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Custom fitting golf clubs has literally become a science. Back in the mid 1970's when I started making clubs, very little information was known about club length, shaft flex and grip size. Golfers just assumed that any set of clubs would fit them so they bought clubs based solely on looks. Now, 40 years later these clubmaking factors have become very important in getting clubs to help golfers enjoy the game or to enhance their ability.
Fitting Club Length
When fitting a golfer, club length is one of the easier factors because there is a fairly narrow range that golfers fit into. Most name brand clubs use specifications for length that are also used in their advertising to try to get customers to buy their clubs. For example, Callaway and Taylormade make their stock, off the shelf drivers to be 45½" in length for golfers who score 80 - 120. So why do companies do that? To make golfers think they will hit their 45½" driver a long distance. Yet the average length driver on the PGA Tour is only 44½". The truth is that the longer a club is, the harder it will be to hit CONSISTENTLY! When I custom fit, I look at the player's height, wrist crease-to-floor measurement and most importantly.... ABILITY. If the golfer has problems hitting consistently, the club length will be shorter than what the measurements call for. Rarely do I make ANY driver over 44½".
Fitting Grip Size
Fitting grip size is also fairly simple. I measure the size of the entire hand and the length of the longest finger. Then I ask if the player has any problems with their hands (soreness, arthritis, etc.). Lastly, I check to see how they grip a club...is it held more in the fingers or more in the palm. Then I give a sample grip that is the size of grip that I measured them for. If that appears correct, it should work perfectly.
The most important factor is shaft and shaft flex. The standard for the golf shaft industry is that there is no standard for golf shafts. Because of this, I use independent testing information provided by my good friend, Jeff Summitt, who helped invent the 'Dynamic Shaft Fitting Index' which breaks down all of the relavant information about golf shafts. Over the years Jeff has tested thousands of shafts and I use all of his information to get the best possible fit for my customers.
Here is a sample of what it looks like:
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