What is in a number?

A great golfers ‘numbers’ aren’t just restricted to shoe size and shirt size.  Knowing the number behind your loft angle (degrees), swing speed (miles per hour) and ball Revolutions Per Minute (RPM), along with several more key measurable figures about your technique, can drastically help your game, and prevent you wasting money on equipment not optimised for you.  Once your custom fit is complete, you can expect immediate extra distance, more forgiveness, better flight and a lot more.  Here are the numbers we measure for you in our state-of-the-art custom fitting centre, with experts talking you through each stage, using manufacturer authorised fitting carts.

Swing Speed (Miles Per Hour)

Tells you how fast your swing is, this will give you an indication of what shaft flex you will need. If you’re swing is smooth and fluid, a regular flex shaft will be most beneficial. If you’re looking to generate a lot more club head speed and distance, the senior flex will help you. If your swing is slightly quick and aggressive, a stiff shaft is for you. If your driver swing speed is extremely fast an extra stiff shaft will suit you. Ladies flex will deliver optimal performance for most women.

Revolutions Per Minute (RPMs)

The revolutions that your golf ball makes in a minute is studied to help optimize distance. The higher the RPM on your golf ball, the more backspin it will have, and the higher in the air it will fly. This is good to a point, until it reaches the optimum height. So if you’re hitting the ball with a high launch angle and a high RPM, you’re not hitting the ball as far as you could be.

There is an optimal relationship between ball speed, launch angle and RPM, which we calculate to maximize your distance. Based on what your ball speed is off of the club, assist you in obtaining a specific launch angle, and corresponding RPM value, that will optimize the distance the ball flies.

Club Head Speed (Miles Per Hour)

In the world of golf club fitting, club head speed and swing speed play a vital role in determining which type of golf shaft will be best for your swing. Club head speed is a direct product of swing speed. Your balance, leg stability, stretching and proper timing in your golf swing will help increase your club head speed.

Ball Speed (Miles Per Hour)

Your ball speed is the speed in which the golf ball leaves the club face after impact. This ball speed is always going to be faster than your actual swing speed or club head speed because of the laws of physics. At the moment of inertia (MOI), the power and momentum that you have built up with proper balance and timing in your golf swing in the way of club head speed is transferred to the golf ball.  This combined with your RPM and loft / lie angles, will play a huge part in your distance and accuracy.

Launch Angle (Degrees)

Your launch angle is exactly what it sounds like… the angle at which the ball leaves the club face. Optimizing your launch angle for your swing is another factor that goes into affecting overall distance. This, of course, can be altered by the club’s own manufactured loft angle, the way you place your ball at setup, your stance and distance from the ball, and angle of attack that you swing the golf club at.  It seems like a lot to factor in, but we can address most of it with a few structured observations and recommendations during your custom fit.

Lie Angle (Degrees)

During the swing, the sole of the club should contact the ground precisely at its centre in order to hit a straight shot. The angle of the shaft at this point, in relation to the play surface, is known therefore as the lie angle.  The highly aspired straight shot occurs only if the lie angle is correct. Scientific tests have proven that an incorrect lie angle of just 1 degree, equates to 10 yards directional error left or right of target while out on the golf course. If the lie angles of your clubs are not suited to your own specifications you will always struggle to hit a straight ball, which in turn will mean you cover less ground.

                     

The indication that the lie angle is incorrect at impact comes from the marking on either the toe or heel of the club, which in turn causes directional error.  For a right-handed player, if the toe touches first, the lie is too flat (close to the ground) and the shot will start to the right with slice spin. If the heel touches first, the lie is too upright (high from the ground) and the shot will start to the left with hook spin. Other adverse effects include loss of solid feel with longer irons and poor shot trajectory. Your height combined with the 'finger tip to floor' measurement will help determine the correct lie angle for your clubs.

Length (Inches)

Having the proper golf club length is a key ingredient to being able to make a good golf swing. Clubs that are too short or too long will hinder your ability to rotate and properly transfer your weight correctly into the swing. If it’s too long, you could end up ‘grounding the club’ (i.e. hitting the ground ahead of the ball, or known as ‘hitting the ball heavy’ / ‘below the equator). If the club is too short, you could hit the ball too high above the equator, causing you to ‘top the ball’ with topspin.

While many golfers opt for the ‘standard’ club length, many golfers benefit from having this aspect of the club customised.  The process is simple and based on the distance from your wrist to the floor.  If you are coming to GolfInStore for a custom fit, we ask you wear normal street shoes, with no more than an inch of lift (heel size).  Whether you’re left or right handed, we measure the heavy crease on the wrist of your opposite hand and fit a club based on the corresponding custom fit values.

 

Shaft & Flex (Ladies, Senior, Regular, Stiff and Extra Stiff)

Proper shaft flex allows the player to load the shaft properly and maximize energy transfer to the ball. One of the biggest misconceptions in the game of golf is that there are only 2 types of golf shafts, steel and graphite. At a very high level, this is true, but there are many other subcategories that specifically pertain to the ability of the shaft to ‘flex’, i.e. bend when in swing motion to snap out at point of impact, or stay ‘stiff’ firm and steady.  The weight of the golf shaft is important, and has to be thought about independantly of the material used, should it be steel or graphite.
 
Quicker tempo swings generally require heavier shafts and firmer flexes, while smoother tempos may benefit from lighter weight shafts with softer flexes. Most players will benefit from the softest flex that produces controllable and consistent ball flight.

However, if the shaft is too flexible the ball flight will be too high, hooking it and causing inconsistancies.
If the shaft is too stiff the ball flight will be too low, weakening the shots rightwards and casuing poor distance.

Dynamic shaft fitting is quite an important necessity as its an industry rule that all shafts are labeled differently, due to the different testing methods by each manufacturer. You may not get the same stiffness from Brand X as you would Brand Y, so it is the responsibility of the custom fitter to address this for you.

Grip Size (Thick or Thin)

The correct grip size is very important to ensure the player's fingers 'fill out' properly so as to require less pressure to maintain control of the club. This will also promote a more natural timing and release of each shot.The base etching of the grip also influences the way the hands are connected to the surface of the grip, with certain patterns suiting particular players due to variations in skin type and feel.

The sharper-edged base patterns of the Lamkin grips are more aggressive and tend to “grip” the hands, whereas the smoother Golf Pride base pattern has a softer, tackier feel. Also, the variety of interior diameters (as denoted by the M58 and M60 standards) means grips have to be considered carefully in conjunction with shafts which themselves have different thicknesses.

All of the above are taken into consideration when fitting a club.  Calculating the numbers that work for you will empower you with tailored and personalised clubs with immediate results for increasing your distance, fine turning your accuracy and lowering your score.  The confidence that comes from custom fit clubs helps you mentally focus and play your best possible game.
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