I just found this site and I need some advice. I have purchased a set of clubs about 10 years ago and I am still using that same set. They are knock offs of some name brand but can’t remember which. I currently shoot in the mid 80’s on a great day but normally in the 90’s.
Anyway now that I have some money saved up I want to get a nice set of new clubs. My questions are:
1. Should I get custom fitted for clubs?
2. Any brands you can recommend?
3. What should I really be looking for?
Most I think will tell you that you will benefit from new clubs.
Also, if you are 70 to 72 inches, you right there in the sweet spot for picking clubs off the rack and having them fit right—BUT you should get them custom fitted. I am 6’, and when I was fit, I needed no adjustment to the clubs last year (Callaway X-20s).
What they can also tell you though, is what type of shaft you should have in your drivers, fairway woods, and irons. Treat this as a suggestion, and then figure out what you want- see if you can play with the shaft type they suggest by taking a demo out for a day. My driver swing speed goes from 85 to 100 depending on my fatigue and stiffness that day, it might even go down to 80, and a few times, based on some 300 yard drives, I am clearly getting north of 105mph.
I say this because when I replaced my driver shaft last summer at GolfSmith, they fitted me (and I think properly) to a regular flex shaft. But I found it too whippy, I had been playing with Callaway Firm (which is not quite stiff, but not regular)- and I did not have the trouble with fading prior to going to a regular shaft. Anyhow, I replaced the shaft in my 3w, 5w and driver all to a regular, and have regretted doing it—those clubs are now all in my backup set and have been replaced (I had a good Christmas)
I have also found that there are a lot of people who think you should have steel shafts in irons. I find that a lot of guys at the club get sold on this steel shaft for irons thing, but that the 15 and higher handicap (where you and I are) - are all pretty happy with graphite irons. I also have stiff there, because the whippiness would bother me. The only people that I know that do not have either stiff graphite or steel (which is stiffer)- are some of the older gents at the club who some do have regular flex or sometimes senior flex.
So get fit, and find out what shafts they recommend, but you should validate that shaft choice before you go with it. BTW- I think most sellers will fit and adjust the clubs to you for little or no charge. If you are buying a major brand, I think they can be ordered fitted to your specifcations instead of adjusted in the store.
—As far as type of iron, you should probably be playing with some sort of oversized cavity back- at a 15-20 handi, you probably don’t want to consider a forged or muscle back set. I have trouble getting the ball up, so I tried some Big Bertha 2004s last year, and I really disliked the weight of them, so I went with a Callaway X-20, which I think is a better balance between weight at the sole, but not too much.
You do want to consider hybrids as part of your new set—most guys like them, some I am sure can’t stand them. But I find it the rare guy at the club that hasn’t at least changed out his 2-iron and 3-iron for one or two hybrids (also called rescue clubs). The first time you are in the rough with 180 to the green, you will probably fall in love with your hybrid.
—I like Callaway, it is all over my bag, and it is all in there - I have two full sets : X-14 irons, Big Bertha 454 Driver, Great Big Bertha 3w and 5w—and the new set- X-20 irons, X-460 driver, X-Hot 3w, and 4 hybrids (2,3,4,5)-
That being said, guys at the club go crazy over Cleveland Hi-Bore drivers- I don’t know what it is, but there are a lot of them out there. That and the Taylormade R7 series and the Burners. Callaway drivers are probably 4th most prevelent behind those 3 at my club. Callaway irons are probably the most prevelant, the Taylormade RAC irons are second, and it is hard to judge what #3 would be, it seems all hit or miss after those two types.
So to sum up, cause this was long-
1) yes do get fit. listen to the shaft recommendation, but try before you buy.
2) I recommend Callaway or Taylormade for drivers and irons- look at Cleveland drivers too.
3) consider one or two hybrids
As far as stores, I really like Golfsmith, they have all the stuff to fit you right. Golf Galaxy does too. So does Edwin Watts. You can check Callaway’s site to find out where they have certified fitters, probably the other makers do too.
Lastly, if you want to try some things without buying new, I strongly recommend callawaypreowned.com; Since I am the standard setup, I buy most of my stuff through there, and “Like New” looks AT WORST, like one round played by me. In my opinion all the clubs I have received from them are in better shape than they are rated on the site. Once you have your fitted setup, you can usually find clubs with slight adustments on there too.