The Importance of Club Fitting

When buying new clubs or even second hand clubs is there any point in having them fitted?

The answer is simple, would you buy a pair of trainers that aren’t your size, NO? So why spend £700 on a set of irons or £300 on a driver and not spend a little extra time, effort and money on making sure they are right for you and ultimately develop and improve your game.

A large percentage of golfer have the belief that “if the clubs are good enough for Tiger then there good enough for me” whereas in fact the reason the clubs are good for Tiger is that he has had them perfectly tailored to him and he is able to practice 8 hours a day with them!

Ask any golfer what they think about golf and nearly every time you will hear the words “frustrating” and “annoying” whereas we should be hearing “enjoyable” and “fun”. A way to help with that is making the game easier and there are various ways to do this but one way if club fitting.

Manufacturers will make clubs that fit the largest percentage of golfers and call them “standard” fit but as everyone knows, no two people are the same therefore how can a set of standard made clubs fit more than one person properly?

We all try and fit clubs ourselves for example If we have a fast swing we buy a stiff flex graphite shaft for the driver. There will always be some issues with club fitting, such as improvements in technique, strength, course management or general confidence but any fitting is better than no fitting. The benefits of having your clubs fitted are:

Custom Length
To custom fit the length of your clubs, measure the distance from the floor to your wrist while your arms rest comfortably down your sides. The taller the person, the longer the club he needs. A longer shaft can give you the ability to hit the ball farther if you can control the shaft through the swing. A shorter shaft can give you more control through the swing but less distance. Finding the correct length to fit your swing can correct your control, trajectory and distance on the ball.

Shaft Flex
The strength of your swing determines the flex of your shaft. The stronger player requires a stiffer shaft. The weaker player needs a shaft with flexibility. Too stiff of a shaft for the swing can lead to weak shots right — for a right-handed player — and short of the target. A shaft that is too flexible can create a hook and a high trajectory, landing the ball to the left. Matching the strength of your swing to the flex of the shaft creates a more accurate ball flight.

Lie of the Clubhead
The way the sole of the clubhead sits on the ground determines its lie. If the heel of the clubhead rises off the ground when you address the ball, it causes the ball to hit right of the target. If the toe of the club head is off the ground, you’ll tend to hit the ball left. Customizing the lie of the head based upon your stance at address allows you to more consistently hit the ball straight at the target.

Grip Fitting
The final part of fitting which most golfers don’t realise is the fitting of the proper size grip. Getting the grip sized to your hands helps you make solid contact with the golf every time you swing. If your grip is too small, it can cause the club to twist and close the clubface, resulting in a hook. If your grip is too large, your club could become loose in your hands, opening the clubface and slicing the ball.

Although I have had my clubs fitted, I had nearly a three year layoff but was able to pick them up and start playing with them with the same type of feeling. The consistency wasn’t there and neither was the accuracy but when catching the ball cleanly it was still a far better strike that if I were to have a standard set of clubs.

Although I have mentioned the benefits I feel the main benefit is peace of mind. If you think your clubs are completely correct for you then you will have the belief in your ability to go for your shots and know you will execute them successfully.

Whatever your opinions on club fitting you can’t dispute the fact that “standard” doesn’t fit the amateur golfer.

About Stooey

The newest recruit to the 3-men-in-a-bunker, I'm the Head of Quality & Curriculum for a range of football academies in the South of England. I'm a qualified PE teacher who loves a wide variety of sports, even the rubbish ones you find on Eurosport at 2 in the morning. I used to run a Golf Academy where I had students representing England, Sussex and Hampshire on a regular basis. Also used to be the South & South-East College Golf Co-ordinator.
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