There are many different body types, setups, and swings. It is obvious that one golf club is not going to fit every golfer. Club fitting is the process of selecting a set of variables in a golf club that complement the golfer's unique set of tools that is his/her natural golf swing. In other words - customizing the club to the golfer rather than the opposite. We consider the following criteria when fitting someone for a club(s):
A standard 5 iron is 38 inches long. The length of an iron that is right for each golfer depends on essentially how far his/her hands are from the ground at address. This distance is determined by (1)player height (2)setup, and (3)arm length. We use a well-researched and time-tested chart to determine what length is ideal for the golfer. You can literally have 3 different golfers that are the same height that use 3 different length iron shaft. In general, the length of a driver and/or fairway wood is determined more by club balance tolerances rather than player height. Metal woods are longer anyway and the length is somewhat "subjective" (meaning there is no right or wrong answer). We would rather see a tall person swinging a shorter driver that swing-weights perfectly than that same golfer extending the driver to be more comfortable but winding up with a swingweight that is much too heavy for the balance of that particular club.
Lie angle normally only applies to irons since metal woods are not adjustable.
The lie angle of a club is the angle that the sole of the club makes with the shaft
of the club. A typical lie angle for a 5 iron is 61 degrees. Lie angle importance
increases as loft of club increases because a wrong lie angle with a lofted club
actually "points" the face off line. As a rule of thumb, for every 1 degree that
your lie angle is wrong, the ball will start 4 yards off line. Do not just assume
that your lie angle is correct. You have approximately a 1 in 5 chance of that
being the case - not something we'd bet on.
The loft of a club is what gives the ball it's lift in the air. Although the loft of an
iron can be adjusted for various purposes, one is not "fit" for an iron loft. Fitting
for loft applies to drivers mainly. For every ball velocity, there is an ideal
launch angle and backspin combination that produces the longest distance.
Any change in any of the 2 variables whilst keeping the other fixed means a
change in distance. As ball velocity decreases, it is necessaryto launch the
ball higher to obtain maximum distance. Conversely the fasterthe ball speed,
the lower the trajectory needs to be. There are other considerations to be made with driver loft. One important one is the face that a higher loft produces less sidespin and more backspin. Less sidespin means straighter shots. A balance should be achieved between accuracy and distance so the golfer can find the greatest success.
The shaft moves during the golf swing. This movement affects feel, control, and distance. The faster a golfer swings or the more he/she "loads" the shaft, the less flex the golfer needs built into the shaft. The slower a golfer swings, the more flex built into the shaft can help with feel and distance. There is a proper balance to be achieved for feel, control, and distance when selecting a proper shaft. There are generally 5 different flexes available: Ladies, Seniors, Regular, Stiff, and Extra Stiff. Shaft flex does affect the trajectory of your shot. In general, more flex makes the ball go left, less flex makes it go right. More flex increases backspin which can make the ball go higher. Less flex decreases backspin which can make the ball go lower. Different shafts also have different "kick points". A higher kick point produces a lower ball flight. A lower kick point produces a higher ball flight. Shaft weight and shaft torque rating are also important.
Grips vary in size because hands vary in size. A larger hand needs a larger diameter grip to "fit". A smaller hand needs a smaller grip. There is some subjectivity with grips in that a "natural feel" of a smaller or larger grip than what is theoretically correct is sometimes acceptable. Some feel that a larger grip makes the club easier to control. Others feel that a smaller grip is easier to swing the club faster. As in other fitting variables, proper consideration must be made to decide the right grip size.
If you have read this carefully then you should realize that there are a lot of considerations to be made when choosing fitting variables. We at Golf Warehouse Atlanta pride ourselves in having a tremendous amount of experience with club fitting. You will find that our fitting process is very "interview" oriented. Considerations must be made in terms of your tendencies as well as your realistic expectations of the future of your game. We are expert club fitters and we will be happy to fit you for your next driver, set of irons, or putter. Call us for an appointment.