Until I started playing golf, I had no idea that a club fitting was even a thing. I just thought that you chose a set of clubs that you liked, and that was that.
But in the office I’ve overheard people dissect the results of their own fittings with incredible detail. Using words like loft, shaft, flex, and other phrases that I don’t really understand, I always thought that a fitting sounded like a very complicated and technical procedure.
So I was pretty nervous about going for my own fitting with Ping. I’d only been having lessons for five months, and I wasn’t even sure that I was good enough for one. My colleague Nicola was also coming with me, but as she’s an experienced golfer who’s had fittings before, I knew I would be the only one who didn’t really know what was going on.
But of course my fitting was a brilliant experience. I had lots of fun and I learnt so many new things.
To try and summarise my day at Ping, here are the five most important things that I took from my fitting.
1) Having a fitting isn’t scary
The thought of trying to hit a ball while several experts picked out the many, many things that are wrong with my swing was a bit terrifying. But Paul, the guy who did my fitting, was really nice and chatty and I soon relaxed.
As we went through the process he swapped and adjusted different parts of the club. It all looked very technical but I didn’t have to worry about any of that. I just enjoyed testing out all the different variations that were handed to me.
2) The process is all very clever
I discovered that a fitting involves several stages…
This normally involves discussing how far you hit it, what angle it goes at, and how consistent you are. As I’m still pretty inconsistent and I also have no idea how far I tend to hit it (not very far is a safe bet), we glossed over most of this pretty quickly.
Then using my height and the distance from my wrist to the floor, Paul was able to work out what the length and lie angle of my irons should be. It’s the lie that affects the accuracy of my shot, and the loft that affects how high it goes.
Looking on the Ping colour chart I was firmly in the red category, and my hand measurement showed that I needed a white grip size.
Dynamic swing test
Then I started trying to hit balls off a board with a 7-iron that had white tape over the face of it. This felt a bit strange and I was scared that I was going to smack the club into it and end up hurting myself. But thankfully I managed not to. The point of this was to show where I was making contact with the ball, which surprise, surprise wasn’t anywhere near centre.
Ball flight analysis
After this I started hitting balls with a variety of clubs. The trackman recorded where my balls were landing and how high they were going. Using this data Paul could see which clubs I performed better with.
Compared to Nicola’s, my balls looked like they were landing all over the place! But it’s definitely the best way of seeing exactly what helps you to hit the ball more effectively.
3) I really like the G Le range
The conclusion of the process was that the G Le range suited me the most. I enjoyed using them, and not just because they’re very pretty.
For the irons, I started off using a G Le 7-iron with an ultra lite shaft. I really liked this club and when I tried using heavier shafts it didn’t feel right and the balls didn’t go as far.
With this in mind I tested the G Le driver and fairway wood with the same shaft and again I liked them. I was told that I, ‘certainly wasn’t afraid to hit it hard’, so I’ll take that as a compliment.
It definitely felt like I was having more good shots than I would have done if I had just randomly borrowed someone else’s club. Which I guess is the main point of it all.
4) You should get fitted regularly
The Trackman showed that most of my shots were going to the right, but Paul explained that this was probably because of faults in my technique, rather than the lie of the clubs.
Apparently once I’ve got better I will probably find that things need altering. It was suggested that I should come back again for another fitting at some point in the summer, which adds extra pressure to make sure I improve by this point.
5) It’s worth it even if you’re a beginner
The whole experience left me feeling very positive and enthusiastic about golf. With clubs that are designed to suit me and help me as much as possible, I’m hoping that I’ll be smashing them straight and playing full rounds before too long. I now have no excuse not to be anyway!
My clubs and what I’ll use them for
- G Le 7,8 and 9 irons with the ULT 230 Ultra Lite shaft – because for now there’s no need for me to have a full set.
- G Le driver with the ULT 230 Ultra Lite shaft – for hitting it off the tee.
- G Le 7-wood with the ULT 230 Ultra Lite shaft- for when I want to hit it from off the fairway.
- Glide 2.0 wedges – for chipping, pitching and trying to get out of bunkers.
- G Le Oslo putter in mint – for putting.
I had my fitting with Paul Rymer at the Ping Fitting Centre, based at Gainsbrough Golf Club in Lincolnshire