Custom Golf Clubs? Yes, But Not Today: Part Two
In another respect however, such as the fitting of grip size, there is just no acceptable excuse for the way golf club fitting continues to be approached today. Remember what I stated in a recent posting about how many non-athletes play the game? Well, legions of similarly inexperienced people also migrate to clubfitting for various reasons. Some are engineers and higher degree holders who are either predominantly involved in or retired from not-so-closely-related professions and have now become interested in clubfitting, deciding to display their “expertise” with respect to the discipline. They may truly be skilled in other highly specialized fields, creating loads of “clubfitting details” that center around their specific training. In the end, however, this group of experts knows facts often wholly irrelevant to clubfitting, and much of their material is of little practical or even theoretical benefit when it comes to the primary fundamentals of productively fitting golf clubs to players. It instead exemplifies a lack of very crucial golf-specific and other indispensable encounters gone through by many of these individuals.
The best-secured clubfitting (and swing) knowledge first requires extensive experience swinging golf clubs. Having skills in other athletic performing and equipment fitting to contrast against golf’s characteristics are also extremely helpful in qualifying one’s knowledge about golf. An engineering background or a resolute curiosity with respect to golf clubs and golf club specifications is also necessary. Then, a devotedness to intense playing competition (even if just against a golf course) helps to meld these and other attributes together. Only a working association with all of these factors will result in an in depth and accurate understanding of a golf swing and golf clubs, and how the two interrelate. Because few individuals possess this highly unique combination of involvement, most are not sufficiently qualified to exhaustively analyze a golf swing and dissect its clubfitting.
As a classroom engineer but dutiful to play, and as one who feels extremely fortunate to have undergone these varied experiences and can thus see what is going on better than most, it is my unfortunate recommendation that you hold off having custom-fit golf clubs made by others for yourself at this time. Even with a better consistency of construction that should be fully expected through hand-made golf clubs, your game may quickly take a rearward step after being fit for clubs using today’s methods. It used to be that the golfers dictated to the engineers what they wanted and needed in their golf clubs in order to play their best, utilizing the engineers’ technical knowledge (rightly so) to help produce such golf clubs. Today, however, there seems to be an illogical trend of reversal. Certain engineers and doctors, to me appearing to have achieved only average golf abilities when based solely upon the specific knowledge they reveal, succeed at dictating what is best for players in terms of golf club fitting through the various channels available to learn that trade. Not surprisingly, some rather funny concepts and results have come to pass. I will undoubtedly be satirical with this subject and a few of the statements made thereof in the future (hopefully good-natured), but for now I will simply urge you to not give up golf if your decision is based on what many of these people preach. They themselves cannot acceptably clarify elementary points. I sense a defection to some extent because even I ponder leaving the game after seeing the way basics meant to be quite simple are taken and turned into nonsense. But hang in there. It will get better soon. To be continued.