Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Introduction (Part 2)

This is where things become more recent (right up to the current date in fact).

Last July I moved to Texas, USA. It had been quite some time since I'd played golf, but decided to take it up again immediately.

I decided to by some used clubs to allow me to get a set of decent quality at a decent price. I believe this was a good decision, however, I did make some bad ones: mainly not actually hitting the clubs I bought before I bought them...

I ended up buying:

* A set of Mizuno T-Zoid Pro II irons
* Mizuno T-Zoid Ti-forged driver
* Mizuno Blue Rage 3-wood
* Cheap Taylormade sand wedge
* STX putter

After buying these clubs I struggled along, and attained a best score of 103 (in the US we've taken mulligans on a regular basis so this isn't really only three worse than my best-ever score). I did pretty well with the woods (especially the 3-wood: what a club!) but struggled with the irons.

A while after I added a set of three hybrids 19, 21 and 24 degree 'V Recovery' that I can't find mention of anywhere on the web, but they're excellent nontheless. They've replaced the 4 and 3 irons and the 2-iron that I never had. I hit them really well, and have really enjoyed playing with them.

But still I struggled with those irons.

Now, I know it's not the clubs' fault: it's mine. The T-Zoids are a very good set of clubs. Unfortunately, I'm not a very good player. The T-Zoids do not give you much help if you mis-hit, which I do quite a bit it seems. Last week I had to conceded defeat: the irons were simply out of my league. I realised that I came to dread having to take an iron shot. I'd set up, look down at the club and think to myself "There's no way on earth I'm going to hit this." Par 3 holes became such a nightmare that I started to wonder if perhaps I could hit a hybrid at a reduced swing instead. Not good.

I know that blades are the more 'pure' iron, and that they are supposed to give better feedback on bad shots and should help you improve your game because of this. But I think it's also very important to have confidence, and having completely lost mine I decided to make a change, and traded in the T-Zoids for a set of Callaway X-12s. I haven't played a round with them yet but have hit them at the driving range.

I can even hit the 3-iron.

I can't remember the last time I had a session at the driving range where I hit so many good iron shots. I was setting up with confidence, and swinging through to a full finish: holding as the ball flew straight and long until the ball came to a stop. I haven't had so much fun with irons since those Donnays. And the weird thing is: I actually got more *useful* feedback from these clubs than the old ones. If I hit the T-Zoids wrong it would just hurt. With the Callaways, I just feel the twisting in my hands. I didn't even try to feel it: it just came to me automatically, and allowed me to adjust accordingly. Go figure.

Offer any pro a choice between the Callaways and the T-Zoids and he's probably pick the T-Zoids any day. But at this stage in my golfing 'career', I need confidence: and the Callaways have done an excellent job at providing that.

I also broke my driver: the head went flying down the range one day. I replaced it with a Mizuno MP-001, which is a nice improvement. More forgiving and longer. I really like the Mizuno woods: the 3-wood is still my favourite club, though the head's developed an alarming metallic rattle when shaken, which makes me think I'm going to have to replace it soon too. I might try and find a matching MP-01 to go with the driver.

So that's basically where I am. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens to my score when I play my first round with the new irons. Apart from that, I have some more club questions to consider, and a whole slew of technique issues to over-analyze...


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