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. At least mine are. 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 boxed set of golf clubs, you are simply receiving factory assembled set of golf clubs. Yes they do look slick and seem to have great designs. But it’s what is behind the shine that always has me concerned. I spent most of my career as a precision inspector in the automotive industry and have seen some less than stellar products passed off as quality. Golf OEM assembly lines and the foundries and factories they come from are no different. Their definition of a quality product and mine are quite different. I work to extremely tight tolerances verses their liberal 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 my Custom Golf Shop will accept. A box of 100 shafts could easily have a full flex differential between any 2 shafts. If these 2 shafts got assembled as your 5 and 6 irons, they will not feel, nor perform the same.
Factory golf clubs have shafts chosen randomly during the assembly process, without any thought of orientation. Any competent Custom Golf Clubmaker knows that not all shafts exhibit the same osculation properties or frequencies. My build procedure aligns all the shafts into what is considered a proper FLO orientation. By clamping the raw shaft with a weight on the opposite end, proper FLO can be established and marked. This FLO position allows the shaft to osculate consistently, without wobble.
Is the chosen frequency correct for you? The shaft profile, and what happens down the length of the shaft is the key to gaining consistency. With a boxed set butt frequencies are not that consistent. OEM’s typically do not even build to frequency period, let alone what happens down the length of these shafts. A Professional Clubmaker will sort shafts by profile (down the length of the shaft) rather than simple butt frequency.
Dan’s Custom Golf Shop uses True Frequency Technology, a raw shaft profiled frequency program also developed by Dan Connelly. Designed to sort the raw shafts by profile for overall consistency. Knowing the profile rather than butt frequency will promote an overall consistency in the build.
How does the True Frequency Technology® raw shaft profiling system work? By measuring the frequency in 5″ intervals down the length of every shaft, overall profiles can be obtained. 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 shaft.
Iron heads from the foundry are checked against what are deemed to be acceptable factory tolerances. You may get one head that is 1* flat and another that is 1* upright. Both are acceptable from the foundry, but unacceptable for my Custom Golf Shop. There will be directional issues due to these incorrect lie angles. The ball flight will not be consistent between these 2 clubs. Each club will exhibit an opposite side axis spin, one rotating to the right, the other rotating to the left.
The same scenario applies to the loft. Typical sets may be designed with 3* 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 loft differential or about 2 -3 yards in total carry.
Just like any assembly line you are going to have workers that care about what the quality. At the same time, the next employee may be more focused on something completely different than the task at hand. Assembly line work is very repetitive and can have an adverse affect on their focus.
When purchasing a set, if it comes from the back room in a sealed box, you do not have a fit set! They have not taken the time nor effort to do any form of quality control above the assembly plant level. Who checked this set against your personal fit specifications let alone the less than desired 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 shops build to the same level of quality control. Some do not go through all the important details. Do your homework and pick a shop that is focused on the fit and the quality of the build.
How detail oriented are these individual shops and what is their acceptable 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?
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 all clubs?
About Dan Connelly
Personally I took the time to study the current state of custom fitting.
Certifications with the Golf Clubmaker’s Association by writing their 394 question exam, obtaining the Advanced / Professional status.
Blueprinted golf clubs and certification testing for the PCS Class ‘A’ certification.
Trained personally with Ralph Maltby during the ‘Masters’ Certification class at his facility in Ohio.
The next level of Custom golf club fitting
The True Length Technology® Fitting System will stabilized the address position of every player, with every club. No more squatting with short irons nor standing too tall with long irons.
True Length Technology was Awarded the ‘Best New Fitting Idea’ by the AGCP.
I personally certified 36 Professional clubmakers at the True Length Technology class, hosted by the Association of Golf Clubfitting Professionals ‘Round Table’ event in Georgia.
Current build methodologies used by the industry are 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 orientation, fitting you and you alone. Custom Golf Clubs at their finest.
Dan Connelly of Dan’s Custom Golf Shop now has over 200 Club Maker’s in 18 Countries following his methodology. A number of these 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 your 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? By having a set built to the True Length Technology® math model you will be able to answer this on your own. You will be experiencing the best fit and playing the best golf 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