There’s a difference between club fitting and club performance
By: Ed Mitchell, PGA
Golf instructors and club fitters are faced with the same question when working to improve their golfers’ game; ‘Is it the swing, the club or could it be both that prevents their golfers from improving?’
There is a difference between club fitting and club performance.
Club fitting with the fitting cart method is like having an eye exam. Is number 2 better than 1 or is 3 better than 2. Certainly, the person can see the difference between numbers 3 and 2. If they can see perfectly they have a fit, and then a prescription can be fulfilled to the exact specifications needed.
However, when this method is used to fit clubs, golf professionals/club fitters usually do not know what the club performance specifications of their specific fitting clubs are. How do they know what the prescription should be for their golfer?
Club performance, on the other hand is about club specifications. All golf professionals/club fitters should be able to answer these questions.
- What are the performance numbers of your fitting clubs?
- How does changing one performance number affect other performance numbers?
- What effect do club performance numbers have on ball flight?
- What influence do club performance numbers have on the golfer’s ability to swing the club?
There are 10 basic club performance specifications:
- Grip Size
- Club Length
- Shaft Flex
- Shaft Weight
- Swing Weight
- Total Club Weight
- Lie Angle
- Loft Angle
- Face Angle
- Bounce Angle
Become a golf club performance expert
The moment of truth when fitting clubs is “impact”. The same is true for golf instruction, if the club and ball do not impact properly, ball flight will not be ideal. That is simple physics.
How equipment contributes to ball flight is a direct correlation of the club performance numbers (specifications) and how the club influences the golfer’s swing. It can be both.
If the club face is not square, if the club’s path is not on the target line and if the ball is not struck in the center of the club’s face the resulting ball flight will likely not be towards the target.
What is unknown to most instructors/club fitters is how the golf club is influencing the golfer’s ability to swing the club.
Every golf professional who gives instruction and all club fitters should know the club performance numbers of the clubs their golfer is hitting.
If you don’t know the club performance specifications of your fitting clubs, how do you know you get the same performance numbers on the clubs you order? You don’t.
What do you do if your golfer does not like the new clubs?
What recourse do you have with the club manufacturer if you do not know the club performance numbers?
How do you determine what adjustments or alterations are needed if the new clubs do not perform to the desired results?
I know – you will probably send them back to the manufacturer because they are the equipment experts – am I right?
What if you knew exactly what specifications you recommended for your golfer and had the skills and tools to confirm those specifications or make alterations?
What if you told the manufacturer exactly what you want? Does that make you the equipment expert and make them just the manufacturer?
You Are Correct!! Become a golf club performance expert.