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Beginner advice needed on selecting a full set of new clubs - Page 2

post #19 of 76
Thread Starter 

Yup, I'm beginning to really wonder about my direction on these things, and here's why. I phoned a local gold shop and spoke with a very experienced (elderly) player, and his thoughts were to some extent the exact opposite of where I've been heading on this. In fact, he basically said to "stop researching and worrying about things like length and lie and shaft stiffness,etc., and stop trying to solve it all based on a 'static' (desktop) assessment - just come down to the shop and get fitted properly".

 

Obviously, he and the others here who have suggested this very same thing are right - this is the ideal approach, and that's exactly what I'll do this coming weekend. However, he had some additional comments or suggestions that also made perfect sense:

 

1) He tells me that even if the static assessment of my optimal "3+ upright" lie is accurate, none of the mainstream manufacturers offer custom clubs with a lie that high. He says that even when custom ordered, the maximum lie adjustment typically offered is 2+.

 

2) He indicated that even if a static assessment of my optimal lie shows "3+ upright", its essentially meaningless for a beginner, because the average beginner's swing is typically so inconsistent (heel to toe) that the initial lie adjustment is pointless. In fact, he argued that the typical, everyday player (most of whom don't have the time or commitment necessary to optimize their swings), will simply buy "standard" lie irons and adjust their swing to the lie, rather than the other way around.

 

3) He had similar thoughts on shaft length and stiffness, saying that regardless of my height, weight or power, I should probably opt for "standard" or "regular" length and "standard" or "regular" stiffness, rather than "stiff". And then, if need be, after playing with the clubs for a few months (or years?), look further into adjusting the shaft length, stiffness and lie, to further optimize my swing later-on.

 

Any thoughts on his assessment?

post #20 of 76
I'm also a beginner but I research alot. Your clubs can be extended later for a small price. Here in Houston Texas, about $15-20/club including a new grip. Basically $7 more than just a grip. I can't speak for other manufacturers but I've been told that Ping can change the lie 2* and they will also change the dot color when they do it. I am about your size and I play white dots like another member said. The ping fitting process is very simple. Once again, I cannot speak for other manufacturers. I also think you are on the right path with a Cobra driver. I use an S3 and it serves me well with my limited abilities.
post #21 of 76
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by clearwaterms View Post


I am similarly dimensioned, and play Ping white dots +1/2"

 

I played clubs that were standard lie before and they were +1/2" and I had no trouble hitting them just as straight. 

Interesting! That is valuable information to stow-away for the future. I'm leaning towards a full 1+ over (not 1/2"), but the actual fitting this weekend should tell-the-tale. Thanks for sharing that with me.

post #22 of 76
Thread Starter 

O.K., so, I'm slowly zeroing-in on things, but I've got another meaningful question to ask of everyone here before I go hitting the local shops.

 

Based on the fact that golfers typically carry anywhere from 10-14 clubs by tradition (maximum of 12 apparently for tournament purposes), I'm going to try and put together a complete set (used or new) comprised of approximately 12-14 total clubs. And of course, the driver and putter are exempt from omission, but that said, which 2 or 3 clubs from the following list of 14 total clubs would you choose to omit from a collective 'beginners' set, and why?

 

NOTE: I've already determined that I tend to hit hybrids somewhat better than woods.

 

[DRIVER = Exempt]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

3H

4H

5H

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

PW (46-48)

AW (50-52)

SW (54-56)

LW (>60)

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[PUTTER = Exempt]

 

Thanks for your continued assistance and participation.

post #23 of 76
I would omit the 3i, 4i and lob wedge.

The 3h should be an iron replacement and be easier to hit. That being said, you should probably carry a 3 and 4 hybrid or potentially a 3/4/5 hybrid, and if you do that, omit the 5i as well. In other words, you will end up with yardage overlaps if you have a 3h and a 3i.

If you don't want to get any fairway woods, I would suggest adding a 2h but will caution they are not easy to hit.

The lob wedge is a club that I think provides very little value to beginners. It is difficult to hit, and until you learn to really hit down on the ball you will find that a sand wedge is just as versatile and it gives you one less club to consider on pitch, chip shots around the green.

This is how I would stack a first bag by default. Also you will likely notice that all complete sets look an awful lot like what is below.

Driver, 3w, 5w, 3-4-5hybrids 6-pw,aw,sw - putter
post #24 of 76
Driver, 4 wood, 3 or 4 hybrid, 5-sw, putter.

This is the set up I use. I don't miss the extra clubs at all.
post #25 of 76

What does your wife have to say on the subject?  Being a great golfer with an inherent and long-term love of the game she must know something about the process of acquiring equipment and effective learning.

 

My advice, get whatever forged iron set you "like"  (meaning MP-64) as they are easier to bend and adapt going forward and should give you some flexibility if things change down the road.   If you somehow know 3 degrees up, +1/2 is correct, it would be best to order them that way. Mizuno in the past had different heads for upright (tiny U stamped on sole near the heel), standard (no stamp), and flat (tiny F stamped on sole near heel). I assume they Mizuno still does this so if you started with a U head, that would give you the flexibility to go anywhere from 4 up to standard lie and obviously the shaft can be easily lengthened or shortened at any time too. But I wouldn't want to get that wrong as in the past the U, standard, and F heads were different weights as well, it would suck to order the U head and then later find out you need 1 flat.

 

For the rest my opinion is that it doesn't matter too much as it's better to get started and adapt as needed six months down the road that it is to spend six months trying to decide what is the optimum set and find out you need to make adjustments six months down the road anyway.  That is where I think your wife should be able to help you as she knows your personality, habits, and thought process like none of us can.

 

FWIW I would also say play the softest flex shafts you can control ... but that isn't going to help you because you are going to need to play for a while to find out what that actually means.

post #26 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Watermark View Post

O.K., so, I'm slowly zeroing-in on things, but I've got another meaningful question to ask of everyone here before I go hitting the local shops.

 

Based on the fact that golfers typically carry anywhere from 10-14 clubs by tradition (maximum of 12 apparently for tournament purposes), I'm going to try and put together a complete set (used or new) comprised of approximately 12-14 total clubs. And of course, the driver and putter are exempt from omission, but that said, which 2 or 3 clubs from the following list of 14 total clubs would you choose to omit from a collective 'beginners' set, and why?

 

NOTE: I've already determined that I tend to hit hybrids somewhat better than woods.

 

[DRIVER = Exempt]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

3H

4H

5H

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

PW (46-48)

AW (50-52)

SW (54-56)

LW (>60)

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[PUTTER = Exempt]

 

Thanks for your continued assistance and participation.

I would leave out any club with a number lower than 6 if I were you.

 

Irons: 6-P

Wedges: 52* and 56*

A driver and a putter.

 

You don't even need a driver, but it's fun to hit so just get one, 11.5* or 13* in loft preferable.

 

Here are the reasons:

 

- A driver is hard to hit consistently, for most, and one of the easiest to hit with full swing is a pitching wedge or a 9 iron, you can hit it at least 1/2 distance of your driver, why not hitting 2 shots with either of them, better than a slice or a hook OB or into the water, save on balls, too. But I would still buy a driver, in my case, it's the easiest to hit wood type clubs, practice hitting driver helps on developing better club path (in-square-in), too.

- On the irons, seriously hitting straight, pure shots with a 7 iron is hard enough at your (and my) skill level, I can hit it pure about 6 out of 10 times, mishits are not terrible, though. Have a 6 iron to have some challenge, I like some challenge.

- Wedges, these are importance, unfortunately I didn't realize it sooner, mini shots like chipping or pitching are shortened full shot, with the most important part, impact. So buy a 52 with somewhat less bounce (8-10*) and a 56 with more bounce (14-16*) and spent 60% of your practice time on chipping and pitching, hitting out of the sand, distance control, getting good impact with forward shaft lean, make the ball spin enough not to roll uncontrollablely... etc...

- Putter, well you will need one of these, if money is not a problem, get one of these better looking, milled putter.

 

5 other clubs you will decide on later, until then you will know what you need, don't worry.

 

All the longer clubs are just penalty traps for a beginner.

 

There is this guy I know who went on a business trip and stayed for the weekend so he brought a mini clubs set with him (8, P, 52, 56, putter) and he brought back with him 2 score cards, 12 and 16 over. I play with him all the time and the best he can managed is 26 with a full clubs set. He putts good, I don't remember seeing him making 3 putts, or 1 putt (lol)

post #27 of 76
Thread Starter 

Wow! Lot of great information has been shared here by several people, but rather than trying to address each of them and the info they contain on a individual basis, I'll just try my best to cover everything here in a single post. So, here we go . . .

 

First off, let me clarify that my wife isn't necessarily a "great" golfer. If I said or implied that anywhere, then I apologize. She's definitely a 'veteran' golfer (been playing for decades), but she's not all that serious about it. She's still playing with the same set of clubs she had twenty-years ago, and if she doesn't stay focused on the course, I can outscore her by 3-4 strokes on any given day, and I'm essentially a beginner. So I guess the point is, she's not really in a position to help me too much, other than to witness some of the things I do right and wrong (in terms of stance, swing, etc.), and share her observations with me. And she is of no real help at all in terms of selecting new clubs, other than cosmetics or appearance (i.e., bling), which is typically female.

 

Now, regarding drivers and woods, most of the people I've consulted so far (right or wrong), seem to discourage the use of woods altogether other than of course the #1 wood (driver). However, including at least one wood (whether its a 3w or 4w) makes perfect sense to me, because they definitely seem to have their own character to them relative to hybrids. I mentioned earlier that I hit hybrids pretty well, and that many people seem to prefer them to woods, but I honestly hit woods pretty danged well. In fact, someone (above) mentioned that drivers can be the most difficult to hit, but generally speaking, this has not proven true for me. I tend to hit the driver more consistently than any other club in the bag, and I'm often told by other experienced golfers that I have respectable distance with a driver for a beginning player. For example, let's say I'm playing a typical 5-par hole somewhere . . . I'll often be within 20-25 yards of the pin within the first two strokes, but I'll finish 4-7 over-par because of a lousy short game (back and forth overshoots, ad nauseam), and this type of performance is very typical for me. I won't say that they're always 'true' or straight up the line (that's where the consistency wobbles a bit), but they're not ridiculously off the mark even when mis-hit, and its usually to the left of center (using rental clubs).

 

Regarding my "ideal" club length and lie, and this business of being potentially 3+ with +1/2 added length, its obviously far too early to know all this for certain. That's going to require an actual fitting to determine, which I'll try to do this weekend or early next week, but yes, no matter what on-line technical reference I consult, the initial so-called 'static' assessment for my personal specs calls for an added length of +1/2 to + 1.0 and a minimum lie of +2 upright. Also, regarding Mizuno's purported practice of etching U = Upright and F = Flat on the heel of their irons, I have honestly not witnessed this on any current-day Mizuno irons that I have seen (64s or 69s), but I will certainly investigate it, and what you've said about selecting the "U" type (if I can identify such a thing), makes good sense. So far however, none of the retailers or on-line sources that I've seen show anything but "standard" lie as being available off-the-shelf I.e., without custom ordering).

 

Anyway, I hope this added information helps and I can't thank all of you guys enough for your continued participation and contributions to this "Beginner" thread. I'm very grateful to all.

post #28 of 76

Wow, you are exactly like me, I'm a beginner, and the most consistently club in my bag is the driver, as I said above, "most" is definitely not "all". I can get the ball about 40-50 yards from the green with par -2 most of the time, and if I didn't shank, or blade, or chunk my chip/pitch, of if I didn't putt way shorter than intended, I would have playing bogey game by now, I lost 2 balls in the last three rounds, all bladed into the water. Just like you, my short game is the worst.

post #29 of 76
Thread Starter 

Yup, I still need plenty of polishing when it comes to my overall swing, regardless of which club is being used, but I'm reasonably happy with my use of a driver, because its pretty danged consistent relative to the irons. However, in purchasing this new set of clubs, I'm still going to need to buy a new driver along with the other 10-12 clubs, so I've still got some things to learn when it comes to drivers too. For example, I'll see 'fixed-loft' drivers classified as low as 9.0 or 9.5, and I'll even see some adjustable-loft drivers (like the Cobra) that are capable of being widely adjusted from 8.5 all the way to 11.5, but then I'll see recommendations (like the one you made above) for beginners to use something as radical as 13? Why is that? What is the thought process there?

 

I don't really know enough yet to make a rational decision on this, but a loft of 13-degrees seems awfully high to me? The shear 'physics' of it all would seem to imply that the higher the loft, the higher the lift, and therefore, the longer the flight "time" (but not necessarily the flight distance). To me, at least by extension, the greater the flight time (in seconds), the longer the surface area of the ball is exposed to the frictional forces of the air, right? In other words, to my way of thinking, the higher the loft (i.e., the higher the lift), the shorter the distance of the overall drive. If this rationale is accurate (and I'm not saying that it is), I would think that a guy would want a driver with minimal loft (say 8.0 or 9.0), to keep the trajectory reasonably flat and fast, but have I missed something there? Put somewhat differently, why would I want something as high as 13-degrees of loft, that seemingly, would cause a prolonged flight time and put so much air up under the ball?

post #30 of 76

Beginner or not really doesn't enter into the money equation. Like others I suggest a fitting. Like others I recommend Ping, probably G series right on down the line. My guess would be white dot, stiff shaft, +1/2" length irons. I suggest that your matching iron set go down to at least the gap wedge. There are a ton of other high quality manufacturers too. The most important thing is to have fun.

post #31 of 76

This is my set up, if I was to put a HC it would be around 18+ but I will tell you that I love my Ping G25 irons, with there SCF steel shaft reg if you want to buy new.

I also play there tour wedges 50 S, 54S, 58WS, a G25 4 wood 16.5 and a G25 20 hybrid.

 

I have a AMP driver that is okay but my have a line on the new Callaway X Fit?

post #32 of 76
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hacker101 View Post

This is my set up, if I was to put a HC it would be around 18+ but I will tell you that I love my Ping G25 irons, with there SCF steel shaft reg if you want to buy new.

I also play there tour wedges 50 S, 54S, 58WS, a G25 4 wood 16.5 and a G25 20 hybrid.

 

I have a AMP driver that is okay but my have a line on the new Callaway X Fit?

 

Huh?

 

You say . . . "THIS is my set up"? Forgive me, but what . . . is your setup? What are you referring to?

 

Also, my apologies, but you're responding to a "beginners" thread here, so none of these acronyms that you've used means much to me at this point . . . the "HC", the "18+", the "SCF", the "50/54/58 S"? I'm afraid its all drivel to a beginner.

 

For example, I have no clue what "HC" is . . . no clue what "+18" refers to . . . and unless I'm mistaken, wedges are typically specified by loft and bounce (i.e., 50/8, 54/10. 58/12, etc.), so I'm afraid the "S" is nonsensical to me. I might be able to make sense of the rest of it (i.e., 16.5 degree 4-wood, 20-degree hybrid, etc.), but that's about it. Sorry.

post #33 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Watermark View Post

 

Huh?

 

You say . . . "THIS is my set up"? Forgive me, but what . . . is your setup? What are you referring to?

 

Also, my apologies, but you're responding to a "beginners" thread here, so none of these acronyms that you've used means much to me at this point . . . the "HC", the "18+", the "SCF", the "50/54/58 S"? I'm afraid its all drivel to a beginner.

 

For example, I have no clue what "HC" is . . . no clue what "+18" refers to . . . and unless I'm mistaken, wedges are typically specified by loft and bounce (i.e., 50/8, 54/10. 58/12, etc.), so I'm afraid the "S" is nonsensical to me. I might be able to make sense of the rest of it (i.e., 16.5 degree 4-wood, 20-degree hybrid, etc.), but that's about it. Sorry.

Don't get too upset.  Nobody can possibly guess exactly your level of "beginner-ness."  Some people who call themselves beginners know more than me about equipment and I've been playing forever.  He's just trying to help.  Here's the translation:

 

-His "set-up" means his clubs.

-SCF steel shaft regular flex are the shafts in his clubs (Ping G25 irons).

-HC is his handicap, which is 18, which translates very roughly to shooting around 90 on a par 72 course.  He's telling you he's not a beginner, but not a pro either.

-He plays Ping Tour wedges, the 50 degree and 54 degree are Standard Sole (ss), and the 58 is Wide Sole (ws)

-You are correct on the 4-wood and the hybrid (also both G25 Pings)

 

And, he wants to dump his Cobra Amp driver for a Callaway X-Hot.

 

Does that make sense?

post #34 of 76
Thread Starter 

Nope, nope . . I'm not (wasn't) "upset", not at all, but again, looking at his comment, he didn't say "his" setup (as you've indicated here) . . . he said "this is his" setup, and it wasn't (isn't) clear what he meant by "this"? What is "this"? Do you see what I'm saying? I wasn't trying to be argumentative or derogatory, and perhaps he'll respond again, but until he does, I'm afraid I'm at a loss as to what specific setup he felt was the same as "his".

 

However, thank you for the rest of the clarifications - now that the connections have been made, they're all quite simple and all make perfect sense now.

 

Cheers!

post #35 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Watermark View Post

Nope, nope . . I'm not (wasn't) "upset", not at all, but again, looking at his comment, he didn't say "his" setup (as you've indicated here) . . . he said "this is his" setup, and it wasn't (isn't) clear what he meant by "this"? What is "this"? Do you see what I'm saying? I wasn't trying to be argumentative or derogatory, and perhaps he'll respond again, but until he does, I'm afraid I'm at a loss as to what specific setup he felt was the same as "his".

 

However, thank you for the rest of the clarifications - now that the connections have been made, they're all quite simple and all make perfect sense now.

 

Cheers!

Gotcha.  By setup, he means, whats in his bag.  His clubs.  By saying "this is my setup" he's simply saying "OK, here goes, I'm about to tell you what clubs I use."  Not sure why that is confusing?  (Perhaps because he put the comment about his handicap in between and that threw you off the scent)

 

Either way, no worries.  He's (and I'm) just trying to help.

 

My suggestion is to go with the opinion of the guy you mentioned in post #19.  (The elderly gentleman who said to just come to the shop to get fitted.)  FWIW, I am of similar size to you (6'-3") and play Ping irons that are 1 to 1.25" long and 2 to 3 degrees upright from their standard (black dot) irons.

post #36 of 76

Sorry here you go working and writing at the same time. If you are looking for a great set up and want to spend the money here is what I found. Does not mean they are for you but check them out, along with every set in the store but maybe here is a starting point you can work from to find what will work for you.  I set my son up and he is doing great as a beginner 2nd place in the last tournament he played in so I guess i helped him some.

 

I have about an 18 handicap so not a real great player but wanted a great high-end set of clubs. After trying a lot out there and using the 90 day return from Roger Dunn came up with these. Love that 90 day return from Rodger Dunn if you have one by you they do not ask any questions when you return an item.

 

G25 steel shafts they are Ping CSF shaft very balanced for the G25 set. I think if you try them you will like the way they feel. I went to 3 different fittings to end up with these and I like how Ping can adjust and change the color dot if you ever need to get a tune up.

 

Ping Tour Wedge goes by S, SS, WS on the bounce. I went with the SS or standard Sole on the 50* and 54* they have a little less bounce but went to the WS (wide sole) on the 58* I use it as a sand wedge. Most of the sand traps are very loose sand where I play so it will not dig in so much.   

 

Ping G25 4 Wood they are 16.5* it is the only wood I carry. Supper easy to hit with a bit more loft then a 3 wood, and I did not need a 5 wood sort of the best of two world.

 

Ping G25 Hybrid 20* to close the gap from my 4 wood and 4 iron. In other would I have a 16.5* wood, 20* Hybrid and a 23* 4 iron.

 

Cobra AMP Driver got off Ebay 10.5*  supper easy to hit try them out. I have had three guys hit mine and really liked it.

 

In the end you need to find what will work for you maybe this will help a little? 

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