The Game Improvement Equation

There is a simple equation that works wonders for golfers to improve their shot making for lower scores. It is: 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 raises a question, was the instruction just making adjustments for poorly fitted golf clubs? Or asked in another way, are the golfers’ mishits caused because of his/hers swing, the performance of their clubs or could it be both?

There are many theories on how to swing a golf club. Everyone recognizes golf is a learned skill and as long as the game prevails there will be a need for golf instruction. But what if instruction alone is not the total answer for game improvement? What if golf instructors took into consideration the performance of their golfer’s equipment?

A large gap exists between golf instruction and club fitting. When each are performed separately, they serve different purposes and do not necessarily produce the same result.

Club fitting has been embraced by manufacturers as a method of selling golf clubs for many years. Each manufacturer has their own unique but in a lot of ways similar processes. All manufacturers’ fitting methods lacks one major element. It is assumed once the specific fitted clubs are ordered, built and delivered, the process is over.

This method begs of many questions. What if the clubs were not manufactured to the specification of the demo club? 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 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.

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 to learn how to incorporate the 14 Club Performance Numbers into club performance alterations.

The 14 Club Performance Numbers

10 Static Club Performance Numbers – There are 10 important static club performance numbers that need to be evaluated to determine the performance capability of a set of clubs. First, sets of clubs need to be consistent in 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.

  1. Grip Size
  2. Club Length
  3. Shaft Flex
  4. Shaft Weight
  5. Swing Weight
  6. Total Club Weight
  7. Lie Angle
  8. Loft Angle
  9. Face Angle
  10. 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.

  1. Ball Speed
  2. Launch Angle
  3. Spin Rate
  4. Power Transfer Ratio (Smash Factor)

Here is a form that can be used during golf instructions to evaluate whether the golfer needs swing principle or golf equipment changes to improve ball flight.

Leave a Comment