From coast to coast, the golf bug is about to spread like an epidemic. The Masters is just a few weeks away, and its accompanying teary reminiscences of Amen Corner and The Shot Heard 'Round the World will let us know it's time to dust off our clubs. Duffers everywhere are simultaneously preparing for another year of cursing the Scottish, who are generally credited for giving us this addictive, bewildering, infuriating and completely lovable game. You might not play the driver with the hottest face or the ball with the thinnest cover, but there's nothing like stocking your bag anew each year with the best equipment. Because as anyone from Pebble Beach to Buhl Farm will tell you, if you're going to spend four to nine hours swinging a set of metal and graphite sticks 60 to 160 times, you might as well look sharp doing it. Today we look at irons and drivers. Tune in to The Good Life for future installments on wedges, putters, fairway woods and hybrids, as well as balls, bags, shoes, gloves and just about everything else golfers need (and don't).
They're Not Really Made of Iron
Most conversations about which weapons to put in your bag start with the driver. Let's begin with the irons. Good iron play can do a lot of things for your game, whether that's putting you in the middle of the fairway off the tee, getting you out of the woods and back into the fairway, or letting you stick it next to the pin with laser-like accuracy. A standard set of off-the-rack irons consists of eight clubs, starting with the 3-iron and getting shorter and more lofted through the pitching wedge. If you really want to impress (or anger) your playing partners, show up with a top-end set of Honmas. These fine implements, made in Japan, can set you back more than $20,000, but they have gold and platinum in them, giving you plenty of currency to recoup your investment via wagers with friends and associates.