Nine Things You Must Know Before Buying Custom Fit Clubs (P2)
Be wary when someone is trying to sell you custom fit clubs
Custom fit clubs or the custom fitting process are terms widely used in the golf industry but if anybody wants to fit you for golf clubs, your first question to them should be “What do you offer in terms of custom fit?” Reason being that the level of custom fitting can vary so much in relation to the time spent and the level of expertise provided by the club fitter.
It’s like when someone says they have washed their car at the weekend. Without asking them for details, you have no way of knowing if they hosed it down in 10 minutes or spent several hours cleaning and polishing the outside and valetting the interior. If a garage offered you a 10 min basic car wash or a 2 hour complete valetting service for your car at the same price, which would you choose? Which do you think offers best value for money? A no brainer you might say. So apply the same sensible logic to custom fitting.
A proper custom fit session for irons, a driver, a set of wedges or a putter could take around 1 hour for each, when performed by an experienced club fitter. This allows the fitter enough time to ask relevant questions, check the spec of your current clubs, see how they perform and then fit you for new clubs. Usually the personalised fitting session will be included in the price of the clubs. This may mean the clubs are a little bit more expensive than you would pay from a discount golf store, but by having them properly custom fitted to your own personal requirements, you will have the added confidence of knowing that they will help you play to the best of your ability. In other words they will provide you with real value for money. Some specialist fitting centres will also provide you with a personalised after sales service should your new clubs need some fine tuning at a later date.
Avoid online club fitting
You may have noticed that some internet sales companies offer online fitting where you enter such things as your height, weight, handicap, hand size, distance you normally hit a 6 iron, etc, etc. This then supposedly generates the build spec. of your ideal set of clubs, which they hope to sell you online. As we said previously there are various levels of custom fitting, and this is definitely one of the worst. A static online fit is only marginally better than buying standard clubs off the shelf. Nowhere near the level of custom fitting service expected from a reputable clubfitting centre.
For a successful custom fit session, the fitter needs to:
- Spend time talking to you about what problems you are having with your current clubs and what you are looking for in the new clubs
- Check the spec. of your current clubs
- Take some static measurements from you
- Look at your swing dynamics and shot performance on a launch monitor
- Let you test various head and shaft options
Only then will the fitter be able to determine your fitting spec. based on feel and performance. The improvement in performance between your current clubs and the newly fitted club should be obvious for all to see. This can only be achieved by visiting a reputable club fitting centre. Online fitting is no substitute for this.
If a company is offering online fitting then you can be sure that their key objective is the sale. By chance the new clubs might improve your game but if they don’t, then the company is not obliged to do anything about it because it was you yourself who determined your own fitting spec.
Not all PGA golf professionals know how to fit golf clubs
You might be surprised to hear this as most golfers rely on their club pro when seeking equipment advice. However keep in mind that not all golf pros are trained to perform specialist clubfitting. They get very little custom fitting in their PGA exams although some make a point of learning this later. So although your pro may be one of the best instructors around, don’t assume they also know how to fit golf clubs. Only by asking relevant questions will you find out their level of knowledge and what service they can offer. Some pros may claim to be able to fit clubs but may not have the facilities such as a launch monitor or a suitable number of fitting clubs to perform the task adequately. A reputable PGA pro will know his/her own limitations and will be only too happy to provide you with sound advice, perhaps referring you to a fitting centre close by. However beware the pro who tries to downplay the importance of custom fitting and just by chance, there is a set of clubs in the pro shop which he/she would definitely recommend. I guess you can’t blame the pro for trying to clear stock but if it’s improved performance you are after then this is certainly not the best way of going about it.