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Fitter survey

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I read elsewhere - I will visit other sites but only to lurk - about a survey of top fitters concerning equipment that players bag. The results were enlightening, sad and in many ways predictable.

 

Half of all golfers need more loft on their driver, half play top form a flex and... wait for it - 65 percent of all golfers fit need more forgiveness in their irons.

 

Further one would suspect that the actual numbers are worse - these are golfers going for a fitting - imagine the numbers among those who don't.

 

2/3 need more forgiveness in their irons - around 5 percent could use less - and that's among players like us who know about equipment.

 

Perhaps we make our plates too big for our appetite and the pay the price in higher scores.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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What is the skill level of the players they are fitting?

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This ties in nicely to my messing around with the PING nFlight online fitting tool last night.  I put in all my correct specs and measurements.  Got a recommendation of iBlades.  I left all numbers the same but changed the handicap to 13.  Got a recommendation of i200's.  Changed the handicap to 21 and got G700.

 

Out of all those options I'm far more likely to be a G700 player than anything else but OEM's seem to think lowish handicap players don't want or need a more forgiving iron.

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I agree that many golfers play equipment that doesn't suit their abilities. Most players I play with have not been fit for their equipment. I know this because I've asked them. Some have purchased equipment (mostly drivers) based on an indoor LM fitting. If that.  IMO opinion retail outlets that have LM's use them mostly as a sales tool giving the buyer an impression they are being FIT. I suppose it's a little better than nothing at all. I believe LM's are a great invention, useful, and provide a lot on information. But they are not then end all be all. It's outdoors hitting balls and seeing and feeling what is happening that tells the tell.

 

I also agree that most golfers play clubs without enough loft. Again, especially drivers. I play with a lot of golfers with handicaps ranging from scratch to 18. I'd say all of them have beautiful irons and drivers and such. The problem is; quite a few (especially higher hcp'rs) are playing irons that are not suited for their true ability. I've even asked a couple of them why they bought such and such irons. Those being narrow soles, compact heads, etc. They mostly say they just liked the looks. And, I agree as I liked them too. However, I'd never play them with my 5 hcp. as they are too damn difficult for my ability. I've also witnessed a few golfers that purchased their clubs in reverse order. They bought blade like irons and ended up later ditching them for easier more game improving heads. And guess what? Their games improved!! Imagine that.

 

I look at this like moving up a tee. Too many golfers want to show off their awesome irons and drivers (and hear the ohhhs and ahhhs) and then shoot high scores and complain all day about their lousy game and ball striking. Many of these same people are playing the wrong tee too. They just can't give up the ghost and admit to themselves they aren't a pro and will never be a scratch player. But boy do the dress well and own beautiful equipment.

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What is the skill level of the players they are fitting?

All

 

 

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For me...

 

Driver - Mid Handicap

 

FW's - Mid Handicap

 

Irons - Low (point and shoot)

 

Wedges - Low to Scratch (point and shoot)

 

Putter - High to Extremely High Handicap

 

I agree I really do need to get fit for irons. But I am not going to let them talk me into distance irons.

 

I also need to take some lessons in a bad way.

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I run a weekly golf game(going on 20 years now) and I can say with certainty that only a very few have ever been fit for their clubs. Some have bags that are a mixed set of clubs....Ping, Callaway, Warrior, Nike all in one set. Many have Drivers that are 4 to 5 generations old. Yet they seem to like their bags and play every week.

 

 

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This ties in nicely to my messing around with the PING nFlight online fitting tool last night. I put in all my correct specs and measurements. Got a recommendation of iBlades. I left all numbers the same but changed the handicap to 13. Got a recommendation of i200's. Changed the handicap to 21 and got G700.

 

Out of all those options I'm far more likely to be a G700 player than anything else but OEM's seem to think lowish handicap players don't want or need a more forgiving iron.

OEMs know that most male golfers buy on ego not practicality. :)

 

Swing characteristics play a role in which iron is the better fit also. A picker or someone who plays in wet conditions may need a wider sole than his handicap suggests.

 

I pointed it out in the OP but will again because Shankster asked the follow up - one must assume that people getting fit are more avid golfers - guys like us or like the ones that Plaid describes.

 

It's food for thought for anyone looking to buy equipment. You should know what fits your game not what you think will fit it or what a friend says - what a knowledgeable pro is telling you.

 

 

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There are some many different viewpoints you can take on this.  I'll take a page out of Topline's book and say that the bigger problem is that people don't practice enough.  People will move to more forgiving irons but still not play any better.  People seek more forgiving clubs but the forgiveness prevents them from feeling why they are hitting bad shots. 

Even if players were to go with fitters recommendations,  without lessons and practice play will still not improve because while they may have the right equipment they are unable to interpret the results of a swing. 

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...(good stuff snipped)...

 

I look at this like moving up a tee. Too many golfers want to show off their awesome irons and drivers (and hear the ohhhs and ahhhs) and then shoot high scores and complain all day about their lousy game and ball striking. Many of these same people are playing the wrong tee too. They just can't give up the ghost and admit to themselves they aren't a pro and will never be a scratch player. But boy do the dress well and own beautiful equipment.

 

Totally, completely agree with Mr. Jacket, though I was just going to use a single word:

 

Vanity.

 

 

It's unfortunate because, yeah, they may hit the ball better and .. egads .. may enjoy the game more...

 

 

Perfect example of what Rev was talking about and what Plaid was describing...

 

On the range recently a guy steps up to the mat in front of me. He has got the Tour Pro looking outfit and a major OEM staff (not stand, staff) bag .. he appears about 50 maybe, so maybe he's a former play-ah? Definitely in shape, looks like he regularly spends time in a gym .. eg. developed upper body and arms.

 

The bag has a hood on it which he opens to reveal at least two sets of clubs .. which he then proceeds to unpack piece by piece .. one set of irons is the absolute latest forged pro blade offering. More unpacking and arranging, then setting the alignment sticks, then the Swing Caddie comes out and a lot of measuring and adjusting to get that set up, then the remote comes out and there's a lot of clicking, then the remote goes in his pocket, then the laser range finder comes out and some fish get measured, ..., etc, ...., and more preparations, ..., ...

 

Clearly I was fascinated with what was going on here! Maybe he's a rep and is having a demo day?

 

Anyway I go back to brainlessly beating balls waiting for some real action in front of me. Well - if you haven't guessed by now - this guy was no better than me. No better.

 

I guess I was a bit disappointed, maybe I was hoping to watch a "swing model" up close but while his swing wasn't horrible it was nothing I would try to emulate. The ball flights I saw were not pretty.

 

I feel a little bad dumping on this guy but, hmmmm, not sure what was going on there..............

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There are some many different viewpoints you can take on this.  I'll take a page out of Topline's book and say that the bigger problem is that people don't practice enough.  People will move to more forgiving irons but still not play any better.  People seek more forgiving clubs but the forgiveness prevents them from feeling why they are hitting bad shots. 

Even if players were to go with fitters recommendations,  without lessons and practice play will still not improve because while they may have the right equipment they are unable to interpret the results of a swing. 

 

This is a good point.

On the face of it, most of us could do with a bit of forgiveness. From a fitting perspective, that amount of forgiveness on offer can be quite misleading or moreover non-existent. 

Think of it this way - if your miss is occasional and is around 1/2" off from the centre of the club face, then the technology in high MOI clubs will help you out. If however your miss is over the entire club face, then no amount of forgiveness is ever going to help you out.

 

This is where the fitting process gets the possibility of a miss into a smaller probability of occurring. If your clubs have been correctly fitted, you stand a much better chance of good contact - it's that simple.

 

Now before you say "it's the indian not the arrow" there is an element of logic to the fitting process. Everybody has the unique swing ID based on their physical size and ability. But even if you're a higher handicap player, you still stand a far greater chance of making solid contact if you can find the centre of the club face. How? By using a piece of equipment that increases the percentages.

 

That simply means that a fitted club is easier to swing and return to impact squarely and in the centre of the club face than a club that is not. If you extrapolate that theory to the extreme, it's easier to hit a golf ball with a 7-iron than say...a garden shovel. 

 

So it follows that it's easier to hit a golf ball with a fitted club than an off the rack club. Simple percentages. And the forgiveness factor is simple percentages too - except that if you have a fitted club, you're less likely to need it (forgiveness) by the law of averages, not because your swing is flawless (not yet anyway lol), but because the club has been built to work in harmony with your swing ID - meaning decent ball contact has a higher probability.

 

Once you grasp the basic principle of fitting, you'll understand your own swing better and maybe you'll start thinking about clubs on a different level. 

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For me...

 

Driver - Mid Handicap

 

FW's - Mid Handicap

 

Irons - Low (point and shoot)

 

Wedges - Low to Scratch (point and shoot)

 

Putter - High to Extremely High Handicap

 

I agree I really do need to get fit for irons. But I am not going to let them talk me into distance irons.

 

I also need to take some lessons in a bad way.

I would hope any decent fitter would be able to look at how you the ball and not what your handicap or scores are. When I was fitted for my irons a few years ago the fitter saw me hit the ball before asking what I shot. When I told him he wouldn't put it in the computer because he knew it was gonna spit out some SGI that would end up doing more damage that good.

 

To me fitting is an art and science and a good fitter blends those lines perfectly

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This ties in nicely to my messing around with the PING nFlight online fitting tool last night. I put in all my correct specs and measurements. Got a recommendation of iBlades. I left all numbers the same but changed the handicap to 13. Got a recommendation of i200's. Changed the handicap to 21 and got G700.

 

Out of all those options I'm far more likely to be a G700 player than anything else but OEM's seem to think lowish handicap players don't want or need a more forgiving iron.

I've done this too and even messed around on one of the shaft companies sites (iiirc it was kbs) and changing one variable produced some different output and why I don't like static fittings other than to find a start point.

 

On revs note about needing more forgiveness for irons I've been bouncing around between different sets of blades and cavity backs and now some players distance irons. Scores and girs haven't really seemed to change much but getting that extra yard or two on mishits is nice with the distance irons. I've gotten to the point of putting ego aside and am looking for the biggest irons I can look at and like.

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I've done this too and even messed around on one of the shaft companies sites (iiirc it was kbs) and changing one variable produced some different output and why I don't like static fittings other than to find a start point.

 

 

Most of us have probably done this.  Most of us probably answer some of the questions incorrectly as well especially when they start asking about ball flight,  tempo, and length of backswing.  

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There are some many different viewpoints you can take on this. I'll take a page out of Topline's book and say that the bigger problem is that people don't practice enough. People will move to more forgiving irons but still not play any better. People seek more forgiving clubs but the forgiveness prevents them from feeling why they are hitting bad shots.

Even if players were to go with fitters recommendations, without lessons and practice play will still not improve because while they may have the right equipment they are unable to interpret the results of a swing.

I certainly agree with this. Fitting is one element of good play - lessons and Intelligent practice are another.

 

@Shankster you can be extremely good with your irons and be better off in something with a wider platform. I'm in no way saying you should be - that's a fitter's role - it's about what club type fits your swing type. Bizarre as it may seem I actually need weaker lofts on my irons because I need more spin and a higher launch - that gains distance and accuracy for my swing.

 

Bottom line a player could have a very low handicap and need help where a mid capper may be fine with an iron that's more in a player's category.

 

 

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That's great.... but if I look down and it's a semi truck sitting down there with 1/2” of offset I won't even swing it.

 

My current RBZ Tours have a pretty decent footprint, a little larger than a typical blade I'd say, with the speed slot and all that added old technology. They are the same lofts roughly with the newer stuff, 47° PW.

 

But they have a bit more offset than I care to look at.

 

When I was at the PGA store last I tried pretty much everything under the roof. SGI to MP18.

 

The club that I personally fell in love with and it showed in performance was the Callaway Apex MB. I just love the way that thing sits behind the ball, it is slightly longer than the MP18, p730, and cobra king. I'd put the titleist mb a close second on blade length... now that's just the way my eyes saw them, and they were the best performing irons for me.

 

Even better than their CB counterparts.

 

They can fit me into a shaft all they want, and maybe a CB iron in the 3,4,5 but 6,7,8,9,PW... will be a solid chunk of no technology for me. I don't care if it's 2-5 yards shorter than the super hopped up model. I don't want distance, I want to be able to count on something that I feel the confidence to turn in either direction.

 

Yeah sure you don't need a players iron to maneuver the ball, but I feel like I can do it without thinking unlike clubs with massive offset or a 2” wide sole...

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Shankster no one here is asking you to switch irons.

 

It's simply a point that fitters believe that 2 out of every 3 players who come for a fitting need more forgiveness. That doesn't mean you do. I wasn't thinking of you when I posted this. BTW 2 out of 3 golfers with adjustable head drivers had theirs set wrong, too.

 

I honestly was trying to make the point that the MGS message about playing the best equipment for the index visual hasn't penetrated very far as yet. So I will use plain English. :)

 

The simple move for anyone reading this is the get wise and go get fit and then you know for yourself. Don't worry about what a guy on tour using, instead do what he does and worry about what you should be using within all the constraints that you have - physical and financial.

 

 

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I'm pretty much a hacker with most of my rounds in the low 80's to mid 90's pending on the day.  I'm not a digger however I will take a small divot from time to time mostly not on purpose. I'm a sweeper in the purest sense.  The irons I am currently testing are a joy to play with.   They're in the SGI group of irons and without going into my testing review, I will say they are pretty much close to cheating.  You'll hear much more about these puppies when our Cleveland Launcher HB iron reviews go up.  I'm having a few joint (not smoking) issues and these irons make golf fun again.    Simply put, I don't have a freaking ego when it comes to my golf clubs.  This crazy game is hard enough so why not put tools in ya hands that take some of the stress out of it.   Ya'll get ready for the HB review as it's going to be a doozy!

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I'll say this, As of today I'm officially at the lowest handicap I've ever play to.  This is also by far and away the best I've ever played in my iron game.  I'm hitting greens, and hitting them closer to the pin and much more often on a regular basis than ever before.

 

Guys I've played with for the past 5 years have been commenting on how straight I've been hitting all my approach shots and how well I've been striking my irons.

 

I'm no scratch golfer, but I play Cleveland CBX irons which are pretty much geared toward the GI/SGI player and I'm playing the best I've ever played.

 

FWIW I'm at a 2.6 as of today.  I have zero desire to switch to a less forgiving iron.

 

 

You need to update your sig boss man  ;)

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