The goal of Plugged In Golf is to educate golfers. Whether that’s reviews, lessons, or travel stories, we want you to have all the information you need to make good decisions so you can enjoy the game more.
In this lesson, I’m not sharing information so much as I’m sharing perspective. I’ve been in the golf industry in some capacity for over a decade, largely focused on equipment, and I’ve learned this: golf equipment isn’t that complicated. I hope to convince you of the same.
This Lesson Is For You If:
You feel overwhelmed by golf equipment
You want to be more knowledgeable about your clubs
The Golf Equipment Learning Curve
Every new golfer starts out ignorant, overwhelmed, and, hopefully, excited. Those words certainly applied to me when I picked up the game and caught the gear bug. I was eager to learn but completely lacking in confidence about my gear decisions.
Then, thanks to a heavy diet of the internet, I quickly progressed to being a know-it-all. I knew the name of every club, every tech buzzword, every spec. I was more than happy to tell you all the stuff I knew, opine on gear, and make recommendations based on my extensive “knowledge.” And I wasn’t too enthused about listening to anybody else.
Now, after being that guy for a while, I’ve reached the point where I understand that knowing golf equipment isn’t about memorizing specs and buzzwords. Let me tell you why.
Why Does Golf Equipment Seem Complicated?
A glut of choices. A constant flood of new gear. Specs and numbers. Technology such as launch monitors. These are the big reasons why golf equipment seems complicated to those who haven’t yet taken the red pill.
The fact that there are dozens of different drivers, irons, wedges, and putters is overwhelming. It’s easy to believe that they’re all wildly different and that you need to understand each one. Plus you have all the silly categories – Game Improvement, Super Game Improvement, Players, Players Distance, I could go on. Are the categories helpful? They can be, but they can also lead people to get hung up on labels rather than focusing on what matters. For most golfers, it’s easier to plead ignorance than to try wading through the mire.
All the new gear is magnified in complexity by all the specs and numbers. From the seemingly simple, such as club length, to the high level launch monitor stats, golf has more numbers than a math book. Again, it’s easier to just grab a club off the shelf than try to make sense of them. Or it can be appealing to live in those numbers, lording your knowledge over “regular” golfers who “don’t get it.”
Finally, there’s the technology. The average golfer can be intimidated by the launch monitor and all the numbers it spews out, not to mention that they have to hit shots in front of the fitter who they assume to be a scratch player. Launch monitors are phenomenal, and they’ve helped countless golfers get into the right clubs, but they can also overcomplicate things when they’re in the wrong hands.
Golf Equipment Is Simple
Golf is a simple game. A player takes a club, they hit a ball, and they repeat that until the ball is in the hole. Golf equipment should be equally simple.
If you’re thinking about getting new gear, ask yourself a simple question: “Why?” There are countless valid reasons – you want to find a better fit, your game as improved (or gotten worse), you’ve lost confidence in your old clubs, or maybe you just want a new toy. Regardless of your answer, your personal “why” is the only thing you need to find the right clubs.
When you go to your fitter, try to ignore or forget everything but your why. Ignore buzzwords, forget categories, and don’t worry about what the guy on the internet told you to buy. Try some different clubs. Buy the ones that get you the results you want. If you need help – and most of us do – use your fitter as a resource to explain why you’re getting certain results or how something might work better. But stick to the basic equation of you + club = result.
Be confident. It’s your game. They’re your clubs. Like what you play and play what you like.
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Yes! I have gone through this process searching for that missing magical club/shaft/ball etc. since Big Bertha exploded onto the scene. Now I am at peace with some tried and true favorites- G30 LST, Aeroburner TP 3HL, Adams Pro 3 and 4 hybrids, vokey SM4 wedges and a bronze Anser 029. I just picked up a set of used i200s to lock in the 2021 bag.
Great answer to buying new clubs. For years I stuck to the biggest names when looking for new clubs. Last year I picked up a Wilson Staff demo iron and hit it on the launch monitor. I was surprised at the results. I bought the set of irons and last summer was one of the best season in iron play that I have had in years.
Thanks Matt. Good advice about not only golf equipment but life.
Thanks Matt for a good direction to take – determine your personal why – for the clubs you use. Right now I am looking for new wedges (SM 6’s are worn out) and the constant look for a better driver. Fitters have been helpful in solving my irons but not the driver. The why for me is the quest to play better.
One problem in equipment is the lack of standards which makes comparisons difficult. It is also a reason to find a trusted fitter.
Once again, a fabulous article…..
especially The Takaway. I think most of us go thru “stages” in our equipment lives. Beginning, we can go from “that looks good” to “that looks impressive” to “hey, I don’t care if nobody uses this – it works for me.”
AND…….I think that last stage is where you were coming from. We should all be there, in every aspect of our “material” lives. We all should be happy in our own skin – and happy for each other.