With new ranges due out soon from the likes of Titleist, Callway, Mizuno, PING and Cleveland there will be whole host of new gear in the office to tempt me into tinkering with, but until then here’s what I’m currently playing
Driver: TaylorMade r7 Superqaud TP. 9.5 degrees. Matrix Ozik X-Con Altus Proto shaft
Had this in the bag for about 15 months although the shaft wasn’t fitted until last September. It was installed by ‘Mr Shaft’ himself, Zane Navie, down at the Urban Golf Performance Centre in Smithfield, London. It’s a great shaft that allows me to feel the head at the top of the backswing and releases through impact (both of which I like) but doesn’t put too much spin on the ball, which in the past has been a real killer for my driving distance. I’m known in the office for being a bit short off the tee (compared to Neil Tappin everyone is) but this combo plus the right balls has helped me put on around 15-20 yards so I guess on a good day I’ll hit it around 250.
Fairway: PING G10 4wood. 17 degrees. PING TFC shaft
The first time I put this in the bag was August last year and after it knocked my second shot on the green of the Par 5 2nd at Hindhead on its first outing it’s never looked like coming out. Very rarely use it off the tee but love it from the fairway and first cut or rough. Went for the stand
Utility: Titleist 585H. 19 degrees. Graphite Design YS6 hybrid shaft
Had the same club but with the Aldila NV shaft in the bag since it came out and swapped to the YS6 after trying it at our 2008 Equipment Guide test at the London Club in February. It just felt better and didn’t go left as often! I do hit the odd top with this club off the fairway but that’s me getting too far ahead of the ball!
Irons: MacGregor MT Pro CM 4-6 shallow cavity 7-PW blades. Nippon NS Pro 1150 Tour shafts.
Another find at the 2008 Equipment Guide test these irons produced a rather unseemly bun fight between myself, Jezz and Paul O’Hagan who all fell in love at first hit. Jezz tried them for a while but couldn’t get on with them as well as his MP57s but Paul and I have still both got them in the bag now although I did have a wobble for one round and put my old TaylorMade RAC TP forged back in. Happy to report I got my confidence back and they were let back out from under the stairs. My iron play is patchy to say the least so I went for the more forgiving cavities – which were very like the TaylorMades – in the longer irons and the blades from 7 to PW where I’m more confident.
Wedges: Crews T310 51 deg loft/8 deg bounce, TaylorMade RAC TP Z groove 56 deg/12 deg bounce and PING Tour W 60deg/8 deg bounce
This is the bit of kit I have chopped any changed around with the most of late. I did have 52 and 56 deg PING Tour Ws as well as the 60 (all with the nickel finish) and were going fine but I just decided to have a crack with a couple of the new ones that have been knocking around the office. The Crews wedge is a lovely shape, I use it on full shots and it spins it like mad but in the process does shred balls. The TaylorMade, which has a good looking smoke finish, I use for most bunker shots and for touch shots around the green and PING is the club for bunker shots to a tight pin or with a steep face in front and also for flop shots.
(Driver thru 60 degree wedge all of my clubs are stiff shafts and have Golf Pride Multi-Compound grips on which I have had on all my clubs for the last couple of years)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Studio Select.
I had putted very happily for over two years with a Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5 but earlier this year my touch on the greens deserted me. I was taking the putter away and it was going all over the shop. To me the head felt too light (I think I was probably gripping it too tight) so I switched to a SeeMore M5 mallet but that only lasted a round before the new Scotty arrived and I took that out for a round. The first nine holes I played with I had 5 single putts including 2 long-range birdies so it was job done. I have just changed from a 35 inch to the 34 and this one has 2 15g weights in the sole, which does make it feel quite heavy, but I like that.
Ball: TaylorMade TP Black LDP or Wilson DX2 soft
The driver fitting at Urban Golf showed I needed as low a spin ball as possible that still felt good around the greens and these two were my best fits. If push came to shove I’d go with the TP Black but I can’t get over how good the Wilson ball is for the price and it’s much more durable than the TaylorMade especially with that Crews wedge!