Do you know whether or not your clubs fit you? Did you know that clubs need to fit you!! All major club manufacturers have a ‘Fitting Cart’ that professionals use to fit individual golfers. (Although I am a certified Titleist fitter and have worked with many ‘fit carts’, my suggestion would be to get fit with the equipment you are most likely to purchase or get a custom fitting done by a professional fitter).
The question is what came first; the improved swing or the correct fit. One thing is for sure; if you have a good swing and a poorly fit club you will make compenstions in your swing to make the ball fly and go where you want it to. Or in other words you will be trying to fix a swing that ain’t broke! The Titleist website provides an excellent explanation of why proper fit is important. Read more……….
During the iron fitting process, the fitter will determine which model and specifications best meet the individual golfer’s needs to enable better scoring. A big part of this process is the golfer being comfortable with the look, feel and sound of the golf club.
Step 1: Test baseline Conditions
The fitter will observe current ball flight tendencies, personal swing characteristics, and discuss your preferred ball flight, carry distances and ball-stopping performance expectations.
Step 2: Select the Proper Model
Titleist offers a variety of iron models to fit your game, with various profiles, offest, loft progression, and aesthetic properties. Here is an overview of our iron models and their unique features and benefits:
Step 3: Select the Iron Specifications
The proper iron length will allow for ideal posture at address and will result in the most consistent on-center impact. The length fitting process will begin by testing a standard length 6-iron with face impact tape. Depending on shot distribution, golf swing, posture and ball flight results, the player will continue testing 6 irons at various lengths until on-center impact marks have been achieved and ball striking optimized.
The most common 6-iron on the PGA Tour is 37.5″ (standard) followed by ¼” over standard. This is the result of good posture at address and maintenance of proper posture during their swing.
There are circumstances where a player’s swing does not allow for on-center impact marks, and the ideal length will be determined by one that encourages good posture and the most consistent ball striking.
Lie angle has a significant effect on a player’s ball flight and is easily identified and diagnosed. When lie angle does not fit the player’s swing correctly the ball flight will often force changes in their swing and the player can develop poor swing mechanics.
Lie angle is tested with impact tape and a lie board. The player will begin testing lie angle at 62.5° (standard) and hit shots off the lie board with both ball flight and impact marks evaluated. R & D Test Results: Based on a 165 yard #6 iron shot.
Lie angle 2° off equates to a shot 20 feet off target line. Lie angle 4° off equates to a shot 40 feet off target line. Depending on the ball flight, testing will continue until the player’s preferred ball flight is achieved with shots flying consistently at the target. When a player’s swing does not allow for on-center lie marks a lie angle will be chosen that promotes the most accuracy or encourages preferred ball flight.
Step 4: Optimize Launch Conditions
Iron ball flight is largely based on the player’s swing characteristics, which can be fine-tuned with varying head and shaft properties. Regardless of a player’s individual trajectory, the selected irons should provide specific yardage gaps and ball stopping ability throughout the set.
Proper shaft flex allows the player to load the shaft properly and maximize energy transfer to the ball.
Quicker tempo swings generally require heavier shafts and firmer flexes, while smoother tempos may benefit from lighter weight shafts with softer flexes. Most players will benefit from softest flex that producess controllable and consistent ball flight.
The shaft largely plays two roles - it impacts the golfer’s feel during the swing and alters the ball flight due to properties such as flex point and weight. The ideal shaft type produces the player’s preferred trajectory, feel and performance. During the fitting process, players will test different shafts in search of the combination of properties that field the desired ball flight. The following table lists ways a fitter may use club variables to fine-tune launch conditions:
Iron Set Composition
If not already completed, the fitter will determine the longest iron which produces a playable trajectory using Titleist Long Game Performance Charts. More and more PGA Tour players are removing long irons from their bag due to the performance benefits of utility clubs. A playable trajectory is defined as a high launching trajectory that produces maximum carry distance with a descending angle that will allow the ball to stop on a green with control.
Proper grip size will produce less tension in hands and forearms, and facilitate proper release. Test different grips to arrive at the best size and preferred grip type (round or ribbed). Proper size will have fingertips slightly touching the palm in the player’s left hand.