Custom Golf Club Fitting

Custom Golf Club Fitting – What’s in it for you?

The majority of golfers are playing with golf clubs that are not suited for their games or their unique builds. We are not all built the same. We aren’t all the same height. Our arms aren’t the same length. Our swing speeds are not the same.

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Golf clubs sold off of the shelf are all built to the same specifications in an attempt to cater to the masses. Golf manufacturers create their standard set of clubs, and this is what is sold to the retail stores that many average golfers end up purchasing. Most golfers are playing with standard golf clubs, and that is the beginning of their golfing struggles.

A common misconception that many novice golfers have is that they think that a “new” set of clubs will fix their golf swing. The clubs can be new as can be, but if they’re the same size and shaft flex and grip size as the old set of clubs, there will be no difference except a lighter wallet. What ends up happening is that the golfer is excited about the new set of clubs because they look so nice and shiny. They tell themselves that the clubs are helping their game and the amount of money spent on the clubs justifies in their mind that it is helping. When in reality, off the shelf clubs are no different than the previous set of clubs that were purchased off the shelf. The only way to truly help your golf game is to get fitted for a custom set of golf clubs.

Now it may be that your body and swing type register that you need a standard set of clubs, and if that’s you, you’re in the minority. Most of us will need an adjustment of shaft flex or lie angle or grip size or shaft length, etc. Have you ever been trying to fix something around the house, and you just didn’t have the right tool? I’ve done this before, quite often actually. We ultimately get the job done, but it ends up taking three times as long as it should have. Most jobs are easy if you have the right set of tools. Golf is no different. If you have the right set of custom golf clubs, fixing your swing will take you at least a third less time and practice to be able to hit the golf ball the way you envision. Even still, if you continue to play with golf clubs that aren’t built for your unique swing and body type, you’ll only be able to do so much. Ever tried to drive a phillips head screw with a common screwdriver? Now, you can do it, and most of us have if we’re in a pinch, but it’s not ideal. In fact, it’s sloppy and takes longer. If only we had the right screwdriver, the job would have been much easier and faster, and the screw head wouldn’t end up all stripped out.

Relate this screwdriver analogy to your golf clubs. When playing a round of golf with the wrong set of clubs, you’ll get the job done. You’ll make it around the course and finish 18 holes, but it’ll be more difficult, slower, sloppy, and your scorecard will look about like what the head of the screw did after you finish. If only you had the right set of “tools” to finish the job, it’d be much easier. Customized golf clubs are not just for the pros. Many novice players think that custom built golf clubs are for the advanced players. The reality is that the novice will benefit far greater, and shave more strokes off of their rounds than will the advanced player by having a custom made set of golf clubs. A professional could pick up any set of golf clubs and still have the ability to make adjustments to the clubs and still play well because of their experience. The novice player lacks the experience and doesn’t know how to adjust to the different club specifications. The novice player only has one swing, and if the set of clubs they’re using doesn’t match that swing, they just learn to live with it. In actuality, a custom fitted set of golf clubs would do wonders for their swing.

The most common issues for novice players playing with standard clubs are that the clubs are either too short or too long causing the golfer to either blade shots or hit shots fat on a regular basis. The wrong shaft stiffness will have a big impact on the direction the ball goes if the golfer’s swing speed does not match the shaft stiffness. The faster your swing speed, the more stiff your shaft flex needs to be, and vice versa. Graphite shafts are used to help golfers that have a slower swing speed because of the increased flex that the graphite shaft gives the player. A correct shaft flex that is paired to the golfer’s swing speed will complement each other and optimize club head speed, and ensure that the club face gets square to the target at impact.

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A golfer with a 100+ mile per hour swing speed using a set of clubs built with graphite shafts will have nightmares. The swing speed will make it feel like the golf club is a wet noodle in their hands. Likewise, if a golfer with a 70 mph swing speed is playing with a set of clubs with a stiff steel shaft, the club will feel like a 2 x 4 in their hands. Optimizing your club shaft stiffness to your swing speed is one of the most overlooked options the novice golfer never explores in search of improving their golf game.

Lie angle is another customizable option in golf irons. Most players will either need to have the hozel of the golf club straightened or flattened a degree or two or maybe more to ensure the sole of the golf club is completely flat on the ground at set up and more importantly at impact as you release the golf club into the ball. A lie angle that is too upright or too flat will have a tendency to spray your golf ball either left or right. If you slice the ball, chances are one of your problems is that you’re playing with golf clubs that have too flat of a lie angle for your swing and body type. Personally, I’m 6’2” and have my clubs built to be a half inch longer than standard with a lie angle adjustment to be two degrees upright. With standard clubs, when I swing the club, the sole of my golf iron hits the ground too far toward the toe of the club. This actually slightly opens the club face at impact even though the club face appears to be square to the target.

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The single biggest issue with the average golfer’s set of golf clubs is their grips. The average golfer will use the same grips on their golf clubs for about three years. The maximum effective life span of a golf grip is about 6 months if you play roughly three times a month. Most of us don’t change our grips out nearly as much as we should. At a minimum, you need to have your grips replaced once per golf season. If you don’t, they become too slippery, and you end up exerting too much grip pressure with your hands that you tense up the rest of your muscles in your swing.

As I talk about on the golf grip page, keeping your muscles relaxed during your golf swing is the key to club head speed, resulting in maximum distance. If your grip is too tight, that is setting the tone for the rest of your arm muscles. Ideally, your grip pressure should be no more than is necessary to firmly keep the club in your hands. If your golf grips don’t have sufficient tread or are too slick, the only way to hold on to the club during the swing is to squeeze your grip tighter, and this is detrimental to the golf swing from the very start. New grips on average will save a golfer with a handicap of 15 about three or four shots per 18 holes.

Replacing your golf grips on an annual basis is not really a customization of the golf club; it’s regular maintenance on your clubs just as you would get new tires on your car every 60,000 miles or so. The customization of the golf grip comes in the thickness of the grip. If you have larger hands, and you’re swinging clubs that have the standard one layer of grip tape, you will also have to squeeze tighter on the grip in order to hold on to the club. The grip tape is what is placed on the end of the shaft before the grip goes on the club. Because I have larger hands, I actually put four layers of grip tape on the shaft before the grip goes on. This builds the grip thicker allowing for it to fit comfortably in my hands without feeling like I have to wring the clubs neck in order to hold on to the club. If your fingernails dig into your palm of your left hand at all, your grip is too small. The club’s grip is too small in relation to your hand, so you need to build the grip thicker by customizing the number of layers of grip tape to increase the thickness so it fits in your hand better.

This part of the golf club customization is so often overlooked in most novice golfers. If you’re really serious about fixing your golf swing, and stacking as many of the cards in your favor as you can, a customized set of golf clubs must be tops on your list. I’ve talked about building the foundation of your golf swing properly. Understanding the cause and effect relationship in the golf swing. Before the swing even begins, the set of “tools” you’re using will make a huge difference in your efficiency in getting the job done.

The foundational pieces of your golf game are: 1) Custom built golf clubs for your unique build and swing, 2) Your golf grip because it’s the only contact between you and the club, and 3) Your golf stance as this sets your rotational reference point in which to swing the club around. If any of these three foundational aspects of the golf swing are incorrect, you will continue to struggle in your quest to improve your golf game. Do yourself a favor and give your golf game a boost by getting custom fitted for golf clubs that will suit your swing and body type. We’re all unique, and unfortunately over the counter golf clubs are built all the same. Most of the golfing community are using over the counter clubs, and it’s this fact that is the source of many of their struggles.

Get custom fitted online today by taking some of your basic measurements to determine what the correct shaft length and stiffness you need, what grip size you need and what lie angle would correctly square your club face at impact.

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I build all of my own clubs now. I know that not everyone has this ability, knowledge or luxury, but there are club fitters and builders that do this, and a lot of the time, for cheaper than you can buy a standard set over the counter. I strongly recommend you look into some custom made golf clubs. It is the single best thing you can do for your game that will have the most noticeable and immediate impact. Impress your friends by customizing your golf clubs today.

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