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MarvChamp

What If There Was No Club Fitting as We Now Know It?

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I'm all for getting fit for new clubs. However, I only have one set that I would classify as being "fitted". Also, I play with some guys who regularly score in the 70's who never have been "fitted" for their clubs as TST members understand fitting. It may just be the way they always have done things. In other cases, though, fitting may not be available to many for various reasons such as distance to fitting center locations, or cost, or what is offered is really static, not what TST members think of being fitting. And, also related to my question, there was a time when club fitting as TST members think of it either didn't exist or was not available. So there had to be/have to be alternative methods of choosing the clubs for the golfer's swing and game. What are the alternative methods to fitting that folks do or have used to arrive at a good club selection? Thanks, -Marv

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Some folks can play quite well with "off the rack" clubs. It's as simple as that. Standard lie, and standard length. 

Other with swing flaws learn to make compensations in their swing to play well. 

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59 minutes ago, MarvChamp said:

I'm all for getting fit for new clubs. However, I only have one set that I would classify as being "fitted". Also, I play with some guys who regularly score in the 70's who never have been "fitted" for their clubs as TST members understand fitting. It may just be the way they always have done things. In other cases, though, fitting may not be available to many for various reasons such as distance to fitting center locations, or cost, or what is offered is really static, not what TST members think of being fitting. And, also related to my question, there was a time when club fitting as TST members think of it either didn't exist or was not available. So there had to be/have to be alternative methods of choosing the clubs for the golfer's swing and game. What are the alternative methods to fitting that folks do or have used to arrive at a good club selection? Thanks, -Marv

You'll have to define "club fitting as TST members think of it" first. There are many of us with various opinions on clubfitting, some with more experience with it than others. I'm fairly certain there is no consensus opinion on this.

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I received my first full set in 1972.  They were a birthday present and consisted of a 1,2,3,and 4 wood, irons 3 thru 9, a pitching wedge, and a sand wedge.  They were Wilson's.  Much as I tried to like them I didn't.  They looked nice and were more expensive than the "spares" I'd been using; but I never developed a rapport.  Since then I've let my own impressions guide club selection...which is the way it used to be: you found something you liked and stuck with it thru thick and thin.  The clubs in my bag, now, reflect 45 years of both decision and indecision.  It's the only way I know to behave.  I can't imagine re-doing my bag just because I spent an hour hitting balls at a store and hit this club, or that club, marginally better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, billchao said:

You'll have to define "club fitting as TST members think of it" first. There are many of us with various opinions on clubfitting, some with more experience with it than others. I'm fairly certain there is no consensus opinion on this.

Of course...and I probably can't define it because of the various opinions. I guess I was thinking like this: today there is, it seems, a lot of technology that wasn't around at one time. Technology in measuring all aspects of the golfer's swing, as well as technology in golf club components. I am wondering how a golfer would select the best clubs for him/or her without the ability to go through the various examinations and measuring that the current technology offers. Not necessarily how did Bobby Jones choose his clubs, but maybe along those lines..how does a modern golfer choose if he/she doesn't have access to the modern-day fitting center or its technology? Probably clear as mud. Thanks, -Marv

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8 minutes ago, MarvChamp said:

how does a modern golfer choose if he/she doesn't have access to the modern-day fitting center or its technology?

Most golfers don't get fit for their clubs. They try something at a store and they like it, or maybe their buddy has one and let them try it, or they read about it in a magazine or online and then they try it. Even the ones that do get "fit" tend to just get the standard box store lie board and wrist to floor measurement done. Very few people go for the full tour experience fitting.

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15 hours ago, MarvChamp said:

What are the alternative methods to fitting that folks do or have used to arrive at a good club selection?

Almost everywhere nowadays, demos clubs are available.
Demo clubs are usually only either 5 irons or sometimes 6 irons which are available with various shafts.
As an example, I could walk in to a store or golf shop and grab several club manufacture model; either Ping, Callaway, Titleist, ect. 
and there would be various models of each type. I would ask about the club components for the characteristics of the ones I selected.
Once I established an opinion or likeliness, I would then ask to use their indoor hitting which nowadays most have Trackman.
I would or could then take them to a range for a session to determine how these clubs actually preformed.

I feel a big part of club fitting overlooked by many who are interested in purchasing equipment is the "Testing" of clubs.
Many simply make hasty decisions or buy on a whim to later find out they do not like the club.
 

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35 minutes ago, Club Rat said:

I feel a big part of club fitting overlooked by many who are interested in purchasing equipment is the "Testing" of clubs.
Many simply make hasty decisions or buy on a whim to later find out they do not like the club.

Thank you. That describes some of my experiences over the years. One of the best "fittings" I had years ago (before Trackman or other electronic swing analysis) was listening to a country club pro's recommendations, then playing a round with a demo set at his course. Best, -Marv

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Let me start by saying for my age I see myself as an "average golfer" with an ~15 HCP. I'm 66 years old and have had three back surgeries so my swing speed is not what it use to be. I was once fitter for Ping irons. I hit on the strike board to determine lie etc. Turned out to be a blue dot, I believe one degree from standard. I'm 5'11" so standard length worked for me. Bottom line, as far as irons go I can hit "off the shelf" standard clubs, of which I have three sets and hit them all the same.

Same with the driver, I was fit for a regular shaft and standard length, but other than that nothing else changes. I'm really amazed at the amount of knowledge, relative to shafts, on this site, most of those discussions are way over my head so I can't comment on shafts.

But, IMHO I think fittings are a good thing but once done you can use those results when picking out new clubs. When fitting really counts is when someone is not of "normal" or standard size, e.g., I have a friend who is 6'5" feet tall, he definitely needs to be fitted, (although he doesn't do it which I don't understand), or someone with a really high swing speed.

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1 minute ago, cooke119 said:

When fitting really counts

It actually is significant for all golfers of all abilities and levels.
Even as a beginner, have proper equipment can mean a better and quicker progression to improving.

The key for all is having proper equipment.

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Thank you @cooke119 I'm 72 and waiting to play again after injuries. There was a time when I either relied on my own "ego" to tell me what was right or simply asked for advice and information. And as @Club Rat said tried to test when I could. The amount of GOOD info and advice on TST regarding new/used club selection is amazing. It is a great source for those who cannot or will not get "fitted". Thanks again, -Marv

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My golf journey started way back in the early 70s. I had worked at a golf course in the 60s, but didn't play that much. I went with some friends to a par 3 course. That's where the bug got me.

The next day I went to a swap meet. I purchased a set of rusty irons, woods, putter, a bag, and a trolley. Paid $10 for the whole mess. Hey, they had great golfers name stamped on them, so they had to be good. Right?  Eventually broke 100 with them. 

Being consumed with the game, I started learning more about forgiving clubs. One of the golf rags at the time listed the most forgiving clubs available. Without any fitting process, I bought a set. Eventually broke 90. I was a happy, confident golfer. I was good enough. 

Then, by accident, I met a guy who was not only a club builder, but a club fitter, and a swing guru. He checked me out, worked on my lousy swing, and built me a set of clubs. I immeadiately broke 80. 

For the next 20, or so years, with his help, and knowlege, I played really great, single digit golf. 

I offer this brief history of my golf journey, as some what of a guide for others. The benefits of properly fitted clubs, just makes the game that much easier, and enjoyable. 

 

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@cooke119 a good fitting isn't just about lie, length, and stiffness. There are a variety of shafts available that perform differently. Different heads can also perform differently with the same shafts, depending on the design of the club.

Generally speaking though, skill is more important than fitting and a talented player can play well even if the clubs don't fit them well. Fitting is more about optimizing ball flight and reducing the severity of misses.

One good thing is, you can learn your swing profile, as in what combination of club and shaft generally best suits your swing (weight, bend profile, launch and spin, etc.), and you'll be able to use that information with future purchases.

For example, I need a heavier iron shaft (120g) and I use a mid-launch shaft in my player's GI clubs. If I were to switch to more of a true GI or SGI club, I'd also have to switch to a low-launch shaft or I'll hit the ball too high.  I can play off the rack clubs, but they're not the best fit for my swing (dynamically, not statically - I'm pretty much standard everything based on static measurements).

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3 minutes ago, billchao said:

@cooke119 a good fitting isn't just about lie, length, and stiffness. There are a variety of shafts available that perform differently. Different heads can also perform differently with the same shafts, depending on the design of the club.

Generally speaking though, skill is more important than fitting and a talented player can play well even if the clubs don't fit them well. Fitting is more about optimizing ball flight and reducing the severity of misses.

One good thing is, you can learn your swing profile, as in what combination of club and shaft generally best suits your swing (weight, bend profile, launch and spin, etc.), and you'll be able to use that information with future purchases.

For example, I need a heavier iron shaft (120g) and I use a mid-launch shaft in my player's GI clubs. If I were to switch to more of a true GI or SGI club, I'd also have to switch to a low-launch shaft or I'll hit the ball too high.  I can play off the rack clubs, but they're not the best fit for my swing (dynamically, not statically - I'm pretty much standard everything based on static measurements).

I can't comment on shafts and what they can and can't do for you. When I was fitted, for both irons and driver, no one talked to me about shafts other than stiff, regular, or senior. So I probably was not fitted by a good/experienced person. How do I go about finding a good golf fitter?? I have a PGA Superstore near me, I wonder if they would be good? I also have a small golf store by me I can talk to them as well. One issue I do have is I launch my irons really high and I think I lose distance. I hit them straight but very high. Your input would be appreciated.

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17 minutes ago, billchao said:

a good fitting isn't just about lie, length, and stiffness. There are a variety of shafts available that perform differently. Different heads can also perform differently with the same shafts, depending on the design of the club.

Generally speaking though, skill is more important than fitting and a talented player can play well even if the clubs don't fit them well. Fitting is more about optimizing ball flight and reducing the severity of misses.

One good thing is, you can learn your swing profile, as in what combination of club and shaft generally best suits your swing (weight, bend profile, launch and spin, etc.), and you'll be able to use that information with future purchases.

Well said and nails it dead on IMO.

As an alterative, experimenting with various equipment is also an option for those who have the desire to fiddle with their equipment.
I for one have for years like many have replaced many shafts, adjusted the club loft and lie for many friends and personal use.

Club assembly is not very difficult. Often I have tried several shafts in various drivers and irons.

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To Marv's title...if there was no club fitting...

You would adapt to what u buy.  You would buy what looks good at address to you and then make unknowing compensations in your swing to make it work.

My best example is when I travel and use rentals.  Granted the rentals have either been Ping, Callaway or Taylormade but I have scored the same as if I had my own clubs.  

 I remember playing in South Carolina with guys from work.  They rented us Callaway xhot sets  You requested flex and the bag tags said regular or stiff.  Well half the clubs in the bag were regular flex and the other half stiff.  I shot 6 under par 66.  The guys in our 2 groups were amazed not only at the score and using rentals...but a mismatched to flex set of rentals.

You adapt.

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