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First set of clubs


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A bit about me and my game:

I've been playing and studying golf for about two years. Of those two years, I've been at sea for sixteen months, and therefore have only been playing for about eight months, but spaced over two years. I've never been joined a club, so I've never had a chance to get an official handicap, but right now I would estimate it to be around 18-20. The best score I've posted was 15 over par. I couldn't afford lessons until just recently and have had two and they've helped immensely. Before I got the lessons, I could get pretty good distances on my drives and irons, but only when I mashed it and made a connection, which was rare. The PGA professional told me I was 'getting away with it' but wasn't rotating very much, and my stance was too narrow and my grip was wrong. After changing these things my distances increased massively, along with my consistency. I can consistently drive the ball about 270 yards, and last week I hit two drives on the 300 mark in one round, and I'm breaking 285 more and more. My instructor told me that once I get my own set of clubs and get used to a driver, he's confident I'll be able to consistently drive 300+ with more practice and fall well into the 'long' category of iron distances. I only ever play with three of my best friends who introduced me to golf, and who play off handicaps of 7, 10, and 12 respectively.

The Driver I've been using is a shitty no-name driver that is, by my friend's admission, eighteen years old. The irons are an older set (maybe ten years old) of Maxfli Revolutions. I like the irons.  But I want something a little different. Compared to other irons I've tried (Taylormade burners, Mizuno MP-59) they seem to have much better feel. I understand that the chunky irons are typically more appropriate for someone at my level, because they are more forgiving etc. But when I try and play with those type of irons, it just feels like there's a big rock at the end of my shaft.

My questions:

What would you recommend for someone in my position?

Are blades or something like Titleist AP1's out of the question?

What should I look out for when trying a driver? Other than 'that sounds nice' or 'that looks good'

When buying wedges, what should I look out for?

Hybrids or Woods?

Provisionally, this is what I've got in mind:

Driver: Callaway RAZR X

Irons: 4-PW Titleist AP1's 712

Wedges: Titleist Spin-Milled Vokey 52, 56, 60

Putter: Scotty Cameron Red-X (Which I've tried, and love)

Hybrid: Adams Idea Super XTD

Wood: Callaway RAZR X Wood

Thanks!

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I don't know the callaway clubs but the AP1's are great . Skip the 4&5 irons  get hybrids they are so easy to hit  at your level you will enjoy the game a bit more. I would also save the money on the Vokey 52* and get the AP gap wedge. Good luck!

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If you are breaking 90, you probably have a stable enough swing to get on a launch monitor to find out what you need for future clubs.

I tested out the original AP1 irons when I was switching out clubs in 2009. I liked them, but with the shafts I needed it would have put the cost at $1,200 or so. I ended up going with Callaway. The AP1 versions fall in the Game Improvement (Golf Digest) or Super Game Improvement (Maltby 6-category MPF), and you should be able to handle them with your current scores.

If you go to the right golf shop, they will give you a free fitting if you buy a new set of irons. Try hitting different iron models with different shafts to see which combo is right for you. As many people on this site will tell you, the shaft is just as important as the clubhead model.

Sometimes you can find a set of used clubs that fit your needs. Golf shops get such clubs as trade-ins, and want to put them back out the door to get their money back. The shop may charge you for a fitting on a used set, but sometimes it can save you money overall if the used set fills your needs.

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My questions:

What would you recommend for someone in my position?

Get a fitting based on your body measurements. Clubs that fit your body size are critical to learning a swing. If your clubs are too short, too long, too flat, too upright... you will create swing compensations that will get that ill-fitting club into the correct position. You will try and find a swing that makes the ball go where you want and you will make compensations to make that happen. These compensations are almost never good and become hard habits to break. Be careful about getting fitted based on your current swing. You want your swing to get better and your current swing may or may not inform the correct length and lie of your clubs.

Are blades or something like Titleist AP1's out of the question?

At this point in your new game, I'd suggest you get forgiving clubs that make it easier to get the ball up and keep distance and direction better on miss-hits. There is no good reason to make the game any harder than it needs to be at this point. Blades help you control distance better and shape the ball. Right now, you distance is more a function of your swing lacking consistency and you are likely trying to learn to hit a straight ball most of the time. But, a set of blades that fit your body will be better than GI clubs that do not fit you.

What should I look out for when trying a driver? Other than 'that sounds nice' or 'that looks good'

Consider a shorter than standard shaft. Many tour pros play shorter shafts than those off the shelf and they can hit the sweet spot more than you and I can even hope for. That 1" difference can help you keep it in the fairway. And as a new player, more distance will come from hitting the sweet spot than from that extra inch. Get a driver that gives you the best chance of getting the ball in play. As long as you are hitting it, distance is not the issue. Control will be your issue. Look out for getting a shaft that is too stiff because you swing hard during an indoor fitting. When you need to hit it in the fairway, how will you swing? Look out for the latest technology. While ten year-old driver technology may leave you behind, last year's technology could be a great buy. I'd get a mid-loft (10*) and buy a driver I can afford to replace after a year when my swing is closer to my goal. Loft may need to go up or down but right now it likely your current swing will change/improve.

When buying wedges, what should I look out for?

Buy wedges with the expectation that, if you use them in the sand, you will replace them faster than your other clubs. Because I play a lot of hard sand, I like less bounce than some people. I'd buy one and if you like/love it, fill out the set. If you don't like it, you only are out one wedge. I love the way Mizuno MP T-10's and T-11's allow for opening the face while keeping the leading edge low.

Hybrids or Woods?

Get a 3-wood that you can use off the tee. You may even wish to hold off on a driver until you find a 3-wood you like and you feel you need more distance off the tee. Then use hybrids instead of a 3-iron, 4-iron and maybe even a 5-iron. If I were starting new today, I'd look hard at Adams and Mizuno integrated sets that include hybrids with the iron sets. Hybrids are great.

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Rusty is right.

The only thing I would add is that you might consider a used set of Ping irons.  The reason?  You can do a web fitting, and then know what to look for, based on their color coded system.  An old set of Eye 2s, iSis or i3s are still fantastic, forgiving clubs.  If you do go the new route, I've seen Adams sets at Dick's for very reasonable prices - one set was marked $199.00 - as recently as January.

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Rusty said it all well, getting fit will make more improvement than anything.  Going to a local course for a demo day is also a great way to try out lots of different clubs to see what works best for you.  New clubs is a big investment, so I'd recommend trying out lots of stuff before making a purchase, and hitting demo clubs all afternoon long is part of the fun!

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your swing speed will most likely be used to determine the best shaft flex, also the kick or bend point of the shaft depending on the trajectory you are looking for, a shaft that bends lower or closer to the head will generally have a higher flight while a shaft that bends closer to the grip or a high kick point will launch the ball lower, the shaft is the engine for the club so it's important to be fit for the correct one for your swing.

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Note: This thread is 3196 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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