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jefframm

Had fitting today - but confused about what to do. Help!

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Apologies for a long post. I'm 59, and just got back into the game after 20 years of 2-3 rounds a year. At my best I was a 13 and now after starting back (about 8 rounds so far) I'm averaging low to mid 90's, but improving at decent rate. Clubs were 20+ years old - so I scheduled a full bag fitting at Club Champion. It was a very interesting experience - but I walked away at the end feeling like I had been at a used car dealer. The press to buy immediately was stronger than I expected - and I suspect that the fitter basically spec'ed me as a guy that can afford anything I want (he asked what I do and I told him that I own a consulting company) - so the full bag came to $7500 +. I didn't establish a "budget" going in - nor did he probe much on that front - and I didn't want to rule out things like PXG without a try (maybe my core mistake?). When the fitter realized that I wasn't going to buy on the spot, he said "what would it take to get you into the irons today?" I completely hadn't expected any pricing flexibility or high pressure and frankly was turned off by the way he handled the price discussion overall. So that's the bad part.

The good part was I was surprised (pleasantly) about how the approach helped me get an idea of what might work best for me. For irons the Srixon 585 and PXG 0311XF were my favorites - with the Srixon having slightly better control - but about 8 yards on average less than the PXG's. I'm torn on whether the investment in PXG is the right answer - still open to it - but not convinced. Both irons were fit with a KBS Tour Graphite 80g shaft. The shafts added $85 to each iron cost from Club Champion. Where things got really crazy was driver, 3 wood, and hybrids. The driver that worked best was a Titleist TS2 - but he had me hitting a $405 upgraded shaft (Fujikura Speeder Evolution V) - which basically makes the total driver $1000+. For the 3 wood and hybrids, I preferred the Srixon Z F85 (3W) and H85 hybrids, but again the shaft upgrades were $315 for the 3W (Fujikura Atmos Red 6) and $165 for the hybrids (each) (Fujikura PRO 2.0 Hybrid). So just in driver, 3W and two hybrids we were at $2500+. 

Here's my dilemma. I'm going to buy new sticks for sure - and am frankly ok with spending a lot of money (but well short of $7500). What I'm not clear on is whether a guy that's shooting 90-95 currently is honestly going to get value from these high cost shafts.  I do have a bad enough taste in my mouth about the guy that I can't see going back to Club Champion - so may explore a club builder that could work with all the data from the fitting (as I have all of it from the Trackman). Alternatively, I'm curious if there's a simple way to "map" the core characteristics of the shafts he spec'ed to the "stock" offerings from Titleist and Srixon, as again I find it really hard to believe that I'm worthy of the higher cost shafts. For example, Titleist offers 4 options in the TS2 - and I realize I can look at the specs and try to compare them to the specs of the Fujikura (as an example) but have zero idea if that approach even remotely makes sense. I suspect the PXG guy that comes to our club can likely spec that KBS shaft in a fitting - so if I can get my head around the price point and brand of PXG, that might be an option on the irons at their standard price without the Club Champion uplift for PXG. Srixon appears to have a lot of "no upgrade cost" options available too. 

I'd appreciate hearing from you folks on what you might suggest as a next step. My gut says that if I pick a stock graphite shaft in the Z585 offerings that's close to what he spec'ed - that it's likely to be very similar - but having read a lot of the forum posts I know how learned many of you are with respect to these things. Given my current abilities, I just have no feel for whether I could tell any real difference between 2 similar spec shafts that vary widely in price. 

Thanks in advance for any coaching or suggestions!

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As pushy as the fitter might have been, you should have been clear about your budget and your preferences up front and throughout the fitting. You could have told him up front that you wanted to exclude certain brands, try no upcharge shaft options first, etc. 

Srixon 585 is an absolutely fantastic option if you do go that route 

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Fair enough. Frankly being away from golf for a good while, I had no idea that shafts could cost as much as the driver (as an example). 

I'm still curious for perspectives on shaft comparisons - assuming weight, torque, flex, and "kick point" are very close - would an 18-20 handicap honestly see/feel any difference? 

FWIW, I did just send the fitter an email asking for additional options - so we'll see what that brings too. 

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23 minutes ago, jefframm said:

Fair enough. Frankly being away from golf for a good while, I had no idea that shafts could cost as much as the driver (as an example). 

I'm still curious for perspectives on shaft comparisons - assuming weight, torque, flex, and "kick point" are very close - would an 18-20 handicap honestly see/feel any difference? 

FWIW, I did just send the fitter an email asking for additional options - so we'll see what that brings too. 

For some people shaft makes a big difference and for others it makes no difference at all. The really can affect how a club feels and thus change your delivery while do something else for someone different. 

I think a big key during a fitting is communication. Kick points and torque aren't really as important as you communicating to the fitter what feels good/bad/different. He can then take those feelings and make recommendations to better suit what you are looking feeling and the results you are seeing. 

A person with a handicap such as yourself can absolutely still benefit from a fitting. 

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Good on you for walking away. You’ll always second guess your purchase if you pull the trigger at the expense of a pushy salesman.

Set a realistic goal. A $400 driver shaft upgrade isn’t likely going to make much of a difference in your game.

There’s a lot of loyal Srixon guys here who can give you feedback if you’d like. At the end of the day, get what you want. Good luck.


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One thing to remember is at Club Champion you PAID FOR THE FITTING. Now, you get all of your information, and you buy the clubs elsewhere for a LOT less. They make money on the clubs, and then even MORE on the “build”.
Make sure to communicate as Joe has said so the fitter knows what he’s looking at and how best to help you.
I’ve been to CC three times and each time I told them up-front I’m not buying the clubs through them. Once they fitted me to a shaft and said it would cost me $400. Nah. I can get that shaft a LOT cheaper elsewhere, and did. They wanted $350 for an Oban Devotion. I got it brand new at Dallas golf, with the adapter, cut to my length, for $190.....
Anyway, take the specs they give you and buy elsewhere. You’ll save a TON of money!!!


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Wowsers.  That would be one impressive(ly pricey) bag.  So is it the responsibility of the client to set a ceiling right off the bat or should the fitter ask what the budget is?  If I were to go into one of these, I would specify that I only want to test shafts that are a minor upgrade cost.  I might hit a few high end models at the end for giggles to see if I could tell the difference.  I wonder if you tried any reasonably priced shafts or once he heard "I on a con$ulting company" if the only options you were given were high margin shafts.  I have contemplated one of the Club Champion fittings as they are 50% off through January, but this sounds like purchasing a car, which I like as much as paper cuts under my fingernails.  Does the trackman data show what other shafts you hit?  Were there some cheaper options in a close second place?  I don't know what your ultimate budget is.  I would look at things in a $ per yard or $ per dispersion point of view.  If I could deck out a whole bag for half that cost that is a few yards shorter and is a few percent less accurate, I would say I'd pocket the $3750 and take a few lessons.

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6 minutes ago, PMookie said:

One thing to remember is at Club Champion you PAID FOR THE FITTING. Now, you get all of your information, and you buy the clubs elsewhere for a LOT less. They make money on the clubs, and then even MORE on the “build”.
Make sure to communicate as Joe has said so the fitter knows what he’s looking at and how best to help you.
I’ve been to CC three times and each time I told them up-front I’m not buying the clubs through them. Once they fitted me to a shaft and said it would cost me $400. Nah. I can get that shaft a LOT cheaper elsewhere, and did. They wanted $350 for an Oban Devotion. I got it brand new at Dallas golf, with the adapter, cut to my length, for $190.....
Anyway, take the specs they give you and buy elsewhere. You’ll save a TON of money!!!


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What if you can get a nearly optimal fit in one of the stock shaft options?  If you order through CC, are they still going to push the disassembly and magic reassembly?  Would they do a loft/lie check verify gapping between clubs if they come with the right shafts from the manufacturer?  Or is that only guaranteed if they put the clubs together? 

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I'm with @PMookie in that you can probably build that exact bag, or at least one very close, for half the price. If you get the Srixon irons, that's $1500 off the PXG's, see, you can cut a lot of corners and still end up with a great bag. But DO NOT!!! buy directly from Club Champion. They will gouge you for prices. Take the fitting info and buy the bag yourself! 

Edited by GB13
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I’m also 59 and was scheduled for a full bag at CC.  I saw my instructor’s boss, Todd Sones at the Buffalo Grove Dome. He told me they have a Foresight GCQuad unit that measures the normal radar stuff, plus what the club face did at impact.

I canceled my CC fitting and met my instructor, Mason Wall at the dome. 90 mins later, we figured out what I needed (new irons and different shafts for my GBB (2015) woods).  I ended up with Mizuno JXP 919 Hot Metal Irons and wedges (2* upright) with PX LZ graphite and MCC +4 midsized grips.  All standard upgrades from Mizuno, and worked perfectly.  Between that and shafts from CPO, I’m at about $1,305.  No puring, undercoating or sore arms from hitting a bunch of balls.

You should have gotten the spec sheets from CC, so you will have options, price wise.  It’s amazing how much BETTER I hit balls with the more upright iron heads. With arthritic hands, the graphite shafts and MCC +4 felt great, with no “bee stinging” in my left pinky and ring finger (from a shattered knuckle, eons ago).

Hopefully, you’ll find a more cost efficient version of what you need.

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What if you can get a nearly optimal fit in one of the stock shaft options?  If you order through CC, are they still going to push the disassembly and magic reassembly?  Would they do a loft/lie check verify gapping between clubs if they come with the right shafts from the manufacturer?  Or is that only guaranteed if they put the clubs together? 

Only when they build them.... They take everything apart, make sure the clubs weigh the same, lofts are correct, and pure all of the shafts. Edel did the same thing when they built my irons, but for a LOT less! It’s not worth what CC charges. The info they give has all of the specs for each club, and they send all of the TrackMan data separated by club/shaft. The data and build recommendations are worth the price for the fitting. I chose different irons than they recommended, but I used their specs for my order from Discount Dan’s. I then found the shafts for the driver, and fairway metals, elsewhere, but again, I used their specs.

 

 

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@jefframm you sound like a perfect case study for a question from @revkev.  Go through the manufacturer on the club purchases.  Play enough rounds to get a good idea of how much your new fitted clubs have improved your game.  Then get some lessons with your giant stash left over.  Play some more rounds and report back in the thread below!

 

 

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I greatly appreciate the replies and all the perspectives. The advice on lessons is spot on - and I should have also told you that I'm already signed up for lessons with the head of golf instruction for our club group. I'm clear that it's a lot of the "carpenter" as opposed to the "tools". But I do think my tools are way off. One thing that came out from a "quicky" session with the PXG rep at our club - which was confirmed by the CC fitter is that I need 1/2" longer shafts in my irons. 

As I mentioned in my original post - there was a lot of "good" in the fitting experience - meaning that I now know which irons I like best, and that I need a lighter weight graphite shaft - and have a sense for the specific shaft weights and types that felt the best and produced the best result. 

Having had a look at both the Srixon site and Titleist site it's clear that there are lots of "no up-charge" shaft options and I think I can get close to the specs from the fitting. Since I also have the Trackman data, and know what the dispersion and distance looks like for the driver and 6 iron (key test clubs in the fitting), I'm going to do a little experiment of my own at PGATour Superstore and hit the Titleist TS2 with the shaft that most closely matches to the one he spec'ed at a $400+ upgrade charge. Two of their four shaft options for the TS2 look like they have potential. I doubt they have the exact shaft choice for the irons that I saw on Srixon.com - but who knows - I may get lucky there.

In fairness to CC and my fitter, I think "in the moment" I was shocked enough at the pricing and the pressure (after reading reviews that said "no pressure to buy") that I didn't think to propose alternatives that would drop the pricing - so have now sent the guy an email asking him to reconstitute the "bag" with lower cost shaft options, as I'm curious to see what he'll come up with. 

Again, thanks for the help and I'll report back as I progress.

 

 

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Personally I wouldn't walk.... I'd run from your local CC store. I've never had a fitting experience at CC and I've made comments before about my one and only "visit" to a CC in Austin Texas. I only went there to see a store and look around. Nice place. But here's what I learned. A "salesman" ehem... fitter came over and we talked a little bit about their process/approach. At one point during our discussion I picked up a driver head of some brand as asked what would this cost for example. The salesman plucked a shaft off the wall and said, "oh about $600-$700" I recall. Gulp. I then asked how much is the head and how much for the shaft he selected. He said the head was like $250 - $300 and the shaft $400. Hmmm? I then asked wouldn't it be possible for me to be properly fit into a great driver with a $200 shaft? The salesman replied, "absolutely!" 

I don't know where you live JeffRamm but you might want to consider seeking out an independent fitter - builder for your new clubs. They're out there and some have way more years experience than most CC stores. These new club fitting boutiques sprang up after the advent of Launch Monitors IMO. There's a lot invested in these fancy stores where they sell the sizzle and you pay for all the show and fluff. My irons were custom fit and built by a guy that's been applying his trade for 30 years. He's a nationally recognized, accredited, award winning club fitter. He also uses a LM in conjunction with his vast experience. His fitting shop isn't fancy. It's functional, clean and appropriate for the task at hand. In other words it all business and no frills. Give your journey some thought and take your time before you make any commitments. You'll end up with great playing clubs and save a ton of cash over a CC type of boutique.

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I have been fit for lie, and shaft flex, but I have always bought clubs with stock shafts. I'm a 4 handicap, but I've never paid extra for exotic shafts. I may be an exception, but I just don't see how doubling the price of my clubs is going to make me that much better. I'm sure some players have benefited from such a detailed fitting, but that is just not the way I approach the game.

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Dollar Cost Averaging!!!! My guess is you are a pretty smart guy. Consider this.......a custom fitting at this point in your development could look completely different 8 months from now leaving you with a $7500 investment that does not fit. At 59 your feet are not going to grow any more so your shoes will always fit, however, your golf game will grow, change, improve and sometimes digress as you increase frequency of play. I recommend making a modest investment in some one or two year old clubs before jumping in with both feet into the deep end of the latest technology.

A set of “almost” new clubs will bring you close to today’s technology at a fraction of the price. I’d use these clubs for at least one full season before replacing them one piece at a time. Once you start spending more time around Golf and more importantly Golfers you are going to have the ability to test all sorts of clubs as well as honest open discussion about said equipment. As a basic estimate see below using EBay:

Ping G Driver $200
Callaway Epic 3 Wood $120
Srixon irons 565 4i thru PW $329
Taylormade Spider putter $100

Wedges I’d buy new and can be had at $79 each from Cleveland

Total estimated cost is less than $1000. If you ultimately spend $3500 for new clubs after using these “almost new” ones for a season then according to my South Carolina Public School education you’ve saved yourself a cool $3 grand. You can use that $3 grand to pay for my consultation fee .


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Not much to add here other than if you had a good local who could recommend much more affordable options than will perform similarly to what you got there based on your specs.

Good luck!


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Club champions job is to sell you their services of fitting plus club building. They don’t like to or rarely carry the stock shafts so you are going to pay a premium for everything. 

While tryin to find shafts with similar specs could save you money it’s also possible they feel and/or play different than what you were fit for.  I don’t think anyone needs uncharged shafts but it does help to be fit to the right shaft and head combo.  I was set on p790 with kbs $ taper earlier in the year. Fitter changed to the nipping modus 120 and the feel and performance changed right away. I went to a pxg fitting expecting either of those shafts to be what I walk away with and instead ended up in px 6.0

I would find a demo day of a trusted fitter that carried mist brands and a selection of stock shafts and get fit that way.

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So I'll add two new twists to the mix. 1) CC guy responded to my email and changed everything except irons to stock shafts based on my "balk" at the price. Haven't really dug into it yet - but clearly he was able to "get close" with stock shafts (his words). 2) More interestingly - I had bought my son (30 year old) a Ping G400 for Xmas. Told him we would go back  to PGATour Superstore and have him try the LST, SFT, etc so that he got the one he really hit the best. We did that this morning - and he ended up with a G400Max (yes, I'm a pushover dad who paid the $100 for his present "upgrade"). But the most interesting part is that I hit the G400Max with their stock shaft and the dispersion and distance were equal to and for 3 swings better in distance than the Titleist TS2 + $400 shaft. I also tested 3 of the 4 options for stock shafts on the TS2 and the PGATour Superstore guy (and the data) said the G400Max was a better option for me. 

My conclusion is that the approach described by Steddygolf and others is likely the way I'll go. Having read the thread about Fitting/Lessons vs Off the Rack, I can confidently say that I'm that "very motivated guy" in terms of improving my game. The club we've joined has incredible practice facilities and they are literally a 5 min drive from my house so I have no excuses not to improve.  

I'll take all the data from the fitting - be thankful for what I've learned there, and here from you fine folks - and piece together a set that should work great for at least the next couple of years as I work hard on my game, with lessons and lots of practice being key for me. That - and I'll send my current clubs back to the Smithsonian so they stop calling.... 🙂

Thanks again for the thoughts and guidance. 

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