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Clubfitters Corner by Ted Strickland
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Article #2: What to Expect From a Professional Clubfitter

So you’re thinking you might check out a set of custom made clubs. “Warning Will Robinson!” While a competent club fitter/builder will always strive to give you the best product possible there are many out there who are willing to just build you a set of clubs and send you on your way.

Here are some things to look for in choosing a custom club fitter/builder.

First and foremost does he offer a money back guarantee? Any professional is willing to stand behind his work. Does that mean just because you don’t get that extra 20 yards has he not done his job? No, there could be other factors at play (your swing dynamics could be the bigger problem).

Second, what components does he use? There are several companies that make custom components that rival or even surpass components that the OEMs use. Stay away from clones or knockoffs. Most components in this category are made from much inferior materials and the variances in composition and production methods will surely show up in the finished product.

Third, what methods does he use for assembly? There are many out there that just throw clubs together by cutting the shafts to a set trim pattern specified by a shaft manufacturer and glue the heads on and put on a grip. These are called cut and gluers. A competent professional will make sure the flexes of the shafts are consistent from club to club and that either swingweighting or moment of inertia matching (MOI) is used to ensure the clubs feel the same from club to club. Component heads that feature a weight port are ideal for this purpose. Look for that feature when choosing a head.

Fourth, what is his fitting process like? How does he go about finding what’s right for you? Did he take any measurements such as height (wrist to floor measurements work also if the arms are not proportionate to the body). How about swing speed? Careful on that one, it doesn’t always tell the story. Did he use any type of swing determination by either a launch monitor or video swing analysis? Does he have an area that you can actually hit clubs from (not into a net, full swing with full ball flight).

Fifth, has he kept pace with technology and/or developments in the golfing industry? There are many out there that may have been doing this for eons but they’ve been doing it the same way for eons. Too much information and knowledge has been obtained in the last 20 years about golf clubs. Make sure he’s up to date.

Sixth, and probably the most important of all is, does he instill a feeling of trust? Just because he works out of a basement or garage doesn’t mean he’s not a great club builder. Some of the best professionals may not have that fancy storefront. By the same token a fancy storefront may not ensure a competent professional. There are a great many club builders that this is a second profession for them, and usually they are discovered by word of mouth. Just because it is not their primary vocation doesn’t mean they aren’t passionate about providing the absolute best product to their customers. In many cases that’s what brings new customers to their door.

In the next installment I’ll be discussing what to look for in the clubs themselves, plus why custom components can be far superior to off the shelf products.


Have a question or comment for Ted? Contact him here:
Ted.Strickland@itron.com

 

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