A huge part of getting fit is knowing your own game and what equipment works for you. Do not listen to anyone telling you just to cut an inch off the club. That's totally bogus advice and even at 5'3", an inch is probably way too excessive without a proper fit. A 1/2" short is a good place to start and a much likely better fit.
Start with choking down on the club a half inch and then maybe try an inch. Just guessing may work, but wrapping 1/2" blue tape around the butt is a good reminder where put your hands. The length may feel good, but the swing weight may feel too light. Get some lead golf tape and add enough tape to raise the swingweight back up. For 1/2" shorter (3sw), that's 6g of head weight you need to add back. 1/2" tape is usually 1g per inch It's a lot of tape and will look horrible, but it just for testing and everything will come right off. It's up to you to decide what feels best.
Maybe you'll be fine with choking down or maybe not, but at least you'll have an idea of where you're at. Choking down will also reduce the lie angle and this is a big reason why short players can have left side struggle especially with hybrids and irons. Lie angle is just as important as the shaft length when it comes to fitting. I've been fit for a 1/4" off which is nearly meaningless, but I generally flatten my iron lies from 1.5-2° on my long irons, maybe a degree on the mids and 0-1° at the short end. This has made the biggest impact on my iron play over just choking down a 1/4".
Next, take advantage of free fittings. Mizuno shop days are a must do. They have the Mizuno Shaft Optimizer which will give you an instant readout within a few swings. No, it's not a full fit, but it's quick and amazingly accurate and Mizuno offers some of the best heads and custom shafts around.
After that then maybe you'll want to try a custom fit. But finding a fitter is like finding a good mechanic. It can take a lot of leg work and luck. I'd also recommend scanning eBay, your shop, etc for factory 1/2" short sets that do appear occasionally. Again the leg work and luck part come into play, but it's way cheaper then buying a new custom set.
Like others are saying I think it's worth it even if you don't buy new clubs. You're certainly "good enough" and already better than many people who don't break 100 if they're honest. You seem to have a lot of interest in the game, and with the lesson route you take and potential fitting, it's probably money well spent - more bang for your buck than a lot equipment purchases golfwrxers make!
The Ping guideline you did is a good starting point, but I like the comments from @mootrail in developing a sense of what works for you and what feels right. I'm also short but found in a fitting I don't need to cut anything down to maintain strike, just bend a little flat. Found after the fitting that I really like midsize grips. Wife has smaller hands but swings best with those big arthritic grips. Do you have any preferred clubs that you seem to hit best? Lots of things to experiment yourself at the range - kind of fun old school approach: Grip down; add lead tape if it feels light; undo it. Spray foot spray on the club face to see where you're striking. Do the lie angle test with the vertical dry erase line on the ball. Try to work the ball both ways. Have at it with the driver experimenting with ball position. Try alternating clubs every swing, etc. IMO if you get a feel for those things plus a fitting you're setting yourself up for some good golf. Have fun with it and good luck!
It sounds like money is at least partly an issue "Cost - I am hoping to make an appropriate investment on my clubs. I don't want to go super cheap and have to get something else in 2 years but i don't want to get it so dialed in that i'm making adjustments on my club that will also need to be changed if my swing changes. I'm looking to do the right amount of work for a set that will last me about 5 years. Is that just a length and lie adjustment? or should i be thinking about more that that? My irons are currently amt red r300 shafts."
(Especially) in that case, @Ri_Redneck is correct.
You are a beginner and, at a 23 handicap, most likely have a poor swing.
It makes ZERO sense to get "properly" fitted into a BAD swing when, after you take lessons, you will have to get fitted again. This is especially true if you get fitted to brand new stuff only to learn that you want (need ?) a whole new bag once you learn how to sing the golf club.
It takes very little investment to get a very basic fitting to get your currents clubs close to "correct" for your current swing. Heck, a salesperson could fit you for length and lie, probably for free. Or a competent friend of yours who plays might be able to do it.
As an aside I became as low as a "2" handicap with a totally homemade swing and never got fitted. Trust me, it was NOT a good swing. But that was at my home course and I figured out how to get around the course and make a score. But away from there I was no better than a "10". That was before I took a lesson. When I took lessons the instructors changed EVERYTHING. Stance, balance, posture, grip, swing plane, etc. I saw the difference the lessons made in the flight and control, stuck with it, and under pressure refused to go back to my old ways. Needless to say I needed new sticks. Never got any better (lower) at my home course although i was far more consistent, but have been as low as 3.9 away from home.
Point being, where you appear to be right now, a very basic length and lie fitting is all you need until you learn how to properly swing the club. It costs very little with your current clubs and since you have at least 1 unusual characteristic (height) you should at least get length and lie adjusted.
After that take the lessons, get a fairly sound repeatable swing and then go for the "good stuff" (FULLY fitted of course).
A "professional tour level" fitting is for those who hit their clubs on the sweet spot almost all the time and who just want to squeeze out a few more yards from their swing. A fitting at that level would not serve any benefit for high handicappers such as yourself since they hit it all over the face and all over the place. A static fitting would serve best at this time.
Please don't take this the wrong way. But that's not correct - although it is a very common misconception.
First of all, a "professional tour level fitting" is not a true fitting. It's a very skilled player, with a very good idea already of what works for him/her and what doesn't. All it really is an opportunity for them to play around with the newest gear, and through trial and error figure out which of the new toys available works best for them or what (fairly minor) tweaks might be needed to get the results to what they are used to or already know they want to achieve.
A proper fitting is an opportunity for a player who really doesn't have a clue about what works and what doesn't find out some things about the equipment they never really knew about in the first place. Like even the different ways the clubs can be different. Probably doesn't know about things like swing weight, or shaft weight, or face angle. Doesn't know how much certain changes to the equipment can effect their swing or the results. How to tell or see the signs that the playing length is too long or too short. The weight too light or too heavy, grip size not a good fit. So it's the mid and high handicapper that has the most to gain from a full fitting. The better players can do a much better job of gravitating to the equipment that is a better fit on their own when buying new equipment - even if they don't know they are doing it.
Getting fit will help you to hit the ball and fundamental lessons will help to understand basics. Just remember, as your game improves down the road there will come a time when another fitting will help to move to the next level. I am self-taught using 3-books and currently play to 4-5, was a 2. The equipment I played when I took up the game became very different from what I later switched into. I wouldn't suggest to anyone to follow in my foot-steps, NOT unless you go about the game and teaching yourself it in a similar manner.
Being shorter, I would say your biggest thing is getting length and lie fit, but the rest I would wait on till you have a more consistent swing.
OP, what is your favorite iron now, and what is your least favorite? Are you any good with the longer end of the set? Do you make decent contact with your 4 and 5 irons at their current length?
What is your strength and physical condition?
Im 5-3 like the OP and have played ill fitted equipment for a stretch, yes, walking into the big box stores and getting classified right off the bat.
I actually play standard length or 1/4” extra because of my high hands at impact and needed toe clearance. Drive the ball 225-260 and 7 iron is at the 150 mark.
Static vs dynamic measurements are two different things dynamics trumps all in from my personal experience.
Get lessons, and video taped then you can figure out from there what works for you.
I hit my gapr 3 mid hybrid the best off the tee. I choke down about an inch on all my irons. I do make decent contact with my 4 and 5 iron. I’m not sticking greens with my 4 and 5 iron though but I’m usually able to keep it within 15 yards either side of where i am aiming. that might actually mean I’m not making decent Contact at all I’m not exactly sure how to judge
ive been trying a friends 4 iron that is one inch short and it does feel more comfortable to swing. I’m not able to make an exact comparison because it’s an amt black vs the amt red that I’m use to.
im not sure how i should judge strength. But i lift weights and am in decent cardio shape. Active and fit With dad bod would be a good description lol
Look up a decent fitter and go to them. I think you’re a good example of a 20+ handicapper that should be fit. Stock clubs are just not going to fit the length/lie you need. Good properly fit (not necessarily shaft head etc ) can help promote proper club positions and body tilts. With Poorly fitted clubs you could groove habits that fit those clubs and may not be optimal.
I'm 5'3 also...took me many years to figure out what equipment worked. What i can tell you is that nothing off the rack is well fit to a person of our size. I've first honed in my driver...plays right around 43.25. Its my most consistent club fitting wise over the years.
I then tried irons of all sizes and specs. I ended up getting a set fit with progressive lies and lengths, call True Length Technology "TLT". I found i could hit my 8-LW very well, but struggled with my lower lofted clubs and hybrids. I now use Wishon Sterling Single length irons, all built around 36", with slightly smaller wedge lengths. It's the most consistent i have ever been throughout the set. All of this fitting and experimentation took me about 6 or 7 years to get comfortable.
For someone very tall or very short like ourselves, a proper fitting ane trial period is extremely important. My journey has yet to see a professional fitting service (other than TLT) fit me, or even spend any significant amount of time trying to fit me, for length. They always end up recommending a very generic final length without any experimentation. Best to get fit and do some work on the side to see what is comfortable.
You have gotten lots of really good advice; I'll add another voice that says get fitted. It won't change your 23 index into a 2.3, but it'll get a big variable out of the way that may allow you to take full advantage of work that you do on your game in the years to come.
I'd urge you to separate out two different sets of decisions involved in this:
Just like you probably wouldn't like my size 14 running shoes because they just don't fit you, you probably wouldn't like my irons, either, which are an inch longer and three degrees upright. Just like you'd have to make a weird, uncomfortable, and inefficient stride to run in my shoes, you may very well be making those same "adjustments" to some degree to swing standard golf clubs. I'm 6-1, and I doubt that you and I wear the same length pants, or have the same sleeve length, or are the same distance from the ball when we hinge at the hips and get into our stances. The idea that we could use the same golf clubs successfully makes NO sense.
So another vote for getting fitted!
I vote to make the investment and get fitted for a new set. My only advice is to find a good fitter who will fit you into a "stock or no upcharge shaft" and go in with no brand preference. You might be surprised what brand/model you like and hit best. Don't let the fitter talk you into some exotic upgraded shaft because it is a waste of money at your current skill level.
I would focus on the following in your case:
Any decent fitter will be able to take your static measurements and look at your swing to get you in the ballpark. It's a matter of dialing it in after that. I will caution you to not take your specs and apply those fitted specs to all irons. Each manufacturer will be slightly different in terms of stock shaft length and lie angle. Your minus 1/2" and 1 degree flat could be a stock setup, or something completely different, in a different model/manufacturer.
Callaway Epic Flash 10.5* with Tensei Blue
Callaway XR 15* with UST Proforce V2
Ping I3 O-size 3-SW with JZ Cushin (on my 3rd set and can't kick them out)
Vokey SM 58*
Titleist Tour Soft
Do the web fitting on pings site. See if your current clubs are close to what ping comes up with.
but Taking lessons to get a repeatable swing would be good. Then after that talk to your teacher about new clubs.
You might not need shorter clubs. But you choke down an inch, so that says something. I will tell you that the balance feel from doing that is a lot different than if the clubs are shortened. I'm in the camp that says get a fitting. But if you like to choke down, be sure to stick up for yourself if they insist you need shorter clubs. Because you might not.
I’d recommend a basic fitting, and would consider a big box retailer. All you need is taking lie and length into account, and feel a club you feel comfortable with. You don’t need to purchase from the place and can also hunt online for a bargain
don’t go to a more exclusive fitting option. They’re going to up sell you, and given your game is likely to evolve, whatever “custom fit” option you’re buying now, isn’t going to fit you long anyways.
Don't let some slag sell you a grand worth of clubs you'll outgrow as you improve. If you don't have a repeatable swing, adjusting lie angle is premature, unless you don't care about how long the fit lasts.
Cutting the current clubs down is a bad solution, but I can understand why they're not trying to cost you money. The clubs you have are not cheap, and I wouldn't mangle the set you'll eventually be able to trade.
I'd search ebay or any used rack for a set of irons that is shortened, either a half inch or an inch, and spend less than $500. Don't sweat the woods for now unless you find something that fits to add.
Take that cheap shorter set everywhere, beat the **** out of them. Get down to the teens in handicap and reward yourself with a fitting and a new set. At that point, trade or sell what you have now, or sell them now while their value is as high as possible since club value doesn't improve with age.
Teens handicap you're really ready to get consistent.
This is an amazing journey that will have plenty of clubs and balls and lessons and swing changes. Save your bullets.
Given you are 5'3" (or very tall ..6'3"+) i would say yes. Your body falls outside the bell curve of what most companies build clubs for which
my guess would be between 5'9-6'2" (just guessing). When you alter club length significantly you also change lie angle. If you were say 5'10 and a 23 HCP
i would say it may not matter too much but given your height i think you could reduce your handicap significantly with proper fit clubs.
Read this after reading the advice given here... you’ve always been interested in getting fit, go get fit. Find a decent fitter (if you are in the Bay Area, there should be a couple), call them up, explain your situation and prepare to pay $100-200 dollars for a professional fitting.
your driver is on time out, likely because it’s 2 inches too long... start there... fixing path and swing issues shouldn’t change your dynamics to the point where your club is hurting you. It would be a good trial balloon for a fitting, give you an opportunity to fill a hole in your bag and give you a feel for a professional fitting.
hitting driver consistently will lower your handicap... go get fit for one. Then decide on the rest.
As of 6/5/20
9.5 Cobra LTD Pro with Aldila Silver 110 X
13 Degree Adams Speedline with Aldila Alpha X
18 Degree Adams A12 with Proforce X
6-PW Adams CMB with Project X 6.0
5 iron Sub70 639 CB with S400
4 iron / utility Sub 70 699 with Proforce 85 gram X
50, 54, 60 Vokeys
Tank Counter Balance #7
Driver and Putter are set for now. Wedges are safe for time being.
Yeah this is enough. If this is not correct you are handicapped even before you try to learn and may create bad habits out of necessity to compensate.
Just curious why it´s such a bad idea to cut the shaft length short if its to tall and cause a bad lie angle or wrong position over the ball? Is anyone playing better with incorrect lie angles? Isnt that one part of golf that isnt personal. With putters I have seen people having 30 degrees and it work for them but irons that interact with turf?
Answering the first question: I was asked this question a little while ago, the person was like “but my swing will change a lot!
Well yes, but: you’ll want the right length, (close to) the right weight, the right size grip, stiffness that fits your swing speed, heads with bounce that fits your play.. And that’s before you go deeper, into bend profiles or adjusting lie for flight etc
I would like to thank everyone again for all the responses. I have read every single one and taken much of what everyone has said into consideration.
My Game Plan: I found a local shop that has great reviews. I spoke with the head club fitter and he agreed to have me come in and take a look at my swing and do a "quick fitting" for free. We can decide after that If he would suggest any further work besides a length and lie fitting. I have also scheduled some time at my local Titleist Thursday. I have the AP1's and will probably not buy new clubs at this time so it would be nice to hear what the Titleist team suggests. I'll be sure to pop back in again with any updates just incase anyone was wondering. Please holler if you guys have any additional thoughts.
Sure, why not?
The fitting should be good to mid handicaps roughly speaking?
IMO, you couldn't do it any better.
It is also smart on the fitters part because he KNOWS that for a minimal amount of his time and effort, once you get comfortable and learn how to swing the club you will be going back to HIM for a real fitting and, most likely, buy your clubs there as well.
Good luck going forward.......
Sounds like you're on the right track. One thing I haven't seen discussed is, what "kind" of 23 handicapper are you? Are you someone who hits it relatively straight and consistently, but short and you can't get the ball airborne? Then fitting seems like a great idea. If, on the other hand, you're (like me) capable of any shot, from stellar to putrid, with any club at any given time, then changing clubs probably isn't the first step.
Once you have a swing that's at least semi-repeatable, then the clubs start mattering more. When you're in my boat, lessons are the first step. Which is what I intend to do very soon.
I think it's important. I was playing for a year before I had my first fitting. It turns out I needed +2-inches and 2º upright over the standard irons/wedges I had in my bag.
Treat yourself as if you were someone you are responsible for helping. Jordan Peterson
Too much sanity may be madness and the maddest thing of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes
In golf, the human mind has much higher capabilities to screw things up than the physics has to make things better. Unknown
Hey All - I wanted to report back that i had my first fitting with a local fitter. He watched me hit some balls with different clubs, had me swing a 4 iron that was an inch short and had me hit off of a lie board. He was surprised that the suggestion of cutting 1 inch off was actually correct. He suggested that i take an inch off of my 5i-7i and to only take off a 3/4 inch my 8i-GW. From the testing on the lie board, he thought that a standard lie was perfect for my swing.
For the most part, he echoed what most people have said that a loft and lie fitting is sufficient for my game. He also said the Ap1 was a perfect choice for my game right now and a shortened set should have me set for a couple years at least. It was a great experience from a very nice person. I want to thank you all again for helping me clearly articulate what i was looking to achieve and which questions to ask. I really appreciate the community!
If you can produce consistent ball contact and ball flight , yes get fit.
If you struggle with contact and ball flight is all over the place your money is better spent on buckets of balls until the first statement is a reality.
I've seen too many times people waste a hundred bucks on a fitting and receiving no benefits due to not being consistent.
Taylormade M3 9* with Hzrdus Black Smoke 60g
Taylormade M3 16*HL with Hzrdus Yellow Smoke 70g
Mizuno MP-5's 3-PW with c-taper 125's / Cobra CB/MB 3-PW C-Taper 125's
Cleveland RTX4 50/54/58 Raw finish
Cameron Studio Design 1.5 w Stability Shaft / Cameron Monterey One off w Stability Shaft
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