Welcome to another edition of the Fully Equipped mailbag, sponsored by Cleveland/Srixon Golf, an interactive GOLF.com series in which we field your hard-hitting gear questions.
What new equipment innovations are coming in 2023? – Anonymous
Well, wouldn’t we all like to know? And yes, even though we do know some things, it’s not as though we have a crystal ball that can predict the future. But, like you probably do also, we love to hypothesize, guess and sometimes, even predict what the next year will have in store.
Instead of letting the cat out of the bag regarding what we do know is coming, let’s look at six things we hope to see happen relevant to the new stuff we’re sure to see drop as soon as January next year:
More composite integrations
Aside from shafts, carbon technology has had a bit of a love/hate relationship with hybrids, woods and drivers. We’ve seen it used everywhere—the face, crown, sole—we’ve even seen fully carbon heads, but they didn’t deliver the results many had hoped because at the time, carbon tech was much less developed than it is now.
This was the year carbon took a huge leap forward, with the integration of multi-layer composite in the clubface, as well as even better carbon usage across the crown, sole and rear sections of the clubhead. We suspect we may see the resurgence of a fully carbon composite head very soon that eschews titanium and/or steel completely.
More color in the ball
Golf ball tech is not slowing down and unless there’s a major shift in the Rules of Golf and/or any bifurcation, we suspect golf balls will continue to get better, and with more specificity to cater to more types of players. Aside from that, we want to see colored golf balls continue to rise in popularity.
Case in point, the duo-tone Srixon Q-Star Tour Divide golf balls have been a huge hit, primarily because they’re easy to see and they make a great alignment aid. We want to see more of this kind of tech and based on what rumors we’ve heard, it’s a pretty good bet that we will.
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Srixon Q-Star Tour Divide Blue/Yellow
The Q-Start Tour Divide golf balls by Srixon feature the same features as the regular Q-Star with these high-visibility dual color option. These golf balls contain a new FastLayer Core that offers distance and soft feel without compromise due to a gradual transition from soft inner core to firm outer edge. In addition, features a new urethane coating with flexible molecular bonds digs deep into wedge and iron grooves for increased friction and maximum spin.
More specific adjustability
If you look online, you’ll probably see that the secret’s out and some equipment manufacturers are pushing adjustable hosels into irons and who knows, maybe wedges, too. But aside from having more clubs that do adjust, we hope to see some revisions to how clubs adjust. We’ve seen new stuff with hosel tech that predates this decade—and we get it, if things ain’t broken, then why bother trying to fix them?
But ask yourself—when was the last time you adjusted your club to switch from hitting a high draw to a low fade? Probably not that often. So maybe we can get some adjustability that’s more finely tuned, such as a hosel that caters to only fades or to only draws. That could be a game-changer.
More golfers walking
This one doesn’t correlate to new gear directly, but have you seen the latest golf shoes pumped out by golf shoe companies? They’re amazing. Take the Asics/Srixon collab for example. Long gone are the days where golf shoes were uncomfortable and pain-inducing. Today, many golf shoes are spikeless and rival the comfort found in top-of-the-line running and walking shoes.
Such attention to comfort and performance ought not to be wasted sitting on a cart between shots. So, get a good pair of golf shoes and walk any and every round you can.
More full-face grooves
This year had some marketable gains in wedge tech, but we’re still wishing we could choose from more wedges with a full face of grooves. Because, why not? More grooves across the face is a good thing, especially for players who want to lay the wedge open, which then increases the likelihood of catching the ball out toward the toe where there’s no traction. A full face of grooves can fix that.
Custom-fitting to become more prevalent
This is an obvious one, but many golfers are still skipping the fitting session in favor of the instant gratification you get from buying a driver off the rack. Hey, we’re just as tempted as you are, and we’re guilty of having done the same thing. However, getting custom-fit is 100% worth it these days.
There’s a huge assortment from every club and shaft brand, and spending less than an hour with a custom fitter who can dial in your optimal numbers is probably the best 45-min investment you can make in 2023.
Want to overhaul your bag for 2023? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf. For more on the latest gear news and information, check out our latest Fully Equipped podcast below.