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arduous1

Club fitting

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When and where:

I am a high handicapper, double bogey golfer, who just started playing 8/2010.  My score has dropped from 120s to 100s.

I have old 1997 irons Cobra II oversized irons with graphite shafts regular flex 3-pw

random woods: Nike sumo 10.5 degree driver reg flex graphite , callaway steelwood #2 reg flex steel shaft, adams original tight lies #4 stiff graphite shaft.

cleveland wedges 56 and 60 RTG's

Nickent hybrid #3 reg flex graphite shaft

Ping anser 2i isopur putter cut to 33"

I have not taken an official lesson, though some friends with HS golf and having played all their lives have given me tips.

currently feel that the Cobras are way too light, swing weight between them and my wedges is huge and awkward.

am able to get relatively consistent ball contact ie >60% of the time gets in the air and goes straight.

want to ask a few things,

1) should i be looking at getting club fitting?

if so, my 2 choices are

Golftec

and

Massengale Golf Academy which won the ping clubfitter of the year a few years back.

2) should i get formal lessons first?  i feel my swing is actually fair have seen it on video and watched tons of golf channel

3) other option would be to possibly reshaft my king cobras

thx for input,

ard1

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When you get fit, you should make sure they are also looking at your swing as well.  So a really great fitter will make sure your in your best athletic motion then fit you to clubs to promote that.Basically to get fit properly and not waste your money you should have someone who is a teacher/fitter fit you.  Ping does a pretty good job at this, so if your going to buy "big OEM" equipment I would say they are the best.  Getting fit to compensate swing flaws is the worst thing you can do. So to make sure your not doing that get fit by someone who looks at your swing and how the clubs will effect that motion.

Couple things you should look for when getting fit

1- make sure they are taking your swing into account ( not easy to find, but its the only way people who don't have absolutely perfect swings should get fit)

2-make sure your hitting off of a lie board and that the person is qualified to read it

3-when finding the correct length, you have to actually hit the clubs with impact stickers on them... you want to go as long as you can while still maintaining your balance and hitting it on the sweet spot. Hitting it on the sweet spot is the most important thing.

4-driver loft is key! make sure your hitting a driver with enough loft where your not having to compensate by trying to lift the ball.

5-getting fit by someone who has enough options to actually find whats best for you...if some person is trying to fit you by using a cart with 50 options.( meaning they have a couple shafts, couple lofts in driver ( 8,9,10) a couple iron heads.. then find someone else. Hitting a demo club is also not a fitting....This is a great way to spend a lot of time and money to find out you fit into "standard".

5- get dynamically fit....if they say they want to statically fit you..run

6-find a shaft by hitting different ones and watching ball flight...

7- hit the entire combination that you came up with all together, watch your ball flight...so if they fit you to a 12 degree driver with a regular shaft and standard length...you better actually hit that club...same goes for irons. ( even with lie angles) so if they fit you to a 2 degree upright iron...hit the 2 degree upright iron, with all the other specs on that specific club as well.

Good luck!

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golfer nc, thx for the reply.  i emailed don massengale, and asked him basically the same question, he responded similarly to what you posted.  so i will likely be heading up to the woodlands within the next few weeks to get a lesson/fitting from them.

regards,

ard1

p.s.  i'll keep the forum updated on how this goes if anyone is interested.

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Originally Posted by arduous1

golfer nc, thx for the reply.  i emailed don massengale, and asked him basically the same question, he responded similarly to what you posted.  so i will likely be heading up to the woodlands within the next few weeks to get a lesson/fitting from them.

regards,

ard1

p.s.  i'll keep the forum updated on how this goes if anyone is interested.



Yes please. Also, you can read up on my driver fitting if you like: My driver fitting (The_Pharaoh).

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Being in Houston luckily I have a lot of options, one I hadn't thought of till I trolled the forums a bit is a custom fit set of clubs by bwgolf with Wishon components. Any thoughts on this option? Thx again, Ard1
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I have never heard of bwgolf. But If they are fitting you dynamically, and taking into account your swing; then It could be a great option! Wishon is a great company, great components.  Many people get caught up in thinking if they get a new set of the newest "whatever" clubs, that they will fix their problems. However they are no better then off the rack wall mart clubs, unless they are dynamically fit to you.  There are many smaller companies that customize/fit clubs correctly. This is where you get the most bang for your buck.  Henry-Griffitts is another option, I don't know if there is any fitters in your area, but its worth checking into. They were the first people to do dynamic fitting, and that's all they do. They also invented the lie board, and interchangeable fitting cart.  Sounds like you will have a lot of good options!

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Since I am a high handicapper and i imagine will eventually move away from game improvement irons to something i can perhaps work the ball more with, i've elected to get a dynamic fitting with Donnie Massengale at his Nflight Ping fitting center in Spring, TX. By all accounts, this should be a good experience.  Additionally should i ever sell these irons, i'm sure they'll be worth more as a known brand rather than something custom made such as Henry Griffitts or Tom Wishon.

I scheduled a fitting appointment for this coming Wednesday.  Will let you guys know about the process and what i think about it, then eventually, what clubs i wind up getting (how different they would be from say a ping G15 black set of standard like and length clubs, and then perhaps most importantly how if it all they wind up improving and changing my game.

Update shot a 108 at a par 71 course this past saturday, so the last 3 outtings have been just under 110.

cheers,

ard1

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Originally Posted by arduous1

Being in Houston luckily I have a lot of options, one I hadn't thought of till I trolled the forums a bit is a custom fit set of clubs by bwgolf with Wishon components. Any thoughts on this option?

Thx again,

Ard1

Ard,  As you can see by my signature, I just went with a combination set of Wishon Irons along with Wishon #3, #4, and #5 Hybrids (gave up on the concept of 3-5 irons).  I was fitted by a custom clubmaker in my area.  I love these Wishon clubs!  In the few rounds I have played with so far I have already bettered my best score on my home course by a couple of strokes.  My clubs are currently back in the shop for a lie adjustment after a lie-board test confirmed my suspicion that my clubs were a bit too upright.  Will get them back on Wednesday and can't wait to get back out to check out the adjustment.

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Huffy,

thx for the input, as you can see by my post above, i think i'm gonna go with pings for now.  in all likelihood, i'm guessing G15's all around.  perhaps when my handicap index is as low as yours, i'll try Wishon irons.

thx again,

ard1

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Hello all,

My stats btw ~174 cm height or 5'8.5" and 162 lbs.  male right hander.  age 37.

A brief summary of how my fitting went.

Pulled up to Augusta Pines.  (yes i know, kinda cheesy name for a course, obviously playing on Augusta National and Torrey Pines)

Very nice clubhouse and building.  Quite impressive for a scrub like me.  nice amenities inside with a fancy restaurant/proshop, and like riverwalk/indoor water feature.

walked in mentioned i had an appointment with donnie massengale at 1.

was directed to the Ping nFlight center just off the side of the driving range.  which btw was very nice.

2 indoor centers with rolling garage type doors to fire away down range.  in use they had the doppler (not trackman, other brand forget name at the moment)

he also had 2 cameras and flood lights, probably either for night hitting and or swing analysis.  neither was in use for my session.

donnie got me back there, we talked about my game, or lack thereof, and then he asked what i thought i hit a 7 iron.  i proceeded to tell him 140ish and drives 220-230ish with roll.

he took static measurements, which i knew and told him i was a Red.  and sure enough i was correct.

then he asked me if there was a reason i was hitting graphite shafts, to which i basically replied no.  in fact i mentioned that i didn't like the swing weight difference between my current irons and wedges.  they were quite far apart and made hitting the wedges sometimes a bit of an awkward transition.

he started me hitting a 52 degree wedge rustique tour-s.

hits similar to my clevelands so went fairly well, went about 89 yards.

then moved to 7 iron G15 in black (standard lie and length) with regular and then stiff shaft, then back to regular, then switched to i15.  hit 7 iron both shafts.

discussed which i liked, i mentioned hit similar, but aesthetically the i15 was more pleasing, and hopefully i could grow into them.  i'm not sure, but i think i may have hit the G15 iron a little further.  i'm asking for all the detailed data, which i'm sure he'll provide.  including launch angle, ball speed, spin rate etc.

then moved on to hybrids.  hit k15 and g15 hybrids i believe 23 degree.  for the life of me, the g15 was easier to hit for some reason.

then onto driver.  i started with G15s and kept pushing it right.  either straight right or slice.  he brought out the k15 and sure enough, they went straighter.  same went for fairway woods.

then we kinda discussed club makeup, how many hybrids if any, how many woods etc.

discussed wedge gaps etc.

hit the G15 driver at first 12 degree, kept pushing the damn thing to the right.  club head speed he told me was around 90.  this is where i learned something.  i tried cranking it up and oddly my headspeed was actually slightly slower like 87.  and the results were way worse with poorer distance.  suprisingly an easy in tempo swing was 90ish mph and tended to go straighter and farther in general.  tried k15 in 12 with better results and for giggles tried driver in 10.5, which resulted in shorter drives.

trust me, given my double bogey handicap, i hit plenty of mishits and shanks (ground balls etc)  particularly with the longer clubs.  no suprise there.

so after everything was said and done.  i was recommended the following:

general rules, steel shaft for irons/wedges, graphite for hybrids and woods.  Regular flex all round.

standard black and the white grip

K15: driver 12 degree, 3 wood 16 degree, 7 wood 22 degree, G15: 4 hybrid 23 degree, I15: 5-gap wedge, and i was gonna keep my 56 and 60 clevelands though the computer actually recommended 52 and 56 wedges.

Overall impression, was a positive one.  i asked donnie from the get go, let me know if it is too premature for a fitting and if he thought my swing would change drastically enough with lessons etc to change my fitting.  he took that into acct, and not far into the session told me my swing was fine, and that the only real change he would expect is shaft changes to stiff if my swing speed increased.  pretty common sense.  the other thing, he mentioned may change was the driver, loft and shaft, for the same reasons, but he felt the irons would keep and maybe if i got more consistent i could swap the hybrids for regular irons, but he mentioned that may never happen as many people love hybrids and use them at all levels.

hope this is helpful, be happy to answer any questions, and may just update with more details later anyways, b/c i'm like that.

oddly absent, i saw a lie board on the wall, but i did not hit off of it.  Having said that, he knew when i was hitting it fat or thin etc, guess he has a pretty good eye.

hit em good,

ard1

p.s. Donnie apparently played on the tour for several years 6-7 i believe.  We BS'd around about the Shell Houston Open, Bubba Watson, Anthony Kim, and Yani Tseng.

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For starters, get a used R-flex 4W, and put away the stiff Adams 4W. This will give you all R-flex.

Then, get some golf lessons.  You may have watched videos and gotten tips from HS golf friends, but the swing learning obviously hasn't taken - you still can't break 100. I don't want to insult you, I'm just pointing out the facts. A good pro can show a beginner more in 15 minutes than a beginner can figure out on his own in several weeks.

You need to stabilize your swing a little before getting new clubs. What you should do as part of the lessons is get a static fitting. In this basic fitting, the clubfitter/pro makes sure the clubs are proper length for your swing and body build, and have proper lie angle. Check lie angle - possibly hitting off a lie board - to make sure the irons are not too flat or too upright. Wrong lie angle makes it difficult to  hit shots squarely, regardless of swing groove.

Caution on well-meaning friends: Just because they shoot in the 80s does not mean they know how to teach a golf swing.

So... Dump the stiff shaft 4W, get some lessons, and let us know what happens.

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WUTiger,

appreciate the advice.  just as a caveat, i maybe play max 2 rounds of golf/month and hit the range maybe 1x/month.  having said that, i do swing the club a lot at home.  intend to get a net to hit actual balls into, but that hasn't happened yet.

so given that, i don't think i have put in the time to get that "good" yet, as in to break 100.  but i have managed to drop 20 or so strokes off my game in the last 6 months with minimal actual play.  which i hope is at least reasonable.

with all that said, by ur handicap, u seem to be about 10-15 strokes better than i am.  how long did it take u to get there, how many lessons did u take, and where did u start?  i'm just curious, b/c i wanna gauge my progress against some sort of measuring stick.

i've asked various people about the fitting/lessons thing, and i think you are correct.  universally, people tell me to get lessons asap, before i develop and groove in "bad" habits, b/c once that happens it is often difficult or at least more difficult to correct.

on the other hand, people have told me that club fitting early is nice as well, as then you can at least eliminate that factor from hindering your game and move forward from there.

in fact, Tom Wishon has several videos stating that it is more beneficial to a high handicapper than a low handicapper.  b/c as you can imagine, small gains can equal big changes in score for a neophyte like myself.

anyhow, given my equipment is by all accounts rather old, and the fact that i'm not that happy with it anyhow, i figured, some more modern and properly fitted equipment would be a good idea.

thanks again, and always interested in hearing folks opinions and advice.

ard1

p.s.  anyone with comments about my recommended club combination? or with questions or comments about my reported process?

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I was a bit surprised he suggested the i15's since most higher handicaps would benefit from the forgiveness of the G15 or K15.

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Originally Posted by golfernc

When you get fit, you should make sure they are also looking at your swing as well.  So a really great fitter will make sure your in your best athletic motion then fit you to clubs to promote that.Basically to get fit properly and not waste your money you should have someone who is a teacher/fitter fit you.  Ping does a pretty good job at this, so if your going to buy "big OEM" equipment I would say they are the best.  Getting fit to compensate swing flaws is the worst thing you can do. So to make sure your not doing that get fit by someone who looks at your swing and how the clubs will effect that motion.

Couple things you should look for when getting fit

1- make sure they are taking your swing into account ( not easy to find, but its the only way people who don't have absolutely perfect swings should get fit)

2-make sure your hitting off of a lie board and that the person is qualified to read it

3-when finding the correct length, you have to actually hit the clubs with impact stickers on them... you want to go as long as you can while still maintaining your balance and hitting it on the sweet spot. Hitting it on the sweet spot is the most important thing.

4-driver loft is key! make sure your hitting a driver with enough loft where your not having to compensate by trying to lift the ball.

5-getting fit by someone who has enough options to actually find whats best for you...if some person is trying to fit you by using a cart with 50 options.( meaning they have a couple shafts, couple lofts in driver ( 8,9,10) a couple iron heads.. then find someone else. Hitting a demo club is also not a fitting....This is a great way to spend a lot of time and money to find out you fit into "standard".

5- get dynamically fit....if they say they want to statically fit you..run

6-find a shaft by hitting different ones and watching ball flight...

7- hit the entire combination that you came up with all together, watch your ball flight...so if they fit you to a 12 degree driver with a regular shaft and standard length...you better actually hit that club...same goes for irons. ( even with lie angles) so if they fit you to a 2 degree upright iron...hit the 2 degree upright iron, with all the other specs on that specific club as well.

Good luck!


I would love this kind of fitting myself! where exactly would I go?  I assume Golfsmith is not an option like this, but I may be mistaken.

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Quote:

WUTiger,

... with all that said, by ur handicap, u seem to be about 10-15 strokes better than i am.  how long did it take u to get there, how many lessons did u take, and where did u start?  i'm just curious, b/c i wanna gauge my progress against some sort of measuring stick.

You're tempting me to tell my life story. Basically, my golf "career" has been a bit of a roller-coaster as to what I shot in which decade.

As the first real golfer in my immediate family, I was self-taught + tips from country-club friends. And, I caddied at a big-name CC in St. Louis area. I broke 100 early in HS, started breaking 90 during college. (Recreational golfer in HS, third-string golfer in junior college)

Once beyond HS and with more $$ at hand, I took some lessons. In my 20s, I was shooting in the mid-80s, and actually carded two 77s before I turned 30. At age 40, I became a PhD student, and basically put the clubs on the shelf for four years.

When I started again, I tried to be more systematic in my approach - make sure my basics were in order. A teaching pro and clubmaker who fitted me for clubs on my return to golf told me this:

'If you can hit 400 balls a day, you can swing any way you want. But if you can only get out a couple times a week, you better have good basics."

Anyway, my recent decade is rippled with back trouble, and three surgeries (non-back related). This past year, I decided to really get back in shape. I go to gym about 3.5 times a week, and alternate: Cardio1 | Strength | Cardio2 | Power.

Also, in 2009 as I neared 60 years old I switched from stiff to regular shafts on all my clubs (except for wedges). This helped me get back my swing tempo and not "fight" the stiff shafts so much. Should have switched out earlier. After switch, I started breaking 90 sometimes.

On teaching pros: Since about 2001, the teaching pros seem to more on the "same page" than they used to be. The last two pros I used, although they don't know each other, said pretty much the same thing. Also, video swing summaries are the big gift of 21st Century for golf lessons.

Get a pro you feel comfortable with - may have to switch around in the early going. The others on the thread have good advice on what to look for. And, make sure you can practice a couple of times within 48 hours of each lesson. Basic equations:

  • (Lesson - practice = 0)
  • (Lesson + practice = gain)

Sorry I ran on for so long. Hope this helps.

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newtogolf:  in terms of where to go, i would say it is primarily restricted by your geographic location, and how far you are willing to travel for this sorta thing.

i was suprised as well by the i15 suggestion, i thought for sure it was g15, though at the store i secretly wanted something more player like.  to my shock, he offered it as an option, to which i jumped on it.  not sure if this was driven by a financial gain perhaps?  honestly, he said i was basically hitting them the same and it was personal preference as to which i would wanna get; i'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say no.

itching4scratch:  to answer your question, while the lofts are similar, the lengths are quite different between wood and hybrid, so the distance gap was actually one of the largest in the set, 15-25 yards.  the longer wood even with same loft as hybrid would go farther.

WUTiger:  great reply.  i enjoyed the read.

ard1

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Turns out the G15s have a 1 degree lower/stronger loft in equal clubs. So that pretty much explains the extra distance. Newtogolf if you goto the ping site you can find their list of fitters. I recommend staying away from retail centers if possible, seems the PGA pros would be a better bet. Ard1
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