For a game that revels in tradition and, at certain clubs, a bloody-minded resistance to change, golf still demands frequent updates. This is no real surprise. The sport is heavy on the need for equipment and, if you play regularly, you're also going to burn through shoes, clothing and balls quicker than you can say 'I see they've put the membership fees up again'. But when is the right time to get fresh and get buying? Here are five signs you might need to update your golf gear.
WORN OUT WEDGES
Yes, regularly cleaning the grooves set into the faces of your lofted clubs is a good thing. It's a virtue, even. But we're not all virtuous and it still won't stop the inevitable anyway. So, if you're serious enough about your golf to play regularly, you'll need to change your wedge sets every year to 18 months. If you don't, those grooves you so carefully nurture/don't clean at all will just wear away to nothing and you'll be left with no control over vital short approaches that require the ball to behave itself and sit down on demand.
SORRY OLD SHOES
Walk a mile in someone else's shoes and you'll probably get blisters. Walk far too many miles/rounds/decades in your favourite pair and you'll get wet feet and a growing lack of control when you swing. A well-made pair of golf shoes is a beautiful thing. We should know – it's our business, after all. Shoes are such an important part of your golf game that of course you're going to stick by a pair that works for you.
So, a great way to boost a cherished shoe's longevity is to invest in different pairs for different challenges. Bracing yourself for a wet and windy round? A hybrid pair, such as The Driver, fits the bill perfectly. A beautiful summer evening game on the horizon? The Croco is our spikeless classic and offers the versatility to ensure peak performance around 18 holes as well as at the 19th once the clubs are packed away. Research, experiment and don't skimp, because walking a mile in a great golf shoe will do your game no harm at all.
GET A GRIP
Or, more accurately, replace them. Grips on all your clubs, especially drivers and long irons, will deteriorate over time. And it's really not rocket science – if you can't grip it, you won't rip it. At least not in the direction you want it to go. So, keep a keen eye on your grips and replace them regularly. You can ask your club pro to sort it all out for you or, if you're confident in your own abilities or just want to spend more money elsewhere, you can do it yourself.
ALL YOU NEED IS GLOVE
And talking of grip, when was the last time you treated yourself to a new glove? We've all seen players still using a battered old glove that's crustier than a freshly baked loaf, for reasons known only to themselves. A glove is the one point of contact between your body and the club and you should think about replacing it when you feel you're not getting the grip and feel you once were. It might be tempting to save money by going for the cheap version from the pro shop, but it would be a false economy. A far smarter investment can be found in a butter-soft triple AAA cabretta leather glove. Delivering tour-grade performance leather with zonal perforation for breathability, our Windsor golf gloves are specifically designed to maximise comfort and enhance your gameplay – and guess what, that is exactly what they will do.
THE MARGINAL GAINS
There aren’t many sights stranger than a player showing off their brand-new shiny big bag, a bag besmirched by the horrid, mud-caked towel hanging off it. That towel has seen some action, all right. And now it needs to see a washing machine. Or the bin. Because it's cleaning nothing in that state. In fact, it might even make your club face or ball even dirtier. Speaking of which, unless you're more accurate than an atomic clock, you're going to need new balls anyway.
But don't wait until you're close to running out. If you've got a compartment full of scratched and gouged balls you probably found when looking for one of your own wayward efforts anyway, it's time to get some new ones. And although spending a fortune might get you the type that could put 20 yards on your drive, be honest with yourself. If you're more likely to lose that expensive ball because your shot went wrong, not long, then consider investing in some lake balls. They'll still be a decent make and they'll be a whole lot cheaper.