Cmor24, on 20 March 2010 - 10:27 PM, said:
Over the years club fitting technologies have improved more than we could have imagined. But why is it that whenever a 20 handicap player comes into an authorized club fitter the decision is often made before the fitting session is finished.
Club fitting is designed with the golfer in mind, from height to arm length to posture the list goes on. Yet it always seems to come back to the old adage "I swing really hard and my buddy says is should be in a stiff shaft." I am well aware that it is up to the club fitter to educate the customer and show them the benefits of proper fitting. But I am all to familiar with a customer making a decision that someone has cooked up in their head already.
One reason this could be is all the informercials/commercials that promote "MORE DISTANCE." The golf industry keeps filling the consumers minds with the thoughts of hitting it past everyone in your foursome. That is all well and good if you want to sell drivers, but I myself would like to see some effort put into promoting short game advances like putters. I would like to see a comparison of putter related commercials to driver commercials. Not only that but whenever John Doe 20 handicap comes into a store, the first thing on his mind at the begging of the season is wheres the latest Taylor Made or Callaway driver.
This obsession with hitting the ball 300 yards has to stop. I am not saying that I'm not guilty of this accusation I like 80% percent of the golfing population used to head to the range before and round and go straight to the driver, rather than have a slight warmup and hit the putting green for some short game practice before the round.
Obviously I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel here but in the same breath I would like to see a customer come into my shop and say "could I get properly fit for a putter" and or show some interest in the latest putter technology. My opinion may be a little jaded because I work in retail and I do see some of the worst possible situations out there. Case in point I had a gentleman say to me one day that he really wanted to buy a driver because he never owned one before. When I asked why, his answer was "Well I can hit my 3 iron 300 yards so I don't really have a need for a driver, but I'm interested in purchasing one to see how far I can hit it." Is this what it has come to? do people out there honestly believe they can hit a 3 iron farther than the tour avg driving distance.
If you are involved with the retail side of the golf industry or if your a teaching pro, or just a better player giving someone a tip encourage them to take the time to practice putting or work on their short game, rather than go out and buy the latest and greatest driver.
First of all, any guy with a 24 in his screen name can do no wrong. However, it is also appreciated that the advice is so incredibly sound. I can state this opinion with some degree of accuracy because not only have I observed this behavior, I was probably a candidate for poster child. I think part of the problem is the perception that the long game is difficult to master, and that the short game can be handled later. The golf media and OEMs contribute to the perception with their constant focus on distance. In my area it is not unusual to see ten golfers on the range for every golfer on the green. However, I submit that golf instructors are just as guilty as the aforementioned parties. I do not want to start a rant on poor golf instruction (future post), but far too many of the instructors I have encountered play along with this game.
It was not until I encountered a GOOD instructor that I was persuaded to alter my approach. First of all, unless you are under 35 and/or in great shape, standing there banging balls for two hours is probably doing more harm than good. Muscle fatigue is very subtle, and via the magic of a slo-mo cam, I was able to see the effects of such fatigue on my swing, and the results on my swing were amazing. Mixing up long game and 100-in game INCLUDING putting is not only more effective on the scorecard, it is actually more productive for the long game. I now make it a point when I am at a driving range and no green is available to include a few 10 minute breaks and water as part of my routine. When the benefit of additional practice on the short game is included, the effect really multiplies.
There is also a "multiplier" effect of having a better short game. I am less tentative on the tee because I know if I make a mistake and cannot make the green in regulation, I can still usually compete for a par. It also gives me some added confidence knowing that if I get off to a slow start, that all is not lost. The ability to know I can make birdies takes the pressure off me if I do start a round slowly. Are there days when that slow start means 86? Sure, but they are few and far between. More often, I will respond with some pars and a birdie and I am right back in the hunt.