THE NEW-CLUB EFFECT
New equipment usually provides a mental boost to golfers, so it was surprising when Jordan Spieth hit a rough patch in his game in August after switching to the new Titleist AP2 716 irons. Much like the kid who is sure he will run faster in new sneakers, golfers seek a bit of magic in new equipment. About a decade ago, Debbie Crews, an LPGA member with a PHD in psychology, conducted a study of 10 women professionals, specifically targeting the newness effect. Crews found that brain activity went up in 26 of 32 measurements when one of her subjects was given a new putter to try. In short, the brain gets excited when given a new toy to play with. The downside? The effect tends to be short-lived.
In her putter test, Crews noted the results were virtually always better on the first 10 putts than on the second 10 with a new putter.