Golfers are buying a lot of golf clubs right now. We knew that. What we didn’t know is how often golfers are getting fitted for those clubs, where they’re getting fitted, and what type of experiences you’re having during those fittings.
The goal of our 2021 fitting survey was to find answers to those questions. With the feedback of 3,000 golfers, here’s what we can tell you about club fitting in 2021.
How Common is Club Fitting?
- Some encouraging news out of the gate – more than 95% of you said you’ve been fitted at least once.
- More astounding, 51% of you have been fitted this season alone.
- Just a bit more than 25% of you have been fitted just once. Roughly the same percentage has been fitted twice.
- 15% of respondents have been fitted six or more times.
Why don’t golfers get fitted?
It’s reasonable to say that some of these answers are expected.
- Some golfers simply don’t believe fitting will produce better results. While we believe most golfers will see a real-world benefit, it’s certainly not a universal truth.
- Cost is almost always an issue.
- Lack of good fitters can be an issue. When someone asks me for a recommendation, my answer is almost always, “would you rather go to Toronto or Long Island?”.
- Most of the rest falls in the lack of comfort category. Some golfers find the fitting process or even the thought of the fitting process intimidating.
Where do golfers go to get fitted?
- The majority of “other” responses qualify as off-course retailers. These shops are the most popular fitting destinations.
- Club Champion holds a significant lead among fitting chains (20%).
- Fittings at big box locations like DICK’S and PGA TOUR Superstore are likely more common with the golfing population as a whole than with our readers.
What clubs are golfers getting fitted for?
- Nearly 92% of golfers who have been fitted at least once have been fitted for irons. This makes sense given the emphasis on static variables like length and lie angle.
- Not surprisingly, drivers are next, with more than 80% of you having been fitted for one.
- Basically, nobody gets fitted for a utility iron (just a bit more than 10%), and less than 40% of you have been fitted for wedges, hybrids, or a putter.
What’s driving your choice of fitters?
- Reputation is the single biggest reason why you choose the fitters you choose.
- Brand selection is obviously important, as is past experience.
- More than 25% list proximity to home and its actual influence on the fitting decision may be even greater.
How far are you traveling to get fitted?
- More than 75% of respondents traveled less than 25 miles to their most recent fitting.
- Less than 10% of fittings required less than 75 miles worth of travel; however, the bulk of those were more than 100 miles.
- Golfers who got fitted at TXG traveled the farthest, followed by manufacturer-owned facilities.
- On-course fittings require the least travel.
What do golfers discuss with their fitter?
- Performance objectives are the most commonly discussed topics – as they probably should be.
- It’s also a positive that 60% of you report discussing the fitting process itself.
- The 7% of you who said the fitter didn’t ask you any questions should probably look for a different fitter next time.
- Several of the other responses mentioned Arccos data. I just think that’s cool.
Indoors vs. Outdoors
- Nearly 60% of your most recent fittings were done indoors.
- Thankfully less than 10% were into a net alone.
- While you’ll get strong opinions on indoors vs. outdoors, there are advantages and disadvantages to each and ultimately, the reliability of the fitting has more to do with the fitter than the environment.
What golf balls are used in a fitting?
- It’s encouraging that the overwhelming majority of club fittings are done with quality golf balls.
- Facepalm for the 20% using range balls, though launch monitor normalization features can help.
- While ionomer/surlyn isn’t ideal, if it’s what you play, it’s maybe not the worst thing.
How do fitters approach a fitting?
- Optimizing total performance is a bit of a catch-all, but it’s a good answer.
- Distance, accuracy, and consistency should be a part of every fitting conversation.
- When it comes to fitters pushing higher-priced clubs, DICK’S was listed most often (10%). Club Champion was next (8%).
- Among the things listed by those of you who checked “other” were:
- Getting back to the TV (indifference was a common theme)
- Selling as much as possible in as little time as possible
- Maximizing smash factor (on Trackman)
- “No idea.” Oof. Everyone involved should be on the same page during a club fitting.
Do golfers buy the clubs they’re fitted for?
- The chart speaks for itself – most of you bought the clubs you were fitted for.
Why don’t golfers buy the clubs they’re fitted for?
- The surprise here is that “other” was the most popular response.
- Among those responses, the most popular answer was some version of I saw no significant improvement.
- Long wait times (to receive clubs) was a common response as well.
- Some golfers report not hitting the ball well during their fitting.
- Several of you reported being put off by a pushy fitter.
Can the club fitting experience be improved?
- More than 40% of you feel the iron fitting experience would be better if more than a 7-iron was involved.
- Most fitters believe the 7-iron is sufficient (and that’s pretty much all most manufacturers give them).
- Our testing has shown countless times that what works in a 7-iron doesn’t always work in a long iron or scoring club, so there may be something to this.
- Nearly 30% of you would have liked a different fitting environment.
- More than 25% of you wanted more shaft and head options.
- Among the others:
- Many felt the experience was perfect.
- Some said they’d like a printed report to take home (one respondent says his fitter refused to show him the data).
- Having the fitting take place over multiple sessions was a common suggestion.
- A few of you said better balls could have been used.
- And finally … beer.