Fitting Tip Learned in 2011

Every year presents new challenges in fitting as the golf industry is constantly changing.  While we concentrate on Accuracy, Consistency and Distance, it seems like the golf industry is mostly focused on distance.  Driver lengths out to nearly 47 inches, lofts on 6 irons that are like hitting a 4 iron,  longer length shafts in irons and hybrids, lighter shafts, lighter heads, and lighter grips.  Some companies even changed the lie angles on their very long shafted drivers so they were “anti-slice”.  Some of these changes had some merit while others were flat out duds.  Part of our fitting philosophy is that we want our golfers to play the longest, lightest, softest flex club that they can control.  The challenge is that EVERY golfer is different and we sometimes have to modify these criteria to get the optimum performance.  That is why we are constantly modifying our fitting techniques to see what lessons can be learned and applied.  So, here is what we learned in 2011:

  1. Driver length CAN increase distance as long as the overall weight of the club goes down and shaft flex INCREASES.  If you go from an S flex at 45 inches in a 60 gr shaft, you may need to go to an X flex at 46.5 inches in a 50 gr shaft.
  2. Cup face technology in fairway woods and hybrid clubs can increase both distance AND accuracy (TourEdge).
  3. Spinner wedge shafts really do work.  Typically will add up to 1000 rpm spin to old wedges.
  4. Accuracy of your golf shots is 75-80% determined by Face Angle at impact and only 20-25% determined by Swing Path.  Work more on squaring the face than changing your path to improve accuracy.
  5. Overall lighter club weight will help golfers with slower swings and smoother transitions increase distance and accuracy.  This means lighter shafts AND lighter grips.
  6. Proper weight distribution (swing weight) can improve putting AND driving (Counter-balanced shafts and butt weights).
  7. Having the proper butt stiffness (flex) in a shaft is the main contributor to reducing shot dispersion (left/right, long/short).
  8. We can alter launch angle by up to 3 degrees with the proper tip profile in a shaft that matches your swing.  This can help you get more distance and/or improve landing conditions and roll.  All this while maintaining accuracy.
  9. Expensive shafts really are worth the money.  They reduce shot dispersion on mis-hits dramatically versus inexpensive shafts.
  10. And the number one lesson we learned…Golf is still a fashion industry.  Where else can you change the color of a club head and sell a million of them?