Buying Golf Clubs:
What To Look For

When buying golf clubs, the vast amount of choices can be overwhelming. These basic guidelines will help you make sense of the enormous supply of clubs in stores or online. How much you spend on golf clubs is up to you, but you should get the best fit for your money.

The general factors to consider when buying golf clubs are:

  • Length of the clubs:
    Most clubs sold in stores are “standard” length, with the 5-iron at 37” for ladies’ clubs and 38” for men’s and the driver at 43” (44” for men’s). Unless you are exceptionally tall or short, this range is a good place to start.

  • Flex of the shafts:
    How fast you swing determines which shaft flex is right for you. Categories are “Ladies” (most flexible), “Senior”, “Regular”, “Stiff” and “Extra Stiff”. Unfortunately, there is no standard for flexibility. What one brand will label “Regular” may be another brand’s “Stiff”. Rule of thumb for the beginning golfer when buying golf clubs: the more flex, the better.

  • Weight of the club:
    The material of the shaft – steel or graphite – determines the overall weight of the golf club. The lighter the club, the easier it is to swing it faster, so graphite shafted clubs are a good idea for beginning golfers.

  • Grip:
    The feel of the grip and the size will determine how comfortable you are holding the club. Standard ladies grips tend to be rather small, even if the clubs fit lengthwise. Having the grips build up is an easy and inexpensive way to get them to the right size, even if you buy standard clubs.

Factors to consider when buying woods:

  • Size matters for drivers! The larger the head, the larger the “sweet spot” or hitting area. Even when not hit perfectly in the center of the club face, the ball will fly straighter and farther.
  • The more loft (angle of the club face), the easier it is to get the ball airborne.

Factors to consider when buying irons:

  • The more weight that is shifted to the perimeter of the club (creating a cavity in the back), the larger the sweet spot and the more forgiving the club is.
  • The longer the irons and the less loft, the harder it is to hit. Consider replacing the longer irons with higher lofted woods or hybrids.

Factors to consider when buying hybrid clubs:

  • A hybrid is a cross between a wood and an iron. Try out as many different ones as you can to determine how far you hit them and which clubs they will replace.
  • When possible, hit the hybrids you are considering from different lies. The club should perform well both from short grass and the rough.

Factors to consider when buying a putter:

  • The easiest club to try out in the store! Putting is all about “feel”, so try different types: blade, mallet, short, belly, long,...
  • Beginning golfers will get the best results with a heel-toe weighted putter, which is more forgiving on off-center hits.

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