Jezz Ellwood (GM equipment editor)
As Golf Monthly?s video Gear Vault goes live on this site, I thought I?d spend a few moments talking you through my current line-up (whether or not you?re interested!). The temptation to chop and change is immense as new gear is constantly hitting the office, but that can sometimes work to your disadvantage as I discovered in my earlier years in the job (and no, I don?t expect or indeed deserve any pangs of sympathy). Wisdom comes with age perhaps ? or something like that.
This year I have played much the same line-up for most of the season and am perhaps beginning to reap the dividends for such admirable restraint and consistency?
Driver – TaylorMade r7 SuperQuad 10.5 regular
Loved this the moment I first hit it in February. Looks great, feels solid and has seen me hitting more fairways than usual. I have the heavier weights set forward to keep my flight down a little as I don?t have any problem getting the ball up in the air. I could go to a lower loft, but tend to start cutting the ball too much then. I?m hitting what I like to think of as a nice power fade, but what my colleagues disrespectfully refer to as a weak cut. The truth probably lies somewhere between the two.
3-wood ? Ping G5 15 regular
I use this more off the tee than the floor as I?m quite possibly the world?s worst single-figure ?3-wood off the deck? player. I like its larger-than-standard head for tee-shot duties and can generally work it a little right to left, thus complementing my driver?s standard power fade (see above). Have just switched from Aldila?s NVS to NV shaft as I tend to lose the softer-tipped NVS left when the swing gets quicker under pressure.
Utility ? Wilson Staff Dh6 19 regular
Haven?t found another utility I like as much as this ? about the only thing my game has in common with our current Open champion! Just the right head size for confidence from fairway, rough and tee. Again have just switched shafts from the NVS to ProForce?s V2, which feels quite a lot firmer and more controllable.
Irons ? Mizuno MP Fli-Hi 3 and 4, MP60 5-PW
Shortly after one of our early Max your Game features (see any recent issue of the mag), Mizuno kindly offered to fit me too and this is the combination that worked best ? a little more forgiveness and playability at the longer end of the set, and greater scope to manoeuvre the ball elsewhere (in my mind at least). I sometimes wonder if the 4 and 5-iron are a bit close in distance thanks to the Fli-Hi?s higher flight, but overall I?m very happy. Shaft is the Nippon NS Pro 950 regular. My flex was coming up as somewhere between regular and stiff in the fitting, and Mizuno?s tech guy recommended this as one that would perhaps sit nicely between the two. I prefer regular to stiff as I can feel the clubhead better, and tend to hit stiffer shafts low and right when my timing is out (as is often the case).
Wedges ? Mizuno MP R Series 52 and 56
More fruits of the Mizuno fitting. What I particularly like are the different sole bounces, which are actually more likely to dictate which one I use than distance. However, full wedge play remains comfortably the worst part of my game, to the extent that hitting the green is usually regarded as a result, let alone generating some sort of realistic birdie chance. Must go and have a lesson some time?
Putter ? Kramski HPP 325
Had this in the Gear Vault for ages until dissatisfaction crept in with my previous putter. The first time I used this was at Muirfield playing with GM?s editor plus Muirfield?s secretary and head pro. Played pretty mediocrely, but holed putt after putt from five to 12 feet thus securing this extraordinarily-priced putter?s immediate future (and a few quid off the editor). Been in the bag ever since, though Odyssey?s 2-Ball SRT has got me thinking after a recent test session (see full results in October?s Golf Monthly). Although I?ve been holing more of those makeable putts, lag putting is really my forte with very few three putts to blacken the mood or hinder the scorecard.
Ball ? anything soft
I have no particular affiliation here and will happily use anything that feels soft enough to help me save shots on and around the greens. Have recently been using TaylorMade?s TP Red and Srixon?s Z-URS quite a bit, but equally happy to put others in play. Wilson?s Dx2 Soft has proved extremely impressive as a ?half the price? alternative.
We’d be interested in hearing what you’ve got in your bag and why so please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the details. Or post them on our what’s in the bag discussion on the golf forum
Jezz Ellwood (GM equipment editor)