Check your bags, duffers

I would like to talk about equipment this week. This article is directed to 90 percent of the golfers on this planet. The other, highly skilled, 10 percent know any shortcomings they have and generally know what to do about them.

My first topic is your clubs. Most players do not need a 3-, 4- or 5-iron in their bag. They are difficult at best to strike with any consistency. The hybrids are the clubs of the future; they are much more forgiving and playable. New hybrids are available with lofts up to 38 degrees. The 38-

degree club is a very versatile club for approaches, chipping, fairway bunkers and the rough. Golfsmith has an excellent one (see stock number ccse3903 on their Web site,

I have a slightly older model of the same club and you're welcome to try it out.

Lofts on standard 3-, 4- and 5- irons are 19, 23 and 27 degrees. All are replaceable with hybrid clubs. Sets of irons now come graduated with hybrids in place of the long irons and graduating to normal irons in the sets. Also, 60-degree lob wedges are really for the most skilled players as the mistakes by miss-hits are magnified.

Now, a way to help pay for new clubs: The $4 golf balls (Titleist Pro-V) are just a waste of money. I have proved this to many medium and higher handicappers by taking them out on the course with these balls and some of the lesser-priced Pinnacles and Top Flight balls. Those regularly sell for about a dollar a ball at Costco, Big Five and Wal-Mart. I promise you, your score won't know the difference.

About the subject of spin: A player once asked the old Scot (Tommy

Armour) how to get more backspin on his shots. Armour asked him a question about his shots to the green, if he was usually short or long off the pin. The player answered short, generally. Mr. Armour asked, "Then why do you want more backspin?"

Rules teaser

In match play, a player concedes a hole based on a false claim. May the concession then be withdrawn?

Answer to last

column's teaser

After replacing his ball on the putting green but before he removed his marker, the wind caused the ball to move. Must he replace the ball? No. The ball must be played where it lies.

John Lucas is the professional at SkyRidge Golf Course. He can be reached at

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