Custom Fit Golf Clubs
Custom fit golf clubs are essential if you want to play golf to a good standard.
When you look around the golf course you cannot help noticing that golfers come in all shapes and sizes. There are tall golfers and short golfers. There are slim golfers and 'not so slim' golfers.
It is hard to believe that many of them are playing the game of golf with equipment they bought 'off the rack'. In doing so they are attempting to make their body's fit the clubs they are using. This is always going to make the game of golf harder than it needs to be.
When it comes to golf clubs there simply is no such thing as 'one size fits all'!
Having a set of custom fit golf clubs is the first step in improving your game!
When you use a set of custom fit golf clubs they are made specifically for you. The clubs are the correct length for your height. They will have the right type of shaft to suit your swing. The lie of the club head will have been adjusted so that it sits correctly at address.
Having custom made clubs will help you to set up for your shots correctly. You are no longer forced to adopt a poor stance and set up to compensate for the set of clubs you are using. You will feel more comfortable addressing the ball and strike the ball better simply because the clubs you are using are right for you.
Every golfer, even the professionals, will hit a bad shot from time to time. Having custom fit golf clubs will help to reduce the number of bad shots you have. Even those shots that are slight 'miss-hits' will stay straighter when you are using clubs that suit your size, build and swing characteristics.
Custom Fit Golf Clubs – Shaft Length
When you buy a set of standard clubs from a store they are generally made to suit someone who is 5' 9'' tall. If you are taller, or shorter, than this then you will have to make adjustments to your set up to compensate for this.
This does not mean that custom fit golf clubs that are made for someone who is 6 ft tall will have shafts 3'' longer than standard. The individuals overall height and their 'wrist to floor measurement' are used to determine the correct shaft length.
Generally speaking taller people tend to have longer arms. As a result their 'wrist to floor measurement' is often not that much greater than people of average height.
The club fitting technician will then consult a fitting chart which shows how much longer, or shorter, your shafts need to be compared to standard length shafts.
In a set of golf clubs the shafts of the clubs get shorter by 0.5'' from the one iron down to the nine iron. The standard length of shafts on ladies clubs is usually 1'' shorter than the corresponding men's club.
Custom Fit Golf Clubs – Getting the Correct Lie Angle
The angle between the shaft and the sole of the club face is referred to as the 'lie angle'. At address the sole of the club should be flat to the ground. This ensures that the centre of the club face is in contact with the ball at impact.
If the heel of the club is lower than the toe of the club the lie is said to be too upright. This can result in poor contact with the ball. It can also cause the ball to fly to the left of the target.
If the heel of the club is higher than the toe then the lie is too flat. A flat lie is likely to send the ball to the right at impact.
Players that use clubs with lies that are not correct for them will often, inadvertently, adapt their stance and posture in an attempt to compensate for the problem.
When you have a set of custom fit golf clubs made the club fitter will adjust the lie of the clubs so that they are perfect for you.
Custom fit Golf Clubs – Choosing the Right Grip
Choosing the right grip for your golf club can be confusing. There are literally dozens of different grips to choose from. The majority of grips are manufactured from a rubber compound. There are however also corded and wrap grips available for those who want them.
In general terms there are four basic grip sizes (thickness) for adults. They are standard, under size, midsize and oversize/jumbo. Some players will however make additional modifications to the grip by applying additional layers of tape when fitting the grip. The possible variations are endless.
The grip you choose will, to a large extent, be simply down to personal preference. Basically you need to choose a grip that feels comfortable for you
The grip is the only part of the club that you are actually in contact with. It is essential therefore that the grips are kept in good order. Having grips that are in good order will help considerably. Once the grips get worn or shiny it becomes more difficult to grip the club correctly which will have a negative impact on your ability to score well.
Custom Fit Golf Clubs – Choose the Right Shaft
When you choose to purchase custom fit golf clubs there are a vast number of shaft options available to you.
The first choice you will have to make is whether you want to have steel or graphite shafts fitted.
Graphite shafts are generally considered to be more forgiving than steel shafts. Initially they were considered to be most suitable for beginners and intermediate golfers. Low handicap golfers still tended to opt for steel shafts.
This is not necessarily the case today. There are in fact a number of tour professionals that now choose graphite shafts for their irons. The majority do however still prefer steel shafts.
The situation is somewhat different when it comes to drivers. There are a large number of pro golfers who now use graphite shafts in their drivers and fairway woods. Graphite shafts are lighter than steel which can help to increase swing speed and distance. Some people do however maintain that steel shafts are more accurate than graphite.
The next thing you need to is choose the right shaft flex for your new custom fit golf clubs.
The 'flex' of a shaft refers to the amount the shaft will bend during the golf swing.
There are basically five shaft flexes available. These are Ladies (L), Senior (A), Regular (R), Stiff (S) and Extra Stiff (X).
In case you are wondering why Senior Flex is denoted by a letter 'A' this is because it was originally referred to as 'Amateur Flex'.
It is important that the flex of shaft you choose is matched to your particular swing speed.
When you are fitted for your new custom clubs the technician will measure your swing speed for you and advise you on the shaft he feels will best suit you.
Getting Measured for Custom Fit Golf Clubs
There is basically three ways you can do this.
You can go to your local pro shop and ask if they provide a club fitting service. If you are buying clubs from them they are likely to include the cost of fitting in the price of the clubs they sell you.
If you are not buying from your pro shop they may still be prepared to provide a fitting service but will, quite naturally, charge you for doing this. You then simply leave with the data they provide you with.
The major Golf Club manufacturers also have their own national custom club fitting centres. Just like your pro shop professional they will provide a fitting service when you purchase golf clubs from them. This is fine providing you know in advance which brand of clubs you want to purchase.
There are also a few independent fitters (although not that many) who provide a fitting service for a fee. These independent fitters are not affiliated to one particular brand so are likely to offer totally unbiased advice.
Buying Custom Fit Golf Clubs Online
If you buy your new golf clubs online it is still possible to have them custom fitted.
There are a lot of golfers who simply cannot afford to buy new golf clubs from one of the major brands. They do however still want clubs that perform well and appreciate the benefits of playing with custom fit golf clubs.
Fortunately most of the major manufacturers of clone golf clubs offer what they refer to as an 'e fitting service'. In simple terms they provide an online questionnaire that you fill in. This does of course require you to take the required measurements yourself as opposed to having someone else do it for you.
You will be asked to provide information such as height, wrist to ground measurement etc. This provides enough information to determine club length and lie.
The shaft configuration is calculated using 'carry distance' for a specific club (this may be a five iron for example). This information is then used to estimate the distance that you are likely to hit with other clubs in a set. The club maker is then able to recommend a shaft that is suitable for your particular skill level.
The 'online club fitting procedure' is possibly not quite as exhaustive as a one to one personal fitting. It does however provide all of the critical data required to get your custom fit golf clubs manufactured successfully.
Most online custom fit golf clubs also come with a fairly extensive makers guarantee. This guarantee obviously covers items such as materials and build quality. In addition if you have used the 'e fit' service many of the manufacturers of clone golf clubs will also modify (or in some instances exchange) clubs that the player feels does not meet their requirements.