Exorcising the Clubfitting Curse in Golf
The issues reviewed in my prior post should provide plenty of motivation to develop and/or accept some unique solutions for helping golfers to play their best. In addition to there being no such thing as a perfect golf swing or perfect golf club, there is also no such thing as a perfect clubfitter (myself included) to meld those two elements together. But being somewhat short of perfect is quite different from being the worst in all of sports, which the clubfitting industry essentially is today. Let me quickly again review why.
The very, very first fundamental of fitting equipment is striving to make all equipment used during a given activity exhibit at least one identical characteristic of a determined nature at the instant each repetition begins. This first “law” of equipment fitting might be ordinarily overlooked in activities where the same piece of equipment (such as a baseball being thrown) is used during consecutive repetitions. In such activities, performers are actually “forced” to use the identical equipment every time, but this is certainly not the case in golf. Unless and until golfers can be provided a “set” of clubs that exhibits at least one equal characteristic throughout the set during address and at the moment each swing begins that is comparable to an identical baseball each time one begins to throw, there is literally no way to determine whether one of these skills is easier, harder, or comparable in difficulty than the other.
I briefly refer to MOI (Moment of Inertia) golf club matching again here. MOI theory states that with clubs matched by this specification you can expect to swing more the same from club to club (when swinging full) than when using swingweight-matched clubs. At the same time, it is clearly implied (if not stated outright), that to achieve this goal your clubs may, from club to club, exhibit more inconsistency at address (this will in fact occur for most players when using MOI matched clubs). So let me see, this would be the equivalent of giving a baseball pitcher a different weight baseball as he is about to throw each pitch and then expecting his pitching motion and throwing results to become more consistent than when starting each pitch with the same ball. These are the finest minds in golf that develop, promote, and use this stuff? Do you believe that the more inconsistent one’s clubs feel at the start of each swing the more consistent one’s swings will be? Would you be truly shocked if your favorite clubfitting guru of choice were in fact greatly responsible for the present troubles of the fitting trade?
And MOI (Moment of Insanity) is just the tip of the iceberg. The current crop of fitting “experts,” including but not limited to names I have previously stated and many of whom strongly support MOI golf club matching, have also developed and promoted many other notoriously bad clubfitting theories and practices over approximately the last thirty years. These include inadequate principles for the fitting of grip size, certain shaft parameters, face angle, and more. Golf club technological advancements over the past few decades have been remarkable in some respects. It is actually quite an impressive feat (negatively speaking) for a trade to essentially not be able to improve golf scores commensurately during the same time frame of such golf club improvements. But the clubfitting industry regularly achieves this feat and has long had this reputation. Swings and scores worse than one would achieve with off-the-rack clubs are common after being custom fit, and this will (and should) remain unchanged until the trade is able to notably improve itself.
If this is not enough, some newer concepts and the people promoting them (particularly but not completely limited to “independent” fitters) seem to be approaching a “tabloidish” nature of late. Rather than applying modern technology to improve upon solid clubfitting fundamentals and correct poor theories and practices of the past, more baseless and/or unproven concepts are sensationalized, added to the “repertoire” of the trade, and readily embraced, speaking volumes about golfers, clubfitters, and the teachers to both. Since golf clubs can affect one’s swing as previously stated, anyone who depends on a club fit by one of these entities when working to determine one’s true golf swing DNA is foolish and risking horrible swinging, clubfitting, and scoring results from the ground up. Golf’s Clubfitting Curse, among other things, unleashes demons responsible for making sure a golf swing remains “difficult,” so exorcising this curse is critical.
Fortunately, there is far better news ahead because Waggle Weight Wisdom has come far enough to this point where rather soon you may be able to fit yourself for golf clubs more efficiently than most anybody holding this or that “professional clubfitting certificate.” The majority of the best players have always learned to centrally fit themselves anyway, with no launch monitors or other prohibitively costly devices needed. Learning effective clubfitting is a natural and integral part of learning to golf decently and is best learned through an intense effort at trying to become the best player one can be, not through a short clubfitting course taught or learned by someone who may or may not be qualified. Insufficient clubfitting knowledge can abruptly limit how much any golfer can improve.
But if still preferring another for your clubfitting needs, which might produce better fine-tuning results depending on fitter competence and available test clubs and fitting devices, be aware that multiple patent applications are pending and no clubfitters (in the USA and select other countries) can currently use these foundational, protected fitting techniques without being subject to future legal action. These include advanced swingweighting to help put golfers on more equal footing with their counterparts in other activities who get to start each of their repetitions with the exact same equipment, and a clubfitting process in which fitting directly to one’s swing and fitting to ball travel are distinctly separated. Clubfitters will be legally prohibited from using such advancements (for about the next seventeen years) unless and until they display better clubfitting skills than in the past. Ultimately, golfers will reap the benefits of a greatly improved clubfitting industry, led by the WaggleWeight™ Company.