Do fitted golf clubs really make a difference? To answer that question, just ask any tour player or good amateur player. The answer will be unequivocally, yes.
Does that mean that a fitted set of clubs is going to make you a scratch player immediately? No, it does not. Will it help you elevate your game? Yes, it will.
In my opinion, and everything you are about to read is just that, "my opinion." I believe that it is important to have a fundamentally sound golf swing and then fit golf clubs to that swing.
A fitted set of clubs should allow you to do whatever it is that you do more easily and more efficiently. You can take two players of equal ability and athleticism and give one a set fitted to his ability and the other a set off the rack. The person fitted will out-perform the other person eight out of 10 times.
Today's golfer is more educated and, from what I see, very much into technology. Technology has definitely made a difference in how the game is played. It affects every facet of the game. The ball goes farther, there are different shafts, torques, flexes, drupe factors and weights; even wedges have different degrees of loft and bounce. This could all get very confusing. The only true way to make sure the club fits you is in the dynamic position, which is you actually hitting balls to see if it makes any changes in your ball flight.
If you are in the market for a new set of clubs, find a reputable club fitter and arrange for a fitting. The cost will be marginal and in the end well worth it.
The three most important clubs in your bag - the driver, putter and sandwedge - should definitely fit your game. The driver puts the ball in play (very important - just ask Phil). You probably won't hit every green in regulation, so the wedges are very versatile. If you are a poor wedge player, I suggest you experiment with different degrees of bounce and loft on the wedge and see if that doesn't make a difference.
Lastly, the trusty old putter; 36 putts is regulation for an 18-hole round. That's two per hole. The tour players average about 29 putts per round. Putters have different lengths, lofts and weights. Find one that fits. If you just become a better putter, your scores will come down.
Making sure you have the right mix of clubs (a hybrid vs. a 2-iron or a 56-degree vs. a 60-degree wedge) in your bag is equally important. Your instructor should be able to help you there. Before you think about getting fitted, remember what I said first, "You need to be fundamentally sound with your golf swing."
I don't know if you've checked lately, but technology is expensive. You pay for it either way, so be smart and get fitted.
Tim Peightal is a PGA Pro, general manager and director of golf at Pelican Bay Country Club - north and south courses in Daytona Beach. He also owns Summit Driving Range in Port Orange. Mr. Peightal can be reached at (386) 304-4774 or by sending an e-mail to GypsyPro12@ aol.com.