If you're travelling to Europe on holiday, you'd better pack some golf clubs. Europe is home to some of the most stunning and exciting golf courses in the world. Valderrama in Spain, Monte Rei in Portugal, Antalya in Turkey -- these are just a few of the hundreds of choices awaiting you.
But if you're going to be hitting hole-in-ones at golf courses of this calibre, you don't want to be tugging along your old, well-worn set of clubs. Maybe it's been years since you've purchased a new set, but don't be intimidated. We've put together some tips to help you find the best golf clubs for your European holiday.
1. Give Yourself Time
Don't save a major purchase like this until just a week or two before you leave. There are dozens of golf club brands to choose from, and even more product lines and styles within those brands. And depending on what you order and where it's being shipped from, you'll want to leave plenty of time for your clubs to arrive before your departure date.
Be sure to set aside time well ahead of your trip to do plenty of research.
2. Read Lots Of Reviews
Speaking of research, here's one of the most time-consuming parts of the process. Spend time reading many different reviews from many different sources for each club you find yourself interested in. You don't need to read reviews for every golf club on the market -- we'll get to ways to whittle down the list -- but create a shortlist of clubs you're intrigued by and try to read at least five or six reviews for each.
These don't all have to be professional reviews either. In fact, we'd recommend looking up some user reviews as well. Find out what the average golfer and traveller is saying in addition to the experts.
3. Consider Your Skill Level
Everyone likes to fancy themselves a pro on the links, but before you purchase your newest set of clubs, take a step back and evaluate yourself honestly. You can love playing golf and still be an amateur, and that's okay.
However seriously you take the sport of golf, there are different types of clubs targeted to different skill levels. Some clubs are built for experts, some for mid-level players. And for those who need all the help they can get, consider looking for "high handicap" clubs.
Find a set of clubs that feel like they're in the same range as you. That will help cut down on the number of clubs being considered and will help ensure comfort and fun during all the stops on your trip.
4. Don't Be Swayed By Names
A fancy brand or a ringing celebrity endorsement cand lend a piece of gear a certain air of power and authority. If a PGA winner says this set is great, it must be great, right? Well, not so fast.
First off, remember that celebrity golfers are playing on a different level than almost anyone else. They're also being paid for their endorsements. And as far as brand names go, a great brand can be a signifier of quality, but it's absolutely possible to find a club that's the perfect fit for you from lesser-known brands. Don't be afraid to branch out just because you haven't heard of a certain manufacturer.
5. Consider Consulting A Professional
Within the world of golf, there's a growing community of club fitters. Fitters are experts in the realm of golf gear and can work with you to figure out the best possible clubs for your skill levels, experience, and desire.
Because club fitters make it their job to know virtually everything about the world of golf, including the latest equipment, they're likely to make strong choices. Best of all, fitters go well beyond just knowing good brands. They can help make sure the thickness and length of the clubs in your set match with your own height and playstyle.
Talking to a fitter will cost a little extra money, but it's also a great way to make sure you get the best possible results. For many travellers, that's more than worth it. Just make sure to look up reviews for your potential club fitters as well.