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Should I get fitted for new, custom clubs before taking lessons - OR - take lessons first then get fitted for new, custom clubs?

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Hello, I am new to this forum.  I am 34 years old and started golfing about 10 years ago.  I only played golf about 2-3 times a year (mostly in charity tournaments), until this year where I plan on golfing once every week.  I feel it's time to take lessons before I start or even continue some bad habits.  The weather has been unusually warm so far this year in PA, allowing me to begin early.  I am 6'-3", 202 lbs.  After using online club fitting calculators, they require an additional length of 3/4".  I am scheduling a fitting appointment within a few weeks to verify the length required.  I currently play with standard length clubs and I am afraid it may be negatively affecting my game.

My dilemma, of course, is.. Should I buy new clubs now and get fitted before taking lessons -or- take lessons first with my standard length clubs then buy new clubs and get fitted?

I am thinking that taking lessons with clubs that fit me would be the better decision, but then, lessons will most likely change my stance, swing, etc. which may require different club sizes.  I make a modest living as a licensed engineer to where I can now afford a higher quality set and get them fitted to my needs.  Having said that, I would prefer to buy only one custom set to last me until I require a different setup.  Honestly, my wife would only let me buy one set anyway, so it is important that I make the right decision once.

Please help.  Thanks much in advance.

TJ

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My suggestion would be lessons and practice until you get to a point where you have a reasonably consistent swing. At that point take a look at fitting as you'll then have 'enough' of a good swing to invest wisely. As you said there's only going to be one set of clubs purchased so what happens if you buy what you feel are the right length now and then find out you need the lofts or lies adjusted or stiffer shafts?

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I was in the same boat as you. I took lessons worked on my swing and then got fitted. A proper fitting is much more then length by the way. I waited a couple years before I got fitted and I am very happy with my clubs.
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You could probably get some USED 1/2 or 3/4" over length clubs on ebay for a decent price then sell them/upgrade later.  Try figuring out if you need upright or not and guess at the proper shaft flex based on how long you hit the ball.

another option would be to take your first lesson and ask the pro, although some know more about club fitting than others.

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If you already have clubs I would recommend practicing like BlueDragon suggested and working on obtaining a consistent swing before getting fitted. If you are looking at buying a new or used set of clubs right now I would suggest a basic fitting to give you your proper shaft length and flex, and possibly your club head lie.

However in saying this during a fitting many people adjust loft and offsets to either get specific or more distance, or to help prevent slice or hook. I wouldn't suggest doing any of this seeing as through lessons and playing for the next while might slightly or even radically change the way you swing the club.  The most important in my opinion is ensuring that you have the proper shaft length for your comfortable stance, the proper shaft flex for your swing speed and the proper lie angle to prevent pulling or pushing the ball off course.

Hope this helps,

Mitch G

Enjoy!

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