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Poor Man’s Fitting: Optimal Self-Fitting for Used Clubs


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I’ve been thinking about this for a while now as someone who has tried to keep within a budget while building my bag. When you are getting fit for clubs, there seems to be “Perfect Numbers” for each club. MyGolfSpy has created a perfect fitting table for Drivers based on your swing speed that includes Backspin, Launch Angle, and Carry for Drivers Ball Speeds of 100, 140, and 180 MPH. They explained the Iron Fitting process in a two-part series with less parameters and more of an explanation of the process and feedback for what to look out for.

Here’s my plight, though: I buy almost exclusively used clubs. I do have access to hit those clubs at my local golf shop with a GC2. They just don’t fit you for the used clubs, so you have to come to your own conclusions while hitting a lot of different used clubs/sets.

For my Driver, the MGS article was great. I had 12 Taylormade Sim Drivers to test with different shafts and flexes. With 115 mph swing speed, high spin, and a very high flight, I landed on an 8* with an Aldila Rogue Silver shaft. This brought my launch to right around 15*, my spin right around 2,000, and carry around 297. When my groupings were within 10 yards of the fairway when I over drew it, it was an easy buy for me.

Irons are a different story. There is no perfect graph for me to compare numbers on. I can hit relatively any 7 iron (around 35* loft) around 175-180. Am I trying to cut or draw the ball? No, I play my slight draw to hook every single strike. Consistency is super important. Here’s my struggle with iron fittings though, I play the lie angle 2* flat. So where do I go in my self-fitting journey when we know I won’t be able to have them adjust the lie without paying for it? Answer: Sadly, it’s guess work. I do bring a dry erase marker, draw a line on the ball, and see if the massive draw I’m getting is because the club is too upright. But that makes it hard to make a decision when swinging the used clubs.

If you’re in the same boat as me with the budget to buy mostly used clubs, what do you do to self fit yourself for an Iron fitting? Again, the difference between a used set of Irons and a new set is $300-$700 vs. $1,400 respectively.

Let me know your thoughts!

 

My set of used clubs:

9FB14220-1A9F-4E0D-A142-B6F44C222BAD_1_105_c.jpeg.f06ba7dd3ef8cb69e870ff925d9415a3.jpeg

 

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Driver: Sim 8* turned down to 6* X-Stiff Aldila Rogue Silver 110

3 Wood: Sim 14* X-Stiff Aldila Rogue Silver

2 Hybrid/2 Iron: 2019 Apex/2019 P790 both X-Stiff

4 thru 6: P790 Stiff 2* flat -  7 thru AW: P770 X-Stiff 2* flat 

Wedges: Cleveland RDX 56*

My Putter: Hates Me (Cleveland Huntington Beach Soft 4 Putter)

8.2 Handicapped Right Hander from Salt Lake City, Utah

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I know this is not addressing what you really want but, this is what I do and it takes planning and patience. Let's say I want new irons. I go test out the current models that I am interested in. Usually go to a PGA Superstore or something of that nature. Once I find something I like and the numbers look good, I store that information in the back of my mind. Then I wait a year or sometimes two until the new model releases come out and then purchase the set I liked left over new or mint condition used.  I just wait for the price drop.  But you need to plan in advance then you have to hit up all the online stores to find what you were interested in. I have done this for years and have always saved at least 50% off the new release price. But be smart find at least two models that give you good results just in case you can't find your first choice.    

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:ping-small: Driver, G400 11* SR Flex

:taylormade-small: 3 Wood, SLDR  HL 17*  R Flex

:taylormade-small: 5 Wood, SLDR 19* R Flex

:cobra-small: 7 Wood, F6 22.5* R Flex

:Sub70: Irons, 699 Pro's S Flex (5 - AW)

:Sub70:  JB Wedge 56*

:cleveland-small: Wedge, CBX 60*

:odyssey-small: Putter, Marksman Fang 35"

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I definitely will utilize the PGA Superstore in Salt Lake. It's really nice because they typically don't charge for letting you swing the newest clubs.

The only issue I have apart from the lie angle is that my swing changes so much that if I hit a club two years ago and wait for the price to come down, my traj, swing path, and spin could be completely different than when I self-fit two years back hah!

Driver: Sim 8* turned down to 6* X-Stiff Aldila Rogue Silver 110

3 Wood: Sim 14* X-Stiff Aldila Rogue Silver

2 Hybrid/2 Iron: 2019 Apex/2019 P790 both X-Stiff

4 thru 6: P790 Stiff 2* flat -  7 thru AW: P770 X-Stiff 2* flat 

Wedges: Cleveland RDX 56*

My Putter: Hates Me (Cleveland Huntington Beach Soft 4 Putter)

8.2 Handicapped Right Hander from Salt Lake City, Utah

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I guess the closest guesstimate would be hitting the actual offerings, remember the shafts (which usually don't change much for irons) and find used sets with those shafts.

The same shaft will obviously have varied results in different heads, but at least you are not starting the guesswork from scratch and can take out a variable.

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:cobra-small: SpeedZone 9* w/ Aldila Rogue Silver 60 S
:callaway-small: X2 Hot 3 Deep 14.5* w/ Aldila Tour Green 75 S
:taylormade-small: JetSpeed 5W 19* w/ Matrix Velox T 69 S OR :adams-small: Super LS 3H 19* w/ Kuro Kage Black 80 S
:mizuno-small: JPX919 Forged 4-PW w/ Modus3 105 S
:titelist-small: Vokey SM7 50/08F, 54/14F & 58/08M w/ Modus3 115 Wedge
:EVNROLL: ER1 34" w/ SuperStroke Fatso 2.0
MfleKCg.jpg Pro / 9dZCgaF.jpgH2NO Lite Cart Bag / :Clicgear: 3.0 / :918457628_PrecisionPro: NX7 Pro LRF

My reviews: MLA Putter // Titleist SM7 // PING i500 // PuttOUT

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Being an 8 handicap it shouldn't change that much. You obviously are pretty consistent being in the single digits. Especially if "your putter hates you" as written in your signature. 🤣 

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:ping-small: Driver, G400 11* SR Flex

:taylormade-small: 3 Wood, SLDR  HL 17*  R Flex

:taylormade-small: 5 Wood, SLDR 19* R Flex

:cobra-small: 7 Wood, F6 22.5* R Flex

:Sub70: Irons, 699 Pro's S Flex (5 - AW)

:Sub70:  JB Wedge 56*

:cleveland-small: Wedge, CBX 60*

:odyssey-small: Putter, Marksman Fang 35"

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Sounds like you need to make friends with the guys in the shop and see if they can bend a few for you to try out! Getting used clubs can be a lot of guesswork and for me when I got my Ping ie1 irons they were in shafts I liked, grips were good, but were way way upright or flat (honestly cant remember) did a quick few hits with the fitter and we sent them off to ping to get adjusted. From there when I needed changes later one we did them in shop. Eventually went from 2 upright to standard and now to 2 flat as my big left miss faded away (I'm a lefty).

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 ⛳🛄 as of Sept 24, 2020

SuperSpeed 2020 from 100-112 and climbing!

Driver:   :callaway-small: Epic Sub Zero - Set at 10* with Aldila Rogue Max 65 gram 

Wood:    :cobra-small: F7 3 wood 14.5* w/ weight back

               :ping-small: G410 Crossover - 2 and 4 iron

Irons:     :ping-small: i210 5-U w/ Nippon Modus 105 stiff (2018 Tester)

Wedge:  :ping-small: Glide 2.0 54* 58* w/ Nippon Modus 105 Stiff

Putter:   :odyssey-small: Stroke Lab 7 35* and oversized grip (2019 Tester)

Balls:      :srixon-small: Z Star

Other:     :Arccos: 360 (Caddie)

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2 minutes ago, Tom the Golf Nut said:

Being an 8 handicap it shouldn't change that much. You obviously are pretty consistent being in the single digits. Especially if "your putter hates you" as written in your signature. 🤣 

I definitely agree, my golf game is probably changing significantly less that it used to. My lessons this past year and earlier this year have increased my launch angle substantially. 

With regard to the putter, lessons or not, that part of my game is a disaster. The highs are very high and the lows are brutal. On a recent golf trip, I went from sinking everything within 20 feet to not hitting a single 6 footer for par the next morning. Some days a mallet is perfect, the next day I have to go with a blade to not pull everything left!

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Driver: Sim 8* turned down to 6* X-Stiff Aldila Rogue Silver 110

3 Wood: Sim 14* X-Stiff Aldila Rogue Silver

2 Hybrid/2 Iron: 2019 Apex/2019 P790 both X-Stiff

4 thru 6: P790 Stiff 2* flat -  7 thru AW: P770 X-Stiff 2* flat 

Wedges: Cleveland RDX 56*

My Putter: Hates Me (Cleveland Huntington Beach Soft 4 Putter)

8.2 Handicapped Right Hander from Salt Lake City, Utah

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18 hours ago, thechrisgibbs said:

I definitely agree, my golf game is probably changing significantly less that it used to. My lessons this past year and earlier this year have increased my launch angle substantially. 

With regard to the putter, lessons or not, that part of my game is a disaster. The highs are very high and the lows are brutal. On a recent golf trip, I went from sinking everything within 20 feet to not hitting a single 6 footer for par the next morning. Some days a mallet is perfect, the next day I have to go with a blade to not pull everything left!

So here’s a thought - as you’ve written you can hit almost any 7 iron 175-180.  You’re probably going to stay stable with your long game.  Invest your money in your putter - go get fit for that - perhaps it’s an easy fix there. 

 

A number of years ago I had a full bag fitting.  I essentially ended up with a new set of clubs for $300 - it was my set tweaked, bent, spun here and there - the one tangible result I got from all of that was putter - my average putts per round drop nearly a stroke and a half a round and so did my handicap index from around 3 to 1.2.  Shortened the shaft, changed the grip and lie of the thing, a little back weighting - same putter that I got from the bargain basket at Edwin Watts, same guy 1.5 fewer putts per round.

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Taylor Made Sim2  10.5 (Opened 1 click) Ventus Blue 5  R flex

Ping G410 5-9 wood  Alta 65 R flex

Wilson D7 forged 6-GW -  Mamiya recoil 460 R flex

Edison Wedges 54 and 59 KBS Tour Graphite 80's

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

Tour Exotics 3 wood is in the bag because we are allowed 14 clubs.  It's a great club for pulling balls out of the water or from bushes - you never want to put your hand into anything in Florida unless you are absolutely certain that it's safe.  There are rare wind conditions when I might hit it off the tee on a few holes that I play.  

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in the past, I have always purchased used clubs.  My approach is to hit them on the simulator and  see how I like them.  At your level of golf I think unless the club is a terrible fit you can find a club that will work well.  Lie angles can be adjusted.  Additionally, With used clubs you can hit every club and check the gapping before you purchase.  Basically this approach works, it just takes a bit more knowledge and time.  
 

 

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Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* w/ KBS Tour Driven
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:  Bellum Winmore 787

Backups:  :bobby-grace-1: 6330, :taylormade-small:TM-180

 

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

 

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3 hours ago, cnosil said:

in the past, I have always purchased used clubs.  My approach is to hit them on the simulator and  see how I like them.  At your level of golf I think unless the club is a terrible fit you can find a club that will work well.  Lie angles can be adjusted.  Additionally, With used clubs you can hit every club and check the gapping before you purchase.  Basically this approach works, it just takes a bit more knowledge and time.  
 

 

That is a huge benefit of buying used clubs at a local place that lets you hit all of them. From my understanding, after you buy clubs after a long fitting process, you should go back in to make sure all the lofts are giving you the best gapping. When you get to hit them all before you buy them, it makes it a lot easier to understand your gapping before you buy.

Driver: Sim 8* turned down to 6* X-Stiff Aldila Rogue Silver 110

3 Wood: Sim 14* X-Stiff Aldila Rogue Silver

2 Hybrid/2 Iron: 2019 Apex/2019 P790 both X-Stiff

4 thru 6: P790 Stiff 2* flat -  7 thru AW: P770 X-Stiff 2* flat 

Wedges: Cleveland RDX 56*

My Putter: Hates Me (Cleveland Huntington Beach Soft 4 Putter)

8.2 Handicapped Right Hander from Salt Lake City, Utah

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4 hours ago, revkev said:

So here’s a thought - as you’ve written you can hit almost any 7 iron 175-180.  You’re probably going to stay stable with your long game.  Invest your money in your putter - go get fit for that - perhaps it’s an easy fix there. 

 

A number of years ago I had a full bag fitting.  I essentially ended up with a new set of clubs for $300 - it was my set tweaked, bent, spun here and there - the one tangible result I got from all of that was putter - my average putts per round drop nearly a stroke and a half a round and so did my handicap index from around 3 to 1.2.  Shortened the shaft, changed the grip and lie of the thing, a little back weighting - same putter that I got from the bargain basket at Edwin Watts, same guy 1.5 fewer putts per round.

My Birthday is coming up and with my putting stroke something I've been working on a lot, I'm going to get fit by a pro for the putter! I've gotta get out of the habit of switching putters every other round when I can't seem to sink 6 footers. I'm not completely unaware that it's not the putter, it's me haha!

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Driver: Sim 8* turned down to 6* X-Stiff Aldila Rogue Silver 110

3 Wood: Sim 14* X-Stiff Aldila Rogue Silver

2 Hybrid/2 Iron: 2019 Apex/2019 P790 both X-Stiff

4 thru 6: P790 Stiff 2* flat -  7 thru AW: P770 X-Stiff 2* flat 

Wedges: Cleveland RDX 56*

My Putter: Hates Me (Cleveland Huntington Beach Soft 4 Putter)

8.2 Handicapped Right Hander from Salt Lake City, Utah

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I had my used set of irons adjusted at my local muni for 4$ a club. I put tape on the sole of each club and hit a foam ball off of a piece of plywood. The mark on the tape will tell you if the club is upright,  ok, or flat for you. You can leave the tape on the sole and the fitter should be able to tell you how much each iron needs to be adjusted based on where the Marks are. I asked him to check to ensure that the lofts were per company specs and that the lies needed to be 2 deg flat. I hope I understood your question correctly.  

Ken

Shot 72 once.

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