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Questions on fitting for clubs

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Hey guys

So this is a topic I have mulled over for quite some time and I'm hoping to get a few answers to some questions I have.

basically I'm starting to take my golf quite seriously now. I practice as much as possible and play every weekend and midweek if possible. I'm a 10 HC at the moment but only joined my first club 6 months ago and was given a 15 HC. My last 2 rounds have been a 78 and 77 and I really feel like my golf is headed in a good direction and I would love to come down to a 5 HC and play good consistent golf.

So...this gets me thinking about equipment. I have a set of Callaway's (they're similar to the x-20's) I can't think exactly what they are now and they're down in my store room. They are quite a few years old and were hand me downs from my old man cos they weren't working for him.

Now I am wondering if getting fitted clubs really makes that much of a difference? My iron play is the strongest part of my game. I feel I strike the ball really well, get good distance I think and what looks like a decent flight path, quite high though sometimes. I've never been for any lessons or had my swing analysed so this is all my observations I'm afraid.

I generally hit the ball straight, I don't shape it much. I hit my 5i about 180m (195y) or so, give or take if that is anything to go by in terms of ball striking. Some days I am a club stronger which I have no idea why, has anyone had experience with this? Some days I will just find that the ball is traveling pretty much a club further than I would normally hit. It's odd.

Moving onto driver, I used a Cobra Offset Driver for quite a long time. Again a hand me down from somewhere that my old man had. I used to have a horrible slice and the Offset did help somewhat but I have sinced fixed that swing flaw and the Cobra is no good anymore. I switched drivers with my brother in law. It's a jack nicklaus, again not sure of make will have to check. This thing hits a country mile. At least 30-40m further than my cobra. However I have the tendency to fade it if I don't get right thru the ball.

Now, I have a couple questions related to the info given above.

irons : It seems so stupid to change my irons, which is why i'm asking if fitted clubs really do make a difference? Because I feel like I hit my irons great and don't have anything to compare it to as it's the only set I've had.

Driver : I feel like being fitted for a driver would be quite beneficial for me. I think a stiffer shaft would help a lot and I also like the idea of a slightly shorter shaft. Sometimes I like to choke my driver a bit and I have real control when I do this and can nail many more fairways.

I am going to the US on holiday in 2 weeks time. I am from South Africa and things in the US are generally a lot cheaper. I am thinking of getting a driver fitted for me there. I'll see what comes about but the irons situation has me far more perplexed.

if I were to answer my own question, I wouldn't even think of replacing my irons. And I'm sure many will say I've therefore answered my whole dilemma. BUT. I do see a lot of people praising the idea of fitting clubs specifically for your swing and game and I guess I'm just worried that I'm missing out on something or handicapping myself further by using clubs that aren't helping my swing as much as they could.

Well, that's the end of my essay. If i'm being crazy thinking of changing something that works, please say so :) It's how I feel anyway. if you feel fitted clubs are still a good idea, please say so. Just wanna put this thing to bed.

Wrt the driver I think I might shop around or at least get a different shaft fitted onto the one I have.

Cheers for reading guys.


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Thanks for the detail.  It helps make for a better answer, that's for sure.

As for your concerns:

Irons: sounds like this falls into the "if it ain't broke..." philosophy.  Fitting IS important, but it sounds like you got lucky that your dad's old sticks fit you well.  If you were to get fitted for irons, they'd look at stuff like length and lie angle, for starters.  Lie angle is important; a poor-fitting lie angle can make for a push (too flat) or a pull (too upright), even if everything about the swing and contact was perfect.  Subsequently, notice that pull?  It can also be used to help correct a slice... that's why many drivers are made more upright the last few years (even the adjustable ones, though that can be changed)- it's a built-in slice fixer.  What's roughly 70% of all golfer's problem?  A slice (just some food for thought)!  Anyway, you don't have an issue here, so moving on...

Driver: It sounds like your mechanics have improved.  That's why the offset driver is hurting your game.  Offset allows a person a few miliseconds to square up the face at impact.  But if a person can fire their hands through correctly, that offset isn't needed, or can turn it into a hook, which is what I think you were experiencing.  The Nicklaus driver creates a fade most likely because it doesn't have the offset.  If you don't fire through, it can create a fade.

Now, again I think this falls under the "If it ain't broke" mentality.  However, if you do feel like something is missing, a fitting may confirm/deny this.  If you're hitting a 5i 195y... that's pretty good!  So if I were you, I wouldn't bother there (save the $$$ for something else).  But the driver, you may want to get that looked into.  Do yourself a favor and find an independent fitter- NOT someone associated with an OEM (like Callaway, Nike, etc.).  Talk to the fitter about your thoughts, and go from there.  Why an independent fitter?  No agenda.  If s/he doesn't think you need a change, you won't need a change.  If s/he thinks you do, they honestly believe it.  OEM-associated fitters have their primary function set on "Sell".  Avoid those types.

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Cheers for the reply Justin.

Yeah I seriously doubt I would/will change my irons. I feel like I can reach most distances I need to with my irons so wouldn't want new ones to hit further really.

The driver is a tricky one. Cos with the Nicklaus, if I get hold of it it really does go bullet straight and it flies a bloody mile and gives great roll too. The Cobra would snap hook if I hit it with any draw shape, you're right. That was my trouble. And frankly I don't want to play with a swing flaw using a club to fix it. So sorted the swing. But every now and then I go for too much with the Nicklaus or I don't come right thru and I swing at the ball rather than through it and it can fade quite severely. Again, i am quite sure this is a swing issue, not an issue with the club.

That being said, would love to try a stiffer and slightly shorter shaft and see what that would do for my accuracy. I am more than happy to sacrifice some distance off the tee and hit more fairways.

So if I go to the US and visit one of their major golfing stores I should come right with someone there? Although I guess they are still tuned to "sell" but not a specific brand or club really.

Thanks a lot man.

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