How to Choose the Right Golf Clubs

By Bill Herrfeldt

Golf is an expensive sport, particularly when you price a new set of clubs. Since you can invest a small fortune in your clubs, you should take a disciplined approach to selecting the right clubs for your game. Here are some things to consider as you make a decision about your next set of golf clubs.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Step 1
Know the level of your game. For example, if you are a beginner, you may not need to buy a full set of clubs at this point. Rather, you might consider a so-called "half set" that consists of a couple of woods, a few irons and a putter. But if you are an intermediate player like the majority of golfers, you should probably focus your attention on clubs that have a large "sweet spot" because you probably mishit a few shots during any given round. Or if you are an advanced player, defined as someone with a 10 handicap or less, look for golf clubs that are technologically superior to those you are currently using.
Step 2
Envision the clubs that you will need. In the past, a set of clubs consisted of three woods, eight irons, a pitching and sand wedge, and a putter. Today, people are integrating hybrid clubs, eliminating long irons and adding gap and lob wedges to their golf bags, depending on their abilities. There are even those players who carry nothing but hybrid clubs because they find them really easy to hit.
Step 3
Have your clubs custom-fit. For example, you may find out that the shafts of your current set are too stiff for your golf swing or that you would play better golf with clubs that were lighter. Also, you may find that you should buy clubs with shorter shafts for better control. Touring professionals have clubs with an average length of 44 inches, while off-the-rack clubs are 45 or 46 inches long. By having your new golf clubs custom-fit, you will know that you have chosen clubs that match up well with your game and your swing.
Step 4
Make sure your new clubs have the correct angle when you address the ball. Unless all your clubs lie flat at address, you will hit more errant shots. For instance, if the toe of a club is off the ground, a right-handed player will usually miss the target to the left. But if the heel of the club is up, he or she will usually miss it to the right. If you have your new clubs custom-fit, you will probably hit a few shots off a lie board, which will leave a mark on the sole of the club, telling the club fitter to have the lie of your clubs adjusted.
Step 5
Use a launch monitor to pick an appropriate driver. If you are like most intermediate players, you need a driver with a 12- or 13-degree loft to launch the golf ball to the right trajectory and to achieve maximum distance. If you swing slower, you will need a driver with more loft. A launch monitor is one of the instruments that a custom club fitter is likely to have to assure that the driver you buy is best for your game.

About The Author

Bill Herrfeldt specializes in finance, sports and the needs of retiring people, and has been published in the national edition of "Erickson Tribune," the "Washington Post" and the "Arizona Republic." He graduated from the University of Louisville.

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