Get Equipped Mailbag: Sergio Garcia's contract, worn out irons and new trends in fairway woods

Sergio Garcia Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Get Equipped Mailbag: Sergio Garcia's contract, worn out irons and new trends in fairway woods

Equipment

Get Equipped Mailbag: Sergio Garcia's contract, worn out irons and new trends in fairway woods

You’ve got questions, and Golfweek’s equipment guru, David Dusek, has the answers, so welcome back to the Get Equipped Mailbag. Feel free to send David any questions about the latest clubs, shafts and golf balls. He also can give you the inside scoop on what the pros are playing and why. The easiest way to submit a question is to ask on Twitter at @Golfweek_Dusek or on the Golfweek Equipment’s Facebook page.

So without further delay, here are this week’s questions.

Pat,

TaylorMade announced three weeks ago that the company and Sergio Garcia mutually agreed to terminate Garcia’s endorsement contract and part ways, making the 2017 Masters winner a free agent. Adidas said his deal to wear the German company’s apparel and footwear has not changed and he will continue wearing Adidas clothes and shoes.

Garcia said in a press conference before the European Tour’s Italian Open that he is going to continue using his TaylorMade gear for a while, but he is looking forward to testing new gear during the offseason.

Sergio Garcia's TaylorMade Milled Grind wedges

Sergio Garcia’s TaylorMade Milled Grind wedges (David Dusek/Golfweek)

It’s almost impossible to imagine that Garcia, who won Sunday at the European Tour’s Andalucia Valderrama Masters using his TaylorMade equipment, would walk away from endorsement money and gear with which he’s won if he did not already have a deal waiting for him.

Callaway seems like the obvious place for Garcia to land because he has already tried a Toulon Design putter (a brand Callaway owns) and a Callaway wedge in competition.

While the PGA Tour season now starts in October each year, most endorsement deals begin Jan. 1 and finish Dec. 31. Garcia is a free agent, so he could sign a deal and start with a new company any time he likes, but signing in January would provide more impact for a company that wants to maximize exposure and buzz. It’s possible an announcement regarding Garcia could come soon, but don’t be surprised if we hear El Nino has inked an endorsement deal when we turn the page on 2017 and start a new year.

. . .

Mark,

The answer to that question depends on how often you play and how your game has changed since you purchased your old irons.

On the PGA Tour, players tend to go through a set of irons in a season, because they practice and play at least four or five days a week. But their irons do not tend to wear out evenly. Like recreational players, guys on Tour tend to practice with the same clubs on the range, so it’s not uncommon for them to wear out a 6-iron or a 7-iron much faster than a 4-iron. They also hit more mid- and short-iron shots than long irons in a typical round, which over the course of a season can contribute to groove deterioration and uneven wear.

Daniel Berger's Callaway equipment

Pros such as Daniel Berger, who uses Callaway equipment, tend to swap out their old irons once a year. (David Dusek/Golfweek)

A recreational golfer who practices and plays once or twice a week should expect to get at least three or four years out of a set of irons, but if you play less often and don’t practice too much, your clubs could last longer.

At the same time, if your game and swing change over time, your irons may no longer be ideally suited to you. If your swing has slowed because you are less flexible, you might benefit from a new set of distance-enhancing irons. If your ballstriking has improved, your set of max-game-improvement irons may hinder your ability to shape shots.

If you are not sure if your older irons are a good fit for your swing anymore, ask a PGA of America professional or a reputable club-fitter to observe you hitting some shots and to inspect your gear for wear.

. . .

Erik,

The traditional loft for a 3-wood is about 15 degrees, so a 16.5-degree fairway wood can be considered a weak 3-wood or a strong 4-wood. The “HL” stands for high loft, and in this case it means a high-lofted 3-wood.

There are two reasons why 16.5-degree fairway woods have become popular. First, many of today’s fairway woods have faces that are as hot as a driver’s face, so even with the extra loft, many pros can hit a 16.5-degree fairway wood off the tee just as far as they used to hit a 15-degree fairway wood. The added loft is beneficial when they hit into greens on par 5s, because a 16.5-degree club should hit the ball higher and make the ball land softer than a 15-degree fairway wood.

Jason Day

Jason Day typically carries only one fairway wood, a 16.5-degree TaylorMade M1. (Ian Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports)

The second reason is that by splitting the difference between their 3-wood and 5-wood and opting for a single fairway wood, pros can add another club to their bag. That club is usually a fourth wedge or a driving iron the player knows he will use more often than a second fairway wood.

Yours truly adopted a system with one fairway wood at the start of this season, adjusting my 3-wood to 16.5 degrees and adding a fourth wedge. The shot-tracking system I use revealed that I never hit my 5-wood during the first three rounds I played in 2017, so adjusting my set composition made sense.

Send your equipment questions to David Dusek on Twitter at @Golfweek_Dusek or on Facebook.

Latest

More Golfweek
Home