Our goal with fitting is to find the right combination of length, clubhead weight, shaft weight, total club weight and flex that produces close agreement between club path and face angle resulting in straight or slightly curved shots headed generally in the target direction – all with the consistency of impact.
Characteristics of a Swing
- Swing Path
- The path the club takes on its approach to and through the hitting area. This can be square if the club is on the target line just before and just after impact. Other possibilities are inside to out and, for most golfers, outside to in or “cutting across” the ball – the dreaded slice producer.
- Face Angle of the Club
- The angle of the club on impact can be pointed at the target, open (pointing to the right of the target for a right-handed golfer) or closed (pointing to the left of the target for a right-handed golfer).
- MOI – Moment of Inertia
- MOI is the club’s resistance to being swung. If your set of irons had the same MOI, then they would feel the same when swinging which could result in an increase in percentage of solid, on-center hits. Off the rack clubs typically have very different MOI’s which results in differences in swing for each club.
Process of Fitting
Step 1: Get Ready for your Fitting!
We want you to bring the clubs that you would like worked on as well as the other important elements of your game including shoes and gloves.
Step 2: Swing Evaluation
We will have you do a series of swings, typically seven (removing best and worst), to evaluate your swing path, face angle at impact and swing tempo. We then discuss these baseline results with a impact label before moving on to beginning the fitting.
Step 3: Club Fitting
Based on our evaluation and our expertise, we will fit you with a club that we think fits your criteria beginning first with the best length and weight. With this new club, you will hit another 7 shots and the process will continue. On the next round, we will suggest different shafts, steel or graphite as well as clubhead which all contribute to the overall weight of the club. The length and club weight are important factors to finding a good fit. Based on the information from these swings, along with your feedback, we will build you a sample club with the appropriate head, shaft and grip.
Step 4: The Finished Product
With the completed sample club built, you will once again take your practice swings and see how it feels. Further adjustments will be made as needed to ensure your satisfaction. Once completed, hit the green and play the best game of your life!
Why Do You Need Fitting?
A colleague in custom clubmaking made an analogy between custom clubfitting and washing your car that we believe to be very appropriate:
“If your car is dirty and trashed out, you can pull it into the driveway, hook up the hose and spray off most of the surface dirt and grime. On the other hand, you can do a better job washing your car by filling a bucket with soapy water and scrub off all of the dirt with a sponge. Or, you can pull out all of the stops and not only scrub the outside of the car, but wash, wipe, vacuum and detail the inside as well and finish with a wax and buff job. Yet all of these can be considered to be ‘washing your car’.”
“Custom clubfitting is very much the same way. There are different options available in the golf business, all which are termed by some to be a ‘custom fitting.’ Because 98% of golfers really don’t know what constitutes a professional custom fitting, it’s easy to think you’re getting the ‘full detail job’ when you’re really ending up with only a ‘hose job.’”
Tom Wishon, Technical Advisor to the PGA and the most celebrated golf club designer in history
- Professional Custom Fitting is not answering five or six questions on a web site to be ‘fit’.
- Professional Custom Fitting is not a cart filled with different golf clubs sitting in a pro shop or on the practice range.
- Professional Custom Fitting is not attending a Demo Day at your local driving range and hitting clubs until you find something you like.
- Professional Custom Fitting is not something that can be accomplished from start to finish in 20 minutes or less, regardless if you are hitting balls on a launch monitor.
- Professional Custom Fitting is not done by altering a limited number of specifications of an existing standard made set of golf clubs. (This process is known as “retro-fitting.”)
- Professional Custom Fitting is not buying a driver with an adjustable hosel that can only alter two of the thirteen key clubfitting specifications and only within a very limited range of options.
- Professional Custom Fitting is working one-on-one with a trained custom clubmaker to analyze all your individual swing characteristics to accurately determine all 13 key clubfitting specifications for ALL 14 golf clubs in the bag.
- Professional Custom Fitting is having all 14 of your golf clubs custom fit and custom built from scratch, in the same manner as a tailor making a custom suit, with every one of the key fitting specifications fit to your size, strength, athletic ability and swing characteristics .
- Professional Custom Fitting is the domain of the serious, professional clubmaker who ‘lives, eats and breathes’ all of the technical information available which will allow him or her to accurately match each golfer’s swing to the best fit set of golf clubs. It is NOT the domain of the sales clerk or club professional in a retail golf store or pro shop.
Golf clubs sold off the rack in pro shops and retail golf stores are pre-built to a series of standard specifications because this is the only way the big golf companies can sell the volume necessary to achieve the highest level of sales. Golf is admittedly a difficult game to master, but it is made more difficult when a population of golfers who are anything but standard makes the mistake of buying golf clubs which are mass produced to one series of standard specifications.
Don’t make the mistake of buying golf clubs on the basis of the brand name, model name or what pros play that brand. Nor should you believe the myth that custom fit golf clubs only help low handicap golfers. Professionally custom fit golf clubs are proven to enable golfers of all abilities, and especially those with a handicap between 12 and 25, to be able to play to the best of their abilities.
What about a fitting at one of the “big” stores (Golfsmith, Dick’s, and other similar stores)?
You will be limited to exactly the club combinations they have, most of which will be standard in most respects. You may get a choice of flex, length of shaft and grip size. They might even measure your fingers in determining the right grip size. (By the way, most professional fitters don’t believe in that approach any more. The grip should feel good to you—if it’s a bad fit, it probably won’t feel good to you. People with small hands don’t necessarily need small grips. The same applies to people with large hands.)
An important consideration and an added benefit to working with a professional clubfitter/clubbuilder is that the same person who fits you is the one who builds your clubs. And just try to get an MOI matched set of irons at a big box store! Be sure to read the other links on Fitting!