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Simple Guidelines for Purchasing the Best Golf Equipment
November 12, 2021 at 4:00 PM
by Augusta Custom Clubs
Sterling toe in bag

Be truthful. A swing alteration is just what you require. Oh boy, though, you just must have a new driver; Alternatively, a sand wedge; Alternatively, you might use a putter. And you're so desperate for it that you're tearing out catalog pages and leaving them on the coffee table, not just dropping clues to everyone who will listen.

The problem is that, like everything else in golf, purchasing equipment isn't as simple as browsing the racks. It's a universe of precision, accuracy, and distance, and all of it is geared to make the game more enjoyable for you. Whether you're shopping for yourself or someone else, it might be perplexing. Allow me to demonstrate the most effective method for approaching the purchasing procedure. If you take your time and examine the material in these nine easy rules, you might just acquire what you need — and want.

1. Determine your skill level.

You are not Tiger Woods, despite what the advertisements claim. You are either a;

  • novice – average score more than 100
  • intermediate – average score between 90 and 100
  • an experienced player – average score 80 to 90.

Very few players consistently break 80, only about 7 percent of the male golf population and less than 1 percent of the female golf population.

If we want to break through to that next level. There are six ways to do it. We need to approach the game of golf thinking. I want to address all six ways. There is no specific order, but you must work on all six if you want the best results. The six ways are:

  • Buy the right equipment
  • Take lessons
  • Practice what you are taught
  • Work on your fitness
  • Work on your mental game

We need to be patient, and we need to do all six.

As far as buying equipment goes, each golfer's skill level dictates what we should buy.

Beginner: This group requires as much forgiveness as possible. Whether you like it or not, this usually means less equipment, not more, because you don't have the skills to swing the clubs yet, but you will just be patient. Ask for clubs that fit your strength and general posture when you address the ball. A basic set with two or three woods select from the list below:

  • maybe a driver with a more than 11 degrees loft,
  • maybe a 5-, or 7-wood,
  • as well as a set of irons (6-, 8-, and pitching wedge, and sand wedge) and
  • a putter is all you need.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't buy a complete set of clubs; save the remainder of the set until you need it. You should purchase forgiving clubs. Oversized, perimeter-weighted clubs will make the game more enjoyable for you.

At first, the driver is tempting but leave it in the bag or leave it at home.

Intermediate: This is the majority of the golfing population, and it is for them that most new equipment is designed. You focus on forgiveness. You want your misses to stay in bounds. The golfing industry would gladly tell you which of their irons are the most forgiving. When comparing or testing different clubs from different manufacturers, some prove effective than others. The Maltby Playability Factor, a particular project by club design specialist Ralph Maltby that assesses facilities in terms of forgiveness, is one intriguing concept. However, your comparative rating is the only one that matters. Get with your clubfitter; they can help you decide what is best for your game.

Advanced: Even though you have access to a veritable plethora of golf equipment, I'd still recommend clubs that provide forgiveness. Even so, you'll soon be able to play irons that combine perimeter weighting with a more typical blade design. However, only make the change if you believe your existing equipment is holding you back. Once again, your clubfitter can help you decide. I have never met a player that needs a set of pure blades.

2. Be aware of your requirements

The traditional setup has been three woods, eight irons, two wedges, and a putter. Not any longer. If you've progressed past the beginner stage of the game, absolutely get your irons custom-fitted. The fitting process may reveal information about your game that you were previously unaware of. It's not just as you're using the wrong shaft. It might be the whole club. While the majority of typical golfers use overly stiff shafts. They are constantly fighting the club for various reasons. They hope to hit that one shot out of 20 where everything falls into place, but it just doesn't happen. Or worse yet, it happens when you fly the ball over the green and into the woods.

Let's talk shafts for just a moment. What are the signs that the shaft is excessively stiff? Maybe you can't feel where the clubhead is during the swing. You want to feel like you're in command of the clubhead. Then move to a different shaft. Seldom do I find a golfer with too flexible shafts, but when I do, the golfer knows it.

I recommend skipping the X-Flex shaft and the 1 through 3-irons, regardless of how talented you think you are. You'll likely enhance your score without modifying your swing if you add more hybrids or even higher-lofted woods to your bag.

3. Bigger is preferable in this case — Sometimes

There's a reason why drivers are the size of a genetically mutant grapefruit are featured in print. When you get big, you usually get a larger, more forgiving moment of inertia. Bigger also means the driver will most likely be constructed of titanium and allow maximum momentum to be transferred from the clubhead to the ball (resulting in more distance). However, there is a point where the benefits start to wane. The forgiveness factor starts flattening out at 400 cubic centimeters (more than twice the size of Callaway's original Big Bertha) - diminishing returns, and the head becomes too hefty. Also, keep an eye on the length of your driver's shaft. The world's finest players, who have the freedom to choose any shaft length they wish, have opted on 44 or 44 3/4 inches (Tiger has even used a 43.5-inch driver). {Clubs will be limited to 46 inches in tournaments beginning in January.} A 45.5-46 inch driver is standard for off-the-shelf titanium clubs. My recommendation is to go with a shorter shaft. There will be no noticeable distance lost, and your accuracy will improve. But you cannot just take your hacksaw and cut off the butt of the club. There are weighting and balance concerns you need to be aware of. Your clubfitter has the right tools to adjust these parameters.

4. When choosing a ball, keep the price in mind.

When you do a ball fitting online, the vendor selling the balls always asks you what ball are you playing now. They ask this question to find out how much you are willing to pay. I usually ask how many golf balls are you losing now. If you are losing more than three balls per round, you are paying someone else to play golf. So why buy them $50 golf balls. Seriously your game will not be hurt by dropping down one level. You can find good quality balls that fit your game in the next lower tier.

5. Get yourself in front of a launch monitor.

The optimal launch angle for a golfer with a swing speed of 110 mph is 12 to 13, with a spin rate of 2,200 to 2,500 revolutions per minute. Higher launch angles and more spin are required for slower swing speeds. Science has also succeeded in developing good launch monitors that can analyze the data from your swing. Use caution while using a launch monitor; it is merely a guide that will get you into the correct range of conditions. Unless you're a highly elite golfer who needs to alter your equipment, the rest is up to you. Try to obtain a ball speed of 1.4 to 1.5 times your swing speed if you're hitting the sweet spot. If the (good) launch monitor reveals that you aren't doing so, you may need to adjust your driver, swing, or both. Most drivers nowadays are suited for better golfers than we are, so if your swing speed is modest (75 mph), acquire enough loft (12 to 15 degrees) and make sure the shaft flex suits your swing speed. Ignore the flex printed on the shaft. There have never been standards for shaft flex and the adage;

"Stiff for speeds between 90 and 100 mph, R-flex for speeds between 75 and 90 mph, and A-flex for speeds below 75 mph."

Is rubbish. Only your clubfitter can genuinely tell you what the profile of a shaft is and what it will do for you.

6. Improve your wedge game by filling in the gaps.

Ensure your wedge lofts are evenly spaced and that the sand wedge (56 degrees) has a good bounce angle.

Iron lofts now are roughly a club and a half stronger than they were 15 years ago. (Today's wedges are virtually stronger than Jack's 8-iron) Manufacturers build clubs in this manner to make us feel like we're striking the ball further. The issue is that the loft on a standard sand wedge has and must remain at 56 degrees. As a result, there's most likely a hole in your wedge game.

Here's what you should do: Determine the loft of your 9-iron or pitching wedge (if you're unsure, ask your club pro or the manufacturer). Determine whether you require a wedge with a loft in between your sand and pitching wedges. You don't want more than a 6 degrees differential in loft between your wedges. Otherwise, you'll end up with a yardage gap and no full-swing club that can carry that distance. Also, if you buy a lob wedge (and I'm not persuaded most players need one), make sure it doesn't have too much bounce (the trailing edge of the club's sole is lower than the leading edge). A sand wedge with a lot of bounce will only take you out of heavy hard, or soft sand. You might blade shots over the green from a tight lie if you have too much loft.

7. Make sure you're using clubs with the correct lie angle.

It's critical to get fitted for irons once you've reached the intermediate level. If your clubs don't match you, even well-hit approach shots may miss the green. The problem could be with the lie angle. The club's sole should be level with the ground when it contacts the ball, not when you are at address. Well-hit shots will move to the left if the toe is up, and the lie will need to be flattened. Well-struck strokes will travel right if the toe is down, and the lie needs to be more upright to correct the flight. Make sure you're fitted for your swing rather than merely your setup. A good clubfitter will have some way of fitting for lie angle. I prefer to use the scientific method and bend the lie angle according to the length of the club. Once that is done, I ask the golfer to play three or four rounds and tell me what is happening.

If the lie angle is off, it will show up in short-term accuracy the most.

8. Purchase a new putter.

Putting accounts for about 45 percent of your total score, so a good putter is vital. More than any other club in your bag, you use your putter the most.

When choosing your next putter, keep in mind that the putter's form and weight distribution are significant factors in influencing its forgiveness.

For traditional length putters, there are three main head shapes.

The Blade, the Mid Mallet, and the Mallet are the three types of mallets (see images below of the putters that are available in each shape)

Simple Rules for Buying a New Golf Putter (Blade, Mid Mallet, and Mallet Putter)

Mallet-style putters are more forgiving once again; the more MOI, the more forgiving is the club.

The length of a putter is critical, and many players use putters too long for them. Make sure your putter is the correct length and size for you. Now that you've got the right putter, it's time to work on your putting stroke.

9. Take a series of lessons.

A lesson is the best gift for a golfer, regardless of who is paying for it. This will set you back around a sixth of the cost of a good driver and a tenth of the cost of a new set of clubs, and it may be better for your game.

10. Get fit

A good fitness program will help your game. But only if you know what exercises to do. Here is a good one to start with. Take your hands and put them in front of your body like a praying position. Now put a small gap between your palms and only allow the fingers to touch. Keep your hands centered on your breast bone. Now turn your shoulders to the right without turning your hips. Start by only turning a few degrees. If your palms touch or your hands move away from the center, you are pushing with your left side. You want to pull with your right. Once you have this mastered, turn to the left. Again keep your hands centered and do not allow the palms to touch.