Ok before I begin… how many people figured out the pun in the title of this post? You know… the Salt N Pepa song? Man… I’m so clever! I should just write blog post titles for a living. Anyways… I was over at Golfwrx and came across an interesting conversation about guys having “macho club specs”. You know the guys… they let their egos pick their clubs and then suffer because the equipment doesn’t work for them. It’s unfortunate but this is something I see all the time.
Do you know what your swing speed is? Most golfers think they do but many have a tendency to inflate their numbers a bit. Swing speed is very much an ego-driven number and it’s not unusual for someone to say they swing much faster than they really do. It’s really important to have an idea of what your ACTUAL swing speed is and then use it towards shaft selection. Shafts are designed to give golfers performance and control but the wrong shafts can absolutely kill someone’s game. It’s amazing how many stiff shafts I sell to guys that don’t need them. Am I a bad salesman that doesn’t understand how to fit clubs? No. I’ll measure swing speed, study tempo and then suggest a softer shaft… only to have the customer say that he’s sure that he needs stiff shafts. At the end of the day the customer is always right. Just don’t come back and complain when you can’t hit your new clubs very far. Oh ya… and have a great time with that new ball flight. You’ll have a blast keeping it in the fairway!
Ego can also get in the way when it comes to picking the right driver loft. It used to be that everyone wanted a low loft. We used to think the secret to hitting a long drive was to hit it low and let it roll. How many of you have ever owned a driver with 8 degrees of loft? The launch monitor era has given us new ideas and information. Today it’s all about launch angle and spin rates. We’re finally figuring out that the majority of golfers need much more loft than they think. I’ve sold more 11 and 12 degree drivers this year than I have in the past 10 years combined. If you want to hit it long, you need to get it in the air. Most golfers cringe at the thought of showing up on the first tee with a 12 degree driver. High lofts are for ladies and seniors right? Wrong. Try a high lofted driver at your next demo day… you might be surprised at the results. But more importantly… if a high lofted driver works for you… buy it! You’ll probably gain a lot of control too.
And then there’s the blade. Oh blade irons… why do you end up in so many golf bags? We’ve stopped carrying blades at my shop because 99.9% of all golfers shouldn’t even consider them. Sure they look great in the bag and feel great when struck properly but it takes some serious skill to make them work. Serious skill that most golfers don’t have. Ever notice how the majority of golf clubs on the market are designed to help hit the ball high and straight? That’s because they are designed for the majority of golfers and you probably fall into this category. There are days when I wish blades were outlawed because then average golfers would stop buying them.
I sometimes laugh when I read comments about what Tour players use. You’ll see a picture of one of the best players in the world using some sort of game improvement club and then the “Why is he using that?” and “His game must be going into the tank if he’s hitting that club!” comments. It is an example of a golfer that understands his game. He knows the club will make his game better. He’s not trying to fit in or be the guy with the “cool” bag. He’s trying to feed his family and make money. And guess what? He’s better than any of us will ever be!
It’s fun to talk about shaft upgrades and Tour specs but at the end of the day most of it will do nothing to improve our games. These Tour heads and upgraded shafts are designed for an elite breed… 0.1% of the general golfing population. You’re not Tiger Woods. You’re Bill Woods the accountant or Tony Woods the plumber. Buy clubs that work for you and that fit your game. Focus on making the game as easy as possible. If you hit a Pinnacle straighter than a Pro V1 then stock up on Pinnacles. If regular shafts feel better and work better… use them. If you wife’s 13 degree driver hits the ball straight… use it. Listen to what salespeople and professionals have to say. Try the clubs and specs we suggest… we want to help you get better. Swing normally when we test your swing speed. You don’t need to impress us. Tell us if you slice or hook… don’t try to convince us that you hit the ball straight every time. You may never have the best swing but you can at least buy clubs that will get the most out of what you give them.