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Things to Consider Before Getting Custom Fitted

Published on 12/29/2023 · 8 min readExplore key factors to consider before custom golf club fitting, from player level to budget, for an optimal game-enhancing experience!
Brendon Elliott, Golf Expert
By Golf Expert Brendon Elliott

A student of PGA Professional Brendon Elliott during a recent fitting at the PGA TOUR Superstore. Photo by Brendon Elliott

Tl;dr: Getting custom fit for clubs, no matter what they may be, can help a golfer perform better. Before considering a fitting, you should consider a few things, including what level of player you are, what the tendencies are with your game, and what your needs may be.

A great deal of good can come from a custom club fitting. However, before scheduling that appointment for a fitting session at the PGA TOUR Superstore, True Spec Golf, Club Champion, or one of your local club fitters, there are a few things to consider first.

Those items of initial consideration will be the topic of this article.

Before we dive in, I wanted to share a little back story on my experience with the golf club fitting experience. As a PGA Professional, I have always encouraged golfers of a certain caliber to get a professional fitting done at some point during their golfing journey. It was not until recently, however, that I actually saw one conducted in person.

After taking one of my students to our local PGA TOUR Superstore for a professional club full bag fitting, I will now and forever sing the praises of getting custom fitted!

What is a Custom Golf Fitting?

A custom fitting is a process of putting a golfer into equipment that fits them in terms of their physical stature and playing tendencies, typically by a certified custom fitter. These custom fitters are experts in fitting golfers for equipment.

Many major golf manufacturers offer their own processes for fitting their equipment, which can be integrated with a more generalized fitting program.

The custom fitting process has become a big business over the last decade. There are several stand-alone golf-fitting stores and chains, including Club Champion and Tru Spec Golf. The industry's big box golf stores, like PGA TOUR Superstore, also offer fittings in a dedicated department, which are led by highly skilled professional fitters.

What to Consider Prior to a Custom Fitting

There are several things that you need to consider prior to making the leap and getting a custom fitting done. Let's look at those now…

What level of golfer are you currently?

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Where you are with your game currently, in terms of your ability level, would be one of the first things to consider. In general terms, beginner golfers and higher handicap players are usually not the best candidates for a custom fitting. Most beginners, as well as high handicappers, need more consistency with their swings before it would make sense to be fit by a professional.

A middle handicap player with an established handicap of 20 or less makes a better candidate for potentially having a fitting done. If a golfer has started to keep a handicap and they have played enough to get that serious about how much they play, then they have likely created some level of consistency. While that consistency may not yet equate to great scores, their habits, whether good or bad, show a level of repetitiveness.

What is the current state of your game?

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This is a little bit different of a question than the previous one, where I asked what level of golfer you were. What you want to consider here is what your strengths and weaknesses are.

Are you a great putter? Do you struggle with your driver? Are you a good player but have a slow swing speed and lack distance? Do you tend to hit wedge shots fat often?

These are the types of questions you should be asking yourself here. This will help paint a picture for the fitter of what your specific needs are.

Additionally, he will want to know other key information and data points if you have that available. For example, if you practice with a launch monitor and gather data on your accuracy with specific clubs, what type of ball flight characteristics do you have, and are you consistently hitting shots in the middle of the clubface? All that information will help tremendously.

What clubs do you currently play?

PGA Professional Brendon Elliott is a long-time Srixon and Cleveland staff professional. Photo by Brendon Elliott

Your current clubs in your bag, including the brand and model, should be looked at before your fitting. Titleist, Callaway, Taylormade, Cobra, Srixon, Mizuno, and other club manufacturers have unique technology, specifications, and styles. Many have their own unique club fitting process, and in that case, you may want to start with a local manufacturer representative.

In addition to the brand and model you are playing, other key information about your clubs will also be useful.

What type of shaft flex do you play? Do you play a standard club length or longer?

If you are playing clubs straight off the shelf and have had them for a while, you are likely due for an upgrade.

What is my budget?

You should also be cognizant of some sort of budget before you go in. There will usually be a fitting fee, in addition to customization of your current clubs, should you choose to do that. Of course, there is a high probability that you may even need some new clubs too, and that will definitely set you back on top of the fitting.

Different Types of Custom Fittings

A student of PGA Professional, Brendon Elliott getting a putter fitting. Photo courtesy of Brendon Elliott

There are many different aspects that make up the game. Driving, fairway woods, hybrids, irons, wedges, and putting. And so, there are several types of fittings to consider.

You could jump all the way in and schedule a full bag studio fitting at your local PGA TOUR Superstore, which is a three-hour session inclusive of a driver, fairway wood and hybrid, iron, wedge, and putter fitting. Or, based on your needs, do you only really need a wedge and putter fitting?

Full Bag Fitting

This is the granddaddy of them all. A golfer will be fit for every club type in the bag. This type of fitting usually includes a driver, fairway woods, hybrids, irons, wedges, and a putter fitting. A golfer will hit shots with all of these clubs. The fitter will gather data points from a radar and make suggestions from there.

Driver Fitting

A golfer's swing speed, ball speed, and shot shape tendencies will be examined. At a driver fitting, a golfer will get suggestions for a driver with a specific head style, loft, shaft flex, shaft length, overall weight, and adjustability options that make sense for them.

Woods and Hybrids

Ditto with these clubs as far as the process you go through. The fitter will examine your tendencies, including your strengths and flaws. This will help them put you in the correct mix of woods and hybrids.

Irons Fitting

With irons, it is the same process of gathering data through hitting shots. Then, recommendations are made based on that data. Different brands and models of the clubs, the shaft characteristics, and more will be discussed and looked at based on the golfer's game.

Wedges Fitting

A wedge fitting is a little bit different. Gathering data is, once again, the initial part of the process. However, the data you are looking for is a little different. You will be hitting a variety of shots with the wedges. To start, you will hit standard, full-swing wedge shots with all of your different wedges. You will then hit partial shots to different, shorter yardages. You will also hit open-face, lofted shots, and well as bunker shots. The fitter will examine what the best wedge gapping or the degrees of loft between each of your wedges would be. We will also look at the degree of bounce you should have on each.

Putter Fitting

Finally, a putter fitting will look at what your tendencies are with the putter. The gathered data will help determine what putter is best for you. Putter characteristics, such as the putter head type and shaft connection style (center, heel, plumber neck, etc.), weighting (face balanced or toe weighted), putter face design, overall weight, shaft length, and grip type, will be narrowed down.

How to Choose the Right Custom Fitting

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I am a big fan of golfers considering getting a custom fit from a reputable fitter.

So, to sum things up, the following are the things you need to consider and ask yourself prior to getting a custom fitting:

  • What level of golfer are you currently?
  • What is the current state of your game?
  • What clubs do you currently play?
  • What specific type of fitting are you interested in?

Having solid and definite answers to these questions will ensure your fitting will be a success, regardless of whatever type of fitting you decide to have.

Finally, as a PGA Professional and long-time coach, I must stress that consistent practice and professional coaching should always be your first priority in trying to knock a few strokes off your scorecard.

Find the Right Custom Fitting for You

Equipment is indeed important, but it will never, in and of itself, be what saves your golf game or brings you more enjoyment. Properly fit equipment can enhance your current abilities or slightly correct flaws you may have. But again, they won't all together save a wayward game.

Should you need any additional information on equipment, club fitting, or anything else golf-related, please feel free to reach out to me here on Curated or contact any other Curated Golf Expert. We are all just a click away!

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