Changing Equipment? Do It For The Right Reason!

I am fond of Charles Mingus’ old saying that goes, “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”  In 2013 Rory McIlroy changed to Nike equipment and struggled for half a year with the change, and he’s a professional.   He had millions of reasons to complicate his life.

Last weekend I re-gripped my golf clubs and made an interesting discovery.  The three Cleveland CG-16 wedges that came with my custom fit Mizuno irons had several layers of tape built up on the shaft under the right hand.  It’s a common practice to build up the right hand on wedges, but I have never played with the right hand built up.  I began to wonder if this was related to the problems (chip yips) I had experienced since changing wedges.  After the grips were dry, I took them out to the driving range for a bake off with my old Cleveland Tour Action gap and sand wedges.  The results favored the older wedges, so I removed the CG 50, 54, and 58 wedges for my round today, and replaced them with the two Tour Action wedges and a 5-WD.

Previously, I’d hit all my sand and green-side shots fine with the 56 degree Tour Action.  During my round today I felt very confident around the greens chipping and pitching with the older club.  I realized that the only reason I removed the older wedges was because the new three wedge system came with my club fitting.  By changing equipment for the wrong reason, I may have inadvertently messed with my short game.  With the new clubs, I was trying to decide which shot and technique to use based on whether I was using the 54 or 58.  Egad.

It’s been said that putting old equipment back in your bag is like getting back together with an old girl friend.  It’s great at first but you eventually remember why you broke up.  Nobody forced me to dump my old wedges, they were working fine.  This break up should never have happened.

Try not to make the same mistake and play well!

 

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About Brian Penn

Avid sports fan and golf nut. I am a lifelong resident of the Washington D.C. area and love to follow the local teams. Also worked as a golf professional in the Middle Atlantic PGA for several years and am intrigued by the game to no end. I love to play and practice and am dedicated to continual improvement.
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4 Responses to Changing Equipment? Do It For The Right Reason!

  1. linleygolf says:

    Brian
    This is an interesting post. Is it equipment or is it comfort with an old friend ??? I know new wedges have sharper grooves and create more spin. I do agree grip size can affect comfort and how you apply pressure.

    • Brian Penn says:

      Linley, it’s probably both. I never got comfortable playing the same shots I’d hit with my old 56 with two different clubs (the new 54 and 58). The chip yips, I’ve got to believe, are mostly mental. If you mess with someone’s head and comfort zone, you’re inviting mental game issues.

      Thanks for weighing in!

      Brian

  2. Hey Brian,

    You know what they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! This is good advice though. So many players, both pros and amateurs, tweak their setup for the wrong reasons. Pros may do it for money, and amateurs may do it because the pros do it. The only reason we should swap out equipment is if something different can clearly provide better results and fill us with confidence, or of course, if it’s completely worn out or compromised. Here’s to a tidy wedge game in 2017!

    Cheers
    Josh

    • Brian Penn says:

      Josh, you are so right! Sometimes we have to re-learn that lesson the hard way. Last year I kept my wits about me on demo day at the range. The TaylorMade guy was trying to sell me on the two newest drivers. I hit them side by side with my 10-year old Big Bertha, and the BB consistently outhit the newbies by 10-15 yards. Mr TaylorMade didn’t have a happy look on his face 🙂

      Thanks!

      Brian

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