If you’ve thought about getting into golf, but aren’t sure if you want to invest in it, or just want to know more about it, this is for you.
For the next several weeks Chuck McPhilomy, assistant manager at the Courses of Clear Creek, will talk about everything golf. From equipment to the courses, this is the place to learn it all and see if you’re interested in pursuing the popular sport.
First off, you have to make sure you understand the equipment and there’s a lot to take into consideration.
“As far as equipment, that has changed so much over the last 20-30 years. Clubs, the design, the shafts, the golf balls, have really made tremendous strides for the players,” he said. “Golf equipment could be considered an investment. Good equipment is not cheap, but … if I’ve got a beginner, I would rather see him or her go, maybe spend a couple $100 on a set of clubs, versus $2,000 and then not like it.”
He said that the price tag of the equipment doesn’t necessarily correlate to success while playing golf, but it’s all about what feels best to the individual. However, it’s good to know what to look for when it comes to clubs and how they could affect a person’s swing.
“You want to make sure you’ve got a decent size sole, or bottom, of the club. And you want to make sure it has a cavity behind the club, so your weight is mostly distributed to the outside of that golf club. It increases the sweet spot and your missed hits won’t be as bad,” he said. “Another thing is on your less expensive sets (of clubs) the shafts are usually going to be steel … but even steel has a flex or bending point.”
He added, “A ladies club, even though it’s steel, has a really good bend in it because they don’t swing as hard as the men. Men can have a regular flex for a slower swing speed, (and) most young men use a stiff flex that doesn’t bend as much. The tour players are using more of an extra stiff.”
Most golf shops will have a way for people to test out clubs, and the shop at the Courses of Clear Creek also has that option.
“Especially as you move up in the price ranges, because you don’t want to buy something off the shelf and it doesn’t fit you,” McPhilomy explained.
He recommends people taking good care of their clubs if they wish to sell them after a few years. A good way to do this is to wipe away dirt from the club heads, maintain the grips and make sure bigger clubs are covered to avoid paint chips when they bang against each other.
Even golf balls differ in price and can also affect a person’s golfing game.
“Golf balls can be expensive; they can be $5 a ball or they could be less than $1 a ball, but you get what you pay for,” he said. “The less expensive balls are going to be a little bit harder, which tends to mean they’re going to travel a little bit farther, but they’re not going to spin as much and spin is important in the golf swing,” he explained. “Your more expensive balls are going to have a softer cover … (and) get a little more spin.”
Again, he encourages beginners to go with the cheaper option initially until they learn the game and acquire the taste of it before making the more expensive investment.
Editor’s Note: This is part one of a five part series on golfing.