Amateur golfers everywhere, heed my advice. Do NOT spend hundreds of dollars on a new driver for that extra ten or fifteen yards you'll get off the tee. Chances are you'll only see those extra yards for a very short while. This is all related to the First Use Rule: the first time you try any new golf clubs, you will see dramatic improvements instantly. But these new-found skills will quickly fade away and you'll go back to hitting the ball like you always did. This is all probably distantly related to the Placebo effect.
For the love of god, you don't need a new driver every season. Trust me on this. Instead, take the four or five hundred dollars you were going to spend and put it toward a series of lessons. A set of decent lessons will cost you half that money. You can use the remaining money to pay for balls at the driving range instead, since you'll want to practice what you've learned in your lessons. Or, if you absolutely must have a new club, take that remaining money, get creative, and find that driver you're looking for used at a golf store or online.
Too many people spend all their money on equipment, which most of the time doesn't have any lasting impact on their golf games. Sure, if you're playing with a brassie, a new driver will help your game a lot. What I'm talking about here are the guys who, every March, are stopping in the pro shop to test out new drivers.
There are also golfers who spend hours and hours at the driving range, honestly looking to improve their games, but who for various reasons refuse to take lessons. All they usually end up doing is ingraining bad habits and bad moves into their swings; in effect all their practice is making them worse!
Take lessons. I understand the desire to "do it yourself," to be able proudly boast you're "self-taught." There are professional golfers who are self-taught, but I seriously doubt they never traded tips and advice with their buddies while on-course or at the range.
Ben Hogan was renowned for how much practice he put in and figuring out the golf swing on his own. But at various crisis points in his career, he received some good advice from his fellow touring pros that helped him out in the long run. And I'll bet most of us don't have the time Ben did to spend eight hours a day at the range.
And if you still think you can figure it out on your own, consider this: Tiger Woods takes lessons. He's taken lessons ALL HIS LIFE. If Tiger doesn't feel he's "better than taking a lesson," then you shouldn't feel you are either.
1 week ago