Everything You Need to Know About Driver Fitting

Published on 12/23/2023 · 10 min readUnlock the secrets of driver fitting: your ultimate guide to optimizing your golf game. Get ready to tee off with precision and power!
Michael Leonard, Golf Expert
By Golf Expert Michael Leonard

Photo by Mr.Somchai Sukkasem

Tl;dr: A driver fitting is one of the most beneficial ways to invest in your golf game. A custom fitting with a professional can help you hit it longer and straighter, so you can shoot lower scores without changing your swing.

The driver is the longest club in the bag and often the most feared club. Some golfers are so terrified of their driver that they leave it in the bag all day and opt for 3-wood instead.

I’ve been there myself… many times as a beginner golfer. But that was a long time ago and luckily equipment has changed, making this club significantly easier to hit.

Even with technological advancements, there are still many golfers who avoid the big stick at all costs. However, being afraid of your driver is likely costing you shots every single round by leaving you longer, more difficult approach shots.

If you want to lower your handicap, you need to learn to love your driver. Getting a custom fitting is one of the best ways to build confidence and finally conquer your tee box fears.

What is a Custom Driver Fitting?

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So, what is a driver fitting anyway? A fitting with a professional is pretty simple from your side of things. As a player, just show up to an appointment, hit different drivers with different shafts, and let the expert work his magic.

As you hit balls into a simulator or on the driving range, there will be a launch monitor collecting your club and swing data. It will log everything from carry distance, ball spin rates, launch angle, and ball speed to club speed, apex, and total distance.

To a nonprofessional, it’s about as easy to decipher as hieroglyphics. But to the professional, they can easily identify which driver is working best for your tee box game.

Thanks to launch monitors, it’s easy to objectively test different drivers, shafts, and lie angles or lofts. They’ll also help with shaft length, grip size, and other specs to get your ideal trajectory based on your unique swing.

After a few swings with each club, it’ll be evident if your current driver shaft combo is working or if you might want to consider making some changes to your equipment.

What to Consider When Investing in a Driver Fitting

If you’re committed to playing your best golf, I can say that a driver fitting is one of the best things you can do. Before booking a session, it’s essential to ask yourself these three questions.

How often do you play golf?

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Are you someone who casually plays golf or someone who is borderline addicted? No judgment, I’m happily addicted to the game myself.

If you’re someone who plays golf for fun, barely keeps score, and just likes to get outside, a fitting isn’t the best idea for you. Why? Because investing in a new driver or shaft to improve performance may not be necessary for your playing style.

However, if you’re a golf addict like myself and eat, sleep, breathe golf… you should consider a fitting. It’s the easiest way to ensure your longest club is helping, not hurting your game.

Are you making swing changes?

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Before booking a driver fitting, you want to first assess the state of your game. If you’re currently working with a coach on a big swing overhaul or haven’t played much lately, I’d skip a fitting for now. Instead, work on your fundamentals and get back to regular practice on the driving range.

Once you have a better understanding of your swing and in more of a rhythm, then it’s a good idea to get fit.

I’d advise against a fitting during a major swing change because it might skew the data. If you’re hitting the golf ball all over the place, it might lead to more guessing than testing. It’s not to say you have to wait until you have a perfect swing (if there is such a thing). But there’s no doubt you’ll get the most out of a fitting when you’re swinging consistently and not thinking too technical.

Do you want to buy a new driver?

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The final question to ask yourself is do you want to buy a new driver and have the budget for it? Most new drivers are $400 to $600, assuming you buy a stock shaft. If you buy an aftermarket shaft, you’ll likely spend close to $1,000 for a driver and shaft combo.

Different Types of Driver Fittings

When it comes to driver fittings, there are a few different types. Each one has their own pros and cons. Let’s review to see which one will benefit you the most.

Free Indoor Driver Fitting

The first type of driver fitting is done indoors at a local golf store using a launch monitor and golf simulator. It doesn’t typically cost money and a store associate (not a golf professional) will help you try out different driver heads and shafts. This typically takes 20 to 30 minutes and is a good way to test new gear without spending any money on a professional fitting.

Benefits

  • Free fitting.
  • Very convenient.
  • Don’t need to schedule an appointment.
  • Good way to test out new drivers before a paid fitting to narrow down selection.

Be Aware

  • Golf store associates won’t have as much data about each drive.
  • They also won’t be able to help you analyze/understand the data or test out premium upgraded shafts.

Outdoor Demo Day

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The second type of driver fitting is known as demo day. This is where a golf equipment company (ex. Callaway, Cleveland, etc.) sets up an area on the range to allow golfers to test out equipment. They’ll have all types of drivers, woods, irons, and wedges to let you test the product before investing in it. These are helpful, but not as good as the next option, as it’s harder to compare your driver vs. new clubs. Since you’re hitting outdoors, it’s more guessing than testing with a premium launch monitor.

Benefits

  • Typically free or a nominal fee (maybe $25).
  • Can hit new clubs without having any obligation to buy.
  • Get to hit outdoors and see the ball flight, which is preferred by a lot of golfers.

Be Aware

  • Harder to evaluate your current driver vs. new clubs.
  • Not always easy to find a demo day near you with the right equipment, date, and time.
  • Demo days are typically only one brand (ex. Ping, Titleist, etc.), which doesn’t allow you to test their equipment vs. other top names.

Photo by PeopleImages.com - Yuri A.

The final type of fitting is a paid one that happens indoors, typically at a golf store or outdoors at a local golf course. This is different from the first one, as you’ll work with a certified club fitter to test out a variety of different drivers and shafts to find one that matches your swing.

You’ll start this session by hitting your current driver to establish a baseline. After 5 to 10 swings, a fitter will have you hit different drivers, such as the Titleist TSR2, TaylorMade Stealth 2, or Cobra Aerojet.

After a few drives with each club, a fitter will ask how you feel about the club and share the data with you. During the fitting, which should last 40 to 60 minutes, your fitter will help explain the numbers, try out different shafts, and change the loft or lie angles.

Once you find the highest-performing club, in terms of distance and accuracy, the fitter will help narrow down the right shaft as well.

Benefits

  • Get to hit all the newest equipment with premium launch monitors.
  • A certified club fitter can explain complex data to help you avoid buyer's remorse and find a club that is perfect for you.
  • You can easily compare your current driver vs. the newest equipment to make an informed decision.

Be Aware

  • Sometimes you can work with a fitter who might not know his stuff and provide less reliable recommendations.
  • A fitt may try to upsell premium shafts that aren’t always necessary for the everyday golfer (usually to earn a higher commission).

Features to Look for in A Driver Fitting

Now that you have an overview of the three main types of fittings, here are a few things to consider.

The Right Fitter

Finding the right fitter is key to making the most of your session. Do some research online to see if you can find any reviews of past clients and what their experience was like.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Fitting

Another factor to consider with a fitting is if you want to be indoors with a golf simulator or outdoors on the driving range. If it’s a paid fitting, you’ll get the same data and have the same clubs to test, but some golfers like seeing the ball fly outdoors. Depending on where you live, you might have to wait to hit outdoors if courses are closed in the winter.

Cost

The final thing to consider with fittings is the cost. If you live in a golf area (Arizona, California, Florida, Texas) you’ll likely have a lot of fitting options to choose from. Make sure to inquire about the cost of the fitting and if you get any discounts if you end up buying a new club with them.

How to Choose the Right Driver Fitting

Photo by Yakobchuk Viacheslav

Below are some examples of different types of golfers and what fitting will suit them best.

Neal

Neal is a beginner golfer who’s played with a complete set of clubs, but wants to take the game more seriously. He’s still only playing a few times per month but wants a new driver to help him stop slicing so much.

Features Neal should look for:

  • A draw biased driver.
  • A lightweight graphite shaft with regular or lite flex.

His best pick is free indoor fitting at a golf store to test out new equipment from top brands.

Joseph

Joseph is a huge Callaway fan and plays an older Rogue Mavrik driver. He wants to add more distance, but isn’t sure which new Callaway driver is best for him.

Features Joseph should look for:

  • Mid-launch, mid-spin driver.
  • A new shaft to see how it compares to his current one.

His best pick is an outdoor Callaway demo day at a local golf course. This will allow him to test out different Callaway drivers (especially the Callaway Paradym) and see which one feels the best and has the right ball flight.

Leo

Leo is an avid golfer who can’t play enough golf. He speed trains, practices a lot, and wants less spin for longer drives, as his speed is nearly 110 mph.

Features Leo should look for:

His best pick is a paid custom fitting with a professional to get the right shaft and driver head to match his above-average swing speed.

Find the Best Driver Fitting for You

A driver fitting is a great way to test out different equipment and find a club that matches your swing perfectly before buying a new golf club. Take the guesswork out of the equation and let a professional help you find the right driver head and shaft combo for maximum distance and it’ll lead to more confidence on the course.

If you aren’t sure which bag is right for you or have more questions, don’t hesitate to contact a Curated Golf Expert today.

Curated experts can help

Have a question about the article you just read or want personal recommendations? Connect with a Curated expert and get free recommendations for whatever you’re looking for!

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