Golf Digest has released its 2017 Hot List naming this year’s best new golf clubs. Before the residents and avid golfers of our premier Palm Beach golf club community rush out to add these cutting edge tools to their golf bags, they should consult with one of our South Florida PGA Professional golf instructors and review the basic golf club buying guide provided below.
Consider Handicap and Skill Level
The most important thing to remember when buying golf clubs is to find a club that suits the individual player’s skill level, handicap, and other unique characteristics. Old Palm residents have access to an exceptional team of South Florida PGA Professional golf instructors who can make suggestions based on experience, physical traits and playing styles. A player’s unique playing characteristics should direct all golf club buying decisions.
One of the first things to consider when buying a club is the length of its shaft. The ideal shaft length is determined by an individual golfer’s height as well as the consistency of their swing.
Men’s Height and Corresponding Shaft Length
- Below 5’5” — 1/2” shower than Standard
- 5’5” to 6’1” — Standard
- Above 6’1” — Over Length
Women’s Height and Corresponding Shaft Length
- Below 5’3” — Petite Length
- 5’3” to 5’7” — Standard
- Above 5’7” — Men’s Standard
The shorter the shaft the more control the player will generally have in their swing, while a longer shaft gives more distance. So, experienced players with consistent swings should consider a longer shaft, while those who find it difficult to maintain consistency in their swing should lean toward a shorter shaft.
There are generally five flexes that a player can choose from: extra stiff, stiff, regular, senior, and ladies. The level of flex a player requires is determined primarily using their swing speed.
Swing Speed and Corresponding Shaft Flex
- Below 60 mph — Ladies
- 60 mph to 75 mph — Senior
- 75 mph to 84 mph — Regular
- 84 mph to 93 mph — Stiff
- Above 93 mph — Extra Stiff
The angle of a club’s face plays a critical role by affecting the trajectory and the distance of a ball when it gets hit. In general, players today are finding that more loft is typically needed on a driver to maximize distance. While faster swing speed players can sometimes use a lower lofted club to reduce the amount of backspin on the shot. Regardless of your playing ability, a trained PGA Professional can help determine the ideal trajectory window that a player should aim for and thus the correct amount of loft to play on your clubs.
At the end of a golf club is the clubhead, the part of the club that actually hits the golf ball, controlling its launch height and distance traveled. Both factors are greatly affected by the clubhead’s weight. The ideal weight is determined using an individual player’s swing speed. Heavier clubheads provide more control and should be favored by golfers with faster swing speeds. To produce more velocity while having a slower swing speed, consider a lighter clubhead.
Golf club equipment buying should not be done arbitrarily. Only after consulting one of our South Florida PGA Professional golf instructors to better understand your qualities as a player, should you begin your search for a new golf club.