Week 1: Golf Equipment
Believe it or not, all these golf ads we see do have some truth to them.
The equipment you choose to use in your golf game really will make a huge impact and difference in how well you strike the ball.
The constant development of new technologies in club designs and the materials used to make the clubs can get overwhelming at times, especially when it comes to the various choices you have to make when buying golf equipment.
It’s truly so much easier to make sense of it all if you look at this section from the perspective of your current personal golf skill level.
If you are just learning the game, you will probably choose clubs that are more tolerant when you hit bad shots – and those bad shots will most definitely come!
Relatively newbie golfers definitely need a set of golf clubs that are the most forgiving when the ball is struck off-center. This type of club, technically known as perimeter weighted, has most of the weight around the edges or perimeter of the golf club head, helping prevent the head from impact turning when making a poorly shot.
Alternatively, if you need more help getting air, you want a club designed to help you get the ball aloft. Look for irons that have more Sole Weighting. This lowers the effective center of gravity of your shot by getting more weight under the ball, which naturally gets it higher and quicker thru the air.
In terms of the basic materials used in the club head, titanium has superior physical properties, making it both lighter and stronger than steel. This allows for a much larger head for the same or even less weight.
Bigger golf club heads also means a bigger “sweet spot” in the center of the club. This helps protect the newer player against losing too much shot distance because hitting the ball off center will make you lose length and the larger the sweet spot is, the more forgiving it will be.
If direction is something of a challenge, consider an offset head design, which reduces side spin, resulting in a much straighter direction of travel.
This offset results in the club face being means the face is slightly behind the hostel of the club head. This gives you an extra split second in the swing to get the face back to the square position.
For your driver, the larger the head, the more forgiving it will be. This is very important, since not even an experienced player always hits the ball right in the middle of the club face. Various studies all show that you lose around 10 metres shot length for every 4mm you miss that sweet spot…
For fairway woods, the lower profile woods make it easier to get the ball airborne, as the weight is mostly below the center of the ball.
Graphite shafts are the most forgiving shafts for poorly hit shots. They absorb any vibration like a shock absorber, allowing for a much better feeling shot. Graphite shafts are also lighter in weight, so you will pick up more swing speed which in turn will give you more distance. For this reason graphite shafts are more popular than steel shafts in the metal woods when distance is your primary goal.
Steel shafts don’t feel as soft, and they are heavier, but they are more accurate than graphite. For this reason, they are usually better for the irons, since you are less concerned with distance and more concerned with accuracy since you are hitting into greens and at the pin.
We’ll return to the subject of club selection in more detail and make some equipment recommendations later on in the course.
For now, happy golfing