Maximize Distance with Golf Club Fitting
It’s not a one-club-fits-all industry anymore. No professional club fitter worth their salt would sell you any old club as long as it had a brand name on it. Technology has advanced, old methods have been debunked, and the $84 billion golf industry knows that if it wants to keep its clients happy and playing better with every game, it needs to get down with the science.
For the most successful players in the world, choosing the right club may be easy. They carefully select a team of experts to track endless variables and formulate optimal routines for peak performance. For your average Joe, however, the challenge is that you don’t have such a team of experts by your side. You have an instructor, a trainer, and a club-fitter—disjointed, without clear lines of communication between them.
A little bit of this and a little bit of that and “Congratulations! You’ve become the newest owner of the Frankenstein Golf Club!”—a 43-inch conglomeration of misfit parts and conflicting advice. Functional, but nowhere near optimal.
The more you accept less than the best, the more you end with regret.
Here’s how the RIGHT equipment can get you faster, more sustainable results.
Finding The Perfect Fit
Let’s go shopping for the perfect club.
We’re looking for a winning combo of shaft and clubhead that will increase ball speed, resulting in longer shots.
Yes, it will take an investment of time and effort, but you really don’t want to compromise on quality.
For example, if you’re buying a suit for the most important event of your life, you wouldn’t just pick one off the rack—right? You’d pay a visit to the best tailor in town, who would measure you head to toe, making sure they’ve got your dimensions perfect so that each seam and crease fits you to a T. If you don’t, you’ll pay a higher price in comfort (and style) and it’ll show in every photo (and photos are permanent!)
The same goes for finding the right club. The wrong fit will send your ball straight to the bunker, no matter how good a golfer you are. And if you’re going to aim, you might as well aim for the best from the get-go.
Here are five elements that make the perfect shaft and dictate how we at Integrity Golf Performance measure perfection.
Aren’t all golf shafts straight enough these days?
In short, no. S3 uses a high-resolution optic system that captures images of the shaft by rotating it in 15-degree increments to create a complete “straightness profile.” The straighter, the better.
S3 technology uses a load-test to create a consistency factor for each shaft, by rotating the shaft under load in five-degree increments. The more even the load-test, all the way around the shaft, the better (or higher) the shaft’s score and consistency.
“Torque” is a property of golf shafts that describes how much the shaft is prone to twisting during the golf swing. Too much torque, and shots will typically start leaking right. Not enough torque usually produces undesirable ball flight with a decrease in ball speed and land angle.
- EI Deflection Profile
S3 measures the shaft’s resistance to bending at every location against its deflection profile, to determine the differences in EI (measures related to shaft elasticity and geometry) from the butt to the mid/tip. A higher EI measurement means greater stiffness. A softer tip section and a stiffer butt section can produce higher launch angles and increased spin.
Local sporting-goods stores put a sticker on each clubhead with a letter on it (such as R, S, X, A, or L), which corresponds to the swing speed of the player. What they don’t tell you is that there is no manufacturing standard for “stiffness,” making this measurement largely unusable. We use the “frequency” of the shaft to get an infinitely more accurate reading of its flexibility and how it will perform.
When testing clubheads, we’ve observed substantial performance benefits—including increases in ball speed, lower spin rates, and tighter dispersion—that can lead to significant distance gains.
Here are the most common aspects of the clubhead that are considered during a fitting to improve ball flight and performance.
The loft of a golf club is the angle created between the clubface and the ground. Alongside various other factors, loft is a major contributor to launch angle, apex, carry distance, and several other ball flight metrics.”
- Hosel Settings
The hosel enables a golfer to adjust the loft and/or lie to achieve the desired ball flight to correct ball flight that is too low or too high off the tee. Never underestimate the power of having proper hosel settings. It’s the little increments that matter!
- Moveable Weight Settings
Moveable weight matters because it affects CG. There are a lot of myths about moveable weights. The truth is, when set right, they make a world of difference. Not all golfers are alike in strength and skill, and that’s where the ability to adjust your weights is paramount.
What else matters?
CG (“center of gravity”) matters! CG location is an aspect of clubhead design that plays a MASSIVE role in identifying the best-performing head for your game.
Using drivers as an example, you can put CG in two categories: forward and back. A forward CG typically produces low launch and low spin, while a rearward, or back, CG typically produces higher launch and higher spin.
Hold your horses! Before you put the driver with the most forward CG available on your shopping list, thinking this will increase your distance, let us provide a word of caution: the more forward you go with CG, the less forgiveness (MOI - moment of inertia) you can expect. The holy grail for designers is to have a forgiving, yet low-spinning design in their products.
The manner in which an object flies through the air is another important factor in the distance it gains. An example is Bryson DeChambeau’s quest for 200 mph ball speed and the way he takes advantage of this on the course during tournament play. There is plenty of statistical evidence to suggest that hitting the ball as far as possible can, on average, lead to closer proximity to the hole, which can in turn lead to shorter putts and lower scores.
Just take a quick look at his season statistics. For the 2020 season, he is first in strokes gained off the tee and first in driving distance. Now that is what we call maximizing your distance!
All Right, What Do I Need To Do?
You need to not do yourself and your body a disservice by taking the same old route and purchasing a generic golf club. Testing these products with a knowledgeable fitter will make your fitting results more accurate and way more impressive.
Yes, it’s a longer process, but the road to improving on the field will become substantially shorter. Remember, whatever the wrong equipment can’t achieve, the body will try to, using bad posture and bad habits.
At Integrity Golf Performance, we have a brand-agnostic approach, which means we let the performance guide our selections. The fitting process is essentially a controlled experiment, focused on specific details that contribute to your overall performance.
We begin the process by gathering the equipment specifications of our athlete’s current set. In particular, we look at the loft, lie, length, shaft frequency (flex), and swing weight. In no time, you will have an accurate picture of what equipment you need to improve your game.
Position yourself for greatness, and consider stopping by for a professional consultation.
Are you ready to improve your game?
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