The Terrible Twos Syndrome of Golf Club Fitting: Part Ten
Notwithstanding that this post sequence is geared primarily toward golf club “fitting” aspects, I cannot help but interject certain club “making” facets that can be extremely important to the process(es) at hand. I personally consider “fitting” work to be every bit as much a part of “playing” as trying to hit my best drive or sink a putt during a round of golf. This is because my clubs and clubfitting decisions can directly impact the action of my golf swing and how I am able to perform my swing. Plus a dominant element of club “fitting” work comprises actual swinging, and that part is more play. I often consider this part of “playing” the game to be a more critical barometer of my success (or failure) than when my score is actually analyzed. And my primary goals and fulfillments have always been to try to play my best, compete, and win. But for tasks that can be plainly separated from these into pure club “making” tasks, I have never been particularly fond of doing such tasks or even describing how they might best be done, even though I will continue to do many of them within my own work because I trust myself more than anyone else regarding many of these critically important tasks. In giving myself (and perhaps you) a one-post break from such tasks, in this entry I will explain some of why I include certain of these tedious club “making” tasks within this club “fitting” sequence.
The thinking is that when it is further disclosed and distributed through Waggle Weight Wisdom™ how the clubfitting trade as a whole has continuously failed to conceptualize, develop, and perform even first-grade-level clubfitting practices successfully essentially since this industry’s commercial inception, many golfers (even more than do so already) will probably decide to do as much of their own club fitting work as possible (and with good reason). Actually, this should really be the case even if the clubfitting trade were performing exquisitely. This is because a large part of learning how to swing well and developing true confidence in that swing rationally includes learning and performing at least fundamental clubfitting well (since golf club specifications can directly affect that swing). And in the end the golfer bears the most responsibility for developing confidence in his/her swing, not the clubfitter. Excellent fundamental clubfitting is not difficult to self-achieve with the correct guidance, and it is especially important for those who want to be the very best golfers they can be (as opposed to those who view clubfitting as more of a status symbol [and there are many]) to become personally involved in the clubfitting facet of golfing. The club “making” elements I depict can be crucial toward being able to self-achieve at clubfitting highly successfully.
In addition to seeing more by the end of this title sequence of why the golf clubfitting trade has consistently been the worst in all of sports at implementing sound fundamental equipment fitting, has developed such a poor performance record and reputation, and is justly ridiculed, the trade is now also currently prohibited from using recently-patented, significant clubfitting advances that may only be available to individual golfers for years to come (in applicable nations including the US). In presuming (based considerably on knowledge forthcoming here) that all but the most gullible golfers will soon largely avoid the clubfitting industry unless and until the trade competently overhauls itself, I am trying to detail some tasks from an inexperienced perspective, which likely includes matter that is already taken for granted and boring to supposedly-more-experienced people. But I do not write this expressly for supposedly-more-experienced people, so if a less-experienced person gets into the heart of the club “fitting” information that follows and finds oneself lost or confused, hopefully enough suitable club “making” information will have also been offered beforehand to reference and be helpful.
In sticking with this self-clubfitting theme started here, if you are concerned about being at a disadvantage if you not have access to a device like a launch monitor, put yourself at ease. I cannot emphasize to you enough how overrated such devices are toward expert fundamental clubfitting, but you will learn this better is as I continue. Bear in mind that solid clubfitting principles existed long before launch monitors and even computers came into being. This tutoring first focuses on the correct learning and applying of these basic principles. If you think this foundational knowledge is already being well administered within the clubfitting trade, think again. Noting just one remarkably astounding example here, a considerable number of so-called clubfitting experts believe that wearing a wrist watch, golf glove, or other item(s) will markedly alter the effective swingweight balance of a golf club. Invoking both side-splitting laughter and genuine pity due to the lack of fundamental golf swing and clubfitting knowledge exhibited, such statements publicly display what I will term the embarrassingly erroneous “painful principles of clubfitting” that the clubfitting industry has inflicted on the world to date regarding golf club fitting. Yes, underlying golf club fitting knowledge remains this bad. A launch monitor adds virtually nothing under such circumstances.
Nor is an extensive purchase of all the latest shafts, clubheads, and grips needed in order to achieve a superb clubfitting. Less can actually be more here with respect to learning and performing effective clubfitting in that one is more apt to focus on attending to every possible detail of one or a few select components to make it/them the best possible fit for a golfer. Compare this to more superficially playing “musical golf shafts” with a larger number of shaft designs as an example while being completely unaware of other critical clubfitting elements also very relevant to each design. By the end of this testing sequence you will come to know that the golf shaft one uses, while still important, is not nearly as “almighty” as many people make it out to be, and one hardly needs to test an exorbitant number of golf shafts. A golf club can be fit and played with quite well even if the flex characteristic(s) of the shaft for instance is not a good a fit for a golfer. Most people so fixated on the golf shaft as being so almighty that every other clubfitting component is essentially inconsequential generally feel that way because the shaft might be the only component they know how to (or at least think they know how to) fit, while at the same time being quite ignorant about fitting other components that are also part of a golf club.
The old saying for a very long time was that the golf shaft was the engine of a golf club (however this is supposed to be interpreted and presuming that this is meant to say the shaft is far and away the most important component of a golf club’s functioning [which is just not so]). In more recent times the saying has evolved some to a changed attitude that the golfer himself/herself is the engine that fuels golfing performance (congratulations to those who have come to this realization). Subsequently it is primarily supported that the golf shaft is instead the transmission linking the engine to a golf ball, whereby the engine and transmission are combined to try to efficiently move a golf ball from one location to another desired location. If accepting this saying and assuming a perfectly matched golf shaft to you in every way, I challenge you to see how well you golf with just that golf shaft in your hands. That is one poor transmission by anyone’s standards. The point I want to make here is that those who are so fixated on the importance of the golf shaft to the extent of calling it alone the engine or transmission of a golf club need to be put out to pasture along with MOI supporters (I wonder how crowded it will ultimately get out there). Again, accessing a large number of different components is hardly a prerequisite for accomplishing superb clubfitting results.
Such statements inflicted in the past have never fittingly matured into the only logical analogy that encompasses the complete truth of the matter. And this statement is: The golfer himself/herself is the engine that powers a golf club (and through the golf club a golf ball), and the entire golf club, comprising each and every one of its components, is the transmission that helps the engine achieve an attempted golf ball travel result. Any golf club component that does not mesh suitably with any other golf club component(s) and the golfer/engine can produce results equally devastating to just a “shaft” being off in one way or another. Anyone not comprehending this is indefensibly a poor clubfitter. And the club “making” aspects presented within this post sequence are integral elements toward putting into practice this rectified, valid analogy of relationships among a golfer, his/her golf clubs, and the fit of those clubs, thus they need to be sufficiently addressed.