Since the beginning, custom fitting players have always wrestled with the question of “should I get custom fit? Or “am I good enough to get custom fit?”
While these seem like valid questions for the majority of weekend golfers, I will tell you that if you are serious about your game, and you play and practice at least once a week – You are NOT good enough, NOT to get custom fit!
In fact you are doing yourself a disservice, because professionals can adjust to poorly fit equipment while amateurs cannot.
One of the biggest places you will see issues within poorly fit clubs, is in the yardages you hit your clubs in regard to carry and roll.
To prove this point I took one of our scratch players here at Bighorn and ran him through a simple test that relates to his “yardage gaps”. He was told nothing other than to hit balls with every club in his bag, so he was blind to what I was trying to accomplish.
Below you can see what yardages he had with his setup:
- 60 and 56 degree ATV Wedges by TaylorMade
- P-3 Speed Blades Project X 6.0 (Std stock lofts- all tested and verified)
- 5 wood SLDR (set on 20.5 degrees)
As you look at the CARRY data above without reference to the actual numbers below, you will see that some of these yardages tend to blend together:
- 60, 54, PW and 9 have good spacing
- 7 iron and 6 iron are a touch too close together
- 5 iron, 4 iron, 3 iron are a big issue as it pertains to their spacing
By looking at this photo the seven iron loft might be strong or the six iron loft could be weak… However both were tested and were spot on per the stock lofts set up by the factory.
As with most golfers, once we get to the longer irons the trajectory goes down, it becomes a touch flatter which will reduce the carry distance the player can obtain, the run out will be greater due to the to the flatter landing angle which will give them the overall yardage they desire.
However we want ALL clubs to peak out the same height, so we can have better control of our angles of descent so the ball won’t chase over the green every time. In fact the goal is to keep all of our hybrids and irons above a 45 degree landing angle.
With this being said let’s dig a touch deeper into the data, for a more precise fitting for this player.
As stated earlier we really see no issues with the 60 degree wedge – 8 iron, as all the distance data seems to be spot on.. Several things to note:
- The 7 iron carry is 165.9 with a height of 84.6 and a landing angle of 43.5
- The 6 iron carry is 180.1 with a height of 80.4 and a landing angle of 41.4
To me the yardage carry gap appears fine but when you look closer you will see that the height has dropped down and the ball is chasing forward a touch too much.
I would prefer to see the 6 iron to go a touch higher – It could be done by adding a ½ degree of loft which should reduce the gap, and give the ball a touch more height, so it lands more like a shorter iron.
- The 5 iron carry is 192.4 with a height of 74.8 and a landing angle of 38.0
- The 4 iron carry is 199.1 with a height of 77.9 and a landing angle of 39.1
- The 3 iron carry is 205.4 with a height of 66.3 and a landing angle of 34.0
- There is a huge gap between the 3 iron carry and the 5 wood carry
- The 3 iron carry is 205.4 and the 5 wood carry is 233.6
So what does this tell me?
The 5 iron is a borderline club in this player’s bag as it’s coming in way too low and flat, thus I would suggest changing shafts or adding a touch of loft to make the ball fly a touch higher with almost the same length.
The 4 and 3 irons should be INSTANTLY replaced with hybrids, so that this player can have a chance to stay on the green from 200 yards. Currently there is no chance to access a front pin location with this setup from 200 yards, without chasing to the back of the green.
This is the precise reason why hybrids are in professionals’ golf bags… Easier to hit, higher ball flight, softer landing, and they carry further.
I believe that this player with the right hybrid and wood fitting, could gain yardage by hitting them higher and spacing out the distances. This should also minimize the gap to the 5 wood, compared to the currently 4 and 3 iron setup.
I would highly suggest that ALL players go through a yardage testing protocol and get fit…
What you will gain is the understanding of what you actually do, versus what you think you do – And from there you can make more educated decisions, regarding what clubs you need to investigate at the next demo day!