Custom Golf Clubs are they worth it
This is one of the topics I get asked about all the time. And there really is only one answer. Absolutely. Custom Golf Clubs are designed and built to fit you as an individual. It’s hard to believe that any boxed set would meet that criteria. Custom Golf Clubs, when built and fit correctly, will outperform any OEM off the shelf brand.
Boxed sets of golf clubs
By purchasing a set of golf clubs off the shelf, you are simply receiving a factory assembled set of golf clubs. Yes they do look slick and seem to have great looking designs. It’s what is behind the shine that always has me concerned. I spent most of my career in precision inspection in the automotive business and have seen some less than stellar products attempted to be passed off as quality. Golf OEM assembly lines and the foundries and factories they come from are no different. They deal in a fairly loose tolerance zone.
On top of the assembly line atmosphere is what I like to describe as the randomness of stock. In the golf industry random boxes of shafts that are used to assemble the clubs. They have gone through a quality control process yes, but the tolerances are far greater than what any Custom Golf Shop would accept. A box of 100 shafts could easily contain a full flex difference between any 2 shafts. If these 2 shafts get assembled as your 5 and 6 irons, they will not feel, nor perform the same.
There is a randomness as to how shafts are aligned during the assembly process. Any competent Custom Golf Club Maker would tell you that not all shafts exhibit the same osculation properties or frequencies. Custom Golf Shops will align the shafts into what is considered a proper FLO position. This allows the shaft to osculate in a consistent manner, without wobble.
But is that frequency correct for you? The shaft profiles and what happens down the length of the shaft is the key to gaining consistency. With a boxed set chances are that the butt frequencies are not that consistent. OEM’s typically do not build to frequencies period, let alone what happens down the length of those shafts. A Professional Club Maker will sort shafts by profile (down the length of the shaft) rather than simple butt frequency.
Iron heads from the foundry are again checked against what is deemed to be acceptable tolerances. So you get one head that is 1 degree flat and another that is 1 degree upright. Both are acceptable from the foundry side of the business, but unacceptable for a Custom Golf Shop. There will be directional control issues due to the incorrect lie angles. The ball flight will be different between these 2 clubs. Both will exhibit an opposite side axis spin, one rotating to the right, the other to the left.
Same applies to the loft. Typical sets may only have 3 degrees of loft differential on the spec sheet. So your 4 iron may be weak by 1 degree and your 5 iron strong by 1 degree. Now you do not have the 3 degrees of loft separation (10 -12 yards) found on the spec sheet. You have 1 degree difference or about 2 -3 yards in total carry.
Just like any assembly line you are going to have workers that do care about what they are doing. At the same time, the next employee may be more focused on something completely different rather than the task at hand. Assembly line work is very repetitive and can have affect on their focus. If your set comes from the back room in a sealed box you do not have a fit set. They have not taken the time or effort to do any form of quality control above the assembly plant level. Who checked it against your fit specifications let alone the factories specifications?
Custom Golf Clubs – Are they worth it?
Absolutely, as they are customized to fit that one individual. Now I’m not going to say that all Custom Golf Clubs are built to the same level of quality control. Some do not take the time to go through all the important details. You do need to do your homework and pick a shop that is focused on the fit and the quality of the build. How detailed are these shops and what is their tolerance level? That is truly dependent on the individual builder and how focused they are on quality. How good of a product do they want to be known for.
There are a great number of Custom golf club builders that do focus on the quality of their build. A quality build first needs to first start with a quality fit. Are they using just 7 irons, perhaps with only a few lengths or flexes to test? Are they paying attention to the loft and the lie, and of course the length of the clubs?
About Dan Connelly
Personally I took the time to be as well trained as anybody in the business. Certifications with the GCA by writing their 394 question exam for the Advanced / Professional status. Assembled golf clubs were submitted for the PCS Class ‘A’ certification. Trained personally with Ralph Maltby during for the ‘Masters’ Certification at his facility in Ohio. Certified additional clubmakers with the the AGCP as an instructor at their ‘Round Table’ event in Georgia.
Then took Custom golf club fitting and Custom golf club assembly to the next level. By developing the True Length Technology® Fitting System, which has been awarded the ‘Best New Fitting Idea’ by the AGCP. The current build methodology used by the industry is not mathematically sound.
‘I always found my long irons too long and my short irons too short.’ True Length Technology® has taken care of this as the entire system is math modeled and verified on CAD.
Now every person on the planet has an opportunity to stand athletic regardless of their size or stature. The math model is designed to fit everyone. From a giant of a man to the smallest child, every club has the correct length and lie fitting you and you alone. Custom Golf Clubs at their finest.
True Frequency Technology® raw shaft profiling system. It performs the frequency in 5″ intervals down the length of every shaft. By covering up to 75% of every golf shaft, the program sorts shafts from weakest to stiffest. Advantage – to further tighten the overall tolerances of every set. So now a set of Custom Golf Clubs can be tailored to the individual through every aspect of the build.
Dan Connelly of Dan’s Custom Golf Shop now has over 200 Club Maker’s in 18 Countries following his methodology. A number of my students are now listed on the Golf Digest ‘Top 100 Golf Club Fitter’s list’. I do encourage you to seek out a Professional True Length Technology® Fitter for all you Custom golf club needs. Start truly enjoying the game we love by eliminating all the unwanted compensations we are forced to make trough ill fit golf clubs.
So Custom Fit Golf Clubs – Are they worth it? If you get a set built to the True Length Technology® math model you will be able to answer this on your own as you will be experiencing the best fit of your life.
Dan Connelly is the owner of Dan’s Custom Golf Shop in Hampton, ON., and is the developer of both True Length Technology® and True Length Technology®.
Custom Golf Clubs are they worth it