Whether you are a touring professional, or are simply considering taking up the game, one thing can be said of custom fit golf clubs: the comfort and confidence you get will repay their cost many times over. In fact, many of the best club manufacturers will offer you a free custom fitting session when you decide to purchase their brand of golf clubs. Professional golfers discovered the benefits of custom fit clubs decades ago.
Touring pros today, sponsored by many of the club manufacturers, get all of their custom club needs with their sponsorship. While the needs and desires of golfers at this level of the game may be slightly more demanding than yours, the basic concepts are the same. Clubs bought off the shelf are all the same size. Their shafts are all the same. Lie angles for 9 irons are exactly the same regardless of which bag you pick up. Unfortunately with golf clubs, one size does NOT fit all. Following are some important aspects to look forward to when getting your custom fit golf clubs:
- Length of the club’s shaft: where your club face impacts the ball is directly affected by the length of the shaft. You’ll want to have each of your club’s shaft length exactly right for that club’s lie and your height. Some suggest using standard length clubs, allowing you to hit the ball on the center a higher percentage of the time, which increases distance and accuracy. If you’re shorter or taller than average, you’ll really want to look at getting a custom length, however.
- Angle of the club’s lie: once you have the correct distances for your shafts, you’ll be able to have a professional fitter determine the very best angle the shaft should be from the face of the club. Getting this right will improve your game by reducing hooks and/or slices, allowing for more accurate golf shots.
- Shaft type and flex: most amateur players prefer fiberglass shafts because they provide ample flexibility in their club when they are swinging. Most professionals prefer the stiffer flexibility of steel shafts for the power and control they are able to muster. Determining the shaft flex has a large effect on the feel of a golf club, and a medium effect on distance. Getting fitted for the best club shaft type and flex depends on your swing speed, and of course personal preferences.
- Grip size: can be a major point of consideration when getting your clubs customized. Today’s technologies offer the golfer numerous options for size, composition, rotational placement, etc. Most important is to feel comfortable when gripping your clubs.
- Clubhead design: unless you are a touring pro you’re unlikely to be able to effectively design your own clubhead. This option is more about choosing from the various offerings a specific manufacture has available. Depending upon your game, however, your choice of designs can greatly enhance your ability to consistently strike quality shots.
Once you have gone through a fitting session and your particulars are recorded, you get a final, wonderful task of determining your set make up. Exactly which clubs do you want in your bag? What type of bag do you want, for that matter? With the vast number of choices of exotic club types, you may find yourself spending more time figuring out which clubs to buy than you spent on getting them custom fit!
About the Author Eric Wilson Ph.D. is a PGA Master Professional and the Vice President of golf school: The College of Golf at Keiser University in Port St. Lucie, FL. You can find The College of Golf on Twitter (@CollegeofGolf) or on Facebook.