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This topic csme up in another thread, but this excellent article by Marty Jertson of PING gives a great look as to what smash factor is and why it shouldn’t be the determining factor in buying clubs, especially irons. I found the part about the accuracy of club head speed eye opening! Smashing Smash Factor
So today culminated my couple day visit to Carlsbad, and what a way to wrap it up. I spent over 1/2 the day at TPI getting fit then meeting with some of the Titleist brand people. It was simply the best fitting experience I've ever had, and some of you know I've had some pretty darn good ones before. But from the expanse of the facility, over 30 acres of hitting areas from a 400 yard hole with actual fairway bunkers and lining it to replicate the actual teeing off on a hole, to multiple putting greens, a couple short game areas, it was incredible to take in. That's not even mentioning the full fledged fitness center inside where the performance evaluation is done. I was met at the entry by Joey, who knew my name and welcomed me and showed me to the locker room, where a locker with my name awaited. After dropping a few things off in the locker we made our way through the tour. In addition to the above, i was able to watch a bit of some ball testing that was going on...and guess what they were using a robot just like the MGS Study did. I can't say much about that testing but it was pretty cool to see the high arching perfectly struck 5 irons going 200 yards down range right at the target. Needless to say, I didn't see any more of those type shots during the day. After I got warmed up by hitting some shots with my clubs we began getting some trackman numbers. I had my usual pedestrian numbers that were as follows IRONS My current Irons G700 with Alta CB Sr Flx 1/2 over and 3 degrees up. SS 73.6 ball speed 94 mph for a 1.29 smash Spin was low at 4182 carry of 134 peak height of 68 and landing angle of 43. As has been discussed in some threads here, we amateurs often say we hit the ball too high or at the very least, high enough. Then when at times we will see numbers like that 68 feet and realize we aren't hitting it high enough. We started with the T300 and also tried the CNCPT 01. There wasn't a huge number difference in the number between the two and my contact with the T300 was much more consistent as the CNCPT has an even wider sole than the T300 and that works against me. The overall numbers for the T300 were SS 71.3 ball speed 95.1 for a smash factor of 1.33. Spin was up to 5790 carry of 136 height was 72 and landing angle of 44.5. So not a huge difference except for one area, the smash factor. If you noticed my swing speed dropped but ball speed went up a bit due to the better contact. There was a reason for the decreased ball speed. The specs of the T300 are standard length and standard lie. The 1/2 over was causing too inconsistent of a strike and i hit some shots fat, leaving them 10 or more yards short. With the stock length I was hitting it much more flush. The 2 degrees upright was causing the heel to hit the turf first on some shots, causing the face to shut down and result in a smothered pull hook. I had wondered where that shot came from on occasions..ha Glen feels as I get more confident with the T300 I might regain that 1mph or so in club speed, he sensed I was trying to be too precise in my strike with the T300. He was probably right. Going with a stock lie, again allowed for much cleaner and more consistent contact. We even flirted with a 1/2 inch SHORT shaft and 1 degree Flat. But the shaft felt a bit heavy--unbeknownst to me he had put a heavier shaft in to account for the shorter length, and there was a bit too much fade for both of our liking, So I'm now stock/stock/stock...Yee haw, that make buying selling much easier...LOL DRIVER Current Driver TS1 10.5 Fubuki 45g Sr. Flex. Most know I've loved this driver since getting it in June. I'll save all the details, It's the right driver for me, but I did better with a 9.5 loft and changed the setting from A3 to B3, which is a bit more closed. My spin in the original setup was in the mid 4500's. and too much fade. The changes lowered the spin to 2700 and was a straight to very slight cut shot. I picked up 8 yards of carry and 17 yards total. Here's the part that blew me away. Glen said to me, "You just bought a driver this summer, I don't want to tell you to turn around and buy another new one. If you will leave this driver with me, I'll find a home for it, and send you a new 9.5 out with the same shaft." He looked to see if he had a new 9.5 on hand and he didn't only the fitting ones. How awesome is that. Fairway Wood & Hybrids Current Setup G410 3,7 and 9 and 5 hybrid. Again anyone who followed my posts or progress in the PING Long Game Testing, knows how much these have helped my game this year and how confident I am in them. Well to make this section short and sweet, after gathering numbers from my 7 and 9 woods, Glen had me hit a Titleist 7 wood just for Sh$%^and Giggles, as I was getting 1.49 smash factor consistently with the 7w and my ball speed had stayed within 1.5 mph on each shot, the perfect consistency he said. So after hitting a few good shots with the TS2 7W that had pretty much identical numbers, he told me the only reason for me to get that would be if I wanted a Titleist, but said my current set up was as good as I could get. How's that for honesty, no trying to spin the numbers or tweak anything to show the Titliest is better. He just commented that I am a very good FW player and what currently have works for me. WEDGES Current SM7 54 and 58, and PING Glide 50 This one was fun and interesting. He had determined my pitching wedge distance was probably right at 100 to 105 yards based on my iron data. So we went to a different teeing area across the complex and set up on a tee box 100 yards from a flag on the front part of a green. I hit 3 very solid shots with my set PW and he was impressed. He gave me the PW to the T300 and I hit two pin high within 5 to 10 feet and pulled the third one a bit. He said enough there. ha Then we moved up about 15 yards to 85 and he gave me the GW and more of the same. I was feeling it with these wedges. Then this part was interesting. He gave me a ball told to walk up to a spot short of the green and drop the ball at a distance I get a lot of. I waked to a shot I eyed balled that I have a lot and dropped the ball. He asked what club I would hit with this shot, I said the 54 and he gave it to me, lasered it at 45 yards. He asked how I would play it, I said probably fly it 3/4 of the way and let it hit stop and release the last few yards. I hit the first two practically perfect but then I hit 3 in a row fat...egads!! He said, ok we can fix that. Then he asked me other than bunker or flop shots over a bunker what do I use the 58 for. I told him when I'm about 10 yards off the green and there is a front pin about 5 yards or so. So I like to hit a little 15 or 20 yard hit and stop shot. He said, OK I want to see that. When I hit the first two exactly as I described to 2 feet. He turned to Josh and Corey who were watching and said..."Looks whose teaching the short game clinic" So the only change we made with the wedges is he felt my 54 with the M grind and 8 degrees bounce wasn''t forgiving enough. He said to quote Bob Vokey's favorite saying..."Bounce is our friend" He said we need to go F grind and 12 degrees bounce. I hit that from the 40 yard shot and it felt much better and I didn't have any fat shots. So that concluded it. And I was pretty spent after hitting shots for going on 3 hours. But the time literally flew. We chatted a bit, then Josh and Corey took me out to what they said was a well earned lunch Best Day Ever! Here's a bunch of random shots. One thing that I failed at and anyone who has done a fitting can probably relate, and that was getting photos during the fitting. I got so wrapped up in hitting the shots then listening to Glen dissect them, I just didn't think about it. Don't know who the other two are, but that's ok, they probably had no idea who I was One of the fairways getting some early morning acquaintance An indoor hitting bay that hits out to the fairways, only used on the rare days the weather doesn't permit. A recently over-seeded fairway, they will alternate fairways to keep them all pristine. This is where they will do the 4D motion capture as part of the Performance Evaluation Fitting, 27 high speed cameras capture everything you do and the ball does These are some members of the player testing panel. Much like our Most Wanted Testing, local area guys who have signed up to come in and test new and prototype equipment and balls to give them real world feedback. So when MGS tells the doubters that they use real golfers for club tests as do most of the OEM's they meant what they say. The nicest boardroom I've ever seen. How does anyone concentrate on the meeting in a room like this...ha The most pristine putting and practice bunker green I've ever seen. The area where my fitting will be done My first target...easy eough This is taken from a balcony on top of the clubhouse area where they will entertain or just generally hang out and realize it doesn't get much better than this. My new best friend...Josh Talge VP of Marketing for Clubs Glen Mahler...the man is a legend at Titleist The obligatory Ocean View Selfie!!
If you read our thread on wedge fitting (click here), you may enjoy this TwinCitiesGolf.com interview with 2nd Swing Master Fitter Thomas Elsberry... Thomas did my wedge fitting, and I have a full bag fitting scheduled for this Friday. Let me know if you have any specific questions you'd like me to ask him... Oh, and did you catch the "free fittings every Saturday" bit? Sometimes winter in Minnesota has its perks. Sometimes....