General fitting considerations
There many swing characteristics a trained fitter looks for, and among the most important of these are
Swing path—the path the club takes on its approach to and through the hitting area. This can be square if the club is on the target line just before and just after impact. The other possibilities are inside to out and, for the vast majority of golfers, outside to in, or “cutting across” the ball--the dreaded slice producer.
The face angle of the club—is it square at impact (pointed at the target), or is it open (pointing to the right of the target line for a RH golfer) or closed (pointing to the left of the target for a RH golfer.
About 70% of people I fit have an outside-in swing path, generally described as “cutting across the ball.” The usual result is a fade or its more extreme relative—a slice. Much depends on where the club face is pointed at contact. If this “face angle” is in the same direction as the swing path, the slice spin will be reduced, or in some cases changed to a draw or hook spin. What really counts is what the face angle is doing relative to your swing path. The same kind of thinking applies to those of you with an inside to out path. An important fitting objective is to get agreement between the path and face angle and have straight or slightly curved shots that go towards the target. Rather than getting overly technical, I’ll describe what we’ll do to get to reach this objective.
If the swing path is exactly down the target line and the club face is square at impact, then a straight shot at the target is the result. If the face angle matches exactly the swing path, there will be no side spin imparted to the ball, and it will go straight---but not necessarily at the target! If both the face angle and path are closed 4 degrees, the ball will fly straight but to the left of the target---a pull. If, however, the swing path is inside out 3 degrees and the clubface is open 3 degrees at impact, then the ball will fly with no sidespin 3 degrees to the right of the target---a push. What really matters is what the face angle is doing relative to the path.
My objective in fitting any club is finding the right combination of length, clubhead weight, shaft weight, total club weight and flex producing close agreement between club path and face angle, resulting in straight or slightly curved shots headed generally in the target direction---all with consistency of impact.
For a detailed account of what is involved in a Professional Fitting, select the link “Actual Fitting process in Detail.”