As you probably know technology has really changed the way we select golf clubs. I know of many golfers who play regularly, who have simply walked into a shop and bought a set of clubs off the rack without being fitted. This seems mad to me. Golf is a difficult sport anyway, why not give yourself the best chance of playing well?
As I already know the advantages to getting fitted properly, I thought I would take a trip to one of my local golf stores to have a chat and do a fitting to show you how it works and see if I could learn something new. I contacted House Of Golf (Epping) where I spoke to a Matt, a great salesman who was more than happy to oblige in helping with the process.
I must admit, the thought of getting a full fitting scared me a bit. Will I be hitting it well? Will the results I see reflect what I see on the course? How much will it really help my game? So, let’s find out what it’s all about.
The first thing that struck me was the personal nature of the fitting. It started with a lot of questions about me and my game. In particular what I was trying to achieve. This gave Matt a good idea of my attitude and the direction I wanted to take my game. I was quite clearly looking for a ‘players’ club that offered some help. Their range is very extensive so narrowing the choices down quickly is a really good thing.
A quick measure of my height and arm length established the correct length of shaft I should be playing.
He then went on to look at my swing and assess the type of club that would suit me. I was given quite a few practice swings to warm up and when I felt like I was swinging okay he gave me a club with a funny looking blue box on it. This would measure the swing speed, tempo and flex in the shaft. As I have covered before, the shaft can have a real impact on the flight of the ball. I personally feel that this is the most important factor for your new set. After measuring a few swings he entered the results into the computer program and found my ideal shaft options.
This process also gave Matt a chance to see my swing and think about head options to match all the things we had discussed. The computer also gave its suggestion and that is where we started. After hitting a few models that we thought would be the best options, we made a decision on the head.
The next thing to see was the lie angle. He placed a white strip on the bottom of the club. I proceeded to hit a few shots off a hard plate. This measures the lie of the club at the point which I strike the ball. Clubs can be adjusted ‘flat’ or ‘upright’ to match the players swing.
Matt then went on to measure my grip size. He stated that too many golfers don’t even consider this as a factor.
After hitting a heap of balls with the chosen club the computer analysed my distances, spin rates and smash factor. The computer program then suggested full club options from 3 iron to wedges. Giving us some choices of the wedge gapping. I chose my wedges on a distance factor rather then a loft factor. This would involve ordering my wedges to be custom bent to the angles that suit my swing. These clubs can then be equally spaced leaving me no awkward distance gaps in my set.
After all of that the irons and wedges were decided upon and I thought we were done. Wrong. Matt was very keen to look at putters. He says that custom fitting a putter is really important. As we all know almost half of our shots are on the green so getting the right putter is vitally important. Now, I must admit, I have never considered this before. I’ve always just used one straight off the rack. We went over and had some further discussion about my putting and chose a few models that I preferred. We used a board to see where my eyes were lining up and the data told us that some putters would be a better option than others.
Next we went back to the launch monitor and Matt fitted me up for a driver. This was relatively straight forward because we already had so much information about my swing and because the adjustable nature of drivers makes them very accommodating. Matt selected a few drivers and we adjusted them to match my swing to get the optimal launch angle and spin rates. After hitting a few, I decided on the driver that felt, sounded and performed to my liking.
Matt was leaving nothing to chance. We then discussed the importance of balls and which models might suit my game and preferences.
All in all, Matt was very thorough. What I really liked about this fitting is the time he took to understand me and my game – not just look at the computer generated numbers and make recommendations based on them alone. He showed a genuine interest in me and helping to find the clubs that will improve my performance.
Based on my experience, I would recommend any golfer get a custom fitting when buying a new set of clubs. I found it insightful and interesting.
Of course, if you’re local to Melbourne, then be sure to visit Matt at House of Golf (Epping).
Luke @ Golf Blog Australia