Golf Clubs: What To Expect In 2023 – Forbes

I was playing golf a few weeks ago with a veteran club designer – trying out his brand’s excellent new models for 2023. A sudden look of defeat spread across his face, when I asked him how much further companies can take golf clubs. He explained that a major breakthrough arrives every decade or so – whether it be with the materials that clubs are made of, technology such as loft and lie adjustability, or advances with clubhead size or aerodynamics. “Other than that, it comes down to small incremental improvements and large marketing promises,” he told me.
For years, brands have touted their clubs and golf balls as being longer and straighter. And golfers buy into it. Truth be told, we can all hit shots better these days compared to years past – just from equipment technology advancing. Even if we were to swing identically to how we did in past years. Proving that maybe you actually can buy yourself a better golf game, without practicing. So in the spirit of improving your ball-striking ability next year, what can you expect in clubs? I’m not at liberty to reveal specifics yet because companies have not officially announced their 2023 gear yet. But here’s a general idea, based on the new clubs I’ve already had a chance to preview.
With drivers, you can expect clubheads to look sleeker and feel/sound more powerful at impact. I personally found several 2023 models to gain me about 5 yards or so off of the tee. But I’ve also tested some that I think lost yardage while simultaneously making my drives a little bit straighter. And yes, they were all fitted to my particular swing. Another term you will hear often in coming months is “speed”…it implies you’ll achieve faster ball speed from any particular driver that touts it. That, in turn, translates to distance. And as in the past, you’ll also see several variations of each new driver model – maybe a standard one that’s flanked by a better player’s version and a draw-inducing, game-improvement model.
Another thing I’m seeing for 2023: Hybrids with driver DNA. That means that where fairway woods in the past few years not only looked like their matching driver but they housed the same viscera, to help you hit your 3-wood and 5-woods longer and with the same feel as the driver. Now that technology is migrating into hybrids, as well. Which means you can load the long end of your bag with matching drivers, fairway woods and hybrids to get a more consistent hitting experience with even and progressive distance gaps between the clubs. Thus, you’ll have a club to use from almost any distance.
For irons, I honestly have only seen those with minor improvements so far. That said, I think there are some really nice-looking irons coming to market, including several more hollow-body models that promise extra distance and better flight. So if you’re looking to upgrade, this might be a great time. And it seems like almost every company is offering cavity back wedges in addition to their traditional blade wedges – for players who need extra help around the greens. These wedges will generally be slightly larger, with thicker top lines, wider soles and a rear cavity to help the ball get airborne — especially helpful for mid- and higher handicaps already playing cavity back irons.
One area that golfers have been slow to adapt to yet more brands are pushing in 2023: technology that helps you better manage your game by seeing your playing and hitting tendencies. They’re packaged in the form of computer chips in the butt end of grips; tracking technology built into your phone, watch or belt; and portable launch monitors you can set up behind the ball as you swing. I highly recommend you try some of these for the entire year. They’re largely non-intrusive and incredibly helpful at identifying your game’s weaknesses and strengths. Which may well help lower your scores and increase your enjoyment.


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