Every professional golfer has their clubs custom made. Most serious amateurs also use at least a few custom clubs. Building custom golf clubs are just as the name implies, “building”. During this process, we do not actually make the golf clubs. The individual golf club components are ordered from manufacturers or other sources. People who assemble golf club components are called, “Custom Builders” or “Clubmakers”. There are only four components that make up a golf club – club head, shaft, grip, and ferrule. NOTE: The ferrule plays no functional role in the club other than for aesthetic purposes.
Building golf clubs is not as simple as having a bench vice, hacksaw, copper pipe cutter, and a tape measure. There are a number of specialized tools and other specific items that are required – not to mention the knowledge of doing it correctly and being able to troubleshoot any issues that might arise. The largest name brand companies assemble their own clubs in the factories. As a custom golf club builder, you have many options for different Brands to use. The top name-brand golf shafts, golf grips, and parts can be purchased without buying the entire club. The heads of the largest companies can not be purchased individually. However, name-brand heads that are pre-owned or demos can also be bought and utilized to customize a new or old club.
There are a great many independent component manufacturers, which offer a wide variety of styles in components to choose from and build the near perfect set of clubs for your individual golf swing and preferences. Not only is building a set of clubs completely customizable, but can be very cost-effective in relation to buying a set of clubs from a retail store.
Custom club building can be for just one club or an entire set. There are two basic directions to go. 1) Starting from scratch with all new components (usually after an extensive fitting session), or 2) Updating, upgrading, or modification of existing clubs with one or two components. Things to think about include set makeup, club gapping, whether new clubs are needed – or if it makes more sense to modify your existing clubs with some combination of new shafts/grips/heads.
When purchasing off-the-shelf retail clubs, you are conforming to the golf club – its design, standard specs, and general characteristics. However, if the clubs are custom built, the golf club conforms to you. As a golfer, you probably know how negative a change in your swing can screw up your game. This is why you should not conform to the golf club – but have the golf club conform to you.