Find the perfect "Fit" for your game
Doug Hammer

Scottsdale, AZ (Sports Network) -- Throughout the year I encounter golfers of all different skill levels. Some have a hidden talent for the game, and some have to look very hard for that talent. Regardless of your skill level, it is important to play with equipment that is the proper "fit" for your game.

Having golf equipment does not mean dropping by the parents' house and grabbing Dad's old set that he doesn't use anymore. If you are serious about playing the game, get a good name brand set of golf clubs. The technology that has been developed for today's clubs is 200% better than that which was found in golf clubs from as recently as the early 1990's. A good set of clubs can definitely help to lower your scores. The drivers are bigger, more forgiving and create more ball speed on off center hits, which results in greater distance. The irons are also bigger, more forgiving and maintain ball speed on off center hits. Most companies are using Titanium or other lightweight components to allow them to move weight around the club heads to correct ball flight. For example, you can fix your slice by simply switching golf clubs, sounds easy right?

There is an asterisk here, however. The equipment you get needs to be fit to your ideal swing and your playing style. Notice I said "ideal" swing. At Troon North we fit all of our clients with instruction included. While equipment can help improve your game by adding forgiveness and increasing distance, we ultimately need to put a good swing on it. To help understand the importance of getting fit, consider the following example.

I had a student visit me from Louisville, KY last month. He had his old set of irons from the mid 90's in the bag. As we were discussing his goals for his golf game in 2009 he mentioned that he abandoned his brand new set of Mizunos at the end of 2008 as he "hasn't hit the club face since May." The previous May, this gentlemen invested in a new "custom fit" set of Mizuno irons. He had gone to his local club and paid for a fitting and purchased his new "custom" golf clubs, all for a premium price. So I asked him to describe his fitting experience. He described how the fitter had taken him to the range, watched him hit 5 or 6 balls, had him hit from a Lie Board with some face tape on the club and on the sole, and then repeat the process with several different clubs. After about 30 minutes of this, the fitter suggested a club that was 1/2-inch over length with a 5 degree upright lie angle.

Now this had my attention. Effectively the clubs for which he was "fit" were a total of 6 degrees upright. I am not sure Yao Ming would fit to a 6 degree upright club. This gentleman from Louisville was, maybe, 5'10". He did have an outside/in, or over the top swing shape, which would show very upright impact characteristics on a lie board. However, it is very difficult to hit 6 degree upright golf clubs, especially if you are trying to get rid of your "over the top" move. These clubs were so upright that all he could manage to do was repeatedly hit the hosel resulting in the dreaded shank - over and over again. Imagine your state of mind if you had spent several thousand dollars on a new set of clubs and then shanked them for 7 months.

So, we began the lesson with his old set of Ping Eye 3 irons, which were standard length and 2 degrees upright with the lie angle. He was swinging well that day, hitting the ball slightly on the toe of the club. As we began working on getting the club to swing more from the inside, I gave him a club from our rental sets. This club was standard length and lie. When he swung too much over the top, he did not strike this club well at all; however, this worked to his advantage as it reminded him to swing correctly on the next shot. It was only a matter of a few minutes before he was hitting nearly every shot crisply off the face of his "standard" golf club.

Golf Technology
This story was not intended for you to avoid club fitting; it is very important to have your clubs custom fit. If you choose to go through a fitting, be sure to follow these guidelines:

  • 1.Get fit at a club that uses fitting technology such as launch monitors and video.
  • 2. Be honest with your fitters and tell them if you are taking lessons or trying to fix your game
  • 3. Ask the fitter what his personal philosophy on fitting is
  • 4. Take your old clubs and have them do an analysis on them as well
  • 5. Hit your new clubs before you order them

    The purpose of investing in new equipment is to improve your game. Be sure to get equipment that is fit for your ideal golf swing.

    Doug Hammer * Director of Instruction * Troon North Golf Club p 480-585-5300 ext. 251 * f 480-585-5161 * 10320 E Dynamite Blvd. * Scottsdale, AZ 85262 Managed by Troon Golf? *

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