I hear all the time from students that they “aren’t good enough” to get a club fitting. That is not true.
Even a beginner and high handicapper delivers the golf club a consistent speed and path. Having the correct shafts and head designs will help them improve.
The advanced golfer will definitely improve with the correct golf clubs.
Indoor and outdoor club fittings should yield the same results but the experiences and cost are different. There are pros and cons of both experiences.
Indoor environment: Allen O’Berry, manager of the Bluffton Club Champion, spent more than two hours fitting me with numerous combinations. A full bag fitting lasts about 3 1/2 hours.
O’Berry said, “Our clubs are guaranteed and you can bring them back until the results are what you want.”
• Controlled temperature and no wind
• You can use the ball you play instead of range balls. You can also use RCT Titleist balls that have metal in the ball, which helps give accurate numbers on the monitor.
• You see how the ball travels when it leaves your clubface, which gives you a better understanding of how the clubhead works for you.
• Club Champion has 50,000 hit-able clubheads and shafts from more than 60 golf manufacturers. I tried clubs from Titleist, Taylor Made, Callaway, Cobra, Ping and more. You can get a full bag fitting, driver fitting, iron fitting, fairway/hybrid fitting, wedge fitting, or putter fitting. Sessions can be divided in half.
• They will build the right shaft, clubhead and grips for your game. The right shaft is critical to determining the best ball speed and club speed.
• Use top of the line analysis: Trackman Pro, SAM putt lab, SST Pure shaft alignment
• Hitting off a mat can be more forgiving. Firm mats will cause the ball to launch lower and spin higher. Soft mats give you higher launch with less spin.
• Some golfers prefer to see the actual flight of the ball instead of on a monitor.
• It is more expensive to have the indoor fitting and getting clubs built for your game takes time and more expense.
Outside fitting: I spent two hours with David La Pour, certified club fitter, PGA professional, at Pinecrest Golf Club, hitting clubs from Callaway Golf. I started out hitting my own clubs and getting my numbers on the launch monitor.
La Pour, being an excellent golf professional, would tell me some of my swing errors during the lesson. I highly recommend getting fitted by a golf professional who can cover cause and effect during the fitting. La Pour said, “Coaching and club fitting at the same time gets you the best results.”
• The grass offers more resistance to the club at impact due to club/turf interaction. Wedge fittings outdoors is the way to go to help determine the bounce of your sand wedge. You need to hit out of the sand to get the feeling of a sand shot.
• Hitting off the grass allows the fitter to see divot and turf interactions. You have the opportunity to see the ball flight and feel the contact.
• You can take the fitted club out on the course for a few holes to see how it responds to different conditions.
• Hitting range balls can affect the ball flight and distance
• The weather, hot or cold, and wind can affect the distance.
• You are only being fitted for one golf company.
Bottom line: Do yourself a favor and get fitted for clubs in 2023. Your game will improve.
Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at local golf courses. firstname.lastname@example.org; golfdoctorjean.com