Connect with us

Opinion & Analysis

Part 2: What constitutes a truly professional club fitting analysis?



Editor’s Note: In Part 1, Tom covered the basics of a professional club fitting analysis. It discussed a number of the boxes in the overall schematics chart shown below. In this story, Tom finishes discussing all of the various inputs that professional clubfitters need to know. 


Now that you understand the goals of a professional club fitting — if you haven’t already, please read Part 1 — let’s dive into the specifics of how truly professional clubfitters help you find the best clubs for you.

Key Fitting Specifications

  1. Length
  2. Loft
  3. Face Angle
  4. Lie Angle
  5. Clubhead design
  6. Set Make Up
  7. Grip Size/Style
  8. Total Weight
  9. Swingweight/Club MOI
  10. Shaft Weight
  11. Shaft Flex
  12. Shaft Bend Profile

Within the clubhead design, there is also a subset of key head design elements that the club fitter must consider when offering a valid head model recommendation for the golfer – size, shape, sole design, offset, topline thickness, CG, MOI, face design, loft and face angle options/availability. These are the 12 key fitting specifications that each need to be determined for each club in the bag for each golfer.

Everything in the fitting analysis is done to give the club fitter the most information possible from which he can determine what each of these 12 key fitting specs should be for each club being fit to the golfer. Anything less than this approach falls short in offering the golfer the opportunity for the most game-improvement through proper fitting. Now let’s take a look at some of the information needed to conduct a professional fitting analysis, starting with the orange box on the left side of the chart (above) for the Technical Data Required.

Technical Data Required

  1. Shaft Weight Listings
  2. Shaft Clubhead Speed Ranges
  3. Shaft Bend Profile Measurements
  4. Hand/Finger Measurement Grip Size Chart
  5. Wrist-to-Floor vs. Length Chart
  6. Optimum Launch Parameter Chart

These elements represent the reference materials/information the club fitter may need to consult to combine with the golfer measurements, current equipment measurements and swing analysis to determine the 12 key fitting specifications for each club being fit.

Most shaft and component company catalogs reveal the weight of each of the shafts they sell. Some offer a swing speed range recommendation for the shafts they offer as well. Very few provide empirical bend profile stiffness design data to allow the club fitter to know precisely how any of the shafts definitively compare in their stiffness design that he may be considering for the golfer.

From whatever reliable sources possible, the club fitter should have a database of the weight, swing speed range and the comparative bend profile stiffness measurements for all shafts the clubfitter may consider in fitting the golfer. Such information is important to be able to predict shaft performance and shaft bending feel to offer a better overall shaft fitting result than simply a “here-try-this” approach to shaft fitting.

  • Hand/Finger Measurement Grip Size Chart, Wrist-to-Floor Measurement for Length Chart

While the golfer has to have the final word on the right grip style and size based on his/her preference and comfort, the fitter can use a hand/middle finger measurement to offer a starting point only for the best grip size. Likewise, while specific golfer swing characteristics and golfer ability contribute the final determination of the proper club lengths, the clubfitter also needs a competent wrist-to-floor measurement chart to use as a starting point in the determination of club lengths for the golfer.

  • Optimum Launch Parameter Chart

Once the clubfitter obtains the golfer’s launch angle, ball speed, clubhead speed and angle of attack with test clubs of known lofts and face angles, he will need reliable reference information that reveals what the optimum launch angle, ball speed and spin rate should be to determine the golfer’s best driver loft and the best shaft bend profile to result in the most optimal ball flight shape for best overall combination of carry and roll after landing.

Golfer Improvement Goals

  1. More Distance
  2. Better Accuracy
  3. Better Consistency
  4. Improved Trajectory
  5. Improved Feel

Changes in clubfitting specifications of golf clubs can only have a possible effect on game improvement in these five areas of performance. Knowledgeable clubfitters know which of the 12 key fitting specs have more of an effect on distance, accuracy, consistency, trajectory and the different aspects of the feel of the golf clubs. While all golfers may likely say they want to achieve all five of these game improvement goals from a professional fitting analysis, common sense and practicality says that the clubfitter has to interview the golfer and observe the golfer’s shot tendencies to determine which area of game improvement will bring the most benefit to the golfer’s overall performance and enjoyment. Once determined, this helps the club fitter focus on the specific fitting changes that can help achieve the most valuable game improvement.

Golfer and Equipment Analysis — Measurement and Observations

  1. Wrist-to-Floor Measurement
  2. Clubhead speed (Driver or 5 iron/6 iron)
  3. Hand/Middle Finger Dimensions
  4. Ball Speed/Launch Angle/Spin Rate
  5. Angle of Attack (real or calculated)
  6. Transition, Tempo, Release Evaluation
  7. Current Club Lofts, Lengths, Swing Weight, MOI, Face Angles, Shaft Weight
  8. Dynamic Lie Test
  9. Misdirection Tendency
  10. Average Shot Shape and Trajectory

There are a number of measurements and swing observations the fitter should perform to obtain certain key points of information, which will be combined with test club hitting analysis to determine the golfer’s best fitting specifications.

  • Wrist-to-Floor Measurement, Hand and Finger Measurements

As stated, these measurements are simply to establish a starting point only for the eventual determination of the golfer’s best lengths and grip size. The final determination of these fitting elements requires more input from swing analysis and input from any acquired preferences the golfer may have.

  • Clubhead Speed with the Driver/Middle iron. Ball Speed, Launch Angle, Spin Rate Observations

The golfer’s average clubhead speeds with the driver and a middle iron must be accurately measured to contribute information for helping to determine the driver loft, shaft swing speed ratings, loft gapping between wood, hybrid and iron heads. The most predominant launch angle, ball speed and spin rate need to be obtained from having the golfer hit shots with a driver/iron of absolute known loft at the actual point of impact on the face. To look at launch monitor outputs without knowing precisely the loft at the point of impact for the club used to reveal launch angle and spin renders upcoming fitting decisions to be less accurate.

  • Dynamic Lie test with an iron of known loft and length

More recently, clubfitters will perform the dynamic lie test as the last procedure in the fitting after test clubs with each of the golfer’s final determined fitting specs are built. This way, the dynamic lie is added to what everything else being what it will be for the golfer’s final fitting specs. In addition, performing the dynamic lie test using the ink line on the back of the ball method has shown to offer more reliable lie fitting results than the impact tape on the sole method.

  • Current Specific club Lofts, Lengths, Swing weight/MOI, Shaft Weight, Shaft Bend Profile, Etc

It can be helpful to know some of the key specs for a number of the golfer’s existing clubs so the club fitter can observe launch monitor outputs for the golfer with his existing clubs to form a baseline for performance observations. In other words, knowing the golfer’s results from specs that are absolutely known on his present clubs can help the club fitter know what specs may be OK and what needs to be different. This helps the club fitter apply a more specific focus on the investigation of the new specs required by the golfer.

  • Misdirection, Mis-Hit Tendencies, Average Shot Shape and Trajectory

Both by interviewing the golfer as well as by observing his shot pattern during the warm-up ball striking phase of the fitting, the clubfitter has to learn what the golfer’s most predominant misdirection and miss hit tendencies are – low, high, fade, slice, straight, draw, thin, toe, heel, etc. Each predominant mishit or misdirection tendency begins to tell the experienced clubfitter what specs may or may not be correct for the golfer on his present equipment as well as what specs to focus on in the fitting to come up with the most improvement.

Paying close attention to the most predominant ball flight is a much better way to evaluate whether a golfer has a definite spin problem that may or may not be able to be addressed by fitting changes than to simply focus on the spin numbers coming off the launch monitor. In other words, if the golfer’s ball flight shape and trajectory with the driver is fine but the monitor reads the spin at 3000+, the clubfitter knows to ignore the spin number because the shot shape and trajectory is the key element.

Looking for more info? I thought you might be. Starting in January 2015, I will begin a 12-part series that outlines what goes into making the decision for each of the 12 key fitting specifications. Study the inputs in the Blue Boxes in the chart and early next month I’ll start explaining how the club fitter uses the inputs and other information to start making the decisions for each one of the 12 key fitting specs for the golfer.


Part 1: What constitutes a truly professional club fitting analysis?

Your Reaction?
  • 14
  • LEGIT5
  • WOW3
  • LOL2
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Tom Wishon is a 40-year veteran of the golf equipment industry specializing in club head design, shaft performance analysis and club fitting research and development. He has been responsible for more than 50 different club head design firsts in his design career, including the first adjustable hosel device, as well as the first 0.830 COR fairway woods, hybrids and irons. GolfWRX Writer of the Month: February 2014 Tom served as a member of the Golf Digest Technical Advisory Panel, and has written several books on golf equipment including "The Search for the Perfect Golf Club" and "The Search for the Perfect Driver," which were selected as back-to-back winners of the 2006 and 2007 Golf Book of the Year by the International Network of Golf (ING), the largest organization of golf industry media professionals in the USA. He continues to teach and share his wealth of knowledge in custom club fitting through his latest book, "Common Sense Clubfitting: The Wishon Method," written for golf professionals and club makers to learn the latest techniques in accurate custom club fitting. Tom currently heads his own company, Tom Wishon Golf Technology, which specializes in the design of original, high-end custom golf equipment designs and club fitting research for independent custom club makers worldwide Click here to visit his site,



  1. Hank

    Jan 6, 2015 at 3:14 am

    I find it funny that you talk about all these little factors. I know at the Nike Oven and TaylorMade Kingdom the technicians use very little technology and are able to fit the tour players without even using trackman, the trackman is just a visual to show the players numbers. Yes the TaylorMade Kingdom has a MAT-T to measure all the fine specs but that is geared more towards the average players.

  2. Ben

    Jan 5, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    I went out to Titleist in Oceanside,CA and did the full fitting and it was well worth it. I got instant results, the ball flies dead straight with a perfect arc and my handicap went down to single digits. Of course you should get a fitting for clubs + lots of practice.

  3. Tom Wishon

    Jan 5, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Are all people who give lessons and teach the golf swing at the same level of knowledge, expertise and skill to identify the swing problems and get the golfer into the right direction of swing improvement? No they aren’t.

    Same with clubfitters. I’ve written many times about this, warning golfers that if they want to go get custom fit, they need to do a good bit of investigation to find who in their area is competent and who isn’t. No different than finding a good mechanic for your car, good tradesperson for re-modeling or repairs around your house, good accountant for your business, etc.

    I do the work I do to research Nth degree fitting technology in an effort to TEACH those who are in the field how to do it better. There has to be some place for those interested in being better clubfitters to gain the knowledge to improve their skills. That’s one of my roles within this side of the industry.

    But as the old saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink,” it’s the same way with what I research and write about. It’s there for those who want to learn and get more competent. Some have and do take advantage of what I teach and when they go put it into practice, they do become better fitters. But some who call themselves clubfitters do not. Hence the reason for golfers to perform adequate due diligence when seeking a competent fitter with whom to work.

    Really good fitters who follow this methodology in their fitting analysis do exist and those golfers who have found them most certainly are pleased with the result. Sorry there are not more of them. But until the day comes when someone with my knowledge can open a school that offers the prospective fitter a 3-4 to month training curriculum, golfers are just going to have to do some real investigation to find a good fitter with whom to work.

    No different than with a teaching pro when you want to take lessons.

  4. leftright

    Dec 31, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    I saw a Wishon driver once cut open and the Ping was beside it cut open. If I cut open every manufacturers drivers people would play nothing but PING. I don’t even use a Ping driver but they have “by far” the best quality in the business. Titleist is okay but what do you expect for a set of irons costing 1100.00 that should sell for 700.00. Pings have more accurate lies and lofts, swing weights but Titleist insists on having it’s corporate headquarters in Massasshutes where the cost of living is high and Wally has to make millions a year. Titliest is perpetuating a fraud on the public and their drivers are the shortest in the business. Looking nice don’t cut it nowdays when a KMart special will go farther than a Titleist. Manufacturers, all except Ping sell the public junk, then the public goes out an buys a 400 dollar shaft that isn’t as long as the 5.00 chinese made special that they advertise as real when it isn’t. I challenge all manufacturers to show their stuff is as good as PGA tour stuff. Show it is accurate, well made and of good quality. Taylormade pretty much proved it selling heads for 400.00 because they were “tour” heads. Is it different Titanium, maybe the weight is golf plated or the CEO touched it? What a fraud, what a farce. Golf manufacturers have corrupted the game and sold the public a pig advertised as a princess.

    • Fred

      Jan 3, 2015 at 2:05 am

      Kudos to your rant. 100% agree. I appreciate Tom’s lengthy comments in the forums. But, I wish I could block his articles, so I never see them again.

      Side note- what type of driver do you use?

  5. leftright

    Dec 31, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    The computers lie. Trackman, Flightscope or whatever fraud they are using this week all lie. Take a demo out and hit it. In 5 swings you can tell if it is for you or not. Disregard the professional fitting BS, it is all a lie and has been proven a like by most. Tom is trying to help out fitters, pro’s, golf shop owners but don’t try that BS on me. The trackman has cost golfers’ many thousands of dollars and is not an accurate measurement of performance on the golf course. These guys are starting to sound like Congress and Obama, nothing but lies. Tom, I challenge you anytime, anyplace and will prove you wrong in multiple instances of the fitting process. Variables are just that and golf swings are not predictable, no more than the weather is. I recommend WRX tell Tom to go take a hike. Tom you have my email, I will bet your “any” amount of money I can prove you wrong. The trackman and it’s equivalents are the biggest fraud in golf, bar none.

    • Tom WIshon

      Jan 6, 2015 at 1:00 pm

      Have at it then, prove me wrong that proper fitting can’t help a very high percentage of golfers play to the best of their given ability. Don’t know how you plan to do that, but you must feel you have the proof to come charging at me like that. Ball’s in your court.

      With regard to what you say about cutting driver heads open, I take it that you have actual experience in driver head design and production so that you really know what you are looking at and talking about? Somehow I wonder if you are looking at the inside of an investment cast titanium driver vs a 4-piece construction head and thinking that the 4-pc is deficient in some way?

      Interesting that the vast, vast majority of driver heads today are being manufactured in the 4 pc construction. Been that way since the early 2000s. Cast titanium drivers are going by the wayside for several reasons not the least of which involve being able to do many more performance related things in the design with a 4pc than with a casting. Happy to outline them all if you want to know.

      Don’t know why you want to bust my chops so much. All I do here is offer information that you can’t get anywhere else in the face of all the poor, misleading information that is out there concerning golf club performance for golfers who are as different as can be in their size, strength, athletic ability and swing characteristics.

      • simon

        Jan 19, 2015 at 6:11 pm

        do you think 4 piece construction is as good as a 2 piece construction on a driver?
        bombtech golf claims 2 piece has more benefits than 4 piece with their grenade driver.
        thanks for your thoughts.

        • simon

          Jan 21, 2015 at 8:51 pm

          hi Tom
          still waiting for your insight to my above question ..thanks

    • Charles

      Jan 19, 2015 at 11:15 am

      leftright, I’m sorry to tell you that you are humongously wrong. Launch monitors are for golf the same as microscopes were for Biology. Launch monitors are very accurate and what you get indoors will likely get on the course. And by the way, club fitting is just like a tailored suit. Do you like bets? I bet that you hit a 2 hybrid with graphite R- flex shaft way better than a 2 iron forged blade with steel X-flex shaft. That’s club fitting. To find what makes you strike the ball better. If you play golf and buy clubs that is not fit for you, I bet you are having a hard time on the course. Open your mind, go find a skilled club fitter and get a set of clubs that fit your game, you will have much more fun on the course and play faster, the groups behind you will not have to wait you find your ball in the woods. In the end, you will thank me.

  6. John

    Dec 28, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Wow a lot of thoughts plus and minus. I play to a six handicap and am 53. I have had that 6 for about 35 years give or take a shot or two. I played a variety clubs over the years and here is what I know for me. I believe some simple fitting will take care of 90% of the golfers. I play 10.5 driver with a stiff shaft shortened to 44.5 inches. My irons are standard length bent 1 degree flat and (2 flat for Titleist). When it is time for new clubs, I demo them outside and pick what looks good to my eye, feels good, and looks right in the air. I also choose a ball and stick with it for the entire season.

  7. Justin

    Dec 28, 2014 at 10:22 am

    I’ve seen both ends of the spectrum. I’ve seen people play to par with clubs bought off-the-rack, I’ve seen players play to par with fitted clubs. I’ve seen the opposites, as well.

    The people I play with, the majority aren’t out there to maximize some ideal of their potential… they’re there to have fun. I catch myself thinking the same thing: how does one “optimize” their driver when hitting indoors, into a net, in a controlled climate, when golf’s played outdoors with uncontrollable climates? The swing you bring to the fitting may not be the one you have next week, or six months from now. Even the slightest change, be it ball position or tee height, has rendered that “optimized” ideal to moot.

    Former USGA Tech Director Frank Thomas has a very interesting book, “Just Hit It”. In it, he states that “The Silver Scot” Tommy Armour had 12 sets of irons shipped to his local course; 6 were “R” flex shafts, the other 6 were “S” flex shafts. People would come to him asking about a proper set. He’d play a round with the person and at the end he’d “special order” a set just for them. He’d tell the person behind the counter to call the individual in a week to pick up his new set- even though it was already sitting in the back!

    I guess the point is, there’s something to say about the psychology of golf. People see a $1000 shaft and think it’s the best thing since itself, or spend $1000 on a fitting and think they’re getting something extra special. I don’t want to make it sound like this is all snake oil, because it isn’t. I know from personal experience it isn’t. But is there a point of taking it too far?

  8. Shaun

    Dec 28, 2014 at 9:14 am

    I flew out to Durango to be custom fit by a Wishon specialist earlier this year and have one word to describe my experience, “disappointing”. I believe there are a lot of aspects to custom fitting, however, I do not believe all fitters, even those who are allegedly the ‘top fitters’ and ‘approved fitters’ take into account all of the aspects outlined in these articles. Its one thing to write about something in theory, its another to actually practice what you preach. Not all golfers are naive. The concepts make sense in theory, but in my experience working with the Wishon brand and those who are suppose to be the best at fittings, these articles are dust in the wind when you actually spend the money to participate in one of those fittings.

    • Tom WIshon

      Jan 6, 2015 at 1:03 pm

      I’m sorry to hear that your experience with Don Greenwood at our R&D center was so disappointing to you. Did you voice that to him or to us when you realized your disappointment? I’d be interested to hear what was not up to your expectations because in all honesty, this would be the very first time that anyone who was fit at our facility was not happy with the outcome.

  9. Rich

    Dec 28, 2014 at 8:42 am

    I’m not saying that custom fitting doesn’t matter but has anyone seen Mark Crossfields video on does shaft flex matter (in terms of the shot data)? He does a video with a friend of his that has a high swing speed compared to his (120mph vs 100mph speed from memory) and the numbers both of them get with the same driver head and both using an A flex shaft and then an x flex shaft. I think a few of you will be surprised. The numbers are very similar. It all comes down to feel and confidence really. Custom fitting can be useful to a point but I think like a lot of things in this day and age it is just made much more complicated than it really needs to be by people who want to keep themselves relevant or in a job. I’m not saying Crossfield is all knowing either but just take a look at the numbers. Cheers

    • Justin

      Dec 28, 2014 at 10:00 am

      Barney Adams, in a different WRX article, states that the old (and well-loved) PING Eye2’s all had X-flex shafts.

      • Rich

        Dec 29, 2014 at 9:32 am

        And as you say, we’re well loved by many. Custom fitting has it’s place but I don’t think it’s the be all and end all.

      • leftright

        Dec 31, 2014 at 11:13 pm

        Ping Eye 2’s came in 3 flexes with the ZZ lite shaft. You could also get them in the KT shaft which was heavier. These shafts were lightweight steel. Your comment is generic in that not all Ping Eye 2’s had x flex. I had a set of + Eye 2’s in ZZ lite and they were like a board but that was in 85 when I could swing 115 with the driver. I personally think the KT was the best shaft they ever made but it was pretty stiff.

    • mookie

      Dec 30, 2014 at 8:54 am

      well done rich,
      i too saw that video by mark crossfield and really opened my eyes about shaft flex and
      fitting in general

    • don granger

      Dec 31, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      My experience with Wishon fitting has been very beneficial Lowered my handicap 5 strokes..New irons and new driver..irons are terrific with feel and distance..Driver took more work went back for another fitting and ended up going down in loft with 1 degree closed face made all the difference…It is a rare drive that I slice and when I do it is not more than 25 yards off center..As I speak I am traveling to Palm Springs are for winter and another fitting to fine tune..used Marc Holcutt golf..he is patient and very willing to work with you on getting things right…

      • Rich

        Dec 31, 2014 at 10:13 pm

        Fair enough Don. I’m sure there are many out there who have had good experiences with Tom Wishon fitting and product and indeed other brands. I guess all I’m saying is that I think people are taking the fitting thing a little too far now and there’s a point at which it can paralyse your game with so much detail. As the saying goes, paralysis by analysis. Good golfing. Cheers.

  10. Joe Johnson

    Dec 28, 2014 at 1:13 am

    Recommendations on a fitter in the Ann Arbor, MI area? Is miles of golf or Carl’s golf land up to par or best to look elsewhere? Thanks.

    • Alfredo Ospina

      Dec 31, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      Gary Cottrell at Golfers Advantage in Fenton is fantastic. Much better than a big box shop doing the fitting. Love the clubs he put together for me and learned a lot about clubs from him.

  11. tarheel25661

    Dec 27, 2014 at 11:17 am

    I just went through a fitting like this, I found a golf digest top 100 club fitter in Waverly Oh , MCgolf custom Jim is great took his time collected the data and as we made changes you could see my patterns getting better and better if you have the extra cash its something that can add a great deal of confidence that you have the best equipment for you!

  12. Largechris

    Dec 27, 2014 at 5:39 am

    I think fitting can benefit lots of handicap levels – good example is when I was watching a keen 25 year old at the range, obviously practicing properly, working hard at his game, but to my eye his clubs were clearly an inch short. He wasn’t unusually tall, that’s just how it was for him. With fitted clubs he would be doing ten times better.

    For me, I’m lucky to have very ‘average’ measurements, height, arm length etc. so off the rack is pretty good. Most people are not average.

  13. Taylor59

    Dec 26, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    Practice, who needs that? Just get some custom clubs.

  14. HBL

    Dec 26, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Tom – I enjoyed your article but, as others have mentioned, I’m not aware of a fitter that goes through what you talk about. I go to, what I believe to be, an accomplished fitter and even he does not go through all of your steps.

    • Fred

      Dec 26, 2014 at 10:33 pm

      Oh, but then you need to go to a Wishon certified fitter… Who sells his clubs… Hence, the duality of motives you will find in a Wishon article

      • HBL

        Dec 28, 2014 at 5:43 pm

        Let me tell you, the local Wishon “fitter” doesn’t go through a third of what the article discusses.

    • SB

      Dec 27, 2014 at 8:34 am

      A professional club fitter does not need to go through in detail all the steps that Tom lists. Someone who works as a professional club fitter needs to understand technology and physics of the golf swing. Someone who fits on an everyday basis can go through the process without the customer knowing what info he is recording and analyzing during the process. As a the customer, you need to answer questions honestly and simply hit balls.
      If you go into the fitting with a negative attitude, chances are you won’t allow the fitter to do his job.

    • Shaun

      Dec 28, 2014 at 9:17 am

      The experience talked about does not happen.

  15. chris

    Dec 26, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    So sticking and old white board x in my new Grenade and launching it 250 meters over our range fence on a cold day gets better with fitting…nah, golf is trial and error. Find what works and stick with it. I have a full closet of custom fit TM’s that I can’t hit out of my shadow. Complete and utter waste of money…

    • enrique

      Dec 26, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      I totally agree. While you want clubs that fits you in lie angle and flex, custom fitting to the “nth degree” has become an industry in an of itself. Eventually you have to get out there and golf your ball. I play best with off the rack clubs and I always have. Custom fitting takes a snapshot of a moment in time but quite often I adapt to my clubs. And play great golf this way.

      It’s all voodoo – You don’t see GHIN indexes getting lower in the last 20 years with all this BS.

      • SB

        Dec 27, 2014 at 8:40 am

        Keep buying off the rack and THAT is the reason your handicap stays where it is. Saying it doesn’t matter what clubs they are and you will adapt to them is insane. That’s like saying a sprinter can adapt to a shoe that is 2 sizes too small. Most people who get properly fitted clubs combined with instruction are the ones whose handicaps go down.

        People on these forums are so narrow-minded. Handicaps have stayed the same because less than 20% of all golfers take lessons. The problem is the cost of instruction as to why the 80% don’t bother visiting a PGA professional.

        • enrique

          Dec 27, 2014 at 12:40 pm

          30 years oaf golf nd my handicap is low single digit, son. I don’t buy clubs that are misfit like a sprinter buying shoes 2 sizes too small. Keep buying the PURE’ing and all the other BS the fitters like Tom WIshon sell you.

          • Justin

            Dec 28, 2014 at 10:05 am

            There’s arguments for and against it. How many rec-league softball players, for instance, do better with a bat that’s supposed to be “just right” for them? How many just go out, use whatever’s available, and have a good time?

    • Alvaro

      Dec 26, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      “Waste of money” You couldnt be more wrong. It actually saves you money in the long run. Now trial and error thats how good money gets wasted. How much have you spent on the equipment merry go round(maybe a closets full)? You may have found your needle in a hay stack, but that doesnt mean others should follow in your foot steps. Fitting may not be for everyone but a waste of money. I dont see it.

      • Charlie

        Dec 26, 2014 at 5:02 pm

        Hey Tom, how do I measure MOI on an OEM club in comparison to another OEM club? Each may claim high MOI, but which is better?

        • Tom Wishon

          Jan 5, 2015 at 1:48 pm

          The MOI you are referring to is the MOI of the head on its own, it’s ability to reduce twisting when impact occurs off center. This MOI can only be measured with the head off the shaft, using a very sophisticated piece of equipment to do that. Something that only a head designer or company engaged in their own design work or head production factory would have. Bottom line though is that when most all driver heads today range in volume from 440-460cc and when they are all in a narrow range of headweight to each other which they are, the difference in MOI is not that much.

          Hence the only thing that tends to make one driver head stand out ahead of another in off center hit performance comes from the design of the face more than from the MOI of the head on its own. And here again, the consumer can’t know that in any way other than to go out and hit test the different heads over enough time that he experiences the off center hit feel and performance.

      • Randy

        Dec 31, 2014 at 2:33 pm

        Maybe trial and error means demoing the clubs. I have demoed clubs I thought I would like only to find they didn’t feel good or fly well. My last set of irons I bought were compared on a monitor against 5 others. I choose what felt and flew the best. My local Golf Galaxy also has lots of used drivers that can be demoed on the course so you can see if you like it. Basic fittings can make sense but most swings aren’t good enough for such a indepth approach.

    • Greg

      Dec 26, 2014 at 5:03 pm

      Everyone on here who is an advocate of fitting has not ever had a true fitting as Tom outlines. Even Club Champion, Cool Clubs, etc is not this thorough! It begs the question… What are you paying for?

      • Kelly

        Dec 26, 2014 at 8:25 pm

        I agree and I now play Wishon irons but I don’t really know where anyone can actually get a fitting like Tom describes.

    • Gorden

      Dec 26, 2014 at 5:44 pm

      100% Agree with Cris…Amature golfers over 10 handicap will NOT need anymore then a basic club fitting (Free is the most you should pay for a club fitting) Find a model you like (Ping, Wilson what ever) get a genral fitting and go out and play. If your a 10 or under, less then 20 years old and have money to spend on lots of lessons go ahead and pay a couple hundred to get fit and hope your instructors do not change your swing. My thoughts amature swings to the fitting, pro, top amature gets fit for the swing.

    • Brian

      Dec 27, 2014 at 10:46 am

      Most likely a result of being poorly fit. There are many people that make the claim of being a fitter but don’t have any actually fitting experience other than the fitting certificate that the OEM’s had out like candy after taking a 10 question test. When you interview a fitter you should look for the principles that Tom preaches up above. Make sure you find one that understands club performance and not what is one spiff that month.

  16. Chuck

    Dec 26, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Tom, this is a bit off topic but your writing at GolfWRX has inspired me to spend the cold season building myself a 43.50″ driver (an $89 ! Jetspeed head with a 106g Dynamic Gold SL shaft). This is my idea of fun in golf equipment. A $100 fairway-finding driver.

    • Tom

      Dec 31, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      Chuck, who cares? seriously…

    • Tom WIshon

      Jan 6, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      And that is one of the fun things about tinkering with clubs to be able to experiment anyway you want. It’s what got me started way back when !!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Opinion & Analysis

Fix your golfing back pain, Step 2: Early stage rehab



This article is co-written with Marnus Marais. Since 2011, Marnus has worked with some of the world’s best players on both the PGA Tour and European Tour, helping them to maintain optimal health and peak physical performance. His current stable of players includes Dustin Johnson, Patrick Cantlay, and Louis Oosthuizen, amongst others. 

You can find more information on Marnus and his work at

This article is No. 2 in a 4 part series.

Step 1 – The Importance of Assessment

Step 2 – Early Stage Rehab

Step 3 – Essential Strength and Golf Movement Patterns

Step 4 – Building global strength for prevention of future injury


Now that we have identified the source of the back issue through assessment, it’s time to start working on the underlying causes, in order to reduce pain and decrease the likelihood of re-injury further down the track. 

In our experience, mechanical back pain in golfers caused by physical issues is most often caused by one or more of the the following 4 issues, with many amateur players displaying the entire collection!

– Lack of Mobility at the Hips and Mid / Upper Back

– Poor Posture

– Misalignment and Muscle Imbalances

– Weak Core Muscles

Because pain is likely still a factor at this stage, we need to proceed with caution and focus on rehab work that is low intensity and has a low risk of causing a pain flare up.

With that in mind, in ‘Step 2: Early Stage Rehab’ we are going to address Mobility, Posture and Misalignment / Muscle Imbalances. These 3 areas can be improved upon, and should have a positive impact on pain reduction, even if back discomfort is still restricting larger, more global movements.

Step 2.1 – Improving Mobility in Hips and Mid / Upper back

Certain areas in the body need to be more stable, and others need to be more mobile. The lumbar spine (lower back) falls into the stable category, partly due to its limited capacity for rotation and lateral flexion (side bending). We know the unnatural golf swing movement imparts both rotational and side bending forces on the spine, so it’s an area we need to keep stable and protected.

In order to avoid excessive low back rotation forces in life and especially in the golf swing, it’s very important that we try to maximize the range of movement in other areas, most notably the joints above and below the low back, where the majority of rotation in the golf swing should take place:


We need sufficient range of movement to turn into, and out of, both hips. For example, if we can’t turn and load into our lead hip due to a lack of internal rotation mobility, we tend to compensate with excessive rotation and side-bending in the lower back.

Suggested Exercise Circuit – Hip Mobility

1) Self Massage Glutes – 45 secs each side

2) Cross Leg Glute Stretch – 30 secs each side

3) Prone Glute Stretch – 30 secs each side

4) 90 90 Hip Mobility – 5 reps each side

Thoracic Spine (mid to upper back)

Having sufficient rotation in our thoracic spine to both left and the right is extremely important. The thoracic spine has significantly greater rotational capabilities compared to the lumbar spine (low back). If we maximise our mobility here, we can help protect the lower back, along with the cervical spine (neck).

Suggested Exercises – Thoracic Mobility

1) Self Massage Mid / Upper back – 60 seconds

2) Upper Back Extension – 30 seconds

3) All Fours Rotation – 5 reps each side

Step 2.2 – Improving Posture

Posture can be described as the proper alignment of the spine, with the aim of establishing three natural curves (low back, mid/upper back and neck).

The 3 major spinal curves: 1 – Cervical, 2 – Thoracic, 3 – Lumbar

Modern lifestyles and the associated muscle imbalances have pushed and pulled our spines away from those three natural curves, and this has had a damaging effect on our spinal health. Our backs are designed to function optimally from the neutral illustrated above, and the further we get away from it, the more stress we put on our protective spinal structures.

Aside from promotion of pain, poor posture also does terrible things for our golf swings; reducing range of motion in key areas (hips, mid back and shoulders) and creating inefficiencies in our swing action, to give us a double whammy of back pain causes.

The muscles responsible for holding your posture are located deep in the body and close to the spine. Strengthening them can be tricky, as we don’t really have a lot of conscious control over their activation. Hence posture being such a difficult thing to remember! The combination of the 4 exercises featured below help provide the stimulus to those deep muscles that, if trained often enough, will automatically hold your posture in a good position.

Suggested Exercises – Strengthening posture muscles

1) Wall Posture Check – 30 secs

2) Posture Cue – 60 secs

3) Posture Cue Knee Lifts – 10 reps each side

4) Arm Press – 15 reps

Step 2.3 – Fixing Alignment Issues and Muscle Imbalances

Imagine a car with wheel alignment issues; front wheels facing to the right, back wheels facing to the left. Not only will the tires wear out unevenly and quickly, but other areas of the car will experience more torque, load or strain and would have to work harder. The same thing happens to the lower back when we have body alignment issues above and / or below.

For example, if we have short / tight / overactive hip flexors (muscles at the front of the hips that bend our knees to our chest) on one side of the body; very common amongst golfers with low back pain, then this would rotate the pelvis forward on one side, which can create a knock-on effect of imbalance throughout the body.

If the pelvis rotates in one direction, the shoulders naturally have to rotate in the opposite direction in order to maintain balance. Our low back is subsequently caught in the middle, and placed under more load, stress and strain. This imbalance can cause the low back to bend and rotate further, and more unevenly, especially in the already complex rotation and side bending context of the golf swing!

Below is a pelvic alignment technique that can help those with the afore mentioned imbalance.

In the next article; Step 3: Essential Strength and Golf Movement Patterns, we will show you the progression of exercises and key technique principles to build up the strength and movement patterns to return to regular exercise and golf.

If you would like to see how Marnus can help with your golfing back pain, then check out the resources below:

Marnus Marais –

If you would like to access training programs designed for elite and recreational players, then check out the following resources and services from Nick at Golf Fit Pro:

Golf Fit Pro App (iOS)
Online Training
Your Reaction?
  • 4
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Opinion & Analysis

A golfing memoir in monthly tokens: March (belatedly)



Editor’s note: All latency on the publishing here is the fault of the Editor-in-Chief.

As some might say, if you don’t take the plunge, you can’t taste the brine. Others might not say such a thing. I’m taking the plunge, because I want to taste the brine.

Here you’ll find the third installment of “A Golfing Memoir” as we trace a year in the life of Flip Hedgebow, itinerant teacher of golf. For January, click here. For February, click here.

Absolutely. Meet me up north (and, to himself, what have I got to lose?)

No sense in putting the cart before the horse, as the old pro used to say, as cirE “Flip” Hedgebow used to ignore. As March came to a close, as cirE locked the pro shop for the last time until November, he took a leap of faith. How big of a leap? Let’s get through March, and find out.

Speaking of carts and horses, March for Flip always came in like a lamb, and went out like a lion. That ran contrary to the folklore but, all things considered, there was always a 50% chance of things running contrary.

No, the best reason for topsy and turvy in March, for Flip, was explained by his birthday. Being born in the middle of the month might suggest balance to some; for him, it was a constant reminder of the chaos that led up to his earthly arrival, tempered only by the madness that ensued. If that’s balance, you can have it.

In Flip’s world, March was about the arrival of the most seasoned of snowbirds, the ones with more than five years of retirement under their growing-shrinking belts. Some were expanding, as they had given up on fitness; the rest were shrinking, as the truest effects of age caught them up. In each case, this pod arrived with military precision, knowing where and when nearly every penny would be spent. No frivolity remained in their schedules, no ambiguity survived from younger, budgeting days. No longer minnows, they recognized that uncertainty stalked them, and that all of their remaining wits needed to center on a small and precise target. The smaller, the more precise, the better…for the women.

Like all men, the old guys appreciated the consistency and precision their wives brought to their worlds.

Like all men, the old guys detested the ever-encroaching, loss of control over their own destinies.

They would enter the pro shop, grab the latest hat like a modern-day Judge Smails, and set it at a rakish angle, atop their sleek domes. Flip learned quite early on that the only way to ensure the sale was cash. When the wives invariably came to complain and demand a refund, Flip could “only” offer a pro shop credit, guaranteeing that something would be purchased. If they bought it on account or on a card, the sale was irretrievably lost.

Flip expected these purchases from his March gam: the cheapest golf balls, when their supply of northern culls ran out; the attire from last fall, or even the previous summer, ready to be shipped back to the manufacturer when March 20th arrived; and some odd or end that the pro had overlooked, lost to some sort of missionary of time. The only thing stronger than the will of the spouse, was the desire of the old guy to make some sort of purchase, to re-establish some semblance of power and control, for at least a moment.

How did you get your name, and why is the last letter, and not the first, capitalized?

(silence. he rarely heard the first question, as everyone knew him as “Flip;” he never heard the second one, as no one paid attention anymore.)

Two stories are a lot to tell. Let’s save both answers, even if it’s just a little while.

(silence. she wasn’t satisfied)

If the red hair caused his eyes to move from the mundane nature of packing and sealing boxes, everything else physical compelled him to put down the tape gun, sense that his throat was dry, know that he would not clear it without a squeak, turn away for a bottle of water, take a swig for lubrication, and, finally, turn back with his finest Axel Foley smile, and greet her with: How long have you been retired?

It was an incalculable risk. There was a 90% chance that she would react with an I’m not that old sort of affront, turn on her heels, and march out the door. There was a 5% chance that she would get the joke, and would stick around for another exchange, before smiling awkwardly and departing. There remained a 5% chance of something else. On this 21st day of March, that final 5% wafted in.

Wafted in, in the guise of a lesson he thought that he had planned. Planned for one of the wives, a late-sixties model whose swing was frozen in time: the unlikely combination of a forward lurch of the torso, a reverse pivot of the feet, and right in the middle, an impossible heave of the hips in one of four unpredictable directions. If anyone were to discover a fifth cardinal point, it would be Agnes Porter. Until this moment, Flip Hedgebow gave thanks that the world was blessed with just one of her; more than one might have tilted the globe off its axis. Now, he offered up a different type of gratitude, thanks to the visage of her granddaughter, who bore no resemblance to the matriarch, beyond the title of Agnes Porter.

They write that a story may be deemed worthy for its inerrant language, or for its compelling events. The story of Agnes Porter the way-younger and Flip Hedgebow benefitted from both, along with an overdose of peripeteia.


Artwork by JaeB

Your Reaction?
  • 1
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Club Junkie

Club Junkie: Srixon ZX and TaylorMade SIM2 Max fairways and My top 3 drivers!



Masters hangover week is here! I have had the new Srixon ZX fairway out on the course and it is underrated as you would imagine. Reshafted the SIM2 Max 3w and it has been super consistent and comfortable. Talking about the top 3 drivers I have been hitting this year.




Your Reaction?
  • 4
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading