More Distance from New Equipment?


To date my performance seems to have improved because of advanced technology and buying new equipment every two years or less. I would like to get better and improve my distance.

I am wondering, based on the history of my performance (9.3 handicap) and  in spite of my aging 55 year old body, if I have a chance of improving further especially getting a little more distance by looking at a new set of clubs or at least a new driver?

Thank you for what you do and have done for our game. It is great to get an unbiased opinion.

Corrie, VA


Thank you for the kind comments, your loyalty, and trust.

I am afraid that getting new equipment every two years with an eye to improving performance and especially more distance may not be well founded. The reason is that there are limits to improved performance without having to work for it through more practice and/or good well-qualified instruction.

If you are fitted to your equipment – which is seemingly the case based on your frequent visits to the equipment store – then I can say with some confidence that new equipment, in spite of how good it is today, is not very much better with regard to distance, than it was two or three years ago.

The evidence for this is that there are certain natural limits dictated by Mother Nature limiting distance and based on some statistics the average driving distance for recreational golfers has reached a plateau.  Based on Tour statistics, even the Tour players are only increasing their distance minimally.

Corrie, YES golfers may get better and learn to swing faster, and the forgiveness in club design may continue to improve but in most cases, not by very much. However, there is no good reason for you to stop looking for that little extra advantage. The placebo effect is alive and well, but the trick is to keep it working for longer than the price tag stays on the shaft.

One of the charming things about golf is that we live in hope and never give up looking for that magic club.

Hope this helps  



2 thoughts on “More Distance from New Equipment?

  1. I also agree with Frank. First, the “old” equipment will do today exactly the same thing it did when it was new. (Except for our aging bodies, which won’t.) Second, the manufacturers have to make their equipment obsolete so they can sell new stuff. Back in the 1960s and 70s, that was every 2, 3 years or so. They may have changed a decal or stamp, but the basic clubhead was the same. I’ve sometimes wondered about club company ads when they say this or that feature is “improved”. Over what? Fact is, the greatest distance advances in iron over the past 20 years comes from jacking the lofts. Today’s 9 iron is similar in loft to a 7 or 8 iron from 1999. An interesting note is that the irons Adam Scott used to win the Genesis at Riviera were about 17 years old. Apparently, old clubs were no disadvantage to him.

  2. I agree with Frank here.. Your aging body is the key fact that I take from your comment. Factor in that with Frank’s suggestion with getting a professional assessment and lesson is good. I am 66, have an index of 4.8 (was 7.8 in 2010) and have followed-up on lessons received in 2010-2011. Look at why index is up, make an assessment appointment and I would bet your index will go. I found out that following Bobby Jones’ note on golf is played on 6-inch course (distance between ears) was much more helpful than equipment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.