2013 Golf Equipment: It’s About You


Before I dive in head first into the world of golf equipment, from drivers to putters, shoes to caps and everything in between, I wanted set the tone. For starters, there is virtually limitless analysis on golf equipment written by golf pros, engineers, and guys who use words like “drag coefficient” available at your fingertips.  Golf Digest puts out a very helpful “Hot List” every year, that I would recommend to a certain extent, but again, there is a lot of technical jargon that isn’t going to change any numbers on my scorecard, but willmake a dent on my checking account.  With all of this information out there on what to spend your hard-earned money on I have a general statement on all golf equipment.  Plain and simply put, a tool is only as good as the person holding it.

Feb 8, 2012; Pebble Beach CA, USA; General view of putters on the practice green

This statement is self-explanatory; however, I know from experience that once you get into that store, whether it be your basic sporting goods store, or a full-scale golf pro shop, that logic goes out the window when all those shiny new toys are calling your name.  So, let’s step back, and use our noodles before we take the “kid-in-a-candy-store” approach and end up with that compulsive buyers remorse when we’re still driving the ball the same distance, and that hook/slice hasn’t magically disappeared.

I wear a lot of hats.  I’m a father of two girls. I am a participant at my local community theater.  And during the day I work in a small IT department.  Frequently I’m asked “Erik, what kind of computer should I buy?”  The answer to that always comes with another question.  “What are your needs?”  This question is exactly the same when you are deciding to make a new purchase on golf equipment.  What are your needs? The factors here don’t start with your handicap, but the variables of what your handicap is made up of from tee to green.  Things like, if you’re struggling with accuracy, a more forgiving club is going to suit you better than a tour version.

Club attributes aside, this crazy game is so much mental.  Your equipment is just as much about increasing your confidence as it is about the technical specifications.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried out a club at the pro shop and hit it well, then taken it out for a round and after the first bad shot, the rest of my game goes with it.  Did something change about the club?

We’re all at different stages of our game.  Maybe that new club, or those new shoes can help us gain confidence and confidence in your game can make all the difference.  It took me swallowing my pride (and telling my wife “you were right”) to realize that when you’re hitting a club well, ride that baby out until it crumbles in your hands.  I went through three different drivers in the last three years only to hit up eBay for a used version of the club I left in the first place.

I look at Rory’s missing the cut after switching to Nike as an example.  Will you ever hear a professional blame his new clubs.  Of course not.  Nike is making him an even wealthier man than he already was, but somewhere in his subconsciousness that switch in gear had to have made an impression, and it works its way into the front of the mind and nags until you want to snap that shaft in half.  Anger + golf = long day.

These concepts are probably not anything new to most readers, but if you find yourself nodding in agreement, then hopefully next time you are thinking about the “next big thing” to throw in your bag, you’ll take a deep breath and know that it’s not necessarily what kind of club is in your hands, but more about what you’re capable of doing with it.

(Actual equipment reviews, “analysis” and insight to come in the weeks ahead)