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Often on the forum you can read a response similar to this, “to get to the next level you need to get your clubs fitted” this is a bit of a paraphrase, although I am sure you get the meaning. I have looked through the different posts and never saw anything that goes further. How serious do you have to be to say you are ready to have a club fitting? Should I be under a 10 handicap? Should I be someone who is working towards competitive golf? Can anyone benefit from this? To answer this I decided to embark on doing just that. Firstly, there are many places that offer club fitting. Prices vary, as well as requirements. It is best to decide for yourself what you want to accomplish. You must be real and true about your abilities and goals. I know there have been those who post a club head speed higher than the PGA tour average. Those that claim distances that seem generous. Those that for all purposes should find a new sport. To those this statement is true …. You need not apply. After looking through online reviews, and different web pages, I chose “The GoldWorks” located in Newark, OH to have my iron club fitting. After careful thought I think it best to choose what clubs you want to be fitted with. Since I seem to struggle with my irons it was an obvious choice. Others may want to have the entire bag fitted. My budget was also a factor as in the end you will have to pay per club to have them adjusted, or purchase new. The fitting fee is waived if you spend a set amount of money, so that is also a bonus. Then there is time of day. I think it best to have your fitting in the morning, so you are fresh and with your best swing . Once I arrived at the fitting, I was taken to the bay, where I would be hitting, since the weather did not allow for outdoor activities. There was a launch monitor and screen to my right that made me a bit nervous at first. The instructor told me to take out my 7 iron and start hitting some balls to warm up. After about 20 balls he ask if I felt ready, and off we went. (Side note; he told me after that he already had a length in mind from watching me.) Once I was ready, he gave me a club from the test group that best matched my current club, both in style and shaft. He had me hit another set of balls stopping to review where the marks were on the face of the club, as well as the carry and launch angle. He told me since the clubs had tape on the face the distance would be about 10 yards off, and the ball spin would not be accurate. I was busy looking at those numbers and that of the club head speed. Since these numbers seem to be discussed often. He kept telling me to just relax hit the ball and he would look at the numbers. He then gave me a different club that was longer than the previous, and we did it all over again. Thirdly he gave me another club longer yet, and away we went. This time though I noticed I was hitting the matt like hitting a very fat shot. That was where we went back to the length previous. This time though with a different shaft. I went through the process once more and noticed an incredible change. Launch angle jumped from 16.4 to 28.6 and my carry increased 25 yards. Incredibly though my club head speed was slower. Now for fine tuning, as it were. Lie Angle, is the next step in the evolution of proper fit and proper ball striking. So he placed a piece of tape on the bottom of the club and a hard plastic plate on the matt in front of me. Place a ball on the center and had me hit it. Then placed a second and had me hit again. Then measured the area marked by the hit. And there you are Lie Angle. Seems so simple now that I went through it. I hit a driver a couple of times to see where I was there and decided not ready for that part yet. In the end saw on the launch monitor improvement on launch angle, carry, and smash factor as the last couple I hit sere only .9 feet off center. I really hope that this translates onto the golf course this year. When it was all done I purchased a set of irons 5 –SW I will return to this post periodically during the
This post was stimulated in part by Barbajo's recent super-fitting and also by some of my own research into the Cool Clubs franchise. It was also compounded by the changes I see happening this winter at the retail level in my area. Basically, all my local green grass shops have GIVEN UP selling clubs. The pros who work them don't have the technical expertise to fit anymore, they don't have launch monitors, and they do not keep fitting carts on the premises. They have dropped their on site inventory of non-perishable items (meaning clubs) down to basically zero. For them, 80% of equipment "sales" are only year-end cash ins of tournament winnings from guys who say "Order me a Scotty, I guess. I gotta spend the credit somehow." Likewise, the guys I know who work in B&M off course stores lament that they can't move product to serious golfers. They say that guys like me get a "fitting" with them and then go buy on-line. Of course, lots of guys like me only carp about these "six-swing, knucklehead-operator, jacked-monitor" mini-fittings that we get in B&M stores and we wonder, "Why bother? Either do it right or not at all." To be fit, or not to be fit, is no longer a question. It is de rigeur. To show your nose on a golf blog and admit you haven't been fit recently for every club in your bag is to stink the stank of rank amateur. You have to be fit these days, and so the question is what kind of fitting should you get? I think the new model will be "Pay to get Super-fit, then custom order directly from the manufacturer." Let's leave hacker and starter clubs out of the discussion for now. They'll continue to make their no-brainer purchases whereever they get them now. I'm talking about the way golf wonks will buy their HQ clubs. I think the trend has already changed and will get more entrenched in the new channel of buying by paying for an objective "super-fit" session that costs serious bucks, but does NOT expect you to buy clubs from them. These tour van sessions cost $350 or more and they last a half day AT LEAST. They use a battery of highly sophisticated sensors and software that take specialized training. Most teaching pros simply do not know how to run them. They are performed in specialized studios with walls of heads and shafts. Overhead that a green grass pro can't afford. These super-fittings are highly technical and very involved. They take a LONG time. When you complete such a fitting, you are handed a prescription of your specs and what worked best for you, but no one has an expectation that you will buy clubs from them. You can take those specs straight to an OEM like Mizuno Yoro craft, or the Ping WRX shop, and have the clubs built for you, or you can have someone else do it. Either way, you are probably going to end up with clubs that are highly customized to a degree that was not considered even 5 years ago. If this is true, and super-fittings are now necessary, I think we will see a move away from traditional B&M's (Golfsmith, Edwin Watts, Golf Galaxy etc.) and toward outlets like Cool Club franchises (http://coolclubs.com/) or the 2nd Swing facility Barbajo visited. One per city, not one in the next state, where we go NOT to window-shop product and walk away, but where we go for a paid service and only maybe place an order. I think we will stop looking at golf retail like a "clothing store" where we browse outfits and start looking at it like an "optometrist's office" where we pick up prescriptions. We will pay to do this once every few years, but probably not every year, and we will carry our prescriptions with us, reusing them several times until our bodies or situations change. Anyway, those are my thoughts, what do you think?
So I've actually wondered this for a while, during fittings for irons why are they only done with a 6 or 7 iron? I understand the idea that they are usually in the middle of the set and usually the easiest to hit, but you buy and play with 8 irons. Wouldn't it make sense to hit the long, mid, and short irons when getting fitted?