Have It Your Way: All About Golf Club Customization
There are more ways to make your golf clubs your own than ever before. Golf expert Rob H. gives you the inside scoop.
The customization of golf clubs is a huge business now. Equipment manufacturers are offering new programs to make clubs truly yours—not just your custom club adjustments we are all used to, but changing colors on heads, stamping, and even changing the paint within the letters or numbers on the clubs to make them pop more. The world is your oyster—if you want it, you can get it done.
Most irons and wedges can be ordered online with different lie angles and loft adjustments. You can truly fine-tune how the ball comes off the face. If you are hitting a little cut or a fade, make the clubs a little upright; if you are hitting the ball too low, add a little loft to the club. Changing the loft on wedges, in particular, has become a big deal. Fitters and experts have become very knowledgeable with wedge gapping, and we do not want you to waste your money on wedges going similar distances. We will always make sure there is plenty of loft, so your clubs are not overlapping. Shaft length modifications are also very common across all clubs. Most manufacturers will allow you to order a club up to one inch longer—if not one-and-a-half inches longer—or shorter by one inch. There are always exceptions to this rule, but it holds true to most offerings.
Length will really come down to a couple of factors, the main one being how tall a person is. According to one company, standard-length clubs are built for someone who is 5’7” to 6’0’’. For approximately every two inches above or below this range, you are going to add or subtract one-half inch. The other factor that I always take into account is the golfer’s back health. If the golfer has known back problems, you can add a little length to reduce stress on the back.
Aftermarket shaft options are another way to make clubs your own, since shaft companies usually offer shafts that the club manufacturers do not carry. Over the past 10 years, the custom shaft market has boomed in the golf sector. Brands like Project X, Fujikura, VA, and Mitsubishi have gained major market share because they all have shaft options that club manufacturers will install when you order clubs.
There are endless combinations of shafts you can install in your clubs, and they come in all different colors and graphics. My favorite shaft graphics come on the VA Slay shaft—it has a black and blue colorway with dragons running down from the grip. Companies are also using the custom market to pick their stock shafts. For a long time now, True Temper has offered an iron/wedge shaft called the Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (stiff) and X100 (extra stiff). As of late, Cleveland (RTX4 wedge) and Mizuno (T20 wedge) have included these as their stock shafts in their flagship wedges.
Warp Speed to the Future
The industry is starting to go toward full customization. You can now order products with the colors you want, stamping, and paint-filling numbers and letters onto the clubs.
Driver customization, for the most part, has been about shafts for a long time. It has always been about who can get the coolest or newest shaft on the market. I remember when Tiger Woods started playing the original Diamana in his driver—everyone was trying to rush out and get it.
Now, manufacturers can also change the color on the heads to make it look the way that you want it to look. If you look at the image above, I was able to change the color of the caps on the Jailbreak bars and some of the accent colors on the head.
Wedges are where we are seeing the most customization. You can change shafts, grips, and lie angles. And on top of that, you can add stamping (hammering in of characters, logos, or even phrases onto the wedge). With that, you can choose what colors the manufacturer will use to fill in the stamping. If you are feeling patriotic, make the stamps alternate red, white, and blue; if you are feeling like pumpkin spice, make the stamps orange. You have endless possibilities, here.
Many putter companies have had one-off putter productions, but these usually cost you upward of $2,500. Now, companies are taking their best-performing putters and letting you customize it. TaylorMade allows you to purchase its Spider putters with custom colors all over the club head. You can change the body color, weight color, different sight lines, and the badges. The options are not as extreme as a one-off, but the options it does give you are enough to make sure you have a truly unique putter.
It’s likely that the shaft market will continue to dominate customization for the time being. Companies like PXG and Honma are willing to offer you any shaft on the market when you order their clubs—we will have to see if other manufacturers will follow suit. Titleist, TaylorMade, and Callaway continue to expand which heads they offer in their respective custom offerings, but as of now, you will be paying a premium price for them. That said, Cleveland did offer free stamping on preorders for their new ZipCore wedges before they were released. So with the trends moving towards more options for everyone, it looks like the future is bright for customization options.
There are a lot of options out there – if you have any questions on which customizations would work best for you and your game, chat with me or one of my fellow Golf experts here at Curated for free advice and recommendations.