Golf Equipment Checklist

golf equipment checklist

To become a great driver and to have a great long game it helps to use equipment that is perfectly matched for you and your golf swing. And to do this you need the correct information along with some experimentation (which doesn’t need to be expensive) to find out what will work best for you. Also, it would help if you could go to a professional club fitter to get golf clubs perfectly suited for you.

But whether you do that or not, here’s some information that will help you to be more informed about golf equipment. And so let’s start by looking at…

Grips

Grips come in different sizes, shapes and styles. And the grip itself is a key-determining factor on the shape of shot you can hit because if your grips are too thick for you, then you will find it harder to draw a golf ball. Conversely if your grips are too thin it will make it harder for you to fade a golf ball.

Shaft Flex

If you’ve got a mixture of makes and models of clubs then there’s a very good possibility that the shafts are also different. Because even if all of your shafts say they are ‘regular’ or ‘stiff’ or whatever, they may in fact be very different from each other because a “regular” shaft from one company may not be the same as a “regular” from another.

You have to be especially weary of this if you slice or hook only with one club in particular. Upon closer inspection you may find that the shaft in this one club is completely different from your other clubs, and of course the solution is simple – change the shaft in that club to suit the other clubs.

Having said that, it may not be as simple a problem to fix as it appears, and here’s why.

If your clubs are not particularly suited to your swing but you make compensations, then over time your swing will suit your clubs instead of your clubs suiting your swing. You need clubs that are suited to your style of play and the most important element in achieving this is the shaft, and the most important element of the shaft is the flex.

The correct shaft for you is so important to your ball striking success. You need to find a shaft that you can rely on as well because it takes another variable out of the golf improvement equation if you can do this.

Shaft Kickpoint

This aspect of the shaft doesn’t directly encourage one shape of shot or the other. But it does have an indirect effect on the shape of your shots, in that by having either a low or high kickpoint this can help you to either hit your shots higher or lower. And higher shots will slice or hook less than lower shots because they have more backspin than sidespin.

So here are some general guidelines in regards to the different shaft kickpoints. Having a low kickpoint in a shaft will help a golfer to get the ball up in the air more and this kickpoint is ideal for a golfer with a slower swing speed and tempo. Whereas a golfer that has a fast tempo and high clubhead speed will generally prefer and play better with a high kickpoint shaft to help keep the ball down.

Shaft Torque

The torque of the shaft you are using to hit a ball has a big affect on the shape of shots you hit and how consistent you are. And if you are unfamiliar with the term torque (in relation to a golf shaft) it is simply the amount of twisting a shaft does during the swing.

All golf shafts have torque but graphite shafts generally have more torque than steel shafts do. You’ll find that most steel shafts have about 2 degrees of torque, whereas graphite shafts can sometimes have less than 2 degrees and up to or more than 8 degrees.

The higher the torque in a shaft the more it twists during the swing, and this twisting can help to close the clubface during the swing. So if your bad shot is a slice, getting higher torque and more flexible shafts would be a good place to start in preventing it.

But the torque YOU need in a shaft will probably be different to what another player needs. So you will have to experiment with different shaft torques to find out which range suits you the best. Just do so with the knowledge that anything under 3.5 degrees of torque is low and generally requires a fairly high swing speed (over 100 mph) to produce good consistent shots.

Lie Angle

Another major determining factor in the shape of shots you can hit and with what consistency is the lie angle of your clubs. Generally taller players require more upright lie angles and shorter players generally require flatter lie angles.

If your clubs have a lie angle that is too upright it may cause you to pull-draw shots, while clubs that are too flat will promote push-fade shots. So the bottom line is to get your clubs checked out to see if they suit you and your swing style or not.

The best way of doing this is to go to a qualified club fitter. And if you don’t want to spend a lot of money see if your clubs can be adjusted to suit the club fitter’s recommendations.

Now you’re almost at the end of this article on equipment and you’ve probably noticed that the clubhead hasn’t been mentioned yet.

Why?

Because it’s not that important as far as golfing consistency is concerned. You simply need to find a club head you like the look of and which after a good shot you get a good feeling. Although, if your ball striking is a bit erratic you may want to try some bigger, more forgiving irons. BUT don’t try to buy a golf game.

Get some good clubs that suit you and then work on improving your swing.

So to sum up….the equipment you use (essentially the shaft and grip) does have a bearing on how consistent a ball striker you are going to become. But don’t rush into buying new clubs because it’s a decision that you should not take lightly. And before buying any new clubs play a few rounds with them to get a real indication as to how they will perform.

Quite often there is a placebo effect with new clubs and once it’s worn off the golfer is stuck with a club or clubs they neither want nor can use. So take your time and be certain that what you’re getting will not only work for you now but also in a years time.

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Jeff Richmond