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Iron Fitting, Indoor vs Outdoor Difference


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This video came up on my recommended list and with the title I had to give it a watch.  In Crossfield manner, it provided an interesting and potentially controversial take.  I need to give it another watch, but in short, it covers the variation between ball performance numbers (launch/spin/distance) from hitting irons indoor off of synthetic turf vs. outdoor and real grass.  Ultimately, the question begs does an indoor iron fitting give a misconception or an incomplete fit because of a potential change in numbers?

Have any of you noticed a drastic difference from your fitting results to on course performance?   Did it lead to a bad experience and/or buyers regret? 

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1 hour ago, JohnSmalls said:

This video came up on my recommended list and with the title I had to give it a watch.  In Crossfield manner, it provided an interesting and potentially controversial take.  I need to give it another watch, but in short, it covers the variation between ball performance numbers (launch/spin/distance) from hitting irons indoor off of synthetic turf vs. outdoor and real grass.  Ultimately, the question begs does an indoor iron fitting give a misconception or an incomplete fit because of a potential change in numbers?

Have any of you noticed a drastic difference from your fitting results to on course performance?   Did it lead to a bad experience and/or buyers regret? 

Hey John.  I debated whether to do my TrueSpec fitting in the studio or on the course.  The fitters I spoke with during my pre-session interview both agreed that indoors would be best because I wanted clubhead at impact data. I remember one of the fitters mentioning that tests on turf are more important on the scoring irons (8i+) and that he almost always suggests customers come to the course to do wedge tests. 

When I ended up with the G425's and ZX5's as my finalists, some on the forum suggested trying the Srixon's on turf to make sure the v-sole design worked.  As to the question of indoor vs. outdoor data not matching, I did not see that.  Granted the studio data was with a 6i and the testing on the course (Srixon Demo Day) was with a 7i, but we compared his LM and my SC200 to one another and the numbers matched within a yard... and they were consistent with what was expected for gap distance to the 6i. 

I'm not saying Crossfield is wrong, just that my numbers don't support that. His test seems pretty straight up and legit.  Perhaps different type hitting mats can make a difference?  This is a very interesting question and I'm really eager to hear from those on the forum who have both indoor and outdoor LM's.

 

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I’ve been fit indoor, outdoor on mats and on grass. Numbers are slightly different on mats but not significant enough that they impact my results or choices and also I get similar performance on the course as to want I’ve seen in my fittings.

I wouldn’t get fit indoor on anything other than a gcquad or previous gc2. 

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I watched the video before I came over to read MGS and it was interesting.   As an MGS most wanted tester I obviously hit lots of shots indoors and on a GCQuad so I have some good comparisons for all types of clubs.  My personal findings are that the numbers I see on the GCQuad are similar to what I see on the course. 

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My iron fitting was about 90% indoors. Once I had things narrowed down to a few different irons, we went outside to hit off the the real grass and see true ball flight. I did not see any drastic differences, still do not today, from the indoor fitting numbers that I received. 

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On 5/3/2022 at 5:31 PM, fixyurdivot said:

Hey John.  I debated whether to do my TrueSpec fitting in the studio or on the course.  The fitters I spoke with during my pre-session interview both agreed that indoors would be best because I wanted clubhead at impact data. I remember one of the fitters mentioning that tests on turf are more important on the scoring irons (8i+) and that he almost always suggests customers come to the course to do wedge tests. 

When I ended up with the G425's and ZX5's as my finalists, some on the forum suggested trying the Srixon's on turf to make sure the v-sole design worked.  As to the question of indoor vs. outdoor data not matching, I did not see that.  Granted the studio data was with a 6i and the testing on the course (Srixon Demo Day) was with a 7i, but we compared his LM and my SC200 to one another and the numbers matched within a yard... and they were consistent with what was expected for gap distance to the 6i. 

I'm not saying Crossfield is wrong, just that my numbers don't support that. His test seems pretty straight up and legit.  Perhaps different type hitting mats can make a difference?  This is a very interesting question and I'm really eager to hear from those on the forum who have both indoor and outdoor LM's.

 

IIRC Crossfield said something akin to some individuals/swings will result in similar results from artificial turf vs. natural turf.  I appreciate you adding in your experience, I am hoping this will generate a good discussion!  I'm really looking forward to seeing if more people had results like yours.  Have you noticed any difference in spin/launch conditions since your fitting?

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On 5/3/2022 at 6:07 PM, RickyBobby_PR said:

I wouldn’t get fit indoor on anything other than a gcquad or previous gc2. 

100%.  I would be a little more at ease with a trackman/flightscope with RCT balls; but still doesn't match up with accuracy from Foresight.  Side note, my alma mater (not Clemson) is looking into getting a GC3 for their golf team's indoor studio because of the misreads coming from their current radar based system.  It's especially telling when those kids don't much care for a simulator because of the inaccuracy of the current monitor.

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This is something I'm very interested in going into this season. Between some really good fitness improvement and swing tweaks, I think I'm hitting the ball much better. But on my Mevo+ (and Awesome Golf), I'm hitting it quite a bit longer than I did last year. My 9 iron has become my stock 150 club, which is very long for me.

Our course should be opening in the next week, and that is going to be one of the main things I'm looking for when I get to the course: how much my distance is a result of real improvement versus the hitting conditions inside.

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8 minutes ago, JohnSmalls said:

100%.  I would be a little more at ease with a trackman/flightscope with RCT balls; but still doesn't match up with accuracy from Foresight.  Side note, my alma mater (not Clemson) is looking into getting a GC3 for their golf team's indoor studio because of the misreads coming from their current radar based system.  It's especially telling when those kids don't much care for a simulator because of the inaccuracy of the current monitor.

When it comes to fittings I prefer to see ball flight so I avoid indoor fittings unless it’s something like a TruSpec where you are in a bay hitting to an open range. It’s another reason I have to go to a fitter I trust and let them interpret numbers based on ball flight and my feedback along with what they see.

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Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

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1 hour ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

 Between some really good fitness improvement and swing tweaks, I think I'm hitting the ball much better.

image.jpeg.2a5cacced173d57a1cf75c86859aaddc.jpeg

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19 minutes ago, cnosil said:

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I knew taking that picture would come back to bite me.

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7 hours ago, JohnSmalls said:

IIRC Crossfield said something akin to some individuals/swings will result in similar results from artificial turf vs. natural turf.  I appreciate you adding in your experience, I am hoping this will generate a good discussion!  I'm really looking forward to seeing if more people had results like yours.  Have you noticed any difference in spin/launch conditions since your fitting?

I don't know how the spin and LA numbers compare because the SC200 dosen't provide that data.

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This is a topic that rears its head from time to time.  

 

Let's face it, very few of us are able to have an "ideal" fitting which would take place over time outdoors with a full array of shafts and heads, only the ball that you use and the state of the art launch monitor.  Heck even the pros don't get that very often because they are locked in to a particular OEM, although if they have enough juice the OEM will be willing to build a proto type set or ball for that player.  

 

Ironically I did have a driver fitting once with the head pro at a lovely club in Sheboygan, WI.  He was a member of my church.  Did the fitting for free and I got my new Titleist driver at cost.  The first day of fitting was on range with a launch monitor, although her preferred his eyes and could come remarkably close to the LM data by sight.  He had me come back the next week and we went out on the course (it was a Monday when the club was closed) and hit drives with a couple of head/shaft settings in differing wind conditions.  Finally a few weeks later my new driver arrived.  I played very well with it for about two months and then someone stole my clubs from the back of my trunk. 😞

 

The pro took care of everything with my insurance for me and he cobbled together a set for me to use while waiting for my replacement clubs to arrive (which took forever BTW - this was 16 years ago). The driver that I had was his demo Ping G2 with an R flex shaft because he rarely needed it for fittings.  From the first swing it was love at first sight.  After a couple of weeks I got up the courage to tell him that I thought I was hitting the Ping better than my beloved Titleist.  So we went out on the course with his shag bag the next Monday to try it out.  All good condition Pro V1's we had 10 number 1's and 10 number 2's.  Once we got to the landing area and started to pick up the balls it was very clear that the G2 was the better fit for me - with your eyes you could see that I launched it higher (the LM proved what we saw to be true) and with less spin because I carried it farther.  The Titleist had more run but no where near enough to offset the carry and when I took a call and moved to Florida a few months later that carry truly was king.  The fact that I did hit the G2 better did prove one of my Pro's mantra's though - that was the beginning of the battle cry that most players needed more loft and a lighter or more flexible shaft.  

 

It's not as if I was miss fit for the Titleist, it's just that there was a better fit out there that we didn't try because we were limited to one brand.  And the most ridiculous part of it was that the other driver was right off the rack.  I'm 5'9" 170 lbs.  I will generally fit what comes on the rack.

 

So fast forward a few years to just before I joined MGS, about 11 years ago.  I was playing the best golf of my life, my index was below 1 playing with that driver, a Cobra 3 wood and hybrid, all with R flex shafts, Nicklaus irons with very stiff shafts and Ping wedges including my old eye 2 W as my gap wedge.  I was having driver issues and decided it was time for a new one.  Went to Edwin Watts thinking that I would buy whatever the hottest Adams driver was at the time.  They had a sale, buy a driver, get a fairway wood free.  My "fitting" was to try various stock drivers on their LM.  At least I had the common sense to bring my gamer so I could use it as a gauge.  The store wasn't crowded and the guy who was with me was very patient because he could see I was a good player. 

 

Finally he gave me a Mizuno driver to hit - don't look at the bottom or the shaft he said - I crushed the thing.  Hated everything about it but I played so well with that bad boy - just so well - for two years I did everything in my power to get it out of my bag - it was a 10.5 with a S shaft whatever that meant because by this point there was no industry standard for any of the labeling.  I spent a lot of money on drivers the next two years and none could displace it.  It only came out of the bag when I was a winner in the MGS tour staff contest (I finished 2nd but that haul was ridiculous)  A part of that prize was a wood fitting at the TMag performance center at Sawgrass.  The guy who fit me also fit their pros, he actually showed me some footage and data from Sergio's fitting a few weeks earlier. That fitting was amazing, started indoors but you ended up out on the range with the best head/shaft combos according to the data that his LM and fitting program spit out.  This program not only recommended a club, but shoes, glove size, ball type - it was remarkable.  I hit that driver pretty well but honestly not any better than the one from the indoor, off the rack fitting on whatever LM Edwin Watts was using.

 

I realize that I'm rambling here.  I think fittings are important.  But it's also important that the guy being fit come into the fitting informed while still being open minded enough to try other things.  I've had enough fittings to know some things - My swing prefers a low back CG, I'm best at a tad under 10 degrees loft (but that could vary depending upon how an OEM labels it).  I need less loft if I go with a shaft in the 50's and more loft if I go with one in the 60's.  I will generally hit the heavier shaft more consistently straight - shaft "flex" matters less to me than head loft and shaft weight - Generally speaking many of the guys here need a fitter because he will have more equipment available to try and also the proper LM equipment to gather useful data - I think many of us know our tendencies well enough that we can figure out the best shaft/head combos once we find out what's available and how it responds to our swings.

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21 minutes ago, revkev said:

This is a topic that rears its head from time to time.  

 

Let's face it, very few of us are able to have an "ideal" fitting which would take place over time outdoors with a full array of shafts and heads, only the ball that you use and the state of the art launch monitor.  Heck even the pros don't get that very often because they are locked in to a particular OEM, although if they have enough juice the OEM will be willing to build a proto type set or ball for that player.  

 

Ironically I did have a driver fitting once with the head pro at a lovely club in Sheboygan, WI.  He was a member of my church.  Did the fitting for free and I got my new Titleist driver at cost.  The first day of fitting was on range with a launch monitor, although her preferred his eyes and could come remarkably close to the LM data by sight.  He had me come back the next week and we went out on the course (it was a Monday when the club was closed) and hit drives with a couple of head/shaft settings in differing wind conditions.  Finally a few weeks later my new driver arrived.  I played very well with it for about two months and then someone stole my clubs from the back of my trunk. 😞

 

The pro took care of everything with my insurance for me and he cobbled together a set for me to use while waiting for my replacement clubs to arrive (which took forever BTW - this was 16 years ago). The driver that I had was his demo Ping G2 with an R flex shaft because he rarely needed it for fittings.  From the first swing it was love at first sight.  After a couple of weeks I got up the courage to tell him that I thought I was hitting the Ping better than my beloved Titleist.  So we went out on the course with his shag bag the next Monday to try it out.  All good condition Pro V1's we had 10 number 1's and 10 number 2's.  Once we got to the landing area and started to pick up the balls it was very clear that the G2 was the better fit for me - with your eyes you could see that I launched it higher (the LM proved what we saw to be true) and with less spin because I carried it farther.  The Titleist had more run but no where near enough to offset the carry and when I took a call and moved to Florida a few months later that carry truly was king.  The fact that I did hit the G2 better did prove one of my Pro's mantra's though - that was the beginning of the battle cry that most players needed more loft and a lighter or more flexible shaft.  

 

It's not as if I was miss fit for the Titleist, it's just that there was a better fit out there that we didn't try because we were limited to one brand.  And the most ridiculous part of it was that the other driver was right off the rack.  I'm 5'9" 170 lbs.  I will generally fit what comes on the rack.

 

So fast forward a few years to just before I joined MGS, about 11 years ago.  I was playing the best golf of my life, my index was below 1 playing with that driver, a Cobra 3 wood and hybrid, all with R flex shafts, Nicklaus irons with very stiff shafts and Ping wedges including my old eye 2 W as my gap wedge.  I was having driver issues and decided it was time for a new one.  Went to Edwin Watts thinking that I would buy whatever the hottest Adams driver was at the time.  They had a sale, buy a driver, get a fairway wood free.  My "fitting" was to try various stock drivers on their LM.  At least I had the common sense to bring my gamer so I could use it as a gauge.  The store wasn't crowded and the guy who was with me was very patient because he could see I was a good player. 

 

Finally he gave me a Mizuno driver to hit - don't look at the bottom or the shaft he said - I crushed the thing.  Hated everything about it but I played so well with that bad boy - just so well - for two years I did everything in my power to get it out of my bag - it was a 10.5 with a S shaft whatever that meant because by this point there was no industry standard for any of the labeling.  I spent a lot of money on drivers the next two years and none could displace it.  It only came out of the bag when I was a winner in the MGS tour staff contest (I finished 2nd but that haul was ridiculous)  A part of that prize was a wood fitting at the TMag performance center at Sawgrass.  The guy who fit me also fit their pros, he actually showed me some footage and data from Sergio's fitting a few weeks earlier. That fitting was amazing, started indoors but you ended up out on the range with the best head/shaft combos according to the data that his LM and fitting program spit out.  This program not only recommended a club, but shoes, glove size, ball type - it was remarkable.  I hit that driver pretty well but honestly not any better than the one from the indoor, off the rack fitting on whatever LM Edwin Watts was using.

 

I realize that I'm rambling here.  I think fittings are important.  But it's also important that the guy being fit come into the fitting informed while still being open minded enough to try other things.  I've had enough fittings to know some things - My swing prefers a low back CG, I'm best at a tad under 10 degrees loft (but that could vary depending upon how an OEM labels it).  I need less loft if I go with a shaft in the 50's and more loft if I go with one in the 60's.  I will generally hit the heavier shaft more consistently straight - shaft "flex" matters less to me than head loft and shaft weight - Generally speaking many of the guys here need a fitter because he will have more equipment available to try and also the proper LM equipment to gather useful data - I think many of us know our tendencies well enough that we can figure out the best shaft/head combos once we find out what's available and how it responds to our swings.

Was Josh your fitter at Sawgrass?

Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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1 hour ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Was Josh your fitter at Sawgrass?

I wish that I could remember his name - it was 10 years ago - As you can imagine I meet a lot of people and need to remember their names when they come into my church or school - I'm like the guy in Monty Python who has all that stuff stored in his head that it's ready to explode - I do a pretty good job of remembering the names that I need to remember along with the faces that go with them - I also know a lot about the life circumstances of the people whom I serve or have served - but beyond that I can't remember much else - 

 

There would be a thread on here somewhere from that fitting - I'm not good at going back but it was an awesome experience beyond a doubt - as I recall it we did the LM stuff in the morning, had a light lunch or snack of some sort and then went outside to the range with the needed equipment in tow - I believe this was the second year of the R11 driver.  We also had a hurricane off the coast of Florida that day - it was incredibly windy - I cross wind right to left which is right up my ally (that I do remember.)  I learned a lot about my swing that day and it's held true up to my last driver fitting - this past Spring.  I also know that had it not been for the MGS contest I would have left the premises with the exact driver that I was fit for - Instead I had to wait for one to arrive directly from TMag - not a complaint - but we all know that there are differences from head to head.  

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Taylor Made Stealth 10.5  Aldila Ascent Red R flex

Ping G410 5, 7, 9 wood  Alta 65 R flex

Wilson D7 forged 5-GW -  Mamiya recoil 460 R flex

Edison Wedges 54 and 59 KBS Tour Graphite 80's

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

Still on that elusive hunt for a 3 wood that I'm able to hit - I don't know why, I crush the 5 wood and it's really a 4 wood anyway. 

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It's well known that mats reduce spin for irons and wedges. The fitter should have some idea as to how much. One of the most impressive things I heard from Ian at TXG on a podcast was testing turf and building a hitting surface to best mimic outdoors in that specific region. The ability to use your own ball indoors can influence spin by 500-1000 rpm and is a larger benefit than what is gained by trialing irons off grass with range balls. Depending on the quality of the range balls, they could severely impact spin numbers. 

I used to believe outdoor fitting was the only way to go, but many of these locations still have you hitting off a mat outside which is the WORST of both worlds. IMO it's better to reduce variables (like wind and temperature) inside.  Especially with the ability of Trackman to give you low point location and depth. Best case would be to start inside, then verify outdoors to check ball flight and turf interaction. 

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:cobra-small: Baffler 2H/4H and sometimes 5H

:ping-small: G700 4i, G410 6-UW, Glide 2.0 54, 60*

:edel-golf-1: EAS 2.0

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4 minutes ago, BMart519 said:

It's well known that mats reduce spin for irons and wedges. The fitter should have some idea as to how much. One of the most impressive things I heard from Ian at TXG on a podcast was testing turf and building a hitting surface to best mimic outdoors in that specific region. The ability to use your own ball indoors can influence spin by 500-1000 rpm and is a larger benefit than what is gained by trialing irons off grass with range balls. Depending on the quality of the range balls, they could severely impact spin numbers. 

I used to believe outdoor fitting was the only way to go, but many of these locations still have you hitting off a mat outside which is the WORST of both worlds. IMO it's better to reduce variables (like wind and temperature) inside.  Especially with the ability of Trackman to give you low point location and depth. Best case would be to start inside, then verify outdoors to check ball flight and turf interaction. 

Outdoor on a mat also reduces the variable of lie. You get a flat perfect lie for every shot. There are lots of good golfers who built their game practicing off mats. 

Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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15 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Outdoor on a mat also reduces the variable of lie. You get a flat perfect lie for every shot. There are lots of good golfers who built their game practicing off mats. 

This is a thread about iron fitting and therefore representing the numbers you will get on course as best as possible. Not about whether you can effectively practice off a mat. I agree you will reduce variables on a mat. But an outdoor practice facility should be damn near flat whether its grass or mat. 

You shouldn't get fit on sidehill lies 🤣

:cobra-small: F9 Driver 9*

:cobra-small: Baffler 2H/4H and sometimes 5H

:ping-small: G700 4i, G410 6-UW, Glide 2.0 54, 60*

:edel-golf-1: EAS 2.0

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9 minutes ago, BMart519 said:

This is a thread about iron fitting and therefore representing the numbers you will get on course as best as possible. Not about whether you can effectively practice off a mat. I agree you will reduce variables on a mat. But an outdoor practice facility should be damn near flat whether its grass or mat. 

You shouldn't get fit on sidehill lies 🤣

We all now that outdoor ranges with grass aren’t always well kept and unless using a tee for every shot you aren’t guaranteed a perfect lie and I’ve done fittings in grass at pga tour courses and their range on normal weeks aren’t pristine.

Mats get a bad rap and people need to understand that quality fittings can take place on a mat. Numbers will be just as consistent on a mat as they will be on grass. Some launch monitors have the ability to normalize the ball so that you get the results of using a prov1. A good fitter also understands the difference in spin from a mat along with launch using a mat and can let the golfer know what they would see in real life conditions. A good fitter is also going to be able to tell a fat, thin and well struck shot just by sound and watching the golfer.

 

Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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Hello to all.
I started with golf not long ago and am looking for a place where I can get quality equipment. Do you have any recommendations for me?

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