There is a simple equation that works wonders for golfers to improve their golf game for lower scores. (Hint: It’s not taking a mulligan) It’s Golf Instruction + Club Performance = Ideal Ball Flight.
However, this equation is generally offered to golfers in two distinct and separate occasions. Some golf instructors only offer swing methods using swing principles to work a student into a more consistent ball flight pattern.
But this begs the question of whether the instructor was just making adjustments for poorly fitted golf clubs. What really must be addressed is whether the golfers’ mishits are caused because of his/her swing, the performance of their clubs or both.
There are many theories on how to swing a golf club. Everyone recognizes golf is a learned skill, and as long as people play golf, there will be a need for golf instruction. But what if teaching alone is not the total answer for game improvement? What if golf instructors took into consideration the performance of their golfer’s equipment?
The disconnect between golf instruction and club fitting.
A significant gap exists between golf instruction and club fitting. When performed separately, they serve different purposes and do not necessarily produce the same result. Both are needed to improve your golf game.
Manufacturers have embraced club fitting as a method of selling golf clubs for many years. Every manufacturer has their own unique — but in a lot of ways similar — processes. So once a player’s specific fitted clubs are ordered, built, and delivered, the process is over.
There are some flaws to this assumption. First, what if the clubs were not manufactured to the specification of the demo club? Sometimes this happens. And second, what if the golfer has developed swing flaws since being fitted?
Fitted clubs should have their specifications verified by the person or entity selling them to ensure accuracy. And golf instructors should have access to the clubs’ performance numbers while giving the golfer instruction to determine if alterations to the clubs are necessary for achieving better ball flight results. Some club fitters at green grass facilities are even providing a mobile fitting experience to help everyday golfers optimize their game.
The 14 Club Performance Numbers every golfer needs
The 14 Club Performance Numbers manual is available here for golf instructors to use as a guide for adding club performance evaluation to their lesson program and learning how to incorporate them (10 static and 4 dynamic) into club performance alterations.
10 Static Club Performance Numbers – There are ten important static club performance numbers to evaluate to determine the performance capability of a set of clubs. First, sets of clubs need to be consistent in the progression of their performance numbers, e.g., lie angles. Second, the performance numbers must fit the golfer to achieve maximum game improvement, e.g., grip size, club length, and swing weight.
- Grip Size
- Club Length
- Shaft Flex
- Shaft Weight
- Swing Weight
- Total Club Weight
- Lie Angle
- Loft Angle
- Face Angle
- Bounce Angle
4 Dynamic Club Performance Numbers – There are 4 dynamic club performance numbers that are the most important launch monitor data. These data are representative of the performance of both the golfer and the set of clubs and should be compared before and after alteration and with demo clubs of other specifications.
- Ball Speed
- Launch Angle
- Spin Rate
- Power Transfer Ratio (Smash Factor)
Here is a Ball Flight Analysis form used during golf instructions. It will help to evaluate whether the golfer needs swing principles or some golf equipment changes to improve ball flight.