If you told the average golfer that one change would instantly have them hitting the ball farther, more accurately and even lower their scores, they would likely laugh at you. But incredible as it may sound, a comprehensive custom club fitting with personalized equipment is that one change.

A Golf Magazine study found that 90 percent of U.S. golfers might be playing with improperly fit clubs. Meaning nine out of ten golfers are missing out on extra yards and more accurate putts every time they tee off. We interviewed world-renowned instructors Hank Haney and David Leadbetter on the impact of club fitting and here’s what we learned.

David Leadbetter and Hank Haney
David Leadbetter and Hank Haney

“It never ceases to amaze me that golfers buy clubs off the shelf and assume they’re right for them,” said Leadbetter. “Whether you’re a great golfer or a casual one, getting a custom club fitting is one of the quickest ways to improve your game.” If you’re looking at buying a set of irons off the rack, you’ll get a standard, stock shaft that has a standard length and flex. This doesn’t change if you’re 5’ 4” tall or pushing seven feet. In most instances, clubs that are not custom fit are hurting your game.

Unlock more distance and accuracy with a professional club fitting

Club manufacturers do a great job of marketing their new products and touting all the benefits of their equipment – improvements to the clubface, custom weighting options, new materials – but what they don’t tell golfers is that not every club and shaft suits every golfer. There’s more to a golf club than just look and feel. Those other elements, along with aftermarket shafts, are what separate custom fitted equipment from clubs bought off the shelf.

Golf Digest Top 10 instructor Haney believes that an optimized set of golf clubs is the key to more distance. “Distance is so important, and everybody can achieve more distance with custom equipment. The advancements we’ve had in equipment and in club fitting are just so incredible, that for somebody not to take advantage of it is a wasted opportunity.”

Most golf retailers use fitting carts provided by club manufacturers. While they offer options, golfers are unable to mix and match across brands to determine their ideal combinations. A traditional retailer will fit you for Callaway, TaylorMade or other manufacturer’s clubs using that company’s fitting cart. But you’ll only be fit for the shafts in that specific cart, so the options are limited. True customization just isn’t possible at big box retail stores.

Chicago-based Club Champion employs a unique coupling system that allows for the combination of any head with any shaft. Because of this, Club Champion can deliver a Tour-quality fitting that produces longer, more accurate shots with a nearly 100 percent satisfaction rate from its customers.

Club ChampionThe company’s approach is unbiased in that no specific vendor is promoted. The goal is to find the best combination of components to lower a golfer’s scores. In addition to its unrivaled selection of combinations – more than 35,000 – Club Champion stands out because its clubs are built in-house to exacting, unrivaled tolerances. Variables such as swingweight, length, lie and flex definitely alter performance. At Club Champion they calibrate their loft, lie and swingweight machines in every studio with those in their build shop, so you can be sure the club you hit in their fitting bay is the same club you purchase.

The club wall at Club Champion
The club wall at Club Champion

The approach seems to be effective. A Golf Digest study found that eight out of nine Club Champion custom-fit golfers lowered their scores by as much as six strokes per round and added an average of 21 yards off the tee.

Who benefits most from custom fitting? There’s a myth that only “good” golfers should invest their time and money in a fitting, but Haney disagrees: “There isn’t anyone who can’t benefit from club fitting. People just don’t pay enough attention to their equipment. I guess they just think it’s all the same, but it’s not. If you get the right club for you, it can make a tremendous difference in your golf game.”

Leadbetter is on the same page. “I don’t think there’s any player that wouldn’t benefit from club fitting. The average player would probably benefit far more than even the Tour player would. Because to get fitted and have a club that suits their length, lie, shaft, flex, material and grip size…those factors make a huge difference for the average golfer to be able to reach their potential.”

Golfers who have experienced the improvements after a fitting rave about the benefits. Gary Lichenstien, who was fit with a TaylorMade driver and Callaway irons, says, “My distance off the tees has increased by 20 yards consistently, on occasion even more. My average score has dropped about four to five strokes on average. I feel over time, I can still pick up a few more strokes.”

Whether a golfer is looking to buy new clubs or just upgrade his or her current set, Club Champion guarantees that an investment in premium club fitting will improve his or her game. Fittings range from $80 for wedges to $350 for an entire bag. Their Perfect Fit Guarantee includes free loft and lie adjustments and a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects. At Club Champion, you don’t just buy clubs, you buy guaranteed improvement!

For more information or to book a fitting at one of Club Champion’s more than 60 fitting studios across the country, visit clubchampiongolf.com or call (888) 340-7820.

Club Champion Cleveland is located at 4069 Richmond Rd in Warrensville Heights, just off of I-271 and Harvard. Call them directly at 216-591-2164.

“There isn’t anyone who can’t benefit from club fitting. With the advances in custom fitting technologies to optimize your equipment, everybody can achieve more distance. At Club Champion, you get a truly professional fitting. They can actually prove it works. For somebody not to take advantage of Club Champion’s expertise, they’re just wasting a tremendous opportunity.”

Hank Haney, Golf Digest Top 10 Instructor

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