How to Get the Most Out of a Club Fitting

Optimize Your Fitting

Congratulations, you’ve finally done it: you booked a club fitting.  Now what should you do?

Step one: go into the fitting with an open mind, contemplate a realistic budget, and communicate with the fitter prior to the fitting to express any concerns.  Any fitter that is truly concerned with your game will have an extensive interview prior to a single shot being hit.  The interview may happen when you arrive or it may occur over the phone.

Honesty is the Best Policy

This is far and away the most important thing that I can recommend to you: be honest with your club fitter.

There are two reasons to be honest.  First, just like your mother, your fitter already knows the truth.  If you swing your driver at 80 MPH, your fitter knows that your drives aren’t carrying 275.  More importantly, honesty is going to help you get the best results.

Be truthful about what your misses are, what shots you’re confident in, what shots scare you, and what your goals are.  If you just want more distance and don’t care about spraying it all over creation, say so.  If you’re a chronic slicer trying to buy a fix, say so.  Your fitter can’t get you into the best clubs unless you’re honest about what you want.

Another thing to let your fitter know is whether or not you’re going to be working on your game.  An accomplished fitter can take this into account when making a recommendation.

Be Ready for a Workout

Club fitting can be a marathon.  Especially if you’re trying to get fit for a full bag in one session, you’ll be making more swings than you’re used to.  Get a good night’s sleep before the fitting, have a good meal, and get hydrated.  During the fitting, don’t be afraid to take breaks, get a drink of water, or eat a snack.

Good fitters understand that it can be a long process.  If you’re getting tired, communicate.  A fitting can usually be broken up into two sessions is fatigue is an issue.

Speak Up

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve fit who answered every question with, “It doesn’t matter,” “I don’t know,” or “I don’t care” (for the record, I never accepted any of these answers).  These are your clubs!  It’s your money!  You have the right to have preferences!

Whether you’re a Tour pro or a guy who can’t break 120, you have the right to express your opinions about what you’re hitting.  Tell your fitter which clubs you like the look of, which ones feel good, and which ones you never want to see again.  And don’t wait to be asked.  If they hand you something that you don’t like, for any reason at all, hand it back (politely).  That said, keep an open mind.  Ask the fitter why they think this is a good option for you.  A good explanation might open your mind to a club you never would have selected for yourself.

Finally, ask a lot of questions!  A club fitting is an amazing opportunity to learn.  Ask about why your fitter is handing you a certain type of club, why this shaft does (or doesn’t) work for you, or anything else that’s on your mind.

Have Fun

The #1 problem I see with golfers getting fit is that they’re nervous.  I can guarantee that if your club fitter is worth a damn, he or she doesn’t care how good you are, they just want to make sure that you have a great experience and end up with better golf clubs.

Enjoy the experience, learning about your game, and finding the best equipment.

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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.

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11 Comments

  1. I’d like to ask, what may be an obvious question. Before a golfer begins down the road of being fitted, they should:
    A) expect to, not only pay for the fitting
    B) prepare to purchase all new clubs (because the off-the-shelf clubs that we’re currently using are wrong and cannot be “fitted” properly to our swing)

    • Matt Saternus

      Ernest,

      It’s hard to give a simple answer to that. If you have the means, it’s ideal to go in and purchase all new clubs based on the fitting. Of course, for the vast majority of people, money is a consideration. It is usually tough to get your current clubs fit properly because most fitters only have current models in their fitting matrix. That said, it’s not unheard of to have your current set bent/cut down/extended/reshafted.

      Ultimately, I think the advice in the article holds: tell your fitter what your budget is and let them lay out some options for you.

      Best,

      Matt

  2. Sean Frazier

    Perfect timing for this for me. Im going to club champion for a fitting in 2 weeks. Im a little nervous because its a full bag fitting and i worry ill tire out

    • Matt Saternus

      Sean,

      As long as you communicate with your fitter, you’ll be fine. One of the biggest keys is handing back things quickly if they don’t feel right to you.

      Best,

      Matt

  3. Tom Duckworth

    I had a fitting about 6 weeks ago and one big thing that happened was he had me change my grip.
    I understand why, my right hand was too strong and my left was neutral so we made my right more neutral.
    That small change blew my mind I was so screwed up by that change I could hardly swing the club I felt like I had to fight it going back and swinging through all I could do was just grip it like mad and swing.
    I since have been to the range and got more use to it and now it feels normal but at the time it was killing me and I know my swing speed and strike were way off. I felt like just stopping the session and saying let me get use to this first and try again but we were right in the middle of it. So I don’t know what to do now or what to say to the fitter I’m not sure now if I can trust the fitting session or if I should just start over. What do you think? I have read that a good fitting is also like a lesson so I just went with the flow.

    • Matt Saternus

      Tom,

      That’s a tough situation. I don’t want to be a backseat fitter, but I tried to stay well away from teaching when I was fitting.

      I think your gut was right: you probably should have put a pause on the fitting until you felt comfortable with the new grip. Did the results of the fitting feel like they were way off to you? At a minimum, I would ask to go back and give the clubs he recommended another try before ordering.

      Best,

      Matt

  4. I would agree that nervousness is the worst part about fittings. I have done three fittings with a top 50 clubfitter (one session for driver/FW metals, one for irons, and one for wedges and a putter). The fitters were awesome, and I enjoyed hitting so many combinations, and I think I ended with good clubs, but man was I nervous the whole time…like sweating profusely in 65 degree weather nervous. More nervous than I ever have been on the course. I know that this really affected the tempo of my swing and made me almost embarrassed to ask the questions I had rehearsed in my head a hundred times before going. I tell myself this is good because it is probably closer to my “under pressure” swing, but that is probably just to help with worry that I wasted money. Again, I think I got great clubs, much better than my off the shelf set, but I am always worried that I didn’t maximize my sessions because I was so nervous. My only hope is that, if I save the money to do it again, I will be a little less nervous.

    • @Jake. Now that you’ve been fitted. What improvements have you seen? Your handicap index drop by 1/2 pt, full point, more? Average score drop by a stroke, by two, by more?? Are you gaining yards on all your clubs? The gaps consistent (i.e. 10 yds between clubs, not 6, 13, and 21 between the 7i, 6i, and 5i)???

  5. My handicap did go down about a point. These are my observations. Obviously I think my clubs are better than my rack set. Big improvement with the driver. Not a lot more distance, but definitely a lot fewer big hooks. About the same with my FW Woods, but my old 3 wood was my favorite club. Wedge game definitely improved off of tight lies and out of the bunker. However, I almost regret selling my old irons. I feel a little less comfortable with my irons. I know I hit the new ones farther, but even after a season I just don’t feel super comfortable with them. I think this is where my actual tempo being slower than It was at the fitting may have showed me better numbers and more consistent gapping with the new clubs. Mainly, I think irons are so much about comfort, and you just can’t 100% know how they will grow on you after your fitting.

    Again, overall I am happy, but I wish I could have been less nervous and enjoyed the fitting so I could have thought more about how the clubs felt to me not just the numbers.

    Cheers

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