The top 3 ways to spot a bad club fitter

a golfer swings

With so many options for club fitting, it's important to be able to separate when you're getting a good fit and how to spot a bad one.

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When buying new clubs to help improve your golf game, it’s important to take the time to get properly fit. Whether you are an advanced player looking to get every last bit of performance out of your gear, or just a beginner trying to make the game a little bit easier, working with a fitter is one of the best ways to find success.

But something many people don’t realize is the club-fitting industry doesn’t have a universal certification program, and club fitters are either self-taught, learn on the job or are trained directly through equipment manufacturers. All of these teaching methods can result in a knowledgeable and helpful fitter, but it’s still important to know when you are likely in the middle of a bad experience.

driver hitting ball
Distance shouldn’t be the only factor a fitter is worried about. Getty Images

The top 3 ways to spot a bad club fitter

A singular focus on distance

Although distance is a key factor in helping to shoot lower scores, it should never be the only thing a fitter is focused on with either a driver or irons.

During a round of golf, you are likely to hit between 10-14 drivers off the tee and each one is just as important as the last one. It’s not productive to have a driver that might go 15 yards farther one out of five times if the ball is either lost or hit out of bounds the other four. A proper driver fit should focus on maximizing distance off the tee while also maintaining better consistency and dispersion both left and right and in the longest to shortest drive.

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By: Ryan Barath

The same thing goes for irons too. If you are with a fitter who is simply trying to find you the set with the longest 7-iron without looking at descent angle, spin, stopping power, or left-to-right and front-to-back dispersion, there is a good chance those clubs aren’t going to be very helpful on the golf course.

Lack of general knowledge

An important piece of advice for any level of golfer going for a fitting is to ask questions. This not only helps you better understand your equipment and how it relates to your swing, but it also helps build confidence in your experience.

If you ever feel like you are being sold to based on price or for any other reason, there is nothing wrong with asking why the club fitter believes that any particular club is going to help your game. Being a good communicator is part of the role of a club fitter and having the knowledge base to explain something is a key part of the job.

If the club fitter you are working with is dismissive of questions — that’s a huge red flag.

Feeling rushed through the process

A club-fitting experience is a process and it should always feel like no stone is being left unturned when it comes to finding the right equipment. As the golfer and the customer, you should be getting asked questions from your fitter such as:

– How does that club feel to you?
– Do you like the look of that club?
– Is there anything specific you wanted to try?
– Do you have any other questions?

All of these are things that should be asked during the fitting process. On top of that, the final step of selecting a grip should feel like a part of the process and not an afterthought.

Now, there are exceptions, and certain times when a fitting might come together quickly and both the fitter and golfer find the best solution in a timely manner, but make sure you feel comfortable at the end of the process and confirm anything during the available appointment.

Want to overhaul your bag? Find an industry-leading True Spec Golf fitting location near you, and for more on the latest gear news and information, check out our latest Fully Equipped podcast below.

Ryan Barath

Golf.com Editor

Ryan Barath is GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com’s senior editor for equipment. He has an extensive club-fitting and -building background with more than 20 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. Before joining the staff, he was the lead content strategist for Tour Experience Golf, in Toronto, Canada.