Importance of Properly Fitted Golf Clubs

Posted by Golf Local On June - 3 - 2012Equipment Review, Local News

I recently read a blog about being “thrifty” when purchasing golf equipment. Phrases like “get last years’ product” and “save a buck because it doesn’t matter what you get” and “why pay full price when you can get equipment second-hand” really motivated me to think about why people take this advice over a PGA Professionals research-based recommendations.

On the surface, it appears like sound advice – but is it really? I cannot tell you how many times students come for lessons with ill-fitted equipment and went to either a box retailer or an internet source to purchase golf equipment to get the “best deal.”  They looked at cost – not need – and are paying the price for that decision.

Golf equipment is an investment. My hope, is that I can help everyone understand that the advantages of an equipment evaluation and fitting by a professional who is qualified far outweighs disadvantages. Investment decisions should not be based solely on thrift.

I had a student who had a very fast swing speed and was very strong as well — he pull hooked his misses and hooked his solid shots. His golf swing has some flaws but the most blatant issue was his equipment. My student needed heavier shafts with less torque, and his lie angle should have been flat, not upright; his ball flight was too high and the kickpoint of the shaft in his irons was too low.

We had decisions to make regarding how we could make this situation right, this is where the aforementioned investment comes in. There were options for us – for example, take the shafts out and reinstall the proper shaft, make them standard length, and change the lie angle to flat or order new equipment based on a proper equipment evaluation/fitting and start again with the correct equipment.

I laid the cost out for him and asked him to take a few days, call me with questions and we could sit down and look at the options again. Ultimately, we got him fitted correctly and ordered the equipment. When it came in, we went back to range: He hit balls and I evaluated the ball; flight, turf contact and lie angles to make sure they were proper. I did have to bend a couple of the clubs slightly but this, again, is part of the investment. He is happy now and making shots with consistency. He also has a high level of trust in me, and I don’t take that relationship for granted. I want my students, actually all that play golf, to be their best and have fun – but to do this your equipment must fit you!

Helpful Hints

  • Fitting vs. purchasing on an internet source with a box retailer/private seller. With fitting you know/trust the fitter and he/she is accountable to you. Purchasing on an internet source you may not be getting the product you think you are. In the end you are not getting equipment that fits you; you adjust to your equipment.
  • Price.  At box retail or on the internet, many feel that they get the “best price” but are they? Wouldn’t it be best to contact the Professional and develop a relationship? You may have some negotiating leverage with a Professional you have a relationship with and you can work together at getting you into the proper equipment at a price that fits your budget.
  • Working with a Fitter.  Can the professional fitter guarantee the lie angles? For example, when the clubs are delivered you should be having a follow up evaluation where lie angles are checked for accuracy and if they are not delivered from the factory properly the fitter needs to bend to correct specifications.  Does the professional fitter have a relationship with a primary club company? Many times having a fitter that has a relationship he/she may be able to work with that company or custom club area for the benefit of the customer.
  • What a proper fitting looks like.
  1. Current equipment needs to measured and tested by the student.
  2. Assessment of your current set make up (manufacturer/lie/loft/shaft/sole/top line)
  3. Static measurement (wrist to floor/palm of hand for grip size/shaft weight/swing weight/shaft kick point/lie angle/loft)
  4. Dynamic fitting (turf contact/ball flight/too high/too low/too much spin one way or other)  A lie board may be used or no lie board it all depends on the fitters beliefs and experiences.

The Golf Business, like any, is built on repeat business and referrals. The goal with equipment evaluations and fitting should be to involve the customer, get their feedback and make recommendations based on an assessment.  Clients must feel served and that they are an integral part of the process, with an end result of improved ball flight and consistency.

Am I an expert in fitting? “Sure!” … but the customer needs to invest, they need to be comfortable with the height of the flight and the spin (curve) of the golf ball. There are times where there may be disagreements, but this is a chance to educate the client on how the ball should travel and why.

When considering an equipment change, take your time, do your research, ask questions and perceive this process as an investment.

 

 

 

Article written by Hank Haney Certified PGA Instructor Brian Jacobs

 

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