Custom Fitting depends on The Fitter

Ivan Morris

23rd August 1950: Mr Robertson, the manager of Tom Morris's workshop in St Andrews, tests a golf club for balance while two men work on new clubs. (Photo by Don Price/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Ivan Morris

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Years ago, I was deservedly infamous for throwing my golf clubs up trees and over ditches. I could easily have been the guy who threw his bag of clubs into a snake and alligator-infested swamp in Florida, only to come back later to recover the bag, remove the car keys and promptly throw the ‘whole caboodle’ back where it came from, but I am not owning up to it. It was too long ago to remember the precise sequence of events.

From day one, when I accidentally broke two clubs through no fault of my own (they were dried out hickories) I have never felt any sentimental attachment towards my golf equipment, divorcing it on whims. As a promiscuous club switcher, I must be both a golf-retailers dream and nightmare.

1-year is the average time span for me to keep a set of irons. Fairway woods last longer but not drivers. Some putters I thought were ‘gorgeous’ in the shop lasted one day. I can remember purchasing a Peter Thomson blade on a Saturday; winning the Clonmel Scratch Cup with it on Sunday and handing it back in a trade-in transaction on the following Monday.

Buying the perfect clubs to fit you is one of the most confusing areas in a game that is quite perplexing enough as is. They say that it takes time to acclimatize to new equipment but, if you think about it, why should we have to adjust to new, fitted clubs? Shouldn’t they (automatically) adjust to us? Isn’t that the whole point of a custom fitting? How many kisses does it take before you know you like a girl? I always know after hitting half-a-dozen shots if I will like a club. That’s as much of a ‘trial marriage’ as I need.

Remember it’s you, and only you, who will be using the clubs. If you feel that they are wrong, it doesn’t matter what any computer (or fitter) says. It’s like your pre-shot routine. How many times do you step up to the ball and feel really good and great shots happen? Other times, you stand there and feel ‘wrong’, but you continue on and the result is nearly always a bad shot. You have to ‘feel right.’

Custom fitting is based on science. I have heard of many fitting successes where game improvement was dramatic. But fitters who rely too much on electronics and do not use their eyes and skills as a qualified teacher can lead one astray. Don’t buy into the electronics part too much and do not be afraid to heed to your own instincts. After 60-years, my golf swing has its own peculiar DNA, forcing it to adjust to a completely new technology will only screw me up!

There’s probably no such thing as poor golf equipment these days, but that doesn’t mean it’s any easier for a golfer to choose the clubs that will best suit their golf swing. The ultimate question is: Does custom fitting and finding that perfect club really make a difference? The answer is an unequivocal maybe! It really depends on you.



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2 responses to “Custom Fitting depends on The Fitter”

  1. Alan avatar

    I’d guess u could fill a warehouse with equipment that was badly custom fitted which people either sold on very quickly or just retired it to the shed.
    Personally I had a very bad experience with the supposed best in the world that operates in our country. It got so bad I had to threaten legal action in order to get a refund. It’s a pity more people wouldn’t take the same stance and drive out the cowboys and let the good guys thrive .

  2. Ray avatar

    I’ve had a very unsatisfactory with the so called best fitter in Ireland. It made me very wary and suspicious about custom fitting since.
    Without several sessions, demo clubs to try in the course in real conditions, and follow up adjustments, it’s not real custom fitting.

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