Golf club fittings are becoming ever more popular in the world of golf.
As golf tech advancements have continued to march onwards and upwards the amateur golfing world has increasingly followed the example of the pros of getting a custom fit set of clubs that are precisely made and measured for their own body and swing.
But for those of us who have been used to getting our clubs off the shelf one of the main questions which is often asked is how long is all this custom fitting going to take?
As a general rule a golf club fitting should take between 45 minutes and 3.5 hours. Full bag fittings take the longest but ittings can also be done in club ‘groups’ such as ‘wood’ or ‘iron’ fittings and these take 1.5 to 2 hours. Individual club fittings take a minimum of 45 minutes and can take 1 to 1.5 hours.
How long a club fitting takes however is in reality simply a by-product of the process any reputable club fitter should take to custom fit any clubs, whether that be for an individual club or a full bag fitting.
There is a set process that any golf club fitter who knows what they are doing should follow and if they go through it that is going to determine the length of time any individual fitting takes and can’t really be shortcutted.
Further anyone interested in getting custom fit clubs should always remember to distinguish how long the club fitting itself should take compared to how long it may take for you to finally get your hands on your new custom fitted clubs!
[Note – If you are interested in how much a golf club fitting costs we’ve done a detailed analysis of this in another article which you can check out here.]
A Custom Golf Club Fitting is a Lot to Take In
The first key thing to remember when looking at how long a club fitting should take is that there are multiple types of club fitting.
You can for example choose to get every single one of your clubs custom fitted or alternatively you may only be looking to get a new driver or putter fitted in isolation and are happy with the remainder of your set.
Which clubs Which clubs and how many you are going to get fitted clearly impacts how long a club fitting should take and listed below are the main options and guidance range of times:
- Full Bag Fitting – 3 to 3.5 hours
- Driver Fitting – 1 to 1.5 hours
- Long Game Fitting (Driver, Woods, Hybrids) – 2 to 2.5 hours
- Wood Fitting (Driver, Woods) – 1.5 to 2 hours
- Fairway Wood Fitting – 1 to 1.5 hours
- Hybrid Fitting – 45 to 1.5 hours
- Iron Fitting – 1.5 to 2 hours
- Wedge Fitting – 1 to 1.5 hours
- Putter Fitting – 1 to 1.5 hours
The time it takes to get fitted for golf clubs will vary from one golfer to another principally for one of two reasons.
The first and most obvious reason relates to the number of clubs any individual player is getting fitted for.
For example if you carry 3 or 4 hybrids in your golf bag a ‘hybrid’ fitting is clearly going to take longer than for another player who only carries one or two.
On average a full bag fitting should take between 3 and 3.5 hours because you have 14 clubs to get through whereas if you are simply getting fitted for a driver only it should take typically between 1 and 1.5 hours.
However the second reason, and one that is often overlooked by those relatively new to custom club fitting, is the knowledge gap that often exists when you go and see a specialist fitter for the first time.
Because if you have not been for a custom fitting before you will have to get quickly used to a whole host of data and information about your shots that you are not used to.
Instead of thinking only about simple things like how far you have hit the ball and whether it was a slice or a hook you will now be bombarded every shot with data highlighting your club head speed, ball speed, smash factors, attach angles, dynamic lofts, launch angles and spin rates to name but a few.
And while a good quality specialist club fitter will ensure the key stats are presented to you in an understandable way it’s important to recognise that it can take some time to get used to both the new terminology and most importantly how it impacts your particular game.
It is all very well for example watching and trying to increase your club head speed on the stats because that’s what you have heard makes all the difference in getting some extra yards out of your driver but if that ends up meaning you are sending the ball 50 yards left consistently then focusing on that stat is clearly not helpful.
I will repeat that a good specialist custom club fitter will take time and use their experience to help you navigate through this data and information as you get started with club fitting but it’s vital to note that you are likely to suffer from information overload after your first club fitting.
I would therefore always recommend starting with a single club fitting, whether that be a driver or a hybrid, and take your time with the club fitter to get to understand the role ball speeds, launch angles, spin rates etc play with your particular swing.
What good ‘data numbers’ are for one player will not inevitably be the same for another.
So inevitably there will be a range of times as to how long a custom club fitting will take for different players but they should typically not be less than 45 minutes no matter how few clubs you are getting fitted for.
Also take your time when it comes to considering whether to rush straight to a full bag fitting or not.
A full bag fitting will involve you hitting a lot of golf balls and taking into a huge amount of data and information over the course of at least 3 to 3.5 hours.
A single club fitting still makes my head hurt a little afterwards – in a positive way I would add – but I would always be wary to rush to getting too many clubs fitted at once.
What Happens During a Club Fitting? That is What Matters!
The length of time a club fitting should take is in reality simply a by-product of the process that should happen during a club fitting.
And thinking about what you should look for in a club fitting is probably a better first question than immediately thinking how long it should take.
As a whole a custom golf club fitting should follow a 4 stage process – interview, static measurements, dynamic fitting using technology and a final recommendation. The specifics can vary from club to club such as the technology used but it is important you get the full process in any club fitting.
Getting through all these stages is not the work of a moment and as such you can quickly see why a custom club fitting with a reputable specialist club fitter can take an hour or two.
At the interview stage the fitter will be keen to know what your goal is. Do you want to hit the ball higher or lower for example or do you want to see if you can get some extra distance with a new driver?
And they will also use this time to get to know you as a golfer, how you best receive feedback, how your current clubs are performing and whether there are physical limitations they should know about that affect your ability to swing or play.
After that a specialist fitter will want to measure your height and wrist to floor distance as part of taking some static measurements to help them determine a starting point for length, lie angle and shaft of your clubs.
Only then will you get to the fun bit of the dynamic fitting using technology where the fitter will use a launch monitor and software to profile your swing and ball striking to enable them to best find the right specification of clubs for you.
If it is a putter fitting you are getting it will likely be Science & Motion Sports (SAM) putt lab, or Quintic Ball Roll, tools being used instead of a launch monitor but whatever the specific technology the custom club fitter will use the data provided by these tools, together with their own observations, to start working through the options with you.
So as you can see there is a fair bit involved in any quality custom club fitting and as a result you should be wary of any service that claims to be a ‘custom club fitting’ and simply involves you hitting a few shots off a lie board followed by the ‘fitter’ immediately giving you a series of recommendations after only 5-10 minutes.
It is important that you should expect the FULL process at any club fitting, whether that be for a driver, woods, hybrids, irons, wedges or putters and you should be guided through the following 4 stages:
- Static measurements
- Dynamic fitting using technology (e.g launch monitor)
- Final recommendation.
[Note – When we think about golf club fitting our thoughts generally turn to drivers, irons and wedges but a putter fitting can be just as valuable and so we took a detailed look specifically at putter fittings in another article which you can check out here.]
How Long Does it Take to Get Your Fitted Clubs?
When it comes to the question of time and custom golf club fittings the focus is often on how long the individual fitting itself will take.
But another important timing question surrounding club fitting is how long it will take for you to get your custom fit golf clubs in your hands after your club fitting?
As a general rule it can take between 10 days to 12 weeks from placement of order to get custom fitted golf clubs. The time it takes depends principally on the following variables – the components of the custom clubs, the manufacturer, demand and any exceptional factors such as the Covid global pandemic.
It is safe to say recent times have been anything but normal and this has impacted the golf industry in the same way it has affected every other.
The global pandemic has led to a surge in golfers both returning to the game and taking it up for the first time and this has led to a huge increase in demand for custom golf clubs not previously seen.
This has had a major impact on all the golf club manufacturers’ ability to deliver custom fit clubs in the standard 10-14 day timescale that would have ideally like to hold themselves to.
The raw materials which are used to make golf clubs, such as rubber for grips and steel for shafts, have also been experiencing massive increases in demand irrespective of the products they are being used to make, and so golf club supply has been hit recently by a double surge in demand.
Add to this double surge in demand the supply chain issues which have been evident recently, whether that be through shipping problems or worker shortages, and you can quickly see how the timescales with which golf club manufacturers can get custom fit clubs to customers has risen to weeks and sometimes months rather than days.
How long it does take to get your custom clubs after a fitting also clearly varies from manufacturer to manufacturer but a much more simple point which can affect the time it takes fitted clubs to be shipped to you finally is the type of clubs you have chosen.
If you have ordered one type of club with a standard shaft that is obviously going to take much less time to get to than if you have ended up choosing a mixed iron and wood set, supplied by different manufacturers, including a multitude of different custom shafts.
Whether you go to a custom club fitter who builds your custom fit clubs on-site compared to others who send them away can also affect timescales however in general this should only have a minor impact.
If you are lucky it may still only take a couple of weeks or so for you to take delivery of your new custom fit clubs but in less normal times don’t be surprised if that number of weeks turns into something over double digits.
Whatever happens though just make sure your custom fitter is open and upfront with you and if there are supply and timescale problems they tell you those upfront rather than wait for you to get disappointed further down the line.
[Note – If you are interested in getting custom golf clubs check out our complete guide to the ‘best places to get fitted in the US, Canada and the UK’, including details of how to decide between them, here.]
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