golf clubs

I want to start playing golf, what equipment do I need?

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As we approach spring many people want to start playing golf but don’t know where to start. A common question we are asked at Golf Talk is I want to start playing golf, what equipment do I need?Worried female golfer looking for golf ball

In this post we will give you our recommendations of what equipment you need and why.

Let us start with the obvious. You will need a set of clubs. This will usually comprise of a set of irons, three iron to nine iron with a pitching wedge and a sand wedge, a putter, and a set of woods. Driver, three wood and five wood. However if you are just starting out you will probably use only half of these clubs in a round of golf so do not race to get a full set immediately.

Many golf club retailers will sell you a half set of clubs. A three wood, five, seven and nine irons, sand wedge and a putter. This would be a good starter set for the very beginner keeping the cost of taking up the game low and not getting to technical with what each club can do. In fact many new golfers cannot see a vast difference in distances between many of their irons anyway. We recommend using a branded set of clubs and trialling a few different manufacturers clubs on the range before you commit to a purchase. One of the benefits of buying clubs from your local golf professional is that they will usually fit the clubs for you. Which means they can alter the lie and loft of the club to fit your swing. Also if you have purchased a branded set of clubs when you grow out of them, which you will soon enough. They will have some residual value for a trade in or a private sale.

You will also need a golf bag. We recommend a carry bag to start with to keep the cost down. If you have opted for a half set of clubs then they should not be to heavy for you to carry around the course. The TaylorMade Supreme Lite golf bag is an excellent choice we have used here at Golf Talk.

Many golfers play with a golf glove on their left hand. This is to help grip the club with a light grip and helps the club not to slip in your hands. We would suggest you try playing with and then without a glove and see what works best for you. Personally I play with a glove on my left hand for the driver only. I prefer to play without a glove for all other shots.

Some other accessories you will also need is a bag of tees. We recommend wooden tees with depth markers on them to help you consistently tee the ball at the same height. Also wooden tees will not damage your clubface if you miss hit the shot. You will also need a pitch-mark repairer and flat ball marker to repair any pitch-marks on the green. The flat ball marker is to mark your ball when on the green so you can clean your ball and line up your putt. For advice on how to repair a pitch mark on the green please look in the back catalogue for the post  – (keeping the green in good shape how to repair a pitch-mark and more).

There is a wide selection of golf balls to choose from with a wide range of prices. Our advice is to play with as many types of balls as you can at the beginning of your golfing journey. You will soon find a golf ball that feels right for you and is at the right price point. Golf ball selection is a balance between the harder distance balls and the softer, better feel balls. We use Titleist NXT Tour  and cannot recommend them highly enough. A scorecard and a pencil and you are now good to go …

There are of course many other golf gadgets that you may want to invest in like a GPS watch or a golf trolly, swing trainers and much much more. Our advice is to start with the minimum and build up your kit slowly to avoid any wasted purchases.

Just a final point, golf attire is very important. Many golf course will not let you play without the correct clothing. This differs from course to course but usually the club do not allow jeans, and golf shoes need to be worn. Our advice is to check with the course beforehand as ask what their local rules are. You do not want to arrive at the course all ready to go to be told that you either need to buy some golf trousers or you will not be allowed on the course.

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The long Iron, friend or foe? How to strike long irons consistently well

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We have seen many advancements in golf club technology over the last few years, especially trying to help the golfer hit smooth, consistent long irons. For many golfers they have decided that the answer to the questions in the title of this article, friend or foe? for them is definitely foe. And they have moved onto other options like rescue clubs ( see article – How a rescue club can save your score)

However, for many golfers the ability to hit long irons consistently well is vitally important for them to play golf well. For example if your course has some particularly long par 3’s that will take a longer iron to reach them. Or you have some short par 4’s and would like another safer alternative off the tee. Then a longer iron could be a good option. In this post we will discuss how to hit consistent, good long iron shots and give you some drills to take to the practice ground.

Firstly let’s start with ball position. Your longer irons should be positioned just inside your left heel. This means that the ball is slightly further forward than your middle irons. We use this froward ball position to create a sweeping motion during the swing. It is very difficult to compress a longer iron and should be left to the pro’s. Try laying down a club on the ground when you are on the practice tee, lay it along the line of your left heel with the butt of the club where you would position the ball. This will help you get a consistent ball position for your longer irons.

Next we want you to think of tempo. Many golfers think that the longer irons need to be helped along with a faster swing. In fact, the swing should be the same for all shots. A good exercise is to count your swing one and two. One being the backswing, and is the transition, and two is your down swing. This drill will help you maintain good tempo throughout your swing and avoid you swinging too fast.

Be committed. Your longer irons more than any other club need a positive strike to get them airborne. This means that a gentle three quarter swing will usually end in a poor shot. When you select your three or four iron out of your bag. Think ‘positive strike on the ball’, select your target, go through your pre-shot routine and then commit to your swing. Try this on the practice tee, getting your three iron out of your bag, playing your shot, putting the club back and then repeating. This is a great drill to keep you focused on your swing thoughts and shot in hand.

Be aware of the flight of your longer irons and play to their strengths. What we mean by this is if you are looking for a high flying, softer landing shot then a three iron is not the club to choose. However, if you are wanting a more penetrating  ball flight that will roll on landing and chase up to the green, then a three or four iron may be the club to choose. You need to visualise the shot you want to play and select the appropriate club to do the job.

A final thought. If you want to hit your longer irons with a lower flight, maybe into a strong headwind then choke down on the club a little. This will result in a lower ball flight and usually a straighter shot ..

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The Golf Talk team