PGA Professional Alex Clapp on how everybody can benefit from having the right clubs (and ball).

Sometimes people come to you for golf lessons, and they will talk about a custom fitting, but the best immediate way forward to fix their swing. That is really important. Otherwise you get fitted and then you start swinging it better and you might need to get fitted again. Once you have made those relevant changes, and you are relatively happy as a coach and you have tightened their dispersion pattern, that's when it's a good time to look at a fitting and tighten that dispersion again.

Without fitted clubs a player might slice it because the lie angle is too flat on the club or if they might hook it as the lie angle might be too upright. Golfers will come off the course and walk in the shop and they just want the first thing that they can hit that will be more effective to what they’ve got but the best way forward is to get fitted through the bag – and, as a fitter, the main thing is to have a mass array of some options for a student which will suit their game and their anatomy.

The cost of a fitting really is relatively small. You might end up paying maybe £30 and nearly everywhere will will deduct that off the price of a set. This encourages a lot more golfers to do it and nearly all the golfers who I coach have been fitted and that really makes my life easier. Now I can build their set-up and swing around a set of clubs that suits them whereas, previously, if the too clubs short in length we would have to widen their stance to get closer to the ground and their keep balance points. If the clubs were too long we would have to get them a bit narrower to get them taller.

More golfers would do well to get fitted for their wedges more as well as their woods and irons. The bounce, lofts and lies are very important to suit your short game. You need to consider how you hit your shots, are you steep or shallow? and you need to think about where you play most of your golf and what surfaces they are. A student came to me with a 60˚ wedge with 4˚ degrees of bounce and it didn't suit him at all so a good coach will really look at this end of the bag.

Another key factor, if possible, is to take the clubs out onto the course as part of the fitting and test them on the course. A change in environment changes how you swing it. We are all comfortable in a driving bay/fitting area and hitting into a screen, there's no lie or elevation changes and those numbers could be so wrong for the course. I had someone in and he had a shaft that was perfect from the fitting but he generally gets a bit steep on the course and the shaft wasn't doing him any favours and he had to start again.

Finally, nowhere near enough of us get a ball fitting and are playing with a ball that really suits our game. The average golfer comes in and buys a premium ball when they might not need that ball – a ball fitting can have a major impact on how you spin the ball in the air and even controlling your trajectory and it's really not factored in enough.

About Alex Clapp

Alex works at Enmore Park in Somerset. He coaches regional, mini tour and DP World Tour players as well as helping golfers of all skill levels worldwide to understand their faults, fixes and functional patterns that devise their own unique golf swing.