Monday, March 17, 2008

Are TaylorMade and Callaway making conventional golf clubs a thing of the past? Also, techniques to improve ball striking and course management

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The new ruling handed down by the USGA allowing golfers to interchange shafts and clubheads prior to a game depending on course (and human) conditions have clubmakers Callaway and TaylorMade quickly putting out new technology.

Callaway's I-MIX adjustable FT-5 driver and TaylorMade's Tour Van in a Box interchange shafts and clubheads with the golfer optimizing the driver to his or her own comfort level. For example, as Jeff Colton, Sr. VP of Research and Design for Callaway states, "if they're feeling a little weak that morning, play a lighter shaft, or if it's been raining that week, drop some loft on a clubhead using your normal shaft."

I say, "Huh?"

Am I the type of person who will constantly interchange shafts and heads depending on if I'm hitting a fade or draw that day? I can't even hit a fade or draw on purpose most days and am extremely happy when my drive propels 200 yards straight down the fairway.

Callaway I-MIX Interchangeable golf clubs

Adding or subtracting weights or switching out heads with Callaway's "revolutionary system" doesn't suit the average amateur golfer but would be an innovation for club fitters and for those low handicappers who wish to "tweak" their club.

Unfortunately, the average golfer needs more tweaking with their swing and should send a message to these clubmakers that, for $350 for a driver head and yet another $350 to be shelled out for the interchangeable driver shaft, this marketing strategy will be a dud.

TaylorMade Tour Van in a Box

Manufacturers at the PGA Show forum lauded the new club innovation stating that the next step are the ability to change grip, loft, lie and bounce. Golf Channel's Chief Technical Advisor, Frank Thomas advises that, "the USGA is opening a can of worms that will soon get out of hand and be difficult to monitor."

This week, Golf for Beginners discusses the pros and cons of this new convertible technology and it's impact on the masses.

We also offer up a few easy drills and golf tips designed to improve ball striking. Jim Flick's discussion about "risk-reward" taken from Golf Digest Magazine is also analyzed. Sam Snead shaved strokes off of his game by using this technique and we show you how in our weekly golf podcast!

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"Shiny Tech" courtesy of Kevin MacLeod ("

This podcast is supported by Myrtle Beach Golf and Florida Golf Travel.

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