More on Custom Fitting - The FIVE Basics
It’s been a long time since we had a topic that got so much dialog, not even counting the miscommunication we had there at the start. But with that behind us, I thought I’d dive into the whole notion of custom fitting, since you guys apparently still have lots of questions and interest in the topic.
Getting fit for clubs is kind of like going to the doctor. First, you have to determine if you feel bad enough to go at all. Then you share your story and listen to what the doctor has to say. If it’s not too serious, you just take the prescription and do what he says. But if you get a diagnosis that is “out there”, it’s generally a good idea to seek a second opinion, just to be sure. Getting fit for golf clubs is a lot like that. If the fitter suggests just a few minor tweaks to length, lie and/or grip size to get you where you want to be, go with it. But if he suggests a dramatic alteration from what you are playing, it might not be a bad idea to get a second opinion.
Realize that the fitter is only working with that particular “diagnosis”. So, if you are swinging a little differently that day than normal, it stands to reason that you might get a prescription that isn’t quite right. And realize too, that there are numerous theories of fitting -- it’s as much an art as a science, no matter how impressive the array of equipment that is laid out in front of you.
That all said, here are what I consider to be the FIVE basic elements of a good fitting, whether it be a driver, irons, wedges, putter or fairway woods/hybrids. I’m going to touch on the basics here and then cover them in more detail in the weeks ahead, as this is a very broad subject. But, today, here are the five elements of fitting that have to be in place to get you the clubs that will perform best for you . . . for now:
1. Clubhead design. Generally, we’re talking categorically here. All iron designs will fall into one of three categories – blade, game improvement, or “super game improvement”. Wedges are much narrower, for a good reason, and drivers, fairway woods and hybrids are somewhere in between. Putters head styles are nearly endless. Your questions are:So, there are five topics for me to dive into in more detail in the weeks ahead. You guys let me know where you want me to start, OK? This should be fun and enlightening for all. I’d like to hear horror stories, puzzling experiences and great successes out of your fitting trials and tribulations, so send them in or share them here.a. What shot pattern am I most trying to eliminate?2. Shaft Type. There are hundreds of shafts on the market today, ranging from low priced basic steel to exotic graphite priced in the hundreds of dollars. I think those two extremes are unnecessary for most golfers, but in between there are core categories you are safe choosing between:
See you Tuesday.
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Wedge Guy, I am unequivocally most interested in #1: club head design. I am interested in going back to blades at some point, once I get my swing back in order (I am a relatively high handicapper for somebody who wants to use blades, mostly because I took about 10 years away from golf). I do not like the irons I am currently using, and have been looking at some of the Mizuno and Titleist line of blades. I'm curious to know what the benefits and drawbacks would be to that, and your general input on club head design would help a lot I think.
I had a great experience getting my custom fit irons. The fitter was the club pro where I play and the fitting was like a mini-lesson. Quite enjoyable especially when it's someone you already know and trust.
One thing I've noticed about irons .. most of the super/regular game improvement/cavity back irons have lower lofts than the players/muscle back irons. The GI/CB irons have PWs with about 45* loft. Many MB/P have PWs closer to a true PW (48*)
As always Terry very timely post! Good info that will help me choose the correct clubs. Still playing the Target specials from Father's Day last year. I need an upgrade.
Matt F says:
Another thing to look at is finding a fitter that will work with what you've brought, not try to change your swing to fit their clubs.
I have built my own clubs for years. After the occasional trip to my local fitter to get my new numbers (we don't get any younger do we?) I build a set to suit my swing, strength and skill. It doesn't necessarily follow conventional wisdom. I play blades in my 7-9 and true wedges 48-60. I love my 3-6 hybrids. Very small heads with no offset. I prefer lighter shafts with a lower kick point in my wedges than irons because it feels best for me. My fitter gives me a ribbing but I play to a 10 hdcp and he has a 20+. My putter is truely customized for me. A mid heel shaft mallet,standard length 34", very upright at 76* with 150 gram weight in the grip end.
JeremyH, this is the year to upgrade. Everybody came out with something new this year and last years techno is still relevant and cheap by comparison.
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