By Jeffrey A. Rendall
Feedback, it's the stuff of change.
It seems we're bombarded with feedback requests these days. Just go on vacation and invariably you'll return home with some sort of feedback request on your destination's performance during your stay. Or go on a lunch meeting with your boss, and she'll want to hear all about what your clients think of your abilities.
Feedback isn't gossip, and it's not trivial. It's not always positive, and sometimes it gets you in trouble.
But feedback's a good thing. In a modern culture focused on improving ourselves -- our bottom lines, our titles, our stature, even our health, it's important to know where things stand. And constructive feedback will help us advance to meet new challenges.
The same thoughts certainly apply to your golf game. For you 'feel' players out there, you're hankering to know what happened during a good shot, and what went wrong during a poor one. Repeating the good feelings over and over will bring success. Success leads to lower scores. That's everyone's goal.
For those looking for some beneficial feedback on their golf games, I'd recommend the Titleist DCI 762 irons (DCI stands for direct central impact, which optimizes the center of gravity location of each iron). Here's why:
For the past two years, I've played a 'game improvement' iron. True to their stated purpose, I found my iron shots improved over my previous set -- my shots flew higher, straighter and farther than ever before. But I also seemed to hit a wall with them -- I couldn't really tell the difference, from a feel standpoint, between a good shot and a bad one. They were extremely forgiving, but weren't exactly forthright with an honest assessment of my contact points with the ball. I'd say they're terrific for beginners and mid-level players (which I aspire to leave), but better players need something more.
It was time to "go to the next level." That's an over-used cliché, but the only term appropriate to describe what I was looking for. I wanted an iron that would provide all the playability benefits of my previous set, while also supplying more feedback on my attempts to improve overall. The Titleist DCI 762 irons have done it.
The DCI 762s came out late last year, replacing Titleist's incredibly successful DCI 990 series. From a technology standpoint, the DCI 762 incorporates thin face technology and a multi-piece carbon and metallized Mylar cavity insert to provide unparalleled feel, increased playability and modern flight characteristics (taken from the Titleist website).
Technology's certainly done great things in almost all walks of life, and golf is no exception. I can't explain Einstein's theory of relativity, what makes an airplane fly or even how to build a better mousetrap -- but all I know is the 'stuff' that goes into the DCI 762 works.
From a layman's standpoint, I'd say they're every bit as forgiving as my previous set, yet feel a little more weighty in the clubhead and give you a better sense of where the head is during your entire swing. Minor points of 'feel,' but minor sensory improvements are extremely important in playing golf.
David Bartholomew, Head Instructor at Wintergreen's Golf Academy, told me not long ago, "if you want to improve your overall swing mechanics, you've got to know what the clubhead is doing at all times." It's hard to put it any plainer, but these new irons seem to 'reveal' it better.
In other words, it's all the feedback you'll need.
Chris McGinley, Vice President of Marketing, Titleist Golf Clubs, says "the design of the DCI 762 pushes the envelope in the premium blade iron category." Then he explained what Titleist wanted to accomplish with the new club: "In creating the new DCI 762, we blended and improved upon the best features of the DCI 990, 990B and 962 models and expanded our target audience to range from tour players to club professionals to better amateurs to low and mid handicap serious golfers. The DCI 762 is a great looking and, more importantly, a great performing iron for more golfers, and remains true to the DCI high performance heritage."
FEATURES AND BENEFITS OF TITLEIST DCI 762
Multi-piece Carbon and Metallized Mylar Cavity Insert
- A multi-layer, multi-material design that provides "muscle-like" feel without the added cavity mass.
- Thin face design allows for a slightly larger club face area for increased confidence and playability, and a slightly larger cavity for enhanced forgiveness.
Modern Loft & Length Specifications
- Stronger lofts from mid to short irons for more distance and flatter short iron flight
Dynamic Gold Steel and GAT 95 Graphite stock shafts
- Dynamic Gold has been the steel shaft choice of leading players for over 20 years.
Traditional Address Profile
- Traditional head shape, soft profile, slightly larger and deeper, and a slightly thicker radiused top line than the DCI 990 provides a modern set-up appearance.
- Promotes consistent trajectory and reduces upshooters.
High Performance Sole Design
- High performance "faster" sole with a slightly wider and flatter mid-sole area featuring enhanced bounce to speed the club through the turf.
As you would expect, being fitted for irons is an important part of the process. Titleist's outstanding reputation is a good place to start, but if you're plunking down serious money for new equipment, it'd better be right for you. David Finocchiaro, Head Golf Professional at Westfields Golf Club in Clifton, Virginia, talks a little bit about the process:
"When someone asks me to suggest new clubs, I always recommend custom fitting. Not only is it the trend in the industry these days, but it ends the guessing game involved with spending a good amount of money on new equipment. Just like you'd look for different features in a car, you'll look for different qualities in golf clubs. They're not all equal."
Equality's okay in a political and social sense, but when you're looking to beat your playing partner at a competitive game, you'll want the best equipment you can find to achieve that result. Custom fitting is part of it. It mostly involves having a professional look at your golf swing, take some measurements, and plot the results to determine what's best for you.
For me, it was the Titleist DCI 762 irons. Finocchiaro said there were several reasons why they're a good fit: "In your case, you're probably on the high end of average players, a guy who plays a fair amount and is looking to get better. The DCI 762 is for your low handicap player, but can also fit nicely with someone with good swing mechanics and, with practice, is looking to improve."
"The DCI 762 sets up like a traditional blade, and is weighted to give you a better feel for where the clubhead is during different points in your swing. And I think Titleist has really improved the consistency in their manufacturing processes over the past decade, so I'm happy to recommend them," Finocchiaro said.
As might be expected, proper club fitting is extremely important to Titleist. But they also go one step further, according to Finocchiaro: "Titleist offers club-fitting seminars every year to ensure that changes in the technology are incorporated into professional club-fitting. It's just another way they keep us up to date on what's going on."
Which translates into higher quality service for the players. After all, it's just another form of feedback.
As alluded to above, I've had good results with the new clubs. They're similar in looks to my previous irons, so there wasn't a large adjustment in their appearance at address. The cavity backs lend an air of confidence without looking bulky, and the offsets are minimal.
I can honestly say I've never hit irons straighter. Part of that is due to improving my overall golf swing, but I'll also give credit to the equipment. It's hard to go wrong with top-of-the-line irons.
And that's what I found with the Titleist DCI 762's. They were fit for me, and they provide all the feedback I'd ask for. They're also competitively priced for top-of-the-line products -- the complete package.
I would recommend, prior to purchasing equipment, that you have them custom-fit for your particular golf swing; I'm sure most manufacturers would agree. So ask your golf professional to try out the Titleist DCI 762 irons, and get a little feedback of your own.
Titleist DCI 762 Irons
Retail: $108 per iron steel, $156 per iron with the proprietary GAT shaft.
Available at Fine Pro Shops and Retail Stores.
Check out more information about the DCI 762: www.titleist.com
Note: Rick Zarlengo of the Broad Run Golf & Practice Facility also contributed his club-fitting thoughts on the right irons for me.
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