Golf Gear Buying Guide
Golf is taking over the world these days, and whether you are very good at it or just starting out, choosing all the needed gear can be tricky. We have gathered some useful tips to make this part of your golf journey a bit easier:
- Know your game level and abilities before searching for the right clubs. Contact your local golf course or club to help you determine where you're at.
- You should have no more than 14 clubs and other accessories in your bag, according to rules. You probably don't even need 14, especially at the beginning, so choose wisely, but sometimes less is better than extra unneeded stuff.
- Baseline set includes: Driver (9.5-13 degrees), Fairway Wood (15-17 degrees), Hybrid (19-21 degrees), Iron Set (4-PW, Aw or SW), Wedge (SW or/and LW), Putter (33”, 34” or 35”).
- When you know your abilities you can start adding extra clubs and modifying your base set however you prefer. Possibilities here are endless as long as your budget agrees.
Let's take a closer look at all the game components:
- Grip – this is a rubber cover that allows you to grip the club without slipping. Based on player's hand size, the grip can be standard, midsize, or oversize and can come in many different materials and colors.
- Shaft – this is the major component of every club with custom length and different flex levels. The grip is installed on top of it and the hosel on the bottom. It can be made of metal or graphite and flex more or less, depending on its purpose. The most popular flex is R (regular) and L (ladies).
- Hosel – this component connects the shaft with the clubhead. It controls the lie angle, which is adjusted based on player's height, arm length, and swing style. One of the newer inventions in the game are adjustable hosels that can help the club serve many purposes with the help of a simple wrench. The adjustable hosels are gaining popularity fast simply because of their versatility.
- Clubhead – this part is the one that touches the ball and controls the speed, height, and distance the ball gets to travel. Most players consider clubhead to be the most important part. A lot of technology goes into making clubheads and loading them with features.
- Drivers – they are still known as “woods” because they used to be made of wood. Nowadays they all are made of steel, titanium, or similar non-natural materials. The “1 wood” usually has the largest clubhead in the bag and the longest shaft made for long distance first shots on a Par 4 or Par 5. This driver's clubhead usually has the largest hitting surface of up to 460cc, making this size the most popular. Size matters the most to new players, who seek to have as much surface for hitting the ball as possible.
- Fairway Woods – they also used to be wooden and include 3-, 5-, and 7-wood clubs. If the number is high, the shot will travel high and for short distance. Fairway woods often come with graphite or steel shafts. The clubheads look very similar to drivers, just smaller. They are mainly used for longer fairway shots, short Par 4 tee shots and long Par 3 tee shots.
- Hybrids – this is a mix between wood and iron, meaning that they look similar to wood and are easier to hit, but they are also long and good for distance shots. 3- and 4-irons are very often replaced by hybrids these days to help with easy hitting.
- Irons – they are the most used category and cover every corner and every range, be it long or short. Irons usually come in sets of 6-8 and include 3-, 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-, 8-, and 9-irons often with a pitching wedge. The material used is mainly steel, sometimes graphite. Clubheads on irons have deeper grooves for spin control. High number of the club means that the ball will fly high, but for shorter distance. To help you have a better accuracy, the clubheads are thin. Overall, irons are made for shots closer to the hole, when accuracy is your main objective. There are three iron types:
- Cavity Black – for the maximum game improvement. It has a hollow part or cavity at the back of the clubhead, hence the name. This type of irons has enlarged toplines and sole to help improve performance, and thus they are more forgiving and used by beginners.
- Game Improvement Irons – these have smaller cavity back with thinner and more compact sole and toplines fit for just about everyone (5-25 handicap), making them the most popular clubs out there.
- Cavity Muscle Black or Muscle Black, also called “blade” – they are the player's irons: small, precise, and thin with no cavity. They are harder to hit, but also known to make a player feel good.
- Wedges – they are very similar to irons with lofts being the only difference. This high degree of loft gives high accuracy and extra spin. Wedges also have “bounce”, which is an angle from the leading edge of the clubface to the bottom if the sole. High angle enables the club to bounce off the ground instead of digging in. The most popular wedges are gap, sand, and lob. Finally, the pitching wedge is often sold together with iron set.
- Putters – this tool is the most important in golf bag because it's used to gently roll the ball into the hole. Most of the time putters have steel shafts and flat club faces. It is one of the smallest clubs in the set. There are two main types of putters: small blades and bigger mallets.
Club Care Tips
Once you spend all that money on the perfect set of clubs, you want to make sure you care for it properly, so that it can serve you for many years to come. Looks are important too, so you want to have them looking new as long as possible.
- Always have a towel with you and wipe dirt after you use your clubs.
- Wipe the clubs after hitting balls at a driving range.
- The towel might not get dirt from all the grooves, so use a tee for that while on the field.
- To keep grips like new, clean them with warm water and mild soap every few times of usage.