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Contrary to what many people believe, playing golf doesn't have to cost a fortune. There are a range of playing and equipment options to meet different budgets and with the emergence of the current cost of living crisis, the vast majority of us are looking to make sure the money we spend on the game goes as far as possible. In this article, we'll look at some of the common, expensive mistakes that golfers make - from buying the wrong equipment to joining the wrong golf club. Avoid these to make better, smarter buying choices.
9 Expensive Mistakes Every Golfer Needs To Avoid!
Buying Golf Clubs That Aren’t Forgiving Enough
Every golfer, no matter what your handicap, wants clubs that look great in the bag. The problem often comes when you get lured into buying beautiful clubs that don’t offer the level of forgiveness you need to play more consistently. This is particularly true within the iron category. The fact is, it doesn’t matter how good they look, if your scores go in the wrong direction you’ll need to invest in a new set of clubs. If in doubt, our advice would be to err on the side of extra forgiveness. The good news is that if you’re thinking about buying any of the best golf irons, there is often plenty of forgiveness built into good looking clubs.
Joining A Club That’s Too Far From Home
This one needs to be taken with a pinch of salt as everyone’s situation is different. For many golfers however, the key to getting value for money from a membership is the ability to get to the golf club when a window opens up in your schedule. Not having to plan every round of golf but playing and practising whenever the ebbs and flows of life allows can make all the difference when it comes to getting value from a traditional golf club membership.
Using A Leather Glove In Wet Weather
Sometimes a smart investment will actually save you money. The best wet weather gloves are designed to help improve your hold of the club when the weather turns ugly. What you absolutely need to avoid is continuing to use your regular leather glove in this situation. Not only will it not offer the same level of traction but over the course of a few hours it will absorb the water. The glove will then become hard and crack as it dries.
Buying Clubs Without Doing Your Homework
Not doing your homework is the quickest way to end up with equipment that’s not right for you. Most golfers know that but there are still some pitfalls to avoid. For example, if you are interested in any of the best golf club sets, take a look at the bag that comes with the clubs. Some of the bags are designed to be used on carts - if you prefer to carry your clubs, you’ll need to replace that bag. Likewise, some golf balls, like the Bridgestone Tour B range, are designed for golfers with certain driver swing speeds. Buying the wrong one on impulse is a simple mistake to avoid.
Practising With The Same Wedge Every Time
This is a tricky one. In an ideal world you’d play and practise with the same wedges and then, as soon as the grooves start to wear down, replace them. Sadly most of us don't have the resources for this approach! The issue is that if you regularly practice with the same wedges you use on the course, you’ll quickly reduce their lifespan (especially if you practice bunker shots as the sand will quickly wear down the grooves). A smart approach might be to use an old wedge to practice with. This way you can work on your technique and your ball striking without reducing the control on offer from your gamer wedges…. Something to think about.
Buying A Putter That’s Not Right For Your Stroke
Buying a putter is often golf’s great impulse purchase. We’ve all been into the pro shop, picked up one of the best putters that looks smart and feels great in the hands, and made an off-the-cuff investment. The problem is that every putter in the shop will be designed for a certain stroke type. Understanding the arc of yours, and the putter designs that are best suited to that, is a clever way to make a better buying decision.
Using Summer Shoes In The Winter
Taking a moment to look at the golf shoes you have at home is worthwhile. In particular, are they all spikeless options typically designed for good weather? If so, it might be worth investing in a pair that can hold up to wet weather. Not only will they offer you better traction but they’ll also extend the life of the other shoes you own.
Using Different Balls For Every Round
Finding the best golf ball for your game and then giving yourself the time to get used to how it performs is key. All too often, golfers jump from one brand or model to the next, searching for the right formula while they compete on the course. This is both counter-productive and expensive. Our advice would be to do your homework (working out your ideal budget) and then pick a model you think is best. You’ll often find that if you buy in bulk, you can save yourself some valuable money.
Not Cleaning Your Grips
Your grips are your only point of contact with your clubs and naturally, they pick up dirt and grime as you play. However, did you know you can improve the lifespan of your grips by cleaning them? For the most part, using hot, soapy water will remove the grease and muck that has caused your grips to lose their tackiness. Our advice would be to only replace your grips if you’ve cleaned them first and they still aren’t offering enough traction.
In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."
Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points.
Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSi2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X
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