Factors to consider when purchasing golf equipment

About The Author:
Originally from Kannapolis, North Carolina, Eric Wilson began his career in the golf industry in 1998 following 18 years as a career soldier in the United States Army. In May 2007, Eric was named Head Golf Professional at Shenendoah Golf Club at Turning Stone Resort in Verona, NY.

Facility:
Shenendoah Golf Club
Turning Stone Resort & Casino
Verona, NY
www. Turningstone.com
Author: Eric Wilson | Published: April 2008

When contemplating a major purchase such as golf equipment there is several factors to consider. It is imperative to consider these factors since the level of expertise of the sales staff may vary from source to source. Prior to considering this purchase, I recommend you as a consumer ask yourself:

  1. How much do I currently play or plan to play?
  2. What are my playing goals and/or objectives?
  3. How much do I want to spend?
  4. Do I know my current specifications?

Once you answer these questions, you will probably have a clear picture of what you are trying to accomplish. Regardless of these factors,there are several more important factors to consider when purchasing golf equipment:

  1. Get fitted – remember, the more consistent your swing, the better the fit:
    1. Use several different sources when being fitted.Compare the specs for accuracy.
    2. Make sure the fitting is at a facility that allows you to watch the actual ball flight. Simulators are good but do not always replicate a true ball flight.
  2. Know the effects equipment has on performance:
    1. Lie angle: The lie angle directly affects the directional trajectory of the ball.A lie angle too flat will cause a ball struck in the center of the clubface to be off target left. A lie angle too upright will work right.
    2. Length: The correct of a club affects the centerness of strike on the clubface. Normally when you are fitted with a lie angle other than standard, the length will also change.
    3. Steel vs.Graphite? Normally this is a personal preference. Steel is heavier than graphite. Graphite is lighter and dampens the energy transfer into the hands on off-centered hits. If performance is equal, it comes down to feel and feedback.
    4. ShaftFlex: Shaft come in three basic flexes for men. X-Extra Stiff, Stiff, and A or Senior Flex. The recommended flex is based on swing speed. Manufacturer's normally have recommendations to fit shaft flex.
    5. Shaft Kick or kickpoint: The kick point of a shaft effects ball flight and the ability to hit the ball higher or keep it lower. The standard rule is high kick equals low ball flight. Consequently,low kick will result in a high ball flight.
    6. Loft: The recommend gap in loft between clubsshould be between 4 – 6 degrees. When making up a set of clubs, try to follow this rule. Lower lofted drivers (8 or 9 degrees) are difficult for most casual golfer to control.Side spin is accentuated with off-center hits, producing a slice or hook. Experiment with a driver that has more loft (10 to 12 degrees) and keep the ball flight down with a high kick shaft.
    7. GripSize: Do not skip this component. A grip that is too small will cause your hands to become overly active during impact.A grip this is too big will cause your hands to become passive during impact.
  3. Research your product. Most companies have shaft and club specification on their websites.Understanding the information is the key. Nearly every manufacturer will make clubs custom to your specifications will varying additional charges.
  4. Hit the exact club you are fitted for. With today's technology, interchangeable heads and shafts are available to put the exact club that you are fitted for in your hand to try, before you buy. Even if you choose not to be fitted, you can feel and look at the club.

Purchasing golf equipment can be expensive and frustrating without a plan. Research your product, know the effects it has on performance and don't settle for "standard" clubs off the shelf, if you really desire to improve. Good Luck.