I Am Not A Good Enough Golfer For Custom Fit Clubs To Matter
Nope! As I’ve tried to point out throughout this book, the truth is exactly the reverse of that.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking because I’ve heard it a zillion times in my career. “That’s interesting and all that; I can see why the pros all need to be fit, but I’m just not good enough to benefit from custom fitting.”
Really? Did you ever think it might just be the reverse?
Let me put it another way. A few years ago at the PGA Tour’s New Orleans stop, after finishing his second round, tour pro Alex Cejka took off for the airport thinking he’d missed the 36-hole cut. When his cell phone rang telling him he actually was playing on the weekend, TSA regulations prevented Alex from getting his clubs in time to make his tee time for the third round.
With no other alternative Alex grabbed a set of rental clubs from the pro shop and proceeded to shoot 71-71 to finish the tournament! The point is expressed no better than the marketing tag line for the PGA Tour – “these guys are GOOD.” In short the better the player, the more the player can adjust his swing to pretty much play as well with clubs that do not fit. You and I on the other hand are not that good; as such, we need clubs that are fit to our ability and our swings to help make up for the mistakes we do make in our swings and how we play.
Now, let’s be clear—I am not saying that by being custom fit you can somehow go from being a total duffer to qualifying for next year’s U.S. Open. Buying new clubs—even truly custom fitted ones—is NOT a substitute for learning and “grooving” the proper swing fundamentals. It never has been. It never will be.
I am saying, however, that equipment that doesn’t fit—the wrong length, lie, loft, shaft, face angle, grip, flex, or weight—can keep you from being all that you could be as a golfer. I have worked with a lot of teaching professionals and I can assure you, golfers who take lessons with properly fit clubs adapt to swing coaching much faster and more successfully than golfers who take lessons using golf clubs that are poorly fit.To get back to our myth, the pros like Alex Cejka and very low-handicap golfers—male or female—are skilled enough to be able to adjust their swing to play well with almost any club. You on the other hand probably are not; which means you need properly custom fit golf clubs even more than they do.
The idea of custom fitting is to have clubs in which each fitting specification is matched to your size, strength, athletic ability, and your swing characteristics. The proper custom fitting specifications can reduce some of the shot mistakes caused by your less skilled swing. In addition, professionally custom fit clubs, in most cases, do not cost more than what you would pay for standard-made clubs off-the-rack.
This is the essence of clubmaking and design. Unfortunately, it almost never happens because so few golfers ever do more in the search for their perfect golf clubs than to watch TV, read a few ads and then drive to the local golf store or click on their computer.
Many times I have been asked by golfers, “how much will I improve if I am properly custom fit for my clubs?” The average golfer could hit the ball 10 yards longer, hit 2 to 10 more fairways or have 2 to 10 more fewer times they lose a ball or have to hit sideways back to the fairway because their slice or hook is reduced, hit 2 to 4 more greens in regulation, get the ball up and down 2+ more times and get around in 3 to 5 fewer putts per round by simply realizing that the best golf clubs are not chosen by brand name or an ad claim but by their FIT.
Golf clubs are not implements to which you need to adjust your swing— they are tools that need to be built to YOU. They really ARE superbly designed, highly engineered instruments—if you take the time to discover how they can be fit to complement your swing.
Yes, it’s true, golf is inherently a difficult and often frustrating game; but that’s part of its charm, part of the fun. As with any game, however, if poor equipment rigs the game so you can’t possibly enjoy it, suddenly it becomes a whole lot less charming and not fun at all.