If you’re like most golfers, your first golf clubs were probably a battered old set of hand-me-downs given to you by friends or family.
While these clubs served their purpose and helped introduce you to the game, they present a problem.
They’re not customized to your body or golf swing.
In order to have a set that takes the individual (you) into consideration, you might want to consider a custom club fitting.
But, despite the advancements in club fitting technology over the past decade, many golfers still wonder if fitted golf clubs are really worth the money.
Here’s what we’ve found out:
Fitted golf clubs are worth the money for those who are serious about improving their golf game. They can help provide more consistency, greater distance, and superior accuracy.
However, if you’re a recreational golfer who only gets out for a few rounds each year, you’re better off saving the money and not getting custom fitted golf clubs.
A lot of golfers swear by fitted golf clubs and enjoy the feeling of confidence that can only come from knowing their golf clubs were designed exclusively for them.
But many more have no idea what it means to get fitted. Let’s take a closer look!
Table of Contents
- What Is Custom Club Fitting?
- What Does A Club Fitting Involve?
- Important Club Fitting Considerations
- Benefits of Custom Fitted Golf Clubs
- How Much Does Custom Clubfitting Cost?
- Who Should Get Fitted for Golf Clubs?
- Where to Get Custom Fitted Golf Clubs
- The Takeaway…
What Is Custom Club Fitting?
A custom club fitting is where a trained club fitter matches your unique golf swing and body type to the perfect set of clubs. They will fit you with the proper club head, loft, shafts, lie angle, grips, and feel that perfectly matches your swing.
Many custom club fitting companies offer what is known as brand agnostic fitting, meaning they do not just specialize in one club manufacturer. Instead, they have hundreds of shafts and clubheads from various brands.
Therefore, regardless of the club manufacturer, the fitting company will equip you with the best possible clubs for your play style.
Going with a brand agnostic fitter instead of your local pro shop or golf store is the best thing to do. Most pro shops or golf stores have some kind of relationship with specific club manufacturers.
This usually means they are provided with incentives to sell a certain amount of a particular manufacturer’s inventory. They might not even carry your favorite brands!
Unfortunately, this shifts the focus of the fitting away from the customer.
Brand agnostic fitters, on the other hand, are in a better position to provide a more thorough fitting. They will have a wide selection of club heads, shafts, grips, and other golf club materials from several of the top brands.
For more on the importance of brand-agnostic club fitting, feel free to check out this short video where Ian Fraser, a club fitting professional at True Spec Golf, discusses the importance of removing brand bias from the club fitting process:
What Does A Club Fitting Involve?
Clubfitters are like craftsmen.
And like most craftsmen, each will add their own unique flair to their work, and their processes might vary slightly.
However, when you visit the fitter’s shop, here’s a general guide of what you can expect:
First, the fitter might ask you a few questions about your golf game. For example, how far do you usually hit the ball? What’s your typical ball flight? Which clubs do you struggle to hit consistently?
Next, you’ll be asked to hit a few balls, and then a launch monitor will be used to track and collect your data points. This includes spin rate, launch angle, clubhead speed, club path, carry, and overall distance.
Getting to know your data points is essential. It forms the baseline for which your next clubs and shafts are measured against.
Remember, you want to get a set that perfectly matches your play style.
After they have some data to work with, the fitter finds a clubhead that is very similar or even the same to what you currently have, and then tries shafts of different material, flex, and kick points until they find one that best fits your swing.
The shaft is essential for the consistent performance of the golf club. Many experts would even argue it’s the most important part of the club.
In fact, one club-fitter compares the club shaft to the transmission of a car.
“The shaft is similar to the transmission of a car. While it’s not the engine, it’s still extremely important. If you are driving a truck you want a transmission that can handle its particular demands. If you had a transmission that was more appropriate for a sports car, then you would have a difficult time transporting heavier material and your driving experience wouldn’t be as efficient.”
The shaft is what connects your hand to the clubhead. Getting a custom shaft is the key for maximum power transmission from your hand to the clubhead, and finally, the golf ball.
Important Club Fitting Considerations
Regardless of your ability or handicap, the weight of the shaft matters because it determines the total weight of the club.
One of the main goals behind custom fitting is that you get a golf club in which the total weight matches your swing tempo. This helps with timing and improves consistency.
If your club shaft is too light, you’re going to struggle to stay in control during the swing.
Too heavy, and you’re going to need to put in extra effort and will likely sacrifice balance and clubhead speed.
Shaft weight also plays an important role in determining the “feel” of the club throughout the swing.
Shaft flex is the ability of the golf shaft to bend in response to the forces generated during the swing.
The shaft flex should match your swing speed, so the clubface makes solid contact with the ball during impact.
The five swing ratings for shaft flex, depending on your swing speed, are as follows:
- Ladies (under 75mph swing speed)
- Senior (75-85mph)
- Regular (85-95mph)
- Stiff (95-110mph)
- Tour/ Extra Stiff (over 110mph)
The kick-point is the part of the shaft that bends the most during a swing. Your clubhead speed determines the right shaft kick-point for you.
For a slower clubhead speed, you want a lower kick-point so you can get the ball in the air with less effort. For higher clubhead speeds, you will benefit the most from higher kick-points.
The fitter matches the driver loft to your swing speed to give you an optimal launch angle and carry distance.
If you have a slower swing speed, you could benefit from raising the driver loft; a higher driver loft for you will translate to a higher trajectory and longer carry resulting in more distance.
If you have a faster swing speed, you will likely benefit from a lower loft driver. This will help you have a more penetrating ball flight and prevent the ball from “ballooning” in the air.
Shaft Length and Club Lie Angle
You want the right club length to help you achieve an athletic address position. This will help provide you with more consistency.
Standard-length clubs are not suitable for very tall or very short players; you will either be stooping too much or standing too upright.
The fitter will use your height and wrist-to-floor measurements to determine the suitable club length. Your height, address posture, and hand positioning will also help determine the lie angle.
You want the proper lie angle so that it’s the center of the clubhead that strikes the ball. A club with the wrong lie angle can strike the ball with the toe, resulting in a hook, or the heel, resulting in a slice.
For more on selecting the right club shafts for your swing, we’ve created an entire article on club shaft selection. Feel free to check it out!
Benefits of Custom Fitted Golf Clubs
Is custom club fitting worth it? Yes, custom club fitting can increase distance, accuracy, and add consistency to your golf game. It also gives you an added boost of confidence when preparing to hit each shot.
Most golf manufacturers use static fitting to build golf clubs; they just estimate what the average player needs and design the clubs according to this standard.
But as with many things in life, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to golf clubs. Different golfers have different swing styles, swing tempo, posture at address, and preference of ball flight.
And that’s where custom club fitting comes in.
Custom club fitting is adynamic club fitting process with the following benefits:
Addresses Typical Misses
For example, if you find you’re regularly taking to much turf and hitting heavy shots – but you rarely hit it thin – it might be because your current clubs are too long. On the other hand, if your miss tends to be a thin or bladed shot, your clubs might be too short.
Conventional wisdom dictates that players of average height should get standard-length shafts.
But if you’re, say, 5’9″ and have been hitting the ball fat, a half-inch shorter shaft and lighter shaft weight could help address these mishaps leading to improved accuracy and more distance.
Custom fitted golf clubs can also help significantly increase distance. This is true of both iron shots and off the tee.
For example, if your club shafts are too heavy, the chances of you maximizing your potential clubhead speed are pretty slim. And as we know, clubhead speed is one of the most important factors for distance.
Also, with fitted golf clubs, you’ll find it much easier to make consistent contact with the “sweet spot” of the club. Quality contact is essential to maximizing your distance.
As touched on above, custom-fitted clubs make it easier to achieve consistent contact, thus improving accuracy.
As accuracy and scoring often go hand in hand, club fitting can be a great way to see immediate improvements to your game and drop your handicap.
How Much Does Custom Clubfitting Cost?
The cost of a fitting depends on which clubs you’re getting fitted and how long it takes the fitter to complete the job. A simple wedge fit, for example, takes about 90 minutes and costs around $80 while a full bag fitting costs around $350. That’s for labor and time, the price of materials is separate.
But is a custom club fitting really worth the money?
It depends on how much you value improvements to your game. For example, Club Champion Golf – one of the country’s top club fitters – conducted a study in which 8 out of 9 participants shaved an average of 1.7 strokes off their game in just half a season after getting fitted for clubs.
They also picked up 21 yards with their driver and 13 yards with their irons, on average.
Who Should Get Fitted for Golf Clubs?
Anyone serious about golfing should get fitted for golf clubs. Even beginners can get custom fitted golf clubs, although I would recommend waiting until you have played the game for at least one year. This serves two purposes:
- A) It ensures you’ll stick with the sport – some people try golf for a few months then quit.
- B) It gives you time to “find” your swing. For most beginners, their golf swing will look drastically different after one year compared to when they first start. Giving yourself a one-year buffer before buying fitted clubs allows you to get used to the golf swing motion.
Most golf lovers report a greater appreciation for the game after the fine-tunings of a custom club fitting. This is likely because it leads to more consistent strikes with much less effort.
Many people carry the misconception that custom fitted golf clubs are for pro golfers only. However, if you golf often and performance is important to you, consider visiting a custom club fitting shop!
Where to Get Custom Fitted Golf Clubs
Some of the top brand-agnostic club fitters in the U.S include:
They’ll provide custom options for drivers, wedges, irons, and any other clubs, and can be found in various locations throughout the country.
Custom fitted golf clubs can be a fantastic way to take your golf game to the next level. They help provide greater consistency and overall help golfers enjoy the game more.
During a custom club fitting, a professional will make various measurements and collect data about your swing so they can construct the best set of clubs for you. This includes choosing specific heads, shafts, grips, and other important elements of the golf club.
There are a number of great club fitters to choose from, however, make sure the one you select is brand-agnostic to avoid any manufacturer bias.
Hope this was helpful!