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Club fitting ... confused

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Ok, short intro as I'm new to the this forum (and forums in general).

 

I'm 34, been playing golf since I was a child but stopped for a while and started again about 4 years ago. As I'm starting to take the game more seriously I thought I'd treat myself to a fitting session for a new iron set ... and I'm now more confused than ever.

 

Although I recently broke 80 (+8) for the first time, I'm usually in the mid-high teens over par and, unlike most of my playing partners, my short game is very good while my longer irons don't go far and my driving is comfortably the worst part of my game. As I'm 5'7", I assumed the fitting session would be recommending shorter shafts but the 'advice' turned out very different than I expected.

 

The fitting session highlighted that my biggest problem was my distance and that was because I have a very high trajectory with my irons, he identified the weakness in my swing at impact, and that is something I intend to work on. I was very keen on getting some Ping irons as they felt the most 'balanced' to me and I also preferred the way the i20's looked at address. He tried to steer me away from these though as he said the lofts weren't right for my trajectory? is this right, surely if I'm going to work on improving the way I impact the ball this should not be a factor?

 

Secondly, I've always struggled hitting my longer irons and when checking the lie angle, he suggested going for 3 degrees flat. This made sense to me for my longer irons as the toe does sit up a lot, but not so much with 8,9,PW as they don't seem so bad and I hit them well. Also, almost everyone I see getting fitted has to go for more upright lie angles and other advice I read online said that flatter lie angles result in fading the ball (which I already do with my standard off-the-shelf clubs, I don't want this to turn into a slice!). Should I be considering getting different lie angles for 4,5,6,7 than I do for 8,9,PW ... or is this tinkering too much?

 

Finally, the fitter didn't think I needed any changes to the shafts (regular length, regular steel) even though I had a relatively slow swing speed of 78-80mph. He did recommend a slightly smaller Aqua grip though. Does this all sound normal to you you guys or should I get a second opinion?

 

I went in thinking I had a good swing and a reasonably strong game in general, and left feeling terrible lol. He did I say I swing the club well but now I'm not so sure. Obviously I want to improve but hitting high approach shots into greens and stopping them has always been the best part of my game and I don't want to lose that.

 

Any advice appreciated.

post #2 of 22

I see two options:

 

1. Get fit for the swing you have. Flat lie, lower launching heads... And improve your game because the new clubs fit your swing. Any swing compensations that you have now, will remain as the new clubs will allow and encourage the current swing.

 

2. Get fit for the swing you want with your body measurements. This option will encourage you to learn the swing you want because the clubs will perform best when hit correctly.

 

I like option 2 for anyone who is working on their swing. For my Dad, and many others in their 70's, option 1 is the way to go.

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your input, the fitter I saw seemed to be advising option #1 despite me saying I was willing to work at my problems.

 

My outstanding concern is about having different lies for different clubs. I still feel I hit my low irons well (certainly get the results I want anyway) so don't want to make too many changes to those. I do feel that having a flatter lie in my longer irons would help though.

 

Is it ok to have half your irons set at one lie and the others at a different setting? or is that something I should overcome with a decent coach?

post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Extempore View Post

 

The fitting session highlighted that my biggest problem was my distance and that was because I have a very high trajectory with my irons, he identified the weakness in my swing at impact, and that is something I intend to work on. I was very keen on getting some Ping irons as they felt the most 'balanced' to me and I also preferred the way the i20's looked at address. He tried to steer me away from these though as he said the lofts weren't right for my trajectory? is this right, surely if I'm going to work on improving the way I impact the ball this should not be a factor?

 

Secondly, I've always struggled hitting my longer irons and when checking the lie angle, he suggested going for 3 degrees flat. This made sense to me for my longer irons as the toe does sit up a lot, but not so much with 8,9,PW as they don't seem so bad and I hit them well. Also, almost everyone I see getting fitted has to go for more upright lie angles and other advice I read online said that flatter lie angles result in fading the ball (which I already do with my standard off-the-shelf clubs, I don't want this to turn into a slice!). Should I be considering getting different lie angles for 4,5,6,7 than I do for 8,9,PW ... or is this tinkering too much?

 

Finally, the fitter didn't think I needed any changes to the shafts (regular length, regular steel) even though I had a relatively slow swing speed of 78-80mph. He did recommend a slightly smaller Aqua grip though. Does this all sound normal to you you guys or should I get a second opinion?

 

I went in thinking I had a good swing and a reasonably strong game in general, and left feeling terrible lol. He did I say I swing the club well but now I'm not so sure. Obviously I want to improve but hitting high approach shots into greens and stopping them has always been the best part of my game and I don't want to lose that.

 

Any advice appreciated.

 

That's kinda crap statement there. Because irons are built as a set. They have standard club length differentials and loft differentials that make each club have about a 10-12 yard gap between iron shots. So, it doesn't matter what the lofts are for your swing. When you need to concern yourself with is getting your hands forward at impact with a flat left wrist at impact.

 

What matters more is the shafts, which will load differently. So you want to find a golf shaft that loads correctly for your swing. So lets say your hitting iron shots with your hands forward, flat left wrist, weight on your front foot, and the height is still way to high, lets say 120 feet in the air at apex. Then you'd probably need to look at the golf shaft, get something with a higher kick point to get that trajectory down.

 

As for grips, depends on what your looking for. I like golf pride, they are a bit more tacky than winn grips which i like. I bounce around from midsize grip with little build up tape, to standard grip with more build up tape. I think i am going back to standard with more build up tape here soon. I think midsize is just a tad to big for my taste. But, some people like larger grips, some like smaller grips. The general rule of thumb is that your last three fingers on your left hand don't dig into your palm when you grip the club.

 

I would worry about a club fitter telling you about your swing. I seperate the two sides because it sounds like hes' trying to make up excuses for you to buy equiptment, making it seem like you need it to improve your game.

post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Extempore View Post

Thank you for your input, the fitter I saw seemed to be advising option #1 despite me saying I was willing to work at my problems.

 

My outstanding concern is about having different lies for different clubs. I still feel I hit my low irons well (certainly get the results I want anyway) so don't want to make too many changes to those. I do feel that having a flatter lie in my longer irons would help though.

 

Is it ok to have half your irons set at one lie and the others at a different setting? or is that something I should overcome with a decent coach?

If you mean different from standard, then I'd say it is odd. Something happening in your address position that changes your swing more than most from short to long irons.

 

Each club in a set has its own lie and when you go more upright or more flat, you change every club from its standard lie the same amount. e.g. one degree flat changes each club by one degree but does not make your 5-iron lie the same as your 9-iron.

 

Perhaps a lesson that would focus on address and setup would also give you proper club specs for the address and setup you want to have.

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thank you both for your thoughts. I thought it odd that the fitter didn't even consider giving me different shafts to try, he said my club head speed was very slow (averaged at about 80mph) but that it was something I could improve through coaching. I should have stated that the fitter was also a club pro as well though.

 

I'm definitely going to get some lessons as the point about my wrists at impact is correct (and to be fair to the fitter he did identify that). I've also booked myself in for a second fitting with a different fitter though just to see if the results come out similar.

 

Overall I think I'll be going into my second fitting with a lot more insight as to what should be going on. Nobody has raised concerns about the 3 degrees flat suggestion, so I'm assuming that isn't a major problem. I am pretty much sold on the Ping i20s though so I hope it all works out!

 

Thanks agin to both of you for your input, I'll be sticking around on this forum! 

post #7 of 22

How tall are you and what is your wrist to floor measurement?

 

3* flat is very flat. And some flat and others not is odd.

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyredcab View Post

How tall are you and what is your wrist to floor measurement?

 

3* flat is very flat. And some flat and others not is odd.

 

Since you like the i20, be aware that Ping set the standard for measuring lie angle on clubs, and sending you the correct lie angle from the factory. The color code dot on the iron head identifies the lie angle; Ping uses wrist to floor as a rough starting point on lie angle, but you actually have to hit some shots on a lie board to get the right angle. Your stance and hand position also influence what lie angle you need.

 

(Caution: don't let a fitter tell you that because you have wrist-to-floor X, that you need a lie angle Y. Hit some shots to see what you need; w-t-f is only a starting point).

post #9 of 22

Have you hit the i20's on the range? I don't know what clubs you use now, but I noticed that they lowered my ball flight a good bit when I tried them at a demo day. I would also hit some balls with a 3* flat Ping iron to make sure you are comfortable with that before you jump at the purchase. Like someone else said, that is a pretty big jump from standard. 

post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 

When I was hitting the standard club off the lie board, the markings were well off centre towards the heel of the club.

 

The fitter switched me to a 2 degrees flat club and the markings were still slightly off centre towards the heel, so he suggested putting me down for 3 degrees flat, despite them having nothing flatter than 2 degrees for me to actually hit. That's part of the reason I want to go back for a second fitting, as I thought this was a bit too much like 'guesswork'.

 

My next fitting is on Wednesday, I'll update this with however I get on.

post #11 of 22

Tough to say, lie really wont effect your ball flight much if its with in a few degrees of were it should be. The math supports this fact, and Erik has done a good video on why, but basically because the loft makes the oblique angle change caused by lie to be vertical than horizontal. So irons with much higher lofts than putters and drivers, will not be effected by small lie changes.

post #12 of 22

not an expert at all but i did read stan utley's book on the short game and he said that he had the lie angle of his wedges made flatter (vs the rest of his set) bcoz the standard miss with a wedge is a pull / hook, while the standard miss with a longer iron is a push / slice (which a more upright lie angle would help cure).  so to answer your question re having "different lies for different clubs" - probably a yes - to having different lie angles for your long vs short irons. 

post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsuruncle View Post

not an expert at all but i did read stan utley's book on the short game and he said that he had the lie angle of his wedges made flatter (vs the rest of his set) bcoz the standard miss with a wedge is a pull / hook, while the standard miss with a longer iron is a push / slice (which a more upright lie angle would help cure).  so to answer your question re having "different lies for different clubs" - probably a yes - to having different lie angles for your long vs short irons. 

 

I can see this happening because a lot of people choke down on the club, which makes the club more upright.

post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by WUTiger View Post

 

Since you like the i20, be aware that Ping set the standard for measuring lie angle on clubs, and sending you the correct lie angle from the factory. The color code dot on the iron head identifies the lie angle; Ping uses wrist to floor as a rough starting point on lie angle, but you actually have to hit some shots on a lie board to get the right angle. Your stance and hand position also influence what lie angle you need.

 

(Caution: don't let a fitter tell you that because you have wrist-to-floor X, that you need a lie angle Y. Hit some shots to see what you need; w-t-f is only a starting point).

 

"You actually have to hit some shots" ONLY if you are hitting shots with a swing you like and plan to keep.

 

You can get clubs that fit to your swing or fit to your body and then develop a swing. You decide if your dynamic fitting (hitting a board and all) is right for you. It is NOT right for me. I know what swing I want and and I get fit for that swing, not the swing I have in the shop the day of my fitting. 

post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyredcab View Post

"You actually have to hit some shots" ONLY if you are hitting shots with a swing you like and plan to keep.

 

You can get clubs that fit to your swing or fit to your body and then develop a swing. You decide if your dynamic fitting (hitting a board and all) is right for you. ...

rusty,

 

I agree with what you say, but would like to expand on it. Advice from GolfWorks is that the lie-angle measurements of a person's golf swing stabilize quickly and are fairly constant*.  So, the lie board is often included in static fittings, although it is technically a dynamic measurement.

 

Also, whether you get a new set from the factory, or buy a used set, ask the club shop fitter to do a loft and lie check on the irons to make sure they meet factory specs (as adjusted for you in fitting).

-----------------------------------------

*constant: (This assumes a person does not make a major stance or swing adjustment. A few years back. I went from 2* flat to even, because I quit crouching so much in my stance).

post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by WUTiger View Post

rusty,

 

I agree with what you say, but would like to expand on it. Advice from GolfWorks is that the lie-angle measurements of a person's golf swing stabilize quickly and are fairly constant*.  So, the lie board is often included in static fittings, although it is technically a dynamic measurement.

 

Also, whether you get a new set from the factory, or buy a used set, ask the club shop fitter to do a loft and lie check on the irons to make sure they meet factory specs (as adjusted for you in fitting).

-----------------------------------------

*constant: (This assumes a person does not make a major stance or swing adjustment. A few years back. I went from 2* flat to even, because I quit crouching so much in my stance).

I hear you, and believe you that GolfWorks says it is constant, but I don't believe that is true.

 

I don't think distance from the ball and ball position are constant for most of us over 5 in handicap. I know from experience that if I don't check my ball position, foot spread, and distance to the ball while on the range, it will differ from my perfect setup. If my set up is not perfect, and I still hit the ball, something will have changed in my path and/or plane at impact. So, it seems unlikely that my lie would test the same from day to day even if I was trying to keep it the same. So the day I get tested, would be the day I learn to consider correct. And I'd create any needed swing compensations to flight the ball well. This is a slippery road toward inconsistent results.

 

I'll stick with my pro's recommendation based on my measurements.

 

BTW, I do get my lies checked because beating on the range can bend them. And, "standard" lie can differ between sets. Over time, manufacture's standards have often become more upright.

post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Extempore View Post

He tried to steer me away from these though as he said the lofts weren't right for my trajectory? is this right, surely if I'm going to work on improving the way I impact the ball this should not be a factor?

Agree with saevel above that this doesn't make any sense.  The lofts of the clubs are only relative to each other, for one, and further, i20 lofts are right in line with a lot of clubs nowadays in their standards.  If he said the clubheads weren't right for you because they are designed to launch it high that would be one thing, but the lofts comment is goofy.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Extempore View Post

Is it ok to have half your irons set at one lie and the others at a different setting? or is that something I should overcome with a decent coach?

There isn't really a "setting" for lie angle.  Just like loft, to some degree (no pun intended), and length as well, all manufacturers have a different "standard" as their lie angle.  In looking at my club specs (custom fitted) versus i20 standards, I guess the answer to your first question is yes, lol.

 

Standard i20 lies start at 60 for the 4 iron, and then get steeper by increments of .75, .75, .75, .75, .75, .25, 0, .25, .25.

 

My set starts at 63, then gets steeper by increments of .5, .5, .5, .5, .5, .5, 0, 0, 0.

post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

... There isn't really a "setting" for lie angle.  Just like loft, to some degree (no pun intended), and length as well, all manufacturers have a different "standard" as their lie angle. ...

 

Know what you mean. Each manufacturer has slightly different standards as to what they count as an "average" lie angle. When I put sole tape on Ping irons, I usually get recommended to go .75* flat. For Callaway, I get recommended for standard lie.

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