The great cus­tom fit­ting co­nun­drum

Ev­ery golfer should be prop­erly fit­ted for clubs, but ap­proach with cau­tion, says Kit Alexan­der.

Golf World (UK) - - THE SPIN -

“I’m not good enough to be cus­tom fit­ted.” If I had a pound for ev­ery time I’d heard that I’d have a few hun­dred quid. It’s one of the big­gest mis­nomers in golf be­cause it’s ac­tu­ally golfers who strug­gle most that see the big­gest im­prove­ment from getting fit­ted into the right clubs and tweak­ing the set-up to suit their game.

Firstly, it stands to rea­son that pros and good play­ers who swing well and hit the cen­tre of the face more of­ten than not will be able to make most things work and any im­prove­ment will be sub­tle. Se­condly, I guar­an­tee you swing the club and de­liver it to the ball a lot more con­sis­tently than you think – even if you’re a mid and high-hand­i­cap­per.

Be­lieve me, I’ve seen the test­ing and data. I know you’re prob­a­bly sit­ting there shak­ing your head as you read this, but go with me. You might not nec­es­sar­ily swing the club that well, but you’ll make the same move­ments (and mis­takes) more of­ten than not. Even if you have a two-way miss, the chances are that’s down to min­i­mal dif­fer­ences in the face an­gle at im­pact and you’d still ben­e­fit from cus­tom clubs.

So, now we’ve es­tab­lished once and for all that any golfer from world num­ber one Dustin John­son to a strug­gling high­hand­i­cap­per would ben­e­fit from cus­tom fit­ting, surely it’s as sim­ple as go­ing to your lo­cal club or golf shop to find the per­fect clubs that will help your hand­i­cap plum­met. Un­for­tu­nately, it isn’t that sim­ple.

There are two is­sues. Firstly, the sales pitch mas­querad­ing as a cus­tom fit­ting. Hit­ting balls into a net for 10 min­utes with­out any data, com­par­i­son or club tweak­ing is not a fit­ting – and it’s amaz­ing how of­ten you get ‘fit­ted’ into what­ever clubs are on spe­cial of­fer or col­lect­ing dust in the store room when you’ve gone through this rather lim­ited process.

Se­condly, the brand-spe­cific fit­ting. These are usu­ally done by very tal­ented fit­ters but they are lim­ited by their very def­i­ni­tion as more and more club pros and shops are aligned to a sin­gle man­u­fac­turer these days.

How do you know you’re getting the very best club for you if you’re only test­ing equip­ment from one man­u­fac­turer? I would urge you to go to a spe­cial­ist cus­tom fit­ter with no brand al­le­giances so you can hit all the clubs on the mar­ket and rely on the fit­ter’s ex­per­tise to find the club and set-up that re­ally is the most ben­e­fi­cial to you.

The in­cred­i­ble ad­justa­bil­ity avail­able in most shiny new clubs makes it quicker and eas­ier for a qual­ity fit­ter to zero in on your op­ti­mum spec­i­fi­ca­tions than ever be­fore. Of course, all that ad­justa­bil­ity comes at a pre­mium. The ma­jor­ity of man­u­fac­tur­ers of­fer a su­per­ad­justable hero prod­uct and a cheaper and less ad­justable op­tion that is also typ­i­cally more for­giv­ing.

More ex­pen­sive isn’t al­ways bet­ter. You’re pay­ing for the added ad­justa­bil­ity so if you’re for­tu­nate enough to hit the ball as well or bet­ter with one of the less ad­justable and less ex­pen­sive mod­els then save your­self a few pen­nies (ob­vi­ously in­vest it in other golf equip­ment or a year’s sub­scrip­tion to Golf World!) and buy that one. Re­sist the urge to have all the bells and whis­tles for the sake of it if it doesn’t hap­pen to ben­e­fit your game. I en­joyed the Call­away Epic and Tay­lorMade M1 last year – and they were fan­tas­tic driv­ers – but I used the Call­away Fu­sion for most of the year in com­pe­ti­tion be­cause it was the most con­sis­tent for me with a very min­i­mal drop off in dis­tance.

Re­mem­ber, even in driv­ers and es­pe­cially in ev­ery­thing else, it’s not just about dis­tance. Get cus­tom fit­ted into the op­ti­mum com­bi­na­tion of dis­tance, ac­cu­racy and con­sis­tency for your game and you will save shots on the course.

Choos­ing a fit­ter who isn’t aligned to a spe­cific brand can be hugely ben­e­fi­cial.

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