Your Club, Your Way: A Guide to Customized Golf ClubsPublished on 05/27/2023 · 7 min readThere are more ways to make your golf clubs your own than ever before. Golf Expert Rob H. gives you the inside scoop.
Customization in the golf industry is a huge business now. From customized golf balls to custom golf tees, to custom golf accessories, and of course, custom golf clubs, it's about taking your golf game to the next level and doing it in style! Equipment manufacturers are offering new programs to make clubs truly yours—not just your custom club adjustments we are all used to, but custom options like changing colors on clubheads, 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. Custom golf equipment is also one of the most thoughtful golf gifts you can give to the golfer in your life.
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 with new custom clubs fit to your specs. If you are hitting shots with 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 about 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 that is custom fit up to one inch longer—if not one-and-a-half inches longer—or shorter by one inch. There are always exclusions to this rule, but it holds true for most offerings.
The right club 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 the broad category of people who are between 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.
For example, taller people who are 6'2" and trying to use regular-length clubs will have a tendency to impact the ball closer to the sole of the golf club and will have less interaction with the turf with their irons. The result is low iron shots, which can be frustrating because we all want a nice, lofted approach into the green. The customization option is to add half an inch to the length of the clubs. The beautiful thing is that whether the golfer plays with graphite shafts or steel shafts, the extra length is available in both! Another example is a man who is 6 feet tall but who has shorter arms than average. As a result, his clubhead is too upright at address and impact, even when he is in an athletic stance. This player might also need an extra half-inch added to his clubs.
The other factor that I always take into account is the golfer’s back health, wrist health, and general physique. If the golfer has known back problems, you can add a little length to reduce stress on the back and improve comfort on the golf course by allowing for a more upright posture. Or, if the golfer has arthritis in his hands and pain in his elbow and wrist, then using a bigger grip size and lighter graphite clubs can help reduce the strain on his hands and relieve some pressure on the wrists and elbow.
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. Typically, these are standard lengths, but most manufacturers allow customization of stock shaft length, and aftermarket options stock all flex shafts to suit your swing speed with length customizations.
There are endless combinations of shafts you can install in your clubs, and they come in a wide color scheme. 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. This allows shaft companies to give golfers an opportunity to try their club components and see how they perform, usually at a discount to the manufacturer for a bulk order as the stock option for that specific model.
Warp Speed to the Future
The industry is starting to go toward full customization. You can now customize golf clubs with the colors you want, stamping, and paint-filling numbers and letters onto the clubs. Your exact specifications and engravings can be purchased like never before.
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 of 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 paint fill of the caps on the Jailbreak bars and some of the accent colors on the head. It adds a little flair and makes your set of custom clubs stand out when you hit the course.
Wedges are where we are seeing the most customization and personal preference shine through. You can change shafts, grips, and lie angles. And on top of that, you can add stamping (hammering in characters, logos, personalization, or even phrases onto the wedge, as seen in the video below). 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 for custom stampings with flat rate fees. Note that just like a regular wedge, a custom wedge is still going to show nicks, especially with consistent use in the sand, which is just very fine and minuscule rocks.
Many putter companies have had one-off putter productions, but these usually cost you upward of $2,500 and aren't the best prices for your casual weekend warrior. Now, companies are taking their best-performing putters and letting you customize the correct color scheme for your style and height for your swing and line of sight. 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 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 in your golf bag that can even improve your accuracy and consistency on the putting green.
It’s likely that the shaft market will continue to dominate the customization of made-to-order items in the golf world 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 Golf 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 to customize golf clubs! Whether you're shopping for yourself or you're looking for the perfect gift this holiday season or for a birthday, if you have any questions on which customizations would work best for you or your loved one, chat with me or one of my fellow Golf Experts here on Curated for free advice and recommendations. We'd be happy to fit you into custom golf clubs just for you—ask us how!