Perfected Golf Group, Ltd.
Developer of the Patented FitChip Shaft Fitting System
"We Make Every Club Your Favorite Club"
What we do not do as a Golf Digest top 100 fitter
Most club fitters will start off with a questionnaire and particularly the question "What is your objective for your club fitting, more distance (improve club headspeed) or more accuracy?" We will not ask you this question or past history questions because they are irrelevant to a proper club fitting. The question on distance and accuracy is your first clue. When the golf club fitting properly fits the shaft, to be back to straight and square at ball impact, your best distance and accuracy will occur at the same time. What that question, when asked, really is telling you is that club fitter does not know how to fit a golf club so the shaft will be back to straight and square at ball impact and provide its peak performance of distance and accuracy at the same time.
What is Our club fitting process as a Golf Digest top 100 fitter ?
There are (6) basic steps to our custom golf club fitting to provide the best golf clubs:
1. FitChip Computerized Swing Analysis - pin points the necessary shaft flex/frequency depending on the golfer`s swing timing (club/shaft release to ball impact time) the golf clubs shaft back to straight at Inpact.
2. Demo Equipment - trial to substantiate the ideal shaft specifications for the player’s swing and make minor adjustments.
3. Shaft length is determined to accommodate the player. (his preference or to promote the proper swing posture)
4. Grip size and style and size is selected to provide comfort and performance.
5. Advanced Ball Launch Analysis - to track all aspects of a player’s swing and ball flight to select Driver face loft angle plus hook or fade bias or offset head.
6. Post-fit Checkup - To track a player’s progress and make any additional adjustments
Other major golf club fitting variables include set make-up (type of Irons, where do Hybrids fit in if any and number and type of fairway woods), lie angle (not to be performed until proper shaft is selected), club head design (mostly player preference), Hosel offset, face angle (using the launch monitor), shaft make (if it can be trimmed to the proper frequency), shaft torque (as low as possible to promote less dispersion with off center hits), shaft bend point (high kick points are recommended for greater distance when the proper shaft selection provides the accuracy), shaft weight, swing weight, and total weight. These specifications all contribute to improvements concerning ACCURACY, DISTANCE, FEEL, TRAJECTORY, and CONSISTENCY.
Golf Club Fitting With FitChip -- Shaft Loading and Timing
I would like to redefined “shaft loading” as stated by Jeff Jackson. Even though it can occur at the transition point between back swing and down swing, for most players the peak load occurs at some place during the downswing. The timing of this loading and most importantly the start of unloading is the key factor in club fitting. The key parameter that FitChip uses in selecting a shaft is the time between the start of unloading or shaft release and ball impact.
Golf clubs have shafts that act as a spring. Depending on the frequency of shaft selected during the club fitting it takes a certain amount of time for the shafts spring action to recover from the deflected position to the neutral position (for the golf shaft, straight). It is at this neutral position at which time the golf shaft reaches its greatest effectiveness (maximum improved clubhead speed and club face square). As some may have suggested, if ball impact occurs at peak loading, the shaft will still be flexed and be much less than effective in aiding the golfer. Based on spring mechanics the stiffer the spring the shorter the time of recovery. The natural frequency of the golf clubs describes their recovery time and the mechanism that drives the shaft back to straight upon release. Therefore the earlier the release is in the swing the softer the shaft and the later the release the stiffer the shaft. You will quickly find out using this system that shaft selection has nothing to do with improved clubhead speed as the industry has used it in the past. In fact I can show you, that if two players have the same time between release and ball impact, the one with the higher speed needs a softer shaft. This occurs because there are two mechanisms acting on the shaft to return it to straight and square. The first one, which we all understand is the spring action of the shaft that is described by natural frequency. The second one is the centrifugal force pulling down on the weight of the head to straighten the shaft and is a direct function of club head speed. Since this Club head speed induced force is helping the spring action the spring action needs to be reduced to get the correct timing to be back to straight and square at the time of impact. Then since the high club head speed player gets more help from club head speed he would need the shaft with a lower frequency (softer shaft). Both of these timing mechanisms are accounted for in the FitChip Shaft Fitting System.
The FitChip analyzes this timing and club release problem and selects the clubs natural frequency that will return it to straight and square at ball impact. No other system available today for club fitting can identify the point of club release during the swing. This timing is what best creates the feel and timing between the player and his clubs. The data collected by the FitChip (up to 84 full swings) can be downloaded to any computer to view the pertinent individual swing data. You will find that many players have double loads and releases that make the process even more difficult.
What is the technology behind the FitChip process?
Custom fitting of golf clubs has been around for many years. Custom fitting in the past has dealt with selecting club length, club lie and grip size by specific measurements. The most important component, the stiffness of the golf shaft, was historically selected by trial and error, or more recently, using the totally irrelevant measurement of club head speed. Even though players may have the same club head speed, they don't have the same club release or swing timing. FitChip which employs a computer chip and accelerometer, records the acceleration which results in a shaft loading pattern (in .002 second intervals) from which it can derive shaft release or time at which the shaft starts to kick, ball impact, and other critical swing timing parameters. Using this information FitChip selects the exact cycle per minute frequency for the shaft that will return the club to straight and square at ball impact. This insures the greatest combination of distance and accuracy.
The Segments of the Golf Swing
The important part of this illustration is the red "Shaft Release Area". One must understand the minute time differential involved between selecting the softest shaft and selecting the stiffest shaft. I had a club fitting group that travels from Country Club to Country Club using Club Head Speed and the Launch Monitor, tell me the only thing they were missing in their system was the club release time. However, the head of the group proceeded to inform me he could see where that release was occurring.
This statement encouraged me to further investigate the exact time interval during which the club releases in the swing. From our swing data, I found that from the earliest release time (softest shaft) to the latest release time (stiffest shaft ) was an interval of only .05 seconds. This means that if you want to fit a player to within 2 CPM of the frequency he needs to play his best golf, you only have .004 second to pick the right shaft. I will disagree with anyone that claims he can see this release point with any accuracy. Especially the accuracy needed to select the proper shaft for the player. FitChip takes 25 readings during this .05 second interval and averages the number of test swings made for each club tested. The accuracy needed for proper shaft selection
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is programmed into the FitChip. For your swing testing you may use the players current clubs or a set of test clubs. We recommend testing be done using the 9 Iron, 5 Iron, 3 Iron or 5 Wood and the Driver. This insures a sufficient number of data points to establish a slope or curve on which you would build the set of clubs. The player will swing each club 4 to 10 times to establish sufficient data for a reliable average. This data (up to 40 swings per player and a total of 84 swings) will then be downloaded to a larger computer for further analysis of the players swing pattern.
The larger computer basically makes the same analysis as the FitChip. However, on the larger computer we can actually view the acceleration swing pattern and possibly refine the selected point of release for better accuracy. The following Chart is representative of the type of acceleration data provided by the FitChip. The blue line represents the player's club head acceleration or shaft load curve. The red line represents the release of the club (as a spring) in the swing. The time from the start of club release to ball impact determines the clubs shaft stiffness. The Raw Data and Club Head Speed curve is used to select ball impact. The abrupt drop in club head speed is caused by Impact. Once each of the (up to 40 swings per
Club Head Speed Curve Club Acceleration and Shaft Load Curve
player) swings have been analyzed and marked "USE" the data can be plotted (small dots) on the following Club Length VS Frequency Curve (Frequency Chart). The larger red dots represent the average of the several selected swings for each club.