JamGolf guide to buying golf clubs
When you are standing on the tee box with the ball sitting up on the tee peg, you want to have some kind of confidence that you are going to hit it a good way down the fairway towards the green. Having the right club in your hands is therefore very important. Use our handy club buying guide below or call us on 01481 253432.
Many golfers will instantly reach for their driver. The driver gets the most distance but it can have the least loft. Loft is the angle of degree on the face and basically, the steeper the loft, (some clubs can be as steep as 8.5 degrees) the longer it goes but it is far more difficult to hit. The middle ground is the 10.5 degree or 11.5 degree. With many modern larger size headed drivers (previously known as a number 1 wood) if you select a degree loft of 10.5 or higher it can be a very easy and satisfying experience to hit the ball a long way. Ask your coach what loft they would consider is best for you at the early onset of your golfing life. Email or call the JamGolf Professionals who can point you in the right direction if you’re not sure here.
Woods with the number 3, 5 or 7 on the bottom are known as the fairway woods. These clubs are used to hit the ball a long distance from the fairway area of the golf course when a tee peg is not permitted. They are also useful tools to be played from a tee peg on a shorter hole or where there are many trees and/or water that you will be prone to hitting toward in your early golfing life.
You take a 3 wood or 5 wood for long shots from the fairway. The 5 wood is much easier to hit that the 3 wood because it has more loft and is a little shorter in the shaft length. The 5 wood can be hit from the fairway or light rough. Due to the success of these clubs golf has seen the proliferation of so-called ‘Rescue’ or ‘Hybrid’ clubs (they are the same). These clubs are a cross between iron and wood and by being more lofted it is easier to get the ball off the ground and the fairway wood shape and weight adds to the distance of your shot. Swing them slow and let the club do the work for you.
When searching for your new golf set ensure that the club head of the irons are "cavity" backed and "oversize". Most modern club heads are of this design now but many clubs ten or more years ago were made with "smaller" heads and in some cases had a "blade" design rather than "oversize". A "blade" design is the style often used by professionals and low handicap players but is not a good style to start learning the game with.
The 3, 4, 5 irons are generally used from the tee or well cut fairway on shots of 150 yards or more as they have a steeper face. They are more difficult to hit consistently and can easily be replaced these days with the more modern utility clubs or woods. Why use a 3 iron when you can use a more more easy to hit 7 wood? As a general rule of thumb the number 3 hybrid is now used in place of the traditional 3 iron and the 4 hybrid club replaces the traditional 4 iron. So get yourself a 3 and 4 hybrid instead of the 3 and 4 iron.
The 6, 7, 8, and 9 irons are for shots between 100 and 150 yards and should get the ball high in the air (the higher the number of club the higher the ball goes) on its way to the green.
There are always new innovations too. The key performance feature that separates the Taylormade SpeedBlade iron range for example is the Speed Pocket, a handle-bar shaped slot in the sole of the 3-7 irons that enables a large area of the face to flex and rebound at impact, resulting in faster ball speed, higher launch and better feel.
The putter is the club you use on the green when you are ready to complete the hole. The putter will be your most used club so make sure you don’t end up with something that might look flash but doesn’t suit you. Even if you only take two putts on each hole you will be using it 36 times in a round so take your time in choosing the best. The average golfer will spend up to 3 times more for their driver club over their choice of putter yet we use the putter far more than the driver so invest wisely. Spend a little more on this club for quality and see how your putting improves much quicker.
You should take a pitching wedge, a sand wedge and a putter with you when you are first starting out. The pitching wedge (it will show PW, P or sometimes have a number 10 on the bottom ) is for shots under 100 yards. It can be used to pitch a ball high in the air or chip a ball low and have it bounce up to the green. The sand wedge (It will say SW or S on the bottom of the club head) is to be used from the bunker (which is usually full of sand - hence the name). The number on the wedge is the loft. The higher the number the steeper the loft. 48, 50, 51, 52, 53 are wedges, 54, 56, 57 are sand wedges and all numbers above that are known as "lob" wedges.
A word about shafts
Steel vs Graphite
These days, golf clubs contain an immense amount of technology, not least in the shaft. You know, the bit that connects the grip to the club head. Most drivers and fairway woods have graphite shafts, they are lighter strong and give great distance - just what is required from those clubs.
Buy what about your irons? Steel or Graphite shafts?
Steel shafts are less expensive to manufacturer and are therefore cheaper. Graphite shafts were originally designed to make a lightweight alternative to steel shafts.
Since the graphite shafts are generally lighter than steel shafts, there is a potential for greater distance because they may be able to be swung slightly faster. Most graphite shafted clubs are assembled longer in length than standard steel-shafted clubs. Golfers that tend to be less consistent may find that the steel shafts give them greater control. But for those golfers with a slower swing such as ladies and seniors, who need additional shot length to enjoy the game better, graphite shafts are a welcome alternative. Having said that there are several Tour Pros who prefer graphite shafts.
The choice between steel or graphite shafts for you will be based on if you are looking at greater distance or not. Greater distance will come at a greater cost, not only economically, but for those who already don’t hit their ball very straight, hitting the ball further may compound the problem.
Flex is the amount of bend in a shaft, typically designated as Ladies, Senior), Regular, Stiff and Extra Stiff, from most flexible to least. Swing tempo and swing speed (club head speed at impact) are the two principal factors in determining your proper flex. If they're fast, you'll generally need a stiffer flex. When trying to figure their flex, most people overestimate their swing speed and tempo. If you are not sure what you swing like then go for Regular or go and get fitted at your local Golf pro.