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How to get custom fit for a set of irons/Wedge

About The Author:
Brad Smith has been a PGAMember for 20 years, and a "Class A Clubmaker" of the Professional Clubmaker's Society for over 14 years. His isDirector of Instruction at Yankee Trace, ownerof The Golf Doctor in Springboro, Ohio,a former College Coach, and coaches his son's High School golf team.

The Golf Club at Yankee Trace
Centerville, OH
Author: Brad Smith | Published: December 2007

Custom fitted irons were unheard of when I was growing up in the 70's and playing golf with whatever clubs I had at the time.Most of the players I played with and even my parents had never heard of custom fitted irons. Now custom fitted irons have been marketed commonly by most manufactures, and the consumers are more knowledgeable about why they should have fitted irons. Even with the knowledge of why, the consumer needs to know how to get fitted for a set of irons.

The person you want to custom fit you should be a golf professional who watches your golf swing, the ball flight and asks questions to know more about your golf game and goals. Any information from you can help with the fine tuning of your custom fitted irons. The 6 main areas of fitting causing the most effects on shot performance are lie of the clubs, length, shaft flex, shaft weight, grip size and set makeup.

Lie is the angle between the hosel and the sole when the sole is touching the ground at the center. It has a major influence on accuracy. The fitter will test you on a lie board. If a more upright club is needed then the toe of the club will bottom out first making the ball travel to the right. If a flatter club is needed then the heal of the club will bottom out first making the ball travel to the left. After hitting on the lie board, the golf professional will know whether a flatter or upright club is better for you.

Length is the distance from the head ofthe club to the grip end. It has a major influence on distance, accuracy and feel.The longer the club is, the bigger the arc, thus the greater the swing speed. However, if you don't hit the ball in the middle of the club then distance is lost. The golf professional will use face tape tosee if you are able to hit a longer club while still hitting it solid. Length also changes the lie of the club, so the fitter will take that in consideration, as well.

Shaft Flex is the bending of the shaft. It has a major influence on feel and distance. Usually the harder you swing,then the stiffer the shaft. Knowing the swing speed is great, however, the fitter will let you try some different flexes to see if you feel anything different.Sometimes a certain shaft will feel better.

Shaft Weight is the mass of the shaft usually measured in grams. It has a major influence on feel and distance.Different materials of shafts can affect feel and distance. Usually graphite will be lighter and absorb the impact while steel can be heavier with more feel of the impact. A light shaft can increase club head speed because of two reasons. The club can be made longer, due to a lighter shaft making a bigger arc, thus increasing swing speed. Another reason for increase speed from a lighter shaft is the total weight is lighter. The golf professional should have some demos for you to try. I believe golfers with slower club speeds and golfers with any injuries should have graphite to soften the impact. Ultra light steel increase your club head speed without giving up too much feel.

Grip Size is the diameter of the grip along the length of the grip. It has a major influence on feel. Grips can be made out of different compositions and have different sizes. The golf professional will have some different size grips or will measure your hand to find the correct size grip. A correct and comfortable grip will give your arm muscles a chance to be more relaxed and will allow a greater chance for a consistent swing.

Set Makeup is the complement of clubs to comprise the golfers set. It has a major influence on distance and accuracy. The information from you hitting and questions asked by the professional will help decide on the set makeup. The golf professional will find the gaps that need to be filled and will replace of hard to hit clubs. Also the design of the club will be looked at to help the student's golf game.

In conclusion, since there are many variables and fitting isn't a perfect science, use your PGA Golf Professional, so your fitting goes smooth and your game will improve.