Monday, September 29, 2008

Your Golf Clubs Are Hurting Your Game.

The Right Sticks, Equipment Myths That Could Wreck Your Golf Game.
By: Tom Wishon, with Tom Grundner

Average Golfer Book Review

Golf can be a frustrating game. Regardless of what level we play at there's too many days when we don't or can't play up to our potential. Most frustrating is consistency. How does anyone feel when they flub a shot they know they can hit, just not often enough? We typically blame it on anything from our state of mind to our ever developing swing. Rarely do we consider that our equipment is ill suited to us and our games. After all, we're playing the latest and greatest driver, irons made out of something that helped put a man on the moon, and a putter that practically holes it on it's own.

Few of us would spend $100.00 on a pair of sneakers without trying them on, probably multiple pairs, but we think nothing of sauntering into a big box sporting goods store and plunking down as much as $1,500.00 or more on a set of golf clubs where fitting to our unique body shapes and types is of paramount importance. The Right Sticks addresses this apparent contradiction in direct terms and down to earth style. Could it be that our expectations for this great game are being throttled by equipment that not only doesn't help us, but most likely hurts our chances at finding golf nirvana? You bet, in spades.

Tom Wishon, author of The Right Sticks has been a leading club designer in the industry for over 33 years. His designs have won tournaments on the PGA Tour, the Champions Tour, and the Ryder Cup. He has over 50 design "firsts" on his enviable resume. Need I say more? That aside, his real gift is making the game more enjoyable to the average golfer, you and me. There's a ton of assumptions that are ingrained in the fabric of golf that we've come to take as gospel. Tell me if you've heard any of these.......

  • Your new driver has a larger sweet spot.
  • You are using stiff shafts, (or any other flex), in your clubs. It says so right on them.
  • The more expensive the club or shaft, the better it will perform.
  • Women's clubs are designed for women.
  • The bigger the head, (or the stranger the shape), the better a driver will perform.
  • My clubs are just like the ones the pros use.
Tom doesn't stop there. He explains and debunks dozens of golf "trusims" and "rumors" in The Right Sticks. It's an easy read, not a scientific journal. Tom has the enviable ability to translate complex principles and ideas and allow average golfers, like you and me, to understand them and how they affect our games. I've been a part time club builder and fitter for 10 years and still found a number of forehead slapping sections in Tom's book. I'm a golfer first and I'm excited about taking what I learned about golf club performance, and especially custom fitting, to the course.

I frequently tell people that are just taking up the game to make their next investment a lesson from a PGA teaching professional. It will go a long way towards enhancing their enjoyment of the game. Too many beginners quit out of frustration with the game's difficulty. Now I'm going to tell them to read The Right Sticks before the lesson and BEFORE buying clubs. Even an excellent pro can't teach you the game if your equipment doesn't fit. Having clubs that fit the "unique you" doesn't guarantee you'll have success in this wonderful game, but having the wrong clubs guarantees you won't. Why paddle upstream?


  1. Good info. Definitely one of the most overlooked aspects of improving as a golfer. I spent a month researching and demoing drivers before I bought one. That's the only way to do it.

  2. Curious....What driver did you end up with and what are the specs?

  3. Ping G10. 9 degree. Stiff shaft (the one that come standard with the driver). I posted about it on my blog a month or so ago.

  4. So, after a month, what's your review?

  5. Considering I was playing a 10-year-old Great Big Bertha before buying the Ping, I'm loving it. I'm still wondering a bit about the shaft. Thought it's a stiff shaft, about 1 out of 5 of my drives seem to balloon a little too high for my liking...which kills distance.

    When I demoed this club, I was bombing it farther than anything I've ever hit. But once the checked cleared (and isn't this always the case), I'm probably hitting it about 10 yards further than my old Bertha. Pretty straight, too.

  6. Straight's great. Sometimes we bring tension into our swing's that wasn't there during the demo. Have to "justify" the purchase.

  7. Now, when you learn how to hold a golf club, let your arms hang naturally. Now suppose that the normal position of golf, but without a real brat. Since you are not taking anything, keep the palms together. Your hands should be parallel. Now that the hands are parallel to each other, remember that this position will be one of the basics of holding a golf club. With palms together, will now be able to work together.