There’s never been a better time to go in for the custom golf club fitting you’ve been in need of for the last four seasons, because chances are, your clubs don’t fit you. And thanks to Mother Nature’s insistence, it seems many of the country’s courses will remain snowed in and unplayable for the foreseeable future.
“Every single person has a very unique swing profile, from the top of the swing down to the impact position, and it’s as unique as a fingerprint,” says Chad Hall, vice president for global sales at True Temper, one of the industry’s leading shaft makers. And he’s not alone in his thinking.
“Finding the right head, shaft, length of shaft, and swing weight for what an individual does in there golf swing will enhance the probability of a good golf shot,” says William Ladd II, master fitter at the TaylorMade®Performance Lab at TPC®Sawgrass. “It will also eliminate or decrease shot dispersion. Meaning, their misses will be better.” Ladd explains that, while most “off-the-rack clubs” can work for some players, nothing can beat the performance that comes out of a shaft’s custom fitting.
According to Ladd, there are three major factors in finding a player’s ideal club shaft: length of shaft, weight of shaft, and shaft characteristics. “Not to discount the importance of the first two, but shaft characteristics alone can play a big role as this can modify the launch conditions and spin of the golf ball,” he says. “If a player typically hits the ball low with little to no spin, they may be losing yardage because they aren’t carrying the ball far enough.” To remedy this, Ladd recommends a shaft that launches the ball higher with more spin, providing more yardage in the air, which equates to more total yardage.
Dialing in the club heads themselves is also crucial. “The other huge factor is lie or face angle, not only in irons but woods also,” Ladd says. “In today’s world, most golfers don’t have the time or financial means to take lessons on a regular basis. So, for the most part, their golf swing is not going to change that much. Finding the correct lie or face angle will eliminate the dreaded slice or pull as the face angle will make up for some of their swing faults.”
For the best experience, centers such as the TaylorMade®Performance Lab offer the latest technology in sensors and launch monitors in a luxury setting but can sometimes come at a hefty price. But if you don’t have the means or the access, Hall recommends heading to your local brick-and-mortar, golf-specific retailer and scheduling a fitting for a nominal cost. Or, you can take advantage of a major manufacturer’s “demo day” at a local course, where you can experiment with different club heads and shafts for free.
But the most important thing to remember for a fitting? “Be open to the fitting experience,” Hall says, adding that you should leave advertising at the door and forget about what your favorite players have in the bag. “Let the numbers drive your decisions, and don’t let your brand preferences override that, because there might be something else that is a better fit for you.”