With the holiday season coming to an end, many of us received some golf equipment. It was probably what we asked for and this is always a good thing. Unfortunately, I have a secret I need to share: if you think that because you bought a new piece of equipment your game will miraculously improve, then I hate to burst your bubble. Yes, we generally see some quick changes, but the long term success of our new kit still requires work and effort.
At the end of last season, I bought a new Callaway Rogue driver. It was a perfect purchase for my game and the one round I used it, I felt more confident off the tee. However, any real sustained improvement is yet to be seen. I know that when my 2019 season starts I will have to hit the range early to get reacquainted with my Rogue. But more importantly, I need to train my body to hit this new club to maximize both distance and direction. Just because I bought a new driver does not automatically mean I will see instant success.
If you wondering why I am being negative about our new kit, well I am not really. Experience has taught me that new equipment requires work. As an example, my friend bought some a full set of Taylormade M4s. He is taking them to on a winter golfing trip and he is excited to give this new sticks a test run! Who can blame him; however, new equipment affects our grooved swing and the honeymoon might be short lived if his expectations are too high. My friend is a seasoned player; I am confident he will temper his excitement as he hits ball after ball down the fairway and the odd wayward shot.
There is a solution to this quandary. Years of range time has taught me to approach my new driver in the following manner:
- Swing like I have my old driver in my hands. This is important to find out what differences are between my old and new driver. Focus on ‘not’ over-swinging….yet. Make a mental not of the differences.
- After about 10 balls, I swing as hard as I can (in balance) for 5 balls. This allows me to see how the new club will respond to a faster club head speed. Add new data to my mental note.
- Then I make minor adjustments depending on the results. Adding more distance is different that direction. I focus on direct first and fix distance afterwards.
- Take the new club to the course. Apply the above changes for at least the entire round. If more tweaking is required, head back to the range and repeat steps 1 through 3. I find that a maximum of three times to the range is all that is needed to make my new club respond to how I want to swing it.
The above process takes some time, but it does reduce frustration of trying to play a new club. Additionally, it adds to my long term success and really that is what it is all about. This process works for me and I think if you give a chance, it might work for you. What do you think?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!