I think this is a super interesting question, and I don’t have any particularly actionable suggestions…
I think fitting is a BROAD category and can cover a number of different experiences… I also think it can (and is) a marketing gimmick that can allow some places to charge a ton of money for something that doesn’t necessarily lead to better scores.
Let’s take a step back and ask a simple question: Why are you getting fit?
I’ve gotten fit for everything from a putter to a driver (I’ve never done a real wedge fitting, but would love to do that with an expert one day) and I’ve done it for various reasons.
- I got fit for my putter because my putting was terrible and I wanted to take a different approach to what I was doing. Cody at SeeMore was super helpful. This was the best fitting experience I’ve had, and it was less about the putter we built, and more about the information gathered during the fitting. I learned tendencies, was given some drills and tips… basically, the putter itself was the icing on the cake. The fitting was just a REALLY good lesson
- I went to my local Golf Headquarters and hung out with Greg (he’s on the forum, but I’m not going to tag him). Greg is a top tier fitter and was wonderful to work with. Once again, he identified tendencies, we figured out what performance I wanted from the irons, and then chose an option that would work for me… He used his experience with how different shafts and heads worked to get me into a lower spinning, lower launching setup. It was fun!
- I’ve been to a Wishon fitter. He basically told me my swing was a problem and asked if I wanted to fix that before getting fully fit. He gave me some drills. He did not sell me anything. It was a good experience, but I was younger and wanted to buy a new driver. I still use his drills. I wouldn’t still use the driver he sold me.
- I’ve been to demo days… they’ve ranged from OK to BAD. These guys are trying to sell clubs. That’s their job. if you are working with them, you should know what you want and your price range (similar to trying to buy jewelry). I believe they are trying to do their best, but their incentives aren’t necessarily aligned with yours.
I’ve gotten fit for different reasons… I wanted to make sure I had a putter built for my height and to help improve my putting… this is probably a more simple fitting, and it was still extremely complicated.
I’ve made sure my length and lie were correct… this has been all over the place… I’m currently playing 3/4 long and 2 degrees up. I’ve been told anywhere from 1/2- a full inch longer… When I swing clubs +1 I don’t feel as comfortable. So I don’t play them.
I’ve tried to dial in shafts… I like the S400s a whole bunch, and they seem to fit my swing… My current irons have Project X 6.0s in them… They were convenient pulls and I was going cheap.
At the end of the day, I think iron fitting is the most difficult… you aren’t necessarily looking for 1 or 2 things, but a blend of different ideals. Spin rate, launch angle, dispersion, distance, club weight, and aesthetics… Toss in all the options for a variety of head types and shafts and you have a number of ways of skinning a cat.
I think it’s important to find an experienced and knowledgeable fitter who is going to listen to your feedback but can also explain the data to you… If you are simply looking for the “best fit” with no preconceived notions of what best means, you will have to make some decisions at the fitting and determine what you are looking for.
Barney Adams talked about how he doesn’t take more than 3 swings when trying equipment, because after the third swing, his body will figure out how to make it work… I think this is true for equipment and worth thinking about… if you get something built that you like and it’s built close to your “ideal” specs, you will be able to make it work.
I’m currently playing Adams CMBs because I’ve wanted a set since 2012. I think they are amazing irons, look great and feel great… I built the heads out with cheap shaft pulls we had at the club… They fit reasonably well. I’ve had some great success with the irons despite them not being fit and perfectly built to me…
I also have self fit for a driver shaft (Aldila Silver) but now want to get a real fitting done… I’m not sure there is a ton of improvement to be grabbed, but it’s probably worth a little time and effort.
My hybrid and utility iron were both bought sight unseen from Sub70 with a shaft I know I like. They both work well for me.
Basically, I think a fitting can be worth it if you have the right fitter and go in with the right expectations. There isn’t a “perfect” club out there, and your current set might be a good enough fit… but a good fitter can show you the tendencies you have with the current stuff and then hopefully improve on them. Not just dispersion, but launch conditions and aesthetics.
My ultimate belief is: If you are confident that your clubs are right, you will hit them better.