Friday, July 03, 2009

Find the Right Golf Clubs

Golf is a game of subtleties. A slight rotation during a swing of a degree or two can mean the difference between hitting the green and landing in the bunker. Those same subtleties are no more apparent than in a set of golf clubs.

With continued advancements in club technology, it is possible to see a difference in your game as a result of new clubs, whether you desire increased power, accuracy or forgiveness. But if there are flaws in your swing, new clubs will not make them disappear. Clubs can only improve on what's already there.

You don't have to go out and purchase the most expensive set of clubs -- concentrate on getting the right set. Selecting golf clubs that are the correct size is the first step. Unless you stand over 6 feet or under 5 feet, standard-size clubs should be correct for most men and women. Men's clubs are generally 1 inch taller per club.

The shaft is the next essential consideration. Today's shafts are usually composed of steel or graphite. Steel shafts are more durable and generally less expensive than graphite. They offer more control but require a faster swing to generate distance. Graphite is popular because of its light feel. However, ball control is sacrificed by the increased power generated from the swing. Shaft stiffness is also a factor. You will find a range of flexibility, from extra-stiff to shafts for seniors with more "bend" to them. Beginners and players with less powerful swings will find a flexible shaft more effective, while players with powerful swings will gain more control with a stiffer club shaft.

Loft is another term you will come across in your search. It refers to the height the ball will achieve in flight. Inexperienced players are generally encouraged to choose clubs with more loft as they are more forgiving on less accurate swings.

Driver designs have recently reached the United States Golf Association's (USGA) limits for size and length. In the case of such drivers, bigger seems to be better. A bigger club head generates more speed through the swing and can offer a larger sweet spot and more forgiveness.

Irons also offer a variety of styles and options, broken down first into two categories: cast irons or forged irons. Cast iron heads are recommended for beginners. They provide a larger sweet spot and are more forgiving on accuracy. Forged irons feature a head with a flat, weighted back. This higher center of gravity (CG) means a more concentrated sweet spot and more control for experienced players.

If you're in the market for new clubs, remember that what's right for one player may not be right for another. Club fitting with the help of a professional is a good place to start. A pro will analyze every facet of your game and help you determine which equipment is right for you.

CAPTION: Improve your game with the right set of clubs.


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