A poster with the member name of Tim Schoch, on one of the multiple online golf forums that I will not specifically name in this particular entry, recently posted an inquiry that is somewhat of a poll meant to elicit responses from golfers. He asks whether the clubfitting process and/or results were a waste or wonderful for those who have gone through the process.
More than 100 responses were posted as of the time I chose to display this particular entry, many comprising the same ignorant nonsense (and often from the same ignorant posters) that frequently populate such forums. Countless pretentious “experts” seem more intent on playing one-upmanship with what they “think” they know (seemingly a more common occurrence within the golf industry than in many other activities) rather than actually trying to answer the inquiry. With very few exceptions these so-called experts are generally all wrong and clueless to varying degrees regarding their “facts.” Some of them participate in the game of golf when in a manner of speaking they would never even be let on the field in other common activities (and possess the knowledge and experience that accompanies such a scenario).
While I have addressed this previously in numerous, various ways, golfers and the golf industry as a whole still just do not seem to be able to see right in front of their noses regarding the matter inquired about. And certain pivotal facts not previously known are not being spread as much and as quickly as they might be. So in basically trying to just continue to help one golfer at a time, and with the hope that he/she will be sufficiently helped by the information to consider helping to further spread the information more widely, Tim’s inquiry can be responded to and explained as follows. This is information the golf industry needs to heed very badly and widely if it is ever going to recover and grow with honor from its current state of disgrace.
After what should be obvious as the number one priority of developing one’s swing as well as possible, clubfitting is the second most important part of playing the game. It is a critical element that should be specifically addressed for every golfer (at the proper time and place within the broader scope of playing the game) in order for the golfer to be able to swing and play his or her best. Thus, it is also critical for the clubfitting industry to be able to perform clubfitting fundamentals correctly and well for the recovery and overall health of the game.
But sadly (and putting any monetary costs of fitting totally aside), universally the commercial clubfitting trade is about as pathetically inept and embarrassing as it can possibly get. This incompetence broadly extends from major club manufacturers, to clubfitting chains, to individual fitters, and everybody else not mentioned. With mostly minor procedural variations among them, they all pretty much continue to follow the same amateurish and flawed clubfitting theories and practices developed in the past. Even the most well-meaning and conscientious fitters are unfortunately doomed to failure or very limited and/or temporary success based on terrible training inflicted upon them by the commercialized clubfitting industry.
To partly illustrate, for those who do grasp how bad the commercial chains really are and comment to instead find someone independent that is Wishon recommended for instance, know that Wishon, Tutelman, and certain others are the very ones responsible in the first place for developing and/or further spreading some of the worst concepts ever devised for equipment fitting in any activity ever invented. This includes but is hardly limited to MOI matching, better termed Moment of Insanity as a golf club matching concept.
It is not an opinion but a plain fact that the clubfitting trade overall and its extremely poor performance and reputation have substantially contributed to the diminishing popularity of, participation in, and reputation of the game as whole. The foundational clubfitting skill(s) of the commercialized industry has actually digressed backward compared with before launch monitor use became the norm. This has understandably influenced more and more people to just abandon the game in more recent times, and with good reason.
Anybody not capable of easily recognizing this has some seriously deficient knowledge of a major nature regarding golf swing and/or clubfitting performance. As far as making specific corrections to the mountain of faulty materials hoarded by such forums (now part of an extensive, searchable, greatly flawed, and apparently permanent online library), no one with half a brain would ever post any genuinely corrective, original, and protectable matter directly on any such sites. This is prominently (though not exclusively) due to the posting terms of such sites.
And for those posters who might try to subtly squeeze in any original material developed by others as come across somewhere else and pretend that it is their very own work, they of course need to be extremely careful so as to not infringe upon anyone else’s material or risk potential consequences for themselves and/or the site where posted. I have witnessed this taking place, but thus far it appears just a bit too minor to be reasonably actionable.
So what you primarily get on such forums is basically rehashed, erroneous information that impedes rather than inspires any forward growth of the clubfitting trade. The same incorrect information is just perpetuated over and over and over again (and much more publicly now), commonly by many self-proclaimed “experts” that are in fact even more uninformed than those who originally developed the flawed material(s). The delusional clubfitting trade on the whole is currently so stupidly bad that (figuratively) it is almost single handedly (though with unquestionable assistance from entities like online forums) destroying the entire game of golf as traditionally developed.
To sum up and in referencing words used in your inquiry, clubfitting can be “wonderful” when performed capably and under the proper circumstances, and again it is a profoundly crucial part of the game that needs to be implemented properly toward the overall health of the golf industry. But it is certainly a “waste” given the way the trade applies some of the amateurish clubfitting theories and practices that have been developed to date. (The commercial clubfitting industry is actually still rather young and immature at this point).
For clubfitting entities operating basically under so-called “standard” fitting protocols (the vast majority of them) that have been developed to date by unqualified individuals and/or organizations, this regularly results in golfers of all playing abilities swinging and playing notably worse than they are capable of through clubfitting. Naturally, this issue can ultimately persuade more people to leave the game than to enter and/or stay with it. In knowing this, and in also comprehending details of why the clubfitting industry as a whole is so unskillful at what it is supposed to be doing (many of these details already displayed in various other Waggle Weight Wisdom™ entries), it can be generally stated that only the most gullible of golfers with insufficient appropriate clubfitting knowledge of their own can be found utilizing and supporting the commercial clubfitting trade.
But for those who know better, and unless certain circumstances exist, they generally dismiss the clubfitting industry as being the laughingstock it truly is and deserves to be, and will continue to do so unless and until the trade straightens itself out. (Just one example of “certain circumstances” might be golfers who foundationally already know how to fit themselves properly and thus would basically disregard what a clubfitter might advise in that regard. Yet they may still like to explore any potential fine-tuning elements utilizing components, devices, and/or any related data not otherwise readily available to them, subsequently making their own clubfitting decisions based on any information obtained that is deemed reliable).