For the majority of golfers, new clubs are a lot like new tires for your vehicle. You won’t even think about replacing those irons until the grooves are as smooth as a tire with 20,000 miles on it. Most of us won’t even consider replacing them until they start falling apart on us. New technology be damned, these things helped you shoot the round of your life eight years ago, they can get you through a few more seasons.
If your local pro groans when he hears you talking about regripping those sticks from the late 90’s, again, it might be time to consider investing in a new set. We will even go as far to say that if your clubs are 10 plus years old, it’s time to look into a new set. You’d be surprised how much a new, properly chosen set can improve your scores. Don’t wait until the head of your driver flies off mid-round to think about an upgrade. In part one, we will look at some helpful tips to consider when hunting for new clubs, and some key things to consider when looking for a new driver.
Take Advantage of Demo Day
Demo days on the driving range are often an annoyance to the regulars. Pop up tents and throngs of people crowding our typically solitary space is enough for most golfers to skip the range that day. Demo days are an absolute must-attend for the golfer looking to upgrade what’s in their bag. While your pro shop may carry a couple of brands throughout the year, demo days provide you with the chance to swing an almost endless amount of clubs and brands. This will help you get a feel for everything that is out there, and speak to the reps that work with these clubs on a daily basis. Every brand has it’s own unique pros and cons and this is your best chance to test drive them for yourself and learn about the new technologies.
Forget Brands, Think Fit
While you may get a bit of ego boost by claiming to use the same driver as Dustin Johnson or the same irons as Justin Rose, fitting your clubs specifically to your game is vastly more important than brand name or stature. If your swing isn’t a carbon copy of those two guys what good is it to use the same clubs? As we talked about in our golf ball fitting piece, going into the selection process with an open mind can vastly increase the likelihood of finding the right clubs for you. Nobody can help you determine the right club selection quite like your local golf pro can. Scheduling a fitting might cost you a little extra coin, but getting things perfectly dialed in is an invaluable benefit to your overall game.
Finding the Perfect Driver
As mentioned above, the best way to find the perfect driver is to hit as many of them as you can, and a whole bunch of shots with each. Don’t fall into the cookie-cutter handicap trap. Your individual handicap can not determine the right driver for you. One of the biggest keys is getting the correct length of club. It’s hard to get clubs to your exact dimensions at demo days, but you can find the driver that feels the best to you and customize from there. Using a driver that’s either too short or too long will definitely impact how well you hit it. The loft is another huge factor to keep in mind. For most amateur players, the higher the loft the better. Consider your typical ball flight and what your current driver’s loft is as you look at new ones. As mentioned above, ego should not be a factor in any of these decisions. If you have a wicked slice and have always had a wicked slice, consider buying an anti-slice driver. There’s no shame in this decision, PGA player Keegan Bradley has revitalized his career recently by making this exact move.
As with golf balls, trying before you buy is imperative. Don’t always gravitate to the newest release from the “best” brand; instead put in the time to find what works best for you. You’ll be surprised at the success you’ll find by using the right club for you instead of just the hot, new thing. Check out tomorrow’s post as we will detail tips to pick out the right irons and the best putter for your game.
About the Author: Brian Neufeld
Brian Neufeld’s background includes more than 15 years of experience in golf course management, specializing in agronomy. Brian uses his knowledge of the game and best practices in turf sustention to create informative pieces for GolfTourney.com’s readers.