Buy­ing golf clubs?

New Zealand Golf Magazine - - FINAL WORD -

As you know there is a lot of thought re­quired when pur­chas­ing a set of golf clubs; will I be laughed at? will I make an id­iot of my­self by hit­ting bad shots? am I go­ing to get bam­boo­zled by a lot of use­less sales in­for­ma­tion that won't re­ally help me with my de­ci­sion ex­cept to per­haps leave a hole in my pocket? Etc.

Hav­ing been in­volved in the found­ing of the Golf Warehouse which sells around 50% of all golf equip­ment in New Zealand I would like to of­fer my opin­ion and ad­vice on how to ap­proach this vex­ing ques­tion.

My ad­vice to any­one pur­chas­ing equip­ment is al­ways deal with re­tail­ers that have the largest se­lec­tion of equip­ment choices and ranges.

I do not know why this hap­pens but a sev­eral years ago we sold a set of clubs called Top Flite Magna and we of­fered this set to cus­tomers to try, along with 4 other brands in a sim­i­lar price ranges. The re­sult was that 9 times out of 10 the cus­tomer would se­lect The Top Flite clubs as they just worked bet­ter in the av­er­age golfers' hands.

We sold over 2000 sets of them and prob­a­bly traded less than 10 sets back.

This prod­uct set failed in the USA be­cause they were pitched to the mar­ket at around $799. You could buy name brands Ping, Call­away, Tay­lor­made for around $999 US so the con­sumers all bought the name brand in­stead, sadly they weren't al­ways the best per­former for the

My point be­ing: try all the brands first and do your own com­par­i­son with­out a clever club fit­ter who can con­jure up magic on their flight ma­chines to make clubs look like they are per­form­ing bet­ter than they re­ally are.

av­er­age player. A les­son still rel­e­vant to­day!

Like­wise, sev­eral years ago we in­tro­duced a brand called XXIO (man­u­fac­tured by Srixon) to the mar­ket.

Many of the golfers lucky enough to be able to af­ford to buy them, no­ticed a marked im­prove­ment in their game. The sim­ple rea­son be­ing that they worked bet­ter than a lot of the other brands on the mar­ket as the tech­ni­cal fea­tures that made them ex­pen­sive helped the av­er­age player.

My point be­ing: try all the brands first and do your own com­par­i­son with­out a clever club fit­ter who can con­jure up magic on their flight ma­chines to make clubs look like they are per­form­ing bet­ter than they re­ally are.

I was re­cently at a ball re­lease over­seas from one of our ma­jor sup­pli­ers where they claimed their new ball trav­elled 7 me­tres fur­ther than their com­peti­tors.

In their fancy demon­stra­tion with Flight scope mea­sur­ing dis­tance and spin the re­sults were show­ing that their pro's were hit­ting their ball 7 me­tres fur­ther. The only thing that they did not fac­tor into the equa­tion was Rhys Bishop, my part­ner in the Golf Warehouse. Rhys knew ex­actly what the per­son op­er­at­ing the flight scope ma­chine was do­ing. He was qui­etly and sub­tly chang­ing the set­tings in be­tween shots!!

When they set the ma­chine up so the read­ings on all brands were neu­tral their ball only had a 1 me­tre im­prove­ment on the other brands.

So, be very care­ful when un­der­go­ing a club fit­ting by some­one that can change set­tings on these ma­chines to make one brand look bet­ter than another one.

One last trap. Of­ten your club fit­ter will rec­om­mend brands that they are en­dorsed to play but sadly 80% of all golfers have a hand­i­cap above 15 and these high per­for­mance brands are of­ten the most un­suit­able for them.

The clubs you see Pro­fes­sion­als on TV play­ing are very rarely rec­om­mended for the av­er­age golfer.

Take my ad­vice and try as many clubs as you can within your price range be­cause one will al­ways feel bet­ter in your hand. This will cer­tainly make your

plea­sur­able.∵ game more

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