#AskMyGolfSpy – Building Your Best Golf Bag
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#AskMyGolfSpy – Building Your Best Golf Bag

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#AskMyGolfSpy – Building Your Best Golf Bag

Welcome back to #ASKMYGOLFSPY where readers like you submit questions to our team of experts here at MyGolfSpy! Today, we’re diving into building your best golf bag for your game year after year. Have any more questions for us? Drop them in the comment section of this article! Let’s get into it.

 What’s the most important piece of equipment in my bag?

The bag itself. Without that, how are you going to carry your clubs?

Given my experience with Ball Lab, you might expect me to say it’s the golf ball is the most important aspect of building your best golf bag and that’s definitely the right answer in some cases but ultimately the most important piece of gear is the one that provides cover.

For some, that’s a hybrid that flies straight for 200 yards (give or take). If you’ve never been able to keep a driver in play and you just got fitted into something that all but eliminates penalty strokes, that’s easily the most important club in the bag. If swapping your blade putter for a mallet significantly increased your make rate from inside 10 feet or cut your three-putt percentage in half—that’s the one.

Bottom line: Whatever has the most beneficial impact on your scores is the most important.

How much does my age and handicap affect the expense or need for “brand name” clubs?

Let’s start with “forgiveness.” Forgiveness has the most obvious correlation with handicap and, while many of us need a forgiveness boost, the nature of golf club design means maximum forgiveness is often paired with moderate swing speed designs so sometimes chasing every ounce of forgiveness can be a liability.

It’s important to find the right balance of forgiveness and other performance characteristics.

To the second part of your question: With age comes wisdom and perhaps an understanding that we don’t really need to spend money on any of this crap.

But if you’re asking about performance implications, it’s not so much age as it is speed but I think it’s reasonable to suggest there is typically a correlation between the two. Golf is a percentage game and speed is a multiplier.

The faster you swing, the more likely deficiencies in your equipment are going to cause problems. A good example is a low-compression golf ball. Faster swings will often over-compress a soft golf ball and lose speed and distance. For moderate swing speed players, the percentage losses are similar but the real-world distance implications are negligible. A good low-compression ball can work just fine.

As we age into the moderate swing speed category, we don’t get nearly the same benefit out of the various technologies golf manufacturers ask us to spend on.

There’s a valid argument that lighter (and longer) clubs that give you back some speed will offer the most benefit as your swing slows and, while there are a fair amount of premium-priced products that fit the description, there are also plenty of options for building your best golf bag that offer similar benefits for a lot less money.

Should I keep playing the same golf ball I did when I was younger?

The easy answer is “no” if for no other reason than the fact that most golf balls are on two-year cycles so you don’t have a choice.

Newer isn’t necessarily better but it’s almost always different.

Basically, unless you’re sitting on a stockpile of a certain vintage, you’re changing golf balls whether you want to or not.

Take the Pro V1, for example, Titleist has evolved its flagship balls several times as the company adapts to changing demands both on Tour and within the retail marketplace. Flight characteristics, spin rates, feel … everything has changed with time. The same is pretty much true for any other ball manufacturer.

To the heart of your question, however—Yeah, as your game changes, your choice of ball should change with the realities of the game you have now, not the one you had yesterday (or yesteryear).

Shafts can be expensive but is it easier to just replace the shafts than get a whole new set?

I’m not sure about easier but a shaft change will almost certainly be less expensive, especially if you can do the work yourself. To be sure, there are differing opinions on the subject but here’s my analogy: The clubhead is the big knob that allows for big changes with not a lot of effort. The shaft is a fine-tuning that allows you to make small changes with greater precision.

What does that mean?

If you’re looking for a big performance change, you’re almost certainly going to need to start with the clubhead(s). If, however, you feel like you’re relatively close with what you have and a little fine-tuning will get you dialed-in the rest of the way, changing shafts can be a better option than replacing a full set of irons.

There are exceptions of course. If your shafts are a particularly poor fit, then finding a particularly good fit can often make a significant difference. That’s more the exception than the rule.

Regardless, as with most anything else, we’d still recommend working with a fitter to find a combination of head and shaft that can produce the desired results.

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony is the Editor of MyGolfSpy where his job is to bring fresh and innovative content to the site. In addition to his editorial responsibilities, he was instrumental in developing MyGolfSpy's data-driven testing methodologies and continues to sift through our data to find the insights that can help improve your game. Tony believes that golfers deserve to know what's real and what's not, and that means MyGolfSpy's equipment coverage must extend beyond the so-called facts as dictated by the same companies that created them. Most of all Tony believes in performance over hype and #PowerToThePlayer.

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

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Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony Covey





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      Rob Franks

      9 months ago

      Please add me to your email list

      Reply

      James

      9 months ago

      I’m 65 now. Swing speed has dropped to around 90 from over 100 just a few years ago. As you said, with age comes wisdom. For me, I can play my old MP33 irons as effectively as any of the modern clubs. In fact, this season, my handicap went down from 7 to 4 playing the 33s. What made the larger difference was the ball. Based on MGS recommendations, I went to the AVX. A bit more distance off the driver and irons with a feel I prefer. My 18 year old college golfer son who’s 125mph with a driver, is very particular about his equipment because you’re spot on that at his level and length it makes a larger difference. Great article Tony

      Reply

      meyersp

      12 months ago

      In the discussion above, it was described as being something to get more precision with an older set of club heads. What I don”t know is how one does this in a fitting like setting with older clubs? Do club fitters keep older models of heads for 4 to 5 years?

      Reply

      Adrian J Cemel

      12 months ago

      Thx, enjoyed the article; again.

      Reply

      Fred Rossi

      12 months ago

      At what point, (age/swing speed) do graphite make more sense than steel shafts? When does the extra $$ for graphite make more sense for consistency and performance?

      Reply

      Mike

      12 months ago

      You’re asking 2 different questions. And the extra few $ for graphite shafts s/b irrelevant in terms of your decision-making.

      Reply

      Fred

      11 months ago

      Mike – See your point – So at what point, (age/swing speed) do graphite make more sense than steel shafts?

      Gerry T

      12 months ago

      I’m looking to get the 5-GW just in Cobra F9 iron club heads to give me more traditional lofts over the stronger Cobra Speedzone lofts. I don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for them on eBay so I am curious as to how I can do this. I don’t want to go through buying irons with shafts if I can just find the F9 iron heads. Thanks, Tony, for a great article!

      Reply

      Dan Janyja

      12 months ago

      Nice Ultra Game Improvement head according to ralphmaltby.com playability factor (mpf). Look at proclubs.com. If not found shop golfworks.com for high-quality iron component heads, OE designs not clones.

      Reply

      Pat Whitby

      12 months ago

      Great article. I have done all of your suggestions. At 60 with a moderate swing speed, 90-95mph with driver & 75mph with 7 iron I went to the Tour Edge C521 irons for from Srixon more forgiveness. Best move I ever did. Great distance even with mishits. Put a lighter shaft with higher launch in my Ping G425 max driver. Dropped my 3 & 4 irons for 5 wood & 4 hybrid. Leaving the ego at home about clubs had dropped my handicap from 20 to 14. Also went from Pro V to Bridgestone Tour B RX to match my slower swing sewed. Gained about 10 yards. with irons. Changed from blade style putters to the Cobra Agera mallet. Less 3 putts & holing more from 12 foot & less.

      Reply

      Dennis Beach

      12 months ago

      Wrote a message earlier. Can’t seem to find it. I mentioned shafts, and the ball I play. Someone followed me to ask about the balls I have played. Neither comment is available…

      Reply

      Alex

      12 months ago

      As a moderate swing speed player, should I be using 3 hybrid and a 5 iron in windy conditions, or using a higher flying 5 wood and 5 hybrid?

      Reply

      Dennis Beach

      12 months ago

      Ok, with that all being said, shafts can make, or break your swing. I mean that if you are a high speed swinger, with good control, you need the correct stiffness, and weight for optimal distance, while maintaining control, especially the driver. Myself being an 80 mph swinger, at 65years old, I opted for a “regular” flex shaft, but wanted a little weight so I don’t get too fast on the downswing, which causes me to miss the fairway. I am a 20+ handicapper. The extra weight also makes a shaft “firmer”, which gives me a little more control, again to help keep me in the fairway. I was playing Cally SS ball, but now, I am trying the Pinnacle Rush for added distance. Have tried 3 piece balls, which are great around the greens, but really do not help me in the tee box, as I can lose a dozen in about 4 rounds, because of spin characteristics of the ball. I really do not have a consistent swing, but when I am on my game, it can be great fun.

      Reply

      scott

      11 months ago

      At your age you should be swing with no problem 95 or more mpg. Fine a good pro and invest into your golf swing. 5 to 8 session you should be having more fun, less lost balls and a much higher swing speed. . For the cost of new set Irons it won’t matter what clubs you use..

      Reply

      Adam Smith

      12 months ago

      I’m 77 , my woods are ping 410 sft, with 40 gram shafts my irons are ping 400 snr shafts. My drive if I’m lucky is max at 170 yds, I ‘ve tried every ball available particularly low compression , but nothing excels….any ideas?

      Reply

      scott

      11 months ago

      move up to the shortest tees. and remember you’ll never be as good as you once were. just be your best for who you are now..

      Reply

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    ASKMYGOLFSPY Vol. 33