PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Sharbee Hoskins, PGA Professional in Minneapolis, Minn., has established himself as a proven leader in growing the game by helping golfers solve the clubfitting puzzle and ensuring that they have the proper tools for their game. Hoskins has had so much success during PGA Free Fitting & Trade-Up Month last year that he was recognized as one of the "Top 100 Play Golf America Performers of 2010" at the 58th PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla. Additionally, the Golf Galaxy store in which Hoskins serves as the on-staff PGA Professional was recently reported as the leading Golf Galaxy store in the nation for clubfitting. As an expert in the industry, Hoskins answered five questions about the importance and process of getting clubs properly fitted.
Why is having a custom-fitted club important?
With golf being such a mental game, knowing that you have custom-fit clubs helps improve confidence and consequently improves play, making the game more fun. There are so many different sizes of people and so many different types of swings that having your clubs custom fitted is vital to playing better golf. Research has shown that 92 percent of golfers don't play with the right clubs for their swing, meaning that 92 percent of golfers can see their game benefit from a clubfitting session.
Out of all the clubs in my bag, which club is a priority to have a custom fit?
Ultimately, having the proper fit is essential for every club in the bag. We can even fit the ball according to your particular need. However, I would say having a fitted iron is probably most important. The iron is generally the most used club, as well as the club that most people purchase first. The majority of the clubfittings I do are for lower clubs and putters.
How often should I check the fit of my clubs? Can I outgrow my fit?
It is definitely possible to outgrow your fit. Many different factors go into determining club fit, including grip and speed of swing. Once you have a clubfitting, it is a good idea to get fitted again as your game improves. As you grow as a golfer, these things have a tendency to change, so I recommend having a clubfitting yearly to ensure that you're always using the best club for your game.
What factors go into determining proper club fit?
Obviously the height and body proportions of the golfer are important considerations. There is a huge difference between the best club for a five-foot female and the best club for a six-foot male. Other factors that we take into account are shaft flex and line angle, loft, shaft type, hand size, swing speed and grip. Each person is different, so we start with a clean slate each time, watch the individual swing and consider all of the above factors to determine the best fit.
Is it really a good value to trade-in my clubs?
Absolutely. Most people find that the best reason to trade-in their clubs is because it's hassle-free and they can earn credit toward new clubs. The amount of credit varies based on the condition and age of the clubs, but it's all based on fair market value determined by the PGA.com Value Guide, so you can expect a fair rate on the trade-in.