What new golfers need to know about equipment and the swing.
Are you thinking about playing the wonderful game of golf? Are you confused on what golf clubs you should buy or use? Are you confused on who you should listen to for swing help? Who can you trust for guidance? Your friends? Your co-workers? Your boss? Your husband? The salesman at the sporting goods store? The gentleman at the flea market who has an entire set with a bag for only $40.00? Here are some thoughts that will help you with your decision on buying the right equipment and getting help with your swing.
If you take advice from your friends, co-workers, or your husband, atleast make sure they themselves know how to play golf. If your co-worker is giving you advice but he's been shooting 98 for the past 5 years (if you dont know, the average golfer shoots 88 and a good golfer will shoot 78), he may not really know the game. If you take advice from the salesman at the sporting goods store, just keep in mind that he is either selling what he is told to sell or he is selling what he knows he will make the most commission off of. If you are listening to the gentleman at the flea market, well then have you ever thought about tennis?
Even if those that are helping you do play well, they may not really know much about equipment and the understanding of the game. You see, a good majority of golfers just go out and buy the most expensive set of name-brand clubs they can find so that they can show off to their buddies. It is what I call the cool factor. They basically want the clubs that Tiger Woods uses and they want to look like Tiger Woods as well! They get the clubs, the clothes, and the biggest damn Nike golf bag they can find! $1,800.00 later and they are on the way to the golf course! Ultimately, their chances of being able to enjoy the game and playing good golf is very limited.
Most of the other golfers out there have simply gone to their favorite sporting goods store and bought what I call a set-in-a-box. Everything you need to play a round of golf with is in there all wrapped up in a box - woods, irons, putter, and even a bag - all for around $199. Ultimately as well, their chances of being able to enjoy the game and playing good golf is very limited.
Why are both of these groups of golfers limited in their chances of enjoying the game and playing good golf? The equipment. Yep, bottom line the equipment. Now sure, a few of them will get lucky and they will play good golf with what they have. But what if they went the extra mile and knew what to look for before they bought their clubs? Or wanted to really be serious and not worry so much about the cool factor?
Well first I must tell you the main objective in golf. To have fun. I know, sounds simple enough right? But the more fun you will have the better you will play. The better you will play the more fun you will have. So you can see the circle there right? Thats all you have to do, have fun. I can pretty much guarantee that if you are not using the proper equipment for your own personal body type, your individual personality, and your current playing ability, then you are bascially shooting yuorself in the foot and thats not fun at all.
So, what to know about equipment?
Rubber or Synthetic Materials
Steel or Graphite
Drivers - usually made out of Titanium
Fairway - usually made out of Titanium or Steel
Hybrids - usually made out of Steel
Irons - usually made out of steel
Wedges - usually made out of steel
Putters - usually made out of steel
Think about golf clubs like the clothes you buy. You dont just go out and buy shirts, pants, socks, and shoes without atleast looking at the size on the tags right? And, I know a good majority of you - especially you ladies out there - actually try stuff on in the dressing rooms even after looking at the tag size because why.. every clothing manufacturer fits a little different right? Yep, a large shirt from one manufacturer might actually be another manufacturer's regular. I know that I wear a size 12 in a New Balance shoe but a size 11.5 in a Foot Joy.
Custom made and fitted golf clubs are usually made and assembled better than the major manufacturers (by club makers and fitters that are actually up on the latest technology) as BEFORE ASSEMBLY all club heads should have been weighed, all golf shafts should have been weighed, frequencied (checked for flex), and spine-aligned/balanced. Then, a finished club should have been checked for its static weight, its swing weight and frequencied. Major manufacturers simply dont have the time to do all of this to a golf club but a good custom golf club maker does and will do it as that is the only way he or she can make you the best set of golf clubs!
The more money you spend does not necessarily relate to the quality or performance. Dont tell anyone, but we have made a set of irons for a PGA event player that if we would have sold would have only been around $299.00!
So, what to know about the swing?
It is actually very simple. Too many people make it harder than it actually is. The point is to swing the club, hit the ball, find the ball, and hit it again. Keep it that simple for now. The mind is what usually gets in the way of that. Everyone thinks they need to swing like Tiger Woods. Well, if you have ever watched golf on television, and if you havent that should be your first step, you will notice that each player has a different approach to the game of golf and they have a different swing. A pro's swing is based upon his body type and personality. You should think the same way. John Daly cannot swing like Tiger Woods and Tiger Woods cannot swing like John Daly. Don't be afraid to look different and have a different swing. And, just know that you basically have one swing for all of your clubs. You will just stand a little differently and have a longer or shorter swing depending upon the length of the club. Basically, the longer the club, the further the ball will go.
After you go to the driving range a few times and get a feel for the swing its now a good time to get a few quality golf lessons. Sure, everyone is going to try to help you and tell you what you are doing wrong. That is the great thing about golf. They dont call it a gentleman's game for nothing. However, as mentioned earlier, be careful whom you listen to. Check out your local driving range. Most ranges have a ladies night or a mens night where the golf pro will give free mini lessons on those night for beginners. Or, you might want to call around and talk to local golf professionals and get a feel of who might help you best. You just need some basic fundamentals and you want to start off with some good habits instead of playing for the next several months learning bad habits - as they are hard to break right?