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Club fittings. The good, the bad and the ugly.
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Nickesquire
Club fittings. The good, the bad and the ugly.
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Thursday December 10, 2020 7:18 AM
Based on things I have read on GK, I am sure many have been in for club fittings over the years. I wonder how many have had experiences all over the board like I have.

Almost 15 years ago, when my swing was substantially faster than it is today, went into a Roger Dunn's for my first ever fitting. Explained to the guy basics like Driver distance, 7 iron distance, ball flight etc. before we got started.

He looks at a 45 year old guy with a belly and makes a bunch of presumptions. I need regular shafts and need clubs that will assist me getting the ball in the air more was his basic initial feedback. Now that I have lost swing speed it is no longer the case, but I used to hit moon shots. Spent decades trying to hit the ball lower to assist on windy days, and this "professional" is trying to get me to hit it higher, sight unseen?

He kept looking at his computer screen, then looking at me, then looking at his screen on shot after shot. Finally he told me that my Driver swing speed average was 112 and agreed I needed a stiff shaft. That guy was at best adequate. He did do a good job of changing out and trying different shafts after his computer confirmed I wasn't full of crap on the distances I initially told him. No instant feedback in those days, they could see the computer monitor but the player could not from where you were hitting.

Recently went into a PGA Superstore. Spent 2 sessions, several hours total with Jeff who was awesome! Excellent simulators and launch monitors with big screens that provide instant feedback in about 10 different areas. He listened and grabbed a bunch of clubs I thought I may be interested in. After watching me, he grabbed some others he thought may work. Tried them all and narrowed down my desired iron set, Driver and fairway woods. Found that father time has taken about 10% of the 112 mph Driver swing speed I was achieving 15 years ago. In other words, being able to lay up short of sand traps I used to go over?

Unfortunately due to COVID related delays, those clubs have never materialized. So purchased some different clubs to get me through at least a few months so I could play while back ordered clubs arrived.

Had a mobile fitting with a large, well known company Monday. They set up appointments all over So Cal and arrive on site with a van stocked with their equipment. I already have a set of their clubs, this was supposed to be a "spec check" so I could try and compare 3 different STIFF shafts they provide in their clubs. Outside, on a range, no simulator.

Perhaps my expectations were too high after sessions at PGA SS and Top Tracer. There, you get instant feedback on swing speed, ball speed, spin ratio, launch, carry and total distance etc. on big screens. Especially like how they can label the clubs/shafts differently so you can see all your shots in yellow with this club/shaft, all your shots in green with this club/shaft etc. But was told ahead of time I could get a print out of my "spec check" results.

Guy was 30 minutes late because of van/traffic challenges. Happens, and I appreciated the text advising me he was running late. He told me to warm up, so I hit about a dozen 1/3 to 2/3 swings and a couple full swings with my clubs.

When the appointment was scheduled, the rep who set it up had me answer all kinds of questions. 7 iron length, Driver length, handicap, type of club/shaft playing etc. Was promised a comprehensive fitting to try multiple different STIFF shafts and a printout of the results.

First thing the fitter does, looking at a 60 year old with a belly is put in a regular shaft for me to hit. 5 of the 30 minute session wasted later, he agrees that my 7 iron swing speed in the 87-88 range would be better suited for a stiff shaft.

WHY DO THEY HAVE YOU FILL OUT ALL THIS INFORMATION BEFOREHAND IF THEY ARE JUST GOING TO MAKE ASSUMPTIONS BASED ON THE WAY YOU LOOK?

During the fitting, the "feedback" I received was along the lines of "that was in the middle of the club and went 168"... that was on the bottom of the club and went 170"... that was on the toe and went 163". No sh-t , I have played for over 45 years and have a pretty good idea when I hit it flush and went I don't. Spent 20 minutes with one shaft, hit about 5 balls with another and that was it. No feedback whatsoever on spin, launch angle etc.

Out of a 30 minute session there to evaluate 3 different stiff shafts, my expectations were more like 10/10/10 on the minute breakdown per shaft. Not 5 with a shaft I know I do not want, 20 with one shaft and 5 with another shaft where the 3rd shaft was never tested. Very disappointed at that point.

As we were finishing, asked about the report I was promised. Disappointment grew considerably when he said he could not provide a report? Told him what the rep promised, and he said he could maybe put together a "summary" of the results and e-mail them to me, but his I-phone app did not let him print out the results. Texted the rep who set up the appointment. She thanked me for the feedback above and said she would see about getting me the promised results. 2 days later, nothing from either.

Final comment. This was not a free, fly by night operation. High end company that quoted a $50 charge for 30 minutes in the appointment reminder. Which I will dispute if it ever shows up on my credit card. For $100 per hour, I expected a WHOLE lot better. And much MORE than I got.
REPLY
The goal has always been long and straight! But since I can no longer hit them long, hopefully straighter could be achieved more than occasionally?
 Message #97209
kviser
RE: Club fittings. The good, the bad and the ugly.

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Thursday December 10, 2020 7:50 AM
That's rough, Nick. I once had a "club fitting." It was about 45 minutes of hitting 6-irons of various brands that I was looking to buy (Golfsmith, Woodland Hills, CA). I settled on a set that was slightly used, in good condition, and within my price range. I was told by a club fitter back east that "That's not a club fitting." I could not argue.

I love the game of golf, but I am by no means a new product/latest and greatest technology guy. I don't really care. I will try to tailor my swing to the club if I have to.
QUOTED  looking at a 60 year old with a belly

LOL, that's me.
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 Message #97210 - This was a reply to message #97209
sparky14
RE: Club fittings. The good, the bad and the ugly.
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Thursday December 10, 2020 9:49 AM
I hear ya brother! I've had half a dozen fittings at least over the past 20 years. Fitting #1 was incredibly enlightening. Also had an excellent experience at the Fujikura studio in north San Diego. But I've also had several fittings that were worthless. Of course, with my tendency to buy clubs weekly and to have had access to the PGATSS launch monitors, I've been able to self-fit myself way too much.
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 Message #97211 - This was a reply to message #97209
RDDenn
RE: Club fittings. The good, the bad and the ugly.

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Thursday December 10, 2020 2:34 PM
I have had one fitting, by the Mizuno rep before they developed their proprietary fitting equipment. He used no equipment, just kept handing me different eight irons with different lie angles and shafts. The result was great. I am convinced the guy was an artist. I had immediate improvement in my ball striking. I still like them, after about 11 years of use.

For my next experience, probably next month, I will be looking for a more scientific experience. I just hope the result is as good.
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 Message #97217 - This was a reply to message #97209
xazntigerx
RE: Club fittings. The good, the bad and the ugly.
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Thursday December 10, 2020 11:23 PM
Sorry to hear about the experiences you've had. I've had few decent fittings but so far all were more of "sales tactic" than true fitting. Usually they have me hitting my old irons but immediately says those aren't fitted for me and then they recommend new clubs. I've worked with club fitter for few years so I know most of the basics and some of the advanced fitting techniques and these guys are telling me right off the bat that my clubs don't fit me when I know its pretty close to what I need? Hmmm??? Most of the fitters these days aren't true fitters. They see bunch of rich guys who are looking to get new clubs that they think might solve their "issue" and just recommend the latest and the greatest instead of really taking the time to fit it correctly. Most of us have swing that changes slightly day to day so I always try to get multiple fittings and figure out what feels great and gives me the best combination of carry and total distance. Its hard to find good fitters these days. Mizuno has shaft analyzer which I recommend everyone to start out with. It gives you shaft and lie angle that you should be using as basic guidelines and then you can fine tune it from there to something little more closer to what you need/ want. Good luck and let us know if you find a "great" fitter.
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 Message #97226 - This was a reply to message #97209
Nickesquire
RE: Club fittings. The good, the bad and the ugly.
GK Event: Played in a GK Event SCGA GK Golf Club: Member GKGC EAGLE: GKGC Eagle Supporter

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Friday December 11, 2020 6:37 AM
Agree that if the fitter is representing one club line or company there is a built in bias. And some of them may well be commissioned sales people who also claim to be a "club fitter"? I think that is why PGA SS in their marketing states that they do not have a "store brand" and just seek to get you in the best clubs possible depending on your budget and skill level.

I am obviously interested in how far and how really good shots react. But I usually shoot in the 80's, so the vast majority of my shots are NOT going to be in the clubs sweet spot a good portion of the time. Maybe 1/10 I catch really sweet, where you can feel the difference even before you see the shot.

Which brings up a basic question. Are club fitters looking to evaluate the 1/10 you hit about as well as you are capable, or the 9/10 you miss anywhere from a little to a lot? For me, when evaluating different clubs and shafts, I am VERY interested in how the 9/10 I do NOT hit perfectly center react? That is the data I am actually MOST interested in, because it represents the overwhelming majority of my (most people's) shots. Clubs and shafts that produce miss hit shots that are reasonably close to my intended target are much more desirable than clubs and shafts that will be way off with the same swing/contact.

I say that because several shots I pulled or flared off to the right the fitter did not want to provide any feedback on. Told me I needed to hit more in the sweet spot. No sh-t Sherlock, if I could do that consistently I'd be on the Sr. Tour being paid to play rather than trying to get tee times and plucking down my $50 every time out.

I personally found it a ridiculous premise to throw out less well hit shots since those ARE some of my most common misses on the actual course. Much more so that the 1/10 I catch really well, where those 9/10 go are going to play a much larger factor in my overall score just because there are so many more of them.
REPLY
The goal has always been long and straight! But since I can no longer hit them long, hopefully straighter could be achieved more than occasionally?
 Message #97228 - This was a reply to message #97226
michaelko
RE: Club fittings. The good, the bad and the ugly.
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Friday December 11, 2020 7:43 AM
I'm no certified fitter, but if I were fitting anybody, the first thing I would do is make you hit your own club first, and establish a baseline. Then, all I need to do is beat those numbers. But also, no guessing... you hit a stiff shaft? I don't need to ask, just hit your own club.

I've had my course pros fit me with a tablet and trackman twice (driver, FW wood), and both times, they put me in a great setup that I am more than satisfied with. I had a Titleist rep fit me for hybrids; he used basic trackman data as well, and he put me in a great setup that I am more than satisfied with. But the best fitting experience was the Titleist rep that fit me for irons almost a year ago... had more advanced software that showed the results in a great way. And he put me in a great setup that I am more than satisfied with. He even adjusted my hybrids to fit with my iron distances.
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 Message #97229 - This was a reply to message #97228
michaelko
RE: Club fittings. The good, the bad and the ugly.
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Friday December 11, 2020 10:12 AM
QUOTED  Which brings up a basic question. Are club fitters looking to evaluate the 1/10 you hit about as well as you are capable, or the 9/10 you miss anywhere from a little to a lot? For me, when evaluating different clubs and shafts, I am VERY interested in how the 9/10 I do NOT hit perfectly center react? That is the data I am actually MOST interested in, because it represents the overwhelming majority of my (most people's) shots. Clubs and shafts that produce miss hit shots that are reasonably close to my intended target are much more desirable than clubs and shafts that will be way off with the same swing/contact.

With the trackman data, they looked at the best ones, looked at the averages, and threw out the worst ones that were obvious outliers. They can group them by setup.

With the cooler software my last fitter had, he was able to show on a green, where the ball landed... they were color coded by setup... he was able to change the views with a click of the mouse, so you can see where you were hitting the ball with which club easily.

It was obvious which setups were better: landed farther in a smaller cluster... and which setups were worse: landed closer, maybe more off center, in a bigger cluster. It was very visual and really cool.

And then that would correlate with the numbers, obviously.. but he could tell me all the numbers based on the setup: best, average, deltas.
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 Message #97230 - This was a reply to message #97228
lamitchw
RE: Club fittings. The good, the bad and the ugly.
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Friday December 11, 2020 10:31 AM
I've been truly 'fit' for clubs one time, at Club Champion in Santa Monica. It's you and the fitter, for at least an hour...sometimes much more if you're fitting an entire bag. I've had people work with me at Roger Dunn or Golfsmith to help me try to find good solutions, but those are not what I would consider 'club fittings.' Unless you can see all of the data on a launch monitor, and the fitter can quickly change shafts based on what you see, it's not really a fitting. Club Champion was expensive, but the amount of shafts we worked through to find the proper ones was amazing. And, btw, they should be fitting you for the shafts first, and then the heads. I will never get fit for a set again unless I go to a place like Club Champion, that is SPECIFICALLY designed to maximize your results. I did have to get refit for my driver, because it was not working well, but that's because I think I was tired by the time I got to fitting the driver. Going in fresh again and getting a new set of specs made all of the difference. Just my 2 cents. Happy Holidays to all!
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 Message #97231 - This was a reply to message #97230
Circaflex
RE: Club fittings. The good, the bad and the ugly.
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Friday December 11, 2020 6:43 PM
I've done multiple fittings at varying price-points and I will say for certain, you get what you pay for.

Things I have found absolutely necessary when I go to a fitting (my preference)

-Needs to be outdoors with a trackman, gcquad or equivalent
-Real balls, not practice or limited flight, real balls
-Hit off of grass

I have done fittings that were $50 dollars all the way up to a couple of hundred dollar "tour" fittings.

I have zero trust in anything Roger Dunns at this point. I had clubs built there with multiple issues, multiple times. I wont bring them even a grip change anymore, the quality of work has gone down so much since the veterans there stopped doing as much of the work and instead its young kids learning the trade. I have also had a fitting by one of the club reps there and it was a night and day difference compared to a tour/specialty fitting. Your money is better spent off at somewhere quality. The few times I stopped in there to kill time, I saw fittings being done and I almost feel like I know more than some of the younger guys in there based off of what I read online and test myself. But, I cant criticize them too much, that line of work isnt my specialty so perhaps I am totally wrong.

If I am allowed to, I will share who I would recommend seeing and where they are located. I have now had multiple iron sets and woods built by them, top notch work and they stand behind their product. I can also tell you their master fitter is incredibly talented and really knows his craft. You know you have found a great fitter when they talk you out of the more expensive shafts, to save some money because the numbers were so close it wouldnt matter. Just my 2 cents from someone who has spent a ton of money on fittings and new clubs over the years.
REPLY
#Ping #Taylormade #Bettinardo #Snell #MitholoG #Sunfishknit
 Message #97235 - This was a reply to message #97209

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