FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who should consider being custom fit?
Golfers of all handicaps will benefit from custom fitting. No matter where a golfer is in the process of improving their game, progress will only be obscured or prevented by equipment that does not properly reflect and reward improvement in the fundamentals of the game. A 25 handicap golfer is trying to master repetition of a fundamentally sound swing, which will be thrwarted by equipment that does not respond appropriately to the better swing. The low handicap golfer is endeavoring to limit the negative impact of missed shots, especially when in pressure situations, which will be adversely effected by shaft flex that requires this golfer to work harder than necessary to create intended ball flight.
Too stiff of a shaft will negatively effect the smoothness of the transition from the backswing into the downswing - a critical point in the golf swing - and will also be encouraged to swing hard in an effort to make the shaft work - the opposite of the even tempo desired in a golf swing with relaxed hand pressure throughout the swing. Too soft of a shaft will cause the golfer to slow down through impact to wait for the clubhead to catch up with the tell tale chicken wing held release in order to try to maintain control over the direction of the shot while interferring with the optimal acceleration through impact to create optimal swing speed at impact. A shaft that is too soft will be overloaded and cause decreased directional consistency - amplifying any ball flight problems (fade into a slice or draw into a hook) caused by the golfer's swing.
What is the difference between measuring Loading versus Swing Speed in shaft flex fitting?
The most prevalent method of discerning shaft flex is by way of Swing Speed. Unfortunately, via research that was done by True Temper's R&D group, it has been proven that Swing Speed is only 50% accurate in determining the proper flex for a particular golfer. The proper flex will provide the greatest assistance in obtaining maximum club head speed at impact and provide the best accuracy.
The assumption made by using Swing Speed as a flex fitting method is that as swing speed increases "Loading" or the force applied to the shaft increases in direct proportion. Thus a high swing speed golfer is assumed to load the shaft significantly more than a slower swing speed golfer and thus is perceived to require stiffer flex shafts. True Temper's R&D group investigated this thesis and found that in actuality golfers of the same tempo, handicap and swing speed exerted significantly different loading force on the shaft with no direct correlation to swing speed. Our experience verifies these findings.
Thus, the only true way to discern optimal flex is to bypass swing speed and directly measure the force or loading being applied to the shaft. True Temper's Shaft Lab system provides this measuring methodology and golfers provide very consistent loading with very minimal variance, allowing a very accurate pinpointing of the optimal flex for each golfer. Through our history of providing re-tests free of charge, we have also seen that golfer's remain consistent over time in reference to the amount that they load the shaft and thus the flex that is optimal for them, despite significant changes in the level of their game and reduction in their handicap.
Why does the driver I purchased play and feel different than the demo driver?
Unfortunately there are many variables involved in the bulk assembly of drivers by the major manufacturers. These variables include: stated loft versus actual measured loft of the face of the club; face angle or the measurement of the alignment of the face of the club truly perpendicular to target at address versus slightly open to sigficicantly shut (aimed up to 5° left of target); swingweight variances, which relates to the balance or ability to evenly feel both the shaft and the head of the club during the golf swing; and finally the true "Playing Flex", the actual responsiveness of the shaft to the load being applied to the shaft by the golfer, versus the stated flex of the shaft. The standards and rules we have in the golf industry do not relate to these issues. There is no governing body in golf that mandates or enforces a standard for flex. Thus a stiff flex shaft from one manufacture can easily "Play" softer than a regular flex shaft form a different manufacture. This is also possible across lines of shafts by the same manufacture - case in point is the playing flex difference between an Aldila NV 65 driver shaft in a Titleist 905R driver versus an Aldila NV 85 hybrid shaft in a Titleist 585-H hybrid (from the numerous stock clubs that we have measured (via frequency comparisons), we have seen the Aldila NV 65 driver shaft and the Aldila NV 85 hybrid shaft to differ by approximately three (3) flexes, with the Aldila NV 65 playing stronger or stiffer than its marked flex and the Aldila NV 85 hybrid playing significantly softer or weaker than the marked flex).
Thus, the very valid adage: "If you hit a demo driver well, buy that exact golf club", do not buy or order a club that is represented to be exactly the same, since there is a very high probability - due to the above variables - that it will not play the same.
What shafts should I play - graphite or steel?
What shafts a golfer plays depends on how they value the pros and cons of each shaft.
1) vibration absorbtion and thus dampening significantly beyond the capability of anything that can be done with steel shafts.
2) graphite is lighter and loads and releases faster than steel so it on average (depending on swing speed) generates 5 to 10 yards of additional distance.
1) expense (more so in fairway and driver shafts versus iron shafts)
2) less consistent control over distance, ie. if a steel shafted iron is struck 100 times by a mechanical hitting machine, the whole pile of balls would be within 2 yards, however if this is repeated with a graphite shafted iron, the whole pile would vary over 4 yards with approximately 8 to 12 shots being 6 to 10 yards further than the majority of the shots. This distance dispersion is irrelevant with a driver (the further the ball travels, the better), however with each successively shorter distance club there can be a point where this distance dispersion interfers with the ability of a better player to score related to their ability.
3) for certain golfers too little heft or weight in the shaft can allow them to be too handsy or to throw the club outside plane on the downswing
1) best distance control
2) less expensive
3) higher shaft weight can promote smoother transition and temp for the golfer
1) greater transmission of vibration which can aggravate arthritis as well as other wrist, elbow, shoulder sensitivities
2) shorter distance comparable to graphite (approximately 5 to 10 yards, depending on swing speed)
3) for certain golfers the heft or weight of the shaft correlates to a sense of stiffness and causes them to overswing in response
to his/her perception.
The preceding shows that the shaft choice for a golfer depends on how they value the strengths and weaknesses of each shaft. This can vary based on what clubs are being considered: driver, fairway woods, hybrids or irons.
What loft should I be using for my driver?
There are a number of factors that contribute to finding the optimal loft to use for a driver - Swing Speed/Ball Velocity, Attack Angle, Launch Angle and Spin Rate. In addition to these issues there is the current dilemma of the stated loft marked on the driver and the loft that we measure with a protractor (club in a jig set to mimic player address position, club soled and measured at the middle of the face) can differ by some 2 to 4°. Ie. a 9.5° marked driver actually measures anywhere from 10.5° to 13°.
The real issue is having a driver with the loft that will allow the optimal ballistics to happen. A perfect shot with the incorrect ballistics due to incorrect loft at impact will never allow the optimal distance to occur. The optimal distance that a golfer can hit the driver is dependent on attack angle (6° positive at impact), effective loft (golfer's position combined with the loft of the driver - netting out to 10°) and square face angle impact on the center of the face (center impact provides a transfer ratio of 1.5 - ball leaves at 1.5 times the clubhead speed). When these conditions are met correctly the golfer can carry the ball 2.6 times their clubhead speed and with normal turf conditions end up the a total drive of 2.8 times. In simple math terms: 100mph clubhead speed allows a properly fit golfer to carry the ball 260 yards and end up with a total distance of 280 yards. The "High Launch and Low Spin" moniker is correct - optimal launch is roughly 16° with a spin rate of approximately 2,000 rpm.
With the systems we utilize (launch monitor, interchangeable headstock that provides accurate lofts and final outdoor testing) this result is routinely achieved.
What wedges should I use?
The answer to this question varies in relation to how a golfer actually uses their wedges and the optimal club mix for a particular golfer. A golfer will have an optimal mix of clubs when he or she is be able to handle the shots/distances that are typically encountered during his or her round of golf.
So the first issue is whether an additional wedge requires the removal of another club which is repeatedly needed. This will depend on each golfer's game and preferences.
Second issue is whether the golfer will actually use an additional wedge successfully during play. That is, if I carry a 60° wedge but do not commit to the appropriate swing to create a successful result, then perhaps using a different club (56°) with success is the better option. Similar issues apply to a gap wedge (52°). If the golfer already has the ability to succeed with partial pitching wedge shots for the various distances which are less than the pitching wedge's full swing distance, then perhaps there is not the need for this wedge.
When we see the best use of a full complement of wedges is when the golfer uses all of the wedges for different yardage approach shots and has mastered the swing techniques for the various touch (less than full swing) shots that can be achieved with the different lofts.
What is bounce and how much should I use?
Bounce is the variance between the leading edge and trailing edge of the sole of irons and wedges. It is described in degrees - a wedge with 6° of bounce has less bounce than one with 12° of bounce.
How much is appropriate depends on usage and also somewhat on the type of sand that a golfer encounters.
The greater the amount of bounce the less likely the wedge is to dig-in or bury during a bunker shot. This is somewhat dependent on the style of sand being played - very true for North Carolina/Florida course set ups where the sand is plentiful and is a finer/smaller grain, making it easier to get too deep and bury the clubhead - less true for parts of this region with thinly filled traps and heavier and coarser sand. The greater the amount of bounce will make it increasingly difficult to hit a distance shot with that wedge from the fairway - the leading edge is higher at address and the bounce will cause the wedge to "bounce" into contact with the ball if the turf is contacted prior to impact with the ball.
The lesser amount of bounce the more likely the wedge is to dig-in or bury during a bunker shot, but the type of sand dictates how much of a negative this is. With coarser, heavier sand or a bunker with minimal sand depth, the less bounce will allow the wedge to move through the sand with greater ease. Also, a wedge with less bounce is easier to use as a distance club from the fairway.
The norm of what we see that the industry provides is as follows:
Gap Wedge: 52° of loft and 6° of bounce - considered to be used primarily as a full swing club.
Sand Wedge: 56° of loft and 12° of bounce - considered to be used primarily for bunker shots, secondarily for touch shots around the green and third as a full swing club.
Lob Wedge: 60° of loft and 8° of bounce - considered to be used primarily for touch shots around the green.
IZETT GOLF | 2538 HAVERFORD ROAD | ARDMORE, PA 19003 | 610-642-1887