The Indian bought a new Arrow (i.e. The Sherpa bought a new golf Club)…

Author: The Golf Sherpa  |  Category: Equipment Advice

Yes dear readers..like other long range patterns..lunar eclipse..Olympic games…presidential elections…the Sherpa makes a momentous decision.

He buys a new driver.

While the Sherpa is happily married to his putter, all other clubs in the bag get much wear and tear.  My last driver, a Taylor Made R7, lasted seven years.  Point in fact, it still is functional and is on its second shaft, but the head size is like a pea compared with the “block o’ cheese” head sizes that they offer now.

Taking my own advice, I went and had myself fitted for the proper driver set up.  In my case the characteristics that optimized my ball flight were:

1: A neutral bias weighting system – meaning that the club would not intentionally try to close or leave the face open.  Nowadays, you can get drivers that are designed for either swing tendency to help straighten your ball flight out.  Pretty cool, but not what I needed.  The Sherpa wants total freedom to work the ball either way, given the situation.

2: Stiff shaft – meaning that with a swing speed of 95 to100 miles an hour, the shaft will not flex too much.  It feels kind of “boardy”, but keeps the clubhead out in front of me when I hit it.   This key variable keeps the Sherpa from having to pretzel himself to close the clubface at impact

3:Good MOI – meaning that the club will not twist too much if I don’t hit it perfectly on the sweetspot.  This forgiveness keeps distance more consistent even if you don’t catch it pure.  Sherpa…he like MOI.

4:  9 degree loft – meaning that I get optimal launch angle (13 to 15 degrees) with low loft (9 degree), enabling a lower penetrating flight that spins at the right rate and rolls out like a marble on a slab.

5: It has got to look and sound cool – meaning that I am not going to plunk down hard earned cash for something that is artless for the sake of function. I am “the Sherpa” after all.

I found it….drum roll please.

And the winner is the Callaway FT9.

I got onto Callaway after playing a used FT5 and loved how it performed, looked and sounded.

While I was getting fitted I started thinking about you guys and realized if I was thoughtful, I could ask the fitter a few key questions to see if I could harvest some new insights.

Wow did that turn out well…

I asked simply, “Mr. Fitter, since you see hundreds of pilgrims like me on our quest for a better game, and since you are not a coach, what do you have to fix most often so you can sell your wonderful products?”

Without hesitation, he said “easy, it’s usually one of three things. First I check left hand grip, 95% of the time it’s too weak (see only one knuckle or less).  Second, I check their hand position at address.  Usually folks have their hands behind the clubhead at addess (causing open shoulders and a wicked banana slice).  If they are ok with these two things, but still slicing badly, I’ll notice that their swing sequence from the top is out of whack”.  After a stunned moment of silence, I asked “what do you mean”? 

He grabbed a club and showed me that many players with slicing or duck hooking problems make a good backswing, but when they start to turn, they do so while still on their back foot instead of bumping forward then releasing their arms on the downswing.

It was like lightning.  This guy, had been forced to correct probably 100 swings this year so that he could effectively sell clubs.  In doing so, he had boiled the process down to about 250 words.  He was like some kind of Haiku golf poet.  So I put him to the test.  I got on the monitor and kept hitting fades.  He said, “I like your left hand grip…nice and strong.  Do you want to play that fade?   If you don’t then move your hands forward to keep them even with the clubface at address”. 

Wow…I hit a beautiful little draw that gave me awesome yardage and terrific roll out. 

Bottom line: Never stop learning…the game has valuable secrets that are told by all who come under its spell.  Secondly, learn how to technically use every club in your bag.  Really commit to understand how the club was engineered and you will get much better performance out of it.

In celebration of my wonderful new purchase, I looked for a terrific lesson for you on driver tips that I think is a beauty.

Enjoy..

Play on…

The Sherpa

 

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