The golf business today is huge, and because of that, there are more and more companies entering the market fighting for your business. When it comes to purchasing new golf clubs that can make your decision a tough one.
These companies are spending millions on marketing with promises of your “longest ever drive” and the “most forgiving irons you’ve ever played“, but whether you are new to the game looking to purchase your first set, or you are a seasoned golfer simply wanting to update your gear, then I’ve got a few tips that will help you make the decision that much easier.
Your First Ever Set
So, you’ve been to the driving range a few times, borrowed your friend’s clubs and have realized that you want to start playing more regularly and get your own set. This is great news but when you go to your local pro shop you just haven’t got a clue where to start.
If you are looking for your first ever set I would suggest a complete starter kit like this Callaway Men’s Strata Ultimate Complete Golf Set. It has everything you need to start your golfing journey, including a bag at a fantastic price from one of the market leaders.
Purchasing a set like this enables you to have everything you need for less than some people pay for one club, and if you are only just starting to play, a cost-effective kit like this is perfect in the beginning.
Some people may suggest second-hand clubs but the problem with these clubs when you are just starting out is that you might be purchasing clubs that are completely wrong for you.
They may be too old and the grooves have worn, they may be too stiff shaft wise, or they may even be clubs that are targeted towards the better player and won’t help your game at all.
With the full starter kit, all of the clubs in the set are manufactured specifically for a beginner. They will be forgiving, easy to hit, brand new game improvement clubs that will give you the perfect start to your golfing journey.
Of course, if you feel like you have the money to spend and want something more then another option is to go to your local pro shop and get custom-fit for a full set of clubs. However, you will be better off buying the starter kit and using any spare money having lessons to learn a solid and consistent swing.
Your swing is going to be far more important than your clubs when you begin to play.
Looking To Upgrade Your Clubs?
If you are a more seasoned golfer and maybe fancy an upgrade to a newer model then there is a certain time of year you can pick up a bargain.
To get the best deal you want to try and start looking for your new clubs around the start of the year (Jan-Feb). This is when most club manufacturers release their latest models and so the previous year’s models are heavily reduced by most retailers.
This is a great way to save money. After all, not that much changes technology-wise in golf clubs, certainly not within a year, and if you have had your current set for a few years then 12-month-old technology is still going to be an improvement from what you have now.
As mentioned above, marketing is big business in golf and you do not want to fall into the trap of thinking that the newest and most expensive club is the one you need. Shop around, try a few different models and brands and see what feels most comfortable, is
value for money, and which brings an improvement to your game.
You may be happy with your current set but just don’t know when your clubs may need changing. Let’s explore a few reasons:
Condition Of Your Clubs
The first telltale sign that you need to start shopping around is if your clubs are starting to show signs of deterioration. Certain clubs are going to wear more quickly than others and knowing when to replace your clubs is super important.
The grooves on your irons and wedges will start wearing faster than your other clubs which will mean a loss of performance. To keep them in top shape for as long as you can, you may want to invest in a groove tool. This will increase the longevity of your clubs and keep them performing well.
As far as your grips go, it is advisable to change these once a year to help with the feel and control of your clubs.
A putter is the one club in your bag that you will not need to change as frequently as the others. You may never need to change it. Just look at Tiger Woods, he is still using the same putter 20 years since he first put it into play.
Putting is so much more about feel and many golfers get used to the weight, feel and grip of their putter, hanging on to the same one for many years. There is nothing wrong with this.
Your Current Game
If your handicap hasn’t improved for a season or two, or you keep hitting duff shots with your woods then maybe it’s time to switch up your gear.
There is nothing like that feeling of a brand new shiny driver that just gives you newfound confidence when you stand over the ball on the tee. A new club can reignite your love for the game and in doing so subconsciously help your game.
There is also the chance that you may be using the wrong equipment for your game currently lies, performance-wise, and you need to go and see your local pro to get custom fit for some clubs that will help offer something your old set didn’t.
Another reason that it may be time to change up your clubs is your age. As you get older you will inevitably find that your swing speed slows down and if you are using the wrong flex shaft in your clubs, you are going to lose distance.
As you age you need more flexible shafts so that you can still get as much speed from your swing as possible. So if you find you are losing distance and you are getting that little bit older it could be time to move to senior shafts.
In addition, if you’re still a young golfer, perhaps you’re upgrading from a set of teenager specific clubs to a full adult set. This is the time where choosing the right clubs for your game is the most important.
There are many reasons why you may want and/or need to change your golfing gear and while there is no “perfect” answer hopefully the above information has given you some tips on when you might want to start looking into some new technology.
Don’t forget it takes around four to five rounds to get comfortable with a new club so don’t write it off and go back to your old clubs if you don’t see any improvement after your first round or two with your new gear.
Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.