What To Look For When Buying Golf Equipment For The First Time
Updated: Dec 19, 2019
Hello, my name is Alexis. I am 27-years-old and have been working in the marketing department for Callaway for four years. I played high school golf, but let me clarify: I played two years of junior varsity and one year of varsity…because there were eight spots and eight girls. I point this out to let you know that while golf is a game of skill, like most *hobbies* it’s meant to be enjoyed regardless of score/skill level. When I play golf, I do my best to play for fun, and any good shot I hit just makes it more fun than it already was!
That being said, golf can be a pretty intimidating hobby to pick up. Not only does it require hand-eye coordination, but it takes at least 3 hours of your time to play a full round, you have 14 clubs to choose from that are supposed to go different distances based on how you connect with the ball, there’s potential to LOSE a piece of your equipment ‘on the field’, a high score is no longer considered a good thing, it requires more practice time than most activities, and on top of all of that…THERE’S A DRESS CODE. As a woman (or really any beginner) all of that can seem a bit daunting. But I’m here to ease your mind. I can tell you that the engineers behind the equipment are dedicated to making the game easier and more fun!
I’m going to address a few things that women can do and look for in equipment whether you’re just starting out or you’re looking for something new.
Where do you begin?
If you’re just picking up the game, the odds are you don’t actually need 14 clubs. Most beginners are still getting the hang of their swing and making contact so being able to properly gap distances is not the main focus. You can find complete/package sets with 7 or 10 clubs in them, which is just enough to get you started and help you feel like you have things together. Look for a package set like Solaire - this will provide you with good equipment to begin your golf journey, that won’t break the bank.
Do I need to be a good golfer to get fit? - Not at all! We always say that the best thing you can do is to get fit for your clubs - especially if you are not of average height and are not really in tune with your swing. Going for a fit/lesson will at the very least tell you what flex/length/weight shaft you should be playing and further will help you realize what it’s like to have the equipment made for you and your swing! Don’t get me wrong, you could go get a standard set off the shelf and probably make due, but did you know that women’s standard is about 1 inch shorter than men’s? What if you’re a taller woman? What if you were an athlete most of your life and you need a heavier shaft? Think of it this way: you wouldn’t buy a pair of running shoes without trying them on and feeling the weight, cushion, etc. right? The same applies to golf equipment.
Women’s vs. Men’s vs. Unisex
Most often when you see “men’s” or “women’s” this is referring to the specs of the club such as club head weight and shaft flex/length. If you’re in-store, or getting fit, there should be someone to help you figure out which club head and shaft are right for you - but don’t worry, the same awesome technology goes into each one.
Does ‘game improvement’ mean that I’m a bad golfer?
First of all - NO. Second of all - every golfer needs help! The “good” ones are called tour players. Most things about golf equipment are straight forward when it comes to categorizing clubs. Don’t be afraid when you see a club that says “game improvement” (like a hybrid, or a thicker iron). This means that there’s technology and FORGIVENESS packed into that club, and unless you’re an ultra low-handicap golfer, you will have some sort of club(s) with this category attached. Take them with pride and notice how they HELP your golf game.
Why are there so many golf balls and which should I be playing?
Golf balls are the last piece of equipment and something that can be as simple as “I like the color” or as complicated as “I need more backspin off my wedges.” At Callaway, we make a few different golf balls not only with different materials & technology, but also at different price points. If you’re just getting used to standing over a golf ball, I would try the Supersoft MAGNA. MAGNA is a little oversized and that small difference in size can impact how comfortable you feel when you’re setting up to swing. Still in the beginner/forgiveness realm, I would definitely suggest SuperHot Bold or Supersoft. Both balls are easy to hit, they go far, get up in the air, and they come in fun colors both in a “gloss” and “matte” finish. If you’re looking for a ball that is going to go far off the tee, but needs to flight a bit lower, you can get the ERC Soft with Triple Track technology. Triple Track technology is embodied by three lines on this ball that can help you line up for shots off the tee, and putts. Lastly, there’s Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X for the more experienced players who are looking to have more control over their golf ball.