Ask a Pro: Club Fitter Jeff O’Neil
When we asked our Facebook followers a couple of weeks ago if they have had professional club fittings, the answers were a resounding yes. So, we figured, this is a perfect topic to tackle in our new Interview Series.
Since we wanted to get straight to the heart of how club fittings work and what the process is like, we thought we’d turn to a pro. Luckily, club fitter and launch monitor specialist Jeff O’Neil was kind enough to take the time to answer some of our questions.
Jeff’s been working at Joe & Leigh’s Discount Golf Pro Shop, which is tucked inside the Pine Oaks Golf Course in the Metro Boston area. It’s been consistently ranked as one of the Top 100 Club Fitters in the United States, and when we say consistently, we mean 19 times.
So let’s take it away and get chatting with Jeff.
Ask a Pro: Club Fitting
Jeff O’Neil: Club fitting may sound expensive, but so are many golf clubs, so it makes sense to take a little extra time to find the right club for you and then to have the clubs custom fit to you.
Given enough time and patience a golfer could probably learn to hit any club – but why wouldn’t you want to find a club that suits your ability now and start to play better sooner than later?
With a properly fit club a golfer can expect to hit the ball closer to the target more often with the proper swing. As golfers we all have miss hits and with a properly fit club, hopefully, your misses won’t be as bad.
Breaking Eighty: What’s the most important thing I should be aware of if getting clubs fit for the first time?
Jeff O’Neil: A knowledgeable fitter will ask you about your current game and equipment. Also the goals you hope to accomplish from your new clubs – breaking eighty?
Based on this, the fitter will try to find a suitable club for your game (or current skill level). Golf companies call this Player Profile and design clubs with specific player types in mind.
All major brands of clubs are similar in quality. Most come with a factory 2 year warranty.
Breaking Eighty: Explain the difference between cavity back, semi-cavity, and blades – who is right for each?
Jeff O’Neil: Cavity back, semi cavity, and blades are different types of iron designs that relate to Player Profile.
A blade style would be for a Pro or Low Handicap player, semi cavity for mid level player or a low handicap looking for some forgiveness, and cavity back style would be a game improvement club for a mid to high handicap golfer.
Super game improvement is a style as well for developing players or someone who needs plenty of help to hit the ball.
Breaking Eighty: What are the main differences between entry level and more expensive clubs? Will more money really improve my game?
Jeff O’Neil: Entry level clubs have come a long way. Some package sets are a great way to get started in the game for not a lot of money.
The quality of these clubs are good, especially for the beginning golfer. Some newer golfers prefer to start with more expensive branded clubs which should not hurt them but by no means guarantees swifter game improvement.
Thanks to Jeff for taking the time to chat with us about club fittings.
If you’re interested in getting a fitting, keep in mind that Top 100 fitters are located throughout the U.S. Find a location near you and research their website for information regarding their fitting philosophy including any charges associated with their services.
Both photos are courtesy of Joe & Leigh’s Discount Golf Pro Shop.