Column: Before you tee it up this season…

As we begin a new season on the links millions of golfers flock to their local golf shops so they can get their hands on the latest and greatest equipment.

Justin Fedje, assistant golf professional, TPC Twin Cities
Justin Fedje, assistant golf professional, TPC Twin Cities

Unfortunately, many of these players do not realize that they may be harming their games more than improving them by purchasing a new set of clubs right off the rack. The most important part about buying new equipment is being fit by a professional to determine what clubs will work best for you.

The common misconception about being fit for custom golf clubs is the thought that, “I am not good enough to get custom fit.”

These people often believe that their swing inconsistencies will overshadow the tremendous benefits of custom built golf clubs. Many fitters and teaching professionals believe that amateurs hit the ball sideways due to the fact that their clubs do not fit their swing and body types.

If you were to seek help from your local PGA professional and your clubs have the wrong length, weight, lie angle, shaft flex and grip size these professionals will be trying to teach your body to make movements that are unnatural and difficult to repeat. As we have learned repetition in a golf swing is the main key to consistency.

One of the most common mistakes that an amateur may make when choosing new golf equipment is purchasing a shaft that is too stiff for their swing.

When a player makes this mistake they will find themselves hanging back on their back foot and often missing shots off to the right for the right-handed player and to the left for the left-handed player. This is due to the fact that the face of the club is unable to release through the hitting zone and can often cause some very big misses.

Another common mistake that is made is when players just choose a set off the rack instead of allowing a professional to determine to proper set make-up that will give the player the best opportunity to succeed.

Too often players carry around three and four irons in their bag because that is what came in the set when in fact they could have saved money and strokes by just purchasing a five-iron through pitching wedge set and fill the gaps of those long irons with a three and four hybrid. These hybrids are much easier for amateurs to hit and give them the best chance to succeed.

With recent advancements in golf club technology major brands have made club fitting a much more simple and efficient process. With the use of launch monitors and fitting clubs, professional fitters now have the ability to fit any player from the beginner that has never swung a club to the touring professional that may just be looking for a preseason tune up.

Before you make the decision to take the plunge into the new equipment market please take the time to get the clubs that will best help you to succeed and have fun on the course. Whether you are the weekend warrior that is looking for a brand new set of clubs or a competitive scratch handicap that just needs a quick tune up before the tournament season, take the time to see a professional that can help put the correct club in your hands.

Justin Fedje is assistant golf professional at TPC Twin Cities.

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