Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Right Clubs

OK. We have been playing golf for about two months this season. Our games are not any better than last year and in many ways worse. Despite all of our reading and Golf Channel watching we can’t lower our scores to meet the preseason expectations. We have spent the last few weeks discussing most aspects of our games from a swing perspective. Maybe it is time to take a hard look at our golf equipment.

If you live in northern climates now is absolutely the best time to purchase golf equipment. The opportunity to demo equipment outside is much preferable to buying clubs over the winter when we can’t see the ball fly. Unless the facility is equipped with accurate technology to measure ball flight, trying to buy clubs in the winter is difficult.

As you look at your golf bag think about each individual club and not the bag as a set. One hundred years ago your clubs were built for you one at a time. You purchased a driver, a long fairway club, middle fairway club, short fairway club, specialty clubs for rough or sand, and specific clubs for around the green. This is the best way to build a set and easily done in the modern age. Some other recommendations:

Make sure the new clubs fit your body type and swing. Go to an expert for help. There are hundreds of “clubfitters” out there. One way to find a good one is to ask the manufacturers. They want your purchase to be successful and they would be glad to recommend their best fitters.

Fit for distance. Don’t assume that a “set” of clubs will give you the equipment you need for your distance requirements. First find a driver that gives you the best results. Then find a fairway club that gives you the best combination of distance and trajectory. This is not necessarily a 3 wood. Now find the best high lofted wedge for you. This will be a club with between 56 and 64 degrees. What is the distance of each club? Let’s say the best fairway club you can find is 200 yards. The wedge you chose goes 68. You have chosen a driver, fairway club, wedge and you need a putter. So we have ten available clubs to cover the gap of 132 yards. A reasonable gap between clubs is about 12 yards. Now find a club for each yardage. What is your club from 188? Or the club you use from 92?

There two real advantages your building your set of clubs this way. First, it makes you a better player with a better understanding of your equipment. Second, it is a lot of fun to build your personal set.

No comments: