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Custom Fit - Why Bother ?
Posted by: Owen Davies on Wed 27 Jun 2012
Custom fitting is now recognised as being an important part of any purchase of golf equipment, but many still choose to ignore the benefits and buy ‘off the shelf’. So what are the real benefits of custom fitting and why should you always have it done when buying new or second hand equipment?
To start we need to understand some of the myths and misconceptions that the average golfer has about their equipment, how it works and if they should be custom fitted.
Myths and Misconceptions - Custom Fit
- I am a mid-high handicapper and custom fitting will not make a big difference
This viewpoint is common, but it simply does not make a lot of sense. When looked at logically, you realise that better players by definition are more skilful at manipulating his/her swing to gain the results required for each shot. This means they are adaptable, more adaptable than a mid/high handicapper. This in turns means that they are far more likely to adapt to a set of clubs that are not custom fitted for them and still gain good results. This leads us to conclude that the less adaptable a golfer is the greater the need for having a correctly fitted set of clubs.
- The Lower the loft is the further the ball will go
To gain maximum distance and optimum ball flight control with any club, but especially the driver requires several factors to combine. One is the loft of the club, another is the angle of attack as well as launch angle and ball spin. In many cases a golfer will opt for a lower loft thinking that this will simply make the ball go further. Quite often this results in a too lower launch angle and lack of back spin to keep the ball flying and results in a low, dipping flight that runs further than it flies.
- I used a stiff flex shaft in my last set, so I need the same again
Unfortunately for the consumer there are no standards laid out in golf by the governing bodies. This means that each manufacturer can label a shaft whatever flex they choose. So for instance one manufacturers driver S flex will almost certainly be different in flex from another manufacturers S flex. This makes getting a fitting professional to check that a shaft flex is suited to you all the more important as there is simply no way of looking at the label and knowing it is right for you.
- The taller I am the longer clubs I need
Taller golfers should use longer clubs...fact?! Well, no actually. Several factors dictate the length of a golf club when custom fitted. The length of golfer’s arms has a big impact with many taller people having longer arms and actually not needing longer clubs. It is also important that when being fitted this is done dynamically. This means that length and lie are fitted throughout the swing and not in a standing position. Many golfers lose height in their swing and the need for longer clubs is negated.
So what are the reasons you should get custom fitted?
The first and most obvious point to make is that we are all different! Each and every one of us has our own idiosyncrasies and different physical builds. Therefore there really is no ‘standard’ set up for a golfer. You would not buy clothing or shoes with having them correctly fitted and golf equipment should be no different.
And the benefits?
Firstly you will see more consistency in your shots; correctly fitted shaft flex will lead to a more stable club head throughout your swing and more repetitive shaft action.
Distance may well be gained, especially with a driver. Using a launch monitor to fit your driver will identify the perfect combination of loft, shaft kick point, ball spin and shaft flex. This will undoubtedly lead to longer and straighter drives. With the limits now placed on technology, custom fitting your driver is one of the main ways you can gain extra distance.
With a correctly fitted lie angle a players shot pattern will be tightened with shots not being lost consistently to left or right with a poorly fitted lie.
Your mental game will certainly receive a boost, doubt may be a golfer’s biggest enemy on the course and knowing that you have the right equipment removes a layer of doubt from your game.
The vast majority of golfers report immediate benefits after being custom fitted and with all the major brands in golf now providing a high level of custom fit service there really is no excuse not to make sure that you have the perfect set of clubs for your game.
Related article: Custom fit at the Belfry fitting centre