Club Fitting for the Tall, the Short, and Junior Golfers

A Perfect Fit for Every Body

Together with Club Champion, we’ve done testing to bust some of golf’s most long-standing myths.  Today, we’re discussing myths around club fitting using a different resource: Club Champion founder Nick Sherburne’s 20 years of fitting experience.

From young to old, tall to short, hacker to aspiring pro, Nick has fit them all.

Myths and Bad Ideas

“I can turn adult clubs into kids clubs by just cutting the shafts”

If you want your kids to have success and enjoy the game, this is not the way to go.  There are many factors that need to be considered when creating a golf club: length, total weight, shaft weight, swing weight, and shaft flex, just to name a few.  When you chop down an adult club to make a kids club, you’re ignoring all but one.

Nick Sherburne suggests that you can successfully turn adult clubs into kids clubs, but it would involve more than just chopping them down.  A club builder would need to adjust the weight and verify that the flex is appropriate for the young player.

“I don’t need to get fitted.  I’ll just fit my swing to standard clubs.”

No matter your ability level, your clubs should fit your body.  Nick sees this every day in his fitting bay.  “All golfers, children to adults, don’t realize how much the club in their hands dictates the swing.  Having the proper club instantly improves swing technique and quality of impact.”

“Tall people need longer clubs.  Short people need short clubs.”

Height is only one parameter in fitting club length.  Two others that play major roles are posture and arm length.  A taller player with long arms may actually need shorter clubs than a short player with short arms.

To drive this point home, Nick related his fitting experience with former Chicago Bull Scottie Pippen.  Despite standing 6’8″ tall, Scottie’s irons are only 1/2″ over standard length!

Reality

In reality, there are no simple rules for fitting any golfer – tall, short, young, or old.  There are simply too many factors.

Height is a factor, as are arm length and posture.  More important to a good fitter, says Nick, is what happens when they’re actually swinging a club.  Static measurements are only a starting point.

In any fitting, Nick says that he wants to “see how their body reacts during the swing” while having them swing on a high quality launch monitor that measures both the ball and the club.  He also emphasizes the importance of understanding a player’s goals, especially for a more complicated fitting.

Extreme specifications – inches over standard length, dramatic lie angles – should be reserved for extreme cases.  When asked for his most extreme fitting, Nick mentioned fitting former Chicago Bear Richard Dent.  Because of Dent’s short arms and huge chest, his irons were 3″ over standard length.  Assuming you don’t throw around offensive linemen for a living, your clubs probably don’t need to be that extreme.

Conclusion

Tinkering can be a lot of fun, but if you’re looking for the fastest road to the correct fit, it runs through a qualified club fitter.  There are no simple rules for fitting length or weight.  The best decisions are based on in-person testing and seeing the performance differences when you change variables.  Whether you’re five feet tall, seven feet tall, or somewhere in between, your game will benefit from clubs built just for you.

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Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

One Comment

  1. Gerald Barton

    To better understand how your body type impacts your swing pick up a copy of The Laws of the Golf Swing. It was published over 20 years ago.

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