If the Club Fits: Why Getting Fitted for Your Clubs Matters
By Matt Adams
Practice might be the bedrock on which a solid golf game is built, but having the proper equipment — and having it properly fitted to your unique swing — is pretty important, too.
Eric Hogge, PGA, the PGA of America’s resident equipment guru, addresses some of the burning questions golfers have about club fitting. So, as we head into the New Year, follow along and see how you can shave a few strokes off your scorecard just by having the right tools in the bag.
First, start thinking of your golf clubs like a suit. A suit off the rack looks nice, but it’s a heck of a lot more flattering once it’s been tailored. The same goes for clubs, which is why it’s recommended that every serious golfer, regardless of skill level, schedules a custom club fitting session with a certified PGA professional.
By some estimates, using custom-fit clubs can lower one’s handicap by as much as 10 percent. Hogge himself believes it can improve the average golfer’s score by 4-5 shots. But while it might be tempting to start by getting your driver custom fitted, Hogge recommends focusing first on the clubs you use for those so-called “feel shots” closer to the pin.
“A statistic I’ve heard is that fewer than five percent of the golfing population in the United States has been fit for their putter,” says Hogge. “And that’s a club you use for 40 percent of all shots on a golf course. The older I get, the more I’m interested in the wedges and the putter, that end of the bag, than I am in the driver. And I’m not saying that the driver’s not important — of course it is, it’s critically important. But I think a lot of times people discount the importance of getting the right bounce angles, the right lie angles, the right shafts and the right lofts on your wedges to hit the shots you want to hit around the green.”
More from PGA
Learning How to Shift My Weight — My Journey in Golf & Mindfulness
Keeton Park's One-of-a-Kind Golf Shopping Experience
As far as drivers are concerned, Hogge is of the opinion that the ones most golfers use are too long. Sure, a longer shaft can increase clubhead speed and shot distance, but that’s not universally true. “In some cases, longer drivers actually slow people down because they can’t control them,” Hogge cautions. In his experience, shortening a driver’s shaft can turn an unwieldy club into one that a player can hit with consistency.
And consistency, in essence, is the whole goal of club fitting. If you’re using properly tailored equipment, you have to make fewer mid-swing adjustments, says Hogge. That leads to a pure, clean swing that can be replicated time and time again, regardless of what club is in your hands.
If you need help finding the perfect clubs for your game, connect with a PGA Coach near you!