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Senior Golfer - On The Green

ON THE GREEN is courtesy of the Senior Connection Newspaper, visit their web site. The author is Jerry Koncel, a free-lance writer who lives in Schaumburg, IL.

What's in your bag?

The Putting Green

Every Wednesday morning, I receive an e-mail from the Golf Channel ( in which the first thing is a selection called, "What in his bag?" The sender provides information on the clubs in the bag of the previous week's winner on the PGA Tour, such as Pat Perez, Kenny Perry and so forth.

I've always wanted to know which clubs were in the winner's bag so that I could possibly purchase them if the winner was my same height and weight, had the same swing speeds, and was someone I admired. In addition, I find it interesting to see the specs on the clubs in touring professional's bag.

So, what's in your bag as we approach the golf season? More importantly, should you get a new club, new fairways woods, new irons, new wedges and new putters? How about getting a used set? How about trading in your old clubs for either used or new ones? All good questions, and I don't have the answers, but I do have a few tips to guide your decision-making process.

The first tip is obvious. In today's down economy, it's imperative on all of us to scrutinize our expenses and ask: "Do I really need this?" The next question is also very important. "Do I need this more than some other things on list of purchases?"

The next consideration is to look at what you have in your bag now and see if there is a need for any additions, subtractions or replacements. I'll use my golf bag as an example of how this process works, and not to promote any particular golf brand.

I currently carry a Callaway FT-3 driver (10 degrees loft, stiff graphite shaft, neutral bias) and a Steelhead 3-wood. My iron set includes a 3-hybrid of 20 degrees, a 4-hybrid of 22 degrees, and a set of Taylor-made RAC irons from 2006, a 52-degree wedge from Cleveland, a 56-degree wedge with 10 degree of bounce that I use for sand shots around the green, and a 58-degree Taylor lob wedge, and a custom-made 50-inch long putter.

In examining my set, I want to exchange my three wood for another one. I've narrowed my choices to three fairway clubs that I demoed last year. I hit my three wood between 220 and 230 yards, and I want to ht the balls about 10 yards further and with a lower trajectory. Each of the clubs that I demoed last year accomplished this goal, but they were also cost more than I wanted to spend.

I have the two hybrids from different manufacturers, but the same stiff graphite shaft from Adila. I hit the 3-hybrid between 200-210, and the four hybrid about 185-200. I will not replace these because I hit them better than my Taylor-made 3 and 4 irons and they are far easier to hit than a long iron.

I am always looking to replace my irons with either new or used ones (5-PW). The key here is something I learned from Steve Crane, a former club professional, a club champion at two clubs in Chicagoland, and a trusted friend. Crane told me, "When you're buying clubs, be sure to pick the clubs that fit your golf swing and not the one where you have to fit your swing to the clubs." Make this your motto when selecting any golf clubs, especially in today's marketplace.

I am looking to change the lofts on my wedges and the models, but that's for another time and year. For now, I want to learn how to hit the wedges the correct distance and the right direction. As I've noted in previous articles, the key to scoring is from 100-yards on in, and this is where the wedges come into play. In this instance, it's not the clubs-it's me!

Finally, I want to add an Odyssey putter that is 50-inches long, but the current price on the Web is beyond my means. That being said, I'm also looking to strengthen this part of my game, so I'll be looking at putting lessons.

So, check to see what's in your bag and see if you need to make some changes to your equipment to improve your golf games.

ON THE GREEN is courtesy of the Senior Connection Newspaper, visit their web site. The author is Jerry Koncel, a free-lance writer who lives in Schaumburg, IL.

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