Are my Clubs Right for Me?

by Wayne Pienaar
(Klerksdorp, South africa)

Hi Louis,

I am a 9 handicap and i have a set of Taylor Made rac LT os and I have a king cobra m-speed 10.5 deg driver with stiff flex shaft and my swing speed is approx 110 mph.

I have a couple of questions.

1.I tend to fade the ball with the driver most of the time.
2. Are my irons right for me? I get good distance with them but feel that I need to work extra hard with them.
3.I am currently using the Nike One Black and Srixion AD333. For my swing speed what balls do you think I should be using?

Thank you,


Hi Wayne,

Firstly, It is difficult to answer accurately with out seeing you swing, but it seems that your shafts could be a little too much on the stiff side because you say you need to work extra hard with them.

Take a look at the section below on correcting your fade with your swing first before you consider changing your iron shafts. (I trust your swing speed is 110 mph with your driver only and not with your irons!)

As far as golf balls are concerned the Nike One black is a distance ball meant for the player who wants distance and less spin when hit with a wedge.

Most amateurs want more spin than what the black has to offer. I don't know of many good players that play with this ball, after all, it is a ball that is firmer around the greens and feels harder off the club face.

The sister ball, the Nike platinum, gives more spin and would be a better ball for more control on the short game. You may need to sacrifice some distance but it will not be that noticeable. To give you an idea the platinum is only a little shorter that the Pro Vx with a driver.

The big plus factor about the black is its durability. It outlasts a Pro Vx if you can play with it long enough. I think the black is fine for your game if it is distance you are seeking. Otherwise try the platinum.

The Srixon AD333 is a lot different to the Nike Black, it is softer with more control around the greens while still being able to generate reasonable distance off the tee. It has a higher ball flight than the Black and I don't feel it is the right ball for you. These are really two different balls that you are playing with and I think you need to find one ball to play that you can trust and feel comfortable with for all your shots.

The AD333s is suitable for swing speeds of 85 mph plus. You may be better off trying out the Srixon Z Star which accomodates swing speeds of 105mph or more and has good control around the greens and with the putter.

Regarding your shot shape with your driver, it is again your call. If you consistently fade the ball (and get good contact) then stay with that shape. This will eliminate the left side of the fairway and give you more control and confidence of knowing where the ball is going every time.

It is for this very reason why touring professionals are able to place the ball where they want to most of the time. They play with a specific shape of shot.

Correcting your Fade with your Swing

Should you want to change your shot shape from a fade then you need to check and experiment with the following basic fundamentals.

Left Grip Position
The position of your left hand grip may be in a weak position on the club.(left wrist is too much on the left side of your handle). This results from holding the handle too much in the palm of the hand instead of more towards the fingers causing the clubface to be in an open position at impact.

The neutral grip is illustrated here.

Take a look and notice how the wrist is on top of the handle and not to the left side of the handle..

Turn your left hand one notch to your right so you see more knuckles. This will strengthen the left hand position and encourage the clubface to square up easier at impact. This stronger left hand position encourages more anti clockwise rotation of the left hand into impact.

Body Alignment

If you are going to play with a fade then your body alignment needs to be facing more left of your intended target. Basically, shoulders, hips, and legs should be all parallel to one another.

If you ever practice then always check your alignment by using 2 clubs parallel to each other on the ground, one aimed at the target just outside the ball and the other in front of your feet. Doing this gives you instant visual feedback of where your body is aiming in relation to your target and in what direction you are swinging the club.

Ball Position

Ball position can also mess up the direction of your drives. The common fault here I have noticed with students is there ball position is too far forward off the left foot when playing a driver.

This ball position often changes the shoulder alignment to be more open, encouraging a down swing across to the left of the target, resulting in a fade or worse a slice. When the upper body is out of alignment with the hips meaning turned towards your target you will most likely return the club face to the ball in the same position you started in.

When you place to ball in line with inside your left heel your sternum will now point to approximately 6 inches behind the ball and not at the ball, a perfect ball position in relation to your feet.

Your comment on working extra hard with the irons

This action is associated with too much tension in your hands, arms and shoulders. You need to relax more in these areas and focus on feeling the club head. This feeling will allow you to release the hands better through the shot, hitting it straighter.

Tension is the biggest killer of any golf shot and should be avoided at all costs.

I hope this article answers your questions and let me know how you are progressing!

Cheers to good golfing,

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