could go wrong. It is like that old saying, "golf is a game played on a field 6 inches wide… the space between your ears." Every time I would address the ball with that club, the negative thoughts would start. The last straw was when I was playing a long par 5 and had hit a decent drive about 270 yards and I had 245 to the flag. Sounds like a job for a 3 wood, instead I pulled out my 3 iron and hit a lay up. At that point, I knew that I would have to get a new 3 wood or go without one. My solution was the TaylorMade V-Steel 3 wood and wow what a club. It is a "classic" fairway wood, not too tall not to low profile. It just fits my eye. The shaft is light-weight and very stable. The Adams club was a stiff shaft but it had way too much tip flex for me. The TaylorMade has very little tip flex and really seems to resist twisting on off-center hits. Did I mention that I have a few of those from time to time? Off the tee I can put it long and straight. On a recent trip I out drove a couple of guys who were using a driver and were trying to be careful on a narrow par 4. Also I can hit a controlled cut shot from a fairway lie and I have even worked it right to left from a bad spot a couple of times.
So that is what is in my bag.