Take time to choose your equipment

  • Tue Jul 31st, 2012 7:22pm

<b>GOLF TIPS | </b>By Tyrone Hardy For The Weekly Herald

Hey Ballinger buddies. I got an email from Rob in Shoreline and he had some questions regarding his golf equipment.

He is looking to upgrade his clubs from the set he has been playing with for the last 10 years. He mentioned that his current clubs were given to him by an uncle and that they are quite old. He would like to get some advice on all the new equipment, especially the metal woods.

Seeing how equipment has changed, there may be some of you out there with the same type of questions. The first consideration is always the shaft, especially for the woods. You must get a shaft that matches your swing speed. The two aspects of the shaft are the overall flex and the flex-or-kick point.

Generally speaking, the faster the swing, the stiffer the shaft and higher (toward the handle) the kick point. A stiffer shaft will promote a straighter ball flight with a slight reduction of distance, and a more flexible shaft will promote more curve but will also add a small amount of distance. I advise that you get the most flexible shaft that you can control.

The kick point has a major impact on the flight of the ball. If the kick point is toward the head, then that shaft will help get the ball airborne, while a kick point that is higher toward the handle will bring the ball flight down. The typical setup for an average player would be a medium flex shaft with a lower kick point.

This will give the player some stability in minimizing curve while giving them a helping hand in getting the ball up in the air. Just remember that there is no industry standard in regards to shaft flex, so your best bet is to try as many clubs as needed. A shaft that is labeled “stiff” from one manufacturer may actually be the same flex as one labeled “regular” from another.

The current equipment innovation, which isn’t really new, is flexible weighting. This refers to the clubs that, with a tool, you can remove weights and change their position or actual weight depending on your desired result. In ancient times (before metal was used for woods) we used lead tape to accomplish the same result.

If you want to promote a draw, place more weight towards the heal of the club. If you want to promote a higher ball flight, then place more weight on the bottom and back of the clubhead. If you want a lower ball flight, place more weight on the top of the clubhead right behind the face.

All this technology is great to have available; however, we must remember one simple fact: it is only an advantage if we can swing the club consistently enough to utilize that technology. So, keep working on that swing, and the more consistent you get the more you will notice how equipment can help your game.

Tyrone Hardy is co-owner of Hardy Golf LLC and director of golf at Ballinger Lake Golf Course. For more information go to www.ballingerlakegolf.com. Send comments or questions to tyroneh@ballingerlakegolf.com or follow Ballinger Lake Golf on Facebook and Twitter.