An off-season check list

Written by Duane Borcherding. Posted in Health & Wellness

Published on December 07, 2011 with No Comments

Time to Buy:  Looking for some new clubs, a new set of bats, remember it can’t be you, “it’s got to be the clubs.” 

Maybe it is time, manufacturers tout the latest and greatest every winter but my experience is that “real changes” come only every 10 years or so and most year-to-year changes are cosmetic.

Know Your Specs:  Many golf companies provide excellent fitting information.

Ping Golf has an online “static fitting” option and they will give you your custom options based on a number of measurements you provide. “Dynamic fitting” can be done by any PGA Professional and there are many other options in the marketplace today. 

One of the biggest improvements through the past 10 years is that more golfers have more high-tech tools available to them to be properly fit.  Ping also has a new putter ap for use with the iphone, this thing is nice.  Many golfers know “their specs” through the years and just carry that information with them to the purchase of a new set of clubs.

Looks Good, Feels Good:  The club needs to look good on the ground behind the ball, giving confidence to the golfer.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I always recommend you stop in the big box stores and get your hands on some of their large inventory. 

How the club feels needs to be done outside on the course or practice range. Hitting balls off mats does affect the feel and it also tends to make the ball fly a little higher. Always good to determine the feel by hitting the golf ball you regularly play with. 

The Goods:  The shaft of the golf club is the main engine and provides most of the feedback in regards to the feel of the club and the trajectory of the golf ball. Very flexible shafts do not make the ball hook or slice more; they do make the trajectory of the ball higher. 

The curve of the ball is primarily a result of the clubface position at impact.  The stiffer a shaft is the lower the flight will be.  Proper flex is important to realize the most benefits from the shaft.  Being able to “flex the shaft” properly is unique to each golfer’s tempo, strength, and club head speed. 

Set Makeup: Manufacturers have created a big shift in the golf club market in the past five years in regards to set makeup.

The traditional iron set of 3-iron to pitching wedge is not very common any more. Many sets replace the 2-3-4-irons with hybrid clubs or fairway woods. Determining your set makeup is a very important decision. A traditional set has a four degree separation in loft between each club. If you’re pitching wedge is 48 degrees, your 9-iron will be 44 degrees, your 8-iron has 40 degrees of loft, etc. This layout is fine for club head speeds 80 mph plus. 

For golfers with lower club heads speed, you will tend to find you hit the 5- and 6-irons the same distance. The solution can be to purchase clubs that have larger degree gaps between clubs.

Manufacturers haven’t been to keen with the idea of selling less clubs in a set, but there are a few manufacturers who have offered different options in the past couple years. Another solution for this type of golfer would be to buy a “half set”, just the odd irons, or just the even irons.

Bottom Line: Divide the cost of your clubs in 10-year takes and that makes the price a little easier to handle. 

Take the time to sit down with someone who is qualified to give you good information.

Take good “nuts and bolts” information with you and find something that looks good with the right specs. 

Pay extra attention to your scoring clubs: the wedges, putter, and driver.

The golfers we watch on TV are dialed in with their scoring clubs, they interchange irons based on the contracts they are offered. 

Oh yeah, you still have to practice.

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About Duane Borcherding

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Duane All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Duane Borcherding is a PGA golf professional with 30 years of experience at courses in Northwest Indiana, Florida and Arizona. Borcherding has been with The Brassie Golf Club in Chesterton for nine years. With golf questions, contact him at 123Duane@pga.com.

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