August 3rd, 2012 by Tyler Pringle
Not all golf equipment is created equal. Some pieces, like an old trusted putter, we vow to never take out of the bag. Others, we can’t remove fast enough (this comes back to the old “is it the club, or is it my swing?” discussion… just an FYI, it’s probably your swing).
Any new driver hitting the market is going to have a full-scale marketing attack to go with it — television commercials, full page magazine spreads, social media contests, and any other way a company can pound “This club is 20+ yards longer!” into your brains. These claims are often debatable. The simple fact is that golf club manufacturers are in the business of selling golf clubs. The model produced this year may only be slightly different than last year’s, but they’ll hype it up beyond belief in the interest of selling.
On the other side of the spectrum, some pieces of equipment are hardly ever even mentioned. Try to think of the last time you saw a TV commercial for a ball marker. Better yet, try and name the company that makes the best ball marker in the world. Don’t worry, we’ll wait.
You use your driver and your ball marker every round, but one of the two gets a lot more attention than the other. Here’s the point — lots of the equipment you carry around and use from one round to the next… well, you don’t appreciate it. You take it for granted. You just expect it will always be there for you, waiting. My goal today is to help you realize that the small pieces of equipment you tend to ignore help you enjoy the greatest game in the world. I will give you our list of the most underappreciated golf equipment.
Arnold Palmer respects tees. In fact, he was once quoted as saying, “Any time you can put a peg under your ball, you should.” That’s on every single tee box, which is some supreme respect from The King.
How many times have you gone to the tee box and searched your pockets only to find that you’re out of tees. You scour the ground looking a discarded tee that it’s completely broken, or one just long enough to tee up your ball for an iron. No luck.
“Hey guys, can I borrow a tee…?” Suddenly, you’re target practice for your playing partners. They roust you during your practice swings. You slice into the woods and they tell you to keep the tee because it’s bad luck anyway.
Always have tees, and share, because the golf gods are very aware of karma. Also, it’s probably the easiest things for people to buy golfers for gifts. No, I do not want a golf ball monogrammer. Yes, I would like a huge bag of tees. I will definitely use them, and I will probably forget to buy them for myself.
When was the last time you even took the time to notice what kind of shape your grips are in? If you’re like most golfers, the answer is never. Here is why you should care about your grips: It’s the only thing you actually touch that connects your body to the golf ball.
Grips can wear down from friction and become slick from sweat faster than you might realize, and the more you play and practice, the quicker they wear. Having a tacky, well-maintained grip on your clubs helps you maintain proper grip pressure and reduces the club’s ability to shift in your hand. The better shape your grips are in, the more control you’ll have over your club, and in turn, the more control you’ll have of your golf ball.
If you think your grips could use a bit of work, don’t run out to the store and buy new ones right away. If they aren’t terribly worn out in the places where your hands hold the club, you’re probably ok. Give them a good scrub with soap and warm water, wipe with a towel, and then air dry for a few hours. You’ll be shocked at how new and tacky they feel. If they still aren’t up to par, take some fine-grade sandpaper to the grips to rough them up a bit.
You’ve only got one point of contact between you and the ball — make sure to pay a little attention to it from time to time.
Golf is not necessarily a cheap game. Shoes alone can cost upwards of $100. However, if the spikes in your golf shoes are worn out, there really isn’t a point to wearing them.
Spikes are important because they allow the golfer’s feet to remain stable as they generate torque during their swing. In the simplest terms, the better you can grip the ground, the more powerful a golf swing you can make. Also, if you play in wet conditions or uneven terrain, having solid footing is even more important for your swing, as well as your safety.
Most golfers never think about this piece of equipment after they buy a new pair of golf shoes. Often, they’ll keep the original spikes in for the entire duration. Until you change the old spikes in for new ones, it’s hard to even realize there was ever a problem. You get used to sliding all over the place and losing your balance on the follow-through. This is not something you want to get used to.
It can’t all be huge drivers and gold-plated putters. Pay attention to the small things that can make a big difference in helping you enjoy the game.
Did we miss something? Which pieces of equipment do you think could make this list? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!