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Michael Smith

Driver fitting necessary for high handicap player?

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Hi guys, I am looking for your expertise here. I am a long time golfer who just got back into the game a year ago. I have been practicing for the last year and have got my handicap down to a 19. I decided for Father's Day that I wanted a new driver so that is what I did last Saturday.


I went to my local big box store, Golfsmith, and got “fitted” for a new driver. The fitter had me hit the Callaway X2 Hot 9º, Taylormade SLDR 10.5º, Cobra Bio Cell 9.5º, and the Ping G25 9.5º. I honestly enjoyed hitting all of them and for me, didn't hit any of them bad. The fitter used the launch monitor to check launch angle, club/ball speed, and spin to make sure I had the correct shaft and loft. Spin numbers were close to the same on all of them and I was surprised the SLDR spin numbers weren't lower than the other clubs. I carried the X2 Hot the furthest and since none of them really stood out I went with the X2 for the low price. Mind you I haven't opened/used the club because I may return it based on what is said here.


My question is since I am a high handicapper is it not necessary for a more comprehensive fitting then what I received? I read articles on here where guys are being fitted with different shafts, lofts…to achieve the numbers the fitter is after. I just didn't feel like this guy did that. It was more like "let's find you a club you will buy today.” I want to make sure I get the best club for my money.


Any advice you guys can give me would be great.  Thanks.

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Those large stores will usually use stock options during a quick fitting and those who get fit for all kinds of shafts most likely go to independent fitters who have tons of options and will go really in depth with the fitting. If the numbers were right and you hit the club good then the stock shaft is fine, you don't have to go with an expensive shaft or go crazy with options. Once you play even longer then you may find things that work or don't work and can bring that experience to your next fitting. I would try your new driver on the course a few times and you can return it to Golfsmith within 30 days for a partial refund. You could also find a different fitter and get a second opinion if you think that the first fitting wasn't enough. 

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It may turn out that the fitting and stock options fit you great and you can go out on the course and play.  I don't feel a more comprehensive fitting can ever hurt a golfer because you can find out more about your swing that way that can also help your game.  Like whiskey golf said sometimes things change when you get out on a course too.  It is also important to know what you are looking for when in the fitting so like you said the fitter isn't just trying to sell you something that day. I would say it couldn't hurt to get a second opinion but make sure you and the fitter you go to for any fitting are on the same page. You should have input in your fitting because ultimately you are the one buying the clubs and using them.  

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Find the one that gives you the most consistency, not necessarily the longest, and you should be okay, proper fitting can be helpful, and most everyone here will tell you to go get properly fit, but it is not a necessity to do so. If you like the results of the x2 hot then I wouldn't worry too much about it. It really depends on what you are looking for in a driver.

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I would - no question but would probably get at least some golf lessons on fundamentals first. Not sure if you play other sports but I play ice hockey (I'm a goalie but do play as a player once in a while) and usually you have to cut your stick so that it goes to about your nose or to your chin on skates. The reason you do this is because if you play with a stick that is too long or too short, you will have a much harder time playing and end up with inconsistent shots. Same for golf. By getting fit to your swing, you have clubs that are made for you. 

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Thanks for all the replies everyone. I ended up going to a different store and getting fit again. I learned two things. The first, I killed the X2 Hot driver again, which reaffirmed my reasons to buy it. The second, I still could not consistently keep the spin numbers down on the SLDR, which kept the distance numbers close to the same as the X2. I also wasn't as consistent as the SLDR. I have a feeling a different shaft might help with this, but I figure I'd buy the X2 Hot driver, save $100 bucks and if and when my game improves I will upgrade to a new driver. 


Thanks again for the feedback. The MGS forum is awesome!

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I tried the X2 but was straight pulling everything. I really liked the feel of it but was just straight pulling everything. Glad you like it, it's a very nice driver

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Really at this point, you don't need to spend $400 on a driver.


I think you should go to a big box store and tell them you want to hit a few drivers and find out the shaft flex they recommend.


So, say your swing speed is 90mph with a driver, then they'll put you in a regular shaft. Instead of buying a super expensive new driver, just find one on I the used bin with that shaft flex. You can prob get a decent one for $100.




Once you've practiced a bit, or better yet get a few lessons, you should have a better feel for your normal ball flight, and you can start spending $ on fancy drivers. But there's nothing more depressing than seeing a guy with a driver that costs more than my car, and has dents in the top cuz he is mishitting it. Bottom line, if you can't hit the clubface reliably, it doesn't matter what kind of club you're using.




If you're hitting it consistently, and have the $ to spend, the fancy new drivers will definitely last longer, and if fit properly, will be far better than the cheaper ones.

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I agree with mbrodeur86 with going with some lessons first. I started with a set my grandpa got me in 8th grade, had them lengthened in college and then when i decided i wanted to try something newer after college, I did a quick fit at a box store and then got clone clubs ( not knock offs). I played with those for a while and when I finally decided to get serious about getting better,  finally got some lessons that included a full fitting at the end after i worked on my swing over 4-5 months. 


the nicest driver in the world won't fix fundamental issues ( but you gotta love the new slogans "Don't change you swing, change your Driver!!")  


You can do a full fitting, but also look at the previous year models to save money too. I play a Cobra AMP 9.5, but am looking to get an AMP Cell and you can find them for $80 (used) to $130 new.


Personally, I have a hard time spending that much on equipment, but if you like it and plan to keep it for a few years, do what works for you

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