Club Fitting: An advantage from tee to green
Posted by: mike July 10th, 2017
BY Mike Jamison
Executive Director of the International Network of Golf (ING)
If you’re not playing golf with clubs fitted specifically for your swing and body characteristics, then you’re giving up strokes to your opponents.
I learned this lesson recently in a way that has changed my entire outlook on golf. I had slipped into a funk that was turning my weekly Saturday morning trip to the golf course into something more akin to a visit to the dentist chair. Only worse. At least in the dentist chair you get a shot of Novocain and a promise that all will be better.
Specifically, my iron game was my toothache. I was having trouble squaring the club at impact, producing squirters to the right or wounded ducks to the left. The more I tweaked my swing the worse it got. My greens in regulation could be counted by Maggie Simpson. And my handicap rose like a free flying balloon, from single digits to a 14.
Then one day the light switched on. I had added 10 years, a few pounds and two new hips since I had last been fitted for my clubs. It was time.
At the ING Spring Conference in May at the World Golf Village I had the Wilson Golf rep watch my swing on a strike board. I tried a few different shafts and it turned out that the regular shaft was producing high, straight shots.
So two days later I went to the Golf Galaxy store in Altamonte Springs, FL, and went through the complete fitting process. Thirty minutes and about four-dozen swings later, the stats on the monitor told the story – I have aged out of stiff shafts.
I purchased a set of the beautiful Wilson Staff C200 irons. Two days later I was off to the Mesquite Amateur in Nevada to join 600 other amateurs from around the country. And the magic began.
Ten greens in regulation during the first round. Nine in round two and 10 again in the third round. Then in the championship round, I hit 12 greens and shot a net 67, good for a tie for first. I eventually lost the Mesquite Am title on the second hole of sudden death. But what I won was a renewed love of playing the game.
A Golf Digest study four years ago indicated that a group of nine gofers lowered their handicaps by 1.7 strokes after getting fitted for clubs. They added an average of 21 yards off the tee and 13 yards with irons. It works.
There are many ways to get fitted. Companies like Club Champion are not married to any particular brand and will fit you to the clubs that best suit your game and swing. The Association of Golf Clubfitting Professionals has members across the country. And if you are partial to a particular brand, most companies have their own fitting systems, such as the TaylorMade Performance Labs.
However if you decide to get fitted, you’ll be glad you did. It’s better than Novocain, which only hides the pain. It actually eliminates the pain for good, or at least until your next hip replacement.