The truth about equipment.

Someone asked.
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Monte
I would like to se you write about the truth about golf equipment. What sucks, and what really helps at different levels.
I think I play just well with Persimmons as I do the new stuff is because I really don’t swing fast enough to take advantage of all that M.O.I. stuff.

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The truth is most golf equipment is manufactured in the same building or square block in China. Including the knockoffs.

A little bit of hyperbole, but not much.

Distinguishing between something that is a 5.5 in stiffness and 5.7 is ridiculous. Changing from a D2 to a D3 swing weight…LOL. Even the top pros need a bigger change than that for it to have any appreciable change in performance.

Now if you are making a good golf swing and you are digging the toe of your irons in the ground, you need them bent more upright…and vice versa.

My mantra is if you want to buy new clubs because it’s fun, or you go to the golf store and say, “This club looks great, I can hit this pure,” I am all for that, but buying new clubs to fix a swing issue, or because you think a perfectly matched set to your Trackman numbers are going to improve your game…I say stop.

Your swing isn’t the same from one say to the next anyway, so these “perfect fittings” just get you in the ballpark.

“I need to switch to blades so I can work the ball better. I know with a little more workability I can get my handicap down from a 28 to a 22.”

That is the kind of attitude that prevents people from getting better.

Basically what I am saying is buy clubs for fun and because you think you can hit them good because they fit your eye and don’t fall for the marketing campaigns.

No club is going to hit the ball 30 yards farther or turn your 40 yard slice into a 3 yard draw.

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20 Comments

  1. woody

    Speaking of equipment…talk me out of experimenting with lead tape.

    Moe Norman used it, and I believe Snead and some others did too. Yeah, I know, the formula for energy increases with the square of the velocity, so a speed gain is better than a weight gain…which could even reduce the speed.

    Anyway, my “Moe Norman” big grips were of some use after all–even though they sucked for me on a regular club, they’re great for my putter. (Moe actually played with standard sized grips for his LARGE hand size, I found out later.)

    But…what about lead tape? Any long-drivers use it?

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Lead tape falls into the category of mental improvement. If you believe putting some lead tape low on the club will help you get it in the air, or on the toe help you draw it, etc…then it’s fine as long as you don’t use too much.

      Reply
  2. Ron

    Here are some stats I found on the driver’s length and distance at a 90 mph swing speed:
    Length Ball speed Distance

    42″ 133.0 209.7 yds
    43″ 133.2 210.1 yds
    44″ 133.5 210.5 yds
    45″ 133.6 210.7 yds
    46″ 133.8 211.0 yds

    Manufacturers keep pushing longer drivers for longer distances, which is true. However, the average length of a driver for a pro is 44″-45″. It is easier to control a shot with a shorter club. So what are the companies appealing to when selling clubs?

    Reply
  3. Calvin

    Good questions Woody. Add butt plugs to the mix . 🙂

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      It’s funny you say that. I did it 20 years ago when I won the Long drive. There is some merit to back weighting clubs.

      Reply
      • Calvin

        That’s the one thing of that nature that I have been tempted to try. I always wind up saying nahhhh. But the thought keeps coming back. Maybe one day.

        Reply
  4. Nollie Swynnerton

    I agree with all but the bit about M.O.I. If you were to read up on the subject I bet you would change your opinion. There are many, many variables associated with the golf swing and its results, and each has been treated to a greater or lesser degree in books, magazines, lectures, etc., etc. I really like your approaches to teaching the physical and mental aspects of the great game as you perceive them…kudos to you. That said, your “take” on M.O.I. is short of insight into it. Do yourself a favor and look into it in greater depth.
    Still a fan.

    Reply
  5. Nollie Swynnerton

    Apology offered…I addressed my earlier comments to you, Monte, thinking you’d made the M.O.I one. After rereading the comment I realized it was not yours. As far as I know, you’ve never said anything about M.O.I. Mea culpa.

    The person who made the comments might profit from reading up on that subject. He also might profit from taking advantage of a more modern driver. Persimmon has been improved upon…that’s a fact!

    Reply
  6. Doug Benner

    Until this past season I had not played in over 10 years thanks to a bad back. I had surgery in March of 2010 and played my first round this past April. I had to buy all new clubs (including my first set of metal woods ever, along with “game improvement ” irons) because I had given my old set to my son several years ago, when I thought I would never play again. At 61 years of age and one year removed from major back surgery I can hit the ball about one club further than I did 20 years ago. My average score is around 80 on a not so hard 6,100 yard muni course, which is nearly identical to what I shot 20 years ago.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the new equipment has made the game easier than it used to be (even though the average golfer’s handicap has not changed in decades). But I also had the advantage of my mind not being polluted by the Golf Digest, et. al., “gurus” for the last decade. By sheer luck, I found Monte’s blog early on in my rehab process, and along with a few others (like Shawn Clements) who can actually teach useful and sensible things I was able to filter out a lot of the nonsense.

    Reply
  7. Jason

    Monte, totally agree with you about club maufacturing. I have a set of Ping G-15 clones that perform exactly that same as the real thing. People give me a hard time because they are knock-offs. Another truth about golf is the 90% of golfers would benefit from a higher lofted driver as most of us (myself included) simply do not have enough speed to use a 10* driver let alone a 9* or 8*. Ego should stay well out of it when getting a new driver.
    Doug, I agree that Monte and Shawn are the only 2 people that have a common sense approach to golf instruction.

    Reply
  8. Todd

    I’ve been looking into getting a driver with more loft and shorter shaft (sometimes called a thriver). The problem I have noticed is most manufacturers start making drivers with a closed face when the loft gets above 11* or so. Any thoughts on that or is it not a big deal?

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      I am with you on that nasty closed face. Yuck. You might just have to go to a golf superstore and hand pick one that looks good to you.

      All the fitting in the world won’t help if the club looks nasty to you.

      Reply
      • Nollie Swynnerton

        Truth be told, you really don’t know what you’re getting off the rack. The factory tolerances for loft, lie, shaft flex, swingweight and overall weight are beyond what you could imagine! A “set” of irons off the shelf will vary all over the place as will be proven when they’re measured. A qualified fitter and club maker will take care of all that. If you want a driver with a square face and a 12* loft, say, the club maker has the equipment to make those measurement, provide them in a head that looks good to you, and even spine and FLO the shaft for optimal performance. Every graphite (and even steel) shaft has a spine, and there is a “best” orientation for it. Those drivers that have movable shaft so one can fiddle with the face position cannot have the spine in the right place except by chance.

        Reply
    • Calvin

      Now why would they do that? Have they decided that anyone who wants a 12 deg loft has to be a slicer? What the heck? I am going to shop for a 12 or 13 deg driver and I sure hope I don’t run into a barrage of hook faces.

      Reply
      • Todd

        Yep that is just what the manufactures have decided. You want loft you must be a slicer.

        Reply
        • Nollie Swynnerton

          Did you know that many tour players play a 10.5* loft driver? Another thing, the loft is measured as a line tangent to the center of the face. Hit the ball toward the top of the club and the loft is more there…toward the sole and the loft is less. Wishon sells several drivers with no roll on the face, just bulge. All things even, loft is your friend because more loft produces less sidespin, consequently straighter shots.

          Reply
  9. Jason

    Actually more loft has more to do with swing speed that whether you slice or not. You will slice a 14* almost as much as a 10*. If you have a swing speed below 100mph, then you will never reach you maximum distance if you go below 12* or 11* period. Same with shaft flexes but that’s for another day. The “only” expection is if you have an excellent launch agle.

    Reply
  10. Cary C

    Hi Monte,

    Have really enjoyed your videos and blog but you seldom mention anything about club fitting. Do you believe in starting with static fitting first, and then dynamic after that? And, any thoughts whether 1/4 or 1/2 over or under length is important? You mention upright versus flat, but nothing about length of irons. I am 6′ 2″ and learned a long time ago with clubs built for men about 5’7″. That was not fun! Newer equipment, built for the now taller average man, has allowed me to swing with far fewer compensations. Looking for a way to reduce another variable, if possible. (I have been mid single digit for over 10 years.) Thank you.

    Reply
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