Have you ever heard somebody say “My Driver is the same one Tiger uses! “ (Ermmm well NO, actually it isn’t! Every Tour Pro has been fitted down to the finest measurements to exactly the correct specification they require) that club is a mass produced piece of equipment that bears absolutely no resemblance to the Tour Pro’s clubs.
The golf clubs displayed at golf shops and pro shops are built to standardised specifications. If the customer doesn’t fit those specs, the equipment won’t fit the customer. Without the proper club fit, no golfer will reach optimal performance. It is a necessity for golfers to receive a custom club fitting, from a trained and experienced club fitter, before making a golf club investment.
A good professional club fitter will test the following seven interrelated variables during a custom fitting session: shaft length; lie angle; shaft flex; shaft type; grip size; golf club head design; and set make up. Each variable is briefly explained below:
Shaft Length: Among other things, shaft length will impact where on the clubface the ball is consistently struck. The correct shaft length will prevent a golfer from having to alter a natural swing arc in order to make optimal impact.
Lie Angle: This is the angle formed by the shaft and sole of the club. Having a correct lie angle will cause the centre of the club head to touch the ground. If the toe of the club head is raised, a hooking shot may result. Should the heel be raised, a push or slice may result.
Shaft Flex: The shaft flex impacts things such as trajectory, accuracy, distance and consistency. During the golf swing, the club “flexes” throughout until squarely meeting the ball at impact. An incorrect shaft flex significantly reduces the chance of making consistently solid contact.
Shaft Type: Here, again, personal characteristics make the decision. The composition of steel and graphite shafts, their kick (or bend) points, swing weights and torque ratings are considerations.
Grip Size: The right grip size can impact the golfer’s ability to return the clubface to a square position and release the wrists through impact. Also, with the variety of grip compositions, personal preference is a determining factor.
Club Head Design: With the advent of MOI (moment of inertia) importance, this factor has become a big consideration, particularly with higher handicappers. When shots are struck outside the sweet spot, a high MOI reduces twisting at impact, delivering shots closer to the target area.
After a custom club fitting, golfers will feel confident that they have made a good decision in their investment. The added confidence will enhance performance almost as much as the custom fitting itself.
What is custom fitting?
Everyone’s golf swing is different so it makes sense to adjust golf clubs to suit the individual. Custom fitting is the process for tailoring a golf club to suit your personal swing. Effectively golf club manufacturers know a set of clubs aren’t cheap so the least they could do is make them fit. Whatever your level, the aim is to ensure that if you do make a good swing, the club will be square at impact and should produce a straight shot.
What happens during a fitting session?
There are different methods according to golf club manufacturers but ultimately they are all trying to improve your game. To begin with simple measurements such as wrist-to-floor, height and hand size are taken and will point you to the right sized club and at what angle it should be to the ground. Then you will take a club and hit some balls. One method is to place impact tape on the bottom of the club and an impact board on the floor.
As you hit the ball the board will leave a mark on the tape showing whether the heel or the toe of the club is striking the floor first. The resulting mark will show whether the club face needs to be flatter or more upright. You can also measure the launch angle of the ball that will impact efficiency – all which affect distance. The angle in which the club approaches the ball and the sidespin of it can help fix your game too.
What do you need to bring with you?
Rather than bringing down your old clubs it might be better to start from scratch. It’s a big misconception that custom fitting is only for good golfers. Anyone can benefit. That said, if you plan to upgrade a new set of clubs with the same manufacturer they may be able to adjust your old set. In the end all you need is an open mind.
What difference will it make?
Custom fitting won’t cure all your bad shots. Coaching will sort that out. But if you do make a good swing, then the club will arrive correctly at impact and should produce a straight shot at your target. That alone will save shots during a round.
How much does it cost?
On its own custom fitting is often free of charge. But it is usually on the condition that you buy some clubs once you’ve been fitted. So it really depends on what your budget is. If you’re prepared to buy a new set of clubs it’s definitely worth getting fitted.
If you want top of the range analysis and fitting, head for Red Dragon Golf where a consultation can be done for £50 But if clubs are purchased then the consultation is FREE. Custom fitted clubs from Red Dragon Golf start from £179 with a wide range of products available from putter right through to driver. If you still love your clubs then why not think about having the shafts, grips, lie adjusted so you can get the best out of what you got. James also repairs damaged clubs and is one of only a few club makers in the UK. For more details contact James, Red Dragon Golf 07811 956 552 or have a browse at his website www.reddragongolf.co.uk and quote Disabled Golf Society for your special prices.