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Why get custom fit for a driver?

About The Author:
10 Year PGA member from the Metropolitan Section.Past Head Professional and current Golf Operations Manager with Eisenhower Park Golf Course. Trained and worked with some of the finest Head Professionals in the section as well as past Assistant Sales Manager for Golf Galaxy.In this capacity was responsible for the training of hard lines sales staff as well as the club fittng and launch monitor point person.

Eisenhower Park Golf Course
Author: Daniel S. Agapion | Published: August 2008

A driver is one of the most important clubs in your bag. With the many choices and information available from manufacturers, golfers of all handicap levels are sure to be confused on what to purchase. Combine this with the well intended efforts provided by the many PGA and Sales Professionals,pivotal fitting information is jeopardized.A golfer more often purchases key equipment based on marketing and over excitement than facts.

Manufacturers are offering drivers that are geared to certain player types helping a bit to create less confusion. However, most fitters are still fighting the customer wanting low loft and stiff flex.Information is just starting to penetrate the market regarding high launch and low spin combined with dynamic driver fitting.

Fortunately with the advance of computer software and high speed optics a golfer can be custom fit for a driver indoors or outdoors to determine proper loft,shaft flex and even ideal golf ball characteristics.

Driver fitting facts are basic yet important. Information needed starts with a players swing speed. From this point ball speed is determined. From this point ball spin rate can be determined.From this point launch angle is determined ultimately calculating carry distance and overall distance.

Using Launch Monitors to fit for drivers allows the fitter and the student to come to a mutual agreement regarding proper manufacturer choice and club specs that match the players in swing fingerprint.

Research has shown that a ball wants to fly through a launch window with a certain spin rate to maximize distance. If the balls launches out of the window with spin rates to low or high it sacrifices distance and accuracy.

The computer software readings will measure a player's swing speed which will determine shaft flex. Ball speed can be read allowing the player to choose a ball that compliments ball speed or even enhance their ball speed. LaunchMonitor can also read spin rate which is critical for optimum launch conditions. Golf balls are designed multi layered with different cores all offering a chance for the golf ball to fit to the driver allowing for an increase in yardage and more accuracy.

All this information combines for the correct driver choice. There is noway a player can determine what is right off the rack. Although the fitter probably knows were to proceed after a short interview the golfing public has to get on board with this technology. It is shameful how a savvy talking client can try to convince a fitter that this is the club he needs and wants and will not budge.

At a minimum the client should look at the industry and notice all the choices the manufacturers are offering in effort to get the correct club in your hand via basic inventory offerings. Examples such as High Trajectory, draw bias,fade bias, 460cc, 500cc, 400cc. The offerings are endless however the client for the most part refuses to get fit and play with the proper equipment which would allow the fitter the opportunity to best serve the client. A trained fitter and a Launch Monitor are the only way to get the right driver in your hand.

Ironically the most helped person with the Launch Monitor fitting is the average golfer. That's right an 18 handicapper. Poor person is hitting the ball to low with no spin.Playing a 9' driver that should be an 11' at a minimum. AHHHHHHHHHH the player complains more loft will reduce roll, however, it is a fact the longer the ball stays in the air the further it will go. You need the right loft, flex and golf ball to maximize these variables. So get fit.Stop hoping the ball will sneak past the bunker on a 6' trajectory. Go get fit and find the driver that will launch and fly a golf ball above the tree line and flying over the fairwaybunker that you dread hitting or rolling into.

Heck the driver costs $500. Why not spend $25 and take a 45 minute fitting session and walk out of the establishment with a 95% correct choice.

The industry is allowing this edge. Take advantage of it. Purchase the correct club. The fitting expense is minimal in the face of more enjoyment and the amount of balls you will no longer loose, considering the fitting has got the ball flying on the correct launch angle with the correct spin. This translates to a golf ball that will be flying in front of you and not in every other direction possible.