wtx wrote:Specs on clubs aren't as important for ppl just starting out, but once you start to get the hang of things it's important to be up to date on equipment. Never underestimate the importance of technology in this game.
I think it's much more important to hone your swing than to keep up with technology. I worked at a course for 6 years and saw countless chumps come in, drop $400 on a new driver or $900 on a new set of irons and then go out to the range and continue to flub and hack and slice their way through a bucket of balls.
Certainly technology CAN help but the club is no better than the person swinging it.
I know, wtx, that you never said that technology is more important than the swing but I think that buying the newest and the greatest is far too overhyped for 90% of golfers...
My advice to absolute newbs: get the cheapest set of clubs that fit reasonably well (ie, not blatantly too-tall or too-short). Seriously, these could be a garage-sale special.
After you have a swing that is semi-reproducible on a regular basis buy a decent set of used clubs (ie Ping, Taylor Made, Callaway, Titleist, etc.) that again, fit reasonably well. Unfortunately, finding clubs that fit is tough if you're 6'+ or 5'8"-
After you've "grooved" your swing and you generally hit the ball the same way most times pay the dough for a set of clubs that fit to you. They certainly don't have to be custom-made but fit is very important if you're going to have any sort of consistency. For example, my Ping Eye2s are 2 degrees flat. I'm 6'2" so I need something like 1 degree upright so my divots tend to be toe-deep. This is caused but the toe of the club digging deeper into the ground than the sole and heel of the club and thus the face is flared open and bad things happen. I think Ping does a great job with their fitting program (at least 3 years ago when I was last working at a course) but most manufacturers will alter their standard specs if you order it.
Granted, I've played maybe 10 times over the past 3 years so I suck right now (golf is damn expensive!). Do as I say, not as I do!