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I've bought (and sold) a lot of golf equipment. I pick up stuff just to try it, so long as I can make my money back (and then some) by breaking it down or flipping the it on eBay. I have a small eBay business and have probably bought and sold 50 iron sets and a few hundred individual clubs/graphite shafts in the last few years (if you think I'm full of it stalk my eBay seller's page)! I also have a skytrak in my garage. I'm saying all of this for context for the claim I'm about to make:

I do not think it is not realistic to try to "Fit Yourself" - no matter how knowledgeable you are, you won't realistically have enough data, or equipment options to get it quite right.

I have a friend who is just starting to take golf "seriously" and I was thinking about all this and what advice I would give him on the equipment side, with everything I know today, and this is what I think it would be:

  1. Take a few lessons, spend your money here first, then ask the coach if your swing is repeatable enough to benefit from a fitting
  2. IF SO - go do a full bag fitting at a top 100 fitter, there is a place near me that does them for $250, write down every detail of the fitting
  3. Be patient and pick up what you need at your leisure on eBay, from pro clubs, rock bottom, etc. Buy exactly what you were fit for (including the shaft/grip).
  4. OPTIONAL - If you are feeling thrifty; buy heads and shafts separate, or buy senior and lady shafts in the head you want (cheaper) and flip the bogus shafts, or buy the club you want with a premium shaft and flip that shaft, etc. Being scrappy with how you buy, and doing your own bending, grips, shaft installs, etc is what I call the "fleabay" approach below.

Here's the cost breakdown for buying new after a fitting (RETAIL), buying slightly used/new not in box clubs (eBay) and being a scrappy mofo (Fleabay):

975587575_ScreenShot2020-07-22at1_48_29PM.png.1bb52ce48a6a00a14c92872b25d3f062.png

You can save about $900 on a full bag of gear from the 1-2 most recent release cycles if you are patient and scrappy.

BUT - what if $1,700 is STILL too much to spend on new sticks?

My advice is find the part of your bag that you struggle with the most, and prioritize a fitting for just that part of the bag. Just note, if you are only going to address 1 section of the bag (driver for example), the discount most fitters give you for retail, might offset any benefit of going to eBay for that individual club (unless you are fit into an upgrade shaft, can catch a crazy deal, or are willing to be scrappy about it).

You CAN get fit for, and buy a whole bag of used gear (older than 1-2 most recent release cycles) from a company like second swing, and could probably get a whole bag of gear and the fitting for under $1,000 - but not everyone has access to a second swing location, and there is (from what I hear) a very real difference between the quality of fitters, and fitting options going this route as opposed to going to a top 100 fitter for a trackman fitting on the latest and greatest gear.

You CAN try to "fit yourself" with all used equipment, and save even more money. I think a lot of people start here, especially if saving money is more important than the performance of their gear. Just don't expect to get the most out of your gear, or your game by scrounging through buckets of whooped clubs at play it again sports. I've been there, done that, and cycled through more quality equipment than most people will get their hands on - it doesn't work, and at some point in your game it will hold you back.

Lastly, you CAN also try to "fit yourself" with all new equipment at retail by hitting into a sim at golf galaxy, this is, in my opinion, the most expensive way to buy clubs that don't work for you.

Do you need to get fit for the whole bag every year?

NO! Just my opinion here, but unless you are an elite golfer or working through some big swing changes, the benefit you get from being fit from one year to the next will be marginal at best, and not worth the cost no matter how you buy the equipment. The flip side of the coin is, if you have NEVER been fit for anything in your bag, and your game is stable, you are leaving some strokes out there.

 

My thinking has evolved on this in the last few years - I'm curious to hear other's thoughts on this!

 

“He’s a Cinderella story. A former assistant groundskeeper about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac… It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole!” — Carl Spackler

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I ma probably in a little different situation than most with the equipment that I have access to.   Being one of the most wanted testers,  I have access (pre COVID and now just a bit more limited) to all the equipment that is sent in for testing as well as a GC Quad.  This allows me to compare equipment and ensure my gapping is correct.  I believe I am capable of fitting myself but not the way the real manufacturer agnostic companies can since I can't swap shafts as easily especially in irons.  That said,  I can probably fit myself through an entire bag as a DIY .

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Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* with UST Proforce V2
Fairway: :titelist-small: TS3 15* set  to 16.5* w/Project X Hzardous Smoke
Hybrids:  :titelist-small: 816H1 19* set at 18* w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
                :titelist-small: 915H  21*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
               :titelist-small: 915H 24*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
Irons:      :honma:TR20V 6-11 w/Vizard TR20-85 Graphite
Wedge:  :cleveland-small: 588 54-14, 58-12
Putter:  :odyssey-small: Ten S      Backups:  :bobby-grace-1: 6330,   :EVNROLL: ER2.2,  

 

Member:  MGS Hitsquad since 2017697979773_DSCN2368(Custom).JPG.a1a25f5e430d9eebae93c5d652cbd4b9.JPG

 

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