Progressing from Unclean to Clean Hands for the Clubfitting Trade to Survive: Part Three
With the elements described in Parts One and Two, next consider the following. You should be able to meld your hands together in an overlapping or interlocking manner (mimicking the presence of a golf club) and make your golf swing in a very effective manner with no golf club or any other substitute device in or about your hands. In fact, and even though most people involved in golf still do not understand the concept more than one-hundred years after it was initially conceived, the whole purpose for the existence of developing an overlapping or interlocking gripping structure with the hands to begin with is to effectively accomplish exactly this task, with the resultant structure migrated over to when an actual golf club is in hand in order to promote consistency for the concept. (There is a device currently in developed by the WaggleWeight® Company that can measure exactly how efficient one is at accomplishing this critical task).
And in further fact, not only should you be able to perform your underlying golf swing efficiently with no club at all in hand, but that is the condition under which you should be able to perform your very best swings and perform what can be considered your true base golf swing. This is because there is literally no such thing as a perfectly fit or made golf club. And in golf you typically have fourteen of these things in your golf bag to deal with during a round, with each having one or more variations in fit and/or construction (involving numerous club specifications) away from what might be considered theoretically perfect for you. So with every club you put into your hands and every swing you make over your entire lifetime, you will be making one or more adjustments to your true base golf swing (even if quite subtle and not consciously noticeable) relative to your truest base (clubless) swing.
In following these very logical and sound principles another step forward, the condition under which you are (or at least should be) able to most consistently perform your very best base golf swing is a condition in which you literally have absolutely zero weight from any external object contained within or about your hands. Thus, and in following this to its natural and valid conclusion, any time you are involved in a clubfitting process and you (and/or your clubfitter) determine that a shaft weight for any given club (also related to the total weight of the club) is too light for you, this is a giant red flag that there is one or more very serious flaws in the clubfitting process or method being applied to you for trying to fit a golf club to your swing. That kind of result would never occur in a competently structured clubfitting process (for any talent level of golfer). I will again remind you that I am discussing pure swing performance here that is related to your inquiry regarding your sense of swing tempo and speed and totally unrelated to any ball travel results. The part of your inquiry regarding your ball travel result concern(s) with any given shaft is and should be a distinctly separate issue that needs to be addressed in a different manner(s).
Stated somewhat simply and notwithstanding certain details that can become more involved, if a clubfitter is not able to effectively put any golf club in your hands where you are able to fundamentally perform the same swing you are capable of performing with no club at all in your hands (in effect holding on to a perfectly fit and made club for your swing and for you to swing with), then the clubfitter is entirely unqualified and even on an extremely rudimental level does not possess the proper knowledge regarding the relevant club specifications to be able to fit a golf club to the underlying base swing you have developed at the time of the clubfitting. This process comprises the very nucleus of sound clubfitting principles, nothing else can really be accomplished effectively without first accomplishing this critical basis, and this core fitting process never has and never really will have anything whatsoever to do with launch monitor use and results in general.
This step(s) of an overall proficient process/method of clubfitting is where one is really able to learn about the most foundational golf club specifications such as swingweighting (recently advanced, improved, and slightly renamed to Dynamic™ Swingweight), grip sizing, and more, how these specification function, are meant to function, and affect one’s base golf swing, and how to skillfully fit such specifications correctly in order to help a golfer consistently swing his/her best and get the most out the golfer’s swinging ability. To this day the clubfitting industry as a whole remains absolutely clueless regarding how to rightfully fit these foundational club specifications to golfers.
The trade typically still proceeds right to a launch monitor, (imperfect) club always in hand for a golfer, and a rather distorted process is initiated to pursue a ball travel result accomplishment based on some predetermined launch monitor data via the changing of various golf club components and/or specifications. This process commonly alters one or more attributes of a golfer’s base swing (even if unknowing and unintentional) that the golfer has presumably worked hard at to develop to the point of the clubfitting, and yet on a universal basis the industry still claims that this comprises fitting a golf club to the swing of a golfer. And for good measure, many bumbling clubfitters have now replaced solidly proven swingweighting with MOI (Moment of Inertia) golf club matching, which these Messrs. Credulous Clubfitter feel is a clubfitting advancement. But inappropriately, its theory is better termed Moment of Insanity as a golf club fitting specification.
And yet people still cannot seem to understand why the clubfitting industry continues on its path of badly underachieving performance and poor reputation, a trade that without a doubt has contributed to the overall decline in participation in the game of golf and its reputation in recent times. Even if it is not understood exactly how or where for instance the trade is so incapable of performing a fundamentally sound clubfitting process, even the most inexperienced of golfers should be able to fairly quickly get an intuitive sense of how incapable the commercial clubfitting industry is on the whole and believe in their intuition. But dismally, with golfers in general remaining about as gullible a group as there is in just about any activity imaginable, needed change in the clubfitting trade might potentially be a long way away yet. In light of this, Messrs. Gullible Golfer themselves actually contribute to the current situation by blindly believing and following much of the absurdity inflicted by so-called (but should not be called) clubfitting experts. Indeed, some Messrs. Gullible Golfer eventually “graduate” to Messrs. Credulous Clubfitter.
As I kind of indicated above, some individual bits and pieces of the details described here are not really new ideas, although perhaps some are not as widely and publicly known as much as others. Yet when effectively combined in a logical and competent manner, an advanced clubfitting process or method that is far, far superior than anything developed in the past by the clubfitting trade begins to take shape, one that in the future will become the standard that all others will be compared and judged against. (Launch monitor use can still be an effective part of the overall process/method when the clubfitting aspect of ball travel results is kept and addressed in its proper perspective and order. But the slow-witted and laughable fixation on launch monitor numbers, which currently permeates throughout the clubfitting industry as being a legitimate indication of actual golfer swing performance and some sort of miracle technology that transformed a previously ineligible trade into something more capable [the trade is more incompetent today than it has ever been], will mercifully come to an end).
As the program continues to take shape (most all of it is already logically in place but every bit is not necessarily physically documented and/or organized yet), it can be noted that the forward-thinking (yet at the same time backward-thinking) foundational process comprises sound organic procedures that to date have been ineptly overlooked (regardless of whether intentionally or unintentionally), thus resulting in an utterly inept clubfitting industry from top to bottom. The program has already been given its own unique name, which is the “Clean Hands™” method of clubfitting. The method does retain some valid procedures that the clubfitting trade has done previously and/or currently. But that does not really say a whole lot, as the only thing the industry is really currently capable of is basically the simplistic fitting of clubs in accordance with launch monitor results, with the results essentially being just a glorified substitute for the visual observation of ball travel results that preceded the arrival of launch monitors.
To illustrate, visualize a complete, competent clubfitting process that rationally begins at 0% and ends at 100%. What the clubfitting industry currently practices is a process that tries to start at roughly the 80% point of a truly capable process (though the trade feels it is the 0% point). The trade starts at the very beginning with launch monitor data that is really only meant to and capable of helping to potentially achieve some very fine tuning of certain club specifications, specification values, and/or components, only after the core basics of clubfitting are skillfully attended to first. But for whatever delusional reason(s), the trade very unskillfully attempts to perform a complete clubfitting process from start to finish using such data and totally bypasses the first 80% of a qualified clubfitting process, the part(s) that truly comprises the foundational nucleus of competent clubfitting. Not surprisingly this routinely culminates with unsound results that persuade uncounted people to abandon the game of golf.
There is nothing especially fancy and/or fast within the roughly 80% consisting of a solid core process that the clubfitting industry and golfers habitually disregard, but at least it consists of sound legitimate clubfitting procedures that produce valid results. Compare this with fitting results that are more quickly arrived at when predominantly using launch monitor data to base an entire clubfitting process on (data that essentially becomes very superficial and baseless under such a condition), rather than as a fine-tuning tool on top of a sound underlying clubfitting process. Keep firmly in mind that ball travel results and swing performance are two distinctly different elements of clubfitting that regularly (not just occasionally) do not coincide with one another, and there is no underlying process, period, (regardless of whether sound or unsound) that strives to fit a club to the elemental swing of a golfer when clubfitting based on launch monitor results.
(Launch monitor results will commonly vary significantly less if the fundamental core of a capable clubfitting process, primarily involving the club specifications that can literally affect and alter one’s swing mechanics and the essential quality of swinging, is attended to first [and attended to effectively], and considerably more if obtaining launch monitor results before the fundamental core of clubfitting is properly attended to first. Based on this, launch monitor results among various club components and/or specifications can be a legitimate indicator of how well [or poor] a clubfitter initially attends to base clubfitting aspects before trying to fine tune anything using a launch monitor).
This situation can be somewhat comparable to the apparently uncontrollable quest for maximum distance first and foremost among most golfers, absent sufficiently coherent brain functioning. This habitually occurs at the conspicuous expense of being able to more rationally learn and/or care about golf swing and equipment principles properly (and then more objectively applying them) that are responsible for being able accomplish the maximum distance that any given golfer can potentially achieve. The commercial clubfitting trade on the whole currently implements a fitting process that has evolved remarkably backwards in recent times, is a complete farce of what a successful and responsible clubfitting process entails, and the industry is a complete laughingstock to anyone that comprehends swing and clubfitting performance elements correctly.
The Clean Hands™ method of clubfitting integrates foundational clubfitting theories and practices that to this point have evidently gone over the heads of the clubfitting industry population overall (or if you prefer, under the heads of many within the trade that have overly inflated heads and/or and egos, maybe better recognized as the “Messrs. Know-It-All” of the trade). Many of these entities (which could be individuals or organizations) are self-proclaimed in nature, and pitiably they are oftentimes the least knowledgeable regarding certain clubfitting topics they preach about. This partly explains and justifies why the industry as a whole continues to be such an embarrassment to the entire game of golf and has contributed to countless people justly abandoning the game in recent times. But the Clean Hands™ method actually provides for literally being able to fit a golf club directly to the performance and best base swinging capability (first) of any golfer, rather than analyzing launch monitor results and indirectly assuming or speculating about actual swing performance based on such results. This is a most foundational core competency that the trade from top to bottom has been and continues to be totally inept at.
Finally, while the above helps to explain a little about why the following is true, I do not want to forget about the inquiry by bjp1 on the Worrisome Reasonless Xenogolf website forum that specifically prompted the entries of this title to begin with. So I will briefly sum up with the following. Once determined through whatever means (or even before the particular specification value is determined [the way most clubfitting entities execute their process overall]), the exact same grip size (principally referring here to its outside diameter) can be used toward fitting a club(s) if desired. In that case, shaft weight (and also club length) will become relevant fitting parameters in order to accomplish a golfer’s best swinging. For clubfitting entities that broadly have a single grip size contained and installed on all test clubs/components, it is naturally easier to proceed in such a manner. For entities with this clubfitting setup, I cannot really speculate about their reason(s) why, such as maybe erroneously concluding that grip size is less important or relevant than it truly is within a capable clubfitting process, considerations regarding finances, clubfitting speed, and/or any number of other possibilities.
But regardless, such a setup is seriously flawed. Now this is perhaps not true from the perspectives of shaft manufacturers and/or elite clubfitting entities that might have big price markups and/or certain other entities, but it is most certainly and sadly true from the perspectives of poor golfers trying to get better at playing the game through clubfitting. This is especially true for golfers that are not well off financially, so in this regard the word “poor” as used in the previous sentence can have a double meaning associated with it. Most importantly, such a faulty clubfitting setup very severely limits the number of club components and specifications that any golfer can swing and play essentially as well as he/she is capable of, and it also very critically limits (if not completely obliterates) an opportunity for any golfer to be clubfit well into any future club technology that is likely to continue improving.
And what is the root cause of this particular situation (merely one of many such situations that currently royally stink up the clubfitting industry)? It can be definitively traced back to the amateurishly faulty method and perception of fitting grip size as described in the preceding paragraph, as it relates to direct swing performance, and as the terribly flawed method and perception continue to permeate the vulnerable industry (just like Mr. Gullible Golfer) and be believed and practiced essentially unconditionally.
The rather standard process that has evolved to this point in time has the clubfitting trade basically considering the club specification of grip size to be disconnected in nature from other components and specifications that help make up a complete golf club. But it is the clubfitting industry itself that is actually rather disconnected from reality in certain ways. Among other traits, the trade has had some of the most unqualified educators imaginable to date and has amassed a “library of reference information” for clubfitters, golfers, and others that quite possibly might be the most inaccurate and/or incomplete body of work for any trade on earth. This is particularly true of the most basal swing and/or clubfitting theories and practices, and so most everything that tries to be built upon such underlying flaws is also commonly incorrect and/or goes off into elements that are in the end rather irrelevant. It is truly astonishing and a fascinating study to say the least regarding how an entire industry overall, which is broadly purported to have more people associated with it that are well educated and financially better off than with most other activities, can possibly continue to stupidly believe some of the most illogical, inexperienced, and absurd concepts ever developed as they have been within the game of golf.
However, for a clubfitter that is correctly educated and/or sufficiently experienced (not something the clubfitting industry is currently capable of providing), who for example properly understands the relationships and interactions between elements like club grip size, shaft weight, clubhead weight, and swing performance (as a non-limiting listing of interdependent clubfitting elements), the future may not seem so bleak. Any clubfitting entity that is so qualified is capable of in essence opening up a whole new world that has never been experienced previously by golfers, the clubfitting trade, and consequently the game of golf in general. To illustrate, I might have similarly previously outlined how a clubfitter so qualified, with no more than just a few well-chosen shaft models having some different grips sizes installed on each for valid testing purposes (and no launch monitor), would be able to consistently help golfers swing and play better (and frequently less expensively overall), than any clubfitting entity (figuratively) having 1,000 different shaft models of varying specifications that all have the same size grip installed (and the very best launch monitor).
There is simply no other outcome possible on the whole, as the latter typically relies on a grip-on-a-stick display or hand measuring device to fit grip size, one of numerous inept (albeit quick) procedures utilized by the clubfitting industry that regularly fits grip sizes incorrectly to golfers (one of the most critical clubfitting specifications there is). If you do not want to continue to go through clubfittings that cannot possibly come anywhere close to getting the most out of your swing and game, and if you would like to part of the solution rather than part of the ongoing problem, it is very strongly advised to categorically steer clear of the commercial clubfitting industry unless and until you see entities that are properly licensed to employ the Clean Hands™ method of clubfitting.
Making certain of this will assure that any such entities are capably trained and supported at implementing the method properly, for the clubfitting industry has a sordid history of poorly interpreting and/or applying many clubfitting theories and practices developed to date, and the trade basically remains wholly unchecked by any valid clubfitting authority. So a clubfitter not properly licensed and educated to perform the Clean Hands™ method will be (as just a couple of countless examples) more liable to ignorantly (intentionally or unintentionally) more quickly change grip sizes on the same club using an air compressor without competently adjusting club swingweight values each time, or fail to purposefully “misadjust” club swingweight values properly for specific testing procedures (completely invalidating certain crucial testing).
Such amateurish clubfitting can turn the clubfitting processes of unlicensed “copiers” into processes no better than what the clubfitting industry currently badly performs on golfers. Now at some point, in addition to (or in place of) physical clubfitting locations that would be licensed accordingly, one or more self-help materials respecting the Clean Hands™ method may be made available for individual purchasing and clubfitting work if desired. (Actually, the trademarked method is hardly limited in scope to clubfitting, and it is also straightforwardly connected with foundational golf swing development, instruction, and analysis). Reasonably, different versions of materials containing different details might be geared toward individual golfers and commercial entities for instance. So, commercial entities not properly licensed to implement the Clean Hands™ method might be missing critical information as well as training and support for their specific operating situations, including more frequent updates regarding any method upgrades.
So as mentioned above, the only way to really be sure you will be getting the most up-to-date clubfitting (and/or swing development) process as originally designed, and prudently avoid incompetent pretenders, is to resolutely seek out an entity that is properly licensed and overseen toward administering the Clean Hands™ method. Bear in mind that prior to the introduction of the method, absolutely no one within the clubfitting industry really came anywhere even close to approaching the knowledge, insight, and skill necessary to implement the method, even though it is truly elementary in nature and its “advancement” is basically backward in direction. The process comprises sound “legitimate” clubfitting concepts based upon the actual nucleus of swing performance and not merely superficial “launch monitor” clubfitting concepts that mechanically are so very misleading and yet unbelievably systematically believed by the birdbrained clubfitting industry on the whole. So there is really no reason to believe that the clubfitting trade will be able to acceptably implement and maintain the Clean Hands™ method fittingly into the future on its own and without qualified guidance and oversight.