The importance of being fit for clubs cannot be overstated. In my time as a player, and now in the business, I feel I can speak freely and say every one of us would benefit from clubs that are properly fit to our swing. That said, there are varying levels of fit for varying players. “Proper Fit” is a term that I use loosely, as it doesn’t necessarily mean clubs are built to your specification.
My favorite example is a member at one of my old clubs, Bob Smith (I promise that is his real name, I’m not making it up) who came to demo day looking to replace a driver. We all know a Bob Smith, he was a bogey-golfer who played several times a week, and struggles off the tee kept him from improving. Bob had an old off-brand driver with a 360cc head and 8 degrees of loft. We fit Bob into a new driver from a major manufacturer with the correct shaft/loft combination to benefit his swing, and he was off to the races! In 6 months, Bob had gained 25 yards off the tee, dropped 6 shots off his handicap, and won his flight in the club championship! (As well as being responsible for selling another dozen of those drivers!)
The driver responsible? A Cleveland Launcher, that I sold off the rack in my pro shop. The fact that it’s a Cleveland driver isn’t important, but without going through custom shaft options, changing the settings of the neck sleeve (this driver doesn’t have one) or any other convoluted adjustments to the club other than the fancy headcover he preferred. Bob didn’t get a “Custom Built” driver, but he did have a proper fitting driver, and that is what’s most important.
The goal of a custom fit is not always to choose highly specified components that will eke every last inch of performance out of your clubs. What the goal of a fit should be, is to make sure that your clubs take advantage of your strengths, or improve upon your weaknesses, if that means you buy a new club off the rack, buy a heavily-customized club, or you even find that the club you have performs best for you with a slight modification. My goal at the end of the day is not to squeeze all your money out of you, but to build your trust so that when it IS time to upgrade, you come to me instead of the other guys.
The moral of this story is simple. Bob wanted a new driver, and trusted his golf pro enough to override the stigma of getting custom fit, and he was all the better for it. Be Like Bob.