Drivers are the best club, the most feared club and the most eratic for the beginners.
Why do you need to know about buying a driver?
The length of the driver is incredibly important. You’ve probably noticed that it sticks out of your golf bag like a sore thumb and towers over the irons.
Yes, it’s the longest club in the golf bag but is your driver too long for you?
If your driver is too long then this can cause you to hit off centre shots resulting in pulling and drawing the ball all over the place.
Your golf swing may not actually be the reason why you struggle with hitting your driver.
To smash it down the fairway you need a correctly sized driver and without one, you may find yourself always struggling for consistency.
And accuracy too, if you’re not hitting the centre your balls are going to be going right and left all over the place.
Did you know that most of the drivers that are available to buy are in lengths of 45.5 to 46 inches long.
Alone this information is pretty useless but did you know that in the PGA tour, the average player has a driver which is 44.5 inches long.
So why are you an inch or two longer?
In the golf industry, too long is better than too short and you’re pretty much expected to get your driver custom fitted so there’s space to chop off an cut down to your site.
Ok, so you know about the length of the driver but what about the actual shaft of the driver?
What you’ll find is that there are different shafts have different flexes
Whilst these do act as indicators, in the golfing industry there is no standardised specifications that clubs are manufactured too to make them meaningless.
What’s also important is the shaft flex profile. There’s tip stiff, others and be tip soft. Realistically, ever golf needs to be fitted to find out which shaft flex profile works best for them and this can make finding golf clubs perfect for your game a bit of a challenge.
What a driver fitting does is it gets you swinging and your swing analysed by technologies like trackman and flightscope which help identify certain characteristics of your golf swing which helps suggest which driver will be best for you.
The golf swing is so simple but it’s complex too. By getting fitted you’ll be noticing that clubs have different club head speeds, different ball speeds, launch angles will be slightly different, the smash factor, all these variables will be different with different clubs and different set ups of the clubs.
On the tee, you don’t HAVE to use a driver.
Heck, you don’t even have to use woods. So many players are intimated with the woods that for very beginners it’s probably just better to use your irons.
Think about it. Golf is about driving, fairway play, pitching and putting. If you forget about the driver and just focus on playing the best with your irons then almost half your shots are going to be with the irons.
Now don’t get confused, if you’re brand new to golf, just get any set of cheap golf clubs to see if you actually like playing.
Once you know you like golf, that’s the time you know it’s time to get some better clubs that are suited to your game. Plus, there’s nothing to anlayse before you’ve got a bit of a golf swing.
The most important thing from your irons is that you want to have a simple swing, they have to feel good to you, too heavy or too light will effect how you swing.
You need the right length of clubs. Remember every golf club is a different length, the higher the loft of the club the shorter the club is but you need them to be correct for you.
The problem with irons that aren’t exactly or very closely match to you then you’ll be setting yourself up to fail by adopting an incorrect stance which promotes a bad ball striking position.
If the golf club isn’t the right length then your body position will be wrong, you could be too bent over, or not enough, you could be standing too upright.
This is why custom fitting is recommended. You’ll be able to test out a variety of lengths, identifying which works best for you.
The right length club for your height makes it easier to hit the ball in the centre of the club.
The iron shafts flex profile & weight distrbiution will match your game and aid you in becoming a more accurate golfer whilst also helping you to get the maximum distances possible
It’s also important that the lie angles are correct. By having correct lie angles then the discourages pushing or pulling the ball resulting in more consistent golf shots.
Remember the flex letter on iron shafts doesn’t mean much. To know which is best for you, you need to be testing out clubs to see which works best.
You’ll also notice that there’s steel shafts and graphite shafts. One popular misconception is that graphite shafts don’t have the same stiffness that steel shafts do which simply isn’t true.
Different players, prefer different shafts, so there’s no one size fits all, the only way to see if graphite clubs could benefit your game is by trying them out and seeing the differences between them for yourself.
A lot of golfers struggle to use the lower irons which is the main reason why there’s hybrid woods now.
What a hybrid club is, is basically an iron and a driver in one.
We’ve had a lot of students who perform better with a hybrid rather than the lower irons and they are seeing their scores drop.
Wedges are incredibly important and often undervalued buy golfers.
When you’re within a hundred yards of the green then it’s time to pull out on of your wedges and land the ball on the green.
Traditionally, wedges were included as part of a golf set with your irons but now it’s more common for golfers to buy them separately.
In your golf bag you ideally want a pitching wedge and a sand wedge but a lot of players have a gap wedge as well.
A gap wedge fills the gap in-between the pitching and sand wedge.
There’s also a 4th wedge, the lob wedge.
Do you need all 4 in your bag?
This totally depends on your game. Remember you can only have 14 clubs in the bag so you want to be choosing your clubs wisely.
Pitching wedges have a loft of around 48 degrees and the sand wedge is around 56 degrees so the gap wedge is around 52 degrees.
Some golfers prefer to take a full swing and find it more diifficult to calculate distances when using a lesser swing.
If this sounds like you, a gap wedge could be useful for you. If you’re getting 95 yards with your pitching iron, 80 with your gap wedge and 60 with your sand wedge then that is putting you in a better position when it comes to putting.
Getting technical with the wedges
Do you know how much bounce your wedges have? If you don’t, this is the value that custom fitting brings to your game.
Most sand wedge’s isn’t just for the sand. Yes, some are designed to be hit easier out of soft sands which can hinder it’s ability on the fairway or rough but generally speaking the sand wedge can be used around the green. These are called wide bottom sole sand wedges.
If you’re playing on a certain course regulary, then knowing the sand type can help you pick out a better wedge which is suited to you and the course you play on most.
Needing even more loft or just want an extra club to add more precision around the green?
The lob wedge is around 60 degrees which is the highest loft in the golf bag. The lob wedge can get you out of some tricky situations close to the green.
What you also have to look at with lob wedges is the bounce angle. The wedge bounce angle is the area of the clubs that’s hitting the ground when the club comes in to contact with the ball.
A typical bounce angle is around four to ten degrees.
Some golfers may find that they struggle to use a lob wedge. This can be because the bounce angle isn’t enough.
You’ll find the many golfers need more than ten, twelve, perhaps even up to the high teens and low twenties.
The result? A cleaner, easier hit with the lob wedge.
The putter is the most important club in the bag. If you can master putting you’ll be in a fantastic position to achieve low scores.
Bad at putting? Then nothing you do on the tee box or fairways will matter because you can’t deliver the ball to the hole.
Forget how the putter looks, you want a putter that is
Correctly sized for your height
Feel good in your hands at set up and when performing motion
The head of the putter should sit squarely upon the ground
The golf ball should be positioned straight below your eyes or just on the outside
Find a putter that promotes a your type of swing
Buying standard putters may be setting yourself up for failure.
Putters deserve more attention than a lot of golfers give them. If you already have a putter, did you know that for you it might not be correctly aligning with the hole (where your aiming). Also you have to consider the weight of the putter.
The weight of the putter can dedicate how well you can control the speed of your putts. A heavier putter may enable you to become more consistent with the club.
Also, a consideration is a counterweight. A counterweight can bee added in the end of the grip. What you can also do is add weights down the actual putter shaft.
By adding weight to the shaft, this can help you to become more consistent when putting.
Different length putters
You’ve probably seen those long putters or the belly putter ones. We recommend that you just stick to the original putters but if you do choose to opt for one of these style putters then you should pay just as much attention to them as a regular putter.
Players can also alter the grips of the putters. We have a great article on the advantages of using thicker putter grips which is gold dust to people looking to improve their game.
Please contact us if you require more information. We offer golf lessons 7 days a week helping golfers from across Cheshire & Manchester achieve the golf swing that they want. You can use the contact form, send us an e-mail or give us a ring during regular business hours. If we don’t get back to you right away we’re probably teaching.