Maybe you’ve just gotten a bonus, or you’ve been saving up for a while. Regardless of how you’ve finally saved up enough, and now it’s time to purchase some new golf equipment!
Purchasing clubs is honestly the closest most of us come to being a kid in a candy shop again (unless you’re like me and candy shops are still your favorite stores).
While the golf buying process is extremely exciting, it can also be extremely overwhelming and frustrating.
To make this process easier, we’ve created a shortlist of 5 questions you need to ask yourself before you purchase new golf clubs.
1.) Where do I struggle?
For me personally, my answer is long term commitment in a relationship… oh wait never mind we are referring to golfing.
Well, this is an important question to answer, as it’ll help you throughout the entire golf club purchasing experience. I know as well as anyone how appealing those brand new shiny drivers can be.
Truthfully, that’s not where many golfers need new equipment the most. You should go into the process focused on where you think the biggest room for improvement is. As my definitely real and not imaginary girlfriend always says, “Chicks dig the long game, but we dig strategic purchases that maximize playing performance even more.” You can’t argue with that.
I would say you could ask her yourself, but she goes to a different school… which is in Canada, so you wouldn’t know her.
At the end of the day, the oldest clubs in your bag often aren’t the ones that need to be replaced. You got to be honest with yourself. If you’re not sure, ask a playing buddy where they think you’re struggling. Be sure to note HOW you’re struggling as well (slicing, hooking, etc).
These notes will be helpful later when it comes to picking out your new purchase.
2.) Is Brand Important to Me?
I mean ideally, no one should limit themselves to a single brand when it comes to shopping golf clubs. Golf companies are like candy.
It’s totally alright to have a favorite, but that shouldn’t prevent you from trying others. I will admit though that this analogy was a lot less successful in my last relationship.
All in all though, if you’ve got a favorite brand or two be upfront and honest with yourself. It’s important to acknowledge any biases. Many brands have better reputations for quality, longevity, and support. You can use that information to narrow down your search.
3.) How Much Forgiveness Do I Need?
This is another tricky question.
Blade shaped irons and low loft drivers have a mystical prestige about them. It’s important to remember that even if they look cool in your golf bag, it certainly won’t look cool ruining every shot in front of your friends. What the pros play and what you play usually should be different.
Try to recognize where you are in your golf game.
Maybe you want a little forgiveness currently, but you’re rapidly progressing in skill. In that case, something a little challenging at first could give you the most room to grow.
It’s also possible you’ve always played a stiff shaft but time is taking its toll and it’s time to move to regular or senior flex.
Another possibility is that you accidentally set your parent’s house on fire cause you fell asleep on the couch watching The Office with a DiGiorno pizza in the oven.
Unfortunately, in that case, no one makes golf clubs with enough forgiveness to regain your father’s respect.
4.) What is My Budget?
This is a huge one. It has the potential to be one of the most restricting factors in your shopping experience.
Golf clubs have climbed in price significantly in the past few years. It can be beneficial for your wallet and your significant other if you give yourself a budget to stick to going into it.
There is an extremely wide range of golf products across a wide spectrum of prices.
For the most part, the best quality for the price can be found somewhere in the middle and you can usually experience diminishing returns on your money as you shop at higher and higher prices.
Furthermore, the genuine best club for you is usually not going to be whatever is most expensive.
Try to remember that $700 golf drivers are certainly cool, but also you could buy 98.836 pounds of Skittles candy for that much money.
Even though my body would hate me, I certainly know which one I would pick.
5.) How Knowledgeable am I?
You’ve gone ahead and answered all the questions so far. Now it’s time to ask yourself the most important one.
How knowledgeable are you?
Is this a decision you feel comfortable making by yourself?
Do you think you know with certainty what shaft, loft, length, grip, etc is best for you?
If you fit within the vast majority of golfers then you don’t. There is absolutely nothing wrong with not knowing what exactly you need.
This is the very reason golf fitting exists.
Go into a store and utilize the questions we’ve covered so far with a golf fitter.
Even if you do find yourself knowledgable, schedule a fitting with a TrackMan. The data, precision, and peace of mind that professional fitting can provide is unparalleled. You can pick out what you need using hard data.
Overall, there are many questions you should consider before making a golf club purchase.
Every golfer is unique and your needs will shift with time. Just remember that it is ok to take your time, consult with professionals, and to have questions!