Yes, I know it is only August and we are in for some of the warmest weather of the year, but fall is definitely coming and that means it is time to look back at some of the great equipment of 2013. Soon it will be cold and rainy and the great shots in the warm sun will be a distant but pleasant memory. This time of year I start making lists of new clubs and balls so that when my lovely wife and daughter are looking for something golf for me for Christmas, I have a ready list to hand off.
This year I had some great rounds with a few new golf balls and I have a few favorites in a couple of different price ranges.
Callaway has two golf balls that I really really like.
- My favorite all around golf ball that plays well year round is the Hex Black Tour. It is soft for a tour ball and really plays well with the wind. This ball has been on my wish list for two straight years, so for me this is my current favorite.
- A very close second is the Hex Chrome + After watching Phil put on a clinic with this ball at the Open Championship, I had to get a dozen and put them in play. Well Callaway does not disappoint this ball is long but also has back-up spin with a wedge. I will have to try it out in the cooler fall air and keep you posted, I suspect that it will play more like the Callaway iZ from a few years ago, but I will suspend judgment, Callaway is making some great golf balls in 2013.
Titleist also has two golf balls that I can highly recommend. Of course the Pro V1x is still one of the balls that all compare themselves to. The other is from the lower end of the product line and that is The Velocity. The Titleist Velocity is an outstanding lower priced distance ball. To say this ball goes is an understatement. It is as long off a driver as Callaway’s Hex Chrome + but in the $25 price range.
For drivers, the Taylormade R1 is the choice for 2013. This club adjusts to be every driver combo you can think of. Adjustability taken to the limit, but beyond that, it has a softer sound and a sweet spot that gives it a "there one second, gone the next" feel.
Fairway woods, give it up to Callaway X Hot and Phil’s Open club the X Hot Deep. I have to say that I really liked the Taylormade RBZ fairway until I hit the X Hot. It is indeed as soft and hot as a driver but in the body of a fairway wood. On the machine at Golfsmith it said 250 – 260 yards and while I don’t believe that one in the real world, they are definitely eye popping. I really like the plain look, nothing flashy but boy do they feel great.
My favorite new club is my Taylormade RBZ 3 hybrid. I got this one to hit a couple of longer par 3s I run up against and this club does deliver. Like all new clubs in a bag I had to get out and hit a few buckets, OK quite a few buckets before I got my confidence up in the club. As advertised, the RBZ is long, I can hit it pretty regularly 220 yards. I had to get used to the fact that I just seemed to draw this club a ton. It is not that it is setup with a huge draw bias, it is just so light that I tend to get in front of it and turn it over easily. It took some time playing with ball position and thinking inside out on my follow through, but I am happy to say that it has become my favorite club this summer. It is nice to have a club you can reliably hit 200 and keep it right down the center.
So for Christmas all I want is.. a X Hot 3 wood!