Can A Custom Fit Help A Beginner Golfer? We Found Out...

Beginner golfer Lili Dewrance shares her experience of a custom fit session

Lili Dewrance at TaylorMade Custom Fitting
(Image credit: Lili Dewrance)

As someone who started playing golf just a few months ago, I've wondered if custom fitting could accelerate my progress and truly elevate my game.

Since I first picked up a golf club back in March, I've experimented with various clubs from brands such as TaylorMade, Callaway, and Titleist. Being a 5ft 2ins, petite build golfer, I initially questioned whether I felt more comfortable using junior sets rather than ladies' sets, especially when it came to the heavier clubs like the driver and fairway woods. While I've gained confidence using ladies' Callaway clubs since I started having lessons at Pitch, I've had to be adaptable to playing with different hire sets from my local golf club for practice sessions in between. I’ve noticed how this inconsistency in clubs  has impacted my performance, particularly  over the first few holes, where I have to adjust to the fit, feel, and loft of each club. 

Given this, when I was presented with an opportunity to visit the TaylorMade custom fit studio in Basingstoke, I couldn't pass up the chance  and the huge privilege to have my very first set of golf clubs. I was keen to discover what impact custom fit equipment can have on a beginner golfer’s game and the benefits of finding the right fit early on in your golfing journey.

As I entered the TaylorMade HQ, I was introduced to my fitter, Sam. He’d just returned from a tournament and informed me that he was regularly on the road offering custom fit services to tour pros. I tried not to feel too intimidated by the fact that he regularly fits some of the biggest names in golf, both from the women’s and men’s games. He did, in fact, confess that he has fit Tiger Woods on tour which blew me away. 

I started by hitting some basic iron shots so Sam could analyse my swing. He then began to adjust the clubs to trial different loft and length options to best enhance power, accuracy, and, importantly, my confidence. Throughout the fitting, slight adjustments to the loft, length and clubface angle made a noticeable improvement to my ball striking. Before the fitting, I had a tendency to strike the ground before the ball and struggled with my set-up position and grip due to previous irons being too long for me. 

The guys at TaylorMade shared an analogy with me that really resonated: having a custom fit set of clubs is equivalent to discovering the right pair of shoes for a marathon – essential for optimal performance. They challenged the notion that there is a ‘standard’ set of clubs that will suit all beginners or females and that the art of club fitting is to find your fit and your standard that will elevate your golf game.

TaylorMade Kalea Premier Women's irons

(Image credit: TaylorMade)

We settled on the Kalea irons with adjustments made to the length, loft and flatness of the clubs. The reasoning for this is that I tend to hit quite left and struggle to hit up on the ball, so customising my clubs to support me in these areas should help me to improve my game. 

Choosing the right hybrid, woods, and driver was going to be equally as important, particularly as I start to play more full courses with longer par-4 and par-5 holes. First up, we tested a couple of hybrid options and realised the 6-hybrid from the ladies’ Kalea set was leading the best strike outcome. I felt confident with my technique, and the club felt lightweight but powerful in my hands. 

Next up was the fairway woods, a club I hadn’t used much before as I hadn’t felt sure when to pull it out of my bag or confident with my technique striking it. I tried a couple of different options and felt really drawn to the 7-wood. Even though my strikes were going quite low and left at first,  I felt  this club was a  good asset, especially when playing longer holes. Initially, Sam wasn’t sure it would be a good fit, but after a bit of convincing and some adjustments to the loft and length, I started hitting it really well, so we decided to add it to my bag!

The final club to decide on from this part of the fitting was my driver. I had previously used the Kalea and Stealth 2 drivers as part of the hire sets at my local golf club and despite achieving pretty similar outcomes, I felt I swung slightly towards the Stealth 2. The main reason for this was the visual appeal and the confidence I felt addressing the ball with a red clubface, particularly as I’m an avid Arsenal fan! I realise that personal design and colour preferences can inspire confidence for any level of golfer, but even more so when you’re a beginner when confidence is often lacking. For me, my driver is where I feel least confident as I struggle with power and distance as a lightweight, petite beginner.… but I found a personal connection with this club, so I’m optimistic it will lead to greater enjoyment off the tee.

Lili Dewrance TaylorMade custom fitting

(Image credit: Lili Dewrance)

My custom fit experience didn't stop at the long game; it extended to the putting studio. Here, I had the opportunity to personalise my putter, not just in terms of technical specifications but also in terms of visual appeal. Putting is my favourite part of the game and it’s essentially where my golf journey began after having a putting lesson with Mia Baker. Sam and I discussed the importance of a putter that feels uniquely yours, from the colour, to the grip design. The customisation options allowed me to opt for a putter that felt more forgiving and stable at address. We trialled the Kalea and Spider GTX putter and decided  on the latter after I consistently holed several putts, and I was drawn to the iced blue colour, probably because it looks awesome and matches a few of my golf dresses! 

In the weeks since I received my clubs, I've been eagerly putting them to the test. Above all, I feel extremely confident using this set of clubs, so the positive impact on my performance has been incredible. 

In the past month, my ball striking has improved significantly, with greater consistency and distance. It's natural for a beginner like me to feel less confident with certain clubs and my 6 and 7-iron still need work, but my 9-iron has become my go-to club and I’ve had great results on those 70 yard shots. Putting, which was already my strongest area, has continued to improve, and I’ve been regularly two-putting even from longer distances. I've fine tuned my pace control and gained confidence in reading greens, and while it may sound trivial, learning how to mark a ball correctly and consistently using the same putter have been the biggest game-changers in my putting game.

Surprisingly, the 7-wood, which didn't initially perform well during the fitting, has become a staple in my bag. It's been instrumental in providing distance on longer holes, and I enjoy using it off the tee, as it tends to lead to a straighter shot compared to my driver. I do feel more confident now with a driver in my hands as I've learned to increase my angle of attack when striking the ball, which has been largely assisted by having a driver that fits me correctly. 

Lili Dewrance receives her new TaylorMade custom fit clubs

(Image credit: Lili Dewrance)

As a beginner golfer, it's easy to doubt whether custom fitting from a premium brand is worth the investment. Would my game improve with a decent off-the-shelf set? At my current standard, yes, any new set would instil confidence and help take my game to the next stage, but not as quickly and effectively as a custom-fit set that matches your swing speed, strength and characteristics. Understandably, from a financial perspective, a full custom fit set may not be an option for everyone at beginner level but there are many centres across the UK offering free fittings to try out premium brand clubs without the obligation to buy. And if you're taller, or shorter in height like me, don't hesitate to get measured and have your clubs cut to the right length, as I now realise how this small adjustment can make such a big difference. 

My golf journey with my new clubs has only just begun, but I’m incredibly excited to see where it takes me. For the time being, I feel confident in my ability to keep improving and work towards obtaining my first handicap.

Lili Dewrance

Lili Dewrance is a freelance journalist and media specialist. She has taken commissions for prestigious publications such as The Telegraph, Forbes, and various trade publications. Lili holds a First-Class Honours degree in PR and Media from Bournemouth University. While new to the world of golf, Lili is driven to inspire more women, particularly young women, to overcome biases and feel confident in taking up golf as a sport. She is a member of Foxhills Country Club, and she previously went through the Women's Golf Academy at Pitch London to immerse herself in the golfing community.

With her extensive writing experience and commitment to learning golf, Lili brings a unique voice and perspective to the publication, inspiring readers to embark on their own golfing journeys, regardless of their demographic and experience. As Lili progresses in golf, she plans to travel and continue to improve through on-course learning and practice. She is growing a social media following and will continue documenting her journey on her Instagram and TikTok pages to inspire more young females to feel confident to get involved in the game.