with Ben Hongo, PGA
Senior Teaching Professional
Kapalua Golf Academy
Do your clubs fit you? Most players assume all clubs off
the rack will fit their swing. This assumption can have negative effects on a
player's ball flight. The player who is serious about his game should see if the
clubs fit his body and swing. A club fitter will look at the following categories
when fitting a golfer to the correct set of clubs:
The lie angle determines how the sole of the club strikes the ground at impact.
If more of the toe strikes the ground, the club is too flat for the swing. If
more of the heel strikes the ground, the club is too upright. The ball will be
launched to the right if the club is too flat and to the left if the club is too
This is determined by how fast the golfer swings the club. Swing speeds that are
too fast require a stiffer shaft but the slower the swing the more flex is needed.
Generally, the ball will hook if the shaft is too flexible and slice if the shaft
is too stiff.
The length of shaft is not always determined by the height of the golfer. A consistent
ball striker looking for more distance might want a longer shaft, but an inconsistent
striker may be further hampered with a longer shaft.
Hand size and comfort will influence grip size, but it can also affect ball flight.
Players who are looking to reduce hooks may want to try a larger size and players
looking to reduce slices may want to try a smaller size.
There are further factors but the list above covers the key
items in fitting clubs. Talk to your local PGA Professional for further advice
next time you are ready to purchase clubs.