Customizing the Clubs
Here's where the rubber meets the road (or the driver meets the ball,
to speak). It was hard to decide how to organize this section, because
customizing is really the mapping between two domains:
Should the chapter be broken down by properties of clubs, or of the
that will use them? I finally decided that since I was trying to
a two-dimensional (at least) mapping, I'd need a two-dimensional
So we begin with a table, where the columns are parts of the club and
rows are traits of the golfer. If there is a customizing effect worth
about at the intersection, it is noted; for instance:
The characteristics of the golfer for whom the clubs are built, and
The characteristics of the clubs.
First let's look at the table. But before we get down to using it, read
the rest of this page for details about how it is organized.
For the trait "Swing Plane"
You can adjust in the "Clubhead" using "Lie angle", or
You can adjust in the "Shaft" using "Length".
entries in the table are links to the relevant section in subsequent
Note 1 - See also the
section on swingweight, which
is a composite of all the parts of the club.
Note 2 - This refers to
a beginner's club or a
"game improvement" club, vs the club of someone with a perfectly
Within a cell, I have tried to keep the characteristics in order of
effect. For instance, the "Clubhead's" effect on "Trajectory" is most
by varying "Loft", then "CG", and least by "Offset". After the table,
rest of the section is organized so that you can find the effects noted
in the table.
So scan the table, check out the traits of the golfer for whom you're
the clubs, and go to the club features to read how to choose components
to match the clubs to the golfer.
One important caveat about using
Don't try to cure FAULTS through
choice of equipment. That
should be handled with lessons and practice. Rather, match the club to
the characteristics of the player's game and frame. Examples:
In short, build the club for the game to which the player can
aspire in the short term... say, before it's time to buy the next set.
Exception: if the fault is really a compensation for an ill-fitting club, then by all means fix that problem.
DON'T try to cure a slice with a small grip,
unless you're sure
the grip was too big to begin with.
DON'T get a closed-face driver to cure a slice.
DO match the flex of the shaft to the speed of
the golfer's swing.
DO choose the length based on the golfer's hand
height and swing
It's OK to make the club more "forgiving" for a
beginner, or for
someone who doesn't play enough to maintain a really consistent hit.
philosophy -- don't cure a swing fault with a compensation in the club
design -- is controversial. It is what I believe, but you will find a
lot of clubfitters who disagree, even experienced and successful ones.
Let me present why I feel as I do, then leave you free to choose your
own philosophy in the matter.
Adam Young's book "The Practice Manual" distinguishes between learning and performance. There are ways to practice to improve performance
as quickly as possible. But such improvements tend to be short-lived
and, more important, fragile; they probably won't work under pressure.
There are other ways to practice that maximize learning; they give slower improvements in performance, but the improvements are lasting and robust.
clubfitting to cure a swing fault is akin to short-term performance
improvement. It may fix the symptom, but not the underlying fault. If
the golfer never takes lessons nor practices, that may actually be OK;
the fault is not going to get fixed anyway, so relieving the symptom is
an improvement of some sort. But if you are fitting a golfer that is
willing to improve, fit them to a swing that their physical condition
allows and let them focus on learning,
so the performance improvement is long-lasting. Why is this preferable?
Because the golfer who is willing to do what is necessary to learn may
be stymied from doing so if you have built a compensation into the
club. That compensation may get in the way of the next improvement
Last modified May 13, 2017