Thank you all for your interest in my recent adventure and thank you to My Golf Spy for the opportunity to visit and be fit at the Titleist Performance Institute. It was a great experience and I would recommend it to any of you who want the ultimate in customer service and attention to detail. I was very excited for this visit and rearranged my schedule to make sure it happened. One quick note, Titleist was very accommodating and did more than enough to meet my needs. They also gave me an extra night in the hotel since I was from just upstate. They went way past the extra mile.
Okay, now for the fun part. I was scheduled to start my fitting at 9AM on Friday. While I would’ve loved a bright, sunny San Diego day, I got a drizzly, overcast day. That wasn’t going to slow me down, I was too pumped! I was met in the parking lot by Glen, who helped me unload and get situated in the lobby. He led me to the locker room to change and get ready. It was very cool to find a locker with my name plate in it.
I changed my shoes, dropped my valuables and met my fitter, Joey. He was with me the whole time and let me know he would watch, listen and make recommendations based on what he saw and heard from my swing, and divots as well as ball flight and trackman numbers.
Our first stop was the ball research building. This is where they use Iron Byron to evaluate ball flight and dimple patterns of Titleist as well as competitors.
We started with wedge fitting and a lot of questions. Joey asked why I chose the wedges I currently had at the time and how I used each one. We then went to some full swings where Joey gave me a series of different sand wedges (blind to me as to what I was hitting) to see how each felt and which one performed the best. We then moved into lob wedges and closer to the green. It was at this point that Joey gave me some great information. He gave me an education in leading and trailing edge and asked me to focus on hitting the ground with the trailing edge instead of the leading edge. He said, “You’ll hear that thump that you hear from the tour pros.” It took me a few swings to get the feeling correct, but once I did, I was able to hit the shots that bounce once and stop. After this he revealed that the clubs that fit me best were the exact opposite of what I had in my bag! I tended to go with low bounce because I thought it allowed me to “spin” the ball, but I found most of those shots to roll out. Joey taught me how to use the bounce and make it work to my advantage. He also showed me that using my 54* made those 60 yard shots a lot easier than with my 58*. With that, we switched up my wedges to a 54* S and a 58* D. The gap and pitching wedge would get figured out with the irons.
Driver and 3 wood
We moved to the full swing area and decided to do the driver fitting and 3 wood. My current driver is a Titleist TS2 8.5* w/ the white PX Evenflow 65 gram shaft. I tend to be a high spin, high ball flight hitter so I have always gravitated for a low spin head and shaft. We tried the TS3 and ended up back at the TS2. We tried the 10.5* head and a heavier shaft and saw a little better flight. But Joey noticed the spin was not dialed in. He moved me back to the 8.5* head and the heavier Mitsubishi Tensei blue shaft. Not only did the ball fly higher but the spin came down. He also changed the weight to the heaviest they had for the TS2.
Next up we had to see if we could displace my current 3 wood, Titleist 915 fD 13.5* with a PX Evenflow 75 gram shaft. Once again, we tried both heads and multiple shafts. In my head, I thought for sure the TS3 would be the winner because I like the head size and shape but the TS2 won out. I also went back up in shaft weight to get the feel that suited me best. Joey also added the heaviest weight and we saw a dramatic reduction in dispersion. We settled on the TS2 in 13.5* with the Mitsubishi Tensei Blue 80 grams.
Irons and hybrid
This was the craziest, most eye opening session of the day. I play Mizuno JPX 919s. I have played ½” over shafts for the past 20 years since it has always helped me get the more upright lie without too much bending. I was hitting my clubs okay, but on this day but my dispersion was all over the place. This is the area I said I have had the biggest issues; getting my approach shots to land closer to the hole or even on the green from 150 yds and further. We started with my 7 iron and when we moved into the Titleist clubs the dispersion remained the same. Joey asked me to trust him and gave me a club that felt like a PW and asked me to hit that. It took me a few swings to get used to the length, but the results were amazing! I was hitting consistent shots to the target. When we looked at the numbers, I was hitting a greater distance but with a significantly tighter dispersion. He told me these were ½” short! He then told me Titleist specs are a ½” shorter than Mizuno specs, in essence, I was hitting a club 1 ½” shorter! The crazy thing was the distance and ball speed were the same. We then did a quick re-check with the 3 wood and the driver and came to the same conclusion. We also found out I no longer need the upright lie as my swing has evolved. This takes out some of my most prominent misses, the hook to the right (I am a lefty).
With that settled we moved to the 5 iron and tried multiple heads. We settled on the T200 with the Nippon Modus 120 in a stiff. My current set are the same shafts but in an x stiff. I am realizing my age…
The 4 iron was all over place! I am not a great long iron hitter to begin with, but I was not hitting anything further than I was hitting the 5 iron. With that we made a move I did not want to do, go to a hybrid to replace my 4 iron. Joey could see that was not something I was going to easily adapt to and showed me the ways to make it work. The 21* hybrid filled the gap and landed soft. I had to admit it worked (I didn’t want to admit it but the numbers didn’t lie) and now we had to fill the gap between that and the 3 wood. We looked at the lower lofted hybrid and 5 wood and settled on the 5 wood. I had a better angle of descent and would hold greens easier with it.
With that, her is my “What’s in the Bag”, 2020:
Driver: TS2 8.5*w/ Tensei Blue 75 gram stiff @ 44.5”
3 wood: TS2 13.5* w/ Tensei Blue 80 gram stiff @ 42.5”
5 wood: TS 2 18* w/ Tensei Blue 80 gram stiff @ 41.5”
Hybrid: TS2 21* (I apologize, I do not remember the shaft) @ 39.5”
Irons: T200 5- PW w/ Modus 120 stiff shafts – ½”
GW: SM8 48* F grind
SW: SM8 54.10 S grind
LW: SM8 58.12 D grind
I once again want to thank My Golf Spy and Titleist for this great opportunity. The Performance Institute is like Disneyland for a golfer. Everyone should go at least once.
I will have pictures as soon as they upload to my computer.