Your Club Fitting Was Not a Bad Day

The Painful Truth

There are many things that golfers say that make me want to pull out my hair – metaphorically speaking, since I have none – but at the very top of the list is, “Yeah, I went for a fitting, but I was having a bad day.”  I’m aware that this is not going to increase my popularity, but you need to hear it: your fitting was not a bad day.

This Lesson Is For You If:

You aren’t confident in your club fitting

You haven’t been fit because “your game isn’t ready”

You are planning on being fit and want to get the most out of it

Excuses and Ego

Why do people say that their fitting was a bad day?  The answer is right there in bold: ego and excuses.

Most people do not know the facts of their game.  They think they hit their driver 250 yards, at least.  They think that their 7I flies 160 yards and is straight 90% of the time.  For the average golfer, this is a delusion that a good fitting will destroy, because the launch monitor will show that their drives carry 200 yards and their 7I goes to all fields.  Rather than accept these facts, many golfers will protect their ego by saying, “Oh no, that’s not me, I’m having a bad day.”

Saying that their fitting was a bad day also gives them an excuse when their new clubs don’t work.  If they slice a drive and their pal starts in with, “I thought you got that fit?” they can deflect by saying, “Yeah, well, they fit my bad swing.”

Be Better

I wouldn’t point out our flaws without offering a solution.  Here’s how we can be better.

First, know your game.  If you’re serious about your score, start shot tracking with a system like Shot Scope.  You will very quickly get the facts about how far each club goes and how accurate you are.  Not only will this educate you, it will help your fitter when you get new clubs.  They can easily see which clubs work and which ones need improvement.

Second, appreciate that your game has variance.  As a golfer, you are not the best or worst swing you’ve ever made; you’re somewhere in the middle.  Over the course of hitting 50 or 100 balls, your “real” golf is going to show.  Don’t be embarrassed when you hit a stinker – your fitter has seen worse.  By the same token, don’t ask your fitter to discount every shot that isn’t perfect.

Finally, get the clubs that do what you want and don’t make excuses.  If you want clubs that will fight your slice tooth and nail, tell your fitter that, but don’t be upset if you occasionally hit a hook.  If you want clubs that are fit to your very best self, that’s cool, but don’t be mad when your middling swings don’t produce great results.  There is no such thing as a perfect fit [learn more HERE], and you are ultimately responsible for your results on the course.

Maximize Your Fitting

There are also simple things you can do to make sure that your fitting isn’t a truly bad day.  If you’re going to be fit indoors, practice hitting indoors.  Alternately, if you can’t stand hitting indoors, find a fitter who can fit outside.

On the day of your fitting, show up rested, well fed, and hydrated.  Take your time to warm up and stretch.  Don’t be nervous about hitting in front of the fitter – they are there to help you, not judge you.  Finally, don’t rush during the process.  If you hit five balls per minute, but shank three of them, you’re not helping anyone.  Take your time, rest and gather yourself between shots, and give each one your best effort.

One last piece of advice that can’t be overstated: be honest with your fitter.  If you lie to your fitter, A) she will know and B) you’re only hurting yourself.

Matt Saternus
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  1. Great article. So true. Golf is a game of misses. We should be trying to minimize these misses as much as we can.

  2. Great article, as always Matt. I have a fitting with Club Champion in Willowbrook on Monday! I would also say the reverse can apply for some people – you look GREAT on fitting day but have a hard time translating that to the course when there are consequences and pressure. The only advice I can give is to pay as much attention to the bad swings as the good ones!

  3. Michael Pasvantis

    Great article. Fittings can be tough, there’s nowhere to hide and there is someone watching…closely lol. Another issue is golfers tend to overswing during their fittings and it’s not their natural tempo. This can definitely lead to a “bad fit” because the shaft you get will not respond as well to your standard swing.
    It’s my belief that a golfer should only be fit of them can legitimately and consistently break 90. That is a player with a fairly repeatable swing and can provide a clear picture to the fitter when it comes to shaft selection and more importantly, lie angle.

    • Matt Saternus


      To your point that only those shooting sub 90 should be fit, I couldn’t disagree more. A good player can overcome equipment that doesn’t fit, a less skilled player can’t. The higher the handicap, the bigger the impact that a great fitting can have.


      • I’m happy to hear you say that. I shoot in the high 90s but my clubs are 17 years old from when I was in high school. Everything is straight off the rack. I’ve grown 3 inches and added about 70 pounds (mostly muscle I hope) since then. I never really had any swing speed monitoring back then but now I have a launch monitor which is telling me my swing speed is 118+. I don’t think my regular flex almost 20 year old driver is cut out for that. I’ll be getting fitted soon to hopefully start breaking 90.

  4. In 2020 I booked an iron ‘fitting’ at Halifax Bradley Hall Golf Club. The initial analysis was identified by a strain gauge fitted to the shaft. Upon completion and with a number of suitable shafts selected, I was directed down to the range. This in the company of the assistant professional who had undertaken the initial testing. The golf balls varied from range balls to well used balls of differing compositions. No measuring device for launch angle, spin, distance, ball or club speed was used, I had to look at the flight of the ball for distance and guess the outcome. On asking to try a different shaft I was given three balls to try ! I have since contacted that club’s Head Professional, the club manufacturer and even the PGA with my complaint, albeit, all to no avail. I was offered a ‘free hour’ by the club, to do the same thing again I assume, or perhaps not.
    Having overcome my disappointment I booked to another fitting at Royal Birkdale. What a difference! Tested with premium golf balls both inside and out with a scope, with all relevant details measured. Upon completion of the inside analysis the Head Professional accompanied me to the outside range where he set up Trackman, thus allowing me to try his recommendations and to make sure I was happy with the results. Happy to say I purchased the clubs.

  5. Great article Matt.

    I too have sent emails to the fitter after the fact apologizing for my “bad day”. I think everything you wrote was true in my case…discounting bad shots, making excuses, hitting 20 balls per minute. Thankfully the fitter was great and was able to steer me in the write direction in the end…with a recommendation that bruised the ego slightly but performed better which is essentially what we want in the end.

    Giving the fitter my Shot Scope results also helped as these are actual on course distances not my made up “best case” scenario shots.

  6. How many fitters identify a club that would be a good value for you, rather than choosing the latest driver and usually a higher charge shaft vs a standard shaft. The fitters just lack credibility because of their lack of practicality. It is not all fitters, but most will only fit you to 2021 equipment and wont suggest a used driver or 2019/2020 version of the driver. It’s too much of a sales ploy (imo). I know you will hate my response, but I have lost faith in the salesman and not the technology.
    I would also add that getting fit strictly indoors is not a great idea. My best fittings combine indoors and outdoors.

    • Matt Saternus


      I’m not sure what alternative you would suggest to fitting golfers into new product. If a fitter can’t buy a, for example, G400 Max driver head, what’s the sense in fitting a player into that? As to the overall cost of equipment, any fitter that I would recommend would be happy to work within a budget or try to find more cost effective options for any player.
      Regarding indoor fitting, do you have any reasoning to support indoor fittings being “not a great idea”?
      It sounds like you’re painting with a very broad brush based on a bad experience.


  7. Thank you for posting this. I recently went and had my clubs fitted to me. I’m not disappointed with the process, but more my performance during it. The fact of the matter is, that’s what I am. I wouldn’t be a 16 handicap if I wasn’t.

  8. I had a full bag fitting about 3-4 years ago at Club Champion. I agree with everything you wrote. No ego here I was brutally honest about my game and its weaknesses. I knew he was there to help not judge. After hitting about 5 different irons and a few different shafts he said the new irons would be about 12-17 yards longer. I then was fit for a new putter. Got the new clubs and surprise….. they did not go any farther than my 6 year old irons. He said come on back (a 90 minute drive) and we’ll see what’s wrong. Try as we might I could not reproduce the original numbers. Fitter had no answer but said this happens a few times a year. The irons (7) cost me $2600. They said sorry but the best we can do is refund $300. So it cost me $2300 for irons that were no better than what I was playing. But wait there’s more! Because the iron fitting was tiring I returned a month later to hit drivers, hybrids and fairway woods. I have no idea why but after hitting these clubs they said there was nothing they could offer in the way of improvements. That hardly seems possible for a person that had never been fit before. Were they afraid of a repeat? Who knows. I’m not trying to say fitting is a scam just that sometimes it doesn’t work out. When friends ask about fitting I recommend they get one iron built to the new specs and try it out. If it works get the whole set. If it doesn’t at least you’ll have saved a lot of money and frustration.
    P.S. the $220 Odyssey putter they sold me I wound up abandoning 3 yrs later for a $45 Ray Cook model that was face balanced. Putts great, but that’s another story .

  9. Great article. Seeing real numbers and averages, and not got grasping onto the perfect one offs, can be quite humbling to many. #GetFit2021

  10. GetFit2021

  11. Kevin Morrison

    Great article, Matt. Can’t wait to #GetFit2021

  12. I’m always concerned about having a bad day at a fitting, but this article makes sense.


  13. This is probably one of the best articles I have read about club fitting.


  14. #GetFit2021 going to get fit as I type. Thanks for the great article it helped my mindset a great deal.

  15. The game is hard enough. A proper fitting eliminates additional obstacles. A proper fitting won’t eliminate all obstacles, but you’ll be able to focus on the remaining obstacles, instead of constantly wondering whether your errant shots are due to you or your equipment. Do it. You won’t regret it.#GetFit2021

  16. Craig Trzebny

    I got fitted for my clubs about 25 years ago, would it be expected that my swing would change enough to get refitted. Thinking mostly about lie angle as I know the shaft flea is likely to change. #GetFit2021

  17. Valentin Chou

    #GetFit2021 I had a Tracman lesson a few years ago and it was eye opening how the numbers don’t lie. My Pro had me focused solely on carry distance which is the number I use when I play. And he also saved me some $$ because he didn’t see the need for new clubs yet.

  18. A must to #GetFit2021

  19. I can’t tell you how many years AND YEARS I have put off getting a true fitting.
    My wife went to Club Champion back in December and is driving past me!
    Maybe time…

  20. I found this article interesting. I believe quality of fit to be important for golfers of all handicaps. #GetFit2021

  21. This is a good point. Because us hacks’ swings are constantly changing, no fit will ever be perfect. But don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good. #GetFit2021

  22. Great advice.
    Go get your bag fit check at Club Champion.
    I didn’t know there was a store in New Orleans.
    I’m going to check my bag. Thanks Pluggedingolf. com!

  23. Having a bad day swing was my worry when I went through my fitting at Club Champion.

  24. Niels Chr. Pedersen

    Start your fitting by being measured and then get your irons tested and adjusted to the specs the manufacturer meant the irons to have i.e. length, (swing weight) MOI (which I rely on for its repeatability), loft, lie, and grip thickness combined with the adjustments necessary from your features.
    With this done, you’ll be confident and mentally geared to start playing and getting a true picture of the performance of your set.
    First then it will be relevant to go to the fitter for further improvements, IMO.

  25. I fit clubs and would recommend any golfer wanting a new set of clubs get fit. It’s not how far but how consistent you can be!

  26. Michael Wiggins

    It’s also possible that they were nervous because they knew they were being fit under the scrutiny of an expert, pressed a bit, and did have an uncharacteristically bad day. That may well happen more often than not. It may not be ego or delusion at all, it may be a frank expression of what actually happened. Just so you don’t think I’m butt hurt because I had a bad fitting day, I was last fit for clubs in 1984. I had a fabulous day, hit the ball like a machine and got fitted into tiny forged blades which I promptly used to lower my handicap 4 strokes to get down to a 3.

  27. O Thomas Johnson

    I just did a fitting. I will add a couple things to this. Be in game shape. I booked mine in early May. I live in Wyoming. I played a couple rounds in AZ in March. I played one in Wyoming prior to the fitting. Any decent day I had I went and hit on the range. It nearly impossible for me to play rounds during the week. I hit nearly 200 balls that day and I was wrecked!

  28. I’ve done a few fittings. However I’m not comfortable hitting in a box off a hard floor. Two of the fittings I got nothing out of it and had to come back because of the feeling of clostrophobic. The original one I did for the driver fitting however went well. If you don’t feel comfortable hitting in a box … don’t waste your money.

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