Developing a smooth, balanced swing is essential if you want to play better golf. If, however, after working on your swing and getting it just right, you find you are still unable to lower your handicap, you probably need custom golf clubs.
Every golfer is unique; we are all different heights and have different arm lengths and swing head speed; consequently, every swing is unique. No matter how balanced or smooth your swing is, if you are using clubs that have not been tailored to your unique physical characteristics, you have little hope of really lowering your score on the course.
Having custom built golf clubs with shaft length and composition, and a club head that is suited to your unique body type can make a dramatic difference in your score, and take your golf game to a whole new level of excellence.
The first step in customizing golf clubs so they are right for you and your game is to take measurements and do a candid self-assessment of your playing skill. Measurements such as height, arm length, and club head speed will help you determine what clubs are right for you. You can find help in making this self-assessment at Internet sites like www.Pinemeadowgolf.com, which also has a link to a program that can be used to collect and analyze the necessary information and measurements.
Following are the key factors you need to consider when getting custom fit golf clubs.
- Club length: Club length is measured from the butt of the grip down the back of the shaft to the point where the club meets the ground. Longer club shafts generate greater distance with the same club head speed. Keep in mind, though, that the longer shafts also have a wider swing arc that can be difficult to control. The proper length for each club in your bag is a function of your height and arm length.
- Shaft flex: Flex in a golf club is a measure of shaft stiffness. Steel shafts are still and don’t flex much. They are recommended for strong hitters who generate high club head speed. Materials like graphite have greater flex and are recommended for weaker hitters. Strong hitters, when using graphite or other flexible shafts, often experience control problems because of the vibration in the shaft on the swing throwing the club face out of alignment.
- Loft and lie: Loft is the angle of the club face, and lie is the angle from the shaft to the ground when the club is in normal play. Higher loft gets the ball up in the air and can add distance to shots. Of the two, the lie is the only one that is recommended for adjustment. The loft and lie of woods and putters cannot be adjusted because of the way the heads are attached to the shaft, but both loft and lie can be adjusted on irons. It is advisable to buy a club with the desired loft, rather than adjusting it, because bending the metal to change loft can cause metal fatigue. The lie adjustment is affected by your preferred method of addressing the ball (whether you prefer upright or leaning into the ball), and is best done in person so the technician can get a good look at how you stand when addressing the ball.
Getting custom fitted golf clubs is not a complicated process if you have done accurate measurements beforehand. Most golf supply stores can do it on site, but you can save a significant amount by using one of the online golf supply houses. The only exception to getting custom made clubs on line, as noted above, is that it is highly recommended that you consult in person for any adjustments of the lie of your irons.