Wilson balls, Pelz wedges and MacGregor woods
Wilson True Tour and True Distance balls
SPECS: Three-piece True Tour (solid core, ionomer inner cover, urethane cover) and two-piece True Distance (solid core, ionomer cover).
WHO IT'S FOR: 0- to 15-handicappers.
WHY BUY: Wilson admits that small variances in manufacturing make it impossible to perfectly center every core inside its cover. A core that's off-center gives a ball a heavy side and light side, which can affect shot direction. Wilson says it eliminates this variable by using a new material in the core and cover so each has the same density. The resulting ball plays as if its core is centered even when it isn't; the company claims this produces a more accurate roll on putts and longer flight than other products.
PRICE: $39.99 per dozen.
INFO: 800-GO-WILSON or www.wilsontrue.com
Pelz Distance Control wedges
SPECS: Forged 302 stainless heads have "durosteel" (stainless alloy) face inserts. Grooves are milled, then heat treated. Frequency-matched Spinner wedge shafts get shorter, and more flexible, as loft increases: P (49 degree loft, 351/2" shaft length, 5.5 shaft frequency); S (55 degree, 35", 5.0); L (60 degree, 341/2", 4.5); and X (64 degree, 34", 4.0). Extra-long (11" versus 10") grips have less taper than most.
WHO IT'S FOR: All handicap levels.
WHY BUY: Dave Pelz claims the grooves and face are 30 times more durable than other stainless wedges, providing the same feel and distance control for years. Different groove shapes — P has V-grooves, S has U-grooves, L has semi-box grooves, X has the "best box grooves ever," says Pelz — result in similar spin characteristics from club to club. Longer, thicker grips make it possible to choke down and execute longer swings with a "shorter shaft" for control.
PRICE: $129 each (steel); $495, set of four (steel).
INFO: 800-833-7370 or www.pelzgolf.com
MacGregor VIP V-Cavity Weighted woods
SPECS: HotForged Beta Ti driver (340 cc) with thin, springy face, and HotForged 455 stainless steel fairway woods. Each head consists of three pieces — face, crown, and sole — that are individually heated and stamped into shape (the HotForged process), then welded together.
WHO IT'S FOR: Driver: low and mid-handicappers. Fairway woods: mid- and high handicappers.
WHY BUY: The middle of the forged sole is in the shape of an inverted cone; the company says this "cavity" boosts power by placing 40 percent more mass in line with the hitting area than a typical rounded sole. The cavity is narrower toward the face and wider toward the rear, moving weight away from the face to stabilize the head at impact.
PRICE: Driver: $350 each (graphite); fairway woods: $240 each (graphite).
INFO: www.macgregorgolf.comor 800-841-4358