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My putter fitting at Club Champion Boston

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Yesterday (June 30) I had a putter fitting at Club Champion Boston and I thought I'd share my experience.

Note - although it is described as "Boston" it is actually in the town of Needham which is about 15 miles southwest of Boston..

 

Location:

This surprised me a bit... it is on a block with a number of store fronts (6-8?) all together in a strip and is about the size of a florist or dry cleaner.  Not sure what I was expecting but the smallness was kind of surprising.  I would've expected a larger/warehouse style building.

 

Parking/Entrance:

Parking on the street but that is street parking for the town/other businesses so they tell you to go around back where there are reserved spots.  When you do that and enter the back door there's nobody there to greet you so I kind of surprised him I think... a bit strange they'd ask you park in the back but not really meet you when you come through the back.

 

First impression:

The place is small.  I don't mean really small, but small as in maybe the size of a place like Panera bread.  There is a small room where they build/adjust clubs and what I would call a "reception" area.  This is if you come through the front door; all glass window storefront looking out onto the street/sidewalk with a reception desk.

To the immediate left is an elevated putting green.  It is about 20 feet by 20 feet square with 3 or 4 holes.  There are about 25-30 different putters along the wall; a few odyssey, scotty, a couple Ping and PXG is all I noticed.  A SAM lab machine and one of those machines used to bend putters (Mitchell?).

There is a "wall/divider" that doesn't quite go to the ceiling which divides the putting 'area' from the iron/wood fitting area.  I could hear someone in there hitting balls.

There is a 'waiting' area with a couch/chairs, flatscreen on golf channel and a lot of posters/marketing material on the wall about HOW MANY STROKES FITTING CAN SAVE YOU !!!.... (note... duh; I wouldn't be here if I didn't agree)

 

My experience:

My fitter - Taylor - was a young kid...I'd say early twenties....probably on some college golf team somewhere now or had been in the past.

Not sure why but whenever I get a young guy doing a fitting I'm always a little leery.  Not being "ageist" or anything, it's just seems like he hasn't had enough experience yet...

 

  • First thing he did was measure my putter for length/loft/lie.
  • Next he had me hit about 7 putts from around 6 feet to see what kind of stroke I had.  He watched closely.
  • Then he attached the SAM lab measuring device (a triangular metal piece about 4 inches) to my putter and asked me to try a few putts; apparently this has some weight to it and he didn't want it to affect my stroke too much ??? sometimes he didn't do a good job of explaining why I was doing certain things
  • After that he had me address the ball from a red dot; lined up the SAM machine and took a picture of me addressing the ball.
  • Then it was time to putt 7 balls.  The hole was about 10 feet away. (note - I was using my own putter this time)
  • Afterwards we looked at the monitor and it said I need this loft/lie/etc....so he put my putter in the loft/lie device and made some adjustments.
  • repeat the test to see if it helped...
  • I took the SAM device off my putter and hit a bunch as he watched again - were the adjustments still working..
  • He then brought over a Scotty and had me try a few..said that this one was close to mine 
  • We hooked the Scotty up to the SAM and repeated the test
  • I asked about other options besides the Scotty and he gave me an odyssey to try - it wasn't as good so we didn't bother wtih the SAM test
  • I putted around with Scotty for a while and then we were done

 

Review:

 

Cost - 

  the fitting was 100 dollars for a one hour session; honestly, I think this was about 2x what it should have cost.  I think a 'fair' price would have been closer to 50 or 60 dollars.  the only 'fitting' component was hitting the ball 7 times on the SAM lab with my putter and then another one, getting the stats and making small adjustments.  when I compare this to a driver/iron fitting it is not even close....that is much more intense with changing heads, shafts, etc. and the cost is around the same price. (my iron/hybrid fitting at a different fitter was 100 dollars for 2 hours)

 

Process - 

  I'm a stats geek so it was cool to be able to see what was happening using the cameras and stuff from the SAM lab.  Not sure how the software works but 7 putts seems too few.  I would've have liked 10 or 12 since maybe 1 or 2 are outliers.

 

  The "putting green" (ha-ha) has no holes with any break.  I understand that when you fit you want to do it on a flat lie but you hit breaking putts on almost every green so why not have a part of the green where the ball breaks a little??   Isn't that more real world?

 

  Taylor was a nice kid but I was the one asking 90 percent of the questions.

  He did a fine job of watching me putt and making adjustments but I really had to ask why he was doing things.  For example he made an adjustment with my putter and just handed it to me and said "try this."  I had to ask what I should expect from the change he made. (in this case it was to get the ball rolling faster since I had a 0 loft on the putter and the ball wasn't getting up and then rolling).

I asked a lot of questions - why someone would use a mallet vs. a blade; how the balance of the face + stroke works, basic putting techniques, etc. but I'll give him credit...he answered each of them.

 

Other - 

  I was a little perturbed that he "fit" me into a 2017 scotty cameron putter.  I'm not sure there is a much more expensive putter on the market (excluding PXG of course)  When I asked about other options he seemed a bit confused...as in..."why would you want to try another one when this one is working so well?"... 

It seemed that I had to keep 'driving' the process...I had to ask 'what's next' and 'where do we go from here' and 'how does this work'.... it seemed like I could've just stayed there and kept putting with a Scotty I couldn't afford.   :lol:

 

Thankfully, I had read somewhere, that you can get your measurements and bring whatever putter you end up with back and they will make the recommended adjustments for you.  I asked him about this and he kind of said ... "Oh, yeah, sure."  At no point was there any pressure to buy.  Want to make that perfectly clear.  He was not trying to sell me a putter.

 

When we wrapped it all up he printed out my sales slip and receipt... (photo 1).... I had to ask to get a printout of the SAM lab specs (photo 2)... if I hadn't asked I'm not sure I would've gotten those, and to be honest, that's what I was paying for - the use of the SAM lab and the 'numbers' that came with it.

 

All in all it was a little less than what I was hoping for; I enjoyed getting a clear understanding of exactly how (path/impact) I swing the putter and precisely what type of putter is best for me.  Apparently a plumber's neck or mallet putter are all wrong; face balanced is not good either.  this was really really good info to know since I can now narrow my search down to the proper putter for my stroke.  Oh - I did ask if someone can "change" their stroke based on a putter.  i.e. if someone went from a 1/4 toe-hang blade to a face-balanced mallet would they change to more of a straight-back-straight-through stroke... he emphatically replied no.  great to know.  I also asked if he thought I would do well with a larger grip (SuperStroke/FlatCat) and he said that with my style it wouldn't be good.

 

TLDR; I thought it was worthwhile if only to get the right putter/style but felt the pricing (100.00) was too high for what I got and getting fit into a very expensive putter was pretty disappointing.

 

sam_lab_receipt.jpg

 

sam_lab_stats.jpg

 

P.S.  I played 18 later that day and my putting was better but I still missed plenty of birdie putts....  :(

 

 

 

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Thanks for sharing. I agree it seems like $100 is a bit much for what you got. In terms of more time with the SAM on other putters.

 

I will say one thing in his defense. I do know a lot of fitters who will say "try this" without telling what it is or why. As to not put a preconceived notions in your head. My driver fitter did that last year with a stiff shaft without telling me. I normally hit regular. He told me after if he had told me "here try this stiff" I might have consciously or subconsciously tried to swing harder.

 

Now that said, he fully explained why and what his thoughts were afterward and what he was trying to accomplish. In this case reduce spin a bit and because I had an aggressive move down he felt a stiff would hole up better than a R even though my SS was only 91 at the time.

 

But I totally get the frustration with having to lead the convo. It shouldn't be that way.

 

BTW. What's wrong with a Scotty 😎

 

Sent from my LG-D850 using MyGolfSpy mobile app

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Thanks for sharing. I agree it seems like $100 is a bit much for what you got. In terms of more time with the SAM on other putters.

 

I will say one thing in his defense. I do know a lot of fitters who will say "try this" without telling what it is or why. As to not put a preconceived notions in your head. My driver fitter did that last year with a stiff shaft without telling me. I normally hit regular. He told me after if he had told me "here try this stiff" I might have consciously or subconsciously tried to swing harder.

 

Now that said, he fully explained why and what his thoughts were afterward and what he was trying to accomplish. In this case reduce spin a bit and because I had an aggressive move down he felt a stiff would hole up better than a R even though my SS was only 91 at the time.

 

But I totally get the frustration with having to lead the convo. It shouldn't be that way.

 

BTW. What's wrong with a Scotty

 

Sent from my LG-D850 using MyGolfSpy mobile app

 

I suppose I should've have added that after I hit a few putts I asked what the change was intended for.  Oops...  :o

 

Don't get me wrong...I'd love to own a Scotty....it's just very expensive and I feel like part of the cost is "paying for the name"...   ^_^

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First time I've seen any type of putter fitting printout like that and like it. At least you got that in addition to an expensive putter.

 

Stroker I read several things from your fitting that I can say I felt/experienced too when I was fit at Edel. The big difference is that you were in a professional studio with the Sam equipment whereas I was in a dimly lit machine shop garage. That was a red flag I didn't heed at the time. I've been to a Club Champion in Austin Texas to look around and it too was in a pretty nice strip type shopping center. My fitter wasn't very forthcoming either during the fitting process unless I asked something. I had no electronics used except a $4 laser pen pointing at a green piece of cloth. I got no printout like you did except a receipt showing how much I overpaid for a putter. Personally I much prefer working with fitters that have made a career out of the profession. Since fitting is the "thing" these days anyone can become a fitter with only limited experience IMO.

 

I'm guessing from reading your post that you feel like you got a nice putter but the overall experience was just blah. And expensive!  Again and for me .... my putter experience was Blah and I regret buying my putter. I should have walked. It was not a good experience and my putter was over priced. It's a good putter but nothing changed because of it. I putted good before and I putt good afterwards.

 

Good luck with your new putter. It's a nice one so that's something.

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Excellent write up Stroker - sorry it wasn't a better experience, but st least you got some solid info.

 

As for having break during a fitting - my thought is it's probably not a good thing. That has more to do about how well you read a green. My thought is a putter fitting should help you find something you can square up consistently and accurately to the line you choose.

 

The Edel and Bettinardi fittings that I've been thru are pretty intricate - and both gave me remarkably similar results - 33" putter with the same loft and lie angles. The laser reflecting off the club face is a great tool to show you how well you can square up different models - learned I definitely shouldn't be playing a blade. A full mallet is better but I tend to aim right - mid mallets work best for me.

 

 

 

 

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First time I've seen any type of putter fitting printout like that and like it. At least you got that in addition to an expensive putter.

 

Stroker I read several things from your fitting that I can say I felt/experienced too when I was fit at Edel. The big difference is that you were in a professional studio with the Sam equipment whereas I was in a dimly lit machine shop garage. That was a red flag I didn't heed at the time. I've been to a Club Champion in Austin Texas to look around and it too was in a pretty nice strip type shopping center. My fitter wasn't very forthcoming either during the fitting process unless I asked something. I had no electronics used except a $4 laser pen pointing at a green piece of cloth. I got no printout like you did except a receipt showing how much I overpaid for a putter. Personally I much prefer working with fitters that have made a career out of the profession. Since fitting is the "thing" these days anyone can become a fitter with only limited experience IMO.

 

I'm guessing from reading your post that you feel like you got a nice putter but the overall experience was just blah. And expensive!  Again and for me .... my putter experience as Blah and I regret buying my putter. I should have walked. It was not a good experience and my putter was over priced. It's a good putter but nothing changed because of it. I putted good before and I putt good afterwards.

 

Good luck with your new putter. It's a nice one so that's something.

 

 

Thanks Plaid... I did not buy the putter.... it was way out of my price range.  I almost laughed when he handed me the slip showing me the cost.  Told the kid my birthday was coming up and my wife is always looking for something "golf related" for me.  

 

My plan is to get a slightly used one at a discount and bring it back to have it adjusted to spec.

 

You are right about my experience... it was so-so...  your "fitting" (if you can even call it that) sounds rather outlandish!

 

....

 

Personally I much prefer working with fitters that have made a career out of the profession. Since fitting is the "thing" these days anyone can become a fitter with only limited experience IMO.

 

Couldn't agree with this more!  It's funny...there were business cards at the front desk and each of them said "Master Fitter".... haha.  How can someone who has been doing it for a few years be a "Master"...???

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Excellent write up Stroker - sorry it wasn't a better experience, but st least you got some solid info.

 

As for having break during a fitting - my thought is it's probably not a good thing. That has more to do about how well you read a green. My thought is a putter fitting should help you find something you can square up consistently and accurately to the line you choose.

 

The Edel and Bettinardi fittings that I've been thru are pretty intricate - and both gave me remarkably similar results - 33" putter with the same loft and lie angles. The laser reflecting off the club face is a great tool to show you how well you can square up different models - learned I definitely shouldn't be playing a blade. A full mallet is better but I tend to aim right - mid mallets work best for me.

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

 

Thanks Barbajo!  You're probably right about the break on the green.... fitting is more about stroke/getting everything going on the desired line than reading the green.

The laser would've been a nice touch to give you a good understanding of precisely where the face is line up to the path.  Wonder why they didn't have that?

 

Sounds like you had 2 good fittings and if I recall you have a really nice Edel that worked well for you last time we played!   :D

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Thanks for the insight, I was planning on doing this at the Club Champion in STL. I have been "fit" at Golf Galaxy for a putter in the past. When I say fit, I mean he watched my swing and adjusted the lie and loft, nothing like a fancy SAM lab.

 

The $100 price point for that few of putts is a little crazy to me, and the fact that he pushed the most expensive putter on you is something I don't like. One thing I do like about CC though is that you aren't required to buy any equipment from them after the fitting. I honestly think I would go there just to get the specs and such of what I need and then buy a putter elsewhere, especially if they don't give you many options to test out.

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Whew... I'm kind of relieved you didn't buy it. Heck... you can shop around and find that putter for less money anyway.

Personally, unless a guy is a really crappy putter I'm not all that sold on putter fitting. Other clubs.... absolutely.

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Thanks for the insight, I was planning on doing this at the Club Champion in STL. I have been "fit" at Golf Galaxy for a putter in the past. When I say fit, I mean he watched my swing and adjusted the lie and loft, nothing like a fancy SAM lab.

 

The $100 price point for that few of putts is a little crazy to me, and the fact that he pushed the most expensive putter on you is something I don't like. One thing I do like about CC though is that you aren't required to buy any equipment from them after the fitting. I honestly think I would go there just to get the specs and such of what I need and then buy a putter elsewhere, especially if they don't give you many options to test out.

 

I agree... fortunately they had a SAM lab and I knew that I could get the specs I wanted/needed (similar to going to a fitter with a Trackman/GC4)...unfortunately they were one of the few that do so I had to suck it up and pay the price...

 

My plan is to get a slightly used one at a discount and bring it back to have it adjusted to spec.  Not sure if they'll charge me for that or not.  I think Carolina Golfer 2 went to CC and he said there was no charge when he did it for his irons.

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As you can see all of my strikes were closer to the toe of the putter instead of the center.  I think that's why he fit me into the Newport 3.

 

Looking around/researching things it looks like the Del Mar 3.5 would be similar... has a bit more "mass" in the toe of the putter than the heel.

 

If anyone has one and can comment on it I'd love to hear your thoughts!

 

The Golo 3 also seems similar to the Newport 3.... really difficult to figure out the differences in all of the Scotty models...

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I agree... fortunately they had a SAM lab and I knew that I could get the specs I wanted/needed (similar to going to a fitter with a Trackman/GC4)...unfortunately they were one of the few that do so I had to suck it up and pay the price...

 

My plan is to get a slightly used one at a discount and bring it back to have it adjusted to spec. Not sure if they'll charge me for that or not. I think Carolina Golfer 2 went to CC and he said there was no charge when he did it for his irons.

You will have to keep this post updated when you return to have that done. If I decide to get a fitting at the one in STL, I'll be sure to report back and let ya know how it compares to your experience. All of the reviews and testimonials were 5 stars, so fingers crossed.

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Thanks Barbajo! You're probably right about the break on the green.... fitting is more about stroke/getting everything going on the desired line than reading the green.

The laser would've been a nice touch to give you a good understanding of precisely where the face is line up to the path. Wonder why they didn't have that?

 

Sounds like you had 2 good fittings and if I recall you have a really nice Edel that worked well for you last time we played! :D

Still love that putter - fits like a glove. Bettinardi is in the bag now, and the Evnroll has been in and out. Should not have gone with the full mallet there.

 

Cool thing about a putter fitting is if you have a good idea what fits for you, you'll know what to look for - sounds like a "duh" statement but it can help prevent the impulse buy. One thing I learned at Edel is that my eye prefers a slightly extended or rounded back. Bettinardi doesn't have it but the backside is appealing

 

Explains why I could putt well with my Baby Ben a few years ago, but different mallets don't work as well.

 

 

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I agree... fortunately they had a SAM lab and I knew that I could get the specs I wanted/needed (similar to going to a fitter with a Trackman/GC4)...unfortunately they were one of the few that do so I had to suck it up and pay the price...

 

My plan is to get a slightly used one at a discount and bring it back to have it adjusted to spec. Not sure if they'll charge me for that or not. I think Carolina Golfer 2 went to CC and he said there was no charge when he did it for his irons.

I went to CC two years ago for an iron fitting. But told them up front I just needed my specs (shaft model/loft/length/lie/flex) as I was getting the clubs directly from the OEM.

 

I don't recall ever taking them back for an adjustment. But it's possible. I don't recall much these days. Lol

 

Sent from my LG-D850 using MyGolfSpy mobile app

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That didn't sound like a great experience... I will say one thing about my Edel fitting that seems better than what you experienced are the putter adjustments. Getting loft, lie, swing path, etc is one thing, but grabbing a putter that matches the loft and lie just isn't enough. I'd rather have them build the putter from the hosel up, including interior weighting, to REALLY match to my swing. The benefit of Edel...

 

 

 

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I did ask him if he could adjust the putter I had to match the specs from the SAM lab as close as possible without breaking it and he was nice enough to do that for free...

 

Wasn't exactly to the specs I got but he did a pretty good job...

 

Certainly don't want the experience to sound completely negative/discouraging/disappointing... it wasn't... I got some great info out of it and it was worthwhile...

 

As Barbajo stated - "Cool thing about a putter fitting is if you have a good idea what fits for you, you'll know what to look for - sounds like a "duh" statement but it can help prevent the impulse buy."

 

No more late night ebay purchases!   :lol:  :P  :lol: 

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That didn't sound like a great experience... I will say one thing about my Edel fitting that seems better than what you experienced are the putter adjustments. Getting loft, lie, swing path, etc is one thing, but grabbing a putter that matches the loft and lie just isn't enough. I'd rather have them build the putter from the hosel up, including interior weighting, to REALLY match to my swing. The benefit of Edel...

 

 

 

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Yeah - they were crazy thorough with the weighting options. Got tired of hitting balls to that damn yellow line, but that really helped dial in the weighting.

 

 

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I went to CC two years ago for an iron fitting. But told them up front I just needed my specs (shaft model/loft/length/lie/flex) as I was getting the clubs directly from the OEM.

 

I don't recall ever taking them back for an adjustment. But it's possible. I don't recall much these days. Lol

 

Sent from my LG-D850 using MyGolfSpy mobile app

 

 

Sorry ... it was cksurfdude... here's the thread:

https://forum.mygolfspy.com/topic/19703-my-second-time-around-for-a-fitting/?p=298687

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Definitely sounds like you got a little shortchanged on the puttlab fitting.  From my experience,  being able to analyze the puttlab results requires some detailed knowledge.  It seems like he based his putter selection simply based on the recommended fitting.  7 is more than is typically done,  my report had 5,  but I also got the detailed report that showed the results for all the shots.   I like you are a stats person and would like to have know the basis for the selection which is probably why we are thinking you didn't get your moneys worth.  I think this is the struggle at fitting places like this is the fitter capable of explaining what he is trying to do so that those of us that want to understand the results of the changes being implemented.  This is why I like my putting instructor, he provided me with the details of what the report was saying.

 

Not sure which measurement this was from since you said you were measured a few times,  but based on my reading of the report,  even though your stroke goes a little right but you typically miss left because the face is 2 degrees closed at impact.  I wish I could see the degrees right for all the stroke because it looks like it varies a bit which may offset some of your left miss.     It also shows that you line up with the ball toward the toe of the putter which may be why you were hitting so far out on the toe.  Since you hit down on the ball,  he added a couple of degrees of loft so you launched the ball a bit more.  The putter recommendation is to provide a putter that will be a little more open at impact.  You could accomplish this but adding some weight to your current putter to slow down the rotation.  Am I close to what you were told and how you putt?

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Definitely sounds like you got a little shortchanged on the puttlab fitting.  From my experience,  being able to analyze the puttlab results requires some detailed knowledge.  It seems like he based his putter selection simply based on the recommended fitting.  7 is more than is typically done,  my report had 5,  but I also got the detailed report that showed the results for all the shots.   I like you are a stats person and would like to have know the basis for the selection which is probably why we are thinking you didn't get your moneys worth.  I think this is the struggle at fitting places like this is the fitter capable of explaining what he is trying to do so that those of us that want to understand the results of the changes being implemented.  This is why I like my putting instructor, he provided me with the details of what the report was saying.

 

Not sure which measurement this was from since you said you were measured a few times,  but based on my reading of the report,  even though your stroke goes a little right but you typically miss left because the face is 2 degrees closed at impact.  I wish I could see the degrees right for all the stroke because it looks like it varies a bit which may offset some of your left miss.     It also shows that you line up with the ball toward the toe of the putter which may be why you were hitting so far out on the toe.  Since you hit down on the ball,  he added a couple of degrees of loft so you launched the ball a bit more.  The putter recommendation is to provide a putter that will be a little more open at impact.  You could accomplish this but adding some weight to your current putter to slow down the rotation.  Am I close to what you were told and how you putt?

 

Hi there... thanks for your input...   you have a putting instructor?  that's cool.  B)

 

the measurement was from the Scotty and not my putter but they were pretty close to the same.

I actually thought I was centering the ball on the line on the putter... I asked him why everything was going on the toe side and he wasn't sure.  Must've been my takeaway and follow through.

 

He didn't mention anything about adding weight to my current putter.  I think he wasn't really intending to slow down any rotation but more to try to fit to it.  

I think that's why he went with the the Newport 3 and the Odyssey #9....they have more "mass" in the toe so the face gets squared at impact instead of closed.

 

I do have a strong arc when I putt and as you can see in the output it really closes on the follow-through.

 

Curiously, though, he didn't mention changing the weights so that 10g is in the heel and 15g is in the toe.  Thought he might have tried that just to see what would happen.

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