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ttaggart

Where to start for new clubs

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I'm looking to get a new set of clubs but not sure how I should go about it. I'm looking in the $700 range. Are there fitting centers that I should go to besides my local Golfsmith? Seems like they are kind of amatuerish there. If I'm going to spend that much money I want to make sure it's going to be with someone who knows exactly what they're talking about.

I also have no idea what kind/brand of clubs I want. So just need help on where to get started. Thanks

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I'm looking to get a new set of clubs but not sure how I should go about it. I'm looking in the $700 range. Are there fitting centers that I should go to besides my local Golfsmith? Seems like they are kind of amatuerish there. If I'm going to spend that much money I want to make sure it's going to be with someone who knows exactly what they're talking about. I also have no idea what kind/brand of clubs I want. So just need help on where to get started. Thanks

I am looking at getting fitted by a club maker. He does not charge much more, but I will end up with off brand shafts and clubs. Golfsmith has club making at certain stores. Not sure how you go about getting fitted. There's so much controversy about club speed on this blog, it's not even funny. I just read Tom Wishon's book "12 myths that could wreck your golf game". It could help you decide if you want properly fitted shafts or not.

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Some golf superstores have first-rate fitters on staff, others don't know what they're doing. You'll find good and bad in most chains, and it varies store to store. Likewise, some custom clubfitters and clubmakers are first-rate, others don't know what they're doing.

You need to be able to evaluate the skill level of the different shops in your area.

Do you know any low-handicap golfers, golf pros, or high school or college golf coaches you could ask for advice? It all depends what the individual shop can do.

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I  had a strange experience with a fitter at PGA SS yesterday. Went to demo the Cleveland 588 cm and the Bridgestone J40. The entire time I was there she kept trying to get me to look at anything but those two clubs. Mostly pushing the TM MB and some Mizuno blade that I couldn't hit very well. I wasn't ready to buy just there to satisfy my curiosity and to pick up a smash bag. Her insistent mentioning of the TM stuff had me thinking she stood to gain something from the sale of their product.

The trouble started when she mentioned she didn't think I was getting enough speed with the 588 7i I tried. Not sure how accurate their sims are but over 20 or so strikes I was averaging in the 83-88 mph range with a few fat shots that didn't generate much speed. It was evident I didn't make good contact on those. That didn't seem slow for a 7i to me but who knows, wasn't trying to kill it or anything. When she put the TM MB in my hands with a reg flex KBS shaft I don't think I hit one straight ball and the distances dramatically dropped. Yet she stood firm trying to sell me that set up.

I'd like to get a proper fit but I haven't seen the 588 cm's anywhere else. In the end I left confused. If the 588 really isn't for me I couldn't tell. It felt good, sounded good and other than a few mishits the flight pattern was consistent. I know the sims aren't accurate but even with a large margin for error I was hitting the 588 7i further than my current 845 7i, like 1.5 clubs further. But I was certain I didn't like anything she recommended. I've had my current clubs tweaked by a fitter and he didn't try to dissuade me from using those so who knows. My experience is finding a good fitter at a superstore is tough. The guys at Dick's tried to keep me from buying the Cobra AMP 3w, which I really like and hit well so I'm 0-2 at places like that.

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Originally Posted by Dave2512

I  had a strange experience with a fitter at PGA SS yesterday. Went to demo the Cleveland 588 cm and the Bridgestone J40. The entire time I was there she kept trying to get me to look at anything but those two clubs. Mostly pushing the TM MB and some Mizuno blade that I couldn't hit very well. I wasn't ready to buy just there to satisfy my curiosity and to pick up a smash bag. Her insistent mentioning of the TM stuff had me thinking she stood to gain something from the sale of their product.

.........................

My experience is finding a good fitter at a superstore is tough. The guys at Dick's tried to keep me from buying the Cobra AMP 3w, which I really like and hit well so I'm 0-2 at places like that.

The experience you described is one reason I feel that finding a good independent shop that carries multiple brands is very useful.    At the large enterprises like PGA SS, Dick's, etc. one will often find the manufacturers have some strong spiffs in place (a spiff is an extra little bonus paid directly to the sales person for selling a specific product).      They'll do those in a large store but often won't have programs in place at smaller independents; the large places are where the volume is so it is more cost effective for them to put in place a program with Dick's corporate office than to deal with 100 different independents shops.     Thus, you'll find some more objectivity in a place less likely to have a heavily spiffed sales staff.

When I worked in the electronics industry, it was amazing the number of spiff programs that were in place at retailers like Best Buy, Circuit City, etc.    Manufacturers would use these to push market share numbers, drive through overstocked inventory, etc.    The salespeople don't make a lot of money in general, and often the spiff dollars would be like a 30-50% raise.

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Try to find a pro shop at a local golf course that does custom fitting. You will usually work with the club pro and be able to hit the clubs on their driving range....this will allow you to see the actual ball flight......do not rely solely on indoor simulators at golf shops. With a $700 price point, this allows you several options. Make sure you try the Ping G20's.

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This may be a stupid question, but I've never done a fit testing for clubs nor bought an expensive set. With the amount of money I am willing to spend how do I even go about finding which clubs to test out? Do I just take a 7-iron from 10 different sets and hit 10 shots with each club and then get it down to a couple sets and then ultimately make a decision?

Once I decide on which clubs I ultimately want to get is that when I do the fit testing to see if any adjustments need to be made? Or do I do the fit testing before I start hitting any clubs so that I could be steered in a certain direction based on my swing style which can be paired with a suitable set of clubs?

Thanks for the help

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Originally Posted by ttaggart

This may be a stupid question, but I've never done a fit testing for clubs nor bought an expensive set. With the amount of money I am willing to spend how do I even go about finding which clubs to test out? Do I just take a 7-iron from 10 different sets and hit 10 shots with each club and then get it down to a couple sets and then ultimately make a decision?

Once I decide on which clubs I ultimately want to get is that when I do the fit testing to see if any adjustments need to be made? Or do I do the fit testing before I start hitting any clubs so that I could be steered in a certain direction based on my swing style which can be paired with a suitable set of clubs?

Thanks for the help

In my experience it depends where you go. Most places will have you hit a bunch of different clubs before you start the fitting session so you can narrow down what you want to a few different clubs. Then you go to the fitter with your selection and they will help you decide which of the clubs you've selected work best for you. Once you've made that decision they will work on making adjustments to the irons you selected to make them fit you best. It very important that you bring in your current irons so you can compare them to the new ones you are purchasing. Do some research before you go so you have an idea of what irons you would like to try.

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Originally Posted by aangel

Try to find a pro shop at a local golf course that does custom fitting. You will usually work with the club pro and be able to hit the clubs on their driving range....this will allow you to see the actual ball flight......do not rely solely on indoor simulators at golf shops. With a $700 price point, this allows you several options. Make sure you try the Ping G20's.

I think he means $700 for a full set, not just the irons. If this is the case, I personally have the Eye 2's and would recommend them to people who are just beginning. They are pretty forgiving as well as not looking as terrible as the G20's. They're aren't pretty, but at least the sole of your 7 irons isn't 2 inches from face to back (can't stand the new ping G series irons, so fat and chunky).

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Putter first, it takes up 35-45% of your shots on the golf course, and it requires the most precision

Driver 2nd, if you can get optimized for a driver, you can possibly see 1-2 shorter clubs into the green, that is a huge advantage. Difference between hitting 9 iron and 7 iron is big.

Irons Last

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I've been fortunate enough to find some really good clubfitters the last few years. Normally they'll have me hit some baseline shots with my current club(s), and then make some suggestions for clubhead models and shaft combos to hit. They'll look at the data, and drop out any clubs that clearly underperform.

Before I went for a driver fitting a couple of years back, I had hit this club and that club on prior visits. So, I hit my old driver, then newer drivers from my personal short list, plus a couple of other models the fitter recommended. It ended up a computer-data tie between a Callaway and a Cleveland driver - I went Callaway because it was easier to line up at address.

I tried to be an informed consumer, reading up on the different club models and specs. If it turns out I know more about golf clubs than a pushy fitter, I'll politely bow out and go home. But as I said, I've met some top-notch fitters in my current area.

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Originally Posted by WUTiger

I've been fortunate enough to find some really good clubfitters the last few years. Normally they'll have me hit some baseline shots with my current club(s), and then make some suggestions for clubhead models and shaft combos to hit. They'll look at the data, and drop out any clubs that clearly underperform.

Before I went for a driver fitting a couple of years back, I had hit this club and that club on prior visits. So, I hit my old driver, then newer drivers from my personal short list, plus a couple of other models the fitter recommended. It ended up a computer-data tie between a Callaway and a Cleveland driver - I went Callaway because it was easier to line up at address.

I tried to be an informed consumer, reading up on the different club models and specs. If it turns out I know more about golf clubs than a pushy fitter, I'll politely bow out and go home. But as I said, I've met some top-notch fitters in my current area.

Where do you find these guys? At local golf courses, commercial golf shops (Golfsmith, Roger Dunn, etc...) or a major brand's fitting center? Other?

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It is tough to know the best way to go. Really the best way is through a recommendation of a pro or trusted friend where you live.

I've been to FITTINGS at Golfsmith and the like that were a disaster, but even some of the ones that cost $$$ seem to totally depend on what fitter you get.

Depending on where you live you can free fittings from manufacturers too (their traveling fitting van or even at their offices like Cleveland), but some of the fittings are pretty cheap compared to what you are spending on the clubs and worth it. I would say go to one that has a reliable launch monitor too like a trackman for sure.

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firstly...stay away from major stores.

click members then locators.... http://www.agcpgolf.com/

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Check the pro shop at your favorite course. Mine was able to match big box store prices, and further discount by giving me a range card. Many courses are small family businesses that really need and appreciate the purchase.
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Originally Posted by ttaggart

This may be a stupid question, but I've never done a fit testing for clubs nor bought an expensive set. With the amount of money I am willing to spend how do I even go about finding which clubs to test out? Do I just take a 7-iron from 10 different sets and hit 10 shots with each club and then get it down to a couple sets and then ultimately make a decision?

Once I decide on which clubs I ultimately want to get is that when I do the fit testing to see if any adjustments need to be made? Or do I do the fit testing before I start hitting any clubs so that I could be steered in a certain direction based on my swing style which can be paired with a suitable set of clubs?

Thanks for the help

I recently got fitted for a new set of irons, but as most have said, I'd recommend going to your local pro shop (driving range, club, or public course). For the most part, they will almost always be able to beat the MSRP. If they absolutely won't budge on price, I'd suggest going elsewhere.

As far as the fitting goes, most places will have you get started with the 6i as a healthy middle ground to gauge what you'll need. However, especially for some of the progressive sets like the MP-H4, you will want to hit with some of the scoring irons and longer irons as well. Also, I'd much rather prefer hitting balls on a range than into a simulator to get an idea of how the club feels.

All that being said, personally, I went with the Mizuno MP-H4s. These clubs felt great to me and looked great at address. Also, they give me room to grow into as I get better. I also tried all the current Callaways (hated them all, which was interesting considering I came from a Callaway set), Titleist AP1s, and Ping G20s. The process started out with what I liked and felt comfortable with, got measured for my height and wrist to floor, then got fitted (hit balls outside with a Mizuno Shaft Optimizer) for my optimal shaft and lie angle.

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