Thanks to guest writer, Scot Ryan for his article on the right way to buy a set of golf clubs. He takes a lot of the mystery out of the process. Great advice, especially for someone just getting into the game.
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Doesn’t matter if you are looking to play golf every once in a while, or on regular basis, buying a set of golf clubs is the most important investment that you will make. Many occasional golfers or starters don’t spend much time on choosing the right set, thinking that only the professional or expert golfers need to get into the finer details, and that’s quite wide of the mark. Truth is, if you are just starting to “tee off”, you will need to be a lot more detail-oriented while purchasing your first set of golf clubs as compared to expert golfers, because it’s easier for them to make small adjustments, but for starters, small things can have bigger impact on the game.
In addition to that, a good set of golf clubs can cost you a lot, and if you are looking to spend that much, you need to make sure that you are getting the best value for your hard-earned dollars. It’s true that your skill matters most, but a golf club that matches your body type or expertise level will help you improve your game and post better scores.
When it comes to golf clubs, there is a lot of technology and materials involved, and choosing the best option out of what is available will take a lot more than going to a nearby store and choosing the one that looks best or costs the least. Here’s what you need to know before going for a purchase.
First, a little about Golf Clubs …
Grip: This is self-explanatory, the softer material (often rubber) on the handle that lets you hold onto the club is called the grip.
Shaft: It is the cylinder-shaped tube that connects the grip with the club head. It comes in different lengths and flexes. Shafts are made from many different materials, for example graphite, steel, titanium.
Club head: This is the piece of wood, or metal which is used for striking the ball.
Different types of golf shots require different combinations of shaft and club head. You can choose one of the following clubs, according to the distance or spin you need. Golf clubs can be divided into four different categories …
Woods: Woods have the longest shafts and biggest club heads. If you’re looking to cover a longer distance (something around 150 to 250+ yards) you should be going for a wood. Mastering a driver (the #1 wood in your bag) is probably the toughest club for beginners. Depending on the loft and the spin that you are looking for, you can choose a wood between 1-wood to 11-wood, though 1-wood (AKA Driver), 3-wood, and 5-wood are the most commonly used.
Irons: If you are looking to get a distance between 100 to 200 yards, you will be using irons. A set of irons usually includes clubs labeled 3 to 9. You can always use higher lofted woods like 9 or 7-wood instead of lower irons like 3 or 4, because they are difficult to master. There are different types of club-heads, (blade or muscle-back), but if you are just starting, a “cavity back” style should be the safest bet.
Wedges: Wedges are golf clubs used for specific purposes. For example, a Sand Wedge is primarily used for hitting the ball out of a sand bunker, and a Pitching Wedge is good for an approach shot to the green. But that doesn’t mean you cannot use them for any other purpose. Different types of wedges include Sand Wedge, Approach Wedge, Pitching Wedge, Gap Wedge, Lob Wedge, or High Lob Wedge.
Putters: Woods, Irons, and Wedges are used for hitting the ball in the air with the intention of reaching the putting green.It is the putter that does the most important job— putting the ball in the hole. Just like any other type of golf club, hi tech science is behind the design and materials used in today’s putters. You can choose from a wide selection: standard putter, belly putter, or long putter. Options include the length, weight, head, and balance point you are looking for.
Things to Consider: The basic guidelines you need to remember while buying a set of golf clubs.
Your needs: The first thing is of course, your own needs and objectives. You need to determine if you are planning to play every now and then, or a bit more regularly. Is it something you’ll be doing to spend some leisure time on lush green courses, or you’ll fancy playing some sort of competitive golf in the near future. Knowing the answers will help you decide the kind of money and time you need to invest in getting the most suitable golf clubs for your game.
Your Body Type: If you are a beginner looking to purchase your first set of clubs, you should consider getting fitted. Getting fitted by a professional club fitter will help you discover the right length, weight, loft, head design, grips, etc. in accordance to your body type. Remember that the accuracy and efficacy for getting fitted will depend on the consistency of your swings and you cannot expect some consistency if you are holding the club for the first time. You might want to start by taking a basic Golf lesson from your local golf club. A professional teacher will be able to recommend the most suitable clubs according to your body type and natural swing.
Your Expertise Level: As earlier mentioned, there’s a lot of technology and innovations behind the manufacturing and design of golf clubs. There are certain clubs that suit golf professionals but would not be a good choice for a beginner. Similarly, there are half-sets made specifically for beginners or occasional golfers. A full set of clubs includes a few clubs you probably wouldn’t be using. (The long irons, 2, 3, and 4 are the least forgiving and are hard to hit well.) So you need to keep your skills or expertise level in mind.
Your Budget: The “green fees” and cost of golf clubs are the primaryreasons why golf is considered a rich man’s sport. But you don’t really need to go on a spending spree to buy a decent set of golf clubs. There are many ways to buy golf clubs on a budget. For example you can try buying used ones. Golf clubs usually last a long time, so you can buy used clubs at really inexpensive prices, get them re-gripped or re-shafted and start playing.
Ask for Advice: There’s a lot of advice freely available on the Internet. Apart from going through these guides, you can also post questions at a golf community while sharing your specific needs and requirements. You will get some great advice. Ask friends or family who have played for a few years. Or you can visit a golf equipment store and talk to the sales representatives.
Pricing: While visiting some online or offline store, you will find some that pricing ranges from ridiculously high to amazingly low price tags. Remember you get what you pay for, but that doesn’t mean you should be going straight for the most expensive set of golf clubs. Getting a set of custom fit clubs will obviously cost a lot more than buying a set off the rack. As a beginner you don’t need to go for the latest and sophisticated technologies. Get fitted for the golf clubs that will work well for you.
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Scot Ryan loves to blog on topics related to golf stroke mechanics and some general golf topics. To get quality used golf balls in Australia, you can try Lost Golf Balls for some great deals on high quality recycled golf balls.