If you're kitting yourself out with new clubs, there are a whole host of golf equipment mistakes you need to avoid if you want to get it right. In the article and video below, we run through eight common pitfalls to help you make the right choices for your game.
8. Fairway woods
Picture this, you've got 200-250 yards left into a green...do you feel comfortable hitting your fairway wood off the deck? If the answer is no, then why do you carry your 3-wood? They're long shafts and small heads so you need to be confident hitting them, perhaps adding loft could be the answer.
You could, for example, take the 3-wood out of the bag and use a 4- or 5-wood instead. It might not go as far, but you'll be more consistent with it. Also notice how, for Tour Pros, fairway woods are the last clubs to go. Henrik Stenson and Tommy Fleetwood had theirs in the bag for a number of years now and there's a reason why. Go to your local PGA Pro, tell them what you struggle with and you both should be able to find a setup and model that works for your game.
Related: Best fairway woods
They're your only point of contact with the golf club. If yours are worn then your tension will become tighter and you'll lose fluidity and power. If your grips are feeling a little old but you don't want or need to replace them just yet, give them a good wash and scrub. If they still aren't feeling right after a good wash, replace them and you'll notice a big difference.
Related: Best golf grips
The best drivers are going up in price - it's no secret. So if you're spending £500 on yours then it really is imperative that you go for a custom fitting. With all of the shaft, lie angle, loft and weighting options, buying one off the rack for £500 without a custom fitting means that you probably won't get optimum performance for the premium price tag that you've paid.
5. Driver spin
Do not go for a driver that doesn't spin enough. Spin is your friend, even with a driver. There can be a temptation to get fitted for a driver setting that produces your longest hits with your best swing, usually meaning a low spin option that gets the ball out there miles. That won't work with your average or below-average shots. You need a driver that will perform on every single swing that you make, so a low-spin setup really is best for only the fastest swingers in the world that are able to middle the driver every single time. For most of us, we need the weight and centre of gravity in the back of the head to give the forgiveness that we need. This will keep the spin up, and as we said earlier, spin is your friend.
You'll notice that in the image, the Ping is a blade putter and the Scotty Cameron is a mallet. However, there is more to it than that. When you balance the putters on your finger, the Ping clearly has a toe hang and the Scotty doesn't, meaning that the bladed putter more suits golfers with an arced putting stroke, whilst the mallet is better for the straight-back-and-through strokes.
It's really important that you marry up your putter with your stroke...that's how you find consistency on the greens. You can find bladed putters suited to a straight-back-and-through stroke and mallets for an arced stroke, just make sure that yours is the right one for your game.
3. Wedge grinds
When we talk about wedge grinds, we talk about the sole design. Manufacturers offer so many different grinds and that's because golfers all use their wedges differently. Wedge fittings can be incredibly helpful but we understand that most golfers won't be doing this. Instead, go into the pro shop and ask to take out some wedges all with different grinds. You will notice that one wedge clicks with your technique a little better than the others. In 2019, if you're buying wedges, make sure that you find the right grind for your game and it could make a massive difference.
2. Clean your wedges
What do the faces look like on your wedges? If they're dirty...clean them! Don't be lazy. Mud, dirt, sand, grass...whatever you have in the grooves will alter your spin control which will affect your strike and distance.
Related: Best golf wedges
1. Iron lofts
Manufacturers are making the lofts stronger on iron sets, cranking them down to go further whilst flying the same height because of the weight and centre of gravity moving back. A 7-iron is no longer a 7-iron! TaylorMade's P730 blade 5-iron is 27 degrees whilst the 5-iron in the M6 is 21 degrees. That'll mean that the M6 plays an awful lot longer than the P730 which is fine, but there will be a time in an amateur's set that the lofts don't work.
Go for a proper custom fitting and think about your gapping, particularly at the top of your set. If your 5-iron is 21 degrees, you might not need a 4-iron and should instead opt for a hybrid or fairway wood to replace it. For example, a 4-iron utility may be 22 degrees of loft so won't be going as far as your 5-iron if you have a game-improver set.
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Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TSR4
3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL
Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
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