The majority of golfers who buy new equipment do so without getting custom fit. Why? I wish I had the answer. Playing golf with clubs that do not fit you properly is like playing pool with a warped cue stick. Â Sure you can still enjoy the game and get the ball in the hole. Some of the better players will even be able to adapt their mechanics to fit the crooked stick. However, any Golf Professional will tell you that it is much easier to play the game when we fit the club to you, not you to the club.
I would like to first address the notion that custom fitting is expensive. Â Here at Hunting Creek Country Club, as well as several other clubs and retail facilities, we will waive the fitting fee if the clubs are purchased through us. We feel that it is so important to get custom fit that we do not want cost to be the determining factor.
A basic fitting process encompasses the following: club length, shaft make and flex, club head selection, lie/loft angle, grip size/style, and set make-up.
Club Length- The proper club length is determined by a function of your height and arm length. It is important that your clubs allow you to set up in a proper position without having to reach or be crowded.
Shaft Make and Flex- There are literally hundreds of shaft choices for you to choose from, each with their own advantages. Whether you play with steel or graphite, Senior flex or X-Stiff, the most important factor is finding the shaft that fits your swing. The shaft you choose will affect launch angle, spin rate, and club head speed.
Club Head Selection- The name on the back of your irons is not nearly as important as the type of club head you play. I always tell students that golf club companies are like car manufacturers. Within each make you can find similar models, the main differences are simply cosmetics. Â The club head styles that you have to choose from are super game improvement (large cavity for maximum forgiveness), game improvement (cavity back iron), and players (small cavity back or blade providing maximum workability and little forgiveness.) A common misconception is that playing with blades will â??makeâ? you become a better golfer. I feel the opposite, playing with irons that do not fit your game will lead to higher scores. In fact, the advancements made to cavity back irons are so great that many tour players have left their blades at home and now play with a more forgiving iron.
Lie/Loft Angle- Lofts and lies, if set correctly, form a reliable progression, creating consistent distance gaps between clubs and producing the same shot direction on all normal swings. Lie angle is extremely important because it affects how your club head interacts with the turf and the starting line of each shot.
Grip Size & Style- When it comes to the grip, I would urge you to choose one that ultimately feels the most comfortable in your hands. Keep in mind that the larger the grip you play with the more difficult it is to release the club head.
Set Make-Up- Last but not least, it is time that you figure out what clubs you are going to carry in your golf bag. If you are simply getting fit for a driver, this step is easy. If you are being fit for irons you will need to ask yourself, or your fitter, the following before purchasing: What do I want my longest iron to be? What hybrids do I want to carry? How far does my shortest hybrid go? Â How far does my longest wedge go? What do I want my shortest iron of the set to be? What is the most effective way to fill every yardage gap in my bag with the 14 clubs allowed by USGA Rules?
I have provided you with my set make-up as an example. Notice that I carry 4 wedges. I feel that if I am going to have a gap (which is about 20 yards from 4 iron to 3 hybrid) I would much rather it be in my longer clubs than my scoring clubs. I do not need to â??dial inâ? a 200 yard shot as much as I do a 90 yard shot!
Driver: TaylorMade R11s 9*
Fairway: TaylorMade RBZ 14.5*
Hibrid: TaylorMade Rescue 20*
Irons: TaylorMade CB/MB 4-PW
Wedges: TaylorMade ATV- 51 *, 55* & 59*
Start the 2013 golf season of in style with a set of custom fit clubs and a few lessons from your local PGA Professional!
By PGA Certified Teaching Professional, Colby Wolitz, Louisville, Kentucky. Hunting Creek Country Club.