Master clubfitting Professional Steve Darmody explains
the importance of having your clubs set up properly.
There are many variables in a golf club that affect its performance and your level of control. Golfers who have experienced a ‘correctly fitted' set of clubs are staggered at the difference they make to their games.
If a set is incorrectly set up for a golfer they are effectively 'unteachable'. Golf lessons from a professional will not produce an improvement in their game.
Let us start with a variable that affects all clubs but especially the driver and long irons. For many golfers, these clubs are the most difficult to control. We've also got some Swing Tips if you'd rather concentrate on your swing technique
right - Different driver lofts send
the ball away at different angles.
Different driver lofts send the ball away at different angles
Steve uses a hose to demonstrate how slightly increasing loft can lead to some extra distance
As beginners, we all loved to see the ball get airborne. We also loved to see the ball travel a long way down the fairway. The most common belief is that as the number of the club decreases, the ball will go further. That is obviously true, until we get to the least lofted clubs in the set. Many golfers find that their 3 woods and sometimes their 5 woods go further than their drivers.
Quite often they will also find that their 3 or 4-irons seem to go about the same distance. Occasionally the 5-iron may go further than their 3 or 4-irons. Why is this so? Loft would only seem to affect how high or low the ball flies but it also affects both direction and distance. To use a simple analogy, picture yourself watering the lawn. If you want to water areas further away, you simply raise the hose and elevate the stream of water and the water travels further.
There is a relationship between clubhead speed and loft. Golfers who do not generate great clubhead speed will generally require more loft. For example: we have golfer A, a 7 handicap player who generates 105mph of clubhead speed with his driver. Golfer B is a 20 marker who generates 80mph of clubhead speed. Golfer A achieves good results with a 9 degree driver. Golfer B achieves best results with a 12 degree driver. If golfer B used a 9 degree drive the flight would be very low. If the fairways are very hard, this low flight will produce more roll. However, if the fairways are wet or lush, he may hit his 3 wood further than the 9 degree driver. The added loft of the 3 wood will carry through the air.
LOFT AND DIRECTIONAL CONTROL
There is a direct relationship between loft and directional control. Lack of loft will cause the ball to go more to the right (for a right hander). Golfer B will find that his 9 degree driver will not only go lower but also he will slice this club me than his 3 wood. Even for long hitters lack of loft can mean it is difficult to DRAW the ball.
LOFT AND HOW IT EFFECTS YOUR SWING
So now we know that loft has a very strong effect on the height of the shot, how straight the ball will fly and how far the ball will go. There is another side effect of the wrong loft, which will change your golf swing very quickly.
We go back to golfer B. He has his new 9 degree driver but is finding that he is slicing the ball much more than his old 2 wood and the ball doesn't seem to be going as far as his old 2 wood.
Golfer B goes to the practice range to try to solve the problem. He finds that by changing his grip and hitting more off his back foot, the ball seems to go straighter and higher. He is disappointed with how far the ball is going so he starts to hit the ball much harder. He has just ruined his golf swing, to accommodate the new driver. When he goes back to his irons he finds that he has 'lost his iron swing.'
The NEW driver has changed his golf swing - for the worse!
Steve Darmody is one of Australia's leading golf coaches and is based on the sunny Gold Coast in South East Queensland, Australia.
Steve Darmody Golf Schools has "Stay and Learn" Golf Coaching packages and include play on the magnificent Golf Courses of SE. Queensland.
If there are specific questions you have on golf improvement send us an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org