Golf Club Selection
The best way to purchase golf clubs is to actually hold them in your hand and swing them to get a feel for what you want. The feel of a golf club clearly seems to be all-important. But, what is ‘feel’? There is no scientific formula that defines it. In general, feel can be described as the way a golfer feels a club when he or she swings it depends on its swing weight and the flexibility of its shaft.
Golf Club Head
Look for club head that is made of stainless steel and avoid inexpensive alloy heads. For beginner, you should select the ‘heel-and-toe’ (or, perimeter-weighted) club head design, cavity backed (hollowed out in the back) and over-sized club head. You should get bigger club heads because they are more forgiving with enlarges the ‘sweet spot’ that can produce maximum distance even with off-center contacts. But Club Head Technology has come a long way, so if you are still playing irons that are 5 years old or more you most likely could benefit from the advances in new iron head construction. Here are some of the variables of a head that have an impact on making the game a little easier (and better) for the average golfer:
Offset is the amount the face of the club sits back from the hosel, this aids in helping reduce a slice with your clubs. Generally the better golfer you are the less offset you want. However this is not always true. For some reason the better your score gets the less you start liking the look of the iron head sitting that far back from the hosel. It is a hand control issue more then anything else. When you feel like you are the one actually in control of the club, you want there to be less and less offset on your new sticks. But for a Mid to High handicap player offset can be a major factor in making solid contact more often. And the best analogy I can give you is if you were a baseball player would you rather have the feeling of hitting a home run or a broken bat single. Solid contact plays a major role in distance and accuracy control. So if you are constantly having that broken bat single feeling with your irons you might want to consider going to a head with more offset.
2. Perimeter Weighting
You might have noticed the trend in the cavity design of new irons lately. Irons in past years had more of the weight behind the impact area of the cavity. Today’s irons have more of the weight towards the perimeter of the cavity. This is what is called Perimeter Weighting. If you always hit the ball dead center perfect, you would want a small sweet spot and no perimeter weighting so you could put as much physical mass directly behind the impact point of the ball. This would make a very long shot. However, if you are off, even just a millimeter? Your shot will go astray. By having an iron that is perimeter weighting you are maximizing the forgiveness of your irons. So unless you play 4 to 5 times a week you most likely do not hit the center of the sweet spot 100% of the time. Therefore you might want to consider the amount of perimeter weighting you need on your irons.
3. Sole Width
Sole width is another factor when considering your next iron set purchase. Put simply the larger the mass on your irons the easier it is to be grabbed in a tighter lie out of the rough. A narrower sole is easier out of tight lies and wider soles are easier from plush lies. That is why we tend to recommend a mid to wide soled iron and more blade style wedges. The majority of your wedge shots are going to be from tighter lies or you might have to carry a bunker and still be able to stop it quickly on the green. So for your SW and LW you might want to consider looking to the wedge section and choose different from the more traditional shaped wedge.
4. Heel to Toe Length
This iron attribute is more cosmetic then anything else. But it does affect forgiveness. Some players like the look of a more compact iron, although a longer heel to toe design has a larger effective hitting area. So if you are the kind of golfer that is looking for the maximum amount of forgiveness you might also want to consider a longer heel to toe design.
5. Face Height
Face Height is similar to Heel to Toe length. If you are looking for the most forgiving iron you should take face height in consideration.
Golf Club Shaft
Graphite shafts are ideal for beginner even though it is more expensive that steel shafts. Its lighter overall weight allows beginner to swing the club faster even with enlarged club head. Shaft Choice is the most important dynamic to improving your present game and equipment. We know that you are hearing this a lot lately, but this is one statement your buddy is right about.
1. Kick Points
Ball flight is a problem for many golfers that are not even aware of it. Many golfers are losing 3-5 strokes a round just because they have too low of a ball flight pattern. No, we do not want you to have a high ballooning ball flight. But, yes you do want a more penetrating higher ball flight that lands softly. Think about the shots that you have to play over a bunker with the pin tucked closely behind. With too low of a ball flight you might land on the green but not be able to stop the ball before it runs 30 ft past the pin. You happily walk up to the green, pray for a two putt and go to the next tee box. But what if you could have played that same shot and been able to stop the ball 10-15 ft past the cup. You might have been able to sink a one putt and saved one to two strokes on that hole alone. The tables below show which shafts give you the ball flight you are looking for.
2. Shaft Torque
Just because a shaft says stiff flex does not mean that it is the right shaft for you, even if you fit those criteria. Torque comes into play as well when properly fitting a shaft to a golfers swing speed.
Think about a $4 graphite shaft that is a stiff flex and a $40 graphite shaft that is also a stiff flex. There has to be a reason why that shaft is more expensive. Generally it is for a couple reasons: better materials, better tolerances, and more precise kick points and torque tolerances for the flex it should correspond with.
To get the maximum distance and control out of your shaft you need to have the right torque rating. If you hit the ball 275 on average without roll and are playing a 2.5 torque stiff shaft you are most likely not getting everything out of that shaft as you should be. Remember torque is the amount the head turns on the shaft from right to left. If you do not put enough load on the shaft to maximize the 2.5 torque rating you are not allowing the shaft to load and unload to its maximum capacity. Therefore you are not getting the maximum distance out of your new stick.
Most hitters need “a little pop” to help the club head release properly through impact. Players should not get carried away in thinking that lower torque means better control. The following chart will assist you in getting the right torque rating for your next driver shaft. Remember that this rating is more precise for higher quality shafts, due to the fact that they rate there shafts more accurately.
3. Shaft Weight
Don’t pay too much attention to swing weighting. Too many golfers get caught up in trying to get that D2 weighting they hear about. But remember every golfer likes a different feel. Some like more feel in the head some like their weight more evenly distributed throughout the entire club. And remember also that irons and woods are different. Some prefer a lighter feeling head on the driver. . Some claim to have more control of the game throughout my entire round. This is just one opinion, but the point is to have you start actually thinking about the clubs in your bag in a different light. Personal preference counts.
4. Shaft length
Shaft length is very important but typically shaft length in drivers is where most golfers are making their mistakes. However for your irons we do not want you tailoring your swing to your clubs. There are enough variables to be worried about in golf; the last thing you want is to have a perfect swing and equipment that does not match up.
Do you find yourself choking up more often then not? Or do you wake up the morning after your round with a sore back? That is your body telling you that you need to get your clubs custom fit. If you take your body out of its natural rhythm, your game will never be allowed to flourish.
If Clubs are too long it tends to make the toe of the club stick up (Low hook). This causes the heel of your club to grab first which turns your toe in causing the right to left spin on the ball and the lower ball flight.
Golfers with too long of a club will tend to try to over compensate, which causes them to stand too tall and lean back on their downswing. The leaning back can cause extra loft to be added to the head which can cause a high shot with a loss of distance. Your body has to compensate for the extra length if your clubs are too long. But since this is not your bodies natural motion it will tend to forget about 40% of the time. So when your body forgets that extra length makes contact with the ground a hair to soon. This is what will cause those Super-Fat shots.
The opposite of the Super-Fat shot is the Worm Burner. In this instance your body actually over compensates for the length and stands too tall. You then make your contact in the center of the ball. This will cause that screaming worm burner or the shot that flies 60 yards over the green. So now we are talking about the clubs being too short.
Too short of an iron will have to toe pointing down into the ground. This causes the toe to grab to early and pushes your heel forward. This causes the left to right spin or the open face which causes the Push or Slice.
If you are catching it a little thin more often then not. You might have a set of irons that are a little too short for you.
5. Shaft Flex
Imagine taking your 9 yr old sons clubs out to play in your next tournament. Or imagine playing with the long drive Champions driver. You think you would be able to perform as well with their equipment? Most likely not. And one of the reasons is because the flex of those clubs most likely does not fit your swing speed. Flex is the amount the club flexes from front to back. Torque is the amount the head twists from right to left (for those right-handed). So both components are important when it comes to picking the right shaft for your game. Too flexible of a shaft and your going to have less control, and you will produce a draw or a hook. Too stiff of a shaft and you are going to lose some distance, and you will produce a fade or a slice.
If the grips could be less than perfect or the grips don’t fit properly for you, then make sure you replace them. Grips are fairly easy and inexpensive to change by a pro or club repairman. Ensure all the grips are replaced with same size and design best for you
Finally, if you are just starting out with golf, chances are your swing is more likely to let you down rather than the golf clubs itself. But, it is still important to try out the golf clubs before buying them in order to find a golf club set that suits your swing, body and game. Most importantly, it makes you feel more confident when you use them.