The Goal of this survey was to start to highlight where there may be short comings in the club fittings as well as sharing some general information and comments that were collected.
There were a total of 30 Participants but one had not been through a fitting so most the results were based on 29. Also every question was optional so some answers may not have been answered by all participants. The assumptions I am making are based solely on the users who completed this survey and may not reflect the golf industry as a whole. 30 people is a very small sample size and this data should only be used as informative information for golfers and fitters in general.
For the general demographic is fairly consistent with the MGS Surveys being 100% male, 72.4% of participants had a handicap between 6 and 15 and for this particular survey the age range was on the higher end 69% being above 50 years old. See charts below for more details.
So looking into more of the meat of the questions, I will first try to set a baseline of club information and then transition to Fitting experiences. Since 28 of the Participants have been fit I will use that set of data to analyze further.
Which Clubs and how many do you have in your bag? (25 Participants) This one is fairly straightforward but was curious the breakdown. Every user had a Putter and only 1 user did not have a Driver and only 1 user did not have at least 1 fairway wood in the bag. From there it’s a mix 64% of those surveyed have at least one hybrid, and 28% carry a utility iron, there were 2 users who carries 1 of each. As for irons, users carried between 5-10 irons in there bag with the average of 7.0 per bag. Finally, Specialty wedges, all but 2 users carried something that was not part of their iron set, but the rest carried between 1-4 specialty wedges 13% carry 1, 50% carry 2, 29% carry 3, and 8% carry 4 wedges. Also 7 of the users had less then 14 clubs in the bag and 1 user carries 15 clubs.
Below is a chart of the average bag makeup.
How often do you change each club or set? (22 Participants) This and the next question are more antidote. Every category ranged from 1-10 years so I’ll try and hit some hey points. Drivers 12/22 change within 3 or less years, Fairway woods 8/19 were changed 3 or less years, Hybrids 4/16 changes 3 or less years, Utility Irons 3/7 replaced 3 or less years, Irons Sets 10/22 in 4 or less years, wedges 9/20 in 2 or less years, and putters 9/22 in 3 or less years.
Below is a chart of average years before replacement.
Approximately how much did you pay per club when you acquired it? (24) Obviously everyone is different and has different budgets. Several users get used clubs, hand-me-downs, or MGS or other review/giveaways so gain will hit the high points. I’m sure most probably have an understanding of which club/sets will cost the most and least so I will state the range and average in the graph. Driver 5/19 spent $300 or less, Fairway Woods 7/17 spent $150 or less per club, Hybrids 7/12 spent $150 or less, Utility irons 2/5 spend $150 or less, Irons 7/22 spent $600 or less, Specialty Wedges 7/20 spend $100 or less, Putters 11/20 spent $150 or less.
Below is a chart of average Spend per category as well as the range.
Below is a chart of average spend per year and range.
One comment I want to make her is that if you look at the amount of which was spent on clubs & the rate of replacement there would be an average of about $800/yr on golf equipment.
How often do you test new to you golf clubs? (29) Users test clubs much less then expected for the amount of chatter and discussion of new clubs that people have tried. 44.8 % of participants test clubs 1-4 times per 6 months and 41.4% test them 1 or less times per year, 2 users test clubs more frequently and 2 users usually never test the club until after purchasing.
What pieces of Equipment in your current bag have you been fit for? (29) Unsurprisingly the top 2 areas that people have been fit for are Irons and Driver having 86% and 79% (respectively) of users being fit for these clubs. Interestingly out of the 14 clubs these users on average are only fit for 61% of their bag assuming 7 irons(referenced above). That means if you were to exclude the irons on average only slightly more than 2.3 of the other 7 clubs in your bag were fitted for you. Knowing that this survey is only looking at users who have been fitted, and taking a survey from within the Club Making/Fitting/Repair section of a golf forum it seems relatively low. (I say this realizing that I only have the driver fitted for me so I am below the average)
If you have been fit for a golf ball are you still playing it? (29) I had no idea the answer on this I assumed it was probably fairly low percentage but unsure what that really means. 62% of users have never been fitted for a ball and 24% no longer play the ball they were fitted for. So 13.7% of users play a ball fitted to them, this was actually slightly better than I expected (again remember the participants). I would be curious how many of them did any sort of “online fitting” or “fit themselves”.
Getting into the true fitting Experience questions.
Approximately how many times have you had a fitting across your golf history (29)? This will reflects the amount of clubs that have been fitted for an although some get full bag fittings the total number across each users golf history. 55.2% of participants have only been fitted 1-3 times and 24.1% have only been fitted 4-5 times that leaves only 20.7% that have been fitted more the 5 times. This makes me realize that the amount of turnover in clubs is nearly as long as fitting has been popular or at least they have been golfing. Correlating that Trackman introduced in 2003, and GC2 introduced in 2010, and the average club replacement is 4.4 years this would allow 2 replacement cycles in the last 9 years. Also keep into consideration the average amount spent per year and over those 9 years $7k could have been spent on equipment yet only 5 fitting sessions.
Which Feature(s) are most important to your fitting session? (29) Thankfully everyone agreed one of the choices and that was the requirement of a Well Trained Professional. Followed closely by Variety of Shaft Options, Variety of Club Heads and not far behind was a Launch Monitor.
What if any reason(s) were you not fit for a specific club? (20) So this question got brought up in the forums and was an interesting addition. Since I added it late a few users did not have this in there survey so results are lower. The top 2 reasons for not being properly fit for a club were they Buy clubs used and Cost of Fitting. I think this says a lot that the golf industry is getting two expensive since people are not being fit because the cost is either to high to get fit or clubs themselves are too high and people need to buy second hand clubs. Stepping off that soap box now to the numbers, 14/20 users felt cost was an issue (Cost of Fitting, Buy Used, or buy cheaper online) there were 3 users who felt that they did not have a Quality fitter within close enough proximity and only 2 users felt they are not good enough to be fit.
Which of the following locations have you been fit for golf equipment? (29) Getting a few data points of where users have been fit across their golf history. Custom Fitter, Off Course Pro Shop and Demo Day are the most common. A Custom fitter has been used by 16/29 users and 17/29 have had a manufacturer driven fitting (Demo Day or Manufacturing Headquarters)
On average how satisfied have you been with your fitting experiences? (29) Understand the satisfaction of a fitting or at least compared to expectations. Fortunately nearly half of participants 14/29 rated it at an 8 or above but there were 2 users who rated at 3 or below and 7/29 users rated at a 5 or 6. I wont try to make any assumptions here but I will mention that nearly all users who rated at 5 or below were only fit at a Big Box Retailer and an Off course Pro Shop. It is unfortunate to see people getting poor fittings and not satisfied.
The most recent fitting you have had is most likely the more details that were remembered and will get a general idea of 30 data points peoples specific experiences.
Which of the following locations were you most recently fit for golf equipment? (29) Alright into where the lasts fittings at this is fairly straightforward so detailed chart below
What was the main objective you were looking to get out of your fitting? (29) More than half the users(15/29) went to their fitting for More consistency and 9/29 went to compare to their current Gamer clubs. Interesting only 2 users went into their fitting looking for more Distance. Only 1 user went in there looking for better dispersion but I would that may fall into the More consistency category as well.
On average which category did your fitting fall into? (29) Did you pay for your fitting? I will talk through it later but I’m curious if paying had any influence on how satisfied people were with the fitting or if it influenced if they made a purchase. Seems that the Free fitting and Paid fitting were both around 40% and only Free if you bought clubs was only 5 of the users.
Did you purchase a clubs or set of clubs at your last fitting? (29) Were purchases made at your most recent fitting? Looks like its fairly split 62% Yes. Interestingly of the 5 users who would get a free club if they purchased clubs only 3 actually made a purchase. And those who did not purchase clubs were split 50/50 of paid vs free fitting.
On your last fitting how satisfied have you been with your fitting experiences ? (29) Satisfaction is the name of the game. Will you return, will you recommend to other, will you make a purchase? So 20/29 users rated their satisfaction as 8 or above and of those participants 70% made a purchase. On the flip side 5/29 users rated at 5 or lower and only 1 of those users made a purchase. Sadly but maybe not surprising the 2 users who rated a 2 and 3 were the only fittings at a Big Box Retailer. Interestingly the Manufacturer Headquarter visits were hit or miss 1 user gave it a 10 and 2 others gave it a 5.
What is the likelihood of returning to where your most recent fitting location was? (29) Interestingly there were a few users who gave a high recommendation on a low satisfaction and low recommendation on high satisfaction. I will note all but 1/13 custom fitter was rated at 7 or above and both Big Box were rated at 1. Course Fitting, Demo Day, Off Course, and Manufacturer HQ had both good and bad recommendations
What additional Features or value could a club fitting or fitter deliver to you? (29)Last but not least what features and comments did users have. Consolidating the comments the 4 Key takeaways in no particular order.
On Course testing or seeing Ball Flight Outdoor
Non Biased Testing Large Variety of Testing Different Clubs and Shafts without influence of Brands
Honesty, Swing tips, and honesty if current club is sufficient.
Cost discounts on purchase. Specialty locations are usually the most expensive
That’s all I have. I appreciate everyone who has participated in the survey. I also want to make the note that there were only 30 participants so the sample size is very small.