Custom Golf Clubs, How Can I Benefit?
Simply stated, You can gain maximum performance in both distance and accuracy. The real question is how is the proper fitting of the golf club different then what the OEM and many other club fitters offer?
A set of clubs bought off the rack can not allow you to be all that you can be as a golfer compared to a set built specifically for your swing timing. Even most of the so called custom clubs, whether selected off the shelf or custom built “for you” by using clubhead speed, tempo, launch angle etc becomes a crap shoot where the player has less then a 50% chance of getting a set of clubs that provides the best performance possible. The FitChip Swing Timing System is the only fitting system of its kind. That is why the U.S.Patent office saw fit to issue several patents on the system. One Licensee of the FitChip System reported after his first 2000 customers the dissatisfaction rate with the sets of clubs built using the system was less then 1%.
In the FitChip system all shafts are spined, and frequency matched to the players exact flex values to return the shaft to straight and square at ball impact. In most cases when a custom club builder speaks of Frequency matched shafts he is talking about a standard frequency progression from one club to the next. Using the FitChip system the frequency progression between clubs is determined for the individual player and the clubs are built to that progression weather it is on a straight line or curve rather then some industry standard that has no other bases then that is what you get if you use the same stiffness shaft and make each club a ½ inch longer. We have found that 10 to 15% of all players are flat liners (all clubs built to the same frequency) while the average player is on a slope of 2 to 2.5 CPM per each ½ inch increment rather then the 4.3 CPM slope used as a standard in the industry. This is the reason so many players have a favorite club in their set, it is the one that fits them the best or falls on their playing slope. To play such a set you have to make a slight change in your swing with each club.
Secondly, in any industry, it is literally impossible for a mass-produced product to cater to all individuals and golf equipment is no exception. The old saying "one-size fits all" may be fine for Spandex wear, but it is terribly inadequate when it comes to meeting the specifications and playing needs of individual golfers. These individual needs are at the very heart of the custom clubmaking profession and the primary and most important difference between OEM clubs and clubs crafted by clubmakers. Custom-fit clubs are assembled from heads, shafts and grips specifically chosen on the basis of how each can assist a particular golfer get the most out of their playing ability. In stark contrast, unless you play professional golf for a living, OEM clubs are manufactured to one set of specifications to create a " vanilla-flavored" set of clubs that is made to satisfy the basic needs of the highest percentage of golfers. Kind of like a shoe manufacturer who only sells size 9 for men and size 7 for ladies because that is the national average.
There are many different specifications that make up a golf club which controls the golfer`s Distance, Accuracy, Trajectory, and Feel. These specifications are the keys to an individual fitting which will allow the player to achieve the most out of his/her game. The shaft frequency is the most important of these specifications. Clubmakers can select from a large number of different make shafts that can be trimmed to the exact frequency the player needs for peek performance. The OEM’s offer only four stiffness ranges and you will not know where your shaft falls within that range. These ranges are about 15 CPM wide and we have found that if you are not within 4 CPM of what you need the loss in performance is significant. There really is no comparison, clubmakers have a much greater range of components from which to create the right set of golf clubs for the golfer.
Over the past several years, there has been a trend by OEM companies to sell custom club fitting as one of their areas of expertise but with a little smoke and mirrors they deliver you another production line set of clubs. They refuse to get away from their production line methods and truly do custom fitting. This is the reason they push clubhead speed as the key to fitting golf clubs, they do not need personal contact and they need not deviate from the standard slope or their production procedures. The OEM companies seem to try to sell the club head as the answer to all your performance problems and they change them every year and tell you they will improve your game even more then the last one did. Most likely the last one did nothing for your game unless you happened upon the correct frequency shaft for your swing and picking the same stiffness (A, R, S or X) will not guarantee you will ever get the same frequency again. The OEM’s custom club fitting scheme is simply the newest and latest avenue to attempt to gain a market share in a fast growing segment of the market. This only proves what clubmakers have been selling for years, custom fit golf clubs are an advantage for all golfers!
The publication, "Golf Shop Operations", reported last year that 33 golf club companies offered some type of formal custom clubfitting system, including many of the industry`s leading manufacturers. More recently, "Golf Digest`s" online poll disclosed that nearly 90 percent of those surveyed think they would play better with fitted clubs, but only 33 percent of respondents have ever been fitted. All of this suggests that custom fitting has achieved national acceptance and a tremendous market exists for custom fitting of golf clubs.
As an example in another sport: When visiting a sporting goods store If you would look in the tennis department, it is quite apparent that every one of the “brand name” rackets are displayed with no strings. The strings in the racket perform a task similar to the one the shaft does in a golf club, why not display golf clubs without the shafts. Tennis rackets are displayed this way because racket makers have known for a long time that not all tennis players can play with the same type or tension of strings, or with the same grip size. In the brand name tennis racket business there has never been such a thing as a “standard racket” for all players to buy and use off the rack.