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Picking Out Clubs
By Anne Marie Goslak

 

I recall the look on his face. It was somewhere between lost and terrified. He was the lone guy in the ladies underwear store. I watched him walk back and forth, picking up bras, searching, wondering. Sadly, he would then surrender the bra back to its spot on the shelf. He was a fish out of water.

I don’t know if it was curiosity or pity, but I final gave in and asked, “Do you need help with something? I don’t work here, but you look a bit lost.” He looked at me, half dazed and said, “My new girlfriend sent me in here to find something called a front barrel closure? “ I smiled, and showed him the underwear with the clasp that opens in the front and he went on his way.

I realized women who are searching for new golf clubs, might feel the same way. Graphite or light weight steel? Fitted or off the shelf? Ebay or the mega golf store down the street? I’d like to share with you my tips for buying new clubs. It will help you to avoid the “deer in the headlight” experience.

Figure out why you are playing golf before you buy equipment. If it’s for “business purposes”, then skip the knock off brands or cheaper “starter sets”. If your job requires that you drive a Lexus or Mercedes, make sure your clubs match the image you are trying to create. Go straight to a brand name like Callaway, Ping, Nike, or the like.

If you don’t care about image, then you can buy any set. The question then arises, “Do I buy a cheaper starter set just to get started, then upgrade later, or just buy the best set and be done with it?”

The advantage of a “start set” is that they are cheaper. If you don’t like the sport a year from now, your $300 investment can be donated to a local charity for a tax deduction, or you can sell it for $50. If you buy a better set, for around $700 and up, you can sell them in a year for $500 or trade them in when you buy your next set. It all depends on your cash flow, really.

I advise that every golfer get fitted. Call your local golf pro and ask, “Do you fit clubs?” In my case, I say, “No, but I can recommend a couple of fitters who are very good at what they do.” Often times, those big golf stores, like the ones at the beach, have terrific fitters on staff. Ask the cost of the fitting. Do they apply that fee to the price of any purchase?

Let’s say you have picked a store and you have identified a fitter. Now what? Go around the store, picking up every 7 iron you want. Set up to it like you are going to hit a ball with it. Ask yourself, “Yes or no?” ONLY based on appearances. Do you like the color, the way it shines? Does the top line look too fat or thin? Don’t think. Just ask, “yes or no” based on looks and then put the “No” clubs back on the shelf. Keep the “yes” clubs with you.

You might have 15 clubs that have passed the “Looks good” test. Ask the person who works there if they can tape them up so you can hit them. Even in a net, you can feel the difference between clubs. Hit a ball or two with each. Do NOT worry about if it was a good shot or not. Only ask yourself, “yes or no” based only on feel. Does it feel heavy or light? Do you like how the ball feels when it hits the club? Put the “No’s” away. By now, you might have five clubs left that have made the cut. THEN get fitted. Tell the fitter,” I like the look and feel of these clubs.”

Your fitter will do a number of things, including testing your club head speed, taking measurements, and asking you to hit a ball on a board. With all this data, he can tell you the exact specifications you will need. You can then pick the best clubs for you, based on price or availability.

Write down your specification and keep them somewhere safe. Those numbers are not going to change much over the years. That way, you can always buy the clubs that fit you. Once you know your specifications, you can order on line, or from your golf shop.

In the end, who’s to say what club is best for you? YOU! Trust your instincts. You must be happy with the look, the feel, and the price. Let the fitter figure out the detailed specifications, but ultimately you need to be happy with your choice. You see, buying clubs is not that different than buying a bra. Learn your size, figure out your preferences, and then shop with confidence.

-Anne Marie Goslak