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Your Golf Clubs Have Not Been Fit Properly

Recently I had sent out a survey to all of my customer base on golf equipment. What I saw is an excellent reflection of the current marketing trend happening in the club retail sales. The term club "fitting" is mis-used to be quite frankly in specifics is a straight up lie. I never see proper fitting done. You could consider it a lost art, much to the detriment of the game of golf.

The modern big box store "fitting" process is more like club trying, with much left on the table and not much explanation at how the club will help you move instead of just make every 19th shot go farther and only looking at the distance on a machine. It really is no one's fault actually, it's simply that commercial targets dictate a maximal number of "fittings" and not a real fitting. They don't have the time to go through a proper fitting which should take 1.5 hours for the irons and nearly the same for the driver, so a total commitment of 3 hours total time to complete properly.

I'm here to let you all in on a little secret. I know of very few people who have bought clubs after a fitting that are/were properly fit. I have a sizeable portion of my business correcting and re-adjusting locally purchased golf clubs. You can imagine the frustration when someone buys new clubs and their lie angles are all out of whack, their lofts are close together, they can't hit their 4 iron and their wedge gapping is not properly calibrate.

They certainly had a process which involved hitting from a hard matt using a launch monitor and trying only to maximize their distance. That's hardly a proper fitting, nor does it do anything to help to educate the client onto how the club fitting should improve their understanding of how to use the club on a variety of lies, under a variety of conditions.

I am here to be transparent, and show you why, how, and when you should consider new clubs. I will also outline all of the variables that should be checked, and only checked by a person that can understand the golf swing, the impact of weight, momentum, tempo, release patterns and most importantly, balance.

In 2016, I went searching in the market to sell golf clubs. I reached out to all of the major brand names, and did not receive one response. It was disheartening to say the least, but I understood that they would rather sell a massive amount of inventory to a golf club rather than sell the fitting kits only to my shop that doesn't push this inventory on the golfer. This was before there was an entry into the market of a large player who is well known now on the market and does approximately 90% of club sales in the UAE and soon to be the region.

So I went to the internet and searched for "best golf club company you have never heard of." I found a company called Henry Griffitts (, who were an old (started in the 80s) boutique hand made club manufacturing company from the USA that would only retail their products through teachers. This sounded ideal!

When I contacted the CEO, he responded almost instantly and outlined that there were some requirements to be able to sell their equipment and the reason that these requirements would in place:

  1. The indoor facility must have the capability to track and read ball flight accurately

  2. The Matt on the simulator must be able to accurately simulate grass and the effects of a proper attack angle

  3. The data from the launch monitor/simulator must be able to accurate produce face, path, horizontal angle (Ball starting direction) as well as ball trajectory details within 1% accuracy.

  4. The facility must certify the fitter via entrance into their own fitting program

  5. The final fitting process involved a trip to the USA factory and a discussion/education seminar with their club builders

  6. The Facility should utilize high speed video or other motion capturing devices to be able to accurately view the impact position of both the body and club.

Reasoning & Rational

  1. Club and Face data is paramount to being able to see in detail what is happening with the club at impact. These details must be maximized

  2. Hard matts give poor real world results as they do not properly account for fat shots or allow for the proper attack angle to be measured which will reflect turf interaction

  3. Bad path and face will never be overcome by a new club. I.e. The clubs were not to be mis-sold or sold to anyone before discussions and fixing of these items during the fit (more on this later). In fact, in some cases they were not to be sold at all, if the golfer had catastrophic issues with the swing and was desperately searching for a "Fix" instead of some lessons.

  4. The fitting process included study, testing and 50+ live fits under a master fitter to be sure that the correct fitting process was used and that the golf club fitting experience maximized balance and consistency

  5. Either we would have to travel to their factory or they would come to ours. We ended up flying their fitter over from the USA for a week

  6. High Speed video or motion capture will clearly illustrate that club head speed is not the factor to be used when fitting a shaft, and that the fitting process would teach us how to evaluate balance instead of only looking at distance of the best shot and trying to sell people that this club was better than the other. We need to see clearly to be able to evaluate each component and then match the club that will help this balance the best.

After the tests, the study, the manuals and the discussions about ball flights, dispersion charts, and all components of the club itself, the fitting trainer flew over from the USA and spent 4 days with us in our facility helping us do free club fittings to our customers and our friends. The process was an eye opener, and it something that day really stuck in my head that the fitting trainer said to me: He told me that the golfer learns by ball flight (Seeing the ball as they had imagined, and that club fitting would impact the golf swing by about 40%). Neither of those two statements really rang true to me until I started to fit my students for golf clubs. Now I understand completely what he meant, and I think that 40% influence is far too little of a number. I would say that the club impacts the golfers ability to swing and manufacture ball flight much more than it is credited.

In saying so, I am about to tell you basic things that will fly against the "norms" in the current industry and why as a golfer you should really really consider the following variables in reference to the above 2 points (Ball flight and club influence:

My Un-Popular List of Fitting Statements

1) Weaker Lofts will Make you a Better Ball Striker - Without Question

2) Longer Clubs is Almost Never Better!

3) Fat Grips or Plus 4 Grips DO NOT Stop Hooking

4) Lie Angles Matter... The MOST

5) Hybrids are Never a Solution to the Long Game

6) Massive Offset is a Cheat, and Cheating is Not Good for You

7) Longer Driver Shafts is a Terrible Idea

8) Golf Clubs Can and Will Hurt You

9) NOBODY Talks or Thinks about Balance

10) Tempo is KING

My Un-Popular Justifications

Weak Lofts

For beginners, and for High level professionals, the attack angle is a key component of the quality of strike. The ability to deliver a descending blow on the golf ball in all shots where the golf ball is on the ground, is the key to being able to strike ball then the earth. A golfer only needs to hit the ball and ground a few times to understand the massive benefit both to feel and also to result in ball flight.

Commercial Sales of Clubs and pressures to deliver massive amounts of mass produced golf clubs has meant that manufacturers have had to find ways to "improve" on something all desired by golfers without having to really change anything. Changing lofts is the easiest of all methods, but they have inadvertently created massive swing errors as a consequence. Don't believe me, check the loft chart across time:

What's so disheartening about this is the addition of new club nomenclature into the mix, especially at the wedge end of the game. The Pitching wedge has lost 10 degrees of loft from the 60s to now! 10 Degrees, wow. And this is one of the most important clubs for scoring in the bag.

So how does this create swing faults? Well it's very simple. The average golfer knows that the ball must fly a certain trajectory to maximize carry, that's even without putting that person on a launch monitor. Golfers and Humans intuitively know which ball flight will maximize carry. When you listen to professionals talk about a "Window" or seeing the ball in the correct spot when they look up, this is exactly what they're talking about.

Overtime, the golfer will start to manufacture the loft that is being delivered at impact in order to achieve this ball flight. Across the nearly 10 years I've been in business I have seen so much scooping of the club in order to generate loft that it got me to thinking about why people do it? They do it because the golf club they are playing is far far too strong lofted for them to achieve the required trajectory to hit the distance they need that specific club to go. Most golfers hit their 4, 5 and 6 within 5 yards of each other.

The second massive swing issue caused by the club is the moving of the ball position further back in the stance due to having to create this attack angle whilst scooping. If the golfer starts to scoop they will naturally hit the ball fat or thin. Their attack angle will be so shalllow that they will start to move the ball back in search of the feeling of striking the ball first. This movement of the golf ball backwards is a kiss of death.

Sure it works for a few swings and the golfer thinks they've finally cracked it, but they have just infected their golf swing with a major flaw. Changing the ball position requires one to change their tempo to be able to hit the ball. Ball further back from their front foot, means a faster tempo and release is required, thereby removing the ability to create the proper sequence in the swing. The downward slippery slope to bad shots has just begun.

What's the Proper Way to Do It & Why We Need More Loft

The ball position should be 1 clubhead width from the heel of the front foot. The butt end of each club should point to the lead hip socket or groin area. This is the same for all clubs as all clubs have a designed level of handle versus head positioning.

The ball position forward allows your eyes to see the ball in front of you and to move toward it in the downswing. We know this as weight shift and it is so critical to having the proper sequence, the proper tempo and the proper attack angle that I consider it one of the largest causes of swing issues in golf. Now if the ball is forward we can confidently shift our weight to our left leg (right handed golfer), and that allows us to move the bottom of the swing in front of the ball. This also allows our attack angle to change to negative.

Attack Angle and Clubhead Speed & Massive Distance

A golf swing is an upside down catapult system, which means that you first shall shift the weight to the left, and then strike downward toward the ball. This is the same for all clubs, including the Driver. Yes, hit down on the driver so the swing bottom on the driver is in the same place as where the 6 iron would be and will rise naturally into the ball. You won't hit the ground because the Driver is much longer and flatter than an iron. Try it and See.

When we swing down, we are maximizing the centripetal force on the club and increasing the clubhead speed. We are also inadvertently maintaining the wrist hinge as well as getting the hands in front of the ball and assisting the weight shift. All amazing things to have in a good golf swing.

The above illustration outlines how the golf club works through impact and how with a proper attack angle we gain speed, strike and launch. Above we can see that the movement of the club down toward is in harmony with gravity and centripetal force. We are not fighting them but using them to increase the club head speed.

You will also note that the point of max acceleration is after the ball (delivered by a great tempo) and that allows you to generate the most force in the strike on the ball. The red line touching the golf ball is the club head and you will note that it's angle is the loft of the club. You can easily see that the lower the loft of the club, the lower the launch angle, the lower the ball flight and the less likely to achieve the club fitting agenda of fitting to the proper ball flight trajectory. A stronger loft delivered with a negative attack angle will greatly decrease the launch angle, not to mention the release and turning of the clubhead through impact, we can easily reduce 4+ degrees of loft on the launch angle through proper strike and release. You need loft to be able to retain the correct ball flight. Strong lofts reduce this for all golfers, and you will need massive amounts of clubhead speed to be able to create the proper launch conditions. That's not most people I know or instruct.

Oh, one more thing. There is a reason Tiger Woods has the weakest lofts of tour but still hits it as far as everyone else. Guess what, he's delivering the loft correctly at impact. Ever wonder why he was and is one of the greatest iron players in the world? Here's an image from long ago from the Nike Tour Truck of Tiger's Loft Specs. They're closer to the lofts of the 1990s and 1 full club weaker than the average weakest club of today's set (refer to above spreadsheet).


There is an absolute obsession with distance. And most people can understand that more distance often comes as a result of more clubhead speed. However, that isn't actually the entire story. Distance comes from ball speed, and ball speed is king. So, why would someone want a longer driver or a longer club. What you're actually doing is slowing the clubhead speed down. I'll explain to you why.

The image on the left shows a driver set up image. The reason I have shown this set up is that a longer club will need a flatter lie angle to be flat at impact. So the longer you go, the flatter the lie angle and the more the club will swing to the inside. This is a straight away swing fault of extraordinary proportions because it can easily cause an over the top move. The longer the club, the more upright you must stand and the less control you have to forces swinging away from your body. This outward momentum does a serious number on your spine as you

Shorter clubs are easier to hit and more accurate given that they swing under the shoulders and allow for a better and more controlled set up position. The longer the iron gets the harder it will be to hit.

There is a very useful and true rule of thumb for club fitting called the 25/38 rule. This rule states that any length of club more than 38 inches and any loft under 25 degrees will be difficult for the average golfer to hit properly. Given the above loft chart and the trend for longer and longer clubs, we can comfortable say that most people will have a difficult time hitting most modern 5 irons and with almost certainty that a 4 iron is out of the question for nearly everyone. The reason being is that you need to have enough club head speed and proper attack angle to create enough drag on the golf ball via spin to be able to keep the ball in the air and have the proper trajectory. Please see above about attack angle and loft.

Many people who "Fit" clubs just assume the measurement based upon height of the golfer, but this is not an accurate way to measure the proper static length. The proper method to do so is to measure from the middle knuckle of the left hand. We start by having the golfer pretend they are holding a bucket of water with the fingers curled completely as if they were holding the handle of a pale. From there we measure the hand hanging loosely at address from the middle knuckle to the floor. A 28 inch measurement will indicate a 37.5 inch 6 iron. If the knuckle measures higher, then each inch of measurement will account for 1/8 inch of length addition. This will greatly affect the golfers ability to hit the correct height on the club face and also ensure that they don't have to lift to be able to hit the correct point on the clubface. I am a perfect example of this, as I am 6 foot 1 inches tall but my arms are 1 inch longer than normal. I have shorter clubs by 1/8 than "normal" off the shelf clubs. That's extra space has made a massive difference to my posture through impact and my ability to strike it with a negative attack angle and great strike.

When we are talking about negative attack angles, wrist hinge and arm length, all components need to be correctly measured. This is a fundamental, and should not at all be overlooked. It also affects the swing dynamics as well, so be very careful to understand this element and know how it relates to your ability to wrist hinge and release.

Fat Grips or Plus 4 Grips DO NOT Stop Hooking

This one makes me absolutely insane. I would say that in the UAE I see so many plus 4 (Straight non tapered grips) that are oversized and wrongly fit that I wonder if too much inventory has been bought and the "fitter" is trying to offload this inventory on unsuspecting golfers.

Now there is alot to be said about the size of a grip. Yes, the oversized or mid sized grip will reduce the propensity for the club to turn through the ball too much. However, a grip which is way too large will cause massive issues which actually promotes pull hooks. So, by thinking you are getting more toward removing a hook by increasing the grip size, all you are really doing is making the golfer hold the club harder. Over a very short period of time, the golfer will start to move his path from zero' d to out to in. They will also hold the club through impact, which means they will start to hold the club shut and hit pull hooks. The ball then starts left and goes further left. Bad news.

The second symptom is that the lack of wrist acceleration through the shot means the clubhead speed will eventually start to reduce. Guess, what that normally means? That means less distance. So the golfer starts to try to hit it harder to keep his distance and by this using his body more, he changes his tempo. All bad news. All very annoying. All so easily avoided. You need to have your hands measured and then a guideline from one of the grip manufacturers will go a long way to helping you control the club, whilst increasing distance. Below is a chart from Lampkin which I use regularly:

The last and most important part of the grip is to keep your hands from having joint pain as well as hang nails or rips in the skin between the nail and the outside of the finger. The torsional force of the club wanting to rotate is a key component of a proper golf swing. Now you can imagine that a club that is hard to rotate would cause the force from twisting to be applied to your fingers. Ever wake up after golf and have finger joint pain. Yep, you're grip is misfit. Have a tough time to work the club through the ball, yep you can bet your hands are gonna feel it. The last point here is the one that annoys me to no end. I can't in good conscience give people the wrong grip even if they ask me to change it. If you are being fit, then your fitter shouldn't try to hurt you. Seems illogical and often it exposes the ignorance to the fit.

Lie Angles Matter.... The MOST

The lie angle is the single most important variable in the golf game. This being for the putters and for the irons. The driver is indeed important, but because we don't have any turf interaction with the driver it can have less of an effect. However, I shy away from leaving the lie angle alone of the driver, because you want the performance and characteristics of the drivers lie angle at impact to be similar to that of the irons for consistency through the bag. Some drivers these days have a lie angle adjustment, but not most. You should really also understand that the length of the shaft will affect the lie angle of the driver, so by going longer you will need to have a think about what the driver head is doing through impact in order not to start hooking the ball or having to change your set up just to hit a driver. Please see above on the longer is not better point.

For this one I'm going to tell you a horror story. A Horror story I see happen ALOT! As in, 75% plus brand new iron sets I see that have been "Fit" have an improper dynamic lie angle.

So I was visited by a customer who was complaining of non improvement after taking lessons at a very well known international academy in Dubai. I watched him hit a few shots, I noted immediately that in the take away section of his golf swing his club head was severely closed. The clubface was nearly pointing to the ground. His take away and follow through were also very flat. The club path reading on the simulator was ranging from 5 degrees to 7 degrees from in to out. Meaning, he was approaching the ball too far from the inside with a closed clubface. Sometimes when he matched the clubface to the path the ball would go straight but very low. When he missed, he missed with a massive duck hook. He was frustrated and scared to say the least. He was paying in excess of 600+ AED for a 45 minute lesson and not getting anywhere.

I decided that I would first check his clubs before I intervened on his coaches plans. I found that his irons were about 5 degrees flat, meaning that the toe of the golf club was dragging through the ground when he went through the golf ball. I asked him if his coach had checked this before, and he said that his coach isn't interested in club dynamics but just focuses on the swing component.

Standing aghast at this piece of information, I could see exactly how this happened and see exactly how his swing had manifest to this. I showed him the lie board mark near the toe and then asked him to swing with a neutral club face going back. We worked on not hooding the club when he was taking the back swing, meaning he stopped pointing the club face at the ground as he was taking the club back. He was missing massively out to the right yet his club face was square. At this point, I was not about to start selling lesson packages and the guy had just come to test the simulator for another reason. I asked him to go and get his clubs adjusted.

A few days later I had followed up with this gentleman and asked about his clubs. He mentioned that he recalled now what happened to his clubs to become so flattened. He went to a local golf retailer and was being "Fit" for clubs. He mentioned that he was missing the ball to the left slightly (he was a right handed golfer) and so the club fitter flattened his club for him to stop him from hitting it left. When I heard this, I was even more shocked. However, I had asked him to bend his club more upright to allow him to work properly on the golf swing. I asked him if he had told his coach about this, and he mentioned that he hadn't. Upon further enquiry I asked about the quality of strike, he mentioned that he was playing and hitting the ball much better as he wasn't shanking/smothering the ball like before. I mentioned to him that he needs to improve his golf swing dynamics now and work with his coach to manage his club face better. We'll see in a while how it goes.

The above story shows exactly how a misunderstanding of the lie angle can create swing faults. The fact that fitters try to fix mistakes by making the club work against the golfer should be a criminal offense. If your fitter tries to adjust the lie angle to help protect against a certain miss, they are locking you into a swing mistake and affecting your golf swing in a very negative way. Then you will eventually get fed up with the miss and you will go see a coach that will not have the pertinent back ground information nor have the proper measurement technology and he will be baffled as to why the ball flight isn't matching what his eyes are seeing. Having the correct lie angle is so important for your body to be able to adjust and maneuver the club as need be. The last thing you need as a golfer is to try to fight a misfit golf club. Below is a visual description of the different lie angles that are measured at impact. These are not measured with the club being held still.

The above illustration shows 3 propensities for ball flight as a result of a poor lie angle

Upright (Top Image) - The golfer will have to and will raise their hands into impact to try to compensate for this. The golfer will also try to hold the club through impact to stop the ball from hooking left (assuming a right handed golfer). The golfer may also start to affect the shot with an out to in path, to try to get the ball to stop going left.

Correct - (Middle Image) This is the lie of the club when it hits the ball. This allows you to aim the clubface at the target correctly and have the ball start on the target assuming the path and face are not too far apart. You should ALWAYS start from this measurement. Do not accept even 1 degree off. You can also see the above image from Tiger's Specs that his lie angle is to the 1/2 degree of accuracy.

Flat - (Bottom Image) - This is if an often found lie angle with golfers who are taller or play Japanese brands. The reasoning is that Japanese brands are catering to the majority specs of the people in their immediate market. They may adjust this to suit North Americans but here in the middle east, we see more Japanese specs. A flat lie angle will pull the toe of the club open therefore opening the club face through impact. Golfers will try to flip their hands through the ball, hold the club shut (See above story) or aim the club inadvertently to the left at the set up. This might be easy enough to do but it creates the above swing errors as outlined in the above story.

Now what is the impact of this on the actual ball flight. In other words, how much will I miss if my lie angles are not correct? Below I have attached an image from my club fitting manual back when I was certified to fit clubs for Griffitts. This chart shows you exactly how much the estimated miss would be on a good shot with a misfit golf club.

The upper portion of the chart shows the exact deviation in degrees at impact from straight ahead (where you have presumably aimed the clubface). The right half of the upper chart shows the measurement of miss in feet and inches.

You will notice that the higher the lofted club goes the larger the miss will be. So your scoring irons may miss alot due to a lie angle and that will create an extra deviation that you as the golfer will have to account for and try to compensate for during the swing. When you get closer to the hole, you need to be as close to your target as you can. Assuming that your club is off by 2 degrees you could be missing by 10+ Feet in either direction. Interestingly enough, the make percentage of a putt by a PGA professional tour player from 15 feet is something like 20%. You really want to prioritize your lie angles to be sure about hitting it as close to the target as possible. If you are missing by 10+ feet from your target atop any deviations from your regular swing faults, you can easily see how we can miss by 20+ feet when we have a chance to get it close. Why have that variable in your bag?

Hybrids are Never a Solution to the Long Game

The invention of the hybrid is proof of the 25/38 rule. What I mean is that the hybrid gives the launch conditions that you would need to generate and overcome too low a lofted club. As the lofts of the irons began to shrink, the need for more power behind and through the ball became evident. What people used to use in an iron was gone from the market, so there was a big gap in there. Along comes the hybrid or the rescue as it is so kindly called.

I hate hybrids. Sorry, I do. I know that most people love them, but they really aren't a useful club at all, and primarily because they are terrible through the rough. Get in the rough and try to hit a hybrid from longer grass. Good luck.

The hybrids design puts additional weight behind the clubface which helps to launch the golf ball high in the air and carry it farther than an iron with too little loft. Most golfers would do well to save themselves the money and get an iron which can be used both from the fairway and from the rough and forget the hybrid. The money spent on a hybrid can be used to generate more club head speed via a lesson. This lesson will translate to all clubs and so you won't need to try to make up for a swing fault with a club that artificially creates the proper launch conditions.

The extra width on the bottom of the club means that the club should move on a flatter plane and therefore becomes almost impossible to hit from the rough. So really, I ask myself. IF you need a club that is meant to be used for a long shot, how on earth are you supposed to use it from rough. The club becomes ineffective. If you had a 4 iron that wasn't so strong lofted you could use that in the rough you wouldn't have wasted your money on a club that can really only be used from the fairway. And anyway, isn't that what fairway woods are designed to accomplish? Considering Hybrids, better spend the money learning how to get more clubhead speed with lessons.

Massive Offset is a Cheat, and Cheating is Not Good for You

A little research on offset will show you that the idea was generated in the 1800s by a Scottish pro golfer, and was first put into clubs by PING. The idea is simple, this offset mimics the position of having the shaft ahead of the clubhead which is the ideal scenario when striking a shot. So in effect the offset is designed to create a better impact position and higher ball flight.

The problem with the offset is that it makes golfers not have to learn how to create a better impact position. When the golfer does eventually learn how to create a better impact position, they will start to hit the ball more from the toe and also hook it more. It really isn't that difficult to create the impact position once the golfer learns how to shift their weight properly. It is my belief that club fitting should assist you in having a better swing and by having massive amounts of offset you are being penalized for having a better swing. This is an example of a cheat built into the golf club that isn't going to help you improve.

There is one more pet peeve with offset that I see in almost 98% of cases of individuals that have these clubs. The offset makes golfers line up the shot with the club face closed. This is almost a result of an illusion, meaning that the clubhead design is creating an illusion that a square clubface actually looks open to the average golfer. So every time someone comes in with a huge amount of offset I have to start by adjusting their club face. This of course always affects their aim and capability to aim properly on the golf course. I'm of the belief that a majority of swing errors come due to the golfer's inability to aim properly on the course. If you're looking for new sticks, try your best to avoid the massive offset "game improvement" clubs which have built in cheats. They won't help you long term and you'll end up having to get new clubs without design cheats before you know it. Good for club sales, bad for golfers.

Longer Driver Shafts is a Terrible Idea

Ah, the distance drug. The ever addictive focus on the length of the tee shot. If eyes were laser beams, the top left portion of the screen would have a hole in it where the total distance is displayed.

Most driver sales are sold on total distance. Most golfers are content with a single drive that goes out there, and that's the nature of individual competitive sports. But, here I'm asking you to switch your mentality on the tee shot. The tee shot is the confidence shot that sets up the rest of the hole. I mean to say that most golfers don't know the difference between a drive that goes 220 or 240. They will however react to the feel of the strike and the ball flight. It is here that I am going remind you that golfers learn by ball flight and it is so important to have the proper trajectory and not so much the longest shot 1/10.

Most people look at me funnily when I tell them that max height of each club is more or less the same. In keeping with "learn by ball flight" training idea, we want to really pay attention to the max height for each shot, especially with the driver. It is important to keep consistency in launch conditions throughout the bag, and the driver ball flight needs to be in step. Below we can see the tour averages for a driver and a 6 iron. The deviation is 2 years or about 6 feet. You will also notice that the average male golfer should be somewhere between 36 and 32 yard of maximum height.

When the golfer see that ball flight they get that feeling of a "great drive" and their playing partners will also likely respond to it as well.

Normally Longer shafts means the club will sit more upright if they have their normal set up posture, which causes people to stand more upright in their stance in order to get the club to look flat enough at address. This also means that the set up from driver to iron is totally different and thus introducing a new variable into you golf game which doesn't really need to be there. Better we start the driver fitting based upon the measurements of the 6 iron. Novel idea, I know.

A golfer with a longer driver that stands up the swing becomes much more around their spine, which reduces their chance at increasing club head speed, puts massive strain on their backs and usually results in the golfer swinging up through the ball. The upward strike holds the clubface open and causes the strike to be low on the clubface. Both very bad things, as you get an increase in spin from bottom strikes and an open club face which means the feel of the shot will be weak and the positive confident affirmation that the golfer will receive via a good strike doesn't happen. Over a very short amount of time, the pleasure of hitting a drive is lost and the golfer starts to dislike the driver. All of this can be fixed with a proper length and loft of the driver shaft and a consistency of strike being the primary driver in determining what is correct.

Golf Clubs Can and Will Hurt You

This one I'm going to use point form to try to Tie all the above points into body pains:

  • Lofts: Strong lofts cause golfers to scoop, which will hurt the wrists, the small bones on the top of the hands, as well as the lower back due to leaning back through the shot to create loft.

  • Long Iron Shafts: Longer means more upright of a posture, which means more outward force. Hard on the back since you have to twist and resist that force. Spine takes a beating. Bad in the long term

  • Fat Grips: Definitely cause finger pain. TO be avoided unless your fingers are very long.

  • Lie Angles: Overactive hands or holding the club back has impacts on joints and hands. Forearms can take most of the hammering here.

  • Hybrid in the Rough: Impact on the body is sever, either from the hands or from the shoulders in trying to hit a larger object through grass which has a high degree of resistence.

  • Offset: Again, the better you get the more you will fight the offset. Holding of the club has a myriad of health impacts.

  • Long Driver Shafts: Same as the irons, all kinds of centrifugal force application on the spine. Bad news.

NOBODY Talks or Thinks about Balance

Club fitting is all about balance. It's that easy - or not.

I perform all of my club fits whilst the student is on camera. The club fit begins with measurements and also a baseline benchmark of their existing club set up. We analyse, their clubs and look at their strike patterns on the face of their existing clubs. I check their lie angles and make an assessment of the golf swing in relation to what we know about the golf clubs. Golfers are excellent at compensating over time for their clubs. That means swing compensations, and that means often a compensation which affects their balance.

The proper fit involves removing all of the variable which can cause an impact on the golfers balance. If the lie angle is too flat, the golfer has to make a clubface alteration to get the ball to go straight, if the lie angle is too upright the golfer will hold the club through and that again impacts their balance. If the club is too heavy or too light the golfer will have a reaction to that and it will show in their balance. I am looking to see the golfer swing through the shot without a speed up or slow down of their body to account for the golf club. I am also looking at the club to see if there are any hitches in the swing.

A trained fitter will see the club jerk or slow up/down as the golfer is swinging. What we ideally want is that the club is smooth through the shot and that the golfer can open/close the club and can also shift the weight properly from back foot to the front foot in the proper sequence. The proper fit of club will positively influence the golfers ability to be able to swing in balance.

This is where the shaft flex and weight characteristics come into play the most. The balance of the club (Swing weight) and the release points of the club are most important here. The person that has a naturally aggressive transition may need a stiffer shaft than you would think based on clubhead speed alone. I have given x stiff shafts to people with slower swing speeds and vice versa. It really all boils down to the tempo and the golfers ability to be able to move the club through the ball without jerks or any kinds of issues to their balance and sequence. There is no machine on the planet that can measure this type of characteristics and it is here where the knowledge of the fitter comes massively into play.

I have also never seen a fitting video or any other manufacturer talking about balance in the fit. It was and is the primary fitting idea that was passed onto me by my Griffitts fitting instructor and one that is the most important distinguishing factor between fitting I see happening in the market and what we do at Performance Golf. Proper club fitting is to assist your balance. That's the single culminating goal of a proper club fit.

Tempo is KING

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that 90+ percent of golfers are looking for consistency. They come for lessons to understand the swing and also to gain consistency. I also almost always finish a lesson with tempo training. The tempo is the glue that puts everything in the right order and connects everything together properly. Bad tempo can kill good swing mechanics every single time. It is also the singular focus that golfers should have when they play golf. The objective of lessons and practice is to work on the mechanics of the swing.

The minute you step on the first tee of the hole, your thought should not be on the swing mechanics, it should be focused on making a balanced swing with a consistent and good tempo. Your practice swing is to achieve those two things.

Step up near to the ball with the ball position in the right place, make a practice swing going from back foot to front foot and having the club be fit to that tempo and balance. Then address the ball and focus on repeating that tempo through the shot.

The hardest part of golfers learning how to actually play golf, is that they have to understand that they are not trying to steer or control the ball. That is done through the set up and through the tempo. The minute we start to try to steer and control the ball, we are introducing variability into the swing and changing the outcome. The game is simple, get it set up properly, aim the club face at the target, and make a repeatable tempo. A properly fit golf club will then make the ball go to the target, at the right trajectory and correct distance and spin. The ability to repeat this tempo is your job. The golf club's behaviour is the job of the club fitter.

If you have a club that is not fit properly in any one of the numerous variables of the club, the shaft or the grip, you are introducing a swing fault that will take its toll over time. You are fighting the club and that is a terrible idea because the club is always going to win.

My objective here in this blog post is not to really ruffle feathers or make people feel bad about their golf equipment. My intention is to arm you with all of the variable and the understanding so that when you do purchase golf clubs wherever you are, that you go ready with the understanding and capability to evaluate the quality of the fit that you are receiving. If you quiz your fitter on the points I have outlined above and they give you some sort of strange answer that doesn't seem right. It probably isn't and you should hold off on the buy until all variables have been answered and explained.

There is nothing worse than being mis-sold something so technically important, and if you are going to spend your hard earned money on a bag of equipment, it is in everyone's best interest that you get the club that is going to help you improve your swing and delivery results when you make the correct balanced swing. The best thing to do is to have someone that understands your golf swing (your coach) do the fitting.

A fit which tries to iron out mistakes using the club will lock you into that swing fault/compensation forever. FOREEEE!

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