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SoutheastLefty

High Handicap Fitting Experience: Frustrating

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Thanks for posting your experience SEL, very informative.

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Based on the variety of clubs and shafts he hit the third time, I bet Golfdom was the 3rd place. It actually would have been a good place to start.

 

They have full fitting carts from just about everyone and the staff there is pretty knowledgeable.

 

 

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Could be. At first I was thinking maybe woody's

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Based on the variety of clubs and shafts he hit the third time, I bet Golfdom was the 3rd place. It actually would have been a good place to start.

 

They have full fitting carts from just about everyone and the staff there is pretty knowledgeable.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

 

 

Could be. At first I was thinking maybe woody's

 

 

Bingo. It was Golfdom working with Jim. I had originally tried to avoid them due to the general stigma around "big box" stores, but found the experience really solid. Highly recommend them.

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While I understand your frustration, your post leaves me thinking, hmmmmmm....

 

Because while I find some of the online pros like Crossfield entertaining, and more entertaining than actually informative, I also think they have their merits.

But I also tend to disagree with the/their premise that your fitter should be your coach/teacher.

Most coaches only become good at their jobs after years of experience, and most fitters only become good at their job after years of classes and seminars, and experience - and I've known of few coaches that have actually ever attended a single clubfitting/making class.

And the reason being is that most if not all pros are signed by/attached to a brand, and while they (might) show/offer you other brands to try, it's my opinion that they're going to guide you (even subconsciously) back to the brand they represent if for no other reason that it's what they're more familiar with.

They're different trades. ... Let coaches do their job, and let fitters do theirs.

And realistically, while I understand it can be frustrating, unless it's a fitter that you've worked with before, I'm of the belief that people should attend multiple fittings (with more than one fitter, like you did), before settling on what fits them best (like you did) - because oftentimes it's not a cut and dry, one session experience. ... And really shouldn't be.

 

But anyways, I also am concerned for a couple of other reasons:

1) It appears your results are based totally on trackman/simulator numbers, and from the sound of it no live (outside) hitting. While imho it's great to use sim numbers to support what you're seeing from a range session, I don't think relying on them alone is enough to justify a purchase - and too often I hear (here and other places) of people making a purchase based on trackman/sim numbers that "look" great, only to get the club on the course and it being a dud.

2) Your statement, "He didn't seem to care so much that all I wanted was to not play a 12* driver and reduce my slice miss."

Sometimes it's tough to accept, but if you go into a fitting (or teaching session) with preconceived notions and your mind set - you're not always going to get what you want to hear.

As the one fitter that you disagreed with suggested, without fixing your swing first it's not really a good idea to buy a new driver - and I tend to agree. Why? Because investing in a driver now, and fitting it to your swing that's producing a huge slice, is like putting a bandaid on a broken arm. ... Sure, we've all got swing faults to some extent or another that we live with, but if you're taking lessons to improve your swing, then it seems to me that your new driver is going to be less and less applicable for your new swing the more your improve. A driver alone is not going to fix a slice.

3) No offense, but if you're slicing a high-lofted driver, regardless what shaft's in it - just based on the universally-accepted premise that higher lofted clubs are easier to hit than lower lofted clubs (aka a 3 wood is easier to hit straight than a driver) - I'm wondering why you were so dead set on not playing a 12* driver, other than vanity? ... Because a lower lofted driver is going to accentuate your miss (slice) more over the long term than a higher lofted one.

4) While it seems a draw-biased driver was what was recommended for you, and might be the best thing based on your current swing - I also think they're a bit of a bandaid (see post 2 above) as well - in much the same manner that offset drivers were all the rage with slicers back in the 1990s and early 2000s, draw-biased drivers are in recent years. Because if you have a swing fault that allows you to slice the ball, it's a matter of time until your swing fault allows you to slice the new driver.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of the technology, in fact I play a draw-biased driver myself. But I'm a cutter, I hit a natural fade, and a draw-biased club just allows me to hit is straighter (I'm not trying to correct a slice). ... And that's why I like drivers with moveable weights for people that slicer or hook the ball that are taking lessons and working on their swings, as it allows them to make the temporary fix, while allowing them to tune it out as their swing improves.

.

 

Anyways, those are my thoughts - and I'm not saying I'm right or wrong - just throwing it out there. ... And end of the day I hope it all works out for you and your new sticks work out for you.

Best of luck, and good golfing to ya! :)

 

 

 

 

Yeah. Someone else also called out the coach being tied to a brand, which is exactly what I experienced. Lesson learned. 

 

Re: #1 Trackman vs. hitting outside: the first fitting with my swing coach was at the range hitting outdoors with the addition of Trackman. Kind of the best of both worlds, but a lack of clubs to swing. While I'd love to be able to get a proper hit-everything fitting outdoors, there just isn't that option within a close distance to me. If I lived in FL or CA where I suspect these are prevalent, certainly would have found one and made that work. I quick google search of nearby outdoor fitters found one ~25 miles from my place.

 

#2: I think my preconceived notion that my R15 12* driver wasn't doing anything for me was validated when all three fitters laughed when they grabbed it. As I mentioned, I had it cranked down 1.5* and didn't realize that the more you crank it down the more it also opens the club face. Given my neutral (good swing)/out to in (bad swing) swing path, any additional opening of the face only exasperated my miss. I'm not sure I agree that my preconceived notion hindered the fitters ability to recommend something that would work better.

 

#3: Yeah, again, I prefaced that I don't expect this to solve my game. But I got to the point where I simply couldn't "feel" the club and what my swing was doing.Through the first fitting with my coach, we realized pretty quickly that with a heavier shaft, I could actually feel my swing and diagnose a bad swing, rather than feeling like I'm swinging air. 

 

Frankly I may have been able to get similar results simply by picking up a 75G shaft and putting it into the R15, fair enough. The shaft didn't fix my swing, but it helped me feel where my swing came undone, and then avoid that motion.

 

As for why not play a 12* driver standard, my spin rates and launch angles were just too high. This is primarily a result of hitting down on the ball through driver (as all fitters called out, a bit too much so for driver at -2 on good swings, -4 on bad), but even on the good swings with a -2 AoA spin rates were up near 4000-4500 RPM. On misses, it'd balloon up over 5000 RPM spin and just shed distance and slice away off the left. 

 

With the lower lofts we had better control of spin. Still not great, closer to 3000 RPM instead of the desired 2000-2500. But the misses were staying more on line and the slice much less pronounced (read: likely in play instead of OB). 

 

4: Definitely hear you! And maybe that's why fitter #2 tried to recommend an M3 so we could toss the weights around. I should mention that the slice is my miss, I'm liable for 2-3 of them per round with the driver, where all other drivers land either in the left side of the fairway or just in the rough. A slice is my miss, not my usual hit. I'm still going to work with my swing coach to flatten the swing and bring it more neutral. If the net result of that is I'm now drawing the ball with this club instead of fading/slicing, that'll be a first! 

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If I understand the OP correctly , he spent $385 to "get fit" for a driver. I think the driver he bought is about $500, for which he received $50 off the previous fitting, so his total cash outlay for this fitting experience and driver is $835.

 

At the end of his post the OP asked "did I do the whole thing wrong"?

My answer to that question is that if the OP wanted to pay for fittings, learn about them, get the experience of having them, and can financially afford $385 worth of fitting service costs, then he did nothing wrong.

 

The OP also asked "am I good enough to get fit"?

I understand that it is common and popular on every internet forum for the majority to write posts recommending a person "get fit" before buying any new clubs. Certainly the equipment brands and retail stores give the same message.

But I think if the OP asked a Tour pro if it is worth it to spend $835 on fitting services and a new driver, the Tour pro would likely say "for that $835 you could get 8-10 lessons from a competent PGA teaching pro. And if you combine the lessons with plenty of practice doing what the instructor taught you, your handicap can drop from 20 to less than 10"

 

Yeah. This is fair, and absolutely not hindering me from continuing lessons. Frankly that first $85 session with my swing coach I almost am willing to consider a pseudo lesson. 

 

So I'm $150 in on the poor experience at Club Champion, and another $100 in at Golfdom ($150 less the $50 back for buying clubs). The Golfdom fit is technically for a full bag, so I have to go back at another time to get fit for fairways, hybrids, irons etc. 

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Yeah. This is fair, and absolutely not hindering me from continuing lessons. Frankly that first $85 session with my swing coach I almost am willing to consider a pseudo lesson. 

 

So I'm $150 in on the poor experience at Club Champion, and another $100 in at Golfdom ($150 less the $50 back for buying clubs). The Golfdom fit is technically for a full bag, so I have to go back at another time to get fit for fairways, hybrids, irons etc. 

Its both interesting and a shame to read of your experiences at Club Champion.  I had been fit there twice previously (both under their original main fitter who is sadly no longer there)  It was a great experience both times.  But you experience is now the 2nd or 3rd similar experience I have heard there.   I know forum member CNosil was there earlier this year and for the most part had a good experience if I recall.

 

I also stopped in GolfDom back during the winter wanting to demo the XXIO Prime Driver.  While I didn't schedule or pay for a fitting, the sales person spent a lot of time with me, putting me on the LM, trying different shafts with it and even a swing tip or two.    I was very appreciative of the time they spent. 

 

Also I will echo what RevKev said earlier about not chasing the angle of attack numbers.  Sure a positive number will yield a bit more distance with everything else being equal.  But a number of -2 isn't going to kill you.    I sat through several demo days with reps this spring, watching them fit people and with all but one exception they told people, that sure if it was lower it would help, but there were so many other factors that were more important in dialing them in than just AOA.     

 

Because let's not forget, a fitter's number one job is to fit a club to your CURRENT swing.  Not try to change you swing to optimize numbers.  That can come later through lessons and what not, if you desire.  But focusing too much on trying improve your AOA during a fitting, shouldn't be the prime objective. 

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As far as I'm concerned - yeah you did it right. To elaborate on that answer, let me break it down into the key areas which would be of benefit to any level of golfer.

 

1. You actually got off your butt and went to get fit! It still amazes me how many folks these days still do not even get to this first basic step, but you did - and this is great.

 

2. You didn't take one piece of advice - you sort out multiple opinions. OK, this may not have been intentional on your part, but at least you got more than one perspective on what you should (or could) be looking at in terms of equipment and cost.

 

3. You trusted your own feel. Nobody else, not even the worlds top swing gurus can tell you how something feels - only you can. This is key in finding something that is comfortable to swing and helps in the fitting process.

 

4. It's all a learning process. Sure, lessons are good and I recommend them as the best investment you will ever make to yourself, but when it comes down to fitting equipment a certain amount of reality check needs to be applied. A premium fitter is just that - they're probably not interested in connecting anyone with an option that wastes their time and money. Therefore they tend to list options that are appropriate rather that options you think you might like. Retail fitters are just that too - they tend to want to sell stock  so their options normally follow this trend too. 

 

5. Never give up. Sooner or later something will click in your game that will make the best sense in terms of what you are trying to achieve and what you can realistically deliver. The point is, the harder you try and the harder you practice, the easier this becomes and the rest will follow. I always say that the level of fitting you deserve is directly related to the level of effort that you're prepared to make. On the face of what you said, then I'd say you made a pretty decent effort - which scores highly in my eyes (see point 1).

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I was going to hit on the area where you said you only wanted a driver without 12* of loft. But RP already responded to that twice in his reply. I suppose I'm a decent player. 5 hcp. And guess what? I play a 14* SLDR dialed back to a 12*. The exact thing you don't want. I know a lot of guys that could probably hit my driver over a skyscraper. But not me.... I actually hit a mid-to high draw with it and love it. It's been my longest and most accurate driver ever. I have never had anyone examine my driver and snicker at the loft. And besides... who cares if they do? Golf is a results game. And my 12* driver puts me long in the mow.

 

Fitting is a strange animal. Now days every Joe that has a backyard shop and can glue in a shaft is a fitter. Hardly. Golf Pros think they are fitters too. Laughable. Some Pros cant even provide good instruction. Most resorts and high-end clubs have now gotten into fitting. These are for suckers mostly. Personally I prefer the types that have been fitting and building clubs for 20-30 years. Made a career of it. Look for these guys. Many of these Professional Club fitters-builders might not even deal with brands you're familiar with and that's good too. Just because a club isn't called Callaway or Ping or Titleist doesn't mean they are no good. There's a whole other world out there to be discovered if you're interested. 

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Its both interesting and a shame to read of your experiences at Club Champion.  I had been fit there twice previously (both under their original main fitter who is sadly no longer there)  It was a great experience both times.  But you experience is now the 2nd or 3rd similar experience I have heard there.   I know forum member CNosil was there earlier this year and for the most part had a good experience if I recall.

 

I also stopped in GolfDom back during the winter wanting to demo the XXIO Prime Driver.  While I didn't schedule or pay for a fitting, the sales person spent a lot of time with me, putting me on the LM, trying different shafts with it and even a swing tip or two.    I was very appreciative of the time they spent. 

 

Also I will echo what RevKev said earlier about not chasing the angle of attack numbers.  Sure a positive number will yield a bit more distance with everything else being equal.  But a number of -2 isn't going to kill you.    I sat through several demo days with reps this spring, watching them fit people and with all but one exception they told people, that sure if it was lower it would help, but there were so many other factors that were more important in dialing them in than just AOA.     

 

Because let's not forget, a fitter's number one job is to fit a club to your CURRENT swing.  Not try to change you swing to optimize numbers.  That can come later through lessons and what not, if you desire.  But focusing too much on trying improve your AOA during a fitting, shouldn't be the prime objective. 

 

Thanks Golfspy Rob! Definitely a bummer about Club Champion and agreed. Fitting should be about your swing today. Unfortunately CC's experience turned into "here's why we can't optimally fit you". Golfdom definitely doesn't fit in the typical "retailer" category. Super informative, no pressure of putting me in a particular brand, and took the time to find what worked AND offered for me to come back another time to complete the rest of my fitting I paid for.

 

 

As far as I'm concerned - yeah you did it right. To elaborate on that answer, let me break it down into the key areas which would be of benefit to any level of golfer.

 

1. You actually got off your butt and went to get fit! It still amazes me how many folks these days still do not even get to this first basic step, but you did - and this is great.

 

2. You didn't take one piece of advice - you sort out multiple opinions. OK, this may not have been intentional on your part, but at least you got more than one perspective on what you should (or could) be looking at in terms of equipment and cost.

 

3. You trusted your own feel. Nobody else, not even the worlds top swing gurus can tell you how something feels - only you can. This is key in finding something that is comfortable to swing and helps in the fitting process.

 

4. It's all a learning process. Sure, lessons are good and I recommend them as the best investment you will ever make to yourself, but when it comes down to fitting equipment a certain amount of reality check needs to be applied. A premium fitter is just that - they're probably not interested in connecting anyone with an option that wastes their time and money. Therefore they tend to list options that are appropriate rather that options you think you might like. Retail fitters are just that too - they tend to want to sell stock  so their options normally follow this trend too. 

 

5. Never give up. Sooner or later something will click in your game that will make the best sense in terms of what you are trying to achieve and what you can realistically deliver. The point is, the harder you try and the harder you practice, the easier this becomes and the rest will follow. I always say that the level of fitting you deserve is directly related to the level of effort that you're prepared to make. On the face of what you said, then I'd say you made a pretty decent effort - which scores highly in my eyes (see point 1).

 

Thanks for the encouraging words jaskanski! Lots of lessons learned through this process. I'm excited to continue working to a better golf game. 

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As rob mentioned I did go to CC and had Jim as my fitter. No, he wasn't the most engaging fitter but I got what I was seeking from the experience. I think I am fairly knowledgeable about equipment so I could perhaps explain what I was feeling and what I wanted. We had some discussions but they were not like talking to your best friend about equipment.

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I was going to hit on the area where you said you only wanted a driver without 12* of loft. But RP already responded to that twice in his reply. I suppose I'm a decent player. 5 hcp. And guess what? I play a 14* SLDR dialed back to a 12*. The exact thing you don't want. I know a lot of guys that could probably hit my driver over a skyscraper. But not me.... I actually hit a mid-to high draw with it and love it. It's been my longest and most accurate driver ever. I have never had anyone examine my driver and snicker at the loft. And besides... who cares if they do? Golf is a results game. And my 12* driver puts me long in the mow.

 

Fitting is a strange animal. Now days every Joe that has a backyard shop and can glue in a shaft is a fitter. Hardly. Golf Pros think they are fitters too. Laughable. Some Pros cant even provide good instruction. Most resorts and high-end clubs have now gotten into fitting. These are for suckers mostly. Personally I prefer the types that have been fitting and building clubs for 20-30 years. Made a career of it. Look for these guys. Many of these Professional Club fitters-builders might not even deal with brands you're familiar with and that's good too. Just because a club isn't called Callaway or Ping or Titleist doesn't mean they are no good. There's a whole other world out there to be discovered if you're interested. 

 

I hear you. Maybe I'm not quite explaining this right. If the 12* was the right fit for me, I absolutely would play it!

 

It got laughs after looking at the data and result of the shots. Towering, over spinny drives that lost more distance that just didn't fit my swing. 

 

The laugh was much more a "well no wonder why that's your miss" and "why would you ever play a 12* cranked down to 10.5 to manage ball flight, only to open the club face and thus exasperate the left miss?". It was not "12* is for seniors, HA!". TLDR; I played it because it was on 2ndswing as the cheapest R15 available.

 

SLDR was also in the middle of Taylormade's "Loft Up" campaign. IIRC, SLDR was one of the lowest spinning heads ever, necessitating higher lofts in order to generate the right ballfight. 

 

Not saying you're right or wrong, but I certainly don't want to paint a picture that I was "against" hitting the 12* despite positive results. It pretty obviously wasn't a good fit, probably because I wasn't fit for it! 

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Bingo. It was Golfdom working with Jim. I had originally tried to avoid them due to the general stigma around "big box" stores, but found the experience really solid. Highly recommend them.

Jim at golfdom is really good. He's the one I prefer there and a buddy of mine won't use anywhere there but jim.

 

I don't consider golfdom big box because it's only that store and they deal in all brands including high end lines like pxg, honma and miura

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I think you experience with two out of three was worth the effort.   I had my fitting at Club Champion and came away smiling because I found a driver that works very well for me.  With that said one of my friends had a fitting at the same CC and although the fitter was good, the irons were not delivered on time so he bought them elsewhere.  The overall experience you had was good and now you will be gaming clubs that should work much better!  Oh and by the way, you are very good at reviews!

 

What part of the southeast are you from?

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I think you experience with two out of three was worth the effort.   I had my fitting at Club Champion and came away smiling because I found a driver that works very well for me.  With that said one of my friends had a fitting at the same CC and although the fitter was good, the irons were not delivered on time so he bought them elsewhere.  The overall experience you had was good and now you will be gaming clubs that should work much better!  Oh and by the way, you are very good at reviews!

 

What part of the southeast are you from?

 

Thanks! I'm from Virginia but spent 8 years in Columbia, SC and Charlotte. 

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Thanks for a GREAT write up. I think at a minimum, you've helped a lot of people who have never had a fitting in terms of what to look for and what to avoid.
I swear it's like trying to find an auto mechanic or a dentist. Who do you trust? Especially as you're like me: not independently wealthy.
I feel like you did this as correctly as you could. It sucks that you spent a bit of extra cash that could have paid for greens fees, but knowledge is priceless, eh? And, you've still got some fitting time left apparently at your last stop. Maybe they're the ticket moving forward. Enjoy your new driver! Looking forward to your review of that now! :D :D


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Thanks for a GREAT write up. I think at a minimum, you've helped a lot of people who have never had a fitting in terms of what to look for and what to avoid.

I swear it's like trying to find an auto mechanic or a dentist. Who do you trust? Especially as you're like me: not independently wealthy.

I feel like you did this as correctly as you could. It sucks that you spent a bit of extra cash that could have paid for greens fees, but knowledge is priceless, eh? And, you've still got some fitting time left apparently at your last stop. Maybe they're the ticket moving forward. Enjoy your new driver! Looking forward to your review of that now! :D :D

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

 

Thanks all! Got the call that the club is in. Can't wait to pick it up. Expect a first impressions review by the end of the weekend! 

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Thanks! I'm from Virginia but spent 8 years in Columbia, SC and Charlotte. 

 

 

That's beautiful country up your way!   

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"Taylormade R15 Driver Stiff Flex, 12* head de-lofted to 10.5 (miss = huge slice)"

 

Seems to me that the first thing to do would be to try to minimize the slice.  Believe it or not, when you de-loft the head, you create an open face.  My suggestion would be to dial up the loft to 12* which would close the face back to neutral and that should help with the slice.

 

If you still need more help, then try it to 2* higher (ie 14*) and it would also close the face which should help stop the slice.

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"Taylormade R15 Driver Stiff Flex, 12* head de-lofted to 10.5 (miss = huge slice)"

 

Seems to me that the first thing to do would be to try to minimize the slice.  Believe it or not, when you de-loft the head, you create an open face.  My suggestion would be to dial up the loft to 12* which would close the face back to neutral and that should help with the slice.

 

If you still need more help, then try it to 2* higher (ie 14*) and it would also close the face which should help stop the slice.

 

Yes! I actually found that out from my first fitting attempt. So this is definitely exasperating the issue. The challenge with adding the loft is that my launch angle gets a bit out of control. So while it'd help keep it in play, I'd lose additional distance.

 

Also worth noting that the slice is my miss, not my typical ballfight, and only liable for 2-3 of them a round. 

 

 

I agree that the first (and most sensible) strategy is to improve the swing.

In this case the OP has declared that he does have a "swing coach". I am not sure if swing coach means traditional PGA teaching pro or not.Whichever the title. coach or instructor,  the OP apparently does work with this guy on swing technique. 

 

Thanks Topline. And definitely agree, as I mentioned in the OP, that this is not the "solution" to the swing. 

 

Rather, I am simply not comfortable with the club. Too light, using the adjustments to try and manage ballflight, etc. 

 

It sounds like your thought is that you should NOT get fit until you have a "good" swing. I am not constantly slicing the ball of the tee. That's my miss.  

 

I'm trying to get the right equipment AND work with my PGA Tour Professional {{insert whatever title you want for someone I'm taking regular private lessons with}}. For me, I got to a point where I couldn't "feel" the changes in my swing with the club. This is not in place of continuing lessons.

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All, 

 

My first impressions of my new driver are now posted over in the member review section! Not shockingly, I'm really impressed. 

 

Another update on the fitting experience. 

 

When I picked up my driver I also took the time to continue my fit for fairway woods. 

 

My current Fairway Clubs:

 

  • Taylormade R11S 3W- Stock Shaft Regular Stiffness
  • Taylormade R11S 5W- Stock Shaft Regular Stiffness

 

We stuck with the Rogue lineup and tested the standard as well as Sub Zero heads. 

 

Unfortunately, since these are not adjustable clubs, it was harder to really test the full shaft options available. This is where places like Golfdom fall flat versus some of the more premium club fitters. They simply have fully built clubs, not heads with fitting hosels to easily swap shafts.

 

We started with the 5W in both SZ and standard. For the SZ, I really struggled with trajectory and consistency. 

 

After testing the SZ Jim and I had a discussion about my game and that I intended to primarily be hitting the 5W into greens, rather than off the tee. Because of that, we decided to focus on some higher launching shafts than the Hzrdus Yellow that we fit into my driver, as well as the standard head.

 

The two options for shafts they had available, aside from the Hzrdus Yellow, was the 75G Evenflow Blue as well as the lighter Synergy. Since we went 76G in the Driver, it really made no sense to consider the synergy (remember, through my driver fitting we realized that my swing and feels prefer heavier clubs!), so we grabbed a 5W with the Evenflow Blue shaft and hit away. 

 

The results were high launching, consistent shots where the themes from the driver fit carried over: better feel, cleaner contact. Sold. 

 

We ended up ordering a fresh club instead of purchasing the one I hit. It was their demo and pretty worn. Hoping for that club to come in within the week!

 

At this point you're probably wondering, "what about the 3W?". We ground to a halt here. 

 

Jim is great and talking about my game with me. For the 3W, we were unsure if I'd like to A: take the same approach as the 5W (higher launch and spin for softer landings) or B: turn the club into more of a driving fairway wood off the tee for shorter Par 4s or where accuracy is a premium. 

 

Option A would probably be the same Evenflow Blue Shaft.

Option B would probably be either the Evenflow Black or even the Hzrdus Yellow that's in my driver. 

 

My question for you in this update:

  • How should I approach my 3W fit?
  • Do you think about your 3W as a club for longer rollouts or high launch, soft landing? 

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