How Good Golf Equipment can Help Your Game
Part 3 of 3 in our Series: “Which Helps Improve Your Game More: Good Instruction or the Newest Golf Equipment”
Technological advances have been made in all 3 of the main components of a golf club: grip, shaft and head. These advances are moving quickly; and leading some golfers to attempt to “buy a better game” rather than “digging it out of the ground” with hard work.
While no amount of golf technology can help improve your game if you neglect practice and on-course experience, it certainly doesn’t make sense to let your playing partner have an unfair advantage.
How many of us have watched a friend with a new driver and hot graphite shaft blow the ball by us off the tee, when we know we’ve been longer than them for years? It’s enough to send anyone to the golf shop in search of the newest equipment. But instead of worrying about what your competitive buddies are arming themselves with for golf game improvement, the real question should be: What is the best equipment for your physique and skill level; and still within your budget?
Buyer Beware! If you attempt to save money on knock-offs, clones or counterfeits you may not get what you desire. While these lower-priced replicas may “look” like the more established counterparts, their effort of R&D, engineering and quality assurance is typically lacking.
How Can you Trust Your Retailer, Manufacturer or Club Fitter?
Can you trust your retailer, manufacturer, or club fitter? Do they really have your best interests in mind or are they simply trying to make a buck at your expense? Let’s face it, some of these golf reps are inept, dishonest, or both. I know from a trusted source that decades ago, a PGA Pro and a sales rep conspired to have clubs shipped with no shaft bands, which designated flex, in order to cut down inventory. Whichever shaft flex was needed or requested by the customer; the bands were then applied after the sale and given to the unsuspecting customer. Certainly that’s bad business practice, but did it make a difference in the golf game of those buying these mis-labeled clubs?
The answer is yes, absolutely. Many golfers might not notice it; but even a slight change in your golf equipment can lead to adjustments in your swing. However subtle, over time these minor swing adjustments to new golf equipment can manifest into larger swing complications. Conversely, if you properly fit your golf equipment to your swing and skill level it’s much easier to pinpoint what’s “off” when your golf game goes south. You’ll know it’s somewhere in your swing; not the equipment change.
Golf Shaft Stiffness
Just as a carpenter uses a level to test their work, a golf club retailer could easily demonstrate shaft flex. The procedure is to correctly place a shaft onto a deflection board and hang a fixed weight to a predetermined point to see shaft bend deflection to a comparison number on the board. A club or shaft of identical length can then be measured in the same manner and compare numbers. How much difference is there anyway between stiff and medium? It can be complicated, even if you are an expert.
This brings up another subject to talk about in later blogs. Namely, the fact that there are no fixed standards which manufacturers are obliged to abide by. In other words, if a manufacturer states that a particular club has a stiff shaft: the question is, stiff compared to what? It’s a lot like ordering pizza: Who is to say what the standard should be for small, medium and large?
So when it comes to getting the right golf equipment--grip, club and golf shaft--consumers are simply going to have to find trusted manufacturers and retailers who’ve proven their merits over time. Often a good place to look for affirmation of your purchase is the PGA Tour, and the best players in the world. For instance, if those professionals continue to select Aldila as the #1 graphite shaft according to the 70-year-old Darrell Survey, then you know Aldila makes a consistent, durable, high-performance golf shaft.
The bottom line is that many golfers will be unsure that the golf equipment they just purchased is best for them. They must satisfy themselves with the knowledge that they gave it the best reasonable effort that they could; and go enjoy the game.
Aldila’s golf blog is dedicated to bringing you information, news and entertainment about golf and to helping all of us get more enjoyment from the game through golf technology and equipment innovation.
Author Joe CoWhick is a former PGA Head Professional and the founder of Joe CoWhick Golf Innovations, which is dedicated to teaching and improving play in golf. Joe has been part of various PGA sections, including; Iowa, Illinois, Gateway and Metropolitan NY; and he’s given more than 25,000 video lessons in 10 seasons at the world-famous Richard Metz Golf Studio. You can find out more at: www.joecowhickgolf.com.