Are your clubs older than you, or have you got into an expensive habit of purchasing the latest models as soon as they're released? Maybe it's time to make a change.


Are your clubs older than you, or have you got into an expensive habit of purchasing new clubs as soon as the latest models are released? When it comes to changing our golf equipment it’s sometimes difficult to know when it’s the right time to make a change.

With equipment manufacturers rolling out new models on a regular basis, each claiming to be more forgiving and capable of sending the ball ever increasing distances, it’s sometimes hard to know whether you're making a sensible investment.

For many of us it's easy to grow fond of our clubs, especially if they've served us well, and changing to a different model or brand can be a daunting prospect.

Clinging on to your current set, even if they’ve seen a fair number of rounds, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If a player feels relaxed with a certain club in their hands they’re more likely to swing confidently and consequently more likely to make a good swing. Nonetheless there comes a time when even the most trustworthy clubs deserve to retire with dignity.

We spoke to Dave Fanning the European Marketing Director at PING Europe to see how often he thought players should upgrade their gear.

‘’A lot of it comes down to fitting. If someone has made swing changes, it’s common that their previous set-up may not be suitable for the new way in which they swing the club and it’s likely that they’d benefit from being refitted.''

''Similarly, if somebody’s physique has changed substantially, for example they have experienced significant weight loss or increased their strength considerably in the gym, then their clubs may no longer be optimised for how they swing the club.’’

Meanwhile advances in golf club technology have come on leaps and bounds in the last decade and whilst each new releases may only see minor improvements, these changes have the potential to make a big impact on your game over the course of two or three years. Recent developments to the club-making process, as well as improvements to the materials used in the clubs, have enabled club manufacturers to lower the overall system mass of the clubs, making it easier to generate clubhead speed, ball speed and distance, especially from slower swing speeds. The result is the potential to hit the ball both straighter and further. 

What To Change

Sometimes the question isn’t when to change but which clubs. Forking out for a new set of irons is a hefty investment and with a new driver often a far more seductive purchase, many of us are guilty of upgrading the big stick at the expense of other clubs in the bag.

Whilst we may want to splash the cash on a club where we can see immediate improvement, purchasing new wedges is often the wisest choice.

‘’While it’s common to see professionals putting a new set of wedges in play several times a year due to the amount they practise their short games and the need for sharp grooves on a weekly basis, we see amateurs generally renew their wedges as often as they change their irons.’’ Fanning said.

‘’It’s not uncommon practice among pros to have a set of wedges that they use for practice, and a set that they use for tournament play. This means they can be confident that they’ll be able to generate maximum spin when it matters as their grooves have not been worn down by extensive practice.’’

While the mere amateur may not need to take such drastic measures, changing your wedges at least every year or so will have a dramatic impact on how well you can control your pitch shots, as well as those delicate little shots around the green, particularly for those who practice regularly.

The trick is often to use your common sense. If you're changing too regularly you may want to hold back on making the next purchase and use the money you've saved to buy a series of lessons. If, however, you start to notice that other players of similar abilties are starting to crunch the ball past you after upgrading their clubs, or you're struggling to get the ball to stop on the greens, you may want to ask your local pro what they think, or head to the nearest fitting centre to let them take a closer look.

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