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Knockglock

Thoughts on My Iron Fitting?

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Hi all,

Hope it's okay to ask for people's thoughts on fittings here.  I just wanted to double check and make sure people thought my fitting made sense before I pull the trigger on purchasing clubs.  Below are the comparisons between what I currently play and what I got fitted for at Club Champion: Callaway Apex, 1/2" long, KBS Tour v shaft extra-stiff.  I've played golf on and off my whole life but I haven't played much in a few years until quarantine and have been playing a lot since then and been taking weekly lessons.  I wanted to get new sticks primarily because I had a suspicion my current clubs were too short for me (I bought them off the shelf without a fitting about a decade ago), although after doing the fitting I think I need new clubs also for the reason that the regular flex shaft is probably not the best fit for me.  I'm probably somewhere between a mid and a high handicapper, although I haven't played in a while so I'm not entirely sure.  I just wanted to know what you guys think about my fitting, whether anything seems off or you would pull the trigger.  Obviously, it's a pretty big improvement between my current set and the ones I tested best with.  But I do have some questions/thoughts (I discussed this somewhat with my fitter but also want second opinions).  Sorry, I don't have the data for the unchecked boxes, but I do believe the rest of the options were a bit worse than what I was fitted with.  Also, I told my fitter I wanted clubs I could grow into a little bit since I'm going to be taking lessons, and that I wanted to stick to stock clubs and shafts so as to not really drop too much cash especially when I don't think it's not really necessary to go to aftermarket shafts, etc., at this point in my game where I'm a mid handicap at best. 

(1)  Does 0.5" extra seem plausible?  I'm about 6' 2", maybe a touch taller with golf shoes on.  I think this one is probably right, but my fitter didn't measure my wrist to floor measurement or anything, so a touch worried.  1" extra does seem a little bit too much at only 6' 2" though.

(2)  Does extra stiff shafts seem too strong?  I told my fitter that since I'm recently back into the game and have been taking consistent lessons and intend to keep doing so, I wanted clubs I could grow into a little bit and to make a little bit of a projection.  My swing speed seems a little low for extra stiff, although I suspect I will add a few miles per hour as I learn to really swing the club and make a full swing, but my fitter said that it's not black and white in terms of you need a certain shaft stiffness at certain swing speeds.  

(3)  My fitter said I should definitely be playing players' distance irons, not game improvement or super game improvement (or blades).  After thinking about that, I'm not too sure about that.  What are the benefits of players' distance irons over game improvement ones?  Should I be asking to hit game improvmeent/super game improvement irons as well?  Is there going to be a big difference in forgiveness between players' distance irons and game improvement ones?  If there's not, I would be fine to get them, but since I didn't hit any game improvement ones I don't really know.  Based on my sample set they didn't seem too much harder to hit than my current game improvement set, so the difference between the two may be overblown.  And I don't really see myself needing workability right now or wanting to try and switch up between a fade and a draw, although that might change.  I don't really have any personal preference in looks or anything between the players' distance clubs and the game improvement ones.      

(4)  I also wonder whether hitting 3 players' distance irons is enough to make a purchase.  I look at the Golf Digest hot list and they have something like 15 options for players' distance irons, is hitting 3 different clubheads really enough to know what's best for me?  Perhaps this is just a limitation of Club Champion whether in the time they invest for a fitting or what they have in stock.  Although a part of me just thinks that I mainly just need to get something with the proper length and work on my swing and that the various differences between the other clubs isn't that huge of a deal for me right now.      

Is there anything else I need to be thinking about/asking the fitter before I pull the trigger?  Would you buy the Apexes or hold off/try more options?  Thanks in advance for any thoughts.  

Note on data:  I am left handed, which I think affects the positive/negative signs on the trackman data.  But as you can see, pretty consistent in-to-out swing path but inconsistent on the club face direction.

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Edited by Knockglock

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Half inch seems right for a 6'2 person. You just want to be comfortable standing over the short irons but not losing control with the longs. 1/2 should be good there.

Flex should be fine at your speed. Won't hurt you. KBS flex is really more about weight so the x in the Tour V puts you in the 120g range instead of 110g for the stiff. 110 to 120 is usually a good place to hang out for younger to mid age male golfers. If you get tired by the end of the round than you may want to be in stiff instead but if you can handle the 120g on hole 18, you should be good.

Players distance are just going to launch lower compared to GI or SGI and mainly in the long irons. Player distance will have a more compact design but still be pretty forgiving around the face. I think any reasonable ball striker with decent speed can handle this type of iron. Don't worry about what specific brand you choose. If you can hit one, you can hit others in the same category with a bit of practice time. Callaway is a solid choice, no reason to second guess that if you liked the look and hit them okay in the fitting.

The smash factor numbers on that are definitely jacked up but that's always to be expected.

Get the right grip size, probably need midsize or close to it. This is more important than the shaft choice.

Looks like a pretty simple build from Callaway Custom.

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19 minutes ago, Adam C said:

Half inch seems right for a 6'2 person. You just want to be comfortable standing over the short irons but not losing control with the longs. 1/2 should be good there.

Flex should be fine at your speed. Won't hurt you. KBS flex is really more about weight so the x in the Tour V puts you in the 120g range instead of 110g for the stiff. 110 to 120 is usually a good place to hang out for younger to mid age male golfers. If you get tired by the end of the round than you may want to be in stiff instead but if you can handle the 120g on hole 18, you should be good.

Players distance are just going to launch lower compared to GI or SGI and mainly in the long irons. Player distance will have a more compact design but still be pretty forgiving around the face. I think any reasonable ball striker with decent speed can handle this type of iron. Don't worry about what specific brand you choose. If you can hit one, you can hit others in the same category with a bit of practice time. Callaway is a solid choice, no reason to second guess that if you liked the look and hit them okay in the fitting.

The smash factor numbers on that are definitely jacked up but that's always to be expected.

Get the right grip size, probably need midsize or close to it. This is more important than the shaft choice.

Looks like a pretty simple build from Callaway Custom.

Thank you so much for the really helpful response, Adam.  I haven't really hit too many shots at either the 110g or 120g weight as my current irons are regular flex, so hopefully there won't be an issue with tiring me out too much during a round.  But it sounds like 120g is a pretty common weight so if a lot of players can handle it, I assume I can as well (I'm in my early 30s).  And good to know that players' distance irons are not going to be too difficult to hit.  How much do you think the smash factor is inflated?  I guess it doesn't matter that much, though, because either way the smash on the new clubs is a bit better than on my old ones?  As far as my grip, we tested that as well and standard size seemed to work for me.  And simple/cheaper build was what I was looking for, just trying to get a good set to hone the fundamentals and I'll worry more about precise details when my swing is more honed in.  Thanks again!

21 minutes ago, colin007 said:

You mean out-to-in path?

I may be wrong, but since I'm left-handed I think the negative swing path on trackman means an in-to-out path.

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17 minutes ago, Knockglock said:

Thank you so much for the really helpful response, Adam.  I haven't really hit too many shots at either the 110g or 120g weight as my current irons are regular flex, so hopefully there won't be an issue with tiring me out too much during a round.  But it sounds like 120g is a pretty common weight so if a lot of players can handle it, I assume I can as well (I'm in my early 30s).  And good to know that players' distance irons are not going to be too difficult to hit.  How much do you think the smash factor is inflated?  I guess it doesn't matter that much, though, because either way the smash on the new clubs is a bit better than on my old ones?  As far as my grip, we tested that as well and standard size seemed to work for me.  And simple/cheaper build was what I was looking for, just trying to get a good set to hone the fundamentals and I'll worry more about precise details when my swing is more honed in.  Thanks again!

I may be wrong, but since I'm left-handed I think the negative swing path on trackman means an in-to-out path.

Oh I didn't catch that, you may very well be right if a negative path is measured for anything heading left of 0

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25 minutes ago, Knockglock said:

Thank you so much for the really helpful response, Adam.  I haven't really hit too many shots at either the 110g or 120g weight as my current irons are regular flex, so hopefully there won't be an issue with tiring me out too much during a round.  But it sounds like 120g is a pretty common weight so if a lot of players can handle it, I assume I can as well (I'm in my early 30s).  And good to know that players' distance irons are not going to be too difficult to hit.  How much do you think the smash factor is inflated?  I guess it doesn't matter that much, though, because either way the smash on the new clubs is a bit better than on my old ones?  As far as my grip, we tested that as well and standard size seemed to work for me.  And simple/cheaper build was what I was looking for, just trying to get a good set to hone the fundamentals and I'll worry more about precise details when my swing is more honed in.  Thanks again!

I may be wrong, but since I'm left-handed I think the negative swing path on trackman means an in-to-out path.

At your age and assuming no nagging injury issues, that weight should be fine.

Smash factor with a 6 iron shouldn't get above 1.42, so you can factor everything down accordingly.

I know you said they measured your grip size but I might at least go with one of the larger lower hand grips (Golf Pride Plus 4 or similar). Again at 6'2 you might be more comfortable with a midsize unless you have disproportionately small hands. Most people will feel better with a grip that's a bit large vs. too small. Can also help if you have over active hands causing inconsistent face angles at impact.

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Just curious how much did the club fitting cost?

If I had paid for a fitting and have doubts with the results/more unanswered questions, I’d go back to the fitter to get some clarification. 

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2 hours ago, Adam C said:

At your age and assuming no nagging injury issues, that weight should be fine.

Smash factor with a 6 iron shouldn't get above 1.42, so you can factor everything down accordingly.

I know you said they measured your grip size but I might at least go with one of the larger lower hand grips (Golf Pride Plus 4 or similar). Again at 6'2 you might be more comfortable with a midsize unless you have disproportionately small hands. Most people will feel better with a grip that's a bit large vs. too small. Can also help if you have over active hands causing inconsistent face angles at impact.

Excellent, thank you!  And got it--I wonder if they jack up the smash factor to sell more clubs?  Although I don't really know how they make money, since I paid a separate fitting fee.  I will check again on the grip size, we briefly measured it at my fitting but I'm going back this weekend to finish it up and  I will ask about whether a more midsize grip would be better and try and play around with it.  My face angles are a bit inconsistent, so that might be a help with that issue too.

1 hour ago, FlyingAce said:

Just curious how much did the club fitting cost?

If I had paid for a fitting and have doubts with the results/more unanswered questions, I’d go back to the fitter to get some clarification. 

I signed up for a full bag club fitting at Club Champion, it was $350.  We only did half the bag earlier, and I'm going back in this weekend, so I'm going to ask more questions when I go back this weekend.  That was one of the things I was hoping to figure out from this thread, since I'm not super experienced with clubs, before I buy the Callaway Apexes—hat else there is to think about and what else I might ask the fitter.  

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Just don't let them lead you down the garden path with any shaft PUREing stuff, if you have any consideration of them building the clubs. By the way, just don't do that. Take the fitting specs and run.

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18 minutes ago, Knockglock said:

Excellent, thank you!  And got it--I wonder if they jack up the smash factor to sell more clubs?  Although I don't really know how they make money, since I paid a separate fitting fee.  I will check again on the grip size, we briefly measured it at my fitting but I'm going back this weekend to finish it up and  I will ask about whether a more midsize grip would be better and try and play around with it.  My face angles are a bit inconsistent, so that might be a help with that issue too.

I signed up for a full bag club fitting at Club Champion, it was $350.  We only did half the bag earlier, and I'm going back in this weekend, so I'm going to ask more questions when I go back this weekend.  That was one of the things I was hoping to figure out from this thread, since I'm not super experienced with clubs, before I buy the Callaway Apexes—hat else there is to think about and what else I might ask the fitter.  

It’s nice to see you were fitted with ‘normal’ shafts. I’ve heard so many other times someone was fitted but with Egyptian Graphite Super deluxe shafts at $250/shaft.

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3 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

It’s nice to see you were fitted with ‘normal’ shafts. I’ve heard so many other times someone was fitted but with Egyptian Graphite Super deluxe shafts at $250/shaft.

I specifically told my fitter at the outset I was only interested in stock shafts.  I can't justify spending a ton of aftermarket shafts right now given the state of my swing.  But I do need a decent set of sticks that are at least the proper length, loft, stiffness, etc., which is the main reason I decided to get fitted.

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4 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

Egyptian Graphite Super deluxe shafts at $250/shaft.

The Phoenisian shafts are way better.

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2 minutes ago, Adam C said:

Just don't let them lead you down the garden path with any shaft PUREing stuff, if you have any consideration of them building the clubs. By the way, just don't do that. Take the fitting specs and run.

One of my OCD golfing acquaintances caught up to me the other day and told me he booked a fitting at one of these franchise fitters. He said he felt compelled to buy since the price would be baked in. I set him up with my independent who does a lot of tour players in the area and told him to pay the fee or pay him for his time depending on what he wanted to do. I said I trust this guy and you take what he tells you and you can order through him, buy used, or just see if what you currently have works.  If you want to go down a rabbit hole, you probably need to go somewhere else. 

I also told him that for iron shafts he was looking at 4 basic options (Nippon, PX, KBS or DG) and would be probably narrowed down to an S400 or X100 equivalent and at this stage stay away from any really expensive exotics. He would be looking at a players club, probably cavity back or muscle blend and gave him the low down based on his goals but honestly he can go with standard offerings, get the shaft, weight, flex, length, lie, sw, grip size, etc right and be on his way to stop obsessing about being fit. I didn't even mention hard or soft stepping or shaft puring because he would be crazed. 

So for the OP, @Adam C is on target and I am seeing on this forum that he knows his stuff. Your profile gets you fit into a few products that are kind of interchangeable and then its up to the fitter to really get into the nuances with you. Once you get the clubs you need go play knowing you put the time in to get some really good equipment.  

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1 hour ago, TourSpoon said:

One of my OCD golfing acquaintances caught up to me the other day and told me he booked a fitting at one of these franchise fitters. He said he felt compelled to buy since the price would be baked in. I set him up with my independent who does a lot of tour players in the area and told him to pay the fee or pay him for his time depending on what he wanted to do. I said I trust this guy and you take what he tells you and you can order through him, buy used, or just see if what you currently have works.  If you want to go down a rabbit hole, you probably need to go somewhere else. 

I also told him that for iron shafts he was looking at 4 basic options (Nippon, PX, KBS or DG) and would be probably narrowed down to an S400 or X100 equivalent and at this stage stay away from any really expensive exotics. He would be looking at a players club, probably cavity back or muscle blend and gave him the low down based on his goals but honestly he can go with standard offerings, get the shaft, weight, flex, length, lie, sw, grip size, etc right and be on his way to stop obsessing about being fit. I didn't even mention hard or soft stepping or shaft puring because he would be crazed. 

So for the OP, @Adam C is on target and I am seeing on this forum that he knows his stuff. Your profile gets you fit into a few products that are kind of interchangeable and then its up to the fitter to really get into the nuances with you. Once you get the clubs you need go play knowing you put the time in to get some really good equipment.  

Thanks a lot for the very helpful response!  The fitting fee is not applied to the clubs, so I don't feel any particular pressure to buy or anything, or than I want to get clubs that fit me soon rather than play with my clubs which are too short for too much longer.  I don't know any independents in my area unfortunately, but that would be nice if I had someone I knew and trust.  And thanks for seconding Adam's really helpful response!

2 hours ago, Adam C said:

Just don't let them lead you down the garden path with any shaft PUREing stuff, if you have any consideration of them building the clubs. By the way, just don't do that. Take the fitting specs and run.

Got it, sounds like that's complete snake oil so I will definitely avoid.  Why should I avoid having them build the clubs?  It sounds like it's the same price as buying online and comes with some minor benefits like free lie/loft adjustments for life on the clubs, discounting future fittings, and some free trackman range time.

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6 hours ago, Adam C said:

Half inch seems right for a 6'2 person. You just want to be comfortable standing over the short irons but not losing control with the longs. 1/2 should be good there.

Flex should be fine at your speed. Won't hurt you. KBS flex is really more about weight so the x in the Tour V puts you in the 120g range instead of 110g for the stiff. 110 to 120 is usually a good place to hang out for younger to mid age male golfers. If you get tired by the end of the round than you may want to be in stiff instead but if you can handle the 120g on hole 18, you should be good.

Players distance are just going to launch lower compared to GI or SGI and mainly in the long irons. Player distance will have a more compact design but still be pretty forgiving around the face. I think any reasonable ball striker with decent speed can handle this type of iron. Don't worry about what specific brand you choose. If you can hit one, you can hit others in the same category with a bit of practice time. Callaway is a solid choice, no reason to second guess that if you liked the look and hit them okay in the fitting.

The smash factor numbers on that are definitely jacked up but that's always to be expected.

Get the right grip size, probably need midsize or close to it. This is more important than the shaft choice.

Looks like a pretty simple build from Callaway Custom.

Could I also trouble you to elaborate on the lower launch point with the players distance irons?  Is the lower flight path a benefit somehow (perhaps plays better in the wind or for other reasons)?  My fitter did say I had a high flight path and wanted to get it lower but I was told that was mainly backspin I think.

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2 hours ago, Knockglock said:

Thanks a lot for the very helpful response!  The fitting fee is not applied to the clubs, so I don't feel any particular pressure to buy or anything, or than I want to get clubs that fit me soon rather than play with my clubs which are too short for too much longer.  I don't know any independents in my area unfortunately, but that would be nice if I had someone I knew and trust.  And thanks for seconding Adam's really helpful response!

Got it, sounds like that's complete snake oil so I will definitely avoid.  Why should I avoid having them build the clubs?  It sounds like it's the same price as buying online and comes with some minor benefits like free lie/loft adjustments for life on the clubs, discounting future fittings, and some free trackman range time.

When they build the clubs for you, they charge for the clubs, shafts, and grips and the assembly charge. I believe that this is still the case with OEM shaft and grip offerings. When you buy through the OEM, all costs are included in the price and the only time you would pay more for shafts or grips would be on certain custom options. And even then you would only be paying a slight mark up, not full retail for each piece.

When you buy from these fitting companies, be it Club Champion, True Spec, etc, you pay for a full golf club, then full retail on a shaft and a grip and assembly charges. They will also try and convince you that they are better builders than Callaway or whoever, which just isn't true. 

2 hours ago, Knockglock said:

Could I also trouble you to elaborate on the lower launch point with the players distance irons?  Is the lower flight path a benefit somehow (perhaps plays better in the wind or for other reasons)?  My fitter did say I had a high flight path and wanted to get it lower but I was told that was mainly backspin I think.

Players distance irons are designed to launch lower with less spin than pure GI clubs. Again this is mainly in the mid and longer irons but also to a certain degree in the shorts also. The thought being the golfer looking at players distance has the ability to get the ball up in the air with the longer clubs so he/she doesn't need as much assistance. You still get the hotter face however and lower lofts than player style irons which usually means more distance.

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5 hours ago, Adam C said:

Just don't let them lead you down the garden path with any shaft PUREing stuff, if you have any consideration of them building the clubs. By the way, just don't do that. Take the fitting specs and run.

Haha, I totally did this when I got fitted.  I had a hunch when he offered it that it sounded like hooey, but I also thought to myself, I'm paying 1500-1600 for the first new irons I've gotten in 15 years and will probably get for 15 more years, so what's an extra $150 or whatever at that point anyway?

Next set of irons, if it happens, I will definitely not bother, lol. 🙂

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8 minutes ago, Adam C said:

When they build the clubs for you, they charge for the clubs, shafts, and grips and the assembly charge. I believe that this is still the case with OEM shaft and grip offerings. When you buy through the OEM, all costs are included in the price and the only time you would pay more for shafts or grips would be on certain custom options. And even then you would only be paying a slight mark up, not full retail for each piece.

When you buy from these fitting companies, be it Club Champion, True Spec, etc, you pay for a full golf club, then full retail on a shaft and a grip and assembly charges. They will also try and convince you that they are better builders than Callaway or whoever, which just isn't true. 

Players distance irons are designed to launch lower with less spin than pure GI clubs. Again this is mainly in the mid and longer irons but also to a certain degree in the shorts also. The thought being the golfer looking at players distance has the ability to get the ball up in the air with the longer clubs so he/she doesn't need as much assistance. You still get the hotter face however and lower lofts than player style irons which usually means more distance.

Ah, I see.  They told me that the price would be the same through Club Champion or Callaway, but now that I look it up on Callaway's website, it looks like it's $175 more expensive for the set (4-PW) to buy through Club Champion.  I hadn't realized that.  I didn't get any exact timeline from Club Champion either, but they made it sound like it might take a while if I bought through them, whereas I could buy from the Callaway website and get the 4-PW in 5-7 days.  

And thanks for the explanation on the players distance irons!  That makes sense.  I'm still leaning going that way, although I am somewhat torn and am going to ask my fitter about game improvement irons as well when I go back.

One other thing I see talked a lot about on this forum that I have a question about is gapping.  The build sheet my fitter put together has the Callaway PW and then Titleist Vokey 54 and 58 degree wedges.  Do you have any thoughts on that set up?  I see a lot of people play wedges with a bit more gap between them, like a 52 and 58 or a 52 and 60.  Or does it not really matter?  Unfortunately, we didn't do trackman on the wedges so I don't know how far I hit them.  Also, do you have any thoughts on whether it's better to get the complete Callaway set (since I'm buying on the website, I can buy an Apex gap wedge and sand wedge as well) or go with separate Vokey wedges?  My fitter recommended to go the Vokey route, but I didn't realize buying Apex wedges as well was a possibility.

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