“Golf is played with a number of striking implements more intricate in shape than those used in any form of recreation except dentistry.” – E.V. Knox
By Ian Hardie
A while back I had to deal with an extremely difficult situation that I expect happens to a lot of people around the world every minute of every day
Well, ok I admit it’s probably not accurate – to call it an extremely difficult situation
Considering the amount of difficult things going on in the world that people are dealing with each day but anyone who has been in this situation will understand what I’m talking about
I was standing in an aisle of a supermarket trying to decide what sort of razor to get
Now before you think “whatever Ian – that’s easy enough to do isn’t it?”
Let me explain the reason I thought I’d write about it
Take a look at the image above and you will see that there are quite a few choices that I could have made that day but with my limited knowledge (and to be fair lack of interest in the subject) of shaving and it’s implements
I was 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:
Did I need two, three, four or five blades?
Is the aloe vera lubricating strip really that useful?
What the heck does a battery powered one do?
Do I need to get replaceable cartridges or just a disposable razor?
That one with the cool looking handle looks good………………
Like most people in this situation after spending some time weighing up the pros and cons of each of the options – then relating them to the price – I eventually made my decision
Ten minutes later I found myself back in front of the same display
Still trying to come up with the optimal choice – after putting the first one I chose back
All the other groceries that I had chosen were staying in the trolley – as I knew exactly what I wanted and was getting with them – why was choosing a razor any different?
As you would expect I thought about what happened on the way home and decided that the simple reason that I – like most other people trying to choose a razor have a problem doing so
Is down to something I pointed out earlier in this article:
‘I was 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’
I figure this is the exact same situation that golfers find themselves in when they make the decision to buy new golf clubs
There is a staggering array of choices backed up by some extremely good marketing that confronts the golfer as they begin their search for new golf clubs
Regardless of whether they are looking on the internet, at sports shop or a golf shop
Because golf for most golfers is generally a hobby, sport or simply their relaxation – they haven’t spent thousands of hours immersed in the study of golf clubs and how they can help golfers to play better golf
Which means the second they go to make a decision to buy – they are normally doing so with very little understanding of what could happen to their golf game as a result
Having spent over 30 years being involved with the golf industry in one form or another – I have noticed that there are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there when it comes to buying new golf clubs – so today I thought I’d get on with clearing them up for you
Here are my thoughts on the 7 things to avoid when buying new golf clubs:
Thing 1 – I need golf clubs that have ‘regular’ shafts (or whatever flex you use)
Actually, you can’t make that judgement before you start to buy new golf clubs
Yes, you might want to read that again as you probably don’t believe me!
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 – for two reasons
The first of which is that things change – your golf action and swing speed may be quite different than it was before, you may have had an injury that affects it or you may have improved a few things
What was once spot on for you – may not be suitable now!
The second is the most important and least understood – the reality is that there is no such thing as a universal ‘shaft flex measurement’ as each different brand, golf club, shaft and grip combination produces its own unique club head delivery when you hit with it
This means that it’s entirely possible for you to find that one brands ‘regular shaft’ in a certain model is stiffer than another brands ‘stiff shaft’ in their model
An example of this would be a ‘regular shaft’ golf club that’s been designed for a low handicap golfer with a low swing speed to use will usually have stiffer shaft than a ‘stiff shaft’ golf club that has been designed to help a high handicap golfer with a higher swing speed that slices
Buying the same flex as ‘they have always had’ is one of the most common traps that golfers fall into when buying over the internet or by just seeing the best deal in the golf store
So the most important point to take away from ‘Thing 1’ – is that just because you have ‘regular’ or ‘stiff’ shafts in a certain brand now
Doesn’t mean that it’s the most suitable for you going forward
If you want proof of that think of another golfer you know who told you about the great deal they got their clubs off the internet for – who then proceeds to play worse with them over the next few months or as is quite common goes back to their old set because ‘they like them better’
When a golfer says ‘I like my old ones better’ – it’s a nice term that actually means
The new golf clubs that I got – don’t suit me at all!
Thing 2 – I use clubs that are adjusted in a certain way (my irons are all 2 degrees flat)
A similar situation to a golfer telling you that they always have a ‘regular shaft’ can be applied to golfers who will just as quickly tell you that they always have the lie of their irons set a certain way – ‘my irons are always 2 degrees flat’
Most of us used to wear nappies at some point in our lives but that doesn’t mean we need them forever does it?
Just because a golfer 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 their new irons
For a start, what was the manufactured lie of the old irons?
You’d be surprised to learn that even though lie angle is something that a lot of brands do approach in a similar fashion – it’s still massively affected by the shaft that’s in the head
For example a regular and a stiff in the same type of shaft will deliver the head at a different impact lie – change to a different type of shaft which is of course possible when going to a good custom fit outlet and you can generate massive variations in impact lie angle using different shafts
The length of the finished club can also affect the impact lie angle – if you are going to end up with anything other than standard then the lie also will need some adjustment
How big a point is that to consider?
I always ask anyone who can tell me what lie angle they need before testing if they are staying with the same shaft type, weight, length and flex?
If they can’t answer that – which of course most can’t – it needs to be tested for with an open mind
Sitting at home putting in your ‘own specifications’ into a website that is going to ‘assist you to custom fit’ your new golf clubs without you ever hitting them?
You have more chance of winning the lottery than getting that right!
I’m going to leave it there for now as those two things alone are probably enough to illustrate the reason why a lot of golfers don’t actually improve after getting new golf clubs
There are still five more things that you need to avoid though which I will be taking a look at in ‘7 things to avoid when buying new golf clubs – part two’