But of course! This will be the first question anyone looking to be custom fitted will ask. The problem with answering this question, though, is the fact that a custom fitting process itself has so many levels and depending on which fitters you go to, may have very differing options. It can be very tough for one to truly know what the price to be custom fitted. Notwithstanding, I’ll do my best here to give you some realistic price ranges as to what most golfer can expect to spend. (And remember, these prices are AVERAGE, and can vary drastically depending on the process, the product, the fitting technology used, etc, etc). A good custom fitted club comes with a premium over clubs bought over the counter.
First thing first. Always ask yourself what level of club fitting are you going through. Here is a checklist for you.
Just the club
Occasionally we will have golfer that just want to buy a club or a component (e.g. shaft). Although there are many processes involved in building a club, there are people out there that want to have the bare basic. Therefore, the expected price range is as follows (Keep in mind these price ranges do not include custom fitting or any optimization. Just the bare installation and to build a club to a “standard” specification. However, do note that as a matter of fact, there is no standard in this industry):
|Cast Iron||SGD 50 – 100|
|Non Japanese Forged||SGD 120 – 190|
|Japanese Forged||SGD 160 – 280|
|Steel||SGD 40 – 100|
|Graphite||SGD 85 – 165|
|Non Cord||SGD 10 – 23|
|Corded||SGD 15 – 20|
Let’s then look at the installation part that is essentially what makes a custom fitted club different from the over-the-counter clubs.
Basic installation ranges from just cutting the shaft to the desired length and then fixing it into the club head. But if we were to do this, there is not much difference between clubs build in this manner vis-à-vis over-the-counter club.
Thus, we typically does the following even for basic installation whichincludes spine-ing the shaft, building the club to some consistent swing weight that the golfer can handle, and installing the grip.
Set matching in this case would refer to building the set of clubs to a matching MOI or a consistent frequency.
Whether it is matching MOI or frequency of shaft in a set, it takes approximately 6-8 hours to match a set. E.g. For our practice where we match MOI to 1% and for any reason the final MOI is off, the club builder will then need to rebuild again. This will means at least another 20-30 mins to remove the head from the shaft and re-evaluate the weight in the head etc. Assuming it cost the builder $30 an hour to build, having a set of clubs that is matched would add at least $240 to the overall cost of the set.
Custom Clubfitting (Excellent)
As you can see from the custom club fitting checklist, the technologies and time spent with a golfer will be very extensive. Based on our typical engagement, we can expect to spend about 4-5 hours working with the golfer (exclude installation). For a start, fitting technologies don’t come cheap. A Trackman for indoor use will typically cost about $20,000 and the SAM PuttLab cost about $10,000. The use of such equipment simply goes to show the accuracy requirement and commitment of the club fitter. A certified professional club fitter will typically charge $50 per hour for his time. Together with resources like fitting system (those inter-changeable heads and shafts, consumables like lead tapes and butt weights), launch monitor, balls and the real estate (e.g. the indoor or outdoor facility) for the fitting, we can typically expect to pay about $130-$150 per hour of usage. Assuming we are going to spend just 4 hours, this would workout to be an additional $600.
So, how much will a set of custom fitted 5-PW* cost? For a cast set we are looking at anything upward from $1400 and a Japanese forged set would set one back anywhere between $2000 to $2500 (on an “excellent” level of club fitting & building service).
Thus custom fitting does comes at a premium but amortize that over the years of having enjoyable golf with a set that is built to a weight and length you can comfortably handle, this investment seems all too worthwhile.
* – comprises of club head, shaft, grip and professional fitting services. If its just changing a particular component such as shaft, then the price will be lower.
For more information on how custom fitting is beneficial, do refer to our other postings ………