Why Getting Your Clubs Accurately Fitted Is So Important

This is a recent forum post we found on www.thesocialgolfer.com:

"I have recently purchased a new Nike vapour #3 hybrid and then someone sold me the 3 wood to match been out today for a quick 9 holes and they were both terrible now is it just me and I need to persevere down the range or do I just try and get rid sharpish?? Has anyone else had this with clubs they've paid good money for??"

Many of the comments on this post advised this poor chap to get his clubs fitted properly before he bought them. However, until a few years ago, getting fitted for a new set of clubs was both costly and time consuming.

If you wanted to check out Titleist, Taylor Made and Ping before making a decision, you were looking at a two day round trip to St Ives, Wentworth and Lincolnshire respectively.

So, most club golfers had to make do with half an hour in the driving net before splashing out hundreds of pounds for a set of clubs.

However since 2000, things have gotten a lot simpler as more golf professionals have splashed out on launch monitoring equipment so you can compare your ball flight with different models and shafts.

The question is, does it really make a difference? Adrian Hill, Professional at Hartford Golf Club definitely thinks so.

To have a chance of playing golf to your best potential you simply have to take part in a custom fitting session, no two golfers are the same and everyone can benefit from clubs made to suit their swing”

To be fair he has a point, which anyone who has tried to drive a car after someone smaller or taller has altered the seat position, will testify.

So far we’ve only considered a fitting for a new set of clubs, but what about the ones already in your bag.

Most people instinctively know when a putter is two short or long. If the putter is digging into your stomach with your eyes over the ball then its obviously too long. But what about irons, specifically long irons?

The lie of a club is a term that most people have heard mentioned, but they have no idea what it means. But if you are tall or short and have a shallow or steep swing you may want to consider a trip to see one of the experts at Hartford, Adrian says:

Many people think they aren’t good enough for custom fitted clubs, but it’s the complete opposite – because the clubs aren’t fitted to you they are probably holding you back

At the point of impact, if the toe of your iron points down then it’s too flat, which means it can drag on the ground. This acts as a pivot, dragging the face of the club away from your desired direction and resulting in you watching, dumfounded, as you ball sails off towards the rough, or worse.

If the lie is too upright then the heel of the club will dig into the ground, causing the dreaded pull shot.

The loft on your clubs is also extremely important. When they come off the shelf, they are set to specific degrees but over time they will inevitably get bent out of shape. Especially if like me, you have a habit of regularly hitting the ground.

With most irons there is only 3 to 4 degrees of loft between each one, which equates to about 10 - 15 yards. Whack your 5 iron on the ground a few times, and you’ll be wondering why it’s going the same distance as your 6 or 7 iron. Your swing is the same so it is almost certainly the loft on the clubs.

Whilst loft and lie are very important they are also only a small part of the fitting process. Playing with the right equipment also includes the type of club head, the shaft weight and flex, the club length, grip type and size and also the set composition. 

Golf today is as much about the equipment you play with as it is about how you swing the club. Remember that next time you're giving yourself a hard time on the course, it may not be you that's the problem.