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"The Essential Checklist for a Proper Golf Club Fitting"

Properly fit golf clubs is a key component to being the best golfer you can be.

Being able to assess the influence that a golf club has on the swing motion and balance should be a major component of any golf lesson. If there is something in the way that is holding you back from achieving the proper movements, both the teacher and the student need to know about it and work to address it.

We have many people requesting our club fitting service before they go into the shop, primarily because they are sick of over marketing by club companies (how many, longest ever driver ads can we stomach) and they also want a better understanding before making a big club purchase decision.

So, we'll outline two major components that need to be addressed when we analyze the golf club:

  1. The mechanical settings of the club (grip size, length, flex, lie angles, etc.)

  2. The influence that a poorly fit has on the ball flight and the golfers motion (scooping, lack of weight shift, shanks, etc.)

Component 1

The golf club itself and the fitting process should involve an analysis of the following aspects of the club. A proper club fitting process will address each and every component and their relation to each other and the golfers balance.

  1. Lie Angle - Measured Dynamically and not related to the club's lie angle at set up/address

  2. Shaft Stiffness - Forget stiff, regular and all that stuff, we measure the frequency of oscillation to provide a brand agnostic way to get the proper shaft

  3. Club Length - Has a Major effect on swing weight, which affects tempo massively

  4. Shaft Deflection - The point at which the club bends on the shaft, affects trajectory of the ball and therefore distance

  5. Puring of the Shaft - The degree to which the roundness is affected by variation in the manufacturing process.

  6. Loft Angle - major influence on launch and spin, and therefore consistency

  7. Head Design - primarily concerned with the amount of offset on the clubhead, we can move this to shift the strike position laterally on the clubface (left and right movement)

  8. Weight & Swing Weight - Grip size, weight and head weight have a big influence on the golfer's ability to maintain a natural tempo and balance.

  9. Grip - size and feel are important in the golfer's ability to properly hinge the club and properly release the club through the impact.

  10. Tempo & Balance Evaluation - If you are being fit for clubs and this topic does not come into the conversation, you're not being fit properly. Being able to evaluate the components and the golfers ability to hold the finish without wobbling, is the 'art' of club fitting and shaft selection that need to be evaluated by someone that understands swing dynamics and path/face numbers. Swing dynamics and club fitting are not mutually exclusive!

Component 2: Influence of Clubs on Poor Swing Mechanics (The club controls you, not vice versa)

Having components which are not properly matching or don't help influence your balance is only going to cost you way more money in the long run. We don't care how much or how cool those new clubs look, or what your buddy is using that seem to work for him. The golf club is ALWAYS controlling you and when you try to make compensations for the clubs, your swing suffers massively. Here's the other bad news: You cannot bend, change or alter the club mid round to make things magically better. The longer you play with poorly fit clubs, the more your swing is going to change - and usually not for the better either.

The below chart shows the influence has on your golf swing and ball flight

A table outlining the influence of a golf club on the ball flight and effect on the golf swing.
Club Characteristic Table & Affect on Ball Flight

What you'll notice on the above table is that Lie Angle appears in every category in either a major or moderate influence on the ball flight, the feel, and the strike. I honestly don't know anyone who has had their golf club lie angles bent during a "fit" in the UAE, which is absolutely criminal & negligent in my mind.

A picture showing types of lie angles in golf
Illustration of Lie Angle Differences

Here's the long list of affects that a lie angle will have on your golf swing:

An image showing how lie angle will influence ball flight direction.
An image of strike location due to incorrect lie angle

Flat Lie Angle at Impact

  • Players tend to strengthen their grip

  • Players tend to hold the clubface closed on the back swing

  • Players tend to lose their balance forward or onto their toes

  • Players will tend to over emphasize the use of arm and hand speed through impact

  • Players often have restricted follow through

  • Players will tend to deloft their short irons hitting them much further

  • Longer irons tend to be too low or the golfer will set the clubface open

  • Players often prefer to hit their 3 wood off the tee versus their driver

  • Missed Iron shots and wear marks are on the Toe of the club

  • Players often have a big variation in divots (thin or very deep divots)

  • Clubface often presents itself closed at the top of the back swing (Facing the sky)

  • Wedge shots may be weak and to the right, whilst Driver Shots may be Pulled

Upright Lie Angle at Impact

  • Weaker Grip Positions are Common

  • Alignment Tends to be to the Right of the Target Line/Target

  • The Player tends to lose balance backwards or toward the heel

  • The player likes to use "Dead Hands" through impact, and can often block the ball or try to cut across the ball (Swing path left)

  • Players generally hit their woods better than their irons

  • The club face is often Open at the top (Clubface pointing straight up and down and the clubface pointing away from the golfer)

  • Players normally hit shorter clubs better

  • Mis hits are toward the Heel and Wear Patterns are on the Heel

  • Players normally shank their wedges in extreme cases with periodic shanks of irons

  • Wedge shots are often missed left and drivers are pushed to the right (Right handed golfer)

  • The player has quite deep divots

Swing Issues Due to Length

  • Shorter Clubs often cause people to grip right at the bottom of the club and lose their leverage on the club.

  • Golfers often have to hold the club too tight as a result of this loss of control

  • Longer Clubs will cause the golfer to lose posture (Stand up)

Swing Issues Due to Inaccurate Shaft Fitting

When the Shaft is Too Stiff

  • Players usually have strange and unbalanced grips

  • Normally the golfer will set up open to the target

  • Exaggeration of Club paths both left and right

  • Players usually have closed club faces at the top and can be open at the bottom

  • Players tend to overuse their hands and arms

  • Players often have a high finish and inconsistent strikes (Fat/Thin)

  • Players have difficulty weight shifting (They love to hit from the back foot)

  • Players have Clear Balance Problems

When the Shaft is Too Weak

  • Players Often aim to the right of the target line

  • Players often have erratic ball flight

  • Players often exaggerate their grips

  • Weaker shaft typically present club face open throughout the swing

When the Shaft Deflection Point is Too High (Toward the Grip):

  • Players tend to hang back and struggle with weight shift

  • Players tend to scoop to create the desired trajectory

  • Ball Flight is often too low

When the Shaft Deflection Point is Too Low:

  • Player has trouble maintaining Balance Through the Shot

  • The ball will Have a high trajectory/Launch Angle

Swing Problems from Inaccurate Loft Angle

A table showing how lifts have disappeared over the years in golf club manufacturing.
A table showing how club companies have strengthened lofts over time.

When your Lofts are Too Strong (This is sadly the norm these days):

  • Players have exaggerated Swing Paths

  • Players normally keep their heads down too long and too far behind the ball

  • Players tend to set up with more weight on their back foot

  • Players tend to hit fat shots attempting to get the ball flight higher

  • Weak Grips and Open Club faces to try to recapture loft

  • Players tend to have positive attack angles on their irons

When your Lofts are Too Weak (Very Strange to Find These Days):

  • Players tend to bias their set up on the front foot

  • Ball Position tends to creep too far back

  • The player usually tries to decrease loft by closing the club face

Swing Problems From Inaccurate Head Design

The below image illustrates what offset is - the clubface is 'offset' from the hosel of the club.

An image showing what offset is on a golf club and how to evaluate the level of offset.
Illustration of Offset on a Golf Club.

If your Clubs have too much Offset

  • Players tend to aim to the right of the target (right handed golfer)

  • Players Prefer Weak Grip Positions

  • Players show Open Club Face Positions

  • The Swing shows Block

  • Players typically have the balance on their heels

If your Clubs have too little Offset

  • Players tend to aim left of target (right handed golfers)

  • Players Prefer Strong Grips

  • Players Display closed clubface positions through the shot

  • Players try to hook every shot to keep it on target

  • Players tend to balance on the toes

A proper club fitting should take you about 1.5 Hours to complete just for the irons. We haven't discussed yet the fitting characteristics of the woods, but this is about another 1 or so to get everything dialed in and the ball flight proper to maximize the distance and accuracy.

Use this list to determine if you're clubs are causing a problem for you, and be prepared the next time your talking to someone that is there to "Sell" you golf clubs rather than adjust your clubs properly to be able to keep your swing in balance.

Always remember, Balance & Tempo are absolutely everything in this game. If you're not being properly evaluated during a fit, save your money it isn't a fitting.

If you'd like your specs before you go shopping, just click here and get booked into our calendar


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