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Custom Fittings are OVERRATED?


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So, everyone these days in on the custom-club-fitting bandwagon. However, I don't see much benefit.

I play golf with around 10 guys on a regular basis. All 10 have been fitted for clubs over the last 3 years. A few of these guys also spent roughly $600 for Edel putters, too.

And they have something else in common (other than custom fitted clubs)-

THEY ALL STILL SUCK AT GOLF.

It's damn funny when someone arrives at the course for the first time with their custom clubs and/or putter, only to watch them slice their drive OB, blade their mid irons, chunk wedges, and 3-putt with their $600 putters.

And they all say, "I love my new clubs/putter." But their scores suck.

Perhaps time and money would be better spent on lessons and time at the range, or practice green?

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Custom fitted clubs can help reduce the variables required to shoot lower scores but it's not a complete fix.  A good set of custom fitted clubs can also help boost confidence.

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So, everyone these days in on the custom-club-fitting bandwagon. However, I don't see much benefit.

I play golf with around 10 guys on a regular basis. All 10 have been fitted for clubs over the last 3 years. A few of these guys also spent roughly $600 for Edel putters, too.

And they have something else in common (other than custom fitted clubs)-

THEY ALL STILL SUCK AT GOLF.

It's damn funny when someone arrives at the course for the first time with their custom clubs and/or putter, only to watch them slice their drive OB, blade their mid irons, chunk wedges, and 3-putt with their $600 putters.

And they all say, "I love my new clubs/putter." But their scores suck.

Perhaps time and money would be better spent on lessons and time at the range, or practice green?

There are many examples of people get fit that had the opposite effect.  I did not spend $600 on a putter, but I did have an excellent fitter make adjustments to my putter. My putting is excellent. I don't have to worry about whether my aim is off.  I just have to pick my line and speed.

I've purchased most of my clubs used. But I did have a fitting at one time and now know what my best set up, shafts, etc. are.  Those two things cost me $75 each.

I do agree that lessons can help a lot. But it's their money. I wouldn't let it bother you that much.

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When it comes to fitting for clubs, I actually agree with you. I've heard from a couple of folks who have gotten two "custom" fittings that were so drastically different (going 1 degree upright to 2 degrees flat, for instance) that it makes me question the validity of the process. And even if it were possible to build a set perfectly to someone's swing specs, I'm still of the opinion that 99% of the outcome is dependent on the quality of the swing itself. If anyone were asking my advice on paying for club fittings, I'd give them the same advice as you: take that cash and spend it on lessons with a quality instructor.

As it pertains to putting, I'm not so sure. There are enough people that I trust (including some on this site) who believe that a custom putter has made a significant difference in their game, that I am inclined to believe that it can help. Ditto for wedges.

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Club fitting can reduce amount of misfit in your game for the amount of contribution clubs have in your game. Nothing more nothing less. Nobody who is properly informed thinks that a good fit (there are levels and types of fitting based on the subject) will them absolve them from making an appropriate and/or consistent move through the ball.

As far as the "$600 putter" types - vanity players are concerned, I don't think golf is that much different from life in general. Some are way more into how their cars look more than the ride quality - to each their own. It is not a great travesty or anything.  Laugh at them, smile, smirk, whatever, and move on..

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So, everyone these days in on the custom-club-fitting bandwagon. However, I don't see much benefit.

I play golf with around 10 guys on a regular basis. All 10 have been fitted for clubs over the last 3 years. A few of these guys also spent roughly $600 for Edel putters, too.

And they have something else in common (other than custom fitted clubs)-

THEY ALL STILL SUCK AT GOLF.

It's damn funny when someone arrives at the course for the first time with their custom clubs and/or putter, only to watch them slice their drive OB, blade their mid irons, chunk wedges, and 3-putt with their $600 putters.

And they all say, "I love my new clubs/putter." But their scores suck.

Perhaps time and money would be better spent on lessons and time at the range, or practice green?

I agree getting custom fit won't prevent you from sucking, but it can certainly help golfers, especially when it comes to the driver and putter. Edel putters mostly help you aim better, they don't help you read the putts more accurately ;-)

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I think "sucking at golf" is also relative.... a 7 handicap sucks compared to a 2.

But back to the topic, yeah having custom fit gear wont give you instant good scores, but it does help.

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For some, custom fitting = big improvement for people transitioning from very outdated or unfit set to a proper one.

For most, customer fitting = minor improvement (myself included) but worth the money.

For few = Not so much.

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Depending on the club and the person, fittings can either be a waste of time or a benefit. If you go in with an open mind and truly go for what gives the greatest benefit to you then it's going to help. It may not help a ton, but it will help. If you go in and just get fit for a set of irons that you want but may not be right for you then it's a waste. Getting fit for a driver is pretty important, at least in my opinion. But you can't just go for what you hit the furthest, you have to go for what you are the most consistent with. I made that mistake last year, I got fitted but I was fixated on the low spin and longest drive I could get. While it definitely gave me the longest drives I've ever had, it also gave me the worst drives I've ever had. This year I went back and went with what I could hit a good distance consistently with more forgiveness on shots that weren't perfect. The end result has been a higher average drive with minimal loss of distance. Getting fit for my irons wasn't for a massive improvement in my game, but more for having the correct length and lie. I went in with no specific brand or make in mind, only a budget for what I could spend. Between working on one thing in my swing and these two fittings my handicap has dropped by almost 5 in the last month and a half. How much is to do with swing improvements and how much is due to the clubs is hard to tell since they happened at the same time. As far as putters, well, I've not really gone for a putter fitting. I'm not totally sold on doing so just yet. I'm not the greatest putter, but I'm doing pretty well with distance control. My main problem is more with seeing the correct line than anything right now. As for wedges, I think making sure you have enough bounce will probably help people a lot and grinds being more of a fine tuning adjustment so most people would be fine with a high bounce wedge from the shelf. Of course, these are all the mostly uneducated opinion of a sucky golfer, so take it with a grain of salt.

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I got fit for a driver a couple years ago ... my swing was so much different then, that driver is set up totally wrong for me now.    My feeling is that there's not much point for a beginner golfer to be fitted, as their swing is going to change radically as they improve.     Even today, my swing is nowhere near stable enough for me to foot the bill for another custom fitting (I find one day I'll be slicing, the next I'll be hooking, on a good day it's pretty straight ... never quite know what I'm bringing to the course).

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I was fitted for a driver a couple of years ago and it made a big difference.   I gained 30 yards off of the tee.   They did tell me to go take lessons and keep my irons because lessons would prove more valuable than a fitted set with a swing that needed fixing.

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I always thought that a club fitting would have some benefit to everyone. However, those players with a more consistent swing will benefit more than players with an octopusitis swing. In my case, I need a 2.5 degree upright lie angle to play well. Everything else is standard length, and regular flex. Before the doctor remanufactured my left wrist, I had standard lie.

As for the price of a putter, the price has very little to do with how well a golfer can/can't putt with it. I have three Scotty Camerons in the garage collecting dust because I don't putt well with them. Only reason I keep them is because they are gifts from family members. My gamer is a cheapie Cleveland Golf knock off. I did win a Edel E-1 mallet putter at a post tournament raffle.  Looks, nice, feels nice and putts well for me. I am just not ready to let go of my POS cheapie putter. Maybe in a month or so, after a fitting.

On a funny note I have a putter that has the word "scotty" stamped on it. I use when I play with one individual. The guy is a good friend, but he is also smart ass on the golf course. This particular putter, when I contact the ball has ringing sound that continues much like a tuning fork does. This sound drives the guy nuts to point where his own game suffers. Every dollar I take from this guy, I owe to this putter. :dance:

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I got fit for a driver a couple years ago ... my swing was so much different then, that driver is set up totally wrong for me now.    My feeling is that there's not much point for a beginner golfer to be fitted, as their swing is going to change radically as they improve.     Even today, my swing is nowhere near stable enough for me to foot the bill for another custom fitting (I find one day I'll be slicing, the next I'll be hooking, on a good day it's pretty straight ... never quite know what I'm bringing to the course).

One of the errors people make is that they get fitted and only look at the newest clubs. When I replaced my driver this year I looked at older models. The fitting was free because I bought the club from where I got fitted. I even bought the demo club and saved even more. The new driver cost me $140 and it has made a pretty significant impact for me. I'm not saying that's the case for you, however, I'm just saying that it doesn't necessarily have to be all that expensive a bill.

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So, everyone these days in on the custom-club-fitting bandwagon. However, I don't see much benefit.

I play golf with around 10 guys on a regular basis. All 10 have been fitted for clubs over the last 3 years. A few of these guys also spent roughly $600 for Edel putters, too.

And they have something else in common (other than custom fitted clubs)-

THEY ALL STILL SUCK AT GOLF.

It's damn funny when someone arrives at the course for the first time with their custom clubs and/or putter, only to watch them slice their drive OB, blade their mid irons, chunk wedges, and 3-putt with their $600 putters.

And they all say, "I love my new clubs/putter." But their scores suck.

Perhaps time and money would be better spent on lessons and time at the range, or practice green?

Fitting for clubs, for most players, won't bring about much of a change, certainly not in the short term.  Setting aside the variable of quality of the fitters themselves, playing with clubs that are the optimal fit for a player's size and fundamentals actually provides a pretty sizeable benefit.  I myself was fit at the Callaway studio in Carlsbad 4 years ago.  My wife bought me the fitting as a birthday present.

Until that time, I had been "fitted" in a retail golf store 2 or 3 different times as I was trying to size up woods and irons.  The recommendations ranged from "standard/standard" (standard length, standard lie angle) to "+1 inch, 2 degrees up" (inch longer shaft, lie angle bent 2 degrees upright).  I was playing an off the rack set (standard/standard), and was playing to a 4 handicap.  I did occasionally have a problem skulling short irons and wedges, especially early in rounds (in particular, GW, SW, LW from the fairway), but I was a fair player otherwise.

For the driver fitting, I hit several different setups, including my own driver.  From the data, I learned about the relationship to my swing speed and spin rates, and ultimately invested in a new lower spinning driver (Ping i15), a decision which added 25-50 yards to my average driving distance.

For the iron fitting, I hit a range of clubs, in various setups.  I did so "blind", meaning I had no knowledge of the particular setup of each club I was hitting (I could tell organically that some clubs were longer than others, but no details).  After the fitting, the technician showed me the data - I was noticeably better and more consistent at +1 inch, 2 degrees upright.  Spin rates were better, and shot dispersion was much closer.

Since then, I've always played clubs with this setup.  Am I way "better" because of it?  No, my current index is 3.3, owing mostly to short game improvement, but the ease with which I can play has improved quite a bit.  Your friends who go get custom fit, and who suck with their new clubs, is not a big surprise.  But don't let that impugn the fitting process.  It really does work, and while it may not immediately or directly translate into a major improvement, will pay big long term benefits to most players.

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Well, I hope that there is a benefit from a good fitting.  Yesterday I spent about 1½ hours at Golfsmith getting fitted for a new set of irons.  I've never been fitted, and I was in desperate need for a change.  My age has caught up to me, and my steel shafted AP-2's just aren't getting it done any more.  My distance went in the tank over the last year, so it was time to go graphite and GI.   The fitting was the normally $49 session (but free when you spend $200 or more), but since he had no reservation after me, we spent far more time than the 45 minutes that was scheduled.

I always take the distances I get from any electronic simulator with a few grains of salt, but what I was looking for as the session went on was mostly trajectory and shot dispersal.  I tried three different makes, and TaylorMade won out easily over Callaway and Ping (even the fitter was surprised, as he was expecting the Callaway to be the better club for me).  I ordered TM AeroBurner 4I-GW, 1/2" long and 1° upright, with R flex graphite.  When I get them in a couple of weeks I'll report back with the on course results.

My swing throughout the session was mostly quite consistent, so the data recorded should be pretty accurate.  The testing for lie was also consistent over a half dozen swings.

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So, everyone these days in on the custom-club-fitting bandwagon. However, I don't see much benefit.

I play golf with around 10 guys on a regular basis. All 10 have been fitted for clubs over the last 3 years. A few of these guys also spent roughly $600 for Edel putters, too.

And they have something else in common (other than custom fitted clubs)-

THEY ALL STILL SUCK AT GOLF.

Well, to be honest mate...what difference does it make to your game?

If these guys want to spend their own money on lovely shiney things then thats their business and really at the end of the day doesnt impact anything you do does it?

Not trying to be harsh here but at the end of the day if these guys want flash clubs or to play Pro V1 balls or to wear lovely pro looking clothes then thats not really got anything to do with you.

Regards

Mailman

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Definitely agree that a beginner could just purchase a set off the rack, and be good to go. But if money's not a concern, knock yourself out and get fitted. Fittings started on tour, to optimize the Pro's length off the tee (driver, 3w) and to dial in their wedges and putter. That filtered down into the masses as people wanted to play with clubs like their favorite pro used. And devices like launch monitors and radars became available for purchase that a regular teaching pro or retailer could acquire. Thus fittings became a thing. The challenge as others have said is that as you engage in instruction with a swing coach/teaching professional, your swing (arc/path/baseline) will likely shift which will make that fitting obsolete.
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Definitely agree that a beginner could just purchase a set off the rack, and be good to go. But if money's not a concern, knock yourself out and get fitted.

Fittings started on tour, to optimize the Pro's length off the tee (driver, 3w) and to dial in their wedges and putter. That filtered down into the masses as people wanted to play with clubs like their favorite pro used. And devices like launch monitors and radars became available for purchase that a regular teaching pro or retailer could acquire. Thus fittings became a thing.

The challenge as others have said is that as you engage in instruction with a swing coach/teaching professional, your swing (arc/path/baseline) will likely shift which will make that fitting obsolete.

Most golfers will never see an instructor, much less a swing coach.  If they do it will be a 1/2 hour lesson, or maybe even a group lesson which will do little to help them with a proper club fitting.  I took 3 private lessons over my first 20 years playing, and nothing was was ever really changed that would affect the lie or length of the clubs, and that is a big part of a proper fitting.

I've used a standard lie and length my whole life, but always with the suspicion that it wasn't quite right for me.  To spend the time like I did with a qualified clubfitter when getting ready to purchase new clubs is still better than just picking up a set off the rack.  You might get lucky, but you might make an expensive mistake too.  It certainly can't hurt to get some free data to use in helping you make a choice.  The launch monitors these days are good enough to give meaningful data.

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Note: This thread is 2039 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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