Making Sure The Club Fits
With the golf season getting into full swing, many golfers are thinking about
new clubs. This month we look at some important things to consider, whether you
are upgrading a club or getting the whole set.
At one time
or another, every golfer considers buying new equipment. Getting the right club
can make a big difference in your game. Fitting, as it is commonly known, has
long been available for top players, but recently it has become a fairly common
service for the everyday golfer when purchasing equipment, too. Here in Japan,
several companies have realized the benefit of ensuring the correct fit for
their customers, whose satisfaction in turn is good for business.
The following is a primer on what to look for the next time you go searching for
a club, or a set of clubs. It might just help shave a few strokes off your game.
Loft The angle of the irons is very important in determining distance and
control. The choice of the correct loft ensures getting the best carry (through
the air) and roll relative to your skill level.
Club Length Not everybody is standard. It is believed almost 50% of
golfers are not in the standard category when it comes to correct club length.
Head Design The shape and design of the club head helps determine ball
flight, easiness of hit, distance and overall playability.
Set Make-up In many cases the number of clubs, or type of clubs, in the
bag is incorrect. For new golfers, children or some women golfers, a half set
can be easier to manage on the course.
Dynamic Lie Angle The lie angle is the angle created by a line running
parallel to the centerline of the club shaft and a line parallel to the sole of
the club. Setting the lie correctly is like sighting in a rifle and can make an
immediate improvement on an individualfs game.
Grip Size We all have differing hand sizes. Men, women, juniors and
senior golfers all need a grip to fit their particular hands.
Face Angle This is the angle of the face of the club head relative to the
target. Face angle can differ for each golfer and, if fitted with a launch
monitor, can create better distance and control.
Shaft Flex The flex of the shaft is determined by your swing speed. Be
sure to have this checked before purchasing any club.
Swing Weight and Total Weight Both are relative to your strength and
swing speed. Fitting recommendations are often made depending on golfing
abilities, gender and strength.
Shaft Material The two choices are usually graphite or steel, with the
main differences being weight, feel, cosmetics and price.
Grip Material There are so many different materials on the market. Be
sure to try several in your hands until you find the one you like.
Now that you now what to look for, my suggestions
for the best fitting programs here in Japan and abroad are:
Taylor Made Golf
JAPAN GOLF NEWS
. The Asian Tour strengthens in 2005. The tour has 14 events in the first half
of 2005, worth almost US$12 million.
. Ye Jian-fe. This is a name to watch. At 14, this young Chinese amateur is one
of the many exciting talents to come out of Asia recently. Based on his 2004
results, he is a hot prospect.
. Michelle Wie coming to Japan? Rumor has it that she may compete in Japan
sometime this year, so be sure to keep a look out for the best junior golfer on
. Tour Cast. So, you want to follow your favorite player, but you don't have a
TV at the office. What can you do? Well, take a look at Tour Cast on the PGA
Tour. You can follow your favorite player shot by shot through a visual
simulation. We recently tested it here in Japan with Tiger Woods and had 432,016
people log on in the first four days to watch him play in Japan. Website:
. Itfs a new game & Love Life, Love Golf. These catchphrases belong to the top
two golf course management companies in Japan, who between them own just over
200 courses. Accordia Golf and Pacific Golf are changing the way the game is
played in Japan and the real winner is the golfer, who can enjoy more
competitive pricing and improved course conditions. Check out
www.pacificgolf.co.jp to see which course is right for you.
slang expression for the back tee.
Paul Jones, 6 April 2005