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Custom Fitting Cost - worth travelling for?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

I've read all the posts on getting fitted for new clubs so it's a no brainer. My dilemma is where to get it done.

I have old clubs - Callaway x-12's, reg flex graphite shafts, bought second hand approx 14 years ago. I've only recently started playing more than a couple of times a year to try and improve.
My swing is not consistent yet but is somehow a constant source of annoyance to anyone I play with as they generally think I should be playing much better (haven't broken 100 yet so plenty of room for improvement!).
It's never bothered me before as I wasn't playing enough but now that I am trying to improve I admit it's starting to bug me. I know it's not the be-all-and-end-all, but another thing that's annoying is I'm not getting the distance others are when I seem to be striking very well.

The pro at a local shop recommended trying his second hand Wilson Fat Shaft, Mizuno MP-60 and Maxfli something-or-other with stiff shafts, as he said my swing was more suited to these clubs/shafts.
On the simulator, a 6i in the Wilson and Maxfli averaged ~170. The Mizuno was launching so high I was hitting the top net so couldn't get accurate readings. By comparison my X-12 5i was averaging around 160 which is comparable to on course distance. Dispertion was probably no better or worse.

I think it's fair to assume I can expect to gain a couple of club lengths in distance with fully fitted clubs so the distance issue would be sorted. Straight off that seems like it could bring about an improvement in game strategy and confidence.

My plan now is to start taking lessons at the beginning of February, take them for a month or two, or when the instructor thinks I'm consistent enough, I'll go and get fitted properly. I'm not in any rush, and I don't have my mind set on any brand of club. I'll go with the recommendations and the best numbers.


When the time is right where do I go to get the fitting? Will most places give you the time to go through all the options to give you the best clubs. I'm in Ireland and within a couple of hours is a recent GCA World Clubmaker of the Year. On their website they say a full fitting is an hour long. Is that really enough time to do a proper fitting?
Is this award likely to be worth the paper it is written on, or a marketing gimmick? They don't seem affiliated to any manufacturer so I should be able to try all the options and get exactly what's right for me, but wouldn't that be the case with most good fitting stores anyway?

Taking prices from their website:
As a guide you should expect to invest:

Custom fitting analysis
1 hour session €100 (every club in your bag)
Irons:
From €75 to €130 per iron
Wedges:
From €90 to €170 per wedge
Hybrid/Rescue clubs:
From €150 to €240 per club
Fairway Woods:
From €150 to €290 per club
Drivers:
From €150 to €540

I'll be asking instructor and fitter for advice but let's say I go for 3-9i, three wedges, driver, one wood, one hybrid.
At roughly mid-prices of the above that will cost me somewhere around €2,200. Approx $2,900.
In Ireland I imagine a fitting that provides all the club and shaft options of this place will be close to this figure, so if the award is actually worth anything I may as well go there.
A lot of cash but I know it will always be in the back of mind if I don't get it done properly and I don't plan to do this too often so worth the effort and cost.

So...how much would a similar fitting cost in The States? Could it be worthwhile traveling there for the fitting?
Even if it is only a couple of hundred Euro cheaper that's a big chunk of my flight and a good excuse to go on holiday.
I would have accomodation in Atlanta, somewhere in Texas, and probably the Santa Monica/Malibu area of California.

Finally, is there any after sales requirements I should think about that make make this a silly idea. e.g. do you usually go back a month or so later to recheck the clubs?

Apologies for the long post, and thanks for any feedback.
sker.
post #2 of 12

I've gone through fittings for irons and then later I did the driver, and I found the process very educational and interesting, and the results were noticeable.    With my driver, I picked up about 15 yards and better dispersion compared to my previous club, and my iron play increased significantly, with a much more predictable shot shape and dispersion.    And it has been proven in my scores as well; my index has dropped about 4-5 strokes with the fitted equipment.  

 

Based on my experience, though, I would have serious doubts about someone who claims to go through an extensive fitting with every club in the bag in 1 hour.     My irons-only fitting took almost 2 hours, and my driver fitting alone was about an hour, with about another 1/2 hour for the fairway woods.   Each of the fittings involved getting a baseline with my current equipment, trying out different head types, then trying different shafts on the short list of finalists with the heads and going back and forth enough times between all of them to make sure we were seeing repeatable results and not just a quick snapshot.    Then it took time to tweak in the lie angle, and finally to tweak the lofts as needed to even out the gaps.     I don't know how one could really do a comprehensive fitting for new clubs in only an hour.    

 

Also, I feel if someone is doing such a comprehensive fitting of every club, doing them in one looooong session could be very counterproductive.   I was pretty tired at the end of each of those sessions, and if I had just spent a couple hours hitting irons I would highly question the accuracy of jumping right into the driver.

post #3 of 12

At this point having a comprehensive fitting is probably not a good investment, unless you're exceptionally short or tall.  Your swing is going to change quite a bit quickly if you're serious about getting better and coming from never breaking 100.  

 

Use that money to get a few lessons instead of the custom fitting until your swing is more consistent.  

post #4 of 12

I agree with Bullitt, get your swing down first, most likely by taking lessons. Then go for a fitting. I purchased Ping G15 a number of years ago and the fitting was free (if you purchased the clubs). You work on a launch monitor and they select the best shaft for you, I needed graphite because I'm an old fart with slow swing speed. Then you hit on a strike board and they determine what lie works best, I'm a blue dot. You are measured and they determine shaft length and grip size. Again the fitting was free and I got my clubs in two weeks.

 

Now, I'm not pushing Pings, although I really like my irons, but a fitting is definetly worth it. I'm not sure a trip to the States is worth it unless of course you just want a great holiday. Let us know your plans.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your replies. I think it was what I was expecting. If you want to do it properly I can't see how a fitting can be done in an hour. And yes I will be looking for better consistency before I get to that stage.

 

I've learnt a tremendous amount reading TST and have definitely improved over the last couple of months but need an expert eye to make sure I'm not ingraining some flaws. I'll be starting evolvr lessons as soon as I get a decent camera and hopefully I can get feedback there on when the time is right.

 

I'll have to look at more detail at the idea of heading to the States, but not discounting it yet.

A quick search for off the shelf 4-PW G20s at Golfsmith is $485. At Americangolf here they are going for about $700 (€525).

G20 driver is ~$120 more expensive here. But that's a bit down the line. First stop is lessons.

post #6 of 12

a few things of note since I was in a very similar position a few years ago.

 

#1 - If you have a decent swing but struggle to break 100, it might be other things that are contributing to the score.  Things like short game, putting, and course management will likely relieve you more strokes than a properly fit set of clubs. 

 

To the point in this month's issue of Golf Digest they had an article about managing misses and thinking one shot ahead.  In the article the player was sitting in the rough a wedge away from the green with a low hanging tree and a bunker between him and the green.  It would take a miracle to get on the green so a layup was in order, the article went on to say that chipping it directly to the hole (conventional wisdom) was not the smart play that instead you would be better suited to chip sideways into the short stuff leaving yourself a full wedge into the green. 

 

#2 - Lessons (at least in my experience) isn't something you do for 2-3 months and then stop.  To be honest, I enjoy my lessons, my golf instructor and I spend some of the time just talking about life, tour golf, etc.  It is very therapeutic.  So find an instructor that you can communicate with, and you will likely really enjoy the experience.  Also, if you are considering spending the kind of money you are on golf clubs, it sounds like you are ready to take the game seriously, which means lessons and practice are the keys to getting those better scores that it sounds like you are capable of. 

 

#3 - When you do take lessons, don't forget to focus on those other things, my first set of lessons that I took focused on three things in my game, the first focused on the driver, the second on putting and the third on short game.  These were the 3 things that I identified were the cause of my high scores.  If you have a score card where you have measured GIR's, putts, tee shot (fairway vs. rough) to ask an instructor to analyze that quickly and he might be able to tell you where you need to focus if lower scores is the driving factor.   That being said, hitting pure irons all day on a golf course is a fun experience, and if having fun is the goal and scores are secondary than by all means continue on. 

 

a few metaphors that I have borrowed / stolen from other people's signatures on this board...

 

"It is likely not the arrow but the Indian." 

"A great player is one who spends alot of time fixing small things, and a poor player is one who spends little time fixing big things"  I am paraphrasing but the jist is there. 

post #7 of 12

I do not have any personal experience with custom fitting (I am too cheap) but one hour seems quite short. One of the bigger golf shops in Michigan which uses Trackman and does complete fittings says that a driver fitting is an hour by itself and a full bag session takes two, hour and a half sessions. Granted a long time doesn't necessarily mean a good fitting but I would think that no matter how good a fitter is, one hour would be quite rushed. In either case good luck with your decision and I am very jealous. 

post #8 of 12
How hard can fitting irons be? Take some measurements, hit off a lie board, compare shafts for ball flight height, can't be more than half an hour...i guess if you were choosing between a bunch of different brands/models it could take a while...
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

clearwaterms:

All points taken on board. At the moment everything needs work (obviously), but I hope putting a lot more hours into practising will really help. Certainly my best rounds have been when I've been in the garden every day swinging air balls between rounds rather than going from round to round.

 

Around September I started paying more attention to the 5SK threads and initially concentrated on getting the head still. I had no idea how much I was moving until I watched myself swing. Then moving the weight/hips forward and a flat left wrist.

I've played about once a week the last three months but only on a par 58 course. Forgetting scores, the last 5 or 6 rounds was where I felt a major improvement came, and when I can remember to concentrate on certain swing thoughts the shots are so much better.

 

Anyway, this looks like it's heading toward a swing thread so I'll try and get one going as a reference.

Thanks again.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckAaron View Post

I do not have any personal experience with custom fitting (I am too cheap) but one hour seems quite short. One of the bigger golf shops in Michigan which uses Trackman and does complete fittings says that a driver fitting is an hour by itself and a full bag session takes two, hour and a half sessions. Granted a long time doesn't necessarily mean a good fitting but I would think that no matter how good a fitter is, one hour would be quite rushed. In either case good luck with your decision and I am very jealous. 

 

I can feel myself sliding into a golf nerd and going through the whole fitting process, trying all the options to see what difference there really is is something I'm really looking forward to.

Just have to hold myself back until I am ready.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by colin007 View Post

How hard can fitting irons be? Take some measurements, hit off a lie board, compare shafts for ball flight height, can't be more than half an hour...i guess if you were choosing between a bunch of different brands/models it could take a while...

 

I suppose with irons trying two or three lofts of different brands and shaft options is all that is needed so maybe that won't take too long, but I think I'm going to want to see how different brands perform, so who knows. I don't plan on doing this again for a while so I may have to find a very patient fitter. Probably someone who will do the fitting over a couple of sessions.

post #11 of 12

go see james whittaker @ moor allerton golf club leeds he uses trackman and would do all your fitting for free if you bought your clubs from him

 

i have never been charged for fitting no matter how long if i bought the equipment

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Will check him out. Thanks.
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