Time to tee up
Golf is a game of tempo and balance, and if you’re new to the sport you’ll spend the next few years honing your swing and gradually taking strokes off your game. Set yourself up with a great set of golf clubs early on and you’ll be on the path to developing great golf skills.
If you’re just getting started with golf, buying a complete set is a good place to start. Look for a set of Game Improvement clubs, which are typically comprised of high lofted woods; a combination of hybrids, mid-lofted irons and high-lofted irons; and a putter. These clubs offer a larger hitting surface in the form of oversized heads, helping to set a new golfer up for more successful shots. A larger sweet spot and a low centre of gravity encourage more forgiveness for beginner golfers looking to improve.
The driver is the longest club, has the largest club head, and is designed to hit the longest shots of any club in the bag. Drivers come in a range of shapes and sizes depending on manufacturer. Today’s large driver head designs allow for maximum forgiveness so golfers have the best chance to hit the ball long and straight. Some “Tour” models have a slightly smaller head size to allow a low handicap or experienced golfer to precisely position their golf shot onto a desired landing spot on the fairway.
New technologies such as moveable weights in the head of the driver or adjustments to the hosel of the club allow a driver to be set up for your specific needs - whether that be to assist in correcting a slice or fade, or to change the launch angle up or down to maximize ball flight.
It’s important to get fit properly for your driver; the tee shot is the starting point to a great score.
Fairway woods and fairway metal woods are higher lofted than the driver, and are designed for shots that still require long distance – for example, the second shot on a long par 5. The higher loft of a fairway wood can increase forgiveness resulting in straighter shots than you’d make with your driver. Its shallower face can also assist in hitting the ball off the fairway with greater success.
Irons are typically purchased in a set, and can be broken down into three categories
- Long irons: #2, #3, #4
- Mid irons: #5, #6, #7
- Short irons: #8, #9, pitching wedge (PW)
As irons get shorter, the loft angle increases, typically making them easier to hit and offering higher ball trajectory. Higher loft also increases forgiveness, so it becomes easier to hit straighter with the shorter, higher-lofted irons.
During a game, players select their irons based on the yardage they have left to cover. Keep in mind that every player will achieve a different yardage with a certain iron. Unique swing factors like swing speed, angle of attack and where the ball impacts the club face can affect how far the ball will fly.
Novice and experienced golfers alike are reaping the benefits of using a hybrid club over a traditional iron. These clubs combine the accuracy and swing mechanics of an iron with the high launch and long distance nature of a wood.
Hybrid clubs can be much more accurate, as they allow for more forgiveness than a traditional long iron. A wider sole allows them to glide through the grass, while its shallow face height assists on shots out of the rough where irons can get tangled up.
Your wedges have even more loft than your short irons. Most sets include a pitching wedge (PW), but traditional four-wedge make-ups also include a gap wedge, a sand wedge and a lob wedge. The differences between these wedges are mainly the degree of loft, with the pitching wedge having the lowest loft and the lob wedge having the highest.
The wedges are in your bag to help get the ball close to the pin on your approach, or any shot around the green that requires a delicate touch.
The putter is the most frequently used club in your bag. With this in mind, it is important to properly size your putter, so that you can ensure consistent accuracy with every putt.
There are a number of scientific ways to fit a putter, but some would argue the best way to choose is to go by feel. Differences in head shape, weighting, size, length and face inserts are all factors that can affect the feel of a putter, so try a number of different styles until you’ve found the one that feels best. A putter that feels just right will give you the confidence you need in your putting.
The easiest way to lower your score is to hit fewer putts, so take your time and make your putter selection wisely.
Your perfect golf set that enhances your game may not end up being a “set” at all; it might be a mix of a number of different brands and types of clubs. Spend some good quality time in-store trying out many different clubs so you can be sure to walk onto the course with the best arsenal in your bag for your game.
This article and post is designed for educational purposes only. When participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is a possibility of physical injury. Please consult with a doctor prior to engaging in any exercise or exercise program. The use of any information provided is solely at your own risk. Product selection is an individual choice and the consumer is responsible for determining whether or not any product is suitable based on the consumer’s circumstances.