I golfed recently with a friend of the family. Afterwards, over a cold beer, he asked me to recommend a new driver for him that could help him get more distance.
We talked about a couple of the new models, what the features are designed for, how they’d help him, and what he could expect. I suggested that he stop by his local Golf Galaxy or other club fitter and try the drivers I had mentioned, and to be sure to get a fitting to really dig into the numbers and see which driver is best for him.
Then he said it. “Is it really worth $500? Am I going to even notice a difference?” That is the magic question, after all, isn’t it?
I explained to him that his current, 5-year old driver did not have the technology that today’s clubs do. I also told him that last year’s clubs would be an option for him at $200-$300. Lastly, I reconfirmed the importance of getting a fitting from a qualified fitter to help maximize his efforts.
I then took the conversation one step further by asking him if he was happy with his wife. He looked at me like I was nuts for asking such an intrusive question, and immediately answered Yes. Then he asked me why I would ask that.
I laughed as I began to explain myself, knowing he was going to ask that. “It’s like this,” I began, “years ago I would joke with my customers about picking a new putter, and how it compares to choosing a wife. You have to like the way it looks, the way it feels, and lastly, it can’t cost too much is how the joke would go.
But there is reality in this analogy, I’ve learned. It isn’t important what clubs the fitter likes, or which club your favorite player uses. What matters is that YOU like it. You like the way it looks. You like the way it feels. And that it FITS you. Very much like choosing your wife.”
“You obviously aren’t getting everything that you want out of your current driver or you wouldn’t have asked me about a new one.” I concluded. “There may be some newer, prettier models out there today. But if they don’t offer you an improvement over your current ‘Gamer’ then, no, it isn’t worth the $500. Or $200.”
“So try out some new models to see if they are better than your current one. At least you’re only cheating on your golf club, not your wife!”
My point is this: just because something is newer and sexier does not mean it will work better for YOU. I have seen way too many customers come back a month after buying the newest innovation, disappointed that they didn’t see an improvement from their old one. They didn’t think it through and were expecting the new “wife” to take him to new heights.
The truth is that if you have a driver that is less than 2-3 years old, today’s improvement won’t necessarily add 10 yards to your drives. If your club is older than that, there is a great chance that you will see an improvement.
Take the time to research, read up on new clubs, ask the advice of your PGA Pro, pick the brain of the pimpled kid at the golf shop. Make sure you take advantage of the available knowledge and technology at your local golf shop.
Get a fitting before you start cheating on your current club, make sure the juice is worth the squeeze. It might not be any better than what you’ve already got.