I was having lunch the other day with some of my golf buddies and we started talking about my new set of golf clubs. While we were chatting, someone who overheard us approached us. He was curious as to what was important when buying your first set of golf clubs. Although he was a new golfer using an old set of clubs, he felt the time was right for a new set.
Admittedly, I am a bit of a golf nerd. I think getting fitted for new golf clubs is just a cool experience. Most golf stores will do it for free. They analyze you on a computer that not only reviews your swing but also the steepness of your swing, speed of your swing, etc. While I love it, most people just really want to know about the basics: grips/shaft and which clubs to buy to make up the 14 allowables. Let’s look at those two elements and maybe one other important but overlooked tip:
Considerations for Purchasing Your First Set of Golf Clubs
Parts of the Golf Club That Matter
Grips: The area of the club that you hold with your hands
There are many different types of grips. The bottom line is that this is your main contact with the club so it must be comfortable for you. Every golf store has samples of many different kinds of grips. The right grip is what feels good for you and will work well if it is raining. Try a few till one just feels right. The good news is that you can change grips at any time! Any golf store will do this for you.
Shafts: The area of the club between the grip and the head (where the ball is struck)
There are two things to consider in a shaft: weight and flex.
Weight: the lighter the shaft, the faster the club speed. I could never generate the club speed a professional golfer can with a heavier shaft. While distance is a factor of mass of the club times speed, I opt for a lighter shaft. However, lighter shafts such as graphite or some of the new alloys are a bit more expensive.
Flex: the more flex in the shaft, the higher the ball will fly. Most golfers incorrectly pick shafts that are too stiff. When in doubt, pick more flex!
Types of Clubs You Need in Your First Set of Golf Clubs
Buying a full set of golf clubs is different now than 30 years ago.There is no need for most golfers to consider a 2, 3, 4 or even 5- iron anymore. Many golfers do not even carry a 3- metal anymore. Hybrids make golf easier for most amateur golfers. Here is a good mix for a 14-club set:
The driver is the longest-hitting club in the set and typically used for the first shot on all holes except Par 3’s. When you are looking at drivers, pick one with a bigger head and thereby a bigger sweet spot. Just as in tennis, the ball hitting flush on the sweet spot will always go farther!
These clubs are typically used when the golf ball is between 110-160 yards to the green (depending on the golfer’s skill). The 6, 7, 8 and 9- irons will do the job for you.
These clubs are a combination of an iron and a fairway metal. The yardage on these clubs will typically give you between 150-200 yards of length. The 3, 4, 6 and 7- hybrids are good picks for most golfers.
These clubs, the lob, sand, gap and pitching wedges are used within 50-110 yards of the green and are meant to be very accurate. Why so many wedges? Statistics show that for most golfers, 30 percent of their total scores are shots within 110 yards of the green. These four wedges give you the range to dial into a good distance to the flagstick!
The putter is the golf club used on the green--usually the club used to execute the last shot to finish a hole.
Final Thought About Buying Your First Set of Golf Clubs
Most manufacturers really push high-end, expensive drivers. It is always cool to have the latest and greatest driver to show off on the course. Let’s think about it, though, for just a second! For most golfers, the maximum amount of times they will use a driver is 14 in a round. However, they will use their putter on nearly 40% of thier total shots in a round of golf. That's why it is very important to have a good putter. Golf is very difficult without the right equipment, but don’t ignore the most important 6 inches of a golf course: the distance between your ears. Drivers are important, but buy a putter that gives you confidence and looks good - a putter that you absolutely love!
By the way, did you know that we give away a free golf bag a month valued at $175? Just go to our home page and look for the golf-bag pop-up. Complete the form and submit it for your chance to score a new golf bag for your new set of golf clubs.
Over to you...
- What was the manufacturer of your first driver?
- Do you have several brands that comprise your set or do you use one brand?
- Do you truly love your putter?
- Will you ever become a golf club nerd?
Send me your comments……
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