Welcome to another edition of Fully equipped mail bagsponsored by Cleveland/Srixon Golf, is an interactive series from GOLF.com in which we answer challenging equipment questions.
I’m on my way to Arizona for golf, soccer, and more golf. Do I have to make any modifications to my clubs before I go?
The temptation to head south into warm, sunny skies for a golf vacation is at its peak, and few places in the country are as alluring as the Phoenix/Scottsdale area in February.
Speaking of the Grand Canyon State, the Sonoran Desert is poised to be the hottest sporting destination in the world for two big reasons. The first is Waste management is openIt takes place from the 6th to the 12th of February. This wild event is the PGA Tour’s version of a party with a championship — not the other way around. Next is granddaddy soccer game for them all, takes place the same weekend as Sunday the 12th, just 30 miles from TPC Scottsdale. crazy!
To make your Arizona golf trip the best it can be, we have a few tips for you from an gear standpoint. Let’s go.
Tip 1: Try a low-rebound wedge
This is pretty obvious, but if desert golf is new to you, get ready for some of the rudest lies you’ve seen in a while. If you have one, consider packing a wedge with less bounce to ensure the sole is able to slide under the ball without bouncing off the firm ground.
Second tip: bunkers are more sandy
If you’ve been playing on the East Coast or you’ve been on golf courses with thick silica grains in the bunkers, you feel quite differently in the desert. The sand is usually finer and less coarse. Despite this, it still makes sense to carry a low-recoil wedge, but be sure to open the face to activate the sole of your wedge when hitting shots into the bunker.
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Tip 3: That’s right, the ball goes further here
The air is crisp and dry in the desert, and the ball often rolls when it lands, so expect to tackle a few yards more often than usual. This may be a good time to level up your adjustable hose to a high setting to promote a higher release. Adding a loft also adds backspin, so doing this may help you hit it straighter, too. (This is a must when playing target style golf courses.)
Fourth tip: Play a ball that spins more
Do you think summer greens at home are a constant? You haven’t played a desert track in the morning in the Arizona winter. To hold the (often high) vegetables, you’ll need an extra spin from just about anywhere. Also, be prepared to lose some sleeves. This is bound to happen when playing in the desert, so either pack more than usual or buy some extra balls when you get there.
Tip 5: Desert rocks mean your clubs
It is common to see players carrying a wedge or a short iron to use to hit shots off rocks, dirt, and desert areas (usually to volley or throw the ball back into play). If you have a putter that’s okay with scratching, scuffing, or denting, bring it in. The rest of your irons will thank you.
Tip 6: Protect your skin and keep it moisturized
Honestly, this is a tip for whenever and wherever you play. And because it’s sunny in the desert and drier than you’re probably used to, sunscreen, lip balm, and moisturizer are all must-haves. Your skin can dry out quickly, and even though it might feel cold, you can still get a sunburn. Finally, drink plenty of water. Even if you are not thirsty.
Tip 7: Arizona is a great place to get fit
Not only are there countless golf courses, but there are also some pretty awesome options for purchasing clubs and outfitting clubs scattered throughout the desert. for example, real specsHeadquartered in Scottsdale, golfers can take advantage of indoor mounting bays, a play studio, and the industry’s first quadruple shooting screen, GCQuad from Foresight.
Bonus: Don’t forget to tip
Phoenix and surrounding towns thrive on hospitality, which includes many young adults who need cash tips to survive. Don’t forget to swing by the ATM and bring some cash to tip outside services, servers, etc.
Want to fix your bag for 2023? Find a suitable location near you at the GOLF affiliate True Golf spec. For more on the latest gear-related news and information, check out our latest fully geared podcast below.