“They’re not good clubs. Throw them away.” – Ben Hogan
By Ian Hardie
In the articles 7 things to avoid when buying new golf clubs and 7 things to avoid when buying new golf clubs – part two I covered the first four things that you need to avoid:
Thing 1 – I need golf clubs that have ‘regular’ shafts (or whatever flex you use)
Just because you have been using a certain shaft and brand of club that has ‘regular’, ‘stiff’ or whatever printed on it – you aren’t necessarily going to find that’s what will suit you best in your new clubs
Thing 2 – I use clubs that are adjusted in a certain way (my irons are all 2 degrees flat)
Just because you got some new irons once upon a time – that had the lie adjusted to 2 degrees flat – that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be like that for your new irons
Thing 3 – I’m better with a certain weight shaft or golf club
A lot of golfers have been convinced over the years that they need a certain weight shaft in their clubs or on the opposite side of that – they will ask for a heavy golf club – as they think it makes the golf ball go further
Thing 4 – I’m short so I need shorter clubs / I’m tall so I need longer clubs
Probably the biggest myth when it comes to buying new golf clubs that there is as the position of your golf hat doesn’t have much effect on the length of golf club that you need to use and in actual fact is the one aspect of club fitting that I find most brands have got covered when they talk about ‘standard golf clubs’
The last three things I want to take a look at are just as important as the first four when it comes to buying new golf clubs but probably even less understood:
Thing 5 – I prefer that brands club over another
I’ve lost count of the number of times when a golfer has come to me asking to try brand ‘x’s new driver or set of irons and after going through a proper custom-fitting process ended up getting brand ‘y’s driver or irons simply because they worked better
Which unless I’m mistaken is the reason for buying new golf clubs – isn’t it?
The reason this happens is due to the fact that the golf companies of the world are targeting a certain type of player with their design and construction of each club – something that you may not have ever realised
This is most noticeable normally as different priced models – the cheap starter set, the causal golfer set, the regular golfers set, the better players set, the good players set, the tour player model but it also is applies to things like the set that gets the ball up in the air, the set that stops shanking, the set that helps to reduce slicing……………………
Which means that just because you have brand ‘x’s golf bag, irons, hybrid, towel, cap and you use their golf ball exclusively – doesn’t mean that their new driver or irons will be perfectly suited for you
Most often golfers who buy new golf clubs based solely on the fact that ‘their brand’ has a new model – are the golfers who don’t really improve with their new golf clubs and often go back to their old one
You might want to read that again so that you understand that fully!
The golf companies of the world are fully aware of this by the way – which is why they work very hard to get you to become loyal to their brand as much as they possibly can
Knowing that if this year’s model doesn’t quite work for you – that your loyalty to their brand will bring you back the next time they launch a new model to repeat the cycle
The bottom line on brand?
Keep an open mind if you are looking for real improvement in your golf game
If however, you just like things to match and aren’t worried that the new $$$ driver you bought isn’t any better than the last one – then stay loyal to ‘your brand’
It’s your choice I suppose………………………
Thing 6 – It doesn’t matter if my clubs don’t match
Hot on the heels of advising not to stick with one brand unless actual better performance warrants it – I need to illustrate another myth that golfers believe when it comes to golf clubs
The one that says it doesn’t matter if you have ‘a mixed bag’ of clubs
A fairly common thing as not many golfers can change their whole set at once and so end up with a driver from brand ‘x’, a 3 wood from brand ‘y’, two brand ‘f’ hybrids, brand ’z’ 5 – PW irons, two brand ‘r’ wedges and a brand ‘g’ lob wedge
Ordinarily these will all end up with slightly different shafts, the weights will probably be all slightly different, the shaft flex points will probably vary, the lie angles may well be slightly different as well and possibly the grip size will no doubt vary throughout the ‘set’
A bit odd when you consider the golfer is using the same size hands each time!
Not exactly the best way to attempt to produce ‘consistent golf’ – when you consider it like that is it?
Personally, I try and match things up as closely as possible for golfers for most of their set
With the obvious exclusion being the putter but there is also one other club that I am quite comfortable being in their set that doesn’t match – the driver
I’m not going to go into much detail about why I do that when custom fitting
If it’s something that interests you – I do cover it in my book How to drive the golf ball as far as you possibly can – actually I have just realised that’s a clue as to why I don’t mind drivers not matching the rest of a golfers clubs
The other 13 clubs that you are allowed to carry are for….…………..and your driver – well, its purpose is……………….you can read more about that in my book if you haven’t already!
Thing 7 – The sales assistant or the machine said that’s best for me
The last thing I want to cover isn’t really a myth – it’s more of a warning
It should be clear from what I have already said if you decide to buy your new golf clubs with just a click or two of your computer mouse from a website – it’s going to be fairly unlikely that you will be able to buy the most suitable (or even remotely suitable) golf clubs for your game
Which instantly makes you think of going to a golf outlet instead but unfortunately that’s not always going to solve your problem either – as you would be surprised to learn that their staff
Are almost always trained – to sell you ‘something’ and on occasion what they really want to sell you is:
‘Anything at all’, ‘the ones with the biggest profit’, ‘the ones that have been sitting around for a while’ or ‘the ones they want to get rid of this week’
This means that if you head along and rely solely on the staff member’s opinion or the dazzling display of data that their machine or computer spits out after your ‘testing’ session
You may not get exactly what you need there either
Especially if their recommendation or the data just ‘happens’ to suggest the clubs that are on special this week, already on the shelf in the shop or precisely matching the budget that you told them you had to spend at the start
Just think about those things for a moment…………………
This is something that happens for more often than you’d think it would and to be fair there is always going to be the odd occasion when the needs of the golfer do actually suit some golf clubs that are readily available
I’d suggest that would be about 5% of the time – meaning that for 95% of golfers
Buying new golf clubs shouldn’t be a same day experience for most of you
Now, let me make this clear that I’m not suggesting that this problem happens solely due to the sales staff looking for the easiest way to make a sale – not all the time anyway
Most often it’s due to a combination of two things – something that I pointed out in the first article – ‘faced with an array of great sounding choices while at the same time having very little understanding of just how these things could help me’
And that most basic human need of wanting to get that ‘new something’ – right now!
These two things drive the golfer to make a buying decision to get ‘those ones – today’
As opposed to waiting a couple of weeks for custom fitted golf clubs, paying a little more than they expected or trying somewhere else – to get the best possible new golf clubs
I’m going to leave you to consider all that for a little while and very soon I’m going to give you the upper hand when it comes to buying new golf clubs with an article called:
‘7 things you need to ask when getting custom fitted golf clubs’