What is Your Favourite Golf Club?
When asked about his favourite golf club, a famous pro (Walter Hagen I want to say) had the perfect reply. He paused, flashed a winning smile and said: “Whichever one I’m hitting on the next shot”. This clarion line has been taken up by many pros, for whom hitting consistently great shots is a skill on which their livelihood depends. In much the same vein, Jack Nicklaus once claimed that he had never missed a 3-foot putt. He had, of course, the R&A has several of them on tape, but in the great man’s golfing headspace such misses had never happened.
Pro golfers are so blinkeredly positive. But us amateurs can afford to be a little more open. So, let me start by admitting that I do have a favourite club. And add that it is one of my three hybrids, specifically a 27-degree Titleist 913h.
Over the years, I’ve got quite a lot of stick for gaming the club. A ‘good' player – such as I just about am – shouldn't be using a chunky great hybrid, my detractors claim. And 27 degrees?! Am I really so poor a ball striker that I can’t hit a 5 iron (the rough equivalent to the loft)? Well, while I’ve never been the sharpest of shooter with my longer iron clubs, the answer to that is 'no'. So, why then do I persist with the hybrid?
(Something like Will's trusty hybrid!)
The main answer is a simple one: usability. The hybrid simply gets the job done well. There is a big difference, as even the most scattershot of weekend hackers will know, between hitting your long irons (low, slightly scummy flight, equivalent to an underarm bowl) and HITTING your long irons (whereby the ball shoots powerfully towards the green). Where my 5-iron tended to produce the former flight, my hybrid almost always creates the better one. At the lower end of the game, this extra consistency makes a real difference, especially if, as I do, you play a home course which has carries over water.
Confidence, too, is a reason I game the hybrid, the knowledge – or a belief so all-encompassing that it might as well be knowledge anyway – that I’m going to hit a good shot. Every time I wrap my hands around its now slightly faded multi-compound grip, I just feel it. This shot is a shot that is heading to no destination other than the heart of the green, I think in my mind. And more often than not, it does.
There are, however, a couple of minor drawbacks to subbing your five iron for a similar hybrid. For example, it’s not very good when you’re buried in long rough. Contrary to the hybrid's time-honoured reputation as an escape club, I’ve found that my Titleists aren’t much use when I'm trapped in high grass. A traditional iron shape cuts through all the clag, whereas the flatter head of the hybrid tends to get stuck. But how many times would I be hitting a 5 iron from a duff lie anyway? Usually a wedge is a more appropriate response.
Speaking of wedges, I will even use my hybrid to chip with – few other clubs are so good for a long bump and run. With what other club can you get the same versatility? No, the sceptics can say what they like: I am proud to call my hybrid my favourite stick. And, as long as the old girl keeps kicking, she will retain pride of place in my bag.
But, for news of golf clubs new (and sometimes old), keep your eye on the Golfshake Gear Section!
What is your most trusted club in the bag? Let us know!
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