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Getting Fit For Clubs

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hey All - 

 

I have been playing for a while but have never been custom fit for clubs (except for a putter).

There is enough information out there to make my head spin! Any suggestions for the best place / route to go to get custom fit for irons and driver/woods?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 17

What you need is a systematic way to process the information, and separate true information from nonsense.

  • Club designer Ralph Maltby has a website http://www.ralphmaltby.com/ with several short links on different aspects of how golf clubs work. Take a couple of hours to look through the links.
  • See if you can find a demo day or a golf expo to try out some clubs. Take notes on clubs/shafts you like.
  • Talk to golf friends - especially better players - and find out who has a good reputation for clubfitting.
  • Golf Galaxy and Golfsmith generally have fitters/clubsmiths who have been to one or more trade schools for fitting and building clubs. Other non-chain golf shops have veteran fitters - you just have to find the good ones.
  • Since you've been playing for awhile, you might go ahead and get a full fitting. You need to find both the best clubheads and the best shafts for your swing. Take the information from the fitting and use it to build your set. You don't have to buy everything all at once, you can re-fit your bag as $$ become available.
post #3 of 17

Going to a Club Maker would probably not be worth while. 

Custom Clubs are very expensive and a Club Maker may share some knowledge, but will not want to waste his time if they suspect they will not make a sale.

 

Better option would be going to a Golf Discount type store and speak with the employees.

Tell them up front you have been playing for a short while and let them suggest clubs to you.

They will probably suggest a forgiving club, measure your arm length and have you hit a few different brands. Clubs vary in swing weight, and you will be able to tell the difference. Also you should hit clubs with both regular and stiff shafts to get a feel for the difference. They will explain what the shaft difference should enable you to feel. You can demo clubs and it is best to hit them at a range to see the results.

 

Take your time before you decide to buy, and make sure your select a model which feels right and looks right at setup. When you are fairly certain of a brand, then they should have you hit a few shots with tape on the sole to determine the correct "lie suited for your arm length at address and swing" They will explain the process.

 

But if you really think having Custom Clubs are the way to go, then dive right in and take WUTigers advice.

 

Custom clubs are great, but you probably will get a case of "sticker shock" when a club maker discloses the cost.

 

Club Rat

post #4 of 17

GolfGuy,

 

Club Rat and I met each other last year at the St. Louis Golf Expo, He has a home workshop where he works on clubs, and he's really interesting to talk to about shafts and such.

 

He has solid advice about going to a golf and talking to the employees. Visit different shops if you can, and find one where you feel comfortable. Some shops/fitters are really willing to work with you, others just want a quick sale.

 

Good luck, and let us know what happens. 

post #5 of 17

I'm not sure where you are, so you may have more or less options easily available, but here are a couple of thoughts.

 

First, if you are already pretty set on what kind of clubs you are itching for, go to the manufacturer's web site and look for a list of authorized fitters.  These will likely range from golf courses, driving ranges and small retail stores that have a limited fitting bag, up to elaborate "performance center" type operations that are often associated with resorts, and golf schools like David Ledbetter's.  I think most of them have fitters that are in between the two extremes.  Titleist, for example, has fitters that are certified as Advanced Fitting Centers.  I think one of those is worth taking a pretty long drive to visit vs. a big box store.

 

If you are open to various club options, ask around wherever you play and see who the local pros and better players think is a good fitter in your area.  That person may work at a club or have a small business of their own and be a certified fitter for several brands.  (While the guy at Golfsmith may have had some training, it is unlikely he's actually been trained/certified by all the manufacturers they have him fitting for.)  Get to know the person and see what they offer.  With some guidance you may be able to pick up a nice set of used sticks from EBay or something and have them adjusted to fit you great.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies!

 

I guess what I am somewhat confused about (which was actually clarified somewhat in some of the replies so thank you) is...the overall process in the sense that - should I go and get fitted for everything and basically come out with a list of all my specs and then shop around? OR if is it usually the case that you are expected to buy right there on the spot with who/wherever is fitting you?

 

I am in Raleigh / Durham area...there is def. the big box stores around (golfsmith etc.), and I have found a few learning schools that have fitting centers (usually for a particular brand though) as well as individually owned places (owned and operated by a local "club fitter") but I would def. need to ask around about their reputation.

In general though, I am sensing it might be better to go to one of the local individually owned club fitters (as long as they come recommended) or one of the learning schools that has fitting center... rather than a big box store? 

 

I realize a lot of people have the opinion that golfers should not worry about club fitting until you are hitting the ball solid consistently and have a repeatable swing with the same miss...However, I am pretty sure that the clubs I am using are really far off from what I should be using. A few of the good players I have played rounds with have made random comments that they can tell the "lie" of my irons are way off for me. This has always been unprompted, they just notice! I bought them somewhat blindly off ebay (maybe a bad idea but they were super cheap and I liked the look). 

 

Last but not least, I am def. not married to a specific brand and/or model. I tend to get overwhelmed with all this information and options. My dream scenario here would be: I walk into store, they put me through whatever tests etc they have to, they tell me exactly what all the specs are I need for all clubs and give a few options of specific clubs (irons, woods, driver) that fit my specs. I would probably buy irons first, then driver a month or two later ($$), then woods a month or two after that ($$). I have already been fitted for a putter and know exactly what I need there.

 

Any further comments here would be much appreciated!

post #7 of 17

I was in a similar situation as yourself, clubs that were way off, and wanting to improve, I decided to go ahead with the purchase.  I did notice that once I had the right length and lie for me, that I was hitting the ball much straighter with the test club. 

 

 

I just had myself fitted for new Ping irons and fairway woods, and the way I went about it was to determine, both through reviews and word of mouth, determine approximately the brand and style of clubs I wanted.  Once I had decided on that, I spoke to a few club pros and other golfers I knew to get references for the clubfitter, and from that spoke to a couple to determine what  I wanted.  Once I had the clubfitter I wanted selected, I asked them for a rough idea of the cost of the clubs, and compared them to the box stores, online etc.  What I found was, especially for Ping, that the price for new clubs did not really vary at all. 

 

Once that was done, I booked the appointment, had the fitting done, which I was very impressed with, and ordered the clubs.  I ordered a new set of Ping G25 irons, a G25 3 and 5 wood, and a Ping Gorge wedge, and am just waiting for delivery.  

 

This was my experience anyway, so I hope it helps.

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shantzman View Post
 

I was in a similar situation as yourself, clubs that were way off, and wanting to improve, I decided to go ahead with the purchase.  I did notice that once I had the right length and lie for me, that I was hitting the ball much straighter with the test club. 

 

 

I just had myself fitted for new Ping irons and fairway woods, and the way I went about it was to determine, both through reviews and word of mouth, determine approximately the brand and style of clubs I wanted.  Once I had decided on that, I spoke to a few club pros and other golfers I knew to get references for the clubfitter, and from that spoke to a couple to determine what  I wanted.  Once I had the clubfitter I wanted selected, I asked them for a rough idea of the cost of the clubs, and compared them to the box stores, online etc.  What I found was, especially for Ping, that the price for new clubs did not really vary at all. 

 

Once that was done, I booked the appointment, had the fitting done, which I was very impressed with, and ordered the clubs.  I ordered a new set of Ping G25 irons, a G25 3 and 5 wood, and a Ping Gorge wedge, and am just waiting for delivery.  

 

This was my experience anyway, so I hope it helps.

actually helps a lot and I actually have a golf school 10 minutes from me that specializes in fitting and selling all Ping clubs...I was actually thinking about giving them a go...what do you like about the Ping clubs if I may ask? 

post #9 of 17

Personally, I grew up playing a set of Ping Eye 2s, got down to a sub-10 handicap, and I found them very controllable and forgiving.  Played a set of Callaways for the past 6 years and I just haven't had any success with them, they just felt awkward to me. 

 

The reason I went back to Pings was that every time I spoke to a multi-club dealer, and brought up the G25s, it was the same line, every set they sold, the customer was absolutely ecstatic with them.  The Club Fitter I went to was considered the top in the city, and won an award from Ping last year, but offers all major brands.  I asked him about what they usually fitted and sold, and he informed me that they fitted 85% Ping and Titleist.  

 

Given the repeated positive experiences I was hearing about, and my past experiences, I think I made a great choice for me.   I also have a very high swing speed, which took a bit of work to compensate for, and I think most clubfitters would have ended up giving me something improper.

 

 

Hope that helps!

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shantzman View Post
 

Personally, I grew up playing a set of Ping Eye 2s, got down to a sub-10 handicap, and I found them very controllable and forgiving.  Played a set of Callaways for the past 6 years and I just haven't had any success with them, they just felt awkward to me. 

 

The reason I went back to Pings was that every time I spoke to a multi-club dealer, and brought up the G25s, it was the same line, every set they sold, the customer was absolutely ecstatic with them.  The Club Fitter I went to was considered the top in the city, and won an award from Ping last year, but offers all major brands.  I asked him about what they usually fitted and sold, and he informed me that they fitted 85% Ping and Titleist.  

 

Given the repeated positive experiences I was hearing about, and my past experiences, I think I made a great choice for me.   I also have a very high swing speed, which took a bit of work to compensate for, and I think most clubfitters would have ended up giving me something improper.

 

 

Hope that helps!

Interesting and thanks! I may just set up an appointment with them!

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by GolfGuy123 View Post
 

Hey All - 

 

I have been playing for a while but have never been custom fit for clubs (except for a putter).

There is enough information out there to make my head spin! Any suggestions for the best place / route to go to get custom fit for irons and driver/woods?

 

Thanks!

 

 

My personal recommendations,

 

Go as heavy as you can with the golf shaft. Distance isn't everything, heavier golf clubs are easier to control, and feel in the golf swing. 

Don't get worried with stiffness, its basically just a fine tuning method once you picked the shaft you want. Overall the bend profile of the shaft is more important, as well as the overall weight. Basically find a golf shaft that gives you the right flight. Stiffness will just tweak it to were it should be. 

 

Create a short list, mine is usually started with look, price and stock shaft options. If they have a stock shaft that fits me, that is less money to spend on customization. Though Mizuno has a lot of great options for stock shafts that are not upcharged. 

 

Callaway is doing some good stuff, the offer KBS shafts, which are fantastic golf shafts. Mizuno are just sweet sweet clubs. Their GI clubs are fantastic. Ping is just meat and potato style golf. They do what they do and they do it well. Your not getting anything fancy, but they get the job done. 

 

When I look for new clubs, I tend to go with those three first. Then I will branch off to Cleveland and Cobra. Titliest I think is overpriced. Adams is more super GI clubs, with sets that can come with a lot of hybrids if you want. 

 

Personally I would stay away from Taylormade. I find them to be horrible in the consistency the club specs are. I had clubs that were close to 2 degrees off. 

 

I recommend going to a place that has a trackman or flightscope that can give you very accurate numbers. That way you can see the launch angle, backspin, ball height. 

 

Also talk to your fitter, and try to gauge his knowledge base. I was lucky to find a guy who loves doing what he does. He's a golf fanatic, and really is into golf equipment. My fitting session was basically talking shop with him about a lot of stuff. I've had golf fitters who were not engaging at all. You can easily tell if someone is just a salesman versus someone who actually wants to fit you for what you need. 

post #12 of 17

My fitting had a flightscope, it was quite interesting to see the numbers for my swings, and that is an interesting comment on the heavy shafts.  Its good to know that they help with control as my general problem is that due to my upper body strength, everything feels very whippy and out of control generally when I swing, so I did go with the heavy extra stiff shaft this time around. 

 

I've also heard that Titleist tend to be more difficult to hit than most of the other major brands?  Is that true, or is it more the experiences of individuals?

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post
 

 

 

My personal recommendations,

 

Go as heavy as you can with the golf shaft. Distance isn't everything, heavier golf clubs are easier to control, and feel in the golf swing. 

Don't get worried with stiffness, its basically just a fine tuning method once you picked the shaft you want. Overall the bend profile of the shaft is more important, as well as the overall weight. Basically find a golf shaft that gives you the right flight. Stiffness will just tweak it to were it should be. 

 

Create a short list, mine is usually started with look, price and stock shaft options. If they have a stock shaft that fits me, that is less money to spend on customization. Though Mizuno has a lot of great options for stock shafts that are not upcharged. 

 

Callaway is doing some good stuff, the offer KBS shafts, which are fantastic golf shafts. Mizuno are just sweet sweet clubs. Their GI clubs are fantastic. Ping is just meat and potato style golf. They do what they do and they do it well. Your not getting anything fancy, but they get the job done. 

 

When I look for new clubs, I tend to go with those three first. Then I will branch off to Cleveland and Cobra. Titliest I think is overpriced. Adams is more super GI clubs, with sets that can come with a lot of hybrids if you want. 

 

Personally I would stay away from Taylormade. I find them to be horrible in the consistency the club specs are. I had clubs that were close to 2 degrees off. 

 

I recommend going to a place that has a trackman or flightscope that can give you very accurate numbers. That way you can see the launch angle, backspin, ball height. 

 

Also talk to your fitter, and try to gauge his knowledge base. I was lucky to find a guy who loves doing what he does. He's a golf fanatic, and really is into golf equipment. My fitting session was basically talking shop with him about a lot of stuff. I've had golf fitters who were not engaging at all. You can easily tell if someone is just a salesman versus someone who actually wants to fit you for what you need. 

Thanks...as far as Mizuno, does a player of my handicap have no business playing something like the MP-64? I just cant stand the look of something like the JPX-825...understood about the heavy shaft weight but is there anything high handicappers should generally stay away from until they get better?

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by GolfGuy123 View Post
 

Thanks...as far as Mizuno, does a player of my handicap have no business playing something like the MP-64? I just cant stand the look of something like the JPX-825...understood about the heavy shaft weight but is there anything high handicappers should generally stay away from until they get better?

 

Mostly higher handicappers have trouble with angle of attack, so I would say clubs with thin sole areas give higher handicappers trouble. Also clubs with lower MOI give trouble on mishits near the toe or heel. So basically any club that is a muscleback (no cavity) could give higher handicappers trouble. I am not saying you can't play these clubs, it might cost you a few strokes a round if an off center hit ends up half a club to a club short of the green. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shantzman View Post
 

My fitting had a flightscope, it was quite interesting to see the numbers for my swings, and that is an interesting comment on the heavy shafts.  Its good to know that they help with control as my general problem is that due to my upper body strength, everything feels very whippy and out of control generally when I swing, so I did go with the heavy extra stiff shaft this time around. 

 

I've also heard that Titleist tend to be more difficult to hit than most of the other major brands?  Is that true, or is it more the experiences of individuals?

 

Depends on the clubs. Titleist does have the least amount of GI clubs out there. Just having the AP1 as the lone option for GI clubs, they tend to make clubs geared towards better players. But that is what Titleist likes to do. 

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post
 

 

Mostly higher handicappers have trouble with angle of attack, so I would say clubs with thin sole areas give higher handicappers trouble. Also clubs with lower MOI give trouble on mishits near the toe or heel. So basically any club that is a muscleback (no cavity) could give higher handicappers trouble. I am not saying you can't play these clubs, it might cost you a few strokes a round if an off center hit ends up half a club to a club short of the green. 

 

 

Depends on the clubs. Titleist does have the least amount of GI clubs out there. Just having the AP1 as the lone option for GI clubs, they tend to make clubs geared towards better players. But that is what Titleist likes to do. 

I play Titleist ZM Forged right now..am I an idiot?? lol, first pair of irons I had (handed down to me) when I started playing golf were blades...for whatever reason I continued to think thats what I was suppose to play...Got the Titleist ZM Forged irons I use now off ebay for very cheap..the entire was set was a few hundred bucks...

post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by GolfGuy123 View Post

I play Titleist ZM Forged right now..am I an idiot?? lol, first pair of irons I had (handed down to me) when I started playing golf were blades...for whatever reason I continued to think thats what I was suppose to play...Got the Titleist ZM Forged irons I use now off ebay for very cheap..the entire was set was a few hundred bucks...

If you can hit them, have at it
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post


If you can hit them, have at it

;) ive played and gone to range with a few different types of cavity backs...im just as bad with them as with the blades lol

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