Read this before you buy golf clubs again

These days all the club manufacturers have a qualified fitter to set up your equipment, so make the inquiry with your salesman. Your golf clubs should fit your swing and not the other way round.

Custom Fit or Off the Rack? – by Tom Wishon

The next time you go to the golf course or the driving range, take a moment to observe how golfers differ in their size, strength, athletic ability and most of all, in their swing characteristics. Then stop and think how golf clubs have always been sold to all these different golfers. All of thclubs to e different brands and models of golf clubs all sitting in displays, already built to a pre-ordained series of standard specifications determined by each golf club company. It is no different than a shoe store stocked with all the different brands and styles, but with all the men’s shoes stocked in a size 10 and all the women’s in a size 7.

Yes, you do get a choice of a couple of different shaft flexes within the one shaft model installed in each club model. And you can choose between a few different lofts in just the driver. Did you know that there have never been standards in the golf industry for how stiff any of the letter flexes of shafts are? Did you know that many golf companies make their driver heads so the loft is actually different than the loft number put on the head? Did you know that there are no less than 12 different fitting elements in golf clubs that need to be custom fit to each golfer to enable them to play to the best of their given ability?

Golf clubs are sold off the rack, built to one series of standard specifications because it would be far too difficult for the golf companies to make all the different combinations of custom fitting specifications that golfers need, and too difficult for the golf retail stores to stock all the different brands and models in all the different custom fitting options that all the golfers would need to fit their swings. So golf clubs have remained a “one size fits all” business and golfers have been led to never question it.

That’s too bad because within this more convenient business model of the golf equipment industry, golfers are getting the short end of this business stick. When custom fitting is performed by a knowledgeable, experienced custom clubmaker, each club is customized and built for all 13 of the key fitting specifications to the individual needs of each golfer. When accurately and fully custom fit, golfers can see visible shot improvement and can then play to the best of their ability.

Because the big golf club companies have always built and sold their clubs to a “national average” of golfer size, strength and swing ability, whenever golfers buy new clubs and experience no visible shot improvement, they blame themselves for the problem. After all, the game is difficult to master and it can’t possibly be the fault of the clubs, right?

Wrong. Yes, the game is difficult to master. But anyone who was reasonably good in sports when they were in school should be able to hit golf shots with more than a 50% success rate. The problem is that a population of golfers that are very different from each other in their size, strength, athletic ability and swing characteristics simply cannot play their best using golf clubs which are built to one series of standard specifications.

During a television interview aired on The Golf Channel, Tiger Woods was asked what he noticed the most about the amateurs he plays with in pro-am events. His response was that he sees very few golfers who are ever custom fit with clubs that could accent the positive things they do in their swings and reduce some of the effects of the chronic mistakes they make. In a 2011 interview with GOLF magazine, Nick Faldo made the comment that 98% of all the golfers he encounters do not play with golf clubs that are fit to match their swings.

 

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