Getting fit for golf includes more than working on your body to increase strength, flexibility and balance. Getting fit also means having a set of golf clubs that fit your swing, strength and size. A visit to your PGA Professional can accomplish this in a short period of time. A well-trained pro can fit you for the proper club shaft length, flex, lie angles of your irons, loft of your driver and make sure that all the gaps are properly filled in your game. This can be done in a short period of time and is well worth the visit.
Once you have been fit for clubs take a moment to realize the clubs that you use the most. These clubs are the putter, the wedges and the driver in that order. Every year technology advances in golf equipment and especially in the last few years relating to putters and drivers. If you love golf and want to play your best, these clubs are where you want to invest your money.
The putter is used for about 40 to 45 percent of your shots in a round of golf. There are so many new putters available these days that you should be able to find one that looks good and feels good to you. Most putters are too long for players, so they never use the proper posture to use the shoulders in their stroke. Putters that you find in a golf shop can be shortened and regripped to fit you. Recently even Tiger Woods has experimented with putters that are more technologically advanced, and he has done well. Try some of the larger size grips as they tend to keep your hands more clam through the stroke. You want to find a putter that fits you and your stroke so that you can roll the ball exactly on the line that you intend. This is the fastest way to save shots.
The driver is used up to 14 or more times per round. If you are not playing a driver that was designed in the last few years you are losing yardage and accuracy. Having a driver that has the right shaft flex and loft is essential for hitting more fairways. Nearly every student of mine says that they want to hit the ball farther. One of the keys to doing so is to have a correct fitting driver that you can hit on or near the sweet spot as often as possible.
The wedges are your shot savers. Tour players replace their wedges up to four times a year. Having a complete set of wedges that have new grooves are a vital part of the short game. Consider having three or four wedges rather than too many fairway woods. Try a 52-, 56- and 60-degree wedge along with your pitching wedge. You can save more strokes by improving your short game than any other part of the game.
Matt Stottern is the PGA Director of Instruction at the Peninsula State Park Golf Course. He is also the Director of the John Jacobs Golf School at the same location. He has more than 20 years teaching golf and teaches golfers of all ages and abilities. He spends the winter months teaching golf schools and private lessons in Arizona. He can be contacted at 480.620.5395 or [email protected]