Golf Digest February 2020

Golf Digest empowers the modern golfer, delivering monthly content on how, what and where to play. Golf Digest provides "how-to" articles by an unparalleled team of the game's top professionals, the most in-depth equipment rankings, the Hot List and is the No. 1 authority for golf course rankings.

United States
Conde Nast US

in this issue

3 min
it’s all in the timing

IF YOU’RE RECEIVING this issue much later than the first week of the New Year, blame your postal worker (gently). In most zip codes, golf season is in a lull, which makes the arrival of reading material about the game feel less urgent but also somehow more essential. On the spine of this magazine, you’ll notice we’ve abandoned a 70-year-old tradition of naming issues by their month and are simply calling this Issue 1—in part to spare our collective psyche the reminder it’s January, but the motives lie deeper. Jerry Tarde, the greatest boss ever, although he deflects the term, has been writing the Editor’s Letter of this magazine since taking the job in 1984—a record run in all of publishing that’s as safe as Nicklaus’ majors if Jack were still…

1 min

COURSES Take a Full Tour Our “Every Hole at…” video series offers stunning drone flyovers of some of golf’s greatest courses, like Cabot Cliffs (left), No. 11 on our new World 100 list. Next up: Cypress Point. Visit FITNESS Get Golf Strong Scott Stallings transformed his body, and you can, too. See the three-time PGA Tour winner’s workout regimen in his Golf Digest Schools video series at FUTURE OF GOLF The Next Decade From a new generation of stars to drama-filled team events to Tiger winning his 15th major, it has been a wild decade in golf. Go to for our predictions for the 2020s.…

6 min
tiger talks

“My angle of attack dictates my follow-through.” Tiger has never finished worse than sixth in the strokes gained/approach stat when he has played enough rounds to be eligible (he wasn’t last year). He led the category five straight times. 2017-18 3rd 2013 1st 2012 1st 2009 1st 2007 1st 2006 1st 2005 4th 2004 6th NOT ELIGIBLE IN 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016 “Keep your shoulders, hips and knees stacked.” AS TOLD TO DANIEL RAPAPORT MY SWING and my game have evolved over the years, but one thing has remained consistent: I’m always confident with an iron in my hand. I’m not one of the longest hitters on tour anymore—I can’t hit a wedge 150-plus yards like some guys do—so my iron game is absolutely critical to my success at this stage. It sounds simple, but the best way to make birdies is…

1 min
his latest irons

Tiger Woods has used the same iron specs (save for small lie-angle alterations) since he was a teen. His current TaylorMade P7TW muscle-back blades mirror previous sets, including True Temper Dynamic Gold X-100 shafts and Golf Pride Tour Velvet cord grips. But they do utilize a couple of manufacturing twists: (1) The use of tungsten to produce, in Woods’ words, “a deeper feel.” (2) Narrower grooves, resulting in more grooves on the face than typical. They also have a slightly flatter sole radius with additional bounce on some irons. Instead of standard forging that requires a fair amount of handwork, the soles of the P7TW are milled by a computer to remove any inconsistencies. That’s different from the days when Woods went through eight or nine sets of irons to…

3 min
buyer beware

JOINING A CLUB has never been a terribly transparent, straightforward and unemotional process. Mix in multi-million-dollar real-estate deals, and what could possibly go wrong? To that, a California couple says, Hold my beer. Michael and Jenny DuBasso were contemplating buying a $2 million La Quinta retirement home within Tradition Golf Club’s gated community where Arnold Palmer not only designed the championship course but owned a vacation home and was a club member. That cachet—and a guided tour of the facility by the club’s membership director—sold the couple on the home and what they presumed would be rubberstamped approval for a social membership. But after closing the deal in January 2016, the DuBassos submitted their application (and $27,500 initiation fee) only to learn that they had been denied membership for reasons the club wouldn’t…

7 min
rethink your driver loft

JIN-YOUNG KO, the No. 1-ranked player on the LPGA Tour, swings the driver nearly 30 miles per hour slower than Brooks Koepka, the No. 1 male player in the world. Yet Ko uses a driver with 9 degrees of loft—1.5 degrees less than Koepka. What gives? Aren’t golfers with slower swing speeds supposed to use drivers with more loft? That’s not necessarily the case anymore. Sixteen years ago, Golf Digest presented compelling evidence that average golfers needed to use drivers with more loft to maximize distance—sometimes as much as 12, 14 or 16 degrees. But because of changing driver designs and changing swings, the opposite might be true today. In an exclusive Golf Digest study done in conjunction with Club Champion, the leading national clubfitting chain, players with swing speeds of 80…