OPERATION CALLAWAY: RECONNAISSANCE A MyGolfSpy review of the Callaway fitting process.
Posted 11 April 2011 - 03:55 PM
An average Joe gets fit like a Pro
Making a hard game harder...
How many recreational golf players are actually playing clubs that fit them? How much better could the average player score on the course if his or her clubs were working in sync with the swing rather being compensated for during the swing? As a MyGolfSpy.com reader, you are likely well aware of the benefits of playing fitted clubs and you are probably already bagging clubs that were fit to you. However, think about the players that are not as dedicated to the game as you and I. Think about the players who are not total gear heads with encyclopedic knowledge of the available club offerings from each manufacturer. Do you believe that the average recreational golfer has any understanding of how length, loft, and lie can affect the flight of the ball? How many players are out there with regular shafts, considering themselves “regular” golfers because they play on a “regular” basis? I may be exaggerating a bit there, but I would be willing to bet that the number of all-in-one golf sets sold to the casual golfer greatly outnumbers those that are sold custom fit.
So why don’t the average recreational golfers get fit for clubs?
I think that there are a few basic answers to this question. First of all it is likely a matter of ignorance. People who purchase clubs online or from a sporting goods store or big box retailer will not encounter a club fitter during the purchase process. Can you imagine the sales person at the cash register asking the customer if they would like their irons 2° flat? Consumers can get some great deals on complete club sets at the warehouse stores, totally unaware that the clubs they are buying would fit their game no better than a 54” pair of pants would fit their waist. But look at it this way. What if the only pants that you have ever worn had a 54” waist? What if you were used to having to severely belt them to fit your 32” waist? You would likely not think anything was wrong, because that it all you have ever known.
The second possible reason why the recreational golfer doesn’t get fit for clubs is that they may perceive club fitting as costing too much. Something along the lines of “I can’t afford something custom, so I’ll just play these”. Again, a little education goes a long way here. Many of the golf shops offer custom fitting as part of the purchase price of the clubs. Others that charge for the fitting session typically refund all or part of that fitting fee when one buys the clubs from them. The consumer just needs to explore the possibilities available at a specialized golf shop to know what services are available. They will likely find that it is not as expensive as they thought.
The third and maybe strongest reason that the average golfer doesn’t get fit for clubs is fear. Golf is a very difficult game. The game is very simple in theory but devilishly difficult in execution. What makes it even more frustrating for the beginner is that good players make ball striking seem effortless while they swing as hard as they can producing a shot that flies ten yards total, dead right. A player who has no chance of breaking 100 on the course may feel that they are such a bad player that there is no way that they are worthy of custom clubs. They don’t see it as buying a pair of pants that fit.
Even interacting with the staff at some golf shops can also be intimidating. It takes more than a modicum of bravery for the average player to approach a club pro for help. Would you feel comfortable showing a NBA player your game if you are just learning how to dribble the ball? The average player may also fear that they are going to improve so rapidly that clubs they get fitted for now will not fit once they become an expert player. And let’s be honest, the good players who have little empathy of even outright mockery for their struggles reinforce some of the average golfer’s fears. I laughed when Tiger did his impression of Charles Barkley’s swing, but I don’t think I would be laughing had he mimicked by 18-handicap delivery.
So what is Operation Callaway?
The intention of this and the subsequent articles is to demonstrate the club fitting process and alleviate the fears that the average consumer may harbor about getting fitted for clubs. Perhaps my current play is a bit better than someone who fits the “average” description in the above paragraphs, but not by much. I have been playing golf for three years now and the fears and misconceptions that I listed were basically my own. I would have been grateful when I started playing for a guide who could walk me through the fitting process, expounding upon its benefits while dispelling my misconceptions and fears.
To go forward with this project I needed a club fitter. To this end I approached Callaway Golf and asked if they would like to be involved with my chronicling of the club fitting process in a way that the average recreational player could relate to. I proposed going to a local shop and going through the process. Callaway responded that they were happily willing to help, but with one condition. Rather than doing the fitting at a local retailer, they would like for me to come to their main facility in Carlsbad, CA to do the fitting. So fellow golfspies, later this month I will be traveling to southern California to Callaway headquarters and undergoing the whole fitting process from start to end, from driver to putter. My intention is to provide you with a step-by-step overview of the process. Hopefully this series of articles will teach you something about the fitting process that you didn’t know before. More importantly, what the articles will give you is a place to refer new golfers, or golfers who have never been fit for clubs, so that they can see the benefits of properly fit clubs. Better fitting clubs will help them play better.
Obviously lessons are important too, but dance lessons alone are not as effective for someone wearing dance shoes three sizes too small.
What would you like to know?
Because I am not heading to Callaway until next week, there is time for me to collect some questions from you about either the fitting process, Callaway products, and/or Callaway in general. I don’t really know what the process in Carlsbad will entail, but I will take your questions with me and get as many answered as I can. So fire away.
What will I end up with?
I thought it would also be fun to speculate a bit about the final composition of clubs that I will be fit for in the process. Check Callawaygolf.com for their gear and post your Golfspy Dave bag prediction below. Maybe I can dig up a prize for the person who gets the closest. For reference, my current bag holds G10 irons, Rapture V2 driver, Rapture V2 3H & 4H, Exotics XCG 3W, Scratch/G10 wedges, and a Byron Morgan 006 longneck putter. My driver swing speed is about 104. A recent Mizuno Shaft Optimizer session gave me numbers of 87 mph, with a code of 5 2 6 4.
So what will Callaway recommend for me?
Posted 11 April 2011 - 04:58 PM
Posted 11 April 2011 - 05:08 PM
What kind of info Nic?
Posted 11 April 2011 - 05:39 PM
Height, Wrist to floor, Shot Pattern, Handicap, ect...
Posted 11 April 2011 - 05:47 PM
RAZR Hawk Driver & 3W
RAZR X Irons (maybe hybrids for 3 or 4)
X Series Wedges
Not much to guess at there, other than which iron set and driver. I'll be interested to see what kind of shaft options they come up with for you.
...and read my thoughts on golf instruction, club fitting, and all things golf: www.MattSaternusGolf.blogspot.com
Driver: Callaway RAZR Fit Extreme
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid 17* w/Matrix hM3 85-X
3I: Mizuno Fli-Hi 21*
Irons: Wilson FG Tour V2
Wedges: Wilson FG Tour 52*, 56*, 60*
Putter: Byron Morgan Epic Day or Bettinardi SS11
"The implied preface to all of my posts is: 'As I understand things today.'"
-Borrowed from someone on a golf swing forum
Posted 11 April 2011 - 06:26 PM
dioblo edge 3 wood
diablo 3 hybrid
x24 4-pw irons
Byron putter (Because Odyssey can't come close)
TITLEIST: 906F4 15.5° Aldila VS Proto 'By You' (80 Stiff)
COBRA: 5w Speed LD F/ST Tour AD YS Designed by Graphite Design made for Cobra Stiff
PING: S59 Rifle 6.5 Soft stepped
PING: Tour 48°, 52°, 58°
Byron SS Custom 006
Titelist Pro V 1
Ping hoofer Vantage
"Everyday you miss practicing, it will take you one day longer to get good." -Ben Hogan
Posted 11 April 2011 - 06:31 PM
That's all the info I need. Aquarius is power, so you are going full out Diablo. What do I win?
Posted 11 April 2011 - 09:10 PM
TaylorMade Burner 08 10.5
TaylorMade Burner Superfast 3 wood 15
PING Silver Dot G15 3 & 4 graphite hybrids, +1/2"
PING Silver Dot G15 5-PW steel irons, +1/2"
Titleist Spin Milled by Vokey Design 48-06
Titleist Oil Can by Vokey Design 54-10
Titleist Spin Milled by Vokey Design 60-07
Scotty Cameron for Titleist California Del Mar 35" 340g
On the bookshelf:
Art of the Short Game by Phil Mickelson
Posted 11 April 2011 - 09:17 PM
Exitus acta probat.
Posted 11 April 2011 - 09:22 PM
Perfect question. Definitely on the list to ask.
Posted 11 April 2011 - 09:37 PM
Sandy I think you answered your own question. And unfortuntely the answer is a beginning golfer will have faster and greater marginal improvement than someone with more skill. And so unfortunately may play out of his or her current fittings more than a more experienced golfer.
Of course it also depends on if the fitter fits you for your swing as is, or as they think it should be.
Before I started playing more regularly a few years back I got fitted for maroon dot ping G10 irons, and if you don't know, that's exteme, and I mean EXTREME upright. The reason I got fitted for those is because my swing was so severely outside and over the top, that it was easier to staighten my shot with more upright irons.
Today I play more standard lie irons, and am a pretty good ball striker. Sometimes I'll still bring it over the top a bit, or come inside a smidge, but nothing like my first fitting just mentioned.
One the one hand that fitting gave me a quick fix, and that's probably ok if I play only a few times a year, and don't care much about improving. But once I got the golf bug, and wanted to get better in every respect, that fitting, well, didn't fit me anymore LOL.
Great question though and yes I'm curious to hear Callaway's response to it as well
Exitus acta probat.
Posted 12 April 2011 - 01:13 AM
Driver: 10.5* Razr Hawk Draw with UST Proforce AXIV Core 69 stiff shaft.
Fairway: Diablo Octane 15* 3wd Stock Stiff Shaft.
Hybrids: Razr X Hybrids H3, H4, Stock Stiff Shafts, -1/2 inch.
Irons: Razr X Tour 5-PW. Project X 5.5 Steel Standard length, 2* up.
Wedges: X series 50.12, 54.16, 58.8 slate finish, specs to match irons.
All grips are the Golf Pride New Decade, +2 wraps.
Putter : Odyssey Black Series Tour Design #2.
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PFCBirdieBabe Having read the thread, and Richard was wrong, as was Rookie, yet you let it go and say that ya expect two type A's to real it in?.As the owner of a business with 11 employees, 9 FT, I have a good handle & I know Richaard well, & he is in real life as he is in what I've read in the forum, and you let the in the sand stand, and ya got what you got..
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R.P. Jacobs II No anger here X..Ya did what ya had to do..It is what it is..Have a good one:-)
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