Nah, we aren’t talking about putting you on an exercise program or anything like that. It’s time that you went ahead and got fit for your golf equipment! However, are you really going to be getting a complete professional fitting or one like most experience when going into a local retail shop? I’m not suggesting that all shops are not capable of doing a true fitting but there are a lot of places that basically have no clue what really goes into doing a fitting.
By way of introduction, I am Doc Griffin. I am certified as an International Top 100 Master Fitter and Instructor and own Doc Griffin Golf in Columbia, South Carolina. Our customer base ranges from tour professionals, upper level amateurs, to beginners. So, we feel that proper fitting is for everyone if they want to play golf the best that they can or learn the swing properly and not have to make compensations in their swing for equipment that doesn’t fit them properly. I have had the pleasure of being associated with Mr. Ricky Potts now for several years and applaud his efforts to grow the game. He asked if I would do some blogs and this will be the my first submission which is an effort to educate and inform the golfer as to the importance of proper fitted equipment as it relates to their game. Future editions will deal with some interesting information regarding equipment that I hope will open your eyes to some of the myths and misconceptions that have been propagated by the golf industry for years.
The debate about club fitting has been going on for years with both sides of the issue passionately rising to their cause and defending it “to the teeth.” Truth of the matter is, YES, it does make a difference. The old adage that a carpenter is as only good as his tools applies equally as well to the golfer and his equipment. For years, pros have received a “form” of fitting from their respective equipment companies but even then it was not a “true” fitting. Also, the argument about, “I’m too new at the game to need fitting,” doesn’t hold water either. Let’s face it, the best players in the world could probably take a broom stick and get it around the course better than most of the Saturday golfers. Fitting is for everyone!
Not to start this article in a negative fashion, but rather point out some misconceptions, I’d like to start by addressing what a fitting is not! So, with that in mind, here is my top 10 list of what a fitting isn’t.
- Hitting clubs from a “fitting” cart on the range
- Hitting clubs into a net
- Hitting clubs into a net using a simulator
- Hitting clubs at a demo day
- Having clubs built based on height or how far you hit a 7 iron
- Having clubs recommended based solely on swing speed, hitting off a lie board, wrist to floor measurement
- Having clubs recommended based on handicap
- Having clubs adjusted by “how they look” as you address the ball
- Having clubs recommended based on age
- Having clubs recommended based on “how they feel”
The primary purpose of a fitting is to identify and establish the club specifications that will assist you in playing your best golf on a more consistent basis. The game is difficult enough without trying to play it with equipment that does not fit you. In order to improve your game it is imperative that your equipment “fit” you. If it doesn’t, you will not play your best! All pros play clubs that are custom fit. They know that golf clubs made to their specifications perform better, and take advantage of their swing. We believe no golf club should be made based on the golfer’s gender or age. We believe all golf clubs should be built based on the individual’s golf swing. In a true custom fitting environment, there is no man, woman, junior, senior or disabled. There is only one concern and that is the individual and his swing. The club fitters’ job is to observe, analyze and determine what head/shaft/grip combination is best suited for the individual and have their clubs built accordingly.
Here is a look at what is measured:
- Launch angle
- Carry distance
- Total distance
- Ball speed
- Ball spin rate
- Swing speed
- Swing tempo
- Angle of attack
- Angle of ball descent
- Centeredness of impact
- Lie angle
- Grip size
There are 21 components to a true and proper fitting. They are:
- Club head loft angle
- Club head lie angle
- Club head bulge (woods only)
- Club head roll (woods only)
- Club head sole angle (irons only)
- Club head face angle (woods only)
- Club head hosel offset
- Club head material composition and design
- Shaft flex
- Shaft torque
- Shaft weight
- Shaft spine alignment
- Shaft flex profile
- Shaft material composition and design
- Grip size
- Grip weight
- Grip material composition and design
- Club length
- Club swing weight/MOI
- Club total weight
- Set makeup
- What is done with the numbers
Once we have all the measurements, we will sit down with you and go over each one and what they mean and how they relate to you as a golfer. We will then make our recommendations as to type of club head, shaft, and grip and why we recommend what we do.
Once the decision is made as to the WHAT and you understand the WHY, the process of building your clubs begins. Our standard procedure with building involves orienting the shaft in its most stable and playable position in the club head, balancing the set or club out with the correct frequency and MOI, making sure the swing weight is for you, and that the lie angle, grip, length, etc. are all correct for you.
With a professional fitter/builder, the relationship is actually just beginning as you have your fitting. The commitment to you is that they will work with you on anything at any time that you feel it necessary. If you need questions answered, they are there to answer them.
I trust that this information has started you thinking and possibly considering getting your equipment checked to see if you have what you need. Also, if you plan on purchasing new equipment, please have it fit properly and not just pick it up off the rack. Also, do due diligence and research the facility where you purchase equipment to verify that they do a complete fitting.
Also, please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions or which to discuss anything related to golf and fitting.
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