Column: Bad clubs can ruin a golf game

Whether they’re in poor shape or poorly fitted, they can have a huge impact on swing mechanics.

I have had many students recently ask me about what to look for when purchasing a set of golf clubs, which is a very important issue for every type of golfer, including beginners.

Many students arrive to my lesson tee with clubs that are not suited for them. All too often I find my students using hand-me-downs, second hand clubs or clubs they’ve won at tournaments.

I cannot emphasize enough how detrimental playing with poorly fitted clubs is for a golfer.

Many beginners come to me with poorly suited clubs with the notion that once they have learned the game, they will invest in ‘proper’ clubs. However, this line of thinking will surely lead to compensations in the golf swing and a difficult learning environment.

If you are a beginner looking to take up the game, beware of hand-me-downs you may be offered. Golf can be a difficult game to learn, and using improper clubs will make this even more difficult. If you would like to try golf for the first time, most golf courses have clubs you can try at their facility that would suit you best.

Juniors must also have proper clubs to learn with. Cut-down adult clubs are still too heavy, which again will result in compensations in the golf swing that could be severely detrimental to a young golfer.

Even golfers who have played for several years have arrived at my lesson tee with poorly suited golf clubs, which have resulted in bad habits creeping into their swing. This results in endless hours on the practice tee and a lot of frustration.

Ultimately, every golfer would benefit from a club fitting by a professional. I realize this sounds expensive but it doesn’t need to be. And always beware of buying clubs ‘off the shelf.’

Some of my students ask if they should take lessons to work on their swing before or after purchasing clubs. My answer is that you should take at least one lesson from your golf professional before purchasing your clubs. That way, you can get the professional advice you need in what to look for in your purchase.

Remember you are investing in a game you can play for a lifetime, so taking the first few steps of proper instruction and equipment will help provide you with a much more enjoyable golf experience.

Jennifer teaches golf to adults and juniors at the Chilliwack Golf Academy. She played professionally on tour for over 10 years, including 2 years on the LPGA. She is the 2016 LPGA Western Section Teacher of the Year, and is now the lead instructor of the Sardis Golf Academy. She can be contacted at 604-798-9805, chilliwackgolfacademy.com, or at Jennifer@chilliwackgolf.com