How to Buy Golf Clubs Online – What to Look for in an Online Club Builder
Are you in the market for new golf clubs? More and more golfers are considering making their club purchase online. Custom clubs are carving out an online niche. What should you look for in an online club builder? Look for the same traits in an online retailer that you would in a brick and mortar store. Because the online store is somewhere in cyber space and you may not be able to visit an actual business, there are some things to consider. The most obvious is only order from a secure server. The other thing would be to be cautious of sites that don’t allow for custom options, these retailers are probably drop shipping products and can’t give the service needed to help a lot of golfers.
As a professional club builder I have built in bias towards the custom club segment of the market. I also believe that the custom fit option is far better than buying stock “off the rack clubs”. Custom clubs give golfers the option of clubs that are at least as good as any brand name, (most of the time better), at a significantly lower price.
The best way to have clubs fit to your swing is to get what is known as a dynamic fitting. This is where the golfer actually hits shots, and measurements are taken to determine the best fit options. This obviously can’t be done online. The next best option can be done online, and that is static fitting. In a static fitting the customer answers a series of questions, takes measurements, and submits them to the club builder to determine the best fit.
When choosing an online club fitter, look for someone that has professional club building credentials. Look for someone that has personal references, someone that is willing to talk to you personally. A large part of club fitting is an interaction between golfer and club fitter. Measurements alone are not always an absolute indicator. For example, I had a customer come into my shop this week looking for a new driver. His swing speed measured 105 mph. This would generally indicate the player needs a stiff flex shaft. Because of the load this player put on the club, he actually needed an “X” flex shaft. I’ve seen enough of these exceptions to the rule that I believe a conversation should be part of the online buying experience. During a dynamic fitting session, the club fitter will have an interaction with the player. If I spend an hour with a player during a dynamic session, I should be able to spend a few minutes on the phone with someone from another area for a static fitting.
An important quality of an briansclub online fitter is how do they stand behind their products? The guarantee can make the difference between real value and shoddy craftsmanship. Many component manufacturers will warrant their heads and shafts against manufacturing defects, but they don’t back products that have been deemed “abused” or improperly assembled. The club builder’s guarantee should cover these issues. No club builder will guarantee a club that some one that has tried to use a club to chop down a tree, or thought a club could fly, but for all but the worst case, the club builder will back his or her workmanship.
Finally, to get the most from an online fitting experience is to answer any questions the club fitter has as brutally honest as possible. If you hit your drives 200 yards with a huge banana slice, don’t let your ego get in the way, and say you hit drives 250 down the middle. I had a call from a golfer that told me he was a beginner, and he hit his drives on the average of about 290 yards and always in the fairway. He wanted a club to give him more distance. I don’t think he was trying to lie about his game, but, I believe that he was not a good judge of distance and he only remembered the ones in the fairways. The more information that you can give the club fitter, the closer you can get to a perfectly fit club.
This guide can be used for brick and mortar club builders as well as online. The club buying experience shouldn’t be intimidating or difficult. Getting clubs that fit your individual swing will help you achieve lower scores, more enjoyment, and save you enough money to play more rounds.