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Equipment Hitting the Lottery: A Hacker's Guide to Golf Club Fitting

OnEdge

Putting on skis
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Joined
Apr 7, 2020
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106
Location
NY
For anyone who either spends more than a negligible amount of time or emotion (or both) on the game, I can't recommend a club fitting strongly enough.

The only club in my bag which hasn't been fitted in some manner is my putter - and its the only club in my bag I doubt/fuss over/spend too much time thinking about.

In addition to the clubhead itself, the shaft (stiffness, weight and kickpoint) makes a huge difference and there are also build/set up options such as shaft length, lie, bounce, grip to consider. Even for someone who likes experimenting on their own, there are way too many variables for an amateur to get anywhere close other than by pure luck.

With fitted clubs I was able to spend all the time and effort I wasted thinking about my clubs, and focus on my game. I'll also say that prior to my fitted clubs I'd be a hot mess playing with anything other than my own clubs, and now that I've had a couple of years with the "right" clubs I can play decently with anything (I just played a round with my partners driver, my old 3 iron, a demo seven iron, at 53 degree wedge that hadn't been regripped since the 70's and an old putter of mine and did just fine). Now when I hit a club that's not fitted, I at least have a sense of what results from a poor club match vs. a poor swing and don't let the former go to my head.
 

SpikeDog

You want Big Air, kid?
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Nov 17, 2015
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821
Location
Wyoming
Club fitting, hmmm. I've done this twice, neither time blew me away with the difference. Playing Ping irons and Callaway woods at the moment. I do have a pre-2000 club in my bag, a Fuzzy Zoeller sand wedge from K-Mart. I beat that club up in the frozen dirt they call sand here in Wyoming, and it still does what I ask of it.

I've had a driver fitting at the Golf Galaxy on State in SLC - don't remember paying anything for the service. I demoed several drivers at their indoor range.

I've sorta moved on from club making (Golfsmith, etc), but I do benefit from doing club regripping on a regular basis. That is a cheap way to feel like you have new clubs.
 
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Philpug

Philpug

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For anyone who either spends more than a negligible amount of time or emotion (or both) on the game, I can't recommend a club fitting strongly enough.

The only club in my bag which hasn't been fitted in some manner is my putter - and its the only club in my bag I doubt/fuss over/spend too much time thinking about.

In addition to the clubhead itself, the shaft (stiffness, weight and kickpoint) makes a huge difference and there are also build/set up options such as shaft length, lie, bounce, grip to consider. Even for someone who likes experimenting on their own, there are way too many variables for an amateur to get anywhere close other than by pure luck.

With fitted clubs I was able to spend all the time and effort I wasted thinking about my clubs, and focus on my game. I'll also say that prior to my fitted clubs I'd be a hot mess playing with anything other than my own clubs, and now that I've had a couple of years with the "right" clubs I can play decently with anything (I just played a round with my partners driver, my old 3 iron, a demo seven iron, at 53 degree wedge that hadn't been regripped since the 70's and an old putter of mine and did just fine). Now when I hit a club that's not fitted, I at least have a sense of what results from a poor club match vs. a poor swing and don't let the former go to my head.

Fixed it for you....
For anyone who either spends more than a negligible amount of time or emotion (or both) on the skiing, I can't recommend a boot fitting strongly enough.

The only peice of gear which hasn't been fitted in some manner are my bindings - and its the piece of gear that I doubt/fuss over/spend too much time thinking about.

In addition to the boot itself, the shell (forward lean,cuff alignment and canting) makes a huge difference and there are also build/set up options such as delta, flex and Gripwalk to consider. Even for someone who likes experimenting on their own, there are way too many variables for an amateur to get anywhere close other than by pure luck.

With fitting boots I was able to spend all the time and effort I wasted thinking about my boots, and focus on skiing. I'll also say that prior to my fitted boots I'd be a hot mess playing with anything other than my own boots, and now that I've had a couple of years with the "right" boots I can ski decently with anything (I just skied with my partners skis, my old poles, a demo helmet, a neon one peice that wasn't dry cleaned in 30 years and did just fine). Now when I ski boots that's not fitted, I at least have a sense of what results from a poor fit vs. a poor boot flex and don't let the former go to my head.
 
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Philpug

Philpug

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I considered a custom fitting -- researched it, talked to fitters. But I don't have the consistency I think I need in order to benefit from it, or even for a fitter to be sure we were heading in the right direction. This season is about building and refining my swing. It felt as if I'd be getting custom-made ski boots just before having foot surgery.
We talk about if intermediate skiers need a footbed or canting so they can improve, why not a golfer? If you goal to improve, wouln't having the right clubs remove a variable so you can improve? I also don't think you randomly chose the clubs you did buy and you did researched them. I also don't think its akin to not getting boots until after foot surgery.
 

crgildart

Gravity Slave
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Nov 12, 2015
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The Bull City
I remember when I was about 8 years old and started tagging along with my cousins and uncle playing golf one of my uncle's friends gave me a bunch of old clubs he had lying around. Some of them even had wooden shafts.. I started playing with wooden shaft clubs around 74.

Kept playing and made the golf team in 9th grade.. Played off and on, fairly regularly through my 30s and just kinda faded away from golf because none of my friends who live near me play now;

I bought a cheap set of new clubs when I moved to NC around 2000 but only took them to the range once since then,.. They felt good, a little lighter than what I was used to from my 90s gear. Came across a nicer set about 5 years ago.. brand new still in plastic.. $20 for all at a thrift store.

Shock Trap irons and Reflex woods. I keep thinking one of these days I'll get back out and start with these.. LOL!

1651761262445.png
 

OnEdge

Putting on skis
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Apr 7, 2020
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NY
Fixed it for you....

Ha! Pretty darn apt.

In my defense I did get a boot fitting, but I am starting to go down the cuff alignment / canting rat hole - I just haven't had the time to drag the folks here down in that hole with me....
 

VickieH

Contrarian
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Denver area
there's a real effect, be it from confidence, attitude, focus or whatever, where buying new clubs tends to make you play better, but only for a little while
I suspect it's the Driving Range Effect. "I got new clubs. I need to spend some time at the driving range to get used to them."

I was at the driving range yesterday and met one of their senior instructors. (He has been playing golf for 59 years -- Wow!) We chatted briefly about clubs. He told me that there is a technology improvement in woods about every 3 or 4 years. And one in irons about every 10 years. So 15 y/o irons may only be one generation back, but 15 y/o woods might be 4 or 5. Interesting to consider in terms of what someone might update first and where they might want to spend more money.
 
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Philpug

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I suspect it's the Driving Range Effect. "I got new clubs. I need to spend some time at the driving range to get used to them."

I was at the driving range yesterday and met one of their senior instructors. (He has been playing golf for 59 years -- Wow!) We chatted briefly about clubs. He told me that there is a technology improvement in woods about every 3 or 4 years. And one in irons about every 10 years. So 15 y/o irons may only be one generation back, but 15 y/o woods might be 4 or 5. Interesting to consider in terms of what someone might update first and where they might want to spend more money.
This is why I jokingly said my clubs weren't indemnified.
 

VickieH

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Same here, @Philpug. Last year, I had golf's equivalent of, maybe, a ski boot explosion. Middle of the fairway ... 7-iron ... backswing. By the time the club reached shoulder height on my forward swing, I was swinging a stick. Club head simply broke off. No tree involved. Just skiing swinging along.
 

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
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You can take the scenic route. Or you can take the shortcut. They both end up at the same place.
QFT

When pigs fly.
:rocks:

I've been standing back watching this experience, taking it all in.
While Phil was at his fitting, I went along to take some photos and videos, which actually got me a little energized to pick up my clubs.

I purchased my clubs in 2006 while taking golf lessons. The pro I was going to suggested Golden Bear Ladies clubs which were reasonably priced, graphite shafts and a nice starter set.
It included 4,5,6,7,8,9 irons, pitching and sand wedges, and a putter.
I bought the bag separately and picked up a driver, added 5,7 Woods, and 22º hybrid.

I never really golfed well, but enjoyed the game and the excersise.
If I do get back into it, my intention is to re-grip my current clubs until I see how this works out.

For the most part I really think this is a great experience for Phil and I'm enjoying watching him get excited about it.
 

Rainbow Jenny

Making fresh tracks
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California and Hokkaido
I’m reminiscing some really great time golfing, whether it was walking the 18 + 9 or 18+ 18 old and Cashen courses at Ballybunion daily, the Himalayas putting course at St Andrews, or the 3rd hole at Mauna Kea…

My clubs are 20 years old and mostly collecting dust the past 15 years, but I unexpectedly played my best 9 holes ever last fall that re-energized me. This may be year to take up golfing again.
 
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scott43

So much better than a pro
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Nov 12, 2015
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Great White North
So my grandfather was from Musselburgh, East Lothian, Scotland. Where the hell is that says I?? So I noodle around and find his flat from when he was a kid. And right down the street is Musselburgh Golf Links. Cool. So I Google it and it was at one time reckoned to be the oldest golf course in the world. One of my goals is to get there and hack it around one day, like my long departed grandfather did. St Andrews be damned!! :)
 

ARL67

Invisible Airwaves Crackle With Life
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Congrats Phil on getting some golf enthusiasm going with a new fitting :thumb:

What club do we hit that contributes the most to the scorecard ?
Once one develops a somewhat reliable stroke, do not neglect a Putter fitting. There are all types of style from Blade to Mallet, Toe-Hang, Face-Balanced, Lie-Angle Balanced, etc, then Length, Loft, Lie-Angle, and weight of the Putter, then grip selection, etc, etc, etc. The futzing possibilities are endless with golf.
 
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Philpug

Philpug

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What club do we hit that contributes the most to the scorecard ?
As the saying goes ....drive for show, putt for dough. But I also need to get to the green. I think with some time at the range and some time playing, I should be able to get back to shooting into the 80's.
 

Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
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Once one develops a somewhat reliable stroke, do not neglect a Putter fitting. There are all types of style from Blade to Mallet, Toe-Hang, Face-Balanced, Lie-Angle Balanced, etc, then Length, Loft, Lie-Angle, and weight of the Putter, then grip selection, etc, etc, etc. The futzing possibilities are endless with golf.
Oh he did.
When I left the range for a bit and went back Phil had settled on the woods and irons he was going to get but he was going to keep his putter and wedges. I took one look at him and said, "Really??? You've got 25 year old clubs and you've got this shot to go all in. Go all in!!"
 

Living Proof

We All Have The Truth
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Nov 9, 2015
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940
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Avalon - On The Way to Cape May
I play weekly, usually twice, throughout the year. Over the last several weeks, my ball striking has deteriorated, Thursday was an embarrassment. Long way of saying, but, in any sport, we need to focus on the technique aspects. In truth, I have not done the off-course work needed to play at a level consistent with my 19 handicap. The old "archer not the arrow" tale is staring me in the face.

Buying new clubs or skis ( and a whole lot of other stuff ) creates a lot of internal enthusiasm, we all love the thrill of the new. The shine can wear off quickly, reality is a tough taskmaster. I well remember skiing this year, after 5 years away, with great new skis, and struggling to do what once was so easy. After some physical training and more days on skis, the great qualities of the skis began to shine.

So, my plan is to visit a local Golf indoor hitting bay that has Trackman technology that permits a very detailed data analysis of the golf swing. I'll do a write up abut the experience.

Let me also say, last year I purchased a new Callaway driver, old one was about 5 years old. Clearly, the best driver I've ever owned, but, the transition takes time to figure it out.. Modern technology works, including club fitting and swing analysis.
 

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