Ed Mitchell’s loft and lie machines seem to be everywhere – in tour vans, golf repair shops, club manufacturing facilities and in the homes of club fanatics – and Mitchell has emerged as an extremely influential voice in the realm of club fitting.
A loft and lie machine is used to alter the loft or lie of irons, hybrids and metalwoods. Adjusting the loft or lie of putters requires a different machine, and Mitchell Golf in Dayton, Ohio, sells one of those as well.
Lofts and lies, if set correctly, form a reliable progression – creating consistent distance gaps between clubs and producing the same shot direction on all normal swings.
However, if the loft or lie on a single club is incorrect, the repercussions can be huge.
“If one club is out of spec in relation to another,” Mitchell said, “you’re going to be fighting the club, and this can lead to bad swing habits.
“Your swing will naturally be more consistent if you’re not fighting the club particularly when it comes to direction.”
Lie is a crucial element of all golf clubs. Clubs that are too upright often result in shots that are pulled or hooked. Clubs that ...
What is the future of clubfitting?
Benoit Vincent, TaylorMade’s chief technical officer, has been at the forefront of modern clubfitting. He was instrumental in the development of the MATT system (Motion Analysis Technology by TaylorMade), which is an innovative fitting and teaching tool.
Using MATT, golfers view 3-D images of their swings and compare them with swings of touring professionals.
“We are trying to export that (MATT) to the real world,” Vincent said, “but we’re facing the (high) cost of such a piece of equipment. It requires several cameras, as well as highly sophisticated hardware and software.”
Vincent says future changes will occur slowly.
“I don’t foresee a major breakthrough in affordability or portability for the next five or even 10 years,” he said. “It will still be a selective usage, although we have endeavored to place them in very different settings – retailers, teachers, high-end resorts and destinations.
“I imagine people driving to these locations, more than the equipment being deployed all over the place.”
Dick Helmstetter, Callaway’s vice chairman and senior executive vice president, also looked into his crystal ball to talk about fitting.
“Short term, in the United States, I think we’ll see ...
Most golfers know about the importance of fitting. Properly fit golf clubs can help a golfer hit the ball straighter, higher and even longer.
However, golfers don’t necessarily know where to go for a professional fitting. Here is a rundown of some available options:
Most major golf companies can recommend certified clubfitters for their clubs. Ping has about 3,000 certified clubfitters. Titleist has more than 2,500. All manufacturers maintain up-to-date lists of certified fitters.
Finding a qualified fitter can be the initial step in answering two questions: One, are a golfer’s current clubs a good fit? Two, how would the specs change for new clubs?
Ping was a pioneer in fitting. More than 30 years ago, Ping introduced color coding for lie angle. (Black is standard, for example, while orange is 2 degrees flat and green is 2 degrees upright.)
Today Ping has color coding on its irons, wedges, fairway woods and putters. But this is not Ping’s biggest contribution to fitting in 2005.
Almost 12,000 golfers will go through individual fitting sessions this year at Ping headquarters in Phoenix. The sessions are free. No appointments are taken. Hours for these walk-in fittings are ...
Golf customization is in, and that means club fitting is all the rage. I have gone through the process with a few major equipment makers, mostly in the line of duty as a golf writer, and watched dozens of other recreational players do the same. There are obvious benefits to a set of woods and irons made to your exacting specifications, but they do not always outweigh the occasional silliness of the ordeal.
Let’s start with what is perhaps the greatest problem with a proper club fitting, which is the use of video to observe and understand a golfer’s technique. The question is simple: Does anyone really want to know what his swing truly looks like?
The answer for me is an emphatic No!, largely because I long ago decided there were two things I never wanted to see myself doing on video tape, and one of them was trying to hit a golf ball. My primary fear is that a screening of such a mortifying exhibition easily could shatter whatever tenuous confidence I have in my game. It also could send me into a handicap death spiral that would not end until my USGA index of 5 ...