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Hitting not-so-properly-fitted clubs?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Assuming that you already have solid and repeatable swing, what are the consequences of hitting a club that is not so properly fitted for you? For example, what would happen if you hit a club that is 0.5 inch longer or 0.5 inch shorter than you're supposed to play? What would happen if you hit a club that is too weak or too stiff? Loss in distance? What about control/accuracy?

 

Any comments would be appreciated.

post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by marvin View Post
 

Assuming that you already have solid and repeatable swing, what are the consequences of hitting a club that is not so properly fitted for you? For example, what would happen if you hit a club that is 0.5 inch longer or 0.5 inch shorter than you're supposed to play? What would happen if you hit a club that is too weak or too stiff? Loss in distance? What about control/accuracy?

 

Any comments would be appreciated.


I don't have a "solid and repeatable" swing (I am at about 1.75 Keys in 5SK), but I hit within 6 yards (sometimes 2 yards) distance with my PW, and have 7 sets of clubs to choose.

 

There is not that much difference between the clubs up to the 8i, but 7i to 5i make a much more noticeable difference. The main thing is how much I can draw the different clubs. If I use my MP-32 with KBS Xstiff shafts versus my Callaway X20 with regular graphite shafts, there is a significant difference in the flight and a slight difference in distance taking out any effect of length.

 

Any of the sets can be used on the course, and I don't think it would change my score that much at this point. Maybe when I am searching for 2 or 3 strokes per round, would it make sense to get fitted clubs. I am currently about a 15 handicap (but would gladly be given 3 more strokes) just for your reference.

post #3 of 12

We all want the ball to fly the why we intend it to fly. So, we make adjustments to make that happen. Some intentionally and some without knowing.

 

So, when we play clubs that do not fit our ideal swing, we make compensations in our swings to accommodate the mis-fit. If you have clubs that fit, when you have a better chance of knowing when you are making good swings.

post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyredcab View Post
 

We all want the ball to fly the why we intend it to fly. So, we make adjustments to make that happen. Some intentionally and some without knowing.

 

So, when we play clubs that do not fit our ideal swing, we make compensations in our swings to accommodate the mis-fit. If you have clubs that fit, when you have a better chance of knowing when you are making good swings.


That's true, I like the flight from my stock Ping I20s the most. It also feels the most comfortable, and gives me more confidence on the course.

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by marvin View Post
 

Assuming that you already have solid and repeatable swing, what are the consequences of hitting a club that is not so properly fitted for you? For example, what would happen if you hit a club that is 0.5 inch longer or 0.5 inch shorter than you're supposed to play? What would happen if you hit a club that is too weak or too stiff? Loss in distance? What about control/accuracy?

 

Any comments would be appreciated.

Differences due to shaft type and flex might be more, but differences due to club length and lie are very minimal.

 

My current irons are 1 1/4" over standard and 2 or 3 degrees upright.  But I can play just fine with my old irons if I have to (one of my best rounds of the whole year was with my old clubs).

 

But if somebody gives me a regular flex or senior flex driver, I usually have trouble hitting it unless I swing super easy.

post #6 of 12

Swing weight and shaft length are the things I notice most when hitting someone else's irons. If the shafts are a little stiffer or softer, then I can make slight adjustments. However, if their 6 iron is a D2 swing weight and an inch shorter than standard, I'm going to have trouble comfortably hitting it. But that's because my 6 iron is an inch long and a D6.

 

Keep in mind that just because there is an "ideal" setup for your clubs, that doesn't mean that you can't get good results out of a different set up. There are many variables that can be changed, so you may be able to change 2 or 3 variables and still get a good result. 

post #7 of 12

It would mess up your swing. If you have a fitted club, don't stray from it. Your fit can affect quality of contact (subject to the quality of your swing) and that's not something on which to be compromised at any level. This includes length, lie, sole grind, weighting, and shaft type; loft is important but it won't affect your contact.

 

On the topic of shaft flex, you can control the clubs fairly well if the shaft is too soft, but not as well as the proper fit. For example, I hit X flex in everything but I have hit my brother's stiff 7 iron on the occasional whim and I can hit it straight albeit not as far. However, I hate the feel and I can't control my ballflight too well because it feels so much less responsive for me. I used the stock shafts in my woods at first as well, but eventually switched the shafts for better fitting models and I'm glad I did, but I was still able to use them and improve until then. My shots are better behaved with my set, but my score isn't more than 2 or 3 strokes different from using my brother's set over 18 holes, I'd bet. In fact, I'd say losing half the clubs in my set would be about the same degree of difficulty, but neither is as big a deal as one would think. I'd also like to point out that I practice a lot with my set so I'm very used to them. If you're not a good shotmaker yet with any set of clubs, or if you don't have a solid or repeatable swing, it won't make as much of a difference.

 

There's no reason to play the wrong equipment for you except money, and even then you can piece together a great set without paying several grand. If you're just starting out, I suggest you not worry about a full set and try to get a usable if not perfect fit, perhaps from used clubs. 

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuciusWooding View Post
 

It would mess up your swing. If you have a fitted club, don't stray from it. Your fit can affect quality of contact (subject to the quality of your swing) and that's not something on which to be compromised at any level. This includes length, lie, sole grind, weighting, and shaft type; loft is important but it won't affect your contact.

 

On the topic of shaft flex, you can control the clubs fairly well if the shaft is too soft, but not as well as the proper fit. For example, I hit X flex in everything but I have hit my brother's stiff 7 iron on the occasional whim and I can hit it straight albeit not as far. However, I hate the feel and I can't control my ballflight too well because it feels so much less responsive for me. I used the stock shafts in my woods at first as well, but eventually switched the shafts for better fitting models and I'm glad I did, but I was still able to use them and improve until then. My shots are better behaved with my set, but my score isn't more than 2 or 3 strokes different from using my brother's set over 18 holes, I'd bet. In fact, I'd say losing half the clubs in my set would be about the same degree of difficulty, but neither is as big a deal as one would think. I'd also like to point out that I practice a lot with my set so I'm very used to them. If you're not a good shotmaker yet with any set of clubs, or if you don't have a solid or repeatable swing, it won't make as much of a difference.

 

There's no reason to play the wrong equipment for you except money, and even then you can piece together a great set without paying several grand. If you're just starting out, I suggest you not worry about a full set and try to get a usable if not perfect fit, perhaps from used clubs. 

 

I agree with all but the bold. Unless you are using something drastically different (women's flex, 3 inches short, or lie angle that's 4*+ off, for example), I don't think using something that's 1/2 inch short or 1* flat is going to do any lasting damage to your swing. When I travel to my parents' house, I don't always have room in the car for my clubs and I play my father's irons (Mizuno JPX Pro, 1 inch shorter than my set, 2 degrees flatter, and 3 swing weight points lighter). I can play just fine with them, I just lose about 5-7 yards on each club, and when I get back, I don't have significant swing flaws I have to work through. 

 

All that being said, yes it's best to have irons that are specifically fit for you, but most people of average height can play standard irons without much problem. 

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by geauxforbroke View Post
 

 

I agree with all but the bold. Unless you are using something drastically different (women's flex, 3 inches short, or lie angle that's 4*+ off, for example), I don't think using something that's 1/2 inch short or 1* flat is going to do any lasting damage to your swing. When I travel to my parents' house, I don't always have room in the car for my clubs and I play my father's irons (Mizuno JPX Pro, 1 inch shorter than my set, 2 degrees flatter, and 3 swing weight points lighter). I can play just fine with them, I just lose about 5-7 yards on each club, and when I get back, I don't have significant swing flaws I have to work through. 

 

All that being said, yes it's best to have irons that are specifically fit for you, but most people of average height can play standard irons without much problem. 


Yeah, at my skill level (or lack thereof) it doesn't make a drastic difference which clubs I use as long as they are within a reasonable range of what I need.

 

Of course I would rather play with my own clubs. Where I really notice an uncomfortable difference when using someone else's clubs, that aren't correct, is either in the shortest clubs in the bag (which can feel too short for me) or with the driver (which can feel too long for me).

 

I even seem to adjust my swing to fit different lie angles, which is an entirely different (and long) story and not necessarily a good thing.

post #10 of 12

Only thing I notice is length and flex. I suppose something drastic like going from PING maroon dot to gold could be weird but I've never seen excessively up or flat clubs. With length short is where it feels weird to me but it has to be significant. If long a bit just grounding the club and gripping down to a comfortable place works for me, I have a couple of sets of 1.5" longer irons I used here and there last season. Flex is kind of funky though for me, it's been a moving target. I feel slight changes in different shaft brands with similar specs. At fittings some shafts felt noticeably different in different heads.

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post
 

Only thing I notice is length and flex. I suppose something drastic like going from PING maroon dot to gold could be weird but I've never seen excessively up or flat clubs. With length short is where it feels weird to me but it has to be significant. If long a bit just grounding the club and gripping down to a comfortable place works for me, I have a couple of sets of 1.5" longer irons I used here and there last season. Flex is kind of funky though for me, it's been a moving target. I feel slight changes in different shaft brands with similar specs. At fittings some shafts felt noticeably different in different heads.

Why would the length even be noticeable ... except maybe in the very shortest and very longest iron (or if you're standing them up side by side)?

 

Aren't you going to set up to the ball based on however long the club is?  You're not going to step up to the ball with a 6 iron that's 2" too short and go "well, this is where my feet go for a 6 iron, so now I have to bend over really, really far to get to the ball."  No, you're just going to addres the ball naturally, based on the length of the club, so all you really have in your hands is a low lofted 9 iron that is probably, consequently too flat.  But the difference in result due to a coulpe of degrees difference in lie angle is very tiny.

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

Why would the length even be noticeable ... except maybe in the very shortest and very longest iron (or if you're standing them up side by side)?

 

Aren't you going to set up to the ball based on however long the club is?  You're not going to step up to the ball with a 6 iron that's 2" too short and go "well, this is where my feet go for a 6 iron, so now I have to bend over really, really far to get to the ball."  No, you're just going to addres the ball naturally, based on the length of the club, so all you really have in your hands is a low lofted 9 iron that is probably, consequently too flat.  But the difference in result due to a coulpe of degrees difference in lie angle is very tiny.

As I said it has to be significant and it may not bother everyone. I play with a guy that uses irons that are 1.75" short. His 31* 6i is about the same length as my 58* LW. It doesn't feel or look right to me. YMMV, evidently.

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