From the Tips
10 Best Ways to Get Gear Ready for Your Golf Season
Spring is the perfect time to make sure that everything in your golf bag is set to go for the upcoming season. This doesn’t mean just having the latest and greatest clubs, but rather that you’re prepared to handle every type of circumstance you might encounter on the course. If you’re happy with all of your gear, then closely inspect it to make sure it’s all clean, functioning properly, and can last the entire year. If you’re thinking about upgrades, we’re here to help you find the proper replacements that fit seamlessly into your game and style. Not only do you need a club for every distance and lie, it’s also important to wear the proper shoes and glove, use the right bag, and play the appropriate ball for your game. While you’re at it, is anything missing? Minor situations often arise while you’re playing—your bag strap or shoelace snaps; you have nothing to use to repair a huge divot; you realize the wheel of your pushcart is wobbling; etc. Or maybe it’s as simple (or complicated) as an urgent need to know why you’re suddenly hooking every tee shot. Being well-equipped for anything before you tee it up can help salvage your round and save the day. Here are some of the things to look at as you get ready for the new season.
Even if your current set is pretty new and the set make-up works well, it’s always good to start the season off on the right foot by checking that the lie and loft angles of your irons haven’t shifted over the last year. Take your set in to your nearest Golf Galaxy and let the fitting ambassadors there measure your clubs on their lie-and-loft machine, and adjust the angles on any clubs that may have slipped. Also let the experts check that you have proper and consistent distance gapping between all of the clubs throughout your set with a full bag fitting. And confirm that what you have in your bag fits you properly—your swing may have changed over time or perhaps you need some updated shafts. Consider upgrading clubs if your drives come up short, your iron or wedge grooves wear down, or if your irons sting at impact. Generally speaking, if your driver and fairway woods are more than three years old and your irons more than five, their technology is significantly inferior to that of the latest models. Newer technology will let you hit shots longer and more accurately, and with better feel.
Did you know that playing with worn grips, or grips that haven’t been fitted to your hands, can significantly impact your game for the worse? Most experienced golfers (especially those who play more than 50 rounds per year) get their clubs re-gripped at the beginning of every new season, and that’s one of the reasons they’re good golfers. Grips need to be tacky to the touch, so take your clubs out and wrap your hands around each grip. Have they lost their tackiness? Are they thinning out? Stiff? Slippery? Cracked? If so, it’s time to get your clubs re-gripped. Head to Golf Galaxy and let an expert measure your hands to find you the proper-sized grips for your hands and install fresh grips for you. Prices vary but will run roughly $10 per handle. You can choose from various textures, degrees of softness, colors and styles. And you’ll gush over how much better they feel and perform during your swing – truly as if you’re playing brand-new clubs. And even if you replaced the grips on your clubs within the last year and don’t need new ones, it’s good to start the season off by scrubbing the grips on your clubs using a towel drenched with water and dish soap (then let them air dry).
Your Shoes and Cleats
While spikeless soles are all the rage in golf these days, there are still plenty of styles from every brand that come with replaceable softspikes on the soles. The cleats on these shoes are easy to remove with a wrench when they get worn down, and the best time to replace them is at the start of the season. Ask a Golf Galaxy trusted advisor what type of cleats best fit your specific shoes, then buy a replacement pack (those run everywhere from $18 to $25 for a full set, and they usually come with a wrench that makes replacement a breeze). While you’re at it, consider replacing the insoles of your shoes with ones that are soft and cradle your feet. Then towel the uppers clean with soap and warm water—avoid using a brush that might scratch the material. However, if your favorite shoes have eroding or worn-out outsoles, deteriorating uppers or fatigued cuffs, it’s time to get a new pair of golf kicks. You’ll walk hilly miles in them, so they need to fit comfortably right out of the box. For the truest fit, try on a variety of modes in store while wearing your usual golf socks.
Yes, you can clean a golf glove to freshen it up for the new season—using cold water, liquid dish soap and a towel (and some gloves are even machine washable). Regardless of your method, let the glove completely air dry afterwards. However, if your gloves are all beyond cleaning—with wear spots in the palm, holes in the fingertips, and/or unraveled stitching, then it’s possible you’ve started overcompensating for your worn glove by holding the club tighter than necessary during your swing. This can set off a chain of issues, right down to hand, arm and shoulder pain—as well as stray shots. Most pros recommend stocking up on a new glove or two at the beginning of the season (if you have two new gloves rather than one you can alternate using them every round, which makes them last longer). You may well want to include gloves designed specifically for wet or cold weather. Golf Galaxy offers a wide selection for both men, women and juniors, and when you buy a new glove, you want to make sure it fits snugly but not too tight, since it will gently stretch over the first two uses.
Your Golf Wardrobe
Forget about boring old polos and khakis—these days golf fashion is much more fun. Whether it’s bold prints, shorter skort and short lengths, joggers, hoodies or bucket hats, on-course trends are much more in step with athleisure in the 2020s, matching the more laid-back vibe that’s spreading across golf courses in America. Even many private clubs have relaxed their dress codes and are embracing the new golf-casualwear trend. Before you roll into the season, inspect your wardrobe to see what you can still wear on the course. Chuck any shirts, pants or shorts that are no longer in vogue, and any garments with holes, stains, fraying threads, stubborn odors or stretched-out fabric. Make sure whatever clothing remains still fits, then explore GolfGalaxy.com to see all the latest popular colors and styles. Finally, visit Golf Galaxy the store and invest in some great new basics and maybe a couple of statement pieces. Arm yourself with something for any playing condition—from cold and wet mornings to sweltering afternoons.
Your Golf Bag
One truly underrated new purchase at the beginning of a golf season is an updated bag. Carry bags with a stand normally last three years before getting glitchy—being heaved into trunks, buffering clanky clubs, and getting jammed into the ground before every shot can take a toll. Cart bags can last a little longer, since they’re strapped into place during rounds, but all types of bags eventually fade and weather under harsh sunlight. Shoulder strap padding hardens, pocket zippers break and snag, and legs stop springing out and snapping in. Golf bags generally become unfixable, and the technology in the newer models gets so much better every year that it’s hard to justify hanging on to an older version for more than half a decade. The latest models commonly offer lightweight-yet-durable fabrics; pockets specifically designed for electronics, valuables and drinks; convertible straps; and magnetic closures. So if you’re playing with an older bag, replace it with one that holds everything you need and is light enough to schlep from your car to the first tee. And if you’re heading on a golf trip, make sure to get a durable, wheeled travel cover that you can easily transport.
Your Golf Balls
Technically, golf balls work just fine for several years, but using fresh ones will undoubtedly help you get the most out of your game. Buying new balls is one of the least-expensive ways to upgrade your game for the coming season. First, discard any balls from your current supply that are discolored, have scratches or nicked covers (which greatly impedes ball flight), or whose paint has started to wear off. (The best place to discard them would be to donate them to your local range.) Then go to your local Golf Galaxy and ask for a ball fitting to find the type of ball that best suits your game before stocking up on new ones. Avoid buying inexpensive, used lake balls—they may be great to use on a water hole or if you’re a complete beginner, but they don’t perform as well as new balls for extensive usage. The beginning of the season is a great time to explore new ball technology and models — we recommend buying a sleeve each of a few different kinds to compare and find your new favorite.
Some of the little things we don’t bother thinking about when we go out for a round of golf can end up being the most irritating once we’re out there. For instance, how many times have you set up over a shot only to discover that either the ball or club was dirty, but you have no towel to wipe them with so you end up using the ground or your pant leg? If you clip a golf-specific microfiber towel to your golf bag, that will never happen again. It’s important to make sure you’re prepared for everything that can happen out on the golf course, including sudden rain showers, divots that need fixing, balls that need to be marked on the green, a blister or cut that needs a band-aid, skin that needs protecting from the sun, cruddy wedge grooves that need cleaning, or hands that need warming up on a cold morning. You get the idea, and fortunately, Golf Galaxy offers accessory solutions for every possible predicament.
Just like the tour players, average golfers need frequent swing help, and these days you can elevate your game to another level with many kinds of state-of-the-art technology. Avid golfers have become reliant on handheld laser rangefinders and GPS devices that display exact distance readings. “Smart” sensors that attach to the butt end of your club grips work with your smartphone to help you track your shots, keep your stats and learn all about your playing tendencies while offering real-time caddie advice. And portable launch monitors and swing analyzers can transform your practice time on the range into something so much more useful and efficient. They’re conveniently small enough to stow in your golf bag. And they’re battery operated, easy to set up and use, and relatively affordable. Imagine glancing at all of your pertinent shot data right after every swing on the range, and immediately seeing what’s not working in your game and what to focus on with your next swing. Explore all of the latest technology available at Golf Galaxy to find the tools you can embrace to instantly improve your game.
Is this the year you vow to stop riding when you play golf, to add some extra cardio to your life? Or perhaps you’re a walking golfer who has committed to giving your back and shoulders a break by switching from carrying a bag to walking alongside it? If you own an older pushcart, you can tune it up for the season by wiping down the frame with a damp cloth, brush-cleaning the wheel tread, and lubricating the axles with WD-40. Or you can get a sleek new lightweight model that quickly collapses to fit in your car trunk. The latest carts secure your bag while rolling smoothly, giving you all the physical benefits of walking without hurting your back. Golf Galaxy stocks the largest selection in the industry, both online and in store.
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