Mike Purkey: Transforming your golf game doesn’t require a new set of clubs

JOHN D. SIMMONS/ STAFF

You don’t necessarily have to run out and buy a whole new set of golf clubs in hopes that the purchase will magically transform your game. Short of a bag full of clubs, there are some things you can do that will make a difference right away.

Here are five:

1. Have the loft and lie on your irons checked. Unless you’ve been properly fitted for your irons, there’s a good chance that you need some adjustments to make them right for your particular swing. If you have been fitted and you hit a lot of balls, you need to have your irons checked.

If your irons are too flat, the toe of the club will hit the ground first, leaving the clubface open and your shots to the right (if you’re a right-hander). Conversely, if they are too upright, the heel will strike the ground first, causing the toe to flip over and you will hit pulls and hooks. Take them to a qualified club repair specialist and have them adjusted.

2. Get an adjustable driver – and adjust it. Speaking of adjustments, today’s drivers have features that can help fix your worst shots. Almost every major manufacturer has adjustable drivers and you don’t have to buy a new one.

If you are a slicer and the driver has adjustable weights, put the heavier weight in the heel so that the toe will travel faster through the ball, helping to close the clubface. If you hook, put the weights in the toe so that the heel will come through faster. And don’t be afraid to add some loft. More loft equals more forgiveness.

3. Get a lofted wedge with a lot of bounce. Most players don’t have enough bounce in their most lofted wedge. Get a 58- or 60-degree wedge with at least 10-12 degrees of bounce. Why? Bounce acts like a rudder on a boat and will help you get out of bunkers easier. It will also give you a little forgiveness on chips and pitches around the green. Bounce is your friend. Take advantage.

4. Hybrids, hybrids, hybrids. Not enough can be said about the way hybrid clubs have transformed the game for average players – and even the best players in the world. More than half of PGA Tour players carry a hybrid to replace their 2- or 3-irons. Some players on the PGA Tour Champions also carry a hybrid to replace their 4-irons. So should you. Even if you’re a single-digit handicap, there’s no reason to carry a 3-iron when hybrids are so much easier to hit and to get in the air.

5. Change your grips. There’s been a world of technology advances in golf grips in the past 10 years. Compounds have been developed that give players a firm, yet comfortable hold on their clubs.

If you haven’t had your grips changed in the last year, by all means take them to a club repair shop. The shops will have samples of all the grips they offer so you can see how they feel in your hands. And new grips will make you feel as if you have a new set of clubs – for a fraction of the cost.

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