Shopping for you’re a set of clubs that match your game can be both a fun and frustrating experience. It’s fun because, well, who doesn’t love getting a new set of clubs? It can become frustrating, of course, since you have to go through the process of buying a new set of clubs. To the uninitiated, it can sound like a simple task, but golfers know that’s not the case. Golfers know their game can depend on the right set of clubs, since clubs are an extension of you and investing in a set that doesn’t compliment your form can ruin any game.
Do Your Research
There’s a surprising amount of detailed information on the internet about every facet of a club. This includes angle info, material compositions, sizing, and reviews, and much more. Internet research can serve as basic guide and makes an excellent starting point in deciding what direction you want to go with your next set. Reviews are especially useful as you can access a wide range of opinions and reactions to clubs you may be considering. Again, I can’t stress enough that this is merely a starting point. Purchasing a club isn’t something you want to jump right into (unless, for example, you’re replacing a damaged club and you already know exactly what you need).
Look Back and Ask Questions
Unless you’re new to the game, chances are you already have a set of clubs. If you’re seeking a new set, there’s probably a reason. Maybe you want to improve your game. Maybe you’re interested in the latest technology and designs. Whatever your reason, look back at your current set. Examine what worked and what didn’t. Did they have a good fit? Where the grips suited to your hands? Were the lengths correct for your height and arms? Did you get good or adequate drive? With these questions answered, and more, it will give you a good idea on what you need to look for to improve your game and make the worthwhile investment. Be sure to ask friends and acquaintances, local golf pros, and others what they use and find personal success with and recommend. Their advice won’t always apply to your individual needs, but gaining as much a feedback as possible will put you in a better position to make informed decisions.
Put Clubs to the Test
When you have a good idea of what you’re looking for, head to various retailers and pro shops. Try out an assortment of clubs—drivers, woods, irons, wedges, putters, and even hybrids. Get your hands on everything. Test lengths and grips and get a feel for the clubs. Test different models and materials. Your goal is to fall in love and very rarely will it happen at first sight, or in this case, first swing. While you’re testing clubs, consider getting fit for a set. Many pro shops have specialists who can assist you in finding the right clubs that fit your hand and your body. They know all the correct measurements and forms and can be an indispensable asset in the purchasing process. Also, look for a club demo at a nearby course or shop. Club manufacturers regularly run demo days around the country. Check out various manufacturers’ websites to find one near you.
Develop a Budget
Always have an idea of what you want to spend before you begin to make your purchase. Golf clubs can vary in price and you’ll certainly pay more for the big name manufacturers. With a budget in place, you’ll be able to focus on certain price ranges and be less bogged down by overwhelming variety. If you’re more frugally minded, however, consider purchasing a used set of clubs (a topic worthy of its own extensive article. Always do your homework before buying used).
When You’re Ready to Buy
Full or Half?
If you’re new to the game, or relatively inexperienced, purchasing a half-set of 7 clubs may be the most productive method of purchase. Many golfers can get away with a half set, and it’s going with a half set can be a money-saving option, but again, if you’re a player who demands that control and edge, a full, 14-club set is probably for you.
Purchase Clubs Individually
There are some people who prefer to buy their clubs all at once, but it can give players less flexibility in the long run. Avoid testing out a few and assume the rest will fall into place. They rarely do. Some people swear by brands, whether it’s Cleveland, Odyssey, TaylorMade, Titleist, and so on. In reality, one person may have an entirely different experience with that Titleist putter than the Nike. By purchasing clubs individually and customizing your set, it gives you more control and when you have control, you have an edge. Of course, if you’re new to the game, purchasing a set individually might not be worth the investment. In this case, pick up a set and build experience, then when you know what works and what doesn’t, begin to seek out specific clubs to develop a set that is “you.”
One final note, chances are, if you’re already experienced in the ways of the game, you have a ball. Much of this advice can be applied to the search for the perfect ball. If you’re new to the game, play with a selection of different balls. It’s all about gaining experience and knowing what works for each individual.