Is a club just a club, or could there be more to it than meets the eye?

Author: Wayne Thomas   Date Posted:2 June 2018 

Hi all,

This month we are looking at the variables in a golf club.

Is a club just a club, or could there be more to it than meets the eye?

A golf club isn't just a club. Getting the correct club specifications and set make-up for you can greatly assist in improving your ball striking and consistency. As we are all different the needs of each golfer can be quite different; there are many variables to account for in a golf club, and to make things more confusing each company’s club specifications can vary considerably as there is no industry standard.

Below is a list of some of the variables in a golf club -   

  • Lie angle – One of the most influential variables on ball flight, direction, and solid strikes on the ball. Lie angle can be very different from player to player. A club should land level at impact from heel to toe and centered from leading edge to back edge. If a club is landing too heel down at impact the ball will go left forcing the player to always compensate by opening the clubface through impact promoting inconsistent ball flight and direction. Too toe down and the ball will go right and lower forcing the player to try to excessively close the clubface through impact. This may cause numerous fat shots and or deep divots, lower ball flight and very unbalanced swings      
  • Shaft length - For consistent centre strikes on the club face and the ability to maintain balance throughout the swing. When the shaft is too long or short the player will try to adjust in many ways not just in their stance but also in motion producing poorly sequenced swings that lack rhythm and balance. The resulting strikes and ball flight will be very inconsistent.

  • Shaft flex - Correct stiffness promotes squareness of hit, consistent direction, ball flight and increased club head speed. Usually shafts too stiff will produce a considerably lower weaker ball flight forcing the player to over work the swing in an effort to produce power. Using shafts too soft for the player may disrupt the flow and timing of the swing and impact producing erratic ball flight (usually too high) and have major directional issues especially with full shots
  • Shaft bend point - High bend point shafts are stiffer at the tip end and usually promotes lower ball flight, mid bend point shafts may promote a more penetrating medium height ball flight, low bend point shafts usually promotes higher ball flight, usually most suited to slower club head speeds 
  • Shaft type and weight - Steel shafts come in different weights as do graphite shafts. Using the correct weight shaft for the individual promotes a balanced powerful golf swing
  • Head design of irons - Influences the direction and trajectory of ball flight. There are offset, cavity back, perimeter weighted and blade style irons. Using the irons that suit you best promotes accurate ball flight with correct launch angle without having to try getting the ball in the air or trying to lower your ball flight
  • Loft - Using the correct loft promotes the optimum launch angle at which the ball leaves the clubface maximizing distance. One of the biggest killers of golf swings is using too little loft thinking less loft hits the ball further. This is not necessarily true, everyone has a tolerance to loft and once there is too little loft for the individual the ball will actually start getting shorter

  • Head design of woods - With today's lightweight materials there are many different sizes and styles of drivers, fairway woods and hybrid clubs. Most companies woods are now adjustable; the weight can be changed to promote more of a draw or fade, face angle (more hook face or open face) can be adjusted as well as the loft can be changed to promote correct launch angle of the ball for longest distance   

  • Grip material -This is a personal preference and the only physical contact the golfer has with the club. There are many different designs of rubber, cord and leather grips
  • Grip size - This is important to encourage the golfer to hold the club correctly.
  • Overall weight - The overall weight of the club will influence swing rhythm and timing. Too light the golfer may over power the club and too heavy will cause undue effort and loss of balance and power
  • Swing weight - This influences the feel and balance of the club and promotes the correct club head awareness that suits the individual. Some players like to feel the head more others like the grip end to feel heavier
  • Set make up - Selecting what clubs the golfer needs in their set make-up. Maximum number of clubs that can be used in a competition round is 14. That doesn’t mean you have to carry 14 clubs; never carry a club in your bag that is difficult for you to hit well. It’ll keep costing you shots and lower your confidence

It is the combination of all these components and variables that is important to put a correctly fitted club in the golfer's hands that enhances their swing motion and produces the ball flight they want.

It is very unfortunate that a golfer who produces good golf swings using ill-suited golf clubs will struggle to produce consistent desired ball flight causing the player to manipulate or change his or her swing to suit the club creating swing problems.

Who should use correctly fitted clubs? All golfers at all levels! The game is hard enough as it is, we all need every bit of help we can get to enhance our swing and give us every opportunity to produce consistent ball flight and derive greater pleasure play golf.  

to fix your game have a lesson with wayne