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2019 Official Forum Member Review-PING Long Game Gapping Testing/Review

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Ping Long Game/Gap Testing - Fitting

I want to preface this by saying that my fitting experience was different, not the typical one you've been reading about with the other members. Mainly because I'm a southpaw. 

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This was a process I was excited for for quite some time, like I mentioned, I've never had an actual fitting but have always been intrigued by the process of it. I know this is a very important aspect when it comes to golf, because you want something that is tailored to your body and your swing. I knew this was going to be a great treat and was excited to get the ball rolling. My fitting took place at New Bloomfield Country Club, which is about 90 minutes from my home, and this was actually the first time I've ever been to the course. It blew me away. Population of about 600, and the course was immaculate. Never would have imagined it. Anyway, enough drooling, back to the topic on hand. One of the main reasons I have never gotten fit for clubs is because I didn't think I would end up taking the game as serious as I do now. I looked at it as more of a hobby I'd do when I was bored, never thought I'd be seeking to find out every detail about my swing from setup to finish. I knew the theory of how the fitting worked. There would be several clubs. Numbers galore. Questions. Answers. The whole nine yards. However, mine turned out to be a little different. 

After finally getting in touch with my fitter (he thought it was a spam number calling him for the first few weeks) we scheduled to meet up at his club. I brought my bag, as well as my nerves, and had an irrational fear that I'd shank every shot and walk away with disappointment. Fortunately that wasn't the case. When I showed up I met Chris in the clubhouse and admired how nice of a shop he has for such a small, small town. He already had a cart sitting outside, ready to roll. So, as anxious as I was I threw my clubs on and we headed for the range, where he had a bag of Ping clubs waiting. Here comes the bad part... when he got to looking at my bag, he realized I was a lefty and all the clubs he had were right handed. He did not think to ask about me being left handed when we were sitting up the fitting, and I didn't think to tell him, I had just assumed he would have all the weapons I would need. So most of my fitting is based off of Chris's knowledge of golf, as well as how much he knows about Ping products... which is A LOT. 

I started off hitting a few wedge shots, just to get loose, while he got some information from me regarding rounds played, handicap, etc. After a handful of wedge shots, I started moving up the bag. Hit some 7 iron shots, then finally made it to the important part... the long clubs. He had me hit driver first, to try and get an idea of how far I was hitting it and how fast everything was going. Unfortunately, he I wasn't able to get any pictures of the data, as he was using a launch monitor I have never seen before... I believe Ernest was the brand? Other than seeing the data directly after the shot, there was no way to go back in and bring it up, at least that he and I were aware of. My driver impressed me, however. The launch monitor was saying 250ish yards with a 105 mph swing speed. He made the comment that judging from how the ball was flying and the shot shape, that it had to be more like 270 yards or somewhere near there. Which had me ecstatic. He knew the CB shaft and I were good friends, which I why I think it ended up on every club I was fit into. 

When I move onto my fairway wood, it was not a pretty story. Mind you, I said I got the 3w just to replace an older one I already had in my bag. My shots were low, not far, and had a small hook to them. Overall, not a shot I want to hit. He stated the shaft in the Rogue 3W (Project X Even Flow) was very close to being an X-stiff, and could be the culprit for my poor shots. I even shanked a few right into the monitor, because in order for it to work it had to be sitting almost in front of the ball.. sorta to the side. I've never seen one like that before. Anyway, from that he gathered I needed something that would launch the ball and give me more of a higher arching shot shape, which is why he hooked me up with a 15.5* 3W. He then did the standard static Ping fitting that you would find on their site. Wrist to floor, hand size, and height. He also had me take a normal stance with the right handed crossover, and he instantly knew I needed a +1" extension on the 3W... being 6'6" sometimes does that to ya. One thing I also never thought about was grip size. I have always gone with midsize just because I know my hands aren't small. I figured that was the go-to and have been that way ever since I started golfing. However, he determined that I actually need an oversize grip, so he stuck me with the Ping Orange coded grips which are oversize. I have to agree, they feel much much better in the hands than a midsize does! I will be replacing all of my other grips with the same ones whenever the time comes. 

We talked about my hybrid game and how well I got along with them. The answer is not very well. My hybrid is a scary club, full of hooks. That was a discussion we had for quite a while. He explained all of the new technology Ping has put into their new G410 line, especially their crossovers. He did not want me getting a club that I felt I was going to hit poorly, which is why he hooked me up with a 3 and 4 crossover. I can see why Ping hooked me up with Chris, he knows everything there is to know about the process of getting properly fit. He did state that although he is a Ping rep, he games Titleist. He has noticed that 75% of the people at his club have been buying Ping over everything else though. So kudos to Ping for making such a great product! 

After we finished hitting balls, we went back to the clubhouse so he could make a copy of the fitting sheet and explain to me a little more as to why he chose the clubs he did for me. He knew it was an important session and he thinks he chose the correct clubs to help me play better golf and score low! Before I was able to leave he did give me a few presents, I guess you could say. First, he let me pick any Ping hat in his store and told me it was on him, which is an awesome gesture! Secondly, he said I could come back to his course with a friend and play a free round! I'm telling you, Chris is an awesome guy! I really wish there were lefty clubs available, but sometimes you just gotta work with what you got. The entire experience was very interesting, and I walked away with great knowledge about my own swing, which is a win in my book! 

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Though my fitting was not traditional, I hope I was able to provide some information to all of you. All that's left to do now is to hit some balls, make some birdies, and of course tell you all about it! 

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Ping Long Game Gap Testing - Fitting Review

The fitting aspect of this review was one of the things that both excited and scared me the most about this testing opportunity. As I mentioned before, I’m a self-proclaimed golf junkie who has a tendency to change clubs more than I change clothes. I’m also one that frequents buy-sell-trade sections on forums on a regular basis. While not as bad as CG2….I do have a bit of a golf club buying/hoarding problem. 

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My current bag makeup prior to the fitting that I listed in stage 1 were clubs that I was not fit for, however through a lot of trial and tinkering, I found what works. I did go to an iron fitting recently, and found that my CF16 iron set with KBS Tour V110 stiff shafts fit me like a glove. Against all current iron sets (919F, p790, hot metal pro), everything was within a yard for distance and dispersion.

One reason why I never liked getting fit in the past was because I felt like they were all numbers oriented, without a lot of input from me, with the exception of maybe 1 experience. Part of that may have been my fault for not speaking up, but I always felt like I was told what I should play. I swing on the slower side with my driver (90-95) and I have been told multiple times, “You should play a lighter weighted, regular shaft because you swing slow.” In the past I’ve followed that reasoning and played clubs I couldn’t keep in the fairway. After tinkering, I found I get along better with heavier, stiffer shafts. My current driver shaft is a HZRDUS Yellow 6.0 76g shaft, and my irons have always floated between 110-120g.

Once I got my fitter information I was excited because I knew the fitter, Rick Kline, from a prior experience. Remembering my experience with him last time, and knowing his personality and how well we got along, I went in with an open mind, but also with the mindset of starting dialogue and discussion about not just numbers, but feel as well.

My fitting was not with a Ping Rep, but was at a Ping Top 100 clubfitter, so I reached out to him, scheduled a time, and when the day arrived I set off. With the fitting focusing on the gap between your driver and longest iron, I was curious about two questions.

Was I playing the right iron setup?

Would I be fit into hybrids or fairway woods?

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I arrived at Stitler Golf Center and immediately got taken into an outdoor bay to warm up and hit some golf balls. Rick popped over after finishing another fitting and we talked for a little bit. He remembered me from last time I was up and we chatted about the opportunity and testing, and I shared with him the two questions that I was curious about that I listed above.  Before even getting out his GC2, he asked me to take a few swings with my longest iron (4 iron). Took a few, none of which went straight. His first response was, “Yea..that club might get replaced.” I then grabbed my 5 iron and hit a few, all of which I hit pretty well. I then took a few swings with the Mizuno Shaft Optimizer, he grabbed a bunch of clubs and we were off! The only downside was we were using range balls on the GC2, so my 5 iron registered at 158 on the GC2, but generally that is my 175 club, but for the purpose of the fitting it still gave us a good idea on gapping.

Started out first with a 4 hybrid with the stock Alta CB 70 Red shaft. I took a few swings and didn’t like the feel. It felt whippy to me. Overall numbers weren’t bad. GC2 was showing between 165-170 but the ball was going all over the place. Had the conversation with him about always preferring a heavier shaft despite not having a high swing speed and he brought out the Tensei Blue 80 and the Tour 85 shaft, both in stiff.

Tensei blue gave me my longest shots of the day (GC2 registered 175) but the Tour 85 gave me the most consistency, with shots in the 165-170 range (again mind you this was using range balls) but a much tighter dispersion compared to the Alta. Decided that the 4 hybrid would replace my 4-iron

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Next he pulled out a 3 hybrid and that was a pretty simple process. Tried the Tensei Blue and Tour 85 stiff shafts, and once again the Tour 85 shaft came out on top, fitting the gap perfectly with shots in the 170-180 range with the same tighter dispersion. We decided that the 3 hybrid would replace my trusty Heavenwood, and hybrids were done!

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I was really curious how the spot after my driver would go. Once we got through the hybrids, he handed me the g410 SFT 3-wood. For whatever reason I’ve always been against the SFT line, especially when it comes to drivers. If you asked me if I had a good reason I’d tell you no. Just never decided to game one, but after a few swings with the 3-wood my perception changed. It does look a little different at address, but after a few swings and seeing the results, it no longer bothers me. Super straight and so easy to hit. So much so that I’m now contemplating finding the SFT driver head. The Alta didn’t feel as whippy as it did in the hybrid, but we then threw in the Tour 75 shaft. Once again we saw the consistency with distance and the dispersion, dropped it down agree and we were done!

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So after everything, I added:

SFT 3 wood - 15 deg - Tour 75 stiff shaft

3 hybrid - 19 deg - Tour 85 stiff shaft

4 hybrid - 22 deg - Tour 85 stiff shaft

I replaced:

TS2 3 wood - 15 deg - Evenflow White 6.0 76g

GBB Heavenwood - 19 deg - Fujikura Pro 72g stiff

CF16 4 iron - Tour v110s 

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Probably the best fitting experience I’ve had to date, and I believe it has to do with how you approach it with your fitter. The dialogue was huge, as well as what my thoughts and feelings were. Despite a shaft giving me better numbers,  I pointed out I was looking more for consistency, as well as a shaft/head combo that would continue to work for me as I improved my swing. I think we accomplished both of those during the fitting, and I’m excited to get these out on the course for more rounds.

 

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Cannot wait for this!  Good luck guys, hope the change in the bag works extremely well!

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Really excited for this one! Great group of testers!


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The last time I played with @MattF, we were talking about this being one of the coolest tests that have come around. This will be fun to follow.

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Curious to see if anyone got fit into the crossover.

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Looking forward to the upcoming Stage 1s and fitting reviews and seeing who got fit into what!


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