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Not All Fittings Are Created Equal

Posted on January 14, 2016

Written by Zach Sewill
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The idea for this series began a few days ago after a discussion on fittings. We started by tearing down the modern fitting approach (Fittings: Placebo?), focusing on the shortcomings and what really matters. In the second entry (Fittings: The Future of Golf), we took a look at the undeniable: golf purchases will become more reliant on fittings. In this final entry, we’ll focus on the best fitting experience I’ve had and set an example for future fittings to follow.

In the last 6 months, I’ve had two seperate fittings with Edel Golf in Liberty Hill, Texas, both with Master Fitter Rob. The first fitting, at the end of the summer, focused on wedges and irons. Their approach to wedges and irons should be the industry standard. Instead of focusing on bounce at address, Edel focuses on bounce at impact. This is huge and is immediately noticeable in play, due in part to the masterful design of their heads (a discussion for another time). With bounce established we took a look at the intangibles (loft, lie, length) and discussed gapping.  All that was left was choosing a shaft. A few minutes discussing my tendencies and desired flight saw me fit into some KBS shafts.  3 months later, the honeymoon continues and I love the irons more every time I play.

The second fitting, for a putter, is when things really changed. I’ve been fit for putters, putted putters, and talked putters for over a decade. I honestly thought I know all there was to know. 45 minutes with Rob completely changed this. Once again, the head design that Edel chose for their putters is truly remarkable, but a discussion for another time. The fitting process, however, is absolutely revolutionizing. The first 45 minutes of the almost 2 hour fitting were spent establishing a length and lie, followed by what head shape and alignment marker allowed me to find the same target each time.

After countless combinations we found a set up that allowed me to effortlessly find the same target. Versus my previous putter, the differences were substantial.  I went from a margin of error from 10ft of about 12 inches over a dozen attempts to a margin of error of 2 inches. With head shape and alignment decided (a larger blade with a dot), we focused on weight and lagging consistency. The Edel putter fitting determines if your stroke is based on length or speed. From there, they can determine how to weight your putter. Before the end of the fitting, my margin of error on 20ft putts was less than 1 foot. 2 hours or so after arriving, I was in love with the putter, had learned more about putter in that short time than the last 10 years and really wanted to take the demo home.

Both Edel experiences were exactly what I would ever want in a fitting.  Instead of focusing on today’s results, they were much more interested in my own mechanics. Sure, when the irons were in question, launch and spin were considered, but they weren’t first and foremost. Instead, it was simply a guide. Which leads me to the final conclusion on fittings. No two golfers are a like and certainly not created equal. Every body and everybody is different. So how can a fitting be approached the same way?

Getting the most out of a fitting is more the fittee’s responsibility than the fitter’s. The keys to fitting success, however, are extremely simple. If you follow these, you are almost guaranteed to leave with a set up that’s the absolute best for your game.

You have to approach your fitting with an optimistic and open mind. This is crucial. Leave any prejudices for certain companies and clubs at the door. Every company makes a decent, comparable product and its key that you get the right club for you. The same goes for shafts. As far as grips go, we’ve got you covered, don’t worry about those “other” options.
You have to understand your limitations. Do not enter a fitting expecting to leave a changed golfer. Sure, you may pick up some distance and lower a few strokes. At the end of the day, though, your success on the golf course is dependent on the work you put in. Although, a proper fitting will make things much easier.

You have to have patience. This is an important experience and you need to be prepared to take the time to get it right. The fitting will lead to an important decision and fairly substantial investment.

These keys, often overlooked, will improve your experience and results. While not all fittings are created equal, it’s you responsibility to get the most out of them. The worst case scenario is you leave with a greater understanding of your game and that’s a win-win.

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