Clubs & Equipment
Equipment plays an unarguably substantial role in every sport, but golf falls into the category of sports in which the equipment is simply imperative. A soccer ball may make it’s way around the field with a few swift kicks, a football may find it’s way to the end zone with one nice throw, but a golf ball will not drive 300 yards without a very specific piece of equipment. Clubs are the reason we can even play golf, and properly fitted clubs are the reason that we can play golf well.
The decision to purchase golf clubs is often an exciting investment. It denotes a new level of commitment to the game, and is met with an enthusiasm to progress as a golfer. Many golfers buying clubs reach for a set of OTR (Off the Rack) clubs, as they are readily available at sporting good stores and pro shops, and tend to be the cheapest and quickest option. While quick and cheap are indeed appealing selling features to many, OTR clubs can result in spending hundreds of dollars on equipment that may actually hold back a golfer’s progression.
Purchasing OTR equipment from major sporting good stores or pro shops comes with several disadvantages. Most commonly, the stock is limited, and the staff may lack knowledge. Any given store only sells select brands or sizes. Regardless of the fit a golfer should be purchasing, the salesperson will do his best to be sure you go with one of their clubs. In addition, that same salesperson may well have been working in the hunting department the day prior, and has limited golfing knowledge in general.
The largest disadvantage however, is that stores of this nature have very rudimentary club-fitting technology, if any at all. They likely analyze height to determine shaft length, and perhaps allow a few test strokes to see which club feels most comfortable, but they bypass the most crucial elements necessary to match a golfer with his optimal set of clubs. The consequence of using inadequate fitting technology leads the golfer to choose his clubs based on the specifications provided by the brand or manufacturer. While this may sound reasonable, there are unfortunately no standards by which manufacturers designate these specifications, meaning what one brand considers a “Ladies Flex,” can be a competitor’s “Regular Flex.”