Proper Club Fitting
- Club head design, and weight
- Shaft materials, weight,
flex, flex or kick points, torque, and length
- Club - lie angle (this must be determined in swing by the contact
the club head makes with the ground)
- Grip size and feel
- Swing weight
- Overall weight of the club
In terms of club head design,
most companies have instituted some form of perimeter weighting.
Perimeter weighting means
there is added weigh around the outside of the club head.
This distributes more mass behind the ball on off center
hits, which helps the ball fly straighter and further.
As a general rule the more weight there is located towards
the bottom or sole of the club head the higher it will make
the ball fly. The more weight located on the top of the club
head the more it will keep the ball flight down. As a general
rule your better players desire a lower ball flight.
To determine the proper fit the club fitter will check some
general measurement from your hand, knuckles, or fingers
to the ground. This will give them an idea on the overall
length of shaft that you should be using. The longer
the shaft the faster the club head speed. The trade off is
in the accuracy with which it can be hit. A club fitter
may take an individual who hits the ball very straight and
short and put them into a longer shaft. This person may
be willing to give up some of their consistency accuracy for added
distance. If you hit the ball longer with poor accuracy,
a longer shaft would not be advisable.
Next he will check your swing speed with a swing radar.
He will then observe your ball flight to determine if
it is too low or too high and whether or not your general ball
flight pattern can be improved with different equipment.
These things will help him determine the shaft material,
weight, flex, flex point and the torque of the shaft
that will best suite your needs.
As a general rule shafts come in ladies, seniors, soft or regular, firm or stiff,
and strong or extra stiff
flexes. Individuals with slower swing speeds will require
shafts with softer flexes. Shafts come in steel and graphite
and they have low mid and high kick or flex points.
Generally speaking graphite shafts are lighter and longer
than steel shafts. Graphite is a little more versatile in accommodating
individuals who don't fit into the average physical
measurement and abilities. Graphite is more easily customized
to fit unusually tall or short individuals, as well as
individuals with excessive and slower swing speeds.
The kick point is where majority of the flex will occur in the shaft.
Shafts have varying degrees of torque
as well. Torque is the amount of twisting capabilities the
shaft has. Generally speaking stiffer shafts have higher
kick points and lower torque which results in lower ball flight
tendencies. Weaker shafts have lower kick points
and higher torque which produces greater speed and higher ball flights
when swung at lower speeds.
In my opinion majority of golfers
are playing with shaft flexes that are too stiff. The stiffer
the shaft, the faster it needs to be swung in order for the shaft
to flex the proper amount to maximize efficiency and distance
of the shaft. The problem is most individuals are not able to
flex their shafts, unless they over swing. If they don't
over swing their not going to realize the maximum distance
the shaft can effectively produce. This results in a
catch 22 in that over swinging typically produces tension,
which results in less speed and distance to begin with. Over swinging
also produces miss hits, which also affect distance
and accuracy. Put this same individual in a weaker shaft that
will allow them to swing slower, smoother and more consistently
and they will maximize their efficiency, hitting the
ball further with less effort while playing better golf.
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