3 equipment mistakes recreational golfers make that pros never do

Every week, in collaboration with our sister-company and Top 50 Clubfitter True Spec Golf, our in-house team of equipment experts host the Fully Equipped podcast. It’s where we break down the most interesting equipment news in golf, from the most authoritative voices in the game.

New in 2021, we’re going to be highlighting many of those same Fully Equipped voices on GOLF.com as part of an expanded series of articles, sharing the best equipment insight around, and helping you play better golf as a result.

First up, the question: What do pro golfers think a lot about with their equipment, that recreational golfers overlook?

1. They don’t keep their grooves and grips clean

Johathan Wall, Managing Equipment Editor: It’s the little things that pros think a lot about, like keeping the grooves clean on your irons and wedges, or checking your grips to make sure they still have some tread left of them. Treat your clubs well and they’ll return the favor. It’s as simple as that. You can use a golf tee and a wet cloth to remove dirt from your grooves. And if you don’t know how to determine if your grips are worn, see if they have a sheen in any spots. If they’re starting to shine like a set of chrome blades on a sunny day, you’re well past due for some fresh handles.

2. They don’t pay attention to club gapping

Andrew Tursky, Senior Equipment Editor: Can’t stress enough how on point Wall’s response is. Keep those grips fresh and grooves clean. I’d also add that loft gapping is a big one that low handicappers, and especially pros, get dialed in, whereas as amateurs generally ignore it. Basically, you want to avoid any huge yardage gaps throughout your set, and avoid any tightly bunched yardages, too. For example, if you have a 4 iron and a 5 iron that go roughly the same distance, ditch the 4 iron for either an extra wedge or a hybrid. On the other hand, if you have a huge hole – such as no club that goes 180 to 200 – it might be time to fill that role.

3. They don’t care about grip sizes

Luke Kerr-Dineen, Director of Game Improvement Content: Granted, I’m not an equipment expert like J-Wall and Tursky, but continuing on the grip theme: Something I hear pros talk about far more than recreational golfers are the size of their grips, because the size of the grip effects the way you deliver the club into the ball.

And no, I’m not talking about the standard-midsize-oversize sizes. I’m talking about altering grip sizes to the exacting degree by changing up the tape underneath. A standard grip with an extra layer of tape underneath; a midsize grip with two layers of tape; half a piece of tape more under the bottom half of the grip to help reduce the tapering. These guys are painstaking, making sure their grips feel exactly right. And while you probably don’t need to alter your grip sizes to the same extent, the next time you’re at True Spec or another reputable fitter getting a fitting, make sure to quiz your clubfitter about grip sizes.

Want to dial-in your bag like the pros? Schedule a fitting with the experts at our sister company, True Spec Golf.

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Jonathan Wall

Golf.com

Jonathan Wall is GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com’s Managing Editor for Equipment. Prior to joining the staff at the end of 2018, he spent 6 years covering equipment for the PGA Tour.

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Andrew Tursky

Golf.com Editor

Andrew Tursky is the Senior Equipment Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com.

Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Director of Game Improvement Content at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees all the brand’s service journalism spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University and in 2017 was named News Media Alliance’s “Rising Star.” His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.