The Golf Club Fitting Report
Last Updated: 10/31/19



Some of you know me, Bob Williams, some of you don’t.  I have been associated with Santa Anita for a long time and with the men’s club for 15+ years. 

After a stint in the corporate world I made a decision to learn more about golf club building and through that golf club fitting.  In 1993 I began taking classes and looking for mentors to help me get as proficient as possible with both building and fitting.   I recently approached the Executive Board of the Men’s Club suggesting that I could write a recurring blog on fitting and building.  This is my first attempt, so here goes.

Tom Wishon is a mentor of mine.  First met him when he was VP of Technology at Golfsmith. Tom designed clubs for a number of the big name OEM’s, was the personal fitter for Payne Stewart and others on the PGA Tour.   Tom wrote a book called the 12 myths of golf.  It pertains to club building and club fitting.  I thought I would share a few of these Myths with you all.


Bob Williams

MYTH #2 & #3 . . .

Continuing our examination of the 12 Myths of golf by Tom Wishon. Both #2 & #3 have to do with Drivers. I held a demo day with a new supplier ERG, on Saturday and was amazed by how much better players hit shorter length drivers with the correct balance point.


Bob Williams

MYTH #2. The longer my driver is, the farther I'll be able to hit it.

Logic would tell you that the longer the club, the longer the swing arc will be, and the faster the head will travel.

And the faster the head travels, the farther the ball will go, right?


Testing has shown that the average gain in distance between a 43 and a 45-inch driver is a whopping ONE-YARD.

The real problem is that the longer the driver is, the harder it is to control.  So, with today’s standard drivers bought “off the rack,” you’re also buying a higher percentage of off-center hits, which will get you 10 additional yards of misdirection.

The average PGA Tour player uses a driver that is 44.5” long.  If they could swing a 45-inch, they would.  They can't, so what are the chances YOU can.

TIP:  The biggest single factor in driver accuracy is the length of the club.  Get your driver checked out to make sure it's the right length for you.  Most golfers have drivers that are WAY too long.




MYTH #3. The lower the loft on my driver, the farther the ball will go.

Most amateur golfers believe that if you're hitting a nice long, low screamer, the ball is going to go farther than if it's some kind of "pop-up.”  But is that true?


The distance a driver can be hit is a function of the loft of the club head and the speed with which the head is traveling.  The lower the swing speed, the higher the loft needs to be.

Imagine you are squirting a garden hose, and someone cuts back on the water pressure.  What's the first thing you do to get increased distance?  Exactly.  You RAISE the angle.

If you have a nice new 9- or 10-degree driver, you'd better have a 115-mph swing speed (with control) to go with it.  Otherwise, you'll need more loft to hit the ball YOUR maximum distance.


Tom Wishon

Myth #1

Modern Golf Clubs Hit the Ball Farther:

Four things primarily determine the distance you hit a golf ball: the loft angle on the clubhead, the length of the club, the speed with which you swing and how close to on center you hit the shot. There is also this: the longer the length, the lower the loft, the heavier the weight and the stiffer the shaft—the harder the club will be to hit. Over the past few years your swing speed has probably stayed about the same, but the loft angles and the length of your clubs have not.

Little by little over the past 30 years or so, in order to say their clubs “hit farther,” the club companies have been tinkering with the loft angles on the faces of your clubheads—lowering them a bit at a time every so many years. As a result, every club has moved “up” by almost two numbers. So, when you go to a driving range for “demo day” and you hit that new 7-iron farther than your old 6- or even 5-iron, you now know why. It’s because that shiny new 7-iron in your hands was a 6-iron only a few years ago, and probably a 5-iron a few years before that.

And finally, today I see many OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) with 24 degrees of loft on their 6 irons.

More next month.


Bob Williams