It took me a long time before I dared to pick up the driver as a beginner golfer. Both the instructor at the golf course and friends who had been golfing for a while always said, "First master the irons to some extent, then reach for the woods."
At first, when I didn't know any better, I listened to them, thinking: their experience will be right for me, too. And since my quickly acquired set at the beginning consisted only of irons, I also did not come into the temptation to be able to pull a wood out of the bag.
But at some point, a colleague, who at that time was still a relative newcomer on the course, offered me a used driver, which was also quite old, but in good condition, for a small amount of money. He himself had already bought it used, but now wanted to upgrade and buy something newer and more suitable.
And I could not resist. Wallet pulled out and the olle Cobra was mine against a few thalers. Looked good in the bag, looked like something. Only - I didn't play it at first. I carried it around for about two years until I hit my first ball with it. And - oh wonder - it was not a great success.
After the ice was broken, I used it regularly on the range and the shots got better. But: I didn't get a really good height, the balls flew relatively flat. That was certainly due to my swing - even today, I don't really get out very far. Of course, this also affects the club head speed, which was probably too low for a good height of the ball, which happens frequently, especially with beginners. And ultimately, it was certainly also due to too little loft. The new old driver had only 9.5 degrees, which - as I learned - made it not exactly recommendable for beginners. I read somewhere that it should be 12 to 13.5 degrees.
Nevertheless, I used it for a long time and was quite satisfied with the distances I could achieve. Until my long-time golf partner, who also played an old carrot, showed up with a brand-new driver and promptly hit his balls higher and farther. That's when I started thinking about buying a new one, too.
There was only one hurdle left: I didn't want to spend 350 to 500 euros; I was too frugal for that. But that's about what good drivers cost. And again, I was content with my old bone for a while, accepting that my partner would keep hitting and, not least because of that, would be able to note better numbers on the bottom line on the scorecard.
But I regularly watched the offers of the relevant online stores. And when I found a driver model before Christmas that had already been on the market for three years, already had successors, and was offered at a new price of 140 euros (instead of the original 450 euros), I simply had to strike, more or less as a Christmas present for myself.
The new one is now not only colorful (yes, totally incidental), but also adjustable between 11.5 and 13.5 degrees loft. With it it should now guess. But again it took until I actually made the first tee shot with it on the range and finally also on the round. Between the years and even for a time in the new year, there was no opportunity to go out on the course for various reasons. Since then, however, I've been having fun, well, most of the time anyway.
Even if the length is (still) missing, I am thrilled with my shots, which are clearly different from the results with the old driver. This makes golf even more fun.
But since then I know two things - and that's the long and short of it: First, I advise beginners not to leave the driver in the bag for too long. If the swing is okay and the balls fly quite well with the irons, then the practice with the long wood can begin. Not least because it is simply fun when a ball flies a long way after a thrilling "pop" of the club head at impact. And that can lighten up the training on the range, which can sometimes be a bit tiring, especially at the beginning. It helps to keep the good mood.
The second point is about the material: If you buy the first driver that comes along just because it's cheap, looks good or sounds good, you may not be doing yourself any real favors. In fact, in golf, it's important to play with equipment that's appropriate for your level of play, in this case a driver with a little more loft rather than too little. It's best to buy one whose loft can be adjusted. And you'll be ready for years to come, even and especially when your playing strength slowly improves.
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