Does Buying an Adjustable Driver Mean You’ve Been Custom Fit?

Posted by on Aug 9, 2012 in Clubfitting, Driver Fitting, Golf Club Technology | 0 comments

Since 2011, the hot club offerings from several of the big golf companies have been drivers made with an adjustable hosel piece or adjustable sole piece that are said to offer custom fitting to any golfer. By adjusting a specially made device in the neck of the drivers, these companies say it is possible to offer golfers a custom fit loft, lie and face angle.

Sorry, but the adjustable hosel or sole drivers are NOT even close to being custom fit in the sense of how professional custom fitting can tailor a driver to allow any golfer to play to the utmost of their ability. I know of what I speak – I made the US golf industry’s first adjustable hosel woods for changing the face angle and lie back in 1995. The principle of the hosel piece I developed 17 yrs ago works on the same principle as the adjustable hosel devices of today. By rotating the hosel piece, the shaft is oriented at a different angle in the hosel to affect a slight change in the lie angle or face angle or a little of both together at the same time.

AHTDon’t believe me? Here’s a picture of the adjustable hosel device and wood model I designed 17 yrs ago.

Proper driver fitting involves customizing 12 different driver specifications so they best match each golfer’s combination of size, strength, athletic ability and swing characteristics. Those key fitting parameters are, 1) Length, 2) Loft, 3) Lie, 4) Face Angle, 5) Shaft Flex, 6) Shaft Weight, 7) Shaft Bend Profile, 8) Total Weight, 9) Swingweight, 10) Grip Model/Style, 11) Grip Size, 12) Driver Head Design.

The adjustable hosel drivers allow golfers to modify #3 and #4 only from the above list, and only in a very narrow range of +/-1.5 to 2 degrees at the most similar to the penny board cruisers which are perfect for cruising to school. You can choose between 2 or 3 flexes in that one shaft model and you probably can choose between 3 loft options. Beyond that, the adjustable driver still has one and only one length, shaft weight, shaft bend profile, total weight, swingweight, grip model, grip size, and clubhead design.

On the other hand, if you work with a professional Clubmaker, you can have all 12 key specs fit to your swing, and each one can be fit to a far wider range of fitting options.

  • From the custom Clubmaker, length can be anywhere between 42” and 46”
  • Lie can be within +/-2 degrees
  • Loft can be anything from 8* to 17* in half degree increments
  • Face Angle can be from 2* open to 4* closed
  • Shaft Flex can be anything between a shaft for a sub 50mph golfer all the way up to a shaft for a >125mph golfer.
  • Shaft Weight can be anywhere from 45g to over 100 grams
  • Shaft Bend Profile can be anywhere between the most tip flexible to the most tip stiff all within a wide clubhead speed range
  • Total weight of the driver can be built to be anywhere between 280 grams to nearly 400 grams
  • Swingweight can be customized from low C range to upper D range
  • Grip Model/Style can be virtually anything from urethane to simulated leather, to rubber to tacky synthetic rubbers in smooth to ribbed styles for feel differences
  • Grip Size can be anywhere from Ladies -1/32” undersize to Mens + 1/8” oversize
  • And the driver head model can come from a myriad of different size, shape, CG, MOI, face design, and color options.

In the end, it is up to each golfer to decide. But if the goal of spending $300 on a driver is to get the driver that performs the absolute best for every golfer, it is a no brainer to go find a good custom Clubmaker who can and will fit your swing for each and every one of the key fitting specifications. Not just a handful for a limited range of fitting options.

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