Do Clubs Really Matter?

How much do clubs matter? I’m sure you’ve thought that or heard someone say that before. We know with kids that you shouldn’t give them hand me down clubs that are too heavy and too stiff for them. How many new golfers do we do that too? Husbands give their wife an old set of their irons to play with, or they let them use their hand me down driver and fairway wood. Yes, it’s easy to do that but will it hurt more than help them?

The People:
We put to this idea to the test with three young ladies Erin, a beginner golfer Stephanie, a slightly more experienced beginner golfer and lastly Michele, our seasoned golfer who shoots in the mid to low 80’s. I chose all three of these players because they are athletic and well they were available to help me.

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The Procedure
For the testing, each player hit 6 golf balls on our FlightScope X2E launch monitor, the balls were brand new Callaway Chrome Soft golf balls. Each player was asked to hit three balls with each club then switch to make sure they were not able to get more comfortable with one vs. the other. Any shots that were “outliers” were tossed away ie. spin rates that were unusually high or low.

“This club felt amazing compared to my set of clubs. The weight felt much better suited for me and as a result, my swing felt like it could be more natural and fluid. The light shaft and heavier head allowed for a better feeling of momentum through my swing. Really enjoyed using this club!” – Erin on Callaway XR OS

The Clubs
The Blade – I won’t be naming the company because they make a fine product and I don’t want to “slag” them at all. The club was men’s standard length, with a 130-gram stiff flex steel shaft. This was a hand me down from a fellow golf professional to Erin when she started golf.

The Contender – Callaway XR OS Stock Graphite Sr. Flex for Erin and Michele, and Ladies Flex for Stephanie. Erin and Michele swing the club faster and are taller than Stephanie hence the Sr. Flex vs. Erin.

Below is a chart for each players averages, we didn’t look into every single piece of data but instead some key points for this test.

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“The club felt difficult to hit as it is heavier and stiffer compared to the other golf club. It felt very difficult and heavy to pull down in the downswing.” – Michele on the blade iron.

The Results
As expected each player saw a big difference in distance gained on average about 14 yards total distance. Stephanie and Michele also saw a considerable difference in the decent angle of the golf ball. Why does that matter? Well for all three of these players they tend to hit the ball low. Too low to stop the ball on the greens normally. Being able to make the ball land softer while carrying longer makes a big difference to your scores and enjoyment of the game.

Conclusion
If you’re starting off at golf make sure to have equipment that will make the game easier for you. Do you need to buy the latest and greatest? No, but if you’re starting off with clubs that are too heavy too stiff or too hard to hit you might not enjoy the game as much.

Bradley Lawrence – PGA of Canada Professional

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