A personal clubfitting experience

Updated: May 1, 2023

By Steve Turcotte, Inside Golf Editor

Twenty-five years ago, when Matt Sweaney first started fitting golfers for clubs at Pro Golf, things were pretty easy. Golfers would take some warm up swings, Sweaney would place some hitting tape on the face of the clubs and he would use a radar to check the speeds.

That was then. This is now. Club fitting has taken on an entirely new look. There are places like Pro Golf that exclusively fit golfers for clubs and the computer generation has taken hold in the world of club fitting giving fitters numbers on everything from club head speed to ball speed to backspin to lie angle just about any number you can think of. It has become an exact science and Sweaney has been along for the ride.

“As the game of golf has grown so has fitting golfers for clubs,” said Sweaney. “But the bottom line for club fitters is to put the right equipment in the golfer’s hands. Back in the day not all manufacturers worked on fitting but everyone does now.” I had a busy Friday one week and a couple of hours opened up so I was able to schedule a fitting appointment online to save time and Sweaney put me through a fitting at Pro Golf in Tacoma. I thought it would be a process of hitting a few swings, looking at a couple of numbers and figuring out what clubs might work for me. Wrong.

It all starts with a few warm up swings. Then the computer numbers get to work. The hitting station clicked on with a picture of a driving range and a long list of numbers were shown on the left side of the screen. I thought I knew golf, but there were numbers I had never heard of. But Sweaney knows his stuff. He pointed out everything wrong with the swing and changed clubs and shafts trying to put the right equipment in my hands.

The computer system at Pro Golf does tells everything about every swing from clubhead speed to ball speed to spin rate to backspin rate and any other number dealing with a swing you can think of. All of the data points on the screen mean something to Sweaney. They didn’t mean much to me but he knew how to find the right clubs with those numbers. I did learn there were three main areas of club fitting: The clubhead speed for determining the shaft, the ball speed for the efficiency of the swing and the lie angle for the angle of the club.

Sweaney said he does fittings for beginners and advanced players. A full bag fitting is about an hour and a half while there are fittings for just irons or woods which takes just under an hour. After this fitting I am a believer. I had a driver that I hit OK but when Sweaney changed shafts and degrees on the Titleist head, I had more carry and distance. This club fitting stuff works.

Pro Golf has a QR code that takes you right to the fitting page. Check their website at www.progolfseattle to schedule a fitting with the QR code.