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Club makers speak their own language

They stand along the walls, glistening, full of promise, beckoning. They pop their heads out of display cases, showing off.

New clubs, the answer to every loopy swing, to every skull and shank and smother, to lost distance and wayward wandering. Hope for the lost souls whose games feature gnashing of teeth and beating of ground.

That, at least, is what the advertising suggests and what we expect when we divorce the old tools and marry a new set.

The names, designations and descriptions make them sound like something from outer space, futuristic and a bit mysterious.

Speedline 932LS, the J38 460, the FT-iZ, the FT-9, the S2, the ZL, the JC-909, the SQ MachSpeed. Those are some of the drivers.

An equipment review in a golf magazine said of the FT-iZ, "The polar weighting concept produces an MOI more than 5,500 and a chemically milled, variable-face-thickness design helps improve ball speed and spin consistency." It didn't say what FT-iZ stands for.

Irons speak the same language, which to the player who is not addicted to the equipment is almost unintelligible. One brand features an "inverted cone technology." One increased the blade length one millimeter from the MP-52 and milled away more material in the pocket cavity, which sounds impressive as heck.

Putters? Don't even ask. Some of them look like they fell off a space flight. Some look like debris from a car wreck. Some even look like putters. If you want to see a look of envy, stick a Scotty Cameron model in your bag, if you can afford it.

Speaking of bags, they come in all sizes and colors. One rule of thumb when buying a new bag should be don't get one with your name on it unless you can break 80.