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Category: Wedges

September 21, 2010

Reader Question: Should I add a hybrid or a wedge?

Posted at 3:13 PM by David Dusek

Answering a reader's golf equipment question on Twitter is tough because a good, thoughtful explanation usually requires more than 140 characters. So here is a video I created to answer a question I was sent by a 16-handicap player who can't decided whether to add a hybrid or a gap wedge to his bag ...

If you have a question that you'd like me to answer, send it to me on Twitter.

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July 22, 2010

Time to buy new wedges, even if you don't need them

Posted at 3:02 PM by David Dusek

Old-Wedge-Grooves_600 With much of the United States now sizzling in the dog days of summer, only a fool would be thinking about his plans for New Year's Day. Yet here I sit, grateful to the genius who invented air conditioning, thinking about Jan. 1, 2011. And if you need all the help you can get pitching, chipping and blasting the ball from greenside bunkers, you should be thinking about Jan. 1 as well.

Golf club manufacturers will not be able to produce, sell or ship wedges—or any other club with a loft of 25° or greater—with large volume grooves after Dec. 31, 2010.

Players on the PGA Tour have already been banned from using the large-volume grooves in competition. Top-level amateurs will need to switch by 2014. But the vast majority of recreational players can continue to use the old, large-volume groove clubs until 2024, including in rounds posted for used for handicap purposes.

Golf Magazine and its equipment-testing partner, Hot Stix, recently compared the performance differences between the new grooves and the old grooves. If you are a player who tends to miss greens, the findings might induce goose bumps.

Wedges with pre-2010 grooves generate, on average, 48 percent more spin from the rough than 2010 wedge grooves.

So, as I wrote in this blog one year ago, I'm planning to create a stockpile of wedges that have those wonderfully big, razor-sharp grooves and stash them in my closet. The way I see it, USGA officials are more concerned with limiting the pros' bomb-and-gouge tactics than curtailing my weekend enjoyment. They created a loophole for golfers like you and me, so we should legally exploit it to the fullest.

Take a look at the results of ClubTest 2010: Wedges again, talk with your local PGA professional, and then meet with a good clubfitter. This summer you'll be able to buy a wedge with any loft and bounce combination you like; in December, as supplies dwindle, getting the exact club you want might be harder.

If you have the financial means, buy at least two sand wedges and two lob wedges. With wedges ranging from $80 to $125 each, this is not an insignificant investment, and if you can't spend that much, consider buying one or two 58° wedges. It's a versatile loft that a clubfitter can easily bend to 56° or 60° later.

So ignore the rising thermometer and listen to the clock ticking, because as surely as winter will come, spin-enhancing wedges will be gone.

Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter or Facebook | Shedule a fitting with GolfTec.

(Photo Robert Beck/SI)
July 01, 2010

Titleist Plans Serious Customization at Vokey WedgeWorks

Posted at 5:06 PM by David Dusek

One of the many perks to being a PGA Tour member is having access to the best club fitters and builders every week. Want to try a new shaft in your driver? Done. Like your grips changed after every four events? No problem. A special grind in your wedges with your initials stamped into back of each club? Piece of cake.

For nearly everyone else, getting your hands on Tour-caliber, ultra-customized wedges has been about as easy as scoring a Saturday morning tee time at Cypress Point. For example, the only way to get a Titleist Vokey Design TVD grind wedge was to buy a Limited Edition on Vokey WedgeWorks before they sold out. (Every Limited Edition wedge has, in fact, sold out.)

But starting July 15, Titleist plans to re-launch WedgeWorks and provide every golfer with the chance to get a club that is as personalized as those created for players like Rickie Fowler, Davis Love III and Zach Johnson.

The first wedge to be made available will be the TVD, which features a crescent-shaped grind along the sole and moderate bounce for enhanced versatility. Customers will be able to buy these clubs in four different finishes, with several different shaft options and up to eight hand-stamped letters or numbers on the back. There are 40 different toe-stamp designs to choose from and 20 different colors of paintfill available. After you pick your grip of choice, you even get to choose the shaft band you want.


All of the clubs will be built and assembled by Vokey's team—the same folks who make the tour players' clubs—in Oceanside, Calif.

A WedgeWorks TVD club with no personalization and a standard True Temper Dynamic Gold shaft will cost $150. Having up to four characters stamped on the back of the club and getting your choice of grip will add $25. Eight characters stamped on the club, custom grip and shaftband, and a toe engraving with your choice of paintfill color adds $50. Upgrades and custom-shaft options may also increase the price of your club.

All the wedges will come with large, sharp grooves that amateurs can use until 2024. Wedges with Condition of Competition grooves will be available in September.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Titleist equipment, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC.

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June 02, 2010

Nike Victory Red V-Rev Wedges Coming Soon

Posted at 10:20 AM by David Dusek

According to Nike, Lucas Glover recently put a 64° Victory Red V-Rev wedge in his bag. Nike has not sent out a media release on the club, but because it is a new design it will be made with the USGA's new conforming grooves.

Nike VR Wedge

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Nike clubs, ClubTest 2010: Wedges, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC.

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May 06, 2010

Ping Debuts Tour-S Wedges at The Players

Posted at 3:08 PM by David Dusek

Ping-TourS-Wedges-Mistique-Face_600x450 PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Ping's PGA Tour staff players got their first chance to use the company's newest wedges—the Tour-S wedges—in the days leading up to the 2010 Players Championship.

According to Ping's Matt Rollins, the copper-colored Tour-S wedges are made from 8620 stainless steel (right), which is softer than the material Ping has used to make previous wedges. Designed to reduce glare, Rollins says that golfers should expect the finish to wear off with time and use, but rust will naturally develop to keep the coloring fairly consistent.

The chrome-finished Tour-S wedges (below) have the same head design as their copper-colored counterparts but are made from 1704 stainless steel, the material Ping has used in the past to create wedges.

"The wedges made from 8620 stainless steel are going to wear out a little bit quicker," Rollins said. "We are going to have to replace them a little bit quicker for the guys on tour. The 1704 wedges are like the ones we've always had."

Ping-TourS-Wedges_600x450 The hosel of the Tour-S is slightly longer than the hosel of the other Ping wedges, which moves the club's center of gravity closer to the heel. According to Rollins, that should produce a flatter ball flight.

The first groove of the Tour-S wedges runs nearly parallel with the leading edge, and because it painted white, it's extremely easy to see. "That's something that our Tour pros prefer," Rollins said. For amateur players, it should make aligning the club much easier.

Like the S-57 irons and the Tour-W wedges, a polymer insert behind the face of the clubs softens feel at impact and allows Ping club builders to adjust the swing weight of the Tour-S wedges easily.

Since the clubs are new this season, they come with 2010 USGA conforming grooves; manufacturers are no longer able to bring new clubs to market that contain the old grooves.Look for the Tour-S wedges to start appearing in pro shops this summer.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Ping clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC.

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March 02, 2010

Gear Notes: Trevor Immelman's New Nike Driver, Hunter Mahan's Day at Ping, and TaylorMade's Vecino Spider Putter

Posted at 3:35 PM by David Dusek

Mathew Goggin, who tied for fourth at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, had a great week on the greens. Last season, Goggin averaged 29.53 putts per round, ranking him 142nd on the PGA Tour. But last week at TPC Scottsdale, using a new Odyssey White Ice 2-Ball Blade putter for the first time, the Aussie was more than one stroke better, needing just 28.3.

Adding those four strokes to Goggin's final score would have dropped him into a tie for 24th and cost him more than $200,000 in prize money.

Trevor Immelman made his 2010 debut last week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and he did it with a new driver. Immelman, who won the 2008 Masters using a Nike SQ Dymo STR8-Fit prototype driver, played at TPC Scottsdale with a new SQ Machspeed STR8-Fit.

Hunter Mahan Ping Man Ping
Hunter Mahan went to Ping's factory in Phoenix last Tuesday to meet with the company's engineers, club builders and tour department. To say thanks for all the work they have done for him, Mahan even brought lunch for 30 people.

While at Ping's headquarters, Mahan worked with a master club builder and tour rep to improve the performance of a new EYE2 lob wedge that he started using during the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Unlike the EYE2 lob wedge he'd previously been using, Mahan's new wedge has grooves that conform to the new USGA standards. He felt the ball was rolling up the face too much on full shots, so material was welded to the sole and 3° of bounce were added to the club. The result for Mahan was more control and a flatter trajectory while keeping the 59° of loft.

On Sunday, en route to winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Mahan had to overcome a problem with his Ping Rapture V2 driver.

"My gamer had a little crack in it on 2," he said Sunday evening. After talking with officials and confirming that he could take the club out of play and replace it with a new driver, Mahan's girlfriend, Kandi Harris, ran back to his car and got his back-up.

Monza_Spider_Vicino"Luckily the rules staff ran her out to the car and she got it and I got it before the next tee shot, which was nice, because the next hole is a par 5," he said. "I really didn't want to hit a 3-wood off the par 5."

The new Vecino Spider (right) arrived on tour last week at TPC Scottsdale. Both Martin Laird and Joe Ogilvie immediately put the new putter in the bag, and according to the company, J.B. Holmes, Kenny Perry and Scott McCarron all requested that Vecino Spider putters be made to their specifications for testing.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Callaway/Odyssey, Nike, Ping and TaylorMade clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTec.

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February 11, 2010

USGA Meets with Ping About Eye2 Irons

Posted at 3:57 PM by David Dusek

Phil-Mickelsons-PingEye2-Wedge Officials from Ping and the USGA met Wednesday in hopes of working out a reasonable solution to the controversy surrounding the use of Ping Eye2s with square grooves. At 3:16 pm Thursday I got the following e-mail statement from the USGA:

Officials from the USGA and PING met yesterday in Dallas to discuss the use of PING EYE2 clubs on the PGA Tour.

USGA President Jim Hyler issued the following statement today:

"We met with representatives from PING yesterday. Our conversation with PING regarding the status of the PING EYE2 irons on the major professional American tours was productive, and we are hopeful that a solution can be found that respects and reflects the best interests of golfers and the game." 

Eight minutes later I got an e-mail statement from Ping saying:

"We had a productive meeting with the USGA yesterday regarding the PING EYE2 groove debate on the PGA Tour,” said PING Chairman & CEO John Solheim. “I’m encouraged by their willingness to openly discuss some of the challenges the golf industry faces relating to equipment issues. We left the meeting with an understanding we would continue to seek a solution that benefits golfers and acknowledges the importance innovation plays in the game."

As Yogi Berra said, "It ain't over 'til it's over." And this baby is far from over.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Ping clubs and schedule your fitting with GolfTec.

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(Photo: Phil Mickelson's Ping Eye2 lob wedge, which he's no longer carrying. By Robert Beck/SI)

January 19, 2010

Gear Notes: Titleist's Tour-Only Pro V1 Balls, Ernie Els' New Driver, Retief Goosen's New Grooves

Posted at 12:19 PM by David Dusek

Cameron Morfit, a senior writer for Golf Magazine, spoke with a few golfers at the Sony Open and heard about new Titleist Pro V1 golf balls some players were using.

Since last August, Titleist has made two tour-only versions of the Pro V1 ball available to PGA Tour players. The Pro V1 Plus Spin is marked with a <s----PRO V1---s> on the seam while the Pro V1x Plus Trajectory has a <+---PRO V1x---> on its seam.

According to a Titleist tour rep, "These products are customized versions of 2009 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls that have been designed to optimize performance for a small handful of PGA Tour players."  

According to Titleist, of the 96 players in the field at Sony last week who played a Titleist ball, just six used the Pro V1x Plus Trajectory and only two played the Pro V1 Plus Spin.

The tour rep also wrote in bold, "These products are not in response to nor designed to address new groove rules and they are not planned to be sold commercially."

Titleist is not planning on making any changes to the current Pro V1 or Pro V1x ball in response to the USGA's new groove rule changes. The ball was most recently updated for the 2009 season.

Callaway-FTiz-Driver_600 Callaway
Ernie Els is continuing to use Callaway's yet-to-be-released FT-iZ driver (right). The triangular-shape club, which was reviewed in the 2010 Golf Magazine ClubTest, is being touted by the company as being the longest and straightest driver its ever made.

It certainly seems to be working for Els, as he averaged 306 yards per drive at the Sony Open, 15 yards more than his 2009 season average. Els also continued to use Callaway's Tour i(s) ball.

According to TaylorMade, Retief Goosen became the first player to request a new face plate be installed in a TP wedge with xFT.

Using a torque wrench, the face plate (which contains the wedge's grooves) can be removed and replaced with a new one that contains fresh, sharp grooves. Goosen, the 2001 and 2004 U.S. Open champion, had the face plate in both his 54° and 60° wedges replaced.

See-Try-Buy: Learn more about TaylorMade, Titleist and Callaway clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTec.

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November 13, 2009

TaylorMade Wins USGA Appeal on Wedge Face Plates

Posted at 12:09 PM by David Dusek

TaylorMade-XFT-Wedge_600 TaylorMade's new TP wedges with xFT (Exchangeable Face Technology) allow golfers to unscrew a face plate that contains the club's grooves and replace it with a new plate in about a minute.

TaylorMade had planned to sell face plates separately so golfers could play with fresh grooves more often, but the USGA informed TaylorMade in October that it could not sell face plates with the company's Z grooves—which will soon become non-conforming for professionals—in 2010. However, TaylorMade could sell a whole TP wedge with  Z grooves and face plates with a conforming groove.

TaylorMade appealed the ruling, and on Wednesday the USGA reversed itself, saying that TaylorMade will be able to separately sell Z-groove face plates, which will cost about $45, in 2010.

Dick Rugge, the USGA's senior technical director, refused to comment on the case on Friday morning.

Before the ruling was announced, Benoit Vincent, TaylorMade's chief technical director, said the root of the USGA's initial dispute wasn't with the interchangeable face technology. In his mind, the real question the USGA had was, "Are the additional faces that might be sold in 2010 a threat to the clean-up goal that the rules [and deadlines for implementation] intrinsically have?"

According to Vincent, the USGA is hoping that wedges and other clubs with U grooves will naturally start coming out of amateur golfers' bags as they get worn out. By the time weekend players need to start using the conforming V grooves in 2024, it is hoped that the vast majority would already be replaced with equipment that conforms to the new guidelines.The interchangeable face plates, presumably, would make it possible for golfers to stockpile non-conforming grooves.

TaylorMade will not be able to sell or ship wedges or face plates that contain non-conforming grooves after December 31, 2010. However, pro shops and retailers will be able to sell their remaining inventories until they are depleted.

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November 10, 2009

Ask the Expert: Roger Cleveland Answers Your Questions

Posted at 7:36 PM by David Dusek

Ask The Expert: Roger ClevelandRoger Cleveland, Callaway Golf's resident wedge expert, is the man behind the company's Mac Daddy grooves and X Series wedges. He also makes the short-game tools of choice for staff players like Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els.

In the first interview in our new Ask the Expert series, you get to be the reporter. Submit your questions for Roger Cleveland in the comments area below and check back with The Shop over the next few days to read his answers.

If you'd like to see a video of Cleveland explaining what makes the new Callaway X Series JAWS wedges unique, click here.

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September 23, 2009

Titleist Releasing New Vokey Design Spin Milled C-C Wedges

Posted at 5:49 PM by David Dusek

Titleist-Vokey-Design-Spin-Milled_600 Looking down in the address position, the new Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled C-C wedges appear virtually identical to the Spin Milled wedges that have been on the market for the past several seasons. The photo on the right shows a 56° Spin Milled C-C wedge on the right, and a 56° Spin Milled wedge on the left.

However, new C-C  models have been created to conform to the USGA's new grooves regulations. Hence the C-C, which stands for "Condition of Competition."

In 2010, Titleist plans to sell both the larger, sharper-grooved Spin Mill wedges that are currently available, as well as the new C-C version. Where the big-groove version features a red saw-blade design on the toe, the new C-C wedges have a gold saw blade and a "C-C" on the hosel.

Spin Milled C-C wedges will come with a sticker on the face that says, "This Vokey Design wedge conforms to the new 2010 USGA/R&A groove rule and can be used in events that adopt the new rule as a Condition of Competition."

The company says that, in general, the new Vokey Design Spin Milled C-C wedges will produce higher launch, less spin and more run-out than previous generations of Spin Milled grooves.

Titleist-Vokey-Spin-Milled-CC_600 The Spin Milled C-C wedges are made from soft 8620 carbon steel. With CNC-machined faces, each wedge has grooves that are precisely cut to the new USGA specifications. Then a series of milled micro edges are cut into the face—just like on the previously-released Spin Milled wedges—to create more friction.

"In reaction to the new groove rules we improved our Spin Milled process," Dan Stone, vice president of research and development for Titleist golf clubs, said in a statement. "We created a new cutting tool that allowed us to tighten our groove manufacturing tolerances by more than 40 percent.  With the new rules calling for a reduced edge radius and effectively less groove volume, we improved our process to get as close to the limits as possible."

The Spin Milled C-C wedges will be available in lofts between 48° and 64°, with several bounce options, for $125.

September 22, 2009

Looming Wedge Rules Create Key Dates for Golfers

Posted at 5:02 PM by David Dusek

Readers of The Shop know that the USGA has recently made some sweeping changes to the rules governing grooves in clubs with a loft of 25° or more. In a nutshell, the governing body of the game in the United States, Canada and Mexico has decided that the grooves on these clubs must be made smaller in volume and have edges that are less sharp.

(If you are interested in reading the USGA's announcement regarding the rule changes, click here.)

However, the rules kick in for different players at different times. Here are the keys dates:

JANUARY 1, 2010
All products submitted to the USGA for approval must contain the new, conforming grooves.

PGA Tour players, and golfers who try to qualify for PGA Tour events, will need to use equipment that has the new grooves starting on this date. Golfers who compete in the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open and U.S. Senior Open will need to use clubs with the new grooves as well. However, the USGA has ruled that golfers may use the older, non-conforming grooves at local qualifying tournaments for these events. At the sectional qualifying level, the new conforming grooves must be used.

JANUARY 1, 2011
This is a key date for weekend players because manufacturers will have to stop making and shipping clubs that contain the larger, sharper grooves.

This is why we've been reporting on so many new wedges recently; companies are scrambling to get high-spin clubs into the marketplace while they still can. Still, it's important to note that retailers will be able to sell any clubs they have in stock, even those with nonconforming grooves.

Amateur players who value spin may want to stock up before this date. Once supplies are gone, that's it.

JANUARY 1, 2014
All USGA and R&A championships will require competitors to use the newer, conforming grooves.

JANUARY 1, 2020
The USGA has said that it will evaluate the effects of the groove rules no sooner than this date.

JANUARY 1, 2024
As things stand now, this is the date when the vast majority of the world's golfers will have to start using the new grooves. Before this date, golfers will be free to play with the older, larger grooves, even in rounds used for handicap purposes.

September 18, 2009

TaylorMade Releasing Interchangeable-Face TP Wedges

Posted at 11:49 AM by David Dusek

Tp-composite-320x720Most golfers buy new wedges when the grooves in their old wedges have worn out, producing inconsistent results and making it tough to stop the ball quickly.

TaylorMade will soon offer an easier, and less expensive, way to get new-groove performance. Known for its adjustable r7 and R9 woods, the company's new TP wedges with xFT, short for  Exchangeable Face Technology, offer a new innovation in the market: replaceable face plates.

By using a torque wrench that is identical to the one that comes with the R9 driver, players can remove the face plate and screw in a new one with fresh grooves. Presto! In effect, you have a new wedge. The whole procedure can be done in about 60 seconds.

For professionals and amateurs who have custom grinds on the heels or toes of their wedges, being able to replace just the grooves could mean less time tweaking new wedges.

The new TP wedge will also offer an elegant solution to new USGA groove regulations. They will come with a Z groove plate that offers maximum spin and can be used by most golfers until 2024. A ZTP groove plate, which conforms to the new USGA regulations that go into effect Jan. 1, 2010, will be sold separately. The faces will cost $39 each.

Available in even-numbered lofts between 50° and 60° (as well as 64°), the TP wedges have a classic teardrop shape, several bounce options and come standard with KBS High-Rev shafts.

The new TaylorMade TP wedges will be available in October for $129.

September 15, 2009

Callaway Releasing New X Series JAWS Wedges

Posted at 11:04 AM by David Dusek

Callaway X Forged JAWS Roger Cleveland, Callaway Golf's wedge designer, wants to put as much spin into your short game as possible.

To do that, Callaway is set to release the new X Series JAWS wedge in early November.

Like previous X Forged wedges, the JAWS models will feature Phil Mickelson-inspired Mac Daddy grooves, which Cleveland says are as large and sharp as USGA rules allow.

"The capacity of the grooves, the width, is the max," Cleveland said. That helps to wick away moisture and debris, which should help the groove edges bite into the ball more effectively for increased spin.

Callaway X Forged JAWS GroovesProfessional golfers and elite amateurs who attempt to qualify for events like the U.S. Open will not be allowed to use wedges with Mac Daddy or other high-spin groove patterns starting on Jan. 1, 2010. Weekend players, however, can use wedges like the Callaway X Series JAWS until 2024, even during rounds played for handicap purposes.

The new JAWS wedges, like their predecessor X Forged wedges, come standard with a C grind along the sole. This means that some of the bounce (the flange that dips below the level of the leading edge) in the heel and toe areas has been removed to create a C-shape along the bottom of the club. This process makes it easier to open the face and use the clubs effectively from tight lies.

The new JAWS wedges will be available in both a chrome finish and a darker "vintage" tone that will naturally wear in spots where shots are often struck. The wedges will be available with steel shafts and 85- or 95-gram graphite wedge shafts made by Fujikura.

Below is a video of Cleveland talking about the new X Series JAWS wedges, which will retail for $119.

August 24, 2009

The Most Important Golf Club in Your Bag

Posted at 5:01 PM by David Dusek

During the PGA Championship, I wrote about the new Nike Method family of putters and the new Scotty Cameron California line of putters. Several readers wrote that $250 or $300 is too much money for a putter. Others pointed out that during a typical round, an amateur player might use his or her putter 28-35 times per round.

I e-mailed several GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teachers and asked them the following question: What is the most important/valuable club in a weekend player’s bag? 

Here's what they wrote:

Brian_mogg_74x106Brian Mogg, coach of Y.E. Yang and director of the Brian Mogg Performance Center at Golden Bear Golf Club at Keene's Point in Windermere, Fla.
The putter is the most important/valuable club in the bag. However, the actual cost to the manufacturer to build a putter is much less than a large-headed driver with a graphite shaft. Your putter is vital and important and worth every penny if it works, but proportional to what it costs to make it should also be looked at.  This is why $250 seems high-priced for a putter.

Mike_bender_74x106 Mike Bender, coach of Zach Johnson and master instructor at the Mike Bender Golf Academy at Timacuan Golf Club in Lake Mary, Fla.
Without a doubt, the most important club in the bag is the driver.  Have you ever heard of a golfer incurring a penalty on a putter? If the average amateur golfer hit to his typical distance, but you put him in the middle of every fairway, he'd better his handicap by a mile.

When I was playing the PGA Tour, officials had just started to keep detailed stats, and the No. 1 putter was Morris Hatalsky. For being the best putter, he was nowhere near the top of the money list. But guys like Greg Norman, Tom Kite, Bruce Litsky, Nick Faldo, and Mark O'Meara were, and none of them could be considered great putter like Ben Crenshaw, Lorin Roberts and Brad Faxon.

The saying should be putt for show and drive for dough.

JohnElliottJr_66x80 John Elliot, director of golf instruction at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club in Ocala, Fla.
The question can be answered a couple of different ways depending on the word valuable. Valuable can mean most expensive, which would be your driver, or most valuable can mean the club that has the most influence on your score, which is your putter.

MikePerpich_66x80 Mike Perpich, River Pines Golf Club in Alpharetta, Ga.
"For the weekend golfer, the wedges are the most important clubs. The 52°, 56°, and 60°. Stats show that even the best putters in the world only make about 15% of their putts from 15 feet, so pitching and chipping the ball closer when you miss the green is a big deal. Since most club players are only going to hit four to six greens per round, pitching and chipping the ball well is absolutely critical."

Steve_boshdosh_74x106 Steve Bosdosh, The Members Club at Four Streams in Beallsville, Md.
A 24° hybrid is the answer for average golfers. They will putt about the same regardless of putter and slice drives with a $500 titanium driver or an old persimmon model. But get them to use a 24° hybrid in place of fairway woods and long irons and most golfers will get down the fairway faster and near the green in fewer strokes. All else being equal, that will help them shoot lower scores.

So as you can see, while no one disputes the importance of good putting, there is plenty of debate over which club is the most important in your bag, even among the experts. So what's your view? What is the single most important golf club to you? Write your answer in the comments area below.

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