The below article was originally published on pluggedingolf.com on December 10, 2019.
FINDING YOUR BEST CLUB FITTER
It’s 2019, and almost every golfer recognizes the benefits of being fit for their golf clubs. With a proper fitting, you’ll hit the ball further, straighter, and more consistently (learn more about that HERE). The problem that many golfers have is choosing a good club fitter. Every golf store, driving range, and pro shop offers some form of fitting. How do you know which one to select? The answer is surprisingly simple.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
A FITTER WHO ASKS QUESTIONS
This is, without a doubt, the number one thing you should look for from a fitter. You want a fitter to ask a lot of questions because there is no other way for them to figure out the best equipment for you. Even if you don’t feel like you have all the answers, you want a fitter who will keep digging in with questions until he understands your game and what you’re looking for to improve your game.
I’ll use myself as an example of the importance of questions. Let’s say I went into a fitter with my current gamer irons. My 6I carries about 175 yards. If the fitter doesn’t ask what I care about, they might put me into an SGI club with super strong lofts and show me that my 6I now carries 190 yards. They would think they’ve done their job, and I would walk out unhappy. I don’t want to hit my 6I farther than I currently do. What I want is a club that’s forgiving while still looking and feeling a certain way. The only way a fitter would ever know that is by asking questions.
ADEQUATE TECHNOLOGY & RESOURCES
A launch monitor doesn’t make a fitter good, but a fitter without a launch monitor isn’t very useful. Similarly, having access to a million different club heads and shafts won’t make a fitter knowledgeable, but a knowledgeable fitter without enough fitting tools can’t help you. Before you go in for your fitting, ask the fitter to explain what technology they use, how they use it, and how many interchangeable heads and shafts they have access to.
EXPERIENCE & TRAINING
These two are self-explanatory. All else equal, I would like a fitter who has been around the block a couple of times. I’d prefer a fitter who has been through high level training with master fitters to stay up to date on current technology and research.
A PERFORMANCE GUARANTEE
Especially if you’re getting fit indoors, you should want a fitter who will guarantee that their product will perform on the course. If the new driver was twenty yards longer in the bay, it should be twenty yards longer on the course. If it’s not, the fitter needs to figure out why and help you get into a better product.
You can say this is a personal preference, but I will argue there are tangible benefits to using a brand agnostic fitter instead of one who works for or is on staff with an OEM. The argument is simple: being brand agnostic gives you more options. Brand A might make the iron that fits you best, but that doesn’t mean their driver is also the best one for you. Why limit yourself when you can take advantage of the best from each manufacturer?
WHAT DOESN’T MATTER
People tend to like someone who is confident, but arrogance is one of the surest signs of a Method Fitter (a term I coined HERE). I’ve also found an inverse relationship between arrogance and asking questions. It’s great for a fitter to be confident in his recommendations, but when it crosses the line into, “I’m going to tell you what’s best without listening to you,” it’s time to take your business elsewhere.
This point caused some disagreement with my friends at Club Champion (listen HERE), but let me explain. To me, OEM certifications are A) more about product knowledge than fitting knowledge and B) a minimum requirement, not a validation of fitting competency. If your fitter tries to sell himself by pointing to his wall of certs, you should start asking some hard questions.
“But Matt, didn’t you just say you wanted an experienced fitter?” I did, but I have a final point to make. Years do not necessarily equate to ability. If someone has been fitting for twenty years but hasn’t learned anything since year two, I don’t want to work with them. A question you might consider asking a longtime fitter is, “What’s something you’ve changed your mind about recently?” or “What’s something new you’ve learned in the last year?” Anyone with the arrogance to believe they’ve figured everything out is a danger to your game.
GET FIT NOW
My final, final point is this: don’t wait to get fit. Unless you live somewhere truly remote, there is a good fitter within a reasonable drive of your home. Don’t use this article as a reason not to get fit, use it as a way to figure out who the best fitter in your area is and go.
Matt Saternus — Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.
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