Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Why demo days are essential in selecting your next golf clubs

After attending the 9th Annual New York Golf Fest and Demo Day at Chelsea Piers this past weekend, I now fully understand the importance of trying as many golf clubs as possible before purchasing another set. With three tiers of hitting booths and all of the major golf club brands represented, I found the club choices to be overwhelming and a bit confusing too!

From Ping to Taylor-Made, I was mesmerized by the number of golf club manufacturers lined up with bags filled with clubs almost hawking players to go ahead and take a swing. I couldn't get near the Rocketballz area at Taylor Made so it was onward to Ping.

Ping's fitting area was, by far, the most technically "cool" area. While at the Ping Golf stall, I asked to try the Ping G20 irons which were "created" on the spot for my left-handed swing by screwing and unscrewing the head and shaft. I found the G20's were too light and bouncy for my swing; the oversized heads and wide soles are essentially created for added forgiveness.

I use blades right now (an old set of Square Two golf clubs which are a mix of heavy, stiff-shafted short irons and even heavier longer irons) and so the PING i20's were definitely nearer to what I currently use. My husband plays golf with an old set of Ping i2's and swore he would never give them up but, after taking a few swings with this golf club, I could see he was more open to change.

I was interested in learning more about the Mizuno line of irons as it seemed their name was on many lips at Golf Fest but, when I got to the Mizuno Golf booth and asked if there were any left-handed golf clubs to try, I was brushed aside with a quick "no". The rep actually seemed more insulted by my asking about left-handed golf clubs than I should have been at the thought that there were none in his bag!

My driver is a Titleist 905T and my fairway woods are Titleist 904F; my sand and lob are Vokey Spin Milled wedges (and the favorite clubs in my bag) so my next stop was at the Titleist booth. It appears that new drivers in almost every booth I visited are all like sticks with big garbage cans attached to the end and that is the way I felt too until I tried the 910D3, a 445cc driver with a classic design. This Titleist felt more like my driver of old, except a little bit lighter. That being said, I think my arm can be twisted to play a few rounds with this driver.

At the Cleveland Golf booth I was hard pressed to find a left-handed iron until one of the instructors handed me a CG16 Tour iron. He actually handed me a ladies golf club first, from the Bloom set and, I must admit, if I was a beginner woman golfer, I would definitely have considered owning this golf club. It was light, easy-to-hit and all of my shots were getting airborne and were straight down the middle. The Cleveland CG16 Tour irons were definitely more for my playing ability yet also offered a bit of forgiveness.

This brings me to why all golfers should find a Golf Product Demo Day in your area and participate. Whether or not you are planning to buy golf clubs, you can see and hit a variety of irons woods and wedges as well as talk with manufacturer representatives to get a sense of where your golf game is in relation to the clubs you currently play. Cleveland Golf even had a truck in front in order to fit you with golf clubs! You'll learn more about yourself and your golf game after attending one of these events.

And...where else will have the opportunity to see golf clubs like this Honma driver worth $2,400! Why is it worth so much? The manufacturer rep stated that "It's hand made, a 154-step has 24-carat gold paint and has solid gold hozel rings." There is a platinum version available but gold is a girl's best friend. Where else can you hold a golf club like this in your hands and dream? Oh yes, left-handed version not available.

Voice your opinion on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and friend on Facebook.
Thank you to New York Golf Center for your hospitality and to Mike Wolfe for the invite.


WAMGolf said...

Great points Stacy. Everyone should take advantage of these days to test out equipment before they buy. How else will people know what is best for them.

Thank you for attending and the great article!

Unknown said...

I think its not an essential to take demo for the fans of Golf its a vital part of the house if hey need full entertainment at their home.

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Jim Murphy said...

Stacy - great article. But on the few occasions I have demo'd clubs in the past at these type of events, I come away almost more confused than when I went in. I just feel that trying to select and compare a huge number of the top clubs bewildering and in a "contrived" environment the results are not always what they would be if in a "live" environment. I wish there was a way to get the chance to demo various golf drivers/clubs over a few rounds etc. The choice is only ever going to get bigger and to be fair most of the clubs coming from the top manufacturers are now all getting 4 or 5 star reviews and it really is difficult to select the correct ones . Interested to hear your thoughts.

Golf for Beginners said...

Jim, I think it's important to take a pad and pen with you when you demo golf clubs so you can take note of positives and negatives in the club, in your swing, and inyou what you take away from the experience. Demo days are not necessarily meant to buy golf clubs but to figure out what you may or may not like.

To Mike, loved it!

Denny said...

I am amazed and somewhat dismayed that Mizuno did not have any demo clubs for left handers. Not a good business practice and an even ruder brush off that you were given. Sounds like they lost a customer before getting off the first tee.

Unknown said...

I tend to recommend off-brand or clone golf clubs for beginners. You can get custom fit with these clubs for 1/3 the price of a name brand. And the fit is more important than the label when it comes to learning to play the game.

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