Do golf clubs really matter? This is the most common question I hear from my students. I get it, buying golf clubs can be a high pressure situation especially in some sporting goods stores so it seems easier to buy a "starter kit." The truth is, golf clubs make a big difference in how you play, so it is important that you buy clubs that will fit your build and your ability. For this reason, I highly encourage beginner students to let me provide the clubs during the lessons and then I will guide them through the buying process. Now I know you are thinking it so please know that I DO NOT receive commission in the sale of golf clubs.
In a lot of cases, I find that my students are using clubs that are much too heavy for them. This is a problem because it creates a hitch and the golfer is unable to get back to the ball and hit it square with the club face. It is very difficult to develop a good swing with a heavy golf club.
Many times the shaft of the club is not correct causing it to have too much flex or it will be too stiff when making contact with the ball. Other times, the lie of the club is incorrect. If it is sitting up, the ball will go to the right and if it is down it will go left. This happens with most standard clubs which are made for golfers of average height. If you are taller or shorter, you will be frustrated when you play.
Every so often, I have students who own clubs that are older than my youngest junior students. Most times they can get away with the older clubs for a time, but I might encourage them to consider upgrading to lighter and more balanced clubs. Golf "technology" is changing all the time and it would be a shame not to take advantage of it when appropriate. There are clubs that are more forgiving to the students with lesser abilities making the game more fun for them and there are clubs that can improve the driving distance of the most experienced golfer making the game more rewarding for them.
All of these enhancements sound great but they also sound like they could cost a lot of money. In all honesty, all things being equal, like the same brand, the cost of purchasing custom clubs is not much more than buying off the shelf. I am available to talk specifics whenever you are ready.
I am a Golf Teaching Professional for the Junior Golf Foundation of America (JGFA) and this month I have the pleasure of also teaching Little Linkers (boys and girls ages 5-6). I started playing golf at the age of 5 and I have loved the game ever since. As a result, I pay special attention to this group of students to ensure that they are having fun and not feeling frustrated as they learn how to swing a golf club.
Oftentimes, I find that the source of their frustration is not their technique but rather it is their equipment. The golf clubs that were purchased for them are often much too heavy for their frame. When I give them a golf club that is lighter and more appropriate, the results are significantly different. At the conclusion of the class, I request a brief meeting with the parent to explain what I observed and then I advise them that the JGFA will provide the appropriate equipment during the lesson.
Most golf club companies focus solely on the child's height when they are marketing junior golf clubs. This of course makes the purchasing experience much easier. While the child's height is important the child's strength must also be considered. As a result some companies are using materials that are up to 25% lighter. I provide these clubs during classes and private lessons when appropriate.
If you would like to know if your child is using the right equipment, please contact me.