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What difference does it make?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

This is my first year golfing. I bought a full set of beginner clubs from Dicks on sale for about 125.00. Its an Acuity set for lefty's with Driver, 3w, 5w, pw - 5i with a 4h. I've used the mess out of them so far, and they especially took a beating early on when I first started swinging them. I've seen great progress (IMO) all summer long and I'm at a point where I'm hitting my irons good distances, much straighter, and with decent contact (mostly ball first, some fat/thin). 

I played yesterday with another lefty who's been playing for 5 years. He's a better player than me all around, but we're in the same ball park I'd say in terms of skill. What stood out to me though was that his iron distance was about a club and a half longer than mine. He was playing with a nice looking set of taylor made irons, relatively new, and I'm just wondering: how much difference does it make at the end of the day when you compare the performance of beginner clubs vs. a more expensive name-brand set? Should I expect a performance bump if I upgrade my clubs? I'm debating whether to go with a new/new-ish set come spring time or put the money somewhere else if its not really going to benefit that much. 

post #2 of 12

It sounds like you're pretty serious about getting better.  If you have the means, I would get a used set of nice irons and a a nice used driver.  There are a number of web sites that are reputable and rate their used clubs from, for example, "fair" to "like new" and are priced accordingly.  You should be able to get a decent set of irons for a couple hundred bucks (I bought a set of TaylorMade R7 irons a couple years ago for <$200 and I'm still using them and they hit the same) and a decent enough driver for $100-150.  There are also some sites you might want to check out for "daily deals" that are typically new clubs that are a couple of years past being the 'latest and greatest".  With the advent of adjustable hosels on drivers, there seem to be a lot of non-adjustable surplus drivers that are very good clubs available for under $100.  Check out divot.com and sign up for their newsletter, as well as rockbottomgolf.com.  I hope there's no policy of mentioning other web sites in this forum.  There doesn't seem to be any conflict in doing so, at least for these kind of sites.  Also, if you have a few bucks to spare after purchasing used clubs, you'll probably want to get them re-gripped.  My used irons had new golf pride corded grips and I just went with them for a while not thinking much of them.  It wasn't until I randomly get a Winn Dri-Tac grip put on my driver did I realize the difference a grip could make.  I put the Winns on all my irons and my grip immediately became more stable and I started swinging more freely.  I'm not saying everyone should get Winns, but the grip is that important.

post #3 of 12

Chances are good that a new set of clubs is not going to add dramatic distance.

 

Why do two people of the same relative build and strength differ in their distances, even if using the same brand of club?  

 

Two reasons:

1)  Better release.  The player getting more distance is achieving better lag and a better release.  That's where club head speed and distance primarily come from.

 

2)  Better contact.  The player getting more distance is likely hitting the ball in the sweet spot more often.  I could give you the nicest club in the world, and if you don't hit the ball in the sweet spot, someone who does could outhit you with a club from the 70's.

 

Now, with all that said, it sounds like you're going to stick with the game of golf.  If so, no reason not to save up your money and get a new set of clubs that will take you through the next 5-10 years.  Just don't expect the clubs to transform your game.

 

If hitting it farther is important to you right now, I'd probably spend some money on lessons before clubs.  But it's a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem.  It's nice to have nice clubs while you're working to improve.  But it's nice to improve regardless of the clubs you have.

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wadesworld View Post

 

2)  Better contact.  The player getting more distance is likely hitting the ball in the sweet spot more often.  I could give you the nicest club in the world, and if you don't hit the ball in the sweet spot, someone who does could outhit you with a club from the 70's.

 

 

You're probably on to something. My contact has improved much over the summer, but hitting the sweet spot consistently is not something i'm prone to yet. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by wadesworld View Post


...  Just don't expect the clubs to transform your game.

 

If hitting it farther is important to you right now, I'd probably spend some money on lessons before clubs.  But it's a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem.  It's nice to have nice clubs while you're working to improve.  But it's nice to improve regardless of the clubs you have.

 

I don't, and I'm not delusional about the role good equipment has on performance. Just wondering, all things consistent (assume good contact, good release, sweet spot etc.) what the net impact of getting "better" clubs would have on performance. 

 

FWIW, I've taken a few lessons this summer, and I'm no expert, but I've received a lot of positive feedback concerning my swing. 

 

 

Thanks for the input btw.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

So seems like i've been able to find my own answer... bottom line, yes, there is a performance difference as you make your way up the chain from beginner to more advanced clubs. Apparently there's 3 classifications of clubs out there (someone correct me if I'm wrong). 

 

Player's clubs

Game Improvement "GI"

Super Game Improvement. "SGI" geared toward beginners

 

I'm guessing the clubs I'm playing with are SGI and I probably (read definitely) will bump to regular GI clubs although there's debate as to whether or not I'll experience a noticeable difference.  In short, the differences are size, feel, weight distribution, precision, forgiveness etc. The discussions I've read suggests players clubs offer the best reward for well struck balls while GI and SGI clubs are more forgiving but less intended for shaping shots and the more skilled player. 

 

Either way, I'm due for a proper fitting and I think that will be the most efficient route to confidence that I'm using the right set of tools. 

 

For more input on the matter, check out the discussions here http://thesandtrap.com/t/33549/players-irons-or-game-improvement-irons 

and here http://thesandtrap.com/search.php?search=players+vs+game+improvement

post #6 of 12

SGI to GI won't make much of a difference.  GI to Player's would not be advisable in your situation.

 

unless you're a non-average build, you probably don't need to be fitted just yet.  if you're between 5'6" and 6'2" you probably are just fine with a standard set until you get your ball striking down.

 

as for distance, it won't make much of a difference at all.  i went from used clubs to my first new set recently.  i hit the new clubs better in terms of consistency, but distance is almost exactly the same.  again, your ball striking makes more difference in distance than anything, aside from power obviously.

 

i think you should stick with your set through the rest of the year and into the spring of next year.  if your ball striking gets to 75% excellent then you should buy new clubs.  as for now a fat shot with a GI is going to have exactly the same result as a fat shot with an SGI.

post #7 of 12

Maybe the guy's iron shafts were longer or the lofts were lower and that's why he was that much longer than you. No way to tell so it's best not to pay attention to other people's distances on the course.

 

I'm another lefty thinking about switching from GI clubs to a set of Mizuno blades. The one thing keeping me from doing so is that I'm in the middle of fixing a major fault (poor weight shift). Until I groove my new swing, I'm holding off then getting on a launch monitor to see what shafts would better suit me.

 

Fix your swing first then think about getting a new set.

post #8 of 12

Either use the starter set until they break or get a nicer set and learn how to hit them. Fitting schmitting - when in a comfortable address position is the sole roughly flat on the ground (slight toe up is tolerable)? When simulating impact position do they sit flat? Press on the shaft (make them flex) in that impact position. Do the shafts feel like noodles? Get stiffer ones. Go hit balls.

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffluck View Post

SGI to GI won't make much of a difference.  GI to Player's would not be advisable in your situation.

 

unless you're a non-average build, you probably don't need to be fitted just yet.  if you're between 5'6" and 6'2" you probably are just fine with a standard set until you get your ball striking down.

 

Disagree completely.....at the very least get a "static" fitting done to ensure you have the proper length clubs, lie angle and grip size. No need to spend $100+ on full-out fitting on a tracman, but making sure the specs are appropriate will do you wonders.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by showtime583 View Post

 

Disagree completely.....at the very least get a "static" fitting done to ensure you have the proper length clubs, lie angle and grip size. No need to spend $100+ on full-out fitting on a tracman, but making sure the specs are appropriate will do you wonders.

 

couldn't agree more, might as well have as many variants as possible working for me. 

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by showtime583 View Post

 

Disagree completely.....at the very least get a "static" fitting done to ensure you have the proper length clubs, lie angle and grip size. No need to spend $100+ on full-out fitting on a tracman, but making sure the specs are appropriate will do you wonders.

yeah, go online to ping's site and see where they fit you at.  that's a pretty comprehensive fitting system, and it actually guessed my specs the same as an actual fitter did, so i think it's pretty accurate.

 

that being said, if you are an average build, chances are the result of the fitting will come back suggesting standard or close to standard.  if your current clubs are standard and the fit does indeed come at least CLOSE to standard, no reason to change clubs this early in your game IMO.  if your clubs are grossly unfitted for you, then that's a different story.

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffluck View Post

yeah, go online to ping's site and see where they fit you at.  that's a pretty comprehensive fitting system, and it actually guessed my specs the same as an actual fitter did, so i think it's pretty accurate.

 

that being said, if you are an average build, chances are the result of the fitting will come back suggesting standard or close to standard.  if your current clubs are standard and the fit does indeed come at least CLOSE to standard, no reason to change clubs this early in your game IMO.  if your clubs are grossly unfitted for you, then that's a different story.

cool, i appreciate that... earlier you said: 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by tuffluck View Post
 ... if you're between 5'6" and 6'2" you probably are just fine with a standard set until you get your ball striking down.

...

 

FWIW, I'm 6'3, built more for basketball than any other sport... large hands, long arms etc. I probably need to get a proper fitting of some sort. 

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