Big shots golf is a blog about how to choose the right golf driver. You can read the latest posts at bigshotsgolf.com, follow me on twitter and facebook, or sign up for my newsletter.
I’m Tom Webster, author of six books and the founder of bigshotsgolf.com.
Here are some recent blog posts:
How To Choose The Right Golf Driver – A blog post about how to buy a golf club.
The 10 Worst Things About Buying Clubs – A blog post about what to look for in a good golf club.
Five Questions Every Golfer Should Ask – A blog post about questions that should be asked when buying a new club.
Big Shots Golf: The Driver Wars – A year-long series of blog posts about the history of driver technology and its effect on your game.
Big Shots Golf: The Shaft Wars – A year-long series of blog posts about shafts, grip, and fitting.
“Big Shot Golf” is a blog about golf clubs. It includes advice on what kind of clubs to buy, and how to find the right club for you, and so on. The first post was titled “How to Choose the Right Golf Driver.”
It’s a bit technical. I’ll try to explain it in a way that makes it clear that there is nothing magical about the title or the subject matter of this post.
It is a good idea to choose a golf club with some care. The quality of the club will affect how well you hit the ball, and in turn how far your shots go. The accuracy of your shots may be very important for you, so it is worth thinking about how important this is. There are two things you need to know about this before you buy a golf club:
1) Choosing a golf driver is not something that is as simple as buying a yo-yo. You have to think carefully about what kind of golfer you are (if you are young, it may be better to skip expensive drivers, but if you are old, they will suit you), what the wind is doing at your local course (don’t expect to play in the wind all the time), and how much money you want to spend on equipment (it’s harder to hit long shots in winter).
2) How exactly do golf drivers work? This depends on which type of driver you buy. Some drivers have an adjustable loft – that means that by turning a screw on top of the head, you can adjust how high or low the ball flights. Others use interchangeable heads that have different lofts built into them. Then there are drivers that use adjustable weights on the end
When you buy a set of golf clubs, you will want to get the right one. But it’s an unfortunate fact that there are a lot of golfers out there who buy the wrong one.
I am one of those people. I used to be like most other golfers – I just bought whichever set was advertised in a brochure. In those days, I thought that the qualities a good golf club should have were largely determined by price, and I was willing to pay more for top-quality equipment than other people did.
That was my mistake. I now know that the best golf clubs cost less than half as much as they do in some ads. And they last twice as long.
The right golf driver is the one with the most flight time. If you want to hit the ball farther, you need a driver that flies about 295 feet. That’s about average for a driver of your weight (about 220 pounds), and it’s too much for most people.
But if you’re aiming for 300 feet or more, you have to go with a driver that flies about 325 feet. You can get up to 350 feet from a club with a high loft (say, 56 degrees) but you’ll be hitting the ball slower than normal and there is a chance of slicing it. The maximum distance you can reliably hit with such a club is probably around 335 feet
What is the difference between a golf driver and a golf putter? Or, for that matter, between a golf putter and a golf iron?
To answer the question, first you must know what you want. If all you want is to hit the ball far, then there is no difference between the three. A driver has a bigger head than a putter, and it’s heavier; that’s the only difference. It is also heavier than an iron. So if all you need is to hit the ball far, buy three drivers, one each for putting and iron play.
If you are more ambitious than that, however, you may be thinking about power and control. If so, your choices become more complicated.
The best driver for a left-handed golfer weighs about 4 pounds heavier than the best putter for a right-handed golfer. The weight difference is not huge – 20 grams – but it is enough to make the difference in feel between the two styles of play. Some players with strong feelings about which side of the body they swing from feel that it makes a big difference to them in how hard they can hit the ball; others feel that it doesn’t matter at all.
In fact some players naturally prefer putting over driving:
Many golfers don’t like to admit this, but the best golfers in the world spend less time practicing than you do playing rounds. That’s because they practice what I call big shots. Big shots are the one-shot deals that are worth hundreds or thousands of strokes. Big shots are what separates a good golfer from a great one.
The best course in America is Augusta, where Tiger Woods won his first Masters Tournament in 1997. He won again in 2002 and 2005 and 2007, which makes him one of only three players to win four times at Augusta. Tiger has played there twelve times, and he has been beating everybody else there for at least one year running since 2003.
But if you look at the average score of Tiger’s last eight rounds on that course – 52 strokes per round – you’d be amazed how many he had to make to score so well. The average score on the other nine courses he plays is 61 strokes per round. That means Tiger is scoring half as well as most of the guys who are out here every day playing golf with me, and we don’t even have a chance to play with him every day.