You’ve probably heard of a shoe fitting. You’ve probably even heard of a clothing fitting. But what is a golf club fitting? Does a tailor come out of the back room with a cloth tape measure and capture your every measurement? Do they throw a bunch of clubs at your and say “swing these”? Go ahead, allow your imagination to run wild, I’ll wait…
So, what is a golf club fitting? During a golf club fitting, a golf player goes to a specialty store and consults with an expert who helps find a set of golf clubs to perfectly match the player’s swing.
Keep reading as we give you the white-glove experience on what to expect when you go in for a golf club fitting.
The Golf Club Fitting Experience
So you’ve decided you’d like to start playing golf and have no idea where to start.
Well, for starters, you’ll need a good set of golf clubs. So how do you find the perfect set of golf clubs?
Most golf courses or golf stores will have a golf club fitter on staff. The easiest way to find a fitter in your area is to check local listings either on the internet or in a phone book (if you can get your hands on one of course!). A simple search will most likely give you plenty of options.
Before making your selection, make sure to find out if you’ll need an appointment (most of the time you will in order to ensure availability of a fitter and a space), get pricing information and get the details on the process – some shops obligate you to purchase the golf clubs you are fitted for.
Once you have all the information you need, it’s time to head over for the fitting.
The fitting itself will be a fairly in-depth process.
A typical free fitting can take about an hour and a half, while a Tour Level fitting can be lengthier – think closer to a three hour session.
Different types of golf clubs take different amounts of time for fitting. For example, if you are being fit for:
- A driver or an iron, you can expect it to take about 45 minutes to an hour.
- If you’re looking to be fitted for a wedge, you can expect around 30 minutes.
- Fittings for woods take around an hour.
You’ll be swinging golf clubs for much of this time so make sure you’re dressed comfortably. Be sure your clothing selection doesn’t restrict your movement and allows you to swing as naturally as possible. You’ll also want to be sure to bring your current set of golf clubs for reference. If you don’t own any, that’s ok, too!
During the golf club fitting, various measurements will be taken. Because golf clubs are matched to your height and the distance between your hands and the ground, your height will be measured. You’ll also be measured from your hands to the ground. These measurements will help determine what the length of your clubs needs to be.
Now it’s time to take a look at your swing.
The golf club fitter will watch your swing and you’ll likely be recorded by a camera connected to a computer or some other high tech radar system. This equipment will calculate your swing speed and distance.
You’ll likely be fitted for each club while wearing properly fitting golf clubs. This helps to ensure that the grip on the club will be the correct size for your hand. The incorrect grip on a golf club can have a negative effect on even the greatest swing.
The golf club fitter will usually measure the golfer’s hand size and have the golfer try a few different grips in his or her hand. This will help you find what is most comfortable for you. It is important that all of the golf clubs have the same grip.
The golf club fitter will also be watching your swing and have you use different golf clubs of the same length, but with different shaft flex’s. The shaft flex is the amount of give the golf club has. The shaft flex controls the direction of the golf ball when you hit it.
Another aspect of the golf club that controls the direction of the ball is the lie angle. The lie angle is the relationship between the shaft and the ground. Your ultimate goal is to be hitting the golf ball in the center of the club head. The fitter will analyze your swing and where you are consistently hitting the ball.
The final step of the golf club fitting is for the fitter to present you with a variety of golf club manufacturers who can build the golf clubs to your specifications.
You’ll then be able to hit golf balls with clubs designed by each manufacturer in order to determine which feels most comfortable. This is a trial and error process until you eventually dwindle down your choices to one brand. Once you find the perfect club brand, you’ll be able to order your custom golf clubs!
Who Should be Fitted for Golf Clubs?
The short answer is: everyone!
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be at a certain skill level to get a professional golf club fitting. In fact, it is highly recommended that beginners get fitted for their golf clubs from the start.
Because a player’s swing will be developed with the golf clubs they are using. It is best to start with a set fitted perfectly for you in order to develop properly.
Many new golfers play with the wrong clubs and it negatively impacts their game, leading to discouragement and they may even decide they don’t like the sport. Having the perfect set of golf clubs will set a beginner up for success and an enjoyable experience on the golf course.
Oh, and if you already have clubs, read this to find out: can golf clubs be fitted after purchase?
Online Golf Club Fitting
Of course, with advances in technology, almost anything can be done online. Golf club fittings are no exception. You’ll take a short quiz online and be asked questions about your preferences and typical golf game.
You’ll also be able to chat with a golf expert who can recommend products for you. While an online golf club fitting may be convenient, most golf players opt for the traditional, in-person experience with an expert.
Though the technology is great, there is no way to have an expert accurately observe your swing and take the necessary measurements.
So, What is a Golf Club Fitting, and do You Need One?
Overall, a golf club fitting is an essential part of becoming a proficient golfer. In about an hour and a half with the experts, you’ll:
- Be measured
- Have your swing analyzed
- Have the opportunity to try different golf clubs
At the end of your experience, you’ll come away with the perfect set of golf clubs and be well on your way to being great on the golf course!