The clubs, clothes and snacks you need to elevate your game and empty your wallet.
Maybe it’s time to replace that Kmart set you’ve been playing for seven years.…
Taylor Made RBZ driver ($299)
Taylor makes great drivers, and the white clubhead on the “Rocketballz” version stands out, especially when guys like Dustin Johnson and Camilo Villegas are striping it about 330 yards down the fairway. It’s also adjustable, so you can set it to counteract your hook or slice and start launching it.
Adams Speedline Fast 12 3-wood ($249)
The Speedline has “velocity slots” on the top and bottom of the face, grooves that promote springiness on the face. Who doesn’t like springiness? At the range, this proved the least impossible fairway wood to hit square off the mat.
Callaway RAZR X Black irons ($699)
What better way to complement a white driver than with some black irons. The RAZR X’s have a lower center of gravity on the clubface and a bunch of other features that add up to forgiveness and better ball striking. Special bonus feature: The look really cool.
Taylor ATV sand wedge (56°) ($119)
If you’re like us, you find the sand, a lot. The ATV’s textured face and weighted concave bottom add up to a pleasant new feeling in the bunker: watching the ball fly out softly and onto the green…as opposed to screaming out and slamming hard into one of our playing partners, which can be kind of pleasant, too.
Odyssey Metal-X putter ($150)
Odyssey makes every type of putter, and they’re all good. We like the Metal-X No. 1. The design is simple, kind of like a mini-golf putter, but it’s perfectly balanced for square contact, and the layered face has egg-shaped holes that help give your putts the desired overspin.
Club Glove Aficionado IV golf bag ($189)
A lot of bags out now are so huge they could probably house a stereo system a la Rodney in Caddyshack. But we haven’t thrown in the golf towel yet on walking a course and slinging the clubs over our shoulder. This bag has plenty of compartments for all your golf course necessities (see below), but it’s light enough to carry and also compact, so it’ll fit easily in your trunk, even if your ride isn’t a ’63 Rolls.
Where else can you wear plaid with impunity? Here are a few items that will at least make you look like you’re not a high-handicapper.
Arnie “Palmer” cardigan ($90)
Arnold Palmer was the king of cool on the course. Maybe that’s why they call him the King. Now there’s a line of golf wear based on Arnie’s looks over the years. In fact, the designer went through Mr. Palmer’s closet for inspiration. All golfers should have a few cardigans. This cotton-cashmere “Palmer” will be your Sunday best.
Quagmire Standup golf shirt ($59)
This sleek classic-cut shirt from Quagmire golf is made of breathable “ultra fresh polyester,” so it will keep you cooler than cotton. It also has a condom-size pocket on the sleeve, convenient for any mini-contraband you might be toting.
Fila Golf Napoli plaid slacks ($100)
These sporty poly/cotton blend slacks are so light you may forget you’re wearing pants. Not an entirely unpleasant sensation.
Kentwool socks ($20 a pair)
Can socks help you win the Masters? Maybe not. But Bubba wears ’em, and he won. $20 a pop might seem a little steep, but your toes, if they can speak like ours, will thank you when you slip on these ultra-comfy superfine merino wool foot nests.
Ashworth Cardiff golf shoes ($120)
Ever pull into the course parking lot geared up for a quick nine, and as you’re fishing for your golf shoes in the trunk, a couple of dudes lumber past and beat you to the first tee, then play like molasses in front of you and ruin your whole round? Then you beat them unconscious with a sand wedge and go to jail for 3 years? Those days are over. The sporty on-course/off-course Ashworth Cardiff make changing shoes unnecessary.
WHAT'S IN MAXIM'S GOLF BAG?
Golf is frustrating, and the day can quickly grow long. That’s why you need a bagful of diversions and some snacks.
Camacho SLR Series Rothschild maduro ($160 for box of 25; $10 for leather three-cigar case)
This stogie is good for the occasional smoker. With the maduro wrapper, it has plenty of flavor. And the Rothschild size will last you about five holes. Get yourself a nice little leather three-cigar holder and have it loaded for your Sunday round. One for you, one for your cart mate, and another for you.
Wild Turkey 81 ($25)
When the wind is up and the rain starts to fall, smart guys pack it in and play rummy in the clubhouse. We buck up and reach for our flask of Wild Turkey 81. It’s a little lighter and smoother than the regular Turkey and has just the right bite.
House of Jerky jerky (Prices start at $10)
Hot dogs and Nutter Butters at the halfway house are fine, but you need some good, high protein energy snacks out there. House of Jerky makes every conceivable kind of jerky—beef, wild boar, alligator!—all delicious and additive-free. Go to their Website and order some. And while you’re there, do something patriotic and check out Jerky Up for Our Troops.
Of all tree nuts, almonds are highest in protein, fiber, calcium, and vitamin E. And if you favor the smokehouse variety like we do, the highest in deliciousness and sodium as well.
Flix Champ ball mark tool ($10)
For the first time all year, you just hit the green with an iron shot and left a little crater. That means your game is improving! Now here’s the sweet part: Pop open the Flix Champ switchblade-style ball-mark tool, shoot a menacing glance at your opponent…and do a real nice job fixing the green.
Sony AM/FM portable radio ($10)
Waiting 15 minutes on every tee is maddening. Go off-the-charts old-school with a transistor radio. Listen to the ball game or some golden oldies. (DMX is our favorite!)
Hohner Big River harmonica ($25)
A recent study by a team of Stanford psychologists has shown that having a musical diversion in a stressful situation can significantly ease nerves and enhance performance. OK, we made that up. But if you can throw down on the blues harp, you can probably successfully annoy your opponent.
Lost a sleeve of Pro-V1s on a single hole, wrapped your 7-iron around a birch tree, and have no idea how to calculate your score? Maybe you should buy cheaper balls. Or you could just quit. At least once in his life, every golfer should bail on a bad round. Maybe spend a little you time casting in the lake, river, ocean or drainage pond by the course. You can meet your friends back at the 19th hole.