I love the great outdoors, but sometimes it doesn’t like me in return. Once again it is that time of the year where I get another case of poison ivy. Thanks to the latest honey-do-list, I got it this time from working in the yard rather than looking for a stray ball on the golf course.
Every time I find myself scratching is a reminder that some people are more fortunate than others. Lucky me I guess. I can walk by a poison ivy plant and get a rash from it. Others can roll in it and are not affected at all. Clubfitting is a little like this as it is important to realize it doesn’t have the same effect on each person.
Let’s face it; a few golfers are gifted with excellent athleticism and hand-eye coordination. They can be playing right handed and pick up a left hand club and produce a nice straight shot that gets airborne. On the other hand, some golfers are so sensitive to length, that ½” longer than they need they end up with hitting fat shots and ½” shorter than they need results into a thin shot that never gets off the ground. Most of us fall somewhere in-between these extremes.
Clubfitting is all about a player’s strength, angles, tendencies and preferences. What may cure one person by altering shaft flex, length, grip size or a club head design feature may not have the same effect on the next person that walks through the door as we all respond uniquely to different stimuli. But all the sudden a change in the lie, shaft weight, and grip size or amongst the 15 – 20 clubfitting parameters a light will go on and make a difference your game. However, finding that one or possibly combination of things is the challenge.
Golfers are fortunate today as there are a plethora of club head, shaft and grip options to choose from and it seems the emphasis is on custom fitting. That doesn’t mean you immediately need to run out to your local shop with the latest high-tech gadgetry, there is a lot you can do to help fit yourself. Make sure to hit your buddies clubs, attend a demo day, maybe take up clubmaking and experiment yourself, but whatever you do try different things. The more different type of clubs, shafts, grips and other things like length, loft, face angle, etc., the better you are exposed to what works and what doesn’t. More importantly take notes of what works and what doesn’t. Club fitting is a lifelong project as our clubs should change too as not only our game evolves but so too as we age.
To be a good club fitter it is important to listen to the customer. Also don’t be afraid to experiment with demo clubs that on paper may not fit. Aren’t we are more concerned with helping the golfer improve and have that individual enjoy the game better than going by the book when it comes to fitting.
Have realistic goals of what clubfitting can do. You are not going to add 30 yards to your drives or reduce your score by 10 strokes unless you were playing clubs that are entirely wrong for you. Improvements will be made, but more in baby steps, dropping a few strokes at a time. While that may not sound like much, it may be the difference between scoring 100 and now scoring in the 90s on a consistent basis. Realize that each of us responds differently to custom fitting just as we do poison ivy.