Custom Golf Clubmaker

What They Do

Insider Info

Loft and lie, shaft flex and swing weight -- there's more to a good golf club than meets the eye.

A custom clubmaker measures an individual's swing characteristics and creates shaft specifications to meet individual needs. Then they assemble the grip, shaft and head. Some experts say that the most important duty of a clubmaker is the clubfitting.

"There are thousands of clubmakers working today, from professionals to what we call the stick and glue guys," says Diane Ogle of the Professional Clubmakers' Society (PCS). "The difference is in what one can do to fine-tune a golf club.

"When I went in to buy a set of clubs, I wanted every one to be frequency matched so that every one feels the same. It's like tuning a piano. This organization raises the bar to separate the professionals from the stick and glue guys."

Most custom clubmakers and fitters work as independent businesspeople with home-based operations or retail shops. They can work full time or part time. The usual business week is five or six days, running from Tuesday to Saturday or Sunday.

"Sometimes it feels like 24 hours a day," says certified clubmaker Michael Brown. "It can be dirty in terms of the graphite particles. Wear protective clothing and have a good exhaust system."

Garry Beaton owns a custom club shop. To customize and fit clubs properly, says Beaton, requires "constant updating in golf equipment and technology and many 12- to 14-hour days."

Clubmakers can be moderately successful by advertising locally or through word-of-mouth referrals. But online fitting and ordering is where the action is.

Mark Weidel is a PCS board member. He has one warning about the trend: "Any fitting is better than no fitting, but a live fitting is much preferable. The different flexes and lengths are infinite and other methods are limited."

At a Glance

Assemble clubs from manufactured parts -- with a touch of craftsmanship

  • Most clubmakers work as independent businesspeople
  • Since most people still buy clubs off the shelf, this is a competitive field
  • A few companies offer clubfitting and repair courses