Club Fitting Numbers Made Simple

By Golf Channel DigitalApril 20, 2011, 3:35 am


While many golfers are under the impression club fitting is only for tour pros, it’s actually just as suited to higher handicappers. Generally, the average player doesn't realize it's just as important to have their equipment fit to their game as it is for the pros, because having the correct fit is the easiest and best way to improve.

When visiting a certified clubfitter, expect to answer a number of questions, such as:

•What are the best and worst parts of your game?

•Are you taking lessons?

•What changes are you looking to make?

•What is your most common miss?

•What are your favorite/least favorite clubs?

Hot Stix GolfThe next step will involve some measurements on your current clubs, including length, loft, lie, shaft frequency and swing weight. This is done so that when the fitting is complete, you can compare what you have to what you need. It also helps the fitter understand what you’ve been playing, and how that may affect your swing.

A club fitter will use a launch monitor to analyze how the golf club is impacting ball flight. The fitter will interpret multiple data points that include clubhead speed, ball speed, spin rates and angle of attack.

Among the most important measurements is the golf ball’s angle of descent. This is determined by measuring launch angle (angle of ascent of the golf ball immediately after impact) and spin rates (speed at which the ball spins, measured in revolutions per minute). The perfect combination of launch angle and spin will lead to an ideal angle of descent and greater total distance.

To visualize this, imagine you’re using a hose to shoot water as far as possible. Aim too high and you’ll lose distance because the water will fall steeply. Adjust too low and it will fall short because of a shallow arc.

An optimum angle of descent for the driver will be between 35 to 40 degrees for players with a driver swing speed between 85 and 110 mph. This signifies the maximum carry distance and roll potential. The optimum angle will be less for players with slower swing speeds and higher for those with greater speeds.

Another important piece of swing data is 'smash factor' or PTI (power transfer index), which is the ratio between ball speed and club head speed. With a driver, players are trying to reach a maximum smash factor of 1.5. This means that if a player’s swing speed is 100 mph, ball speed will be 150 mph. Players not approaching the 1.5 ratio aren’t making proper contact. The reason for this could be equipment related.

Club fitters should have a large selection of equipment on hand from a range of manufacturers. During the fitting, expect to experiment with various club head, shaft and grip combinations until an ideal match is found.

Ultimately, club fitting is fun, easy, will help you play better and save you money in the long run.


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Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

Masters victory

Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

Man of the people

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

Departure from TaylorMade

Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

Victory at Valderrama

Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm