Backswing RoundUp

Custom clubfitting can be daunting for new players. Where and how should they start their new club search?

Custom clubfitting can be daunting for new players. Where and how should they start their new club search?
Properly fit golf clubs can make a world of difference to your golf game. However, it can be tough to know where to start. Here is some help to get you on the right path to finding that perfect set of clubs.

Club fitting and teaching go hand in hand

The most important thing you can do is see a PGA Professional. Club fitting and teaching go hand in hand. If you see a PGA Pro they are going to work with you on the best motion for you and get you set up with clubs that best fit you. Unfortunately if you go to a big box retailer you can end up getting fit for clubs that won’t fit you as your progress in your golf game. My second tip is to spend your money on the short game. Good wedges and a putter that fits you is far more beneficial for lowering your score than buying a nice driver and skimping on the rest.

Fairways Golf Course

Dakota White

Head Golf Professional

Fairways Golf Club, Cheney, WA

Go see a PGA professional and start with a good posture, work on your grip, and align yourself properly to the golf ball. Then, get fit...

Embarking on the search for a set of custom fit clubs can be daunting for new players. As a PGA member, my recommendation would be to find a PGA professional for a brief consultation. In my experience, there are many kinds of new players. Some beginners are “weekend warriors” on a journey to find a better golf game by themselves, usually only playing on a Saturday or Sunday. Others are new to the game and garner instruction from golf coaches, either in group clinics or one-on-one sessions.

In each of these scenarios, the golfer must pass one very important test before the player decides to get fit for clubs. Does the player have a consistent Posture, Grip, and Alignment before they even take a golf swing? If the player has this “P.G.A.” then they are ready for a club fitting. However, I’ve seen many folks spend a lot of money on clubs, take a lesson, and then the first thing an instructor may change is how tall they are at address. This can absolutely impact how the golf ball comes off the club during a golf shot. Therefore, go see a PGA professional and start with a good posture, work on your grip, and align yourself properly to the golf ball. Then, get fit and accelerate your journey to a better golf game. SwingEssentials.com can help. Send us your videos and get a free online golf lesson!

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AJ Nelson is the Founder of the Swing Essentials golf app

AJ Nelson

PGA Golf Professional

Swing Essentials Golf App, Centreville, VA

At the Jack Nicklaus Academy we send our clients to True Spec

I recommend every new golfer to get custom fit for clubs once they are comfortably swinging the club. This might be after some basic golf instruction so the fundamentals are in place.

Once you are ready I suggest going to a professional club fitting facility where an expert can guide you in the right direction. There are so many options that it can be overwhelming. At the Jack Nicklaus Academy we send our clients to True Spec where they have all the club and shaft options which creates a seamless and efficient experience. Every golfer should be fit for clubs as it makes a big difference in learning.

Jack Nicklaus Academy of Golf

Brian O'Neill

PGA Golf Professional

Director of Instruction

Jack Nicklaus Academy of Golf, Orlando, FL

Over the years, clubfitting has taken on a science of itself.

Over the years, clubfitting has taken on a science of itself. Long ago, we worried about the proper swing weight,length and grip size. Golf has evolved to a large variety of products, lie and loft angles to your launch angle and ball flight, etc. Most PGA Pros will give you good advice and know their limitations.

I used our Demo Days on the range with the Reps from the major companies like Callaway, Titleist and Mizuno to give their presentations of their product and fitting thoughts. It was also a big help for some tough problems that I might have to provide that perfect fit to hard to help member.

Last of all, when you are spending a lot of money on upgrading a driver or a set keep in mind; Are you purchasing compensation or correction ? If you are taking lessons, will the club improve the swing you have or the swing that you aspire to have? If you are in transition, you may want to explain that to your specialist before any final decision.

John Barge

Gateway PGA, Life Member

Hidden Trails Country Club, Dexter, MO

Most importantly find a fitter you know or were recommended to that you can trust.

Most importantly find a fitter you know or were recommended to that you can trust. It’s equally as important to see the ball fly, hitting a ball 10 feet into a net and going strictly off of numbers is never a good idea. Trackman or something similar and video are also important.
Have an idea of how much money you want to spend and stick to that budget. Unless you are a scratch to plus handicap player you don’t need all the exotic shafts that may be offered to you. Most companies offer several “no upcharge” shafts that work fine.

Try several companies products and many shaft/head combinations, you may have something particular in mind but find that you hit and like something else better. Have an open mind about what is recommended as far as set make-up. For example you may think you need a 3 wood where a 4 or 5 wood might be much better for you. Get over the ego factor–if you need regular flex shaft but have always played stiff–switch to regular. Stick with the major companies that you know and see others playing–their design/engineering, quality and stand behind product are better than others.

Ask for a print out of what is recommended, unless you are really comfortable with your fitter and their quote do not commit to the sale until you’ve done a little research on cost and what was recommended.

Lastly, take your time if you are unsure about anything go somewhere else and/or hit the clubs suggested a couple more times to make sure.

Dean Alexander

PGA Master Professional

Georgia Golf Center, Roswell, GA

Consult your local PGA golf professional for a series of golf lessons and a golf equipment fitting, simultaneously.

There is no doubt that the proper equipment is very important for the success of a new golfer. Professional golf instruction, from a PGA golf instructor, is even more important! Luckily, PGA golf instructors are skilled at golf club fitting for the beginner! My advice is to consult your local PGA golf professional for a series of golf lessons and a golf equipment fitting, simultaneously.

The Country Club of Virginia

Adam Smith

Head Golf Instructor

James River Golf Course

The Country Club of Virginia, Richmond, VA

Most amateurs and new players are unaware of how important correctly fitted clubs are...

Most amateurs and new players are unaware of how important correctly fitted clubs are. Clubs that aren’t fit correctly can lead to many bad habits and injuries.

I think the first step is to find a local PGA Professional or club fitter that can help make the process easier and less stressful. If they aren’t aware of any in the area they can just search online for local professional.

Also, some of he major club companies have an online fitting process through their websites. The process isn’t perfect, but it may be able to help them get started in the right direction.

Chris Ardolina

PGA Teaching Professional

Wycliffe Golf & Country Club, Wellington, FL

Test and compare

For adult, beginner golfers, the decision on buying new clubs can be very overwhelming due to the large amount of different manufacturers and models available combined with the high price tags. The best way to start is the same as with any other big purchase, test and compare. Attending demo days or going down to a local large golf retailer that has all of the demo options available is where you want to begin. Golfers will be able to eliminate about 50% of the options just by holding the club and looking at it. The clubs that do appeal to the eye should then be hit. Golfers will be able to eliminate a few more of the options in front of them because the sound has a great impact on the feel of the club. Regardless of which shaft is put into the clubhead, generally it will sound the same and if you don’t like the feel, eliminate that option.

Once you have found 2 or 3 clubs that pass the look and feel test, visit a knowledgeable club fitter that has access to fitting technology such as Foresight or Trackman to get you completely dialed in. Remember, feel is more important than the launch monitor numbers!

The Stanwich Club

Jamison Carr

PGA Golf Professional

The Stanwich Club, Greenwich, CT

Seek out your local PGA golf professional that is specialized in club fitting...

Seek out your local PGA golf professional that is specialized in club fitting…

Frank Panetta

PGA Golf Professional

Teaching Professional

CordeValle Golf Club, San Martin, CA

Once the golfer has an understanding of what they’re trying to accomplish, they should be fit.

I honestly believe club fitting should be very early on in the process. Once the golfer has an understanding of what they’re trying to accomplish, they should be fit. Once properly fit to what they do naturally, the instruction of how to become more consistent can begin. I’ve seen too many novice golfers give up because they’re practicing with the incorrect equipment. The more you struggle, the more help from fitting you require.

Eric Miller

PGA Certified Professional | Master Fitter/Builder

Club Champion, Pittsburgh, PA

A basic fitting combined with instruction will make the game more fun.

The greatest tools in the world will not make a person a skilled carpenter. That being said, new clubs are fun. New players need equipment that at the very least helps them improve. A basic fitting combined with instruction will make the game more fun. As players get better, the details of a fitting become all the more important. I tell people to hit whatever strikes their curiosity and once that curiosity is narrowed down, then the fitting process can begin. Fitting and selling clubs that make the game more fun and gives people hope is what the process is all about.

Brian Kelly

Head Golf Professional | Ohio State Athletics

Ohio State Athletics, Columbus, OH

Find something that makes you feel confident when you look at it then get it fit to your needs.

I have always felt that a player should choose something that is appealing to the eye first and foremost. All major manufacturers have good stuff and can provide proper specs after fitting. Find something that makes you feel confident when you look at it then get it fit to your needs. Keep in my that static measurements are a starting point and dynamic measurements(hitting shots) need to be performed also!

Topgolf Houston – Spring

Dan White

Director of Instruction

Topgolf Houston – Spring, Spring, TX

Once you’re hitting the ball consistently in the air with distance and can make a few pars when you play, then maybe you might want to get fit and upgrade to something nicer.

I personally think one of the best ways for a new player to start their new club search is on Craigslist or at your local Roger Dunn Golf Shop because when you’re starting out you don’t need any fancy clubs. You can find good used sets at both of these places and a used set is usually the way to go when starting out. Many old clubs will work just fine to help get you hitting the ball and you won’t have to spend a fortune. Once you’re hitting the ball consistently in the air with distance and can make a few pars when you play, then maybe you might want to get fit and upgrade to something nicer.

Brian Powers

PGA Golf Professional

Master Golf Teaching Professional®

Tee Time Practice Facility, Carpinteria, CA

Visit a demo day and let the club reps guide you towards a new set of golf clubs.

If a new player is a member of a club I would just consult their PGA professional. If not I would contact the local PGA section office and ask for demo day information at local public facilities. Even for new players I recommend staying with the five or six top brand-name club makers. Visit a demo day and let the club reps guide you towards a new set of golf clubs.

Don’t forget to inquire about lesson packages with that facility.

PGA Golf Professional

Ed Schwent

PGA Professional

Old Hickory Golf Club, Saint Peters, MO

Start with an internet search to identify what irons you are interested in and read player reviews for player feedback

Start with an internet search to identify what irons you are interested in and read player reviews for player feedback (super game improvement, game improvement, or players club). Next, seek out a reputable retailer, fitting center, or best of all a Class “A” PGA Professional with fitting experience. Talk to them about your questions and what you feel is within your budget. When you have chosen 3 brands/types and have hit them, go through a fitting session with a launch monitor, checking launch angle, loft and lie, spin rate, shaft options, sound, feel, etc. Preferably outdoors yo see live ball flight. Ask lots of questions, take notes, and ask for and make a decision. See if you can demo a set for on-course feedback. Again, see a reputable fitter and ask for previous client feedback. Your PGA Professional should point you in the right direction. CHRIS RUDI, PGA and Expert Club Fitting Specialist.

Chris Rudi Golf Services

Chris Rudi

PGA Golf Professional

Chris Rudi Golf Services, Mishawaka, IN