Anybody who cares about how they look has probably invested the time and money to have a suit tailor-made. It feels good, it looks good, and as a result you’ll probably wear it more often than an off-the-rack suit.
So why treat your golf any differently? I'm not suggesting having your clubs completely 'made to measure' but you should choose your clubs with the same careful and deliberate consideration as choosing a suit.
If you're just starting to play golf you will probably be safe with a standard set of golf clubs because your swing will be in its early stages of evolution. If you are a little taller or shorter than average, most manufacturers will accommodate by offering longer or shorter golf clubs.
But the more experienced you are, the more gains you'll get by booking for a fitting at your local pro shop, driving range or golf retail outlet when it's time to shop for some new clubs.
Here's why I believe club fitting is so important to playing your best game.
1. Try before you buy
If you’re like most golfers, you purchase your clubs based on reviews and clever marketing. The beauty of club fitting is that you actually get to see if your dream clubs are going to be right for you. [Spoiler alert: they might not be.]
A club fitter will measure you and assess your swing, allow you to trial various adjustments – swapping out heads and shafts, changing lie angles – to hone in on the perfect combination.
Result: You will walk away with your dream clubs. They might not be exactly the ones you came in for, but they will be better.
2. Tailor your club to your swing (not the other way around)
There are several physical attributes that affect how you swing the club, such as your height, flexibility, arm length and hip rotation. The body will compensate for your clubs but that’s not going to help you or your swing in the long run.
In addition, the way you swing the club will affect the outcome – factors such as speed, how you load the club, and tempo.
In most cases, golfers with higher swing speeds are better off using stiffer shafts, whereas regular flex shafts are better for golfers with slower swing speeds. Spin rate is another key metric where various clubhead and golf shaft combinations can make huge differences.
Result: With equipment that is tailored to you and your swing, you can maximise your game and shoot lower scores.
3. Let the results speak for themselves
While club fitting has been around for some time, it's a lot more accessible nowadays. Any reputable golfing institution will have a 'launch monitor' from the likes of FlightScope or TrackMan to capture all your golf shot characteristics.
Launch monitors allow golfers to directly compare clubs and the infinite permutations next to one another.
Result: Even the most skeptical golfer can clearly see the differences that changing shaft length, lie angle or weight can make to their swing.