Club Fitting and Small Sample Size

I’ll be honest, I personally hate club fittings. I don’t feel like I ever get to hit enough shots to see any meaningful differences between clubs / shafts / etc.

I find it extremely common in fittings to hit 10 shots with a variety of clubs, and then get recommended the club with the smallest dispersion. On the surface it might make sense, but are you really choosing a more accurate club or are you just choosing the club you happened to hit the best in that sample? (I think its the latter personally)


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Depending on your skill level, it shouldn’t necessarily be just about the dispersion, it should be about the numbers and the feel of your “good” swings (and not too punishing on your bad swings). A lot of that comes through the fitter asking the right questions and giving honest answers.

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I have been fit 3 times over the years and am not a fan either. I feel like they are just trying to put me in the most expensive shafts they have. Maybe it’s just my skill level, but I don’t hit fit clubs any better than the ones I buy off the shelf.

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.


I can’t believe I didn’t hit this in that rant… but it’s also very important to communicate well with your fitter. It’s a two way street and you need to be able to articulate what you like and don’t like, as well as what you are looking for.

I want a 7 iron that goes 200 yards is a different process than I want a 7 iron that hits and stops is a different process than I want the tightest possible dispersion with my 7 iron.

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The fitter should be able to see your swing and narrow the choices down for you and many times there could be more than one combination that could work for you. I have mixed feelings because, at least for me, grooving a swing on a launch monitor under perfect conditions is not the same as taking it to the course. I ended up having my clubs tweaked a few times after playing them, but a good fitter should work with you to get it right.

I let him worry about the tightest dispersion and shot height while I tried to articulate what I liked and didn’t like. For me it was mostly about what looked good and felt good while he crunched the #'s.

For a # of years I basically fit myself. I had been through a couple of fittings and wound up with some clubs I loved and others I didn’t care for. At least the fittings gave me a good baseline of what I needed so then I experimented. This was great when I had the time and passion for building clubs, but it can be a slippery slope. You can build a nice club very inexpensively, but building a lot of clubs as you experiment can eventually add up to a PXG fitting that includes golf in Scottsdale.


listen to or watch 1st ½ hour

eh… mine was 90% about feel

no mention of numbers as we whittled down the selection to 4 iron sets…

Out of those I said “the t100 and P770 are my favorite”

We then started talking numbers and talking about tradeoffs/benefits of the different sets

1st 30 mins was eliminating clubs… last 30 mins was discussing tradeoffs, continuing to hit shots, talking numbers etc

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Mark Crossfield has made a number of observations recently that have modified my take on club fitting. Take this video for one [spoiler alert!]:

Here, Mark hits three drivers, 10 shots each. He rotates drivers after every three shots. Then he begins to analyze the data: drivers A, B, and C all have different tendencies in the numbers (spin, distance, dispersion, etc.), and he’s asking you to pick which driver is best for him.

The catch [again, spoiler]: they’re all the same driver.

What Mark has been stressing in some of his recent videos is that to find statistically meaningful differences between clubs, you need to hit a lot of shots, and then the results need to be different enough that they’re not overlapping.

I definitely believe that different clubs and shafts produce different outcomes, and that some players have swings that are especially suited to certain kinds of equipment. (I also think that there are fairly neutral swings that might effectively play with almost anything.)

So I don’t believe that fitting is worthless (and I don’t think Crossfield thinks so either. But I do think there is an illusion of certainty in small samples that needs to be examined more closely.


I am a big go get fit for clubs guy, but I throw in the caveat that you should have a consistent, repeatable swing to the point where your round to round variance is as minimal as possible.

What I DON’T mean by that is you need to be scratch or close. You can shoot 96 with a repeatable swing. As long as you’re bringing a consistent swing to a fitting it can be worthwhile and will almost always help lower scores.

I understand feeling like a fitter is just trying to put you in the most expensive gear because some fitters are doing that. Just like everything else there are fitters that don’t care and just want to make a sale. I’ve seen fitters raise elevation on trackman to skew distance numbers. There are bad eggs everywhere. That’s why it’s important to go to someone reputable and, if it comes to it, verify they’re not making commission on the dollar amount they sell you.

I’ve personally never felt like I’m being sold anything at Club Champion. That may be because I probably know more about equipment and the data I’m looking at than most people who walk through the door, but maybe not.

The biggest factors for getting fit are coming in prepared and not being afraid to ask questions or to hit more balls with certain combos. Most won’t care and good fitters love answering good questions. Couple that with already having a repeatable swing and you should get good results.

The biggest gripe fitters have are when people think it’s a lesson. Don’t be the guy that asks, “What am I doing wrong?”


Mark makes some legitimate points in the video, but the “test” doesn’t really strengthen the case. He had a point he wanted to prove and is more than a proficient enough golfer to make 3 different sets of ten shots appear very different even hit with the same driver.

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Ha, interestingly Mark talked somewhat about this on their podcast today.

His basic point was he doesn’t do fittings anymore, instead he gives lessons and if he can put people into equipment that makes them play better, that’s just him being a good coach.

Of course, that’s not the reality most people live in, but it’s definitely an interesting concept.

I think a proper fitting for irons probably takes multiple sessions and some work on your part… figure out what you like, get a feel for it and then have the fitter dial in from there.

I’ve been talking with my pro about getting fit this spring, and he said it would be a multiple session affair.

More importantly to me, I broached this topic in February during a simulator lesson. He refused to do it until at least a few weeks into real golf season here, because playing more would change my swing compared to getting on a simulator every 2 weeks. That’s how I trust I’m in the right hands


That’s awesome.

I think to a certain extent we need to take a step back and say “making an equipment change is a process”… fitting is part of that process, but walking into a store and getting fit with no idea what you like or what you want is going to be a bad time.

I want to add to this because I had a HO—LY SHIIIIIII golf moment last night.

In late January I got fit for new irons at Club Champion. I had never been fit for irons by anyone I would consider a legitimate club fitter. I was fit into Mizuno JPX 921 Forged. I FINALLY got them Wednesday afternoon. Last night I had our first league night. I almost didn’t put my new clubs in the bag because I hadn’t had a chance to hit them yet, but I figured hey worst thing that can happen is a little hdcp padding.

I had a short range session to warm up, but was going in blind with my yardages and everything.

It didn’t matter. I hit them better than any iron I’ve hit in my life. The effortlessness of trusting that they’re fit to your swing is insane. Flushed iron after flushed iron. I went 8/9 GIR. The one green I missed I was on the back fringe on a par 3. Longest birdie putt I had all night was maybe 30 feet. I shot 31, which won’t help my hdcp for league season, but I don’t care. It was the best ball striking round I’ve had in a really long time and with clubs I had never hit before.

Find a good club fitter. Get fit. You absolutely will not regret it.


A 31! Someone painted a target on his back for the rest of league season! Hell of a round

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Hope they keep working for you! What were you coming from? How much different are the new irons?

I switched from Srixon Z765s w/Nippon Modus 120 shafts. They were standard lie/loft. They were an impulse buy because I was fed up with my previous irons. Went to a demo day and was absolutely striping the Srixons and just said heck with it I want these. Played them for 3 seasons and loved them. I just had a tendency to lose them left of left of left.
I’m a very hands low player, so my new irons are much flatter than the Srixons. Shafts are also heavier. I have KBS Tour 130 C Tapers in them.
My ball flight is a tad higher with the Mizunos, but they spin a lot less than my Srixons, so they’re still piercing in the wind - and it’s always windy here. The extra weight helps me control trajectory and the flatter lie angle has really straightened out my ball flight.
The Mizunos are also much longer than the Srixons despite only being 1° stronger across the board.
So far I’m very happy. Now I just need actual Spring to get here so I’m not playing in 43° and 15mph wind at all times.


My experience has always been “big box” fittings. But I have a pretty repeatable swing and I know my tendencies and specs. The key for me whenever I get fit is go find the clubhead/shaft combo that gives me the most repeatable results.

I plan to do a comprehensive full bag fitting next time I buy clubs.

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I think you can find a good fitter at the big box stores, but they’re just very limited in shaft options. I may prioritize shaft more than a lot of people, so for most that’s probably ok.
The other thing about big box stores is I 100% know for a fact they push different brands more than others because different OEMs pay different commission percentages. I just don’t ever want to feel like I’m being sold something that’s benefiting the fitter more than it is me. I’ve never run into feeling sold on anything at Club Champion and they’re always knowledgeable and personable. They really listen. My only gripe is that it takes FOREVER to get your clubs. I’ve had five fittings there over the last year:

Wedges - 4 weeks
Hybrid - 6 weeks
Driver - 10 weeks
Putter - 8 weeks
Irons - 13 weeks

That part is brutal.