Why be custom fitted
You may believe that custom fitted clubs only benefit the better player; however this is not the case. No matter what size, height or age the correct custom fitted clubs throughout the whole bag can benefit your game and save you shots.
Whether you’re a pro, low handicapper or high handicapper we are all trying to achieve the same thing, hitting the ball out of the middle of the club face and producing consistent shots. To give you the best chance of achieving this, your clubs need to be the correct length, especially with your driver! Generally if a club is too long the strike pattern will tend to be more towards the heel or scattered around the face increasing the chance of catching the ground and the direction of the shot to be more left to right. Opposite to this if a club is too short the strike pattern will tend to be more towards the toe causing more thin shots and the direction of ball to be more right to left.
You may be asking the question, how can the correct length be determined? This is achieved by simply taking your overall height and wrist to floor measurement, which is also known as a static fit. Then using a size chart as a guide, the club fitter can then gauge a club length that could be best suited for you. This is then confirmed by you hitting 4-5 shots with ink tape applied to the clubface which will leave a mark indicating where you are striking the ball.
After the correct length has been determined, we can find the correct lie angle. Lie angle has the most influence on the direction the ball travels. Many golfing magazines state that the cause of shots going left or right is due to the heel or the toe of the club digging into the ground and club twisting around itself, however this is not the case.
This is actually due to what is known as face plane tilt, the direction the club face is pointing due to loft, especially with irons. If the lie angle is 1 degree out, this will cause the direction of the clubface to be offline at impact resulting in the ball travelling up to 5 yards left or right of target! If the lie angle is too upright this will cause the clubface to point to the left and if the lie angle is too flat this will cause the clubface to point to the right.
To measure the lie angle, lie tape is applied to the bottom of the club and you hit 3-4 shots off a lie board. This will leave a mark on the tape indicating where the club is hitting at impact. If the majority of strikes are towards the heel of the club, this indicates the club is too upright and if the majority of strikes are towards the toe, this indicates the club is too flat.
All in all the length and the lie angle are both very important in a custom fit, but need to be determined the right way round, always length first then lie angle. This is because changing the length of the club affects the lie angle, if a club is extended by ½ inch this will make the club 1 degree more upright and vice versa, potentially causing mishits and offline shots.
To get a custom fit, just pop into your local World of Golf range and speak to the highly trained American Golf staff.
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