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Are custom built irons worth the upcharge?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Went and got a full fitting a couple of weeks ago: outside, off grass, using trackman.  Tried about 6 different shafts and an equal number of heads.  Ended up being recommended the Callaway Apex or Ap2 (somewhat surprisingly, I LOVED the apex, and will be going with that one), and KBS Tour-V shafts.  Loved everything about, only issue is price.  The Apex heads, custom built KBS Tour V's (something about specific frequency, stiffness, etc.) and grips comes out to close to $1500.  This is about 50% more than I'd pay going strictly off the rack from a big box store, or about $300-$400 more if I buy from the fitter but have stock shafts (still to my specs, but not custom built).  Basically I'm either paying $75 per shaft or $20 . . . 

 

My question is whether the fully custom built shafts are worth significant price increase.  I want to play the best I can, but of course I'm not getting paid to play.  If fully custom clubs could lead to 4, 5, etc. strokes off per round, than I'm game; if it's something I'll barely notice however, that's a lot of cash compared to off the rack.  

post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundandFury View Post
 

Went and got a full fitting a couple of weeks ago: outside, off grass, using trackman.  Tried about 6 different shafts and an equal number of heads.  Ended up being recommended the Callaway Apex or Ap2 (somewhat surprisingly, I LOVED the apex, and will be going with that one), and KBS Tour-V shafts.  Loved everything about, only issue is price.  The Apex heads, custom built KBS Tour V's (something about specific frequency, stiffness, etc.) and grips comes out to close to $1500.  This is about 50% more than I'd pay going strictly off the rack from a big box store, or about $300-$400 more if I buy from the fitter but have stock shafts (still to my specs, but not custom built).  Basically I'm either paying $75 per shaft or $20 . . . 

 

My question is whether the fully custom built shafts are worth significant price increase.  I want to play the best I can, but of course I'm not getting paid to play.  If fully custom clubs could lead to 4, 5, etc. strokes off per round, than I'm game; if it's something I'll barely notice however, that's a lot of cash compared to off the rack.  

 

 

Depends on the irons. Mizuno will pretty much have a good range of higher end iron shafts available with out upcharge. I was able to choose from Dynamic Gold, Project X, and KBS Tour shafts. 

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 

Either way it would be KBS Tours.  Difference (according to the fitter) is that the more expensive option would include shafts that are built from the ground up according to my particular specs, e.g., they are stiff shafts, they're a stiffness that's unique to my swing.  

post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundandFury View Post
 

Either way it would be KBS Tours.  Difference (according to the fitter) is that the more expensive option would include shafts that are built from the ground up according to my particular specs, e.g., they are stiff shafts, they're a stiffness that's unique to my swing.  

 

 

Not sure if you would see any significant difference. For example, difference between KBS and KBS C-Taper for me was maybe half a degree lower launch and a few hundred RPM. So the max height for my shot dropped like 5-10 feet or something. For me it wasn't that big of a deal. C-Taper were an extra 30 dollars per club upcharge. 

post #5 of 21

Im not sure that custom built shafts that are custom tuned for your swing are really worth it.  Sounds like the fitter is trying to make a quick buck off of you.

Id go to another fitter and go with a set of off the rack shafts that fit your swing but which you wont be upcharged for.

post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundandFury View Post
 

 

My question is whether the fully custom built shafts are worth significant price increase.  I want to play the best I can, but of course I'm not getting paid to play.  If fully custom clubs could lead to 4, 5, etc. strokes off per round, than I'm game; if it's something I'll barely notice however, that's a lot of cash compared to off the rack.  

 

Good chance it won't lead to cutting 4-5 strokes off your game. It's good you went to a fitter, got on Trackman and figured out what works best with the Apex heads and KBS Tour shafts. Not saying that going a step further with the frequency matching stuff is bad, you're just not going to see a huge "leap" in your game because of it.

post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
 

 

Good chance it won't lead to cutting 4-5 strokes off your game. It's good you went to a fitter, got on Trackman and figured out what works best with the Apex heads and KBS Tour shafts. Not saying that going a step further with the frequency matching stuff is bad, you're just not going to see a huge "leap" in your game because of it.

Thanks Mike, pretty exactly what I was curious about.  Like you said, the fitting was a great experience; every time I've got on a simulator at a big box they've always recommended std. length and lie, but turns out my optimum specs are .5* upright and +.25" shaft length (which was surprising since I'm only 5'9" and always assumed I should be playing shorter shafts if anything).  That info alone is worth the fitting, but I hundreds of dollars on frequency matching seems a bit much.  Looooooot of toys I can buy with an extra $500 . . .or you know, I could just not spend it.  

post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundandFury View Post
 

Thanks Mike, pretty exactly what I was curious about.  Like you said, the fitting was a great experience; every time I've got on a simulator at a big box they've always recommended std. length and lie, but turns out my optimum specs are .5* upright and +.25" shaft length (which was surprising since I'm only 5'9" and always assumed I should be playing shorter shafts if anything).  That info alone is worth the fitting, but I hundreds of dollars on frequency matching seems a bit much.  Looooooot of toys I can buy with an extra $500 . . .or you know, I could just not spend it.  

 

Correct knowing what your specs are is worth it because you have that info for future sets. Quick note, write down what your actual 6 iron specs are, every OEM has a different standard, so 1/2 degree upright can vary from iron to iron.

post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
 

 

Correct knowing what your specs are is worth it because you have that info for future sets. Quick note, write down what your actual 6 iron specs are, every OEM has a different standard, so 1/2 degree upright can vary from iron to iron.

Thanks.  What do you mean by actual 6 iron specs?  I know my current 6i is 60*, and the recommendation for the Apex's is 60.5*.  Is that the number you're referring to?  

post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundandFury View Post
 

Thanks.  What do you mean by actual 6 iron specs?  I know my current 6i is 60*, and the recommendation for the Apex's is 60.5*.  Is that the number you're referring to?  

 

Yep

post #11 of 21

I keep a spreadsheet with all my current specs on it. So when I go to the golf store, lets say I want to buy a hybrid. I can say, "Ok my longest iron goes this much. My 3 wood goes this much. Now lets find a hybrid I like that can go this much to give me a good gap between them". Its so I don't go in blind and end up buying a hybrid that goes the same distance as my 4 iron.

post #12 of 21

Basically, what would the Apex do for you that your current irons won't? In strategy, managers talk about being able to pass the "better off" test after you make an acquisition. Problem is, you only get to do the "better off" test after you have invested the money and seen the results.

 

As far as dollars go, here's the sort-out from the Apex pair on Cally's website:

 

  • Apex w/ TT XP95 shaft, (steel) = $1,099 
  • Apex Pro w/ KBS V-Special Steel shaft = $1,099

 

How many clubs are you getting? The Apex offers 3-PW, with AW and SW available. That would impact price.

 

So, are you using the Pro stock shaft V-Special in the regular Apex heads? Or, are you using the KBS Tour V shafts? The V-Special Steel looks like a KBS variant made for the Apex Pros, while the Tour V is a standard sale shaft. The Tour V shafts cost $29.95 each through GolfWorks, so that would be a pricy upcharge. And, what does the fitter mean that the Tour V shafts are custom built?

 

Also, you can't get the Apex at big box stores like Sport Authority. You'd have to go to specialty golf retailers like Golf Galaxy and GolfSmith, or a custom shop. So, it's a whole different pricing plan.

post #13 of 21

Callaway does not charge for shaft upgrades with this set.  I know because I ordered mine last week with Apex pro and KBS tour C taper shaft.  plus a half an inch and 2 up.  4-gw and it was 1099 bucks.  with tax it was $1152.  Golfsmith charges 40 per on that shaft.   I have done the frequency matching when I got my Ping i20's two years ago.  It does not change your game it maybe tightens up dispersion.  I paid 799 for the clubs and put another $400 in shafts and the fitting.  it was not life changing.  I would just order them from a big box or on the web.

post #14 of 21

The most important question is.....if you don't spend the money on fitted clubs, are you constantly going to be wondering if your game is lacking because you don't have "properly" fitted clubs?

 

For me, the extra money seemed worth it because I could take the clubs out of the equation. I knew I had been fitted properly, so now I know if I get a bad result, it's because I made a bad swing. I spent a lot of money and time putting my bag together and since completing it, I have yet to wonder if I've got the right clubs in my bag.

 

When I first started golfing with lower-grade equipment, I was constantly blaming the clubs because I had that doubt in my head that better/fitted clubs would help me improve. They have, but I firmly believe a lot of my improvement is because I'm not worrying about proper clubs anymore. Just focusing on making good swings and proper technique.

post #15 of 21
If i understand you, you are getting the fitted clubs(style, lie, shaft brand, length, flex, and spec) but just discussing paying the extra for frequency matching, spine, spinning or whatever of the same spec shaft?

If so, I don't think the bang for the buck is there for us mere mortals. I don't think you would know the difference.
post #16 of 21
I kind of compare it to shooting.

There is a custom builder of .45 pistols who guarantees accuracy of 2.5 inches at 50 yards. For an additional charge, he will guarantee accuracy of 1.5" at 50 yards (requires additional fitting of certain parts of the gun). These claims are real, but I can't see the difference in 1.5 and 2.5 at 50 yards, so essentially the gun can shoot better than I can.

Likewise with the extra bit on the shafts, at least for me.
post #17 of 21

LOL You're a 12 handicap? And how old? Get serious. 

post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by cm70056 View Post
 

The most important question is.....if you don't spend the money on fitted clubs, are you constantly going to be wondering if your game is lacking because you don't have "properly" fitted clubs?

 

For me, the extra money seemed worth it because I could take the clubs out of the equation.

Yup.  For me too ... a peace of mind thing.  One could argue that you don't even need fitted clubs at all if you're even remotely "normal" sized.  My old off-the-rack irons have been used only a couple of times since I got my new, fully fitted ones, and I saw very little difference in score.  (One of the times was one of my best scores ever)

 

But since I knew I was buying clubs for the first time in 15 years, and probably won't be buying irons for another 10 or more, I figured why not upgrade to the fancy shafts, and the silly "puring."

 

Like you, I now know that any issues are not from the clubs, but only my swing. :beer:

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