Before working in the golf industry I assumed the only ways you could really improve your game were:
1) Practice, Practice, Practice
3) New clubs
4) Deer Antler Spray
I will save my “secret” for the end, but for now and just for fun, let’s discuss the above. By the way, totally joking about the deer antler spray (I couldn’t resist), so I will just stick to the first three: 1)Practice, Practice, Practice 2) Lessons/Instruction 3) New clubs.
1) We are all conditioned growing up that “practice makes perfect” and this is a very valid theory in most instances. But is there such thing as “perfect” in the game of golf? I feel like even if you have played since you were in diapers or have won 13 majors, you still have those shots or even entire rounds that make you say, “what is wrong with me?” or “is there something wrong with my clubs?” as you carefully inspect your club head or grip for some sort of damage. I can’t be the only one who does this out there. Point being, in the game of golf practice makes perfect maybe 1 out of 10 times at best. Obviously, there are many other factors that can contribute to a good, bad or ugly day on the golf course and we have no way of controlling those.
So, how do you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to practice? I personally love the concept of “Intentional practice”. I think I read about this in Sports Illustrated…..this is the concept of intentionally working on a specific result and focusing on achieving that result. Essentially you are making measurable goals for your practice sessions rather than utilizing the thinking, “the more I hit the ball, the better I will get”. I have played golf my entire life off and on and never got any better over all those years of playing until I started working on improving one thing at a time…. my grip, my posture, my follow through….all of the intentional practice sessions actually did help me to play better golf. Practice, practice, practice takes time, time, time, but you can make the most out of it by intentionally practicing.
2) I just had a lesson today on my lunch break and I swear I am worse now then I was the last time I played. What is up with that?! Instruction and lessons are very important, just as practice is, as long as you have tons of time and money. Time and money….isn’t that the definition of golf?
Instruction is obviously a very important tool in improving your golf game, but how do you get the best bang for your buck here? And by the way, when I say “buck”, that is referring to time and money because we all know time IS money. I would like to share a conversation that I was just having with the president of our company, Dave Schnider yesterday….It may sound like common sense, but it really made a lot of sense when he explained it and he is a +1 golfer who I have a lot of respect for, plus he is my boss, so I tend to listen really well when he talks. He was explaining how the best way to get better at golf is more or less to utilize your instruction in the most productive way, which is on the course. Play more golf with great golfers or with your instructor or club pro. You are what you eat and you are who your friends are, so it makes a whole lot of sense that you can be the golfer you aspire to be by playing with players you aspire to play like who can help you apply those great tips and tricks in a real context. I know Dave attributes a lot of his golf career success to lessons and instruction, so I am in no way discounting the importance of either, but what I appreciated about his outlook is that lessons and practice are most effective when they are incorporated into real life scenarios that only a real round can create. Keep it fun. You are always going to play your best golf when you are having fun
3) This is the one that I am obviously most passionate about (yes, I am warning you) because I work in the golf equipment industry and I have learned an entire new world of knowledge that the “average golfer” is not privy to.
We work very closely with all the club manufacturers (TaylorMade, Callaway, Titleist, Cobra to name a few) and I am so intrigued by the technologies that they continue to develop that continue to evolve the game. It is hard for me to single out any one OEM because they are all our customer but I am going to use TaylorMade as an example right now only because I have worked so closely with them recently. I work very close with the TaylorMade team and I absolutely love the culture that their CEO Mark King has instilled at that company. They don’t look for just another product to come out with…they go big or they go home!
Buying new clubs is the #1 reply people give when asked what they are doing to invest in their game. More than practice and more than instruction. What is really interesting is that the NGF has research showing that a significant amount of equipment sales are by repeat purchasers (i.e. there are 250,000 people that buy 3 drivers a year), which leads me to believe they are still looking for ways to get better.
Before I was in this industry, I knew nothing about golf shafts. I assumed that the club manufacturer made the entire golf club and I also assumed the only way you could optimize your equipment was by getting new clubs, but here is the deal…..because OEMs are spending so much resources on the development of the club head, naturally they are going to spend all their money making that club head the best it can be and telling the world about it. And because OEMs tend to have a little bit more marketing dollars than a shaft company, the end result is very little knowledge about golf shafts and the incredible impact they can have on the overall performance of the club, hence, the impact that a shaft can have on improving your golf game. It is not a coincidence that TaylorMade usually offers a Fujikura shaft as the shaft brand in their TP (tour preferred) brand of woods and hybrids.
I am so passionate about this because it took me getting into the golf industry to have the opportunity to learn about the benefits of having a high performance golf shaft. I know that this info is readily available to “core golfers” as we call them because they are more connected to golf and equipment companies, but my goal is to make it available to all golfers! When I was custom fit for the first time, I seriously fell in love with the game all over again because I gained distance and feel that I had never experienced before and that is a darn good feeling that I want every golfer to experience. It goes without saying that the best bang for your buck when you are looking for the best equipment is to get custom fit at your local golf shop! You can find a Fujikura certified fitter near you by using our dealer locator.
Yes folks, you guessed it….the “secret” is out. Actually, probably most of you already know the secret if you are reading this because you are already a Fujikura golf fan. The shaft is the secret sauce to getting the best bang for your buck and playing better golf fast and here are some reasons why:
- The shaft is referred to as the “engine” of the club because the shaft characteristics will determine how the overall club performs. I like to think of it as the gas actually….you wouldn’t put regular unleaded into a race car. The car would look cool and fast, but it would perform like any old car.
- over the last 5+ years we have collected fitting data for every single golfer we fit in our Fit-On Studio here at Fujikura HQ and 99.6% of them instantly gained an average of 15 yards.
- There is a lot of variance in the level of players that are buying golf clubs so the OEMs (in most cases) will try to put a “one size fits all” shaft in that club so that the club performs optimally for every player type. Every player has a unique swing type that requires custom fitting them with a shaft that will ensure their equipment will perform optimally and consistently. Using a one size fits all shaft assumes you are an average golfer, which I assume most of you are well above average.
Conclusion: It’s Friday at 5:30 and I want to get this weekend started, so this is short and sweet. THE SECRET TO GETTING THE BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK IF YOU ARE COMMITTED TO PLAYING BETTER GOLF IS GETTING CUSTOM FIT WITH A FUJIKURA SHAFT! It takes 1 hour, it lasts a lifetime and it will make that driver the fastest race car on the track.
Thanks for listening to my rant. Have a great weekend all!
If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share and tweet it to your friends!
In the meantime, if you want to learn how a custom custom fitted golf shaft can dramatically increase your distance and accuracy, click here.