Are you among the 70% of golfers who have never been fit for golf clubs? My guess is that you are! There are several key components of club fitting that you should know and be able to utilize to improve your performance. Every iron includes these key components: the grip, shaft, and clubhead. All of these aspects can be altered to fit your swing.
The grip of the golf club has evolved dramatically over the past few years. The most popular grip companies are Golf Pride, Lamkin, and Winn, with each company producing a variety of different grips. Grips are typically made out of rubber, but many golf companies are now using new man-made materials to increase the feel and comfort of a grip. Before you go selecting a grip you should make sure it fits your hand, as grip size is one of the most overlooked components. Choosing the proper size grip is critical because it regulates the pressure you place on the club. Minimal grip pressure is needed to properly execute a golf swing. Accomplished clubfitters can measure your hand and recommend the correct size. If a clubfitter is not available, many grip and club manufacturers have charts available that can aid in selecting the proper grip size.
- Shafts for golf clubs are available in two materials, steel and graphite. The steel shaft is the most popular choice for clubs by most manufacturers. It’s a more consistent shaft that produces the best feel, and is heavier compared to a graphite shaft. The graphite shaft is made of lighter material and produces less strain on your body during the golf swing by absorbing the shock from off-center hits. Graphite shafts are rarely used by manufacturers because they yield inconsistency and have a higher cost to build.
- Selecting the correct shaft flex is critical to your individual success on the golf course. Choosing the correct flex is done by measuring clubhead speed, the angle of approach, and how you load the club from the top of the backswing to impact. Accomplished clubfitters can measure these key factors and recommend the correct shaft options. If a clubfitter is not available, many club manufacturers have charts available that can aid in selecting the proper shaft and shaft flex. It is important to know that if you get measured without hitting a golf ball, this is referred to as a static fit. If you get fit while swinging a club and taking measurements at impact, it is referred to as a dynamic fit. You can gain significant information from a dynamic fitting, but getting a static fit is a good starting point.
- Choosing the proper shaft length is another necessary component to shaft fitting. The proper shaft length relates to individual features such as height, arm length, and shoulder width. When getting measured for shaft length, golf shots can be measured using impact tape. Impact tape is placed on the clubface to see the results of where you are making impact with the golf ball. Golf shots struck off the toe could mean the golf club is too short. Likewise if struck off the heel, it could mean the golf club is too long. In addition to toe and heel shots, golf shots stuck too low or too high on the face may also be an indicator of a length issue. Once again, accomplished clubfitters can measure these key factors and recommend the correct shaft length. If a clubfitter is not available, many club manufacturers have charts available that can aid in selecting the proper shaft length. I will say, using the trained eye of a professional clubfitter never hurts.
Selecting the proper clubhead is another important part of the overall club fitting process. There are multiple types of clubheads, including forged, cavity backs, game enhancing, game improvement, oversized, and many more. The key attributes of a clubhead include offset, perimeter weighting, lie angle, loft and bounce. The more offset featured on the iron, the more it is designed to help get the ball into the air. Perimeter weighting is when the weight of the golf club has been moved to the outside, or perimeter, of the golf club. This process aids with off-center golf shots still traveling the intended distance. Lie angle is a critical attribute, especially in your short irons. Improper lie angles can cause golf shots to go offline significantly. Pay close attention to the lofts on your irons. This will aid in having the proper gaping in your golf bag, which will help you determine how many and what types of metals and wedges you can add. Also, if you have a tendency to take large divots, bounce will prevent the club from digging into the ground and help glide the club through the turf.
As you can tell, there are multiple components that go into a successful iron fitting. Take a look into our custom irons and stay tuned for more information on how fitting can help all aspects of the golf game. Happy golfing!!