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Golf Set: Buy Through Club Champion or Try Building Yourself?


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20 minutes ago, trombettista_vecchio said:

I don't disparage fitters.

You did, though.

46 minutes ago, trombettista_vecchio said:

Works as good as anything else.

I'm not really interested in drawing this out, and I know you meant you don't really care, for your game, about the benefits of having a fitter… but "works as good as anything else" is not really accurate, and diminishes the effect a good fitting can have on one's game. And I'm pretty sure you'd agree, so… happy to move on.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

You did, though.

I'm not really interested in drawing this out, and I know you meant you don't really care, for your game, about the benefits of having a fitter… but "works as good as anything else" is not really accurate, and diminishes the effect a good fitting can have on one's game. And I'm pretty sure you'd agree, so… happy to move on.

But I'm really not, iacas.  I did get an excellent, thorough fitting for my Kenneth Smith clubs. I learned what I need and got down to a seven. I'm older now, but I've been playing many years and know what feels right.  What about my reasoning in choosing my gear was not logical?

In fact, I don't do a signature so here it is:.

 

 

G700 set.png

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9 minutes ago, trombettista_vecchio said:

But I'm really not, iacas.

I had hoped we'd be done with this.

You did. You said you "use the force, then order from TGW." You then said this works as well as anything else.

No, it doesn't. Getting fit by a good fitter works better than just about anything else, in general.

Let's move on now. You were not being super serious, and neither was I in replying to you, but the horse is dead.

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Just now, iacas said:

I had hoped we'd be done with this.

You did. You said you "use the force, then order from TGW." You then said this works as well as anything else.

No, it doesn't. Getting fit by a good fitter works better than just about anything else, in general.

OK.  Good luck with your endeavors, iacas.  I'm sure that you'll help many aspirational players. 

I'm not one.  My best play is in the rear view mirror.  I have physical limitations now.  I can't practice anymore,  just play.  I have very strong opinions about equipment.  You can see how I've configured my bag, and I'm content with how it works for me.

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I feel like you hit the nail on the head with your own question: the specs get all crazy if you take them elsewhere for a build. That's not to say other builders aren't capable, but Club Champion has all their stuff calibrated from the stores to the build shop - swingweight, loft/lie, etc. You're getting literally the same club in your bag that you hit in the fitting. Seems like that's worth the few extra dollars if you're serious about upgrading the clubs to begin with. Plus, they have their guarantee, so you can always go back and make tweaks if you see different results on the course. eBay isn't on that level.

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I got fitted at CC a few weeks ago.  Knowing they were expensive to buy from, my intent was to see what was best for me, and then go buy somewhere else. 

Ended up with an iron/shaft combo that's not available from the mfg.  So I'd have to buy the clubs, also buy shafts, and pay CC to assemble.  It was a standard brand shaft, so I assumed at the time that it was going to be available with my irons and didn't ask about cheaper options.  Only saw the price after the full bag fitting was complete--just over $2k.  Which is basically the normal price for the irons and the shafts and a slightly high rate to assemble.  Its the selection that drove the price, not inflated prices.  Same thing with the wedges.  OEM offers 3 different wedge shafts under that brand, but not the one I was fitted for. 

Also recommended a $300 shaft for my 3 wood and a $400 shaft for my driver.  That was fine and expected.  I was interested to see how much a difference the shafts made and I knew those were probably going to be expensive.  But what did bother me some was that I was very close between two different shafts, basically a toss up.  Only after researching later, I saw the other shaft was $200 less.  Price was simply not part of the equation.  So the driver for example, was like $800.  Anyway, I just did some research on those shafts and looked for shafts available from the OEM with similar characteristics (weight, torque, kick points, etc.).  If I don't like it, I can always buy a shaft later.

I wouldn't necessarily go in there with a hard budget.  But if I did it all over again, once we settled on heads, I'd just tell them I only want to try shafts the OEM offers with those heads.  I'm sure they'd oblige.  I wanted the fitting experience of seeing different shafts, and I enjoyed it.  It was fun and I think I learned a lot about my swing, my clubs, etc.  And really, their prices weren't much higher than buying new elsewhere.  Its just expensive when you add specialty shafts and the associated labor to every club.  I think if I was a more serious player, I'd want the absolute best setup for me, I'd go back and fit through them.  When the clubs come in, I think they also have you hit them all (not just 6 iron used for the fitting) and make sure gaping and everything else is right.  There's value there. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, golfbandwagoner said:

I feel like you hit the nail on the head with your own question: the specs get all crazy if you take them elsewhere for a build. That's not to say other builders aren't capable, but Club Champion has all their stuff calibrated from the stores to the build shop - swingweight, loft/lie, etc. You're getting literally the same club in your bag that you hit in the fitting. Seems like that's worth the few extra dollars if you're serious about upgrading the clubs to begin with. Plus, they have their guarantee, so you can always go back and make tweaks if you see different results on the course. eBay isn't on that level.

Guessing you took time during your lunch break at Club Champion to write this post. I think we have to use a different description than "the few extra dollars" if we are talking about an $800 driver for example.

If people want to go to Club Champion to get fit, try out different heads, and find the shaft characteristics that work well for their game, I am completely in favor of that. But don't try and push the idea that Club Champion is more knowledgeable or capable than hundreds of club builders out there.

Go get fit, then walk out the door. Things turn shady real quick in my opinion once money comes into the equation there.

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7 minutes ago, jmanbooyaa said:

Again I ask would most golfers even be able to notice the difference club performance. $800 driver? That seems excessive. 

Yeah, that club should easily squeeze out 400+ yards a drive and always straight down the middle 😉

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On 1/5/2020 at 2:09 PM, jmanbooyaa said:

Do amateurs, weekend golfers high capers or whatever really need or will benefit from such a shaft? It seems the manufacturers would place shafts on the clubs that most golfers can handle and get solid results. 
 

I could be wrong. Don’t really know. Interested to hear some comments. 

A fitting and then buying the clubs suggested could help any golfers...be it a high cap to scratch.

BUT

Realistically for the average golfer say 12-25 cap golfer....new fitted clubs really won't help them reduce their scores significantly....fitted clubs won't mask poor swing mechanics.

I've played as a 6-7 cap for well past 3 decades...I can hook, slice, fat or skull a fitted club just as well as my current non-fitted clubs.

 

IMO...getting fitted for custom clubs is a life style choice...if you want it....do it.....but don't expect to miraculously have lower scores.

I can get to the course in the same amount of time in a Honda Fit or a BMW M8....it's a life style choice which car one drives.

Club Champion isn't known to be cheap...it's a for profit business....they can likely make more profits selling expensive shafts, etc....BMW isn't cheap either....no one goes to a BMW dealership expecting to leave the lot with a brand new BMW under $25,000.

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On 1/5/2020 at 3:26 PM, Adam C said:

No they can't. Club fitters may also be club builders, but that is a pretty big assumption. There are far more fitters out there than actual club builders who know what they are doing. Also don't assume that a club fitter knows how to properly measure a club's lie/loft, etc.

From my understanding, CC does not even build clubs in individual store locations. They build them all in Chicago and then ship them out from there.

Uhhhh, NO! My buddy was a club BUILDER! In no way shape or form was he a club FITTER! Those are two entirely different job descriptions!

OK, I read your post again, and feel the need to respond. I thought you were saying that were purely more club fitters than club builders, which is false on its face! The qualifier " who know what they are doing", changes everything! 

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16 hours ago, Adam C said:

Guessing you took time during your lunch break at Club Champion to write this post. I think we have to use a different description than "the few extra dollars" if we are talking about an $800 driver for example.

If people want to go to Club Champion to get fit, try out different heads, and find the shaft characteristics that work well for their game, I am completely in favor of that. But don't try and push the idea that Club Champion is more knowledgeable or capable than hundreds of club builders out there.

Go get fit, then walk out the door. Things turn shady real quick in my opinion once money comes into the equation there.

Agree. There are a couple of really good fitter-builders in my area. I went to one guy in NH that was a Golf Digest top 100 several years ago for three different fittings. Very knowledgeable and capable fitter. He is a one man operation with just an apprentice and he builds his own clubs for you. I feel the CC is more mass market, which is not my style. His prices for fitting are comparable or even less than CC. He was low pressure and just re-shafted my irons.

I actually got into club building and have built three sets of irons now and re-shafted my driver and woods/hybrids. It is fun. But in no way am I a knowledgeable fitter. 

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20 hours ago, jmanbooyaa said:

Again I ask would most golfers even be able to notice the difference club performance. $800 driver? That seems excessive. 

Difference is not like a V8 engine vs. a V6 engine. It's quality assurance for exact specifications. For eg, if your driver loft spec is 10.5 deg, off the rack can be +/- 1 deg. It may not matter to you (general non-serious 'you') as difference could be 5-10 yards. But that would be huge for a serious competitive golfer. They would gladly pay $800 for the more exact specs.

My understanding is shaft frequency/kick point/twist torque combo is a major aspect of customization. It is worth it for many to be able to pick from 25 options vs. maybe 5.

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Many years ago, I went to Kansas City to be fitted for a set of Kenneth Smith clubs. Kenneth Smith clubs may not be familiar to the younger members of the forum, but they were good enough to get me to go to flyover country, something that I'm sociologically not inclined to do.  International celebrities and heads of state played Kenneth Smith clubs although Tour player did not.  

Things were very different then.  There were much fewer shaft and grip choices and only Kenneth Smith's own clubheads to choose.  There were no digital launch monitors. But there was also customization not offered today.

Woods didn't have adjustable hosels. They could be lathed to the exact loft, lie angle, and face angle that  you wanted.  They were stained whatever color you wanted. Whatever style insert you wanted. You could get the sole of the iron stamped with whatever number, club name (mashie, niblick, etc.), or actual loft that you wanted, If you wanted an onset, curved leading edge on the sand wedge, that's what you got.

I left Missouri happy to be getting close to an ocean again, but also with a better set of golf clubs than i realized existed.  I still have them although it's been years since they've seen a golf course.

I've never gone to a fitter again, however.  They're not going to give me the exact clubs that I want because the exact clubs that I want aren't being made. The tooling doesn't exist.  I know my required lie angles, and I can't even get them on metalwoods, just irons and wedges. The fitters don't custom forge or cast custom metalwood heads liked they custom lathed wooden ones..   They stick you on a launch monitor and find the best options that are available, but what's available in terms of clubhead customization and alteration is less than what was available at Kenneth Smith's.

I don't doubt that for an aspiring player with a measure of athletic talent, the fitter is the way to go. What they can do for a recreational playing senior like me is a good question, however.

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On 1/6/2020 at 7:43 PM, jmanbooyaa said:

Again I ask would most golfers even be able to notice the difference club performance. $800 driver? That seems excessive. 

Notice the difference?  If you're on a launch monitor you will.  I certainly saw the difference, sometimes small, sometimes big, between the shafts I tried.  For the ones that were similar, I probably couldn't tell the difference on the course, though. 

Is it worth an extra $400 to make your drive 1% better?  Not to me.  But if I was better, or richer, it could be. 

 

I don't think CC is more expensive than any place else.  I think their approach to fitting is to find the absolute perfect fit for you, regardless of the price.  So you end up with exotic shafts, and they recommend purring and whatnot. 

 

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My driver fitting at CC ended up being a search for the ultimate fit with cost not being a factor.  But, when I heard the cost, I was shocked.  Full retail for a Callaway Epic Flash head and an expensive Accra shaft.  Total was around $900.  I asked what shafts are offered at Callaway that have similar specs as the Accra shaft.  I then bought one from another source and not through CC.  

The iron fitting was somewhat similar but keeping in mind what shafts are offered by the mfg at an upcharge.  In the end, the Ping G700 with a Recoil 65 shaft had the best fit and we ordered the set custom through Ping.  No CC assembly required.

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  • iacas changed the title to Golf Set: Buy Through Club Champion or Try Building Yourself?

 

4 hours ago, txgolfer45 said:

My driver fitting at CC ended up being a search for the ultimate fit with cost not being a factor.  But, when I heard the cost, I was shocked.  Full retail for a Callaway Epic Flash head and an expensive Accra shaft.  Total was around $900.  I asked what shafts are offered at Callaway that have similar specs as the Accra shaft.  I then bought one from another source and not through CC.  

The iron fitting was somewhat similar but keeping in mind what shafts are offered by the mfg at an upcharge.  In the end, the Ping G700 with a Recoil 65 shaft had the best fit and we ordered the set custom through Ping.  No CC assembly required.

That's exactly what I did with the driver.  I'd be surprised if I felt like the similar shaft wasn't a good fit and I could always buy it later anyway.

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