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Golf: The Right Equipment Makes The Difference

Apr 9, 2008
Selecting the proper equipment is a big step toward playing better golf. This phase of golf is so often overlooked that I feel impelled to point out how important it is to have clubs that fit you and your swing.

There Is A Difference In Clubs

To the layman, a golf club is a golf club. They all look alike to him. This is true to a point, but don't let this similarity of appearance fool you. As any experienced golfer will tell you, there is a difference in golf clubs, just as there is a physical difference in the individuals who swing them.

Since no two golfers swing alike, it might seem that almost all players would require clubs made to order, to compensate for these individual differences. This, of course, is not true. What is necessary is a good, balanced set of clubs that have been selected by the golfer with the help and counsel of an experienced professional.

Always remember, it is entirely possible to have good equipment and still not have a correct, fitting set of clubs. You must fit the golf clubs to you and your swing, not yourself to the clubs.

So many golfers in their haste to get out and play make a hasty purchase and then, upon learning more about the game and the importance of having properly fitted clubs, find they must buy another set.

Find A Set To Fit You

MEASURING UP. The golf clubs of today are far different from what they were some 30 years ago. The transition from wooden shafts to steel shafts, and improved club design, which have given clubs better balance and feel, are among the major reasons for the improved play of all golfers, particularly the professsionals.

Factory-made clubs are now fairly standardized and are designed to fit almost every golfer. Unless you are extremely tall or short, a factory set should suit your needs, for clubs don't vary too much from standard specifications. In any case, don't purchase a new set of clubs haphazardly.

SHAFT FLEXIBILITY AND SWING WEIGHT. The speed of your swing will determine the flexibility of your shaft and the swing weight of the clubhead.

If you are rather strong, the shaft should be on the stiff side with the swing weight a little heavier than medium. Conversely, if you are not so strong, it would be best to use a more flexible shaft with a lighter swing weight. Shafts come in several different flexes and different weights.

Generally, the dividing point for swing weight is D-3. Anything under that is getting on the light side, and anything over D-3 becomes correspondingly heavier as the number increases. In other words, a driver that has a swing weight of D-7 would be too heavy for the average golfer. It would be better for him to use a medium-stiff shaft with a swing weight between DO and D-4.

Women's clubs are usually swing-weighted from C-5 to D-0. The shafts in their clubs are more flexible than men's, and they are also lighter. The medium swing weight for them would be C-7 to C-8.

LENGTH AND LIE OF CLUBS. Golf clubs are usually made up in three different lies: flat, medium, and upright. The standard-length driver is 43 inches, and the two-iron, the longest iron club, is 382 inches long. The length and lie of clubs are determined by the distance the hands are from the ground.

This hands-to-ground measurement will usually not vary more than 2 or 3 inches from a tall to a short person. Thus, it is not uncommon to have a golfer of medium height using the same length and lie as a taller player because their hands-to-ground measurements are the same.

Generally speaking, the great majority of golfers can use standard-length clubs with a medium lie. If you are a rather short or tall person, you may require a special set. Here again, it would be wise to consult an experienced professional. You will find it to be time well spent in the long run.
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