This is a topic that customers and students ask all the time. Someone who is new to the game usually doesn’t need to get fit. However if they are tall or shorter they should definitely look for clubs that are a appropriate length. Also a important component even for beginners is finding a proper shaft that will allow them to develop proper fundamentals right from the beginning. I see too many beginners that start with clubs that are too heavy, particularly women, and they fight the weight and start using the wrong set of muscles. Conversely I will see a beginning male golfer who lets say is a construction worker or a strong athlete and they find a set that is too light and they cannot control the club. There is such a abundance of great used clubs available that they should go to a reputable store and asks questions on what would be the best way to get started. In regards to when its time to get fit, I believe when a golfer begins to see a fairly regular pattern of solid contact and ball flight and they now have established the initial awareness of swing concepts then it is time to get fit. When a golfer gets to that point they should do a fair amount of research as to what all the different aspects of fitting entails. I have fit many different golfers and it is amazing that they don’t know what lie angle, shaft flex, kick point in the shaft is. Also a very underrated part of the fitting is what size grip would benefit them the most.
Clearly there is an endless amount of information on the internet, so I would recommend to any amateur that has developed to the point where they can strike the ball reasonably well that they research the elements of fitting online or go into a store that is known for being expert fitters and ask questions. Too many golfers just walk into a store and they are sold clubs that don’t even belong in their bag. For example I see way too many amateurs carrying a 3 wood and they haven’t developed enough clubhead speed to launch it high enough into the air from off the turf to get any carry distance. The majority of recreational golfers are much better off carrying a 5 wood which will launch it higher and they will hit it farther than a 3 wood. So my biggest suggestion is work on your game to the point you can hit it solid about 60-70% of the time then do some in depth research about the fitting process. After that they go through a fitting with a understanding of the language and will be able to ask questions to the fitter.