Should You Buy New Golf Clubs or Get Lessons
Whilst most golfers know the true answer to this question, it’s something that many of us still wrestle with - at least superficially! Should we finally bite the bullet and sign up for a course of lessons with a registered professional? Or should we try and buy our way out of our current slump with a new club. We put forward both sides of the argument, beginning with the more fun option.
Buying New Clubs
There’s one very obvious ‘pro’ to this approach; the purchase of a new shiny golf club is just good fun! It can help to rekindle our love of the game by adding yards, or helping us to finally hole a few mid-ranged putts. Buying new equipment is great, and whilst most of us don’t ‘need’ to upgrade our weapons, there’s always plenty of justification for doing so …
Perhaps, that new driver has just gone on sale? Or you’ve got some winnings on your pro shop account? Maybe you’ve found a model from a bygone era that you want to have a go with again?! No matter why you choose to go down this route, we’re sure you don’t need us to come up with a reason!
After all, the pros are always upgrading their equipment aren’t they? And if it’s good enough for them …
Here’s the thing, the pros are also custom-fitted by some of the best technicians in the game. They have near-perfect delivery, and know how to truly maximise every aspect of their swing. Plus, they’re not paying for it, which is a huge advantage with the price of modern equipment.
Pros also have regular coaching, and aren’t looking for the silver bullet at each tour stop with a change of equipment. Part of their success comes from consistency, and the dependability they have on their clubs. They know what to expect. When Richard Bland won the British Masters at The Belfry in 2021, he found an unfortunate lie on the first playoff hole. Rather than trying to dig his approach out with a long iron, he took his trusty TaylorMade Superfast 5-wood which had been in the bag for more than a decade and propelled the ball onto the back of The Belfry’s iconic final green. He knew how the ball would react, as he’d played thousands of rounds with the club, and could depend on it to help him to victory when called upon. Would he have had the same confidence with a newer bat that had only recently made its way into the set?
Don’t get us wrong, in addition to it being enjoyable, there are times when a new purchase is fully justifiable. A change can be as good as a rest, particularly on the putting surface, and changing up your flatstick could see you eradicate past memories of missing five-footers when it counts. But be sure to have explored the full extent of the issue first. Is it a flaw in your stroke that is the root cause of your travails? Or is that putter really just not suited to your stroke? Only you will know the true answer. Well, you and a qualified professional … if you choose to enlist their help!
This should be the easy answer, right? Websites like this one have banged on about the importance of having proper tuition for years, and we’re told that true dedication to improvement must be accompanied by the expert eye of our local pro. However, before we jump headlong into the virtues of getting lessons, let us first put forward the case on behalf of those more inclined to enlist eBay to help with their troubles.
Firstly, lessons can be expensive. Unless there’s something quick that needs looking at, it’s unlikely that one 30-minute lesson will be the solution to your troubles. Proper improvement will likely come over the course of six or more sessions with the pro. And at upwards of £50 a time, this can be even more expensive that buying the latest Scotty Cameron!
There’s also the issue of finding the right pro. After all, your swing is unique, and you want somebody that understands your eccentricities - improving on them, rather than trying to force you into backswing positions which are wholly unreachable!
It’s true, the most important part of getting lessons can often come before they start; in the research phase for who you’d like to partner up with. Word of mouth is a great option here, as it’s likely that you’ll get a more honest appraisal of your potential future swing-Yoda from a friend or golfing partner.
But if you’re still struggling to find the right sort of pro for you, call a few! Chat to them about what you’re looking to achieve from your game. Be realistic about how often you play and how much time you can commit to practice. Speaking to a few different instructors will give you a feel of the right sort of character for you - helping to get your partnership off to a great start.
It's in these sorts of conversations that you might also help to answer your own question to the above. Perhaps you only play a couple of times a year on corporate golf outings? In which case, by all means, go ahead and spend some time looking at the latest gear reviews before pulling the trigger on a new driver. For many of us this is a hobby, and should be enjoyed. After all, you can’t drive a Ferrari 200mph down the high street … but it’s nice to know that you could if you really wanted to! The same goes for that latest carbon-crafted, high-speed, low-spin-high-launch- fairway-finding, super-forgiving, tee-ball launcher that the TV ads tell us all about.
But, if you are serious about making some improvements to your game. Perhaps looking to shave strokes off your handicap, or even just maintain your current level as the candles on your birthday cake increase, we’d strongly recommend enlisting some qualified help. If you commit to your tutelage, it’ll likely be the best golfing purchase you ever make.
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