Club Fitting: Good Fits Make for Good Golf
By John Hughes
How many times have you tried to fix your swing, only to fall back into the old habits that have driven you crazy? Your efforts might be in vain if your clubs do not fit you correctly. Ill-fitted golf clubs will always cause you to swing to the characteristic of the club, not you. No matter how good the coach, no matter how athletically gifted you might be, a set of ill-fitted clubs will always negate great coaching and practice.
Take the guesswork out of your game
You may want to consider a club fitting before you invest in a new set of clubs. No two people swing the club the same. You are not going to swing your friend's clubs as well as he does. Nor will you hit the ball as far using your playing partner's driver as she does, if that driver is not suited to your game. Eliminating variables on the course that can contribute to ill-fated shots is something you do all the time. So why not do that with your golf clubs?
There are a lot of great choices
All club manufacturers have shown significant improvements over the past several years in their ability to offer state-of-the-art, technologically advanced golf clubs while increasing their capacity to produce custom fitted sets of clubs. To get the most out of the technology built in your new set of clubs, it is imperative that the clubs fit you, your abilities, and your swing characteristics.
Embrace the latest science
Just as club building has evolved, so has club fitting into a pure science. No longer is fitting a tinkering by the garage hobbyist. Club fitting is full of high-tech jargon, machines, and labels. It can be confusing and overwhelming to the average player. To make the best of your club fitting experience, we would like to offer you some ideas that will maximize your time and effort, and ensure that your fitting session is a success.
6 Tips for a great fitting session
- Find a certified "factory trained" fitter. You might pay the person a decent hourly rate for the session, but it is well worth the cost. Most of the time, fitters apply fitting fees to the purchase price of a new set of clubs, as part of your investment. Certified, factory-trained fitters are your best bet, because they receive a great education from the manufacturers about their product lines and have gone through extensive training in the science of golf club fitting. You can find these fitters on manufacturers’ websites.
- Technology is only as good as its application. Beware of fitters who boast of the latest launch angle monitors, simulators, and other gadgets but don’t have the training or certification to back them up. If your fitter uses a computerized mechanism to confirm their opinions, make sure this individual has the training and accreditation to use the instruments.
- Be sure your fitter specializes in fitting. A person who has other responsibilities such as tournament preparation or shirt folding probably does not have enough experience to work through a sticky situation of your fitting, if one should arise.
- Request a "dynamic" fitting outdoors. "Static" fittings encompass stand-still measurements of your body and set-up positions only. They do not include the hitting of balls to test the equipment, or to see how the ball flies. Computers, launch monitors, and other instruments will never replace the visual confirmation you receive outdoors by seeing the improvement of your ball flight caused by better-fitted golf clubs.
- Ask questions. If you are confused or not sure what the fitter is talking about, ask them to explain. After all, it is your fitting session. Be willing to learn terms like "lie angle," and "shaft flex." Gaining knowledge about golf clubs and how golf clubs work can only improve your abilities on the practice range, as well as on and off the golf course.
- Get a guarantee and a follow-up fitting. Before purchasing golf clubs resulting from a club fitting session, be sure you get a guarantee that the clubs will fit, and a follow-up fitting session once the clubs arrive. If your fitter is company-trained and certified, the manufacturer will reconcile mistakes made on your fitter's behalf. A follow-up fitting session allows you the opportunity to check lie angles and grip sizes for proper fit.
Golf clubs are far superior and more expensive than ever before. Golf clubs have become an investment. If you follow the steps we offer, as well as consider your goals, you will be sure to reap the rewards of today's technologically advanced golf clubs, as well as justifying the effort you make to lower your scores.