Fitting Irons and Hybrids
At Better Golf Shot, we use an old school approach to fitting. We do not have an expensive indoor computer-based golf simulator (also known as a launch monitor). Many of the stats these expensive machines provide are not important marketing hype. What matters is club results. On-course performance is everything.
We use proven real situation techniques at an outdoor driving range or on an actual golf course. No ball flight monitor can accurately simulate on-course performance. The best stat received from the machine is swing speed. At Better Golf Shot, we have a portable swing speed monitor to acquire that data.
Fitting Club Specs to Swing Speed and Tempo
It is critically important to match a golfer’s clubs to his swing speed. But, shaft stiffness isn’t 100% about swing speed as swing tempo is important too. For example, a person with a 95mph swing that has a short, quick tempo may need a stiff shaft. While, someone with a 105mph swing and long slow tempo may benefit more from a regular flex shaft.
The rate of accuracy with golf simulators has always been in doubt with perfect indoor conditions. If you are placed on two different models of golf simulators – you will see that the readouts that can vary significantly. Golf simulators are better served as a ballpark guide. They are less useful in fine-tuning any club specs. Albeit, it is a useful tool for head to head comparisons such as one driver or iron vs. another.
Simulator versus Actual Performance
Furthermore, most people are not able to feel confident in any club’s performance until they hit it on a driving range or on the course. There is definitely difference between the real range and the simulator. Our practical fitting program performs practical measurements and observations out on the range with “outdoor” conditions that effect play including: humidity, wind, and background noise.
We utilize a number of different items to assess ways to improve your clubs. We are not only golf technicians, but rather golf club swing certified. Our technical and swing expertise enables us to maximum performance from your clubs. This is true for both brand new or vintage clubs and everything in between.
We have an iron set of clubs specifically designed for fitting. This set includes multiple club combinations of a standard 6 iron for both right handed and left handed golfers. The 6 iron fitting set includes variations of loft and lie settings. This fits a person for the right angle of their individual swing. We also have both steel and graphite shafts in the various flexes: L, A, R, S, X.
Our program involves having the player hit a few shots with their current 6-iron. Then try various combinations (shafts are interchangeable from each club) of other 6 iron models. Based on the results and personal preferences, you’ll be matched to specs for optimal hitting results. We chart distance, accuracy, forgiveness, and trajectory to determine some recommendations.
Match the player seamlessly with a shaft set that offers optimized flight, feel and forgiveness. That means all variable shaft characteristics are considered.
Measuring a person for club length is based upon a player’s swing plane. Another factor under consideration is the golfer’s ability to square the club face at impact. We have a laser measuring tool that can read whether your hands or the club face is leading into the ball.
We determine ideal shaft flex based on the player’s ball speed, swing tempo, swing weight trajectory at launch, and preferences.
Using lie tape and the lie board, we determine if the player needs standard, upright, or flat lie angles for their irons. Having the proper lie angle is one of the most important elements of fitting. Playing with incorrect lie angles can cause misses of up to 20 yards – even on a perfect swing.
There is a general assessment whether the “muscle back” or “cavity back” iron head is a better fit. All golfers need to find the right head weight feel. When club loading, the head fee must match their sense of swing timing, rhythm and tempo. This is true in order to achieve more consistent center hits. In general, blade style irons have a distance advantage over most larger and “more forgiving” cavity back designs. Blades hit longer, but are much more difficult to control.
Golf manufacturers are now frequently replacing the lower number long irons with one or two “hybrids”. These clubs are often called “rescue” or “trouble” clubs. Hybrids are a cross between a long iron and a fairway wood (hybrid), and extremely adaptable from poor lies (rescue). With a deeper and wider cavity back, hybrid clubs are designed to the launch the ball much easier after striking it.
In a hybrid golf club, the center of gravity is shifted to the bottom of the club, which helps in launching the ball high up in the air. The face of the hybrid golf club is also kept flat which gives the ball a higher spin rate. The higher launch angle of the club makes it possible for the ball to spin and stop faster after landing. The shaft of the club is generally shorter than a 3 or 5 wood, but longer than any iron.
The fitting issues to check here with this type of club are head design, length, loft, and lie angle, which are checked and measured while the golfer is using them at a golf range. Keep in mind that you will typically hit longer with woods than irons. Perhaps a 4 hybrid is 17-19 degrees in loft comparable to 3 iron, but you’ll most likely hit the 3 hybrid longer. The hybrid as the name states, is longer than an iron an shorter than a wood at the same loft angle. Plus, a hybrid serves as a functional solution for getting out of deep rough.