Does it really matter if my clubs are properly fit for me?
Yes and no.
For those unfamiliar, I do a lot of work for PING - primarily in demo and fitting days around the Twin Cities greater metro. It always surprises me how many golfers come up to me, ask for a specific setup (likely the one a golf partner suggested), and proceed to hit shots well below their level of ability. That said, for those with little to no golf experience, let's get you a proper swing before looking at a thorough club fitting (if too many swing changes are made, your clubs may no longer fit the new motion).
So, is it important to be properly fitted for clubs?
Your swing is not the same as mine. Nor is it the same as your playing partner's. My swing is no the same as yours. Or Tiger's. Or Jordan Spieth's. Too often we play what has tour validation - not only in the club heads, but the shafts as well!
A proper club fitting process is not just about whether you should be swinging steel or graphite or if you should have a stiff driver shaft or a regular. IT IS MUCH, MUCH MORE!
A proper fitting will test and determine your proper club length - we do this to ensure proper contact is made more often than not. If your miss is to impact behind the ball (the dreaded chunk), your clubs may be too long! Vice-versa, if your common miss is to catch the ball thin, your clubs may be too short.
Once club length is determined, the club's lie angle will be determined. This happens for two reasons: Turf interaction, and the likelihood of squaring the face at impact. In a perfect world, the center of the sole of the club is what is interacting with the turf at impact (and beyond) - not the toe or the heel of the sole. Lie may also be adjusted to bias a shot shape toward a fade or draw (flatter or more upright, respectively).
Once length and lie angle are determined, we will look at club head design and shaft options that match your transition speed and timing as well as your ability to make consistent, solid contact (the look of the club CAN play an important part in the confidence you have standing over the ball, too).
A more in-depth fitting may also look at your individual club lofts (to be sure you have even gaps between clubs) and take a look at grip size, shape, and/or material.
Here's how you got lucky with equipment:
You have played standard clubs you're entire golfing career. You have developed a swing to fit your equipment, rather than the other way around! If you were to have a proper fitting done today, you're likely not far off - despite having developed a golf swing that may not be the most efficient motion for your body type/ability. Even still, your shaft selection or clubbed design may not be giving you the results that you COULD be seeing with a quick fitting.
Here's my proposal:
If you're thinking about purchasing a club in the not-so-distant future, ask me about getting an hour on the calendar to do a proper fitting! The small up-front cost will ensure you order the best club for your unique swing - leading to better shots and scores in the future!
If you just recently made a club purchase, come see me so we can be sure that your new club is jiving with your natural swing - DON'T CHANGE YOUR SWING to fit the new club(s).