There’s more to a fitting than just showing up.
Here, we’re gonna discuss 7 things you need to know before getting fit for a driver (with the help of Ralph Maltby and his Complete Book of Golf Club Fitting & Performance).
Diving right in…
One: The data you collect while hitting with a face impact label (or sunscreen) is useless.
The reason is because the label/sunscreen restricts ball spin. Meaning, drives will be longer, shots will be straighter, maybe more than you’re used to.
This is also why the Rules of Golf forbid putting some type of foreign substance on the face.
However, there’s nothing wrong with using the label (or sunscreen) to find what length nets you the most impacts on the “sweet spot”.
PS: this includes any of that “invisitape” that helps keep shop clubs from getting beat up by the people that like to go in just to play around.
Two: Try to avoid range balls when being fit.
If a fitter is using beat up balls, or some s/he collected from a course, it’s probably not going to provide real feedback. How long were they lost? How beat up are they? Were they ever water-logged? All these factors can prevent getting real data.
Three: A driver fitting isn’t a Long Drive contest.
Look, it’s natural to want to “man (or woman) up”. You wouldn’t be the first person to do it, and you won’t be the last. Just keep yourself in check as best you can.
The fitter’s there to help you, and if you’re presenting your swing in a way that’s unlike how you are on the course, all that help goes out the window real fast.
Use the swing you have, not the swing you hope to have.
Four: Warm up before you get started.
Most fitters plan for this, so take advantage of it. You’ll get much better data, and a better fit for a driver, that way.
Five: Be mindful of the turf you’re on.
If you’re on an indoor range, something with a harder surface under the artificial turf, it might be a good idea to use sneakers (or running shoes) than your normal cleats.
The reason is because of the height differential. There’s no give on those hard surfaces, and your spikes will likely prop you up a little. It might not sound like much, and maybe it’s not. It might be enough to throw your swing off and keep you from making solid contact with the ball, though.
Six: Bring your current driver.
If you’re looking to change something, it’s best to create a baseline. That way, you’ll know if the changes you’re making are actually doing something.
Case in point: your driver comes with a 65 gram, S-flex shaft. How would you know if another 65 gram, S-flex shaft, was actually doing something different?
Maybe you find that, yes, a 12* loft is much better for you than the 9.5* you’re currently using. Or maybe a 44″ driver is better at finding the “sweet spot” than the 46″ model you’re currently using.
It’s one thing to be told, but getting to see it is another.
Seven: Talk to your club fitter.
Many will have a personal interview form for you to fill out. This is where they get to know a little more about you, your game, your goals, etc. This helps in making more informed equipment suggestions.
Remember, it’s a back-and-forth conversation. Don’t be afraid to initiate dialogue. If you’re stuck, I do have a set of 13 questions you can ask, to get the ball rolling.
To get the best fit for a driver, it’s a good idea to follow these seven steps. It’s about coming away with a driver that’s going to help you play better, and the more you know, the more you conversate, the better the outcome will be.
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