Well equipped

Getting the right equipment, fit will help you enjoy game more

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Over the past two summers – which is to say during the COVID-19 pandemic – the game of golf enjoyed a renaissance.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/07/2022 (256 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Over the past two summers – which is to say during the COVID-19 pandemic – the game of golf enjoyed a renaissance.

Because it’s played outdoors – and lends itself to social distancing – scores of people took up the game anew or returned to playing after drifting away for one reason or another.

Suddenly, new golfers were looking for equipment, and those who hadn’t played for years ventured into the dark recesses of their basements or garages to find – and then dust off – their old clubs.

Not long after, realizing their equipment – whether it was Uncle John’s old set of 1978-vintage Walter Hagen’s or the clubs that had performed well back in 1999 (was it really that long ago?) – left something to be desired, they went looking for something better.

The next dilemma they faced was whether to buy new or used.

Darrin Keats, owner of the Caddy Shed, says the age-old old new-versus-used debate was reborn.

“Of course, brand new clubs are the better choice if you have the budget,” he says. “But not everyone does. And as good as today’s new clubs are, brand new isn’t necessarily better than a reasonably new set of clubs.”

Today, it’s possible to get into a good set of clubs whether you’re on an unlimited or limited budget.

That said, the key to getting the most out of a high-end or entry-level set is to have them custom-fit to your game, says Scott Staub, Caddy Shed’s resident club fitter.

“The truth is that when you use ill-fitted clubs, you make a hard game that much harder,” he says. “We can get you into either a new or used set that fits your budget, no problem. But you need to get it fit to you. Doing that will help you enjoy the game more and play better.”

Even bringing in an existing set – no matter whether it’s new or 10-years-old – for a fitting session always pays off, says Derrik Goodwin, head professional at Glendale Golf & Country Club.

“If you’re going to play a lot or just occasionally, you need to get a custom-fit set,” he says. “We charge $75 for a session, and will look at things like proper length, shaft, weight, and grip size. We can optimize your driver and the other clubs in your bag. That’s important, because it will help you enjoy the game, and the development of your game.”

The good news is that there’s a wide range of price points to choose from with today’s proliferation of golf clubs brands.

New iron sets range anywhere from $800 to $2,800, while demo sets and used sets can be found in pro shops and golf stores.

“I’d say that even if you’re on a budget, it’s worth paying a CPGA professional or club fitter to fit you. Say you find a deal on a set online. A CPGA pro or club fitter can easily retrofit the clubs to specs that meet your needs,” Goodwin says.

Staub adds that club fitters will also assess a golfer’s game to determine what type of set makeup will best suit their game.

“Often, we replace long irons with hybrids or lofted woods, or maybe we’ll add another wedge. Non-traditional set makeups often work far better than traditional ones for the average player,” he explains

So, no matter what type of set you buy – new, demo or used – get it fit to your game, adds Sandy Kurceba, associate professional at Assiniboine Golf Club.

“It’s always worth it even if it costs $50 or $75,” he says. “In some cases, the fitting comes complimentary when you buy a set, which is even better. The bottom line? Don’t use an old set from the garage. Get a good new or used set that fits your budget and get it custom-fit. You’ll play better and, most importantly, enjoy the game more, whether you play a little, or a lot.”

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