Why Custom Fit Golf Clubs Really Are for Everyone
Thursday, February 19, 2015 9:00:19 AM America/North_Dakota/Center
How many of you have ever bought a pair of running shoes without trying them on first?
How about purchasing hockey skates or a baseball glove without testing the fit beforehand? I doubt that many of you have, as none of those examples are very logical. The same can be said about custom fitting (or lack thereof) with golf equipment. Golf is a game of precision, a game of timing, a game of patience, and a game of inches. If your clubs are not custom fit, you are doing your game a serious injustice, and I guarantee you that your scores are suffering because of it.
Seventy percent of “core” and “avid” golfers (adults age 18+ who play eight or more rounds a year) who purchased new clubs in the past year were not custom fit according to a recent Golf Magazine study.
Just think how high that percentage would be counting non-core golfers as well. Part of the lack of custom fitting is the fault of the individual and part of that is the fault of the retailer or pro shop that sold the clubs. In that same study, over half of the purchasers who had been custom fit indicated that their average score instantly improved by two or more shots per round. Two or more shots! Imagine how nice it would be to instantly start the New Year by shedding 2+ shots from your scores without even a day’s extra practice.
Let’s think about the physics of golf for a second.
If the golf club passes through the hitting zone and makes contact with the golf ball while the sole of the club is level with the ground, then the club is stable and you have increased the likelihood of the ball finding the club’s sweet spot. If the golf club passes through the hitting zone and makes contact with the ball while the toe of the club digs deeply into the turf and the heel of the club is up in the air (or vice versa), the shot has a high potential to veer offline since digging into the turf with one end of the clubface very likely will change the face position to either open or shut during the swing. What’s great about custom fitting is that in addition to solving these lie angle issues, it improves clubhead speed, ball speed, shot dispersion, carry distance, total distance and overall confidence as well, which all lead to better scores.
The words “custom fitting” sound a bit intimidating, as if it would take days or weeks of practice, research, and measuring to find out your specs.
Worse yet is the average golfer who believes that they need to be a golf pro or a scratch handicap in order for custom fitting to be necessary to help their game. Well, I have news for you; every golfer needs to be custom fit, regardless of playing ability. It’s as important for a 30-handicap to be custom fit as it is for a PGA Tour player. The most surprising news to the majority of the public is that custom fitting can be done in a matter of minutes. It’s not a grueling, tiresome, weeks on end process. It’s simple, painless, and fun. Why wouldn’t you want to improve your golf game instantly without even spending a minute’s extra practice? Exactly, the time to get custom fit is now.
It’s not safe to assume that just because you’re average height and weight that standard golf clubs are ok for you.
It’s also not safe to assume that just because you’re tall that you need longer clubs. What if you’re tall and you have long arms? Instead of longer clubs, you may actually need standard clubs or even shorter. What if you’re short and have long arms? Whether you’re 5’4”, 6’4”, have long arms or short arms, big hands or small hands, are standard height and weight or whatever, you need to get custom fit. One misfit degree of lie on a club can produce up to 10 yards of left or right shot dispersion, 10 yards! That’s the difference between hitting the edge of the green or ending up in a greenside bunker. Imagine if your specs are three or four degrees different than what your swing requires, then your game is really being negatively impacted because of your equipment! Basically, you won’t know what your specs are until you get custom fit, and until you get custom fit, your clubs will not be optimal for you.
The first step of the custom fitting process starts with a simple measurement to determine proper club length.
This is simply done by standing upright with your feet together, and measuring the distance from your wrist to the floor. This wrist-to-floor distance is compared to a measurement chart by a fitting professional, who then can determine the proper length of clubs for you. Then, an actual swing test is conducted by putting lie angle tape on the sole of the club and then hitting several shots from a lie board in a launch monitor or simulator. Once the shots have been hit, a trained eye looking at the lie angle tape can determine the proper lie angle. Once you have those two steps down, you will know your “specs” and are well on your way in the custom fitting process. Next, additional testing is done to properly fit clubhead size and offset, shaft flex, shaft weight, and shaft kickpoint, so that in the end the best brand and model of golf club and shaft combination is fit specifically for you. It is important to note that unless custom fitting is conducted by a professional, you are leaving yourself a lot of room for error and may end up with a misfit, therefore possibly being a detriment to you and your game.
Sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it?
Well, if you’re looking to improve your scores, then the answer is a profound yes! So, the question now is, how and where do I get custom fit? As I stated previously, it’s a simple and quick process, and it is imperative that you are fitted by a professional, as any misfit or mismeasurement can have very negative results. Your local Austad’s Golf stores are proud to offer club-fitting professionals who have been trained and certified by the top club-fitting experts in the country. The best part about the whole custom fitting process is that it’s free. Austad’s is happy to custom fit you to your specs for not a dime extra, and not only is the fitting process free, but the length and lie angle adjustments on new golf club orders come with no up charge as well. It’s time for your clubs to be custom fit to you, not for you to try and fit into your golf clubs.