Custom fitting……. your golf

Custom Fitting….More than just a Shaft, Loft & Lie check The time of year is not far away, the time when we are starting to allow ourselves to think about the golfing season being just around the corner. Many of the manufacturers are bringing out the latest product, some of which I have been fortunate to have already tested before launch dates (you’ve got some very impressive performing clubs on the way to market) Some of you may well be thinking about buying Rory’s new driver, the latest TaylorMade fairway woods or the new Callaway X2 hot Irons and from what I have seen of each of the products they are sure to make an impact on your game. However they will only do so if you have the right set up, many of you maybe uttering the similar words we hear on a regular basis “I’m not good enough to be custom fitted” well the mere fact you think you’re not good enough suggests that you could do with help and custom fitting isn’t exclusive to elite amateurs and professionals. From my experience custom fitting has had huge impacts on their games. Custom fitting golf clubs is not just about the Shaft flex, lie, and length although very important that’s not where the term “fitting” ends, fitting is far more than that, fitting is about giving you the golfer the full and correct setup of golf clubs and that includes your club gapping, wedge fitting, putter fitting and ensuring that your latest driver purchase is set so you have optimize your driving distance and accuracy. Club Yardages – Do you know how far you hit your clubs? When I question most golfers especially when it comes to driving most when tested on trackman is way out. We need to know if we can carry the bunker in the fairway at 220 carry, or if we can reach the water at 250, it’s important to know with every club in the bag. Do you know how far you CARRY each club, or do you just think you know? Knowing each clubs average carry and total distance will have a huge impact on the success of your golf. I see large amounts of golfers over estimating how far they hit each club, this tends to be because they don’t go on their average distance, sure they can hit that 7 iron 170 yards when they hit it out the screws 1 in 10, but  how far do they hit it when they don’t  160?, it’s the average yardage we need to go off not the top yardage. Egos tend to get in the way of lower scores far too often and too many 3 putts occur from under clubbing, if you want to see lower scores learn how far you’re hitting each club on average as you could be missing out on vital information that will allow you to make fully educated decisions when it comes to club selection.Picture-3-284x300 Club Gapping – Custom fitting doesn’t have to be only when you’re thinking of buying new clubs. From my own experience I find a large amount of golfers carry two if not three longer clubs that do the same job. I am seeing a trend of fitting irons up to 6 or 5 iron adding a two rescues woods, 5 wood and a driver. Certainly in the higher handicap range I’m seeing less and less need for 5 & 4 Irons and replacing them with rescue woods which are far more forgiving, launch the ball higher and carry distances are better. Also I find less need for 3 woods, again as most really struggle hitting them well enough of the fairway to gain the carry they can with a higher lofted 5 wood. There has been a study over the past few years on club golfers ageing from 16-79 (average being 47) with handicaps from +2-40 (average Hcp 11) the study was based on taking two sets of measurements of each golfers yardages, one with the longer irons and the other with the shorter irons. The aim was to see if the golfers yardage gapping between irons were correct. The study threw up some interesting results. Long Iron tests results were:

  • 44% of the yardage gaps were classed as reasonable (Between 8 – 14 yards apart)
  • 37% of the gaps measured were too small (less than 8 yards)
  • 19% were “reverse gaps” (higher lofted clubs carried further)

*It’s important to note that golfers in the tests were fitted for irons but none for gapping between irons Results on the short iron tests were:

  • 43% of the gaps were too large (larger than 13 yards)
  • 28% of the gaps were reasonable (between 7 & 13 yards)
  • 23% of the gaps were too small (less than 7 yards)
  • 6% of the gaps were “reverse gaps” (the higher lofted club carried further)

Now seen as the wedges are classed as “scoring clubs” the fact that these results shows that 72% of golfers tested had the incorrect short iron gapping set ups in their bags is a worrying figure and suggest that there is a need to for more golfers to at least test to ensure they are not in the 72%! Custom fitting is about the individual, giving a golfer a better chance to improve by matching the correct lies, lengths, shaft, grips, lofts & head designs to the golfers swing, club gapping to ensure the set make-up suits your game and knowing your yardages to help you make the correct decisions on course. Wouldn’t it be good to know that the clubs in your bag are set up to best suit you but also how far they go when you hit them? If you’re going to go to the expense of purchasing a new woods, irons, wedges or putters GET FITTED!! There are plenty of very good experienced fitters out there who use Trackman & flightscope and similar machines, who are able to make recommendations with hard data to back it up and can show you how far you’re hitting each club to within 1 yard accuracy, unfortunately there are still some cowboys out there who really should not be fitting golf clubs but it would only take a little research to find a good fitter near you. The golfing public’s awareness of the importance of being custom fitted is increasing year on year however there are still far too many people buying equipment without little more than a random guess or a quick read of a magazine article on “whats hot in 2014” my advice is to go and see an experienced fitter and get a full bag fitting, yes it may cost you more than you ‘d like to spend but I can assure you it will be worth every penny ……chances are you & your golf will be a lot happier after you do.