Clubfitting 101
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Clubfitting 101

Clubfitting 101

club-fitting-intro2

Golf equipment is expensive. As manufacturers have integrated space-age materials and technologies into their designs and spent vast amounts of capital during the research and development process for each product, the price points of golf equipment have soared.

But despite this advancing technology – and the outlandish claims made by massive marketing campaigns surrounding it – the average golfer hasn’t improved all that much. So how can a player utilize this explosion of technology over the last 20 years to their benefit? The answer is found in two words, club fitting.

truespec-inside

Confusing, black magic, techno-babble, alchemy, voodoo… these are all some of the words any clubfitter has heard used to describe club fitting. If a player spends time with 3 clubfitters, each fitter may reach 3 different conclusions, depending on their level of expertise, brand preferences and the tools/options available. This only adds to the confusion.

As club designers innovate, and products are manufactured with such a tremendous variation from one option to the next, it is easy to understand why a golfer would struggle with deciding which product best suits their game, or if custom fitting would benefit their game at all.

So in an effort to make the entire process more transparent, and to help a player understand what exactly a fitter is doing during a fitting session, we at  TrueSpec welcome you to Club Fitting 101. Each month, we will cover different aspects of club fitting. Our hope is to take some of the mystery out of the process and educate players on the importance of being fit properly by an experienced and trained club fitting professional.

what-is-clubfitting

The first question worth addressing is… what is club fitting? In short, club fitting is the process of determining which golf club allows a player to:

  1. Consistently strike a ball closest to the center of the face, with
  2. Clubface that squares to the target line with the sole of the club flush to the ground, that
  3. Optimizes a player’s performance, feel and consistency, while
  4. Considering all design characteristics of a club (length, lie, loft, weight, swing weight, shaft material, shaft flex, CG, and more)

The Basics

Everybody has their own unique golf swing, and a club fitter’s job is not to try and overhaul. With every individual golf swing, there are two fundamental factors to consider:

  • The centeredness of the strike on the clubface
  • The dynamic face angle of the clubface at impact (raw face angle + lie angle)

These two factors are closely related, as the dynamic face angle will always play a role in whether or not the ball is struck with the center of the face, and the whole of the two will obviously dictate the outcome of the shot.

Let’s talk center-strike first.

Center of Strike

Center-faced contact is crucial to many factors of ball flight. Primarily, it ensures that the maximum amount of energy transfers to the ball, giving the greatest potential for distance. It also eliminates “gear effect” that could be caused from striking the ball off the center of the face. Gear effect is the tendency of the ball to rotate opposite the rotation of the club, if the club twists at impact due to not being struck in the center of the face (think heel fades or toe hooks).

center-strike

Club Length

If a player is not striking shots on the center of the face, the first factor to consider would be the length of the club. A club’s length can have direct bearing over where a player tends to impact the face. A player that is striking shots low on the face and on the toe can usually benefit from a club that is slightly longer, while a player striking shots too high on the face and on the heel would typically benefit from a club that is shorter. This is as basic as club fitting gets, and it is only one piece of the puzzle.

Raw Face Angle

The other thing that may impact where a ball strikes the face would be the predominant face-angle tendency at impact. When we say “raw” face angle, we simply mean the angle of the face itself, not factoring in lie angle or loft, which play a significant role in the overall orientation of the face.

Closed-faced impacts tend to shift the strike pattern more towards the toe. Alternatively, open-faced impacts tend to shift the strike pattern towards the heel.

This is fairly easy to read because the start direction of a shot is largely attributable to the angle of the face, so wherever the shot starts, that is where the face was pointing. Therefore, if a shot starts left (for a right-handed player) and the strike is towards the toe, there is a good bet the shot struck the toe due to the angle of the face being closed.

This is because we are striking a sphere with a plane, and even if the centerpoint of the sphere is aligned with the centerpoint of the plane, if that plane is not perpendicular to the direction the plane is moving (face perpendicular to path), the side of the plane that is nearest the ball will strike the ball first.

Other Factors to Consider with Raw Face Angle

Two factors that may contribute to, or resolve raw face angle issues would be:

  • Offset
  • Shaft deflection

Offset

Applicable mainly to irons – the more offset added to the head, the more the head will close through impact, in turn producing a more closed face angle position. This would be the desired effect for a player who typically leaves the face open. On the flip side, it would exacerbate the problem with a player who tended to close the face too much.

offset

Shaft Deflection

Shaft deflection is the tendency of the head section of the shaft to bend forward of the handle section of the shaft when viewing from the face-on position on the downswing just before impact. Simply put, every single shaft is in a forward deflected position at impact, regardless of the player and regardless of the shaft that is being used. Because of momentum, gravity, and the general physics of the golf swing, shafts bend forward before the clubface makes contact with the ball. The magnitude of this forward bending is what must be considered when fitting a golf club.

Players who have more speed, and have certain hand release patterns, will make the shaft forward deflect more at impact. Those who swing at lower speeds and have early release patterns without much wrist movement would tend to forward deflect the shaft less. The reason forward deflection is so important to consider is that the more the shaft deflects forward, the more the face tends to close, and the more loft is added to the club through impact.

Some shafts tend to have a stiffer profile down towards the tip which would lend itself to players who deflect the shaft a great deal. Other shafts tend to produce a looser tip section, which may help add some deflection.

shaft-deflection-added-loft

Dynamic Face Angle

While raw face angle will have a significant effect on where on the face the ball is struck on the horizontal axis of the clubface (heel or toe), there are other factors to consider when addressing the actual direction of a shot. Dynamic face angle is a more comprehensive metric that considers:

  • raw face angle (discussed above)
  • lie angle

Lie Angle

Lie angle is the flushness of the sole of the club to the ground at the moment of impact. This is an incredibly important factor to consider because it has a bearing on both the dynamic angle of the face, as well as the ability of a player to strike the ball vertically in the center of the club. Because a club has loft, if the sole of the club is not perfectly flat against the ground, the face will present in a manner that causes the ball to start offline.

There is a misconception that if the toe of the club digs, it opens the face, therefore causing the ball to start open to the target line, or vice-versa if the heel digs. Remember, in a well-struck shot, the ball is struck first before the ground, so if the ground is causing any twisting of the head due to ground force, the ball is already gone from the face when that is occurring. The reason a toe-dug shot starts open to the target line is because the loft of the face skews the face angle to present more open, even though the blade may be square to the target line. Exactly the opposite is true of a heel-dug shot. This is why a lie angle must be selected for each player that presents the sole of the club flush to the ground at impact, so that any lie angle error does not skew the feedback a player gets regarding the angle of their face.

It is worth mentioning that a lie angle error could also cause the ball to be struck off-center vertically. If the toe is digging, any shot struck towards the toe would also strike high on the face, and any shot struck towards the heel would be struck low on the face.

lie-angle-chart

What causes lie angle error?

The two factors that contribute to a lie angle error are:

  • handle position at impact
  • amount of shaft droop at impact

The more the player raises the handle of the club in the impact position, the more the toe of the club will dig. We can address this handle error by adjusting the lie angle of the club.

Shaft droop is the amount the tip section of the shaft bends down at impact in relation to the handle section of the shaft. The more a shaft droops, the more a player will dig the toe of the club. Shaft droop error can be addressed by trying a shaft that has a stiffer tip section.

Diagnosing Shot Direction

As you can see, there are a lot of potential reasons that a shot starts left or right of the target line. Is it due to the actual angle of the face (open or closed) or is it due to the lie angle? In reality, it is the combination of both – the dynamic face angle. For instance, if a club is slightly closed at impact (which would cause the ball to start closed to the line) and the toe is also digging (which would cause the ball to start open to the line), the two factors may cancel each other out, and the ball would actually start straight down the target line. However, because the face was closed and the toe was digging, this player would tend to strike the shot off of the toe – this is not quality impact.

shaft-variables

Club Design Characteristics

So far, we have only really addressed the centeredness of contact and the dynamic face angle. But there is so much more to consider about the design of the club that fits you best.

Shaft Flex

There is a general consensus that the stiffness of the shaft a player should play correlates directly to the speed at which they swing. The faster the swing, the stiffer the shaft should be. Though this is not categorically wrong, there are other factors to consider.

Swing Speed

  • Faster speed typically warrants stiffer flex, but not always

Release Pattern

  • Different release patterns call for different shaft flex
  • Early release on the downswing or extreme wrist angle can require stiffer flex
  • Dustin Johnson’s swing speed is higher than Sergio Garcia’s, yet his driver shaft is lighter and more flexible

Shaft Deflection

  • Kick point and tip stiffness must be considered

Shaft Weight

Weighting is also critically important when determining a player’s best fit.

  • Heavier weight shafts tend to flight the ball lower and reduce the amount of spin imparted on the ball at impact
  • Weight of the shaft affects overall swing weight
  • Increasing weight ranges in today’s driver, metalwood, and iron shafts

Shaft Material

Finally, a player should also consider which shaft material is best for their irons. For years, steel and graphite were the only options. Shaft manufacturers began to integrate composite shafts into the industry a few years ago, which are a blend of graphite and steel. So which is the best for you?

Graphite

  • Typically produces higher ball flights and spin rates than steel, can also lead to broader shot dispersion
  • Beneficial to players with injuries to shoulders, elbows, or wrists due to shock absorbency
  • New manufacturing processes are increasing consistency of graphite

Steel

  • Typically produces lower ball flights and spin rates than graphite, tighter shot dispersion
  • Harsher feel at impact
  • New designs are lighter, allowing more flex than in the past

Composite Shafts

  • Combination of graphite and steel, theoretically offering best of both worlds
  • Priced higher than regular graphite or steel
  • Results may vary

Adjustable This and That

It appears that adjustability is here to stay, and it is important to note that any change to the weighting or loft/face angle of a driver or metalwood will have a significant impact on the CG and face orientation of the club. Believe it or not, these variables begin to venture into the realm of extremely complex and are best left in the hands of an experienced club fitter to achieve the desired performance benefits.

Class Dismissed… For Today

Hopefully, the above items provide a basis of knowledge to help clarify the multitude of considerations made when assessing which products may work best for you.

There are so may options when it comes to golf equipment, and even with a basic working knowledge of product design and its typical impacts on performance, a player should still seek help from a qualified individual to help them sort through the ocean of choices they face.

Remember, the primary objective of fitting a club to a player is to give them a tool that enables them to enjoy the game more, and play a little better. We at TrueSpec believe performance should always be your compass when making these decisions, and not aesthetics or feel, though both of those attributes are definitely a consideration. Your scorecard and handicap will thank you for it.

For You

For You

Tyrrell Hatton Tyrrell Hatton
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Tim Briand

Tim Briand

Tim Briand

Tim Briand is the Director of Fitting and Sales for True Spec Golf. He brings 18 years industry experience to the True Spec team, having spent time as a player, product designer, golf instructor, and master fitter. Prior to joining the True Spec team, Tim served as a Master Fitter for TaylorMade Golf, operating a motion capture fitting and instructional center. Having amassed thousands of hours of experience fitting players of all abilities, Tim has fit Major Champions, PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Champions Tour winners, NCAA Champions, NCAA All-Americans, and multiple winners of various state golf championships. True Spec Golf is a brand agnostic golf club fitting and club building company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. They operate 14 fitting operations around the world, spanning 5 countries and 3 continents. True Spec builds every club a player orders, ensuring every item is built to the exact specifications as outlined in their fitting, under the tightest tolerances in the business. Their demo matrix offers over 30,000 different combinations and features all of the mainstream brands, as well as products in the ultra premium category. They utilize the revolutionary Club Conex adapter system which allows them to test any shaft in any head. Numerous PGA, LPGA, and Champions Tour players trust True Spec for their equipment needs, including Justin Rose, Gary Woodland, and Christie Kerr to name a few.

Tim Briand

Tim Briand

Tim Briand

Tim Briand

Tim Briand

Tim Briand

Tim Briand

Tim Briand

Tim Briand





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      Matthew

      7 years ago

      Thank you Tim for a most informative article. I am considering replacing my 15 years old clubs that were custom fitted. One area that I am struggling with is the various methods used by fitters. Recently I accompanied a friend who went to a big brand’s fitting centre and they used the Trackman technology, which is very impressive, to determine the corrected club type using a trial and error method ( in my opinion).

      An alternative method seems to be more based on identifying the shaft weight and flex in conjunction with the lie and grip. I separate the two methods as they have been presented to me as two schools. The second method (practitioner) does not use Trackmam.

      In your opinion is there a difference and would you recommend on over the other?

      Reply

      Jari Hakonen

      8 years ago

      If you dont play with fitted clubs, why carry a scorecard?

      Reply

      Shane McNeill

      8 years ago

      I finally have been professionally fitted recently and my confidence has sky rocketed!!

      Reply

      Richard

      8 years ago

      This is an interesting post, I like it because it attempts the use of more precise terminology than normally seen in “articles” about this subject matter.
      The University of Hard Knocks with “Club Fitters” has given me the following:
      1) Beware fitters with the castrated shaft selection fit kit. e.g Steel Fiber i95 but no i80 or i70.
      2) Beware the “OEM Boutique” fitters where the OEM Dictates what brands the fitter is allowed to carry in exchange for the “right” to offer the OEM Brand.
      3) Beware fitters that can not offer MOI matched sets or refuse to explore it.

      I must confess that I have enjoyed the “amusing show” that has ensued, following Dr. Fredrik Tuxen’s creation (Trackman the Doppler Radar based ball flight Tracking Device). At last we had instrumentation, we had metrics we had a means to co-relate feel related things to the visible results especially when used outdoors. (A stampede of ancient and venerable swing doctors re-inventing themselves with added Trackman sauce :):))
      Trackman is not perfect (alas it is a Danish invention not American :))
      Calibration to a known standard is the only missing piece from the golf instrumentation world. i.e. what I may measure with Trackman A is the same as Trackman B because both are calibrated to a known standard and as such the results are reproducible. This will come as the golf-instrumentation industry matures and we become more aware.
      Calibration to a known standard is not a hard requirement for its use in club fitting as long as the fitting is completed with the same instrument.
      Calibration is a hard requirement if I am going to rent trackman time as part of a practice or training routine.

      Things are looking up in the fitting business from the customer side of the fence.

      Reply

      JB

      8 years ago

      Awesome article! I enjoyed reading through it. I think there is way more to it though, and I’ll use my experience to elaborate.

      A simple adjustment to how far away you stand from the ball plays a significant impact on where you impact the ball. Even a half step further back can move the balls impact from the heel of the face closer to the center of the face without ever fitting the club. I have found this out too often in my own attempts to get a fitting. I would even argue that distance with longer clubs can appear and disappear based on how far away you stand. For example while trying out a new M1 driver I continued to hit 227 yards or so and impact was on the heel side. Based on this article I should shorten the shaft to get the impact centered. The fitter had me take a half step back and suddenly I was hitting center of the face to toe side and getting 237 yards of carry, all from one simple move.

      Now I don’t negate the power of a proper fitting. However; a fitting is more about comfort than anything. The club is fitted to you and your swing to maximize the benefits of the club. That is it, that is all it does. It doesn’t make you better. It won’t shave strokes, and there is plenty of research to back it. On average 1 stroke is gained from a proper fitting. Clearly not enough to warrant spending extra dough on a fitting. However; consistency goes up tremendously from a fitting. I went to a custom length in my irons with 3/8″ increments and saw my consistency from club to club go up like crazy. It didn’t fix the inconsistent swing, the fat, thin, or topped ball at all. Some days my iron play was on fire, and I was pin point accurate. Other days I might as well be shooting ducks with a shotgun and missing them all.

      In the end, a proper fitting in my opinion is one that takes out the human factor of “I think” and uses real stats and evidence to show a real benefit (i.e. use impact tape and hit balls and measure the difference and base it on that alone, not what feels good). This will, obviously never happen for all the mentioned reasons already.

      Reply

      Pete the Pro

      8 years ago

      Aha, the world of custom fitting. I could write a book about this, but I won’t, not today. If you expect to go to different fitters and expect the same outcome, you will be disappointed. This has been the same for decades. The missing part of the clubfitting process is “preference”, that is on the side of the fitter and the customer’s side too. Too long a list to give you here, but brand loyalty plays a major part. Or if you prefer one of the more interesting ones, I have been asked to make a driver shorter to make it fit the trunk of the car! Next, clubfitters – they are like those from all professions, some are fantastic, some are good, others are mediocre and a few are struggling. I worked in a store with excellent fitters, but we had a visting “professional clubfitter” who had the talk but kept mixing up his lie angles. Many a time I ordered in clubs for the customer on the strength of his own professional’s fitting knowing that that lie angles should be 2 upright but the fitter said 2 flat. I tried to help him but he knew it all better. The choice of shaft is complex in the extreme. If the clubfitter considered all shafts and knew the performance of every one, they would be busy for days if not weeks with a fitting. Grips – well, if the golfer (the customer) wants Midsize or Jumbo despite being advised standard with perhaps some tape under, they are going to get what they chose. I’ve sold plenty of sets of cricket bat / hockey stick handles in my time because that’s the choice of the customer. The fitter can only advise and encourage. Finally, cost. Some golfers are prepared to invest in a good fitting and order clubs. Plenty of others want 2 hours of fitting, swing / impact / ball flight analysis, plenty of presentation and then price match the lowest internet or e-bay site. Then we have the “Pull-the-wool-over-over your-eyes” clubfitters. I know a few. A little frequency matching check of an existing set often makes the set “unplayable”in the mind of the fitter. A little smoke and mirrors here and there and the golfer is relieved of another couple of thousand dollars. It’s perspective. Length of club, shaft flex and material and grip thickness. The right type of clubhead, mostly in the irons. After those basics you can add a multitude of extras from torque rating thru to spin rates. Perspective – length, shaft, grip, head. 4 things. Easy, if the customer can trust easy. I played on the European Tour with clubs which were not fitted. Bog standard, looked good, gave them a waggle, out I went. I’m not suggesting this is the best way either when a fitting process exists. But let’s keep things in perspective.

      Reply

      Tim Briand

      8 years ago

      Great points mentioned above. Any quality fitter knows not to play the preferences game. I would be suspicious of any fitter who games 14 clubs from the same manufacturer, as there is a good bet they are being influenced to recommend certain products. The best fitters always stay true to the integrity of the fit, which always stresses performance above all else, combined with player feedback. That is where things can get tricky, because most players have definite preferences and have a difficult time staying completely objective. As for the shaft selection remark, it can be difficult to select the best one considering the multitude of products available. This is where a fitter’s product knowledge and experience factor into the equation. Despite having hundreds different driver shafts to work with, when we watch a player hit a few shots with their existing equipment, we can identify a family of products to work within very accurately. When it comes to grips, the grip a player selects can drastically impact the build process, as in swing weight. A simple difference in the color a player selects when it comes to grip can change things, as white grips tend to be much heavier than their black counterparts. This affects swing-weighting, and may make some builds unattainable. As for whether or not a customer should be custom fit, and the impact it can have over their game, it all depends on how poorly fit an off the rack set is for that player. We take metrics on all players we fit 6 weeks after they receive their new clubs. 65% of all players see their handicap drop 3 strokes or more immediately after being fit. We never recommend a product that doesn’t verifiably outperform what the player brings with them to their fitting, using TrackMan as the diagnostic tool for the comparison. At the Tour level, I can’t think of any current professionals who don’t spend time fitting their clubs at some level.

      Reply

      Jack Wullkotte

      8 years ago

      To Ol Deadeye, I’ll try to make a long story short. In 1970, the shaft on Jack’s driver snapped underneath the grip while he was playing in a tournament. It actually happened on television. I was working at the Toney Penna Co., in Jupiter, FL, which is just up the road from his home in North Palm Beach. The next morning, he showed up at Penna’s with the driver, wanting me to reshaft the club. I removed the old shaft , put in a new one and put a leather grip on it. When I checked the swingweight, it was D-6. When I was with the MacGregor Golf Co. we made all of Jack’s clubs D-3, so I asked him what swingweight he was using. He said D-3. I went back, got the broken shaft and removed the grip. Someone had put a wooden dowel in the butt end of the shaft, drilled a hole in the dowel and poured lead in the hole, which essentially counterbalanced the club to a D-3. I told Jack what I had found and he told me to do the same thing with the new shaft. Instead of a wooden dowel though, I put a plastic cap in the butt end and glued a like amount of lead weight inside of the plastic cap. He was still using that driver when I began to work for his Golden Bear organization in 1974. When he changed drivers now and then for the next 20 years or so, I always counterbalanced them the same way. At one point, he also had me counterbalance his #3 wood. We continued to counterbalance the drivers after he began using metal heads and graphite shafts, but found that the counter balancing was counter productive and quit doing it. The only reason Jack continued counterbalancing his woods, was because he felt that it slowed his hand speed down. I never counterbalanced his irons despite what some people have said. The only other golfers that I worked with who counterbalanced their drivers, was Toney Penna and Gardner Dickinson. David Graham and several others experimented with it but never used it in competition as far as I know. In recent years, some companies have produced methods of counterbalancing, like weighted grips etc. but I don’t know how successful they have been. As far as Jack’s launch angle, spin rate etc. etc. was concerned, it varied with whatever shaft he was using. Hope this helps. I was a clubmaker, not a scientist or engineer.

      Reply

      Jack Wullkotte

      8 years ago

      I began working on golf clubs in 1947, and 3 of the golf pros I worked with were Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, and Jimmy Demaret. Outside of making sure all the shafts were the same weight, the grip sizes were the same, the lengths were cut off in half inch increments, and the lies and lofts were dead nuts, that was it. No frequency matching machines, no puring the shafts, no computers to measure swing speed, ball speed, spin rate etc. This method of clubmaking continued right on up until the 1980’s. I was Jack Nicklaus’s personal clubmaker, beginning in 1962. Up until the late 1980’s, I used the same method of clubmaking for him that I had used for Hogan, Nelson and Demaret. I never used a frequency matching machine or pured shafts until the late 1990’s. If these four golfers had todays equipment during their most productive years, I’m sure they would have performed just as well then as the pro golfers do today. There was a certain element involved called talent. I have seen Jack Nicklaus “fitted” for clubs. This was basically around the time he retired. He was playing with equipment I assembled for him when he owned the Nicklaus Golf Equipment Co. A major golf company fitted him, and when they were done, they couldn’t recommend any changes to his clubs that would have improved his performance. I also saw him being measured with a computer for launch angle, swing speed, ball spin etc., by a major shaft company. When they were done, they recommended he change to one of their shafts. He used the shaft for a short time and went back to the one he had been using. Jack’s method of clubfitting was basically “trial and error.” He tried all kinds of heads and shafts, and after many hours of practice, he just selected the ones he had the most confidence with and went out and won golf tournaments. Tom Weiskopf played with a set of MacGregor irons for years that contained several shafts that were a different flex than the others, although they were all supposed to be the same. Rather than change the shafts, he adapted his swing to the non-conforming shafts. He did pretty well with them also. I have worked on clubs for over 200 touring pros during my 68 years of clubmaking, and don’t remember ever having someone say I didn’t do a good job. I remember Curtis Strange once said that whenever I sent him a set of clubs, he put it right into his bag and played with them. He won back to back U.S. Opens with clubs that I assembled, gripped and set the lies and lofts. It’s funny, but every time I have witnessed people getting fitted for golf clubs, the Fitters have the person hit lots of golf balls with a variety of clubs with different shafts, swingweights, lengths etc. then, they average all the results and do their recommendations. Seems to me like this is somewhat like Jacks method of trial and error. I personally know of one person who has been taking golf lessons with a well known teaching pro for 10 years, and he has also gone to Fitting pros many times. He had a 14 handicap 10 years ago and still has a 14 handicap today. I also saw a woman hit a demo set of irons from the 5 iron to the pitching wedge. Her distances were about the same for all clubs. How do you fit someone like that? When I fitted someone other than a pro, I first asked them to give me a ball park figure on the length of their average drive. Most people were sincere about the distance. I then asked what their handicap was, if they had one. Then, I checked their arm length as opposed to mine. After that, I would have them take their personal #5 iron, and position themselves as though they were going to hit a shot. When they were set at the address position, I would note where their hands were positioned on the grip and make the lengths accordingly. I would also check to see if the toe was flat on the ground or sticking up some. After that, I had a half dozen shafts with different sized grips on them and let the person determine which felt the best. Once the grip size was chosen, I used this information to make them a set of clubs. When they returned to pick them up, I had them take out that #5 iron again and checked to see what the lie looked like. If the toe was up slightly or dead flat, I didn’t bother with the lie. But if the toe was up quite a bit, I might make all the irons a little flatter, but not much, because I knew the person had adjusted their stance somewhat. I can honestly say that over the years, I had very few complaints. The one person I had the most trouble with was a young fellow who told me that all of his drives went at least 300 yards. Problem was, the ball went out 150 yards and then went directly right for another 150 yards. I sent him on to another clubmaker. If a person only plays golf once every two weeks or so and never practices, how can you justify fitting them for a set of clubs?

      Reply

      Ol deadeye

      8 years ago

      Mr Wullkotte, could you discuss adding lead tape under the grips and what effect it had on things like ball strike, ball flight etc. I have read that you did this for Jack Nicklaus. Any other pros have this done?

      Reply

      cksurfdude

      8 years ago

      Wow!!
      Mr. Wullkotte –
      Thank you for sharing your insights and your stories (I’m sure you have a lot more great ones!) .. very interesting and informative.
      – Chuck

      Reply

      Nate Wallace

      8 years ago

      Great article! I have been fitting and building clubs for many years, and the one thing most people ask is what they can do to the clubs they already have to make the most difference. I tell them that adjusting the loft and lie angles will help the most (and making sure the lengths and swing weights are properly graduated as well). There is not much that can be done with flexibility matching in these cases, but adjusting these other parameters can make a world of difference (more than most people can possibly imagine). I encourage those who come to me for regripping to let me measure their clubs (lengths, frequency, swing weights, loft, and lie angles), and while I have the grips off I can ensure the lengths and swing weights are properly graduated. I have NEVER found a set of clubs off the rack (or home built) properly graduated. The lengths, swing weights, loft, and lie angles are nearly always catywampus (like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get). So get your clubs checked, but only if you really want to improve your game! Also, it needs to me mentioned that the loft and lie angles should be checked every year, or at least every time you get your clubs regripped (I do this as part of my regripping service for repeat customers, and also always ask if they need any tweaks to their loft angles to improve their ball flights). Be sure to find a fitter that does dynamic lie adjustments (puts a sticker on the sole of the club and checks the lie angle with you hitting balls off a lie board). This is the only way to ensure that each club is dynamically correct, especially with clubs that are not properly frequency (flexibility) matched, which is pretty much every name brand club known to man. If you go into a shop or see a fitter that does not have a loft/lie bending machine, be cautious, as this is something a true fitter should always offer.

      Reply

      Bob Pegram

      8 years ago

      When fitting for lie angle, it is important to test the longest iron and the shortest iron and then make calculations for the lie angles of the clubs in between. That is because some golfers will stand more upright with longer clubs and squat more with shorter irons. That tens to reduce the lie angle differences between the longest and shortest irons.
      The photos that are supposed to show why wrong lie angle misdirects shots need to be redone. The shaft needs to be tilted so the toe is off the ground and again with the heel off the ground. The leading edge should be squre to the line of flight (the white line on the mat) in both cases. IT ISN’T IN THE PHOTOS ABOVE.
      With the leading edge square, the loft will point off target when the sole is not flat on the ground. When the toe is off the ground (heel dig) the loft will point left of the target. When the heel is off the ground (toe dig) the loft will point right of the target.

      Reply

      Tim Briand

      8 years ago

      Having taken the photos above myself, I can assure you that in the example down the right column accurately represents a square face to the line with the toe digging. The top right picture may look skewed, but I can attest to the fact the leading edge was perfectly perpendicular to the intended line of play, and the toe of the club was digging into the mat, thus causing the skewed dynamic face angle pointing right of the intended line of play due to the loft on the face.

      Reply

      Joe Simmons

      8 years ago

      A good read.

      Reply

      Stevegp

      8 years ago

      I really enjoyed the article. Interesting oveview with helpful information. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.

      Reply

      Anthony Centimano

      8 years ago

      Everybody has their own unique golf swing, and a club fitter’s job is not to try and overhaul.-what a statement.

      Reply

      John Coppock

      8 years ago

      Have been fit by golf USA,golf tec and too others. All with different out comes. So don’t know what to believe!! Or who to go to and get fit with confidence.

      Reply

      Bob Pegram

      8 years ago

      John –
      Did each one tell you why he came to his individual conclusions? If each didn’t (especially if asked), then they didn’t do their jobs well. If one did, you know he has confidence in his ability and is willing to let you evaluate his conclusions. That doesn’t ensure he is right, but it gives his evaluation more weight. If they all told you their reasoning, then it is up to you to figure out the pluses and minuses of each evaluation and take what makes the most sense.

      Reply

      Tim Briand

      8 years ago

      This is a great point, Bob. Any experienced fitter with a good working knowledge of products and design elements should be able to explain the logic of why a particular product works best. Some fitters take the “paint splatter” approach when fitting. They throw a bunch of different products at a player and see what sticks. This is inefficient and does not speak to the fitter’s ability. When a fitter does this, many times, it undermines a player’s ability to work through the entire bag in a reasonable amount of time. In the end, the decision should be made by a player based on what they observed in a fitting… Did the club feel great? Did the ball flight improve? Did I hit it more consistent? Did I hit it further? Will I play better with this club? I always take the perspective that the best fitters shouldn’t have to sell a club.. the player’s performance with that club does all the talking..

      Bob Pegram

      8 years ago

      Tim – Good point. Clubs that are fitted properly should sell themselves.

      Kenny B

      8 years ago

      Great information! I would love to get a fitting from experts like these, but it’s 3000 miles away.

      Reply

      Mark

      8 years ago

      Went to truespec in NYC last fall to treat myself to custom clubs for my 60th bday…why I waited that long puzzles me still…the effort that Doug put in with me and the results I got are truly amazing…I couldn’t be happier and highly recommend anyone that is thinking about getting fitted to take the plunge…with the market for golf clubs being so expansive and expensive why not get what really fits your game!! I was consistent before going there but now am even more so..can’t put a $ amount on taking another stroke or 2 handicap..no smoke and mirrors here just real professional fitting just like your pros get….

      Reply

      Thank you!!Is a good,good,great explanation.It will take some time and a lot of reading over this post.

      Reply

      Bouck

      8 years ago

      Very informative…….

      Reply

      Sanzhar

      8 years ago

      great post

      Reply

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