The best piece(s) of equipment that you can put in your bag to really save strokes is not one of the new drivers, not one of the putters, and certainly not a lob wedge – the jury is back in and their verdict is “Hybrids” are here to stay. The PGA Senior Tour has certainly been paying attention, when Dana Quigley was here recently his whole bag looked like hybrids, “It’s like cheating to use them” to quote Dana. Some companies (Adams) owe their entire financial turn-around to hybrids, and although their marketing helped the proof is in the popularity.
I’ve always considered myself a good long iron player, now my longest iron is my 5 iron. Last year I reluctantly tried a 16 and a 19 degree Ping hybrid when playing Doral – by the time we got to the fifth hole I was enjoying the game and hoping I drove it into the rough so I could loft another shot to the green. In six months I have found that you can work the ball as well as any long iron, high, low, anything. Even my fade fades. The other good news is they are cheaper than most clubs, the steel shaft works great, the shorter length improves accuracy, jump on the wagon! I can imagine playing Carnoustie with a driver, 3 wood, 5 hybrids, 2 wedges and a putter. 10 clubs (still 3 more than Sandra Post uses when she travels to the linksland). So, to improve your game this year, sell your lob wedge, buy hybrids. Sorry Robert Thompson, I don’t think they improve the indoor game you mentioned in today’s piece.
Other earth shattering news relates to an old favourite, the Stansfield penquin is back after a lengthy absence, and none other than Aaron Baddeley is sporting it on tour. I’m not sure if Stansfield still own the symbol but Perry Ellis (a cuban owned fashion house in Miami) will be hoping that it becomes an important part of their profits (they also sell PGA Tour, PING apparel and Grand Slam, as well as Perry Ellis). Interestingly, Aaron’s nickname on Tour is “Dresses”. As Faldo explains “as in Dresses Baddeley”.
One more news item – quietly the PGA Tour has become owner of many properties hosting Tour events. They have recently “sold” their 4 poorest courses so they can use the capital elsewhere (non-profit company?). But of more concern, that hybrid club (or 4) that you buy may help the Tour also, their retail Superstore chain is growing rapidly under several different names. It looks like they’ll put huge stores near most Edwin Watts locations. The Tour always has partners (someone who puts up 100% of the money) and some of their retail partners also own Home Depot, the Atlanta Falcons and Golf and Tennis Pro Shops. Maybe they’ll sponsor the Canadian Open to get their brands into Canada.