By Chad Scott, Head Professional
I get asked all the time – “Are the clubs this year THAT much better than the clubs last year?” The short answer is NO. Are clubs this year THAT much better than clubs five years ago? Absolutely. With the constraints the USGA puts on size, trampoline effect and such, manufacturers are limited to what they can do to a club head, but every year the engineers manage to squeeze just a little bit more performance. It may be small improvements every year, but add those up over 5-6 years and the differences are considerably noticeable. So if your equipment is 5+ years old, you may be missing out on extra yardage, forgiveness or both.
Does buying a new driver or irons guarantee my previous comment? Quite possibly. But with all the constraints on equipment mentioned before, custom club fitting has become more valuable than ever. With custom club fitting we can match the best shaft/head/loft/weight combination for your golf swing to get the most distance and forgiveness possible. This process of determining the right combination is extremely personal, as a shaft that performs well in one manufacturer’s head, may perform poorly in another. The latest driver with the fancy shaft your friend is raving about probably won’t give you the same performance, unless you both have almost identical swing properties.
Where do you start you might ask? First, demo the latest equipment from your PGA Pro at an outside driving range. I cannot stress how important it is to see the ball fly down range. Once you determine a model of club you wish to purchase, contact your Pro for a personalized club fitting or if your club doesn’t have demos or a range, seek out a facility such as The Harvest Golf Club; home to the TaylorMade Performance Center; one of four in Canada that provides unprecedented access to hundreds of shafts and club heads to find the best fit for your game.
Whether you get a simple, dynamic custom fit from your PGA Pro on the range or utilize programs such as the TaylorMade Performance Center, spending a little time and money to be properly fit for new golf clubs is just as important as taking lessons and will be one of the best decisions you make to enhance your enjoyment of the game.