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DEEP DIVE | Answering All Your Questions About Custom Fitting

July 13, 2020
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As we launch our new Custom Fitting page on TaylorMadeGolf.com, we wanted to provide you with a deep dive into the world of fitting and custom builds. Below we answer a series of in-depth questions that were fielded from golfers just like you.

We hope this resource helps you better understand the world of custom fitting. However, you’re always welcome to reach out to our customer service team with additional questions and we’ll do our best to answer any inquiries you may have.

GENERAL FITTING QUESTIONS

Why should I get custom fit?

Your swing is like a fingerprint. No two are alike. Through the custom fitting processes, you can discover the ideal club specification for your exact swing, which in turn allows you to unlock your full potential and maximize performance. Lastly, custom fitting lets you assess your current equipment. We often discover that your current clubs hinder your swing more than compliment it.

Is custom fitting for all skill levels of golfer?

No matter how good you are, custom fitting can make you better. Golfers of all skill levels can benefit from it. There’s a repetitive element to virtually every golf swing. The fitting process allows us to discover those repetitive motions and subscribe equipment that works along with the consistencies of your swing.

What can I expect from a TaylorMade Custom Fitting?

Our fittings are designed to give you a high level of trust in your equipment and deliver a club that’s optimized for your swing. Beyond trusting the club, it's also about trusting the fitter and being confident that we’re giving you the most accurate information. Our fitters consider everything, including height, physical stature and/or limitations as well as swing dynamics. We take into account what ball flight you want to achieve. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, you will know the golf club is actually aiding your game and that we take your performance personally.

Our ultimate goal is for you to leave educated, inspired and more excited to play golf than you were yesterday.

What technology is used during a TaylorMade fitting?

We use advanced launch monitor technology such as TrackMan® and GCQuads to track key data points such as launch, spin and distance. Our state-of-the-art fitting carts allow us to quickly change shafts and clubheads in order to identify the best combination for your swing. The myFittingExp app allows players to book fitting appointments online as well as review all shot, swing, and club data captured during the fitting process.

What elements of the club can I personalize through a TaylorMade fitting?

You can personalize your custom clubs by altering:

  1. Head: Loft, lie, weight settings
  2. Shaft: Length, flex, profile, tipping
  3. Grip: Texture, color, size

The range of specifications can differ from product to product based on club designs, the raw shaft length and grip design.

Can I personalize the look of my clubs?

Currently, the My program highlighted on our Custom page offers MySpider X, MySpider Tour, MyMG2 and MyHi-Toe. This allows you to personalize a number of features such as color, stamping, loft, lie and more.

Is it safe to get custom fit during COVID-19?

Rest assured that your safety, that of our team and the golfing community at-large is our No. 1 priority. Following the recommendations of public health officials and government agencies, all TaylorMade fitting experiences will adhere to the latest policies and procedures set by local, county, state and federal guidelines until further notice.

Click here to review our complete health and safety protocols.

Where can I go to get a TaylorMade fitting?

You can visit www.my.taylormadegolf.com to locate a fitting event or certified TaylorMade fitting location near you.

EQUIPMENT SPECIFIC FITTING QUESTIONS

DRIVERS

How do I get more distance from a driver?

There are three keys to more driver distance. Our expert fitters will focus on optimizing these areas during your fitting:

  1. Clubhead Speed: This boils down to how fast the club is swung. Different head designs and shaft (lengths, weights and profiles) combinations will influence the result. We match these elements to your unique swing profile to aid in maximizing your clubhead speed.
  2. Ball Speed: This is the speed at which the golf ball leaves the face of the club. Factors that influence ball speed include newer technology, strike location on the face, optimal head design and shaft characteristics.
  3. Launch Conditions: There is an ideal launch angle and back spin rate needed to maximize distance for every golf swing. It is not uniform from one golfer to the next, but can be achieved via the proper head design, loft and shaft.

How do I know which driver model is best for me?

Each driver in the SIM family offers unparalleled forgiveness and distance, while maintaining slight variances that make them better fits for certain types of players. Ultimately, the proper determination can only be made via custom fitting.

However, here is a quick breakdown of each driver and the performance benefits offered:

SIM - This is the lowest spinning of three drivers and offers Movable Weight Technology to aid with shot shaping and corrective ball flight.

SIM Max – Delivers maximum forgiveness with a neutral ball flight and a slightly higher spin rate than SIM.

SIM Max•D – With the largest face of the trio, this club delivers maximum forgiveness with a draw bias for golfers who wish to remove the right side of the course. Each of the drivers have Speed Injected Twist Face for ball speeds that are pushed to the limits and corrective face curvature.

How do I know what loft I need on my driver?

Loft has the biggest impact on launch conditions, mainly affecting launch angle and spin rate. Generally speaking, more loft will increase both launch and spin, while lowering loft will have the opposite effect.

When it comes to maximizing your distance, launch conditions are pivotal. For many players, high launch + low spin = more distance. However, there are instances where increased spin is to the benefit of the player (for players that are launching too low with too little spin or those with moderate swing speeds, where spin helps keep the ball airborne). Custom fitting is the best way to determine the launch conditions that match your swing.

What does the loft sleeve do?

The loft sleeve gives you the ability to change the loft of the club to aid with launch conditions. You can impact loft by +/- 2° using our FCT loft sleeve.

Be aware that changing the loft also changes the face angle (up to 4° open/close). This can aid with shot shape and the look at address. Lowering the loft opens the face and vice versa.

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FAIRWAY WOODS

What is the difference between the fairway models you offer, how do I know which one to pick?

Similar to the driver, each SIM fairway wood is easy to launch with a premium placed on distance and forgiveness. There are three different models:

SIM – Is the only one of the three that offers a titanium face. It’s constructed from a new ZATECH titanium material that allows the face to be thinner while maintaining structural integrity. It provides the lowest spin and has the loft sleeve to change loft and face angle, as well as a heavy 80g V Steel sole plate (heaviest of the three) to lower CG and improve turf interaction.

SIM Max – Delivering a high launch with a neutral ball flight, SIM Max utilizes a fact C300 steel face for incredible ball speeds and strength. A reengineered V Steel sole helps to improve turf interaction.

SIM Max•D – Delivers a high launch with a draw biased design (achieved by adding more weight heelward), the SIM Max•D fairway also relies on a C300 steel face and V Steel sole.

HYBRID

How do I know if I need a Rescue/hybrid or long iron?

A fitter may recommend a Rescue™ over a long iron based on distance needs, consistency, height (launch conditions) and control. Your personal preference will also be considered. Are you a golfer that prefers the look of an iron at address, but still needs a little help? In this case, the fitter may even recommend a utility club/driving iron. There are multiple directions a fitter can go to find the right club for the upper end of your bag.

IRONS

How do I know what the best iron model is for me?

What are you looking for from an iron? Is it performance, playability or craftsmanship/aesthetics.

If it’s the latter, where playability and shot making are at a premium, you’ll lean towards the P•7TW, P•7MB or P•7MC.

If you need distance and maximum forgiveness, explore SIM Max and SIM Max OS. Somewhere in between (which is where most golfers fall), P•790 delivers a combination of distance, workability and premium performance.

Ultimately, getting fit will determine the best match for your game.

What is the effect of changing lie angle?

By definition, lie angle is the angle from the center of the shaft to the sole of the iron. In addition to influencing ball flight, it can affect strike location on the face of the iron and how the iron interacts with the turf.

Conversely, an incorrect lie angle can negatively impact the ball flight. If the angle is too upright, it can create draw/hook tendencies. Whereas an angle that’s too flat can produce fade/slice tendencies.

What is the correct lie angle for me?

A custom fitting is the best way to determine the proper lie angle for your irons. However, there is a quick way that you test it out on your own. Get a black marker and draw a straight line on your golf ball. Place the ball on the ground with the line vertically facing your club. When you hit the ball, the line will leave a mark on your face (don’t worry, it washes off), which will tell you what type of lie angle you need (flat or upright). See the illustration below as an example.

Screen Shot 2020 07 17 at 4 05 19 PM

Can I change the loft of my irons and how do I know what I need?

Changing the loft on your irons would require a visit to your local golf shop or club fitter. Irons can safely be bent +/-2° to influence loft. You should consider changing the loft of your irons if you needed to heighten or lower your flight for either more distance or more control into the green.

WEDGES

What is bounce and how do I know what I need?

Bounce is the angle created between the leading edge of a wedge and the lowest point of the sole, or the trailing edge. Simply put, it is the area of the club that comes into contact the turf. Several factors go into determining the proper bounce including swing style and course conditions.

Steeper swings, larger divots, softer conditions = Higher Bounce

Shallow swings, smaller divots, firmer conditions = Lower Bounce

Should I get the same lie angle in my wedges as I do in my irons?

Lie angle is equally as important on wedges as it is with irons. While the lie angle can be the same for wedges as it is for irons, sometimes wedge lie angles differ depending on how the wedge is used. For example, with higher lofted wedges that are often used with an open face to hit a variety of shots and trajectories, we typically see wedges that are 1-2° flatter than the iron set to promote that versatility.

How do I know what lofts I need in my wedges?

Wedge lofts are selected based on distance gapping. In general, golfers will carry 3-4 wedges (including PW) with a loft separation of 4-6° between each wedge. Knowing your PW loft is the first step to determining loft for your additional wedges.

Your loft configuration can also vary based on the type of shots you prefer to play. You may need a high lofted wedge (60° or above) if you play a lot of high lob shots around the greens or from the bunker.

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PUTTER

How do I select the right putter model for me?

Identify the areas of putting you need the most help with. Is it distance control, directional control or both?

Higher MOI putters, like Spider X and Spider S, offer all-around performance in both categories. They also provide a high level of forgiveness (MOI), and selecting the right hosel option can help with directional and alignment issues.

You also need to match toe hang with your putting style. This can be determined in a fitting, but as a general rule of the thumb, the more arc you have on your stroke the more you’ll benefit from toe hang. Straight-back-straight-through putting strokes often benefit from face balanced models.

If I struggle with distance control, what is the best putter model for me?

If this is the case, most fitters will recommend a higher MOI putter – such as Spider X or Spider S. The Pure Roll insert will help the ball roll more efficiently and the correct loft will help improve distance control.

If I tend to miss putts to the right or left, what putter is best suited for me?

If you tend to pull putts (miss left), try a putter that has more toe hang and/or a putter with a back center of gravity. If you tend to push putts the recommendation would be to try a putter that is more face balanced and/or a putter with a forward center of gravity.

How do I know what length of putter I need?

Putter length is a personal preference. The correct length will fit naturally into your stance as you address the ball.

SHAFTS/GRIPS

What is the right shaft for me?

Finding the correct shaft requires a mixture of performance, preference and need.

As a rule of thumb, firmer and heavier shafts can promote lower ball flights and have a fade tendency, while softer and lighter shafts can promote a higher flight with draw tendencies. However, shafts influence everything from distance to accuracy and control. Finding the right one requires having the correct length, flex, weight and bend profile.

Furthermore, finding your ideal shaft also depends on personal preference. Does the shaft consistently create the ball flight you desire? How does it feel to you? These are things that can’t be overlooked.

Refer to our Custom Booklet for our full line of shaft offerings.

Should I use the same model of shaft in my driver and fairway woods?

That is a good place to start. However, a different profile of shaft could be needed based on your individual performance needs. Measurements like trajectory and dispersion can be determined during a fitting.

In comparison, fairway wood shafts tend to be heavier than driver shafts. For example, if your driver is 60 grams, your fairway shaft may be 70 grams.

How do I determine if my clubs should be long, short or standard length?

It starts with how tall you are, but just because you are taller or shorter doesn’t mean you need a longer or shorter shaft, respectively. The correct shaft length enables you set up repetitively in your ideal posture at address.

Other factors to consider are the length are you currently playing and whether you have any physical limitations that would require a different length.

Should my hybrid shafts match my fairway woods or irons?

Similar to shafts in other products, it starts with identifying your individual performance and feel needs. A rule of thumb is the hybrid shaft weight should complement the rest of your set. Meaning that it’s heavier than your driver and fairway woods, but lighter than the iron shaft.

Do I get the same shaft in my wedges as I do in my irons?

We generally recommend that shafts in the higher lofted wedges are slightly heavier and softer than the shaft in the iron set. This helps to improve feel and spin. For example, if you play Dynamic Golf X100 in your irons, you might choose to play Dynamic Gold S300 in your wedges.

With hundreds of different shaft and head combinations, you're sure to discover the right fit for your game.
With hundreds of different shaft and head combinations, you're sure to discover the right fit for your game.

What does it mean to hard/soft step a shaft? Is it the same thing as tipping shafts?

This is a custom option that allows fitters to alter the flex of a shaft to obtain an in-between flex. While the process is different, both allow you to accomplish the same goal. Hard stepping and additional tipping of a shaft will make the club feel and play firmer than its standard profile (decreases flex). Soft stepping and reduced tipping of a shaft will make the club feel and play softer (increases flex). More details can be found in our Custom Booklet.

What is the difference between a parallel iron shaft and a taper iron shaft?

We use parallel iron shafts in our SIM Max and SIM Max OS irons, whereas we use taper shafts in P Series irons as well as Hi-Toe and Milled Grind 2 wedges. From a performance standpoint, there is no empirical evidence that suggests parallel shafts perform differently than taper shafts. However, Tour professionals and traditionalists generally prefer taper tip shafts because of their consistent weighting.

What is the right grip size for me?

The correct grip size is mainly about personal preference and what you’re used to feeling, although different grips can be recommended based on hand size (larger hands = larger grips). Ultimately, it’s what feels the most comfortable to you and provides the most control. Other variables like grip texture and color are purely preference.

What is the right golf ball for me?

Before selecting the correct golf ball, consider the pros and cons of your current ball. What’s missing from its performance? Is it distance, control, spin or feel? Once you’ve identified the performance characteristics that you most need, you can narrow down the selection.

Click here to view our full list of golf ball offerings.

What custom shafts and grips do you offer and where do I find them?

We offer a wide range of in-demand custom shafts and grips, allowing us to cater to a variety of golfers at every level of the game. A full listing of our custom shafts and grips can be seen in our Custom Booklet.

Why are SIM irons and P Series irons different lengths?

We offer two different lengths for iron sets. One is called progressive length and the other traditional length. Each is designed to offer the best performance for a given iron design. The progressive length is most commonly offered with our performance orientated iron designs. Traditional lengths are used in all players iron offerings, such as our P-700 Series irons. In this case, we use progressive length with SIM.

What’s the benefit of each? Progressive lengths offer improved distance and gapping, making them ideal for performance-centric iron heads like SIM. Traditional length lends itself to consistent control and feel – which is why we pair it with our players-centric P-700 Series.

P•Series irons deliver optimal performance using traditional shaft lengths, while SIM irons rely on progressive lengths for improved distance.
P•Series irons deliver optimal performance using traditional shaft lengths, while SIM irons rely on progressive lengths for improved distance.

BUILDING & ASSEMBLY

Did you recently change the length of your irons?

In late 2018, we changed the way we measure and list club length for our irons to match the preferred measurement system of the USGA. In the past, we measured overall club length using the "pin length" method. Now we use a method known as “ground plane.” It is the closest thing we have to an industry standard, with our goal being to simplify the club-length measurement process and improve build accuracy.

Ground Plane Measurement
Ground Plane Measurement

What is swing weight?

To put it simply, swing weight is how light or heavy a club feels when being swung. Generally speaking, each club has a target swing weight which ranges between D0-D5 for men and C2-C8 for women. Factors that influence swing weight are clubhead, shaft (length, weight and profile) and grip (material, size and wraps).

We currently do not allow golfers to customize swing weight and adhere to industry standards for each individual club. When you customize a club in the Custom Shop, we ensure the optimal swing weight based on the custom components of your club (shaft, head and grip).

We check swing weight on every club listed here: SIM drivers, SIM MAX/OS irons, all P•Series Irons, Hi-Toe Wedges, MG2 Wedges, TP Patina Putters, Spider putters and Truss putters.

What is the difference between a larger grip or adding wraps to the grip?

Grip size is a personal preference, although hand size can be a factor. When comparing grip size vs. adding wraps, a general rule is that 4x wraps of tape is the same as a midsize grip. Therefore, 2x wraps of tape can give you a grip that is in between standard and midsize. However, different grips can be affected differently.

Another thing to consider is that midsize grips can feel softer than a grip with 4x wraps because it has more material and isn't stretched as thin.

What is the difference between a .580 & .600 grip size?

The .580 and .600 refers to the measurement of the inner diameter of the grip. The difference is very slight and hard to feel. From a fitter’s perspective, putting a .580 grip on a .600 shaft (diameter) equates to adding a single wrap of tape.

Under normal circumstances, how long does it take to build a set of custom clubs?

Lead time is approximately 3-4 business days assuming that all components are in stock. This does not include the shipping/transit time. However, the unforeseen circumstances created by COVID-19 and the global pandemic have temporarily increased both lead time and shipping times.

What exactly is the Bullseye Machine and how does it work?

The Bullseye Machine is a proprietary tool that allows us to measure and adjust loft and lie within 1/100 of a degree.

The machine references the scorelines on the face of the iron to ensure precision. After which, the operator brings the shaft to a vertical position. Using advanced technology, the Bullseye determines the loft and lie angles of the club face relative to the vertical shaft. Bending the hosel changes the angle of the shaft, which the Bullseye measures using state-of-the-art optical technology, which results in tolerances within 1/100 of a degree.

The Bullseye Machine measures and adjusts loft and lie within 1/100 of a degree.
The Bullseye Machine measures and adjusts loft and lie within 1/100 of a degree.