Golf Club Fitting

Golf Club Fitting

If you are a serious golfer, you have at least considered the idea of going through a club fitting process in order to optimize your equipment. The equipment that you use has a big influence over the kinds of shots you are able to hit on the course, so even making minor improvements to your gear could turn into dramatic changes on the score card. It won’t actually take that much time or effort to go through a club fitting, and the results have the potential to change your game.

As you may already know, there is an incredible amount of technology that has been put into the club fitting business in recent years. Hi-tech computer equipment is used to measure every aspect of the golfer’s swing, and the results can be rather impressive. Most of the players on the top golf tours around the world spend a considerable amount of time working on equipment fitting because it can play such a big role in the outcome of a tournament. Golf is a hard enough game as it is, so there is no sense in making it harder by playing with equipment that is ill-matched to your swing.

Of course, the clubs that are in your bag are never going to hit the shots for you. The most important aspect of the game will always be the swing that you are able to make, but your equipment can help you get the most out of that swing. Think about it this way – your swing makes up something like 90% of the shots that you hit, while equipment takes care of that last 10%. So, while the swing is always going to be more important, there is no reason not to optimize the last 10% to the best of your ability. Spend time working through a club fitting and you will find that the game feels just a little bit easier when you have full trust in each one of your clubs.

While an in-person club fitting is the most popular option for fine-tuning a set of clubs, there is also the possibility of going through an online process instead. Obviously, you can’t hit balls or talk directly to the club fitter when using an online tool, but it can still provide you with some valuable information. There are a number of variables that will dictate what kind of gear you should be using, and much of the information that makes up those variables can be captured over the internet. If you don’t have the time to go through the process of an in-person club fitting, or if you would just prefer the convenience that comes along with doing things online, this may be the right choice for you. In the end, the only thing that matters is that you get the right club in your hands so you can perform to the best of your ability.

Any instruction that is included below is based on a right handed golfer. If you happen to play left handed, please reverse the directions as necessary.

Advantages of Online Club Fitting

dvantages of Online Club Fitting

Believe it or not, there are actually some advantages to going through a club fitting online rather than in person. Sure, there are a couple of drawbacks – such as missing out on the opportunity to actually hit shots with different clubs – but that doesn’t mean that online fitting can’t work nicely. Following are three elements of online club fitting that should have you strongly considering this option.

  • Convenience. Going through a club fitting is something that you could easily put of for weeks or months simply because you are too busy with ‘real life’. If you don’t have time to get to the course to go through the fitting, it may not ever get done. Not only do you have to have the time in your schedule for the fitting, you also have to be available at a time that works for the fitting professional at your local club. Additionally, you may have to do the fitting during a time that you would normally be playing golf, meaning you will miss out on a round in the process. With online club fitting, time is not nearly the same kind of hurdle. In fact, you could probably have the process completed by the time you are finished reading this article.
  • Honesty. It can be hard to be honest when you are going through a fitting in person – that’s just the truth of the matter. When the club fitter asks you about your average score, what do you say? Do you tell them the complete truth, or do you make yourself sound like a better player than you actually are? Well all have an ego, and it is tempting to present the best possible version of yourself to the person that you are working with on the fitting. Of course, when you do the fitting online, that issue will be a non-factor. You will only be filling in fields on a web page, so you won’t be as compelled to ‘fugde’ the numbers. You can be completely honest – meaning you are far more likely to get accurate information in return.
  • Ordering online. Many golfers choose to buy their clubs online these days, for obvious reasons. Shopping online offers greater convenience than shopping in person, and you can also shop around to get a great deal on the gear that you wish to own. Therefore, by going through an online golf club fitting, you will have all of the information you need right there in front of you when you are ready to place an order. Not sure what shaft flex you need, or how long you should order your irons? You will have those answers in just a matter of minutes if you take the step of completing an online fitting form.
  • It is true that an online fitting isn’t going to be able to quite offer you the same level of detail and accuracy that you could get from an in-person fitting with a qualified professional. However, if you wish to save both time and money while giving yourself a good chance to get clubs that fit your swing, an online process can be greatly beneficial.

    The Relevant Information

    The Relevant Information

    A good online club fitting process will ask for a number of pieces of information in order to provide you with fitting details that you can use to purchase your next set of clubs. If you find a fitting form that only has just one or two questions, you should be skeptical of its ability to help you get the right clubs for your swing. While the process doesn’t need to be highly time consuming, it should involve enough questions in order to gather data points on your game that can be used to recommend equipment guidelines.

    Following are a few of the pieces of information that you will likely need to provide when you go through an online fitting.

  • Height. Okay – so this is an easy one. You already know how tall you are, so just be honest and enter your actual height to get off to a good start. Without knowing accurately how tall you are, it will be difficult for the computer to properly recommend the equipment that will be right for your needs.
  • Average score. This is one of the points that you may be tempted to lie about if you are going through a fitting in person. It is your average score – not your best score, or your score on a good day. Your bad days are just as important as your good ones when it comes to picking out the right gear, so enter an honest average of your last 10 or 20 rounds. If you overestimate your playing ability, you may end up with a recommendation for clubs that are too difficult for you to hit with your current skill level. Take a moment to do some math and come up with an accurate average of your recent scores that you can use to get the fitting process going in the right direction.
  • Wrist to floor distance. Measuring the distance between your wrist and the floor when you are standing straight up is an important number because it will largely dictate how long your clubs should be. You might need some assistance to get this measurement accurately, since you will need to stand up straight and measure the distance at the same time. Ask a friend to measure your wrist to floor distance and then write that number down for use in the online fitting process.
  • Average driving distance. Many online golf fitting systems will ask for your average driving distance as a way of gauging your swing speed with the driver. Again, this is another point where you are going to need to be extremely honest with yourself in order to get accurate results. Are you capable of blasting a drive around 300 yards under perfect conditions with a helping wind, dry fairways, and a big bounce? Sure, you might be. But can you repeat that 300 yard drive over and over again? Probably not. The number you should enter for your average driving distance is a number that you can reasonably expect when you pull the driver from the bag on a typical par four or par five. Since only a handful of the best players in the world average over 300 yards from the tee, there is a good chance that your true average is somewhere short of that mark.
  • Depending on the specific online golf club fitting process you use, there may be a variety of other questions that are asked of you. The most important lesson of all is this – make sure to be as honest and accurate as possible. The information that you get out of this kind of process is only as good as the information that goes in, so take your time to get each and every question ‘right’. Given good info, most online golf fitting systems are capable of providing you with useful data that can be used to assemble a quality set of clubs.

    The Information You Need

    The Information You Need

    So, when you are finished with a club fitting, what information is it that you will need to take with you in order to buy your new clubs? There are a number of different points to consider, and those will vary from woods to irons, and even to the putter. Golf fitting and golf club specs can seem a little bit intimidating at first, but they are actually pretty simple to understand with just a little study. Specifically, you need to learn the ‘language’ of golf equipment so that you know what you are looking at when placing a club order. The following terms are likely to be encountered during this process –

  • Shaft flex. This one should be pretty straightforward. The flex rating on the shaft of your golf club reflects the overall ‘stiffness’ of the shaft, or the amount of force that it will require to get the shaft to bend. A good golf swing will bend the shaft in the downswing to accumulate speed, without bending the shaft so much that control is lost. Most shafts are rated at ‘Regular’, ‘Stiff’, and ‘Extra Stiff’, with separate categories for ‘Ladies’ and ‘Senior’. Generally speaking, you will need to increase stiffness ad your club head speed increases. So, a player who is able to launch the ball 300 yards from the tee will usually need an extra stiff shaft, while a player who struggles to hit it 200 will use a regular (or maybe even a senior) flex. Using the right shaft flex is one of the key ingredients when trying to maximize your distance from the tee, but it is also important in your irons for optimizing your ball flight.
  • Club length. This is another point that is easy to understand. The length of the clubs that you use will depend not only on your size, but also your ability. Better players are able to handle longer clubs easier than less-talented golfers, and that extra length can be turned into additional swing speed. Club length is something that is really only relevant when you are talking about your irons, as most woods (including the driver) come in standard lengths and don’t need to be adjusted. In terms of irons, it is important to have your clubs at the right length so you can make sure they are contacting the turf properly at impact. Clubs that are too long may be prone to hitting fat shots, while clubs that are too short will require you to hunch over at address just to reach the ball.
  • Lie angle. This is one of the concepts that is a little more difficult for the average golfer to understand. The lie angle of your club is the angle that is formed between the shaft of the club and the ground. Usually, the lie angle will be expressed in terms of plus or minus from standard, and this is another point that only applies to irons. So, you might need clubs that are +2* from standard (likely if you are a tall player), or you may need clubs that are -1*. Most people will fall within a couple degrees of standard, but it is important that you take the time to get this point just right before you order your next set of irons.
  • Grip size. Even a detail that is as seemingly unimportant as grip size can play a big role in whether or not you are able to hit quality shots on a regular basis with your new clubs. Grips that are too big for your hands will make it difficult to release the club through impact, while grips that are too skinny will allow the club to release and turn over prematurely. The ideal grip size for you is a combination of hand measurement and personal preference, so you should experiment with a few options before picking the one that feels best in your swing.
  • If you are well-informed on the four points above, you should be able to order your next set of clubs accurately. Of course, the more information that you have available, the better you will be able to fit your clubs to your game, so don’t overlook even the subtle points. Take the time to get all of the details just right, with the assistance of an online club fitting, and you can buy your next set of clubs with confidence.

    Don’t Take It Too Far

    Don’t Take It Too Far

    There is a fine line that needs to be walked when it comes to golf equipment and players in pursuit of their best-possible performances on the course. Golfers are notoriously obsessive when it comes to trying to get better, which means they can become fixated on things like equipment fitting. It is important that you keep club fitting and golf equipment in general within a reasonable perspective – does it matter? Yes. Is a good fitting going to turn you from a bogey golfer into a world beater? Absolutely not.

    Simply put, even the best golf equipment in the world will not take you to the level of play that you have been dreaming of achieving. You are only going to get better at golf through hard work and improving both your physical and mental performance. If you think that you can lean on better clubs to take you all the way to your goals, you are going to be seriously disappointed in the results. As mentioned earlier, golf equipment can be seen as the last 10% of the game – it matters, but it is nowhere near as important as the person swinging the club. PGA Tour pros certainly play with the best equipment that is being made today, but you might be surprised to see just how well they could play with cheap gear picked up off of the clearance rack.

    The risk in getting too obsessed with golf equipment is that you might spend the majority of your time pursuing better clubs rather than better technique. Your time will always be better spent practicing your full swing technique or working on your short game than it will be looking through the pro shop for a new weapon. There are plenty of golfers who only search for better performance through equipment, and those are the players who never seem to actually get any better.

    Could your game benefit from taking a few minutes to complete an online golf fitting process? Absolutely. You won’t have to invest much time, and the information that you receive can help you to make smart buying decisions when you are ready to get your next set of clubs. When compared to the amount of time and effort that will be required to complete an online fitting, the reward is certainly worth it – as long as you aren’t expecting miracles. You won’t find that 10 shots come off of your game as soon as you get some fitted clubs, because the outcome of your shots is still closely tied to the kind of swing that you make. Buying a great game is a myth in the world of golf – there are no shortcuts to quality performance from the first tee to the last green.

    If you have located a good online club fitting, go ahead and spend a few minutes completing the forms to find out what information it has to offer. This is especially useful if you are about to buy new clubs anyway – the data you get from the fitting will help you pick out just the right models. As long as you aren’t expecting to completely transform your game simply by pulling out your credit card and ordering a new set of clubs, you should be happy with the slight improvement that your new sticks provide. In exchange for just a few minutes of your time, an online club fitting could lead to better performance out on the course.