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Are golfers too obsessed with getting fit?


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I've spent the last hour and a half reading reviews and comments about iron and driver shafts.  I got fit for my current iron shafts.  Had a somewhat fitting for my current driver.  Swung 4 different 3 woods to get to the one.  Then, all it takes is one swing with someone else's club that goes further, straighter and feels a little better (different) than mine and doubt creeps in.

As a weekend golfer, do we spend too much time obsessing over the right equipment?  Will new, more expensive shafts make me play any different?  Anyone else feel the same way?

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I would say "yes" for higher handicappers like myself. While I do think trying out a few clubs before hand makes sense, I personally don't see how getting a full fitting with a new shaft, lie, etc. is going to make a significant difference for someone like me. My issues are more swing related so I'm not sure a fully fit set of clubs is going to be materially different then going with a stock set. Probably much different, though, for a low handicapper who already has a fundamentally sound swing.
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I think that it's a legitimate question even for lower handicap players. I think ultimately playing with equipment you like and "feels" right can be just as important as fit.

After playing for a few years and trying different irons and drivers, I can tell what stiffness shafts feel right in my swing or if the lie angle on a set of irons are right for me. And quite frankly, even when I play with a set of irons that don't fit me right or a stiffer or looser-shafted driver I don't score all that different.

That said, I have never been professionally fit... and those that have been usually rave about how great it is.

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As a weekend golfer, do we spend too much time obsessing over the right equipment?  Will new, more expensive shafts make me play any different?  Anyone else feel the same way?

With little doubt if we put as much money and effort into lesson, we would get better bang for the buck.

The golf industry certainly benefits from the impression of "technology." I think what you will find is that greatest equipment improvement over the past several decades has been in regard to the ball. It is a little longer, but more important the quality is far better. It was not unusual 30 years ago to find one or two balls in a dozen that were out of balance or round. Today quality control is far better.

As to the idea of fitting, I think we get too obsessed with swing parameters equalling a club of X characteristics. I think often that is secondary to the issue of achieving consistency (swing weight and flex) of all the clubs in a set. Ironically, you find a lot of places ignore this. Someone goes in to buy a driver. Sure they put them on a monitor get some specs and all, but never ask or measure anything about the rest of their set.

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As a weekend golfer, do we spend too much time obsessing over the right equipment?  Will new, more expensive shafts make me play any different?  Anyone else feel the same way?

For the most part yes, the importance of fitting tends to be overrated. Generally the better player you are, the more important getting fit is, very important to tour players.

For the average guy, going with a $500 Matrix shaft isn't going to do much for their game compared to the shaft the club comes with. Most of the bad shots a players hits are the Indian's fault, not the arrow's ;-)

I think it's good for players to do the basic stuff, get a general idea for your length and lie, try out different clubs, figure out what shaft flex is best for you, hit some balls on a launch monitor. Just don't expect getting clubs that are "fit" for you to drop your handicap by five shots or something, that's what I mean by overrated. Tiger Woods could take out any club from my bag and flush it even though it wouldn't be close to his specs.

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I don't think it's so much about the perfect fit as you will always find something that might go farther or what not but it's about being comfortable.  If I'm comfrotable with the equipment in my bag, then I'm confident in my ability to do the rest.  It does take "fitting" or tinkering to find your comfort zone.  Too many people see fittings as looking for the best numbers when in reality once your out on the course none of that really means too much.  It's about if your comfortable enough to go out and perform.

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What is "professionally fit"? I thought the club pro who fit me was professional. In retrospect, he never explained the dynamics of spin, ball flight, launch, shafts weight, etc... Sounds like a bad fitting, but it's on part with every place I've visited locally. I've learned more from reading threads on this forum regarding shaft qualities and how they affect ball flight and swing speed. I hit my clubs well, as I'm sure many on this forum do. But, I hear a voice inside my head saying there is a better one out there and it will let me hit the ball farther. Who doesn't want more distance? My ocd! I talked with a fitter the other day and he asked the magical question, "What do you want your driver to do?" I've never been asked that before. Same question and answer applies to all my clubs. These are the same guys that fitted me for Edels. So, this is an itch I have to scratch and these are the guys I plan to trust. :)
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For the most part yes, the importance of fitting tends to be overrated. Generally the better player you are, the more important getting fit is, very important to tour players.  For the average guy, going with a $500 Matrix shaft isn't going to do much for their game compared to the shaft the club comes with. Most of the bad shots a players hits are the Indian's fault, not the arrow's ;-) I think it's good for players to do the basic stuff, get a general idea for your length and lie, try out different clubs, figure out what shaft flex is best for you, hit some balls on a launch monitor. Just don't expect getting clubs that are "fit" for you to drop your handicap by five shots or something, that's what I mean by overrated. Tiger Woods could take out any club from my bag and flush it even though it wouldn't be close to his specs.

^^^This!! I went to local golf galaxy last summer for driver upgrade that I have been using for last 4 years (Nike Square Sumo). He had me hit it and tried the Titeliest, Cobra and Taylormade, all with 4 different shaft options, regular and stiff. After close to hour and a half the Titeliest with UST shaft at 10.5 deg had tightest dispersion and longest drive with ANY of the new options was 238 Y, most being between 228 and 235. My current driver longest was 234Y. Distance, dispersion and shot shape was not that much different. I could have spent upwards of $600 potentially, which I was prepared to do. He told me to stick with my current driver since it was not going to upgrade my driving enough, charged me $40 for 'fitting' session and sent me home. Little deflated as I was subconciuosly hoping to find a legit reason to upgrade.

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^^^This!!

I went to local golf galaxy last summer for driver upgrade that I have been using for last 4 years (Nike Square Sumo). He had me hit it and tried the Titeliest, Cobra and Taylormade, all with 4 different shaft options, regular and stiff. After close to hour and a half the Titeliest with UST shaft at 10.5 deg had tightest dispersion and longest drive with ANY of the new options was 238 Y, most being between 228 and 235. My current driver longest was 234Y. Distance, dispersion and shot shape was not that much different. I could have spent upwards of $600 potentially, which I was prepared to do. He told me to stick with my current driver since it was not going to upgrade my driving enough, charged me $40 for 'fitting' session and sent me home. Little deflated as I was subconciuosly hoping to find a legit reason to upgrade.

Sounds like you met a dedicated fitter who was more interested in giving you good advice than selling you a driver.

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^^^This!!

I went to local golf galaxy last summer for driver upgrade that I have been using for last 4 years (Nike Square Sumo). He had me hit it and tried the Titeliest, Cobra and Taylormade, all with 4 different shaft options, regular and stiff. After close to hour and a half the Titeliest with UST shaft at 10.5 deg had tightest dispersion and longest drive with ANY of the new options was 238 Y, most being between 228 and 235. My current driver longest was 234Y. Distance, dispersion and shot shape was not that much different. I could have spent upwards of $600 potentially, which I was prepared to do. He told me to stick with my current driver since it was not going to upgrade my driving enough, charged me $40 for 'fitting' session and sent me home. Little deflated as I was subconciuosly hoping to find a legit reason to upgrade.

You were given good advice.  I hope to receive the same type of feedback.  VALIDATION of what I have is performing to the best of "my" abilities will be welcome news.  Sometimes the second opinion is all that's needed to rebuild confidence that may be in question or simply lost.  I know my confidence is in question after hitting a friends new iron a full 10 yards further than mine.  Different clubs, different set ups, but could I tweak my set up to gain yardage?

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I personally believe fitting is overrated. Especially for the high handicap golfer.

First of all, why would a high handicapper want a clubs that fits his swing when he probably has serious issues with his swing?

Second, how much difference can 1* degree of lie angle really make when you are on the course, especially if you don't have a dialed in swing? I mean really it's 1*! That 1* can be added and subtracted based on a million different variables on the course such as, what shoes you are wearing, hard ground or soft ground, ball above/below your feet, the angle of your posture has changed by 1*, or you are gripping the club with 1/2" of variation between shots, some little change in your swing path, etc.

Third, isn't golf a sport? Which would mean you would have to adapt to various situations. How many times on the golf course do you actually want to hit a club with the exact same swing you put on it when getting fit in the store? Aren't you usually trying to push a club a little farther, ease a little shorter, nock it down below the wind, launch high to help it stop, etc? So who cares  which club gives you an extra couple degrees of launch angle or 5 yards of distance.

Lastly, are those spin revs or extra 5 yards with your irons the reason your score is so high? I doubt it. Most of us have a club to hit the ball whatever distance we want, unfortunately we don't always hit it as good as we want. And our error is what causes the shot to be off.

So that is my rant. I think it is important to have consistency within your set and have clubs that are close to your static fit and at a length you can control the head, but other than that most of the other stuff should be a concern of only the best golfers.

Most of this is concerned with iron fittings btw.

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I personally believe fitting is overrated. Especially for the high handicap golfer.

First of all, why would a high handicapper want a clubs that fits his swing when he probably has serious issues with his swing?

Second, how much difference can 1* degree of lie angle really make when you are on the course, especially if you don't have a dialed in swing? I mean really it's 1*! That 1* can be added and subtracted based on a million different variables on the course such as, what shoes you are wearing, hard ground or soft ground, ball above/below your feet, the angle of your posture has changed by 1*, or you are gripping the club with 1/2" of variation between shots, some little change in your swing path, etc.

Third, isn't golf a sport? Which would mean you would have to adapt to various situations. How many times on the golf course do you actually want to hit a club with the exact same swing you put on it when getting fit in the store? Aren't you usually trying to push a club a little farther, ease a little shorter, nock it down below the wind, launch high to help it stop, etc? So who cares  which club gives you an extra couple degrees of launch angle or 5 yards of distance.

Lastly, are those spin revs or extra 5 yards with your irons the reason your score is so high? I doubt it. Most of us have a club to hit the ball whatever distance we want, unfortunately we don't always hit it as good as we want. And our error is what causes the shot to be off.

So that is my rant. I think it is important to have consistency within your set and have clubs that are close to your static fit and at a length you can control the head, but other than that most of the other stuff should be a concern of only the best golfers.

Most of this is concerned with iron fittings btw.

Agreed on you first statement. I think most high handicappers, unless they never plan on improving, wont benefit from club fitting until their swing gets better. At least the benefits would be limited.

As for lie angle, For a low lofted club, not much. For high lofted clubs, a lot more. You can be a few degrees off on the driver and not notice. You are a few degrees off on a wedge and you might be missing greens left more times than you want.

If you want more math than  most can handle, http://thesandtrap.com/t/64131/effects-of-lie-angle-on-varying-degrees-of-loft

How many times on the course do I want to hit the stock shot I use at the golfs tore for the fitting, AS MANY TIMES AS POSSIBLE!!! Which for me, I'll hit the draw 95% of the time with the irons, and about 80% of the time with the driver. So, yea ALOT!!! Still, fitting works with this yea? I mean how can I be confident with trying to hit the shots I want if the clubs might not deliver the clubhead to the ball in the way I want to. So if I can't even get the tight dispersion with my normal shot, I might be reluctant to hit another type of shot.

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What is "professionally fit"? I thought the club pro who fit me was professional. In retrospect, he never explained the dynamics of spin, ball flight, launch, shafts weight, etc... Sounds like a bad fitting, but it's on part with every place I've visited locally.

But maybe your pro recognized the irrelevance of these things to you and nearly every golfer. While the clubmaker in us might be curious about these issues, I can see them as detracting from the clubswinger in all of us. I think that fits with the theme of this thread. The quality of equipment today is far better than what it used to be, but scores aren't plummetting - certainly for the average golfer. So sure, we can be fit for our equipment, and that can give us a boost in confidence or avoid some oddities in our set, but what your pro may have been trying to do is to keep you focused on the things that can improve your game rather than the minutiae of club dynamics.

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Agreed on you first statement. I think most high handicappers, unless they never plan on improving, wont benefit from club fitting until their swing gets better. At least the benefits would be limited.

As for lie angle, For a low lofted club, not much. For high lofted clubs, a lot more. You can be a few degrees off on the driver and not notice. You are a few degrees off on a wedge and you might be missing greens left more times than you want.

If you want more math than  most can handle, http://thesandtrap.com/t/64131/effects-of-lie-angle-on-varying-degrees-of-loft

How many times on the course do I want to hit the stock shot I use at the golfs tore for the fitting, AS MANY TIMES AS POSSIBLE!!! Which for me, I'll hit the draw 95% of the time with the irons, and about 80% of the time with the driver. So, yea ALOT!!! Still, fitting works with this yea? I mean how can I be confident with trying to hit the shots I want if the clubs might not deliver the clubhead to the ball in the way I want to. So if I can't even get the tight dispersion with my normal shot, I might be reluctant to hit another type of shot.


You are right. Like I said at the end, it was a rant. I think I may have woken up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and didn't finish my coffee before posting that. I would agree that you hit your stock shot more than I made it seem in the original post.

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You are right. Like I said at the end, it was a rant. I think I may have woken up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and didn't finish my coffee before posting that. I would agree that you hit your stock shot more than I made it seem in the original post.

Oh I understand, but ranting has consequences :-P , JOKING!!!

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I know my confidence is in question after hitting a friends new iron a full 10 yards further than mine.  Different clubs, different set ups, but could I tweak my set up to gain yardage?

If I remember correctly you hit your friend's i20 irons (forget what shaft) farther. I think I said that those irons gave you what you potentially need to hit it farther: to launch it higher, with maybe more spin, so the ball stays up in the air longer.

"Professionally fit" can be expensive. IMO it would involved being on a FlightScope or Trackman and hitting different heads with different shafts to narrow down what works best for you.

If you don't have a fitter like this near you, I recommend going to a Callaway performance/fitting studio. They do a great job with lie angle and you can see your numbers with different heads/shafts. Even if you don't want Callaway equipment you'll walk away knowing your specs, what kind of clubs/shafts work best for you, what numbers are "optimal" for your driver.

http://www.callawaygolf.com/golf-clubs/custom-fitting/

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Originally Posted by Meddle

I think that it's a legitimate question even for lower handicap players. I think ultimately playing with equipment you like and "feels" right can be just as important as fit. ...

Fitting will get you into the right range of clubhead/shaft for your swing and skill level. After that, you go with feel for what you buy. I got analyzed on the Mizuno shaft optimizer, and received a short list of three iron shafts to try. One felt OK...  a second felt klunky.... and a third felt really good, and gave the best data results.

Originally Posted by mvmac

... I think it's good for players to do the basic stuff, get a general idea for your length and lie, try out different clubs, figure out what shaft flex is best for you, hit some balls on a launch monitor. Just don't expect getting clubs that are "fit" for you to drop your handicap by five shots or something, that's what I mean by overrated. ...

mvmac is on the same page with another golf pro I visited yesterday at his new job. He told me about the headaches of trying to fit golfers with unrealistic goals. One thing my pro tries to tell people - get clubs that will work for today's swing. Don't get clubs you don't have the strength and swing mechanics to use. Nothing unnerves him more that someone who never breaks 90, and wants to get player's muscleback irons so he can "play into" them.

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If I remember correctly you hit your friend's i20 irons (forget what shaft) farther. I think I said that those irons gave you what you potentially need to hit it farther: to launch it higher, with maybe more spin, so the ball stays up in the air longer.

That is correct.  It was the latest Ping i series irons.  One thing I took away from that is/was the lighter shaft and higher launch.  Since then, I've read articles on various "lite" series shafts that would cut my weight down up to 10g!  And they are designed for higher launch.  As I mentioned, it's just an itch.  If lighter and higher equals longer, then I may make the switch.

Or, maybe I'm over obsessing with the fit factor.  I know what I hit at various distances and it's doubtful my scores will change just because I can hit one less club into the green.  Same probably holds true on whether I have my factory, stock driver shaft or if I purchase a $300 model.  In the end, I'm the Indian pulling the string.  : )

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