Mistakes People Make When Buying Golf Clubs

Mistakes People Make When Buying Golf Clubs

I was asked to do a fit on a client today as he was looking to purchase a new set of irons. Being left handed was obviously more restrictive than for a right hander as we had fewer options when using the Callaway, Ping, Mizuno and Taylor Made fitting systems.Nevertheless, we had enough to work with. As I looked in his bag, I enquired about which clubs did he liked and disliked. My first observation was that he had 2 drivers in his bag because he wasn’t happy with either one of them, a 13.5 degree 3 wood and a 5 wood, 4 – SW. He had a range of all sorts of golf clubs in his golf bag.The first thing we did was get him on the nFlight ball-flight launch monitor to check his ball flight with his 7 iron and Driver(s) and to have a look at his golf swing. It was clear that his ball flight with the 7 iron was too low and also as you can imagine the same with his 9.0 degree and 10.5 degree drivers.I then checked the lie angle, which is one of my first checks I do when observing someone’s ball-flight, to find out what influence the club is having on the ball flight. His lie angle was great, so no worries there. When I asked him what he thought about the 10-15m (30-45ft) of movement in the air with the ball with draw spin, his answer was, that’s about normal.

It wasn’t until he had hit about 20 balls to see the inconsistency of his ball-flight and therefore the inconsistency on how far the ball flew. He said his normal carry for a 7 iron was about 135-140m (148-155ft).

I then took my fitting cap off and put on my teaching cap, this is where I go from Fitting Pro to Golf Pro. I could have fitted him to a set of irons and sent him on his way, allowing him to believe that I have given him a good service, in exchange for my fees and the sale of a set of irons.

Instead, I told him I would be doing him a great dis-service if I fitted him to a set of irons there and then. What we needed to do, was to work on his path, to square that up and then cut out his huge forward/lateral movement with his upper body which was causing path in to out path and also the low ball-flight. In effect I was giving him a golf lesson now to improve his golf. Isn’t that what we are looking for when we buy new golf equipment?

So we then proceeded to work on the swing and therefore the ball-flight before going further with the fit. If he was going to spend over $1,000 on a new set of irons and maybe a driver, I want to make sure it is money worth spending. The greatest problem I see with golfers is that they go into buy a new set of irons or woods, spend a lot of money that may be fitted to them, but fitted to a poor swing, so when they try working on the swing and improving their ball-flight with the new clubs, they run into difficulties.

My recommendation is to only get fitted when you’re playing or swinging well and that you are happy with your ball-flight, and you only get fitted by a qualified golf professional that has the ability to tweak your swing if needed to get the most out of your new golf clubs.

Back to my student, after doing a couple of drills, we straightened out his ball-flight with the 7 iron which now started flying higher, less side spin, and therefore flew further. We didn’t increase his club-head speed greatly but he picked up an extra 8-10 yards. Where we go from here is to consolidate that movement, reinforced by the improvement we saw on the ball-flight monitor, and then return to the fitting process next week, so I’ll keep you posted.

What I want you to take away from this article is;

  1. Always get fitted by a professional who combines teaching and fitting together
  2. For best results, only get fitted when you are happy with your ball flight or swing (then the fitting process can improve on that for long term benefits)
  3. Always use a good quality ball flight monitor as they don’t lie and leave your ego at home.

So from the amount of times I have used the term ‘Ball-Flight’, you can understand that this is what we are looking to improve. Club-fitting is not about making your swing look better; it’s about improving the consistency of your ball-flight. For more information on the club fitting process, go to www.yourgolfplace.com

Enjoy your journey. Cheers. Jim Kennedy


P.S. “Life is a journey – Not a destination; and so is golf.”

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