Does equipment really matter?
Yes, but not for the reason you probably think. Understanding my answer will give you one of the necessary keys to the sport.
Do you know someone who has a trunk full of clubs because they are always looking for the club that will change or improve their game?
Here is typically what happens. They try a friend’s club on the course or demo a club at a driving range and they hit the ball great. So they buy the club and after a short period of time, the improvement they got leaves them and in the trunk the club goes.
Here is what really happens. When a golfer tries a new club, fear is temporarily suspended because it is not their club. If they don’t hit it as well, there are hundreds of excuses why, so they get to have free swings without the embarassment or self- criticism that fear creates. If they don’t hit the ball well, they just hand it back. It is the club and not them.
This “no-fear zone” allows the golfer to swing from the right side of their brain and that is why the new clubs work so well at first. But as soon as they buy the club, the “no-fear zone” disappears and fear and self-criticism returns so they start swinging from the left side of the brain again and the gains are lost.
As a golfer, you must be able to move from the left side of your brain to the right and back again. The reason for this is because the brain has two sides. The left is the “frame-by-frame” analyzer that halts motion. Imagine you are on a hike and you turn the corner of the trail and it is a cliff. Your left brain would halt your feet, analyze the situation and not release your feet until another route was decided upon. Once the new route was established, the left side of the brain would allow the right side of the brain to take over and you could create motion again. The right side of the brain turns individual frames into motion.
There is a great book on this subject that I strongly suggest you read. It is called “The New Golf Mind” by Dr. Gary Wiren.
It lays out all the information you need about the mind in a very simple and clear style. Fear does not reside in the left side of the brain but fear is the most powerful force that will send you there. So, if you can’t stand over a golf shot without fear, then you can’t swing from the right side of your brain. Having clubs that look good to you and get you excited is all part of creating the environment to swing from the right side of the brain. Once you have the proper shaft stiffness and length, it should turn into a beauty contest the rest of the way.
These are my clubs.
I just bought the Callaway ERC Fusion. It has a 7.5 degree loft and an extra stiff shaft for when I am in the mood to genarate energy more aggrerssively, and it is sooooo… pretty! My Callaway Hawkeyes are the easiest woods I have ever hit. I love the more conventional size and the look of a Callaway just does it for me. I absolutely love the way these woods hit off the fairway, particularly the driver. I carry both drivers in my bag, depending how I want my swing to generate power. The Ping ISI irons are so easy to hit and forgiving, sometimes I feel like I am cheating. I use them when I want the club to do all the work. The Titleist 690 MB’s are so beautiful and “pure” looking.
I play with them when I really want to focus on precision and working the ball. They make me feel like a surgeon. I keep covers on them to keep their stunning looks preserved. I love my clubs and they make me very happy when I pull them out of my bag. The happier I am, the easier it is to stay in the right side of the brain to swing. Find the clubs that make you smile.