Clubs that adapt to your swing, that is the fundamental objective when acquiring equipment; an objective that is easy to define but not easy to achieve. Because that is not easy at all, today I’m going to show you how to choose the perfect golf equipment.
The market floods us with hundreds of equipment with endless different features; how to know which of them are the most suitable for each of us? Which ones will adapt perfectly to our game and our physical characteristics?
It is really difficult to answer these questions and undoubtedly in the answer lies an important part of the good or bad game that anyone can develop.
Because without a doubt some clubs that fit perfectly to a player will help him to improve his game in a more than remarkable way, while on the contrary, if they do not adapt correctly, he will run the serious risk that a good stroke will have a disastrous result.
Read the following tips on how to choose the equipment that best suit your game; we are sure that the reading will be of great help for your next choice.
The right shaft for your swing will be the one that gets the clubface perfectly centered at impact with the ball. Thus, with clubs that are long you will see how the tips of the head are raised, while if they are short for you, it will be the other way around.
Keep in mind that a club that is too long or too short can be a serious problem, since it will force you to force the stance (the position in front of the ball), having to bend down or stretch to get the correct lie.
To determine the proper length of the rods, you must take into account:
- The player’s height: if you are over 6’2″ tall, you will almost certainly need shafts that are 1 to 1.5 inches longer than standard. On the other hand, if your height is between 1.60 or 1.65 m., shorter clubs are more appropriate.
- The distance from the hand to the ground: if this distance is around 71 cm, the size of the shafts will be the standard (that is, between 95/96.5 cm for irons and 114 for a driver).
Another point of utmost importance when selecting the right shafts for our game is the materials. The first question you will undoubtedly ask yourself is steel or graphite, each of them has its pros and cons.
Undoubtedly the graphite will allow you greater ease of movement thanks to its lightness, while the steel provides a more consistent feel that sometimes translates into more accurate hits.
In any case and as a general rule we can say that the lower the swing speed, the lower the stiffness of the shaft and the higher the stiffness in case the speed also increases; all this of course without leaving aside the rhythm and the way of swinging the club of each one.
Of course, an important point to take into account in the selection of the material of our shafts is our corpulence (weight). Normally, heavier players tend to opt for steel shafts, while lighter players opt for graphite.
Of course, weight should not be considered as a maximum when selecting our shafts, since it must be taken into account that a thin person can have great strength and swing power, so in that case, steel shafts will be recommended.
Anyone who has ever bought a golf club will have been able to see the large number of options available when it comes to selecting the club head. Each of these options has its own characteristics of shape and volume, which respond to specific needs in each case:
- Oversize: or enlarged heads, are undoubtedly the most widespread option in the current market, since Callaway implemented them back in 1991 in its Big Bertha driver. These heads are approximately 20% larger than the traditional ones. Their main advantage is that they offer a higher center of gravity, which, in theory, significantly reduces errors when hitting the ball out of the center of the clubface. They allow us to achieve better results with less accurate shots.
- Mid-size: head of intermediate dimensions between standard and oversize. Mid-size irons are undoubtedly the most suitable for short shots.
- Blades: Blade irons will give you a softer feel, allowing you to work the ball better. They are therefore suitable for low handicaps and for professionals.
But in addition to this, the position of the head in relation to the shaft is fundamental. In this regard, it is useful to know the following terms:
- Lie: this is the angle that the base of the head forms with respect to the shaft once the club is on the ground. The lie greatly influences the performance of correct shots; thus, if the lie is too flat, the shots will tend to deviate to the left, and on the contrary, if the lie is too vertical, they will deviate to the right.
- Loft: opening angle of the club face with respect to its vertical. The tighter the loft, the more distance it will provide for the shots, at the risk, of course, of losing accuracy. To select the right one, we need to know approximately how much we are able to hit with each club.
- Offset: imagine a line that goes from the most forward point of the neck of the club, well, the offset is the separation that exists between this imaginary line and the edge of the club face. It influences the trajectory of your shots so that if the offset is positive (i.e., the edge of the club is set back), it will help you produce lower shots; while if it is negative, the opposite will happen. The offset also helps the hands to be in front of the club face at impact, resulting in more solid shots. You should know that both lie and loft can be adjusted to the stance of each player, which can greatly help your game.
Another point to take into account when selecting the most appropriate head is the material in which it is made. Undoubtedly the most suitable option in most cases and as long as our budget allows it, is titanium.
Currently many heads have inserts of this material that give them a greater lightness than steel, while being very durable, but not only that, the introduction of titanium in the manufacture of the heads has helped to increase the sweet spot of the same.
Which undoubtedly is hugely beneficial for medium and high handicaps as it allows the realization of less precise strokes but in which not an iota of distance is lost.
Other metals such as beryllium or nickel are also used in the manufacture of the heads, which offer a softer feel, although they are more recommended for the expert in the short game.
On the other hand, tungsten is often used to relocate the weight and lower the center of gravity by placing inserts in the sole.
When buying clubs you should also take into account the so-called Swing weight, i.e. the weight of the head in relation to the total weight of the club.
This is identified on each club by a letter: A, B, C, D or E, followed by a number from 0 to 9. Note that the larger the letter-number scale, the greater the swing weight.
Just by saying that through the grip the player comes into contact with the club and ultimately with the ball, is more than enough to give an idea of the importance of this part of the club, which is not always given the necessary attention.
A grip well adjusted to our physical and playing characteristics will facilitate the swing movement, and at the same time it will give us back the feeling we get with the stroke. It is therefore a “transmitter” of sensations for the player, something essential to achieve correct strokes.
To transmit these sensations in the right way, the grip must adapt perfectly to us and that means that we have selected without error things as simple as the texture, the size, the touch?
In fact, the importance of a grip whose dimensions are not suitable for the player can be enormously important in the game. If the grip were large, it would hinder the natural rotation of the forearms, limiting the freedom when hitting the ball; all this would probably lead to slice (effect from left to right) or fade (same effect as the slice but somewhat less pronounced).
Many times, when trying to compensate for a too large grip, we tend to take the shorter club, thus limiting the swing arc, losing speed and distance in each stroke.
In the opposite case, in which the grip is small, the player will be forced to accentuate the rotation of the forearms and the action of the wrists, thus increasing the possibility of the stroke moving to the left. With a small grip, it would not be surprising that the club would slip out of our hands, producing really bad shots.
As for materials, it should be noted that nowadays the vast majority of grips are made of rubber, which, after being made, is inserted into the end of the shaft of the club, as if it were a small sheath.
If what we are looking for is a lightweight material, we should opt for elastomer or thermoplastic, which offer good adhesion, although they are usually more suitable for hot climates or for the summer.
When it comes to choosing the grip, we will find that there are numerous shapes and designs of grips: round, with a guide pattern, with perforations.
They are generally manufactured in three different sizes: “Jumbo”, for large hands, “Midsize”, for medium hands and “Lady”, for small hands; although intermediate sizes can also be found.
When choosing, it is important to take into account that a thin grip will cause an excessive hand action, which can damage the swing, while a thick grip for a small hand can cause a loss of power.
Because if there is something important to take into account in the selection of a grip, it is that it must adapt perfectly to our hand.
Therefore, the first thing to do is to take our measurements; bearing in mind that the final size of the grip will depend directly on the total length of our hand, as well as on the relationship between the length of the palm and the fingers.
Therefore, we should consider the following measurements:
- Total length: distance from the wrist to the middle finger.
- Finger length: distance from the first phalanx to the tip of the finger.
With these data, some experts can tell you which is the grip that best suits you.
But in addition to this, there are other things you should take into account when selecting the grip: when you take the club to swing, the ring and middle fingers of your left hand (provided you are right-handed) should only touch the palm of your hand.
If your fingers dig into the thumb that serves as an extension of the thumb, this is a clear sign that the grip is too small for you. If the opposite is true and your fingers are moderately separated from the thumb (more than three millimeters), the grip is large.
Swing speed is undoubtedly one of the most important elements to be considered for the correct selection of equipment.
First of all, you should know that this speed is measured with a small machine that will almost certainly be at your disposal in your golf course and that when measuring it you should only take the data at the moment of impact, that is, when the club head passes the ball.
Based on the data obtained, you should know that:
- Between 80 and 110 km/h (50/70 miles): slow swing.
- Between 110 and 145 km/h (70/90 miles): medium swing.
- More than 145 km/h (more than 90 miles): fast swing.
Depending on this speed, you should select the correct flex for your club:
- Slow swings: senior or lady flex.
- Medium swings: regular or firm flex.
- Fast swings: stiff or extra stiff flex.
You should never underestimate the importance of this information, since playing with an unsuitable flex can lead to a lot of problems:
- If your swing is slow and you select a regular flex, the ball will have a tendency to slice, further decreasing distance.
- If your swing is slow and you select a stiff shaft: you will lose control and distance will be equally diminished.
- If your swing is medium and you play with a senior or lady shaft, the tendency will be to hook, with loss of control and distance.
- If your swing is medium and you play with a stiff shaft, you will tend to slice.
- If your swing is fast and you play with a lady or senior shaft, you will notice a significant loss of control in the stroke, as well as a tendency to hook.
- If your swing is fast and you play with a regular shaft, the ball will tend to hook with a medium trajectory and less distance.
As you can see, there are many factors that must be taken into account when selecting the right equipment for your game. All this without mentioning the limitations that will undoubtedly be imposed by the budget we have.
In any case, you should keep in mind that a suitable equipment to our characteristics is the most important asset to improve our game, always starting of course from a base of training and personal effort.
If you want us to help you in determining the qualities that should define your team, you have at your disposal in our website a section called “Team Diagnosis” in which you will find a comprehensive questionnaire in which many of the data mentioned here are requested.
All these data are analyzed by a computer program that is managed by a specialist who will determine the characteristics of the equipment that best suits you (flexibility, lie, length, grip…).
Afterwards, and if you wish, our sales department will advise you on the specific products of the manufacturers that you indicate to us that are suitable for all these characteristics.
If you want to get the best out of your game, start with clubs that give you all the advantages you need.