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So I recently hacked my way around Phoenix Golf Course really just hitting a few balls and enjoying a walk with my mates. First time out, ever. I had a great day out.

I didn't do too badly, I think, for the most part the balls went straight (when I hit them), and that "ping" sound was really nice and well, let's just say I think the bug has bitten.

I have already splashed out on golf shoes and a glove and am looking now at buying my first set of clubs.

I'm in my 30's and 6'4". I have looked around the net but am grateful for tips you may have too. So what should I be looking for?

I saw a Pro Kennex club set at Central reduced from 27,000 to 16,000 which I felt was a good price, but I can't find any reference to them on the web, their website says they make tennis racquets ... :o I dont want to spend a fortune until I am convinced I will stick with it, but I dont want to cripple my chances either.

I have lined up 10hrs of lessons with a Pro at my local driving range (he's ex Heartland teacher if that means anything) and have a good buddy who fancies joining me at the range and for knocking around a cheap 3 par 9 hole course that he knows.

So am I approaching this right?

Any tips, or comments whatsoever will be very gratefully received.

QS

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Oh dear,

but welcome to a special kind of hel_l.

"he's ex Heartland teacher if that means anything" = means nothing

1. you will absolutely need clubs at least an inch longer than normal,

and possibly a stiff shaft if you are strong and swing at a mediun to fast tempo.

this is crucial. by far the most important part of a golf club is the shaft matching the golfer.

get steel shafts in the irons for sure.

most heads are similar nowadays. pro kennex have been around quite a long time but i never used them.

good brands are Ping, callaway, bridgestone, mizuno, cleveland.

many others are good as well.

before buying you MUST try them on a course or a driving range where you hit off grass.

believe it or not, a club feels different in the real world compared to in a shop.

try as many different brands as you can, at the same time if possible.

this may sound like too much trouble,

but it is very important for your enjoyment of the game and your ability to progress.

the many shops in Thaniya Plaza (sala daeng near patpong) are good for perusing,

they have new and good s/h clubs.

but not many that are longer than normal. but maybe worth a look to just see what's available.

almost any teacher should get the basics right for a beginner.

using video is a great help also if available.

get some reference material (video/books) that show good golf swings and compare them to yourself.

getting the swing kinda right in the beginning will save a lot of heartache later on.

in the past i have used Wilson staff, Tommy Armour 645, Bridgestone precept, Cleveland CG2, Ben Hogan Director,

all good clubs, and countless drivers.

good luck on the journey.

be patient and calm.

the summit of everest is a long way from calcutta.

i should scan my magazine of the worlds greatest golf swings and post it somehwere for looking at,

its a great reference and very inspiring.

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Hi QS,

Like Mark said, be careful with the club buy. Couldn't agree with him more, you sound like a good sized fellow, and if you are an athlete already, then you will overpower a flexible shaft club. I would even go so far as to say buy imported clubs perhaps, since the ones made in the region are more for Asians, thus perhaps a bit lighter than might suit you.

On the other hand, you can fork over a lot of dough real fast if you aren't careful.

I am sure they have some very good used clubs at Thaniya Plaza and for your first year or so, they might serve you well.

As to the teacher thing, I sure wish someone had pointed me in that direction when I first picked up a stick as a teenager, so I wouldn't have had to unlearn bad habits. You will definitely get a lot more enjoyment from the game if you've a good teacher and have the patience to suffer through the beginning stages.

Probably be beating my socks off in no time.

Welcome to the fun.

Dr. B

Edited by Dr. Burrito
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Thanks guys,

There is a guy selling a Mizuno set in the classifieds for what seems to be a reasonable price that I may take a look at.

Do you know whether it is possible to get shafts extended here? I am assuming that I may not be able to find long shafts in the shops but might be able to get shafts extended by an inch at a shop somewhere, if I buy used. (am thinking better quality at lower price)

I found an article on this here, but don't fancy doing the job myself.

I'll check out Thaniya Plaza tonight to see what they have on offer. As for Central they really are cheeky, I just saw exactly the same set in Emporium listed at the same price i.e. it was not on sale at all!

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I can't really imagine extending a shaft, as it would mean adding more metal, but hey, I'm no guru either.

As to places that can do it, there are plenty.

Great place on Ekkamai between 19 and 21, I believe.

There is Sukhumvit 39 Golf 02-2615708,01-6977966

There is a golf shop, JACK's, I think it is, on Sukhumvit 33 in the same complex as the nefarious Peep Inn.

Any of these places could reshaft a club. I am pretty sure the guy on Ekkamai has a swing analyzer and you may find they don't recommend reshafting at all. I would check with someone like that before spending the money. I am getting my redone soon, as my Pings are old as hel_l and will get an S300 shaft, quite stiff and ready to rumble as it were.

If I can find the name of the place on Ekkamai, I will post it for you. I cracked an old Ti-Bubble shaft on my Taylor fairway wood and they need a nice job of replacing it.

Best of luck

Dr. B

Edited by Dr. Burrito
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lengthening a shaft is fairly simple

take off the grip, this can be done in a way that keeps them re-usable.

there are "plugs" specially made to slot into and glue into the shaft, cut to length and regrip.

but,

this actually makes the shaft more flexible (soft).

all steel shafts of one type are the same,

soft, stiff etc is effected by where you cut the shaft at the tip end before inserting into the head.

then the butt end is cut to required length.

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You need to let your teaching pro help you with your club selection. He will know what you need after you swing a little and can better lead you then anybody that has never seen you swing.

Shafts cannot be extended or lengthened. You either replace them or go with what you brung.

If you played at Phoenix, you come to Pattaya at times. After you talk to your pro, you might want to check out an inexpensive set of clones, custom fitted with the correct shafts. I play Nike clones and am playing as well with them as I ever have. I prefer them over my other set of Titleists and Callaways.

The important thing is to get professional advice and not listen to anything I say (other than to get professional advice!).

Enjoy the game. You have my sympathy for getting the bug.

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Hey Quicksilva, welcome to the most pleasurable/frustrating/enjoyable game you will find.

You've been given some good advice already but I think I can add a few bits of advice to help you make the right choice.

Firstly being tall doesn't always mean you need longer than standard shafts. I am 6ft 3" play off a 5 handicap and use standard length/loft and lie clubs. There are so many factors that affects this rather other than being tall i.e long arms,wide stance or arched back. It is sometimes just a loft and lie adjustment that maybe needed which is much easier and cheaper.

I do agree totally that steel shafts are the best to have. You probably will need a stiff shaft due to the torque generated in being so tall. Unless you really wind up which I wouldn't suggest s300 or rifle 6.0 shafts would be a good option.

I would suggest purchasing a forged cavity set of irons not cast(kennex). Forged irons are made of a much softer metal which can be easily adapted if you did need your clubs loft and lie changed plus they have much more feel.

One thing I would say is be careful buying asian clubs as I'd imagine like myself you've probably got big hands. Asian grips are generally thinner than standard grips and this will cause you problems with your hands having to turn over too much to get the club square on impact. I actually have 2 extra wraps of tape under my grips to thicken them up. But don't go as far as jumbo grips they are too heavy and umbalance the club.

I use to work for this company in the Uk www.golfbidder.co.uk I'm not trying to plug it but this is a bloody good website to have a look at for quality secondhand golf clubs. Trust me when I say conditons are great and would say you'd get a really good set (condition 6 are fine) for your money.

Keep an eye on the auction part of the website as you can pick up some great buys. I often buy off there and sell back in NZ.

I honestly would say DO NOT SPEND 250 PDS ON A SET OF KENNEX IRONS.

Heres a couple of options I would suggest for you to have a look at. Not sure where you are from but Ebay in the states or UK is another good option.

http://www.golfbidder.co.uk/product/256504...Zoid_MX-20.html

http://www.golfbidder.co.uk/product/252472...n_Edge_CFT.html

http://golfbidder.co.uk/product/256913/Cob..._SS_Forged.html

http://golfbidder.co.uk/product/257464/Ping_i3_Oversize.html these are 2 degree upright might be spot on for you.

Anyway wish you the best of luck and feel free to email any questions you might have. Hoping to be living and working in the golf industry in Thailand next year. Maybe 2nd club salesman!!

Cheers

Chris

p.s still have contacts at golfbidder so give me a shout and i should be able to get you some discount on any purchases.

Thanks guys,

There is a guy selling a Mizuno set in the classifieds for what seems to be a reasonable price that I may take a look at.

Do you know whether it is possible to get shafts extended here? I am assuming that I may not be able to find long shafts in the shops but might be able to get shafts extended by an inch at a shop somewhere, if I buy used. (am thinking better quality at lower price)

I found an article on this here, but don't fancy doing the job myself.

I'll check out Thaniya Plaza tonight to see what they have on offer. As for Central they really are cheeky, I just saw exactly the same set in Emporium listed at the same price i.e. it was not on sale at all!

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I appreciate all the advice, and will consult with a friend of mine who plays off 1 before making a purchase.

Chris, thanks. Golf bidder looks interesting but note that they only ship to Europe, if they do ship further abroad I could not find any mention of it. It seems to make sense to buy good used clubs rather than cheap new ones, that I'd probably have to throw out in a year or two.

I also found a shop on the 2nd floor of Thaniya last night called B2B which will extend a shaft for 200Bt a piece, they say it takes them about 1-2 hrs to do a full set (they have a staff of four working there). So was thinking if I can find a decent set of used clubs here (with forged irons) I could always get them adjusted to suit.

I am getting conflicting advice regarding the flex needed, some say that a stiff shaft is less forgiving and when starting out it may be better to opt for a regular flex and adjust when I finally take the plunge and throw a lot of money at "my proper set" later on down the track.

What do you think?

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Hey mate, best bet if possible wold be to get your mate off 1 or the pro giving you lessons to advise on shaft flex. If you have a constant smooth swinging which is not overly fast you possibly could go for regular shafts. My thought is with your height and assuming arm length you would probably generate quite a bit of torque on a standard shaft. You won't be doing any harm with a stiffer shaft. If anything it should make you hit straighter although too stiff would promote a fade or worsen a slice. Remembering though 99% of golfers start with this problem due to out to in swinging.

Golfbidder do actually send overseas as long as you pay shipping costs and prepay for all goods. Not sure about Thailand but email [email protected] mention Chris Heenan has told you to contact him and he might be able to help you out. Would help your cause if you could get a couple of other friends etc wanting to purchase at the same time as then the shipping costs are shared.

Goodluck mate and let me now how you get on. By the way clubs are really well priced in Singapore if you were heading that way. All the good brands and I even know a good 2nd hand shop there.

Cheers

Chris

e all the advice, and will consult with a friend of mine who plays off 1 before making a purchase.

Chris, thanks. Golf bidder looks interesting but note that they only ship to Europe, if they do ship further abroad I could not find any mention of it. It seems to make sense to buy good used clubs rather than cheap new ones, that I'd probably have to throw out in a year or two.

I also found a shop on the 2nd floor of Thaniya last night called B2B which will extend a shaft for 200Bt a piece, they say it takes them about 1-2 hrs to do a full set (they have a staff of four working there). So was thinking if I can find a decent set of used clubs here (with forged irons) I could always get them adjusted to suit.

I am getting conflicting advice regarding the flex needed, some say that a stiff shaft is less forgiving and when starting out it may be better to opt for a regular flex and adjust when I finally take the plunge and throw a lot of money at "my proper set" later on down the track.

What do you think?

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"Shafts cannot be extended or lengthened."

excuse me!

I stand corrected.

It seems our intrepid learner has found a shop that will lengthen shafts for him. I have never heard of this and have played golf nearly 50 years. I've led a sheltered life, it seems.

I would really be suspect of them, however. It would seem the dynamics of the shaft might be compromised and could not be true gauges of one's abilities.

Different strokes, and all that.

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Nice simple instructions to follow mate, if you can work on getting a swing like that (Dougherty I think) you'll be well on your way to being a good golfer!!!

Let me know how you get on with your club buying.

By the way i looked at the Mizuno's for sale. It's a very old model and for the price I'd look around a bit more.

Cheers

Chris

Nice one I dropped them an email.

Just thought I'd share a cool video I found on the net showing golf swing instruction.

http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-perfor...fect-golf-swing

They described it in a way I felt was very easy to grasp.

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probably of no interest at all but...

shaft extending is done with a tapered aluminium plug thing.

it slots inside the shaft for 3cm or so and is glued in place,

the protruding end is the same diameter as the shaft.

so this is then cut to desired length.

grips can be removed by injecting acetone or turpentine beneath the grip to "melt" the glue.

in 2 places is usually enough, twist and turn the grip and it will slide off in one piece.

so you can use it again.

to refit: clean off the tape and old glue.

apply new tape (masking tape) by holding the tape and turning the shaft.

2 wraps of tape for normal sized hand.

add more tape wraps for larger hands.

fold some excess tape into the hollow of the shaft to assist the grip going on and not catching the sharp edge.

apply new glue.

2 methods.

use old bit of shaft covered in glue to put inside grip and wriggle around to distibute it it.

or, apply glue to the tape on the shaft.

slide on the grip,

it can sometimes be very tight fit.

a squirt of acetone on the surface without the glue will assist it going on.

or compressed air blown into the hole in top of the grip will expand the grip and also assist.

slide grip down all the way being careful not to stretch it out beyong its proper length.

align the grip markings with the club head,

david graham (US open champ) could never get this right and always put the makings on the underside.

excess glue will squeeze out the top hole and at the bottom,

wipe away with acetone soaked rag.

wait til glue is set , 1-2 hours. and slice off the excess tape at bottom.

ready to go!

wash grips regularly with scrubbing brush and soapy water.

old shiny grips can be temporarily restored by roughening with sandpaper.

remove a club head from a shaft by heating the head shank, not the shaft itself,

with a propane torch. not too hot.

with the shaft in a vice gently twist the head waiting for the moment the glue (epoxy) gives way.

pull off the head.

the ferule will be destroyed so have new ones ready.

most shafts nowadays are parallel tips,

new shafts should be easy to buy.

only some older clubs have tapered tip shafts,

so check your head to be sure.

refit is very simple.

slide new ferule onto shaft.

clean and roughen inside the shank with emery paper.

roughen the tip of the shaft with same emery paper.

slip full-strength epoxy glue into shank and wipe a bit around the tip,

push head on,

excess glue goes up inside the shaft,

wipe of external excess glue,

check head and grip are aligned.

wait 24 hours for full settting of glue.

for impatient experimental setups, 5 minute epoxy can be used,

the club then can strong enough to hit balls in an hour or so.

removing graphite shafts can be done very very careful with the heat though.

do not twist with a graphite shaft,

they are very easily destroyed,

so, not recommended to do it.

club fiddling is lots of fun!

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Kiwi,

my very prompt response from golfbidder.co.uk

Thank-you for contacting us but I'm sorry we do not ship to Thailand.

Best Regards,

Such is life here in LOS, nobody wants to ship here or accept Thai credit cards online.

Edited by quiksilva
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Just for your information. I bought a driver today and the shaft was around 1 inch short, so the guy at the shop extended the club and fitted a new grip for a very reasonable 200 Baht. This is the shop on Thonglor between soi 19 and 21 'Golf Crafts' They also have second hand clubs and do made to measure sets.

Cheers Rick

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I may be mistaken but I believe Pro-kennex are an OEM, which means they produce equipment for other companies to stick their names on. I think Wilson is one such company, at least for tennis racquets. I bought a set of Pro-Kennex clubs as a starter set (it included woods and irons, but not a putter) for 8,000 Baht about twelve years ago. They have served me very well in getting my score down from 130ish to the 80's, although I splashed on a driver a couple of years ago. If they fit you, I say go for them.

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Good morning Quick Silva & welcome to the game you love to hate :o . The "bug" had bitten me few years back (jan 07 2000 @ BKK Airport "Sanam_Ngu") currently I manage to keep my hcp to 6.4 although I would like to see it lower.

I had read many reply to your post and I could not agree more to Mark Lamai post. However; I want to add few things:

  • Definitely you should have your club longer than standard. Many club maker Mfg. base their standard on male @ 5'10" shorter clubs would have tendency for you to hunch over as well as path travel esp. on down_swing become to upright. Longer club should be a bit more stiffer flex due to club_head weight.
  • Being a beginer you should start taking lesson as soon as possible (when you really know the golf_bug had bitten you) to prevent the develop of bad swing habit in the early stage. When you select the intructor, be sure to select a person w/ similar build (height, weight, etc.etc..) of you, so they could really understand what you are going thru. Also; observe the particular intructor first to see how well they communicate w/ their students before making decision to take lesson w/ them. Remember; it is your $$ & your time to spent w/ them, make it worth.
  • Back to you clubs, many club Mfg. do make Forge cavity back. I would recomment you to have custom fit and select this type of club head (more forgiving) as well as you might need the lie adjust (approx. 1* upright)

  • When you practice @ driving range, swing your your clubs as fast as you can ( in control ofcourse :D ) let it rip!! but pay attention to range balls weight. Many drvng range in BKK their balls have tedency to be a bit lighter than normal balls. But if you want to improve your score; then, you should work from putting green out (i.e. spend much more time on putting, chipping, pitching than full swing) shorter club always easier to control than longer club (i.e. driver)

Other than that, welcome to the game that many of us would take life time to master. Remember: "it is not the destination you're mainly interest of your journey, but the things you learn along the way to your destination"__ Best of luck & always keep your ball in the short grass__ Sincerely Luv2glf

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  • 2 weeks later...

I too recently started playing golf for the first time ever (6 months now).

When I first started out I bought 3 second hand clubs (4 iron, 8 iron, pitching wedge) and was given an old putter. That's all I needed for the first 4 months and it's cheaper than splashing 20k on a full set only to find out they're too short for you or that golf isn't for you.

You're doing the right thing in taking lessons. Your coach will be able to advise on clubs (although I would be surprised if his advice is much different to mine).

If you do what your coach tells you, practice, and try to ignore everyone else, then everything will eventually click into place. Then you'll really start enjoying the game as well as the day out.

Good luck and have fun.

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