By Steve Lee
Most of the golf advice available to improve our game centers around tips and drills designed to “achieve a better swing” or “hit the ball further”. Whilst this information may be useful, little or none of it ever takes account of one of the most important factors that will allow us to play the best golf we are capable of playing.
Most golf improvement advice concentrates on helping to achieve a better golf swing or getting more distance through the use of tips and drills.
Whilst this information may be useful, little or none of it ever takes account of one of the most important factors that will allow us to play the best golf we are capable of playing; i.e. the specification of our clubs. Indeed, the over-zealous teacher may try to cure a pupil’s slice by trying to change their swing when, in fact, the problem may not be the swing but the clubs!
In this article – which will concentrate on the irons – I shall be giving an overview of the seven key elements of the golf club that should be taken into account when assessing which clubs are best for you.
1 – Head Design
Essentially there are two types of Iron Head Design; cavity back or “perimeter weighted”, and muscle back or “blades”. As the name suggests, the former is distinguishable by the recessed area in the back of the head and the visible re-distribution of the weight around the perimeter; conversely, “blades” are identifiable by their relatively flat backs.
The purpose of re-distributing the weight around the head perimeter in cavity backs is, putting it technically, to increase “the moment of inertia”. This is the scientific way of saying “reducing club head twist on off-center hits”.
Because the vast majority of golfers are inconsistent in the way they strike the ball, the more “forgiving” cavity back clubs will be better suited to them than the “blade”.
2 – Length
Firstly let me dispel one of the great myths of golf and that is, “The taller you are, the longer your clubs should be”.
One of the primary factors to take into account when determining how long your clubs should be is the length of your arms, so it is important that this is taken into account when deciding which clubs to buy.
To be fair, “standard” length clubs will suit the majority of players (that’s why they’re “standard”!), but it is something you need to be aware of.
3 – Lie
The ideal lie of the club is that which allows the sole to be flat to the ground at impact.
If a club is too “upright” at impact, the heel “digs” in, turns the head to the left resulting in a shot to the left. Conversely, a club that is too “flat” at impact will dig its toe in and cause a shot to the right.
I have been careful to define the lie at impact. This is very important; just because the sole of the club may sit flat to ground when you set up, doesn’t mean it will be in the same position at impact. This is because the shaft will bow during the swing with the result that the lie angle at impact will be flatter.
4 – Loft
Generally speaking the “standard” loft on clubs is pretty much suited to everyone.
There is, however, one thing to be aware of if you consider altering the loft on your clubs and that is by adjusting the loft you will change the “bounce”. The effects of “bounce” are outside the scope of this article but I will just say that if you considered increasing the loft on your clubs with the intention of making it easier to get the ball airborne, you would increase the “bounce” which could actually be counter-productive insofar as you would risk “thinning” your shots.
5 – Shaft Flex
The importance of having the correct flex in your shafts cannot be over-stated. This is a huge subject but, generally speaking, the faster you swing the golf club the stiffer your shafts will need to be.
The shaft is really the most important component of the golf club and is often described as the “Engine”; get the right shaft flex and your game can improve beyond recognition.
6 – Grips
We all know there are a huge variety of grips on the market today and it is important to find a grip that feels comfortable; you may prefer the softer feel of a tour velvet, a rougher-feeling corded or a combination of the two.
It is also extremely important to check the wear on your grips as worn grips can result in the golf club twisting at impact.
Last but not least you should be measured for the size of grip that is right for you. The wrong size grip can seriously affect your performance by encouraging, for example, a slice or hook.
7 – Weight
There are really two elements in one here.
First, the overall weight of the club: second, the swing weight. The first is self-explanatory: the second can be defined as the relationship between the weight in the grip end of the club and that in the head end.
Again, this is more about comfort than anything else, and as long as the club feels comfortable there is no need to worry too much about weight considerations which is, in itself, a subject that can warrant much discussion.
If you are about to buy a new set of clubs or are not playing as well as you would like with your existing set, a little time spent considering the above Elements could result in a huge improvement in your golf game.
Steve combines many years experience in golf club technology with that gained through his contact with golfers of all levels from beginner to tour pro and would like to share that expertise with his readers. He has put together a complimentary report containing some innovative golf swing ideas which you can access now at Golf Advice Detective.
Article republished from Copy & Paste Articles