The Journey to Improve – I Need New Clubs!

Can you imagine the insecurity you’d feel if you were a golf club? One day you’re riding high and two weeks later somebody is slamming you into his golf bag while calling you words that you didn’t know existed.

There’s a problem with my driver. For the last few rounds it just hasn’t wanted to hit the ball straight. The weird thing is that it was just fine a while ago. In fact, I had a stretch of rounds where it kept me in the fairway over 60 percent of the time! Now I’m having trouble keeping it on the driving range, which is easily 200 yards wide. Obviously, there is a problem here and I’m about to do something about it.
Sound familiar? Yea, I know it does. It also sounds sort of stupid. Don’t take that wrong, I’ve done it too. In fact, I’m pretty sure I just did it this morning. The lure of new clubs is almost impossible to ignore at times. That’s especially true after a few bad rounds, but is the equipment really the problem?

Interestingly enough, there’s not a really definitive answer to the question. On one hand, bad swings tend to produce bad golf shots and there isn’t a club that can change that. On the other hand, some swings can benefit from certain equipment. I certainly wouldn’t hit a low launching driver with an extra stiff shaft as well as I hit the one I’m swinging today. Then again, maybe I would. I bet I could even find a guy on the internet to tell me I would.

Finding equipment to compliment our strengths and minimize our weaknesses is something that could benefit all of us. Even better, there is a slew of professionals out there that are well trained to help us find that equipment. A big part of me thinks that sticking with that equipment through the rough patches is probably more beneficial in the long run than charging to eBay after a couple bad rounds. I’d even go as far to say that those couple bad rounds might be more deserving of a trip to your local PGA professional than one to the pro shop. If those PGA professionals could just find a way to be a little shinier and aerodynamic they may actually stand a chance one day. There is no place for logic in the mind of a guy that just shot a 97.

The cards are just stacked against us. We want results and we want them quickly. When you combine that desire with some extremely effective marketing you can suddenly find yourself heading off on yet another honeymoon.

Speaking of the honeymoon, what a great time that is. It starts on the range with a few good shots that just make you feel invincible. Those good shots are followed by some magical rounds where everything that shiny new club does puts a smile on your face. These are the moments that we remember and cherish. Who am I kidding? That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Those memories are gone after three bad rounds. All of sudden that beautiful club has a sound you didn’t like much to begin with and you find yourself trying to find out how much you can unload it for. Loyalty to our equipment is not always a trait we hackers have.

You’d think that since I wrote this I’d be a bit stronger than I really am. Sadly, I spent a couple hours reading reviews on a driver and some irons today. I can’t help but wonder if they’ll be the ticket to get me to that next milestone. I’ve been giving my driver the cold shoulder for a few weeks and I hope it realizes just how quickly I act when I’m desperate. Thanks for reading today. I wish you, and your clubs, the best of luck out there.

Ryan H.

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33 Comments

  • haha, thanks Ryan, enjoyed reading that!

    I love this line

    “There is no place for logic in the mind of a guy that just shot a 97.”

    Never a truer word spoken!

  • Loved the article Hawk!! I used to be that way as well. I’ve gotten pretty good these days in just pondering though. It’s almost never the equipment. Heck I just hit a 20 year old driver as far as my brand spanking new 2011 model.

  • Great article, there are so many thoughts and mindsets most of us have come across included. Its amazing how this game is such a mental roller coaster. Even more impressive is how you’re able to put those thoughts into words. Well done.

  • Haha! We can all relate to this feeling. I went to see my teaching pro the other day about my driver because I was hitting it all over the place. He was surprised because I was hitting it great last time we played. It didn’t take him long to fix my problem. It definitely was not the club.

  • Well written Hawk, I’d like to say this has never happened to me, probably wouldn’t be a golfer if I didn’t think like that though!

  • I like the candidness of this thread. Putting it out there for us to see, thanks Ryan. I wonder if your issues are mental at this point. You’ve given up in the driver and want a new one so the old just won’t work. Keep up the search and keep us posted.

  • Nice write-up Ryan. Now you have me thinking if I should go in for a lesson instead of going after that new Cleveland Black driver in a few weeks. I also think a big part of this game we play is confidence and once we lose that in a club it is VERY tough to get it back.

  • It’s always the equipment! In all honesty, I don’t often find myself super discouraged with my stuff as much as I wonder if it’s “right” for me. I find the process of trying new things fun. Oh, and one other thing, you should be left handed. More often than not, you won’t have the options like those righties do, that also makes things tolerable.

  • That was great. And I agree, it’s never me, it’s always the club. Personally, for the past year I have been trying to hit a club that isnt fit for me, and expecting good results. If I cant set myself up with the right equipment, I cant expect the clubs to help me get better scores. Great article Ryan, enjoyed it!

  • Good read. It always cracks me up when I read people’s thoughts on new equipment and I see “It’s super straight”. Doesn’t that have more to do with the person’s swing than the club? Once you get a swing you are comfortable, you can tweak things here and there and at that point it is worth investing in clubs that will help YOUR SWING. My father always blames his clubs and like I always tell him. Do you think that if a pro came out here with your clubs they would shoot 120? Of course not.

  • Its always the clubs!!!!! I love testing out new equipment but the Morgan Cup really showed me that if you just stick with something through the bad times… you usually come out better in the end.

  • Good stuff Ryan. I know that I am guilty as anyone of wishing that new equipment will solve my ailing game when the real fixes would be practice and lessons.

  • great job ryan, really enjoy reading your series on improving your game….

  • Great little write-up here Ryan. Well done.

  • Good read Hawk!

  • I can relate to this Ryan! Try out some Adams clubs! hehehe

  • Great write up Hawk, we have all been there and I blame the equipment all the time. I’m enjoying these articles, keep them coming.

  • Nice write-up Ryan. It’s a fickle game that can get under your skin at times, but I know how hard you work at it. I bet by this time next year you can swing a broom stick with good results.

  • Great article and so true on several levels! I love the part about the honeymoon, it’s true for a while but then you’re right…we quickly start to find things we “never liked that much in the first place”. Great read Hawk!

  • There’s a corollary here in that if you leave your ineffective clubs in the garage or in storage for awhile, the period of non-use somehow renders them effective again. I’m not sure of the exact physics behind this — but the circumstantial evidence supporting this theory is overwhelming. Nice write up Ryan. I’m enjoying your series.

  • That’s an awesome article Ryan! It’s so true… My wallet is the only thing that stops packages from coming to my door every day!

  • Ryan, great article. Nail on the head, 110% true, perfect!

  • Good read Ryan. Since joining THP I find myself always wanting! Wanting new this or that… turns into buying this and that! Does it actually help my game? Not sure… but it is fun!

  • My clubs sense when its time for me to move on…they rattle in fear when I go on the PGA trade in value site!

  • Love the article and it pretty much sums up my season through June. From mid-July through early Oct things changed and my index dropped 4 points mostly driven by improved driving and ball-striking. What was different? I stopped fiddling around with different drivers and irons and selected one iron set out of my closet (X-24s) and one driver (S2) then I took one lesson, and stopped hitting range balls willy nilly and limited each season to 2 clubs and 50-60 balls. The lesson changed my grip and setup position and that and gave me a simple preshot routine. Are these the right clubs for me? I think that my swing is becoming more right for a large selection of clubs.

  • Well written article, I know for the past two weeks, I was wondering the same thing about my existing clubs.

  • i hear ya! i love my clubs, but as soon as i start shooting bad time after time i get new ones, knowing its not the clubs its me. but i cant help myself!!

  • Me love shiny new clubs!! I just drool over all the new clubs. Although, I am finally in a position to buy a complete new set next spring, I will spend the winter (I hope!) working with a teacher. Then, I’ll be able to be fit for clubs with a swing that will be in a much better position to enjoy this game all the more.

  • This line pretty well sums it up for me “When you combine that desire with some extremely effective marketing you can suddenly find yourself heading off on yet another honeymoon.” I know that combination is impossible to resist.
    Great job Ryan.

  • Nice article Hawk, sounds just like my love/hate relationship with my driver right now. It’s currently in the penalty box and if I listen really hard I can hear it whimpering to get out……but then over the horizon just about 3 weeks away I can hear the distant rumblings of a sexy new black driver telling me to forget about the old good for nothing driver and take it on a few dates…must resist.

  • Nicely written Hawk and I like your line of thinking. I think every golfer has to ask themselves why they play the game and hold true to their answer.

  • Great article Hawk. I think we are all guilty at one (at least) time or another of falling into that thought process.

  • Great article Hawk! I am one of those that love to switch equipment multiple times per year, irons I keep the longest but the driver is never safe haha.

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