Golfing equipment comes in all shapes and sizes, but the most important is definitely your clubs. Not only are they essential for playing the game in the first place, but they can also have a big impact on the speed, force, angle and accuracy of your swing.

So how do you go about buying a good set of golf clubs? What criteria should you use for making your selection? How can you tell the lemons from the gems?

If you’re in the market for golf clubs, here are just a few things to consider.

1. Know Your Skill Level

Beginners don’t really need a full set of golf clubs. A basic bag will serve you well enough until you can shoot an average of 80-90. Once you’re consistently shooting around the 80 mark, that’s when it’s time to get specialized with your clubs.

2. Pick Your Shaft

Shafts are available in a variety of materials, including graphite, titanium and stainless steel. Each of them have their own benefits and drawbacks, so do your research and figure out which one is right for you. What works for your personal swing might not work for your neighbor’s and vice versa.

3. Analyze Your Swing Speed

Your swing speed can make a big difference in the kind of clubs that you require. While there are ways to measure it yourself, it’s best if you go to a local golf shop and have it professionally evaluated. You’ll avoid mistakes and miscalculations that way.

4. Think About Shaft Flex

The shaft flex of your clubs refers to the amount of give or leeway that they’ll provide during your swings. There are multiple “ratings” for shaft flexes, including regular, stiff, extra stiff and special flexes for seniors and women, so figure out how much you need your clubs to bend.

5. Pay Attention to Shaft Length

This is what most people think about when they’re considering the purchase of golf clubs. How big do you need them to be? Will your drive be improved by a longer or shorter shaft? Don’t be afraid to experiment with different sizes until you stumble on the right one.

These are just a few tips for buying golf clubs. If you’re serious about improving your skill on the green, it starts with better equipment. Use these guidelines for finding the clubs that are right for you.

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