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Yes. Absolutely everyone should play a 7-wood. No exceptions.
Seriously, do it.
For real, though, I’ve been a shameless fan of the 7-wood since I put one in the bag a couple of years ago but, admittedly, there’s no guarantee your experience will mirror mine.
I should also point out that my driver head speed hovers around 110 right now. That doesn’t make me the fastest guy on the planet (or even on the MyGolfSpy staff) but the point is that higher-lofted woods definitely aren’t exclusively for slow to moderate swing speed players.
I dumped a 4-hybrid for the 7-wood and it’s consistently straighter, dispersion is tighter and it’s harder to hook. Generally speaking, the big miss isn’t something I worry about.
If there’s a downside to the 7-wood it’s that, with the exceptionally high trajectory, it’s not ideal in a strong wind. For windy conditions, I’m going to keep a hybrid or possibly even a utility iron around.
If there were any standards defining shaft flex, this would be an easy answer. The problem is that a “stiff ” in one model can be stiffer than an “X-stiff” in another or softer than a “regular” in yet another.
For better or worse (probably worse), “flex” is really just a catch-all that loosely (or barely) describe the overall stiffness of the shaft. As a single measurement/metric, it’s not particularly helpful as far as describing where a shaft is stiff and where it might be a tad softer.
Some shafts have stiff butt sections and soft tips, some are soft in the handle and mid sections and stiffer in the tip. Shafts come in all combinations and, again, a simple flex designation doesn’t begin to cover it.
All of that said, if the stiff in whatever shaft you’re playing is working better than the X, that’s probably where you need to be. Swing speed is just one factor in shaft fitting. Tempo and transition are important as well … and that’s before we dig into the weeds on swing path and miss tendencies.
I’m aware of at least one study that found that the shaft that feels best in a golfer’s hands is often the one that performs best as well. If it feels right, it’s probably because it’s bending right. So, while we’re always going to side with the data, there may be something to the feel thing when it comes to choosing a shaft.
Assuming you’re right-handed, if the ball is consistently flying too far left, that’s a pretty solid clue.
If that’s the case, before you ditch the irons, have your lie angles checked. I used to have a big left miss (and it didn’t much matter what iron I was playing). Bending my lie angles a degree or two flat (depending on the model) has made a world of difference
The answer to the first part of your question is “nope.” No chance. Golf companies definitely aren’t going to lower prices, especially if they have new things to sell less often.
As for the second, yeah, I think it’s reasonable to assume that whether it’s an extra six months or a full year, R&D teams could pack a little bit more horsepower into the new model. Ultimately, that means golfers could get more (relative to the previous model) than they do in a one-year cycle.
That said, while there are some interesting (and relatively new) technologies in the metalwood category, a good bit of the year-over-year changes amount to moving the center of gravity around so that the new model performs differently than the one that came before it.
I’ve yet to see a situation where the new thing is better for 100 percent of golfers. So, even with more development time, better performance can’t be guaranteed. For some it will be better, for others worse and for a sizeable chunk, pretty much the same.
We’ve liked what we’ve seen from Snell balls to this point. They’ve tested well in our robot ball tests and quality has tested as average or better in Ball Lab and, for a good run, it’s likely the MTB series was the most popular direct-to-consumer ball on the market.
Unfortunately, Snell’s urethane models have been tough to get lately. Chalk that up to a combination of general supply chain issues and TaylorMade’s acquisition of what was the Nassau ball plant (not TaylorMade Korea).
For now (and perhaps for the long term), TaylorMade is no longer producing balls for third parties. That means when the new MTB and MTB-X launch later this year, they’ll be made at a different factory.
We’ll know more as the new balls get closer to launch but given Dean Snell’s past success and the fact that Snell balls are popular with our readers, it’s something we’re going to be looking at closely.
Not so much a question but a comment that appeared in one form or another about 100 times in response to our story about layoffs at PXG.
Rephrased as a question: Is this the beginning of the end for PXG?
I could be wrong but I don’t think so.
Readers have been predicting the demise of PXG from the very beginning and yet the company is more popular than ever and, by some measure, its low prices have positioned it as the brand of the people.
To be sure, layoffs are never good but there are a couple of factors in play. First, as James Carville famously said, “it’s the economy, stupid.”
Layoffs are on the rise across the country and it stands to reason more will follow. I’d wager that before the year is over, PXG won’t be the only golf brand to cut staff.
On a related note, the best of golf’s COVID boom is behind us. It’s all but a certainty that sales will be down across the whole of the equipment industry in 2023. I don’t mean to be flippant but there’s an element of this that’s a bit like January at any big box retailer.
For the golf equipment industry, it’s been like Christmas for the better part of two years. Many (probably all) increased staff to meet unprecedented demand. Golf’s marathon holiday season is winding down so it stands to reason others will also need to right-size for a changing market.
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