Indi Golf Fitting
There are times when you walk into a place you’ve never been, and immediately feel like you’re home. Or maybe you just feel like you’d like it to be your home, because of the sweet merch, the clean aesthetic, the GC Quad-connected hitting bay and putting mat in the next room – you get it.
(Wedge heads on display)
This past Friday, I had the chance to go down to Carlsbad, CA to visit the headquarters of Indi Golf. Most of you know that Indi has some wedges currently in the testing phase in the forum, but as none of the testers lived locally, and as I’m only about 3 hours north, I figured on my day off I’d travel down and check them out, and see what a wedge fitting at a company who specializes in wedges (and now putters) was like. TLDR: it was a nearly perfect experience for a golf nerd (that's me).
For background, I’m an ~11 handicap (11.1 to be exact), and I game the OG Kirkland Signature wedge set (52, 56, 60). Shockingly, I wasn’t fitted to these wedges (see, this is hilarious because … they’re from Costco. Off the shelf from Costco.) – I know, this is a cardinal sin amongst the hardcore on this forum but a) they were a gift, and b) they were a significant upgrade from my previous wedges which I’m not even sure had grooves left when I got rid of them. I’ve gamed the K-Sigs for the last 2 ½ years, and they’ve been great to me, in all honesty. I still feel that for the money, they’re a pretty hard set to beat.
Nonetheless, I was VERY excited to be able to go to a company whose specialty is wedges, and to go through a real fitting trying the various builds and grinds to find something that suited me the golfer, and not just me the mayonnaise-and-toilet-paper-buying-guy-who-also-golfs.
Upon walking into the facility, you’re greeted with a rack of genuinely-great-looking hats, a wall of the wedge heads mounted for you to see the various lofts / grinds, the lineup of putters, some shirts, and then several Jones bags (with Indi’s name embroidered on) full of the various wedges. It’s clean, simple, beautiful and immediately gives you a sense that the company has an eye for design.
(Rack of Hats)
Zane, the fitter, was there to greet me, and shortly thereafter Rob (the CEO) came out and gave me the mini tour while I took a few photos. (By the way, Rob did the Community Call with us a few weeks back, and if you haven’t checked it out, definitely give it a watch here (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1omlnwjBej48KJCZQZM47x-zXK5vPHN9Y/view?usp=drivesdk) – it’s super fun and informative.) From the get-go, it was clear that both Rob and Zane were, to put it simply, golf nerds like me I asked a little more about how the business started, what the plans were for the space (currently only one hitting net with a TV connected to the GC Quad, but eventually it’ll be a full hitting bay with projection screen along with couches to make it more comfortable), etc.
Once the pictures were out of the way, they had me warm up with my 52-degree, hitting a few shots, seeing where the spin was, angle of attack, etc. We segued into the 52 degree FLX head with the Dynamic Gold Spinner shaft, and then hit the ATK head (same loft), and it was immediately clear how much better for me the ATK head was. I have a pretty steep (-7 (avg) degree) AOA (Angle of Attack for those joining the forum recently ), so the FLX was digging a little too much for me, and I was getting some pretty big deviations in spin. As soon as we tried the ATK, my contact was just so much better. It was a really amazing, tangible thing to feel the difference between the grinds, and to know that I really was better-suited to one than the other. It felt a little like magic – with my previous wedges (which, again, weren’t fitted (obviously)), it was a case of me fitting myself to them over the last two years. With these, they were doing the exact opposite, and the help it added was incredible and immediate.
(Hitting net for now, but soon to be replaced with a full simulator screen)
(Rob, checking my numbers)
Once we got the head, we tried several different shafts (DG Spinner, DG 300, and the DG R300), and it was overwhelmingly clear the DG300 (in 120 Stiff) was the right choice. It had the smallest deviations in spin/carry/launch, even on slight mis-hits, it was a winner. The weight surprised me, to be honest, as my irons have always been a 105-ish range, but these felt absolutely fantastic – could be because they better match the weight of the Indi heads, but for whatever reason, it was a very easy choice.
Next we looked at the 48-degree, what they call their Super Gap. Full-face grooves, a squared off, high(ish) toe, that really allows for some incredible flexibility. You can go at it, full-swing, or you can go toe-down and use it for bump-and-run shots around the green - it really is incredibly versatile. Flexible, if you will. The FLX moniker is well-earned. This is the only club that ended up with me in a different shaft – the DG Spinner 115g (in wedge flex). As my set PW (in both my current gamers and the Caley 01T’s that I’m testing) is 44-degrees, it’s pretty apparent I need something between 44 and where my current next wedge sits – 52. I did discuss with Rob and Zane the idea of going 48, 53, 58, but Rob said he prefers keeping the gaps the same from PW all the way through the last wedge, and with the numbers we were seeing, I think that’s the right choice – the 48 perfectly slots in right around the 120-125 number – my PW is just about spot on 135, and my 52 right about 112, so this was pretty great to see.
(So many incredible choices...)
Once I started getting slightly tired (read: very, very sweaty and starting to hit some hosel rockets – wouldn’t be a Samsonite fitting without at least a few of those), Zane and Rob felt like they had enough information to confidently prescribe my set-up. So, even though I’m in love with my L.A.B. DF2.1, I was curious what a putter fitting would look like, so they moved the GC Quad over to the putting area, where instead of a hole they had a Putt-Out set up.
(Lining up with the Allison)
As Rob mentioned on the Community Call, their goal with the putters was to do something few other companies were doing. The heads are fully aluminum, milled faces, with weights at the back edge (Jet (large mallet)) or far edges (Allison (half-moon) and Cash/Ramone (blades)) to increase forgiveness as much as possible. As my L.A.B. is also milled aluminum, the feel was pretty much right at home, right from the get-go. They had me roll a few with the L.A.B., to get a baseline, and after diagnosing my stroke as a slight arc (no argument here), Rob had me try the slant neck Jet, followed by a slant-neck Allison (my preferred shape). With all three clubs (mine and the two Indi clubs), I was seeing a small “launch” of about 5 degrees, effectively popping the ball up in the air. Zane and Rob were both set on me not changing my set-up, but as the L.A.B. has me having the ball forward-of-center, I moved the ball back about a 1/2 ball, and just like that, my launch was averaging 0.1 degree. I then went back to my DF, and sure enough, having the ball 1/2 ball further back got the same 0.1 launch and much truer roll. Were I in the market for a new putter, for me, the choice would be clear - the Allison, all day, every day. Everything about it promoted a better aim - the half-moon shape, the two parallel lines on the back of the head, the milled aluminum face was soft but consistent - it’s a really fantastic putter.
(Talking golf with two VERY smart people)
Once all the swings were swung, measurements taken, and data crunched, I got to hang around a little and pick Rob’s brain - about where he started, where he’s been, how he got started Indi, and briefly where he’s going. While he wouldn’t take the bait about whether or not they’ve got a full set of irons in the works (I had to ask - it’s my JOB to ask questions I know won’t get answered!), it’s abundantly clear that he’s passionate about making golf more fun and accessible for the average golfer. It’s why his first design was the non-conforming boxed-groove wedges - who doesn’t want to watch their wedge shot rip back towards the pin after landing on the green? It’s the same reason they developed the putters - they saw a market for something other companies weren’t doing yet, and dived in, creating something beautiful and functional, and ultimately, designed to help golfers perform better.
I’ll be putting a set of Indi wedges into play shortly after this is posted - a 48-degree FLX Super Gap (with Dynamic Gold 115g Spinner), and then 52/56/60-degree in the ATK with DG Gold 300 120g Stiff. I really cannot wait to see what these do to push my approach game to the next level - I’ve gotten so confident on the greens with the DF over the last year, that I’ve been actively trying to give myself more and better opportunities to make putts. Given what I saw in the hitting bay, these felt like a no-brainer addition to my bag, and I cannot wait to get them into play (hopefully this Friday, if the shipment arrives when it’s expected to).
(They're pretty, pretty pieces of metal)
I’ll be keeping you updated along the journey, and am considering myself an honorary tester of the Indi wedges along with the other members.
I. Cannot. Wait.
Thanks again to Rob and Zane for having me down, and to Jamie (@golfspy_APH) for thinking this was a good idea in the first place.
(Zane, the fitter).
(Rob Lang, the President and Founder of Indi Golf)