Tour Fitting Studio
World-class fitting experience – our tour fitting studio will custom fit your golf bag with expert analysis and instruction. We feature the use of revolutionary interchangeable fitting system as well as stroke analysis software to identify and recommend what is best suited for each individual.
Beware of the Bix Box Store Club Fitting
You are likely aware that big box golf stores offer “free club fitting”. This service is a prime example of the adage “you get what you pay for”.
Recently a student of mine had a disappointing experience that serves as a cautionary tale. She had her handicap down to about a 10. She had worked hard and was finally seeing those rounds of 50 % pars and 50% bogeys. The place where most of my students describe as the pinnacle of their game. So excited was she at the improvement in her game and the results of her lessons, that she decided to treat herself to a brand-new set of fitted clubs. So, off to the big box store she went.
Club fitting is a science and an art. Most commercial club fitters have the customer hit a number of shots with various clubs and record things like swing speed and ball speed. The computers that are used don’t know anything about the individual, their natural swing, or how they play the game. The information fed into the computer is done so in a vacuum of very limited information. The first drawback is that the fitter is not having the customer first hit balls with their own clubs, the ones that they are currently playing their best golf with. They don’t inspect the equipment to get a baseline for the customer’s performance level. Instead, the customers are handed club after club, with different heads and different shafts. Even if the fitter takes the time to do that, the fitting is conducted inside, in a completely controlled environment, off cushioned hitting matts. There is no wind, no grass, no slight ground imperfections – elements which will later impact the customer’s ability to duplicate the “in store experience”. One must also consider the condition of the balls being used for the fitting. Only brand-new or almost brand-new balls should be used. Typically, the balls you find in the hitting area of a big box store have been hit thousands of times which would result in a loss of ball compression. Without considering any of those factors, once the customer is done hitting balls, the computer calculates on which club the customer best performed and whammy – the determination about club heads and shafts is made on the spot.
This is pretty much the experience my student had. The wonder-kid at the big box store determined that my 150 lb., female, athletic student had a swing speed of 100 miles per hour with irons and needed tour level stiff shafts for peak performance. Well, her first round with her new clubs was demoralizing. Gone were her pars and she struggled to even make bogey as shot after shot went low and off to the right. She began to doubt her skills, doubt all that we had learned together. The ghost of negative golf speak was leaking back into her game. “What’s wrong!” she almost cried. A quick inspection of her new clubs was all the answer I needed. “Wrong shafts” I told her with a frown.
Having the right shaft on your club is one of the most important aspects of your golf equipment. The shaft is the motor of the golf club. The shafts on your clubs must be of appropriate stiffness and length to match your ability, style of play, and swing speed. If the shaft is wrong you are going to fight every shot; you are going to miss – a lot; and you are going to be increasingly unhappy with the game. That is the last thing I want for any of my students.
I came across the chart below so that I could better explain to my student why I knew that she wasn’t swinging her irons at 100 miles per hour. My advice to her was to return to the big box golf store and request that the shafts be changed out to a s-regular flex. Once that happens, I know she will be very happy with both her game and her new clubs.
Remember, you can always obtain a club fitting from a certified, independent club fitter and take those measurements to the big box golf store to order your clubs. A private fitting should typically cost $50 to $100. However, independent club fitters also have the ability to order clubs from the manufacturer for you and will typically waive their fee, just like the big box store. I suggest that you ask your golf instructor for a recommendation to a certified club fitter.