Golf Made Simple Blog

The Joy of Shopping for Golf Clubs

I guess in this day and age of multiple choices for everything we want to buy – shopping for golf clubs is not any different than shopping for a computer – though if you have a sense of humor it can be the most fun you’ll ever have.

The claims made by the club companies are ridiculous – let me go 1-step past ridiculous – they’re preposterous! Now if you’re easily offended if I talk about the brand of golf club that you might own – don’t report to AOL that I’m sending you spam. Just click the delete button and you won’t have to be subjected to my opinions.

So let’s continue by playing a game. Below I have listed different marketing slogans from well known club companies. What your challenge is, is to match the slogan with the company.

Are you ready? Here we go:

1. The high performance …. drivers are designed for maximum performance and forgiveness. The moveable weights allow golfers the versatility to optimize trajectory and ball curvature, by way of customized ball-flight options.

2. …. produces a large, effective hitting area to give the club an impressively high Moment of Inertia for resistance to torque and twisting during your swing.

3. The new …. is a Tour-proven larger profile driver that provides an optimal combination of high launch, reduced spin and maximum ball speed for longer tee shots with a penetrating downrange trajectory.

4. Largest allowable USGA headsize for all player levels wanting to maximize distance, forgiveness and accuracy. Larger, hotter Sweet Zone for superior distance.

5. Longer, straighter and more forgiving than any …. driver to date, the …. utilizes advanced design techniques and manufacturing processes to improve performance for golfers of all abilities.

OK, there are your 5-choices. Now to be fair, there’s no going to the internet to look-up the answers. And don’t open up Monkey Digest to start looking at the ads. Besides, it wouldn’t be worth your time because I’m not giving away prizes for getting the correct answers.

Though there’s a point to this “contest” – believe it or not, there’s a point to everything we do at Golf Made Simple. The point is that which brand of golf club you buy is all determined by marketing. They’re all the same clubs and they all hit just as well as the other.

It’s like the golfer that said – “But Marc, Callaway makes the best quality Driver there is, why do you think Phil Mickelson went from Titleist to Callaway?” Or this golfer – “Taylor Made has more PGA Tour players using their Driver than any other Driver. That’s why I got mine.”

So the question begs, why did Mickelson switch to Callaway, why do more PGA Tour Players use a Taylor Made Driver, why did Tiger go to Nike, why did Kenneth Lay and Bernie Ebbers do what they did? Well, I believe Monty Python answered that question in The Money Song:

There is nothing quite as wonderful as money,
There is nothing quite as beautiful as cash.
Some people say it’s folly,
But I’d rather have the lolly,
With money you can make a splash.

And the way the club companies throw around their money to the PGA Tour Players – there’s a lot of “splashing going on!”

That’s the main reason one Touring Pro uses one Driver over the other. Do you think that Phil Mickelson would’ve switched to Callaway if Callaway wasn’t paying him more money than Titleist? Do you think just as many Pro’s would be playing Taylor Made Drivers if Taylor Made didn’t have their bonus pool (of cash) for the lower ranked Players that could use a couple extra thousand dollars per event? Don’t you think if Cleveland Golf had a bigger bonus than Taylor Made that a lot of Players would flock to their Driver.

And someone says “what do these pro’s that make $500,000 a year need a couple thousand extra per event?” Well $2,000 per event times 35 events per year pays for their yearly caddie fees and a good amount of travel expenses or you can say that that $70,000 is a free 14% yearly bonus.

“So you’ll pay me $2,000 every time I use your Driver? Well heck yeh I’ll use it!”

And why wouldn’t he use it – all Drivers, regardless of brand are just as good, so why not play the brand that pays you extra for using it? And please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying – I’m not saying that the Pro’s are greedy. I’m saying that if you truly knew the facts that all Drivers are created equal – which Driver would you play? In a capitalistic society like ours, I’d wager a good sum of money that you’d play the Driver of the company that paid you the most.

So repeat after me – All Drivers made by the major Manufacturers are the same. They all hit the ball equally as well. If you hit one Driver better than the other, the main reason is the shaft!

When you’re looking for a Driver, don’t get caught up in the names of the brand. And as you see from my list of 5-club companies, don’t get caught up in what they say about their clubs. Basically, they’re all saying the same thing. The most important part of your Driver is to get the proper shaft for your swing. Now equally as important in getting the correct shaft is not to choose your shaft by how it’s rated – Ladies, Senior, Regular, Firm or Stiff. Why? Because these labels don’t mean a thing! Each company has different standards to what is a “stiff” shaft and what is a “regular” shaft. In fact, I have seen cases where one company’s “regular” shaft was stiffer than another company’s “stiff” shaft.

Ask Jed Dunn, he’ll tell you the story when we first met a couple years ago and I told him after watching him hit shots for a couple of days that his regular shafts were too stiff for him. You should’ve seen the look on his face when this late 20-year old said to me “Are you telling me that you think I need Senior Shafts?” And the answer was no, but that his regular shafts were too stiff. So he went out and got another brand of regular shafts and the rest is history. History as in that Jed’s average score has gone from 94 to 78. And Please don’t take this as a “sell job” – we don’t sell clubs or shafts and we never will. We just see people get too caught up in this whole “which brand should I buy” and “what flex shaft should I have.”

And to make things even more interesting, I’ve even seen Ladies shafts stiffer than regular shafts.

But, I don’t want to get myself started in this whole shaft thing right now. That’s a whole ‘nother Golf Improvement Weekly.

The one moral of the story I’d like to give you is – DO NOT BUY A DRIVER BASED ON NAME BRAND OR WHAT THE TOUR PRO’S ARE USING, ONLY BUY A DRIVER AFTER YOU’VE HAD A CHANCE TO USE IT ON THE GOLF COURSE! Now in the past, people have told me that when you type in capital letters, it means you’re shouting. Well consider what I typed above as shouting.

Regards,

Marc – Your Instructor For Life

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