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Are cheap clubs any good?

Posted by Peter on

Lots of beginner golfers are usually demotivated by high price of golf clubs, but they shouldn’t be, and with this post, i wanted to explain why. To play golf, most basic equipment you need is – set of clubs, bag, and couple of accessories like gloves that are quite cheap. Yes, shoes and traveling cases are useful, but they’re not essential. It’s often assumed that golf club sets cost thousands of dollars, and some of them are indeed that pricey, but not all of them. For example, Callaway Strata sells excellent beginner’s bundle for around two hundred dollars. These prices might seem unreal, but they make up for the lost profit by producing them in mass quantities, so production cost is lower. I can’t claim that they’re the best thing out there – either. But they’re decent, at least for those who are just getting started. At first, you don’t need fancy club set, and even if you have one, i doubt it will affect your scores. When you’re getting started, you need to learn technicalities, like improving your golf swing and mastering your stance. Once you do that, eventually, by trial and error, you’ll become good enough to move past these cheap clubs and get something high end, if you want. But if you plan to play golf very rarely on your weekends, these affordable clubs will be fine and they’ll last you for years to come.

If you’re not a beginner, and would like to have better clubs than what Strata sets have to offer, but are worried about spending too much, perhaps you should look at used golf clubs. On used golf clubs sections of eBay and craigslist, you can find rare deals sometimes. Gently used golf clubs that look and function just like new ones often times cost less than half the listing price.

Price isn’t the sole indicator of which golf clubs are the most useful. There are plenty of clubs that cost thousands, but due to bad designs or flaws in production, are not worth half that much. And there are others that cost very little, but in terms of usefulness, they’re almost as valuable as some of the clubs that cost ten times as much. You can’t really tell, and i always tell people to read reviews first. Both Amazon and online reviews by golf experts.

And last, but not least – don’t try to buy your way into better golf scores. It’s pointless waste of money. It’s better to focus on your golf skills and techniques before blowing thousands of dollars on golf clubs that you don’t even need. That’s exactly what manufacturers want you to do – that’s why they pay athletes millions of dollars to be seen using their clubs. But i’d recommend not giving in to temptation and taking things slow.


Which golf club brands are the best?

Posted by Peter on

There’s lots of discussion and debate about golf club brands among golfers. It’s not surprising either, because club manufacturers pay athletes handsomely to make their brands more relevant and synonymous with quality. But aside from marketing, real life is often complicated and not black and white. While one brand might be good at making game improvement irons, other is likely to excel at making drivers or putters. Overall, in my opinion, there’s not one brand that manufactures perfect clubs in all categories. I do have my favorite types of irons, woods and putters, but they are all different brands. Truth is, even brands themselves probably know it, so they choose to specialize in one product category. They do make others as well, but because design and details of golf club are vital to its quality and sales, they prefer to focus most of their resources on one category and try to achieve perfection in that space.

I’ll start with my favorite – Callaway. In recent years, most of the golf clubs they’ve released have been great. But remember the one area theory i mentioned above? That applies to Callaway as well. While they technically make all kinds of clubs, they’re especially good at drivers, woods and putters. Most famous product from their lineup is Big Bertha, which has been one of the most popular drivers for more than two decades now. They’re one of the biggest golf equipment manufacturers out there, but that hasn’t affected quality of their gear. Even if you buy something made by Callaway that’s not driver or wood, you can expect it to be good. It’s just that  in my experience, they’re especially good at drivers and woods.

TaylorMade is second most popular golf brand, and i like it as well, but i haven’t had the chance to use their clubs extensively. I briefly had to borrow M1 driver from my friend, and it didn’t disappoint. They also make all kinds of clubs, and all of them seem to be built pretty well. Other than that, i don’t know anything about this brand.

Nike used to be in golf equipment business, and have major players like Tiger Woods play with their clubs, but recently they’ve quit the business entirely due to declining sales. So if you come up with used Nike stuff, they’re likely to be good, but you won’t find them on the shelves.

We’ve mentioned brands that specialize in woods and drivers so far, now it’s time to announce which brand makes the best irons. It’s Mizuno. I have their game improvement irons set  and it’s absolutely fantastic. Price tag is high, too, but quality is worth the investment. They’re Japanese, so that also speaks for their quality. If you don’t have big enough budget to afford Mizuno clubs, this tutorial describes other excellent beginners’ irons in detail.

Other brands like Titleist, Cobra, Ping and Cleveland are also very good, but i haven’t had much experience using them, so i’m not qualified to rate them. I hope this post helps someone make a buying decision.


Should you encourage your kids to play golf?

Posted by Peter on

Nowadays, people are getting lazier and lazier, and access to instant gratification like Netflix is rising. That’s why i think that today, it’s vital to encourage your children to engage in outdoors activity, to get out and have fun. But telling them to have fun isn’t enough, you should also teach them to have fun. That’s why, last year, when my son was 8 and my daughter 6, i started to encourage them to play golf. I haven’t been too pushy – they always wanted to play golf anyway, because i often took them with me on the course and they’ve seen me play. I think leading your children by example is the best way to spark their interest in sports, but unfortunately, not enough people do it. This is true especially for girls. Fathers, for some reason, don’t take initiative to take their daughters with them to the golf course. I see much more boys than girls on the course, and i think that needs to change.

Overall, your goal as a parent is to make golf look fun and enjoyable, not a dull exercise that you have to get over with. There are lots of tools and gadgets you can use for that, for example, indoors putting mat. It’s fun and affordable way to spend time at home for yourself and you can invite your whole family to try. Plus, it’s the simplest game of golf – you basically have one golf club, a ball and a hole. In contrast to real game, which  requires numerous different types of clubs and has its own slang, everything’s pretty clear and simple. In my experience, kids like that, and they hate complicated games.

When encouraging your kids to play golf, most important thing, and i can’t stress this enough, is to get them good set of clubs. Quality clubs aren’t easy to find and you’re probably going to need some help from experts at GolfClubsGuru. They usually cost around one or two hundred dollars, which is affordable compared to adult’s clubs. There are also excellent used clubs on eBay and craigslist, you just have to look for it carefully.

Golf lessons are also a good way to help your children improve their golfing skills, but in my opinion, you shouldn’t overdo it. Lots of parents think that the way to approach golf lessons, or basically any lessons, is “the more the better”. That’s not even remotely true in my experience. I think it’s a good idea to have your children take golf lessons once or twice, but after that, you just have to get them the clubs and other golf gear they need, and encourage them to take action. In my experience, experience of playing golf is the best teacher of the game.