The Terrible Twos Syndrome of Golf Club Fitting: Part Forty-Seven

But even if eliminating something like aftermarket shaft devices and the added element(s) they bring into the equation of fitting grip size in this instance, and even in dealing with only the three primary golf club components, even this alone as presented within Waggle Weight Wisdom™ may still present one with an overwhelming number of possibilities to deal and test with.  And indeed it is a more complex process, but a process that actually produces correct clubfitting results compared with the completely inept, mail-order-type, prophet-for-profit, quick-fit grip-on-a-stick method or its equivalent of fitting golf grip size that has been traditionally utilized by the clubfitting industry (and which helps this industry firmly retain its deserved title of being the worst in all of sports).  And I sense many continuing to feel that there just has to be a more “scientific” way of determining one’s best golf grip size (as well as other club specification values) without so much trial and error being necessary.

So here would be a good place to review that not only is trial and error testing an integral part of an extremely scientific clubfitting process, but trial and error testing that revolves around one’s actual golf swing is the central ingredient in a capable scientific clubfitting process of fitting any given golf club specification value to one’s golf swing (focusing on one’s direct golf swing performance here and not ball travel results [two totally different clubfitting processes]).  And added to this central ingredient, other elements surrounding one’s trial and error testing by way of swinging must also be structured in a scientifically sound manner or any such testing will be essentially valueless.  This is where the (not so) Terrible Twos process is critical, with a scientific necessity of obtaining at least two test golf clubs that (ideally) have all other club specification values matching exactly with the exception of just one specification endeavored to be fit at a time.  One can thus alter and most confidently select the value of that particular club specification.

Without having at least two very accurate test club specimens immediately available for swinging comparisons where only one club specification is varied in value, it is literally impossible to make a sound determination of what specification value(s) one performs one’s best, most coordinated golf swings at.  (As I have at least partially indicated before, this particular testing regimen is not applicable to every single clubfitting circumstance.  For instance, where adhesive lead tape can be added and removed from a clubhead in short order, testing for one’s best golf club swingweight value[s] for any given golf club might be performed using just that single club.  But for other crucial club specifications that cannot be accurately and/or consistently altered in such short order, multiple test club specimens are needed and might always be needed in certain circumstances regardless of how far club component interchangeability advances in the future.  And once again, do not confuse the quality of one’s direct golf swing performance with ball travel results as might be indicated by a launch monitor or whether or not one is swinging exactly down the target line as might be indicated by a swing monitor as examples.  The coordination quality of one’s direct golf swing performance is a completely different testing protocol that can in fact produce results contrary to these other tests and consequently lead one in a totally different clubfitting direction).  What I can authoritatively state is that when the proper testing structure is learned and the time is taken to competently set up such testing in advance, then the applicable testing process (assuming fitting one’s golf grip size here) might seem to be completed just about as quickly as when using an inept process like the grip-on-a-stick method, but much more competently.

Now I am trying to keep my concentration on the subject at hand because I am very much looking forward to addressing other topics that need to be addressed extremely badly and I cannot do that until I first complete this specific post title sequence.  But with the sheer number of people thinking and accepting that certain golf club specifications can actually be professionally (or even amateurishly) fit to one’s golf swing performance without one even swinging in the course of determining the specifications’ best values elicits so many chuckles from me that it becomes harder to write and it just naturally pops into my head that I should be formulating another golfer versus Pole joke where the golfer has an awful lot of work to do to catch up with the Pole (or most everybody else for that matter).  I can perhaps formulate an entire book of satirical jesting based totally on golfers and the golf industry in general.  This would feasibly include most golfers and clubfitters paying little attention to the only a starting point jargon and commonly merely using static clubfitting measurements obtained, static clubfitting measurements being dangerously poor starting points even if they do pay strict attention to the only a stating point jargon as has already been explained.  These issues would not exist if actual swing performance were put at the beginning of a clubfitting session (like it is some sort of priority) rather than later.

I might then move on to satire regarding how golfers and clubfitters foolishly believe that launch monitor results even remotely indicate one’s golf swing performance coordination.  I can for example, whether intentionally or inadvertently due to any number of attendant conditions, produce an in-to-out or out-to-in swing path (this can often be needed and/or advantageous during play), retain a well-coordinated golf swing action to the point where certain club specifications should not be changed, and yet obtain horrific launch monitor results.  I can oppositely work at and achieve superb launch monitor results according to some predetermined figures with any number of alterations to club specification values, yet at the same time with the same alteration(s) make certain my golf swing is performed in such an uncoordinated manner that even my own mother could not love it.  The current “launch monitor culture” has sadly but enlighteningly evolved into a culture of as long as the launch monitor numbers are okay no one would even commonly ask me how well I am swinging (not that such a fitter would be able to competently fit any given golf club specification to my actual swing anyway even if discovering I am swinging awkwardly).

And then there is the fact that the clubfitting industry as a whole routinely fits golf club specifications in a sequential order that is so illogically conceived with respect to helping one consistently make one’s best golf swings possible first that I am not certain if I could even come up with a quip strong and worthy enough to appropriately expose this current incoherent clubfitting culture.  Through the clubfitting theories and practices developed to date (supplemented by certain golf swing theories and practices that can be pretty bad as well) that have promoted such clubfitting protocols, the clubfitting industry as a whole has diminished the importance of working toward developing an efficient golf swing and confidence in that swing as the foundation of playing the game of golf well.  This has had and will continue to have a ripple effect throughout the entire golf industry until rectified.

Not to be outdone, MOI (Moment of Insanity) club matching supporters are also some of the biggest supporters of lessening the number of clubs in a “set” to be matched to each other.  This might soon be down to a “set of one” with a different MOI value chosen for each “set.”  Now if the specification’s value falls within one’s swingweight value range (stretched to its maximum), MOI may appear to work for a limited number of successive clubs.  But this is primarily an illusion.  Beyond that, the concept of club matching all of one’s clubs to the same value is a cue to change the subject.  And while apparently not able to figure it out yet, MOI supporters are fundamentally claiming the following, using a very common activity as an example that more people are generally more familiar with (though perhaps not MOI supporters), that of just throwing a ball.  (Throwing a ball has a backward and forward motion associated with it similar to swinging a golf club, there are multiple bodily hinges/levers that come into play when throwing a ball [shoulder, elbow, wrist, and even fingers as examples] and in general it is not much different to dissect than swinging a golf club).  MOI (Moment of Insanity) supporters are essentially claiming that if one is given fourteen different weight balls for fourteen consecutive throws, then one’s throwing motions (and the results of where the balls are attempted to be thrown) are fully expected to be more consistently coordinated than if identical weight balls were provided for fourteen consecutive throws.

MOI supporters actually flaunt their position on this, openly acknowledging that a set of golf clubs matched by Moment of Insanity will feel quite inconsistent with respect to the individual clubs’ effective headweights at address to golfers in general, while at the same time continuing to assert that these golfers will swing more consistently when using such a set of golf clubs.  Yet the clubfitting trade cannot understand why it has a reputation for being the worst in all of sports due in part to using a club specification as stupid as MOI.  Here is a prime example of people believing that the laws of physics and human nature apply one way to golf and another way to “everything else.”  Perhaps they will eventually figure it out, but in the meantime one simply cannot help but wonder where these people come from (I sure hope it is not from Poland) and what kind of life experiences they have (even with such elementary activities like throwing a ball [and not restricted to athletics]) for them to be so gullible regarding MOI (Moment of Insanity) golf club matching.

This is a culture regarding one specific game (golf) where largely due to various elements associated with the game its participants (including clubfitters and those involved in other capacities) are as a whole not traditionally athletic, do not generally have an experienced understanding of how difficult (or easy) a golf swing is relative to other athletic activities, and also consistently show their inexperience at knowing solid fundamental principles of equipment fitting (if they even understand in the first place that golf equipment can be fit to golfers and/or that doing so [competently] may aid in improving golfing performance).  But rather than trying to simplify and make the game more enjoyable, and in an apparent attempt to drive more participants away from the game rather than attract some new ones, perhaps there is no better way to drive such participants away from the game than for the clubfitting industry to keep adding more golf club specifications into the mix and make a golf swing appear far more complex than it really is through the use and recommendation of an irrational golf club specification like Moment of Insanity.

I will reiterate here that the paralleling of the reintroduction of MOI golf club matching (again) about a decade ago and the notable number of people lessening their involvement in or totally leaving the game since that point in time is not pure coincidence and they are connected, though other major factors have also induced golf’s recent struggles.  The rich irony is that while MOI supporters frequently claim that the swingweighting system can be “tricked” (this is not true but it can seem to be true among those that are clueless about how the system technically functions), the only things really being tricked are the minds of those that utilize and/or promote MOI golf club matching.  This is not hard to observe through the explanations these people offer regarding the technical functioning of one or both of these specifications.  (By the way, for anyone believing that the swingweighting system can truly be tricked, know that the MOI system can be tricked just as easily if not more easily with respect to the performance quality of one’s direct golf swing).

There are uncounted additional items regarding golfers and the golf industry that can be revealed and there might be no other profession where so much comedy and irony exists when people are actually trying to be completely serious about the profession.  But while a completely separate book of such satire about the golf industry is perhaps possible, one important purpose of developing such satire to begin with is in this case a planned impact and perspective when such matter is presented right next to the same matter when being discussed seriously.  To that end, a totally disconnected writing of such material would diminish or totally eliminate the intended impact of the material.  Therefore, I will have to integrate such material here where deemed appropriate directly within Waggle Weight Wisdom™.

Now I do continue to like certain elements of the game of golf and at the present time at least I am fairly committed to grow the WaggleWeight® Company (although part of me admittedly wants to dump the business and move on to other things I enjoy much more).  But I never have been and never will be able to think of golf as anything close to being “The Greatest Game of All.”  These words have been muttered orally by many over time about golf and I do believe they have been utilized as the full or partial titles of multiple publications related to golf as well.  By itself, this expression is rather presumptuous and quite frankly does not really reflect very well on the game of golf as a whole.  In fact, if breaking down the golf industry into various segments for more specific analysis, one can decidedly extract the clubfitting trade as one example and for multiple reasons put a very truthful label on it as being “The Greatest ‘Shame’ of All,” with other individual segments of the golf industry seemingly equally deserving of such a title.  With these things noted, I shall continue with more serious clubfitting information.

Described somewhat differently here than if noted previously, one issue for both golfers and clubfitters with fitting golf grip size in the prescribed manner (as well as fitting other golf club specification values through one’s direct golf swing performance) is the time it takes to perform the task capably compared with something like the wholly incompetent (but generally fast) grip-on-a-stick method.  In most cases the use of the traditional grip-on-a-stick method or its equivalent is innocent enough in that golfers themselves (though this applies to a substantial number of clubfitters and so-called clubfitting educators also) generally have insufficient experience and really have no idea how significant one’s grip size is and how little the specification needs to be changed before a considerable change takes place in one’s golf swing performance.  And I will take this one step further here in stating that even among those that do comprehend how critical one’s golf grip size in the efficient performance of one’s swing in an overall context, when getting down to the finer details most are generally clueless about how important the physical size of one’s hand(s) is with respect to one’s best golf grip size.  This reveals not only a poor understanding of basic clubfitting but also of a golf swing.  And as basic as this information is, one cannot really observe and learn it expertly if one is not made to swing in the course of choosing one’s best golf grip size (the application of relevant test golf clubs set up in a structurally sound manner is also required).  One will simply have to accept that this knowledge will never be expertly attained through any other means of fitting grip size than that published within Waggle Weight Wisdom™.

In other cases it appears this information is already known and one just chooses not to be bothered with any extra time and/or effort.  If it is known that golfers overall are clueless about such things, then one might develop, teach, and/or use a method of clubfitting for any given club specification that merely “looks” scientific on the surface and that can be gotten away with quicker and cheaper without actually implementing the most important element of a capable golf grip fitting process, that of one’s actual golf swing performance.  Unfortunately, many people within golf appear quite willing and able to take advantage of inexperienced golfers in this manner.  Beyond reemphasizing that it is quite impossible to competently choose the best golf grip size for one’s golf swing without one swinging and anything less is incompetent clubfitting, I can state that no clubfitter would ever be authorized to display either the name WaggleWeight® or Waggle Weight Wisdom™ in connection with clubfitting services if performing anything less than that prescribed here.  These names represent not only extremely capable and trustworthy clubfitting services, but also the source that exposed many of the horrible clubfitting (and golf swing) theories and practices of the past, correcting and advancing them where applicable, or eliminating and replacing them with more correct theories and practices.  I note here that many more such corrections are coming, including one straight ahead that will help eliminate inept grip size fitting protocols of the past.

Revisiting another issue revolves around one not swinging or not wanting to swing while attempting to fit any given golf club specification value for a different reason, that being because one feels one’s golf swing is simply not consistent enough.  I reiterate the reality here that the degree of such swinging inconsistency (even by beginners) is nowhere near the degree that most people think it is.  But more importantly, even if swing consistency is deemed horrible, that is just too bad.  It is something that just has to be lived with the best one can because there is literally and consistently a zero percent chance of getting a best club specification value fit to one’s golf swing unless one swings and one’s swings are analyzed while swinging different golf club specification values via one or more test clubs.  I can liken this situation to dealing with golf club components themselves.  When constructing test golf clubs for grip sizing purposes as an example (I will assume just two clubs here for better simplicity), I have repeatedly stated that the two shafts chosen must be as identical as possible in every way in order to accomplish the best clubfitting results.

But in absolute terms, this can never be totally perfect.  If the chosen shaft model has a published butt diameter size of .600 inches, one of the shafts might actually have a butt diameter of .597 inches and the other .603 inches as a simplified example, one shaft will routinely be slightly different in weight than the other at some decimal place, and so on.  One goes with the best equipment one has available at the time using the best means at one’s disposal to achieve the best degree of accuracy and consistency.  One’s actual golf swing is no different.  One gives it the best one can at the time of the fitting, including one’s best level of consistency.  The proper scientific structuring of clubfitting to one’s golf swing deems one’s level of swing consistency to be completely irrelevant.  But the proper scientific structuring of clubfitting to one’s golf swing does require in no uncertain terms that one’s golf swing be performed (at whatever level it can be performed) as the central and most critical ingredient of such structured clubfitting.  This must be the case if the goal is to fit any golf club specification value directly to one’s golf swing and not indirectly via frequently deceiving ball travel results, the physical size of one’s hand(s), and/or the angle of one’s spine at address as examples.

Furthermore, I have previously made known that over the course of one’s comprehensive lifetime experience of golfing, one can actually perform more swinging in the course of (competent) clubfitting than when specifically working on improving one’s golf swing.  (There are multiple factors involved in determining this scenario, primary among them being how much confidence one develops in one’s golf swing).  But instead of frowning on this potentiality, one can and should try to thoroughly take advantage of this situation with respect to practicing the repetition of one’s golf swing.  Much like doing exercise of some other sort for the purpose of keeping in shape, an admirable goal but one which can routinely be accompanied by a feeling of monotony and make it tougher to keep going (at least I have always routinely found this to be the case), so too may working on one’s golf swing be monotonous even with an abundance of motivation to improve that swing.  But when otherwise monotonous practicing is turned into some kind of “game” where one’s attention is turned toward something else, then the same (or even better) practice might be gotten without one actually realizing the practicing was even done.

Golf club fitting can be one such game, where so much swinging is sometimes required in the course of (capably) fitting any given club specification value (often unbeknownst to the golfer and/or clubfitter due to the need to focus intently on clubfitting at the time), that one’s swing itself may become slightly better developed (including more consistent) as a result of a given clubfitting process than if one were to spend a comparable amount of time working on one’s golf swing at a driving range.  To this end, anyone that thinks one’s golf swing is too inconsistent to be of any real value during a clubfitting process should be more intent on swinging as much as possible during the clubfitting process rather than less intent.  Certain clubfitting processes (when performed competently) can comprise some of the most intense and best golf swing practice one can ever get in the overall scheme of trying to learn how to swing a golf club most effectively (even if not knowing it), ultimately helping both one’s physical golf swing performance as well as one’s confidence in one’s swing.

(I am expressing this specific information figuratively here, as a literal permanent change occurring in one’s golf swing during a single clubfitting [or driving range] session is not very realistic and certainly not conducive to a successful clubfitting session.  To reinforce this, as indicated above I am also expressing this from the perspective of a broader, entire lifetime of playing golf.  For one having less experience in particular, do not be foolish enough to think that getting fitted for golf clubs before being legitimately ready for such a step is the best way to help one’s golf swing develop as well and as quickly as possible.  This is just not true, especially at the earliest phases of learning the game.  For example, if one is so personally inexperienced that one has essentially zero knowledge of any basic clubfitting and thus is totally clueless as to whether the clubfitter is capably competent or totally inept [the latter presently being much more common than the former], then one’s overall golfing progress may be substantially regressed rather than progressed through any such experiences.  I have also previously noted other reasons why getting fitted for golf clubs too soon while learning the game is not really a good idea).