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

Rainbow Jenny

Making fresh tracks
Skier
SkiTalk Supporter
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Posts
846
Location
California and Hokkaido
Yesterday I walked 9 and put down the dough for a season pass. Now I’m rather excited about returning after 15+ year absence.

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freeskier1961

still aspiring
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Joined
Oct 30, 2017
Posts
179
I believe that like skiing, the Wrong fitting equipment can hold you back. Everybody's body is different and the gear has to match accordingly.
I was fitted for clubs many years ago, clubhead speed, launch angle etc etc. Made a difference when I contributed the correct human element, grip stance, takeaway. Properly fitted equipment in either sport will enhance and enable your chances for improvement and success.

I can't blame the gear any longer....It's me!
 

Living Proof

We All Have The Truth
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Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Posts
940
Location
Avalon - On The Way to Cape May
Yesterday, I went to a brand new golf big-box (PGA Superstore) in the Philly area. They have 10 hitting bays, all with Trackflight technology, to test out new gear. Very high end and impressive. They carry Cobra equipment, so I asked to demo the same irons @Philpug purchased, the LTDx model.
As I'm an aging golfer with diminished swing speed, I find most clubs to be "heavy", my 10 year old Pings in this class. When I purchased Taylor Mode M4's 3 years ago, a lighter feel, and senior flex, was a major factor. Now, I find it hard to feel the club head,

The fitting process started with the head of a 7 iron, then, we discussed what I was looking for, then he selected a graphite shaft, and, attaches it to the head. I hit a dozen shots, and, the fitter suggested I try a graphite shaft that was lighter. His concern was the measurement showing ball loft was too low, indicative a shaft too stiff. Another dozen shots showed improvements, so that would be far better for my game. Interesting was he stated the shaft weight determines how the club feel in your hands as the club weight is same.

Minor fitting rant - I've been checking out Trackman type technology and the dozen or so measurements available to view. The most hyped measurement is "total distance", which includes how far the ball went in the air and he expected run out on the ground. That's OK for driver fittings, but, for irons you need the ball to stop when it hits the green, and, to do that you need a high trajectory. So, it's not just how far the ball goes. My fitter made this pretty clear and recommended a shaft that would be better for me. But, the various numbers the shop puts up are different than what golf pro would show to figure out how your club path is traveling, which show more about what you need to fix. At end of my session, the fitter asked for my thoughts, and, I stated that I need to work more on my swing rather than invest in new equipment. He smiled and nodded in agreement.

Back to the Cobra LTDx irons. No question they feel very solid at impact, the reviews all state they fall into the game-improvement class and are near the longest of that group. Just for the sake of simplification, electing a specific club brand still requires choosing between several options in both shaft and head type. It hurts my head to think about doing a fitting involving several different brands, far too many. My advice to anyone thinking about new clubs is to do on-line research and not just walk into your superstore. Or just stick to your brand of choice.

Phil, when do you expect to get the new clubs. have fun with them!
 

FlyingAce

Out on the slopes
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Joined
Dec 22, 2019
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457
Location
Taos, NM
How wonderful to find golfers in this group! I play 5-6 days a week during golf season and if I don’t play, I will be practicing. I don’t think there is a day that I don’t touch my clubs!
I get fitted every year to make sure my clubs are still working for my swing. I have only purchased a full set once back when I was a newbie and only replace clubs when I see a need to upgrade the shafts or close a distance gap. I am not brand loyal so my bag is mixed.
Here’s the newest addition to my bag!
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FlyingAce

Out on the slopes
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Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Posts
457
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Taos, NM
So, to pursue the skiing metaphor, when are you good enough to benefit from a fitting? I would never tell a rank beginner to spring for a custom boot fitting, I'd at least wait until they were making parallel(ish) turns to do that. Out of the box and snug (as long as they don't have frankenfeet) is plenty good enough to get to easy blue skiing.

What's the equivalent for a golfer? I'm on lesson #5, currently shoot about a 61 per round. Oh, did I mention I play 9 hole course mostly? I hit ball real good, just not usually where I want it to go. No curving, mostly just a consistent straight pull when I come over the top (which is often).
To benefit from a fitting, one should already have a repeatable swing. You don’t have to be good at golf (which involves more than a good swing) but your swing needs to be consistent enough for the fitter to fit a club to that swing. It is just like skis, they should fit your abilities and not you trying to grow into them. I know too many people, both golf and ski, who buy too much equipment for their level and think they can improve enough to grow into the equipment but didn’t realize wrong equipment could actually slow their progress.
 
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Thread Starter
TS
Philpug

Philpug

Notorious P.U.G.
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Phil, when do you expect to get the new clubs. have fun with them!
Along with the new clubs, I also had a couple of sessions with a Pro that worked with me to get a less steep swing plane. We played a little with the head andle of the driver and woods since they are adjustable. We aslo worked on Grip Alignment Stance (GAS) and that helped a lot.

As far as the clubs, I have played maybe 6-8 times and have been quite happy with my ball striking which has created good scoring opportunities. The goal is to minimize mistakes, less double bogies than pars. The woods, have made more of a difference than I would have thought, more than the irons especially on the Par 5's. While I am not on the green in two, my third shot has been a lot close than previously.

Going back to minimizing my mistakes, I am trying not to turn one bad shot into three, I take my medicine and move on and staying within my game. I know that if I am 145 out it will take a perfect 8 to make the shot, I will weigh if I want to hit the 7 and allow for a slight miss hit. I am extemely confident with my wedges around the green and rarely putt from the fringe, which for many goes against the common school of thought.

To anyone looking to do what I did and replace everything like I did, as @Living Proof said, not something most golfer in his league would do, I would also agree that it was a bit extreme and while it didn't drop 10 strokes off of my game, it did get it a helluva lot more consistent and I have a lot more confidence in the ball going where I think it is going to go, but this also has to do with time with the Pro too. I AM having more fun and I think if I played as much as I used to I would get to the point where i am shooting in the mid 80's maybe even breaking 80 again (I did that only twice in my previous life). But knowing that if I got every aspect of the game, driver, woods, irons, wedges and putter working on point in the same round is what keeps that hope alive.
 
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