Who should get custom fitted golf clubs – part two?


“Find clubs that fit you. It will save you a ton of aggravation from the start. Make sure they aren’t too short, long or heavy. Otherwise, you’ll adapt your swing to the equipment in a way that might not be technically sound. It’s easy to get fit, and it really does matter.”Tiger Woods

By Ian Hardie

In the post Who should get custom fitted golf clubs

I suggested that properly custom fitted golf clubs

Massively increase a golfers chances of playing golf well

And more consistently

Which considering almost every golfer in the world

Would like to do both those things

I’m puzzled that more golfers don’t have their equipment custom fitted for them

Matching the shaft flex to the golfers speed and strength

So that the head is delivered to the ball at the right time

Adjusting the lie of the club head, so that it can contact the ball

Without having either the toe or the heel catch the ground first

Finding a grip size that will allow good hand action

These are just three of the many points that need to be dealt with

But of course that’s only my opinion formed by 30 years of playing the game

As well as spending a significant chunk of that time

Helping golfers to find exactly the right set of clubs or matching things as closely as possible

To enable them to use whatever their current abilities are

To play better golf more consistently

Even though the benefits are clear to me and pretty much every other PGA Pro in the world

I still find that there are usually a few objections from golfers

Who are looking for new golf clubs

As soon as the words ‘custom fitted’ are used

Things like;

‘I don’t need custom fitting – if I buy a good set of clubs I can adjust my game to suit them’

And in actual fact the answer to that is;

Yes, you may well be able to adjust your game to the clubs

As long as you are prepared to deal with the very real possibility

That you can spend a significant amount of your hard earned money

On a set of clubs that may actually make your golf worse

I recall some years ago helping a guy who I’m going to call ‘Fred’ with just that problem

A problem you may have even experienced yourself over the years

Anyway, Fred was guy who liked two things when it came to golf

He liked having the best brand names and he liked a good deal

While on holiday at some point he decided that his golf clubs were getting a bit old

So he bought a “really top brand name” set of clubs off the shelf while he was overseas

The helpful shop assistant had assured him that they would suit him perfectly

And as they were a “really top brand name” set of clubs

He couldn’t go wrong with buying them

Turned out that Fred had always wanted a set of those clubs

Due to their reputation as being really good

So he figured that it was worth the risk

Doubly so – as how lucky was he – they were on special that week!

So without as much as hitting a single shot with them

He purchased the set of clubs with high hopes

That his “new brand name clubs” were going to take him off that 18 handicap

And move him at light speed towards single figures

But it didn’t really turn out like that

His expectation of how much better he was going to play in his first game with them

Wasn’t matched by the reality of his golf

Unfortunately for Fred it didn’t go well

Neither did the second

The third

Or the fourth

In fact after a few weeks his “new brand name clubs”

Had his handicap heading out instead of down

But why?

The “new brand name clubs” were highly rated in a golf magazine test he had read

One of the regular guys he played with had the exact same set and played off single figures

What was wrong with Fred’s?

Maybe it’s going to take a few more games to adjust he thought

Yes, that’s it – a few more games

The reality is that after 6 months of using his “new brand name clubs”

Fred, the 18 handicapper who had visions of getting to single figures

Had gone out to a 24 handicap

And was seriously thinking of giving up golf

Luckily, he found his way to me before he did

The problem?

The set of standard length, standard lie and standard grip size

‘Off-the-shelf’ clubs that Fred had bought

Simply didn’t fit either him or the individual nature of his swing

I’m not going to bore you with Fred’s particular solution

But I will say that within 6 weeks of him changing

To a properly custom fitted set of golf clubs

He was back down to his 18 handicap again

Within a year he had been through one of the best periods of play ever

And was knocking on the door of a 12 handicap

I have no idea if he ever got to single figures but I hope he did

If you are thinking that Fred’s case was unusual

Think again

Golfers, even if they have similar builds and swing speeds

Can require widely differing club specifications

Out of every ten golfers I see

Nine will probably need the standard lie angle of their irons to be adjusted

Six will generally need non-standard shaft lengths

Sometimes as much as two inches extra

And the majority will be playing the wrong shaft flex

Usually one that’s too stiff

Not to mention things like finding a shaft bend profile

That helps them to hit the ball more consistently and further

Getting the grip size right

Correctly gapping the set

Convinced yet?

Fred certainly was after I helped him get properly custom fitted

Play well


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